Update: The Beagle issue.

My problem with beagle‘s been fixed. And with help from none other that Joe Shaw and Jon Trowbridge of Novell, the developers of Beagle! Thrilled to hear from them!

The issue was pretty simple, actually, and mostly my fault. Just a simple case of dbus’ environment variables not being available to best. A simple export fixed all that. Beagle works supremely fine, and I use it simply all the time!

Here are Joe’s and Jon’s replies:

Hi Rahul,

I'm Joe Shaw, one of the Beagle developers, and I came across your blogentry on Beagle.

The command "eval `dbus-launch --auto-syntax`" command sets up someenvironment variables which direct beagled and best how to contact thedbus session daemon.  The problem you're seeing is that since you'rerunning beagled in the same terminal as the dbus-launch command, it hasthose variables, but best (which you must be running from anotherterminal) doesn't.

The easiest thing to do would be to run "set | grep DBUS" and thenexport those environment variables in the terminal from which you runbest.  Alternatively, you can use .xim to run dbus-launch as part ofyour X session, which means that all programs and terminals will havethe environment variable set.  There should be instructions on how to dothat for SUSE on the beagle wiki (http://beaglewiki.org).

Hope this helps,Joe

Hey Rahul,

I saw your blog post about having problems with beagle... I think theproblem is that since you are running d-bus by hand, the d-bus-relatedenvironment variables only get set in that terminal.

Your best bet is to start the d-bus session bus along with your Xsession.  For more information, see:http://beaglewiki.org/index.php/Starting%20a%20D-BUS%20Session%20Bus

Good luck,-J

IBM’s Linux Scholars Challenge

Here’s further proof of IBM’s true committment to Linux and the Open Source Movement – the IBM Linux Scholars Challenge.

The Linux scholar challenge is a wonderful win-win effort from IBM. It targets the “next generation” of developers while they’re still in University. Not to mention awareness about both Linux/OSS and IBM itself. China and India did particularly well – China had 7 winners in the Top 20; India had 4. Also, Anna University in Chennai won a 16-node Linux cluster for the maximum number of participants. Go India! All winners received an IBM Thinkpad each – with incentives like these, no wonder we get the kind of participation we do!

Contests like these demonstrate clearly where the next wave of talent is coming from. Talent is fine, but we need technological leadership as well, though, . We need to put in a lot of thought into how to leverage our brilliant minds for leadership in the technology industry.

GMail’s spam filter rocks!

I now get as much spam in my GMail inbox as I do with my Rediffmail account. I created the Rediff account in early 2001, and have used it liberally since, when filling out forms and the like. The GMail address has been subjected to the same kind of public display for the past year.

However, Rediff’s spam filter sucks. No matter how many times I click on “Report as Spam”, I get the same emails repeatedly from, among others, a very persistent lady who’s very impressed with my “size”, and a man who wants to sell me Rolex watches at hugely discounted prices, and approves house loans and my mortgages without me asking for them. I won’t even mention the other kinds I get – you’ve seen them too.

I get those same emails with my GMail account – except that they’ve all – without exception – landed up in the “Spam” folder. I have never had to “train” the filter, or create rules, or anything of the sort. Spam filtering “just works”. The filter’s never been overenthusiastic either – where well-intentioned emails have landed up in the Spam folder.

Yessir, GMail rocks!

I have a new digital camera!

About an hour ago, I brought home my first digital camera! This baby’s a Sony Cybershot DSC-W1. About as large as a deck of cards, the specs are roughly:

  • 5.1 Megapixels.
  • 3x optical zoom.
  • 128MB + 32MB memory sticks.
  • Huge 2.5″ TFT-colour LCD viewfinder.
  • Optical viewfinder.
  • Macro mode for close-range shots.
  • Quick: less than two seconds between power-up and operation.
  • AA-type rechargable cells for power.
  • Can capture movies too!

I’ve buried my nose in the manual here, reading all about automatic focus, burst mode, preset modes, night photography, histograms, and a hundred other features this baby seems to have.

Steve’s Digicams – one of the most authoritative sites for digital camera reviews, has this to say about the W1:

The Cyber-shot DSC-W1 is an affordable yet high-performance 5-megapixel digital camera that offers a Carl Zeiss 3x optical zoom lens, large 2.5-inch color LCD, automatic simplicity and advanced features that you can “grow into” later, housed in a very compact, stylish and durable metal body about the size of a deck of playing cards. The Cyber-shot W1 is the perfect camera for photographers desiring to step-up to a higher resolution and faster performing camera or for those who are just beginning to explore the wonders of imaging in the 21st century.

Here are two reviews of the W1: At Steve’s Digicams and CameraHobby. I’m going to have a lot more to say about this one once I’m through discovering all it’s got to offer! Yes, I’m excited! Can’t you tell?

Ten Reasons Why Blogging is Good For Your Career

Tim Bray talks about how all this concern about bloggers being fired from their companies for saying too much is a bunch of bullshit. In fact, he says, in a world where communication is of the essence, having a strong online prescence can only aid your career. As regards getting into trouble:

Put it another way: not blogging won’t protect you from career-limiting moves, and if blogging provokes one, well, you were probably going to do it anyhow.

:-) Nice! So, for your reading pleasure:

Ten Reasons Why Blogging is Good For Your Career

  1. You have to get noticed to get promoted.
  2. You have to get noticed to get hired.
  3. It really impresses people when you say “Oh, I’ve written about that, just google for XXX and I’m on the top page” or “Oh, just google my name.”
  4. No matter how great you are, your career depends on communicating. The way to get better at anything, including communication, is by practicing. Blogging is good practice.
  5. Bloggers are better-informed than non-bloggers. Knowing more is a career advantage.
  6. Knowing more also means you’re more likely to hear about interesting jobs coming open.
  7. Networking is good for your career. Blogging is a good way to meet people.
  8. If you’re an engineer, blogging puts you in intimate contact with a worse-is-better 80/20 success story. Understanding this mode of technology adoption can only help you.
  9. If you’re in marketing, you’ll need to understand how its rules are changing as a result of the current whirlwind, which nobody does, but bloggers are at least somewhat less baffled.
  10. It’s a lot harder to fire someone who has a public voice, because it will be noticed.