Monday, November 30, 2009

Problem with libssl-dev while installing Virtuoso Universal Server open source edition in Ubuntu 8.04

While installing Virtuoso Universal Server's open source edition in Ubuntu 8.04 I faced the following problem when I ran the configure utility:

checking validity of the OpenSSL headers in /usr... configure: error: bad. Check config.log for details

The solution is to install libssl-dev which can be done as root as the following:

apt-get install libssl-dev

Then I ran make and make install without any problem.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Web Calendar and Desktop Notifier?

I am looking for a good web calendar and a desktop notifier for it. I know there are couple of excellent web calendars out there like Google Calendar, Windows Live Calendar etc. But none of them has a good desktop notifier. In fact, I could not find any notifier for them. The motivation for not having a desktop notifier for Google Calendar is obvious. Google wants to move everything to the cloud and a desktop notifier for its calendar will be counter-intuitive to that. But I was expecting something from Microsoft as it proposes such a paradigm in its Software + Services strategy site. Though Outlook and Windows Live Mail both can access the calendar, there is not standalone notifier which will run at start up and show and notify upcoming events. Probably there are one or more desktop gadgets out there which I could not find. Can anyone help me in this regard?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Transparency International published Corruption Perceptions Index 2009

Congratulations to Bangladesh for improving its rank! From last year's position 147, it moved to 139 this year. This is a result of its improvement in CPI score. This year it rose to 2.4 from last year's 2.1. I hope this improvement is real i.e. not not result of a mistake at any stage of the ranking process. You can find the full list here:

Saturday, October 17, 2009


By the grace of Allah, my daughter Ryfah Mahdiya Husain was born on the 3rd October, 2009 at 3:05 p.m. at Plano Presbyterian Hospital. She is the cutest and most beautiful human being I have ever seen. I pray to Allah that she becomes a very good Muslim.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What really happened to Hitler?

I found this interesting link while browsing the net which provides lots of information indicating that Hitler did not commit suicide and the body found in the bunker was of a body-double of him. The article is informative and really raises doubts about the death.

U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama With Sheikh Hasina at the Metropolitan Museum in New York

Thursday, September 24, 2009

US town bans Libyan leader's tent


I felt good reading the news. These tyrants should know that they should limit their whims only in their own countries and there are civilized countries in the world where laws must be abided by.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Chinese ethnic unrest continues

The news says that five more people died and did not talk about their ethnicity. I fear the allegation about stabbing against the Uighur Muslims are not correct or a partial information of what's happening at best. Someone really has to look into what's going on there. I urge the world leaders to take a look at the matter before it becomes another Bosnia.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Snorkel rice

Japanese scientists have developed a new kind of rice plant which grows snorkel like structure very rapidly when submerged. These snorkels help the plant survive. In a flood-prone country like Bangladesh, this plant can be a very good news to the people. I hope the agricultural arm of Bangladesh government take a look at it and introduce it to the local farmers soon if it is suitable for us. The following video shows the plant in action:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stack Overflow

It is a name of a website. I just found this excellent site for programmers few days ago. The purpose is same as many other sites having forums to discuss programming questions. But this one is not based on forums, rather on question/answer style discussions. To differentiate between the languages/tools/areas tags are used. Answers as well as questions can be voted up or down. But not anyone has the right to vote. The right comes with reputation which can be earned by being active. Badges can be earned based on many criteria. Overall, I liked the innovations the site brings. And which matters most is people are active and make the site useful. The site is run by Fog Creek Software.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A fantastic article on Google's vision with Chrome OS

G. Pascal Zachary wrote a great article on why Google wants to have an operating system of its own now. It has an interesting analysis of how Microsoft dominates the OS world too. The risks of building a new operating system is too high. Many efforts were made in the past to unseat Microsoft but each of them failed. Like me everyone is looking at Google to find out what it does. It also is not immune to failure when it comes to operating system. Undoubtedly Microsoft is too much successful in this arena and not only Google has to produce something technologically superb but also cloud computing has to become as successful as people are predicting it to be.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Apple censors a dictionary!

For last couple of days I have been reading a lot about Apple's whimsical censorship policy for approving new apps for iPhone. But this one seems to be most hilarious: Apple censored a dictionary application for having vulgar words. What is more interesting is that it has previously allowed dictionary applications which have those words. I think someone in Apple really needs to look into what is going on with this approval process.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The prospects of Microsoft Word in the wiki-based world

Here is an interesting article by Jeremy Reimer where he shares his thought about how Microsoft Word has reached its end of life. I loved the article particularly because of the history of electronic document editing. It shows a clear picture of how our habit and usage of document composition changed over time. It also points out modern wiki based documents as the tool to use instead of Microsoft Word. Overall, it is an interesting read.

Monday, August 03, 2009

TurnItIn: making profit by acting as "Plagiarism Police"

Have we ever thought that this innocent looking tool is making huge profit by pretending to be the benevolent Plagiarism Police? They themselves are violating the very law which they ostensibly try to protect: the Copyright Law! Apparantly few have thought about it and decided to take stern action. It will be interesting to see where this goes eventually. At the least it revealed the true intent of the company: making money, a boat-load of them!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Asian Highway useless for Bangladesh in present form

I just read a shocking article on Asian Highway. Dr. Abul Hashem explains how the current proposal of Asian Highway is not useful to us. You don't have to be an expert on this to understand his point. According to the current proposal, AH-1 and AH-2 will have their both endpoints in Bangladesh-India border. It will go through several land ports in Bangladesh-India border but not anywhere near our two seaports. They will not connect us with Myanmar. The picture should be clear to any sane person now. It is essentially the transit corridor India is demanding from us for a long time. I am surprised to see that the current popular government is going to sign in to this project. They better have solid reason to do this otherwise people will call them sycophant of the Indians. I am sure the cunning Indians are running the show here. All concious citizens of our country should wake up and resist this will all our might. Otherwise they will slap Tipaimukh Dam on our face and take this transit corridor in disguise.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

An article comparing Smartphone platforms

Smartphone development is of much interest among the developer community now. There are lots of platforms to choose from: iPhone, Google Android, Blackberry, Nokia Symbian, Palm, Windows Mobile, Java ME etc. While the iPhone seems to be the obvious choice, there are a lot of things to consider which may lead someone to choose some other platform. Here is an excellent article comparing pros and cons of those platforms from a developer point of view. Before jumping in a platform one should go through the article to know all the things one needs to consider beforing making a choice. iPhone may not be the obvious choice any more. Developers are already venting their frustrations on iPhone app development (link 1, link 2). Articles like this will help them make the right choice.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

China tries to block Uighur film

Here is the appalling news: A Chinese consular officer insisted the festival director not to show a documentary about an exiled Uighur leader. Thanks to the festival director for taking the right decision.

The world should know what the Chinese are doing with Uighurs. I am very worried about them as I suspect they are being murdered by both the Han people and the government. I don't believe the official statistics of casualty. Chinese government has quelled people's movements in brutal ways in the past (e.g. the well-known Tiananmen square protest). I think this time it is no exception too.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fixing flashing envelop problem in Nokia E71x

I found that many people who bought a Nokia E71x phone are having a persistent flashing envelop indicator even though there is no new message or voice mail. If the SIM is not a new one (i.e. used in any other phone previously) I have a solution. I copied all the old messages from the SIM to the phone and then deleted all messages from SIM. The envelop went away. I think this is a bug in the set as SIM messages are not new/unread messages but it is good that there is at least one solution!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Phillips regrets missing 'easy' century!!!

Here is the irritating article: I found it irritating because I have not seen even any great players talking like this against any team. Firstly, it was not easy at all. If it were so easy why did not he do it? Isn't it a contradiction? Secondly, this discourteous comment shows that this new player does not have the right attitude towards this gentleman's game. I hope this rookie player will grow up and think before making any comment. Neither he nor his team can be proud of their skill and current achievements, so this kind of comment just make people look foolish.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Mount Annapurna IV Conquered by Bangladeshis

A group of brave Bangladeshis achieved the tremendous feat of climbing Mt. Annapurna IV. This is a 24682 ft high Himalayan peak. This is the first ever Himalayan peak climbed by any Bangladeshi. My heartiest congratulations to them! I am proud of them and my prayer and wishes are with them for their ultimate goal to climb the Mount Everest and hoist our national flag there. Here are two links for the news:

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

OS by Google?

At last what many predicted is going to happen. Google is starting to take shot at Microsoft's heart. They are going to offer a new operating system for netbooks. But the report defies my own prediction that they would build an OS based on Android. Google Chrome Operating System, as they call it, is going to be a completely new project. And what is most interesting for customers is that it would be either free or of minimal cost. I look forward to see what Google produces. I think once again it will deliver a fantastic product.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Recently I have been trying to use IBM's ClearCase source repository. I have used CVS for one and a half years and SVN for couple of months. Since I started to use CVS I became a big fan of source repositories as they made the life much easier for not only the devolpers who are working in a team but also who are working alone. The easy concepts of local working copy, branches, tags greatly facilitate managing codes. Their command line tools and GUI tools are all quite intuitive. But I am disappointed with ClearCase. It seems overtly complex to me. I don't understand how they came up with the complex ideas for a simple problem. However, I am trying hard to understand it and hopefully I will start to like it too.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ice sheet melt threat reassessed

Researchers reassessed the sea level rise that can happen if WAIS melts. Previously the projection was 5-6 meters. The revised estimation is 3.3 meters which is still high enough to put low-lying countries like Bangladesh in a lot of troubles. We need to work faster to find a solution to this problem. The pace of green house emission reduction is no where near satisfactory. Actually, the emission is not reducing at all. We all should act as a responsible world citizen and adopt green behaviour in every aspect of our life.

Monday, May 04, 2009

PM okays draft MoU on N-plant with Russia

I am delighted to learn that prime minister okayed a draft MoU on setting up nuclear plant with Russia. It seems to be a great step to solve the perennial energy problem of Bangladesh. If this deal goes through, it will put an end to the agony people of Bangladesh are going through for decades. Though land was allocated for the project back in 1961, no government took any action to materialize the project. But we should be cautious and aware of the details of the deal if it is finalized in future. Previously, deals with large finances went horribly wrong because of corrupt people of our country. They sold country's interest for their petty personal gain. I hope this time everything is right with this new promising government.

Spiraling population challenges Bangladesh

Mahfuz R. Chowdhury wrote an excellent article about the uncontrolled population growth of Bangladesh. The concerns expressed by the article are very similar to my ones. I wrote about this population growth problem couple of times here in my blog. I expressed concern about it to Sajeeb Wazed Joy, son of Bangladesh's current prime minister, here but got no response from him. I wonder when our leaders will start to address this issue.

Programmer Cartoons

A friend of mine sent me this link. It has some really hilarious cartoons. Enjoy!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Seal level not rising?

This is the first time I have read any news/article talking about sea level not rising here. It basically says that the sea level is unchanged for past 50 years.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Change default shell in Linux

There is a simple command to do it: chsh [options] [login]. As an option you have to provide -s /path/to/new/shell. The /etc/shells file contains the list of currently available shells in the system.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Setup passphraseless ssh for Hadoop in Fedora 10

To run Hadoop it is necessary (at least that is what I know) to be able to ssh to the localhost without a passphrase. The Hadoop quick start guide has simple instructions on how to do that. The first time I installed and ran Hadoop was for a class project and I worked in a pc having Ubuntu 8.04. I could follow all the instructions of that guide without any problem. But this time when I wanted to run it on my laptop having Fedora 10, the passphraseless ssh was not working. I searched the internet for a solution and I found an excellent one here, thanks to Daniel Owen for the article. The trick is in the permissions. The authorized_keys file must have the permission 644. Anything other than that does not work. The known_host file created by ssh client also has the same permission.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Installing TrueType fonts in Fedora 10

I wanted to install four Bangla fonts to read some Bangladeshi newspapers. I searched the net for instructions on how to do it and found quite a few relevant results. But all of them used some commands which I could not find in my system even with full pathnames. They simply do not exist in my Fedora box. Then I just tried the following:

1. Opened a shell and changed to super user:
# su
Password: myrootpassword
2.. Created a new directory "banglafonts" in /usr/share/fonts:
# mkdir /usr/share/fonts/banglafonts
3. Changed directory to that one:
# cd /usr/share/fonts/banglafonts
4. Copied the ttf fonts to that directory
# cp /path/to/directory/having/downloaded/fonts/*.ttf .
5. Created fonts.dir:
# mkfontdir
6. Rebuilt the fonts cache
# fc-cache
7. Exited the shell
# exit
8. Restarted Firefox.

There may be some GUI tools to ease the process but my system do not have them and I also do not want to install something which will be rarely used. The simple steps described above are easy enough, even for a newbie, to install ttf fonts in a Fedora box.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Adding mp3 Support to Fedora 10

As mp3 support is not built-in in any Linux distributions, I was looking for some way to add it to my newly installed Fedora 10. I found some working instructions here: There is one typo in the second command, it should be "rpmfusion-nonfree" instead of "rmpfusion-nonfree".

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How to Determine Main Memory Size in Solaris

I was looking for a way to check the memory size of a Solaris machine I am working on. I found a blog post having three commands here: I tried all three but only the following one worked for me:

# /usr/platform/sun4u/sbin/prtdiag | grep Memory
Memory size: 4096 Megabytes

Here is the machine information:

# uname -a
SunOS *** 5.10 Generic_127111-11 sun4u sparc SUNW,Sun-Fire-880

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bitter Experience With Kuwait Airways

Kuwait Airways is the national air carrier of Kuwait. I had the opportunity to avail its service when I went to Bangladesh on the 16th December. Previously I was very impressed with Emirates, another airlines of the middle east. I was so happy with Emirates that I rated it higher than the world renowned British Airways. Emirates seemed to be a perfect airlines to me. It did not miss its schedule, the crews in the flights were very cordial and sincere in their duty. Moreover I cannot forget the dinner ticket and one international call ticket provided by Emirates when I reached Dubai International Airport. The buffet at the gorgeous restaurant was unforgettable.

I thought Kuwait Airways will be as good as Emirates as it too is an airlines of a wealthy middle eastern country. But it gave me quite a contrasting experience. Almost half of the crews were Kuwaiti and their behavior was horrible. It seemed like they do not like their job at all and by serving us they are doing a favor. The rest of the crews of foreign origin were professional. I remember that one Kuwaiti air hostess was constantly frowning indicating her disgust with the job. In my journey from JFK to ZIA I had a 7 hour stop over in Kuwait Airport. The airport is ugly, it looked like a tent made of concrete to me. May be the design is a result of living in tents for hundreds of years. It had rooms for smoking. It is the only airport I have seen so far with this facility, none of the western airports I have visited, which are much much better than Kuwait Airport, had this (at least I did not find it). The fountains were dirty and filled with cigarette filters. The prayer rooms do not have any place for ablution. Kuwait Airways did not give me any hotel. It only gave me a meal ticket when I asked about it. The restaurant looked very cheap and small. The food was moderate. The quantity and number of items were fixed.

On my way back the experience was even worse. The flight from ZIA to Kuwait Airport was delayed by three hours because the plane could not arrive in time. This time I had a 17 hour stop-over at Kuwait Airport. Kuwait Airways was supposed to provide hotel but to my astonishment they refused to provide me hotel! There were many people who did not get hotel and were infuriated by this. We all protested and in response they agreed to provide hotel but only to U.S., U.K. and Canadian passport holders! People like me was guilty of having a Bangladeshi Passport! This time too they provided the dinner ticket only when asked to provide it. They did not provide the breakfast ticket though they clearly knew we are going to stay there for 17 hours and it will include breakfast time. Families with kids and old people stayed in the sofas of restaurants at first. But they were chased away but the restaurant stuffs.

I urge everyone to take lesson from this. Specially the Bangladeshis should be aware that Kuwait Airways discriminate against them. This is their return of our sending troops after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. On my return to JFK, I found that few Kuwait Airways crews are held by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers for further security screening. Looks like Americans know better how to deal with Kuwaitis.