Moving away from Ubuntu after 5 years

Ubuntu’s Amazon search “feature” fiasco (Probably I have enough in my mind to write another big post) was the last thread in the straw for me. Switched to Debian Testing with GNOME 3. Surprisingly, GNOME 3 isn’t that bad at all and not much different from Unity. Yeah having to install extensions to achieve some functionality expected to be out of the box, is a bit weird, but is something you can live with.

One thing that isn’t quite up to the mark is the notifications system. Most of the commonly used applications in Ubuntu, like Pidgin, Thunderbird, Gwibber, Transmission, Empathy, make use of the notification system created by Ubuntu. In GNOME 3, that sadly isn’t the case. A lot of work still needs to be done in integrating the applications with the notification system.

Since I have a 8 mbps internet connection at home, installing the proprietary drivers for my NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS graphics card and proprietary firmware for my Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG wifi adapter was a breeze and went without any issues. I even tweaked GRUB’s resolution and enabled a cool bootsplash screen featuring the Joy theme.

All these years of using my laptop, a couple of times, I did try to move out of Ubuntu, but there was always something that made me come back to Ubuntu in no time. But this time I am having a good experience with Debian Wheezy and GNOME 3 and it’s highly unlikely I will come back to Ubuntu any time soon. Ciao Ubuntu, without doubt you were very good and worked without issues for me ever since I started with Feisty Fawn and I am very happy about that. But now it is time to go.


P.S. The ‘New Post’ composer on is kinda cool. Hoping to get it soon for my self-hosted blog.

விண்ணை தாண்டி வருவாயா – a very brief review

விண்ணை தாண்டி வருவாயா’ as a movie doesn’t even score the pass mark. But as something portraying a relationship between 2 persons with their own faults, it scores much more. But love is much more than ‘love at first sight’, ‘hugs’ and ‘kisses’ that come a bit too often in the movie. The hesitations and indecisiveness are very much there in real life love too though many can’t appreciate it. The movie was irritating at a lot of times with a lot of cliches and a gross portrayal of love at times – but real life can be more unrealistic at times. So ‘விண்ணை தாண்டி வருவாயா’ doesn’t deserve the ‘likes’ and ‘hates’ it has got. It is just a movie, go watch it. If you can’t take it, just feel free to walk out any time. 🙂

The music is really wonderful as ever with A.R. Rahman and the visuals were really nice, so the credit goes to the cameraman. This is an effort that needs to be appreciated for breaking away from the paradigms of Tamil cinema, though it is nowhere near perfection.

Catching up with a lot of Social networking!

I have always been unlike most of the students who are so crazy about social networking in its various forms. And the fact that a lot of popular social networking sites are banned inside my campus where I am residing has ensured that I’m away from social networking. But suddenly out of nowhere I started to use Twitter and gradually revived my Facebook activities too. Nowadays I tweet regularly and I’m close to the 200 mark and in Facebook too I perform a lot of activities out of which Mafia Wars takes up the majority of time. 🙂

My Twitter profile is at http://twitter dot com slash LGuruprasad

Health in a free fall!

Searing pain at the sides of the nose where the eyebrows and the nose meet, inability to sit in front of the computer for reasonable periods without headaches, sugar level that is everywhere except under control and more things have clearly ensured that my health is really really poor and is going down.
Being a diabetic, I am supposed to very restrictive and careful with my health, but my health condition rarely ever lets me do so. Though I want to sit in front of the computer and work/learn/waste time, my present health condition doesn’t let me. I feel frustrated with it and increased frustration isn’t going to help anything. With the exams approaching, I have loads to memorize and make up for my poor performance at memorizing and writing loads of pages in the test, also known as preparing and doing well in the exam! I can’t take it anymore and I quit!

Hassle-free installation of Sun JDK on Debian

Normally we download Sun JDK installation binaries and install them. Then we configure the PATH environment variable to point to our JDK installation. But some times there will be conflicts between the native gcj and Sun JDK. So it is always better to install Sun JDK through debian repositories.

But unfortunately, the Debian repositories have Sun JDK in non-free repositories and do not always have the latest JDK.

So this is how we can install the latest JDK natively on Debian.

Steps to be followed:

1. We have to download the JDK or JRE binaries (a .bin file) appropriate for our architecture.

2. Then we have to create a .deb package from the Sun JDK binaries we have downloaded


a.Install java-package which will help us to convert the Sun JDK .bin file to a  .deb file installable on Debian.

b. Install fakeroot.

3. Then do as non-root user,

fakeroot make-jpkg <Sun JDK binary filename>

If there is an error like ‘Plugins not found’ or similar errors, it means that the version of the Sun JDK you are trying to install may not be supported by ‘java-package’. Fortunately, there is a work-around for this:

Edit usr/share/java-package/ like this:

Add the following to that file:

"<Your Sun JDK/JRE bin file name") # SUPPORTED

at the end of the list of similar directives for various versions of JDK/JRE and save the file.

Now repeat step 3 and it will not give the ‘Plugins not found error’ and a .deb package will be created with some warnings which you can ignore safely.

4. Then install the .deb file as a root user by the command:

dpkg -i <generated .deb file name>

5. After the JDK is installed, we have to configure the installed Sun JDK as the default JDK. So we use the following commands:

update-alternatives –config java

This command will show a list of Java installations available (including gcj) and prompt for a choice.

Choose the choice which corresponds to your Sun JDK installation. In my case it was something like this:


Now your Sun JDK installation will be the default JDK. 🙂