Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ubuntu - USB port problem

Since I updated from Ubuntu Fiesty Fawn to Gutsy Gibbon, I was facing challenges getting my USB drive to work. The OS will not detect my camera, and either of my two flash drives. If the USB device would be detected after several minutes of silence, within a few minutes, system would throw the following error message -

"To avoid serious data loss, disable removable drives with the "Eject" option in the drive icon's context menu on the desktop, Computer place, or drive applet."

After weeks of frustration, I resorted to at channel #Ubuntu for help.

The IRC user HardDisk suggested I do this -

sudo rmmod ehci_hcd ---> This will change USB 2.0 to USB 1.0
sudo modprobe ehci-hcd ---> This will revert the above change

Both of these commands should be used in conjunction.

Bingo! This solved the problem.

I've done a lot of updates to my OS recently. But those for later.

EDIT 11/24/2008 - Installing usbmount resolves the problem forever without slowing transfer.
EDIT 12/08/2008 - Blacklisting uhci_hcd in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist might help too.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Portland Gardens

A weekend get away to Portland, Oregon. It was a two day trip, by road, with friends.

We stopped for a coffee break here.

The car crossed the railway station of Portland.Railways are popularly called Amtrak.

Union Station, Portland

The next planned stop was the waterfront of Portland. It was a very cold day and we rushed.

Waterfront, Portland

Portland has a huge China Town which has several Chinese Restaurants, Shops and a Chinese Garden. We ate at a Chinese Bistro that night. It is one of my favorites.

Entrance to China Town, Portland

The Garden of awakening Orchids, Portland.

The layout

The Rainbow Bridge at the Chinese Garden

The beautiful floor in the Chinese Garden

The Cave at the Chinese Garden

The Japanese Garden, Portland
The Japanese Garden is divided into multiple sections.

The Temple Lantern

Sand and Stone Garden

It reveals the stark simplicity of weathered stones
rising from a sea of raked sand.

Flat Garden

The two islands in the shape of sake and sake bottle (gourd)
represent pleasure—spiritual and temporal.

And those who have seen Kill Bill,
they might remember this features during duel
between O-ren ishii and the Bride.

After returning from the Japanese garden, I had a delicious meal of sushi in an authentic Japanese Restaurant, accompanied with Japanese Fried Ice cream (yummy).

The other places that we visited were - Powell Book Store in Portland and the state capital of Washington - Olympia.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Snowfall in Seattle

Snowfall was a luxury that I had no idea how to afford. Being in Seattle gave me an opportunity to be introduced to a preliminary snowfall last year in 2006 and last weekend it had full 3 inches of snowfall.


Here are some of the pictures that I took from and around my apartment.

Leaf in Snow

Snow settling on the branches

Snow on the cobweb

My roomie's Linux penguin on our patio

Overwhelmed with snow

Preparing for Christmas

Snow was recently ploughed off

Reflection on snow

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Misspiece

After a long hiatus, I drew again! Below are the pictures of the my misspiece followed by the original.

I use to take drawing lessons during school. I revived my creative pursuits in Feb '07 when my friend and I bought art supplies and drew a lion together. And then there was a lull. I had a sense of satisfaction after completing this painting.

What critics say?
1) My roommates liked it. One of them however mentioned that the woman on right is thinner. I agree.

2) A visiting friend mistook the lady on left for Mira Jasmine. We teased him for his affinity towards the actress and it helped when I showed him the original.

3) My mom said the woman on left is slouching and face of the woman on right is distorted. I convinced her I'll practice and do better next time.

Friday, October 19, 2007

For A Rich

You are so cool that if you were any cooler...
... you would be me.

Happy Birthday!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my mom's birthday. I wish her a very happy and long life. I always admire her emotional strength and perseverance. She has contributed in wonderful and intangible ways to make me the person I'm.

I thank her for giving me her love, more than I deserve.

I love you, mom. Happy Birthday!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A long story cut short

I've heard this short story in my childhood. A few days back, I narrated it for my friend. She is an avid reader herself but of course there is no pleasure like listening to a story, at bedtime, tucked in a cosy bed. She was all excited but not as much as I was. I was all prepared to give her a little surprise. Here is the version of story I told -

"Once upon a time, in a far far away kingdom of Shingmingling, there lived a king called Tinminging with his beautiful queen, Chinminaga. One day both died."

I took a pause and then said, "Good nite!"

And I got up to go to my bedroom. My otherwise effusive friend blinked blankly at me. I smiled and said this is, a, short story. She barely managed to say - it is the most horrifying story she has ever heard at bedtime. I was amused.

BTW, my story was adapted from following Hindi story -

"ek tha raja, ek thi rani,
dono mar gaye, khatam kahani"

I'm sure my friend had difficulty sleeping with the weird feelings.

On reflection, the story underlines the monotony of the cyclic path of life. It is a template of life which is provided to everyone by default at birth. It is our choices that decide what becomes of our life. It is ironical a decision that we made in past seems foolhardy in future. But this is the beauty of life, it keeps evolving.

So, keep trying.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

At last Shrunked

I like to read although I don't read a lot. I had already read the 'Fountainhead' and I was advised to read 'Atlas Shrugged'. I picked it up from library. The moment I saw I just shrugged. The tome was returned without a single page turned.

Three months back, again I was offered the book, albeit a less scary edition. It looked like abridged version of the original but in fact had smaller print. I just carried it along in my hand bag for a couple of weeks...hoping to read. I still don't know the reason for indifference to it. I guess it was just the starting problem with a book of more than a mere thousand pages. When I started reading, I was glued to it and it took less than a month with my regular work schedule.
I finished reading the book last night (only skipping a big part of John Galt's speech). I'm glad that I read the book. It provided a new perspective at guilt and punishment, about self sacrifice, about pity, about help and about the way to live life. There are many more things which have settled in my conscience.

Thanks to Ayn Rand. And thanks to my friend who lent me the book.

I should read Anthem too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Locked out of bathroom

What could be worse than getting locked out of your own bathroom on a Sunday night. When none of the apartment maintenance guy could come to help! When I would have to attend a meeting at 7:30 am and above all when I could still have to .... So the situation demanded action. Regretting mildly about being in US, I tried to push the door but was of no help. Then I got a knife from the kitchen and tried to make its way down the slit of the luck. Then my friend (on phone) advised me to try a credit card. I had already called the emergency number for apartment maintenance and left a voice mail. I thought to give credit card a try. So I found one of my used stored value card and tried to slide it thru...nope. Tried would work, my friend had said. I tried again and 'click'. The lock gave way.

I thanked my friend. Then called the apartment's emergency number again and left a voice mail with updates. I've stored the card for future use...just in case.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Who's the cat?

Alex loves his job… making presentations, client meetings, onsite tours, and a king size status. Of course he is happy. He spends his time improvising his skills or with his three friends - Marty, Gloria and Melman.

Melman stands out in crowd but is indifferent to everything and takes pleasure in nurturing his fears. He can live in despair forever; it is hope that scars him.

Gloria is a hippo-go-lucky, laid back and extremely supportive of her friends. She knows her mind and acts it too.

Marty lives in his monochromatic dreams of greener pastures. He is not brave or intelligent but a determined optimist.

It is on Marty's birthday, this September, that the lives of Marty and party take a sharp turn. They end up being in a wild frenzy …nothing to depend on but their friendship. Marty is the only one happy now. His long cherished dream of freedom from the shackle of worldliness has come true. Gloria and Melman accept the reality soon but Alex has grown immune to any change.

Sitting in the backdrop of panoramic beauty, Alex finds it hard not to miss his well heated abode, his dinner of filet mignon steak, and his audiences. He is desperate to restablish his routine. While Marty, Gloria and Melman are enjoying the warmth of the sun rays, gusts of the wind, swimming thru clear water and the limitless sky.

Marty persuades Alex to think beyond his banal life and to think out of the box before giving up. He tells him it is human to become accustomed to once surroundings and then spend entire life feeding the urge of feeding; to give up every dream in achieving something that was never the goal and then live that life in vanity; to have a routine life that serves no purpose. Marty gets dramatic and urges Alex to revive his animal instincts, to become a born lion again. Alex roars and finds the cat in himself.

And then they live happily ever after. Here is a group photograph (L2R) of Marty, Alex, Gloria and Melman taken when they reached Madagascar escaping NY's Central Zoo.