09 Nov 2017
Lighting in important for the looks of a house. We had old fashioned CFLs. It looked ugly and the toxins is a health
hazard. I decided to update all the ceiling lighting to LEDs. I also wanted to add new many new plug points as I use
a lot of devices. I can do all of it, but I don’t have the time. A friend of mine referred Siripala, a contractor to
help me out.
Siripala is patient and listens. I am not sure if that is because I am an engineer. But he is not a jack ass like
others in the industry. His pricing is competitive but most importantly does the job well. I was actually surprised
to know that he was actually in to painting and interior decorating since he did the wiring better than the average
John Doe electrician.
He told me that his charges were 1500 per outlet but I was able to agree on a final bill of 15000. He did all the
shopping too. That is a big bonus to me as I am not free. I won’t say he is cheap. I have noticed him to deliver
and hard working.
He is available in and around Colombo. You can give him a ring and talk it out.
07 Nov 2017
I noticed that some some reports generated in GivingFire.com are taking a little time. Curious I looked in to the
matter. The query in interest was joining 5 tables 2 of which had millions of rows and others having over 100k. I
was curious to if and how I could tune the performance of the query.
That is when I did some looking around for some good books to read.
I found that the book PostgreSQL 9.6 High Performance is a good book. It was priced about $42 in Amazon. I did
some looking around and I noticed that Packet Publications a discounted offer for the book and another Mastering
PostgreSQL. While the latter wouldn’t be much of a use to me, both to gather cost only $35.00. It would be a
great bargain for some one interested in both books.
If that is you, www.packetpub.com is the place you need to look.
06 Nov 2017
Linux rolling releases are not for every one. If you are like me, valuing stability, Debian is your best bet. I
tried Antergos, an Arch Linux installer. I had issues and 2 days later I had to move back to Ubuntu.
I love Ubuntu! I marketed Ubuntu as a university student. I have never felt the need to hop linux distributions. But
last Friday was an exception. Following the SSD upgrade in my work laptop I decided to try Antergos gnome version.
The installer wasn’t impressive. The UI wouldn’t let you to login to an WiFi with a password. I had to use the
command line to configure the WiFi. The rest took a long time to install too. It was the longest OS installation I have
handled in my whole life.
After installing, I started tweaking Gnome. Few hours and I was able to make it look really cool. Any software I
installed was bleeding edge. Some were actually alpha releases.
It didn’t take long for me to experience my first bug. I managed to work around it. Just a few hours later I had the
next bug. In that case I had to downgrade the lib. Guess what, rolling releases are about cutting edge! You need a
separate tool to downgrade. At the end I managed to get all to work.
Then the following Monday I started working on my UpWork projects. I noticed that the UI would kind of freeze
momentarily. Following some comments online I booted using XOrg which didn’t help. Then I installed NVIDIA drivers.
The issue persisted.
Just few hours before 9AM West Cost time, I decided to give up and move to Ubuntu.
The installation went cream smooth and really fast. Within an hour I setup my development tools and configured for
Rolling releases are not for every one. I am thinking of installing Arch (plain old Arch and not Antergos) in my
secondary laptop. If stability is your concern look no further than Debian. I like Ubuntu.
06 Nov 2017
My SSD arrived in post on 2nd shipped from Hong Kong. It was a Kingston V300 240GB SSD which I got for $99 shipping
included. Earlier I received the HDD Caddy again from Ebay. I finished my work on Friday early and opened up my Asus
K55VD with hopes it will be faster by the end of the day. That is what happened.
Given my track record of breaking things, my mum was concerned. I waited for her to take a nap in the afternoon and
started the operation.
The outers screws came out easy. But the screws holding the HDD container to the body of the laptop was hard. After
a little play it came out. The screws holding the HDD to the container was the worst offender of the day. I had to
try many times to get it un-screwed without damaging the thread. Oh boy! My hand really hurt.
By the time I got the second screw, mum walked up to my office room with a cup of tea and a WTH expression in her
face. I explained I am upgrading the computer and she was like “how is breaking an upgrade”.
I finally got the screws out. The took place of the HDD. Then I removed the DVD W/R. This can be easily done by
removing the rectangular small sticker on the back of the body. Then you have access to a screw. Once you remove it
you can pull out the optical drive.
Once you remove it from the machine, you can use a pin to push on the emergency eject button and open up the tray.
Otherwise you can just keep the tray ejected before shutting down the computer. There will be a clip on the side.
When you press it the outer lip of the drive will come out.
Fit this lip to the HDD caddy. Also pin the HDD derive to the HDD Caddy. Once done just push it inside and screw
it back in.
That is it! Now you have a Hybrid Drive. In the case of the Asus K55, that is nearly 1TB (240GB + 750GB).
I installed Ubuntu (after 2 days of Antergos foo-do) and Damn wasn’t it fast! That was even with all my engineering
applications installed and running in boot. It is not as fast as my current laptop which is the 7th Gen HP Envy 15
which has an nVME disk but that is plenty.
19 Jul 2017
Strong beams of light penetrated my window and the time was 8AM. I rushed and got ready. I haven’t got ready in the morning in the last 5 years. It was tough, but totally worth it, today I am going to buy my first camera. Months of online research came to a halt last night concluding in favor of the Cannon 77D.
I stopped by the Metropolitan PhotoHub, the Cannon Agent in Sri Lanka. It is a decent place. It is situated near (more or less in front of) the Bambalapitiya Holy Family Convent.
I entered the shop. I waked over the showcased cameras and noticed that the 77D was not on display. I looked in the eye of the representative who walked towards me and said, “77D, I am here to buy one with the EF-S 18-55mm lens”.
We talked about the warranty, pricing and the cash-back-offer. It was some 17k. That makes it cheaper than CameraLK, if I get it. I also got a EF-S 55-250mm telephoto lens to get a decent coverage in focal-lengths.
Then I paid the money and in the mean time the rep went to the stores to get my camera. It took a while and I was looking at the nice Camera bags that were there. The rep took some time to come back but when he did, there she was. He told me that, I am the first official 77D customer in Sri Lanka, how cool is that?
I knew nothing about the camera. I had only held it once. The rep was very helpful and I had a pleasant experience. I, a photography noob, walked out of the store with my own ‘enthusiast level’ camera.
Mission accomplished, I said to my self as ignited the engine to head back home hungry, but happy!