Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Android on VirtualBox

I happened to read this nice article on how to run Android on PC this evening. As I already had VirtualBox installed on laptop, I decided to give it a shot. The ISO download took a while. Once I set up the VM I booted it up and tried few things. It took me few seconds to figure out that escape key is used to close the window. Screen shots of the Live Android running in VirtualBox are here.

Android Screen shot

I could find a terminal emulator program in the list of applications and promptly launched vi. However, escape key in vi also closes the window :-(

Android Screen shot

H2G2 fans may find it amusing that Android was running on my laptop named Marvin.

Make hay while the sun shines

Hay Stack

Monday, December 28, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Manchanabele Dam

Manchanabele Dam is about 30 km from Bangalore. This dam is built across the river Arkavathi.

Manchanbele dam reservoir

Another view of Manchanbele dam reservoir

Friday, November 20, 2009

Backup Backup Backup

If my back up strategy for my photos is to be described in a single word, I would choose the word paranoid.

I have about 30 thousand photos taking up about 65 Gigs of disk space. I keep 4 copies of these photos across two external disk, one PC and a laptop. As the amount of data is huge keeping the four backups in sync is a tough job and manual copying is impractical. For a brief time I used a software called Areca for backup and it worked perfectly fine. In fact I used Areca till I came across backup agent from

Rsync.backup agent was much faster than the version of Areca I was using. It so easy to set up and in 30 minutes I was using a profile the exact way I wanted. I was so amazed by the capabilities of this software and it looked like this piece of software was written for me.

The backup agent builds a database with the details of the files of the files to back up and uses this database when the back up is performed. The back up process is very fast. It takes about less than a minute to identify the files that are changed.

To set up back up, the backup profile need to be set up. Switch to wizard mode and select the "Create a new backup profile". The next screes will take you through the necessary steps. In these steps you can select the left hand side folder, right hand side folder and the direction in which the back up has to happen. Once the destination and the direction of sync is selected, the back up mode can be selected. provides 3 types of backup operations namely "Standard copying", "Smart Tracking" and "Exact Mirror". The smart tracking option provides a choice of moving the deleted files to a predefined folder. So if a file is deleted by accident, in the back up, the file will be moved to the predefined location. Masks can be used to include or exclude files and folders in the backup. The profile can be set up to be executed automatically at predefined time as well. Profiles need to be saved with a name and if multiple words are given for profile name, first word of the profiles are used to group them.

Another interesting feature is the partial file update. For very large files, backup agent can identify the changed location and copy a subset of the file and keep them in sync between source and destination.

For individual usage the backup agent is the perfect choice and they offer a paid on-line backup option as well. Going by my experience with the backup agent software, I would imagine that the on-line backup will also be equally good.

Edit (26-June-2012)

I switched to the real rsync a while ago when my primary laptop died due to hardware issues. Needless to say, no data was lost since I had the backups. Now my photos take slightly more than 250 GB disk space.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Watermarking photos using GIMP

Some of my friends were interested in knowing how I add my name at the lower right side of the images I post here. The short answer is that I use a GIMP script to get this done. The long answer follows:

Few years back one fine day I decided to put my name in some photos and started editing the photos with GIMP. However, manually adding a text in the images turned out to be difficult and the text position were inconsistent across images. So in lines with Unix philosophy of "if you have to do something twice, write a script", I ventured into writing this script. I read few Script-Fu tutorials and managed to write this script. Please excuse the usage of my name all over the script.

Follow these steps to this script.
  1. Download GIMP from and install it.
  2. Download the script Prime.scm
  3. Save the script in the script folder of gimp installation. In GIMP select Edit->Preferences. In the preferences window expand the "Folders" in the left pane and select Scripts. You will be able find the scripts directories listed in the right pane. Make sure that the file is saved with the extension .scm.
  4. Restart GIMP.
  5. Open an image using GIMP and the menu Prime will be visible. Select the menu item Prime and the text will be added at the bottom right hand.
Some changes will be required to get your name in there. Follow these steps to get it done.

In the script, change the words 'Your text goes here' to the text you want to put in the image.
Adjust the numeric values in the following lines so that your text is at the right position:
(x (- width 175)) ; Set the x coordinate.
(y (- height 40)) ; Set the y coordinate.

To change the color of the text, change the RGB values in the following line :
(gimp-context-set-foreground '(120 120 120)) ; Set the text colour

Restart GIMP once these changes are done.

It is a pain to open individual files, select the menu and save it. So I wrote another script that will make changes in all the files in a given folder. Things worked fine till the Script-Fu syntax changed in a newer version of GIMP and the scripts stopped working. I managed to rewrite the above script for the new version of GIMP one day but didn't get a chance to fix the other script. If I get enough time and patience, I will fix it one day and post it here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009


A kite, seen near my home.

* Disclaimer: My bird watching friends are not around, so the name may not be accurate. All I can confirm at this point of time is that this is not a chicken or duck.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Deepavali fire works

Happy Deepavali! I was trying to capture some fireworks this evening and was not very successful. Some photos came out really bad which proves that I still need to learn a lot of things. Here is some photos I have taken today.

For those who are interested in the technique used, here we go:
Shutter speed : 1/4, 1/5 and 1/6. The slow speed helped in capturing the trails of the fire work.
ISO : 400 - As the shutter speed values were low, had to increase the ISO.
Aperture : Most of the time f4.
Focal length : 55mm
Lens used : Canon 55-250 with IS.
Camera : Canon EOS 1000D.
Manual focus was used as the light was low and did not have much time getting the auto focus right.
Tripod : Big mistake, Tripod was not used.

All pictures are cropped and re-sized using Picasa. The water mark was done using GIMP.

This is how I managed to mess these shots.
  1. Tried to capture too many different things simultaneously. Most of these things required different settings and most of the time I clicked with the previous settings.
  2. Not using a tripod. I thought it would be difficult to carry the tripod around and I would be able to manage without tripod. Even with Image Stabilization and high ISO, I had to use very low shutter speeds. As my hands are shaky, the pictures got a touch of modern art.
  3. Hurried shots - I wasn't paying attention to what was happening on the ground and was concentrating towards the sky. So when the fireworks went off, I was scrambling to compose the shot.
In a nutshell, the problem was me. Other reasons like Earth's rotation or Global warming do not have anything to do with these shots.

However, the shaky hands have given a little bit of surrealistic touch to the pictures.

This one reminds me of the pictures taken by Hubble telescope.

The next photos will definitely qualify as modern art :-)


One of the photos taken during the photo session with my friend Venu

Monday, October 12, 2009

Derelict Buildings

Derelict Building
A derelict building seen at Bhadravathi, Karnataka

Derelict House
Another one seen near Mavinkare, Bhadravathi, Karnataka

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) License

Creative Commons License
The images and photographs posted in this blog by Prime Jyothi are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) License.