Upgrading to PHP 5.3 in Ubuntu

I’ve been using PHP 5.2 for a long time now. I’m not so apt towards change but PHP 5.3 has some cool features which I needed very much for my projects. So yesterday I decided to do that conversion. The process was not at all so simple and it took lots of googling and searching the forums, especially for removing the post-installation bugs. Finally, at Dec 27 12:45 AM I achieved 100% transformation to PHP 5.3. As my usual habit, I like documenting the stuff I do, so here it goes.

First thing before starting the process is to make sure that none of my existing projects would break. Because as the developers have said, PHP 5.3 is a major release with lots of changes. Many new features were added while many were removed or deprecated. And to avoid getting unnecessary warnings or notices, it was better to recheck my codes for compatibility with PHP 5.3. The PHP developers have written a good page in the PHP Manual which tells in detail about the things to take care of when migrating to 5.3 from 5.2. You can check it here : http://php.net/manual/en/migration53.php

So don’t forget to go through that page once, at the least the section which tells about the “removed and deprecated” features in PHP 5.3 and use the alternatives as suggested. Now you’re ready to upgrade. BUT, before that, you’ve to know that any software you use like phpMyAdmin or ldapPhpAdmin which uses PHP might broke. Well, you cannot do anything about it but you’ll have to reinstall them. Anyways, moving ahead, take a backup copy of your php.ini configuration file. You may need it for reconfiguring your PHP 5.3. If you’re using Apache 2, it can be found in /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini

Now, just run the following commands one by one,

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D. E. Shaw placement experience

Hello there, just 4 months ago I got a job in D.E. Shaw through campus placements in my college NIT Trichy. To help my juniors and students from other colleges as well,  I finally decided to write about my overall experience with the recruitment process of D. E. Shaw. But before that, lets tell you in brief about the company.

D. E. Shaw is an investment banking company which basically deals with investing other people’s money into right places to make more money out of it. It invests in a lot of places like share market, start ups, capital of other companies, so called “hedge fund”, etc. So in short, its a money-making machine. David E. Shaw worked at Morgan Stanley before leaving that job and founding the world’s biggest hedge fund company with total assets estimated at $30 Billion, almost same as Morgan Stanley now. Anyways, that’s enough history for you to know.

D. E. Shaw is basically a New York based company but has its offices all over the world, including Hyderabad, Mumbai and Gurgaon in India, but if you’re being recruited from India for a software job, you are most likely to get placed in Hyderabad. They’re known for their tough recruitment process and high pay all over the world. Though almost all of their work is related to finance and market, they’re doing a lot in Computer Science research also. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was a D. E. Shaw employee before he left and founded Amazon.com. In India, the D. E. Shaw’s main office is in Hyderabad and its fully related to Software Development and hence called “D. E. Shaw India Software Limited” (DESIS).

Now I will not bore you much and start with the process.

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Nokia E63 Review

Its been a long time since I made a post on wordpress, specifically a ‘review’. My last review about Dell Inspiron 1525 is still fetching me close to 50% of the traffic I get every day in my blog. So here’s something to add up, my new Nokia E63 mobile. Actually, its been 4 months since I bought it, but well, nevermind, its still new to me!

I’m really really impressed with my Nokia E63. Needless to say, its an ‘E’ – series class, which explains it all. Its actually made for business-minded people who use their mobile phone as their personal organizer, calender, emailer and lots more. But nevertheless, it has great features better than most of the ‘N’ – series mobiles, which makes it even more popular among normal users. Following the protocol, I will first point out the Pros and then the not-so-significant Cons of E63.

Pros :

1) It is a smartphone with a Symbian OS v9.2 ( the latest one being 9.3). So, what exactly is a ‘smartphone’ ? As the name tells, its ‘smart’ and you have to do very little to convey your intentions to your phone. For something which will take you 10-12 button clicks in a ‘non-smart’ phone, may take you just ‘2-3 clicks’ in a smart one! For an example, consider the process of sending an SMS to a friend ‘Jereme’ . I won’t count the message writing part in button clicks.

In a non-smart Nokia 6070 (my ex-phone), here are the steps (each arrow representing a button click) : Home -> Menu -> -> -> Messaging  -> Create Message -> Text Message ->Write Message ->Send -> -> To phone number -> Search -> J -> E -> R-> Jereme -> OK. ( Button Clicks = 16 )

In a smart E63, here’s what I’d do : Home -> New Message -> Text Message -> To : Jereme and Write Message -> Options -> Send. ( Button Clicks = 5 ). Surprised ? Well the 2 important user-friendly features because of which it was possible are Shortcut Key for ‘New Message’ and Auto-recognition of Recipient. For the shortcut key, the ‘New Message’ option is not fixed but infact, you can configure 4 shortcut keys in E63 for both ‘one-click’ mode and ‘press-and-hold’ mode to run ANY application you want. So total you have 8 shortcut applications on home. Even more, in the home screen of E63 you can create upto 6 application shortcuts just like you do in Windows + 5 notice options. All in all, it looks something like this :

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Ubuntu vs Fedora ?

Given a choice what will you chose, Ubuntu or Fedora ? Its one of the most arguable question among Linux Users. In this article, I try to talk about what I feel would be the best choice.

For those who have no idea about the title of this article – Ubuntu and Fedora, both are Operating Systems based on Open Source Linux Kernel. They are totally free of cost and belongs to a category called “FOSS” (Free and Open Source Software). Google for more.

I have been a frequent user of both Ubuntu and Fedora. While my laptop Dell Inspirton 1525 has both Ubuntu 9.04 Ultimate Edition 2.3 and Windows Vista Home Premium, I rarely use Windows. The only 2 things I open windows for are Microsoft Word and Gaming, because I feel that Sun’s OpenOffice is still too far behind the MS Word 2007 in terms of looks and user-friendliness and the Linux based Gaming is still in its infancy. Earlier I used to go to Windows for other needs as well like running HD Movies, using my Reliance/Tata Indicom Wireless Datacards, using Adobe PDF Reader, etc. but as soon as I grabbed the Ultimate Edition 2.3 , I almost forgot I had windows installed too!

According to my experience, Ubuntu is better than Fedora for normal desktop users. Ubuntu is officially a “home-based desktop operating system”, that is supposed to be user-friendly and provide all features that a desktop user requires like multimedia, networking, utility tools, office tools, etc. So in any case, if you’re a newuser on Linux, you should pick a flavour of Ubuntu. I’d recommend Ultimate Edition 2.3, which I am currently using. It has already got preinstalled all the softwares you’d ever need in your PC, except for games ofcourse. Even more, its looks are comparable with Windows and is more stable and user-friendly than other flavours. Besides, you can also pick among Linux Mint, Ubuntu 9.04, and others, but I don’t think anyone of them can beat Ultimate Edition in terms of preinstalled applications. Ubuntu flavours  in general, are simple, easy to use and user-friendly.

On the other hand, Fedora was actually a “sand-box” operating system when released, meant it was supposed to be for testing and experimenting Linux Softwares. It was never supposed to be for normal home based desktop users. Its meant for those who have advanced knowledge of Linux and can tweak fedora to their needs. However, with time it has incorporated lots of features meant for normal users which has made it the most widely linux OS used second only to Ubuntu.

When comparing security, both Fedora and Ubuntu provide you the same protection. Infact, any Linux based OS will give you security far better than that provided by Windows. I also include viruses, spamwares, adwares, etc while talking about security. Linux OS basically renders them non-executable in the first place, so no question arises of removing them.

All in all, I can summarize as follows :

If you’re a newcomer to Linux, use Ultimate Edition 2.3. You can also try Linux Mint, which has got even better GUI features but software-wise its little below Ultimate Edition.

For advanced users, who are ready to start off with the most stable Linux OS, just install Ubuntu 9.04 also known as “Jaunty Jackalope”. Ultimate Edition 2.3 uses Ubuntu 9.04 at its base, so I suggest its better than any other flavour. However, if you chose to install Ubuntu 9.04, you’d have to install every software, codecs you need by yourself. This may look to you as a negative point, yes it is if you don’t have a net connection, but otherwise, installing applications in Linux is as fast and simple as cutting a cake! Seriously, all you need to do is to open terminal and type the following command :
In Ubuntu :

sudo apt-get install packagename

In Fedora :

sudo yum install packagename

Thats all you have to do! Terminal will automatically download the software form the net and install it on your PC without you having to interfere in between. But you should know just one thing – the “package name”. Finding the exact package name will cose you less than 10 seconds in google.

In Ultimate Edition 2.3, you have got more than enough softwares than you’d actually need. There’s no point of having so many softwares ofcourse. I actually use less than 30% of the softwares available in Ultimate Edition.

Finally, for office users, Fedora should be the first choice. I am not sure why Fedora is best for office system, because personally I don’t find anything in Fedora that I can’t do better in Ubuntu. But still, people have their reasons to support Fedora over Ubuntu. No one has any concrete point but critics always say! Make your own choice and best of luck!

Still not sure, Click Here for answers!

Top 10 Movies

Some of the best movies I’ve ever seen. To some extent I’ve sorted it according to my likings, but it was very difficult.

1) Artificial Intelligence (2001) : The Best Movie I saw yet. I simply like everything about it. The quest of a humanoid for becoming real, poor guy doesn’t know he’s already real.The movie tries to convey this : Its difficult to distinguish between a robot and a human, once they’ve attained the same intelligence as humans. Because then they can think, dream, talk, love, hate, cry & feel just like humans do and that makes them real, not necessarily a mixture of flesh and bones.

2) The Shawshank Redemption (1994) : A movie worth watching. Makes you realize one thing – No matter what happens, how worse your life is going, what problems you have, but NEVER EVER lose your HOPE. But don’t hope that someone will come and take your problems away. Only you can do that. The Anti-Problems formula : HOPE + HARDWORK = SUCCESS.

3) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005) : A must watch. Makes you laugh, smile and wonder at the same time. It explains everything, from the Ultimate Question – “The Creation of the Universe” to the “Infinite Improbability Drive”. You’ll wonder what if things really happened the way like that. The movie starts with Earth destroyed in an instant, and ends up with a new “Backup” Earth. You can imagine the rest, just ” DONT PANIC ” 😉

4) The Last Samurai (2003) : The creation of Japan and the destruction of the Elite Samurai. Tom Cruise, a U.S. Soldier who was assigned to destroy the Samurai, finally ends up being one of them. A very beautiful story, and such a great plot. You’ll feel the movie is slow at the beginning but wait for the first few minutes and let Japan arrive. I became a fan of Tom Cruise from this movie, not MI.

5) A Beautiful Mind (2001) : Based on the real life of Professor John Nash – inventor of Game Theory and other theories that relates to the happenings of events in your daily life. He was suffering with a mental disease called schizophrenia. He has an imaginary world that is so real to him. The movie is true to the word, he really does have “A Beautiful Mind”. The life of a genius, struggling with a dangerous mental state. You can’t miss that.
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Ghajini (2) , Copy of !

aamirI don’t know why he did this, but I am disappointed. I liked him & his movies because he always showed some new creativity in them. Something that no one has seen yet in Indian cinema. Take his last 2 movies- one was Taare Zameen Par, a brilliant movie about children suffering from dyslexia. The movie had entertainment as well as awareness in it. And the other one was Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, although it was a just-another-love-story movie, but it had lots of things that made it different and unique. Although the movie was far away from reality, but what it showed,especially the songs, made us lost in its world for atleast 2 hours, if not more. And now, Ghajini. A typical south-indian hero-heroine-love-villain-revenge-action movie + a small “tadka” of Short Term Memory Loss. What I felt worse about is that the movie is a Scene-by-Scene copy of the tamil Ghajini. No new creativity or special effort was put my Aamir. Only the last few scenes were altered and that made the movie even more displeasing. Ofcourse, those who has not seen the tamil Ghajini will like this movie because the original story isn’t that bad, but for others this movie has nothing new in it. While watching that movie, I felt like watching a hindi-dubbed version of tamil Ghajini, with Aamir “ADOBEd” into every frame of that movie, instead of the origional hero. I was expecting much more from him. I thought atleast he would make the movie more realistic, the fight scenes would be more believable and not like rajnikant’s movies. But most of my expectations weren’t met. Anyways, I still wonder how this movie will fare in south India, where the tamil version is seen by almost every other person. What can I say except Best of Luck to him , after all, he put so many years of his into the “copy of Ghajini (2)” project. Lets hope for the Aamir to come out with a gem like TZP next!

Here’s the official site of Ghajini : www.rememberghajini.com/

Dell Inspiron 1525 Review

Dell Inspiron 1525 is currently, its most popular product in India.dell-inspiron-1525

Here are my views about the pros and cons about this laptop and why do I think it is better than the equivalent HP DV6 series. By the way, I have Inspiron 1525 and I love it !

Pros :

i) Reasonable Price

After you configure your laptop in the Dell’s Online Site and look at the net price, I’m sure you won’t say like “What the hell? Did I put any Gold Chips inside it ? “.

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