Is Bloglines having problems?

Saw a post about it on TechCrunch that indicates Bloglines may stop functioning.

The post is here.

In case that happens, and if you don't want to lose the blog feeds you had subscribed to, here's what you can do:

Export the RSS or Atom feeds of the blogs that you subscribe to, using the Bloglines feature called Export Subscriptions. Login to your Bloglines account and look for the feature at the bottom of the left pane. Click on it and save the generated OPML file somewhere.

Then import that OPML file into some other feed reader of your choice, using that reader's appropriate option to do so. (The option should be called something like Import Subscriptions or Import Feeds.) Most good feed readers, whether desktop or web-based, should have such an option.

Vasudev Ram - Dancing Bison Enterprises.

UNIX one-liner to kill a hanging Firefox process

Here's a useful one-liner that uses awk (and grep, sort and sed too), to kill a Firefox process that has hung.

Firefox hung just now on my machine - so I ran this command:

# kill -HUP ` ps -aef | grep -i firefox | sort -k 2 -r | sed 1d | awk ' { print $2 } ' `

NOTE: That's sed space one d in the line above, i.e. the digit "one", not the letter "ell".

The command does all of the following:

- Uses the ps command to get a list of all running processes; the list is written to standard output.

- Pipes that to grep -i firefox to identify all Firefox-related processes (this is needed because, on Ubuntu Linux, there is more than one such process (even for a single running Firefox instance), because the firefox command you run is a shell script which calls another script which finally calls the real firefox binary).

- Pipes that to sort -k 2 -r to sort the output in descending order by the process-id (2nd field of the ps output).

- Pipes that to sed 1d to delete the line of output that refers to the grep in the pipeline itself - otherwise I'd end up killing the grep as well (because grep -i firefox matches the line for the grep process as well as the actual Firefox-related processes).

NOTE: This part (using sed 1d to kill the grep) is based on knowing that the grep process is the process that currently has the highest-numbered process id (due to the preceding sort command), of all the processes that match the grep pattern. So it'll be the first line of output, so sed 1d deletes it (and passes all the other lines untouched, to the next command in the pipeline).

- Pipes that to awk ' { print $2 } ' to extract only the 2nd field, the process-id, from each line.

- And, since the entire part of the command after the HUP is enclosed in backward quotes (also called backticks or grave accents), what happens is that the final output of the commands between the backticks replaces the backticks and everything between them, so what the shell finally sees before it runs the kill command, is something like this:

kill -HUP 8849 8845 8833

- which results in automagically killing all (and only) the processes related to the single instance of Firefox that was running (but hung) on my machine.

WARNING: Don't try this command (exactly as shown) if you're on a Linux system with multiple users, since it would end up deleting all their running Firefox processes as well - and don't run it even if you yourself are running multiple instances of Firefox and only want to kill one of them.

NOTE: The sort command uses the -r option to list the processes in reverse numeric order by process-id, so that we kill each child before its parent, to avoid creating orphan processes.

Vasudev Ram.

TESTING IF LiveJournal problem

Ths is a test.
Creating a small sized post to see if LJ is blocking it.
Creating a small sized post to see if LJ is blocking it.
Creating a small sized post to see if LJ is blocking it.
Creating a small sized post to see if LJ is blocking it.
Creating a small sized post to see if LJ is blocking it.

Intel acquires OpenedHand

OpenedHand Ltd, based in London, UK, is a software company with products related to handheld computing devices. Interestingly, all their products seem to be open source.

About OpenedHand.

Intel has acquired OpenedHand.

[ I had blogged about the Moblin platform a few days ago. ]

Excerpts from the OpenedHand site:

"The OpenedHand team will join the Intel Open Source Technology Center and will focus on the development of the Moblin Software Platform, the optimized software stack for Intel Atom processors".

"OpenedHand has grown to a solid team of experienced open source developers with skills covering all areas of a device’s software stack".

They have products such as:

- Matchbox.

"Matchbox is an open source base environment for the X Window System on embedded platforms with limited screen size and system resources".

- Poky.

"Poky is a platform build tool to aid the design, development, building, debugging, simulation and testing of Linux based device software stacks".

- Pimlico.

"Pimlico is a suite of lightweight Personal Information Management (PIM) applications providing address book, task list, calendar and synchronisation software."

As they say on their site:

"One of our areas of focus is leveraging proven and popular desktop technologies to embedded platforms. This provides a widely tested and maintained base which we can use to build optimised systems".

This looks like an interesting and viable business model for some software companies - take an existing, mature, open source software product which is available for the desktop, and optimize and make it smaller for use on devices (which have less powerful CPUs and less RAM than desktop computers).

Vasudev Ram.

New Enterprise Ruby book by Maik Schmidt

Just got to know that a new book on Ruby and Rails is available. The book is Enterprise Recipes with Ruby and Rails (I'm calling it ER3 for short), written by Maik Schmidt, and published by The Pragmatic Programmers.

Maik Schmidt is also the author of an earlier book, also from The Pragmatic Programmers, called "Enterprise Integration with Ruby" (I'm calling it EIR for short); yes, I know - the names of both books are similar (see below for more on that). I had written a short review about EIR, here:

after buying the book and reading it.

To summarize, I think it (EIR) is one of the best Ruby books I've read (and also one of the better programming books overall that I've read).

I had a quick look at the contents of this new book, ER3, by Maik. The fact that it is written by him, plus the table of contents, is what makes me think that this book is likely to be quite good too - despite the fact that, going by the table of contents, some of the topics in the two books seem the same (however, it could be that there is more material in the new book on any given topic). But of course, I'll have to actually buy and read it to know for sure.

Here is the full table of contents of the ER3 book. It's a Beta book, so the exact content may change.

UPDATE: I read the full table of contents for the book; it looks like ER3 has quite a few more topics than EIR has. I suspect the format of the book may be a bit different from EIR, too, in that each topic may be shorter (since they use the words "Recipe" in the book title), whereas many or most of the topics in EIR were covered at some length, with the author showing the evolution of improved versions of the software in some cases.

Vasudev Ram - Dancing Bison Enterprises

Good Google Chrome articles / posts

Google Chrome has, as expected, generated a lot of interest in quite a short period.

I'm sharing some of the interesting ones I've come across so far:

Comment Of The Day: Chrome, Android, and the Cloud on Fred Wilson's blog - A VC.

Chrome, Android, and The Cloud, also on Fred's blog.

The Chrome Comic Book, where the first news about Chrome was released by Google, apparently a little too early, by mistake. Though it actually is a comic book, it seems that it's one of the good place to learn more about Chrome's features and the reasons why Google created Chrome.

Download link for Chrome - it's live now.

Inside Chrome - very interesting article on with some of the background about the Chrome project, going back to the start of it. The article is by Steven Levy, who wrote the book "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution" - a very interesting read about the original computer programming pioneers over the first few decades of computers. He also wrote some other books including "Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything".

Google V8 JavaScript Engine, which is used in Chrome. Supposed to be one of the reasons for Chrome's claimed much higher performance that previous browsers. It's still early days for independent reports, but some of the reports indicate that it is at least a good amount faster. Google identified Danish computer scientist Lars Bak, an expert on virtual machine development, to develop the V8 JavaScript engine.

A review of Chrome by Scott Berkun, who was at Microsoft and worked on Internet Explorer versions 1 through 5, and currently uses Firefox 3.

The cloud's Chrome lining, a post by Nicholas Carr. He gives his views about some of the real reasons why Google is developing Chrome. Seems to make sense ...

Finally, here is a Google Blogoscoped review of Chrome.

Blogoscoped was where a lot of people first heard about Chrome.

Vasudev Ram - Dancing Bison Enterprises