December 24, 2006

The Festive Sahana Rudolph

Filed under: Development,FOSS,Linux,Mobile,Sahana,Varsity — mifan @ 8:15 pm

The modified version of the song is sung as follows: 2 Days before Christmas my true love gave to me:  Version 0.5 Alpha of the Sahana Disaster Management System, Free 🙂 (I even got it to rhyme!). This latest version of Sahana is integrated with messaging, which currently includes the ability to send messages via email and SMS. The latter works via a mobile phone acting as a GSM Modem, connected to the Kannel SMS Gateway. This release also sees GIS integration into the Organization Registry and the Inventory Management System. Excerpts from the official release by the Release Manager:
Sahana project is happy to announce the ‘0.5-Alpha’ release during
this festive season, also code named ‘Rudolph’. In this release, there
are number of improved features like, messaging capability using
SMS/Mail, tight GIS integration, handling confirmation/error messages
and many more.
Also two new modules were added to expand the capability of Sahana,
namely “Volunteer Management” (to manage volunteers) and
“Synchronization” (to synchronize the data between two or more sahana
instances) modules.

Check out the packaged versions at the Download site. Cheers, and Merry Christmas!

December 18, 2006

Playing Encrypted DVD on Linux

Filed under: Uncategorized — mifan @ 7:20 pm

Ever tried to play your favorite DVD movie, just to find that you couldn’t since it was encrypted!. First time I tired it with the magical combination that allows you to do wonders (Linux+mplayer,VLC and Xine), I got the following error message: ” Encrypted VOB file! Read DOCS/HTML/en/dvd.html”. Seemingly, libdvdcss2 is required to play Encrypted DVDs, and it was not available in some standard repositories. But as usual, anything is possible under Linux, and the magic works here too 🙂

To install libdvdcss2 under Ubuntu (Dapper),

cd /usr/share/doc/libdvdread3/examples/

This script would automagically install libdvdcss2 for you, from the appropriate sources. And then its a matter of watching that DVD of yours in your favorite player! Is that cool or what??

Sahana at ICIA 2006

Filed under: Development,Life,Sahana,Varsity — mifan @ 6:07 pm

Saturday, 16th December: The Sahana Research Team’s first paper, titled “Sahana: An overview of a Disaster Management System” was presented at the 2nd International Conference on Information and Automation, at Galadari, Colombo, by yours truly :). Even though the conference had its glitches, the presentation went fine, and coupled with the good food, the event was fun. One question from an Indian Prof. was certainly an eye-opener for me, which was whether Sahana had its own disaster management capability to manage itself in the time of a disaster..? The question brings memories from Commander Sam Vimes’ question: “Who watches the Watchmen?”, from Terry Pratchet’s book: Thud. So what capabilities did Sahana have, or intends to have in order to manage itself? I guess synchronization plays an important role here, as well as daily backups to separate servers. Pradeeper from Sahana was looking into Load Balancing, Heartbeats and Distributed Apache Web Server. Wonder whether a sort of BCP characteristic should be built into Sahana? Anyway this is something we have to look into in the near future.

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