Tessel: Review

Tessel is a micro controller that runs JavaScript. It is NodeJS compatible – that means you can take advantages of npm and all the NodeJS awesomeness with it. The key attraction for me was the built in Wifi, makes it very easy to connect to the internet. Tessel has a good collection of modules which you can connect to the board to extend it’s functionality. The modules are listed here: https://tessel.io/modules. Each module has a dedicated npm package. You just have to install the package and require it to interact with the module. Cool, no?

I ordered a Tessel from their website on June 14. I got the board at hand today, July 20. They shipped via DHL global mail.

Here’s the tessel main board:
Tessel Main Board

I also purchased a GPRS module to interact with mobile networks. Here’s a photo of the module connected to the main board:
Tessel with GPRS Module

Setting It Up

Setting up was easy. I already has NodeJS installed. I installed the tessel command line tool.

After tessel is installed, I tried listing the devices:

Then I copied the example blinking codes and tried them out. All worked fine. So my tessel was working! Then I tried listing the available wifi networks:

I connected to my home wifi:

It connected to the Wifi just like that! Awesome!

Then I tested out the instructions on the “Tweet” section which uses the recently connected WiFi to send out a tweet.

The WiFi is working excellent!

The GPRS Module

Now I connected the GPRS module and tested out the sample codes. I used a spare Banglalink SIM to send out the SMS. It turns out that you don’t need to type the number in international format. The 017******** format works too 🙂

tesla

Just a quick note: If you follow the official example (it sends a text on gprs.ready event), and then kill the process by hitting Ctrl + C, you might have issues controlling the GPRS module without restarting it. So I think for testing, we can use the Tessel REPL from the command line:

Good Bye, 2011! Welcome, 2012! :)

Another year passed – the time has come to look back one more year and set expectations for the next year.

In 2011:

— I enjoyed a lot in Leevio, learned Zend Framework, built DeployNinja and contributed to Kuestions besides other projects.

— I have learned Windows Phone 7 development and some .NET (C#). I built the first Windows Phone 7 application from Bangladesh that made it’s place in the app store.

— I have mainly used Windows 7 as my primary OS all the year long. Switched to Zorin OS in December. Chose PhpStorm as my IDE and Zend Framework as my primary web framework.

— I have spoken at the phpXperts seminar 2011, my 2nd time as a speaker on this annual event.

— I have become a moderator of the phpXperts group.

— I have become the Campus Lead of Microsoft Student Partners, Khulna University.

— Arranged “Imagine Cup boot camp” in KU early in the year.

— Arranged “msdnaa installation fiesta” in Khulna University.

— I along with Hasin vai and Murshed vai created the group “nixers” to promote *Nix in a healthy way. Interestingly the group was created on the 16th December, the Victory Day of Bangladesh.

— I became a moderator in “nixers” too.

— I have learned a lot of Javascript and jQuery.

— Built a WordPress plugin and ASP.NET User Control for Avro Phonetic Keyboard on Rifat vai’s awesome jQuery plugin.

— Learned Git and started using Github.

— Tried some cool cloud offerings – phpcloud, pagodabox, phpfog, epio etc.

— My knowledge in CSS has improved.

— Contributed to “Python programming” chapters in a book published from Ankur ICT foundation.

— Written a few Bangla blog posts on Python but later paused. Also did a few screen casts.

— Learned django.

— Switched to Banglalion from BTCL ADSL.

— Bought a few gadgets.

— Became 2nd in the 2nd year 2nd term, yes, magic numbers 😉

Looks like 2011 hasn’t been that bad for me. Thanks to the Almighty for blessing me with a good year. What do I wish for 2012? Well, seriously, I will put that to the grace of the Almighty. May the Almighty bless me in the year 2012, may I receive the very best of what I deserve.

Plans in 2012:

— Get a Macbook Pro when my current notebook dies.
— Learn a lot of Javascript, PHP and Python. Yes, more focus on JS, then PHP and lastly Python.
— Avoid picking up a new language unless it’s extremely necessary, mastering the available ones should get priority.
— Stay on *Nix, focus on web development.
— More and more community involvement.
— Contribute to the open source community.

May the Almighty Allah grant me success and guide me in the right path. Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous 2012! May the Almighty be with us all!

Good bye, 2011!
Welcome, 2012!

উইন্ডোজ, লিনাক্স ও আমার পোস্ট

আজকে যারা আমার এই পোস্টটি পড়ছেন তারা অনেকেই হয়ত আমার উইন্ডোজ ও লিনাক্স বিষয়ক পোস্টটি পড়েছেন । বলে রাখা ভাল আমি দীর্ঘদিন যাবৎ লিনাক্স ব্যবহার করে আসছি । অনেকেই আমার পোস্ট দেখে অবাক হয়েছেন । কেন আমি এভাবে লিনাক্সকে পচাঁলাম এত পুরাণ ব্যবহারকারী হয়ে । শুধু এই পোস্টেই না, টুইটার এবং প্রজন্ম ফোরামেও আমি একই কাজ ক‍রেছি, কিন্তু কেন ?

আমি বহুদিন যাবৎ লিনাক্স কমিউনিটিতে একটি জিনিস দেখে আসছি, লিনাক্সের ভাল গুন বোঝাতে উইন্ডোজকে পচাতে হবে । অন্য কোন ওএস না, শুধুই উইন্ডোজের দোষ । লিনাক্সকে ভাল বলতে চান বলুন, কিন্তু সাথে উইন্ডোজকে টেনে কি লাভ ? গায়ে টেনে ধরে কেন উইন্ডোজ ফ্যানদের পচাতে হবে? আজকে আপনি তাদের বিদ্রুপ করবেন কাল পাল্টা তারা করবে । এরপর নাকি কান্না কেদে বলবেন লিনাক্স ফ্রী, ওপেন-সোর্স, এটা নিয়ে বিদ্রুপ করা অমানবিক ।

যে কোন অপারেটিং সিস্টেম নিয়েই বিদ্রুপ ক‍রা যায় । শামীম ভাই যেমন লিখেছেন তেমন অন্যরাও লিখতে পারে । আপনার প্রিয় জিনিস নিয়ে ব্যঙ্গ ক‍রলে আপনার যেমন লাগে অন্যদের সেভাবে লাগে। এই জিনিসটির প্রতি আলোকপাত ক‍রাই ছিল আমার লেখার উদ্দেশ্য । আসুন আমাদের যার যেটা ভাল লাগে সে সেটা ব্যবহার করি, সেটার ভাল দিক তুলে ধরে অন্যকে উৎসাহিত করি, এর জন্যে অন্যকে খারাপ প্রমাণ ক‍রার দরকার নেই ব‍লেই আমি ম‍নে করি ।

আমার লেখায় যদি কেউ আঘাত পেয়ে থাকেন তবে তার জন্যে আন্তরিকভাবে ক্ষমা চাইছি ।

Fedora 15 “Love Lock” and My Experience

Fedora 15, codename “Love Lock” features Gnome3 as the default desktop environment. The UI is stunningly beautiful but the navigation requires some getting used to. Biggest surprise – no minimize button, Gnome3 devs focused on the use of workspace rather than minimizing. However I found out that we can still minimize by right clicking on the window of the application. But without playing much with the GUI, I jumped into setting up my work environment. Installing LAMP was a bit different given my past experience in Ubuntu.

Then started the service :

Changed ownership of the /var/www directory:

Then I fired up nautilus, browsed /var/www and deleted all the files. Created a index.php with phpinfo(). And then tried to restart the server:

It failed because the server document root was wrong in the httpd.conf. When installing apache on Fedora, the server document root is /var/www/html which I deleted while cleaning up /var/www. So I installed nano:

And then edited the /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf file with nano to fix the issues. Then again restarted the server and it worked 🙂

Besides, I learned this command:

It checks the httpd.conf for syntax errors.

I created a test user and then tried to delete the user. The GUI had issues with that. Then found this command to do that:

I downloaded Skype and installed. It’s working fine. So far the experience is good. I am learning lots of commands and I’m loving it 🙂

Good Bye 2010, Welcome 2011!

It feels just like yesterday I made the post Good Bye 2009, Welcome 2010! 🙂

The year 2010 has been a pretty fast one! Here’s a quick highlights:

  • Went to the Sundarbans on a University tour. It was amazing. The tour was fun and eventful.
  • Started working for BRE LLC as a software engineer and started our first project – Webtrafficcops.
  • Talked at the AloAshbei Developer’s Meetup
  • Competed in AloAshbei software development contest and made my way into the top 10
  • Spoke at the phpXperts Seminar, 2010. Visited Hasin Vai’s place and Rana vai’s place. Enjoyed playing Urban Terror with the fellow Leevians 🙂
  • Got my first Notebook. It’s a compaq presario cq-42.
  • Started using Moneybookers for money transfer.
  • Spoke at a local Seminar on Linux and Open Source

Overall, it’s been a successful year. I hope the coming year will bring more and more success and recognition for me. Hope I’ll be able to maintain a harmony between both my studies and jobs and achieve excellence in both. Looking forward to learning a hell lot of new stuff and gaining new experiences. I do believe life will teach me a lot in 2011. I hope for the best! Happy New year! Wishing all a happy and prosperous 2011!

Fedora Goddess, Windows 7 and an Angel

I’ve been thinking of writing a blog post about this for a long time. I just couldn’t manage some time before tonight. It’s about a model who posed naked supporting fedora while being a Windows 7 user and a fedora fan named Angel. I personally don’t know any of them. This post doesn’t aim at offending them either. I’m just narrating an incident I’ve come across around a month ago.

While browsing tweets from my timeline, I came across this post — Fedora Goddess by someone named Angel. His Twitter is @CrysisGod and he’s a linux enthusiast. More specifically a fedora fan and a member of the Fedora Bangladesh team. As you might already know, Fedora is a cool operating system based on Linux kernel. Simply put, Fedora is another Linux Distro or a variation of the Linux operating system. Upon reading the blog, we come to know that a lovely lady is a fedora fan who has done some amazing artworks on her naked body. The photographs posted on the blog is strictly for 18+ people. A very cool post I should say. A very neat way to spread the word about Fedora!

Some weeks later, I found out that the lady is a Windows 7 user. On her devian art profile – http://aneska123.deviantart.com/ we see Windows 7 is her OS. OK, that is cool! There’s nothing wrong with that. You can of course pose for another OS while using Windows 7. Even you can be a fan of two or many operating systems. On the blog post of Angel, I put this fact as a comment. I also appreciated his nice post. But this guy moderated my comment and removed the Windows 7 part. I was quite surprised. Why’s he trying to hide that the lady is Windows 7 user? Is it wrong to like two operating systems? Were the photos taken in exchange of money or something? Were not the photos shot at the fanatic will of the girl in question?

UPDATE:Contacting the lady in question revealed that she was indeed paid for the photos! She’s not even a fedora user! Good job Tushar. (See Tushar’s comment below).

I don’t know why he did that. But I believe he thought that exposing the Windows 7 part might question the credibility of the photos. Or he just didn’t want to ruin the “Fedora Goddess” image of the lady. It might look bad if the Fedora Goddess has Windows 7 listed as her OS.

I requested the author to remove my partial comment from his blog post and he was happy to do that. Yesterday, when I went back to his site to enjoy some “open source” porn, I noticed that the browsers and OS of the commenter are being displayed. The lady posted her introductory comment on the very blog post using Firefox on Windows 7.

I’ve read about Microsoft articulating marketing strategies to create misconception about linux. But the linux enthusiasts are no saints either! It won’t discredit Fedora or Linux if some “Fedora Goddess” is using Windows 7. Have the honesty to admit the truth, no point in hiding the facts! They’ll come out some day!

Things I dislike about Google and it’s products!

I used to be die hard Google fan but now a days, I’m getting disappointed with Google and Google products. Let’s see!

  • Blogger sucks big time! It was okay and probably the best in the pre-wordpress age! But now? No plugin! A top bar that is not removable. What do you have unique? Nothing! WordPress rocks! Other services are providing the same or better services than Blogger. Dear Google, you might know that your Rival Microsoft is now migrating to WordPress leaving their old platform. Can you please wake up?
  • Gmail is sometimes delivering emails late. Specially when the email has large attachment. In my case I had to wait one whole day to receive 35MB emails. Shame! The attachment size is still pretty low! While Yahoo! and Hotmail is providing unlimited storage for my emails, Gmail asks me to buy extra storage! No way! Come on Google, you place more ads inside my inbox, still I have to pay more for extra storage? Sorry, I won’t!
  • Adsense is rejecting http://masnun.me referring to “inappropriate contents”. They don’t even bother to tell me what’s inappropriate about my site! Sorry Google, I’m not you! I can’t read people’s email mind! Adsense also randomly suspends accounts at will! This is just unacceptable. Why do you fear to show us the logs? Why don’t you state a clear reason for suspension?
  • Previously, I could add any number of users in my Google Apps account. Now it’s 50 only! Not only that, you need to pay for full features. Why do I have to use Google Chrome to register my apps mail service to be the default mail handler?
  • Google App Engine supports only Python and Java. I know Python and I use that. I don’t really like the idea of using other languages via JVM.
  • Why do I have to pay money to submit my Chrome extension to the official gallery? Can’t Google moderate the gallery to remove extensions manually?
  • What about Google talk? I can’t afford to keep my web browser open to remain online or do video chat. No major update to Google Talk for a long time now!
  • Google Chrome offers to remember password every time I log into some site. But never offers to remember the password when I need most. Yes, Chrome doesn’t offer to remember password for HTTP AUTH! 🙁

There’s many more to it! I just can’t remember them right now!

Using Moneybookers from Bangladesh

Moneybookers is a service similar to paypal except that they have less coverage and they let Bangladeshis sign up for their service and use it efficiently. www.moneybookers.com is the URL. Those who need to receive money from abroad ( mainly for outsourcing ) can use this service for efficient money transfer. Their service is cheap and affordable.

Case Study: My Story

I use ScriptLance for outsourcing and earn a decent amount of money working at my leisure side by side of my studies at KU. I also work as a part time remote web application engineer for BRE LLC. I used to use the verified paypal account of my partner at JOTIL21. But Moneybookers have made things even simpler. Both Scriplance and BRE LLC Authority sends me payment via moneybookers and I receive the money directly into my Dutch Bangla Bank Limited account with just a few clicks. I’ve added and verified my DBBL account to my Moneybookers account and it’s all done!

Adding and verifying your Bangladeshi bank account is quite easy. Let me walk you through:

1) Register at Moneybookers (www.moneybookers.com)

2) Add funds to your Moneybookers account from other online sources. ( Withdraw fund from your employer to Moneybookers ). I withdrew funds from Scriptlance to Moneybookers.

4) Add a bank account with their SWIFT code. SWIFT is a messaging system used by most Banks for international financial messaging ( mostly transaction related ). For DBBL, it is : “DBBLBDDH “.

3) Try to withdraw money. You’ll be asked to verify your address or Bank account. You will be able to withdraw less than 15 USD before you verify. So, I withdrew $14.99 to my DBBL account.

4) It took around 10 days for the money to arrive home. I went to DBBL Khulna Branch and asked for the verification code that came along the transaction.

5) I collected it and put into my moneybookers account. To do that, I tried to Withdraw again. They again asked me to verify, I picked up the option that said something like “I already have the code”. I entered the code and my account become verified.

Now, I can withdraw around $2000+ in a 90 days period. This limit can be pushed further by verifying your home address and debit/credit card. But I’m happy with what I’ve got. They charge around $2.16 for every transaction no matter the amount is small or large. I use the DBBL ATM card to withdraw money from anywhere in BD. 🙂

Created Another WordPress Theme

I have finally chosen web application engineering as my core subject of specialization. I have always appreciated the beauty and usability of web applications. You can easily paint your dreams on a web page, rather than on a desktop software. I have been developing mobile web sites for over 3 years now. I loved playing with WML and later XHTML along with bits of HTML. Later, when I realized that I have a good command over PHP, I looked at the web industry. I introduced myself to serious web development through my free lance career. The very first free lance job I got, involved setting a javascript countdown timer. I had to design the page and install the counter with a newsletter subscription form. I was in a mess with HTML and CSS. I was a newbie that time. (In fact, even today I don’t know much designing). Luckily the project was very simple and I didn’t have to code much. But still I got paid $30 🙂 I was inspired and started looking for more and more free lance jobs. Given my lackings in web design skills, I tried to find only projects which required programming alone. But I had little luck. I always had to play with bits of designing on almost all the projects. Gradually, I started learning HTML and CSS over time. When I joined Leevio, Hasin Vai introduced me to massive designing trends. I was amazed to see the beauty of web designs.

I was using WordPress for my personal website for a long time. I was always interested in the WP API. But somehow I couldn’t make up my mind to do something with the API. Hasin vai inspired me a lot to work on WordPress. Finally, on a good day, I managed to build my first WP plugin — “gaf-text-link”. The plugin was featured by GAF and is available from the affiliates page of GAF (Now, freelancer.com). GAF paid me $100 appreciating my work as a marketing of their service. I was damn motivated to work on WordPress again — because of the money. Whenever I looked at the job listing at my favorite free lance sites, WP related projects were available in a large numbers and many of them involved good price 🙂 My desire to work with WP grew.

I later created another plugin to integrate admob ads into WP. Hasin Vai one day gave me links to a bunch of nice of books on WP. They were great and I really learnt a lot. I coded up my first WP theme which was being used on this site until yesterday night.

From yesterday, I started working to improve my design skills. I started with WP theme design so that I can gather knowledge on two topics from a single work. I have got decent command over CSS based styling now, but I am still falling short in layout designing. My design last night was not up to mark, at least it was not what I wanted. Hasin vai suggested me to use a CSS framework for layout. I had two primary options — fluid.gs for fluid layout and 960.gs for fixed width layout. I chose 960.gs since I wanted my layout to be fixed width. It was cool working with it. It saved me a lot of time and let me do what I really wanted to do! 😀 I am not willing to use raw CSS for layout again 😉

Not only CSS and HTML, I have also worked with GIMP for bit of image editing. I am very new to GIMP. Had to struggle a bit with the interface. I hope I will be able to cope up really soon.

I finished the theme just a few hours ago. I made it widget-ready this time. It’s not bad for me! I will keep digging with designs and see if I can come with something better 🙂

Good Bye 2009, Welcome 2010!

I should feel sorry now that 2009 is leaving me, leaving us! I have had the most eventful year in 2009 🙂

First things First
What were the things those happened first time in my life?

— I sat for University Admission test.
— Got chances in SUST CSE and 4 disciplines in KU.
— My University life began.
— Started free lancing seriously.
— Started earning money at a regular interval.
— Went to BAD picnic and my first tour with the BAD family into the Sunderbans 🙂
— Joined my first Job (At Leevio as a software engineer).
— Attended the first ever FICC.
— Stood 3rd in my first Uni term final 🙂
— Started using Ubuntu seriously
— Started working with WP API
— Worked on GAE and other Python stuff 🙂

What else?
— BAD won the cricket championship. I was an active part in the gallery.
— Met a bunch of cool friends.
— Lost a few fake ones as well.
— My brother got chance in Khulna Zilla School 🙂

Wishlist for 2010
I would wish only one thing — A laptop in 2010 🙂

I am really contended with what I have got in life. I am happy with what I got in 2009. Thanks to the Almighty Allah for everything HE has blessed on me 🙂 I just pray that nothing bad happens in 2010 😀

I pray to the Almighty so that HE bestows his blessings upon those who have a worse life than me. I have nothing more to expect 🙂

Good Bye 2009, Welcome 2010! 🙂