Monthly Archives: February 2004

A Very good critique on NTP (National Telecom Policy of India)

Just came across this very good critic on India's National Telecom Policy 1999.

I guess we need to have more public reviews of such policies.

BTW http://www.deeshaa.org/ is the weblog of Prof. Atanu Dey from Berkeley, and the site has a lot of insightful articles. He is off to India to implement a model called "Rural Infrastructure and Services Commmons (RISC)" which was his Ph.D. thesis.

Some other articles worth reading there:
The Hype: India as a IT superpower

Ram raksha Stotra!

Update: (2006-12-19) I added a new page to collect audio versions of different stotras. Here is the link: http://amit.chakradeo.net/2006/12/19/religious-stotra/

Amazing what you can find on the web!

Here is another link

Ram Raksha Stotra

Viniyogah:

Aasya Shriramrakshastrotamantrasya budhkaushik hrishi:

ShriSitaramcandro devta anushtup Chanda: Sita shakti:

Shriman hanuman keelkam ShriRamcandapreetyeRthe

Ramrakshastotrajape vinyOgah:

Dhyaaedaajaanu baahum dhyaanam dhrit shar
dhanusham badhhpadmaasanastham

Peetam vaaso vasaanam navkamaldalspardhinetram prasannam .

Vamaankaarooddh sita mukhkamal milallochanam neerdaabham
naanaalankaar deeptam dadhat murujataamandalam Ramchandram .

STOTRAM

Charitam Raghunaathasya shut koti pravistaram I

Ekaikam aksharam punsaam mahaa paatak naashanam II 1 II

Dhyaatvaa nilotpal shyaamam Ramam rajeev lochanam I

Jaanaki lakshmanopetam jataa mukut manditam II 2 II

Saasitoor dhanurbaan paanim naktam charaantakam I

Swalilayaa jagat traatumaavirbhuntam ajam vibhum II 3 II

Ram rakshaam patthet praagyaha paapaghaneem sarv kaamdam I

Shiro may Raaghavah paatu bhaalam Dasharathaatmjah II 4 II

Kausalyeyo Drishau Paatu Vishvaamitra priyah shrutee I

Ghraanam paatu makha traataa mukham saumitrivatsala II 5 II

Jihvaam vidyaa nidhih paatu kanttham bharat vanditah .

Skandhau divyaayudhah paatu bhujau bhagnesh kaarmukah II6II

Karau seetapatih paatu hridayam jaamadagnyajit I

Madhyam paatu khara dhwansi naabhim jaambvadaashrayah II7II

Sugriveshah katee paatu sakthini hanumat prabhuh I

Uru Raghoot tamah paatu rakshakul vinaashkrit II 8 II

Jaahnuni Setukrit Paatu janghey dasha mukhaantakah I

Paadau vibhishan shreedah paatu Ramokhilam vapuh II 9 II

Etaam Ram balopetaam rakshaam yah sukriti patthet I

Sa chiraayuh sukheeputri vijayi vinayi bhavet II 10 II

Paataal bhutalavyom chaari nash chadmchaarinah I

Na drashtumapi shaktaaste rakshitam ramnaambhih II 11 II

Rameti Rambhadreti Ramchandreti vaa smaran I

Naro na lipyate paapeir bhuktim muktim chavindati II 12 II

Jagat jaitreik mantrein Ram naam naabhi rakshitam I

Yah kantthe dhaareytasya karasthaah sarv siddhyah II 13 II

Vajra panjar naamedam yo Ramkavacham smaret I

Avyaa hataagyah sarvatra labhate jai mangalam II 14 II

Aadisht vaan yathaa swapne Ram rakshaimaam harah I

Tathaa likhit vaan praatah prabu dho budh kaushikah II 15 II

Aaraamah kalpa vrikshaanam viraamah sakalaapadaam I

Abhiraam strilokaanam Ramahi Shrimaansah nah prabhuh II 16 II

Tarunau roop sampannau sukumaarau mahaa balau I

Pundreek vishaalaakshau cheerkrishnaa jinaambarau II 17 II

Fala moolaa shinau daantau taapasau brahma chaarinau I

putrau dashrathasyetau bhraatarau Ram Lakshmanau II 18 II

Sharanyau sarv satvaanaam shreshtthau sarv dhanush mataam I

Rakshah kul nihantaarau traayetaam no raghuttamau II 19 II

Aattasajjadhanushaa vishusprishaa vakshyaashug nishang sanginau I

Rakshnaaya mum Ram lakshmanaa vagratah pathi sadaiv gachhtaam II 20 II

Sannadah kavachi khadagi chaap baan dharo yuvaa I

Gachhan manorathaa nashch Ramah paatu salakshmanah II 21 II

Ramo daashraltih shooro lakshmanaaru charo balee I

Kaakutsthah purushah purnah kausalyeyo raghuttmah II 22 II

Vedaant vedyo yagneshah puraan puru shottamah I

Jaanaki vallabhah shrimaan prameya paraakramah !! 23 II

Ityetaani japan nityam madabhaktah shraddhyaan vitah I

Ashvamedhaadhikam punyam sampraapnoti na sanshayah II24II

Ramam doorvaadal shyaamam padmaaksham peet vaasasam I

Stuvanti naambhirdivyern te sansaarino naraah II 25 II

Ramam Lakshman poorvajam raghuvaram sitapatim sundaram I

Kaakutstham karunarnvam gunnidhim viprapriyam dhaarmikam II 26 II

Raajendram satyasandham Dashrath tanayam shyaamalam shaantmurtium

Vande Lokaabhiraamam Raghukultilakam Raghavam Raavanaarim I

Ramaay Rambhadraay Ramchandraay Vedhasey

Raghunaathaay naathaay sitayah paataye namah II 27 II

Shri Ram Ram Raghunandan Ram Ram

Shri Ram Ram Bharataagraj Ram Ram

Shri Ram Ram Runkarkash Ram Ram

Shri Ram Ram Sharanam bhav Ram Ram II 28 II

Shri Ram Chandra Charan

Shri Ram Chandra Charanau manasaa smaraami

Shri Ram Chandra Charanau vachasaa grinaami

Shri Ram Chandra Charanau Shirasaa namaami

Shri Ram Chandra Charanau Sharanam prapadye II 29 II

Maataa Ramo Matpitaa. Ram Chandrah

Swaami Ramo matsakhaa Ram Chandrah

Sarvasvam may Ram Chandra Dayaalur

Naanyam jaane naive jaane na jaane II 30 II

Dakshiney Lakshmano yasya vaame cha janakaatmajaa I

Purato marutir yasya tama vande Raghunandanam II 31 II

Lokaabhi Ramam rana rangdheeram

Rajeev netram Raghuvansh naatham

Kaarunya roopam karunaa karantam

Shri Ram Chandram Sharanam prapadye II 32 II

Manojavam maarut tulya vegam

Jitendriyam buddhi mataam varishttham

Vaataatmjam vaanar youth mukhyam

Shri Ram dootam Sharanam prapadye II 33 II

Koojantam Ram raameti madhuram madhuraaksharam I

Aaruhya Kavitaa Shakhaam vande Vaalmikilokilam II 34 II

Aapdaampahar taaram daataaram sarvsampdaam I

Lokaabhiramam Shri Ramam bhooyo bhooyo namaamya hum II 35 II

Bharjanam bhav beejaanaam arjanam sukh sampdaam I

Tarjanam yum dootaanaam Ram Rameti garjanam II 36 II

Ramo Rajmani sadaa vijayate Ramam Ramesham bhaje

Ramenaa bhihtaa nishaacharchamoo Ramaay tasmai namah

Ramannaasti paraayanam partaram Ramasya daasosmyaham

Rame Chittalayah sadaa bhavtu me bho Ram maamudhhar II 37 II

Ram Rameti Rameti Ramey Rame manoramey I

Sahastra naam tatulyam Ram naam varaananey II 38 II

.. श्रीरामरक्षास्तोत्र ..
              .. ॐ श्रीगणेशाय नमः ..

अस्य श्रीरामरक्षास्तोत्रमंत्रस्य . बुधकौशिक ऋषिः .
श्रीसीतारामचंद्रो देवता . अनुष्टुप् छंदः .
सीता शक्तिः . श्रीमद् हनुमान कीलकम् .
श्रीरामचंद्रप्रीत्यर्थे रामरक्षास्तोत्रजपे विनियोगः ..
    .. अथ ध्यानम् ..
ध्यायेदाजानुबाहुं धृतशरधनुषं बद्धपद्मासनस्थम् .
पीतं वासो वसानं नवकमलदलस्पर्धिनेत्रं प्रसन्नम् .
वामांकारूढ सीतामुखकमलमिलल्लोचनं नीरदाभम् .
नानालंकारदीप्तं दधतमुरुजटामंडनं रामचंद्रम् ..
    .. इति ध्यानम् ..
चरितं रघुनाथस्य शतकोटि प्रविस्तरम् .
एकैकमक्षरं पुंसां महापातकनाशनम् .. १..
ध्यात्वा नीलोत्पलश्यामं रामं राजीवलोचनम् .
जानकीलक्ष्मणोपेतं जटामुकुटमंडितम् .. २..
सासितूणधनुर्बाणपाणिं नक्तंचरान्तकम् .
स्वलीलया जगत्रातुं आविर्भूतं अजं विभुम् .. ३..
रामरक्षां पठेत्प्राज्ञः पापघ्नीं सर्वकामदाम् .
शिरोमे राघवः पातु भालं दशरथात्मजः .. ४..
कौसल्येयो दृशौ पातु विश्वामित्रप्रियश्रुती .
घ्राणं पातु मखत्राता मुखं सौमित्रिवत्सलः .. ५..
जिव्हां विद्यानिधिः पातु कंठं भरतवंदितः .
स्कंधौ दिव्यायुधः पातु भुजौ भग्नेशकार्मुकः .. ६..
करौ सीतापतिः पातु हृदयं जामदग्न्यजित् .
मध्यं पातु खरध्वंसी नाभिं जाम्बवदाश्रयः .. ७..
सुग्रीवेशः कटी पातु सक्थिनी हनुमत्प्रभुः .
ऊरू रघूत्तमः पातु रक्षःकुलविनाशकृत् .. ८..
जानुनी सेतुकृत्पातु जंघे दशमुखान्तकः .
पादौ बिभीषणश्रीदः पातु रामोखिलं वपुः .. ९..
एतां रामबलोपेतां रक्षां यः सुकृती पठेत् .
स चिरायुः सुखी पुत्री विजयी विनयी भवेत् .. १०..
पातालभूतलव्योमचारिणश्छद्मचारिणः .
न द्रष्टुमपि शक्तास्ते रक्षितं रामनामभिः .. ११..
रामेति रामभद्रेति रामचंद्रेति वा स्मरन् .
नरो न लिप्यते पापैः भुक्तिं मुक्तिं च विन्दति .. १२..
जगजैत्रैकमंत्रेण रामनाम्नाभिरक्षितम् .
यः कंठे धारयेत्तस्य करस्थाः सर्वसिद्धयः .. १३..
वज्रपंजरनामेदं यो रामकवचं स्मरेत् .
अव्याहताज्ञः सर्वत्र लभते जयमंगलम् .. १४..
आदिष्टवान् यथा स्वप्ने रामरक्षांमिमां हरः .
तथा लिखितवान् प्रातः प्रभुद्धो बुधकौशिकः .. १५..
आरामः कल्पवृक्षाणां विरामः सकलापदाम् .
अभिरामस्त्रिलोकानां रामः श्रीमान् स नः प्रभुः .. १६..
तरुणौ रूपसंपन्नौ सुकुमारौ महाबलौ .
पुंडरीकविशालाक्षौ चीरकृष्णाजिनाम्बरौ .. १७..
फलमूलाशिनौ दान्तौ तापसौ ब्रह्मचारिणौ .
पुत्रौ दशरथस्यैतौ भ्रातरौ रामलक्ष्मणौ .. १८..
शरण्यौ सर्वसत्त्वानां श्रेष्ठौ सर्वधनुष्मताम् .
रक्षः कुलनिहंतारौ त्रायेतां नो रघूत्तमौ .. १९..
आत्तसज्जधनुषाविषुस्पृशावक्षयाशुगनिषंगसंगिनौ .
रक्षणाय मम रामलक्ष्मणावग्रतः पथि सदैव गच्छताम् .. २०..
सन्नद्धः कवची खड्गी चापबाणधरो युवा .
गच्छन्मनोरथोस्माकं रामः पातु सलक्ष्मणः .. २१..
रामो दाशरथिः शूरो लक्ष्मणानुचरो बली .
काकुत्स्थः पुरुषः पूर्णः कौसल्येयो रघुत्तमः .. २२..
वेदान्तवेद्यो यज्ञेशः पुराणपुरुषोत्तमः .
जानकीवल्लभः श्रीमान् अप्रमेय पराक्रमः .. २३..
इत्येतानि जपन्नित्यं मद्भक्तः श्रद्धयान्वितः .
अश्वमेधाधिकं पुण्यं संप्राप्नोति न संशयः .. २४..
रामं दुर्वादलश्यामं पद्माक्षं पीतवाससम् .
स्तुवंति नामभिर्दिव्यैः न ते संसारिणो नरः .. २५..
रामं लक्ष्मणपूर्वजं रघुवरं सीतापतिं सुंदरम् .
काकुत्स्थं करुणार्णवं गुणनिधिं विप्रप्रियं धार्मिकम् .
राजेंद्रं सत्यसंधं दशरथतनयं श्यामलं शांतमूर्तिम् .
वंदे लोकाभिरामं रघुकुलतिलकं राघवं रावणारिम् .. २६..
रामाय रामभद्राय रामचंद्राय वेधसे .
रघुनाथाय नाथाय सीतायाः पतये नमः .. २७..
श्रीराम राम रघुनंदन राम राम .
श्रीराम राम भरताग्रज राम राम .
श्रीराम राम रणकर्कश राम राम .
श्रीराम राम शरणं भव राम राम .. २८..
श्रीरामचंद्रचरणौ मनसा स्मरामि .
श्रीरामचंद्रचरणौ वचसा गृणामि .
श्रीरामचंद्रचरणौ शिरसा नमामि .
श्रीरामचंद्रचरणौ शरणं प्रपद्ये .. २९..
माता रामो मत्पिता रामचंद्रः .
स्वामी रामो मत्सखा रामचंद्रः .
सर्वस्वं मे रामचंद्रो दयालुः .
नान्यं जाने नैव जाने न जाने .. ३०..
दक्षिणे लक्ष्मणो यस्य वामे तु जनकात्मजा .
पुरतो मारुतिर्यस्य तं वंदे रघुनंदनम् .. ३१..
लोकाभिरामं रणरंगधीरम् .
राजीवनेत्रं रघुवंशनाथम् .
कारुण्यरूपं करुणाकरं तम् .
श्रीरामचंद्रम् शरणं प्रपद्ये .. ३२..
मनोजवं मारुततुल्यवेगम् .
जितेन्द्रियं बुद्धिमतां वरिष्ठम् .
वातात्मजं वानरयूथमुख्यम् .
श्रीरामदूतं शरणं प्रपद्ये .. ३३..
कूजंतं राम रामेति मधुरं मधुराक्षरम् .
आरुह्य कविताशाखां वंदे वाल्मीकिकोकिलम् .. ३४..
आपदां अपहर्तारं दातारं सर्वसंपदाम् .
लोकाभिरामं श्रीरामं भूयो भूयो नमाम्यहम् .. ३५..
भर्जनं भवबीजानां अर्जनं सुखसम्पदाम् .
तर्जनं यमदूतानां राम रामेति गर्जनम् .. ३६..
रामो राजमणिः सदा विजयते रामं रमेशं भजे .
रामेणाभिहता निशाचरचमू रामाय तस्मै नमः .
रामान्नास्ति परायणं परतरं रामस्य दासोस्म्यहम् .
रामे चित्तलयः सदा भवतु मे भो राम मामुद्धर .. ३७..
राम रामेति रामेति रमे रामे मनोरमे .
सहस्रनाम तत्तुल्यं रामनाम वरानने .. ३८..
इति श्रीबुधकौशिकविरचितं श्रीरामरक्षास्तोत्रं संपूर्णम् ..
    .. श्रीसीतारामचंद्रार्पणमस्तु ..

Stotra in Devanagari script (Image)

Built-To Flip

Built to Flip

Built to Flip

A battle is under way for the new economy. Which side are you on?

From: Issue 32 March 2000, Page 131
By: Jim Collins
Illustrations by: Gerald Scarfe
URL: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/32/builttoflip.html

"I developed our business model on the idea of creating an enduring, great company -- just as you taught us to do at Stanford -- and the VCs looked at me as if I were crazy. Then one of them pointed his finger at me and said, 'We're not interested in enduring, great companies. Come back with an idea that you can do quickly and that you can take public or get acquired within 12 to 18 months.' "

A former student was reporting to me on her recent experiences with the Silicon Valley investment community. As an MBA student at Stanford, she had taken my course on building enduring, great companies. She had come up with a superb concept that involved doing just that. But when she took the idea to Silicon Valley, she quickly got the message: Built to Last is out. Built to Flip is in.

Built to Flip. An intriguing idea: No need to build a company, much less one with enduring value. Today, it's enough to pull together a good story, to implement the rough draft of an idea, and -- presto! -- instant wealth. No need to bother with the time-honored method of most self-made millionaires: to create substantial value by working diligently over an extended period. In the built-to-flip world, the notion of investing persistent effort in order to build a great company seems, well, quaint, unnecessary -- even stupid.

The built-to-flip mind-set views entrepreneurs like Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, cofounders of Hewlett-Packard, and Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, as if they were ancient history, artifacts of a bygone era: They were well-meaning and right for their times, but today they look like total anachronisms. Imagine Hewlett and Packard sitting in their garage, sipping lattes, and saying to each other, "If we do this right, we can sell this thing off and cash out in 12 months." Now that's an altogether different version of the HP Way! Or picture Walton collecting a wheelbarrow full of cash from flipping his first store after 18 months, rather than building a company whose annual revenues now exceed $130 billion. These entrepreneurs and others like them -- Walt Disney, Henry Ford, George Merck, William Boeing, Paul Galvin of Motorola, Gordon Moore of Intel -- were pedestrian plodders by today's built-to-flip standards. They worked hard to create a superb management team, to develop a sustainable economic engine, to cultivate a culture that could withstand adversity and change, and to be the best in the world at what they did. But not to worry! In the built-to-flip economy, you can get rich without any of those mundane fundamentals.

We have arrived at a unique moment in history: the intersection of an unprecedented abundance of capital and an explosion of Internet-related business ideas. But, for all of the incredible opportunities unleashed by this combination, there is one monumental problem: The entrepreneurial mind-set has degenerated from one of risk, contribution, and reward to one of wealth entitlement. We all have friends and colleagues -- often mediocre friends and colleagues at that -- who have struck gold after 18 or 12 or 6 months of work in a built-to-flip company. And we have all entertained the thought "I deserve that too." Here's another thought: When I and a lot of other people began talking and writing about the new economy in the early 1980s, little did we know that it would engender what we most despised about the old economy -- an entitlement culture in which the mediocre flourish.

Worse, the creative drive behind the new economy at its best has been superseded by a way of thinking that recalls the 1980s at its worst: a Wall Street-like culture that celebrates the twin propositions that "greed is good" and that "more is better." The hard truth is that we're dangerously close to killing the soul of the new economy. Even worse, we're in danger of becoming the very thing that we defined ourselves in opposition to. Those who kindled the spirit of the new economy rejected the notion of working just for money; today, we seem to think that it's fine to work just for money -- as long as it's a lot of money.

Have we labored to build something better than what members of previous generations built -- only to find their faces staring back at us in the mirror? Is the biggest flip of all the flip that transforms the once-promising spirit of the new economy back into the tired skin of the old economy?
Invasion of the Mind Snatchers

"Built to Last" appeared in 1994, and I was more surprised than anyone when the book took off and became both widely read and highly influential. After all, what my co-author, Jerry I. Porras, and I had produced was a huge analytic study of the underlying principles that could yield enduring, great companies. In the book, we drew examples from such 20th-century icons as Disney, General Electric, HP, IBM, and Wal-Mart. These were not hot companies -- nor was this a sexy topic.

And yet the book hit a chord, generating more than 70 printings, translations into 17 languages, and best-seller status (including 55 months on the "Business Week" best-seller list). That wasn't planned; we were lucky. The book appeared just as the whole reengineering, everything-is-change-and-chaos wave crashed down -- just as people were beginning to ask themselves, "Is nothing sacred? Is nothing timeless? Is nothing sustainable?"

In retrospect, I think that "Built to Last" gave people three perspectives that they desperately craved. First, it said, "Yes, there are some timeless fundamentals. They apply today, and we need them now more than ever." Second, the book affirmed that the essence of greatness does not lie in cost cutting, restructuring, or the pure profit motive. It lies in people's dedication to building companies around a sense of purpose -- around core values that infuse work with the kind of meaning that goes beyond just making money. Third, the book tapped into powerful, albeit latent, human emotions: Readers were inspired by the notion of building something bigger and more lasting than themselves. In quiet moments, we all wonder what our lives will amount to, what we're going to leave behind when we die. "Built to Last" pointed people toward a path that they could follow if they wanted to leave behind a legacy. The book also rooted its answers in rigorous research, lending hard-nosed credibility to principles that people knew in their gut were true but that they could neither prove nor precisely articulate. It gave voice to their inner sense of what must be right, and it backed up that intuition with empirical evidence and clear, logical thinking.

Finally, there is one other reason why "Built to Last" struck a chord, and it is the most important reason of all: The book spoke not only of success but also of greatness. Despite its title, "Built to Last" was not about building something that would simply last. It was about building something worthy of lasting -- about building a company of such intrinsic excellence that the world would lose something important if that organization ceased to exist.

Implicit on every page of "Built to Last" was a simple question: Why on Earth would you settle for creating something mediocre that does little more than make money, when you could create something outstanding that makes a lasting contribution as well? And the clincher, of course, lay in evidence showing that those who opt to make a lasting contribution also make more money in the end.

That was the state of play in 1994, when the book hit the market and captured the public's imagination. Then, on August 9, 1995, Netscape Communications went public and captured the market's imagination. Netscape stock more than doubled in price within less than 24 hours. This was the first of a wave of Internet-related IPOs that saw the value of shares double, triple, quadruple -- or increase by an even greater margin -- during the first days of trading.

The gold rush had begun. The Netscape IPO was followed by IPOs for such high-profile enterprises as eBay, E*Trade, and priceline.com. Companies with no significant products, profits, or prospects scrambled to position themselves in the "Internet space." The point of this new game was impermanence: Startups flip their stock to underwriters, who flip the stock to individual buyers, who flip the stock to other individual buyers -- with everyone looking for a quick, huge financial gain.

In some cases, the results were mind-boggling. When the financial Web site MarketWatch.com went public, on January 15, 1999 (with a quarterly net profit margin of -168%), its basket of public shares flipped over not once, not twice, but three times within the first 24 hours, driving the opening-day price up nearly 475%. The flipping continued to escalate, creating a slew of stunning debuts: From November 1998 to November 1999, 10 companies had first-day price increases that exceeded 300%, despite minimal or no profitability. As Anthony B. Perkins and Michael C. Perkins calculate in their superb book, "The Internet Bubble" (HarperBusiness, 1999), less than 20% of the top 133 "flip" IPOs showed any profits as of mid-1999. In fact, their current market valuations would be justified only if revenues for the entire portfolio of companies grew by 80% per year for the next five years -- a rate considerably faster than that achieved by either Microsoft or Dell within the first five years of their IPOs.

Fueling the built-to-flip model has been a nearly unprecedented rise in venture-capital investment: From a steady state of about $6 billion per year for the 10-year period from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, venture-capital investment exploded, reaching more than $17 billion in 1998. Simultaneously, a flight of angel investors began looking for a piece of the next big flip. As my former student found out, if you have a flippable idea, you won't have much trouble finding capital. It doesn't matter whether the idea is a good one -- whether the idea can be built into a profitable business, or a sustainable organization, or indeed a great company. All that matters is that the idea be flippable: Get in, get out, and get on to the next idea before the bubble bursts.

All of this happened overnight, at the blinding pace of change known as "Net speed." One day, I was teaching eager students, entrepreneurs, and businesspeople how to build enduring, great companies. The next day, that goal had become passé -- an amusing anachronism. Not long ago, I gave a seminar to a group of 20 entrepreneurial CEOs who had gathered at my Boulder, Colorado management lab to learn about my most recent research. I tried to begin with a quick review of "Built to Last" findings, but almost immediately a chorus of objections rang out from the group: "What does 'building to last' have to do with what we face today?"

Scenes from the science-fiction classic "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" ran through my head. I went to bed one night in my familiar world and woke up the next morning to discover that my students had been taken over by aliens.
Built Not to Last

I believe as strongly as ever in the fundamental concepts that came from the "Built to Last" research. I also know that building to last is not for everyone or for every company -- nor should it be. In fact, there are at least two categories of companies that should not be built to last.

The first category is "the company as disposable injection device." In this model, the company is simply a throwaway vessel, a means of developing and injecting a new product or an innovative technology into the world. Most biotechnology and medical-device ventures fall into this category. They function as a highly decentralized form of large company R&D -- in effect, serving as external labs for one or another of the large, powerful pharmaceutical companies that dominate the world market. With most such ventures, the only question is which large company will end up owning a given technology. One example: Cardiometrics Inc., a Mountain View, California company that set itself up in 1985 for the purpose of developing a device that could gather data on the actual extent of coronary disease in a patient. (The goal was to reduce the number of people who undergo unnecessary bypass surgery.) Cardiometrics was not built to last, and in 1997 it was acquired by EndoSonics Corp., a heart-catheter company in Rancho Cordova, California that has a distribution network capable of reaching millions of patients. In this case, acquisition by another company made perfect sense -- economically, organizationally, strategically, entrepreneurially. And the acquisition in no way demeaned the contribution that the founders and employees of Cardiometrics had made in developing a vital new technology. For companies like this one, it is eminently reasonable to do the hard work of creating a product that can make a distinctive contribution -- and then to sell the product to a company that can leverage it faster, cheaper, and better.

In retrospect, we can all point to companies that should have viewed themselves as "built not to last." Confronting that reality would have helped them understand that they were never more than a project, a product, or a technology. Lotus, VisiCorp, Netscape, Syntex, Coleco -- all of these companies would have served themselves and the world better if they had accepted their limited purpose from the outset. Ultimately, they squandered time and resources that might have been applied more efficiently elsewhere.

The second category is "the company as platform for a genius." In this model, the company is a tool for magnifying and extending the creative drive of one remarkable individual -- a visionary who has immense talent but lacks the temperament required to build an enduring, great company. Once that person is gone, so is the company's reason for being. The best historical example is Thomas Edison's R&D laboratory. The purpose of that enterprise was to leverage Edison's creative genius: Edison would spin his ideas and then flip them out to people who could build companies around them. That's what he did with the lightbulb, and that's how General Electric came into being. When Edison died, his R&D laboratory died with him -- as indeed it should have.

Recent adaptations of the genius model include Polaroid (Edwin Land) and DEC (Ken Olsen). And the jury is still out on what may prove to be the most successful and powerful genius platform of all time -- Microsoft. Despite the company's profitability and stature, there is no moral or business-logic reason why Microsoft must outlast the guiding presence of Bill Gates.
Not New, Not Even Improved

Like many aspects of the new economy that we celebrate as revolutionary, Built to Flip has been around for a long time. For three decades, entrepreneurs have followed a Silicon Valley paradigm -- a set of assumptions about how to handle a startup. The model isn't all that complicated: Develop a good idea, raise venture capital, grow rapidly, and then go public or sell out -- but, above all, do it fast. Even 20 years ago, there was an ethic of impatience: A company that hadn't made it big within 7 to 10 years was deemed a failure. There was also an ethic of impermanence: The expectation that a company would be built to last was largely absent from Silicon Valley business culture. Remember Ashton-Tate? Osborne Computers? Businessland? Rolm? Today, none of those outfits exist as stand-alone great companies -- but each was a successful example of the Silicon Valley paradigm.

My first encounter with the Silicon Valley built-to-flip mentality came in 1982. While completing my graduate studies, I did a research project on entrepreneurship in the Valley. My target of study was a workstation startup called Fortune Systems. As I explored the internal workings of the company, what struck me wasn't its technology, its business model, or its culture. No, what struck me was what I perceived to be its founders' utter lack of interest in building a great company. Fortune Systems was built to flip from the get-go. Workstations were hot, capital was plentiful, and the stock market was starting to look good for IPOs. I remember asking a member of the management team about plans for building the company after the IPO, and he just looked at me: Clearly, I didn't get it. The point of it all, I concluded, was simply to go public as fast as possible. Even the company's name -- Fortune Systems -- was a none-too-subtle tip-off to its underlying purpose.

That was almost 20 years ago. Today, we've arrived at a whole new level of flippability. In the old Silicon Valley paradigm, "fast" meant flipping a company within 7 to 10 years. By today's standards, that time frame seems preposterously glacial. Fortune Systems aside, most people operating within the old Silicon Valley paradigm at least gave lip service to the idea of creating a great company -- of inventing products that make a significant contribution and then building a sustainable economic engine around those products. People are now proselytizing the bizarre notion that it's better not to have profits: Today's upside-down logic says that a company will get a better valuation if it has nothing but upside potential -- because the casino players care about nothing else. In a recent column in the "New York Times," technology writer Denise Caruso described the phenomenon: "The desire to cash out big is not a new motivating force in the technology industry. But what is striking about today's Internet economy is how much of that money lust is focused on selling business plans for their own sake, rather than planning viable businesses."
The High Cost of the Pursuit of Money

The great irony of all this is that we now enjoy the best opportunity in 100 years to build great companies that fundamentally change the world in which we live. Somewhere out there, a small group of people are laying the foundation for the great, enduring companies of the 21st century. They will be for us what Henry Ford, George Merck, and Gordon Moore were for our predecessors. They will fashion organizations that will dominate the economic landscape and the business conversation for the next 50 years. And 50 years from now, most of today's built-to-flip companies and their founders will be as relevant to the world as the gold diggers who flocked to California 150 years ago. That doesn't mean that those who build to flip won't get rich. Many will -- perhaps more people than at any time in modern history. In fact, amassing unlimited personal wealth may well be the defining goal of our era. At no time in history has it been easier to reallocate capital without creating lasting value. Of course, in doing so, we run the risk of missing the best opportunity in decades to create something great.

But so what? What's wrong with Built to Flip run rampant?

If Built to Flip were to become the dominant entrepreneurial model of the new economy, one almost-inevitable outgrowth would be a rise in social instability. At the heart of the American commitment to democratic capitalism is a shared ideal: From the Industrial Revolution to the Information Revolution, Americans at all levels of society, in all walks of life, and in all occupations have bought into the proposition that the United States offers economic opportunity for all. What we've already seen, even in this relatively early phase of Built to Flip, is a growing socioeconomic disparity -- and, perhaps most troubling, a perceived decoupling of wealth from contribution. Not only is there an increasing sense that the social fabric is fraying, as the nation's wealth engine operates for a favored few; there is also a gnawing concern that those who are reaping more and more of today's newly created wealth are doing less and less to "earn" it.

But here's the good news: Built to Flip can't last. Ultimately, it cannot become the dominant model. Markets are remarkably efficient: In the long run, they reward actual contribution, even though short-run market bubbles can divert excess capital to noncontributors. Over time, the marketplace will crush any model that does not produce real results. Its self-correcting mechanisms will ensure the brutal fairness on which our social stability rests.

The most significant consequence of the Built to Flip model isn't socioeconomic, however. It is personal. When it emerged in the early 1980s, the new-economy culture rested on three primary tenets: freedom and self-direction in your work; purpose and contribution through your work; and wealth creation by your work. Central to that culture was the belief that work is our primary activity and that through work we can achieve the sense of meaning that we are looking for in life. Driving the new economy were immensely talented, highly energetic people who sought a practical answer to a fundamental question: How can I create work that I'm passionate about, that makes a contribution, and that makes money? By fostering a culture of entitlement, Built to Flip debases the very concept of meaningful work. And, as is always the case with any form of entitlement, it ultimately debases the person who feels entitled.

Even for those with exceptional talent and drive, money seems to have become the central point of it all. The poster children of the new new economy are people like Jim Clark, the founding genius of Netscape, who is vividly portrayed in Michael Lewis's riveting book "The New New Thing" (W.W. Norton, 1999). Despite his impressive résumé, Clark comes across as a man who is stuck on a monetary treadmill: He seems addicted to running after more and more, and then more still, without ever stopping to ask why. Late in the book, Lewis describes a scene in which he presses Clark on this very issue. Earlier, Clark had said that he would retire after he became "a real after-tax billionaire." Now he was worth $3 billion. What about his plans for retiring? "I just want to have more money than Larry Ellison," he says. "I don't know why. But once I have more money than Larry Ellison, I'll be satisfied."

But Lewis pressed further. In about six months, Clark would surpass Ellison in terms of net worth. Then what? Did Clark want more money than, say, Bill Gates? Lewis writes, " 'Oh, no,' Clark said, waving my question to the side of the room where the ridiculous ideas gather to commiserate with each other. 'That'll never happen.' A few minutes later, after the conversation had turned to other matters, he came clean. 'You know,' he said, 'just for one moment, I would kind of like to have the most. Just for one tiny moment.' " In the biggest flip of all, by running aimlessly on the new-wealth treadmill, we have come to resemble previous generations. In the old economy, our parents got jobs not because of the work itself but because of the pay. In the new economy, we got jobs not just for the pay but also for the chance to do meaningful work. In the new new economy, we've come full circle. This time, though, the drive for money is not about putting bread on the table (in other words, achieving comfort and security); it's about getting a bigger table. It's about keeping up with the Ellisons.

Comparison, a great teacher once told me, is the cardinal sin of modern life. It traps us in a game that we can't win. Once we define ourselves in terms of others, we lose the freedom to shape our own lives. The great irony of the Built to Flip culture is that its proponents see themselves as freethinking people in search of the Holy Grail. And yet, when they do one successful flip, they invariably discover that it isn't enough. So they go off in pursuit of bigger numbers -- not one set of options but a whole portfolio of options -- in an escalating, never-ending game. If the Holy Grail isn't $10 million, then maybe it's $50 million. And if it's not $50 million, then surely it's $100 million ... Meanwhile, those who don't play Built to Flip view their "no better than me, but luckier" colleagues with seething envy -- a form of self-imprisonment that's even uglier than greed. The Holy Grail will forever elude those who imprison themselves, no matter how gilded the prison. As Joseph Campbell pointed out, the Holy Grail can be found only by those who lead their own lives.
Built to Work

So which are you striving for: Built to Last or Built to Flip? In fact, that's the wrong question. Some companies will be built to last; some won't. Some should be; others shouldn't. Ultimately, that's an artificial distinction.

The real question, the essential question is this: Is your company built to work? The answer rests on three criteria: excellence, contribution, and meaning. Again, consider Cardiometrics. The company may not have been built to last, but in all of its activities, it adhered to the highest possible standards: Instead of relying on expedient studies and marketing hype, it conducted rigorous, costly clinical trials in order to demonstrate the value of its technology. And the company clearly made a significant contribution -- to the market, to its investors, and to the lives of patients all over the world. Finally, the people of Cardiometrics found their work to be intrinsically meaningful: They worked with colleagues whom they respected and even loved, and they pursued a worthy aim to the best of their ability. Built to Flip? Built to Last? Cardiometrics embodies neither of these models: It was built to work.

If the new economy is to regain its soul, we need to ask ourselves some tough questions: Are we committed to doing our work with unadulterated excellence, no matter how arduous the task or how long the road? Is our work likely to make a contribution that we can be proud of? Does our work provide us with a sense of purpose and meaning that goes beyond just making money?

If we cannot answer yes to those questions, then we're failing, no matter how much money we make. But if we can answer yes, then we're likely not only to attain financial success but also to gain that rarest of all achievements: a life that works.

Jim Collins (jcc512@aol.com) is coauthor of "Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies" (HarperBusiness, 1994). Formerly a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, he jettisoned a traditional academic career in order to chart his own path. Today, he operates a management-research laboratory in Boulder, Colorado.
Copyright 2003 Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing. All rights reserved.
Fast Company, 77 North Washington St., Boston, MA 02114

Javascript: Auto Redirect to SSL page

symetrix dot net

SSL Detection

I did some searching and couldn’t turn up anything, so I decided to post this for anyone looking for something similar. Including this bit of JavaScript code into a header file of your website will cause all connections to be bounced over to an SSL secured version of your site. You can even use the same DocumentRoot for your secure and non-secure versions without problems.

<script language="javascript">
if (document.location.protocol != "https:")
{
document.location.href = "https://secure.you.tld" + document.location.pathname;
};
</script>

∞ Mon Dec 15th, 2:04pm

Comment

1. The only problem with this is that it wont work if someone doesnt have javascript. It makes security a sugestion, not a requirement. The same thing can be accomplished server side if you use apache with a mod rewrite rule.(though i imagine there must be a way to do it in IIS also).I think you would use the following(though this is off the top of my had, so it nay be wrong)*
RewriteRule http://(.*) https://$1

— jesse Wed Dec 31st, 8:14pm

How to add splash image to GRUB boot menu

GNU GRUB splashimage howto

Text of the page:

This file was last modified on: January, 30 2004 @ 04:01 pm EST
GRUB Splash Image Howto

Grubconf debian package
Here's a grubconf debian package I made. I had to slightly patch it. Testers are welcomed (needs to be run as root, `sudo grubconf`). Grubconf project homepage.

Splashimage contest
View currently submitted splashimages. So me and Jason Thomas want to start gathering up splashimages and put them into a package. To bring nice slashimages together we are having a contest for the nicest splashimage. What do you win? Just to be put on this page as the nicest splashimages around. Yeah... sorry I'm a broke. So start sending them in to me, by e-mail, with subject "splashimage contest". Then by the middle of september I will put them all up so people can vote. By October we should have a good package.

Quick tips for the impatient:
convert -resize 640x480 -colors 14 image.png image.xpm && gzip image.xpm
Quick tip for debian users: Use "unstable" packages in your /etc/apt/sources.list in order to get the latest GRUB with splashimage support

Example of menu.lst files:

* Windows / Linux setup
* True Linux power user

Quick tip to install GRUB (only Debian users do the apt-get line):

# using the unstable tree
apt-get install grub
grub-install /dev/hda
# Go edit/make a menu.lst file and put it in /boot/grub/menu.lst
grub
# then on the grub prompt run:

# The partition that has the boot partition root (hd0,0) install /grub/stage1 (hd0) /grub/stage2 p /grub/menu.lst quit

News about this howto
The GRUB splashimage Howto

*
0. About
o 0.0.History of this howto
o 0.1 History of splashimage feature
o 0.2 Distrubtions using it
o 0.3 Splashimage patch history
o 0.4 The future/death of this feature
*
1. Instructions
o 1.0 Requirements for GRUB splashimages
o 1.1 I have my image, now what?
o 1.2 Remapping hard drives in device.map problem
o 1.3 It doesn't work you suck!
o 1.4 Tips and tricks
o 1.5 File size... ?
o 1.6 Who are you? || Thanks!
*
2. Splashimages
o 2.0 View JPGs of currenlty available splash images
o 2.1 Download working publically available GRUB splash images
o 2.2 I made a cool splashimage I want to show the world
*
3. Detecting/adding splashimage support onto GRUB
o 3.0 Do I have a GRUB with splashimage support?
o 3.1 Adding splashimage support for your GRUB
*
4. Source compile
o 4.1 I don't have GRUB
o 4.2 I have GRUB but no splashimage feature
*
A. Section for Hackers and distributions developers
o A.0 I want to hack the splashimage feature
o A.1 I'd like to add splashimage feature onto GRUB fo my distribution
o A.2 I found a bug with the splashimage feature, what should I do?
*
B. This HOWTO's availability, license
o B.0 Download this howto, tar.gz, bz2
o B.1 License of this howto: GPL

0. About
0.0 History of this howto
This tutorial was written right after RH 8.0 was released. Red Hat 8.0 was the first distribution out there that included the "splashimage" feature. This feature, as many of you are aware of, allows you to have a nice image to display at boot time while you select the OS/kernel image you'd like to load. Fortunately for you readers I didn't read the info page which did have information regarding this feature on Red Hat 8.0. Here is part of the old Changelog for Grub for Red Hat 8.0 back then:

* Mon Jan 21 2002 Jeremy Katz 0.91-1
- update to 0.91 final
- add documentation on splashimage param (#51609)

Thanks to Jeremy Katz, from Red Hat, for pointing this out. Originally I had said here that there was no documentation at all out there for the splashimage feature and I actually flamed Red Hat for it 😉 Good to hear I was wrong 🙂

It's been a while now since I started doing splash images, and I guess I really got the hang of it now. Anyway here's my latest splash image:

It really took me a lot of trial-and-error to figure out how to make one at first and then I confirmed the requirements by asking the developer of the feature by e-mail. I'd like go give credit to the designer of our LUG's (Penguin) logo. The original author of the penguin logo for our LUG is Jonathan Gaynor, he's one responsible for the original RUSLUG penguin artwork back in November 2001.

This particular image was designed by me for use at the EIT Lab, for our custom RedHat Install. The EIT Lab is now the new home of RUSLUG, our LUG. The Lab's computers dual-boot between win2k and Linux. The snowy background image you see is a picture I took of the College Avenue Campus in New Brunswick at Rutgers University.

Ready to see what a real nice splashimage might look like? Here it is:

This one's original artwork is brought to you by WLUG and the splashimage file author was Alexey Chernyak. Alexey's image uses Dithering and I then tried to make the image without dithering. The results without dithering can be viewed here.

Here is another nice one. This one was submitted by David Berner from Denmark. It is a picture of a Milk Man's bike in Guatemala:

0.1 History of splashimage feature
I've done my research and have confirmed through e-mail that the author of the splashimage hack is:

Name: Paulo Csar Pereira de Andrade
E-mail: pcpa[at]conectiva.com.br
Company: Conectiva

Paulo wrote the vga 16 patch (splashimage) for GRUB for Conectiva because he was asked to. Red Hat then just took it and used it for its distribution since it was cool. I remember I looked at the man page at that time and there was no documentation of the splashimage feature (the documentation was in the info page).

0.2 Distrubtions using it
Red Hat 8.0 and Red Hat 9.0 definitely include the patch and use GRUB by default. Gentoo uses it too and they actually have their own splashimage. Mandrake (9.1) does not use GRUB by default. Slackware (9.0) does not use GRUB by default. Debian (3.0) has this feature enabled but you have to install it from the "unstable" branch. You do this by changing your /etc/apt/sources.list and instead of using "stable" use "unstable". Then `apt-get update && apt-get install grub`. YOU MUST THEN CHANGE THE sources.list file and use again "stable" and do `apt-get update`, otherwise your system might break! You have been warned! Unstable is bleeding edge packages and by definitioncan break. If you know of other distributions using GRUB as the default boot loader, please let me know.

0.3 Splashimage patch history
As explained above, the splashimage feature is a patch that can be applied onto the GRUB source. It is not a bugfix, but a new feature added for GRUB. Because of this, only the upstream source mantainers for GRUB, (Yoshinori K. Okuji Gordon Matzigkeit) could decide whether to incorporate the patch (written by Paulo Csar Pereira de Andrade) into the source (since they're the ones receiving patches or adding new features; just like with the linux kernel where Linus receives patches and addons) so that they can also mantain it should other people patch on to it, etc.

What it comes down to is that the GRUB upstream source mantainers do not want to make non-bugfix or new-feauture enhances/changes to the GRUB 1.0 source base. "Why oh why", you may be asking right? Well I think I know the answer: there things the mantainers deem more important for a 1.0 release. Because of this, should distributions currently want to have GRUB with splashimage support, they have to grab the patch and incorporate it into the sources themselves. For example, thanks to Jeremy Katz now two large distributions have GRUB splashimage support. Katz currently is the Red Hat GRUB mantainer and took off working on the patch from where Paulo left off. He offered to accept bug fixes that the debian community found. How and why did this happen?Well I wasn't sure to take credit for this at first, but after going through my inbox thoroughly I am now sure that I did play a major role for this to occur. I was basically the messenger. My e-mail to Jason Thomas, which is Debian's GRUB package mantainer, and to Paolo, the author of the splashimage patch got forwarded to the the GRUB bug-brug mailing list and that seemed to get things rolling. Now, how Gentoo, or any other distribution supports it, I do not know. If you have insight as how it worked with other distributions, please drop me a line.

What follows is the story of how my e-mail got Debian unstable to get splashimage support. Initially, I had thought that the reason why the splashimage feature was not in any of the other distributions I was trying out while Red Hat 8.0 was out, was the big fun legal mess I figured patch contributers had to go through to submit patches to go as upstream for software designed for the GNU project. Why was I to think this? Well When I had first e-mailed Jason Thomas regarding my wish to see the splashimage feature on debian, I was told I had to contact the original patch developer and see to it that he would be willing to sign the papers to transfer copyright rights to the FSF if it were to be incorporated into GRUB upstream. Through my massive googling, I then found what seemed to be the main developer of the patch, Paulo Csar Pereira de Andrade. It was like finding a needle in a haysack, trust me! I then contacted Paolo regarding this and he replied willing to submit the paperwork. What was left in the picture was the Mantainer for the patch, that according to Jason, would be required, should it go to upstream. Jason then e-mailed the bug-GRUB mailing list asking Okuji if the patch could be incorporated into upstream. In that thread, Jeremy Katz then immediately replied and mentioned how should the patch go upstream, he would be willing to mantain it. In that e-mail, Katz also supplied the patch he had currently be working on for Red Hat. Following Katz notice that he would be willing to be the upstream mantainer, Paolo then sent out to the mailing list the patches used by Conectiva (for GRUB 0.92). What you may think might might have ended in a nice happy ending with the upstream mantainers accepting the patch into upstream is really not what happened. Okuji then replied with an authoritive, but yet simple "No". This was January 2, 2003. I then got notice from Jason the same day that he would be incorporating Jeremy's patches into debian's GRUB unstable package. I'd like to quote here for future reference that Okuji has said that he "would add graphics support into GRUB after 1.0". By this time, GRUB should become PUPA, it seems. On January 9, 2003, Jason informed me that he had uploaded a GRUB package to debian unstable with splashimage support. Yay! And that was the end of that long thread.

It has recently been brought to my attention by Yoshinori K. Okuji, that the GNU Project developers "strongly recommend that contributors assign or disclaim their copyrights, but that that is not a requirement" and that "if [the contributors/patchers] don't want to do that", GNU developers will still "accept them" (the patches, contributions, etc). So let the myth be dispelled that patches/contributions to the GNU project do not have to be solely copyrighted by the FSF. This is just a recomendation. The reason has to do with lawsuits so that should a company/entity violate GPL software belonging to the GNU project, the task of the FSF to carry out a lawsuit would be easier. Should a big lawsuit come up for certain GPL'd software that has tons of developers accross the globe who have not submitted their copyrights to the FSF, the FSF (or someone willing to take the challenge) would have to contact all contributors/patchers to the specific application in question for a successful lawsuit.

Just recently Leonid Lisovskiy sent this patch over claiming it did the following:

* font linear address calculation (affected on some notebooks)
* wrong viewport behaviour
* segment registers garbage in asm.S
* blinking graphical cursor
* routines optimization, etc.

I post it here in this section for what it's worth. I haven't tested the patch yet. According to Leonid he has submitted the patch to Jermey Katz but never got a reply. Maybe some of you might find some use for it.

0.4 The future/death of this feature
Well "what future, what are you talking about?" you may be asking... I'm actually talking about this feature's death. 🙂 Let me explain: according to Paulo this allowing-a-14-colored-image-hack is pretty lame (well he didn't say that, but you get the idea) compared to the apparantly_now_supported code in GRUB now that allows VESA modes (which increases the number of colors supported and larger resolutions). Here's the comment in his own words:

"[...] GRUB 0.92 has code for setting vesa modes, that would be pretty better to display images, think no limits in the number of colors and screen resolution. In that case the only reason to support vga16 would be for floopy boot disks as the 14 colors images are quite smaller than a true color one."

I've played with VESA modes on GRUB but it seems you can't really load any images.. it seems its more of a test-functionality currently supported on GRUB. My guess is that you can load images using these VESA modes but you gotta hack the code and another guess it that PUPA (future GRUB 2.0) will support these modes and image loading!

Today's date is May 5, 2003. I just finished updating this howto and I would now like to say here that I do not think that there currently are enough GRUB developers interested enough in getting VESA graphics support going. Jeremy Katz, from Red Hat seems to me the best developer candidate that would be able to put forth this effort. The reason, being that he is the current main splashimage patch mantainer. Let me invite all you GRUB hackers out there who really wish to see this feature become a reality to start hacking away! Please Okuji, don't step on me like an ant 🙂 Should I have more time I'd probably check the code out myself too, but right now I am busy graduating from school. I can start collecting names of people willing to contribute and all that other fun stuff... but I rather you guys just start hacking away and get on with it. If none of you do so, I will try to do it myself after this semester in May, after finals.

Also, just as the splashimage was a very undocumented feature back around December 2002, around the release of Red Hat 8.0, I believe that right now the VESA graphics support is in the same position. Despite VESA Graphics support not being of primary interest to the main goals for GRUB 1.0, I do realize there is an interest from aesthetic nazies out there to get this going. If you have any insight as to the VESA graphics support in GRUB, please let me know as much as you know and I will gather the information into a new section in my HOWTO.

I've received news about framebuffer splashimage support for GRUB! Scott reports to me that a person named Samuel Leo has some advanced GRUB code that:

* Read ntfs partitions
* frame buffer splashes
* Chinese character messages
* And more...

Accodring to Scott, the sources should be available from Blue Point (A Linux distro for Chinese speakers). Apparantly all this was code form year circa 2000. Also, apparantly these sources were posted on bug-grub too. I wonder if people are really aware of it. To anyone: please let me know if you get framebuffer splashimage support going.

1. Instructions
1.0 Requirements for GRUB splashimages:

1. xpm.gz file type
2. 640x480
3. 14 colors only

1.1 I have my image, now what?

1. Gzip your xpm file and put it into your /boot/GRUB directory (or to any directory of a /dev/hda1 partition). (do: `gzip myfile.xpm`)
2. Edit your GRUB config file (aka /etc/GRUB.conf) and add this line:
splashimage=(hd0,0)/GRUB/myfile.xpm.gz
NOTE: Change the partition and directory according to your system's setup.
3. reboot and cross your fingers

1.2 Remapping hard drives in device.map problem

While using Debian GRUB v0.93+cvs20030224-2 package, Alexey Chernyak has reported the need to re-issue the *grub-install* command every time he changed splashimage line in his menu.lst file for the change to take effect. This was a side effect of having remapped hard drives in device.map file. Example:

(fd0) /dev/fd0
(hd0) /dev/hde
(hd1) /dev/hdb
(hd2) /dev/hda

For whatever reason you may need to do this, it seems that for that old version of GRUB with the patch did in fact have a bug/intended behaviour that required you to do that. Alexey then reported that he contacted Jermey Katz and that little afterwards Debian had a new unstable release with this fixed.

1.3 It doesn't work you suck!
Too bad. Screw you =-) No really, if it didn't work or if this text needs clarification you can e-mail me and I can try to help you/ourselves out. I can't promise anything though, since school forces me to be a busy person.

1.4 Tips and tricks

1.3.0 Test all your images with only one reboot :)!

As you can imagine rebooting every time to test just one freakin' image can be painful and frustrating... With GRUB you don't have to! I'd recommend creating several xpm images you'd like to try out and after that, reboot to interact with GRUB to test each and everyone one of them one by one (don't forget to gzip each one and to put them in /boot/GRUB or so). So just reboot using the default splashimage given to you (don't edit the GRUB conf file).

After your reboot, when the menu for GRUB pops up, just hit "c" to go into the command-line prompt. At the prompt, load the partition with the GRUB images. Please try to make it your /dev/hda1 (which is (hd0,0) in GRUB-partition-nomenclature). I tried using some other partition several times and I only got GRUB to lock itself sometimes. You load partitions by doing:

root (hd0,0)

Then try to load the splash images, one by one:

splashimage /GRUB/myfile.xpm.gz

Do this command for each image you have... Cool huh? Once your satisfied with the splashimage just go ahead and boot up and edit to your GRUB conf file to use it. You may want to keep in mind that GIMP sometimes makes a file look a bit ugly when converting it to 14 colors... and it may take you a long time to re-edit it to make it look priiiiity. That's what happened to me. I used a friend's ruslug tux image and I ended up having to edit the file pixel by pixel... (not fun, it took me about 2-3 hours). What works nice is actually starting a file using 14 colors only and then creating your original artwork from there.
NOTE: it makes it even easier if you have two computers. You can have one on the GRUB prompt and use the other one to edit the xpm files and save them onto floppy disks. Then you just load the floppy instead of a hard drive partition 😉 (fd0) I think. Yes, there's a GIMP version for windows too 😉 It's a shame that running GRUB from the prompt, once Linux starts, it doesn't allow you to use the `splashimage` command. Otherwise you'd be able to test all these images without even restarting 😛 (I tried running it from both terminal and virtual terminal).

1.3.1 Only 14 colors... How do I do that?

To get GIMP to use only a 14 color palette, right click on your file and press ALT+I and put 14 where it says "Generate Optimal Palette:" on the top of the menu. If ALT+I doesn't get you there then right click on the image and go to:

Image-->Mode-->Indexed

Specify you want 14 colors and then if you want (*recommended*) select NO DITHERING. This will tell the gimp not to try to guess colors in between areas. It is also possible that you tell them gimp what colors you want in your 14-color pallete, I actually had to do this for one of my images and I replaced a dark color for a light one. 🙂 The GIMP ROCKS!

1.3.2 Does it have to be filename.xpm.gz?

Not really. GRUB just provides automatic unzip'ing functionality. How you think your bzImage kernel images get's loaded? Heh. So that's just a feature and it's good practice. According to `info GRUB` it does loads quicker. The reason for loading quicker is that -believe it or not- compressed files load quicker on today's computers than uncompressed files. Why? Well because the amount of time it takes for today's average computer to read from the hard drive an uncompressed (thus bigger) file is longer than the amount of time it takes for it to read a smaller hard area on the hard drive + pass it onto main memory + uncompress it with CPU power. Well anyway, you can still leave your xpm images uncompressed, they should work fine (they did when I tested them).

1.3.3 Can I change the foreground and background color of the menu?

Yes you can. Just put something like the following in your menu.lst file:

foreground = ffffff
background = 000000

1.5 File size... ?

There doesn't seem to be any file size limiation on the splash image file (well yes, maybe the size of your RAM)...

1.6 Who are you? || Thanks!

I'm Batman! Who cares really? But please let me know if this howto was useful. Thanks for all those e-mails I've received so far in support :] E-mail me

2. Splashimages
2.0 View images of currently available splashimages
2.1 Download working publically available GRUB splash images
2.2 I made a cool splashimage I want to show the world

If you would like to submit your splashimage into the GNU GRUB splashimage archive send me:

* file_name.jpg - a 640x480 jpg snapshot of your splashimage
* file_name.xpm.gz - a 640x480 splashimage file
* Tell me under what license it's covered under

3. Detecting/adding splashimage support onto GRUB
3.0 Do I have a GRUB with splashimage support?
Good question. Joseph Monti, main developer of the GRUBconf project asked me the same thing to see if he can detect this for his GRUBconf application. I did ask the bug-GRUB mailing list but got no replies. Unsatisfied without a reply back to Monti, I started playing around with stuff and finally wrote a script that seems to check if you have the splashimage feature in your GRUB stage files. You can get the script here and you should run it as root. If you have a better suggestion for how to detect if you have splashimage support, please let me and Monti know.
3.1 Adding splashimage support for your GRUB
I haven't myself added the splashimage patch onto the sources myself, but what I can provide for you is a link of all the patches that I have available, along with the current debian source tree:

* Historic Connectiva patches for GRUB (for 0.92)
* Red Hat 8.0 patch for GRUB
* Current Debian GRUB source tree. Everything there except the "historic" directory comes with the Debian GRUB source from unstable (GRUB 0.93)

I will try to get the most recent patch. Where would I find this? I'd look into the Debian source tree or the Red Hat GRUB source RPM.
4. Source Compile!
4.1 I don't have GRUB
You can grab the GRUB source from many places but for the sake of this HOWTO you have several options.

1. Latest debian sources
2. So what you get is just the mantainer's latest CVS GRUB source that he used to build the latest debian unstable package. I recommend you use these just because it comes with a diff for these specific sources. Also the upstream source mantainer for GRUB keeps close ties with Debian development 😉 Posted GNU GRUB sources
3. You can grab the latest posted sources from the GNU ftp mirror. Note that I don't yet have patches for these so unless someone submits one you are on your own with these sources for now in trying to patch it later for splashimage support. GNU GRUB CVS sources
You'll have to read on this link how to setup CVS and grab the latest sources form the CVS repository. You should only use these if you are very well experienced and are willing to modify the diffs to handle possible changes/etc.

4.2 I have GRUB but I don't have splashimage support
For now I will only provide an example of how to do this if you are using the debian sources. See question 4.1 if you don't have a clue what I am talking about. So you have the GRUB source.. now you need the patch. I'll summarize what you have to do in steps for you to follow. Open a terminal do the following:

mkdir grub-src
cd grub-src
wget http://ruslug.rutgers.edu/~mcgrof/grub-images/grub-debian-sources/grub_0.93+cvs20030224.orig.tar.gz
wget http://ruslug.rutgers.edu/~mcgrof/grub-images/grub-debian-sources/grub_0.93+cvs20030224-2.diff.gz
tar zxvf grub_0.93+cvs20030224.orig.tar.gz
gunzip grub_0.93+cvs20030224-2.diff.gz
patch -p0 < grub_0.93+cvs20030224-2.diff cd grub-0.93+cvs20030224 ./configure make make install The above remains to be tested thoroughly, let me know how it goes. After you do the above then you have install grub onto your MBR or partition. I do not document how to do this since it is beyond the scope of this HOWTO. Please either read the source's README or look on the GRUB home page how to do this. Thanks to Rick Knight for having tested the last latest patch on Slackware 9.0. A. Section for Hackers and distributions developers A.0 I want to hack the splashimage feature Go ahead, by all means 8^D, go hit the GRUB sources. You might want to check out the Historic patches and the current Debian source tree, the Red Hat source RPM for GRUB and gentoo's sources for GRUB. If you have patches, I can recommend you submit them to the author which is probably Jeremy Katz, from Red Hat. If you add nice new features you can also e-mail me and I guess I can post about them here. A.1 I'd like to add splashimage feature onto GRUB fo my distribution Cool, I'd say you get Jeremy Katz's latest work on the splashimage patch and just incorporate that into your source. That is my advice. A.2 I found a bug with the splashimage feature, what should I do? Since the GRUB splashimage feature is not yet officially supported by the upstream source mantainer and since Jeremy Katz seems to be the one ontop of the patch I would recommend to send comments about the specific splashimage patches to him. It may might be fine to post on the Bug-grub mailing list. B. This HOWTO's availability, license B.0 Download this howto, tar.gz, bz2 I've found it useful before to download tutorials or HOWTO's before. This can be useful, for example, on laptops. Also, you may want to incorporate this into your source, or site, or something.. I don't. For whatever reason, you can grab the tarballs here: * GRUB splashimage HOWTO tar.gz (7.3 MB) * GRUB splashimage HOWTO tar.bz2 (7.09 MB) If you are wondering why these tarballs are so large it is because it includes a lot of GRUB source and images. If you just want the HOWTO you can just righ click and "SAVE AS" since the howto is pretty much all in just one file. B.1 License of this howto: GPL This HOWTO/Tutorial is covered by the GPL license. You can view/read the license here. This file was last modified on: January, 30 2004 @ 04:01 pm EST Coplyeft 2003 by GPL - Luis R. Rodriguez

Some cool tips for optimizing mozilla firebird

Some cool tips for optimizing mozilla firebird:
Geek Style: Optimizing Mozilla Firebird

Full Text:

Geek Style
Digital taste of life
X-Pro IP SoftPhone | Main | Second hand news? Maybe worse
December 08, 2003
Optimizing Mozilla Firebird
Posted at 09:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (5)
It's almost 6 months now that I am stuck with Mozilla Firebird. Everyone knows that its a great web browser, but as always the default configuration is not the best configuration.

I have discovered that following configuration improves web browsing speed noticeably:

user_pref("general.smoothScroll", true);
user_pref("network.image.imageBehavior", 0);
user_pref("network.http.max-connections", 48);
user_pref("network.http.max-connections-per-server", 16);
user_pref("network.http.pipelining", true);
user_pref("network.http.pipelining.firstrequest", true);
user_pref("network.http.pipelining.maxrequests", 100);
user_pref("network.http.proxy.pipelining", true);
user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 100);

(For those who are not familiar with above stuff, I recommend typing about:config in their address bar in Firebird, or searching for prefs.js in their profile directory. A good reference can be found here).

Well, as it is almost obvious by looking at the configuration itself, I will explain some of them:

First option turns on the smooth scrolling behavior in your browser, for who are switching from IE. Next option turns off auto image resizing (which is really annoying). The next options increase the number of total concurrent connections and max concurrent connections to a server at a time.

HTTP pipelining is also very useful, especially when you are behind a high delay internet link. It avoids making a separate connection for any single object, and uses a single TCP channel to transfer more than one object. This behavior makes your pages downloads faster, due to the nature of TCP three-way handshake.

The last option decreases the delay that Firebird waits before drawing pictures in a web page. Note that reducing this number to zero may cause weird behaviors by firebird, so increase it if your firebird crashes while loading images.

A good but not complete list of configuration parameters can be found at: http://www.geocities.com/pratiksolanki/
Comments

I believe that the gains from enabling HTTP pipelining are also due in part to not having to suffer the slow-start algorithm for every single file retrieved.
Posted by: Sean Neakums at February 7, 2004 06:50 PM

Sean is actually right about the pipelining thing. It is most useful for users that are behind high-delay internet links (e.g. satellite).
This way, instead of making one tcp connection per object, only one tcp connection establishes and many objects will be fetched through one connection.
Posted by: Babak Farrokhi at February 7, 2004 07:01 PM

Here are some other good ones:

// Kill window.print() which gives me an error msg since I have no printers installed.
user_pref("capability.policy.default.Window.print", "noAccess");

// Show error pages instead of popups. i.e. Unable to resolve.
// http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=28586
user_pref("browser.xul.error_pages.enabled", true);

// Let remote content link to local (file://) content. This is needed for intranets.
// http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=84128#c20
user_pref("security.checkloaduri", false);

// No Web page should be able to mess with my browser's UI.
// Bug 107949 - Add pref for ignoring window feature options on window.open()
// http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=107949
user_pref("dom.disable_window_open_feature.close", true);
user_pref("dom.disable_window_open_feature.minimizable", true);
user_pref("dom.disable_window_open_feature.scrollbars", true);

// Bug 176304 - Option to disallow scripts from hiding toolbars
// http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=176304
user_pref("dom.disable_window_open_feature.titlebar", true);
user_pref("dom.disable_window_open_feature.toolbar", true);
user_pref("dom.disable_window_open_feature.location", true);
user_pref("dom.disable_window_open_feature.directories", true);
user_pref("dom.disable_window_open_feature.personalbar", true);
user_pref("dom.disable_window_open_feature.menubar", true);
user_pref("dom.disable_window_open_feature.status", true);

// [RFE] Pref to disable resizable=no
// http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=101509
user_pref("dom.disable_window_open_feature.resizable", true);

// Windows open in new window instead of tabs (target=)
// http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=105547
user_pref("browser.block.target_new_window", true);

// Don't tell me I can't resize frames you stupid web author!
user_pref("layout.frames.force_resizability", true);
Posted by: Phillip at February 8, 2004 02:32 AM

Wow! What a difference. Thanks!
Posted by: Dan at February 8, 2004 08:34 PM