Friday, November 20, 2009

MATLAB 2007a with JRE 1.6 to solve the "CANNOT PASTE" issue

Hi all!

After many posts, here we are speaking again about Mathworks MATLAB R2007a, a glorious version of this remarkable programming environment for Scientific Computing.

This version of MATLAB is now a bit old, but many universities and then professors, research teams and students are still using it. Also my famous neighbour is still using it with its awesome license and he is still so kind to let me use it in change of maintainance work on his Linux machine. ;-)

In older posts I already wrote about some solutions to issues about this MATLAB version in times when it was "too new", or "too humble" for Compiz...
This is, I think, the first post about an issue caused by the fact this version is now becoming "too old".

Recently, for some needs, I dropped from openjdk (on Archlinux) switching to the closed version of Java.

In the meantime I was playing with Emacs so I decided to change in MATLAB che "Copy and Paste" keybindings in order to learn better the Emacs ones.
They didn't work so well, especially the "Paste" command.. (but it was caused by Java).
Anyway, after a second, I needed suddenly to be more productive in order to finish a work and sadly I had to come back to the Windows-like keybindings CTRL-X CTRL-V and CTRL-C.

But what a surprise when I discovered that either in the Command Windows and in the MATLAB Editor a "Paste" was permitted literally only once per session 8-|

Since it was my fault playing with the "Copy and Paste" keybindings, I spent hours checking, patching, deleting and recreating MATLAB's preferences files in order to try to revert all the "Copy and Paste Universe" back its previous "Time's Arrow"!

After weeks using an external editor now I discovered another error dealing with a call to the Helvetica font I didn't set in any preference... so I started MATLAB with the debug option and I looked for some forum solution to cope with that further issue.

While reading I find an advice by a user suggesting to use the system's native JRE instead of the MATLAB's one. And then my eyes opened and I asked myself: "Could it be the copy and paste issue caused by the Java versione included in MATLAB?"
So I checked which Java version was embedded in MATLAB R2007a and I found it is the 1.5

After all this story here you are how to fix all the misterious errors you can experience in MATLAB due to its old Java:

You only need to create a custom script for launching MATLAB in order not to modify the native one (it's possibile but it's not adviceable):

#!/bin/sh

# This was good for Compiz issues
# but I don't need it at the moment
# export AWT_TOOLKIT=MToolkit

# This is the magic environment variable to fill
# with your system's Java Installation directory
export MATLAB_JAVA=/opt/java/jre

# This is my matlab start command... probably only
# "matlab -desktop" on your system
/opt/matlabR2007a/bin/matlab -desktop

So that's all, if you start MATLAB with the MATLAB_JAVA environment variable pointing to your system's Java installation directory you (hopefully) will solve all the issues due to the old 1.5 Java embedded in the R2007a version.

At least, for me it worked, not showing anymore the Copy and Paste issue and the strange font issue at MATLAB's start.

Hope this will be useful for someone else ;-)

Keep on hackin'

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Awesome: learning to use a tiled window manager

Awesome is a great, highly configurable and extremely lightweight window manager for X. There are many chances for you to find it already packaged for you distribution.
Awesome is a "tiled window manager" even if it has also a "float windows mode". Anyway in its default settings you won't find the actual windows titles and their usual functions because the windows are placed automatically for the best use of the screen. In this mode you will have a graphical interface you can master completely using nothing more than your keyboard.

In order to achieve any sort of "productivity" with Awesome the user has to get used to it and to configure himself some keybindings and functions, since the defaults settings don't cover everything (and this was intended in order to put the stress on customization).

In the coming posts I will explain the results of my usability experiments with this "awesome" window manager ;-)

At first I had to recreate my custom configuration copying the default rc.lua file to ~/.config/awesome/

There I put also the copy of the default theme folder with the themes I wanted to use. So in the end I had this directory structure:
~/.config/awesome/themes/default (with all its files and subfolders)
~/.config/awesome/themes/sky (my chosen theme with all its files and subfolders)

Then I started the customization and I fixed the Java non-reparenting-wm issue. This problem caused alla Java GUI windows not to be drawn correctly leaving them blank and therefore rendering useless their applications (like MATLAB... which GUI is written in Java too).

In the coming days I will try to explain better the steps that led to my present configuration.

I you like, you can have already a look on my configuration files at this page on the webpage I use as file download support for this blog:


Keep on hacking! ;-)

Monday, November 16, 2009

How to enable KMS on an Intel GM45 X3500HD

Hi all!

Here you are "Yet Another How-To" to enable KMS on an Intel board ;-)
... of course, on ArchLinux... but the instructions can be easily adapted for others distributions

The procedure to activate the graphics drivers on the adapter directly during kernel loading is simple:
  • modify the file /etc/mkinitcpio.conf having the MODULES string like this:
MODULES="intel_agp i915"
  • modify the archlinux kernel line in /boot/grub/menu.lst
kernel /boot/vmlinuz26 root=/dev/sd[x][n] ro i915.modeset=1
where /dev/sd[x][n] is your / partition and i915.modeset=1 substitutes any vga=NNN or video=... options that won't be supported by KMS which find itself for the best resolution.

That's all, now you should see the very first post messages of kernel startup in the very ugly and big "standard console character", but then you will see the rest of the startup messages in the correct (and autodetected) resolution.
Furthermore the switching between Virtual Consoles and the X server will be really faster than before.

So enjoy your Intel video adapter's capability with the new Kernel Mode Setting you just configured on you machine!

Keep on hacking! ;-)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Carl Sagan's Day

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.



Sunday, August 16, 2009

Stellarium libjpeg microbug in Archlinux

Minutes ago "dreaming of a telescope" I did what Galileo did 400 years ago, when, in 1609, pointed one of the first basic refractors telescopes upwars to the sky, towards Jupiter, discovering its 4 main satellites (that afterwards were called after him as "Galileian Satellites").

I took my dear old scope and I aimed it to the brightest object of tonight's sky (even from this desert Milan but photo-polluted as usual): a great Jupiter of -2 mag and something more with Ganimede at mag 4 in the top left of the ocular.

Yeah... but for knowing it was Ganimede I needed the awesome Stellarium.

I started the program but it said that without libjpeg.so.62 it wouldn't start. :-(

Then I tried to symbolic linking as "libjpeg.so.62" the libjpeg I have installed by default in Archlinux that's version 7:

$ sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libjpeg.so.7 /usr/lib/libjpeg.so.62

No way :-(

So I had to remove the just created link to clean:

$ sudo rm /usr/lib/libjpeg.so.62

.. and search with yaourt if version 6 is still available on aur.

Luckily it is! Bingo! After building and installing "libjpeg6" package from aur Stellarium worked!

... and everyone lived in happiness even if with two versions of the same library installed :-)

Goodnight and keep on hacking ;-)

bYe,
Andy

Sent from my iPhone

Gimp Colorize: I couldn't get it

Last days I fought with Gimp's Colorize tool. To understand what was the generated color I studied again color spaces pages on wikipedia, as I already did some years ago.

The tool did't shocked me because its use of HSL color space (with google you can find many RGB, HSV, HSL converters, even online). I was disappointed because in this tool Luminance has a -100 - +100 grade instead of a 0 to 100 one.

So I tried to recover the "true" value by means of a proportion, after I tried with sums and differences, and at last I merged some HSV and some HSV values because HSV Saturation made more sense than the same saturation from HSL.

Anyway there was nothing to do: the recoloured region was of the same hue (so H parameter was right) but the resulting color was clearly differente with respect of my desired color.

The only solution I found to colorize the blurred pattern (so I couldn't use effectively the magic wand) I was interested in, was a mask creation on that layer using the image itself as source. After that I applied a convenient background color to all the layer and the mask did the rest.

In this way the result was what I wanted but this strategy worked only because of the kind of the particular image I wanted to colorize. Because of this, I'm really curious about to know where I made my color conversion mistake with the colorize tool and if some of you readers worked out this problem. ;-)

On the net there is not so much about this issue, since the problem reveals itself only when the user wants a specific color and tries to put it inside the tool via the HSL digits. It one works manually and "by eye" everything is acceptable but the "bug" remains.

Okay... I hope that someone could get through this issue, bug or simply mistery and tell me how much I am "idiot" GIMPly speaking :-P

bYez,
Andy

Sent from my iPhone

Wisdom pearls

Yesterday I had to rename with a unique and chronological code some photos made by different cameras but among the same holidays.

I remembered about the EXIF informaztion set which is inside any camera-generated jpg file... and I remembered of a tool to work with these information.

So I installed exiv2 on my Arch box and with a rapid sight to the "man" I was ready to batch renaming all the pictures. I thought I would have been quite complicated but it worked like a charm! Here you are the command:

On a terminal, once you are in the folder containing the photo to be renamed, you have to do only:

$ exiv2 mv ./*.jpg

It's incredible how rapidly is done a work that could take a full day for a human! All the pictures in the folder are now renamed witha strandard patterna like the following:

YYYYMMDD_hhmmss.jpg

So now instead of having different folder for different cameras to prevent to overwrite or mess up the pictures, you have all the photos in the same place and time-tagged.

But there is some issue because anything could be perfect.

First of all, this program doesn't work with the movie files, so you will have to rename them manually.

The real problem is, anyway, when we do more than 1 shot per seconds (multiple shot feature of professional cameras) or when we shot at the same time with the two different camera we are trying to merge.

However, being careful about these situations before the renaming and the merging of the folders the system works very well... if the time on set on the cameras is correct and more or less synchronized. If there will be a delay of some 5 minutes all the consequential order will be badly disrupted.

For the windows users: I didn't check if there is such an EXIF utility for your OS... but I'm quite sure I will be... at most it won't be free of charge... but that's your way to think sofware doesn't it? :-P

Make nice pictures and Have good holidays!

bYe,
Andy


Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Apollo 40th anniversary

That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.

In two days on July 20th @ 20:17:40 UTC we will be landing on the moon, "live" from 40 years ago...
› Real-Time Replay of Mission Audio (July 16-July 24)

This time, thanks to LRO, we will enjoy the moment with the final evidence that such dream became really true!
› Apollo Landing Sites pictures

Monday, July 13, 2009

A farewell to a special person

Some time has already passed since that 25th of May 2009 when you left us, uncle Eugenio.
This blog was already stuck before because of lack of time for my usual many thing to do. During this month and a half many things had to be written: not only train-of-thoughts, but silly or technical things too, from a Linux user life... but I couldn't let it be. It didn't seemed right to me, to write "anything" before having placed a farewell to you, on this little corner of the net too hard for me to keep up to date...

To say "goodbye" to you, it's not a thing I can accomplish in 2 minutes, even if I don't want to share with the net, abruptly, my deepest feelings, and that's right. Anyway, I won't write too much... but I simply need the right time and the suitable tranquillity, because this is a little thing but it's important for me.

So it's natural to think that the emptiness a person leaves in the other's life when her way in this world come to an end, is nothing but commensurate with how much that person managed to fill just other's life, getting in the game with her own unrepeatable qualities.
You lived like this, and that's because we miss you. But just because of what you left inside us and thanks to what we believe in, and what you helped us with your life to take care of, we aren't able to say us "desperate" even among this inevitable sadness.

This is already a great thing, and I'm grateful to you for this. As I'm grateful for your testimony and for your strength you paradoxically and very kindly gave us during your illness. Your "strong tranquillity" is helping us and will be always with us.

But although the beauty of your example and the clarity of your testimony in the time of trouble, I'd like to remember you in the time of peacefulness too.
My memories are the ones of a lucky child, grown up in a great family, in touch with cousins as brothers and with uncles and aunts as "second parents".

So my head becomes full of memories, small things, your "Good Shot!", your intelligent glances, your thinking moments, ...a wristband you gave to all we nephews when we were to the primary school, to initiate us to the football "faith" (and you managed very well with Alby and Teo, with the poor uncle Claudio fan of Inter who found his two children fan of Milan!)

And I recall my first time at the stadium (my only for a "serious" match to date)... I restored from my memories and from the web: it was April 17th 1994, Milan vs Udinese 2-2, the match that gave its 14° Championship to Milan in the 15th match, two before the end. It was the last italian championship with 2 point for the winner... and in that match in Udinese there was a player "Testaferrata" (Iron Head in Italian) who didn't have the head so hard since he fell down after an air-tackle with the big Desailly...

My memories go on with all the Sunday afternoons at the granparents' marked with the sport program "90°minuto" just before come back home... my thoughts flow to all your gags: when you went out to ring the bell, or when you shut down the light pretending there was a blackout... getting the relatives crazy and we children laugh. An at last when we were on the beach and you call out the wrong time looking at your watch, and making all the people check theirs!

And this playful part of your character we had the pleasure to know, completed very well your professionalism and precision you had in your work as a university professor, while you remained for your collegues, simply "Eugenio": a sociologist who loved the "city" and very careful to its issues and changes.
For this work and for your committment in the catholi association "Azione Cattolica" as President for Milan Diocese, you have been widely mentioned by the ones who shared this experiences with you in these years.
As for me, I had the pleasure to have you as an "uncle-president" while I was in the youth association. I had the chance to hear from you the picture of our present society and of the role of the citizen and of the Christian in it, in the occasion of some seminars.
I saw you put on challenge in person when just two years ago we gave birth to the italian Democratic Party so that Italian politics could finally start a new season. If I continue to believe in this effort although all the troubles, it's because of you too.

This is my remembrance I decided to share with my readers, its just the top of the iceberg.
For this and for all the rest, I want to say my "Thank you!"

These things, and many others, you have been... and you are again, in that "time" and in that "place" in which we will meet again.
But if it's true that those "time" and "place" are nothing but the most true "being" of the "here" and "now", it's not silly to feel that you are with us every single day with your peaceful smile and your smart glance upon the world :-)

Goodbye zio Eugenio!
Andy

Monday, April 13, 2009

Xorg 1.6 in [extra] on Archlinux

Tonight, as usual, I upgraded my box with the good yaourt and what an Easter Surprise I got?... Xorg 1.6 was in [extra] and in that very moment I no more needed to use testing packages to make my laptop work in all its grace!

Here you are the notice directly from Archlinux news:

Xorg-server 1.6.0 and its related drivers will make their move to extra.
This new release features input device properties, DRI2 and kernel
modesetting (KMS). Note that DRI2 and KMS are only implemented by the
Intel driver at this moment.
This release also comes with a new driver: xf86-video-intel-legacy. This
driver is an old intel driver version, patched to support recent
xorg-server versions. This driver should be used by people having
problems with the newer xf86-video-intel driver.
People still using xorg-server 1.4.2 are advised to upgrade and replace intel or i810 drivers with the legacy driver.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

S6 truss in place

Finally in today's spacewalk the S6 truss segment was bolted to the International Space Station by spacewalkers Steve Swanson and Richard Arnold.


The spacewalk is now ongoing since 5 hours and will last for another hour or so.

The coming actions will be the connection of data and power cables to fully setup the S6 truss segment with battery and radiators.

Once the astronauts will be safely inside the station there will be the solar array deployment after which ISS will achieve for the first time its complete power configuration.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

GOCE launched!

This afternoon at 15.21 CET, ESA's GOCE satellite (Gravity and Ocean Circulation Explorer) was launched from Plesetsk atop a Rockot launcher.

Its task is to complete a new mapping of Earth's gravity field distribution with unprecedented accuracy. Such accuracy will be able to analyze and study the difference in altimetry of the ocean surface that is tightly linked with ocean temperature and circulation.


If you like you can enjoy the launch replay HERE

and some other animations HERE

Monday, March 16, 2009

Go Discovery!

Here we are!

Another mission for Space Shuttle Discovery launched successfully from Kennedy Space Center carrying the last truss segment with the last set of solar arrays for the International Space Station.

This mission will mark a symbolic achievement giving to the station its final power configuration available to support the next few modules left for its completion and six crew member capability.

As for now let's admire the beautiful pictures of this nice launch, made slightly after sunset and because of this, characterized by a strange enlightement once the shuttle was high in the atmosphere. (i.e. in the images you could see the color of External Tank and the clear rotation of the boosters after their separation!).

Here you are a dramatic image of instants after the liftoff!


Enjoy space!

see ya!
Andy

Friday, March 6, 2009

Andy returns

Yep,
here you are a brief post, with the "write-and-go" style I supposed as new needed editing policy, to say that I'm back from the university exam session though at the moment I'm working for ESMO and for Attitude Control and Dynamics exam :-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

iPhone PDF/CHM/DOC/XLS viewer with Safari and Lighttpd


Hi guys,
tonight we finally have a great geeky post!

Once upon a time on my iPhone I had a wonderful package found via Installer that provided a cool directory listing for lighttpd on the iPhone in order to be able to browse some files and use Safari native capabilities to open them.

Unfortunately this package is no more in Cydia and Installer repositories (or I hadn't found it).
So tonight surfed the internet looking for it and I found this page with some information about it and (most important) the php script package.
After some experiments mixing the info with this other tutorial I found the way to get it working on my 1G iPhone with Firmware version 2.1

Here you are the installation in ten steps.


1. Get all the files you need


Download this .zip file containing the php script for cool directory listing on lighttpd


2. Install the packages you need


Install via Cydia these packages:
  • lighttpd
  • PHP


3. Connect to your iPhone via ssh (as root)


$ ssh root@[iphone IP address]

obtaining

[iphone host name]:~ root#

in my case

$ ssh root@192.168.1.xxx
Bilbo:~ root#



4. Create log folder for lighttpd and chown it properly


Bilbo:~ root# mkdir /var/log/lighttpd
Bilbo:~ root# chown nobody:nobody /var/log/lighttpd



5. Create a startup .plist file for lighttpd


Bilbo:~ root# nano /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.http.lighttpd.plist



You can simply use a file manager that supports ssh like Dolphin and Konqueror in KDE4 or simply Konqueror in KDE3. To use the graphical file manager with ssh you should use the fish:// protocol writing this in the address bar:

fish://root@[iphone-IP-address]

for me

fish://root@192.168.1.xxx



6. Create lighttpd config file


Bilbo:~ root# nano /usr/etc/lighttpd.conf


Copy this content in it



As you could notice this file differs from the one contained in the script package.
The first difference is that I chose to use as my data folder /private/var/mobile/Sites instead of /private/var/root/Sites

The other more important difference is the location of the php-cgi binary file, that is placed in /usr/bin in my installation insted of the old /opt/iPhone/bin

After having set the lighttpd.conf file you can check its syntax with this command from the terminal:

Bilbo:~ root# lighttpd -t -f /usr/etc/lighttpd.conf



7. Test your lighttpd and PHP config


Now you can create a file named test.php in /private/var/mobile/Sites to test lighttpd and PHP configuration:

Bilbo:~ root# nano /private/var/mobile/Sites/test.php

Copy this code in it to test PHP support:


Start the webserver manually with this command:

Bilbo:~ root# lighttpd -D -f /usr/etc/lighttpd.conf

Now you can open Safari and point to http://localhost/test.php to view the file.
If you can see the notice in green everything was good.
After the test you can simply stop lighttpd with a CTRL-C stroke in the terminal.


8. Copy the directory listing script folder and rename it


I made this step with Dolphin as I described before, checking later the permissions and the folder owner and group with the terminal. If you can't do the copy with a filemanager you can use scp or sftp from the command line.

After the copy or the dirlist folder into /private/var/mobile/Sites rename it like this

Bilbo:~ root# mv dirlist .dirlist



9. Copy your files on the iPhone


Now it's time to put your favourite file in /private/var/mobile/Sites to take advantage of the powerful capabilites of Safari to open natively those file thank to the proper bindings to the iPhone OS applications and libraries.


10. Enjoy


Now you have your web server ready to go. You have your files in the right place... the last thing to to is to start the system to begin to play!

Bilbo:~ root# launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.http.lighttpd.plist

This should start the server properly as a daemon.
If you experience problem at this step don't worry you can use also there commands to stop everything before another attempt:

Bilbo:~ root# launchctl unload -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.http.lighttpd.plist

and

Bilbo:~ root# killall lighttpd


However the best thing to do now is to reboot to let the server start at boot itself (that is definitely the "right" way to start it).

Once you will have your server up and running you can easily point Safari to http://localhost to view your folder and to be able to open your files



I really hope my effort in making this guide will be useful not only for me as a reference but to some of you too!

Let's see...

As for now, that's all folks!

Keep on hackin'

Andy

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

... news from Gaza ...

Hi all.
today I want to suggest to you this reading, the January 18th post on Vittorio Arrigoni's blog, as an update on the situation in Gaza.


Making love under the bombs. I remember a friend from Nablous once telling me how difficult it was during the occupation to make time to reserve a moment of intimacy with his wife. One evening, while they lay in a tender embrace, a bullet lodged itself into their headboard, inches away from their heads. Canoodling under the bombs these days in Gaza is out of the question, and the conjugal future of young Palestinian couples is shaping up to be quite a challenge. Many have lost their homes and are forced to live amassed in the UNRWA schools, or crammed with as many as 20 people inside a tiny apartment. "Tonight is Saturday and the young couples in Tel Aviv go out and have fun in the clubs or on the beach. Meanwhile, out here we can't even make love in our own beds", says Wissam, who got married in November. "We also have strobe lights, though", he says, while pointing towards a succession of flashes from the South, the evidence of bombings in full swing. Young men like Wissam, nineteen, become fathers very early on in life and are already grandfathers by middle age, being aware as they are that in Palestine, this is the only form of immortality possible.
While on the outside there's talk of a truce, approved by Hamas but as usual rejected by Israel, in the last two days there's been an escalation of bombings with a subsequent boost in civilian deaths - 60 only yesterday. About ten were killed outside a mosque in the hour of prayer. What worries Palestinians the most is a ceasefire being called without a simultaneous reopening of the frontier passes. Firstly, this would serve to let the material and food supplies required for reconstruction, and secondly, to let the seriously wounded out. Hospitals are overwhelmed from over-crowding. In the entire Strip, they can accommodate a maximum of 1,500 beds, but the number of the wounded hovers around 5,320 at the moment. In addition, there's mistrust among Palestinian public opinion towards Egypt, the chosen intermediary for the talks, whose leadership is notoriously obsequious to Israel. "Why not have a European country to mediate? The role of Germany, a truly neutral country, was decisive in the resolution of the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah," says a heavy-hearted Hamza, a university professor.
This morning another UN school, in Beit Lahiya, North of the Gaza Strip, was hit full in the middle by Israeli tanks. There were 14 injured and two little brothers, Bilal and Mohammed Al-Ashqar, aged 5 and 7, were killed. Their mother survived, but she lost both her legs. Along with 42 thousand others, they had sought shelter in the school after Israel had ordered them to evacuate their homes. They believed they'd be safe there, just like the 43 refugees exterminated last 6th January in the UNRWA school massacre in Jabilia. "These two children were without a doubt innocent, just as there isn't the shadow of a doubt that they're now dead", said UN chief in Gaza, John Ging, who tirelessly, albeit in vain, continues to report the war crimes committed by the Israeli soldiers. But the Israeli Generals are still preparing themselves to make the "mission accomplished" announcement to the world.

I went back to what's left of Tal el Hawa hospital, the part still standing after the building was set on fire by the Israelis. It has now started operating as a first aid unit and logistical base for ambulances again. They continue to extract casualties trapped for days under the rubble left around its seriously damaged buildings. Shifa hospital hosts a child called Suhaib Suliman, the only survivor in a family of 25, all of whom are dead. A young girl, Hadil Samony, lost 11 relatives. She'll have no one to take care of her after being discharged from hospital. Excuse me, can someone please explain what kind of mission this is? Straight from collective punishment to mass slaughter.

On his blog, a frustrated Arab called Raja Chemayel sums it all up as follows: "Take a strip of land about 40 km long and only... 5 km wide. Call it Gaza. Then cram in one million four hundred inhabitants. After that surround it by the sea in the West, Egypt with Mubarak in the South, Israel in the North, and dub it "The land of terrorists". After that, declare war against it and invade it with 232 tanks, 687 armoured vehicles, 43 airports for fighter jets, 105 war helicopters, 221 units of ground artillery, 349 mortars, 3 spy satellites, 64 informers, 12 spies and 8,000 assault troops. Then call all of this "Israel defending itself". After that, stop for a minute and state that you will "avoid hitting the civilian population" and call yourself the only democracy in action. Whichever way you look at it, it'll be a miracle to avoid those civilians, or it could simply be a lie, since it's quite simply impossible to avoid hitting them! But once again, just call it "Israel defending itself." Now comes the question: what would happen if the invader turned out to be a liar? What would happen to those unarmed civilians?? With such firepower how could even Mother Theresa, or Mickey Mouse avoid hitting all those civilians, considering the equation/situation/scenario? Call it whatever you like, but Israel knew damn well about those unarmed people out there. It was Israel itself that had put them there! So, go ahead and call it a genocide! It's much more credible."

Aside from a couple of brutally assassinated leaders, Hamas hasn't suffered from this attack, and certainly hasn't lost its popularity - if anything, they've gained some more. Once in a while it would be wise to remember that Hamas aren't a bunch of terrorists, nor a political party, but a movement, and as such they're impossible to neutralise with a storm of cluster bombs. When I ask Palestinians for their opinions on the real agenda behind this brutal massacre, many say it has everything to do with the Israeli elections in February. They make propaganda using their heads, it's always been like this on the eve of all the elections. One head, one vote. Just one month ago, Netanyahu was forecast as the sure winner, but he's now expected to lose when competing with the blood-shot eyes of Olmert and Livni. Avigdor Lieberman is the leader of Yisrael Beitenu, the country's fifth political force, but the polls show that they are gaining consensus after statements like the following: "Gaza ought to be erased from the map with a nuclear bomb, the way the Americans did with Hiroshima and Nagasaki." Yesterday Israeli writer Abraham Yehoshua stated to Haaretz: "We kill their children today to save many more tomorrow". I'm afraid that now, his "Journey to the End of the Millennium" has ended up on board a tank in front of a hospital in flames. Voltaire invited us to respect all opinions. I would suggest to stop sewing the seeds of hatred, which are then sprinkled with blood and feed into a terminal resentment.

Stay human

Vittorio Arrigoni

Friday, January 23, 2009

How to remove manually-installed plasma widgets

Since it was hard form me to find this on the net, I thought that was worth to spread the knowledge.

I did only the 50% I missed the .desktop file in ~/.kde4/share/kde4/services/

To remove non working widgets in the widget list, remove the related desktop files in:

~/.kde4/share/kde4/services/ (Desktop File)
~/.kde4/share/apps/plasma/plasmoids/ (Widget Package)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Change can happen



My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Al Nakba 2009

Hi all,
today too I'm here to make my part to spread the real news from the Gaza Strip attack to make people aware of the actual humanitarian tragedy that is happening there.

This is another post and luckily also an Italia newspaper story by Vittorio Arrigoni, the last Italian in Gaza.

The piece was translated and reported by the Free Gaza Movement, on their website you can find a comprehensive coverage of the situation.


They parade in fear, their eyes looking upwards, surrendering to the sky showering terror and death upon them, fearing the earth that keeps shaking under every step they take, opening craters where there were houses, schools, universities, markets, hospitals, and burying their lives within them forever. I've seen caravans of desperate Palestinians evacuate Jabalia, Beit Hanoun and all the refugee camps in Gaza, crowding the United Nations' schools like earthquake survivors, like victims of a tsunami which is eating into the Gaza Strip day by day, along with its civilian population, without pity or compliance with human rights and the Geneva Conventions. Most of all, without a single Western government stirring a finger to stop this massacre, or sending medical staff out here, or stopping the genocide that Israel is smearing its hands with in these hours.

The indiscriminate attacks against the hospitals and medical staff continue. Yesterday, after having left the Al Auda hospital in Jabalia, I received a call from Alberto, a Spanish colleague at the ISM - a bomb had been dropped there and Abu Mohammed, a nurse, had been seriously injured to his head. Just moments before, in front of a café, I'd been listening to his stories of the heroic deeds of Communist Abu Mohammed's heroes, the leaders of the Popular Front: George Habbash, Abu Ali Mustafa, Ahmad Al Sadat. His eyes lit up when he heard that the first notions of what Palestine and its immense tragedy were, had been passed onto me by my parents, both Communists through and through. By my mother, a "raissa", or Mayor of a town in Northern Italy. He asked me who had been the truly revolutionary leaders of the Italian left from the past, and I said Antonio Gramsci. For those of today I took my time, telling him I'd have replied to that question today. But Abu Mohammed now lies in a coma, in the same hospital where he works. He spared himself my disappointing reply.

Towards midnight I received another call, from Eva this time - the building she was in was under attack. I know that building well, in the centre of Gaza City. I've spent a night there with some Palestinian photojournalist friends of mine. They try to capture through images and words something of the unnatural catastrophe we're enduring in the last ten days. Reuters, Fox News, Russia Today and many, many other local or foreign agencies were under fire by seven rockets shot by an Israeli helicopter. They managed to evacuate everyone on time before anyone was seriously injured - all those cameramen, photographers, reporters - all Palestinian, considering Israel won't allow any international journalists to set foot in Gaza. There are no "strategic" targets around that building, nor a resistance fighting off the deadly armoured Israeli vehicles, which can be found a way away towards the North. Clearly, someone in Tel Aviv cannot bear the images of the massacres of civilians clashing with the ones that the Israeli officers' briefings provide while offering the mercenary journalists their aperitif. Through these press conferences they're declaring to the world that the bombs' targets are only the Hamas terrorists, not those atrociously mutilated children we pull out of the rubble every day.

At Zetun, about ten kilometres from Jabalia, a bombed building crumbled over a family, leaving about ten victims. The ambulances had to wait several hours before they could reach the spot, as the military persist in shooting at us. They shoot at ambulances and bomb hospitals. A few days ago, while I was on the air with a well-known Milanese radio station, an Israeli "pacifist" clearly spelt out to me that this was a war where both sides used all the weapons at their disposal. I thus invite Israel to drop one of its many atomic bombs upon us, those they keep secretly stashed away, defying all treaties against nuclear proliferation. Why not just drop that decisive bomb of theirs and put an end to the inhuman agony of thousands of bodies, lying in tatters in the overcrowded hospital wards I visited?

I took some black and white photos yesterday, the caravans of mule-drawn carts, overloaded beyond belief with children waving white drapes pointing skywards, their faces pale and terrified. Looking through those snaps of fleeing refugees today, I felt shivers down my spine. If they could only be superimposed with those witnessing the Nakba of 1948, the Palestinian catastrophe, they would be a perfect mirror image of them. The cowardly passiveness of self-styled democratic states and governments are responsible for a new catastrophe in full swing right now, a new Nakba, a brand new ethnic cleansing befalling the Palestinian population.

Until a few moments ago we counted 650 dead, 153 murdered children, in addition to 3,000 injured, and innumerable missing. The number of civilian deaths in Israel has thankfully stopped at 4. But after this afternoon the death toll on the Palestinian side requires an urgent recount since the Israeli Army has started attacking the United Nations schools. The very same that had been offering shelter to the thousands evacuated under threat of an imminent attack. They chased them off the refugee camps, the villages, only to collect them all in one place, an easier target. Three schools were attacked today, the last being at Al Fakhura, in Jabalia, which was hit full on its head. Over 80 dead. In a heartbeat, men, women, elderly people and children were wiped away, believing themselves to be safe within those blue-tinted walls adorned with a UN logo. The other 20 UN schools are now shaking in fear. There's no way out anywhere in the Gaza Strip. This isn't Lebanon, where the civilians in the Southern villages targeted by the Israeli bombs could flee to the North, or to Syria or Jordan. From one enormous open-air prison, the Gaza Strip has become a deadly trap. We look at one another in bewilderment and ask ourselves whether the UN Security Council will finally unanimously condemn these attacks after their own schools have been targeted. Someone out there has really decided to turn this place into a desert, and then call it peace.

A long night on the ambulances awaits us now, even after dawn has become an illusion around here. Antenna towers for our mobile phones all along the Strip have been destroyed and we've stopped relying on them. I hope I may one day be able to see all the friends I can no longer contact, but I'm under no illusions. Everyone bar none in Gaza is a walking target.

The Italian Consulate has just contacted me, saying that tomorrow they shall evacuate a fellow Italian, an elderly nun who'd lived near the Catholic church in Gaza for the last twenty years, and had by now been adopted by the Palestinians in the Strip. The consul gently urged me to seize this last opportunity and escape this hell with the nun. I thanked him for the offer, but I'm not moving from here - I just can't. For the sake of the losses we endured, before being Italian, Spanish, British or Australian, right now we are all Palestinian. If only we could do that for just one minute a day, the way we were all Jewish during the Holocaust, I think we would have been spared this entire massacre.

Stay human

Vittorio Arrigoni


(Translated from Italian by Daniela Filippin)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

GAZA: everything is stuck on the international front

... are we really so coward to call it "war"?

Also tonight I cannot stand from write the last news from Vittorio Arrigoni, the la Italian in Gaza during this true masked terroristic operation that but the real enemys of Hamas is aiming volutarly innocent civilians, women, children and is demolishing on purpose any building mosques, schools, civilian houses or hospitals full of casualities.
«"To the innocent people of Gaza, our war is not against you but against Hamas, if they don't stop to launch rockets you will be in danger". It is the transcript or a recording that is possible to hear in these hours pulling up the receiver of every phone in Gaza. Israeli Army is broadcasting this message deceiving that the palestinians don't have eyes and ears. Eyes to see bombs hitting almost exclusively civilian targets, as mosques (15, the last one was the Omar Bin Abd Al Azeez in Beit Hanoun), schools, universities, markets, hospitals. Ears not to hear the screams of pain and terror of the children, innocent victims and nevertheless innocent victims of every bombing. According to hospital sources, in the momento when I'm writing 120 are the minors killed under the bombs, 548 the total dead, more thant 2700 the injured, dozens and dozens the missing.

Two days ago in the red half moon hospital in Jabalia's refugee camp, there the night haven't never fell down. From the sky the Apache helicopters dropped flashing bombs continously, that we weren't aware of a kind of difference from sunset to dawn.
The repeated cannon shootings from a tank placed less than a kilometer from the hospital damaged seriously the walls of the building, but we resisted till next morning. Around 10.00AM, bombs fell on the open field near the building, all around machine gun shooting, and for the red half moon doctors that was a message to us, sudden evacuation, or we would have been killed. We transfered the injured in other hospital infrastructures and now the operative base for the ambulances is on Al Nady road, the medical staff sits on the sidewalks waiting for the calls, that are following one another.

For the first time from Israeli attack I saw in the hospital some corpses of palestinian resistance. A tiny number in proportion with the hundreds of the civilian victims, that after the ground invasion are rising exponentially.
After Jabalia mosque attack, at the same time with the tanks entering, that made 11 victims and about 50 injured, for all the saturday night escorting the ambulances, we were aware of the tremendous destrctive power of the tanks projectiles, even if we didn't feel the absence on even more destructions on previous days. In Bet Hanoun a family was hit by one of this deadly shot, they were in their home just warming up themself beside a tiny wood stove. We took 15 injured, 4 were in desperate conditions.
After that, around half past 3 AM we answered to a call, but we arrived too late: in front of an house door three women in tears, gave us in the arms a little 4 years old girl in a white blanket, that was her shroud and she was already icy-cold.
A further family was hit at full, this time by the aviation, in Jabalia, two adults got bomb fragments inside their body. Their two sons had light wounds, but as they were shouting and crying it was evident the psycologic trauma they were living, something that will mark them for their whole life, far more than a slash on their cheeks. Even if nobody is remembering to take them into account, thousands are the children affected by serious mental illness caused by the terror of the contious bombing, or even worse, by the sight of their parents or brothers and sisters torn into pieces.

The crimes Israeli is committing in these hours are well beyond the limits of immagination.
The military don't let us go to take care of the survivors of this huge artificial catastrophe.
When the injured people are near Israeli tanks which attacked them, we are not allowed to get near with our red half moon ambulances because soldiers begin to shoot at us.
We would need the escort of even an ambulance from the red cross, and of their coordination with the Israeli military heads, before to run to save lives.
Try to imagine how much time would need a procedure like that, that's for sure a death sentence for the injured needing for transfusions and emergency treatments.
Even more the red cross has his casualities to think about, and could not be available at every call from us. Then we must every time in a "safe" area, (this is like a "joke" here in Gaza) waiting for the relatives to bring us the dying people, often on their very backs. Like this happened about at 5.30AM this morning, we shutdown the ambulance's engine in the middle of a road cross and told by phone our position to a relative of the injured people there. After about ten minutes of frustrating waiting, when someone had already decided to switch on the engine to go to another call, we saw around the corner coming to us, slowly, a little cart full of people, pulled by a mule. A couple with their two little sons. The best representation of this "non-war". This is not a war because there aren't two armies fighting on a front, this is a siege from an Air Force, a Navy and now even from the Infantry that are ones of the most powerful in the world, and for sure the most advanced in means of hi-tech military equipment. They attacked a miserable strip of land of 360 square kilometers, where the population is moving still thanks to mules and where there is a resistance army that has the only strenght of being ready for its own martyrdom. When the little cart was enough near to us we get to meet them, and with horror we discovers its terrific load. A little child laid down with his head broken, his eyes were literally outside his head, moving on his face like the crabs ones. We took him and he was already breathing. His brother intead had his body torn, we could see and count his white rids beyond his torn flesh pieces. His mother held his hands on that "opened" body, as she was trying to fix what her love could generate and what the anonymous hatred of a soldiera, obeying strictly to sadistic orders, destroyed forever.
I must denounce a further crime, and our further personal mourning. Israeli army is going on aiming at the ambulances. After the doctor and the nurses dead in Jabalia 4 days ago, yesterday was the turn of our friend Arafa Abed Al Dayem, he was 35 and leaves 4 sons. About at 8.30AM yesterday morning we got a call from Gaza City, two civilians where shot machine gun fire from a tank, one of our ambulances went there. Arafa and a male nurse took the two injured in the ambulance, closed the doors ready to start the run for the hospital, an then they were hit at full by a tank shot. The hit beheaded one of the injured, and killed our friend, Nader the nurse survived but now is in the same hospital where he works. Arafa, primary school teacher, offerd himself as paramedic volunteer when were no professionals enogh. We are all under a death rain, and no one called him. Araf went at the hospital by himself, and was working knowing the danger he was dealing with, because he believed that beyond his family there were other human beings to defend and to take care of.
We miss his jokes, his irresistible and contagious sense of humour that gladden the hospital even his its darkest hours when the dead are more than the injured and everyone feel himself guilty not to have done something to save them, pressed as we are by an inesorable force: the dead machine of Israeli military.
Someone must stop this tragedy, I saw things in these days, heard thunders, smelled awful odors, that if I will have descendants one day, I won't have the courage to tell them. Is there anybody out there? The desolation to feel isolated and abandoned to our doom, is as the view of a Gaza district after a huge raid campaing. On Saturday evening they passed me on the phone Milan's place in protest, I passed the phone as well to the heroic doctors and nurses we are working with, I saw them take heart for a moment. The prostest all over the world demonstrate that still exists someone to believe in, but the protests aren't enough big to make the needed pressure in order that the western governments will force Israel to assume its responsabilities as criminal of war and against humanity.
Many are the terrified pregnant women that in these hours are giving life to their sons in premature births.I personally was present at three births. One of these women, at the seven months, gave birth to a small child called Ahmed. Riding with her on board ambulance heading Auda hospital leaving behing us in the ambulance mirrors the scene of death and destruction where just before we were taking corpses, I thought for a moment that this life just at its bloom could be a wish for a future of peace and hope.
Illussion dissolved witht the first rocket that fell apart our ambulance when we were getting back from Auda to Jabalia center. These brave mothers are sadly giving birth to creatures that took as the first light in their eyes no more than the military green of the tanks and jeeps, and the intermittent flashes that come just before the loud thunders from the explosions. What are could be the life expectations of these children that are feeling all this suffering and this destructions from the very first seconds of their life?
Let's remain humans
Vik»

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

ESMO_AOCS_design_model

Well,
today I was quite busy beginning the construction of AOCS design model for ESMO reviewing and implementing all the variables I designed and defined in the Model Specification Document before Christmas.

I also chose which variables and features to implement in the design model and what is better to discard in this phase and leave for the next trimmed development that will see the completion of the units ready for the complete ESMO simulator.

Finally the work is starting to give some concrete result and the Simulink blocks for SSR, GYR and AOCS units are taking shape.

When everything will be finished we will start the tests on our design simulator to tune the design and in the meantime we will continue adding features and capabilities and filling what now are "dead connections" between the blocks and inside the subsystems.

With the completion of all the required capabilities and interfaces for our units' blocks we will be able to deliver our final work for the simulator and fill the System Level Requirements and the Units Requirements while editing a new and more detailed version of our design documents (Design Definition Document and Design Justification Document).

It's a hard task to accomplish in only two weeks but today I began well ;-)

Here you are the scheme of what will be the simplified design model:

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year and "New Posting Policy" (hopefully!)

Hi all,
2009 has just begun... unfortunately the situation in Gaza is worse and worse :-(

As for me, today I left Italy coming back in The Netherlands for the last two weeks of my internship @ ESTEC as Team Coordinator for ESMO (European Student Moon Orbiter) Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS).

Since last year I had very few time to post as you can easily notice browsing the blog archive... I decided to change my "posting policy". I will post something even if will be a very short mood or state of mind... or simply a link I found interesting for me...

In this way I hope to post more and to revive the blog! ;-)

We'll see what will happen in the end!

see ya!

Andy