萬法唯心 – Impermanence

Ubuntu 9.04

May 8, 2009 8:28 pm

Just got to try out the new Ubuntu 9.04. Download the iso and burnt it to a CD, loaded it up and install it dual boot with XP on my laptop (Toshiba Tecra-S1). No problem at all, worked out of the box! If I’m installing Windows, the first thing I will need to do is to download all the security updates, then install a Anti-Virus software then find all the missing drivers. You don’t have to do any of these for Linux, no need to install any drivers (in my case), no tweaking, even WiFi works! If you don’t mind not having MS Office (which I don’t really use anymore) and not being able to play many games, you should give Ubuntu a go. It’s so simple and it’s open source too :).

Sony Reader eBook – Chinese

January 30, 2009 4:49 pm

There aren’t many eBook readers to choose from in the UK that comes with e-Ink 2 display and Chinese support, and many like the Sony PRS-505 that doesn’t support Chinese ebooks. Since it’s a Linux based device like many others people have made patches to enable Chinese on this reader. Thanks to them you can add Chinese support to your eBook reader! Just google “PRS-505 中文” and you will find there are at least 3 methods out there now that will allow you to do that, some require flashing the reader and some doesn’t. I went for the one which require flashing the device since I don’t have to activate the patch everytime you reboot, but it’s safer not to have to flash the reader!

This eBook reader is quite ideal if you have a lot of ebooks ready to be put on. This works out quite well for me because all the Buddhist materials/books are for freely available online! There are many websites for Buddhist books and sutras, here is one that I often visit:

To read them on your ebook, you can either upload them to the reader as plain text or use a multi-platform software called “Calibre” to convert your (html) files into .lrf or .epub. Here is how I convert the ebooks.

  1. Pick a book you want to convert, e.g. 淨土十疑論
  2. In your browser, save page as html only
  3. Drag this html file into Calibre and click convert
  4. Upload to the ebook

Problems that I experienced:

  • Automatic table of content creation in Calibre – It will created the table of content but failing to link it to the right page! But it’s good enough!
  • Reader freeze on connecting USB to computer – need to reset to solve this problem, I believe it’s a problem with the Chinese interface that I’m using which is probably solved by now. But my advice is to use the original English interface!

Here are some photos of the eBook.

Sony eBook Chinese Sony eBook Chinese

勸化徑路修行頌

December 18, 2008 10:46 am

漸漸雞皮鶴髮  看看行步龍鍾
假饒金玉滿堂  豈免衰殘病苦
任汝千般快樂  無常終是到來
唯有徑路修行  但念阿彌陀佛

《勸化偈》- 善導大師

LG Renoir – KC910

November 4, 2008 11:38 pm

My contract with Three UK ended 2 months ago, since I’m still quite happy with my K800i that I got 2 years ago, I thought I will just continue with the contract as what they’re charging me is quite reasonable (£10 per month). Last Sunday, they called me and asked if I want to upgrade my mobile, at the end I decided to get the LG Renoir. I surprised myself this time as I didn’t read any reviews before getting it, but since I am not intended to keep this phone for myself and they are charging me a one off £40 for it, I decided to get it.

The phone arrived today, it was packed in a very nice and a relatively small box, which is good because nowadays products tends to come with excessive packaging. My first thought was that this looks so much like the iPhone! I’m impressed by the phone, and here are some of the features that I like:

  • Wi-Fi – Can do without having a computer at home if all we need is checking email and some browsing…
  • GPS – Very useful for travelling especially when we are driving (not yet supported)
  • 8MP Camera – Since I’m using my K800i as my camera, this would be nice
  • 8GB SD card – Surprisingly it comes with that much memory, I can’t believe memory is getting so cheap nowadays!
  • Touch screen – I find touch screen a clever invention for human to interact with computers/machine, much more user friendly when implemented well.

There are also something that I think it can improve on:

  • GPS – only for geotagging at the moment, no software support for navigation
  • Speed – The interface can be slow at times
  • Touch screen – not quite sensitive enough, sometimes I’ve push it!
  • Application – As the phone is still quite new, many are not supported yet. The good thing is, most of the points mentioned here can be fixed in the next firmware.

All these features used to be what I want in a mobile, integrating everything that I need into one! It’s all nice to have, but none of these are necessary!

The world has changed so much, and our wanting never ends, so does our suffering. Often, we want something so much, and after much hard work, when we get it, how do we feel? Satisfy? Happy? May be for a moment, a very short moment! This phone remind me again that these materialistic things really doesn’t bring happiness, peace nor make us feel contented, all these are impermanence! After getting the object that we long wanted, moment later we often move on to wanting the next object, our wanting never ends! You may not agree with me, but try to ask yourself if these materialistic things give you long lasting happiness or does these wantings bring endless suffering.

On Sunday, I went to Amaravati Buddhist Monastery to join their Kathina ceremony this year. This is my third time attending this ceremony, the first time was in 2006. One of the points that I remember from the talk after the ceremony is that advertisements are decided to make us feel discontented! I found this very true myself, many advertisements often try to make us want more, make us feel unsatisfied and a feeling of lacking something, suggesting that buying their product would satisfy us.

Adverts are everywhere nowadays, even if we don’t watch TV, they are on websites, bus stops, train stations, you name it. Often we are not aware of what they are doing to us, no wonder why many of us always feel unsatisfy and wanting more all the time! I’m not blaming the companies for advertising here, it comes down to supply and demand again. If there is no demand, why would they advertise anymore. It’s ourself who is reasonable to watch our mind, as soon as we start blaming others, we are not doing ourself any good. I will share a quote from the Dhammapada (法句經):

 As a well covered house is not penetrated by a rain,  thus a well developed mind is not penetrated by passion.

如盖屋不密,必为雨漏浸,如是不修心,贪欲必漏入。

I still have a great interest in technology and it’s one of the things that I still do get affected by. I’ve to admit that I do like this phone, but I must watch my mind from wanting it! So I’ve decided to keep to my K800i as long as it lasts and not keeping the LG Renoir for myself. I still have much to work on!

Ubuntu 8.10

November 3, 2008 9:25 pm

Tried out Ubuntu’s latest version (8.10 – The Intrepid Ibex) over the weekend on a laptop and a old Dell desktop, both of them works without any problem. The big improvement for my laptop (Toshiba Tecra-S1) that I noticed is the xorg settings in gnome for external monitors. I didn’t need to go and change the xorg.conf manually this time, I only need to set it from the GUI, restart and everything works. It even works on a 22″ HD ready monitor (LG 22LS4D) displaying the correct resoluation (1920×1080) which didn’t work with Ubuntu 7.10 nor 8.04. I would recommend trying this version if xorg hasn’t been working properly for you in previous version.

Another additional feature that I found interesting is that it allow auto login, so you no longer have to type in your username and password on startup. The default timeout for this auto login is 10 seconds, which I can see is quite handy if you are using it solely at home as a desktop but obvious the draw back is that the system is less secure if auto login used. Haven’t found any problem with it yet, another great release, thanks to everyone who worked on this!

Snow in Bracknell

October 29, 2008 10:15 pm