Thanks to hitXP for sharing this valuable knowledge.
Recently Ubuntu came out with its newest version 11.04 code named Natty Narwhal, and after upgrading my earlier 10.10 version Maverick to this new Version of Ubuntu, I faced my first real issue with Ubuntu in so many years – My USB Wireless Internet Connection speed had almost come to a standstill like a slow dial up connection after upgrading Ubuntu to 11.04! The connection was n times weaker than Windows based systems running on same wireless connection. Many a times it even simply dropped Internet connections.
And I was quite sure that the Upgrade to 11.04 was causing this issue, and that too only with my wireless connection. That was because, the upgrade which I downloaded which was more than a GB I guess was relatively very quick over my wireless connection and happened within a couple of hours. And when the wireless became dead slow after the upgrade, I did a check on the same connection using a normal Ethernet connection (a wirefull connection) and the speed with Ethernet was good as usual, only the wireless sucked.
I searched the entire Ubuntu documentation and forums, only to see that most people had the same problem after their upgrades, but none of the solutions posted there worked – not at least for me. I was going mad with my slow wireless Internet connection when I finally found this thread which said that it was the new Power Management settings in Ubuntu that were causing less power to be supplied to the wireless Interent device there by considerably slowing down the Internet speed in many wireless devices!
And the solution? Well, that is the reason I posted this off-topic post. The solution is to run the following command to turn off Power Management by Ubuntu to your wireless device, and instantly after running this command my wireless Internet gained Rocket speed!
Just open a Terminal window in Ubuntu and type
This will list the available wireless interfaces in your system. Now check out your wireless device name here, usually it will be wlan0
Now type the command
sudo iwconfig wlan0 power off
What this essentially does is switch off the power management by Ubuntu for your wireless device. That’s it, and now trying to download a file or watching a youtube video, and you will see that your wireless Internet connection is now back to top speed.
But this is only a temporary solution, because the next time your operating system starts, you will have to run this command again. So we actually need a permanent solution to forever prevent Ubuntu from handling the power management of our wireless device. How to get that done?
All we need to do is edit the file at the path /etc/pm/power.d/wireless – if this file or path does not exist, then you need to create it.
So cd to the directory /etc/pm/power.d and if this directory structure is not there then you need to create it using mkdir.
The create or edit the file called wireless in this folder using the following command in a terminal window
sudo gedit /etc/pm/power.d/wireless
The above command opens the wireless file for editing as a root user.
In this file add the following lines and save the file and exit. That’s it.
/sbin/iwconfig wlan0 power off
The above lines tell Ubuntu not to manage the power supply to the wlan0 wireless device. So even after you restart your system, Ubuntu will not control the power supply of your USB wireless device, and there you are your wireless internet speed back to normal forever or at least till you face another issue.
Even though my wireless Internet connection gained back a significant amount of its original speed after applying the above fix, it still was not running at its peak speed and I continued to search for other solutions to bring back my wireless internet connection to full speed. And finally the below additional fix brought back my wireless connection to its top speed on par with my windows system. So here goes the solution.
There is a bug in the Debian Avahi daemon in Ubuntu. And to resolve this you need to edit the following file /etc/nsswitch.conf as follows.
Type the following in the command line
sudo gedit /etc/nsswitch.conf
This will open the nsswitch.conf file in the text editor. Then simply change the following line
hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4
to the below line and save the file.
hosts: files dns
That is it. Just reset your Internet connection or probably restart your system and your wireless connection should be back on top speed. This worked for me like a charm.
The stove fluttered to life for merely a second before going out and I understood that turning on the heater would be a waste of time. The equation was simple – no gas, no heat.
I woke up this morning and found out that, for the fourth consecutive day, there was no gas at home – none whatsoever. The stove fluttered to life for merely a second before going out and I understood that turning on the heater would be a waste of time. The equation was simple – no gas, no heat.
I would have to resign myself to a cup of tea.
I knew that as long as we have our electric kettle and chai (tea) – the answer to all Pakistani problems – we would survive.
The key word here is electric, of course.
There was no electricity either.
And this wasn’t your average run-of-the-mill single hour load shedding, oh no; there had not been the merest flicker of power for hours.
My parents had already left the house, breakfast-less, choosing rather to cast themselves onto the mercy of the break rooms at their respective work-places than on the government. My grandmother was rapidly approaching the stage of ‘chai-withdrawal’; the stage which heralds death if not addressed quickly.
We have a camping stove, the kind that works on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders and is so heavily featured in the news for its tendency to explode. A relative had lent it to us after hearing of our gasless plight and the kind of health and safety instructions they gave us was as if we were about to operate a grenade.
We stared at the squat blue thing, the maid and I.
“Baji…” she said, tentatively, “Maybe we can just get lunch from the corner sh…”
“No, no.” I replied.
It was only a metal container of flammable gas at high pressure after all. And my own chai-withdrawal was slowly setting in.
After several false starts and a burnt oven mitt, the camping stove was emitting a beautiful, blue flame and humming in an ominous way – but at least there was tea. We feasted over it and the crumbs at the bottom to an almost empty packet of rusk. A week of ‘gasless-ness’ meant that our supplies of ready-to-eat edibles had run low.
This is the first time for me, in living memory, that we have had no gas at all. For four days we had battled some of the most extreme winter weather on record, aided by nothing but increasing layers of clothing. And it is not just where we live. People everywhere in Lahore, from Defence to Mughalpura, were complaining of this shortage. And the most frightening thing was that no one – absolutely no one – seemed to care.
The news and all of our blessed talk shows were full of nothing but a litany of incomprehensible rubbish; the treason trial of a former dictator, the remarks of a dual national and a drivel about the kind of death it takes to become a martyr.
All of this was utterly useless to the common man.
If I froze to death, would I be a martyr?
Or if I starved, would I care if a dictator died of the hangman’s noose or of a heart failure?
I am not freezing (well, not to death anyway) and I am not starving, and I still find that I care about neither. I care more about the fact that salaries are not keeping up with the prices of food and utilities – and even if I did have the money, there would be no utilities to pay for.
The public could not possibly be so obsessed with upholding the constitution in its present state?
Who watches all these talk shows anyway?
What does all this ‘exposing of the truth’, ‘putting things on record’ and ‘interviewing the public’ accomplish?
A free judiciary has not resulted in any justice for anyone. And the free media is more shackled by the race for ratings than any censorship laws a government could come up with.
Surely all of this was meant to make lives better for the masses – was it not?
Maybe I’m not doing it right.
Maybe the shouting anchorpersons need to be endured at a specific volume and for several hours a day for them to have the desired effect. Maybe somewhere, all this democracy is slowly rebuilding something and in five, or ten, or maybe a hundred years, we will see the result of all our liberty.
Or maybe I’m the wrong demographic.
I am only middle class. What would I know about prosperity or moving forward when I waste so much time over the price of potatoes?
Talk shows are best enjoyed in a well heated room after all, with snacks of course.
How silly of me to question such intellectuals discussions with my petty issues of food and utilities.
Sometimes it makes me wonder if democracy was ever made for the people at all.
This post was originally published here.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,400 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
She just didn’t feel like listening to what her family members had to say.
While sitting on the breakfast table with her family, Warda constantly kept updating her Facebook news feed on her cell phone. With each bite, she scrolled down the screen. She cherished this little virtual corner of hers, away from her family members who sat right across the table, observing her drift into cyber oblivion.
Some of the posts made her smile, others transported her into deep thoughts. Throughout this period, she paid no attention to what was going on around her or what her parents were talking about.
This had become a routine for her.
She just didn’t feel like listening to what her family had to say. She already had so much going on in her virtual life that taking out time for their real life issues seemed uninteresting and, frankly, a waste of time. She could use the same time to update multiple statuses and follow her favourite band; a more constructive use of her time.
Once done with breakfast, she stepped out of the house and was on her way. As always, she forgot to say bye to her family. They had accepted the fact that their daughter was now a Facebook junkie, but they had no idea how to rehabilitate her addiction.
She was driving to university when her mobile phone beeped. It was a notification alert. She wanted to see what it was about, so she started rummaging through her handbag for it and finally found it. She would just take a quick glance. In the few seconds of her attention being diverted to her phone, she did not notice the huge truck coming her way.
The horns of the truck started blaring angrily. Yet, Warda, so deeply engrossed in her reading the notification, completely tuned out the desperate attempts of the horn indicating trouble. Before she could look back up, the truck rammed straight into her car, a loud explosion erupted from the collision and then there was complete darkness. The last thing she remembered seeing was the tiny red signal on a blue backdrop tab on her cell phone.
What seemed like only seconds later she jolted into consciousness. There were strange people all around her. Squinting through blood-crusted eye lashes she tried to see if she recognised someone. She couldn’t recognise anybody. She tried instead to listen out for familiar voices, but the people around her were talking in jargons. Someone yelled out but the voice faded and she drooped back into unconsciousness, all she heard was ‘something blood…’.
The loud voice of some man jerked her back to reality barking about some heart that needed to be stabilised while someone else turned a machine on right beside her head. The high pitch sound like a beeper gone flat filtered through her brain. ‘Someone turn that thing off’, she thought annoyed. During all the commotion around her she realised that she had never responded to her friend.
‘Where is my phone?’ she thought, dazed. ‘I have to respond to my friend.’
A second later, she felt an enormous ache burst through in her body and the sheer pain caused her to faint. A few minutes later, she opened her eyes to see what was going on around her, but the light above her head was too strong.
She started understanding where she was.
This wasn’t home.
This wasn’t university.
And then the pain subsided…
Images of her sitting with her family, watching a movie, flashed by her eyes. Her father was giving her driving tips, while she played Ludo with her siblings. She saw herself arguing with her brother, eating ice cream, pouring her heart out to her mother, going for outings and having tons of fun. The feel of rain on her skin and the brightening up her life again…
This time when she opened her eyes she saw her family. They had their back towards her and were gathered around someone else’s bed. She was so relieved to see them. She hadn’t realised how much she missed them until just now. All she wanted to do was throw her arms around them and feel the security of her family wrap itself around her.
But her mother didn’t seem happy at all. She was sobbing uncontrollably and her father seemed to have gone numb.
She moved towards them to nudge them and let them know that everything was going to be okay. But they didn’t budge. They stood there, ignoring her presence completely, crying.
‘Why are they crying?’ she thought, ‘I am right here!’
‘GUYS! I AM RIGHT HERE!’ she yelled out, but they didn’t seem to hear her.
She started to panic and decided to call out to her mother instead.
‘Ma will be able to hear me’, she thought, ‘Ma will be able to tell me that everything is alright.’
But Ma couldn’t hear her. Ma couldn’t feel her or see her or hold her or hug her.
She was no longer a part of their world anymore. She was in another world altogether, all alone.
“Why aren’t you listening to me Ma? Why are you ignoring me? I understand that it was my mistake. I shouldn’t have stopped spending time with you. Please forgive me! Just give me another chance so that I can set things right! I understand now that nothing can substitute the love and support of a family.”
But it was a vain attempt.
A strong illumination descended upon her and she was told by a strong voice that her time in this world had now ended.
She cried and pleaded for more time.
Just another minute, a few seconds only; she wanted to tell her family that she loved them with all her heart. She wanted to let them know that she was sorry and that she missed them already.
But it was too late now.
The author’s message
If we observe our lives today, we have become busier with our virtual lives than those we live in reality. We have forgotten that life is not just about social networking – there is more to it.
Though you have thousands of virtual friends on Facebook, when your time of need arrives, only your beloved ones turn up. So why do you prioritise these virtual relations over your real ones?
As a teenager, I feel that we are being trapped in a cage of social networks, with fewer of us communicating with each other face-to-face. With each passing day, the bars around the cage are steadily closing in with every new social media forum online.
For many of us, it is impossible to visualise life without social networking. We should keep in mind that there were people who lived without this technology before us and they managed to have friends, live an amazing life and live through their experiences in reality.
We need to live, not just exist.
We need to make sure that when our time comes to an end, we do not regret the way we have spent it so far.
We must understand that we have very limited time with our beloved ones.
Today, have dinner with your family, meet your friends, show gratitude and love your life.
And the next time you log onto Facebook, make sure it is after you have spent time with your family.
This post was originally published here.