After ubuntu upgrade, don’t forget to update your nvidia driver

Interestingly, ubuntu forgets the fact that you chose to use the proprietary Nvidia driver! After upgrade (of release) please go to settings and update the driver!

Amplify’d from

  • Please note There are two types of drivers that we can use: Open Source and Proprietary drivers. Open Source drivers have been created by the Linux community to function with certain video cards, and most video cards have an Open Source driver available. In addition, older hardware is typically better supported by Open Source drivers. In some cases, there is no proprietary driver for the graphics card (such as non-HD Radeons) and installing such a driver will only stop the Open Source driver from functioning correctly.




Editing grub2 for Ubuntu 10.2 to get over ctrl-alt-f1 (or ctrl alt f2-f6) issues in Ubuntu

This turns out to be much more painful than grub (v1) which had a simple menu.lst file. The new grub2 autoupdates based on kernel updates, which is great, but makes it a pain to edit basic configuration.

In my case I was attempting to change the default splash in an attempt to correct a framebuffer problem causing my ctrl-alt-f1 to not work. I went and updated the grub.cnf (equal to menu.lst file in grub1) file, but soon realized that it will be overwritten.

Reading further revealed that the trick is to update the /etc/default/grub file instead. Thereafter one has to run the update-grub command

So much to get ctrl-alt-f1 to get me a terminal!

(this applies to 10.2 atleast)

Amplify’d from

  • No /boot/grub/menu.lst. It has been replaced by /boot/grub/grub.cfg.


  • The primary configuration file for changing menu display settings is /etc/default/grub.

  • No changes made in the configuration files will take effect until the update-grub command is also run.



Enabling XML Tools Plugin for Notepad ++ plus plus

XML is pervasive these days. Notepad++ is delightful. How to make the best of both?

Use XML Tools, the XML oriented plugin set for Notepad++. Installing it can be a bit of a pain (not too much though). Here are the quick steps:

  1. Download from the Notepad++ Plugins page (
  2. Close and start Notepad ++ (if you had it open) or just start it.
  3. Drop the dll file into the plugins directory (look where you installed Notepad++ most probably C:\Program Files\Notepad++)
  4. Now you should see XML Tools showup under the Plugins menu. It will however complain saying ext_libs are required. It will also provide links to download them. One option is from the author’s website, another is from sourceforge. I preferred the author’s site.
  5. Download,,, from the authors website.
  6. Go into the bin folder of each of these zip extracts and pickup the dll. Drop them in the root directory of Notepad++ (a level above plugins)
  7. You should be all set to rock!

Reverse Architecture

A classic case of how one thought can lead to another, ultimately taking so much longer to focus!

It all started with a thought on how google contacts module works (within gmail). If one were to receive an email from abc it would show up as exactly that in the inbox. Unlike behaviour of a phone, the email id is not replaced by name if you go and add this email as a contact in your contacts book. Wierd.

Next thought: What does this imply?


  • This simply implies that the “batch jobs” in the gmail domain do not continuously run
  • Contact names are just static text as opposed to dynamic nodes
  • A search on names vs search on any other text is the same!?
  • The contact database is not a index like “labels”


Next thought: What is the name of the process of what I just did ?

Looked like I started uncovering the “design”. Did not uncover the “code/programming” structure, so it is NOT reverse engineering per se. Probably reverse architecture.

Next thought: is there something(a field of study) pre-existing called reverse engineering?

Looks like there is! Atleast some have already thought of it (not surprisingly). I was hoping to find a lot more links on hacking related to reverse architecture, but interestingly didn’t. This signals that the IT Security community classifies (rather incorrectly) Reverse Architecture to fall under Reverse Engineering. Maybe I should take the cause up and spread the love of RA-Reverse Architecture around. Ah, one of the myriad things I would have done with my 72 hr days.

As this topic revolves around design patterns and reverse design patterns it is rather interesting. Some links:

CiteSeer Papers on Reverse Architecture
Experience with Reverse Architecture to aid understanding

Next Thought: Interestingly, no wikipedia article on RA!

Let me start one!
Just did-

Now where was I? What was I doing… Back to work I go