Posted by: drkages | November 4, 2010

No man is an Island, No country a region

In light of recent events that have unfolded between Trinidad and Tobago and the other Caribbean countries after the passing hurricane Tomas of 2010 there are emerging issues which are of great concern for the future of the Caribbean region.

For those who may not be aware, but the Caribbean region has no alternative to integration (CSME) if it desires to be globally competitive. It’s a case of do or die. If we consider that many of the Asian-pacific islands, the European Union, African and many other country groupings around the world are coming together it should server as a wake-up call. The best example mentioned by Professor Norman Girvan (UWI) is Germany, a country whose GDP is larger than the combine GDPs of the Caribbean, who despite recent challenges has continued to push to strengthen integration within the EU. So many times I ask myself why do we figure we can make it on our own.

The statement “Trinidad must benefit” is not an incorrect statement, as the basic premise of diplomacy as we were taught revolves around this fact. And while it is also true that given the current domestic instability due to inflation and industrial action, the government of Trinidad and Tobago can barely find money to support its own internal needs far less to be willing to quickly shuffle money when ever the need arises.

The issue here is the attitude and the lack of consideration when speaking about and reacting to these issues. There is merit in suggesting that the previous administration had position itself as the “God-Father of the region” but at the end of the day we are still brothers and sisters in the Caribbean. Domestic violence in Jamaica affects St Lucia, rising levels of discomfort and frustration in St Vincent and the Grenadines affect Trinidad and Tobago. So in giving aid, in what ever form and in what ever quantity will result in some immediate benefits but will have a greater return in the long term stability of the region.

At this point I bring back the famous words from Eric Williams as he commented on the state of the Caribbean Federation where he says “1 less of 10 is 0.” I am fearful that the attitude and actions of this present administration in Trinidad and Tobago can have the greatest retarding impact on regional Integration, but I am hopeful that the Caribbean population can begin to see beyond their nose of nationalistic and politically blind allegiances and do something about it themselves.

Posted by: drkages | August 27, 2010

Oracle’s Java in Ubuntu

Most recently the Oracle java6-jdk and related packages have been removed from the multiverse repository of ubuntu from 10.10.

This may be because of the uncertainty surrounding oracle and the state and future of java. Which is understandable.

Some may argue that open-jdk is a sufficient alternative, however there is no doubt that it suffices for most cases however for those who may have need of packages only found in the official line, it may be useful to have it installed for development.

run the following command in terminal:
add-apt-repository “deb lucid partner”

Posted by: drkages | July 8, 2010

Guided Introduction to Distributed Version Control

Git and mercuial Logo

There are many articles on the internet which explain what distributed version control is and how it can be used in software projects. However many still leave readers (like myself) a little bit more confused. However in doing some research for an upcoming collaborative project, I came across this article which proved very helpful in understanding version control.

I must mention that the article is quite long and extensive. However it is divided into sections which makes it easier to read only what you require.

These sections are:

The person just starting to learn how to use Version Control should take the time to read as much as possible. However if time is an issue, Setting Up For Teamwork and Merging were the sections of most worth to me.

I particularly enjoyed this article because my IDE of preference is Netbeans and mercurial integrates well with Netbeans by default. However I have also found a plug-in to allow git to work in Netbeans if you so desire.

Hope it is also helpful to you.



Posted by: drkages | June 24, 2010

A dent in Reward Based Motivational Theory

There are many motivational theories that exist many which are explored in the study of Strategic Management and Organizational Behaviour at many universities, including the University of the West Indies. However many of the models have seen little success and even fewer adoption in giant software companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple.

Here is an interesting theory as to why not.

Posted by: drkages | June 16, 2010

Configure Tomcat6 in Netbeans 6.9 on Ubuntu 10.04

After searching countless forums I have finally successfully configured tomcat5 to work with netbeans 6.9 for Ubuntu 10.04.

1. Download Netbeans 6.9:

Download the full netbeans from the link Ntetbeans Download.  Then install the netbeans using the commands:

chmod +x

sudo ./

2. Download and install tomcat6 Server:

sudo apt-get install tomcat6 tomcat6-admin

3. Configure tomcat6

Using the above guide set the user name and the roles needed for proper running of tomcat. In my testing I created the user admin and gave it the role “manager” and “admin”

4.  Configure Netbeans

Tools->servers->Add Server->Tomcat 6

Restart tomcat to find the needed directory paths for the default installation of tomcat. Run the command – sudo /etc/init.d/tomcat6 restart

terminal restart tomcat

Here we see the default directory for tomcat6 on ubuntu is – /usr/share/tomcat6

However when we add this to netbeans we get an error message where the application is looking for a conf/server.xml file as below.

netbean tomcat directory error

when we check the different directories we find the following:

ls -l /usr/share/tomcat6
ls -l /etc/tomcat6/
ls -l /var/lib/tomcat6/

we note that the server.xml file is located in the /etc/tomcat6/ folder however we note that in the /var/lib/tomcat6/ there is a symbolic link “conf” which points to the /var/lib/tomcat6/ folder. So we copy the symbolic link to the /usr/share/tomcat6 folder using the command

sudo cp -ax /var/lib/tomcat6/conf /usr/share/tomcat6

then re-add the directory /usr/share/tomcat6

Hopefully that would make someone else life much easier.

***Update: I was notified that persons were having problem compiling applications if you do consider the following Link ****

Posted by: drkages | June 14, 2010

Linux GUI Phone Manager on Ubuntu 10.04

There are many tools that exist in windows which allow you to manage and back-up information on your mobile phone on the Microsoft Windows platform. Many vendors also provide their own suites which allow you to connect your mobile phone to your PC seamlessly. Unfortunately manufacturer supplied tools very rarely work on Linux platforms even using software such as Wine which allows the installation of Windows executable files in Linux.

This problem of connecting mobile phones to computers using Linux is even more difficult when using non-standard phone such as the increasingly popular Chinese dual-sim phone. There are very few forums that address issues which such phones.

However Gammu and its GUI Wammu are very useful Linux tools for achieving connectivity with your mobile phone.

Phone: TV Mobile E72Y

1. Install from the Repositories:

sudo apt-get install wammu

2. Set Environment:

The application uses /dev/ttyACM0 file which by default is only accessible to root. Therefore go to System->Administration->Users and Groups and add your user to the video group as follows:


3. Run application:

Wammu Ubuntu Menu Location

4. Run the Wizard:


5. Automatic configuration

6.  Select Connection:

In this case we use USB cable for connection which previously have been the most difficult connection to get working so theoretically bluetooth should work also.

7. Select Phone:

For the dual-sim phone the application will find two phones this is because the individual sim are connected via two different ports and registered as two separate phones. In our example we will use sim 1 which located at 19200.

Give the Phone an appropriate name which allow distinction from other phones you may later connect

8. Connect to Phone:


9. Synchronize Accordingly:

The application supports the most common operations with Mobile Phones: Backing up contacts and messages:



Final Words:

Have not tested the ability to connect to the internet and have not tried all features but this is a significant advancement in controlling Mobile Phone in linux using a GUI. Hope this tutorial and application serves as useful as it did to me.

Posted by: drkages | June 12, 2010

Reflection on Low Cost Wireless Workshop

Logo of UWI and the TICP

Between the 7th and 11th of June 2010, The University of West Indies (UWI), St Augustine Campus hosted a low cost wireless workshop in conjunction with international Organizations such as the International Centre for theoretical Physics and the Internet society to demonstrate and train participants in the creation and application of low cost wireless networks in developing countries.

The workshop consisted of a diverse set of participants ranging from both students and lecturers from different faculties including, Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics and Engineering. There was also a participant from Haiti. This combination made an excellent polling of different skills sets and interest making the conference more meaningful.

At the end of the workshop, I reflected on the past five days and considered the possibility of the way forward and how will this technology impact the lives of the Caribbean people considering that UWI is a regional University.

I must confess that this was truly a difficult task for me, seeing that most of the suggestions that I was hearing did not seem to sit well with me.

For example:

  1. It was suggested that this can be an initiative to provide internet to schools and other institutions where local ISP may have not currently have existing services. While I think that this is a great idea and encourages the spirit that I would desire to be developed in the University, I think this idea requires a great deal of analysis especially in terms of cost and benefits. Firstly the University though arguably has the fastest internet connection in the country for any institution and organization (with the exception of some major companies) barely has sufficient to meet its own needs. Therefore to supply for needs outside the University requires an application for more bandwidth which we know is quite costly in the Caribbean at this time. Also the need for infrastructure for each school is also problematic. Though the cost overall is cheap (USD $200) for a single set up this cost when multiplied for each school will become relatively expensive which is undesirable for the University which also has evidence of limited financial resources.

The proposal I agree with is that we use our existing connection which was implemented within the workshop to train future students (through some course) and participants (in another workshop) in the application of the technology.I believe that it is our responsibility to set the platform that will allow companies and students to explore a new opportunity in our region’s development.

For Organizations and Companies:

  1. Provide low cost solutions for communication between locations without the high over head of local ISP
  2. To explore the possibility to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to become local ISP  with low over-head cost
  3. To explore the possibilities of inter-island communication through wireless communication

For the University:

  1. To participate in research related to long range wireless communication especially in quality of service and range
  2. To create an opportunity for cross-faculty partnerships in research and development

Hopefully this opportunity will be start of bright things to come not just for Trinidad and Tobago but for the wider community of which the University serves.

Looking forward to your critiques and further suggestions….