Congratulations Shilpa Sayura

Sri Lanka's Shilpa Sayura project has won the Stockholm Challenge 2008.

The Jury had studies 400 projects from around the globe and selected 145 finalists in six categories. Shilpa Sayura won the first place in the Education category.

Congratulations Niranjan and the team for this great achievement!

I once had the opportunity to see a Shilpa Sayura event at Kandiyapitawewa village. Pictures from that event are here.



Mr Donald, Please Correct the Alphabet First!

I have already replied to Mr Donald Gaminitillake's mudslinging campaign against Sinhala Unicode, which he wields through akuru.org web site and by hijacking discussions on various blogs and forums.

Mr Donald's motives are quite clear. He claims that every Sinhala character shape needs an individual "code point", and has applied for a patent for this "invention". With Sinhala Unicode becoming mainstream, avenues for making money with his pending patent are going thin.

So he is doing what any desperate human being (or animal for that matter) would do; try everything to remove the "opponent".

One of the examples Mr Donald always uses is the absence of character "du" in the Sinhala Unicode codepage.

Of course he conveniently forgets to mention that "da" and "papilla" are in fact available. Well, it requires a bit of brains to put them together. ;-)

Mr Donald, there are lots of missing characters in the Sinhala Hodiya (alphabet), including your infamous "du", let alone "yansaya" and "rakaransaya". If you love the Sinhala language so much as you claim, please start a campaign to "fix" Hodiya!

I have previously pointed out this similarity between Hodiya and Sinhala Unicode, and why "du" + "papilla" is as good as "du". This blog post discusses technicalities in detail including the matter of "yansaya" and "rakaransaya".

Unfortunately for Mr Donald, his "opponent", namely Sinhala Unicode, is growing stronger day by day. Implementations are maturing, more standards compliant fonts are beginning to appear, and as I wrote earlier, more web sites and blogs are now Unicode compliant (e.g.: Sinhala Bloggers, Sinhala Wikipedia, Sinhala Blogs and of course our own Sinhala GNU/Linux).



External Projectors and GNU/Linux

Some GNU/Linux computers seem to have problems connecting to projectors. While my earlier ThinkPad R51 always obeyed Fn+F7 combination to turn on output to an external projector, recently acquired R52 did not.

After some research I found that XRandR has good support for output hotplugging. Although graphical tools are available to do this, I found the following commands useful.

% xrandr --auto
% xrandr --output --auto

The first one usually works, and it has to be issued as the same user running X, and not root.

In rare cases when parts of the screen is cropped due to the projector having a smaller resolution, use the -s option to reset the resolution:

% xrandr -s 1024x768

Running xrandr without options would show what is going on with the screen modes.