Saturday, March 29, 2008

Back to Hel(sinki)

I am back in Helsinki. Regarding my mom, when we last spoke to the specialist she said the Cancer is at the level 3 (4 is last) and therefore my mother has to go through extensive/expensive chemotherapy sessions which will last for 6 months or so. Now me and my canadian sister has to arrange the money and Saima is supposed to take care of the rest. Other than that, it feels good to be back with my love.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

GUPnP 0.8 released

While I was having fun with the extremely slow Internet connection here and other family issues, Jorn rolled-out another GUPnP release. Here is the release announcement:

GUPnP 0.8

- New API allowing for subclassing of resource types.
[Zeeshan Ali, Jorn Baayen]
- GUPnPDeviceInfo returns subresources with version greater or equal than
requested version. [Jorn Baayen]
- Servers announce versions less or equal than implemented version.
[Jorn Baayen]
- Make gupnp_context_get_server() public. [Jorn Baayen]
- GError arguments added to all error signals. [Jorn Baayen]
- Improved resubscription handling. [Jorn Baayen]
- Various other fixes and internal improvements
[Ross Burton, Zeeshan Ali, Jorn Baayen].

One big reason to roll out a release at this point was to make way for a gupnp-av and gupnp-tools release, which will follow shortly so stay tuned. :)

Linux+Gtk-based ATM

Last year when i visited Karachi, I talked about Linux+Gtk-based ATM machines being actually deployed and used in my blog. Plenty of people asked me for any pictures but I didn't have any at that time. No worries, here you go:

If you are interested, please contact Aero-car which still makes these.

Last one week

I have been in Karachi for the last one week. My mom is much better now and seems to be recovering fast. The doctor says she still needs a few chemotherapy sessions are there are still some microscopic tumours left but she said this is nothing much to worry about.

We just got her an apt on rent in more secure and less polluted area which obviously costs a lot more money but I've agreed with my Canadian sister to only pay the rent and she'll pay the rest of the expenditure. The biggest reason for this was to move her so close to Saima that Saima could take care of her while her children are at school.

The most recent event is that yesterday, someone robbed my biggest sister (who also lives in Canada but is currently visiting pk) of her bag at gunpoint while she was travelling in a rickshaw. The bag contained amongst other things, all her documents and cards. Normally she doesn't carry important documents in that bag but since it was her last day, so she made an exception. Now most probably, she'll have to go through a long process to get a new passport and Visa. I wonder if the authorities can make an exception in this case and let her travel with some other temporary document but we'll only know till Tuesday because they are closed for easter tomorrow.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Status update

My mom had the tumor removed on last monday but she might still need some chemotherapy. All my sisters are already there and I am leaving for Karachi on Monday morning to be there for two weeks.

They say that comedy is the best relief when you are feeling very sad and i think they are right because watching south park every evening really does make you feel better. Yes yes! it sounds very old school to all my western friends but it's not my fault that it was never broadcasted in Pakistan.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Lesson of the day

If you get a segfault, the debuggers are unable to give you a nice backtrace and g_slice is being used by your code or any library that your code links to, then don't forget to set the environment G_SLICE to 'always-malloc'

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Too much depression

As the only male child in the family, it was always considered to be my responsibility to take care of my mom and (mentally disabled) sister, Erum. Implicit in this assumption is another assumption that I will marry a girl that will be a house wife and would happily take care of everything at home while I would be busy making money. I could have made piece with the former assumption but the latter would obviously involve me enslaving another person and that simply goes against my basic principles of morality.

When i moved to Finland two years ago, i thought i will be able to live the rest of my life independent and free as at that time it seemed very likely that my mom and Erum will soon be moving to Canada with my sister, Uzma (Api) and her family. Unfortunately, the Canadian authorities denied them immigration an year after i moved to Finland (7 years after the application was submitted) based on the argument that they will be a burden on their social system despite Api's continuous assertion that she will take full responsibility of their common day needs. She is still fighting with the authorities. While, my western friends think very highly of me for sending a significant amount of my salary to my mom, all my relatives and most of my friends in pk think of me as a very bad person for not fulfilling my duties that i mentioned above.

Recently! My mom got diagnosed with cancer. They say that its at a very early stage but the surgery alone will cost a bit more than my salary. It should be possible for me to afford that with credit/loan though but the real problem is who will take care of Erum while my mom is sick. I just hope that she gets cured soon and the Canadian authorities do give them immigration.

To add to my agony, gupnp-av-cp has started to segfault on me. I get different backtraces, none of them making any sense to me. I thought it might be because of recent updates of gtk, glib or libsoup but i tried older versions of all of these but the segfault still remains. According to Mr. valgrind, this is a problem in libsoup.