Give Way To Ambulance…Please!

This is an overdue, post. Something that I saw on the road and need to get it off my chest.

I was behind an ambulance few weeks back, stuck at a red light. There was a driver infront, who didn’t know how to move aside and give way. And even if the driver did, I don’t think the ambulance would be able to beat the red light and cross the junction. I don’t think the traffic from the adjacent junction with green light would give way to the ambulance.

My wife pointed to me that the paramedics seem to be trying hard to resusitate the patient. The whole ambulance was  shaking from the furious pumping by the paramedics. We could see from the silhouette on the rear windows that the paramedic was performing CPR on the patient.

The hospital is about 7-8 mins from the location that we were at, assuming that the ambulance is unobstructed all the way. With all the obstruction, the whole trip could take about 15mins or more. That few more minutes could mean alot of difference to the patient, worse case, it could be death. I happened to be going the same way as the ambulance, there were 2 more traffic lights that they ambulance was stuck at, so more time wasted.

If the patient really dies because of the obstruction, it’s really quite sad. More should be done to ensure that emergency vehicles are unobstructed, it could be education, could be enforcement or legislation. I just saw on the Taiwanese news that a driver could potentially be charged with causing death to another person. This could be too extreme, but it illustrates the gravity of the issue.

Switching from Nokia to iPhone 4..seamless!

One of the first painful things when switching to a new mobile phone is migrating the contact list, especially when you are switch to a totally different brand or platform. Last week I got the iPhone 4 for my wife as Christmas present to replace her Nokia E71.

Prior to the switch, I have already configured the E71 to sync her whole phone book to Google. We are using Google Apps Domain, which is Gmail and all the whole suite of Google Apps, but using my own domain name.

The telco was pretty efficient in activating the micro sim for iPhone 4, which is not expected. We were at the mall and her old SIM card got deactivated and the new card activated, barely one hour after signing up the mobile package. The staff told us it’s going to take 6 hours or more to have the new sim card activated. I’m not complaining though.

Under normal circumstances, having the old sim deactivated means she had to lookup her old phone for contacts and key in into the iPhone if she’s trying to  make a call or send a message. What I did was I configured the iPhone to sync with Google on the spot. Within mins, her whole phonebook was downloaded into the iPhone from Google and the phone is fully functional. No PCs and sync software involved. Cool?

This means I can switch phones anytime, as long as the phone supports ActiveSync. Google has implemented ActiveSync for syncing Email, Phone Book and Calendar. Both Nokia and iPhone supports ActiveSync.

Here’s more information on how I did it.

Google Sync For Nokia

Google Sync For iPhone

LDAP Authentication for SSH in Red Hat Enterprise Linux

red hat logo

Prequisite: A working LDAP server with the right schemas. (I will go into setting up a Red Hat Directory Server another day)

On the Red Hat Enterprise Linux ‘client’

authconfig \
--enablemkhomedir --enableldap \
--enableldapauth --ldapserver=
--ldapbasedn= --updateall

“–enablemkhomedir” : This will auto create the home directory for new users who have not logged in to the system before. In the background, it’s actually pam_mkhomedir doing the real work. In order for this to work, the LDAP server must return a valid homedir attribute.

“–enableldap” : It’s telling the system to get user information via LDAP. ie getent passwd will fetch the information from LDAP.

The rest of the command line options are self explanatory. One command to solve the entire problem instead of meddling pam, nsswitch.conf etc.

Motorola calls iPad “a giant iPhone” in Honeycomb teaser video

When the promotional video finally lands on the iPad, Motorola zings Apple by saying the iPad is nothing more than a giant iPhone.

Well, all the crtitics can keep laughing and making fun of iPad, but Steve Jobs has the last laugh when he sits down to count the tons money he made from selling the product.

I Love Their Choice Of Words Sometimes

“The revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK did not feel any need to retaliate against every despicable military provocation,” the official KCNA news agency said, quoting a communique from the North’s Korean People’s Army Supreme Command that called the drills a “childish play with fire.”

I love their choice of words sometimes. I can’t say who’s more despicable, but then they are pretty straightforward.