Archive for July, 2012

Ancient Christian Coptic Oriental Orthodox icons – The reason for asymmetric body members in early Christian iconography

Monday, July 30th, 2012

While checking some information on Coptic Eastern Oriental faith, I've stumbled upon a very beautiful (and unique) ancient Orthodox Christian icon depicting Saint Menas and our saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, below is the very beautiful icon

Saint Mena (Sv. Mina) and The Lord Jesus Christ icon from 6th century

Saint Mena (Sv. Mina) and The Lord Jesus Christ icon from 6th century

As you can see the iconography is very interesting, the images differ from modern day iconography the portraits are not looking so serious but looks like "childish". This childish forms and faces on the early Christian iconography is not accidental; it expresses the childish like pure faith our Christian devoted ancestors had. This early Christian faith and spiritual life icon is obviously in conjunction with our Saviour Jesus Christ words as red in the Gospel according to Matthew:
 

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

Matthew 18:1-5

This icon as well as the early Christian icons are very different from nowdays iconography probably for reason;
the images difference, the seriousness and the lack of brightness in the faces of nowdays iconography is a clear sign of the great decay of both Orthodox Christian as well as the down-fall of spiritual life worldly.
I've seen similar childish looking image icons in some Bulgarian ancient relics museums in my child years and always thought the depictions are so kiddish because iconographers of that time did not have the painting knowledge and skills to draw better ones.
Now as I know Christianity much better than then, I understand my previous assumption for the reason of the kiddish looking images is wrong.
Saint Mena (Sv. Mina) and The Lord Jesus Christ icon from 6th century

Very interesting in the early Christian iconography are the shapes. If you take a close look to above icon, you will notice the disparity of the two body members; the hands, head and eyes are unusually big. My guess for the lack of correspondence of body members is the attempt of early iconographers to put accent on most important members of our bodies;

– The head (holding the mind and thoughts of the saints)
– The hands through which the daily food is raised and the eyes through which the world is comprehended are much bigger than in a real person portrait.
– The mouth which is almost the size of the eyes; obvious reference that for early Christian contemplating was much more precious (important) thing, than speech.
This is also in accordance with the New Testament holy scriptures which says like so concerning the tongue:
 

8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.
9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;
10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.
11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?
12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs?
Nor can salt water produce fresh.

Notice also the Halos of the two saints, the size of the halos is almost one third of the whole body of the saints. The Gospel hold by our and all humanity Saviour Jesus Christ is also enormous sized; corresponding almost the height of the arm of Christ on the icon.
The size of the Gospel stresses out the importance of the Holy Bible writtings for early Christians. Nowdays the size of Gospels or Holy Bible especially among protestant Churches "tradition" is becoming smaller and smaller following the spirit of the time proclaiming mobility …

Today the iconography Orthodox Christian "school" has severely changed and the icon images are much more complicated than in ancient times.
The complication of images and elements on Orthodox Icons is a "mirror" of the internal complicated world of us modern-time Christians. This over-complication of our internal spiritual world, does separate us from God instead of uniting us as it is well known in Holy Orthodox Christian tradition God is best known through simplicity and pureness in life thoughts and actions.

The Coptic Oriental Orthodox Church is the only Church, where there is still iconographers drawing in the style of the ancient times childish looking icons. The reason Copts preserved this ancient iconography is that they have conservated big portion of the ancient faith rejecting the decisions of all 7 Orthodox Ecumenical Church Councils. Copts still accept only ecumenical council decisions up to the III-rd ecumenical council. This is also the reason why Eastern Oriental Orthodox Christians are considered not in official communion with the rest of Eastern Orthodox Churches. I had the opportunity by God's grace to meet an Coptic Orthodox Christian (a guy called Baky); From what I've seen and experienced within the few months with Baky my conclusion is Coptic Orthodox layman faith is much stronger than the one in most of other Orthodox Christians I know. The official standpoint of our Eastern Orthodox Church concerning the copts are that they're in heresy and not really orthodox. I'm not sure if this is really true, since I have spend few months with this Coptic Christian brother this autumn and winter and from what I've seen and heard as well as researched on coptic Orthodox it seems their overall Church teaching, Holy Liturgies and everything is very much orthodox (with very little service and faith differences). Here are few beautiful Coptic Orthodox Christian icons still being drawn in the spirit of early days Christianity.

Saint Abba Anthony the Great Coptic Oriental orthodox Icon

Abba (saint) Anthony the Great the father of Orthodox Christian Monastic Life

Coptic Orthodox Oriental Icon Abba Anthony and saint Paul

Coptic Orthodox Oriental Icon of Saint Anothony the Great – "the founder" of Monastic life

Coptic Oriental Orthodox Icon Tobias old testamential Book story

Tobias Old Testamential Story coptic icon

Holy Family Flight into Egypt Coptic Orthodox Icon

Holy Family – Flight into Egypt Coptic Orthodox oriental icon

Christ the Saviour Coptic Oriental Orthodox icon

Christ the Saviour – Coptic Oriental Orthodox icon

Holy Theotokos Coptic Oriental Orthodox icon

Holy Theotokos Coptic Oriental icon

Saint Athanasius defender of pure orthodoxy Oriental Orthodox icon

Saint Athnasius coptic orth icon

The Dormition of Holy Theotokos Mother Mary Coptic Orthodox Oriental Icon

The Dormition of Virgin Mary Coptic icon

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12 Lessons Steve Jobs Taught Guy Kawasaki – SEO Summit Guy Kawasaki speech

Monday, July 30th, 2012

I'm not a big fan of Steve Jobs, neither I like the cult that is nowdays to his personality. After his recent death the cult to Jobs and his works has bloomed once again. From philosophical point of view I don't like Jobs ideas that there is no good and bad but only success matters. However I should admit as a SEO and as a business enterpreneur his achievements are significant. Hence I decided to share with you a video of SEO Summit ex-employee Guy Kawasaki, who "worked for jobs twice and survived". Jobs is famous for not being loved too much by his employees. Also it is not a secret historically he screw up, Steve Wozniak and a number of other people who were either employeed or worked in any way with him.

The points his ex-employee KAWASAKI shares on this SEO Summit presentation are quite interesting and are things, beginning business enterpreneurs like me could learn tremendously from. One key point that is hardly underlined in the presentation is the importance of simplicity.

* Simplicity in everything is essential for the success. It was quite curious to me Steve Jobs presentations were consisting often with a slides of just one word. Obviously this means Jobs was a simplicity freak.

Some of other concepts of Jobs was:
 

Either it works or it doesn't work.

You see again his trend to be simplifying things. In business we all know the SMART (Keep it Simple And Stupid). It seems Jobs SMART was only SAS (Simple and Stupid) 🙂 ….

Some other things Kawasaki learned from Jobs was:
 

Never believe Experts

– If someone tells you he is an expert in something he is definitely not ….

Another belief (understanding) of Jobs and probably many other succesful enterpreneurs is that DESIGN COUNTS. Design is one of the most crucial points in any product, so one has to be extra-careful here. A fail in design is a fail in product line ….

There is plenty of other interesting stuff in the video but the key point is SIMPLICITY. Enjoy Kawasaki Speech …

12 Lessons Steve Jobs Taught Guy Kawasaki

 

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A tiny minimalistic CHAT Client Program writen in C

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

A friend of mine (Dido) who is learning C programming, has written a tiny chat server / client (peer to peer) program in C. His program is a very good learning curve for anyone desiring to learn basic C socket programming.
The program is writen in a way so it can be easily modified to work over UDP protocol with code:

struct sockaddr_in a;
a_sin_family=AF_INET;
a_sin_socktype=SOCK_DGRAM;

Here are links to the code of the Chat server/client progs:

Tiny C Chat Server Client source code

Tiny C Chat Client source code

To Use the client/server compile on the server host tiny-chat-serer-client.c with:

$ cc -o tiny-chat-server tiny-chat-server.c

Then on the client host compile the client;

$ cc -o tiny-chat-client tiny-chat-client.c

On the server host tiny-chat-server should be ran with port as argument, e.g. ;

$ ./tiny-chat-server 8888

To chat with the person running tiny-chat-server the compiled server should be invoked with:

$ ./tiny-chat-client 123.123.123.123 8888

123.123.123.123 is the IP address of the host, where tiny-chat-server is executed.
The chat/server C programs are actually a primitive very raw version of talk.

The programs are in a very basic stage, there are no condition checks for incorrectly passed arguments and with wrongly passed arguments it segfaults. Still for C beginners its useful …

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How to convert OGG Vorbis .ogg to MP3 on GNU / Linux and FreeBSD

Friday, July 27th, 2012

I’ve used K3B just recently to RIP an Audio CD with music to MP3. K3b has done a great job ripping the tracks, the only problem was By default k3b RIPs songs in OGG Vorbis (.ogg) and not mp3. I personally prefer OGG Vorbis as it is a free freedom respecting audio format, however the problem was the .ogg-s cannot be read on many of the audio players and it could be a problem reading the RIPped oggs on Windows. I’ve done the RIP not for myself but for a Belarusian gfriend of mine and she is completely computer illiterate and if I pass her the songs in .OGG, there is no chance she succed in listening the oggs. I’ve seen later k3b has an option to choose to convert directly to MP3 Using linux mp3 lame library this however is time consuming and I have to wait another 10 minutes or so for the songs to be ripped to shorten the time I decided to directly convert the existing .ogg files to .mp3 on my (Debian Linux). There are probably many ways to convert .ogg to mp3 on linux and likely many GUI frontends (like SoundConverter) to use in graphic env.

SoundConverter Debian GNU Linux graphic GUI environment program for convertion of ogg to mp3 and mp3 to ogg, convert multiple sound formats on GNU / Linux.

I however am a console freak so I preferred doing it from terminal. I’ve done quick research on the net and figured out the good old ffmpeg is capable of converting .oggs to .mp3s. To convert all mp3s just ripped in the separate directory I had to run ffmpeg in a tiny bash loop.

A short bash shell script 1 liner combined with ffmpeg does it, e.g.;

for f in *.ogg; do ffmpeg -i "$f" "`basename "$f" .ogg`.mp3"; done.....

The loop example is in bash so in order to make the code work on FreeBSD it is necessery it is run in a bash shell and not in BSDs so common csh or tcsh.

Well, that’s all oggs are in mp3; Hip-hip Hooray 😉

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A list of Christian Metal website resources on the Net for Christian Metal lovers

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

I’ve been an old times Metal head. The moment I accepted Jesus Christ as a Lord and Saviour and been visited by the Lord’s Holy Ghost grace, my life changed severely. I found out most of the metal bands, I used to be regularly listening to is against Christ and anti-christian in essence, I still however hold my love for Metal as my teenage years were dominated by Metal Music. Happily I found there is plenty of nice Metal music a Metal head could enjoy that are written for glorification of Christ and hence did not have the negative spiritual anti-christian charge that is so typical for a lot of the bads in the metal music world. Recently I’m not listening to as much music as few years from now but still every now and then I like playing some of my old Christian metal loved bands. I was maintaining a small list of Christian metal nice bands I found and playlisted on youtube. If you’re a metal geek you might enjoy my old christian metal playlist here 🙂.

For Christians, who are looking for online Christian Metal community I also suggest you check out Firestream – The believer’s Heavy Music Refugee . There are plenty of other interesting places on the net dedicated for Christian metal fans;;;

I will end up this post with 2 videos of one very favourite Ukrainian Christian Metal band – Angel 7;

Angel 7 – Jesus the Saviour

Angel 7 – The Last Day

There are probably plenty of other nice Christian Metal sites and resources on the net; surely I’m missing a lot here? if you know some other good Christian Rock / Metal resources please drop a comment.

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Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Reveals Name of Messiah to be “Yehoshua”, “Yeshua” (in Hebrew) – JESUS

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

It was always interesting to me to hear for Jewish, who turned to become Christian. Hence it was quite curious to find that one of the Jewish most famous Rabbis is claimed to have tought that Yehshua (Jesus Christ) is the name of the Messiah (The Jewish are still waiting to come even to this day). Onwards in youtube, I've seen the interesting testimony of nowdays orthodox monk Father Nathanael, who was raised as a Jewish was attending regularly Jewish synagogues and has miraculously turned to Orthodox Christian faith (The Orthodox Church of America).

Orthodox Rabbi Reveals Name of Messiah "JESUS","Yehoshua" or "Yeshua"(Hebrew)

 

Orthodox Christian Monk who turned from Judaism to Christianity – Why I Left Judaism

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How to convert Adobe PDF file format to Microsoft Word DOC on MS Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

How to convert PDF to DOC on Microsoft Windows XP, MS Windows 7, Win Vista convert PDF to MS DOC 2003, ABBYY Covert Page
I had to convert Adobe PDF file to Microsoft Word ( .doc) file on Microsoft Windows OS for a friend. There is plenty of software available to convert PDF to DOC on Windows, as well as few web-site services claiming to convert correcly PDF to DOC. Converting PDF to DOC is easy and can be done with Open Office, however the reverse process is a real pain in the ass. I tried a dozen of free web serviecs to convert an ancient Latin writting PDF to DOC but none of them couldn’t properly convert it. Failing with the web services as a tool to convert, I’ve turned to seeking a tool that will do the trick. After trying few PDF to DOC converters which failed to produce a properly structed edittable DOC from the PDF file, I’ve come across ABBYY PDF Transformer 2.0. Abbyy PDF Transformer finally did it …

I’ve tried hard to look for a free software good PDF to DOC converter alternative for Windows but it seems as of time of writing this post there is no GPLed free software that does properly convert PDFs to MS WORD DOC ….

Using Abbyy PDF Transformer 2.0 is a piece of cake all I had to do is select the PDF file (pressing Open PDF) and then click on Convert (in right bottom corner). Below is a shot of Abby PDF transformer in action.

How to convert PDF to DOC on Microsoft Windows XP, MS Windows 7, Win Vista convert PDF to MS DOC 2003, abby pdf converter in action

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Europe will be predominated by muslims 20 years from now / European Union might soon become Eurabia

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

europe-dangers-of-becoming-eurabia-in-20-years-from-now

I've come across a schoking video, exposing the latest trends that Demographic researches points at. According to researches as of this year. Whole europe without exceptions is suffering from a HUGE DEMOGRAPHIC BREAK DOWN. As of time of writting the rate of muslim births all across european countries is multiplicating exponentiolly. There is no virtually country left in the realms of the European Union to have a exponential fertility rate. At the same time muslim emigrants population and child growth rate is ever increasing. As you can see from below video according to current demographic researches 20 years from 2012 (2032) or so 50% of population of Europe will be muslim. This means without war by faith and migration muslims are slowly taking over "Christian Europe". What makes this demographic catastrophy occur is probably the islamic people communality. The islam faith and the patriarchate which is part of the Islamic laws keeps families and Islamic communities very strong and united, while we Europeans by forgetting the importance of Christian faith and the main rule of love has shifted towards non-communal hard-core materialistic individualism. At most the we the officially Christian population of Europe (be it Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholic or Protestants as well as atheist has put our faith and hope not in God united Church centered communality as it used to be for centuries of bloom in europe but at hands of government social system, technology and money.

Though both good social system, good government structure and good money earnings is a great thing, this cannot produce population (except if soon people cloning is not practiced) …

The moral out of the data provided in video is obvious, we Europeans have to start making and support family and bury empty philosophers individualism currently rulling western and eastern European societies.

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Script to Automatically change current MySQL server in wp-config.php to another MySQL host to minimize WordPress and Joomla downtimes

Friday, July 20th, 2012

I'm running a two servers for a couple of home hosted websites. One of the servers is serving as Apache host1 and has configured MySQL running on it and the second is used just for database host2 – (has another MySQL configured on it).
The MySQL servers are not configured to run as a MySQL MASTER and MySQL SLAVE (no mysql replication), however periodically (daily), I have a tiny shell script that is actualizing the data from the active SQL host2 server to host1.

Sometimes due to electricity problems or CPU overheats the active MySQL host at host2 gets stoned and stops working causing the 2 WordPress based websites and One joomla site inaccessible.
Until I manually get to the machine and restart host2 the 3 sites are down from the net and as you can imagine this has a very negative impact on the existing website indexing (PageRank) in Google.

When I'm at home, this is not a problem as I have physical access to the servers and if somethings gets messy I fix it quickly. The problem comes, whether I'm travelling or in another city far from home and there is no-one at home to give the hanged host hard reboot ….

Lately the problems with hang-ups of host2 happaned 3 times or so for 2 weeks, as a result the websites were inaccessible for hours and since there is nobody to reboot the server for hours; the websites keep hanging until the DB host is restarted ;;;;

To work-around this I came with the idea to write a tiny shell script to check if host2 is ping-able in order to assure the Database host is not down and then if script determines host2 (mysql) host is down it changes wp-config.php (set to use host2) to a wp-config.php (which I have beforehand configured to use) host1.

Using the script is a temporary solution, since I have to actually find the real hang-up causing troubles, but at least it saves me long downtimes. Here is a download link to the script I called change_blog_db.sh .
I've configured the script to be run on the Apache node (host1) via a crontab calling the script every 10 minutes, here is the crontab:
 

*/10 * * * * /usr/sbin/change_blog_db.sh > /dev/null 2>&1

The script is written in a way so if it determins host2 is reachable a copy of wp-config.php and Joomla's configuration.php tuned to use host2 is copied over the file config originals. In order to use the script one has to configured the head variables script section, e.g.:

host_to_ping='192.168.0.2';
blog_dir='/var/www/blog';
blog_dir2='/var/www/blog1';blog_dir3='/var/www/joomla';
notify_mail='hipo@pc-freak.net';
wp_config_orig='wp-config.php';
wp_config_localhost='wp-config-localhost.php';
wp_config_other_host='wp-config-192.168.0.2.php';
joomla_config_orig='configuration.php';
joomla_config_other_host='configuration-192.168.0.2.php';

You will have to manually prepare;;;

wp-config-localhost.php, wp-config-192.168.0.2.php ,configuration-192.168.0.2.php, wp-config-localhost.php to be existing files configured to with proper host1 and host2 IP addresses.
Hope the script will be useful to others, experiencing database downtimes with WordPress or Joomla installs.
 

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30 years anniversary of the first mass produced portable computer COMPAQ Grid Compass 1011

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Grid Notebook Big screen logo

Today it is considered the modern laptop (portable computers) are turning 30 years old. The notebook grandparent is a COMPAQGRiD Compass 1011 – a “mobile computer” with a electroluminescent display (ELD) screen supporting resolution of 320×240 pixels. The screen allowed the user to use the computer console in a text resolution of 80×24 chars. This portable high-tech gadget was equipped with magnesium alloy case, an Inten 8086 CPU (XT processor) at 8Mhz (like my old desktop pravetz pc 😉 ), 340 kilobyte (internal non-removable magnetic bubble memory and even a 1,200 bit/s modem!

COMPAQ Grid Compass considered first laptop / notebook on earthy 30 anniversary of the portable computer

The machine was uniquely compatible for its time as one could easily attach devices such as floppy 5.25 inch drives and external (10 Meg) hard disk via IEEE-488 I/O compatible protocol called GPiB (General Purpose instrumental Bus).

First mass prdocued portable computer laptop grid COMPAQ 11011 back side input peripherals

The laptop had also unique small weight of only 5 kg and a rechargable batteries with a power unit (like modern laptops) connectable to a normal (110/220 V) room plug.

First notebook in World ever the COMPAQ grid Compass 1101,br />
The machine was bundled with an own specificly written OS GRiD-OS. GRID-OS could only run a specialized software so this made the application available a bit limited.
Shortly after market introduction because of the incompitablity of GRID-OS, grid was shipped with MS-DOS v. 2.0.
This primitive laptop computer was developed for serve mainly the needs of business users and military purposes (NASA, U.S. military) etc.

GRID was even used on Space Shuttles during 1980 – 1990s.
The price of the machine in April 1982 when GriD Compass was introduced was the shockingly high – $8150 dollars.

The machine hardware design is quite elegant as you can see on below pic:

 COMPAQ grid laptop 1101 bubbles internal memory

As a computer history geek, I’ve researched further on GRID Compass and found a nice 1:30 hour video telling in detailed presentation retelling the history.

Shortly after COMPAQ’s Grid Compass 1011’s introduction, many other companies started producing similar sized computers; one example for this was the Epson HX-20 notebook. 30 years later, probably around 70% of citizens on the globe owns a laptop or some kind of portable computer device (smartphone, tablet, ultra-book etc.).

Most of computer users owning a desktop nowdays, owns a laptop too for mobility reasons. Interestengly even 30 years later the laptop as we know it is still in a shape (form) very similar to its original predecessor. Today the notebook sales are starting to be overshadowed by tablets and ultra-books (for second quarter laptop sales raised 5% but if compared with 2011, the sales rise is lesser 1.8% – according to data provided by Digital Research agency). There are estimations done by (Forrester Research) pointing until the end of year 2015, sales of notebook substitute portable devices will exceed the overall sales of notebooks. It is manifested today the market dynamics are changing in favour of tabets and the so called next generation laptopsULTRA-BOOKS. It is a mass hype and a marketing lie that Ultra-Books are somehow different from laptops. The difference between a classical laptop and Ultra-Books is the thinner size, less weight and often longer battery use time. Actually Ultra-Books are copying the design concept of Mac MacBook Air trying to resell under a lound name.
Even if in future Ipads, Android tablets, Ultra-Books or whatever kind of mambo-jambo portable devices flood the market, laptops will still be heavily used in future by programmers, office workers, company employees and any person who is in need to do a lot of regular text editting, email use and work with corporative apps. Hence we will see a COMPAC Grid Compass 1011 notebook likes to be dominant until end of the decade.

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