Enable Japanese input on Debian/Ubuntu

Normally, I would install Scim and Anthy for Japanese input method on Debian. Recently, I found an easier way to achieve the same thing, which is to use IBus instead of Scim.

  1. Install ibus: sudo apt-get install ibus ibus-anthy ibus-gtk
  2. From the menu, System -> Preferences -> IBus Preference
    IBus Preference should detects that you have run IBus daemon yet, click “Yes” to run it.
  3. You’ll be asked to edit yoru .bashrc and add the following 3 lines:

    export GTK_IM_MODULE=ibus
    export XMODIFIERS=@im=ibus
    export QT_IM_MODULE=ibus
  4. Click on “Input Method” tab, if you don’t see “Japanese – Anthy” listed under the Input Method list, select “Japanese -> Anthy” from the “Select an input method” drop down list, then click Add.
  5. You might want to restart X (logout and log back in)
  6. Open a text editor, and hit Ctrl + Space to toggle the Japanese input method

Reference: Japanese Input with Karmic?

How to tell which Linux distro you’re running


Thanks to Jayen, there is a better way:

$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 9.10
Release: 9.10
Codename: karmic

$ cat /etc/issue
Debian GNU/Linux squeeze/sid \n \l


$ cat /proc/version
Linux version 2.6.32-trunk-686 (Debian 2.6.32-5) (ben@decadent.org.uk) (gcc version 4.3.4 (Debian 4.3.4-6) ) #1 SMP Sun Jan 10 06:32:16 UTC 2010

Source: Which Linux Distro are you using??

Profile backup – Mozilla FireFox and Thunderbird

At work, a colleague is struggling to get his pc up and running for a few days now. To add insult to injury, he also lost some of his Microsoft Outlook back up emails.
Seeing what happened to him, I shall back up my files and emails too.

I use Mozilla Thunderbird (, and I found a very nice tool to back up the emails (a.k.a profile). It’s called MozBackup.

I thought I should share this with others who use Thunderbird too.

PHP: number of days between two dates

It’s Saturday, what am I doing in front of the computer? I should be out and enjoy life. ^o^

A colleague asked to customize a theme for his blog using WordPress. Because I didn’t have any good plan this Saturday, learning PHP sound like a logical and useful choice. Well, I bribed myself with a bottle of Tui.

Then, I found an interesting PHP related post by Chorn Sokun entitled “PHP date diff“. The author was trying to calculate the number days between two give dates. At the end of the post, he asked “What would you do instead?”

Here is my answer.

< ?php
 * Function to calculate the number of days between
 * two given dates.
 * Assumption:
 *              $date2 > $date1
 *              Date format: mm/dd/yyyy e.g.: 31/07/2009
 * Author: kenno
 * Date: July 4, 2009
function number_of_days($date1, $date2) {
$date1Array = explode('/', $date1);
$date1Epoch = mktime(0, 0, 0, $date1Array[1],
$date1Array[0], $date1Array[2]);

$date2Array = explode('/', $date2);
$date2Epoch = mktime(0, 0, 0, $date2Array[1],
$date2Array[0], $date2Array[2]);

$date_diff = $date2Epoch - $date1Epoch;
return round($date_diff / 60 / 60 / 24);

echo number_of_days("04/7/2009", "12/7/2009"); // 8

Now, it’s my turn to ask. How could I make it better? How would you do it? :)


Added the abs( ) to round up the number of days to integer as suggested by Sokun.
Added round( ) to round up the number of days on line 21. I confused round( ) with abs( ).