Saturday, June 28, 2008

Internet via GPRS in Linux

Its possible to access internet in Linux via GPRS even if you don't have drivers for your Cellphone. Thats all the magic of Linux Kernel.

Method 1

  • Connect the mobile via USB cable.
  • Open terminal and type su to become root.
  • It will ask for the root password, type in there.
  • Then use the command

    wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf

    Your phone will be detected as Modem
  • Then using a Text Editor open wvdial.conf using commands

    kwrite /etc/wvdial.conf (for KDE)

    gedit /etc/wvdial.conf (for GNOME)

    When we issued command in point 4, it showed the address of your phone that in which USB port it has been connected. note it down from there.
    "Modem = /dev/***"
  • When Text Editor opens the file, erase everything and paste the following code

    [Dialer Defaults]
    Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0 # <-- Replace it with the reading you got
    Phone = *99#
    Username = aa
    Password = bbc
    Baud = 230400
    Init1 = ATZ
    Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
    ISDN = 0
    Modem Type = Analog Modem
    Carrier Check = No
  • This will configure your mobile phone as a modem

    To dial the internet connection, type


    If everything goes fine it would say that connected successfully.
    Press Ctrl+C to disconnect.

Method 2

  • Open Terminal and type the command


    Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0421:0445 Nokia Mobile Phones
  • Then use command

    /sbin/modprobe usbserial vendor=0x(vid) product=0x(pid)

    Ex in my case for above output

    /sbin/modprobe usbserial vendor=0×421 product=0×445
  • Then using a Text Editor open wvdial.conf using commands

    kwrite /etc/wvdial.conf (for KDE)

    gedit /etc/wvdial.conf (for GNOME)
  • Paste following contents in the file

    [Dialer Defaults]
    Init1 = ATZ
    Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
    Modem Type = USB Modem
    ISDN = 0
    New PPPD = yes
    Phone = *99#
    Modem = /dev/ttyACM0
    Username = b
    Password = a
    Baud = 460800
  • This will configure your mobile phone as a modem

    To dial the internet connection, type


    If everything goes fine it would say that connected successfully.
    Press Ctrl+C to disconnect.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Linux started as a small project by a student Linus Torvalds, at the university of . He released the source code of his kernel to all for free, soon many people joined him in his work, and Linux evolved to what we know it now. The fact that Linux powers the most powerful super-computers, servers of today tells the importance of Linux. Are you fed up of your computer infected by viruses and spyware, ever thought why the servers at ISP who connects you to the internet doesn't get affected by these malware when all them come via them. The answer to this is that they use Linux for their work of routing data, which renders Windows viruses useless on their machines. Actually I am using Linux since 4 months and I am not affected by a single virus.
Linux can power all machines from the old i386 to latest Core 2 Quad and Xeon Quad Core processors. While supporting such wide range of machines, Linux uses less memory than other OS. For Ex: Windows Vista with minimum features cannot run on a computer with less than 512 MB RAM, while Linux machine that has even more functionality can run on 128 MB RAM. Of course if you need eye-candy you need at least 512 MB RAM. But that is quite good if compared to Windows Vista which requires at least 1.5 GB RAM to enable complete functionality (i.e eye-candy). Some OS running on Linux Kernel, can run with 64 MB RAM.
If after reading this you wanted to try Linux but leaving your Windows installation untampered, there is a good news for you. Many Linux distributers offer Linux distros that can be used directly from the CD/DVD without having to install them!!! All you have to do is just pop-in the Live CD into your CD/DVD drive and restart your PC. Then the real magic starts, the Linux kernel loads and ten loads the entire OS, within 2-3 minutes, your PC is back to life without using Hard-disk all via RAM!!!
So you think its all about eye-candy and Linux lacks behind, stop, and hold your words. There is a project, called Compiz Fusion which adds even more eye-candy to Linux than Windows Vista and Mac OS X. I dont want to speak more on it, the video below tells even more than my words. It will definitely leave you amazed by the power of Linux.

ReadyBoost the feature in Windows Vista that enables usage of a pen-drive as temporary place to store data, when it exceeds capacity of RAM is present in Linux even before it came in Windows Vista. Linux allows creating partitions in a pen-drive. There is no need to defragment hard-drive partitions formatted with Linux file-systems, because Linux file-systems are designed, in a way to avoid fragmentation of data. Even then Linux checks hard-drive partition for fragmentation after booting every 39 times.
Linux kernel and drivers are most stable and therefore PC running on Linux can be used for hours, Linux crashes rarely. Even if a program in Linux hangs, the crash handler quickly shuts down the programs, without affecting the remaining ones. This behaviour is exactly opposite to Windows OS in which the entire system hangs and you may need to restart your computer.
OS based on Linux Kernel are free. In fact they are called GNU/Linux OS, because the Kernel is Linux and other components are developed by GNU. Linux based OS are available as free download on the internet, that too legally!!! There are no hassles of buying software or searching them. Developers of OS maintain records of available softwares and make them available. Linux comes loaded with almost all the required drivers and softwares. I have copies of Linux based OS with me. I would have shared them with you if you were my nearby friend. For more on Linux based OS and their download links keep visiting this blog.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Firefox 3

Firefox 3
Codenamed Gran Paradiso, Firefox 3 was released on 17 June 2008. It saw a record of 8.9 million downloads within 24 hours after its release. Powered by the Gecko 1.9 Engine, Firefox 3 uses less system resources and renders pages faster. It is the best browser available till date, with over 15,000 improvements as stated by Mozilla. Firefox 3 behaves as a native application depending on your operating system, unlike Firefox 2, which had same interface for all OS.

The startup time of Firefox 3 has been considerably reduced. The performance remains consistent even if large number of tabs are opened. Switching tabs is faster than previous versions. Firefox 3 is a very stable browser allowing you to use it for hours without failure. The memory leaks present in previous Firefox releases have been resolved. Firefox 3 relies on Google for malicious sites that can harm your system, or suspected forgery and phishing sites. Inclusion of Extended Validation Secure Sockets Layer certificate support (EV SSL) adds another dimension to security provided by Firefox 3. It shows a green button when you visit a website with an EV SSL certificate, this enables checking of site owner’s ID, connection encryption.

Another feature of firefox is that it asks if it should save recent tabs for next session, an improvement over the previous versions that asked if it should close all the tabs. Before the RSS icon and after the URL is the new Star icon which on clicking once stores the page's URL as a bookmark, on clicking twice you may store the bookmark in a new or existing folder.

The improved zoom in enlarges the whole page not just the text. A complete rearrangement of layout, controls, buttons, CSS design elements as well as images expressed in percentages scales takes place. The Add-ons manager has been improved with the integrated ability to browse, search, install extensions and themes from within the add-ons manager itself. The download manager can now resume pending or paused downloads, tell which site a particular download came from and show download statistics in the status bar. The password manager doesn't pop-up, it just displays a 'remember password' notification at the top of the page.

The offline support feature enables offline access to your online content and web applications. This allows you to make changes offline and when you go online again, Firefox 3 synchronize any changes made. For those pressed by bandwidth limit like me who has a 1 GB download limit, there is an option to block pictures, which consume the largest bandwidth. It is also possible to block Java and JavaScript. Blocking JavaScript is a bad option though as it reduces functionality of many websites. But you may safely block Java, and enable it as and when required.

The best is that Firefox 3 is available in 45 different languages. There are several addons in Firefox to increase your productivity. Being an internet junkie, the one I keep an eye on frequently tracks my internet usage time. Other one shows the coding of the website etc. For more list of Addons to spice up your surfing, keep visiting this blog.

Click Here To Download Firefox
Click Here For Other Languages

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Windows Shortcuts

General (applicable in most programs)

CTRL + C: Copy
CTRL + X: Cut
CTRL + V: Paste
CTRL + Z: Undo
CTRL + A: Select all

CTRL + F4: Close the active document in programs that enable you to have multiple documents open simultaneously.
CTRL + ESC: Display the Start menu.
CTRL while dragging an item: Copy the selected item.
CTRL + SHIFT while dragging an item: Create a shortcut to the selected item.
CTRL + RIGHT ARROW: Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word.
CTRL + LEFT ARROW: Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word.
CTRL + DOWN ARROW: Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph.
CTRL + UP ARROW: Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph.
CTRL + SHIFT with any of the arrow keys: Highlight a block of text.
SHIFT when you insert a CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive: Prevent the CD-ROM from automatically playing.

SHIFT with any of the arrow keys: Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text in a document.
SHIFT + DELETE: To delete the selected item permanently without placing it in the Recycle Bin.
SHIFT + F10: Display the shortcut menu for the selected item.

ALT + ENTER: View the properties for the selected item.
ALT + F4: Close the active item, or quit the active program.
ALT + ENTER: Display the properties of the selected object.
ALT + SPACEBAR: Open the shortcut menu for the active window.
ALT + TAB: Switch between the open items.
ALT + ESC: Cycle through items in the order that they had been opened.
ALT + SPACEBAR: Display the System menu for the active window.
ALT + Underlined letter in a menu name: Perform the corresponding command.

F2 key: Rename the selected item.
F3 key: Search for a file or a folder.
F4 key: Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
F5 key: Update the active window.
F6 key: Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop.
F10 key: Activate the menu bar in the active program.

RIGHT ARROW: Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu.
LEFT ARROW: Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu.

BACKSPACE: View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
ESC: Cancel the current task.
CTRL + SHIFT + ESC: Open Task Manager.

Dialog box

CTRL + TAB: Move forward through the tabs.
CTRL + SHIFT + TAB: Move backward through the tabs.
SHIFT + TAB: Move backward through the options.

ALT + Underlined letter: Perform the corresponding command or select the corresponding option.

F1 key: Display Help.
F4 key: Display the items in the active list.

TAB: Move forward through the options.
ENTER: Perform the command for the active option or button.
SPACEBAR: Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box.
Arrow keys: Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons.
BACKSPACE: Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box

Microsoft natural shortcuts

Windows Logo: Display or hide the Start menu.
Windows Logo + D: Display the desktop.
Windows Logo + M: Minimize all of the windows.
Windows Logo + SHIFT + M: Restore the minimized windows.
Windows Logo + E: Open My Computer.
Windows Logo + F: Search for a file or a folder.
Windows Logo + R: Open the Run dialog box.

Windows Explorer

END: Display the bottom of the active window.
HOME: Display the top of the active window.

NUM LOCK + Asterisk sign (*): Display all of the subfolders that are under the selected folder.
NUM LOCK + Plus sign ( + ): Display the contents of the selected folder.
NUM LOCK + Minus sign (-): Collapse the selected folder.

LEFT ARROW: Collapse the current selection if it is expanded, or select the parent folder.
RIGHT ARROW: Display the current selection if it is collapsed, or select the first subfolder.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

F5: Refresh the current Web page.
CTRL + R: Refresh the current Web page.
CTRL + O: Open the Open dialog box.
CTRL + F: Start the Find utility.
CTRL + H: Open the History bar.
CTRL + I: Open the Favorites bar.
CTRL + B: Open the Organize Favorites dialog box.
CTRL + E: Open the Search bar.
CTRL + W: Close the current window.
CTRL + P: Open the Print dialog box.
CTRL + N: Start another instance of the browser with the same Web address

Friday, June 6, 2008

MSI Wind U100

MSI Wind U100 the $560 ultra-mobile PC from MSI has finally hit the market. With so many companies getting into the market, the competition in UMPC market is getting hotter, with increasing options for the end user.

The technical specifications of the MSI Wind U100 which measures 260 mm x 180 mm x 31 mm are:
  • 10 inch display with resolution of 1024 x 600
  • Intel Atom N270 Processor (1.6 GHz)
  • Graphics Driver: Intel GMA 950
  • 1 GB DDR2 SDRAM (Windows XP), 512 MB DDR2 SDRAM (Linux) 667MHz
  • 80 GB Hard Drive SATA
  • SD, MMC, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro card support
  • 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 2.0 (optional)
  • Ethernet 10/100
  • Three USB 2.0 ports
  • 1.3 mega pixel web-camera
  • OS: SUSE Linux or Windows XP
  • Battery Life: 2.5 hrs 3-cell, 5.5 hrs 6-cell
It will also sport VGA port, MIC-in and Line-out port. It weighs around 1.2kg and will be available in three colours White, Pink and Black.

It will cost $399 and $549 ie Rs 17000 and Rs 24000 in terms of direct conversion for Linux and Windows XP version respectively.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Acer Aspire One

Acer launched its $399 ultra portable notebook the Acer Aspire One.

The technical specifications of the Acer Aspire One which measures 9.8 inches x 6.7 inches x 1.14 inches are:
  • 8.9-inch display with resolution of 1024 x 600
  • Intel Atom N270 Processor (1.6 GHz)
  • Graphics Driver: Intel GMA 950
  • 512 MB or 1 GB DDR2 SDRAM
  • 80GB Hard Drive (XP) or 8GB Solid State Drive (Linux)
  • SD, MMC, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, xD-picture card support
  • 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
  • Ethernet
  • Three USB 2.0 port
  • One PCI slot for WWAN
  • 1.3 mega pixel camera
  • OS: Linpus Linux Lite or Windows XP
The battery life expected is 2.5 - 5 hours for XP version and 3 - 7 hours for Linux one on 3 and 6 cell batteries respectively. It also sports a VGA port and 3.5mm audio out.

All these features at an unbelievable weight of 1 kg.
It cost $399 for Linux version and $600 for Windows version ie INR 17000 and INR 26000 respectively in terms of direct conversion.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Solid State Drive

Solid State Drive (SSD) is a Flash Drive with large amount amount of storage capacity. It has many advantages over a traditional hard drive such as
High Speed.
High Reliability.
Lower Power Consumption

Due to use of Flash memory there are no moving parts in SSD. This reduces the physical damaging of an SSD. There is no head to seek a particular location of the disk, thereby reducing seek time and increasing speed. As there are no spinning parts, the amount of electricity required, to spin the platter of hard drive is zero, saving electricity.

It also occupies less space as compared to hard-disk, making it more ideal for usage in portable devices like laptops. Apple is considering using a SSD for their MacBook Air.

Using SSD technology, a large amount of storage can be crammed into a small space. Recently Samsung launched its 2.5 inch 256 GB SSD which is 9.5 mm thick, and measures 100.3 mm x 69.85 mm. It offers a sequential read speed of 200 MB/s and sequential write speed of 160 MB/s, Samsung's 256 GB SSD is claimed to be about 2.4 times faster than a standard Hard drive. Samsung is expected to launch a 1.8 inch 256 GB SSD by the end of fourth quarter. Samsung claims that the its SSD uses only 0.9 watts in active mode. Samsung has also launched a 64 GB SSD, with speeds quite than the 256 GB version.

But above all these advantages, the price of SSD is the factor, that keeps it away from our reach. They are expected cost nearly $1000 as the technology is in early stages of development, once they get mainstream, they will cost as much as regular Hard Disk Drive.

But as of now, considering all facts, the Hybrid Hard Drive if the best option of enthusiasts, unless you have a lot of money to splurge on a SSD.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Canon EOS 450D (Rebel XSi)

Canon EOS 450D (Rebel XSi) a Digital Single-Lens Reflex camera from Canon is the best of Canon's addition to the world of Digital Photography. It has high sensitivity CMOS sensor, with effective resolution of 12.20 mega pixels and total 12.40 mega pixel. It can save images both in JPEG and 14-bit Canon RAW format. It features Canon's Digic-III image processor.

The maximum file size of a picture as provided on Canon's website are

Large/Fine : Approx. 4.3MB (4272 x 2848 pixels)
Large/Normal : Approx. 2.2MB (4272 x 2848 pixels)
Medium/Fine : Approx. 2.5MB (3088 x 2056 pixels)
Medium/Normal: Approx. 1.3MB (3088 x 2056 pixels)
Small/Fine : Approx. 1.6MB (2256 x 1504 pixels)
Small/Normal : Approx. 0.8MB (2256 x 1504 pixels)

RAW : Approx. 15.3 MB (4272 x 2848 pixels)

Though actual sizes may vary,depending on settings used.

Canon EOS 450D has following support:
White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, White Fluorescent Light, Flash, Custom
Shutter Speeds: 1/4000 sec. to 30 sec
Self-Timer: 10-sec or 2-sec delay or 10-sec delay with continuous shooting
Remote Control: Remote Controller RC-1/RC-5
Continuous Shooting Speed: 3.5 shots/sec
Power Saving: Automatic power turn off after 30 sec, 1, 2, 4, 8, or 15 min
Back-up Battery: Built-in secondary battery

All this at MRP $799.99 for only the camera body. You will need to pay seperately for the lens.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hybrid Hard Drive

Hybrid Hard Drive (HHD) is a combination of the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) with a large amount of non-volatile flash memory (called as buffer memory). Its just like a Hybrid Car that can run on both batteries as well as fossil fuel as and when required for greater efficiency.

The flash memory in a HHD starts at a minimum of 128 MB. HHD with 256 MB buffer capacity have been developed. A prototype of HHD with 1GB buffer has also been developed. The buffer memory of HDD ranges between 2 - 16 GB. HDD with 32 MB buffer have been developed though.

Hybrid Hard Drive definitely offers better performance and lower power consumption as compared to any other HDD. Because they make use of Flash memory the data that is frequently used is stored in the Flash memory of the HHD. This reduces the time required to fetch data from the particular area of the disk. Also as Flash memory has no moving parts, the possibility of reducing the life of your hard drive due to long uses is greatly reduced.

Hard Drive usage apart from reducing power consumption, increasing life of your hard disk, reduce also the boot-up time your computer, by caching the data required by computer for next boot-up. The most significant increase in speed will be while resuming from hibernation mode. The data to resume from from hibernation mode will be stored into the buffer memory of HHD, and due to high speed of Flash Memory, it will be loaded very fast in the RAM. The difference of resuming from 'Standby' and 'Hibernation' mode may vanish, thereby making Operating System manufacturers completely do away with standby mode, and use only hibernation mode.

From the point of view of prices, Hybrid Hard Disk is definitely going to cost more than the Hard Disk Drive of same capacity. But thinking of all the advantages they offer over HDD, they are definitely worth it. Also Solid State Drive, which are much superior than either of these are very expensive. Using a Hybrid Hard Drive, will definitely be a much greener alternative to the Hard Disk Drive.

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