Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Dual Power Phone Adapter… Finally ;)

Everything has a story behind it. Do you agree ? Once again, I’m going to stick to the same old style of why and how the Dual Power Phone Adapter came into being.

Okay. Down South in Chennai is where I live. We have the worst power shortages here. Nobody knows when the power may go and come back. Real Worse. So, one problem that usually irritates me is when I talk over my cordless phone and power goes down all of a sudden. Line gets lost. Well, after all it’s just 9 volt DC supply that’s powering the base station from the adapter. Why not, use it with a battery cum AC voltage ? So, you know, we could have it set it up like, whenever the power goes, we can use the battery for alternate supply. Cool, right ? I soon decided to make one.

Okay, that was the story behind and now we go on to the schematics of the circuit.



Essentially, you’ll need

  • A 230v, 5A AC supply –> 9v DC supply transformer
  • 4 nos. of 1N4001 Diodes or something similar
  • Electromagnetic Relay – Something like RSM822 (Data sheet here : )
  • A 9v DC Battery
  • Connecting Wires
  • Phone Adapter Pins


In India, the standard power supply is 230v, 5A. Choose the transformer appropriate for you to step down the input voltage to 9v or required power supply that your phone needs. Check with the product manual.


  1. First step, its obvious. You’ll need to step down, your input power to 9v DC supply.
  2. So, connect, your input to transformer and output secondary winding to a bridge rectifier. So okay. Bridge rectifier is one with which you make your input AC into a DC voltage. Essentially DC voltage is a single polarity voltage. It doesn’t have a positive and negative voltage concept at all. So, we’re going to clip the negative side of the AC voltage to get a single polarity. But, that alone is just not enough. It is still a pulse. –> pulsed voltage. To make it tend to much more DC characteristic, we may use a capacitor. Although, we didn’t use capacitor in the circuit given, you may use it for best results as in a full wave rectifier.
  3. To switch back and forth between the AC and DC supplies, we’re going to use a Relay coil. It is basically a 2-input, 1-output switch, controlled by electromagnetic coil. Whenever the coil gets powered, output from 1 terminal and when the power goes down, output comes from another terminal. We’re going to power the coil in switch with the rectified power from Bridge rectifier and use it send AC input to phone. Whenever, there isn’t AC supply, DC shall take over.
  4. Find more about Relays here :
  5. Connect the negatives of both the AC and DC together and use the Relay switch to control the adapter.
  6. Use appropriate adapter pins to connect the supply to your phone.
  7. This might not be the ‘perfect’ solution to the problem. But, suffices, one may say.


Find my adapter here :


Find more @ Dwarak'sBlog.

Below is the Cadsoft Eagle Schematic. Free to share and edit Smile

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Kanaku – The Simple Calculator for Windows Phone 7

For sometime now, I’ve been intrigued on developing apps for Mobile devices and platforms. Sure enough, most of the devices right now, run either Android or iOS. Windows Phone 7 platform is slowly gaining momentum, with big break coming from Nokia’s Deal with Microsoft to produce Win 7 phones from now on.

The following is a simple calculator with text boxes and buttons that runs on Win 7 Phone Platform. Designed exclusively for those running v7.1 and above and supports Metro UI.

Source Code

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Net;
using System.Windows;
using System.Windows.Controls;
using System.Windows.Documents;
using System.Windows.Input;
using System.Windows.Media;
using System.Windows.Media.Animation;
using System.Windows.Shapes;
using Microsoft.Phone.Controls;

namespace calculator
    public partial class MainPage : PhoneApplicationPage
        // Constructor
        public MainPage()

        private void button1_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
            int x = Convert.ToInt32(tb1.Text);
            int y = Convert.ToInt32(tb2.Text);
            int z = x + y;
            tb3.Text = Convert.ToString(z);
        private void button2_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
             int x = Convert.ToInt32(tb1.Text);
            int y = Convert.ToInt32(tb2.Text);
            int z = x - y;
            tb3.Text = Convert.ToString(z);

        private void button3_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
             int x = Convert.ToInt32(tb1.Text);
            int y = Convert.ToInt32(tb2.Text);
            int z = x * y;
            tb3.Text = Convert.ToString(z);

        private void button4_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
            int x = Convert.ToInt32(tb1.Text);
            int y = Convert.ToInt32(tb2.Text);
            int z = x / y;
            tb3.Text = Convert.ToString(z);



The project is hosted at and can be found at

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Let Linux breathe some ‘Air’

Oye ! We’re not talking about, atmosphere. Rather about, the Adobe’s Cross platform application runtime environment – the ‘Air’. Yes, just like any other Adobe product, Air is very dynamic, interactive and easy to deploy.

Adobe Air is a means to create Rich Internet Applications – RIA as how Adobe wishes to call it. If the term Cross-platform application runtime environment is a little confusing, take it to be, Adobe Air is a means to create application that utilize all the best components of both Web-based and Desktop computing to bring rich interaction and utility to the app for the user. Of late, a lot of applications are being built in Web based environment. Some of them over Flash, while some with Flex. Deploying these applications across all other platforms, Desktop (Windows, Linux and Mac ) and Mobile ( iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7 ) has always been an issue to be addressed. With so many platforms and application environments, it is not easy at all, to create a run-time architecture that works in sync with all. Adobe Air is meant to eliminate that.

Many Corporate Giants have started shifting towards Adobe Air now. Adobe themselves are using it for employee directory. NASDAQ,, Model Metrics are some of them using it currently. eBay also uses Air to deploy its Online Auction Application in Desktop environment.

With Air seeing development at such a fast pace, it is so disheartening to see that, Adobe has stopped development for Air in Linux. Why ? ‘Our priorities are currently towards developing the Mobile platform and the action isn’t currently in Linux.’, says adobe’s blog post. It has been over five months, since this happened. But, it was only recently that I noticed it. I wanted to install Tweetdeck, the One-for-all desktop Social Networking App, that uses Air in my 64 bit Fedora 16 Desktop. Though, Open Source Applications are great, there can never be a match to this freeware Tweetdeck. It’s convenient, easy to setup and you got so many tweaks and options to customize. But, there wasn’t any installation package or repository to do it. I desperately wanted to install Adobe Air over my Linux desktop and had finally done it.

Here’s how to do it.

Installing Adobe Air in Linux

For 32 bit


  • Go to, Adobe Air download page, you’ll be prompted to choose the old repository. Download the Adobe air v2.6 binary file (.bin)
  • Open your terminal.
  • Navigate to the location where you’ve your binary file.
  • Make it executable by running the following command

     chmod +x <name-of-your-adobe-air-installtion-file>.bin

  • Run the file with the command

You’re done. You’ll have installed your application. But, would not receive any more updates. If in future, some application requires a new version of Air to run that, you wouldn’t be able to run it for sure.

For 64 bit


  • Running Air in 64 bit computers is one heck of a job. You’ll need 32 bit libraries to do that.
  • So, first, we install 32 bit libraries first. We’ll see the case of Fedora Linux.
  • Open the terminal.
  • Import the keys first.

 sudo rpm --import

sudo rpm --import

  • Install RPM Fusion

su -c 'yum localinstall --nogpgcheck'

  • Install Adobe Air Dependencies

su -c 'yum -y install gtk2-devel.i686 rpm-devel.i686 gnome-keyring-devel.i686 libxml2-devel.i686 nss-devel.i686 libxslt.i686 xterm rpm-build'

  • If suppose, you get errors like, Adobe AIR could not be installed. Install either Gnome Keyring or KDE KWallet before installing Adobe AIR,

Run the following command

yum install libgnome-keyring.i686

  • Make it executable by running the following command

    chmod +x <name-of-your-adobe-air-installtion-file>.bin

  • Run the file with the command

Done. Great. You’ll run your Air applications now in Linux. Download your air applications and now, you’ll be able to run it with just a click ! Smile

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dude, what’s this html5 everyone keep talking about ? *-)

Lately, its been all about html5 all around. In internet, magazines and news reports. What and why does it matter to all of us ? Well, for the absolute beginners of the Web, this is how it goes.

The Roadmap of HTML

HTML is called the Hypertext markup language. During the early 90’s when the Web was still in large development, it was nothing short of an online photocopy of the books and documents in paper. Suppose, say you need to access a book in the web, you’ll get it as a full page, sometimes with nearly 20,000 lines of absolute text. No, images, graphics, nothing. Reading a book seemed much easier compared to reading it online. Whopping 20,000 lines, scrolling and navigating through the lines, proved very boring and un-interesting. Well, that was way back, like two decades ago.

The scenario changed step by step. The inventors of the web (mainly the people at CERN), realized, What if we could bring out each page in the book as separate web pages and provide a way to move to the next page ? So, now, you could access a single page at a time, navigation wouldn’t be a problem, a little content each page would make scrolling and reading much much easier than earlier. Idea was great ! and thus came the concept of Hypertext ! Hypertext is the way to link webpages. Plan was to provide a link to subsequent pages for navigation. And shortly, they introduced means to format the textual content in the webpages. So, now, you could differentiate between text sizes, underlines, bold words, paragraphs and things like that. Wow, web was improving greatly.

As time passed, “Why not introduce graphics and images ?”, the developers asked themselves. “Oh sure. Why not ?”. And yes, images made their way towards Web development. Slowly, it was images all over the place. And, one by one, new technologies came popping over. Notably among them, is the usage of Video in Webpages. Having videos in webpages is so cool. It brings so much life into things, a better interaction with the reader and provides greater understandability to the issue you try to address.


So, ok. Web pages have all the content. Now, how will the Web browser or the device you use to access the web content, understand where to have the video, paragraph alignment, the image placement etc. A way was needed to tell the browser that this content must be place here. That content need to placed there and like, the content that follows now, is a video and it must be centered. Each element of the webpage need to be identified separately. That’s how tags came into place in a HTML. Tagging of content in a HTML is exactly the reason why HTML is called the “Markup Language”.

Consider, you prepare for your exam. You have large numbers of pages to read. You don’t read them blindly. Do you? Wherever and whenever you come across some notes or points that are important and need to be emphasized while writing, you try to highlight them with your maker, underline them. In a way, you are marking things that are important, you mark up things that are heading or sub-headings. You differentiate among the content available.

The same idea is being used in the webpages. You are marking up the various elements in the webpage for the browser to differentiate between. This marking up, just as how we highlight in books, is achieved in the Web through the use of tags. Tags specify the content that follows, if it’s a paragraph, if that is an embedded audio or video object, if that is an external content etc.

What is the html5 trying to bring ?


A lot of features that the web of today uses, like Video and Audio, uses third-party applications and codecs (short for COder and DECoder) for playback. This restricts content distribution across various platforms. Like, some browsers like Mozilla Firefox support only ogg vorbis (an open Audio format ) and theora (open video format) formats. Mac’s Safari supports only .mp3 file formats . Opera again, support .wav file playback. These formats that the browsers support by themselves are called their native formats. What format will I choose to go with now ? Confusion !

This is completely eliminated with the arrival of html5. All browsers shall support a standard video element that could be embedded as a separate tag. Which standard video format could be used is being still debated on. Initially Ogg Vorbis Theora was considered. And amid concerns from Apple Inc., this was later changed to MP4, but is still in very much confusion as to which video format, the browser must support.

Another notable feature that would be introduced with the html5 would be a native support to a standard audio format. It is expected to be something among, Ogg Vorbis, MP3 or Wav formats.

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) and MathML would become inline from now on. Meaning, they would also be available as tags to be embedded into. Scalable Vector Graphics is a XML specification for drawing Dynamic Graphics and Images with lots of features for compression and scripting ability. MathML would enable us to write Mathematical equations with much ease. Mathematical equation representation in Web pages has always been a problem from the very beginning. In most cases, it was done by the use of images for equation. This problem is also expected to go with the introduction of html5.

HTML5 allows offline application running and storage. Many other features that come with the html5 are, Timed media playback, document editing, Drag and drop, Geolocation.

With already a number of sites, starting to use the html5, this is bound to rock !

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Yes, Virginia, We need Email Encryption !

Email encryption has been gaining a lot of attention lately. With growing numbering of security attacks, often in public places like coffee shops, airports and cyber cafes, it is not hard to imagine your confidential data being hacked. There are so many loop holes that a bad guy can use to reach you and sniff your data. Let alone the public places. How about your email security ? What if you lost your Email password ? Now-a-days there are many security features like Recovery Email, SMS Alerts/One Time Password, a 2 stage password mechanism and the like. But still, a little insight about you and your passwords can get the hacker right into your inbox. Though you might know it later, there would be nothing you could’ve done, because, the details that the person had wanted would’ve already been stolen !

May be it could seem like a very complicated case, but sure enough not be taken lightly. Email is more like a personal diary. People might have so many things in their Mail history. Theft of their Email password or mail account is no less than losing their identity.

We now present a way of encrypting your email safely and securely so only you could read it – PGP Encryption !

What is PGP ?

PGP stands for Pretty Good Privacy. It is data encryption cum decryption standard generally used for transmission of confidential data like Email and files. It was written by Phil Zimmermann in 1991 to answer email security issues.

Some patent problems with the PGP led to Corporates forming their own version of PGP standards, thus making it unavailable for the larger public. So, by July 1997, Open PGP was formed by the IETF. Under this regard, the Free Software Foundation has its own version of the PGP Software – GnuPG, expanded as GNU Privacy Guard.

How it works ?

Open PGP standard that we are currently about to use, works through public key cryptography or in other terms, asymmetric cryptography. In layman’s terms, we encrypt the data using a key and decrypt it with an other key. So, in the end-to-end transmission data we need two keys to work with.

What we do is, we generate two keys. One public key and the other private key. The names are actually arbitrary. Any key can be used as public or private key. Its just that encrypting data with one key can be opened with only the other key.

After generating the public/private keys, we send the public key to the person who wants to send us email/data securely. We can send the public keys through email or can upload it to public key server so anyone wanting to reach us can do so in a secure manner. Anyone trying to read the data in between can get away with only gibberish.

The data they send can be viewed only us, as only we have the private key. This is very important. Never lose your private key or send it to anyone by any means. Better have a backup.


Setting up Email Encryption

Before we start this, things you’ll need to set up the email encryption are, GnuPG – if you plan to go open source or the PGP Desktop, an email client – Thunderbird preferable or if you insist, you might also try having Postbox or Outlook and in case if you’re using Postbox or Thunderbird, you also might have to install Enigmail. The links for all the necessary softwares have been provided at the bottom of the article.

First install your email client, in my case Thunderbird and setup your email accounts. Not to worry much here. Thunderbird has a very easy to setup email account wizard that will guide you. Install the Enigmail addon. Same goes with Postbox.


The next thing you need to do is to install a PGP Software. The Enigmail extension that you’ve installed in Thunderbird works only if you’ve got a PGP Engine. I personally would recommend using Gpg4win. It is so easy to use and comfortable to work with. There are two options you can go with – either the full version(38 MB) or just the engine (15MB). The second option is fine.

Once you’ve done all the above, open Thunderbird Client and choose Key Management from the OpenPGP option in the menu bar. Choose key management and you’ll get a screen similar to the one below.


Now, choose Generate option to create your new key pair – remember the public and private keys we talked about ? That’s exactly what we’re going to create now.

Type in your account details, choose a passphrase – to verify your authenticity and to revoke your private and public keys. Choose your key validity and you are good to go.

Click on Generate key option and it’ll be a few seconds before you have a valid key. Gpg4win might prompt you to type in your password again to store the generated keys in its local database.

That’s it! You’re done.

Now, send your public keys to the person you want to have secure communication with or upload your public keys to any of the public key servers. Anybody wanting to communicate with you shall use it from there.

When you want to compose an encrypted message, type in your message and choose Encrypt Message from the OpenPGP option in your compose window. Remember, you need to have the public key of the person whom you want to send the encrypted message to.

Once you’ve chosen that option, you could see the message turn gibberish. Perfect Encryption ! Take a look at an example of what you would be sending the message as…



As for the receiver, he would be prompted for the password on first use to view the encrypted message that he has received and would see the decrypted version of it.


See, its that simple ! But remember to backup your keys before you send it to anybody, especially your private keys.

To view the decrypted message in browser, I didn’t find any convincing solution, except for FireGPG that works with Mozilla Firefox, although it didn’t work for me.

Download Links

Mozilla Thunderbird -

Postbox -

GnuPG -

GPG4win -

PGP Desktop -

Enigmail -

FireGPG -

Monday, September 19, 2011

My First Software Freedom Day !

I’m really excited today ! This is because, I had just attended my first Software Freedom Day Celebration at Chennai. Here I am, to tell you the story of how it went, my experiences and meetings with the local biggies and my thoughts about the first FOSS event I had participated in !
The Software Freedom Day – Chennai chapter was organized by the Indian Linux Users’ Group – Chennai Wing at the Madras Institute of Technology Campus, Chrompet and I had been there to represent Mozilla India along with Arun Prakash and Harvish Sekar, both of them being Open Source enthusiasts. Well, back in the morning, we had been one among the first to reach the college and we got a chance to look around it. We were guided by the personnel inside to the SFD Venue – MIT Aircraft Hanger. There were some odd twenty other stalls who were already preparing for the event. Others who had come for the event were, python, LibreOffice, GIThub,, etc.
Honestly, I had no great or big ideas on how to proceed with the event. After all, it was my first event and I was getting kind of nervous about my participation for the reason that I was informed, we would be hearing some of the big names in the FOSS circles later the day. All I had in mind was, “I shouldn’t mess it up”. But, trust me, the moment we introduced ourselves that we are from Mozilla, we were treated so nicely. The event co-ordinator stood up, shook hands with us and was there with us all along, to help sort out things. He even asked if we were comfortable and things like that. He expressed his happiness over Mozilla’s participation for event.

Find more @Flickr Blog.

Over the years, Mozilla has carved a nichè for itself in the world of Open Source. Remember that, it has brought in so much for free software and open source, that telling others that you are a part of it, brings you so much pride. It makes them look at you with so much dignity and respect. I realized this face to face during the event. But, it’s not just about boasting ourselves to be a part of Mozilla that is great. It is the contentment and satisfaction that you get on contributing something to the people, for their good and living that makes you happy, by being a member of such organizations.
So, we had got our slides prepared the event and had brought with us a laptop. We didn’t have the swag shipped in time. May be because, we had requested only a couple of weeks back. So, we didn’t have much to do there, but to speak. The slides titled “Mozilla and Software Freedom” – contained notes on how Mozilla had come up, what it is trying to convey, on how it has been actively involved in various projects worldwide and on how people could contribute – A general presentation to give a brief idea about the Mozilla’s Mission.
Check for the Slides here :
One by one, people had come up to listen to what we had to say. We weren’t going much technical into the details of Firefox, Thunderbird and other products as such, unless asked for from the slide. Here and there, we were throwing bits and pieces of information, facts and figures, like, “hey, do you know that Mozilla was one among the first to introduce tabbed browsing ?”. Things like that had really kept them kind of engrossed. In between, they had few questions to ask and thankfully, we knew the answers to them. lol :D Some key people who visited our stall during the day were, Mr. Manivannan, the editor of, Mr. Shrinivasan, the ILUGC founder himself, people from HCL Technologies to name a few. We got chance to meet people from Tamil Wikipedia Project and Mr. Arun SAG from We also had college students coming in to listen about Mozilla.
One thing that I had noticed with all of them was they were very excited and kicked about drumbeat and WebFWD. Some had asked me to repeat, few had asked some doubts and a little number of them had even promised me that they would apply for the event. Hope they get selected ! God Bless !
We were asked to wind up at around half past four the evening that day and had a general discussion on the day’s proceedings. Though, we didn’t have as much crowd for the event as anticipated, the people we saw were enthusiastic.

Mozilla Wins Best Stall Award

This had come up as a mixture of both shock and surprise to us. Before we proceeded to leave, we were announced that ILUGC was giving away prizes for the best stall of the day. We knew we did well, although never thought that we did so well to get a prize. But we were one among the top three to get a prize for the best stall of the day. I had been very happy with that.

And hey, one final word - My description and presentation of the event to you as a whole might be a little unorthodox in the manner and in the way I put. Nevertheless, IMHO this would appeal to most of you and would help me reach all of you much better. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

A chance to work at Mozilla ? Welcome to WebFWD :)

Time and again, Mozilla has proved its worthiness by supporting causes that strive to improvise the Internet and web standards. Its not just technocrats and IT Ninjas who could contribute to the Web. More than all of them , it is you and me who could be of greater use.



And Mozilla is allegedly the first to realize this. Apart from supporting projects on account of drumbeat, Mozilla has very recently, say a couple of months back, came up with a new concept – WebFWD – Web Forward, an initiative that aims to bring brilliant minds together to put out a Software Project – One that is really out of the box, that tries to answer the problems and improvises the Web Standards.




  • You and your friends have a really great idea, something original and true – you wish to bring a concept to the Internet that tries to answer problems of everyday Internet user and common man. Phew ! Great, you’ve crossed half the selection. Congrats.
  • You apply for the Mozilla WebFWD here :         
  • If your project is really worth to be worked into, you are either put into a 4 Week BootCamp or 6 month Fellowship programme – Projects that are early in lifecycle get into a 4 week intensive BootCamp and those which are mature place themselves in 6 to 12 month Fellowship programme.

  • You go directly to Mozilla’s Offices. Work with Mentors from Mozilla, some of the greatest brains who’ve built the most friendly browser – Firefox.

  • At the end of your project tenure, you come out with the product, one hundred percent yours, just the way you wanted –             “Internet – for the people, by the people.”

And both the programmes provide you Smile

  1. Chance to Work with Key Mozilla People
  2. Mentorship with leading experts from the world of Web
  3. Workshops on scalability and application security and development
  4. Access to Mozilla’s tools and resources

Isn’t it so much fun ? Got an idea ?!! Hey, what are you waiting for ? Register you team now !

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mozilla Seabird–A Concept that is truly futuristic !

Open source has always been the innovator. Be it whatever. And in this regard, Mozilla has come up with a Concept Series- something like a study of things that, if we could come up with in the near future, could revolutionize the way we interact with the world and ourselves. It tries to promote the way we behave with objects, act intelligent and smart, and make life simple.
One of the ideas, that has in the recent past, that has been seeing a lot of attention lately, is the Concept – Mozilla Seabird

What is it?

Well, Mozilla Seabird, is a Open Web Concept Phone. Created by Billy May, as a part of the Mozilla Labs Concept Series, it has now evolved to be a phone, that tries to throw away the “frustrating physical interactions”, as how he calls it. It comes with unique devices and ideas to input and communicate with it.

Mozilla Seabird–2D Preview

Going by the way, the phone is touted to be,  it has a Dual Pico Projector, a 8 Megapixel camera, a 45 Luments LED Projector, an Embedded BT dongle, 3.5 mm Audio Jack, a mini USB port, and on top of it Wireless Charging.

The BT dongle, that comes with the phone, also has a IR device, that you can use to interact with the phone.
The phone, with projectors on, could also be used to run a full desktop version of a complete operating system and be used as such with a dock. Other projector, that comes along with it, can be used to show up a virtual keyboard that you could use to enter things.
The seabird with the dock, enables netbook-quality interaction by working with the projector’s angular distortion to deliver interface rather than content, says Billy.
It also tries to be the first phone with advanced motion sensing features in the market. Seabird imagines how a multiple use dongle might augment the crowded gestural interface with greater precision and direct manipulation of content in 3D space, as put in by the author Billy.

Interesting ?

Mozilla Seabird also carries with it, several misconceptions. The idea or the project as a whole, does not mean that Mozilla or its partners have any plans to produce the phone. Atleast not anywhere in the near future. It tries to be the voice of people and technolusts around the globe. It is an amalgam of ideas, concepts and resources that if we could implement, would be of greater to use to all.
This is a commentor driven development. You could also contribute to this project by submitting ideas and resources. Join the community @ .
Join conversations at the Mozilla IRC @ in the channel #labs - irc://

Download pictures in High Resolution or Print Quality.
Read More @ -

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Do we really need Google+?

Many of my friends have started asking me in recent days… “ Why do I need a new social network when I already have one? “


If you are one of them, thinking the same way, watch this…

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fedora 15 – The Good, Bad and Ugly

At the outset, I'll have to tell all the readers out there, that this article is a not-so-techie stuff ! I might drop in a few details here and there but I'm making sure not to get too technical (Coz, I myself don't know much ! Lol. Laughing out loud )


Fedora 15 has come in for a lot of praises world over for its improvement in desktop interface changes. It has incorporated into it the newly introduced Gnome3 Desktop that has lot many features to offer. It also has many a faults (that can however be overcome). On the whole, I felt that Fedora 15 is great and its worth migrating to.

The Good

Some of the features that impressed me was the Desktop graphics and usage interface. Gnome 3 has all the ingredients to make the people say 'Wow, blimey.' I read in an article that Gnome programmers wanted to try out new interface paradigms. This Gnome3 has been really great to work with.

Some features you'll find appealing is the, yet-to-come Apple OS X Lion like App-center. The workspaces which could be shifted in sideways in the earlier versions of the gnome as default, have been made to a top-to-bottom shifting type in this version.


The notification area that earlier used to be in the top-right corner of the gnome desktop has shifted downwards where the taskbar used to be there. This has come in for a mixed response. Some like it and some won't. But I personally feel it as a good move. You got the app-center to compensate for the taskbar thingy. Another good news that comes in with the gnome-3 desktop is that, a lot more things can be done just with the notification area. Like in empathy, you can chat directly from the notification area. The same goes with the IRC client's chat notification.


There seems to be a minimal hardware-acceleration support given to this version of Fedora. Another good thing about the app-center is the desktop search feature. Just as you type file names in the search bar of the search applet in the app-center, you see the recently accessed file lists popping up. Also, you have an option to search Wikipedia and Google in the app-center.


Fedora Desktop's Customization has never been so very easy with the UAC settings put up just on the menubar of the gnome3 desktop. It comes with Firefox 4, empathy 3.0 and transmission etc.

All the more great is the graphics, as i said earlier. Its fun to work with.

The Bad and overcoming the Ugly

Apart from the good, there are a lot many bad things about fedora I find . Especially for a person moving from Windows to a Linux like me, using Fedora can be a lot more annoying.

No-Auto mount feature for the NTFS Drives

As in Windows, where the drives auto mount in the Windows startup, drives doesn't get mounted automatically. You gotta click them, and the Os prompts for a admin password and only then you get to enter the drive. This makes you even more angry when directly after log on you try to access you files or playlists.

One way to overcome this issue is to edit the /etc/fstab file that tells the Fedora Boot to initialize the drives just after logon.

One way to overcome is to use the gui ' ntfs-config ' utility

install it in command line using :

su -c 'yum -y install ntfs-config'

you cannot just run it from the application menu. You run it only from command line as root. If you ever encounter a problem in fedora 15 installing it, like

OSError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: '/etc/hal/fdi/policy'

just create the directories hal and fdi inside etc and a blank file policy and it will work.

No Compiz !

Starting this version, Fedora has stopped its default window manager Compiz and shifted to the Mutter. That means, no more wobbly effects and bubbly graphics henceforth. But, there seems to be a way out of that, I guess though to replace mutter with compiz.

No Shutdown or Hibernate Menu !

OMG ! This is really frustrating. I was not able to shutdown and hibernate my PC directly from the menu given in the Menu. All I gotta do is to logout and then use the Shutdown option provided there. But, there is a workaround.

Try to install the


package from terminal that brings back the original back !


No Minimize

No minimize keyboard shortcut, Alt-F9 does nothing. But you can alter the keyboard shortcuts in the keyboard settings to bring it back ! Other way is to use the gconf-editor.

No Desktop Icons !

This is something glaring right straight at us, that we cannot use the Desktop user interface from now on. Especially for Windows users and Gnome 2 users. We can bring that back using the Gnome-tweak tool that can be installed from command line in terminal.


No Weather Applet !

Gnome3 also doesn't ship with itself the weather applet. It was always my favorite thing about the gnome desktop. Now, that it doesn't appear anymore is kinda irritating. One thing you can do is to install the alternative gnome desktop applet like the one I have.


Dowload this pakcage :

Extract it in suitable place and type in the following commands in the terminal as root :

./ –prefix=/usr


make install

If you encounter a problem like,

Making all in src
make[1]: Entering directory /home/dwarak/weather/src'
Makefile:426: *** missing separator. Stop.
make[1]: Leaving directory/home/dwarak/weather/src'
make: *** [all-recursive] Error 1

install gnome-desktop-devel.i686 from the Terminal that is required to include the necessary files to compile the makefile. The reason this doesn't happen is that starting from gnome3.2 the os assumes all the tab spaces to be default spaces in the makefile. This is something like kinda patch.

Use the following command to change your Location using

gsettings set woeid your_woeid

Change Temperature Units by

gsettings set unit celsius

gsettings set unit fahrenheit

Your Woeid is the Where On Earth ID provided by Yahoo ! Geoplanet referenced by a 32-bit identifier.

Find yours @ :

If you have anything more to add, please post in your comments.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fight Email Spam !!? – Here’s the Solution

Email spam’s on the rise. Lot many sites offer fake, and spam newsletters that clutter our inbox. Many of them want us to register and submit our email ids for confirmation and only then allow us to access the information we want. Some go a step further to send us a confirmation mail from which instructions or link should be accessed. This, as obvious as it seems, sucks !


The problem with this system of registration is that, once you register your mail and click on the confirmation link, it doesn’t end just there. People send you fake offers, newsletter that you don’t even remember having subscribed to, and many a times, some vulgar emails.


The best way to fight this is to provide a temporary email service just to register for the site you want to. You cannot just go sign up for an email service and go cancelling the account. It is of course, tedious and hectic.



We Give You The Solution !

There is this email service that you might consider. – or spamgoormet

This is the best way to fight such spam. The service can be used to have your own fake mail address. This address lasts for only 3 days. Guess what’s the best part ? You don’t have to sign up, you don’t have to give any of your details. Anyone can have any address that he wants to with a ‘’ domain address. It does provide potential dangers as well. If suppose, say you register for a service and you receive a confidential email in it. If someone comes to know your address, he can easily access your email, because, its nothing but a URL manipulation that needs to be performed to access your temporary email.


To have your own email address -<your preferred username>

Let’s suppose, you want a temporary address by the name john,

then the link to access your temporary email address shall be,


There is a chrome extension to this service  :

You may also want to consider these :

Spam Goormet :

Easy disposable mail :


If you got anything to add, or some suggestions, as and always, please feel free to comment below…

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

C(G)++ Compilers in Windows NT – The GNU Way!

When it comes to coding and programming, nothing can beat the linux. It has the most sophisticated compilers out there! Despite this fact, most of the people don’t feel comfortable working with Linux. Although there are certain alternatives and 3rd party softwares for Windows platform, nothing can get near the GNU compilers. They are updated, fast and error-free. So, GNU has given a windows version of its new compiler for download.

These are the steps to be done to get your system running with GNU C++ compiler!

  1. Download the GNU C++ compiler tool (full.exe) here.

Check for integrity – SHA1sum - 2266a1cbd63a8a06faf0e44332b678f3f57161aa

  1. Run the full.exe


  1. It’s a normal setup just like anything else. When you’re done installing it, you need to add the path environment variable. We’ve already seen as to how to add the path variable in glomosim installation setup. If you still find it difficult, brush through the glomosim installation setup guide, ( ) point 1 where we have given how to add environment variables for Visual Studio. In this case for G++ compilers, you just need to do it for path variables with the path address, C:\cygnus\cygwin-b20\H-i586-cygwin32\bin with a semicolon – ‘;’.

That is you add it like <previous path addresses>; C:\cygnus\cygwin-b20\H-i586-cygwin32\bin;

  1. For those of you who still find it difficult to add the environment variables, I’ve given a VBScript file that can make things easier for you. Just run it once and your path variables would be added for you. BUT YOU GOTTA RUN THAT ONLY ONCE AND THIS SCRIPT FILE WORKS ONLY FOR THE DEFAULT INSTALLATION DIRECTORY GIVEN BY THE FULL.EXE SETUP. If you install the setup somewhere else, you gotta  tweak the script file. It’s easy, open it through the notepad, look for where the original path has been provided and replace it with that path that you’ve used.

Download the VBScript file here:

  1. After setup, go for a system-reboot
  2. You’re done. Now just type, g++ followed by the cpp file path
  3. If yours gets compiled successfully, no errors show up. Else error warning comes up. You gotta manually edit the errors using some text editor.
  4. After compiling, just like how you use . /a.out for the a.out file in linux, you use a.exe to view the output here.This is an other alternate way to produce exe files for your c++ codes.clip_image004
  5. Thanks to the Cygwin project !
  6. Download the instruction manual here :

Monday, May 2, 2011

Common Misconceptions–Yum vs. Apt. Getting things right !

Yellowdog Updater, Modified (also known as YUM) is a command line package management utility –meaning that through a command window, it automates the installation, upgrade, configuration, and removal of software packages from a computer. It is an open source utility, making available to all administrators on a network. There are several tools that enhance the command line interface of YUM with graphical user interfaces –making its functionality better.

Aptitude as an Advanced Packaging Tool (or an APT) that displays software packages and gives the user the ability to pick the packages they wish to install or remove from their computer. Aptitude comes complete with a powerful search system which makes use of flexibility search patterns. It is based mostly on the ncurses computer terminal library –a programming library that provides an API and gives the programmer the power to write a text user interface without the use of a terminal.

YUM is a complete overhaul of its predecessor, Yellowdog Updater (also known as YUP). It was conceived as a means of updating and managing Red Hat Linux systems and has since inception been adopted by Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, CentOS, and many other Linux distributions that are all RPM based. The YUM utility synchronises remote metadata to the local client without being prompted to do so. Thusly, YUM is incapable of failing if the user fails to run a command at the interval that particular command requires.

Aptitude comes standard with a command line interface (or CLI), similar to the apt- family of tools (Advanced Packaging Tool, which works with the core libraries in order to execute installation and removal of software). Unlike many other APIs, Aptitude does not require root privileges in order to run. It, instead, shows a prompt to Become Root in the event that those rights are deemed necessary. When Aptitude opens it suggests a threaded list of packages that can be navigated using the arrow keys and the enter key to open and collapse nodes.

YUM also uses a separate tool in order to set up its own repositories. This tool is known as createrepo and generates the necessary XML metadata –as well as the splite metadata if the option -d is selected) necessary to create the YUM repositories. The tool known as œmrepo aids in the creation and maintenance of the YUM repositories.


1. YUM is a command line package management utility that manages the installation, upgrade, configuration, and removal of software packages; Aptitude as an APT that displays software packages and gives the user the power to choose which programs she wishes to install or remove.

2. YUM automatically synchronises remote metadata to the local client without needing a prompt; Aptitude has a command line interface that executes installation and removal of software without the need of root privileges.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Glomosim installation just got much simpler!!!

About a week or a month back, our college seniors had organized a workshop/working session on Glomosim – Global Mobile information system Simulator – a popular wireless/wired simulator that is basically a command line simulator with a Parsec cum c compiler.
The hard part that we faced was the installation! We needed to install JAVA v1.2 and VB6 (installating newer versions of both JAVA and VB meant additional burden on top because newer versions of both the software packages do not have the extra advantage of having the environment variables added automatically to the system).
We were given VB6 that could have environment variables added automatically. But JAVA was newer and we had to manually add environment variables to the PC. As far the glomosim setup, we had no choice. We had to manually add the environment variables for the glomosim to work.
A lot of the participants of the workshop found this extremely tough. A significant time got wasted in instructing students as to how to set up environment variables and helping them. Newbies got very tired of repeated failures in setting the software up.
To overcome this, I have come up with a .exe setup that could make things easier.
1. Before we proceed to the installation of Glomosim, you need to install two other softwares essential for glomosim to work.
· Visual C++
· Java JDK v1.2 or higher & Java JRE v1.2 or higher
Visual C++ from VB 6.0 package is recommended since, you need not worry about altering environment variables externally. If you prefer to go with a newer version of Visual Studio, then, here are the environment variable lists that you need to manipulate according to your installation package.
PATH : C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\Common\Tools\WinNT;C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\Common\MSDev98\Bin;C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\Common\Tools;C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\VC98\bin;
INCLUDE : C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\VC98\atl\include;C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\VC98\mfc\include;C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\VC98\include;
LIB : C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\VC98\mfc\lib;C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\VC98\lib
MSDEVDIR: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\Common\MSDev98
You can add environment variables here by Right click my computeràpropertiesàadvanced system settingsàadvancedàenvironment variables
All these files are being installed in C:\
For the java part, download the latest 6.0 version at (just Java JDK - the first option there.)
Install both Java and Visual Studio before you proceed further.
2. If you are using Windows Vista/Windows 7, you first need to disable the user account settings to ‘Never Notify Me’. That is, you are trying to disable all the Security features of Windows that prevent you from making changes to it. This is essential for the setup to add the environment variables. If you are using Windows XP, you need not bother about this step. You may proceed to step 2.
Now, how do you do this?
§ Either, type UAC in Start Menu or goto Control Panelà User AccountsàClick ‘Change User Account Control Settings’ at the very bottom of the User Accounts Page.
§ You’ll get a screen very similar to this (Mine is Windows 7 Ultimate – SP 1 )
3. Now, Run the Glomosim Setup as shown below
If you get a popup complaining of some compiling error, then either you have not turned off the UAC account settings or you have still not gone for a system restart from UAC setting change.
4. After this installation step, half your burden has got over.
5. Now, Click Runàtype ‘cmd’. You’ll get command prompt window there.
· There, type
‘cd c:\glomosim\glomosim\main’
· Now, type ‘ makent ‘. i.e., it will be like c:\glomosim\glomosim\main>makent

· A screen goes like this.
· Now, type cd ..\bin and you will end up like c:\glomosim\glomosim\bin>
Now, type, glomosim
* i.e., something like, c:\glomosim\glomosim\bin>glomosim config.inclip_image025
· You will get a screen like the one above. Congrats! You have successfully installed glomosim on your PC !
6. In order to continue with Optional Java Visualization tool, you need to configure Java tool.
to do that, copy all the files in C:\glomosim\glomosim\bin to C:\glomosim\glomosim\java_gui.
7. Now, go back to command prompt, and type ‘cd c:\glomosim\glomosim\java_gui’ .
Now, type javac *.java.
8. Now, type ‘java GlomoMain’ to visually see the results.

Download Glomosim.exe here :
Download PDF Instruction Manual here :

There might be mistakes and errors in installation process. Please let me know.