Tag Archives: Linux

How To Connect Tata Photon Whiz/Plug2Surf With Ubuntu Linux

Tata Indicom has changed the face of wireless broadband in India. With its comparatively cheap unlimited offer, it is currently the best buy.

Tata Indicom offers unlimited surfing + download at Rs.800 per month. The offer is valid for Tata Photon Whiz. Although it operates at a compromised speed, it provides the advantage of unlimited surfing.

Tata Indicom Whiz has a dialer for Windows. However, many complain that there is no Tata Indicom dialer for Linux.

Well, there is no dialer because Linux has a dialer of its own which does the job. Follow these steps to setup your Photon Whiz with the “wvdial” dialer.

  1. Install “wvdial” if you do not have it already. To install wvdial, use the command:
    sudo apt-get install wvdial
  2. Next, plug in your Tata Indicom USB Modem.
  3. Now, create a dialer for your modem with the command:
    sudo wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf

    This creates the appropriate dialer configuration for your modem. Remember to keep the modem plugged in while running this command.

  4. Edit the wvdial.conf file by issuing
    sudo vi /etc/wvdial.conf
  5. Your wvdial.conf file opens on issuing the above command. It should look like this :
    [Dialer Defaults]
    Init1 = ATZ
    Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
    Init3 = AT+CRM=1
    Stupid Mode = 1
    Modem Type = Analog Modem
    Phone = 0
    ISDN = 0
    Password = <password>
    New PPPD = <username>
    Username = internet
    Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
    Baud = 9600
  6. Now you have to edit the file.  Put “internet” in place of <username> and <password>. Do not change any other auto-generated entry. Place the appropriate phone number in place of 0. It is #777 for Tata Indocom.

That should complete setting up your dialer. Now, to dial a connection, simply execute

sudo wvdial

in a terminal window. Enjoy.

[ In case it still does not work, add the lines:

Init3 = AT+CRM=1

and

Stupid Mode = 1

Stupid mode allows the connection to dial through a firewall and Init3 = AT+CRM=1 prevents frequent disconnections.
Thanks to Prashanth for pointing this out in a comment to this post. ]

Getting iPhone Internet Tethering Working in Linux

I’ve owned couple of mobile phones now, all in increasing number of features. But the one thing that remained common amongst all of them, was the ability to use a tethered Internet connection in both Windows and Linux. Until I got the iPhone, that is. With the iPhone, I could no longer use the iPhone as a modem in Linux. Not anymore.

I was recently researching about claims that Ubuntu could sync with the iPhone, even the non-jailbroken ones. I was a little skeptical about this. What I found was libimobiledevice, and the iPhone Ethernet driver for Linux. I’ll write on libimobiledevice at a later day.

Let’s have a look at the USB Ethernet driver: The iPhone USB Ethernet driver was written by Diego Giagio, and is a kernel driver which adds support for iPhone tethering through USB cables. Like libimobiledevice, the driver doesn’t require you to jailbreak your iPhone, so bonus marks here.

Let’s start on how we can achieve this. This post is written from a Ubuntu/Debian system perspective, if you’re using some other distribution, the steps should remain same, with the exception of getting the packages via your favourite package manager.

First: Get the source from Diego’s git repository. If you don’t have git installed, open the terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install git-core

Once git is installed, get the source for the drivers

git clone git://github.com/dgiagio/ipheth.git

The output should be something like

sathya@shaman:~$ git clone git://github.com/dgiagio/ipheth.git
Initialized empty Git repository in /home/shaman/ipheth/.git/
remote: Counting objects: 10, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (9/9), done.
remote: Total 10 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0)
Receiving objects: 100% (10/10), 8.11 KiB, done.
sathya@shaman:~$

Now, compile the pairing program.

cd ipheth/ipheth-pair

make

You should get an output like:

sathya@shaman:~/ipheth/ipheth-pair$ make
gcc -Wall -O2 ipheth-pair.c -o ipheth-pair -liphone

Next, type:

sudo make install

You should get an output like:

sathya@shaman:~/ipheth/ipheth-pair$ sudo make install
install -m 0755 ipheth-pair /lib/udev/
install -m 0644 90-iphone-tether.rules /etc/udev/rules.d
/sbin/udevadm control –reload-rules
sathya@shaman:~/ipheth/ipheth-pair$

Compile the Kernel driver:

cd ipheth/ipheth-driver

make

You should get an output like:

sathya@shaman:~$ cd ipheth/ipheth-driver
sathya@shaman:~/ipheth/ipheth-driver$ make
make -C /lib/modules/2.6.28-15-generic/build M=/home/sathya/ipheth/ipheth-driver modules
make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.28-15-generic’
CC [M] /home/sathya/ipheth/ipheth-driver/ipheth.o
Building modules, stage 2.
MODPOST 1 modules
CC /home/sathya/ipheth/ipheth-driver/ipheth.mod.o
LD [M] /home/sathya/ipheth/ipheth-driver/ipheth.ko
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.28-15-generic’
sathya@shaman:~/ipheth/ipheth-driver$

The kernel module is ready. Now load the module.

sudo insmod ipheth.ko

We’re all set to try the new driver out. Now connect the iPhone. The iPhone should get detected, as shown in the picture.

To confirm that the USB Ethernet driver is in use, open the terminal and type

dmesg | grep iPhone

You should get an output like:

sathya@shaman:~/ipheth/ipheth-driver$ dmesg | grep iPhone
[22871.808469] ipheth 2-2:4.2: Apple iPhone USB Ethernet device attached

Yay! That means the USB Ethernet driver is ready. Lets switch on Tethering on the iPhone.
Switch on iPhone tethering

Lets see what happens. Prior to installing the driver, I would get no notification and nothing would happen. Not now.

To confirm that we have indeed connected using iPhone let’s have a look at Network Manager connections:

iPhone tethering done

And there you go, iPhone tethering on Linux!

Notes:
1: You need to have tethering option enabled with your service provide to use this tip. From what I know, tethering is not officially allowed under AT&T’s plan, so I don’t think this method will work.
2: I tested this on my iPhone 3G running on iPhone OS 3.1.2. Although mine is a jailbroken iPhone, the author mentions that jailbreaking is not required.

No More Linux Support For Songbird

Mozilla Songbird

In a surprising turnaround,   Songbird developers Pioneers of The Inevitable (POTI Inc.) announced on their blog that they will no longer be supporting Songbird on Linux platforms. The developers cite their intent to support an increasing number of devices and a focus on narrow set of priorities meant that they would no longer be able to deliver Songbird as an outstanding product on Linux. This, the developers say,   would not be the right thing to do.

As posted on their blog,

Some of you have noticed that the Linux version has fallen behind, leading to some heated, but healthy debate internally about how to prioritize the development hopper. After careful consideration, we’ve come to the painful conclusion that we should discontinue support for the Linux version of Songbird. Some of you may wonder how a company with deep roots in Open Source could drop Linux and we want you to know it isn’t without heartache.
 We have a small engineering team here at Songbird, and, more than ever, must stay very focused on a narrow set of priorities.

The developers state that they will continue to run the build bots and host the Linux builds on the developer wiki. However this seems like a pointless exercise, especially considering that the Linux version will not be tested and is unlikely to pick up any new features.

Songbird is an open source Media Jukebox and media-oriented Web Browser built on Mozilla’s XULRunner framework with an extensively skinnable interface using what Songbird calls as “Feathers” and features add-on support to change the functionality.

I recently started using Songbird on Linux, and found it to be pretty decent. Will you miss Songbird ? Do drop a comment and let us know.

KDE Software Compilation – Customized Editions and Kim Kardashian

Today we have two big news related to the KDE Software Compilation:

  • KDE SC is coming in three  customized  versions.
  • American socialite Kim Kardashian is going to officially promote KDE SC.

The KDE Team has decided to come out with three  customized  versions of KDE Software Compilation to satisfy the diverse users that KDE SC now has. This is the official statement:

KDE has enjoyed great success over the years and today marks another important step in the evolution of our growing community. Many years ago when KDE was just beginning we had a small user base and similar expectations of how the software should work. But with growth and success also comes new users and new expectations. As an effort to meet the growing demands of our user community KDE has identified 3 key areas in which we would like to better cater to users’ needs. In order to achieve this it has been determined that there will be, going forward, 3 separate releases of each Software Compilation tailored to these areas.

Here are the three editions of KDE SC that is going to be available:

Ultimate Freedom Edition: This edition is for those who prefer full customization in everything. This edition will come with a double, triple and quadruple tabbars to make all the settings accessible quickly. If you want to play around with your computer this is the edition for you.

Dwarfed Freedom Edition: This edition is for those who love open-source softwares but cannot handle all the decisions makings that setting up an open-source software requires. This edition will come with all the normal softwares that KDE SC usually comes with.

Basic Freedom Edition: This edition is for those who have just migrated to KDE SC and open-source. This edition will provide a rock solid stability without any customization. To make sure it is as simple as possible, it will be closed-source and root level functionalities are disabled.

Another big news is that American socialite Kim Kardashian has officially been  chosen  as the official promoter of the KDE Software Compilation.

This is what KDE chief Matthias Ettrich told a press conference in Hamburg:

It’s not often that we come across such a perfect fit. Where would you find a prominent person whose name and surname both begin with K? She’s the perfect choice to promote KDE. She will give us exposure like nobody else can.

As our web page says, we have a strong focus on finding innovative solutions to old and new problems and creating a vibrant atmosphere open for experimentation,” Ettrich said. “What could be more innovative than getting this big K to promote KDE?

Apparently this move by KDE SC has made the people at GNOME worried and are also trying to get a celebrity to promote GNOME as well.

Happy April Fools Day Everyone! :)

Linux Mint 8 Helena Announces the Release of Xfce Version

Linux Mint developers are proud to announce the release of the Xfce version of Linux Mint 8. This latest release features the lightweight Xfce desktop environment and has most of the nautilus features in built.
mint-helena
Based largely on Xubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, the Latest Release from Mint team has been built upon Xubuntu. This ensures it has all the features present in Xubuntu and maybe more.

  • The Software Manager has been redesigned. This new software manager allows for displaying more content. Moreover, the package cache is updates automatically and the package size and installation status is also shown in this new Software Manager.
  • The earlier Upload application mintUpload  has been divided into a File Uploader and an Upload Manager. The upload manager allows different transfer protocols like FTP, SFTP etc.
  • Firefox has the stylish add-on inbuilt.
  • The Mint tools branding has been removed to make this tool available and usable across other distros.
  • Mint is using its own repository for Community Edition packages.

You can check the Linux Mint 8 Helena Xfce release notes for a complete changelog.

Linux Mint 8 Helena Xfce supports both torrent and http download.  The download link can be found on this official announcement page.

Histwi – A Desktop Twitter Account Management App for Linux

The rapid explosion in the  popularity  of Twitter has resulted in a plethora of desktop Twitter clients being available. However, there is one client, Histwi, which claims to be different from the rest. Instead of being a Twitter client, Histwi is called a Twitter account management client. How different is it actually from a normal Twitter client? We will come to that later. But first the installation.

Installation

If you are using Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, it is quite easy to install Histwi. Here is what you need to do to install Histwi in Karmic Koala:

  • Open the terminal.
  • Add the PPA with the command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nikolay-blohin/histwi

  • Update your software list with the command:

sudo apt-get update

  • Finally, install it with the command

sudo apt-get install histwi

If you are using another version of Ubuntu or another distro, you can download the .deb file or the source file from gtk-apps.org.

Review

I use Ubuntu 9.10, so my installation was smooth and problem free. After installation, Histwi can be found in Applications -> Internet in GNOME or KickOff -> Applications -> Internet in KDE SC.

This is what you get just after you start it, before any configuration. As you can see, “Add User”, “Delete User”, “Sync User” are given a very  prominent  place where it is very visible.

Clicking on “Add User” brings up a dialog where you have to enter your Twitter username and password to get started. Upto this point, it is a breeze. There is no need to go to Settings, Configuration menu etc to look add your Twitter account.

After you have entered your Twitter details, Histwi downloads your Tweets. This is where it gets irritating. It took a good 20-25 minutes to download my tweets.  However, I found out that this is where the first difference between a simple Twitter client and a Twitter account manager comes up. Since Histwi is a Twitter account manager, it downloads all the of your tweets unlike Twitter clients which needs to download just the latest few tweets. Another difference is that unlike Twitter clients, it does not download the tweets of those you follow.

After, all your Tweets have been downloaded, you can see your all your tweets ever by clicking on “Tweets”. You can save your tweets as a text file or a html file (although I cannot come up with any reason why anyone would want to do that).

Clicking on “Friends” brings up the list of people you follow and those who follows you. You can follow or unfollow people from this window. In this window, you can also see the number of people whom

  • you follow but doesn’t follow you
  • you follow and in turns follows you
  • you don’t follow but follows you

I sure would love to know who are the people in the various groups as mentioned above.  However, Histwi does not provide any way to see who are the people in the various categories mentioned above.

The search is however, one feature that I am very impressed with. It provides a number of search parameters which results it in being a very powerful search tool. And the best part is that it searches the public timeline, not your followers timeline.

This is the search result, I got when I searched for “tegan and sara” as “All of these words”. Quite impressive I must say.

What I Liked

  • Powerful and versatile search. This can be real useful when you are searching for something specific.
  • Easy and simple interface. The interface is such that even a newbie can jump right in and start using it right away without any peoblem.

What I Disliked

  • The whole concept behind the app. I cannot understand why anyone would want to have an app which he can only only use to manage his Twitter account. Unless it is someone who has a number of Twitter accounts, I do not see any real use for this app.
  • No Tweet and no friends timeline. Right now the app does not have any way to post tweets and we cannot see our friends timeline.

BPhone: Unlocked Linux Smartphone at $570 With a Giant Screen [Phone Deal]

ChinaGrabber is shipping an unlocked Linux smartphone which has an impressive set of features.

Founded in 2007, ChinaGrabber is a sourcing company. We are exclusive sellers of many of the latest Phones, Car DVD Players, GPS Navigation, BT Multi Interphone, Mp3 and Mp4 players on this site.

The unlocked phone has no brand except for the name bPhone and sports ARM Linux 2.6 on Marvell’s ARM/XScale PXA320 processor.But you might have a good reason to have some interest in this feature packed gadget.
bphone-linux-smartphone
To start with, it sports a decent 624 MHz of processor frequency with a 256 MB flash storage and a 128 MB RAM. There is a SD card which can extend your memory to 16 GB. The outstanding feature of the bPhone though, is it’s scree which is huge at  800 x 480, has a 180 degree swivel and is fully touch screen. The display can be folded back into the phone at a hinge just like a notebook.

Apart from that, it features a full QWERTY keyboard and has WiFi, Bluetooth, FM Radio and GPS. The talkime is estimated at 4 hours. The interface supports widget and the OS has support for Java applications.

The phone is selling for $57 which is a $230 discount on the regular price of $800. Head over to ChinaGrabber to claim your bPhone.
[ Via: linuxfordevices ]

A Look at Lubuntu 10.04 Beta 1

With the upcoming 10.04 release of Ubuntu and its various variants, a new variant has been added to the list of official variants – Lubuntu. Like Kubuntu and Xubuntu, Lubuntu is basically Ubuntu with another desktop environment. Lubuntu uses LXDE as its GUI, as opposed to GNOME which is used in Ubuntu.

LXDE is a very light desktop environment that is rapidly gaining quite a few followers. LXDE stands for Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment. Advantages of LXDE are:

  • It is extremely fast.
  • It is both energy and system resource efficient.
  • It runs well in systems with low configuration.

Since LXDE is making an appearance in the official Ubuntu family for the first time, here are some screenshots of Lubuntu 10.04 Beta:

Lubuntu 10.04 Startup Screen
Lubuntu 10.04 Desktop
File Manager in Lubuntu 10.04

The some of the default applications in Lubuntu 10.04 are:

  • Image Viewer – GPicView
  • File Manager – PCManFM
  • Graphics – MTPaint
  • Music Player – Aqualung
  • Web Browser – Chromium
  • Terminal – Lxterminal

You can view the proposed final application list at the Lubuntu Wiki.

[image credit: Open Source Critic]

Crazy Linux Fans Are Messing up Departmental Store Computers

Is it just me or something is seriously wrong with FOSS fanatics! I was stumbling through websites and came across this stupid website with a stupid page which goes all gaga about something called PCjacking.

I had not heard of that term until I was surprised to see, it even made to a Wikipedia entry! From what I could figure out, PCjacking is an art of messing up with departmental store computers by quietly installing Linux on them to promote Linux. This of-course is an unauthorized install.

Needless to say, this process involves great risk to your respect, supposed sanity and public profile.

Wikipedia describes this art as,

PCjacking is the act of putting a Linux Live CD in a public computer, such as one located in a department store or public library, and rebooting it into Linux. The reason for this is to show people that Windows isn’t the only operating system available and that there are alternatives. PCjacking does not damage the hijacked PC and does not alter any settings.

Some more digging around revealed that these crazy guys have got 696 Diggs! These fanatics are using a Knoppix Live CD and have got a website to their assistance. According to them, this is an opportunity for them to let people know about other Operating Systems than Windows.

They also advise people to try this stunt but let me warn you. Do not. Out of all the things this in-your-face attitude can do to you, getting chased and beaten up is the most probable of them.

FOSS Fridays | The Power of Command Line Compels You?

On FOSS Fridays, you will find some of the most intriguing talks and Techie-Buzz author views on the current state of FOSS and the driving factors behind the emergence of FOSS as a suitable software solution. We will also discuss the factors preventing FOSS from getting popular. As a regular reader of Techie-Buzz, you might have seen weekday specials like Webby Wednesdays, Twitter Tuesdays Gaming Fridays and DYN Thursdays. FOSS Fridays, is just another effort at Techie-Buzz to help you know your technology head on.

No matter how much we love to have GUI (Graphical User Interface) and cool eye-candy effects available in Linux, the actual usability of most of the GUI available in most Linux distros is null.

We have the cube desktop and the cool compiz effects to rotate the desktop, add gears inside the cube, paint fire on desktop, menus effects, water ripple effects and all that we absolutely do not need. Though, once we require a simple hack for software or application or a simple job to be done, it all boils down to the same old command line. Write some scripts, change permissions, compile and run with some parameters and what not!

Not only that, in this process, at times, you reach a stage where you have upgraded a few of your package which were dependencies for some other packages and made things worse. Finally, your installation is going nuts and you are set to reinstall or do a heavy patchwork.

This is the exact picture we need to change! Love it or hate it, by now, in the year 2010, everyone hates the command line.

Isn’t the CLI (Command Line Interface) what we left behind years ago? Isn’t that what we have been trying to beautify by writing programs to add a front-end to our boring illegible command line applications? Isn’t that what makes Windows so much better, so dominant and so much the Operating System it is today?

It is time we shed this arrogant nature of being the privileged few, capable of handling the command line and work towards making a better OS for any Tom, Dick and Harry out there.