Pseudo but awesome portable chrome.

This is a nifty little script which I use for google chrome portability. There is no proper portable chrome app with proper update functionalities.

The procedure:

  • Download the zip file: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1049970/Chrome.zip (~70kb)
  • Extract it in your pen drive.
  • Copy any existing Chrome installation from C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settiings\Application Data\Google (Win XP) or C:\Users\sudhansh\AppData\Local\Google to the unzipped chrome folder. Match the folder structure already made in the directory.
  • Thats it!
  • Run chrome.bat whenever you need to use your portable installation/profile.

How does it work:

  • As Google Chrome installs itself in the local app settings directory of Windows, I copied it. The directory also contains a subdir for the user profile with all the settings, extensions etc.
  • The chrome folder contains a chrome.bat file which when run, does either of the following 2:
    • If it finds an already existing chrome installation on a comp it runs it using MY personal profile. Local resources give better performance.
    • If it doesn’t find any installation, it uses my own installation as well as the profile.

TODO: If the existing installation on a comp is updated one, update my installation to that one. Will do that when I boot into windows next time :).

p7zip (7z) and rar in ubuntu

If you simply install p7zip-full, it fails to unrar rar archive saying “Unsupported Method” and “Sub items Errors: 1”.

To get rid of it, install the p7zip-rar which adds the codec Rar29.so required for the same. Its available in the repos. I don’t know why they have not included it in the full version, probably its non-free.

Google Chrome: Sharing Profiles with a Linux OS

Some of you might be wondering how to share a google chrome profile between a windows and a linux operating system. Copying or creating a symbolic link doesn’t seem to work as the extensions go haywire. The reason is the use of “\\” in the profiles created in windows. Use the following command to change the path names in the Preferences file to use a ‘/’ instead of ‘\\’.

sed -i ‘s/\\\\/\//g’ ~/.config/google-chrome/Default/Preferencesas

Happy chroming! Its still the fastest starting browser.

 

Tata Photon – How to obtain Usage details

There are many ways. But my favorite is to use a bookmark for the official usage site: 
https://www.tatatele.in/prepaidPhoton/postUsage.do?mdn=<your photon phone number>&SOURCE=postpaidMCCI&d-4030679-p=1

This is for postpaid connections, for prepaid, I do not have any clue. If your accounts page shows the usage stats, you can open the frame in a new tab and get that link.

The only drawback is that its not real time. The delay is generally of 3hrs, but sometimes it may go upto 12 hrs, depending on the server updates. For real tme updates, I use:
Windows: Networx.
Linux: vnstat with its php frontend. http://humdi.net/vnstat/ & http://www.sqweek.com/sqweek/index.php?p=1

HTH!

Tata Photon – get rid of the ugly dialer.

Thankfully, and obviously the installation is too simple. Its windows we are talkng about!

But then again, its windows we are talking about. So, there is no option of autoconnect. And I hate the default dialer provided by Photon. It sucks. So a few tweaks, that are kind of a must, at least for me:

My Device: Tata Photon Olive VME101

1. Disable the dialer’s autorun on windows startup through its settings.

2. Use rasdial to connect, via batch files. rasdial is the dialup utility for windows.

Make the following two batch files and use them via a desktop shortcut or anything:

connect.bat —> rasdial “TATA HSIA” internet internet

The parameters are: connection name, username, password. You may also provide phone number via: /phone:#777, but its not needed.

disconnect.bat —>  rasdial /disconnect

3. Still a restart causes the drivers to unload and the device is detected as a storage device instead of a usb modem. Hence, to fix that, I wrote another batch file whose shortcut lies in the user startup folder so that it gets executed on every windows login.
autostart.bat
start /d C:\Windows\system32 devcon disable *DEV_001C*
start /d “C:\Program Files\TATA Photon+\Olive\VME101\Drivers” OliveDcService.exe
  start helps us in executing commands simultaneously in different command windows.
The first command is to disbale my wifi on startup. You can use this gude for the same: http://wlanbook.com/disabling-wireless-startup-shutdown/
The second command load the drivers for my Photon device which establish it as a usb modem. For your device, check in your dialer’s installation folder.

That’s it!

Two things:

  • Still its not exactly autorun on plug-in like xubuntu, but its quite close. I plug my device and use executor to connect to internet via a hotkey instead of the batch files. Simple and elegant!
  • Probably copying the driver startup exe (OliveDcService) somewhere else and uninstalling the dialer would also work. But haven;t tried yet. If someone does, do post in the comments.

I am figuring a way out to autorun a command on a non-storage device plug-in. If I find one, will definitely let it out in the open.

Till then, ciao!

TATA Photon Plus and Xubuntu

That was a tough one! At least for me. I took more than an hour on this shit.

Firstly, none of the manuals/websites deal with the issues in a comprehensive manner. I too won’t. I will but, try to highlight the issues I faced and the way I solved them.

My modem is the old one Olive VME blah blah…

1. I assume you don’t have an alternate net connection. If you have go to step 2. Download wvdial and the last 4 dependencies from: http://packages.ubuntu.com/maverick/comm/wvdial. For other ubuntu versions the links are there on the almost top right hand side the page. Generally, you wouldn’t need other dependencies, if you do you will have to download them too. But for the first try, no need.

2. Download usb-modeswitch and usb-modeswitch-data from http://packages.ubuntu.com/maverick/comm/usb-modeswitch. This is used to change your driver from usb-storage to usbserial for your device. You can also do it manually by rmmod usb-storage and modprobe usbserial vendor=0x201 product=0x2009. But why not automate things, yeah!

2. Install all by: ‘sudo dpkg -i *.deb *.man’, in your download folder. If you have a net connection use aptitude: sudo aptitude install wvdial usb-modeswitch.

3. Now before you can do anything, plug in your device. Wait till its led goes blue. Do a ‘lsusb’. You will find a device name in front of one of the usb devices. For me it was 201e:2009. The first part ‘201e’ is the vendor name while the ‘2009’ is the product id.

4. Now you will have to find this in /etc/usb_modeswitch.d directory. If the file exists, yuhuu! or else create it. And then put the following in it:
################################################## #####
# Haier CE 100

# from 201e:2009
DefaultVendor= 0x201e
DefaultProduct= 0x2009

TargetClass= 0xff

MessageContent=”5553424312345678000000000000061e000000000000000000000000000000″
MessageContent2=”5553424312345679000000000000061b000000020000000000000000000000″
#MessageContent=”55534243785634120100000080000601000000000000000000000000000000″

NeedResponse=1

CheckSuccess=10

###############

The MessageContent should not be an issue – any one of the 3 would work.

5. Now, to automatically load the driver for your device (201e:2009 in my case), edit /lib/udev/rules.d/40-usb_modeswitch.rules, and append the following at the end:

 

# Qualcomm, Incorporated (TATA Photon +)
ATTRS{idVendor}==”201e”, ATTRS{idProduct}==”2009″, RUN+=”usb_modeswitch ‘%b/%k'”

6. Now reboot. And if everythings correct, after plugging in the device, a dmesg will show you:

 

[ 1824.980062] usb 3-2: new full speed USB device using ohci_hcd and address 3
[ 1825.216299] option 3-2:1.0: GSM modem (1-port) converter detected
[ 1825.216588] usb 3-2: GSM modem (1-port) converter now attached to ttyUSB0
[ 1825.223243] option 3-2:1.1: GSM modem (1-port) converter detected
[ 1825.224738] usb 3-2: GSM modem (1-port) converter now attached to ttyUSB1
[ 1825.229527] option 3-2:1.2: GSM modem (1-port) converter detected
[ 1825.230280] usb 3-2: GSM modem (1-port) converter now attached to ttyUSB2

If you are getting anything else, something has gone wrong. You can either post a comment about your issue or search on the net.
7. Now comes wvdial. Well its not necessary. If you are using network-manager – you can right click->edit connections-> mobile broadband -> add/edit tata photon -> fill in user,password both as ‘internet’ -> check connect automatically and done.
8. If you want to use wvdial, edit the /etc/wvdial.conf and put:

 

[Dialer Defaults]
Init1 = ATZ
Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
Stupid Mode = 1
Modem Type = USB Modem
ISDN = 0
Phone = #777
New PPPD = yes
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
Username = internet
Password = internet

9. wvdialconf should give you the output as expected and foretold by the user manual. Then a sudo wvdial will connect you. sudo is required to start the ppp daemon. Do not forget it. You might be required to do it 2-3 times initially.
10. I have changed from wicd to network-manager for this purpose and am very happy. Now my net connects automatically at plugin, very unlike windows, wherein I have to either run a batchfile with rasdial command, if the drivers are loaded, or use the photon dialer.
Well, this documentation is very crude and as I am writing it after a week of fixing my connection, so it might not be up to te mark. Also it is meant for my device only. For others, you might have to change the vendor/product ids and device names (ttyUSB0)… But all in all the total process is:
1. Switch the mode to identify your usb modem as a modem and not a storage device. This is the only major issue.
2. Connect.
3. Njoi!

 

 

xubuntu: wine colors, themes

http://www.endolith.com/wordpress/2008/08/03/wine-colors/

Okay, so someone did a great job. And I respect him for that. But it required a few minor tweaks, esp. for xfce/xubuntu. So I did that. Primarily because I got this error:

desktop_color = format_hex_color(c.get_value(‘/desktop/gnome/background/primary_color’))

glib.GError: Failed to contact configuration server; the most common cause is a missing or misconfigured D-Bus session bus daemon. See http://projects.gnome.org/gconf/ for information. (Details –  1: Failed to get connection to session: Error connecting: Connection refused)

The edited version can be found at: http://gist.github.com/901214

FDM: Free Download Manager

All those who were fed up with the FDM not integrating with chrome (like me) have to have a go at the new 3.5 beta version. It supports the chrome integration brilliantly and in a much better way than any other out there – Orbit or DAP..

Also I strongly suggest using a download manager even if you don’t like it/have a less resourceful dabba. It will definitely boost up your downloading spree :). If you use a limited connection though, you might wish to take a back seat!

Apps I can not live without (Windows)

This is not a priority order, but just a collection of 10 favorite utils.

1. Everything – An ultimate ntfs drive search utility. Takes less than a minute to scan (first time/any time) a 1tb drive! Wish for its linux version as well.

2. CCleaner – Great app to clean up the desktop, registries, and unwanted waste. Also uninstalls programs the easier way and much more. The other products from piriform – defraggler, recuva are also very useful.

3. Microsoft Security Essentials – Windows has been doing a great job especially since the last year. I love this nifty little antivirus/anti-spyware program.

4. Dropbox – Immensely useful if you do not have a static workstation. http://alternativeto.net gives a plethora of other alternatives as well, but I have been kind of habituated to it.

5. PDFCreator – One of the best PDF Creation tools. I used to use CutePDF Writer which creates a pdf printer on  your machine and a simple print operation generates pdf. PDFCreator does the same and more brilliantly. It even creates a single pdf from multiple files – just select all, right-click and print. Awesome!

6. Q-Dir – There are a lot of explorer replacements. But this one is one of the simplest multi-pane utility I have seen.

7. Executor – Another gem. If you have ever used a launcher (launchy, gnome-do…), you will love this. Way more flexible and way less resource-hogger. Includes file-indexing, custom urls, hotkeys and what-nots.

8. Geany – The best replacement for Notepad. I like it more than Notepad++ or any other utility out there.

9. Sumatra PDF – Very light weight PDF reader. If I am on a decent desktop that can easily support Vista/7, the free version of PDF-Exchange is what I use.

10. foobar2000 – If I listen to a song, its on foobar. It is crazy but I download foobar (if its not there) before listening to any song at a comp. Again in my linux wishlist (though I use it with wine).

Apart from these, Chrome/Opera browser (Chrome seems faster, Opera for bad net connections), 7-zip, VLC are also kind of a must for me. Partition Master, WinCDEmu, ReNamer are added bonuses.