PySDM for automounting partitions

Posted by spewit on 05/08/2009

PySDM ( Python Storage Device Manager ) can be used to customize your hard disk partitions without fiddling with the fstab file.
It’s as simple as:

sudo apt-get install pysdm
$gksudo pysdm

PySDM needs python and almost every linux distribution is bundled with python out of the box. So you would not need to install python.
One major use of pysdm is to enable auto-mounting ntfs ( your windows partitions ) in linux. To do that simply:

1. Select the partition from the left side-pane. Your hard disks and partitions may be named as sda* or hda*. To know which ones you want to auto-mount ( your ntfs ones ) simple select each and look for the ones with “ntfs” in their “type”.
2. Select the desired partition
3. Click on the assistant button
4. Check the option “The file system is mounted at boot time”
5. Uncheck “Mount file system in read only mode”
6. If you want everyone to mount/unmount the partition you can check the options:
“Allow any user to mount the file system”
“Allow a user to mount/unmount the file system”
7. Once you’re done click on Apply

Reboot and your ntfs partitions would be mounted automatically.

PySDM sourceforge page: http://pysdm.sourceforge.net/


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Figlet Art

Posted by spewit on 02/08/2009

Figlet for your old-school text banners is a cute little app. I was actually pleasantly surprised with it’s simplicity and excellent font rendering.
Here’s the blog’s name made by figlet:

By plic at 2009-08-02

The cli interface has quite a lot of options but to make a simple banner like this takes very little:

$figlet “leftminor”

Nice little app to have fun and to give your forum signature a retro newsroom look!

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Desktop Blogging Client For Linux

Posted by spewit on 29/07/2009

I have been searching for a good blogging client for my wordpress blog for quite some time. I found the best thing available right now for Windows in Live Writer but had nothing comparable in my linux system.
So I tried out almost every application out there to finally feeling satisfied with QTM.
Before it some of the clients that i tested for my convenience were:

  1. BloGTK – Didn’t run on my crunchbang system. Works well in Ubuntu though.
  2. Drivel – Best for LiveJournal users. Somewhat bland in functionality for wordpress blogs.
  3. Thingamablog – Couldn’t even configure this thing
  4. JBlogEditor – Eclipse based. Never worked properly.
  5. Bleezer – The text editor was buggy
  6. Flock – I downloaded the browser for it’s editor. I wasn’t too happy.
  7. ScribeFire – My earlier blog editor. I somehow don’t feel comfortable in browser plugin editors.

So I finally got hold of QTM. It has a very good interface and is very easy to setup. It contains the ability to select categories, add both wordpress and technorati tags and a preview and a simple publishing button. All in all for any of your wordpress blogging needs it does the job well. Although it does show html tags within the text editor and gets confusing when there are links in the text or images. And the lack of a spell-checker does has it’s drawbacks.

Nonetheless to get started simply add an account, select the type, modify the server address to point to your blog and then start typing. Once you’re done you can select categories, add tags and then under the basics view select “Publish” status and press the “Blog This!” button. You’re done.

For ubuntu or crunchbang you can download the latest deb package from https://launchpad.net/~indigojo/+archive/ppa

Another amazing blogging utility i found is the CLI tool called Charm. It’s fast and you can attach any text editor of your choice to write your blog entry and then simply by using the keyboard select numerous character based choices be able to add/modify/delete your blog posts. A very comprehensive tutorial can be found here: Charm Tutorial

The above two blogging applications simply meet any of my desktop blogging needs and are perfect for making quick posts.

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Is Your Anti-Virus Working Right?

Posted by spewit on 23/07/2009

Do the Eicar Virus Test. Simply copy and paste the following code snippet in your text editor and save the file with a .com extension [ any filename ].


Once that’s done simply scan the folder or the particular file itself and check whether your anti-virus detects the files as a virus. If it does that your anti-virus is working alright but if you still have a doubt, try updating the anti-virus ( it’s definition packages ) or you can try a new anti-virus such as Avast, AVG or Clamwin.

ASquared provides the virus name as “EICAR-ANTIVIRUS-TESTFILE!K”

Reference : LifeHacker

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Media Player Synchronisation Project

Posted by spewit on 30/03/2009

Following are some of the proposed User Interfaces that can be integrated into Rhythmbox to demonstrate the Synchronisation feature.
The UI test cases do not encompass all the proposed components in the application.

1. User wants to sync library with a connected media player

a. User clicks on the SYNC button in the media control toolbar.


b. Dialog box pops up.


c. User selects the device(s) from the list.
d. User selects the transfer mode:
i. One-way : Transfer from library to the device(s).
ii. Two-way : Unique entries in the device(s) are copied back to the library alongwith Library->Device transfer.
iii. Delete existing data: Remove all data from drive before starting sync.

Option ii and iii can be selected together; in this case the content will be first copied and then deleted from the device.

2. User wants to sync a particular device

a. User selects the device from the sidepane.
b. User clicks on the Sync button on the right.


c. User selects the device or the library to sync to.


d. User selects transfer mode.
e. Clicks on Start Sync.

3. User wants to sync a playlist

a. User right clicks playlists
b. Selects ‘sync with…’ from the context menu.

c. In the dialog box that appears selects the device to sync with.
d. Clicks on Activate Sync.

4. User wants to sync with the Auto-fill option

a. User selects the device from the sidepane.
b. User clicks on the auto-fill button.
c. Dialog box opens.

d. User selects amount of memory to fill.
e. Selects transfer mode.

f. Selects preferred Artists ( more options can be available such as preferred albums, rating selection etc.)

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Working with .deb packages in Ubuntu

Posted by spewit on 14/03/2009

(.deb)Debian packages are a great way to install applications in Debian based Linux Os’s including Ubuntu. They provide dependency support so all you have to do is click on install and there you have it working.

Mostly you would need to use .deb packages when a particular application isn’t available in the repository. Then you need to download the package and simply double-click to run it.

For command line interface the following commands will do the same task:

[1] To install

sudo dpkg -i packagename.deb ( run this in the directory where the package is saved )

[2] To uninstall : Now i havent found a graphical way to do this in cases where synaptic package manager does not show externally installed .deb packages, so the command is the best way.

sudo dpkg -r packagename ( can be run anywhere )

One good website where you can get some decent .deb application packages is : http://www.getdeb.net/

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Installing .bin files in Ubuntu

Posted by spewit on 13/03/2009

Suppose the setup file of an application is in the .bin format and is on your Desktop.

1. Open your command prompt ( terminal )
2. cd to Desktop ( eg. cd Desktop )
3. Type:

chmod +x filename.bin ( simply press tab after typing in some characters of the name. it should autocomplete. )

4. Your installer should start like usual.

This method was found working in Ubuntu 8.10 for installing Adobe AIR whose setup is available in .bin format for the linux platform.

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Compiz, OpenGL programs and Compiz-Switch under Ubuntu

Posted by spewit on 13/03/2009

I found out that when running Compiz under Ubuntu, i wasn’t able to run openGL based applications like games or my own code. Searching on the net i found out that there seems to be some direct/indirect rendering problems due to which this happens. Check this topic for some details : http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7889

But anyways the quick-fix to this problem is to turn off your compiz while you’re running your program. The obvious way to do is to goto System->Preferences->Appearance-> Visual Effects Tab and select the None option. This will turn off the Compiz engine to make way for your program to run good.

I tried to find a shortcut to this and found compiz-switch; a small program that does the same thing only you can now have a icon in your main panel to simply click and turn it off. And when you’re done you can click on it again and get your compiz working again. To install download the Ubuntu version from the site: http://forlong.blogage.de/entries/pages/Compiz-Switch

To get it on the panel goto Main(Applications) menu->Accessories and right-click on the compiz-switch option and select “Add this launcher to panel”. There you have it.

Another good thing about compiz-switch was that it consisted of an option by which when you switch off compiz, your screenlets are turned off too. This can be implemented by right clicking on the compiz-switch icon in your panel, selecting properties and in the command textbox writing : compiz-switch -s

Compiz-switch has some more features that can be seen on the original website.

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Mounting NTFS partitions in Ubuntu

Posted by spewit on 10/03/2009

Although Ubuntu 8.10 does a mount of the NTFS partition once you click on of it, it will always change the mountpoint once you reboot. To make sure the NTFS drives have the same mount-point and are auto mounted on startup, i suggest you use the disk-manager utility easily available from Synaptic package manager.

You can easily download and install it by the following code:

sudo apt-get install disk-manager

It needs ntfs-3g driver for NTFS based operations which are included in it’s dependency.

You will be able to access the program under System->Administration.
It has the option to detect new devices on startup and automount them as the user sees fit. You can even select a device and edit it’s mountpoint which will be saved everytime you boot. This way all your links to files will be consistent each time you run Ubuntu. To do this simply run the program:

1. Click on Advanced Configuration Tab

2. Select the partition/drive.

3. Click on edit.

4. Edit the mountpoint option. Make sure that it is defined as follows /media/<your preferred mountpoint name>

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Port Forwarding on a Netgear wi-fi router + ADSL modem

Posted by spewit on 08/03/2009

[The following steps are applicable to almost any router or modem configuration as long as you are aware of the router’s/modem’s local ip address to access it’s settings page.]

When you use a wifi internet connection through a Wi-Fi router which in turn is connected to a modem(ADSL broadband) then your computer will not get a static IP address of the same type as that of the modem. It will get an ip address of the type of the Wi-Fi router. Hence you need to port forward two times: one on your modem and the other on your router.

Open your ADSL modem’s configuration page by typing the following link:

username: admin
password: password (can also be admin)

Port forward by going to NAT -> Virtual Servers.
Now you need to add a service. Click on add and you will go to a new page. If the service is in the list then select it otherwise write a customservice name and enter your Wi-Fi router’s IP address assigned to it by the modem in the server ip box.

The Wi-Fi router’s IP can be found by going to the netgear configuration page
(It would be of the form 192.168.1.*)

http://www.routerlogin.net ( or http://www.routerlogin.com )

username: admin
password: password  (can also be admin)

Goto Maintenance -> Router status
Under internet port view the IP address. thats the IP you need to enter in your modem’s server ip address box.

Enter the desired port number as required by the application.
Click on Save/Apply.

Ok so the modem is configured to forward requests to the Wi-Fi router.
Now we need to configure our router to forward to the computer itself.

The router creates it’s own LAN so to speak and assigns a local IP to all the computers connected to it. It is usually of the form 10.0.0.*
go to CMD-Prompt and type ipconfig.
You will get a 10.0.0.* type ip address. That’s the address you need.

[The local IP settings can be configured in the LAN setup page. Here you can specify the IP address local to the router’s LAN. I.e you can change it from to something else like Just make sure it doesn’t conflict with that of the modem’s. You can also change the range which will be applicable to all the connecting devices.]

Now open http://www.routerlogin.net as before.
Under Advanced -> Port Forwarding/Port Triggering select Service name if available or else click on add custom service.
Give your service name anything you want. Select TCP/UDP. Enter the port number you want to forward. It should be the same as that forwarded on the modem. Now enter the ip address of the computer.
Click on apply.

[Another thing to keep in mind. It will depend on the application that whether a port needs to be TCP or UDP based. For example torrent programs like uTorrent use a TCP/UDP port whereas certain games may need different ports for TCP and UDP respectively.]

A nice way to check if your port is forwarded correctly is to go to the following site:

http://www.utorrent.com/testport.php?port=%5Benter your port number]

It will tell whether it’s ok or not.
So have fun.

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