Sunday, May 14, 2017

stopping unwanted notifications on Android

Some apps bring up annoying notifications. Examples - the activation messages for Cloud Messaging on Xiaomi phones, Airtel's and Paytm's "offers" and so on. An easy solution was to pull down the notification bar, click and hold the notification till a box appears with "App Info" - may be seen as an exclamation mark icon. Click on that, which gives an option to block notifications from that app. 

preparing Mandir Live Files for Download

From an email by PA.

Steps to process live files

1. Open finder and click on ‘Mandir Live Recordings’, click date modified

2. The first few files will be that morning's and the previous days

3. Open ‘Magic Cutter’, drag and drop the file with yesterday’s date. Morning file will end with ‘_1’ and evening with ‘_2’

4. Double clicking on the wave will give you the split marker. Place one marker just when ‘Omkar’ of vedam starts and one before ‘Omkar’ of bhajans start. (You will need to connect the earphones to the mac mini's 3.5 jack to hear the file)

5. Then click ‘Split’

6. Now it will ask for where to save. Click the drop down on top of the dialogue box and select the folder ‘Split Files’

7. It will take 2 seconds to complete. Then repeat the same for Evening file.

8. After both files have been split, close Magic Cutter. In the finder go to the folder ‘Split Files’ in the sidebar.

9. Once there, again click date modified. You will see 6 files with names different from the rest. Date followed by ’_01_01’ and so on.

10. Now delete the 2 files that have the announcement. (They will be the 2 files with least size)

11. Now rename the files just like the other files in the folder. Morning vedam and bhajan files should have the date and end with '_AM_VEDAM' and '_AM_BHAJAN' respectively
Evening vedam and bhajan files should end with '_PM_VEDAM' and '_PM_BHAJAN' respectively

12. After renaming, close Finder and open 'Filezilla'

13. In the menu right on top of the monitor, click bookmarks and select the bookmark, 'Split Files'.

14. Once the connection is established, transfer the files that you just renamed. Double-click files one by one, or select, drag & drop.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Blender links

Some Blender links which I found useful:

In this tutorial, there is a mention of how the output may look grainy if the object in blender is not scaled up. But I was not successful in improving my OCT renders though I scaled up the cube 2 or 3 times.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

installing the latest blender on Linux Mint

I needed to install Blender 2.78 for compatibility with files created on Windows with 2.78. The Linux Mint repository (Ubuntu repository) carried the earlier version of Blender. So, followed this guide to install 2.78.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:thomas-schiex/blender
sudo apt update 
sudo apt install blender

To go back to the default version, I need to do
sudo apt install ppa-purge 
sudo ppa-purge ppa:thomas-schiex/blender

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

updated live broadcast procedure

My old post on Mandir live broadcast procedure needs an update. A lot of steps have been removed.

  1. Power on procedure is:
    (a) UPS input on
    (b) UPS on
    (c) Tascam US-1641 power on
    (d) Compressor on
    (e) MacMini power on
    Power down procedure follows in the reverse order.
  2. In case they don't start automatically, start Reaper and BuTT. 
  3. The setup can be tested by playing the output of reaper. Reaper channels 1-8 are mapped to sliders 1-8 on the Korg NanoKontrol. Channels 9-14 are mapped to knobs 1-6. Channel 5 is also mapped to slider 9, since slider 5 has some issues.
    Channel 12 (knob 4) has instrumental music and 
    Channel 13 (knob 5) has the pre-live announcement pre-loaded.
    Channel 3 (slider 3) has the full mix output of PA mixer coming in.
    Pressing play on the Korg NanoKontrol allows you to test whether the BUTT gets signal when knob 5 is opened, as seen by the lit up LED-style indicators on BUTT.
  4. Start playback of pre-live Announcement in Reaper approximately 3 minutes before desired start of live broadcast.
  5. Press the 'Play' button in BUTT to start live broadcast on AsiaStream + TeluguStream.
  6. Fade out knob 5 and allow knob 6 to maintain around -12 dB at the output when the program starts. Playback can be stopped with the stop button on the NanoKontrol.
  7. Recording of programs is mapped to Channel 15 which is record enabled. The spacebar is the shortcut key.This recording is not necessary for daily bhajan and vedam - BuTT records those automatically.
  8. If recording is in progress, if a filler instrumental is to be added, BI.mp3 can be dragged from desktop to Channel 12 (knob 4) which has record enable DISABLED - the dull red ar button.
    Unless the track has record enable Disabled, playback will not occur from the track.
  9. The same procedure as above can be used to drag and drop the ANN_END_LIVE end announcement file for playout at the end of special program broadcasts.
  10. The ambient hall mic is connected to the XLR input Channel 8 on the Tascam, and this is opened for bhajan chorus etc.
  11. The live broadcast is stopped by hitting the stop button on BuTT, and answering 'Yes' when asked if the recording can be stopped. 

Sunday, April 09, 2017

enabled showing text for location in Nemo

and enabled textual location address in Nemo file browser, after installing dconf-editor, by checking show-location-entry in org nemo preferences.

Friday, April 07, 2017

removing old kernels

After a kernel update, found on Mint Linux that there were quite a few old kernels present, which must be using up quite a bit of disk space. As suggested by a post at


sudo apt-get install byobu
sudo purge-old-kernels

Seems to have cleared up nearly 700 MB.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

removing malware/adware from Intex phone - deux

My earlier post about removing adware and malware from the Intex phone was too optimistic. The pop-ups asking to install UC Browser and so on had not stopped. So, I tried to delete files which I thought were causing the issue, by directly deleting files from /System/Apps. But then, when I tried to reboot the phone, it went into a loop, saying "Optimizing apps 1 of 72" or something like that, and would not start. So the phone was soft-bricked.

I thought it would be a good idea to reflash the firmware and use Root Uninstaller or some such tool instead. But after flashing using SP Tool, found that the phone was hard bricked. Hard-bricked meaning that the phone would not charge, would not go into recovery mode if switched on with volume down also.

After initial attempts to get it fixed by the local mobile repair guy - "Please try the Intex service centre" - and service centre - "Please bring the item, we will look at it and then tell you how much it will cost" - explored the ways to get it back to working condition. And found this guide. Warning - that page is not safe to open without an ad-blocker, and perhaps even with an ad-blocker!

So, the basic idea is - install the correct drivers, remove the battery, flash the boot loader first, then flash the rest of the firmware.

As mentioned on that page, the issue seemed to be wrong firmware. I thought I would install the latest firmware by using Intex_Aqua_4G_Strong_V06_Indian_SER_20160408-150449 but apparently my phone only accepts Intex_Aqua_4G_Strong_V03_1_8_Indian_SER_20160622_MT6735M

Another issue was that the driver was not installed properly on my WinXP machine. Installed the VCOM drivers properly on a Win7 machine, and then the firmware update went smoothly. Then uninstalled lots of bloatware, malware and adware, using Root Uninstaller which keeps a backup of the uninstalled apk, rebooting after every doubtful uninstall. Now at last the phone seems to be clean.

Some points which I noted were:

  • Kingroot seems to need a SIM installed in the phone to root.
  • Malwarebytes might be interfering in Kingroot's process, so I uninstalled it before trying to root again.
  • Also, prevented the screen from going to sleep. Not sure if this is important, though. 
  • Unfortunately I did not note down the names of the apps I removed. Everything with Intex in the name, also App Age Helper or something like that, and the three which malwarebytes pointed out.