Tuesday, December 23, 2008

saga of corrupt pst file

K's S had a corrupt pst file, not opening in Outlook. Googled and passed on the following gyan:

Techrepublic points to MS knowledgebase and says pst max filesize is 2 GB
http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-1052339.html (BTW, the link is correct - it is techrepublic.com.com....)

also says the same thing,
mentions that it affects
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 97 Standard Edition
Googling for 5 GB pst file, found
"I'd suggest using Mozilla Thunderbird on Windows to do the conversion. It creates MBOX files, and it's free. I've used it to migrate 5 GB of PST files to mail.app for my wife and myself."
from comments at http://www.davidalison.com/2008/05/outlook-pst-files-and-mac-conversion.html

According to http://www.tek-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=1401989&page=12 last line,
"server side .pst tools don't support .pst files larger than 2gb. "
So there may have been some corruption if the file has gone through such tools.

Some more possibilities are listed in the comments of:
which say
Since this is paid sw, you could try thunderbird first, and later export back to outlook if necessary.

Resolution: Trying the Thunderbird stunt also did not work, many folders had junk characters and so on. It turned out that the file had become corrupted while being copied to the laptop. S went back to office, copied it again, this time it worked fine.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

repairing dialup networking in XP

M had a problem connecting to Reliance using the USB dongle. Googled the error message 'Error 6 The handle is invalid.' and found the solution was a bit of voodoo from http://forums.practicallynetworked.com/showthread.php?t=6781:
1. Remove Modem driver from the Device Manager.

- Right click My Computer and select Properties.

- Click on Hardware, Device Manager. Click on + sign by modem, right click and
uninstall modem.

2. Delete the dial up connections and remove 3rd party RAS related
program if any.

3. Run the attached file to install RArepair.exe, then run RArepair.exe to
reinstall RAS components. Reboot.

4. Reinstall Modem driver and the 3rd party dial up program if it is
required by your ISP.

5. Recreate the dial up connection and check if the problem is resolved.

The exe file is also available on the forum page.

Friday, November 28, 2008

easy scheduled shutdown for windows

I wanted the equivalent of shutdown -h 3600 for windows, googled and found that it is shutdown -s -t 3600. And \System32\shutdown.exe shows a dialog box counting down the time to shutdown too. shutdown /? for more options...

M-Audio MobilePre USB

Unfortunately seems to be el-cheapo in results too. Has -72 dB of noise - comparable to a normal PC sound card, not like Pro or Semi-Pro cards which have at least -84 like the Darla (a discontinued product now at www.echoaudio.com ). But the real killer was lack of frame-accurate sampling. Drift of 0.3 sec in 30 minutes recording.

While doing the tests, played back drama CD with 13 tracks with the Marantz CD recorder (CDR 631)and recorded on saispace2 and sathya with the MobilePre and Darla cards respectively. The Darla recording synced with the CD audio captured using Cool Edit Pro's audio extraction, accurate to 0.02 sec over 70 minutes. The MobilePro had the 0.3 sec in 30 minutes.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

HP Pavilion travails

M brought a HP Pavilion dv6000 - dv6402ca to be precise - to check if networking is OK. He runs WinXP on it, and not the pre-installed Vista, because he has some sw which won't work with Vista. Found that the network driver was not installed - nForce chipset. Since the wireless was working, thought it would be a ten minute job to download the driver, install it and check it. Little did I know....

First, the Broadcom Wifi refused to work with our Airport wireless network. After entering the SSID and WEP key, a simple "Repair" was enough to make the Compaq connect to it. Tried removing the earlier configured wireless network, retaining only our home network. No go. Finally tried a restart. Voila! Connected. So, try try try again, if you don't succeed, restart!

The nVidia driver was a hefty 50 MB download. Got the link from

Unfortunately, Windows downloaded a couple of updates, and I thought I could club both restarts together. So, ran the nVidia driver setup and chose not to restart immediately, ran the update installation, chose not to restart immediately, then restarted. But then the screen remained black after the initial XP splash screen. Back-light is seen, but no display.

Tried Safe mode: login screen comes up, but keyboard and trackpad are disabled! Keyboard only works in the initial boot menu. Even attaching a USB keyboard didn't help. Turned in for the night on that note.

Maybe in normal boot, the new driver might be making the external VGA the main screen, thought I, so tried it out today with an external monitor. That one too showed exactly the same display as the built-in LCD.

Is it a hardware problem? Tried booting with Knoppix. What I had was an older version from Linuxforu, 3.2. It booted fine the first time, but reported that it found BIOS Bug #81[000...000] - Later rebooting worked only in failsafe mode. Anyway, it seemed there was no hardware problem. But couldn't do any repair of the Windows install from there, since it was on NTFS and this version of Knoppix couldn't mount the drive though it made suitable fstab entries.

Next option was to try Windows XP recovery console using my XP disk. Administrator password? It turns out the default is blank! OK, but what do I do next? Tried chkdsk /r - it found some errors and corrected them, but on restart, the problem remained.

According to this thread, instead of recovery console, I should try the Windows repair method:
.... would probably recommend that you just do a setup-mode repair by booting from your Windows CD.

Skip the initial repair console option and choose to install Windows. When it says there is already a Windows, would you like to repair it?, that's the repair you want. It will run a full setup and keep your existing Windows configuration. This will mostly back you out to the service pack that is on your CD and so you'll need to reapply updates and service packs (except of course the
offending one.)

If the setup won't repair your existing Windows because your current service pack level is too far past your CD, you'll need to first build a "slipstreamed" CD with Win2K SP4 or XP SP2 integrated into it. The information to do this is widely available on the web, or post back if you need to and I'll give you details. You of course need another machine or a separate, clean Windows install with a CD-RW to make this....

OK, worked as advertised, except... it asked for my XP CD key and then asked for activation! Yikes. Tried options from RB both of whose CDs did not boot, finally got a volume licensed CD from P. At last. After another round of "repair", it finally came up.

Then I had to install the network driver. After that installation, still the Network Connections was empty! When in doubt, restart; so restarted. But the Wireless Adapter was shown as driver not loaded, and the ethernet adapter driver also was not loaded. Tried deleting the devices in device manager as per the trouble-shooting wizard's advice. Then rebooting with the Wireless adapter enabled, successfully detected both wireless and wired connections. ]


Edit: And now the keyboard and trackpad work in Safe mode too.

Monday, November 03, 2008

setting up an Airport network with a PC

The old Airport Base station (graphite) needs a Mac for the configuration. Connected the base station and the iBook to a hub to which the ADSL router was also hooked up. Running the Airport Admin Utility, configured the Base station with appropriate ip address and so on, and enabled WEP. To make the PC connect, the WEP key has to be entered in hex: to get it in hex, one needs to go to the menu in the Airport Admin Utility and choose Network Equivalent Password. Once the hex key is entered in the PC, it connects just fine. This forum post which says XP requires 128 bit encryption is wrong. In my case, an added extra is an SSID which is not broadcast.

For setting up the connection, Network Connections -> Wireless Connection -> Properties -> Wireless Networks tab, add the SSID and the key. Once this is done, "Repair" option for the wireless connection makes it connect. In case a wired connection was active, the newly connected wireless connection may not be used as the gateway, a restart may be required.

Friday, October 31, 2008

posting with Wamcom Mozilla on the iBook

Now an Airport Base station is set up in the room and the Compaq connects wirelessly using WEP. This iBook doesn't have an Airport card, so it connects via ethernet to a hub.

Opera 6.03 has an issue with links not working: clicking on a link does not follow the hyperlink. Strange. Maybe a system problem? Will try the older Opera 5. Wamcom Mozilla - OK when it works, but crashes often. Like it crashed 5 minutes back going to the Apple website's Airport Extreme page! Error 2, and the computer needs to be restarted.

The blogger edit toolbar is seen, but in this browser, it's buggy - selecting some text and hitting any of the button makes all the text in the post disappear!

Edit: Got the Opera 6 from mac.oldapps.com Will try the Opera 5 version, later, maybe.

Edit: Opera 5 works. But javascript, rendering etc leave much to be desired. Mozilla seems the best of the lot.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

posting from the iBook

All these days I thought the iBook's ethernet port was broken. K told me that it used to work just fine. Tried it out with different CAT5 cables, but still the router ethernet light did not glow. Then, googling for troubleshooting ethernet on Mac OS 9, found this page which guides users through the Internet Setup Assistant. Just went through the Assistant - a Wizard in Windows-speak - and "lo and behold" the connection works just fine. Revisited my old post to make the router dial out, and I'm in business. Maybe I'll hook up a hub or something to allow both laptops (iBook and Compaq) to be simultaneously online.

Edit: Since the IE5 on the iBook was not displaying the edit toolbar on Blogger, had to log in again on the PC to add the links. Will be installing better browsers soon.

Audition 3 mixer monitoring problem

Trying to record with Audition 3, came up against a monitoring issue. Even though the monitoring is set to "Always Input" as given in their knowledge base the result is as if "Smart Input" is selected: Can monitor only if the track is armed for recording. This is a major show-stopper for my technique of mixing down to a single stereo track. Also, the cues are not written to the wav files in Multitrack mode - only in Edit mode are the cues written to the wav files. So, my major USP for using Audition instead of Cubase goes down the drain. If the Yamaha AW4416 comes back, then maybe I can record in Edit mode with Audition. I'll post this issue with Adobe Support, let's see what happens.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Adobe Audition 3

Installed Adobe Audition 3 on the Mandir laptop. Audition records multitrack directly into the folder in which the session file is saved, similar to Cubase. But it silently dropped frames and finally stopped recording completely without any warnings when trying to record 6 tracks directly to the USB drive. Cubase gives a CPU meter and if it drops any frames, gives a dialog box and stops completely. Probably can record 1-2 tracks directly to the USB drive just like Cubase. Will activate and register Audition in a couple of days.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

problem booting saispace2

There was some issue booting saispace2 last evening. Stopped at the Windows boot screen. Booting into Linux without any problem. Booted into Safe Mode - OK. Then tried Debug mode - froze while Yahoo messenger was logging in, and Adobe Flash plugin was trying to download an update. Tried the Enable Boot Logging mode - OK. Freed some more space on C drive after the recent updates - only 200 MB was free, made it to 1 GB free. Then booted normally, no problems.

Friday, October 17, 2008

exploring video streaming hosting options

Wowza media server gives a cost effective solution for streaming broadcast flash. Windows media server is free, of course. Hosting plans - checked out dedicated hosting at ThePlanet, for $199 for 5000 GB per month, $25 setup fee.

Bypass Gmail Spam filter

Gmail has added a nice option - making a filter to bypass the spam filter - an option "Never send it to Spam". Saw a reference in this thread.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

chrome application shortcut

Created an application shortcut in the Quick Launch bar using Google Chrome for this blog. Ideal, since it will remember my login, and will open up in a jiffy. So, many recent posts....

Search and Replace

Found this great tool for find/replace whole blocks of text, googling for S who wanted to do this with some thousands of html pages. See screenshot below:

multiple recorders in Nero

Ticked the check-box to use multiple recorders, so can write mp3 backup CDs (of which I need two copies, one for Planet and one for Studio) twice as fast. When doing this, the number of copies can be kept as 1. Otherwise, it will prompt for another set of 2 blanks after finishing the first set.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

videos on the iBook

Transcoding some Ted talks with Super as a background job at Planet and later watching them on the iBook at home. VCD compatible MPEG1 is always a safe bet, plays off the 8 GB mem-key. The PocketPC MPEG4 preset also works if used with DivXDoctor. DD takes around a minute to "doctor" the file and create a placeholder mov file of around 5-10 MB for the 20 minute video. Filesize of the orig video is around 10-20% of the MPEG1 file. Custom settings, using uncompressed PCM wav audio with DivX5 for video also works without DivXDoctor, filesize comparable to the MPEG1 when using 350 kbps for video.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

find out which files are opened by a process

In Linux, lsof is available to find out lots of stuff about the filesystem, which files are open, by whom or which process, etc. On Windows, the solution seems to be the Sysinternals Process Explorer. The built-in tool on XP, called OpenFiles.exe, needs a flag to be enabled for it to show local non-shared files, or else it says
INFO: The system global flag 'maintain objects list' needs to be enabled to see
local opened files. See Openfiles /? for more information.
Unfortunately Openfiles /? does not give the solution so easily. Found it by googling at ExpertsExchange - The actual answer is more easily given by Openfiles /Local /? which is


Enables an administrator to enable or disable the system global flag
'maintain objects list' which tracks local file handles. Changes made
by this switch will take effect only after restarting the system.
Note: Enabling this flag adds performance overhead.

The condition requiring a restart, and the performance overhead, means that we should go with ProcessExplorer....

In Process Explorer, there is a Findmenu item. Using that, just give the substring you want to search for. No wildcards. Just substring. If you want to see any file ending with .mp3, should not give *.mp3, just .mp3. And so on.

new feature in Listen Now

Added B's code for check-boxes for people to choose to skip some files in "Listen Now". Had to do some editing to remove the non-functional "Listen after ___ hour(s): ___ minutes - finally just made the fields hidden.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Data entry techniques on the PocketPC

The Toshiba e400 PocketPC gives 4 data entry methods.
  • Transcriber - recognizes natural handwriting if written neatly.
  • Block Recognizer - similar to Palm's Graffiti.
  • Letter recognizer - supposed to recognize individual letters entered into a part of the screen
  • Onscreen keyboard
Using the transcriber, this is what results:
This is a test of handwriting recognition where I will keep writing till it stops recognizing stuff. With this thing I can write pretty fast, but not very accurately. If I have to write with this. T,cs the time takento write neatly and then correct it waltz the effort? Or is typing with the virtual keyboard a better choice? Only timee tests will tell. But fol the moment, Tim trying it out.worth thePlncbablly it will recognizeProbablyI have to write very legibly otherwise it will recognize junk.

Using the onscreen keyboard:
This may be much slower, but less error-prone. And the suggestions also save time.

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. 40 sec. With keyboard.

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. 45 sec with transcriber after correcting with kb.

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. 42 sec. With block recognizer, many errors as I'm out of practice.

The qulck bkown fox jumpag oock tha lnzy boa 37seconds wltth eefceh necoynlzer. (letter recognizer)

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.
28 seconds with transcriber! Result of writing neatly.

Of course, now when I'm entering this into the blog, I remember that the phrase is actually "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." Jumps, not jumped.

speeds of various flash memory devices

Today I forgot to bring the 8 GB mem-key when I left the room in the morning, so fleetingly thought about recording on the 512 MB SD-card in the PocketPC. Then remembered that the Mandir laptop doesn't have a card-reader built-in. Anyway, tested out the speeds, found the times taken to read and write a 100 MB file to the various devices:
Transcend 8 GB JF220 - 20 sec write, 5 sec read. 40 Mbps w / 160 Mbps r.
Sandisk 1 GB - 20 sec write, 8 sec read. 40 Mbps w /100 Mbps r.
Kingston 512 MB SD-card - 35 sec write, 14 sec read. 23 Mbps w / 57 Mbps read.

Not a very scientific test, since just transferring the 100 MB file from one hard disk to another took 7 sec - the hard disk speeds probably interfere with the results above. But gives a rough idea.

At a time, the Transcend cannot record more than 2 mono audio tracks at 16 bit 44.1 kHz from Cubase - trying to add any more results in buffer underrun and Cubase stops recording. That's just 1.4 Mbps. Relatively, then, the SD-card with a card reader can probably not handle more than one mono audio track at a time while recording.

The unbranded All-in-One card reader I have also has some issues. Twice it caused the drive to vanish while reading the 100 MB file from the SD-card - power over USB cable issue, most probably. Connected it to another USB slot, checked with scandisk and found no errors, copied OK.

more software for the PocketPC

Added the Plucker reader Vade Mecum to the Pocket PC, as well as an image viewer from PDAMill. Both working well. Must try out Plucker files as an alternative to Mobipocket and iSilo. The reader is slower to load, but if the desktop "distiller" is good, it will make up for those deficiencies...

Friday, October 10, 2008

tweaking analog referer reports

Analog reports for sssbpt.org were becoming too large due to the referer report listing all the webmail sites which were being used to read the Sai Spiritual Showers emails. Added the following lines to the config file to make the report more manageable:
#list only those with more than 1000 ref in last 7 days
REFREPEXCLUDE http://mail.google.com/*
REFREPEXCLUDE http://*mail*
REFREPEXCLUDE http://sss.sssbpt.org/sssbpt/?p=confirm&uid*

Sunday, October 05, 2008


I've had a flurry of ordering stuff on the 'Net - using bank direct debit via CCAvenue at zoomin.com, using paypal at Barnes and Noble and now with HDFC's NetSafe, probably I can do much more. It took just 10 minutes to open an HDFC account with PAN card and VoterID xerox copies. New branch here, so probably they are hungry for business. 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm working hours are good for us, too.

Recording Yagnam chants

Recording in PC with Tascam US-144 and PDStudio laptop. 2 line-ins for the mornings, one mic for the evenings. Works with Audition 1.0 and Cubase 1.1 LE. Cubase has the advantage of directly writing to the mem-key.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

burnt fingers with IMAP

R wanted a solution to back up his gmail. Suggested IMAP, since so much is said about IMAP being superior to POP3. But in this case,
  1. His total email size is going to be more than 4 GB, and according to Murphy's law, he will probably be still on FAT32, so will crash when that happens.
  2. Archiving to DVD and deleting old mbox files will probably cause catastrophe with IMAP - won't that delete files on the server?
So, recommended POP3 to him. But he needs to make a lot of filters to make folders and populate them to recreate the labels he has on gmail.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

fixed stuck ups button

The UPS in Mandir had it's on-off switch jammed by spilt paint. Took it to studio after unsuccessfully trying to un-jam it using a screwdriver and a knife-blade. There, D opened it up, filed away the paint, now it's better than before tho' a bit rough looking.

Friday, September 26, 2008

DKU-5 cable installation problem

N's clone DKU-5 cable was not working with his Nokia 6070 phone. For the error mesg on the phone, 'Enhancement not supported'


Reasons could be:

1. Phone not supported by cable.
2. No proper driver installed.
3. Cable/phone may be damaged

DKU-5 seems to be compatible with 6070. Checking it out, found that the driver had an issue - Device manager showed that the USB-UART driver had problems.

While reinstalling the driver from driver CD, error message is "name already in use as service name". Uninstalled PC Suite and tried, still no go.
Uninstalled PC Suite, booted safe mode, removed all instances, rebooted safe mode, checked no instances of USB-UART, still the problem persisted.

Some people report that the driver which came with their CD was not working, they downloaded a driver from the manufacturer's website and that worked. But in this case, googling "USB World Technology Inc" gave a driver from driverguide.com which seems to be identical to the one in the CD.

Then, following the tip at linksys forum checked C:\WINDOWS\setupapi.log. It referred to the service "Serenum". Searched with regedit, found the keys, but could not delete them: it says "Unable to delete all specified values". So, stuck till some solution for this is found.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

nice web 2.0 site

zoomin.com had a promo of 30 free prints for new sign-ins. Signed in with an invite sent by K, was pleased with their implementation and ideas. Pros - cheap prints. Unlimited storage, privacy options. Responsive site, fast photo uploads. Cons - Slooow Slideshows. They say they're hiring, and are looking for *nix experience. Maybe they want to switch away from ASP.NET?

capturing from video conferencing system

There's a LifeSize installation next door, and they wanted to be able to record the HiDef video for archives. Saw the manual (pdf, 723 kB) and it says the way to record is using a Standard Def video out. Checked it out, was giving a blurry PAL signal at something like 15 fps. Nothing like the 1280x720 30 fps output on the VGA out. Their tech support email said pretty much the same thing.

Tried connecting to the box using NetMeeting, since it supports H.323 and SIP. NetMeeting only got us 320x240 video with 10fps or so.

Have to try Mizuphone SIP client next, running a local SIP server.

Monday, August 25, 2008

This week when Automatic Update prompted me to install IE7, I finally gave in and said yes. During the install, it had an option to install Malicious Software Removal Tool, which I had been de-selecting all these months. Again, gave in to MS's persistence, and agreed to the install. After that, MusicMatch Jukebox (v6) refuses to work. Serves me right for doing something stupid. Installed WinLame instead to do encoding with gui. Added to it's preset xml file for my usual:
<preset name="96 k mono">
96 kbps cbr mono.
Command line used: "-b 96 -m m" (maybe)
<value name="lameNumberChannels">1</value>
<value name="lameBitrate">96</value>
<value name="lameCBR">1</value>
<value name="hideLameSettings">1</value>

Edit (Jan 12 2009): Move this to the top of the presets list in the xml file to make it the default...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

loose contact with line driver card?

Following up my previous post, going through the diagrams, it appears that the only thing between our injected signal and some of the equipment is the line driver cards. Going through the line driver cards, tracing the signal since the circuit diagram could not be found, apparently no path for the System Reset signal there - just a dumb buffer using UHP 407s with pin 8 just connected to Vcc. So, system malfunction most probably due to a loose card, rather than anything else.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

System troubles at Space

On Thursday August 14, just before the show, the "Home in process" light came on, and everything stopped working. I was under the impression that we'd bypassed the entire ATM2 system in 2006 by directly injecting the signal after the output demultiplexer. Strange, need to dig deeper. On Friday, opened up to see if any obvious wiring damage was visible. Nothing. Just to see, put it on, and it came on! Even the cabinet intrusion interlock is bypassed. But now the "Home in process" light is off. So, maybe some other signal is blocking the system - must trace the signals through.

And today, just when WB youth arrived for their show, the Star-Ball lamp blew. First replacement also seemed to be bad. Only after they left (showing them "Love is My Form" video instead) and we tried another lamp lying on the table, it worked! So we're down to our last replacement lamp....

Saturday, August 09, 2008

IRDA transfers

Tried IR transfers to the Toshiba e400 - data goes at 56 kbps from phone to PDA - 250 kByte file takes 45 seconds.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Using Transcend JF220 with Linux

Another of A2's gifts was a Transcend Jetflash JF220 8 GB USB Flash drive - TS8GJF220
In order to use it with Linux and the iBook, had to run through some hoops because of its integrated finger-print reader. First, tried the partitioning techniques suggested in places like here, but fdisk on linux just showed the drive as having 10 MB. Learned that this was the "public" partition, and that I would have to repartition the drive's "public" and "private" areas using the Repartition tool given on CD, which works only on Windows. And for that to work, I have to go through a Wizard and submit my fingerprint! Struggled for a while with the fingerprint, since the sensor seemed to be sensitive to orientation (or maybe my finger-prints are not well-defined). Got through after 10-20 tries. After the repartition, when I made the "private" area the minimum possible 50 MB and the rest as "public", the iBook and Linux recognize the 7.5 GB space in the drive without any problem.

Now I have to try the Windows method of disabling auto-insert notification to prevent the fingerprint software from running in Windows. Unfortunately, the Win98 method doesn't work with XP. The fingerprint stuff is in a partition which is recognised as a CD-ROM - formatted cdfs. Can't even remove it.

Edit: Did the autoplay disabling with the Group Policy method mentioned here and as a comment here.

New toy - Toshiba e400 PocketPC

A2 gave me a Toshiba e400 PocketPC. Loaded eBook readers, video players into it. Tech specs are:
Intel PXA261 @ 300 MHz.
64 MB RAM, 16 MB ROM.
SD-card slot (512 MB card loaded).
16 bit colour TFT 240 x 320 pixels, 3.5 inches.
Microsoft PocketPC Ver. 4.20.1081 (2003, I think).

Here are the usage notes.

  1. Removing the SD-card - According to the manual, you must shut off the PocketPC before removing the SD card. Also, in my experience, to prevent File Explorer from hanging, navigate to some other folder or the root folder (My Device) before putting off the device and removing the card, then put on the device to check that the card has been "unmounted". Later, if the card is put back (again, with the device switched off) File Explorer will then remount the card and show the new contents correctly. Maybe using "Stop All" in Settings -> System -> Memory -> Running Programs is also useful.
  2. Installing programs without the USB cable - Those programs for pocketpc which are available as CAB files installed quite well, just by copying to SD card and clicking on them from File Explorer.
  3. PDF readers - PocketXpdf does not have text reflow. Had problems with Foxit reader - it installs an installer(!) from the CAB file, which is not recognised as a PocketPC executable. Will have to try Adobe Reader using the convoluted technique of running the install with ActiveSync, copying out the CAB files created and so on.
  4. Video players - Tried TCPMP and PocketMVP from PocketPCFreewares.com. TCPMP seemed to have the best performance and seemed the most tweakable. The Windows Media Player which is already installed plays wmv files quite well.
  5. Ebook Readers - Successfully installed iSilo and Mobipocket readers. The Pocket Word and Pocket Excel which are also installed are also useful. I specially like iSilo's scrolling along with a finger touch-drag on the screen. iSilo supports pdb and txt, Mobipocket supports html and prc, Pocket Word reads doc, but did not work with an RTF exported from Google Docs. Mobi had trouble with a large html file (BattleStar Galactica novel, 540 kB single html file) saying insufficient memory, but read a H2H issue, 557 kB, fine. This was converted from pdf to html with libprs500. Both files read with the Pocket IE installed, but the novel had formatting problems due to margins which were too large.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

flickr versus picasaweb

A posted some pictures on Flickr, and seeing the slideshow was a waiting experience: "Loading...." Something of a contrast with the slideshows on Google photos - Picasa web albums. Checked with ethereal. Found that pix used by Flickr are 300 kB average size per pic, while Google's pix are one-third the size. Bandwidth usage for Flickr slideshow at 1 second per pic was touching 1 Mbps easily and still managed to show the "loading" progress bar on occasion.

Monday, July 28, 2008

phplist bounce processing

Once again, found that the phplist bounce processing had stopped. Reason was probably an aborted bounce process run, which I'd started from the web-based link. When trying to run from commandline now, it said
A process for this page is already running and it was still alive 305 seconds ago
Running commandline, quitting. We'll find out what to do in the next run.
and refused to run from commandline. Went back to the web-based link from the admin section, this time it said
A process for this page is already running and it was still alive 461 seconds ago
Sleeping for 20 seconds, aborting will quit
but after 20 sec, started processing afresh. But this is somewhat risky when running from a remote machine, because the connection may break during the hour or so taken for processing. The best thing, then, would be to either
  • run the bounce processing as a cron job (like we do), or
  • when troubleshooting, run from inside a screen console, detach the screen when not actively monitoring it, or
  • run the web-based link from a local X console, or
  • run the web-based link from a VNC X console running on localhost.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

tips from gizmo - print folder contents and boot safe mode

Gizmo's Tech Support Alert Newsletter is now merging with Windows Secrets, and in his last issue, Gizmo gave a few good tips.

To add the print directory feature to Windows Explorer, follow these steps:
a) Open Notepad and then copy and paste the following text into Notepad:

@echo off
dir %1 /-p /o:gn > "%temp%\Listing"
start /w notepad /p "%temp%\Listing"
del "%temp%\Listing"

b) Save the file as Prin.bat in the Windows directory, and then close Notepad.

c) Start Windows Explorer, click Tools, and then click Folder Options.

d) Click the File Types tab, and then click File Folder. d1)Click Advanced (this step added by Gizmo)

e) Click Edit, and then click New.

f) In the Action box, type Print Directory Listing.

g) In Application used to perform action, click Prin.bat, and then click OK.

h) Click OK, click Apply, and then click OK.

Now Open Windows Explorer, right-click the folder that you would like to print a directory listing of, and then click Print Directory Listing.
He notes that this is adapted from Microsoft's knowledgebase.
...completely reliable way of booting into Safe Mode and that's by using the MSConfig Utility. This tip is not only useful getting problem USB keyboards into Safe Mode but also for folks who have trouble getting their timing right when pressing the F8 key during the boot sequence.

Press Start/Run and type msconfig into the run box and press Enter. When MSConfig starts, click the BOOT.TAB and put a check mark against /SAFEBOOT. Next time you boot, Windows will automatically start in Safe mode without any need to press F8. Remember later to take out the check mark otherwise your PC will always boot in Safe Mode.
This is especially useful for people like me in multi-boot environments.

gmail loading problem

R had a problem with his gmail account - it was stuck on the loading screen, refusing to go to standard view, tho' html view was working fine. Flushing the cache did not help. The same issue on various machines! Working on IE, not working on firefox. Finally, he got it working using the nocheckbrowser link - https://mail.google.com/mail?nocheckbrowser.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Kaspersky online virus scan

Did a scan of saispace2 from the Kaspersky.com site. Java based, nice interface. Downloading the virus definitions was the largest data transfer - around 25 MB. Full machine scan took around 5 hours. Tried another scan after 24 hours and a few reboots, this time the definitions seemed to be cached, so the scanner came up almost instantly. It found c:\program files\WinDriveGurard\windriveguard.exe on the first scan, which Kaspersky identifies as Trojan.Win32.Monderc.gen. Removed it after checking if any processes were running using that exe. Found a ScanProcess.exe which respawned even when killed, but this seemed to be the Kaspersky's exe, since closing the Kaspersky window removed that process from TaskManager. Found a process running in the Acer laptop from which I transfer files to saispace2 with USB drive, so killed the process and deleted the relevant files in C: there as well as on the USB drive. On the USB drive it was System\Windriveprotect\DriveProtect.exe or something like that. The second scan of C: alone took 35 minutes and came out clean.

dhcp problem

In the Phy Dept, there was an issue with a new Dell desktop with a wifi dongle not getting an ip address from the wireless router. Both were Netgear products, working fine on an identical machine on the next table. WG 111 (v3) Netgear wifi USB dongle, router was a Netgear WPN824.

After many tries with WinXP "repair" and the command-line
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew
and other such stunts, even a wired connection to the router failed, and pings showed a strange character in the destination's place,
Pinging <strange wing-dings character> with 32 bytes of data:
Finally it was wiped and the dell recovery CD was used to re-install WinXP, then everything started working again.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

keychain: command not found

Bash reported
keychain: command not found
every time we logged on to krishna via ssh. Googled, found that it was a bug in Mandriva, fixed it by editing .bash_profile by adding an if [ -x /usr/bin/keychain ] like
 if [ ! -d $HOME/.keychain ]; then
if [ -x /usr/bin/keychain ] ; then
The [space] before the -x is important....

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

improving speed on WinSCP

In my previous post, I'd mentioned the speed penalty of sftp on Windows. Checking out the WinSCP FAQ, found that using Blowfish instead of AES made the transfers as fast as on Linux! Load a saved session, go to the SSH settings on the left pane, move Blowfish up above AES, save the session, overwriting the previously saved session.

listening to SGH on mobile

Using a cell-phone to listen to any Shoutcast stream requires a suitable player. For Nokia phones, the official Nokia Internet Radio lists SGH:
For Nokia phones not supported by this app, there is the S60 Internet Radio.
The user instructions say that you need to copy the pls files of the stations of your choice. For SGH, the pls files are linked from the listen now links:


Please note that if your internet connection is slow, you will hear choppy audio with breaks.
For Windows mobile, there is GSPlayer. For phones with Java, Glassplayer - not free, costs $5. Will add more players here as I find them.

RSS feeds or email updates for any page on the Net

A listener had sent us the tip long back, using dapper.net one can make RSS feeds or email updates or a flash widget or an alert for any page... The TFD page and my blog are already Dapped...

follow-up on installing indic support on XP

Here is a bit more detailed account of the Indic support install on Windows: as the Indic IME readme says,

IMEs cannot be installed or upgraded on a system that doesn't already support IMEs in the same language that you are installing. To enable Indic IME, go to control panel - > Regional and Language Options. Select Language Tab, and check the option "Install files for complex scripts and left-to-right language and insert Win XP CD in your CD-ROM drive.

After installing and rebooting, once again go to Control Panel -> Regional and Language Options -> Languages -> Details -> Add , choose your language, and in the drop down below, choose the newly installed IME if you want to type in phonetic English characters, or choose Inscript or other keyboard layout if you prefer that. Again you may need to restart. The Wikipedia Indic support page says that XP SP2 is required for Malayalam support, but Devanagari and the other South Indian languages can do without SP2. Blogger's transliteration help is here, which notes that the transliteration is also available as a separate product here.

downloading files with lynx

When using remote access, it is convenient to use text-based browsers like lynx instead of hogging bandwidth with X over ssh. When you want to save files like pdfs, hit the d key (instead of enter or g) when the link to the pdf is highlighted. Then you can retrieve it from the remote machine using sftp. The putty suite also has an sftp client. Winscp is also available if you want a gui and don't mind file transfers being slower.
Edit: The Putty suite's PSFTP seems to be as slow as WinScp - commandline on Linux is still faster.
Edit: See this post for improving speed on Windows!

Monday, July 07, 2008

FF3 installation issue

Could not get FF3 installed on Mandrake 10 - the problem is outlined here. A real pity...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Checking out Indic language support

Saw a good site with lots of song lyrics, http://guruguha.wikispaces.com/. Checking out Blogger's support for Indic languages and copy-pasting between languages, here goes....

यह हिन्दी में है - Yeh Hindi mein hai

ഇതു മലയാളത്തിലാണ് - ithu malayalathilAnu

ఇది తెలుగులో - idi telugulo

ಇದು ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ - idu kannadadalli

இது தமிழில் - ithu tamizhil

Blogger does not allow copy-paste between languages as far as I can see - the pasted script remains as Malayalam or Hindi or English or Tamil or Kannada or Telugu. The Language Tool on the toolbar does the magic, with Spell-check, too! Nice. Should try out some desktop Indic tools, maybe.

Edit: Tried various tools including Microsoft's Indic support site and Iwrite32. Using the Microsoft IME (Input Method Editor), text can be entered nicely in all apps, but transliteration between scripts is possible only in MS Office or some limited apps. I tried and did not succeed with Notepad, Wordpad, typing in IE or Firefox. Google docs, too can use the MS IME, but no transliteration. The best of the lot seemed to be online tools - wikipedia page on Indic support has lots and lots of good info and links. The online transliterate tool girgit looks interesting.
Edit: corrected a typo in the Tamil.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

using the JW flash player for our radio streams

Multi-platform support, and the ability to show "Now playing" and "Coming up next" etc on the page where the player is embedded. Actually, the player has to be on an html page which is on the streaming server itself: otherwise the flash security measures will prevent "content from another domain". So, implemented using an iframe on a page on www.radiosai.org , the iframe's src is a page on stream.radiosai.org . The JW player's home page is here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

imported contacts successfully, google docs and gears

As mentioned in my previous post, tried out importing the "Gmail csv" exported by Gmail's contact manager, adding more stuff in exactly the same format, this time it worked. But to do that, had to go through a few hoops.

First, Google Docs did not allow me to just copy-paste from one spreadsheet to another. Had to go through the pain of publishing as csv using the 'More publishing Options' from one spreadsheet, importing it as external data on a new sheet on the destination spreadsheet, then linking the data to another sheet. But once I installed Gears, everything became simple again. I could just highlight cells on one spreadsheet, copy, highlight cells on the other spreadsheet, paste. Gears really adds to the functionality, but maybe the Google folks are leery of publicising its virtues too much due to its privacy issues - not safe to use with a public computer....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

wonder why gmail contacts regressed

Generally Google products improve over time, but for some reason, the contacts browser in Gmail seems to have regressed very badly. So many features broken in the new version whose only advantage seems to be eye-candy:
  • Search doesn't match for any field other than contact name
  • Does not allow deleting of more than 20 contacts at a time
  • Import is more finicky - csv files which work with old version don't work with new version!
Thank God the Google team have retained the "Older version" link at least! But I hope the GMail team cleans up the contacts mess. Reason for ranting right now is that I'm trying to import a csv file, with field headers Name, Email Address, Phone - but GMail old version insists on making a Notes field and putting Phone: 9999999 there. New version refuses to import at all. Will try making a csv file exactly like the "GMail csv export" which Gmail exports.

google apps user export

There was a migration to google apps for domains over the weekend, and one of the features the admin wanted was an easy way to export list of all users. I didn't find it, he found it himself - the Download user list as CSV link at the bottom of the Email addresses tab.

Friday, June 13, 2008

java vnc viewer's scaling support

Saw on tightvnc site that the java viewer also has scaling support like the Win32 viewer has. Tried to get it working from saiwaves. Copied the class and other files to /usr/share/vnc/classes/
Edited the index.vnc file by adding the scale factor parameter. But adding scaling causes the refresh to break - cursor trails everywhere - and also the auto scaling was not working in spite of using the open new window parameter. Probably because of the old version of vnc server running on saiwaves. So currently better to stick to no scaling on Linux.

manually adding files to the audio search database

Some Musings talks were not accessible by the audio search page since they were not played since early 2007, and a listener requested. So, added them using dummy csv files dated 2007-01-01 and 02, with values entered by hand. Have to remember to
  1. not have a semi-colon or CR-LF after the last entry
  2. fill in the duration in minutes correctly
  3. make sure there are no spaces in the download-filename.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

dharma's AGP slot bad - maybe

Dharma refused to boot a few months back, beeping a lack of display. Tried PCI card, still no go. So snuck in an old ISA VGA card to make it boot. Only 16 colours, but boots. Today tried other AGP cards - Matrox Marvel G400, G200 - no go. Tried the PCI card, still no go. Then tried the PCI card in a different PCI slot + ISA card, booted, saw that the PCI card was listed in device manager. Then tried with PCI alone, booted OK, recognised the Sis 6215 card and loaded the correct driver. So, restored the system to using the PCI Sis card. Maybe the AGP slot has gone bad?

portable DVD / VCD player smoothing issue

MS brought in a portable DVD / VCD player for consultation. It was a circular disk around an inch thick, the size of a DVD, with a 3 inch LCD screen on top. Apparently he was trying out some settings and from then on the video was just coloured blocks. Went through the menu system - while displaying the menu the screen was fine, so it was not directly a display problem. Under video settings or something, found a Smoothing option which had been turned on. Turned it off and voila! The video renders fine. Probably the smoothing doesn't work for VCDs?

Monday, June 09, 2008

problems with flash video

flv files served from media.radiosai.org using the JW FLV media player appeared to be broken - not working from any of the machines at the studio. Then all video sites appeared broken! Including youtube, google videos and all the players listed at Wikipedia. Obviously this was unlikely. Checking the flash version number using this page, found that the videos were working fine in Linux with an earlier version (9.0.xx) of Flash plugin, and also with the latest 9.0.124 version. Maybe the 9.0.115 was the one with the problem. Or maybe not. Also found a post with various workarounds for flash video problems. And running the flashutil from c:\windows\system32\macromed\flash\ followed by a machine restart worked for the studio machines. Manual download and installation might have caused some problem, which this util might have cleaned up.

Edit: After a restart, my firefox again had the same problem. This time, tried the "acceleration toggle" trick - turn hardware acceleration off and then on again, using the settings option available by right-clicking on the video, restarting the browser each time. And it started working again.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

krishna not resolving dns after reboot

Since we seldom reboot, found this one only after a kernel update. Apparently the resolv.conf is being updated by resolvconf independently of what we set in the drakconf interface.
# Dynamic resolv.conf(5) file for glibc resolver(3) generated by resolvconf(8)

We could not just remove resolvconf like this guy did, since drakconf did not allow it. Then PB edited /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/tail and added
nameserver x.y.z.w
nameserver p.q.r.s
nameserver a.b.c.d
to get it working, with inputs from forums like http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=188551

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

the toshiba laptop finally gets professional help

The poor Toshiba laptop was opened once again, since the power jack became un-soldered and the ribbon cable totally detached. D could only do the power jack - the wifi remained dead, and since the ribbon cable was ripped, no sound to headphone either. Finally, H got it repaired at Chennai, with cards replaced for Rs. 3.5 k and service free since it was a friend.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

tfd update from external ip

The tfd update page had ip restriction, so N got access forbidden when he tried to update tfd from home. PB says easiest way to do would be to add the required IP address in the database. Not so easy for me to do....

firewall at the studio, krishna's booting trouble

Last week we moved from iptables running on Linux boxes to a firewall box. DLink DFL-210. It has an added feature of intrusion protection in addition to the greater uptime for studio net users. When the servers go down for maintenance, their browsing need not be interrupted. Fairly straightforward setup, but we wasted a lot of time "troubleshooting" a network cable which was not plugged in!

Related development - krishna not coming up after reboot, probably due to incorrect master-slave setting on extra hard disk or bootable flag or something like that, added to the fact that hotplug or kudzu is not installed, so it needed to drop to a root shell, then we edit /etc/fstab to remove the offending hard disk's entries, then it boots.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

flash flames

Wanted to demonstrate why using flash for a plain text page with a Next button is a bad idea, googled "misuse of flash". Got both points of view in the first few matches:

Pro-flash: http://anthonyfranco.wordpress.com/...cations-rias/

Anti-flash: http://tortus.com/news/flash_flashy_isnt_always_good

To be honest, the "anti" page is not anti-flash, just against its misuse. And the pro page lists many ways of doing things, which are not really done the correct way by our people, so it really is a pointer to flash misuse at our end once again....

Friday, May 09, 2008

miscellaneous vacation stuff

Doing "re-clicking" of old photos using a Kodak EasyShare DX6340 - 3 Mega pixel. The camera should be in the "Close-up" mode for best results.

Got video out working from the laptop, for seeing on the TV. S-video to composite Cable made with the help googling, diagram at
http://www.epanorama.net/circuits/svideo2cvideo.html , S did the soldering.

Monday, April 21, 2008

more on the toshiba laptop

Just like the previous posts - this time D brought it to solder in the replacement jack. Unfortunately now the ribbon cables are getting a bit ragged due to open-close-open-close so many times. So, first the track-pad didn't work. The disable switch on the Toshiba is Fn-F9 - toggling it didn't work, so D had to open it again and fiddle with the ribbon cable. Then the speaker didn't work. Again opened, tried fiddling with the ribbon cable, but this time the speakers stayed dead. So returned the laptop in that condition instead of risking opening it again and making something more critical go bad.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

AW4416 down

Unfortunately, the Yamaha AW4416 is now "retired hurt", gone to Chennai for treatment. Symptoms: four sliders showed funny values on Thursday but worked normally on Fri and Sat, Sun morning the LED display did not light up and the output waveform was clipped with only the top half appearing and not the bottom half, with slider values also out.

Stopgap arrangement - Aux outs of the Soundcraft mixer into the Tascam US-1641, moving sliders in software using the mouse.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

added streams to Nokia Internet Radio

Nokia Internet Radio directory makes it easy for supported Nokia handset owners to listen to internet radio streams. They sent us an invite, so I've added the five SGH streams to the directory.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tascam US-1641 digital in problem and solution

The Tascam US-1641 suddenly developed a strange illness - the digital in (SPDIF) was not working. It happened when I tried a different "boot order" instead of my usual Tascam->Yamaha AW4416->Laptop order. Tried many things including changing the cable, checking settings for SPDIF/AES etc, no go.

Finally, today, tried connecting the digital out from the Tascam to the Yamaha's digital in - then the Yamaha started complaining, Dig-St-in Sync Error! Aha! So changed the setting in Clock settings in the Tascam's control panel from "Internal" to "Automatic" - then tried digital input - working! Again closed and opened Cubase, the setting was reverting to the non-working "Internal" setting. Rooting through the help file, went to Transport -> Sync Setup and changed the sync from "Internal" to "ASIO device". Now works fine even after reboots. But the power-up order seems to be important. Probably booting up the computer without the Tascam being powered on changes the Sync option to internal in Cubase.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

configuring a phone for BSNL's GPRS service

Yesterday, NNR asked for help in configuring web browsing on a Samsung SGH X-600 phone - the BSNL sms with the settings had been saved, but the browsing was not going through. Sat and went through the settings using the guide at BSNL and found that the settings sent by sms had the wrong IP Port - 9401 instead of 9201. Changed to 9201, it started working. Still the home page at http://localhost/home.wml shows "Unsupported content type" on the phone, tho' google, rediff etc websites work fine. Just for reference, the settings are:

For general internet:

-> Profile name – BSNL GPRS
Select GPRS Setting and key in the following:
-> Gateway IP address -
-> Gateway IP port - 9201
-> APN GPRS: wapsouth.cellone.in
-> Login ID - ppp
-> Password – ppp123
-> Homepage URL - http://localhost/home.wml
-> Bearer - GPRS only

select Current proxy -> BSNL GPRS and then browsing will work.

For BSNL's portal - rintones etc:

-> Profile name – BSNL PORTAL
Select GPRS Setting and key in the following:
-> Gateway IP address -
-> Gateway IP port - 9201
-> APN GPRS: portalsouth.cellone.in
-> Login ID - ppp
-> Password – ppp123
-> Homepage URL - http://wap.cellone.in
-> Bearer - GPRS only
select Current proxy -> BSNL PORTAL and then at the WWW service menu, click home to go to BSNL portal.

For MMS:

Under MMS Profiles setting,

- Profile Name: BSNL MMS
- Server URL:
Select GPRS Setting and key in the following:
-> Gateway IP address -
-> Gateway IP port - 9201
-> APN GPRS: bsnlmms
-> Login ID - ppp
-> Password – ppp123
-> Bearer - GPRS only

Now you can go to Message Menu, and then selecting Multimedia Message, send a multimedia message to another number.

More on the Tascam US-1641 and the bundled Cubase

A follow-up to my previous post - got DJ to put in 10k ohm resistors in series and make cables to run from the Spirit 42 to the Tascam - the Direct-Outs were +4 dBu and maybe even a little more with headroom, while the XLR inputs for the Tascam maxed out at +2 dBu. Anyway, even with the resistors, found that the Direct outs were being saturated by KV/BR's practice of increasing input trim till the overload indicator is almost continuously on. So, have reverted to recording with the aux inputs to the Yamaha AW4416: at least 3 inputs are pre-fade, so those at least are less over-driven.

From the AW4416, I can export 8 tracks at once to Cubase LE running on the laptop using the Tascam US-1641 - 4 tracks on omni outs, 2 tracks on stereo outs and 2 tracks on digital stereo outs - any bus can be routed anywhere.

About the recordings on Cubase: one nifty trick is "Bounce selected" in the Audio menu. Supposing I have multiple tracks which have different in and out points. The individual recorded wav files will be Audio01_01.wav, Audio02_01.wav etc which will not be in sync if directly imported into another audio sw since their in/out points are different. But if I select (using the marquee tool) an area with these tracks included, and choose the Bounce selected option, it asks whether to replace existing material, if you choose No, it creates new files like Audio01.wav, Audio02.wav and so on, padded with silence at beginning and end so that all of them are of the same length, can be imported to other sw easily.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

BT site in SaiUniti

Finally BT site is in SaiUniti. Some hiccups faced due to A wanting CNAME instead of A record even for the domain record, not possible with most (or all?) DNS control panels.
on freedns.afraid.org - this type of thing is not possible:

2 errors
# You can't mix CNAME/MX records together using the same hostname.
# Domain root's cannot be CNAME's, however you can web-forward this record to www.sssbpt.org instead for the same effect.

I could have reverted to frame forwarding at nettigritty.

all saved bookmarks etc with http://sssbpt.org/etc bookmarks will return error 404.

Only if someone directly tries http://sssbpt.org will it go through to the correct site. There, clicking on links will show on the address bar as the same http://sssbpt.org/etc which had earlier returned error 404!
So A allowed A records for the time being, plans to make an ISAPI filter!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Adventures with the Tascam US-1641

SS gave us a Tascam US-1641 for use in the Mandir. Interfacing it with the Yamaha AW4416 using the midi interface for controlling the bundled Cubase LE4 was quite an adventure.

Getting the digital SPDIF input and other analogue inputs was no problem, though currently the analogue inputs from the Spirit Live 42 direct outs are too hot - they are going up to + 10 dB on the Spirit's sliders! Will need some sort of attenuator.

Midi: the AW4416 is supposed to have a MIDI Remote facility in firmware Ver2. There is a separate tab inside the MIDI screen for MIDI Remote functionality. Got the relevant manual from Yamaha, but somehow the way I did the MIDI Bulk dump was wrong. So, had to change the Hex values of the MIDI messages sent by the AW4416 manually. The readme says that bidirectional control is not implemented - so changing the controls on the computer are not going to move the motorized faders or anything like that.

Changes made: Loaded the AW4416 xml file from Yamaha in the Device Setup Dialog, found one of the faders was working, then made similar changes to midi messages sent by the other faders and switches to get them to work:
b0 00 fad end
b0 01 fad end
all midi channel 1

b0 20 sw end
b0 21 sw end

20 in hex = 32 = address in cubase. And so on. b0 seems to be some sort of preface. sw must be switch.

The "learn" button inside cubase was displaying the address, channel, etc for faders, did not show up initially for switches. Maybe because the initial setting for the switches was just to send
without address or prefix or anything like that.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

more domains - Media foundation

sssmf.com .net and .org registered with rediff, instead of making more virtual domains, for now hosted the dns with freedns.afraid.org and set up url forwarding. Will think of a more permanent solution, probably more virtual domains on fs1 or somewhere, once the SaiUniti servers confusion is sorted out.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

online text formatter, GutenMark and other stuff

Browsing the Mobileread forums again, found a tutorial and a wiki on BookDesigner, a link to a nice online text formatter and a link to GutenMark, which is supposed to make Gutenberg etexts prettier with formatting.

Also found a link to pielrf, for quick conversions! Kovid Goyal's libprs500 has also made tremendous strides - the screenshots look great.

Monday, January 28, 2008

domains from godaddy

V has sent us a dozen domains like sai-inspires.org which he has purchased from godaddy. Logged on to godaddy, used the invite he gave, under domains -> AccountExec domains, hitting the + icon shows up our folder with the 12 domains. Did domain forwarding for all of them to http://media.radiosai.org/journals . Added the subdomain www for all of them too, forwarding to the same url. Also, for the forwarding to work, had to change the nameservers to "Default parked nameservers".

Sunday, January 27, 2008

lots of action, very few posts!

Once again a long backlog of stuff I should have posted long back:

  1. Recording morning and evening bhajans, so lots of time goes in recording and editing. Editing too, since otherwise hard disk would run out, and also PB want more bhajans asap for BhajanStream!

  2. heart2heart.in domain - purchased through rediff, a virtual server is made on fs1 for hosting this, and it's forwarded to http://media.radiosai.org/journals

  3. PB completed php-based scheduler internal web-app, beta-testing on.

  4. BV completed audio search page, open to public. This is really useful for me, when people ask for specific requests!

  5. Contemplating a sort of corporate blog or official blog - SP wanted to host a video on need for documentation, I read Eric Sink's book based on his blog, "The Business of Software", etc. Using blogger it should be straightforward, I hope...

  6. Stupid mistake of trying to make a minor change in number of pixels in TFD page, but without updating my local copy! Outage for 15 hours or so while I tried to replicate PB's changes... Funny part is that commenting out
    if recordset.RecordCount > 0
    makes the page work!

  7. Following up on sssbpt.org migration to saiuniti servers - I'm not so good at HR! Too blunt!

  8. Installed Filezilla server, firewall yet to be opened.

  9. KR(M) is following up on the generator radiator issue, the generator batteries and the cooling tower fan-blades - as instructed by KVR.

  10. Doing saicast encodes on a borrowed HDD from PB, since my machine is FULL!

  11. Did some routine log analysis on fs1, transferring old log files to local for archiving.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Virtualdubmod to directly convert mpeg2 to avi

In my earlier post, I'd described using autogk to convert mpeg2 to avi, then virtualdub to add the logo / watermark. Then an aha moment - autogk uses virtualdubmod, so why not use virtualdubmod directly do the watermarking etc? Used this method for Xmas 2007 videos.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

BSNL name servers hate google

www.google.com has been unavailable from my location (AP) using BSNL's notorious name servers. So, using the post at Jason's blog, changed to the OpenDNS servers mentioned there, and - accessed it through gmail on krishna, vnc over ssh....

So now I can access blogger, youtube and gmail again!

Bonus - learnt about OpenDNS's adult filtering capabilities too.

Friday, January 04, 2008

schedule page and mysql too many connections

Found this morning that mysql daemon had died on our hosting provider for radiosai.org , nettigritty. Contacted them, they said too many connections from radiosai user. They said

> 1. Do not use persisternt connections (pconnect)
> 2. Ensure you are correctly closing connections after use.

We're not using pconnect. For non-persistent connects, they are supposed to
automatically disconnect after the script executes, but still we have added
to the end of our scripts, just to be safe.

But two possible reasons could be

1. Too much traffic on our site

2. The times when our page fails to load properly giving the error
Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded
( log file is at http://www.radiosai.org/program/inerror.log )
every time it fails, maybe the connection remains open.

Reason (1) - http://www.radiosai.org/plesk%2Dstat/webstat/ shows us that the
index.php gets 1000+ hits per day. That should be OK for mysql to handle, I suppose.

About Reason (2) - Another possibility I thought of was: the index.php also
has links to images and flash files, which also have to load before the 30
second timeout. If this can be delinked from the php part of the code - maybe
using div elements or something? - perhaps the timeout issue can be mitigated
to a large extent? For the time being, I've removed the links to the images and flash files and we'll see if this improves matters.

a typical day

Once again I've to find more time in the allocated 24 hours - where is all the time going? Let's see. From Dec 16, this has been my schedule:

Before 8.15 am - finish morning routines including washing, cycling and exercise if any, and breakfast too.
8.15 to 10.15 - Morning bhajan recording at Mandir.
10.15 to 12.45 - Fight fires if any, or process the recorded audio
12.45 Lunch
1.45 to 2.30 - Make playlist or continue processing audio or if any videos ready for saicast, process them...
2.30 to 6.30 - Tea, then goto Mandir for programme or Bhajan recording
6.30 to 7.30 - Complete playlist making
7.30 Dinner
8.30 to 10.30 - @ S3, R&R, which quite often means updating the "voluntary" webpages!

The 2.30 to 6.30 slot is one where some optimization can be done. Maybe I can think of going to Mandir a little later, saving half an hour or so. Need to find time to do things like data backup, clearing up space on hard disks and so on.