Wednesday, December 09, 2009

restoring clipped audio

Searching for 'noise reduction tutorial' in Cool Edit Pro's help system, found a Howto for restoring clipped audio:

To restore clipped audio while retaining the amplitude

If you have clipped audio (sound that’s overly amplified to the point of distortion), Cool Edit Pro’s Clip Restoration effect can help clean it up. Here’s how to use it without changing the volume of the waveform.

1. In Edit View, use Edit > Convert Sample Type to convert the file to 32-bit audio.

2. Run Effects > Noise Reduction > Clip Restoration with “Input Attenuation” set to 0dB.

3. Run Effects > Amplitude >Hard Limiting with “Boost Input” set to 0dB, and “Limit Max Amplitude” set to -0.2dB to bring the restored clipped audio back into normal range.

4. Use Edit > Convert Sample Type to convert the waveform back to the original sampling frequency if desired.

Monday, December 07, 2009

joining multiple VOBs into a single DVD

As given in a previous post, this is fairly straight-forward when the resulting DVD can fit in a regular DVD5 disc. But when it's bigger, must use DVD Shrink. And DVD Shrink does not play nice with the ifo files created with ifoEdit. Had to
1. Create ifo files separately with ifoEdit for each PGC ripped into it's own folder making sure DVDDecrypter had the File Splitting set to 1 GB in settings. Still didn't work with Shrink.
2. Had to rip one of the parts with DVD Shrink itself, shrinking it in the process
3. In Re-author mode of DVDShrink, drag and drop required ifo files
4. Set Start/End Frames for each title, hit Backup.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

free iphone app for streaming audio - Fstream

From geardiary, Fstream is a free app to listen to streaming audio.

creating a DVD from miniDV tracks

Captured the intro and outro tracks in 3 languages from miniDV tape to DVD. Used NeroVision Express write directly to DVD feature to capture to a rewritable DVD+RW. Could capture multiple takes without having to erase earlier takes - I'm not sure if this is possible with DVD-R, but possibly yes. Then renamed the VOBs as VTS_01_01.VOB, VTS_01_02.VOB and so on and used IFOEdit to create IFO files for quick mastering.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

new warning for right-clicking on zip file on shared drive

Right-clicking on zip files on shared drives now give the message “This page has an unspecified potential security risk. Would you like to continue?” Apparently this is a "feature" MS has added from IE7 onwards. That link, as well as this one and this one, gives workarounds if you do it a lot and are annoyed by the popup.

Monday, October 12, 2009

update to processing audio post

Wanted to add an update to the audio processing post. Found that the search box in the blogger bar at the top of this blog was not working too well. Google site search - the "search" option at the top of the page - was working better. I'm not removing the blogger bar just yet, because some time ago the opposite was true, with site search not returning proper results.

Anyway, here is the update. To the info in the earlier post of 2006, this auto-trim-crop tip has to be added. Also, in Sound Forge version 7 (and above?) the normalization has been tweaked a bit, so that -12 dB is almost as loud as -10 dB in the earlier Sound Forge 4.x. So, in batch processing, the processing settings look like this:

One more point to be mentioned is that when processing audio sent for regional language broadcasts, I have to select the regions with similar levels based on visual inspection and normalize them separately - m on Sound Forge drops a marker at current cursor position, and double-click on a region selects it.

Filenames for these (other language broadcasts) are also in a pattern, this can be easily learnt by looking at the older files.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

AOL FBL and finding the relevant subscriber

AOL's Feed Back Loop redacts the aol email id, even redacting the X-Subscriber header. So, we've to dig through the mail server logs to find the subscriber. First we have to find the message id which the mail server reports -
Received: by (Postfix, from userid 33) id [11 char alphanumeric id]
and use that id for
cat /var/log/mail.log | grep [11 char alphanumeric id]
cat /var/log/mail.log.0 | grep [11 char alphanumeric id]

Friday, October 02, 2009

USB mics

C asked about USB mics, the Blue Snowball and the AKG Perception since he was on a budget. I asked him to be careful of hiss as some buyer's comments indicated, and also my bad experience with the M-Audio Mobile Pre. Pointed him to the Tascam US-144, which seems to be not only frame-accurate but also quite low noise and has low latency monitoring. Tested today with inputs trimmed for balanced line level signal output from the Yamaha AW4416, max noise level was a sample value of 3 == better than -80 dB. Of course, the digital SPDIF input is even better, with the max noise sample value being 0! For the time being, C has borrowed A's US-144.

Monday, September 21, 2009

outlook email on the QTEK 9100

Sending attachments from the QTEK 9100 wasn't possible till now, since I got an error configuring the Outlook email for gmail. Googling gave this page which linked to this wiki for Windows Mobile 5 devices. My earlier mistake was to not check the 'use separate settings' for sending mail. For deleting the earlier misconfigured POP3 account,
Messaging -> Menu -> Tools -> Accounts tab -> tap hold on an account to delete.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

quickly view page source

To quickly view page source of potentially infected web-pages, we can use
in the Firefox address bar.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

cool edit pro limitations

Cool Edit pro on Sathya was supposed to route out each track to one of the outputs on the 8-out Darla card, and I was supposed to mix down using the Tascam TM-D4000 mixer. But CEP 1 was not up to the task - I thought it was due to the tracks being too long, 90 minutes each. Even restricting to just 4 tracks did not help. Thought Audition might be good - but it was not supported on Win98. CEP 2 was able to open the tracks, but while playing, gets MMSYSTEM errors if I put 4 long tracks. The fact that they are on a network drive adds to the mess. So, tried cutting up into 15 minute pieces. Even those pieces, even when copied to local drive, were too big for CEP2. So have currently suspended work on this. Will probably try mixing down in Studio using the Nuendo/Yamaha AW4416 combo, maybe in the summer or something.


Investigating latency for S, checked first on the Mandir celeron and US-144.

Changing the setting on US-144 control panel from highest latency to lowest, the output latencies seen in Device Setup of Cubase were, from highest to normal to lowest, 64, 29, 5 ms respectively. The 64 ms makes the lag quite audible. The 5 ms setting makes the system unstable. Testing with same signal being applied to digital and analog inputs, can discern a faint lag in the analog, audible as a sort of reverb-like sound. Measured to be approx 57 samples or 1.3 ms by comparing recorded waveforms.

S had a latency of 24 ms. That was disturbing for him when listened on headphones. Changed to lowest latency on US-1641 control panel - that made it 10 ms, acceptable for him. Of course, if this makes his system unstable, he would have to compromise...

Saturday, September 05, 2009

re-authoring DVDs without menus with IFOEdit

IfoEdit has a create IFO button at the bottom. So, if you already have VOB files and just want to create a playable DVD with a single title on it, just name the files as VTS_01_1.VOB, VTS_01_2.VOB and so on, put them in a VIDEO_TS folder, and point IFOEdit at the folder. You can choose to create the output in the same folder itself for this operation, it just creates the IFO and BUP files. Faster and quicker than any other way. Of course, more advanced stuff like menus and so on may be easier with other tools. Will explore dvdauthor and its gui later. As of now, noting that it needs de-muxed files - m2v and ac3 etc. Demuxing seemingly quick with BatchDemux - ten minuts for around an hour of video.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Opera mini impresses

Browsed for nearly an hour with opera mini on the QTEK 9100 mobile with "Load Images" turned off in settings. Expected a GPRS bill of something like Rs. 20-30. But it came to only Rs. 1.80! That makes it 300 kB transferred. Quite efficient, since I was browsing Opera did not disconnect the GPRS connect even as I was reading each page, and so kept the bill down. I believe the connection times out when using IE, so each reconnect charges 30p. Ease of page navigation was also good in Opera. Small user-friendly touches like auto-flowing the text to fit screen without disturbing the general page layout and so on.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

repair mysql database

Today, the Sai Inspires db showed an error,
Database error 145 while doing
query Table
'./the_name_of_our_db/si_usermessage' is marked as crashed and
should be repaired

Solution from PB:
mysql -u root -p
mysql> show databases;
mysql> use the_name_of_our_db;
mysql> show tables;
mysql> repair table si_usermessage;

directly writing a DVD in real-time

Found that Nerovision Express (my version is 3) has the option to directly write to DVD if a video source is connected. Useful for quick conversion to DVD from any video source including firewire. Pluses and Minuses:

+ Finishes the recording in real time.

- Once you press stop, you cannot write any more into that DVD.

- No fancy menus - a default menu of Nerovision Express.

- Preset to approx 90 minutes of recording, not more.

issue with starting vnc on saiwaves

The one-line script for starting the VNC service on localhost with the required port and bit-depth would not work when I logged in with putty, but was working when I ssh'ed in with Linux! Felt the issue was with the tunnels I had defined in putty. Starting the session without the tunnels, the script works fine. If the tunnels are opened from another instance of putty also, the script "hangs". Some sort of port conflict, I guess.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

leftover files from Windows update

When I found a folder feb890il9089876 or something like that in L:, thought I had been hit by a virus. But found inside the folder an i386 and an AMD64 folder, and looking at the inf file MSXPSDRV.INF and googling, found that this was a leftover from dotNET framework 3.5 update. Was able to delete with no issues since I have only one login on this machine. Or maybe it was because this was an ext2 drive and not NTFS or FAT32.

Friday, August 14, 2009

internet banking from mobile

The browsers on the QTEK 9100 mobile phone are not upto doing internet banking: Tried to pay a bill from using both IE and Opera mini, but both failed at some point during the confirmation of the transaction. Some javascript issue I believe. Bandwidth usage - if images are turned off, seeing a couple of emails on gmail or going through to the login or some other screens on the bank site use less than 50 kB, so charged at 30 paise if using Airtel's GPRS network.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

printing on thermal printer with Linux

Apparently thermal printers, like dot-matrix printers, also use certain escape codes and the rest of the text is treated like "Generic Text". This experts exchange page says at the very bottom, it may be better to have the code directly in the app. And this MSDN forum post links to a pdf with escape codes. PB used the OpenBravo forum for help.

From PB's private blog,

Using EPSON TM-T88IV parallel port on ubuntu 9.04
In openbravo configuration set the printer as epson - File - /dev/lp0
To make the printer accessible by a normal user set the permissions:
sudo chmod a+rw /dev/lp0
Note: These settings are lost on reboot.
To set these permissions on boot, I added the following line in /etc/rc.local (in Ubuntu 9.04) before the exit command
# For parallel port printers add:
chmod a+rw /dev/lp0
# For USB printers add:
chmod a+rw /dev/usblp0

airflow not enough with one AHU

Today, KR tried closing a damper on one of the AHUs and using only one AHU with one compressor. Air flow seems to be not enough - the projectors in the dome ports not getting cool air, feet cool but head hot. Control panel is cool enough.

Edit: AHU is air handling unit - the big blowers for our centralized air-conditioning system.

Monday, August 10, 2009

checking for malware without getting infected

Can view pages' source by entering
in address bar of firefox. Nifty for a quick check for malicious code. Noscript etc are also there for javascript, of course, but I think that would not flag malicious iframes.

Monday, August 03, 2009


J brought a telescope for trouble-shooting, not able to focus. A reflector. The first problem he diagnosed himself, that was an alignment issue with the main mirror. Looking into the tube while he aligned the mirror using the screws at the back fixed that. The other problem was that he was attaching the eyepiece to a "balfour" tube and then to the eyepiece screw mount. Attached the eyepiece directly (it fit better, too) and the focus issue was solved too. Non-motorized, 72mm main mirror aperture, total magnification of around 400x, I think.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Acer Aspire One netbook

M left his Acer Aspire One netbook with me to give a graduate student. The most striking thing about it is how light and compact it is - can really carry around like a book. 1 GB RAM and 350 GB hard disk, 1.5 gig Atom processor, so it's faster than the Celeron I use in Mandir! Keyboard is a little cramped for touch typing, as all the reviews say. Can get used to it, but shifting back and forth between regular keyboards and the netbook would be difficult.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Cool Edit Pro and Skype stopped working on the desktop - perhaps it was after installing DRM Removal from Giveaway of the day. Using SoundForge instead of CEP, and fring on the QTEK mobile. At first, fring seemed to have issues with sound. Sometimes it needs checking with the "fring test call" - the mic doesn't work. A bit tinny, but reasonably OK except for a nearly 1 second lag. Mainly quick and convenient, till the laptop comes back.

Edit: Confirmed that the DRM Removal was the reason for the CEP errors. Removed DRM Removal, CEP started working again. But Skype still has errors on startup.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

power consumption on a Thursday

kWhr readings:

904 905
9.45 am 3435 15610.6
12.10 pm 3446 15685.5

trying Cisco's Linksys "iPhone" CIT200

Tested out this skype-phone - needs skype running on the computer on which the base-station is connected by USB. Voice quality just as good as any cordless (DECT) phone, has an option for speakerphone and hands-free also - 2.5 mm handsfree socket. The minus point is that it needs the PC to be on with skype running. But it's half the price of standalone wifi phones.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

bridge mode on Netgear wireless router WGR614

One of my former colleagues had an issue with his Airtel broadband, wireless and his laptop - every time the power failed, he had to connect his laptop to the DSL modem directly, "repair" the connection, then connect the wireless router and so on. Airtel tech support asked him to reinstall network interface drivers on his laptop. That seemed to work - the wired network now worked without the need for "repair". Then he wanted to add the wireless router into the mix, and it appeared that disabling DHCP was the way to go. So he assigned ip addresses in the same sub-net to the DSL router's LAN interface, the Netgear's LAN interface and to the laptop's wireless interface. He was able to ping the wireless router, but not the DSL modem. Then he changed the port on which the DSL router was connected to the wireless router - initially it was connected to the "uplink" port, now he connected it to one of the "normal" 4 LAN ports on the Netgear. Now everything works. It seems this is the way to do "bridge-mode" (as against NATing) on the Netgear WGR614 - googling brought up this page which links to the Netgear KB article.

recording on windows mobile

Recording calls with the QTEK 9100 was quite simple - the recording utility works quite well if the mobile is not in hands-free mode. Speakerphone on or off, it records both sides of the conversation quite well. If recorded using the notes function, it ends up in pwi format. To convert that to wav, this page has the run-down:
  1. Open the pwi file in Word
  2. Right-click on the audio object speaker icon
  3. Open the pwi file in Word
  4. Choose Sound Recorder Document Object -> Edit -> Edit menu -> Copy
  5. Open another instance of Sound Recorder, choose Paste Insert and Save As.

miscellaneous vnc problems

I had miscellaneous vnc problems with the server running Suse. Unable to use smb4k to mount windows shares and rdesktop not opening using the VNC connection. Error mesg was
rdesktop server-ip
Autoselected keyboard map en-us
X Error of failed request: BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes)
Major opcode of failed request: 1 (X_CreateWindow)

Thought it might have something to do with the window manager - twm and not KDE. According to this page, I could change it by editing ~/.vnc/xstartup to
But that did not help. Then thought it might be the colour depth. Changed the colour depth to 16 as
vncserver -geometry 800x600 -depth 16 :68
That did the trick.

Next, vncserver was getting into a loop or something when I try to run it from a putty session, but not when I run it from a terminal in Linux! This turned out to be some sort of vnc allergy to ssh tunnels - when I used putty without any tunnels, vncserver created desktops without complaints.

Then P solved the issue with smb4k:
In settings -> configure Smb4k -> super user
checked the boxes which say "Use super user privileges to mount and unmount shares", and also for 'force unmounting', gave the su pw when asked. Now it mounts.

Friday, July 10, 2009

using sed

The Cygwin install on the server running colinux doesn't have vi, so sed is useful on occasion. This useful page has the basics. String replace has the syntax
's/{old value}/{new value}/'
$ echo The tiger cubs will meet | sed 's/tiger/wolf/'
The wolf cubs will meet
which of course you can pipe to a new file.

The article mentions that sed can change any printable character with another printable character, but use tr instead for unprintable characters. It also discusses append and insert.

Tally caveats

For TALLY users - if your installation license misbehaves, this info might help.

The following is an extract from a long post by one of my colleagues. The full version has lots of humour, I have just extracted the "lessons".

At one of our units, the Tally installation had a few little problems since the day we installed.... It might be useful to someone who faces a similar issue or someone can tell us what we might have done better.

First, the lessons: (for those who want to move on) :
1. Keep your system date and time current before activating Tally.
2. Register at the Tally site.
3. After you activate, there is such a thing called 'Update', which you should do within 45 days. Can do offline, but nobody will tell you.
4. Don't expect good English from Tally Customer Service.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

phone as bluetooth modem

Finally a lucid article in which also points to an article in for PC configuration gave the crucial info - the number to be entered in the dial-up networking is *99# - once this is done, everything works. Apparently this is a code which tells the mobile phone to connect to GPRS connection which has already been set up. There are other similar codes found on googling - *99***1# for example, and another is *99*1#. Maybe this means the first GPRS setting in memory or something like that. Anyway, this provides a way to dial up with the USB connection also without using the USBModem_Dialer.exe - use the *99# as the number and the USB modem as the device. But here, two caveats:
  1. The Modem Link software has to be running on the mobile before the USB is connected.
  2. The APN has to be entered, since Modem Link doesn't seem to remember it.
APN entering has to be a bit of voodoo, as explained at the pdagold article - it has to be entered into the modem properties. In my case, the path is different from the pdagold article - in Control Panel -> System -> Hardware tab -> Device Manager -> Modem properties -> Advanced tab -> Extra initialization commands. Here, entered AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","" where is my APN. Then, the normal windows dialler works.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

using the phone as a modem

Followed the excellent article at pdagold to connect to use the phone as a modem. Basically it requires that I start the Modem Link software on the phone, "Activate" on the phone, and use the provided dialler with the appropriate APN. Bluetooth modem is proving to be more difficult, will try it later.

Speed tests - 48 kbps using McAfee's speed test, and also by manually counting the number of bytes.

As you can see, the testing involved around 2 MB of data transfer, lasting around a minute more for a total of around 7 minutes, and this cost approx Rs. 12.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

DNS requests not resolving

We faced a strange problem on fs3 of DNS requests not resolving - nslookup would complain that even the default dns server could not be contacted and would time out after 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
*** Can't find server name for address x.y.z.p: Timed out
Default Server: UnKnown
Googling gave many hits on configuring the dns service properly, and advice to run
ipconfig /registerdns
All these didn't work - finally the issue turned out to be a firewall problem after all: TCP/IP filtering was turned on, and ALL UDP packets were being blocked. TCP/IP Properties -> Advanced -> Options tab, TCP-IP filtering Properties, Changed radio-buttons to Permit All for UDP Ports and Protocols. That solved the problem.

SPF restored

No wonder the SPF was being shown as bad by the tools in my previous post - whoever shifted our domain to the new dns servers had also forgotten the spf records in addition to many cnames. Restored it today.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Signing emails with DKIM

Yahoo once again started rejecting mails from our mail server. I wanted to title this post "Yahoo mail admins need to grow up" but then thought better of it. After filling in their bulk sender form for the third time, decided to enter their Complaint Feedback Loop programme. Had to implement DKIM first, so headed over to howtoforge after googling. Test mechanisms were in the centos setup page and the DNS setup required a request to our ISP. Then signed up for the complaint feedback loop, and the next day got 3 'complaints' - these 3 guys marked our mail as spam to cause yahoo to block 3000 of our subscribers.

In case the howtoforge articles vanish, here's the gist:
sudo apt-get install dkim-filter
sudo mkdir /var/dkim-filter
cd /var/dkim-filter
sudo openssl genrsa -out private.key 1024
sudo openssl rsa -in private.key -out public.key -pubout -outform PEM
sudo vim /etc/dkim-filter.conf
Here, un-comment the following, with the appropriate domain name. The selector can be anything, only remember to set the same selector name in dns. Relevant dkim-filter.conf settings:
# Log to syslog
Syslog yes
# Required to use local socket with MTAs that access the socket as a non-
# privileged user (e.g. Postfix)
#UMask 002

# Sign for with key in /etc/mail/dkim.key using
# selector '2007' (e.g.
KeyFile /var/dkim-filter/private.key
Selector mail

# Common settings. See dkim-filter.conf(5) for more information.
AutoRestart no
Background yes
Canonicalization simple
DNSTimeout 5
Mode sv
SignatureAlgorithm rsa-sha256
SubDomains no
UseSSPDeny no
X-Header no
Actually setting the X-header to yes is useful for initial debugging - then, checking the headers shows you right away if the milter is working. (Milter = Mail API Filter, from sendmail-speak). Then
sudo /etc/init.d/dkim-filter start
sudo vi /etc/postfix/
to add the following lines to the end,
milter_default_action = accept
milter_protocol = 2
smtpd_milters = inet:localhost:8891
non_smtpd_milters = inet:localhost:8891
And then finally restart with
sudo /etc/init.d/postfix restart
The DNS record to be set is of the form
mail._domainkey.DOMAIN.TLD. IN TXT "k=rsa; t=y; p=MIGfKh1FC.....bfQIDAQAB"
where mail is the selector, DOMAIN.TLD should be your domain name and the p=is the key from /var/dkim-filter/public.key

Once the dns propagates, you can check by sending email to yahoo or gmail - gmail shows as "signed by" when you click show details. lists some test tools - some of them are a bit flaky. I got dkim=pass from but reported my SPF as bad - I thought it was working.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

add Google contacts to windows mobile without using Outlook

Googling got this link which pointed to this great solution.

1. Install PIM Backup
2. Change the extension of the Outlook formatted .csv file to .csc
3. Zip the file and change the extension of the .zip file to .pib, copy the pib file to the mobile.
4. Run the PIM backup app on the windows mobile, and choose the Restore option, browsing to the .pib file above. It gives the option to allow duplicates or update existing contacts and so on.

Here actually the third option is what I selected - add contacts and update old etc. BTW the screenshot was taken with MyMobileR using which you can control your mobile from your PC.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

more with the QTEK mobile

Posting this with the QTEK mobile with wifi at home. Wifi at work working as of now only in "Open" mode and not WEP or WPA. But probably will have some workaround. Home wifi needed freebase to make the SSID broadcast - it couldn't connect with SSID hidden. Saw some google results about WM6 having that feature, but this one is WM5 and can't. Skype for WM was disappointing - 10 MB download, and the sound was stuttering on wifi. Fring looks much more promising, and feature packed too. Skyfire looks really good, and streams youtube videos without buffering over our 256 k connection.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

QTEK 9100 mobile

Set up the smartphone to use wifi at home, but not yet working at PSN with the Airport - probably the hidden SSID is causing the problem for Windows Mobile 5. Infrared works fine with the Toshiba PDA, but transfers to the laptop @ S3 were not going through. Bluetooth also the same. Set up with mobireader total commander etc. Will set up skype as and when the wifi is operational.

GPRS setup on Airtel was simple enough, but had to call customer care.

Start -> Settings -> Connections tab -> Connections -> Advanced tab -> Select Networks
Here, Programs that connect to the internet should connect using 'My ISP name'

Start -> Settings -> Connections tab -> Connections -> Tasks tab
under 'My ISP name', manage existing connections -> Modem should be Cellular line (GPRS) and the apn name or access point name should be, username and password to be left blank.

Charges are currently 30 paise for 50 kB.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

vbscript error handling

Added error handling to asp file which adds content disposition attachment headers to files on - used ideas from this msdn blog post and this devguru article to write something like:
On Error Resume next
'This statement makes the program resume the next statement
'instead of throwing an error
set f=fs.GetFile(strFilePath)

if numerror <> 0 Then
Response.Write ErrorMesg
....snip snip ....
'and at the end of the script
On Error GoTo 0
'This means On Error, report it - the syntax is crazy.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

schedule update flushing

The schedule update was consistently timing out every time the csv update was done. Checked with Plesk DBWebadmin (phpmyadmin) and found records from 2008 onwards. Blundering about the interface, found a "Search" - tried 2008, it gave
Search results for "2008" (at least one of the words):

336232 match(es) inside table radiosai_stream_daily Browse Delete
Blundering, because I chose delete, and it did
DELETE FROM `radiosai`.`radiosai_stream_daily` WHERE `streamId` LIKE '%2008%'
OR `fileId` LIKE '%2008%' OR `groupId` LIKE '%2008%'
OR `gmtDatetime` LIKE '%2008%' OR `newflag` LIKE '%2008%'
At least now I know what to give as the proper SQL statement - something like
DELETE FROM `radiosai`.`radiosai_stream_daily` WHERE `gmtDatetime` LIKE '%2009-01%'

Sunday, March 29, 2009

command prompt here

Adding a command prompt to the context menu got by right-clicking a folder in Windows Explorer: followed this link and added a Command Prompt item in Tools -> Folder Options -> Files Tab -> File Folder -> Advanced -> New with cmd.exe as the executable. The link actually mentions the item Folder, I did it for File Folder. Maybe due to this, CKRename became the default action for folders on double-clicking, just like this query on Experts-Exchange. Downloaded and ran the vbs file as mentioned there, restored to "Open" default action. The code in the vbs file is:
'folder_open.vbs - Fixes problem where Search opens on a double click
'© Doug Knox - 03/13/2002
'Downloaded from

Set WshShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

p1 = "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\"
p2 = "none"

WshShell.RegWrite p1, p2

p1 = "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\"
WshShell.RegWrite p1, p2

X = WshShell.Run("REGSVR32 /I /S SHELL32.DLL",4,True)
Set WshShell = Nothing

MyBox = MsgBox("Folders will now Open when double clicked", 4096, "Finished!")

Friday, March 27, 2009

phplist return-path

Found that phplist was having some bounces of unknown user. These were bounces which were going to the local sender email id - found that Sai Spiritual phplist emails had return-path showing this as the return-path (which was not being resolved by google apps, of course). Googled and found
Un-commented in the /config/config.php
$message_envelope = "";
and made the return-path

Also noted that on the new Ubuntu install, vi filename uses the old-style vi - for the more user-friendly version where you can use the arrow keys, have to use vim filename !

mail merge with MS Office 2003

Mail merge turns out to be easy to do, even easier than this document says:

Basically, you just have to go to Tools -> Letters and Mailings -> Mail Merge
and follow the wizard clicking Next, Next. Just choose data source and insert suitable field at suitable place in the Word document.

The screenshots detail the procedure.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Indic scripts on Microsoft Word and Google Docs

Creating documents with Indic scripts using online tools like Blogger or Quillpad and opening in MS Word 2003 doesn't work: the Indic letters are shown as rectangles. Quillpad's FAQ notes that
"You will have to install 'Supplemental language support' in Windows XP.
Start -> Control Panel -> Regional & Language Options -> Languages -> Install files for complex script and right-to-left languages (including Thai)
(You would need your Operating System installation disc for this)
Incidentally(accidentally!!) Microsoft WordPad (write.exe) (and notepad to some extent) doesn't have any problem rendering indian language content, so if you don't have complex formatting in your documents you can use the minimalistic wordpad."
Even after the Complex script install, the problem persists in Word, but the WordPad workaround is useful for printing. The print command in Google docs nowadays creates a pdf, and this pdf has Telugu script mangled. Workaround till now was to take a screenshot (!) but now I can save as .doc, open in WordPad, correct font size issues and then print.

Just now found another workaround - use the File -> Print menu item in the browser menu instead of the Google docs menu - this one works fine!

Miranda IM sounds

Found that sounds were enabled in Miranda IM but I wasn't hearing any alerts. Reason was that there was no wav file assigned to each event by default. Set some events and went on with life.

Monday, March 16, 2009

hide apache version info

As suggested here, edited /etc/apache2/apache2.conf and changed ServerTokens from Full to Prod and then did /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Monday, March 09, 2009

15.6 kHz hum when TV is connected

When the TV monitor is kept above the PA system mixer, a 15.6 kHz hum is induced in the system.

I use a notch filter to get rid of it in recordings.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

loading Ubuntu Linux on Clamshell iBook - part 5

Probably I should conclude this series here.

The power issue is a niggling one, but couldn't solve it, so am living with a max battery life of 1.5 hours or so. Standby lifetime is around a week, so it's pretty nice to leave it on standby and start it up for a quick browse or something. Found that the Fn-backspace (or should I say Fn-delete?) combo works as the delete key (since the mac keyboard doesn't have a "backspace" and instead has a "delete" which works like a backspace).

Future work may be an upgrade to swfdec-mozilla 0.8 (currently installed is 0.6)which is supposed to let flash movies play OK. Currently using greasemonkey workaround to download from youtube and play with vlc on desktop.

checking which version is installed on ubuntu

To find which version of a package is installed on ubuntu: Googling led to this post on howtogeek and this one in ubuntuforums so I can do either dpkg -s packagename or aptitude show packagename Aptitude is much slower. Another option, apt-show-versions turns out to be not installed currently. aptitude search pattern searches for all packages which match pattern.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Miranda IM

Finally settled on Miranda IM for Yahoo and MSN. Trillian used to need re-login for MSN after a couple of hibernate/resumes. Pidgin had crashes with MSN.

Had to install two more plugins for Miranda, keepstatus and startupstatus, for my requirement of remaining logged in automatically whenever I use the machine. Miranda also used to give an error message on resume, saying that Yahoo login was refused. Figured that this was because the ethernet interface was not yet up when it retried. Tweaked the settings Options -> Status -> StartupStatus -> Set after 60000 ms and in Options -> Status -> KeepStatus -> Check Connection (ticked) and Delay between retries at 60 sec.

Also blocked spam using Options -> Events-> Ignore settings. A bit non-intuitive, "The following events are being ignored" - Unknown contacts, everything is enabled (i.e. everything is ignored).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

mp3 and wav as WinAmp Media File

While sorting files based on type in Windows explorer, both mp3 and wav files were being listed as WinAmp Media file. To prevent this, googled and adopted a similar strategy as given in the WinAmp forums:
  1. Remove the mp3 and wav files associations from WinAmp preferences (Ctrl-P in WinAmp to reach preferences, File Types on left pane).
  2. In Windows Explorer, Tools -> Folder Options -> File Types tab, Click New, Enter mp3 extension. Here, if it is already associated with some other app, it will complain. Then you need to remove the association from the other app...
  3. Click Advanced button at the bottom, delete all the Actions, create two new actions - Action Play with Application used to perform field set as
    "C:\Program Files\Winamp\winamp.exe" "%1"
    and Action Enqueue in WinAmp with the field set as
    "C:\Program Files\Winamp\Winamp.exe" /ADD "%1"
  4. Note of course that you need to put in the correct path to winamp.exe on your system, and that if the %1 is not within quotes, you will come to grief with any long filenames!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

multilingual show notices in Google docs

Created multilingual show notices in Google docs by copy-pasting from blogger which has Indic transliteration support. Telugu had a problem - on generating print preview or while printing, the generated pdf had wrongly placed diacritic marks. Downloading a doc doesn't help, since the Telugu fonts are not loaded. Maybe I'll try later after installing the Indic fonts and keyboard support.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

krishna on dell t100 setup continues

  1. script from krishna used to backup and restore mysql databases. It gives two ways to restore:
    # mysql --user=username --pass=password --host=dbserver database < /path/file.sql 
    # or
    # mysql --user=username --pass=password --host=dbserver -e "source /path/file.sql" database
    The latter method fails with ERROR 1064 (42000) at line 1: Luckily the former method works, tho' while importing SI db, it gave an error ERROR 1298 (HY000) at line 2410: Unknown or incorrect time zone: 'NULL' the db seems to be working. After the database import, phplist said database needs to be upgraded. As given in the docs, went to Main Page -> System Functions -> upgrade and it took less than a second.
  2. Next, the php files were being served as MIME type application/x-trash. Not sure what exactly was wrong, but now it is working after
    (a) DirectoryIndex index.php index.html added to /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
    (b) index.html.old moved to another directory.
    (c) Subscription page configured properly.
  3. Commandline php had to be installed, with apt-get install php5-cli as given at
  4. getmail downloaded from and extracted from tar.gz.
  5. apachemails added to webserver's group with
    useradd -G {group-name} username
    as given here. Listed users and groups seeing /etc/group,
    ps -eo euser,ruser,suser,fuser,f,comm,label
    showed that apache was being run as www-data so did
    chown apachemails:www-data apachebounces
  6. Later found (after many attempts, testing pop with and without notls option) that this version of phplist (2.10.9) would not read arbitrary files as mbox files (like the earlier 2.10.5 on the older krishna could!) .
    Cannot open mailbox file Can't open mailbox /var/www/bounces/apachebounces: no such mailbox
    So had to change mbox location to /var/mail/username for a valid username.
  7. Before that, sendemaillib edited as given in PB's earlier post. Since I copied the scripts from the old krishna, did not have any user problems with running the scripts.
  8. Running processbounces gave
    Error: IMAP is not included in your PHP installation, cannot continue 
    Installed imap module with apt-get install php5-imap
  9. Now to lock up the system using the techniques given here, but passwd -l causes the message
    Your account has expired; please contact your system administrator
    probably due to this bug. So, did the editing of /etc/ftpusers and /etc/ssh/sshd_config instead.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

more on vm and finally not virtualizing after all

I'm filling in this post with stuff on the virtual machine just for completeness - we've decided to go ahead without virtualization for krishna since the only thing to be running on it would have been a single vm with phplist on it.
  1. Added gpm to use mouse if necessary on the local terminal.
  2. removed many daemons like bluetooth from /etc/rc3.d
  3. Was giving error on boot of vm, "Use of uninitialized value $uni in pattern match (m//) at /usr/bin/ckbcomp 3109." etc. Apparently this was due to a missing dependency and adding perl solves the problem. sudo apt-get install perl solved the issue.
  4. Cannot redir from lower ports as unprivileged user. So, 5080 redirected to port 80 and so on.
  5. Way to port-forward only a limited number of ports for passive ftp is discussed in experts-exchange. The syntax for vsftpd is given here, for example, specifying pasv_max_port and pasv_min_port
  6. Changed /etc/hostname and /etc/hosts so that each vm has it's own name.
  7. While starting the vms using kvm, use -daemonize -nographic and not & to put into background. Otherwise becomes a zombie or something.
  8. ftp server running on the vm was accessible from outside with firefox, not with filezilla or IE. Reason was probably that FF was rolling over to active mode.
  9. Packet sniffed with wireshark, it gave all out-going packets tcp checksum errors due to checksum offload, so disabled checking in wireshark. Edit -> Preferences -> TCP
  10. PASV ip address and port are specified as given here:
    "PORT 192,168,0,1,192,2". first 4 numbers are ip address, The port fields should be interpreted as p1×256 + p2 = port192x256+2
  11. Since qemu's natting was mangling the pasv packets, changing the ip to - probably we have to go with ftp on raw server. This is in spite of setting the pasv_address in vsftpd.conf. After the packets leave the vm, the change is made by the NAT.
  12. Since ftp is on bare metal, phplist being on a single vm is more convenient, so why have a vm at all - hence, going with a bare metal install. Install itself took only 10 minutes!

Friday, February 06, 2009

removing X from server

Too late, found that sudo aptitude remove ubuntu-desktop would have removed all the stuff in one line. Anyway, went through the meta-package references given here and did the aptitude remove for many of them. Some daemons like bluetooth still left, manually hunting them down... sudo apt-get remove xserver-xorg to remove X.

building virtualized servers on a dell T100

This is yet another looong post. Starting from scratch, had to do everything from changing bios settings to adding and removing virtual machines. Maybe I'll skip over the many days of trial and error and will just summarize the actual steps to be taken here.

  1. The lights 1 2 3 4 on the front panel are only for diagnostics according to the Dell manual and do not indicate hard disks or anything like that.
  2. Warning message "Alert! cover was previously removed" and not booting till F1 or F2 is pressed. Solution as given here - Bios setup -> System Security -> Chassis Intrusion -> Enabled Silent.
  3. Much later, while installing KVM, found virtualization needs to be enabled in Bios as given here. So, as mentioned in the dell manual, went into Bios setup -> CPU Information -> Virtualization -> Enable. Also enabled the CPU info reporting to OS, which also was disabled by default.
  4. PB wanted to do JeOS as given here, the installation on the base machine was Ubuntu server 8.10 Intrepid amd64 build.
  5. Installed gui with sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop since I wanted to try out virt-manager. The installation of ubuntu-desktop stalled at 99% after downloading files for more than an hour, probably due to some network glitch. Did Ctrl-C, again ran the same command, this time it downloaded a few kB more and then finished the install with no more problems. The install itself took around 6 minutes. 4 GB RAM, amd64 kernel. Did apt-get remove gdm so that it would not boot into X.
  6. While installing virtual machines from CD with virt-manager as given here, wizard would not proceed until CD was unmounted in host OS. Then, the CD could be selected.
  7. Had to install qemu, without which install of virtual machines was failing. Listed in Ubuntu docs here, here and here.
    sudo apt-get install kvm libvirt-bin ubuntu-vm-builder qemu bridge-utils
  8. Trying to install from the same Ubuntu server CD using virt-manager was hanging at the point where it installs and configures grub. Tried the install in expert mode and installed Lilo instead, this works. For expert mode, hit F4 when booting from CD after choosing English (language of install).
  9. Virtual machines created with network options with virt-manager were not able to access the network. Only later did I know that all these machines needed was to be set to DHCP. QEMU has a strange and wonderful user mode virtual network which has a firewall / gateway / dhcp server at, DNS at Since each instance of Qemu is a separate process, if set to DHCP, each Qemu virtual machine will get the address ! And they are automatically NATed.
  10. Now tried the commandline vmbuilder, since the virt-manager based installs were taking so much time and user interaction.Did the install according to the docs, some find the install to take just a minute! But in my case, found it took two hours. Reason was that it was downloading from instead of using CD.
  11. The --iso option for vmbuilder does not work, so the install was going to for each package.
  12. Also found that lines separated by \ for a multiline command works if typed in, but takes only the first line if copy-pasted!! So, my first vmbuilder image was a basic default one. Luckily, the default made a filein the same directory, which gave the syntax to run the vm as
    kvm -m 128 -drive file=disk0.qcow2 -net nic -net user $@
    The trailing $@ is equivalent to $1 $2 $3..., which means that you can add any more commandline arguments to the script ( and they will be passed on to the kvm program. Man kvm says it takes the same arguments as kvm-qemu - and man kvm-qemu redirects to the qemu man page.
  13. Again another trial - the commandline virt-install (since the vmbuilder was using so much network and time). . It complained of "Unsupported virtualization type" - apparently had to put --hvm in the arguments. Bridge mode causes it to crash. Reason seems to be that the bridging, tap interface etc should be manually set up beforehand. So, removed the bridge option --network bridge:eth1. Then, it has qemu-system-x86 running at 100% cpu for a long time - indefinitely? - with no disk activity, as seen with top. So abandoned this attempt. The command used was
    virt-install --name testX3 --ram 512 --file testX3 file-size 6 --nographics --hvm --cdrom ubuntu-8.10-server-amd64.iso
  14. The images created with vmbuilder could be copied and run using the kvm command. So, concentrating on those. Found the wonderful world of Qemu virtual networking! Redir seems to be the way to go, given at wikibooks. btm.geek says be sure to use bridging, but let's see how it goes with the user mode qemu. Now calling the virtual machines with
    kvm -m 128 -hda disk0.qcow2 -hdb disk1.qcow2 -redir tcp:5555::22
    for example exposes the ssh port 22 of the guest on the host machine's interfaces (localhost and eth0).
    ssh -p 5555 user@localhost connects to the guest vm's sshd. We've to see if this method continues to work under load.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

printing over network with command prompt

Printing from the Acer laptop over the network using the method given at forum by typing
net use lpt2: \\machine2\shared_printer_name /persistent:yes
type filename.bin > lpt2

Thursday, January 29, 2009

colinux dns fix

Emails from colinux were not coming to the address tho' the ones to the gmail address were being delivered. After checking spam and trash, checked out sending a mail from commandline and then checking /var/ on colinux. Found that radiosai MX was not resolving, also mails to colinux root were bouncing saying that the file was too big. So, vi /etc/resolv.conf and added the opendns ips
Also did a rm * -f in /var/mail and restored the mailboxes with touch, chmod 600 and chown root:mail etc.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Annoying pop-up warns of click-jacking

Some glitch either in Blogger or in this template or in Firefox - this pop-up comes up every time I try to search for something, and have to clear the 'keep it blocked' check box every time...

Correction: This is from the NoScript plugin, so a simple fix is to uninstall it!

Monday, January 26, 2009


Using pidgin now to remain online on Yahoo and MSN. Initially it crashed a lot, seemingly every time the machine hibernated or lost connectivity or both. Then disabled everything and enabled one by one. It may be either the email notifications or psychic mode or some such plugin. Disabled all plugins as advised in, started with only Yahoo account enabled, one by one added GTalk and MSN, works OK. Went back to Google's client for GTalk, since I like the email notification with the very visible red icon.

Edit: Found that it was the MSN connectivity module, or maybe anything more than one network at a time, which is causing the crash on resume: when MSN is logged in along with yahoo, it crashes. When only yahoo is logged on, no crash on hibernate and resume.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

two pass encoding fail

My last post was too euphoric too soon. WMEncoder is not allowing 2-pass encoding for some reason. When 2-pass is selected, it exits as soon as it finishes the first pass, and a 2 kB or something wmv file results. 1-pass is working, so using that as a workaround for the moment. Wonder if using avi files with ac3 audio is the culprit.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

multitasking joy

Ah! the joys of multitasking! Typing this while WMEncoder and Virtualdubmod do encoding and Nero rips tracks from a CD (RW, recorded from MiniDisc using the Marantz recorder CDR631, with an optical connection to automate track creation). Probably better hardware, better drivers, more RAM are all responsible. Saispace2 would have definitely crashed with all this together.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

loading Ubuntu Linux on Clamshell iBook - part 4

Previous posts in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

USB mem-key automounting was pretty easy to add - just added ohci-hcd to the end of /etc/modules, and on next reboot, USB volumes were being automounted.

For the power management misreporting, did as suggested at applefritter, resetting PMU, PRAM and NVRAM followed by a full discharge. Copy-pasting from that post,
1) Reset the PMU again. With the computer off, use a straightened paper clip to push down the reset button "under the grille" near the power button for 5-10 seconds (the proper technique for this model). Your PMU has been reset.

2) Reset the PRAM. Start up the machine, then hold down the following 4-key combination immediately after the startup chime: [Apple]-[Option]-[letter P]-[letter R]. I usually find it helpful to hold [Apple]-[Option]-[letter R] with my left hand, press the power button with my right hand, then immediately press the [letter P]. Hold down all four keys until the Mac has chimed 3-4 times. When you let up, the Mac should start up normally. You'll have to shut it down again for the third step.

3) Reset the NVRAM. Start up the machine, then hold down the following 4-key combination immediately after the startup chime: [Apple]-[Option]-[letter O]-[letter F]. Hold down all four keys until the machine boots up to a grey screen with text: this is Open Firmware mode. NOTE: Be very careful what you do here! It's easy to mess things up in Open Firmware very quickly if you don't know what you're doing! Type the following commands exactly as they're written here, and follow each command by pressing the [Return] key:


Your NVRAM has been reset, and your Mac will now restart itself normally.

Now you can go about the task of completely draining, then recharging, your battery. Go to your Apple Menu>System Preferences>Energy Saver. Select "Battery" instead of "Power Adapter," and set the all the sliders to not sleep, ever. Period.

Now stick a CD in the drive and open iTunes. Turn on Repeat mode and play the CD indefinitely (you might want to pick a CD you actually like ...).

Unplug the power adapter and let the iBook run until it goes into low-power deep sleep. This could be the 5 minutes or so that you've been reporting, or it could be the full 2 hours that the battery should have been holding.

Once you're in deep-sleep mode, plug in the power adapter and allow the battery to charge for however long it takes -- overnight would be ideal. Then you can test the battery under normal use conditions and let us know what (if anything) has changed.

Sometimes, the PMU becomes confused and either (1) reports a charge higher than is actually on the battery, causing the charging circuit to turn off prematurely, (2) reports a charge lower than is actually on the battery, causing the computer to shut down or deep-sleep prematurely, or (3) some combination of these symptoms.

By resetting the PMU, the PRAM, and the NVRAM, the Mac should now have a clean slate and be forced to "relearn" when the battery is fully drained and fully charged. A full drain-and-charge cycle should help it find these parameters.

But unfortunately, after doing all that, still the battery shows only 44% charged, 1.15 hours remaining. Will have to dig some more.

Monday, January 19, 2009

router set up

DLink router DIR-615 set up at Planet. Currently disabled wireless and using it as a plugin replacement for saispace. This router has login Admin with blank pw, at by default.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

loading Ubuntu Linux on Clamshell iBook - part 3

Part one of this series and part two have more details.

Adding left and right button emulation - this post (google led me to this guy who links to a bunch of iBook Linuxers) mentioned that F11 and F12 were already mapped to middle and right-click. Just tried mine, mine are, too! Since mouseemu is installed, it must be doing the job. Or maybe it is the line in my /etc/X11/xorg.conf which says Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
... Aha! This guy says it is in /etc/sysctl.conf, and it is!
dev/mac_hid/mouse_button_emulation = 1
dev/mac_hid/mouse_button2_keycode = 87
dev/mac_hid/mouse_button3_keycode = 88

Choosing System->Preferences->Keyboard, one gets the Gnome Keyboard Prefs. In the layouts tab, choosing the Layout options button, under Numeric Keypad Delete behaviour, I have chosen the . button to be delete button. Next on the todo list is to clear up the power behaviour. Currently, the charging doesn't seem to be taking place when running linux, or maybe the pmu is not reporting it correctly. The Gnome panel was showing 44% for much of the time I was using it earlier. Now it shows 37%. When I disconnect and reconnect power, /proc/pmu/battery_0 shows a different count. But then it seems to get stuck?!

Right now, cat /proc/pmu/battery_0 shows:
flags      : 00000011
charge : 810
max_charge : 2141
current : 0
voltage : 16030
time rem. : 0
More than an hour back, it showed
flags      : 00000011
charge : 789
max_charge : 2141
current : 0
voltage : 16020
time rem. : 0
Plucking out and putting back the power plug makes the charge start moving at the rate of 5 for ten seconds (815 to 820 in around 10 sec, for example). But now it has stopped at 827 and doesn't move any more. Will have to check out this issue as well as the lack of USB hotplug support (sees the USB key only if rebooted).

toshiba satellite A75 laptop power jack re-soldering

Yet another Toshiba laptop with power jack problem, just a touch of solder on the jack by D did the job - just 90 minutes.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

loading Ubuntu Linux on Clamshell iBook - part 2

The part 1 of this saga is here.

After a 256 MB SDRAM ordered from arrived, installed xubuntu-desktop. But when it rebooted, it came up with gdm and gnome desktop by default. Looked pretty good. Went back to the login screen, chose Xfce, found the look to be similar, but some things like the volume control in the panel were missing. So, went back to the gnome desktop. Not too sluggish, pretty good, in fact. Installed various stuff like flash plugins for firefox mozilla-plugin-gnash and swfdec-mozilla, OpenOffice, etc, performance is good. Have to download flv files and play them with vlc or mplayer, since the swfdec has a CPU drinking problem playing flv flash players, does not refresh the screen. Hibernate is not supported in hardware, I think. Suspend works well. Have to disable the "Failed to suspend" message in GConf as mentioned in the help center. Battery life is perpetually shown as 40% in the Gnome panel applet. Must take a dekko at what can be done about that. But someone wants to buy the machine, so I may not get time to do that...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

outgoing mails from Thunderbird to gmail - AVAST!

Outgoing mails were getting an error 5.7.0 Must issue a STARTTLS... though the TLS settings were set correctly. Googling found this page which gave the solution of disabling AVAST scanning of outgoing emails. On my system, Avast 4.8 Pro, in the Enhanced Interface (as against the Simple Interface) it was in Tasks -> Resident Protection (right-click) -> Properties (it gives a warning at this point) -> Internet Mail (with the Advanced configuration checkbox at the bottom checked) -> SMTP -> Scan outbound mail. Removed it, and SMTP started working again.

Monday, January 12, 2009

extigy check

I'd not mentioned that the Creative Extigy had gone bad before I got the Tascam US1641 in the Mandir. Checked it today with an adjustable power supply set to 12 V - it needs 12 V 1 amp - to see if the problem is only with the power supply. At first try, it seemed No go, well and truly dead. Then instead of the auto-detected drivers from XP, tried installing the creative drivers. Then the analog section seems to be working fine. Line in -84 dB noise floor or better, mic also good. The digital section seems to have packed up due to the high voltage from the bad power supply - burning smell when it is connected. SPDIF copper and optical, no sound heard in headphones tho the mixer has these inputs unmuted and turned up. Anyway, it'll do for mic PB recordings, that's a big plus.

adding cleartype

In Display properties, on the Appearance tab, Effects button: Select "Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts" check box, and then choose ClearType in the list.

Thunderbird migration

Migrating Thunderbbird to the Aspire 4530 was not so straightforward, since I'd made a bit of a mess while configuring it on saispace2. The mail files and the configuration were at two different places, and the settings had to be redone since the paths were different - E:\My Documents ... etc now instead of L:\Mozilla Thuderbird etc earlier.

  1. Copied contents of L:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\Profiles and Local Folders to the new location in E:\
  2. Copied contents of C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Thunderbird to same location
  3. After starting Thunderbird, went to each account and changed the path to sig file and local folders.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Acer laptop Aspire 4530

Migrating to the laptop to save power. Making a list of what I want installed on it, putting it all in a folder for easy installation. Used PING to create a backup image. Have not yet done any benchmarks except for audio. Though the Realtek HD audio has SPDIF out, the Line In is average: -73 dB noise floor and a drift of 0.054 sec in 30 minutes of recording. Not frame accurate, but at least better than the M-Audio MobilePro! Noise floor goes up considerably on using Mic Boost. Maybe I'll use the MobilePro for PB recordings?

Friday, January 09, 2009

loading Ubuntu Linux on Clamshell iBook - part 1

This will a long post.

The Clamshell iBook was hamstrung by non-availability of current browsers for MacOS 9. Loading MacOS X was not an option, with only 64 MB of RAM and no DVD drive. On an impulse, looked up Ubuntu, and found it had a PowerPC install supporting older machines with

First started the install using just the install-powerpc image, but this didn't work: it went on for 45 minutes before asking me for user info, then went on for 2 more hours or so before saying that the install failed. Probably due to the limited RAM, tho' the installer was in "Low memory mode".

Then tried the cli-expert-powerpc image. Chose the same partitioning scheme as before,
Guided - use full disk
It created a 180 MB swap
(#4 180 MB swap)

One problem with this install was that it did not ask for a username - it created username oem and added it to sudoers list. The message was that I could run oem-config-prepare and then oem-config to change the oem user to whatever name I wanted. But the latter did not work, probably because of the minimal install. So, manually added user using adduser and added to sudo list using the method given here
sudo usermod -a -G admin username
removing the oem user with the technique given here, userdel.

Sound started working by adding snd-powermac to the end of modules with
sudo nano /etc/modules
as given in the PowerPC FAQ.

reports no accelerated video as of now, though tried some stunts with setting the driver to ati and so on.

The Mac keyboard has some mapping problems. Where is the Del key for Ctrl-Alt-Del ?! Also, only a single button on the track-pad, so middle-clicking is out. Possible solution is at

Actually none of the bugs given at the Low-Memory Install page afffected my install, particularly the bug #202959 did not happen for me on the PowerPC. It does show an error while booting,
PCI: Cannot allocate resource region 0 of device 0001:10:19.0
but the boot process continues.

Adding repositories by editing sources.list sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list was not so easy. The PowerPC builds were shifted to the ports servers, so finally found at
My sources.list file :
deb hardy-security main restricted
deb-src hardy-security main restricted
deb hardy-security universe
deb-src hardy-security universe
deb hardy-security multiverse
deb-src hardy-security multiverse
deb hardy main restricted
deb-src hardy main restricted
deb hardy universe
deb-src hardy universe
deb hardy multiverse
deb-src hardy multiverse

Installed IceWM using instructions from the Low-Memory Install page with
sudo aptitude install icewm iceconf icepref iceme icewm-themes

Tried installing xdm for auto-login, since gdm and kdm are resource-hungry. But then xdm doesn't have that feature! So, using the technique given here and here, putting startx at the end of .bashrc as
if [ $(tty) == "/dev/tty1" ]; then
Firefox and dillo work OK. Dillo is fast but doesn't render CSS. Firefox needs more RAM, swaps a lot. Ordered more RAM from - PC-133 SDRAM "suitable for most P-III laptops". Actually need PC-66, I hope it works. With more RAM, might try installing xubuntu-desktop and other goodies.