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.