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.