Friday, December 29, 2006

How to convert your Indic Unicode documents in to PDF - Online

Converting Indic (say, Hindi or Tamil) Unicode Word Documents in to PDF

Unicode word documents are hard to convert in to PDF. Many applications still lacks native Unicode support.

There is a nice online, free file conversion service called Zamzar that you can use to convert many file formats, including DOC/PDF of up to 100 MB size.

You have to upload your file through its simple web interface, and you will get e-mail alert with link to download converted file after a little while. Conversion from Unicode Indic (Hindi) Microsoft Word document to PDF document was indeed good, and all the formatting and web links were preserved. However, the reverse process (Unicode PDF to word file conversion) makes the document unusable since it had many errors. Still, the converted document is readable and understandable, and with little editing, you can use it.

Related article:

How to convert Indic Unicode documents in to PDF

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Do not, under any circumstances, consider upgrading an XP system to Vista!

I am not saying that!

Some top rated reviewers have this opinion.

Bribing blogger story is spreading fast. Many prominent blogger out there have written about this, and more revelations are coming. Joel had written about an ‘All expenses paid trip of bloggers to meet Bill Gates'.

Joel further writes, indeed after thorough testing Windows Vista, that:

Do not, under any circumstances, consider upgrading an XP system to Vista!

Further, Paul Thurrott has his own opinion: I have some very basic (ahem) advice: Do not purchase or use Windows Vista Home Basic. It's that simple.

Recently, NYT had published a rather negative piece about Vista. Vista is in serious trouble? It is, as it seems!

Related Article: That is why we all say Microsoft is best!

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Gmail = GoneMail?

For some, it was true!!

In a real bizarre incident, about 60 Gmail account holder's Gmail data - emails, contacts etc. - all had been wiped out forever!

Those 60 users might not have dreamt this, since Gmail had redefined using e-mail - Never delete e-mails, instead, archive it and search.

The incident is related to a security flaw in FireFox 2.0 browser, since these users were using it, and it is reported that they receive following message:

"This is not a mistake. All your emails and contacts have been deleted on purpose. This was a malicious attack and not an error. Have a nice day. =)"

So, if you are using Gmail, awake, and atleast, backup some really important e-mails and contact information. Gmail supports pop3 access, so better configure a mail client, and periodically download your mails to a safe location.

There is a tool called Gmail POP troubleshooter that you can download and run to auto configure your Outlook Express to download email from your Gmail Account.

Related articles: 1 : Google Gmail: Privacy Policy vs. Help Center

2: Some Gmail accounts were cleaned out

3 : Gmail Disaster: Reports Of Mass Email Deletions

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

That is why we all say- Windows Vista is great!

Bribing Bloggers the Microsoft way!

What will you write in your blog post about Windows Vista if Microsoft will ship you not only the FREE Windows Vista software, but also a high-end Laptop FREE?

Yeh, I can imagine your answer. Many bloggers out there had received their share of Christmas gift from Microsoft - an Acer Ferrari Laptop comprising of AMD Turion 64 X2 dual-core 2ghz CPU, 2GB of DDR2-667 RAM, AMD-ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 on a 15.4″ widescreen. It also has a 160GB SATA drive, HD-DVD reader and burner as well as a 1.3mp camera. You can see full specifications at the Acer website.

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First ever official Fedora Linux live CD released

Fedora core 6 based official Fedora Linux Live CD

Finally, there is an announcement for first ever official Fedora
live CD release
. This live CD is based on packages from the Fedora Core 6
(codenamed "Zod") and Fedora Extras package collections and is such 100%
free software.

According to announcement, the live CD features:

  • Linux 2.6.18
  • GNOME 2.16 desktop environment
  • GStreamer 0.10 multimedia framework
  • 7.1
  • AIGLX and Compiz for 3D desktop
  • Lots of applications including, but not limited to
  • Beagle (Desktop Search)
  • F-Spot (Photo Management)
  • Evolution (Email and Calendering)
  • Firefox (Web Browsing)
  • Ekiga (IP telephony)
  • Rhythmbox (Music Player)
  • Totem (Movie Player)
  • Games (Games)
  • The Gimp (Graphics)
  • Inkscape (Vector Graphics)
  • Abiword (Word Processor)
  • Gnumeric (Spreadsheet)
  • nautilus-open-terminal (For the adult in you)
  • Assistive Technology including the Orca screen reader
  • NetworkManager is on by default
  • VPN connectivity software including vnpc and OpenVPN
  • Partition editing via GParted
  • SELinux targeted mode including the SELinux trouble shooter
  • Many many fonts; almost 100% coverage
  • All the localizations included in FC6 and FC6
  • All the input methods (SCIM) present in FC6
  • Exclusive live CD wallpaper you won't find in FC6 or FE6!
  • R/W file system so you can install software on the running live CD
  • Ability to run from RAM if you have 1GB or more of memory
  • and lots and lots more..

As you can see, the distro is full in all kinds of applications. But, it lacks behind in basic multimedia support. As a policy, MP3 support is still missing in Fedora Live CD and you need to make extra effort to enable it.

The live CD is currently only available for i386 architectures. According to announcement, Support for other architectures including ppc and x86_64 is planned. The live cd is about 682MB, and can be download from:

SHA1SUM: 8771d21af1974492424438cbe42f1bae0161ea96 FC-6-i386-livecd-1.iso

You can get this on the Torrent using:

A time to get Fedora Live DVD, with lot more applications? Obviously.

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How to install Firefox 2.0 in Linux?

Installing Firefox 2.0 in Linux

Firefox 2.0 is out for some time now and has proved its worth to the whole world within this short time! Traditionally, you can upgrade your existing Firefox install in Linux whenever specific builds were available later on. Since it will take some time for official release of specific build for specific Linux distribution, presently, you cannot install Firefox through traditional methods like (RPM) package updater.

Still, you can use Firefox 2.0 in your Linux installation, even without installation or package upgrade. Just follow following step-by-step guide:

Step 1 : Download Firefox 2.0 for Linux from this official Firefox download link:

As you can see, the downloaded file is in compressed tar gz format. Uncompress it in any directory, in which you have read-write permission. After uncompression, it will create a directory firefox- with a subdirectory firefox.

Step 2 : Change to the directory in which you have uncompressed the files, and change to subdirectory firefox within directory firefox-

Here, you can see various files, binaries and scripts. There is a script updater which can be used to update Firefox. Here, you will find a binary file called firefox. Simply run this binary file by giving following command and your Firefox 2.0 browser will be up and running.

# ./firefox

Set the Firefox 2 as default browser of your Linux machine, and whenever you will launch your default web browser, Firefox 2.0 will be launched automatically.

Alternately, you can create a shortcut of Firefox Launcher (for firefox binary file described above) on your Linux desktop.

Related articles: How to install applications in Linux

Uncompress files through Konqueror : Konquer Linux

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

If you are Blogger, writing blogs then You must be dumber than High-School Kids!

And, I am not kidding!

Yes, the results were out since quite some time, and, as you can see, they are not heartening! had held A Blogger SAT-style writing Challenge for bloggers. The Challenge ran from September 15 to September 20, 2006, where bloggers and blog readers from around the world expressed their skill at writing SAT-style essays under test conditions. They were given 20 minutes to answer a sample SAT question, and their entries were collected and sent to volunteer graders for grading.

Final ratings made to come to obvious conclusion: It is been scientifically proved that high-school students are better writers than bloggers!

You can count this blog, and this blogger as well! :)

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Microsoft applied for patent to RSS

Can an existing, in use technology can be patented?

David Berlind has written an interesting article about Microsoft's Patent saga of RSS.

Microsoft has applied to patent RSS - the Internet Content syndication system, which everybody is using since long!

The case looks similar in nature - A commercial firm tried to patent Anti-Bacterial-Properties of a herb called turmeric, which is known and in use by Indians since ages!

It is quite unlikely that this patent will be granted to Microsoft.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

How to increase battery life of your Laptop?

Increasing battery time of a Laptop.

Is there any method other than working with limited processor speed?

I bet, there is none. But, according to Fredrik Andersson, ‘Undervolting' (cutting voltage to the processor) the processor (the biggest power consumer in Laptop) may increase battery time of a Laptop substantially. He has given detailed instructions to how to do it.

Well, we all know that a device's power consumption remain un-effected because when you decrease voltage, its current consumption increases. Though Fredrik had claimed that he was able to save about 19% battery power without compromising performance, still, unless there were more studies made to prove this claim, this method will remain controversial.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

How to get rid from neck and low back pain?

Getting rid from Neck and Low Back Pain:

Sitting all day in front of computer terminal may produce serious health hazard - that includes Neck and Low Back Pain. You can reduce these hazards, and may get complete relief from these pains by doing VERY simple Neck and Leg exercises that hardly takes ten minutes, and, the best part of this is - that you can do this exercise lying on your bed!

A) Neck Exercise: Lie on your back, preferably on your bed, AND WITHOUT any pillow, and raise your head off the bed as slowly as you can, and as high as you can. Do not lift your body or shoulder. Then lower it as slowly as you can. Take deep breath during every neck lift. Do this for about a DOZEN times twice a day. This exercise strengthens muscles around your neck and thus reduces neck pain. The results will start to appear after about a month. Make this exercise a routine and you will see marked improvement in neck discomfort and pain.

B) Leg Exercise: Lie on your back, preferably on your bed without any pillow, and raise your right leg off the bed as slowly as you can, and as high as you can. Then lower it as slowly as you can. Take deep breath during every lift. Repeat this for left leg. Finally, repeat this with both legs simultaneously. Do this for a DOZEN times, twice a day. This exercise strengthens the muscles around your lower back. You will see improvements in your back pain and back discomfort in about a month.

Warning: Before starting this exercise, consult your family Doctor / physician for advice if you have serious problems, taking medicines and are already going under any kind of medical treatment.

How to protect yourself from Phishing attacks?

Do not ignore these warning messages...

Last week, Mumbai Police arrested some Nigerians on the charges of cheating ICICI Bank and it's consumers Crores of Rupees (Millions of Dollars) through fraudulent means. They were charged that they have created fake ICICI look-alike site and send genuine users emails asking them to update their account by entering their User Name and Password at that site. The culprits then used these divulged data to transfer funds through fraudulent means and thus cheated ignorant Bank and innocent Consumers. This kind of fraud is called phishing. There are many security tools already available that you can use to detect and avoid these attacks.

Phishers create fake fraudulent sites that exactly looks like original, and are often cannot be detected by normal means. Keeping this in mind, most new browsers now have features, which upon activation, can warn you about suspecious phishing sites. They do it by comparing the web site's address you want to visit with the database of fraudulent sites. It the address matched with their database, then they give you warning, which, you can accept or ignore. Opera 9.01, FireFox 2 and Internet Explorer 7 all have this built in feature.

It is strictly advisable to consider these warnings very seriously, and DO NOT visit these sites to avoid probable phishing attacks.

Opera 9.01 Security Setting

Opera 9.01 Warning Message

FireFopx 2 Warning Message

Internet Explorer Warning Message

Another Warning Message

Related Article :

Avoiding Trapping in Phishing Attacks

Screen Shots: Courtesy: F-Secure Antivirus Blog

How to get Windows Vista for free?

Getting Windows Vista for Free

Amit has written an interesting article: How to get Windows Vista for free.

The article depicts several ways to grab Windows Vista for free.

But, none - repeat - none will work for a normal user like me! Why? Here are some good explanations:

Way 1 : Buy a new Dell / HP PC with free Windows Vista upgrade coupon? - I already have one, and instead of buying another one, just for free upgrade to Windows Vista, I will definitely opt to buy software itself!!

Way 2 : Attend the 2007 International CES conference in Las Vegas as an exhibitor? - Well, again, I consider myself as a normal user! So, this method is out of question, and it had ONLY literary meaning to me!!!

Way 3 : Nominate yourself or ask a friend to nominate you for the Microsoft MVP program? - Ah! This thing I had always dreaming since I had gain consciousness. Amit, can you tell me, since when Microsoft started accepting nominations for normal users like me?

Way 4 : If you have participated in the Windows Vista Beta testing program and have submitted at least 1 bug report...? Again, I am normal user, no developer or no tester either. Out of question for me again!

Way 5 : Register for the PowerTogether webinars....: This seems fine for me. But, hay, they have stopped distributing free Windows Vista since ages (at least, it seems!!!) - just see the screenshot below:

Finally, the article advises that, if none of the above options work, (eventually, it will NEVER work for most of his readers) then download and install Windows Vista Transformation Pack. But this resource hungry pack will hog your system for ONLY ‘look and feel' of Windows Vista - sans features like ‘Enhanced Functionality and Security' of Windows Vista!!!! AND not advisable at all!

Any way, thanks Amit, for giving your readers a real good dream!!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Now, Blogger is no more Beta !

Finally, Blogger has shed its BETA tag today.

Reason to SMILE?


My blog is LARGE enough and they say it will take some time to shift my blog. OK, OK I will wait.

But there are some problem in shifting NON ENGLISH blogs.

It had been reported to Blogger that some Unicode Hindi OLD Blogger Comments are getting weird look due to broken Encoding during shifting.

I wish Blogger will fix it soon.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

How to configure Ubuntu Linux for Hindi Keyboard?

Configuring Keyboards in Ubuntu 6.06 Linux

Strangely, Ubuntu 6.06 Live CD ROM doesn't include Hindi Keyboard by default, whereas there are many other Indian languages keyboard options like Gujrati, Panjabi etc were included. Neither it has Hindi Interface support by default. Whereas its older version 5 had inbuilt, complete Hindi support. Probably, to accommodate other packages, Hindi language packs have been removed form this distribution, and unknowingly, Hindi Keyboard had been removed too.

Now, what will you do to install Hindi Keyboard / Hindi Language packs in Ubuntu 6.06 Linux?

Here are some simple steps described for you:

Click on Ubuntu Application menu and go to System > Administration > Language Support.

Language Support dialogue will appear. In the dialogue box, select Hindi and Click Apply. Make sure that your machine is connected to Internet.

Ubuntu's smart package installer will search Internet, find right packages for you and install the Language specific packages. Depending upon your connection speed, it may take a few minutes.

Ubuntu uses SCIM (Smart common Input method) tool for language keyboard support. When you install Hindi packages, it also installs SCIM modules and keyboard for Hindi. Now, Hindi will be added as keyboard which you can configure from System > Preferences > Keyboard menu or through System > Preferences > SCIM setup.

In Keyboard Layouts, simply choose / add Hindi Keyboard in addition to default US English Keyboard, and you are done.

SCIM does includes Inscript and Phonetic Hindi Keyboards, among which you can select your desired one. SCIM lets you change your RAW Keyboard layout, but about this, later.




Friday, December 15, 2006

How much memory do you need in your PC?

Well, this is the question every one asks one or other time.

And, there is no DEFINITE answer with any one.

Still, there is a good article by Kingston, the Memory manufacturer, which you can refer for your computer's actual memory need so that, it can run comfirtably.

You will see that, except Windows 98, all other modern Operating Systems now need up to 2 GB RAM for Computers that are involved in Multimedia applications.

Moral of the story: Have good memory! A larger memory is always better!



Thursday, December 14, 2006

How to install fonts - say, Krutidev Hindi ttf font in Linux?

Installing Fonts in Linux?

[ kate - the kde text editor working with Krutidev Hindi font]

It is quite simple, two step process.

Login as root user, then copy true-type font file to /usr/share/fonts/TTF directory and give command chkfontpath. And you are done.

The fonts installed this way will be available to all users. If you do not have root permissions, then loose no heart, you can still install fonts as a user. These fonts will be only available to the particular user, whose home directory fonts are installed). Here is the simple procedure:

Make a directory named .fonts (directory/files starts with a period remain hidden by default) by giving following command in your home directory (in general, it may be like /home/ravi for user ravi)

CD (change directory) to your home directory, in the above home directory example, command will be: #cd /home/ravi

Then give command:

#mkdir .fonts

Now copy the font(s) you install to this directory by appropriate copy command.

Alternately, in KDE, start Konqueror the file manager (or any file manager), go to your home directory (Don't worry, simply click on Home icon in Konqueror menubar, and it will take you straight to your home directory), Right Click on an empty place on Konqueror window and choose Create New > Folder and in input box that appears, fill the name .fonts as name of folder. Click OK. Now, to see this hidden folder, click on Konqueror's View menu and choose Show Hidden Files. Now, to copy true-type font(s) in this newly created directory, drag and drop true-type fonts, say KRDEV045.TTF to this .fonts directory.

Now, give following command:

#chkfontpath -a [.fonts-directory]

Please replace [.fonts-directory] with YOUR directory, for example, in above case, actual command will be:

#chkfontpath -a /home/ravi/.fonts

Now your font is ready to use in any Linux application (except some old versions of openoffice)!

Kate, the kde text editor using Kruti-Dev fonts, which you can enable through Kate's settings.



Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Yet another reason to use Gmail...

Gmail getting BETTER everyday!

Zdnet Blog has reported that Gmail is all set to act as your mail buddy - that is - it can now fetch other pop3 mails accounts through its new feature called Mail-fetcher.

Gmail offers the best anti-spam service any Web mail service can offer - prime reason I was using it, and yet - this is another one - going all pop!

I am not yet invited to activate this feature, but I am dreaming spam-free mails from other email accounts in my Gmail!

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You can register Domain name -, and run Phishing site on it!

Obviously, it is true.

F-secure, the anti-virus firm has written an open letter to Registrars of Domain names asking them to closely examine the implications of look-alike domain name registrations by giving REAL example!

At least, popular sites must not be registered with look-alike names for possible fraudulent activities.

What do you say?

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Blogger hosting Adult Porn blogs?

Yes, It's official!

And, they are NOT splogs (spam blogs) either.

Read some interesting discussion going on in official Blogger Help group:

Blogger Host to Adult Porn Sites?

Btw, WHAT is your idea about Blogger finally turning in to a Porn site?



Add bluffer err, Blufr in your blog.

Adding Blufr in your Blog:

Have you seen Blufr Beta? If not then scroll down to this blog's bottom and you will find a Blufr question - waiting for your answer - Way or no Way?

Well, the way Blufr works is indeed an interesting way to teach people about small things. You can add code of Blufr in your Blog template. The best part is, questions get changed every time when you refresh the page.

Here is the code for Blufr Beta that you may paste at an appropriate place in your Blog template:

<center><embed style="WIDTH: 250px; HEIGHT: 275px" src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" scale="exactfit"></EMBED><BR>Powered by<br>free <a href="">online dictionary</a> and more<BR></center>

There are many other optional code which you can choose according to your need. Just visit this Link.


Soetware Applications for physically challenged people


Some free, nice Computing tools in Linux for physically challenged people

Physically handicaps often feel difficult using computers. There are dozens of computer programs and hardware that help Physically challenged people to carry their day to day work. Stephen Hawkings uses sophisticated speech synthesizer that works with Stephen's one hand and eye movement. The software extensively uses predictive technology, and Stephen hardly miss a word even while giving complex Science and Astrology presentation and speech!

There are some nice, free software tools available in Linux platform. However, they may not be sophisticated enough, but they fulfill basic needs of many. Here are some:

Kmag : KDE accessibility package has three nice tools that helps using computers to certain category of physically challenged people. It can be installed in any Linux distribution. Kmag - Kmagnifier is one such tool that comes with Kdeaccessibility package. Kmag magnify the portion of screen, so that its visibility is enhanced. People with poor vision may find this utility very useful.

Kmouth : This utility also comes bundled with Kdeaccessibility. With the help of Kmouth, people who are unable to speak can speak through their computer. Kmouth uses predictive technology, and can use database from variety of source such as Dictionary and Previous spoken sentences and when user presses a button, Text-to-speech synthesizer speaks the selected words / sentences.

Kmousetool : This tool, as stated above, comes bundled with Kdeaccessibility package. Kmousetool helps reduce Repetitive stress injuries by clicking automatically when you pause somewhere. Persons with injured fingers may find this tool extremely helpful.



Dasher : This tool lets you input TEXT through pointing gesture. You do not need a keyboard or even mouse (when you use eye tracker hardware with it) to use this tool. Using Dasher is fun, the way we play arcade games. It also uses predictive technology and words floats past a vertical line. You simply point to those words you want, and words get typed automatically in an input box. No clicking and no keyboard inputting! With a little practice, user's can input about 39 words per minute and more! Even I, with no prior experience, was able to write a recognizable sentence in less than 5 minutes! It is equally great for Handheld, wearable computers where Keyboards and mouse are burden!

GOK : Gnome Onscreen Keyboard lets you input text in any application through mouse clicks. It even lets you give commands through Key-board shortcuts. Great tool if user cannot use keyboard due to inability or in other space constraints.


How to install these nifty utilities? Just read this comprehensive article about "How to install applications in Linux"


Monday, December 11, 2006

The wait is over - Now you can switch to all new Blogger Beta!

Now I can Shift to all new Blogger BETA!

Blogger Buzz had reported today that they are now all ready to go full! It means, BETA tag will be removed soon AND all - yes, I repeat, ALL old blogger accounts can be shifted to all new feature rich Blogger BETA, Err, no BETA any more!



Friday, December 08, 2006

How to edit menus in KDE program menu?

Adding / removing menus from KDE start menu.

KDE has its own weird set of program menu entries, which is not very much intuitive and hence badly needs editing. At times, you need to add some extra menus for your own convenience.

You can add / remove / edit KDE start menu with some simple steps through a small program ‘kmenuedit' that comes with standard KDE installation.

To start K-menu-editor, give following command in any terminal:

# kmenuedit

Or, you can start this program through - Go to System > Configuration > Menu Editor and clock on it.

Now, select the entry that you wand to edit in the window that appears. If you want to remove some entry, click on it to select it, and then click on Edit and then click Delete. This menu will gets deleted in KDE start menu.

To add a new menu, go to File menu, then select appropriate item from - New Item, New Submenu or New Separator. For example, you want to add a new item, then click on New Item. Now give the name of that new item you want to add in the input box that appears and then fill the required info as stated in this article. You must add valid command (and may be with appropriate path) to be able to run this new menu. Click OK. It will ask for key-board shortcut. Click Cancel, since you may mesh-up with standard KDE shortcut keys. Finally, click OK, and click Save changes and you are done!



Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Linux Tips: How to create desktop shortcuts in Linux?


Creating Desktop Shortcuts in Linux..

In KDE, it is quite easy.

(1) How to add desktop shortcuts for CD / DVD?

Right click on empty place of KDE desktop and go to Create New > Link to Device and then select CD or DVD or any other device you want to make shortcut for, and click on it. A Properties dialogue box will appear where you can change default properties. But, in general you need not to change any of these, hence click on OK, and your desktop shortcut for CD or DVD is created.

(2) How to add desktop shortcuts for file / folder or an application launcher?

Right click on empty place of KDE desktop and go to Create New then click on Link to Application. A properties window will appear where you need to set properties of your program / application behavior.

Now click on General tab and click on the gear icon to change this icon to an appropriate one. In Select Icon window select the appropriate icon and click OK. Further, change the text ‘Link to Application' to the appropriate name so that it indicates the shortcut . Next click on Application and then type the command (for example, kate for KDE text editor ) that starts application and click OK. And you are done. In special cases, you need to give full path of the command, and you can also change other settings, but default settings will do the work in most cases.



Monday, December 04, 2006

How to install Linux in Windows machine's other partition : a Flash tutorial

How to install Linux in Windows machine's other partition?

Installing Linux is still considered geeky. Not anymore. See this no nonsense Flash based tutorial and believe it for yourself!

Click here to see the Flash tutorial : How to install Linux Mandriva 2007 in Windows machine's other partition.

Mandriva Linux 2007 has built in support for Multimedia and access to Windows partition - unlike Fedora / RedHal Linux - hence recommended most for new users.



Saturday, December 02, 2006

How to send big files (up to 1 GB) through e-mail?

Send huge files (up to 1 GB) through e-mail!

There are many tools and e-mail plug-ins that lets you send files of size more than 10 MB (the default maximum size of Gmail) but Pando is different. It is free, efficient, and quite intuitive. It works as e-mail / messenger plug-in and delivers well. You can send individual / multiple files up to 1 GB in one go to any e-mail account that lets you store data up to that size.

See some screen shots below. Use of Pando is simple and self explanatory. You need to open file with *.pando extension to open / download the attachment, and hence it is necessary that the person who you are sending your huge attachment must also install Pando to open them. Presently, Pando works only with Internet Explorer.



Thursday, November 30, 2006

How to Read / Write access Windows NTFS partition in Linux


How to mount and access Windows Ntfs partitions from Fedora / RedHat Linux?

Most Linux users dual boot in to Linux as well as Windows. At times, we need to access files of Windows partition while working in Linux. Many new Linux Distributions such as Ubuntu and Mandriva have built in facility to full read/write access to Windows FAT 32 pratitions and read only access to Windows NTFS partitions. But these facilities are not available on default installations in Linux Fedora core or RedHat Enterprise versions due to security or other - Licensing reasons. Here is no nonsense guide for you to how to access (full read write support to Windows FAT 32 as well as NTFS partition, which you can use in other distributions as well) Windows FAT 32 / NTFS partitions in Fedora core / RedHat Linux.

Please note that the commands given in this article must be run as root user.

Step 1: Know the partition that contains Windows FAT / NTFS partitions:

To know which partition contains Windows FAT 32 / NTFS files, give following command:

# /sbin/fdisk -l

The output will be like this:

Precisely note down the partitions which contains Windows file system that you want to access. In general, it will be hda1 (for IDE drive c), and if you have many partitions and more than one hard disk, then it may be like hda2, hda3, hdb1, hdb4, hdd1 for IDE disks (and for SCSI disks, it will be like hdc1, hdc2) etc.

Step 2: Create mount point directory for Windows partitions:

If you have Windows partition say, hda1 (for drive c in Windows) that you want to access, then create a sub directory c in directory /mnt by giving following command:

# mkdir /mnt/c

In this directory, your Windows files will be available for use in Linux after mounting this file system.

Case A - To access Windows FAT 32 partitions : (For Windows NTFS partitions, skip this section and Jump to Case B)

It is simple. Linux Kernel has built in read-write support for FAT file systems. You simply need to create a Windows mount point directory and mount that directory either manually or automatically during boot time.

Case A - Step 1: Mount Windows FAT 32 partition hda1 for read / write access:

To mount newly created Windows mount point directory, you need to add information in /etc/fstab. Start any text editor as root user, say, gedit by giving following command:

#gedit /etc/fstab

Now add following line at the end of the file. AND be sure that there will ALWAYS be a new line at the end of the file - i.e. after entering this line, press return (enter key) key once.

/dev/hda1 /mnt/c auto defaults 00

save the file.

Now give following command:

# mount /mnt/c

There should be no error message if you have done everything right. Now you can browse Windows Dirve C (having FAT32 file system) in Linux in directory /mnt/c through any file manager like Konqueror.

Next time when you boot in to Linux, Windows partition hda1 on /mnt/c will automatically be available to you (that you can change by giving suitable argument in fstab entry)

Case B: To access Windows NTFS partitions:

Currently, Support for Windows NTFS partitions in Linux is available through various kernel modules and drivers. You may opt for module ntfs or driver ntfs-3g with fuse module or some other but you need to configure Fedora / RedHat to load one of these module first and then access Windows Partitions.

Case B Step 1: Install ntfs-3g driver to access Windows ntfs file system

It is recommended to use ntfs-3g driver since it give you full read-write NTFS access and is mostly 'serious-bug-free' and is now pretty robust. You can download and install the suitable RPM package (be sure to download and install ONLY that package MEANT for your Fedora / RedHat kernel, otherwise it will NOT WORK!) from here:

Download ntfs-3g from ''

for fedora core 5, download link will be:

You will need to install fuse package the upperspace file system kernel module since ntfs-3g depends on that. You can download and install suitable fuse package from:

Download fuse from

for fedora core 5, download link for fuse rpm package will be:

How to install these RPMs?

Simply give following command

#rpm -ivh <file-name>

For example,

#rpm -ivh fuse-2.6.0-2.fc5.i386.rpm

Will install package fuse-2.6.0-2.

You can Refer this detailed article for further assistance:



A better way to install ntfs-3g and fuse kernel module is to build it from their source. Download fuse source from here:

and ntfs-3g source from here:

First untar theses files by giving command:

#tar -zxvf fuse-2.5.3.tar.gz

for fuse and,

#tar -zxvf ntfs-3g-20070822-BETA.tgz

for ntfs-3g.

Now go to directory fuse-2.5.3, and give command:


If you have installed all the required development tools, then it will run successfully, else you will get error messages. After successful completion of this command, give following command


and finally, give command-

#make install

Repeate this procedure to install ntfs-3g.

Case B Step 2: Configuring and starting kernel module ntfs-3g

Give command:

#modprobe fuse

If fuse module is successfully installed, then it will produce no error message. Now you can mount your ntfs partition by giving a simple command:

#ntfs-3g /dev/hda1 /mnt/c

provided that hda1 has ntfs file system and you already have created mount point /mnt/c as discussed in Step 2 above. If the command does not produce any error message, then congratulations! you have successfully mounted Windows ntfs partition for read / write access. Start any file manager like Konqueror and browse /mnt/c as you browse in Windows Explorer.

If you want to load fuse kernel module automatically during boot time to automatically mount ntfs volume, append following line

modprobe fuse

to the file /etc/sysconfig/modules/udev-stw.modules

and add following line to /etc/fstab

/dev/hda1 /mnt/c ntfs-3g silent,umask=0 0 0

Now your Linux machine is ready to mount Windows ntfs partition during boot time.

Happy browsing ntfs in Linux!


Saturday, November 25, 2006

How to install and run Windows applications in Linux?

How to install and run Windows applications in Linux?

Some, not all Windows applications were running quite comfortably in Linux since long. I had written a “how to” some years ago, which you can refer how things had evolved. Running Windows application in Linux was indeed a difficult task then. It is quite easy now. In fact, project WINE is matured enough now that recently, it had been released for the first time for public use. Parallel to WINE, there is another nice, advanced tool that extensively use and contribute to WINE is Codeweaver’s CrossOver Linux that also lets you install and run Windows application in Linux. If you are new, it is recommended to use CrossOver, since it is advanced, has nice interface and handles installations and running Windows applications in Linux well. For $40.00 for standard version. It is quite economical too.

Installing CrossOver Linux is very simple. Download this 60 day demo from Codeweaver’s site and give command-


And follow on screen instructions. Installation will hardly take more than 5 minutes.

A CrossOver menu will be added to your start menu. To install Windows applications, go to Start Menu > CrossOver > Install Windows Software. A CrossOver application installer will appear and guide you how to do it.



After successful installation, Windows application’s menu will appear in Linux start menu, which you can run through standard way.

You can see the list of supported and tested Windows application that can run on Linux through CrossOver. The list is not exhaustive, and you can run many more than listed above.

(See above picture: Microsoft Internet Explorer running in Linux)

But, beware and be prepared to get occasionally bizarre behavior from Windows applications running in Linux!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

How to make your PC a multi-boot heaven?


Make your PC Dual / Multi boot with these easy steps...

In my opinion, no computer is complete unless it has more than one Operating System installed.

If you are using Windows, you are deprived of security and geek-ness of Linux and if you are die hard Linux fan and ‘Windows' word makes you uncomfortable, hold your breath, there are billions of nice applications you can't run anywhere else other than in Windows, so have one installed in your computer ASAP!

In a way, Dual/Multi boot PC is the need of the hour.

Here is no nonsense, step by step guide for you to make your PC multi-boot heaven.

Warning: Some instructions given here, though are non-destructive in nature, and your data will remain safe, still, some inadvertent move may make your PC in an un-bootable state. So, proceed only if you think you know what you are doing! Absolutely no liability and no warranty! Thanks. :)

Step 1 Write down your Disk stats:

You need at least two partitions in your hard disk for a true dual-boot machine. For a multi-boot machine, you need as many partitions as many Operating System you want to install. There are workarounds to install multiple operating systems in single partition. You can install another operating system either through virtual machines like vmware or by making a large file (in some cases, such as Mandriva Linux) that works as a partition but you will not get true working environment and at times, they hinder performance of base, installed operating system.

If you already have one or more free Partition, you can skip to next section, otherwise read on:

Step 2 Create additional partition for additional OS

If you do not have at least one free partition for an additional OS, then you need to create one. If you have only one hard disk installed, then it is a good idea to buy another one with fairly large capacity - say, 80 GB and partition it in more than 2 and use it for your new OS. If you have fairly large amount of free space available in your existing Windows installation and you do not want to buy another one (or have already installed a second hard disk!), then you can create a partition in the free space. To create a partition from Dos-Windows free space, you can use a free partition utility FIPS. If you want to create additional partition in free space available in Windows machine, then first defragment it and then use FIPS. It is simple in use, non destructive (i.e., your data remain safe if you handle it wisely) and hugely popular. If you think partition funda is a bit technical, then you can ask one of your tech friend to help you out in creating one for you.

Step 3 Install additional OS in new, empty partition

Now, you have created (or you already have one) an empty partition for an additional Operating system. Install additional operating system in this empty partition by standard way. If you are installing Linux on an existing Windows installation, (though Grub / Lilo boot-loader of Linux can easily handle booting Windows through MBR) it will be a good idea to install Linux boot loader in the first sector of root partition where Linux is being installed. To boot multiple OS, it is always a good idea to use third party boot loader utility like XOSL. XOSL can boot over 30 Operating System from same computer. This way, any further change to MBR or changes on boot record of root directory (when you install another OS or uninstall/remove existing one) of partitions will make no effect in boot record and process, and your machine will remain in nice, bootable state.

Step 4 Install boot loader XOSL

Download and extract XOSL in an appropriate Windows directory. Run install.exe, the XOSL installer from the extracted files.

XOSL will ask you where to install. Select on dos drive C, and follow on screen instructions. When done, you will need to reboot the machine.

After reboot, you will see XOSL boot selection screen. You need to setup XOSL for the operating system you have installed ( or going to install) in various partition.



Click on Setup button of XOSL screen.

In the next screen, click on Add button. XOSL will automatically scan for available bootable partition, MBR, floppy, CD disk drives and will present it in selectable window. Select the one you want to boot in to and give it a name. For example, HD0 partition has Windows, so give it a name Windows, and click Apply. Repeat the step to add all the available operating system and partition. You can add entries for empty partition too - where, in future, you may install Operating Systems. When done, click on Save button, and then click Close button.

Finally, you are ready to boot in to the OS of your choice!

With XOSL installed in your computer, you can install over 30 operating system in the same machine. OS like Linux can record boot information on first sector of partition, and hence can easily be managed through XOSL. But when you install or reinstall Windows, XOSL gets overwritten by Windows default MBR. In this case, you need to restore an already installed XOSL.

To restore XOSL, again, run install.exe of XOSL, then select Restore XOSL with the help of arrow keys and press enter. Follow on screen instructions, and you are done. Simply reboot the machine and everything will be back as ever!

Monday, November 20, 2006

How to toggle between language environment in Linux...

Linux : How to toggle between languages ?

Well, you setup your Linux machine for many languages. Now you want to toggle between them - just for using them in different environment or, if there is need, toggle between different languages keyboards.

Here is how :

Toggle language environment in KDE :

As usual, in true Linux style, there are a hundred way. But the most easy is click on K-menu, then go to Control Center and click on it. The KDE settings window will appear where you can set various parameters of KDE including language settings. Here, go to Regional & Accessibility > Country - Region & Language.

Here, you will find various tabs for settings in right pan. Click on Locale tab. Now, select the language you want to apply, and keep clicking on Move Up button till that language reached to the top most position (when it reached to the top position, the button will be grayed and will not remain clickable anyway)

All new application will be started in the new language environment. When you want to toggle back the language, just repeat the procedure, and bring back the old language to top most position again.



Toggle Keyboard (in KDE as well as in Gnome):

Please Read this Article.

Toggle Language environment in Gnome :

Again, there are hundreds of way you could do it in Linux. But the most easy way is to logout and login through gdm (the Gnome Display Manager). On Gnome login screen, select the language environment you want from Language selection tab, and simply log in. It is as simple as that. To toggle back to the old language, simply logoff and choose old language.

If you do not want to bother about logging of or do not know which environment you are in, then, simply give following command to run any-application (say, gedit in the given example) in the choice of your language (provided that the language Locals are installed) :

# Lang=en_US gedit (this will start gedit in US English environment)

# Lang=hi_IN gedit (this will start gedit in Hindi India environment)

But, note that you can run multiple instances of a program in only one language. It means, you cannot run gedit simultaneously in Hindi and English both languages. You can run any application either in Hindi or in English or in any other chosen language, irrespective of Linux desktop environment language.

Happy toggling!


Saturday, November 18, 2006

How to setup Multilingual Linux Mandriva 2007?

Mandriva 2007 : One of the best option for your multilingual Linux Desktop.

Mandriva Linux 2007 supports more than 65 languages including some Indian languages like Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil etc., and many of these languages have support right from the first installation screen. That means, you can install or upgrade your Mandriva Linux 2007 in your chosen language environment. Here is how to setup Mandriva as a true multilingual Linux box.

In the very first installation screen of Mandriva (as shown in figure below) press F2 to invoke language selection box.

In the next screen, you will see the available supported languages in Mandriva 2007. Browse for your language and select it, and if you wan to set Mandriva for more than a couple languages, then click on Multi Languages tab. Select as many languages you want to install by selecting check box against the available languages.

Remember to keep select the Keyboard language setting to English since the terminal commands may not available in other languages.



Mandriva's disk partition utility is one of the best and simplest. And is available in your chosen language if Mandriva installer is available in that language.

Mandriva 2007 has some bug as far as Hindi (India) Language is concerned. The language environment and Hindi locale does installs, but Hindi font not, and what you see are disturbed text in Gnome and empty boxes in KDE. Hence you need to install a Hindi Unicode font additionally. Just copy a Hindi Unicode font to /usr/share/fonts/TTF and then run command - chkfontpath to install Hindi fonts properly.

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