Friday, April 17, 2009

Manage Mobile with Linux

Even people who don't live and die by their mobile phones sometimes need to send SMS. Did you know you can do that from your computer? Likewise, it's easier to clean your mobile phone of all the numbers you've not been dialing in the last few years using a mouse, rather than navigating repeatedly through the phone's menu system. Here are some Linux tools that can help you manage your cell phone.

Using a Windows Mobile-based smart phone or PDA in Linux is easy as pie. In most cases you just have to connect the device through USB and start up SynCE. For phones that don't use a Microsoft operating system, such as my Motorola SLVR L7, applications like Moto4Lin and KMobileTools come in handy.

If you just need to view, delete, or send SMS messages and manage your address book, then KMobileTools, a part of KDE 3.5.x, is a good solution. If you don't use KDE, you can download and install the program anyway. Configuration is straightforward: you pick a device brand from the list (Nokia, Motorola, Siemens, Sony Ericsson, and LG phones are supported) and choose a connection type. If you wish to use Bluetooth, pick /dev/rfcomm0. For USB connections choose /dev/ttyACM0 or /dev/ttyUSB0, and for serial ports use /dev/ttyS0. Leave the port speed at the default (115200).

There are other tools you can try. The Wammu GUI for Gammu, written in wxPython, offers the same functionality as KMobileTools

Sometimes you want to do more with your phone. What about those moments when you need to download an image from the phone or want to upload a music file as a ringtone? For Motorola phones, try Moto4Lin. While KMobileTools can be used to manage contacts and text messages, Moto4Lin is strictly for file management.

In addition to the tools above, there are other applications you can try for establishing a connection with your mobile phone, including Phone Manager, KitchenSync, GMobileMedia, and ObexTool.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Guru Editors

Usually the fastest way to get things done is using the keyboard only if possible. If you take the time to memorize commands and keyboard short-cuts you are often able to do your work with quick keystrokes rather that aiming the mouse pointer at buttons and menu items. That is way experts often prefer editors like Emacs and VI.

Web Browsers for Linux

The following is a selection of Linux-based Web browsers. Applications with free versions (indicated as [Free]) are listed before commercial programs. Note: Freeware and GNU Library General Public License often come with restrictions. Users should check copyright and licensing statements from the developers.

Amaya [Free]
Amaya is a Web browser as well as a Web editor, which creates and updates documents directly on the Web. Its browsing, editing and remote access features are seamlessly integrated in a uniform environment. Amaya is W3C's test bed cross-platform editor/browser. Platform: Independent.

Emacs/W3 [Free]
Emacs W3-mode is a full-featured web browser, supporting all the bells and whistles you will find in use on the web today, including frames, tables, style sheets, and much more. Platform: Linux / Unix, Windows, DOS, OS/2, and VMS.

Epiphany [Free]
As its name (meaning "an intuitive grasp of reality through something simple and striking") indicates, Epiphany, though based on the Mozilla rendering engine, aims to utilize a much simpler and less bloated interface. It also has standards compliance and GNOME integration. Platform: Linux / Unix.

Firefox [Free]
The most popular open source web browser. Available for all major operating systems and included in all major Linux distributions. Numerous extensions are available.

Galeon [Free]
Galeon is a GNOME web browser based on gecko (mozilla rendering engine). It's fast, it has a light interface and it is full standards compliant. It requires current Mozilla sources to build. Platform: Linux / Unix.

HotJava (Free for non-commercial use)
The HotJava Browser provides a highly-customizable modular solution for creating and deploying Web-enabled applications across a wide array of environments and devices. Using HotJava on Solaris for SPARC and JavaStation is officially supported by Sun. But you can also download an unsupported version of HotJava of Linux.

Konqueror [Free]
Konqueror is a full-featured Web browser, supporting Java applets, JavaScript, CSS1 and (partially) CSS2, as well as Netscape plugins. It is also the file manager for the K Desktop Environment. It supports basic file management on local Unix filesystems, as well as remote and local network file browsing.

Lynx [Free]
Lynx is a text based web browser. Platform: Linux / Unix.

Mozilla [Free]
Mozilla is an open-source web browser, designed for standards-compliance, performance and portability. Platform: Linux / Unix, MacOS X, Windows.

Netscape Navigator [Free]
The latest version of Netscape is certified and supported on Red Hat Linux. But you can find a version of Netscape for other distributions of Linux, too.

Opera for Linux
For those of you who love Opera as your PC browser, here is an informative Web site with articles and illustrated guides for using Opera on Linux.

Plug-in: Adobe Acrobat Reader [Free]
Adobe Acrobat Reader lets you view and print Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files as well as fill in and submit Adobe PDF forms online. Platform: Linux / Unix, Windows, etc.

WebCon [Free]
WebCon is a simple Web console tool that allows you to perform any HTTP operations automatically, like posting data, saving data, deleting documents, etc. Platform: Linux / Unix.

Sound Juicer "Bonnie and Clyde" 2.26.1

Sound Juicer is a clean, mean, and lean CD ripper for GNOME 2.

It sports a clean interface and simple preferences, aiming to do The Right Thing and What You Mean all of the time. It requires GNOME and GStreamer.



Latest download available on, or from the GNOME FTP servers. Some crashes have been fixes:

  • Read the track artist instead of album artist in Musicbrain3
  • Don't crash if the release date is unknown
  • Read tracks when falling back to gvfs

Finally, a call for someone with deep LAME knowledge. The GStreamer LAME element is, well, lame because it sets a number of properties to default values that make it very difficult for LAME to work well. Someone who understands how all of the LAME settings operate needs to sit down, vet the settings and remove the pointless ones, unset most of the rest, leaving the 'preset' setting as the only one which has a default value. At the moment there are many contradictory default settings which mean LAME produces rather badly encoded files. Any takers?

Bugs can be reported at View the list of currently open bugs.

Free Wallpapers for KDE

[Wallpapers] Add to KDE wallpapers is just one example of site that has thousands of free wallpapers, it would be great to integrate them in to Get Hot New Stuff...

Adding a as a source would automatically bring thousand of beautiful wallpapers one click away.

All wallpapers are free for personal use...

few I liked are:

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Nojiri Village by Josh Douglas Smith

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Stormy Weather by Richard Mohler

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Run Away Together... by Marwia

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Media Player for linux - VLC

VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for almost all major audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.
It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.
It doesn't need any external codec or program to work.

Here you can find all the supported format and platform details.

Mac OS X - Video

GNU/Linux Debian - KDE 3 - Qt interface and compiz

GNU/Linux Debian - KDE 3 - Qt interface and compiz
Arch Linux - KDE 4 - Qt interface, album art and simple preferences

How to install


VLC's latest packaged version is always in the official Debian unstable branch. However you should still use our apt-get line if you need libdvdcss:

deb sid main

deb-src sid main

For a normal install, do:

# apt-get update

# apt-get install vlc libdvdcss2


You need to check that a "multiverse" mirror is listed in your /etc/apt/sources.list.

% sudo apt-get update
% sudo apt-get install vlc vlc-plugin-esd mozilla-plugin-vlc


Use Dag wieers to have 0.8.6 for those versions!

Fedora 9 & Fedora 10

Use RPM Fusion for F9 and F10 (available for x86, x86_64, ppc and ppc64)
Install rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm for F9 and f10

    $> su -
    #> rpm -ivh
    #> yum install vlc
    #> yum install mozilla-vlc (optionnal) 


sudo zypper ar VLC
sudo zypper mr -r VLC
sudo zypper in vlc

openSUSEversion can be 10.3, 11.0 or 11.1