Chromium nightly updater (Java)

After spending almost 6 months on Firefox nightlies, I am back on the chromium nightlies. I just love how it syncs settings/extensions as well (although not extension’s data currently). It’s also looking much better in all those benchmarks. Anyways, firefox nightlies seem to update themselves regularly. On *ubuntu we have a nightly PPA for Chromium. However sadly on windows, you have to manually update chromium.

To help you guys (and myself) I quickly put together an executable jar (source included) which should update chromium to latest nightly build. Its compiled with java 5, so use any JVM >= 5.

Run it at command line as : java -jar ChromiumUpdater.jar or simply double click if you have associated jar files to open with java binary (No console or window in this case. Just a log file in same directory)

You shouldn’t need to pass any parameters (but if those URLs change, you can pass new URLs as well. There are some optional arguments, you’ll see what arguments it support when you run it (will dump on console and log.txt).

Feel free to modify source (included in jar) or create a BAT of it to schedule it or do whatever you want with it.

Warning: It will download installer and install automatically (if local version lags). It will also kill chromium if running, without asking any questions). Only works on Windows.

Download from: download page

Direct download from here.

AdBlock+ for chrome/chromium and some benchmark results

If any of you are wondering what’s the deal with Google Chrome and Chromium, Chromium is the open source project behind Google Chrome. There were some fires about Chrome EULA in past, which were eventually sorted out. Anyways, I decided to go with Chromium instead of Chrome. Here’s a post that talks about their comparisons and relationships.

I also did some sunspider benchmarks recently(well around 15 days back) and chrome was a runaway winner. As we can clearly see that Chromium nightly was almost twice as fast as next best Firefox nightly.

Opera 10.10B13062.4ms
Firefox 3.0.142705.0ms
Firefox 3.5.31063.0ms
One of the important things missing in Chrome(for me..) was lack of an industry standard ad blocking extension. AdBlock+ is one of market leader at munching ads. And now it has been made available for Chrome/Chromium as well.
So here you go – AdBlock+ for Chrom*.
As of now two of my most used extensions have been working fine on Chrome ( XMarks and AdBlock+). The themes have been looking good. That firefox icon is getting lesser clicks day by day and sometimes only accidently out of the old habit.  I am afraid, at this rate, that firefox icon will soon find its place along that damned IE icon :)

Pulseaudio lives upto the expectations..

After months of naughtiness, Pulseaudio seems to settling in nicely in Karmic Beta. Everything stable, no glitches, twitches, CPU usages back to depths of lowness :)

Always knew pulseaudio has network access possible. Always wondered to be able to do it. Finally I have two laptops to try all those twosome things. And I did.

First I connected them using synergy(mouse/keyboard). Using SFTP to use them as file servers and pulseaudio as my audio servers.

Now the situation is, I have kept one laptop in that corner there. Its supposed to be my process intensive server. Its supposed to run my music, download stuff for me, check my mails – sound horns when they arrive and be busy and burn in hell in that corner. And it runs KDE. Now my powerful speakers (donated by a dear friend after he moved to US), remain connected to this busy bee. Well they sound like thunder, they are Altec Lansing MX5021.

What pulseaudio allowed me to do is, broadcast or redirect by audio from my mobile laptop to my server laptop. So while I want to play movies, I don’t need to get that speaker wire sorted out from the tangly world of wires. All is done by a mouse click. :)

Pulseaudio delivers and I have a smile.

Just for a quick start -
- Install paman (pulseaudio device manager) from Synaptic and run PulseAudio Device Chooser from Application -> Sound & Video.
- On the device chooser click Configure Local Sound Server, Make sure your sound server is discoverable in first 2 tabs. I even by passed authentication.

Do that on all the machines in the LAN. Done.

Now you can simple send your sound to any machine, by simply selecting “Default Sink” to whichever machine you want.

Done. Sound starts playing in the remote machine. You can have your smile:) The best part is I can choose which application plays where. I can decide that this music plays there, this youtube plays locally here on my box and this alarm application sounds in the machine there in other room. You know where I am going with this. Bring out your Vista or Windows 7 or Windows 8 and do this for me. Oh wait, they got a new feature to sell Windows 7 Supreme.

Cost for all this – Around 200KB/s more wireless data flowing around me… Now only if I could get this charging wire off me, but I heard even that’s coming:)

Use single mouse/keyboard for multiple computers.

The cool thing is called synergy.

The windows version has a great GUI to get you started. Here’s quickstart guide for Ubuntu.

Lets install synergy first , sudo apt-get install synergy on all the machines.

Now lets create an empty file /etc/synergy.conf, sudo gedit /etc/synergy.conf

First find out the hostnames of the machines you are synerging (Case sensitive). Lets say hostnames are hostname1 and hostname2.

Out of the machines, you need to select one as synergy server and all others would be client to this server. Lets select hostname1 as our server.

Create the synergy config file (/etc/synergy.conf) on hostname1(server) as follows:

section: screens

section: links
left = hostname2
right = hostname1

section: aliases

Choose left, right according to you machines placements or however you like. You can also use ‘up’, ‘down’ keywords. For all options see man synergys.

Ok now lets run the server on hostname1 as:
synergys --daemon

On client machine, hostname 2, connect to server as:
synergyc --daemon hostname1_ip

where hostname_ip is the ip address of hostname1, you could use hostname1 itself, if you are sure the name is resolving.

That’s it, your mouse and keyboards should be able to control both the machines now.

EDIT : sudo apt-get install quicksynergy, is an easy GUI for the same. That should make the job a cake walk.

Out of hiding…

Its been really long, I guess. A lot happened meanwhile. I got to feel recession in real life when my product was scrapped (Shelved as they say it ). So, lets acknowledge it again, its real. After losing pretty much all the investments in Indian stock markets, I can proudly say, recession did hurt me. Well, the job is still there, but lets see for how long.

When you start in a new company/project you always start from bottom most and if you don’t prove your worth fast enough, chances are  you will be first one thrown out on next lay offs.

As they say it, Last In First Out.

Anyways, lets try to be a bit more regular here and get back in touch with technology.

Today’s Tip : Did you know it is possible to synchronize, Evolution contacts (read Google contacts), Calendars (add google), Memos, Tasks and also Tomboy Notes using GTKPod,  the open source ipod manager.

IE8 Beta 1, Best feature …

I happened to notice that IE8 beta 1 was released. So I decided to give it a try, considering the great hype. Well, it has activities and web slices as it said on its home page. OK fine, but its first duty is to open web pages. Right?

So I opened, The login fails at start screen, the status bar says, “Error on page”. Hmm…..
So I open my finance site,, I try to login into my portfolio. Again no going forward, and status bar very confidently declaring, “Error on page”. Hmm….

So I thought, wait, that’s not possible. Must be cookies or something. May be they are reading cookies differently :P. So I deleted temp files, cookies etc.. But still, “error on page”.

Hmmm….. Then I saw that best feature, a cute button that said, emulate IE7. Well that proved to be best feature to me. It helped me browse my net again :). Good luck to IE8, its slices and activities. Firefox and opera are motoring for me.

Gmail chat tips and tricks round up ….

Lets do some Gmail Tips and hacks round up today. Mostly about gmail chat and other unknown features that you might not know about.

Read the rest of this entry »


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