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.

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Change default remote desktop port from 3389 to something else.

You can easily change the default remote desktop port from 3389 to something else by browsing to following registry key:


Double click this key, chose decimal and enter the new value. Restart terminal service port.

Why do this? Well if you expose your machine over internet for RDP, then its better to use a non-standard port. The moment I see a 3389 port open, my hands itch to try a few passwords.

VirtualBox – Shrink your VDI images. Image size = Space used up inside VM.

Often when you install a VM in virtualbox you’ll notice that initial size of the VM image would be more or less equal to the disk space actually used in the VM. However with time, as you play around, you will find that the size of VM image would always keep on increasing. The disk space actually used would be far lesser than the VM image size. We would try to compress the VM image to the space actually used up inside the VM.
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General Updates, Control that bandwidth looter. “trickle” them. Play your favourite shoutcast stream while your torrents download happily in background.

Back after a long time. Will provide some general updates and introduce you to this fine little cuty called trickle.

Ever stuck with torrent downloads who steal all your bandwidth, and you can’t even open google .com. Talk about limiting download speeds from torrent clients, which never work efficiently. Or how about listening to shoutcast while your firefox blazes away.
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Adblock Plus in Firefox Beta 5.

If you guys would have noticed, Ad block plus doesn’t work in Firefox beta 5, even on setting extensions.checkCompatibility = false.

Neither searching for updates helps. So guys, just head over to Adblock Plus development builds here.

Pick up the latest development version for adblock plus. Like for me adblockplus- works perfect.

And yeah! Firefox3b5 rocks, upgrade now.

Happy ads blocking.

Firefox beta 4, Upgrade now + run all your incompatible extensions : extensions.checkCompatibility = false

Firefox 3 beta 4 was just released. I have been upgrading without waits and have been running the greatest firefox all the time. When I advised a friend, he said he does not upgrade since his extensions doesn’t work. I was like come on!! You don’t know, Extensions.checkCompatibility ?

So friends, don’t stop yourself any further, Install the latest wonderful thing here. Again, here’s are the release notes to find how much greater it became. And here’s the detailed performance review.

Firefox 3 Beta 4 includes more than 900 enhancements from the previous beta, including drastic improvements to performance and memory usage, as well as fixes for stability, platform enhancements and user interface improvements. Many of these improvements were based on community feedback from the previous beta.

And for those who had been laying back for extensions that doesn’t work, quickly browse to about:config and create a new boolean value -> extensions.checkCompatibility and set it to false.

Most of my extensions work without breaking anything.

Cron and crontab, The easy, powerful and useful scheduler.

Being on hardy, I had developed this evil habit of “sudo apt-get update” which I ‘d do now and then, hoping for a better updated, greater hardy or hoping for some miraculous update which would fix all my annoying hardy bugs. 😛

Even otherwise, we do miss our nifty Windows task scheduler. Or how about shutting down your internet connection at 8 in morning to save bandwidth. So here is the linux cute thing. Read the rest of this entry »

mp3splt – Split radio shows, online shows with cue sheets.

Ever stuck with those big 200 mb shows,  or single track CDs and felt bored of browsing through entire 2 hour track to reach for your favorite track? Welcome our hero, mp3splt.

This is a nice tool which lets you split mp3/ogg files. So people wondering what’s new about the splitting, It has a nice feature that lets you split files according to track information from cue sheets or even from cddb(Internet).
Sounds good? Read the rest of this entry »

Music Encoders, Formats, bitrates(VBR,CBR,ABR), codecs – LAME, OGG Vorbis, AAC.

High bitrates have become the fashion statement these days. Often you search for music online, you’ll end up with 320 kbps 180 mb albums. How much is actually enough? What gives you best compression? Time to switch to futuristic codecs yet? Free formats. These are few things we’ll discuss today.

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My new Camera – Canon A570IS, The fun begins.

So I got my first decent camera 2 days back. I still remember the days when I got my first webcam/digicam, Dlink DSC 350F , a VGA camera for 7000 bucks(rupees)(175$$$) !!!

And here I am with A50IS, for 9500 bucks (with 2Gb card and Sony 2500mah charger and batteries.)

As expected last 2 days have been eventful and I think I got my fundamentals working. Damnn photography is interesting.

Here’s a little bit of what I think might be useful to guys.
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Local DNS caching – pdnsd. Reduce name resolutions times. Run your own caching DNS server. And there’s something about OpenDNS.

Often, I find, You hit a website and you see “Looking up” in status bar. This becomes intensified if you are running a P2P software like torrents.

Often people enable host name resolution in torrents. With hundreds of connections and name resolutions, I often feel the rates of “Looking up … ” continuously increases. These are most definitely DNS name resolution delays. Running a quick sniff for a un-responding website suggests a name resolution delay.
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Airtel speed upgrades, Nice! And/But/Yeah, it still sucks!!

Back after a long time.

Here is the good news, My provider Airtel doubled the internet speed, to 512kbps from 256 kbps for the same rental. But wait and read more….

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Heap41a / USB viruses – “Orkut is banned” !! LOL! (w32.USBworm / Heap41a)

So someone just read “How to write VB scripts in 24 hours” and thought of having some practice and wrote this kiddish thing (OK!! worm if you say so .. ) intended to be distributed mainly through USB drives autoplay.

The other day, one of experienced friend got infected. Yesterday I was browsing my sis PC, even she was infected. Too much for a kid’s experiment.Anyways, here’s what to do after getting infected.
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Swiftweasel, the faster fox.

So, I laid my hands on Swiftweasel, which is open source and optimzed build of Firefox for Linux. It lets you download processor specific optimized builds. So I installed build for Pentium 4 M and I could see some noticeable speed differences 🙂
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Firefox extensions revisited.

Today I will talk about my preferred firefox addons.

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Proxy Hacks – Final. HTTPTunnel. Tunnel TCP / IP connections over plain old HTTP GET and POST requests.

This is the final post in Proxy Hack series. This post is about the most robust approach for by passing any proxy.

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News : OpenSocial, Firefox 3 Beta 1 and the poor fella who got 10 years for uploading Star Wars – III

Some news round-up today.

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Proxify any application. Tsocks and proxychains. Force any program to communicate through a SOCKS, HTTP(S) proxy. And how to use cascading proxies.

How many times have you found applications not having proper proxy support. Or sometimes, they support proxies but does not let you provide proxy authentication. Ever used plain old telnet through a proxy ? Ever ran port scanners through proxies ? 😉

Ever found wanting on how to use multiple cascading proxies, like two or more proxy in series.

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About the mood and the moodbar and new birds.

About the moodbar(visual progress bar), Songbird 0.3 and Amarok.

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Skype 2.0 beta for Linux goes Video, “The great revolution” and I am smiling…

From skype developers

A great time is upon us. A time of change. A time of revolution.

In the past, we have struggled in a world of glass panes and fruits. Forbidden from seeing the world around us. Denied the possibility of showing who we are. But today, our eyes open. We’re not afraid to see, and we’re not afraid to show ourselves.

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Proxy hacks – IV. On Demand. Installing a web based proxy (phproxy) at your home. Install something like Useful for almost all blocked websites.

I am back from a small vacation, from a beach place called GOA. It was just amazing. Today we learn about web based proxies as anonymizer, proxify or kproxy and how to install our own.

So, Here’s today’s *durty* trick.

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Gone in 15 seconds… My neighbour’s WEP key


Its 5:55 am, Office @ 9:30 am. But lemme sleep with a smile.

Here’s my neighbour’s (27% signal strength) WEP key.

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Combine two connections (Wifi or ethernet) for a single torrent download. Listen to streaming audio and download side by side. Routing through multiple uplinks.

Hi, So my friend was out on weekend, and I had two spare/live connections (256kbps) at my disposal. My objective was to download a single file(using torrents) at 512kbps.

Here’s what I finally achieved.

Updated – Azureus supports multiple interfaces. Check out the end of post.

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Ubuntu, Windows – Limit CPU usage. Control that bully. + Ipod tip.

I do a lot of video and audio conversion for my Ipod. And almost aways, my conversion program (ffmpeg), hogs up my CPU for the entire time with 100%CPU and manages to heat it upto 80 degrees (C). I have seen as high as 85.

Finally, thought there must be some ways of handling it apart from just nicing it or renicing it. Here are the tools I found out.

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Possible ubuntu bugs with handling laptop hard disks. S.M.A.R.T. attributes for Hard Disk. Laptop hard drives being damaged ?

Hi, I was subscribed to an age old bug related to incorrect hard disk shutdown. And I came across another related bug with hard disk power management on laptops. Today I am going to talk about these two bugs and about your HD SMART parameters.

So before discussing those bugs, lets find your SMART parameters and understand what they could mean.

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Proxy hacks – III. Downloading Torrents inside LAN, behind proxy.

Ok guys, I am back with my daily ‘durty’ trick. Today we are going to download torrents inside a LAN where access to outside world is only through an HTTP proxy (most common scenario).

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Super PI – How fast is your processor ?

Super PI small PI calculator, and it pretty much sums up how fast is your processor. Just run the Super PI calculator and post results or even compare it with other people here. Let’s expose our processors.

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Proxy hacks – II. “Listen” inside a LAN. Setup servers inside LAN, behind proxy. Using remote tunnels.

As promised, the post is here. Today we talk about how to simulate open ports inside a private network for outside world.

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Coming UP – Tear apart your proxy

Since I touched this topic in my previous post. It would have been unfair if I didn’t come up with this one. Let me define a private network as a typical organizational network where only access to outside world is through a proxy, lets say the most stubborn HTTP Proxy.

What if we could host a public web server inside this network ?

What if I say I can host a game-server inside ?

What if you could remote desktop into your corporate network from internet without no VPN nothing ?

What if !!??!! (You tell me :))

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Proxy Hacks – I.(Updated) Blocked at workplace? Setting up a home proxy. Browse all blocked sites and run all messengers.

This post is about setting up a secure SSH tunnel and make sure its difficult to be blocked. This solution needs a public PC which is in our control.

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Finally a Blog?

Why not? For a long time I resisted. Saved myself from yet another time investing opportunity. Kind of busy bee I am. OK! Off lately, I have been submerged in all management terminology (thanks to a dear friend). So, shall we start with a Mission Statement?

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