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Some Dropbox tips

February 14, 2011 Leave a comment
Dropbox (from dropbox.com)

File synch and sharing utility. (image from http://www.dropbox.com)

I’ve been using Dropbox for a while now. Dropbox is a service that allows you to synchronize files of the Dropbox folder accross all your devices that have it installed AND the internet. You get 2GB with your free account and 250Mb for every person that joins if you invite them. I have around 4Gb at this point, free.

Its simplicity is what makes it so useful. When you install dropbox on your device (laptop, smartphone, desktop, etc) you will just see a folder called Dropbox (or My Dropbox in Windows). Everything that you “drop” in there, it will synch with the internet and all devices you have. Great huh?

The simple usage is great and the support for different platforms and devices makes it better. I have it on linux, windows and andriod.

If you are on a PC that you cant install dropbox (cafe, office, etc) you can still access your files through the dropbox website.

What I use dropbox for?

  • Small backups. Documents, Some pictures, etc.
  • Sharing pictures. You have a Photos folder. Every folder with pictures in that folder can be shared as an album with others.
  • General sharing. It is possible to share all kinds of files with others and even collaborate on documents with others worldwide.

KeepassX screenshot (picture http://www.keepassx.org)

Password management: Together with KeePassX you can have a centralized password manager.
KeePassX is a free application available for android, linux, windows and mac. It uses an encrypted database to store the passwords. Simply save the database file in dropbox and it will synch accross all your KeePass instances.

Truecrypt screenshot (picture http://www.truecrypt.org)

Encrypted content: Together with truecrypt you can save important files inside a container that will also synch across your devices. Create the container and save it to dropbox. You can now mount the container from all devices where you have dropbox and truecrypt installed. There are some limitations tho:

  • at the moment of writing is that there is no android app for truecrypt.
  • You can not access your encrypted files from the web.
  • Truecrypt needs admin rights to mount the container, e.g. you can’t access those files from a PC where you are not admin. This can be safer since if you encrypt the files you might not want to access those from an unkown PC.

There are other ideas like automating your backups using rsync and cron jobs in linux and task scheduler in windows.

You have any good ones? post them! to get the most out of dropbox.

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Android USB tethering and Debian awesomeness

February 11, 2011 6 comments

Today the wireless network of my company was weird. I kept losing signal or simply losing connection. Ive never used my HTC Desire for tethering before but this time I had to.

I had my doubts that it would work out of the box, but it does.

  • Connect your Android device
  • set it to USB Tethering
  • debian will recognize it and connect over usb0.
  • enjoy.

My setup:

Debian 6 sqeeze

HTC Desire with Android 2.2

Thinkpad Edge 13″ (Intel) [Conexant CX20582 (Pebble)] Headphone Problem solved

February 10, 2011 2 comments

I am running  Debian Squeeze on my Thinkpad Edge. One of the problems I was having, was that sound was still coming out of the internal speakers after plugging in my headphones.

Add this line to the end of /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

options snd-hda-intel model="olpc-xo-1_5"

Then reload the module with

# alsa force-reload

That should do the trick!

Debian “Squeeze” on a 64bit machine

February 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Note: Command with $ means as user. # means as root.

Waited a long time for the latest release of Debian. This distribution grew on me and after trying many different this is the one I’ve used the most.

This is the first time tho, that I install any distribution on an amd64 architecture. I was really looking forward to this but unluckily I haven’t had the best experience.

Installation

I used the net installer from Debian. A small ~150Mb ISO image with the core system only. As you select your packages it will download them as needed,  which is really good, since you will only download and install the packages you actually need.

My first issue was that my Thinkpad uses non-free firmware for the WLAN adapter. because of this the installer could not connect over WiFi. I had to connect my Ethernet cable to have connectivity.

With that sorted out I finished the installation. Reboot and everything went ok. Gnome Desktop started.

Now to the real problems

WLAN Adapter

This wasn’t too much of a problem. I just ran:

$lspci
to find out what adapter my laptop has. It showed:
03:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Centrino Wireless-N 100
quick google to see what driver is needed and:
# apt-get install name of driver
in my case was firmware-iwlwifi. Follow this simple instructions to get this done.

If you do an
# ifconfig wlan0 up
and get some error about SCIOCSIFFLAG, just reload the module of your driver or reboot :P.

The Flash and Chrome issue

It turns out that Flash 10.2 “square” supports native 64 bit systems. Sounds great!

I downloaded the 64 bit version of Chrome. The integrated flash version was kinda outdated so I decided to go for the 10.2 (for the native 64 bit support). For some reason I couldn’t find the 64 bit version of flash from the adobe website. I looked everywhere!! I started Google-ing until I found some nice guy that pointed to a 64 bit version of libflashplayer.so. 32 bit versions won’t be found by Chrome.

Find here the plugin I installed.

to install:

$ tar xzvf flashplayer_square_p2_64bit_linux_092710.tar.gz
# mv libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/

Start Chrome. Should work. In Chrome’s address bar type about:plugins to see what flash plugins is enabled.

With this sorted out there where 3 more issues I wanted to solve right away.

Dropbox

For this one, Download the source, not the .deb since this one is i386.

Unpack the source and go to the folder.

Run:
$./configure
This will show you all dependencies you might be missing.
Use Synaptic to download all these dependencies. If configure is successfull go ahead and
$ make
$ make check (optional)
# make install

Worked for me.

Skype
This one was also tricky. Skype’s support is really poor. I followed the instructions given by a guy in a forum:

Devian says:
April 30, 2009 at 8:01 pm
dont “force” ur debian amd64 to install a 32bit package
What we need to do is get this file http://www.skype.com/go/getskype-linux-static
Now we move the contents of the file to let’s say /opt/Skype
Create a script to launch skype
vi /usr/bin/skype
and put this into the script:

#!/bin/bash
cd /opt/Skype
./skype

then give permissions
chmod +x /usr/bin/skype
Now we need to copy the launcher from skype directory to the apps directoy
cp /opt/Skype/skype.desktop /usr/share/applications/skype.desktop
and modify the file
vi /usr/share/applications/skype.desktop
and change from this

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Skype
Comment=Skype Internet Telephony
Exec=skype
Icon=skype.png
Terminal=0
Type=Application
Encoding=UTF-8
Categories=Network;Application;

to this

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Skype
Comment=Skype Internet Telephony
Exec=skype
Icon=/opt/Skype/icons/SkypeBlue_48x48.png
Terminal=0
Type=Application
Encoding=UTF-8
Categories=Network;Application;

now we need to install some packages
apt-get install ia32-libs ia32-libs-gtk
and thats it u can have skype working
i’ve install skype in my Debian Lenny amd64 it works perfect

It does work great :).

Last but not least… Thunderbird
This one I did on my own. After the previous experiences with the other applications. Still tried to use the i386 available from http://www.mozilla.org with no luck.
So I started browsing their ftp server and came across this. It is called Miramar. I guess it is the name of the project of thunderbird 64 bits.

UPDATE: I am using Ice Dove, Thunderbird’s open source version since Miramar didn’t allow me to install Enigmail. Ice Dove works perfectly.

 

 

I hope i helped a little. I like Debian. But this search for 64bit packages is getting kinda annoying. hope it is just now when i still have some dependencies missing.

Can access google only?

May 18, 2010 Leave a comment

This very weird problem started showing up quite sudden in my Debian Lenny installation. In a network that I’ve been using for months.

Symptoms:
-You can access google and all related sites (picasa, google docs, etc)
-You can ping all sites (www.somesite.com) successfully
-Your dns resolves names correctly
-Your browser times out when trying to open any other site but Google!!! wtf?!

This problem happens because your MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) setting of your interface is wrong. Don’t ask me exactly what is wrong and why it is wrong because i don’t now it :). I DO know how to fix it!

type as root:
# ifconfig eth0 mtu 1400

this should do the trick! The next time you start your PC this setting might have gone lost. try adding that line to the
/etc/rc.d/local

hope this helps!
Centi

Categories: linux, networking Tags: , , ,

Bridged connection problem with VMplayer

April 23, 2010 1 comment

Playing around with VMplayer 🙂 I was having trouble getting my bridged connection to work. I then realized that my vmnet0 was trying to bridge wlan0.
Editing the /etc/vmplayer/locations file adding the following:

answer VNET_0_INTERFACE eth0
file /dev/vmnet0

-where eth0 is the desired host interface- and running as root:

#/usr/bin/vmnet-bridge -d /var/run/vmnet-bridge-0.pid -n 0 -i eth0

solved the problem! and no need to restart the VM btw… linux is so nice…
Other solution is to run vmware-config.pl but i dont seem to have that file 😦

Regards,
Centi.

GParted experience

April 22, 2010 Leave a comment

After letting debian do the partinioning for me I realized that my usr/ partition was way to small, given that all package managers install the apps there! so i thought I should resize it: Enter Gparted.
I downloaded the image and made myself a nice CD.
Booted with the default options and started playing with the really easy to use GUI.
When I was happy with the partition table I clicked on Apply!
It started doing its thing but suddenly when it came to the Swap it failed!
I check the details and googled around for solutions. It seems that it uses an option -U that fails if it doesnt get the expected UUID value back. the error:

mkswap -L "" -U "" /dev/yourswapparition
mkswap: error: UUID parsing failed

So after some forum reading I read that you could just delete the old swap and recreate it in the place you want to have it!
This worked for me! But it still has to finish the other operations. I will update as soon as it finishes!
Other than this small problem, its a fine Tool for playing with your partitions with little risk of loosing data. But as always, make Backups first!

EDIT:
After it finished (successfully) I rebooted.
After getting my console flooded with:

VFS: busy inodes on changed media /dev/hda

i just ignored it and pressed the reset button of my laptop. Then the next problem! Grub didnt want to start!
So I got out my rescue CD Super Grub! and repaired the boot loader.
Cool! Its back!
I started my linux machine and then the next problem arised! Since I messed so much with my partitions: (deleted the Swap and recreated it meaning that now it wasnt sda7 but sda9) my #fdisk /dev/sda didnt match with my /etc/fstab.
Debian is so nice to offer a rescue console. So i went ahead and edited my fstab to match my “new” partition table.
then did a #mount -a and done!
My laptop lives again! with brand new resized partitions. 🙂

Regards,
Centi!

Categories: linux Tags: , ,