Tuesday, October 16, 2012

iPad Mini -- I thjnk not

Lots of rumours everywhere of an iPad mini.

I think they're all false.

If anything Apple's special event will feature a new appleTV set top box.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Apple's TV?

I just saw a bloomberg report saying that Apple is going to make a TV.

That's the speculation.

I don't think Apple will ever make a TV.

I'm pretty sure "Analysts" have it wrong again.

If anything apple will re-vamp its appletv box to include some new features.

I may be wrong, but I doubt it.

Lets see.

Here's a link to the bloomberg report:


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Blackberry Torch 9800 Touch Response

I just tried the Blackberry Torch 9800 today, because my wife wants one to be able to use BBM.

I was using the touchscreen. After using the iphone touchscreen, does anyone find this one very slow to respond? i.e you swipe leftwards and the screen follows half a second later?

I think the torch could be a great phone if they disable the touchscreen.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Predictions about Microsoft, Apple, Google

We all believe we know what is going to happen in the technology industry.

However, I have been particularly successful in predicting many things in the past and this is known only to my friends and family, so i thought it would be worth it to put them here, in case we find out later that what I was right about and what I wasn't.

OK, so here is my list of predictions.

1. I think Microsoft is secretly re-writing its OS. From scratch. If it isn't then it should be. Everyone is moving towards more stable O/S es. Nobody wants to be sold software that miraculously slows down over time. Just like M/S is re-writing its Mobile O/S (so that it is no longer based on Windows 95), I think it is re-writing Windows. It has to be if it wants to compete with Google and Apple.

2. If it hasn't done so in 5 years, the only customers MS will have are businesses. For personal use, everyone will have moved to another O/S. For Gaming, well nobody uses computers anymore.

3. In 5 years Microsoft main income will be from selling Office products. Not from selling Windows.

4. Google and Microsoft try in a big way to enter the entertainment industry. They will fail.

5. Apple will compete directly with major content providers (like your cable company) for your TV shows. I had said this last year, and it is already starting.

6. Blue Ray will never take off, neither will HD DVD.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Why Lucid Lynx 10.04 is a Turd

I have few very basic requirements (although they may not be so basic to implement) for an OS my laptop. And linux continues to break them. The most recent upgrade to the oh-so-awaited Lucid Lynx 10.04 did this:

1. Desktop effects were disabled. X was loading the glx extension from too many drivers. My intel driver's glx extension loaded fine, but then it decided to load up the glx extension from all the nvidia drivers. Now, I don't use all the crazy desktop effects that are offered. I think most of them are useless. However, I am used to using "scale" and the "expo" plugin.

And the dock I use (gnome-do) absolutely must have compositing enabled. Now before you start asking why I don't just use the gnome-panel, and forget about desktop effects, or this dock, well there is a reason.

Gnome-panel is full of bugs. If I keep the lower panel on all the time, it eats up valuable desktop space because gnome has decided to have both a panel on the top and on the bottom, and have all the file, edit, view etc menus in the windows.. using up valuable screen space. So I can only use gnome-panel if I auto-hide the lower one. But when I am using two screens, it sometimes doesn't like to "un-hide". Gnome-do is the way to go. And that is what I was using until upgrading to this piece of crap called Ubuntu 10.04.

Anyway to fix this I just had to get rid of all the xorg-video-nvidia packages. But I think this is stupid. I should not have had to spend the better part of 4 hours figuring this out.

2. Vmware (which is running my windows guest) takes full control of the shift and control keys. Every time I start vmware, and I am in the vm, my shift and control keys work, and they miraculously stop working for my host os (linux). This was working fine before.

Now they stop working every time without fail.

3. And this is the most annoying. My computer goes to sleep, but doesn't wake up. It boots up. Hibernate works, but wake up from hibernate doesn't. And don't tell me to disable it. It's a laptop, it should hibernate. I know about suspend-to-ram. It does that fine. But when its on battery power, the only way for it to go to sleep is to hibernate, because thats what Power Management Preferences in gnome force it to do. There is no option to suspend if the computer is inactive on battery power. Just an option to hibernate. So it should work. But it doesn't. And there is an open bug report for this.

Update. I've managed to fix the hibernate issue as follows:

a) Get the uuid of your swap partition:

aleem@l2837lnx:~$ cat /etc/fstab
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# swap was on /dev/sda6 during installation
UUID=f0835dcf-6086-4602-8b8f-bac15d9ee20c none swap sw

b) Make sure you have the same one in /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/resume

aleem@l2837lnx:~$ cat /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/resume


If not, change it. This was the case for me.. it had some miraculous uuid of a disk that never existed on my system -- probably the one that came with the initramfs-tools package.

aleem@l2837lnx:~$ sudo gedit /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/resume

c) Update the initramfs boot image

aleem@l2837lnx:~$ sudo update-initramfs -u

I have been a linux user on the desktop for years. I had linux on my laptop before for 5 years as my primary OS. I switched back to windows because of crap like this. Then last year I switched back to linux. It's come a long way, but it still annoys the crap out of me.

Done venting.

Friday, March 19, 2010

MythTV for Dummies

What is MythTV?

If you are reading this you probably know, but if you don't . ... well it is a kind of a TivO and a home-media center combined in one. Think of it as a replacement for your PVR box, except with the right hardware, you can watch your recordings or live TV from any TV (or computer) in the house. All the channel changing and recording of programs is done by one computer, and you can watch everything (recordings and live tv) from any computer in your house.

Whereas there are a lot of very good guides out there for installing MythTV, there seems to be no bulletproof guide out there. This is most likely because everyone has a different setup, and MythTV attempts to support all the hardware out there.

Well, then why MythTV for dummies? I will attempt in this article, when it is to dispell a lot of misinformation, and provide guidance on how I installed it on a server (in my case a linux Server running ubuntu 9.10). With this I can watch TV or recording from any of your PCs or MACs in the house, or from any TV connected to a "Myth FrontEnd".

Stay tuned.

Note: Due to a business trip to Germany, I won't be able to write this up until I get back, some time in mid-may. Sorry about that.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Scanning from my Macs over the network

My Ubuntu Server (running Karmic Koala 9.10) is connected to a usb scanner.

I wanted to be able to scan from any Mac on the same network. It was pretty easy to set up.

Server Side Setup (on the Ubuntu Linux machine)
  • Plugged in my CanoScan LIDE 25 into my linux box.
  • Made sure I could use it by selecting Applications, Graphics, then Xsane Image Scanner
  • Worked fine.
The next step was to make the scanner accessible over the network. I used this article. It worked for me without a hitch.

The server is set up. Now time to set up the Macs

On the Mac(s)

On the Mac computer that you want to use the scanner, download and install all the following packages (the binaries, not the SDK) from here . Choose the appropriate one for your version of Mac OS X.

SANE Backends
SANE Preference Pane
TWAIN SANE Interface

Open up System Preferences, and select SANE

In the SANE Pref Pane, Make sure "net" is selected. I deselected everything else too.

Click on the "configure" dot in the column beside it.

This should open up /usr/local/etc/sane.d/net.conf. At the bottom of this file, put in the IP of your linux server.

Open up image capture (Finder, Applications, Image Capture).

A pop up should come up telling you there is no image capture device connected. Doesn't matter.

Select Devices, Browse Devices. You should see SANE show up under TWAIN Data Sources. Select Use TWAIN UI.

Happy scanning!


Look at the FAQ section of the "Twain Sane Interface" webpage.

If you are not able to use the scanner with Image Capture, it probably has something to do with what is in the file: /Library/Image Capture/TWAIN Data Sources/SANE.ds/Contents/Info.plist, on your MAC.

I was able to find my device's id's in here but you may not. In this case I would add them.

To find the device id's, on the server:
aleem@sidi-desktop:~$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 003 Device 003: ID 04a9:2220 Canon, Inc. CanoScan LIDE 25
Bus 003 Device 002: ID 03f0:0d17 Hewlett-Packard LaserJet 1012
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub

Make sure there is an entry for this device on the Mac in the file /Library/Image Capture/TWAIN Data Sources/SANE.ds/Contents/Info.plist. In my case the relevant section looks like this:
<key>device type</key>