Thursday, April 29, 2010

Impressive Impress and Converting Slides to AVI

Just completed an Impress slide and converted into AVI and MPEG. Final presentation was in AVI, the MPEG can be used for the web as its only half the AVI size.

Tools useds;
  1. Slides - 3.1 Impress
  2. Recording slides - recordmydesktop
  3. Video editing - Avidemux
  4. Graphics - GIMP
  5. Audio - Audacity
  6. OGV to AVI converter - mencoder
  7. AVI to MPEG converter - Download helper (extension for firefox) + mencoder
  8. Operating System - Ubuntu & Kubuntu (2 PCs)
Side note:
The Impress extensions installed to improve the presentation was "Presentation Minimiser" to reduce the slide file size and "" to add slide transitions. Here are examples of how the additional slide transitions looked like.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Installing ZTE MF110 on Ubuntu Linux

Maxis offered their broadband along with the ZTE's MF110 HSUPA modem. Thus far, I have not gotten a chance to get a Digi offer to try their broadband,....maybe some day.

The MF110 features
Network: HSUPA/HSDPA/UMTS 2100 MHz,EDGE/GPRS/GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
Data transmission speeds: 7.2Mbps DL 5.76Mbps UL
Weight: 21.5 gramme
Application: Join Air with SMS service, Data service, Applications management, Data concurrent. This allowed me to add other service providers (yet to be tested) with the same modem.

Installation on Linux KUbuntu 9.10
  1. Install wvdial from KPackageKit
  2. Plug the MF110 into the USB slot. Mount the MF110 and enter the directory "Linux"
  3. Extract "PCL_ZTEDCV.tar.gz" to your HOME directory.
  4. Open a terminal and type "sudo ./"
  5. Launch the application "Join Air" from the KMenu
  6. In Join Air, at the Internet menu (A globe icon), click "Connect". Minimise this window but do not close as its needed to maintain Internet connection.
  7. It connects directly with initial IP 121.121.X.X and tries to open the web page
It defaults to the setting of
Dial number: *99#
APN: static: maxisbb
username: maxis
password: wap

Connection has been pretty much inconsistent. Its fast at times, then no connection, then have to keep reloading the page. I like its thumbdrive size and the blinking lights. The Join Air application is also easy to read and use.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Naming USB drives

For the simple reason that USB drives go missing often is that they are portable and sometimes small. The best way to mark ownership is with one of the permanent marker pens. However, naming the USB drive will tell everyone who it belongs to when it is plugged in.

Just maybe, that missing USB drive containing your phone number will come back to you if found.

Here is how to name the disk on Kubuntu 9.10 or other similar Linux like CentOS.

Step 1:
Insert the USB disk and determine the device and partition. E.g. /dev/sdb1
Easily done with the mount command.

Step 2:
Unmount the disk (Do not unplug from the USB).

sudo umount /dev/sdb1

Step 3:
Check existing disk name

sudo mlabel -i /dev/sdb1 -s ::

Step 4:
Rename the disk label. E.g. below, replace the word "myphonenumber" with anything you like with a limit of 12 characters.

sudo mlabel -i /dev/sdb1 -s ::myphonenumber

Step 5:
Remove the USB disk, and reinsert back to confirm the name has changed.

For more details see