Sunday, August 4, 2013

Fasten up Firefox and Chrome loading

The latest iteration of Google Chrome and Firefox were taking a pretty long time to load after clicking on their respective icons. They were replete with frequent crashes. Then I found this solution -

In Firefox, uncheck "Use hardware acceleration when available" in Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced -> General

In Google Chrome, enable "Override software rendering list" by entering "about:flags" in the omnibox

about:flags in Google Chrome

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Adding TTS functionality to Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire's native book reader app doesn't read the text aloud. However AReader supports TTS. I had to convert my pdfs to epub format using Calibre. AReader performs read aloud function extremely well using tts backends like eSpeak or Pico.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

OpenSuSe 11.4

Gnome Shell 3 on OpenSuSE with Nord Shell theme and Sonar GTK theme
After having installed Xubuntu 11.10 over my install of Ubuntu 11.04, and even though it was working perfectly, I committed the mistake of installing Unity Desktop. I further aggravated the scene by installing Gnome Shell as well. I liked neither the Unity Desktop nor the Gnome Shell basically as I found it difficult to customize it as much as I would have liked to, even using Gnome-Tweak-Tool. 

Then I downloaded OpenSuSE 11.4 (KDE) and installed it. Though it was very polished, I found that some times the user interface lagged. Having been used to the smoothly functioning interface of Ubuntu, I started hating it eventually. Then I tried installing Gnome 3 and liked it instantly. 

Then yesterday, I felt like upgrading to Gnome 3.2 and downloaded the live iso from the After installing it, I found that there were some rough edges to Gnome 3.2. So, I downloaded OpenSuSE 11.4 Gnome version and installed it and found it perfect for my requirements. Now I am off Ubuntu for sometime atleast.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat - A Pleasant Experience

Finally, 2 months after the release of Maverick Meerkat, I ventured to install it on my laptop. After using it for the past two days, I found it to be extremely user friendly. The User Interface is very elegant. Hardware detection is
excellent. All the much-hyped features are no exaggeration. They make the user experience a very pleasant one. However, there still are certain rough edges that mar the overall effect. Nothing serious though!

My first gripe is that I am unable to add Facebook to gwibber, the new social networking app. It seems to be a well-documented and hitherto unresolved bug. It doesn't matter much really, but I wish this bug would disappear so that the experience would become more pleasant.

The next irritant is a more serious one. The synaptics bug relating to two-touch gesture issue still persists and calls for an ugly work around! It still requires a script involving xinput to be executed each time I log in to make multi-touch work with synaptics. Ok, but the greater problem is, that I have to execute the script each time I log in, resume from suspend or resume from hibernation, which I often do. I wish something is done in this regards as well.

Besides these two irritants the others are minor and can be easily ignored. Overall I am having a nice time using Ubuntu 10.10.

Friday, November 12, 2010

To Make A Self-Reading Text File!

To make a text file self-read, add the following line at the beginning of the file -
then make the file executable -
$ chmod +x
The file can be executed as
$ ./filename.txt

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Finding the type of a file!

Sometimes it so happens that you want to determine the type of a particular file. I found the following command useful when I was converting the format of certain audio files.

$ file

This outputs the type of the file

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Unmount a busy external drive!

It so happens that sometimes when you try to umount your pendrive, the system reports -

umount: /media/xyz : device is busy

It is clear that some process is using the drive. It would be nice to quickly find out the errant process so that necessary action can be taken.

We can find out which process is using the drive by fuser command -

#fuser -m /dev/sdx

where /dev/sdx is mounted on /media/xyz

Let us say that the output of the above command is

/dev/sdx: 538


#ps -aux|grep 538

reveals the name of the errant programme, in my case rhythmbox :-)