Saturday, October 26, 2013

I decided to try out the new Ubuntu version and once again - system-wise everything is perfect, user-experience and GUI is disappointing. The real competition between Ubuntu (or any other linux distribution for the common user) will begin when their creators are driven by ease of use, user friendliness and optimized settings right out of the box. You can't expect users to fully love an OS when they need to set up so many little annoying things. They are already set up for them in the Win$..
Anyways, since the whitelist has been removed in Ubuntu 13.10 (which I was pretty surprised about) you will need to work some magic with the terminal.

What you need to install (step by step):

1. Open up a terminal
2. Add a repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mc3man/sacy-tests
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

3. Set the whitelist settings to "all" like this:

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Panel systray-whitelist "['all']"
(type the line exact as shown including the brackets and parents)

4. Reboot
sudo reboot

Next time you start skype or any other program that has a systray icon it will appear correctly. This method has been tested and is working as shown on screenshot bellow.




Monday, June 10, 2013

So you are at a cafe or restaurant and for some stupid reason the wireless they offer seems to fail you. Constantly connecting / disconnecting or losing the signal, which can be very very irritating. This happened to me recently and I was very annoyed. Sitting out in the summer garden having your meal or cup of coffee and you want to check some stuff on your laptop/pad but you can't seem to get the signal. Well good news for you if you are a Samsung Galaxy S3 user. I will show you in few easy steps how to share your phone's mobile internet to your laptop!

Ok first things first.

1. Open the settings in your Samsung Galaxy S3

2. Click on "More Settings"

3. Click on "Tethering and portable hotspot" and click on the On/Off button next to it. It will give you a message "Attention - Enabling portable Wi-Fi hotspot will turn off Wi-Fi"  Click OK and don't worry about it.


4. Click on "Portable Wi-Fi hotspot.." There you can see your details about how to connect to your phone's mobile internet. 

These are the default settings.
  • Open your laptop and search for a wireless network named "AndroidAP" (obviously you can change the name, password, security etc.)
  • Click connect 
  • Type in the password as shown on your phone (like in the picture above)
  • There you have it! Internet on your laptop/Pad directly by your phone.
WARNING: using mobile internet via your mobile phone is the same thing as if you are using it with your Galaxy S3. Which means if you are paying for bandwidth it will charge you. Make sure you have good mobile plan when you download stuff and browse so you don't have to pay a lot. 

*Advanced part*
5. You can configure the settings of the sharing of mobile internet by clicking on "Configure" button (as shown on previous picture)
You can edit the Wi-Fi network name, the security type and password. Once ready - click "Save"

6. You can add Allowed devices list to connect to your phone's mobile internet. Click on "Allowed devices" as shown in 5) 

7. Once in "Allowed devices", click on the top right "+" button and add your device's name and mac address


That's it. This is how you can easily use your phone's internet on your laptop/pad or any device. If you have a good mobile plan with fast and cheap internet (like monthly subscription) this is a very cool thing to use. You can share your internet when you are on a meeting, with friends, family or anyone who needs internet to interact with you but does not have a mobile plan or wi-fi available at the moment. 

If you have any questions or need help - use the comments section or the contact form. 
Keep rockin'!



Thursday, May 30, 2013



This is a hot topic. Indeed. Lately the Samsung is definitely catching up on Apple. We all know how the Iphone is one of the most popular inventions of the modern days' mobile products business. I used to be Iphone fan I really was. I have used the original one, 4, 4s and 5.

What I like about the iPhone:
- It's fast.
- It's user friendly (although it depends on the type of user you are, because let's face it: customization - nearly 0).
- It has very good (if not the best) built community hub as well as iTunes software where you can buy pretty much everything. Either will it be music, videos, apps, pictures - you name it. It's very controversial if the iTunes software is good to use, manage and get used to, but that's a whole other topic.
- It is the most "app-development" preferred platform which indeed gives you hundreds of thousands applications of all types. (This is not written to start the whole Android vs iOS war. As an android user I am man enough to face the facts and accept it.)
- It runs iOS which is based on Apple's oparating system platform. It is stable, fast, very little amount of bugs and glitches.
I won't list the things I didn't like about the iPhone but let's just say that music transfer/default ringtone management is/was terrible(and that's an understatement) As well as the small screen space. Face it - Samsung beats the crap out of iPhone's screen size (so does the HTC One by the way).

What I like about the Samsung:
- It's faster. Way faster. The 1.2Ghz iPhone cannot compete with the 1.9Ghz Samsung (the model in my country ships with that processor speed). The iPhone's memory 1024 vs 2048 of Samsung's is just a lost battle for the iPhone. 2 cores vs 8? Is this even a fair battle? You might say not but then agian, there are different types of users who are more than satisfied with the specifications of the iPhone and it is enough for them to operate it fast, easy and without lag.
- The bigger screen. Yes, it is a matter of personal choice but you can't really expect me to believe that watching youtube videos, movies or tv shows on your iPhone is a better experience than on the Samsung. No, it is not. Nearly inch bigger, it makes huge difference.
- So I have this friend who told me "...yea maybe but my iPhone makes way better pictures than your Samsung!". Let me just express myself here with a smiley -   :-)))
1.2Megapixel front camera vs 2.0 Megapixel front camera
8Megapixel rear camera vs 13Megapixel rear camera
And few options that the iPhone does not have regarding the camera and compared to the Galaxy S4:
* Burst mode
* Dual camera record
* Sound and shot
 Yes sir. Samsung's camera beats your camera. Sorry.

Since this review and blog is not intended for the highly educated and experienced gadget masters of the Universe, I am trying to help the people who have busy enough daily life to choose a smartphone based on what they actually need. 

The era of using mobile phonez "just to make calls" is long ago forgotten. Everybody needs (not should have but need) connectivity via mobile device. Yes you can manage your day, week, month etc better with the mobile device (either phone or tablet). It can save you time! A lot of benefits come by using your phone while on the move. Writing and reading e-mails, having discussions in social networks/private networks video conferrences while you are on the train for example. Managing finances and business reports/spreadsheets etc. is a key point of why you need this gadget. And there is the whole sharing, staying in touch side of the device that really helps you interract with your friends and family while you are on a trip, let's say. 

Back to the main point. iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4. 
In a matter of:
- Speed
- Productivity
- Specifications
- Camera
- Ease-of-use for files
- Screen resolution and size
- Battery
We have a winner. Samsung Galaxy S4. If you are to spend money on a device that has a simillar price - go for the Samsung. If you want to live the whole "Apple is religion" madness go for the iPhone. Because that's the only and ONLY thing that the iPhone has over the Samsung. Buying iPhone with such reason will have you one day wondering: "did I made the right choice? It is slower than the Samsung after all?!" 

I found this cool review that compares those two phones where you can view the tech specs of the devices as well as some of the big names in the industry feedbacks. View that review here.

Let me know about your experience with both of the phones. Why you like the iPhone or the Samsung. Keep in mind that this blog is not intended to make you a fan of either of the brands. Just to help you with a personal point of view and experience.

P.S. Don't be a hipster!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

So... OK, I got this new Samsung Galaxy SIII and I wanted to explore my files and transfer some music to my phone via USB cable. Apparently, Samsung did some bad magic and by default you are not able to explore your device using MTP in ubuntu (haven't checked in other distros but I've read people had same problem). Since I'm using kUbuntu, opening dolphin explorer mounted my Galaxy S3  as "camera" and I was not able to create/paste any files into it(Unknown error). So after some time googling around, i'm finally able to operate my phone via USB cable and a cool little program. Here's a simple guide what you should do to be able to transfer files to your device.

1. Make sure when connecting your device to Ubuntu via USB cable you select the Media device connection type.

2. Open up the terminal and either use the "sudo" command or just do this as root:
'apt-get update', 'apt-get upgrade' when your update is ready or you have nothing to update check out this:
'apt-cache search libmtp'
 so you see results like this:
libmtp-common - Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) common files
libmtp-dbg - Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) debugging symbols
libmtp-dev - Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) development files
libmtp-doc - Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) library documentation
libmtp-runtime - Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) runtime tools
libmtp9 - Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) library
mtp-tools - Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) library tools
gmtp - simple MP3 player client for MTP based devices
python-pymtp - Pythonic binding to LibMTP to interact with MTP devices

Just to be sure I installed everything without the doc and debug package.
You can do that easily by this command: (copy and paste in your terminal)
sudo apt-get install libmtp-common libmtp-dev libmtp-runtime libmtp9 mtp-tools gmtp python-pymtp

3. Now install one more thingy:
sudo apt-get install libusb-dev

4. Reboot

5. The program you installed in step 2 "gmtp" is the software you will use to transfer files. The trick is: 
launch gmtp (either from Applications-->Multimedia-->gMTP or ALT+F2 "gmtp") now plug in the cable into your device and click "Connect" in gMTP fast. 

6. Give it few seconds to detect the device and select either Phone or SDcard to operate with. 


7. After you have selected the storage to operate with you will view the files like this:



There you have it! I can confirm that this software works. I have transferred my pictures, music and files this way.

I've read somewhere about an application that can do this via wireless (like Kies for windows) but haven't tried it yet. When I do, I will make a tutorial for it as well. 
Hope I've helped you and if you have any questions, please use the comments.

Device: Samsung Galaxy S3
Hardware: Lenovo Z580
OS: Kubuntu 12.04





Monday, November 19, 2012

So I've been sent a .pub file (Microsoft Publisher) that I needed to view in my Ubuntu OS on the Lenovo Z580. As I'm sure most of you searched for at least 15 minutes in google results, you didn't find any software that can actually open the .pub file. I am sharing with you the only website that provided me the tool to really convert this damn file into a .pdf fast, easy and free.

http://convert.neevia.com/pdfconvert/

The only limitation I saw there was that the file should not be bigger than 2MB.

On that topic, I've read somewhere that google is working to make LibreOffice to be able to import .pub files. The predictions are for the first months of next year. Although you won't be able to export to .pub files it's still pretty good news.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lenovo Ideapad Z580

I got this new laptop for my work one week ago. So far - so good. I'd like to share some thoughts about it for anyone who is considering buying this model. 
Here are my specs:

CPU:                     Intel® Core™ i7-3612QM CPU @ 2.10GHz × 8
Memory:               8GB (2x4096MB) DDR3
Video:                  NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M 2GB DDR3
HDD:                    1 TB SATA 5400 rpm
Monitor:               15.6" HD (1366x768) gloss display
Optical:                DVD+RW
Network:              10/100Mbps Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
Interfaces:

 - 2хUSB 2.0
 - 2хUSB 3.0
 - HD webcam
 - VGA (monitor or projector)
 - HDMI
 - speakers output/mic in
 - 5 in 1 memory reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS pro/XD)

Battery:                6-cell LI-ION that lasts 2 hours 45 minutes(tested by me, playing videos and multimedia with no display settings reduction)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ups: 
1. Fast! Definitely fast. The dual-quad core processor from the awesome Intel i7 family is fantastic. 8GB memory works awesome for my 64-bit Windows/Ubuntu Linux. 
2. Display. The display this laptop has is very good. For its 15.6" the HD gloss display gives you the comfort of colors and high contrast you would otherwise look for in the desktop PCs. I played some HD videos (no lag, no sound delay) and they look awesome. Of course it has all the dimm/display sleep power saving energy reducing stuff every modern laptop should have. 
3. Sound. Dudes... it's awesome! I don't know if it is any big-famous-mainstream thing, but "Dolby Home Theater" gives me loud, clear and bass-ish sound. It gets even better... I have those random "A4Tech" headphones which usually sound like someone is trying to put a screwdriver in your ear when I plug them in my desktop PC. I plug them into the laptop (nothing special just a single way in, no setting up, no software or effects) and i'm like "what sorcery is this?". The sound is freakin' awesome! Bass, treble, mid sound everything is awesome. I found some Metallica HD live concerts on youtube I've watched with my headphones and I can tell you I am using headphones at this moment (Marilyn Manson though).
4. Games. Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, World of Warcraft - No problem! I have Battlefield that i'm eager to try on, but this will happen next weekend. 
5. Work
  • Windows 7, 64bit with MS Office 2010 - awesome. Adobe Photoshop CS5 - amazingly fast. 
  • Ubuntu 64bit 12.04. This is the first time i DID NOT install or reconfigure or rebuild any drivers! As many of you use opensource OS and software i'm sure you hated the nvidia setting up or sound drivers? Alsa-config? OSS stuff no man! I installed latest Ubuntu 64bit downloaded on a normal cheap CD from their website and everything works. Bluetooth, sound, video, Wi-Fi, Lan, usb recognition, webcam, everything. Running large python code -  insane fast. Having multiple ssh connections doing stuff from lots of cronjobs - no problem. Everything from the office suite (LibreOffice) works like a charm (not crashed yet and I have some large sheets). Multimedia playback is great, no lagging HD videos, no crashing anymore. All the function buttons plus the hardware buttons for sound and video just bellow the display work and did not took any setting up. 
6. Silent. There is something called "Smart fan, noise control" and it actually works. The laptop doesn't make noise even when it's under pressure.

Downs:

By my experience so far with the Lenovo Ideapad Z580, I found one thing that is insanely annoying. That is the touchpad. Yes it has "Intelligent touchpad" and software that allows you to rotate, enlarge or zoom things, but seriously, the surface on the 2 buttons is actually moving your cursor when you try to press the damn button. One more problem I've encountered was that after multiple "sleep", "hibernate" modes - the touchpad gave an annoying bug. It was moving my mouse cursor from left to right like crazy! Both windows and linux. I've tried restarting - no good. The only way it was fixed was by shutting down the computer and then booting it up again. Very very annoying. 



Conclusion

This is an amazing laptop. Extremely fast, competing with most desktop PCs over performance. Absolutely awesome display, video capabilities and sound. One annoying thing is the touchpad but when you get used to it, it might actually turn out to be good. And most of all this laptop is not expensive at all! I got mine for something like 700$ with international warranty. 

Highly recommended if you are looking for extremely fast-performance, multimedia and good price!

Here you can find the drivers for Lenovo Z580 laptop

Please share your thoughts and experience with this model in the comments section.

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