I started using Chrome on Karmic (Ubuntu 9.1) from time to time, primarily to speed up browsing of uncomplicated web sites or to do simple search. Usually I do not like my browser (whatever) to display PDF files, and it was easy with firefox, but not so for Chrome. Especially with Chrome on Karmic which the support for PDF is so bad that it just show a black screen without content. What I did so far was try to avoid clicking on PDF link but today, I did click many of PDF links some how and it was very frustrating! Searching from the ‘net, look like there are many people having the same problem and the best suggestion found was to delete all the ‘nppdf.so’ (except the one resides in firefox-addons if you still would like to display PDF embedded file in Firefox). In my case:

~$ locate nppdf.so
~$ sudo rm /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/nppdf.so
~$ sudo rm /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/plugins/nppdf.so
~$ sudo rm /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/nppdf.so 

Now restart Chrome and click on PDF link will just download the PDF instead of opening a black screen!

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I read from a lot of blogs regarding Google’s Public DNS service and most of the blogs said it is very fast, but, before jumping to the bandwagon, I would like to know how much I can trust these information? So I just follow what the Redmonk compared OpenDNS and Google’s Public DNS by comparing DNS servers of my local provider to Google’s.

1) Starts with Ping:

$ ping
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=240 time=146.142 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=240 time=91.800 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=240 time=91.480 ms
— ping statistics —
4 packets transmitted, 3 packets received, 25.0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 91.480/109.807/146.142/25.693 ms

$ ping y.y.y.y (my local provider)
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=244 time=13.228 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=244 time=13.280 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=244 time=13.400 ms

This is 6 times difference. Well local provider is much closer to me so ping time should definitely be better. What about query time?

2) Doing a query:

$ dig @ also-uncached-for-sure.[redacted].com

; <<>> DiG 9.6.0-APPLE-P2 <<>> @ also-uncached-for-sure.[redacted].com
; (1 server found)
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NXDOMAIN, id: 14489
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 1, ADDITIONAL: 0

;also-uncached-for-sure.[redacted].com. IN A

com. 900 IN SOA a.gtld-servers.net. nstld.verisign-grs.com. 1264468967 1800 900 604800 86400

;; Query time: 375 msec
;; WHEN: Tue Jan 26 08:23:06 2010
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 128

$dig @ uncached-for-sure.[redacted].com

; <<>> DiG 9.6.0-APPLE-P2 <<>> @y.y.y.y uncached-for-sure.[redacted].com
; (1 server found)
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: REFUSED, id: 778
;; flags: qr rd; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0
;; WARNING: recursion requested but not available

;uncached-for-sure.[redacted].com. IN A

;; Query time: 16 msec
;; SERVER: y.y.y.y#53(y.y.y.y)
;; WHEN: Tue Jan 26 08:23:34 2010
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 50

16 msec vs 375 msec. This yet is too different!

So, I rather stick to using my local provider’s DNS as the primary DNS, Google’s DNS can only be my backup! Sorry Google.

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I just upgrade my 10.5 Leopard to 10.6 about a few weeks ago and assumed most functions without problem as it used to be with 10.5. Yesterday I had to use my Macbook Pro to present to one of the customer but, oops, nothing displayed on the projector no matter how I tried, mirror display, adjust resolution, reboot etc. This Macbook Pro was working flawlessly with 10.5! After 15 minutes or so, the customer decided to let me used his Macbook Pro instead and thing went well. This is a worst embarassment after using Mac for quite a few years!

Not quite convinced that my Macbook Pro is broken, so I look for help from Google. After a few searches, it turns out there others that had the same problem after upgrading to Snow Leopard and the solution is simple:

1) Delete /Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver.plist which you can do it either from Terminal or finder.

2) Delete ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/com.apple.window*, means anything starting with com.apple.window e.g. com.apple.window.182k37l.plist or something similar. To use finder, sart by clicking on your username on the right pane.

3) Zap the PRAM, this usually solve a lot of Mac problem. To zap, turn of the Mac, pressing Command-Option-P-R at the same time while turning on your Mac. Once you here the start up sound, then release these keys, if you continue to press then Mac will redo the zap which should be OK.

After zapping PRAM, now my Macbook Pro can use the external display again, Whew!

Now I remember I used to do this during the time I tried connecting my Hackintosh (Mac OSX on PC) to external display, but that was a bit more complicate. I should not have forgotten that!

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I spent a few days playing with Google Wave and everything looked quite good until I would like to try Pictures drag and drop, printing information from Wave document, saving documents editing during Wave session and … All of sudden I found that Wave is not the right answer for my need yet simply because all of these operations are not yet supported, at least on my Mac OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

So long GoogleWave, until all these features are available, it may not even try to test it again!

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This is my first time trying pixlr – an online image editor from ‘www.pixlr.com’ – in a more extensive way, and I have to admit that this is a workable solution for those who do not want to have something like GIMP installed. Working with pixlr does not make me feel like an online experience, I just I am working on a software installed on PC. And if you use GIMP before, you should feel at home with pixlr.

Look at pixlr or GoogleWave make me thrill on how web applications have evolved during the past 5,000 days since the first web was born!

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Eventually I got a GoogleWave account! However, still can not do much as most of my friends and colleagues do not have accounts. In general, for me, interface and other look-and-feel are great but I still finding my way out how to start using it and it looks much different from what I saw from Google’s video. May take me some time to find out how to efficiently use it.

But feel great anyway!

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Network Manager in Gnome/Ubuntu helps a lot if you are using dynamic IP (DHCP) with your Ethernet interface, but all of suddens, it becomes an obstracle when a static IP is required on Ethernet. Googling around, I found that we can

1) Remove Network Manager (sudo apt-get remove network-manager).

2) Change /etc/network/interfaces so that your interface becomes static ip.

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

3) Now restart your network (sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart).

4) At this point, you should have ethernet interface with static IP (, but you will definitely having problem with say Wireless which many (e.g. me) like to have a software to handle configuration automatically. So you will need to re-install Network Manager. (sudo apt-get install network-manager).

5) Now you should have both ethernet and wireless working. Ethernet will NOT be managed by Network Manager though.

6) My next problem was with DNS, say when you stop using Wireless and switch to Ethernet, your ethernet will be up with the static IP but most of the time your DNS will not work (Network Manager and DHCP work together to put DNS server in place), so you will either have to edit the /etc/resolv.conf manually or use ‘resolvconf’ package which allows you to place ‘dns-nameserver xx.xx.xx.xx’ in your /etc/network/interfaces.

7) I do not like to have to many packages installed (I already have a lot installed), so the easiest thing for me is to add a file say ‘dns4eth’ setup with simple content

echo 'nameserver yy.yy.yy.yy' >> /etc/resolv.conf

Simple enough for me that everytime I restart network (sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart) the name server entry will be added to /etc/resolv.conf instead of having to edit by hand. Dirty, yes, because multiple networking restarts will add additional lines into the /etc/resolv.conf file. Do not forget to ‘chmod +x ‘ to your ‘dns4eth’ file.

There are a lot of room to improve, I know, but I am very lazy!

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I’ve looked around for a blog client that can suit my needs for some time and eventually I choose Qumana. Why?

  1. It is the only cross-platform that work nicely on OS’es I use (Mac, Linux/Ubuntu and Windows ;(). Windows have ‘Live Writer’ which I love but none (that also free) for Mac and even worst with Linux (I tried BloGTK, drivel Journal and they are not impressed).
  2. It has all functions that I want, which I actually use just a few including consistent GUI across all platforms (thanks to Java [I never like java until now]), easily accessible to all previous posts, WYSIWYG type of editor, and that are all I need. Coding in HTML may be OK but would be more productive (at least for me) with WYSIWYG.
  3. Easy to install (once you have all components) and use.

And these are enough reasons for me to switch to Qumana.

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Have not yet tried it, but may be useful in the future as I start to use VirtualBox more and more each day. It’s fast, free and with source and sdk available.

From this blog:

Convert Virtualbox .vdi to VMware .vmdk
February 25th, 2008

I love VirtualBox because is fast and without a lot overhead. But network bridging is kind of pain in the ass with VirtualBox . I hope they change this fast. Anyways I had to convert my VirtualBox images to the VMware file format. This is easily done with qemu-img a nice tool bundled with qemu. It can handle serveral file formats:

Supported format: qcow2 vvfat vpc bochs dmg cloop vmdk qcow host_device raw

So you could convert some other stuff too. Converting is easily done (this example is for Windows by using qemu-0.9.0-windows):

qemu-img.exe convert -O vmdk hdd.vdi hdd.vmdk

In this case we convert the disk hdd.vdi to hdd.vmdk. The input format is detected automatically but can be overriden by adding -f switch. Output is vmdk as given with the -O switch.

And a comment

# 13 greg Says:
May 31st, 2008 at 3:53 am
The qemu-img by itself did not create a bootable windows system. Here’s how I got it to work:

Here’s how I did it (using Linux)

1. Get vditool (http://www.virtualbox.org/download/testcase/vditool, will need VirtualBox installed, plus a few other things like libstdc++-5.0, libuuid, etc.)
2. Get qemu-img (from qemu binary http://bellard.org/qemu/qemu-0.9.1-i386.tar.gz)
3. vditool COPYDD diskname.vdi diskname.dd
4. qemu-img convert -O vmdk diskname.dd diskname.vmdk

Then I was able to boot the image.

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I am using Qumana to blog on this WordPress.com but setting it up to use WordPress is not that straight forward. During blog setup, Qumana asks for blog name, if you use straight WordPress blog such as yourname.wordpress.com in the name text box, you will eventually having problem with Qumana complaining something about java security error. The problem was Qumana tried to access to your blog as https so you have to Back and change https to http.

Or another way is to type in http://yourname.wordpress.com/xmlrpc.php instead of normal wordpress url and everything should work fine. But this will operate in plain text upload instead of encrypted one. But this is not different from the above method, though!

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