Tip: Multiproxy Switch : Easily use multiple proxies in Firefox

A lot of people (especially working people with mobile devices like notebook/netbooks) need to use different proxy servers at home and office. There are several Firefox extensions available to achieve the required functionality but IMHO Multiproxy Switch(Mozilla Addon Page) is the best because

  1. Its simple and easy to use. It does what it should. No fancy/extra terrestrial stuff. Just switch proxies :)
  2. Easy and Firefox like interface to specify different proxies. Many extensions add their own fancy interfaces for specifying proxies which eventually suck big time.
  3. I am a fan of this one. The No-Proxy list. I could never understand those regular expression based no-proxy lists in FoxyProxy. Multiproxy Switch has Firefox like No-Proxy list which rocks and understandable :)

If you happen to come across a better proxy switcher for Firefox, do let us know :)

 

I Love Twitter, I Love Python = I Love Twython

I was really late to join Twitter. As soon as I joined Twitter, I started exploring various aspects of Twitter and hence the Twitter API. While searching for a wrapper for Twitter API in python, I came across python-twitter which was good and tweepy which was ok and I finally found twython. Twython is awesome and more importantly upto date with Twitter API.

While I was using twython, I found one fact very irritating. It didn’t have docstrings. And I had to go to Twitter API Wiki for description of every single function :( I talked to Ryan (Twython developer, who works all day long at his day job with webs.com and develops twython when everybody sleeps 😛 ) about the same and offered to write docstrings for twython.

I spent a few hours and sent a patch with docstrings for all the functions. Now twython has complete documentation. Also Ryan is trying his best to implement wrappers for the newly introduced functions in Twitter API. So, currently Twython is THE best wrapper available in python for Twitter API.

PS : Next post will be “How to use twython”.

 

How To: Recover Deleted Files in Linux Using Photorec

Frequently I get messages like “I have accidentally deleted my project. Is there any way to recover it in Linux?” or “I worked really hard on that program and managed to deleted it right before submission :( How do I recover?”. Well I didn’t really have any idea on “How to actually recover deleted files in Linux”.

A few days back I was designing the new logo for Videocache in Inkscape. After finishing the design, I saved the svg file carefully. And deleted other images which I embedded in the logo. A few moments later I realized that I just screwed up myself by deleting all those files as the svg file is now good for nothing.

I searched a lot on recovering files in Linux but in vain. Then a friend (bitgeek) told me about Photorec. I managed to recover all the files using photorec. I thought it would be a good idea to let others know and spread a good word about Photorec. Below is a step by step howto on using Photorec to recover your files.

What is Photorec?

From Photorec website,

PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from Hard Disks and CDRom and lost pictures (thus, its ‘Photo Recovery’ name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the filesystem and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media’s filesystem has been severely damaged or re-formatted.

For This HowTo

Lets say I had a file download_arrow.png in /home/saini/Desktop which I have removed accidentally. Login as root and create a directory recover which will be used to store all the recovered files.

Install testdisk/PhotoRec

Photorec comes as a part of testdisk package in Fedora (I hope its same for other distributions as well). Use yum to install testdisk.

[root@fedora-tips ~]$ yum install testdisk

Launch Photorec

Once you are done with installation. Open a terminal and launch photorec (as root).

[root@fedora-tips recover]$ photorec

Select Hard Disk

If you have more than one hard disk in your system, select the one from which you have deleted the file(s).

PhotoRec Hard Disk Selection

Select Partition Type

If your hard disk has Linux partitions, then select [Intel].

PhotoRec Partition Selection

Select Filetype Option

Move to [File Opt] and press enter. Here you can disable all file types by pressing ‘s’ . Use space to toggle the check button. Now since we removed a png file, we are going to check only png file type.

PhotoRec Filetype Selection

Select Options

Photorec also has a list of different options. Under normal circumstances you don’t need to modify them

PhotoRec Option Selection

Select Partition

Move the selector to the partition from which you have removed the file. Then press enter on search.

PhotoRec Partition Selection

Select Filesystem Type

If you are using Linux, its going to be ext2/ext3/ext4. So the default selection is file.

PhotoRec Partition Selection

Select Space for Analysis

Select free if you didn’t write to that partition after removing the particular file otherwise select whole.

PhotoRec Space Selection

Select a Directory to Recover Files

Now select the path where the recovered files will be stored. Then press ‘Y’.

PhotoRec Recovery Directory Selection

Recovery Progress

Photorec will show how many files it has recovered.

PhotoRec Recovery Progress

All recovered file will be stored in the directory selected above. Open them in a file browser and you’ll get the removed file there. I hope this howto will help you recovering files you accidentally delete :)

 

Review: Firefox 3 Beta 1

Firefox 3 Beta 1 is available now. I downloaded the package yesterday morning and started using it right away. While using, I figured out some of the good things and at the same time there are some bad things about this test release. Here is what I feel about Firefox 3 Beta 1.

BTW, you can get beta 1 for Firefox 3 here. I am not going to tell, how to install firefox :)

Positives:

1.Nice Default Font:

Well someone may argue that you can configure any font in any version of Firefox, so whats the good thing about this default font in Firefox 3 Beta1. Well, I’ll say that configuration is always available but nobody gives a damn to configure the font in browser. I am liking this default font in FF3 Beta1 and everything now seems interesting to read. I have Read more than 40 wiki pages since last two days.

2.New FTP Listing Style:

The FTP listings in Firefox 3 Beta 1 has got new stylesheet. Its not dirty any more. It feels good while browsing ftp now. See the screen-shot below.

FTP Listing In Firefox

3.Website Identity:

This is new feature, but I couldn’t find it useful. When you click on favicon in the location bar, a pop-up kinda thing comes up, which tells about the identity of the site you are visiting. Check out the snapshot below.

Website Identity in Firefox

4.Drag n Drop:

You can now hold any thing in Firefox 3 Beta 1 and drag it anywhere you want. Though I could not drop the images to gimp or anywhere else, it looks good. I think its in the development stage right now.

Drag and Drop in Firefox Drag and Drop in Firefox

5.Bookmarks:

Bookmarking a website or editing your bookmarks is far easier now. You can edit a bookmarked site while its loading or can bookmark the site by just clicking a button. A new star-shaped button has been added in the location bar before the go button. If a site is not bookmarked, clicking the button will just bookmark it without asking for anything. If you again click on the button, now you can edit or delete the site you just bookmarked.

Bookmark Editing in Firefox

6.Adding Search Engine:

In firefox 3 beta 1, you can add the site you are browsing in you search engine list just like google, imdb, wikipedia, yahoo or whatever. But this is not valid for every website. Every website in this world can’t be a search engine 😛 Checkout the snapshot or KDE.

Adding Search Engine in Firefox

7.Link sorting/searching in location bar:

Firefox 3 beta 1 implements a new searching/sorting mechanism for links in location bar. As you type some letters, those are now searched in the link as well as the title of the page and then the links are sorted and displayed as list. In drop down list, you can also see the sites on your bookmarks.

8.Places Folder:

A new bookmark folder named ‘Places’ has been added. It has 6 sub-folders which contains links to different site based on a particular criterion. Some of them are ‘Recently Starred Pages’, ‘Recently Visited Starred Pages’, ‘Most Visited Starred Pages’ etc. I was looking for something like this since a long time. Because every time I login into my PC and fire up my firefox, first of all, I visit 8-10 sites (students mail, slashdot, iiit blogroll, yahoo mail, gmail, forum, orkut etc.). Now, I can open all of them in just one click. I click on ‘Most Visited Starred Pages’ and done.

9.Low Memory:

Well, a review of Firefox 3 Beta 1 on zdnet, say that Firefox 3 beta 1 is consuming low memory than Firefox 2 and IE 7. That review is for Firefox in windows. But in Fedora 7, I didn’t experience any reduction in memory usage.

10.Faster:

I don’t know how to justify this, but Firefox 3 Beta 1 seems to load pages faster. What I could think was that, when you click go, it loads the page in the background for some-time and then suddenly flushes the page to the screen and it appears that the entire page has been loaded in one go. I may be wrong though.

11.Improved GUI:

The rendering of buttons, input fields, images in the pages have improved a lot and buttons and drop down menus look better now.

Negatives:

1.Extensions:

Life is a bit or I should say a byte difficult with Firefox extensions. Now, I am too much used to use these extensions that I can’t live without them. I’ll crash if I don’t have ‘Undo Closed Tab’ extension. I keep making stupid mistakes. All the extensions are not yet available for Firefox 3, so its a problem.

2.Multiple Tabs:

Firefox 3 Beta 1 immediately dies if I open more than 20 tabs. I opened my wiki saved session (39 tabs) and after sometime I was searching for Firefox. Where the hell firefox window has gone?

3.Crashes:

I don’t know what exactly is the problem, but I think Firefox 3 revolts against Yahoo Mail and GMail. Whenever I open Yahoo Mail or GMail, Firefox 3 Beta 1 crashes. Either there is some problem with the heavily loaded mail pages or it doesn’t want me to use GMail or Yahoo.

Well, there may be lot more positives and negatives. These are the things I noticed about Firefox 3 Beta 1 in last two days. As the positives list is ruling the negatives, I am using Firefox 3 Beta 1 full time these days.

PS : @Paresh I think FF3 is better than FF2 in many ways. But you may want to wait for all the extensions to be compatible with FF3.

 

Review: Fedora 8 – Warewolf

I installed Fedora 8 32 bit from a leaky mirror on Nov 7th and I just had a very bad experience with it. Nothing seemed to be working. But I can’t accept that. As I am a hardcore fan of Fedora, I just can’t sit back and say “ah, Fedora 8 sucks, i am not gonna use that”. I fetched Fedora 8 x86_64 (64bit) from a mirror yesterday, after the release. I installed it and everything worked out of the box. I can’t believe that I wrote something wrong about Fedora. How could I do that ?

First of all, I would like to say that The artwork team at Fedora has done a very fantastic job. The graphics right from installation up to the desktop are just awesome. Especially the default background is very nice. Here is shot of the default Gnome Fedora 8 Desktop.

GNOME Fedora 8 Desktop

Right after the installation, I fetched the nVidia proprietary drivers from here and installed them. And those were installed successfully without giving any errors or problems. [ If you want a complete howto on installing nvidia drivers. Its here.] A reboot after the installation and compiz worked out of the box. Here is shot.

Compiz Fusion

Ok, graphics done. What now ? I just realized that there is no mp3 support. No worries. Codeina aka Codec Buddy is there. Just issue ‘codeina’ command from command line and a window like this will appear.

Codeina Audio Codec Fetcher

Check Fluendo MP3 Audio Decoder and click get selected, accept the license conditions and you’ll see that codeina is fetching the codecs. [If codeina does not fetch codecs or give error like timeout or some other network error. Try checking your proxy setting in System -> Preferences -> Internet And Network -> Network Proxy . It may help. ]

Codeina Installing MP3 Support

Ok. Now, codeina has done the job. Lets play some mp3. Note that amarok still can’t play mp3 files because it uses xine engine. So, you can choose either Totem or Rhythmbox to play your mp3 files. Here is a shot of Rhythmbox. So, Codeina also works out of the box.

Rhythmbox Playing MP3

Another major improvement in Fedora 8 in audio section is introduction or pulseaudio. Issue command ‘pulseaudio’ from command line and you will see a window like this.

Pulseaudio Device and Application Control

You can control the sound stream from different players or whatever. You can mute individual streams and can even set the default devices for certain streams through this fantastic gui.

Another good thing in Fedora 8 is Eclipse. Eclipse 3.3 is back in Fedora 8. They excluded it from Fedora 7. I am happy to see it back here in Fedora 8.

Eclipse In Fedora 8

Another utility that I found helpful is Remote Desktop utility. Launch System -> Preferences -> Internet And Network -> Remote Desktop and you’ll see a window like this.

Remote Desktop Utility

Set your preferences and now you can browse your desktop from anywhere using ‘vncviewer <yourIP>:0′. Though one call always configure vncserver to get that done. But for newbies it’ll be a great help.

Also, My wireless lan card, Ralink rt2500 WNC-0301 is detected successfully in Fedora 8. But I am not sure whether it works or not, because there is not wifi environment in my lab and I can’t check it without that. [ Anyway if your wifi card doesn’t work, here is a howto on installing Ralink rt2500 WNC-0301 using drivers from serailmonkey. ]

Another improvement is that cursor was never invisible. Up to Fedora 7, I suffered cursor invisible problem on first login. [ If you are facing the same problem, add line

Options "HWCursor" off

to “screens” section in your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and issue ‘gdm-restart’ command. It’ll be fine afterwards. ]

The boot time has also improved significantly. My Fedora 8 boots in just 45 seconds.

These Fedora 8 Screenshots and other related to Fedora 8 can be reached here.

 

Review : Fedora 8 Test 3

Fedora 8 Test 3 aka Fedora 7.92 is out now and available for download from Fedora mirrors. I downloaded the Test 3 Live CD iso and just tested in Virtual Machine qemu. Believe me, Fedora 8 is going to be a huge improvement in basic graphics in Fedora. The graphical interface is far better than the previous release and it’ll be a delight to work on the new default Gnome theme called Nodoka especially designed for Fedora 8.The new release has got glassy/glossy looks everywhere from buttons to icons to menus.The login screen has come a long way. The electronics spin of Fedora 8 will definitely be a gift for people studying electronics at engineering level as they have introduced some packages related to circuit design and all.

I am happy to see that eclipse will be back in Fedora 8. Also, Fedora 8 comes with codecBuddy which will help to guide people to use free alternatives of audio/video codecs. A better network support is guaranteed for sure :) Also, developes are trying to limit the use of desktop environment as root. In Test 3 if you try to login as root, the gdm will display a warning.

If you want to browse complete feature list for Fedora 8 Test 3, it is available here.

More about Fedora 8 Test 3 in pictures below or you can browse these pictures here.

Login Screen New Default GNOME Theme New Clear And Glassy Menus The Terminal

New Grouped Preferences Menu Advanced Network Configuration Network Works Here Root Disabled

PS1 : Waiting for 8th November eagerly.

 

Review: Fedora 7 – Moonshine

As expected, I upgraded to Fedora 7 – Moonshine yesterday. The coolest feature I noticed is that it automatically detected my Ralink WNC-0301 wireless lan card. Well, support for other wireless lan cards like ipw2100, ipw2200 and ipw3945 is also there which is I think the best feature. Because I see a lot of people around fighting with there wireless lan cards to work under Fedora Cores.

The gui is kind of improved but one more cool thing that you will notice is the theme “flying high”. The wallpapers, splash screen, login screen are improved a lot. Overall, the artwork part is worked out hardly. Default font is also nice.

A lot of media players are provided. amarok and kaffeine are included first time but amarok with no mp3 support. You have to install gstreamer and gstreamer08 plugins to make it work. The system preferences menu is totally different with similar tasks being grouped.

In addition to all that now Fedora also has some basic directories in the home directory like Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Downloads.

Everything else is the same with upgraded versions.

Here is a Video of my current Fedora 7 desktop.

PS0 : There seems to be some problem after installing the nvidia driver for F7. Follow the procedure here replacing everything related to fc6 by f7 and at the end after configuring your xorg.conf file make these changes

The section “Files” should be like this

1
2
3
Section "Files"
	ModulePath "/usr/lib/xorg/modules,/usr/X11R6/lib/modules/"
EndSection

now restart the xserver and the nvidia will work 😀 .

For more info refer my xorg.conf for F7.

PS1 : If you are a IIITian, I suggest you not upgrade to F7 because iyum is not yet configured to cache F7 rpms and you have to install updates for your OS from the internet and that really sux. So, wait for iyum repo for F7 to be up and then upgrade.

PS2 : Pidgin has some memory leaks … its consuming 2GB virtual memory … here’s the proof … I am back to kopete again 😉

Pidgin Memory Leak

Pidgin Memory Leak

Edit : If you are looking for wireless configuration in Fedora 7, here is a reference.