Play all media formats on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Desktop

I still remember the first time I test-drove Mandriva Linux (formerly known as Mandrake), I could run every other audio and video format out-of-the-box without downloading anything (it was a dialup modem era so downloading was a pain-in-the-rear).

Many years after, I finally installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on my new laptop but it does not recognize some of my mp3 files and im like “Are you kidding me?”

Im glad I found a solution, there is a package called ubuntu-restricted-extras (read the Wikipedia entry and Ubuntu documentation) that you can install and it support all major media formats, Codecs and even Flash Player. To install, you need to run

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Legal Notice Patent and copyright laws operate differently depending on which country you are in. Please obtain legal advice if you are unsure whether a particular patent or restriction applies to a media format you wish to use in your country.

Windows to Linux (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS) Migration

I have been a hardcore Linux user from a Server-OS point of view since many years. Have used CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora extensively. I have always recommended and used Linux without hesitation since I knew this is one thing that I cannot be wrong about.

One place where I was reluctant to use Linux iswas my Desktop. My PC, Laptop and Work-Laptop running Windows 7. Although I love the simple interface of Windows, now its time that I try to experiment with a Linux Desktop OS. I am sure that within a few weeks, if not days, I would get in love with my decision which I have been postponing since many years now.

I have chosen Ubuntu 14.04 LTS for this purpose. What follows is my transition from Windows to Linux as my primary-Desktop-OS. I will be documenting my journey extensively in the coming few weeks.

Stay tuned!

PTCL EVO device with Tenda Portable 3G wireless router with battery (3G150B)

As promised, I previously reviewed the 3G150M model (without battery) and this time I am going to review the 3G150B (with battery model)

Tenda Portable 3G wireless router 3G150B

Tenda Portable 3G wireless router 3G150B

Although the battery model is more attractive and more widely used (Im using 3G150B more as compared to 3G150M) it control panel interface is fairly basic which is a set back for me and im sure for most other users as well. But still, its the best out there

There was also an advertisement in Spider magazine for the month of April 2012 as can be seen in the following photo

Spider Advertisement of Tenda Portable 3G wireless router 3G150B in April 2012

Spider Advertisement of Tenda Portable 3G wireless router 3G150B in April 2012

This Tenda device cost approx Rs. 4200 in the market and its model is 3G150B. The only difference from 3G150M is that it has battery to give backup of approx 5 hours. I configured it using the same PTCL EVO configuration settings for 3G routers.

PTCL EVO device with Tenda Portable 3G wireless router

Update: I have also posted a review of the latest model 3G150B here

Today, I finally unpacked my Tenda Portable 2G wireless router which I bought in January 2012. Since it supports a USB port for 3G devices, I wanted to see if I can get PTCL-EVO device to connect via this. To my surprise the whole setup was very simple and took just a few minutes.

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Bought another irresistible dedicated server offer

I just bought another irresistible dedicated server offer from a reputable provider (although I have no use of it at the moment). The details of the mouth watering deal is

Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2100 CPU @ 3.10GHz
4GB DDR3 Memory
500 Gig Sata hard drive
100mbit network
5 IPs

all that for just $49/mo

I got the hard upgraded to a 1TB Sata3 and memory (RAM) upgraded to a whopping 12GB (some one you may be surprised to see ONLY 12GB but for me, this is the heaviest system I have rented to date). I am planning to keep it running even though I have no use for it at the moment.



Classic IO test

[root@kvm ~]# dd if=/dev/zero of=iotest bs=64k count=16k conv=fdatasync && rm -fr iotest
16384+0 records in
16384+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 9.17903 seconds, 117 MB/s

Classic Network test

[root@kvm ~]# wget -O 100mb.test
--2012-01-17 00:53:25--
Connecting to||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 104857600 (100M) [application/octet-stream]
Saving to: `100mb.test'

100%[======================================>] 104,857,600 11.2M/s   in 9.0s

2012-01-17 00:53:34 (11.1 MB/s) - `100mb.test' saved [104857600/104857600]

NAGIOS 3 with notifications on twitter

I have been experimenting with NAGIOS3 on Ubuntu (I will write a how-to-install on NAGIOS later) and it has served me very good in monitoring my 7 VPS from different providers in different part of the world. I have already recorded 3 hours of downtime from ThrustVPS which is a great deal for me. I now know which VPS has the best time and which ones have hiccups (e.g. my 2Host VPS gave me two unreachable notifications but the VPS was running and still reports the uptime as 4 days).

Since I use twitter more, even when Im on the road, notifications via email is a bit slow for me. Luckily I found a great tutorial online to do that.

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A new home for my Expired Domain Harvesting Project

Update (Apr 22, 2011): Please read my post NordicVPS is down the drain? to learn more about this host before ordering with them.

EXPIREDRUS.COM is a lame name that I will be using for my Expired Domain Harvesting Experiment that I have been doing in the last many weeks. The records I have collected are totally around 5.5million using lighttpd, PHP5 and MySQL (without innodb) on a 128MB XEN PV box with just 5GB of space.

Wow, it will serve me two major purposes

  1. How to manage a small box with challenging low resources
  2. How to manage millions and millions of records in single mysql database table and replicate them to another VPS node.

I am doing all this on a low-budget but extremely powerful XEN VPS from multiple providers including QuickWeb and NordicVPS.

Note: Although, right now the domain name points no-where but I will soon point it to the vps where I am willing to host a public-portal about this.

Using Facebook Graph API to keep an eye on friends activity

Life is really moving in the fast lane for me, and Im pretty sure for most of you readers too. I login to social-networking platforms after weeks and I cant recognize most of these faces (even though they are my friends). Its proven that Humans tend to recognize people by face more quickly then names and email addresses so whenever someone puts on a new face (uploads a new profile-picture), I have hard time getting to know them.

Well, I thought today, I have been developing in facebook application for so long now – Why not put online a few hours to fetch Facebook Friends data via API and keeping track of who did what? (status updates) and who changed his/her profile picture? So last night I was up, as usual, and I put together a small script in PHP that fetches my friends’s list, processes newcomers, checks for updates (pictures and statuses) and posts them into a database. Now I can track who updated his profile picture and what was their previous profile photo. Also, I can invest in another 1 hr to create high-level-summary everyday for ME 🙂

Do you do something of this sort? I’d love to hear your story