Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Gnome 3 Desktop Tips

Gnome 3 was released today. \o/ . Here are a few of my favourite less than obvious tricks to make your trip into the new Gnome 3 desktop a pleasant one:

  1. While in Activities Overview use the mousewheel to enlarge window previews to get a closer look
  2. If you already have an instance of an app open (e.g. gnome-terminal) do a ctrl-mouse click on it's app icon in the Dash to open a new instance
  3. Use alt-` to cycle through multiple instances of the currently running app (e.g. gnome-terminals)
  4. Press alt-tab then use the mouse to select the app to switch to
  5. Resart the desktop with alt-f2 then enter `r`
Update: More tips on the gnome help. And some more.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    WiFi Tether Rogers HTC Magic

    I own a Rogers HTC Magic, a reasonably capable first gen Android phone. Rogers was even nice enough to release an over the air update to Android 2.1 in the summer of 2010. Unfortunately 2.1 does not have tethering by USB or WiFi enabled. I thought my only option to get tethering working was by switching to a custom ROM like Cyanogen. However that process seemed daunting.

    People who know me may find that strange because I'm keen to learn and use an alternate OS on my PC; Linux. However I see that as a completely different affair. For one thing to install Linux I don't have to "hack" my home PC. And I certainly don't have to sign a waiver or risk my internet connection being disconnected. Not only that but installing a custom ROM can be complicated business. If only it were as easy as it is to install a custom Linux distribution on my home PC.

    To install a custom ROM on my phone the process goes something like (I've probably gotten this wrong because I've never done it); backup important data, root my phone, install a recovery image, flash the radio, flash a custom ROM (i.e. Cyanogen), and finally reinstall all my apps and data. By that point I'am saying to myself it_shouldn't_be_that_hard. But I digress.

    I have found a solution to my tethering needs that will let me tether my phone to either my Windows or Linux (sorry PDANet but you're windows only) desktops and while still using the Rogers officially blessed software for my phone. And it's as simple as it_should_be! Here we go:

    1. Install UniversalAndroot (not in the Android market)
    2. Run UniversalAndroot and click "Root"
    3. Install Barnacle Wifi Tether (should be in the Android market)
    4. Start Barnacle and go to Settings
    5. Set Custom Wifi Ad-hoc to Hero/Eris
    6. Click Start

    An ad-hoc wifi network named "barnacle" should appear on your PC for you to connect to. Done!

    Maybe one day something will prompt me to I'll install a Cyanogen rom, but it won't be for tethering.