Monday, December 12, 2011

Read a PDF out loud on an iPhone

So I needed to read a PDF out loud on my iPhone 4 (iOS 5) but the VoiceOver option did not like reading it to me from Acrobat Reader for iPhone or Dropbox 1.4.6 for iPhone. So the workaround I found was to open the PDF from Dropbox, click the export button in the lower right hand corner and choose iBooks. This exports the PDF from DropBox to iBooks. Then all I had to do was turn VoiceOver on under Settings>General> Accessibility>VoiceOver and go back over to the iBooks app and tap the screen. Yay.

Short post, but maybe this will help somebody. BTW, don't forget that you should never use Dropbox for anything confidential in nature as they not only had a gaping security hole not too long ago, but they also didn't even proactively inform their users of the bug that left their files open to the entire world.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Download Chrome Flow (legacy release)

I love Hexxeh's Chrome OS. I became a fan when the old version Flow came out. Recently, Hexxeh updated to a new version entitled Vanilla which is very smooth and very cool. Hexxeh is working hard with daily updates - guaranteeing that even if your hardware isn't supported now, it will be very soon. (Especially if you get on Hexxeh's Twitter and kindly ask him to fix whatever issue you are experiencing!)

However, every genius has a quirk, and Hexxeh's is that when he released Vanilla, the download for Flow completely disappeared from his website. No old release page like other distros? Hexxeh's explanation can be found on his Google+:

"I removed Flow because it's ancient, likely full of known security vulnerabilities and no longer represents what Chromium OS looks and feels like at present. I'm aware that lots of folks relied on it for the extra hardware support, but I felt it would be irresponsible to continue to offer such outdated software."

Well, that's nice, but many distros keep older, less secure releases on their website in case of compatibility issues, etc. So for those who want to download the old version Flow, here it is!:

Download Chrome OS Flow from my Dropbox:

The .zip: 855183f60ea8b12b5665d931c58ebb21
The .img: 3e2e1c757afcb29d25a74c14d1c44fb1

Yes, Hexxeh will probably not be happy for this to be floating around, but somebody's gotta chronicle his old stuff. Out with the old and in with the new has never been the way of the *nix OS. Good operating systems are built on respect and appreciation of the past.

A few things you will need to know. For one, here is the Flow login:

Password: facepunch

Also, if you are wanting an ISO you are not going to get one. Hexxeh uses .img files for building live USB drives, not CDs. You can burn the image to a 2 GB (or more) thumb drive using the instructions below.

Windows instructions:
1. Unzip the file
2. Use Windows Image Writer to write the .img to the USB device

Linux instructions:
1. Unzip the file
2. Run the following (where sdX is your USB stick and ChromeOS.img is the path to the .img file): dd if=ChromeOS.img of=/dev/sdX bs=4M

NOTE: As Hexxeh warns, Flow is slightly buggy though it supports more hardware. In order to get HTTPS webpages to work, you may have to change the time/zone and/or revert to SSL 2.0 and/or disable TLS. The last 2 settings can be found under Options>Under the Hood.

Many thanks to Jimmy L. for the .img! Enjoy!

UPDATE: Well, it looks like Hexxeh has brought the world a solution!: Chromium Lime boasts of being the best of both Flow and Vanilla! Very happy for this. Still, I am very glad to have recorded a piece of history here with the Flow build. Also, there may be those who want to be able to use a 2 GB USB stick instead of the 4 GB that newer builds require.

Monday, November 14, 2011

WEP key index other than 1 in Fedora 15

So I've installed Fedora 15 on my Probook 6560b and love it. However, when I first did the install the only Internet access I had was a WLAN and I tried connecting to the SSID using the GUI but it failed. Soon I remembered that the WLAN I was on had a WEP key index other than 1. So, I looked in the GUI for an option to change the key index. Bah. Nothing.

I tried using iwconfig but still was hitting a dead end. Well, the fix ended up being to edit the following config files as follows:

$ cat /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-Auto_YourSSID

$ sudo cat /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/keys-Auto_YourSSID

YourSSID = The name of the SSID you are trying to connect to
YourUUID = Your specific UUID
YourMAC = Your MAC address
TheNumberOfTheKeyIndex = Place a numerical digit here which represents the key index your access point is configured to use.
YourWEPKeyInPlainText = Type your WEP key here in plain text.

Okay, the funniest part is when I did all this I got connected successfully and ran sudo yum update which updated the GUI so that it had the key index option I was needing all that time! Oh well, I learned something...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fujitsu P1620 Ubuntu Touchscreen Driver

A clean install of XP runs pretty slow on the Fujitsu P1620 touchscreen. But what to do to since that is the only OS that Fujitsu publishes touchscreen drivers for? Well, after scouring the net, I found that hacker Zmiq2 has adapted/created an Ubuntu driver for just this purpose.

Since some of the finer details of making this work on the P1620 specifically are strewn about in comments on his blog, etc., I thought I might as well centralize the info and relate my experience with this model.

At first, I tried installing the driver on Ubuntu 10.10 which failed so I reloaded the laptop with 9.04 and loaded the driver which worked nearly out-of-the-box.

I've put a copy of Zmiq2's driver on my Google Sites storage and created a tinyurl for it which is below. This is the fujitsu-usb-touchscreen-0.3.8 version which is the one I had success with:

Steps to install:

OS: Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty
Driver: fujitsu-usb-touchscreen-0.3.8
Chassis: Fujitsu P1620
1. Download the driver in the link above, extract it and change directory to the newly extracted folder in a terminal.
2. Run the following commands from that directory:

sudo make install

3. I was not able to get the rotate or right mouse click features to work using the readme or manual installation of fjbtndrv. So on to calibration... :(

4. In my case, running the calibration tool listed in the readme also did not work. However, there is a workaround... I suggest manually editing the conf files as follows.

a. Run the following command from a terminal...

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/fujitsu_usb_touchscreen.conf

...and edit the file to look like this:

options fujitsu_usb_touchscreen touch_minx=108 touch_miny=353 touch_maxx=3911 touch_maxy=4000

b. Then run this command...

sudo nano /etc/hal/fdi/policy/fujitsu_usb_touchscreen.fdi

...and make the MinX/MinY section look like this:

<merge key="input.x11_options.MinX" type="string">108</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.MinY" type="string">353</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.MaxX" type="string">3911</merge>
<merge key="input.x11_options.MaxY" type="string">4000</merge>

Well, that was the fix for me. Hope this makes the world a better place for someone like it did me!