Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Replacement File Manager for Android - Asus ZenUI File Manager

I have been using Mokee ROM on my ZTE Nubia Z9 mini for last six months. I got started with Android lollipop 5.1 ROM and soon moved to Marshmallow, while the stock ROM is stuck on 5.0.2. Generally this is the case with chinese OEM's but the phone is solid with more than one day of battery life, great camera and overall snappy response. 
Anyway few weeks back I started seeing this file moving/ copying issue where the inbuilt file manager won't copy the files correctly. When I copied more than 1GB of files then it would fail to copy 1-2 files to memory card. This was infuriating. 
I thought maybe it's the apps problem and tried ES file explorer. But with ES file explorer also I got similar issue. After using ES File explorer for about a month and noticing this issue a number of times, I decided to use some other file manager. Because this is a basic function and if a file manager is failing in this then there's some serious problem with the app. 
So last week I stumbled upon ZenUI's File Manager which is Asus file manager app for their Zenphone's. And I have been using it for one week and everything's working fine. The application interface is great, the copy/ move workflow is well thought. E.g. with Mokee's own file manager, you select a number of files and then you move to target folder and from a hamburger menu there, you select "Move Selection here..." which is un-intuitive in my thoughts. In Asus File Manager, you have a "Move to" option in hamburger menu at top right corner. This opens a dialog box where you select a target. It shows last four folders as well and this helps a lot. After you select move, and tap OK, move operation launches. After moving is finished, you stay in your original folder only, which means you can move some more files to other folders quickly. 
This is great!!
Another feature I like most from Asus ZenUI File Manager is Storage Analyzer which is faster than ES File Explorer's analyzer and quickly shows you the files eating your precious storage. Overall I'm very happy with Asus's File Manager. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

HP Deskjet 2131 Use experience

HP Deskjet 2131 is a basic All-in-one printer. It supports basic inkjet color printing, has a scanner for scanning and copying features.

The package comes with the device, power chord, USB cable, driver CD-ROM, demo cartridges which can print 12-16 pages, a manual and warranty card. The warranty is one year for device. The original cartridges come with six months warranty.

I tried few black and white and color prints and the quality was good. Black and white printing speed is average, but not bad. I have seen some older inkjet printers which take one second to print one line. This is not that bad.
One thing this printer lacks is it doesn't have automatic paper feeder tray, instead you have to feed papers by hand. This is not a problem for occasional home printing but if you have to take number of prints then you would soon get tired of feeding the pages.
The color printing speed is good. I have not yet printed any photos on photo paper. I have ordered some 4'x6' photo paper sheets and will soon test photo printing too. I printed some color documents and couple of photos downloaded from internet and they all printed well enough.
I scanned few documents and the scanner is good. You have to change some settings when scanning the photos though and increase the resolution so photos are scanned with high resolution. Later using any picture utility like GIMP/Photoshop you can resize it to minimize the size. I am yet to find the copying workflow. But I'll check it out soon.

Running Costs:
Price-wise the Black cartridge costs INR 750/- which is bit costly and according to reviews it can print about 200 pages, which means printing a page costs more than INR 2/- which doesn't save you much money, but it should save you money on printing color prints and photos. The color cartridge costs about INR1100/-.

OS Support:
On windows the provided CD-ROM gives drivers and HP's a-la control center which lets you keep track of print jobs.
On Linux inbuilt drivers work out fine.

Overall for INR 2900/- its' a cheap printer with about average running costs and a good deal.

Upgraded Ubuntu 12.04 to 14.04.5 and then 16.04

My desktop at office was stuck on 12.04 for last two years. Recently I got moved to another project and the then critical collection of software and tools on the desktop suddenly became non-critical. So I decided to upgrade it.
For last two days I pushed it through two distro-upgrades. And it has survived them and I can now use latest 16.04 LTS.
Ubuntu is great!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Buying a Printer

Recently I saw that our combined printout count has risen quite a bit. So it would be good to get a printer. Then started a number of rounds of price and feature comparisons for a printer.
Firstly there are two types of printers - laser and inkjet printers. If you look at the features a simple laser printer starts from INR 6K. A laser MFD(Multi-function device or all-in-one or Print-Scan-Copy) starts at 11K. I wanted a simple printer and a laser printer looked good. I could afford a 6K laser printer and didn't have to worry about ink cartridges drying if unused.
But then wife raised requirement for scanning too which meant looking for a MFD. Now the problem was a laser MFD was outside of my budget so that meant I had to look for inkjet MFD's. I started looking for various products and the cartridge prices. The cheapest inkjet all-in-one was Cannon Pixma MG2470. It costed only 2.5K. But then I looked at the cartridge prices and found out Cannon cartridges are quite costly. The cartridges for this printer went for 0.8K to 1.2K. While competing HP all-in-one cartridges started from 0.6K to 1K max. The HP Deskjet 2131 was the next cheapest all-in-one. It was feature comparable with the cannon and with cartridge prices in affordable category it was the logical choice. So I booked it on Flipkart.com and will get it in couple of days. Will share the actual experience in few more days.

Friday, August 5, 2016

KDE Startup and AutoLogin

Starting KDE from Command Line by startx

By Zhiqiang Ma On Nov 29, 2012



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I don't use xdm, gdm or kdm… I prefer my Linux booting to init 3. I like logging in to the command-prompt and starting X manually with startx. In my Fedora Linux box, I always get to gnome even both gnome and KDE are installed. Actually the startx script is already written for most of the modern desktop environment. What we need to do is open the "trigger".

The startx script in Fedora will read /etc/sysconfig/desktop for the "DESKTOP" variable (through /etc/X11/xinit/Xclients) and starts the desktop environment depending on it. While the default value for "DESKTOP" is set to "GNOME", we will get to gnome if we don't set the variable. When we want to startx to KDE we just need to add one line to /etc/sysconfig/desktop:


If there is already one line that defines "DESKTOP", just change the value of it.

Then we will start KDE when we run startx from console.

Free additional gift

The "DISPLAYMANAGER" in the /etc/sysconfig/desktop file is used to specify the default display manager. To make KDM the default display, just add this line:


to enable automatic logons using the following GUI menu selections:

Control Center > System Administration > Login Manager > Administrator Mode > Convenience Tab


Edit kdmrc. kdmrc can be found as

locate kdmrc

if slocate is installed and database is up to date.

In Gentoo and KDE 3.5 it is in


The following needs to be added if there is no sign of autologin variables. If there are something related to autologin already in place, edit those






AutoLoginAgain logs user in again after when for whatever reason user is logged out but X is not restarted. Everything else should be easy to understand.

gSOAP on Linux and Windows

gsoap v2.7.16


su -


make install

Then into calc++ dir:

soapcpp2 -i calc.h

g++ -o calcclient++ calcclient.cpp ../../stdsoap2.cpp soapC.cpp soapcalcProxy.cpp

g++ -o calcserver++ calcserver.cpp ../../stdsoap2.cpp soapC.cpp soapcalcService.cpp

This compiles calc client app and calc server app.

execute calcserver++ and after that

execute calcclient as

./calcclient++ add 3 3

result = 6

Note: There's some delay observed.


with modifications to calc.h; calcclient.cpp and redoing all above steps from soapcpp2 -i calc.h;

and running calcserver as #./calcserver++ 80 in one terminal and calcclient as $./calcclient++ add 5 6

gives correct output. So gsoap is working in Linux for both client and server.


Now to Windows

*** using available binaries in C:\gsoap-2.7\gsoap\bin folder.

Added soapcpp2 binary's path to PATH variable.

Next using Visual Studio 2005 Command prompt;

got to calc++ directory:

and use

soapcpp2 -i calc.h

This will generate the wsdl and stubs

Next compile the client as:

C:\gsoap-2.7\gsoap\samples\calc++>cl -o calcclient++ calcclient.cpp stdsoa

p2.cpp soapC.cpp soapcalcProxy.cpp

And server:

C:\gsoap-2.7\gsoap\samples\calc++>cl -o calcserver++ calcserver.cpp stdsoap2.cpp

soapC.cpp soapcalcService.cpp

Next open another Visual Studio 2005 Command prompt;

In it run the calcserver as:

calcserver++.exe 80

And in previous window run calcclient as:

calcclient++ add 6 5

This will give output as