Thursday, April 26, 2012

LibreOffice Shortcut Keys

Whoever is working on any document in LibreOffice must go through this document at least once, because this is stuff that will save you some sure time!

Also be sure to visit following link and go through the guides that are available there.

LibreOffice is a beast and if you know how to tame it; then you can expect a great document.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

8 Core Beliefs of Extraordinary Bosses - Geoffrey James

Link to original article:

The best managers have a fundamentally different understanding of workplace, company, and team dynamics. See what they get right.

A few years back, I interviewed some of the most successful CEOs in the world in order to discover their management secrets. I learned that the "best of the best" tend to share the following eight core beliefs.

1. Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield.

Average bosses see business as a conflict between companies, departments and groups. They build huge armies of "troops" to order about, demonize competitors as "enemies," and treat customers as "territory" to be conquered.

Extraordinary bosses see business as a symbiosis where the most diverse firm is most likely to survive and thrive. They naturally create teams that adapt easily to new markets and can quickly form partnerships with other companies, customers ... and even competitors.

2. A company is a community, not a machine.

Average bosses consider their company to be a machine with employees as cogs. They create rigid structures with rigid rules and then try to maintain control by "pulling levers" and "steering the ship."

Extraordinary bosses see their company as a collection of individual hopes and dreams, all connected to a higher purpose. They inspire employees to dedicate themselves to the success of their peers and therefore to the community–and company–at large.

3. Management is service, not control.

Average bosses want employees to do exactly what they're told. They're hyper-aware of anything that smacks of insubordination and create environments where individual initiative is squelched by the "wait and see what the boss says" mentality.

Extraordinary bosses set a general direction and then commit themselves to obtaining the resources that their employees need to get the job done. They push decision making downward, allowing teams form their own rules and intervening only in emergencies.

4. My employees are my peers, not my children.

Average bosses see employees as inferior, immature beings who simply can't be trusted if not overseen by a patriarchal management. Employees take their cues from this attitude, expend energy on looking busy and covering their behinds.

Extraordinary bosses treat every employee as if he or she were the most important person in the firm. Excellence is expected everywhere, from the loading dock to the boardroom. As a result, employees at all levels take charge of their own destinies.

5. Motivation comes from vision, not from fear.

Average bosses see fear--of getting fired, of ridicule, of loss of privilege--as a crucial way to motivate people.  As a result, employees and managers alike become paralyzed and unable to make risky decisions.

Extraordinary bosses inspire people to see a better future and how they'll be a part of it.  As a result, employees work harder because they believe in the organization's goals, truly enjoy what they're doing and (of course) know they'll share in the rewards.

6. Change equals growth, not pain.

Average bosses see change as both complicated and threatening, something to be endured only when a firm is in desperate shape. They subconsciously torpedo change ... until it's too late.

Extraordinary bosses see change as an inevitable part of life. While they don't value change for its own sake, they know that success is only possible if employees and organization embrace new ideas and new ways of doing business.

7. Technology offers empowerment, not automation.

Average bosses adhere to the old IT-centric view that technology is primarily a way to strengthen management control and increase predictability. They install centralized computer systems that dehumanize and antagonize employees.

Extraordinary bosses see technology as a way to free human beings to be creative and to build better relationships. They adapt their back-office systems to the tools, like smartphones and tablets, that people actually want to use.

8. Work should be fun, not mere toil.

Average bosses buy into the notion that work is, at best, a necessary evil. They fully expect employees to resent having to work, and therefore tend to subconsciously define themselves as oppressors and their employees as victims. Everyone then behaves accordingly.

Extraordinary bosses see work as something that should be inherently enjoyable–and believe therefore that the most important job of manager is, as far as possible, to put people in jobs that can and will make them truly happy.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Couple of annoying things

Visual effects are often times pleasing, add a value to the experience and increase usability. Yet more often or not we come across some things that irk even the most patient of us. There have been few such things for me. I'll list them below:

1. KDE's busy pointer: Seriously how can be couple of balls rotating around is in any way relational to busy? In my opinion a clock, or a spinning hourglass (classic busy pointer), or a flashing icon of the busy app, or a circular arrow are more closer in meaning to busy.

2. Unity's launch feedback for newly launched application when the said app is not in focus ( the icon shake ): A bright glowing/flashing icon suits this action more than the current feedback which I call as "icon shake". Windows 7 has a better implementation for this (Bright yellow highlighted icon).

3. Windows 7 application launch as well as close effects: I don't know if other people find this as affecting to them, but our perception of how snappy any system is, is based on how quickly the apps launch. Especially how quickly the windows materialize on the screen. And so I have found out that windows 7 is pretty fast when it comes to launch apps but the launch effect just makes it feel slower. You can see this with the classic mode - the windows launch really quick. And once you have used the classic mode for a bit of time you can not un-notice the delay.

4. And last but not least the text on my newly installed Ubuntu 12.04 Precise is not as precise as it should be. And I'm annoyed at the fact that I'm not able to find the settings for font shading and antialiasing.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Diff in NetBeans

I have been using Netbeans since last one and half year. I use the PHP edition since that's what I work on in Netbeans. Netbeans PHP and Javascript support is very good. It provides autosuggest as well as functions metadata which helps me tremendously in getting lot of work done in as little time as possible. Now I'm not going to talk about Netbeans and how good I have found it for LAMP applications development, but rather I'll be focusing on a the tool in question i.e. diff which is provided in Tools menu.

Once we select Diff from Tools menu, netbeans throws up a Open file dialog, using which we select the file we are going to diff against current file (Or file in current tab). Once we have selected other file we are taken to a graphical view where we get to see the difference between both of them highlighted in red/green and blue colors. And this display helps us to quickly navigate to the areas where the files differ.

Also we are shown buttons using which we can insert data from one file to other where there is difference. Above crop of a screenshot shows part of a diff window where red and blue regions show differing code. I have used this diff to check and compare not even code but text, sql files as well as shell scripts.

Complexity, Uptime and End of the World

There's a really nice and informative article that's posted at Linux Journal.
It's really informative for System Administrators as well as us common guys.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Machine Gun Preacher (2012)

Usually I don't share any movies here! But this one was a class apart!

Machine Gun Preacher (2012)
Starring Gerard Butler as Sam Childers

P.S. The movie is violent and some scenes are so full of gore that you are needed to have strong guts to stomach it!

Something bad has happened

I login to this website I just registered to and it lands me to this page with 3 adorable animals...

But even after 5 minutes I'm right there and nothing else is showing up; so I'm flustered. I look around and then decide to scroll down.

And so I came to know "SOMETHING BAD HAS HAPPENED!"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Today I replied to all messages in my Spam folder with following:

"I forecast your doom oh small being!"

Saturday, April 7, 2012

General Nokia Secret Codes

View Software Version
Dial using the keypad: * # 0000 # – the version number displayed on the display.
V 5.16
V 5.16 – software version
22-06-99 – date
NSM-1 – The hardware (model)
Dial using the keypad: * # 06 # – IMEI number is displayed on the display.
Allows you to check whether your SIM-card mode StopClock. When
transferring the card to this mode significantly reduces power
consumption and thus increases the work of the battery. Generally, all
modern SIM-cards support this mode.
*#7780# reset to factory settings.
*#67705646# This will clear the LCD display (operator logo).
*#0000# To view software version.
*#2820# Blue tooth device address.
*#746025625# Sim clock allowed status.
*#62209526# – Display the MAC address of the WLAN adapter. This is
available only in the newer devices that support WLAN
#pw+1234567890+1# Shows if sim have restrictions.
*#92702689# – takes you to a secret menu where you may find some of
the information below:
1. Displays Serial Number.
2. Displays the Month and Year of Manufacture
3. Displays (if there) the date where the phone was purchased (MMYY)
4. Displays the date of the last repair – if found (0000)
5. Shows life timer of phone (time passes since last start)
*#3370# – Enhanced Full Rate Codec (EFR) activation. Increase signal
strength, better signal reception. It also help if u want to use GPRS
and the service is not responding or too slow. Phone battery will
drain faster though.
*#3370* – (EFR) deactivation. Phone will automatically restart.
Increase battery life by 30% because phone receives less signal from
*#4720# - Half Rate Code activation.
*#4720* – Half Rate Code deactivation. The phone will automatically restart
If you forgot wallet code for Nokia S60 phone, use this code reset:
Note, your data in the wallet will be erased. Phone will ask you the
lock code. Default lock code is: 12345
Press *#3925538# to delete the contents and code of wallet.
Unlock service provider: Insert sim, turn phone on and press vol
up(arrow keys) for 3 seconds, should say pin code. Press C,then press
* message should flash, press * again and 04*pin*pin*pin#
*#7328748263373738# resets security code.
Default security code is 12345
SIM Clock
Stop allowed
Warranty Codes
* # 92702689 # [* # war0anty #]
Enter the menu of warranty codes. In fact, you do not need, but you
can find them using the arrows scroll menu.
   Shows the serial number of the device.
   Date and year of manufacture (eg 0299).
   Shows month and year of sale (if installed). Here you can set the
date, but be careful – it can be done only once in their life phone
   Date of last repair (if any)
   Sends all the phone numbers, pictures, and calls from one phone to
another (possibly in order to restore). In models with an infrared
eye, this procedure works, and through him

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Problem and The Solution

Having some serious serial trouble here... While trying to find a solution I stumbled onto following. It's pretty informative and funny when at the end when the guy gets the solution!

07-08-2009, 01:46
I am trying to communicate to a serial thermal printer and I can't seem to get it to work. I can work with a serial LCD and my code works fine for that, but I'm not sure with the printer if it's my code or my circuit that is messing me up. Can I just run a ground and serial output to the printer direct wired? Or are there other components I'm missing? I'm new to serial programming and interfacing. I understand the concept of the programming, but I am not familiar with the actual connections.
I am using a 40x2 and
hsersetup b9600_8,%010
hserout 0,($1b,$40)
$1b,$40 is what the printer company told me was initialize the printer.

If anyone can help I would really appreciate it.

07-08-2009, 03:17
Which printer are you using (serial thermal is a broad definition)?

Are you running the 40X2 at 8MHz? The baud setting you have puts out 9600 baud IF the chip is running at 8 MHz.

1. What serial voltages does the printer need? Standard RS232 would have signal levels of +/- 12 volts. but the PICAXE serial signal levels are 0 volts and 5 volts. If the printer needs +/- 12 volts, you must add a MAX232 chip to convert the +5/0 from the PICAXE to the +/- 12 the printer needs.

2. What serial protocol does the printer need? 7/8 data bits? 1/2 stop bits? Baud rate options?

07-08-2009, 03:43
I am using an ICT GP-58
Yes I am running the picaxe at 8MHz.
I match up on the protocols, 9600,n,8,1

I am not sure about the serial voltage though, I didn't realize that part. I will have to find out and see if that could be the problem. Thanks for the info, it at least gives me a direction to go. I was spinning my wheels on this one. I'll let you know how it goes.
07-08-2009, 04:45
I am using an ICT GP-58
Yes I am running the picaxe at 8MHz.
I match up on the protocols, 9600,n,8,1

I am not sure about the serial voltage though, I didn't realize that part. I will have to find out and see if that could be the problem. Thanks for the info, it at least gives me a direction to go. I was spinning my wheels on this one. I'll let you know how it goes.

You are all good to use standard PICAXE serial voltages (pg 7 of the manual for the printer).

If you do not have the manual download it from this link:

A bit of othe info in th emanual that mat help
07-08-2009, 06:02
The manual indicates RS232C (page 13) and that the signal is TTL level (page 7) so it could be +5/-5V not +5V/0V that the PICAXE delivers.

cannot see anything specifically wrong with your few lines of code from what you mention

You might also need to invert the signal.

If the PICAXE is running at 8MHz you can also use:
SEROUT pinX, N9600_8, ($1b,$40)

change the N to a T for non inverted (True) logic level (See PICAXE manual 2 page 173)

Also, the hardware DIP switch 2 seemingly must be OFF for GR-58CR-Mode. The RS-232 is used by GP-58CR mode.
07-08-2009, 19:56
I still am not having any luck. I talked with the manufacturer and the tech support is new to the serial capabilities of the printer so they aren't able to give me much info. For some reason I can't help but think I have the circuit hooked up wrong. I even tried hooking it up using one of the cables supplied with the printer which has an HIN232 chip in it. I am trying inverted and true levels of communicating and neither seems to be doing anything for me. I am not sure if there are start and end of line commands I need to include in my string of serial data or not. I'm pretty much taking stabs in the dark right now. I even tried switching the way I am communicating with the printer by trying different pins on my picaxe. I tried sertxd, serout, and hserout all with no luck. I am sending a command to initialize the printer, and then I am just trying to do a simple line feed. If anyone has any suggestions I am not sure what direction to go in next. Here is the exact program I am downloading and after that are the command codes I got from the printer manufacturer, in case that will help anyone with suggestions.

With this code I believe I am initializing the printer and doing a pause just to make sure the printer has time to initialize and then do a line feed.

SEROUT b.7,n9600_8,($1b,$40)
pause 2000
SEROUT b.7, n9600_8, (lf,lf)
goto main

here is the command set from ICT
Command table
HEX ASCII Description
$00 NUL Prints in small characters
$01 SOH Prints in double width
$02 STX Prints in double height
$03 ETX Expanded printing
$0A LF Forward feeds one line
(n)$0B VT Forward feeds (n) line
$0D CR Prints line buffer
$0E SO Prints in double width
$0F SI Set CRLF mode
$14 DC4 Cancel 0xE command.
$18 CAN Cancel print data
$1B $40 ESC @ Initialize the printer
$1B $49 ESC I Selects Font A
(dd)$1B $4D (dd) ESC M Writes value(dd) in print mode
$1B $4E ESC N Sets normal mode printing
$1B $51 ESC Q Enable underline.
$1B $68 ESC h Select Font B
$1B $6D ESC m Transmits print mode in serial
$1B $71 ESC q Disable underline.
$1B $F0 ESC {} Transmission of printer real time clock
$1B $F1 ESC {} Setting of printer real time clock
07-08-2009, 20:42
Some printers do not actual output anything until a form feed ($0C) is sent - ie all the data is internally buffered until formfeed is received, at that point the page is printed.
08-08-2009, 00:07
I have tried several different variations of commands and still nothing. I know the picaxe is sending the data because I can reprogram the same outputs and hook up my LCD and it works fine. The printer is also good, I can hook it up to the programming software and print test pages from my computer. The download cable, WEL-R079 is used to plug in to the computer and the software can configure it this way. I tried hooking my picaxe up as if it were the computer, I hooked my serial output pin B.7 to pin 2 of the DB 9 connector. If you take the cable apart, inside the DB9 shell is the HIN232 chip and circuitry. So the DB9 pins are the input to the HIN232 circuit, shouldn't this work? I am having fun trying to figure this out. I haven't worked on things like this in years. It's frustrating but I know I can do it. I appreciate everyone's comments. Since I posted I have tried a few new things based on replies and still no luck. I'm not sure where to look next for the problem.
08-08-2009, 00:40
If the HIN232 ( I'm assuming a variant of MAX232 ) can handle 5V signals you should be able to just connect your B.7 output to the 9-way D. Are you sure it goes to Pin 2 and not to Pin 3 ? Be careful not to connect printer output ( if there is any ) to the PICAXE output. PICAXE 0V should go to Pin 5.

You could take a line off pin 2 ( plus 0V ) and take that to a PC serial input port ( Pn 2 / 3 - you'll have to check ) and use a terminal emulator to see exactly what is being sent.

Also note what Technical said in post #7. If this is a 'pen plotter' ( maybe a different printer ) it could well be buffering data until it decides to print.
08-08-2009, 02:37
Thanks for the info Hippy, when you asked about pin 2 or 3 that made me wonder. I thought I used pin 2, but now I'm not sure. I will have to check tomorrow. I had to be torn away from my project, haha, until tomorrow anyway. By the way Hippy, you are correct, the HIN232 is a variation of the MAX232. I am also going to try using hyperterminal or something similar to see if I can troubleshoot it that way also.
But why with some serial circuitry there is reference to using a resistor inline with the serial line and sometimes the use of a transistor. I haven't seen much reference to those components but I have seen some. I tried search for alot of different things to see if I could find my answer before I posted but I wasn't having any luck finding the answers I needed. Thanks again and I'm back at it tomorrow, have a good night.
08-08-2009, 02:55
At the printer CN2 connector (without the HI232 based cable),
pin 1 is ground (0V), and pin 3 is the RXD2 – Input, TTL Level.

Using the WEL-079 cable there will be a signal inversion with the RS232 chipset.
Should be standard DB9 RS232 connections at the WEL-079 cable. But the WEL-079 cable may required +/-12V signal levels.

Have you tried with PICAXE direct to CN2?
0V from picaxe supply to CN2 pin 1
serial out pin (b.7) to CN2 pin 3. Could put a 1kOhm resistor in series as a safeguard until proven.
08-08-2009, 09:35
But why with some serial circuitry there is reference to using a resistor inline with the serial line and sometimes the use of a transistor.

Transistors may be used to invert the active polarity of a signal but that can be done in software with the PICAXE by using Nxxxx or Txxxx baud rates.

Inline resistors are suggested to prevent one damage when output accidentally gets connected to another output. It limits the current so the output pin drivers don't melt and destroy the chip. Because of null modem cables and the like, it is possible to accidentally connect two serial outputs together rather than an output into an input.
11-08-2009, 21:36
I am still stuck. I got more information from the manufacturer, they told me I should be able to direct connect my circuit gnd to pin 5 of the DB9 connector and my output b.7 to the receive line of the printer, pin 3. The manufacturer told me pin 2 is the host Rx and printer Tx and pin 3 is the host Tx and printer Rx. I've tried different variations of the command set I was sent and I still am not having any luck and I am confused. I know it is probably something simple I am missing or doing wrong. Here is what I believe the code should look like. All I would like to do is get this thing to acknowledge I am communicating with it and I can play with the rest of it later. With the following code I was simply trying to get the word 'hello' to print.

pause 1000 'pause on power up to let printer initialize
serout b.7,t9600_8,($1b,$40) 'initialize printer
serout b.7,t9600_8,($1b,$6d) 'transmits print mode in serial
serout b.7,t9600_8,($0f) 'CRLF mode (I assume this means ending each line with CRLF)
pause 1000
SEROUT b.7, t9600_8, ($1b,$4e,"hello",$1b,$4d,cr,lf) 'set normal print mode,print hello?
goto main

anyone have any idea's what I may be doing wrong? I tried contacting the manufacturer about what order to send ascII commands to the printer and they haven't gotten back to me yet. The manufacturer said it shouldn't be a problem making this work, unless the problem is me, hahaha. Anyway, I could use some help if anyone has any ideas. Thanks.
11-08-2009, 23:00
Have you actually tried connecting

picaxe - max232 - pin 3 of DB9


As others have already suggested if it is an RS232C system the 0/5V signal from a PICAXE may not be sufficient to drive the chip (inside the cable) and so nothing will ever work with your DB9 hardware setup - you will need a max232/max202 style chip to amplify the voltages.

An AXE091 experimenter board has this type of circuit on the board.
11-08-2009, 23:18
Looking at here:

You need to make these 4 connections direct (forget about the DB9 cable as it just complicates things):

PICAXE serout output pin - CN2-3
+12V - CN1-1
0V - CN1-2

Then use a N9600_8 baud rate.

You could use the 5V output, CN2-6, to power the PICAXE if you wanted to.
12-08-2009, 02:21
I am almost right back where I started. I'm not sure what is throwing me a loop but what technical just explained about the 4 connections is exactly how I started. But at that time there may have been other factors messing me up. I'm going to start there because I was told by the manufacturer that this will work with the 5V level so I don't need the max232 chip. I will try wiring it back up and tinker a little more. I even double checked again today to make sure the printer is working. The printer comes with a programming cable and software that is serial and I can go in there and print a test page still. I will get back to everyone after I get a chance to work on this again. I hope I'm not being a pest, but i really appreciate how much input I am getting. I will keep my eyes open for times when I can return the favor. thanks again!
12-08-2009, 10:58
You don't need the max232 if you connect direct to the board. You will need the max232 if you connect via the DB9 cable. It depends on how you connect to the board!
12-08-2009, 15:05
According to this documentation...

You're best bet is to connect the PICAXE directly to the RJ45 connector named "CN2".

The document above gives the following pinout for CN2:

1. GND
2. TXD2 – Output, TTL Level.
3. RXD2 – Input, TTL Level.
6. VCC – +5V DC
7. RXD1–Input, TTL Level.
8. TXD1 – Output, TTL Level

So, you would connect pin 1 of CN2 to the same GND that the PICAXE is connected to. You would also connect your PICAXE output pin to pin 3 (or pin 7?) of CN2. If you use pin 3, then ground pin 7 or vice-versa.

The documentation doesn't say anything about what to do with pins 4 or 5. From the names, it sounds like you want to tie pin 4 to GND and pin 5 to VDD.

The remaining pins can probably be left unconnected.
12-08-2009, 15:13
The documentation doesn't say anything about what to do with pins 4 or 5. From the names, it sounds like you want to tie pin 4 to GND and pin 5 to VDD.

Not required - have a look at the pinout of the serial cable - it leaves these two pins unconnected (only 4 wires connected).
12-08-2009, 15:25
Here's another thought...

You may need to do some reverse-engineering. Basically, take the DB9 cable they give you, tap into the RX pin that goes to the printer, and connect that to the RX pin of a second serial port on your computer.

After that, run a terminal emulator on the PC and set it to listen to the 2nd serial port while you "drive" the printer from the commercial software.

You may need to get special terminal software to let you see the non-printable character codes (you can probably find something for free with a little Googling).
18-08-2009, 20:06
I had to go out of town for a little while for work so I wasn't able to work on my little project with the printer until last night. I got more information from the manufacturer and they informed me of the connections I need to make to communicate with the printer. On the CN2 connection on the printer pin 1 is my circuit ground, and pin 3 is printer Rx. So I hooked my serial output to pin 3 and connected the ground to my picaxe circuit and I used the following program to experiment.

hsersetup b9600_8,%010
pause 3000
pause 500
hserout 0,("hello",cr)
pause 2000
goto main

I got some response from the printer with this wiring and program, but it still isn't right. The response I get from the printer is sometimes a continuous roll feed where I have to actually disconnect the power to make the paper stop feeding out of it. Sometimes a few characters will print, then it will line feed a little bit and print a few characters, then line feed, then continuous line feed where I have to shut the power off again. I have tried several variations of the code. I tried inverted and non-inverted, I tried a couple different baud rates, I also tried different timing with the pauses. This exact code is all that would get any reaction from the printer. In fact, if I change the word hello to anything else or reduce the word to less than 3 characters I get nothing. Any time I changed the code or baud rate I got nothing from the printer and a few times sent it in to an error state. The characters that would print when I did get it to print were not even close to what I was trying to print either. For the above code the only characters I would get to print were random n,j,T,@,>,5,/,u/q,% and never in any repeatable pattern that I could see. It wouldn't even print every time I tried using the same code. turn the power on one time and get one thing, turn it on and off and get something else. At least I know I'm communicating with the printer now. But does anyone have any idea why it still isn't recognizing my commands? Is there something I can ask the manufacturer for that I am missing?
Andrew Cowan
18-08-2009, 20:27
Maybe it needs some sort of code to say 'print this'?

Has the manufacturer told you what baud rate to use?

19-08-2009, 07:36
I am new to the commands for printers and the distributor in the U.S. isn't very knowledgeable about the programming side of serial communications for their printer. So I am still waiting on an answer on whether or not I need a certain string of commands to start or stop a line or whatever.
The manufacturer did tell me their printers are 9600 baud, but after talking to someone who has used these printers before, he said he has come across some that had lower default baud rates. So every time I try something I try it at 4800 and 2400 baud also but nothing ever gets any type of response from the printer unless it's at 9600. But the problem I have when I'm at 9600 sounds like a baud rate problem according to a few people I have consulted.
19-08-2009, 09:04
In post #16 you say, "The printer comes with a programming cable and software that is serial and I can go in there and print a test page still"; does that still work ?

If it does, you can feed the serial output which should go to the printer into another serial port and run a terminal emulator to capture the serial and analyse the data to see exactly what is being sent ( as suggested in post #9 ).

If it is a baud rate issue, you can connect an external resonator and add an appropriate SETFREQ comand which will make the baud rates spot-on.

In Post#1, you say, "$1b,$40 is what the printer company told me was initialize the printer" - You aren't sending that.

Have you read the manual which lanternfish identified in post #4 ?
19-08-2009, 19:55
Yes I can still hook up the programming software and print a test page. I guess I will look in to hooking it up and seeing if I can capture what is being sent to the printer.

I did read the manual, and I have been in contact with the company in california a few times a week. They informed me that this printer has not always had serial functionality and it is only a few months old on this product. So the tech support is not very familiar with how it works or how to program it. The manufacturer is over in Taiwan and unfortunately they have been having weather issue's so they are working with me slowly but they are helping a little. Taiwan is who sent over the exact hook ups and how to convert the programming cable to a cable I can use directly if I wanted. But instead of modifying the cable I just snipped the ends off and used the wires directly.

The initialize printer command I found out is more of a printer 'reset' it brings the printer to an initial power up state and is generally used to clear printer errors. That is what I was told anyway, so i have not been sending that. I was sending that in my first attempts, but after I was told it was a reset I stopped sending it. When I have a chance today I am going to try a few more things and I will keep everyone posted.
09-09-2009, 06:56
well, it took me a while, but I finally got this printer working with a picaxe controller!! I ended up finding out that the baud rate is 2400, not 9600 like I was told by the manufacturer. Once I got that part figured out the rest was smooth sailing. Thanks again everyone for all the help and tips while I was working on this thing. Now I can get this project finished up and move on to another one.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My zen (mozaic) side

***This is not a review!

Why: I broke my 2 years faithful Zen V Plus when it left my hands and sailed on it’s final fall on the concrete surface of the road; the blame is one me for handling it so! Later I collected all it’s pieces which were one part display, other part the bottom board and the badly broken display cable. It was beyond salvage!
When: Unfortunately I didn’t have a decent cellphone to help me listen to music. (Actually I like to keep my music separate from cellphone! ) Well, I managed couple of months and then it became impossible to live to the silence; so I did a fair bit of market research and almost settled on a Sony Ericsson Walkman 4GB basic model, but after seeing it in person I was turned off at it’s toy like appearance – apparently I’m one of those guys who don’t like toy like gadgets! I like my gadget’s serious! :D
How: Anyway, so after some more market research and fair bit of nail biting, I settled on the zen mosaic. Actually the shop where I bought this, showed me a Transcend 4GB MP3 player for 2200; and my previous experience with Transcend had been very good! (My transcend t610 2GB is alive to the day – now being used by my Dad! And with it’s marathon ~20hrs playback time it’s a legend!). The zen mosaic went for 2500/- INR ~= $50.

But I liked the appearance and sound quality of the zen mosaic. I believe I’m an audiophile – budget minded though! So I didn’t touch the bundled earphones, but rather plugged in my Philips earbuds and they produced very good sound! (Yeah, very good because they sound like hell awaken when connected to my Laptop with Winamp + Jammix Enhancer DSP Plug-in! This combo has spoiled me! ) Anyway besides, mosaic had very positive reviews. 

After 2 Months: Well, I’m satisfied by Mozaic. It’s good enough with what it’s supposed to do! It’s not the best of the crop, but then at the price it’s got good price to performance ratio. Creative’s software is very good to navigate and quickly apply settings etc. It’s got MTP mode, which helps in quickly transferring files! So I can use Linux for transferring files too! And it’s cute enough that I have stitched a sachet for it – kind of like cell phone cover, but made of cotton cloth and I have also done a frog design on it!

Public Announcement - I found my phone's review!

Nokia 1203


Well, for a thousand indian bucks you better be satisfied with coolsand (The God Thundered!!!)  
Along with the release of the Nokia 1202, Nokia released a similar handset, the 1203, which has only one difference: a new keypad. While not as good looking as the 1202, the 1203's keypad is easily the most user-friendly keymat ever designed, making it a phone to die for at least if you're budget is limited.

Design and Looks
The Nokia 1203 is one of the slimmest and smallest handsets ever made. It is similar to the 1202 in every respect but features a different keypad. The keypad, like the phone itself, is an evolution of design; Nokia have been making and perfecting such basic handsets over the years.

The Nokia 1203 is the beneficiary of this evolution. It is fairly compact sporting small dimensions. It is thin at the waist but features all the functionality of a Series 30 handset. The phone has a flat front and a dotted back that helps in easier gripping of the phone. The most novel feature of the phone however is the single piece rubber keypad. This is easily the best keypad ever made, it is both tactile and provides great feedback, plus it is silent and produces no creaks when pressed.

The keypad's construction is itself unique, and never has there been a phone with a keypad like this. Each key is well spaced out, yet the spacing between each key is not defined. Every row of key is made of raised rubber and there is a flat gap between any two rows. Moreover, each row is flatter towards either end and progressively becomes raised towards the centre. The keys are very soft to press and feel comfortable under the fingers. The soft keys and D-pad are also very pleasant to use.

Call quality and reception is on par with the best handsets in the market today. The phone is not without its faults though, vibration is weak and the phone slows down when typing long drawn out messages or when browsing through menus at top speed. There are instances when the phone hangs or resets automatically. This is a shame because older Series 30 phones such as the 11xx line featured fast enough processors to support the simple user interface. Hopefully these faults will be taken care of in the upcoming Nokia 1280 which may very well be the last basic 'black-and-white' phone from the Finnish manufacturer.

On the apps side, the phone features all applications common to the Series 30 UI like calendar, calculator, organizer, simple games, reminders and alarm clock. The phone supports multiple languages including English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Gujarati, and Punjabi with dictionary support for both Hindi and English. And like the 1202, the 1203 features a flashlight.

At the end of the day, the choice between the 1202 and 1203 boils down to whether you want a phone with a good keypad or one with better looks. Students should opt for the Nokia 1203 as they tend to text frequently.

  • Slim design and good choice of materials
  • Excellent voice clarity and reception
  • One of the best keypads on any phone in the market today
  • Dust and splash proof keypad
  • Good battery life
  • Simple and popular Nokia Series 30 interface

  • Nokia Travel Charger AC-4
  • Nokia Extra Power DC-8
  • Nokia Stereo Headset HS-47


Nokia 1203 Price India
Price:Rs. 1,200
Warranty (years): 1
Color Options:Silver-grey

Technical Specifications of Nokia 1203
Overview Body Type Bar
Battery Life/Talk time 8.0 Hours
Standby Talktime 624 Hours
Dimensions Width 45 mm
Depth 13 mm
Length 105 mm
Weight 78 g
Camera Camera NO
Secondary Camera NO
Camera Resolution N/A
Camera Flash N/A
Auto Focus NO
Display Display Size 1.3 inches
Display Resolution 96 x 98 pixels
Dispaly Type TFT LCD
Colours Black and white
Memory Internal Memory 4MB
Card Slot NO
Complimentary Card N/A
Multimedia Features FM Radio NO
MP3 Player NO
Connectivity Options Wi-Fi NO
Bluetooth NO
Infrared NO
USB Connector NO
Technology Cellular Network GSM
SIM Type Single SIM
Operating System Operating System Java based Series S30 UI
Features Input Type Alphanumeric Keypad
Handsfree Speaker Yes
Flight Mode Yes
Inbulit Dictaphone Yes
Flashlight Yes