Currently Browsing: How Tos

How to set the Home and Work Location in Google Now Accurately.

Google Maps allows us to select a Home and Work location for quick use to determine Directions and for use in Google Now too .

Here’s how to set the location.

  1. Open Google Maps on your Android or iOS device
  2. Click on the “Person” icon on the top right
    image
  3. You’ll be displayed a screen to enter/edit the Home and Work address
    image
  4. Long press the Home/Work fields to open the edit page and type in the building name or the complete address.
  5. Select the suggestion provided by Google and Voila! you have selected a Home address..

(more…)

Fix iCloud Duplicate Notes Issues in Mountain Lion

UPDATE: Please be very sure to backup the notes file before you do this and be sure this is only used on Mountain Lion.

Ever since I upgraded to Mountain Lion, I’ve been facing an issue where in I see multiple copies of every single Note in Notes.app. Initially I thought it might be due to multiple Notes accounts being synced but turned out it was some bug in iCloud that creates multiple duplicate copies of the synced account.

Thankfully, this has a rather straightforward fix (Courtesy: NSLog).

  • Open your favorite Terminal. (If that sounded weird, just open /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app)
  • Quit Notes.app.
  • Enter ‘rm -rf ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Notes.’ without the quotes.
  • Done.

This clears up the Notes synced to your Mac and on the next start Notes.app will download new copies with no duplicates!

UnoTelly UnoDNS Lets You Access Netflix, Hulu & Other Services From India (and Anywhere Outside USA)

unotelly logo

Netflix, Hulu Plus, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Instant Video have two things in common – They are great services offering awesome content for cheap, and they cannot be accessed from India (or from anywhere outside of USA). People have tried using various VPN services to access these services from India, however, none have been able to provide good enough bandwidth to stream in HD. Another issue is that VPN routes all your traffic through a foreign IP, even for the services which do not have any geographical restrictions. Furthermore, another major limitation is the inability to use a VPN connection on devices like Apple TV, Xbox 360, Roku and your Smart TV.

UnoTelly’s UnoDNS service uses an innovative technology called DNS Direct Connection to overcome these limitations. DNS Direct Connection was developed by Unolab which allows high-speed and direct connection to Netflix, hulu plus and other geographically restricted services in the US. In layman’s term, you can watch Netflix USA, hulu plus & Amazon Instant Video in India without any speed-loss as you would have if you were using VPN.

I have been using UnoDNS for a few days now and totally love it. I am sharing my experience below.

(more…)

Buy Legal Music for Cheap from Flipkart’s Flyte Digital Store

flyte mp3 logo

If you buy music from Apple’s iTunes media store regularly, there is a cheaper (and still legal) way to buy the same songs. India based eCommerce giant Flipkart.com’s flyte digital store offers a huge collection of MP3 songs for purchase at 1/4th the price of iTunes. The MP3 collection contains songs from all across India and the world. The price of each song varies from INR 6 to INR 15 (which is roughy 11 to 25 cents).

I do understand that the iTunes store offers much more benefits like high quality 256 kbps AAC versions, high quality album artwork and the ability to re-download the song on any device. Here is a way to get all that with a little effort:

(more…)

How to Access Blocked Torrents Sites on Airtel Broadband

I recently shifted back to Airtel broadband partly due to incompetence of BSNL engineers to fix the frequent disconnection issue with my connection, and partly because Airtel is now offering much cheaper high speed 8 Mbps and 16 Mbps plans.

The first thing I noticed after the move was that airtel has blocked a lot of torrent websites in compliance with some court order. While I am still not sure why those orders are not applicable on state owned BSNL broadband and Airtel 3G for that matter, I did not want to argue with airtel about this. So I started looking for alternatives. I found a couple of them, out of which the following two are my most preferred ones:

1. Coral Content Distribution Network:

Just append whatever blocked URL you want to access with .nyud.net and the site will be served via the Coral CDN. For example, if you want to open torrentz.eu, point your browser to torrentz.eu.nyud.net instead. This is the simplest and in my opinion the most convenient way to bypass the aforesaid idiosyncrasy.

2. Tor:

Download & install Tor from https://www.torproject.org/. Start Tor and it will open up your default browser with Tor enabled, which you can use to open any site anonymously. Tor is also an effective way to maintain privacy while browsing.

While the above two workarounds will fix most of your issues, there will still be a few nagging bits left. For example, I use Reeder on my macbook to catch up on my Google reader feeds. Many articles have embedded vimeo videos which are blocked. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until they revoke the absurd order to fix such issues. Until then, use the above two alternatives and enjoy!

Fix Boot Logo Loop Issue When Updating Firmware on a Samsung Smart TV

samsung smart tv logo

This is a guest post by Rajnish Jain. Rajnish is a product development enthusiast having around 12.5 years of experience. He enjoys solving complex technical problems and has worked on wide range of technologies including Open Source frameworks, Unix (shell scripting) & embedded device programming.

Recently I purchased Samsung UA40D5500RR. Using a USB Wi-Fi adapter (not the Samsung one which is very costly. See this guide), I got it to connect to the Internet and was prompted to update its software online. By pressing “MENU” -> “System” -> “Software Update” on the remote control, I could start the firmware upgrade. It started downloading the required software from the Internet and then started the upgrade process. At the end of it, the TV turned off automatically and came up by itself.

This is where the nightmare started. There was no LED indicator on the control panel of the TV. The “Samsung SMART TV” boot logo appeared which gave me a feel that the TV is about to start normally. But to my surprise, the screen went off for a while and then again the boot logo appeared. This process continued for a long time. The only way I could completely turn off the TV was cutting off the electricity supply since it wasn’t accepting the instructions from the remote control as well.

(more…)

Using Non-Samsung Wi-Fi USB Adapter with Samsung Smart/Internet TV

samsung smart tv logo

This is a guest post by Rajnish Jain. Rajnish is a product development enthusiast having around 12.5 years of experience. He enjoys solving complex technical problems and has worked on wide range of technologies including Open Source frameworks, Unix (shell scripting) & embedded device programming.

When you purchase a Samsung Smart TV (UA40D5500RR, for example), depending on the model, it may or may not support inbuilt Wi-Fi function. If it doesn’t, then Samsung recommends using WIS09ABGN USB WiFi adapter to let your TV connect to a Wireless router. Samsung has priced this USB adapter at a very huge cost (around INR 6,000) and any other adapter is not recognized by the TV. WTF?

I tried not to fall prey to this monopolistic approach by the company and put myself on work to find out a hack so that any Wi-Fi USB adapter is accepted by the TV. I found this wonderful link which helped a lot.

DISCLAIMER: The author of this article & woikr are not responsible for any damage/malfunction caused to the TV by following the instructions written below. Please continue at your own risk.

(more…)

Say NO to cluttered windows desktops with Fences

cluttered-desktop

Do you have a gazillion icons cluttered across your windows desktop? Do you wish you could organize them logically? Then Fences is for you.

Fences is a free program that helps you organize your windows desktop and can hide your icons when not in use. The app lets you group icons together in whatever fashion you like and lets you rearrange the groups anywhere on your desktop. There is also a paid pro edition which lets you do certain more stuff, but we will focus on the free version for this post.

How to Upgrade LG Optimus One to Android 2.3 Gingerbread

After a lot of delays, the much awaited Android 2.3 upgrade for the LG Optimus One has been rolled out to India too. The upgrade process is itself very simple and requires you to use LG’s phone update software.

It is so lame that LG still prefers to have a Windows PC USB upgrade when Android 2.2+ supports "Over the Air" upgrades. Other companies like HTC have adopted that right after 2.2. This is a lesson, LG has to learn to improve it’s sales.

 LG Optimus One Android 2.3 Upgrade

How to extend your WiFi router’s signal coverage area

wifi signals

A common problem faced in households with WiFi is that the signal strength is not strong enough to cover the whole house. The problem is much more annoying when you live in a multi storied home. There are a few solutions to fix this issue:

  1. Place the router at the most appropriate location
    It is extremely important that you place the router at a location which is equidistant from all the places you are gonna access the WiFi from. In a typical Indian home, this can be living room or a gallery between the bedroom doors. This way, you should get signals almost everywhere. If the router is placed at a corner in your home, you can also put up some DIY parabolic signal reflectors.
  2. Flash your router with dd-wrt
    DD WRT is an open source router firmware which will unleash a lot of extra features in your otherwise “dull” router. This firmware has options to increase the signal strength. More the signal strength, more the coverage. However, this option may not apply to everyone as dd-wrt is not compatible with all the routers in the world. However, it is compatible with most famous ones. So chances are, yours is in the compatible list.
  3. Buy another WiFi router and configure it as a repeater
    This one needs some investment although is probably your best bet. You can configure most routers to join a WiFi network and repeat it. So, you can place the 2nd router at a location in the house up till where you are getting some signals and then configure it to repeat the WiFi network. This way, you will get signals wherever you want in the house. Although, check if the router you are buying supports this feature. My personal suggestion will be to get the Apple’s Airport Express WiFi router. Though a bit costly at $99 (INR 6510 in India), it gives you the ability of connecting a USB printer & a pair of speakers which you can use to listen to songs over AirPlay if you have any iDevices in your home or iTunes on your computer. I have been using one to eliminate the ethernet cable in my home theater setup to my Xbox 360 and it has been working wonderfully without any hassles.

There you go. If you follow any of the above steps, you should be able to boost the WiFi signals in your home. Do let us know about your experience.

« Previous Entries