In: Linux23 Oct 2009
In India, the default download server selected is an Indian server ftp.iitm.ac.in which is very slow and causes very slow download speeds even if you’ve a 2 Mbps broadband connection. This was very obvious when I tried to upgrade to the Ubuntu 9.10 Release Candidate. I was getting download speeds in the range of 10 – 20 KBps with my 2Mbps broadband connection.
The best method is to find the fastest server using update manager itself. This will test all the download servers and will select the best one. In my case, a server from UK is selected. After that I was getting download speeds of 180 KBps to 220 KBps which is more than ten times faster.
Steps to fix the slow download speed
It will do a series of test and will select the best server automatically. After that you’ll get maximum download speeds when updating or installing additional packages. This is applicable to Ubuntu and Kubuntu.
After this optimization, I am getting maximum download speeds in Ubuntu / Kubuntu.
Unarguably, Microsoft Windows Live Writer is the best tool I’ve used for offline blogging. It has a simple and user friendly interface, supports images, tables, maps and video. Further it has the ability to enhance features by adding plug-in. The generated HTML code is also clean and XHTML valid. Some tips for using it.
Live Writer has a very useful option to check your blog’s capabilities.
From the menu, select Blog -> Edit blog settings and select Accounts (you might need to select your blog firs from the Blogs menu, if you’re managing multiple blog accounts). Then click on the View capabilities link.
Depending on the blog, some options may not be available and some of the tips may not be applicable. But if you’ve a WordPress blog, most of the options will be available.
By default this feature is disabled. Enable this and even if there is a system crash you can recover the content (just like MS Word).
From the menu, select Tools -> Options select Editing and enable the option
Enable this option so that you won’t publish an article accidentally without entering titles or selecting category.
From the menu, select Tools -> Options select Preferences and enable the options
It is recommended to have spelling check enabled before publishing your content. This will ensure that there is no accidental spelling mistakes.
From the menu, select Tools -> Options select Spelling and enable the option
You don’t need to go to source code view or select Video insert option to embed a video. You can directly copy paste the embed code in the GUI editor. It is smart enough to understand the clipboard content.
Images can be added from clipboard. For e.g.: you can use, the Windows snipping tool to capture part of screen and directly paste it to the editor – no need to save as a file (If you want better control over file names, it is recommended to save the image first as a file)
Make sure, XHTML mode is selected for better code generation.
From the menu, select Blogs -> Edit blog settings and select Advanced
Images can be uploaded to the blog in normal way (For e.g.: in WordPress, it will be organized by year and month) or you can upload it to another or same server using FTP. This way you can keep all your images in the same folder. (Not recommended for WordPress as it organizes the images in a good way)
From the menu, select Blogs -> Edit blog settings and select Pictures
If you’ve drafted a post in one computer and want to continue editing in another computer, instead of saving the post as a local draft you can save the post as a draft in the blog. In this way, you can access this draft from anywhere.
You can add ping servers so that whenever you publish a post, these servers will be notified and can re-index your blog.
From the menu, select Tools -> Options -> Ping Servers and enable the option
Following is a good collection of ping servers. Copy and paste to the text area.
Split post functionality is useful if you don’t want to show the full post content in home page. You can split the post and only the first part will be shown in home page (This is different from excerpt). Please note that, this may not be supported in all blogs.
After the desired portion of content, click on the split post icon in toolbar.
Live Writer has a good option to insert links automatically to certain words and phrases. For e.g.: if you want to link to the YouTube video site automatically when you write YouTube, it can be set in the Auto Linking. It is better to limit it to happen only for the first occurrence.
If you’ve copy pasted contents from MS Word, you might’ve seen that it produces lots of inline style tags which may affect the layout of your blog or cause HTML validation errors.
Live Writer has a nice feature to avoid this – Paste Special. Using this, we can either remove all tags or just remove special tags.
After copying the content, from the menu, select Edit -> Paste special (Ctrl+Shift +V)
Live Writer supports automatic resizing and styling of images. The image border option is an excellent feature. It has support for shadow, rounded corners, reflection etc. You can add some effects like Sepia, black & white etc or adjust brightness and contrast. A copyright watermark can also be added.
For image resize you can set 3 options. You can change this according to your blog. For e.g.: set the size of “small” to the thumbnail size in your blog, “medium” to the full width of the main content area.
Select the image and you’ll get the image options in right sidebar.
One good feature of Live Writer is the ability to support plugins. The functionality can always be expanded with plug-ins. There are already some good plugins available (I will do a separate post on plugins).
Publish to blog – ctrl + shift + P
Paste special – ctrl + shift + V
Categories - ctrl + shift + C
Edit view – F11
Preview - F12
Source view - Shift + F11
Toggle edit using theme – ctrl + F11
Insert hyperlink – ctrl + K
Insert image - ctrl + L
Check spelling – F7
Microsoft has officially started using Twitter. When I checked just before writing this, they have around 4000 followers. But there are only 3 tweets so far and the last one is updated 7 hours ago.
It’s Twitter day at Microsoft, apparently. Not only did the software giant announce that it would start adding tweets to its Bing search results, the company actually started officially using Twitter today.
To be clear, Microsoft had a rather large presence on Twitter before through its various departments/products/services, but now it’s using the main /microsoft account to tweet. The account is being run by its corporate communications team, consisting of four people.
Source: Washington Post
Microsoft has also decided to include tweets from selected profiles in its Bing search results.
Today we’re unveiling an initial foray into integrating more real time data into our search results, starting with some of the more prominent and prolific Twitterers from a variety of spheres. This includes Tweets from folks from our own search technology and business sphere like Danny Sullivan or Kara Swisher as well as those from spheres of more general consumer appeal like Al Gore or Ryan Seacrest.
Source: Bing blog
In: News1 Jul 2009
Windows 7 beta will shutdown in every two hours from July 1st 2009. If you want to continue using Windows 7 you will need to download the Windows 7 RC1 (release candidate version). It will work till March 2010. From March onwards it will also shutdown in every two hours and will expire on June 2010.
I think this is a fair game by Microsoft. If you want to test Windows 7 before buying it, you have plenty of time to do that by testing Windows 7 Ultimate edition. Microsoft also gains from this policy because most users will upgrade or buy Windows 7 as they won’t like to switch back to the buggy Vista.
Windows 7 will be available from October 22nd. But you can safely buy a Vista(retail version or pre installed) PC now as you can freely upgrade it to Windows 7 when it will become available (offer not valid for Vista Basic).
The estimated retail prices for upgrade packaged retail product of Windows 7 in the U.S. are:
And the estimated retail prices for full packaged retail product of Windows 7 in the U.S. are:
Hello! my name is Hafees. Living in Kerala, India. I've been working as a web developer for more than 5 years. At present, I am working in Flip Media, the leading independent interactive media agency in the Middle East as Group Head of programming team.
Being passionate about technology, programming and photography, through this blog, I will be writing about technologies, softwares, computers, gadgets, photography and anything that fascinates me.