Airtel HSDPA [Sri Lanka]

Hi folks! Couldn’t write for about a month I think. But now I m back again with my Brand new HSDPA kit. Well HSDPA means speedy internet isn’t it? But I would have to say that life would be little more difficult and hard when you have Airtel HSDPA!

Airtel+e220

Airtel+e220

I’m using Airtel’s middle package. 600Rs per month, 3 GB free download and 1Mb/s speed. Ya its worth. But the problem is there coverage. It sucks. Not totally. But mostly! I also brought a Huawei e220 modem from Dialog GSM. It’s in good shape after unlocking. Now they both working well. But as I mentioned early I m not satisfied about Airtel HSDPA coverage and their system. Usually when some one tries to connect to a network (as other service providers do) it detects the user and gives the required setting. Like its ‘APN’ and stuff. But Airtel isn’t capable of that. I didn’t get any HSDPA settings when I tried to connect them for the 1st time. So I had to have some calls to a friend (chanux) of mine requesting to google the setting. Luckily I didn’t call their customer care, because after some time I found that its something like fallen from the sky (more..) . There APN was AirTelLive and I gave the access number as *99#. It worked! But first I got only GPRS signals. That’s because when the signal strength is low the modem software detects it and only allows the device to receive the most available signal type. If you are an Airtel data user this would be your ‘Frequently Faced Problem’.  To avoid this you can set the modem only to receive WCDMA/HSDPA signal frequencies. If you are also using an e220, go to Tools -> options -> Network and set the Network Type as WCDMA only. The handy thing is these setting are also being saved in the device. So Linux users like us don’t have to suffer thinking to find solutions to run the modem software in Linux.

So after doing some work now I’m receiving HSDPA signals. Now it only varies between WCDMA and HSDPA (no more GPRS). The signal strength is about 40% but it’s far better than having GPRS. Under 40% of signal strength I got hardly satisfied about my service provider. Also I didn’t find a way to detect my data usage over the month. It doesn’t matter if the Data package is unlimited. But there should be a way to detect it for limited users like us.  And have to say another thing! If you ever thinking to get support from Airtel’s website, then forget about it. Its totally Crap!

………………………Later……………………..

Editing the GRUB ~ HowTo

This is about customizing the grub menu which appears at the bootup. The things in this menu contains in a file called ‘menu.lst’ and its located in ‘/boot/grub’ dir. Its not difficult to edit this but bit risky if you don’t do it correctly. So for your safe its better to backup this ‘menu.lst’ file first. Then fire up your terminal/konsole, get root privileges and type,

nano

nano

 

Now you see ‘menu.lst’ through the terminal/konsole in edit mode. It looks very complex at the very first moment. But if you take a further look, you ll notice that most of the things are just comments. This HowTo explains only 4 useful edits.

 

  1. Changing The Default Timeout

Fined out the following phrase, then all you have to do is to assign the time for your choice in seconds. At the moment its default value is 10 seconds

 

Changing The Default Timeout

Changing The Default Timeout

 2.Changing The Titles

This means you can change the titles which appear at the startup. To do this scroll down the menu until you fined “##End Default Options##”,

Changing The Titles

Changing The Titles

Here you can find all the titles/names of Linux and non-Linux operating systems. You can just edit them! Mm.. Well.. I have edit “windows XP as windows sucksp”. Sorry windows folks..  My bad!

Sorry

Sorry

 

    3. Removing Items

There are things that are not useful for some users. Things like ‘recovery mode, memtest and windows divider (if you have windows)’. Erase the titles and their belongings with no fear. But its better if you can leave them by only commenting.

Removing Items

Removing Items

 

4. Setting up the default OS

This option is at the very top of the file,

 Setting up the default OS

Setting up the default OS

In menu.lst, each ‘title/entry’ has a number starting from 0. So count down the titles from 0 utile you fined the OS which you want to set as the default. Then give the relevant value. Please note that if you have changed any titles into comments, leave them without counting.

            If you are done with editing, finally press Ctrl+x to exit. Then it ll ask to save any changes you made. Reboot the system to check. Then if something goes wrong remember to replace the menu.lst with the file you backup early. You can use a live CD for that. Feel free to experiment further. Happy computing!

Creating .iso Files

Its kind a cool to create .iso images in Linux because it don’t require any special software to do it. All you have to do is to handle some commands in CLI. So put your CD/DVD into the ROM and open up the terminal/konsole. I ll  show 3 methods to do this,

method 0.

              This is my favorite! Follow the code 😉

‘dd’ means disk dump. Actually this has to be ‘convert and copy’, but ‘cc’ is already using in gnu    compiler collection so they are using ‘dd’. ‘if‘ and ‘of‘ stands for input file and output file.This method makes the .iso file at your ‘/home’ directory by its default. I think this is the easiest way to finish the job.

Method 0
Method 0

 

 method 1.

               If your going to use this method first you should have to unmount your optical drive

 

Method

Method

 

method 2.

              mkisofs -o /path_to_.iso_file /path_to_optical_drive

So this is it. There can be many other ways to create .iso files. Thats because GNU/Linux means ‘choice of options’. Enjoy…..! 

 

 

The Flavor of Mint

       At the beginning I was so unhappy about Linux distributions. Because I didn’t found the right thing to satisfy me. So I tried lot of distribution. I tried Fedora 8 (it’s my 1st shot), Debian Etch, Elive, Ubuntu and Kubuntu.

            But finally I found Linux Mint. Presently I’m using Linux Mint4 Daryna KDE Community edition. Well all I have to say is “Cool”! It comes with all the latest Linux packages, and especially it’s a good solution for people that don’t have an internet connection at their home.

            There are some special features I really like in Daryna. The first thing is its very user friendly so it’s easy to work with, and it’s also focused on Entertainment side. I mean about the players, like Kaffeine, MPlayer and Amarok. Yet I didn’t found any media format which is not running in these players! Amazing huh! Usually in other linux distros we have to download the codecs and stuff to run media files for the first time we use it. But Daryna provides all those things in its DVD.

            I have to say something about the ‘Kate text editor’. It makes my work very convenient.  I use it for my coding purposes instead of ‘vi editor’. I use it to code “html, xml, java scripting, c++, c and php”. K3B is another exiting software to use! Once I heard that it’s the finest CD/DVD writing tool in Open Source Software.  When I want to do any Art Work I usually open GIMP.  Daryna provides the latest version of GIMP. It works just like adobe photo shop, but very simple and low memory consuming.

            Some other Software I like in Daryna is Gwenview, Kpdf, OpenOffice and FireFox.  You only have to spend 25 minutes of installation time to experience its taste. I personally think all other Linux distributions should be like Linux Mint. Because its very attractive, accurate and reliable to work with. I think Linux Mint is another tremendous achieve of GNU/Linux.        

                           

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