Vital Linux tips


I remember the first time I installed Linux, I had never seen Linux on a system before, didn't want to use a virtual machine and I was going to install it on my new laptop. On top of all these, I downloaded Ubuntu 8.04 Alternate CD image, which has no live-booting feature or even a graphic user interface for the installation, everything was console configuration. I spent hours doing the installation, there were over 10 steps (I strongly think) and I knew less than nothing about ext, ext2, ext3, swap space, grub and root. I got terribly stuck at the mount point, swap file and home partition configuration, I wasn't allowed to get to the next step until I had tried nearly all the options. I was sweating inside and couldn't wait to finish and see if the laptop will recognize its power button. Fortunately, God answered my Jonah modelled prayer, the laptop responded when I pressed the power button. It spent so much time on the VAIO logo display, my heart did a short sprint. Finally, it moved on and into the Ubuntu and my feelings were so mixed I couldn't breathe steady. I was extremely happy I had installed a Linux OS and also miserable that I had wiped off my Windows Vista before making a recovery disc.

That was about 3 years ago, though it's not a long time but in computer world it's like half a century. I, definately, have moved ahead and even installed Linux (several distros) over 30 times on over 10 laptops (most probably). So in this post I will share with your two vital Linux tips, or should I say keyboard shortcuts that I have been overusing.

Arguably the best feature of Linux (for enthusiasts) is that you can can install tens of full feature softwares on a disk space size Windows will use to install just one of those softwares. Take me for instance, my Fedora is installed on a 4GB partition (inclusive of swap space and Home) and yet I run out of space on my 50GB Windows XP partition nearly every month without ever running out of space on my Fedora (please, don't take this literally). In the end I get to have all the applications I want on my Linux, so it is often a task (medium size one) to search out the the application I want to run. This is where the Tip 1 comes to the rescue.
I just press the ALT and F2 key (on the keyboard) at the same time, then a small box come on screen and I type the name of the application I want to run. The best part of this is that it guesses the application as I provide the characters of the name, making it more than easy when I'm not sure of the application's name.

When we first get to know about Linux, we strongly believe it is all keyboard and blackscreen, no mouse pointer or GUI. Actually it used to be, and can still be (if you make it be). So the easiest (or cheapest) way to make it be is by installing a fancy GUI linux distro and booting into the dummy's galaxy of no more, then go further by using the key combination --








On some distros (like Fedora), the GUI is on F1 not F7.

Thanks for reading my blog, if you have any comment feel free to use the comment box. Have a great day.

Android's best kept secret code


Just recently I noticed there was a flaky 3G service (MTN of course) in my room, but my phone seems too comfortable restricting me to the near useless EDGE service. I decided I was going to force my phone to use the 3G service, so armed with my computer, internet access and google, I searched for a way to do this and I was so resolute I won't mind porting a code meant for a USB modem. But to my utmost surprise, I ended up discovering a code (like those IMEI checking code *#06# or Nokia warranty code *#92702689#). This code is definetely android's best kept secret, the code takes you to a sort of troubleshooting settings screen. It is *#*#4636#*#* enter it on the dail screen and as you enter the last character * the phone will switch to a new screen, the Testing screen. The image below is a screen shot of what you'll see.

The Phone information section shows the IMEI number, phone number, service provider network, signal strength, roaming status and even button to run ping test amongst loads of other info. The best part of this section is that you can force the phone to use 3G service, 2G service or any available one with preference on either 3G or 2G! Just sroll down to the Set preferred network type and set the one you want, but it's advisable to set it to one that is compatible with your service provider. Don't set it to CDMA only when your service provider is GSM and don't set it too WCDMA (3G) only if you use your phone for heavy phone calls and not data like I do. So for me, anytime I want to do heavy data access activity, I just set it to WCDMA only, otherwise I leave it at the default of WCDMA preferred.

The other sections are Baterry Information, Battery history, Usage history and Wifi information. But apart from the battery information section that provides you information about the health of the phone battery, the other sections are of little interest in day to day use.

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