Archive for April, 2007

WordPress: Tag Clouds And Contact Form

April 29, 2007

Wow! Just read about new features being added to wordpress.com. Last week I was very busy and I could not get time to visit wordpress.com. But today I read about the new features being added and was surprised to see that now wordpress.com has contact form and tag clouds.

Now, I do not have to think of getting my blog hosted on somewhere else just to have a contact form on my blog. That is great.

How to add Contact form to you wordpress.com blog?

Add the special keyword “[contact-form]” on any post or page to the contact form being added to your wordpress.com blog. You email will never be revealed to anyone. Remember put the keyword without quotes as shown below.

[contact-form]

Warning: There is no anti spam measure I found on it. So be careful as you might receive lot of spam, depending on how much popular is your blog. 🙂

To know more about tag clouds see the official anouncement here.

Happy blogging!

How to disable debconf for automated installs of packages using apt-get

April 21, 2007

I have been working on an application for the whole last month. Last week I realized that I need to disable debconf for packages that will be installed by my application using apt-get. I found in manuals that we can configure apt-get to don’t preconfigure packages by editing file /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/70debconf.

As a quick hack I just commented out the only single line that was uncommented in that file. But that didn’t worked out for me. So, I spent lot of time in searching how can I stop debconf showing up and asking me questions for the bunch of applications that will be automatically installed.

I found two ways of changing this behavior, although only the second one was suitable for me  but I will share both.

First method
This method will change the debconf configuration and so debconf will not ask you when ever it will be called. If you want this solution the enter the following command and select the last (6th) option i.e “Noninteractive”.

dpkg-reconfigure debconf

Second method
This method allows to disable debconf interactive dialogs for a single execution of apt-get. And this is done by changing environmental variables. Got this tip from debconf manpage.  Below is the example apt-get installation of exim4 package.

DEBCONF_FRONTEND='noninteractive' apt-get install exim4

This was the solution that took me so long, I know I should be missing something or I should have consulted the man page on the very first place, because this is the reason they are provided on every Linux.

So, from now on. Read man page before going to Google. Yes, Google has made me lazy.

How to remotely backup your mobile for free

April 12, 2007

As I mentioned  on my personal blog that I have got a new Sony Ericsson K310i and was checking it’s remote synchronization feature. In the research of finding about remote synchronization and SyncML (the protocol every mobile supports for remote synchronization). That is how I found about zyb and funambol. First I will discuss briefly about funambol and then we will see how it is possible to backup all your contacts, calendars and Messages, yes you can backup your SMS messages too and zyb does not charge you a single penny, its free!

I couldn’t studied much about funambol, but what I have understood is funambol is the GPL implementation of SynML. According to Funambol site,

“Funambol provides push email, PIM synchronization, and device management for mobile devices, with all the advantages of open source software.”

Although I couldn’t get enough time to know more about funambol, but it is being added to my todo list to configure and install it on my machine so I can have a copy on my machine too. That was all I know about funambol but now let me introduce you to the Zyb.

Zyb allows you to store your contacts, calendars and SMS messages on their servers for backup. It uses SyncML which stand for Synchronization Markup Language. Remote synchronization does not require you to install any additional software neither on your computer nor even on your cell phone. You can update your data on Zyb‘s server every 10 minutes if it changes that frequently or you can schedule it to synchronized every 12 hours, every day, every week or every month.

After you will log on to http://www.zyb.com you will notice that they claim Signing up is fast, easy and free and they really mean it. It even didn’t took me a minute to sign up and get my mobile configured for synchronization process. Yes, you don’t have to worry about configuring your mobile manually, zyb will take care of it. They will send settings on your mobile and will tell you during the sign up process how you can save those settings.

The most surprising thing is that, it is the first mobile service I have seen that supports Pakistan’s all cellular service providers. I was able to get SMS from Zyb on my Telenor number and was able to sync my data to zyb servers.

This is not the only thing you get with Zyb. They also allows you to manage your data via web, isn’t it great? You get an interface to your contacts where you can add delete contacts, you can add delete you appointments in your calendar and you get access to other information as well, but I didn’t tried any other thing. I also didn’t tried SMS backup feature because although Zyb is not charging me for backing up my SMS but Telenor will of course charge.

You can also set your mobile to automatically synchronize your data with regular intervals, and you can specify how long that interval should be. It was great experience signing up on Zyb, because “It’s fast. It’s easy and it’s free.”

Below are the few screen shots of Zyb interface from where you can access and manage all your contacts, calendars and messages.