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Showing posts from 2013

How to Install Packet Tracer 6.0.1 for Linux

This article is intended to help me remember the installation process for Cisco Packet Tracer 6 details of which seems to be hard to come by on the web.

1. Log in in to your Cisco Netspace account. Yes, you need to be logged in.
2. The "Download PT 6.0.1" link on is on the NetSpace home page.
3. Click this "Cisco Packet Tracer" link shown below the folder icon as shown in the figure below:

4. Select Cisco Packet Tracer 6.0.1
5. Select download location.
6. After completion of download, use your file manager to open that folder and rename the file to something such as "CPT6". It is a shell script so no file extension is required.
7. Change the file permissions to executable using command: sudo chmod 777 CPT6from a terminal window opened in the download directory. This assumes your downloaded file is renamed CPT6
8. Launch the file with command: ./CPT6 from the terminal window. You will get the message:

Self extracting archive...

Welcome to Packet Tracer 6.0…

Android Applications with Intellij IDEA - 1

This article applies to Android applications in Windows using IntelliJ IDEA development tools. Windows 7 was used in this example but the explanation will work for other recent versions of Windows.

It is quite a task learning how to use mobile application development tools. This page describes how to digitally sign your .apk file which is the Android application package file. In short, your Android program file.

Once you have created an APK file to launch it, simply copy to your device and use the Android file manager to install it. The picture below shows the digital signature keystore file, the unsigned APK file and the signed APK file.

The procedure of signing the APK file is quite straighforward but first you must ensure your Java JDK is properly installed and that the Java tools are accessible on your commandline (Windows command console - what used to be called the DOS window). Most important is that your PATH environmental variable (In Windows 7 find this at: Control Panel -&g…

Repair Scratched Video DVD

Video DVDs contain files that are named "Something.vob" where VOB stands for Video OBject. In fact, it is an MPEG video file and can be played by any software capable of playing MPEG.

I tried to make a copy of one of my DVDs for a friend (this DVD is not copyrighted) but could not copy the .VOB files. Programs such as Roxio burn, ImgBurn, CD Recovery Toolbox etc. all failed to read the DVD. It seems there was a scratch on the disc that followed the circular tracks of the DVD which supposedly is the most difficult to deal with.

There are different solutions offered on various places on the web including using banana peel.The one that worked for me was white BATA shoe cream shown below:

The cream is pretty old and almost solid but I rubbed a little onto white tissue paper then placed a few drops of water on the spot and used this mixture to gently rub on the DVD surface. The water helped to spread the  polish.

I then rubbed gently with wet tissue that had no polish but had a drop …

How to Install RIOT Plugin for GIMP

How to Install RIOT Plugin for GIMP:: Since this article was first written a stand-alone version of RIOT has been made available Download the plugin from the download link titled "RIOT as plug-in for other applications"   Launch the Riot-plugin.exe file by double clicking.The installer installs all the files including Riot.exe, Riot.dll, and FreeImage.dll in the location where you installed GIMP  If GIMP is open, close it and re-launch it.To optimise an image, open it then save with menu File->Save for web with RIOT  You can set the target file size by selecting "Compress to size" button  on bottom right corner of optimised image pane and providing the size in kilobytes. Alternatively you can use a slider provided to allow you to change the quality while showing you a preview of the resulting image.


Connecting USB 3G Modem to Safaricom in Linux Mint

This particular modem is a ZTE HSUPA MF637U modem. Click on images to see enlarged view. Let's get started:
OS is Linux Mint version 15. Yours may be older or newer.Plug in the modem to a free USB port and check that it recognises the modem as a drive in the File Manager whose icon is shown below third from left and the File Manager view is also shown with the modem listed as the "MODEM-SDSK" drive: Fig. 1. Linux Mint Desktop Panel

Fig 2. Linux Mint File Manager view showing listed drives at left and Application Manu at top. Click on image to see enlarged view.

3. Go to the Applications Menu shown in Fig. 2 and select Settings>Network Connections

Fig. 3. Network Connections dialogue. Click on image to see enlarged view.

4.  Select Add > Mobile Broadband then click  "Create"
5. Follow the wizard to select the device, country, billing plan, service provider and deafult settings.

Fig. 4. Safaricom default settings in Linux Mint. Click on image to see enlar…

Microsoft Office in Linux?

Yes, you can run MS Office in WINE or even better in Vbox but what about software than can handle Word, Excel and Powerpoint files in Linux? They will suggest LibreOffice, a breakaway from OpenOffice or even OpenOffice.

My experience with LibreOffice is not positive. Try opening a 100page+ document with a lot of tables, graphics, numbered paragraphs, references and so on and LibreOffice stammers badly then chokes.

But since I fled from Windows for a good reason and returning sheepishly to that fold is not an option, I had to find an alternative. The promising alternative is WPS Office Suite for Linux.  It's Chinese but if you run a Debian dialect like I do (Mint Linux) then your search is over. There is a .deb file available. Simple download and double-click to launch the installer.

When you run it the first time it shows the sign-in screen blow in Chinese. The information requested is (i) You name to be used as author name in documents you create, (ii) your initials, (iii) you…

Treating Windows 7 Search Frustrations

If you are a Windows 7 user, it is likely you got very very frustrated with the apparently very very smart search interface that  excels  at frustrating  its user. Try finding a file in your computer that contains "recipe." For getting the right answer, I award you with a PhD specializing in Windows Search techniques.

Just in case you are an ordinary human being like me who just can't get it, here's what I found.

Type the following in the search box: content: "recipe"

See below for a pictorial illustration.

Oh, by the way, if your search term hs more than one word, souround them in quotes. So: 
Not this: content: wave guide

But this:  content: "wave guide"

Installing NGINX with PHP and MySQL

My OS: Windows 7 Home Premuim 64bit Software Installed:NGINX 0.9.5 for Windows PHP: MySQL: mysql-5.5.9-winx64.msi NGINX Installation Download from Unzip into C:\nginx Change the nginx.conf in C:\nginx\conf as per instructions at See my nginx.conf file here. Note that in this example, it is assumed that PHP is installed in C:\nginx\php (unzipped into this folder) and MySQl is installed in C:\Program Files\MySQL
PHP Installation After downloading the zip version of PHP (V6, threadsafe, zip), unzip into C:\nginx\php\ Rename php.ini-production to php.ini Make changes to this file as given in at but do not expect the line numbers given to match exactly. Activate the extensions extension=php_mysql.dll and extension_dir  = "ext" MySQL InstallationAfter downloading the latest VC6 version, run the in…

Free Video Production Tools - Updated June 2017

A list of free or open source video production and publishing tools. Updates coloured orange:
Tubecast - Batch uploading of Youtube videos. DownloadVSCD  is Video Soft's free video editor. Quite descent. I have used it to create videos for my precious students.Adobe Flash Live Media Encoder (FLME) - Live media streaming to popular Content Distribution Networks (CDN) such as Ustream and Kingdom Stream. DownloadOBS -Open Broadcaster Software   is a replacement for FMLE. It's rumoured to work better after you have figured out how to make it work. I don't like their brand icon though. It reminds me of a certain bad number.Deepburner (free edition) - Deepburner is used to creating and copying DVDs and CDs. DownloadRoxioburn - Comes with Windows 7. Used to burn DVDs/CDs and also copy them. LightWorks - Video editing. Download.DVDStyler - DVD designer. DVDs are old school now...Windows Movie Maker. A Windows movie creator. Download.
 Oh dear, its obsolete.Flowplayer- Free streaming…

Challenge of Developing E-Content

The effort required to develop a complete teaching module is considerable. It is similar to writing a book. Unlike a book which is considered in university promotions for academic staff, a blog or web-based module will not count. Therefore, my strategy to add value to the e-content module that I will develop and to self-motivate is to design the module in such a way that it can be released in book format also. That means I will work with two structures but one content-set.

The module, titled "Website Design, Construction and Management" will be divided into three sections:
DesignConstruction andManagement of web sites