Hassle Free Contacts Backup ..

If you are the one who flashes ROM every now and then, then you must defnitely have lost your contacts some time or the other. There are lots of backup options before flashing, but when something has to go wrong, it will go wrong 🙂 .. Your sd card gets corrupted, the backup file somehow magically disappears and if its there, then it doesnot restore the contacts. There are endless possibilities of what can go wrong. For this reason, I want to recommend Idrive. What is it? It is a contact backup solution, Thats it. Nothing more. And thats the best part about it.  It is as simple as it can get. Just download the app from the market. Registering is as simple as entering your email and password, and then  it proceeds to automatically sync all your contacts. Within seconds the contacts are uploaded. Just to add, only the phone information of contacts are uploaded . Nothing more, nothing less. But it gets the job done ..  Jump over to idrive for more info.

Move Ubuntu from a wubi partition to a real one!

Wubi offers a quick and painless way of trying out Ubuntu. However it does have some performance drawbacks but the major one is that it doesnot allow Hibernation, which is a must for me. After having played around with Ubuntu for some time , I figured its time to install it as a partition, but I didnot want to give away my Wubi installation. So i decided  to move it and believe me, It’s not as straightforward as it sounds .. And after playing around with VirtualBox , I finally figured it out 🙂 ..

So this is what you need :

1) Live CD of your Ubuntu distribution

2) Two partitions on your hard drive (Can be primary or extended)

3) Patience !!! Lots of it ..

In case you dont hve two free partitions then you need to make them somehow. Since you already have a windows installation, you can use any partition manager to resize your existing partitions to create space for Linux or use GParted as I did. It is better to have the partitions of the same size as your Ubuntu disks. And how do you know the size of the disks? You can find your Ubuntu disks (aka. Wubi installations) under your installation_drive_used_for_wubi/ubuntu/disks . Here you will find two disks namely root.disk and swap.disk . Write down the size and make your partitions accordingly. Also you can directly format the partitions as ext4 although it is not mandatory.

Once you are done with the partitions, you are ready to proceed. Next is boot off the live cd. If you dont have the live cd, download it off the site. You can boot off your usb too, using the nifty utility “UnetBootin“. Instructions to use Unetbootin can be found on its site. Once you booted off the livecd/usb, then comes the mounting part.

Go to Applications>Accessories>terminal and type the following commands

$  sudo fdisk -l

This should give you the list of partitions on your hard drive. Make a note of the two partitions that you made. If you made a primary partition, It should be one of /dev/sda[1-4], while extended partitions will be /dev/sda[5+]. Lets assume the root partition is /dev/sda6. Now mount the hard-drive partition where the ubuntu disks are located. You can do this by just going to Places menu and clicking on your partition. To know the path where it is mounted, on the Terminal type :

$  sudo /etc/mtab

Your newly mounted partition will be listed , usually at the end of the list and it would probably start with /media/XXX . You can also mount the partition manually if you can locate your partition in the fdisk output, in which case you just need to type :

$  sudo mount /dev/sdaX /media/Data

Lets say the partition is mounted at /media/Data. Now we need to copy the disks onto the partitions. For this we will use the dd command.On the terminal, cd into /media/Data/ubuntu/disks and type :

$  sudo dd if=root.disk of=/dev/sda6

This would take a long time depending upon the disk size. For a 30 gig disk, it took an hour for me . Repeat the same for the swap disk.

$  sudo dd if=swap.disk of=/dev/sda7

After the copying is completed , the last step that remains is setting up the Bootloader. For Ubuntu 10.04, Grub2 is being used and I will give directions for the same.

Fire up a terminal from the Live CD for Ubuntu 10.04.
$ sudo fdisk -l (Note the partition number on which Linux resides)
$ sudo mount /dev/sdaX /mnt (Replace X with the partition number housing Linux, 6 in our case)
$ sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/ /dev/sda
$ sudo update-grub
$ sudo reboot

Credits to
http://mundogeek.net/archivos/2009/12/08/recuperar-grub-2/ for the enlightening post &
http://www.webupd8.org/2009/12/how-to-recover-grub2-linux.html for the awesome translation.

After the reboot, you should see the dual-boot screen of Grub2 asking you to select the OS. Boot into Ubuntu and you should hopefully see the login screen. 🙂 …

Post comments for any clarifications..

Put your spare router to good use !!

This post is part of my own experience as i too had a spare router :). If you too have one and dont want to throw it away, then read on. If you have a relatively big apartment, then the signal of your existing router may be dwindling at some places and internet may not be usable at such places. Since you have a spare router, you can configure it to act as  a repeater, so as to improve your signal strength.

Most recent routers are capable of doing this. However if you purchased your router before 2007, you might need to do a firmware upgrade for your router. Detailed instructions on how to go about configuring your router to act as a repeater and also upgrading your firmware (if required) are available at the following link :

WRT wiki : This How-To provides step-by-step instructions for creating a Universal Wireless Repeater appliance: a device that you can place anywhere and it will wirelessly repeat the strongest signal, onto another wireless network (with or without security). This functionality is also known as Wireless Client Bridge, or Range Expander.

So go ahead and give it a try and make full use of the forgotten box 🙂 .

All About WP7S Phones

Mix10 is here and so are the much awaited anouncements regarding WP7S. The blogging world is abuzz with posts regarding the newest phones, the development kits and tools, the customized hubs, the marketplace and its featured apps and even the Metro book, handed out by Microsoft. Instead of elaborating more on it, I would like to just share some of the must read articles out there.

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Phone Buyer’s Dilemma – QWERTY or No QWERTY ..

[tweetmeme source=”puneet21” only_single=false]

About two days back, I had the opportunity to compare the two stalwarts in the android phone market, viz the Motorola Droid and the Google Nexus One. Both the  phones  looked sleek and packed a punch. However the one thing that the Droid stood out for was its 4-row QWERTY slide-out keypad. I currently use a HTC Fuze (yeah.. i know .. its passe.. ) which has one of the best QWERTYs ever to come out on a mobile device and the short experience i had with Droid was very much comparable to that. It has all the keys (include the symbols) that one might need and the key press seems just right. I was so impressed by its feel that if my friends had offered to sell their phones off and I had surplus money enuf  to buy only one of the phones, then  I would hve definitely chosen the Droid despite it having  a slower processor and an older OS. Of course! That didnt happen, but that did lead me to an important question: How much role does a QWERTY keypad play  in the selection of a phone ??

QWERTY keypad on Droid

QWERTY keypad on Droid

Well.. I am sure this dilemma is faced by every buyer and the answer to this depends on what you intend to use your phone for.. One thing a qwerty is really good at is to churn out long texts easily and quickly. So if you are the kind of person who is into texting or tweeting or emailing using ur phone on a regular basis, then qwerty is the way to go. From the gamers perspective, although a qwerty may seem to be a good option , there arent actually many games out there in the market that make “playing using a keypad” more fun. Most of them have onscreen buttons which are very easy to use and some others make use of accelerometer instead.  So I wouldnt mandate buying a qwerty phone for gaming enthusiasts.  If you fall in neither of the two categories (basically an avg user), then a non-qwerty phone wud be the best choice as it would definitely be much sleeker than the qwerty ones. Also, the absence of the keypad could be compensated for such softwares as Swype, which claims to provide a typing speed of over 40 wpm. If you have already bought a phone and miss having the qwerty keypad, then you can look at options like the Logitech diNovo Mini or wait for the Pelikon’s MorphPad to be released.

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HD2 WP7S upgrade not possible – Senseless

I was having my morning coffee, reading my blog-roll and things were going as usual , but jst then a piece of news caught my eye and i couldnt believe what i was reading. “HD2 not upgradeable to WP7S OS” , this was not what was unbelievable, but the reason given for this, was what baffled me. Coming from Natasha Kwan, who is the General Manager for Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business in the Asia-Pacific region, she said that the HD2: “doesn’t qualify because it doesn’t have the three buttons”, which if simplistically put implies the phone will be ruled out bcoz it has five buttons instead of the three mandated for all Windows Phone 7 devices. Huh !! I am sure most HD2 users will be more than willing to rip off the extra two buttons off their HD2s, without second thought just to make their phone compatible for WP7S.. lol.. But as noted by apcmag, There has to be some other reason .. Tony Wilkinson, Business Operations Director for Microsoft Australia, told APC that “there are some hardware components that the HD doesn’t have”. which defintely makes much more sense. Considering the total WP7S experience depends on the smooth transitions between the home screen Start screen and the many hubs. . It surely wont be fun if this is hampered.

HTC’s slick HD2 smartphone seems to have most of what Microsoft wants in a Windows Phone 7 device, except for two buttons too many...

HTC’s slick HD2 smartphone seems to have most of what Microsoft wants in a Windows Phone 7 device, except for two buttons too many...

What would also anger the HD2 users is that having spent a fortune to get the most sort-after phone (one of my colleagues paid as much as 600 euros for it), they will now be absorbed into the pool of “Budget Minded Smartphone Buyers” as Microsoft puts it.  Its far too early to say if the new OS or a stripped sown version of it will be portable to HD2, or the HD2 users will have to be contented with one of the WP7S themes that are currently under developement, but one thing is for sure, Microsoft isnt willing to compromise on any front as far as WP7S is concerned.

Via ApcMag, FuzeMobilityBookmark and Share

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Awesome WP7S themes for Windows Phones

Now that the Windows Phone 7 Series was unvieled by Steve Ballmer at MWC 2010, it was quite expected that the clones of the theme would soon be released for windows 6.1 and 6.5 phones by ambitious and eager developers. However, these have come much earlier than expected and how!!! A very naive version called Metro UI was first released by JaxBot at xda-developers.  Current version of the theme includes lock and home screen with ‘Live Tiles’ for phone, SMS, mail and weather. The developer promises to bring more customization options (changing wallpapers), more smoother animations, ability to rearrange icons/tiles, right-side program launcher and social network integration. The interface seemed a bit sluggish, but I am sure there will be a lot of improvements to it. Meanwhile, another XDA developer Lesscro came up with his own version of WP7S theme based on Wisbar Advanced Desktop 2.x (WAD) and shared a video demo of it and it is just awesome, to say the least. The animations seem smooth and most of the stuff already seems to be in place. Features include :

• Lockscreen with time, date and notifications
• Start screen with familiar blue tiles and links (hopefully customizable)
• Profile settings (WiFi and volume settings)
• Transitional animations
• Pictures Hub
• Games Hub (probably to hold all your games)
• Media Hub for music, video, podcasts, radio
• Office Hub
• Stocks Hub
• All apps launcher in list format
• Weather
• WVGA

Eagerly waiting to give it a try.

Video Previews

Update : There are some other themes also in development. There’s one initiated by looby at the PointUI forums and other by  masrterk again at XDA.
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