DesktopNova : Automatically Change Wallpapers in Ubuntu 11.04

I’ve been using the Ubuntu 11.04 for quite some time now. Compared to the previous versions, various changes have been made in Ubuntu like the Unity interface became the default UI for Gnome, Banshee replaced RhythmBox as the default media player, OpenOffice.org was replaced with LibreOffice, etc. This enabled me to easily switch from Windows to Ubuntu. I could easily find replacements for most of the applications I used in Windows. But, one Windows feature I still miss is automatically changing wallpapers.

DesktopNova

Automatically changing wallpapers or slideshow wallpapers gives your desktop a completely new level of personalization. Well, after Googling for a while I found that by using an application called DesktopNova you can easily create changing wallpapers in Ubuntu. DesktopNova is a simple application for Ubuntu that automatically changes your desktop wallpaper after a preset period of time. This application works only on Gnome and Xfce desktops. In this post, I will show you how to install and use DesktopNova in Ubuntu 11.04.

Installing DesktopNova

To install DestopNova, click on Applications in your Unity launcher menu and search for Terminal. If you are using the classic Gnome interface, you can open up the terminal by going to Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal.

Ubuntu Terminal

In the Terminal window, type the following command to download and install DesktopNova.

sudo apt-get install desktopnova desktopnova-tray desktopnova-module-gnome

Install DesktopNova

Once the installation is done, you will have to configure the application so that it can work with your desktop.

Configuring DesktopNova

To open the DesktopNova configuration tool, click on Applications in your Unity launcher menu and search for DesktopNova. Classic Gnome users can just go to Applications -> Accessories -> DesktopNova.

DesktopNova

First, you will have to add the images that you want to use in rotation. To add images one-by-one simply click on the Add button. To add directories, click on Add Folder button and select the directory that contains the wallpapers.

DesktopNova Configuration

Once you have added the images you need, go to the Settings tab. Under Settings, tick the checkbox next to Change wallpaper in intervals and enter how frequently you would like DesktopNova to change the wallpaper. Also tick the checkbox next to Change wallpaper every launch and Launch daemon every session(Autorun) so that DesktopNova automatically starts every time you start your system or even change your session.

DesktopNova Settings

Now, to activate DesktopNova on your desktop, click on Modules, select Gnome 0.2 and hit the OK button.

DektopNova Module

Next, go to the Tray-Icon tab and tick the checkbox next to Launch tray-icon every session(Autorun). This makes sure that the DesktopNova tray icon launches automatically when you log in. The tray icon enables you to manually change wallpapers as and when required. Finally, hit the Save Settings button at the bottom. This completes the configuration of DesktopNova.

To start DesktopNova, go to the Settings tab and hit the Start Daemon button.

Start Daemon

This starts the daemon that works in the background and automatically changes your wallpaper. To start the tray icon, just log out and log back into your account. You can manually change your background by right-clicking on the tray icon.

Screenshots

So, what are your views about DesktopNova? Know any other similar application for Ubuntu? Tell us about it via the comments section.

UltraSurf : Free Desktop Proxy Software

UltraSurf Desktop Proxy softwareWebsite blocking is nothing new to internet world. Usually education institutes, organization, companies blocks social networking websites like Facebook, Chatroulette and many others to enhance productivity. Though, I’m strongly against internet censorship and therefore here I’m going to talk about one of the best desktop proxy software call Ultrasurf. There are many other similar software’s like Ultrasurf such as: Your-freedom, JAp and many more but I always prefer Ultra surf over anything else.

What is Ultrasurf:

As I mentioned above, Ultrasurf is a desktop proxy software which connects to proxy server and you need to tweak your browser proxy settings to connect to Ultrasurf servers. Once you are connected to their server, you can start accessing any blocked website in your organization. The interesting part about Ultrasurf is, you can carry it in your pen drive and it doesn’t require any kind of Installation. So if software installation is blocked at your work place, you need not need to worry.  If your organization doesn’t allow changing your IE proxy settings, you might need to find another alternative, which we will talk in other post. I hope this give you a brief idea about what is Ultrasurf and now, lets look into setup part of this useful free desktop proxy software.

Note: It’s a Windows based application

How to use Ultrasurf?

Using Ultra surf is easy and all you need to do is download Ultrasurf from their official site. If proxy sites are blocked in your organization, you might need to download Ultra surf at your home and carry it to your office. You can use Dropbox or Google drive to quickly gain access to Ultrasurf in your office.

Once you have gained access to a copy of Ultrasurf, simply double click on u.exe and run it. It by defaults set your Internet explorer and Chrome proxy settings to use Ultra surf servers.

If you are using any alternate browsers like Firefox, Opera: You need to add following proxy settings

  • 127.0.0.1: 9666

Once done, you will be able to access all the blocked sites in your office. This also helps in removing ISP based blocking. For example, recently in my country most of sites like Vimeo, PirateBay has been blocked and we have been getting message saying “Access to this site has been blocked as per Court Orders”, using Ultra surf you can get rid of such warning and access all sites including Piratebay and other torrent sites. Though I have not tried configuring uTorrent to use Ultra surf, but if you have done it, do let us know via comment.

You can also use this proxy software to hide your I.P and access websites with different I.P. If you have been in habit of using Proxy websites in your college and office, shift to Ultra surf and see the difference.

 

Android Notifier : Get Android Notifications on Desktop

Suppose you’re away from your phone, playing a game or working in front of your PC and you get an important call or a text from your close ones, you wouldn’t want to miss it right? During circumstances like this, wouldn’t it be useful if you received the notifications on your desktop, let it be a call or a text. If you’re an Android user, we’ve got a free app for you that will do all the exchanging of notifications between your phone and the desktop PC for you. It’s called Android Notifier or Remote Notifier, both are the same.

Android Notifier

Use Android Notifier for Getting Notification on Windows Desktop:

Android Notifier is a free app that helps you receive your SMS, Call and Battery notifications on your desktop PC over WiFi or Bluetooth. You install the app on your mobile device, then you download a corresponding app for your Mac, Windows or Linux PC. There is a little bit of setting up to do, but that does not involve any head explosions. All you have to do is set up an active link between your Android phone and the PC over a WiFi connection or Bluetooth.

Once the desktop application is installed, you’ll need run it and give in certain details on what notifications to get and how. It’s pretty easy, like I said before. Remember, you should already have the Android notifier app installed on your mobile and it should be on the same WiFi network as your PC. Reboot your PC and the mobile device and check the option to Start the service at boot.

Now, you should be able to get all your SMS, Call and Battery notifications right on your Desktop in a popup window. If you have Growl installed on your Mac or Windows, then you can select Growl to display these notifications. The best thing about this app is that it’s available on Mac, Windows and Linux, is easy to setup and works like a charm. Only problem, it doesn’t tell you the contact name, just displays the number, so if you’re bad at remembering phone numbers, then this isn’t a very good idea for you.

You can download the Android app and Desktop app for Android Notifier from here. Try this out and see how it works for you.

What Are The Difference Between DFU and Recovery Mode

This tutorial tells you the basic difference between iPhone’s DFU and Recovery modes and what mode is used for what purpose. If you already know the difference between the two modes and looking for just the instructions on how to put iPhone into the two modes read:

Difference Between DFU and Recovery Mode:

What are these modes for and why should I know about them?

If you are a new iPhone user or don’t care about jailbreaking chances are that you might have never come across these two modes and won’t need to in the future either. But if you use Cydia or custom IPSW firmware on your iPhone or other iOS devices you will definitely come across this.

DFU stands for Device Firmware Update. Both of the modes can be entered by pressing a particular series of buttons on your iPhone. They help you update or install firmware when the normal iTunes method fails. Here are some situations when you might need to use these modes.

  • Reset iPhone if your forgot Passcode
  • Downgrade Firmware version
  • Install beta iOS Firmware
  • When iTunes returns errors like 1013, 1603 etc.

iPhone Recovery mode vs DFU mode:

iPhone Recovery Mode:

Recovery Mode boots your iPhone and stops at the Connect to iTunes screen. You can use it to install the latest firmware but not downgrade. You can click on Restore in iTunes to let iTunes download firmware and install. Alternatively, you can download firmware from here and press Alt + Restore(Shift + Restore on Windows) to browse for firmware manually.

iPhone Recovery Mode

The recovery mode and iTunes will prevent you from restoring to older firmware than the current firmware. You will keep getting error in iTunes every time you try doing it. This is because iPhone has already booted and knows the current firmware version.

iPhone DFU Mode:

DFU mode on the other hand does not fully start up the iPhone or iPod Touch. The screen remains off and appears as if your iPhone is turned off but it will be recognized in iTunes and be ready for restoring to any firmware. Since, the firmware is not booted you can downgrade iPhone to previous versions or even custom firmwares with Cydia and other packages created from jailbreak tools like PwnageTool.

iPhone DFU Mode
Learn how to put iPhone into DFU mode:

So now you know the difference between the two modes. Let us know if you have any related questions via comments.

Google Apps for Education : Bringing the Cloud to the Classroom

Google seems to be poised to take over the world, and this is not limited to the Internet. Google applications and functions are now coming to schools and universities. Google’s Apps for Education is streamlining education around the world, making it easier for teachers and administrators to connect with each other, their students and their peers; and, it is all offered all for free.

Google Apps for Education

What Google Apps for Education Offers

When designing Google Apps for Education, the team at Google looked at the increasing productivity and satisfaction that personal users had with the technological innovations at their disposal, and compared that to the technology being implemented in schools. What they found was that, while individual consumers were increasingly happy with the technology at their fingertips, schools were not reporting the same level of satisfaction. With Apps for Education, Google is changing all of that.

Google’s Apps for Education offers schools free use of collaborative programming, such as Google Docs, a personalized start page and Google Sites, as well as communication tools, like Google Talk, Google Mail and Google Calendar. This combination of programs provides numerous benefits to educators.

Benefits of Google Apps for Education:

Real Time Collaboration through the Cloud

What Google Apps for Education provides that few other services have is a way for students and faculty to interact in real-time. Real time collaboration makes working as a group more efficient. This is seen particularly well in online classes, where teachers and students do not meet face to face.

In this scenario, a professor can assign a project to a group of students and place the file within the system for all to access. Students, regardless of their geographic location, make changes to the file in real-time, and when the group is finished, they submit the final draft to the professor via the Google App. The professor can oversee and make suggestions throughout the process, if necessary, because he or she will maintain real-time access to the file.

Greater Accessibility

Schools and universities that have implemented Google Apps for Education give their educators greater accessibility to stored data. With the program, which is entirely secure, educators can access their data and documents with any Internet-ready device. If a teacher wants to check on a project or have a conversation with a student while on a laptop at the local coffee shop, no problem. The Google Apps for Education platform can be accessed anywhere, at any time, as long as the individual has an Internet connection.

Better Communication with Students and Colleagues

One of the foundational features of all Google Apps is communication. The Apps for Education program fosters faster, more efficient communication between teachers and their colleagues and students. A teacher can instantly message the entire class to alert them to a change in an assignment, and colleagues can make plans for school events through instant messaging and email technology.

Google estimates that 14 million students and teachers around the globe are currently using Apps for Education. By providing greater collaboration opportunities through the cloud, better communication and improved accessibility, Google is becoming an integral part of the modern education system, and today’s teachers are thankful for the changes it has brought to their classrooms. How many of you feel that modern education system should be out of School and should happen in real world. Here is an interesting video by a student against schooling. You can find full text here:

This is a guest post by MelCrossMan. If you would like to write for CallingAllGeeks, check our guest posting guidelines.

How To Change MAC Address In Windows 7

There are times when people will want to do thing but remain anonymous. There are many software which will hide the identity of a computer in many ways but the only thing that still doesn’t change is the MAC address. If anyone gets a computer’s MAC address, it can easily be identified and traced. So to be completely anonymous, you’ll need to change your MAC address. There were some software which could change the MAC address in Windows XP temporarily but they didn’t work in Windows 7.

Use Win7 Mac Changer to change Windows 7 Mac address

Win7 MAC Address Changer is a very simple tool specifically made for changing MAC address in Windows 7. Its portable and is very simple to use. You can download Win7 MAC Address Changer from the below location, unzip the EXE file, right click it and then run it as administrator. It will issue the following warning:

Win7 MAC Address Changer

You should press the Continue button in order for the software to work correctly. In the next step you’ll need to select the network adapter whose MAC address you want to change and then press the Change button.

Change MAC Address In Windows 7

You can either write your own MAC address or click on the Random button which will generate a random MAC address for you.

Please note that the real MAC address is built in to the Network Interface Card firmware and can not be changed. All the software that change the MAC address are temporary. The MAC address will reset to original after Windows restart.

Download Win7 Mac Address Changer

Do let us know if you know any other ways to change mac address in Windows 7?

How to Activate Airtel Speed on Demand Service

When it comes to broadband in India, there are few key players which rules Indian broadband backbone. Airtel and MTNL/BSNL has widest coverage in terms of coverage.

I have been using Airtel broadband connection from last 5 years and I always have love and hate relation with them. Despite of their quality tech support, I hate their customer service which is below average and I hate their FUP.

FUP is Fair usage policy which limits your unlimited broadband connection to a limit and when you finish that bandwidth threshold, your broadband speed will be revise to 256Kbps.  I’m using Airtel broadband 1799 Plan which gives me 4 MBPS speed and FUP limit of 50Gb. Being a power user, I consume my 50Gb limit by 15th day of every month and I had to rely on my 3.1 MBPs Tata photon+. Though Problem with Tata Photon+ is, speed is consistent and at times I can’t completely rely on Tata photon+.

Airtel Speed on Demand service:

Here I’m talking about Airtel Speed on demand service, which will let you increase your speed to 512 kbps, 1 mbps or 2mbps for one hour by paying nominal charge.

Here is how Airtel charges for Speed on demand service:

Airtel-Speed-on-demand

So now, when ever I have an important video meeting or important Freelancing work, I usually activate the speed on demand service by Airtel and enjoy high bandwidth for 1 hour. You can always reactivate this service instantly.

To activate Airtel speed on demand service, Go to their page and select your city. You might need to login to your Airtel account to activate this service. It will show you your Airtel DSL id and you can select the speed which you want to activate and it will be activated instantly for one hour.

It will also ask you if you wish to renew Speed on demand ( Airtel SOD) service after 1 hour and you can renew it or it will be deactivated automatically after one hour.

Here is a screenshot of Airtel SOD service running while writing this post:

airtel-activated-speed-on-demand-service

 

I would say, Airtel offering nominal charge but they might like to bring their 512 kbps plan to single digit to make this service more popular.

Have you ever used Airtel Speed on demand service? How’s your experience with Airtel broadband service?

2 Software for Internet Sharing in Windows 7

Imagine you’re some place outside and your friend needs to access the internet through his laptop, but doesn’t have a wireless 3G dongle. The only option would be to share internet connection with your friend, right from your laptop. This can be done natively in Windows 7, but since we are all growing more and more lazier, it would be nicer if there was some software that would do the job for us. And as it happens, there are a few and I’ll be talking about two such free software that’ll  let you share internet in Windows 7.

How to Share Internet in Windows 7

Here I’ll be using two free software that’ll help your turn your Windows 7 system into a WiFi hotspot. Firstly, there is Connectify and then there is mHotspot. If you’re a regular Windows 7 user, then you must be aware of the Virtual WiFi feature that is inbuilt, these two software use the same thing, but make it far more simpler.

Connectify

Connectify

Connectify can be used to create instant WiFi hotspots using your Windows 7 system. Download Connectify, install and follow the onscreen instructions to get started. It’s not hard at all. Once it’s all set up, you can even use it to improve the range of your home router and connect your mobile device, other laptops and devices to your personal hotspot. And, yes it works. You can also use this to share another WiFi network, not just yours. Watch the video after the break.

There you go!! That’s one down, one more to go.

mHotSpot

If you just want a software to quickly create a WiFi hotspot using your own Router or USB datacard, then this is best option for you. Just enter a name for your HotSpot, a password and hit the Start button. It’ll be activated instantly, no messing around at all. However, this cannot use other WiFi networks to create hotspots, it only uses your home network. It can also be used to amplify the range of your router, but this might cause lags in internet speeds.

mHotSpot

Download mHotSpot now start your own WiFi hotspot.

These are the two simplest software to enable internet sharing in Windows 7 or create a WiFi hotspot using your Windows 7 system. Do try them out and let us know how they worked for you.

CPU BenchMark : How To Check CPU Performance Before Buying it

When ever I suggest someone to buy a new custom or company fitter desktop or laptop, I always suggest to check CPU speed and RAM for optimum performance. There are many ways by which we can check the processor benchmark and I will be talking about one such site today. This is going to be useful for people who constantly look forward to upgrade their PC’s and get more out of it. These days buying computer for our daily work is not so easy task. There are hell lots of processors in the market and continuously they are keep coming. Selecting a nice processor without actually using it is definitely not an easy task.

CPU BenchMark : Select best Processor for your computer

There is a website known as CPU Benchmarks, which offers benchmarking stats of more than 200,000 CPUs. If you are planning to buy a computer then it is better idea to land on this website before purchasing it. This site tells you about performance of different CPU’s. These data are collected by testing these CPU’s in various conditions.

CPU BenchMark

All the CPU’s present in the world are divided into several categories. There are categories such as high end CPU chart, high to mid range, low to mid range, common CPU chart, best value CPU chart etc.

cpu-benchmark

Screenshot given below shows performance chart of high end CPU’s from CPU BenchMark site. You can also check the price and last update date of the chart.

PassMark

Apart from CPUs, benchmarks stats for hard drives, graphic cards, and complete systems are present on the site. You can also generate Full PDF reports which shows the performances of various antivirus software. With lots of great information this site is worth bookmarking. You definitely need to check the stats before purchasing any computer.

Go to CPU BenchMarks.

At the time of writing here are top 3 CPU’s in single CPU category:

  • Intel Xeon  E5-2687W @ 3.10GHz
  • Intel Xeon 5-2690 @ 2.90GHz
  • Intel Xeon E5-2670 @ 2.60GHz

Which Benchmarking site or software you use to check your Hardware and CPU performance?