Tablet Computing: Apple Only?

For those that don’t know, HP decided to ditch it’s tablet computing division last week and let the remaining Touchpad stock go at fire sale prices.  This has led some to proclaim that the tablet market is Apple’s, and only Apple’s – the one true tablet! Balderdash, of course, but sensationalism sells.  However, Apple does have a pretty solid hold on the tablet market that it in effect created – why shouldn’t it continue to do so?  Well, there are a few reasons for it’s current lock, and unfortunately for Apple they are self limiting in exactly the same way the iPhone market dominance was and why it’s been losing ground steadily to Android in the smart phone arena. Continue reading “Tablet Computing: Apple Only?” »

Using Linux to Root the Sidekick 4G (Samsung Galaxy Series SGH -T839)

I wasn’t able to find a tidy all in one guide for Linux users rooting here on XDA, so I decided to post this one both here and at XDA. I was using Ubuntu 10.04 on a 32 bit processor, and the phone is a Samsung Sidekick 4G.

This guide assumes you already have ADB up and running on your box. If you can’t get ADB going yourself, then this method is most likely beyond your skill level anyhow Continue reading “Using Linux to Root the Sidekick 4G (Samsung Galaxy Series SGH -T839)” »

Linux Tip: Permanently Disable NumPad Mouse Keys

I’ve been using Ubuntu with GNOME for my desktop Linux distro for a few years now.  Every so often I found myself sometimes triggering the most annoying keybinding in the world: SHIFT + NUMLOCK.  This turns on Mouse Keys in the Keyboard Preferences, rendering your numeric keypad completely useless.  This is not the most obvious keybinding in the world… and if you do it by accident, you may NEVER figure out how to get it back.  I’ve done it enough accidentally to go to the trouble of disabling it permanently. Continue reading “Linux Tip: Permanently Disable NumPad Mouse Keys” »

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Migrating Openfire Instant Messaging Service

Jive Software’s community software organization Ignite Realtime has some great products available.  One of the best is the Openfire, a real time collaboration (instant messaging) server: it’s open source, based on the XMPP (Jabber) transport open standard for easy integration with other tools and clients, is actively developed and widely used.  For companies needing an instant messaging solution it has a lot to offer and I install it for quite a few clients.

I recently needed to move an installation using MySQL running on an Ubuntu server to a new PBX in a Flash (CentOS) server.  On Debian systems this is a breeze as the package is well maintained in the repositories, but on CentOS it’s a little more involved.  Here’s how I did it: Continue reading “Migrating Openfire Instant Messaging Service” »

PBX In A Flash: Custom Dialplans & FreePBX

PIAF is a great collection of Asterisk tools, and I'm pretty happy with the fact that someone has collected them all for me and put them together in a decent package.  However if you're wanting to delve a little deeper and get into more complex Asterisk dial plan scripting, it can be a bit of a trial to work out exactly which config files you can safely modify without tanking your existing installation.  The documentation can be hard to find and/or follow, especially since material is often ambiguous as to the version of PIAF.  So I thought I'd share a little of what I've scraped together for those who want to start rolling up their sleeves and tackling their own scripting with Asterisk!

For the record I'm using PIAF based on CentOS 5.6 (32bit), which is based on Asterisk 1.8, and my main self-study material is the incredibly well written Asterisk: The Definitive Guide (May 2011). Continue reading “PBX In A Flash: Custom Dialplans & FreePBX” »

Android App Review: Remote Desktop For Your Phone!

The other day I came across a must-have app for anyone who administers Android based devices like cells phones or tablets: SmartDog Studio’s Remote Web Desktop.  This app has some nice polish and great features, the most prominent of course being the ability use your browser to remotely control the phone’s interface.  You need to root the phone to use the app, but that’s a pretty minor requirement.  Overall I’m very impressed with how well this app works. Continue reading “Android App Review: Remote Desktop For Your Phone!” »

PBX In A Flash: Send Email Using Gmail / Google Apps

Recently I’ve been experimenting with PBX in a Flash, a CentOS based distro meant to make setting up Asterisk quick and easy. It comes with sendmail, which is fine if you don’t already have an email system set up. However, most of my clients Google Apps for Business for email and so I wanted to integrate PIAF with existing Google Apps. I found a decent little tutorial aimed at Gmail users that helped me with set up sendmail as a SMTP relay to Google Apps It was missing a few bits and bobs and the English isn’t too good so I thought I’d write my own guide not only to remind me later but hopefully to provide a little clarity for others. Continue reading “PBX In A Flash: Send Email Using Gmail / Google Apps” »

Android Security Apps Review: Lookout, SeekDroid, Cerberus, Prey & Theft Aware

Today’s free app from’s AppStore is SeekDroid, so I though I’d give it a try.  I’m a big fan of security apps given how incredibly integral smartphones are becoming in our lives.  Losing your smartphone these days can be absolutely crippling for those of us who enjoy a high tech information rich lifestyle!  So far I’ve tried out Lookout and Cerberus as well as SeekDroid, and I’m going to go over how well each app does in offering minimum necessary security features and overall value. Continue reading “Android Security Apps Review: Lookout, SeekDroid, Cerberus, Prey & Theft Aware” »

How To Get Amazon’s Free Android Apps From Outside The US

The AppStore is great – the daily free apps to promote the store are a good marketing touch.  However, Amazon’s AppStore has a serious drawback: you can’t use the native Android app to install apps directly if you’re not physically located within the United States.  If you try, you get the message “The Amazon Appstore for Android is not yet available in your region.”  Well, my phone is a US phone, with a global plan from Verizon.  Just because I am using my phone in Canada or Mexico doesn’t mean that I’m not a US customer!  This is a serious oversight by Amazon.  Fortunately, I have a work around that will work for anyone who has a US account regardless of what country you’re in!

Continue reading “How To Get Amazon’s Free Android Apps From Outside The US” »