Droid Charger At A Discount

One item you can really get for a deep discount at eBay is a smart phone charger. A typical smart phone charger at any of the major wireless providers, will cost consumers anywhere from $20-30 dollars. You can find a similar one at eBay for about a third of the price, with no sales tax, and that includes shipping.

If you’re not pressed for time, you can also get one, for a slightly cheaper price, from a vendor from China. Typically, it takes 3-5 weeks for items to arrive from China. I prefer to buy items from U.S. vendors, since the items arrive sooner, and majority of the time, the quality is good.

There’s no guarantee, however, what type of quality product you’ll get from an international order. I typically pay just a bit more from vendors with good reputation, where product quality is not going to be a question. Anyways, a Droid charger at for under $9 bucks is a steal. It beats shelling out for $30 at any of the wireless stores.

Are You Looking For A Linux Laptop?

You might want to try the Dell XPS 13. Dell is releasing a lightweight 13 inch XPS 13 laptop loaded with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. It’s targeted for mostly developers, but is sold to anyone that’s interested. Here are some highlights from the article published by Computerworld.

For developers.

Over six months, Dell worked with the open-source community to develop tools, drivers and software for the OS to work on XPS 13.

It’s a little bit pricey.

The laptop has an Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage. Priced at $1,549, it comes with one year of on-site support as part of the package. The laptop is now available in the U.S. and Canada, and will become available in other countries next year.

The company has described the new XPS 13 with Ubuntu as a developer edition, but will sell the product to enterprises and consumers as well.

Some really great features here.

The joint development effort has also led to some new features unique to the laptop. One is called the “profile tool,” which enables developers to easily set up software development environments via quick access to tools for Ruby, JavaScript and Android in the github repositories.

Another feature on XPS 13 is the “Cloud Launcher” which Dell said allows for simulation of cloud environments on the laptop. The simulated environment can then be deployed directly to the cloud.

Google Play Growing In Asia

I recently got a new Droid Razr on Black Friday. I ordered it online. I have been playing around with it particularly with Google Play. Computerworld has an article about how Google Play is outpacing the Apple App Store in Asia, particularly in Japan and South Korea. Here are some highlights I gathered from that article.

The growth of Google Play in Asian countries has been so robust that Japan exceeded the U.S. for the first time in Google Play revenues in October.

Google Play revenues grew 311% from January to October, while App Store revenues grew 13%.

The success in Asia for Google Play is partly because more people use smartphones and tablets in Japan and South Korea than other countries.

Since the App Store is expected to earn nearly $5 billion in 2012, that means Google Play is on pace to earn about $1.25 billion in 2012.

Remmina Remote Desktop Client

Remmina is a free and open-source project released under  GNU GPL license. Remmina is a remote desktop client written in GTK+. It’s perfect for system administrators and travelers needing to work on remote computers. Remmina supports multiple network protocols like RDP, VNC, NX, XDMCP and SSH.

I currently use Remmina to view my Macbook Air remotely from my Linux desktop. It works great so far. I have it running for a better part of the day. It’s seem to be responsive. The remote mouse and keyboard works perfectly. The screen quality is not quite near as the Macbook Air display, but then again, it’s a remote desktop client.

Remmina is available to Ubuntu and Linux Mint users. You can install by typing on the Terminal:

sudo apt-get install remmina

The Remmina Remote Desktop Client icon is available under Menu > Internet.

Visit Remmina’s website.

Amazon Ads on Ubuntu

Canonical plans to integrate Amazon search results in the next release of Ubuntu 12.10. This is an unpopular move to most Linux users because most Linux users want an ad-free environment. I recently moved away from Ubuntu due to the fact that I have to deal with technical issues every time there is a new release. I have to constantly fight with issues that were previously resolved and now broken again with the latest release. The introduction of Unity just made things even worse. I hate Unity. That’s one good reason, I moved away from Ubuntu to Linux Mint and Mate, since Mate is based on Gnome 2. Now, with the introduction of Amazon search results, in Ubuntu 12.10, will result in more Ubuntu users moving away to other distros. Good luck, Canonical. I hope you think more about your user base, that what actually goes into your pocket books.

Pluma Text Editor

I have been using Linux Mint 13 and Mate, a desktop environment forked from now unmaintained Gnome 2.  If you like to know more about Mate, visit the Mate Desktop’s website. Mate comes with Pluma, a text editor called based on Gedit.

Pluma is a text editor which supports most standard editor features, extending this basic functionality with other features not usually found in simple text editors. pluma is a graphical application which supports editing multiple text files in one window (known sometimes as tabs or MDI). Pluma fully supports international text through its use of the Unicode UTF-8 encoding in edited files. Its core feature set includes syntax highlighting of source code, auto indentation and printing and print preview support.

Install Google Chrome On Ubuntu and Mint

Installing the Google Chrome browser on the latest release of Ubuntu or Linux Mint has never been easy. Just head over to Google Chrome website and download the latest Chrome browser package. Google does a great job of detecting what OS you’re running. Google Chrome is available on Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and openSUSE.

Download Chrome

Once you clicked on the Download Chrome button, you’ll have to choose whether you want to run 32 bit or 64 bit version of the Google Chrome browser. If you have 64 bit OS, you can take advantage of the added processing power by running the 64 bit version of Google Chrome.

GDebi Package Installer

Once downloaded, just head over to your Downloads folder. There should be a deb package. Mine was named “google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb.” Just right click and use GDebi Package Installer program to install Google Chrome. Click on the “Install Package” to begin the installation.

Menu > Internet > Google Chrome

If you have Google Chrome previously, you will see a couple of different buttons other than Install Package. You will see a “Reinstall Package” and “Remove Package” buttons. After the installation, the Google Chrome icon should be in the Menu system, most likely under the “Internet” sub-menu system.

Install Handbrake

Handbrake is an open source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows. I recently switched to Linux Mint 13 and the MATE desktop environment.

This article shows you how to install Handbrake on Ubuntu or Linux Mint.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install handbrake-gtk

Kindle Fire HD 8.9 4G

I was just drooling over Amazon’s latest Kindle Fire 8.9 HD. The 32GB version sells for $499, while the 64GB version is a hundred dollars more at $599. With the Kindle Fire HD, you get a 9 inch screen with a resolution of 1920×1200 HD display. It’s built-in polarizing filter, and anti-glare technology, giving you rich color, and deep contrast, from any viewing angle.

See Video.

In terms of sound, the Kindle Fire HD comes equipped with Dolby audio and dual stereo speakers for crisp, booming distortion-free sound. It’s powered by a high performance 1.5Ghz dual-core processor with Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core, for fast and fluid performance. At least that’s what Amazon claims. The wireless connectivity features a dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi for 40% faster downloads and streaming.

With the Kindle Fire HD, you have access to over 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and popular apps and games such as Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, HBO GO, Pandora, and Angry Birds Space. It also has an integrated support for Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and more, as well as Exchange calendar, contacts, and email. Skype video calls with the front-facing HD camera are free. You also get a free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content.

If you can’t find a Wi-Fi hotspot. You can connect anytime using the Ultra-fast 4G LTE service. It’s limited to 250 MB a month for 12 months with a one-time payment of $49.99 – no monthly payments. That’s one year of service for $50 dollars. Also included is 20 GB of additional Cloud Drive storage for your photos and more, plus a $10 Amazon Appstore promotional credit. You can save hundreds of dollars in the first year compared to what you would pay for other tablets.

If $499 is a little too rich for you, there’s a Wi-Fi only version of the Kindle Fire HD for $299.

Or go with a 7 inch Kindle HD for just $199.

If you’re really in the market for a tablet, I suggest you wait for a couple of days. Apple is going to be introducing the iPad mini on September 12. Maybe. That’s the rumor. We won’t really know until that day what Apple has under it’s sleeve.

Install Alsa Audio Driver on Ubuntu

I recently upgraded to the latest version of Ubuntu, which is currently version 12.04. Version 12.10 is just a little over than a month away from being released. With my Ubuntu 12.04 install, I was experiencing some crashing issues with the Unity desktop which drove me nuts. I ended up taking some extreme measures.

I went and installed Xubuntu instead of Ubuntu. Xubuntu uses the Xfce desktop interface. It’s much simpler and quite stable, except for the sound. Why can’t I get a problem-free distro for once. The default PulseAudio audio driver in Xubuntu was stuttering, especially when playing Youtube videos. So, I ended up removing the Pulseaudio and installing Alsa instead.

So, here are the steps I took to get my sound working.

sudo apt-get remove --purge alsa-base pulseaudio
$ sudo apt-get install alsa

I also had to edit the /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf file. Add this line at the end of the file.

options snd-hda-intel model=generic

Save and reboot.