Syncing Google Calendar and Contacts with Thunderbird

29 10 2007

Keeping Google Calendar and Lightening in sync


This works for both Thunderbird caleder (Lightening) or the standalone Sunbird. The choice is matter of taste, since both offer the same functionality. But I fo

und the TB version more customizable (may be its just that I did n’t look harder on sunbird.

  • New Calendar
  • Select “On the Network”
  • Select Google Calendar (if you don’t see this option,then you don’t have the Provider extension installed right)
  • Enter your Private XML address of your Google Calendar (Under Manage Calendar/Private Address section)

Enjoy the comfort of desktop calendering with the features of Google Calendar!

Keeping Addressbook in sync:

Here is post explaining how to sync contacts. using KolabSync extension.


GMail does IMAP

28 10 2007

GMail read about this a couple of days back, but I did not have it enabled for my (all) accounts until today. Setting this up is a breeze on both server (GMail) and client (Thunderbird). GMail Help has a detailed help. Though all you need is this:

  • Under GMail Settings/Forwarding POP and IMAP, enable IMAP
  • Use as imap server in your client. Use port 993 and enable SSL
  • Use as smtp server in your client. Use port 587 and use TLS
  • If you are using Google Apps, use the complete email-ID ( as user name. (you will be asked for password for … wired looking, works though)

Media sharing and streaming in Windows

28 10 2007

audioShoutCast NAS Server : streaming server. (icecast equivalent) Download and install this. Edit cfg file (with Edit Config button). Change Port and Password at the minimum. Restart server and make sure the server is up. (check the logs shown on the window / try telnet localhost <port> from command line)

WinAmp: Download and install the latest (5.5 at this time). This is the media source for Shoutcast server (ices equivalent, less customozible though.  This also works as UPnP server (Cool!) and access your media over http at WinAmp Remote via orb. Now thats feature rich! Wow!

WinAmp DSP Pluggin: After installing, rerun WinAmp. Under Options->Preferences->DSP/Effects, select “Nullsoft SHOUTcast Source DSP v1.9.0” and Configure.

  • Select WinAMP for Input Device under Input tab (last tab)
  • Choose MP3 Encoder for Encoder Type and a resonable Encoder settings (64 Kbps, 22 kHz, Stereo in my case) under Encode Tag (last but one)
  • Undr Output tab (2nd tab), select Connection button. Enter IP, port and password info of the Shoutcast server. Under YelloPages button, disable “Make server public” if you want this a private station.
  • Under output tab, click Connect button. Check Status to make sure this is up.
  • From another mp3 stream aware player (like windows media player) try connecting to the URL (http://localhost:port).

TVersity: This is essentially an UPnP server. Any UPnP client (like SMC EZ-Stream) can connect to the server over the network to access and play your music). This has a neat web interface (that gmediaserver lacks) that doubles as media access over http.

Media sharing and streaming in Linux

28 10 2007

audioWith Linux, this is a breeze :
GNUMP3d : provides http listing of music. Very versatile.

Icecast: streaming server

Ices: scriptable client (source) for icecast. Use ices 0.4 to stream mp3s (deprecated for Ogg vorbis in latest). Or XMMS can be used too, but I like the silent servers like ices. (xmms like given here for reference, any decent distro worth its name should pre install xmms, or at least provide a package). Ices, with its script hook, provides infinite possibilities.

GMediaServer: UPnP server

KDE vs GNOME – XFCE is the winner

26 10 2007

xubuntu.pngI see people going at elaborate lengths to defend or defame one or the other. I have tried KDE way back … After I saw Mike L run kubuntu, I tried it for a short time at home and I guess Iam gnomed enough not to like it. Its just too sharp and too polished for my taste.

Increasingly though, I have a feeling GNOME is getting sluggish. My laptop virtually comes to a grinding halt sometimes. Few months back, I tracked it to missing swap partiton (I wonder how the hell that happened) and fixed it. This time around though, I have swap, a good 1G.

root@snoopy:~# cat /proc/swaps
Filename Type Size Used Priority
/dev/sda5 partition 1028120 90068 -1
root@snoopy:~# free
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 514672 495536 19136 0 9068 117760
-/+ buffers/cache: 368708 145964
Swap: 1028120 90068 938052

I remember trying PCLinuxOS in desperation last time this happened (That was lightning fast by the way) only to return back to the comfort of Ubuntu repository. This time, Iam less drastic and tried the xfce instead of Gnome. So far, I don’t see any hiccups.

Useful Windows Applications

26 10 2007

windowsList of apps I find useful in Windows.




Audio, Video, DVD, Podcast, streaming

  • Audacity: versatile audio editor
  • WinAmp: the simple and complete player, can work as source for ShoutCast server, can also (5.5 and above) work as GnuMP3d equivalent.
  • Media Monkey: more intelligent and versatile player, on the fly reencoding while syncing with devices (slow though)
  • Ashampoo: CD and DVD burning (commercial)
  • PowerDVD: DVD Codec and player (commercial)
  • ImgBurn: Rip it
  • DVD Shrink: shrink it
  • VCdContolTool: mount iso as virtual drive (DaemonTools is a shareware now, but I was able to skip the installation of the SearchBar.)
  • PodNova Desktop client: for desktop and web podcasting
  • TVersity: UPnP server (works great with SMC Ez-Stream)
  • ShoutCast NAS: setup streaming server so local (and remote) clients can access your music. WinAmp can be used as source.
  • Windows Movie Maker: For a change, a clean looking, no bull free s/w from Microsoft

Photo, graphics

  • Picasa: the defacto photo management s/w
  • GIMP: for everything else


  • OpenOffice: The complete and competent office suite
  • FoxIt: light weight PDF reader
  • Vim: The Editor. PERIOD. If does not have the file, try


Adventures in Digital Photography With Linux – multi part

25 10 2007