Sunday, October 18, 2009

Google Apps... an overview...

Hello! I've been meaning to post something about this, just finding the right (free) time to do so...

To those who doesn't know, Google is starting to campaign more in providing services in the business market, in particular their mail and other web-based services. Google then put all those services into what they call Google Apps.

Google Apps basically is a stream-lined way of managing mail and site services for your domain. The basic services integrated into Google Apps are Gmail, Gtalk, Google Calendars, Google Docs, and Google Sites. To put it simply, Google Apps is somewhat a mail-hosting service for your domain, with a lot more of services to offer.

The main difference of Google Apps with other mail-hosting services available, as well as compared to having your own mail-client server, is the accessibility of it simply through the internet and the integration of all those features together that can be of great use in communication and sharing of various information.

You can easily share and collaborate the work with your co-workers with the help of the services that Google Apps provide like calendar schedules, documents and such amongst the employees or members within that subscribed domain. At the same time, this can easily be managed by their IT personnel because it all boils down to just management of accounts and restriction policies for each employees. No need to maintain a troublesome actual server because Google will take care of it with you, with a 99.9% SLA and 24/7 mail or contact support in case of difficulties.

There is of course a free version of Google Apps, called the standard edition, and you only need a domain in order to register for one (either you have your own domain that doesn't have mail exchange settings, or you could buy one from Google if you don't have one). It provides all the basic features that you and your group will need with a limited number of user accounts that can be created. The mail has the typical 7+ GB storage similar to the regular Gmail, and the typical features goes for the other services.

However, if you need more user accounts and to utilize it more to suit your company's need, like mail filtering and larger storage capacities, purchasing the premier edition is the way to go. Upon purchasing the premier edition, you will gain a mail storage upgrade to 25GB, additional option to create resources (rooms, projectors, etc) that can be assigned in the entries managed through Google Calendar, Postini mail-filtering services, enabling of API functionality, LDAP and RADIUS authentication redirection for those who have existing systems that manage user authentication, synchronization features with Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange. There are still other features that you will gain upon purchasing the premier edition.

To interested parties located within the Philippines, the office where I am currently working provides services in helping interested parties in planning, purchasing and managing their Google Apps premier edition. Just visit our website to check out our company or contact us here if you wish to ask any question with regards to Google Apps services for your company.

For more info on what is Google Apps, visit Google's website for this here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Intel HDA sound issue for Ubuntu Karmic Koala

Hello! It has been a long time since I posted something here on this thread of mine... just want to share this to those who are having troubles with enabling the sound on their machines upon installation of Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala with Intel HDA hardwares... I went through this trouble because I updated using a beta version hehehe!

First off, try to determine first the model or chipset of your audio hardware by means of checking it out on...

$ aplay -l

Then, edit the alsa-base.conf file as a super-user with a text editor of your choice... in my case it was vi...

$ sudo vi /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

Add the following line, maybe at the end of the file...

options snd-hda-intel model=

The model list is listed at this site... it's is the reference site I used to fix mine. Just to share, my unit is a Lenovo Y410, so it has the ALC262 chipset... in the list, I used the "lenovo-3000" as the value.

Also, if there is still trouble, might I suggest to comment-out this line... (just add a sharp "#" on the front)

#options snd-hda-intel power_save=10

Hope this helps to those in need.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Guitar Hero 5 works with Rock Band instruments for Wii

A few weeks ago, I bought a Rock Band 2 Band-set... Guitar, Drums, and Mic... for my Wii console. For reference, my Wii is a modified US version with a Wii-Key installed. My Rock Band 2 copy is of course original since it came with the bundle. I thought at first I made a bad move buying a Rock Band bundle and not a Guitar Hero instrument bundle to ensure that I could use the same instruments for the upcoming Guitar Hero 5.

Well, after "purchasing" a copy of Guitar Hero 5 (game only)... I gambled on just trying the Rock Band instruments just for kicks before I purchase a Guitar Hero guitar. Turns out, the wireless guitar and wireless drum set actually works! Cool!!!

My office-mate has a Rock Band 1 instrument bundle, I'm pretty much guessing it will also work with Guitar Hero 5... Woot!

That's about it I guess... I'm off to band session... nyahahaha!

Monday, July 27, 2009

two (or more) PCs, one set of keyboard-mouse?

My setup in my office desk might look weird at first glance because apart from having 2 laptops, there is also an external keyboard and mouse (trackball)... normally you would just connect it to one laptop to control it... but would you believe you could also use it on the other laptop at the same time without having to replug it?

There is an application called Synergy... it is freeware... and supports many operating system platforms (Mac, Windows, Linux). Just visit the website, , to know more about it. The main requirement of this application to work is that both computers (laptops) are connected on the same network (both computers are connected to your router at home, the one connected to your internet/DSL modem). That network connection is what is used by Synergy to link the keyboard and mouse of both machines together. They could work even if the two machines are running a different kind of operating system, provided you install the proper version for the kind of operating system.

To explain a little further how this works, the keyboard and mouse are connected to the laptop on the left... I'll just set Synergy on how the orientation of the laptops are... so, when my mouse pans to the far right, the mouse passes to the laptop on the right... and it could go back to the other laptop on the left just by scrolling back to the far left.

The limitations of this however is that only the control of the mouse and keyboard is shared between the two computers and also when you copy-cut-paste text from one to the other... you cannot however drag a window to the other computer's desktop, or copy-cut-paste files from one computer to the other.

Since I am a Linux user... I will tell you an easy way to install it. Just type the following commands in a terminal window to install it:

sudo apt-get install synergy quicksynergy

This will install both the application Synergy and a GUI to control it (QuickSynergy).

Sorry if I am unable to post some snapshots of the application itself in action... maybe next time... If you are interested in this application and needs help configuring it... just post a comment and let's see what happens.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Workaround for Huawei E1552 and Ubuntu Jaunty (Linux)

Hello... as I was wondering if there are updates with regards to my HSDPA dongle, the Huawei E1552... actually there is...

Before I post the fix for this... acknowledgments and kudos to the owner of the website I read and took this from...

Here’s what I did under Ubuntu 9.04 for my Huawei E1552 Globe Tattoo device:

  1. install the udev-extras package

    sudo apt-get install udev-extras
  2. create a file called /etc/udev/rules.d/62-option-modem-modeswitch.rules, and paste this line:

    ATTRS{idVendor}=="12d1", ATTRS{idProduct}=="1446,
    -v 0x%s{idVendor} -p 0x%s{idProduct} -t option-zerocd"
  3. restart udev
               sudo /etc/init.d/udev restart

Now plug-in the Tattoo device. If you’re watching /var/log/messages, you should see the kernel detecting the device as a mass storage device, then disconnecting the device, then finally detecting it as a USB GSM modem. (Interestingly, lsusb reports the device to be a Huawei E620 USB Modem.)

If your device isn’t detected properly, try changing the values for idVendor and idProduct in Step 2 above. Use lsusb -v to find the values for your device. Also make sure that the rules file you saved in /etc/udev/rules.d/ has a higher number prefix than the similary-named rules file in /lib/udev/rules.d/.

You should then create a mobile broadband network connection via the NetworkManager applet. I changed the APN to

Sometimes when I try to connect, the modem will properly authenticate but then hang up. I just keep trying to connect until I am prompted for the password (globe). Connection usually succeeds after that. Still, I feel my connection is too slow. I have no way of determining if I’m connected to HSDPA or 3G or GPRS. Maybe someone out there can find out.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pidgin Update for Yahoo! Bug

Hi guys... just want to update with regards to my previous post regarding the Pidgin issues with Yahoo! IM accounts...

There has been a release with regards to a fix of the Yahoo! log-in problem that has been encountered over the past few days... the permanent and stable fix is to update to the latest version of Pidgin, which is version 2.5.7 ... the default version installed in Ubuntu Jaunty is version 2.5.5 or might even be lower, which has exhibited the log-in problems...

To get the latest version, just download the installer at or at

For Ubuntu users... copy and paste the following on a Terminal Command Line...

sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver \ 67265eb522bdd6b1c69e66ed7fb8bee0a1f196a8

echo deb \ `lsb_release --short --codename` main | \
sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pidgin-ppa.list

This will include the latest release updates of Pidgin when you run the Update Manager... To those who do not wish to "update" your whole installation of Ubuntu... simply run this command...

sudo apt-get install pidgin

If I'm right... this will just update your current version of Pidgin... and nothing else...

Hope this helps.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pidgin Issues after recent Ubuntu update...

To those linux-OS users with Pidgin as their IM messenger application, or even those with Windows... this might be useful if you have troubles connecting with your Yahoo accounts.

Just noticed that after the latest patch release by Ubuntu, which includes an update to Pidgin... I had this unusual trouble of trying to connect to my Yahoo messenger account. After reading some forum helpdesk sites of Ubuntu, it was indeed also experienced by some users. Apparently, the latest version has an "isolated" case of having trouble connecting to To try and fix this problem, just "edit" your account profile and go to the advanced tab where the network details of yahoo are placed. Replaced with the direct IP address, which is "".

This fix worked for me after being applied. Hope this helps...

Referencing this solution to the help forums...

CentOS 5.3 and Oracle 10g

I've posted before that I was undertaking a project wherein I have to prep-up a machine with CentOS 5.3 for use with an Oracle DB version 10g... Here is just a small update, and maybe useful to those also who are undertaking this matter.

My main issues with CentOS was the package dependencies and requirements prior to installation of the Oracle DB application. I followed an installation manual on the website of Oracle ( ), but reading on it will show that it only mentions about RHEL4 and not RHEL5. Taking on a gamble and much readings over the internet, they differ little with each other in terms of setting-up and requirements.

One thing worth mentioning here is the 3 dependency packages mentioned as a requirement for Oracle, in particular gnome-libs, xscreensaver, and pdksh. I'll just quickly discuss my findings and as to how I dealt with those packages...

  • gnome-libs is stated that it is not installed if u do "rpm -q" ... if you can install it manually by downloading the packages over the internet, might as well do so. In my case however, I just tried my best and installed GTK and glib packages since some of its library dependency matches.
  • pdksh has been phased out and been replaced with ksh package upon release of RHEL 5, so don't worry about this one.
  • xscreensaver has been phased out as well and been replaced with something called gnome-screensaver or something similar.

After going through this ordeal. I managed to finally install Oracle version without any more fuss. Hope this helps to those seeking some answers to this one.

Monday, June 15, 2009

CentOS Linux Distro Fiasco

My current tasks that I've been doing for the past few days involves deploying a machine with CentOS...

In a brief nutshell... CentOS is another kind of Linux-based operating system distribution. For comparison, Ubuntu originated or branched from Debian... and the direct counterpart of Debian is RedHat... CentOS was derived from RedHat. Since RedHat became a paid consumer OS, its popularity dropped a bit, but over the past few years CentOS was derived from RedHat and is released as a free operating system similar to Ubuntu.

CentOS shows characteristics and functionalities that originated from RedHat, and is more customizable and tailored to specific needs since it, CentOS, is used usually for server-based applications and database servers. The most common database deployment is the use of Oracle.

One main reason why CentOS didn't turn out quite a hit amongst open-source users is that it is not a forgiving operating system and is quite tedious to setup for the desired task it will handle. Since CentOS came from RedHat, it uses YUM for package management... which I find crappy and hard to use with respect to dependency library issues... apt-get from Debian works like a charm compared to yum.

I'm finding it very hard to just setup the machine with CentOS and the packages needed in order to deploy an Oracle Database server. I am already utilizing other package managers like smart and an apt-get for CentOS to handle the dependency libraries... sadly it is still giving me one hell of a time just trying to install one package at a time.

I just hope I still have the patience to finish this before mid of this week... deadlines are so much fun...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Globe Tattoo and Huawei E1552

I was planning to purchase a prepaid broadband dongle for my laptop, and when the promo launched by Yahoo! and Globe Telecoms sprung up... well, I decided to do it at that time. The regular price of the kit is Php 1,895 (around $40) inclusive of Php 100 load... the promo price was less Php 200.

The dongle that was included in the package was a Huawei E1552, which has a built in micro-SD card reader that acts as an additional portable storage expansion slot. The dongle was good and all... inside there were setup programs and drivers for it on Windows-based platforms... the bad thing however was that... the model of the dongle is still quite new, and therefore Linux is still unable to support the said device... damn!

As for the performance of the broadband internet connection, I find it satisfactory and well within the expected performance with respect to what you paid for... connection is spiking to around 100 kB/sec... the rate being charged is Php 5 / 15 mins usage... or Php 20 / hour ... not bad... except that it doesn't work yet with Linux.

I hope this small matter will be fixed in the near future.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Panic and PS3 at the office...

The Friday was technically going fine and normal... most of the people already feeling the weekend fever... not counting the heavy rain downpour... sadly, it didn't went as I had hoped for the day to happen.

The day was supposedly coming to an end, with little or minor tasks left to deal with... and on the siesta afternoon time, calamity struck... the power went out... I was already anticipating this was going to happen because of the strong gush of wind from the outside, so I was the first to arrive at our server room... safe shutdown procedures were started since our UPS won't last that long... quick rounds were done around the office to check if other machines and equipment are needed of immediate attention because of the blackout. A very tense 20 or 30 minutes until power was restored. Nothing serious was experienced and things went smoothly once again. But this incident really reminded me how bloody the situation can change with a blink of an eye... and the nightmare of Sys Ads in dealing with power outage.

At the end of the day, since it was the night towards another weekend, the office has yet turned into a fun-house... PS3 (with Soul Caliber 4), CS 1.6 network tourney, and Wii (Rockband) were the main events in the office. I wanted to try out the Soul Caliber in PS3... so most of my time was spent studying the movesets of Kilik and the Korean Guy that looks like a pirate.

I guess this just says that I should always be at my toes... ready for anything "wrong" that might happen.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

the reason why people stick to Windows... false!

Because of my current line of work, I've been deeply exposed into the utilization of Linux-based systems and servers, and due to that I started to appreciate the flexibility and power of what Linux can actually do as compared to Windblows (Windows). Yet most people still stick on to Windows, not just because their purchased machine came with it or so that they could play games, is because that Microsoft provides support and "liability" upon usage of their products... which is greatly misunderstood and mistaken.

To state a fact, not one operating system available in the (consumer) market is fault-tolerant and susceptible to errors. Even in the open-source community, it has been stressed that Linux and Windows are just as robust as each other, and each still has it's ups and downs. However, the stigma that since Linux-based OS are open source, in which you can't ask anyone for help if you stumbled into trouble, still sticks into society... but this is completely false. I think that Linux-based systems, in particular the widely popular distribution/flavor Ubuntu, has more help support (forums) over the internet than Windows.

People think that when they use Windows, they can "sue" Microsoft if "it" ruins their system, most applicable to corporate or enterprise level systems. But looking at the EULA (yep, the one you just scroll down and select "I agree"), it is stated there that Microsoft products are not fool-proof and therefore Microsoft has no liability on the damages their product can incur. With this, they are just practically the same as Linux, only you just paid Microsoft to use their applications.

I could say that open source is the way to go... it's free... and more flexible than Windows. I admit I still keep my Windows OS copy because I already paid for it before, but oftentimes I use my Ubuntu-partition, most especially on more detailed tasks as a Systems Administrator... but this still goes for ordinary users that just needs all the basic internet, office and multimedia functions. But apart from the basic necessities, photo and video editing are also possible in Linux-based systems. The best part of it, Linux doesn't have any virus to plague you.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

First post... part of my "change" phase...

Good day to all! I've decided that I would expand a bit further my past time of blogging. Over the past year, I only posted my blogs in my multiply account and within the boundaries of my friends as my readers. However, based on my accounts, I think there could be some people who would interest in reading my work and my experiences in a life as a Systems Administrator.

Most probably, the contents of my posts are usually about accounts of my day-to-day experiences that are somewhat technical, combined with some drama I stumble upon once in a while. Sometimes, the title of my post begins with the "Transition Chronicles", because currently that is the name of the blog-series I am currently making. Those snippet titles indicate a phase or current situation I am encountering in my life.

I hope that this goes well and probably become a new hobby as a semi-tech blogger.