Keep Windows and Linux time in sync

Every time I log into windows after having used linux on my netbook there is a problem with the system time. It is because linux treats the time set in your BIOS clock to use the UTC clock, this is a problem as windows treats it to be set to your local time. If you’re using only one OS then both of these choices are acceptable design choices but when you use it becomes a problem. When I’m online it’s not a problem as both windows and linux sync their times with the internet but when offline it’s irritating to look at the clock and see a time that makes no sense.

Fortunately you can tell linux to follows the convention that windows follows, telling windows to behave like linux on the other hand is significantly harder. The best thing about linux is that it makes it’s assumptions and lets you change them to suit your preference. We need to edit this file /etc/default/rcS for ubuntu 12.10

# assume that the BIOS clock is set to UTC time (recommended)

By default the option is yes but we need to change it to no and from the next reboot the problem is solved!

Reliance Netconnect+ Settings for Ubuntu

I had written a post on how we can easily get MTS Mblaze to work under linux and as it turns out, the Reliance Netconnect+ is equally easy to set up and use. Instead of repeating the entire procedure which I have already mentioned here, I’ll just post the relevant wvdial configuration file. You need to add the following snippet to your /etc/wvdial.conf

[Dialer netconnect] 
New PPPD = yes 
Init1 = ATZ 
Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0 
Modem Type = USB Modem
Baud = 460800 
New PPPD = yes 
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0 
ISDN = 0 
Username = 9388****** 
Password = 9388****** 
Phone = #777 
Stupid Mode = 1 

It goes without saying that you need to replace the username and password with your netconnect phone no. To connect simply type this in a terminal

sudo wvdial netconnect

Here’s what I get

 ➜  ~  sudo wvdial netconnect 
--> WvDial: Internet dialer version 1.61 
--> Initializing modem. --> Sending: ATZ OK 
--> Sending: ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0 ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0 OK 
--> Modem initialized. 
--> Sending: ATDT#777 
--> Waiting for carrier. ATDT#777 CONNECT 3100000 
--> Carrier detected.  Starting PPP immediately. 
--> Starting pppd at Mon Dec  3 15:45:39 2012 
--> Pid of pppd: 3981 
--> Using interface ppp0 
--> local  IP address 
--> remote IP address 
--> primary   DNS address 
--> secondary DNS address

Happy browsing with Reliance Netconnect+, I suspect that the MTS device and the Reliance device are actually identical, the only difference being the firmware. As usual let me know in the comments if this helped or if you have some clarifications.

Using the Windows 7/8 bootloader to dual boot linux

In the past whenever I had to install linux along with windows I would install grub and it works flawlessly most of the time. Sometimes however when you’re experimenting with something unusual, it is handy to know how to load linux using the windows bootloader. I used it when I was transferring my ubuntu installation from my laptop to my netbook.
Continue reading Using the Windows 7/8 bootloader to dual boot linux

gprs and wvdial over bluetooth

I must say that the network manager handles ppp connections rather poorly, sometimes they work but most of the times they don’t. The situation is worse still with mobile phones, I have a nokia series 40 mobile phone and when my mts subscription expires, I need to use it for a couple of days. I’ll walk you through the steps that allowed me to connect to the internet using my tata docomo gprs connection over bluetooth.

Continue reading gprs and wvdial over bluetooth

Kde4 map windows key to kickoff launcher

KDE’s equivalent to the windows start menu is the kickoff launcher, being a windows user for a long time before I moved to linux some habits just don’t go away. I tried to change the shortcut key associated to kickoff but as it turns out, KDE treats the Win Key as a meta key. That basically means that just like the Shift, Control and the Alt keys it too has no meaning on its own and must be paired with another key to perform some useful function.

Continue reading Kde4 map windows key to kickoff launcher

Microsoft Interview Experience

A few days back Microsoft visited our campus, this had generated quite the buzz for it is not everyday that you have a giant like MS visiting the campus. They had a team of two people who had come for the presentation one of them was Keith Auer and the other one was an HR from MS-IT. The ppt was same as usual with them telling us why MS is such a great place to work and about the products that they have etc etc, you know the drill. There were two profiles that Microsoft opened for MS-IDC and MS-IT, the packages were 16Lacs p.a. and 10Lacs p.a. respectively. Continue reading Microsoft Interview Experience

Fixing the keyboard on a hackintosh

I installed iAtkos L2 on my Acer 5742G laptop and it works really well, there was one thing that has been bugging me. I couldn’t press ~ on the keyboard and using the terminal was painful when it came to specifying paths relative to my home directory.

After some looking around I found this application KeyRemap4MacBook. As the name suggests it allows us to remap keys on the keyboard and assign them different functions. The problem I had was that I got § instead of the usual backquote(`). Here’s the relevant xml snippet that performs the desired conversion

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<name>Fix Tilde</name>
<autogen>--KeyToKey-- KeyCode::UK_SECTION, KeyCode::BACKQUOTE</autogen>


The best part about this is that it’s an open source project. I didn’t know about the keycodes and had problem finding the ones that I needed, so I asked by opening an issue on github and the author took the time out to help me. I absolutely love the open source community. Hopefully this will help someone else who had a similar issue. This application can also be useful for those who have keyboards with multimedia keys that don’t work out of the box for hackintoshes.

Changing your DNS for MTS Mblaze

For the last few days, the news of Monday being the internet doomsday have been doing the rounds. But there are trivial fixes that can help you avoid meeting with that fate if your system is infected. You can change your DNS servers and you’re good to go, to put it simply DNS is the mechanism that translates the ip addresses that the computer understands from the human readable domain names.
Now the real reason that I wanted to change my DNS servers is because of the problems that I encounter with MTS’s servers, many times you can access most of the websites but inexplicably a few just wouldn’t open up at other times,  it’d show that I’m connected to the internet but no websites would open. So here is how you can use google’s public DNS with MTS.


The picture is worth a thousand words, after making the changes be sure to save your settings.

If you don’t like google for some reason or the other, then there are also other providers that you can use. All of you should check to see if your computer is infected with the DNS Changer virus, it should be noted that it affects only Windows and Mac OS so if you’re on linux like you should be then you’re good to go.

The online journal of Nikhil Bhardwaj