Accessing your cloud desktop from Chromebook

One of the main reasons for setting up a cloud desktop is that I tend to use a lot of different devices some of which are not very powerful. One of my favorite devices of late has been a HP 11 Chromebook. I originally bought it for a new employee and wanted to check myself how this thing stacks up to do day-to-day computing tasks more efficiently than a standard laptop without all the headaches of running Windows (viruses, endless driver installs, bloatware, malware, ...). We already have several people at work working exclusively from Chromebooks and they absolutely love them. Long story short - I ended up keeping the Chromebook for myself as it's an absolutely great secondary device for me. I can carry it with me everywhere (doesn't weigh much more than a tablet, roughly the same size as a tablet & has a keyboard and is so much more useful than a tablet). Initially I was using it more as a secondary device, but lately I have been thinking that I will not even take my main notebook at all for travels. The problem with this is that I do (sometimes - very infrequently) need access to software not available on such a limited device. Accessing your Cloud Desktop via SSH (I know there seem to be people allowing direct VNC access - but that is just asking for trouble) is highly recommended. I also use RSA keys instead of password authentication. Copy SSH Private Key (generated…

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Vodafone LTE mobile data on Cyanogen Mod

I have had some issues recently with getting LTE (4G) connectivity on the Vodafone Australia Network using CyanogenMod 11 on multiple devices (http://forum.cyanogenmod.org/topic/92919-no-4g-signal-on-vodafone-au/). Turns out that it was an APN issue after all. The APN provisioned by default when the Voda SIM card is inserted (vfinternet.au) does not work for the LTE Data Network. It works with GPRS & WCDMA, but fails to connect when the phone is set to prefer LTE (4G) Networks and they are actually available. It means that the handset will loose mobile data connectivity altogether. There are various APN Settings floating around on the interwebs, but any I tried previously did not fix the issue. Ater needing to call Vodafone support for another device (on GPE Stock Android) that was experiencing the same issue I got given these APN Settings: Settings --> Mobile Networks --> Access Point Names APN Name: Vodafone AU APN URI: live.vodafone.com Leave all other settings at default (for MMS settings see the link to VF Support below). I have tested this for 2 days and works beautifully. The correct APN settings can be found here: http://support.vodafone.com.au/articles/FAQ/APN-Settings

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Sony Xperia Z2 upgrading to CyanogenMod 11

Contrary to my normal inclinations not to buy anything but Stock Android phones I ended up with a Sony Xperia Z2 in a hurry over the weekend (it's a long story...). It appears to be quite a decent handset (with a pretty good camera actually) and one of the main reason to choose this over the other options was that is was one of the few high-end devices which already had a CM snapshot rather than just nightly releases. However similar to their colleagues at Samsung the Sony people also opted to stuff all sorts of crap-ware bloat onto the Android base OS. It appears not to be as bad as the Samsung (who are the kings of crap) mods, but for somebody used to the clean Android experience it's just very annoying. So I opted to flash it straight to CyanogenMod.    by  epct414  Prerequisites You need the Android SDK installed and on your Path - see one of my other posts on how to do this. Get Bootloader Unlock Code Another annoying step which is not required with Google Nexus series. http://unlockbootloader.sonyericsson.com/instructions You will need to enter and confirm your email (WTF?) and need your IMEI number and at the end of the process you will get an update key that is required below. Put phone into bootloader (fastboot) mode Insert one end of the USB cable into your PC. Turn off the device and wait at least 5 seconds. Press and hold the Volume Down button and plug…

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Removing ‘Video Call’ default in Google Calendar

This 'feature' has been annoying me for a while and after this has caused some confusion with some of my clients I decided to go and look where to disable this. Why this has been made a system wide default is beyond me. Rather than in the users Calendar Settings this is actually in the Google Apps Admin Console (https://admin.google.com/) Console --> Google Apps --> Settings for Calendar --> Sharing Settings Disable the "Automatically add video calls to events created by a user" setting. Direct Link: https://admin.google.com/AdminHome?fral=1#AppDetails:service=Calendar&flyout=sharing

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ARD Mediathek offline viewing on Ubuntu

Since I am a bit of a sucker for German "Krimis" as well as some their excellent documentaries I like to watch ARD Mediathek IPTV. However there are several problems with this when you live at the opposite side of the world. ARD has a block for any films that are 15+ years outside of 20.00h-6.00h GMT+1. Which makes it pretty much impossible to watch at a reasonable time in Australia. I also like to watch these things on the plane which requires download of the media files. Install JSON Parser sudo apt-get install jq Download script wget https://github.com/leogaggl/media/raw/master/download_mediathek.sh chmod +x download_mediathek.sh Usage ./download_mediathek.sh -f save_as_filename.mp4 -q 3 MEDIATHEK-URL The -f and -q parameters are optional. -f filename.mp4 (or full path + filename to save in different directory). Defaults to original filename -q quality setting from 0 to 3 (where 0 is lowest and 3 highest quality). Defaults to highest quality Please leave a comment if you find any issues or log an issue on GitHub. NOTE (2014-07-06): If you are only interested in the Tatort series I suggest you look at this script by Felix Knecht (see comment below)

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Ubuntu 14.04 Amazon EC2 Cloud Desktop using LXQT

Using Amazon EC2's free usage tier to host your own cloud desktop is a very economical way to to have a desktop at hand anytime you can not be near one. Since I quite often use Chromebooks these days when on the road this is a particular handy way should I need a full desktop for certain tasks. Since Ubuntu 14.05 is my default desktop on my normal hardware I obviously want to have my cloud desktop running the same underlying OS. However I don't think running Unity as the desktop interface would be appropriate via a low-bandwidth remote desktop connection. For this reason I chose LXQT. If you need total stability you probably should go for the more mature LXDE instead, but I have already tried LXQT on an old EEE PC and was very impressed by the speed and low resource usage. NOTE (Edit: 2014-11-03): Please find an updated (and easier) version of this blog here. I was experiencing some issues with LXQT (which is understandable as it clearly states that it is not a release version) Provision Ubuntu 14.04 LTS EC2 Instance Instance details Connect to AWS Console and go to EC2 Service Choose OS Image: "Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS" (see screenshot) Choose a "Micro Instance" if you want to use Amazon's Free Usage Tier Choose Instance details - the defaults will generally be fine Add Storage (I generally add a separate Volume for /home but default should do) Tag instance (just give it a name to…

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Upgrading Nokia X to CyanogenMod 11 (via Ubuntu)

The Nokia X seems to be a nice piece of hardware for just around $125 AUD. Nothing spectacular in terms of computing power, but much better build quality than your average cheap Chinese Android clone. I have always been a fan of Nokia hardware until they decided to commit suicide by firstly adding CEO Stephen Elop and ditching all of their software for Windows Mobile. The problem with the device out of the box is that is has a horribly butchered version of Android. And by horribly I mean way worse than the usual bloat and crapware that poor Samsung, HTC or Sony users are normally subjected to. Hopefully this is only Nokia's first step to a more open platform, but I wouldn't hold my breath on that one. Before committing to buy this device I made sure that I could flash it to CyanogenMod as soon as it arrives. Sidenote: I purchased from Mobicity AU - which turned out to be a big mistake. Do yourself a favour and go somewhere else unless you have weeks to wait. Boot Mode - Nokia X Nokia Recovery Mode: 1. Turn off your device 2. Press Volume + and Power Button 15 seconds Dependencies If you haven't got the Android SDK or tools yet you need to install sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot USB Configuration sudo vim /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules #add the following line SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="0421", MODE="0666", OWNER="plugdev" sudo service udev restart vim ~/.android/adb_usb.ini #add at the end of the file 0x0421 sudo adb…

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Install Google Earth on Ubuntu 14.04

Trying to install Google Earth on Ubuntu. You could just download the .deb file and run dpkg command, however I prefer to use it via a repo to make sure upgrades are installed as part of the system upgrades. http://www.google.com/earth/download/ge/ Google Keys Note: this should not be necessary if you have use the GoogleTalk plugin or similar package from the Google DEB Repo cd /tmp/ wget https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub sudo apt-key add linux_signing_key.pub rm linux_signing_key.pub Add Google Earth Repo sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google.list #add the following line deb http://dl.google.com/linux/earth/deb/ stable main sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install google-earth-stable NOTE: While this should be enough on 32bit versions of Ubuntu 14.04 unfortunately it turns out that there is a dependency problem with the 64bit version Fix 64bit dependency issues sudo apt-get install libc6:i386 lsb-core The problem is even after the installation of the i368 libraries the .deb file from Google will still not install on 14.04 due to the missing dependency ia32-libs (which was removed). My solution was to download the 64bit .deb file from the link above and extract to a temporary folder and repackage on current system (without ia32-libs). If you find a more efficient way please let me know in the comments. cd ~/tmp wget http://dl.google.com/dl/earth/client/current/google-earth-stable_current_amd64.deb mkdir google-earth-stable_current_amd64 mkdir google-earth-stable_current_amd64/DEBIAN dpkg-deb -x google-earth-stable_current_amd64.deb google-earth-stable_current_amd64/ dpkg-deb -e google-earth-stable_current_amd64.deb google-earth-stable_current_amd64/DEBIAN dpkg -b google-earth-stable_current_amd64 sudo dpkg -i google-earth-stable_current_amd64.deb rm -rf google-earth-stable_current_amd64* You should now be able to run google-earth

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Android SDK issues on Ubuntu 14.04 64bit

Since the upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) I have had issues running the Android SDK Tools. For example this error: ./adb bash: ./adb: No such file or directory Check the multi-arch architectures installed on the system. sudo dpkg --print-architecture Mine only showed 'amd64'. Turns out you need to add the i386 architecture and install libc6:i386,libncurses5:i386,libstdc++6:i386 library packages. sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386 sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install libc6:i386 libncurses5:i386 libstdc++6:i386 sudo ./adb

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