VoIP client for Ubuntu II

After upgrading to Ubuntu 11 (Natty) I did some further research on VoIP clients (SIP) for Ubuntu Linux as XLite seems horribly out of date now. I came across QuteCom (formerly WengoPhone) and from first testing it seems to work quite well. The install is easy as it's part of the Ubuntu Community Software (Universe) and that means it can be installed via apt-get, Software Center or Synaptic. So far the early testing has been very positive and the interface seems quite workable as well as having a number of other instant messaging options available.

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KeePass Version 2 on Ubuntu

EDIT: As of Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) this is now much easier as KeePass 2 has finally made it into the repositories apt-get install keepass2 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If you need to read KeepPass 2 data files (.kdbx) on Ubuntu (as well as from other platforms such as Windows or Android) you need to run the Portable Version under Mono (.NET Runtime). Make sure you download the Portable Version 2.x from http://keepass.info/download.html The default Mono Distribution on Ubuntu (V11 Natty) is missing a few dependencies required for KeePassX apt-get install libmono-accessibility2.0-cil libmono-addins-gui0.2-cil libmono-addins0.2-cil libmono-cairo2.0-cil libmono-corlib2.0-cil libmono-data-tds2.0-cil libmono-i18n-west2.0-cil libmono-management2.0-cil libmono-messaging2.0-cil libmono-posix2.0-cil libmono-security2.0-cil libmono-sharpzip2.84-cil libmono-sqlite2.0-cil libmono-system-data2.0-cil libmono-system-messaging2.0-cil libmono-system-runtime2.0-cil libmono-system-web2.0-cil libmono-system2.0-cil libmono-wcf3.0-cil libmono-webbrowser0.5-cil libmono-winforms2.0-cil libmono2.0-cil mono-2.0-gac mono-csharp-shell mono-gac mono-gmcs mono-runtime ubuntu-mono You should be able to start by: mono KeePass.exe Further info: http://keepass.info/help/v2/setup.html#mono

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My mobile personal learning environment

Taking part in MobiMOOC has given me the opportunity to take stock of my own MobilePLE - the top 5 tools I find most useful as part of my ongoing learning.   Catch Notes (previously 3Bananas) - mobile note taking the most critical component. Whenever I get a new device - this is what has to be installed as one of the first actions. For those not familiar with this software - it's like Evernote without the bloat. TwiDroyd - mobile Twitter / Status.Net client. This could be replaced by similar Twitter clients GoogleReader - RSS reader client Flickr - image upload and sharing FourSquare - location based sharing   These are the main applications I use pretty much constantly, however here are some other useful services I use regularily:   Delicious - Online Bookmarking (this is an old one, but a good one). Unfortunately there are not a great deal of mobile interfaces for Delicious as Yahoo has publicly stated that it is trying to offload the project Pixelpipe - universal uploader (upload to multiple services such as Flickr, Picasa, Youtube from mobile) BeyondPod - podcast client GoogleGoggles - image recognition software to allow searches based on camera input Zxing Barcode Scan - open source barcode scanner (QR codes as well as EAN type) Wordpress Client - mobile client to edit wordpress blogs Sketchbook - mobile drawing application from Autodesk (you need a reaonable screen for this - tab preferred) UStream Broadcaster - streaming video producer from mobile handset  …

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Using Yahoo Pipes to aggregate learning resources

I am using the opportunity of me taking part in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on mobile learning as an excuse to add some more content to this neglected blog. On of the issues I am facing with my participation in the MOOC is the massive amount of e-mails generated and my already overflowing inbox would not cope (let alone me managing it). That is not taking into account other sources such as Twitter & Flickr Since I have always been a fan of RSS (hat tip to Dave Winer) my answer to this dilemma is to create an aggregated RSS feed from a number of sources (including the Google Group responsible for the bulk of the traffic). And so far the best tool I found for this purpose is Yahoo Pipes. To create a Pipe log into http://pipes.yahoo.com/ (if you don't have a YahooID you need to create one first). The GUI is very simple (kudos Yahoo) and for simple aggregation needs hardly any explanations. The hardest part can often be finding the RSS sources to add to Pipes. The aggregation process is basically 3 steps add sources (see list below) add union operator connect to output     As an example here are the sources used for the MobiMOOC Pipe are: http://groups.google.com/group/mobimooc/feed/rss_v2_0_msgs.xml?num=100 http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=mobimooc http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/geo/?tags=mobimooc&lang=en-us&format=rss_200 All you need to complete your "mobile learning journey" is to subscribe to the resulting feed (http://pipes.yahoo.com/leogaggl/mobimooc) with your favourite (mobile) RSS Reader. I personally use GoogleReader which has worked for me on various…

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Revert Ubuntu Netbook UI

If you upgrade you Ubuntu Netbook release to 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) you will notice a change to the new ¨Unity¨ user interface. Personally I think the new interface is absolutely horrible (from a usability perspective) and I wanted to revert to the previous Netbook-Launcher. HOWTO Install the required components via terminal: sudo apt-get install netbook-launcher-efl After install just change the "Login Settings" Log out and after the next login: voila - the laucher interface: However in the end I changed to the desktop interface which I found the most useful for my type of usage.

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VoIP client for Ubuntu

Having used IP Telephony for a number of years I need a workable SIP client for all of the devices I use. I have found a very capable client for my Android phones (SipDroid) and on Windows/MacOSX I generally use X-Lite (as well as it's paid version EyePhone) from Counterpath. Having tried several different Linux SIP clients (Ekiga, Twinkle, ...) but all discarded them because of weird UI's and/or problems with stability I noticed that there is a Linux version of XLite available. Unfortunately on current versions of Ubuntu (10.04) it needs a deprecated version of a library. Download XLite Linux: http://www.counterpath.com/x-lite-3.0-for-linux-download.html Dowload libstdc++.so.5: http://packages.debian.org/lenny/i386/libstdc++5/download [you will need root permissions for all of the below] dpkg -i libstdc++5_3.3.6-18_i386.deb tar -xzf X-Lite_Install.tar.gz cd xten-xlite cp xtensoftphone /usr/sbin chmod +x /usr/sbin/xtensoftphone Now you should be able to run: xtensoftphone Enjoy calling from your Ubuntu machine ! EDIT: Since upgrading to Ubuntu 11 (Natty) I have switched to QuteCom

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Huawei K3765 on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid)

Since I have switched my 3G data network from Hutchinson Three to Vodafone AU recently I also upgraded the USB modem from a Huwaei E220 (which used to work fine on recent Ubuntu NBR releases on my trusty old ASUS EEE 900) Unfortunately the new Huawei K3765 would not be recognised as a valid modem by the network manager. After a fair bit of searching it turns out that you only need to install one additional package (usb-modeswitch) to make this modem work (be recognised) on the current stable 10.04 release: sudo apt-get install usb-modeswitch For the command-line challenged here is a quick screenshot on how to do it using Synaptic Package Manager: Hope this might save some time for people trying to make this modem work on Lucid. Happy roaming !

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iPad Alternatives

Due to the hype generated by the recent launch and my reservations on using the Apple Inc. iTunes I was doing some research into alternatives to the proprietary and completely locked  iPad device (and the associated lock-down to Apple's iTunes Store). Hopefully this list can be of use for other people as well. I can see the form factor and the tablet style with a cut down (mainly web-browser based) Operating System as useful in a number of settings not least in educational institutions and libraries. Here is the findings so far: EDIT: I have re-published the list as a Google Spreadsheet to enable submission of new items. Please ENTER YOUR OWN if you found an item not on the list. If you are purely looking for a tablet as an electronic reading device there is a good Wikipedia comparison chart to look at. I will add further devices as I discover them. Please leave a comment if you find other tablets / devices that have similar features, but are more open and do not require iTunes lock-down.

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iPad – Trojan Horse ?

The media hype generated by the launch of the Apple Inc. iPad has been seriously irritating me over the last weeks. Apart from the fact that I can not see anything revolutionary about either the hardware nor the software, I can see a number of highly problematic developments with the way Apple is trying to create a total vendor lock-in. The evil is in the Store However - the single biggest issue is not actually the device (iPad) itself, it is actually it's lock to Apple's iTunes Store. There will be no (at least for the 'normal' end-user) way to install software or load content onto the device other than going through iTunes. The device seems to have been deliberately crippled (not even a USB connection) of any way to get content on or off it other than Apple's mandated iTunes. The resulting vendor lock-in from both the hardware (Apple only devices), Software (all Software that will install on the device will have to go through iTunes) as well as increasingly Content (purchased via iTunes Store) is a very worrying trend from my point of view. Return of the dinosaurs ? One possible reason for the hype generated for the iPad seems a vested interest on behalf of the media industry in the ability to lock down content and create a paid digital market for their content. It's about creating a walled garden where previously was a free and open Internet. It seems that the old media conglomerates are looking…

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Useful software for practical mobile learning

Since a fair bit of my time is spent working and researching in the field of Mobile Learning and there is not a lot of recent  listings of Software useful in practical m-Learning implementations I have compiled the following list from my bookmarks and Software I commonly use for these purposes. This list tries to represent currently usable applications not applications in the development stage. Rather than writing this in the form of  a blog entry I decided to keep this as a live document within Google Apps that people can contribute to. Please consider adding to this list if you find some useful mobile learning software missing. You can also subscribe to the changes to this list via RSS. You can also download this list as a PDF document.

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