Saturday, November 20, 2010

XS4ALL mobile internet and Ubuntu

As I got some remarks about not updating this blog, I thought I'd post some again. Fiddling with my netbook and the XS4ALL 'Mobiel Internet' stick I got as an intermediate solution while they install ADSL, I noticed it is easy to get it running under Ubuntu. Unfortunately XS4ALL's helpdesk pages didn't provide any hints, so I just fiddled some myself.

The Huawei E1780 that is included in the package is recognised by Ubuntu without any extra configuration needed. Seems also the storage (MicroSD) and the storage bit in which the Windows/Mac OS X drivers are stored is supported. But that I don't care about.

With the netbook version of Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat), all you need to do more is go to System -> Preferences -> Network Connections and then under the Mobile Broadband tab you Add another connection:

Basically, all you need to supply:

Username: your XS4ALL username
Password: ..

That's all! Now you should be able to select your connection in the top panel under connections.. The network panel applet even shows connection type (HSDPA, UMTS, GPRS) and coverage in percentage.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Include your Google Apps calendar in Outlook 2007

OK, for those of you stuck with double (or triple) calendars, of which one is your Outlook/Exchange 2007 calendar, here is a short howto on including/integrating your Google Apps calendar (or any other Google Calendar) into Outlook 2007.

First step is to ensure your Google Apps domain allows sharing outside of your domain:

You can find these settings under 'Manage your domain' -> Service Settings -> Calendar.

Now what we are after is the 'private ICAL URL' of your Google calendar. This should be reachable in yoru Google calendar via Settings -> Calendar (tab) and then selecting your main calendar (could work on the others too, if you own them):

If you see this right away, you are lucky :-). In most cases, the Private URL is not visible. You can enable it by sharing it to any e-mail address outside of your Google Apps domain. Perhaps the e-mail address associated with the Outlook 2007 is a good idea ;-). You can do this by selecting 'change sharing settings' (see the screenshot above). Returing to the calendar settings should now reveal the private address. Click on the green ICAL icon to show the URL and copy this:

Now you could add this URL in Outlook via Tools -> Account Settings -> Internet Calendars (Tab) and then pasting it, but if the URL starts with https://, this doesn't work. Paste the URL. Instead, change the https:// bit with webcals:// and paste it into your browser. This will open Outlook (if you permit) and ask you to subscribe to the calendar:

Hope this works for you, it worked for me :-). It took me about three different sources on the internet, with various pieces of the puzzle: for the initial howto, for the trick on getting the private URL enabled in Google Apps and last but not least for making Outlook 2007 understand my https encrypted ICAL calendar.

Monday, June 29, 2009

iPhone 3.0 tethering in a few steps

With iPhone 3.0 OS it is very easy to enable tethering on any iPhone running version 3.0 of the OS. Browse to with your iPhone and go to Tethering & Internet Settings. Choose Mobileconfigs and select your own country and provider. You will be prompted to install the right profile et voila, your iPhone suddenly features the ability to enable tethering. Go to Settings, General, Network and there you should see Internet Tethering. Choose USB tething, that works easy as 1-2-3.

So now the last bit you need to know is how to connect the iPhone to your computer in a way your computer sees the iPhone and builds the connection? For Windows Vista and OS X it is as easy as installing iTunes 8.2. Installing that also installs the right drivers for the iPhone to become a network connection.

On Windows, installing iTunes also installs some other stuff you don't need, I am still investigating what you really need and what can be removed:

When you have Tethering enabled on the iPhone and connect the USB cable it should automatically start tethering. iTunes starts up, but you can close it again, it's not required to keep the connection.

This is how things look on the iPhone when tethering:

The good thing is that you can continue to use your iPhone while tethering, the blue glowing top bar will remind you that it's tethering. And it also doesn't seem to run hot like the old 3rd party apps (requiring a jailbrake) used to do.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

picture gallery site..

As I still haven't found a picture site 'in the cloud' that is as flexible as Gallery, I've decided to run Gallery again.

This time it's on a Jumpbox (free) VM, so little effort for me, but the result is great. Have a look if you are interested in our recent (family) pictures.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Google knows where Microsoft hides its Cloud Computing

Google is doing a good job, most of the time. But their artifical intelligence is sometimes lacking a bit I guess. Try finding more about Microsofts Cloud Computing initative using Google:

Mike Blumenthal has some interesing posts about this on his blog on this topic if this issue has your interest.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thether Ubuntu using an iPhone and PDANet

Tethering a netbook with a smartphone like the iPhone 3G sound like a great way to be connected 'on the road'. On a jailbroken iPhone, PDANet can share your celular data connection over Wi-fi. This isn't as simple as it seems however, it took me a while to get this figured out to work, but now finally it does on my Aspire One running Ubuntu Intrepid (8.10).

First of all, your Wi-Fi driver needs to support ad-hoc mode. On my Aspire One, Ubuntu 8.04 did not, for some reason. Upgrading to 8.10 (Intrepid) also brought me a new Atheros driver (ath5k), which does support ad-hoc mode, which can be verified with the following command:
# iwconfig wlan0 mode ad-hoc

This should not return any errors (if your root, that is). The old driver responded with something like "command not supported".

If it does, chances are you should be able to connect your computer and iPhone using an ad-hoc connection, which is required for PDANet to function. You should follow these steps:
  1. Remove ALL working wi-fi connections on your iPhone (forget this network for all that the iPhone can connect to where you are while using PDANet)
  2. Remove ALL wi-fi connections on your Computer
  3. Execute the following commands (as root) in a command-line on your computer:
    # iwconfig wlan0 mode ad-hoc

    # iwconfig wlan0 essid pdanet
  4. Go to wi-fi settings on you iPhone and connect to the pdanet network
  5. Start PDANet on your iPhone.
  6. If PDANet instructs you to go to wireless settings and connect to the network created on your computer execute the follow command again:
    # iwconfig wlan0 essid pdanet
  7. PDANet should come up with Computer Connected! and show the MAC address and other stuff related to your computer.
Step 1 and 2 seem to be key here, either my iPhone and netbook seemed to refuse to connect to the ad-hoc network when another (infrastructure) network that it was allowed/configured to connect to was availlable.

YMMV, but let me know if you had any success with this..

update: find instructions for Windows and Mac OSX at the iphone 2.0 blog.