Monday, December 27, 2010

Troubles with Picasa People Albums and Folders

I wasted quite a few hours today figuring out how to restore some folders that have gone missing.
After installing Picasa, it did the face recognition and all. Then I moved some images from "Unnamed Person" to their respective owners' albums and deleted the Unnamed Person albums. Then I linked to Google contacts.
Somewhere during this process, some images have gone missing. Some folders were not shown anymore in the Folders list.
Funny, though, if I would search for these persons, the number of their photos in Picasa would come up right both in the search box and in the people organizer. But I could not get to them.
I tried adding files and folders manually, excluding and including them, changing folder monitoring preferences, turning on and off face recognition, and so on. None of it helped. Then I reinstalled and rescanned all the photos again and went through the ordeal of assigning the photos to people again.
However, the images from profiles would still not show in the albums nor in the folders list. Then I browsed through help forums and that was next to useless.

Finally, a tip from one of the forum questions, only somewhat related to what I was searching for, pointed me in the right direction ( The move that did the magic was to turn on the "Small Pictures" in the View menu!
And there they were - all the people's profile images from pidgin directories. Phew!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Samsung Galaxy S Adventures

I've finally managed to settle everything down with the Samsung Galaxy S. After I won the item on Ebay for a good price in what was an exercise rather than a serious bid the surprises that followed were anything but expected. First I found that the device is next to useless without an internet connection that allows to link to a (Google) account. So first I tried to connect via Wi-Fi as that appeared as a supported way of accessing the Internet.

I had different experiences with Wi-Fi hardware. First I tried a USB Wi-Fi adapter but that did not support setting it up as an Access Point. Then I bought a wireless router and set that up as an AP. However, it took some time and a whole bunch of different software that did not work, to actually connect the device to the internet. For a while I used FreeProxy for connecting through the PC but most applications ignored the proxy settings, I guess, and simply did not connect to the sites on the Internet.

After suffering through different USB issues, I reinstalled Windows. Removed Windows 7 Ultimane N (wish it burns in Hell) with a regular Ultimate edition and *all* the problems were wiped away. All the devices were recognized correctly, all the software all of a sudden worked miraculously. Fantastic.

Then, after little fiddling around, it turns out that Internet Connection Sharing now worked, as well. So, disabling the proxy and a DHCP server and simply using Windows' ICS made it happen. The phone got an IP address and other settings and all the applications recognized that they now had a working Internet connection.

However, before figuring this out, I was lucky to also find an awesome prepaid plan with CrazyJohn's that I used for testing because it included data. So I used 3G connection for initial account setup and synchronization. Now I ported my number to this plan and am using it regularly. Now I'm getting used to being online almost all the time and having access to emails, maps, books, and other stuff wherever I am.

So, finally it is done. I have 3G network connection on the phone and can also connect through Wi-Fi at home. What a rollercoaster. Only two days ago none of the software worked (including Samsung Kies) so I could neither synchronize my data nor applications and the phone was pretty much a phone and an alarm clock. Now it is slowly becoming my main computing device. With 2x16GB of storage, there is more than enough to have all my important stuff with me at all times.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Outlook Duplicate Remover

Here's a neat tool for finding and removing duplicate items in Outlook. It does not delete duplicate items but moves them into a separate directory so they can be deleted manually after confirming the duplicates are valid.

Sync Outlook Contacts to Google

Here's a promising Open Source solution to synchronizing Outlook to Google contacts:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Run Android Emulator in Eclipse

Here's a quick overview on how to run an Android emulator from Eclipse. This assumes everything has been installed, which is a topic for a separate post.

First, confirm that the Android SDK location has been set up. Open preferences

Confirm that the SDK location points to a directory where you extracted the Android SDK zip.

Then, run AVD Manager from Window menu:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Android can't link to Google account

This is quite annoying. One thing to try today:

DHCP Server for Windows

Here's a nice little DHCP Server for Windows:

I used it to connect the phone to my PC via wireless connection. The thing simply works. Almost no settings required, apart from adding the MAC address of the connecting device.

Belkin router firmware upgrade instructions

Instructions on how to deploy a newer firmware onto a Belkin Wi-Fi router:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Belkin N USB Wireless Adapter Drivers for Windows 7

Turn your Windows into a WiFi hotspot

Connectify is an easy to use software router for Windows 7 computers. After downloading and installing the lightweight application, Connectify utilizes your computers' built in Wi-Fi card to wirelessly share any available Internet connection: a cable modem, a cellular card, or even another Wi-Fi network. Other Wi-Fi enabled devices including laptops, smart phones, music players, and gaming systems can see and join your Connectify hotspot just like any other Wi-Fi access point and are kept safe and secure by password-protected WPA2 Encryption.

I certainly hope it is not using only the "built-in Wi-Fi card". Something to try out.

Keepass for Android

Android version of KeePass is here -

Source code at GitHub (link).

Saturday, December 11, 2010 - Fantastic chat client for Chrome is one of the best things I've seen lately. After first being surprised by the number of applications in the Chrome Web Store I was amazed to find an application that could almost fully replace my desktop Pidgin! A chat client that runs in a browser and supports most major chat services is a must everywhere I go now. 

I'd expect the sync to pick up the installed applications and make them available anywhere I run Chrome browser. This, firewall permitting, would enable contacting my friends, dispersed across various chat networks.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

TekPub Videos

TekPub has a section with free videos -

There are some awesome presentations, including one of the best ASP.NET MVC introductions I've seen. Good overview of the concepts that should be known to any developer.

Samsung Galaxy S Unlocking

Here's a link to an XDA thread about unlocking Samsung Galaxy S -

Not sure whether it works but might come in handy should I decide to bid on one of these devices on eBay.