Installing Skype Lite On HTC Desire July 18th, 2010
Unfortunately Skype isn’t available on the Market for download, Skype officially do not have an Android product as yet aside from a branded version here in the UK for the 3 network (and I believe a similar version on Verizon in the US). It’s also not possible to download the 3 version and use it on another network as it’s not a true p2p application. 3 use a ‘Skype bridge’ which routes only part of the call through the Skype network rendering it useless on other networks.
All is not lost though, whilst it is no longer available, Skype at one stage did have a beta product called Skype Lite available for all Android handsets, although it has long since been withdrawn you can download it from here.
There are limitations though.
It would seem that in order to make outgoing Skype calls, Skype Lite dials a local UK landline number to route the calls, which of course for most will not be an issue owing to talk time packages. However, if like me this isn’t your primary reason for wanting Skype then this itself it not a huge issue; after all if I want to make a call I’ll just use my phone (or Google Voice). Personally my sole reason for wanting Skype is to be able to use the instant messaging feature as I have a lot of Skype contacts and I’m pleased to report this works just fine, without limitation.
For those wanting all of the Skype features, there are rumours that Skype are developing a full release which will be available later this year.
Update: 05/10/2010, The official Android Skype client has now been released, details can be found here.
Using Outlook With Gmail – Duplicate Sent Items July 18th, 2010
For some time now I have been using Google Apps as my main mail provider, I’d been a long time Microsoft Exchange user until I made the switch from Windows Mobile devices to Android. It made sense to change my mail provision so that I could use Android in the manner it was designed i.e. with Google Mail, Contacts, Calendar and Tasks.
Generally, I have been happy with the service (especially when you consider the Standard Edition is free and isn’t a noticeably inferior product to the Premium Edition) although I do acknowledge it has a few quirks, not to mention horrendous support from Google should you require assistance. Of course aside from push email support via my Android handset, the Google Apps service also includes plain and simple IMAP support; it’s here that I encountered one of the quirks.
Ever since configuring the account on my machine, whenever sending an email using Outlook two copies of the mail appear shortly after in my Gmail sent items folder (although only one copy is actually sent to the recipient). Now this may not seem such a big deal but it has a couple of issues; firstly over time it will fill up my quota a lot quicker, perhaps not a major issue for most people but if let’s say you are sending a 1Mb file attachment, you’re going to be using 2Mb of space. Secondly, perhaps more importantly is that when you use the Gmail web client instead of Outlook, it’s going to really mess up your conversation thread as there will be 2 copies which can be a little confusing.
So how do you solve getting two copies of sent mails while using IMAP in Outlook?
It’s important first to understand why the two copies appear and not just accept that they do. When you send an email through Outlook, Outlook saves a copy of the sent mail and transmits it to the server (in this case smtp.gmail.com). When the email is sent from the server to its destination, Google save another copy of the sent mail automatically which is then of course – as you’re using an IMAP connection – synced back to your machine hence the two copies.
Of course Google should be smart enough to know that the mail is being sent from a dedicated client such as Outlook and check to see if a copy has already been saved before saving it again, but alas not. So the solution is to change where Outlook saves its local copy of the sent mail; it’s not an ideal situation but it does stop your Gmail folder from becoming full of duplicates!
To make the change, go to Tools>Account Settings>Email and select the email account in question and then Change. This will open a window titled Change Email Account. Click the More Settings option at the bottom.
Click the Folders tab which will enable you to choose where to store a copy of all outgoing messages (remembering that Google is going to automatically store one for you in your Gmail sent items) and change the default choice to Save sent mail in the Outlook Sent Items Folder, this will save the duplicated copy in a local unused folder instead which of course can be cleaned up when required; or you can also choose not to have Outlook save a copy of sent mail at all (again remembering that Google will automatically place a copy in your sent items).
How To Uninstall Linux And Remove GRUB July 16th, 2010
I’ve recently been using one of my machines in a dual-boot configuration running Windows 7 Ultimate alongside the latest Ubuntu LTS distribution, although decided that I wanted to revert it back into a dedicated Windows machine and ‘reclaim’ the disk space being utilised by Linux.
Of course there are a few ways of doing this; I’d normally only run a dual boot configuration on a test machine so wouldn’t be too perturbed by having to rebuild and start over, but this machine already had a lot of data and customisation and I didn’t want to start again and rebuild from the OS up. So how else do you set about removing Linux and GRUB? Well, the answer is actually quite simple.
Caveat: I cannot stress the importance of ensuring you have a full backup of all the data on the machine before proceeding. If you don’t have one, stop now.
Before going any further, you’ll need to dig out your original Windows 7 installation media as you’ll need this in the following steps, then once you are ready do the following:
- Restart your machine and enter the BIOS
- Somewhere in the BIOS menu you’ll find a setting to change the boot order of your machine, enter this and ensure that you have the DVD drive set at the top of the boot order
- Enter your Windows 7 DVD into the drive and restart
- Press any key on your keyboard when prompted to enter setup
- Select the appropriate language, time, currency and keyboard layout and click Next
- Click Repair your computer
- Click the option highlighting the operating system that you want to repair, in my case Windows 7 and then click Next
- On the following screen, System Recovery Options, click Command Prompt
- Once the command prompt opens on your screen type the following followed by Enter:
- You should now see ‘operation completed successfully’
- Restart your machine and enter the BIOS once again to change the boot order back to its original setting
- Now, restart your machine and you should notice that GRUB has been replaced with the stock windows boot loader and Windows starts to load without prompt
- Once back in the GUI, right click My Computer followed by Manage and Disk Management
- Right click the Linux partitions and remove them (simplified, you will have to click a few buttons here to acknowledge the steps)
- Right click the Windows partition and extend it into the space created by removing the Linux partitions (again simplified, just acknowledge the prompts as they appear)
- Job done
You should now find that GRUB and Linux are no more and you have a dedicated Windows machine once again, the whole process should take no more than around 5 minutes; far preferable to the hours it would have taken to rebuild the machine from scratch.
Note: the same method also applies for other distributions of Linux
Ubuntu – How To Fix Missing Titlebars July 15th, 2010
A fairly common issue within Ubuntu after installing and configuring Compiz is that your titlebars disappear leaving you with an unsightly workspace and in some instances, the inability to close windows and applications. The problem seems to affect mostly systems with an NVidia GPU and in my case, occurred after switching to a higher resolution on my second monitor. The fix is thankfully, simple:
- Open a terminal window and type:
followed by your password when prompted and then:
- Once gedit opens scroll down to the ‘Device’ section and just before ‘EndSection’ add the following:
Option “AddARGBVisuals” “True”
Option “AddARGBGLXVisuals” “True”
- Save the file
- Restart Ubuntu
You should now find that all of the titlebars return and life is good again. The above method should work for all recent releases, I’m using 10.04 Lucid.