I use Pidgin in my personal computer to chat with my buddies. It is a great tool (Chat Client) where you can log in to all you chat accounts using a single interface. Currently it supports most of the very famous messenger channels like Gtalk, Yahoo, MSN, MySpace etc. But something I found a bit difficult is how pidgin notifies me when a buddy logs in/out. By default it makes a beep sound (Which you can configure to a sound source you prefer) when a buddy logs in/out and doesn't show the alias of the buddy who logged in or logged out. This was a bit uncomfortable for me to handle because to know who logged in/out, every time I had to open pidgin and look at the buddy list whenever I heard a beep sound. Finally I found an additional plugin after writing this to pidgin community in Ubuntu forum. The plugin is called libnotify-popup and comes with pidgin-libnotify package which allows pop-ups to appear on the bottom -right of the screen when a buddy logged in/out. Here goes the steps to install and configure the plugin.
  1. First open a treminal by pressing Alt + F2 or by going to Applications > Accessories > Terminal.
  2. Type "sudo apt-get install pidgin-libnotify" to install pidgin-libnotify package.
  3. After the installation, restart pidgin.
  4. Now go to Tools > Plugins in Pidgin Chat Client and select libnotify-popup plugin from the list.
  5. Now click Configure Plugin button at the bottom of the window and configure it to receive popup notifications when a buddy logs in/out by selecting the apprropriate check boxes.
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I bought an ADSL Broadband Home Express package from SLT few days back for my personal use and I wanted it to be installed on Ubuntu Linux. At the time of purchasing, I forgot to specifically mention that I'm planning to use it on Ubuntu. After having a nice chat with the demonstrator provided to me to clarify the matters I had on choosing the right modem that suits me from a range of products, I chose to go with a ZTE ZXDSL 852 modem. After coming home and failing to find the drivers for Ubuntu Linux on the driver CD came with ZTE ZXDSL 852, I was able to contact a technical assistant from SLT over the phone to ask that "dumb question" I forgot to ask at the purchasing time, "Does this run on Ubuntu Linux?". I got the answer that suprized me the most when she replied me back with "Sorry Sir, Currently we don't support any Linux variants", with her sweet voice. But It was not the end of my dream of a high speed Internet connection, thanks to Adrian Lubic, who is the founder of UbuDSL driver for ZTE ZXDSL 852 on Ubuntu. I know some of my friends who bought ADSL connections from SLT with 4-port routers to be used with Linux variants, just because they knew the fact that SLT doesn't provide drivers for ZTE modems, but you don't need to spend additional bucks on routers as UbuDSL does exactly what you were looking for (i.e. Provides an Interface to use ZTE ZXDSL 852 modems with Ubuntu Linux).

Installing UbuDSL is pretty simple. First you have to download the latest stable version of UbuDSL from SourceForge. You need to unpack the deb package and it will install UbuDSL to your Ubuntu box. Then you need to follow the following steps to configure your ZTE ZXDSL 852 modem with UbuDSL.
  1. Go to System > Administration and Open the UbuDSL Configuration panel
  2. Then simply follow the instruction appears on your screen. For your simplicity, it is described below.
  3. First, you need to unplug your ADSL modem, if it is already connected. Then click the next button at the bottom of the configuration window.
  4. Then a second configuration screen will appear where you need to insert the username and password provided by your service provider (i.e. SLT). Then select Sri Lanka from the country drop down box which will automatically sets the service drop down box to SLT. Set the combo boxes given according to your preferences. I chose "OpenDNS" and "Strat Connection while user plugs the modem" check boxes.
  5. In the next screen, you will be asked to plug your modem and after that, install your Ubuntu CD to install the additional packages it needs. If the configuration window takes a lot of time to goes to the next step after you inserting the Ubuntu CD, you might have to manually install the required packages from the Ubuntu CD. This happens due to absence of additional packages that UbuDSL is looking for at the configuration time. If it is the problem with you, its worth checking this link out because it carries all the information that is required for a newbie like me to install the additional packages manually. After installing the additional packages manually, you need to again start from the step 1 to configure your modem. Others can proceed to fourth configuration screen where it asks you to reboot your system.
  6. Now reboot the system and try to connect to the Internet using UbuDSL Applet. You can find it in Application > Internet. Hurrah... You just configured your ADSL connection correctly. Now enjoy surfing!!! ;-)
  7. If you still have connection problems, please make sure that the /etc/modprobe.d/options file is configured correctly. You can open that file using the command "gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/options". Locate the line starts with "options unicorn_usb_eth" and make sure it has something similar to "PROTOCOL=pppoe ENCAPS=lllc-encaps". Now you can reboot the system and start surfing!!! :-D
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This article carries out some facts on how to disable AutoRun feature available in Microsoft Windows Vista. It is based on some facts I got by googling "How to disable AutoRun in Vista". Usually, we can stop a removable device executing its autorun.inf file by holding the SHIFT key while plugging it to the computer in Windows XP versions. But this is no longer supported in Windows Vista and therefore I suggest the following method which will stop the execution of the autorun.inf file/s saved in your removable media, (i.e. Pen Drives, CDROMs etc.). Note that this will not stop the pop up window appeas as soon as you plugged a removable media. If you want to stop popping up that window, use "Set AutoPlay Defaults in Control Panel" link appears at the bottom of the pop up window and unckeck "Use AutoPlay for all media types box".

You need to write a small registry entry and add it to your registry to permanently block the execution of autorun.inf files. The code you need to write is given at the end of this post. These three lines should be saved in to a new file called NoAutoRun.reg. Then right click on it and merge it in to your system's registry. You need to restart your computer after merging new values to the system registry and then you can check whether its working by inserting a CD which has an autorun.inf file (Most of the software CDs have autorun.inf files) and it will not run automatically unless you manually run it. Good Bye AutoRuns :-D


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