Google Chrome Operating System

Almost nine months after the launch of Google Chrome, Google has now announced to release Google Chrome Operating System. Chrome will be an open-source operating system and is mainly targeted towards netbooks.

As in the browser Chrome, ‘speed, simplicity and security’ will be the key aspects that Google will address. Starting from the basics, the security architecture will be redesigned to prevent malwares and virus attacks.

Chrome OS will work on both x86 and ARM chips. As quoted by Google, Chrome OS will have a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. Thus applications will have to be written using web technologies. It seems that everyrhing in Chrome OS will be running within a browser.

Like their browser, Google aims at keeping the user interface of Chrome OS to the minimal. Maybe this will be the fact that might drive more people to Chrome OS. It seems that it will be difficult to use games in chrome, since applications will be written using web technologies. From the description from Google’s Blog, the OS seems to be targeted at the most basic computer users who just check mails, surf the web and mainly is targeted towards netbooks. Netbooks running on Chrome OS might be available by second half of 2010.

Lets see if Chrome becomes a competition for Linux, Mac or Windows OS or it gets onto your desktop as another option to boot into when necessary. As far as I see the biggest competition to Linux kernel based Chrome OS are Windows 7 (based on Windows NT kernel), Mac OS X (based on XNU kernel) and Ubuntu (based on Linux kernel).

There were some photos of leaked Chrome OS doing rounds on the internet, but all were fake.

Native Multitouch in Linux

Using computer with Linux kernel 2.6.30, Broadcom 5974, Stantum, NTrig or DiamondTouch surface, ENAC developers developed a Linux touchscreen computer. Top it up with effects from Compiz and you feel the desktop in your hand. Water effect makes the feel of actually touching water except for the fact that it’s hard.

See the demo below to feel the capabilities of  a Linux Touchscreen desktop.

The demo code works as follows:

  1. It reads input directly from the device file (“/dev/input/eventX”). (The X server is not involved in input handling at this stage.)
  2. The demo performs very simple gesture recognition then send DBus messages to Compiz to produce effects.

For more information and for source code visit http://lii-enac.fr/en/projects/shareit/linux.html

Ubuntu 8.10 Password Bug

Hello everybody, today while I was entering my password at my Ubuntu 8.10 login desktop, by mistake I entered one character more than the actual password. Voila! I had successfully logged on to my user desktop. Everything was working fine. I noticed this was also the case when using administrative applications in ‘System -> Administration’. It also exists for ‘sudo’ (root user) commands used in the terminal. This is a big security vulnerability.

The login is successful if whenever password is entered correctly upto eight characters (or less for smaller passwords), irrespective of length of password.

Login is unsuccessful if password entered wrong upto eighth character.

Suppose if my password is ‘calculator’

Entering following password will give successful login:

  1. calculater
  2. calculatexor
  3. calculat

Many other combinations are possible. The only condition is that the password should correct upto eight characters or less for smaller password.

I didn’t find any bug in launchpad regarding this. So I have filed a bug. Click here to view the status of the bug at Launchpad.

NVIDIA Ion Platform

Nvidia has introduced the ION platform, coupling NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics solution with Intel Atom processor.

Graphics powerful small NVIDIA Ion Platform

Graphics powerful small NVIDIA Ion Platform

Advantages? It can run video at full HD resolution of 1080p. Its now possible to play many games at better frame rates on an Atom processor, which were not possible with the older Intel 945 chipset platform. It’s also possible to use Windows Vista on an atom. With Linux based OS you now run Compiz Fuzion with all the 3D effects enabled.How about keeping you friends wondering, how your little machine can do so much with Compiz Fusion on Linux.

The ION platform has hardware accelerated decoding of H.264 and MPEG-2 formats. But all this will come at the cost of battery life. The use of this graphics solution is seen as a bottleneck on the battery life of current netbooks. Definitely, it’s not for those who just do a bit of word-processing, online surfing on their netbooks. Also gaming on an tiny 10-inch screen is not worth it. Though I guess manufacturers will bring in bigger screen based on Atom processors soon.

Ok, after all its dis-advantages that overpower advantages, why am I talking about this platform. May be because you can connect a bigger monitor you an netbook, and go gaming at your relatives house with all the gaming progress saved on the netbook.

The bigger arena I hope to see this platform succeed is the Home Theatre PC (HTPC) market, where low power requirement is big boon, but the requirement are not very high. There’s no need of a power hungry graphics card and processor. You think you will use this combo for you next Home Theater PC? Another competitor for Nvidia Ion Platform is Nvidia Tegra.

Asus EEE PC

asus-eee-pcThe name Eee is an abbreviation of “Easy to learn, Easy to work, Easy to play”. Asus started the range of netbooks with 7 inches screen, and later advanced to a 10.2 inches screen.

The technical specifications of the Asus EEE PC are:

  • Display: 7 inches with resolution 800 x 480, 8.9 inches and 10.2 inches with resolution of 1024 x 600
  • Processor: The models EEE PC 900A, 901, 1000H, 100HA and 1000 use the Intel Atom processor. Other models use the 900 MHz Intel Celeron-M processor
  • Graphics: The 7 inch variants have the Intel GMA 900 graphics processor, the 8.9 and 10-inch variants have Intel GMA 950 graphics processor
  • RAM: 512 MB for the 7 inch variants and 1GB for 8.9 and 10 inch variants
  • Storage: 2 GB to 8GB Solid State Drive for 7 inches variants. 4 GB to 16GB Solid State Drive for 8.9 inches  variants, 32 GB Solid State Drive for 10 inch EEE PC 1000. The 8.9 inch 904 HD and 10 inch 1000 HD contain 80 GB Hard Disk, 10 inch EEE PC 1000 H, 1000 HA contain 160 GB Hard Disk.
  • Additional storage: SD, SDHC, MMC, MS and MS Pro support.
  • Wireless support: 802.11b/802.11g wireless LAN
  • LAN: 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
  • Three USB 2.0 ports.
  • Camera: 0.3 megapixel to 1.3 megapixel
  • Operating System: Xandros Linux or Windows XP but other operating sysytems like Eeebuntu are also avaiable
  • Dimensions: From minimum 225 × 165 × 35 mm to maximum of 265.9 × 191.3 × 38.1 mm
  • Battery life: Vary depending upon models. Minimum of 2.45 hrs for 7 inch variants to maximum of 7.8 hrs for 10 inch variants.
  • Some variants support bluetooth and wireless 802.11n
  • Audio: High definition 5.1 audio support
  • Additional ports: Microphone input, headphone jack, VGA out

The Asus EEE PC is available in colours White, Galaxy black, Lush Green and Sky Blue. The prices vary depending upon the model chosen starting at $249.

Automating Internet Connections For wvdial In Linux

This is with reference to the post Internet via GPRS in Linux. But it can be used for any Internet connection that uses wvdial.

First use the command

lsusb

In my case the output was

Bus 003 Device 005: ID 0421:0802 Nokia Mobile Phones

Then run

sudo /sbin/modprobe usbserial product=0x0421 vendor=0x0802 <–replace 0421 and 0802 with your product and vendor id

Now create a file /etc/udev/rules.d/autointernet.rules using

sudo gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/autointernet.rules

OR

sudo kwrite /etc/udev/rules.d/autointernet.rules

Enter or copy the following text into the file

ATTRS{idVendor}==”0421″,ATTRS{idProduct}==”0802″,RUN+=”/sbin/modprobe usbserial product=0x0421 vendor=0x0802″,SYMLINK+=”netdevice” #<–replace 0421 and 0802 with your product and vendor id

ACTION==”add”,SUBSYSTEM==”tty”,kernel==”ttyUSB0″,ATTRS{idVendor}==”0421″,ATTRS{idProduct}==”0802″,RUN+=”/usr/bin/connect_internet” #<– In my case kernel==”ttyUSB”0 was kernel==”ttyACM0″ as my modem used ACM0 for connection to internet

ACTION==”remove”,SUBSYSTEM==”usb”,kernel==”ttyUSB0″,RUN+=”/usr/bin/show_status” #<– In my case kernel==”ttyUSB”0 was kernel==”ttyACM0″ as my modem used ACM0 for connection to internet

Next create a file to initiate the internet connection in /usr/bin/connect_internet using:

sudo gedit /usr/bin/connect_internet

OR

sudo kwrite /usr/bin/connect_internet

Enter the follwing text in it:

#!/bin/bash
/usr/bin/wvdial &
/usr/bin/show_status con &

Create another file to display the status of the internet connection in /usr/bin/show_status using:

sudo gedit /usr/bin/show_status

OR

sudo kwrite /usr/bin/show_status

Enter following text in it:

#!/bin/bash
user=terminator; #<—specify your user name here

if[$# -eq 0];
then
DISPLAY=:0 su $user -c ‘notify-send -u critical “Internet Disconnected”‘;
else
while true;
do
if[[-n $(/sbin/ifconfig ppp0 2>&1 | grep “inet addr”)]];
then
Display=:0 su $user -c ‘notify-send “Internet Connected”‘;
exit 0;
fi
sleep 1;
done
fi

Next use follwing two commands:

sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/connect_internet
sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/show_status

You may need to install the notify-send utility in package libnotify to display the status of your internet connection.
To install use following command in Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install libnotify-bin

Some distributions have the package installed.

Next time when you want to connect Internet just plug your device to the computer.

Internet via GPRS in Linux

Its possible to access internet in Linux via GPRS even if you don’t have drivers for your Cellphone. Thats all the magic of Linux Kernel.

Method 1

  • Connect the mobile via USB cable.
  • Open terminal and type su to become root.
  • It will ask for the root password, type in there.
  • Then use the command

    wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf

    Your phone will be detected as Modem

  • Then using a Text Editor open wvdial.conf using commands

    kwrite /etc/wvdial.conf (for KDE)

    gedit /etc/wvdial.conf (for GNOME)

    When we issued command in point 4, it showed the address of your phone that in which USB port it has been connected. note it down from there.
    “Modem = /dev/***”

  • When Text Editor opens the file, erase everything and paste the following code

    [Dialer Defaults]
    Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0 # <– Replace it with the reading you got
    Phone = *99#
    Username = aa
    Password = bbc
    Baud = 230400
    Init1 = ATZ
    Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
    ISDN = 0
    Modem Type = Analog Modem
    Carrier Check = No

  • This will configure your mobile phone as a modem

    To dial the internet connection, type

    wvdial

    If everything goes fine it would say that connected successfully.
    Press Ctrl+C to disconnect.


Method 2

  • Open Terminal and type the command

    lsusb

    Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0421:0445 Nokia Mobile Phones

  • Then use command

    /sbin/modprobe usbserial vendor=0x(vid) product=0x(pid)

    Ex in my case for above output

    /sbin/modprobe usbserial vendor=0×421 product=0×445

  • Then using a Text Editor open wvdial.conf using commands

    kwrite /etc/wvdial.conf (for KDE)

    gedit /etc/wvdial.conf (for GNOME)

  • Paste following contents in the file

    [Dialer Defaults]
    Init1 = ATZ
    Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
    Modem Type = USB Modem
    ISDN = 0
    New PPPD = yes
    Phone = *99#
    Modem = /dev/ttyACM0
    Username = b
    Password = a
    Baud = 460800

  • This will configure your mobile phone as a modem

    To dial the internet connection, type

    wvdial

    If everything goes fine it would say that connected successfully.
    Press Ctrl+C to disconnect.