Monday, October 29, 2012

How to Change GRUB Splash Image, Background, Font Color on Your Linux

by Lakshmanan Ganapathy on October 3, 2012

On Debian Lenny (and previous versions of Debian), you might have got tired of seeing a blue box with black background for GRUB when the Linux was booting up. But starting from Debian Squeeze, GRUB adds a background image which looks good (better than the boring background colors).
This article explains how to change the GRUB background image. The steps mentioned below were tested on Debian Squeeze with grub-1.98. But these steps should also work on other similar Linux distros.

Choosing a GRUB Background Image

GRUB 2 can use PNG, JPG/JPEG and TGA images for the background. The image must meet the following specifications:
  • JPG/JPEG images must be 8-bit (256 color)
  • Images should be non-indexed, RGB
By default, if desktop-base package is installed, images conforming to the above specification will be located in /usr/share/images/desktop-base/ directory.

Order of Search for GRUB Splash Images

In grub-1.98, the splash image to be displayed will be searched in the following order.
  1. GRUB_BACKGROUND line in /etc/default/grub
  2. First image found in /boot/grub/ ( more images found, it will be taken alphanumerically )
  3. The image specified in /usr/share/desktop-base/
  4. The file listed in the WALLPAPER line in /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme
So you can use any of the above in the order of priority to make GRUB display your own images. The following is the content of /etc/default/grub file on my system.
# If you change this file, run 'update-grub' afterwards to update
# /boot/grub/grub.cfg.

GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`

Once changes has been done using any of the above methods, make sure you execute update-grub command as shown below.
# update-grub Generating grub.cfg ... Found background: /usr/share/images/desktop-base/moreblue-orbit-splash.png Found background image: /usr/share/images/desktop-base/moreblue-orbit-splash.png Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-amd64 Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-2.6.32-5-amd64 done
Now, when you boot your machine, you will see the customized image in GRUB.
Talking about GRUB, you also might want to password protect your GRUB as we discussed earlier.

Change GRUB Front and Menu Colors

Now we have placed our own image in GRUB. But it will still display the menu and its entries in the default color.
The following are the 3 main GRUB color setting that you can change.
  • menu_color_highlight => The color of the highlighted menu entry and its background within the menu box
  • menu_color_normal => The color of non-selected menu entry and its background within the menu box
  • color_normal => The color of text and background outside the menu box
The syntax for specifying the color is as follows:
The following colors are supported by grub:
Now to change the colors, open “/etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme” and find the following line:
        if [ -z "${2}" ] && [ -z "${3}" ]; then
                echo "  true"
and, replace them with the following:
if [ -z "${2}" ] && [ -z "${3}" ]; then
    # echo "  true"
    echo "    set color_highlight=red/green"
    echo "    set color_normal=light-cyan/black"
Don’t change the “black” present in color_normal. If changed, the image will not be transparent in the area where the menu is displayed.
After this change, execute “update-grub”, and reboot your system. You will notice the change in the font colors displayed. After making the above mentioned changes on my system, the GRUB screen looked like the following:

Experiment with GRUB Colors

When you are not sure of what colors to choose, and you would like to experiment, then you can do it from the grub command-line itself.
  1. When the grub menu appears, press any key to stop the countdown
  2. Press ‘C’ to get into GRUB command line, and experiment as you wish
  3. grub> set color_highlight=red/green
    grub> set color_normal=light-cyan/black
  4. Now press “ESC”, to see the effect of your changes. If not satisfied, follow the steps once again and try different combinations.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Teacher and Little Teddy Stoddard

Inspirational - though fictional - story of little Teddy Stoddard, a disadvantaged child who blossomed under the influence of his teacher, Mrs. Thompson, and went on to become a successful doctor


As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.
Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant.
It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top of his papers.
At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.
Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners... he is a joy to be around.."
His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle."
His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken."
Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class."
By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper That he got from a grocery bag Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume.. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to." After the children left, she cried for at least an hour.
On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets.."
A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling* her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.
Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in life.
Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.
Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer.... The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.
The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.
Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.
They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank you Mrs. Thompson for* believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference."
Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you."
(For you that don't know, Teddy Stoddard is the Dr. at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.)
Warm someone's heart today. . . pass this along. I love this story so very much, I cry every time I read it. Just try to make a difference in someone's life today? tomorrow? Just "do it".
Random acts of kindness, I think they call it?
"Believe in Angels, then return the favor."


20 Awesome Google Chrome Browser Tips and Tricks

Since most of our visitors are using google chrome i picked up this article for you from , I hope you find it useful.
Posted by Ramesh Natarajan on April 16, 2012

1. Pin Tab
When you pin a tab, it minimizes the tab to display only the icon. When you have several tabs opened, this feature is very helpful, as the Tab title displays only the icon and takes only little real estate.
Before pinning:

After pinning 1st two tabs:

2. Display Home Button

By default, chrome doesn’t display the ‘Home’ button in the toolbar.
Click on the ‘Wrench Icon’ on the right-hand corner of the browser to get to the “Customize” option for Chrome browser -> Preferences (or Options) -> Select the check-box for “Show home button in toolbar”
This will now display the ‘Home’ button in front of the URL field. Click this button to go to your home page quickly.

3. Omnibox

The URL address bar (also called as Omnibox in Chrome) in the Chrome browser is not only to enter your URL. Just type the keyword you want to search and press enter, which will perform a google search.
You can also perform calculations or conversions directly in the Omnibox. Try typing any one of the following in the URL address bar and press enter to see the results yourself.
7 + 200
7 * 200
1 lb in kg
2 miles in km

4. incognito – Secret Mode

Incognito mode is for private browsing, where Chrome doesn’t record your browsing history, download hisotry. Any cookies that are stored during the incognito mode is deleted when you close the browser.
You can launch incognito by pressing Ctrl + Shift + N, (or) Settings -> New incognito Window, (or) right mouse-click on a link from a regular Chrome session, and select “open link in incognito window”.
One of the practical use for this mode (apart from private browsing) is to login to the same site using two accounts.
For example, if you have two gmail accounts, login using the first account in your regular Chrome browser, and login using the second account in your Incognito mode on your Chrome browser. This way, you can be logged in to two gmail accounts at the same time on Chrome browser.

5. Reopen Recently Closed tab

If you’ve closed a tab by mistake, you can open it by pressing Ctrl + Shift + T, (or) right mouse-click on the empty area in the title-bar -> and select “Reopen closed tab” as shown below.

6. Chrome:// commands

There are various about command that you can type in the address bar.
Read more: 12 Most Useful Google Chrome Browser chrome:// Commands

7. Task Manager

Task manager displays the memory and CPU usage of the Chrome browser, broken down by each and every Tab. If you have multiple Tabs open, and when your system is slow, you can use task manager to identify which Tab is causing the issue.
Right click on empty space in the title bar and select “Task manager”, (or) Press Shift + escape key to launch it as shown below.

8. Change Search Engine in the Omnibar

Type “amazon” in the address bar AND press “Tab”, which will change the address bar to “Search”, any keyword you type after this will be searched in the and it will take you to website.

You can also change the default search engine. Right click on the address bar -> and select “Edit search engine”. From here you can choose other search engines.

9. Open a link at a specific Tab Location

As you already know, when you right click on a link, and say “Open link in a new tab”, it opens it as a new tab (next to the current open tab).
However, if you want the link to be opened at a specific tab location, you can hold the link, drag it and drop it as a specific tab location. You’ll see a small arrow when you drag and drop the link. In the following example, I tried to drop the link at 2nd tab location.

10. Carry your Chrome Settings with You

If you are using multiple computers (at home, at work, etc.), you don’t need to worry about trying to setup the Chrome browser in the same way on all the computers you use. Instead, setup your bookmarks, extensions, themes, settings, etc, on your Chrome browser on one computer, and select “Sign in to Chrome” from the settings menu as shown below.

This will ask you to enter your google username and password. This will save all your chrome settings on your google account. Next time when you sign-up from another machine, all your chrome settings will be visible on the new system. If you make any changes to your chrome settings on this new system, it will be available on your other computers too. Use this feature only on the systems which you trust and not on public computers.

11. Drag and Drop Downloaded file

Once a file is downloaded, you can just drag and drop the file (from the Chrome download window) to your Windows explore, or any other file browser that you are using on your system.

12. History

Press Ctrl-H, or go to Customize -> History, to launch the history window. From here you can search for a specific website from your history, delete all your history, or delete only selected items from your history.

13. Create a Shortcut of the Current Tab

If you like to create a shortcut to the website that you are currently viewing, go to Customize -> Tools -> Create application shortcuts. This will ask you where you like to create the shortcut for this website, as shown below.

Once you create a application shortcut, next time when you click on it to open it, it will open this site in a Chrome browser without any tabs, url location bar, etc.

14. Navigate Between Tabs Quickly

  • Use Ctrl+Tab to navigate Tabs one by one
  • Press Ctrl-1 to go to 1st Tab
  • Press Ctrl-2 to go to 2nd Tab
  • ..
  • Press Ctrl-9 to switch to the last Tab

15. Resize TextArea

You can also resize a textarea that you see on any website. Please note that you can resize only the textarea and not a textbox. At the bottom right corner of the textarea, you’ll see two slanted lines, use your mouse, hold this, and drag it to resize the textarea on the screen.
You can try this yourself on the comment box (which is a textarea) located at the bottom of this page.

16. Detach a tab

If you have multiple Tabs opened, and like to detach a single tab as a separate Chrome instance, just drag the tab anywhere outside the browser, which will detach the tab and run it in a separate Chrome browser window.

17. Highlight a Text and Search

When you are browsing a website, if you come across some word that you are not familiar with and like to perform a google search on it, just double-click on the text to high-light it, right mouse-click, and select “Search google for”, which will open a new Tab and search for the selected text. This saves some time.

18. Autofill

You can use the autofill option to enter one or more addresses that you can use to fill-up any web forms. You can also use this feature to store one or more credit card information that can be pre-populated on web forms. Don’t use this feature on a computer that you don’t trust.
Go to settings -> Options -> Personal Stuff -> Click on the check-box “Enable Autofill to fill out web forms in a single click” -> Click on Manager autofill settings -> Click on ‘Add new Address’ and enter the information.

19. Google Cloud Print

Go to Settings -> Options -> Under the Hood -> click on sign into “Google Cloud Print”.
Once you setup your printer using Google cloud print, you can print to it from anywhere. i.e You can print to it from your mobile, other PC at work, or any other system that is connected to the internet.

20. Google Chrome Browser Shortcuts

The following are some useful shortcuts:
  • Alt+F – Open the wrench menu (i.e chrome settings menu)
  • Ctrl+J – Go to downloads window
  • Ctrl+H – Go to history window
  • Ctrl+Tab – Navigate Tabs
  • Alt+Home – Go to home page
  • Ctrl+U – View source code of the current page
  • Ctrl+K – To search quickly in the address bar
  • Ctrl+L – Highlights the URL in the address bar (use this to copy/paste the URL quickly)
  • Ctrl+N – Open a new Chrome browser window
  • Ctrl+Shift+N – Open a new incognito window (for private browsing)
  • Ctrl+Shift+B – Toggle bookmark display
  • Ctrl+W – Close the current Tab
  • Alt+Left Arrow – Go to the previous page from your history
  • Alt+Right Arrow – Go to the next page from your history
  • Space bar – Scroll down the current web page

Nokia out of top 5 : They had too see it coming.

Nokia has dropped out of the top five global smartphone vendors, with its place being taken by BlackBerry manufacturer RIM.

Microsoft's Steve Ballmer (left) and Nokia's Stephen Elop show off the new Lumia 920.
Microsoft's Steve Ballmer (left) and Nokia's Stephen Elop show off the new Lumia 920. 
Samsung extended its lead as the world's top smartphone vendor in the third quarter of 2012, followed by Apple, according to IDC's quarterly tracking survey.
Nokia, once the top smartphone vendor in the world, fell out of the top five for the first time since IDC began tracking the market in 2004.
"Nokia's share losses have meant gains for competitors," said Kevin Restivo, an analyst at IDC. "The company's transition away from Symbian-powered smartphones to ones shipped with Windows Phone has left ample opportunity for rivals to steal share away from Nokia over the past 18 months.
"However, the smartphone market is still relatively nascent, which means there's room for multiple vendors and operating systems to flourish, including Nokia."
Nokia's place in the top five was taken by Research In Motion, the Canadian firm that makes BlackBerry smartphones. Its shipments and market share declined year-on-year but its position in third on the list was helped by the greater decline of Nokia and by a slumping HTC, which was ahead of RIM this time last year but fell to fifth in the last quarter.

Comic Relief - I

"Comedy just pokes at problems, rarely confronts them squarely. Drama is like a plate of meat and potatoes, comedy is rather the dessert, a bit like meringue."  Woody Allen

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Popcorn Maker : change the way the world tells stories on the web

Today, a powerful new Popcorn Maker demo makes its debut on, showcasing Popcorn’s potential to change the way the world tells stories on the web.
Mozilla Chief Operating Officer, Ryan Merkley, presented Popcorn Maker with a live demo at TED Global in Edinburgh on June 29. The online tool, developed as part of Mozilla’s Webmaker program, makes it easy for anyone to add live content to any video — photos, maps, social media feeds and more.


Full story:

5 Firefox Security Settings for Safety

Posted on The Den the 16th of oct 2012

This Halloween, don't be scared, be secure! Here are 5 Firefox security settings to keep you safer online.

It’s time for Halloween in the U.S. and people have scary things on their mind. There are scary things on the Internet as well, but Firefox doesn’t want you to get “tricked.” For a Halloween “treat” instead, here’s an overview of some of the security settings you’ll find in Firefox.
For PC users, go to your Firefox Menu and select Options > Options. In that menu, click on the Security tab (with the lock icon). Here are some of the settings you can chose to increase (or decrease) your security on Firefox and how they can protect you:
    Security Settings
  • Warn me when sites try to install add-ons: Firefox will always ask you to confirm installations of add-ons (those little pieces of software that enhance your Firefox experience — a full list found here). To prevent unrequested installation prompts, Firefox warns you when a website tries to install an add-on and blocks it. You can add exceptions to this rule for sites you trust — just click Exceptions, enter the site name and click Allow.
  • Block reported attack sites: Check this if you want Firefox to check whether the site you are visiting may be an attempt to interfere with normal computer functions or send personal data about you to unauthorized parties over the Internet (note that the absence of a warning does not guarantee that a site is trustworthy).
  • Block reported Web forgeries: Check this if you want Firefox to actively check whether the site you are visiting may be an attempt to mislead you into providing personal information (this is often referred to as phishing). (Note that the absence of a warning does not guarantee that a site is trustworthy. For more information, see How the phishing and malware protection in Firefox works.)
  • Remember passwords for sites: Firefox can securely save passwords you enter in Web forms to make it easier to log in to websites. Clear this checkbox to prevent Firefox from remembering your passwords (for example, if you’re on a public computer). Even with this checked, however, you’ll still be asked whether to save passwords for a site when you first visit it. If you select Never for This Site, that site will be added to an exceptions list. Use Exceptions to access that list.
  • Use a master password: Firefox can protect sensitive information such as saved passwords and certificates by encrypting them using a master password. If you create a master password, each time you start Firefox it will ask you to enter the password the first time it needs to access a certificate or stored password. You can set, change or remove the master password by checking or unchecking this preference or by clicking the Change Master Password… button. If a master password is already set, you will need to enter it in order to change or remove the master password.
And that’s just what’s available in the Firefox Security Settings menu. Firefox is all about defending your Internet privacy and security with features like Private Browsing  and Do Not Track,  among others. Read the blog post on 6 ways to stay secure on Firefox or read this for a comprehensive list of Firefox Security features and stay safe online.

Home Run battle 3D


New & Exciting challenges with sluggers all over the world!Homerun Battle Series at its PEAK!
20 Million Sluggers battling in 300 million match-ups!!

All New Homerun Battle 2 is Here
Blast away your Best Hits! Become The Homerun LEGEND !!
10 Million Sluggers Worldwide, 300 Million Online Matchups
NOW the Ultimate Homerun Derby Returns: Homerun Battle 2!
Back and better than ever, the beloved real-time worldwide slugger battle has a sequel! Prepare to play the best android baseball smashin' game against sluggers worldwide.
This game supports English, 日本語, 中文 and 한국어
CRITIC'S QUOTES TouchArcade: "Homerun Battle 2 has all the elements that made the original such a hit and more. It's fun, it's easy to learn and it'd keep you occupied for a considerable amount of time."
GameZebo: "Batting cage-like gameplay is a lot of fun. Slick graphics."
148Apps: "...everything boils down to see ball, hit ball, watch fireworks go off. On this level the game is very satisfying and in many cases downright addictive."
everythingicafe: "I have found this to be a blissfully simple and entertaining game."
TouchGen: "Homerun Battle 2 is a homerun derby session on steroids."
AppEggs: "The most interesting Virtual Homerun game!"

Based on my personal experience:

  • Batting cage-like gameplay is a lot of fun. Slick graphics.
  • Practically impossible to win online battles unless you spend some serious cash. Accelerometer detection seems somewhat buggy and there's no calibration tool. Game crashes regularly. Aiming is practically impossible. It's "Home Run", folks, not "Homerun".

Say hello to Google's answer to the iPad

October 26, 2012 11:27 AM PDT

BriefMobile posts pictures of what it says is the Nexus 10, the new tablet from Google and Samsung.

We've already seen pictures taken with the upcoming Nexus 10 tabletthanks to Google's Vic Gundotra. Now we're seeing pictures of the device itself.
Days before the Nexus 10 is expected to make its debut in New York, new images have surfaced purporting to show the device and the updated version of Android it's running on. [Note: Monday's Android event has been canceled because of Hurricane Sandy. We'll update you with a separate post when we know more.]
BriefMobile posted a 16-shot gallery of the new tablet showing a roughly 10-inch screen, curved edges, and a rear camera. The site also posted what it said are the device's specs: 
  • Exynos 5250 dual-core processor at 1.7GHz
  • Mali T604 GPU 
  • 2GB RAM 
  • 16GB internal storage 
  • 10.1" Super AMOLED display at 2560x1600, or about 300 pixels per square inch. 
  • 5MP rear camera, with an unidentified front camera 
  • NFC capability
The Nexus 10 appears to be running an updated version of the operating system, Android 4.2, that enables multiple accounts.
We'll be live in New York on Monday morning to see the Nexus 10 unveiled, along with a host of other hardware.

Suction Mat Cleans Shoe Soles

Turn Your Online 'Error Pages' Into Missing Children Ads

Posted the 26rd of Sep 2012 on
Error 404 pages are some of the most-visited pages on the internet—they just ‘naturally’ appear when web pages can’t be found.

A project in the European Union called ‘NotFound’ wants businesses to make better use of these dead links by turning them into missing children ads.

Site owners and businesses can help their cause by simply installing the Notfound application on their website.

Once installed, an advertisement of a missing child will automatically be published on every 404 error page on the website—with the message, “Page not found, neither is (child’s name)”.

The NotFound project is a collaboration between Child Focus and Missing Children Europe.


Friday, October 26, 2012

An Archway Constructed Of Bent Light

Posted the 23rd of Oct 2012 on

London-based art and design studio Troika has constructed an archway with just rays of bent light.
As part of the Biennale Interieur 2012 in Kortrijk, Belgium, this light installation is entitled ‘Arcades
Project’ and seeks to explore the boundaries between intangible and physical space.

The archway is created by passing columns of light through a Fresnel lens, which not only refracts the light rays but bends them hyperbolically to form the curved shape of the arches.

Reminiscent of gothic architecture, the lights create a sense of structure where there is none.