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Monday, October 26, 2009

Command Prompt - Anywhere!!!

You often feel the need to navigate to a directory nested in a deep folder hierarchy, and it often becomes a pain using DOS commands, especially handling blank spaces and all. So this is a tip to open a command prompt right at the desired folder that you want. Just follow the following steps and try out (for this you need to modify your registry, however this should not do any harm):

  1. Goto to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell.
  2. Create a new key named say Command Prompt.
  3. Create another new key named say Command within Command Prompt.
  4. Modify the default string value of Command to the following: c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe %1

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

GMail Notifier: “Cannot connect to your mailbox. Service temporarily unavailable.”

I have recently upgraded my desktop and hence had to reload all the necessary and unnecessary softwares. That is when I ran into this small problem. I had faced it before, but somehow couldn’t seem to remember the solution right away. The fact is GMail Notifier just could not seem to connect to my GMail account. I thought the error might be with my proxy settings, but it was not so.

The error surfaces when once tends to opt for the https connection option provided in GMail settings. The notifier fails to login if the “always use https” option is checked. Not surprisingly, I do have it enabled.

To get around this, you can search for patch files available on the net. The suggested changes can just be imported into your registry and things should work fine. The following is the change suggested in the .reg file:


The change can be undone by resetting the key, as shown below.


Not difficult, right? I still wanted to post for ease of lookup.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pidgin - Invisible Mode in Google Talk

One of the most glaring drawback with Google Talk is probably the lack of proper updates and new releases being integrated into the software. I do not use the chat option inside Google Mail. Therefore, one aspect I find particularly irritating with Google Talk is not to be able to appear as invisible.  As I mentioned in my last post I use Pidgin for IM. Here’s how you can appear invisible in Google Talk using Pidgin.

  • Go to Tools-> Plugins. Scroll down the list of available plugins. Install the plugin called XMPP Console.
  • Now go to Tools->XMPP Console->XMPP Console.
  • Type the following in the console and send the message.

<presence type="unavailable">

  • Now you will appear as invisible to all your friends. Remember you need to resend the message every time you relogin to Google Talk, i.e., this is a per-session notification.
  • In case you need to appear available to specific friends, you can sent them custom notifications about your availability using the above plugin. Open XMPP Console as above and click on <presence/>. In the following pop-up dialog box, fill in the necessary details and send.

Seems troublesome, eh? Then why bother with all this crap. Add the Google Talk invisible plugin to Pidgin. Go to http://fahhem.com/pidgin/ and follow the instructions.

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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Configuring Pidgin for Google Talk and MSN Accounts

I have many accounts which I frequently use for chatting purposes, Google Talk, Yahoo and MSN to be exact. To refrain from using separate messengers for each of them, I recently installed Pidgin as an integrated medium supporting all the above three (and many more Chat Protocols). My desktop is behind an organization proxy and I myself also have a firewall installed. So I faced a few issues during the configuration. In this post, I would like to present the steps which I followed for configuring Pidgin.

Google Talk: The following are the settings which worked for me.

  • Protocol: XMPP
  • Domain: gmail.com
  • Resource: ……….Anything…….
  • Require SSL/TLS: Unchecked
  • Force old (port 5223) SSL: Checked
  • Connect port: 443
  • Connect server: Use any nslookup service and provide the ip for talk.google.com. I used http://www.kloth.net/services/nslookup.php. The ip I got is
  • File transfer proxies: proxy.jabber.com
  • Proxy type: Depends on your proxy settings.

The below picture shows the Settings for the Advanced Tab.


MSN: The following are the settings which worked for me.


Yahoo: I have not been able to get Pidgin connect to Yahoo as of now. Alas!

I hope this simple steps will help people who are facing issues configuring Pidgin behind a proxy.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

LaTeX Tricks

In this post, I will publish all the little, helpful tricks that I have learnt while using LaTeX. I do not claim to be the owner of all the troubleshoots for I myself have searched for information on the Internet whenever required. I will keep on updating this post whenever I have new material to publish.

However, for a beginner to LaTeX, a little information on the source and necessary softwares might just prove to be handy. Here is a list of the tools which I use:

  • LaTeX Distribution: a complete setup of MikTeX 2.7 release. This is free and its frequently updated as well. So no hassles.

  • LaTeX Editor: I personally prefer LEd (http://www.latexeditor.org) over TeXnicCenter (http://www.texniccenter.org/). LEd's toolbar offering is more varied and is more easily accessible. LEd also provides a very good help lookup on LaTeX commands which is extremely handy at times of crisis. The only blip that I find in LEd is the look and feel. Both are free but updates are pretty infrequent. WinEdt is another good LaTeX editor but is a shareware.

  • Diagrams: For diagrams, I use XFIG on Windows (http://www.cs.usask.ca/~wew036/latex/xfig.html). The link provides detailed instructions on how to go about setting up the required environment for using XFIG. However, the interface and usage of XFIG might prove to be cumbersome for some users. You could also try out commercial Windows applications like SmartDraw which is, unsurprisingly, more user-friendly.

1) Usage of \centerline:

{\centerline{\Large{\textbf{Hello World! \\}}}}

Unless you end your text with a \\ or a \par, the effect of \centerline will not terminate. So if you wish to justify only a single line of text, then end your string with a \\ or \par.

2) Referencing of Figures
Sometimes a small oversight can lead to wrong referencing and bring a lot of trouble and hassle. To avoid this, make sure you follow the following two rules:
  1. Always define the label after the caption unless the style file says otherwise.
  2. Never use numbers in your label name, e.g., sdg1. This can lead to wrong reference numbers being generated for the remaining figures.
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