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Access the GPRS service of your cellphone on a Linux machine via bluetooth July 16, 2008

Posted by razasayed in Hacks, programming.
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Sometimes when im on the move and also there is no wifi nearby I find it convenient to access the Internet using the GPRS service on my phone . And even more convenient is accessing the same on my laptop. So,here are four simple steps for using the GPRS service of your cellphone on your Linux box via bluetooth. Actually, as they say in Linux “theres more than one way to do it “, there could be other ways of going about this, but this one works for me (and also the only one i tried 😉 ). So here we go…

Step 1) Make sure you have the bluez-utils package installed . If your bluetooth dongle is recognized as soon as you plug it in then you already have this package installed. If not install it from synaptic or by using the following command.

sudo apt-get install bluez-utils

Step 2) Plugin the bluetooth dongle and activate the bluetooth on your mobile.

Step 3) Now, the first time you setup your Linux machine to access the GPRS service on your mobile phone via bluetooth, there are quite a few steps involved , so i wrote a simple shell script for automating the connection setup. Now all that needs to be done is run this script , and voila !, our connection is ready 🙂 .

You can access the script over here. Save it as connect_gprs.sh on your machine . After you run this script , minimize the terminal window where this script is running. To disconnect press Ctrl-C at the terminal.

Step 4) Now, in your browser, assuming you are using Firefox, go to Tools->Options->Advanced->Network. Click on Settings. Then from the menu select Manual proxy configuration . And enter the value for the Http Proxy and Port . Since you are following this tutorial, i assume you already have the GPRS service on your phone . And in that case you can get the values for the Http proxy and port by looking at the access point settings on your phone.

Thats it . Have fun 🙂

Google may use Balloon Technology for their wireless networks. May 13, 2008

Posted by razasayed in general.
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When we think of wireless technology what comes to mind is huge towers and other really esoteric technologies at work . But a company called Space Data has come up with a simple yet brilliant idea of using plain old balloons for implementing wireless infrastructure ! .
The technology involves sending up balloons to extend a long-range cell network, or a wide-area (broadband) Internet network.

The way the technology works is by fitting transceivers inside the balloons and this helps in extending the reach of the wireless networks.
The technology is very cheap and can also help bring wireless service to individuals in rural areas.Space Data believes it can cover the whole country with a WiMax broadband network with just 370 balloons. Compare that with the 22,000 or so towers that would be necessary using traditional methods .

There are a few glitches however , for example the balloons can remain in the atmosphere only for 24 hours and if these problems are taken care of Google could build wireless networks using a 700 Mhz spectrum in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of traditional cell towers.
Now isn’t this a really cool idea ? 🙂

Use your Nokia mobile phone as a wireless webcam ! April 10, 2008

Posted by razasayed in Hacks.
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Here is an interesting find that i would like to share with you . Is your webcam currently out of order and you dont have enough time to get it serviced or to buy a new one ?. Maybe you dont have a webcam at all, and you think you wont be using it frequently enough as to justify the expense you incur on buying one.

But there are times when we think having a webcam would have been really nice . Maybe you would like to chat with a distant friend or relative once in a while , or there is some great occasion in your house and you want to share it live with people located far away.

How about getting a wireless webcam completely free ? . “You must be kidding !”, i hear you say . Well , you are in luck 🙂 . Motvik WWIGO (Webcam Whereever I GO) is a completely freeware application that will turn your bluetooth enabled Nokia phone into a wireless webcam that can be used along with a PC/laptop equipped with bluetooth hardware.

The best part is instead of sitting in front of the webcam, you can walk around with the cameraphone, shoot in the next room and still stream video live onto your PC . Sounds too good to be true ?. Well, theres more good news coming . You can use this webcam along with your favourite instant messaging application be it Yahoo Messenger , Windows Live Messenger or Skype ! . You can also use it to share videos on websites like You Tube and Grouper . All this for just 0$ . Now just how cool is that ? 🙂

I myself used this app on my Nokia 6600 and found the video quality good . The product website claims that it is better or comparable to an off the shelf webcam . So head over to http://www.motvik.com to download this cool freeware application and turn your Nokia mobile phone into a wireless webcam ! 🙂