[HOWTO] Install VLC 1.1 via PPA on Ubuntu

VLC 1.1 which was released yesterday boasts lots of improvement and feature additions including:


  • GPU decoding on Windows Vista and 7, using DxVA2 for H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2
  • GPU decoding on GNU/Linux, using VAAPI for H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2
  • DSP decoding using OpenMax IL, for compatible embedded devices
  • Improved support for MKV HD, including seeking fixes, and 7.1 channels codecs
  • Support for new codecs, like Blu-Ray subtitles, MPEG-4 lossless and VP8


For complete list of new features and improvements visit http://www.videolan.org

You can install VLC on your Ubuntu via PPA repository. Ofcourse, downloading from their site is an option but installing using repository is more convenient.

Execute the following commands in terminal to install the latest VLC player:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:c-korn/vlc && sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install vlc mozilla-plugin-vlc

This will install the latest version of VLC on your computer.


[HOWTO] Use local phpmyadmin with remote MySQL

My host recently started allowing remote connections to its mysql database. It was a really useful feature – I could not change database settings from my own computer. Since it started allowing remote connections from my IP, I could use any mysql client to connect to it. I fired up terminal and tried to connect using the command:

mysql --host= --user=username --password=password

It connected. This was just to test the connection. I wanted to connect my phpmyadmin with this remote host. For that I edited /etc/phpmyadmin/config-db.php file and changed:




I loaded the url http://localhost/phpmyadmin, entered the database username and password and I got in. I could administer my database from my local phpmyadmin installation.


[How-To] Reset panels’ settings to default in Ubuntu

I often accidentally delete some of the icons from my top panel including battery meter, volume control, messagin icon. It gets quite frustrating not having them there. Also, you cannot get them back using Add to Panel option.

You can easily get your panel with default settings back. Just follow the following steps:

  • Press Alt+F2, type ‘gnome-terminal’ without quotes and press enter.
  • Now execute the following command in the terminal:

    gconftool --recursive-unset /apps/panel

  • Now execute the following command in terminal to remove all the panel’s settings:

    rm -rf ~/.gconf/apps/panel

  • Now kill the gnome-panel:

    pkill gnome-panel

  • The panels will be gone now. Load them back by executing:

    gnome-panel &

However, if you close the terminal, gnome-panel will also be closed since terminal is the parent process of the panel. It will be fine once you reboot your computer.
Tried and tested in 9.04, 9.10, 10.04 and 10.10 Alpha.

[SOLVED]’Error establishing a database connection’ in wordpress

One of my clients got this error in his wordpress:

Error establishing a database connection

It is one of those vague errors which give very little information about what caused it. On going to /wp-admin, it gave error:

One or more database tables are unavailable. The database may need to be repaired.

I added “define(‘WP_ALLOW_REPAIR’, true);” in wp-config.php and clicked on ‘repair’, it showed that all tables have been repaired but I was still getting the error about wordpress not being able to connect with database. It was actually able to connect but there was some other problem. I checked if any table was missing from the database, but it was not.

Finally after 2 hours of searching for a solution, I found it. In wp-options table, just make sure the option_value for the option_name ‘siteurl’ is your site’s url. You can also do this by executing the following sql statement (you can use phpmyadmin):

UPDATE wp_options SET option_value='YOUR_SITE_URL' WHERE option_name='siteurl'

Replace ‘YOUR_SITE_URL’ with your site’s url. For eg; for my blog it would be:

UPDATE wp_options SET option_value='http://www.absolutelytech.com' WHERE option_name='siteurl'

That would make the error go away. Please note that this is just one of the solutions to this problem, it may not be solved after following the above steps. In that case, it might’ve been caused due to different reason and you must search for another solution on wordpress forum.


[SOLVED] ‘Can’t connect to local MySQL server through socket’ error

Yesterday I got the error:

ERROR 2002 (HY000): Can’t connect to local MySQL server through socket ‘/var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock’ (2)

when I ran the command mysql through terminal in Ubuntu 10.10

This error can also be linked to error in phpmyadmin:

Connection for controluser as defined in your configuration failed.

I figured out it was due to mysqld not running. I simply did

sudo /etc/init.d/mysql start

to start mysql daemon. This solved the error.

[SOLVED] Media Playing issues in VLC in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

I had problems with playing media files in VLC in Maverick Meerkat. Other players (SMPlayer) seemed to work fine. VLC gave errors like:

“No suitable decoder module: VLC does not support the audio or video format “XVID”. VLC Unfortunately there is no way for you to fix this.”


“No suitable decoder module: VLC does not support the audio or video format “H264”. VLC Unfortunately there is no way for you to fix this.”

Found this solution written by my friend khattam but it didn’t solve my issue. It still gave errors.

I solved the errors after removing libavutil-extra-49, libavutil-extra-50 and installing libavutil50, libavutil49.

sudo apt-get install libavutil50 libavutil49

This will automatically remove the libavutil-extra-49 and libavutil-extra-50 and install libavutil50 and libavutil49 over it. It solved the issue for me.

Click here if this doesn’t solve your issue.


[How-To] Find windows live (hotmail) contacts on twitter

Twitter removed its hotmail/msn contact importer tool last year which was a very useful tool. However, there are few tricks which enables you to do just that. The easiest one is:

Twitter allows you to import gmail contacts.
Gmail allows you to import MSN contacts.

Hence, you can indirectly import MSN contacts in twitter by importing them first on your gmail account.

Step by step instructions:

  • Create a new gmail account or use your existing one if you don’t mind having your hotmail/msn/windows live  and gmail contacts all at the same place. I used my existing one.
  • Click on settings on the top right corner once you are logged in to your gmail account.
  • Click on ‘Accounts and Import’ and click on ‘Import Mail and Contacts’.
  • A pop-up window will appear asking your email address. Enter your complete hotmail email address and click on Continue.
  • Enter your password and click on Continue.
  • Select Import Contacts and unselect all others (You can select others too if you want to import mail) and click on Start Import.
  • You’ll be presented with a message saying it may take up to 2 days. It doesn’t, it takes only few minutes for contacts to import. The message is only valid for importing mails. Click on ‘OK’.
  • Log in after some time and you’ll see a message on the top of the screen saying that import has been completed.
  • You can now log in into twitter and use the gmail import tool to find your hotmail friends.

I hope that helped.