Saturday 28 January 2012

KDE Version 4.8 Is Released With Updated Plasma Workspaces, Apps n Platforms

On 25th January 2012, KDE has released 4.8.0, containing compelling new features and improvements to the Plasma Workspaces, the KDE Applications and the KDE Development Platform. Version 4.8 is intended to provide many new features, and improved stability and performance.

Major KDE improvements in this version are:
Adaptive Power Management - Kwin optimizations, the redesign of power management, and integration with Activities.

Faster, More Scalable File Management - KDE v. 4.8 includes Dolphin with its new display engine, new Kate features and improvements, Gwenview with functional and visual improvements.

Enhanced Interoperability & Introduction of Touch-Friendly Components

Check the official announcement


Sunday 22 January 2012

Useful Sites To Mass Check Availability Of Username In Many Social Networking Sites

Sorry for not posting for long time. This sinusitis is killing my cells. Anyway I thought to share two useful websites that can be used to check the availability of the username in numerous social networking sites at once.

Two websites that allow checking availability of username and vanity URL are:



These two websites will perform mass lookup for the presence of given username in hundreds of social networking and social bookmarking websites. Also, the above provided links can be used in the process of doxing(Doxing is a technique of tracing someone or gather information about an individual using sources on the internet. - from urbandictionary).


Tuesday 17 January 2012

Watch ASCII Star Wars Through Telnet

Just thought to share this cool link that features a star wars in the telnet. Telnet to the remote server and you'll be shown the star wars story.

Open your terminal and type the following:


And, the online web version is available at HERE


Monday 16 January 2012

Things I Use CLI Rather Than GUI For

Today I am sharing the things I do not use or do not like to use graphical user interface(GUI) instead I stick to command line. I use the following commands instead of their graphical counterpart as the command line way is faster and easier.

1) Combine MP3 files(songs)
I frequently combine mp3 files into a single one to hear what I record in my laptop. The cat command is enough to combine two or more MP3 files into a single one. Below is a sample command:

cat input1.mp3 input2.mp3 > output.mp3

2) Monitor Memory Usage
I usually find myself typing top command in the terminal instead of opening system monitor when I need to see what is clogging up my CPU. I also use powertop command to view power consumption of my laptop so that I can get suggestions to increase the battery life.

3) Resize images
This is another thing I use command line instead of GUI, for. I find using the mogrify and convert commands from imagemagick packages easier than graphical interface esp. when I need to batch resize the images to a specified size. Please refer to my blog post in these commands.

4) Video Conversion Using ffmpeg
I frequently convert the videos using the commandline ffmpeg utility. The general syntax is quite easier to remember. An example below will clarify things.

ffmpeg -i inputvideo.mp4 outputvideo.avi

Play with different video formats as per your requirement.

5) Edit Text Files
I usually find myself opening nano editor while editing the text files. Of course, using the lightweight GUI tools like gedit would be more easier and reliable. However, maybe due to the fact that I work a lot of times over SSh, I find using nano to edit textual files.

nano file.txt

6) Install Softwares and Perform Updates and Upgrades
Whenever I need to install a software, or perform updates and upgrades, I am used to with the command line apt-get utility.

Install a software package
sudo apt-get install package1 package2 ... packagen

Perform release upgrade
sudo do-release-upgrade

7) Mirror A Website
Mirroring a website is a lot easier with wget command and I frequently use this. The simplest form is as below but be sure to check the MAN page and help for wget command to know more options available.

wget -mk -w 4

In the above example, m means mirror and k refers to local hyperlinking and w is for maintaing proper delay time so that the remote server does not get overloaded.

So these are some of the stuffs I like to do using command line rather than GUI. Share yours...


Sunday 15 January 2012

Converting PDF Files To Text Or HTML From Linux Terminal

Earlier, we saw how we can merge or combine PDF files from terminal. Now, I am sharing two command line tools to convert PDF files to text or html files.

Poppler Utils is a great package of PDF rendering and conversion tools and should be installed before we convert PDF files to text or html files. You can install the poppler-utils issuing the following command in debian based distro. You can install them in your favorite distros using their corresponding package installers.

sudo apt-get install poppler-utils

Now that poppler-utils is installed, we will be able to convert PDF files to text and HTML using pdftotext and pdftohtml command-line tools.

PDF to Text

To convert a PDF files to text, we should use pdftotext command. Following is the simplest form of the command for converting a PDF file to text file.

pdftotext file.pdf file.txt

This command also allows you to preserve the original layout in the pdf file using the -layout switch as below:

pdftotext -layout file.pdf file.txt

Similarly, if you wish to convert pages of specific range, you can use -f and -l switches to specify the first and last page to convert to text file. An example below would clarify things where I've choosen to convert pages from 4 to 8 into text.

pdftotext -f 4 -l 8 file.pdf file.txt

Check the man page of pdftotext and also see the help for the tool to explore other options as well.


To convert a PDF file to HTML file, you can use the pdftohtml tool available in the poppler package. Before that, I will show how to use pdftotext command to convert the PDF file to HTML file.

pdftotext -f 4 -l 8 -htmlmeta file.pdf file.html

Now, using the pdftohtml tool is not that different than pdftotext. A simplest form would be as below:

pdftohtml file.pdf file.html

You can use the same arguments as in the pdftotext for this tool as well for specifying the range. However, -htmlmeta and -layout are only available in pdftotext. I would let you explore more on the pdftohtml tool.

I hope this information is useful for you. :)


Merge/Combine PDF Documents In Linux From Terminal

Hi everybody, I was inactive for a while due to some health problems(chronic sinusitis, to be specific) and would like to apologize for not writing. This time, I am writing about how you can easily combine pdf files into a single pdf file using a linux terminal.

pdftk is a small but powerful handy PDF manipulation tool with many useful features to work with PDF files. The MAN page for pdftk says, "If PDF is electronic paper, then pdftk is an electronic staple-remover, hole-punch, binder, secret-decoder-ring, and X-Ray-glasses. Pdftk is a simple tool for doing everyday things with PDF documents."
You can use it to:

* Merge PDF Documents or Collate PDF Page Scans
* Split PDF Pages into a New Document
* Rotate PDF Documents or Pages
* Decrypt Input as Necessary (Password Required)
* Encrypt Output as Desired
* Fill PDF Forms with X/FDF Data and/or Flatten Forms
* Generate FDF Data Stencils from PDF Forms
* Apply a Background Watermark or a Foreground Stamp
* Report PDF Metrics such as Metadata and Bookmarks
* Update PDF Metadata
* Attach Files to PDF Pages or the PDF Document
* Unpack PDF Attachments
* Burst a PDF Document into Single Pages
* Uncompress and Re-Compress Page Streams
* Repair Corrupted PDF (Where Possible)

Today I'll show you how to combine or merge two or more pdf documents to a single PDF document using this tool. Navigate to the folder containing the PDFs you want to merge and then type the following command:

pdftk *.pdf cat output outputfile.pdf

The above command will take the PDF files in the alphabetical order and if you want to have your own order of the PDFs, say for an example, I have two PDFs a.pdf and b.pdf and I want pages from b.pdf to appear before a.pdf then I would simply do:

pdftk b.pdf a.pdf cat output outputfile.pdf

The pdftk is not limited to this simple merging method only, it has very powerful capabilities for merging documents. Below is an example of how I merged page 1-5 of first pdf and 10-15 of another pdf.

pdftk A=a.pdf B=b.pdf cat A1-5 B10-15 output outputfile.pdf

Below example shows how I can merge even pages from first pdf and odd pages from second pdf.

pdftk A=a.pdf B=b.pdf cat Aeven Bodd output outputfile.pdf

You can make numerous other variations and looking the MAN page for pdftk would be a good idea to explore more options. So why would we need heavy graphics based PDF editor when things can be done by a small commandline utility like pdftk.

I hope this post is useful to you. :)