Tag Archives: howto

How To Install Ubuntu in a Samsung 900x3a ultraportable laptop

I’ve been running Ubuntu 11.4 Natty Narwhal for a few days already on a brand new Samsung 900x3a and I have to say that I’m quite happy with it. First of all, Ubuntu Linux is the best operating system in this galaxy. Then, the machine is great, and not only for the looks. 

Here’s a simplified How-To: 

  1. Download Ubuntu, make sure that in the dropdown box you choose the 64bit version.
  2. Luckily, the Samsung 9 series laptop does not have a CD/DVD so you have to install Ubuntu with a USB stick. You need a disk with at least 1 gigabyte. All information in the disk will be erased when preparing the install disk.
  3. Plug the disk in the right-side USB port. It will not work in the left side. 
  4. Start your computer and follow the installation steps.  This is a good source of information to learn about partitioning. Here’s an excellent Ubuntu guide to do manual partitions
  5. Once the install is done, remove the USB key and reboot your computer.
  6. OPTIONAL: you may want to go over this article on the top 10 things to do after you install Ubuntu Natty Narwhal

The mouse trackpad/touchpad is over sensitive and does not allow click and drag. The solution is in the Ubuntu Samsung 9 Series page:

*If you have a problem you can use the following method to enable right clicking:

sudo suecho options psmouse proto=exps > /etc/modprobe.d/psmouse.modprobereboot


Go to System>Preferences>Mouse and select “TouchPad” Tab and select 2 finger scrolling and 2 finger right click.

* Remember that to copy or paste text in the terminal you have to use CTRL+Shift+C and CTRL+Shift+V.

I used the code solution and lost the trackpad scrolling.


If you are running more than one operating system, this Natty Narwhal grub guide can be very useful. I did have an issue with the Grub boot-loader with my install, here’s a guide on how to re-install Grub2

And last, If you have any doubts or want to learn more about how to use it, check the Ubuntu user documentation. They can even help you switch to Ubuntu from Windows or Mac.

Dropbox tips

If you’re like us, you’re using Dropbox for all kinds of unusual tasks. But we wanted to go further, so we asked the experts at Dropbox to tell us their most unusual, unexpected and crazy ways to use this versatile software tool.

If you’re not familiar with Dropbox, it’s free desktop synchronization software that lets you store a copy of a file on your computer and then access that same file from anywhere. You can store up to 2GB for free. Go over that amount, and it’ll cost you $10 a month for 50GB and $20 a month for 100GB.

Here’s the scoop from our experts for three different levels of Dropbox users:

For Beginners Only

Before we get to the advanced techniques, one Dropbox expert suggested that we focus on the basics. Beginners, this is for you; advanced users, you already know all this stuff, go ahead and skip to the next section.

Sync between two computers: This is the most basic task, where you install the Dropbox application onto two computers and synchronize files between them.

Undelete: We were so relieved when we first discovered this feature. Simply go to the Dropbox website, click the arrow that appears to the right of the file when you position your cursor over it, and select Previous Versions. Look at that — it’s your own Time Machine.

Share a folder to collaborate: We do this all the time here at Mashable, where everyone has access to the same files, and if someone else is working on that file, it lets us know so we won’t overwrite each other.

For Astute Users

Now that we have the basic techniques out of the way, here’s where our team of Dropbox experts get into the intermediate stuff:

Learn the keyboard shortcuts: Just like any application where you’re a power user, you can work much more efficiently with shortcuts, jumping all over the place by pressing just a few keys. For example, you can show/hide deleted files just by pressing “d.” Move up a directory with the letter “u.” Check out all 13 keyboard shortcuts here.

Password/Vault synching: Apps such as 1Password, KeePass and Tiny Password will let you store your secrets in your Dropbox, and then access them from any other device where you have these applications installed. Or, do like we do and use LastPass, a browser plug-in that performs all the synchronization in the cloud for you itself.

Sync between desktop and iOS device: Here’s what one expert called “beautiful, quick syncing,” where you never have to click “save” to save your notes. Mac users, he recommends using Notational Velocity on the desktop and PlainText on any IOS device to sync notes through Dropbox. For PC users, you can store notes in .txt format (using an applet like Notepad) and save them in Dropbox, where you can open them using the PlainText app (which we love) on your iOS device.

For Smarty Pants Users

Now we get into the advanced techniques. Here’s the most unusual tip we got from our experts, this from one of Dropbox’s sales team:

Sync music for your car: As our expert tells it, “I’m using Dropbox to sync a small netbook in the trunk of my car with my music library, and then have that connected to my head unit for playback. Anytime I’ve added new music to the library on my home PC, the next time I get in my car I will set my Android phone as a mobile hotspot, use that to hook the netbook up online, and I have the local Dropbox account on the machine selectively synced out of every folder except my music. It syncs the new music while I’m driving around and I now have way more songs in my car than I could ever fit on an iPod, including my favorite new edition of Arcadio.”

Chrome data syncing: Chrome browser users, try moving your Chrome data file to Dropbox, and your entire session — everything, including windows and settings, opens just how you want on any other computer. Our expert warns of a downside, though: conflicted copies of your settings files if Chrome is open on two computers at the same time. Here’s more info for the adventurous.

For Techno-Gods Only

Abandon all hope all ye who enter here, well, unless you’re a techno-guru. Here’s the granddaddy tip of them all, a way to get remote desktop access to all of your machines by using Windows Server 2008, straight from the upper echelons of Dropbox:

Compute anywhere: “One of the lesser known features of Windows Server 2008 R2 (and the currently-in-beta Windows Home Server “Vail” which is based on R2) is called RemoteApp. Basically it allows you to launch a self-contained streaming instance of an application that is installed on the server and delivered via
a remote desktop session where you only see the app on the client side.

“It’s cool because, on a Windows machine, it can be run one of two ways: via an RDP file, or taking it a step further, using an MSI installer package which makes it look like the app is installed on the local machine, complete with file associations. You can also run multiple instances from multiple remote locations at the same time. This is particularly cool for special file types like PSD’s where it may not be convenient or possible to install the app on the remote machine.

“Tying in to Dropbox, I had two folders: one called RDP and one called MSI. I was able to take my apps with me anywhere and if it was a Windows machine I had control of, I was able to “install” the remote app as well. The end goal was to be able to remotely launch a single copy of iTunes from anywhere and possibly even map the USB ports (you can set that up when you make the MSI) so I could sync my iPhone remotely. It was also great for controlling apps that needed some horsepower (i.e. Handbrake) from much more underpowered devices.”

Commenters, let us know how these tips worked for you, and tell us more ways to get the most out of Dropbox.

We’d like to thank all those at Dropbox who helped us prepare this post.

I just upped my subscription to 50Gb. Can’t live without Dropbox.

Facebook in 2010 – The Top 30 Most Useful Blog Posts on Facebook

Since Facebook is where Americans spend more time than anywhere else on the Internet, our needs as social media marketers as well as professionals to stay on top of the latest trends in 2010 regarding the social media gorilla are as important as ever.  While I limited my similar top blog posts on Twitter and LinkedIn to 20, so many people had so much resourceful information to provide on FB that I felt the need to expand this blog post to include the top 30 most useful articles this year.  Because Facebook gives anyone the ability to create a mini-web site on their platform as a Page, I included many blog posts that talk about everything from how to create one, customize it, and then use it as your base for social media engagement.

You may wonder why I go through the trouble of compiling and writing these posts, but the answer is simple: Our industry is changing so fast and there are so many blog posts and tweets out there that I want to make sure to provide a guideline to my readers, and myself, of those must-read articles that will help everybody keep pace or get up-to-speed in learning about the latest thinking surrounding any given social media platform.  The end-of-the-year is the perfect time to do this.

My algorithm for determining these blog posts is the same as previous ones, and once again I have tried my best to organize them into categories for you.  Although I didn???t write as many posts about this site as I did about Twitter and LinkedIn, where appropriate I will introduce my own writings as well in case you missed them.

Personal Profile Tips and Tricks

10 Cool Facebook Status Tips and Tricks by Amy-Mae Elliott [4,225]

Jazz up your profile through a few nifty tricks.  Read about how to tag people in updates, pre-schedule posts with Later Bro, turn your status updates into a tag cloud, and more.

20 Facebook Tips/Tricks You Might Not Know from Hongkiat [3,302]

Some great tips here on getting more out of Facebook from outside of the social platform from creating friend collages to removing Facebook advertisements from your profile view.

How To Mass Export All Of Your Facebook Friends??? Private Email Addresses by Michael Arrington [1,466]

If you???ve ever wanted to get the contact details of your FB friends, now you can.  There are quite a few gems in the comments as well, like using those ???missing??? contacts to increase your LinkedIn network and syncing this with your Google Contacts and phone address book for a ???holistic??? address book.

How To Recreate That Facebook Profile Picture Hack by Alexia Tsotsis [1,302]

Jealous of the new ???sliced??? profile pics some people have been showing off at the top of their new professional profile?  You can have that on your profile as well through a few Photoshop steps introduced in this post.

The 3 Facebook Settings Every User Should Check Now by Sarah Perez [1,188]

If you care about privacy at all, you only need to take 5 minutes to get your profile info in order and keep it away from snooping eyes.  A classic post from ReadWriteWeb which is still relevant today and was featured in the New York Times when first published earlier this year.

I wrote a post about the increasing amount of spam you might be receiving and how to deal with it here: Understanding Those Mysterious FB Spam Messages You May Be Receiving [11]

General Marketing

25 Tips for Killer Facebook Marketing by Justin Stravarius [533]

This is a great article from Appstorm that should get you started thinking about how to use Facebook above and beyond merely launching a Page.  It???s crammed with tips from snagging a vanity URL to posting user experiences, all of which will help get your business noticed socially.

I published two posts this year that go beyond the genre of simply developing a Page and instead thinking outside of the box for marketing on this social media site:

Growing Your Business???One FB Friend at a Time [14]

Farmers Insurance Social Media Marketing Case Study: Utilizing FarmVille for FB Brand Awareness [32]

Page Design & Development

HOW TO: Build a Facebook Landing Page for Your Business by Matt Silverman [2,570]

Don???t let your company???s Page look like everyone else???s.  Crank up the customization a notch by adding a tab (or three) using FBML.  Mashable contributes a short but informative article on how to do so with little effort.

Designing A Facebook Fan Page: Showcases, Tutorials, Resources by Julia May [2.381]

This is probably one of the most definitive guides out there of best practices in designing visually stunning and effective Fan Pages from our friends at Smashing Magazine.  The great looking landing tabs that are showcased here are truly inspiring.

The 12 Best Ways To Customize Your Facebook Pages by Orli Yakuel [1,768]

You don???t have to hack it out on your own to get a custom Page operating. Check out this selection of web services that will help you edit to impress.

How to Build Engaging One-of-Kind Facebook Fan Pages by Orli Yakuel [1,687]

This Techcrunch article bundles up a lot of great advice on how to grab the attention of your FB fans and visitors. Unsurprisingly, it???s all about great content, but it???s the way in which you develop your Page that can foster this.

How to Customize Your Facebook Page Using Static FBML by Nick Shin [885]

Another in depth look on how to utilize Static FBML in personalizing your Page, this time coming from Social Media Examiner.  Dig into this for a little more detailed look at tips like embedding YouTube videos and creating images with clickable links for your Page.

10 Tips & Tricks For You
r Business???s Facebook Fan Page
by Michael Vreeken [787]

More tips on tricks on FBML programming on your Page to include elements such as hiding content from non-fans, inserting Flash content, and adding a ???Invite Your Friends??? box.

Creating a custom facebook fan page from Webdigi [135]

The power of Static FBML is showcased by this short tutorial for more advanced developers, showing how to do things in your Page such as create a carousel, submit a web form, and even customize a dialogue box.

7 FBML examples to rock your Facebook fan page from Webdistortion [129]

This top blog post contains even more FBML code samples to help make your Page a true marketing powerhouse, from randomizing marketing messages (great for experimenting with new ideas) to adding sharing buttons to make it more viral.

Page Applications

Top 75 Apps for Enhancing Your Facebook Page by Mari Smith [842]

Stop the press!!!  This is the definitive post, just published two days ago, of the best Page applications that are out there.  And it was written by Mari Smith.  Enough said.

Page Analytics

Google Analytics for Facebook Fan Pages from Webdigi [2,923]

Google Analytics shouldn???t just be about analyzing your main website anymore.  The folks over at Webdigi were crafty enough to devise a solution that lets you use Google???s flagship web analysis tool to analyze activity on your Page on the most popular social network in the world.

How to Add Google Analytics to Your Facebook Fan Page by Mariam John [2,266]

Another tutorial of the same with a little more hand-holding and images published by Social Media Examiner but still based on Webdigi???s code.

Page Engagement

21 Creative Ways To Increase Your Facebook Fanbase by Mari Smith  [3,312]

Funnel people into your Page using all the social muscle you can muster through these tips.  Both traditional and new media techniques are listed here, so there are no excuses for saying you can???t deploy any of these techniques.

5 Fantastic Facebook Fan Page Ideas to Learn From by Matt Silverman [1,664]

Ranging from the simple to the full-on website experience, Mashable presents ideas from some of the most engaged landing pages on FB. If you???ve been stumped on what approach you should take, this should kick start your idea machine.

Altimeter Report: The 8 Success Criteria For Facebook Page Marketing by Jeremiah Owyang [1,355]

While not a how-to per se, this report should still be able to give you an idea on what works vis a vis engagement in the realm of Pages.  Based on excellent research from Jeremiah Owyang and the thought leaders at Altimeter Group, this report includes an analysis of 30 brands to learn from.

How to Better Engage Facebook Fan Page ???Fans??? by Mari Smith [1,245]

Getting noticed online is primarily about two things: content and conversations.  This post shares a lot of insight on how to succeed using those two things using a plethora of examples.  Another definitive post from Mari Smith.

How We Got To 40,310 Facebook Fans In 4 Days by Dennis Yu [151]

A step-by-step analytical case study of how one company grew their Fan base by over 40,000 in 4 days primarily through a clever Facebook Ad campaign.

Marketing Analysis

When Are Facebook Users Most Active? [STUDY] by Christina Warren [4,030]

Facebook is touted by some as ???now??? media ??? meaning you need to be engaging users at the same time they are on the site for it to be effective.  Check out when you should be posting to get the best results through this Mashable analysis.

The Biggest Brands on Facebook [INFOGRAPHIC] by Shane Snow [2,902]

A very interesting infographic about the biggest brands on FB.  Amazingly, some of the brands you see most often on TV and on billboards aren???t in the list.  Check out how many Likes you need to be counted on top.

What ???Like??? Buttons Mean for Web Traffic [STATS] by Jolie O???Dell [2,385]

How exactly has the ubiquitous thumbs-up icon been affecting Internet traffic? Here???s a rundown of the numbers straight from the source.

World Map Of Social Networks Shows Facebook???s Ever-Increasing Dominance by Robin Wauters [2,275]

The big blue social machine is slowly toppling off other networks as shown in this series of maps from June, 2009 to December, 2010.  Will 2011 see the entire world converted into FBdom?

Facebook directs more online users than Google by Benny Evangelista [2,267]

Although this article was written back in February, it is still relevant for marketers to understand the importance that a Facebook presence has attached to it not just for engagement but also for leading potential customers to your website.

Facebook News Feed Settings: Random or Not, Biggest Secrets Revealed by Thomas E. Weber  [1,808]

Appearing in the News Feed of all of your Fans is a marketer???s dream but rarely happens in reality.  Read more about how to accomplish this by discovering FB???s biggest secrets as to how they determine what gets placed into who???s News Feed through one website???s experiment.

How Much Is a Facebook Fan Really Worth? by Mathew Ingram [1,718]

The answer? $136.38, more or less.  A controversial study that is required reading for any social media marketer.

Facebook, By The Numbers by Alexia Tsotsis [1,064]

The history of the world???s favorite social destination featured in this definitive infographic which has almost everything you???ve wanted to know about the site and more.

You may also want to check out my analysis of FB Places: Facebook Places Analysis: 3 Reasons Why FB Will Continue to Be Your Aggregator of Social Information [24].

7 tricks for your corporate twitter – Turbomilk

7 tricks for your corporate twitter

Dmitri JoukovAuthor: Dmitri Joukov
27 November 2009

Our twitter @turbomilk is one of the most popular corporate twitters in Russia. The password to the twitter is available to all our staff but there is just a few of us posting. And, as it happens, most of the posts are coming from me. After more than a year of observations and experiments involving real people I came up with a range of plain tricks on how to make twitter more interesting and popular.

Once we even got a chance to take a fresh look at our twits while being in a small company of little-known people ??? the room was filled with stifled giggling??? So we realized that we should carry on like that. So, what is that you should do in a corporate twitter?

1. Follow others but not everyone

If your company does not have twitter, get one and start with a simple algorithm: follow your friends and several corporate twitters of the subject close to yours. Some of them may be curious about what you are going to write there. Thus you will get your first followers, i.e. readers. Avoid following everyone ??? it is just bad manners closely related to spam.

2. Keep It Simple, Smarty

One hundred and fourty symbols is very little if you start writing in legalese with complicated grammar. Keep it simple and you will realize that even such short messages can serve a lot of useful and, what???s even more important, clearly stated information.Being simple, clear and concise is a rather useful ability and twitter is out there helping you master it.

3. Everybody got news

Start with your company news: new products or services available to end users, new offices or outlets opened, events and discounts, working hours over weekends or holidays. With time you will have a better understanding what your followers like the most.

4. Be brave ??? experiment

Most users twit about what they are up to, or something like what they just ate. Your company also can do this: tell your followers about the project that your company is engaged in, vacation plans of your co-workers (names and locations) or where most of your staff goes for lunch. You will most likely find someone who would want to respond, maybe because they are working on similar projects, planning a trip to a similar location or dining right next to your table. Start writing things ??? experiment! The life will show you the way and, trust me, you will always be able to find someone who will be interested in your twits.

5. Talk to users

Demonstrate to everyone that you are not only writing but also reading and, what???s important, you care. Make public replies to the key questions of your readers but do not abuse this practice, a list of messages containing just replies looks flat. Direct messages can be useful in tricky situations, remember to follow your respondent, otherwise he will not be able to respond to you.

Closing the list are two bonuses that helped us make our twitter more popular.

6. Jokes

Plain and dumb laugh-it-out-yourself jokes are the cornerstone of turbomilk???s twitter. Humor just like violence and sex is a rather popular thing. We lack sex and violence in our work but we generate tones of jokes in the process of our corporate communication. Only the top rated and mildly corny jokes make it to air of our twitter. Most of that have been heavily retwitted, and this, as you know, is the best way to expand your audience.

7. Freebie

The word itself sounds like sugar for a mere twitterer. Make a small web page with some kind of contest. You can make people compete for anything: from a set of corporate souvenirs to expensive home appliances. Ask the visitors to twit about your twitter with a simple twit and a direct link to your promo page in order to participate. For one t-shirt a week we have increased the number of our followers by nearly 50% in one month.

Do not forget to sign up for twitter and subscribe to us at @turbomilkcom. That???s our twitter in English.

Simple, straight forward, right.

Howto watch, hear and use all those things you can’t because of being abroad

A large number of web services are geographically restricted, such as Hulu, Pandora and Spotify. The reasons are usually to do with content licensing restrictions, or because US visitors (or visitors from other advanced economies) are of a higher value from a monetization perspective. A web application can only guess at the location of a visitor based on an IP address and other information, such as browser language and regional settings.

IP addresses are mapped to countries (and in some instances, further to states and cities) using large commercial datasets such as GeoIP from Maxmind, which is a ???best guess??? database based on data it has collected (how, I would rather not know). The system is accurate enough to enable services to block on a country level, but often fail at a more local level.

But the nature of the web means that geographically restricting web services is next to impossible, because those who are technically adept have known how to find and use proxy servers (both open and private) and VPN services to masquerade as being from another country.

The demand for such services has become so popular that more apps are being released that make this process almost as easy as installing any other application ??? one-click VPN/Proxy install and then pick a country you want to be surfing from (default USA). Even better, there are now VPN solutions available for free ??? some of which are outright free, others which are ad supported.

If you find yourself outside of the USA and wanting to watch Hulu, outside of the UK and wanting to checkout the BBC, or wanting to rig a web poll, here are some tips:

Proxy Servers

Easy to find, easy to setup. Some sites have become smart enough now to check if the IP address you are coming in from is an open proxy server and will attempt to deny it ??? but this is most often the easiest solution. The key is to find an open proxy server that everybody else, or even worse, Eastern European crime syndicates, are also not using.

The best source if you are a blogger is to check your spam comments. Most of those IP addresses will not only be open proxy servers (you just have to work out the port ??? or if you host your own blog, start logging the port), but will be virgin proxy servers.

Otherwise there are a ton of lists available online, often updated each minute, as well as services where you can test your proxy.

FoxyProxy is a Firefox plugin that allows you to easily switch between proxy servers (many Chinese web users are very familiar with having to juggle proxy servers and use such plugins, or browsers that have similar features built-in)


VPN Servers

Similar to a proxy, except that a VPN is an encrypted link to a server that will route all of your network traffic (your computer, in effect, becomes part of the network).

FreeVPN ??? thefreevpn.com ??? A completely free VPN client and service for Windows machines. No ads, and a fast service. Not sure what the business model is, which is why I wouldn???t trust it with any personal or private information and restrict it to just movie watching or poll rigging. Best free VPN service and super easy to install (see review here)

Feeedur - www.freedur.com ??? A commercial VPN/anonymizing service that works well.

HotSpotShield ??? hotspotshield.com ??? Another free VPN service, but forces you to click on an ad. Working with Hulu again.

UltraVPN ??? www.ultravpn.fr ??? cross platform (OS X support). Both free and anonymous.

The Web Is Flat

Using a proxy or a VPN to bypass geographic restrictions or to preserve anonymity online has been known and used by more advanced users for years. More modern services and tools are making it easier for the average internet user to take advantage of the same techniques.

There are entire business models that depend on geographic targeting, so there is a constant cat-and-mouse game between providers of these services and those seeking to bypass the set restrictions. Those who are seeking to access content are winning though, and they will continue to win, as the very nature of the Internet and web make it near impossible to detect where somebody actually is if they refuse to let you know.

To be able to watch and hear all those things we are missing when we are living abroad (also applicable to other countries, including Spain).

It sucks to be cut out to your culture because of your location. Internet, knowledge, arts, culture are universal and should be ubiquitous.