Category Archives: Fun

Fiddlehead Ferns

Yes, you can get these in US! You just have to pay more. Unless you are local to the region where these are grown in US, you will need to order from online sellers. I ordered mine from Earthy Delights. Since these are perishables, only overnight shipping is provided. Be smart and order more than a lb in order to make it a worthwhile deal. For the ones I ordered, I am yet to savor their taste… but I am quite sure they will be wonderful! Close examination did tell me that they are not same as what you may find in Himalayas. Mine had shoots chopped…

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Update: they turned out to be pretty tasty. Here’s a picture of the cooked version Indian style

Fiddlehead_ferns_cooked

Try my version of fried chicken

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Made up the recipe myself. Turned out to be quite tasty.

About a 1lb of Chicken Breast cut into small pieces

Batter – Wheat flour (3 Tbsp), 3 egss, Salt, Paprika, Milk (1 cup). Whip everything until somewhat thick. If too runny add more flour.

Mix batter and chicken pieces, until chicken is thoroughly coated. Fry them for 10-12 minutes @375 deg F in deep fryer.

Serve with Sauce of your liking. I used Frank’s Buffalo Sauce.

Transmission Remote GUI enables you to control your torrents from Windows

I love Transmission BT client on my Ubuntu Server. However, I hate it’s web UI. Searching on the web I found an excellent UI for it. It’s called Transmission Remote GUI, and can be downloaded here. This UI is a “thick” client meaning you will need to connect to Transmission Server using this software installed on your client machine. In my case, I am using my Windows box to connect to Transmission Server using this wonderful GUI.

Look and feel wise, it’s similar to uTorrent. See this link for some screenshots.

Trick: Bulk Download 100+ Wallpapers from Microsoft Website

Microsoft Website has a good selection of HD Wallpapers. However, it’s hard to click on each image and download individually. There are some ways to bulk download images using some software tools or browser extensions but either those tools are confusing to me or require purchase to download files without any limitations. So, I was determined to find a better way.

You’ll need Linux. In my case I used my Ubuntu Server.

The page where all the wallpapers are is this.

First we need to get all anchors in that page. There are several methods. You can download the webpage in an HTML file and use a tool to extract links. Here, I’m going to use a neat trick using Lynx. I’ll use Lynx to dump all the links found on the page, and then use standard Linux tools (grep and cut) to get the links we really want.

Speaking of relevant links, the general pattern I found on MS website for image links is:

http://res1.windows.microsoft.com/resbox/en/windows%207/main/c392e5dc-7866-48fe-92ea-d11c94717f71_12.jpg
http://res2.windows.microsoft.com/resbox/en/windows/main/49d3a973-4579-40ea-aabd-3bcf73c0b4c6_6.jpg

I found that all the links contain word “main”. That’s what I’m going to use as the keyword to extract only the relevant links. Of course, you can be a bit more precise, and use a pattern like “resX.windows.microsoft.com” or whatever you feel like.

So here’s my command to get all the image links

lynx -dump -listonly http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wallpaper?T1=all | cut -d ‘ ‘ -f 2 | grep main > wallpapers.txt

A quick check for wallpapers.txt reveals that we have 248 images

cat wallpapers.txt | wc -l

However, we have duplicates! So we need to remove the duplicates

sort wallpapers.txt | uniq > wallpapers_nodups.txt

Now we’ll have about 124 wallpapers ready to download.

Next, I simply use wget to download all images in the file

wget -i wallpapers_nodups.txt

This will take a few minutes depending upon your internet speed but you will get all the wallpapers! In my case it took under 3 mins to download 124 wallpapers.

Finally, I will move these wallpapers to a shared location that’s accessible from my Windows machine.

NOTE: this trick was used to bulk download wallpapers from Microsoft’s website. With a little bit of modification you bulk download any file from any website.

UPDATE: Trick 2 to download 4K wallpapers. Read here

My New Arcade Controller

A few days ago I wrote about my Arcade fever. Since then I have been thinking about actually building an Arcade machine! I’ve ordered some components and the first one to come was this Arcade Controller I bought from Amazon for about 30 bucks. This is an awesome inexpensive controller!

Send emails from Ubuntu using your live.com address

This is a neat configuration to enable SMTP mail using Microsoft’s Live.com email. After successful configuration you’ll be able to send outgoing mails from your Ubuntu box using your live.com account. (Other email services will work too. I haven’t tested though).

Will you ever manually send emails from Ubuntu? Perhaps not but this configuration is extremely useful in sending out system notifications to your email address. It’s also useful to send messages from websites hosted on the box. For example, the contact form on my blog works this way.

Alright, here’s how to do it.

We will be configuring SSMTP on Ubuntu.

You need: a live.com email address, and Ubuntu machine with sudo access

Step 1 – Install ssmtp

sudo apt-get install ssmtp

Step 2 – Open config file

sudo vi /etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf

Step 3 – Enter details and Save

[email protected]

mailhub=smtp.live.com:25

[email protected]

AuthPass=yourpassword

useTLS=YES

useSTARTTLS=YES

rewriteDomain=live.com

hostname=live.com

FromLineOverride=YES

Step 4 – Add Reverse Aliases

sudo vi /etc/ssmtp/revaliases

Add for root and other local users

root:[email protected]:smtp.live.com:25

 

Testing

ssmtp [email protected]

Next type the message in the following format:

To: [email protected]

From: [email protected]

Subject: Testing from Ubuntu!

 

If you can see this, it works!

There is a blank line after Subject, that’s very important. After the blank line, whatever you type becomes the body of the message. Once you’re done press Ctrl+D. It’ll wait for a few seconds and then send the message.

IMPORTANT: Currently, there is a daily limit to number of emails you can send through live.com, outlook.com or gmail.com. Exceeding the limit blocks all outgoing emails. Therefore, I would recommend, not setting “root” email address. Once you set it, things like cron job output also get sent to that email address. Second, if you use Webmin, create an environment variable called MAILTO in Cron module and set it to blank value. This way Cron would not try to send email output to [email protected]

Arcade Fever

I love Arcade games! Growing up I never owned a console but I fondly remember frequenting the neighborhood arcade shop, and spending hours and hundreds of coins over there. It was so engaging to play Cadilacs & Dinosaurs, Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter. Just reliving those memories! Those arcade shops are perhaps long gone but the legacy of those games is still there. If you have a computer you can download emulators that can run same old arcade games. That’s what I am doing nowadays!

Got this arcade fever, and I love it!