Hosting a (simple) blog on GitHub.

Time for some Ghost Busting!

Starting a new blog is quite simple- just register yourself at one of the many blogging platforms and start publishing your blog at blog-name.platform-name.com.

But that isn’t how everyone wants their blog URL to be. (Don’t you feel that geekspecs.wordpress.com is too long?)

GitHub Pages allows users to host web pages on their account, and this is what we’re going to exploit – to have our blog URL as your-name.github.io/blog

Prerequisites: Ghost

Ghost, for the unfamiliar, is just another blogging platform. Ghost is a platform dedicated to one thing: Publishing. One can read more about Ghost here and proceed to download the latest version of Ghost.

The entire documentation is available here. I shall, however, for the newbies, describe the setup. We shall first host the blog on our system and then push it to our GitHub account.

As Ghost is based on Node.js, we first need to install Node. Download your edition of node from here. Next: Extract and install node onto your system. Make sure you are installing v0.10.*

One can verify by running

$ node -v

Extract the downloaded ghost-*.tar to /var/www/ghost

$ unzip -uo name-of-file.tar -d /var/www/ghost

Move to the directory and install Ghost

$ cd /var/www/ghost && npm install –production

Time to initiate Ghost

 $ npm start – -production

Fire up your browser, and visit 127.0.0.1:2368:  This is where you should see your blog. Visit 127.0.0.1:2368/ghost to setup adminstrator for your blog.

Now that we’re done installing Ghost, we need to configure it. One needs to configure the Mail and URL settings of the blog. Visit this, and generate a config.js file. Replace this with the config.js present in /var/www/ghost . Use your favorite text editor to edit the new config.js and set the URL field in the development dictionary as

http://username.github.io

and save the file.

Use either MySQL or SQLite to store your blog articles. In the same config.js, edit the database settings. If you prefer using MySQL, you need to make a database and set the fields accordingly.

Now that Ghost has been set, publish the articles. You should see your blog live at 127.0.0.1:2368. Head over to GitHub and create a new repository named blog.

Time for some ghost busting!

Buster is a brute force static generator for Ghost, i.e. it generates static webpages from your locally hosted Ghost blog. To install Buster, run:

pip install buster

Switch to the ghost directory and run:

buster setup

When prompted, enter the repository address for blog on your GitHub profile. An example would be:

http://github.com/username/blog.git

 Generate static webpages by running the command:

buster generate – -domain=http://127.0.0.1:2368

Move to the static directory and setup the git thingy.

git add .

git commit -m “Your message here”

git push origin gh-pages

This should push your static directory to blog repository. Using branch ‘gh-pages’ will enable GitHub pages to detect the index.html and generate webpage accordingly.

Fire up your favorite browser and visit http://username.github.io/blog to see your blog live!

After every new article one writes, one must regenerate the static pages and push them time to time.

Though one can easily note the downsides of having such kind of blog, one cannot neglect the new level of comfort and ease that has been bestowed upon them by the Ghost! Also, no need to worry about blog security as there is no online database to manage.

After such tedious work you guys do deserve a demo. Here it is!

The Good Old Wine.

Older the wine, better it tastes. The same is with my blog.

Be afraid not for it’s not a post on wine – but on the latest sweet in the market. Let me be clear (before I lose any reader) – this is a post on L transformation.

L transformation on 4.4
L transformation on 4.4

Lollipop has been around in the news for quite a long period. But, as usual, we, the commoners, have to buy nexus  or wait for an alternative. And I vote for the latter.

Disclaimer: Getting a perfect feel about 5.0 is impossible as there’s no trick to completely get the animations correct. However, the rest is possible.

Follow the steps to taste the never-tasted-before candy!

Google Apps
Google Apps
  • Now, you need to set up Nova Launcher-
  1. Navigate to Drawer settings and check the Cards option. And make sure other settings are in accordance with the ones in the screenshot.
  2. Navigate to Look and feel in Nova settings and chose  Moonshine (Stock ROM users only) as Icon Theme.
Nova Settings
Nova Settings

It’s a dead end for unrooted Stock ROM users. This is the LMAX  for you guys. Sorry folks!


If your phone is rooted, make sure you have Xposed Module and this module installed. Tinted Status Module helps you to set up the color of status bar with every app you have installed on your device.

Tinted Statusbar
Tinted Statusbar

Key to happiness is a Custom ROM 

Those who have identified this mantra only shall proceed.

One requires the following two themes installed: Free Mianogen and IdeaL Theme X.

Screenshot_2014-12-02-19-34-21
Peek-a-boo: Animations!

Proceed to Themes, select IdeaL Theme X and check the following properties.

IdeaL Settings
IdeaL Settings

Now, visit Free Mianogen and just check the Icons option.

Finally, just set up the downloaded wallpapers, sounds and reboot your phone (do not miss the boot screen!) to witness the perfect unwrapping of your candy!

Screenshot_2014-12-02-18-33-14

Screenshot_2014-12-02-18-33-27

Screenshot_2014-12-02-19-33-46

Screenshot_2014-12-02-19-00-37 Screenshot_2014-12-02-19-38-16Screenshot_2014-12-02-20-21-35

 

Web Apps on Android.

Yes, they’re are finally here!

I decided to pause my blog for a span of 6 months, as I needed to prepare myself for IIT JEE: A major entrance exam in India. But then this release made me break my vow.
I’ve had waiting for this time and finally they’re here.

Just like my earlier post on web apps, you simply require a browser: Chrome Beta or Firefox.

In case of Firefox, you have a dedicated web App Store, which contains all apps that are supported in Firefox OS, while Chrome allows you to save the link as a web app, like we’ve been doing on desktop.

Using web apps on smartphone is indeed a great idea. Such apps are beneficially for those devices with low internal storage (example: HTC Explorer which has only 90 MB) or with those facing RAM Management issues. For instance, I hardly use the Facebook for Android App, but the app consumes at least 43 MB of RAM, while running in background , which surely is a disappointment.

20131013-211239.jpg
Making web apps on Chrome Mobile (Credit for Screenshot: CNET)

20131013-211650.jpg

Firefox OS App Store.

Now, if you are die hard fans of web apps, I would recommend you to update to the latest Chrome in Beta channel, as it permits you create any web app, while Firefox currently has limited apps in the store, but it should grow more as their usage increases.

Here it is, the best underrated feature for mobile browsers.
Download:
Firefox
Chrome

To install web apps on Linux, Windows or Mac, refer this.

Online Terminal.

Access the power of the Linux on your browser with Terminal.

Linux is all coding and that’s the reason why programmers install that awesome OS on their systems. But for those, who love their Windows or Mac and do not want to migrate from the formers can use this service: Koding. Alternatively this service is for all those programmers and students who want to compile and run their code without having anything installed.

Koding

The biggest +1 goes for it’s ability to compile any code; be it Java, C, C++ or PHP . It runs it all.

Moreover, their fans can install Terminal. Terminal is a web-based chrome application that allows you to interact directly with a VM provided by Koding.com. If you have used UNIX before, you’ll feel right at home. Koding VMs comes with hundreds of powerful UNIX applications already included. Koding VMs provide you with a real Ubuntu OS, with real shell access, and allow you to work on real code. Python, PHP, C++, C, it doesn’t matter. Even better, they are online. Accessible from anywhere in the world. Even sharable with teams.

Users can sign up using email or Sign In through GitHub. Once you are done, you get 16GB of space to upload or type your code, and being a geeky social site, you can share work, follow people or topics. 

You shall be guided by tutorial on how to use Koding. After having followed it, one can observe various sections with pinch of social sharing. You can ask Qs, learn from the Topic Forums. 

Screen Delights.

Personalization is indeed the most powerful feature of Android. Custom ROMs, Custom made devices (Moto X), Custom Skins and so on are the evidences of variety Android can offer. Above all, it’s one of the simplest stuff, which can be done by both – newbies and pros.

Screenshot_2013-09-05-11-25-11_tmvxperiap2013-09-07_14-16-31

As the title suggests, this post is all about screens – my setup and how-to.

Getting your screenshots in the device

Presenting your preparation or screenshots with device frame makes them look awesome. One can do that through 3 ways.

Get yourself an app: There are quite a few apps which provide you with Device frames and generate the required results directly. User needs to just select the image. Two of my favorites are Screen Maker and Device Frame Generator. Since both of these are paid, I would recommend Screen Maker as it provides frames of more devices.

Via PSD: Certain people aren’t comfortable with choosing the easy path and hence, should go with PSDs of their devices.

Web Services: PlaceIt, AAS, DAG and MockUPhone are certain web services which just ask you for screenshots and return the desired

Xperia P Custom

Customizing your Screen, My way

Launcher: Action Launcher Pro

Widgets: Power TogglesTimelyVapor Ice

Wallpaper: Fuzz

Icon Pack: Click UI

After having done this, refer to this post on how to theme your phone like a boss without any Custom ROM.

Xperia P Custom

Unity Set Up [August]

My Desktop Prep for August

It’s been a month since the previous July Set Up which comprised of a dark holo UI. For August, I decided to treat the viewers with a plain white UI  overhaul.

Geek WallpaperDesktop

Unity DashThe Unity Dash

Ubuntu FilesFiles

Google Chromium WhiteChromium

Download:

Wallpaper

Icons

Theme

Note: The theme that you shall install is a package of many themes. While applying the theme in Tweak Tool, select Mediterranean White. Check out my Set Up for July. If you’re facing some problem while applying the icons or theme, check my out tutorial for the same.

Chrome OS: On your Desktop.

Get the features of Chrome OS.

Google’s Chrome OS uses Web Apps extensively, and most of the features of OS come from them. Many people adore the idea and concept of Chrome OS. Though web apps are just links to specific sites, with some more feature set, we prefer to use them over the standard browser-surfing procedure. They are self updated, accessible to any one, small in size and the users do not need to have special privileges. Making web apps is quite simple, be it any OS. What you actually require is the popular browser from Google: Chrome or Chromium.

Chrome Web store app

Chrome Web Store App on Ubuntu.

Just visit the Chrome Web Store and install any web app you desire. After having it installed, visit the New Tab page of Chrome.

Screenshot from 2013-07-29 12:50:03

Right Click on the App icon and select Create Shortcuts. A pop up window appears asking you to create what type of shortcut you prefer. Check the Applications Menu option to make sure that your formerly-only-chrome-app is now installed into your system.

Screenshot from 2013-07-29 12:50:17

This trick works on any platform. But for those Geeks who use Ubuntu, there’s even a better technique. Simply install Fogger. Fogger lets Ubuntu users quickly create and run websites, services and utilities in a dedicated, WebKit-based window on the desktop. The biggest +1 over standard method is the desktop integration with unity like desktop notifications, unread message count on launcher icon. Note that Fogger is available only on Ubuntu 12.04.

fogger lens 123

Fogger Apps on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Mac users can use Fluid. Fluid lets you create a Real Mac App (or “Fluid App”) out of any website or web application, effectively turning your favorite web apps into OS X desktop apps.Creating a Fluid App out of your favorite website is simple. Enter the website’s URL, provide a name, and optionally choose an icon. Click “Create”, and within seconds your chosen website has a permanent home on your Mac as a real Mac application that appears in your Dock.

Windows users can go with AllMyApps. Just liked above apps, it integrates your web apps into the system, thus, enabling notifications.

The sad part with the above three OS-specific softwares is that you need to install the respective software and make your apps. if you just want any single or simple web app, the first technique is indeed the best.

If you like to keep your desktop clean, make sure you download Chrome OS Wallpapers and add these Web Apps to your Desktop. Ubuntu users can check out my theme posts and install the one that suites their choice. Windows users need to set the Aero color to complete white and set the web apps in the App Tray.

Thus, you can transform your desktop into a well-built app ecosystem, like you have on mobile devices these days. And the ones who loved the concept of ChromeOS can implement it to maintain the former OS and functionality.

Read ahead only if you love Chrome OS and use Windows.

Google has added the Chrome OS styled launcher to the developer version of Chrome for Windows. It organizes apps into a tray and can access the Chrome Apps directly from desktop. This procedure is even simpler than the first method. Try out the Chrome Dev Channel if you want to test the feature.

App Showdown: PushBullet.

Push anything to your Android device.

At the recently held Google Event, where the new Nexus 7 was unveiled, Google announced that the Play Store was now the officially biggest App market. That being said, it’s not a surprise to find innovative and better sharing Apps, like Bump! or SuperBeam. Just like them, PushBullet is one of the most productive and innovative App that I’ve ever come across.

PushBullet

PushBullet: Notifications.

It pushes anything from any device, that supports web browsing, to your Android Device. You can push any file, image, video or even a list to your Android device. The biggest plus one goes to it’s ability to save the user’s time. It’s pretty quick and appears as a notification on your device. I’ve seen people emailing themselves the required link, and open the mail in their phone. But now, PushBullet can take care of that. No need to send useless mails to yourself.

And of course the Chrome extension makes it incredibly easy to push webpages and Google Maps addresses right to your phone. Found a restaurant you want to try out? Push the address to your phone and get to navigation in a snap from the notification. This service pushes YouTube videos, or Notes as desired, and thus it’s a Chromecast-like feature for your Android device.

For accessing the service in a non-Chrome browser, just visit PushBullet.com and register yourself, using your Google account. Thus, you can push anything from iPad, Kindle and even from one Android phone to another. This service is quite useful who use Android Ecosystem only.

Want to transfer data from iDevice to an Android device? Check out my previous post.

Free Custom Domain.

There are many people out there, just like me, who just love sharing their knowledge, writing or may be create an online presence. The more determined start with simple yet awesome YouTube videos but others go on with their blog and website.
And then some are like me, not wanting to spend any penny and do everything!

This post is for the latter ones. Having something like *.Wordpress.com or *.blogspot.com is too irritating because of the length and second, the feeling of awesomeness diminishes to an extent.

But from now on you can give your sites a custom domain as desire. GeekSpecs has a new domain geekspecs.tk. Do not forget to check that out.
By now, you might have got the point, I’m trying to make out. It’s free but not .com or .org. You’ll have to get some weird .endings.

If you manage a site like www.*.webs.com or even a big google site, head on to FreeDomain. It works like a charm and gets you a custom .co.nr web address.

If you host a blog, specially at WordPress, you might not be able to enjoy the former benefit, simply because WordPress doesn’t allow to do it. So there’s an alternative. It’s Dot.tk. GeekSpecs too, uses that.

There are others too, but only for name sake or give a very big name in sub domain referral part. These are the best available out after the fall of my favourite co.cc, which had to be shutdown because it’s services were extensively used for spamming. So make sure you don’t destroy the other services.

The edge that .tk has over co.nr is you can manage DNS separately which isn’t anywhere in .co.nr.