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Customise the preview icon used for your website on the iOS homescreen

One of the features available in recent versions of the operating software used on the iPod Touch, the iPad and the iPhone is the ability to add a bookmark to your homescreen. By default the bookmark icon will be a small screenshot of the bookmarked page. However, it is very easy to override this image and set one of your own.

All you need to do is place a 60x60px PNG image, in the top level of your website, with a filename of "apple-touch-icon.png". You don't have to make the image look like an iOS app - shading and highlights will be added automatically. The corners of the icon will also be rounded automatically.

You can also place the icon in a different location and use a meta tag to tell iOS where to look for it. An example would be:

<link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="/images/ios/webapp.png" />

This technique is often used to create webapps - webpages that look and and act like native iOS applications. 

Manually Installing VMware tools on Ubuntu 10.10 kernel version 2.6.35-24 under VMware Fusion 3.1.2

VMware Fusion allows you to run other operating systems virtually on your Mac. One of these operating systems is Ubuntu 10.10. To get the best performance, and to enable features such as file sharing between the Mac and Ubuntu, you need to install VMware tools.

Unfortunately the menu option in VMware Fusion 3.1.2 to install VMware tools doesn't appear to work with Ubuntu 10.10 kernel version 2.6.35-24, instead stating that the "vmware tools are not available for this guest". This guide explains how to manually install the tools.

The first step is to start your Ubuntu virtual machine. Next, right click on the CD icon at the bottom right of the virtual machine window and select "Choose Disk Image". Navigate through your Macs filesystem to "/Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/isoimages" and select "linux.iso".

You should now have a 'CD' available on your Ubuntu desktop. Open the 'CD' and you'll find a .tar.gz archive file. Right click on the file and extract it to somewhere convenient (e.g. the desktop).

Next, open a terminal window and navigate to the folder you extracted from the .tar.gz. Run the command "sudo ./" and follow the on-screen instructions. You can press Enter at each prompt to accept the default value - this should be okay for most users.

When the script has completed you should reboot your virtual machine. At this stage you should be able to drag and drop files between the virtual machine and your Mac, access shared folders in /mnt/hgfs, resize the window and have the resolution automatically update and so on.

Resetting the Gnome panels to default in Ubuntu 9.10

If you've customised the Gnome panels in Ubuntu 9.10 and then changed your mind it can be quite difficult to get the original layout back. This guide explains how to reset the Gnome panles in Ubuntu 9.10 to their default layout.

Start by going to Applications->Accessories->Terminal (if you have deleted the menu you can get to the terminal by pressing Alt+F2 and typing "gnome-terminal").

This command will unset the configuration values for the Gnome panels. You will lose any changes you made to the panels.

gconftool --recursive-unset /apps/panel

Next you will want to delete the configuration keys:

rm -rf ~/.gconf/apps/panel

Finally, to close and restart the panels run this command:

pkill gnome-panel

The panels should now re-appear with the default Ubuntu configuration.

Fixing the Speakerphone on the 2.07.401.1 HTC Touch Pro 2 ROM

The recent 2.07.401.1 ROM upgrade for the HTC Touch Pro 2 added a wide range of new features, such as HTC Sense 2.5. Unfortunately it also added a number of bugs. One of these is that the when the speakerphone is active the other callers may not be able to hear you - the microphone is effectively muted.

There is an easy workaround for this problem. On your Touch Pro 2 go to the home screen. Slide to the "Settings" tab. Tap the "Menu" softkey and choose "All Settings". Tap "Personal" then "Phone". Open the "Advanced" tab and change "Reduce noise in phone calls" to "Never".

Using the Windows driver for the RTL8187SE on Ubuntu 9.10

The Realtek RTL8187SE is a mini PCI-e 802.11b/g wireless LAN card and is found in many netbooks and some laptops, for example, some versions of the MSI Wind U100. Recent versions of Ubuntu have a native driver for this card, but it can be unreliable. An alternative is to install the Windows version of the driver using ndiswrapper.

This guide explains how to install the Windows XP version of the RTL8187SE driver using the graphical frontend for ndiswrapper on Ubuntu 9.10.

Start by installing the graphical version of ndiswrapper with your favourite package manager. In the Ubuntu Software Centre you can find it under "Windows Wireless Drivers" and in other package managers you can find it under "ndisgtk". It can be installed either from the on-line repository's or from the Ubuntu 9.10 CD.

Next you will need to download the Windows XP driver for the card. You can find this by going to the Realtek website. Save the ZIP file to a convenient location (e.g. the desktop), right click on it and choose "Extract Here". A folder should be extracted with a name which is something like "RTL8187SE_WindowsDriver_XP_.....".

Now, go to System->Administration and then "Windows Wireless Drivers". After entering your password you should see the following window.

ndisgtk Main Screen

Choose "Install New Driver".

ndisgtk Select Driver

Click on the browse button. Navigate to the folder you extracted from the ZIP file earlier. Inside it you should find another folder called "RTL8187SE". Inside that folder you should see another folder called "WinXP". Finally, inside that folder should be three files - chose the one called "net8187se.inf".

Press "Install" to go back to the main window. This step may take a few seconds to complete.

ndisgtk Driver Loaded

Click "Close" and then restart your computer. After restarting you should be able to use the network manager to scan for, and connect to, wireless networks.

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