Author Archives: Rohan Kapoor

Switching from WordPress MU to WordPress

For almost a year now, I ran a WordPress MU site with BuddyPress, and bbPress, all running the latest bleeding-edge SVN releases. Unfortunately, I soon learned that this is not an easy task at all. Bleeding-edge releases, while fun and full of new features are very disaster prone. In the process of fixing things,  other things break and then, it’s just not a happy application. The amount of time I spent fixing things, searching how to fix things, and scratching my head because I just couldn’t fix things was just too much. Obviously, running bleeding-edge software on a production site isn’t the best of ideas.

I was unable to keep up with the updates and eventually the sites just died. Some programs on the Virtual Private Server insisted on filling up the virtual hard drive with lots and lots of statistical data. Unfortunately, statistical data on several dead websites is hardly useful at all. Once the virtual drive was full the server basically destroyed itself. Isn’t that just lots of fun?

After several months and several domain expiries, I decided it would make sense to get rid of a testing ground and only keep production sites. I reasoned that if a testing ground was needed, it would be easy enough to build on my local virtualbox setup of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Server Edition. I reloaded the VPS with CentOS 5 and happily was greeted with an empty hard drive again. Last time, my VPS was running Kloxo from LXLabs. Unfortunately, after the great HyperVM and Kloxo vulnerabilities of 2009, I was very wary with installing Kloxo again. It also had the “great” statistical tendencies.

I decided to install Webmin and it’s module virtualmin for administration because I have used it before and it is a truly much better alternative to Kloxo. Virtualmin, though has a paid version, however, in my experience, the GPL one works just fine. Admittedly, I do know my way around Linux and could easily run all of these commands through an SSH terminal but it’s much easier to just use a web-based control panel.

The install was quick and painless, just a simple bash script that needed execution and everything was working fine. I logged in to Virtualmin, created a new account for this domain, after modifying features per domain and set up was complete. I simply had to install WordPress and then upload modified sections of my database from the WordPress MU install. From there, it was simply configuring permissions, installing plugins, setting themes, and embedding functions.

In an afternoon’s work, I managed to backup all of my data from WordPress MU, BuddyPress, and bbPress, reload my Virtual Private Server, install a new control panel, set up new DNS with XNAME, and restore my backups to WordPress (Single User). Hopefully here, problems will be virtually non-existent and with some luck, everything should work for good this time.

Livescribe Pulse Smartpen: Changing the Way We Work

Several years ago the concept of digital pens reached a mainstream environment. These were pens that interacted with special paper to either digitize what was written, provide information or something else. The FLYPEN was one of the first to arrive on the market. At the time, I thought it a waste of time, something I would never end up buying because I could see no use for getting digitized copies of everything I wrote down. I also wasn’t willing to pay several hundred dollars for one.

Then a company named Anoto began creating this “dot paper”, paper with a printed dot pattern to make digitization and interaction better for smartpens. Anoto released their own pen and that looked interesting, yet at the time I was still unable to see the need for one.

Last year, I started looking into a new company, Livescribe that created the Pulse Smartpen. This was looking rather interesting. Anoto dot paper technology, java based software and “penlets”, 1gb of storage space, and the ability to record audio while taking notes. All of a sudden, this device began to look rather interesting.

In my day to day life, I end up taking a lot of notes. Though I do normally have a computer with me, it’s not always feasible to use it for note-taking. For example, when creating diagrams or any type of drawing, using a laptop touchpad is just plain horrible and results in sub-par quality assuming it’s even legible at all. For this reason, the Pulse Smartpen was looking appealing. I received it as a birthday present and immediately decided to put it through a test. I was given the new 2gb model of the Pulse Smartpen.

Included in the box is:

  • 1 Pulse Smartpen (2gb or 4gb)
  • 1 Starter Notebook
  • 1 Ink Cartridge Refill
  • Quick Start Guide
  • USB Portable Docking Station
  • 3d Audio Recording Headset

The Pulse uses an infrared camera to read the dots on special paper to figure out where it is (dot-positioning-system) and from there records all of the strokes you make on the page, instantly digitizing everything you write in your own handwriting! With audio recording, and the ability to design your own paper and penlets with java, for it’s cost this pen seems like a very nice deal.

Within two days of having, and using it, I found my notetaking habits were vastly changed. The pen truly revolutionizes the way people work. The pen came before the keyboard and many times it’s much better than the keyboard. With the pulse, you get the best of both worlds, digital and a PEN! The ability to record audio and link it to written text on the base is a major plus point of the pulse. In practice, this allows you to either write less and listen more, then add more notes later. It also provides a failsafe incase you forget to write something down. You can always listen to it.

The best part of the Pulse’s design in my opinion, is that the only button is the power button. All of the other “buttons” are relocated onto the bottom of the journal & notebook pages. Called “Paper Replay,” they allow you to control audio and the entire pens settings as well.

So all together, Livescribe’s software, and Pulse SmartPen have changed the way I work. I no longer need to pull out my laptop or netbook for everything. I can just use my SmartPen and it’s paper and then have all the information needed on my netbook when I get a chance! I highly recommend Livescribe and I’m sure that once you try it, you will too!

Review: Refurbished Logitech MX Revolution!

The Logitech MX Revolution (left) has been called, “The World’s Most Advanced Mouse!” by Logitech as well as many other third party reviewers such as myself. I’m inclined to agree to with them even after just a couple of weeks with the mouse.

I bought the MX Revolution refurbished off of eBay because I really don’t feel like spending $80 on a new mouse. EvenLogitech MX Revolution if it was going to Revolutionize my mousing. I ended up getting a fairly decent deal on it and purchased it (refurbished) for $40.

Honestly, would I say the functionality of the MX Revolution justifies it’s steep price. Yes! I would. It’s many buttons, dual wheels, and fancy look, as well as ergonomic design definitely justifies it. There are so many buttons on the thing that I still haven’t found a use for around 3 of them yet! The mouse if obviously built for right-handed people and as such it works perfectly for me.

I’m primarily an Ubuntu user and as such was expecting to be given a hard time by Logitech. However, I was pleasantly surprised when everything just worked. I love the charger and the lithium-ion battery is amazing. I only have to charge it once a week.

Needless to say, I’m very, very impressed with what Logitech has come up with and will continue to be a user.

Is Google Trying to Replace My Phone Company?

At first it sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? Google trying to replace phone companies? The concept sounds kind of crazy. That’s what I thought too… until I did a little bit more research. And honestly speaking, I too have gotten a Google Voice number!

Google Voice is one of Google’s latest endeavors. Their philosophy is not one phone number per device, but rather one phone number per person. It’s an amazing philosophy and the results are pretty damn impressive! Google Voice is currently a private beta and is invitation only. An invitation is also rather hard to obtain for those of us without friends already using Google Voice. I emailed a few of mine and a couple hours later, I was the proud recipient of a Google Voice invitation! I signed up and decided to give it a whirl.

Currently, in terms of phone services, I have a home phone number (powered by Vonage) as well as a cellular device, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 with AT&T as the service provider. I love the fact that Vonage emails me transcriptions of my voice messages and allows me to listen to them from the web-based interface. Unfortunately, AT&T does not. This means that my voice messages are in two different places and makes things much harder to look for. My main reason for looking into Google Voice was so that I could get all of my messages transcribed and emailed to me. It makes life much easier when all of your messages come to one inbox!

As part of the Google Voice signup process, I had to choose my new “Google Number”, effectively this is just a standard phone number powered by Google Voice! Here’s the cool part, it allows me to have free national calling as well as extremely low rates to most countries. Not quite as low as Vonage but still much lower than AT&T! The beauty of it is that whenever anyone calls my new Google Number, it will automatically ring both my Vonage phone and my Xperia X1 and whichever one I answer with will take the call. Of course, there is a boatload of other features that Google Voice offers as well and all of them are truly amazing solutions! Best of all Google Voice is free! You can view the full feature list here.

After looking through Google Voice and all of it’s features it seems that Google has the infrastructure set up to successfully replace my phone company. Unfortunately for them, they were unable to buy the airwave space that they required in order to become a cellular phone company. For now however, I don’t see Google Voice replacing my phone companies but rather working along with them to add features and functionality at low cost. In the future, however, I could definitely see Google replacing my phone company with Google Voice and I would guess that they would do a brilliant job at it. I for one would be willing to pay Google for the service, though I do prefer free over fee any day.

For a beta product, Google Voice certainly is a very impressive service. It’s something you notice with Google a lot. All of their products that are considered beta or even pre-alpha are very good quality. Honestly speaking their beta products are a lot of time better than paid products from other companies! In fact, I’m writing this from Google Chrome for Linux unstable on Ubuntu 9.04. That means pre-alpha stage. Guess what? In the two months that I’ve been using it, the only thing it can’t do is print successfully — something that Google warned me about before I installed Chrome for Linux. It’s something I do rarely as it is and if I ever do need to print, it doesn’t take too much effort to fire up Mozilla Firefox and print from there.

Domain Change…

When I first started this blog, I owned the domain I wanted the domain but unfortunately for me (at the time) the domain was owned by another Rohan Kapoor who co-incidently wasn’t using it for anything. Strangely enough, when I checked the whois records last June, I surprising found that the domain was available! I bought it at that time and have since been redirecting it to Some of you may have noticed that now the exact opposite has happened. Instead I’m now redirecting from to My reasoning behind that change was that the domain looks much better than the same domain with a dash in it. It also makes it easier to find according to many of my friends. Therefore to make it easier for friends and colleagues to find me online, I decided to move my blog over to On the webserver end, this is actually so easy it’s almost a joke! As I’m running Domain Mapping to map the blog to the domain, I just simply removed the dash that the domain was mapped to and it just works! I’ve requested google to make the needed changes on their end to move the site over within their database. According to Google’s Webmaster Tools, this process is likely to take 3 months to get completed! Additionally, I need to change out the links on many of the sites I’ve worked on to say instead of the old address. There should be no problem contacting me because of the domain change as the two email addresses and domains are run seamlessly through Google’s Apps Service! My plan is to keep everything on for now!

In regards to the many subdomains of, currently they are going to stay at though at some point I will transition them over to The old addresses will be seamlessly redirected with 301 Redirects which should cause no problems to the end users!

It’s good to finally be moving everything to the domain name! It seems more professional, you know?

Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Officially Released!

While I haven’t had time to test it out for myself yet, I am aware that the all new Ubuntu 9.10 was officially released today! As many of you should know, if your reading this, that Ubuntu is literally the best open-source operating system available today. The best part of it is that Ubuntu has and always will be free!

Ubuntu is an African word meaning ‘Humanity to others’, or ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. The Ubuntu distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the software world.

The Ubuntu team has really done a great job here. From every release of Ubuntu, they have been true to the official Ubuntu philosophy. The free price tag doesn’t hurt either!

Anyways, I’m downloading 9.10 Desktop from the torrent and right now, it’s taken about 10 minutes and is already 75% done. Here’s the link to the torrent!

I’ll probably end up running an install or an upgrade by this weekend, and then I’ll be sure to let all of you guys know, how it is!!

Stay tuned for more about Ubuntu 9.10 | Karmic Koala!

Conclusion to My Sony Ericsson XPERIA Repair Woes

I’d like to have posted this sooner but it’s been a pretty busy couple of days. This is the conclusion to Tales of a Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1. This also is part three of the three part series.

Part 1: Tales of a Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1

Part 2:  Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1… The Plot Thickens

Part 3: Conclusion to My Sony Ericsson XPERIA Repair Woes (this post)

Early last week, I received a phone call from a senior member of Sony Ericsson’s Social Media Department named Jeff. This had been his second attempt to contact me but I had unable to receive to his call.

I’d like to begin with saying that I’ve really appreciated that Jeff gave me a call. It says a lot about a company if they are spending money working on their image as seen by consumers and trying to help those who have had bad experiences. It seems Sony Ericsson as a company hasn’t declined as badly as I had originally thought. It seems that they may have just a few service representatives that may have lacked the style and enthusiam that normally accompanies any experience with Sony Ericsson. I’ve quite happy to report that Jeff did have that enthusiasm and from the hour that we spent discussing, it would be safe to say that Sony Ericsson as a company still cares about their consumers, even through this economic decline.

Jeff told me that he had seen my previous two blog posts regarding my issues with the XPERIA X1. He was quite happy to explain the Sony Ericsson’s point of view regarding the problems I reported. To his and Sony Ericsson’s credit, he accepted that they had made several mistakes throughout my support experience and he was very apolegetic about it, though he personally hadn’t done anything to contribute to it. His call has gone a long way towards making me feel good about this Sony Ericcson experience, and now I probably would consider staying with Sony Ericcsoon XPERIA as my smartphone provider of choice.

I began the conversation asking Jeff what the original problem was with the XPERIA X1 that I sent in for repair. He was quick to inform me that while he didn’t have all the information (those records have kept at the repair center) he did no that it wasn’t user error or anything that I did. It was in fact a problem with the hardware of the device.

Additionally, I had a large problem with the issues of the support card. Jeff was happy to clear that up for me. It seems that the other reviews were mistaken. Not all, XPERIA X1s are shipped out with the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 Support Card. Especially the ones in Singapore. It depends on the ammount of support offered in the region. In Singapore, only basic support is offerred and as such the XPERIA X1’s sold there are not shipped out with a support card.

What’s even more interesting is that the support card doesn’t make a difference in problems such as mine. I would still have had to pay shipping & handling as the support card is irrelevant in these cases. Of course this means that the original representative that I spoke with was not properly trained and gave me incorrect information. You also can’t be mad at a company for a mistake that 1 employee could have accidently made.

My next issue was regarding the long time that it took for them to inform me the status of my X1 and to then ship it out. Jeff explained that the repair center that I had shipped my phone to didn’t have as many X1’s as they realized they needed. They just had to wait till they could more shipped out to them.

My final problem(s) with this support experience was for the long time it took Sony Ericcson Support staff to get me a UPS tracking number. It took them a week from my first call to provide me with this information and that wait wasn’t appreciated… At all. Jeff said he understood how I felt and then he accepted all responsibility for this error on behalf of Sony Ericsson. As he explained it to me, what essentially happened was that the repair center called Sony Ericsson telling them a replace was needed. Sony Ericsson then called me telling me a replace was needed should they go ahead? Sony Ericsson then called repair center telling them to go ahead and ship it the next day. The next day, the repair center should have called back and given Sony Ericsson a tracking number. However they did not and as such I was not given the needed information.

In conclusion, I’m still unhappy with some of the problems that happened during my XPERIA X1’s repair service and I’m still somewhat disappointed with Sony Ericsson for their mistakes in handling this case. However, Jeff’s phone call and resulting discussion has lessened the blow for me and it is likely that I would at least consider, if not buy, another smartphone from Sony Ericsson.

Stay tuned for my Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 Review!

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1… The Plot Thickens

Part 1: Tales of a Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1

Part 2:  Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1… The Plot Thickens (this post)

Part 3: Conclusion to My Sony Ericsson XPERIA Repair Woes

Around an hour ago, I posted Tales Of A Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1. Since then I’ve already received one comment from Michaela Conley. I also have finished having another conversation with Sony Ericsson that has only proved how not helpful their customer service department is.

After waiting for about 30 seconds, a sales representative picks up the phone and then attempts to find my information in her computer. She tells me that there is no records of Rohan Kapoor with my phone number. I ask her to try again and oddly enough there pop-ups the records relating to this problem. After explaining the situation to her, she informs me that there is still no change in the status and that the representative who told me I would receive the XPERIA X1 today was mistaken and the true policy is 3-5 business days, not 3 business days. After I requested more information from her, she put me on hold for several minutes while she attempted to find the information. After returning from placing me hold, she informed me that the computer had no records indicating shipped or not shipped status and as such couldn’t help me. Furthermore, she informed me that the person responsible for this data was not in today. She however told me that she is bringing this up to her supervisor’s attention and said that within the next 24-48 hours, I should have an email with up to date information.

As I have mentioned multiple times already. the quality of Sony Ericsson’s support has seriously declined within the last 2 months. If it is taking them this long to figure out whether they have shipped out a replacement or not is a little scary. It makes you wonder what they are actually doing if they can’t readily provide this information to a customer, especially one, who paid this large a sum for their best phone.

As I said in my comment response to Michaela Conley,

At this point, Sony Ericsson will have to do a lot to make up for this injustice towards me as an XPERIA Owner, or I may end up taking my business somewhere else!

Tales Of A Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1

Part 1: Tales of a Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 (this post)

Part 2:  Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1… The Plot Thickens

Part 3: Conclusion to My Sony Ericsson XPERIA Repair Woes

As some of you may (or may not) know, I recently purchased a Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1, their top-of-the-line phone running Windows Mobile version 6.1 Professional. This phone is sold with two versions the X1a for sale within North America and the X1i for sale within the rest of the world. As it is much cheaper to purchase an X1i within the United States if bought through a third party on eBay (for example), there is nearly a $500 price difference. I decided to buy the X1i for that reason as I wan’t ready to spend $1000 on a cellphone (I spent less on my laptop) and therefore bought the X1i from eBay for $600 (about) United States Dollars. This purchase was completed nearly two months ago.

For unimportant reasons, the X1 spent most of those two months in it’s box unopened. I only got around to opening the box of the X1 three weeks ago. In the beginning it seemed like a flawless handset but within the first 24 hours problems began to appear. First the volume down button stopped working. Then multiple buttons on the slide-out keyboard began to malfunction until finally at least 8 of them stopped responding at all. After a call with a Sony Ericsson XPERIA Support Technician, I was told that I should hard-reset the phone. An action that totally wipes all data from the device and see if that would bring the keys functionality back. However it didn’t. All it did was manage to irritate me more because now I had no data on the device (I had backups that were recent but would have to be restored) and the keys still didn’t work. The Sony Ericsson representative was shocked that this hadn’t fixed my problem.

The standard protocol for the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 (being Sony Ericsson’s Top of The Line Business Phone) is that any problems with the device, a new one will be shipped out and should be received within 48 hours. As the Sony Ericsson representative was quick to inform me, that only applies if you have a support card. And the sad part is, the seller on eBay informs me that he wasn’t sent any support cards from Sony Ericsson. After refusing to send me out a temporary replacement, another hour is spent on the phone while the representative sets up an RMA. To add insult to this injury, he then informs me that the repair/replace process can take anywhere from 7-14 days after the device is received. Additionally, he tells me that I will need to pay to ship the item to their repair center.

All this because I don’t have a support card?

Doesn’t sound very fair, does it? Had I had a support card, the representative was quick to inform me, they would have immediately sent out a new phone and covered shipping both ways. I don’t see why I should be treated any differently than a customer with a support card. I paid the same ammount of money as anyone who bought the phone with a support card. I have a full warranty as well! Why should I be treated any differently because I don’t have a slip of paper that states SUPPORT CARD on it?

So I paid my shipping charges, and sent my XPERIA X1 on it’s way to Sony Ericsson’s Product Repair Center. About 5 days after I shipped it to them, I got a phone call from another one of their representatives who wished to give me a status update. First, he tells me that my XPERIA X1 is not repairable. He then offers me a choice to accept a brand new XPERIA X1a or get my broken XPERIA X1i back. After comparing the two, I decided I would accept the XPERIA X1a. The representative then informed me that I should receive my new XPERIA X1a by next Wednesday (today). He also informed me that he would be

unable to give [me] a support card, as we [Sony Ericsson Support] don’t carry them in stock.

Effectively, that means that if there are any more problems with the new device, I will have to pay shipping and then wait a long time again. For someone who has spent almost $600 buying one of these new, that doesn’t seem fair at all. It’s also not something I expect from Sony Ericsson, a company whose support department has been exceptional in all my dealings with them before. Seems that they too, are no longer able to provide the exceptional support that they have provided in the past.

Yesterday, I decided to check with Sony Ericsson, to see if they could provide me with a tracking number so that I could verify when my new X1a would be arriving. The representative I spoke with said that,

There is no change in the account status. As far as I can tell, your X1a hasn’t even been shipped yet.

Obviously this sounds a little fishy, as I had been told it would be shipped last friday, four business days ago. The representative then told me, it would be best if I waited till tomorrow (today) and then called back for a status update. As it’s allready 5:30 PM on Wednesday (past UPS delivary time), I think I will go ahead and call them now and see what they have to say.

Overall, I am quite disappointed with the XPERIA X1 so far and even more disappointed with the level of support I have received from Sony Ericsson. They used to be one of the best companies in the industry, however at this point, I’m not sure if I will be buying another device from them. I’m that badly shaken up and dissapointed.

I’ll try to update this with more information as soon as I have it.

You can view part two of this post here

Crazy Keyboard Glitches!

I pride myself on keeping a nice neat, and clean keyboard. As such I was shocked when the number pad on my external Logitech Wireless Internet suddenly stopped working! However it appears I shouldn’t have worried.

A quick google and look what I found:

Basically you need to:

Click on System->Preferences->Keyboard
Open Mouse Keystab.
Uncheck “Allow to control the pointer using the keyboard”

and then it works perfectly! Thanks GeekoZoid!