Why I switched to a CHILI SIM only #Mauritius

I used to have a Dual-SIM phone (Lenovo S60) with the 1st slot holding a CHILI SIM and the secondary one holding a MyT (ex Orange) SIM. You need to know that the 2 SIM card slots are not created equal on dual-sim phones. The first slot usually has higher bandwidth than the secondary one. Most of the time, the secondary SIM is 2G/2.5G only meaning you can only do phone calls and very slow internet.

For Rs 86.24 (Rs 75 + VAT), you get 750MB of mobile data. This is a lot of data for a mobile phone. The only thing which you would not be able to do is stream videos. But come on. You do have the options of making YouTube videos offline. You can thus watch your videos on the move on the YouTube app.

The best part of it is that the data balance get forwarded to the next month if you buy another package within 30 days.

As if the data package wasn’t good enough, CHILI also give huge amount of free SMS and all calls to other operators occur at a fixed rate.

I was still putting money on my MyT (Orange) SIM just to keep the number. But then I got an iPhone which has only 1 SIM card slot. I had to make a choice. Is mobile data more important or having a phone number which has been yours for almost 5 years?

The Future of Telephony

There are multiple ways to contact a person: WhatsApp, Facebook’s messenger, Twitter App, Gmail, LinkedIn and so on.  When you have mobile data, you have all these methods which are not tied to a single operator.

It’s simply not worth paying MyT loyalty fees. I highly recommend anyone to try the CHILI Zeness Pack.

My End of Year 2018 Linux Complaints

Desktop Linux has matured considerably ever since I started using it 8 years ago. But I feel there are things which we take for granted on Windows and even Android phones which are kinda annoying. First world problems you might call it.

1st complaint: Bluetooth headset support

We’re all used to turning on our Bluetooth headsets and our mobile phone or car stereo automatically plays whatever media we have on our phone. On KDE Neon, it’s not that refined.

Connecting a Bluetooth device does not automatically switch to the new device. Sometimes you have to disconnect the headset from the GUI and press reconnect. Then it works.

Sometimes the chrome would continue playing audio on the loudspeaker so I have to manually set it to Bluetooth.

It seems like the issue has been fixed for me somehow.

2nd Complaint: GPU support

OK. Good news is that the open source drivers for AMD Radeon and Nvidia GeForce works immediately after fresh OS install. I mean no black screen on boot. But when you want to do something more serious such as gaming and Machine Learning on Cuda, you’ll need proprietary drivers from AMD or Nvidia. Problem is that the latter is often less capable than their windows counterparts.

Subcomplaint 1: No GPU usage monitoring

Windows’ Task Manager does this tasks beautifully. You know exactly which process is using which GPU.

Without forgetting the graphs.

On Linux you have to install glances with GPU support. Yet, it will not show the Intel HD graphics usage.

Subcomplaint 2: Cannot switch between Nvidia GeForce GPU and Intel HD GPU without logging off.

This is a big one. On Windows, you just turn on your laptop and you can do any activity you want. e.g. you can choose to game in high performance or you can write some text in power-saving mode. You can manually launch programs using either the Intel HD graphics or Nvidia one.

But on Linux, if you want to save energy, you have to do:

# prime-select intel

# reboot

Afterwards, if you decide to do some Tensorflow or gaming, you’ll have to enable the GPU and reboot.

# prime-select nvidia

# reboot

Windows really shines in this seamless switching.

3rd Complaint: Nvidia Drivers crash on resume

When you have Nvidia Drivers activated and you close your laptop. On resume, you’re greeted with a blank screen. I have to reset me laptop and reboot. Sucks.

4th Complaint: No transparency themes

Linux themes need to have atleast some transparency settings built-in to look a bit modern. I know KDE people have custom themes which needs to be compiled and it looks awesome but come on. No one needs to learn how to compile applications just to have a modern look DE.

5th Complaint: No ambient light sensing

I’m really used to my mobile phone adapting it’s display brightness according to its environment be it indoor, outdoor, day or night. My Asus ZenBook came with an ambient light sensor but on Linux, my display brightness doesn’t adapt to the environment automatically.

Conclusion

Linux is really stable for the end-user now. Most of the *real* complaints are mostly geared towards proprietary drivers for GPU.   What the things which bothers you most about Linux Desktop Environments in 2018?

 

Basic Security with Asterisk/Freeswitch

This post is not exhaustive. These are the minimum security measures.

  1. Block all access to port 5060 and 5080
    1. /sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p udp –destination-port 5080 -j DROP
    2. /sbin/iptables -A INPUT -p udp –destination-port 5080 -j DROP
  2. Allow only specific IPs to connect
    1. /sbin/iptables -I INPUT -p udp -s {IP} –destination-port 5060 -j ACCEPT
    2. /sbin/iptables -I INPUT -p udp -s {IP} –destination-port 5080 -j ACCEPT

KWrite vs Kate

The default editor in KDE Neon is KWrite. After having used Kate in Kubuntu for more than 5 years, KWrite simply seems primitive. Kwrite uses like 12MB of RAM.

Let’s uninstall it KWrite and install Kate on my KDE Neon

# apt purge kwrite

# apt install kate

Opening the same document in Kate now uses 16.7 MB of RAM. 

Comparing these 2 editors side-by-side, i think KWrite is somewhat cleaner to look at. But I miss the terminal plugin of Kate too much.

 

After loading that plugin, the memory usage of Kate jumped to 80MB. But I don’t think I’m much concerned about RAM on my ASUS ZenBook right now.

I think Kate should be the default text editor for KDE Neon to showcase the power of the KDE Desktop to people who want to try the bleeding edge technologies. On the other hand, Kate’s GUI can be further fine-tuned to be more minimal.