2 Nov 2010

Do Google AdSense Publishers become blind to "Ads by Google"?

I first signed up for the Google AdSense program in 2006, so I have been putting "Ads by Google" on my websites for 4 years now. Google is understandably strict about "click fraud" (clicking your own ads through any method) and will disable AdSense accounts that show suspicious activity.

I have always been paranoid about compromising my income from Google Adsense to the point that I have effectively programmed myself NOT TO CLICK ANY "Ads by Google" on any website, ever. This has been a pretty successful tactic to maintain good standings with Google, but I have no doubt cost other Adsense publishers a good few clicks over the last 4 years. I kind of feel like I owe a general apology, so sorry...

Naturally, I have made a few mistakes here and there and accidentally clicked Google ads that have been placed by very talented AdSense publishers. This sort of experience has been most educational in learning about good ad placement, which I have taken to heart and tried to implement on my own websites.

I am just wondering if there is anyone else out there who has found that they have programmed themselves to become blind to "Ads by Google"? I guess this could be one reason why you often hear people suggesting that you can make more AdSense money from non-techie websites? The audience is less savvy and probably has less/no reason to "worry" about clicking on Google Ads?

3 Oct 2010

BlackBerry - Linux tethering on Vodacom SA

I have been fortunate enough to upgrade to a Blackberry Bold 9700 smart phone since my post on how to use your cell phone as a modem on a Linux EeePC.

The following chat script enables BlackBerry - Linux tethering through bluetooth (Vodacom South Africa).

defaultroute replacedefaultroute connect "/usr/sbin/chat -e -f /etc/chatscripts/blackberry -v" disconnect "/usr/sbin/chat -e -f /etc/chatscripts/disconnect -v"
receive-all nobsdcomp nodeflate

Save the above code to /etc/ppp/peers/blackberry and type:
  • sudo pppd call blackberry
to initiate the connection*

To end the connection:
  • sudo poff blackberry
*There are a few preliminary steps required to get this working correctly (bluetooth pairing etc) but I have already covered these in my previous post on how to use your phone as a linux bluetooth modem, so be sure to click through if you need some extra help. (substitute the sudo nano /etc/ppp/peers/provider step with the above).

I have only tested this chat script on Vodacom in South Africa but found it to work great! I made a successful skype call and saw download speeds of 30 Kb/s with a 3G connection. Do remember that you will be charged for your data useage though as tethering is not covered by BIS.

29 Sep 2010

Vodacom4me to go offline soon?

Update (2 April 2011): Vodacom4me.co.za is officially offline and the domain now points to My Vodacom - vodacom.co.za

It's old news that Vodacom has revamped their website to include a new and improved "My Vodacom" Portal that is intended (advertised) to replace all Vodacom4me functionality.

The new "My Vodacom" login screen

The old Vodacom4me portal has been running alongside My Vodacom for a good few months now. I was starting to wonder if Vodacom were actually serious about decommissioning Vodacom4me and it seems that the time of action is drawing near.

I noticed the following warning message up at Vodacom4me in the past week (or 2 maybe)...

"Please note that the Vodacom4me website will be switched off soon. If you want to carry on using Vodacom4me for a little longer you can."

So Vodacom is giving ample warning to its users about the switch. I haven't actually used either of the portals for very much more than sending Free Vodacom SMS but I have picked up on rants about the new portal not fully duplicating the old Vodacom4me functionality - I think in terms of reporting (or not reporting) data bundle usage specifically.

Forced to complain I would say that the new Vodacom website is slow and unreliable and it can be difficult to find what you are looking for. There have been several occasions (in the few times I have logged in) when My Vodacom has thrown messy error messages at me. I can't say that I never experienced errors on Vodacom4me which is disappointing as one expects improvement with the release of a new site. But we can still hope that Vodacom will address the issues on My Vodacom soon! It is only a matter of time until they start redirecting all Vodacom4me traffic to My Vodacom directly.

In memory of Vodacom4me

In related news, we have updated Free082SMS to send SMS through the new My Vodacom website in anticipation of the switch...

31 Aug 2010

Geographic target and your website Rankings (Google Webmaster Tools)

I have been wondering about how the “geographic target” setting (under site configuration, settings) in Google Webmaster Tools might affect a website’s search engine rankings (if at all) for a good nine months now. And I have finally reached the conclusion that the “geographic target” can influence Google SERPS quite drastically.

Keyword Ranking Graph from sheerseo.com

I was working on Search Engine Optimisation for a company that wanted to perform well in the US rankings (Google.com) and so I set the “geographic target” to “United States” on December 8th (1). By the 21st of December I had seen a massive general improvement across my keyword set for this website in the Google.com rankings. We had also just completed a very aggressive back link building campaign so it was impossible to isolate a clear cause and effect.

However, on the January 29th (2) I was instructed by a company director to remove the US reference from the Google SERPS. Google was appending "(us)" to results from this website and the director was concerned that leads from non-US regions would not click through. So, I removed the “geographic target” setting for this website from Google Webmaster Tools.

By early Feb, rankings for the keywords in my set had plummeted on Google.com. I suspected that the drop was caused by the “geographic target” change but there were other confounding factors (we lost links from a high authority site through down time on their side). On explaining the situation to the directors I was instructed not to revert the “geographic target” setting.

I continued with every day SEO but on the 11th of August (3) I “secretly” reset the “geographic target” back to “United States”. By the 30th of August the Google.com rankings were way up again! Fortunately, it seems that Google is not appending "(us)" to the results any more, so I should be able to keep my secret ;) I certainly don’t want to fiddle with the “geographic target” again, even though it would be an interesting exercise to challenge these "findings".

Note: “geographic target” can not (does not need to) be set for country specific domains such as .co.za .fr etc

Log data from Google Webmaster Tools

19 Aug 2010

Edit your Blogspot / Blogger Post Title Tag for Search Engine Traffic

It has always bugged me that my Blogspot title tags took the format of "richelectron: Blog Post Title" because this is not best practice in terms of SEO. Most relevant keywords should be grouped more towards the left of a title tag for best results to generate traffic from search engines. This means that Blogspot blogs are optimized more for their blog name rather than their individual post title keywords by default. i.e. A better title tag for this blog post in terms of SEO would be "Edit your Blogspot / Blogger Post Title Tag for Search Engine Traffic | richelectron" which is exactly what I have changed it to, and here is how to do it:
  • Login to your Blogspot dashboard
  • Click the Design tab, followd by "Edit HTML"
  • Click Download Full Template (as a backup)
  • Delete the following line from your template code

  • And replace it with this:

    <b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "index"'> <title><data:blog.title/></title> <b:else/> <title><data:blog.pageName/> | <data:blog.title/></title> </b:if>
Click "SAVE TEMPLATE", followed by "View Blog" and you will notice that your blog post titles use a new format that should help to improve your search engine traffic.

p.s. Isn't it interesting that Blogspot is owned by Google and yet the blog post title tags are not optimized for search engines by default? Have you ever noticed that Blogspot posts do not have a meta description tag either?

19 Jul 2010

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a great way to get people to your website

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to techniques that make it easy for search engines to find, understand and rank your web content. SEO is important because of the massive market exposure it can reward you with. More than 14 Billion search queries are processed by search engines on a monthly basis compared to a paltry 285 million monthly TV viewers. SEO has been shown to be the most effective online marketing tactic for generating conversions for business.

Search engines work by searching a copy of the web – pages are collected, categorized and ranked for relevance and quality. Several criteria and signals (“the algorithm”) determine which pages should be displayed in the results for what keywords. SEO aims to enhance the signals ‘sent’ by an optimised page to increase relevance in search engines so that it will be positioned highly in the search results. Google dominates the search engine market with a share of 70% while the last 30% is largely made up by Bing and Yahoo! (Yahoo! will soon be powered by Bing ).

You can also pay directly to advertise your website along side the organic (non-paid) search results for chosen keywords, but organic results get more click throughs than paid results do.

The very basics of getting your website to perform well in the search engines:

  • Content must be visible to search engines (i.e. plain text based – not Javascript or Flash based)
  • Content must be added often
  • Content must be organised into a logical layout
  • Content must contain relevant keywords in the body and links
  • Content must have lots of relevant pages linking to it
  • Monitor and record your SEO efforts
You can see a central role is played by good content, the rest of SEO is about keywords and links…

Valuable Keywords that will drive traffic

You need to understand how your customer is thinking in order to be able to understand the sorts of search queries they may use to find your website so that you can target these keywords and focus your efforts on keywords that have business value.

Ideas to determine good keywords:

  • Brainstorm around the solutions you provide
  • Brainstorm around your customer’s needs
  • Interview customers
  • Review keywords that are currently generating traffic
  • Speak to sales about the words that prospects use
  • Speak to customer service about the words that clients use
  • Review competitors content
Now you need to analyse the keywords that you have identified to help you understand what phrases are popular and worth focussing on. You can use the Google Keyword tool, or Google Insights for search. Also visit SEMrush.com to analyse your competitors domains for more keyword ideas. Sort your keywords by popularity, competition and relevance in each of your website categories.

Now that you have identified valuable keywords you are ready to insert them into strategic positions to optimise your pages. The following elements of each page need to contain your keywords:

  • Title tag
  • Headings
  • Paragraph titles
  • Keywords in body copy
  • Anchor text in links
  • URL
  • Image alt text
  • Meta description tag

The title tag carries a particularly heavy weighting and your most important keywords should be included close to the left of the title with a maximum length of 65 – 68 characters. Each page should have a unique title tag and description and should that is relevant to search engines (to rank well) and appealing to humans (to secure click throughs).

Do not over optimize though, each page and each element of each page should focus on only 1 or 2 keywords.

Make your website visible to search engines

Your website must be easy for search engines to find and index and provide them with motivation to keep coming back.

Simple guidelines to a “search engine friendly” website:

  • Use plain text links for your navigation (NOT Ajax or Flash)
  • Link keyword phrases between pages
  • Build lots of high quality inbound links
  • Build HTML & XML site maps
  • Avoid complex URLS & session ids
  • Avoid Multiple URLS with the same content
  • Redirect old URLs to new URLS using a 301 redirect
  • Structure your content using a general top down to specifics hierarchy
  • Use the robots.txt file to exclude pages you don’t want listed in the search engines
  • Include “breadcrumb” navigation
  • Make use of the “Canonical tag” to avoid duplicate content issues
  • Link consistently site wide – choose between example.com or www.example.com
  • Monitor your 404 logs for pages that are not found and redirect them using 301

Push your site to the first page by getting links

Links generate traffic and infer meaning based on the “anchor” text used in the link. A text link that contains valuable keywords is good. Links that say “Click here” aren’t as good. The more links there are to your page with a specific keyword, the better your page will rank for that keyword. However, not all links should contain exactly the same text or the search engines will be on to you. Variety will prevent your links from looking contrived. Links from websites that already rank well in the search engines but internal links from other pages within your website are also important

Link code can also contain a “nofollow” attribute rel=”nofollow” whereby search engines will not recognize the link.

Blogs are great way to generate new content that can be pushed into social media networks to gain awareness and get the community to link to your great content. You can also use tools such as Linkscape to determine who is linking to your competitors but not linking to you.

Other ideas for link building include profile pages, article submissions, unpaid directories and paid directories, but you can be quite creative about how you get links. After all, as long as you want to be competitive in the search engines, you need to be building and acquiring back links.

Monitor your SEO efforts

“If it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed. If it can’t be measured, it’s not worth doing. Etc. etc…”

Take benchmark measurements so that you have a reference point and then set goals for yourself and monitor your progress so that you can change tack as required.

Some parameters to keep an eye on include:

  • Number of pages indexed
  • Google Webmaster Tools Reports
  • Your website rankings (Geographic location and Google domain will influence results)
  • Inbound links: quantity, quality
  • Keyword referrals from search
  • Referring websites (Link traffic)
  • Social media traffic
  • Conversions

You can make use of Google Analytics or Clicky to track your analytics and sheerseo.com generates excellent ranking reports and keeps track of your ranking history. Page Rank Checker also offers free ranking reports for several Google domains.

Homework for HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification Exam Class 2: SEO Crash Course to Get Found (GF102)

28 May 2010

Custom segments may not be what you are looking for in Google Analytics

Let me say right up front that Custom segments show session data sets and not single pageload data in Google Analytics.

How not to do it:
Hypothetically speaking you may want to setup a quick reference to display just your blog post traffic (excluding the blog homepage and archive pages). So you might think that you could setup the following custom segment to show pages containing "/blog/":

But then draw the conclusion that "custom segments are broken in Google Analytics" when you are presented with the following results (note the inclusion of the /index.php and other non-/blog/ related pages).
The reason for this unexpected behavior is that this custom segment will display all page loads from sessions that include any blog visits (in this case) - Providing you with a general traffic pattern for blog visitors which may not be exactly what you are looking for.

How to do it:
If you want clean page load data that only contains your blog post pages then you should make use of the "advanced filter". Often easily over looked - it is just to the right of the simple filter at the bottom of the page.

The advanced filter allows conditional filtering which enables you to setup a highly customised data set.

Now you can include blog related content and exclude additional pages as required to create a precise custom data set. This makes it simple to extract the exact data that you are looking for.

18 Jan 2010

Looking after your Siamese Fighter (betta)

‘Snoopy’, a Siamese fighter or betta was my very first exposure to tropical fish, probably more than 10 years ago. I purchased him out of one of those shameful setups where they showcase the attractive colours of several betta on the shelf top, each in their own tot glass worth of water. While this issue is not the central focus of my post I would like to encourage anyone who is considering a betta purchase to rescue one of these poor chaps from a similar scenario. Sure, betta can survive the harsh conditions of small volumes of water and lack of heating but they will be much happier in a proper aquarium setup. Betta are hardy little buggers and this makes them fairly easy to care for, it doesn’t mean that they warrant less care than any other tropical fish.

I was recently presented with the opportunity of a fresh aquarium setup and embraced the chance to revisit my betta days. I diligently prepared with some fresh betta research (I had Google and the www this time after all) and was quickly reminded of the same old betta FAQs:

Betta FAQ 1: Can I cycle my tank with a betta?
Betta FAQ 2: Can I keep other fish with my betta?
Betta FAQ 3: What should I feed my betta?

… which I hope to contribute to with my experience and hopefully shed some light on now.

Question 1: Can I cycle my tank with a betta?

The short answer is yes, you can. I popped my new betta, ‘Blue’ as the first fish into his new home (my trusty JEBO R338) and he was happy from the word go. I just ran the tank for a good two weeks (until the water cleared) before introducing Blue and then fed him just once a day for the first month or so.

The long answer is that cycling a tank with fish can be very stressful for the fish, so water changes and careful monitoring are a must! Overfeeding is never good, but you must take special care not to introduce excess food into the tank during the tank cycle. There is also unfortunately no guarantee that any fish will make it through a tank cycle alive.

Question 2: Can I keep other fish with my betta?

The short answer is yes again. However, you should stick to these guidelines.

Do not keep brightly coloured fish with your Betta. I would peg it at a 90% chance that he will chase them and injure them, even if he doesn’t harass them all the time. If you must have other fish in addition to your betta, rather add fairly plain (non-agressive) fish or fish that do not generally stick to the same parts of the tank that he does.

I followed the ‘advice’ of an arbitrary forum post that I found on the internet and tried to house a school of Cardinals with my betta. He paid no attention to the new school at first, but a few days later I noticed that 2 had disappeared, and then I spotted one without an eye… Blue had been ‘hunting’ them during the night. I quickly rescued the survivors to the fish tank at work where they now live happily with a bunch of harmless Platies.

Having said that, Blue never bugged the Corydoras, Otocinclus cat (they were never in his way) or Ghost glass cat fish that I placed with him in the end (I don’t think he could see them for their transparency). So you just need to exercise some care when placing additional fish with your betta and consider question 3 at the same time.

Question 3: What should I feed my betta?

Most local fish shops will happily sell you just a box of ordinary fish flakes when you purchase a betta, with not an ounce of further advice. But you need to know that betta have temperamental digestive tracts and they get ‘clogged up’ if they are fed on fish flakes alone. You should vary your betta’s diet to include flakes, pellets and blood worms to stop problems from developing. As a side note, if your betta does become constipated, you can fast him for a day or two and then try and get him to eat some of the inside of a cooked pea (he won’t be able to digest the pea skin, you need to remove it), this will help to clear his system.

The question of feeding should also be elaborated on to include “How much should I feed my betta?”. Betta are greedy little fellas and they will over eat quite happily in the classic, clich├ęd fish way (and then beg for more). Your betta’s food intake should be monitored strictly by feeding him only as much as he can consume in about a minute, twice a day and even just once a day some days. Excess food should always be removed.

I need to highlight how this feeding issue now links back to question 2 – because betta are greedy little fish (and top feeders), they will often gobble up most food as it enters the tank. This makes it difficult to make sure that other fish in the tank are actually getting enough food without over feeding your betta. You could find yourself (as I did) regretting that you added additional fish to your tank - Blue unfortunately manged to eat himself sick and passed away. Looking back I would have to recommend that betta are kept in solitude to prevent over eating. Though you may find that you could keep some bottom feeders (such as corydoras) along with your betta quite happily as long as you fed them specially formulated bottom feeder food that your betta will not be able to just gobble as easily (this theory is untested).

However, I’m sure that there are exceptions to these rules as there always are – share them in the comments if you know of any :)

7 helpful Firefox add-ons for webmasters

My 7 step guide to being a more efficient webmaster with Firefox add-ons.

1. Shareaholic
Shareaholic makes it easy to add your newly generated content to all of your favourite social / bookmarking websites. Just customise the sites that you would like to include in the drop down menu for easy content submission, without losing your place on the web or forgetting to submit to any popular sharing services.

2. Autofill Forms

Link building and hence link submission is a full time job for a webmaster which amounts to very repetitive work. Autofill Forms allows you to save form profiles so that forms can be pre-populated just once with your details and then used repeatedly to save you from mind numbing and back (if not finger) breaking hours of typing in the same info.

3. Delicious Bookmarks

This add-on gives you access to your Delicious bookmarks directly from within Firefox. You can add to your online library of useful links easily and incentivise yourself to build your own knowledge base and contribute to the Delicious community as your valuable bookmarks will not be stuck on one machine. You won’t be set back if your PC goes down or you move jobs – simply continue to access your online resources as easily as ever.

4. LinkChecker

LinkChecker dutifully scans through all the links on a page and confirms their validity or highlights breakages in red, for peace of mind and fewer worries in the middle of the night.

5. Screengrab

Screengrab is great for saving the entire rendering of a web page or section of a web page as an image – useful for all kinds of applications / scenarios.

6. SearchStatus

SearchStatus provides numerous search engine related page stats for each page. Features I use the most include the Google pagerank and Alexa rank toolbars. SearchStatus also allows you to highlight nofollow links in red – this makes it easy to identify the kind of links that may be on offer from any given website.

7. Firebug

Most webmasters will know Firebug and it always deserves mention as an invaluable tool for inspecting elements by selection and experimenting with code on the fly, as well as displaying server requests and other helpful info.

3 Jan 2010

Reset your Asus EeePC 4G Surf (701) to original factory default settings

Note: the steps below apply to the first generation of EeePC (701) but some kind people have included instructions for some of the newer models in the comments below as well... If you are planning a factory reset of your EeePC I would recommend you consider upgrading the OS altogether. Otherwise, read on... Follow this procedure to restore your EeePC to the state it was in on the happy day you first unboxed it. Please note that this will erase any personal changes you have made and files that you have saved on your EeePC. To reiterate - Your EeePC will be completely reset to newly out of the box from the factory state and will reflect none of your personal settings or files. I hope you have your files backed up. Don't say I didn't warn you.
  • Press F2 while your EeePC is booting up to enter the bios
  • Press the right arrow key to enter the "Advanced" tab
  • Press the down arrow to highlight "OS Installation"
  • Press the + key to change the setting from "Finished" to "Start"
  • Press the right arrow key until you reach the "Exit" tab
  • Make sure that "Exit & Save Changes" is highlighted
  • Press Enter and then Enter again (OK) to accept changes
  • Now Press F9 while your EeePC is booting
  • Select "Restore Factory Settings" from the menu
  • Type 'Yes' to confirm followed by enter
Your EeePC will now revert to the fresh state it was in when you received it from the factory and the "first boot" settings wizard will be initiated at reboot. Don't forget to repeat the first few steps to set your "OS Installation" setting back to "Finished".

Use your mobile phone as a EeePC Linux Bluetooth Modem

Firstly, activate your cell phone’s Bluetooth and make it visible (you may need to refer to your cell phone’s manual).

Insert a USB Bluetooth adapter to provide your EeePC with Bluetooth functionality.

Now open a terminal window by holding down (ctrl)(alt)(t) and type:

  • sudo hciconfig hci0 up
  • sdptool search DUN
You should see similar output to that shown in the image above. If you don’t, there may be a problem with your phone/adapter - Make sure your phone isn’t paired with your Bluetooth headset etc…

This output displays your phone’s Bluetooth address (00:15:2A:27:33:58)and the channel that Dial up networking is available on (Channel 1 in this case). Take note of the Bluetooth address and channel.

Now type:

  • sudo nano /etc/bluetooth/hcid.conf
Ensure that the following lines are included and are not commented out (i.e. not preceeded by a ‘#’ character):

options {
autoinit yes;
security auto;
pairing multi;
passkey "222111";

device {
name "eeepc";
class 0x000000;
iscan enable;
pscan enable;
lm accept;
lp rswitch,hold,sniff,park;
discovto 0;

Most of these settings are okay by default, but we have specifically altered the “security”, “passkey”,”class” and “name” settings and added the “discovto” line.

Press (ctrl)(x) followed by (y) and then (enter) to overwrite the old file with the new changes.

Now type:

  • sudo nano /etc/bluetooth/rfcomm.conf

And make sure the following settings are as follows (not preceeded by a ‘#’):

Rfcomm0 {
bind yes;
device 00:15:2A:27:33:58; (BT address from sdptool output)
channel 1; (DUN channel from sdptool output)
comment "GPRS Connection";

Press (ctrl)(x) followed by (y) and then (enter) to overwrite the old file with the new changes. (BlackBerry users refer to my BlackBerry - Linux tethering post)


  • sudo nano /etc/ppp/peers/provider

Find the ‘/dev/modem’ line and edit it to ‘dev/rfcomm0’.
Also edit the ‘connect “/usr/sbin/chat –v –f /etc/chatscripts/pap –T *******”’ line to ‘connect “/usr/sbin/chat –v –f /etc/chatscripts/pap –T *99#”’ where *99# is your phone operators GPRS “dial command”.

Press (ctrl)(x) followed by (y) and then (enter) to overwrite the old file with the new changes.

Now type:

  • sudo rm -rf /var/lib/bluetooth/*
  • sudo /etc/init.d/dbus restart
  • sudo /etc/init.d/bluetooth restart
  • sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following line to the sources.list file

  • deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian stable main non-free contrib

Press (ctrl)(x) followed by (y) and then (enter) to overwrite the old file with the new changes.

Now type:

  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get install bluez-gnome

Press (y) to continue…

Once “bluez-gnome” has finished installing type:

  • sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Now comment the “deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian stable main non-free contrib” line by preceedint it with a ‘#’ (i.e. replace the line with ‘# deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian stable main non-free contrib’).

Press (ctrl)(x) followed by (y) and then (enter) to overwrite the old file with the new changes.

Now type:

  • bluetooth-applet

This should open a “red cross on a page” icon in your taskbar next to the time.

Now open a new terminal (ctrl)(alt)(t) and type:

  • sudo rfcomm connect 0 00:15:2A:27:33:58 1 (phone BT address followed by the channel from sdptool output)

Your phone will now ask you if you would like to pair with eeepc. Select yes and enter the pairing passkey ‘222111’ as entered in hcid.conf above.
At this point the bluetooth-applet icon will begin flashing, click it and enter the passkey ‘222111’.

Now to establish a GPRS internet connection, open a new terminal (ctrl)(alt)(t) and type:

  • sudo pon

Your phone will now connect to the internet via GPRS, giving you ultra mobile access.To kill your GPRS internet connection, open a new terminal (ctrl)(alt)(t) and type:

  • sudo poff

To automatically start Bluetooth every time you reboot your EeePC type:

  • sudo nano /usr/sbin/services.sh

Just above the last “#” in this file, insert:

  • sudo /etc/init.d/dbus start
  • sudo /etc/init.d/bluetooth start

Press (ctrl)(x) followed by (y) and then (enter) to overwrite the old file with the new changes.

Now, whenever you want to re-establish the connection, open a new terminal (ctrl)(alt)(t) and type:

  • sudo rfcomm connect 0 00:15:2A:27:33:58 1

Then open another terminal (ctrl)(alt)(t) and type:

  • sudo pon

“sudo poff” will disconnect your GPRS connection.

Install OpenArena on your EeePC for Quake like FPS linux gaming

Open Arena is the equivalent of open source quake 3. It’s quite impressive on the EeePC. If you want to try it out, open a terminal by holding down (ctrl)(alt)(t) and type:

  • sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

add the following line to this file:

  • deb http://www.geekconnection.org/ xandros4 main

Press (ctrl)(x) followed by (y) and then (enter) to overwrite the old file with the new changes.

Back at the terminal type:

  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get install openarena

Press “y” to install these packages without verification…

Once installation is complete, type:

  • openarena

Reboot if you get a “segmentation fault” and try again. But you should be thrown into the glory of open arena. Happy fragging!

Connect a bluetooth mouse to a Linux EeePC

Insert a USB Bluetooth adapter to provide your EeePC with Bluetooth functionality.

Then, open a terminal (ctrl)(alt)(t) and type:

  • sudo nano /usr/sbin/services.sh

Just above the last “#” in this file, insert:

  • sudo /etc/init.d/dbus start
  • sudo /etc/init.d/bluetooth start
  • hciconfig hci0 reset

Press (ctrl)(x) followed by (y) and then (enter) to overwrite the old file with the new changes. This will start Bluetooth every time you reboot your EeePC. Turn on the Bluetooth mouse and press its Bluetooth connect button, this should make its LED flash or something similar.

Now, open a terminal (ctrl)(alt)(t) and then type:

  • hcitool scan
This should find the Bluetooth mouse and display its Bluetooth address (00:12:5A:68:DA:71 in this case).

Now type:

  • sudo nano /etc/bluetooth/hcid.conf

Scroll to the end of the file and add the following:

device 00:12:5A:68:DA:71 {
name “Bluetooth Mouse”;

Where 00:12:5A:68:DA:71 is the Bluetooth address of your device.

Press (ctrl)(x) followed by (y) and then (enter) to overwrite the old file with the new changes.


  • sudo /etc/init.d/bluetooth restart
  • sudo hidd –search
This will connect to your Bluetooth mouse and it should work now. However, to make it connect automatically at every boot, you need to still do the following, type:

  • sudo nano /etc/default/bluetooth

Change the following lines to the values displayed below

HIDD_OPTIONS=”–master –-connect 00:12:5A:68:DA:71 –server

Where 00:12:5A:68:DA:71 is the Bluetooth address of your mouse.

Press (ctrl)(x) followed by (y) and then (enter) to overwrite the old file with the new changes.

Now reboot your EeePC and when it boots up you should have a working Bluetooth mouse!

Note: You may need to unplug your Bluetooth adapter and then plug it back in at reboot and then move your mouse to detect it properly.