Monday, August 20, 2012

Installing Jelly Bean ROM to Galaxy Tab 10.1

Samsung is taking its time in making ICS available for Galaxy Tab 10.1. Since JellyBean has come out since June 2012, it will probably taking another year to get a JellyBean update from Samsung. Looking in the internet, there are JB (JellyBean) custom ROMs available for the Tab. Since running Honeycomb is really aggravating, lagging, and quite a pain - I decided to take the plunge, root, and install custom ROM. Another option is to just get a Nexus 7 device - which will cost $200 more than installing custom ROM.

So in this post, I will describe the step by step process in installing JB ROM into my Tab (from stock Honeycomb). Please note that there are risks involved when one is doing this - that one may "brick" the device, or the installation may fail and require further troubleshooting etc. So do it on your own risk - no guarantees from me. My experience was that the installation was smooth and without any glitch whatsoever. Please do not skip any steps - also make sure your battery is full or almost full. Part of the steps is wiping the data. So if you do not want to lose any data, make sure you back it up first. 

1. ROOT (if yours is already rooted, you can skip this step)
Follow the steps from xda-developers here for rooting your device. The link above even has a video step-by-step guide.

At this point, I purchased ROM Manager App from the Google Play and update Clockwork Recovery to the latest version. 

  1. Download 2 sets of files from xda-developers, look for the section like the image on the right:
    1. The custom ROM (select the one that applies to you)
    2. Google Apps
  2. Copy the JB package (both the ROM and the Google Apps zip files) to your tablet’s internal Tab memory
  3. Turn off Tab.
  4. Go to ClockworkMod Recovery by turn on the Tab while holding the Volume Up button. 
  5. When the screen turns on, release the Power button but hold the Volume Up button until a menu shows up on the screen. 
  6. Press Volume Down to select the recovery mode icon and then, press the Volume Up button to enter recovery.
  7. Create a backup of your current ROM. Select "backup and restore". Select "backup" again. This will initiate the backup process. Once it's done, select "go back" to go back to main menu.
  8. Select "wipe data/factory reset" (and confirm)
  9. Select "wipe cache partition" (and confirm)
  10. Select "advanced" -- "wipe dalvik cache" (and confirm)
  11. Select "mounts and storage" -- "format / system" (and confirm). Once done, go back to main menu
  12. Select "install zip from sd card" -- "choose zip from sd card" and select the JB zip file and then confirm selection. The ROM installation will start. 
  13. Select "install zip from sd card" -- "choose zip from sd card" and select the Google Apps zip file and then confirm selection. The Apps installation will start
  14. Once done, select "go back" to the main menu and then select "reboot system now". DONE!
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How to Remote Desktop to Win7 Home

In Windows 7, you can only Remote Desktop to Windows 7 Pro, Enterprise, or Ultimate. So, for most of home users who have Windows 7 Home Premium, there is no RDP into it. Just to be clear, all Windows 7 versions can initiate a connection, but only Pro, Ent, and Ultimate can host (read here for more).

So, one of my desktop that I use for Media Center is running Home Premium - and from time to time I do need to login to it to run updates, install drivers, troubleshoot, etc. Yes, I can do it from the TV, but that means putting keyboard & mouse - which I don't want to. There is a "hack" - which basically installing the host executable in the PC - but somehow when I tried, it did not work - although the forum chatter seems to indicate that this should be relatively easy. So anyway, I decided to just put a keyboard & mouse for the time being. Until about 2 months ago, when I discover Chrome Remote Desktop (BETA)!

What is Chrome Remote Desktop? It is a Chrome extension (a plugin for Chrome browser) that enables a computer (PC or Mac) with Chrome that also has the Chrome Remote Desktop extension installed to RDP to each other. So in my case, I just installed Chrome browser and then the extension in my Media Center PC. Run the extension, it asked for my permission, give it a password, and it's ready. Then I also installed the same extension on my main PC in my office. Run the extension and - VOILA - I can RDP to my Media Center PC (running Win7 Home Premium)!

Here is the step-by-step:
If you do not have Chrome installed, go download & install it here. Go to Chrome Web Store and search for "remote desktop" and you should see result like this:

Click "ADD TO CHROME" and the download & installation of the extension should start. When it's done, you will see the Chrome Remote Desktop app icon shows up in your Chrome Apps.

Running the app for the first time, it will prompt you for allowing it access your computer. Click "Continue" here and then "Allow access" on the next screen.

Once you allow access, now it's ready to be setup for use. Click the "Get started" button.

To enable your computer to be connected to, click the "Enable remote connections" button. You will be asked to enter a PIN, which you will use every time you need to connect to the computer.

That is it - now it's ready! If you install and enable remote connections in more than 1 computer, they will get added the list automatically. The list is tied to your Google account (GMail/Google+). 

Now do the same steps above in a different computer, now you have 2 PCs that are able to RDP to each other via web. Here is the kicker: since this is via port 80, or http, this means one does not need to tweak firewall rules, install special VPN software, get dynamic DNS address, etc. As long as the computer is turned on, the Chrome extension will manage all the plumbing underneath. All you need is a broadband connection, Chrome browser & extension, and your setup/PIN.
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