Mangalore

Non-Samsung USB Wireless Adapters on Samsung TV – How to

We recently purchased a 40″ Samsung LCD TV (Model No LA40D550) to replace our Jurassic era 29″ Flat screen CRT TV here in India.

The new Samsung TV is pretty cool. Frankly, I did not expect so many features in it! Has 4 HDMI inputs along with a host of other traditional connectors…and 2 USB inputs. You can connect any USB storage device & it plays a good variety of videos including h.264, divx, avi, wmv..etc and ofcourse mp3s and images.

Although this model is not a SMART TV, one cool feature is that this TV supports DLNA! Samsung calls it AllShare.

Well, what that means is, from a Windows 7 PC, one can stream movies/music to the TV. Also from the TV, one can browse & view the media thats on a DLNA server (windows 7 has it built-in). Also, now a days, other devices support DLNA (like my Mobile Phone – HTC Desire HD). So basically, I can play the video that I have on my phone on the TV. And for all this to work you need a WiFi network (works on a wired network as well, but who needs wires :D).

Now, to enable wireless DLNA on this TV you need to purchase the optional Samsung Wireless Adapter – LinkStick (WIS09ABGN), which is a total rip-off at Rs.4500 just for the adapter. Its basically a WLAN adapter, which is Samsung branded. Other 3rd party adapters are available for Rs. 1000 or less but the TV does not recognize it.

So, now for the interesting bit on how to get a Non-Samsung wireless adapter to work on this TV!!… Here are the steps that I followed…(the easiest approach that I could find)

  • Did some research on the Internet & found that the Samsung USB Wireless adapter (WLAN) was basically using a Ralink chipset within it – RT2870 to be precise. So, basically, the TV has the drivers required to control or interact with that chipset. Oh, the TV internally runs on Linux if you were wondering.
  • Now, I had to find a USB WLAN adapter which had the same chip. Did some further search on the internet and found that the Edimax EW-7718Unuses the exact same chipset. Did a quick search on eBay India & found one from Rs. 949 including shipping. Two days, and I had that adapter to play with!
    • You can find other WLAN adapters from other brands too, but make sure that the chipset within it is the same Ralink 2870 chipset & the VID/PID can be changed via the EEPROM (more on this a bit later). Also, please keep in mind that these devices come with different hardware revisions and each revision can have a different chipset. So, you need to be a bit careful here. It won’t burn your TV down if you plug an incompatible USB WLAN adapter, but you will have a useless WLAN adapter with you :)
  • I tried pluging-in this Edimax EW-7718Un adapter to the TV directly and nothing happened. The TV did not recognize it. Then plugged it to my laptop.. and sure enough it was working fine. So, the unit was good.. but the TV was not recognizing it.
  • Did some search again on the net & found this wonderful site called SamyGo.Tv. Not for the faint hearted. Basically they have custom firmware and super cool hacks for Samsung TVs! How cool is that!! This page in particular was very helpful.
  • Every USB device has two identifiers VID & PID, which identifies the vendor and the product. These values are in the ROM and on many of the WLAN adapters, these values can be replaced or re-programmed (i.e, they are on EEPROM). So the TV is basically expecting the WLAN adapter to have Samsung specific vendor ID and product ID. Now we know what needs to be done to get the TV to recognize the Edimax Adapter!
  • So, basically, the Edimax EW-7718Un had the following values
    • VID = 7392
    • PID = 7718
  • For the TV to recognize the Edimax WLAN adapter, I had to replace the above values to the one present on the official Samsung WLAN adapter/linkstick:
    • VID = 04E8
    • PID = 2018
  • According to this wiki page, the recommended approach to make this change is to run some commands in linux, which re-programs the ROM. I searched for Windows equivalent tools to do the same, but could not find anything simple/easy.
  • Well, it had been a while since I had taken Linux for a spin and this was motivating enough to try the latest version of Ubuntu (release 11.1). I set it up in a Virtual environment & started following the instructions on the Wiki page. I quickly learn’t that the drivers did not compile on latest version of Ubuntu.. So had to download the older version of Ubuntu 10.4 and set it up. This time, the drivers compiled perfectly fine!
  • I would consider myself a beginner on linux..and I had to spend some time to figure it out. So, to help anyone else in a similar state, here is what you need to know…
    • The Linux OS by default does not have the necessary drivers for this Chipset (the Ralink RT2870).
    • You download the latest linux drivers from the Ralink website.
    • In the linux world, you need to compile the drivers. So, to do that you need to download the latest updates and development  tools (like the compiler etc) which are not installed by default when you setup Ubuntu/linux. The instructions for this are covered in the Wiki at SamyGo.tv
    • Once the drivers are compiled, you load the drivers using the insmod command (again covered in the Wiki)
  • Once the drivers are loaded, you can then run the command to re-program the VID & PID values in the EEPROM.
    root@localhost:~# iwpriv ra0 e2p 208=04E8
    ra0       e2p:0208=0x04E8
    root@localhost:~# iwpriv ra0 e2p 20A=2018
    ra0      e2p:020A=0x2018
  • Thats it!. Then I plugged the Edimax EW-7718Un adapter to the TV & Viola!!! the TV recognized it as a Samsung adapter without a hitch!
  • Then it was just a matter of selecting my WiFi network, and entering the security key (WEP/WPA/WPA2) and within seconds, the TV was on our home network, DLNA enabled!

Hope this guide is helpful! This should mostly work on the B series, C series & the D series Samsung TVs.

By the way, do check out the SamyGo.tv website & especially this wiki page for other ways to get WLAN adapters working (of other similar chipsets).

Standard Disclaimer applies: I am not responsible to any damage to your TV or the wireless adapter! :)

All the best!

Amogh is one year old!, Trip to India & the economy!

Yes, over a month since I posted. Has been crazy lately. The US economy is totally down & its my first recession after entering my professional career.

Well the tech slowdown in 2001 too effected me any many in my age group and it was pretty bad. Almost our entire class lost an year due to the 2001 slowdown.

This time around the situation is quite bad compared to the previous slowdown, and USA is officially in recession. The major difference this time is that its not just the IT industry thats hit, but almost all sectors are hit badly. Specially the housing & the financial market here in the US. And in today’s world, everything is interconnected. So, people from all walks of life are impacted one way or the other.

On the work side, many projects are being axes or postponed, budgets are being slashed and people are more and more cautious when it comes to spending money. For now, I have enough work lined up for the coming months. Must see how it turns out.

In other news, Amogh, my son turned One on feb 8th. Time fly’s by so fast!

Like mentioned in my previous post, both Amogh and Chitra are back in India. … and I could not miss Amogh’s 1st birthday. So, I flew all the way back to India for a week! :) and it was worth it!  The special thing about the trip was, it was a surprise trip!. Only Chitra knew that I would be flying. So, it was fun to see the reaction of every one who saw me there on his birthday!

….even for Amogh, the day I landed, it took a while for him to realize  that it was his father who had suddenly disappeared from the scene sometime back. And then, after a few minutes, he knew it was his dad :) … and clearly seemed to be very happy that day.

The Trip was quite hectic — 30 hrs of travel one way — 1 week in Mangalore & again 30 hrs of travel back to Houston!. So for around 2 to 3 weeks, my biological clock was totally out of sync due to jet lag/timezone changes! But it was worth it.

Its a pleasure to see Amogh these days. He now walks and virtually runs all around very comfortably. …and has now started to climb the stairs. He blabbers in his own baby language! ….. and has become very naughty! :)

If all goes well, Chitra & Amogh should be here soon — may be in a week or two. Waiting for thier arrival !

Back in Houston

It has been pretty hectic. The much anticipated vacation came and went past soo soon. Landed back in Houston on 3rd June. Well, must say the 1 month vacation was really hectic. Sooo many things to do, places to visit, and soo little time! Well, that’s how it is I guess!

Things done/Places visited in one month:

  • Around 4 trips to Karkala – Visited Karkala Sri Venkataramana Temple, Tellar Devaki Krishna Temple and other deities, visited relatives – √
  • Attended Karkala Rathosava (Carfestival, Teru) – √
  • Two trips to Puttur – visited relatives, temples – √
  • Trip to Manipal – Visited Relatives, MIT, and Manipal — back to Mangalore via Udupi – √
  • Visit to Gurpur Satyadevata temple – √
  • Visit to Chennai – For visa stamping (via Bangalore). The trip was uneventful. Amogh was pretty quite on all the flights. – √
  • Bharat Mall – √
  • Around 4+ visits to Infosys Managlore (Mangala) – √
  • Upgraded home computer (in mangalore) with more RAM and networking support – √
  • Setup a wireless network at my home – √
  • Attended Swami Ramdev’s Yoga classes in Mangalore – √
  • Pabbas – Chocolate Dad, Tiramisu, Parafait – √
  • Cherry Square – Some like it hot – √
  • Chefs, Prax – √
  • Family Photos by Professional Photographer – √
  • Most of Mangalore City, Kadri Temple, Venkataramana Temple – √
  • Visited/met lot of relatives – √

Now that its all over, I am back to work. …….. and I am missing Chitra and Amogh. Both of them are back in Mangalore and will join me in sometime. I don’t know how Amogh would react once he is back here in US!…since he likes to have lot of people around. I have posted some of Amogh’s pics on my Orkut Profile! Check out if you are on my orkut friend list.

Well, on work front, I would be joining a new Project here at BP. So, kind of excited about it.

That’s pretty much it for now!

Nearing Parenthood and other updates!

Well, its been a long time since I wrote here. Its the first post of 2008!!! Hope all of you had a great new year.

Well, all is good at our end. Baby is due pretty soon, and both me and Chitra are geared up for the big event! The official due date is 21-Feb-2008, but anything + or – 2 weeks is considered as a ‘term’ baby.

It has been kind of hectic the past month or so… shopping for baby stuff, childbirth classes, baby shower(s) :) …. and so on. Well, the child-birth classes were pretty informative and helpful. Things like these are unheard of in India. In a way its good, and in some ways, its bad – as-in they give too much of information! Well, shopping for baby stuff is another story …. All in all, its been hectic and fun so far :)

Life would go for a spin for sure, pretty soon – for the good!!

Well, I also realized that I am not really finding time to play with the Wii that I bought a few months back.

Wii

So, decided to put it up for sale on eBay. Its a amazing game system, but I don’t really see myself sitting and playing given where I am in my life! :). So, if you are interested, bid for it! BTW, its still hard to find Wii’s here in the US! This thing still has very high demand!

Also, up for grabs on eBay is my Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 USM Lens! I would be upgrading to a new lens pretty soon (Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM)

On the work front, I am still working for the same project that I was in. The work load is decent. Not too bad.

Well, the next couple of months would be exciting! :) More updates as and when I get time!

Infosys Mangalore to be called Nethra

Well, after waiting for years, the new Infosys Mangalore development center is ready for business. Its named Nethra after the river Nethravathi which is the lifeline of mangalore (and its pretty close to the river too!!) .

Unofficially, the center started operations on 15th October, with 83 people on-board!

Infosys Mangalore - Nethra Opening

When phase 1 is fully ready – it would accommodate upto 3200 people. And since its in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ), it means that certain percent of the people working there must be freshly recruited! Which is a great news to the entire Dakshina Kannada region. Phase 2 and 3 would bring in more growth!

This has been a much awaited project. Have been hearing about it even before I joined Infosys in 2002!

Kudos to everyone involved.  An official inauguration ceremony is planned sometime in the coming months!

Will try to post more pictures as soon as I get them!

Mile Sur Mera Tumhara – Original video

I had been in search of this original Mile Sur Mera Tumhara video for years now! Finally found it on You Tube!

Thanks to Lalima who pointed to this video on the Ek Chidiya comment thread! Enjoy!

Update 1 : To download *any* video from youtube.com and other video sites, go to http://javimoya.com/blog/youtube_en.php. You can also use the Video Downloader extension for Firefox to directly download the videos from your Firefox browser.

Update 2 (18-Aug-08) : updated the link to the video on youtube to point to a better quality version of this video.

Mangalore featured in Time Magazine!

Mangalore, my home town has been featured in Time Magazine! Came to know about this from Harsha’s blog a couple of days back.

Mangalore - Hampankatta
Hampankatta. Mangalore – Photo Credit: Bharat Sikka for Time Magazine

The article talks about the recent growth-wave that’s hit Mangalore. Sure enough, Mangalore has changed a lot in the last 5 to 10 years, and I am sure that by the time I am back at Mangalore, it would look totally different!

Main Article:
http://www.time.com/time/asia/covers/501060619/mangalore.html

Photo Essay :
http://www.time.com/time/asia/photoessays/2006/remaking_india/mangalore.html

Google Earth – Major Data update

Just checked Google earth.. and it looks like there has been a major data update. Lots of places are much clearer. Not very high resolution, but much better then before!. My home town, Mangalore now looks great, and I can see my house ! :)

Check out this picture of Infosys Mangalore – My office back at Mangalore…

Infosys Mangalore - from Google Earth
Infosys Mangalore – Google Earth view – Click to Zoom

Infact, tons of places across the globe have new images!. Enjoy! I am off to side-seeing! :)

Try out Google Earth today!.