How to create custom keyboard shortcuts in Gnome3?

I upgraded my Debian Squeeze installation to Debian Wheezy. I did a fresh install and had almost everything up and running within hour. But Gnome3 is a pain to a new user. I had to spend hours to understand it and then I realised I can use Gnome Fallback Mode to minimise the “cultural shock”. But the keyboard shortcuts I was used to were not present in this mode. Luckily this was easy to fix.

To fix keyboard shortcuts, go to Applications (Press Alt +F1) > System Tools > Preferences > System Settings and choose Keyboard and go to Shortcuts tab. You can locate all the keyboard shortcuts here. I needed 3 basic shortcuts.

  • Launch Terminal: This is not present in the given shortcuts. I can press “Alt + F2” which launches run command pop up and enter “gnome-terminal” command to run Gnome Terminal. But that’s too much of work compared to a shortcut. I needed to create a custom shortcut.
    • In Shortcuts tab click Custom Shortcuts.
    • Press the + button.
    • Enter a user friendly name, say “Terminal”, for name and enter “gnome-terminal” as Command.
    • Click Apply. This will add a row to the custom shortcuts list.
    • This newly created entry will show “Disabled”. Click “Disabled” and it will change to “New Accelerometer”
    • Press the key combination you want as shortcut, in my case its “Alt + Ctl + t”
    • If you by any chance press a key combination that is already in use, you will be warned.
    • Done!
  • Go To Home Dir: I didn’t bother to locate this shortcut and followed the steps mentioned above to create my own combination of “super or Windows key + e”, which is same as a MS Windows shortcut for launching file manager, to launch “nautilus”. You can pass arguments to this command to go to some different folder.
  • Minimise all windows or Show Desktop: Go to “Navigation” and in shortcuts list locate “Hide all normal windows”. This will be most likely disabled. Set up the new keyboard shortcut for it.

Now I need to set up virtual hosts and MySQL. 🙂 – An example of how to mess up customer expectations

PayBack points. The sole reason I use is PayBack points. Otherwise I will never ever login to They had worst UED. And then they revamped the site and messed up user data. At least my data is messed up. To start with, has a tie up with PayBack. This tie up allows a user to redeem their reward points right away from website. So while you are finalising your tickets you can enter your PayBack details in a pop up on website and it will fetch your points which on your further authorisation will provide you a coupon code for redemption. This integration was messed up. If some how the interface between and PayBack failed the user would see cryptic “error: Bad Request” message in popup. If I were to design such a system, I would set up an alert on very first instance of such incident and will log it and alert the website team and show user a friendly message. I spent 30 minutes trying to redeem my point thinking I might have entered the PayBack card info, 16 digits card number, wrongly. But no. Then I fired firebug and I could see PayBack sending an Apache Tomcat error page as response which website didn’t understand.

I tweeted this to make my trip.


But that was not all. A typical New Delhi to Bangalore flight will take 2 hours and 10 minutes. But MakeMyTrip was showing my flight duration as 55 minutes! Who wouldn’t like to save time?
Super Sonic Flights!
Super Sonic Flights!
Super Sonic Flights!
Super Sonic Flights!

At work, we deal with large data sets. Most of the data is input by users and we come across such discrepancies. But our data processing models are trained in such a way that they figure out these discrepancies and alert stakeholders, suppresses the bad data from going to production. On top of it, error and exception handling is part of the code. And if it some how is not implemented the QA team hammers the product and finds out these kind of bugs. Then on top of it we organise a bug bash where other teams try to break our product in any possible way. I thought had enough resources to at least tackle the PayBack issue. There should be a mechanism to at least handle these exceptions if not anything else. But no. Their QA team is always on vacation. Check this.

Sample text!!!

Then they revamped the site. And my daughter is listed as “Mr.” and my date of birth is 6th Sept 1980. What??? I looked at my booking history. Turns out I booked my last flight on 6th Sept. Oh well that explains the day and month part but why my daughter is listed as a “Mr.” and my year of birth is 1980??? This is definitely a result of porting data. Now I have given up hopes. I am not sure if I can trust them with my credit card information that I provide every time I book an air ticket with

cannot open /var/run/vpnc/resolv.conf-backup: No such file

Facing “cannot open /var/run/vpnc/resolv.conf-backup: No such file” error?
Run sudo touch /var/run/vpnc/resolv.conf-backup and retry.

How to remove blank lines from text files or php files or js files or…

By running this command…

egrep --include=*.php -lRZ "^$"  ./ | xargs -0 -l   sed -i -e '/^$/d'

Just two parts to it, search for all *.php files and use sed to replace new lines with nothing.

That’s all.

Parsing XML with jQuery using XPath or CSS path or CSS Selectors

Parsing XML with jQuery using XPath or CSS path or CSS Selectors

This is just a continuation to my previous post. I missed a very simple thing in the post. jQuery allows you to use CSS path, commonly known as CSS selectors, which is somewhat similar to XPath. For uninformed, XPath is a simpler way to query nodes in an XML document. You can even use filters with these selectors. Visit this doc page on jQuery doc website for more. Using the same code base I made following changes to access items node from my XML feed file.

//The xpath way
$(xml).find( "channel>item" ).each(
        var item = $(this),
        title =  item.find('title').text(),
        link =  item.find('link').text(),
        itemid =  item.attr('id');//get an attribute
        console.log('The attribute value "' + itemid + '".');

I have update the code on github page. How can you