Thursday, 18 June 2015

How to clear terminal history in Linux


Yup you read it correctly. How would you clear terminal history in Linux? Before we see how that is done lets address even better question why would be clean our command line history? I am not going to answer this  question for you :). It is same as asking why would you clear your browser history or launch incognito mode ? Sometime we have too - that's all I have.

 For Linux users who have not heard about this command just type history in your console and you can see your previously typed commands  there. 

I personally use it a lot. Specially to SSH to various linux servers (who would remember IP address of each). I simply do 

  • history | grep ssh
or even better option would be
  • (Ctrl + R) Start typing your command.
 But let's stick to our agenda for today. We will see how to clear our terminal history.

Clear terminal history in Linux

To clear the entire history you will have to execute command
  • history -c   OR
  •  history -cw

Note : This may just clear history for current terminal and may not be reflected to in other terminals. This did not work for me on my Ubuntu 14.04 machine. 

Deleting the source

Let's go a step ahead. All the bash history is stored in file 
  • ~/.bash_history
Go ahead and read that file. You can see your history getting saved there. So now you know the source. You can simply delete the history from this file.

Note : ~ notation is shortcut for current user. History is stored in a file called bash_history which is in root folder of the user.

To clear this file simply use following command
  • >~/.bash_history
Note : You will have to relaunch terminal to see the changes.

More details on your history File

Now you know where your history file is. Root folder of your user with file name - bash_history. But this is stored in your environment variable $HISTFILE
  • echo $HISTFILE
For me I get following result :

aniket@aniket-Compaq-610:~$ echo $HISTFILE

So to disable logging history what you can do is use following commands -

  • unset HISTFILE OR
You can also do
  • Turn Off : set +o history
  • Turn On : set -o history

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Sunday, 14 June 2015

Using Shared Preferences in your Android Application

Shared Preferences

Shared preferences are like sessions (if you can relate to sessions running in your browser). For eg. when you are shopping on a site like Amazon or Flipkart you don't have to login to browse each item, do you? That's because you are in a session and the session data is stored in cookies in your browser. It will get invalidated when you logout or when the time expires. Shared preferences in Android are something like that. You can save or persist your settings across activities when user navigates across them. We will shortly see the code for it.


Lets set our goal first before we begin to write code. We are going to store setting in shared preference which will be used to play music or sound. So User can choose whether he wants to listen to the music or not.

Getting Started

Lets write our own class that extends PreferenceActivity

public class MyPreferenceActivity extends PreferenceActivity {
    private static final String OPT_MUSIC = "music";
    private static final Boolean OPT_SOUND_DEF = true; //default value of the setting

    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    public static boolean getSound(Context context) {
        return PreferenceManager.getDefaultSharedPreferences(context).getBoolean(OPT_MUSIC, OPT_SOUND_DEF);

Note : Notice the getSound() method that returns the boolean ? We will use that to see what setting is currently set. Also note it is static so we can directly call it using the class name. Note the use of PreferenceManager here and how we supply the default value (true in this case).

Loading Settings

As you can see above piece of code gets settings from an xml file named "settings". Inside folder res/xml  create a file named settings.xml and populate it with following content - 

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<PreferenceScreen xmlns:android="" >

        android:title="@string/music_setting_title" />


In above xml I am showing a simple check box preference. It will be as simple as user checking and unchecking the checkbox to enable/disable music.

Displaying Settings

Now that we have coded for the music setting lets create a workflow to show it to the user. You can put in anywhere. For simplicity I am assuming it is one of the options in the options menu. Lets call it Settings (see 3rd option in below screenshot).

Now on click of it we should open the shared preference intent that we have created above. Code to do that is as follows - 

    public boolean onOptionsItemSelected(MenuItem item) {
        switch(item.getItemId()) {
            Log.i(TAG, "Showing Preference Activity");
            startActivity(new Intent(this, MyPreferenceActivity .class));
        return true;

Now on click you should see another activity with a checkbox to enable/disable sound/music (Like below).

Obeying the Setting

That's the code to create and display the setting but we also need to obey our music playing logic according to this setting. So lets go ahead and see how that works.

        if(MyPreferenceActivity .getSound(context)) {
            try {
                final ToneGenerator tg = new ToneGenerator(
                        AudioManager.STREAM_NOTIFICATION, 100);
            } catch (Exception ex) {
                Log.e(TAG, "Could not play notification sound", ex);

What above code does is very simply. Get the sound setting and if it is enabled then play a beep tone else don't. You can easily inject this code in some View's onclicklistener.

Last but not the least

Lastly don't forget to list your preference activity in your applications manifest file :)

            android:name=".MyPreferenceActivity "
            android:label="@string/title_activity_prefs" >

Related Links

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Knowing gradle dependency jars download location and copying them to custom location


Whenever you need any dependency in your gradle script, gradle will download it it's cache and use it. By default you should see this cache in .gradle folder under your user directory.

For me it is
  • C:\Users\athakur\.gradle\caches
In this post I will show
  1. how to pinpoint exact location of the downloaded dependency jars and
  2. how to copy these jars to some custom directory you might want the dependencies in
using simple gradle scripts.

Gradle script to show downloaded jars location

Note : Whenever you execute some gradle task using gradle taskName then gradle will by default try finding the task in a file named build.gradle in current directory. 

Put the following code in build.gradle file - 

apply plugin: 'java'


  compile ''

task showMeCache << {
  configurations.compile.each { println it }

and run the following command
  • gradle showMeCache
You should see the downloaded jar location printed on console. For me it shows as in following screenshot

 Now let's see how we can copy these jar's into some custom directory of your choice.

Gradle script to copy downloaded jars to custom location

 Again append the following code to build.gradle file we created while printing the downloaded jar files location.

task copyDepJars(type: Copy) {
  from configurations.compile
  into 'C:\\Users\\athakur\\Desktop\\lib'

Now run following command
  • gradle copyDepJars
All dependent jars should be downloaded to the directory you have specified in "into" attribute of task copyDepJars .

To know more about copy task in gradle refer - Copy - Gradle DSL Version 2.4

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How to add autocomplete to EditText in Android - AutoCompleteTextView


Everyone must have used EditText to allow use input some text. Ever wondered if such a basic functionality could support autocomplete? Of course it would, it is one of the basic use cases. We will see how to implement it in this post.


AutoCompleteTextView is a direct subclass of EditText. We can use this to achieve auto complete feature in Android.

Let's start with the layout. I am going to keep it fairly simple. Just a label denoting what the following text field is for. In this case it would be list of countries. So we are going to provide auto complete for list of countries.

<RelativeLayout xmlns:android=""
    tools:context="${relativePackage}.${activityClass}" >



Layout would look something like

 Before we proceed to the Java code/Activity lets quickly define list of countries as string array in string resource file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

    <string name="app_name">AutocompleteDemo</string>
    <string name="title_activity_main">Auto Complete Demo</string>
    <string name="autocomplete_label">List of Countries</string>

    <string-array name="list_of_countries">


Have listed some random country name. That should suffice for this demo. Now lets code the Activity class.

package com.osfg.autocompletedemo;

import android.os.Bundle;
import android.widget.ArrayAdapter;
import android.widget.AutoCompleteTextView;

 * @author athakur
public class MainActivity extends Activity {

    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        AutoCompleteTextView acTextView = (AutoCompleteTextView) findViewById(;
        String[] countriesList = getResources().getStringArray(R.array.list_of_countries);
        ArrayAdapter countryAdapter = new ArrayAdapter(this,android.R.layout.simple_list_item_1,countriesList);

And that is it. You should be able to see auto complete now.

Related Links

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Blinking text animation in Android


In last post we saw how to do a simple animation of bouncing ball. In this we will see how to make a text blink using ObjectAnimator. We will make text - "Hello World!" start and stop blinking using buttons.

Creating the Layout

 Create layout file - blinking_text_layout.xml and add following content in it.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RelativeLayout xmlns:android=""
    android:orientation="vertical" >

        android:text="Start Blinking Text" />

        android:text="Stop Blinking Text" />

        android:text="Hello World!"
        android:textSize="40sp" />


The layout should get rendered on your phone as follows -

Now lets write code to animate this text.

Animate Blinking of Text

As you can see from the layout we have two buttons - one to start the blinking animation and other to stop it. Code is as follows - 

package com.osfg.animationdemo;

import android.animation.ArgbEvaluator;
import android.animation.ObjectAnimator;
import android.animation.ValueAnimator;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.view.View;
import android.view.View.OnClickListener;
import android.widget.Button;
import android.widget.TextView;

public class AnimationStarter extends Activity {

    private static final String TAG = "AnimationStarter";
    ObjectAnimator textColorAnim;

    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

        Button startBlinkTextButton = (Button) findViewById(;
        Button stopBlinkTextButton = (Button) findViewById(;
        final TextView blinkText = (TextView) findViewById(;

        startBlinkTextButton.setOnClickListener(new OnClickListener() {

            public void onClick(View v) {
                textColorAnim = ObjectAnimator.ofInt(blinkText, "textColor", Color.BLACK, Color.TRANSPARENT); 
                textColorAnim.setEvaluator(new ArgbEvaluator());     
        stopBlinkTextButton.setOnClickListener(new OnClickListener() {

            public void onClick(View v) {
                if(textColorAnim != null) {



Notice on "Stop Blinking Text" button press we are simply cancelling the current animation and setting the color back to black as the transparency of the text can be different as per the state in which the blinking animation was cancelled.

Note :
  • clearAnimation() method of View will have no effect on ObjectAnimator.
  • If you call start() on your ObjectAnimator instance n times then you will have to call cancel() n times for animation to completely stop.

 You can try out the code. Recorded video is as follows - 

Related Links

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