12 December, 2008

The PSP:A wonderful piece of hardware

I have always yearned for an up to date PC, with the latest games, and playing them with the best and highest of resolutions. But call it fate, or call it destiny, I had to forsake gaming on the PC completely for the following reasons.

> Gaming is centered around windows. Linux and Mac users don't have those many choices

> There are so many games around that the quality is almost next to nothing. See: NFS Undercover

> I have to sit in office in front of the PC, all day long (Yes, I do work daytime job), and when I get home, if I wanna play my favorite game, I have to sit in front of the PC again, resulting in frequent backaches

> I guess I was never a fan of killer graphics(and no gameplay) , or killer game play(and 0 graphics). I would rather spend my time playing a game having a mix of both

> Portability is a HUGE issue with my desktop

> The electricity bill went through the roof

One fine day, I just decided I had to go out and buy myself a console. I had never owned one. But then all consoles suffer from the same problem as the PC. Portability, and upgradation, and what not. So, I decided I would afford myself a PSP. And I must say its REALLY worth the investment. I do find the occasional blooper, but then the games on the PSP are better than those for the PC by leaps and bounds. And the graphics are really good too. Now, I can take my PSP to the rooftop just to play a game of Burnout Dominator, rather than play Crisis:warhead in front of my PC. The graphics on the PSP are really good. What I don't understand is the reason why game developers for the PC have to make such hefty games which don't compare to squat.
The graphics on burnout:Nominator are almost equivalent to NFS:Most Wanted, and that of God of war: Chains of Olympus surpass the graphics for Prince of Persia:The two thrones. If a 500Mhz CPU with 2MB VRAM can render such excellent graphics, just take a second to wonder what the PC could really do with careful programming. Developing games for the PSP is really a tough task because you cant afford to be careless about memory leaks. There is a lot less RAM than the PC to work with. And, also gamers are much more demanding graphics wise when it comes to playstations. So, each and every frame has to look well polished, and the frame rate shouldn't vary greatly.If it does, it would be downright outrageous.

Got something to say? Comment!

Move over Prince of Persia, God of war is here

God of war:Chains of Olympus was the first game that was installed on my PSP. As soon as I waded through the first level, I got a sensation of Deja Vu. The graphics looked stunning, and it almost looked as if it employed Prince Of Persia's' graphics engine! How could this be? Perhaps both games are really well polished, and the graphics may look similar. But how can a hand held console even come close to the graphics capabilities of a PC equipped with the latest video card? What baffled me more was the fact that the game loads almost instantly. There are a lot less "Loading" screens on God of war, than there are on Prince of Persia:Two thrones. Even the EPIC setting is not lost until the last boss fight. If you're a serious gamer, then this has got to raise a couple of questions in your mind.

> How can a hand held with 2MB VRAM render graphics equivalent to a game on the PC?

> With careful optimization of games, can game developers squeeze more out of existing hardware?

> Do you really need to upgrade your PC? Cant you buy a cheaper hand held?

To these questions, hardware manufacturers such as NVidia have got to answer, or all gamers would eventually move onto consoles. Got answers? Lets hear them in the comments!

27 November, 2008

Are we all heading towards an era of cloud computing?

NO. Heres 8 reasons why:

1. Providing Mario, or for that matter any modern graphic intense game, as a service wont be easy.

2. If you’re NEVER going to use the computing power in your PC, and would rather rely on some server for processing your information, do you think major hardware vendors such as Intel, and AMD, who have spent billions to develop their hardware, would just standby and watch?

3. One MAJOR problem with cloud computing is that if, and when the central server crashes, ALL of your data would be lost, because of the failure. It wouldn’t matter if you have backup servers. They could not take in ALL of the traffic resulting in slower transfers. This would be unacceptable for large companies depending on the central server to provide it with certain programming “services”, and for your 9 year old son who wants to play DOOM 3.

4. 82% of the world is still using dialup connections to connect to the internet. What could possibly compel them to change that? And if they decided to change that, even for some unknown reason, would the costs be the same? Wouldn’t it be higher? Wouldn’t this would compel most of them to stay on the same infrastructure?

5. Programmers are humans too. We aren’t perfect. We couldn’t possibly come up with a mechanism that would go online throughout the world providing “services” to everyone involved, AND expect the system to be robust enough to NEVER crash. Even a primitive system, designed for this purpose would probably end up crashing because of the load involved.

6. If you think Im being a pessisimist, and Im making this up, consider this- Even a complex backend architecture such as server farms, possibly coupled with complex algorithms to optimize performance, do you think the access time would be anywhere near, or comparable to a file stored on your system?

7. If you do everything on a server, then why do you need your PC? Just input devices, and output devices will suffice in such a situation right? Then your PC wouldn’t be a “terminal” it would be a dummy terminal.

8. Finally, the security threat involved is totally unacceptable for any major corporation. As all “services” run on a central server(or on different servers, which ever you deem necessary for the purpose of this discussion) even a small loophole could prove costly for all those involved in such an endeavor.

What makes you think that distributed could ever be stopped? Lets hear them in the comments !

26 November, 2008

The confusion over chrome

With the advent of Google’s new applications, the press is abuzz with terminologies such as "cloud computing" and online operating systems. But is this really the future of the web?

Definitely Not!! I read a news article in a major newspaper a few days ago which called Google’s chrome a “revolution” and that it would eventually overtake windows and Linux.. Excuse Me? Is it just me , or can you spot the odd one out of the group too? Heres whats wrong with the article:

Ø First off, chrome is an application, not an OS. To be specific, it’s a browser, just like Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.

Ø Secondly, Chrome needs an OS to run.

Ø Third, the day when chrome will start up as soon as you switch on your PC is still VERY far away.

The very fact that a major newspaper called chrome an OS shows the amount of computer literacy amongst the press. And to think the article came from the associated Press! God knows how many newspapers all over the world published his and how many people believed it!

25 November, 2008

Top 10 things to do with dial up internet

1. Tune into internet radio:

You wouldnt believe how many internet radio stations have popped up over the years. Just tune into a low quality radio service such as Social crime and you will enjoy for hours. There are pop, jazz, rock, funk radio channels available like this too!

2. Join mailing lists:

Have a hobby? There are mailing lists for almost anything on the internet. Join some of these mailing lists and watch your hobby get better. A mailing list consists of everyone replying to a mail thats found in their inbox.

3. Watch videos:

Youtube and Dialy video have managed to provide me with hours and hours of non stop entertainment. The endless library of videos on these sites give you everything from the latest movie trailers, to game strategies, to video songs.

4. Play online:

There are countless sites that are offering free gaming services online. Many of these are fun and addictive games. But beware, even though you require just the flash player installed, these may bring with them unwanted downloads also.

5. Stumble:

Stumbling is the most addictive past time I have right now.

6. Avail the use of online operating systems:

Operating systems are available online too! These are basically built on the web 2.0 architecture. Get aquainted with one of them, and upload all your important files as a backup mechanism. This would ofcourse take time, but its worth it!

7. Read tutorials online:

Dont go out to buy that costly book when you can get the same content for free! There are people like myself all over the web, and they simply enjoy writing about everything. Sometimes you find information in blogs that you wont find even in a commercial publication. Wikihow is an excellent source of such tutorials.

8. Start a blog:

Have ideas that you would like to share with everyone on the net? Start a blog with free services such as blogger or wordpress. These services are free and easy to use!

9. Download updates for windows:

Windows giving you problems? Leave "automatic update" on in windows, and it'll download updates for ya!

10. Chat on yahoo!

I know what you are thinking. Yahoo! is infested with bots. I know, but it still IS one of the best places on the net to chat! Believe me, I do! My Yahoo Id is : shockstreamz.

24 November, 2008

Does windows get slower with a cluttered desktop?

I didnt believe in this concept until recently. One of my clients asked me this question, and I told him "No, it doesnt". He continued "I think it does!". I later began thinking that there may be more to this than meets the eye. The following article is based on my analysis of the situation.

> The more number of icons on your desktop, the more time it takes for all the icons to be loaded from the icon cache.

> This might be one of the reasons why windows seems to become slow.

> Whenever you exit a game, and return back to desktop, windows refreshes the desktop thereby refreshing the cache.

> Windows doesn't store all its icons in the memory because considering the depth of these icons, there would be no space in the memory left for running applications.

> This is also apparently the reason why a linux machine runs faster than a windows machine, with the same hardware configuration, apart from of course the OS architecture.

22 November, 2008

Why windows software installs are slower than uninstalls

Put the other way, why are uninstalls faster than installs? Windows was built to just incinerate a directory when its deleted. That is, the directory, or files are just removed from the partition table if you pressed Shift+Del (which it seems, everyone these days is very used to!). When installing, the program has to

>Look up the target drive and check if enough space is available or not.

>Unpack the files onto some temporary location (Most probably C:\windows\Downloaded program installations)

> Extract and copy the files onto the desired location on your installation directory

This is the step that possibly takes up a lot of time because the transfer is happening from the hard disk onto the hard disk as opposed to the transfer happening from some other medium to the hard disk which is atleast, a bit faster. Since the source and the destination of the files are on the same disk, the transfer bus is fully used, and thus the OS seems to get stuck. During this process, if you try to , say play your music collection with winamp, your pc would get stuck because the OS (which is quite a heavy resource consumer), your copy process(also a heavy weight) and your music player are all contending for CPU time. As and when the CPU gets more tasks in its queue, the system starts to become slower, as each task has a degenerating effect on the system, leading to the popular deadlock problem of computer science. When your PC gets locked up, you have to remove all your processes from the CPU queue. The easiest way to do which is to RESTART your computer, which I assume, all of us,windows users do from time to time. :)

>Seek a suitable location in the registry

>Enter keys in the registry

>Delete the temporary files

>Possibly do other tasks such as configure the application for first run
This basically involves the installer entering some values into the applications configuration files to tell the application that the next time the application runs would be its first on this machine.

20 November, 2008

Firebug – The ultimate tool for the web designer

Many of my friends were saying firebug could do that and firebug could do this. Recently, I decided to see for myself what it could and what it couldn't do. And , I must say I'm very pleased by what I saw. Firebug comes as an add-on with Firefox. Simply visit http://addons.firefox.com and get your firebug add-on. It sits just above your Firefox status bar, making it non – obtrusive and really helpful whenever you need it.


But the area where firebug really shines is its ability to highlight elements of the page you are viewing. Just click the "inspect" button on firebug, and wherever you take your mouse on the HTML page, the corresponding markup will be highlighted. This is really useful and priceless for a web page designer because this would save a lot of time and help you learn how someone else has coded his webpage. If you see a nifty CSS trick that you could use, just take your mouse over the element and its corresponding markup would be shown. You would be amazed to know that this works even with Javascript generated content. For example, if you generated a button at runtime. Now if you go into inspect mode, you can see the code for the Javascript that made the button what it is! This way you can get to debug your pages on the fly.


19 November, 2008

Is it time microsoft started making antivirus software?


If you use windows, you would probably have come across hundreds of security loopholes, and viruses trojans, and what not! With all this in mind, you gotta ask yourself, isnt it time microsoft started making antivirus software? I mean, windows is microsofts own creation, so no one else knows windows better than microsoft, right?


Confronted with the above, any microsoft employee would tell you that microsoft doesn't make application software. True, but I still think microsoft is the best company to make antivirus softwares, and it would easily rise to the top in the antivirus market.


With that said, why not build an antivirus along with the OS, so its fully interoperable with the OS? We windows users are anticipating the release of windows 7 in 2010. I would love to see the antivirus feature with that version of windows.

18 November, 2008

Using VS2005 IDE regular expressions for find and replace

Suppose you have redundant information such as :

, (11,12,1,5,75,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (11,13,1,6,200,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (11,14,1,7,50,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (11,15,1,8,100,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (11,16,1,9,25,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (11,17,1,10,60,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')

You need to replace the first two integer fields with say 7.

Hit Ctrl + F to bring up the find and replace dialog. click on Regular expressions.

Find : [(]:z:z,:z,

Replace with : (7,

Heres a nice page about VS 2005 IDE's regular expression comparison with other regular expression 'standards':

Coding horrors take on VS IDE regular expressions

, (7,1,14,75,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (7,1,15,60,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (7,1,16,10,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (7,1,17,25,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (7,1,18,150,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (7,1,19,100,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')

Net Packets Out Of Order - Expected ( xxx ), Received ( y ) error in Toad:

Toad is one of the most versatile front ends I have seen for an efficient database such as MySQL. But toad does have its rough edges. The error message "Net Packets Out Of Order - Expected ( xxx ), Received ( y )" pops up whenever the client has been opened for many hours together. There is something about the situation that makes me feel that the toad front end was made to be specifically timed with the number of packets that were recieved after a transaction is complete. That is, it estimates the number of packets that are to be recieved whenever a transaction is completed. If at all the number of packets recieved after a transaction doesnt match up with the ones expected, the above error is seen.

The problem not only arises for specific transactions but also for transactions involving a series of transactions involving a large number of unions. Yes, this is a fact.

The solution:

> The first possible solution is to copy the query and execute it in the mysql command line client. You will be happy to see that it works.

> The second solution is to restart the PC and hope that Toad is back to its helpful self again.

The third and last solution is to modify your query to involve fewer number of joins, or unions. This would surely solve the problem.

17 November, 2008

Simple ExtJs Grid Example 2

var store;
var temp;

var arr=document.getElementById("hdnField1").value;
var splitter=arr.split("|");
var myData = [[splitter[0],splitter[1]]];
// create the data store
store = new Ext.data.SimpleStore
fields: [{name: 'Name'},{name: 'Designation'}]
// create the Grid
var grid = new Ext.grid.GridPanel
store: store,
columns: [{header: "Name", sortable: true, dataIndex: 'Name'},{header: "Designation", sortable: true, renderer: 'Designation'}],
stripeRows: true,height:320,width:240,title:'Array Grid'

var clicked=function()
var TopicRecord = Ext.data.Record.create(
{name: 'Name', mapping: 'Name'},
{name: 'Designation', mapping: 'Designation'}

var myNewRecord = new TopicRecord({
Name: 'Do my job please',
Designation: 'noobie'
return false;

Basic structure of an ExtJS grid

var arr=document.getElementById("hdnField1").value;
var splitter=arr.split("|");
var myData = [[splitter[0],splitter[1]]];
// create the data store
var store = new Ext.data.SimpleStore
fields: [{name: 'Name'},{name: 'Designation'}]
// create the Grid
var grid = new Ext.grid.GridPanel
store: store,
columns: [{header: "Name", sortable: true, dataIndex: 'Name'},{header: "Designation", sortable: true, renderer: 'Designation'}],
stripeRows: true,height:320,width:240,title:'Array Grid'

Of course, to make this work, you have to have the extJS libraries included first.Include them as follows:

>view your HTML code, and add the Javascript tags .The ExtJS path goes into the src property of the JS tag. I will be posting many more examples of ExtJS forms here. Be on the prowl until then...

12 November, 2008

Official Gmail Blog: Say hello to Gmail voice and video chat

Official Gmail Blog: Say hello to Gmail voice and video chat

The peeps at Google just launched video and voice chat from within Gmail. I really am waiting to criticize them for this move. Turns out, the app would be using H.264 encoding so external apps can choose to speak to this service. The implementation would no doubt involve a flash player on the front end. Im yet to really see an implementation of the flash player which can capture both voice and video from the client side at the same time not making the app sluggish (which im sure Googles' newest product WILL be!) .

10 November, 2008

Rest in peace DVD?

Do you use DVDs to backup your stuff? How much can you backup in 4.5 GB of media? 4 movies (compressed)? or 2 average games?

Move over DVD, 'cause this is the age of the Blu-ray disc and the flash drives. With hard disk drives getting cheaper by the day, and the advent of the Blu-ray disc's the DVDs are set to do a vanishing act ala the floppies. It is said the Blu-ray discs can hold upto 25 GB in a single layer disc, or 50 GB in a dual layer disc. Whatever the case, all digital storage will be replaced by bigger , better , and faster media in the coming days.

Or, better yet by flash drives. You can get a flash drive these days for as low as $3, or 150 rupees. We are on the cusp of the digital age. This is when the information bubble bursts and all media, information is gonna be exchanged freely.

Better still, why do you need to backup something when its permanently available online?? What with operating systems such as you OS, coming online. You can store your music , movies and games (?) online. With the advent of megabit broadbands, all of us can expect this medium to spill over into the portable device scenario too.

08 November, 2008

What does Wikipedia want $6 million for??...Simply Outrageous!!!

I was a fan of wikipedia, and its open mind theology until 3 minutes ago. I saw a banner on the site which said "Wikipedia:Making life easier", with a Donate Now button. It also showed a progress bar marking $2 million and odd, and that its goal was to raise $6 million!!!

Please interrupt me if Im wrong here, but arent all of wikipedias' articles written by commoners like you and me? So, its a collective effort isnt it? They shouldnt be asking for donations unless to pay for server bills!! SO, WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO DO WITH $6 MILLION?? Are you donating to wikipedia? If so please STOP!! Stop this insanity in the name of free knowledge.

Wikipedia has 20 odd workers, all doing what.. building a CMS thats wikipedia. Sure, its a good source of information and all, but do they REALLY deserve $2 Million???

If your answer is YES, please check in to your nearest mental hospital. You are in need of medical attention.

07 November, 2008

Is Google really a leader in technology?

Its a common misconception that any company that does things differently is supposed to be leading a certaing segment of technology. This seems to be true in the case of Google. Now, it may be a technology giant, but the products they make are far from perfection. Each and every one of their flagship products except other than their propreitery search engine technology ofcourse, is still in BETA. Do you know what that means? The services may go offline anytime, and may be entirely scrapped if not for Googles' ad based exploits. Most of their products are plagued by inconsistensies, and lack of basic support for their other products.

Take Google Chrome for example. Its supposed to be a a "revolutionary" piece of software, and they havent yet integrated their own Google notebook with Chrome.Google offers better support for IE than for chrome right now. Now, does that say anything about their competancy, and their development practices?Clearly, Google is very farsighted in its business practices and would be outstaged and outplayed in the coming years for sure.

06 November, 2008

Blogger VS Wordpress

Last week, I decided to try out wordpress because of all the eye candy. The themes there are pretty good. The sign up page was enticing and a good experience I must say, but after that things started going downwards. The following is a list of things thats wrong with wordpress:

>Wordpress serves its own ads on your blog instead of letting you earn money by blogging. Who runs a blog just to pass time anymore,anyway?

>Doesnt let you edit your CSS unless you pay $26 per month.

>Doesnt stop serving ads until you pay for the hosting, and that too without your own domain. So, basically you'll be stuck with yourname.wordpress.com for the rest of your life!

Things blogger lacks(that wordpress revels in):

> Themes. OOO shiny blog.Me like shiny blogs!

> closeness to the user. The ambience around the site is well maintained, and welcomes the user to try out things out on his own.

Well, thats it! It also allows for importing your "OLD" blogger blog into your wordpres blog, but I wont mention that because of anomolies in the posts when importing them

02 November, 2008

Are we all ready for multimedia compression?

If you download pirated games, and warez, youll already be familiar with UWE HERKLOTZs' UHARC. If you arent, look it up on the web. Its the highest ratio compression technology ever! It can compress games of around 1 GB to around 150 MB. Thats why its called multimedia compression in the first place. I havent found songs, and other media compressed with this. I have been using it to compress data that I dont really need right now, and burning such stuff off to DVD's for later use.But you gotta ask, if its such a good compression technology, why wont WinZip or Winrar use this?

>For one, it takes a whole day to bring down 1.5 GB of data to 150 MB, not all of us may be THAT patient.

>It eats up all your processors' bandwidth to do its job.

>Compression sometimes depends on the amount of RAM available. Since Winzip and winrar are used by people who may choose to work on pentium 3's, its not gained importance...yet..

>There is absolutely no guarantee that the output would be the same as the input. Though it works for a majority of the cases, it may fail too.

27 October, 2008

Calling JavaScript functions from C#

There is perhaps no way available to do this, nor should there ever be one. This is because your C# code runs in the code behind, a repository of code to handle post backs, while your JavaScript is executing on the client side. If at all client side javascript was let to be executed from C# code, then it would be similar to AJAX RPC's! A better way to call Javascript functions is by using hidden fields. The following logic demonstrates how:

|-->set a hidden field

|-->check the value of the hidden fields for changes, if any write logic which has to execute.

Reverse the above logic, and put the javascript hidden field check so that it executes when the page gets loaded, and VOILA, you have an answer to your solution.

10 October, 2008

i = i + 1 : A ridiculous way to say increment I !

How many of you have coded in C, C#, Java or even JavaScript for that matter? If you have, then you'd probably know i=i+1 as one of your best companion when dealing with loops. Yet, I call the practice ridiculous...Why do you think that is?

For one, any programmer with a basic understanding of math would have puzzled over this question: isnt i->i+1 more meaningful than i=i+1 in a programming context? Why then do all programming languages follow the pattern of variable = variable +1?? I have no clue whatso ever, but I would reckon it is a reminiscent of the age when there were no standardized charecter sets for various programming languages and all vendors defined their own charecter sets, and standards.

And, to add to this mess, every programmer, no matter how experienced uses the counter variable named i, instinctively. Of course, he'd have to use an alternate variable to nest loops within other loops, he'd have to use another variable, and the second variable would instinctively be named j. I do not know if the collective conciousness of all programmers is at play here, for I have seen the same pattern repeating with every coder I have met over the past decade or so.. Even with me ! As we all pave way for new programming languages and techniques, I also hope that this hideous practice will be stopped, for all our sakes.

08 October, 2008

The environment?...Naah, who cares...

We humans are a filthy lot. I say this because from time immemorial, there hasn't been any one species which has filthed its own nest.. Until now. Humans are everywhere. With the unknown world shrinking and even the most remotest of remote places being explored, we arent far from colonizing every habitable patch of land on the planet. "Just because we can, we will" seems to be the attitude of our beloved fellow homosapiens.

Between all the colonization and resource exploitation, we all manage to turn a deaf ear to the environment which is literally crying for help around us. Utter stupidity if you ask me. If there is no earth, there are no humans.

We dont know half the things there is about earth that we ought to know, and yet, our kids know a lot more about alpha centauri than our earth. There have been talks of migrating out of earth and taking the human race with us, because by the time this plan solidifies, earth will be all but a nuclear waste ground. With all this knowledge and profoundness, we still continue to haunt the earth, and pollute the environment with reckless abandon. All this being said, even I myself am one of the filthy lot.

I don't use a public transport because I would then lose my convenience. I still travel to work everyday in a bike which guzzles up more fuel than the neighbors car. Im writing this in my blog because we humans will always be selfish. We never admit our mistakes and will surely not do anything to rectify what wrong we have done. All that being said, I wish all of us could switch onto more efficient means of energy such as solar / hydroelectric / Nuclear energy, all of which are limitless. But until our scientific communities can put their differences aside, and the pope can agree that physical attraction is not a crime, we will all just delay our days in cold hell...

03 October, 2008

Wow..what a life!!!

I just bagged myself a job in the .net domain... I landed a job in a company called Asclepius (name of the greek god of medicine) consulting. And I must say I was very overwhelmed by the work environment. Everyones very friendly, and people dont make a fuss of everything. This actually goes against conventional corporate culture where you are just a sheep in the crowd, and thus, no one knows you. When you enter a big company, chances are you would be oblivious as to what to do, or whom to ask...

That is just not the case with Asclepius. The timings are very flexible, and all the bosses(YES, there are three founders) are asking is for me to do my job and go home. Currently, the companies is expanding rigorously, so theres no doubt about job guarantee and some such thing. The bosses said they wanted me to be with the company for atleast 2 years. There is no concept of control at all in the company. All in all, Im very happy that the tech lead knows my name and is happy everytime I speak...

What more would you ask in a company when its your first job?

14 September, 2008

Alternatives to resource hungry programs

Who better at a job, to use a tool, than a man who created the tool right? WRONG! I have seen many cases of this.

>First off, is Adobe's acrobat reader. The resource hungry proggie does little to enhance readability, and takes long times to load images within a PDF file. Moreover, the reader doesnt even provide a PDF "document printer", that other open source proggies provide, which enable users to "print" into PDF files from any other format. I stumbled on a software called "Foxit Reader". Better than Acrobat Id say...

>This isnt an isolated case. I have found OpenOffice .org to be much more flexible than MS office, simply because it is free, and platform independent. So, I dont have to use an emulator on a virtual machine within my linux box to get the same environment.

>Adobes' Photoshop finds a worthy alternative in Gimp, which comes bundled with most Linux distros these days. Its free, as in freedom :) in addition to being very fast, and responsive..

So, tell me brothers and sisters of cyberspace, would you go about using a proggie that hogs up all of your memory, and is not free, as opposed to open source, FREE alternatives that are both fast, and compatible with their paid rivals' file formats?

12 September, 2008

Googles Chrome

Chrome? Nice nomencleature for a sub-standard browser Id say. What do you want in a browser? Not a funky GUI, not a browser integrated with an advertising campaign, to make the parent company richer by a million dollars, and certainly not a DOM inspector! Googles chrome is less of a browser and more of an advertising campaign if you ask me! It has Googles search engine built-in, and you get to search and type in URLs in the same bar, but whats the use? Its like re-inventing the wheel... Chrome doesnt have what firefox and IE or even Opera for that matter, havent had yet.. Google claims its faster than all other browsers, and even goes onto give a "task manager" option which shows the memory consumption, possibly per tab of both Chrome, and all other browsers that are open. But I could SWEAR that the chrome was a lot slower than Opera. Im not an opera fanatic or something like that, but yeah, Opera is simply THE BEST window to the world wide web around. It uses full bandwidth when browsing, and even has a built in download manager, and adding to this, is its bit torrent protocol support ! Opera even has an option to pause downloads, even though, rarely, the downloads dont resume properly, but a decent attempt has been made! Now, what would you equate Chrome to? Show of hands kids?? "JUNK".. very good!!

01 September, 2008

Just got myself a job in the Java/J2EE, AJAX domain!

I am elated that I found a job in a company called kingslake. Its based out of Sri Lanka and is looking for a foothold in India. It has major clients in Malaysiya and Singapore...

The US recession is nothing but hypothetical in a sense that not all software firms have run out of business, and not everyone is asking their employees to leave. I was appaled at the fact that Sapient didnt even ask us to go in for training, as it was running out of projects. And to think, I hadnt been recruited through some walk in interview. I had been recruited on campus. I didnt go to them, they came to me. This further testifies the appaling conditions of jobs in India, especially jobs in the software domain. BPO s have been the major winners in this race because a majority of people who find it hard to get into a software firm would get into the BPO jobs. Thanks a lot America!

My base salary might not be THAT good, but I have some hopes pinned on the future. I enjoy working with AJAX and this will provide me with an excellent opportunity to work with it, adding some weightage to my resume/ CV.

23 August, 2008

Time Scale theory: Are software companies producing obselete software?

First of all, I would like to thank IOLO for making a wonderful software (System Mechanic). But with new versions getting released everyday you have GOT to ask yourself. Is the software you're buying worth the money? Sure, you get future upgrades for free. Im not denying that. But what is it about the future upgrades that makes you WANT to buy the software so much? Possibilities:

> Better user interfaces

> Better functionality

> Faster (?) than previous versions

> Supposed "overall" upgrades

Personally, I just stick to the first version of any software I use (that is barring windows of course!). Similarly, I was very impressed with System Mechanic 6.0 when it first came out. Even though IOLO came out with System Mechanic 7.0 and version 8 is on the docks, I still love the UI in System Mechanic 6.0 . Why? Due to the simple fact that I found this software worthwhile, unlike its
successors. This isnt just the case of IOLO and System Mechanic. Its the same with Nero 8. The software is jam packed with features that I dont use, and these end up hogging memory, installing shell extensions that I dont use, and in turn, I have to labor hard to uninstall these to keep my installations to the bare minimum. So, Why not just stick to the previous versions?This goes for each and every software I have used.
There is a theory I recently made up. Its called the "Time Scale Theory".It goes something like this:

"There is a peak in every software company's production cycle. At this peak, the software company has built up enough reputation to sell its most endorsed product in quantities of millions. It makes a lot of money and repute. After this peak time is over, the company merely survives on its earlier reputation. Any software produced henceforth will be completely obselete and will add features to make users' experiences worse than the previous versions."

The same thing goes for IOLO(System Mechanic 6.0), MicroSoft(Windows XP-Current, excluding windows Vista), IBM(The peak time seems to be neverending!, but it will end nonetheless!), Google(In its peak right now).

16 August, 2008

Google? Hell NO!!!

I am sick and tired of using Google as my search engine. If you use it at all, I suggest you check out the others available on the net. Many of these are free services which will provide you with higher quality search results.

Alexa Internet
Ask.com (formerly Ask Jeeves)
Baidu (Chinese)
Exalead (French)
Live Search (formerly MSN Search)
Sogou (Chinese)
Sohu (Chinese)
Wikia Search
Yahoo! Search

Geographical limited scope
Accoona, China/US
Alleba, Philippines
Ansearch, Australia/US/UK/NZ
Araby, Middle East
Baidu, China
Daum, Korea
Guruji.com, India
Goo (search engine), Japan
Leit.is, Iceland
Miner.hu, Hungary
Najdi.si, Slovenia
Naver, Korea
Onkosh, Middle East
Rambler, Russia
Rediff, India
SAPO, Portugal
Search.ch, Switzerland
Sesam, Norway, Sweden
Walla!, Israel
Yandex, Russia
ZipLocal, Canada/US


Nexis (Lexis Nexis)
Thomasnet (United States)

See also: Enterprise search
AskMeNow: S3 - Semantic Search Solution
Dieselpoint: Search & Navigation
dtSearch: dtSearch Engine(SDK), dtSearch Web
Endeca: Information Access Platform
Exalead: exalead one:enterprise
Expert System S.p.A.: Cogito
Fast Search & Transfer: Enterprise Search Platform (ESP), RetrievalWare (formerly Convera)
Funnelback: Funnelback Search
ISYS Search Software: ISYS:web, ISYS:sdk
Microsoft: SharePoint Search Services
Northern Light
Open Text: Hummingbird Search Server, Livelink Search
Oracle Corporation: Secure Enterprise Search 10g
TeraText: TeraText Suite
Vivisimo: Vivisimo Clustering Engine
ZyLAB Technologies: ZyIMAGE Information Access Platform

Main articles: Job search engine and Employment website
See also: Category:Job search engines
Bixee.com (India)
CareerBuilder.com (USA)
Craigslist (by city)
Eluta.ca (Canada)
Hotjobs.com (USA)
Incruit (Korea)
Indeed.com (USA)
Monster.com (USA)
Recruit.net (International)
SimplyHired.com (USA)
TheLadders.com (USA)

Lexis (Lexis Nexis)

Bioinformatic Harvester
Entrez (includes Pubmed)
EB-eye EBI's Search Engine EMBL-EBI's Search engine
GoPubMed (knowledge-based: GO - GeneOntology and MeSH - Medical Subject Headings)
Nextbio (Life Science Search Engine)

Nexis (Lexis Nexis)
Yahoo! News

Spock (website)

Real property

Video Games

By information type

Search engines dedicated to a specific kind of information




Source code

These search engines work across the BitTorrent protocol.
The Pirate Bay


Live Search Maps
Yahoo! Maps

MSN Shopping
Shopzilla (also operates Bizrate)

Question and answer
Lycos iQ
Live Search QnA
Yahoo! Answers

By model
Open source search engines
Lemur Toolkit & Indri Search Engine
Sciencenet (for scientific knowledge, based on YaCy technology)
Terrier Search Engine
Wikia Search

Social search engines
ChaCha Search
Wink provides web search by analyzing user contributions such as bookmarks and feedback

Metasearch engines
Myriad Search

Visual search engines

Based on

AOL Search
CompuServe Search
MySpace Search


Live Search
Ms. Dewey

Hakia (semantic search)

Defunct search engines
BRS/Search (now OpenText Livelink ECM Discovery Server)
Google Answers
Lotus Magellan
Overture.com (formerly GoTo.com, now Yahoo! Search Marketing)
World Wide Web Worm
Excite (now a metasearch)
WebCrawler (now a metasearch)

And you say you dont have a choice when it comes to GOOGLE?? WAKE UP!!!

13 August, 2008

Alt3rn4t|v3 s comment on Bux is scam post

I got a mail from blogger telling me that someone left me a comment on this post. I came to check it out, and found this, and the reference was with respect to a post I made earlier.
This post has "Alt3rn4t|v3"s comments in quotes and my comments in ">>>>"...Lets answer some questions.


Before I start, let me be clear on something - although I'm a staff at Bux.to, it doesn't stop me from being objective."

>>>>"Well ofcourse it doesnt...you, unlike the rest of us, are paid to scam others"

"As both a staff and a normal member, I do not condone the excessive waiting times nor the irresponsibility displayed now and then, but there's nothing I can do about it."

>>>>How can a staff be a normal member? Im willing to ignore that fact...for now. Of course you, being a bux.to staff member cant do "anything" about it. Who else were you expecting to make a change?...Pink Panther? Oh, did I forget?? BUX pays its employees to do NOTHING about complaints...We cant blame you,you poor thing.

"Having said that, I can only say that your post is filled with biased dejectiveness and dosen't serve as an objective (or even correct) understanding of your own situation."

>>>>"biased dejectiveness" ? YES, 'cause I had half the people I know joined Bux.to and they'r probably cursing me thinking I scammed them. Pardon me, but we are all simple minded citizens, who fail to understand how bux.to or any other company can refuse to pay, when we havent use autoclickers or used our technical mindset to scam them! (I run a technology blog afterall, and Im more than certain, I could up my earnings if I even tried!)

You make accusations like "though I cant imagine what that could be, other than PayPal refusing to support scam sites!", which is not true. Since you seem to have checked the forums before, you should probably do some searching before posting. That's the rule of the thumb for a blogger.

>>>>Yes, Paypal DID refuse to support scam sites and Pay per clickers such as BUX! Being a staff member YOU of all people should know that! Besides I just think you're playing naive though I cant think of a better explanation of what you have said. Thanks for the advise BUB!! But I think I have scanned the forums for possible explanations, and Im much more thorough with the forums than some admins....EXACTLY the reason I run a BLOG!!! DUH!!!

Now tell me, when was - "Next, they tell me they have a 'MAJOR' problem with the sites' script" - said?

>>>>The question is "When was it NOT said!!!". I hear that they were changing their scripts 3 times in a row over the span of a month. Their website went down, and some of the clickers found that their balances had MYSTERIOUSLY reduced to nothing..It doesnt take einstein to put 2 and 2 together.

"they even have a calculator for that, for crying out loud!!!" - For crying out loud, Bux.to doesn't have a calculator. Your post was made in late July. We abandoned the "calculator" (which wasn't even official in the first place) MONTHS ago.

>>>>IF you have visited the forums atleast once, you will find the admins "recommending" the calculator even TODAY!! This generally happens when some non-premium member asks when he's gonna get paid, and loads of "have patience" posts later.

"On top of that, they post fake success stories every now and then." is probably one of the worst accusations you made, though.

Oh? Then why would you be responding if I faked the fact that you were faking fake posts? :)

Don't be surprised if they manage to find this post that you made, see the fake accusations that you've made about them and use their "freedom to remove you at the outset of any circumstance" clause to deny you your payment. You don't have any reason to call Bux.to a scam then, because by then, it's self-pwn - no one's fault but yours.

>>>>This is exactly why I wrote this post...only one word describes it best....."hippocracy" !

To "Alt3rn4t|v3"...

> You're handle is lame.

> You stink.

> insert derogatory term here: _______________________

> Thank you as always for a patient read.

01 August, 2008

Opera 9 rocks!

I have been using Opera 9 since my last windows installation, and I must say, Im very impressed.Here are the features and why I liked them :

> The toolbar is better than menus in most browsers.

> Integrated email reader : You get to compose mail and send it, or read other mail without waiting for minutes to login to your inbox. This comes as a boon to many of us Gmail users, as it takes a long time to login. Whats more? You can specify multiple mail accounts to draw your mail from, all within your browser. You will be instantly alerted to any mail in your inbox.

> Opera uses full bandwidth : I have a dial-up connection. Surfing the web was a pain until opera came by. Unlike Internet Explorer, Opera uses my full bandwidth, and thus makes surfing a breeze.

> Built in bit torrent client, download accelerator : Opera can handle downloads and file transfers with ease. whats more? Forget your port forwarding worries if Utorrent conflicts with your firewall, cause opera identifies itself as a browser and thus doesnt get blocked.

> Lots of widgets to choose from.

> Write notes within your browser and set times to get alerted!

> And now, the greatest advantage of all : ITS FREE!!!

Get it here http://opera.com

Are older softwares better than newer ones?

with new versions of photoshop and flash coming out every 2 months, you have got to ask yourself, "Are the newer versions worth my money? Do I really need the newer versions when I have got used to the older ones?".

I recently switched back to photoshop 7 and I must say I have been very efficient with it.I found myself at home with photoshop with 7. The UI is simple and intuitive, and it doesnt take a genius to make out what the "accented edges" filter does.

I have always been a critic of new software, and have always advocated the older ones. Photoshop 7 continues to be the most productive tool in Adobes galleria, as I am told. This goes for windows XP too! How many times have you thought "Man, it really sucks that vista is running so slow on my 2 week old PC" ?

What is the need for you to use newer software when you're god darned efficient with the previous one?

28 July, 2008

Western Digitals 500GB external drive

I just brought a new external hard drive(Western Digitals 500GB external drive),and I must say, Im quite impressed! The drive doesnt make a noise, the transfer speeds are neat, and to top all that, its got a shiny blue LED lighting to show when the drive is working and when its not.

I think the external hard disk is an internal hard disk in a USB casing, or so it seems. I could be wrong. The coolant does its job flawlessly. There was barely any heat after 4 hours of data transfer and over 148 GB was downloaded into the drive. That makes it 37 GB per hour! Quite impressive!

Im completely impressed with the drives functioning, and would gladly recommend it to all my friends in need of a drive space. It provides 500 GB of space. And, believe me, its not as small as it sounds. You'll start running out of things to fill it with, but its only a matter of time before I get that filled up too.

26 July, 2008

WWW = World Wide Wait?

I have been working with the internet for a few years now..maybe 6 years or so. In all these years, I have seen the internet evolve from the equivalent of a fish to the equivalent of a whale in terms of speed and reliability. These days, the speeds that computers households get are in the average of 2-3 Mbps worldwide.

But in all the hurry to increase the speeds are we forgetting some of the basic concepts which were the founding principle of the internet?

The internet was born out of necessity. The US military was the first organized network. But why do we find people still connecting to the internet through 56k modems?why doesnt everyone have broadband? Even though broadband is affordable these days, there are millions who are still using dial up connections. I would say this is mainly due to corporate incompetence.

The "big" companies such as AT&T want to make profits by giving the customers nothing but crappy speeds. Until and unless there is a revolution in the way companies think, the equivalent of a 56k modem will always be around.

And, to add to all this, the service providers have started providing internet connectivity to mobile systems, whose speeds are even more pathetic. Suddenly, there seems to be a big leap of faith towards the mobile computing platform.

Internet downloads remain pretty much a dream to people such as myself. It takes a lot of time to download even an Mb...

25 July, 2008

Bangalore bomb blasts

I would like to take a moment off my busy schedule of writing about technology and condemn the blasts in bangalore, India. I am a resident of bangalore, and I must say, this day shall go down as one of the darkest days in bangalores glorious history.

Over the years, Bangalore has been giving entrepreneurs and politicians major boosts in terms of infrastructure. IT industries flourished in what was once a deserted and barren city. I am put up in the outskirts of the city right now. But this fateful day, I happened to commute through 4 of the 6 blast sites. And I must say, the scene was horrible. I wanted to play hero, and go help with some of the rescue work. But the cops wouldnt let me, nor the others who wanted to help. They were busy chasing off people.

I saw a city weep today. I stopped at a restaurant on my way home, and I heard an old timer say, "These terrorists wont let us live in peace". How true. What a statement. This city, which has inspired millions upon millions to take up careers in the IT industry has suffered a fatal blow, in that, all these days, one could roam around in Bangalore like a free bird. This will no longer be so.

North India was the only place where the terrorists let their kind flourish. Such barbarism, and malice was unknown to us South Indians. Yet, terrorists have spread their fatal roots in Bangalore, and if you ask me, it will take all our efforts to weed it out.

Ive seen this city smile.Ive seen it weep. Ive walked with gods, and wept with angels. Rock on Bangalore city.

23 July, 2008

Social bookmarking in opera: A dream?

Hey guys.I use StumbleUpon for bookmarking my sites, and must say that the service and the quality of sites bookmarked have been very good. Except for one thing- There are no social bookmarking toolbars available for opera 9.5 !

Now, I know Opera might be a little low on plugins unlike your Firefox, but still, I felt that the opera developers left out this major chunk of my internet experience!

I have been told that social bookmarking sites take up almost 2% of the internets total traffic. At first glance, 2% is not such a big deal. But then, do you realise how many websites and URLs this may run into. Heck, this may run into billions for all I know!

So, a question to all you opera developers out there: Why no support for plugins?

And a warning to all you social bookmarking addicts out there: This is just not the right time to switch to opera!

Update: There is one method by which you can do this in opera. Goto OperaStumbler.com

22 July, 2008

Is Bux.to scam? well of course it is!!

What else were you expecting from a site which runs in a foreign country, doesnt respond to its own ticket system, AND ignores users' grieviences??

Yes, I was a kid with dollar signs flashing in my eyes. Not until BUX.to burst my bubble. Now, I have around 194 dollars in my BUX.to account. All for what? What use is money that you cant withdraw?

First I was told that they had a major problem with PayPal (though I cant imagine what that could be, other than PayPal refusing to support scam sites!). Thus, I got myself an AlertPay account. Now, the site wont let me login! Next, they tell me they have a "MAJOR" problem with the sites' script (can't Imagine what that would be!!), and thus ALL payments are delayed! Recently they tell us, they're gonna clear it all within 4 WEEKS. Are these people kidding me??!!

On top of that, my requested amount of $10 hasn't yet arrived(after 4 months)! The moderators at the forum said that the payments would arrive for non-premium members after 2 months, and they even have a calculator for that, for crying out loud!!!

On top of that, they post fake success stories every now and then. Old members and new apply the theory stated below, and they keep clicking, thus making HUGE profits for the people at BUX.to.

We are the sort of people that say "Aw look honey, there are mangy looking aliens in the front yard. Hope they're here for the neighbors!!Lets all pray they really are here for the neighbors!". This continues until the aliens themselves catch you by the throat and then you try to warn your neighbors who are gonna say the same thing. So, Im telling you now, stay away from this site! Its a total scam!

What a novel way to run a scam! On top of all this, the moderators at the forum, have the audacity to tell me that no lawsuit can reach them because they're in another country.


Common Firefox myths

Firefox is faster than IE:
WRONG!! Firefox is in fact slower than IE. The fastest browser in loading and in performance is Opera 9.5 !

Firefox is a non-profit organisation:

WRONG!! Firefox has a tie in with google refferals. Thats why you see so many websites supporting firefox.

Firefox's plugins dont slow my pc :

WRONG!! Firefox slows down with the first plugin you install. Overall, for a simple HTML page, it consumes about 20 MB of memory as opposed to 15 by IE and just over 7 MB by Opera!!

Firefox is very safe:

WRONG!! There have been many security loopholes detected over the years in Firefox. They(Mozilla foundation) dont release patches very often. Now which browser is safer IE(which gets constant updates and patches) or Firefox? I would say Firefox is just as vulnerable as any other browser is!

Firefox is open source:

WRONG!! Do your own research as to why this is not so.

Firefox is the only browser available for Linux:

WRONG!! Konquerer is an excellent browser available on all flavors of Linux.

21 July, 2008

Record movies in HL2/CS:S efficiently?

Ok, it seems many people don't know how to do this, so I will explain how this is done. All you need are the game itself, VirtualDub , and the trial of DivX Pro, which can be downloaded. NOTE: When I say to type something such as "record [filename]" in the instructions, I mean type it without the quotes. When I say click 'File > Open video file', I mean click the File menu, then the next option, which would be 'Open Video File' in that case.

Step 1: Recording the Movie in Half-Life 2 / Counter-Strike : Source as a Demo
(If you already have the demo file you want, skip to Step 2)

Open the game, and when it's time to record, open the console by pressing the tilde (~) key. Type "record [filename]" and press 'Enter'. Replace '[filename]' with whatever you want the demo to be titled. When you're done recording, open the console again and type "stop".

When you're ready to leave the server and start Step 2, read on.

Step 2: Converting the Demo to TGA Files

Change your video resolution in-game to whatever size movie you'd like. I use 640x480 since no larger is really necessary, and a single 640x480 frame is 900KB, which means 1/3 of a second of a 30FPS movie is 9MB. 1 second = 27MB. Huge, huh?

Then change your audio (if you want the audio to be recorded at all) to 2 speaker, and not headphones or 5.1 or whatever. You can leave the Options window open if you'd like.

Open the console. Type "host_framerate #" and press 'Enter'. Replace '#' with however many FPS you want the movie to be. I suggest 30 - it's rare any higher is necessary, and again, 1 second @ 30FPS = 27MB. Higher FPS = higher movie size.

Then in the console, type "startmovie [filename]", and hit 'Enter'. Replace '[filename]' with whatever you want the movie files to be called. This can be the same as the demo name, it doesn't matter.

While still in console, type "playdemo [filename]", and hit 'Enter'. Replace '[filename]' with the name of the demo you want converted. At this point, the demo will start, the frames will be rendered slowly (you'll experience 5 to 20 FPS most likely), and will be saved off as TGA images (many of them... host_framerate X length of demo in seconds).

When the demo is done and you're back at the menu, open console and type "endmovie", and hit 'Enter'. This will end the capture. If you don't enter this command, the menu of CS:S or HL2 will be recorded as additional 900KB+ frames. We don't want that, now do we?

Close the game. Go to Step 3.

Step 3: Putting the TGAs Together into an AVI

At this point, I'm assuming you downloaded and extracted VirtualDub. If not, go back to the top of this page.

Open VirtualDub, and click 'File > Open video file'. Navigate to the folder of the game (in CS:S, this will be the cstrike folder). Make sure 'Image Sequence (*.bmp, *.tga)' is selected in the 'Files of Type' drop down menu. Double-click the first image of the record sequence. There will be HUNDREDS (maybe thousands) of these images, double-click the first one.

VirtualDub will read them and begin piecing together a movie. We're not done yet, though!

Choose 'Audio > WAV Audio...'. If you can't select it, choose 'Audio > Full processing mode' first, then 'WAV Audio...'. In the same folder as the TGA image sequence, there will be a WAV file titled similarly to the images. Double-click this WAV file. VirtualDub will attach it to the movie.

Now, if you want to chop out parts of the movie, do so by finding the beginning frame of the part you want chopped and press 'Home'. Then find the last frame of that part and press 'End'. Then press 'Delete'. Do this with all useless / pointless parts of the movie. The WAV will also be chopped up, which is why it is important that the WAV be inserted before chopping!

Once you're done editing, it's time to set compression. If you don't want to compress, or want to use another program to do it (WM Encoder, for example), just click 'File > Save as AVI' and you're done. But if you want it to be small, and not the 500MB+ file an AVI itself is, you need compression. So, make sure DivX is installed, then continue.

Choose 'Video > Compression'. Choose the DivX codec, and click 'Configure'. Select 'Slow' from 'Encode Performance' - this will yield a slower processing time, but a better quality video with better compression, which means a smaller file to download. Click 'OK', then 'OK' again to leave the VDub compression dialog box.

Now choose 'Audio > Compression'. Choose 'MPEG Layer-3' from the list on the left, and a bitrate (preferrably stereo of some sort) from the right and click 'OK'.

Choose 'File > Save as AVI'. Locate where you want it saved, and what you want it called, and click 'Save'. VirtualDub will now work on compressing the video into a nice little DivX-based AVI file. Enjoy!

19 July, 2008

How to remove worm/autorun.blw virus?

First of all, update your antivirus

If say, the drive d has the virus, open notepad, goto open and type d:\autorun.inf

If there is a text block displayed then your system has an autorun virus, removing which is simple.

Open notepad,Create a blank file as autorun.inf. just drag and drop this file into the drive d, after opening my computer. DO NOT COPY AND PASTE!!

As the trojan depends on autorun.inf to do its job, a blank autorun.inf will disable it!

Why dont HCL and HP give you backups of your device drivers?

I have had many friends asking me to search for them, device drivers for their newly purchased desktops/laptops. What I dont understand is the fact that HP and HCL (2 of the major computer assemblers in the US) dont provide device driver CD's / DVD's with the computers that they sell. I understand that these PC's have genuine windows versions installed on them, but why not provide drivers?

Some of my friends wanted me to bring this up on my blog, cause this might serve as an early warning system to all of you people considering to buy a previously assembled PC.

One of my friends ran into a certain trojan problem on his HCL PC, and wanted me to re install his windows (since Im the guy in the know-how). I tried formatting the disk, and re-installing windows on it, but guess what! It simply refused to install on his PC. Thats when I threw in the towel and told him to call up the HCL guys, and ask them for help. Three frustrating hours of troubleshooting later, they decided to send one of their own to look into the problem. And guess what he does, after he gets there! He takes out a windows XP CD out of his backpack, and it installs like nothings been wrong with the PC! I was surprised to find out that even the drivers come bundled with his version of windows XP so he doesnt have to install it seperately.

Asked if we could have a copy of his disc in case there was a future failure, we were told his boss would have his head if he found out, but the nice guy agreed anyway! I got into all the technical details of the CD copy, and found out that HCL has a special windows disc, licensed exclusively to them (of course!!!) by Microsoft.

Now, what this disc did was, it read the hardware device configurations from the ROM, and only upon finding that this was a genuine HCL PC, and not a lookalike, did it start installing windows.

No wonder the HCL, HP guys wouldnt give you the discs!

14 July, 2008

Trojan in DotaKeys !

If you are an avid fan of DotA AllStars, you'd probably know that farming is one of the most important parts of the game, other than pwning other heroes' heads. But farming is difficult for newbies. I hit upon this software called "DotaKeys" made by a guy who called himself "Fucko". I didnt have any problem with this guy, until I updated his software. The software downloads a backdoor trojan which might compromise your computers' security to this guys whims. I googled the problem and I came upon this post. Here, this "Fucko" dude goes about bashing anyone who tells him hes given them a program with a trojan. 

He argues its open source, and even provides a link for its source. SURE its open source, who denied it!! All Im saying is that the program itself doesnt contain malicious trojans. These appear once you update the program.

And just for all of you people who are thinking how he made this program, there is a software called Autohotkey. A pretty nifty program that has its own language, a compiler, and what not, all under 2 MB !

Im working on an alternative to this program, and am going to release it maybe by this months' end. Thanks as always for a patient read

Blogger is behaving strangely these days!

Yeah, I just wanted to add some more content to my other blog, and I clicked on the add html/javascript link in my blogger accounts' "Add new page content". Blogger came up with a "ERROR 404 Page cannot be found". The main cause of this problem is that blogger uses redirection to take you to different pages. 404 occurs on web pages that do not exist on servers. Yet, if you try after a minute or two, it will show up with the content. How can a page, non existant 2 minutes ago appear all of a sudden? Thats because, the server to which it redirected is probably under heavy load, because of bloggers like you and me, clicking the same link. There is no other solution other than waiting for sometime and clicking the link again.

Please correct the errors on this form.  

Your request could not be processed. Please try again.

This is another one of those errors that I keep getting these days. If you're getting this error too,I recommend you do the following :

> Turn off any download accelerators and stop ALL downloads

>Do not load other sites when saving

Google runs on AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) and so does Blogger. It doesnt need to refresh the whole page. Doing so would take up bandwidh, and is reliable, but AJAX involves making a "non-interrupting" call to the server. Thus, only a single fragment of a message needs to be sent to the server. If the call to the server times out, the message will not reach it, and thus the message. That was why I recommended having enough bandwidth availableto let that "small fragment of a message" through.


Polycom makes some of the best speakerphones. So a compact VoIP product from the company piques my interest. The polycom communicator is not just for hands-free skype conversations but also great for small conference rooms.

All you need is a notebook, a broadband connection and Skype. The device is plug-and-play, but you dont need Skype to use it;I used it with Google talk and it worked seamlessly without any extra software. You need the polycom software though.If you want to use the soft-buttons on the device.This device is equipped with two micro-phones that are strategically placed on the two bottom corners which catch sounds from the remotest corners of a small room. I tested the product from a distance of up to 3m(11 feet) and experienced no voice quality problems. The sound was free of any distortions. The speaker which paced in the center, produces a significant volume of sound-enough for a few people to hear the other party clearly. Since this is a USB-powered device, you dont need a seperate power adapter.

The device has four buttons that are used to connect to Skype, start a call, control volme, or mute a call. There is a headphone jack too, if you want to hold a more private conversation. Flip the device over, and it reveals an extremely smart cable management system. The lid on the storage bay acts as a stand once opened. This allows you to easily pack and carry the communicator.

This product is extremely capable, works well and is ideal for VoIP users but for a hefty price tag.

Price:Rs 7,740
 roughly 190 dollars.