Sep 162010
 

I was a baby, I had no worry. I crawled on the ground, without any hurry.

As I grew up, my arms grew long. Carrying heavy school bags, my shoulders grew strong.

And before I realised, I took the charge. I had few responsibilities, some small, some large.

But now I feel burdened, and I feel its a mess. I need to do something, to relieve this stress.

Was today the umpteenth time that you felt sad for the poor children you saw on the streets, but couldn’t do much about it? Was today the day when you felt that your stock tips could have made many rich, like you? Did you find out something interesting today, on the technology front, which you wanted to share with someone? Did the recipe you tried today turn out to be good, but none of your friends had the taste to appreciate it? Did you feel frustrated today because the ministry is using your money to fill their personal coffers? Or did you feel like doing something different from what you always do?

Well, blogging is your tool!!

We have lots of things on our mind in our day-to-day life. They might be family troubles, work pressure, financial burdens. Might be the triumphs you can’t share with anyone, cause you have no one to share them with. Many more thoughts fly through our mind through our entire life. With every passing moment, a new thought jumps, which might be totally disconnected from your previous one. Such a flow of disconnected thoughts, bring about a turbulence in our mind. Our mind becomes unstable. Our decision making capabilities deteriorate quickly. And we age faster. Classic signs of stress!!

It is known by practice that opening up ourselves, relieves us of the burdens we carry around. So in past, people would employ writing, to relieve their stress. Many succeeded, but most failed, due to the lack of motivation. Motivation would come by appreciation of ones skills, or acknowledgement in the form of popularity of the creation. And it would all come by readership, which was hard to get in the ages without proper means of mass communication.

But now we have the internet. And we have, like a zillion net users, eager to read something new. And we have a tool called web log or Blog, where we can express ourselves and our feelings. May they be frustration, worry, rage, guilt, embarrassment, fear,love, excitement, triumph, joy,hope or just about any other. They can be expressed in a proper manner. Advice can be taken and given. News can be spread. Creativity can be showcased. Joy can be spread, opinions voiced out. Blogging a big part of life, and a source of income for many, can be a tool that shapes your life, helping you rise out of your own ashes, like the mythical phoenix.

Your thoughts will be poured out, in a more creative form, day by day, and as the reader base increases, so will your confidence. The turbulence in your mind, will turn to a smooth flow of a silent river. And popularity might even earn you something.

So blog to be stress free!!

Sep 162010
 

Sometimes back I had posted about how I extracted benefits from the internet by just signing on one website called mginger. I invested jus rupees 3, and received a discount coupon worth rupees 100!! But this offer had been taken off for some time. Now its back again, and here to stay till 30th September. Meanwhile, other offers continue to be online on this site. So grab the offer before it expires.

Are you planning to buy some stuff with total value of less then 1000 rupees but above 395? The items could be something like a pen drive, flash memory card, compact disks, clothes, books etc.? This is your chance to get minimum of 10% discount, as against the maximum discount schemes run by other shops. A coupon download from mGinger and a product buy made on tradus can get you that.

The mode of operation of mginger is that, once you register, you  start getting smses on your mobile, containing paid advertisements. Each advertisement fetches you 20 paisa. If you refer someone, you get 10 paisa for every advertisement he/she receives on the mobile. There is also a third level, through which you can earn 5 paisa per sms. Once time registration will cost you 2 rupees, and you can select your preferred time and advertising category. You can also stop this service anytime you like. Pay out will only be made after rupees 300 or above are accumulate in your account. It will take ages for that, and the amount is peanuts. But there is a second part to it. And that’s the better part.

Here’s how it works. Go to mginger and register your mobile number following this link. Once registered, you have to select you preferred time and category of the advertisement. Once you start receiving ads, you start accumulating money in your account. And here’s the best part. You can buy a coupon using the money out of that amount, for any of the offer available with mginger at that time. It could be a discount on Dr. Batra clinic charges, or a discount on 21 Fahrenheit pub, or my favorite, a 100 rupees discount coupon on the purchase of rupees 395 and above.

Once you have accumulated at least 1 rupee in your account, go to the coupons section, and select from the many different offers available. Then click on download coupon, and a rupee gets deducted from your wallet on mGinger. The next moment, you receive an SMS giving the coupon code and expiry date!!

The coupons are region specific, depending on the shopping merchants in that area. But any coupon, which can be redeemed online, is available for everyone. Some of the tempting coupons for Mumbai are as follows :

The Jail – Restaurant & Lounge 30% Discount on lunch (food and liquor). Also flat 15 % on dinner on weekdays.
Tradus.in 100 rupees off on purchase of 395 and above
21 Fahrenheit 33% discount on entry fee. Enter at rupees 500 instead of 750
Myntra.com 50% off on customised jersey

And many more for Spa, pubs, stay at luxury hotels, etc. are available on this site.

So why wait. Make the most of it while we live in this e-age.

Sep 022010
 

Samsung has been making “Waves” in the mobile computing “Galaxy” for quite some time now. Its foray into the android world through Galaxy is said to be a tough rival to iphone in many aspects, while the wave is truly making waves with its Bada(meaning Ocean) OS, which is an open operating system. And we expect more from the Korean manufacturers.

Their latest venture into mobile computing devices, takes iPad head on. And improves on it. In one of my previous post, I had mentioned how dell streak was set to be the competitor to iPad. But the mobile computing world didn’t seem to be as enthusiastic about dell streak as they are towards Samsung P1000 Galaxy Tablet.

The P1000 features a 7 inches display,versus the 9.7 inches of the bulky iPad. Weighing 380 gms, it is half the weight of the apple version. It runs the open Android 2.2 Froyo while iPad had its proprietary iOS. The processor speed is 1GHz in both the tablets.

The USP of the Samsung P1000 is , its also a phone!! Yes, just like dell streak, it has phone capabilities inbuilt. Of course, you cannot put it up to your ears to make or receive a call, given its size. But this is one very important added feature in the tablet, and people who would like to go mobile with computing power, will surely have a thought about it.

It is up to the pricing slot which will decide the popularity of this device. The iPad is priced at 499$ minimum, without 3G communication while the lowest capacity(16 GB) 3G version comes for 629$. A competitively priced P1000, might take away the market from iPad from developing countries. And Android Froyo, with its thousands of applications, will add value to this device.

Quick comparison: (Specifications taken from GSMArena and Apple websites. For detailed features, visit the respective websites)

Specs P1000 iPad Streak
Operating System Android 2.2 Apple iOS Android 2.1, (Upgradable to 2.2)
Processor 1 GHz Hummingbird CPU with PowerVR SGX540 graphics accelerator 1GHz Apple A4 Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 1 GHz processor
Size 190.09 x 120.45 x 11.98mm, 380g 242.8 x 189.7 x 13.4, 680 gm(730 gm 3G Version) 152.9 x 79.1 x 10 mm, 220 gm
Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
HSDPA 900 / 1900 / 2100
UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)

GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

HSDPA 900 / 2100

HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100

Display TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
600 x 1024 pixels, 7.0 inches
9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology.

1024 x 768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)

TFT capacitive touchscreen
480 x 800 pixels, 5.0 inches
Memory(Internal) 16/32 GB, 512 MB of RAM 16/32/64 GB 16 GB storage, 512 MB ROM, 512 MB RAM
Memory(Expandable) upto 32 GB, microSD None upto 32 GB, microSD
Battery Capacity Standard battery, Li-Po 4000 mAh Built-in 25-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery

Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music

Up to 9 hours of surfing the web using 3G data network

Standard battery, Li-Ion 1530 mAh
Camera 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, autofocus, LED flash None 5 MP, 2592?1944 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED flash
Secondary Camera Yes, 1.3 MP None VGA videocall camera
Video Playback MP4/DivX/WMV/H.264/H.263 player H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second,  .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player

So now we wait for this device to come out in market, to gauge whether its hardware packs the punch to knock out iPad. Of course, apple is a brand in a different league, a league of its own, with dedicated followers. The competition will be in the masses.

Aug 032010
 

Disclaimer: The method explained herein to track your stock, should not be used for daily transactions, as the quotes  retrieved from the internet are delayed by couple of minutes.

Many of us have invested our life savings in the stock market. And the giants have already eaten into our savings, after promising us good returns. But we are the only ones to be blamed for our loss, because each time we invested, we were taking a “calculated risk”.

Anyway, this topic is not for crying about our losses. It explains one more way how we can track our stock. We all have created portfolios on sites like moneycontrol or BSE website. But all of this sites require us to login before we can access our portfolio and find out how much we have lost at that point. There are many finance management software, but they might be bit difficult to navigate. One easier way, which avoids login each time, is to create the portfolio in spreadsheet(Oh!! What happened to this good old word, spreadsheet. I still remember Lotus 1-2-3, and the revolution it started. It was a killer application). But we are not going to use Lotus 1-2-3 or even the costly excel program. We will use sun’s office suite, openoffice, and specifically openoffice calc.

We require the latest version of openoffice.org, 3.2.1. For those who do not have it installed on their PC, download it here, and do consider using it, since it is a comprehensive office suite, competing head on with MS office. And best of all, its free to download and distribute. Once installed, you need to download an extension, GetQuote, from its extension repository.Once downloaded, open up Openoffice.org application that you have installed. Go to         Tools—–>Extension Manager. Click Add and select the downloaded file. This will install the extension, and you are all set to create your portfolio on spreadsheet.

Open a new Openoffice.org calc spreadsheet. Check out the short code used on yahoo finance for your stock script. For example Assam Company on Bombay stock exchange is given by ASSAMCO.BO. Jindal Drilling on National Stock exchange is given by, JINDALDRI.NS. So on you can get the stock codes. Now to get a stock quote in a cell, type =GETPRICE(ASSAMCO.BO). Once you press enter, it will immediately connect to yahoo finance and display the live price to you. Same goes for all other scripts.

Your can use your spreadsheet knowledge to format the display in a more presentable way. Check out the screenshot of an example.

image

Though a bit tedious initially, once you have created it, there won’t be any changes required, and no logging in each time you want to see your investments in stock.

 

Jul 192010
 

As you might all know by now, that the Indian government has come up with a symbol for rupee. Being an Indian symbol, it was natural to accept the one designed out of our own devanagari script. Not that its going to improve the living condition of the poor Indian, or help in the appreciation of our currency. If I go to Argentina, rupee will still be rupee, and I won’t be able to exchange it with Argentina dollar very easily. The entire exercise was to create the “feel good” factor amongst the rich and influential Indians. The poor doesn’t give a damn about it, if its not going to feed them.

15rupee11

The symbol was designed by T Udaya Kumar and was selected by the government. Anyway, now that it’s decided, it will take some time to get it into the system. And getting it in to the system involves getting it on the computers on a large scale. All of a sudden an unknown company named Foradian Technologies takes the limelight after they designed the true type font for rupee symbol. Newspapers and websites immediately jumped upon the font and incorporated it in their media. Though there is no separate key mapped for it right now, it can still be used by sacrificing he tidle. So here’s how you can use it.

  • Download the font from here.
  • Copy the Rupee Foradian.ttf file to the windows/fonts directory. You are done!!
  • The character has been mapped to the tidle key(~) just above the tab key and before number 1 key. If you want to type this character in any word processer, just select the font as Rupee Foradian and press he tidle key.

image

  • That’s it. You have successfully installed the rupee symbol on your windows based computer.
  • On a LINUX system, just double click the Rupee Foradian.ttf file and in the dialogue box that appears, select “install font”. That was much easier than windows, isn’t it?
Jul 102010
 

Information search and communication were the two main reasons for which a person would log on to the world wide web a few years back. Though I worked on computers since around 18 years back, I was the last person amongst my friends to get an email ID, some 10 years back. And I couldn’t hold it long enough, since I allowed the account to remain dormant for a long time, and it was deactivated. This shows how a person who is very much interested in technology can be ignorant towards its full benefits. But the advent of high speed internet has opened up lots of possibilities to a normal user which can help him change his own life. An average user, uses internet not only to communicate or search for information, but can also wander around on the net to explore it, view videos and listen to music, read eBooks, plan holidays, shop and many other activities. Community sites like orkut and facebook, really changed the dimension in which people communicated with each other, while adding a fun element to it.

But along with all this uses of the internet, people with a bit more curiosity and patience, have managed to actually earn while surfing the web. People maintaining websites generate revenue through advertisements placed on their sites. Some sell their expertise on the web. Bloggers are paid to write post in popular news columns. Many of these activities on the web, which generate revenue to an individual come under the category of freelancing, which is picking up quite fast on the web.

On a site providing freelancing jobs directory, a freelancer can find various jobs listed under numerous categories. After browsing through them and checking out which job is best suited for ones expertise, the person has to bid for the job quoting the charge for which he is ready to do the job. Once the bids are viewed, the bid which meets all the conditions and least quote gets the job. A bidder has to create profile which specifies his area of expertise. If he is proficient with more skills, more number of profiles can be created. The advertiser makes sure that the bidder is capable to carry out the job by checking out this profile. In the profile, the bidder has an option of entering experience and proof of the work he might have done in past, which gives his bid a higher weightage.

There are many websites, catering to different countries, which provide freelancing services. Some are totally free, while others have a premium members section for members who pay of the service. A premium member can bid for almost all the projects and can activate all his profiles at a time while a free member can bid for very few projects and can activate only one profile. Some of he websites are listed below. If a person is confident of making good on such sites through freelance jobs, its better to opt for paid service which has much more features. Once you get a job, and you complete it successfully, you get rating on the site, which keeps on increasing as you complete more projects. This rating improves your probability of getting more jobs.

People are already earning huge amounts by freelancing. If you use your expertise properly on he internet, this could be the dream second part-time job that you always wanted.

Freelancing Websites:

Freelance, Freelance India, Guru(the paid service which I was talking about earlier), Freelance Free(which provides completely free service), Get A Freelancer

Jun 242010
 

Never knew that could come out with something so useful as . Actually I had installed it along with windows live essentials, some time back, but didn’t know what it was used for. Only when I went out in search of a good offline publishing tool was I told about it by my good friend Jimmy. In his words, “they say, it’s awesome”. Well I don’t know about that, but it surely seems to be a useful tool.

First impression, it doesn’t require complicated setup for existing blog, so good. Just download the setup utility,install the application and run it, enter the blog url and your credentials and you are free to spill your quill. It does away with your default blog editor provided by the bloghost, wordpress in my case. All the settings of your blog like catagories are imported automatically into live writer account.

I am writing this post using this utility. Check out the screenshots to get some idea.

image Screen

The main editing page comprises of three main tabs. First being Edit- for composing the post using all the basic text edit tools or inserting media like images, videos, maps( yes maps!!) etc. The second one is for preview, where you can view a cool preview of your final product, offline. And here’s the best part. The preview comes in the theme that you have set for your blog. To ensure that you get the correct theme preview, select he “Edit Using Theme” option in he view menu and click “Refresh Theme”.

screen2

Once you have drafted the post, spell check it using the inbuilt spell checker. Now the post can be saved on local drive, saved online to your blog or even published immediately.

Screen3

This is for one single blog. You can have many blogs and all can be published through this single utility. All you need to do is add the details of other blogs through Blogs—->Add blog account…

Screen4

My friend Jimmy informed me that most of the professional bloggers use different utilities to great blogs. Well, I am on lookout for better ones. Till then…Long Live Windows Live Writer!!

Jun 232010
 

Disclaimer: Google doesn’t support gmail drive, which is a third party application, but the space available on gmail can be used for storage purpose. Google may temporarily disable the mail account if extensive use of gmail drive is found. This procedure of insallation of the application is for windows.

It’s always an issue to store files on the web, and also keep them secure. A novice on the web may endup sharing important files, which he/she has stored on the various file storage services available on the internet. So any user would like to have a solution such that the data remains secure, but easily accessible when online. The most secure place on the web, would be your email account, which is as much secure as the mails saved in it. But storing the files as an attachment is quite tiring if we have large number of files to save together. How easier would it be if, there was some way to avoid this step of attaching the files to the mail!!

Well, there is a way. Gmail Drive to the rescue. Gmail drive is a very small and light utility which adds a virtual drive to your computer network, which gives you direct access to the mail space. The application is developed by viksoe, and can be downloaded here. Once downloaded, unzip the file and run the setup utility. The shell extension is automatically added to your computer. A drive named “Gmail Drive” appears in my computer. On double clicking it, a login window will ask for credentials wherein we put in your gmail userid and password. The application will login and show drive space, where we can transfer files using normal windows features like drag and drop, copy, cut and paste.

This happens on the frontend. In the background however, the utility creates a mail and attaches the file to it and sends it to your gmail account. The file is seen as a standalone file in gmail drive, but as an attachment in the mail box. To segregate it from the normal mails, go to mailbox and using labels tab, create a new label using appropriate name like “Gmail Drive Mails”. Then create a new filter. In the subject field of the filter, enter “GMAILFS:” Click next step, and select “Skip the Inbox (Archive it)” and “Apply the label:” and select the label that you have created. Then click, “Create filter”. This way, you do not end up deleting the gmail drive mails during regular cleanup, and also ensure that the files are stored safely.

Do use this utility to get added benefit from the gmail space available.

Jun 192010
 

Lately, there have been lots of attempts to transfer life in to virtuality. Flight simulators are being used since ages to train commercial pilots. A gaming freak can never forget the revolution started by the games like unreal tournament and Quake, or even the flight simulator by microsoft which offers almost realistic graphics and physical feel to the user. Formula 1 racing games and formula one simulators are largely used by aspirants and rookies of the formula 1 driving world. Then stared the second life by linden labs where we could create our avatar and go about living the virtual life. The person could even buy virtual property using the linden dollars represented by L$ which has real conversion value with USD. Godrej has forayed into this environment by introducing Gojiyo, the new social networking site.

Another invention, which is poised to add a new dimension, or rather diminish the physical barrier between virtual and real world is already into commercial production. It’s called the Virtusphere. It’s basically a 10 foot hollow sphere mounted on rotating sensors which allow for its rotation in all sides. When connected with the compatible applications, and a heads up display, the user walking in this sphere gets transferred in to virtual world, literally. The possibilities to its application are vast. Gamers will have a more realistic feel of the gaming environment when playing in a sphere(just imagine an earth quake, or a exploding grenade’s vibrations being transferred to the sphere using the feedback technology. Or a robot being controlled in war zones, without the use of those tacky joysticks.

Though, at 50000-100000$, the virtuasphere is out of reach for normal user, it can be used for military and industrial application. But the price can come down. Remember how the price of the PC has come down from 20000$ for the first IBM PC to around 500-1000$ of todays powerful PC’s.

And you know what? I stumbled upon this website too!!

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