Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Blog from Microsoft Word

Blogger now has an addin for Microsoft Word, to create/edit posts and drafts right from Word.

Blogger: Download Blogger for Word
Blogger Help : Blogger for Word FAQ and Known Issues
Blogger Help : About Blogger for Word

Have used it just for a few posts, but this is my experience till now.

What I like:
  • No need to visit blogger.com to post on the blog, just work in Word

  • All the features of MS Word now available when drafting your post – spell checker, grammar check, and formatting too.

  • Works thru the firewall, without any problems

What I did not like:
  • ‘Open Post…’ dialog is not resizable. Moreover the ‘Title’ column too is not resizable. This makes difficult to read the post title, and thus ‘Open Post…’

Guess the issues will be resolved soon, and we will have cool capability to blog from Microsoft Word itself.

Firefox and must have extensions

Quite some time back I moved over to using Firefox. Initially I had some issues (basically related to usage), but now I am Firefox fan. Now, I hardly ever open IE.

Firefox has rich collection of freely available extensions. There an extension for almost everything you could think.

The extensions I use are as follows:
* autocopy
* yahoo companion
* dictionary search
* adblock
* tabbrowser preferences
* mouse gestures
* flashgot
* googlebar
* linkification
* foxylicious
* print preview
* quicknote
* ieview
* targetalert
* greasemonkey
* sessionsaver
* del.icio.us
* spellbound
* webmailcompose
* live http headers
* aardvark
* download manager tweak
* scrapbook
* duplicate tab
* resizeable textarea
* hit-a-hint
* feedview
* super dragandgo

The ones underlined are must haves.

Thanks to all Firefox developers and Extension developers for developing such a fine product.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Opera 8 released - with Gmail support

Opera 8 has been released.

Following are some of the interesting features:

  1. Improved security
  2. Voice support
  3. Fit to window width
  4. Support for XmlHttpRequest giving full Gmail support
For complete list list of changes review Opera 8 changelog

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Joel's interview by CFUNITED

Joel will be giving two speeches at CFUNITED - the ColdFusion technical conference coming up in Washington DC June 29th - July 1st. Michael Smith of CFUNITED interviewed him.

Following are some interesting extracts:

On an untrained project manager running a software project
A common mistake is to hope, against all evidence,that the team members are smart and will be able to organize themselves, so the newly promoted programmer decides he or she can afford to spend 80% of their time writing code and only 20% of their time managing. The trouble is that without any kind of system in place to decide what to do and in what order, chaos ensues and you either get a death march project that’s never done, or an inadequate product that nobody wants. A typical manifestation of this is that team members work on the fun things first, not the important things, so when the schedule is running late and you have to cut features all the features left to do are important features that can’t possibly be cut.

On overhead of tracking bugs and tasks of the project
Hiring an architect adds a lot of overhead to your kitchen renovation, but they both save you a lot of time and money, in the short run and in the long run! You're going to be tracking bugs and tasks anyway, it's just a question of whether you do it in an organized fashion where everyone can be on the same page, or on a whiteboard in one person's office, where it's apt to be erased by the cleaning lady.

There is another interview text of Joel available at Salon.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Roundup Error - Code 403

This week, besides other things, I was trying to fix a problem with the web interface of Roundup Issue Tracker being used in the organization I work in.

Roundup is Python based open source Issue Tracker. There are many other freely available issue tracking softwares - viz. Request Tracker, JIRA, etc. Of all these, I selected and used Roundup, because it is written in Python - and I love Python.

I could not locate the exact reason of the problem. All I could identify was that a corrupt query was creating problem in the web interface, and it used to throw following error


Error response
Error code 403.
Message: /xaissues/ (You are not allowed
to view items of class query).
Error code explanation: 403 = Request
forbidden -- authorization will not help.

After posting and following the issue on Roundup mailing list, the problem got resolved. It was all because of the help provided by Dr Ralf, Berthold Höllmann, and Richard Jones.

As a general guideline, to avoid and resolve such problem, I would suggest the following:

  1. Make sure you are sending the Issue Tracker output to the log - this help you to locate any problem and the time when the problem really started showing up.
  2. If you encounter this problem then make sure that you locate the offending query - by using log in step 1 or from the feedback of individual users.
  3. Run the following two commands and you issue tracker web interface will be rolling again
    roundup-admin -i /path/to/your/tracker retire query16
    roundup-admin -i /path/to/your/tracker set user2 queries=-16

The above two steps are primarily to avoid the interference of offending query, when the web interface is templating to return html pages to the browser. In case you are interested in the entire discussion its here and then here.

Hope this helps all those who face this problem in future.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Aamir's Coke Thanda Campaign

After Amitabh Bachhan, Aamir is one of my favorite actors. Particularly because of his conviction and his remarkable ability to immerse himself into any role he plays.

Check out this interesting slide-show/presentation on indiatimes- about the wonderful Coke Thanda Campaign. The ad in which Aamir played Nepali Gorkha is one of my favorite ads of this campaign.

I have also saved these photos of Aamir on flickr.


Aamir as Nepali Gorkha

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Saturday, March 26, 2005

My name in Flickr photos


ViKKPink Rt-shirtA restaurant logo on Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

You can try yours at metaatem.net/words

Friday, March 25, 2005

Great essays at developer.* and DevSource

Just read three insightful and wonderful essays at developer.*
'Personal Chemistry and the Healthy Body' is a great general article - must read for everyone. And by the way developer.* is Jolt Awards 2005 Productivity Winner in 'Websites and Developer Networks' category.

Later, browsing from Slashdot.org encountered a huge/long article 'The State of Scripting Universe'

In this artcle experts of Dynamic Languages - Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, Tcl - answer questions relating to state of scripting Languages, their future, advantages, disadvantages, and adoption by businesses.

It also has a very long section 'Five Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Python, PHP, Tcl, Perl, Ruby'

Update:

The above-mentioned wonderful and enlightening essay Personal Chemistry and the Healthy Body is by Gerald M. Weinberg. Coincidentally, I encountered another article about him on Devx.com Adjust or Go Extinct: 50 Years of Conventional Wisdom and Eye-raising anecdotes from Programming veterans

Here is link to his website www.geraldmweinberg.com

Friday, March 11, 2005

Insightful article about Wikipedia

Insightful article about Wikipedia on Wired magazine

Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia on the internet. It is free to use, and anyone can contribute to it - thus it is self-organizing, self-repairing encyclopedia.
Contributing on Wikipedia is so simple that even a 16 year old can contribute.

This article explains, in brief, the encyclopedia building models, how the Wikipedia system works, and what critics say about the functioning of Wikipedia.

Interesting facts from the article:
  • 5 yr old, nonprofit venture, Wikipedia is the largest encyclopedia on the planet. It offers 500,000 articles in English - compared with Britannica's 80,000 and Encarta's 4,500.

  • In olden days encyclopedias relied on 'One Smart Guy' model e.g. Aristotle tried to record all the knowledge of his time. With Industrial Revolution, it was followed by 'One Best Way' model e.g. group of experts each performing a task working under direction of a manager. Now Wikipedia has provided 'One for All' model - every one can contribute to the knowledge repository - instead of clear lines of authority, it depends on decentralization and self-organization.

  • It is very easy to make changes to Wikipedia, and hence obviously to deface it as well. Still the system works - cases of mass deletions, a common form of vandalism, are corrected in a median time of 2.8 minutes. When an obscenity accompanies mass deletion, the median reduces to 1.7 minutes

Must read for every Internet user.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

अक्ष्र्माला

आज विकीपीडीया पर भ्‌रम्ण कर्ते हुऐ अक्ष्र्माला के बारे मे पता चला । यह बहूत ही सरल व मुफ़्त साफ़्टवेर है । मैं बहूत समय से एक अच्छे हिन्दी लेख्न साफ़्टवेर की खोज कर रहा था, अब मेरी खोज खतम हुई । मैने तुरन्त इसे डाउन्लोड किया और यह लेख लिखा ।

अब मैं दिल खोल कर कम्प्यूटर पर हिन्दी मे लिख सक्ता हूं ।

आप की जानकारी के लिये विकिपीडिया विकि पर आधारित एक आज़ाद content ज्ञानकोष है । आज़ाद का मतलब न सिर्फ उपयोग की आज़ादी बल्कि बदलने की भी आज़ादी । विकिपीडिया बहुभाषीय है और खुला है । विकिपीडिया लोगों के सहकार से बना है । यह विकिमीडिया फाउन्डेशन द्वारा संचालित है जो एक नॉन प्रॉफिट संस्था है । फरवरी २००४ में इसमें अंग्रेज़ी भाषा में २,१०,००० से ज़्यादा लेख है और अन्य भाषाओं में २,७०,००० से ज़्यादा लेख है ।

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Prince of Ayodhya and Original Ramayan

On 15th Feb, Swaroop mentioned book ‘Prince of Ayodhya’ on his blog. His blog entry got me excited to read the book. He describes the book as ‘awesome’.

I am proud that Ashok Banker came out with a still newer version of Ramayan – one which presents it in competition with epic books like ‘Lords of the Rings’ – and I am proud that it has been received well.

The younger generation of India will get connected to its roots by this work of Bankers.

However, I have decided to read the Original Ramayana (or the near original translation) first than any other version, because the retold version will be:
  1. Novelized,
  2. Interpolated,
  3. Cannot be better than the Original Ramayan
  4. Banker’s retold Ramayan was published first in UK and USA, then why should it be read first.


Rama surrounded by Sita, Laxman and Hanuman. Tanjore Painting
Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Collage using Picasa


Creating collage using Picasa is so simple - select photos and click Collage. These pictures were taken in Shimla in summer of 2003.
Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Healthy India 2005-Feb-26

Today, Healthy India continued its discussion on Asthma. The panel of doctors was same, as on the last program, but Dr. K.K. Agarwal too joined among the audience.

Once again, this was a very informative episode. Continuously, for an hour, they continued the discussion of Asthma, enlightened the viewers, and answered phone queries.

Following are some of the points that I can recollect (NOTE: Do not consider these as medical advice. Consider it only an excerpt of the program)
  1. Dr. K.K. Agarwal’s very brief advice for Asthmatics
    • Exercise (Walking is an excersice good for any kind of illness)
    • Avoid Asthma precipitating food
    • Inform your doctor(s) that you are asthmatic and that you are taking medication from any other doctor
    • Like bathing, give bath to your nose by 'Jal Neti' - it keeps nasal canal free from infection.
  2. Oral steroids should not be taken for more than 7 days
  3. Asthmatics can live absolutely normal life with proper medication and treatment
  4. Inhalers have minimal side effects as compared to oral medication
  5. One third of Australian Olympic team of a particular year (which I do not remember) was Asthmatic. Ian Bothom was asthmatic. Hence even those who excersice can be asthmatic, can live normal life, and keep up with their excersice – If they take proper treatment.
  6. Any intensive exercise after age of 40 should always be consulted from doctor.
  7. Asthma increasing exercise should not be done, better consult your doctor.
  8. Nasal infection may turn to rynitis. May later turn to sinusitis, which may lead to asthma - contact E.N.T. in early stages, and in complicated cases contact eminent pulmonarologist
Related Links:
  1. MedlinePlus: Asthma
  2. Asthma at About.com
  3. Ayurveda For You - Asthma
  4. AllAyurveda - Bronchitis and Asthma
  5. Yoga therapy for Asthma

Friday, February 25, 2005

Monday, February 21, 2005

Healthy India

Doordarshan Bharti telecasts a programme 'Healthy India' every Saturday 11 am to 12 pm. It is one of the best health programmes I have come across.

The invited panel of doctors is always from the best hospital/institutions in India. In the panel, two doctors are mostly from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Apollo Hospital.

For one hour (some times two episodes) they discuss about a particular illness. During this time, they take calls from all over India and answer typical problems of common man. During this one-hour there is no commercial break.
Each episode is extremely informative and helpful. The discussion is literally enlightening. Common man is able to understand the problems in simple language. Language used is primarily Hindi, occasionally mixed with English.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

BLACK - the movie

Watched movie 'BLACK'. It was fabulous, and intense.

Before the start of movie I was thinking that should have watched 'ALEXANDER', but when I came out I was sure I did not miss watching the other movie.

Photography is wonderful, camera work is beautiful. Amitabh acts great, looks perfect for this role. Rani Mukherjee too is beautiful, and conveys the pain of the physically challenged. Not to forget, incredible performance by nine year old Ayesha Kapoor.

Check out one of Amitabh's interview here at Rediff.

Finally, a masterpiece by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Synchronizing bookmarks across browsers

BookmarkBridge is great tool to keep your bookmarks up to date between multiple browsers on your computer. It is easy to use, and has a simple point and click user interface.

Each time you run BookmarkBridge, it saves any new bookmarks to all your browsers. It can even remove a bookmark from all your browsers if it is removed from one browser.