Saturday, September 30, 2006

Theft of Rawan!

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See the Hindi news clipping below:

Some one had stolen 20 feet high effigy of Ravana! The incident took place at Udaigarh, Zhabua district in Madhya Pradesh. We must admit, thieves are wise guys. They steal only valuables!

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Do you also feel as living in China?

With all kinds of Chinese product all around me, I am feeling as living in China!



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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yet another of Vote bank Politics...

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Well, in politics, there is no such thing like Father-Son relationship!



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Thursday, September 21, 2006

And, I was blaming myself!....

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Update:

Some friend gave me new title ideas:
1 - Another Solid reason to become an environmentalist!
2- That is why there is a sudden rush - everybody is more concerned about environment nowadays!
3- Now, it is better to become environmentalist when we can't do nothing!
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Microsoft’s new (Indic) Phonetic Input tool


Microsoft’s new (Indic) Phonetic Input tool
mspho1
It appears, that, for Indian Languages, finally, Phonetic keyboard will sustain in the long run. No matter we have to key in more alphabets in phonetic then with our traditional keyboard. Phonetic means, if you want to type ‘kahani’ in Hindi, then you need to type it as ‘kahaanii’. Now, as the nature of Indian language itself is ‘phonetic’ in nature – means you exactly spoke what you exactly write, your written text can easily be inter-converted in Indian language if you follow certain pattern while writing in phonetic form. For example, the text ‘kahaanii’ can be converted (and not translated) in all supported Indian language scriptss – e.g. – Hindi, Tamil, Telugu or Oriya!

Keeping this specialty of Indian language in mind, Microsoft has created a tool – ‘Microsoft Phonetic Input Tool’. In addition to provide you the basic facility for inputting Indic text with phonetic layout, the other major function of this tool is to convert text (and not translate) from one Indian language to another.



It means, if you are multilingual, as we most Indians are, then this valuable tool is for you. Now, I can write articles simultaneously in Hindi and Panjabi – I simply need to change some word, some grammar and a bit of spelling. There was no need to change anything for nouns such as names etc. And, if I write ‘Mumbaiya – Lage – Raho – Munnabhai’ type language, then I can write in any Indian language script, and most Indian can easily understand my writings. Further, if I don’t know Telugu, I can still write and read what is written in Telugu with this tool by converting the text between known-unknown and phonetic English languages.

Easy in Installation:

This tiny tool of 330KB size is big in delivering things. Presently, it is available in Beta version. Setting it up in Windows XP machine is easy, two step process. Simply run its setup program, and it sets everything automatically for you in your computer. After installation, you will see a small Language Icon on Task Bar. Whereas its program download is tedious and painful. You need to register at Microsoft’s site and then they will send you a download link at your registered e-mail address. You need to register again at the download location if you are not registered yourself previously. Probably, it has been done to record its beta testing, and, once the full program will be released, it is hoped, it will be available for easy download. The program works well in Windows XP though it claims that certain specific feature will be only available in Windows Vista.

Easy in Use:

Microsoft Phonetic Input tool is very easy in use. An icon appears on taskbar after program installation. You can maximize it to access its complete menus. The maximized language bar is floating in nature and you can dock it anywhere in your desktop. However, it is most convenient to dock at the top most or bottom most portions. You can toggle between various keyboard languages by ‘Alt+Shift’ combination, or can change your keyboard language by mouse clicks. By default, it adds all the supported language and you need to remove unwanted one from Language bar’s advanced settings. After selecting the language, you can work in any application – from notepad to browser to Office suits.

Inscript is also available:

If traditional Inscript keyboard layout suits you, this tool fully supports Inscript too as Inscript installs by default in Windows. The texts written with Inscript are fully usable by this phonetic tool.
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Available language support:

msphonetic2 With this tool, you can use twelve additional Indian languages in addition to Hindi and English. Following are the supported languages in Microsoft Phonetic Input Tool:–

Assamese
Bengali
Gujarati
Hindi
Kannada
Konkani
Malayalam
Marathi
Punjabi
Oriya
Sanskrit
Tamil,
and
Telugu

Easy conversion from one-another language:

You can convert any Unicode text written in any supported language to another supported language. To convert the text, select the text and then select ‘Convert Selection’ menu, and then select the language you want to convert in to. Your text gets converted in to that language instantly. However, this conversion feature is available only for some limited number of applications such as WordPad and MS Office. Microsoft says that in future, this feature will be made available to all windows applications. Still, you can use this feature with a little extra effort – by copy –past the text of desired language text. This feature is very useful because almost all of us Indian are true multilingual due to our multilingual environment. With this feature, you can convert any Indian language text in to ‘English Phonetic’ too, and that way you can at least try to interpret what is being said if not fully understand. And, certainly it is very useful in the situation when you understand the spoken language but not the written, then you can convert the text in your own language (or in phonetic English) and just phonetically read it out for yourself.

Be cautious when you convert text from one language to another, and never try to re-convert back in a loop, as you may find weird results. For example, if you try to convert Kahani from Hindi to Tamil and back, it will become Khahani.



As an example, I had converted the text ‘Raviratlami ka Hindi Blog’ originally written in Hindi to all other supported languages through its ‘Convert Selected’ menu.

(Please note that If your computer does not have Unicode Fonts, or the fonts of related language, then you will see empty boxes inplace of converted text..)
msphonetic3
रविरतलामी का हिन्दी ब्लाग Hindi
రవిరతలామీ కా హిన్దీ బ్లాగ Telugu
ರವಿರತಲಾಮೀ ಕಾ ಹಿನ್ದೀ ಬ್ಲಾಗ Kannada
ਰਵਿਰਤਲਾਮੀ ਕਾ ਹਿਨ੍ਦੀ ਬ੍ਲਾਗ Punjabi
ரவிரதலாமீ கா ஹிந்தீ ப்லாக Tamil
રવિરતલામી કા હિન્દી બ્લાગ Gujarati
रविरतलामी का हिन्दी ब्लाग Sanskrit
रविरतलामी का हिन्दी ब्लाग Marathi
रविरतलामी का हिन्दी ब्लाग Konkani(Devnagari Lipi)
രവിരതലാമീ കാ ഹിന്ദീ ബ്ലാഗ Malayalam
রবিরতলামী কা হিন্দী ব্লাগ Bengali
ରବିରତଲାମୀ କା ହିନ୍ଦୀ ବ୍ଲାଗ Oriya
রবিরতলামী কা হিন্দী ব্লাগ Assamese
Ravirathalaamii kaa hindhii blaaga English Phonetic

You see, how easily Raviratlami ka Hindi blog turned multilingual!
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Monday, September 18, 2006

How to read Blogger Blogs without Adsense - Adword Advertisements?


Yes, now you can read Blogger Blogs without Adsense distracting you!

Often, readers gets annoyed with bombardment of advertisements in Blogger Blogs. You are on very sensitive line and next line appears to be adsense or adword advertisement. Is there any solution exist? Yes, there are many. One is to use proxy server which strips out any adsense code. Another is to use a stripped down very basic type browser which does not accept Java Scrivpts.

There are many proxy server available in Internet, which you can use to avoid adsense advertisement. One such server is http://pkblogs.com/ Try to read any Blogger blog full with aggressive advertisement through this proxy (if you want to read blog through pkblogs proxy server, simply add the blog name in the above URL, for example, if you want to read this blog through pkblogs, then use http://pkblogs.com/raviratlami1 ) and you will happily found that all adsense / adword advertisements were stripped off.

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But, then pkblogs adds its own semitransparent advertisement that hovers around status bar. So, be aware, you may accidentally click on the advertisement link.

Anyway, it's a great solution, and you may find many proxy out there all across internet without their own advertisement!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

How to convert Unicode Indic files ( say Unicode Tamil files) in to PDF?

How to convert Unicode Hindi MS word file in to PDF?

The best way of course, is to use Adobe Acrobat, since it now has built in, full Unicode support. But it requires fortune to buy and hence not recommended. Here are two better alternatives for you - and, hold your penny - they are totally free.

The first option is easy if you are already using this free office suit - OpenOffice 2 and want to convert common Office documents in pdf. If you are not using Openoffice2 then download and install for free from http://www.openoffice.org as it is free for use and distribute. Now, open the Unicode Indic (say Unicode Punjabi Microsoft word file) file in OpenOffice2. You can also create all kinds of word/spreadsheet/presentation files with the help of OpenOffice2. After opening (or after creating and saving one in OpenOffice2) the document in OpenOffice2, select menu - File>Export and then choose PDF. Give a name if you want, and you are done. Simple. Isn't it? It works both in Windows and in Linux.

Second option is to use PDF converters. There are dozens of PDF converters available in the Internet, some of which are for free to use. But most of these does not support Unicode, and hence are not able to convert your Unicode document in PDF. Some converters support Unicode, but while converting complex script like Hindi or Malayalam, they tend to insert errors within converted pdf document.

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There is a similar kind of PDF converter called - novaPDF, available for download from http://www.novapdf.com/download/setup/novapp.exe . Its new version fully supports Indic Unicode language and convert mostly error free PDF documents. Its light version is free, and if you are not annoyed by its small footer message which it inserts in every converted PDF document, then, you can use its professional version for free. To convert documents in PDF by this tool, first you need to download and install novaPDF. Installation is easy, and it takes only seconds. When you install novaPDF in your computer, it installs a printer driver named novaPDF printer. Through this printer driver, your documents are converted in to PDF.

Now, open your document or file that you want to convert in to PDF with suitable, default application. For example, if you want to convert a Microsoft Word Document in to PDF. Open that word file in MS Word. Now go to menu - File>Print and select novaPDF as printer to print this file. Give suitable name if you want, and click OK. And you are done. Your word file is converted in to PDF. Simple. Isn't it?

If you happen to know better solution, let me know.

Monday, September 11, 2006

How to blog in Complex Asian / Indian Languages?


Blogging in Indic Languages? Correct your CSS first!

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Blogs have redefined the use of internet. Already there were 47.5 million blog sites exists and 75 thousand more are added every day. Every hour 50 thousand blogs are updated. Most of these blogs are written in English, and chances are, you might be writing one, and if not, then certainly, reading regularly a few.

Blog: why other than in English?

If you are writing one or planning to write one in English, you will quickly realize that among millions of existing blogs in English, it becomes really tough to get an audience and get noticed. But if you plan to write one differently – in a language other than English, you will certainly get noticed among most users of that language, since number of blogger in other languages – especially Asian languages - such as Hindi or Tamil, having complex text layout - are very small. For example, all across internet, presently, there are only about 300 bloggers in Hindi and around 2000 bloggers in Tamil. There are some Indian languages, where number of bloggers had not reached in its tens. On an average, of these 300 odd Hindi blogs, about 10 posts are updated daily. There are every chance that these 10 posts got read by each and every Hindi users all across internet.

Now, the picture is quite clear to you, isn’t it? So, if you are planning to write a blog, or writing one already in English but facing readership crisis, then it is high time you write one in your own native language. Start writing one in your own language – other than English. You will get bands of readers and followers of your blog from day one, it is guaranteed.

Available tools and platforms:

Indic languages having Complex Text Layout (CTL) creates problems in rendering correctly across different platform and in different applications. Unicode and CTL display technology are comparably new and you will also find that many applications and platform still does not support these. You must have Windows 2000 or above or Linux Fedora core 3 (or equivalent time release of other version) or above for managing Indic Blogs. Otherwise, you will find managing and posting Indic blog a little difficult. Even in these operating systems, there were no out of the box support for Indic language, and you have to set many things manually.

Almost all popular blog platform like Blogger (http://www.blogger.com ), Wordpress (http://www.wordpress.com ), Livejournal (http://www.livejournal.com ), Yahoo360 and MSN now supports Unicode UTF-8 encoding by default and you can straightway start writing blog in Indic languages. Your blog contents will remain usable despite display glitches at later stages because of problems in template CSS design.

IndicBlog0005 This is how your text will display in Mozill Firefox with templates having character spacing settings by default.







Common Problems in Indic Language Blogs – Reasons and fixing them.

Indic language uses CTL fonts and due to this, they tend to display differently in different rendering engine. Moreover, in CTL, characters jumps and acquire different positions irrespective of keystroke. This confuses a genuine, plain application unless it is programmed to handle these strange behavior of CTL fonts. Since long, this is considered as main hurdle in showing strong presence of Indic languages in Internet. Many basic issues have been addressed, but, some glitches still remain there and you have to keep in mind following small points while selecting and modifying your Blog template.

  • Remove every instances of character spacing settings in your template by commenting it out or making these settings to Zero, else you will see strange display of your text. Character spacing disturbs the default positions of Indic characters – such as Matra, Anuswar etc., and hence do not display correctly. Browser like Internet Explorer and opera are designed to ignore these settings while displaying Indic language, but not other applications like Mozilla – and you have to realize that already there are a million users of Mozilla – and counting.
  • Similarly, your post’s text alignment should never be made Justified or right aligned. Due to reason stated above, Opera and Internet Explorer can display this well, but Firefox can’t handle this well as far as indic language is concerned, and it displays text weirdly.
  • In template source, add definition for your language, in addition to English such as “lang = hi_IN” for hindi and “lang = ta_IN” for tamil etc.

IndicBlog0003 You need to add Language definiotion in your template, for example, add lang = “hi_IN” for Hindi and lang = “ta_IN” for Tamil.














  • It will be a good idea to add language specific Unicode Font definition in template at all such instances. For example, add Mangal if you are writing in Hindi.
  • If charset is defined in template then make sure that it is “UTF-8”, else, your page may not display correctly.
  • Try to write your post directly within text area of built in post editor. If you copy pest content from some other source, be ready to get strange display when you publish your post. This happens because during copy paste, character formatting may also gets copied in some cases, which may disturb actual font rendering in some browser.

IndicBlog0004 Remove or comment out every instances of letter spacing, text – right alignment and text Justify settings from template source, else your page will not display correctly.














Indic Language Keyboards – Online and Offline tools:

Except some latest versions of Linux such as Fedora Core 5, your operating system does not come with default installation of Indic Keyboard. Even Windows XP does not comes with one. However, new, Windows XP Starter Edition has out of the box support for Hindi & Tamil, and work is on to add many more Indic languages. You can always add one from Regional and Language Options from your Windows Control panel. If your language is not listed there, then you can download one from many language specific IME tool from BhashaIndia (http://www.bhashaindia.com/ ). In Windows IME, you will find many keyboards from Remington to Phonetic in almost all Indic language packs. Similarly, nearly all new Linux distributions comes preloaded with Inscript Indic language keyboard. You simply need to activate the particular language specific keyboard you want. See http://raviratlami1.blogspot.com/2005/06/using-indian-language-in-linux-fedora.html for detailed instruction to setup Indic Keyboard in Linux. There also exists many beautiful online keyboard which you can also use if you can’t install language specific Keyboard locally. There is a browser based tool in Sourceforge that let's you type in many Indian language - http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=144879&package_id=185123 , similarly there is an online keyboard which let's you type online in world’s many languages including Indic languages - http://www.gate2home.com/?language=hi&sec=2

Present and future of Indic language blog

Google has predicted that in recent future, Internet content will be dominated by languages from China and India. Because Unicode technology is relatively new, all application and platform do not support Unicode and hence Indic language blogs were not able to show its strong presence. But, things are changing really fast and, if we believe Google’s saying, future is really bright for Indic Language Blogs.

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Microsoft - BhashaIndia Indic Blogger Award

IndicBlog0006 Results of Microsoft BhashaIndia first ever Indic Blogger awards are out.











In June 2006, Microsoft – BhashaIndia has declared its first ever Indic Blogger Awards (See http://www.bhashaindia.com/contests/iba/Winners.aspx for details about winners of 2006.) for blogs written in 11 Indian languages. The languages were- Bengali, Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Konkani, Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada and Punjabi. One blog from each language was given Best Blog award, and, among all languages, there were best blog award for these categories - Activism / Social Activities, Art and Literature, Entertainment, Journal, Political, Sports, Technology, and Topical. Winners were chosen on the basis of six broad criteria - Quality of Content, Quality of Language, Frequency of Posts, Visual Aesthetics, Popularity and Features.

Microsoft had stated that - The Indic Bloggers Awards was conceptualized with the aim of encouraging those people who till date have been not only expressing their opinions but also promoting the use of an Indian language on the Internet.

Indic Blog award is not new. The Indibloggies award (See http://indibloggies.org/ for details) is running successfully since last two consecutive years, giving many prominent award in many categories among Indian bloggers of all Indian languages that includes English. So far, this award has been given on the basis of Online Voting.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Obscenity: Paying Rich dividends? Part-2

Obscenity's rich dividend - Part - 2

Earlier, you may have read - how mainstream Indian media - be it Television or Print magazine/newspapers - were embracing obscenity in their content to increase their TRP ratings and circulations.

Whether the Indian Art World is any different?

Some days ago, an art exhibition was held in Mumbai. The title itself was named as "Tits n Clits n Elephant's Dick". In the said exhibition, there were different symbols of erect male reproductive organ and female mammary glands, made by everyday items, were exhibited. The concept is having little difference with the advertisement of a beverage brand's curvy bottle.

Should the ART be like this?








Advertisement of a Painting named Street Culture by Fawad Tamakant in Art India.

In Art India's latest Edition (Volume-XI, Issue- II, Quarter- II) , it appears that obscenity concept is being highlighted in bold.

There are numerous photographs of all kinds Art pieces by Artists of all genre - New comers, Established, Renowned. Some art photographs are given as advertisement of art exhibition of some renowned Art Galleries, and some are given along with review. If you give a simple glance to these art, then you will find that most of these art pieces can be termed as obscene. Definitely, these type of art pieces are getting popular among some rich-n-famous kinds and there appears big market for the same. That is why these type of art pieces are traded at premium and are finding places all across the globe in renowned Art Galleries as well. And, that is why Art Galleries have started exhibiting with obscene name as well - such as - ‘Tits n clits n elephant dick!'

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Or, should the art be like this?











K.G. Subramaniyan's painting reviewed in Art India.

It is absolutely true that painting nude figures are basic and fundamental part of an art student, otherwise his concept will not clear about human anatomy. But this does not mean that as an artist, he should paint nothing but nudes. Renowned artist - Anjali Ila Menon once cut her ‘birthday cake' having shape of ‘Breast' - just to get media attention. This news obviously landed on page3 and definitely may have increases Ila's art values. Occationaly, Husain is known to paint nude Hindu Goddess just to create controversy, get media attention, generate buzz around art world and therefore increase his art values. No wonder, his paintings were now sold in crores.

Or, finally, should art be like this?








Jogen Choudhary's painting - Couple

It appears that contemporary artist had learned for good that obscenity and nudity in art are reimbursing rich dividends to them. Suddenly big bazaars have created everywhere for these style of art pieces - whether in paintings or in sculptures.

Obscenity in art - it seems that everybody is getting started enjoying !

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