Monday, December 31, 2007

Honey, I shrunk the pics...

How to shrink picture sizes on the fly and dynamically?

You know that newer Digital camera now comes with 39 Megapixel and the trend will go upward further. Now, when you try to send these huge files to your friend via email or want to upload somewhere in the web, unless it is for taking large print or of some academic value, LARGE photos are normally useless for the user when used in e-mails and web sites. A web page with smaller photo tends to load quickly. And it is an established truth that your reader may go away from your page if it does not load within 10-15 seconds.


There were hundreds of tool available to manipulate picture size. But, these two very convenient, on the fly picture size conversion freeware tool may be your ultimate friend:


1 - Windows Powertoys [Download] - Simply download this tool, install it and it is ready to convert your picture size on virtually anywhere where your context menu appear. Right Click on any picture and select Resize Picture context menu, and select appropriate picture size and you are done.

2 - Shrink Pic [Download] - Download and install this tool if you send large quantities of pictures to your friends or clients or you are involved in  serious Photoblogging. This tool converts large pictures to  web/email friendly small size pictures on the fly (you don't need to do anything once you install and configure it. It remains sit on system tray and once you attach a picture in your mail, it gets activated, and reduces the attached picture size.). It works equally great in Email Clients like Outlook or Thunderbird and Web mail like YahooMail or Gmail. If you photoblog with email, this tool may be your ultimate one.


In Linux, there were many programs you can use (for a normal user, not an advanced one who can use scripts;) such as GIMP, Krita etc. but they need manual manipulations.


Maybe, you have used other similar applications worth mentioning. Please let us in your comments.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Murphy’s Law of New Year

Murphy’s New Year laws

· New year comes with new problems

· New year comes with new, strange problems

· New year comes with old resolutions.

· In New year, old resolutions are taken with gravity to forget about it with equal gravity.

· New year’s resolutions goes the same way as old ones – remain unfulfilled.

· New year’s resolutions are easy to take but impossible to fulfill.

· New years first morning always comes with a hangover.

· New year passes same like old one.

· New year comes with same, old thing.

· In New year, your thoughts will not do magic either.

· New year comes late and goes fast.

· In New year – progress is eternal – in taxation, pollution, inflation, viruses, spam…

· In New year, you will have new thoughts that will not work either.

· New year’s experience will remain as old one.

· Smile. New year will be tough.

· For any given person, his or her best New years had already been past.

· Time passes, (new) years gets accumulated.

· New year goes the same way as old one and if you try to shift other way, it tries harder to go same way.

· You can’t buy happiness in this New year too.

· You won’t be new in New year.

· New year is great for everyone, but unfortunately, it comes a year or two later.

· Tanks, a bad year had passed. Worst comes as New year.

· Opportunity does not arrive in a New year. Either it had come with the past one or will come a year or two later.

· New year comes with great opportunity for great mistakes.

· History repeats itself. In New year, it will remain so.

· New year does not prove anything worthwhile.

· New years’ party’s intensity is directly proportional to how hard the going year had been experienced.

· New year brings you new expectations and left as it is after a year.

· New year can’t change anything. Including you.

· There is big myth that there is a thing like New year.

Monday, December 10, 2007

How to type Unicode Hindi in Remington (Krutidev series) Keyboard in Linux?

Online, the easiest way-

Use this online tool (you can use it offline too by saving it at appropriate location,)

Offline way, you need to install a remington binary file for scim:

Make sure you have installed latest version of SCIM.

Download this binary file - dev.remington.bin from here:

And copy it to /usr/share/scim/tables.

Restart SCIM.

There should now be an entry for Remington
under Hindi.

You can also copy
to /usr/share/scim/icons.

(thanks to Gora Mohanti, gora at sarai dot net for the offline tip)

Why not to purchase Compaq Pressario Notebook V3225AU!

I had blogged about certain issues that I had faced with this particular unit in my previous post. The main reasons were - Its 64 bit Hardware was bundled with 32 bit operating system, and it is getting too hot to handle at its bottom!

After a few months of use, its optical drive starts giving trouble. To get it repaird, I had to submit it at Indore - that is 130 KM away from my location!

Anyway, I finally submitted the said unit to My local Vendor Satyam Computers Ratlam on 29th November 2007. It was delivered to Redington Indore on Dated 1-12-2007. But was refused since they do not accept on Saturdays and Sundays. Finally, it was delivered on 3-12-2007 for repair! (And, you talk about 24x7 service man!)

After 10 days, I got my repaired Laptop on dated 10-12-07. And, shockingly I found that the DVD drive is not reading any CD/DVD. After repair, the laptop was received in worst condition. I resubmitted the said unit for repair again, and am keeping my fingers crossed - when will I get my laptop back, and in good condition? Meanwhile, people at Redington Indore don't talk nice. I had registered a complain to HP-COMPAQ. Let us see what happened.

Meanwhile, I advise my readers to stay away from purchasing such type of faulty pieces. Further, always purchase Laptop/Notebook of brands that give you ON-SITE warranty or at least their service centers were located nearby you. I had burned my fingers, and I will not let this to my readers.

Following is the TEXT of complaint I had lodged at HP-Compaq site:

My Compaq Pressario Notebook V3225AU - Sl. No. (S)2CE7214Q0X, Product No. (1P)RY301PA#ACJ had giving me error in reading DVD/CD Rom drive. The said unit was deposited to HP service center REDINGTON INDORE for repair. The said unit was deposited on dated 3-12- 2007 to rectify the problem in reading CD/DVD ROM drive.

The unit was only repaired and delivered on dated 8-12- 2007 - i.e. after 6 days. With utter dismay, It was found that the unit was not reading any CD/DVD media - while earlier it was reading some. The repaired unit was received in worst condition.

The said unit is again submitted today to Redington Indore, India for repair.

The technician at Redington Indore called me for administrative password of my Laptop. Which, in my opinion, was completely unnecessary, and I refused for that. Another person misbehaved and blamed me that I had installed 3 Pirated Operating System, and that could be the reason behind not running CD / DVD. But the said laptop was not BOOTING with live bootable CD / DVDs. Neither it is reading and writing any CD/DVDs

I am very much disappointed with this Compaq Laptop, its AFTER SELLS SERVICES particularly of Redington Indore and all that. I am going to advise my friends and my blog readers to stay away from buying such product.

Please look in to the matter and solve my problem at the earliest.

PS- I am using computers since last 20 years or so. I am a proud owner of COMPAQ PRESSARIO Notebook that had come with 8 MB RAM and 250 MB HDD (a premium hardware combination then). And, this ancient piece is still working (Win95) perfectly!


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Buzzworld: Not the Real Web-Based Word Processor...


The First Real Web-Based Word Processor


Adobe's flash based online word processor - Buzzworld claims to be The First Real Web-Based Word Processor, but it failed in many count. Firstly, it is not UNICODE compliant. At least, it had not displayed Unicode Hindi content, and you cannot input Hindi Unicode matter in to it. Any Real Web app must be Unicode compliant these days.


Further, it is very slow in loading and response - even with my broadband connection. Other Online wordprocessor, once loaded work well unless they are downloading/uploading something.


IMHO, Buzzworld is not the Real, let alone the First!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How to charge an iPod with an Onion? or, say with Cow Dung?

There is a video out there in Youtube claiming to charge an iPod through an Onion.  The video had been viewed 3,868,695 times and counting, and it had attracted 22375 comments so far! See the video yourself:


Not a great Idea?

Yeh, it seems. Some people in India are actually using COW DUNG not only to charge and power up their mobile devices, but to illuminate their surroundings during night hours! You can read about this in BBC Hindi article here.

 power through cow dung

Powering UP with Cow Dung.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

How to install Tally 9 in Linux?

There is an interesting article appeared in Linux For You Nov. 2007.


Now you can install and run Windows version of Tally 9 - the most popular Accounting software in Linux.


Here are some simple steps-


Install latest version of WINE , if it is not installed already.


Copy Tally 9  installer to your hard-disk, and install it through WINE.


You will find Tally 9 Menu in Wine program menu after successful installation. Though I myself had not tested it, but the article said that it runs perfectly - including printing and saving.


For more detailed instructions, refer Linux For You November 2007.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

100 Great reasons to use Linux!

Well, in fact, there may be more. But, here I am giving you the list of top 100 Linux distributions – they are tailor made for your different requirement. Just hunt down a little and you will get a Linux distribution that will perfectly suit your Hardware-Software requirement.

For example, I tried Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, Knoppix but finally settled for Sabayon because it had most drivers for my LAPTOP COMPAQ PRESSARIO V3000. It had out of the box support for most hardware including Nvidia 3d Graphic.

Here is the list : (List courtesy

Sl. No. Distribution

1 PCLinuxOS

2 Ubuntu

3 openSUSE

4 Fedora

5 Sabayon

6 Mint

7 Debian

8 Mandriva


10 Damn Small

11 Slackware

12 CentOS

13 Zenwalk

14 Gentoo

15 Kubuntu

16 Puppy


18 Arch

19 Freespire

20 Dreamlinux

21 FreeBSD

22 Ubuntu Studio

23 Vector

24 sidux

25 Xubuntu



28 Elive

29 DesktopBSD

30 Red Hat

31 Ubuntu CE

32 Absolute

33 Xandros

34 Foresight

35 64 Studio

36 SAM

37 Nexenta

38 Fluxbuntu

39 linuX-gamers

40 Frugalware

41 BackTrack

42 Yoper

43 Pioneer

44 GeeXboX

45 Solaris


47 OpenBSD

48 KateOS

49 Scientific

50 Yellow Dog

51 Musix

52 Wolvix

53 SystemRescue

54 Linspire

55 Pardus

56 Novell SLE

57 Ark

58 DragonFly

59 Parsix

60 GParted

61 GoblinX

62 Granular

63 SmoothWall

64 MCNLive

65 JackLab

66 NetBSD

67 FreeNAS

68 Berry

69 TinyMe

70 Linux XP

71 ClarkConnect

72 VideoLinux

73 IPCop

74 DeLi

75 Turbolinux

76 LFS

77 Lunar

78 Feather


80 SME Server

81 Edubuntu

82 BeleniX

83 m0n0wall

84 EnGarde

85 Bluewhite64

86 Skolelinux

87 dyne:bolic

88 Symphony OS

89 NimbleX


91 Helix

92 Vine

93 SaxenOS

94 gNewSense

95 Gentoox

96 FoX Desktop

97 Pentoo

98 LiveCD Router

99 Devil

100 Ulteo



Monday, September 17, 2007

Video resume at

Add spice to your Resume' by adding Video in it. gives you such facility. But be sure to get your video done by some professional, else things may go wrong.

Watch here the possible benefit of adding video on your Resume' :

And, for Christ' sake, do not forget to get done a good makeup on your face before shooting!

You must look younger than you are? Isn't it? Just kidding.

Video resume is indeed a great idea :)

Hindi Localization of KDE4 project accepted

RGF-Sarai FLOSS fellowship for Hindi Localization of KDE4 
Sarai had accepted - for the forth time in succession –
my Hindi Localization Project.
My Earlier projects included – Gnome 2.8, KDE 3.5, OpenOffice2.0 Help.
This time, the project is sanctioned for Hindi Localization of KDE4.

Thanks to everyone at Sarai, who made this possible – else Linux Hindi

may not have the looks it has got today, and, with this project, it is all poised to

make tremendous improvement further!

Here is the latter of approval sent by Mr. Gora Mohanty of Sarai,
reproduced below:
Hello everyone,
  It gives us great pleasure to announce an initial list of proposals
that have been accepted for the RGF-Sarai FLOSS fellowships programme.
Here is the current list of fellows for the 2007-2008 cycle:
  o Sawood Alam, et al:
      Urdu localization of GNOME 2.20
  o Sachin Joshi, Venkatesh Keri:
      Hindi speech recognition system using CMU Sphinx framework
  o Ravishankar Shrivastava:
      Hindi localization of KDE 4
  o Dr. C. S. Yogananda, and D. Shivashankar:
      SAGAR: Typesetting Indian languages in TeX / LaTeX 
FLOSS fellows will be contacted independently to inform them of details.
 This year, we received over 30 proposals spanning a wide range of
topics, of which more than half were of high quality. It has been a
really difficult task for us to try to fit the number of excellent
proposals into the available resources, and in fact we have decided
to actively solicit more funding in order to be able to accommodate
more of these. Thus, in about 4 months time, we expect to make an
announcement of a second set of fellowships from among the short
list below:
  o Kishore Asok:
      A beginner's guide and video presentation on learning science
with Phoenix and free software
  o Niyam Bhushan:
      Documentation for 'Digital Color Workflows' under FOSS
  o Sriram Chaudhary, and Jagadeesh Gorla:
      Rupantar - An English to Hindi translation package
  o Abhishek Choudhary, Sweta Choudhary:
      Hindawi Indic programming languages and system software
  o Jayesh Goel
      Providing an information dissemination system for the city
public transport
  o Hassath
      Assessment of the ICT practices of a sample set of NGOs in Delhi,
and an exploration of their readiness to convert to FLOSS
  o Anand Kulkarni:
      Localizing Open Office user guide in Marathi and Urdu,and
development of animated software for Open Office instruction
  o Abhishek Kumar:
      Enhancement of Newsrack for media analysis
  o Prem Kumar, et al:
      Prajna FLOSS corps for teaching FLOSS-based solutions,with
an aim to uplifting the poor.
  o Jayasimha Makhineni:
      Moodle for Hindi and Telugu languages
  o Hari Prasad Nadig
      Aspell dictionary, and localisation work in Kannada
  o Fred Noronha
      Book of stories about FLOSS work in India, Asia, and Africa.
  o Santhosh Thottingal:
      Aspell Malayalam spelling checker
  Please contact floss AT sarai DOT net should you have any
further queries. For a public discussion on this topic, please
address posts to the Sarai PRC mailing list:


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hey! ...I'm really not a very polite person! : Linus Torwalds


Recently, Linus Torwalds gave a detailed  interview to Asia's largest IT technology publication media house - EFY group. While giving answers to 35 questions - most of it were asked by readers, Torwalds taked about virtually everything, and very interesting.

He told along with many more such interesting things:

  • I actually tend to 'like' arguing
  • I've never really talked to MS, no.
  • hopefully, [there will] be some mutual respect [between Linux & MS] instead of just the fear and loathing.


You can find this interview not only insightful, but classic Torwalds style - Hugely Informative.


Must read for every one who matters in IT/Computers.


Read entire Interview in English Here

And, there is a translated version in Hindi here. tags: , , ,

Monday, August 06, 2007

Which one is best for your latest, x64 laptop – Mandriva, Ubuntu or Knoppix?

You may have read hundreds of reviews, shoot-outs and comparisons for Linux distros - telling you this or that one is best. But, until you face them yourself, you simply can’t tell which one may be best for you.

I tried (actually – forced to try) three most popular Linux in succession - known to be easiest for beginners – Mandriva Spring 2007, Ubuntu 7.01 and Knoppix 5.1.1

I had used Live CD version of these to install Linux on my New Laptop.

My laptop’s configuration is as follows –

Compaq Pressario 3225AU

AMD Turion-x64, 2.0 GHz


Nvidia GO 6150 shared Graphic card,

Nvidia Network card

Synaptic touchpad

At first, I installed Knoppix 5.1.1 on my system. It simply failed to detect my laptop’s Nvidia Go 6150 Graphic card. It also failed to detect Nvidia network card. Therefore, I was unable to connect to Internet, and, as display was limited to only VGA, visibility was also very poor. Further, Knoppix had a command line installer that needs to run through non graphical environment.

Next, I tried Ubuntu 7.01 x64 bit edition. Ubuntu also failed to detect my laptop’s Nvidia graphic card. Though it successfully installed Nvidia network drivers. I tried to download and install Nvidia Linux Graphics drivers, but failed due to Kernel compatibility issues. My display again struck to a very limited, VGA quality only. Further, during 7 step no-nonsense installation, it simply didn’t ask me to set root password and, after installation, it had taken many precious minutes to set things right. Its disk partitioner utility is also very confusing - especially while working with advanced option.

In my third attempt, I tried to install Mandriva Spring 2007 x64 edition. Though it needed a few extra steps to install Mandriva as against their counterpart, but the process is interactive one and involves easy steps. Further, its partitioner utility is graphical one and during installation, you can set advanced boot options too. Mandriva successfully detected and configured my Nvidia Go 6150 graphic card as well as Nvidia Network card. It also detected my laptop’s Synaptic touch pad – the other Linux that I had tested had set it as simple mouse. Mandriva also asked me to choose my Display quality – whether I use plain or 3D display. Its 3D display quality is good and it had very nice online software update and installation tool.

My Verdict –

For early adopters and for beginners too, Mandriva is best. It detects and configures my laptop’s latest drivers and is painless in installation, configuring and running.


Friday, July 27, 2007

HP’s technical incompetence

In their posts, Amit, followed by Alok reenergized my recent wound. Actually, they have talked about HP’s technical competence – how HP had blown down its own, running data center just to show that their mission critical applications did not affected a bit. But this news made me sick. Real sick because HP had shown total technical Incompetence on me.

OK, let me tell you in detail.

I had needed a Laptop once again (My old Compaq 33 Mhz, Pentium 386, 250 MB HDD, 8 MB RAM, Win95 had died two years ago giving uninterrupted, faithful service to about eight years) so I collected information, specifications, referred laptop shoot outs, starred endlessly at comparison charts, build my own laptop about a dozen times at Dell’s site and then finally settled for Compaq Presario V3225AU. This machine looks advanced enough and less taxing to my pocket. Digit – July07 had already declared this machine as best buy in its category.

Let us see some of the main specifications of Compaq Presario V3225AU: –

Processor – AMD Turion64 MK-36 2.0Ghz

OS – Windows Vista Home Basic

Chipset, Memory --- Blah blah…., but they were the best in their category.

Telling you only two main specification has a reason – I just want to tell you where HP wounded me and had shown me its utter technical incompetence.

As you had seen above, this laptop contains an advanced 64 bit AMD Turion mobile processor. To get most out of it, you MUST install 64 bit OS and applications on this laptop. But I got first jolt after purchasing it – it was supplied with 32 bit Windows Vista Home Basic! I had never imagined this kind of technical backwardness from HP!

The outer cover shows you the picture of a castle, but inside it is only hut!

I got more jolts later. The laptop contains no genuine installation media – instead, instruction manual told me that user must first create his own backup of installation and OS through Recovery Manager Program. I tried thrice but failed.

Further, my life goes all hell again – Compaq online registration dialogue box comes pop out every ten minute or so even after registering successfully at least five times. I finally got rid it by deleting its executable file that needs your time and patient to hunt down it.

So, don’t you think - HP had blown me off to show its Technical Incompetence? I am feeling cheated. Really cheated. What do you say?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How to connect to Internet through RIM LG Mobile in Windows Vista


Here is a quick, no-nonsense, easy method to connect to Internet (Rconnect) through LG Reliance India Mobile phones (having built in modem) in Windows Vista.

The method is tested with LG RIM 5130 in Windows Vista Home basic. But it will, and should work in other models and other versions of Windows Vista as well.

Prerequisite : An already established Internet connection to download and update drivers.

Step 1 – Settings at Mobile phone:

Go to your mobile’s menu and select :

Settings> Phone>Data settings>Data/Fax>Data In


Settings> Phone>Data settings>Data Baud>USB

(you must use USB modem cable to connect to your PC/Laptop with Mobile. If you use serial cable which is not recommended, settings will be different)

Step 2 – Settings at Computer:

Connect the LG Reliance India Mobile with the help of USB cable to your PC / Laptop running Vista which is ALREADY connected to Internet. Vista will detect it immediately and will ask you to download and install updated driver. Say yes, and it will install the latest driver needed for your LG Mobile modem. When your hardware – i.e. mobile is installed and configured successfully (the process is pretty much automatic) you can create a connection and connect to internet through this newly installed mobile modem as you do with any standard modem.

To create a new connection, go to –

Start Menu>Connect to> and then select ‘Setup a connection or network’. A new selection window will appear where you will find ‘Setup a dial-up connection.’ Select it and click on Next button. In the new window that appears, fill your mobile phone number as username and password. In the Dial-up phone number, fill #777. Give your connection a name and you are done.

Now click on connect, and within no time you will be connected to Reliance RConnect through your LG RIM Mobile. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

First look at Windows Vista Hindi

Recently, Microsoft had released Windows Vista Language Installer Pack (lip) for Hindi language. It is a sleek 2.6 MB file that you can download from here and install in your Vista machine.

I tried to give a quick look on Windows Vista Hindi.

It is far better than its predecessor – Windows XP Hindi. When you install Language pack in Windows XP, it was nearly an irreversible process and you will find difficulty in bringing back your default interface.

This major annoying problem had been beautifully addressed in Windows Vista language pack. Now you can select language from control panel, and to change your system language, all you need is a reboot. Different users can have different language and you can install as many language pack as you wish. Unlike in Windows XP, in Vista, you can uninstall and disable language packs easily.

Still, Windows Vista is way behind against multilingual capabilities of Linux where you can use multiple language environment simultaneously, and, in background, you can start and login at least six different language desktops simultaneously.

Windows Vista Hindi had many shortcomings that includes –

  • You cannot install Vista Hindi LIP in 64 bit architecture as of now.
  • Vista’s default Hindi font is very small, and hence created visibility problem. You need to increase desktop font size from 8-9 to 10-11 for each and every item which is very cumbersome and annoying. As in Linux, there must be some facility to increase all font size in one go within the same windowing scheme. Hadn’t developers / testers notice this? Or they have different, larger desktops?
  • One can easily guess that quality and quantity of translations were not up to the mark. User interface has been translated most, and the help files had not been translated at all.
  • In most cases, translations appears straight from English to Hindi – word by word. You can find at least a couple of translation error in most pages. Some example –

There is a translation at some place – कार्य पर केंद्रित करने के लिए इसे आसान बनाएँ” what do you understand by this string? I also do not understand what it meant.

At another place it says – इससे सॉर्ट करें. Mr. Translator, had you translated it this way - इस विधि से छांटे then it might have been a bit correct and better.

Similarly, Windows Media Player’s Now Playing becomes अब चला रहा है in Hindi. You will find many strings like ताज़ा आइटम्स as well as व्यक्तिगत बनाऐं.

In a couple of his blog posts, Alok had already thrashed poor quality of Windows XP Hindi.

Verdict : In all, there is a feel and a sense of goodness, a kind of euphoria users feel while using Vista Hindi especially if you are one among Hindi loving people. So what are you waiting for? Download and install Windows Vista Hindi language pack today. And, there is no need to loose heart if you are using old, faithful Windows XP. You can find link to download Windows XP Hindi LIP from the same, above stated location.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The way the top bloggers blog…

(Amit Agrawal wrote about page views in Digital inspiration)

(Darren Rowse wrote about page views in Problogger)

Do you know how top bloggers blog? I mean, how they choose their subject? How they think a particular subject may interest their readers?

I have since been following some of the world’s top blogger’s blog and had found some interesting things that I wanted to share you.

Grab the big Stories from biggies.

Chances are, every top blogger will blog about big stories. No matter hundreds of other blogger out there may have blogged about the story earlier. And, many times they will be blogging and telling nearly same thing, but with a different language. So, if you are reading a couple of top bloggers, chances are you may be reading same stories multiple times. Here is an example –

Official Adesense blog blogged about a new adsense feature – Adsense ads now can have Rounded corners. Not a big thing. It simply is a new feature added to an existing service. Yet, top bloggers grabbed the stories. Darren Rowse wrote about it, Amit Agrawal wrote about it, Quick Online Tips blogged about it!

Similarly, recently there is a story about Page View – how Page Load is becoming irrelevant and actual page view time counts – Darren Rowse blogged about it, Amit Agrwal wrote about it, Mashable wrote about it.

When Adsense earning dips, Amit wrote about it and so is Rowse. When Adsense Referral 2 launched officially, Darren Rowse and Quick Online Tips were quick enough to grab the big news and blogged about it.

Moral of the story –

To become a top blogger yourself, Grab the big news. Blog about it. Even if hundreds may have already blogged about it since the news broke – you must blog anyway. And, when you really become a top blogger one fine day, you can freely blog rubbish – such as this one occasionally :)

Sunday, July 01, 2007 ??????? recently tried to invade Indian Internet user base with a bang. It is trying every idea and pushing every effort to win Indian Internet users.

You can find advertisement in virtually every media. Indian blogs – where Adsense advertisements were embedded in their blog posts - were bombarded with advertisement. You can see a performer blowing flames in advertisement – can it blow out other players – Yahoo or Google? Certainly not. Why? Let us see.

Completely blown out with aol’s flame that I encountered everywhere, finally I opened an email account on exactly looks like Yahoo!. Its appearance is exactly Yahoo! look alike and at times you forget that you are not in Yahoo!. Further, there is nothing new in’s interface and it is crowded with flash based advertisement. The interface takes time to load completely. Though for slower connection, it has older interface that loads a bit faster but comes with some less functionality. I wanted to test its Unicode Hindi handling capabilities. For this, I send a Hindi mail to this new account and send another one from this account.

And, predictably, result came out – the same Question marks…??????

Though the Unicode Hindi matter in the body of email remain intact, its From / To and Subject field gets corrupted. is trying to invade Indian internet user base with a new brand name, but it had miserably failed in addressing Indian Language’s Unicode issue – or it is luring only Indians who are using English?

Will be able to get the taste of success in India? Only time will tell. Since it is not offering anything new that is to be noticed upon, users may remain shy away from for quite some time. And, unless there were some compelling reason, no one will switch to either.

And, yes, one thing you can bank upon - handles spam perfectly – at least it seems. It puts my own mail in to spam folder that I had send from that alternative mail address which I had used to register to create my new account!

Verdict: for Hindi Unicode – Gmail and iGoogle are the best, and you don’t need to look beyond that! Tags: , ,

Technorati Tags: , ,

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Why MSN sucks and Google rocks?

Recently, I simply wanted to install latest version of Windows Live writer. Earlier, I had tried it and had dumped it in favor of TinyMCE because Windows Live Writer was producing errors while handling Unicode Hindi Text. Recently, I had read some favorable review from most of the quarters and wanted to give a try.

To get latest version of Windows Live Writer, I simply head to Microsoft’s Download center, and searched for the Key word – “Windows Live Writer”. I had deliberately kept to search in all section checked.

Windows Live writer is from Microsoft stable, and supposed to give you download link for latest version of Windows Live writer.

Instead, it simply gives me error message that it could not find keyword –“Windows Live Writer”. Whereas, Windows Live Writer is gaining ground and today, it is one of the best offline Blog writing tool. I tried MSN search, but I failed again. I tries various locations and search terms, but failed every time.

Finally, I turned to every one's favorite - Google. I used the same keyword –“ Windows Live Writer”, and voila – I got at least 3 working links that points to Windows Live Writer download in first 10 search result.

Way to go MSN. You simply failed to search your own popular content! Very bad. Indeed very bad! Me too, feeling bad about it!

PS – I had since been shifted to Windows Live Writer. It handles Unicode Hindi beautifully and blog publishing through it had become a child’s play. I wish, some day it had built in Hindi Spell check. Then I will completely dump my MS Word in favor of WLW. :)

Friday, June 22, 2007

How to work in Unicode Hindi at Cyber Café's Windows 98 PCs

Due to many unforeseen reasons, in India, almost all Cyber Café still use Windows 98 extensively.

By default, Windows 98 does not support Unicode Hindi. That is why, you simply cannot work with Unicode Hindi in Windows 98 without arranging some extra tools and applications - and that is real difficult for a user using Windows 98 computer at Cyber Café.

Now with some beautiful online Unicode Editing tool, you can work with Unicode Hindi in Windows 98 computers without much pain. Here is step by step guide for you to how to do this:

First step - Download this ready to install this Unicode Hindi Font from BBC Hindi site. This is free Unicode Hindi font provided by BBC Hindi. This file is in exe format, that you can install by double clicking on it. You can install this through your browser also - as described in this picture -

Now reboot your computer.

Your Windows 98 computer is ready to show you Unicode Hindi. If you browse any Hindi site such as this - then you can be able to see Hindi in your browser.

Now the Big question is - How to type in Unicode Hindi. This, again is very easy. Here is how -

Second Step - To type Unicode Hindi, you need to use Online Hindi Keyboard. Online keyboard are best and easiest way to type Unicode Hindi on Windows 98 computers at Cyber Café. You do not need to install any thing and no extra settings required.

There are many Online Hindi Keyboard available as of now, but online keyboards built by Raman Kaul are intuitive, really usable and best and easiest in my opinion. They work in most browser and do not need Java or Flash. More over, you can get FOUR keyboard options here - namely, Phonetic, Inscript, Shusha and Remington. You can get another online Hindi keyboard based on KrutiDev and Devlys fonts here that also works well which you can also use if you are fluent in these fonts.

Now you can use Hindi matter that you have typed in any of theses Online Hindi Keyboard. Just use copy and paste among different Browser windows .

Remember, you can use typed Unicode Hindi matter on Windows 98 only for online applications that supports Unicode - such as writing and publishing Blog, writing and publishing Comments on blog posts, Sending email and storing your documents online. If you try to save your contents in local Windows 98 PC with local, non-unicode compliant application,, then your data may get corrupt. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that use online storage facility and applications only in such situations.

Third Step (Optional) - At most Cyber Café, you will find only the default browser - Internet Explorer 5 that is supplied with Windows 98. This browser is old, obsolete, very insecure and does not have facility like tabbed browsing. To get advanced facilities and to secure your browsing, You must use either Opera or Firefox. You can download and install Firefox or Opera easily as these were about 5 MB in size and installs in Windows 98 computers without any hassle. Hindi may not look well in Opera or Firefox, but then it remain usable any how and are more secure too.

I have used theses methods to write this blog from a Windows 98 PC from a Cyber Café.

So, next time when you encounter with a PC with Windows 98 whether at Cyber Café or at your friend's place, please do not make gestures and simply follow these steps to read and write Unicode Hindi.


(picture courtesy : BBC Hindi)

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

I have all the joost invite

Joost™ the best of tv and the internet

Want to try out Joost - the ultimate TV experience on your PC?

I have all the invitation with me! So, if you want one, just mail me or leave your email address as comment.

Here is the mail I received from Joost which I want to share with you:

Subject: Now you can invite all your friends to Joost

Hello Ravishankar,

We hope you're enjoying your Joost experience.

We'd like to share some good news and celebrate the launch of the new Joost beta - Now For Friends. This means you can now invite as many friends as you want to try out Joost. To access your invites, log onto Joost, go to My Joost and fill in your friends' details in the Invite Friends widget box.

If you're running out of friends, you can make new ones by letting people know you've got invites. To help with this, we've made a few goodies especially for you, which you can find at

Last but not least, we invite you to enjoy the variety of new shows we're introducing each week. This week we bring you a host of new channels from Universal Music, great science fiction like Earth Final Conflict, and Creature Comforts from Aardman Animations.

We've also got swimsuit models and snowboarders, anime and animals, and much more. But that's just the beginning. Each week we'll launch new channels - making sure you can watch what you want, when you want. So stay tuned...

If you've got any questions, feel free to check out our forum, and don't forget to send us feedback on what you like and things we could improve.

Enjoy, and see you on Joost!

The Joost Team

Obviously, I now have all the Joost invitations with me. You can mail me or leave your e-mail address as comment if you want one.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Joost's greatest joke!

Joost - the new kid on Internet - that is all set to redefine your habbit of viewing telivision had played a game on me.

In fact, it played a joke on me.

Today, when I tried to view some TV through Joost, it asked me to upgrade to a newer version of Joost, which I obediently followed.

After a few screen, what I saw was un-expected. It was a practical joke! You can see it yourself. This is the screenshot of the practical joke Joost played on me!

It says-

We have detected that your PC may not have enough resources to run Joost(tm) correctly.

..........................MINIMUM ..................YOUR PC

CPU.........................500 MHZ ...........................2994 MHZ

RAM........................ 512 MB............................... 1007 MB

VIDEO .....................48 MB ..................................64 MB


WINDOWS .................XP ........................................VISTA


DIRECTX ....................9.0C .......................................9.0C

Obviously, my PC has MORE resources than Joost had detected, yet it said exactly opposite. Yet, it is another matter that Joost runs flawlessly after ignoring this message. :)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Apple Safari can't display Unicode Hindi font either!

(Above screenshot courtesy - Apple Safari)

The best and fastest Browser till today in the world - Apple's Safari is useless for Unicode Hindi pages like this .

It simply does not display Unicode Hindi font correctly. It simply fail to render Unicode Hindi font properly.

(Above Display : by Safari)

(Above display by Opera)

Come on, Safari, you may be the fastest and the best among browser. But, until you weed out this bug, you will remain useless for us.

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Welcome to the world of Online Desktop

You install and manage applications in your PC, decorate your desktop with themes and wallpapers. But it remains confined with your PC. Even in case of your Laptop, it remains with your particular Laptop - and you have to carry it everywhere to use it.

Well, there were some online services available now that can provide you Desktop like environment (some call it WebOS) through a web browser - with applications and storage spaces - that you can customize and access anytime from any computer and from any where in the world!

Two such popular online applications - ajaxWindows and Desktoptwo

are review here.

You need to register and create an account for using these services. Registration to both is simple process, but require a valid e-mail ID.

ajaxWindows looks and feels just like your own PC's desktop or mobile PC. It has a start button, a task bar, a desktop, icons, programs, widgets, a control panel and a file browser. The ajaxWindows works within a browser and it looks as your regular PC, but, with one BIG difference - everything is online! And the best part is you can access your ajaxWindows Desktop from anywhere, and from any computer with an Internet connection. ajaxWindows lets you have your files, your bookmarks, your documents and pictures, your music, everything you need to get some work done or have fun on a PC!

ajaxWindows, lets you do these and many more:

  • Run web applications - for example, you can write document, create graphics or make presentation with applications such as ajaxWrite, ajaxSketch and ajaxPresent.
  • Launch widgets
  • Browse to your favorite web sites
  • Listen and organize your own music through mp3 music player
  • Personalize your desktop with your favorite wallpapers, sounds and bookmarks
  • Make free phone calls to your friends or coworkers
  • Create a slide show with your pictures
  • Instant Message
  • You can store your documents, pictures, music and other files (up to 1 Gigabyte) for FREE

In ajaxWindows personalizing your desktop is real easy. ajaxWindows has an easy to use control panel where you can change and configure your wallpaper or themes to your own likings. There were several background images to choose from, or you can add your own. ajaxWindows supports full drag and drop hence you can place your icons where ever you want them, and move widgets and windows to where ever you think they need to be.

You can also add widgets and other web services and applications in ajaxWindows Desktop. For this, either go to [Start] -> Add Widgets or [Start]->Add Programs, or double click on the Add Widgets or Add Program icons on your ajaxWindows desktop.

You can synchronize your document folder from your PC to ajaxWindows Desktop. Upon first login, you will be asked if you want to copy your documents, pictures, music, wallpapers, bookmarks and more from your local PC to be stored in your personal ajaxWindows space. ajaxWindows provide 1GB free storage space. That you can enhance for an annual fee.

In actual usage condition ajaxWindows simply failed to work with Opera browser. Though it worked in Firefox with some hiccups. It worked well in Internet Explorer. However, the online document editor - ajaxWrite was terribly slow and not worth trying. It simply does not worked in either Opera or Firefox.


Desktoptwo is also a free web-based desktop that mimics the look, feel and functionality of a local computer, all contained within one browser window and fully accessible from any Internet-connected device.

Desktoptwo works as your free mobile home on the Internet with all of your personal information, programs and applications in one easy-to-use, feature-rich location and, because all you need is a web browser to access your account, even the simplest web device (whether yours or someone else's such as cyber café's PCs) can become your personal space.

What's more... no local installation of anything is require means that Desktoptwo leaves no trace behind, that is why Desktoptwo says that "wherever you go, whatever you do, you can bring your desktop too."

Desktoptwo also provide you 1 GB free online storage where you can store your files. 3MB MP3 file was uploaded and played it with its built in mp3 player. The experience was marvelous and trouble free.

Desktoptwo provides you OpenOffice 2 as your document creator. Due to this, the online document creation become sluggish. However, OpenOffice 2 is a full fledged Office suite where you can create word/Excel/presentation online.

Similar to ajaxDesktop, Desktoptwo also have many online program built in, and are really useful.

Some day, it appears - we will completely rip off our PC/Laptop with local program and only use Online Application/Desktop.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Blogger in Draft - Rain of features in Blogger!

Blogger in Draft - Blogger going feature rich!

We may expect torrential rain of features in Blogger some time soon. Or, at least, it seems. Google Blogger had started embedding all kinds of web application and web services in its blogging platform - Blogger. There is a buzz about an all new Blogger in Draft - available to select few early adopters for test purpose.

Blogger in Draft - appears as beta release of an all new Blogger. In Blogger-in- Draft, you can login with your existing Blogger account for test post. Blogger in Draft has an all new feature - you can directly upload your video on your blog post. There is a Video Upload button similar to picture upload button you see while publishing a new post. With this button, you can directly upload a video and publish it in your Blogger Blog without the need of services like YouTube or Blinks.

The video upload test failed in Opera Browser. In Firefox, initially some error occurs but finally I was able to upload the video. The rate of upload was very slow. And it appears that the problem was not with the network. 30 seconds video of about 17 MB had taken more than 30 minutes to upload.

Presently, as it is available only for test purpose, we may hope that everything will be looked upon before its final release. There were Digital camera and Digital Cam-carder embedded in every gadgets now-a-days, it can safely be speculated that in future, more than half the blog posts may contain some kind of Video content in it. And, that is why in-built video upload facility was the need of the hour.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

How to access Windows Vista partitions without a Password

How to login and access Windows Vista partitions without the need of any Password

Well, you can access not only Windows Vista, but all kinds of Windows Hard Drive without a Password and that too with full Administrator level access.

For this, all you need is Windows Vista installer DVD.

Here is step by step guide for you:

Step 1

Put your Windows Vista Installer DVD in to your PC's DVD drive and Boot your PC through Windows Vista installer DVD.

Select Repair Your Computer Option.

Step 2

Further, Select Command Prompt option.

Instantly, you will be logged in to your computer with full administrative control without any password.

So, if you have real concern about security, PLEASE do not fail to Physically Lock your PC!

Further Details and pictures courtesy - Fsecure Weblog

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

World's Bottom 5 Products

There were 5 funny videos from CNET TV which tells you about worst 5 products in 5 different categories.

And, They are:

Top 5 Apple flops:

5 - Apple 3

4- Newton

3- John Scully

2- G4 Cube

1 - Puck Mouse

Top 5 crapware apps

5- Store brand utilities

4- Trial ware Quicken

3- Toolbars on Browsers

2- ISPs

1- Antivirus

Top 5 worst download of 2007

5- Healing Stress

4- Driving

3- Soda Tracker

2- Harold search network YouTube browser

1- USA green card lottery simulator

Top 5 Most embarrassing Gadgets

5- Third Generation iPod

4- PDA

3- Spot Watch

2- Original Nokia N-Gage

1- Over Size cell phone head set

Top 5 worst product of the decade

5- Furby

4- Pocket Mail

3- DigiScent iSmell

2- CueCat

1- Microsoft BoB

And, what are the top 5 product in the respective category?

For that, and the reason why these were rated as best or worst product, watch the respective video by clicking these links:

CNET TV: Top 5 bottom 5s

But, at least this I can tell you - according to CNET TV, the best top 5 product in a decade are-

1 iPod

2 TiVo

3 Google

4 Napster

5 Firefox.

What do you say? Do you agree? Or, do you maintain a different list?

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tumblr - a new, better equipped blog platform for you.

Curiously enough, I had created a Tumblr in Hindi and another one in English for me. What about you? Haven't you? I have gone a step further now and had created a Widget with the first Tumblr that you can see at the right column on my Hindi blog.

What is Tumblr? There is an official FAQ that you can refer, but obviously, Tumblr is an innovative kind of blog platform that lets you post blogs dirt-easy. And, as most things in Internet are free, Tumblr too is free for personal use.

On a first glance, Tumblr looks like a blog platform having some features of Blogger and Wordpress both. Some extra are added and some unnecessary ones were scrapped.

I especially liked the Tumblr's capability to import and display almost all kinds of RSS feeds. You can set to display an unlimited number of feeds on your Tumblr. But, beware, you must have rights to display them in your Tumblr.

For example, If I add the feed of in my Tumblr, then it will populate itself automatically as blogposts by pulling feeds from the said URL.

To test this feature, I created a Google Blog search for NEW HINDI BLOGS and added this search's feed in my Tumblr.

The result is astonishing. Google is constantly searching for new Hindi blogs according to the given parameters and the search result is feeded in to my Tumblr, which is finally displayed here. The process is automatic, and once I set things, I had to do practically nothing to manage this Tumblr.

Not only that, you can integrate other web services like Flikr, YouTube, PodCast etc seamlessly and effortlessly in your Tumblr. For example, whenever you upload a photo in your Flickr account, it will get published as a blog post in your integrated Tumblr.

Registering on and using Tumblr is easy. In Less than 30 seconds flat, really! Perhaps, Spammers have not eyed Tumblr so far.

People behind Tumblr are saying that this ain't a blog platform. Instead, they say, it is a kind of scrapbook in which you can publish any scrap, and that too with equally easy. They say in their FAQ -

"Blogs are great, but they can be a lot of work. And they're really built to handle longer-form text posts. Tumblelogs, on the other hand, let you easily and quickly post and share anything you find or create."

Well, may be. But, I think, Tumblr's main use will remain publishing rich, multimedia blogs because of its intuitive integration with feeds and other web services.

So, what are you waiting far? Go ahead and create a Tumblr for yourself. And let the world now - you too own a Tumblr!

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

I tried to dirty my hands on OpenSolaris Belenix 0.6

Ever since Sun Solaris had gone open source, I had desperately wanted to try a hand on it. I tried to install Solaris Express Developer Edition in my multiboot-multi-partitioned machine but nothing worked. Recently I learned that OpenSolaris new live CD version had been released. I simply could not stop myself to download the ISO image of OpenSolaris Belenix 0.6 live cd.

At first, I tried to run it in MS Virtual Machine environment. My machine's hardware spec is quite new and good - 3.2P-4 with HT, 1GB RAM. The OpenSolaris Lice CD refuses to boot in to my Virtual Machine and it keeps rebooting automatically after initial splash screen and a few dialogues. I tried to change various settings of both virtual machine as well as OpenSolaris Belenix 0.6, but it simply failed to boot, and that too, without giving any reason.

Then I tried to boot My PC through OpenSolaris live Belenix 0.6 CD. In initial dialogues I had chosen KDE as my desktop. Here again, the OpenSolaris live Belenix 0.6 failed to boot in to graphics mode. I tried different types of X configuration in its initial X-11 configuration dialogues but it failed every time. Even, selecting SVGA failed - and strangely enough, its initial VGA splash screen worked well. I had in my machine - hugely popular, basic, medium end Graphics card - Intel i-845.

This reminds me of my initial days with Linux - about 8-10 years ago - when we were forced to configure each and every aspect of Linux configuration to simply work out things. Today, most Linux distribution do not require any advanced tweaking during their initial installation - most things work out-of-the-box and distributions like Xandros have simple, 4 click install options.

It looks like OpenSolaris needs to travel a real long way, and journey has just begun.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

World's cheapest PCs

Suddenly everybody is talking about cheap PCs. The OLPC created the debate and now Intel's Classmate had brought the cheap PCs come full circle.

While OLPC's pricing has been increased to about $150-176, Classmate's pricing to stick around $100 will make it more acceptable.

While OLPC claims that its XO laptop has a screen resolution four times better than a normal laptop with a 12-hour battery life Classmate's specification says it has 7" screen with approx. 4-hour battery life.

Meanwhile, due to many obvious reasons, many individual and companies were forced to upgrade their hardware. Windows Vista, for example can not run on older computers having less than 512MB RAM. These hardware remain in working condition and are being re-sold at a fraction of a price at many places. You can get a an old yet with full multimedia capable P3 class complete desktop PC for about $100 at any local computerwala. In India, Big-apple is one such company that deals in used computers - and you can find many used PCs are being sold at a fraction of original PCs.

We will see a further reduction in pricing of PCs. Who knows, some day you will have a brand-new PC for free - the way you get your mobile phone now - all you have to do is to commit yourself to use their web services for a specific period of time.

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Proposal for free open source fellowship called

If you are perusing any personal software project that comes within the range of FLOSS (read on further for clarification) then here is good chance for recognition as well as a small financial support.

I am producing a mail received from Mr. Gora Mohanti, Sarai-CSDS in the subject:

Hello all,

Below is an invitation for proposals for the RGF-Sarai CSDS programme for short-term FLOSS fellowships. Please feel to circulate this far and wide.

The deadline for submission of proposals is the 25th of June. Please feel free to address any queries with regards to this to

Regards, Gora


Call for proposals:

RGF-Sarai, CSDS, short-term FLOSS fellowships

1 Introduction

The Sarai programme of the Center for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi ( is pleased to announce fellowships for projects related to Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) activities. This year, we have partnered with the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) who are providing support for work in the specific area of computing, and localisation in five Indian languages, namely, Assamese, Hindi, Kashmiri, Oriya, and Urdu.

We also invite proposals from projects in other FLOSS areas, especially ones that are relevant to educational, social, and community needs. Any project that meets the criteria given below is eligible for the fellowships, but we are particularly interested in:

o Indian language computing, including work on fonts, rendering, locales, input methods, spell-checking, etc., as well as in advanced technologies like OCR, handwriting recognition, and speech-to-text.

o Localisation into Indian languages of user interfaces, and translation of help documents for FLOSS applications. o In the interest of sustained development, we would like to see the enhancement of, and extensions for projects funded as part of past Sarai FLOSS fellowships.
In particular, we draw attention to NewsRack (, Hindawi (, and ApnaOpus (

o Documentation for users of FLOSS tools, particularly in the area of Indian language computing. The production of video tutorials would be welcome.

o Development of graphics, multimedia, and publishing tools. This would include applications for audio/video editing, animation, and desktop publishing. Enhancement of existing FLOSS tools is especially encouraged.

o Putting together, distributing, and supporting a complete Indian language distribution, using FLOSS operating systems, and tools.

o Collaboration software, and groupware solutions. o Writing Linux device drivers, and front-ends for common hardware, such as wireless cards, graphics cards, scanners, and printers. The other significant difference from past practice is that we will be asking for more of a collaborative approach from the fellows, both among one another, and with people at Sarai. The collaboration need not be in the actual development, but can consist of an ongoing conversation about one's work, its direction, and current status. While this has been an implicit expectation in the past, this time we are making the requirement explicit.

The exact details of these will be worked out with the selected fellows, but will include things like discussions over IRC, email, and postings on the Sarai Project Resource Centre (PRC) mailing list. Fellows will also be asked to prepare a timeline for the projects, with intermediate milestones, and will be expected to adhere to them.

2 Applying for the fellowships

We invite students, developers, researchers, and practitioners interested in the FLOSS arena to apply for the fellowships. While there is no prescribed format for the applications, we expect them to be in sufficient detail for a reviewer to sensibly evaluate them. Attention to details, such as a plan of work that addresses what is possible to accomplish within the limited project period, a projection of how the work might be continued after that, and a discussion of the possible impact of the project, is strongly recommended.

In particular, we will look favorably on projects aimed at eventual deployment, rather than development per se. Please mail your application, along with a resume, to , with the subject line of "RGF-Sarai FLOSS fellowships". As this information is intended to be public, also subscribe to the PRC mailing list at, and post a copy there, failing which your final proposal will be forwarded there by one of us. Enquiries are invited at , and on the PRC list, including questions on how to frame proposals. The last date of submission is midnight IST on Sun., June 25th, 2007.

The projects will run for a total of about six months, with a final workshop to be held at Sarai, CSDS, Delhi, where the fellows will be expected to present a summary of their work. Besides this, as part of our engagement with the RGF, we will be holding workshops in regional locations, and the FLOSS fellows will be asked to be present at events local to them. The total amount of the fellowship will be Rs. 70, 000.

3 Conditions

Applicants should have a valid bank account in any bank operating in India. These are support grants, and the fellows are free to pursue their primary occupations in parallel, as long as they keep working on proposed projects. The fellows must be willing to make a release of their final work under any open-source license approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). Please see under for a complete list. Proposals from teams, partnerships, collectives, and faculty on the behalf of a group of students are welcome, so long as the grant amount is administered by a single individual, and the funds are deposited in a single bank account in the name of an individual. ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Knowledge is power... share it equitably! _______________________________________________

prc mailing list

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