Friday, March 30, 2007

Evolving translations & terminology - the open source way

By G Karunakar, Ravishankar Shrivastava

Translation has traditionally been implied with translating literary text, publicity information, official documents, books, news, communication, technology etc. While in the former modes the vocabulary was sufficient or could represent new objects & subjects, there has been lack of it for technology evolving at a fast pace. Traditional language resources have not had the vocabulary to be used with the newer inventions & discoveries happening day by day. Post independence there were efforts to compile and define terminology dictionaries, while being comprehensive covering many areas of modern science, technology & society, they fell short of being widely accepted. With the advent of computers and IT revolution, there has been a new set of vocabulary getting in common usage, which has kind of gone untouched by translation process until recently.

Software interfaces have traditionally been English based because their evolution has primarily been in English-speaking locales. Though after the availability of more advanced programming techniques and a increasingly commercial market for software products forming globally there has been a rise in multilingual interfaces to software, which have primarily been brought by market demand or by government dictum (that software sold in a specific state/country be available in the national language). Unavailability of software in local language has created a kind of digital divide. But an important aspect of the divide being that there suitable terminology around the new technologies has not evolved at the same pace as the technology itself. And with respect to Indian languages the problem has been more acute since there has not been much of early concerted effort to evolve terminology for software interfaces in IT domain.

There have been independent efforts in evolving terminology but not in a inclusive way to set a standard for it. Even if available they have failed to get wide acceptance due to different reasons. So translating IT terminology into Indian languages has been left to the market players, who have made their own versions often differing in the translation and coinage of words for new terms. An example being Indian language interfaces of proprietary products like Windows XP, Lotus notes and other Indian language tools available from different commercial vendors.

New in this domain has been Free & Open source software which by its inherent philosophy allows easy modification by anyone interested. Since the source code is available freely (as in allowing modification and re-distribution), open-source software has been translated to many languages in the world, and also available in many Indian languages. This paper will outline the learning of opens-source based translation efforts.

The Free & Open Source model

The FOSS model is different in its functioning than a traditional development model, in that its more open in its scope & operation than a closed source one. While not going into technical details, the important perspective offered by FOSS model is its collaborative ways of working, peer review and philosophy of sharing.

Internet plays the role of a backbone and glue to make it all possible. In brief life-cycle of FOSS project is like below

  • Project begins by individual effort/motivation
  • Initial version released in open license - where source code is available for anyone to try and use.
  • More people get involved starting as users & then as contributors since they find it useful & interesting
  • With more contributions & testing the project matures.
  • In time reaches a point where it can sustain itself, with the significant no of contributors
  • The open & inclusive model means anyone with requisite skills can join to contribute in different ways
  • like writing source code
  • testing
  • writing documentation
  • advocacy
  • translations

An important aspect of FOSS model is that the contributors come from varied geography, with different cultural backgrounds, languages, so the obvious fallout of it being that the FOSS software has multilingual capabilities by design. And the localization process is simple enough for anyone to contribute to translation efforts. Our interest is in the last part about how translation or creating lexical resources can benefit from a FOSS model.

FOSS translation model

FOSS localization has a good working model based on message catalogs, where all translatable strings of a software are extracted into a catalog, more like a database, which is then translated into multiple language, with per language catalogs.

Typically there is a translation team for a language, which coordinates translation effort for that language. They keep a track of translatable catalogs coming in & complete translations based on work already done before. Tools available provide for rough translation and tracking changes across catalogs.

Message catalogs

Message catalog, also called Portable Object (PO), contains string pairs of original english string and its translation. An untranslated pair will have an empty translation entry. String duplication is avoided by having a common string pair for all similar occurrences.

Across multiple files translations can be reused, ie if terms like "File", "Edit", "Save as" etc occur in multiple catalogs, an existing translation can be reused, rather than creating a new one, in a way keeping consistency. Catalogs can be updated for changes in strings & translations. A PO file also contains a header for meta-information like last translator, file creation date, updation date, language etc.

Processes

The translation process starts by the formation of a language team. typically this is driven by a loose team of motivated individuals. The team starts translation by taking up essential parts of a software, typically libraries which are used by other application components. If its a new language with no existing translation history nor any standardized glossary available, then it has to start the painstaking effort of setting up a standard glossary by a constant process of review and learning.

The first version of translations may not be the best, but gives a taste of efforts needed apart from exposing the problems in terminology evolution. The successive revision and translations can take this experience into account and improve upon that. Since the translations are also publicly available its easy to get comments on terminology and feedback from users. The same can then be incorporated into future activity. This cycle of feedback, learning and innovation ensures that over time once the efforts reach a maturity level (say by working for 1-2 years or completing a big volume of translations) a standard is reached in the translation terminology and quality is consistent.

Tools

The tools make all the difference. Tools allow for collaborative working and reusing existing work. Broadly the tools can be classified as

  • Offline - where translator works on own computer not connected to internet, updates are local

  • Online - where multiple translators can work on common pool of strings while being connected to internet or over a local network.
  • Communication tools like email, instant messaging, forums and mailing list are available for discussing translation issues & distributing & coordinating work among team members.

Kbabel

Its the most popular & powerful tool used in translations. It supports managing multiple catalogs. A simple & fast interface gives facility to add translations for new strings, with support for rough translations based on existing translations. It can build a database of existing translations, to give suggestions for untranslated entries, which the translator can choose to use. It also checks for common technical errors in translations, apart from giving facility to integrate with a spell checker. While the tool itself is used at individual level, duplication of work and consistency is achieved by coordinating distribution of work and sharing of translation memory (also called PO compendium) among the translation team.

Entrans

An online translation tool, where message catalogs can be uploaded onto the server and a common pool of strings formed, which still keeping them grouped based on their source. It provides for the following

  • Registration for translators & validators
  • Anonymous users visiting site can go through strings and suggest translations and also vote for suggestions
  • Rough translations automatically get generated based on existing translations, which are available as machine suggestions.
  • Translators can add new translations which get included as suggestions.
  • Translators given the role of validator can select from multiple suggestions and approve translations
  • When translating / reviewing a string the interface shows multiple options of which one can be selected & approved or a different one provided.
  • A quick lookup search is provided for looking up translations for common words & phrases. This tool is very useful if there are large number of interested contributors who can make small contributions regularly in their free time. It also avoids any need of complex setup, all that is needed is a browser and input methods to type in their language, both of which are now available on all platforms. A live installation is available at http://www.indlinux.org/entrans/

Pootle

Pootle is another online translation management tool, allowing multiple teams to work on a common pool of strings drawn from different open source projects. While it does not give rough translation feature, it gives a dictionary lookup of translated terms. Apart from that it has lot of facility & tools to integrated with software projects, details of which are beyond scope. This tools is very easy to setup and can be used standalone, or in a networked environment, its best used for conducting translation marathons - where a large number of people can come and translate in a short period of time, large amount of work. A live setup is available here - http://pootle.wordforge.org/

Case study -

IndLinux experience of translations Taking Indlinux Hindi as an example, here is the quick recount of Linux localization: Somewhere around 2002, Gnome had shown capabilities for initial support for Indic Unicode characters - typically, Hindi. This led to the dream of having full fledged Linux OS in Indic languages. Things were got assembled from ground zero - and bits and pieces were put together to work. From fonts to rendering engines, bugs were everywhere. Work on steady pace was going on for about at least two years without any visible progress in hand. Indlinux was mostly concentrated in Hindi, and later on other team started on their own - taking inputs and help from Indlinux. Ankur Bangla, PunLinux Panjabi, Utkarsh Gujarati etc were such teams. Since translations were done by volunteers from all across India, translated terms vary as per local usage. This led to need of translation workshop that helps weed out translation errors, out of context translations, inconsistencies etc.

Hindi translation got a shot in the arm when Sarai sponsored initial project to translate GNOME 2.0 in Hindi, and later, KDE 3.2 and OpenOffice2.0 Help. Sarai was also pioneer in initiating and pushing Hindi translation workshops to refine translations and to train translators. A Hindi glossary was also evolved to form as a standard for common technical terms used. The workshops were immense help in giving idea -what to translate and what not and coining new words. What we have today that refined Hindi Linux Desktop might not have been possible without the help of Sarai's sponsorships.

From this experience, to get results, two things were clear -

1. Sponsor translator and translation team - at least those who can deliver,

2. Organize workshops to translate / refine existing translation en-mass.

Without these, the achieved progress may not be up to the mark. In the initial days of localization, translators do not have much options for their translation tool. They were bound to use plain odd yudit - the unicode editor. Every string needed to translated and typed at every occurrence - however umpteen times they were repeated. These makes translation works very slow, boring, and repetitive and test-less. Things changed dramatically when translation tools like Gtranslator, Kbabel, Poedit came in picture. As the work grew, with the help of translation database and facility of machine added auto translations, productivity as well as consistency in translation were maintained at high level.

Soon, under Indlinux, a multilingual live Linux CD Rangoli was released that had clearly showed the potential of local language computing. At a later stage, online translation tools like Rosetta, Entrans also made available, but they failed to attract Indic translators much. May be, due to their tedious and time consuming, slow responsive interfaces. Anyway, online translation tools like Entrans were the need of the day, and will ultimately find their way and most translations will be done through these tools in near future.

A comparison of terminology efforts

A small compilation of translated terminology evolved by three independent efforts is given below. Due to space limitations only a small set is taken, which may not prove well benefits of open source process, since language being same, translations can ultimately emerge to be similar or same through constant process of review.

The comparison is between user interface terminology from Hindi version of Windows XP, with respect to IT terms glossary provided by CSTT-CDAC and the translations done by IndLinux Hindi translation effort. Notes: Blank entries indicate either there was no translation listed or could not be searched upon easily or an occurrence not found in interface reviewed.

XP Hindi CSTT IndLinux

Accessories सहायक उपकरण सहयंत्र सहायक उपकरण

Active सक्रिय सक्रिय सक्रिय

Add जोड़ें योजी संकलन जोड़ें

Address bar पता पट्टी - पता पट्टी

Address book पता पुस्तिका पता पुस्तक पता पुस्तिका

Align संरेखित संरेखण कतारबद्ध,पंक्तिबद्ध

Appearance प्रकटन - रूप, प्रकटन

Apply लागू करें - लागू करें

Apply लागू - प्रयोग करें

Arrange व्यवस्थित - जमाएँ

Automatic स्वचलित स्वचालित स्वचलित

Back वापस पश्च वापस, पिछला

Background पृष्ठ भूमि पृष्ठ भूमि पृष्ठभूमि

Bar पट्टी स्तम्भ, रेखिका पट्टी

Bookmark पसंद पृष्ठित स्मृति पुस्तचिह्न, पसंद

Cancel रद्द करें निरसन रद्द

Centred केंद्रित - -

Change बदलें - बदलें

Clear साफ करे रिक्त साफ करें

Close बंद बन्द बंद करें

Comments टिप्पणियां टिप्पणी टिप्पणियाँ

Control panel नियंत्रण कक्ष नियंत्रण पट्टिका नियंत्रण कक्ष

Copy प्रतिलिपि प्रतिलिपि प्रतिलिपि, नकल

Customize अनुकूलित करें - फ़रमाइशें

Default डिफ़ॉल्ट डिफ़ॉल्ट, तयशुदा, सुनिश्चित

Details विवरण विस्तार, विवरण विवरण

Display प्रकटन प्रदर्श प्रदर्शक, प्रदर्शन

Document दस्तावेज़ प्रलेख दस्तावेज़

Edit संपादन संपादन सम्पादन

Empty रिक्त रिक्त खाली, रिक्त

Existing मौजूदा विद्यमान मौजूदा

Exit बाहर निकलें निर्गम बाहर, निर्गम, निकास

Expand विस्तारित विस्तारित फैलाएँ, विस्तार

Favourites पसंद - पसंदीदा पसंदीदा

Find ढूंढे अन्वेषण ढूंढें

File फ़ाइल संचिका फ़ाइल

Format bar स्वरूप पट्टी संरूप -

Forward अग्रेषित करें अग्र आगे बढाएँ, अग्रेषित

Go to इस पर जाएं - यहां पर जाएँ, जाएँ

Help मदद सहायता मदद

Home मुख आमुख, निजी घर, आशियाना, शुरुआत

Home page मुख पृष्ठ आमुख पृष्ठ, मूल स्थान मुख पृष्ठ

Icons चिह्न - प्रतीक, चिह्न

Invert selection चयन पलटें - चयन पलटें, चुने हुए को उलटें

Keyboard कुंजीपटल कुंजीपटल, कीबोर्ड कीबोर्ड, कुंजीपट

List सूची सूची सूची

Lock अवरोधित पाश, लॉक ताला

Notification सूचनाएं - अधिसूचना

Ok ठीक - ठीक

Open खोलें खुला खोलें,खोलना,खुला,मुक्त

Option विकल्प विकल्प विकल्प

Page setup पृष्ठ सेटअप पृष्ठ पृष्ठ सेटअप, पृष्ठ विन्यास

Paragraph अनुच्छेद पैराग्राफ अनुच्छेद, पैरागाफ

Paste special - - विशेष चिपकायें

Print मुद्रण - छापें,छपाई,मुद्रण

Print preview मुद्रण पूर्वावलोकन मुद्रण छपाई नमूना, छपाई पूर्वावलोकन

Property गुण - गुण

Re do दोहराएं - दोहराएँ, पुनः करें, फिर से करें

Refresh ताज़ा करें पुनश्चर्या ताज़ा करें

Registered पंजीकृत पंजीकृत पंजीकृत

Remove हटाएं - मिटाएँ

Rename नाम बदलें पुन:नामकरण पुनर्नामकरण,नाम बदलें,नया नाम

Replace बदलें - बदलें

Restart पुनरारंभ - फिर प्रारंभ करें

Restore पुनर्स्थापित करें पुन:स्थापन बहाल करें, पुरानी स्थिति में लाएं,

Ruler मापनी - -

Save सहेजें सुरक्षित करो सहेजें

Save as इस रूप में सहेजें - ऐसे सहेजें

Search खोजें खोज ढूंढें, खोजें

Security सुरक्षा सुरक्षा सुरक्षा

Select all सभी का चयन करें - सभी चुनें, सबको चुने

Send to भेजें - -

Share साझा शेयर साझा, साझेदारी

Shared साझा - साझा, साझेदारी

Standard मानक मानक प्रमाणिक,मानक,प्रामाणिक

Start प्रारंभ प्रारंभ प्रारंभ,शुरू,चालू

Start menu प्रारंभ मेनू - स्टार्ट मेन्यू

Status bar स्थिति पट्टी अवस्थिति स्थिति पट्टी

Stop रूकें विराम रोकें, रुकें, बन्द

Taskbar कार्य पट्टी - कार्यपट्टी

Text wrap पाठ लपेटे - पाठ लपेटें

Tip युक्ति - युक्ति, संकेत

Tools उपकरण उपकरण उपकरण

Un do पूर्ववत करें - पहले जैसा

Untitled अनामांकित - बेनाम,अनाम

Up ऊपर - ऊपर

Up one level एक स्तर ऊपर - एक स्तर ऊपर

Urgent अत्यावश्यक - अत्यावश्यक, तत्काल

User उपयोगकर्ता उपयोगकर्ता, प्रयोक्ता उपयोक्ता, प्रयोक्ता

View दृष्य दृश्य देखें, दिखाएँ, दर्शन, नजारा

Welcome सुस्वागतम - सुस्वागतम, स्वागतम्

Window विंडो विंडो विंडो

Zip संपीडित संकुचित संपीडित

Zoom जूम जूम जूम, छोटा-बडा करें

Conclusion

While what has been discussed may not be conclusive enough to prove that open source model of translation is better than a closed one, but the model and tools in offer give flexibility for innovation and improving the process of building translations, lexicons etc. A case in example are wiki and content management systems which allow anyone to post , review content, with moderation strings attached. Eg. Wikipedia which has quickly become the largest online encyclopedia. Also Wiktionary.org which bases itself on wiki and is evolving a multilingual lexicon and dictionary. The open source tools like Entrans, Pootle etc can be customized to build dictionaries or lexicons which can be development in a collaborative way, drawing in a large pool of contributors. While a closed door model may bring in good quality by having experts do the work, open model benefits from the volumes and that its the users of the final product have a say from the beginning, which means the lexicon has a wider acceptance and is more in tune with the prevalent language usage and vocabulary. While it may not satisfy the purist's view, but ultimately if a language is not open to accept & accommodate it may well be on its path to oblivion.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

How to create stunning digital art in Windows Vista?



Windows Vista tips


Creating Digital arts in Windows Vista is plain, simple, just a few click process. Here is how you can do that.

Start Windows Media Player. Play any media file, such as your favorite MP3 song through Windows Media Player. Set View settings as Full Mode. To do this, click on View menu and select Full Mode. now click on Now Playing button and then click on visualization, and then select Alchemy>Random.

As your song plays, you will see beautiful Digital Art like figures build-up and disappears rhythmically on Windows Media Player Visualization Window.

Now start Snipping tool (Windows Vista Start Menu > All Programs > Snipping Tool), the screen capture utility comes with Windows Vista. when you see an attractive visualization figure in Windows media Player visualization window, click on Snipping tool's New button. The visualization will freeze in a selectable window. Select the rectangular portion of picture you want to save as digital art, and save it by giving a suitable name.


Your digital art is ready to get published all across the world.

If you want to add some added effect through Filters etc, then you can use freeware paint program paint.net that comes with many stunning filters.

(This digital art was filtered with Paint.net and the stunning result you can see at the image on top of this page)

You can use this trick in other versions of Windows too, but you need third party screen capture utility. And, instead of Windows Media Player, you can safely use other media players with Visualization support such as Winamp.

Read a similar article here

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Mobile Blogging - are you ready?

Facility to blog through mobile phones were available for quite some time in Blogger mobile, but only for a limited mobile network, and that too in America. Mobile Blogging facility that is real plain and simple was not available in countries like India. Now many players have come in to the field and blogging platform like ibibo who is pushing blogging by awarding top bloggers thousands of Dollors are pushing Mobile blogging in a big way.

Ibibo has introduced facility for Mobile blogging through simple SMS. It is predicted that Blogging through simple SMS may definitely increase quantity of bloggers and blogs, if not the quality.

Mobile blogging at ibibo is very easy. You need to open a blog account if you have not done it already and then register your mobile phone at ibibo by giving its number. Sine mobile blogging is provided through SMS, any network and nay mobile phone can be used. You will be asked to provide the password that is sent to your mobile number which is registered. The process of registering mobile looks pretty secure. Once your mobile is registered with that particular blog, you will be ready to blog through SMS instantly.

To post a blog post through SMS, all you need to type a message - with the first word Blog. It means, type Blog and then after space, type your blog content and send this message to 676746. A little while after, you will be asked to submit post title. Simply reply this message with Posttitle as first word followed by space and the title of the post. And voila! Your blog is published through your mobile. Your post status is then confirmed again through SMS.

I tried to publish Unicode Hindi content in my ibibo blog post. I used Reliance India Mobile CDMA service and a basic LG mobile phone which had inbuilt Hindi SMS support. The result appears as ??????? which you can see :

It means, the Unicode encoding had been broken somewhere while in communication. Ibibo not only does support Unicode Indic languages but it provide online keyboard for these languages too. I had submitted my bug report there. Let us see when we will be able to post our blog through our mobile in our own language (read Unicode). Posting blogs in English are error free and fun. If you neglect the problem of writing long blogs through tiny mobile keys, then Mobile blogging is all set to rock. If you have smart phones that does support Handwriting recognition, and you can write through digital pencil, then you can imagine the scenario. The age of mobile blogging will come sooner than one can imagine. Photo-blogging through mobile phones having good inbuilt camera can revolutionize the way world blog!

Are you ready?

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Finally, Microsoft goes Open Source way!

No one can deny the power of open source.

Not even Microsoft.

Microsoft had made a kind of first step towards open source world by opening FoxPro, the dead database management system program to the open source.

Read full story here and some more here

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Twitter - The best web app for the bored people

Twitter - one of the best free web app for the bored people - expanding at 20% weekly growth, and within 7 months it has more that 70000 registered user!

Read more

What are you doing?

Why the hell I should take interest in the silly things like knowing - what are you doing at this very instant? Conversely, why you will be interested in me and that - what I am doing?

But, wait, just wait. What Bill Gates, Britany Spears or Shaharukh Khan are doing at this very instant may be very interesting to one and all. That is why paparazzi always chase celebrities endlessly. And, if your (or, mine) position matches to that of Gates, Spears and Khans; then everybody will take interest in what you are (or, I am) doing!

This very concept is behind this new web application called Twitter. This concept may look ugly, useless and nonsense in the first look, but you have to believe that Twitter's current weekly growth is above 20% and just within seven months after its launch, it has more than Sixty thousand registered users and growing. More than a million twitter messages had already been posted - all kinds of messages - What Twitterers were doing! Some are totally bored and some are really-really interesting.

Ivan William's company Obvious is behind this ‘Twitter' thing. This is the same Ivan, who had founded today's most popular blog platform Blogspot Blogger, which he had later sold to Google.

There is simple motto for Twitter. Tell the world in plain, odd 140 characters - what are you doing! The ‘world' may be your friend, foe or anonymous passerby persons - who may take interest in knowing what are you doing. To do this, you need to register at Twitter - which is all free and then tell the world - every minute , minute to minute - what you are doing. Your postings will be available to view to all or selected few as you wish in your Twitter settings. You can use Twitter code to publish your Twitter postings to anywhere in the internet - for example, in your Blog site. You can view other Twiterer's posting, make Twitter friend, join them or send them invitations and do many more similar things. Twitter does support Unicode characters (including complex Indic such as Hindi) , hence you can post your messages in any international language you wish.

The best part is yet to come - you can use Twitter postings through your mobile phones and Instant Messengers. Just enable them in Twitter settings and tell the world what are you doing even while you are on the go. Or, read about others on your mobile - what are they doing!

Twitter allows you to register as fake users. You can register yourself as Bill Gates (do not attempt it, this name has already been taken by someone) or Bill Clinton. But then it will be just for pocking fun, as nobody will take you seriously. And, if you Twitter a message as true, real person such as RaviRatlami, you may have chance to win friends and followers.

In future, there were plans to add more and more functionality in Twitter, and to transform it in a business model. But Twitter's developers are waiting to reach Twitter's user base to an acceptable mass and are more concentrated to build up resources of Twitter. They are pulling resources to the Twitter regularly, and, they looks pretty serious. See yourself to believe it-

So, What are you doing? If nothing of any significance, then why not Twitter it out - tell the world that you are doing nothing!

Reference: This article, Hat Tip: Debashish

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Now, Computer Games may also have Google ads


With the acquisition of Adscape Media, Google is all set to earn more revenue through computer games.

All kinds of games - be it on line or offline will now have potential to display contextual advertisements that were beautifully, seemlessly embedded to the storyline. For example, in a game, as a player, if you enter in a room that have a Television in a corner, then you may see live advertisement of say, local TV vendor for a Sony TV in that TV screen.

And, I will love such advertisements if they pay the bills for my expensive games. That means, if they release ad-supported free versions of games, I will definitely opt for them! I am already dreaming big success for Google - yet again!

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Blogger Beta : Ajax at its best!

From today, New Blogger Beta has gone full Ajax – at least on most blogs (blogs with new blogger template, and not with Classic ones), if not all. For example, when you click links to the previous (or other) articles on this page or on the any pages of this blog you will happily see that, the page’s contents displays dynamically without re-loading the entire page. It will speed-up browsing and give you reader a pleasant feeling.

A few days ago, Blogger had added facility to add Hindi Transliteration button on its Blog post writing tool. We hope many more to come from New Blogger …

Friday, March 16, 2007

Best paint program that works in Unicode characters

In general, most paint programs do not support Unicode. They simply are non compliant to Unicode, and hence can't display Unicode characters correctly. Gimp and latest version of Photoshop does support Unicode, but the supports in these programs are very basic, and raw. Working with Unicode characters such as Indic Hindi in these paint programs is not an easy task.

Now, this problem is solved. The freeware paint program called paint.net is here to solve your Unicode character-paint-program problem. You can do all kinds of fancy Unicode-character-paint manipulation through this paint program. Paint.net works like a scaled down replica of Photoshop, and had all kinds of advanced tools such as filters, plugins, layers and unlimited undo-redo. And, above all, it is very sleek - only about 5 MB download. Though, for this program to run, you need Microsoft .net framework -2 installed in your computer.

Here is some sample - Hindi word KAHANI had been manipulated through some built in filters - you can do infinite manipulations by combining them!

Download paint.net from here

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Get World Cup Cricket Live Score on your Desktop



There is a nice Yahoo! Widget that makes life easy for you. You can get World Cup Cricket Score Live streaming right there in your desktop. Thanks to Yahoo! widgets.

Simply download the Yahoo! Widget engine from here and install it if you have not installed it already.

Then install this Cricket World Cup Live Score widget, created by Sumith Rajagopalan from here. (learn more about this widget here)

You can place this widget anywhere on the desktop by dragging it AND, you can hide/unhide it from your Boss's eye with F8 key.

If you use Google toobar, then you can use this Live Cricket Score Gadget

If you want Cricket Live scores in Hindi, then you can use this toolbar created by Jagadish Bhatiya. More info here

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Who are the 50 Most Important People on the Web?


Time magazine had declared "You" as the person of the year, which is not entirely true. PC World had declared World's top 50 most important people on the web. According to this list, here are top 5 -

# 1 - Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin
Executives, Google

# 2 - Steve Jobs
CEO, Apple

#3 - Bram Cohen
Cofounder, BitTorrent

#4 - Mike Morhaime
President, Blizzard Entertainment

#5 - Jimmy Wales
Founder, Wikipedia


No doubt, Google's executives have retained first place - Google is dominating Internet activities in all areas - now in Entertainment too with acquisition of You-tube .


See the complete list Here

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Who needs Windows Vista when you can have Knoppix 5.1.1 Live DVD?

(Click the Image to see large picture)

Well, in the first place there is no comparison between the two. In fact, there can't be any. Why? Simply because, Windows Vista is plain Operating system, with very little bundled apps. Whereas, Knoppix is complete Operating System bundled with hundreds of software that ranges from games to office!

When you install Windows Vista (it requires whopping 6.7GB hard disk space at a bare minimum!), what you will get is - much hyped 3D aqua Desktop, a so-called secure operating system that bugs you to hell - by asking for every stupid task to Continue. In addition to that, It had about a dozen utilities such as paint, notepad, wordpad and a few games.

Knoppix 5.1.1 DVD do not need hard disk installation, and you can still get 3D aqua like desktop bundled along with hundreds of applications and utilities - that ranges from Games to programming! It is as secure as Windows and do not - repeat - do not bug you to continue to perform a task.

Knoppix 5.1.1 DVD comes bundled with following and many more:

GAMES - Hundreds of games in these categories : Adventure, Arcade, Board games, Card Games, Educational Games, Puzzles, Strategy, Tactics.

DEVELOPEMENT TOOL : Many complete tools and suits for full fledged program development including fully functional MONO.

EDUTAINMENT : Knoppix 5.1.1 DVD had dozens of educational and edutainment software that ranges from K-touch the touch typing tutor tool to K-stars and K-alzium - the periodic table of elements.

GRAPHICS SUITS : Many graphics suits that lets you 3D modeling, DTP, Camera utility, sophisticated paint/photo editing like tools GIMP

INTERNET - Knoppix 5.1.1 DVD comes bundled with all kinds of Internet apps such as Browser, e-mail client, messenger and what not!

MULTIMEDIA - with Knoppix 5.1.1 DVD, you can play, listen and view all kinds of multimedia - including TV time television viewer.

OFFICE SUITE - It has Open Office 2.1 and many more other office apps such as K-Office, Abiword and GnuCash - the Financial accounting software.

And many -many more - Knoppix 5.1.1 had many more utilities that ranges from Science and maths, from basic Calculator to Binary Hex editor, and even - hundreds of pre-installed screen-savers!

The best part is yet to come - you can run it from DVD itself or if you think it is right time, you can install it in your computer too. And, Knoppix 5.1.1 DVD is Free. Free as free beer!

Download Knoppix from here

Related Reading:

Windows Vista Multiboot nightmare bursted

Who need silly 3D desktop?

How to run Knoppix Live CD from Hard Disk?

How to install 3D desktop in Linux?

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Windows Vista : Multiboot Nightmare busted



NeoSmart Technologies had already released a nice Windows Vista boot loader modification tool named EasyBCD that works seamlessly in true multiboot environment. EasyBCD is the ultimate bootloader modification tool for Windows Vista that lets you boot from Linux as well as all other older versions of Windows in a multiboot machine!

Using EasyBCD is easy too. Just install it in a suitable directory either from within WindowXP or from Windows Vista. It works well in both environments. I recommend you to install it in such a directory that is accessible to all versions of Windows, and install it in both Windows Vista and Windows XP. Make sure the installation directory will be the same in both environments. This way, when you run EasyBCD in either environment, your EasyBCD configuration files will be the same, and you can change configuration from any environment.

You can set boot options, uninstall Windows Vista boot loader to recall Windows XP boot loader or reinstall Windows Vista boot loader through EasyBCD. EasyBCD also lets you install NeoGrub - a GRUB varient in your MBR so that you can boot your Linux directly from MBR.

The icing in the cake is - you can set your machine to boot in to BSD/Linux, or Mac OS too through this utility. Just give appropriate drive partition setting values in its Add-Remove entries, save the settings and you are done!

EasyBCD has detailed help and guide that you can access online. However, using EasyBCD is straight enough and does not require much skill.

Download EasyBCD from here.

Related reading:

Windows Vista : Thy name is multi-boot nightmare.

Windows Vista tips and tricks

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

More Windows Vista Tips and Tricks


# How to boost Windows Vista's Performance?

If you hate look and feel of Windows Vista and believe in its sheer performance, here is a great tip for you to boost Windows Vista's performance.



Click on Start Menu, then click on Control Panel. Select Classic view. Then select Performance Informations and tools. In the selection list available at top left side of this window, select Adjust Visual Effects. User account control may ask you to Continue. Give your consent by clicking on Continue. In the Performance option Window selection box, select Adjust for best performance.
This will turn off all the fancy, resource hungry visual effects and you will see a remarkable boost in system performance.




# How to manage Startup Program in windows Vista?

Windows Vista lets you manage and take control over startup programs - programs that loads during Windows boot time. you can remove, enable or disable startup programs. To manage your startup programs, click on Start Menu, then click on Control Panel. In the window that appears, click on Classic View. You will see may entries here. Click on Performance Information and tools. In the selection list available at top left side of this window, select Manage startup programs. In the window that appears, you will see the list of installed startup programs. select the one you want to change and then click any of these - Remove/Disable/Enable button according to your choice.




# How to bring back Classic View of Windows in Windows Vista?

Windows Vista had many bright colors that may offend users and they may want to bring Windows Classic View back. You can do it easily. Simply click on an empty place on your Desktop and in the context menu that appears, select Personalize. In the window that appears, select Window Color and Appearance. In the Appearance setting window that appears, select Windows Classic. Your Windows Classic view will be back instantly.




# How to rate your Computer?


Windows Vista comes with many nifty utilities. One such utility let you rate your computer with a pre defined benchmark. To rate your computer, Click on Start Menu, then click on Control Panel. Further, click on Classic View in the left corner of the window that appears and then click on Performance Informations and tools. In this window, You will see a tab - Rate this computer. To rate your computer's performance, click on this tab. After a while, will get your computer's rating.
Related Articles:

Monday, March 05, 2007

And now, Religious Operating systems!



It is true. The ultimate has come. A religious operating system. You can not part yourself with religion. You try to throw away religion with more and more energy, it bounces back to you with more and more energy.

The extremely popular Linux distribution Ubuntu already had a Christian Edition, now has a brand new, Ubuntu Muslim Edition that is released primarily to help religious Muslim in their prayer and learning Holy Ouran. This special distribution has Islamic softwares such as prayer times, Quran study tool, Arabic learning software etc. and also has special greenish Muslim "look and feel".

(screenshot courtesy ubuntume.com)

It looks very obvious that very soon, we will have Ubuntu Hindu Edition, Ubuntu and Ubuntu Sikh-Jain-Budha-Jew-and-what-not edition in our hand.

My fingers are crossed!

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Multiboot nightmare? Thy name is - Windows Vista


I write technical articles, reviews and test IT related products and gadgets on a regular basis. I had a PC that had two mammoth hard drives, and about a dozen partitions. I had installed Windows 98 (because I had an old digital pen-paintboard that only works in this OS!), Windows XP - for all kinds of Unicode support - I extensively write in Unicode Hindi - and Windows 98 does not support Unicode. I also use lot of Linux varients - most for testing Hindi interfaces and translations on them since I am also a volunteer translator of KDE / GNOME / OpenOffice. All these needs many-many partitions in my PC, and a true multi-boot environment, where I can boot in to my choice of Operating system at my will.

I was living happily till the arrival of Windows Vista. My Linux partitions were living happily with Windows partitions and booting happily with either Grub or with Lilo having their boot loader installed at the first sector of their respective partitions. Windows 98 and Windows XP too were manageable with third party boot loaders like XOSL and GAG, and I can also boot them through Linux boot loaders like Lilo or GRUB.

But, Windows Vista's boot loader is a demon that thinks there is no other OS to boot in the universe! Though it gives you option to boot in to older Windows Operating systems like Windows 98 and WindowsXP, but not other operating systems like Linux. And, to add salt to the wound, Windows Vista does not natively support third-party boot loaders like XOSL or GRUB. Also, Windows Vista's boot loader options were not editable easily.

When I installed Windows Vista for the test purpose - just to test its Indic computing capabilities, its boot loader re-writes my boot partition - the portion that contains my third party boot loader - XOSL's boot record, resulting in - I was unable to boot in to my Linux installations. Further, I had chosen drive D (as I recognize them in my old Windows) to install Windows Vista, which it labled as drive C after Windows Vista installation (without my consent)!

I tried to re-install XOSL. But the boot loader of Windows Vista gone overwritten and there is no other option but to re-install Windows Vista. I tried to repair Windows Vista boot problem through its Startup Repair option, but to no avail. Linux boot loader GRUB needs some tweaking in its configuration files manually to be able to recognize and boot Windows Vista.

Had Windows Vista boot loader may have incorporated these minor things; it may have done real great job to its users. Instead, it looks pretty obvious that it is bullying its user to forget other Operating System and just use Windows Vista!

So, if you are trying to install Windows Vista in a true multi-boot environment, be prepared for a great Multi-boot nightmare.

**-**

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