Monday, September 26, 2005

Beware - Interesting modus operandi

From reliable sources ... Beware, be cautious ...

This incident happend last weekend to a person i know very closely; sharing this for awareness sake.

He had advertised for selling one item in FreeAds and Deccan Chronicle last sunday and had given his cell number as contact. A guy named sultan, approached him around noon saying he wanted to check out the item, but said he has to wait for some 10mins, as one of his friend was on the way and both wanted to checkout the iteam and decide on the purchase.

Now after few minutes, sultan who was waiting near the gate, got a call through my friend's cell ; the caller ( supposed to be the friend he was waiting for) asked whether sultan was there and wanted to talk to him ;

My friend passed on the cell to Sultan and as he was handing it over, the guy asked for water and some documents related to the the item. My friend without thinking much went inside to get water + document and when he was back in a minute - Mr sultan had vainshed with the cell !!

It seems the police too suspected it must be some experienced gang who lookout for such occasions - they can get both the address and contact of their victim, taking advantage of the sale offer( advertised via newspaper) and posing as interested buyers!

Interesting news about Skype ...

Read here about how Skype can affect your wallet in broaband starved countries like India.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Messing with a scammer ...

This story is so funny !! Read on to find out how a scammer was outwitted.

For the technically inclined: A honeypot with a difference ;-)

Powerbook Prank

Friday, September 16, 2005

Bangalore Linux User Group is no more ...

Read this for (what could be) a chilling note on how one of the largest and quite organized linux user group (in India) has been "hijacked".

I'm tempted to believe what the note says, time will tell the truth.

2 years, 8 days old ...

If my math is right (and I'm very poor at it), my blog is 2 yeas, 8 days old now. My first post was on 8-Sep-2003. Back then, it was mostly news that I was posting about (and more so on OffSourcing - Offshoring + Outsourcing). Since then much has changed, but still remained the same (even now, a variety of news - mostly technical - is a major portion of my blog).

As they say, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Too bad, I couldn't pin this post down the exact day this year. Maybe it's time you checked your blog to see when was your first post.

Trying out Opera 8, sick of Firefox ...

Maybe there's something about the way I use my desktop (Win2K), things are perenially slow on it, inspite of it being a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 processor with 512MB RAM. Switching between applications can take as long as a minute. Typing something on the screen can have a delay to make the characters invisible for as long as upto even a minute, my Firefox and Thunderbird instances always easily cross 200MB each (are terribly unresponsive) ... and so on.

I'm quite sick of the desktop at times and more so of FF and TB. The thing is I don't like to terminate these instances at the end of the day and that's probably causing a leak due to prolonged usage.

Anyway, the short story is that I'm now trying out Opera 8 after a long time. I was one of the first people to try out Opera when it hit the market a few years ago. I liked it then, for the speed demon that it was (can't recollect why I moved on, maybe the lack of support on many "intelligent" sites hat don't render proper HTML). Since then, I've tried out other browsers and somehow got stuck to FF (for quite some time - for the past year/two or so).

Let's see how Opera works out for me.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

My inspiration

"I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot... and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that's precisely why I succeed."

---Michael Jordan
(1993-, American Basketball Player, Actor)


(AFTER READING THE ABOVE STATEMENT, I AM TEMPTED TO WRITE SOME TRUTH OF MY LIFE TOO....)

I have corrupted more than 9,000 programs in my career. I have crashed almost 300 computers. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to deliver program on deadline... and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that's precisely why I am still here!!!

---Software Engineer

Cross posted to my regular and humor blog.

The 10 Commandments Of Email

1. Thou shalt include a clear and specific subject line.

2. Thou shalt edit any quoted text down to the minimum thou needest.

3. Thou shalt read thine own message thrice before thou sendest it.

4. Thou shalt ponder how thy recipient might react to thy message.

5. Thou shalt check thy spelling and thy grammar.

6. Thou shalt not curse, flame, spam or TOSS.

7. Thou shalt not forward any chain letter.

8. Thou shalt not use e-mail for any illegal or unethical purpose.

9. Thou shalt not rely on the privacy of e-mail, especially from work.

10. When in doubt, save thy message overnight and reread it in the light of the dawn.

And, here's the "Golden Rule" of E-Mail:

That which thou findest hateful to receive, sendest thou not unto others.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Too good a read ...

and prolly to follow, at least as much as possible.

Have a firm handshake.
Look people in the eye.
Sing in the shower.
Own a great stereo system.
If in a fight, hit first and hit hard.
Keep secrets.
Never give up on anybody.
Miracles happen everyday.
Always accept an outstretched hand.
Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
Whistle.
Avoid sarcastic remarks.
Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 per cent of all your happiness or misery.
Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out.
Lend only those books you never care to see again.
Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all that they have.
When playing games with children, let them win.
Give people a second chance, but not a third.
Be romantic.
Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.
Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for your convenience, not the caller’s.
Be a good loser.
Be a good winner.
Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.
When someone hugs you, let them be the first to let go.
Be modest. A lot was accomplished before you were born.
Keep it simple.
Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.
Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.
Live your life so that your epitaph could read, No Regrets
Be bold and courageous. When you look back on life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the one’s you did.
Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
Remember no one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who helped you.
Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.
Visit friends and relatives when they are in hospital; you need to only stay a few minutes.
Begin each day with some of your favorite music.
Once in a while, take the scenic route.
Send a lot of Valentine cards. Sign them, ‘Someone who thinks you’re terrific.’
Answer the phone with enthusiasm and energy in your voice.
Keep a note pad and pencil on your bed-side table. Million-dollar ideas sometimes strike at 3 a.m.
Show respect for everyone who works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job.
Send your loved ones flowers. Think of a reason later.
Make someone’s day by paying the toll for the person in the car behind you.
Become someone’s hero.
Marry only for love.
Count your blessings.
Compliment the meal when you’re a guest in someone’s home.
Wave at the children on a school bus.
Remember that 80 per cent of the success in any job is based on your ability to deal with people.
Don’t expect life to be fair.

It's official now - It sucks ...

And, I'm talking about Creative's Zen Touch 40GB MP3 player.

In the past few days that I've actively been using it since I bought it on 16-Jul-2005 (that's a long time to not put it to heavy use), it has frozen a lot many times, requiring a hard reset (via a pin hole in the chassis). It's required entire reformat twice.

For something as "simple" as an MP3 player, that statistic sux IMO (I've been actively fiddling with it only for the past week or so). Makes me curse myself for not having bought an iPod or the Archos Gmini.

Recommendation to potential buyers of Creative Zen Touch - Stay far away.

While I may be considered to be overreacting, I've found the performance of the device, as a whole, much lesser than satisfactory (the main being the not-exactly-responsive touch-sensitive scroll-pad that is a poor, distant imitation of iPod's scroll-wheel. And then, there's these frequent crashes and reformats, not to mention, creative's ultra long 18month+ delay in releasing a firmware upgrade for the Zen Touch... )..

My advice - stay away, far away.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Please do not spit ...

half chewed chewing gum in urinal base.

That's what a printout in the office toilet/restroom says.

Makes me wonder if we have to spit fully chewed chewing gums or half unchewed chewing gums or better still save those for others to chew (gross) !! ;-)

Come on, shoot me down for posts such as this :)

Need info on computer monitor and keyboard disposal

Can someone recommend a safe mechanism to dispose off an old computer monitor ? I have a 14" color monitor that hasn't been used in a very long time (the screen turns blue after switching on - maybe some capacitor problem or some such) and I need to know a decent disposal mechanism.

Alternately, if someone wants to take it and repair / get-it-repaired, I'd be happy to donate it free of cost (arrange your own pickup from Vadapalani, Chennai).

Same is the case with an old serial keyboard whose "up" & "down" arrow keys aren't functioning properly (I used to manage with the keys in the number pad section).

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Calvin and Hobbes complete collection ...

In my eternal temptation for my most favorite cartoon strip, I was quite tempted to buy the entire collection of Calvin & Hobbes (of approx 17 books) at around Rs.5000 y'day, when I learnt that the entire collection is coming out in a 3 volume harbound series @ $150 this October-2005. It may probably end up being costlier than what I'd pay today for the entire collection, however it is definitely going to be better since it will avoid the duplication of strips present in the existing series of books.

Waiting with bated breath ...

Update: Amazon List Price for the book set is $150 (Rs.6450 @ $1=Rs.43) and it is presently selling at a discount of $93 (Rs.3999). Fabmall (in India) has List Price Rs. 7,500.00 and discounted price Rs. 6,750.00. Fabmall is too pricey. Need to find someone whoz returning from the US and can get me the books.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Back to reality ...

Sort of.

My vacation is over, at least the official one and I'm at work since Monday, 5-Sep. Personal emails are being checked now and then, blog reading is still far off (except for occasional glance at very few). Slashdot is the only one I've been reading since the past couple of days :)

Latest craze - trying to fill up my 40GB Creative Zen Touch MP3 player. One thing that it does lack (and I still bought it) is the lack of default (inbuilt) recording capability. It would have been great for it to have voice and line-in recording facility (IRiver MP3 player does have such features, although it's only 1GB).

More later ...

Start to watch out for my humor blog to become more active shortly.