Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Possibly interesting software ...

How-To: Stream almost anything using VLC

Software: VLC - VideoLan Client

Friday, November 25, 2005

Google Desktop 2.0 News Plugin ...

I use GDS 2.0 mainly for the news and web-clips plugin. The one thing that bugs me about the news plugin is that it doesn't sort news items according to the time they got published. Web-clips plugin does it right. And, for both of these, there's no option to sort the news times based on time of arrival / publication. Need to figure out where to give feedback.

So, what are your favorite plugins for GDS ?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Recent ADSL router, DVD-R media purchases ...

For those interested in pricing info, and the benefits of buying in Indian market, read on.

Recently, I bought a D-Link 502-T ADSL Router. It has an ADSL port, USB port, Ethernet port (504T comes with 4-port switch) and inbuilt firewall (bare minimum functionality as I see it). It cost me Rs.2100/- on Ritchie Street (Chennai).

And, I got a 50-pack DVD-R (local make - scorpio) at Rs.13.5 per disk ( Ritchie Street, Chennai).

As luck would have it, I messed up with the ADSL router firmware while trying to upgrade. A quick visit to the local distributor helped in clearing it in about 2mins (wait time of around 15-20mins). I could probably have done it at home, but didn't know the proper procedure (now, I do!!).

As luck would it once more, the ADSL port on the device suddenly stopped working. In between email exhanges with D-Link Techsupport (they have an all India toll free telephone support line - 1600-222-002- too), I took the device (once again) to the local distributor. They exchanged the device for another one with no other questions asked ! Call that service !! Impressive.

Had I bought the device from US (or outside India), this could probably have been a painful exercise. Note that since the margin of price difference is relatively low for such a device, it may be worthwhile to consider buying it locally, given the excellent support that's available.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Kewl Illusion ...

If you watch the images below from your seat in front of the computer, Mr.Angry is on the left, and Mrs.Calm is on the right.

Get up from your seat, and move back 5-6 feet, and PRESTO!! they switch places!!

This illusion is believed to have been created by Phillippe G.Schyns and Aude Oliva of the Univ. of Glasgow. This proves that we may not be seeing what's actually there, all the time!!

My reading interest is now on the sidebar too ...

To find out what I'm reading, have read and so on, look at my blog's side bar or use the rss feed or visit the actual page.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Real Horror Story - Mumbai Pune Expressway

This happened about a month or two ago near Lonavala (close to Mumbai), and even though it sounds like something out of the X Files or from Alfred Hitchcock...

This guy drives from Mumbai to Pune and decides not to take the new expressway as he wants to see the scenery.

The inevitable happens and when he reaches the ghats his car breaks down - he's stranded miles from nowhere.

Having no choice he starts walking on the side of the road, hoping to get a lift to the nearest human habitation. It's dark and raining he's wet and shivering.

The night rolls on and no car goes by, the monsoon rains are so strong he can hardly see a few feet ahead of him.

Suddenly he sees a car coming towards him. It slows and then stops next to him without thinking the guy opens the car's door and jumps in.

Seated in the back, he leans for ward to thank the person who had saved his life, but...... he realizes there is nobody behind the wheel!!!

Even though there's no one in the front seat and no sound of any engine even, the car starts moving slowly.

The guy looks at the road ahead and sees a curve coming (remember, this is in the hills and there is a steep, steep drop beyond the curve).

Scared almost to death he starts to pray, begging the Lord for his life. He hasn't come out of shock, when just before he hits the curve, a hand appears through the window and moves the wheel!

The car makes the curve safely and continues on the road to the next bend. The guy, now paralyzed in terror, watches how the hand appears every time they are before a curve and moves the steering wheel just enough to get the car around each bend.

Finally, the guy sees lights ahead. Gathering his courage he wrenches open the door of the silent, slowly moving car, scrambles out and runs as hard as he can towards the lights.

It's a small town. Wet and in shock goes to a roadside dhaba, which is open, he asks for a drink. They find some hooch and give him a shot.

And he starts telling whoever is in the dhaba about the horrible experience he's just been through.

A silence envelops everybody when they realize the guy isn't drunk, and is really frightened - he's crying and shaking.

So they give him more hooch and talk about what they should do, whether to call the police or find a priest, or what.

But just then two guys (Santa & Banta) walk into the dhaba....and one says to the other...

"Look, Banta - that's the guy who got into our car while we were pushing the car from behind!!"

Cross posted to my regular and humor blog.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

RSS Feed for stuff I'm reading / watching ...

In response to my previous post requesting a tracking mechanism for stuff I'm reading, Krishnamoorthy pointed me to All Consuming.

Here's the RSS feed for information on books/movies/albums that I have consumed (read/watched/heard/...) and here's the actual page.

Software Engineer's life

This is the Software Engineer's life

You cry as much as you can, but nobody to hear you.

There are 2 people always next to you :

1 - The PM (Project Manager), giving a pleasant smile everytime we see HIM/HER.

2 - The TL (Team Leader), busy in scheduling work for us ..... and busy in HIS/HER world

The perfect picture is Given Below ......{ Team leader -- You -- PM }

Click image for larger picture:

Cross posted to my regular and humor blog.

Tool for tracking books to read ...

In a few blogs, I've noticed a sidebar which carries notes on books that one is reading, has read and has plans to read. Does anyone know of any such tool (preferably free) that can easily integrate with ?

Asterix books that I devoured in the recent past ...


Asterix and the Golden Sickle
Asterix and the Goths
Asterix the Gladiator
Asterix and Cleopatra
Asterix and the Big Fight
Asterix in Britain
Asterix the Legionary
Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield
Asterix in Spain
Asterix and the Roman Agent
Asterix in Switzerland
Asterix and the Laurel Wreath
Asterix and the Soothsayer
Asterix in Corsica
Asterix and Caesar's Gift
Asterix and the Great Crossing
Asterix and the Great Divide
Asterix and the Black Gold
Asterix and the Magic Carpet
Asterix and the Secret Weapon
Asterix and the Actress
Asterix and the Magic Carpet

Sill to read:

Asterix the Gaul
Asterix and the Banquet
Asterix and the Normans
Asterix and the Cauldron
The Mansions of the Gods
Obelix and Company
Asterix in Belgium
Asterix and Son
Asterix and Obelix All at Sea
Asterix at the Olympic Games

I borrowed these from my neighbourhood book lending library - Easwari (they have a web presence too) !

Friday, November 04, 2005

GMail declares Google Press newsletter as spam ...

Either something's wrong with their spam filters or they have been "poisoned" by now.

Click images for larger pictures: