Lappy heating - Boon to me in chilly winters

Posted by Nova | Friday, December 12, 2008

I arrived in Ipswich, UK on 4th December. After an initial stay for one week at the Lattice Lodge, I moved to the Great Colman Street. One of my colleagues was leaving back for India but there were two more days to go. Hence, instead of the usual five people staying at the place, we were six and I was left without a bed.

I put down a thin matress for me to sleep. I didn't have any proper blanket, just a thin one which did no good in the chilly winters. And to make the matters worse, the heaters were not working either. I would have succumbed to the cold but as usual technology came in for my rescue. I was having a Toshiba Protege 300 (don't laugh, I didn't purchase it) which was running hot and good enough to save me from the cold. A friend in need is a friend indeed.

Crude Fight - What If ...

Posted by Nova | Friday, October 31, 2008

I was sitting with a friend of mine in a canteen when he started discussing about crude oil. It takes thousands of years to create crude but we have exhausted it within a century. Now, companies are spending a fortune on Research and Development to make cars that can run on alternative power. The day crude is exhausted, all these companies will show their work. Everyone is preparing.

My abstract side clicked. And these companies do a mass production of their new species of cars. Everyone is preparing to purchase them when all of a sudden crude is present everywhere. No limits, no charge, take as much as you want. What would be the scenario, these car manufacturers would go "What duh ..".

Before I progressed further my friend said "What duh .."

Wallpaper Cycler

Posted by Nova | Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I had created this application a few years back and released it only to a limited audience. It was a code snippet from Microsoft Coding4Fun site. It was having limited features hence I started modifying it and ended up making this feature rich application. There are a few dedicated users of this application and today when I received a personal message asking for a copy of this application, I blogged about it.

It requires .NET framework to be installed. I don't remember which version exactly.
It works great on Windows XP as well as Windows Vista and is pretty user friendly, so no need of help files. (I am bored and I don't doubt your intelligence.)

It makes only a single change in registry that too if you want it to auto-start with Windows.

1. Doesn't create a wallpaper list, but searches it on the fly.
2. Ability to search folders recursively.
3. Random as well as Sequential wallpaper shuffling. The option seed allows you to define which wallpaper you want to show. Seed can either be positive or negative number.
If you have the wallpapers Bliss001, Bliss002,..., Bliss020 and you specify the seed as 5, it will show Bliss001, Bliss006, Bliss011, Bliss16 and then back again.
4. You can specify the no of seconds, minutes, hours, days or weeks to wait before cycling the wallpaper (1 Second to 3 Weeks).
5. Double click on the tray icon changes the wallpaper.
6. Right clicking the icon, has many options such as Pausing the change.
7. Remove wallpaper (Handy if someone is knocking your door and you have set some bold wallpaper)
8. Only 64 KB
9. No install needed.

Mirror 1

Google Chrome

Posted by Nova | Wednesday, September 03, 2008

On visiting the Google homepage, I saw the link to download "Google Chrome (BETA)" - the new web browser from Google. I gave it a test drive. It imported the setting from IE7 and I was ready for my adventure.

The page viewing area offered by Google Chrome is large - thanks to the uncluttered layout. The only two bars visible are address bar and tabs. I couldn't even live without this primary necessities of browsing. I started a download and the download was saved to my default downloading folder. The downloading status bar went right to the bottom of the window. The status bar is visible only in the tab where the downloading started. Days will tell whether this is a boon or a curse. On the right side of this status bar, there is an option that shows all the downloads. The moment I clicked on it, a tab with title downloads was opened. This tab comes with a search box. I would have loved this feature if it would have searched my complete download's directory but it didn't. It only searches the files downloaded through chrome.

I haven't tried many sites yet but I found the pages were rendered pretty quickly. The address bar searches the pages browsed previously. The New Tab shows the most visited tabs and the recently closed tabs. The New Tab comes with a search box for history. The search boxes found everywhere proves that this product is from Google. These were the first fifteen minutes experience with Chrome and I am impressed.

Yes, I am posting this through Chrome and the question in my mind is when will Chrome be out of beta!

If leaves came in physical bags

Posted by Nova | Sunday, August 17, 2008

Majority of the population is blessed to have leaves. Students know it as vacations (summer vacations, winter vacations, etc) while the working generation avail earned leaves (popularly termed as paid leaves) which comes with many ifs and buts. Earned leaves come in a virtual basket. People are aware about the amount of leaves they are entitled to and can take them at will (though at times there are ifs and buts here as well).

Now, if leaves came in some physical bags and people are given their leaves in bags, can you think about the chaos it can create. Imagine an organisation A gave its employees their share of leaves and while they are happily calculating on how they can spend it, a mob comes and robs them off. News channel would start flashing "Breaking News - Employees of Organisation A robbed, no leaves this year".

Now, imagine a newly married couple have left for their honeymoon. A wicked person comes in and robs leaves from either of them. This causes the couple to split, one is at honeymoon and the other back at work. And if both of them are robbed, both are back to work. Now someone asks them "Hey, how was your honeymoon?" and the reply is "Sad. We were looted."

Now, students enjoy some massive holidays (somewhere around 3 months). Now lets imagine students from a college A loot holidays from student's of college B, C and D. College A will remain close through out the year while students from colleges B, C and D will starve for leaves.

It can be fun, just imagine some scenario's and do comment in here.

Technology vs Intentions

Posted by Nova | Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Saturday evening, I visited one of my friend's cyber cafe. I showed off my new Nokia N78. He added that he has pampered himself with Nokia E62. Started boasting about the features and added the best thing is that it doesn't have a camera hence he can take it to office. Due to security concerns, some organisations do not allow handsets with camera.

Some people have misused technology to leak confidential information. What would be the percentage of such people - less than a percent. But the discomfort has to be bourne by all.

But the question that arises here is who was wrong - the camera enabled handset or that person's intentions. Technology can never be wrong as it is a boon to ease our life. The inventor/innovator had created the device for good use but some people misuse it and the majority gets deprived of the vast number of benefits that can be reaped from technology.

For some time, let us imagine that camera enabled handsets do not exist. If someone wanted to do data-theft, could have easily used some other means; example - the most commonly practiced malpractices during exams.

This does show that technology was not guilty but merely a scapegoat. The other thing that comes into light is that human mind keeps on finding ways. "Necessity is the mother of all inventions/innovations."

My Friend's PC Doctored

Posted by Nova | Saturday, August 09, 2008

Since some time my friend was complaining that his keyboard was not working. He was lucky enough that he had not set a login password. He was passing his time playing Rise of Nations - Thrones and Patriots. A few days later he purchased a PS2 to USB connector and was able to use his keyboard. But sadly, the USB devices enabled at boot-up setting was set to false and hence he could not enter his BIOS as his keyboard was recognised only after the OS booted up.

To make things more annoying, his Windows XP installation had gone crazy. The sound was cracking hence no music.

I came in to his rescue. I downloaded the latest BIOS for his motherboard (ASUS A8N-VM). I tried installing the Asus update utility but it threw an error "No Asus Motherboard found".

I created a bootable CD with AFU2DOS and added the updated BIOS in it as well. The first boot device was hard disk drive followed by CD/DVD ROM. I could not boot from the CD unless the hard disk drive was unplugged. I asked my friend to unplug his Hard Disk Drive. I started his computer and inserted the bootable CD. The computer booted from the CD, but his keyboard was not working in DOS mode and hence I could not update his BIOS.

My friend wanted to use Windows Vista so I planned to install Windows Vista and then upgrade the BIOS. I restarted Windows XP and started the Windows Vista installation from there. The installation had almost completed. It was asking for user name and password. I entered the Username, kept the password blank and was selecting a wallpaper when the screen went blank. After around ten seconds, the login screen was displayed with the name "Other User". I clicked on "Other User". It then asked for the username and password. I provided it with the username and kept the password field empty but I was not able to login.

I restarted his computer. The dual boot options were displayed but I could not navigate through it as the keyboard was not detected. Vista booted up but I was not able to login. I was not able to start a fresh installation as the first boot device was his Hard Disk Drive and then the CD/DVD-ROM.

I started laughing at my friend. He was helpless. I said this is what happens when you don't listen to the Nova. Tech loves Nova and it will fight for me. Flashback: Last weekend, when I had visited him, he was busy playing Prince of Persia. I wanted to go out and do some stress-busting but this friend of mine was not ready to budge. He made me wait for roughly 45 minutes as he was not getting the in-game save point. Back to present.

After some mockery, I planned to reset his motherboard settings. I was aware about the consequences but that was the only option visible to me at that time. I cleared the settings and started his computer once again. POST (Power On Self Test) was successful followed by an error message "System Halted! System Intruded!. Press F1 to use the default settings and DEL to enter BIOS". I did think that after resetting his motherboard settings, his USB keyboard should have been detected at start-up but it didn't happen. Serious trouble. I knew what had to be done next but was not able to do it. Completely helpless.

After fiddling with the motherboard manual and the motherboard for some ten minutes. I didn't do anything new other than resetting the settings once more. I thought about giving some additional power to the keyboard and connect it to the PS/2 port. But then decided on something else. My friend thought about connecting the keyboard back to the PS/2 port and he did that.

I started his computer once again. WOOT! The keyboard was working. I quickly entered the BIOS and changed some settings viz; Enabled USB devices at boot-up and set the first boot device to CD/DVD ROM followed by Hard Disk. I saved the settings and booted from CD. The DOS prompt was waiting for my command. I typed "afu2dos /iAsus.rom" and hit enter. The old BIOS was cleared and the updated BIOS was flashed. Restarted the computer and changed the settings as it was done previously.

In the Dual-boot option, I selected Windows XP. All the drivers were reinstalled automatically. The sound had stopped cracking and everything now seems to be OK. I wanted to go out and we left for some stress busting.

Vanillas can never be recovered

Posted by Nova | Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Vanilla - The first thing one can remember is an ice-cream which is as white as snow. One can consider it to be an ice-cream in its purest form. A new scoop is created on adding essence. But the vanilla is lost.

In 1337 terms, a fresh installation is called as a vanilla install. No mods and no tweaks but just the Out Of Box Experience. You install some other software or mods and the installation is diluted.

Time is a finite entity which once passes cannot be fetched back. People quite often say that "Time is the best thing one can offer as it cannot be returned back."

But this ain't that simple. What's the use of time spent with someone if it is not a vanilla. It would be a vanilla if and only if one gives complete attention for the entire time spent with that someone.

The reason why I am considering the combination of Time and Attention as a vanilla because this combination is the purest as there isn't any dilution. If there is some dilution, either of time or attention is missing.

So, its time to redefine the often said quote to "Time and attention is the best on offer because this vanilla can never be recovered."

Welcome back

Posted by Nova | Thursday, July 31, 2008

Life's been a bit busy these days. Did not find enough time to post frequently. Was this the reality? I think no. It was hardly raining here and there wasn't enough electricity being generated. The only option left was "Load Shedding". The impact - my tech routine was impacted (read messed up).

It is now raining since some time now and it should get the things in place and posts in space.

Tech and Nova

Posted by Nova | Thursday, July 03, 2008

Technology has driven me since quite some time now. I just can't imagine what I would have done without it. I had asked my cousin Salman to create a wallpaper for me. And he did put my thoughts in an artistic way. Yeah, I am talking about the picture you can see right here.

The Green background depicts the "Go Green" revolution in the Technology field (energy efficient processors and all those thingies).

Hello all

Posted by Nova | Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A warm welcome, rather a wet welcome (its raining out here). Soon it would start raining posts at nerdweed as well.

I was thinking about blogging since quite some time now but it always got delayed. Things get delayed either when one has no idea or many ideas. The latter is true in my case (or atleast I trust it to be that way).

How did this finally start? Yesterday, a friend of mine asked me for my help. My friend wanted to start blogging and I was blank (as blank as my exam answer papers are to the examiner and the question papers to me).

Today morning, I visited blogspot and saw the 1, 2 and 3 there and finally started this. It can't get simpler but surely it would keep getting better. I am starting at bottom, so the only way to expand is skywards.

It took so long to start and now I am going on and on (listening to Celine Dion so my Heart is going on and on). But, why do I have to end it. I have just started.