Daily Musings

Archive for the ‘Random scribbling’ Category

I haven’t been able to write since long. This has mostly been due to the fact that I moved to other platforms to write out my rants. Also, I experienced a huge change in my life in this absence…I got married 🙂

Life was moving steadily since then..until I decided to switch my job and that I did in April this year. Along with job change came the decision to move out of my hometown (Lucknow) to Mohali. And hence started my new journey..here I am in Mohali.

I came here alone. Had to manage all things by myself including the usual household chores. During this time I even learnt how to cook (not that I was illiterate earlier; but still I learnt something I had not done before). Over the past six months I learnt and cooked a lot of dishes. Some were good, some just okay and some were really bad. Will try to upload some pics some time later. I developed a habit of taking photographs of the food I cooked and sending them over to my wife.

Then, in August 2011, I fulfilled my long-cherished dream of buying a touch-based mobile phone in the form of Samsung’s Galaxy Ace. Actually, I didn’t buy it but rather it was gifted to me. All in all its a decent phone for its price but there are better options available too. I wanted to get LG’s Optimus One but none of the shopkeepers had it and everyone pushed for a Samsung phone (Galaxy Fit). I settled for Galaxy Ace because of its better configuration. Its been 2 and a half months now and it works fine. The only place where it lacks is its internal memory. It is a paltry ~200 MB considering the fact that all the apps are installed on internal memory by default. It took me a hack to get it to install apps on the memory card but still it would have been better if it had more internal memory (because the app data still get stored on internal memory) or if it had an inbuilt option to store applications on memory card. I know there is a hack available which enables the phone to install the apps on the memory card along with their data but it requires us to ‘ROOT’ the phone which essentially voids the warranty.

One fine day, I installed an app on my phone which inspired me to think of developing apps for Android platform. After much research and downloads, I was able to develop a Hello World! app and was able to run it successfully on my phone. After that I started work on a full fledged app. I have completed the app today and will write another post describing the app and provide a download link for it too.

After the Diwali celebrations at home, I got back to Mohali with my wife 🙂 and so now I am relieved from the work of cooking although I do try to help her whenever possible.

This was a very brief description of the changes that I have experienced over time (mostly while I was absent from this platform). I am looking forward to staying in touch more often now.


Then, there were days when MTV was an acronym for Music Television. Come the age of Reality TV, and the ‘MUSIC’ element of MTV is no where to be seen. The channel is loaded with loads of programs based on ‘Reality’ which is meant to evoke people’s senses and thereby increase its TRP.

Initially I used to enjoy the show ‘Roadies’. Now I don’t.. And this change is due to the overdose. More amount of drama has been thrown into it. Then there are shows which give us more insight into the lives of Roadies and the making of the show. Who needs all this ‘awe-inspiring’ insight for that matter? I don’t, for sure.

It would have been OK if it was just Roadies, but now there’s a whole new breed of Reality-based programs thrown in. Whenever I switch to MTV, hoping to find some good music playing there…I am disappointed to find yet another show of some ‘Fast N Gorgeous’ or ‘SplitsVilla’ or the ‘Teen Diva’.

In a way, its not MTV’s fault, after all they show it because people like such shows which evident from the fact that every other channel is showing atleast one Reality-based show.

Anyways, this has made me move away farther from TV…Yes, Internet is my saviour.

Alas! The Block-bug has bitten our System Administrator finally.. and so, we are left with no ‘Socializing’ options. All of the social-networking websites have been blocked at my work place. No Orkut, No Facebook. It’s been a tough time for us since then 😦

Initially, I felt it would be very hard to survive, but as the time passed (2-3 days), I have been able to settle down and have read the wrinting on the wall – NO ORKUT. It’s not that difficult after all, because as it is, I was increasingly getting disenchanted by this social-interaction thing anyways.

The good part is that GMail has been spared the hammer and we are allowed to access our beloved email service. This can partly b attributed to the fact that GMail has the word ‘google’ in its domain name, which could, in turn, not be blocked for obvious reasons. For long, GMail has been the main interaction tool for me and many others like me. It’s inbuilt chat feature allows instant chat which is more than we could ask for. Most of the mail services are allowed, so there won’t be a problem for others too.

Still, it remains to be seen how effective this is going to be and how the efficiency increases in our work-place. As for other people, some have even found out ways to bypass the blockings, to access the social networking site of their choice.

It has almost been a fortnight since my last writeup, which was due to the fact that I was too busy to write. A few dinner parties, loads of work in office and yes! the blog site too has been blocked :(. Also, I didn’t have much to write. Lastly, I forgot to write about the winner of the IPL2; its Deccan Chargers this time, the minnows of last year have risen to the occasion and have left everyone else biting the dust. Kudos to them…

Just read the news of Rajasthan Royals from IPL2 after having blast of a season last year and their event-full winning of the championship. This time around, they didn’t seem to be in their earlier form and lost a match every-now-and-then, which was in strike contrast to last year when they didn’t loose a single match.

Still I think they played well enough. Even Shane Warne had this to say after losing their deciding match: “We played Great Cricket.”

There has been sudden change in fortunes of Kolkata Knight Riders, who, after loosing almost all of their matches, were able to spring two surprises. One was their game with Chennai Super Kings, where they beat them Hands-down while chasing a massive score of 188. The second game was this one, where they were able to shatter the IPL dreams of Rajasthan Royals. Although this ain’t going to get them through to semi-finals, yet they spoiled the party of Rajasthan Royals.

Cricket has always been a strange game with strange outcomes; IPL2 surely is one such example of the same. Lets see who’s the champ this time.

After Day one, I was ready to install and softwares and start using the OS. As my system’s configuration ain’t enough for all the eye-candy of Windows 7, I settled for the Windows 7-on-diet. Here’s the look of my desktop.

My Windows 7 Desktop

My Windows 7 Desktop

I even tried to change the theme (there are laods of of them), but only the desktop background changed and rest remained the same. This happened because of the scarcity of the resources, out of which, main problem was very less physical memory.

Now comes the interesting part… I downloaded and installed latest versions of the regular softwares I use. As of now, none of them have a version for Windows 7 (quite rightly so, because the OS has not released as yet). The regular versions for Xp/Vista worked fine with Windows 7 and I had no problems in installing and using them.

The list of softwares that I use are: Avira AV Personal Edition, Foobar2000 (for music), uTorrent for torrent downloads, Firefox 3.5 beta 4 for browsing, Irfan View for images, 7Zip for archives, Google Talk and Yahoo Messenger. There some more softwares, which I use, and hence, will install during the course of time.

All the softwares I installed, worked perfectly. There was no problem what-so-ever. I haven’t installed Visual Studio, which I will have to, very soon, as my work depends on it. Installing and using VS would be the real challenge for the OS. Lets see whats in store for me….

My first day with Windows 7 was a mixed bag of emotions filled mostly with awe. Yes!! I was awe-struck with the look, feel and performance of Windows 7.

The good things about Windows 7 are:

  • Streamlined interface. Better navigation capabilities.
  • Automatic Performance adjustments according to user’s system configuration.
  • Very Good Looks and capability to change themes (I remember the good old days of Windows 98.)
  • Addition of Sticky Notes (Can come handy at times).

Certain problems that I faced with it were (yes..were…coz I have solved them now):

  • The sound card driver was not detected initially and I have to use the “update driver” option from “Device Manager” to get the driver. But the good thing was that the driver was detected and downloaded automatically. No manual download and installation was required from my part.
  • The other problem was with graphics. In XP, although my graphics solution was not detected, still I didn’t need to install graphics drivers seperately. Here, the OS set the graphics to be “Standard VGA”. And although this setup had set the required resolution of “1024×768” and color depth of 32bit, but the refresh rate was very low which caused a strain to my eye. And, there was no option to change the refresh rate. Then I downloaded the latest graphics drivers for windows (no drivers for windows 7 as yet) from the manufacturer’s site and tried to install it. At first, it gave an error during installation that its not meant for this version of OS. But then, it provided an option to install the software with recommended settings, and I did the same, which gave the required results i.e. the drivers were installed finally and I was able to change the refresh rate.

Below is the video of the first run of Windows 7 on my machine (Again with FM as background music :P):

I missed the bus to download the beta of Windows 7 which was available for download in January this year. But this time around, Microsoft has listened to my prayers and its Release Candidate 1 (which is available for download at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/) will be available all through July, 2009. Finally I too might get the chance to get my hands dirty with this latest installment of the ever-so-popular, our very own WINDOWS.

Now that I am talking about Windows, I wanted to say something about Vista too. Although I know that a majority of people using it, find it to be one of the worst OS to come out of MS’ stable, but I don’t hate it as much. Or, should I say, I love it. Actually, I like it a lot. This might be attributed to the fact that I didn’t face any driver-related issues which many a notebook owners face.

Also, I am happy using Vista because I readily disabled its UAC (I took gr8 pains to actually do that 😉 ) at the very instant it surfaced its ugly head. The reason of my liking might also be attributed to the fact that I liked its visual appearence a lot (until I saw the KDE 4).

One problem that really annoys me about Vista is its slow transfer speeds, between various storage mediums. All in all it has been a good experience for me (for me atleast). Last but definitely not the I would like to mention that my journey with Vista has been a pleasent one because I used it for just a
MONTH!! :P. Now, I am happily using the latest version of my fav. Linux distro.

Coming back to Windows 7, I have read many good reviews of its beta on various online forums and reputed tech-magazines. But am yet to try it out myself and man!! I can’t wait to try it – RIGHT NOW!!

P.S. I have kept my fingers crossed 🙂