Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Internet Explorer goes tabbed, finally!!!

Microsoft released the beta version of Internet Explorer 7 which finally includes the tab feature. It also has a nice snapshot of all the browser tabs in one window. I have been using it for the last 1 week. I have noticed that it takes significantly longer for pages to load when multiple tabs are open as opposed to those pages loading quicker in other browsers. It may be a minor glitch and hopefully will get addressed soon.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Da Vinci Puzzle

Here is our chance to play Robert Langdon, albeit briefly. Sony, in partnership with google, have come up with a contest where we need to solve a set number of puzzles at the end of which we may be able to win certain prizes. The puzzles are certainly interesting and as you solve each puzzle, you will have to answer a question before you can move on to next one. There is always google search to help you out if you are struggling with any of the questions. Its good fun. Enjoy it. Click on the image above to get started.

BTW, the contest is only open to people residing in US, UK and Australia.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Amazing Nusrat

I have been listening to a lot of Nusrat's music off late. It's a very sublime experience and invokes all pent up feelings. His voice may not hold up very favourably when compared with other singers like Rafi, Kishore Kumar or Udit Narayan. Nusrat's voice is very coarse and at times sounds quite rough. But his ability to mould a song and make it his own is beyond words. I have been a fan of his for quite some time. With frequent listening, I am appreciating his songs even more these days. You must truly appreciate a singer if the viewer is able to forget some one as stunning as Lisa Ray appearing on screen and just drown in the voice being played. I have included a few songs of his in my player. Feel free to listen to the music and enjoy the experience.

"Nusrat's music invites us to eavesdrop on a man communing with his God, ever so eloquently. He makes the act of singing a passionate offering to God. But we do not merely eavesdrop. The deepest part of Nusrat's magic lies in the fact that he is able to bring our hearts to resonate with the music, so deeply, that we ourselves become full partners in that offering. He sings to God, and by listening, we also sing to God."

A fans observation (source: wikipedia)

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Who uses mozilla?

Since I started tracking users visiting my blog, I have noticed a strange pattern. Most of the users use IE browser. This despite strong push from the opensource community to embrace other browsers like Mozilla and Opera. I personally prefer Opera as I feel it starts up faster and works better with most websites than Mozilla. Even then, I would rather have people using Mozilla than IE. With that in mind, I signed up for Adsense and dutifully put up a button for Mozilla in my blog. One hope was that this would make more people tempted to try Mozilla. The hidden agenda being me making a few bucks in that process. But blog visitors seem to think otherwise. They dutifully avoid anything to do with the adverts or Mozilla. Wish Google was doing something to promote Opera as well. Hopefully, they will do it someday.

Also, having used all three browsers, I still cant understand why most people would stick to IE? I also cant understand the reluctance of Microsoft people to not incorporate the tabbed window feature in their browser? Another source of irritation is the fact that windows update can only be performed through IE and not any other browser.

Are there any more issues regarding IE that bothers users? Feel free to comment here.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Watching Indian Idol

I have been following season 2 of Indian Idol fairly regularly and as it is nearing completion, I am also feeling quite thankful that another show celebrating mediocrity is coming to an end. It wasn't always like this. There are some exceptional singers like Karunya and Amey but as for the rest, they are just incredibly lucky to have made it this far. The judges panel comprise of Sonu Nigam, Anu Malik and Farah Khan. Definitely an elite trio. Of the three, Sonu Nigam is definitely the better judge, being able to clearly present a thought and criticise with clarity without going overboard. As for the other two, its just painful watching them engage in verbal battle and making a fool of themselves. There were 12 singers who made it to the gala round (shortlisted by the judges). Only 4 of them (Karunya, Amey, Monali and Neha) could actually sing befitting the stage provided to them. As each round progresses, one more singer is voted out based on the votes they dont receive. It becomes very clear how regionalism plays a big part and clouds one's judgement. Sonu Nigam constantly keeps harping about how the best candidate should get the vote irrespective of the region they come from but all in vain.

Also, Sony TV has commercialised it so heavily that more than hearing the singers sing, you see the show's hosts listing out how well dressed the participants are (thanks to some brand) and how delicious eating pizza at pizza hut would be and so on and so forth. The program meant to run for 1 hour features ads and ad related talk for at least 20 minutes and each participant just gets to sing for a couple of minutes. Though primarily meant to judge the participants singing capabilities, they end dancing too on stage resulting in hilarious moments for the viewer. Not sure if that was the intention. Well, no one is expecting Prabhu Deva at his best here but atleast they should perform better than Rajnikanth at his worst.

I was watching American Idol and I was really taken over the quality of the contestants taking part and how very professional and proficient they were at singing. Indian Idol pales very much in comparison to its American counterpart.

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

'Could have been great' movie experience

After an exhausting cricket session, I sat down to watch Constant Gardener starring Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes. Tackling a pretty heavy subject, it focuses on the abusive attitude of pharmaceuticals and their apparent lack of regard for the life of people from third world countries. Though intellectually stimulating, it fails to strike an emotional chord. Rachel is a firecracker and she lights up the screen every time she appears on it (albeit for only the first 30 minutes, but leaves a lasting impact). Ralph plays the role as necessitated by the script but that hampers the impact his character would have left otherwise and ends up being dull. This movie, though technically an emotional thriller, is quite slow and feels a little drawn out. Its worth a watch on DVD (as I did) and the exceptional portrayal by Rachel makes it worth while.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Opposing views

Give me blood and I shall give you freedom

Subhash Chandra Bose
Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary
Mahatma Gandhi.

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Test of patience

I never realised that working with IBM software could be so dreadful. I recently mentioned my experience about my struggles with Rational Software Architect (RSA). Continuing on that, here are my further travails. Well, I thought I must have done something wrong during the installation process and hence bravely decided to give it a go again. Did a complete uninstallation which took nearly half a day. Then, proceeded with the installation of RSA version 6.0. Once that was done, I had to install a fixpack which was a download from IBM site (size: 2 GB, can you believe that). Why would they have a fix nearly as big as the software itself? How buggy could their software be? Well, after enduring the download wait, I performed the fixpack installation and continued with the installation of Websphere Integration Developer required for running the processes and it comes equipped with the process test environment as well. Once that was done, I hopefully started the process test server only for it to give the same error as before. The error message in the log was "There is an error". D'uh. As if I didn't already know that. So, much for the log files being helpful. The general opinion that I have gathered from other people about IBM software is that they are exceptional when it comes to performing the required operation, but to get to that stage, well, you will probably never get there. Hmm..

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