Sweet new Android Theme for Gmail

Gmail has rolled out some kewl new themes and I just love the new Android **theme. You can set it by clicking on **Settings -> Themes -> Android in your Gmail account. This is how it looks like:

Also, if you love Google Chrome Web Browser just as much as I do, then you can use a similar theme called Robot Theme for Chrome This is how the combo would look like:

PS: The Robot theme for Chrome was introduced to me by my friend, Venkata Aditya Korada.

Using Dropbox to sync your Program Code

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Recently there was an amazing offer from the very famous file syncing service, Dropbox. The offer was that any student who registers for a Dropbox account with a valid “.edu” ID would be eligible for an extra complimentary space of 500MB (to the default 2GB) for every reference (Usually it is 250MB, but for .edu registrations, it’s 500MB). That sounded exciting and I started referring my friends. I successfully could make around 12GB of space. And the best part about it is that it’s absolutely free.

Microsoft SkyDrive offers 25GB of space with every Live ID. But there are no good file syncing clients for SkyDrive. There is a below average client called SkyDrive Explorer, I stopped using it after using it for a year. Same is the case with Windows Live Mesh. So I decided to try Dropbox.

I’ve been using Dropbox a lot lately and in the course, I discovered a new use case for it. Using Dropbox to sync your program code. Let’s say that you have setup your Java/PHP/C# project folder in Dropbox. Now whatever code you write, gets synced with your online Dropbox account automatically. When you use another system, all you need to do is login to your Dropbox account and download the folder Or even better, if you have Dropbox installed on the other system, login to that and everything will be synced automatically. If you make changes to your code on that system, the files will be synced and when you login from your laptop, you will have the latest files ready for editing. How cool is that? If you use Dropbox for any such useful purposes let me know via comments.

Operating Systems & their default Browsers

Testing various Operating Systems has always been something that I enjoyed. This enjoyment of mine led me to install and test Operating Systems such as Mac OS X 10.6.2, Chromium OS, Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx (Will be trying out Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat soon) and ofcourse my favorite Windows 7. Oh, and all these Operating Systems are installed on my Laptop (Dell Vostro 1320). I have taken the screenshots of all the installed Operating Systems on my laptop along with their default web browsers.

[1] Mac OS X 10.6.2 w/ Apple Safari

[2] Ubuntu 10.04 w/ Firefox

[3] Chromium OS 4 w/ Google Chrome

[4] Windows 7 w/ Internet Explorer

I think Windows 7 + Firefox/Chrome would be the perfect for any user. Safari is only fit for iPhone. As a browser for a non-mobile based OS, I think it sucks big time. It is neat. But not good enough. Internet Explorer comes with with each of its new releases. But within no time attackers add it to the sucking-browsers-list by finding and exploiting all kinds of vulnerabilities. Next comes Firefox. Firefox is slow, a bit heavy on the resources. But its extensibility is what makes it stand out. It is definitely better than IE and Safari, but definitely not the ideal browser. Chrome : Web-Browsers :: Ferrari : Sports-Cars Initially when Chrome was launched, I hated it. With its release of version 2.0, I started loving it. It is sleek, steady and owned by Google :D. Chrome is a rock solid web browser which is extensible. Its almost Godlike functionality is what appeals the most. I have a post about Web Browsers lined up where I will discuss about the various web browsers available and also throw some light on becoming a Power User.

The Social Network (2010)

After a long enthusiastic wait, day before yesterday I got a chance to watch the movie – “The Social Network”. I loved the movie. Of course not everyone who came along with me loved it. In fact, a friend of mine even slept in the theater itself with a loud snore. It always is a pleasure to watch movies about geeks. I loved every single aspect of the film. The background score blended well. So did the actors. The dialogues in the movie were quite impressive. Now that I’ve seen the movie, I wish I were in Harvard or any of the other elite schools. The life there can no way be compared to the life here or any other school similar to mine. The way students think there is totally different from the way students in normal schools think. They are the 1337 of not only the student society but also the society in general. Damn me for not being in a topnotch school. I would definitely recommend you to watch the movie.

12 Things I do when I get bored

There are certain things which people do when they get bored. I have listed the things that I do when I get bored.

  1. Facebook:
      1. Open https://facebook.com
      2. Check out everyone’s activity.
      3. Think of an “Über-cool” status message.
      4. Overthink about the Über-cool status message to an extent that it sounds lame.
      5. Drop the idea and head to https://twitter.com
  2. Give World Peace a thought. (Yeah, I do that a lot :D)
  3. Make phone calls.
  4. Think about working out.
  5. Mail:
      1. Check email inbox every two minutes.
      2. Get excited to find a new email.
      3. Trash the message knowing that it’s just a spam message/newsletter/offer advertisement from Amazon/GoDaddy.com.
  6. Plan on cleaning my room.
  7. Sit outside and stare into the sky for several minutes with absolutely nothing on my mind.
  8. Take some pictures using my cellphone.
  9. Listen to music and/or watch crappy movies.
  10. Watch Natalie Tran’s videos.
  11. Reorganize my phone book.
  12. De-clutter my desktop.

Now I’m really bored and I can’t think of anything else. As a result, in an attempt to do something different I ended up successfully writing a blog.

Happy New Year 2010

Time seems to be in a hurry. Last year seems like yesterday to me. ‘Tis January 10th, 2010 already. Anyways, Happy New Year everybody.

It feels good to get back to you all after a long time. Time has been the major reason for my absence all the while. It didn’t let me write a post. To be frank I didn’t find anything worth blogging. Finally when I had the time, patience, content and the will to write a post, I got bedridden for almost a week. This post was intended to be posted on the 1st of January. I wasn’t well and hence, the delay. I always wish that life had the options to rewind and fast-forward. If I rewind myself a year back, and then just play the highlights, this would be the result.

January 2009: The saddest and most disgusting month of 2009. Lost one of my best friends Rohit Santosh and my grandpa 🙁

February 2009: Bought hosting and the domains http://blog.mohni.sh/ and http://mohnish.net The 2nd one actually came free with my hosting account 🙂

March 2009: Started working on my blog and posted my first blog post.

April 2009: Completed my final year project. Voted for the first time. Had both fun and sad moments in the last month of engineering.

May 2009: Celebrated my b’day 😉

June 2009: Got busy with Visa processing.

July 2009: Got my Visa to U.S.A.

August 2009: U.S.A had the honor of meeting me…face to face. 😛

September 2009: 1st month of education in U.S.A. Got my Dell Vostro 1320.

October 2009: Improved my culinary skills.

November 2009: Spent most of the time on Social networking websites.

December 2009: Finals, project submissions and of course…relaxation. So, that was me in 2009. I’m hoping that 2010 brings loads of excitement and happiness into my life and yours too.

Have a great year ahead.

Voted at last

The other day, I had the opportunity to vote for the first time. There are first times for everyone for many different things in life. In most of the cases people tend to get excited about doing things for the first time. I’m no exception. I was very excited about voting for the first time. I got up early, got ready and went to the polling station in our locality at 8.00 AM in the morning, thinking that there wouldn’t be anyone at that time. But when I reached the polling station I realized that everyone in our locality had exactly the same thought in their minds. It was completely full and there was a long queue in which I had to wait. I thought I had to wait at least an hour or so for my turn. And it turned out to be what I thought. I stood in the queue for an hour and it was 9.00 AM by the time I came out. I got so bored standing in the queue. I didn’t know what to do. I thought of taking some photos using my cellphone and I did so.

Project Experience

Now that my Project External is finished, I’m a free bird (well, at least for a while because I’ve my final exams starting in a few days). Project work was very hectic. Generally the coding part is done first and then the documentation part. But in my case it was entirely different. We completed the documentation part first and then we completed the coding part. Sounds strange? But that was what had exactly happened. We had no time for the coding part and the deadline for submitting the documentation of our project to the University was getting deadlier (I meant that the deadline was getting close :D. Forgive my poor S.O.H). So we had to get our documentation ready and get the printing done. The only way we could do that was to imagine how the interface of the “undeveloped” new module would look like and prepare its dummy screens. And that was what we did.

Our project was actually being developed using ASP .NET with C# and MS Access as our database. But, we developed the new screens using HTML and took screenshots of them to use in the documentation part of our project. We even implemented JavaScript alerts in these fake screens. The same JavaScript would execute each time for a new screenshot, only with the alert text changed. All the new screens were thus created and the documentation part was successfully completed. We immediately gave our soft copy for printing and got the books bound. Once all this was done, we continued with the coding part. We actually wanted to skip certain aspects of the project, but couldn’t. That was because we had already put those screenshots in the project documentation. As a result, we had to work like dogs to complete the coding part.

I worked till 3.30 AM in the morning of the day on which our final external seminar was scheduled. By then the project was complete with very minor changes left behind. I had given my pen-drive to my friend, Sravan, who in turn gave it to another friend of his. Thanks to him, I didn’t have a pen-drive to take my code to the college. So, I sent Amar, another friend of mine, an SMS asking him his pen-drive. This was the exact content of that SMS: “Dude, I need ur pen-drive. Plz get it 2 me 2mro early in da mrng…jus in case if m asleep, dn wake me up. Ok.” I worked till 3.45 AM and dozed off. I thought that Amar would wake me up early when he comes to my place to hand me over the pen-drive. With this confidence I went to bed happily. Suddenly I woke up and saw that the time was 6.25 AM. I had to develop some minor parts in the code and so I started doing that till 7.20 AM. My bus reaches my stop by 8.00 AM and I had to be there by 7.55 AM. I got ready and I asked my dad whether Amar had come. He said that he had come and given the pen-drive. Without wasting a single minute I copied my project code into it and rushed to my stop and boarded my bus. Amar too was there in the bus. I asked him why he didn’t wake me up when he had come to my place to give me his pen-drive. He said that I was the one who asked him not to wake me if I were asleep. He even showed me the message I sent him. He read the message as: “Dude, I need ur pen-drive. Plz get it 2 me 2mro early in da mrng…jus in case if m asleep, ‘DONT’ wake me up. Ok.” He thought by “dn” I meant “dont”. Knowing that, I started laughing out loud because by “dn”, I actually meant “then”.

All this ended in a while and the journey to my college relieved me a bit. Everything went fine. I reached my college, met my team-mates and went straight to the seminar lab to show the latest module to my team-mates. I copied the contents of the pen-drive onto my college PC and started executing the code. To my utter shock, the code didn’t behave the way it did on my home PC. A lot of changes that I made to the code went missing. After a little amount of panic I realized that I had accidentally copied the wrong code onto the pen-drive. HOLY SHIT!!! This was the only thing that was running through my mind at that time. I felt like kicking my own ass. There was nothing I could do nor could my team-mates. We, in a jiffy, made some minor changes to hide the flaws in the code.

We really hoped that the external examiner would not find out those flaws. The ultimate time had come. It was our turn to present the project to the external examiner. Our seminar started and lasted for 45 minutes and everything went smooth. The external examiner didn’t notice the flaws. In turn, he liked our project and praised us. Once the seminar ended, we all felt relieved and I was very excited about it. Overall it was a memorable experience and I had learnt my lesson.

Things I learnt:

  • Never delay project work.
  • Never send ambiguous messages.

Internet Explorer 8, a review

Now that the latest version of one of the most bashed-up (Yet, the most popular) Microsoft products is out, the bashers can’t wait to get their hands on this new baby. But believe me, I tested it and I can confidently say that they will have a tough time bashing up IE8. Coming to the review, Microsoft seems to have developed IE8 as an answer to all those web developers who hate IE for its noncompliance towards the W3C standards. Now let me start off with the some of the most important features that are “visible” to the average user.

Feature 1: The Speed Microsoft has drastically increased the speed of IE8 since its previous version 7. If you have used IE7, you will definitely notice a drastic change in the speed of IE8. This is probably the first thing that an average user would notice apart from the interface. The rendering times of some heavy sites like Wikipedia, Orkut, Microsoft etc seems to have reduced. IE8 seems to be in a fair contention with Opera 9, Firefox 3 and Chrome 2 in case of Speed.

Feature 2: New “New Tab”
The new “New Tab” (Type “about:Tabs” in the address bar of IE8 to access it) when opened has some useful options. Some of them are: Reopen Closed Tabs:
At last, one of the features that I always wanted in IE, reopening closed tabs. IE8 has this feature embedded in it. One can use this feature by simply opening a blank new tab and then clicking on the “Reopen Closed Tabs” link available to the top left corner of the tabbed page. This shows a drop-down list of all the tabs that have been closed in the current session.

InPrivate Browsing: This is an all new feature implemented in IE8. This feature allows the users to open a new “InPrivate” window where the users can browse websites, at the same time having a control over the browsing history, cookies and other data. This mode helps web developers and those interested in watching p0rn! 😉

Accelerator: This option has features such as showing text available on the clipboard, Blogging, Mapping, Searching etc. This can also be accessed by selecting some text and then clicking on the small square icon that appears.

Feature 3:Developer Tools IE8’s answer to Firefox’s plugins “Firebug” and “Web Developer Tools”. This is a very useful feature for the web developers. I found it worthy.

Feature 4: Colored Tabs or Group Tabs Another nice feature added to IE8 is the “Colored Tabs” feature. This feature is a lot useful when you open a lot of pages in tabs and you don’t understand which link was opened from which page. Thanks to this new feature, IE8 groups links opened in tabs from one page in one color. Similarly tabs of each group are grouped with a single color showing that the tabs belong to that group.

Feature 5: Close All or Current Tab When a person browsing multiple tabs accidentally clicks on the close button of the IE window to close the current tab, the previous version of IE would just prompt the user that there are multiple tabs open and whether the user would like to continue by closing all of them or cancel the operation. This is not the case in IE8. IE8 provides a neat dialog asking the user whether to close the current tab or all the tabs.

Feature 6: Compatibility View This is a beautiful feature added to IE8 to make it work better with the websites that have been designed for the previous versions of IE (which were not standards compliant at all). The tooltip in the following image explains the purpose better.

Feature 7: **Caret Browsing ** This feature allows the users to access the webpage textual content using keyboard by inserting a cursor in the webpage which can be moved by using the arrow keys on the keyboard.

Feature 8: Crash Recovery One of the most important new features of IE8 is crash recovery. IE8 has the capability to restore the previous session when the crash occurred.

Feature 9: Delete Browsing History on Exit This feature is similar to the ones that are available in Firefox and Opera. The name says it all. The option is available in Tools >> Internet Options >> Browsing History (Group)

Now that I have discussed all the major new features of IE8, let me throw some light on the way the memory is being consumed by IE8. IE8 divides itself into several instances in order to divide the load on the browser to maintain stability. The following image shows how IE8 divides itself into 5 processes when 5 tabs are open. This is not a direct proportion. I tested it with 12 tabs and IE8 had 6 processes running. So, this is just to maintain stability and the number of processes that are created is not in direct proportion to the number of opened tabs.

Finally, I would like to conclude this review by saying that IE8 is no more noncompliant with the W3C standards. This is definitely a recommended download for all. The support for more number of plugins to IE8 has made it even more flexible.

Rating:

  • Features: 3/5
  • Performance: 3/5
  • Interface: 4/5
  • Stability: 3/5

Overall: 3/5

Numero Uno

Hello! My first blog post.
At last I have successfully set up my blog after a lot of hard work. I had to tweak the template a lot to get the blog look like what I wanted it to look like. Thanks to WampServer, I could test it almost thoroughly. If you have anything to say about any post, then don’t hesitate to leave a comment. There are some minor changes that I need to make to the blog. So, I need to work a bit more on the blog. Right now I’m not gifted with such an amount of time. Maybe I will find time in the near future. Anyways come back if you like my blog.