Happy New Year 2012

Bill Gates (B): Okay. So, shall we begin?

Me (MT): Yeah. Sure.

B: So, what’s the reason behind this sudden blog post?

MT: Sudden? pfft…It’s New Year. So, this is my customary post. Of course, since nobody visits my blog, it’s not a surprise that you don’t know about it. Anyhow, moving on…

B: Then why don’t you blog more frequently?

MT: There are two reasons for that:

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CareerTrackr v0.4

I have been actively looking for jobs since the past few days and I couldn’t find an efficient way to properly keep track of all the jobs I’ve applied and the resumes I’ve used for each of the jobs. I tried using some applications but in vain. None of them suited my needs. I even tried using Dropbox to keep track of all the resumes and the job applications. Even that didn’t go well. All of these had their own problems. I needed a powerful and robust solution.

As a result, I developed a new Web Application as a weekend hack, which does exactly what I need, keeps track of all the jobs that I’ve applied to along with the respective resumes. It’s called “CareerTrackr”. I don’t even know if the name is apt to the product that I’ve developed. The only thing that matters to me at the moment is its functionality. A lot of my effort went into designing the interface for the application. As always, I believe in a good UI/UX.

Currently the project is not open to the public. I am testing the project on my own. If I find any bugs (which I am eventually bound to), I’ll fix them and then open it up to the public. Also, I will Open Source the code once I am done with the testing. Once the project is full-fledged, I will post the link and the screenshots. If that sounds interesting to you, wait for my next post on CareerTrackr.

Latest updates

WordPress: First off, let me start off with WordPress. WordPress never fails to impress me after launching new versions of its blogging platform. WordPress 3.2 seems to be heavily loaded with awesome. This seems to be a terrific upgrade from the previous versions. There are loads of new features included in the upgrade.

  • The new Twenty Eleven WordPress theme (which is currently on my blog)
  • Lighter on the resources
  • Newly designed dashboard
  • The best part of the update: Zen mode for distraction free post writing.

**Google: **Google seems to be going crazy with the release of its new products like Google+, Google Music, WDYL etc. Google also launched 2 new versions of their new Gmail interface. Believe me, they look really clean, simple, minimalist and amazing.

Facebook: Facebook launched its Video Calling feature yesterday along with other updates such as Group Chat and newly designed chat interface. The Video Calling feature seems to be activated but the Group Chat feature doesn’t seem to be. On a lighter note, there has been an image doing rounds on Google+. I really am a huge fan of Facebook and I really don’t appreciate the image. But the image makes me really LOL. Just look at the “f” flip when the girl gets slapped. 😀

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Google+

Google at last had launched its new suite of social tools, Google+, yesterday. I think it’s a great move from Google. I’ve actually been waiting since a long time for this to happen. It was rumored that this suite would be named something like “Google Circles” or “Google Me”. Google had its recent failures by introducing products like Google Wave, Google Buzz, +1 etc. Buzz was supposed to be Google’s answer to Facebook but it didn’t manage to even get proper public attention. Apart from Google+, Google seems to have revamped their Web Search interface (which sucks btw. Come on Google, seriously, a black toolbar with white shadows?), a new widget in Gmail that displays information about the person mailing you and some sweet shortcuts, a floating options menu in Gmail and of course, WDYL.com (What Do You Love). Google seems to be trying very hard to get into the game. I like this kind of competition among the top companies. It forcibly creates a need for creativity, speaking of which, I think you should check out the tour and the videos Google has set up on their Google+ website. Let’s see what Facebook has lined up for us.

My trip to India (Dec 2010 – Jan 2011)

It has been 24 days (already) since I’ve returned to India for my vacation and I am totally enjoying my stay here. It’s been awesome all the while. I met all my friends (School, Intermediate, Engineering and WKU of course) and some of my relatives. I had my favorite Chicken Biryani, Chicken 65 and many other foods which are part of the Indian Cuisine. I had been to almost all the places I love here. I may have put on some weight but I seriously doubt it.

There are two things though which bug me here – the pollution and the Internet speed. Both suck big time. Apart from these, everything is beautiful. I am feeling bad coz I’ve to go back to the US very soon. I do like my place back in the US, Bowling Green (Kentucky), but home is always much more fun. The festivals here are the best part. They are very lively, colorful and festive.

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Happy New Year 2011

Happy New Year!? Observe the above line carefully. Did you? Good.
I was just trying to play with your attention 😀

Anyways, guys how was your 2010? I hope it was great. Mine was good. Not great. Good. I have learnt practically many things in life in 2010. I am thankful to 2010 for that. I learned that I should not depend on anyone for anything. Do my work myself. And most importantly, not to plan stuff. Planning stuff ruins everything. (In my case) But on an honest note, **FUCK YOU **2010. You literally messed my life up. Absolutely zero productivity, one messed-up head and two B’s to my GPA.

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Be an efficient Shopper this Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving coming up, I am sure most of you out there are desperately waiting for some really good deals. I have come up with an efficient way to shop this thanksgiving. As a matter of fact, this will make your lives much easier, not just for shopping this thanksgiving, but for shopping online in general. First off, you need the Firefox browser. If you don’t have it, install it. If you already have it, use it. Next, you need to install these two Firefox Addons.

In case you don’t know, Add-ons are extensions developed for your browser. They extend your browser’s features/capabilities making it more powerful, useful and efficient. For example, Adblock Plus is by far the most efficient add-on for Firefox. It blocks away the annoying advertisements from all the websites you visit. There are extensions even available for Google Chrome (I will come back to that later). Once you open on the links provided above, you need to click on the “Add to Firefox” button.

Once you click that, you get a dialog.

Click on “Install Now”. Now, Firefox will go ahead and install the add-on. Firefox then prompts you to restart your browser. Go ahead, restart it. When your browser fires up, you are fully armed. Now all you have to do is search for what you want. These add-ons will do the rest. They show you better alternatives available for the product you are viewing.

The product in the image was actually sent to me by my roommate asking me to review it. I just searched for it in amazon and the add-ons did the magic for me. In this particular case Invisible Hand did a poor job, but PriceBlink came to the rescue. As a result, the price of the product came from $101.00 to $29.95 + Free Shipping. These add-ons work on all the major shopping websites and search engines. So go ahead and have fun shopping online. And yeah, I almost forgot, don’t forget to gift me the best you can this thanksgiving 😛 Happy Shopping. Happy Thanksgiving. Tip: Extensions for Google Chrome can be found here: https://chrome.google.com/extensions

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 and 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

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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.

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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.

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Review: Internet Explorer 8

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.

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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.