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Showing posts from November, 2010

On my favourite music

With one post on what I dislike, I think it is time for a post on what I like.And I've often wondered, how did it all start?
Who found out that nothing could capture a heart
Like a melody can?
Well, whoever it was, I'm a fanruns an ABBA song. Right on track. Music is wonderful. It is, to me, a wonderful way of expression. It is one word that speaks straight to the heart. It makes me feel as if I'm on the top of the world. It makes us all come together and feel that we can work it out. Music is a path of discovery, one that we can pursue even in dreams. To me, music is a peaceful, easy feeling and the very spirit of man. It is the thing I like to wake up to on a Monday morning, and makes me feel alive. And let's face it, isn't it better to wake up to your favourite tune than to the sound of silence? If God could talk perhaps this would be the language that he would be speaking. There is nothing like a sad song and music never makes you feel that you are flying all a…

On why you must not even open a spam message

A spammer can embed some item that requires web access, like an image. It is very easy to embed a 1px transparent image in an email. When you open the mail, that image is accessed from his/her server.So what? you may ask. The trick is that (s)he may create a unique picture for every email that (s)he sends. This offers a easy, clean technique to find out which email ids are being used.So, just delete that message. Don't open it.Wikpedia article on Web BugsAlso, do not post your email id on the web where a harvesting bot can access itWikipedia article on email address harvesting

On Harry Potter and why I dislike the series

There could not be a better time for this post. There could not have been a worse time for this post. Now that the penultimate movie of the series is out, and my facebook wall filled with people who loved the movie. But this is something I really wanted to say, and I shall say it anyway.Harry Potter is pathetic literature.Now, you must be wondering why I say that. There are many reasons.Firstly, the storyline itself is flawed. When a writer sits down to write anything, he/she must set up some essential rules about what is happening. These rules must remain constant irrespective of how many times he/she changes his/her mind. This is so that the readers are allowed to have some sensibility in what they are reading. In the fourth book, Rowling goes ahead and kills Cedric. Then, at the end of the book, the horseless carriages are there again. Nothing special. We all knew that they are horseless. But then comes the fifth book, and BAM, the horses are actually winged beasts that only those …

On why geeks dislike IE

You hear this everytime. Everyone who is uses the internet often has his own favourite browser. And geeks have all kinds of favourites, text editors, OS, desktop environment, et cetera. But more about that later.I am narrating a story of arch-enemies that started around 1998. Microsoft bundled its crappy web browser with its relatively good OS. That meant that everyone who used the OS because it was good now used the crappy browser as well. This skewed all stats about browser usage. Suddenly, IE was the most used browser of them all.One of the prerequisites of being a geek is that you need to be prepared to kill the person who criticizes your favourite (that you are not able to do the same is another story!). So, naturally, the enmity began.Well, was IE all that bad? I don't think so. It was good to have a browser built into the OS. Moreover, IE innovated and is responsible for so many of the things that make up today's web, and which we take for granted. It was the first brow…

On stats and posting

Well, here is a post on how I write this blog.When I created this blog, it was to be as as outlet for the various things that I wish to say in the course of a day/week, but never can, because there are some things that do not make good conversation. But blogging is addictive, and soon, I was tracking page views, traffic sources and audience and getting excited about seeing the numbers rise up. So here is what the stats show.The first thing that I notice is that almost every post gets about 30 views. That would be the size of the audience that I have. Most people (~70%) use windows and about 20% use UNIX, and the remaining use a Mac. Firefox is the browser used by around 50% of people, and Chrome comes in at 42%. Not surprisingly, most of the traffic is not via facebook, where I post a link as soon as I update this blog. Of course, most people on facebook have news feeds full of farmville and other silly quizzes. Surprisingly, one referring URL is autoinsurance.any-info.net! How does t…

On the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard

This is a post that I have been meaning to write from quite some time. Long hours spent typing code on my computer left my hands fatigued, and left me with a lot of pain in my wrists and fingers. That is when I decided to use the Dvorak.
But I have got the same bad habit as Dr. Watson, to tell a story backwards. Of course, you must be wondering what the Dvorak is.
The story of keyboards starts with the invention of the typewriter. Christopher Sholes, the inventor of the typewriter, tried with a two row piano style keyboard. But then, he got into many difficulties with the design. Then he finally settled for a four row design. This was similar to the QWERTY layout that most computers and typewriters today possess. The engineers at Remington, to whom Sholes had presented his design modified the layout a little further, and then the QWERTY was born.
As typewriters became popular, people got used to the layout, and started practising touch typing, i.e. typing without looking at the keys. And…