Mar 062011
 

Do you see status updates in Facebook from only select few people? All the time? Do not fret, your other friends haven’t blocked you from seeing their status updates nor have they abandoned Facebook and become a monk.

Thanks to a new ‘feature’ introduced by Facebook which of course they decided to set as default.

Show posts from: Friends and pages you interact with most

This feature had led me to believe only a few of my friends were actually active on Facebook! Thanks to Reddit, I got to know about this and changed my setting to Show posts from all my friends and pages!

Here is how you can do it too!

1. In the Facebook Landing page, click on Most Recent

2. If you are in the ‘Most Recent’ page,  drop down menu will be activated next to the text which says Most Recent.

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3. Choose Edit Options

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4. Check if your setting looks like the image below Show posts from: Friends and pages you interact with most

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5. If Yes, change it to Show posts from: All of your friends and pages

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That’s it! You should now see updates form all your friends.

PS: I still do not understand how facebook decides what is top news and what is not, If you do, please let me through your comments!

Mar 052010
 

No, This is not a security hole in Outlook. It is just one of the creative ways to make use of Rules feature in outlook.

I am not sure about yours, but my computer is always connected to the internet when it is switched on. And it is switched on unless there is a power cut at my place :)

Many a times, I have felt like controlling my downloads, reset modem, shut down my comp or lock it after I realize I have kept it open. Although there are a lot of ways you can do it(see logmein, VNC, VNC on lifehacker), if all you want to do is run simple scripts or launch an application, look no further. You can set up Outlook to do the work for you.

Go to Tools –> Rules and Alerts

 

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Click on New Rule, add any rule which is convenient to you. I have chosen “Move messages  with specific words in the subject to a folder” and click next. Specify an uncommon word in your subject lines in this field  “986786374shutdown” and then when a dialog box appears asking you “What do you want to do with the message?”.

 

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Edit the rule descriptor by clicking on ‘application’. Select the application which needs to be run when you send a message with the subject line which you had set before.

if you want to run dos commands – you can create a .bat file and put you commands in that.

ex: if you want to shutdown your machine : shutdown –s –t 10

That’s it, now you can control your machine by sending email to yourself. It’s as simple as that.

I use this to start my download manager, shutdown my computer etc. Let me know what you would use it for.

Dec 302009
 

 

In these 2 months of working, I have tried to make a list of essential stuff to be kept in your cubicle. Things which have helped me a lot, and things which I think will help me in the future :-
cubicle

  1. Stationery Box : You can find them in any decent stationery store.  A box consisting of some pens, highlighters, sharpened pencils, erasers, staplers, a pair of scissors, a cutter, whitener, eraser and markers.

    Also keep a dozen of your passport photographs with you all the time. You never know when you have to fill that important form right away!

  2. Food-ware : You never know when the food ordered by your team gets delivered without a fork/spoon and plates to use them with!

    Paper plates, a stainless steel fork/spoon (plastic ones are of no use!), paper cups and a bunch of tissues will come a long way in emergencies. Not to forget toothpicks!

  3. Extra pair of clothes: There will be times when you will have to/ feel like staying back at office. So it’s always a good idea to keep a pair of clothes in your office for emergency purposes. Even if you will never have to stay back, an extra pair can come into use when you spill gravy on your shirt and have a meeting to attend or at times when you come to office fully drenched.

    Also advisable is to keep an extra pair of shoes and a jacket.

  4. Chargers: These days most phones come with a data cable which can also be used to charge them. These cables are cheaper than chargers most of the time and serve other purposes too.
    If you possess a smart phone, you can copy your documents into it and have a look at them on the go!

    If you have a very basic phone, it’s a good idea to buy a spare charger. It also helps to get an extra adaptor in case of laptops, it will reduce the weight of your backpack considerably.

  5. Dustbin: The MOST important of them all. True, these days most cubicles have one. If you don’t, stop reading this right now and buy yourself a trash can. I just can’t emphasize how important this is :)

You can also consider buying the same model of keyboard/mouse which you use in your office for your home or vice versa depending on which is more comfortable. Trust me, this alone can increase your productivity if your job involves a lot of typing/ ‘mouse work’ “ :)

What do you keep in your cubicle?

Sep 292009
 

September is the month of premieres and some season premieres. I love the season premieres of my old favorites and found some new ones which are surprising good, and one show which was surprising bad!

What’s new?

The Good Wife: This is the story of Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) who is an attorney by education turns into an attorney by Profession after her Husband, a State Attorney gets caught in a corruption and a sex scandal. A legal Drama with a tinge of family issues. Looks promising, but it’s too early to say.

Rating: 7/10

Modern Family: A Mocumentary with the tag line – One big (straight,gay,multi-cultural, traditional) happy family. The writers do have a good sense of humour. It’s very different from what normally comes on TV. The way they connect the ‘micro-families’ together is indeed brilliant. Give it a shot if you like comedy and want something different.

Rating 8/10

The Cleveland Show: Honestly, the only reason I gave this show a try is coz it’s an off shoot of Family Guy, one of all time favorite. Cleveland leaves Quahog(the Family Guy town) and plans to live in California. I am surprised Seth MacFarlane screwed it up so badly. It’s anything but funny. It was downright boring! I will still give it a second chance and see how it fares up next time. Right now, it’s a thumbs down!

Rating 3/10

Old Dog, new tricks : Season Premieres

dexter_1Dexter: Dexter is back, and it’s back with a bang. Dexter is a Family man, and I thought this would deteriorate the thrills and chills this show brings you – I was wrong! The first episode was fast paced and entertaining with a twist in the end typical of Dexter episodes. If you have not been watching Dexter, you are missing out on a lot of Entertainment.

Rating 9/10

The Big Bang Theory: The latest episode of Big Bang Theory exceeded my expectations. Lot of Chemistry between Lenard and Penny. Sheldon is at his usual best. I am surprised he didn’t win an Emmy this year! I have seen many people with a ‘I don’t get it’ look on their face after watching BBT. You will really enjoy the show if you know your high school science stuff and can relate to it. A show I truly look forward to watching every week.

Rating 8/10

How I Met Your Mother:

HIMYM is back again. I remember watching this show for hours together. I was addicted to it. The characters are really lovable and Barney is simply superb! Lily, Robin, Marshall, Ted and Barney are a treat to watch. Now that Barney is going out with Robin makes it even more interesting. A must watch.

Rating 8/10

I plan to check out more new series, I will add them to the list as I watch them. Suggest me some good tv shows which you love.

Sep 192009
 

Google’s Gtalk is a bit confusing right now. Some features which are available on the web client (read Gmail) aren’t available on the Desktop Client. You can’t be invisible and receive files from your friend!

You can’t talk to your friend and have a group chat at the same time! It’s ridiculous.

GoogleTalkLogo_1

I wonder if people use Gtalk only because it logs you on automatically when you check your mails on Gmail!

Though I like the web based client, the desktop client never ceases to irritate me.

1.  Show current music track -

If I try to set my status message to ‘Show current music track’. It crashes! I know it doesn’t happen to everyone, but I know a lot of folks who are facing the same nuisance. This happens if you are using a Media Player which is not Windows Media Player, iTunes or Winamp (with some tweaks).

2.  Sending a receiving files

If am logged on to the web client and on to the Desktop client at the same time. I cannot receive files! Closing the Gmail window doesn’t help too. This is highly irritating, and is miraculously solved when I relogin in the desktop client. So much for ease of use!

3. Group chat

People who have been using the Desktop Client only will not have an idea what I am talking about. It’s true you can have a Group chat in Gtalk, but it’s only using the web client. You get an invitation to join a conference and the group chat opens in a new chat window. It’s quite useful sometimes, but why not have it in the desktop client!!

4.Enable  Video chat in desktop edition

Google had recently introduced Video chat on the web client, but not on the desktop client! Weird… It should have been the other way round

5.  Organize Contacts -

I wonder why this never occurred to Google. The labels feature in Gmail is very creative, why not create a similar thing for contacts. I hate to see a long list of contacts in Gtalk. Yahoo and Live Messenger have had similar feature since a very long time. Why hasn’t Google given much thought towards it?

I agree it fairs high on the ease of use and simplicity aspects, but add a little more productivity to this and this will one day become one of the best IMs.

6. Set as Invisible -

This was a killer feature when it was first introduced in other Instant Messengers. Again, this feature is available in the browser edition of gtalk but sadly not in the client application. Yahoo actually goes a step further where in you can appear invisible (kinda oxymoron :P) to select few of your friends.

7. Rich Text Format text area -

RTF allows you to express yourself better. Again, most other IMs have it, why not Gtalk?

Do you have any feature in mind which could enrich your experience with Gtalk? Discuss in the comments section.

Aug 222009
 

For most of us, a Search engine is the gateway to internet. We rely on it for day to day tasks. Thanks to search engines, we need not remember a plethora of domain names; a few words which you can remember from a site is all that is needed to take you to the right site.

A large population of internet users seldom click any link other than the first one the search engine throws at them. Some of them go further and explore the next page, and rarely does anyone go beyond the 3rd of 4th page. I was always wondering why Google says it found some millions of results as people are never interested in viewing the 1000th results let alone the millionth one. I was wondering why they’re waste computational resources on indexing data no one would ever use.

Today, I tried a little experiment. I searched for Apple on Google. It returned a whopping 340 Million results!! Whew.. Then I tried accessing the 2nd page.. I noticed there is an attribute which is seen in the address bar called Start, which changes for every page. e.g., for the 2nd page the PageStart value is 10, which actually says show results starting from the 10th page which is quite logical.

The URL looks something like this

http://www.google.co.in/webhp?hl=en#hl=en&safe=off&q=apple&start=10&sa=N&fp=2b0cc07f38284dd0

I tried changing the number for 10 to 2000 to see the 201st page, but I was in for a surprise -

Sorry, Google does not serve more than 1000 results for any query. (You asked for results starting from 2000.

Here it is, Google can’t serve you results exceeding 1000 for any query! So the first question which was haunting my head was resolved..

I wanted to play around with Google more, so I tried giving another value – this time 640 to see if I actually get redirected to the 65th page.

http://www.google.co.in/webhp?hl=en#hl=en&safe=off&q=apple&start=650&sa=N&fp=2b0cc07f38284dd0

Above is the URL I tried in my browser. It said “ Results 431437 of about 340,000,000 for apple”

Results 431437 of about 340,000,000 for apple

And it is now on page 49! Results 431- 437 should ideally be on page 42, moreover it should have actually displayed results 650-660. After all it has 340M results and it has no problem displaying upto 1000 results for any query.

Why is this anomaly present in Google? It is not specific to this search term alone. I have tried it with different search terms and all the time I see such anomaly.In some cases, clicking on the next page reloads you the same page.

All of the following URLs differ in the Start property but all point to the same page. Also you can see that the page number which is highlighted in each case. Though different numbers are highlighted in each case, we get to see the same result page everytime!!!

http://www.google.co.in/webhp?hl=en#hl=en&safe=off&q=microsoft&start=450&sa=N&fp=2b0cc07f38284dd0

Go to the above URL and click on the next page (46). You will land up on the same page again! This anomaly differs with each keyword!

I don’t understand why this anomaly exists. If anyone has a clue about this, please let me know through comments.
Also, please share with me if you find any such anomalies in other search engines too!

RNG

Jul 272009
 

It’s been ages since I looked at my own blog.  There is a steady flow of visitors to my blog although my last post was on 22nd June. For all of you who are wondering what I have been doing, and Why I am not writing ; I have been reading. Reading a lot.

The period of time just after one graduates from College is the most challenging if you ask for my opinion. Everyone is confused.
Some of my friends have gone abroad to do MS;  some of them to pursue their academic interest, and some of them coz they couldn’t  manage to get a job they wanted. For a good read about whether to do or not to do MS, read Swaroop CH’s post here.

There are others who are insistent on getting a job in their area and have hence refused job offers from some Mass recruiters. Everything’s going haywire. There are salary cuts in some companies, some good companies have not honored their offer letters. If you think Recession has not hit hard enough – think again.

I have been lost too, Masters was out of question. It never interested me. I am having my final interviews in a month or so at Microsoft. I haven’t received DOJ from Accenture as yet. I have decided, whatever I consider as my career plan must somehow add value to what I wanna do next, what I want to be say in the next 10 years.I had always envisioned my future self as an entrepreneur. I am hoping that vision would some day come true.

As a wise man once said – The first step towards achieving your goal is telling it to everyone around you. By doing that you make sure your family, friends and people around you constantly remind you of that goal. Back then, I thought that was a pretty cool idea, but only now am I actually putting it to good use..

I have been reading a lot management stuff lately, yes you read it right the first time, management. Somehow people always consider me as a Technical person and lot many of them even sounded surprised when I told them I was interested in pursuing Management academically some day. I came across this link which talks about some Core human skills which are essential to a person, whichever field he desires to wet his feet in.

From now on, I should consider keeping a spiral pad with me – ALWAYS. You never know when your grey cells cooks interesting stuff. This generally happens to me in late mornings, when I abruptly get up from sleep, losing continuity of my dreams. One day, I had to solve an interesting puzzle to get up from my sleep. After I got up I was amazed that I could solve that puzzle, but was startled when I couldn’t remember what it was! I had a strong feeling that it was a good one and still have :P

It’s going haywire. Isn’t it? but hey, I warned you before. Look at the by line. These are my random thoughts! It’s too late and I gotta sleep before I lose track of what I am writing. As always, comments are welcome. Please let me know if this post gives you an impression that I was drunk when I wrote it. I will consider deleting it.

Signing off.
Yours truly

Jun 202009
 

I  never thought I would become such a big fan of Word 2007 when I first saw it, that unfamiliar blue ribbon used to turn me off. Last semester of engineering is full of seminars, projects, reports etc. I will share with you some handy tips which have saved me a lot of time.

1. Managing Styles

Every college gives you guidelines/format for your seminar and project report. Most of the times adherence to the prescribed format is the only thing your guide will look for in your project! So it’s important to main consistency in your project report.

  • Click on the small arrow near the bottom right corner of styles section in the Home tab (or press ctrl + Alt + Shift+s)
  • You can either modify an existing style or add your new one. I prefer modifying the existing one coz it’s easy to use and some features like automatic Contents Table creating (which is explained later) treats them as defaults.
  • Modify(Right click -> modify) the Heading 1 style to reflect the one which is prescribed to you
  • Repeat for Heading2 style with the format of your subheading
  • Normal for the normal text as per your prescribed format

It is now easier than ever to differentiate between headings/subheadings and normal paragraph text. Creating a heading is now only a click away

Also, you can define your paragraph settings while modifying the Normal style. E.g., line spacing info goes here

Microsoft Word 2007

Microsoft Word 2007

2. Removing hyperlinks at once

Wikipedia and several other website form the prime resources for your project. These websites sometimes contain links, several in fact. It becomes a pain to remove this links manually. It is important to remove links for 2 reasons

1. It looks ugly

2. Your guide will come to know where you flicked it from

I have seen my friends trying to play clever. They remove the underline and change the color to black. That’s a very bad way of doing it. It doesn’t remove the link for one reason, and secondly it’s time consuming.

Solution : Select All (ctrl + A) and then Ctrl + Shift + F9

3. Using Page Breaks


It’s a very essential word feature and I am surprised not many know of it!! When you are at the end of the section and want to move to the new section, how do you do it? Repeatedly press enter key! WRONG. What this creates is a gap which is relative to the previous section. Add/delete content to the previous section and your new section will no longer start from the beginning of the page!

I know of people who have spent days trying to re align them!!

Simple solution: Use a page break. Go to Insert tab and select Page Break. Now no matter what, what follows a page break will always start in a new page.

4.Multilevel Lists


This is a very important tool used to organize your report into chapters, subchapters and so on. Using multilevel lists you can automatically number all your chapters and sub-chapters. Any text with Heading1 style is used as a Chapter name which has a single number index. A subchapter which is any text in heading2 has a 2 number index ex: 3.2 and so on. Multilevel lists are very helpful in generating Table of Contents, list of figures, list of tables etc very easily (see tip 5)

5. Generating Table of contents and list of figures

Filling up the Table of Contents is a challenging task. One mistake and you have to reprint a lot many pages! That’s how particular some lecturers are when it comes to page numbers. You don’t want to mess with them. If you have followed tip#1 and #4, your job is fairly easy.

To get an automatic table of contents page, go to References tab and choose Table of Contents. Choose and style and voila, table of contents is created automatically. Added a new section, no problem, just update the table and it will update the contents and page numbers!! It’s an indispensible tool.

To do the same for images, you can right click on the image everytime and choose a caption for it from the context menu (right click on it). Now to get table of figures, just select Insert Table of figures from the references tab.

These are some of the tips I could think of. If you know any more tips and tricks which can help poor souls in their last year of engineering. Do pen them down in the comments section.

PS: I am using Word 2007 to blog this post too.

PPS: I dunno if it’s a problem with Word or WordPress, either of them had screwed up the numbered list while exporting from Word to WordPress. I will stick to online editor from now on.

Jun 182009
 

Today is an important day. Actually it was yesterday. I gave my last paper of my 4 year course in Telecommunication Engineering. Phew!! What a journey!

Yesterday was Melancholic. Well, the exam was much easier than our expectations. That is not what I am talking about. It’s about writing exam for the last time ever, ok this is going to grow large. Let me make it a list.

  • not seeing all those familiar faces again(in one place)
  • those endless discussions in Open Air Theatre (OAT)
  • countless ‘tea-breaks’ while studying for internals in OAT
  • getting thrown out of class
  • not being able to control laughter even when the lecturer is shouting at you
  • hiding books in library so that you can get it issued later
  • paying fine for books which you never read once but kept for a long time
  • Getting down from the bus just to realize the connecting bus to college just left!
  • Eating Food Point poori in a plate that you know the dog was licking the other day!
  • Donating blood so that you get attendance and free uppit
  • Sprite making hissing noise in the middle of a lecture!
  • Sitting in the last bench and commenting on those who are sitting ahead of us
  • Imitating lecturers and calling them names!
  • Entering a 8:15 – 9:15 class at 9:10!
  • Sneaking in my mobile phone every day of my college. I have never been caught!
  • Timidly switching off my mobile phone when it suddenly starts ringing loudly in an internal exam!
  • Making anagrams out of the first letters of an 8-point-8-marks question so that it becomes easier to cram!
  • Those boring 2 hour lectures!
  • Playing Air-Piano in final round of a mock-interview! FAIL!
  • Singing In the end in the middle of 100 feet ring road to get tickets to Radio City live concert.
  • Seeing my name in the Attendance Shortage list every single time
  • Participating in technical fests!
  • Writing an abstract for an idea on the last page of a notebook during a boring class which eventually was selected for a conference and won me second place! Whoa!! I was watching Juno till 5 in the morning on the day of my presentation!
  • Playing our very own Name-as-many-characters-as-you-can-from-a-TV Show game
  • Desperately trying to find out how each component looks like on the previous day of lab exam.
  • Viva!!- Got to meet some of the biggest idiots in VTU..
  • Bandi – The roadside lunch point I used to rush to, with Rajeev, Sagar and occasionally Sharatchandra.
  • Sharatchandra’s take on hollywood flicks!
  • Suhas’ honeywell-akka,Cisco-bava stories (best ever – needs an honorary mention here)
  • Ramesh’s take on girls!
  • Harsha, Prads and NMK v/s Suhas, CD and Kailash’s football fights
  • Kailash speaking in Kannada (too funny) and Harsha trying to speak Shivajinagar urdu

and so many others.. Will add as and when I recollect them. If you know something memorable/weird I did while I was in college, Please tell me about it in the comments..