Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A week of Swine Flu

Its been more than a week since I got back from the trip. I got swine flu as a return gift from the trip. The fever is more or less gone but my throat seems to be paying a price for it. It still feels all clogged. I cannot sit in front of the computer for more than 15-20 minutes. I wanted to watch movies and TV series but have been unable to do it. For the last one week all I've done is sleep and eat.

I got my car last week but have not even test driven it till now. I hope I get back to normal before the weekend. Its been 3 weeks since I met up with my friends. All my personal projects have been on hold for the last month now. I just hope I can work on them on weekends.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Down and out with Flu

Its been one exciting month. Travelling meeting up with people. I have been able to experience quite a lot over the course of the month. All went well till I got pulled down by the flu. Its been 3 days since I got back from the trip and I've not stepped out of my place, except to go visit the doctor.

And to top it all I've not even been online. Just sitting in front of the computer for more than a few minutes is enough to get a headache. I just realized that I've again started neglecting the blog. Hopefully a better post with all the topics in my head will be out soon.

There is so much to write. My first car, trip to Scandinavia and meeting up with a few interesting people. Not sure when or if I want to write about it. Plus I also need to write about my often neglected projects :)

Till next time and hopefully in better health.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Getting lost and losing focus

Not really sure how to start with it, or what exactly is bothering me. I seem to have lost focus of what I want to do and how I want to do it. I never really thought peer pressure could ever be a factor in any of my decisions. But with time I've realized that I seem to be a little lost.

I was talking to a friend right now and it really got me thinking if I was even doing the right thing. In the last few years I don't think I've grown much. It almost feels like I have hit a plateau. I've not fallen down but neither have I grown.

This is raising all kinds of alarm bells in my brain. I need to do something which is fulfilling and makes me happy and helps me show my real potential. Have this nagging feeling that I am kind of left behind while the whole world seems to have moved on. I was talking to this friend after a very long time and I realised I am still where I was when we last talked and he seems to have moved on.

Its really funny how John Milton's 'On His Twenty-Third Birthday' instantly came to my mind. I never understood poems or literature but surprisingly this poem seems so apt for my situation right now. Guess I still remember something I learned in school.

Here is hoping I can finally take the decisions that I should have taken a while back.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

fefoo 2 months after launch

The traffic has been really strange to say the least. The first month was lackluster. The traffic was low. In the second month the traffic picked up a bit and now it seems to have stabilized at around 400 per day. There seem to be some 1500 active users who use it everyday. Most of the users coming to the site have no referrer which just goes to show that most users are returning back. In the last two weeks there have hardly been any new users.

There are only returning users who use the service daily. I had planned to start work on the version 2 of fefoo with more features. But with almost no new feedback its difficult to know what works and what does not. Am not really sure if I should spent any more time on fefoo. I will try and remove some of the quirks but am not sure if I will work on the next version any time soon.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Being a social roamer

In the last few years I have moved from Slashdot --> Digg/Reddit --> Techmeme --> Twitter/FriendFeed. The transition has been gradual in most cases. Hardly a day went by when I would not visit Slashdot at least 2-3 times a day. Going through the top stories seemed to be so exhilarating. And coming back to today I hardly ever visit Slashdot. I have the RSS feed on my feed readers but its mostly marked as read. I read the FML feed more than the Slashdot feed.

Then around early 2005 I got hooked onto Digg, it lasted till 2007 and then out of the blue I stopped visiting the site. Mostly because the whole content shifted from being Technical to being just another news site. Now I hardly ever visit Digg. Having a Digg RSS feed had never made sense due to the sheer volume of the stories. Now Digg seems to have gone main stream and I've lost all interest in it.

Around the time I got hooked onto Digg I was also looking into Reddit. Initially I did not like Reddit. It seemed too simplistic. And I guess that has worked in its favor. Even though Reddit has also turned into a full news site but its still focused a lot on Technology and that is one reason why every other day I make sure to skim the latest Tech headlines from Reddit.

Techmeme is another site I did not like on the first look. It just seemed too simple. That seems to have worked in its favor. If I ever want to look at the latest Tech news I can have quick glance at Techmeme and I get all the latest info. Though lately it seems like a Techcrunch RSS feed.

Last but not least are twitter and friendfeed. I don't twitter all that much but if I want the breaking news these two sites seem to be the first to get it. Twitter gets the headlines but friendfeed also gets the other details.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Windows based twitter client update

Its been two weeks since I started with it. Have not done any real programming lately just been busy with the UI of the application. Tested out the API's and they seem to work. Most of the ground work has been done. The basic prototyping is done and things seem to work. The best part is that till now the size of the final executable is less than 50 kilobytes.

Also have been looking at ways to make sure that the application auto updates with almost zero effort on the users part. For now I have decided to use the basic authentication instead of using oAuth. With oAuth it will be difficult to log into twitpic and bit.ly. These are two basic services that I want in the pre-alpha release.

The UI has been quite challenging. The main thing is that it should look and feel like a windows application while having all the features of the AIR based Twitter clients. This is important as most of the users are used to these applications.

Still quite a long way to go before I can release anything. Will hopefully put up some screenshots so that I can get some feedback on it before the pre-alpha release.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Twitter client for Windows

I have been searching for a good Twitter client for Windows for a couple of months now. All the Air apps just seem so bloated and the rest are made in .net which also seem to take some time to start. Keeping that in mind I've finally started off with a Twitter client for Windows. Not sure till when I will complete it or if I ever release it.

Was playing with Python, C and EzBasic last weekend. After making a prototype in Python finally decided on plain old C. The main goal of making the application is that it should be Win32 native application. Should be less than 500KB. When it runs should not consume insane amount of memory.

Just some goals to achieve if I finally continue with the project. Lets see if I can get something working this weekend. If you want to alpha or beta test it leave a comment and I will keep you posted.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

fefoo on the blogsphere this month

Its been one month since the launch of fefoo.com. Initially there was hardly any response. Then in the last 2 weeks it was featured on a few blogs in France and Italy and there was a huge inflow of people. That lasted for a week and now things are again cooling down. Initially no one understood the reason for using fefoo. But, once it was on a few famous blogs there were quite a few people who seemed interested and the traffic surged. Thanks to all these people who featured fefoo on their blogs. The list is in no particular order.

  1. FeFoo, a Fun New Way to Search the Web
  2. FeFoo Search – put your Firefox search box on steroids
  3. Fefoo, Google 2.0
  4. Fefoo, moteur de recherche tout-en-un
  5. Introducing fefoo, search made simple!
  6. Firefox awesome bar made even more awesomer with fefoo
  7. Fefoo multi search engine - Phil Bradley's weblog
  8. fefoo – not another search engine « (the) health informaticist
  9. fefoo – Best Multi Search Engine Tool
  10. fefoo - by Alan
  11. fefoo, 19 合一搜尋引擎
  12. Ricerche veloci e rapide con Fefoo
  13. Fefoo : le méta moteur complet
  14. Otro multibuscador para tenerlos todos a mano
  15. fefoo - knownbodies
  16. More Command-line for the Web with fefoo

Thank you for your support. In case I missed your blog post please add it in the comments.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hallucinations - Trick your mind with these illusions

I saw this image on posted on reddit. Videos of some of the hallucinations given in that image.

Rubber hand experiment

The pinocchio illusion

According to the description the pinocchio illusion did not work for them.

The Ganzfeld Procedure

From the YouTube video description, "2 minute extract from a documentation of a ganzfeld experiment, conducted as part of a research for the performance project psi: mid space. The sender, receiver and experimenters are in 3 separate rooms, and the target image appears in the fourth section.". More information about it on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganzfeld_experiment.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Back to work inside the hot oven

I had spent the last 2 months in Shimla and it was a quite pleasant there, now am back in Panchkula. The last months were relaxing to say the least. I've never really appreciated that place before, but this time I was able to stay home and relax.

Its been a week since I arrived and there is hardly anytime when I am not sweating. I've hardly been outside, trying to stay indoors to beat the heat. The monsoons were supposed to arrive a week back but there have only been occasional pre-monsoon showers.

A week before I came here I also released fefoo. Though the response has been really cold so far. Guess no one seems to get the concept of commands, plus the help documents are sketchy to say the least. The videos I wanted to make about fefoo have been scrapped. Lets hope I can get some time in the near future and am able to do something about fefoo and get people to use it. As for me I cannot work without it now. The webmasters, tools, movies, twitter, blogs, imdb and music category are the ones I tend to use every other day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Just a few more days to go

I have been resting and occasionally working on fefoo. I hope I can release it soon. Done with the help but am stuck on the videos. I have 10 more days left in my vacations and hope I can finish off and release fefoo before it.

Other than that I have been gaining weight and have been skipping my exercise schedule which is not very good. Hope to get back to my regular exercise schedule from tomorrow morning.

Also I wanted to make something in Python in these vacations but I guess that is not happening anytime soon. Maybe next time I am on vacations.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Google Wave makes fefoo look like a joke

Though there is no link between the two, but I am amazed at the amount of work that has gone in making Google Wave. It is a whole new way of working. The first time you look at it it seems really complicated but once you see the demo you see the real power of collaboration. Its wiki + email + forums + blog + .. nearly all the tools one uses for collaboration today.

If nothing else it will enable Google Apps to make inroads into the business community. Coming back to fefoo, the amount of work I've done almost feels comical in front of Google Wave. I am almost done with all the features now. I was working on a new feature for the last two weeks but had to drop it as I was unable to get a usable UI. I've tried many ways to implement it but nothing seems to fit in. I will probably move it to the next version.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Finally finished off with vivekjishtu.com

I have been planning to revamp the homepage for quite a while now. Finally I have been able to do something about it. I finished off the non-javascript part a week back. I was hoping to do a lot more with the JavaScript part but shelved any major plans for now. In the process I ended up with a leaner page, with less than 7KB of JavaScript. I was planning to use YUI but in the end got rid of it.

The JavaScript part is an add-on and even if you turn off javascript you should be able to see the complete content. I wanted to use JSON and get data from all possible places and show it on the homepage. The main problem with this approach is that the website becomes dependent on multiple sources. Incase flickr, blogger or twitter is down the page will take a long time to load. To get rid of the problem all the scripts are loaded after the page has loaded. Even if any of the scripts fail the page does not end up looking broken.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spam from my domain name

Some idiot's (lyncean@vivekjishtu.com) have been sending out mails with my domain in the reply-to: header of the email. If you got a mail from any email address from my domain its not me. I don't plan to sell you anything. There are only two email addresses on my domain and I won't be using then to send out spam. I want to clarify that the emails that you have got are not from me.

Friday, May 08, 2009

The week that was'nt

Have finally finished work on http://vivekjishtu.com/, at least the non javascript version is up. Have been doing quite a bit of designing and trying to get the right template for the website. Since I am anything but a designer I stole my own design I had made 5 years back. Its almost like going back to basics. I had a similar design for my homepage http://vivekjishtu.tripod.com/ in 2005. It keeps a lot of design elements from that page and adds a few more things to it. Have planned to add quite a bit of JS elements to the page. But thats got to wait I guess.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Long awaited vacation

After working for quite a few years I am taking time off for the next 2 months. I am hoping it will be time away from the computer and not thinking of any work. Lets see till when I can stay away from the computer and rest my overworked brain. For a change I plan to do a little more physical work and quite a bit of walking and giving a much deserved rest to my mind. I have finally finished most of the work on fefoo. Its finally become a part of my surfing habit and I can rarely search without it. Still has a few quirks that I have to remove over a period of time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Airtel 16Mbps for Impatient Ones

This advert can be the summed as the best in terms of making fun of the impatient ones. The new Airtel broadband is 16 Mbps but with a slight hitch. At Rs. 2999/- with a Data Transfer Limit of just 20 GB. Just listening to a few hours of music videos on Youtube should be enough to exhaust the limit in no time. Thinking of downloading torrents is something one should not even think about. Not sure who Airtel is targeting with this plan. If you bought this plan do leave a comment.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Making Portable Ubuntu feel at home on Windows

If you like Linux applications but don't want to install Linux, Portable Ubuntu is the perfect application for you. Once you start using it you might feel that all the Linux applications feel out of place with the Theme and fonts. That is where this quick tutorial comes into play. Download the XPLuna theme if you are on XP or one of the Aero themes for GTK 2. You can look at all the available options and keep the one that looks identical to your windows theme.

The controls might look familiar but till you change the fonts it is almost like a waste. Copy the fonts from your windows installation. Open the terminal window in PUbuntu and then follow these steps. cd /mnt/C/WINDOWS/Fonts Here I am taking for granted that your Windows folder is in C:. Then make a new directory mkdir ~/.fonts. Copy Segoe fonts incase you are on Vista. cp Segoe*.* ~/.fonts. If you have Windows XP copy Tahoma fonts. cp Tahoma*.* ~/.fonts.

Open System/Preference/Appearance. Select the font tab and select the fonts and the sizes as in the screenshot. This should give you the fonts as of Windows XP. For Vista select Segoe instead of Tahoma and set the size to 10 instead of 8.

The fonts might look quite dark compared to windows. To reduce the anti-aliasing click the details button on the fonts dialog. And select the Smoothing to none. The fonts will look similar to windows fonts. Atleast for the dialogs but will not look good on other parts of the UI. I normally select Subpixel for Smoothing and Medium for Hinting. Though it still does not look like a real windows application but its close enough.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Linpus Lite is a big FAIL on the desktop

I had bought an Acer AspireOne around 6 months back. I've used it for less than 3 months and the network drivers have been deleted like twice. And both the times the reason was a Live-Update. I went online and checked that the only way to bring back the thing to life was to reinstall everything. I want to believe that I know a thing or two about Linux, my first distro was Slackware in 1998. Its been a while and won't consider myself to be a linux noob. Given the fact that I know a thing of two about Linux and I was still frustrated. I could have spent 2-3 hours and somehow got the whole thing to life again, but I am just thinking about people who don't know thing about Linux.

For them its just an OS that runs and they don't even have to bother about it. But when you laptop stops working what do you do? This is a laptop without a CDROM drive and the only way to reinstall is to use the recovery DVD. I am just thinking about all the people who got the update around two days ago and who know the last thing about Linux. If I could get frustrated with it, I am so sure they will think twice before buying a laptop with Linux. Some people could argue that its not a more known brand of Linux. But given the fact that this is what this laptop came with for most people its not really a choice. And given a fact that how easy its to install an OS, almost as easy as getting a root canal done. Linux on the desktop is a big FAIL for me.

I use UBUNTU every now and then, I just installed portable UBUNTU but now all of a sudden all the files have gone missing. Its the second Linux FAIL for me.

UPDATE: I finally got Portable Ubuntu running and I have to say its amazing to say the least. Probably this is the only way I would ever use Ubuntu. Its like getting the best of both worlds.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Reorganising the blog

Lately I've been busy with fefoo and hardly have anytime to blog. I've been on twitter lately and you can read the latest twits on the sidebar. I also started a new blog with all the [FW]'s and funny stuff that I seem to get in mail @ http://vivekjishtu.posterous.com/. Since I've completed the coding part on fefoo I will be working on the main site and try and integrate my digitial life in one place on http://vivekjishtu.com. Its been a long time coming and have been evading it since I've never had time to focus on it. It feels good that finally I have been able to finish work on fefoo and moving to comics.fefoo. It will be a place to read your favourite web comics. As of now it points to the page where I store a list of my favourite comics. But eventually it will point to http://comics.fefoo.com and allow you to add and remove comics. Lets see when that finally comes up.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wacking my brain with localStorage and globalStorage in Javascript

Most of the browsers these days allow you to store a lot of data instead of using cookies. I am still trying to make a library which will allow you to store data on the browser no matter if you have localStorage, globalStorage, flash or the good old cookies. The thing about using flash is that you need to wait for it to initilise and that is a little bit of a problem. I hope to release the library under the BSD license. Not sure if anyone would be interested, but I really need to get it done for fefoo.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Birthday blues and the year gone by....

Its almost like a birthday tradition for me now. This is the 4th year I will be posting on my birthday. I was going through the earlier b'day posts and I realized I always want to launch a project or a site on my b'day but something or the other comes up and it ends up getting delayed. This year no such promises just work and release things as and when it happens. The project is already delayed by 3 years. It just shows that I should focus on one project and not try to put my hand into 10 different things at once.

This year I want to take a long vacation and probably figure out things that have been going on in my mind for a while now. Lets see if I am able to take it. In the year gone by I achieved one major goal and that was to shed excess weight. I lost 10 Kgs but have gained 3 Kgs over the last 2 weeks :P, that still makes it 7 Kgs in an year. I now need a good fitness regime if I want to stay healthy.

The last 2 months have been full of ups and downs. Mostly in terms of health and fitness. I really need to keep up with my daily routines of walks and exercise.

I've just had loads of chocolate before I got back home and that seems to be working in keeping my mood good and calm. Will try to add and delete a few stuff from this post if I get some time today.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

If something can go wrong it will go wrong

Somehow today Murphy's Law : If any thing can go wrong, it will! applies to me. I woke up at 5:00 AM and was in bed again at 5:30 A.M. Just kept twisting and tossing around in the bed but could not sleep. Since I could not do much I ended up writing the last blog post. Got up at 6:30 and planned to go out for a walk. Something that just could not happen. I had planned to get rid of a few bugs in fefoo but I never got time for it either. By 8:00 AM someone came over and my plan to work went down the drain. I ended up fixing a laptop and that took another 2 and half hours. I had planned to be in office by 9:30 but finally got in by 10:30.

Thats enough ranting for a day I guess :P. Here is hoping things would be a little better now.

That time of the year again.

This comic strip captures my frame of mind as of now. Guess I am going through something like this as of now. I still have a week to go but am still not sure if I've achieved what I had wished for by the time I was this old. Guess its just another number but then thinking back I had planned to do quite a lot by now and I am still quite far away from the goal.

I finally plan to launch beta version of fefoo.com on my birthday. Its still an alpha release as of now and most things that should work are broken. I hope to clear up the pile of bugs over the weekend and get the site upto a beta quality. I am still hopeful that it would be possible to launch it on my Birthday.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Two amazing movies after two amazing duds

I wish I could get back the time I spent in watching these movies. I could never expect a person like Aamir Khan to act in this good for nothing movie.
I generally don't watch too many movies but over the last 4 weeks have been out to watch a movie every weekend. I had a torturous time watching Ghajni and Chandni Chowk to China. CC2C would have to take the cake for the worst movie that any director could come up with. It was a torture to stay through the movie.

Last week I went out for Luck By Chance. Its an amazing movie with a really great concept. It really showed that there was a director who knew what she wanted and there was a script, which was lacking in CC2C. This weekend I went out for Dev D. I went out with the frame of mind that I would not like the movie but in the end I loved the movie. It was amazing to say the least.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What was Mr. Arindam Choudhury thinking??

You need to read the review of Slumdog Millioner by Arindam Chaudhuri, i.e. incase you've not already read it in all the major possible English newspapers in India. It is a full page advert of IIPM where Mr. Chaudhuri is currently the Honorary Dean for Centre for Economic Research and Advanced Studies and it has this review in the end. This review seems so stupid in an advert for an Educational Institute. It seems like this person is really looking for some cheap publicity and you can see that from the comments on the blog post. I have a feeling that this guy really believes in "There is no such thing as bad publicity". I am still not sure why would someone actually pay for a full page advert for something like this.

Come to think of it Mr. Chaudhuri is also a film maker and it almost sounds like envy more than a honest review. I really love some of the comments on the blog post. Some of them follow now.

To leader2630 who said:
Very true we should all show the outrage to the international community by boycotting the film. & other forms of anger.

"..and other forms of anger?" :)) seriously dude!!! * dies laughing *

Its food for thought for those who shamelessly celebrating their own undressing in public by a english man

geez! how much of a perv are u, u sicko! u got ultra-hyper-maniacal-low-esteem-self-derogatory-inferiority-complex! see a doc at once!!!

To prerna who said:
Slumdog:- As the name suggests its itself an abuse to the country for which it is made....
And we guys are enjoying it also...shame shame shame!!!

Arindam i must say that you really care about the feelings and honour of India which truely depicts in your article...

Thank you for taking the Initiative. Lets us hope we Indians get waken up by this..

:)) * ROTFL* :))

To pradeep who said:
Holy s**t! Can’t believe we Indians are so gullible, so gluttonous for fame and so desperate for the Oscar attention.
dude, people who liked this movie dont care two shit for the oscars..they liked this movie because it was good. they liked this movie because they are not biased. period.

To sanjay who said:
Indians who are praising this movie are nothing but coolies.

and what are you, dude?

To Preeti who said:
..share and tell the world that i am with them and we will not tolerate any nonsense like the SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE movie..Feel your country to be you home and fight for its pride...
How do we fight for its pride my lady? but shouting at anyone who tries to venture near our slums and ensuring that it is hidden away from the world??

By getting mad every time a movie is made about India and in the movie India is not shown as this chocolatey place with all the girls looking models and all the guys driving around in imported Sedans?
Where only the poshness and upwardly life is shown? is that how u intend to fight for the pride of ur country?

..shame on you.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sorrows of installing software on Linux

I wanted to watch a divx movie on my aspire one laptop which runs a Linux based OS. I tried to play the file but I did not see the video in the preinstalled video player. My next logical step was to download VLC for Linux. But as it turns out there is no VLC for Linux, there is a VLC for Ubuntu, Fedora and Source Code for any other flavor of Linux.

It took me a good 30 minutes of searching on half a dozen forums to figure out a way to install VLC. It takes less than a minute on any windows based machine even if you download the zip version.

And I thought this was a problem just with windows. As it turns out if you are using Mac OSX there is a separate version of Safari for Leopard and Tiger while a single binary edition for Windows XP and Vista. Guess Microsoft is doing something right somewhere.

I was working on one of my friends computers which had OSX and Safari 2.x and figured it would be better if I installed Safari 3.x on it. I downloaded Safari and the moment I tried to install it it refused to install since I did not have all the updates.

That just goes to show that you can run Safari on a 9 year old Windows PC but there is no way to install Safari on a 2 year old mac without all the updates. And I am not even sure if it was only about the updates or it wanted to install a new updated OS.

Here is a video of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates in a 1983 Dating Game video.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy New Year 2009

Happy new year and I hope you have a great year ahead. The last year has been different to say the least. Quite a bit of good, some bad, some boring and some exciting. The last few days have been good at least for my personal project. Its finally coming up and I am hoping to release a preview this month.