Monthly Archives: March 2009

Cena’s Top 10: March’09 Week 4

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1.Martin Sheen or JFK – Yellowcard
2.Pieces – Sum 41
3.Run – Snow Patrol
4.Violet Hill – Viva La Vida
5.No Reason – Sum 41
6.Waiting Game – Yellowcard
7.Hollywood Died – Yellowcard
8.Linger – The Cranberries
9.Dance Inside – All American Rejects
10.Girl All the Bad Guys want – Bowling for Soup

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Cena’s Top 10: March’09 Week 3

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1.Run – Snow Patrol
2.Violet Hill – Coldplay
3.My Apocalypse – Esacpe the Fate
4.Supermassive Blackhole – Muse
5.Spotlight [Twilight Mix ]-Mutemath
6.Decode – Paramore [Twilight Soundtrack]
7.Never Say Never -The Fray
8.Chocolate – Snow Patrol
9.Lost – Coldplay
10. Sufi Tere Pyaar Mein-Jai Veeru

Safari 4 Beta:User Review

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I know that its been quite sometime since Safari 4 beta was released, but it was only today that I downloaded it. I use Firefox & its just for surfing….nothing fancy. I barely use any of the gazillion extensions/add-ons only fastdial [have ditched IE a long time back for FF…& have no intensions of ever returning!]

Being a Mac owner there was no way I could have missed the news about Safari[the speed, the hoopla about the tabs]. Safari 3 was not much to my liking. One of the main reasons was the colour of the tabs & the text in it, the tab colouring as very dark & I had to strain myself to read what it said. Also it was not easy to know which tab was ‘active’ just by the colour. And I found this very strange since apple is famous for its eye-candy! I tried using it but it was too hard, so went back to FF.

Anyway, today Hemant said that he had downloaded the Safari beta[vista]. Now to have safari running on a windows laptop, & not on Mac…that would be sacrilege in our flat! So with that thought, I started the download.
Note:
->It replaces Safari 3….so had to download the latest version of S3 too.
->My FF stops downloading files randomly. It happens many times, w/o any notice. You don’t even come to know of it as the download window keeps on showing the est. time & the download speed. It’s only when you watch it closely that you see no progress of the ‘progress bar’ or any change in the time remaining.Since the download link was not opening in igetter[download manager], I had to download it on FF. And it stopped twice 😦

Installed w/o any problems, had to restart as it was required. S4:beta launched & did not give me any problems with my general surfing. It has not crashed even once & I have not seen any beta glitches so far [touch wood!].

Experience:

The Good:
-I don’t care what others say I am 100% for the tabs. They don’t eat up screen space & do not pose any problems in dragging etc. I just hope that Apple does not dump the tabs due to the opposition. Maybe they should  provide an option to switch to the old style in the final version.

To get the old tab styling.
1.Open Terminal[Safari should not be running]
2.Type-> defaults write com.apple.Safari DebugSafari4TabBarIsOnTop -bool NO


3.Hit Enter
4.Launch Safari.Surf.

-The tab visibility problem has been solved. Now I can easily read it. Even better than FF! This was the main reason for not using S3.
-I can feel the speed difference while surfing. Facebook, Lifehacker, Wiki used to take ages to load. It is way zippier now.
-Top sites takes care of my fast dial dependence. Was a little worried that it would keep changing as I surf, but you can ‘pin’ your favorites. I have customized my top sites to show my choice of sites only.[open the site,        drag & drop the globe on the left of the address in the Top Site, opened in new window]
-I wanted to set Top Site as my homepage, as fastdial was in FF. Easily done. [Open Safari>preference>general>homepage. Type “topsites:// ” minus the quotes]
-Spotlight kind search of the ‘history’. Can look inside the page along with the title. Very thorough
-Like the layout of the pages. I am not able to put my finger on it, but the pages are displayed very clearly. All the text is sharp & looks nice. In FF I had to increase the size of the text to read comfortably, not in S4. VERY   easy on the eyes.

The Bad:
-S4:beta does not have a progress bar. I had to turn on the ‘status bar’ to know how much data was remaining. Looked around to find a method to get the progress bar back.

1.Open Terminal[Safari should not be running]
2.Type-> defaults write com.apple.Safari DebugSafari4IncludeToolbarRedesign -bool NO
3.Hit Enter
4.Now Type->defaults write com.apple.Safari DebugSafari4LoadProgressStyle -bool NO
5.Hit Enter again
6.Launch Safari.Surf.

After the terminal job, I have no complaints with Safari 4:beta

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I am pretty happy with it. But again my demands are small. I don’t use the RSS feeds in safari, am not a developer. But for a normal consumer the beta seems fine. I haven’t mentioned the cover flow thingie as I did not find much use for it. Though it is being touted as a feature, I do not think it will be of as much use as the other stuff.

Now I am using Safari 4 for all the surfing. FF is there but only as a backup. If Apple sticks to the present features I am sure I will be using S4 when it comes out of beta.

safari 4 beta

Dawdling Democracy 1

2009 will play host to the 15th lok sabha elections. Mercifully, the UPA lasted its whole tenure of 5 years, quite contrary to the expectations. One of the things we Indians are good at is drawing room politics [cricket is at the top, but with India doing well in New-Zealand, that is on the backburner ] & with that come some very cliched arguments/statements vis-à-vis

1.Nothing can be done. India & her politicians will never change.
2.If you want change, why don’t you do something? Join politics or the cilvil services. Change the system!
3.As you vote, so shall you reap.

My thoughts:
@1: Not true. As they say change is the only constant. Esp.in the couple of years, a lot has happened, we are more positive than before & this optimism is borne out of some good stuff that has occurred in the recent past.

@2: What is being said is right. But the success rate of this theory is very bad. You join with the zeal to change, but at the time you retire, you are happy to have made it through without compromising on your principles. And this is the positive aspect, most of the ppl, “adapt” to survive or simply give up. And if you take pt. 2 to heart, everybody will be on the ruling side & the whole funda of “representation” goes to the dogs! Right now I have no control on the selection of my representative. I might agree with the principles of one party but might have to go with another one just because they fielded a candidate with better morals/scruples.

@3: NOT TRUE AT ALL. It’s more like “As you vote so shall you weep”. No matter how we vote, we are always on the loosing side…exasperation is the reason for the low voter turnouts. And I am pretty sure you are going to quote statement 2 to me, right about now. yup, it’s a vicious circle *sigh*.

How about an alternative…?
Why don’t we have the negative vote? A NO vote. Right to rejection, if you will. Election by elimination [hey, it’s even catchy!]. If we can have negative marking in almost all the selection exams, why not here?

Here is a rough sketch. We have the right to reject any candiate. Any candidate getting a certain percentage of NO votes cannot be allowed to contest in the present & the next election, infact he cannot be part of the present event in any form [no coalitions etc.]. This will give the ppl an option of saying no if they do not him, forcing the Political Parties to put up better candidates in the first place. Slowly we can eliminate those nincompoops .

The only flaw is that this would be most effective in a two party system[US,UK], though if you think about it a two party system would be way better than the multi party system we have now. In the end there are only two sides. Most of the parties join together to form a coalition anyway[if you can call it that. Definition: an alliance for action. Well they are more pro towards inaction, as the left adequately proved this time.]

What I am saying is that we will have control over our representation. We will influence the representative selection rather than only the selection of the party. I bet that there would be a quantum jump in the voter turnout when you introduce this. Why choose lesser of two evils when there should’nt be any evil? Right now we do not have a “bad” on our feedback form. The NO will shake the powers out of their reverie. More power to the ppl!

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Cena’s Top 10: March’09 Week 2:unavailable

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No top ten this week. Why? Well I was playing around with my iTunes collection today & …..If you are thinking I ended up deleting all my songs, then you are….wrong 🙂 Had something happened to my songs then this post would not have been such a calm one. You would have been reading the textual equivalent of “pulling out hair” & “headbanging”[ against the wall kind not Rock On]. Believe me…

It all started with me wanting to backup my Music Library on DVD’s…2 DVD’s would accommodate 8.6GB of music & my collection was statnding at 9.1 GB. Well I was sorting out the songs & saw that I had many songs encoded at 320kbps. Though I consider myself an audiophile of the highest order, my partial deafness due to my extreme audiophile-ness has rendered me incapable of differentiating between a 320 kbps & a 160-192 kbps song.[Before you start pointing fingers & start laughing YOU take a differentiation test….HAH I bet you too are going to do what I have, eh? ] Yes I can still make out if the song has a bitrate lower than 128 kbps…come on I am not complete goner…yet. So I decided to downgrade my song collection to 160 kbps. It took me around 45 mins & resulted in the following:

The Good:My iTunes library shrunk from 9 GB to 6.5 GB…Now a reduction of 2.5GB just by reducing the bitrate is, as Russell Peters would say, FUNTAASTIC & MINDBLAASTING!
The Bad:It was a time consuming process, & a processor consuming task. Also now that I am at 6.5 GB I dont to waste the space on the DVD…am waiting till my library expands to fit 2 DVD’s EXACTLY.
The Ugly:Since new files of 160kbps were created, their playcount was, again in R.Peter’s style: JEERO…& I had no option but to “take it & go” [you should be getting this if you are a Russell Peter’s Fan]

Now my Weekly top 10 playlist depends heavily on the playcount of my songs & with their nullification my Top 10 nullifies automatically. Well you will definitely be having a Top 10 on the coming sunday. Sorry for the screwup….

WHAM…that is BIG!

New update: this blog has touched new heights [yeah yeah I know it’s getting repetitive, but this is MY blog, init?]. If you are a regular reader you will know that I had gotten 66 hits on my blog on 8th march & was ecstatic.

“…The blog got 66 hits in 24 hrs, a personal best…”

Well I have graduated from 66 to 101 hits! Ironic since this what I said in my earlier post!

“…66 may not seem much, as there are blogs that get 100 daily, but to me it means a lot…& I am damn pleased!”

whaddya know! A wish that came true [hmm maybe if I should have put someting else there, that too would have come true].

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Thank you all who helped in this. You have NO idea happy this has made me 😀

Taking hits…& loving it :D

A cause for celebration:The blog got 66 hits in 24 hrs, a personal best. Since it’s not a professional blog, I get around 10-15 visits daily & those are mostly from friends & family. But yesterday there was a massive increase in traffic & I am not complaining 🙂
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I was looking up the ROBOCON 2009 event & was surprised to find almost no news [apart from the official notices] about the proceedings , atleast nothing about the Indian National Finals. So like a good netizen that I am, I got my MacJournal up & running, fired off a post on it. Well the supply & demand funda caused my blog traffic to sky rocket! 66 may not seem much, as there are blogs that get 100 daily, but to it means a lot…& I am damn pleased!

There is nothing like recognition to spur you on!

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ROBOCON 2009:India-National Finals

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Well today was the last day of ROBOCON’09:India. The winner of this year’s nationals is IIT-Madras & the runner up is VIT. Sadly we [MIT Pune] placed 4th i.e got eliminated in the quarterfinals 😦 [last year we were 2nd]. The consolation could probably be that we were beaten by IIT-Madras, the best team & this time there were twice the number of colleges as compared to 2008 competing in the national event [55…up from around 30]. So I guess, we beat more ppl 🙂

Well IIT-Madras is going to Tokyo for the ROBOCON’09 Internationals, sometime around august. Lets hope beat the sh*t out of everybody & bring home the trophy!

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Robocon, short for Robotic Contest, is an interesting game- cum- intellectual exercise for budding engineers and their enthusiastic instructors, determined to innovate and create machines to produce desired results. Participation in it is an end-to-end competitive experience from concept design of a system of robots programmed to perform according to rules of the game played on a precisely created challenging field and to score a victory beating the competitors; all this according to a Theme declared by the Host Country.
International Robocons are mainly sponsored by Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) which includes Doordarshan (Prasarbharati) of India as a member which has been organizing all activities in India for last four years with collaboration with Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) Pune, India.

The last International Robocon2008 was held in MIT Pune on 31st August, where 17 Engineering Colleges from 16 countries participated. The Theme for Robocon2008 declared by India was Govinda, a traditional Indian Deity who used to play earthly games by capturing Butter/Cheese from heads of Gopis – interestingly animated on the field in MIT and colorfully broadcasted by Doordarshan and other membersof ABU across the world.
The next International Robocon2009 is scheduled to be held in Tokyo Japan from 20th to 24th August 2009. Theme declared by Tokyo is Kago, the traditional Japanese palanquin, carried by human beings – an interesting and challenging objective for designes/fabricators to work on. To decide India’s participation in it, Doordarshan-MIT is organizing the National Robocon2009 on 6th to 7th March 2009, for which Registrations are open until 31st January 2009

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->ROBOCON 2009 Brochure
->This year’s task & theme
->This year’s participants
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Source

Cena’s Top 10: March’09 Week 1

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1.Everytime-Simple Plan
2.Innocent-Our Lady Peace
3.Time After Time-Quietdrive
4.What have you done-Within Temptation
5.Girl All the Bad Guys Want-Bowling for Soup
6.Aashiyana-Fashion
7.Down on My Head-Yellowcard
8.All Around Me-Flyleaf
9.Breathing-Lifehouse
10.Lines Of Light-The Subways

Last Week’s Top 10

Raves & Rants-2

I did say there will probably be a sequel. Well here it is

….

7.The stupid hot weather has increased the running temperatures of my MacBook. Its getting hot now 😦

8.I got the 8th season of “Scrubs” a couple of days back & was psyched. It had been a long time since season 7 & was looking forward to watching it. Well I did watch it…& it was a complete disappointment. It had NOTHING of the old Scrubs…the plots were slow, story was meandering & the jokes were lackluster. They are saying that this might be the last season. I would rather have had it finish off at 7, atleast the memories would have been fond 😦

9.Why is the “Advani for PM” poster there on every site on the net?? Anywhere I go I see his pic…& it is always out of context[why would it be on hdwallpapers??]. Get him out :@
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10.I am feeling drowsy these days…maybe it’s the heat, I don’t know, but in the afternoon a huge wave of drowsiness washes over me.

11.My hair has a mind of its own…Try as I might, a big chunk of it always forms a ‘C’ on the forehead. It ends up making me look stupid. Tried cutting it off, gels, creams to no avail. Sometimes I feel like going bald.

ROBOCON’09

MIT Pune ROBOCON team has made it into the quaterfinals. Arch rivals NIRMA are also there! Lets see how the matches progress…Best of Luck guys

Raves & Rants

cd_cover_ranting_opt1.What is up with the traffic in pune? I have had many close calls in the last couple of days [accidents & roadrage]. I have had ppl make U-turns suddenly without any indication on a one way road[I was right behind the guy & almost slammed into him]. I have been hit with a bunch of keys that were thrown from one edge of the road to another [so much for a nation that worships cricket…you can’t even get keys across a 15 foot wide road], TWICE in a period of three days. Why cant ppl who dont drive above 20 kmph stay to the left? The right lane is always for fast moving traffic. What is so hard to get about that?Here I am cruising along at 40-45 & suddenly I am forced to brake because some chick/aunty/uncle has decided to wear down their 2nd gear. I rarely get angry but when I miss a green traffic signal due to some other nincompoop, it me raving mad…thankfully my ipod helps me calm down. Then you have smoke belchers that cover you in carbon, making all your efforts to look good get a coating of grime. All vehicles over 1 tear old are supposed be issued with a PUC[Pollution Under Control] Certificate. Not having them entails a fine of Rs.100. By not having, I mean not having it on your person. Once Anuj got fined as he had forgotten the PUC at home,a mere 2 min walk from where we had been stopped. The jackass of a mamu did not even allow me to get it! Anyway how are these vehicles plying on the road. They are clearly polluting, hence cannot be issued the PUC certificate, hence illegal to be on the road.

2.Why is the weather all screwed up? It’s barely march & the sun can scorch your skin off. Seriously. Pune had this kind of weather around june/july. I mean come on, ppl have started using ACs here! Even lucknow is not that hot now!!

3.The water supply is as screwed up as the weather. For around 36 Hrs. we had no water supply.Uninformed cut. Right from the moring.Morning…I hope you are getting the meaning. Thankfully we had drinking water [in the water filter & the matka…no we do not have a fridge]. Dirty clothes & dishes piled up resulting in a testy cook & bai due to the increased workload the day after.Around a decade earlier, nani was posted in Jehanabad[Bihar]. There water used to come for 2 hrs. in the morning & 1hr in the afternoon & evening. Same for the electricity. Atleast there we knew what to expect. Here you are lulled into a false sense of security & as soon as you are complacentBAM, you are hit with the news of no water. Sneaky. I am not taking any chances. At any moment we have three buckets full & so are the water filter & the matka. I have a bad feeling about the water condition this summer.

4.Then you have the internet connection,one that is moody to the highest order. One minute I might be chatting with somebody, the next I am fiddling with the modem/the airport express & the settings to make the thing work. The increasing downtimes are getting me VERY irritated…Also now that we have 4 laptops [yes, hemant finally bought his…A Lenovo thinkpad-Y430-Rs.50,000. ]the 256 kbps feels very….you know...kam

5.Why can’t ppl clean their hands before touching my Mac?They know how hard I work to keep it white, still they muck it up. Wash up guys!

6.I am getting these painful pimples that hurt. Bad. And they seem to be playing a relay race. I handle one, & can feel another pushing up from under my skin.

[possibility of a sequel very high…2009 is not shaping out well]

Was listening to “Until the End” by “Breaking Benjamin” while writing this post. Click on link to listen.
Image:Paul OColmain

Cena’s Top 10: Feb’09 Week 4

Got this album [Vertical Horizon:Everything You Want] this week & loved the songs…hence the dominance 🙂
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1.You Say – Vertical Horizon
2.Finding Me – Vertical Horizon
3.Miracle – Vertical Horizon
4.Send it up- Vertical Horizon
5.High & Dry – Radiohead
6.Let it Whip – SR 71 [in the movie- The New Guy]
7.Heart In Hand- Vertical Horizon
8.Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning) – Vertical Horizon
9.We Are – Vertical Horizon
10.Everything You Want – Vertical Horizon

Last week’s Top 10

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