Friday, October 30, 2009

Add-ons in my Firefox

Firefox, the open source browser, really broke new ground with its add-on feature that let people bring new functionality to a browser. I use Firefox 3.5.4 and cannot do without a few add-ons. Here are a list of really useful add-ons, maybe you can take them up.

DownThemAll! – Awesome download add-on that can easily replace your own download manager. What I like most about this add-on is the sweet sound it makes when a download finishes.

IE Tab – Some sites really break in Firefox coz they are exclusively built for Internet Explorer. This add-on load the IE browser within the Firefox window and mimics IE and voila! The website is working.

Firegestures – I have realized that this is a highly addictive add-on. It implements mouse gestures. You hold the right click on the mouse and make a gestures (Right to left for back) and that action is carried out in the browser. If you are far away from the back button or the keyboard this really save time. Downside of this add-on is that sometimes I find myself trying mouse gestures on someone else’s computer. :(

Echofon – Earlier it was called TwitterFox. This should give you an idea what it does. Yes it is a Twitter Client and a very good one at that. It lets me read and reply to friend tweets, all the basic functions that I do with my Twitter.

Prayer Times – Lets me know the time to the next prayer. Excellent utility for Muslims at work.

FoxClocks – Configure multiple clocks in your browser. I have friends all over the world so this is mighty useful.

InFormEnter – In my work, I keep filling forms. These are those repetitive kind of forms where you keep entering the company name, address, telephone, blah blah. Informenter provides an easy way to setup this database and fill each form field through a couple of clicks only. Another timesaver.

PDF Download – You must have come across the pains that you feel when you click a PDF link in a browser. It jams up your computer trying to load the PDF reader. This add-on gives a pop-up when you click a pdf link asking if you want to download it or open it and other options. (see screenshot)

Weave - Last but not the least, this add-on is simply amazing. It is developed by Mozilla, it synchronizes all your bookmarks, stored passwords, history, tabs, preferences, add-ons, personas. This is only for the initial version. More features in future versions. Requires sign up and a passphrase to double protect your data.

If you have a favourite add-on, please let me know. If you don’t I suggest you get your latest copy of Firefox and try these add-ons out. Next blog about the software I use in my windows box.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Collabovel - Google Docs

In this age of things happening in the cloud, I wanted to start an experiment (2 years ago). I wanted to write a novel through collaboration. So I went ahead and opened up a new document on Google Docs. Wrote up a few lines and shared it with a few friends.

Either my friends were not much into the idea or they were plain lazy or thought I was a retard for starting such an experiment. Nothing came of the "novel" except a few lines. The following are the lines from the "Collabovel". All that it now brings to me are certain bowel movements.


The lazy drops of water seemed to fall in slow motion from the face of the bright green leaf into the oval pond under the shade of the tree. The latest drop disturbs the water even further, lifting clouds of mud inside the pond.

The clouds of mud start to settle after every drop and reveal what lies beneath. The clear skies allow sufficient sunlight to show the pale face of a woman. Her eyes open and staring up into a distant unknown.

She says 'Shut up!'.

So would the gay protagonist think, but he does not realize that she is dead in her arse.

She suddenly becomes aware that she is in a story. She's not real. She is being written. She looks up to the heavens, with sad eyes, and shouts to the author: 'Shut up!'.

There is no reply back from the author. She remains sad. She realizes the obvious thing. The author is dumb. He cannot speak. He is already 'Shut up!'"

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jaane bhi do yaaron

If you are a movie buff, you definitely know, yes?

One goes there for movie reviews, dvd release dates, to read up a few tidbits about his favorite star, find movies that he likes and various other things.

There is this guy Nathaniel Johnston, who chose to conduct a research on imdb films, their ranking and stuff. I came across this blog of his, when I was searching for movies having ratings higher than 9.0.

His research and formulas not withstanding, he provided a list of movies from 1950 till date that has the highest ranking given that they had 1000+ votes. In the 59 years of the available data, there was one movie that stood out for me.

Jaane bhi do Yaaron. I've not seen the movie in its entirety, but do know it was a superb movie. Now, I have to go and watch it completely. Quite an achievement for a Hindi Movie. One can also check out the other movies. Seem very good as well.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Best Couple

"A good marriage would be between a blind wife and deaf husband. -- Michel de Montaigne"

One of the quotes of the day. Something to ponder about. I don't agree, but still something to ponder about.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The next generation of touch

How many of you think that the human/computer interface of keyboard and mouse is getting old?

The new touch screen interfaces brought forth by your favurite phone (iPhone, Nokia 5800 etc) would give one an idea of how things will pan out in the future.

I have thought of such technologies, but not as much as a certain R. Clayton Miller. (We'll get to that later)

My idea was to place a thin screen over the monitor (much like the yester year anti glare screens). This screen will interface with the computer through a USB port into a software program that will map the touches to the onscreen interface. This was my idea of simplifying things without the need for an expensive touch enabled monitor.

I thought this idea was great, until my friend Badar sent me a link that shattered all my dreams of having a patented solution in my pocket.

This here is the link to Mr. R. Clayton Miller's work. It is so good, one would surely say "be-awesome" ("Rhino is awesome! He's so awesome! He's... He's beyond awesome! He's... be-awesome!" Rhino - Bolt - 2008).

Share any brilliant ideas that you might have had on this topic!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Political humor: The kind I like.

From time to time, I do enjoy some political humor. Here is a sample.

"In the book Gulag Archipelago, author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn recounted how a fellow prisoner in the USSR labour camps told how he came to be arrested. At a local party conference, someone toasted Stalin and 'stormy applause, rising to an ovation', broke out. Even though the great leader was absent, it continued. 'But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching... However, who would dare be the first to stop?

'Then, after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a business-like expression and sat down in his seat.' That same night, he was arrested."

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | A short history of long speeches:

Intense Emotions

When one sees a stunning visual, it can evoke poetry, can make him dance with happiness, jump with joy or write an epic. These things might be anything from a small drop of water falling in a bowl or the huge thunderclouds bringing a torrent into your city.

I experienced something today that made me write a blog. Hah.

Snow Patrol - You could be happy. That's the song I heard. After a considerable time.

Made me ponder how a few simple words can be woven into such a sweet song. Man, the wonders it does, how it conveys the message in a special way.

This feeling of wonder can be extended to a lot of other songs and their delivery. One special song that reminds me of this feeling is "Tujhse Naraaz Nahin" from the movie Masoom, that was sung my Amanat Ali (a contestant on a music show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa). It was heart wrenching. It made me vote on a reality show for the first time.

It was so good that he was asked to sing the song three times!! Amazing. How often does that happen??

What is the latest thing that made you do something??

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Comfort Habits

I am not obsessive compulsive about cleanliness. Do just enough to be called civilized. But there was one small comforting habit that I used to do when I was working for my previous company. This is how it went.

Step 1: Reach office, arrange my stuff, switch on the computer.
Step 2: Go to the washroom and wash hands till wrists with the available soap solution.
Step 3: Take the napkin and wipe both hands till no part of napkin is dry.
Step 4: Use the hot air blowing machine to remove any wet patches.

That's it. No more, no less. Pretty boring, I'd say. But NO! The feeling after the action of having dry, warm hands is simply unbeatable. Who doesn't like a warm hand shake? I surely hate sweaty palm hand shakes.

So there, that is my comfort habit. Washing and drying my hands. Sadly, my current office doesn't have a hot air blower. I do it whenever I go to restaurants or such.

Do you have any comfort habit? Please do share no matter how embarrassing it might be.

Tournaments are like parties

Page 2 | The tournament with an asterisk in the title | "When the ICC hosts a tournament it is more like your parents throwing you a bash. They think they know what is cool, but they don't quite get it. They put on Maroon 5, invite over all your boring aunts and uncles, only have non-alcoholic drinks, and have the party on a weekday.

Lalit is more like the cool, slightly dodgy, uncle. He comes in with a DJ, free booze for everyone, invites your friends, and brings over famous people and the party goes crazy."

This I was reading on the cricinfo site written by Jarrod Kimber ( I liked it more for the way he described the ICC tournaments. Very True!