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  • Flash Lite

    Posted on July 28th, 2004 Sandeep No comments

    Anil de Mello writes about the launch of Flash Lite 1.1 in Europe with T-mobile. And what is the first application? News Express: an offline news and infotainment service updated regularly without user interaction. Is this cool, or is this cool?

    The best part? Support for Symbian phones (both Series 60 and UIQ). ’nuff said.

    More information from Macromedia Devnet. Looks like somebody was reading what I had posted sometime back (of course, I still want my RSS feeds – but it will happen, I’m sure).

  • Google Server Error?

    Posted on July 27th, 2004 Sandeep 1 comment

    Ah, BBC’s report explains it all. I had the same problem as other users when trying to access Everyone’s Favorite Search Engine(TM). Apparently caused by a variant of the MyDoom virus. Sigh. Time to update the antivirus at home (I use AVG’s Personal Edition – it’s free and very competent).

    The glitch I experienced was for a very short duration. About one minute, I think (I didn’t really time it).

    In other news, I successfully migrated from an Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2000 server at office. Several people had already migrated, and I think I was one of the last few people to do so. With this change, I will now be able to access my office mail from the Internet directly, without having to go through the intranet.

  • Mozilla and Firefox

    Posted on July 25th, 2004 Sandeep 2 comments

    More browser problems. Now Mozilla 1.7 (on Windows) is showing signs of slowing down. If I minimize the browser window for a long time and then try to restore it, it takes a hell lot of time and that really sucks. I had removed Firefox a while back due to its lack of support for NewsMonster, but then decided to give it another chance and reinstalled it today.

    And what happens? Shit happens, that’s what. As soon as I start Firefox, I get a dialog saying “Firefox is installing extensions. This could take a minute…” and simply refuses to proceed. I mean, dang it, the browser does not even start! Thankfully, I was able to start it in the “Safe Mode” (I haven’t figured out the differences between this and the other “Normal Mode”). Now, in Safe Mode, I think it does not allow you uninstall extensions – because the Extensions menu option only listed them, but were grayed out, and if I clicked the Uninstall button, nothing really happened.

    I closed the browser and tried to start it in the Normal mode again, and again it failed. So I promptly gave a visit to the friendly “C:\Documents and Settings\SANDEEPC\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox” folder and deleted the Profiles forlder there. And Firefox 0.9 was back in action.

    Yes! I’ve taken back the web! :-)

    (Oh, and speaking of webs, I saw Spider-Man 2 yesterday. Nice. Go see it!)

  • 3D Sound!

    Posted on July 23rd, 2004 Sandeep No comments

    (From CNET’s article)

    Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Media Technology, led by director Karlheinz Brandenburg, have developed a method for attaining true 3-dimensional sound. Going by what’s claimed in the article, I am sure we (the audience) are in for a treat. That’s if theatres can afford this technology. Seems Fraunhofer is charging anywhere between $10,000 to $15,000 to license the technology; the cost of speakers (300-400 of them) is separate.

    The only time I toyed with the idea of doing something with sound was when my uncle and I planned to build our own MP3 player/digital jukebox/whatever. We bought most of the hardware (including an 80C51 microcontroller to drive the MP3 decoder chip and hard drive). But alas, we forgot to buy time.

  • RAM-o-logic

    Posted on July 23rd, 2004 Sandeep No comments

    Aaaarggghh! No amout of RAM is ever sufficient for my desktop!!

    What I really need is some Windows utility that sorts the taskbar items based on each program’s memory usage. This way, I can knock out the ones hogging the memory faster. Most of the times it’s either Outlook or Mozilla(!). And sometimes, Adobe Acrobat Reader (when I have a gazillion PDF manuals open). Right now it’s the “open Taskmanager, sort processes by memory usage and kill process” cycle for me.

    Is there such a thing for Linux/Mac OS too?

  • News sites and the dreaded login

    Posted on July 20th, 2004 Sandeep No comments

    A very nice article at Wired, about people not particularly wanting to create logins to access news sites. Boing Boing’s post on this is worth a read. It’s true – with a gazillion news sites asking you to register just to access the day’s news, isn’t really going to attract people. I have been in this situation, and believe me, maintaining different passwords for each site is a pain in the butt. No, I don’t want to enable the “Remember the password for this site” option in either Mozilla or Internet Explorer.

    For a while, I used Password Safe, a free Windows utility by cryptography guru Bruce Schneier. It’s a good utility, but then, if you want to access it each time you want to read daily news, that’s not so good, is it?

  • SharePoint and Awards!

    Posted on July 20th, 2004 Sandeep 1 comment

    I used Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server and created a R�sum� Management Portal for our BU (Business Unit) at office, and got awarded for it. Apparently, it has made the HR’s life a lot easier in tracking r�sum�s.

    Truth be told, SharePoint makes your job very easy. Statutory Warning: It uses SQL Server as backend database, so download all the necessary patches before you start developing something on it. Seriously.

    More info here.

    Now that I can afford it (award = money!), I think I’ll go ahead and buy a D-Link Bluetooth USB dongle. I had to return the one I was using as another team requires it to do testing on HP’s Bluetooth printers.

  • PDA/Mobiles and viruses

    Posted on July 20th, 2004 Sandeep No comments

    Continuing on the reports of the first virus for Pocket PC (BBC’s report here), let’s just analyze how serious a threat viruses pose to mobile phones and PDAs.

    Let’s look at Nokia’s smartphones – most of them running the Symbian OS. The latest is the 6630, based on the hugely popular Series 60 interface. It’s connectivity options are Bluetooth and USB 2.0 (Pop-Port� interface). The Cabir virus targeting the Symbian platform propagated via Bluetooth, and there was some user intervention involved here – mainly, the user had to accept the file that came from another device. If the user decided not to accept it, then it simply could not spread. Another thing worth a mention here is that the virus had to arrive packaged as a .SIS (Symbian Installation) file, and not just a .APP (Symbian executable), since the phone prevents you from running them straight out of your Inbox.

    Now, with the USB interface, you have another way of spreading the virus. That’s assuming the PC you are connecting it to is somehow capable of passing on the virus to the phone. I see this happening when pigs grow wings. One might also argue suggesting that since these phones support POP3 and IMAP4 protocols, you can mail the virus directly to the phone. Again, it has to be a .SIS file that needs user intervention to get itself installed on the system.

    Regarding the Pocket PC-based PDAs, I’m not too sure since I haven’t really played with them as much as I have with Nokia’s phones. I’ve had a look at an HP iPaq, but that’s about it. I don’t have a clue how to install apps onto it. Same goes for Motorola‘s A760 Linux-based smartphone. While we are at it, let’s just forget the MPx-series phones as well. These things cost quite a bit and are hard to get for a review.

    So just wait a little bit longer before you buy that copy of McAfee Mobile. ’nuff said.

    Resources:

  • Techbook RSS 2.0: Are you subscribed yet?

    Posted on July 19th, 2004 Sandeep No comments

    I added links to RSS 2.0 feeds for Techbook. Thanks to Jeremy. If I hadn’t read his post, I probably wouldn’t have bothered to put up the RSS 2.0 feed.

  • General update

    Posted on July 19th, 2004 Sandeep 1 comment

    Lots of things happened over the last week:

    Personally, I feel that there is some justification in Nokia losing out market share. If you look at their last few phones, you will know what I mean ;-) Not that I’m happy about it — really, I love Nokia and would rather see them up their market share. But with Samsung and Motorola releasing phone after phone, that too running multiple platforms, we just have to wait and see.