Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Google RSS Reader vs. Safari RSS Reader

I was an early user of Google Reader, I subscribed to some cool RSS feeds like Slashdot, Boing Boing, TUAW, BBC Hindi News, Rediff News etc. etc. I also added a couple of blogs to this list. Soon after this, I bought my powerbook and with Safari's built-in RSS reader all other options looked lame.

After nearly 3 years of using Safari RSS reader, I went back to google reader and I believe it's a 'better' option than Safari (atleast in my case). These are the following reasons why I spent half an hour today to move my RSS subscriptions to google reader (some more are pending).

1. Unlike before, I don't check my RSS feed everyday and I don't visit my friend's blogs everyday. Vivek can testify to this. I used to be first and last person to comment on many of his posts but it's not like that any more :) Safari is not good for managing large number of pending RSS feeds. It goes berserk sometimes and shows ALL previous posts as new posts. With Google Reader I haven't seen such problems so far.

2. I switch off my laptop sometimes. All the people who think I still remain in front of my laptop 16 hours a day and am online 24 hours. It's not true anymore. I do manage to spend 16 hours in front of the computer but I have started switching off my machines (or putting them to sleep). If my machine is offline for a couple of days (yes that happens too) I loose all posts made in those days if RSS feed is updated. With Google Reader I can all the feeds I missed.

3. I can use other browsers or computers if I use google reader.

4. Google reader has a sleek UI. I simply love AJAX :)

So folks.. subscribe to your friend's blog feeds using google reader and frighten them with a comment "AS" soon as they post an entry !!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ultimately Secure Firewall

I was reading about security and stuff. Had heard about the firewalling method described below but the text is hilarious:

Installation Instructions: For best effect install the firewall between
the CPU unit and the wall outlet. Place the jaws of the firewall across the
power cord, and bear down firmly. Be sure to wear rubber gloves while
installing the firewall or assign the task to a junior system manager. If the
firewall is installed properly, all the lights on the CPU will turn dark and
the fans will grow quiet. This indicates that the system has entered a
secure state. For Internet use install the firewall between the demarc of
the T1 to the Internet. Place the jaws of the firewall across the T1 line
lead, and bear down firmly. When your Internet service provider's
network operations center calls to inform you that they have lost
connectivity to your site, the firewall is correctly installed. (© Marcus
(Image courtesy wikipedia)

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Buying a cooler in Delhi

We recently bought a desert cooler for the main hall in our flat. I thought buying a cooler must be easy, you step into a shop, look at a few coolers choose the best one the shop keeper recommends and walk out with a cooler. Make that walk out with a payment receipt, cooler will be delivered later.

As you can see, I had never bought a cooler before. I spent significant part of my last 11 years in Bombay and Pune where I didn't need an air/desert cooler. When I was in Delhi I didn't really have to take care of 'operational issues'.

Let me tell you what all you might need to see while buying a cooler in Delhi. I don't know if the same terminology is applicable everywhere else in India or abroad.

There are two types of fans available. Kit and Exhaust. The exhaust fans used for cooler was something that I had thought when I was a kid. I don't know whether I thought about it first or cooler manufacturers started using them first.

Exhaust fans are more powerful and are recommended if you are big room.

Fan Manufacturer
You can get 'local' fans or ISI fans or fans from top names like Bajaj, Cropmton & Greaves etc. Needless to say that price for a 'company' fan is more than the cost of whole local cooler.

Guarantee / Warrantee
An interesting aspect was that almost everyone gave one year warrantee on the product. That means it will run this summer and we don't guarantee about the next year.

Water Pump
When I looked inside a cooler last time, they used to have a huge vertical water pump in the center and we were instructed that water should not touch this water pump ;). This has been replaced with "made in china" cute little submersible water pumps.

Well anyway, we did buy a cooler and hopefully it will run this season without any problems.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

BRT and Times of India

It seems T/Slimes of India folks have taken a umbrage to BRT system that's being tried/introduced in Delhi roads. Since there are no other scandals happening right now (actually they might be happening, they are not being uncovered), TOI has been putting photographs of BRT and jams around BRT system on the front page and a story written by some "Specialist Hate Reporter" who bashes BRT system and the planners all the way to glory.

I personally think that the traffic used to be there before BRT and it continues to be there. So BRT has not solved the problem. Though I sincerely believe that BRT is a good system.

All I have to say to TOI folks is: Get over your BRT obsession !!

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