Archive | General Posts RSS feed for this section

Same blog, new Destination!

27 Jul

Finally I moved my blog to my own server. And of course, if you’re reading the post, you know the new URL :P. My new blog will be a self hosted WordPress blog, unlike the previous, hosted on WordPress site.

Once I jumped to self hosted WordPress, I figured there were handful of features missing compared to WordPress.com site. This was a bit of surprise to me at first, but then finding all the features of Freemium product in a completely free package is a bit childish.

Thankfully, the WordPress.org is blessed with outstanding community that helps it to build thousands of plugins for almost any needs. So I decided to implement features of WordPress.com through these enhancements. Here’s what I did –

Before the Start –

You need to export the content of existing blog to this new blog. Following steps were easy to understand and simple to use and I was ready to sail on new blog!

  • Go to the Dashboard of existing blog, and find Tools section in the bottom of left side pane.
  • Select Export option, and then select All Content and press download.
  • Now go to Dashboard > Tools of new blog site.
  • Select Import here and choose WordPress. You can also import from other blogs if you wish to.
  • Now upload the file you’ve just downloaded from previous blog.
  • You can select to download all your media from old blog to new blog. Optionally, you can also change the post author. Done!

Once the contents get in place, it;s make for blog makeover. I’ll walk you through WordPress.com features that I’ve implemented in my blog with just 3 plugins.

Publicize –

This is nifty little feature of WordPress.com I missed a lot in my blog. With Publicize, as soon as user Publishes the blog, it gets shared through various social networks. Nice way of promotion, right?

After some searching, I found WP-AutoSharePost that does the same thing as Publicize, but it shares only on Facebook and Twitter. But it’s quite easy to configure. Install the plugin, follow their instructions (you need to create apps for Facebook and Twitter) and you’re ready to share your blog to the world.

Auto link/tag suggestions –

Another cool feature WordPress.com has is the way it suggests tags for the blog post and link suggestions for the terms that appear in the post. This really enhances the blog post and in order to have this great feature on your own blog, you just need Zemanta. This nifty plugin not only does the link and tag suggestions, but it also suggest the related posts and images to be used in our own blog. Pretty neat, ha!

Stats, comments, Sharing, Subscription, Proofreading, WP.me shortlink and Video Shortcode –

Too many features and just one more plugin to go. Unbelievable, right? But you’ll be more surprised to know that the plugin in concern offer much more than what I originally need it for. Welcome, Jetpack. With Jetpack, you can see statistics of your blog, have social sharing options for each blog post, gives the blog ability to add comment by logging-in through social network, etc. It also adds features in posting screen with proofreading, wp.me shortlink, and video shortcodes, all of which i available in WordPress.com site. Jetpack also packs more feature under it’s belt, but I have not tested them yet as I just wanted to get all the WordPress.com features.

Do note that if you’re installing Jetpack for it’s comment features, read this article to get it working properly.

With all these plugins, I mostly done emulating WordPress.com website. Although there are many features are yet to be tested in real world (I still don’t know if the sharing works, for example), I feel I have all the features I need.

I hope you’ll find the post useful, especially if you’re also planning to have self-hosted blog. If you think something else is required in this post, let me know.
Chao!

Advertisements

Learn new English words without much hassle!

16 Dec

Ah, so long, but wait is sometimes good (I’m not saying it’s going to be good this time though :grin:). Anyway, moving to the blog post of the day (or should I say month, given the last post was on Nov 21st? :???:).

Now, we all know how to read and write in English (I mean or how else you’re reading this post and I’ve written it? Chuck Norris :roll:), but when it comes to use right word, most of us simply fail. Just for example, I’ve used the word right instead of appropriate in last sentence, but appropriate was more, well, appropriate! And sometimes, people also get confused with the words. A friend of mine loves to call himself Simpleton thinking it’s very simple person!

So, how we improve our limited English vocabulary? It’s simple, we learn (Eureka, huh :evil:), but in slightly interactive way (Hmm, listening, aren’t you?). Below are the 3 websites that can help you grasp more words relatively easily (just relatively, you won’t become Shakespeare in one day :!:).

1. Graph Words:

It’s one of the most intuitive website I’ve ever seen in learning space. Graph Words is, by definition, a online interactive English dictionary and thesaurus that helps you find the meanings of words and show connections among associated words. If this goes over your head, just like it did in my case, it’s simply a graphical representation of the words you search with the possible synonyms. Your searched word is connected to it’s set of synonyms and the connection tells you the meaning of word. So, you know what exact word is to be used in the given situation.

A simple word graph for word friend is given below –

Graph Words - Friend

Search graph for the word Friend

2. Vocabulary:

Well, name says it all. It’s great vocabulary resource. But the interesting part of the website is when you visit, it present you with objective type assessment with point system. This assessments, although contains simple words, helps in knowing words and it’s use in pretty decent manner. But the fun gets multiplied when you enter the website. By default, they compare few similar looking words (remember simple and simpleton? :twisted:), but as you search, you’ll get the word suggestion (don’t need to remember spellings, wow!) and once selected, the you’ll see full page for the given word explaining everything about it. Quite cool, isn’t it?

3. Learn Word List:

Although the site says it’s a Free Vocabulary test Prep for GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, SAT, but you can use it for any purpose (they haven’t restricted us from doing so, I swear). This is the only website I find till now which has famous GRE flash cards, and it’s quite awesome! You can learn new words quickly and the use it to revise as well. Generally, there’s not much help in this section apart from the meaning of the words and it’s use in one sentence, but fret not, any further details needed is taken care in subsequent tests this site has. There are quite a varied selection of tests covering practically everything related to the words.

So, with these websites, I think you’re practically covered. Learn about a word through Vocabulary, get it’s meaning graph through Graph Words and finallyprove your skills on Learn Word List and you can call yourself pro! And before I part away, You can always use Google’s define method for quick reference.

Happy Diwali !!

26 Oct

Wishing all my reader (if any, huh!) a very, very Happy and prosperous Diwali.

For those who don’t know (:-o) Diwali is festival of lights. It’s celebrated in the memory of home-coming of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita. There are other religious beliefs for Diwali celebrations as well. You can read about it in details on Wikipedia. For some, especially the shopkeepers, Diwali is dawn of new year as well.

For those who’ve never been to India, it’s a perfect time to visit this place and live a moment like none other! Till then, take a look at these pictures (shamelessly ripped from various sources), and see the fun we’ve today!

Goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesh

Goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesh

Diyas

We use Diyas to light every place around us!

 

Crackers

It's not just light, it's a festival of sound too!

Diwali House

A decorated with lights!

 

NUI – Where Microsoft gets a little Touchy!

22 Oct

It’s a general concept that Microsoft don’t innovate at all, and just copies from others (Those others who hold less than 7% of computer OS segment. Yeah right!). Also, that it’s a completely closed source company (knew Openness and CodePlex?). Clearly, these things are market gimmicks to snatch some customer base (~92% market share is something!), and in reality nothing to do with what actually the company does. As far as innovation goes, you may want to have a look at Microsoft Research. Now before we go into stupid Microsoft vs. Apple fight again (sorry Linux, you now don’t make a cut.), let me come to the topic.

What exactly is NUI? NUI stands for Natural User interface (and it has nothing to do with that stupid Natural Scrolling Lion has). NUI is not a single product but a series of offerings to help you control the digital world in more natural way. Microsoft has done these kinds of attempts in past as well (Microsoft Surface, anyone?), but they haven’t seen much acceptance from customer, to put in polite way! What’s new in store of NUI then which make drastic changes? Currently nothing, but let’s look at what’s about to come (maybe!) in future.

The three products I’m gonna tell you definitely has potentials, but it’s too early in their development phase to be sure of their future. Let’s begin (in increasing order of my liking).

1. Microsoft PocketTouch:

PocketTouch is Through-Fabric Capacitive Touch Input (phew!). Essentially, it’s a way to interact with a touch sensitive device through your cloths. That means, you don’t have to take out your mobile every time in order to do simple works, just touch your pocket. If you’ve seen the video above, you can easily understand it’s working and usefulness. As far as size goes, well, I don’t think final product will be this big or have such a long wires. Actually, it should be inbuilt in the mobiles for better user acceptance.

2. Microsoft OmniTouch:

OmniTouch is Wearable Multitouch Interaction Everywhere. It simply means you can potentially convert any surface into interactive user interface. It’s much like Pranav Mistry’s Sixth Sense Device but comes with a lot more features. As you can see from the video, it looks quite fluid and powerful. If it sees a commercial light, it has a potential to retire mouse altogether. Again, it’s just the initial model in the video and the final product will be made into a pendant or a watch.

3. Microsoft HoloDesk:

HoloDesk (it doesn’t have single line definition, sorry!) is the latest offering from Microsoft and created a lots of buzz lately. Developers at Microsoft Research created a Virtual Interactive System using Kinect camera optical see through 3D display. User can interact with the virtual object just like he does with natural objects and all of these happen in real-time. This clearly show the huge potential of Kinect as well, but the overall system created for HoloDesk is something really worth a look. Just look at the video and get mesmerized.

We cannot predict the future for sure (unless you’re a Mayan, of course!), but looking into these technologies, it seems that our future will be much more interactive and immersive than what’s it today.Finally before leaving, here is one more video on how Microsoft plans to transform User Interaction with computers in future. Take a look:

Tribute to Steve Jobs!

6 Oct

Today I woke with the most tragic news of Computing World –  the death of Steve Jobs! Really, it’s a end of an era. Jobs was truly a creative person and always had great innovative ideas in his mind. Entire Apple Inc. is known mainly for Jobs and it’s quite hard to predict the future of Apple Inc. after the loss of Jobs.

I’ve compiled few reactions by popular figures on Steve Job’s death.

Bill Gates:

I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.

President Obama:

Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.

By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.

The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him

Larry Page:

I am very, very sad to hear the news about Steve. He was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance. He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it. His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me. He was very kind to reach out to me as I became CEO of Google and spend time offering his advice and knowledge even though he was not at all well. My thoughts and Google’s are with his family and the whole Apple family.

Sergey Brin:

From the earliest days of Google, whenever Larry and I sought inspiration for vision and leadership, we needed to look no farther than Cupertino. Steve, your passion for excellence is felt by anyone who has ever touched an Apple product (including the macbook I am writing this on right now). And I have witnessed it in person the few times we have met.

On behalf of all of us at Google and more broadly in technology, you will be missed very much. My condolences to family, friends, and colleagues at Apple.

Tim Cook:

I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email rememberingsteve@apple.com.

No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.

Aside

Ab to aapko discount to nahi chahiye hoga na?

1 Oct

So I’m back in my home town of Muzaffarpur (Bihar), after some 6 months. I must say, it’s good to be home. The home food, the surroundings, the people, everything simply brings grand smile on my face. I’m so happy these days.

But when I wake up today, I felt the usual quench for technology, knowing that the new set of tech magazines should already be on the shelves of bookstore. Now being a tech-buff (at least I love to call myself this, even if it’s partially true), I couldn’t live without buying the copy of tech magazines. So, I decided to walk to a bookstore and buy at least one magazine.

Without having any particular bookstore in mind, I just walked to this bookstore (believe me, I still don’t know the bookstore’s or the owner’s name) located about a kilometer from my house. I realize that it’s been at least a year to this bookstore, and maybe the person don’t even know me now. So without trying to make myself familiar with him, I decided to act casual, ask for my magazine and walk away.

I was pleasantly surprised when the shopkeeper not only recognized me but immediately started talking to me in spite of having loads of customer. It really feels nice when someone recognize you after all these time, isn’t it? He asked where I’m now and how much I’m earning these days, and he’s really impressed to know I live in Hyderabad (being a tremendously big city compared to Muzaffarpur), and enjoying a handsome salary. After some chit chat, I asked for my magazines. He said for this month only one has came, and I was quite happy to take it. I gave him 200 bucks (the magazine costs Rs. 150) expecting 50 bucks in return.

Then comes another surprise! The guy asked me – “Ab to aapko discount to nahi chahiye hoga na?” (Hindi which translates to Now you don’t need discount anymore, isn’t it? in English). And there I was! Completely forgotten it’s what I generally ask before buying the magazine – a nice little discount. And this shopkeeper used to give me 10% off as well (This was the reason to buy form his store, I remember now!). I completely forgotten because back in Hyderabad, I only buy things on M.R.P. Whatever is written on price tag, that’ll be the final price. No haggling, no discounts, nothing! Impressed and surprised at the same time, I asked – “Arrey, kyun nahi Bhaiya?” (Oh, Why not Bro? – English). And I was thinking what if he says no now. He can give me any reason (not a regular user, now discount scheme is ended, etc.) and I’ve to accept. Sometime back, I’s okay to buy on M.R.P. but now, no way!, I wanted to get this discount somehow. Typical human nature you know. I was still thinking what to say to avoid this discount spill away from my hand, when he says – “Arrey majak mein bol the bhaiya, aap kamane jo lage ho.” (Was just kidding bro, you are now earning. – English) and offered me my (?) usual 10% discount. Happy, I left for home. Incredible, isn’t it?

I really feel these kind of encounters is only possible small and sensible city like Muzaffarpur. They still have heart, warmth and value of people. Not telling because I got discount, I mean, there’s still a couple of shops in Hyderabad from where I’m buying stuffs daily, but I’m quite sure that they don’t even recognize me well. And heck, I don’t even know my neighbors at all. Back in Muzaffarpur, I’ve to spend a day in order to meet everybody in my locality.

No matter how *good life* Hyderabad has, no matter how fast paced the city is and no matter how much I’m earning there, I still feel like coming back to cities like Muzaffarpur, if not anything else then for encounters like these, which really makes my day!

%d bloggers like this: