30 Sept 2009

Heaven and Hell

After being in Hell[*] for about a week, I ran into Yama.  He asked me how everything was, and I said, "it isn't as bad as I had thought."

"I'm glad to know that," he smiled.

"I wonder how Heaven would be!  It must be awesome to live in there," I said.

Yama chuckled and said, "Will tell you a secret.  It's pretty much the same.  Only it has a different name."

I was surprised to no end by this answer.  I thought for a second and said "Hmm... but I guess people in Heaven would be a hundred times happier than those in Hell."

"That's what even the people in Heaven think.  You know what I think?  Heaven and Hell start at Earth, and they end near their entrances."

[*] I mean Hell in general not the Christian Hell.

I'm over you

That's what I believed
Until this night broke me again.
Each broken piece has one want:
Won't you say that at least once?

29 Sept 2009

Some day

Don't remember how long I've been looking at the road and the parked car.  Some day the tyre trails will extend to the road.  Some day I'll have the motivation to drive.  Some day I'll be at the  other end of this road.  Some day I'll think of the blocks that made me park my car and stare at the road.  Yes, some day... but for now, give me a drink!

Photo taken by Bharat Kumar in Death Valley National Park, California.

20 Sept 2009

Search is a hard problem

Text search is a very hard problem.  Especially when it comes to Web search.  Bing is growing very fast as a web search engine, with more than 10% market share.  I've been using Google Search for years, and I like Google.  Every now and then I compare Bing's results with Google's to see how Bing is catching up with Google.

Recently I am annoyed with Java updates plugging in Carbonite backup software, so I wanted to see what people in general think about it.  I did a Twitter search and got no results at all!

I myself had tweeted about it a few days back, so I knew Twitter Search is broken and I should use a different search engine.  I tried Google and found at least 60 tweets!

Now that I am sure Twitter search is terribly broken, I thought of trying the same query on Bing.  Bing cannot see more than 5 tweets.  But still, it's better than Twitter's own search.

For now, I have set up a custom search engine in my Chrome browser so that I can search from the address bar itself.  This is how I did it:

  1. Click on Chrome's wrench menu and choose Options.
  2. In Basic tab, click on Manage button near the default search engine's name.
  3. Click on Add button.
  4. Type http://google.com/search?q=site:twitter.com+%s for URL.
  5. Enter a name and keyword of your choice.  I entered Search Twitter.com as name and twit as keyword.

With this new search keyword, I can type twit bing google in address bar to search for tweets containing the words bing and google.

(BTW, did you notice there's no link to Advanced Search UI from Bing's home page?)

19 Sept 2009

Vista's awesome Program Compatibility Assistant

I have a Windoze machine at my workplace.  It's running Vista, which brings wow experience to your computers.  Today I upgraded my VLC player to the latest version and when I open VLC, Windoze decided to save me from falling off earth into nowhere:

Windoze expects me to decide and tell if the installation went fine before even opening the app.  Before going mad, I saw the help link in the bottom that read "What settings are applied?"  Ah good, now it's gonna show me the settings used by the new app and I can tell if it's correct or not.  So I click on the link and this is all I see:

Oh well.  Using Windoze is like being handicapped.  You just get used to it over time.  If you manage to successfully move away from it, you pray you never have to go back again. 

PS: FWIW, A quick Google search seems to suggest that not a lot of people like this feature:

17 Sept 2009

Random Thoughts: Ego

Thoughts like "I am weak" and "I am inferior" feed your ego as much as thoughts like "I am strong" and "I am awesome".  Dealing with ego is tricky!  (And this knowledge about ego feeds my ego too.)

8 Sept 2009

Chrome apps on Linux

Update: As of version, Chrome on Linux supports applications shortcuts.  (However, it uses Chrome's icon for shortcuts instead of the website's icon.)

If you are running the pre-release dev version of Chrome on Linux, you probably know that the Application Shortcuts feature of Chrome is not functional yet.  If that is one of your favourite features, you don't have to wait till the Chrome team implements it; if you are willing to create the shortcuts manually, you can get that feature right now.

Here is how you'd create an application shortcut for Gmail (in KDE):
  1. Right click on desktop, select Create New > Link to Application...
  2. Download Gmail logo from http://mail.google.com/mail/images/2/gmail_icon_32.png and save it somewhere.
  3. Click on the icon near the app name to change the icon.  This brings the Select Icon window.  Choose Other icons options.  Click on Browse... button and choose the icon you saved in the previous step.

  4. Type Gmail for the name of the application.
  5. Switch to Application tab.  Type /usr/bin/google-chrome --app=http://mail.google.com/ --enable-plugins for Command.
  6. Press OK button to save the shortcut.
That's all you have to do.  You can now click on the Gmail shortcut from your desktop and it opens Gmail in its own window.  As you might have observed, you only have to change the URL in the command line and the icon to create shortcuts for other web apps.

Random Thoughts: Addictions again

Did I say every addiction fills a gap?  I guess I was wrong.  Every addiction temporarily hides a gap.  You forget and ignore the gap for a while.  When your ignorant bliss fades away, the gap surfaces again.  It doesn't take too long before you seek help from your addiction again.  Understanding and accepting to live with the addiction is probably a better, although difficult, thing to do.

Compiz and Docking Windows

OpenOffice is one among many programs that lets us dock small tool windows to the main application window instead of keeping them as floating tool windows.  OpenOffice blog explains how this is done.

If you have Compiz running on your machine, you might find that docking doesn't work anymore.  Moving the tool window near the application window won't show any sign of docking at all.  You need to disable a certain Compiz setting for this to work.  Here's how you would do it:
  1. Open Compiz Settings Manager.  You can do it by running ccsm command, or choosing Advanced Desktop Effects Settings from K Menu > Settings on KDE.
  2. Click on Move Window item from the right-hand side pane.  (Not on the checkbox; click on the icon or the text "Move Window" itself.  That opens the options window for this item.)
  3. Uncheck Lazy Positioning option, if it's checked.

That's it.  Now you should be able to dock your tool windows.