Thursday, June 11, 2009

Get real time updates of Twitter and Flickr visually on Earth Map

See who is adding which photo on flickr on the map as they add it in real time.

See the updates from twitter on the map as they are posted on the site.

Make USB disks/drives write protected (or read-only) using USB WriteProtector

Do you always fear that your USB drive, which contains your important data, may get affected instantly when plugged into a foreign computer in a cyber café, computer lab in your college or even at your friend's place? Then USB WriteProtector by Gaijin is for you.

This program can be downloaded from
Moreover this program is FREE and Portable, i.e. it does not requires installation.
Extract the files from the archive and run USBWriteProtect.exe.
The default interface language is not English, so choose English from the list of available labguages and you are ready to go.

This nice little app turns On/Off the write protection flag in the file syetem of your USB drive. So if you turn write protection on, then no changes can be done to the contents of USB drive, not even viruses can infect your drive.

When ever you turn write protection on or off, you just have to remove/eject the drive and attach it again.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Microsoft Bing - A quick review

Microsoft launched it's brand new search (oops I mean, decision) engine two days before the scheduled date. Here's a quick review (and of course, comparison) of Bing with two major search engines Google and Yahoo!.

Did you mean...
One of the most important feature that is missing from Bing is spelling suggestions. Its a must for any search engine.

Web and Images
Bing provides good search results for web and images. Plus the categorization for images is also very good, especially the option for searching images with "Face only" and "Face and Shoulders". This can be used to find images with people only very easily.

Local Search
Google has vast amount of data for local listing (I guess from Google Maps), that's why Google shows local listings with web site and phone numbers for almost every search. In comparison Bing does not have that much of data so we miss out local listings.

Currency Conversion
Google's currency conversion feature is very handy.
Bing and Yahoo! don't provide currency conversion.

Courier Search
If a package number such as 1Z9999W99999999999 is entered, then both Bing and Google show a link to track that package. But Yahoo doesn't.

Another handy feature is that entering 'Time' shows current local time in Google. Bing and Yahoo! both miss it out.

Enabling All Features
You may not be able to access all the features of Bing (like Shopping, CashBack etc.) in your country. To access and try all the features, click on the country name on the top horizontal navigation bar and choose United States - English.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Using unicode in ASP.Net

When using unicode in ASP.Net, be sure to save the files in "UTF-8 " (i.e. with BOM, Byte Order Mark). Otherwise the characters in languages other than English won't be displayed correctly.

This is different from PHP which requires files to be saved in "UTF-8 without BOM" as discussed earlier in one of the other posts in this blog.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Window resize bug in Vista's "Connect To" dialog

The "Connect To" menu option in Windows Vista Start Menu can be used to connect to a network. But I've noticed weird resizing of this window as shown in the following images.


After minimizing and restoring:

If this window is minimized and restored, then it's width increases! According to my observations, this happens very few times when Aero theme is enabled, but almost every time when using Windows Vista in Classic Theme with Themes service not running.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Session problems while developing multilingual pages in PHP

You need to use UTF encoding for files while developing multilingual pages.
In that case, if you are using sessions then PHP interpreter may give a warning like "session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent". even when session_start() is the line of the code.

This can be avoided by using "UTF without BOM" (byte order mark) instead of just UTF encoding which does not insert extra bytes at the start of the file.

Friday, February 27, 2009

VITality '09 Poster

This is the final draft of I've made for VITality '09; the technical event at VIT, Pune.

Check out for event details.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Speakers that automatically go in Standby mode

Gone are the days when people used to have stereo speakers. Now a days speakers with 2.1 to 5.1 channel configuration are very common.

But there is something that irritates me about them. These speakers have powerful amplifiers. They consume lot of power, plus they produce a little hum which is very noticeable in the quiet environment or at night.

The idea is that they should also have the ability to go to s mode like most of the devices (monitors, hard disks etc.) today have. So that it will consume less power and let people take sound sleep!

I hope these kind of speakers will come out in market soon.