Kapil's Korner 


Lunch just got more interesting

The morning started on a sad note - granny was not feeling too well but now things are better and I am going to have dinner with her after work. Of course she won't be cooking so I am going to miss all the sweets and special dishes which she churns out when I visit her place. Work was crazy - I spent the whole day working with Excel and lots of client costing had to be sent out. It's about time I get an Excel tutorial book and upgrade my skills. My lunch just got interesting starting yesterday since I signed up for a new "tiffin" service - The food is wholesome and it's yum (Sweetdish @ lunch is the icing on cake!). I surfed around and looked at some good blogs, I am thinking of starting a blogroll in here so I can share my favourite links. Besides reading other blogs also helps me get fresh ideas and see what people are sharing on their blogs. It's fun, TRUST ME!

Oh BTW, the camera has been decided and hopefully will be picked up next week from Dubai. So it's about a week more before I can get "clicky-click".

I am dreading the journey to granny, since it's peak time and people are going to crush me with every bone in their body possible (If you haven't seen the local Mumbai train - You won't get this!). Eeeks!


Arguments getting shorter

It's good to know that the arguments are getting shorter - But not when you are not winning them anymore. I just got off the phone after a no gainer with her and this is what hits me on the internet. Couldn't save it for later, so here it is:

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Manage your browser windows

If you surf a lot of websites simultaneously your taskbar should be crowded all the time with the numerous browser windows open. I wanted to get rid of this and discovered Maxthon Browser which sits on top of Mircrosoft's Internet Explorer and makes things easy. You can get a complete tour, feature list etc. at their website - so not wasting time I am just going to give you my list on what rocks in Maxthon Browser.
  • With a single-click all browser windows are minimized giving you access to the other program(s) working in background.
  • Resume function is handy because it lets you get back to where you were even after you re-start the browser. I don't know if the settings can be kept even after a PC re-start.
  • The toolbar gives you access to commonly used Utilities. I set-up my access to Irfanview since I do a lot of screen captures.
  • Group Bookmarks - this was good. I was surfing a few sites searching for a digital camera and with a single click I could bookmark all the pages and return to the websites at a later stage. This again with a single-click.

I don't know technically but personally I felt Maxthon loads faster than a single window of IE and then opening new windows open in a jiffy. Although I must state here that sometimes Maxthon stops working and will show "The page cannot be displayed" for all the open pages. That's when you have to re-start the browser and the Resume function comes in handy. This is a worthy download for your IE.


Not in a snapshot

I am thinking of buying a digital camera. How do you do it? Get into CNET.com and read a few reviews, follow their buying guide and make your selection. Of course being me I always need personal recommendations and feedback from other fellow users - So I write to friends to get their opinion too. And that's what I just did. But of course - the more information you get the more you are confused by the end of it all. And after 2 days of surfing around and reading pixel size, zoom lengths and battery life - I am sure out of life. It's just too confusing.

Although CNET tries to make their spec list as simple as possible, I think it yet takes a geek mind-set to make the correct purchase and not over-look something you realize only after the deal. And then again it's a big world out there - so you have die-hard fans who would swear by Sony and then there are some who would put Canon to the top of the list. Till last evening, I was looking at Sony, now I am looking at Canon. What I end up buying is something for me to yet decide? I am expecting a few replies from friends and will then take a decision - which ain't as easy as capturing the first snapshot. I am really excited to get my hands on a digital camera ASAP. Can't wait to start populating my Photostream at Flickr.


Workplace woes

Sometimes it can just get frustrating! I do product development for a cosmetic firm and very often the back copy of a product label is my responsibility. If you ever read the fine print you would see the all so complicated chemical names which identifies the ingredients of the product. For example "Cetostearly Alcohol", this chemical has many names like "Cetyl Alcohol" and even "Cetearyl Alcohol". Now these are not words of everyday use and for somebody like me who uses "spell-checks" to even send out e-mails it can get very difficult to work with.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAfter desparately sending out e-mails across the office to make sure I was spelling these words correct I searched the internet for a chemical directory (actually I would call it a dictionary) which would give me the correct spelling.

And as with all other things internet was to the rescue - Google threw up so many results that I was confused which one would be the best. Some were added to my bookmark list and will be used for regular reference. The one which shows "Sorry no results were found" will be thrown out of the list. I am harsh - yes, I am.

Working with too many IE windows open was creating a mess in the taskbar so finally I hit download for the much delayed "Maxthon". I didn't dig deep into the features but it makes for easy browsing in one single window with many tabs. I hope to post a complete review in a few days (need to experience it before I blog, correct?).


The search begins...

I finally decided that I should make the much delayed digital camera purchase. I am going to ask a dear friend to bring it in from the US the next time he is coming back home. Meanwhile I continued searching through CNET, reading user reviews and and also looked at a few digital photography blogs. At the end of it all: I am yet confused and have not even been able to make a "potential-purchase" list. My requirements are pretty simple, maybe you can help me.
  • I need it for personal use so I need something simple which even the family can manage to use at times
  • I would use it primarily for photos on the Web, but of course if I like some shots would want to get them printed professionaly or on the home printer
  • Batteries - Re-chargable preffered always
  • My budget: US $350-$400.

That's more or less. Simple ain't it? Drop me a line if you can share something with me.


More than just blogs

Where have I been? Busy. It's been a crazy start for the week. Just too many projects getting actioned after a long period of gestation so I am swamped with work. But that's how I like to be @ work - Busy!

Was wondering how blogging helps me:

  • Links, images and clippings which interest me - I don't send them via e-mail anymore, I just post it in here. Saves the Inbox of my dear friends and I also help save some bandwidth on this massive network called the "INTERNET". Besides I also get to share with them with people more than just on my e-mail lists.
  • Helps me think - Every new activity, event etc. keeps me thinking of an idea for my next blog. In short, makes life more interesting.
  • Photo Blogs - they help me discover things which I usually would glance over and not think. But a camera in hand makes me want to take a snap-shot so I stop, look and ponder while the photo goes online.

It's past 8:30PM and I yet at work, so I better get going home - I am HUNGRY!


Messenger Plus!

Messenger Plus! 3.50

If you are using MSN Messenger but not yet using Messenger Plus! you sure are missing something great. For the newbies: Messenger Plus is a Non-Microsoft add-on for MSN Messenger - so you can great emoticons, sounds, quick-text etc. I could go on but you need to experience it - So, go get it!

When fortune comes true..

Today's Fortune: Unexpected events and harsh words may be cropping up out of nowhere today, dear Virgo, so be aware that your well-laid plans may not exactly go through the way you anticipate. You may come across some rather stubborn individuals who seem to want to argue about just about anything. Realize that much of this energy in their heads is just hot air needing to release somehow. You just happen to be in the right place at the right time. Be patient and understanding. This too, will pass.

So so very true for today. All my plans were cancelled for this Sunday. No movie, no evening walk, no sea-side drive and no meeting friends. It was just a bad day "When all seems to go wrong". But I am glad I could help a dear friend release her energy on me. Yes, I was patient and just let her go on before she popped the phone on me. Life isn't fair everytime, you see!

Photo Blog goes Live!

If you didn't already notice it. I activated my photo blog to go LIVE! Yes, my this blog now picks the latest photo from the Moblog (That's Mobile Blog) and shows it right here - You should now see TWO photographs in the right column. The lower one is from the photoblog.

It's really great because I don't need to get online to update the photoblog. I just click with my cellphone camera and send the photo via GPRS to the blog while I am on the move. I just love it! It's going to be interesting since I plan to capture whatever comes my way and put it in there. Like it? Give me a shout.

P.S I am looking to buy a Digital Camera. Which one should it be? Sony Cybershot or a Canon?


Weekend Reading

Started this book earlier last month, but since I am sick in bed it's been a good time to catch-up on the so long missed reading sessions.

Search: Turbo-Charged

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Yagoohoogle is Search: Turbo-Charged.You enter your search word and you can compare results between Google and Yahoo!Search. Google didn't show up my website on the first page but Yahoo!Search had it at the bottom of the page :-) For once, I like the Yahoo!Search results.

Mission: Get my website to list on Google's first page when you type my name.


Moved to Office 2003

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI just got an Office Upgrade – moved to Microsoft Office 2003. And it rocks! I like some of the new features and although the booklet had a lot of technical upgrades, integrations etc. I am just going to list down some things which I thought really make a difference to the user.
  • Outlook – the preview pane has a new sorting method and this makes it very easy to locate e-mails of recent times distributed over one, two, three weeks.
  • Outlook – The new e-mail alert which pops in just like the MSN Messenger sign-in / sign-out is useful if you want to see what the new message is without having to switch to Outlook while working on other applications.
  • Word – Just one feature made me fall in love with it. The Read option let’s you flip through pages just like a book. Document Map helps you skip through large documents with great ease.
  • Excel – I didn’t get a chance to work in great detail so I don’t know what the upgrade is here.
  • Powerpoint – yet to experience it.

In simple words: Worthy upgrade if you are a heavy office user. Especially Outlook makes e-mail management “better”.

Next Download: Google Desktop Search.

My Yahoo - Really?

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I have tried to reach My Yahoo! all day but just no luck. I can't get access to it. Changed browsers, changed pcs - but nothing. Am I entering the wrong URL?

I wanted to see how does the RSS Reader work in there. But need to wait till the "damn" thing works.

Black is beautiful

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI agree. If I knew Sanjay Leela Bhansali had made a movie so very unlike the typical bollywood formula, I wouldn’t have waited so long to see it. I think enough has been written about the movie and its excellent production quality. The movie is not only a classic but a sure display of human determination, belief and strong will-power to achieve it all against the strong forces of life. The movie also portraits a great parent-child relationship on how parents want to do the best for their kids and how every little success gifted makes them proud of their children. If you haven’t already seen it, go see it today. You just can’t miss this one.

Next on the "See-list": My Brother Nikhil, Hitch.


Night Crawler

I don't have to be at work tomorrow so the night crawler is out surfing the Internet. And on the super-highway I hit the new MSN 7 (full version). Go Get It!

Feature packed and here is what I picked on the initial usage:
  • Packs - themes which change your background and display photoImage Hosted by ImageShack.us
  • Now you see user photos in the contact list also
  • Integration with MSN Spaces (just gives you one-click access)
  • Winks and Emoticons make MSN 7 a great fun tool to have
  • Drawing tools help you express more than just Text!
  • Windows Media Player personal message
All this makes it a great download even at a huge file size of 7MB - I also recommend getting the Messenger Plus! which is a great add-on tool for MSN Messenger.


Nothing is permanent

I have been working on how to change the theme at this blog ever since I selected the previous one. I wanted to tweak it to my preferences but somewhere the code went wrong and as of last night I lost all the settings and it screwed up big time. So I selected a new theme, and I am so glad. I love the white background, spaced out blog post areas. Of course I am not going to keep it this way and will go about changing a few things here and there. I dont know what but maybe you can tell me what can I change?
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My search for an offline blog writing tool hasnt made me very happy. I tried w.bloggar which seemed a little buggy and then I just got Zoundry which I am yet to experience. On that note, I am also thinking about getting the Maxthon internet browser which seems like an interesting extension to IE. Since I use Firefox @ home this should be a good chance to see IE alternatives.

I am off for a weekend trip so you should see my next blog when I return.


Stress Busters

I discovered a new stress buster, when you need it most at the end of tiring day. I spent the last 3 nights getting a one-hour dose of my favourite cartoons - Tom & Jerry. I really admire these cartoons for the amazing plots, creative adaptations and excellent production. Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAlthough they are made to look funny it really takes a while before you notice the creativity which goes behind the script of each episode. If you are reading this from India, you can watch them on Cartoon Network. It's interesting to know that more than a few handful of television channels have started beaming content specifically for kids. And these are not just cartoons but more content like children movies, educational programs etc. But trust me the content is so amazing that you can get addicted with or without kids around. My cable provides me with Disney Channel, Animax, Pogo (Which rocks!), Cartoon Network but I am yet to see the Hungama Channel.

Although it's good to see these channels dubbing programs in Hindi too, I really hate the quality of the language used. It's very "Bambaiya-roadside-tapori" language which gets disappointing after a while. They should review their changed language scripts.


Party all the way

Mr. Gupta celebrates yet another year added to his life. Great Going! We had a rocking time @ the Vie Lounge and I think it was after long that we all gathered with nobody missing from the "GANG". Of course we missed our USA buddy - Piyush. Photos here.

Although Saturday nights are the most suited to party I think they are a mess @ the same time. Every bar has a queue for entry - Worst than the one you see at a public loo. It takes about 30mins to get a drink and you can have everyone but your girlfriend bumping into you all the time. The dance floor has just enough space for you to shake your body "vertically". But none the less we continue to make merry every weekend and rock till our heads roll.

I finally did get a chance to experience the SONY Vaio T17GP and let me tell you the sheer size and weight of the machine makes it fit in my "Wish List". But my recommendation: I would use this as a travel tool and it's more suited to someone who is on the move all the time. I prefer something more stable like my current IBM or a loaded desktop when I am at work.

P.S If you are seeing this, my first blog with w.bloggar has been successful. The site was hacked earlier this month but I managed to get the exe from some other website. Drop me a line if you are interested.


My mercedes is going

DM just sent me an e-mail that they would be picking up my car over the weekend as per their company policy which was announced yesterday. Read it here while I leave you with a photo of my car which I treasure so much and I am going to miss those long drives while the car is gone.

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Gotcha you! Didn't I? Happy Fool's day!

Open and shut

Restaurants in Mumbai seem to shut down even before you can digest their food. Maybe their shelf life has reduced so much over the period of time, that you can't run the place with the same concept more than a year. I was trying to make reservations for the night but more than two places in south bombay which I called were shutting down today either for renovation or they because they are re-inventing themselves. Suddenly my plans had gone for a toss. Lucky for me that I had back-up plans and could find a place which existed as of tonight. Where I land up going finally is something for you to catch on later. Keep reading.

Meanwhile I managed to tweak FeedDemon @ work and now it's working successfully. I love the sync function which let's me keep the content "fresh" between home and work. I am also getting a new copy of Microsoft Office Onenote 2003 - which hopefully is not a trial version, anymore. Next search: Application which can let me blog from the desktop itself.