Happy New Year!

Here’s wishing all my blog readers a very happy new year! You’ve been a great support, and the response to this blog has been nothing short of overwhelming. Wish you a happy 2010! And congratulations to the Congress government in keeping 2009 a terror-free year. Keep it up, guys, instead of running behind Cattle classes and visas.

And oh, lets hope Tweet is not so lonely anymore.

But since this is a technology blog, I’d like to post something tech here. See what happens when Google’s I’m Feeling Lucky button is clicked.

And there’s some animated firecrackers now. Looks really substandard stuff. Nothing really nice. Honestly, its quite embarassing. Quite below Google’s standards.

So long, folks! This blog will not be really frequent in updates, as I have my pre-boards, and then boards coming up. But I will try posting.

In other news, I’ve been reading Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl. Interesting read. Don’t expect reviews.

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Download The TCS IT Wiz 2009 Quiz Finals

I’ve given you the prelims, Now eat the finals. The prelims were compiled by Shikhar, and hosted by me. The finals are compiled and written by Shreyans, and hosted by me. You can now see how I love to take credit for others’ work and boost my blog views.

Download The TCS IT Wiz 2009 Quiz Finals

A small note here. This quiz archive is EPIC. It’s simply awesome! Download it for sure. At. Any. Cost. Shreyans has compiled a truly magnificent archive. Never before have a seen something like this. If possible, print it on photo paper and frame it.

Download The TCS IT Wiz 2009 Quiz Prelims

TCS IT Wiz 2009 was held on 31st October 2009, and 909 teams turned up. I managed to finish tenth out of them (along with Saumey). DPS Noida won this year’s edition of TCS IT Wiz. You can download the quiz prelims here. Quiz finals are being prepared. More later.

Please give Shikhar complete credit for this work. It may have been hosted at my blog and typed by me, he made it a point to write them all down during the quiz (you can improve your handwriting, Shikhar).

Download the TCS IT Wiz 2009 Prelims

Googlle

Notice something strange with Google today?

Googlle

Googlle

No, there’s no need to be very, very scared. Its only Google’s eleventh birthday! Happy birthday, son! You are four years younger than me.

Google was born on 4 September 1998, and was conceived by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. But you can read all that elsewhere.

P.S: I hope you noticed that the “ll” is actually 11 (eleven). I hope you noticed that. I really hope.

P.P.S: Happy Dussera everyone!

Switching From Gmail to Yahoo! Mail

Yes. That’s true. From Gmail to Yahoo! Mail. NOT the other way round. Many (including me) love Google and its relatively new mail client. But the truth is, Yahoo! is the better one. It has some really nice features, which many Yahoo! skeptics would have ignored. People switched to Gmail as it was new and funky. But all of us know about that (un)popular Gmail server crash. Gmal lost its credibility as a good e-mail client back then. Yahoo! is still better. It has filters, drag-and-drop features, and also loads much faster than Gmail. Even faster, when cached.

I did a test to prove it

1] Google Mail

Typed mail.google.com in the address bar of Firefox, made sure that no bandwidth-consuming processes were running, and hit enter.

Enabled: Chat, Calendar

Disabled: Labs, Themes

Time taken to load: 8.99 seconds

2] Yahoo! Mail

Typed mail.yahoo.com in the address bar of Firefox, made sure no bandwidth-consuming process was running, and hit enter.

Enabled: Every friggin’ thing available by default: news, temperature, chat and calendar.

Disabled: Nothing

Time taken to load: 7.56 seconds

Which proves it that Yahoo! Mail loads faster than Gmail by 1.43 seconds. That’s a large number, considering Gmail had no labs enabled.

So if I have convinced you to move to Yahoo! Mail from Gmail, here’s how to do it:

TrueSwitch

TrueSwitch

Step 1: We’ll be using this service called TrueSwitch. It does cost $19.95, but free to do, when you switch to Yahoo! (Wow. I was a poet and I didn’t even know it!). Click here to begin switching.

"Copy, Notify, Forward, Cancel" seems to be the motto of TrueSwitch, and it lives up to it.

"Copy, Notify, Forward, Cancel" seems to be the motto of TrueSwitch, and it lives up to it.

Step 2: After you’ve done that, you’ll need to sign in to Yahoo! Type your password, and click Sign-in.

Sign-in to your Yahoo! Account

Sign-in to your Yahoo! Account

Step 3: After you’ve signed in, you need to grant TrueSwitch permission to access your account. Click I Agree.

Confirmation

Confirmation

Step 4: Enter your old e-mail address (Gmail in this case). Enter your username, and select gmail.com in the first drop-down box. For example, if your e-mail ID is shadowline@gmail.com, you type in only shadowline and select gmail.com in the drop-down box.

Type your old e-mail address password, select all data to be transferred (I recommend you check both Email and Address Book.)

You can also send a notification to all contacts in your old Gmail account informing about the change in your e-mail ID. Clicking on Personalize this notification will help you draft a custom message manually, which will be sent to your contacts.

You will need to give TrueSwitch all details to switch to your Yahoo! account

You will need to give TrueSwitch all details to switch to your Yahoo! account

An example of the notification the recipient receives when your notification reaches him/her.

An example of the notification the recipient receives when your notification reaches him/her.

Step 5: When you’re sure you’ve done everything, including agreeing to the Terms of Service, click Start Transfer. You should see this dialog box.

Although it claims to take a few seconds, it takes suprisingly longer than the expected time to process the data, depending on your current Gmail account.

Although it claims to take a few seconds, it takes suprisingly longer than the expected time to process the data, depending on your current Gmail account.

Step 6: After a really long and agonizing wait, TrueSwitch completes “confirming your account info”. Open your Yahoo! Mail account. If all the mails aren’t there, don’t worry. Wait for about sixteen hours. You’ll see all mails with each sorted out into folders available to you. Nothing changes in the first twelve hours. The final result comes only after sixteen hours, when all your folders and current mails have been transferred.

Step 7: Now that the transfer is complete, you need to direct all your mails to your Yahoo! account. Open Gmail. Click Settings. Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP. Enable forwarding by clicking on the Forward incoming mail to radio button. Type in your complete new email ID. Select archive Gmail’s copy in the drop-down box, so that all mail remains in the Gmail inbox as well.

Forwarding all incoming mail

Forwarding all incoming mail

Step 8: Click Save Changes and open your Yahoo! Mail account. You must have received a mail from accounts-noreply@google.com. Click on the confirmation link, and you’re through.

Congratulations! You have successfully travelled from Gee Mail to Yahoo! Mail. Lemme reassure you. Its a move you’ll never regret.

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Stuff You MUST Try Out

There are a lot of movies/games/software out there, which may be unknown to a majority of people. People are hardly interested in this kind of stuff, and ignore it purely based on public reactions. I don’t think they’re bad at all.

PS: I’ve included a Criticism characterisitc with each topic to explain why it is criticised by people, and my counter-point as well.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

The Metal Gear Solid [MGS] series by Hideo Kojima of Konami Computer Entertainment Japan is quite famous. But this is one of the games on the series you just have to try out. It was initially planned for the PlayStation 3, but released for its predecessor due to launch delay. So you can imagine how great the graphics will be. Cinematic cutscenes with a movable-and-zoom camera option, superb music, brilliant physics and an amazing storyline make Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater one of the coolest, if not best, PlayStation 2 game ever made. The game does have it flaws though. The O button is the X button and vice-verca, so you have to press O to accept and X to cancel. Camera controls are cumbersome too. However, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater makes you realise that the PlayStation 2 has pressure-sensitive controls! Pressing O lightly will suffocate an enemy, while hammering it will sever his throat with your knife.
Criticism: Metal Gear Solid games are no different than movies.
True. Quite true. And this is often a line used by MGS haters. But play the game and you realise “Hey… This is like a movie, but I can haz like to be a hero in the movie!!11111111!!!” Who wouldn’t want to play a lead role in films? Metal Gear Solid 3 allows you to do just that.

Burnout Dominator

Burnout Dominator

Burnout Dominator

I reviewed Burnout Dominator in the past, and gave it about 8/10. Burnout Dominator isn’t a bad game at all. Its absolutely amazing. However, it leaves you disappointed only because you’d have expected more from the successor of such an awesome game like Burnout Revenge.

Criticism:Burnout Dominator is extremely difficult, and hence, is a pain to play.
It may be tougher than its predecessors, but difficulty is the major criteria for playing! Anybody with amateurish driving skills can rule Burnout Revenge overnight, but it requires gaming expertise and concentration and determination to achieve the same for Burnout Dominator. Only a hardcore gamer can do this.

Phineas and Ferb

Phineas and Ferb

Phineas and Ferb

Phineas and Ferb aired on Disney Channel a couple of months ago, and is probably the best cartoon I have seen in a long time. The lead characters Phineas and Ferb are extremely cute and always have some of the naugtiest inventions up their sleeves. In fact, their title track says it all:

Building a rocket or fighting a mummy

Or climbing up the Eiffel tower

Discovering something that doesn’t exist

Or giving a monkey a shower

Yes. They really do all that. Without their parents getting to know. But their nosey sister tries to bust them, but always fails. Also, there’s a song in every episode, which is not at all childish. In fact, all of them are catchy, especially the title track. It also involves a side plot, where Phineas and Ferb’s pet platypus doubles up as a secret agent to foil the evil scientist Heinz Doofenshmirtz’s plans.

Criticism: Phineas and Ferb is a cartoon for kids. You’re a baby if you watch that crap!
Wrong. Completely. Wrong. Its like you’re saying South Park is for kids. Phineas and Ferb may not be that vulgar, but is certainly witty. Kids can watch it as well, but people of all ages must give it a shot. In fact, its got all those witty takes on many fields, such as fashion, reality shows (such as one named as “America’s Next Teen Pop Star Idol!” taking a dig at ridiculously named reality shows. The winner even performs a one-hit wonder. Phenomenons only adults or teenagers can understand), evil scientists, and even mammals. You must see the season opener episode “Rollercoaster” which I’ll put up here.

Rebecca

Rebecca

Rebecca

Rebecca is an Alfred Hitchcock film made entirely in black and white. Its that old. Many enthusiasts may already know about this one, but many don’t. Rebecca won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1940, but chances are it’ll win any year. The actors deliver spectacular performances, and the horror will really freak you out. It may not be as gory or deadly as your Grudges or Hannibals, but it is Hitchcock’s superior directorial skills which will keep you glued to the edge of your seats.

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Gmail Offline

No no. I’m not talking about accessing Gmail without the internet. To hell with that. You can’t even access your Gmail account online. Damn. Gfail is finally here. Every other Google service is working fine – Reader, Picasa, Documents, Orkut, etc. Even iGoogle and Google News! Not Gmail, though. Here’s what Gmail Support has to say.

We’re aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a number of users. This problem occurred at approximately 1.30AM Pacific Time [3.00 PM IST] . We’re working hard to resolve this problem and will post updates as we have them. We apologize for any inconvenience that this has caused.

I write this post at 5.54 PM IST, and Gmail still isn’t working. Hope it returns.

If anyone of you knows how to make Gmail work, please comment and let me know!

Update

Forget it, guys. The second I posted, Gmail has begun to work again.

If it still doesn’t work click here or here. It will ask you to Add Gmail to you iGoogle page. Go to iGoogle and access Gmail. Once I clicked on Compose Mail, Gmail worked fine!