Posted on Feb 28, 2006


Ubuntu is the new Debian-derived Linux distro that focuses on making Linux usable for the average computer user. It aims at building and leveraging a strong user community that can then provide a good support system for users – for both personal and commercial use.

Ubuntu, founded by Mark Shuttleworth, ships free CDs to registered members of Lauchpad, and registration is free. If you like the concept of Ubuntu and want to pay for it, there are many ways of doing it – donate, contribute to the development of the project, or just make copies of your Ubuntu install CDs and pass them on to others who would like to use Ubuntu.

I just received by 5-CD pack from Ubuntu, and started playing with it. If you are in India and want a copy, drop a note in the comments, I will ship you one asap. I will give away the 4 spare CDs I have to start with, and then a couple CDs every month afterwards.

Posted on Feb 20, 2006

Added a hit counter to my blog

Site Meter is a free service that provides hit counters for your site. I gave the blogger username/password at the Site Meter website, and it logged in and added the hit counter code in my blog page. Pretty neat – but I do not like a website asking for my username and password for another site.

Posted on Feb 20, 2006

From Maxthon to Firefox

After I got fed up with IE’s terrible user interface and before Firefox became popular, I switched to Maxthon which provided an excellent UI on top of IE’s browser engine. It supports full-fledged tabbed browsing, session saving/restore and excellent manageability of full-screen browsing. Features like ‘auto-reload’ which let me load my stock quotes page periodically were really useful.

Then, I moved to Firefox – even Maxthon could not address the ActiveX menace and related frequent crashes, and I was bowled over by the incredible lightness and extensibility of Firefox.

But I missed Maxthon – Tabbrowser Preferences extension was a poor substitute to Maxthon’s tabbed browsing support, session management was not available and I was not able to auto-hide toolbars when browsing full-screen. Till I installed the great Tab Mix Plus and the cool Auto-Hide and ReloadEvery extensions to Firefox. Tab Mix Plus permits full-fledged tabbed browsing on Firefox. Auto-Hide hides toolbars during full-screen browsing so that I can maximize my browser display, while still keeping them accessible. ReloadEvery helps me reload my web pages every ‘n’ seconds.

It is this extensibility that makes Firefox the greatest browser around.

Finally, I no longer miss Maxthon.

I have a couple of gripes about Auto-Hide though – it does not show my tab bar if I position my tab bar at the bottom of the screen and move my mouse over it.

Posted on Feb 18, 2006

(mis)using open source free software

i was scouting around for a good open source image manipulation program when I stumbled on Gimp. It looked promising, and a google search for a Windows installer turned up as the first link.

All download links at this site point to an order form asking for money, and the fact that the Windows port of Gimp is freely available at is not mentioned anywhere.

The tutorials on the site just provides links to images, and the FAQ does not work. Some assistance!

Charging for packaging, installation support and servicing of free software is fine. But pointing the download link to the order form for shipping CDs is plain cheating. Shame Shame!

Posted on Feb 17, 2006


some bug report pages that I visit while on work nag me to madness with their inclusion of non-word-wrapped text within ‘pre’ tag.

Here is an example:

`Mine is a long and a sad tale!' said the Mouse, turning to Alice, and sighing. `It is a long tail, certainly,' said Alice, looking down with wonder at the Mouse's tail' `but why do you call it sad? And she kept on puzzling about it while the Mouse was speaking, so that her idea of the tale was something like this:

greasemonkey is perfect to take care of such irritating behavior. Armed with a decent javascript reference, an excellent greasemonkey tutorial, and plagiarized code from, I wrote my first piece of javascript code – which is also my first greasemonkey script.

Here it is:

// ==UserScript==
// @name Pre Remove
// @description Remove all Pre tags
// ==/UserScript==

//copied from
//m is the line number to wrap at, b is the line wrap char
//to insert, I don't know what c is.
String.prototype.wordWrap = function(m, b, c){
var i, j, s, r = this.split("\n");
if(m > 0) for(i in r){
for(s = r[i], r[i] = ""; s.length > m;
j = c ? m : (j = s.substr(0, m).match(/\S*$/)).input.length - j[0].length
|| j.input.length + (j = s.substr(m).match(/^\S*/)).input.length + j[0].length,
r[i] += s.substr(0, j) + ((s = s.substr(j)).length ? b : "")
r[i] += s;
return r.join("\n");

var allPre, thisPre;
allPre = document.getElementsByTagName('pre');
for (var i = 0; i < allPre.length; i++) {
thisPre = allPre[i];
preChildren = thisPre.childNodes;
for (var j = 0; j < preChildren.length; j++) {
preChildren[i].nodeValue = preChildren[i].nodeValue.wordWrap(72, "\n", false);

Posted on Jan 4, 2005

Gmail invites available

I guess everyone has a gmail id these days, but you can let me know in case you need one.

Posted on Jan 3, 2005


It is an online community. Entry is limited by invites – just the same way Gmail works.

I am itching to get in. Just because I want to know good it is.