A sweet little POEM for my DEPARTING FRIEND

24 August, 2009 | | 0 comments |

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This is dedicated to my childhood pal who left this Thursday for New York City, U.S. to pursue his M.S. (Master's in Science) at NYIT (New York Institute of Technology) in C.S.(Computer Science). Jinal Shah, that's the name by which his family and close friends know him and Mr. INVISIBLE is the name by which I know him. No prices for guessing what's his status when he signs into Yahoo Messenger. Wonder what kind of flings he's had that he has to remain INVISIBLE. I hope now that he's reached a SAFE HEAVEN he does remain VISIBLE. One more thing, sorry dude, I had to write this post pretty much before you left but you know I'm good at procrastinating (nobody can actually do it better than me in this department) and that's what I've done this time round. Truth be told I had embarked on writing this blog a week before you left but my draft got to have something special, so it lay back there. Hence I guess the title of this blog should actually be 'DEPARTED' from 'DEPARTING'. Hmmm, in retrospect I still remember the treat which you threw the night before you left but the CHEESE MASALA DOSA is already flushed by now so no point mulling over that. What I relish is memories of our friendship right from our school days, Junior K.G. - to be precise. Junior college was a bit embroiling for us because of our schedules but our engineering days made sure we do remain in touch and with a brisk excitement every time we met or talked over the mobile. HTML clipboardAll thanks to you, for making a very good choice by getting the MTNL Dolphin scheme. Surely, a round of applause to you for that.

When I was in my 12th standard I read this sweet little poem at the back of a book and was so hooked to it that I read it everyday twice for a month. It meant so much to me in my heart for my friends. And now when you're leaving I wish the same for you. Decipher what you can, and rest I'll explain it over the messenger. Here it is as follows:

If I would ever need you,
I know you would be there,

Your smile makes me smile,
your pain makes me hurt.

I'll never stop being your friend,
don't ever stop being mine.


My Pidgin IM cries get acknowledged

23 August, 2009 | | 0 comments |

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This is with reference to my last-to-last blog on "Bugs spotted in Pidgin IM" which was posted by me on 16th August, 2009 here. Guess what, my requests, cries and my concerns have been duly acknowledged by the developers of Pidgin IM. Thanks to all of them. I desperately needed some refinements to Pidgin IM to remain loyal to it, in either case if it would not have been made then surely I was planning to migrate to other available IM options like Trillian, Empathy etc. Not only that, with this event, I have more reasons now to blog and improve on this habit.

As for readers and my other blog followers who are totally unaware as to what's going on in the AIR, let me make this matter explicit in the best of my words. With respect to my post on the issues and bugs faced in the latest versions of Pidgin IM I had written a blog on it. You can call it my outburst, something out of desperation. And the key to solving this mystery lay with the developers of Pidgin IM and believe me they have acted promptly. Pidgin IM latest release now has been promoted directly to version 2.6.1 from 2.5.8 with some extra-ordinary feature additions and bug fixes. Also libpurple library, the core engine and heart of Pidgin IM, has also been updated. In short, Pidgin IM is now much more stable and palatable. Apparently, it's yet to reach the standards of some singular IM's like Yahoo Messenger, GTalk, Live Messenger etc but it'll gradually overthrow all the one's I listed above. Don't rate my judgement !!!

Coming back to bug fixes, Linux users are the biggest beneficiaries of it since they will experience some more feature additions as compared to Windows users. But as mentioned very distinctly on the web-site of Pidgin IM "2.6.1 adds XMPP Voice and Video support (but not on Windows yet) ". No issues, Windows users will surely get their pie very soon. Now I can surely trust the Pidgin developers.

Myriad of changes have been made in a short span of time. A detailed log on the same can be viewed here. (Link available till the next release)

  • For Pidgin enthusiasts on Windows and for novices:
You can download the latest release of Pidgin IM directly from my web-site here. Don't worry, the link to the download is always updated so you'll always get the latest release. By any way, if you're thinking to update it right from the IM then I'm sorry, Pidgin IM doesn't have the update feature built into it's engine.
  • For Pidgin enthusiasts on Linux Ubuntu distros:
Follow the instructions given here.

Recession : The true, unknown and untold story

18 August, 2009 | | 0 comments |

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It came, it conquered and everybody noticed, also swept with it some of the best Fortune 500 companies, leaving behind worries and a drought of jobs. Also left some of the best financial analysts and economists in a tizzy in the Silicon Valley, Wall Street, etc and also the Dalal Street back in India. Some of the analysts in leading companies are still mulling as to what drove the recession out of it's den and what hit them in their back to which they were too late to react. A simple gaze at the progress charts of some of the leading fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, IBM, Dell, HP, Citi financial shows a big dent in their fortune due to recession. Layoffs, massive restructuring plans, salary cuts, etc - they have seen it all. And there are some like Lehmann Bros., American Bank, Meryll Lynch which have faded into total obscurity and now lay in the hands of U.S. government with no clear sight ahead on it's future. No one would have ever though in their wildest nightmares that companies like these which once offered the best recruitment packages to MBA students would see such a climax.

The U.S. administration still seem to be in a loop and in a fix. Two stimulus monetary injections later, Barack Obama still finds himself under pressure to release a third one into the economy. If that still doesn't seem enough, add to it Obama's policy of safeguarding local employment and discouraging outsourcing in companies is already creating a sense of displeasure among his supporters. Do I need to describe the great recession of this century even more ? No, even I'm saturated describing it and falling short of words.

So, a wonderful question pop's out while I write this. How did it all began ? What drove the Lion out of it's den? Like all say, a disaster is born out of another blunder or disaster and the question lives up to the proverb. It all began after the 9/11 attacks in U.S. Now nobody can forget what happened on that day even if they want to. Following the event, some rave, careless decisions and policies adopted by the U.S. administration under the pretext of ' War on Terrorism ' saw the government recklessly spending (rather would call it splurging) billions on it's spineless pursuit of it's intent. Other factors include absence of some some much needed policies for the welfare of the public, too much money being borrowed by businesses, corporates and individuals to fund capital expenditure at the same time period, etc. Guess what, the tumult was slowly and narrowly building on the spine of the economy and when it ran out of it's capacity to bear more, it broke. The money being borrowed by the US. inhabitants was enormous and when there was a sudden stop to it their homes, appliances, vehicles and other assets had to be mortgaged. Money in any form was now a very precious asset to own.

Same is the case with companies and businesses. And since a majority of the Fortune 500 companies have their roots in U.S. the reverberations were devastating and businesses world-wide had to face it's course. Falling stock prices, insecurity, lower GDP growth all followed and all had to witnessed with their hands-folded. Some even worse stories are very much evident even now. But that was the story then. A lot of steam has passed since the bad times and now the times are changing. What's really good to see is that stock prices have again surged, GDP growth have shown a sharp rise, economies have recuperated really well and that's a start to a new story altogether. GOOD TIMES FOLLOW THE BAD ONE's. And it's indeed true.

Another question pop's out of my mind when I reach here - How much of an impact did the recession have on our minds ? Interesting, Huh !!

It seems the impact on our minds is much more deep rather than on the economy. For those who believe in introspection would surely go with my judgement. And yes, a lot of counsellors and spiritual gurus would also affirm my judgement for they've had the maximum number of patients and devotees in this period. Temples and churches have seen a sudden surge in monetary contributions from their worshippers and are an asset to own. No wonder, all matters of love, heart, mind, soul and money start from a Coffee shop and end up at a Wine shop or a temple. And the kind of character which people show in such periods is also worth a mention. Consider a case, my nearby Vada-Pav wala is also crying foul everyday in this slack period - reason - "Recession, so less spending among the customers". I would rather blame the guy who inculcated this sentiment of recession in him.

Some known bugs in Pidgin IM v2.5.8

16 August, 2009 | | 1 comments |

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It's been a long time since I've been a devout user of Pidgin Internet Messenger which is a multiple messaging client supporting multiple chat networks like Google-Talk, Yahoo, MSN, AIM, Bonjour, miRC, IRC, GroupWise, Zephyr, MySpace, SIMPLE, SILC etc all at the same time. I won't be going deep into what it's additional features are because I've shed enough light on it in my previous blog dating back to March, 2009. You can read the blog here.

But what I've stumbled upon since the last couple of weeks are some bugs which are of utmost concern for users who look at Pidgin as the primary form of correspondence with their online contacts on Windows platform. Also as far as Linux users are concerned, those working on GNOME (i.e. Ubuntu, SUSE) and XFCE (i.e. xUbuntu) distros are also the unfortunate and unknown victims of these bugs on Pidgin. In this case, if the concerned user does not update his list of repositories and update pidgin by downloading the latest package he remains vulnerable to the bugs.
Some of the bugs I've spotted with my naked eye on 2.5.8 are as follows:

1] Windows : File-transfers still not 100% successful on Yahoo. Will it ever be ... ?
  • File-transfer request terminates abruptly.
  • Large file size transfer fail.
  • File transfers on successful completion do not seem to show the operation as successful.
  • A matter of fact, what was really shocking is that file transfers never used to happen completely in version 2.5.3. It was a flawed release I guess. Conditions do apply.

2] Windows : Contacts when added in MSN do not get added to the server list. Same issues in all versions till date but no permanent solution found as yet. 

3] Ubuntu 9.04 : Yahoo accounts fail to login.

4] Ubuntu 9.04 : Updated the repositories and downloaded the latest packages of Pidgin. Yahoo accounts now do login but contacts who LogOut are still seen as visible in IM.

5] Windows and Ubuntu 9.04 : Yahoo PingBox contacts do seem visible when active but users cannot interact with them in return.

To be frank, Pidgin which has been developed on Gtk+ seems to follow a very slow development process with their developers working at a snail's pace. In contrast, what's really worth an applause is that Pidgin over it's extra-ordinary features has it's own user survey section over it's official web-site which users can use to place their feature requests / annoyances / feedback. Users have placed their requests on features they would like to see in the coming releases of Pidgin IM but to their utter dismay the developers seem to be in a loop. The developers seem to be patching some bugs and they seem to arise back again in the future versions. 

Add to the woes of developers, Pidgin IM has been developed in Gtk+ which hitherto has been unheard of and has very little documentation and developer tools. Pidgin IM uses the libpurple library to connect to the IM networks, manage accounts and preferences, and lots of other helpful little things. With this very unlikely combination, it is very much obvious that the development process is surely going to be very complicated for developers. Also, libpurple library is still under development and is undergoing a revamp.

God help the developers of Pidgin !!!

A recent research by a teenager shows Polythene bags are under an attack

06 August, 2009 | | 0 comments |

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Well one of the most difficult conundrums of this generation seems to have been solved recently. Getting polythene plastic bags to decompose and degrade faster so that they can be recycled efficiently was the subject which a lot of environmentalists, scientists and science enthusiasts were in pursuit for a long time but with little success. Finally, a teenager named Daniel from Waterloo seems to have blown SMOKE out of it. Infact, Daniel and his mentor claim that this is first of it's kind research on polythene bags.

The subject of his research has been at the fore-front since many years in many research and essay competitions at schools and research universities but with this surely I guess it's all over. But maybe not, who knows, because you never know the implementation and commercialization might be found infeasible and this research might render it as another failure. Many researchers have made head-way into this topic with their own theories on it but as such nothing has come out of it.

Whatever it may be, but surely CREDIT must go to the 16 year old boy who's done it at this age and he's got the backing of some of the leading research mentors in his University. Backing apart, he now has several awards and a monetary scholarship to back him further. May God bless you my friend and hope your research work becomes successful. Bless you even if doesn't !!!

To read the complete article on it, click here.