Shantanu's Blog

Corporate Consultant

June 30, 2004

 
Blogger Help : What is BlogThis! ?: "BlogThis! is an easy way to make a blog post without visiting blogger.com. Once you add the BlogThis! link to your browser's toolbar, blogging will be a snap. Or rather, a click. Clicking BlogThis! creates a mini-interface to Blogger prepopulated with a link to the web page you are visiting, as well as any text you have highlighted on that page. Add additional text if you wish and then publish or post from within BlogThis!"

 
PCWorld.com - Busting the Biggest PC Myths: "Don't touch that switch! According to Microsoft, if you turn off your PC without first shutting down Windows, your hard drive could become more fragmented, files could become corrupted, and you could lose data."

June 29, 2004

 
Home page redesigned
I had never thought that it will take just a coupe of hours to redesign my home page.
It took me 3 hours to redesigned my client's website a few days back. I decided to redesign my website yesterday night. And today, it took less than 2 hours to complete the job.

1. I logged into my blogger account.
2. Chose a template.
3. Updated the template. (updated the links sidebar and removed Blogger's profile. ($BlogMemberProfile$)
4. Added the FTP settings.
5. Republish!

New directories like 2003, 2004 were automatically created on my server.
My index.php page was overwritten by new page on the fly!
Blogger Works!

 
News Search Engine: "Build a custom newsfeed based on any key words you choose to specify for companies, technologies, entertainers, or virtually any topic. Newsworthy information gathered from 200,000 major web sites is delivered to you automatically 24 hours per day."

June 28, 2004

 
PCWorld.com - News on Demand: Browsing for Headlines As Newsgator is to Outlook, a more-modest free application called Pluck RSS Reader is to Internet Explorer. Pluck adds an icon to IE's main toolbar.
www.pluck.com/
My Review:
Bringing you the best of the web: Pluck's suite of integrated applications helps you search, retrieve, organize and share the best parts of the web. Pluck transforms Internet Explorer into a web workhorse!

The Good:
1. PowerSearch: Search and sort results from Google, Amazon and eBay.
2. RSS Reader: Choose your news, delivered fro news site via RSS. (Like bloglines.com)
3. Web based bookmark manager. Easily share your bookmarks with friends and co-workers. (Like furl.net)
4. And it’s free.

The Bad:
1. It works only on Windows 2000 or Windows XP + IE 6.0
2. You have to download 4.41 MB software. It means you can't access it from other computers.
3. The software is still in BETA. May contain bugs, Not sure about the future.

June 22, 2004

 
TIME.com: Meet Joe Blog -- Jun. 21, 2004: "What makes blogs so effective? They're free. They catch people at work, at their desks, when they're alert and thinking and making decisions. Blogs are fresh"

June 13, 2004

 
Gmail review
If you have a blogger account, please log in now! Google has invited active blogger users to test gmail. I just registered through blogger and got the new email address...
shantanu.oak@gmail.com
I have, unfortunately already sent 3 invitations. So I can't invite anymore friends to test gmail. To start with, I have registered mysql and php mailing list subscriptions using the new gmail address.
There are 3 important reasons why you should sign up.
1. With 1,000 megabytes of storage, the typical user can go for years without deleting a single message.
2. Unlimited email aliases.
3. You have a variety of search options that return speedy, accurate results.

Gmail is search-based. It is also heavily thread-orientated and uses labels to classify threads. These are the three central themes of the service.

What is gmail?

Conversations: (Learn, Unlearn and relearn)
E-mails are not e-mails, they are conversations. The idea is simple.
Individual e-mail messages do not appear in your inbox the way they do in Yahoo Mail or MSN Hotmail. Instead, the relevant conversation thread will be bumped to the top of the list each time a new message in that conversation arrives. In fact, in Gmail it's not even POSSIBLE to separate an email from its thread.
This might seem odd at first, especially when you're used to seeing individual messages appear in your inbox view, but once you get used to it you'll wonder how you survived for so long without it. (with the number of e-mails, snippets of conversation, listed by the side). If you need to refer back to a particular message, it's all right there in the conversation. No more hunting for messages or otherwise trying to remember what was previously said or what the context of the conversation was. You can also hit the Print link to put an entire conversation into print format.
Your messages are grouped together as conversations. If you delete from your inbox, you will be deleting an entire conversation, not just one message. To delete a single message, open the conversation. Expand the specific message that you would like to delete. Click 'More options'. Once the options are visible, click 'Trash this message'. The Gmail system will automatically empty your trash and spam every 30 days.

Archive:
Since you'll have 1,000 megabytes of storage, it's recommended that you archive rather than delete. Archiving is a term that simply means an email (or discussion) ceases to show up in the inbox. It will still be included by default in searches, but that appears to be the only way to reach it -- there's no option to view the archive in Gmail.

search:
"Search Mail" and "Search the Web" are the two options at the top of the page. By clicking on "Show search options" link, you can specify whether the search should be performed only on those discussions that have attachments. A useful date feature lets you search only those emails that arrived 1 day, 1 week or 1 month before.

Infinite Subaddresses:
You can create unlimited aliases by adding "+whatever" to your e-mail address. For e.g. I can sign up with ebay using my new email address shantanu.oak+ebay@gmail.com If ebay starts sending me junk mail, (I will know that when I receive a mail from ebay and look at the TO: field) I will create a filter to send the message to trash as soon as it arrives. Apart from managing spam you can also use this technique to deal with mailing lists. You can keep your personal and professional contacts separate by adding +family or +company. It's a fun to create a new email address on the fly for your famaily, something like this...
shantanu.oak+family@gmail.com
I can use filters and labels to get organized and once read, archive the messages!
Your imagination is the only limit!

Filter:
Alongside Search is the Filter option. For each filter, you can specify whether an email should skip the inbox and go straight to the archive, get a particular label assigned to it, or go straight to trash. Users can create any number of filters to organize email as it arrives.

Lables:
User-defined labels are used instead of folders for organizing emails and discussions. An email can be assigned any number of labels. Gmail has four types set up by default: Inbox, Starred (a simple highlighting device), Spam and Trash. Unlike folders, labels can overlap, i.e. mailing list items in your inbox can have two labels "sql" and "programming".

Best Spell Checker:
Once you have typed your message, you can click the "Check Spelling" link at the bottom of your message to have your spelling checked. Potentially misspelled words will appear as red text.

Adds free mail:
Ads are not attached to emails that you send out.

keyboard shortcuts:
These are turned off by default, but when turned on allow you to navigate between discussions, through emails within discussions, and perform most other essential functions without touching a mouse. Click on "Settings" link to turn on the Keyboard shortcuts.
_____

The Bad:
.exe attachments:
You can attach any file to your message while you send a mail, but can't receive .exe (and other potentially dangerous) attachments. Those e-mails will bounce back to the sender.

Does not support IE 5.0:
gmail supports IE 5.5 or newer. Most of the Cyber cafe's still use IE 5.0! (It supports firefox 0.8 so I have no problem.)
(Reason: Gmail's designers have made good use of advanced HTML and the DOM. Many transactions do not require page reloads, and highlighting is dynamic and effective.)

Photos:
JPEG's received in an email aren't viewed inline.

_____

Suggestions:
mail and attachment:
It's not possible to archive the text message but not the file attached to it. The attachment will live in the archive along with the message.
I will like to delete the attachment but keep the message in the archive.

Inactive accounts:
If the account owner doesn't log in for nine months, Google will delete all messages in the account, close the account, and recycle the username.
I will like to see the duration increased to 12 months.

June 10, 2004

 
Bombay Times
Suhit Kelkar
Times News Network

Got the writer's blog?
June 10, 04

Freedom of expression gains new ground with a growing population of online diarists


Sampada Chauhan is ecstatic. Sixty feedbacks to her collection of poems and thoughts on literature and love on her blog! And most of them from other Mumbaities with blogs of their own!
For the uninitiated, a blog is a personal journal maintained online, open to everyone to read and comment on.
Anyone can blog. All you need to do is get registered as a user on one of the many popular sites that offer blogging. Blogging is already big the world over and seems to be catching on fast in the city. Not surprisingly, Mumbai witnessed a "Bloggers' meet" at a colaba café this Sunday.
Bloggers opinionate on a variety of subjects, from love poems to the appropriate way to use Microsoft Word; from kebab recipes to effective ways of avoiding spam email; from mother-in-law mayhem to songs about blogging. The title of one such entry is 'blogger'. It features a song inspired by Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire and goes 'We didn't start the weblogs they were always thinking of good sites for linking'
It is this freedom of writing anything you feel like that attracted Chauhan to blogging. "Since the blog is my own webspace," she says, "I can put up anything that I consider worth reading." Shantanu Oak, a 30 year-old tutor of basic computer, values blogging because it gives him a chance to express himself. "Blogging is the most harmless way to shout" says Oak. For software engineering student Premshree Pillai, his blog is a way of getting a better perspective on his topics of study. "The benefits of blogging are manifold," he points out, "For one, you get to learn other perspectives."
However, a recent newspaper report warns on the harm of blogging. It can get addictive and could even lead to a false "sense of productivity". In extreme cases, the blogger devotes more time to his weblog and less to his work. Of course, bloggers counter such reports by asking, "Is reading books harmful? Is discussing important issues harmful?"
Blogger communities have started forming in cities such as Bangalore and Hyderabad.

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