Friday, August 24, 2012
Sunday, January 1, 2012
I have always used screen sharing software like MS Office Communicator, MS Livemeeting or Webex in the places that I have worked so far. Screen sharing helps peer programming with remotely located colleagues, or mostly helps in getting a PC problem fixed with the support technician. I was wondering how nice would it would be to have something similar for free for home use. It would come in handy to help, say may parents, troubleshoot a problem they are facing with the PC. Until now I did not have a clue when I happened to see a tweet from my friend Saurabh listing 101 most useful websites, where I found Join.Me. Its very tiny, takes only seconds to download and install, and works amazingly well on slower internet connection also.
Virtual Router: I found this neat little software on codeplex for PCs running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. With it you can share any network connection (be it over USB, LAN, Mobile Broadband etc) over wifi, and it converts your PC into a WifiHotSpot. In their own words,
Virtual Router is a free, open source software based router for PCs running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. Using Virtual Router, users can wirelessly share any internet connection (Wifi, LAN, Cable Modem, Dial-up, Cellular, etc.) with any Wifi device (Laptop, Smart Phone, iPod Touch, iPhone, Android Phone, Zune, Netbook, wireless printer, etc.) These devices connect to Virtual Router just like any other access point, and the connection is completely secured using WPA2 (the most secure wireless encryption.)
And it has a very tiny memory footprint as well, and only 1 screen to make the required configuration, a damn easy user interface. I surf internet over my Reliance Mobile Broadband and/or Android Cell phone's 3G network over a USB connection. And I can neatly extend this to my wife's laptop using Wifi.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Gone were the days when sci films would sell a far fetched horror played out in some distant future. I remember movies in the 90s would have the year 2050 as their favorite, when all hell would break loose. But now we had a sci-fi doomsday film released just a couple of years back, scripting the tragedy to happen in 2012. Funny and spooky at same time. 2012 is just a stone's throw away. The future is here.
We have already witnessed so much amazing stuff already. Laptops, Tablets, Smart Phone the lines have blurred. Operating Systems are pervasive. Gadgets are omnipresent. What possible surprise could 2012 have in store for us. I am a gadget lover, these questions amaze and excite me, in a manner similar to how girls get excited at the prospect of window shopping.
"Gadgets", reminds me that I have purchased a new laptop in December, which I may not be able to use until February. I wonder if it would have become junk and obsolete by the time I finally get to lay my hands around it :-)
We have had Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus. What next. I feel social networking needs to up its game. At the same time, I recently started to coach my mom on how to use a PC. And I was amazed that the very HTML5 and AJAX features which I and you love to have in a web application like email, social networking sites, are a pain for the elderly. The fancy navigation shortcuts in the Operating System baffle them. They just want simple computing that does the job. I think its time every major web application out "there" starts doling out a "senior citizen" friendly interface, in the same manner it offers a mobile interface.
What will your new year resolution be ? I am still not decided :-)
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Adjusting to a new job and a new city is never easy. The woes increased for me with the sudden burst in work load coupled with frantic weekends spent on searching for property. So it was like 5 days of work and 2 days of labor for us since the last two to three months. It went ahead to be so taxing on time, that I also found it way too hard to connect with friends or even surf Facebook for that matter.
So when work eased a little, and we finally selected a property, it was time to take a break. And not a big break I am talking about here. No weekend trip to some holiday destination. No shopping. No eating out. I am talking about being lazy. Pure and Simple.
Believe me, no matter what we have brought up to believe in, killing time every once in a while is very necessary. It is heavenly to simply lie on the couch, doing nothing, thinking about nothing, just flipping channels on the TV. Killing time is also an art. One needs to set the mood, slow down the pace. Change the ambiance. After killing time you should feel relaxed and recharged, not guilty. So I suggest plan and finish all those important activities you might have lined up. The utilization percentage of your brain should be absolutely zero when you are killing time. Else you are messed up thinking what needs to be done next.
Here is what I suggest one could do.
- Set the ambiance. Plant heavy curtains in your rooms. Cut away the Sun. Reverse holds true for those Sun and Breeze lovers. Open up all your doors and windows.
- Switch on the AC or the cooler, get the temperature of your house to drop by a few degrees.
- Get something soothing to drink. Mango shake sounds perfect for the Indian summer.
- Get your favorite collection of DVDs. Enjoy the shake while you watch the classics you love.
- Don't even try to take control of the TV. Leave it to the wife. You don't want any trouble while you relax.
- Make sure you indulge in the afternoon nap. Its a must.
- Try not to do anything specific. Do whatever you like. Just don't stress your brains.
A day like this, and you will be ready to take on the World again. All charged up !!