30 December 2004

Donate for a cause.

Not many people read this blog, but those who do, I request you to contact the nearest Tsunami Disaster Relief agency and chip in whatever you can afford. Every penny counts. This is the time when the social resposibility towards other humans requires us to do as much as we can to help the survivors of the South Asian Diasaster. I'm sure we can forego our daily cup of tea/coffee and contribute to the cause.

I did my part by donating to Red Cross. Here are a few other agencies you can donate to:
Tsunami Blog

28 December 2004


There is only ONE superpower - Nature. No nukes, patriots, or even cruise missles can provide the defence to anyone from it. The best defence is to repect nature.

25 December 2004

Futureshop.ca Woes

Just like last year, I braced up myself to buy a bit of computer hardware during the Boxing Day (BD) sale at Futureshop(FS). Last year, I was just plain lucky to to actually get the rebate as Futureshop completely refused to honor the Mail-in-Rebate as I had made the purchase 5min before midnight PST! Do they open their stores in the East coast according to their store times for the West coast? However, Western Digital was considerate enough to understand the problem and send me the MiR.

This year(BD sale started at 0000hrs 25Dec05), I was expecting more rush for the online BD sale with more and more people subscribing to high speed internet. So as expected, the site was almost unreachable till 0200hrs 25Dec04. When I was finally able to login(FS asked me to quote one of earlier order numbers, nice security if you haven't ordered something for some months), I selected the 256MB Kingston USB key drive and added it to my basket. Trying to checkout was futile because all I was getting was VB Script errors. When I got through about half an hour later, it again asked for my login and password!! Why did they ask me a second time? OK, fine. I assume that my session expired. But then I had to tell them an older order number from my record again. On submitting the info again for the second time, I got to a page telling me that the site was very busy. Didn't they know that the website will be busy during their boxing day sale? They should have taken appropriate measures so as to provide the users a pleasent experience.

I finally got to the point of providing payment information. Typed it in, and clicked confirm payment info button. That went in allright, but the confirm page had a message at the top that the product I was trying to order was already soldout! It was just like someone took stuff out of your basket while you were still shopping in an actual store.

And that was not all, worse happened the next night. I wasn't even able to login between 0000hrs and 0200hrs 26Dec04!

A better system would hold the item for the user for a few minutes or so. They could alert logged-in users just before the holding time expires, or keep the item if the user has initiated the payment process. They need to update their systems or atleast lease more computing power for the few days when they know it will be very busy. Not all systems need additional power, even increasing the computing power for the login and payment system would be of great help. I think it would be a good idea for Futureshop to spend sometime on improving their own Future by working on their customer dealing methods.

11 December 2004

After Browsers and WWW Search, Desktop Search is heating up

With the ongoing wars between different search engine companies and internet browser companies going on, a new front is opening up: The Desktop Search. Yes, its time we got good destop searching softwares. Its getting hard to find stuff on such huge hard disks we are able to get these days!
  • Goolge has just recently released their Google Desktop Search Tool.
  • Microsoft will soon release their MSN Toolbar Suite (possibly in December 2004), which will be configured to run in Outlook, Outlook Express, Internet Explorer and as Deskbar Toolbar. Report and Screenshots. This is probably something to fill the void of a delayed Longhorn release which initially was advertised to the have Microsoft's revolutionary file system WinFS.
  • Yahoo! is too planning to release their own desktop search system and make a niche in destop search field. The major difference in Yahoo! destop search will be that it won't employ a browser to show the results.
  • Copernic, which already offers a wonderful desktop search system, just recently announced the integration of their desktop search software with Firefox.
It will be interesting to watch the big players fight to get their share of the desktop pie in the coming few months. I just hope that we, the users, get the best possible software for our desktop searches.

7 December 2004

The French err... Swiss Connection...

After a long time I have heard good news about Chandigarh, one of the creations of the famous architect, Le Corbusier. Two tapestries from the courtroom of Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice were restored by the National Museum. The process of restoration took almost 2 months. Of the 12 tapestries created by Le Corbusier(woven by the then East India Carpet Company), 11 remain and the National Museum team will taken on bigger ones of the 11 for restoration. This was reported in The Tribune.

A little bit more about Le Corbusier: He was born in 1887 in the Swiss town of La Chaux-de-fonds and later adopted French nationality. In 1951 he was appointed the Architectural Advisor to the Punjab Government to design their new capital, Chandigarh. More detailed biography of LeCorbusier can found at the Foundation Le Corbusier website.

For a good introduction to Chandigarh and Nek Chand's Rock Garden, visit Carl Lindquist's Carl Lindquist's web site and Nek Chand Foundation website.

6 December 2004

Ubuntu Linux CDs

After a long wait the Ubuntu Linux CDs I had requested finally arrived today. Canonical Ltd. is doing a very good job at spreading Linux to the masses by providing FREE, pressed CD sets of Ubuntu (Live CD + Ubuntu "Wharty" 4.01).

Now that the CDs have arrived, Canonical's part has finished and now my part of distributing the CDs starts.

If anyone wants to order Ubuntu Linux CDs, visit www.ubuntulinux.org as they are still shipping the CDs free of charge to where ever :)

4 December 2004

Help needed for NvuHelp

Due to the unavailability of a Mac OS based machine we are not able to verify the correctness of the MacOS "keyboard shortcuts" for NvuHelp. We need to know if any of the keyboard shortcuts have been wrongly documented. As NvuHelp is packaged in Nvu 0.60, the current keyboard shortcuts as documented right now are available in it.

If you have a MacOS based machine and are interested in helping please check if all the keyboard combinations work for you or not. If there are errors, write down the command and the correct keyboard shortcut combination and send the list to me.(Email at "kdsDOTsahambiATgmailDOT com" or just add the list as a comment to this post.)

1 December 2004

XHTML query

Can anyone help me with this?

I need to have an hyper-link in an XHTML document. The link contains a few & symbols for variable separation. If I use it directly, & is considered as a start for special entity and is not validated (browser shows an error). And if I use its Hex code %26 in its place, clicking on the link does not open the intended page.

Any suggestions?

For the timebeing I am using tinyurl.