31 October 2005

Casio Watches

I have been using the Databank wrist watches by Casio since last few years. I have had two models and repeated the second one. The thing I liked about them was that they had telememo and schedule (50 in older model and 150 in the one I have now), world time and a timer in addition to regular features. Telememo and schedule really helps when one doesn't own a cell phone.

However there are a few things I don't like about those models especially the DBC-150 (warning: Macromedia Flash required). I have had to replace the battery after about 6months of purchasing all of them. After the change the battery runs for atleast one year. I know that the watch is there on the dealer's show case till it is bought and is always running but 6months for all three of them is a bit over the top. The second grudge is the low accuracy of time. The product page states the accuracy of the watch to be +/- 30 seconds! And that for today's standards seems to be quite a big error. I'm not that much concerned about this as I can refer to my PC's time for a more accurate estimate.

The third and the worst problem has been the wrist strap. I have had the databank model with the rasin straps but they become brittle and break after around 12-18 months of usage. This behaviour has been consistent for all three databank watches I ever bought. The interesting point about the strap problem is that no dealer carries the replacement straps. Every place I have asked has shown me options of Timex replacement straps (even they don't have one which matches the DBC-150). Why can't Casio either make better straps or provide the replacement? In case I plan to buy new one (as I did the last couple of times) there is the data problem: I have to transfer each phone entry and permanent schedules individually to the new watch.

So my advice to others is to stay away from Casio watches with rasin straps as they are going to break in around an year and a half or even earlier if you were swimming with them. What good is a watch if it not going to last for atleast 4-5 years!


27 October 2005

Planet Mozilla

It looks like Planet Mozilla was down today for some time. I could not access it via the browser and was getting a request timed out error. Trying to ping also resulted into a 100% data loss!

Update: It seems to be running fine now. I wonder what happened!

Update 2: More infomration: the whole mozilla.org was down for 15minutes

25 October 2005

Install Google!

I was setting up a computer account for a new hire today and she requested me two things. The first one was to remove that Word icon from desktop and the second one was to install Google! A bit surprised, I asked her to explain what she meant by "install Google". She said "Well I use google a lot and I don't want to type in the web site address every time I want to use it."

With then I understood what she meant. She wanted me to install the Google Toolbar in IE(yuck) for her. I told her that we used a new browser and google comes in it. She could just type in her search query and the results will be displayed in the window. She was a bit surprised watching me do it, and then I also did a demo similar yahoo, and amazon searches. In the end she seemed to be pretty satisfied.

But "install google", that seems to be a really vague term taking into consideration all the things google is doing or planning to do!

24 October 2005

OSS and L10n

I just finished updating my Debian(unstable) box and got a shiny new version of Openoffice.org 2.0. While selecting packages when updating I also noticed that various language packs were available for it, especially Hindi and Punjabi. It is getting so common these days that one gets a choice of interface in their local language. In Linux changing to your local language is as easy as logging-out and then logging-in again in your preferred locale.

Software that I use and have several localizations include but are not limited to Seamonkey(earlier Mozilla Suite), Firefox, Thunderbird, Opera (Opera Hindi & Punjabi release), etc. Opera released its browser's version in Hindi and Punjabi for about 800 million people speaking these languages.

Not only do open source softwares offer your local language but desktop suites like GNOME (l10n status 2.12) and KDE (l10n status stable version) also offer full desktop interface in several languages. Thus increasing the reach of OSS to the furthest corners of the world.

Just last week someone asked me if it was possible to have Japanese version of Windows XP on his laptop. He had only two options: buy Japanese version of Windows XP (costs around $700) or ask a friend in Japan to buy a laptop for him and courier it here! I informed him that Linux was available in most languages for FREE :) in case he wanted to use that instead of Windoze.

22 October 2005

Article: Awstats setup on Debian

I had a bit of hard time setting up awstats on my Debain GNU/Linux box running apache. Awstats generates statistics for web server, ftp server, mail server, etc. by parsing the respective log files. The statistics can be viewed in a browser and are presented in a nicely layed out design.

For my own reference, I had documented the process of setting up awstats on a Debian box and making the process automate without the common problem of losing some statistics everytime apache rotates its log. The document is now available publicly under a GNU Free Documentation license on its own page.

Suggestions and corrections would be highly appreciated as comments to this entry.

21 October 2005

Yahoo! Mail

Since the last 15minutes I haven't been able to send a couple of important email messages because I can't access the address book on my Yahoo! Mail account. The request for viewing the address book times out after a few minutes. I wonder what Yahoo! is doing with their email system! Is the new beta already being pushed in for general use?

11 October 2005

FEMA in Pakistan??

Tonight on "World News Tonight", anchor Elizabeth Vargus started with There is no such thing as FEMA in Pakistan.... referring to the earthquake in Pakistan last weekend and the state of relief for the affected. Well there better not be another FEMA in any other country, becuase it is no use if it is just sitting on its a*** just watching the weather reports before, during and after a huge hurricane!