30 August 2006

Wonderful Gift

Yesterday had a surprise for me. It finally reached me, and it is absolutely wonderful. Want to see how it looks like? Here is a smaller version of the image for you, click on it to go to flickr page and view a larger size.


This is a sleeve for my MBP that a dear friend made for me. It is hand made and one-of-a-kind rather than being one of the run-of-the-mill laptop sleeves you can get online. The black part is a coarse silk cloth; used in order to make it more durable. Inner lining is soft and is padded for safety of the laptop. It will be the obvious choice to carry the laptop to the café around the corner rather than the huge bag I use right now. And the best thing is that the older backpack I use for the laptop will take in the laptop along with the sleeve. Niceee :).

I know it is a macbook pro I will have in the sleeve, but still I'm planning to put a nice logo on the sleeve's front side. Here is a mockup of what it might look if I get around to have that logo on it.

MBP sleeve's future

Yes, you guessed it, its the oh, so dependable swirl.

28 August 2006

Apple Background Images

After a lot of delay, I have finally put the apple background images online. Download and use them if you like them. The background images have been resized to match the optimal resolutions on a Macbook or a Macbook Pro. The ones above are only 2 of the 6 available for download.


27 August 2006

What is a mainframe?

A bunch of hilarious videos by IBM(?). Whoever made those deserves a mainframe

  1. Mainframe - The Art of the Sale
  2. The Mainframe - Its a metaphor
  3. The Mainframe - Its a factory

Warning: flashplayer required to view videos

25 August 2006

VLC misbehaved!

VLC is a swiss knife when it comes to playing or streaming audio/video files. I have been all praise for it till now, but I had to pluck one feather off its cap due to unruly behaviour today.

I wanted to test a video created using imagemagick and ffmpeg on my Macbook Pro(MBP). I started up VLC and tried to play the file in it. As I had expected (due to possible unavailability of codecs) it showed me an error that the file is not supported. So I just closed the window thinking I will get back to using a different codec and test later. I leave the laptop with around 87% battery life remaining and went to make a sandwich. After around 15minutes, I was surprised to see the screen still showing the desktop instead of the MBP going to sleep in 5minutes. The battery life remaining showed only 47% remaining!

Started up the good old terminal and checked what the problem was using top. It showed me that a certain process VLC was using up 99.9% of the CPU! KILL, KILL, Terminate was my reaction using another terminal which lead to normal functioning of the MBP. Need to do some bug searching to see if this has been reported.

Moral: Do not leave your MBP/MB around with VLC running. Quit VLC after you end using it.

Air Travel Instructions

Instructions for air travel year 2006 and possibly beyond:

  • Absolutely no liquids allowed. Better pee before you go through the security check.
  • No lipsticks allowed. You can't fool anyone by putting on makeup, your age and other details are on the passport already.
  • Leave laptops at home. If taken along, laptops have to be in checked-in baggage with no guarantee of being returned when you reach your destination. So much for the nights you spent preparing the presentation for the brand new product.
  • DO NOT PLAY with your cellular phones. The in-flight US marshals don't like kids playing with their cell phones while they are on-duty.
  • If you fit the following profile: teenager or older, male, restless/cannot sit still, like to fiddle with gadgets e.g. cell phone, ipods, camera, etc. that you have all the time, are of Asian origin, and follow a certain religion; just don't travel as you will tend to be a possible cause of flight delays and rigourous questioning/interrogation. Sample questions are: How much did you pay for your iPod? What frequencies does your cellphone use? Does your mp3 player play OGG files, etc.
  • Be Alert and not paranoid about a nervous fellow passengers. Nervousness is not exclusivly demonstrated by "dangerous elements"!

Wishing you a happy and safe journey...

21 August 2006

401 East driver

Thanks to a person for giving me company on the 401 East bound today. I don't know who the person was, but it was a brand new white Impala car going at the speed of around 140kmph (in a 120kmph zone). It was due to him/her that I enjoyed the drive cruising between 135 and 150 kmph. I seldom see people who drive that fast and still observe all the other traffic rules.

And hey, I should thank the 2-door Monte Carlo under me for the ride too. It never complains even if you floor it.

15 August 2006

Passengers Banned from Passenger Flights

Just couldn't resist to post a link to this post. Hilarious, intersting and disturbing at the same time.

4 August 2006

Debugging Google Adsense CSS

Google as it turns out to be can mistakes too. These mistakes are common in the programming world and are commonly called "bugs". I ended up finding one of these so called "bugs" in Google Adsense style sheets. It is something that one won't expect from a CSS expert, but there are some days when these kind of things don't come under the radar. In order to see the buggy behaviour(if they haven't patched the system yet - not till 5Aug 12:00pm EDT) you need a google adsense account. If you don't have one, you will have to make do with the screen captures provided below.

Google Adsense control panel has a tabbed interface implemented using CSS which looks good when viewed in Firefox at default text zoom (Ctrl+Zero). But just when you increase the text zoom level even by a single step, text and other elements under the tabs are shifted to the right giving them a left margin equal to width of the tabs above it.

The problem comes from the fact that the anchor links in the inline list of the tabs are floated left and hence when we zoom in with Ctrl++, the anchor element's size increases so that it overlaps the div element under it which is in normal flow. Now as the div element under the tabs is not cleared left, its content is shifted to the right equal to the width of the tabs above it.(cf. Floats)

A quick hack to solve the problematic behaviour would be a clear: left rule added to the div element below the tabs. In the other more elegant(and longer) method, the use of the float behaviour can be dropped as the anchors are already in their list element boxes. Positioning and other properties can be applied to the list elements instread to achive a better implementation of the tabs using CSS.

Screenshots for the problem and results after adding clear property:

Google, where is my reward for the above explanation and solution?

3 August 2006

unpredictable as the weather

Weather has been suprisingly wierd this summer. Just yesterday the temperatures were in the lower 40s with humidex (yes the units are in Centigrade). When I was coming out of a Presse Cafe, a senior lady entered the cafe along with her small dog. No sonner had they entered the cafe that she exclaimed how hot and humid it was outside. The heat and humidity not only affected the lady but also her dog who had laid on the floor seconds after then entered the control atmosphere of the cafe.

So just after a hot and humid afternoon, the gods of rain smiled on us around 21:00hrs. The rain didn't last long but there was some relief from the heat. It looked like it was going to be hot today too. But I was surprised to see incessant rain combined with high speed winds in the early afternoon. I had to run around 20meters to be sheltered from the rain, but the rain got me good even in that short span of time. I have never seen such rain and powerful winds here till today. It reminds me of the rainy season back home. It has been raining after that on and off with bright flashes and roaring thunder firing off the theft alarms of vehicles parked outside.

Lets see what the weather brings for us tomorrow.