Friday, September 12, 2008

Federer - He just doesn't fails to amuse

I was awestruck by some of the greatest games ever played in this US open by the swiss maestro and I had to really pick myself up to write what I felt about it.

Roger Federer has reached his peak form after winning the US open championship. He seems to have nearly recovered from the mono that affected him in the Australian open. I did suffer from it once and to say it takes longer than what most people would think to recover from it. But once someone recovers from it all other illness will be nothing for them. Federer still ain't that fit or shows any signal that he has recovered from it. He might have to build some muscles and do twice lot of exercises. But he has shown other the glimpses of what the comeback will be this time around. He played with utmost confidence and desperation as his opponents found it difficult to tackle his serves and volleys which he had nearly given up till this US Open. Federer is still making lots of unforced errors, something that could cause some eyebrows to lift. I feel sorry for Murray that he had to face a man who was getting to the point of desperation and was ready to do anything to get himself back again on the top.

Federer, though played some awesome strokes,But still has to do a lot to regain his full strength and most importantly his fighting spirit that he once had when he went about destroying Pete Sampras. I feel he was starting to become too sedate and numb for others and his liking. He might need to take something like the fighting attitude of Nadal into his game. He can still be the greatest player who ever played the Game.

Anyway on the match, the first set was decided when federer broke murray. Murray did not surrender the set, but he had nothing to do. Fed took the set away from him slowly. Murray did play some amazing returns from far corners. He did play mostly from the back line and didn't approach the net as much as Federer did. Federer showed why he retained the world number 1 for the longest streak ever. He might be showing others, why he still deserves to be playing tennis. In the second set, Murray exhibited some of the best tennis ever. To say it was even better than Federer's game, at some points. But FedEx did the trick on him, after surviving crucial break points and broke Andy's serve near the end to win the set 7-5.

Murray's confidence was battered as he really struggled to get back into the game with federer infact leading the 3rd and penultimate set 5-0 at a time. Murray did manage to stage a comeback, but all was lost as the swiss maestro took the match away from him on his second championship point of the match.

The match was over and Federer managed the fifth straight US open win. He became the only person to win both Wimbledon and US open five straight times. He stands one behind Sampras on the so-called unlucky 13 on the maximum number of grand slams won by a person. He will achieve it and many more for records to be written.

One worry that might still haunt Federer is the number of unforced errors he committed. He did loose the wimbledon with one such error and will surely be looking to minimize them as much as possible. With age comes wisdom and Federer is just showing others what it truely means. His olympic gold medal which he won with Wawrinka must have made him realise lot of things and given him loads of confidence . There was a subtle change in his game play as a result.

We might very well see a completely new Federer, the one from the past before he reached the world No 1, to take on the mantle of doing it again. This time though it could sound deadly for his opponents.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Google Chrome - Redefining Browsing

First and foremost, I was and am a Firefox user till date on both my OS - windows and linux. But I feel Google Chrome is more than just a competitor for Firefox and IE. It surely looks like the next major development in browsing. 

First IE redefined the world of browsing, then firefox with its imaculate features like multi-tab browsing, easy-to-use add-ons and other features. Well, so what is new about Google Chrome?.
I wanted to write my true feelings about using Google Chrome. So for the past few days, I decided to use it as my only browser. As a first time user of an entirely new browser, I felt it was good enough. I began getting a feeling that for non-flash websites that I mostly visit, Google chrome was lightning quick when compared to Firefox or even IE.

For a Firefox user like me, I found the add-ons feature of Firefox was something that I was really missing. In Firefox, I used FireFTP and stuff like that which I felt should have to be incorporated into google chrome as well. 

I didn't face that many problems handling  the new browser. On the whole things went well. 

Errors and Possible problems for Developers to deal with in future releases:

Sometime the title of the tabs just crashed with just the word "Loading" on it. But when reloaded everything loaded perfectly.

Certain things did cause some doubts in me. The address bar is both the search bar and the address bar. When I tried searching for  a valid keyword, I could see that the browser's identity was sent off explicitly to my liking. On the search query I could see a variable source-id which I felt could be used by hackers to spy on people using Google chrome or even used by Google to maintain a record of how many users are using there browser till date, which I could feel like invading my privacy.

Browsing was good enough and my problem with it started showing up when I tried opening many tabs that had flash pages. Half of the time, It just gave an empty page - Nothing loaded up. 
(Solution Found:- Keep scrolling your mouse up and down and suddenly the page looks like it has been there normally for a long time.) 

This I feel could not be due to the browsers design but with the flash player from adobe as I have been facing similar problems with their flash players in Linux. Might be Google could go for a light weight flash component, just like they did as in the case of Javascript VM.

Major problems or say the limitations, I felt were when I was making this post in blogger with my new browser. Image were not that easy to cut and paste in the desired places. You had to click and select the entire image from top to bottom - only then does it get selected for cut or copy.

I usually leave little notes in my mother tongue - Tamil ,which was easy with the same blogger page that showed up in firefox, but not in chrome. I felt sad that I could not even see the language select option here. Might be they have incorporated it yet into chrome.

Another thing that confused me was that there was no language checker as they did mention in the release notes. Nothing came up  - not even a red line as in FireFox or IE to indicate the  wrongly typed words.

I didn't face any sort of problems when accessing the Gmail or Google Docs for that matter as mentioned in the chrome forum.

New Features:
When  a person right clicks on a page generally a pop-up menu shows up. But for none of the sites that I opened does the "View Page Info" option work - amazingly not even for google.

Thumbnails of recently visited sites were like a boon to me. I could just visit the ones that I had visited earlier. This could have been made better by making a scroll down list that grows for each site visited with its small thumbnail atleast for 30 sites. That could have been much more superb.

For a guy like me, just clicking on the tabs and moving them out so that they become a serprate window was a nice feature, which I feel they have got from Google Talk.

I felt like the "Inspect Element" feature was a really nice one and suited a part-time developer like me. Clicking on it opened a Google chrome inspector window. Moving the mouse through it changed the background of the element in the actual window over whose code the mouse was moved in the inspector window. 

The taskman option was something similar to that of the Windows task Manager, but was limited to the browsers componenets alone. For a few websites that I found flash to be slowing me down, I ended the shockwave plugin and things normalised. Only a yellow warning came up on the top of the window saying that Shockwave Plugin has crashed. The browser functioned normally.

Incognito Window was  something that I felt was good enough. Starting a new incognito window, started a page with google's custom message which said all that was about it as in the screenshot below:-

Much of the features till now has been mainly for developers. Future releases could hold higher potential.

I can see the potential of this browser in today's world wide web. Definitely Google could use this for more than just capturing the market share of other browsers. This brower could also indicate that google has the potential to look at the Operating systems market very soon.

Everybody knows Firefox will be the most affected one because of this new browser than IE.
But as for the rule of the earth and survival - "For achieving something, something else of equal importance has to be given up". That being Firefox or IE8 remains to be seen.

IE left the throne, after Firefox came in. Safari was never in the race other than for Mac. Opera and flock made some noises. Firefox rules the kingdom now. Got to look at what the prince Google Chrome can do in future. It's still a baby waiting to explore this world. I believe everyone have to wait for the actual release to see what features are actually available since this is only the beta.

Whatever happens Google has to realize the thing that is, has and will be bringing MS down - You have no right to force others to use only your softwares or things. Accept a open race/challenge and try to come as the first in  there. Then you can survive in this world and will be respected.

I think Google has done half of it by making chrome open source. The rest remains to be seen in the long chain of events that are going to unfold in future.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

India's historic AFC cup win & the pathetic condition of footbal in India

India defeated Tajikistan in the AFC cup and booked a direct place to the AFC Asia cup 2011 to be held in Doha. Fittingly, the local boy, Sunil Chetri came up with a hatrick
to confirm India's win. This was historic event happened on August 13, just 2 days before our Independence day and 2 days after India's historic individual Gold medal win in the Beijing Olympics and I believe each and every indian football fan would have been proud of this historic win.

But it still seems that most of the country's popular game continues to be the one and only cricket. I'm really sad to see the way the country is still not able to recognize and nurture the beautiful game. Even worst is the way most of the media went about informing the news about the berth in the finals that India secured.

The following images have been sent to me by an Indian football fan and I think he has every right to get angry and let down.

Well, I think after seeing this images, even I was shocked. Might be the reporter could have thought that since India is in a finals, that has got to be cricket.Something that was satisfactory was that other news sites had the news printed under the right section though. But I feel dejected by this act of a notable and reputed media.

You can call India a formidable force in the cricketing world. But that has no right for anyone to undermine other games in the nation. Only if some big achievements are made by other sports people , are they recognized and rewarded. one example being the Great Indian shooter - Abhinav Bindra. How long are the so called sports reporters wear a band around their eyes and go on saying that cricket is the only game that people of India know, play and watch???

From another football fan who feels much needs to be done and that to soon or we could end up losing precious games in the limelight of one game's unprecedented supremacy.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Headlines Today - Turning News into Masala Entertainment

I do watch news channels now and then for refreshment and I have to say that I have been really enthralled by certain news channels and the way they present important news and facts. Sometimes, even when a cricket match is going on, I usually tend to watch them. I do like NDTV 24x7, CNN-IBN and Times Now. Long time before what the present HT is, I even used to watch it. But now-a-days I think that HT is going far towards entertainment and that too masala entertainment aimed at catching low grade viewers. This is after seeing certain programs in HT a couple of days before.

Everybody watches news to get to the daily headlines as they break and to get some important facts happening around the world. By important, I mean something like a natural disaster or something that makes people understand the current world scenario from a broader point of view or a fair review of a new product from a customer's point with experts involved. News has to be unbiased, representing the true condition of a situation.

HT has gone too far in News. They have started telecasting old wrestling matches and wrestling news from the world of WWE!!!!!! Kane destroyed undertaker!!!!! oh...... I never knew that and that was like a decade ago. I need to tell them one thing. If I want to see wrestling, I can tune into the sports channel that telecasts it.

Well I do know that more than half the people in the world know that WWE is not real fighting. Half the fights are fixed and everything is really a drama. I really can't understand who was the brain who gave the idea of running these things on a news channel!!!! Any news must be such that they give out true events and not just entertainment. Entertainment can be a part only and not the main goal of a news channel.

I really tuned into HT to see the condition of Bihar floods and to know what was the situation(My worst situation was CNN was not coming at that time due to my STB problem). Though I wanted urgent news on the topic, I waited patiently to see whether these people will telecast anything about the floods or not. One of my fellow country man is suffering and these people need wrestling and other kachda vachdas.

And another worst news to be displayed in the waiting time, some actress has a crush on some actor and some actress going on date with some actor. Do you think that these things would attract any true news watcher??? I don't think so.

It was even worst when they did the aarushi incident.

Readers can read shekar kapoor's opinion on this channel here in his own blog. He has every right to be puzzled and angered by these programs.

They just don't have the technical expertiseor it seems that some formaer guy from a masala channel is preparing their program catalog.

At last they did put some news about bihar floods. It was worst than what even DD News had summarized.

They have lost their position as a respectable news channel with these kind of programs. It would be better for them to close this news channel and start a new channel called Gossips Today or Wrestling Today. At least, then they could make some useful profits.

Even NDTV has useful programs like Gadget Guru, a debate session on some topic. Even CNN-IBN have debates and other stuffs. They interview top leaders, national icons. HT has nothing of these sorts and everything they do has and is masala concerned.

Sorry to tell HT, but you have lost one true news viewer and will lose many more, if the programs don't change.

Linux Distros for the weekend

I have been using ubuntu and vista in my laptop for quite some time now. But I think it's time to try something new. So after all the initial research that I could do, I have decided to try 2 different Linux distro's for the time being.

First one is Mandriva. I have only heard of it before and to say the truth I have never actually worked with this one before. I did use fedora and knoppix but that was like centuries ago. So I think this will be something new for me. Well, getting the WIFI to work with ubuntu was the toughest thing I had to do. I just believe it wont be that bad in mandriva though. Well, everything is the basic linux kernel. So might be (only a chance) the same things also apply here too. I think it also has a live CD try only before install feature. I really loved that when it came to ubuntu.

Well, I found this while just browsing through the net and I liked it from the first look on it. Then I did some browsing to find what others thought of it. Except for the CNR, that comes with this most people believe that FreeSpire is good. Some even thought of it to be better than ubuntu when it came to pre-installed features. Well, actually it seems that freespire is built on top of ubuntu with only some extra customization. So might be it could meet my needs. Further I think that this could even support the atheros wireless card in my laptop even without the ndisgtk or madwifi manual installation.

Well, whatever happens, I don't expect them to destroy my current ubuntu installation or vista installation in anyway.

So as far as that goes, I'm happy. well other distros, I don't think i'll try them for this time. Anyhow I'll enjoy playing with my laptop that already has 2 OSes. (Vista OEM home premium and Ubuntu).

EasyBCD - Removing Linux GRUB from a dual boot system and Re-Installing Vista/XP bootloader

Personally, I didn't need this software as I wouldn't be uninstalling my linux installation ever.. But I see a lot of my friends who after installing linux ask me how to remove it, as they feel they don't want it. Well It would seem somewhat unusual to a linux person like me to do that. I generally advice them to go with the linux they installed. But they just wouldn't agree. So, I wanted to know whether there is any way to remove linux and its GRUB without affecting a vista or xp installation already on the system.

I found an interesting and one of the easiest answer in EasyBCD - a wonderful software made by NeoSmart Technologies.

The software itself does a lot of things. that could help a lot of persons - both windows and linux users. Stuffs like NeoGRUB in this software can help installing grub in a no GRUB found conditions,In situations where you have installed Linux first and then installing XP/Vista.

Note:- installing vista again on a linux hard drive will erase the GRUB installation and access to linux.

Well, the feature that I'm going to outline in this post is about how to uninstall linux without loosing your windows installation.This can be for a number of reasons such as people could be unsatisfied with the current linux installation or want to install a different one in future.

1)Just log into your vista installation and download and install the EasyBCD from this link here.

2) Then run the software and goto Manage Bootloader and select re-install the vista bootloader.

That should re-install the vista bootloader and erase the GRUB.
Then you can format the linux drive or do whatever you want(even install the same or another distro).

If you go by my advice, Linux is equally good, if not better than Vista. Learn using it and you'll like it.Please use this option under the unavoidable circumstances.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Abhinav Bindra - Golden boy with the gold medal

"He paid a lot of attention towards physical training despite his back injury. He did tough commando training in Germany for three weeks prior to the Olympics," said a businessman.

This businessman is no ordinary person for he is the proud father of India's only individual gold medalist in the history of olympics till now. He is AS Bindra, proud father of Abinav Bindra, who has become the mantra for all Indians now.

The date of August 11 will be remembered forever for this boy(I cannot call him a man yet, he looks too young) who has not just made his family but an entire nation proud.

Abhinav Bindra was born on September 28, 1982. Right from his childhood, his family supported him with his endeavours. Important achievements had been expected from him for a long time.

At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, he fulfilled the expectations bestowed upon him by becoming the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games and first gold medal since 1980 for India by winning the gold in the 10 m Air Rifle event.

Abhinav won the gold for the Men's 10m Air Rifle final after shooting a total of 700.5. He scored 596 in the qualifying round and out-scored all other shooters in the finals with a round of 104.5.

In the finals, he started with a shot of 10.7, and none of his shots were below 10.0. Bindra was tied with Henri Hakkinen heading into his final shot. Bindra scored his highest of the finals - 10.8 while Hakkinen came with his worst performance of the finals (9.7) to settle for Bronze medal.
( in the middle of this the chinese was crying like a baby for not getting the gold...... )

"He paid a lot of attention towards physical training despite his back injury. He did tough commando training in Germany for three weeks prior to the Olympics," says the proud father.

In the qualification round, Bindra finished in joint fourth with Romania's George Alin Moldoveanu after the duo shot a score of 596/600.The golden boy, managed a series of 100, 99,100, 98, 100 and 99 in these rounds.

Meanwhile, Finland's Henri Hakkinen qualified first for the event with a score of 598/600 after shooting a series of 100,100, 99, 100, 100 and 99.China's Qinan Zhu was a point away of Hakkinen with a series of 100, 100, 100, 100, 99 and 98.

Bindra's mother said the family would visit Punjab's famous Golden temple and pay their debts to god for this achievement.

Well, now that this feat is over, we will definitely expect much more from him.