The Most Popular Linux Applications

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For those really looking to give Linux a try, this list of the its most popular applications should help to decide if you can really do what you need to do with the Penguin.
Worth checking out even if you don’t run a Linux box anywhere.

It’s nicely dense and has more than just the gimmes–Apache and OpenOffice, for example. Dia (diagramming software ala Microsoft’s Visio), Kaffeine (popular media player) and the venerable GIMP (graphics editing tool) are all there as well as more specialized apps like FreeMED (HIPAA-compliant medical manager).

(via Digg)

One day at US VISA Consulate


I was about to thrash my cell phone when its Alarm rang twice at 3.15am in the morning. But i had no option but to wake up because my VISA interview was scheduled at 10.30am. My cab arrived on time at 4.15am.
After collecting other two colleagues, we left Pune at around 5.30am

Weather was very pleasant and after so many years i saw how sun looks when it rises. I could see the clouds and beautiful mountains. It was really very relaxing. Roads were empty and we managed to reach Mumbai at around 9.00 am.
Our first stop was VFS center, which isn’t too big but provides enough facilities to help you get refreshed.
They allow to enter only when you produce your VISA Interview letter. They tick your name, which means you have arrived! Coffee and sandwiches was the only food available. I had it because i didn’t know how long it would take.

At 10..00 am, a guy entered in the waiting room to announce that the bus for 10.30 time slot has arrived. I quickly switched off my cell phone and put it in the locker provided. I was allowed to enter in the bus when i showed the second blue receipt from VHF voucher (1st one was for food).
The bus was nowhere near to the picture printed on the VFS voucher. Thats understood.
VISA consulate was just few minutes away and we got into the line as soon as we stepped down the bus.
I was doing each and everything mechanically. 

We had to flash our interview letter again to enter. We were asked to keep our passport, DD and interview letter handy. The guy at security gate asked me to remove my belt, watch and wallet. I was a bit afraid, because my wallet has a lucky coin given by Mithila. I wanted to carry that along with me. He checked my docs and gave me thumbs up.

It was another line after that. Where my DD was taken along with two copies of form I-129 and i was given a wooden block to carry all the time. I was asked to sit and wait for my name to get announced.

There were lot of people in the room. Most of them are Gujrathi Families, and all of them were Patels! Room was filled with the people from all walks of life. Kids, old people and celebrities too! I saw Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and his son Rahul Sharma sitting quietly in another line. I thought of taking their autographs but I didn’t have the extra paper. 
Finally my name was announced along with the Door Number. I headed towards the door. Impressions of my left and right index finger’s were taken. And i was given a pink coupon, which had a 3-digit number on it. I was asked to wait again for the number.

It was very tedious to wait anxiously. One needs to be very attentive. I could manage to wait till 3 and half hours as I had just watched Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna. I was humming "Jhalak dikhlaja.. ek baar aaja aaja" and " Tera, Tera Tera kasoor…" assuming that my door number will be Tera (Thirteen).
At last a lady announced my number. My heart started to beat faster. I was the second person in the line. It was a closed room.. like an STD PCO.. sound proof. I entered slowly and greeted the lady and gave her the pink coupon.

"Hi Mam"
"Hi… How are you?" She smiled.
"I’m fine.. thanks"
“Give me the coupon”
“Which coupon?” I was puzzled.
“The pink coupon”
“Ummm.. “ I was frozen. I didn’t know what she was talking about.
“That coupon” She pointed toward my hand. It was in my hand itself. She was smiling. And I felt like a stupid.

"So, where are you going?"
"Humm.. thats great.. have you seen %$#@". She was talking about some place in Buffalo.
"Umm.. no mam.. This is the first time I’m going to US"
"Do you like snow?"
"It doesn’t matter.. I’m only concerned about my work" (Sometimes i think, I’m a bit boring)
"How long you are going to stay?"
"Four to Six months"
"And who will be paying for your trip?"
"I see" (She was smiling all the time) 

"What are you going to do there?"
"I’ll be helping those guys in implementing …….."
“..those guys?”
“I mean US guys..”
“US guys..?”
“Actually we have our development team there and..”
She stopped me and said “Its OK.” And started smiling. She was just pulling my leg.

"And how much salary you’ll get"
"Mam, I’ll get the DOA"
"How much?"
"60$ a day" 

(then there was a silence for few seconds.. those were the longest seconds in my life. I knew I’ve goofed up the things.) 

"Ok.. you’ll get your VISA within two days" (She smiled again)
"Thank you mam.. nice talking to you.." (I smiled back!) 

And then i came out happily out of that box. Many faces waiting in the line easily figured out what my result was.
Then i returned the wooden block and headed towards the VFS to get my stuff.
And when my TL called me and asked, "Kya hua..?"
I said, "Samjho ho hi gaya!!" 

I informed Dad, mom, mona, anuj and other friends immediately. It defiantly was a happy moment.


Massive Windows XP Optimization Guide

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Time to tweak Windows XP

TweakGuides has been providing Windows operating system optimization information for several years now. I am not going to guarantee their information 100%, but thousands of users swear by them.
Their Windows XP Optimization Guide has been out for a while, but is now out in a mammoth new 3.1 version PDF. Download, read and implement–in that order.
Oh, and they also have numerous guides for games, other operating systems and other software packages.
(via Digg)

Akela is too good!

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I’m not a regular TV viewer. And whenever i watch TV, i watch very selected serials.
I love watching Lizzie on Disney channel every evening apart from Batman, Justice League, Johny Bravo and Hatim.
But there is one serial which i can’t afford to miss.. Akela.
I’m watching ‘Akela’ since episode#1 and haven’t missed even a single run since then. Its a great mix of Horror, Comedy, Thrill and adventure. And a love story also runs parallely in every show. It just clicks. Each episode has a different story and good thing is, all the stories are original.
Here is a concept from its official site:
This serial is about what happened to an ex – police officer – Ranvir, after he comes out from Coma, about his gradual coming to terms with his powers. Ranvir finds that he can see dead people and it becomes his life’s mission to help them. It is a bizarre situation, because sometimes the victims themselves refuse to accept that they are dead. Ranvir solves these issues using normal detective techniques and also a mix of his powers— Ranvir also has another advantage — while the police have a network of informers in the city, Ranvir has his own network of informers —dead people spread out across the city! On other occasions, Ranvir sometimes gets cases from dead people themselves, wanting him to find out who killed them!

On another level, this is also the story of the personal life of Ranvir. We see him trying to pick up the pieces of his own life—which is non existent now as the last eight years have taken everything away. It is about his suppressed obsession with Kinnari, his ex fiancée who is now married to Dr. Rohit. In the midst of this, destiny brings back love to his life. She to an extent helps Ranbir to move on in life. But Ranvir is unsure whether she is the one!

Ultimately, Akela is a drama of relationships. Rohit has insecurities about Kinnari. Ranbir and Savio continue with their adventures by being the bridges of communication across TWO WORLDS.

Do watch it whenever you manage to tune Sony TV at 10:00pm on Thrusday.
Akela rocks.


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Talking about Encouraging the Viral Spread of Gadgets

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I agree that Live Spaces is causing lot of problems. And most of us have already started the hunt for better blogging platform. I’m also testing WrodPress since couple of days. But still i feel that the Live Spaces is very promising. Here is why:

Quote (via Dare’s space)

Encouraging the Viral Spread of Gadgets

I just uploaded a few gadgets to Windows Live Gallery and thought I should share something cool I learned from Jay Fluegel, the PM for gadgets in Windows Live Spaces. If you see a cool gadget on someone’s space that you’d like to add to your space or portal page, all you need to do is click the ‘+’ in the top-right corner of the gadget as shown in the screenshot below and viola

That’s pretty hot and brain-dead simple too. Definitely beats having to trawl Windows Live Gallery everytime you see a cool gadget that you’d like to add to your space or personalized home page.

House of thousand mirrors

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Long ago in a small, far away village, there was place known as the House of 1000 Mirrors.

A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit. When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could. To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with 1000 great smiles just as warm and friendly. As he left the House, he thought to himself, "This is a wonderful place. I will come back and visit it often."

In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. When he saw the 1000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see 1000 little dogs growling back at him. As he left, he thought to himself, "That is a horrible place, and I will never go back there again."

All the faces in the world are mirrors. What kind of reflections do you see in the faces of the people you meet?

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