~couchNerd ~serialOutrager ~puts2In42 ~makesPigsFly

Shantanu Vs The World

last update:

Just came across this very cool online emulator that lets you get a first hand experience of how the Google Android based phone T-Mobile G1 (aka HTC Dream) will look and behave like. The sliding notification mechanisms look cool, few of the things aren’t working but still a good thing to check out. However, I don’t know if this is an official site by T-Mobile or not. Linky: http://tmobile.modeaondemand.com/htc/g1/

I updated my project splert to version 0.03 today.For those who don’t know splert is a tool that lets you convert the multi-client instant messenger pidgin (connects to gtalk, msn, yahoo, jabber, etc) into a full blown answering machine and much more. The main changes are: Now you can use other 3rd party twitter bots with it to get updates through twitter since the official twitter bot is down since a long time and there are no chances of coming back soon.

Recently I wrote a small autoreply-answering-machine app for pidgin with a simple premise. Send custom automatic replies to different people when they message you and came across a strange bug. It never sent the reply when you received the first message from someone. I was using the “ReceivedImMessage” signal over d-bus (or “received-im-message” for the plugin writers). What I found initially looked to be a gross and basic error by pidgin developers, but later found that it is indeed a good design and thought that I’ll make a post about it for the benefit of fellow pidgin plugin/app developers.

Update: In a thread about this post at Dropbox forums, it was brought to my notice that Dropbox has now changed its terms to remove the objectionable clause. If you use dropbox (A popular online storage service with free 2 GB space), and use (or intend to use) its public or shared folders feature, then you must know something about the EULA (End Users’ LIcense Agreement). Yes, the one that you clicked “I Agree” on, without even reading one word of.

Just a small shout out to let you guys know that you can use the discount coupon code “linkup” while signing up the excellent online backup service SpiderOak to get a major bump to 10 GB from the 2 GB that they give to normal accounts. For those who don’t know SpiderOak is a great online data backup service, with its major strengths being truly cross paltform (Mac/Linux/Windows – 32 bit as well as 64 bit), easy interface, rsync like differential backups to save time and disk space, versioned file history, web as well as client interface, unlimited number of devices, unlimited bandwidth, etc etc.

A few people (e.g. Varun) told me my previous post differed from the way how google chrome / Microsoft IE8 handle Incognito (Private Browsing) mode. The main consideration was that while chrome/IE8 don’t write anything to disk at all, the firefox method is an after-effect, i.e., writing to disk and then clearing it up while closing the window. Well, true but nothing is non-rectificable :). So this is a post about a method that one can use to go “really” undercover with firefox.

Update: Part 2 of this post is now up here to allay some of the drawbacks that were pointed out. There has been so much hype over the “Incognito” (or Private Browsing) mode of Google Chrome / Microsoft IE8, with many internet users screeming Hallelujiah. But I don’t understand what the hoopla is all about. This mode has always been there in Mozilla firefox as well. You just need to devote less than one minute (yes, you read that right, less than one minute) to set it up.

I recently wrote a simple answering machine program/plugin for pidgin and someone asked me to port it to 32 bit. So I fired up pidgin within my virtual box installation at work (as I have only a 64 bit machine at home) but couldn’t get it to connect. Tried all sorts of methods found over the net of changing ports etc, set port forwarding in Virtual Box NAT, even switched to using a bridged host interface but still no go.

Guys, for the past few days if you downloaded any “.tar.gz” packages from this site (like my splert or shantz-xwinwrap tools), then you’d have got a corrupt package. Turns out there was some issue with mime-types with my setup. I haven’t been able to resolve it still but have re-upped the packages in “zip” format. Please download them again. I apologize for the inconvenience.

XWinWrap is a small utility written a loooong time ago that allowed you to stick most of the apps to your desktop background (Thanks to fsckin for introducing me to it). What this meant was you could use an animated screensaver (like glmatrix, electric sheep, etc) or even a movie, and use it as your wallpaper. But only one version of this app was released, and it had a few problems, like it wasn’t exactly “sticking” to the background and geometry option didn’t work as well.