~couchNerd ~serialOutrager ~puts2In42 ~makesPigsFly

Shantanu Vs The World

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If you are a gadget freak like me and can’t resist the temptations to buy the newest toy on the shelves, then you’d obviously want to eek out the maximum you can from whatever budget you have. But while doing so you have to take care of a lot of things. Here is Part I of the few things that I do get the best deals out there while making sure I’m buying the right thing from the right place.

Google's New Favicon

It’s amazing, isn’t it? Even a sneeze at google makes the headlines. Well, it’s not the sneeze today but the new favicon I just got. So, are you also seeing the all new, re-designed, artisticly polished “g” as the new favicon? In other news, my Twitter-Webcam integration post has bypassed my earlier lifehacked post about Remote File Access Through E-mail by more than a few thousands, even though the time difference between the two posts is more than 3 months.

If you think that all geeks do is walk around wearing thick glasses, code in unreadable languages and make weird gizmos from parts scrapped out of your junkyard, well you think wrong. We do like to have our share of fun. And what better to begin the day with a nice hot cuppa along with some geeky humour. Folks, here it is, the 5 comic strips that I love the most (in no particular order):

Just a small tip. If you want to view a pdf and you don’t have adobe acrobat (or any other pdf reader) installed, e.g., you are sitting in a cyber cage or at a friend’s place, you can still view it. Only thing you have to do is, just prefix the url to the online pdf with “http://www.scribd.com/vacuum?url=” and you’ll see a nice web interface rendering your pdf without having to install anything on your PC.

With the recent release of Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron), a lot of hype was generated (Overhype or well-deserved, that’s for another post). One of the main highlights of all the stories, news and reviews doing the rounds are that this is an LTS version. But many people, mostly those who are new to Ubuntu, and even a few who are already using it, are not sure what LTS really means.

For the past many years, I’ve seen a trend that has been on a meteoric rise. Whatever new service you sign on for on the internet (especially the web2.0–oh-so-cool-you-have-to-tell-everyone-about-it ones), it gives you an option to fill in your e-mail ID and password and makes a generous offer of letting all your friends know about your new avatar and let them all join in the fun. Most of the people around me, it seems, don’t think twice before gladly accepting the offer, as is made apparent from the increasing amount of automated mails I’m getting with subjects like “Hey, don’t be left out!

Worried about someone breaking into your house in your absence? Or just need to keep a tab on who enters your room while you are away? Well, all you need is a webcam, a linux PC/laptop and a twitter account. And you are set for real time updates through twitter about all that goes on at your abode behind your back (can even receive a text message/sms on your phone). Keep reading for the very simple setup you need.

Did you know that instead of installing special software to view your webcam video, you can simply use mplayer for the same purpose, and with a lot of fine control. e.g. try running the following command with your webcam attached to your computer. mplayer -fps 15 tv:// -tv driver=v4l2:width=640:height=480:device=/dev/video0 And you can use mencoder to capture and encode video from your webcam: mencoder tv:// -tv driver=v4l2:width=60:height=40:fps=60:device=/dev/video0 -nosound -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mjpeg -o test.

I have an old noname cheapo webcam, that I dusted out of my junk (why? More on that in a post coming soon). I hoped that it would work in my Ubuntu setup out of the box like most of my other hardware. I connected it to my laptop’s usb port. dmesg gave the following output: [21328.211333] usb 1-1: new full speed USB device using ohci_hcd and address 2 [21328.319698] usb 1-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice [21328.

HTC announce their shiny new Touch Diamond recently. Everyone ooh’ed and aah’ed while ogling at it until they realized that HTC has taken a step back (or forward towards matching Apple’s iPhone crap) by removing the expansion card slot from the phone. Yes, it has 4 GB of internal storage but I’d rather have an SDHC card slot with the ever falling prices of solid state memory (an 8 GB Class 6 SDHC card is worth not more than around 60$ these days).