Monday, December 29, 2008

Breaking the photo limit while using Windows Live Writer and Blogger

As we all know, Blogger uses Picasa Web Albums to store any image that we upload in our blog. It creates an album with the same name as the blog and stores all images from Blogger in it. As for Windows Live Writer, it creates an album of the name Windows Live Writer and stores all images (which are blogged using Windows Live Writer) there.

Since the time I started using Windows Live Writer for its cool interface, blogging has been become so much convenient for me. But I wanted to know whether I can upload unlimited photos in Blogger via Windows Live Writer. The answer was a disheartening NO. Leave aside the rules given by Picasa :

For users with the standard (free) one GB of storage, the following limits apply:

  • Maximum number of web albums: 250
  • Maximum number of photos per web album: 500

Windows Live Writer wouldn't even allow greater than 500 images !! That means at most one album in Picasa. But there are two possible solutions I found worked.

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1. Creating another album of the name “Windows Live Writer” in Picasa, two albums with the same name wasn’t a problem. This would make Windows Live Writer upload all photos in the new empty album from now on. However, the restrictions as given by Picasa are still there. :(

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2. Here’s the master-solution. Signing up in Zooomr.com gave me the power to upload unlimited photos. Yes, Infinite is the word !! So the steps to attain infinite upload are so easy, it took hardly a few minutes. Signing up in Zooomr.com , uploading a few pictures marking them public, copy a image’s URL by right-clicking on it and insert it via Windows Live Writer as I have done beside.

This saved a lot of my problems as I have always wanted some place to share all my memories and my snapshots without being restricted. Thanks to Picasa Web Albums and Zooomr !! Open-mouthed

Monday, December 22, 2008

Is Sector 5 ready ??

It has been about three and a half years that I have been going to my college in Sector 5 via Chingrighata. Sector 5, the new tech town of Kolkata, the future pride of Kolkata, the main attraction of all large industries and companies in Kolkata. It has really developed a lot in the past few years to facilitate the growth of industrialization. Something we all appreciate. But there are some serious flaws that sometimes give the impression that the place has ceased to be habitable.

Firstly, I must say the transport facility is very inadequate in the region. Specially during the office hours in the morning, it’s really a pity to see the commuters chase buses in the Chingrighata bus stand. Some of them while waiting in the queue for auto, start running as soon as they see the bus. Some even start running from across the divider (that looks so risky !!). The buses, stop after travelling quite a distance after crossing the auto stand (which consists of the entire queue, consisting about a 50-60 people and also a few autos). Needless to say, most of the buses arrive jam-packed. Feels really bad when I see elderly people running hard and struggling to catch the buses. About 20-25 people always try to board the bus together. The auto-rickshaws are the only respite one can get during these wrestling hours. But there one has to compromise with time. It’s really not a come-and-go situation. One has to wait at least 20 minutes in the queue, and that’s a lot as every second counts then. Increasing the number of buses, though a probable solution. looks ridiculous after the office hours. Since most of them go with very few passengers. So I would suggest to provide some transport for that small stretch only, could be increasing the number of autos, or share taxis, or if situation demands, buses. As the gravity of the situations calls for some solution, this plea cannot be ignored.

Secondly, the water-logging problem is really amusing. It appears as if the place is a bowl, designed to contain water. A few hours of continuous rain, and the water starts growing fast from divider towards towards the pavements (where provided). The water-logging brings with it a graver problem. The roads open up to pot-holes, sometimes posing fatal traps for pedestrians. Driving becomes really risky too with the water-filling the potholes, one can have no idea about how deep the water goes.

Thirdly, I would like to talk about the safety of the area after dusk till dawn. We see many instances of eve-teasing, minor thefts and people being harassed in many ways in the newspapers. These incidents seem to have decreased over the past few months, thanks to the patrolling provided by the police which keeps such people at bay. This is the only issue I feel has been taken care of properly by the authorities.

I sincerely hope that all the issues get solved soon as I love my Kolkata just too much to see it this way. I do hope that our future pride is really a place that we can appreciate from the bottom of our hearts, not merely by reading its achievements in the newspapers and headlines.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Pak tour rightfully called off

Being an avid cricket lover, I really found it a heart-breaking news. But considering the present scenario, I couldn’t help but thank the BCCI to have judged the situation so well and have managed to opt out of this tour. Cricket have been seen as a bonding factor between these two neighboring countries for a long time now, probably the only one we can think of ! Now that its getting on our nerves, to hell with this sort of bonding. Its the ultimate opportunity for Pakistan to save their cricket, to save their relations with India, and most importantly, to curb terrorism in the sub-continent; which they have been claiming to have been doing, but to little effect as evident from the recent developments. The relationship between the two countries continues to get bitter and bitter, and may be this is going to be the same about a hundred years from now. So in spite of being an a die hard cricket lover, I whole-heartedly support this 2 month break that our Indian side has got, wont be surprised if this happens again in the near future. Pakistan cricketers are going to face a tough time in such a situation. But there’s nothing cricket can do here and cant be expected to do. Hoping some of our senior cricketers regain their vintage form during this time. Horses, Trailers and News

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Google fills my world …

Its been quite sometime now that Google has kept impressing me with their innovative stuff. The latest addition being the Chrome. Microsoft takes a beat by Google for the fact that their innovativeness is simply not at par with Google’s. Their Live Services, specially the Windows Live Writer (which now helps me blog a lot more easily than before) has been really cool off late though. But that's it. Google, amazingly, seems to know the exact requirement, starting from an average user to a techie. The Google Desktop Search, Picasa, Blogger, YouTube, Orkut and of course, Gmail and Gtalk…not to forget the Google Search engine….the list of the incredibles that has overtaken me. The extreme ease of use, the attractive yet simple interface clearly gives them an edge over the rest.

One more factor I find that contributes majorly to the success of Google is the speed of their applications. It might seem that “we may be slower, but we’re better in functionalities” strategy of some companies are taking a backseat now. Because Google is even filling its apps with as much functionalities with as much efficiency in starting up and getting their apps ready for use. Why would people switch to other apps when they get so many functionalities integrated in a fast easy-to-use application. No wonder why Gmail is the next best email service provider, probably going to be the best in near future, surpassing Yahoo! Mail. Recently after integrating video chat silently in Gmail, they seemed to have made the final breakthrough into the champions field. The simplicity yet full-of-features applications are what makes Google a great favorite to me. Am happy to have myself surrounded by some of such cool Google products am not yet thinking of switching to any other in near future too… Long live Google !!! 

Monday, December 15, 2008

Farewell Mr.President … here’s my shoe

Yesterday’s incident was really one to be remembered. Bush came to Iraq to meet the Prime Minister. Later, while holding a press conference, where he highlighted how America played a role in bringing the country’s peace back and  how to move forward, a reported working for an Iraqi television station just suddenly took off one of his shoes and hurled them at the president. Shouting that this was his farewell gift, summoning him as a dog. The incident really made me feel strange. The most powerful man on earth being confronted with a shoe like this.

It might have appeared to be a bit funny initially by the footage shown. But looked otherwise, the matter signifies a great philosophical grievance that some people, specially of the affected Middle East region possess against the American administration. Which led to this incident, a direct insult to the highest order of administration in America. Iraqis simply cannot restrain their anguish and inconsolable rage at this point of time. A diplomatic solution, I presume, wouldn't have had led to this incident.

I remember shoes being thrown at Saddam Hussein’s statue a few years back, when he was captured by Bush. And now it’s Bush himself. It's a queer feeling to see how the fact keeps proving again and again - that the world is definitely round !! :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

How to become a famous blogger...



I just came across this thing which I think will help all bloggers to try and become famous... ;)

It actually shows you two ways, he he...if you are already famous, then your blogs will automatically be famous -- that makes you a famous blogger.

Again if you blog day and night and your blogs have the latest and up-to-date contents, then your blogs are sure to get visited by many people from all over the world.....That makes you a famous blogger too!

Hope this is the simplest solution :)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Mockery of India’s security

The tragedy in Mumbai can be nothing but a total collapse of our Intelligence failure. When we have been warned of the attacks, even their locations specified as 5-star hotels by the US and some other countries, its really a shame that we couldn’t deal with it efficiently. Credits goes to the NSG, commandoes, jawans and the hotel staff. That we at least put up a fight with our old guns and so-called bulletproof jackets (one of which was pierced and led to the death of a brave official) is a miracle in itself. I think its high time that we act, the politicians act, the entire administration and security system acts as Indians. Not to save our chairs, but to save our future generations.

Its true that we feel like taking up arms ourselves and showing everybody what Indians are about, but since we cant begin a revolution with arms literally, we should be satisfied with lighting candles and keeping 1 minute’s silences, showing that we are concerned about this from the bottom of our hearts, concerned that we have the biggest loopholes in our security system, about the infrastructure of our arms and ammunitions and after all we are so happy to have such responsible politicians who are responding so well after this national tragedy, forgetting what happened and focusing on saving their chairs(failing inevitably), not even giving a second thought before politicizing the death of a martyr......is this what India is about?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

TCS Campusing Experience

Its been quite a while since I cracked TCS this year on the 19th of Feb. But I have been longing to share the wonderful experience that I went through during that time, and here it is. It was really unique. I never really did anything special for it except for revising a few subjects of previous semesters. After spending 15 years in South Point, I was more than a bit confident that my communication skill wouldn't be a problem. So it all came down to brushing up my soft skills, revising subjects from old semesters and practising quantitave aptitude and reasoning from R.S.Agarwal, the very popular book amongst all engineering students.



The preparation started from about the end of 5th semester. Unlike other sem-breaks, this was different. Rigorous practice of previous year’s papers was an integral part. Popular sites like freshersworld.com and mytcs.webs.com were really of good use. It’s really a continuous process. One really can’t change overnight and be a master in solving the aptitude and reasoning problems. Continuously revising RDBMS and C programs, I really forgot to listen to Enrique Iglesias and Suman Chattopadhyay. However, the process went on and on and on for the next 2 months. We were told campussing would start on mid-Feb. Near about the end of Jan, I got a mail from our placement cell that TCS is going to come any day from the 14th-16th !! Being my dream company, I was really charged up for it. Its always a unique feeling when facing something new for the first time in life. Around 12th or 13th we were informed that the D-day was 14th. Dressed in extreme formals for the first time in our lives, we all went to the specified venue, a different college, with my CV and all required mark sheets and documents at 9am. They gave a presentation on TCS. Really informative. Then batch by batch we were led to the computer lab of that college, where we gave our aptitude test online. Our batch was called up at about 4.30pm. The given 90 minutes passed in a flash, steadily answering question after question. There was no negative marking. After the test, we all went to hall and sat there waiting for our results to be declared. Our TPO came with the list and read out the names, and it was really a good feeling to hear my name being called out. After that we all were given a form to fill up, where we provided all our educational and residential details. The sirs from TCS who were there were extremely helpful to clarify all our doubts, I guess everybody from TCS are like them. Finally, after submitting the form we all left. A slight sense of victory, a feeling of slight success I felt, when I thought that I’ve cleared the first hurdle of my first attempt at a test in the outside world. But it was only the initial round. The next round of interview was to be held 2 days later, on the 17th, in our college, from 9am.



The 2 days were spent on revising some portions of C, Java, RDBMS and specially focusing on how to answer interview questions, how to handle myself during an interview. My dad provided me some very useful tips, I also got to know a lot of useful things from Google Search regarding the desired etiquettes. Finally, on 17th morning, one of the most memorable mornings of my life, I went to college. All of us were equally nervous, or confident, both we can say. We all waited in our 2nd floor classrooms while the interviews were held in the 1st floor classrooms by many panels, consisting of 2 persons in each panel, and 4 panels in a room in the 4 corners. We were called one-by-one. After being called, we briefly waited outside the interview rooms before being called in again. It was a peculiar feeling. It was not tension, it was not confidence, but it was also not normal. Something I fail to describe miserably every time someone asks me. It was 1.50pm. Finally I was called into the room by a sir who carried a list of all the names. Game on !!



I was greeted by a firm handshake by one of the sirs. I wished him “Good Morning", instantly realizing my mistake, I wished the other sir sitting beside him a “Good Afternoon”. What a beginning. But I managed to put it behind me the next moment. The sir who greeted me asked my name and brought out the form which I have filled up last day, there he saw my personal details, residential details and finally while looking at my educational details, he seemed to be pretty impressed when he saw I have spent 15 years in South Point and said “Why you want to join TCS? Why don’t you go for MBA, or higher studies when you have so high marks throughout?” I really answered from my heart that TCS had been my dream company and it would really be a privilege to be a part of the TCS family, so renowned for its work-culture. Unlike many other new companies, this company it has its own heritage which I really admire. He was really friendly and seemed pleased. After that he asked me a few questions on cardinality and 3NF. Satisfied with my answers, he asked the other sir to take care of me and went for a brief walk. This sir asked me about threads and processes, life cycle of threads and to mention the function of the methods. I answered fine. Next he asked me the order of bubble sort and difference between malloc and calloc. After that, he asked me the from Java the concepts of inheritance and interface, multiple inheritance, the life cycle of applet and synchronization. As he did not have any expression on his face, I could not understand whether he was happy or not, though I was very much satisfied with my answers. Then the other sir, who has already returned in the meantime, asked me what would I do if I had no work to do at office but still had to come. I thought for a second and said I could learn something from other departments, some thing I don't know, which will help my career as well help my company in a broader sense. Then he asked what would I do if I saw someone completely neglecting his work. I said I would try to provide him encouragement to work. He asked me what if the person is extremely reluctant to work, hates to work, what would I do then? I said I might help him a little to do his work if I get time after finishing my own. “Both of you are getting the same package of 3 lacs, why would you do his work?” To this I paused for a bit longer, and replied it’s my nature sir. He seemed satisfied. Then he asked me what would I do if your family members fell extremely ill, and your boss is extremely strict to provide you with any leave. I said I would ask my relatives and friends to manage the initial situation until I get a leave. He said no, the situation is such that you yourself have to come and you get no leave. I thought and said I would request my boss explaining him the priority of my request for leave. He said no, your boss won’t listen to anything. I was bowled out on that. I kept silent. Each second seemed like an eternity. Finally he broke the silence, asked me whether I am relocatable anywhere, whether I had any eyesight problem and finally whether I had any problem joining as a Software Testing Engineer. I had little idea which was better among various software engineering posts, but I said I would do my best to put up a performance up to his expectations, which I really felt. Happy with that, he asked me a bit more detailed about where I stay. After That, he said “Thank you, Rahul.” and reached out his hand for a handshake. After shaking and thanking him, I reached out my hand to the other sir for shaking (something which I later learned I shouldn’t have done, as he should have done that) and he also shook and I thanked him and finally left the room.



Phew! What an experience. All my friends were really excited, each one discussing about their own experiences, some were sad, some were happy with their performance. I was satisfied. I returned home and shared all that happened with my parents. I felt I have done my best and would make it. But I really didn’t depend on it so much that it would break my heart if I didn’t make it. That’s me always. We’re not sure when the result would be declared. So a day passed. Next day, on 19th, I heard our results would be declared. I kept checking my mails all morning. But seeing no mails till about 12.30pm, I took a break and went about. One of my friends called me at about 1.10pm, asking me about his result. He said results were out at 1pm. I suddenly had my heart in my mouth, something that seldom happens to me. I found a mail in my Inbox from the placement cell of our college containing a list of names who has cleared the selection process. Bingo !! I found my name in it. My dream has come true. This would certainly be one of the most memorable mornings of my life, with the rejoicing that followed.





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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

End to an unforgettable era…

Its been an awesome journey, starting since 1996. The dream debut itself hinted what the world was going to witness over the next few years. And to say the least, we got a lot more than what we expected. Sourav Ganguly, Will always remain as a legend in the hearts of all Indians. He was not the greatest of Indian batsmen. But still, his career will be remembered forever to be cherished by all cricket-lovers. Simply because of his guts, grit and determination. These  are his qualities which have been talked about a lot already, but he possessed these attributes to such an extent that it cant merely be described by mortal words. Sounds exaggerating? Well, we’re talking about Sourav Ganguly here. Who could just think about wining when the entire dressing room is trying to find a way out to save and defend a match. Who never looked back or down in the face of evident defeat. Who was a remarkable inspiration to his team-mates. Who could just pay back an opponent in his own coin.

Under him, we saw an Indian team we’ve never seen before. The team spirit was really unmatched by any other Indian team before. The team simply looked as if they we’re out to win. Much of which is like Dhoni’s team has been looking like off late. People may talk a lot about his failure to handle specific deliveries, of his putting-personal-achievements-before-team attitude, but who cares. We had in him one of the greatest of Indian captains. He doesn’t have anything to prove after his tons of runs. True that his form dipped during latter part of his captaincy, but he was a greater born-leader than a batsman, its evident.

His tiff with Greg Chappell grew louder and louder, a person whom Ganguly himself visualized would add great value to the country’s cricketing infrastructure. But its really unfortunate that it was just the other way round. The team which went through the finals in just the previous world cup, went crumbling out of the very first round under his coaching. Months later we’re really back in our incredible form, winning T20 World Cup, beating Australia comprehensively, and now looking for a whitewash for England.

Sourav Ganguly’s comebacks are another cause what he will be remembered for. Its  been a fairytale for him. Sometimes it looked like as if he’s not human. How could someone possess such steely mental strength. Unaffected by whatever happening around, unaffected by repeated insult by dropping him out of the team ! Truly, he’s a true champ. For Bengali Kolkata's like me, he’s all the more a favorite champ….Hats off to you Dada !!!