Grow up guys

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Some days before, I posted an image of a girl dreaming about me, in the personal introduction section on a site called Tekdi.com. The organization boasts of having all educated and youth members, most of them having engineering studies.
But on this image, the moderators started shouting that this picture is vulgur and offensive.
I am giving here the picture for reference.
Image available at www.geocities.com/mitboy_dinesh/dinesh2.jpg
I ask for your opinion. Do you think the picture was really vulgur and offensive? Can some youngster living in a metropolitan city like Pune and having engineering studies find this picture offensive?
Once those moderators had bad opinion about me, they started finding each and everything offensive. May it be just a news of NASA launching a new mission for study of Black Hole.. ???
Guys, this is time we all have to grow up and think logically rather than just keep shouting. I need your opinion. Please post it as comment to this post. Thank you.

- Dinesh Finally completed this scribble at 2:18 PM 6 people thought of commenting on this  

Nature's Call

Monday, November 29, 2004

Before some days, I started going regularly to the Vetal hill for rvrning walk when Malay took me with him to the hill. I was very eager to see the hill and what these Tekdi guys work for. I liked this place very much and now I can understand why those hundreds of people come there everyday for their morning or evening walk. There are two temples, a big quarry and a natural gym on the hill. Many people claim to have seen Nana Patekar having exercise at this place.

Those who take their morning walks in the hills in and around the city get addicted to the experience of getting out of the city and into the lap of nature. So little can deter them in their pursuit.

Not even the occasional rumors of leopards being spotted in the wooded parts around Baner. One such walking enthusiast, computer scientist Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, takes his walk up the Vetal tekdi every day. Says Bhatkar that his family stopped him from going out for his walk when rumors of leopards began to do the rounds.

Although Bhatkar stopped going out for some time, the call of nature proved to be too strong. And he was soon back on track.

- Dinesh Finally completed this scribble at 5:25 PM 0 people thought of commenting on this  

When will university change????

Sunday, November 28, 2004

The engineering exam of Pune University has started. I was hoping at least this year the question papers will be without any errors.
But my first paper (PCE) was having some errors as usual.

In the Q 3: (a), the probability Density function was not printed, without which its impossible to solve the problem.
How does the university expect us to write answers without specifying the question?
Do they ever care about the trouble we face due to such faulty question papers?
Will the university provide these 12 marks to students who tried to answer that question?
There are many such questions arising in the minds of students which always remain unanswered.

Also the total question paper is supposed to have 148 marks with 4 extra questions.
Whatever combination of questions someone may follow, the total attempt can’t go ahead of 100 marks.
But this paper, if someone selects Q no. 1, 5 and 10 with any 3 other questions, the attempt will be 102. Since when did the university start setting paper of 102 marks? And if someone solves all these questions, will the university give him full 102 marks?

- Dinesh Finally completed this scribble at 10:26 PM 0 people thought of commenting on this  

First Thankgivning Day

Friday, November 26, 2004

Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims seem to go together, just like Christmas and Santa Claus--but the truth is, the Pilgrims never held an autumnal Thanksgiving feast. Before you cancel the turkey, take a look at the origin of that particular myth. In some ways, the truth is even more intriguing.

The Pilgrims did have a feast in 1621, after their first harvest, and it is this feast which people often refer to as "The First Thanksgiving". This feast was never repeated, though, so it can't be called the beginning of a tradition, nor was it termed by the colonists or "Pilgrims" a Thanksgiving Feast. In fact, to these devoutly religious people, a day of thanksgiving was a day of prayer and fasting, and would have been held any time that they felt an extra day of thanks was called for. Nevertheless, the 1621 feast has become a model that we think of for our own Thanksgiving celebration and we do know something of the truth about it.

We can assume, for example, that the harvest feast was eaten outside based on the fact that the Colonists didn't have a building large enough to accommodate all the people who came. Native People were definately among the invited guests, and it's possible. even probable, that turkey (roasted but not stuffed) and pumpkin in some form, found their way to the table. And it gets better. This is the way the feast was described in a first-hand account presumably by a leader of the colony, Edward Winslow, as it appears in Mourt's Relation:

"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, Many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

From this we know that the feast went on for three days , included ninety "Indians", and food was plentiful. In addition, to the vensison provided by the Indians, there was enough wild fowl to supply the village for a week. The fowl would have included ducks, geese, turkeys and even swans.

- Dinesh Finally completed this scribble at 10:28 AM 0 people thought of commenting on this  

Security while using Internet

Thursday, November 25, 2004

What can be done to assure a secure internet access??? here it goes..

Deleting cookies

Many Web sites drop little files onto your system that let them keep track of your passwords, and the date and time of your visits. To get rid of these files, delete the contents of the Cookies folder and the Temporary Internet Files folder in your Windows directory (but not the folders themselves). This will remove all traces of your surfing pattern. You could also use a third-party cookie cleaning software such as Cookie Crusher.
If you want to perform this task in Internet Explorer 6, open a new window of Internet Explorer; go to Tools- Internet Options. In the new window that appears, click on Delete Cookies. Once that is done, click on Delete files. You can delete all offline content if you want. That should take care of the temporary files and cookies in Internet Explorer.



Working around cookies

Adjust IE's security settings to keep random Web sites from sending cookies to your hard drive or uploading ActiveX Controls. To do this, select Internet Options from the Tools menu, and click on the Security tab. Slide the bar under 'Security level for this zone' up or down to increase or decrease the security level. Each level-High, Medium, Medium-Low, and Low-lists exactly which actions and applications it allows or blocks. It is better to click Custom Levels, and then select to prompt for cookies that are stored on your computer. This allows you to control which sites' cookies you want to allow. Remember though, that some sites may not work properly if cookies are disabled. In addition to this, you should also disable ActiveX, since this can pose a serious security hazard.

Disabling Windows Scripting Host for Windows 9x

Internet Explorer installs Windows Scripting Host by default, and this is used to run VB scripts that may contain viruses or Trojans. To remove Windows Scripting Host, go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > Windows Setup. Select Accessories and from there uncheck Windows Scripting Host. You can also go to the Folder Options in Windows Explorer, and select the .vbs file type and remove it

Disabling AutoComplete

The AutoComplete feature may be useful while filling out forms and usernames, but it also allows other users to know your usernames and then guess your passwords. When the AutoComplete function is active, some sites, search engines and entry fields retain the words you've entered, so anyone who uses the browser after you and visits that site can see the entries you made. To turn off this feature, go to Tools > Internet Options, and click the Content tab. Next, click the AutoComplete button in the Personal Information section to display the AutoComplete Settings window. Uncheck the 'Forms' and 'Usernames and Passwords on Forms' boxes.



Deleting History items

The History folder stores a record of all the Web sites you've visited. This can be used to spy on your online activities. To get rid of unwanted URL histories, go to Tools > Internet Options, and click on the General tab. You will find the History section, and click the Clear History button. Always repeat this before you close the browser. Set the 'Days to keep pages in History' to 1. This will not only keep IE neat and tidy, but will also act as a cushion if you forget to delete the history. If you don't want to clear your entire History folder, but want to remove single pages, click the History button on your IE toolbar to open the History window frame. This shows up sites, with all the pages you visited there, as files. Right-click on the file you want to get rid of, and select Delete.



Filtering content

Certain sites on the Internet are not appropriate for children. You can use a separate software program for filtering content, but IE also has some built-in filtering tools. To configure these, go to Tools > Internet Options > Content. Under Content Advisor, click the Enable button, and adjust the slider in each of the four categories-Language, Nudity, Sex, and Violence. The Description box at the bottom details what each level allows. Click OK to activate the Advisor.



Disabling Java

Java and JavaScript applets can take control of your browser, and you should exercise caution when surfing unknown and potentially questionable sites. Both Java and JavaScript can be disabled from within the browser, but you will miss out on a lot of cyber experiences. The best course, then, would be to toggle between these settings according to the perceived security threat.Note: Some harmless Web sites using Java may not load properly if you disable Java and JavaScript in Internet Explorer.

Changing setting of restricted zone

The default settings of Internet Explorer enable Active scripts for Restricted Sites. To modify these settings in Internet Explorer, go to Tools > Options > Security and select Restricted Zones. Click on Custom Level and then go to the Active Scripting option and disable it.


- Dinesh Finally completed this scribble at 10:38 PM 2 people thought of commenting on this  

Getting started with Web-designing

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

After my 2 years of experience of web designing, I learned some things about it.
Most important thing about web designing is how to start and how to design a page than will keep the visitor stuck to your web-site. Here are certain tips for the same.

Picture it

Here's where you actually start designing the site. Don't rush into making the pages or graphics yet. Use a paper and pencil, or even an imaging tool (MS Paint is good enough for this) and scribble your site layout first. Check out some existing Web sites for ideas. It's a good practice to keep all navigation links together. If there are too many of them, club them into logical groups. Keep important items, such as navigational links in the top 400 pixels of the page. Visitors to the site see this area first, so that's where the most important information should appear. Also, ensure that the main body of the page starts within this area, so visitors can start reading the text right away.

The first cut

When you start designing your Web site, do not develop smaller components of the page as individual components but instead start work on the whole page as a single image. Once the main image is ready, you can separate out each element by cropping individual items. This will ensure that all the items are of the appropriate size and the final page will be easier to make.

The sacred scrolls

Keep vertical scrolling to a minimum and avoid any horizontal scrolling. Restrict the vertical scroll to a maximum of two-and-a-half scrolls of an 800 x 600 screen. If you do have a lot of information that must be given on the same page, don't fill up the entire page with text. One column in the centre, irrespective of the amount of scrolling involved, interspersed with attractive graphics works well. This is one reason why it's a good idea to dedicate a column on the left to navigational links. Since the links already takes up some space, you have to worry less about the information flow. Avoid gimmicks such as tickers and scrolling text. It slows down the page and is usually quite irritating. It also distracts visitor's eye from the rest of the page.

Optimization Tips

It's easier to retain visitors to your site if the pages load fast. A fast-loading site holds attention, so they won't go clicking around other windows.

Table smart

In browsers, tables do not show up on a page until the content within the tables have been downloaded, making a page seem slow. Avoid nested tables and long vertical tables. Instead, stack tables on top of each other-pages then appear to load faster as each table shows up faster. In this context, it's better to place your navigational links horizontally, towards the top, as it will show up before most of the rest of the page. Keep the most important links at the top and the rest on the left, or keep top-level sections on the top and subsections on the left.
To make a table stand out on a page, use a border around it rather than an image that is fixed in size. Nest the table within a single-cell table with a cell padding of 1 pixel (or more for a thicker border) and a background of the colour you want for the border.

Re-use images

If an image is repeated throughout the site, use the same file across all pages so that it needs to be downloaded only once-the browser's cache takes care of this. If you use similar images, break them into static and changing parts so you can reuse the static part of the image.

Smaller images

The size of an image will be smaller if you use a 256-colour palette. GIFs are generally smaller than JPEGs, but JPEGs offer better quality when using lots of colours as on photographs. With smaller images, use distinct edges and crisp colours.
Almost all imaging tools optimise images by saving them with a palette of only those colours used in the image. Some applications let you choose how many colours to use in the image. It then replaces colours not found in the palette with the nearest match, thus reducing the image size.
Avoid too many animated graphics. A lot of them together are unpleasant to the eye and also take longer to download as compared to simple images.

Stylise your site

Use a style sheet for your site to add consistency and to reduce page size. You won't have to explicitly define many font and paragraph tags. Avoid using inline styles-this is as good as using HTML tags-except for special cases. Use a single CSS file that has all the style definitions. Once a person visits a page, the browser will use the file from the cache for the rest of the pages.

Less jazz, more speed

The lesser jazz on a page, the faster it loads. Animations and rollovers affect the size and number of files the browser has to download. Another aspect usually overlooked is DHTML items such as menus that show and hide themselves. Though hidden away, they add a lot of code to the page, increasing the size considerably. Use these wisely and limit the number of such hidden blocks to a minimum.


- Dinesh Finally completed this scribble at 9:24 PM 0 people thought of commenting on this  

Coin box tragedy

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Many of us need to call from coin box many times..
But how many times we count the time for which we are paying one coin?
Once we dial the number, we just keep talking and insert coin when we hear the bip tone. But did you notice the time interval between the bip tones?
For example, if we go in Akurdi area, we pay a coin for just 30 seconds and in Shivajinagar area, for 90 seconds. Every person talking from Akurdi has to pay 200% more as compared to what he would have paid at Shivajinagar.
Or on single Paud road, if we go near Kothrud depot, we pay a coin for 30 sec. and near MIT, for 90 sec. whereas in the MIT school area, for 60 seconds.
The pulse rates for local calls or landline to mobile calls is the same all over India. Why is this difference then?
Yesterday, I saw a PCO booth near Lokmanya Hospital, Nigdi that has 6 coin boxes. Out of these 6 boxes, 2 provide 90 sec pulse, 3 provides 30 sec pulse and surprisingly one of them provides 180 sec pulse…
I tried complaining to telephone exchange some 3 or 4 times but none tends to have a ear to this damn thing.
Even the newspapers don’t find this point interesting enough to have a news or article about it.. So, who is going to change all this and when?

- Dinesh Finally completed this scribble at 4:09 PM 0 people thought of commenting on this  

Kokandiva : thrilled trek to a historical fort

Friday, November 19, 2004



Konkandiva



Raigad as seen from Konkandiva

<------------------------------------------------------------->

Very little is known about this undeservedly forbidden fort. Rising above the moderately high hills in the main mountain range of the Sahyadris, Kokandiva is clearly visible from Raigad fort. Surprisingly, despite of having juxtaposed to Raigad, Kokandiva is unknown to tourists, visitors and even to the trekkers en route this region.

Kokandiva can be accessed from Mahad to Sandoshi via Pachad. Mahad, being taluka place in Raigad district is an important city in this region. State Transport buses ply regularly between Mahad and Sandoshi. Though the frequency is a bit less, about 4 buses a day. Sandoshi is about 34 km away from Mahad. Sandoshi is a very remote village situated at the foot of the main Sahyadri mountain range. Kokandiva is a tall mountain at the northern edge of Sandoshi village.

The trek starts from the western edge of the village passing through a very thick forest. The forest said to be infested with wild animals and many species of birds. A steep climb through the forest joins to way to Kavlya ghat. The Kavlya ghat lead us to the cave and two water cisterns near the top of the fort. Cave is carved in the rocks and has a rough surface. One of the water cisterns has potable water. To reach the top of the forts one needs to opt for simple rock-climbing. The rock patch to be negotiated is a bit exposed and needs to be attempted carefully. The top of the fort is very small with almost no worthwhile width. The top however, offers a beautiful view of Capital of Maratha Kingdom, Raigad. Raigad is situated at south whereas Lingana pinnacle adorns southeast vicinity. Since Kokandiva is a very tall fort in the region, one can see many hills in all directions. It takes about three hours to reach the top of the fort from Sandoshi village. Descend takes little less than two hours.

Kavlya ghat and Kokandiva revive the memories of the historical events took place after the assassination of Sambhaji Raje. As Mughals started lying siege to the region around Raigad, the brave widow of Sambhaji Raje, Rani Yesubai played an intellectual move to send the young Rajaram Maharaj to Pratapgad through Kavlya ghat. Maratha army fought fiercely with Mughals and led the new Maratha King, Rajaram to escape through Kavlya ghat to Jinji via Pratapgad-Vishalgad. This had manifold impact on the entire history of Maratha kingdom. Yesubai's move to send Rajaram through Kavlya ghat to safe land deprived Mughals from crushing Maratha region. Thus, Kokandiva reminds us some of the very eventful moments in the history of Maratha reign.

Trek to Kokandiva can be annexed to other places in this region. Since Sandoshi - Mahad ST bus goes via Pachad, one can catch ST bus at Sandoshi and alight at Pachad and visit Jijamata Samadhi, Pachadcha Kot and then Raigad (2 km). The other way to annex the trek is to descend from Kokandiva to Garjaiwadi to Mangad and Kurdugad (Vishramgad) via Ghol - Manjurna villages.

In short, Kokandiva is a good trek with a bit of thrill to add spice and offers a wonderful view of the King of forts, Raigad. Kokandiva is undeservedly neglected, that's sure!


Special Thanx to Shishir Deshmukh for the valuable information and Abhijeet Avalaskar for the beautiful photographs.

- Dinesh Finally completed this scribble at 1:36 PM 1 people thought of commenting on this  

Girlfriend 4.0 and wife 1.0

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Desperately seeking technical support!

I'm currently running the latest version of Girlfriend 5.0 and having some problems. I've been running the same version of DrinkingBuddies 1.0 for years as my primary application, and all the Girlfriend releases have always conflicted with it. I hear that DrinkingBuddies won't crash if you minimize Girlfriend with the sound off, but since I can't find the switch to turn it off, I just run them separately and it works OK.

Girlfriend also seems to have a problem coexisting with Golfware, often trying to abort my Golf program with some sort of timing incompatibility. I probably should have stayed with Girlfriend 1.0, but I thought I might see better performance with Girlfriend 2.0.

After months of conflicts, I consulted a friend who has experience with Girlfriend 2.0. He said I probably didn't have enough cache to run Girlfriend 2.0 and eventually it would require a Token Ring upgrade to run properly. He was right. As soon as I purged my cache, Girlfriend 2.0 uninstalled itself.

Shortly after that, I installed a Girlfriend 3.0 beta. All the bugs were supposed to be gone, but the first time I used it, it gave me a virus. After a hard drive clean up and thorough virus scan I very cautiously upgraded to Girlfriend 4.0. This time using a SCSI probe and virus protection. It worked OK for a while until I discovered Girlfriend 1.0 wasn't completely uninstalled!

I tried to run Girlfriend 1.0 again with Girlfriend 4.0 still installed, but Girlfriend 4.0 has an unadvertised feature that automatically senses the presence of Girlfriend 1.0 and communicates with it in some way, resulting in the immediate removal of both versions!

The version I have now works pretty well, but, like all versions, there are still some problems. The Girlfriend package is written in some obscure language that I can't understand, much less reprogram. And I've never liked how Girlfriend is totally 'object-oriented.'

A year ago, a friend upgraded his version to GirlfriendPlus 1.0, which is a Terminate-and-Stay resident version. He discovered GirlfriendPlus 1.0 expires within a year if you don't upgrade to Fiance9e 1.0. So he did. But soon after that, you have to upgrade to Wife 1.0, which he describes as a 'huge resource hog.' It has taken up all his space, so he can't load anything else. One of the primary reasons that he upgraded to Wife is because it came bundled with FreeSex 1.0. Well, it turns out that the resource allocation module of Wife 1.0 sometimes prohibits access to FreeSex (particularly the new Plug and Play items he wanted to try). On top of that, Wife 1.0 must be running on a well warmed-up system before he can do anything. And, although he did not ask for it, Wife 1.0 came with MotherInLaw 1.0, which has an automatic popup feature he can't turn off.

I told him to install Mistress 1.0, but he said that he heard that if you try to run it without first uninstalling Wife, that Wife 1.0 will delete MSMoney files before uninstalling itself. Then Mistress 1.0 won't install anyway, due to insufficient resources. If anybody out there is able to offer technical advice...



- Dinesh Finally completed this scribble at 2:29 PM 2 people thought of commenting on this  

Time to give back something

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Trekking, forts, rock patches....these are the words by which we enthusiasts live and swear. However its now time for us to give something back. Leading the way is the trekking group Girimitra Pratishtan. The group while organizing and leading treks also organizes cleanliness drives on the forts as well as doing their social bit by adopting villages as well providing the basic medical and educational facilities in the base villages which even lack basic facilities. A point worth noting is that they have adopted kurangwadi…. The group has adopted the village by carrying out regular sanitation drives as well as organizing a medical camp.
I think its time we too do our bit for these villagers who often
provide valuable help and info.

From Feb Next year we plan to take a series of "saphsahai treks". We need to garner support for this scheme.
What we are proposing to do is to organise treks to 4 forts, easily accessible from Mumbai as well as Pune. On these treks we will specifially be educating the participants about various aspects of fort restoration & cleanliness.
Recommendations of Forts as well as suggestions are invited!

NOTE:- WE=TEKDI ORGANISATION

- Dinesh Finally completed this scribble at 7:29 PM 0 people thought of commenting on this  

Small things to make some big changes

Monday, November 15, 2004

1. While travelling intercity, use mass transportation. Each single deck bus can take a minimum load of 55 sitting and 15 standees, that makes 70 people, just imagine the traffic situation if each of these people were to use an Autorickshaw from any of the surburban railway stations to get home. How many times I have seen buses going half full.....Because we all need our privacy.

2. Take a Bag along whenever you Shop, make it a habbit. Remember, each of the Plastic bags you take will not bio-degrade for at least 250 yrs! We will go down in history as a civilisation which has left behind loads of plastics. Even when going on picnics, avoid packed food in plastics, take fresh food or fruits. Many of the shopkeepers resent giving plastics, help them out. God knows how many hundreds of plastic bags I've avoided using and convinced my folks to refrain from using in the past few years.

3. Use Diyas for Diwali instead of burning crackers and fireworks, diyas last longer and they are a true salute to this festival of lights, they burn silently all night long without any noise and pollution,they look pretty as well. They cost a fraction, and help the cause of the villagers making them.

4. Use vegetable peels for yr potted plants, they add to the value of the soil,prevent water loss and reduce the garbage. Use the waste water for the plants. We have a 200ltr waste water drum in our building and it takes just 2 families to provide the water needed for a 2500sqft garden.Imagine a highrise building housing more than a hundred families.

5. Keep the water taps shut when not needed during shaving or brushing in the mornings, statistics show that if each of us mumbaikars could do this it would save millions of litres or water monthly saving our money in return which is being spent on heavily subsidising clean water, which we take for granted.

6. I would strongly recommend using alternative sources of energy like Bio-gas and Solar/wind power but I still have to experiment with these. It takes a lot of convincing to do to start a project like this. People think youre crazy, but India leads the world with China in Bio-gas technology. In wind energy we are among the best in the world but the technology is still expensive.

Always remember that our weakest point is that we tend to believe that as individuals we cannot make any difference and we are losing a battle. The battle is lost infact if we fall into this category of believers.

- Dinesh Finally completed this scribble at 2:30 PM 2 people thought of commenting on this  

Practicals are over

Monday, November 08, 2004

So finally i climbed first step tpwards the hell..
all my 3 practcals of this semester are over..
two of them (ISL and OSL) were quite easy though a li'l trouble in ML oral..
the Theory exam is on its way..
so, wish me all the best..

- Dinesh Finally completed this scribble at 4:52 PM 0 people thought of commenting on this