Saturday, December 24, 2005

Firefox Extensions

I hate Firefox, but i still use it ! I simply hate Firefox for the amount of RAM it eats up. It simply sucks. I have never seen any software program eating up that much amount of memory. It simply keeps sucking up memory like a vampire sucks blood from human body. On my office machine i've seen FF eating up more than 450 MB of memory. Damn it, after every few hours i have to close it, sometimes i have to kill firefox.exe as well so that i can restart the FF. It sucks in most java sites, sites which refresh quite often, it sucks in some flash sites, but still im using it.

I love its tabbed-browsing, ya ya Opera has that too but it has ads :). One more thing i simply like about Firefox is some of its extensions. Some of them are really great. I will list some of my favorites here:

1. Tab Mix Plus - This is easily the best possible extension you can find. It provides every almost every feature you would ever require relating to tabbed browsing including the session restore. Its simply awesome, though its newer version had an annoying bug - If you upgrade from tab mix plus previous version, it will restore every tab twice !! But in a fresh install of newer version this works fine. Rating : 5/5

2. Dictionary Tooltip - This is a pretty cool extension for illiterates like me, who have to check the dictionary every few minutes while reading on web. You can configure which dictionary site you want to use and you simply have to double-click the word, you want meaning off and you will see the meaning in a pop-up ! Really cool. Rating : 4.5/5

3. Performancing - This is extension which i have started using just 3-4 days ago. This one lets you blog easily ! This sits in statusbar as a simple notepad-esque icon. You click it, it opens a split window where you can type (paste) your blog entry and in one-click it will post that entry to your blogging site be it blogger, wordpress et al.. Really cool. I used this for the last post and am going to use this only from now on, though i wish it had the option of changing the font of posts too (or had default font as my favorite Verdana ;) ). It also lets you blog a link by a simply click. Rating : 4/5

4. IE TabView - This is a cool extension, which on a single click lets you change the rendering engine from Geeko (Firefox) to IE's rendering engine. Pretty useful for sites that doesn't open well in Firefox. You simply click on the firefox icon in the status bar, it will open the same page in IE. It seems a bit slow and buggy sometimes, but is pretty useful. Rating : 3.5/5

5. Paste and Go - Small and Sweet is the word which describes this extension. It just combines your two tasks "Paste" and "Go" into a single task. Very cool. Rating : 3.5/5

6. Adblock - This one is pretty good too, it lets you block almost every ad on a webpage. Simply right-click any ad/frame and just click Adblock ! Cool. It also lets you use wildcard characters. I have started using this more extensively at home, especially since when i saw my broadband MB download meter going up like a delhi's auto-rickshaw meter. I use this sometimes in office too, especially when some scantily-dressed babes suddenly appears even on harmless sites (ya that's news, mail sites et al only and none of what you perverts are thinking) - i don't want to get blamed without doing anything :D. Rating : 3.5/5

7. Search Status - This is another simple extension i have started using since this week only. It shows the Google's page rank and Alexa's (?) page rank for a webpage. A good feature is that it also shows the Related Links to that webpage ! Can be pretty useful when you need to visit some similar sites. Rating : 3/5

8. FlashGot - This is also a good extension it integrates your download manager with the Firefox. Especially useful for larger download files, where you need to download using download manager only and might require pausing and all. Rating : 2.5/5

These are some of my favorite FF extensions. IE 7 is going to be released soon, with tabbed browsing, RSS support, so-called improved security. I wonder if i would switch to IE, mainly because some of these extensions will be absent ! Maybe some of them will be there, maybe i will switch to IE or atleast use it a bit more. But for now i am hooked to Firefox.

Rumour of the week - Microsoft buying Opera !!

Man this would be something, it would be a big setback for Firefox, because even the greatest of IE critics and FF fans regards Opera as the best browswe available with most of FF features *INSPIRED* from Opera. But i don't think MS are yet so desperate especially after they have put in so much of effort in bringing up IE 7. They cant simply dump all the hard and good work done by their employees and use something new suddenly.

Btw Merry Chrismas to all :)

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Now i have a broadband connection at home. So now after waiting for so long, i am having an ultimate PC experience ! Now i've got pretty fast PCs with a fast internet connection both at office and home. What else u need in life ? It's simply nirvana !

My Office PC configuration reads : P IV 3.2 GHz with HT, 1 Gig DDR RAM, 160 Gigs HDD, 17' inch TFT, Win XP SP2, 4.26 Mbps downlink (which gives above 30kbps download speed all the time)

My Home PC configuration reads: P IV 2.8 GHz with HT, 256 MB DDR RAM, 40 Gigs HDD, 14' inch monitor, Win XP SP2, 256 Kbps mtnl broadband (which thus far has given around 30kbps download speed)

Ya my home pc config looks pretty inferior, but its ok i can bear with it for the timebeing ;) All n all its an ultimate experience, with Win XP booting so fast supported by a high end processor and RAM, it takes less than a minute between switching on the power button and seeing my desktop with every damn thing loaded completely :)

Cost of MTNL broadband : Rs 199
Cost of 1 Gig DDR RAM: Rs 4600
Inner Happiness with all this fast digital world: PRICELESS

Ok ok this sounds a typical software engineer whose life completely revolves around computers ? Hell yeah, if i hadn't been, then i wouldn't have been writing this blog post at midnight inspite of having to wakeup early to get back to office, just to sit in front of the 17' inch TFT !

Anyway enough for now !

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Happy !

This last week has had some happy moments for me. I will list them down now :)

1. I finally got a broadband connection at home (Yes finally !!). It seems like ages i have been wanting this, but now finally i have got a MTNL broadband @ home.
2. Saurav Ganguly DROPPED from the Indian team.
3. Shane Warne becomes the highest wicket taker in a calendar year surpassing Dennis Lillee.
4. Man Utd are back to goal scoring ways with 2 big victories (4-0 against Wigan and 2-0 against Aston Villa)
5. India won the test match againt SL.

Amidst all these happy news there was a real sad moment , which i expected to be listed at the top of the above listed happy news !!

Meanwhile Champions League knockout draws have been announced. They are as below:
Bayern - Milan 21/02 08/03
Benfica - Liverpool 21/02 08/03
Real Madrid - Arsenal 21/02 08/03
PSV - Lyon 21/02 08/03
Chelsea - Barcelona 22/02 07/03
Rangers - Villarreal 22/02 07/03
Bremen - Juventus 22/02 07/03
Ajax - Internazionale 22/02 14/03

And astnoishingly for the 2nd year running Champions League will see arguably the 2 best teams in Europe fighting in the 2nd round itself ! Yes, Barca and Chelsea are scheduled to meet in 2nd round again. I can't believe this !! After 2 amazing matches last year, we are again in for some footballing treat with 2 best midfielders Ronaldinho and Lampard taking the centrestage. Apart from this fixture, there are 2 other tough fixtures for me. One is Bayern v/s Milan and the other is Real Madrid v/s Arsenal. So pretty exciting matches in prospect, this is going to be an exciting Feb n March !

My probable winners:
Milan, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Lyon, Barca, Villarreal, Juventus, Inter

Thursday, December 15, 2005

In the End

It starts with one thing

I don't know why
It doesn't even matter how hard you try keep that in mind
I designed this rhyme
To explain in due time
All I know
Time is a valuable thing
Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings
Watch it count down to the end of the day
The clock ticks life away
It's so unreal
Didn't look out below
Watch the time go right out the window
Trying to hold on, but didn't even know
Wasted it all just to watch you go
I kept everything inside and even though I tried, it all fell apart
What it meant to me will eventually be a memory of a time when

I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn't even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn't even matter

You don't win silver. You lose gold
-- Nike Ad

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

High and low

I will start with a high. After quite a while a breathtaking and pulsating cricket match took place, though I missed that game completely, except for a few glimpses of the live scores on Cricinfo. Aussies started the game as an overwhelming favorite over the Kiwis after thrashing them by 147 runs in the previous match.

Aussies lost Gilchrist early, then Katich and Ponting steadied the Aussie innings, but both of them were out in quick succession. Brad Hodge soon followed them into the pavilion. It brought together 2 of the amazing Aussie talents, Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke, both of whom are fighting for a place in the Test team to regain that elusive Baggy Green cap again. Both of them built a decent partnership with some watchful cricket to start off. But as Symonds reached his 50 off 70 deliveries things started getting difficult for the Kiwis. He somehow seemed to have developed some kind of hatred with the white cricket ball and he started hammering it all over the ground and stadium. His 2nd fifty came of just 39 balls and if this wasn’t enough his 3rd fifty came of a mere 16 balls! His innings finally came to an end in the 50th over when he was bowled by Vettori for 156. But by then he had hit 11 fours and 8 sixes. 6 of those sixes were in a spell of 3 overs which costed Kiwis 61 runs. He hoisted Cairns for a hat-trick of sixes. This was simply one of THE most brutal knocks one could ever see. It reminded of the similar innings of 141no Symonds played at the 2003 World Cup against Pakistan. This innings once again proved that today’s ODI cricket is simply ruled by the sheer power of the likes of Symonds’, Dhonis, Afridis, Gilchrists, Kemps, Gayle’s et al. Somewhere in between you get a sheer quality or classy knock by Laras (rare in ODI’s these days), Dravids, Sachins, Pontings. Aussies finished with a huge score of 322 off their 50 overs with Clarke unbeaten on 82.

Kiwis started their innings with no one expecting them to give a fight, especially against the likes of Lee who balled splendidly in the last match to take 3/5 in 6 overs. But Kiwis too have their share of big hitters. Vincent started bravely taking on the pace of Lee and swing of Bracken. He blasted 71 off just 49 balls. But then the 2 newbie’s of Aussies cricket - Lewis and Clark too the centre stage reducing Kiwis for 156 for 5. Kiwis always have had a long batting lineup and this was to their rescue today. With Cairns, Oram and Mccullum always kept them in hunt, inspite of the asking rate reaching above 10 in last 10 overs. In the end Kiwis needed 24 runs off 2 overs. Lee bowled one of his most forgetful over of his life, giving away 18 runs including a waist high full-toss (no-ball) which went for four, plus some other bad deliveries. This meant that debutant and super-sub Lewis had to bowl the final over with Kiwis needing only 6 runs! But boy, didn’t he keep his nerves! Even the likes of Mcgrath will be proud of that over. This over was more than supported by an outstanding piece of fielding by Michael Clarke (who is doing his every bit possible to get back into the Test side, since being dropped from the Test side – he scored a double hundred in only state match, played 2 good knocks in both matches, picked up 2 outstanding catches in first match and now this run out) who threw the ball from the cover-point region to score a direct hit at the non-striker’s end to seal the match for the Aussies. In the end Aussies clinched the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy by winnings this thriller by 2 runs.

The moments like this fielding by Clarke, are simply the moments of brilliance or what I can also call magic which truly separates the GOOD and GREAT players/team. There’s a pretty thin line which distinguishes the GREAT team from the GOOD teams, in these crunch situations. The biggest example is the NBA matches, where in almost every match the point difference is just about 3-4 baskets or less, but still the BEST teams aided by GREAT players manages to produce those moments of magic quite often enough to stay on TOP.

Now to the low part, well m pretty disappointed to lose in the quarters of the singles TT tournament. Wish I could produce some of those moments of brilliance/magic often enough.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Back to Ground Zero

After the Ashes victory English Team must have been on cloud nine. But they have been brought to ground very painfully by the Pakistan team who just beat them 2-0 in the 3 test series. The series started with high-flying England fresh from their 2-1 Ashes victory over Australia in a confident mood to continue their unbeaten series run of over a year.

They were shown a preview of what lied in store for them in future with a series of batting collapses in the tour matches. But they started the test well led by the irrepressible Freddie Flintoff who again bowled his heart out to take some really crucial wickets, supported by some decent first innings batting performance they were on their way to another Test victory with a target of just 180 odd runs. But a miserable batting performance under some good bowling led by Shoaib Akhtar, Sami and Kaneria left them 0-1 down in the series where they SHOULD have been 1-0 up! Since then they were always doing the catching up. Good batting performance by Pieterson in both innings and Flintoff in 2nd innings helped them manage a draw in 2nd Test. While in 3rd test they squandered a 100+ runs first wkt partnership to get bowled out cheaply for 280 odd runs batting first. After that Pakistan simply made a run-riot. After losing 2-3 quick wkts M Yousuf (aka Yousuf Youhana) along with Kamran Akmal and the big Inzi led Pakistan to a gigantic score of 630 odd runs and at this time the best result possible for England was a draw. Ian Bell and Collingwood hung on for a big partnership but once Collingwood fell, England lost last 8 wkts in 43 runs to Shoaib and Kaneria to lose by an innings and 100 runs.

This big Pakistan series victory for me was marked by some inspirational batting by Inzamam and a reinvented Shoaib Akhtar. Not only Shoaib performed admirably well in his bowling (bowling with a lot of consistency throughout, mixing slower ones, yorkers et al) but his new found approach in batting was exceptional. Before this series he was looked as a tailender who can throw his bat a bit, but in this series he hung on for some match turning partnerships with Inzi in 2nd test and Yousuf in 3rd test. With both bat and ball he was simply great. This again proves that you need to give ur players some shock by dropping them, so that they don't become complacent. Yousuf too played quite well after a forgettable first test.

This surely will shut those mouths that were starting to say that England is the new number 1 team. Aussies haven't been the number team for so many years for nothing. They have build this position over a long period of time, not just overnight beating 1 or 2 teams. England are a pretty good team, but they still lack a bit of grittiness in the middle order. Collingwood and Bell did well in this test. But Pieterson and Flintoff are expected to do a bit more with the bat. In bowling it was pretty tough for the pacers on these unresponsive pitches, Flintoff bowled his heart out but still it wasn't enough. England desperately needs a quality spinner to take wickets on sub-continent tracks. They have an Indian tour coming up and neither Giles nor Udal (seeing by his no. of wickets in this series) seems not good enough to dislodge the in-form batting lineup of Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag, Sachin and Yuvraj (I hope he plays over Ganguly).

Let’s see how the England team gets over this huge loss. But a good team always bounces back so I expect English players will show some character and bounce back.

PS: Finally i got to play my first match in my on-going TT tournament, which turned out to be too easy with me winning by 21-1, 21-15. Now me into 3rd round of singles tournament, with a few tougher ties lying in front of me :)