Sunday, September 30, 2007

Linux Journal magazine archives for free!! Appreciate it!!

Wow.. I never knew I could get Linux Journal archives for free :). I really appreciate this.. for keeping the spirit of free knowledge alive.

I must say.. Its a wonderful magazine for Linux and has really widened my perspective about Linux. We do have an India alternative - Linux For You. Its the only Indian Magazine on Linux and the content is good.. Not bad and not excellent.

Good reviews are painful to write

I just posted a review about Opera Mini on Digitally Smart. Though I enjoyed writing this review very much, I also have to say, writing good reviews is a long process.

It took me close to 3 days to first take screenshots of Opera Mini, then uploading them on to blogger, then writing a review and placing the uploaded photos at relevant places. Given the fact that I hardly have time left are hectic hours at office and very little time that I spend with my kid, I usually wait till Nazia and Ahu to sleep so that I can carry on writing reviews.

Hope I get more time to post more meaningful reviews and information at Digitally Smart.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

AJAX initiative for mobile web

Read this news in Techmeme about leading vendors and companies taking part in a workshop aimed at bringing AJAX for the mobile web applications.

This further strengthens my argument from my previous post that mobile web is picking up. I think AJAX something that was definitely missing on the mobile platform. When most of the web applications are making use of AJAX to bring interactiveness and better usability, the mobile web has been lagging behind.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mobile web is not all that bad

There was this post from Scott Karp on why Mobile Web sucks for him. I could hardly agree with what he had to say and I really wanted to post this message as a reply to that. I guess lot of others would also disagree the fact that Mobile web is bad and Russel Beattie's post expresses his opposition to the fact that Mobile web browsing sucks (well.. Ahmm.. good post Russ.. except that my ears are bleeding with so many f*** :))

I think mobile surfing (and mobile computing in general) is really picking up recently. As Russ has pointed out, lot of popular web services have started providing an alternate web link which serves mobile-optimized web pages which start with (well not necessarily all follow the same format. For example, Techmeme's mobile site has this URL ). But for web sites who don't provide mobile versions of their web pages there are going to lose out on a huge number of users who browse from mobile devices. As I had mentioned earlier, the are vastly underestimating the need for a mobile optimized web site.

I know lot of us have trouble finding web services which are optimized for mobile browsing. I had the same frustration trying to figure out such mobile web pages. That's the reason why I am maintaining a list of web sites which are optimized for mobile browsing. I have been updating this list as and when I find newer web sites.

Coming to Scott's complain that mobile browsing is slow, I agree with that, but its not really that bad. There are ways to circumvent this. Just like Russ, I too use Opera Mini beta for browsing on my Nokia E61. One thing that Opera does intelligently is that it does not download the web pages to the phone as it it. The web pages are first fetched into the Opera proxy severs and then they are optimized and reduced in size (to a factor of 70-90% approximately) and then pushed on to your phone. So the browsing experience (fetching and rendering them on the phone) is very fast.

Mobile Computing is the future and the whole world is slowly moving towards it. I know there are problems with mobile computing but I am sure these are being addresses as you read this.

White Paper on growth of Web Apps

This survey from Rubicon on growth of web applications is interesting. Email and games still are the most favorite/used web applications.

Also one interesting fact to notice was that people spend 58% of their time on internet of which 22% is spent on web apps, of their total time spent on the computer.

Email and Games may be the leading web apps because I feel that the majority of the crowd using web apps is pretty young and obviously email and games are on top of their list. I am sure as the crowd gets old, their needs would change and different web apps may lead the race.

Will the Apple PDA click!!

When the Apply iPhone became a phenomena, It was quite obvious to me that they would eventually come up with a iPod which was similar looking to iPhone (with the multi-touch screen). It happened and then iPod Touch was introduced recently.

I was thinking as to why would Apple stop with that and why would they not extend it as a mobile computer/handheld. So now we get to hear rumours about Apple's coming up with their PDA :).

But as I think deeper.. would I be interested in a Apple PDA as a standalone device. Why would I buy an apple PDA if the PDA like functionalities could be clubbed with mobile phone capabilities as in iPhone.

When the world is moving towards convergence, would a strategy to diverge work out?. My instinct says NO. But probably the business/market analyst at Apple can better explain.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Opera's problem with Creating a new post in blogger

Whenever I am at my in-laws place, I use Opera as my preferred browser. One reason for me to use Opera is because this is shared PC being used by my sis-in-law, my wife and myself. Usually, we all login into one of our numerous accounts such google, yahoo, etc. and logout so that next time one us uses the PC he/she can login. I found this to be a pain and hence wanted to use a different browser which would be used only by myself and there would be no problem of logging out. If not IE, then my next obvious choice would be FireFox. But I really wanted to try to something different from IE and Firefox and hence my next obvious choice was Opera.

I have been ignoring Opera for quite sometime. I remember those days (many years back) when Opera was a commercial browser and then how Opera changed their business model to have ad-enabled browser and finally ended up providing a truly free browser. Opera has its own group of dedicated followers (though not many). Well, when I went to the opera website to look at the latest features of Opera, I was surprised to see how advanced it was compared to IE or FireFox. I am planning to have a dedicated post comparing the features of Opera with that of IE and FireFox in Digitally Smart. Some of the most notable features are the tab-preview feature and the speed-dial functionality.

But there is this slight problem that I've been facing with Opera. When creating a new post in, I am having a problem wherein when you are typing a really long line, the text never wraps up and also when it does wrap up, it leaves only a few words in the first line and rest of the words end up being in next line. The problem is kind of intermittent and pops up very often.

I was trying to get a screenshot of what I meant, but I am unable to reproduce the problem again. I will get a screenshot the next time I see this problem. But it would be great if these small problems are fixed. Got to check if there is a Opera user forum when I can report this.. for now I got to run to office..

Below is the Opera version information.

Version information:
Version - 9.23
Build - 8808
Platform - Win32
System - Windows XP
Java - Sun Java Runtime Environment version 1.4
XHTML+Voice- Plug-in not loaded

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Inspiring articles on turning blogging into a full time career

All good things are realized late by me (at least on the WWW). There was this recent phase in my life (past 2-3 years) when I was kind of disconnected from the latest happenings in the world wide web. I guess my work was taking its toll and also I was very choosy in what I wanted to browse in the web.

But off late, I've been trying to consciously keep myself updated and I've been reading a lot on what kind of new web services and success stories have spawned in the web world.

And one of my recent discoveries in Technorati. I never had an clue as to how useful this web site was with respect to aggregating the top blogs in the world wide web. Yes, believe it or not, I did not visit Technorati until last week. I knew about this website.. in the sense I knew this name was quite famous and had something to do with aggregation of content. But for some reason I hated web sites starting "tech". I had some kind of phobia for the word tech and had shunned sites that started with word tech. That's the reason why I haven't visited other famous websites like Techcrunch (I haven't even till now :). Only recently I visited Techcrunch40 but not its parent site - Techcrunch).

I guess I've deviated from what I really wanted to say. Coming back to the topic, I was browsing the popular blogs at technorati and found to be one of the top ones. I was specifically interested in this one because the theme of the blog was about making money through blogging.

That was my recent effort when I started Digitally Smart. Would not suggest you to click on the previous link as I am kind of feeling embarrassed. I started Digitally Smart with an intention of making a career out of blogging. I wanted to keep Digitally Smart simple and so I started this at blogger rather than choosing to host my own server or use a custom domain name. But I haven't been really successful. Till now, I have written only 4 posts (inclusive of an About page). I have lots of ideas on what i want to post in Digitally Smart and I have saved those topics in my drafts. But I am never really getting the time to expand on those topics. I guess "not getting time" is just an excuse. The bigger problem I have is that I am still trying to figure out as to should I start an other blog apart from this one (wondering if I should stay loyal to this one blog and focus all my energy in here). But again I am wondering if I can use this blog for earning any kind of income. That's because this blog is very personal and I blog not just about technology but about everything under the sun.. so would it be appropriate to have sponsors and ads in this blog.

Again coming back to, the guest columns are very good and give some nice tips of blogging and how to make it into a career. While following some links I came across this article from Read/Write Web's Richard MacManus where he reflects on what it took for him to make his hobby (blogging of course) to into a full time career. A very inspiring article. In the very same article Richard refers us to an other similar article (on what it takes to make a career out of blogging) about TechCrunch's Michael Arrington which is inspiring as well.

Well, the moral of both their stories is that it takes lot of hard work, patience, perseverance and being passionate about what you are blogging, in order to make a successful career out of blogging.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Got an interesting tip on taking screencast in Linux

David in his web page on Firefox leaks screencast explains ( at the bottom of this page) on how he had created screencast using pyvnc2swf on his Fedora 7 machine. I ran into David's web page by following links from Jesse Ruderman's article on Firefox memory leaks and memory usage.

I don't have the time to try this method of creating screencast. Need to try this out when I find time.

Below information is taken from David's web page:

I installed pyvnc2swf on my Fedora 7 machine. I also needed to install pygame and tkinter RPMs for this to work. I also installed audacity (from Fedora) and lame-libs (from Livna).

Then I made the screencasts in four steps:
1. Connected with vncviewer to the machine I was debugging on (in this case, an ssh tunnel from localhost:5900)
2. /usr/local/pyvnc2swf-0.9.3/pyvnc2swf/ -o leak6-raw.swf -S "arecord -r 22050 leak6-raw.wav" localhost:0
3. Use audacity to convert the WAV to MP3 (File → Open; File → Export As → MP3)
4. /usr/local/pyvnc2swf-0.9.3/pyvnc2swf/ -a leak6-raw.mp3 -l -K 500 -S 1.0s -o leak6.swf leak6-raw.swf

Top Sites from Alexa

Similar to PC Magazine's rating of top sites.. Alexa's rating of top sites is also good. But these top 100 websites have repeated local versions of a particular web  sites. Especially true for local version of google home page (from india, japan, UAE, etc.) appearing in the top 100 listing. 

PC Magazine's Top Web Sites of 2007

The PC Magazine's Top Web Sites of 2007 is very good. The rating of top sites is very relevant and the list has sites that I thought should be top.

The web site rating has been split into two at a very high level into Top 100 Classic Web Sites and Top  100  undiscovered Web Sites.

Interesting !!

Insight on Firefox development

I found this blog on Firefox memory usage and memory leak news from Jesse Ruderman ( I picked up this article from techmeme) very interesting.

You would have to be a software developer to really understand and appreciate this blog. I have always wondered how open source projects are being developed and coordinated in spite of not having a proper team structure and people being spread across geographies. This post gave me a good insight on what is happening in the firefox developer community especially with respect to the memory leaks and memory usage.

The reader comments for this article are also interesting.

Being a bigger fan of open source software I've always wanted contribute (either in terms of development, testing or documentation) towards some opensource project which I was interested in. I am big fan of linux and especially Ubuntu.. I even joined the Ubuntu development forum with the intention of contributing something. But unfortunately, job work pressure has prevented me from contributing anything meaningful  :(.

Hopefully, someday I would like to contribute towards open source community in one way or the other. This article was for some reason inspiring :).

Monday, September 17, 2007

Multiple Blog Dilemma

I am sure that most of you would have faced this dilemma.. Whether to have one common blog where you blog about everything under the sun with topics as diverse as family to as geeky as compiling a linux kernel [OR] to have multiple blog domains which each blog domain for very specific topics, for example, a blog specifically for family updates and an other for updates on linux.

At least I have been having this dilemma ever since I started blogging. I have close to 5 different blogger accounts and not to mention the mirrored ones in wordpress.

Off late, I had created one more blog account which I intend to use only for updates on technology. These updates will have a professional tone.

This new blog is called Digitally Smart. I intend to run this blog with a means of generating income for me. I love blogging about technology and would like to pursue this as an alternate career to start with and if the situation is favorable, I might do it full time as well.