Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Google, Blogging and future of Open Source

On March 17th Google launched Google Blog, the future of open source. The open source team at Google intends to publish links to all current Google APIs. Looks like Google is all set to topple the way software developers worldwide look for that code of snippet they are in the need of so badly. Welcome to the future of Open Source. Google's R&D center at Bangalore is fresh with new energy. On March 27, Google hired 50 highly competetive engineers who were tried for "creatively, design expertly, and code correctly and efficiently". This is a major shift in the way Google has so far been forming its core developement team. From the sound of it, India has started to get a larger share of the hottest selling cake in the world. Cheers for the young talent that is making the way.

Will code for Rupee

Thursday, March 24, 2005

3 Dimensional Display Devices

One night while I was unable to sleep, possibly after having watched a movie, this idea came to my mind.
How real is the concept of a 3-D display device? We have seen it in comic strips and in movies in some form or the other. I was just wondering as to was it possible at all? And how, if so?
Today I decided to search on the Net to catch up with the developments on this front, if any. One of the pages that came very close was this. It is not quite like what I'd like to see, but the page title touched the subject. Frankly, I didn't dare to read all of it, but after having gone thru it a few sentences, I realized what I was missing.
The concept of 3-D display devices is not much useful without the concept of 3-D input devices. We must be able to tell what we wanna see or what we wanna do. Even if just want to see, we should be able to create the contents. Hmmm... that's my limit. I am no phycist. With my limited knowledge of matters from what I learnt in school days, I thought It was possible to create a cylindrical display device, which if you sit inside it and turn around sitting on a revolving chair, you should be able to see different parts of an object as it would look if you really turned around.
Then came into my mind, the idea of plotting pixels on this device (learnt how they draw on a two dimensional display device in my Computer Graphics classes). Should that be really that difficult? Don't think so. Just that they have to develop a new kind of cartesian system for this. The current cartesian system isn't meant for 3-D devices. Or could be, there something already is there in 3-D geometry I don't know of?
But it is still not that simple. How do you know upto what part of this cylindrical screen at a time a human eye would be able to see. And what happens when the person turns around? For a simple position change, of say .1 radian, in the viewer's position, the co-ordinates of the same physical pixel would have been changed. Now the viewer would expect to see something else on the same pixel where he could see something else a while ago.
Again with my limited knowledge of matters found on earth, I thought it was possible. Afterall, havent we ever seen a Hologram? A hologram does nearly the same, if not exactly. It display different images depending on the angle from which you look at it. Wow! That's the problem solved? Do I have my 3-D display device ready for production? Not really! A hologram typically displays not more than a few images. But, there is the potential. Isn't is all about the evolution? Can't we develop a better matter that can work like a much improved hologram, or a reflector, in this context? And the answer is - It should be possible.
So, the idea of a 3-D display device really seems possible. Of course, initially when these matters are not very fine and can display only upto 10 images from different angles, we can call them low-resolution 3-D display reflector. Say such a reflector can display upto 10 diffrent images and has a display angle of 150 degrees. So that be the factor that will decide the resolution of my dream 3-D display device.
Ah, wish I studied more of Physics, Mathmetics and Chemistry!

Of NN, FF and IE

Ever since Tim Berners Lee invented World Wide Web, the lucrative market of web browsers has been a top priority task for software giants. Surprisingly, one of the most frequently used software for an average computer user, a web browser has always been available for free. Regardless of whies of that, it is clear that capturing the web browser market has been a matter of big efforts. In the early days of net surfing, Mozilla was the name. Then came Netscape technologies with Navigator. Netscape had much success with Netscape Navigator Gold. Many people would swear the cool golden anchor was a hot piece of software then. Netscape ruled. IE started taking over when fifth generation browsers came and by the time IE 6 was out, it had already overtaken NN 6. The scene is changing again. Mozilla FireFox is the latest craze (Current version 1.0.2 is available for download from here). A tiny sleek browser, which doesn't look a single bit less on feature or performance. Microsoft is gearing for a summer 2005 release of IE 7 Beta whereas Netscape has already taken the lead with Netscape 7.2 (download it from here). Which way the browser war will lead to will be known only when IE 7 is out. Till then... Happy FireFoxing....


Google has changed the way we work. Probably, it has been the largest influence on the Internet since Hotmail and Amazon. Personally, I find it easier to look for information I need from google than the local copy stored on my PC, and most often this is the faster approach. But finding information fast on the Internet than on local PC is possible probably because I feel searching rather easy. And I have made my job easier by adding a search form on my home page, which is a local page. Here I would like to share a few basic things about searching with Google.
  • When you are in real hurry, you can save a few seconds by typing your query directly in the address bar. Prepend "" to your query text. It will fetch the results directly. This, of course, uses all the defaults. If you want language selection and content filtering etc, better use the full syntax generated by the site.
  • Use keywords rather than complete phrases. e.g. Festivals India is likely to fetch more precise results than "Indian festivals"
  • Use exact error message if you are looking for its description and put it under double quote. e.g. "Router:Failed to connect to SMTP host". This is more likely to bring up relevent pages than queries based on keywords such as Router Error SMTP failure
  • Google by default does an AND on the tokens in the query text, i.e. it will try to find pages with all the tokens in the query text. If you want to change that, use specific boolean operators.
  • While submitting a complete phrase or sentence for search, google omits commonly used words. Use a plus symbol (+) to include them in the search.
  • Sometimes you remember having seen a page on a particular site with specific information that you need now. Instead of visiting the site and going thru all the pages one by one, use google to do the job. Prepend your query text with "". That syntax causes google to search for the query text only in the pages cached from that site. If Google has cached pages from that site, it will be hundreds times faster and precise than finding the information by manually searching that site yourself.
  • You may use Google as a thesaurus. When uncertain about what a word might mean, you may ask Google to define terms/phrases for you. Use this URL:
Google is much more than just a search engine. Watch out this space. I will be bringing more of Google to you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Hello World!

Hello World! That's how Dennis Ritchie greeted the entire world way back in 1970. Entire software developer fraternity has used this to greet and start anything and everything they do. I am starting this blog keeping in mind a variety of subjects. I would love to focus on techincal topics, subjects related to IT, but may just wander around once in a while. Of course your comments would help me shape it better, in the times to come. Nice friends are nice to have. The idea of this blog came from a friend. I must thank him. Here is my gratitutory thank you, a link to his blog: I also owe a lot to my fellow experts and friends at Experts Exchange (, who have been my source of inspiration for some time now. I have learnt a lot from them, apart from having a good time with them. So here we start the journey. May the forces be with us. Amen!