Monday, February 27, 2006

Microsoft’s Origami Project

Microsoft on 2nd of March is expected to be launching its Origami Project. Essentially, its just another tablet PC kinda hand held device which would allow you to listen to music, give Internet access, messaging, photo editing, and video gaming. The project details are expected to be out on Thursday and not the whole thing – the site itself suggests 3 weeks of timescale.

Photographs started surfacing about 3-4 days ago and then, finally came a video which is supposed to have leaked from the headquarters. The final product prototype seems huge to me and I doubt if it really gets all that well amongst the masses. A Microsoft Evangelist Robert Scoble himself says that the Origami Project is overhyped and may not quite deliver what's expected of it - quite possible. I'd be with Joe Wilcox who says that the best companies underpromise and overdeliver. It's a wait and watch on these big giants – Apple and Microsoft; who are using this week as a launch pad for their fun products.

- Prasoon

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Big Guns at it again

Anything about Apple or Google draws my attention and today both of them need a mention.

Apple sold its Billionth song by itunes and that is one helluva achievement not just for Apple, but even the billionth buyer who would get – A 20” iMac, 10 60-GB iPods and a $10000 iTunes Music Certificate – so much for just spending those “lucky” 99 cents which earns him/her a lottery of about $16000.

A billion iTunes songs download


With Apple holding a special event to launch ‘fun products’ on February 28th, I wonder what would be launched now. I have Apple Fun Products Release. Feb 28already seen rumours which suggest that apple could be launching new iPods, may be even a Phone of a Gaming device but then, any rumour about Apple can never hold true unless Steve jobs holds that one more thing out in his hand. Reports also suggest that a mega event could be planned for April 1st this year, when Apple celebrates its 30th Anniversary when there could a touch screen iPod or even more sleek and faster MacBooks. Stay hooked – Apple is just getting better Day by Day; Month by Month and Year after Year.




Google Page Creator100 MB of space with a wysiwyg interface for making pages is what you get with Google Page Creator now. It was launched just a couple of hours ago and my first impression – It’s a product launched to compete with and the whole new bunch of wikis that have sprung up everywhere and the old-school Yahoo! Geocities!

With AJAX based interface and couple of templates and layout already available - Google Page Creator is a ‘perfect solution’ for beginners with minimum requirements who would want to maintain information pages n allow for a few files to be there on their pages. 100 MB might seem less but then, it could be used in integration with say flickr [for photos], or other file hosting services. Every change triggers an auto-save and all changes are published by a single click – The Google crawler would update all published pages within a few hours – this I suppose is a plus point over other similar services.

Currently all the pages are hosted on a url of type .googlepages.com and Google says that someday they could be allowing users to create new sites as well. I’d maintain a wait-and-watch strategy on this release of Google as of now.

- Prasoon

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

BarCamp Delhi

Alright. I know I am supposed to be taking a break from blogging here but I had to blog this!

Asia's first BarCamp is happening in Delhi this March 4th and whats' more I am going to be in Delhi that weekend!! How cool could it get??

BarCamp Delhi

If you are anywhere near there, just be there. C'ya at BarCamp Dehi.

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Flock it !!

First, I'd thank 'enginerd' for proving me a space here to write :)

Flock Flock - The so called next gen social web browser aimed at Web 2.0 gurus and bloggers has released an update and I should say - its impressive. The only flaw I still see in it is the memory leak, something native to anything built over Firefox 1.5 and sometimes, the RAM usage skyrockets itself to over 250 MB when Flock is left idle with an AJAX webpage like meebo.com running.

Whats new in this version -
I noticed a new and better blogging interface, advanced flickr integration and a host of tiny tweaks with the topbar. The upgraded RSS viewer is definitely fast and looks great. Good news for Wordpress users because now, categorization happens right from the blog editor within Flock. Next time, you use Flock for filling out forms, do not forget to use the inbuilt Spell-Checker. This version also supports shadows.com integration other than del.icio.us.

I wonder how many of you visiting have used the previous version but I would suggest all of you to at least give it a try for once.

Going by my description which Anand gave about me, I shall not end my post without criticizing Microsoft for its IE 7 Preview to Beta 2, it sucks - at least for bloggers using Blogger.com

-Prasoon

Monday, February 20, 2006

Finally...

It took me a week but I have finally succeeded in persuading Prasoon to guest blog here at the enginerd Weblog while I take a small break from the blogosphere.

Prasoon is a Mac geek and maintains a kind of antipathy against all software that come from Microsoft. He has a whole array of blogs online, from photoblogs to technoblogs to stuff you hardly hear about. I can't really say what stuff will he be putting up here but it could include photography, the latest gadgets, or even rants and raves on how Google is God and Microsoft is History.

Signing off for a while,
Anand

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Technology Festivals In India

About an year ago, I wrote:
I write this post in the middle of the biggest college technology festival in the country. With what would have begun as an attempt to create, connect and relate aspects of technology, it has now taken the shape of an entirely commercial event with enormous budgets and unprecedented extravagance.

Forced to wonder, is it still THE platform for the energetic and creative to push the frontiers of expanding technology, or is it the place to see 'branding' take new dimensions, the place to "walk away with a fortune".

The trend just can't seem to stop. In a year, this "festive spirit" is sweeping the country with every second institute organizing a festival boasting of budgets running into millions of Rupees.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Short Notes

Traffic on the enginerd Weblog is scaling new heights ever since Laurent linked to my Firefox Extension from the coComment Teamblog. Also, I checked out the GreaseMonkey script and it is simply awesome.

Meanwhile Microsoft Research has released GroupBar, a tool that allows window tiles to be rearranged in any order or dragged and dropped into "groups" with one-click task-switching and convenient group operations. Really useful and makes a lot of sense.

I got my invite for 30Boxes, the online calendar application (with a bit of social networking thrown in) from 83degrees yesterday. It's certainly the best online calendar application I've seen till date.

And finally, while browsing through my blog archives, I came across this post on software engineering that I thought would be quite relevant NOW for some of my friends on campus ;)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Firefox Extension for coComment!

I have put up the Firefox Extension for coComment! I and a few friends have been using it for a day now and it seems to work fine!

Download coComment! for FirefoxDownload coComment! for Firefox

coComment! for Firefox allows you to coComment! from the right-click context menu and is of great help especially when commenting in a pop-up window where you can't access your bookmarks.

Also, with this extension you will not have to move from the comment area to your bookmarks to click the 'bookmarklet' and then back, before you click the submit button on the blog. With this extension, you can directly move on to the submit button after writing the comment and merely hit the right click 'activating' coComment before submitting the post. Simple Fitts' law and it makes your browsing experience a great deal better and faster.

Let me know what you think of it!

More on coComment

Update:
I have put up the Firefox Extension for coComment! I and a few friends have been using it for a day now and it seems to work fine!


coComment! for FirefoxLaurent has posted a few coComment invitation codes in my previous post's comments. Thanks, Laurent. Make sure you get them before they are gone.

SolutionWatch has put up a quick review of coComment with a Greasemonkey script


Also, here is the screenshot of my Firefox Extension for coComment that allows you to coComment! from the right-click context menu that I quickly put together. This extension is of a great help especially when commenting in pop-up windows where you can't access your bookmarks. And even on a general page, reduces your onscreen movement time (Read more here).

Its high time I got myself some web hosting space.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

coComment - Tracking Comments anywhere

coComment So, all the cool guys in town checked out the very awesome coComment this weekend. The basic idea behind coComment is to help a user keep track of all the comments he leaves on other's blogs. One can simply get an indication of how much this was needed in the Blogosphere by merely looking at the number of comments on this post where Robert Scoble first writes about coComment.

Meanwhile, the cooler guys in town wrote a Firefox extension for it that just made their life a bit easier. coComment requires the user to click on the "bookmarklet" before you click the submit button on the blog to submit comment. So everytime I have to comment, I have to move from the comment area to the bookmark and then back to the comment area. This simply increases the amplitude of the movement if we talk of Fitts’ Law as you'll see here.

coComment!


So the workaround I thought was to write a Firefox extension that opens up the bookmarklet in the context menu of Firefox on right-click. Thus, now I can directly move on to the submit button after posting the comment and merely hit the right click 'activating' coComment before submitting the post. This invariably saves a lot of on screen movement! (I wonder if I should put the extension up online for others to use. I heard there is already a Greasemonkey script doing rounds.)


coComment


There is also the 'Blog Box' that that shows your visitors where you’ve been commenting lately. You require an invitation code to try coComment. Register yourself and wait for the invite code to be delivered to your inbox. Luckily for me it didn't take an eternity like it does for most other betas (Measuremap!!!) This one is a really killer app. No wonder both Scoble and Michael are excited!

And yes, the coolest guys were off to the mountains ;)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Yahoo Mail Beta - Way too slow

Yahoo! Mail BetaSo after waiting for months, I finally got my Yahoo! Mail Beta invite a fortnight ago and wasted absolutely no time in clicking on the link which read something on the likes of 'Try the new Beta'.

However, two weeks into the Yahoo Mail Beta and I am left completely disillusioned. For all the AJAX thrown in with the objective of making it a "native" application supporting drag-and-drop, reading pane, and a very desktop application like interface (read Outlook like), the application is extremely sluggish. There is just too much of lag in everything- be it message loading, or the over-crowded contextual menu that pops up on right click.

Takes forever to load. Takes forever to respond. If it were the old days, I could have blamed it on my more-than-obsolete machine. But that is no longer the case. Thankfully, they have a "Switch Back" option sitting right next to "Sign Out"!