6 Best Movie Series !!

Posted by Unknown on Apr 16, 2009

Today's post is like a poll. We have to decide which is the best movie series ( 3 or more sequels /prequels) ?
Here is my list :

1. X-Men : I loved this trilogy and the fourth one X Men Origins : Wolverine is coming soon. Just can't wait for this one. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine has been the key figure in all the 3 parts which boasts of a great cast.

2. Rocky : The legendary series which immortalised Sylvester Stallone. The last one ( Rocky Balboa ) in which both Sylvestor Stallone and Rocky made a comeback too proved to be a hit. The movie centers around Rocky Balboa, a boxer played by Sylvestor Stallone.

3. Star Wars : Everyone knows about it, right ? The strange thing about this series was the fact that sequels came before prequels. Written and directed by George Lucas the prequels were not considered interesting enough but the enormous success of the movie ensured that all parts were made. Theprequels which came recently proved to be even bigger success.

4. Indiana Jones : The George Lucas and Steven Spielberg combo weaved this magical trilogy. Just loved Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones the treasure hunting Archaeologist. The fourth part Indiana Jones and Kingdom of Crystal Skull which came last year too proved to be a huge
success with Harrison Ford making a comeback.

5. James Bond : I guess I don't need to say more. There has not been a more famous brand of movie series. I must confess I have joined the fan list recently since Daniel Craig assumed the role of secret spy James Bond 007. In my opinion Casino Royale was better than Quantum of Solace. Every movie of this series sets a new record on the box office. The Legend goes on...

6. Bourne Series : Matt Damon as Jason Bourne the spy stars in this amazing thriller trilogy. Based on the novels by Robert Ludlum, one can safely say there has not been a better fast paced thriller in recent years. The 4th part is expected to be released in 2011

Tell me if you think your favourite movie series should feature in the list.
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Web Browser war and Javascript Performance !!

Posted by Unknown on Apr 15, 2009

Any discussion on web browsers inevitably centers around how fast web pages load. We keep saying that a particular website loads faster in a particular browser. Let's try to get why this happens.

While there are a number of factors that determine the page loading time of a web page, one major factor is Javascript performance.

Blogspot bloggers would have a good idea where this comes from. How often have we discarded a javascript coded widget just because it made it almost impossible for the page to load.
Many a times we place all the Javascript code at the bottom of the page source code in order to enable the rest of the page to load faster.

The importance of Javascript performance for a web browser can be understood simply by the fact that the web browsers have interesting names for their Javascript engines.

Have a look :

Google chrome : V8 , I have been using it a lot. The fact that the addressbar itself serves as Google Search is it's USP for me.
Mozilla Firefox : Tracemonkey My favourite browser, simply because of the amazing add-ons owing to open source.
Opera : Futhark (Carakan is coming ) While it's my lifeline on my symbian mobile, the latest desktop version seems to have a little too much.
Safari : Nitro ( Based on Apple's open source Webkit's Squirrelfish extreme ) hve to try this one. I keep hearing that it's hot !!

As far as Javascript performance goes Internet Explorer 8 is a non starter when compared to Firefox or Chrome.

Web apps are the future with Google looking to make everything we have on our desktops available in the browser itself and the browser war has extended to the Javascript arena as the alternatives like Adobe's Flash and Flex are not that practical or easy to implement.

I can see only benefits as faster the Javascript loads better the website performs and more web apps can be added.

Before I end this post just have a look at few of the Javascript coded widgets on this page :

1. Footer : Yahoo Badge, Sitemeter, Label Cloud
2. Blogcatalog and Mybloglog widgets
3. Technorati
4. Disqus's recent comments

There are many others and they need to load faster !!
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Linux OS : Get to know it !!

Posted by Unknown on Apr 14, 2009

I have been thinking of giving a specific direction to the " Tech Tuesday " posts. We have discussed a number of " well heard but not fully understood " technologies like the one on wifi, dSLR cameras, megapixel and images, touchscreen, netbooks and so on....

The big question is what is it we will be discussing then. Let's break the news : It will be Linux OS (atleast for a number of Tuesdays ).
Since this is the first post in this direction, let's keep it simple.

All of us have heard about Linux and many of us might be thinking of trying it or taking a plunge into the world of Linux. But there are a few myths that keep us from doing it.

Linux and Unix : What's the difference ?

Unix is an operating system developed by AT&T in 1969. Official trademark of Unix is with " The Open Group ".
It's a text based ( terminal ) OS and not the graphic based Windows and Macs we are used to.

Linux : Linux is a Unix like OS developed by free and open source software collaboration. Linus Torvalds wrote the original Linux Kernel ( read system files) in 1991 while rest of the utilities and libraries come from GNU OS by Richard Stallman ( hence the name GNU/Linux).

It's cliche but true : Linux is not Unix.

Do we need technical and programming experience to use it ?

No, the Linux distributions ( different versions since it's open source ) now a days like Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, Debian and the likes comes with graphical user interface ( X window interface ) much like the Windows and Macs and in some cases even better.

Just have a look at the 3d linux desktop

Earlier Linux was mostly used as a server and programming purposes . Those willing can really see what goes on under the hood of an OS. Programming from scratch with ease has been it's USP.

Now it's really commonplace with a number of laptops and desktops coming with Linux distros

The very fact that it's open source ( the source codes are open to public to develop it) means it's updating all the time.

I have been using Fedora Linux (Fedora 4 onwards ) and let me tell you it's a beauty. It's like having a fully customised OS of your own. It's this " control in the hands of user " aspect that makes Linux special.

I also carry with myself Knoppix Linux live CD. Just boot with it into any system and it becomes your own, do your work and get going.

Once you discover the world of Linux, you will be hooked. Much of my Tech Tuesday future posts will be in the direction of getting you hooked to THE OS and simplifying the how to use part.
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20 best sites for free symbian software : The Symbian Directory !!

Posted by Unknown on Apr 13, 2009

Trying out new softwares is fun on Symbian gadgets. One finds new versions and better alternatives coming up all the time. So I thought of sharing my " Symbian Bookmarks " for free symbian S60 software download.
This one is a comprehensive directory. Take your time and check them out !!
  1. getjar : Get both Java as well as symbian applications.
  2. symbian-freeware : One of my favourites.
  3. smartsym : Find S60 5th edition (Nokia 5800 expressmusic) softwares !!
  4. dotsis : Terrific site with forums where we can discuss everything Symbian. Register to post !!
  5. wapain.net : Another one with S60 v5 softwares. Another one of my picks.
  6. mobilefan.net : Softwares by category, a well simplified list.
  7. mobiletopsoft : Find all freewares and shareware.
  8. my-symbian : Freewares as well as shareware.
  9. gallery.mobile9 : Cool Interface, community based site. User uploaded.
  10. soft32.com : Cool interface and some really amazing collection.
  11. mobiles24 : Another cool site to look for the latest softwares.
  12. brothersoft : Well known for all your software needs, not only Symbian.
  13. getsymbian : Large collection of softwares.
  14. freesymbiansoft : Another great collection.
  15. symbianstock : Large stock of softwares
  16. bestsymbian : Good collection !!

The Best Blogspot/Blogger Blogs in this Business :

  1. http://symbian-free.blogspot.com/
  2. http://symbiansmartphone.blogspot.com/
  3. http://symbianism.blogspot.com/
  4. http://symbian-freeware.blogspot.com/

Tell me if you think I missed out on that one amazing link that would make this directory a more complete list !!
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5 simple ways to add Social Bookmarks in every post !!

Posted by Unknown on Apr 11, 2009

For most of us bloggers nothing can beat the joy on seeing a post Dugg, Stumbled, faved on technorati or bookmarked in delicious. I missed the Feed count, right.

But then I also missed scores of other equally important social bookmarking and networking sites. That's the point, we need to make sure that we don't miss out on anything and at the same time not overdo the whole thing.

Here are some of the simplest and best implementations of Social Bookmarks.
Pick yours ....

1. We can apply this one at the footer of each post Find it at Smartbloggerz

2. This is the text version, to go with every post of ours. Find it at TechieBlogger

3. Taller ones, this is a new compilation by MoreTechTips

4. Bigger is better, a Bloganol effort.

5. A wonderful and simple to implement widget by Sociofluid

Find another interesting compilation of multiple social bookmaark widgets by EazyCheezy

If you think there are better ways to do this, share and Disqus....
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The Best Movies Ever : Make your own list !!

Posted by Unknown on Apr 10, 2009

I just love to do this Friday Movie Post. Yesterday I had a discussion with my friends about whether they can make up their mind as to which is the best movie they have ever seen ( when I say best I MEAN ONE !! ).

We often find lists like the " top 10 hollywood movies of all time " or titles like " one movie you must see before you die " ( hope I see a lot more before I do die ).

But then when I try to figure out my pick for the best movie ever I just can't think of 1, not even 5 or 10 ( beyond that my mental reserves get exhausted !! ).
I was looking at my Orkut profile yesterday ( which I created 4 years back and is pretty much unchanged ) and I found that there too I have written " too many to list" in the favourite movie section !!

Many a times while I'm watching a movie I feel this one is going to be the best I have ever seen but a day later when the side-effects have rubbed off I realise it's not.

Tell me your favourite 1, 5 or 10 movies. Atleast that way I will get to see a few more to decide about mine.

Here are some of the best movie lists we can refer to make up our mind :

5. New York Times 1000 best ( I guess we can decide on 1000 movies when we see that many !!)

The list of movies I have seen till date. It hasn't been updated for last two months but I guess that's okay.

So, make up your mind and when you do, tell me !!
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7 Best Gmail Labs Features : Try Them !!

Posted by Unknown on Apr 8, 2009

Heard about Gmail Labs?? I guess many of us haven't. It's the place to test Gmail features being developed and which will be an integral part of Gmail in future.

So, why not try them before others do. All we have to do is :

1. Goto Gmail Setting and click on the Labs tab.
2. Enable the Gmail Lab feature we want and save changes.

As simple as this. In case something goes wrong :

1. Disable the particular Lab feature the same way we enabled it.
2. To disable Gmail Labs completely go here http://mail.google.com/mail/?labs=0.

Here are my picks for the best of Gmail Labs :

1. Title Tweaks by Fedor K

Changes order of elements in the browser title bar from "Gmail - Inbox (20) - rakesh2b@gmail.com" to "Inbox (20) - rakesh2b@gmail.com - Gmail". This way we are able to see if a new mail has arrived even if Gmail window is minimized.

2. Undo Send by Yuzo F

Can you believe it !! We can now stop messages from being sent for a few seconds after hitting the send button. My pick for the best Gmail Lab feature.

3. Superstars by Kai H & Julie W

We need to do a few things to get this one right.

Adds additional star icons. After enabling this feature:
1. Go to the "General" Settings page to choose which superstars you wish to use.
2. Use either the keyboard shortcut ('s') or click to rotate through your selected superstars.
3. Use the search operator "has:" to find all messages with your superstar (e.g. "has:red-bang", "has:blue-star"). Learn the name of a superstar by hovering over its image in the "General" Settings page.

4. Pictures in chat by Dave C

We can see our friends' profile pictures when we chat with them.

5. Signature tweaks by Keith C and Dave C

Places our signature before the quoted text in a reply, and removes the "--" line that appears before signatures.

6. Random Signature by Chad P

Rotates among random quotations for our email signature.

7. Location in Signature by Marco B

Appends our location to your signature. We must have your signature enabled.
A signature can be anything from a quote to your website's address which will appear in evry mail you send. To enable it GoTo Gmail Settings, General Tab and type in your Signature.

So, get started. Make your Gmail your own and unique and at the same time contribute to it's development.

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Wi-Fi and Bluetooth : Simple to learn Wireless !!

Posted by Unknown on Apr 7, 2009

Wireless networks are the future of seamless connectivity. Already we are used to various Bluetooth enabled gadgets and accessing internet in Wi-Fi enabled zones. In this post let's try to simplify these technologies for a better understanding.

is for resident equipment and its applications and is intended as a replacement for cabling for general local area network access in work areas. The category of applications is outlined as WLAN, the wireless local area networks.

Wi-Fi is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance for certified products based on the IEEE 802.11 standards. This certification warrants interoperability between different wireless devices.

Wi-Fi is often used for wireless internet (WLAN ), but actually every product does not have the Wi-Fi certification and hence not all WLAN's are Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi is supported by most personal computer operating systems, many game consoles, laptops, smartphones, printers, and other peripherals.

Through interconnected access points (hotspots) Wi-Fi can lead to connectivity over large square miles of area, though a typical Wi-Fi home router has a range of 32 m indoors and 95 m outdoors.

Bluetooth is an open wireless protocol for exchanging data over short distances from fixed and mobile devices, creating personal area networks (PANs).

Bluetooth is intended for non resident equipment and its applications. The category of applications is outlined as the wireless personal area network (WPAN). Bluetooth is a replacement for cabling in a variety of personally carried applications.

Bluetooth has a range of less than 10m for gadegts we use (class II device), but it can go upto 100m (class I device). The current version of Bluetooth is 2.1

Next version Bluetooth 3.0 (codename Seattle ) is expected to be released this year which will allow use of Bluetooth over UltraWideBand ( UWB) radio, and data transfer upto 480 Mbit/s.

I guess it's enough for the day. Now we can keep an eye on the future developments in Wireless Connectivity in a more informed way !!

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12 must have Symbian apps : Review and download !!

Posted by Unknown on Apr 6, 2009

Trying out different apps on a Symbian gadget is really fun. One finds useful and interesting apps being developed all the time. Now with Nokia's acquisition of the Symbian platform rest assured this is the platform of choice ( did somebody say Google Android ?, we'll see when it comes).

So , what are the must have apps on a S60 2nd edition device ( or even a 3rd edition one ) :
Browsers : Accessing internet on the go is one main reason of having a smartphone, isn't it? This is how we can get the most out of GPRS ( I just can't wait for the 3G launch for private players) :
  • Opera Mini : This is one software I guess all smartphones must have, what with the java version also out there. Landscape browsing and zoom view are it's biggest plus.
  • UCWeb Browser : This one comes in Chinese but there is the English translated version by Akushah. Tabbed browsing and in-built downloader with resume capability makes this one really special.
Downloader : What's the point in having an unlimited GPRS plan when you can't download files of larger size. These tools make downloading big files a piece of cake :
  • Fget : The ability to resume downloads and work in background make it worth ahving on our device, even though the UCWeb browser with its in-built downloader has really made this one redundant.
  • Symtorrent : I have already covered thisone in my earlier post. The only working torrent downloader on Symbian platform. Amazing software to have.
Audio/Video players : Multimedia is what mobile phones are all-about now a days. See how to get the most out of your Symbian gadget with these apps in this post :
  • Divx Player : We need to install the xvid codec along with this and play files in avi format in addition to mp4 and 3gp.
  • Smartmovie Player : Nothing to separate this from the previous one.
  • Mp3 Players : There are quite a few mp3 players. Download these and find which one works for you.
Miscellaneous : Some softwares to make our life easy :
  • SFManager : This is a file browser/explorer which makes it easy to browse through files on our memory cards. The native browsing system on these devices can be really frustrating at times.
  • Adobe Reader : We know this must have app to go through our pdf files
  • Pdf + (mBrain Software): A great lighter alternative to Adobe
  • Flashlight : A great tool for Nokia N70, to turn your camera flashlight into a torch. It's amazing to see what a powerful torch a N70 is !!

If you have a terrific Symbian app in mind, do Disqus !!
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Simple2Learn Quarterly Review : It's pagerank 3 now.

Posted by Unknown on Apr 3, 2009

Simple2learn is a Pagerank 3 blog now, after yesterday's Google Pagerank update. Last update in January saw the blog rise to pagerank 2 from 0 and I did a post to simplify the Google Pagerank technology and how important it is plus a list of my favourite sites to analyse our websites. Take a look.

A higher Google Pagerank simply means that the site has been linked to by a good number of sites and it helps a website to rank higher in Google searches done by people across the web.

I strictly believe an overkill of Pagerank and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) should be strictly avoided as it takes the focus off quality of CONTENT, but at the same time a few simple things done the right way never hurts !!

In this weekend post let's analyse the progress made by Simple2Learn this quarter :

1. Blogcatalog : Blogcatalog and Mybloglog are 2 of the best networking sites for bloggers. While I joined Mybloglog recently in February, I have been a member of Blogcatalog since November when I really started blogging. While my BC score/point has been around a meagre 25 ( primarily because I haven't started many discusions or groups ) I have benefitted a lot as the focus has been on making quality friends and trying to follow each others blogs.

2. Technorati : An amazing search engine for weblogs, tags and keywords. Keep checking what's hot in your niche and how we can discuss about them in our posts. A technorati fave or backlinks has a lot of weight , it seems. I guess Simple2Learn's Technorati authority (backlinks )was 7-8 during last pagerank update and currently it's 16.

3. Digg/Stumbleupon : While I joined the bookmarking and link submission giants Digg and StumbleUpon almost at the sametime when I resurrected my blog in November, I am still discovering them and have started exploring them only now. But I hear they are terrific ways to promote your posts and articles.

4. Google FriendConnect/Followers widget : The best way to show appreciation for a blogger/blogspot blog and connect with fellow bloggers.

5. Feedburner RSS feed : Most people use Google Reader and many other online feed readers or softwares to keep themselves updated on blogs/websites they like. A must for all frequently updated websites.

6. Directory Submission and Indexing: Simple2Learn features in many reputed link submission directories. Most importantly Simple2Learn was submitted to Google directory through Google Webmaster or Google Analytics ( for analysing traffic), in Yahoo's directory through Yahoo Site Explorer and to MSN for indexing.

7. Ping : With so many social networking sitesand other tools mentioned above it's important to let them know of our site's updates. Ping-o-matic is a great tool for pinging most of these at once. But I think it helps to keep logging in most of these wabsites manually and checking their updates and notifying them of ours.

Enjoy your weekend and review your progress.
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The Friday Movie Post : Al Pacino's 5 best flicks !!

Posted by Unknown

I guess I had to write this one. Everytime I would think of doing a post on movies, I would get stuck on his name. Al Pacino is easily one of the finest actors off all time. In my book he is right up there. Here I would list his 5 performances I loved the most. Let's get started :

1. The Godfather II : Not much to say about this one. I read the book by the same name, a masterpiece by Mario Puzzo, before I saw the trilogy. Pacino as Michael Corleone delivers the performance of a lifetime and earned an Osacar nomination. If there has been a movie close to perfection, it's this one. Might sound exaggarated but tell me how many people haven't seen this one and how many disagree with me !!

2. Scent of A Woman : This one finally earned him an Oscar after 8 nominations. An older Al Pacino is absolutely brilliant in an otherwise low profile movie. Pacino plays the part of Lt. Colonel Frank Slade, a blind and retired army officer and delivers some of the most memorable dialogues. Another out and out Al Pacino flick, though Chris O' Donnell delivers a convincing performance in the role of a prep school student.

3. Dog Day Afternoon : This is one of his lesser known but for many one of his finest. This one will make anyone fall in love with Al Pacino's character Sonny Wortzik if not with the man himself. A comic situation ending on a tragic note, another Oscar nomination that he couldn't convert. John Cazale as Sal, Pacino's partner in crime delivers a performance of his lifetime.

4. ...And Justice For All : Another one that makes it impossible not to love Al Pacino. Pacino as an ethical defence lawyer Arthur Kirkland defending a Judge he despises , is absolutely brilliant in this movie which made a great statement on he American Judicial System of those days, in its own satirical way. Another Oscar nomination.

5. Scarface : No Oscar nominations and yet thiso ne is a legend and one of his most remembered performances. A dark and violent movie starring Al Pacino as Tony Montana, an illegal Cuban immigrant who takes the drug empire by storm. Movie has a lot of profanity, what with almost every dialogue having the forbidden f word, but one for the Al Pacino fans.

Those who have watched these are the fortunate ones and those who haven't are still fortunate as they would have the time of their lives when they watch the Pacino Classics.
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