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2000 — Yearly Archive

Real Life Intervenes

Sorry for the long delay in posting messages here, real life intervened. Hope to start posting again real soon now!

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14 November 2000 10:08 am

Scour Exchange

If you’re tired of Napster’s pathetic UI and frequent crashes, try the Scour Exchange Client. The UI rocks, and as a bonus, you are no longer limited to sharing music, you can also share photos (umm, think of the possibilities… :-) ) and video. And it’s far more user-friendly than Gnotella. Of course, it will be some time before Scour builds up quite the same community as Napster has, but it’s starting to look good.

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10:02 am

Open Source – Software Management Panacea?

Is Open Source really the mantra to the age-old software crisis? This article on lotus.com has a slightly different take on the topic. Expectedly enough, this article generated a lot of debate at Slashdot, you can read the discussion here.

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22 September 2000 7:11 am

Gallery of CSS Descramblers

The Gallery of CSS Descramblers gives me hope about the future of free speech on the Net. After taking a pretty much relentless beating at the hands of the US judicial system these last few weeks, I guess the geek in me takes solace that whatever the circumstance, ingenuity will always find a way.

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14 September 2000 10:41 am

11th Top Sign You Work in the 90s

I would like to add a 11th point to the Top 10 Signs You Work in the 90s (or ’00s, for that matter). Somewhat an extension of point 1, this is something I really felt while coming out from work one day:

You step out of the office before sunset and say, “Wow, daylight! Kickass!”

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10:23 am

Top 10 Signs You Work in the 90s

James Gosling’s Top 10 Signs You Work in the 90s are funny, but contain a grain of truth in them somewhere. I could totally identify with point 6:

You normally eat out of vending machines and at the most expensive restaurant in town within the same week.

as well as point 1:

You think a ‘half-day’ means leaving at 5 o’clock.

And the others struck chords with me to one extent or the other.

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11 September 2000 9:15 am

Kibibytes and Mibibytes

So you think you know all about computers? Great. Let’s quiz on you the basics. How much is a kilobyte? How much is megabyte? (and don’t cop out by saying that disk drive manufacturers and computer scientists have different standards) A gigabyte? This page lists the definitions of the SI units: the binary prefixes.

It’s funny, but a lot of textbooks in India still blissfully print the old “1024-bytes-equal-a-kilobyte” chestnut for folks who don’t know better. And a lot of these textbooks are actually used at schools and colleges across the country. I’m not sure what this says about the state of Indian education, but I don’t think it is terribly complimetary.

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9 September 2000 5:42 am

Ghostscript and GSView

If you’ve ever received a PostScript file (perhaps from a friend using a Macintosh or Unix, or as part of a technical paper) and were in despair about how to go about opening it, here’s some hope. You don’t have to go out and buy Adobe PageMaker or CorelDRAW for an incredible sum of money. Download the excellent Aladdin GhostScript from http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/, this is an open-source PostScript interpreter that’s free for end-user use. It is available for many different platforms including Linux, the Macintosh, VMS, DOS and, inevitably, Win32. If you use Windows you should also get the graphical interface to GhostScript, called GSView, unless you’d much rather type PostScript commands at a prompt all day. As an added bonus, GSView can display Acrobat PDF documents for you.

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1 September 2000 3:41 am

KEO Time Capsule

Time capsules tend to capture the imagination of the public for one reason or the other. A new time capsule project, The KEO, is underway in France about the time you read this. It’s capsule will be a CD-ROM, sent into space on board a satellite that will remain in orbit well into the 50th millennium (that’s right: 50,000 CE). And what’s more, even you can contribute you thoughts to be preserved for posterity: follow this link and type your message in! You can contribute upto 6000 characters — that’s nearly 4 pages of text.

Of course a hardened sf fan like myself couldn’t let this opportunity pass by — I have submitted a message myself! You can read my message for KEO here.

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31 August 2000 10:47 pm

KDE vs Gnome

If you’ve been following the KDE vs. GNOME wars — especially after the GNOME Foundation was formed, you’ll enjoy this piece. It comes close to capturing my own views on the subject, of course — so you shouldn’t be surprised to find a few subtle potshots at GNOME here. But I’ll say this: KDE has been unfairly treated just because Trolltech’s QT was perceived as as somehow “less free” than the competition. Ideological purity is all very well (and KDE does comply with the Open Source Defintion — there’s even a KDE Free Qt Foundation now) but the GTK toolkit on which GNOME is based is IMHO too hairy for modern-day GUI development. In contrast, KDE’s C++-based approach is like a breath of fresh air. And, if coding is not your cup of tea, KDE looks prettier and runs faster as well.

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24 August 2000 8:43 pm

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