Saturday, December 18, 2010

Online FTP Manager for quick ftp access

For webmasters, FTP is the way to move files between the server and local development system. There are many useful clients for FTP, such as FireFTP plugin for Firefox.
Even then, there are certain circumstances in which there is a need to manipulate the FTP contents when a FTP client is not available.
Online FTP clients come handy in such situations.
http://www.net2ftp.com/ is one web based FTP client.
It supports the following functions, described in the screenshot.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pregnancy period of different animals

The bar chart gives the maximum pregnancy(also called gestation) period of animals including humans.It is interesting to note that the pregnancy period of the animals increase with their size.Small rats have minimum pregnancy period whereas elephants have the largest pregancy periods.

The pregnancy period of various animals in days (click on the image to view larger size)

The data for this visualization is taken from wikipedia, here  , and visualization created with MS Excel '07.

On a related note, the gestation period of animals with the same body size vary depending upon the placenta. BBC article here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Growing cocoa trees in tamil nadu

Worldwide, there is a huge demand for cocoa and this demand is going to explode in the coming years.
Dr shapiro of IBM research labs says,(BBC ink)
"In late 2007, it became very apparent to me that we would not have a continuous supply of cocoa going into the future if we did not intervene on a massive scale to secure our supply chain."
Vietnamese farmers' success story with the Cocoa plant. (link)

Almost ripe cocoa beans on a 3 year old tree. Persistent international demand has pushed up prices, and farmers are increasingly relying on the crop.
  “A 1000 dollar investment in cocoa saplings can gain a yield for the farmers after 2-3 years of 6000 dollars”

Cocoa cultivating farmer testimonial from tamilnadu, video link.

The tamilnadu agriculture minister stated this in 2009,(The Hindu article link)
“The State produces just 200 kg of cocoa seeds per annum while the neighbouring states such as Karnataka (8,000 tonnes), Kerala (7,000) and Andhra Pradesh (2,500) produce much more. We need to improve this,” he insisted.
Mr. Arumugam said that cocoa could generate revenue of Rs. 1.10 lakh per hectare per annum for which the expenditure was Rs. 15,000.
This page provides the list of nurseries in Tamilnadu, some of them may sell cocoa seeds for planting.

Moreover, TN govt has signed up an MOU with Cadbury to distribute seeds to farmers at very affordable price and also provide technical assistance to the growers.That means Cadbury themselves would buy the produced seeds from the farmers. (Article link)

All these mean that TN farmers can grow cocoa plants within coconut farms and arcanut farms.

This government website provides complete details about planting and maintenance stuff.

Please share more details you may have in comments below.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Nokia c6 review: c6 switches off automatically

Just bought this Nokia c6 phone few days back,at Chennai,India for 14,000 INR.
Its got good features.
Symbian,Touch screen,5MP camera,WIFI,GPS,3G,front camera for video call, S60 v5,sliding QWERTY keyboard.All is well.
But its too buggy to use.
Infact, the phone got switched off automatically in the phone shop itself.
Those sales people told that its because of low battery charge.
But,the phone continues to shut down by itself every 1hour or so even in battery is fully charged.
Been using this phone for few days and the problem persists.
The only option to restart the phone is to remove the battery and then insert and start.
Its most likely that its a software error(or a hardware bug) that prevents the mobile from a soft restart.
There are no available software updates to fix this issue.
Its very unpleasant to note that this problem ooccured out of the box.One has to wonder about the Quality control within Nokia.
The last option is to take this to the nokia service center.
Will update this post after taking this issue up with Nokia care.

Update 1:
Been to the service center,they flashed the phone and returned it in a day.But the problem persists.Again took the mobile to Nokia care,this time they asked that the mobile be kept in observation for two days.
To be updated soon.
Update:
Apparently, this bug affects many people as well.
Here's lots of people complaining about the mobile at Nokia Forums.

Final Update :
Nokia replaced the motherboard of the mobile after a week and the problem is fixed now. C6 is now running perfectly for nearly a month.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Finding disappeared files and folders after virus infection of pen drive

Some viruses and worms makes the folders disappear and replaces them with applications or shortcuts to applications that are virulent in nature.
The good side of some of the viruses is that they dont delete the actual contents of the infected system.
For example,in pen drives they hide the files and folders.
Normally, these hidden files and folders can be unhidden by utilizing the "Folder Options" menu in the Tools menu of Windows explorer.
But,most viruses delete the "Folder options" menu and "Task Manager" as well.
One solution is to unhide the files and folders from the command prompt.
To do this,
1.Goto Run (Windows+R)
2.Open Command prompt by typing cmd and press "Enter"
3.Navigate to the pendrive by typing its appropriate drive letter(like E: )
4.Type the following command to unhide the files

attrib -s -h *.*

attrib -s -h *
attrib -s -h /d /s

Now your files will be visible.

Make sure to keep the antivirus up-to-date to prevent viruses.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Unfair "Fair usage policy" from Airtel

Airtel reduces Fair usage policy limit to 8GB for 512kbps unlimited users on its wired broadband segment.This limit is too low and can be exceeded by downloading large files for 24hours.
The reason people go for unlimited plans is to get more data from the internet.
Whats the use of unlimited plans if they come with such abysimally low fair usage limits?

 
New plan details from Airtel,as recieved in email. (click to enlarge)

Airtel fair usage policy is unfair.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Petrol prices in different countries of the world

Petrol prices in different counties of the world.
(click on images to enlarge)

(selected countries)

Venezeula has the lowest price per litre for petrol since it is a petroleum producing country.
Eritrea,a country on the horn of africa is has the highest price for petroleum.
India is in the middle,with the world average.



Country NamePrice in rupees
Venezuela, RB0.93
Saudi Arabia7.47
United Arab Emirates17.28
Myanmar20.08
Egypt, Arab Rep.22.88
Iran, Islamic Rep.24.75
Malaysia24.75
United States26.15
Australia34.55
Mexico34.55
Canada35.49
Korea, Dem. Rep.35.49
Argentina36.42
Pakistan39.22
South Africa40.62
Russian Federation41.56
Bhutan42.49
Chile44.36
China46.23
Afghanistan49.03
Singapore49.96
India50.90
World Average51.83
Nepal52.76
Iceland53.70
Bangladesh54.63
Kenya56.03
Spain57.43
Costa Rica57.90
Brazil58.83
Switzerland60.70
Zimbabwe60.70
Austria63.97
Sweden64.44
Poland66.77
Sri Lanka66.77
United Kingdom67.24
Belgium70.04
France70.97
Denmark71.91
Germany72.84
Italy73.31
Norway76.11
Cuba77.98
Japan81.25
Eritrea118.14
(above figure in tabulation form)

(Complete list of countries)

*Source data from World bank statistics as of 2008.
Assuming that the price increase would be uniform throughout the world,price positions would be same for 2010.(World bank statistics haven't yet updated 2009 statistics)
Older post about the same topic in 2007 available here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Take screenshots of mobile screen in Nokia s60v3 phones like N73

It is possible to take screenshots of  the mobile screen of s60 devices and save them as a image.
The screenshots come handy in several situations.One example is that when we want to post the screenshots on the web as part of a tutorial or a review.
There is one open source software available for this.
It can be downloaded here: Screenshot for S60v3 (N73)





Developers can access the source code for this screenshot application here.

Fix "Expired certificate" error in Nokia symbian phones

Sometimes while installing symbian applications, "Expired Certificate" error may occur.


This is because the certicates are issued for certain time periods,and wont work if many years have expired after the application was created.
For solving this error, change the mobile date to some date in 2007.
This solves the "certificate expired" error and the application will install smoothly.
After finishing installation,change the date back to the current date.

Fix Nokia N73 "Not enough memory to perform operation" error

Nokia N73 phone sometimes gives  the error "Not enough memory to perform operations","close some applications and try again".
This error may occur even if the user doesn't store any data on the phone memory.
This is caused by one application called  "LifeBlog".
LifeBlog is an application that tracks everything that goes on inside the N73 mobile.
The reason is one file called "Lifeblog.db".This file's size occupies most of the phone memory and causes this error.
Deleting this file will free up the phone memory and causes the error to disappear and also improve the performance of the mobile.

For deleting this file,special file manager applications are necessary.System files and folders will not be listed within the default file manager.
Install Y-Browser,its a free application.
(Y-Browser may give "Expired Certificate" while installing,follow this simple step to stop that error)
Open the application,Browse  into C:\Data\lifeblog\Database and delete Lifeblog.db


Then restart the phone,the database will be created again,but with very less space and the error will go away.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Connect two laptops in wireless LAN without using access point

First of all, this works only with laptops using Windows 7.

The procedure listed here provides a method to establish wireless  LAN connectivity between two laptops running Windows 7. This LAN can be used for file sharing /multiplayer games/internet sharing if internet connection is available in one of the systems.
Connectivity between two systems without using access points such as a switch/router is called as "adhoc" connection.
In this setup,one system acts as the access point and the other system connects to the access point.
One thing to be noted is that one laptop can act as an access point,in the mean time be connected to another access point.The advantage is that this laptop can act as a bridge between two networks.

Step 1: First we setup one laptop as access point
Open Control panel->Network and sharing center
Click on "Setup a new connection or network"



Step 2:  Scroll down on the dialog box and Select "Setup a  wireless ad hoc (computer-to-computer) network.Then click "Next".


Step 3: In the next window,provide a name for the network and a security key for the network


Then click "Next",if required click on "enable Internet connection sharing" in the next window.
Click "Close" to finish the setup.

Step 4: Now,for laptop-laptop or system-system connections, the IP address of the systems need to be setup accordingly. For normal LAN settings,we use 192.168.1.x addressing, but for adhoc connections,we have to use 192.168.0.x addressing as shown below.

For setting up the IP address,again goto Control panel->Network and sharing center.
Click on the "Change Adapter Settings" link on the left panel.

Step 5: Right click on your wireless network connection and select "Properties".Default name for the wireless adapter will be "Wireless Network Connection".
Select "Internet Protocol Version 4" and click on the "Configure" button.


Step 6:  Fill the "IP address"and "Subnet mask" fields as below and then click "OK" to save the settings.


Now the access point is setup successfully.

Step 7: Connect the other laptop to the newly setup access point by using the usual procedure.(searching for wifi and connecting).
Then setup the IP address of this laptop to the 192.168.0.x format.



Now both laptops are in LAN.To play multiplayer games, add exceptions in firewall for the game executables or turn of the windows firewall temporarily.
For file sharing,the laptops can be accessed by their IP addresses or through the Network sharing center.
Internet connection sharing works by default.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Remove WGA error message

Remove "You may be a victim of software counterfeiting" error message
Microsoft installs "Windows Genuine Advantage" on user's computers and displays annoying error messages to activate the copy.Its a sort of sneaky behavior to install that update without explicit user approval.

There are many removal tools for removing the WGA error message,but most of them are deemed illegal by microsoft.Here is one tool that does it legally.It just removes the update.Make sure not to download the WGA update again.If accidentally downloaded again, use the tool again.
The tool is available at Softpedia.
Here is a backup link,incase Softpedia link gets changed.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Google "Not" operator

Whenever we are searching with google for something, lots of irrelevant stuff also comes up.
For example,if i am searching for something related to vb.net, all things related to asp.net will also show up.
We can avoid the asp.net related pages by telling google not to return pages containing the word asp.
For that ,frame the query and put -asp at the end.It will block everything related to asp.
Happy googling.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Turn off laptop monitor manually


Most of the laptops do not have an option to turn off the LCD display screen manually.Mostly the screen automatically switches off after a certain time interval.
Its better to conserve power by switching off manually.
Here is a simple application for that.

Monitor OFF (zipped)


The application makes use of the c++ commands to access the display device and puts it into sleep mode,ie,turns off the display.Display can be brought back by simply pressing any key or by using the touchpad/mouse.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mobile web in India

As of Feb 2010,
Top websites browsed via mobile web
  1. google.com
  2. orkut.com
  3. yahoo.com
  4. facebook.com
  5. youtube.com
  6. wikipedia.org
  7. songs.pk
  8. wap.in
  9. zedge.net
  10. getjar.com
Top mobile phones used for web browsing,
  1. Nokia 5130 XpressMusic Nokia 5130 XpressMusic
  2. Nokia 2700c Nokia 2700 Classic
  3. Nokia N70 Nokia N70
  4. Nokia 3110c Nokia 3110 Classic
  5. Nokia 6300 Nokia 6300
  6. Nokia N73 Nokia N73
  7. Nokia 7210 Nokia 7210
  8. Nokia N72 Nokia N72
  9. Nokia 5310 XpressMusic Nokia 5310 XpressMusic
  10. Nokia 3500c Nokia 3500 Classic
This data is extracted from the Opera Mini browser statistics for India.The statistics are published monthly by Opera and can be found here (http://www.opera.com/smw).

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Registering a OCX control in windows 7 after error code 0x8002801C


The error that unable to register a control/component comes when the command window is not running using administrator credentials.


To solve this, create a link to c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe and right click on the link and select "Run as Administrator".
Then register from that command window.Its a working solution which is personally tested by this author.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Using mChek with Airtel prepaid and postpaid




Airtel offers mchek service which can be used to pay mobile phone bills for postpaid customers and to make recharges for prepaid customers.
The service can be accessed through interactive voice response system by dialing 543219.
mChek asks for a credit card number and a pin number while signing up.The pin number serves as the authentication code for accessing and using the mChek facility.
Recharges can be done for a mimimum of 50rs, the amount credited will be the usual for prepaid subscribers. The best part is that mChek not only works for the regsitering number,it can also be used to recharge/pay bills for any airtel numbers,be it prepaid mobile or postpaid mobile or landline.

Special note: In case an user is registered with mChek,but not having outgoing facility due to low balance or unpaid postpaid bill, mChek cannot be accessed directly since 543219 cannot be dialled.There is a solution to access mChek even in such situations, goto airtel.in and go into "Easy Pay".In that page,select bill processing through mChek and give the amount and number.mChek will automatically ask for your pin number in your mobile through interactive reply mechanism.Just enter the pin and the bill will be paid.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Best ebook reader for ipod touch


After testing several pdf readers with ipod touch, the best pdf reader is found to be "good reader" by goodiware.
Goodreader has several innovative features for ebook viewing.It supports zooming and panning, and panning can be locked within up-down directions alone.There are also two modes for reading documents,one for low light and one for bright light conditions. It can also be rotated.Rotate is not controlled by the accelerometer,its a necessary feature because accidental turning may cause the document to turn.
The features of this product is endless.

The greatest feature is that it has a simple desktop application (GoodReaderUSB.exe) that can be used to drag/drop files directly to the ipod touch.