Saturday, November 21, 2009

Javascript - Passing events

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">
  function hide(elementId, event) {
     document.getElementById(elementId).style.visibility = 'hidden';
     alert(event.type); //type of event because of which this function was called
     /*firefox: used to get the element that handled this method... the exact caller.
         <div id="outer" onmouseout="hide('outer', arguments[0])">
            <div id="inner"></div>
     //firefox: In this case "outer" will be returned   
        //firefox: the exact element that gave rise to this event. "inner" from above example.
     <span onmouseout="hide('elementId', arguments[0])">Something</span>

More event object properties are at this website.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Nemesis (product used for flashing phones)

Playing around with my Nokia 5700 and trying to load latest firmware made me use Nemesis software. This time around I had a firewall installed. Guess what?! It calls back to ( on https connection the moment you scan for your device. happens to be a broadband service providers in UK. Fishy!!!! Most probably, it will include sensitive info about your device. Phoenix, Nokia official phone maintenance software (used at Nokia Care centres), does not do this. So... beware!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vista calls home via searchfilterhost

I installed COMODO firewall and was amazed at searchfilterhost (a process that indexes your files so that you can quickly search them later on) trying to access Microsoft servers ( (click for whois lookup)). I found this service to be quite handy and left it turned on.

Quick search yielded this thread on MSDN forums. Microsoft doesn't learn its lesson... or maybe they are trying to support companies making firewalls? :D

Edit: After a few days, explorer started calling back home. I've disabled all the update services, still its doing the same. IPs -, Explorer is acting up a bit now. lets see what happens.

Edit (Dec 1 2009): mspaint tried contacting Put it in address bar and see where it leads :P

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Beta Testing Bhuvan

What is Bhuvan?
Touted as Google Earth's biggest competitor, it sure is an app to watch out for. Its an application by Indian Space Research Organization that will allow you to view India's geographical data in variety of innovative ways. You need to use it to check the combinations. You also need to check out on how cities and communities and other things are organized in India as it refers to local terminology like taluka, golden quadilateral etc. I haven't explored it fully yet, but am confident that more things with local flavor will be added in future.

Is it really 3D?
Yes, it actually is! When you look at Google Earth or Maps, all images look as if they've been taken from space vertically above the object. This is called orthogonal view, as far as I remember from my college days. However, Bhuvan retains its perpectives and things appear as if they are on a sphere. So don't expect to do a 360 degree view of any building!
Official site:
This wont work usually. However, nothing's lost. Actual data and application is on which you cannot access directly. So... what to do? Google! Query "faq.html" without quotes. Hit the cached link of first result and you will be able to see its FAQs. Likewise, you can also search for 'Register' and 'Login', click on 'Cached' and this will appropriately redirect you to page on bhuvan2 sub-domain.

Peculiar behavior
When hitting the official website from Indian server, only then it will refuse to open. When you use proxies based outside India, it responds... though slowly because of the round trip time. What's up man?!

Initial bug reports
  • Search was unsuccessful for localities in towns. It said there was an unexpected error with Database. I was expecting it to give me the correct result as it supposed to have local information too.
  • I was not able to view maximum resolution photographs. Is it bound because it is in beta?
  • Under the photo section, Vidhan Sabha is wrongly written as Vidan Soudha. This largely implies non-indians were used to customize this patented app. that's bad ISRO. You should have got the app made in India itself.
Feature requests
  • DO NOT allow geo tagging that is saved in your servers. You people keep it to yourself. However, please allow the users to add photos, tags etc. which are saved in their local systems ONLY. Also enable users to share this data. This way, you will be saved from marketing and social tagging garbage and would be able to cater to serious individuals too.
  • Please DO NOT tie to a platform like you have done now. Please make the data available to users via a web service hosted on a cloud. This will allow you to leverage data in unforeseen ways. require people to sign up before they can use this webservice and track their activities. If certain behaviors appear suspicious (behavioral patterns can be learnt over time, or can you can use some starlet's research in your team), you can be sure to monitor them. Banning won't help. New ids would be created that very second.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Installing SQL Server (Express) on XP with SP3 not possible.
SP3 Installs MSXML 6 update KB954459 (also installed by MSXML 6 SP2) which marks files related to it as non-editable and non-removable. Because of this, all the packages modifying its (config) files fail to install. Same problem also appears when installing VS2008 as it has SQL Server Express edition bundled with it. However, Visual Studio installs without any problems and any applications not depending on SQLExpress will build and run just fine.
1. There is an error related to SQLDUMPER when trying to connect to SQL Server from Visual Studio.
2. SQL services do not appear in services' console (Run > services.msc) after installation.
3. There is a config error during installation and it appears related to MSXML in log files of the installer.

I am sorry that I am able to provide only vague pointers right now. I solved this problem at my friend's place at 4 am a week back and I am writing everything just from my memory.

Uninstall KB954459 using Microsoft's utility. You would have to use this utility because the package is not removable from Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs either. Its quite simple and straightforward to use and should not require directions for people who are attempting such an installation.
Install SQL Server/VS normally.
You can optionally install back MSXML 6 SP2  after your SQL server is installed.

Social networking and advertisements

...a radical idea called Orkut Promote!!!!!

Learn to use orkut promote

I wonder how MS will copy this one!!!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Flashing MotoRokr E8 on Vista

Just bought motorokr e8 as a backup fone for 7k. That's 4k less than the prevalent price in the market. Turned out motos are hacker's heaven. These are Linux based, community is as active as open source one, bug fixes are rapid, multiple flavors exist, and with very little head banging, you can make your phone do what you want it to do... Bloody they've even made a telnet possible from the phone! Add to it the shiny looks, a great music player and modeshift keypad... damn this is a beauty to own!
All the contnent here after has been largely derived from people at and I relied quite a lot on the posts by people with nikhil007 and bestwebs as screen names. I am flashing nikhil007's firmware version as it had good reviews and combines popular features from 3 different firmware distributions. It was good to see a real indian active in open source scene and come out with a product that everybody appreciates. This is the second great product by an Indian in open field (going by the reviews at The first one I've come across is called Anjuta, an IDE in linux. Though I dont use it much... its popular :D Hope someday I'll be able to join these guys. One thing has come for sure... you can't be good in open arena by using proprietary development platforms. If you wish to go open, stick to open platforms.

Quite a digression above... here's the process...
(I'll be posting link to threads from where I got download links. This, I believe, will also acknowledge the real people who work and post their finding in forums. Links may blank out with time, so i'll be including the logical progression too so that you can google the latest s/w)
  1. Download RSD Lite - Motorola's flashing utility. I used the latest version posted here.
  2. According to the user manual posted here, Motorola has stopped packaging USB drivers along with RSD Lite distributions. So, you can download the current latest (v3.8 AFAIK) here. The guy has posted it as v3.7 but its v3.8 :D
  3. Before turning switching on the phone, press and hold * and # key and then turn on. It will show you your bootloader version. Now go to this page and download the corresponding 'no RSA' bootloader and its patch.
  4. Time to decide on the firmware you want. Scan the web and choose one. I chose nikhil's and its downloadable from here.
  5. Refer how-to for flashing here. It was quite easy and i dint need the tutorial. You'b be flashing in 3 steps - a. 'No RSA' bootloader', b. Patch for bootloader and c. new firmware.
There is tremendous amount of support on the forums mentioned here and for the errors you encounter, if any, a solution will already exist there. Better search in these forums if something goes wrong.

Well... a bit of looking around and i found the descriptive guide of above process here. A bit  too late for my benefit, but it may help someone else :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Microsoft Charting component bug

chart.ChartAreas["2DChartArea"].Axes = chart.ChartAreas["3DChartArea"].Axes.Clone() as Axis[];

throws a stack overflow exception. Pre_Paint is called infinite times.

Removing humming sound from speakers connected to computer

Humming comes in audio systems because of 1) improper earthing 2) bad circuit. In case of (2), you have no choice but to go and get a better  system or plugin some higher capacity capacitors in your circuit. (1) was my problem and I got this really awesome solution to it. Its called the perfect JUGAAD (click here for wiki's definition :D).
The place I put up in has no earthing. Whenever I connect my laptop, I feel minor shocks at times and there's a lot of humming in the speakers when I connect the audio cable to it. I confirmed the earthing problem by running the laptop on batteries. When I did that, I got no humming sound when there was no audio playing.
Today, I thought of connecting the analog cable to my lappy and check out its TV tuner card. Amazingly, I got no humming disturbance when I connected the cable TV wire! That means all the extra current was flowing out from the cable down into the earth. :D Talk about getting cheap and perfect solutions ;)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Google game

I am looking to buy a PSP now-a-days and before I took the plunge, I needed to know of its 'hacked' status. Of course I started with google. And there's when I noticed magic.
At office I access net thru servers kept in US. I was disappointed when results to my numerous queries pointed in only one direction - it cant be hacked or it was still under process. At home I access internet thru servers kept here in Hyderabad. This was the first hit - for the query 'psp 3000 hacks'.

Need I say more?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Making Google Earth look better on Kubuntu

Guess google went the windows way and preferred giving standard library files bundled with the software. A fall out of this was that fonts in the application went to pre-antialiased era and looked pretty horrid. On my distribution - Kubuntu 8.10 - I had already done everything necessary to make the QT and GTK applications look decent. But google supplying its own libs just nullified those efforts.

djgera in a post on this page helped me reached this conclusion, and also provided a solution.

"It a better idea removing some libs that are already in the Arch Linux
For example if you remove the libQt*, and use the QT from ArchLinux, fonts are better rendering using antialiased
Also is need to remove the because it fails.

Symlinks are not necessary, it works without symlinks, libs are located in the ld-linux paths.

In the package i removed these files (removing this creates some aditional depends, but i prefer to use the libs provided by Arch Linux packages)
opt/google-earth/ (core/openssl)
opt/google-earth/libQt* (extra/qt)
opt/google-earth/ (extra/mesa)
opt/google-earth/ (extra/curl)
opt/google-earth/ (core/gcc-libs)
opt/google-earth/ (core/gcc-libs)
opt/google-earth/ (core/zlib)

Because I already have these libs installed, the above solution worked for me too :)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Configuring TATA Indicom (WIMAX) broadband to work with Netgear router

Just like the rest of the world, my flatmate turned out to be a naysayer when I was configuring the newly brought Netgear WGR614v9. Both the WIMAX broadband and wireless router configuration were new to me... so I couldn't produce the results instantly, and hence started 'we just can't do it ourselves (as if he was even touching the things!!!). We need external support'. Here's how to do it.

A bit of background
As far as I could fathom, the TATA's gateway server works as a simple web server when the user has to login. When we try to open a site, the request first goes to the TATA server. Seeing that the IP from which the request is coming does not have a session, it redirects us to the login page. As I am based in Hyderabad at the moment, it redirects me to Once I login and the session is established, I can surf the internet normally.

This scheme is not what is generally used by other providers. They either use a dialup client (Sify et al.) or connect via PPPoE (Airtel, BSNL, MTNL). So the methods used for configuring other connections do not apply here.

Configuring the router
Installing Netgear router is quite simple. Just put in the CD and it will guide you step by step. You just need to be patient. Once the process laid out by the CD is complete,
1. Open your favorite web browser go to
2. Default username and password are 'admin' and 'password' (without quotes). Do remember to change this password on your first login.
3. It will ask you whether you wish to use the wizard for configuration or wish to go your own way. Select the latter (second radio button).
4. Select the 'Internet service provider' as 'Telstra Bigpond'.
5. You'll be entering your username and password later on. So you can put anything in these fields. Password field is optional and you can leave it blank if you wish to.
6.  For 'Authentication Server' also you can enter any value you want. You can't leave it empty as router wont allow you to save the changes.
7. Leave rest of the fields as they are and click on 'Apply'. There's a 'Test' button in same row as the 'Apply' button. Clicking on it will break your heart because the way TATA's system is laid out, router won't be able to login for you even if have put the correct username, password and authentication server :P Wait for some time after hitting 'Apply' till the update finishes.

That's it, you're done!!!

Try opening your favorite site and TATA Indicom broadband's login page will open up. Enter your username, domain and password and hit login and you can browse normally now :-)

Chart control by Microsoft.

This charting control came across as one of those cutting edge releases. At first glance, I was so damn impressed by the control that I just cannot put in to words. It has no documentation but a project with 200 examples! Everything is so well laid out that person with common sense can start building magnificent charts in a matter of seconds! Every aspect of the control seems to be so nicely deliberated upon that they left no chance of improvement. Even the default options are so wholesome that you won't need to add to them by your own. Impressed, impressed, impressed!!!
But then, I was struck with past. Microsoft, no matter how great tech they've come out with, the front-line things are always 'inspired' by the third party tools/research/products. When we were searching for charting solution, we came across screenshots of a charting control by Infragistics. It was not a surprise to me that same charts could be reproduced in Microsoft's control quite easily.
Microsoft is going to come out with its 'Surface' soon. I don't think many would know that it's work of a research student in one of the Human Interaction labs of a university in US. I am unable to recall the details - the name of the student or his university because I saw his demonstration on Youtube. So when saw announcement of 'Surface' coming out soon, I just... smiled.
Impressed I am with Microsoft, just that this impression is to do with their marketing department only.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Film making hints.

Sound design.
* Small sounds such as footsteps help increase involvement with what is there on the screen.
* Dubbing mistakes are caught quite easily. A person's voice should match his personality.
* Sounds CAN be restricted to what is happening on the screen. Other sounds can be added to set up the environment.
* Sounds of next scene playing towards the end of the previous one help generate anticipation. Sounds should not be faded in at such instances.
* Sounds should compliment what is on screen. Genre of background music need not be restricted. Example - Classical sounds used during battlefield shots in Khuda Ke Liye.

* Scenes should flow into each other.
* Zoom in slowly when the situation onscreen is 'heavy'.
* Show specific gestures, like eyebrows and hand movements dominating the frame, to communicate the feeling of the scene.

* Contrasts can be done in consequetive scenes to make it more dramatic. contrasted by dialogs. Example from Khuda ke Liye - a female Briton says girls in Pakistan are better off once a Pakistani tells him about the courtesies that men have for women there. Cut to next scene where a girl is in deplorable state because of the social order in Pakistan... the same social order that asks men to do formailities for women when they meet them.
* Make a situation which calls for a pleasent song, and then contrast situations over that pleasent song.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Issues while installing (SP1) VS2008

VS2008 takes an age to install on an XP machine with SP2. I guess this is something to do with .NET Framework 3.0 installer. After around 30%, the installation totally freezes. Even there are no read/writes to/from hdd. Don't worry... just go and have a big snack and it will complete in some time. :D

Installing VS2008 SP1 on Vista gave a peculiar error. The installer crashed out after around 30% into the process with some peculiar error... I checked the error logs the installer had generated. The setup was failing coz i had disabled windows updater service. Enable and keep the service running the service till installer has finished its job.

Impressed with the amount of diagonstic error messages Vista generated compared to XP. :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pidgin Settings for Gtalk

Guess Pidgin developed real snags in SSL lib with the release of v2.4.0, or maybe it was because some changes at Google's end that started causing the error... Either way, a lot of people (including me) started getting 'Authorization error' which lead to disabling of account.
I bit of going around net helped me resolve the issue...
[Basic Tab]

[Advanced Tab]
Require SSL/TLS: checked
Force old (port 5223) SSL: checked
Connect port: 5223
Connect Server:
Proxy type: Use Global Proxy Settings

In case you get a 'Read Error', then your connection maybe slow or network proxy maybe blocking the traffic. For the former one, just retry logging in.

Pidgin (2.5.3) does not exit cleanly on Vista. Now I dont know who is the culprit - OS or the software... still its one of the things that I feel is adding to list of evidences of 'De-evolution of MS with Vista'.