May 1, 2009

The mindbogglingly low shutdown time of Windows 7

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 10:10 am

This is it. Windows 7 has hit the nail right on its head. While going through BBC’s utterly crap article hyping the new Release Candidate, I spotted this absolute gold of a quote:

Many beta testers of Windows 7 have reported that it is faster than Vista, especially in terms of start-up and shutdown sequence of the computer.

Mr Curran said that the Microsoft Windows team had been poring over every aspect of the operating system to make improvements.

“We were able to shave 400 milliseconds off the shutdown time by slightly trimming the WAV file shutdown music.”

“It’s indicative of really the level and detail and scrutiny on Windows 7.”

No other operating system in the world can have claims over this ground-breaking innovation for reducing shutdown times. I mean, it took more than a decade of research and real-world feedback for Microsoft to finally declare that chopping shutdown music will reduce the — gasp! — shutdown time as well. Who knows, maybe Windows 8 will blow everyone out of the water by discarding each and every sound found in the previous versions. We’re living in a wonderful age of technological revolution.

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October 3, 2008

Video: Kommon Man Sans Common Sense

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 7:34 pm

“Perhaps the world’s second worst crime is boredom. The first is being a bore.” — Jean Baudrillard

Uploaded on Facebook, here‘s the link. Only an account is required to watch the video, being in my friend list isn’t.

Edit: Facebook decided to take down my video because of the background track being copyrighted. I have also lost all the comments made on it. I guess I should have resorted to YouTube or MediaFire in the first place. Anyhow, here‘s the new link for download.

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September 8, 2008

Forking the blog

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 11:00 pm

Totti Autograph

Ever since I began writing this blog, my posts have been targeting two prime areas of interest: Open Source and Soccer. Even to the most unobservant of readers, this isn’t a particularly analogous choice of topics. Now, after 21 months of Technology & Sports mishmash writing, I have been given a chance to author a blog totally focused on Football. Melius tarde, quam nunquam.

And this is where The Offside comes into the picture. It is a portal containing blogs about certain clubs, players, leagues and national teams. For anyone who has ever known me, it wouldn’t take him more than 0.001 seconds to guess which blog I was given the responsibility to write for. Welcome to :-) . Of freaking course, what else would I prefer having to write about than the person who has been the sole reason for my continued interest in Football over the past decade. For the neophytes on my blog, here’s what I wrote in my Orkut profile’s sports section:

Over the course of years, I’ve realized that nothing can invoke emotions as powerfully and beautifully as Football does. There’s nothing more passionate than seeing Totti’s name on that red and yellow #10 shirt. Nothing is more breathtaking than the impeccable moments such as Amantino’s back-heel of God against Lazio and Er Pupone’s spoon against Inter Milan. There is nothing more sensational than the moment when fate of a nation’s dreams was lying in the right boot of Francseco; and nothing more glorious than the way he slotted it to perfection. No feeling of betrayal is as intense as Cassano back-stabbing Roma, and no feeling of admiration is as vehement as seeing De Rossi & Aquilani decline interests of bigger clubs and commit their careers to La Magica. There’s no courtship as invoking as Totti running over to the camera and turning it around to film the crowd after scoring in Derby della Capitale.

He isn’t only a player. Roma isn’t only a club. Football … isn’t only a sport.

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May 11, 2008

The Vulpine Metamorphosis

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 12:55 am

These days, anyone claiming that browser-wars are still around tends to sound like a broken record (or Rihanna — eventually the same thing anyway). In reality, the grandmother theorem, which has been around for about three years now, states that “Firefox > Internet Explorer for all Firefox versions >= 0.1 (Pescadero)”.

Nevertheless, as far as I believe, Firefox wouldn’t have been able to provide such a great browsing experience for a diverse range of Internet users without the ever useful addons — the little “extensions” that provide new functionalities or enhance existing ones in the browser. With the choice of these addons being a persistent topic of discussion among the fox-fans, I thought of compiling a list of addons I have been using for over about two year now. These addons have become an integral part of my day-to-day browsing and any Firefox user should at least try them once just to see how convenient they make your internet surfing. Giddy up!

  • CoLT: Suppose you want to copy the text on a hyperlink. The traditional way would be to position your cursor at the start, click and select the link till the end and then Ctrl+C. The shortcoming is pretty obvious, as it is cumbersome to position the cursor at the beginning without it being turned into a “hand”. This extension provides the intuitive solution in the form of a “Copy link text” menu entry when you right-click a hyperlink.
  • DownThemAll!: Forget KGet. Forget Download Accelerator Plus. This extension does everything a download manager should do and does it with style. It can resume, pause, download in chunks, download all the links on a page, filter those links according to a criterion and does all of this with easily customizable settings.
  • File Title: An extension which, IMO, should be pre-compiled in Firefox. When saving webpages, it provides the page titles as the file name instead of the original (usually worthless) file names e.g., “index.html”.
  • Greasemonkey: The grand daddy of ’em all. No top Firefox extensions’ list can ever be truly complete without Greasemonkey. It’s an extension which allows you to install other tiny “scripts” that work on particular websites. For example, Orkut’s design has this annoying habit of being centered on my screen even when I have more horizontal space available on it. With a Greasemonkey extension, I can change the behavior so that Orkut “stretches” across the screen and spans all the occupied space. Similarly, I can use Greasemonkey to change layout or theme of popular websites. The count of these tiny scripts approaches infinity, as there are even books out there that just document how to write them.
  • Pearl Crescent Page Saver: Another useful addon, this one provides menu and toolbar options for capturing “screenshots” of webpages.
  • Save Session: More often than not, you have to exit Firefox while you’re browsing (e.g., you want to shut-down your PC, the PC wants to shut-down just because “Windows told ya!”, you have installed another addon or your cat is messing with the power-cord etc.). Save Session allows your to save the current “state” of your browsing so that you can later on continue exactly from where you left off. Nifty, isn’t it?
  • SmoothWheel: This addon makes page-scrolling relatively smoother depending on the settings — something Opera addicts shall be delighted to discover in Firefox.
  • Tab Scope: Another “Opera-ish” addon, this one creates pop-up thumbnails of open-tabs when you hover your cursor on them. Very useful for habitual users of tabs.
  • User Agent Switcher: Allows you to switch your user agent string which identifies your browser on the websites you visit. Useful for bypassing “browser checks”, e.g., websites which allow only Internet Explorer access (as brain-dead as that sounds, they do exist).

“And so at last the beast fell and the unbelievers rejoiced. But all was not lost, for from the ash rose a great bird. The bird gazed down upon the unbelievers and cast fire and thunder upon them. For the beast had been reborn with its strength renewed, and the followers of Mammon cowered in horror.” — The Book of Mozilla, 7:15

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April 20, 2007

Link: A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 3:27 pm

I was just reading through this article about Windows Vista’s cost analysis when I realized that Vista is intensive on hardware resources not only because of the new eye-candy features, but also because of various absurd DRM technologies which force data to flow through encryption routines before the user has access to it. Anyone thinking of buying Vista or hardware for running it should read the article. It’s long but really comprehensive about Microsoft’s obvious plans to cripple its users’ freedom.

(I’ve been unable to post actively in my blog for a while because of my mid-term exams. Hopefully, I’ll get back to writing new material before Wednesday.)

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April 16, 2007

Link: Avoid the Vista badge, it means DRM inside

Filed under: Blog — krkhan @ 11:38 pm

I just came across this article on Inquirer about how Windows Vista spells DRM, and why DRM is inherent evil. The author raises some pretty solid points, so be sure to check it out.

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