Rohit's nukkad

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Firefox is simply great

I am a big Firefox browser fan. And the Firefox 1.5 is surely a treat for me. It includes Performancing (PFF) a great add on which is a blog editor. So one can make post from the browser itself rather going to the blogging website.
Once installed,there are short cut keys (F8 or small pencil icon) for PFF on the browser which start Perfromancing by splitting the browser window into two. Now one can add various blogging accounts and accordingly make posts.
For more details about installing and using Performancing read the PFF handbook
Another interesting article about Firefox 1.5 vs Opera 9

I would recommend, to all my blogger friends to give PFF a try I am sure
you won't regret your decision.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Office Humor

The Interesting love story or stories post (11 th May 2006)was an entertaining post about the comedy which goes on at my workplace. Well the latest comedy at my work place is the men's restroom (toilet) knob !!!
Generally knobs are round or with a handle. The restroom knob at my office has a handle that points to left and one needs to rotate it downwards to open the door.
Now one day when I went to the restroom I saw a colleague of mine holding the knob very tightly and trying to open the door, on closely observing I found the door knob handle pointing upwards !!!!!
I looked at my colleague and we both just bust into laughter. Since now how does one rotate it should we move it left or right so he was trying it both ways. And we were able to open the door after a bit of experimentation with the handle. So that's how it remained for a couple of days then suddenly one day the knob handle was pointing downwards !!!!!
So now what should one do. Again just smiling at the irony of the situation and after trying the possible tricks I opened the door. However the next day the knob handle got back to the right position with the handle pointing to the left. Then once again one fine day I saw the knob handle pointing rightwards, hahahahaaaaa.
And today I found the knob handle broken and the door wide open. I guess the maintenance people were fixing it (later in the day I saw it was fixed properly).But surly it provided great entertainment for me and my colleagues for couple of days. The difficulty of opening the door to the loo was far greater challenge for us than solving real world computation problems.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Man who knew Infinity

"The Man who Knew Infinity", this is the title of the current book which I just finished. It is the biography of Srinvasa Ramanujan, a great indian mathematician of the 20th century. As a biography the book makes the reader walk through Ramanujan's early life, his struggles, his fruitful collabration with G H Hardy at Cambridge University in England which brought him a lot of fame and world recognition and his unfortunate early death.
The author Robert Kanigel does a great job in keeping the right mix of mathematical work and the life story. Thus keeping the reader interested and not confusing him/her with higher level mathematics. However the best part of the book is last forty pages. Here Robert Kanigel discusses about Ramanujan's work after his death. How mathematicians are still taking inspiration from his work, how they solving many of the unsolved problems and trying to answer questions left unanswered by his death. He talks about the bureaucratic system in India which almost got Ramanujan a failure.
Many noted Indian and international intellects give their views about Ramanujan. Many think Ramnujan brought out the Indianess to the rest of the world even when India was under British rule. Even after staying in the UK for five years he remained very much an Indian and never changed till his death. He brought the Indian intellectuality to the world. Ramanujum's work is now widely used in areas like particle physics, statistical mechanics, computer science, cryptography, space travel, understanding plastics, telephone cable, cancer and many others. However what makes Ramanujan's work so great is not "the prospect of its use in the solution of real-world problems, but its richness, beauty and mystery - its sheer mathematical loveliness".
The most important point highlighted in the book is Ramanujan was a self made man " a svayambhu " (self manifested). He was self-willed, self-directed and self-made. He did what he wished to do, and went on his own way. He knocked at the doors of greatest mathematicians in India and then in the UK. It was Hardy who discovered Ramanujan. But as Hardy puts it in his own words "ALL GREAT MEN INVENT HIMSELF" so did Ramanujan.
An interesting fact : three Indian films have been made on the life of Ramanujan however being an Indian I didn't see the general public talking about the great achievement of Ramanujan (though the book mentions he still being very popular and talked about in South India).However two international movies(one in UK and the other in Hollywood) have been planned I hope these will help spreading the great work done by Ramanujan not only in India but to the worldwide masses.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Using RSS Feed

Almost all of us spend a lot of time online and this time is increasing everyday. It is the freedom that we enjoy in this virtual world makes us use it more often. But keeping track of all the latest news on websites and especially new posts on blogs is a real hard task. Since there is no fixed time of the day when the popular webistes, especially blogs and news websites are updated.
One of my friends suggested of adding RSS feeds to my blog which helps in bringing the latest update to the readers rather than they coming back to my webpage again and again or myself sending a mail to them for checking the latest update.
So what is RSS ? RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication". RSS feeds are just a special kind of web page, designed to be read by computers rather than people. It might help to think of them as the free, internet version of the old-fashioned ticker-tape news wire machines .
OK so now we know about RSS. But how does one gets started. Well firstly we need something called a news reader. A news reader reads all the feeds collected from different websites and blogs. It updates itself as with the latest updates from various stored websites and gives the user or the reader just the headline or a shorter version of the article. Thus bring all the latest updates from your favorite webistes at your door step rather than one going to them.
There are number of news readers freely available,


Mozzilla Firefox

Wizz RSS

Once you have chosen a news reader, and installed it. Now all you have to do is to decide what content you want to receive in your news reader.
My next post will be how one can add my blog to your news reader and a couple of tips about to make good use of news reader. I got a news reader just recently and found it a very very useful tool.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Adidas or Puma

With the football World Cup 2006 round the corner. We hear and read a lot of interesting stories of this historical sporting event. Stories about the rivalaries between Germany and Britain or between Brazil and Argentina.
Well relating to soccer World Cup, i cam across an interesting article read in the BBC online edition today. A small town in Germany, Herzogenaurach has been the birth place of two of the world's most popular sport sports shoes, Adidas and Puma.
Two brothers, Adolf and Rudolf Dassler were responsible of starting a sport shoe company by the name of Dassler in the early 1920's. Their shoes "Dassler" became very popular once it was endorsed by Jesse Owens in 1936 Olympics games. However after the second world war there was a fall out among the brothers due to different policial views.
So Adolf started the company "Adidas" (Adi + Das) while Rudolf formed "Puma". Their rivalary literally divided the town into two. People used to look at other person's shoes before starting a conversation. The brothers didn't talk in their lifetime and their respective families carried on the rivalary.
These two company not only made the best sport shoes but revolutionize the sports marketing techniques.
An interesting statistic about each of their current market standing and the number of football teams sponsered by each of them is given at a Soccer blog

Founded: 1949
HQ: Herzogenaurach, Germany
Employees: 17,023 (2004 figure)
Pre-tax profits in 2005: €768m (£531m)
Sales in 2005: €6.9bn (£4.8bn)
2006 World Cup teams sponsored by Adidas: Germany, France, Spain, Japan, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina

Founded: 1948
HQ: Herzogenaurach, Germany
Employees: 3,910 (2004)
Pre-tax profits in 2005: €286m (£197m)
Sales in 2005: €2.4bn (£1.7bn)
2006 World Cup teams sponsored by Puma: Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Iran, Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Paraguay, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, Angola

But recently Adidas aquired Reebok and now in the league to challenge the mightly American giant of NIKE. Well who ever wins it is surely an interesting story to know.
If you are more interested then you can go to the following links to know more about the interesting marketing strategies used by these two rival sports shoe companies.
1. New York Times blog
2. The Observer
3. BBC radio (audio clip)
5. Lastly a book "Drei Streifen gegen Puma" (Three Stripes versus Puma) by Barbara Smit, a Dutch author and journalist forms the backbone of all the above mentioned articles .

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Follow up - Interesting love story or stories

A lot of people really enjoyed the post about "Interesting love story or stories ", so here is a follow up of it.
Well the protagonist seems to be have gone to his home country, i miss his interesting conversations but i think he has gone to get marriaged. So now once he gets back it is going to be more fun. Since the true love (i guess after so much research he should have found his soulmate) will be so close hence the number of phone conversations will increase.
But the "love story on telephone" tradition is been carried by another person, a guy who use to sit next to him. The story is still developing. Will soon get you'll updated on this new love story.