Rohit's nukkad

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Pani puri

Couple of days back, while I was at work, apparently for no reason I had this uncontrollable craving for Pani Puri. For those not familiar with pani puri it is an Indian snack part of the chaat family which consists of small puris stuffed with mashed potatoes, boiled dal, fresh mint water( i.e. pani) and tamarind/dates chutney.
The snack is heavenly and those who love it will swear by it. I have been a big fan of pani puri since childhood. I remember asking my mom to make tons of pani puri for my birthday so I can eat them till my stomach bust open.
So what makes pani puri so great. I guess the whole idea of consuming something filled with water in one go (one needs to eat the complete puri otherwise the water will spill over). To the best of my knowledge I don't any other dish which comes close to it. Another fun aspect of pani puri is the 'on the go' taste change. Pani puri is very commonly sold by street vendors, the vendor fills up the stuffing in the puris and the customer just gulps it down while instructing the vendor to make it more hot or add in the sweet chutney more. So one gets to adjust the taste of the dish on the go. Isn't that amazing.
Pani puri is also known as Golguppe (north india) or Foochka (Puchka) in West Bengal or Gupchup in central part of India and Orissa. But whatever the name of this wonderful dish, I am sure if you are big fan of this dish you must be craving for more by now.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tracking package on Google Maps

Major package delivery companies like FedEx, UPS or USPS offer online tracking. One needs to enter the shipment number and the company displays the latest location of the package.
Package Mapping is an interesting website where one can look for online status package from FebEx, UPS, USPS or DHL not only in the US but globally. There are couple of added features to Package Mapping which are not available at other online tracking services. It displays the current location of the package on Google maps, there are Firefox and Thunderbird extensions available which are linked with package mapping to track your package, one can receive not only email but also RSS feeds for a particular package status.
If you don't remember the packaging company, no problem just enter the pakage number and Package Mapping with not only pull up the package location but also the packaging company information.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Wii makes you go Wee

Everyone in the developed nations (especially Japan and US ) saw the mad rush by gamers for Sony Playstation 3 or Nintendo Wii last November around Thanksgiving. There were news articles how gamers stood in line for three-four days to lay hands on these gaming machines with arguments how each of these consoles were better than there predecessors.
Well I don't want to get into the argument which one is better or which one is not. But today I got a chance to lay my hands on Nintendo Wii, and I should admit that I never had so much fun playing video games. The highlight about Wii is its motion sensor technology. So while playing games like tennis one needs to swing the controller to play the shots. The technology is awesome. A set of games like tennis, golf, bowling, baseball and boxing (this one is the best) come along with the initial pack which also includes the Opera browser, forecast channel, photo organizer and many more features. Along with these sporting games I got a chance to play couple of fun games like Smooth Moves. This game involves a set of random actions not lasting more than couple of seconds. So one needs to be very alert since one doesn't know what fun activity might pop up.
Though Microsoft Xbox and Sony Playstation series are very popular they target male audience, especially teens with war or action games as there main bestsellers. However Nintendo has focused on family games and entertainment for the entire family. So Wii games can be played by a three year kid to seventy year old grandpa.
So if you haven't played Wii, give it a try. I can guarantee you, you wont want to stop jumping around with excitement and fun.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Samba software

A lot of times we do things without getting to know much details about it, but once we find out the results may be very surprising. One of such things which I practiced at work has been mapping a network folder on my local machine. A very common practice in school and work places having a Client/Server or network setup. One has network accounts (your files are not on your local machine but on a network server) so to have a Windows interface we map the drive to our local machine. Click on following link to know how to map drive.
One of things which hit me like a brain wave the other day was the names of these network drives. In different organizations I worked with the general setup was \\server_name\shared_folder where server_name is the name of the server where the required folder resides and the shared_folder the folder one wants on the local machine. The server might be e.g. or however a lot of times ( for me it was always) while mapping the server name was or or So the name Samba caught my curiosity and I wanted to know what this Samba is, why different server names but Samba remains the same.
As it turns out "Samba is open source software that can be run on a platform other than Microsoft Windows, for example, UNIX, Linux, IBM System 390, OpenVMS, and other operating systems. Samba uses the TCP/IP protocol that is installed on the host server. When correctly configured, it allows that host to interact with a Microsoft Windows client or server as if it is a Windows file and print server". In layman terms , Samba runs on Unix platform but communicates with Windows as a native.
So how is this possible, well it all happens using the protocol suite called "Common Internet Files System' (CIFS). To know more details about Samba click here. (Don't miss the story at the top the web page).
Is Samba the only one providing the CIFS networking, the answer is no, there are commercial CIFS products for Macintosh and other platforms (including several others for Unix).
However CIFS is not the only implementation of Samba, it has dozens of other protocols and services available.

Further reading
Samba - homepage
Samba - wikipedia