Adobe CS5 is like magic!

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C. Clarke

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Website Update: Google Reader Shared Items Added

Discover the magic of RSS Feeds - they’re seriously AMAZING. And while you’re at it, add this website to your RSS Subscriptions so that instead of you having to come here to check for updates, the updates come to you.

I’ve also shared my Google Reader items right here on this website, so you can check those out if you do come to the website and realize I haven’t updated it yet… I tend to update those pretty often so this should give you a reason to keep hanging around!

I do apologise, and hopefully will come up with some good articles soon!

(Click to get an overview and brief tutorial of RSS Feeds)

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The story of my life!

Why It’s Better To Pretend You Don’t Know Anything About Computers

This is sooooo true! Thanks for sharing the link, Neha!

PS. Oh, and the page-source is interesting too… Don’t ask why I viewed it, but I was surprised when I did!

Bing Maps Updated. AWESOME but not practical.

Last week, I reviewed the popular choices for online maps in UAE in the article The best online maps for UAE. In that review, I said that Bing Maps was absolutely the WORST online mapping service possible - with road maps that look like sketches drawn by children. That’s still true, but wait till you see what Microsoft is working on right now!

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Article Added: The best online Maps for UAE

Having got my PS internship in Fugro Maps, Sharjah, I really haven’t had much time to post anything here. In fact, I only check my mail and facebook on weekends and usually sleep early, wake up early… Which I’m sure is hard to believe for anyone who knows me! Initially, I was leaving my house at 6:30am, and reaching the Buhairah Corniche by 8:30am - that’s about two hours despite traffic flowing against us almost the whole way! (This includes picking up and dropping off several people). Like many other PS interns, I too wasn’t sure of roads, and had a strong feeling that my route had a lot of room for improvement. And so, I turned to Google - the first, and usually last place anyone searches for any information about anything.
I was surprised, however, when I learned that Google Maps in UAE only has the option to show directions by public transport, and not by car or walking. Not only that, but the public transport option returned “Query appears to be outside our current coverage area.” for every search I performed (It only works in Dubai, not Sharjah).
Frustrated, I set out on a hunt for the most accurate free online mapping service for UAE - and today, I leave my house about 7:15am, and reach by 8am almost everyday. That’s about half the time it took me earlier. Read on if you aren’t a hundred percent sure about every road in UAE - there’s always room for improvement!

Continue reading… The best online maps for UAE

An update long due…

First up, merry Christmas, and a happy new year… hope you all have awesome holidays.
Wow it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Quite frankly, I was busy, caught up with a lot of work as well as personal engagements, and also sick of updating this website. There, I said it. However, now that I do have some free time on my hands, I hope to post some articles on here- but first, an update on what I’ve been up to so far.
I got a part-time job at a cybercafe. It was just two days of work, but payed a lot so I put in 20 hours of continuous work the first day, and another few hours the second day. Details on that job further down the post. Apart from that, I did work on some laptops- including Varun Prashant’s HP which had a corrupt installation of Windows, and some others. All this along with Comprehensive Examinations on the side, were reasons for this website being ignored all this while.

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Guest Post: Adding Flip 3D to the Windows 7 Taskbar

Myth (nP.| Myth) was kind enough to share this tip with us. For those of you who use the mouse more than the keyboard, and have upgraded to the AWESOME Windows 7, this is a must!

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Gtalk blocked? I’m not so sure…

Over the past few days, a lot of the hostlers have complained that Gtalk has been blocked by our wonderful IT department. When I tried to use GTalk in the library, I was surprised that it was in fact working perfectly. I noticed that all cases of ‘blocked’ Gtalk were on newly installed computers- people upgraded to Windows 7, installed GTalk and discovered it wasn’t working. Initially, I suggested using Ultra Surf to un-block GTalk but I was told that didn’t work either- not surprising, since GTalk isn’t blocked in the fist place.

Here’s what you can try if you’re having this problem:

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Access blocked websites

I’ve been pretty busy off late with getting my car fixed, working on the college magazine and some posters etc- so I haven’t really been able to devote a lot of time to this website. I apologise to my seriously limited readership. To make up for it though, I’ve added a tutorial on how to access an un-censored version of the internet from within BPD’s campus. Also, note that wifi is now working in the library- finally!

As for business, I worked on a few laptops - nothing really worth noting. Removed viruses from two of Dr. Tanmay Panda’s laptops, and helped set up WiFi at his house. I should write a tutorial on how to set up a router as an access point… Click here to read the article on accessing blocked websites

Update: Lessons from Ashfaq

His name was Ashfaq, he was from Peshawar, had a diploma in Information Technology, fixed computers in his spare time, and knew a fair amount about computers.

Disclaimer: Don’t read this article if you’re really sensitive about racism.

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Update: 7 Issues resolved!

For some reason, a lot of BITSians are getting problems with the fans on their laptops- it seems to be quite a coincidence because until now I’ve never been asked to open up and replace a laptop fan, but this semester I’ve already been given 5 laptops with fans that are too noisy and vibrate a lot. I think the reason for this sudden surge in noisy laptop complaints is because our awesome BPD campus finally got electricity this semester. (Yes its true- our college never had an electricity connection until now! But then this is BITS so one gets used to such stuff) So now that we have electricity, the noisy, air polluting, building-vibrating generators have finally been removed and there’s an eerie silence surrounding the hostel- something we’re not used to… and now, with the background generator-soundtrack gone, people can hear their laptop hard disks click, fans vibrate etc!

The problem with laptop fans is that they’re a pain to get to- especially in HP laptops. I’ve actually photographed the process of opening up an HP Dv6000 laptop I was given recently- and trust me its worth a look (uploading soon). Every part of the laptop including the keyboard, screen… everything has to come out before one can reach the fan!…

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Noisy laptop fans?

Over the past few days, quite a few people have asked me for solutions to noisy laptop fans. Turns out that the dusty weather in Dubai isn’t the best environment for one’s laptop… The dust clogs up the fan and heat sink in the laptops causing them to overheat as well as causing the fans to become noisy.

There’s two solutions to this problem: One’s the free, easy, temporary solution- and the second’s the permanent solution. The easy solution involves installing a software to slow down the fan so it’s less noisy- and as is obvious, a slow fan means more heating… not really recommended, but for some cheap bitsians, this would probably be the obvious choice. The second solution is to actually replace the fan in the laptop.

Whoever wants to have their fans replaced, leave a comment with your laptop model, and your email ids. I’ll get in touch with the fan cost etc. Cheers!

We’re Back!

Three months of chilling and partying are finally over… I’m so glad to be back in Dubai- and I’d thought the fun would never end! Floating high up in the clouds- far far away from reality, things were just too awesome- and coming crashing down, back to Dubai, is just the reality-check I needed… The lovely smell of the sewage treatment plant, the wonderful teachers totally disinterested in anything but themselves, and the awesome 10:30pm deadline (9 for girls, is it?)- I’ve never felt more alive!

Alright, it isn’t quite that bad… well at least the 10:30 deadline doesn’t apply to me now that I’ve shifted to IC… and that’s a major relief! That reminds me, for those of you looking to get in touch, my new number is 055-8102153, and I’m staying in International City - France (Building: P12, Apartment: 105).

Since this is my first post this semester, I thought I should let you know how things will function now that I’ve shifted out of the hostel… Same old rates apply for now (I’ll probably increase them in a while to deal with the increased cost of living outside). Since I’m not living in the hostel, if any of you want to have me repair your laptop, just leave it with Piyush Vanjani (B-Block, 4th floor) and I’ll pick them up from there. I might have to take the laptop with me and keep it overnight if the problem is serious, or if not, I’ll try and repair it on the spot. Do not leave your laptop with Piyush without contacting me about it first.

Update: Already repaired 3 laptops this sem- and the semester’s not really even begun yet (well, it has, technically- but I haven’t really come to college so far). Also, I’ve just done my CCNA course (that’s networking) so if anyone needs any help along those lines, I’ll be more than happy to oblige.

All the best for the coming four months… Cheers!

Happy Holidays!

HOLIDAYS GOING ON RIGHT NOWWILL CATCH YOU NEXT SEMESTER!
(FOR THE MOMENT, I’m IGNORING ALL MESSAGES/COMMENTS. SORRY, BUT I NEED A BREAK TOO!)

Happy holidays people!
At last another miserable semester at BPD is over. And on looking back, it doesn’t really seem all that bad- surprising! I wish you all the best for your holidays- enjoy the moments of peace and stress-free partying before the results come out!

Some changes for next semester:
- Hopefully will have a new, improved website up and running
- Will shift out of the hostel (so will work out a new scheme to collect/deliver laptops)
- Will look to recruit someone so BPD has a resident laptop-doctor after I’m gone

Cheers!

Compres… The best time of the Semester!

Comprehensive Examinations. They suck for most people, but I kinda enjoy not having to run to and from college between classes. It’s nice not to see every teacher’s face everyday- especially in an institute like our lovely concentration camp, where education equals memorization.

I’d like to say I haven’t posted an update in quite a while because I’m busy studying- but the truth is more along the lines of me trying to make it look like I’ve been studying. In fact, I’ve been working more on trying to find a new apartment/car at a good rate, and been playing a lot of LOTR, watching Numbers (which is pretty awesome) etc etc and also making sure I get a C in every subject. (Calculated that getting a C results in me getting my first division, whereas getting an A in all subjects still results in the same thing.)

However, in the middle of all things mundane, one activity stands out: just a few days ago, I opened up my first MacBook. That’s right- I actually got a busted MacBook to repair, and it was awesome opening the thing up. Note that the warranty had already expired, so Aditya Nair would probably have had to pay quite a bit to have its heatsink cleaned up outside (the thing was heating up a lot), so I opened it up, took out the fan, and it was so covered in dust that within seconds, my hand had literally turned black with filth.

One thing people generally don’t realize is that the main reason for laptops getting spoilt is overheating- and that’s almost always due to filthy laptop interiors. Having your laptop cleaned at least once a year is what I recommend.

All the best for your compres people… cheers!

Update: Not enough time, or space to sleep!

When I came back to the hostel last Saturday, I was surprised to find the door to my room unlocked. More shocking, however, was the fact that there were 5 laptops with post-it notes lying on my bed. Whoa!
Well, over rhe past 5 days, I’ve repaired 9 laptops with various problems including corrupt hard disks, malware, internet problems, people wanting to upgrade to XP, and laptops with serious overheating problems. Also, I’ve been printing passport size photos for people, so that’s been keeping me occupied as well. I haven’t had the time to update this site, but I’m hoping to be able to write a tutorial on setting up Strong DC++ the right way. Let’s see how that goes!

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MacBook Experience

I’ve been terribly busy for the past week or so- awesome news is that I got my driving licence (have to get it today) so thats great. Other than that, I apologise for taking such a while to update this page.
A small writeup on my MacBook Pro can be found here- so you can check out view on the purchase. Id taken quite a few pictures, but then realised that there’s nothing you can’t just google and view so not going to waste your time with that. If you’re interested, pics are available in the slideshow at the end of this post.

Also, recently there’s been a huge problem in Block B with the ip-configuration of the internet. Quite a few computers- mine included- aren’t being able to fetch the ip address automatically, and in order to get the internet to work, one has to manually input the ip address. Trouble is that most ip addresses are already taken up, and during peak hours, it takes up to 20-30 tries before you get an ip address that’s free. I made a tiny utility to solve the problem for me- instead of my having to try so many different ips, this utility does the hard work for me.

It’s not really a very sophisticated software- but I’ve used it on 4 laptops- and have verified that it works. It’ll save you a lot of work, but PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS IN THE POPUP MESSAGES. It won’t do everything for you- it’ll just do the repetitive part… And ya- if you don’t know where Network Connections is, it’s either under Start>>Network Connections, or Start>>Settings>>Network Connections, or Start>>Connect to>>Show all connections.
Download the utility here. NOTE: It’s Windows XP only. (Vista users: sorry! I don’t have Vista, so couldn’t make one for you!)

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Mac Book Pro

Mac Book Pro coming tomorrow.
That’s right- I’m getting myself a Mac Book Pro tomorrow- the new 17 inch model.
AWESOME right? Ya- I know you’re jealous- I would be too.

Well, I can kiss all hopes of getting decent marks in the EIIT test goodbye because there’s NO WAY I’m gonna study tomorrow! Worth it? Definitely.

Pics and Tech Specs will be uploaded tomorrow. Cheers!

Unique Hit Counter, StumbleUpon

I added a Unique Hit Counter (to see how many people come to the site) and StumbleUpon buttons to the articles- so let’s see if it gains some popularity! Who knows, if this thing gets moderately popular, we might just get sponsors (Tony’s maybe, like books4bits?) and we’ll switch to the paid, more feature-packed Withtank account… Let’s hope so!

Does your laptop battery last only 5-10 minutes?

I added a new article, and if your laptop’s battery lasts only a few minutes, this might help increase its life to maybe even an hour or more.



Akshay Grover asked me how much a typical laptop battery cost- and on inquiring, I learned that his laptop’s battery only lasted about 10 minutes, so he was considering replacing it.

After I changed some settings on his laptop, it’s life has considerably improved- it lasts up to more than an hour now. Here’s what to do if your laptop’s battery lasts only a few minutes…

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Win yourself a pen drive!

It finally happened… I finally ran into a problem I couldn’t fix. I mean, I have come across laptops with busted motherboards etc which I couldn’t repair- but these always involved busted hardware that needed replacement. Even in these cases, I have at least been able to diagnose what the problem is, and give the unfortunate owner an estimate on how much it’ll cost to repair outside.

For a change though, I’m totally stumped! Read on to see what the problem is. If you manage to tell me what’s wrong, you can win yourself a pen drive!

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Dealing with a busted laptop fan

A few days back, my laptop’s fan stopped working- probably because the heat sink’s are full of dust. I didn’t notice it until my laptop randomly switched off…
Here’s what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation: Busted laptop fan causing overheating? Here’s what to do!

New Offer:Unknown Problem

I just added a special offer. If you bring me a laptop with a problem that I haven’t seen before, then you get a 50% off!
Special Offers!

Update: Importance of updated AntiVirus

DC++ is a major source of viruses- to stay protected, please update your AntiVirus regularly. Bhaskar‘s laptop provides a real live example of how up-to-date the malware on DC++ is…

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Speed up your DC++

I just wrote a new article on speeding up your DC++, so it’ll download faster. Check it out by clicking on the link below.
Speed up your DC++