Migrated to gauthamyerroju.com

After a long hiatus, I finally got around to moving the blog to GitHub pages. I’ll still be keeping this here for historic purposes. Check out the new site:

http://gauthamyerroju.com

See you on the other side!

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The Future of this Blog

I haven’t been blogging much lately because, well, I’m pretty lazy. And I haven’t had much free time. More truthfully though, I’ve lost my touch. There were some pretty big life changes, I got a job, for starters. My blogging habits took a pretty hard hit due to that.

Luckily, I’ve spent the last Saturday reformatting and re-installing OSes on two computers. Tiring and even frustrating as it was, it helped me get back in touch with the tech enthusiast in me. So I guess I’ll start blogging again.

All the same, I did some thinking about what this blog is all about, and there is some good/bad news.

Bad news first: This is not a tech blog. It is my tech blog. Meaning, I use this blog to archive my findings, my subjective opinions on all things tech. It is not really a place to find unbiased, objective hardcore tech info and certainly not Tech news, oh no. There are many good blogs out there which already do that and I don’t like doing tech news except for the occasional post where I’m genuinely interested in the information. It is also not a place to expect frequent updates

Good news: This is just a practice blog. Once I refine my writing style and get comfortable with blogging quality content with relative ease, I’ll create a new blog and move the non-personal content over there. That, will be a full-blown tech blog, and this will be my journal.

Now that that’s clear, well, I’m back! Smile

Under-used Keyboard Shortcuts for Text Editing

Most people know about the basic windows shortcuts for Cut, Copy and Paste (right? Smile with tongue out), but there are a few more shortcuts that I consider are invaluable when writing text. And I was surprised that most people don’t really use them. I am talking about the Home and End keys and their respective combinations with Ctrl and/or Shift keys.

  • Home: Takes the cursor to the beginning of the current line.
  • End: Takes the cursor to the end of the current line (after the last character in the line).
  • Ctrl + Home: Takes the cursor to the very beginning of the active text field/document.
  • Ctrl + End: Takes the cursor to the very end of the active text field/document.
  • Shift + Home/End/Right/Left/Up/Down: Selects all the text between the initial cursor position and the final cursor position.
  • Ctrl + A: Selects everything in the active text field.

All coders and pretty much everyone who types a lot of text in your everyday life, for the love of God, drill these shortcuts into your minds! I promise your productivity will increase at least by 30%.  Here are a few examples of usages:

  1. Example 1 (Ctrl + A): Say you want to post a rather long status update in Facebook and twitter. Type out your message, hit Ctrl + A, then Ctrl + C. Then hit the post button in Facebook, go to Twitter, click on the “What’s New” text box, press Ctrl + V and post it.
  2. Example 2 (Shift + Home): Say you’ve written a complex printf() statement in C to display some information and you have to repeat the same output with a few changes about 5 times. Here’s what you do: Type out the first printf() statement. Your cursor will be at the end of the line right. Now press Shift + Home. The cursor will move to the beginning of the line because of the Home key, but it will also select all the text along the way because of the Shift key. Now copy and paste it as many times as you want. You have thus successfully avoided moving your hand to the mouse, moving the cursor and selecting the text by mouse movement. You’ve achieved all that in just 2 keystrokes: Shift + Home, without taking your hand off the keyboard. Note that you can use Shift with the arrow keys to select text letter by letter.

Aside from these shortcuts, I implore you to familiarize yourself with the keyboard shortcuts of the programs you use the most. It will drastically reduce the time needed to perform simple but repetitive actions. Just use Google, because as they say, Google is your friend! And if you don’t listen, then this Smile with tongue out

Ciao!

Firefox 6 Released

So what’s the deal with Mozilla? I know they’ve changed to a rapid release cycle, but it doesn’t feel like it was too long ago that version 4 was released. Soon after, version 5 didn’t bring any groundbreaking changes to the table either. Now, they’ve released version 6.

Firefox Download Button

Judging from FF6’s release notes, most of the changes are under the hood:

The latest version of Firefox has the following changes:

  • The address bar now highlights the domain of the website you’re visiting
  • Streamlined the look of the site identity block
  • Added support for the latest draft version of WebSockets with a prefixed API
  • Added support for EventSource / server-sent events
  • Added support for window.matchMedia
  • Added Scratchpad, an interactive JavaScript prototyping environment
  • Added a new Web Developer menu item and moved development-related items into it
  • Improved usability of the Web Console
  • Improved the discoverability of Firefox Sync
  • Reduced browser startup time when using Panorama
  • Fixed several stability issues
  • Fixed several security issues

I’m used to seeing major changes or overhauls with an increase in version number by 1. Oh well. I hope by the time FF reaches it’s double digit version, it’ll be different from FF6.

You can download Firefox 6 from the official website, if your browser hasn’t already prompted you about the update. One word of caution though. Remember when some of your add-ons were rendered useless with the update from 3.6 to 4? I don’t expect more add-ons to be unsupported, because versions 4, 5 and 6 are similar, but watch out. Until next time.

More 3D pics from my Leh trip

 

Remember my post about Stereoscopic 3D? I have processed more such photos on the occasion of my family trip to Leh, Ladakh. Use your typical red-blue 3D glasses to view:

Me.

My dad.

Road

thikse_monastery

If I had known they’d turn out so great, I would have made time to take more, which would really shine in 3D. To see how 3D works and how one might make 3D photos, refer to my post about stereoscopic vision. And I compel you to use Google and Youtube for really good tutorials. Until next time folks.

Windows Live Writer

I haven’t been blogging much, have I? I have missed a lot of wonderful posts I could have made, like reviews of my new 22 inch LCD monitor, my Logitech MX-518 gaming mouse, my new desk (well, modified the old one), my Sennheiser HD201 circumaural headphones, my wonderful phone Nokia 5230, the C6 firmware mod ported for Nokia 5230 (by 008Rohit from Daily Mobile Forums) which really REALLY improves productivity, how I then tragically lost my phone ( Crying face ), got a new Nokia X2-01 (which sports S40, and is not moddable at all), and a bunch of other things like my new obsession with getting myself an Android phone and why I‘m considering the Samsung Galaxy Ace… etc., etc…

One of the reasons has something to do with how inconvenient I find making a new post using WordPress. While the editor is good, I don’t have a quick option for logging into my account from my blog. I have to go to the WordPress homepage to log in. That, and I’m lazy as hell, so I need things to look easy for me to do them.

While cleaning up my PC the other day, I was uninstalling Windows Live Essentials. I got curious and checked out what it has to offer and Windows Live Writer grabbed my attention. It’s simple and fits in with the whole Windows 7 look and feel. It also offers the ribbon toolbar, which I quite favor. How good it is remains to be seen, as this is still the first post I’m making with it. Let’s see how it turns out.

If anyone knows how I can log into my WordPress account directly from my blog, it might help me. Of course, I’ll be using Live Writer for some time now, but still I’d like to know. My first guess is a theme, or a widget. see you folks Smile

 

EDIT:

Ganesh Dhamodkar of Blog of Reflections had this to say:

Add the “Meta” widget somewhere in your blog and you will be able to log in directly from your blog :)

Thanks for the tip bro 🙂

An old half-coocked game in Pyglet: Ship Showdown!

My interest in role playing games and the fact that I use the alias “Fantasist” online led me to a nice program called RPG Maker 2000, and then to RPG Maker XP (both by Enterbrain) and they finally showed me the way to game development. I’ve messed around with RMXP’s scripts and even made a few. Then, I tried a little bit of indy game dev, and my favorite so far is Pyglet.

Here is a little something I developed in Pyglet. I’ve made many trials and errors and a lot of my experimental work is not published or properly materialized, except this. I know it’s not complete and it still has a few hitches here and there (nothing that crashes the game though, I hope), but it’s the most solid chunk of work I’ve bothered to keep. Now I present to you…

Ship Showdown!

Download Source Code (Dropbox Link)

Mirror (Media Fire)

1. You will need Python installed to run the game.

2. Extract and run the file “Ship Showdown.py”

Screenshots

I know going through other people’s code is a bit tedious, but if anyone want to take it apart, learn, experiment, modify, adapt, feel free to do so 😀

And with that I bid adieu!