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Showing posts from May, 2011

A big deal and a not so big deal

In the week gone by, two events happened. One was really a big deal in a lot of different ways, and that's the Microsoft-Skype deal. The other not-so-big deal was from Google, on the launch of the Chromebook.


The big deal
I personally think more than the money Microsoft is going to pay for Skype, there are other factors in play.

1. Skype is a well established company/product in the VOIP market. It has a few hundred million customers all over the world. As smartphones continue their onslaught all over the world, it is a matter of time before Skype-like services eat into the traditional telecom operators share.
2. Microsoft earlier got into a tie-up with Nokia. With Windows Phone 7 still receiving a lukewarm response compared to the iPhone and Android hype, deals with companies like Skype and Nokia are increasing the chance of Windows succeeding in in the mobile arena. Of course it is going to take time to integrate all the various services and the hardware.
3. While smartphones can…

Tech - Getting natty indeed

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The latest version of Ubuntu was out in April 28, following the pattern of Canonical's 6 monthly release cycle. It's called Natty Narwhal. I have been using it for a few weeks and it's natty indeed.


The latest edition is very slick when it comes to the user interface. I wasn't too happy with the Unity desktop interface, I am using the GNOME 3 desktop. However, installing GNOME 3 breaks the Unity installation. I would recommend having another desktop manager like KDE. This is where the flexibility and architecture of Linux comes into play, one can do what one wishes!



Based on my experience, some of the key features are:
- Very simple user interface. Search is now central to the desktop experience (top right in the above screenshot). Hit the "Windows" key and the above menu appears.
- The device drivers for for the keyboard, display, bluetooth, wi-fi work out of the box seamlessly (on my Acer 5738z laptop). I am particularly impressed with the trackpad, it'…

Tech - Clone Wars

There was a time when the each of the browsers had distinctive features and quirks. Internet Explorer soon started to dominate the browser market. Mozilla Firefox came in like a breath of fresh air with new features like tabbed browsing, spell check and so on. However, Internet Explorer was quick to match these features and maintained it's hold. Along the way, Opera also came into the fray. But, it didn't have much to challenge Explorer's dominance. Safari continues to be relegated to the "apple world".


The story started to change with a new entrant - Chromium aka known as Google Chrome (Chromium is the "open source" version). According to me it received a lukewarm response, even among geeks like me. I installed it and quickly shifted back to Firefox. I wish I could say the same now!

In the course of my work and home life, I use 3 different operating systems, don't ask me why! They are - Windows 7, Mac Leopard and Ubuntu. I have Chrome in all three…

A simple dish from God's Own Country

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Vegetable stew The vegetable stew from Kerala, God's Own Country is a versatile dish. It can be used as a side dish for chappatis or dosa / appam. It is quite easy to make. And as all stews go, it is very filling and satisfying after a long day of work.
Other vegetables that go well in this dish are cauliflower and carrots. For those interested in meat, chicken or lamb can be substituted instead


Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.

Published 07. May 2011




Ingredients2diced potatoes
2sliced green chillies
4strips of ginger
1sliced onion
4tablespoon vegetable oil
1handful of curry leaves
1 clove
1 cardamom
1cup of peas
1cup of coconut milk
1-2teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
InstructionsDice the potatoes and cook them until they are soft. This can be done quickly in the microwave.Heat the oil in pan.Add onions, ginger, curry leaves, clove and cardamom. The clove and cardamom help flavour the oil.Saute the onions until they are golden brown.Now add the potatos and cook them until they are mashed.…