Launched on Birthday

Finally i have launched my site www.xpresszine.com on 28th september.

Vista Sp1 Beta Released – Private

Update : View this article here

Next step …

Its been a really bad week for me. I was down with cold and cough so much that i took all the medicines that i’ve heard of and guess what, i could hardly get from my bed, as if i had a hundred bottles of booze.

Up and recovering, i started researching on medicines and differnet health issues and that is when a new idea struck me … I WOULD START BLOGGING ON HEALTH BITS ALSO … this is going to be thrilling, as i would be writing about something that i’m learning on. But to be on the safer side, my focus would not be on medicines but on healthy foods and healthy habbits, so as not to fall sick at all.

5 Things I like in a MAC

Update: View this article here.

“Google Adsense(Nonsense)” is not having enough sense

Update : View this article here.

tafiti – Microsoft’s new search xperience

Update : View this article here.

All that looks boring and simple would be shredded” seems to be Microsoft’s motto. Finally Microsoft is coming up with eye-candy design for all of their major products. Be it Vista or Office2007, the new interfaces are really superb. Then how could their search engine stay behind.

What is tafiti?

Tafiti, meaning “research” in swahili(an African origin), is a new search experience bought in by Microsoft. it combines the power of Microsoft’s Sliverlight and is backed by the Live Search engine. Still in beta we have yet to see a lot of it.

It has got a very attractive yet simple interface, most important for a search site. I guess this “google” idea of a simple design has finally caught fire. Consider the previous yahoo and msn’s search page to present day ones.

What is special in tafiti?

  • tafiti is powered by silverlight, which directly means a wonderful display and also that you need to have silverlight installed on your system(and it doesn’t support safari beta 3)
  • Once you enter a search keyword, you can see the nice animation followed by a categorized search result page(check image below).

  1. As you could see, the search result is displayed in the middle pane.
  2. On the left you have two gadgets, the top one stores different search pages and the other categorizes them into either a web-page, or an Rss feed or as an image.
  3. This is my favorite – On the right you can see blocks called as shelfs, where you can store your search results by simply dragging them. You can store multiple results in one shelf and when activated it could show all in one search result.
  • One not-so-new feature that is added is the “search tree“. You can click the “tree icon” on the centre-top of the page to view it.

This page actually shows the power of sliverlight. It does light up the web and is also light on the browser and eventually on the system. Microsoft has really done a good job on this one.

UP(s):

  • Good interface..
  • Adding the feed search was what i always wanted.
  • Very sleek yet fast.

DOWN(s):

  • A major flaw exists in the beta – “you can’t scroll through the results in the result window using the scroll mouse, you need to manually drag the scrollbar down”

Rating : 3/5

Apart from the frills, Microsoft still needs to do a lot if they wanna set a major breakthrough in search engine technology. Seeing the developments taking place the future looks promising.

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Chak De .. Oh Chak De India !!!

Update : View this article here

 

Chak De India

What was in your mind the last time you went for a movie (ok .. second last if last was “Chak De India” :))? Did you even had the slightest idea that this movie is gonna worth the money you spent on it? If you haven’t seen this movie for any reason or if you wanna know more about it, then read on.

This movie is neither full of action, nor does it have the sizziling hot bodies dancing up and down, No, not even a single romantic song or the stupid comedy(our ultimate source of PJ’s). But still it got selected by the democratic group of krazy kreatures for Rashmi’s B’day treat(thx Rashu).

Avinash, from whose neurons the very idea of a movie sprouted, was for some reason denied the esteemed company of 7 krazy but kool kreatures, starting from Rashmi, Satish, Hannah, Kapil, Monica(Hannah’s Sis), Aparna and rAjAn.

Like an extremely diligent Indian, we were exactly not in time. Somehow we managed to reach the theater after a standard 10 mins delay, but were delayed more due the presence of 2 extra ticketes(one of which belonged to our poor Avinash). Selling them to someone who also follows our Indian standard time was the best thing we could do. Once spotted, the job was taken care off by Satish and Hannah.

16 Laundias and a Gunda … in One Team – Team India

Chak De India which means “Do It India” is a hindi movie directed by Shimit Amin. Starring Shah Rukh Khan, this movie is based on the real life incident of an ex hockey player(Mir Ranjan Negi) for India. Like any other movie, Chak De India, also doesn’t completely portray the real incidents but modifies it for the sake of the movie.

The main theme moves around an ex player(who was accused of match-fixing), trying to get his dignity back by making a totally useless team(Indian Women’s Hockey Team) win the world cup.

Along with King Khan there are 16 ladies, who for some reason are totally out of sync with each other. These 16 ladies cover almost the entire map of India, horizontally and vertically. King Khan uses very unconventional methods to create a team spirit among the players. This movie portrays the very basic mindset of  any typical Indian, who, deep down in his heart is selfish and arrogant but still loves his motherland with the same passion.

As mentioned this movie doesn’t have any romantic song but a well balanced patriotic song(the title song) for this age keeps you geared up. Ofcourse there are many other thing that makes this movie a hit, which includes lack of over-acting by ShahRukh and the simple pace of the movie, perfect in every sense. Particularly the last scene where Shah Rukh returns to his native(which he left in the beginning), was really touching.

Ups:

  • Superb acting by Shah Rukh.
  • Nice pace of the movie.
  • No extra junk.
  • A feeling of patriotism.
  • Its by Shimit Amin :)

Downs:

  • None as of now.

 My Rating : 4/5

My Suggestion : Worth a watch. 

People having a taste of movies with substance should watch this one.

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Happy Birthday “CD” !!!

Update :  View this article here

“All great things starts from small beginings”.

And this is no different for the revolutionary thing called Compact Disc(CD). Invented by Philips(and Sony), the initial CD was a 12inch disc which could store movies. But the size of the disc was not the general public’s cup of tea, they preffered a more compact version and thus the present CD was born. Initially the size could compensate only Audio but time has again proved that technology just needs a little more time to bloom from its present state.

Today as we clebrate the 25th anniversary of the CD, which was major form of medium for transferring data for the past 25 years, we have a long way from the mere audio only CD to a much more efficient DVD system. Traditionally CD’s could store only 600MB of data, later it became 650 and present day CD’s can accomodate upto 700MB of data.

They are in no match to the present day DVD’s, which were out of laymen’s hand due to her high cost involved. But as the prices drop for DVD’s time has come to shift from the CD to DVD.

Nonethless, no one can ignore the role of CD in the software industry. The music industry is on a verge of leaving CD as the medium. Present day iPod’s and other MP3 players are more preffered over traditional way of transferring music.

It is doubted that whether the CD would make its 50th anniversary of would it die before it completes its 40th one, time will only say, but the thing to remember is that technology keeps on growing, no matter what or how. 

Windows Vista Secrets

Wanna know all the sneaky-neaky-preaky secrets hidden in Windows Vista?

Paul Thurrott has finally released it.

NOTE: I don’t think Paul Thurrott needs any kind of introduction. If you don’t know him, then you’ve missed a lot of info on Windows Vista.

You can buy the book from Amazon.com for a nice discount from here.

Test Drive the new Windows Live Skydrive (Beta)

Update: View the article here

Very typical of Microsoft, they always start late in business, be it the ZUNE or the SkyDrive, but with their mammoth sized revenue they always make it to the top.

What is Skydrive?

Skydrive is the name given to Microsoft’s online storage solution.

This is the main page of Skydrive.

skydrive

Why Skydrive?

Now this was one thing that Microsoft lagged when compared to Google’s GDrive. In the present era of online business, Microsoft knows that it would loose out if it just sticks with the legacy products, and that’s why you have been hearing a lot of Microsoft online services and that’s where the Windows Live fits in. 

How Skydrive?

Okay so you now know what is Skydrive. Lets have a quick look on the interface and the usability.

Once logged in, you would be presented with the following screen.

Folderview

As you can see, the interface is pretty sleek and clean. Basically three types of folder access are provided, Private, Shared and Public.

A progress-bar at the right top keeps tack of the total and available storage space. Very bad, at present it is just 500Mb. Lets wait and see if Microsoft would give something better when Skydrive is released.

Once you select any field it bring up the file upload/download screen.

Upload

You can either select to upload files one-by-one(5 at a time), by browsing to the file directory, or you ca install an ActiveX control to upload many files at the same time(using drag and drop).

I have installed the ActiveX control and its very easy to upload, just drag and drop files into the window and click upload.

One thing that I like the most is that the upload/download speed is pretty good.

Earlier I used to use 4shared for file sharing, but the speeds would be slower in 4sahred and for the free account, the files are removed after 30 days of inactivity.

You can click on the uploaded file to get the file download link. If you wanna share files to your friends then you should upload the files to the shared location. Remember for your friends to open the file, they should have a Windows Live ID.

Conclusion

Overall I would give it a 6/10(read the pros and cons).

Microsoft is just starting with it, once geared up it will surely prove a good competitor to Google and other online services.

pros

  • Pretty fast uploads and downloads.
  • Compatibility with all the top tier browsers.
  • Pretty descent sharing capabilities.
  • Able to mark files as public or private.
  • Can use it anywhere anytime – much better than any other free service and you don’t have to install any software.

cons

  • Storage space is very less compared to competitors(just 500MB).
  • Can’t upload folders(in Beta).

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