Tabulating Life

As expected, I was unable to update my web log for quite a time. Been busy with so must things at hand. Got some time now, and thought I would post something worthwhile.

After tweaking chrome for productivity, I have got this organising craze. I am feeling that lot of data in our lives are getting wasted. Thoughts, ideas and actions get blurred in in the depths of our memory as the time speeds past. I have searched far and wide for the ultimate organising tool, which can store our life (or pieces of it) in a structured manner such that it can be informative at a later stage. The closest I could find was the ‘FlexLists’.

To get an idea about what I am talking, check out this link:

It is just a sort of database, which we can easily design, manipulate and maintain. We can just enter the no. of columns we want, type of data that goes into each of these etc. It even sorts the data as per any column we choose. In the above link, there was a list containing abbreviations which I had seen in the internet, what they stand for, and a short description as to what they are. One can choose to make a list private or public, e-mail it, share it, take print outs etc.

The possibilities are endless. I have many lists (some private) which are tabulating various details that I tend to forget. I dont have to sit in front of it and fill it up with details. Infact, each row is added at different points of time. Let me show another one, which relates more to life:

It lists all the movies I have seen starting from 7th July 2011. I have rated the movies based on how I felt after watching it, and have written brief reviews accordingly. The idea is not to show off to someone what all movies I have seen. Rather while adding each movie, I have to look up its director, its cast etc which makes me atleast wiki them and thereby be more informed. I will also have an idea of the number of movies I see and can extract various statistical details based on language, rating etc (sort them, search “column name”:”keyword”, use AND, OR etc). Also at a later stage of life, these lists will be a fun to read through.

As I said, the possibilities are endless.

Productivity and Chrome

More on productivity, just as I said. Productivity is a measure of output from a production process, per unit of input (wiki). Another term: Knowledge work productivity is the measure of the efficiency and effectiveness of the output generated by workers who mainly rely on knowledge, rather than labour, during the production process. Well, these might cover productivity in its broadest aspect but what prompted me to write this blog is something different. I recently switched over to Google Chrome from a multitude of other browsers (opera,IE and Firefox). My point is not that Chrome is the best (it might be), over which a lot of high-profile flame wars can be seen in most forums. But the reason I switched over is important. I am juggling between different OSes on a daily basis (Ubuntu,Vista, Win7 etc) and I was finding it very difficult to keep track of  my internet proceedings. I could be seen copying files from one system to other, importing bookmarks, saving websites for later reading etc. I was also maintaining a scribbling pad for sake of easiness.Recently one of my drives crashed, where by I lost lot my data and my bookmarks, settings etc which were collected over a long period. I decided this should end. Then I came to know of Chrome, its app store and most imp. its Productivity section. I found out just the things I were looking for. Chrome installs apps/extensions almost instantly. I tried many and finally managed to strike up a fine balance btw productivity and coordination. I now use Quick Note to jot down points and notes, diigo extention to bookmark, highlight and share annoted links, google dictionary to get instant meanings and Read Fast Later to mark pages for later reading without cluttering my bookmarks. And the best part is google automatically syncs my data between the different systems (beauty of cloud). So no more hussle. I suppose apps like these would help us focus more on the content or matter in hand leaving the organizing work to the machines. Now that is ‘Productivity’ in my context.

p.s. I just wasted about 20 mins writing this and more gravely I am starting to like this!


Hello World

The title seems self-explanatory. But one may ask, why the second blog is given the revered ‘Hello World’ title? Its because, in the beginning, this blog was created for a particular purpose i.e. as one of the tasks to qualify as a ‘ninja’ in the ‘Stalk Ninja‘ website. Speaking of which, SN is a novel and innovative venture which redefines freelancing in the context of Indian college students. Till date, I haven’t been able to complete or even attempt any of their projects. But I am working on that. So, as I was saying, I setup the blog that day, submitted it and forgot about it. I hadn’t planned to or rather never even considered writing a blog. It seemed a total waste of time, which those ‘fancy’ people do. So am I trying to be one of them? Well then, hear me out: Of course not. Now it’s been some time since I have started feeling the need to organize my thoughts, ideas and most importantly, the things I learn in a productive way (more on what I mean by that on a later post). Yup, I have tried most of the easier ways starting from pen & paper to todo lists, bookmarks, extensions and all those.I wouldn’t be writing stories, poems or other musings of my life (not much either) in this blog. But I would try to write what I do write, things pertaining to Comp.Science mostly, in an organized way so that at a later stage, these might come handy to myself or someone else interested. I know that the time I spend in documenting these itself would take a heafty toll on the so-called productivity. So I have decided to keep the posts short and crisp with only the core-of-what-matters. This also means that I wouldnt be caring much for the language or spellings or other seemingly irrelevant details, do bear with me. So wrapping up for now.



P.S: As of 2013, StackNinja seems to have been shutdown. I completed two tasks while it was operational.

Blog of an open source technocrat

Note: This was a dummy blog post created as part of a project. Details here –

Introduction to Open Source: Introduction Section
Advantages of Open Source Software


Many people like Open Source for many reasons, here is an overview of some of the more important reasons. You can read through these if you’re not sure you want to try Open Source yet, or you can continue to the pages describing actual programs you can use.
Security: Open Source Software suffers from fewer security vulnerabilities than Microsoft products.
Features: Open Source programs tend to have more advanced features and customizability than proprietary products
Cost: Open Source Software is FREE. You pay nothing for a very high quality product.
Community: In the Open Source development community, any skilled individual can contribute to projects in many ways.


Open Source Software packages are almost always more secure than proprietary options, especially Microsoft. In fact, the US Computer Emergergency Readiness Team has recomended using web browsers other than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, and many people are turning to the Open Source Firefox web browser for a more secure solution. Furthermore, a large percentage of the Internet’s web servers use an Open Source linux server running Apache, because it is more secure than Microsoft’s own IIS web server technology.


Because Open Source programs are often programmed by people who use them, they tend to have much more advanced features. The Firefox web browser for example has dozens of extensions made by users for for advanced searching capabilities, mouse gestures, and more. The Linux operating system has commands like dd (for raw copying) readily available which would require advanced knowledge to replicate on Windows. Also, if a feature you want is not available, you can email the programmer and ask for it, or if you know enough, you can do it yourself because the source code is always available!. For an expert system administrator, people who use computers for a large portion of the day, or even someone who wants to be able to do more, Open Source programs offer far more flexibility and power.


Open Source Software is FREE! That’s right, you can install a version of Linux with Open Office for free, and you will be able to go online, type documents, create spreadsheets, and email friends without paying for any expensive software at all. It’s that easy.


In the Open Source community, any individual can take the freely available source code of any project, modify it to suit their needs back, and release it back into the community. This is one of the reasons that Open Source programs can be so good, because many people work on them to give them high quality features. The Open Source Community is also free of the predatory business practices of companies like Microsoft.