Wallop - First Impressions

Luckily, I've got an invitation tonight and registered with Wallop. As Orkut seems to be still acting up, I really can not compare yet but hovering menus and sharing stuff like music, pictures, blogs etc. seems to be quite easy.

I've seen a few quirkiness, eg. when I tried to delete a picture, but it may be just that I am not well aware of how it works. I'll post more info later when I find more about it...

1 down 2 to go

Thanks to good people in gMailForums I got an invitation for Orkut. Unfortunately, server seems to be hectic, so I could not do much yet.

I highly suggest that you take a look at gMailForums and GoogleCommunity forums if you are looking forward to join networking enthusiasts.

I've also asked for invitation to Yahoo's new 360 service which went live yesterday and Microsoft's Wallop which is highly praised...


Wallop & Orkut

Social Computing Group Home

I have heard about Microsoft has an awesome answer to Google's Orkut called 'Wallop'. Indeed, It's by invitation only. I am quite excited! Let's see if I can get any invitations from Google Community

Clean Favorites & Bookmarks

AM-DeadLink - Detect dead links and duplicates in your Browser Bookmarks

There was a time when the great sync2it was free. Those days are over. Therefore, I needed a tool to sync my bookmarks. Yahoo Bookmarks was a good candidate but it did not allow more than 1000 bookmarks.

Guess what? No. of my bookmarks I had collected over the years was exceeding that. Yet, I knew that there were probably many dead links by now. So, I found the tool above. Free and promising...

As I use both FireFox & IE, I've configured it to import FF bookmarks as well as IE Favorites. However, anytime I clicked the check button to validate the links, it simply stopped working and I got a "Not Responding" message in task manager; so I had to kill it. As I mentioned I have a rather large bookmark collection of bookmarks so I thought it may have chocked because of that and tried with smaller sets until I actually selected just 1 bookmark and it failed to verify it.

Then I checked the configuration options and noticed something called "Use Internal Preview". I disabled it and started again. This time it just went ahead and worked like a charm!

I was, then, able to save back to FireFox and then sync from there to IE (There is a nice FF extension for that called SyncMarks


I sent an e-mail to the developer citing the bug. It's a good utility, I hope he fixes it soon...

Buslink introduces 8 Gig USB Flash Drive

Buslink USB Flash Drives

I am a big fun of usb flash drives. I started buying them when 32 KB was around $150 and kept onbuying them (of course doubling the sizes). They became cheaper and cheaper. Currently, I have a 1 Gig Lexar that I bought for $50 about 3 months ago. Last month, I've seen a 2 Gig USB drive for $90 in Akihabara, Tokyo (I was tempted to buy it but thought I would go for 4Gig). I hope prices come down faster...

The Memory-Optimization Hoax

The Memory-Optimization Hoax

Mark Russinovich has an interesting article on so called Memory Optimizer applications. He argues that these applications do not in reality do any good and explains why...


Googlebar for FireFox - google(tool)bar for FireFox (recommended by Google)

I like Google Toolbar but instead of IE I tend to use Firefox mostly because of its tabbed interface (oh yes, MS finally decided to wake up and add it to IE after seeing its share of browser market sliding). As google search is already built-in in FireFox, adding toolbar may seem unnecessary but I especially like the ability to post to Blogger as I am doing now...

Yahoo! Debuts Yahoo! 360

Yahoo! Debuts Yahoo! 360, an Innovative New Service That Allows Consumers to Conveniently Communicate and Connect with the People They Know

This is an interesting news. I've trying to find the best bloggin tool for my needs. What do I need, I would like to be able to post pictures inside my blog. Currently, Blogger allows posting pictures via Hello.

I recently found out how to upload multiple images but still if you are writing up a long blog entry inside which you want to put a picture, it is not really possible.

I've tried MSN spaces and found that it actually has some nice niches like trackback addresses and ability to post multiple pictures at the end of a blog entry. Still, it is not that customizable. For example you can't change the date of post.

I recently deleted one of my test msn spaces blogs as I wanted to associate it with a different e-mail account. Guess what, it happily deleted it but even after 3 days, it still thinks that space is in use (actually it says in use or unavailable but translates into same thing) and does not let me to re-register that space. I'm still waiting to hear from MS Support on that.

Yahoo 360 will be invite-only like gmail & orkut of google. So, probably it will take some time to get a space in there and test it out. In the mean time, I guess I will stick with Blogger...

Hello Tip

I was playing with Hello + Picasa to post here some pics and wanted to find out if I could post more than 1 pic/post. It turns out that it is possible:
* Choose pictures via Explorer or Picasa
* Type the caption for 1 of them followed by ||
* click post
* repeat for the others except the last one.

Both Hello & Picasa are owned by Google (like and available for download from their web site.

Playing with Hot Or Not

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BitTorrent 4.0.1 released

It looks like new version of BitTorrent is out. Release notes are here:

Unfortunately, it does not seem to hit many mirrors yet.

Click here to find out what BitTorrent is.

You can also subscribe to some Yahoo groups like Torrent-Talk to learn more about this peer-peer technology. There are some useful web sites which list the status of other torrent sites...

sc0ri0n - 03/25/2005

Sand Art - A must see!

A friend of mine forwarded me this link:

It's simply awesome. Turn on the speakers!

sc0ri0n - 03/25/2005


I had tried Skype when it first came out and quickly gave up as nobody was using it at the time. As it has been on the news lately, I've decided give it another try and downloaded it from their web site:

The newest version seems to work well. I like the file transfer feature as well as conferencing. Chat is fine and it claims that you can remotely connect another Skype user's pc. I did not test that yet.

Of course none of these are new. Most other IMs have the same capabilities. What makes Skype unique is its ability to dial out to an ordinary phone and now with the new version its capability to accept incoming calls from ordinary phones. Price is peanuts. I guess they are charging something like 15 Euros for about 10 hrs of talking.

Unfortunately, my microphone refused to work and even a service call to HP did not help. The guy was trying to be helpful but apparently did not have much clue. It looks like HP have not updated XW6000 soundMax driver since 2003 and current driver only half works as I can hear the sound. Though luck!


Hong Kong (03/08 - 03/11)

The night scene from 'Peak' is breath-taking. HK is not that big. On my day off, I walked about 9 hrs and took several pictures.

I started from Cosmopolitan Hotel in Wan Chai and walked towards 'Center' which hosts the financial center and spectacular buildings like that of International Finance Center (IFC), HSBC, Bank Of China, Cheung Kong Center etc. It was not a sunny day but it was not cold either. I was told that weather is usually OK and does not get cold much. Unlike Tokyo, where summers are really terrible, HK was OK. Like Tokyo, HK has a 'Times Square' too but it really sucks! It was a tiny square with no attractions at all. I was not expecting much as the area surrounding it implied but hey you can't just name anywhere Times Square.

So I kept on walking towards the bay and arrived at HK Convention Center. It's a beautiful building next to ocean. Next to the convention center, I've seen the ferries that were carrying people to Macau which was acquired back from Portugal a few years ago. Macau was an attractive place for tourist and had plenty of casinos. Although I was tempted, I did not take the ferry to Macau (and I think I will regret that for sometime as I heard wild comments from my friends who have been there).

HK is a city of skyscrapers ( IFC is the current tallest (~415m/1,362f tall, 88 stories, 2003) and it is probably the most beautiful building I've ever seen! It was very close to Mandarin Hotel where I stayed. I think I can safely say Mandarin is in the 'center' of 'Center'. I visited IFC and asked the security over there if they had an observation deck. They said no but mentioned that I could go up to 55th floow where there was an exhibit by HK Monetary something. Oh, currency is HK$: 1 US$ is about 7.5 HK$. So, I went up to 55th floor and took some pictures. Unfortunately they did not come out that well because of the lighting. I did not mind much as I had already taken some from the office which happened to be on the 65th floor of Cheung Kong Center.

Taxis are quite cheap. First 2 kms. is 15 HK$ and the city is so small that you can probably ride anywhere with 10-15 US$. Almost all building in the 'Center' are connected to each other with bridges that hangs over the road. We realized that you have to use these overhead-bridges when we were trying to cross street. We were seeing the building we want to arrive, it waas about 50m away but it was not possible to get there without using the overhead bridges.

I also discovered the Mid Levels which has 800m of escalators, the longest in the world. One side of HK is surrounded by mountains and they are close to ocean. So there is not much space available and city gets higher and higher closer to the mountain. At the top of the mountain, there is a place called 'Peak'. We had a delicious dinner over there and took some pictures. You can see Richard, Yuko, me and Daisuke in one of them. I like Chinese food in US but it was different in HK. I tried pigeon eggs and chicken fingers which does not look so good and does taste great either. I guess I prefer the American version :) Overall, it was a nice experience...


Pic. from Peak, Hong Kong (03/2005) Posted by Hello


Tokyo (02/28 - 03/07)

I got back from my trip to Tokyo & Hong Kong. Beautiful places really. I loved Tokyo and enjoyed the friendship of Japanese people. Below are some places I visited and notes from my trip.

I flew to Tokyo on March 28, 2005 with American Airlines. I felt like I had my own cubicle at First Class :) As I had not sleep much the previous night to adjust to Tokyo time, I slept most of the flight.

When I arrived, I took a bus to Grand Hyatt Hotel at Roppongi where I was to stay for the rest of the week. It was rush hour I guess and it took us around 1.5 hrs. to get there. I was surprised to learn that traffic was from left as in England! I noticed that many cars had TVs or large GPS screens installed on the console.

Later, when we were leaving Tokyo, I learn that taxis had an advanced 3D GPS system so that the control center was able to track where they were at any moment and able to send out the closest available taxi to the customer. They were even remotely sending the route to the GPS device in the taxi and all that was left to the driver was to follow the instructions.

When I finally arrived at the hotel, I called my team-mate - Daisuke- to tell him I arrived. He met me half an hour later and we chatted a while and enjoyed Korean food in one of the restaurants at Mori Tower.

We got a call from our team-mate in London who was having a problem with the system we were supporting. So, we spent sometime in the office helping him.

Hotel was great. Room had a huge LCD TV and a small one in the bathroom. Oh BTW, the toilet seat was heated. It had a very comfortable bed and high quality tempur-pedic pillows...

The next day I woke up early and headed for the French restaurant at the second floor. After breakfast and going thru Japan Times, I arrived at the office. I spent most of the time meeting people and training helpdesk guys on our product.

Because I was waking up very early during the week (usually around 5am), I took the advice of my friends in NY and went to 'Fish market' early in the morning with Dai to try Sushi. It was a cold morning and we waited outside for about 1.5 hours before we finally got into a Sushi place. It was well-worth waiting. I especially loved 'Fat tuna' and Sea Eal - Anago in Japanese - Sushi.

When Dai left me at my hotel and headed home for a sleep, I decided to see Tokyo's electronics heaven, Akihabara. I asked for directions at hotel and was told to take Hibiya line at metro. It was kinda difficult to understand the Tokyo metro system at first. When I ended up at metro station, I was not sure if I was at the correct line, so I asked the guy next to me how to get to Akihabara. He happened to be a Chinese guy from Hong Kong. He told me that he was going there too.

So, he helped me to get on the correct train and we arrived at Akihabara in about 15 mins. We wandered around. He had been there a few times so he knew around. I checked out the gadgets and tried to avoid temptation to buy a I-O-Data dual layer 16x DVD burner that they were selling for about 8800 Yen (which is roughly $85). I ended up buying a 1000 yen bag to carry my notebook and stuff around.

I made it back around 7pm and after resting a while decided to see Shibuya which is a place where young people hang out mostly. I was better at figuring out how to get there via metro. I was a little bit confused about JR line which I later learnt was operated by a different company and that was why it was not showing up in my metro map.

Shibuya was a lively place with thousands of young people as promised. I decided to go with the flow and wandered around taking pictures and recording some video. I met some Turkish guys who were selling Doner Kebap. I was already hungry so I tasted it while chatting with the guys. It was very delicious but kinda pricey (~$9) for such a small amount from a street vendor. And if you know the size of the portions in Japanese restaurant you know what I mean :)

They were two brothers. One of them offered me to join him for a tea break. He told me that he had arrived in Tokyo not long ago and had already married to a Japanese girl about 4 months ago. As Turkish citizens did not need a visa to enter Japan, it was not very difficult for him to land on Tokyo. He was trying to get a Green Card like permit to stay as he was married to a Japanese citizen.

After I left them, I kept on walking the streets and had a late dinner at a Japanese restaurant. On the way back, I asked to Japanese Girl which trains I was supposed to get on as I was in a different station that I had arrived. He did not speak English much and did not know how to get to Roppongi but signaled me to hold on and started punching in some keys at her cell phone and quickly found out which trains I was supposed to take.

I noticed that people were glued to their cell phones. I guess from the movies I had seen, I was under the impression that Japanese people were reading something when they were commuting but in fact mostly they were bringing out their cell phones as soon as they got on train and playing games.

When I told Dai that I was surprised Blackberry was not working in Japan, he mentioned that cell phones were very advanced in Japan and it was all they needed for most of the things including e-mails. He also told me he was paying around $150/month for his cell. Unlike in US, they were not paying for the calls they received...

Now that I was able to finally find my way in the metro map, I easily landed on Shinjuku on Sunday. It was a cold day (~around 5 degrees Celsius). Shinjiku is where most of the high rise buildings in Tokyo take place. I walked the streets and took several pictures. I tried one of these Sushi places where there is a moving band with sushis on it.

Dai told me that Japanese people are impatient and they usually do not want to waste time waiting for food. These ready-already fast-food sushi restaurants serve the purpose. I went for my favorite 'fat-tuna' and tried several others. Price was quite cheap, just 5 bucks.

I saw a couple of young Japanese guys rocking on the street. When I asked a Japanese guy hanging in there to take a picture of me, he surprised me replying in American accent. He told me that I was the second Turkish guy he met that day and he too was visiting Japan. He said he was living in Boston... You never know who is who :)

When later I asked another guy to take a picture of me, he took it and immediately started to examine my camera. He told me that he too was planning to buy a digital Nikon but did not think the one I had was good in balancing whites and was sometimes producing too greenish results ( I never noticed) so he would go for a newer model. I told him that I was just a point-and-shoot guy :)

The next day, Dai, his former manager Yuko and I left for HK around noon. I told Dai that I 'had to' buy some Japanese magnets for my wife as she asked me not to forget it a couple of times already. We found some nice ones in the airport.

When I was looking around, I was shocked with the prices of fruit and I asked Dai if I was seeing wrong as the price tag read 1000 yen (~$10) for an apple. Yep, 10 bucks for an apple and 60 bucks for a melon! Dai joked that he got an apple as his Christmas gift but still defended the price saying it was probably the most delicious apple I would taste and people produce them with utmost care and it was probably worth the price. Yeah but still, 10 bucks for an apple? Hmmm...

Ps. See pics @

Journey to Blue by Dilara Erdem (aka Dilayra)

Dilara is a friend of both my wife and I. See her colored world here...

DVD Identifier Tool

DVD Identifier
From (,1412,66911,00.html):"Blank media still possess an air of mystery, at least to some people. When you buy a stack of shiny new platters packaged by Fujifilm, TDK Electronics, Ritek, Verbatim, Imation, Hewlett-Packard or another recognizable brand, you cannot count on the name that appears on the label to reveal the whole story. In fact, most of this blank media is manufactured by a short list of companies: India's Moser Baer, Japan's Ricoh and Taiyo Yuden, and Taiwan's CMC Magnetics, Prodisc Technology and Optodisc Technology."

IP Address Locator - Enter an IP address to find its location - Lookup Country Region City etc

This is an interesting piece of web based tool that helps you locate where geographically an IP is located. I tested a few IP addresses from different countries and results were good.
IP Address Locator - Enter an IP address to find its location - Lookup Country Region City etc