Firefox 1.5 now available

Mozilla foundation has just released Firefox 1.5. I'm using it now and seems to work fine with Blogger...


Live Domains Beta from MS

A new service was added to the Windows Live Beta family today - Windows Live Custom Domains. The basic idea is that anyone with a domain can now point their MX record to the Live servers. What that means is that users can have Microsoft's servers hosting their own domain's email accounts for free. There's a restriction of 20 email accounts per domain, with each mailbox getting 250MB of space. In addition, the same account functions as a Passport account, and can be used to sign in to MSN Messenger, MSN Spaces etc. I'm assuming users also get access to the spiffy, new AJAX-enabled Windows Live Mail Beta service as the webmail frontend for all their accounts, although that isn't explicitly mentioned anywhere on the site. The team that's working on this also has an official blog, just like all the other Live teams do. View: Windows Live Custom Domains View: Custom Domains Blog


Windows Desktop Search Enterprise Avilable

The new Windows Desktop Search (WDS) Enterprise version is now freely available for download from Microsoft.

Unlike the unmanaged consumer WDS version, the enterprise version is designed to work with automated deployment tools such as Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS), Active Directory (AD), or Group Policy, or via any third-party deployment product. That means it supports a wide range of configuration options, allowing administrators to specify which features are available, which document types can be searched, and so on.

The product has several new capabilities as well. The Outlook toolbar is better integrated into the Outlook client, providing search results directly in the application--not in a separate window as with the consumer version. The scope of user searches is now configurable by administrators, letting you not only specify one or more custom intranet search strings but also a name of the WDS deskbar that identifies that location. For example, in the consumer version, the deskbar lets you search locally or on the Web; with the enterprise version, users will see a third choice--named as you see fit instead of a generic label such as "intranet" or "local network." Finally, because WDS is easily extensible via a simple API documented on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN), corporations can easily add search support for custom document types that they use inhouse. And a wide range of free and low-cost add-ons for WDS is already available on

MSN Search Toolbar for enterprise is available too.


Wanto to see how people draw paintings?

Just sit back and see how amazingly creative artists can draw their paintings on the web using flash at

You can see the exact strokes from the beginning up to the final picture. The quality of some pictures is amazing....


Ever wondered why we have the keyboard letters arranged as they are? A good article about the past of qwerty tells us why:

The first typewriter had its letters on the end of rods called "typebars." The typebars hung in a circle. The roller which held the paper sat over this circle, and when a key was pressed, a typebar would swing up to hit the paper from underneath. If two typebars were near each other in the circle, they would tend to clash into each other when typed in succession. So, Sholes figured he had to take the most common letter pairs such as "TH" and make sure their typebars hung at safe distances.
He did this using a study of letter-pair frequency prepared by educator Amos Densmore, brother of James Densmore, who was Sholes' chief financial backer. The QWERTY keyboard itself was determined by the existing mechanical linkages of the typebars inside the machine to the keys on the outside. Sholes' solution did not eliminate the problem completely, but it was greatly reduced....

Continue reading at the source:


Sony DRM Story

News is everywhere. Sony's latest CD installs a rootkit which hides itself from Windows OS. A few days ago Mark Russinovich wrote about his ingenious investigation and reveal of the rootkit in his blog. Apparently, rootkit was hiding any files that started with $Sys$. Fire caught up and in two days time Sony felt to pressure and responded with the "somewhat sloppy" fix.

SysInternals has a free utility called RootkitRevealer that I would suggest everyone to use as RootKits are much more dangerous that Viruses and Worms. You may never know you have it in your system to begin with! Congrats Mark, you are my hero :)


8GB USB Thumb Drive

Ok, here we are! 8GB USB drive is available from Trancends but guess what I won't buy this toy! Not at its current price of $770.

I really love these drives and have bought several in the past. Right now 512MBs are cheap and maybe you can go for 1Gig but anything above is still not worth the price.

Gizmodo has more on this.

What to buy next?

Boy, have I been on a shopping spree lately! First off, I got my domain back, yeehaaa! I signed up with Yahoo again and it took them really sometime to get over the technical difficulties. Problem was that I had bought the management of this domain sometime ago but had lost the lease for it. When I tried to re-register the domain, they told me that I already owned it (yeah sure) and therefore could not register it although it was seen as available even on their own site. I had to forfeit the management to be able to buy it back! It took 3 hours of talk on the phone with several customer representatives to sort it out.

Then, I decided to add an external HD back up solution for my home environment. I bought a Maxtor / DiamondMax 10 / 300GB / 7200 / 16MB / ATA-133 / EIDE / OEM / Hard Drive from TigerDirect. It's still available for $89 after $45 rebate

As for the enclosure, I had no prior experience so after some digging I bought Ultra 3.5" Mini Portable USB 2.0 / Firewire External Hard Drive Enclosure. Don't let the image decive you. It's really small and almost has no weight itself. It seems to work fine and I was easily able to connect my HD. The only complaint I have is about the fan & the accompanying noise :( It's really bothering me after a while but as it is intended to be a back up solution, I don't run it all the time. I am also trying to find some information on the fan-less models. I am a bit worried that they would get too hot and cause the HD fail. Still, I intend to but another 300-400GB HD but this time with a networked/silent enclosure.

I also had my eyes on LCD monitors for sometime and after some research I settled on 19" ViewSonic VP930b from B&H for about $450. As expected, it turned out to be a superb choice. B&H shipped it immediately and my wife is enjoying it for sometime now. Oh, we actually tilted the screen 90 degrees and she is using it that way. Why not?

Next was a DVD burner and although I tinkered with the BenQ for a while I bought SONY DRU810A RTL DVD+/-RW. I have used a few others Sony DVD burners and never had any issues. It's available at for about $99 now.

Of course, I needed some blank DVDs and visited and ordered
100 x DVD+R 8X Silver Bulk by Taiyo Yuden
100 x 52X CD-R 80min/700MB Thermal Silver Bulk by Taiyo Yuden
just for $74. I also wanted to get some slim jewel case but to my surprise, shipping would cost me more than jewel cases...
I'll be travelling to Argentina & Brazil in December and I desperately need a digital camera. I've already gave away my old Nikon Coolpix 5400. I loved its flip-out screen and I am looking for something similar to it. I'm asking around hoping camera-savvy friends will suggest a good model but have not found anything yet :(