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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Download Paragon Partition Manager Professional for free [24 hours remain]

This Diwali season it appears to be raining freebies. Now it it is the turn of the Paragon Software Group to offer one of its otherwise commercial software for free download. Assuming you came to know about the offer from my blog, you have around 24 hours [till October 18] to download Partition Manager v9.5 Professional for Free.

 Paragon Partition Manager 9.5 Professional

It is a slightly older version of the software as the latest version 10 is currently available for retail purchase at around $80 USD. Nevertheless a very handy software to have to perform your partitioning tasks on Windows [probably doesn’t work on Windows 7 & Windows Server 2003. Will download it and updated you about the latter OS].

The most amazing thing about this software is the extremely low system requirements – just 300 MHz processor speed, 256 MB RAM & 100 MB HDD space.

So if you are looking out for a useful & effective partition manager to use, then give the Paragon Software’s Partition Manager 9.5 Professional a try.

via @ParagonFree

P.S: now that v10 has been released, they do seem to be offering v9.5 as free download from time-to-time, last time being in August it seems. Me not complaining :D.

Godspeed


Friday, October 16, 2009

HP giving Cloud Computing for Dummies for FREE! – get your copy NOW!

Cloud computing for dummies

HP, part of its promotion of its Cloud computing enterprise & podcast is giving away free copies of the book Cloud Computing for Dummies.

I’ve just entered my details – lets hope they send me one :) [I did get 6 months of free trial subscription of the AW&ST magazine ;)].

To avail of this promotion, head over here and fill in the details asked.

Godspeed


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pictures from Yudh Abhyas 2009 Indo-US military exercise

The annual Indo-US military exercises Yudh Abhyaas 2009 is currently underway having begun on 12th of October 2009. This year the exercises, being held in India this year at the Babina range, would concentrate on honing skills involved in fighting using Mechanized infantry brigades. India would be fielding the BMP-2 & the T-90 MBT while the Americans have flown in the Stryker that were on the way back after being deployed in Iraq – first such scale of deployment outside of Iraq & Afghanistan. The soldiers are also undergoing sessions of yoga, to help them cope up with the stress & strains confounding them [IIRC they had done so even during YA07].

Here are some of the images captured from the ongoing exercises that would last 2 weeks.

Operation Yudh Abhyaas 2009

Indian army Maj. Gen. Anil Malik, general officer commanding, 31st Armored Division and keynote speaker at the opening ceremony for Exercise Yudh Abyas 09, greets U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jim Isenhower, commander, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, based in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, at the opening ceremony for exercise Yudh Abhyas, at the Babina Indian army base, Oct. 12. YA09 is an annual bilateral exercise between the armies of India and the U.S. This year marks the first time in the history of the exercise in which two mechanized units participate. Indian army Maj. Gen. Anil Malik, general officer commanding, 31st Armored Division and keynote speaker at the opening ceremony for Exercise Yudh Abyas 09, addresses participants in the bilateral annual exercise. YA09 opened with a ceremony at the Babina Indian army base, Oct. 12. Participants this year are Soldiers from the Indian Army’s 94th Armored Brigade command, 7th Mechanized Brigade and U.S. Army’s  2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, based in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Squadron color guard members, Sgt. David Wolfe, Spc. David Swan and Cpl. Arthur Fread, all from the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment “Strykehorse,” 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, stand at attention during the opening ceremony of Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09 at the Babina Indian army base, Oct. 12. YA09 is a bilateral exercise involving the armies of India and the United States.
20091011-A-7233B-052 20091011-A-7233B-061 20091011-A-7233B-008
Yudh Abhyas 2009 An Indian army officer explores the inside of a Stryker vehicle belonging to 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment “Strykehorse,” 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, during the static display portion of the opening ceremony for Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09 at the Babina Indian army base, Oct. 12. YA09 is an annual bilateral exercise, the U.S. Army and Indian army have an opportunity to exchange staff and organizational tactics, techniques and procedures. Indian army Maj. Gen. Anil Malik, general officer commanding, 31st Armored Division and keynote speaker at the opening ceremony for Exercise Yudh Abyas 09, addresses participants in the bilateral annual exercise. YA09 opened with a ceremony at the Babina Indian Army base, Oct. 12. Participants this year are Soldiers from the Indian Army’s 94th Armored Brigade command, 7th Mechanized Brigade and U.S. Army’s  2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, based in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
A Soldier from the Indian army shows Sgt. Luke Hoffman, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment “Strykehorse,” 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, the 5.56 Insas Sniper Rifle during the static display portion of the opening ceremony for Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09 at the Babina Indian army base, Oct. 12. YA09 is an annual bilateral exercise; the U.S. Army and Indian army have an opportunity to exchange staff and organizational tactics, techniques and procedures. Yudh Abhyas 2009 Yudh Abhyas 2009
Yudh Abhyas 2009 Yudh Abhyas 2009 Yudh Abhyas 2009
20091011-A-7233B-041 Yudh Abhyas 2009 yoga training 20091011-A-7233-002
20091011-A-7233B-026 
Courtesy: dvidshub.net
You may check out more pictures uploaded as the exercise progresses on USARPAC’s Flickr account
Godspeed
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Download ZoneAlarm® Pro 2010 for free [only for 24 hours]

If you wish to use to use commercial software without having to pay anything for it, then here is your chance. Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., makers of ZoneAlarm brand of software plan to allow free download of the latest version of the software for 24 hours.

Download ZoneAlarm® Pro 2010

In the words of its developers,

ZoneAlarm Pro 2010 combines the world’s number one firewall with an OSFirewall that monitors behavior within the operating system (OS) to stop malicious attacks that are intentionally designed to corrupt the OS. Together, these robust defenses block attacks that anti-virus alone misses, making it the perfect add-on to the anti-virus protection consumers may already have. Check Point ZoneAlarm Pro includes, for no additional charge, Identity Protection Services with daily credit report monitoring, and Victim Recovery Services that help consumers recover quickly from identity theft.

This otherwise commercial $40 USD worth software can be used free for a year & installed on up to 3 computers. They seem to be making the same offer quite often, as I do remember reading about a similar offer some months ago too. Well me not complaining as it its free and is said to be a pretty effective & usable software.

To get notified when you can begin download, you have to go & sign up for notification here.

Godspeed


Saturday, September 19, 2009

How to create, edit and remix audio files without installing any software?

Scenario 1: You are an upcoming musical group, perpetually broke [and possibly on dope], who need to edit and jazz up their demos and make it presentable in the hope that the record labels hear it & think of you as the next BIG thing [after the bubonic plague]. If these weren’t bad enough, you have even developed a conscience lately - so no piracy for you.

Scenario 2: You are stuck in a land far, far away with a terminal that has given you no install rights [an e-dhimmi, you are] and you want to to mix up a cheesy, sappy one of a kind lurve track for your girl that you think might just break your dry spell [you are so very wrong there. But again, they being them, I might be the wrong one here].

So what do you do?

Heeding to the calls of these aforementioned desperate souls, Aviary recently released Myna - a free online audio editor.

 Aviary Myna - Free Online audio editor

The company have this to say about Myna,

“Myna, a powerful online audio editor, makes it simple and easy to upload, record, and remix audio clips online. Whether you are new to audio editing or a professional you can get started right away on Aviary.com.”

This flash-based online service seems to offer some pretty good set of editing features for people to use and play around with. Full disclosure: the musically challenged me had to Google up most of the terms listed as features to know what it means. It even offers you a platform for sharing your creation with the rest of the world.

All in all, it looks like a pretty nifty, featurefulness service being offered for free. If you are interested in the mixing, looping, scratching ityadi stuff and don’t want to pay [either a bomb or a cracker] to do so, Myna seems to be a good starting point. Do give it a try.

Godspeed


Friday, September 18, 2009

UCAV: How to wage a war from your living room

The Tribune has provided a nice illustration explaining America’s Air Operations using Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles [UCAVs] in the battlefield theaters of Iraq and Pak-Af.

A beautiful example of seamless integration of multi-disciplinary technology interplay, all working in tandem to accomplish objectives with pinpoint precision and accuracy.

Had it not been for the termination of an actual human life [technically the targets of such UCAVs can lay claims to the title of being addressed to as humans…technically] at the end of missions it undertakes, it would have been the most serious, awesomest, bad-assly, nerdgasmic setup for playing a flight sim.

An interesting thing I learnt [among the gazillions of interesting thing I learn every day] was that the control of the UCAVs up to the take-off stage and then when it is about to land is in the hand of the operators located in the battlefield theater and not the one sitting 1000s of miles away in America, who controls it in flight and also fires the missiles upon receiving orders. Me wonders how much of this is due to limitations in Technology and how much of it is due to something far more non-technology reasons.

Conductng Wars using UCAVs

You may view the original file here [PDF 3 MB]

Popular Science had done a fairly detailed feature article on this topic some months back - Point. Click. Kill: Inside The Air Force's Frantic Unmanned Reinvention. It includes a video of a UCAV pilot describing the sequence of operation involving the launch of a Hellfire missile from a Predator UCAV targeting Taliban terrorists.

Also worth checking out is their picture gallery – How unmanned airstrikes work

Though obviously this controller setup is not placed in anybody’s living room [duhh!! me for even thinking anybody would have thought so], recent reports co-relating gaming and UAV/UCAV piloting got me to realise that the genesis of metamorphosis of these people in to men waging war lies in the living room – hence the title :-).

Godspeed

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Alan Turing’s three greatest contributions: Richard Buckland

Was sifting & pruning the collection of downloaded videos, when I came across this great video by Professor Richard Buckland. In his usual exuberant, animated & engaging style he gives a brief talk about about three of Alan Turing’s greatest contributions – decoding the Enigma, Turing Machine & Artificial Intelligence [A.I.].

Duation: 25 mins approx

He also touched upon the Turing Test, though he doesn’t speak about it in this video. You may watch him speak about the Turing Test here.

Another great lecture about Alan Turing - Alan Turing: Codebreaker and AI Pioneer [MIT World]

The UK government recently tendered a formal apology to Alan Turing [Not that the UK Govt was demonstrating some new, path-breaking technology that enables direct contact and communication with those living on the other side…but still symbolically at least] for the treatment meted out to him after it was discovered that he was a homosexual [via rowanNS]. Better late than never, I’d say.

Godspeed


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Recommended readings for the weekend – 2009.09.12

This weeks list of interesting readings all happen to come from one blog. These series of articles touch upon pretty much the entire gamut of product/industrial designing including trending technologies, concepts & software solutions to aid the formulation of quicker & better designs, fulfilling requirements.

Mandatory reading material for any Engineer[+ing students] aspiring to enter the field of designing – very interesting & illuminating.

Next Generation Product Development Tools

Part 01 - Part 02 - Part 03 - Part 04 - Part 05 - Part 06 - Part 07 - Part 08 - Part 09 - Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12 - Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15 - Part 16 - Part 17 - Part 18 - Part 19 - Part 20 - Part 21 - Part 22

via reBang

P.S: The author of these articles, Mr. C. Svenson Johnson had informed me that this series is incomplete and more posts would be added. The awesomeness of these articles merits a re-posts as recommended readings once he completes the series :-). Better still, subscribe to his feed [though he has let his blog remain a lil’ un-updated].

Godspeed


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Download the Google Maps for your Apps e-learning course tutorial for free

If you have an interest in GIS or plan to start using the Google Map API, then you can surely make use of this training tutorial module now being offered for free download. If not for anything else, at least the fact that it is now being offered for free should be incentive enough to download it. ;p

Google Maps for your Apps

GeoSpatial Training Services, a company providing e-learning training course modules & tutorials in the field of GIS is giving away their course Google Maps for your Apps for free.

Downloaded it and am going through it – a pretty user-friendly browser-based interface running on flash with voiceover explaining what is being taught through the monitor - nice.

Some of the things would would learn to do after completing the training module [copy-pasting it as is]

  • Add Google Maps to your web sites.
  • Add navigational controls to Google Maps
  • Geocode addresses for interactive display of points
  • Read points of interest from a database or XML file and plot the points on Google Maps.
  • Add custom icons to the maps.
  • Understand how to use free and pay third party geocoding services for plotting points

You may download the Google Maps for your Apps training module from here

via gistraining

Godspeed


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The 9 Theorems of Innovation at Google – Marissa Mayers

The ability to innovate and ideate are considered as cornerstones of Good designers. An Engineer’s ability to display these two qualities should lead her/him on to great accomplishments and designs.

One of the greatest innovators in recent times has undoubtedly been Google with their revolutionizing web searches and allied fields. So when a Google employee, and for that matter not just any employee, but their Vice President of Search Products & User Experience division Marissa Mayers talks about innovation and how to go about innovating, it pays to listen to her.

Calling it the 9 theorems of innovation, she goes on to talk about the philosophy and approach taken at Google that enables them to come out with their uber-cool services & products.

These theorems of innovation should be applicable in whichever branch of Engineering one may design for & needs to be inculcated on to oneself.

Posting this immensely engaging 49 minutes lecture, sprinkled with liberal dose of humor and anecdotes, she had delivered at the Stanford University a few years back – must watch.

If you are unable to watch it [bandwidth issues, maybe], then here are the 9 theorems that she talked about

  1. Ideas come from everywhere
  2. Share everything you can
  3. You are brilliant, we are hiring
  4. A license to pursue dreams
  5. Innovation not instant perfection
  6. Data is apolitical
  7. Creativity loves constraint
  8. Users, not money
  9. Don't kill projects, morph them

Marissa Mayer’s bio on Google

via formloves

Godspeed


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Suggest related posts from your blog to your readers with the LinkWithin widget

Okay this one has to a quickie, cause I ought not to be in front of my terminal right now but sitting adjacent to it.

Suggesting your blog readers additional post to read from your blog, that are similar to the ones they are currently reading would be a nice way to constructively engage your readers. If you are a Wordpress user, then it, I believe, is pretty simple. For those of us using Blogspot, we had to get down & dirty playing around with CSS & HTML to enable it – no longer.

LinkWithin widget for blogs

LinkWithin is a nifty widget that allows you to show your readers posts that are similar to the ones they are viewing. Just enter a few details & on clicking on the Get widget button you shall be provided the simple instructions to add the widget. On doing so – voila!! related posts for your blog are enabled.

This widget can also be used for other blogging platforms [so they say – haven’t checked]. The relevancy of the post they have been suggesting for my blog is actually pretty decent – some irrelevancy here and there but overall I’ve had nothing to complain up till now [45 minutes to be precise] . Probably higher post count would display better relevancy – I have 129 in this blog [not counting this]. They also say relevancy would improve with time – lets see.

I would have preferred a plain text URL-based suggested list, as opposed to the thumbnail-based one they provide. Also the widget appears not to be centered along my blog post [adding the div align tag too did not work]. Page loading time appears to have increased noticeably, but not alarmingly I feel. Will write to them with my suggestions & feedbacks.

Do give it a try – looks pretty effective to me.

Note: clicking on the thumbnail takes you to an outside link before re-directing back immediately to the post whose thumbnail you clicked on – did a quick Google – nobody seems to have raised an alarm – so I guess its okay.

Godspeed


Monday, August 17, 2009

Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges

Some time back, Dr. Kota Harinarayana had delivered a lecture titled Towards Development of Complex Systems – Issues & Challenges, at the Bengaluru branch of the Institute of Defence Scientists & Technologist [IDST]. Using the Light Combat Aircraft [LCA] as a case study he talked about the approach taken to design a complex system like the LCA program and technological innovations that are borne out of such a program. A highly enriching lecture coming from someone who is rightly called the father of the LCA program.

Posting the transcripts of the lecture – Must Read.

Trivia: The Tail Number of all current LCAs, start with KH, in honor of Dr. Kota Harinarayana for his contributions to the program.

Light Combat Aircraft [LCA], Tejas

Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges(1) 20090818Harinarayana02(2) 20090818Harinarayana03 (3)
Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges(4) 20090818Harinarayana05 (5) Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges (6)
Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges (7) Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges(8) Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges (9)
Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges (10) Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges(11) Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges (12)
Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges(13) Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges(14) Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges (15)
20090818Harinarayana16 (16) Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges(17) 20090818Harinarayana18 (18)
Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges (19) Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges(20) Dr. Kota Harinarayana: Development of Complex Systems – Issues and Challenges(21)

First picture courtesy Wikipedia

Godspeed


Sunday, August 16, 2009

WTF was this Pakistani thinking?!!!

Every time I tell myself I’ve seen it all as far as Pakistanis are concerned, some enthusiastic Pakistani invariably rises up to the occasion to proving me wrong and does so so convincingly, that you can not help but start questioning your own judgment for drawing conclusions about Pakistan & Pakistanis.


via Napaki

Godspeed

Suggested reading for the weekend

Suggesting some highly readable material [IMHO of course] that I went through this week & again went through it, owing to the sheer awesomeness I felt on reading it the first time. Listed them in no particular order.

Of the six, though, I’ve read only five of them completely. I started reading the English version of Anandamath only yesterday. Though yet to read it fully, the sheer force of literary excellence that it hits you with right from the first page leaves one with no option but to include it in this weeks list, even though only 23 pages have been read. I might just post it again as suggested reading once I finish reading it ;).

Godspeed

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy 63rd Independence Day India

Today on the 62nd year of our country’s Independence, I wish all my fellow Indian citizens & Indophiles a very Happy 63rd Independence Day.

Flag of the Republic of India

For 63 years we have been marching ahead and have proven critics & skeptics wrong, almost with sadistic pleasure, with their predictions of our eventual disintegration & disarray.

Not only has our sense of Nationalism grown stronger each passing day [patriotism was never in short supply among Indians], but also our country’s accomplishments & achievements in each & every sphere of life is growing by the day. Our Engineers are rated to be among the best. Our country’s educational system receives a backhanded praise from none other than the POTUS . Our doctors too have been similarly acknowledged both within and outside. Our Space program is earning laurels the world over and other countries are eagerly approaching us for their requirement. It is soon to expand & travel further into the frontiers of outer space. Our Scientists are currently engaged in some pioneering work that would be hailed as nothing short of revolutionary when completed. Their efforts are not going unnoticed as they are being recognized for their efforts the world over.

Today, we are being courted by the pioneering countries of the Industrial Revolution. We proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with them on the world platform, a sign of their acknowledgement of our inevitable rise as a developed nation in the near future. We are being recognized as a country that is going to play a major role in the future world scene.

Forever at the mercy of quasi-evil entity called the IMF till the early-90s, we have successfully escaped from its clutches & now is actually a creditor nation at that institution – giving money to the needy nations of the world.

Being born in India, to me, ensures that every moment of my life is enriched with a source of inspiration to challenge, excel & exceed. If there is one thing that an Indian will never ever run short of, that would be inspiration and motivation provided by the deeds of fellow Indians who have rightly earned their place as the stalwarts and torchbearers for the world in their respective fields.

However, at no point of time must we be lulled in to complacency with these fleeting moment of glory that we definitely must cherish, but remain hungry for far greater achievements and accomplishments with its associated glory. These accolades that we receive the world over is not solely for what we have achieved till now, but also for what we are expected to achieve or rather predicted to achieve based on our current performance. We as the proud citizens of this wonderful land called India must strive not only to make their predictions come true, but must take it upon ourselves to exceed their benchmarks for predicting the glory we shall/must attain.

We owe it to our rich and prosperous history and culture to not only regain our past glory but to build upon it and exceed it. The Mauryan empire must continually be  at the back of the mind of every Indian to remind us of our glorious history and what we must strive to achieve and surpass.

Let it be made clear though, that we do not seek to expand by making our physical presence, by occupation, felt in our quest for expansion and growth. Our expansion is to be attained by becoming a constant source of inspiration, aspiration and a provider of constructive influence and guidance, whose company each seeks, and everybody flourishes and progresses under such mentoring. Such is the type of expansionist power that we need to cultivate and posses.

On this historical occasion, I wish to convey my deepest and sincerest sense of gratitude to our country’s Scientists, Engineers, Doctors and all those who are striving for the cause of nation building. I too am preparing myself to join you and assist you in your efforts to build a prosperous, progressive, advanced nation called India.

However, all these accomplishments, achievements, glories and advancement would not even be remotely possible without one person – the unnamed, unsung, often scorned soldier of the Indian Armed Forces. His daily sacrifices and valor in the most inhospitable areas of land, air and sea, for the people of this country most of whom he/she would never ever meet or get to know, ensures that we as citizens of this country can continue with the way of life as we know it. He eliminates threats meant to eliminate us and takes up the bullet meant for us. If all that they ask for, in return is humane civility in matters concerning him or his family, is it too much to ask for.

My head shall remain eternally bowed in front of you in gratitude and service, dear soldier – no amount of praise or words of appreciation would ever be enough to thank you for the service you are rendering every day to your Motherland even as I sit comfortably in front of my terminal typing this.

Vande Mataram - Anand Math - Hemant Kumar [Male version]

Jai Jawan....Jai Kisan....Jai Vigyaan!

Bharat Mataa ki Jai!

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