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Messages - icekin [ switch to compact view ]

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Hello all, I apologise for my long absence. I have been quite occupied in the last 4 years. I've completed a masters degree, climbed Kilimanjaro and joined a not for profit. I still search the DC forum for software ideas. I've stopped using many of the admittedly excellent DC programs, mostly because Microsoft seems to have come to their senses and included these features by default in Windows.

The most common one was a keyboard launch program like FARR. Those on Windows 7 and 8 will notice that the windows key mostly does the same thing now, although FARR is admittedly way more feature rich. I can't thank mouser and the other developers enough for making Windows a more usable and productive OS while Microsoft were busy pulling their thumbs out.

On the online front, I've mostly become a lurker, but I do post on Quora. Mouser, congrats on the 10th anniversary of DC!

sri, glad to see another DC member in Australia. I'm in Melbourne and I wonder if we could do a DC meetup down here?

Living Room / Re: Steve Jobs is dead.
« on: October 07, 2011, 06:33 AM »
I have only ever used 3 apple products:

1. iTunes - to access iTunes U
2. Safari - to make sure the sites I build work
3. Quicktime Player - to play those .mp4 or .mov files in the browser

And all the 3 products sucked. I even used iTunes and Safari on a native Mac, not a Windows machine. Even now, when I have to use someone's Mac, I go nuts with that one button trackpad and the whole emphasis around drag and drop rather than use the keyboard.

But I have friends and family that are unlike me. I am surrounded by PC illiterate folks who don't understand the ABCs of computer security and keeping their anti virus up to date. And their lack of tech knowledge doesn't mean that I should stop associating with them, because they are great people otherwise. For them (and indirectly for me), Apple was a solution. Thanks to an iPad, my very old grandfather was able to talk to me from his couch thousands of miles away without having to learn to boot up a laptop. Earlier this year, he passed away. I agree that this could have been done on an Android tablet or a netbook too. But you can't deny that there are certain markets and needs that Apple addresses quite well.

While I may never buy an Apple product, I must thank Apple Inc. (not just Steve) for making a product that allowed me to keep in touch with my family. While Apple may not be the technology pioneers that their fans think they are, they are certainly another producer of quality, usable tech hardware (albeit with a steep price tag). And as a company, they have every reason to be proud of that.

General Software Discussion / Re: Google Docs Sync
« on: May 06, 2011, 02:16 PM »
Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office:

Automatically syncs documents on your computer that are opened with office onto Google Docs. Not sure if this is what you want.

Thank you all for contributing to the discussion so far. I suppose I should explain a bit more about the reason for my question. In developing countries, I see several social ventures that aim to bring education and clean drinking water to millions who can't get access to either. On the other hand, citizens of most developed countries would take things like basic education, clean water and reliable power for granted. It makes me somewhat sad to see non-profits do what governments should be doing for their citizens in the first place. Of course, defining where the role of government starts and ends is a difficult question in itself. The answer would vary depending on the individual. But I would be interested to know what others think on that.

As app mentioned above, I know that even in a perfect government, you would always need some non-profits to take care of local issues that are only relevant to a small number of people. I also know that governments don't fund all non-profits. But a few things still puzzle me:

I have sometimes seen 2 non-profits or social ventures that are started, sometimes in the same geographic region to essentially achieve the same end goal. Both these organizations compete for government funding and sponsorship from corporates as well as the public through advertising. To make it more confusing, both have the Tax exempt status. The best example I can think of is Peta and the RSPCA.

Why does such fragmentation occur in the non-profit sector? Is it due to different ideologies and leadership? And should there be more regulation in getting a tax exempt status to prevent unnecessary fragmentation in the non-profit sector?

I recently came across a statistic that stated that there are far more social startup ventures in developing countries than developed ones. It got me thinking if governments were perfect and did everything they were supposed to, would there still be a role for non-profits? I also know that several non-profits are government funded. Why does it make more sense for governments to allocate funds this way versus starting a government department to take care of the social issue themselves? Is it so that they can avoid the blame on themselves should something go wrong?

Living Room / Re: Is a college education worth the money?
« on: June 11, 2010, 07:41 AM »
Interesting thread so far. I've lived in a few countries and education is necessary for any white collar job anywhere. It does not have to always be a college degree though, I know a lot of people who have completed advanced diplomas and technical courses at polytechnics or TAFE and are doing well now. Polytechics are also a lot cheaper than universities and a better value for money. Having attended both, I have observed that a polytechnic offers more hands on, practical training while a degree offers more theory and understanding of underlying concepts, which is why a coop or internship is necessary to balance the theory with some real world skills.

academic qualification != Job != success

I see lots of budding entrepreneurs drop out of college every day to start a business. Some succeed, many don't. It proves that with sufficient initiative and courage, a lack of a degree will only be a small handicap. But given that not everyone is born to be an entrepreneur, a degree is quite a good investment for the regular working person.

Finished Programs / Re: IDEA: Scrollable Desktop Like a Folder
« on: March 13, 2010, 07:48 PM »
I know this thread is very old, but I thought I'd post an update on it anyway. I recently came across a program called Fences. Fences allow icons to be placed within specified areas of the desktop and lets then scroll, without scrolling the entire screen like WinScroll. This is great, because I can now create a single fence the size of the desktop and place any number of icons in it and watch it scroll. This was what I was trying to achieve. Unfortunately, fences does not support details view or even list view, only large icons at the moment. I tried combining it with something like Pitaschio, which can do list view, but the end result was not that good, with icons overlapping etc.

Fences also has a paid version, Fences Pro, which allows sorting icons by date, type, filename etc. I have not tried it, so I am not sure how good it is. For someone not looking to use list view on the desktop, Fences is the best way to have unlimited icons on the desktop.

I also posted this on the Sourceforge Natural Language Processing Forum a week ago and got no replies. With all the new advances in AI being revealed on the news, I thought the time was right to make an idea like this feasible. My main problem is that with the explosion of content, its becoming a struggle to separate the relevant content from the rest, for both the post authors as well as the readers of the blog.

As a start, I would appreciate some sort of firefox, greasemonkey or chrome plugin that could just filter out the trolls, LOLcats, rickroll videos, pedobears and other stuff that I'm sure is funny, but I don't really give a toss about. I frequently read digg technology section and in the average comment thread, I find about 5 of every 100 comments worth reading for me. By that, I mean they are informative in nature and provide links to more relevant sources about the topic which actually increase one's knowledge. Problem is, these aren't the only posts that people digg up. Someone could write a simple 2 word comment insulting another poster or a company, and that ends up as the most dugg post, even though it had nothing to do the topic.

General Software Discussion / Natural Language Sorting for Comments
« on: January 06, 2010, 05:55 PM »
I am currently pursuing an idea for better presentation of comments on blogs. I would like some suggestions on this:

The Problem:

On popular blog posts, there can be over a few hundred or thousand comments, spread across several threads on the same page. After a while, the few thousand comments fall into separate distinct threads talking about different things. Some posters also discuss multiple aspects of discussion in one reply. For the blog authors, it can be quite difficult to follow all the comments, especially across several blog posts. I am trying to find a solution that can help blog authors quickly prioritize and reorganize the entire thread in a more presentable format in order of post importance.

Example 1: "A Blog post supporting the use of national level internet censoring"

Comments for such a post can easily be categorized in 3 categories:

- In Favour of the author
- Against the Author
- Uncategorized (unable to categorize)

In this case, the author may wish to reply to the posts that oppose his own viewpoint first to further the discussion.

Example 2:

Blog post about: "Small independent hardware company announcing a new low voltage processor for netbooks"

Comments for this post may be more varied in categories:

- Posts pointing out other existing low voltage processors on the market - nature: informative
- Posts appreciating the product
- Posts critisizing the product for various reasons
- other

I am wondering if there is any existing Natural Language processing algorithm or software that can analyse complete sentences or comments and determine their nature as per the categories I have stated above.

From my research, the closest example I have found is Slashdot, where each post is categorized as informative, funny, insightful etc. and given a score from -1 to 5. But this is done by other visitors, not by algorithms. It works on a popular site like slashdot, but I am not sure other posters would bother doing this on a small blog.

Other solutions I have seen include methods of sorting comments based on location (IP address), time since blog post was published, length of post etc.

Any suggestion is appreciated!

Living Room / Re: Google's Eric Schmidt has a stupid moment on privacy
« on: December 23, 2009, 07:46 PM »
My only 3 issues with Bing and Yahoo search (or any other search):

1) Its slow compared to Google 
2) The quality of the results is not as good.
3) There are no extensions for it. (e.g. Optimize Google for Firefox, or the numerous Greasemonkey scripts)

Otherwise, all the search engines pretty much offer the same experience.

Living Room / Re: Whats on your desktop?
« on: November 13, 2009, 05:56 AM »
Here's an update of mine. I'm trying to learn GTD and this wallpaper helps. Using Tinyresmeter for the gadget at the bottom of the screen and Tclock lite for the extended clock. No start button needed, I just use FARR for all my launching needs.


Go to Program Options -> Settings -> General. Under Interactive memory use, try setting it to stay in memory longer (faster to wake up, uses more memory when minimized.)

Pigeons - 1 | Nerd Scientists - 0

I've read through the interesting discussions in this thread and here is my view:

I have personally disliked macs for a long time and for one good reason: its closed source. I can't choose my hardware. Sometime last year, I came across the Hackintosh on Lifehacker which changed my opinion on this. I also had a chance to play with my friend's macbook when he left it with me for a few weeks. I made it my primary machine so that I could get the Mac experience.

My 2 cents:

Compared to Windows XP 32-bit SP3, Mac OS X does feel somewhat more stable. I can't speak for Vista and I never plan to install that on any of my machines. In my practical day to day experience, OS X is not faster than Windows. All my applications run at the same speed. Windows has the advantage of a wide selection of applications and while software manufacturers are improving Mac support, Mac is still ages behind Windows in terms of software choice. I agree that most people only need one good app for one job rather than a dozen and I am no different. But what should that one app be? When it comes to music for example, most Mac users are happy with iTunes. I cannot live without foobar2000, which will probably never be natively ported to Mac due to its dependence on Windows libraries. Of course, there is Parallels and VMware, which I am aware of. But that's another memory and CPU intensive application I need to run to just an extremely light music player (i.e. foobar2000). There are many other such apps that I can think of.

I understand that its not Apple's fault if software makers don't want to support it, but the same can of Linux and the whole driver fiasco with hardware manufacturers. From my experience, OS X is no better than Linux in terms of speed, security and stability, but does have a few more programs that can run on it natively (Adobe, Solidworks etc).

I also don't care how cool or not a machine looks and personally, I hate the one click mouse button. I know that I can plug in an external mouse, but for a laptop, that's another piece of hardware I have to remember to carry around in addition to the charger and its just a hassle. I think that whether we like it or not, Windows is here to stay and will continue to enjoy the majority of the market share. I would like to see Linux (probably Ubuntu) emerge as the main competitor to Windows in the future, something that can be easily achieved with better driver support and a few more software applications.

Since this was made in Drupal, can I know which modules you used?

From what I see WinSCP is more an FTP client than a shell prompt. Its still a good program though and I used it quite a bit but recently switched to CuteFTP. Biggest drawback of WinSCP is a lack of ability to reorganize folders (See point 3 above).

I've finally found my near perfect solution. Its called mRemote ( and runs on top of putty.

1) It supports multiple SSH sessions, including saving of username and passwords.

2) Usernames and passwords are stored in a file that can be exported and moved between computers.

3) Various session entries and folders containing entries can be dragged and dropped freely to reorganize the tree. It amazes me how many SSH tools completely forget this feature!

4) mRemote is completely portable

5) mRemote is open source!

It supports copy through middle click of mouse button, but not sure about paste.

Another close competitor for a good SSH client is Bitvise Tunnelier (, but I found the interface too complicated and several features lacking (e.g. custom command support). Tunnelier's best feature is that each SSH session also opens up a GUI FTP window so that a person can drag and drop files in the background while running UNIX commands through shell in the foreground.

Living Room / Re: Free Alternatives to Silktide Sitescore
« on: October 01, 2009, 09:46 PM »
Thanks for replying to the post. I've tried Nibbler and its quite good. Seems to make a mistake with analytics detection though. All my sites use analytics and nibbler keeps saying that they can't be detected.

General Software Discussion / Re: What is your preferred font?
« on: September 06, 2009, 05:06 PM »
Since Recently: Tahoma 12 everywhere, including the OS, Coding, Applications etc. I use MS Word in Calibri, since that is the default there in Office 2007.

Until Recently: Arial on the OS everywhere and Times New Roman (TNR) on word. I still use TNR for resumes and such.

Straight from Japan: Lunascape

Claims to be the world's only triple engine browser. Don't know about that, I know FF with IE View extension was quite popular among web developers before. Anyone tried this?

I thought I'd update my progress on this. For starters, I got myself a huge inbox, which is what GTD recommends anyway. I need Google Calendar integration as a main priority since it gives me free SMS reminders, which are real handy. If Google Calendar supported tagging, I'd be set. RTM (Remember the Milk) can integrate with Google Calendar, supports priorities and tags, but the tags don't seem to show up once imported into Google Calendar.

I've yet to try Tracks, it seems good and I have access to a ruby server, so I'll be playing with that.

I've come up with a system of organization that works for me and I need help finding a software that can easily do it.

With tons of things to do, I've realized the need for a system of organization. I've heard rave reviews about GTD, but having gone through some of the book, its far too complex for my liking. Hence, I've come up with my own system. TO form this, I've taken some ideas from Dave Allen's GTD principles, plus my own.

All stuff is broken down into tasks that is organized into 4 priorities:

1) Urgent and Important
2) Urgent and non-Important
3) Non-Urgent and Important
4) Non-Urgent and Non-Important

It goes 1 to 4 in decreasing order of priority.

Each task is tagged under one or more categories - e.g. health, financial, career, business, personal development, family etc.

Whenever a new task is added into the system, I put down the date it is due, its priority, some tags plus some small notes describing it. The task is then automatically added to my calendar. When I look at the calendar, I can see the tasks that are coming up. The ones that are higher in priority will appear at the top of each day.

All this should ideally be in an online system such as Google Calendar (for the calendar) so that I can easily access it from anywhere.

Anyone already use a system like this? Any ideas? So far, I've tried thinking rock and tiddlywiki, but both are GTD based.

Living Room / The Open Source Car
« on: July 25, 2009, 09:13 AM »


The CMMN project is from Netherlands and aims to use community contribution to design a eco friendly car, whereby the entire design plans and specifications will be released under an open source license. The car is still being designed, but the idea is appealing.

Living Room / Re: Where did your DC user I.D come from?
« on: July 06, 2009, 11:17 PM »
I used to play a lot of dominion. icekin is one of the races that I used to play all the time. I've stopped playing dominion 7 years ago, but the have kept the username since.

I recently came across 2 other solutions that have tried to implement this.

1) Wolfram Alpha (

2) Google Squared (

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