Sep 4, 2013

Transfer Windows (Microsoft) contacts to Android (Google)

This is probably something you would want to do when changing your phone. Trust me, moving your contacts around isn't all that difficult in the current world. I google'd and read a few articles, all having different ideas mostly suggesting to install some 3rd party app or exchange through WiFI. My windows phone is totally bricked and I can't do any app install or do an export.

This is the easiest way of moving your contacts around, at the expense of some privacy, where Google gets to store all your contact #.

Step 1: Exporting your Windows contacts to CSV
Go to www.live.com and login with your hotmail (or other) id. This is the account with which you have configured your windows phone. It syncs all your new contacts to the live server.
Click on that "DOWN" arrow. 
Click on PEOPLE button
Under Manage -> Click on Export (this gives you a CSV file download) 

Step 2: Importing your CSV to Google 
Go to www.google.com/contacts and login with your gmail id. You can import it here from the Manage tab. Post Import, all will be available, and you can sync it from your android device easily.
Hit More -> Import, select the CSV file you just downloaded. Done!
Once you import that CSV file, you will probably have all your contacts synced with your Google account. To avoid seeing duplicate accounts, which happens sometimes, you can use the "Find & Merge Duplicates" link under the More tab.


Jul 11, 2013

Portal: Exporting entire page hierarcy

Tags: IBM Webspere Portal export entire page hierarchy

I was trying to export a page configuration today, using the XML Export files in Websphere Portal. There was this need to export the entire page tree, along with the main page. Struggled a lot before finding the exact syntax from the official documentation.

So here is it: You might probably google for the same, and could end up here:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<request
    xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
    xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="PortalConfig_1.3.xsd"
    type="export">

    <!-- Sample for exporting subtree of the content hierarchy. This script exports the page customizer 
         place with all contained pages. -->
    <portal action="locate">
        <content-node action="export" uniquename="wps.My Portal" export-descendants="true"/>
    </portal>
</request>

The key here is the export-descendants="true" switch. It fetches the desendants as well. This is the equivalent of EXPORT option from Portal Administration console + YES button. It acutally provides three options - YES, NO, CANCEL while YES is for entire hierarchy, NO for just the current page and CANCEL to abort the operation.

For more syntax, here you go - the official doc: http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/wpdoc/v510/topic/com.ibm.wp.ent.doc/wps/admxmsmp.html?noframes=true#admxmsmp__exportpage

Jun 16, 2013

Question to you: Which is the most viewed picture in history?


This blog post is supposed to have a picture in it, but intentionally, I had decided not to embed it and let the curiosity of the reader go up. So tell me something, How famous was that Monalisa picture? How many of us has seen it? Many of us, don't we? Few months ago, my curiosity got me into looking for the most "liked" photograph of all time, and published my search results as a blog post. But then again, I had something else in mind today - which is the "most viewed" irrespective of how incredible (or terrible) the the viewer found it. I am not limiting the discussion to social media content like Youtube views or twitter RT's or facebook LIKE's. I am considering all human boundaries here, including the smallest of villages of countries that you don't even know existed.

This could get really really interesting if you start to think of the answer. It is the sole reason this blog doesn't directly display the picture. So start making some guesses. What picture could've been seen the most on a landmass so diverse and huge as our planet?  Think for a moment and then read the next paragraph of this post. 

Alrite, did you really think? 99% of the readers won't. Good job there but at least at the blink of the moment, I am sure you would have thought about something, don't you? Let the suspense roll on. So there was this guy named Charles O'Rear, in 1998 who was driving one fine day on the side of the 12/121 highway. He was somewhere near Napa Valley in California, as he witnessed a green, lush hillside. An ardent photographer that he is, O'Rear took little time to stop by, take out his hand-held medium-format Mamiya RZ67 camera and clicked it. He submitted the picture to his company, Corbis, which is known for "stocking" photos and selling them online. The CEO of Corbis was also the founder of another famous company which you will get to see soon.
The camera that O'rear used for taking the "most seen" photograph
Guessed it yet? Have something in mind what it could be? It is an image that you have definitely seen before. I have seen it. All your classmates and colleagues have too. It is possibly the "most familiar photograph" ever known to mankind, as O'Rear himself put it,
"All the folks I talk with agree it is the most 'recognizable' photo ever. If it were shown to a villager in rural China, for example, good chance they would recognize it. If it were shown to astronauts on the ISS, good bet they would know it, too. I have seen it appear in photos of the White House situation room, the Kremlin, etc."
Alrite, I had built it up already, far too long, and by now, I had lost some 30% of my readers before this point. For the remaining 70%, here you go: click the below link to see it.

Click to see the most familiar picture known to man

Got it? It's Microsoft that picked O'Rear's image for its new operating system code named Windows XP in 2002. Microsoft's payment for the rights to the photo was "reportedly the second most expensive photo licence ever purchased" and O'Rear said the amount is "extraordinary". Microsoft named the image as Bliss  and used it as the default wallpaper for its OS, and as we all know how XP went into the nook and corner world-wide, this picture had convincingly become the most viewed. There is no real statistic but logically, there is no other pic I could recollect that reached as much as this did. And Bill Gates is also the CEO of Corbis, the photo stocking company that O'Rear worked for! It was an agreement that he will never disclose how much money he got for that picture. It is a raw, unedited photograph that directly went into Windows XP. That's why you find that wall paper a little dull and dim than the other bright edited photographs that you see.

Agree now? If you know of a much more famous familiar pic, I would like to see you write a comment  about it here.

Jun 9, 2013

Google Drive Desktop App

Google continues to revolutionize with the continual improvement of its product suites. They released a desktop app for Google drive, which  I got to experiment today. If you are a software developer who have seen the likes of SVN and its Tortoise SVN windows client, the following picture gives you a similar feeling. I meant the indication on the files, like a green tick, blue refresh icon, stating the file is being uploaded. I actually did a right-click to see if there is a check-in, check-out :P which is not provided for obvious reasons.     


Microsoft Office Sharepoint has that feature of editing the files in the server locally in your office suite and then check it back into the sharepoint server, perhaps Google can have a similar thing. At the max, it will require writing some Office Add-in, or I believe so. You just copy-paste your files like an USB Flash drive, and it moves around things. A great place to keep some "most wanted" stuff like copies of your ID's, resume's, photographs for quick printing from anywhere you are! 

It looks pretty much like a e-Flash-Drive. Lovely. Loved it! 

Security is one threat when you keep potential stuff online, unless and until you are not Gates are Buffet, it shouldn't be a problem. 

Mar 15, 2013

Two most adventurous days


Note: All the hyperlinks in this page pop-up photographs/videos. Just click them as they come. I have attempted a new style of blogging where multimedia content are linked instead of embedded (To avoid reader's distraction)


So I fly to Pune for a short two-week stint at work, and it is that weekend in the middle of this period that got me do something crazy enough to write a blog about. When I was thinking how to spend the weekend last Thursday night, intending not to spend it sleeping in my Hotel room or roam around local malls, out of no where came this [not very] attractive idea of doing a trip "alone", to a destination that you won't generally go alone. Goa is what I thought about, and considering the fact it is only half as far from Pune as compared to Chennai, I decided to do it. I haven't been there before, which was a primary motivation to do the trip. After five hours of intense googling and blog reading, I zeroed in on my travel options, and the stay, while keeping the itinerary 'blank'.   

I went on to spend the two most adventurous days of my life. The best thing I did was to rent a two-wheeler the moment I landed in Panjim, [Dont forget to click those links!] the state's capital. It is the best mode to explore Goa. There are hundreds of agents renting hundreds of vehicles everyday. Soon after, I went for a long drive having no idea where I was going. I would frequently track my state with my smartphone's GPS. The day started at Dona Paula, and ended at Chapora, two extreme edges of North Goa. So I will drive wherever my heart directs me to. Go to whatever beach I end up going. I roamed without rules, drove without a destination, explored without intent. Made new friends. Dived into the middle of the Arabian sea [Video]. Got into a parachute, flew 50m high and was gifted with a breathtaking Life-Of-Pi style scenery. Tried driving a Jet Ski speed bike that jumped past high tides, Shot some spectacular panoramic images [my favourite style of photography] over the entire day with my Lumia. The view from Chapora fort is unforgettable still. Hit there for sunset, if you ever go to Goa. I ended day #1, while googling for my Day #2 destination. I saw a long list of beach after beach, making the top 10 on TripAdvisor.com, mostly from Southern Goa. Why spend the next day also on beaches?, I thought. I had seen 7 beaches in less than 12 hours already. I am not a church/temple type and wasn't interested in them either. Something very different is what I was targeting at, and ended up finding Dudhsagar Falls - 17th most favorited Goa destination. I googled for images of this falls, and there was one pic, vivid enough to attract me there all the more stronger. 

So after a day full of beach rides, I go for this 70-mile ride through a scenic old goa, and hair-pin-bended-hills. There was literally no one on the road. I was wholly trusting my GPS, hoping that it will end me up where I wanted it to. Almost 75% into the journey, I realized that I forgot to withdraw cash while starting. Such a blunder, I was so cautious and focused on taking the correct route, and missed out on this. All that was left was 400 rupees, in which 350 would go for the jeep taxi fare that shuttles between dudhsagar falls and the nearest village. Almost half the tank's fuel is gone, and I would use the remaining 50 bucks for fuel, assuming I skip buying lunch. What a pity! Having no money and a debit card is one and having money without access to an ATM is another. Would I go back? I did not. I have come all the way to take the train-crossing-dudhsagar-falls photograph, and I am not returning without it. With crazy ideas like selling the soveniors I bought, I continued my journey and reached Collem village, the place where you start your "14-km forest ride" to Dudhsagar falls. I reached my destination but lost 70% of my phone battery. I will need it for the two main things my survival depend on: (1) Taking pictures (2) Using GPS. It was 2 in the noon, I had lost my battery, left without money, fuel, and virtually hopeless of catching my return bus which was scheduled for a 8 PM departure. It was like a typical Indian movie interval where a lead star is left with nothing, and is expected to "catch up". I knew I would get to know by 8 PM, whether I am a hero or a comedian. 

So I set out for a walk, inquiring for nearest ATM's, only to know that it is 18 miles away. One of the shoppies I spoke to, was kind enough to allow me charge my phone. I waited more than an hour here, watching 5 foreign tourists cross the road over and over, stocking up fruits and beer tins, as my phone charged. They are possibly preparing for the same journey as me, I thought, assuming such a small village will not have much attractions. Both the days put together, I had spent over 4 hours, only to charge my phone. There was this thought in my mind, ever since I started the day, that I would do the 14-mile forest drive with my bike, which is more fun and would also save the jeep taxi fare [350 bucks]. Blogs were also telling me that we won't be allowed to ride inside the gate, and that it is very tough to actually drive there. 80% charging was done, and I took the phone with some confidence, started my Honda Dio for one-hell-of-a-forest-ride. The foreign tourists also began their journey. I got some company, and I should be able to do this, I thought, only to realize it the other way later on. Even before I could begin my journey, I was blocked by the sight of a water pool. The 14-km drive has 4-5 small water streams in between, through which you have to manage. The Jeep taxi's do that with utmost ease, while my bike struggled. I was thinking that I had rented the "right bike" for my exploration but the thought holds good only for the first day of the trip. This 2nd day, I must be having a more powerful vehicle. I withdrew my intent, and decided not to do it. Seconds later, I found the man in the enticer bike limping  in the middle of the stream, pushing his bike along. He hurt his leg very badly while crossing it. The problem is not just water, but the hard-rocks and stones under them which normal bike tires cannot go past easily. 

So I returned back, started waiting for the jeep taxi. I would also turn out super-lucky by finding this small hotel that had a deal: No money? No Problem. Buy Money. They actually swipe your debit/credit card for whatever money you want and charge 12% extra. Expensive but proved useful for me at that moment. They had this deal which says, "2100 Rs for a Jeep, Maximum of 6 people". So if you are a gang of 6, its 350/head, and if 5, then 425/head. That man asked me something for a long time in Hindi, that sounded like a "How many of you" question for which I replied "only me". He asked me to wait over a corner, which means, I should wait for a gang of 5 or less. 10 mins later, 4 guys came. We 5 thought of going but decided to wait for one more. 10 more mins later, a gang of 15 college students came and rocked out the place. After lot of negotiation, we did a 7+7+6 in 3 Jeeps. So after lot of struggle, I finally got to see the falls I wanted. Not the view I anticipated, but was satisfied I could reach till there, and have a swim. Amazing to see that the Railway department actually built a track over there. Really amazing.  

I started back to Panjim around 6, and did the same distance in less than 75 minutes. The roads are really good, with sign boards directing you approriately at every intersection, and with a better vehichle/car, this Panjim - Dudhsagar stretch can be done in just 40 mins. I reached my place well ahead on time and boarded the bus. It was 2 great and adventurous days, roaming all alone, knowing nothing about Goa. Both the days put together, I had consumed 8 litres of fuel, which is around 300km (just inside the city). And fuel is 30% cheaper here (57/ltr against 72/ltr in other states).  I will come here again, with all my friends, with more powerful bikes, and a better camera, for the Dudhsagar forest-ride. Roaming alone in unknown territory is never so new to me. When I was 14 years old, I did a 17-mile ride to my grandmother's village alone in my bi-cycle. So it is obvious that such a creature is prone to embark upon crazier journeys over time. To be continued... :-)

Jan 3, 2013

The most liked photo

I was going through my facebook wall, giving LIKEs for some sweet posts, as I thought, "What could be the most liked thing on facebook". A gasp, followed by a Google search, and some reading before I figured it out. It's Obama's "back-to-throne" moment that made it! If I recollect correctly, it was also the same picture, along with a 3-word tweet that read, "Four More Years" which Twitter.com announced as the Year 2012's Most re-tweeted post. Mr.President is breaking records on the internet as well! 


This picture, having Obama embracing Michelle, became the most liked photo once it crossed 2.1 million. 

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