My laptop at work has some network configuration issue (I think) leading to
Outlook not finding the server – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But
every other application uses the internet/intranet just fine. Only Outlook
doesn’t work and I’m tired of reading the mails from a web interface because it
is painfully slow and more so for high traffic mailing lists.

So, I switched on my desktop (which has only Kubuntu installed and no Windows),
ran apt-get install evolution and apt-get install evolution-exchange
commands, started Evolution, added a
new Microsoft Exchange account and it started downloading all the messages.

It’s ironic that I have to use a Linux machine to connect to a Microsoft
Exchange server. Maybe now I can get my laptop fixed by our IS. The last time I
reported the same problem, they deleted my profile and added it again and I had
to spend an entire day customizing my setup again, and the original problem
still wasn’t fixed. I don’t want to go through that trouble again…

P.S. On a completely unrelated note,
Beryl makes using Linux so much
more fun. The Expose-like preview of windows (F8 key) is very useful.

Update: It’s not over til it’s
over
.

Update 2: Well, Evolution is locally caching the mail, all I have to do is
to leave it on overnight :), well that mitigates my email reading issues a lot,
assuming it keeps working that way.

Update 3 on 2007-06-13 Wed 04:07 PM: Finally solved the mystery of
Outlook not working… it was because of the Sify
Broadband
software installed! Renaming
all the Sify-related exes to some other extension fixed the issue. Go
figure!

After a month of bliss, I caved in and got a new phone. After all, there are few super() invocations that I want to override (any Indian son/daughter would know what I mean).

The good part about not having a mobile phone was the bliss of being “free”, I suddenly had more time to spend with the person in front of me, I suddenly was charmed by the fact that I could not be disturbed by anybody at the moment and I avoided all the calls that I didn’t care for. Seriously. Try not having a mobile phone for a week. Then you’ll feel the difference.

Even the local DVD store attender agreed:

Attender: Sir, what’s your updated mobile number?
Me: I lost my mobile phone
Attender: What’s the new number?
Me: I am not getting a new one
Attender: Best saar adu (That’s best sir)

I ended up reluctantly getting a Sony Ericsson W830i. The good thing is that I won’t be having it with me all the time. I certainly intend to have some mobile-less days and won’t be carrying it with me all the time.

The phone has a rating of 9.5/10. It is not much different from my earlier W800i but the black color is very enticing. And my latest trip photos were taken entirely using the phone.

W830i

My first impulse with the phone was to install the ‘Disc2Phone’ software and try to rip some CDs and transfer it to the phone. Oops. It doesn’t work. I installed it on the laptop and it can’t recognize my phone. I installed it on the desktop and Disc2Phone dies with a bizarre error which no average user can understand (I think it has got something to do with correct .NET version not being installed… why the heck does a simple CD-to-mp3 ripper need .NET!?).

Ubuntu to the rescue. I installed the mp3 codecs and fired up Sound Ripper to convert the CD to mp3, drag-and-dropped the mp3s using Nautilus and I was listening to music on my phone in almost no time at all. I wish I had thought of this earlier, it would have saved the 15+ min installation time on each computer + 10 min of trying to get the dumb Sony Ericsson software to recognize my phone and all that aggravation. I wonder if this software works for anyone at all. Now that I think of it, the software for my W800i never worked as well!

The irony is that I can transfer files to/from the phone only using Linux now since installation of the Sony Ericsson software screwed up Windows so much that it won’t recognize my phone now.

Update: The phone itself is buggy as well. Now it is not keeping track of any incoming/outgoing calls, so if I miss some calls, I have no way of knowing about it! And sometimes the display just shows nonsense, I have to refresh the menu to see it properly. And the location of the keys are horrible indeed. Why such a big button just to open the walkman feature? And the sliding part obstructs the first row of the keys. Sigh. I never had such problems with the W800i. Why do they mess up things in newer versions of the same stuff?

When Opera announced BitTorrent
support
within the
browser (two years ago!), it never made sense to me. After attending
Dr. Satish Menon’s “Video Goes
Viral”

talk yesterday, I am convinced that is the way to go.

The funny thing is that there are no benefits to the user, if
anything, it is a downside for the user because the user’s upload
bandwidth is going to be used most of the time (because of the p2p
connectivity). However, it is a balancer for the network as a whole as
the traffic is distributed, and it would’ve prevented the cricket
website’s servers from melting when the World cup starts next week. If
that sounded like gobbledygook, Kazaa’s help page on
p2p
is a good start.

One of the interesting things that Dr. Satish mentioned was that there
is a prediction that in 2010, 80-90% of the traffic on the internet
will be video. I am highly skeptical about that since the internet as
we know it is useful mostly for information and communication, and
information is mostly text. Unless everyone starts video chatting or,
like Dr. Satish described, everyone is watching videos on the TV and
the video is streamed via the internet. That is way into the future.

And that is the clincher why Yahoo! and Google are interested in
video technologies – so that they can put ads in the 80-90% on videos.
After all, internet is accessible by only 6% of people (I don’t know
if this is US-only numbers or worldwide that he mentioned) and TV is
accessible by more than 90% of the people… that’s a lot of
money.

I am starting to see the value of Apple
TV
now. I wonder how people can
predict such things (and consequently work on such products) – does it
require some amazing insight or does it just require experience in the
industry or keeping your ears to the ground or is it something else?

Yep, Moxie. That’s the codename for the next version of Flex. And it was one of the suggestions by yours truly in the internal discussions.

Why this name? My reasoning was:

flex -> strength -> http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/strength -> mana, pizzazz, moxie, thew, …

Ely liked the name ‘moxie’ a lot especially because of the way the fingers are evenly distributed across the keyboard when you type ‘moxie’ :), and he championed the name which convinced the Flexers to vote for it.

This led me to say:

Looking at the popularity of ‘moxie’, I now also propose that our slogan be “Flex your moxie” ;-)

In this particular context, moxie can mean appetite, aspiration, craving, desire, love, passion, right stuff, zeal, chutzpah, guts, temerity, energy, robustness, vigor, competence, savvy, skill, gumption, impetus, vitality, endurance, grit, stamina, staying power, ability, mettle, stamina, etc.

(Source: http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/moxie )

Also, Moxie was the name of a language for real-time computer music synthesis — so Moxie is how you express your beautiful tunes on the computer, and Flex is how you express your beautiful UIs on the computer.

[“Moxie: A Language for Computer Music Performance”,
D. Collinge, Proc Intl Computer Music Conf, Computer Music
Assoc 1984, pp.217-220].

(Source : http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/moxie)

And Ted says Drink Moxie.