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Broadband Scenario in India
64 kbps always on connection qualifies as broadband connection with advertisements screaming “lightning fast internet is yours !”. The scenario is very bleak in this country and I feel there is a long long way to go. Countries like china are way ahead in this and it is high time that India also catch up the pace with other developing nations. The government should regulate the broadband costs and also encourage more underwater links to India (Remember the recent news about flag telecom being acquired by Reliance ?).

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Emacs Skills
Now that I have become an expert (well, almost🙂 !) in using emacs, it has almost become a habit to type Ctrl-X-S for saving anything, which obviously doesnt work in windows applications and editors. I installed the windows version of xemacs on windows so that atleast when I program, the Ctrl-X-S woks for me.

Irritatingly, I type the same sequence in vi and it goes into a mode called ^X which screws up vi. I dont know how to get out of this mode. Invariably, I use ps to kill the process, sometimes leaving a dead file. Should read more on what this ^X mode is !

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Reminiscing a year in the US of A (-I-) by johnson_mendonca on Sulekha

I kinda like reading these things, especially adventures of first time US visitors. I always amuse my friends with such stories. One unforgettable story is the ‘how much will you take ?’ story with an American cop. That’s for tomorrow.

The holidays went fine. I was reading the Rod Johnson’s big, fat “J2EE design and Development” .. my .. my it is such a wonderful book that Im planning to write a **big** review once I finish reading it.

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SIPphone Software by Xten

Now you can make calls to US 1-800 numbers from anywhere in the world with this SIP phone ! Want to save some money to call a friend in US? Here is a trick: buy one of those long distance US calling cards with a 1-800 calling number…… you got the idea ! The calling cards are very cheap – they offer calls at 4 cents a minute rate. So go ahead and enjoy !

The phone interface was very cute, I tried calling the COMCAST (my ex-ISP) toll free number and it worked perfectly.

The fun part is Lindows is advertising that you can make free calls worldwide with this SIP phone, which is not true. You can only call other SIP or VOIP users world wide (there are hardware phones for SIP available !! If you have a broadband connection, have fun !!). Lindows 4.5 has the linux version of this phone bundled, which they are considering as a major selling point.. phew..

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Jukebox Problems

I had some hardtime with my Creative Nomad Jukebox- it suddenly stopped saving my settings. Everytime you restart, the settings are all lost and sometimes it started booting with a garbled screen. Definitely it was not some other language, but clearly a garbled screen. I tried reinstalling the OS, I even changhed the OS for no luck. I searched the forum archives to see if there were any such issues from users before, but none. Seems like my hard drive (I upgraded the hard drive to 20 gb from the 10 gb drive that was present initially. The 10 gb drive has found a home in an external enclosure and is nicely serving its purpose) has some bad sectors were the Juky stores its settings. So I transferred all the songs back to my laptop using NOTMAD and reformatted the OS. Then I transferred a few songs to the Juky and tried to do some experiments – Just to make sure that it is back in business without any problems. To my delight, it started working as intended.

I realized what a mistake I made when I tried restransferring all my songs back to the Juky – the ID3 tags were all screwed up- especially the songs that are downloaded from the internet. When you transfer the songs to the jukebox, creative playcenter asks whether you want to use the ID3 that is already present in the song or use the one you provide. I ALWAYS used to provide my own so that the songs are rightly indexed. It seems like the jukebox OS DOES NOT overwrite the ID3 already present, but it indexes the information somewhere else. As a result, I now have 7 GB worth of music with screwed up ID3 tags.

Luckily, when NOTMAD transferred the songs to my PC, it marked the file names with Artist-Album-Track No-Title format- so it is only a matter of overwriting the tags on these songs with the information from the file name. I am planning to write a small batch file to take care of this. Now I am in search of a commandline ID3 tag editor !!! Oooph. That was a long story.

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Even more Ilayaraja !
There is one more album from ilayaraja ! I found this while browsing at a Music store. The name of the album is ‘Konjip Pesalam’. Looks like Raj Kiran is back with his trademark moustache.

He was in debits and even trimmed his mush for some character roles in movies like Pandavar Bhoomi.