Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Open Source - Why?

 To understand the concept of open source we need to remember that the internet was meant to be an open and free area where we could share anything from anywhere and at anytime. O-S software is nothing but free software whose source code(programming code) is open and changeable by the user. If you think about it O-Ss really fill the requirement of free and open information.

Open Source Software(OSS) have many advantages. First of all its free. No hidden charges or update charges are required for running these programs. Secondly, they do not have those adds and stuff that are usually bundled with freeware(free software but non-O-S) like FreeRip. And last but not the least, they are usually very small. Have you noticed how long it takes MSN messenger to load? Digsby is a way faster alternative....but I'll tell you about that later.

 Now here is a list of commercial programs and their O-S alternatives.  
1. MSN Messenger/Google Talk/Yahoo Messenger
The above are all free, true, but they are not O-S. They also use different email clients. I mean why suffer with three different large RAM-using programs when you can access all these from one very small program - Digsby. Digsby allows you to access Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, Facebook, etc. chat right from your desktop in application....isn't that the dream?

2. Microsoft Internet Explorer
Oh my god if I had a Fil for each time my explorer betrayed me, I would be a millionaire by now. Explorer 8 is by far the slowest of the recent browsers. I personally prefer Google Chrome. Its way faster and light on your computer's RAM.

3. Windows Media Player/ Quick Time
WMP may look cool and all but it has that problem of slow load up time and it dosent play all formats of video. You need to install Quick Time Player if you want to play MP4 videos. QT also dosen't support WMA/WMV formats. Best player around is of course none other than VLC Player. No need of explaining that one.

4. Limewire
Oh please don't tell me you still use limewire? Limewire is costly. If you want good and fast speeds you have to upgrade to Pro and that is a bigger problem. All the updates and stuff will make you go mad. So go O-S and download Frost Wire. Its free, it uses the same severs as limewire so you can basically get the same exact things you want and used to get from, well, limewire. 

5. Photoshop
Sure Adobe's Photoshop is useful for expert photographers and the like but for us normal people who just want to get out some red eye and maybe do some patchwork, Picasa is more than enough. 

6. Windows
Yes I wrote Windows! Windows is not for heavy duty PC users. It gets slow and you just get tired after sometime. Ubuntu is a free and open Operating System unlike all others. Its fast, simple and the best thing about it is that theres a whole community behind it that will help you solve any problems you may encounter while using this OS.

Other than the ones I have mentioned above you should also check out my favorite open source software website Source Forge. Just follow the links given to download any software you read about. I'm always on the lookout for good O-Ss and if you happen to find some useful ones please write about it in the comment section or email it to me at 


Tuesday, 29 December 2009


Russell Peters is a stage comedian who is originally from Calcutta but was born and brought up in Canada. He's well one of the best in the world. His style in expressing his humor is just amazing; he says that when a comedian comes up on stage he should have an open mind. There shouldn't be ay filter saying that i can't comment on certain topics.
 Those who think like that should be businessmen. Lemme ask you all something How many of us actually have the guts to go out there and speak so openly about everything in the world. My answer none or at the most they're hand picked. I'm not saying go out there and make fun of everything you see cause there's a limit but people misunderstand this. They think that they can't make fun of their own country place blah! blah! blah!
The thing is unless one gets courage to realize what's wrong with him/her or what wrong with his own country community etc. he won't improve or make an impact. Russel well he's from India and Canada every one of his show there's at least one joke about these countries and its most hilarious one. Im not trying to give a lecture on patriotism or anything I'm just saying that once people start to think a broader way there'll be a lot of learning and things start happening pretty well.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Avatar - Behind The Scenes

The 17th of december say the whole of uae come together in droves to occupy every movie theater they could lay their hands upon. The reason for this exodus was the release of the most awaited movie of the year, 14 years to be exact: avatar. James cameron's epic masterpiece the likes of which have never been seen before took the world by storm. For a movie that waited a decade due to lack of technology the movie can well be called visionary. Spectacular effects mindblowing 3d animation and an exceptional cast made this movie a box office blockbuster. But behind the scenes of this movie lies a message. A simple truth. It shows very poignantly how brute force always tends to threaten and bully the weaklings. And that is true for the world. America has exhibited this talent of using their powers to gain the upper hand more than once. And it is not coincidental that the "skywalkers" seeking the unobtainium are also americans. Since time immemorial the powerful dominate the less powerful, the influential tyrranise the weak and use their so called superiority to achieve their ends. But beyond a point none can bear to be controlled and dominated. The Na'vi rebelled against the americans. The indians revolted against the britishers and today the world shall rise up against the american superpower. The world longs for an even footing in all matters and such discriminations on the basis of economic and military powers shall not be endured any longer. The world calls for change. A change that shall revolutionise politics as we know it. No longer shall we see smaller, developing countries being blown apart on grounds of mere suspicion of possession of WMDs the likes of which destroyed a civilization like iraq. We shall live in peace and harmony and the need to gain an upper hand shall be abolished. The world shall come together to she our earth of crises like global warming, done shortage, poverty. No longer shall we waste resources on wars. As said by the protagonist of avatar Jake Sulley : "this is our land." Change is coming. Feel it.

Black and White - A Retrospective

One really random topic that succeeds in ticking me off is racial discrimination. It's infact so commonplace that people take it for granted. And it's also very usual how people express their disapproval but when you come to think about it, what can one genuinely do about it? Sure, we're concerned and we feel bad but ever thought about how the recieving end feels? Being Indian, we cannot actually experience either extreme which makes it a whole load easier to view the whole ordeal from a third-person perspective. We cannot shrug off the fact that it is those with a darker complexion who are given less preference in terms of employment, legal jurisdiction and the like. It is a very awkward and upsetting position and brings great shame and loss of pride and dignity to the recieving end, hence lowering their self-esteem for prolonged periods and convincing them that they cannot be as good as the white-coloured people, apparently. Why? All because of the fact that their skin is darker than the white-people. For years this inhumane act has been carried on and it is high time a full stop was put to this mentality. True, it has definitely decreased as compared to a century ago but there are definitely traces of the partial practice.

It is true that over the decades this partial practise has reduced but traces of it still exist. The possibility of getting a job, of being politically considered for a post and of the like, the whites have a larger preference than the darker-skinned men. It is unfair and a very awkward situation, as all of this discrimination and all this differentiation is caused merely due to the complexion of the skin.

Have we ever thought about how the person at the recieving end may feel? It is a combination of so many mixed emotions, primaraly sadness, anger and irritation. More than anything, the shame and the embarassment that comes along with being racially set apart is unbearable. But think about it. Is it really fair how these people live in a state of permanent shame and sadness just because their skin is dark? This all seems so stupid that I am almost ashamed to think that humans are considered the smartest among all animals.

Even recently, I'm sure you all have heard about the latest racial discrimination incident in Australia? Well, a group on college-going Indian students were brutally abused and one of them even died. All this because they have darker skin? Now does the clarity of the foolishness of the human race in this aspect increase? One of the many women I most admire is Rosa Parks. I'm sure not too many of you have heard of her but she is a black lady from the 20th Century who one day returned home from work during the era when Racial Discrimination was at its peak. When a white man asked her to stand because he needed the seat, she refused. This was observed as a turning point for the blacks and people hence began opposing this inhumane act. People's self-esteem and confidence increased and although it took decades, they finally got what they wanted. For this courageous act of defiance I admire this lady. I also admire Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years of his life in jail just to prove that black and white were not different colours when it came to skin.

We obviously feel bad and sad when we hear or see an act of racism but in theory, what can we do about it? We are concerned but how many of us have the courage to do what they did? None of us do. But we must try to stand for a right as an obligation to humanity.

It is hence a really large achievement that in one of the countries where racism was a very major legal issue, a black man has finally become a president and is in fact better than his white predecessors in terms of restoring the economy of the country and ensuring the prolonged happiness of the citizens of the United States of America. US President Barrack Obama has really shown that racism was an unnecessary mentality or way of thinking and that black-skinned people can be just as good, if not better, than their white counterparts.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Aliens Fact or Fiction?

Well, have you ever mused about the possibility of existence of aliens? Well, thing is, I'm sure everyone has. It's pretty natural. But the fact is that the human mind can simply not accept it that alien species could thrive and exist at all. I mean, we often hear news reports about the possibility of the existence of an extraterrestial species on a planet or even a solar system. But one thing is that people take it for granted that aliens exist in their solar system, their galaxy or even their universe, which isn't true at all. Perhaps aliens require different dimensions to exist, or different characteristics. Has it ever occured to you that aliens could be just bits of data, of information floating around, similar to the data stored in a computer? Aliens can also be machines. They may even be highly microscopic, or even highly macroscopic. All of this; contrary to popular beliefs.

But it is high time we've opened ourselves to the fact that alien life can be assured. Yeah, and what me and the rest of us pondering people await is the news of assured existence of an alien species, not just a myth, a rumour or a photoshop, please.

And yet another highly common factor is the stereotype about what we interpret the characteristics of an alien to be. Many heads, eyes, limbs, brains, high level of intellect, antennae, massive and irregular proportions, green skin? And also we've all watched those movies like E.T. and um, Signs? It is way too uncanny how the aliens in those movies often share the same reason of thinking and the same saturation level as that of human. And aliens displaying human emotion? It's all a really large, really misunderstood cliche.

The problem is that people frankly don't have the time to care about such topics. To them, their life and everything else is important. Thinking and reason would definitely give rise to newer more better ideas and clues of alien existence and also will raise our awareness to the very same. It's so agititating how people talk about aliens as some sort of, sci-fi icon, as a destroyer of worlds, and what not. Yes, we humans are far worse than our alien friends. We discriminate, prejudge and do all sorts of guesswork and less of practical application of knowledge and pursuit of our curiousity. Talking about aliens is usually comical and we shall only learn more about the topic when we begin to place the alien genre with the same importance we view other current events. When Copenhagen discusses this topic is when we know we're actually getting somewhere. We'll wait.

It's pretty evident that there are a numerous reported sightings of unidentified flying objects, of people actually claiming to have had some actual interaction with the alien members and also another puzzling phenomenon are the famous crop circles, especially in the US. Crop circles are these really large geometric symmetric patterns that are so precise, so perfect and thus so unnatural that the human mind can simply not help but concieve it to be the work of the extraterrestrials. But yet again, in the modern era, humans have justified this piece of evidence in their favour by having recently proved that scientifically, crop circles are caused due to unusual radiations emitted from beneath the surface of the earth. Or something like that. None can be too sure. Humans are the largest self-contradicting ignoramouses I know. And ever tried arguing against scientifically proved phenomena?

Never worked out for me. Not a good idea.

Whether aliens exist around us, whether they're one among us or whether we live under their scrutiny is unsure, but one thing is for certain - we must definitely be prepared to widen our perspective and consequentially ingest the fact that aliens can exist anywhere, everywhere, and in places inimaginable.

This is merely my thought, my reasoning and there exist many many secrets left for the human mind to implore. Roswell, prime example. I cannot completely deny I know for a fact what I have just blogged, but then again like I said, this is just my opinion, my viewpoint. An eagle's eye view of the human's perspective of the whole trend. But do we really know what's up at all?

Thus I can say that I completely agree to the statement that "truth is stranger than fiction" because on a day when we least expect it and are completely unprepared, we shall witness what we cannot completely comprehend.

Preethi Rajkumar

Wednesday, 23 December 2009


 The latest gaming console to be developed was promised to be the best yet by its developer , and surprisingly enough it actually was. But the company that had developed this console faced one major problem - there were not enough games being developed that could be adapted to the consoles' advanced technology ; the few games that were adaptable were too simple and not challenging enough to ecpert gamers. The company trying to solve this problem turned to its brightest engineer and asked him to develop a game that would completely change a person's gaming experience . But what the company didnt realise was that he had already been working on his game , in fact he only had the test run of the game left . The day had come when he had to present his game to the managing board of the company . " This is only an unfinished version of the game , so please be prepared for any glitches or errors " he said . " This whole point of this game is for the player to start creating an alien civilization from the beginning and  guiding it toward whatever direction the player wants . I have created a specific planet with different species on it for the player to control ."  " And which among these species would the player be controlling ? " asked one of the CEOs .  " I have created only one dominant species on the planet and have named him MAN . " he answered . " I have modelled this species  to make him very gullible and to easily follow orders . But the one feature of this game that is going to revolutionize gaming is that the gamer himself can be part of the game . The player can connect himself to the game and actually be a character in the game and can interact with the other ' men ' . And plus a gamer has no constraints while chosing an avatar for himself . he doesnt have to be like the other normal ' men ' - he can have an extra advantage by having unlimited powers .  It's pretty much the same as being in a virtual reality " . he said . " In fact , i myself entered the game , created an avatar for myself . I tried preaching the basic morals and values of our society and surprisingly most of the characters embraced it and thought of me as their leader .Ill be able to show you all the final version of the game by next week " he said . One of the CEOs stood up and said " Thank you , we are most impressed by your work MR.GOD " , for the engineer's name was GOD , MR. GOD ALMIGHTY .
The next week he was very dejected and had to explain to the company why he had to scrap his game project . " I didnt take into account the fact that this species evolves , and after a while they start to think for themselves . In fact , the game progresses without any help from the player .But the biggest flaw was that these games would have a negative influence on our society , the ' men ' have developed evil habits and manners , and there is a general feeling  among themselves -  something we have never seen -  hatred , jealousy  . A player connceted into the game might even develop these emotions which would have a disastourous effect in our society . " he said . " Have you dstroyed your game yet then , ? " a CEO asked . " Actually it was my assistant who bought to my notice the flaws in the game . We both together had conneted into the game when i first visited , and he took an instant dislike towards the 'men' of the game .  If it wasnt for him , i probably would have never noticed the flaws of the game .  He is right now destroying the game as we speak " he said . " And who is this assistant of yours ? " another CEO asked ??
" His name is JUDGEMENT DAY "  he said.
Aditya Rao

Top 5 - Dan Brown

Following some inspiration I got from my good friend Aditya (who wrote some very sarcastic comments on why Harry Potter is better than Twilight) I decided to tell you why I hate and like Dan Brown at the same time. Unlike other top-5es I'll be looking at both the good reasons as well as the bad ones. Three bad and two good. First the bad.

Reasons why I hate Dan Brown
1. Repeating prologue:
Have you ever started a Dan Brown book without someone getting killed? Okay except for the last one, the Lost Symbol, someone or the other always dies in the beginning. Its always the same thing. I mean you think a writer can think of something more exiting than killing someone off in the beginning.

2. Repeated words
I read the Lost Symbol and the three most used words in the book were "Oh My God!". It made me feel like I was sitting and watching Janice on Friends(which is like my absolute favorite show ever, but whose isn't it, right?). Every fourth chapter those words pop up.

3. Repeated story
Have you ever read a Dan Brown closely. I mean evaluating every detail? The killer always turns out to be the person who the heroes trust the most. Spoiler alert, but in Da Vinci Code it turned out to be the person who they ran to for help. In Angels and Demons it turned out to be the Camerlengo. The same thing happened in the Lost Symbol too.  I mean change the story a little man.

Reasons why I love Dan Brown
1. Research
Dan Brown, I can tell without a doubt, is the best researcher around. Every one of his books are well thought out and the information provided is hundred percent trustworthy. A friend once asked me why I read his books even though its the same thing again and again, I told him I read it for one purpose - facts.

2. Ability to hold the Audience firmly
I say this by personal experience, Dan Brown really knows how to keep his audience glued. I mean my mother bought his book for a 100 dirhams which is roughly 33 dollars and read it without putting the book down. I mean you've gotta commend a person with such talents of persuasion.


Chetan Bhagat

Chetan bhagat the only indian author whose books I ever read. In his new book the main plot is about how a Punjabi guy loves a Tamil girl and kind of adenture they have to go through to get married. 
People have gotta start understanding something, the have go to change their attitude, for most people lifes just money most of these people are well usually quite talentless except at lying. Theres a hell load of talent out there human phsycology tends to go with the crowd most people are almost compeletely screwed in the head bout now what i mean by this is that they're kind of selfish word goes around theres racism and discrimination and all that bullshit forget the world look at what right near you youll see that crap happens people find out youe rom one part of the country and they get disgusted man pathetic. people have gotta star appreciating each other for who they are or else im pretty sure weather the world ends in 2012 or not everyones gonna be screwed in head by then.

Anirudh Sethu Prasad

Monday, 21 December 2009

Viswanath's Story


The Sergeant yelled “Three minutes!” Tension was building. We were on the brink of the greatest invasion ever launched. 150,000 allied troops were getting ready to invade Normandy, in occupied France. Operation Overlord. 150 generals came up with this formula to smash open the gates of Fortress Europe.

All very good on paper………………

The troop carrier lurches against the sandy beach of Omaha. We rush ahead, in a wild run to beat death, death that was hiding in the bush. And, hardly 15 feet forward, it came to greet us, in a hail of German MG fire.

The beach of Normandy was a dead zone. The higher ground was hidden by a tree-line, providing cover for the German troops. A whole German Panzer Division was up against us. The beaches were covered with barbed wire & tank barriers. All to help convert this once beautiful beach to a field of killing………

And now, here I was, in the middle of the firefight that was eating us up.
All the excitement was gone. All the adrenaline drained. The raw feeling of war, the horror of death & the incomprehensible truth of the massacre taking place, has finally hit us all. I watch on helplessly, pinned down by enemy fire, as I watch my friends & fellowman being cut down, mutilated. My family of 5 years was being torn apart, and I couldn’t do anything………


Sunday, 20 December 2009

The Big Event

Plan A
As of usual, I kept staring at my Facebook group’s page. I t was mostly filled with video links being posted by an Italian woman. By the way, I forgot to mention what the group was all about. I had formed this group called Avatar- The Ultimate Visual Effects Extravaganza [And I am not exaggerating there!], around 4 months back with the sole purpose of promoting the movie. I wanted to go for the movie so damn badly but at the same time I didn’t want to go alone. So I decided to call a few of my close mates and go for the movie. Initially it was decided to watch the movie on Thursday at Festival Cinemas, but later it was postponed to Friday, as many of them had tuitions on that day. Even among those who were coming, few people were sceptical to the point where one of them calling it one with ‘Blue people making out!’ With the people having given their confirmations, it looked easy to organise such a thing. But I never gave any thought to transportation. All I knew was that we could get a bus from Dubai, and go to Festival City. It seemed all so easy, and that was where everything started to fall into pieces!

Plan B
Even during the next week, few were a bit hesitant to come for the movie, but I still stuck firmly with my decision. As mentioned before, we had planned to go to Festival Cinemas and plans were made accordingly. The plan was to meet in Ghusais and then get a bus to that place. Accompanying me were Shreerag and his sister, Zubin and his brother, Subin, Sreyas, Karthik and my brother. So I notified the gang to bring the cash by the coming Thursday so that I could book the tickets online and avoid the long queues, if any. And then on Thursday i.e., the day before the planned day, Aditya, one of my classmates tells me that Festival Cinemas has the Digital 3D screenings of Avatar at Grand Festival was only at two session the timings of which were very uncomfortable to us. So we had to shift the venue to Ibn Batutta. Again transport wasn’t given any thought and at first look seemed very easy. But we never think about the upcoming transport crisis!

Plan C
All throughout the week I had been damn excited about the movie. All throughout the week I had been working my head out for a solution for the transport problem. Shreerag and I chatted constantly via Facebook working out plan, but none worked out, Even by Wednesday we had no clear cut plan as to how to get there. But I assured them I would sort it out. I told them to bring the cash on Thursday, because I needed the tickets was my only aim. Transportation was secondary, but sometimes we reach at some awful conclusions!!

Plan D
And on Thursday, the day on which I was supposed to book the tickets, my internet connection developed some kind of technical glitch and even sitting with it for over two hours did not do any good. So I called up Shreerag and asked him to book the tickets for us and he politely obliged [ I had expected him to explode over the phone but luckily it didn’t happen]. But transportation was stll a problem with no solutions formulated so far!!

Plan E
After having booked the tickets Shreerag rings me up and tells me that his Mom is concerned over her daughter’s safety while travelling by Metro. That essentially meant that the entire plan had to be reconstructed! But with the tickets already booked, we had to reach there by 6:3no time for another plan. So we figured that we should travel by his Mom’s car. But that too had certain limitations such as to the number of people! Then we decided if Sreyas could travel with Zubin, who had transportation of his own, then Subin and I could go in Shree’s car. But then Zubin had tuitions that day so he could not pick up Sreyas. Then we decided that Karthik, My bro and I could travel by Metro so that the rest of then can come by car. But later my parents said that they could drop me and Subin at Ibn Batutta. And finally at 1:00 am on Friday, we, or more suitably I, had a plan!!!

The Puzzle is Solved
With the transport crisis finally sorted out, the only thing left was to go for the movie. On that day there were three cars from various parts of UAE heading toward Ibn Batutta with only one purpose- watch a movie which had taken 14 years to make and around half a billion to make. We met at the cinemas at around 6:15 and by 6:30 we were already inside the theatre. To say the truth, I enjoyed every bit of it! James Cameron has done, arguably one of his finest works, by creating this masterpiece. The interactions between the CGI characters and the live actors are so fluid that you might doubt whether they are truly animated or not! The storyline may seem a bit too old but the themes are strong. And it won't be a surprise if you call the PS3 lame after watching this one. Hats off to James Cameron!!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

5 reasons as to why Harry Potter is WAY MORE awesome than Twilight

I have nothing against the twiight series personally , and im not a freakish harry potter geek …ive read the books and have found them pretty cool. After twilight , suddenly comparisions were made between HP and twilight , and some people actually were retarded enough to say that twilight was better than Herry Potter…that’s when I became really pissed off .So ..heres 5 reasons as to why HP is better..

1 ) harry potter is EPIC.

Please don’t tell me that your jaw didn’t drop down when you saw dumbledore and voldermort fight in the fifth movie. If those few minutes could have increased the awesomeness of a movie by a thousandfold ….imagine what the 7 th movie would be like… !!!! ( im referring to battle of hogwarts here ) And admit it ..even though you were kinda let down by the ending of the 6th movie ..the cave seen was amazing .

Now what ‘ awesome ‘ factor does twilight have . oh wait..they do …vampires sparkle in the sun … impressed….and whatever happened to a vampire vs werewolf fight that the trailers kind of promised. Edward and jacob do fight ….if you can call snarling and growling at each other fighting .

2 ) Lessons that HP and twilight teach .

At the end of the day ..HP boils down to a fight between good and evil …with the underlying message that good always wins….although not easily.

Twilight teaches girls that its okayif the guy of your dreams just dumps you and treats you like shit , and that if a relatively normal guy ( relatively normal least the wearwolves don’t song or some shit ) likes you should keep waiting for the douchebag who left you to turn up . Its also okay for your boyfirend to know where you are all the time ..and to watch you will you sleep . ( edward = freaky stalker ) . oh also teaches girls that even if 3 guys like you…you must still act like a depressed loser .

3 ) Stephanie Meyer cannot write ..

She used the word ‘ beautiful ‘ to describe edward like around 200 times in the book . next time she meets JK Rowling , I hope stephanie asks her what adjectives and synonyms are .

4 ) two words = alan rickman

The guy who plays snape – one of the most complex and awesome charecters ever . this guy has acted in movies like die hard !!.And plus the other actors are also famous - helena bohem carter , gary oldman , etc . The only famous guy in Twilight is Sharkboy ! oh wait ..edwards sister seems interesting ..she can see the future …wow !

5 )people in twilight only talk .

People in HP actually do some freaking epic stuff ! .

Aditya Rao

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Democracy in Schools

A very smart teacher of mine once told me that the first and foremost goal of education is to make us good citizens. The school system planners should keep this statement in mind when planning schools. I am an Indian studying in an Indian school. We all know that India is the largest democracy in the world. So shouldn't the products of such a country be democratically trained? Who would know the best leaders of a particular society - the friends who spend almost every minute of the school day with them or the teacher who spends one maybe two periods with them? And so what if the chosen leader turns out to be a mistake, the schools forget that making mistakes in our youth prevent us from committing those mistakes again when we reach our voting ages.

So by this post, whichever school teacher, head master or principal reads it, I want to convey the message that students have to be trained above anything else to be model citizens. I just wish schools could look from our point of view and give us some political power.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009


Welcome one and all to Epic Makers, a blog run by 7 individuals expressing their ideas for the benefit of the public. Every day of the week we will present a new article for you to ponder upon. We will try and keep the standards as high as possible and not let you down.