Archive for 2005

MSN Messenger Custom Emoticons

Are you missing your custom emoticons when you switch machines or if you format your machine ? At one time I had a nice collection of these emoticons... Stuff that was collected from others. Its just the same old thing, if you like it, you save it ;-) Now obviously since they are not stored on the server, they do not travel with you if you switch machines or are not going to come back if you format your machine.

So here's a simple solution that I bumped into long back. MSN Messenger 7.0 and above (I am currently using 8.0 Beta) store their custom emoticons under the logged in users profile. In that there are separate folders per MSN Account that you use, organized by what I believe is the numeric MSN ID.[C:\Documents and Settings\Your Login Name\Application Data\Microsoft\MSN Messenger\Your Numeric MSN ID\CustomEmoticons] All files here have a .dat extension. These files (except index.dat) can be simply copied to any other folder and renamed to .png extension. Use the MS DOS REN Command to make life easier. Then just add them up into your new MSN UI by going to the My Emoticons window and clicking Create.
Monday, December 26, 2005
Posted by Amol Vaidya

Amitabh Fan

I have always been a biggg fan of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. I have relished all his movies. From the best movies till date to the movies which the film industry deemed as flops. People laugh at me when I say I loved the movie Toofan... or Jaadugar for that matter. Anything that the Badshah does is acceptable by his die-hard fans. He is the best!!!. At 63, he can sell Boro Plus, Navratna Hair Oil, Cadbury's Chocolates, Himani Fast Relief ... to name just a few of the brands he endorses... and that too with so much ease. When he says "Hum Keh rahe hain", its law.

The news of his hospitalization a couple of weeks back created a furore amongst people all over the country... all over the world for that matter. Everyone was concerned. There were prayers happening amongst all religions for the Sarkar's well being. That just goes to show the love that people have for the superstar. No one can take his place. He rules ! I pray for his well being...now and always. I still remember as a school kid how I had cried and pleaded to God for his well-being when he was injured during Coolie. I was in the 5th Standard then.

I never like to miss what he says in KBC everytime when the show concludes. "Good Night.... Shubh Raatri... Shabba Khair... And please take good care of yourself." Bachchan saab, we love you. Get well soon.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Posted by Amol Vaidya

Yipee!!! BPL GPRS Just got better!!!

Finally after more than a year of frustration, BPL Mobile's GPRS Service has just got better... or rather is getting better. Since Saturday, 19th November 2005 I seem to get connected back to GRPS if I get an incoming call while using the service. I even tried making calls while I am on GPRS and after the call is through, I get connected back without having to disconnect and reconnected like I had to before. So it's not my handset which has the problem after all (as per what the support staff had claimed long back).

So at the moment I do not need to switch to another provider. Looks like BPL Mobile is onto some serious upgradation. And thats good news for people like me who use one SIM card all the time. Wonder whats the next advancement/betterment on mobile technologies from BPL Mobile's side. Lets wait and watch.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Posted by Amol Vaidya

Celebrity Bloggers

This morning while sipping my cup of tea and reading up through the Mumbai Mirror, I came across this article in The Sunday Read section (here's the online version) titled "Look who's blogging!" and I was amazed with a big list of celebrities who blog. Some casual, some serious bloggers ! So I decided to look up on the web to see if they really write and what they write. For the more curious, Intentblog is one site where you'd find most of the known faces as listed in the Mumbai Mirror article. And for the bollywood fans, here's Bipasha Basu and Aamir Khan... their own blogs.

I always used to think.. "hell, who has the time to blog ? I dont get time for myself since 24 hours of a day are just insufficient for me." I may have improved just a little now but when it comes to time management, I struggle even today. But then, come to think of it, if the really busy people can find time to blog, why can't I ? A lesson for me to learn. Like I benefit by reading others blogs, someone somewhere might benefit from reading mine. Dear Sir, you were right ! I understand what you said then.. now.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Posted by Amol Vaidya

Name and Number Mapping

I use a Nokia 7610 which has a big database of my contacts. After all I have 8 MB of on phone storage plus a Storage Card capacity that can go upto 1 GB with the RSMMC (Reduced Size Multimedia Card). I use PC Suite and sync my phone data with my Outlook Contacts regularly.

When I am in a training program, I keep my phone on silent and usually call back during a break. But many a time if its a number not listed in my contact list, I hear someone trying to sell me a new Sim Card, a new Credit Card, a Car, a Flat and it gets very annoying. MTNL, Tata Indicom (and a few other providers) offer a complete web based query engine where you can do a number to name seek and find out on whose name the phone is registered. Wouldn't it be great if the cell phone company displays the name if available and number rather than just the number ? The last option could be showing only the number i.e. when the search does not yield any data. With so many unimaginable advancements happening in the world of mobile technologies, this could be just another move.
Friday, November 04, 2005
Posted by Amol Vaidya

BPL Mobile - Live GPRS Free.

I have been a user of BPL Mobile's GPRS Service since a little over a year now. And a subscriber of BPL Mobile since about 4 and a half years now. This company was indeed the first to introduce GPRS Services in India. But since the time they have introduced GPRS, they havent learnt ! While on GPRS if I get an incoming call, or a message or even a delivery report, the GPRS service goes "On Hold". Thats the status it shows on my Nokia 7610. and then it never comes back to "Connected". GPRS doesnt work till I disconnect or at times reboot the phone. Though rebooting is not a mandatory thing.. thankfully. The friendly folk at 800 customer support initially gave me a lot of settings to try, from changing the IP and port upto even naming my connection. Geez ! Finally, after almost a year of me following up with them on and off they told me that their services need to be upgraded and they are in the process of doing the same. This was last month. There was unofficial information that the upgradation would happen in October 2005. Its November 2005 now and still no sign.

The irony is that when I roam on Hutch, I get GPRS on roaming and that too without the "On Hold" problem. When I am on GPRS, if I make/get a call or a message, my GPRS icon shows a G slash, goes "On Hold" momentarily and comes back to "Connected" as soon as I end the call or the message gets sent. And my MSN Messenger or any browser connection on phone as well as laptop behaves as if nothing happened. The folks at 800 dont seem to know about GPRS and roaming since they told me "we are so sorry sir, GPRS is not available while roaming". By the way, all Hutch and Orange users get GPRS while roaming at no extra cost. I believe even Airtel offers GPRS while roaming at no extra cost. Outside the Mumbai circle, theres no GPRS from BPL Mobile. So when I go to Goa or anywhere in Maharashtra theres no GPRS. With BPL Mobile now an Essar Company, I hope this nagging issue gets resolved. I dont intend waiting for too long. The trade off is that I'll have to give up my almost 5 year old cell no. but if I get a good deal from another provider, I might just give up my faith in BPL Mobile.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Posted by Amol Vaidya

Microsoft Virtual PC's save state

For quite sometime now, I have been an avid user of Microsoft Virtual PC. Seen it first when the product shipped from Connectix. Before VPC, installation of products, especially Beta Editions was a plug and pray approach. I remember when installing products that used to ship on floppies.... the moment the floppy drive used to start making cranky noises, I used to join my palms and say "nooooo.. please dont gimme a bad sector error". With CDs and now DVDs, its become a lot easier. But then...once you start installing, you've got to wait till the installation completes. And also do things like reserve a partition to try products which need an exclusive installation of the operating system.

But today, you don't need to wait for completing the installation of your product when you are installing it on a Virtual PC. The great thing I love about VPC is the save state feature. When I am just too tired and want to call it a day, I do a save state and VPC goes off to sleep. After which I shut down my system and do the same :-) The next time I am back on the system, I restore the VPC from it's saved state and it continues installing from where it left last. And this works great even while installing an Operating System!. Fancy your chances while installing Linux and you say, "Aaj ke liye bahut ho gaya. Kal continue karte hain.". Thats what I did. And I installed Linux over a few days time.

Virtual PC maketh my life easier.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Posted by Amol Vaidya

Hello Again World.

Hi friends (and foes). I am back at blogger. After going off blogging for over a year, I felt the urge to start blogging again. Not that I was a great blogger before.... But then I had moved over to mblog.com which later shut down and thats when I stopped blogging. No backup, No data about old posts. So now its a new beginning for me and I hope I am read, heard and commented by the friendly fellow bloggers and readers.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Posted by Amol Vaidya

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