Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Art of choosing…

Two weeks ago,I was going through a couple of videos I had stored in my desktop.A friend of mine who is pursuing  his MBA shared them with me explaining that they were very informative and knowledgeable.That video was about Walmart and how it was  controlling the  prices across  the range right from the productivity price.Then I remembered that those videos were from TED talks....

People from across spectrum's  sharing their ideas...looked like a great site to explore!And then I came across one video,by Sheena Iyengar.I was particulary interested in her talk after I checked her profile.An expert on choices Sheena Iyyengar's speech on the effect of making choices was one of a kind I  had ever come across.When it comes to choice during shopping, I am usually a dumb fella,unlike my brother who is very choosy and generally takes loads of time to finish his selections.

Although  being choosy while shopping is no big deal for me(I just pick out stuff randomly which attracts my eye at the first instance),there were certain incidents though, which made me to "think" and select.One such an incident happened this year in march,when I was lucky enough to obtain a certain product to use on a long term loan.When I as given a long list of choices from which I could choose from,the first thing which came to my mind  goodness! really!!!!

Because most of the products in the list were truely out my finanical range....and then I began to think..hmmm which one should I pick?Shall I just take in the most expensive item on the list since it was been given to use for a limited time  but free use?Or do I have to pickup something which really reflect my  budget range in case I could buy one of those in the near future.. At that time I had still not heard of sheena but when I watched her video,this incident came like a bolt in my head

My choice then had converged on the basis of things which I wanted to explore  and which I used to ponder while I was a in high school(I was crazy about computers then!).

[caption id="attachment_711" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="My choice was based on my desires and enthusiasm "][/caption]

Just think about it people,If you get something you always desired wouldn't  that effect the way you think?wouldn't that make you to set your goals in order to use and enjoy certain desires in your life which you wanted the most?(If you were still in the initial stages of your career of course!).In the end my choice of selecting something which I cherished was based on my desire to use something new,something different which people around me generally do not use.This perception lead me to overshadow the initial thinking of mine where I was clearly looking to get reflected in terms of my own financial might.

Making a choice may also depend on cultural  demographics.Some choices which I made or may make in the future may effect my family or friends in certain aspects.Should I take them into account or should I follow which my mind tells me and not my brain?I am not seriously thinking about those choices right now but I do not want get into a situation where Keanu Reeves gets to decide between the two doors in the "The matrix" (Add AI+karma and you get navras haha)

Some choices which I took may not bear fruit right now but may have a longterm productive result.I only hope what ever I choose is to the best of my abilities and strengths!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Porting KDE Apps to Windows

This never came to my mind before,trying to run KDE apps on windows!.But a friend put the same question on twitter.Thats when I thought to try out .Although I was aware of such a project long ago,the lack of an Internet connection at that time did not allow me to test how this works out.

KDE has never been my choice as a desktop environment in Linux.Even after KDE started the oxygen project with fancy new themes and glossy icons,I was still not convinced of switching to KDE.Gnome is still my preferred Environment

But porting KDE apps to windows?Whoa that was something which I wanted to tinker with!Initially I thought the whole process might end up like the Wubi Experience with Ubuntu,but as it turns out...the native look and feel of KDE is still there(All those Oxygen based Icon sets)but it works like a charm in Vista too.I tried the whole thing on a Thinkpad X200 tablet running Windows Vista business 32bits.

The initial setup involves selecting the proxy settings enabling the KDE installer to connect to the respective repositories.The download and installation of the packages might depend on the number of  apps you want to install and the speed of your connection

Note: To get full size images,please click on them

[caption id="attachment_688" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Initial setup"][/caption]

After detecting the proxy settings,the installer continues to the package selection.There are a plethora of apps available.Most of them games and office utilities.

[caption id="attachment_689" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="package selection"][/caption]

Mine is a 256Kbps ADSL connection,so it took about 2 hours  to install 490 MB worth of packages.Enough time for me to watch a bollywood blockbuster or 3 episodes of Alias back to back!The download was complete and the apps were installed into the default directory (Documents folder).

[caption id="attachment_690" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Installation"][/caption]

After the installation is complete you will notice that the apps have been neatly organized/placed into windows explorer.The start menu shows them under various categories depending upon their usage.This is really good,something which I have not found in Windows apps running on Wine.

The other good thing about this is that you still get the Native Windows Aero.Atleast you dont have to sacrifice the original theme of the host OS.On the other hand people familiar with Wine will notice how ugly the UI is of any Windows app running on Linux.All of this depends of course on the compiler on which these apps have been designed to work on.The MinGW compiler is a cross platform and opensource system based on GCC.It can be used to create apps to run on Windows and Linux.Best example of this is the Firefox browser.

The only thing which I liked about the newer versions of KDE was the oxygen theme set.Something which has been incorporated into this app.From KDE 4.0 onwards dolphin has been the default file manager.And running in conjuntion with Oxygen theme just gives it the perfect finish.(More polished then the simplistic Gnome)

As you will notice from the next image,the Oxygen theme is more of a macitosh thrown in with a glossy finish.There is a real time folder preview here too very nice!Just taking the mouse over a particular folder shows a collage of pictures on the right

[caption id="attachment_696" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Dolphin manager running Oxygen"][/caption]

As mentioned earlier,I never seriously used KDE.All this was done due to curiosity.The one thing which I always liked about KDE have been its bundled games.They are not memory hogging or heavy games,but the more rudimentary ones like board and card games,puzzles and some other teaser games.There was no dearth for those here!.Those who want to pass their time with them have plenty of choices.Here are some more screenshots of my favourite KDE games.

[caption id="attachment_698" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="bejwelled on KDE"][/caption]

Not only games,but Konqueror the default web browser of the KDE runs very well too!Looks like KDE is doing a good job than what people at Wine are doing...

Has anyone of you tried to run KDE on Windows?