Proxy with Nodejs on Windows

Started trying few things with nodejs. Nodejs is the best thing that could happen to a web programmer since one needs to learn only javascript to deal with database, server, client(if web). I ran into the proxy issue since my computer is behind a proxy wall.

Solution is

create a entry in environment variables

HTTP_PROXY=http://proxyurl:port

then switch off ssl with this command prompt

npm config set strict-ssl false

 

Hope this helps 🙂

 

TEDx-perience at MSRIT [TEDxMSRIT]

My phone was struggling with 3% battery left on March 24th Saturday when I along with my friend Roshan set out to M.S.Ramaiah Institute of Technology (MSRIT). Needless to say I had forgotten my charger (at office). Headed there to attend a TEDx event. We reached well in time and got the registration thing done and had lot of time left. The theme at TEDx was “Food for thought” , time was around 9 and only thought in our mind after registration was Food, yes Breakfast!. We roamed around the college to find a place to eat, could not find one which served south indian breakfast or in other words idli and vada(atleast for me it is! ). We had to be content with samosas stuffed with bread as breakfast. We headed back to college where my other friends from office had arrived. Time was around 1000 ,the stage was set and event kicked off  with S M Acharya’s keynote.

The talks followed, first one to go on stage was Pravin Godkhindi , he spoke about music and the instrument he excels in – flute. A week before I had restarted practising my flute and listening to Pravin play inspired me a lot. He demonstrated different types of flutes, some very weird ones. Weird ones without blowing hole or the playing ones but can be played by swirling the flute. Another one is like an extra-large beetle , the sound it produced had no connection to its weird shape, may be it is because of the magician who is playing it. He also spoke about different technologies that is used to capture the sounds from flute faithfully so they can be synthesized or used for recording. He finished his talk by asking the interested ones to think of ways to record the sounds of flute. Later we had some time while next speaker occupied the stage. I made good use of it by speaking to Pravin, he wished me all the best for my flute practice.

Next to share his idea was Stalin , nope not the one from Soviet union 🙂 (the speaker himself confirmed the fact) . Stalin , documentary film maker who believes a story about suffering is powerful when told by sufferers themselves. He introduced us to his project Unheard media the manifestation of the idea he believed in. He didn’t miss the chance to mention that he watched news when he is in mood for entertainment!. Which clearly summarizes today’s mainstream media.

Varun Agarwal brought up an idea which is so counter-intuitive , at-least for many of us. “Don’t Think” was the message that he had to tell all of us there, he did so with humor. He is an entrepreneur who started Alma mater and few such ventures. Very appealing idea it was from Varun.

Then was lunch! menu was simple and food ,tasty.

After noon sessions were even better, fact that I didn’t see anyone sleeping  validates my claim! It was Jason Zachariah with his keyboard , he made us sing while he played his keyboard. He talked about how easily anyone can learn music if we can understand melody , rhythm and emotion. We simply had a great time.

Atul Chitnis spoke about simple yet difficult-to-carry-out-idea of designing products with real users in mind. He had a very valid point and it was well received. I felt he mentioned of apple products more often than required. May be I am wrong and my opinion could be biased as I follow him on twitter and the talk he gave was not something new, at-least for me. Since there were also many students in the audience , in other words budding engineers who aspire to be good product developers etc had a good takeaway from his talk.

I loved the next talk on copyleft by Sreekandh Balakrishnan. He successfully helped us understand what copyright and copyleft was and difficulties among copyleft license usage.

If I had to pick my favorite talk it would  Soumitra Bhattacharya‘s , he spoke about leadership in India. Do check the video when it is uploaded as it is difficult to explain his thoughts about leadership is bit complex by writing.

K Vijay Raghavan spoke about demographic differences between India, China and Africa , and why India and China can invest/collaborate  in research in Africa to bring prosperity in this world, which otherwise is in the verge of another world war.

Clock ticked 330 and I had to leave. My friends told later talks were as good as the rest of them. I am waiting for the videos to be uploaded by TEDxMSRIT team. In totality a day well spent, lots of positive vibes, good ideas, ideas to ponder , met some new people, a recipe for a great day.

While the day went well, my phone slept through out.

(I am not there in the picture since I left early) Vijay, Mani, Roshan, Dipak, Rohit , Akhilesh and Suneet (From left to right) Friends from my office 🙂

12 - 1

You can follow TEDxMSRIT page on facebook to get updates when the videos are posted 🙂 Also you can check more pictures of the event there.

Kindle keyboard 3G – Review, Tips and what not

Its been nearly a year  since I bought my Kindle keyboard 3G. I presented it to my sister, but the fact is I ended up using more than she does. I believe nothing comes close to reading the physical book like Kindle does. It is one of those things you fall in love  instantly. In this post I write about why I like it, what you can do with it and  how to make better use of it and lot more.

Weight, Display and Battery

It very light so one can read on it for long time without tiring one’s hand. Also its e-ink display is so calm on eyes, no strain to eyes at all after reading for hours continuously. Page turns are fast , but the buttons on the side could be little difficult to change page using only one hand. Definitely not a deal breaker. Battery lasts for a light year , at least it feels like. Actually battery last that long I have not bothered to keep track of, also charging is pretty fast.

Content to Read, Books etc

Whats a Kindle without having books to read on it! In fact Kindle is about books than device itself. Few miss the point and confuse Kindle to books.Kindle is like a book shelf where you keep your books + some more functionality to help readers

Books are aplenty on Amazon store, so you can buy any book that is available there. I have  bought few books on Amazon store, since they charge in dollars I felt it is costly to buy all of what I like. Good thing is one can check out their daily deals and buy them at throw away price if you like the book. Also there are many sites where you can download royalty free and non-public domain books. I list a few below , do comment if you have any more links to get free ebooks in Kindle format.

I use Open culture , BooksontheKnob, eReaderIQ  and Project Gutenberg  free books in Kindle format(.mobi). Also check out for deals right on the Kindle.

If one has PDFs or ebooks in other formats like ePub then use Calibre a e-book management tool. Calibre is so cool that it converts the books on your computer into .mobi format and mails it to your Kindle. I use Dropbox , where I drop my e-books , and download the same on my Kindle since I don’t manage  book library on my computer.

If you like to read blogs use services like Instapaper , Klip.me plugins available for various browsers which mail articles and blogs to your Kindle at the click of a button. Most of things I read on web are from the links on my twitter feed, I use apps like tweetcaster which has Instapaper add-on which in turn mails it to my Kindle. Imagine after a day of work all your reading materials in one place!

Mailing it to Kindle!  what does that mean ? It means one can assign a mail address to your Kindle and send mails to the email-id and the content will be available on Kindle. This service is free over WiFi and comes with a small fee if you want this service over 3G. And yes did I mention 3G is free! out of the box. 3G is also used for Whispersync, which is the term coined by Amazon which enable one to read a book from where you left irrespective of the device you are using, may it be a Kindle or Kindle app for Android/ iOS/ Blackberry/  Windows/ Mac/ WebClient etc.,

Kindle has around 3GB of space to use for books, but it offers cloud service where you can save all the books on cloud and retrieve it when you like it. This service is not just for the books you buy on Amazon but also for document, articles, e-books you mailed to your kindle account.

Why I like my Kindle/ Why you have to buy one

  • Feels like reading a physical book
  • Zillions of books/blogs  available to read apart from Amazon Store
  • Send to Kindle functionality
  • Dictionary function without leaving the book
  • Read from where you left across devices
  • Kindle doesn’t come with a twitter/facebook client, imagine the distraction free reading you can do on Kindle!!!!
  • and many more.,

How, Where to buy it. How much it costs

Since Amazon has entered India(I am from India) with Junglee one can book it on Junglee itself. No more worrying about paying big amount for shipping from US. I bought mine from US, compare the cost on Junglee and then decide whether to get one from US. It comes with warranty of one year which can be extended to 3 years by paying extra(30-40$). Kindle Keyboard 3G with sponsored screensavers cost 139$, I suggest you buy one with 3G. Check here for the updated price.

Cover for Kindle

I bought this official black  cover from Amazon( I am an official nazi when it comes to gadgets!) It costed me 30$. One can buy other covers which costs lesser from many online stores. If you are DIY person then try this 50 Kindle covers you can make yourself. This collection is so great , I am thinking to do one for myself soon. Will post when I do it.

Rest of it

With Kindle one can listen to audiobooks, audio books can be plain mp3 or the one bought from audible.com. Audio book player is experimental so still primitive in functionality. So is the browser. If you are buying a Kindle keyboard it is logical to buy the one with 3G by paying a little extra, it’s definitely worth it!

CyanogenMod 7.2 for Xperia X10 (GingerBread / Android 2.3)

It is nearly 2 years since I bought my Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. I know many would have already moved to new phones, I thought X10 is doing just fine. Though official Gingerbread arrived to X10 few months ago, have to admit it’s performance is not up to my expectation. It is not optimized , very laggy screen transitions, basic apps like SMS, dialer takes ages to open because of poor management of RAM, etc.,.Because of these reasons I was searching for a responsive custom ROM for X10. I tried lot of ROMs on XDA , but most of them were not usable for daily use or were under development. My search(read as – wait) went on until my friend suggested this one – CyanogenMod 7.2 ported to X10 by FreeXperia Team.

I have been using it for more than a month now, it is performing very well. No random restarts, apps open fast and smooth, RAM is managed well, battery lasts for more than a day, touch screen is very responsive and I’m loving it.

Do head to xda page to flash this custom ROM, kernel with the flashtool provided there.

To load it unlock the bootloader. I used this method

and later Development Page of the mod, and details on How To Flash.

Do remember though  rooting and unlocking bootloader is legal, it  will void your warranty. 

Safeguard and Backup Information on your Android

Bought an android phone recently? If yes, I write below few things to know and do.

Your Smart Phone is your identity, it has your passwords, phone numbers, notes, SMSes, emails, credit card information, browsing history etc; with so much data on it you cant be ignorant, it is very much required to safe guard and back up these info in case you forgot, lost or someone stole your phone.

Backup Contacts 

Run Contacts sync (Settings -> Sync)on your phone; all your contacts will be backed up on Gmail. For people who are afraid of Google that it knows and stores all your personal info then you should not have bought a Google phone. Else you can run Backup contacts to SD card, later keep a copy of the .vcf file generated on you PC.

Backup SMSes

If you need your SMSes to be backedup, your phones SMS client will give an option to backup SMS on phone’s SD card. Make a copy of this on your PC(needs to be done often).You can backup SMSes using apps like SMS Backup & Restore. You can enable PIN for your SMS using apps like Handcent SMS to protect your SMSes being read from unauthorized person

Use 2 step verification

If you have bought a Google phone you must be knowing by now that it is tied to your Google account (email id). Therefore no explicit authentication is required to access your Gmail, Gtalk, Reader, Checkout etc; therefore I recommend you to use Google’s 2 step verification. Using 2 step verification adds an extra step to access your account but it helps you safe guard your private information being accesses by unintended people, so its worth an extra step. Before using it go through the video , understand the system and then step ahead 🙂 If your phone is lost you can revoke access to the google apps on your phone using 2 step verification.

Use SHREDroid 

More often there is lot of information which is stored in cache even after they are deleted (sms, emails etc..,). Use SHREDroid to remove information from cache; if not removed often it could be easily read by a pseudo techy which allows access to your private information

Use “Wheres My Droid” app

If you happened to lose your phone, this app comes in very handy. It has features like enable ringer on phone after receiving a phrase over SMS, it also send the GPS coordinates of the phone after receiving a phrase over SMS.

Use only Trusted apps

You must have read many malicious apps on market, please be aware of such apps. Try and use only apps from trusted developer, Featured on Market, going through comments on apps on Market, recommendations from a trusted friend who know things(you know..).

Keep your phone updated

Android has a bad history as many vendors deprive customers of latest updates even after phones harware supporting it. Google has intervened now, hopefully things change. Therefore try to keep your phone updated to the latest OS from your manufacturer.

I could come up with these things about safe guarding your phone from unintended access from stranger. Ill add or write new post if I come across new things. Do add in the comments if you have more tips to safeguard and backup private information on your Android phone. Hope this post helps you 🙂

Gyan on how to go about in your First Job

Today Atul Chitnis tweeted about how to go about in First Job, he started tweeting about it by saying

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75773775345496064

It was followed by 20 tweets with #firstjob hashtag

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75774194557792256

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75774502012846081

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75775395517054976

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75775911777144833

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75776388354949120

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75777088426229760

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75777417897193472

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75777728841924609

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75778351616360448

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75779055135371264

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75779718279999488

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75780580360454145

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75780774812598272

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75781228367855616

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75782117455446016

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75782996292149248

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75784133950963712

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75784816427155456

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75785389788508161

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75785893167890432

To give a meaningful end to this with these tweets

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75786536129527809

https://twitter.com/#!/AtulChitnis/status/75788218221608961

Hope you will benefit from it 🙂

Also its been a long time I have posted on my blog, this also relieves me from writers block which I was having. Hope I write more posts soon 🙂

Android Vs Android

It is now a cliché to compare Android with iOS (and wrong for obvious reasons).We are in a situation where Android is competing with Android for bad .This post is continuation of my earlier blog The downside of Android (June 2010) . Nothing has improved from then , in fact it is getting worse. Everyone from Google and manufacturers (also carriers) have contributed their fair share in setting up a situation like this. With series of wrong doings they will(have) take(n) Android from a usable and major mobile platform to a piece of crap. What are they doing ?

Google :

  • As mentioned in my previous post, the timing of new version of Android from Google is highly frequent. Because of this manufacturers are finding it very difficult to keep up with the pace of updates. Google just announced and released Android 3.0 for tablet and Android 2.3 for phones, just as manufacturers are trying to come up with phone (not updating the existing ones !) Googlecoming up with  Android 2.4[rumor] . Seriously this should stop, else I am sure Android will see a premature death. Google definitely underestimates the effort required to upgrade the firmware
  • Poor management of Market. Though it is improving nowadays, a lot needs to be improved.

Manufacturers :

  • If I have to say in one word they are Greedy.Every manufacturers may it be HTC,  Samsung etc., have completely forgot customer as one of their parameter for their decision making. They have dumped old phones/tablets for new ones as the newer update of Android arrives. Moreover they are expecting customers to upgrade to new phone when they could just upgrade the firmware ,which is crazy and meaningless. This attitude will surely put a dent in the phone sales in few months.
  • No foresight(may be deliberate) in deciding the specifications for a phone. It is understandable that manufactures try to limit the spec so the device becomes obsolete and customers will buy new ones sooner. But they must be dreaming when the specs of the phone are not sufficient for the next version of the upgrade of firmware (remember with Google upgrades are every 2-3 months or so!)

All in all if Google or for that matter manufacturers do not learn a lesson before they face the effects of wrong doings, it wont do any good for them. Also there will be millions of customers with phones that are outdated just after months of buying. Google must take a tough stance on manufacturers by making a mandate to update the firmware when there is a possibility. It should also press them to make the boot loaders open as Android is claimed as OPEN SOURCE. If it cant do it, then they will kill the goose that lays golden eggs !! So in the war between Android and Android , who is the winner , who is the loser ? Now you know it !

Bottom Line: I am an Android Fan !!

Update : Since rumor is pretty strong that Android 2.4 (also called Gingerbread)  will be out in April, which will support Android 3.0 (dual core) apps on smartphones running 2.4, all phones releasing with Android 2.3 will be out dated even before their release !!!!!!!!

Top 10 Android Apps : Useful Apps Series

How many times you have come across apps that are pretty cool, only to know you hardly have instances to use them after sometime. Here I recommend few apps that are not just cool but very useful in day to day life.
After all what makes your smartphone smart is the apps it has ! isn’t it? Here we go
You can use the barcode scanner app on your smartphone tou download the app from Market(Use Barcode Scanner app from Market to use the QR codes available in the post below) . I have also shared the apps on Appbrain which gives you more details about the apps and also allows you to sync apps onto your smartphone.

1. Tuk Tuk Meter [Free] : Ever been ” taken for a ride ” by an auto driver in India or else where ? Here is a solution 🙂 Tuk Tuk Meter allows you to know the exact distance travelled by you. Guess what doesnt need GPRS/EDGE access at all. Works with just GPS. You can edit auto fares/minimum distance to customize according to the city you live in Also available for blackberry and symbian.

Android market QR-code
2. Handcent SMS [Free]: Bored with the stock SMS app, here is new one. Handcent SMS allows you to search, blacklist or protect your messages. There are lots of themes/fonts available to give a very rich looks. Check this out

Screenshot of Handcent SMS
3. Rockplayer lite [Free with Ad/Paid 9.99$] : Tired of encoding video to mp4 or any other format supported by your mobile. Use Rock Player which plays almost all the video formats (divx, flv, avi etc). If you think 9.99$ is too much, try V Player it is 2.96$ comes with free trail.

Screenshot of RockPlayer Lite
4. Pulse News Reader[Free]: One of the best readers available for Android, can add feeds from lot of websites. Check this out!

Screenshot of Pulse News Reader
5. Whatsapp Messenger [Free for 1 year/later 1.99$ per year] : Whatsapp lets you use Wifi/GPRS/3G to keep on touch with friends using SMS, but your friends also need to use this app.So invite more friends and get the most of Whatsapp 🙂

Screenshot of WhatsApp Messenger
6. SoundHound [Free with ad/ Paid 4.99$] : How often has it happened that you have heard this song, but could not recall the movie/album/singer. Don’t worry use Sound Hound lets you recognize the song/singer and information related to the song.

Screenshot of SoundHound
7. Gesture Search [Free] : Best apps to search contacts/music/apps etc on your smart phone. This app from google indexes all the stuff on your smartphone and allows you to search them instantly with gestures. Use it to get the feel

Screenshot of Gesture Search
8. Elixir [Free] : Want to know the model, OS Version, Sensors and their real time readings on your smart phone ? Here is an app that lets you do exactly that. Elixir gives comprehensive info about your smartphone. Also has a widget which will be handy to monitor things.

Screenshot of Elixir
9. DropBox [Free] : Ever bored/tired of connecting your smartphone to/from your computer to transfer small amounts of data? Here is the solution , use dropbox app on your phone and also on your computer.Now transferring your files by drag and drop to the folder on your computer which also syncs it with app on your smartphone !

Screenshot of Dropbox
10. ColorDict Dictionary [Free] : Just heard a word from someone for which you don’t know the meaning ? Use ColorDict to know the meaning instantly !. ColorDict provides both offline and online at once, word suggestion etc . You need to download separate packages to get different information like meaning, thesaurus, Wikipedia(online).

Screenshot of ColorDict Dictionary Universal
Bonus App : Team Viewer [Free for non commercial use] : Here come the Bonus App :), Have you ever thought to debug your friends computer but you don’t have access to your/his computer? Don’t worry, team viewer app helps you in this case. Team Viewer app lets you connect to remote computer (must have Team viewer application installed on his/her computer). Currently in Beta stage but usable state. It is free for non commercial usage 🙂 TeamViewer QR-Code

Hope this apps make your life more simpler. You can check all my app recomendations here.  Leave a comment if you like the post and/or you have better app to do same tasks 🙂
Dont forget to subscribe to RSS or like my Facebook Page for new post updates !

Harsha’s Blog : Year 2010 in review

Started this new blog of mine on November 2nd, 2010, More than 4200 views in just 2 months, thanks for you support 🙂 Don’t forget to like my Facebook page for updates on new posts 🙂

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 4,200 times in 2010. That’s about 10 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 24 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 41 posts. There were 63 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 17mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 2nd with 960 views. The most popular post that day was Review : Xperia X10 with Android 2.1.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were xperiax10.net, androidforums.com, facebook.com, twitter.com, and mail.live.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for xperia x10 contacts disappeared, sync, xperia x10 contacts missing, android 2.1 contacts missing, and x10 contacts gone.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Review : Xperia X10 with Android 2.1 November 2010
55 comments

2

Xperia X10 Android 2.1 – Contacts missing problem resolved November 2010
11 comments

3

Android Soft Keyboard choices November 2010
3 comments

4

About Me October 2010

5

Pencil Sketch – All my sketches November 2010
13 comments