Archive for April 2009
I joined Twitter a couple of weeks back because. . . Well, I don’t really know. Maybe because Facebook tried to copy twitter on their new layout and I wanted to see the real thing in action. Anyway, despite being a Twitterer for a couple of weeks I’ve found myself rapidly addicted to the twitter world. Even though I fell in love with Twitter some of my friends who I’ve forced to join simply don’t understand it. So I decided to share a few of the things I’ve learned about Twitter with you people.
What is this Twitter thingy?
Well first and foremost, Twitter is a microblogging service. You know the Facebook status message (Yes, the one you put “What’s on your mind” or whatever you’re doing). Well Twitter is basically the status message without the rest of Facebook. (There are loads of differences. This is just for simplicity’s sake. So the all-knowing people out there don’t try to bite my head off ). You can post anything as long as it’s below 140 characters. What you do, what’s on your mind, an interesting link you saw on the internet or anyother thing you can think of.
Benefits of using Twitter
Twitter is an instantaneous method of communication to the masses. Some of you might say “Who needs Twitter? IM is better and faster.” You see an interesting video on YouTube while you’re browsing or wish to recommend that newest book you’ve read to your friends. What do you do? IM everyone on your messenger list? No you dunghead! You Tweet it. Your followers see it and check it out. Easy as pie
Another great aspect of Twitter is you can constantly monitor if there’s anything new in something you care about. Know a blogger you like to read? Follow their Twitter (Almost all bloggers are on Twitter and will Tweet as soon as they upload a new blog post. You should be able to figure out these things on your own you know! Jeez!! ). Have an application you really like and can’t wait till the new version comes out? Follow their Twitter. Want to stalk Ashton Kutcher or Demi Moore? Follow their Twitter. Want to see what your friends are doing? Get them to join and follow their Twitter. (I’m sure you get the point by now).
You can also keep on top of news updates on Twitter as well. Follow CNN’s Twitter for the latest breaking news updates.
There are loads of other uses as well. But I’m sure you can figure those out by yourself.
How to Twitter?
I’ve seen a lot of people using the Twitter Web to post their tweets. This isn’t a good idea if you want to get into Twitter. Twitter is an instantaneous method of communication. Some news are on Twitter before they’re on any TV or Radio channels. (Of course, this requires large numbers of mobile twitterers, still a long way to gofor our country ). Anyway, the first thing you need is a good Twitter client for your PC or your mobile phones. I’ve messed around with quite a few twitter clients in the short time I’ve been on Twitter and found several very nice programs. I’ll list a few of the free ones here. There are clients you can buy too. But why should we, when there’s more than enough free stuff?
My favourite and default Twitter client is Twhirl. Twhirl is an Adobe AIR based cliet so its also platform independant. So whether you’re using Linux, Windows, or MAC you’ll have no problem working with it. It supports multiple accounts, has lots of color themes, URL shorteners (You need this! You have only 140 letters), Twitpicking straight from the client. Here’s a screenshot of a user profile on Twhirl on my PC. You can also follow their updates on Twitter (Obviously).
TweetDeck is another Adobe AIR based client. This has almost all of the features mentioned above plus a little extra bonus. You can update your Facebook status message as you’re updating your Twitter. Pretty cool huh? Here’s a screenshot of TweetDeck.
Ah. TwitterFox.The simplest of Twitter clients. This isn’t actually a standalone program. It’s just a Firefox extension. But it does it’s job admirably. This was my first Twitter client and I highly recommend it to anyone. Take a peek.
As I’m using a Symbian OS phone I kind of gravitated towards Gravity. This is the best mobile Twitter client I’ve seen by far. But unfortunately it’s not free. But I decided to mention it here just because it’s so great
Some words you should know!!!
Since the start of twitter there have been some new words regarding the Twitter world. Some of them make sense. Some are absolutely ridiculous. Here are some interesting ones I’ve found.
Twitterer/Tweeter – A user of Twitter
Tweet – noun: A message sent on Twitter
verb: The act of posting on Twitter
Twoosh – A full 140 character Tweet
Dweet – A Tweet sent under the influence of Alcohol
Tweetaholism – Continued Twitter use to the point of addiction
Mistweet – A tweet one regrets later
Twitterrhea – The act of sending too many Tweets
Tweeple – People on Twitter
Twitterati – Glamourous A-List twitterers everyone wants to follow
Twitosphere – The total community of Tweeters
If you want more Twitter related words Twittionary can help you out.
There. I’ve finished the crash course on Twitter. Hope to see you around Twitter soon (If you’re already not there). Don’t forget to follow me on http://twitter.com/chathuraw
As you all can see by the blog title itself I spend a lot of time on the web. And what’s the most important application to an internetaholic? Yep. You got it. The web browser. Usually my favourite and my default web browser is Mozilla Firefox (What else would it be? IE? I think not.)
Anyway, I choose Firefox because of a lot of reasons. The most important one being the huge library of add-ons for it. Ad block Plus, FlashGot, Firebug, X Marks (Previously Foxmarks), TwitterFox, Delicious Bookmarks and a whole lot more of other geeky stuff you wouldn’t really be interested in . I’m also writing this blog post on another Firefox add-on by the way. It’s ScribeFire. (Thanks to Shaakunthala for the tip). It’s more like a whole application platform than just a web browser. And it has the greatest download manager integration with FlashGot add-on and I’ve never wavered from Firefox for . . . well never.
But even with all this Firefox is not without its drawbacks. It’s one of the worst memory hogs in my PC.As I’m running the web browser all day long it sometimes takes around 700MB of memory. That’s a hell of a lot even for a browser. (Well all this add-ons I’ve installed must take their fair share, I admit. But still. . . ). And it’s slooooow. It takes its own time to start up (Which is another reason it rarely gets closed) and page rendering is somewhat slower than its competitors. (Once again, I don’t even count IE as a competitor. It’s popularity is purely based on Microsoft bundling it with Windows. Most people don’t even know they have alternatives.)
But this doesn’t leave me from trying out other browsers. Sometime back I tried Google Chrome. Several times from the beta stage to Chrome official releases and developer builds. It’s the fastest browser around these days and has some really cool features. But somehow it doesn’t seem to work for me at all. I’ve experienced a lot of crashes and other bugs with it and I’ve lost my taste for it since. It never should have left the beta stage in my opinion (Hey! It’s MY opinion in MY blog. You can belive whatever you wish ).
So, to the point now. The reason I started writing this post is I downloaded the new Safari 4.0 Beta from Apple today. (Yes yes, I know. It’s been a couple of months since its out. But its new for me). Safari is one of the fastest browsers out there, second only to Chrome. Apple has added some new features since Safari 3 and most of its eye candy (Yummy!) it seems. Anyways, check out the new home screen. Looks cooool. It’ll learn which pages you most visit and display them for quick access as soon as you open a new tab. (Hmm… Sounds familiar. Where have I seen that before? )
Another major change that’s immediately visible is the positioning of the tabs. It’s moved to the top of the window leaving more space for actual browsing. (I have the strangest feeling that all this sounds vaguely familiar again.) While this might be a change for the good for Mac OS X users, for Vista and Windows 7 users the transparent tabs can be kind of irritating. Take a look and decide for yourself.
And it seems like Apple’s cover flip has made its way into Safari too. The book marks and history view is now very cool. (Why anyone would actually want it there is a completely different matter). And I have to mention here. The lack of the Ctrl + H shortcut key to get into the history view is very very irritating. I keep pressing it and nothing happens. Here’s the cover flip view.
Well that’s it. I’ve tried the new Safari beta. Just now Kalinga posted a tweet about the new Chrome developer build. (Hmm. Should I try that and waste more time?). Leave your comments about your favourite browser and why you like it. Or why you like or don’t like this post . Cheers!!!
On the evening before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year (13th of April) I was as usual sitting in front of my laptop browsing away. (I do that a lot. Hence the blog title). Anyway out of the blue my mom calls me downstairs for tea and tells me to bring the mugs that I’ve taken upstairs but never really returned. For some reason or other I really felt the need to take my laptop downstairs with me. So I unplugged it and closed the lid and took it in my hand.
When I went to get the mugs I saw there are 3 mugs there. So I get the very bright idea of using the laptop as a tray. (I’m really smart aren’t I? Keep reading) So I put one mug turned down so it would wobble less on the laptop. So far so good. There goes the second mug. And here goes the third mug as well. Piece of cake right? Wrong! As my luck would have it, unnoticed by me there was a little water left in the third mug and it went all over the laptop.
Panic!! Laptop!! Water!!! DON’T MIX!!
But keeping a cool head I put down the cups and immediately took the battery out of the laptop. Ok. Breathe. . . Right. Then I took the first piece of cloth that caught my sight (Which incidentally, happened to belong to my sister. Oh well… ) and wiped the laptop clean. Seemed like no water had reached the keyboard or the vents. So far so good. That meant there could be minimal chance of damage. Holding my breath I inserted the battery in and switched it on.
Fortunately it worked Ok. By Ok I mean it switches on and can do anything I did before. But on the top right edge of the display there was a huge patch of water. Almost like a cloud.
What could I do? As it was my sheer idiocy that resulted in this outcome I resigned to accept the consequences. My dear laptop isn’t even 6 months old.
Then I logged on and did a bit of googling to look at my options. Which did not look very good. I thought of using a hair dryer to dry the water out. But I found a post in a forum advising against it because the heat could damage the screen further.
I also found a very helpful disassebly guide to take apart the LCD screen. (I can’t seem to find the link right now. If I find it again I’ll post it here) Looking at it, and considering my luck I decided I’ll most probably end up doing more damage than good if I tried that.
Feeling utterly helpless I finally posted about my misfortune on my Twitter with a Twitpic. After I told about what happened Kalinga he suggested that I keep the laptop near a tungsten bulb to dry it out.
He also adviced me to keep checking the temperature regularly to make sure it doesn’t heat up too much. To an LCD display over 60-70 degrees celcius is too much in case you’re wondering what is too much.
This idea appealed to me as well. So I emptied a space in a wardrobe, put my lappy on a dry towel and also put in an old table lamp with a 40W bulb. (I removed the Lampshade obviously)
After 5 or 6 hours in my new “oven” the cloud seemed to be fading a little. A little feeling of hope. Can it actually work?
After a full 36 hours (a little more or less. I did’t keep track of time that accurately ) the cloud had completely vanished. It’s almost like nothing had happened. Take a look for yourself.
Thanks to Kalinga and his bright idea I got my laptop back just as it was. A little piece of advice. Don’t do the stupid thing I did. Then you can avoid this entire episode. (Of course you’re not as stupid as me. What was I thinking? )
Ok. Here goes. I’ve finally decided to start a blog for myself. Why? I really have absolutely no idea. It’s not like I don’t have loads of other work to do. Hmmm. Let’s see how this goes.
Who Am I?
Well my name is Chathura (which you already know. It’s on the top in huge letters for gods sake). And I am a 2nd Year Computer Science Undergraduate at the moment of this writing.
What will be in this blog?
Why are you asking me? I really don’t have any idea myself. Who knows what will I write depending on my mental condition (which isn’t at its peak nowadays I can tell you that).
Why would you want to read this nonsense?
Good question! Which I don’t have an answer for. Maybe you need some inner soul searching.
That’s enough for my very first blog post I should think. After reading this perhaps you might feel like never visiting this site again (understandable of course). Ok, enough for now. Later then. Bye!!