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Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

Google Chrome and the new era of the browser OS

Posted by Kunal on September 2, 2008

Unless you are living under a rock (narrowly defined as someone who doesn’t obsessively follow the blogosphere/social news :)), you would know that Google is releasing an open source browser called Chrome today. Since I am twittering a lot* about it, I thought I might as well type more than 140 characters for this topic.

I have played with Chrome when I was interning in Google during the summer and was quite impressed by the software. As you will notice after using Chrome, it is fast, sleek and more reliable than Firefox Lately, FF seems to crash a lot on me; most of the times due to some flash website or something similar. Chrome’s ‘one process per tab’ architecture will mitigate this problem. Firefox’s traditional strength has been its community and the plethora of addons that make it so useful. It would be interesting to see how the community reacts to another open source browser. When I first used Chrome, I was very excited about the new thoughtful features in the browser, but a lot of it is now implemented in Firefox 3 as well. Infact, Mozilla just announced that they further improved the speed of their javascript engine, a fact that removes some shine off V8, Chrome’s javascript engine (when it was first implemented, it was waay faster than the state of the art at that time. 20x or so). Lots of excitement notwithstanding, I had to keep my mouth shut till the official release :)

With the recent release of Mozilla Ubiquity and now Chrome, there will be a paradigm shift in terms of how browsers are viewed. To rehash what many people have been saying, the browser is the new OS. Not Operating System as in the classical definition of something that manages resources, but OS as a software platform. Think of Ubiquity as the new command line and now Chrome brings separate processes and integrated offline experience (through Gears), and you get something that starts resembling a good platform to build your applications on. This is clearly an exciting phase for browsers!

Chrome is currently being released only for Windows and so I won’t be able to use it much. I will wait till I can get my hands on the beta release for my favorite real Operating System ;)

* I hate Twitter, but I love micro blogging. 140 characters seems too limiting, but it is quite useful for people like me who are lazy to write big blog posts :)


Posted in Geek Life, open source, Software | Leave a Comment »

Geek Learnings of Unix for make benefit glorious head of kunal

Posted by Kunal on April 11, 2008

One of the best things about being a grad student is the fact that currently I have 3 machines at my disposal. Three linux machines have really brought out the Unix geek in me. I will try to document some cool tips that I have grokked from the interwebs. Without much ado, here are some learnings –

1. Coloured grep

Why didn’t anyone tell me about this before? This should be a standard IMHO. Just invoke grep with the option –color=tty for a coloured output. I have created an alias for this and put it in my .bashrc.

alias grep='grep --color=tty'

2. SSH

With multiple computers at your disposal, SSH is a necessity. One great feature of SSH is the ability to authenticate using public key. Not only is this method more secure than passwords, but it is also painless.

This page on Debian administration explains how easy it is to set up public key authentication.

3. Screen

I am a complete newbie to screen but it seems like an awesome tool. Screen is a great way to have persistent command line sessions. If you want to reconnect to your work terminal from your laptop or another machine, screen is just the solution. screen -dr is a real savior.

Posted in Geek Life, Software | 3 Comments »

Google Earth coming to Linux

Posted by Kunal on May 29, 2006

Just after Picasa was released we find out they are also working on Google Earth for Linux also.

Google cares about Linux! Last week Google released Picasa for Linux. While it is not a native Linux program, it works under Wine. I think this is a major step towards Linux acceptance by big software companies. Traditionally, software companies will release a Linux version only if the software is written in Java and hence it is platform agnostic. With Picasa, we can expect great quality software (although not open source) to be released under Linux. I downloaded Picasa and it works flawlessly on my Kubuntu machine. I have run Wine applications before and this one is different. Essentially because it links with libwine (which means that its not as bad as running a .exe under Linux. Google has made internal changes to Picasa).

Google Earth coming to Linux will be nice as there are no open source alternatives to it. Many people are complaining that this is a half hearted attempt by Google to woo Linux users because Picasa isn't a native Linux application. I think if Google isn't going to open source their applications (the best option ), they might as well make it run under Wine. A closed source natively compiled application is as bad as closed source application running under Wine in my opinion.

Note : I am blogging from for the first time!
read more | digg story

Posted in open source, Software, Technology | 7 Comments »

Dear Spolsky,

Posted by Kunal on January 6, 2006

One of my favourite ‘tech’ blogs is Joel on Software, when he writes about programming and not promoting his books/company. His articles have an amazing clarity, rarely seen in similar literature. The best thing about his articles is the way he makes his points, very logical and passionate at the same time.

Some of his previous articles that I liked:

The Perils of JavaSchools

Advice For Computer Science Students

How Microsoft Lost the API War

Getting Your Resume Read

Posted in Software, Tech | 1 Comment »

Google fever

Posted by Kunal on December 11, 2005

Yes. I have been bitten by the Google Earth bug too. Its an amaaazing tool. Here are some photos (click on the thumbnails for a larger image):

1. My college.

Amidst all the slums of Upper Indiranagar lies VIT.

2. Tekdi


My favourite destination for evenings. I have traced the path from the base of the hill at Law College to the stone quarry. The ‘Measure’ tool in Google Earth tells me that the path is 1.9 km. Cool.

3. Pune Overview


The Mutha is looking a damn sight neater than up close!

Posted in General, Software | 5 Comments »