Get the crisp of what I....

I brief here what I See , what I Read, what I Know, what I Hear. And remember this is my view. No offenses meant.

Monday, November 01, 2010

To Newyork.....

2 months passed by - i forgot to scribble here about my trip here to NY.
Posting here few snaps. We started as a big team on a 4 day trip to Niagara, NY and Washington DC (covering most of northern America).

Though it was bit hectic, it really added a spice to our holiday mood.
We traveled in all the modes of transport like ship, air, train and by bus to see the places in this trip. 

Few memorable moments to pen here.

There were sudden drops in altitude made by a small air plane during our trip to Niagara from Cleaveland.  The journey was even bit scary when the air hostess told to passengers who were sitting to the emergency exit window on what to do during emergency.

All heaved a sigh of relief except for my colleague's kid who was enjoying whenever the aircraft went down with a huge laugh every time.

The other one was during our bus journey to Washington DC from Newyork. Our bus was at 10pm and hence all though present at the spot were roaming to get quick dinner. 

Our luck( or unfortunate to say so), the bus driver asked us to board the 9.30pm bus. Everyone except my colleague were there and he went to grab some food stuffs. I tried reaching him over phone but my bad luck no signal where we boarded the bus. I left him a voice message.

As the time clocked near 9.30pm, the bus driver started shouting that he will start the bus and there was a bit of chaos happening (they were holding the bus for us) which I was totally unaware waiting for my friend. Oops I got a call finally from him.

When we rushed to the spot, all our luckages were off the bus. The driver went and called the police. Somehow we got all our loaded luckages back and took the 10pm bus and reached Washington DC. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Outlook Macro... quick way to save the mails

I am currently using Outlook 2003 to check my emails.  I have a case wherein I need to send the mail as an attachment to other user.  The steps  I used to do are :
  • Open the mail
  • Click File > SaveAs and save the mail as outlook message format
  • Compose a new email and add this mail as attachment ( *.msg)
Since I was doing this quite often, I thought of writing a macro to quickly help me to do this. I completed it and thought of sharing with you. The code snippet given below

''''Saves the current mail in msg format for easy sending
''''Created by Senthil - Aug 16 2010
Public Sub SaveThisMail()

Dim pathString As String
Dim fullPath As String
Dim itemMessage As String
Dim fName As String ''' Only the file name
Dim selObject As Object

pathString = "C:\Documents and Settings\xxxxx\My Documents" --- Change the path here as per your need

Set selObject = Me.ActiveExplorer.Selection.Item(1)

If (TypeOf selObject Is Outlook.mailItem) Then
    Dim mailItem As Outlook.mailItem
    Set mailItem = selObject
End If

fName = Format(Now(), "ddMMYYYYHHmmss") & ".msg"
fullPath = pathString & "\" & fName

'''Save the mail
mailItem.SaveAs fullPath, OlSaveAsType.olMSG

'''To open the place where the file is located
Dim a As String
a = MsgBox("Saved successfully (File name: " & fName & " ). Want to see the location?", vbYesNo + vbDefaultButton1, "Save successful")

If a = vbYes Then
    retVal = Shell("explorer.exe " & pathString, vbNormalFocus)
End If
End Sub

What you need to do?
Open Outlook and select Tools>Macro> Visual Basic Editor

Paste the code written above in the "This Outlook Session" ( Please remember to edit the red line in the code as per your need)

Save the project and close it.

Now we will add a small button to the standard mail window. Open any mail and right click at the tool bar ( any icon). You will get a menu as shown below

Click Customize. Now go to Commands tab and  go to Macros and select the macro SaveThisMail()

Simply drag the Command to the tool bar. Now you have the button ready at the tool bar.  See below the screen.

Now you are good to go. Whenever you want to save this mail as .msg, simply click this button and the mail will be saved in your prescribed folder. You will be prompted to open the location and you can quickly select the file from the location. 

(Note: Since this is a macro, whenever you open the Outlook, you will be prompted to Enable or Disable the macro.  Enable the macro to have the above function working. Click the images if you want to see bigger)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Security in GMAIL

You are browsing your gmail and suddenly some visitors come in. You left the screen as it is and went to get a drink for him.

At this time, visitor started browsing the website and there is a chance that he might see your gmail and email content.
This solution helps you to hide the emails temporarily and you can keep some important emails hidden.

What you need to do?
Go to Settings in your GMAIL:

Create a filter and hide it. How it is?

I will go with an example. If you want to keep the mails from hidden, do as follows.

Create a label in GMAIL with some specific name – I go with name “hidden” here for example

Create a new filter so that all mails from AA are labeled as “hidden”. Check the following:
  • Also apply filter to X conversations below
  • Skip the inbox (Archive it)
  • Apply the label ( select the label here “hidden”)


Go to Labels and select hide.

Now if you go to inbox, mails from AA will not be shown. And the label “hidden” will also not be shown in the main screen.

How to see the mails which are hidden just now ? Do I need to go and activate it back from the settings which are again painful?

My answer is NO. Just go to inbox, in the search type “label:hidden”. Hurray – all the mails which are labeled with this are shown now.

(Tip: In similar lines, if you want to see only “UNREAD” mails, go to search bar and type “label:unread” and you will be only shown all the unread mails. And Inbox is also one of the default lable in gmail).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

SAS..(Software As a Service)

I was going through the gmail blog and got somewhere the link of most recommended internet applications ( top 10). I landed in ZOHO which gives software as a service. 

I was trying the spreadsheets present in it. It is pretty amazing. It has got even macro recording and assign it to a button. 

You can compare this with Google docs. The user interface and the usage are more in par with a normal MS office applications. 

You can try it out here - you need to create a zoho account for this. 

Following are my recent readings and observations:
  • Gmail came with drag and concept of attachment. Now instead of browsing attachments when you are sending email, you can simply drag and drop into Gmail from your computer. Gmail takes care of rest.
  • Multiple attachments can be selected in one go - either drag multiple items into Gmail or using browse for attachments, select multiple files in one go.
  • Also Gmail has introduced rich signatures - now your signature can have different font, colours and hyperlink and you can include images as well. I recently included my blog link to my signature in Gmail.
  • If you are typing frequently the same messages every time, you can save this as a template message and add it in a click in Gmail ( called as Canned responses) - i have never tried it out.
  • The recent office outlook 2010 contains a check for empty subject line. Earlier (till 2007 version), there is no straight way to check the subject and you need to write a macro to check this. The painful part outlook will trigger an alert message whenever you open it to execute the macro.
Have created a simple test below using ZohoChallenge

Saturday, May 08, 2010


I made a recent trip to San Francisco for a week. Trip was good - it was far more different than Houston. Streets are very sloppy. I enjoyed the scenic beaches and the buildings.

I had a chance to take in hand the dungeness crab which you see below. Its huge one and is a popular dish cost of San Francisco. I am posting here few snaps which I took there.

Sea lion

Lombard Street

Old Army Ship
Piston of a ship

Ship at a pier
Dungeness Crab

Some footprint at the beach

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Phoneix--Space craft (amazing design)

This is not the bird but designed to live with the help of sun - the Mars Phoneix space craft. Again this was collective information from my own readings.

This was the first lander on the Martian polar region and has the privilege of getting snapped by another object in space - the MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). The MRO took a poto of Phoneix during its landing - photo shows "Phoneix with parachute" - the last minute stage of its landing on Mars.

It was a first of a kind where a soft landing of a space craft was successfully implemented on another planet. The atmosphere on Mars also handed its help to the success. All other landings on any other planet were on crash mode. Even the rovers on the mars have a landing with air balloon which was also a crash type.

Few statistics of Phoenix:

· Duration of travel from Earth to Mars: 9 months

· Time taken for a signal to be received from Phoneix: 10 minutes

· The speed of Phoneix when it reached Marsian atmosphere: ~15000miles per hour

· The speed has been reduced to 125mph before it touches the ground within 7minutes of its entry into Marsian atmosphere. This was achieved by deploying a parachute that drastically reduced the speed of the craft and also by the friction caused by the atmosphere

· Entire duration of Entry Descent and Landing (called in NASA Terms as EDL): 7 minutes

As mentioned earlier, it takes 10 minutes for any signal to reach Earth, by the time a signal for EDL has been received; we can safely assume all the stages of EDL are over. This gives a challenge as to every decision has to be made by the space craft and not manually controlled from Earth. A point to note is - the signal so far was direct from Phoneix to Earth.

The EDL contains the following steps:

E- Entry - with the help of heat shield to protect the Phoneix from extreme heat. The heat shield surface temperature during entry was expected to be closer to temperature on the surface of the sun (2500F). But the inner temperature was maintained close to a normal room temperature to protect the space craft. This is an amazing achievement.

D- Descent - achieved by deploying parachute which again reduces the speed of the space craft. Once the speed is 125 mph, the heat shield is jettisoned and for the first time the Phoneix is exposed to Martian atmosphere.

L - Landing: The Phoneix should deploy its legs now and start calculating how far it is from surface. Based on which it decides when to leave the parachute. After which it is a free fall from space. Once close to the surface it starts its thrust engine and lands safely on the surface.

Few unknown facts about Phoneix:

Fact 1-Has survived more than the actual duration and worked greatly. Phoneix's last message to Earth was "Triumph" which it sent in binary code to MRO after which it went to sleep mode (dead).

Fact 2-The signal to Phoneix happened via MRO. The order is Phoneix ->MRO->Earth and vice versa. MRO is a satellite launched some time earlier to study the surface of Mars. All communications to Phoenix from Earth happened via MRO. It makes 2 complete rotations on one Martian sols (1 sols = one solar day of Mars). Hence, Phoneix can get the signal from Earth twice a day. They used the first one to send data to Phoneix (via MRO from Earth) and the second one to receive data from Phoneix (via MRO to Earth).

Fact 3-All instructions for the whole day have been sent in the first attempt. The results are received on the second attempt.

Fact 4-Still scientists are trying to establish communication after its dead message due to no light because of Mars winter. There is one more attempt to be made in April 2010 to see if there is a signal of hope from Phoneix.

Fact 5-There was a landing camera installed on the bottom of the space craft to capture the landing of the space craft. At last minute during the body built of Phoneix it was found that turning on the landing camera would disrupt the Phoneix memory. So it was decided not to switch on the camera as it was too late and the date for launching was already near. Phoneix was too late to repair at that stage. (If everything went ok – we would have seen now how exactly Phoneix has landed in his last minutes of descent)

Fact 6-There was also a sound recorder on board to record Martian sound but this was never turned on. Phoneix life time was used to do most of the soil analysis and slowly Phoneix started losing its power because of blooming Martian Winter. At last stage a decision was taken to turn on this mic but it was again too late as Phoneix was into dead mode the next day. So this message could not be delivered to Phoneix. (Again – if this went ok, then we would be playing first sound from Mars in Youtube).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In HuntsVille

Last week i had been to HuntsVille a natural park with lake. This is 60 miles from Houston Texas. I joined with few colleagues and we all started at 6 am in the morning. The morning was very cold. We rented a car and started our journey from Houston. After 1.5 hrs of entertaining route we were there at our destination. Had a small coffee break and then started towards HuntsVille park.

It was a nice scenic spot with a lake in the middle. My colleagues using their professional DSLR's charged the birds here and there. After a quick meal, we went for boating on the chilled water. Though life jackets were given, i was bit worried when they told about alligators on the lake. The temperature was very low and we could not hold our cameras for a longer time.

Then at 3pm, we trekked inside the forest for 2.5 hrs looking for good shots of birds. It was a good and thrilling experience needless to stay. We were back at our arrival spot by 7pm the same day. Posting here few potos which i took there.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Audi...poitom illa...

I had a chance to be in DOHA - my transit on my way to Houston. I roamed here and there as i got some time between flights. I captured these cars by the way. These cars are 2 seater's - i am not sure about the price. I had a chance to see back of the car. I could not recognize whether it is a speaker or engine hopefully the second one and it was really big... Oru nimisham (read the title of the post here)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

In Mangalore

I had an oppurtunity to be in Mangalore for a week. I checked with my friend on important sight seeing places to see there. The experience was a different one. I started by train from Mysore at 11.30 pm the night and reached Mangalore by 6.30 in the morning.

I saw few beaches like Panambur and one another ( i don't remember the name). I also went to Udupi to see Lord Krishna temple. Few things i observed in Mangalore were:
  • Most of the roads are cement paved and they are bit broader
  • Food in Infosys Mangala campus was too good though there were not much choices to chose from
  • Few beaches are clean and decent and you will love to play
  • Wonderful ice creams shops like pabbas
Few potos which i took - i am posting it here

Taken in Udupi

One of the Mangalore beaches

Panambur beach

Udupi life

Sunday, March 07, 2010

About SUN

Well - i have been reading and seeing so many things in the recent past which i never blogged. I will see to do it one by one.

I was (am) little fascinated about the power of SUN which I see is a form of GOD. Few things i remember about the sun - i want to write this time. I am not sure about the references where i read these things but certainly you can find more info in the internet. Here is the gist of my observations about the sun.

Sun has flares - which are kind of flames that comes out the boundary of sun. These flares go to a distance of ~ 200 kms from the boundary. They also do have some cold areas ( areas which have relatively lesser temperature) than the rest. These are called black spots because of its black appearances on the surface of the sun.

Sun also rotates on its own but not sure whether it revolves some where. It takes 8 min for sunlight to reach earth and it takes roughly 8 hours to reach the planet Pluto ( the ninth in our solar system).

Sun has the power to glow for another billion years and at the end it becomes a giant start where almost all the planets will be consumed by it because of its gravitational pull.

Hope you know that most of the space crafts and satellites survive using sun light.

Sun's corona is a kind of outer atmosphere of sun. This is visible only during full lunar eclipse. Some might ask - how moon fully covers the sun during eclipse. It is a rare phenomena and our luck to say that sun and moon size remains the same due to their distance and the size. But mostly the eclipses will be annular where the moon could not hide the sun completely . Annular occurs when moon is smaller in size than the sun. Why this happens is because of moons inclined and elliptical orbit around the earth.

Coming back to corona again, you can ask the question why can't one see the sun's corona by just hiding it fully with hand like how the moon does. To my knowledge the reason is our atmosphere. The sun's light is dispersed by our atmosphere and hence you can't see the corona from our earth. So this gives a clue that once you go out of atmosphere and hide the sun with your hand, you should be able to see the sun's corona.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Hey me back.

Sorry for a long break. Hope i believe will get some time to write out interesting things around me.