The single-day-long WordCamp Pune 2015 was held on the 6th of September, and here is my ‘Dear Diary’ account of the power-packed event. The Chaos Theory Just a couple of weeks earlier, WordCamp Deputy Aditya Kane, the guy in charge of approving WordCamps in this region, had this to say about Twitter chats on WordPress: @N_Chougle @wpmeta The whole idea is to embrace chaos and not streamline community chats on Twitter I feel 😀 #WPMeta – — Aditya Kane (@AdityaKane) August 24, 2015 I had an inkling some chaos would show up in this event too, and it sure did! First, finding the exact location of the venue within the large college campus was disorienting in the absence of signboards at the gates. And when I[…]

A lot of web designing is routine for millions of companies and freelancers. But not all tasks are easy; many warrant long spells spent in battling complex problems. As a web designer, a checklist of questions to ask your clients can pre-empt many hassles along the way. With the right answers, you can create a documented set of requirements to guide yourself through a web design project. Detailed here are five key questions web designers need to ask their clients: Q 1. What exactly is your profession or business interest? Knowing the answer to this question will help designers finalize the right combination of shapes, colors and typography on the site. A dentist may want to infuse a refreshing mint[…]

If I’m asked to choose one word to describe the recently concluded WordCamp Pune 2013, I’d pick ‘enriching’. It was the second time I’d been to a WordCamp, the first one being Cuttack last year, where I spoke about my blogging journey. A couple of key speakers at the event aptly dubbed this the ‘best ever so far’ in India. Majority of the speeches had more substance than platitudes. In this article, I’m going to try and capture the most significant happenings of the 2-day event. Day 1 The first day’s sessions were aimed at developers. It began with King Sidharth talking about the need for responsive designs. This is his slideshow: Savita Soni talked about the power of WP_Query.[…]

UPDATE July 18, 2013: Approximately 7 months after this article was published, there’s been news that the TrueCaller database has been hacked into by the so-called Syrian Electronic Army. Again, this highlights the need for users to be careful in the choosing the companies with whom they entrust their private data. TrueCaller is a mobile app and online service that serves as a very large phonebook for reverse phone number lookups. It can be used to augment your own phone’s contact list in your iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian, or BlackBerry device, helping you let know the names of unknown callers. You can test to see which of your or your friends’ numbers are available in their database at How does it work? TrueCaller claims to[…]

Just under a day ago, I found an appalling phenomenon in my Facebook timeline – A leading online technology magazine focussing on the Indian domain, SiliconIndia, was caught stealing portions of a recent interview published by rising social media blog Lighthouse Insights. Lighthouse Insights was started in late 2010 by Prasant and Vinaya Naidu with the aim of bonding the community of social media users. I first met Prasant at a meet-up in Pune, and instantly liked the knowledge he had built on the social media scene in India. You can read the complete account of the theft in one of their posts. Do News Sites Have the Liberty to Steal? When the founders of Lighthouse Insights confronted SiliconIndia on[…]

Which virus protection is the best? Well, to protect yourself against malicious software, the six defensive ways detailed below can work better than the best anti-virus software left to act alone. 1) Be aware of virus symptoms, and attack vectors This piece of advice might sound something beyond the realm of non-techies. However, non-techies had to learn how to use computers anyway, and learning a little about the basics of viruses won’t hurt. The information contained in this article is a good start. (i) Be wary of suspicious, new process names in the list of running processes Sometimes these processes have the same names as legitimate ones to disguise themselves (svchost.exe is an example). Sometimes they have similar names, like[…]

To convert multiple VMDKs into a single file, I used the following command (LinuxVM.vmdk is the name of the first VMDK file – i.e. the one attached to the VM): $ vmware-vdiskmanager -r LinuxVM.vmdk -t 0 LinuxVMSingleDisk.vmdk Note that vmware-vdiskmanager is bundled as part of VMware Workstation. I couldn’t locate that as a separate download, so I ended up downloading the trial version of Workstation. The above operation takes a while, but not too long. It shows its progress as it completes. Next, I had to modify the VM settings so that it would use the new disk. I couldn’t find this option in the GUI, so I had to modify the vmx file manually (use an appropriate editor on[…]

The WordCamp Cuttack 2012 concluded on the 11th of March in the most positive of ways for everyone who got an opportunity to be part of it, whether as an organizer, attendee or speaker. I was fortunate to be there as a special guest, a result of a generous giveaway by the key initiator of this event, Soumya Pratihari. Soumya leads a locally-based web development company called iDev, which also runs a number of popular blogs that cater to several verticals. My first pleasant experience came well before the event itself. While I was being driven to iDev, I expected the company to be housed in a more or less snazzy office block, when in fact it was a simple,[…]

TCPMon is a nice little tool for testing TCP communication between a client and server. It is an open source project, distributed under the Apache 2.0 license. Downloading and Running TCPMon To download TCPMon, head over to the Apache TCPMon download page and download the binary distribution. (There’s a Google Code Project called TCPMon too, but that’s not the same one, and has fewer features) Once downloaded and extracted, navigate to the build folder and run TCPMon by executing on Linux or tcpmon.bat on Windows. (On Linux, you’ll need to set the execute bit on the sh file before you run it). Note that your current working directory must be the build folder, else Java will report a ClassNotFoundException TCPMon as an[…]

When you’re out to shop online, there’s a greater variety than ever before if you’re in India! Shopping giant Amazon has launched the curiously named in beta mode to target Indian customers. Presently, it is only a comparison shopping site rather than one that allows customers to order directly and obtain shipping from Amazon’s own dedicated courier services. Shoppers are taken to vendors’ individual sites to complete their purchases, and experiences may vary. UPDATE (10th Feb, 2012): Amazon has been granted FDI approval to set up its logistics service in India. Junglee means ‘of the forest’ in Hindi, and by all means, the offering at the first instant indeed looks to be just a subset of the vast forest[…]