Shankar Ganesh Just another WordPress site Sat, 22 Oct 2011 07:42:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Free Online Slam Book Questions Template Sat, 28 Mar 2009 06:07:17 +0000 admin As you might have known from my constant Twitter updates, my 12+2 years of school life got over last week. You know what? The last week before exams was filled with not exam preparations and all that stuff. Instead, we were trying to exchange slam books with our friends and getting the slam book questions filled up.

I went on a searching spree looking for slam books in the local stores but most of them were very boring (in my view). What I did was fire up MS Word and designed a slam book questions template for myself, bound it as a book and distributed it among my friends and got all the slam book questions filled up!

I thought some of you might be searching for slam book templates online and so I put the slam book I designed myself online on What the slam book template contains is a list of questions that your friends will have great fun filling up.

If you want the slam book questions in .DOC format, you can click on this link. You can open it using MS Word.

So there you go! Print multiple copies, share them and have lots of fun.

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Download Free Mobile Dictionary Software for Nokia Phones Sun, 17 Aug 2008 12:40:57 +0000 admin While going on a hunt for software applications for my dad’s Nokia mobile phone, I found this one on GetJar.

Free Dictionary Software for Nokia Mobile PhonesThe entire application comes at around 1 MB, and the dictionary has a good database – I played with it for a few days, and it did have meanings for all the words I tried.

You need not necessarily key in the entire word – just type a few letters and the software itself fetches you the meaning of the word you’re looking for, by guessing it. For instance, you just type ambi- and it displays the meaning of ambiguous.

Supported models include Nokia N70, N73, N91, N95, 3650, 3110c, 3230, 3250, 6500c, 6600, 6085, 6680, 6300, 5310, E90, LG KG300, Sony Ericsson K810i, K750i and many others.

Download this free dictionary software application from here.

Related: Is your Nokia 3110c mobile restarting automatically? Also, download free themes for your Nokia 3110c mobile phone

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Download Free Nokia 3110c Themes Thu, 29 May 2008 14:23:40 +0000 admin I was looking for some themes for the Nokia 3110c mobile phone, and I came across two good themes on DeviantArt.

One is the Baby Blue theme and the other is the 3110c Blue Theme. Both of these look fantastic on the Nokia 3110c mobile phone.

The Nokia 3110c Baby Blue Theme – Download

Simple Blue Theme – Download

You might want to check those out if you’re looking for some free themes for Nokia 3110c.

Graphite Nokia 3110c Theme – Download

Out of curiosity, I went to OwnSkin and created a theme for Nokia 3110c. I named it Graphite. I hope you like that as well!

How to install the Nokia 3110c Themes?

Just put the downloaded .NTH files in the Themes folder on your mobile phone and activate the theme from the Settings > Display > Themes if I’m right

If you’ve used any other Nokia 3110c themes, please do share it with us using the comments section below.

In case you just bought a Nokia 3110c, and it restarts often, please check this post on how to rectify the restarting problem with the phone. Additionally, you can also read how to update the Nokia phone firmware because doing that seems to fix the restarting problem.

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“Unable to get exclusive lock” – Error when trying to update programs Thu, 27 Dec 2007 09:31:07 +0000 admin I just managed to install the latest version of Ubuntu on my PC, and it was like a smooth ride. My modem and other things worked smooth, and updating was a charm. Just a few commands and I’m done. I like the way this kinda command line updating in Linux. I really love it, and I’m exploring more commands and Googling a lot of stuff.


I wanted to install Epiphany (the name tempted me to try it), so used Synaptic and marked it for installation. But something was wrong.

I got the error message:

“Unable to get exclusive lock – This means that another package handler (like apt-get or aptitude) is already running. Please close that application first”

I went around, and found the solution. Just thought of writing them down here so that any of you facing this rather simple error can get it solved.

When you’re getting the ‘Unable to get exclusive lock’ message while trying to update, it actually means that there’s another instance of the package update manager running. Just cancel the other one, and then proceed this one.

If you can’t find any ‘visible signs’ of an update happening, it’s probably that some update process happening behind, something that’s unfinished.

Try the following commands:

$apt-get clean
$apt-get -f update

The above commands will clear the cache and terminate any unfinished business.

Now you can restart the update process (restart Synaptic or else try the command apt-get again for the update to begin).

If you still get the same error, use the command:
$ps -ax
This will display a list of running processes.

If you see some update process running in the background use the command
$sudo kill <process number>
to kill the process. This will do.

You feel a lot happy when you solve a problem yourself :) Let me know if I’ve written something incorrect here ;) because I’m doing this commands stuff practically for the first time.

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Top ways to improve your English online Fri, 21 Dec 2007 12:31:57 +0000 admin Off topic.

You know, the web is a big place. There’s lots of information, but you just need the right tools to find them. You can learn a lot online, from how to tie a tie to how to make gadgets.

Likewise there are thousands of resources on the web that you can use to improve your English, here are a few of them that I’ve been using over years to brush up my language skills:

Online Dictionaries and Thesauri

Dictionary gives you free access to a feature rich online dictionary and a thesaurus to help you out when you can’t figure out what a word means to you. Plus, there are also other alternatives to try out like ‘The Free Dictionary’, etc.

And if you’re just a Google maniac like me, you can fetch the meaning of any word in an instant. Just type define: followed by a word in the Google search box. Press Enter, you get the definition of the word you typed from various sources. (Here’s an example).

If you want good pronunciation references, this site is for you. has a huge database – type in a word, and hear it instantly pronounced for you.

In case you don’t have an access to the internet on your PC, there are loads of offline dictionary software you can install on your computer and update your vocabulary once in a while.

Read News


My English Teachers always advise us to listen to news and read a lot of news everyday. If you’re bored to read news traditionally, there’s the web to the rescue. Hundreds of sites report on developments across the world, but usually people prefer BBC and CNN.

You can always pour get the latest news mailed to you everday, or even use RSS to keep yourself updated on the happenings.

Side by side, you can also learn a lot of new terms and words that’ll enrich your knowledge.

Listen to news, radio and podcasts

Listen to podcasts to improve english

Youtube is the latest craze, but Youtube isn’t just a repository of all the junk. It does have lots of good videos on education, and speech training. You can always go search and watch interesting ones.

The BBC also has one minute news updated every hour on its site. Besides special video coverage on specific news stories is also available for you to watch.

You can even listen to radio on the internet, streamed to your computer. You’ll find a lot of music centred radio stations, but surely there must be a few talking on useful stuff like education. iTunes is a good player supporting

Besides multimedia news and live radio, you also have something called Podcasts.

Education related podcasts are wide spread, there are always loads of free podcasts you can download and listen to on your computer or your portable device.

One of my favourites is the Grammar Girl podcast where the ‘Grammar Girl’ gives you English Grammar tips everday.

Just Vocabulary podcasts present synonyms, antonyms and example sentences in a short audio file for people who might be taking SAT, TOEFL and other such exams.

All these can help you improve your accent!

A Word a Day

Learn a word a day and improve your english!

Now, this is a very popular tradition. is one of the world’s most subscribed newsletters. Everday, the website features a word and you can get to know about its etymology, pronunciation and more.

The Yahoo website and the Merriam Webster Dictionary portal also have similar pages updated everday.

Read Blogs

Technorati - Millions of blogs

There are millions of blogs on the web, and if you’re just not interested in news controlled by mainstream media, you can always use some social bookmarking sites like, StumbleUpon etc to find blogs and sites based on your interest.

You can always use RSS to subscribe to a blog. Besides niche blogs, there are blogs like this one for example specifically focused on providing tips to improve your skills in writing. The BBC Learning English site also syndicates contents from blogs and provides you with a lot of useful tips.

Even the Oxford University Press has a very interesting blog here.

Blogs are varied, and each blogger has his own style of writing. You’ll get a lot of inspiration to write seeing their posts, this in turn will fuel your English skills and knowledge.

Play Games

Crosswords can help you improve your English

No, not the kind of action games people usually play.

I’m talking about something like Jumbles and Crosswords. If you can’t get enough of just one jumble puzzle everyday on your daily newspaper, fire up your browser and point to Hundreds of puzzles here that you can play online. Besides, you can also buy books filled with jumbles and more.

The more you play jumbles, the more you’ll improve.

Crosswords are not a scarcity either, check this or this website for interactive crosswords.

Take Quizzes

Take Quizzes to improve your English

Got enough nerve? Test your skills, your knowledge. The BBC Learning English website continuously updates its site with interesting quizzes.

More Quizzes to improve your English: English Club, Quizzes.


There are a plethora of communities and online forums that you can use to improve your english online and one thing that really caught my attention was EnglishCafe. This is how they explain themselves:

How to use the EC Toolbox from englishcafe on Vimeo.

Like the best Cafes around the world, EnglishCafe is an enclave for vibrant and respectful exchange of knowledge, ideas and entertainment. We value the diversity of people, the unique experiences they bring, and the cultures from which their voices rise.

English does not belong to any group of people. English is a language that is malleable enough for the entire world to use. For this reason, we can learn from each other and about each other through this language. We can indeed advance our careers with English knowledge and make ourselves more marketable in the global economy. It is with a spirit of openness and desire to understand that we built EnglishCafe. We invite you to come in, gain or share knowledge, and join in a world-wide conversation about words and culture.

Go check them out.

Grammar Resources

This is one special page that I should mention here, filled with 40+ links to popular pages that’ll help you improve your grammar skills.

Photo Credits: powerbooktrance, jaboney, richardholden, tamaleaver, seanomalone, st3f4n, leepro

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Warning: A worm is spreading through Orkut Thu, 20 Dec 2007 04:05:32 +0000 admin Hey everyone! If you’re a frequent Orkut user (I’m sure many of my Indian friends are), this is a warning for you:

If you’ve read the following scrapbook entry in Orkut

2008 vem ai… que ele comece mto bem para vc

from one of your friends, you’re infected.

Simply viewing the message alone is sufficient for your Orkut account to be added to a new community named “Infectados pelo Vírus do Orkut” and be an unwilling new host for the worm.

At the time of this writing, the number of Orkut members in Infectados pelo Vírus do Orkut is already at the 400K mark. (read more here)

I’m not sure of doing what can prevent infections. Please post your views in the comments. Also, pass on this information to your friends.

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Filter my RSS Thu, 13 Dec 2007 10:43:36 +0000 admin FilterMyRSS is a pretty neat and useful service for bloggers. With FilterMyRSS, you can filter information on an RSS feed, and cut it down to get only what you want.


Consider that you’re reading a popular blog that publishes tens of articles everyday. Not all posts might be of value to you, but all posts fall right on your RSS reader since you just can’t customize what comes through the feed. Information Overload.

Here’s where FilterMyRSS comes in handy. You can filter out unwanted stuff from such feeds easily by specifying some possible keywords to the title, description, or the category of the source feed, and get the content on the feed filtered to ‘what you really want to read’.

There’s a neat example on the FilterMyRSS blog page that I’d like to quote here:

Let’s say you have a blog about Diabetes. In order to keep your reader base and blog up-to-date you subscribe to a number of medical blogs, journals, newspaper and medical website feeds.

You have learned RSS feeds push the most current information right to your RSS reader. However, there is a problem as your source RSS feeds push ALL their information, yet you like updates only on articles which concern Diabetes.

Using FilterMyRSS, you can use keywords and filter the feed, and get another feed that’s short and contains what you are looking for.

That’s just an instance. I’m sure we can put this tool to great uses, and boost some productivity. What you think guys?

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Get the most out of your screen space Wed, 05 Dec 2007 14:07:09 +0000 admin Crowded Desktop
Photo by William Hartz

Does your desktop resemble the one above? May be you’re running too many applications, all crammed up for space on your 15″ or 17″ monitor, and they’re desperate for more space on your screen. You can’t afford a new monitor this time around or setting a high resolution doesn’t go well with your monitor.

Here’s a practical guide on how you can get rid of all the tempting distractions and put more focus on the most needed jobs by making the best use of the available screen space.

Techniques to get the most out of your screen space:

1. Reduce Desktop Clutter

Too many icons on your desktop? Reduce it to the minimum possible, or replace them all with something like Launchy.

Got too many files? Put them in folders. Name the folders appropriately.
Remove Widget Sidebars, you don’t really use them most of the time.

This will give you a clean and uncluttered desktop, and also save you some time – keeping you productive all day.

2. Auto Hide

Consider setting elements on your screen to ‘auto hide’ if you don’t really use them often.

Something that people don’t really realise – you can auto hide your Window taskbar – just alter the properties.

One app we use quite a lot is Firefox – you can auto hide the menubar (thanks to Harsh!), auto hide the bookmarks bar or even hide all that you don’t want to see if you’re in Fullscreen mode. You get a large room for viewing websites, thanks to these clever work-arounds.

3. Virtual Desktops

Virtual Desktops are pretty handy and come to great use especially if you work with multiple applications all the time. Virtual Desktops get the clutter down on your desktop and help in organizing windows better – you can have your most used windows in Desktop 1, the lesser used in the next one and so on.

Microsoft officially gives you a PowerToy that you can download and install to add the ‘Virtual Desktop’ functionality to Windows XP.

Furthermore, if you want advanced features and additional bells, get a copy of this XP/Vista Virtual Desktop Manager that provides you with thumbnail previews of virtual desktops in Vista.

4. Focusing

You get irritated suddenly seeing the amount of apps running all over your desktop – all cluttered, and distractive. You’re determined to concentrate on one thing, but you’re just frenzied up.

How about highlighting the working area and leaving the rest in dark so that you’re free of all the distractions that keep you unproductive?

Yes, there’s a way to do that. Zorro is an app that can get this done for you – it darkens all areas except the rectangular area you select on the screen – keeping you out of all the unwanted and the unnecessary. You can now focus on what you really want to do.


If you use your computer for a lot of writing work, you could try something called WriteRoom which is a text editor with a cool concept. When you start it, nothing is shown except the text area. So no distractions, just creativity flowing!

5. More Apps

Some apps that don’t fit in the above sections -

WinRoll – Rolls an entire window to just display the title bar. Useful if you have lots of windows open, and want to see one behind the active window.


Tray It! – Too many buttons crowding the Windows Taskbar. Try this app to minimize applications to system tray.

Got any tips, suggestions? Drop them in the comments!

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December 2 Sun, 02 Dec 2007 02:52:13 +0000 admin Today is a special day. It’s my birthday :D

I wish to thank all my online friends who’ve always extended their fullest support to me :)

And, advance birthday wishes go to Sankar Anand from my side. He’s celebrating his birthday tomorrow.

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Download Vista Transformation Pack 8 Thu, 29 Nov 2007 14:31:37 +0000 admin Windows XP users who adore the the Windows Vista GUI can get the rich look of Vista in XP itself, by installing the so called Vista Transformation Pack.

Vista Transformation Pack 8 has been released. Lots of people have been eagerly waiting to download Vista Transformation Pack 8 for XP, which has packed loads of features in the new version.

Vista Trans Pack 8

Download Vista Transformation Pack 8 to get loads of eye candy, including:

  • Vista 3D Flip
  • True Transparency
  • Funky CPU Speed Info in Welcome Centre, and loads more.

Download Vista Transformation Pack 8

Vista Transformation Pack 8 for Windows XP can be downloaded from here. Go grab your copy of the Vista transformation Pack now!

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