DWisms

Quote
Quote

We have Thatcherisms and we have Bushisms. Similarly, Digital Wealth just now created DWism – it may be hard (or impossible!) to pronounce, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have it.

So without much ado, here we go. We will keep adding quotes here as and when the Grandmaster speaks.

  • In the dark age of Kali Yuga if you want to teach someone anything, you will need to push it down his throat; people will resist any attempt to remove their ignorance


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Magic square

Its really easy to make a magic square: one where the horizontal totals and the vertical totals all add up to the same number. For example, here is a 5×5 magic square:

Magic square

How to build one such magic square? You could build a 3×3, or a 7×7 one for example. The rules:

1. Start with writing 1 in the middle square
2. Keep moving diagonally upwards, increasing the number by 1 each time
3. If you move out of the square, roll over
4. If you hit a square already filled, move vertically downwards one square and keep moving

All the best!

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Symbol for the Indian Currency

Symbol for Rupee
Symbol for Rupee

Economic Times has started a survey to find a symbol for the Indian currency similar to the Dollar symbol ($). The site shows some proposed designs, and the visitors can vote for one of those, or the visitors can provide their own suggestions.

To the left is the symbol proposed by me. Its based on Hindi rather than English, and has the Ashok Chakra which shows that the currency is progressive, just as the Euro symbol has two straight lines which signify stability.

Please let me know your thoughts, and suggest design changes.

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Unjumble on mobile using Twitter

Now the English word unjumbling service at unjumble.SeeingWithC.org is also available via Twitter. It can be accessed directly from the mobile phone using text sms messages. This is what you need to do:

  1. Sign up on twitter if you do not already have an account.
  2. If you want to use mobile phone, your number should be linked to it.
  3. Send message “follow dwealth” (without quotes) to follow dwealth.
  4. Send message “follow t411” (without quotes) to follow t411 which is the parent bot in use.
  5. That’s it, for the setup (configuration)!

When you want to unjumble a word, send a message d t411 unj word where word is the word to be unjumbled to twitter. For example if you SMS

d t411 unj heepntla

you will get a response message containing the word “elephant”.

Please use this, and post comments. Also let me know what will make this more useful.

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Restoring your system after a crash

Ok, so your computer crashed. You know one way out: reformatting the hard disk – but you don’t like it. So what can be done? If your data is really important, and you are prepared to pay some hard bucks getting it back, talk to a professional. Period.

Still here, ok – so your data is important, but you want to do what you can, yourself. I will discuss in the blogpost some tools that can help.

One of the best recovery tools, that has helped me as well, is: Emergency Boot CD (EBCD). The original site seems to be no longer active, and it hasn’t been updated since 2004, but its still a great tool. Look for it here, or here, or Google search for it.
With this, you can recover deleted files, or those lost by formatting. You can fix master boot record. It will allow you to boot from a specific partition, even if its being shown ‘non-system’ otherwise. Once you have the system up through EBCD, on XP you can run the ‘bootok.exe’ command, or ‘fixmbr.exe’ to fix any issues, its available in /windows/system32.
EBCD includes Windows Password Wizard, which can be used to restore access to your PC when you forgot the password for Windows user account.

The next option I am going to talk about is “Bart’s Preinstalled environment bootable live CD” (BartPE). However, using this is not just a matter of downloading an ISO and burning a CD, as it was for the EBCD. You will need to create the CD from your Windows XP CD. The instructions are on the BartPE website. One you have the CD ready, you can boot off the CD into a live Windows XP environment with a lot of tools available. You can even access NTFS drives. See where you can get with this. Again, once you have the system booted, try running bootok.exe as I suggested above.

Another option, if you cannot/do-not-want-to get the BartPE built, is a Knoppix Live CD. This will boot your computer with Linux OS, which is not very difficult to use given Windows knowledge. However, other than getting your computer running, this will not do much more to fix your problem.

The last recovery tool I am going to talk about is System rescue disk. This one offers the GParted tool, which is a disk partition management tool (similar to FDISK) but can resize partitions without loosing data.

If you are unable to download/lay your hands on one of these CDs, I can have them shipped out to you for a fee (except, of course the BartPE).

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DNS poisoning – in plain English :-)

What is DNS poisoning, why it affects everyone accessing the internet and how to fix it.

Computers do not have names, only numbers. For example, Yahoo! is 68.180.206.184. When you ask your browser to be taken to Yahoo.com, it looks up this number in something similar to a telephone directory.

A person by the name Dan Kaminsky has found that it’s possible for someone (called X henceforth) to modify the directory. So, when you ask for Yahoo, the computer would lookup the wrong number, a number to a computer owned by X. Thereafter, it can record the information you give it, thinking that its Yahoo!. The owner may then misuse this information.

So what do you do to make sure this doesn’t happen? First, check your DNS server (the machine that tells your computer what number a website has) by going to http://www.doxpara.com/.
If that says your computer is vulnerable, change your DNS servers. Detailed instructions for different operating systems are here. For Windows, in short you have to change your DNS settings to 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220 by going to Network Connections.

Note: This is not a security update blog, and I do not talk about every vulnerability. However, this one is important and everyone needs to understand it. On the other hand, most forums on the web talk highly techno. Read this one for more information, only if you think you need it!

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Brown plant hopper in Delhi

Till around Oct 28th, it was difficult to walk the Delhi streets with the head held high. Talking, eating was absolutely out of question.

Brown Plant Hopper
Brown Plant Hopper

The reason? The brown plant hopper had migrated to Delhi from Haryana and neighbouring places in hoards. They would get into your mouth, eyes, clothes, and everyplace else! This ‘pest’ is present in rice plants, and because of the harvest season and because it had developed immunity to the used pesticides – it followed the wind to Delhi looking for food.
Here is a computer coloured photo of an image I took, pests around a lamppost:
Lamppost

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Upagupta – a poem by Tagore

Upagupta
Upagupta

Upagupta is a beautiful work by Tagore. The story goes as follows:

Upagupta is a disciple of Buddha, and goes from one place to another. He is sleeping in a small town when a dancing girl wakes him up and requests him to sleep at her home. Upagupta refuses, and tells her “I will visit you when the time is ripe.”.
A year later, and again on travel to the same place, Upagupta finds the dancing girl lying on the ground outside the town, having sores all over the body and shunned by the townsfolk. He applies balm on her body and when asked who he was, he replies “The time has come to visit you and I am here.”

Please read the whole poem, it’s beautiful. What I like about the poem is – how Tagore contrasts Time. When the dancing girl is giddy with pride, Upagupta knows its not going to last.

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