Nav Aulakh's Blog

The Rules of Slashdot

Jan. 14, 2007

Just in case if you are not aware, here are some Slashdot rules that you might want to know.

  1. We love Apple (especially when they do something just like Microsoft, and even more if their product is vaporware).
  2. We hate Microsoft (especially when they do something just like Apple, and even more when their product is vaporware).
  3. Steve Jobs can do no wrong (especially when he does the same as Bill Gates).
  4. Bill Gates can do no right (especially when he does the same as Steve Jobs).
  5. Any story that is positive about Bill Gates or Microsoft will get tagged fud or troll.
  6. Any story that is negative about Steve Jobs or Apple will get tagged fud or troll.
  7. One Laptop Per Child is the second coming of Christ.
  8. Nicholas Negroponte is Christ.
  9. We ignore Sun (especially when they dominate any specific industry).
  10. We adore Java (even though it was developed by Sun).
  11. It has been The Year That Linux Takes Over the Desktop for about 8 years.
  12. It has been The Year That Microsoft Dies for about 15 years.
  13. It has been The Year That Apple Overtakes Microsoft for about 10 years.
  14. Ubuntu is Gods chosen Linux distribution.
  15. All other distributions of Linux are wannabesespecially the ones that have been around longer than Ubuntu.

Reiterated by: davmoo (63521)

Happy New Year 2007

Jan. 1, 2007

Wish you all a very happy new year 2007. May this fresh new year bring happiness and prosperity in your life.

ਨਵੇ ਸਾਲ ਦੀਆਂ ਲੱਖ ਲੱਖ ਵਧਾਈਆਂ|

Google Copies Yahoo or

Dec. 11, 2006

yahoo ie7

Probably they both hired the same designer. Have a look.

Google Rating Search Results

Dec. 2, 2006

Google employing users to rate its search results, pretty cool. I took this screen shot few days back and didnt got time to post it. After looking at this, I thought it might be remotely related to the secret Google lab.

google search feedback

My New Home Network

Nov. 5, 2006

I just finished setting up a home network(my own) with a domain controller. Till now I faced two problems and found temporary solutions:

  1. Password for a new user, no matter how strong, was not accepted by AD.
    Solution: Set Password policies to Not defined.
  2. The workstation froze at Applying your personal settings or Loading your personal settings for 5-10 minutes.
    Solution: Edit the Hosts file and add to the list for e.g.

I, these days.

Oct. 6, 2006

Busy, big time busy. Two part-time jobs and college are to blame. Starting from 8 and going all the way through 7 in the evening, I know it sucks. On the other hand I find it cool to be busy, dont ask how or why.

And yes, BC now has another driver hitting the road. Ive got the driving license. No more late buses, oh yeah.

Riding the Ruby Rails

Sept. 3, 2006

Yes, Ive joined the Ruby on Rails bandwagon. Today its around 15th day, since I started experimenting and learning Ruby on Rails. For those who still dont know what I am talking about, Ruby on Rails, Well actually Ruby is a programming language invented in 1992 somewhere in Japan and Rails is the open source framework for Ruby for database-backended web application.

Currently, I am giving finishing touch to my first RoR based web app. In my opinion it is the best way to learn something relatively new. You get stuck, you google, you get the solution + you learn five other things that would help you with your app. I just love the MVC (Model View Controller) structure of Ruby, the apps are so portable and scalable I guess thats all for now. Its already 1:20 AM on the bottom right corner of my screen

50 Years of Hard Driving!

July 30, 2006

Most of the people in todays world use or depend on hard drives, whether directly or indirectly. Storing business data, music, videos, applications; you name it. Starting from 5 MB, 2 refrigerators size and weighing one ton, todays domestic hard drives have reached a tiny size of hardly 5 inches (3.5 form factor) weighing less than 1/3 of a kg and storing hundreds of gigs.

50 years ago on September 13th, IBM shipped the RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control). It used vacuum tubes (not the one Internet is made of ;) ) and ran 24-7.
In my childhood, when I hardly knew about computers, I was under impression that only use of computer is that it can remember anything you stuff into it. Even after 10 years it can show you the stuff you stored in it.

The first hard disk I worked on was a 4 GB (thats all I remember) back in 1998 when I was just 12. I remember my school systems ran on 3.5 floppies running BASIC on DOS. Programming on BASIC was fun, each program started with - 10 REM TO SOLVE.

Then came my first ever computer in 2000 - Y2K Free 333 MHz Cyrix, 32 megs of memory and 10 GB storage. OMG that was considered huge at that time and I never went past 6 Gigs.

Flawed Digg Comment System

June 18, 2006

There is a flaw in Diggs comment system that allows user to vote(Vote Positive) a comment multiple times. Number of votes a user can cast depends on how much fast he/she clicks on the icon. 10 is my max score and thats without evening coffee ;) Negative votes are not affected. Ive already notified abuse [at] regarding this.


XP Pro Minimum Requirements!

June 17, 2006


So, what were the XP minimum requirements? Microsoft says atlest 233 MHz processor, 128 Megs of RAM, 1.5 Gig of space. These guys seem to disapprove the official minimum requirements. XP Pro was made to run on a downclocked Pentium OverDrive from 83 MHz to 8 MHz and 20 MB RAM. 30 minutes of boot process with 100% CPU usage all the way, Ouch!!

and that ends the graduation party.

June 11, 2006


It was fun, more than expected. Sixteen hours of enjoyment, w00t. There were two events organized by school, one was Grad Banquet and Dry Grad. Grad Banquet was supposed to include the school flash-back things, dinner, dance, etc etc. We left at 1 in the afternoon and reached Hyatt at 5:30 pm. In the meantime we cruized around downtown Vancouver.

Everything was great except for the music part, only 2 punjabi songs. Its damn hard to do Bhangra on English music. Rap is still ok. So, we kicked the Grad Banquet at 11 pm and came back to Surrey to change for the Dry Grad.

Dry Grad, I dont know who suggested this name cuz most of the guys were drunk by now; except a few including me ;) . It went from 2:00 am to 6:00 am but again we left it at 5:00 am. I reached back home at 6:00 am and that ends the graduation party. It was fun, bye grade 12.

Weird Firefox Behaviour

June 4, 2006

Has anyone lost their file download with firefox? It happened to me. I spent two and a half hour downloading SUSE 10.1 DVD and now it has disappeared into nowhere. According to me, its firefoxs fault. I am currently using

Here is the story. Today morning I decided to give SUSE 10.1 a try. So, I went to SUSE mirrors page and clicked the one which I felt would be good. But, I wasnt impressed with the speed so I tried another. Now, the download from the first mirror had already begun before I clicked the latter mirror. I cancelled the download but firefox was too reluctant to cancel it, it was sort of stuck. I went ahead and clicked the *same* filename on different mirror. Luckily the speed settled at 600 Kbps and file downloaded happily. I left the file there to burn to a dvd when I come back in the evening.

In the evening, I came back from work. Checked email and downloaded some attachments. While downloading attachment I saw the former SUSE download still happening but stuck at the same point, with the Cancel and Pause options available. I cancelled it again, this time successfully. Just after that, my sweet SUSE DVD disappeared.

Most probably, firefox removed the downloaded file when I pressed cancel assuming it to be the same file.

Back to Blogging

May 26, 2006

If you are a regular visitor then you must have thought why Navdeep is [not] blogging. Well, in short I was busy and kind of still busy. Busy with school, provincials coming up. Got a new part-time job plus some web/flash projects on hand. I decided to post today after a month, long gap eh? Lots to stuff to catch up.

I took some time updating design of my website and making it web twenty-ish. Web2.0 (read as Web Twenty) is now a buzz word. Unfortunately, there are some people trying to trademark it.

I added the XMLHttp (more or less AJAX) support to Google Calendar Event Maker. Few things Ill be adding to it are:

  • Forums/BBs integration.
  • Ready-to-use buttons and make-your-own buttons.

Finally, I am looking for another word-press theme. If you have suggestions please do comment them in.

Google Updated Sitemaps

April 26, 2006

After a long gap, I am back to posting. I was actually busy with mid-terms, cross-grades, and some projects; plus job.

Though still in beta, google has updated the looks of sitemaps interface and added some new features. One neat feature is that you are given a check list while adding a new sitemap. This will help newbies solve many sitemap problems; remember my Domain and Sitemap trouble.

Google will also email some of those tricky webmasters/SEOs that use black-hat techniques, such as keyword stuffing, obscuring font colors, doorways pages, etc.

Publishing Your Events With Google Calendar

April 15, 2006

Google Calendar has this option to publish your own schedule - publicly. So that users can download it to their Google Calendar. All you have to do is to create a URI as a hyperlink that can be used at any webpage. You can use Googles ready-made buttons or may be just simple text for linking to that URI.

Google Calendar
Remind Me With Google CalendarGoogle CalendarRemind Me With Google CalendarGoogle Calendar

A sample URI looks like this Parameter1Parameter2Parameter3

In this query or URI following are the valid parameters

  • text (required) - Title of the event
  • dates (required) - Event date and time in UTC format. For instance, 20060416/20060416 is used for all day event and 20060416T000000Z/20060416T010000Z is for 1 hour period i.e. April 16, 2006 04:00 PM PST to April 16, 2006 05:00 PM PST.
  • sprop (required) - Link to your website. For e.g., sprop=website:
  • add - Your email address.
  • details - Details of the event. Simple HTML tags are allowed.
  • location - Location of the event
  • trp - It makes Google Calendar of user show Busy if it is set to true. It is false by default.

To make things easier I made this little tool called Google Calendar Event Maker.

Google Calendar Beta Launched

April 12, 2006

Finally, its here. Google has finally launched the beta version of CL2. Another great implementation of AJAX. Google has taken care of users who are already running Apple iCal, Yahoo Calendar or Microsoft Outlook, migration to G Calendar is easy. Some features include Gmail integrationMobile access, Calendar Sharing and Calendar Publisher.

Adding New Service To "services.msc"

April 7, 2006

Every time I had to start a program/file on the windows startup, I usually put that file in start-up folder or did some registry work in hklm\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run or hkcu\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run but this only worked if the user is logged on. I knew that services start without having the user logged in but I never tried starting my own. So, after spending some time googling, I was able to do so.

To start a service you need a utility called Service Installer(instsrv.exe), by default it is not included in Windows XP. You can download Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools which includes this utility and many other helpful tools.

Fire up cmd, and type in C:\>instsrv your-service-name c:\path-to\file.exe

The service was successfully added!

Make sure that you go into the Control Panel and use
the Services applet to change the Account Name and
Password that this newly installed service will use
for its Security Context.

Goto run or press Win+R and fire up regedit and do the following:

  • Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\your-service-name
  • From the Edit menu, select New, select Key, and name the new key Parameters
  • Select the Parameters key and from the Edit menu, select New, select String Value, and name the new value Application
  • From the Edit menu, select Modify, and type in the full path name and application name, including the drive letter and file extension.

Now to Start the service you either use control panel i.e., services.msc or if you are a DOS lover then you can start it by C:\>net start your-service-name

Just Received My Google Analytics Invitation

April 4, 2006

Google, once again has opened its Analytics invitation code box and my five month long wait is over. I know Google missed me in January. Want to know more about Google Analytics? Matt Cutts post and thisHere are some facts related to it. A few things I find most useable (till now) are:

  • The three View types: Executive, Marketer and Webmaster.
  • Add users with Administrative or View Reports only access to specified website profiles
  • AdWords Integration

In my opinion, as a webmaster this is the second best web statistics tool that you can get for free, after AWStats. Anyway, what statistics tool do you use?

I Got

April 1, 2006

Thinking of buying a domain name for yourself? Time is now. According to YAFLA, if you are thinking of buying a four letter domain your odds of getting that is less than 1/8. Chances of getting a new, three or two letter domain are negligible in-fact zero zip nada.

Web itself is upgrading to web 2.0, so are the domain names. domains are getting more and more popular, for instance (though same domain), and many interesting ones are already registered, like, etc.

If you cant decide what web 2.0 domain name you really want, this tool can help you with that. You can even get a free .com, .net, .org or .info at, if you can make 200 points. So, I got from GoDaddy go get yours.

When Official Google Blog Got Hijacked

March 27, 2006

google blog hijacked

News spread like a fire when the news came up on Digg saying Google blog hacked! Everything was done in minutes, from hijacking to fixing. It was all a matter of opportunity. A guy named Trey Philips, thought of registering a blog with the name googleblog - which is already being used by Google, he succeeded registering it under his name and boom Google was kicked off that blog. I have the link if you want to see the live action and the AIM conversation

This story even got published at Have a look at the screen shot below.

Black (2005) ≈ The Miracle Worker (1962)

March 24, 2006

I just finished watching Black (2005-Bollywood movie). I know it is an-year old but after hearing a lot about it, I finally decided to watch it. The acting by the leading characters is amazing and astounding, especially by little Ayesha Kapur. If you havnt watched the movie, you are missing something, thats what Id say. Its all about the enlightenment.

I usally, after watching a movie; search for reviews of the people on IMDb. I just want to know what others opinion is about the movie. After a little reading I found out that Black is pretty much copy of The Miracle Worker. Now the interesting part: Miracle Worker I never knew was all about that. Just before the spring break, I, actually we created a website for the play coming up this April in our school auditorium. And guess what the play is about The Miracle Worker. Wow I never bothered about knowing what this play was about. All in the mind was - let the project be finished. Watch out North Delta Secondarys website for The Miracle Worker in April.

I would like to see your comments if you have watched either of the movies.

Upgraded to Fedora Core 5

March 20, 2006

Fedore Core 5 - Screenshot

As scheduled by Fedora team, on 15th of March, Fedora Core 5 is officially released today on 20th because

While unfortunate in some ways, this gives us the opportunity to pull in the final GNOME 2.14 tarballs which should be available on Monday assuming the changes are suitably minor.

Jeremy (fedora-maintainer)

I download the dvd iso, burnt it on the dvd and upgraded from Core 4 to Core 5. It upgraded like a dream, without even a single glitch. It took less than 8 steps for me to upgrade.

  1. Popped in the DVD
  2. Rebooted
  3. Anaconda Loaded
  4. Skipped the Media Check
  5. Selected the Language and Locale
  6. Selected Upgrade (It automatically detected the current install)
  7. Clicked a few Next buttons.

Upgradation took me nearly 25 minutes on my 3.2 P4 HT with 1 Gig of memory. I am still playing with it. So far so good. Its got better hardware support than Core 4 because Core 4 was not able to install my Brother MFC and I was too lazy to get the driver from the vendor. Core 5 automatically detected it and installed in a minute.

Here is a screen shot of the Fedora Core 5 desktop.

Speech Accent Archive

March 19, 2006

The speech accent archive uniformly presents a large set of speech samples from a variety of language backgrounds. Native and non-native speakers of English read the same paragraph and are carefully transcribed. The archive is used by people who wish to compare and analyze the accents of different English speakers.

Here is the link.

My l33t PHP Signature

March 18, 2006

So here I go, with another PHP script. Well the whole thing is not mine, but I modified Irongeeks sig script in my way with some changes and added the true type font support.

Here is what it looks like.


Enough with ASP, Lets PHP

March 17, 2006

Ok, So I have spent almost 2 years doing ASP and I am thinking of learning PHP. Yet another ASP to PHP switcher, you might be thinking.

Infact, I bought this linux hosting for this reason that I will get a chance of programming in PHP. Ive heard that PHP is pretty similar to Perl, so thats a bonus. Anyways, I am currently working on my Hello World - Secure Login System program. How it is secure - I will tell you later ;)

Domain and Sitemap trouble

March 14, 2006

This is for all of you who have little or no knowledge about domains and sitemaps.

I just finised installing the sitemap plugin by Arne Brachhold. It created a sitemap for me and in no time submitted it to Google Sitemaps. Everything went fine, untill after 4 hours Google told me that URLs in my sitemap are invalid. I spent an hour figuring out whats wrong, then I realized that a little mistake can result in big failures. The thing that bothered me was www.

I submitted the blog path as but in my WordPress settings my WordPress path was set to so all the URLs listed in the sitemap were referring to*, which according to Google are not the same. So I had to add www.

Firefoxs Triple-Click Feature using Reveal

March 14, 2006

I was reading through a news site and randomly clicking on the text. Suddenly a box poped-up. At first I thought it is just a stupid sites trick but soon lately I realized that it is due Firefox extension Reveal. I didnt knew about this when I installed it. Dumb me. Just triple click on white-space or text, not on hyperlink and see it yourself.

Firefox triple click

Google Mars

March 12, 2006

Google Earth, then Moon, and now Mars. The image shown below is a shaded relief map color-coded by altitude of Mars. The other two options to view are Visible and Infrared.

I wonder what that blue spot could be. It is 9km deep.


Looks nice though. Love the pattern.

CSS rounded corners using sprites

March 10, 2006

How this technique is different from other CSS rounded corner techniques? The answer is simple. It uses a single image for all four corners but it is positioned with different x and y values. The browser doesnt have to load all four corner images, which makes page load slower. Using CSS sprites we can save both bandwidth and time because the browser caches the one image and repeats it over in different positions. I used the image below (enlarged) to do the job

CSS Rounded Corners using Sprites explained-> Top left corner of the box

-> Bottom left corner of the box

-> Top right corner of the box

-> Bottom right corner of the box

Its actual dimensions are 12px by 50px. It looks like a circle cut in half and placed the other half under the first one; actually thats what it is. Be careful while cutting the image from the center. Use Smart Guides if you are using photoshop. To make your work easier and straightforward, you can download the psd or the png.

Moving onto the CSS part.
The main outer box

.outerbox { background-color: rgb(203,76,44); width: 400px; margin: auto; }

A dummy div under the top class, to hold the top left corner

.top div { background: url(corners.png) no-repeat; }

top class to hold the top right corner.
Note: 400px(width of outerbox) - 12px(width of corner itself) = 388px(x-position) and -25px(y-position) to scroll up the image.

.top { background: url(corners.png) no-repeat 388px -25px; }

A dummy div under the bottom class, to hold the bottom left corner

.bottom div { background: url(corners.png) no-repeat 0px -11px; }

bottom class to hold the bottom right corner. Note: -36px

.bottom { background: url(corners.png) no-repeat 388px -36px; }
.top div, .top, .bottom div, .bottom {
width: 100%;
height: 14px;
font-size: 1px;

Some aesthetic work

.boxcontent { margin: 0 14px; text-align: center; }
.text { width: 400px; margin: auto; color: rgb(203,76,44); text-align: justify;}
body { font-family: Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif; }
h3 { color: #e6e6e6; }

Blending the CSS into XHTML. The structure would look like this:

<div class="outerbox"> <div class="top"> <div></div> </div> <div class="boxcontent"> <h3>CSS rounded corners using sprites</h3> </div> <div class="bottom"> <div></div> </div> </div>

Now, we are done with most of the part. Only the dtd, html, head, body, etc tags are left, which you can easily put I guess. You can see the working example here.

Newbies guide to secure a computer: FAQ

March 9, 2006

What should I do to protect my computer?
Shut down you computer now. Pack it in the carton and never use it. Its then safe and protected. Free from any kind of virus, malware, tracking-cookies, backdoors, rootkits, etc, etc, etc.
This is obviously not the way to go. So, in the other way get your computer loaded up with at least a firewall, an anti-virus and an anti-spyware.

I have all of them. In fact they came loaded with my computer. Am I protected?
No, you are not, until you update them regularly. If you havent updated them then they are just occupying your hard disk space and just acting as system resource eaters.

So what should I do?
Restart your box. Update your firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware. Restart your computer and Boot in the SAFE MODE. Thoroughly scan your computer for viruses and malware. Adjust/Fine tune your firewall, create some rules to get your firewall working more effectively.

Where can I get these tools?

Zone Alarm - Zone Labs - Check Point
Kerio Firewall - (Recently acquired by SunBelt)
Outpost Firewall - (Agnitum)

AVG Free - (Grisoft)
Avast - (Alwil)
Anti-Vir - (AntiVir PersonalProducts GmbH)

Spybot SearchDestroy
Adaware - (LavaSoft)
Microsoft Anti-Spyware Beta - (Microsoft)

How much do they cost?
All tools listed above are absolutely FREE but the respective companies have commercial versions too, just in case you want to buy them. There is a significant difference between free and paid version . If you plan to buy any of them, I would recommend Zone Labs Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite. You can even download the trial version for 30 days. After that you SHOULD buy it or remove it. This not only applies to Zone Labs products but all commercial products available for a trial. Remember: Piracy is Bad.

Is there anything else, which can protect my computer?
Yes, there are hundreds of other tools (both hardware and softwares) like IDS (Intrusion Detection Systems), Hardware + Software Firewalls, etc. You might not need them just for home use. But if budget allows, buying a NAT Router with built-in little firewall would be a good decision.

I am often annoyed with those pop-ups saying I won __ Million dollars, My computer clock needs to be adjusted, I have error in my computer system, blah blah blah?
Most probably you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer without a pop-up blocker (like Google Toolbar) to browse web. Switch to Mozilla FireFox or Opera and reduce the pop-ups and other annoying active-x components to a large extent.

Everything is set, updated and fine-tuned. Is there anything else I should care about?
Yes, Passwords. Make them as secure as you can. Use characters that are not on keyboard, like Å,≈, €, etc wherever possible, Use a mixture of upper case, lowercase, numeric and special characters like !@#$%
I read somewhere

Passwords are like underpants. Change them often enough (especially if asked to), use only your own ones, dont keep them visible, dont brag about them and remember that changing them too often is not a sin.

I know there is spyware in my computer but my anti-spyware is unable to remove it. What should I do?
Download a tool called HJT or Hijack This. Run it in Safe Mode. Create a log file and analyze it to remove that spyware manually. If you are unable to remove then you can post that log to security related sites like and post your log there, they will help you out.

Can you give some other suggestions for safe web surfing?
Sure, Why not. Never include your password when sending an email, chatting, on forums or any other public place.
Never use P2P softwares like Kazaa, Lime Wire, etc. They just bring in loads of crap with the files you download through them.

Thats all I can dig out from my brain at this time. I hope it helps.

Hello People!

March 6, 2006

So you reached my blog somehow, Most welcome. Just for your knowledge this is my first post in my first ever blog. Blog. What the heck is that I thought, when I was 15 years of age. I used to look around for free web space to publish my little websites I created for myself. Then I came across Rediff but unfortunately it offered me blog system only, No please, I need some space to show my own creativity not your ready made templates. But now I finally decided to go with wordpress.

Why this blog? uumm, because everyone has one why not me too. Actually the main idea behind this blog is to post my ideas related to web designing and other computer stuff. I hope this blog will help me improve my english writting and vocabulary.

Thats all for now. Keep visiting or may be bookmark me for I will be updating this blog with content of some or much interest to you.