Real Life Exam Answers… have a good laugh

Exam HumourThis came over by mail to me a couple of days back. These are supposed to be real-life blunders in exams and possibly are genuine. They’re out-right hilarious. You’ll need to figure out the context for some of them before you grab your tummy and start rolling on the floor. Have a good laugh 😀

Here goes….

Ancient Egypt was old. It was inhabited by gypsies and mummies who all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert. The climate of the Sarah is such that all the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients.

Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandos. He died before he ever reached Canada but his commandos made it.

Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.

The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks also had myths.

Socrates was a famous old Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. He later died from an overdose of wedlock which is poisonous

In the first Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled and threw the java. The games were messier then than they show on TV now.

Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out “Same to you, Brutus.”

Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was canonized by Bernard Shaw for reasons I don’t really understand. The English and French still have problems.

Queen Elizabeth was the “Virgin Queen.” As a queen she was a success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted “hurrah!” and that was the end of the fighting for a long while.

It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood.

Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking. Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot clipper which was very dangerous to all his men.

The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies,and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter. Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Since then no one ever found it.

Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backward and also declared, “A horse divided against itself cannot stand.” He was a naturalist for sure. Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

Abraham Lincoln became America’s greatest Precedent. Lincoln’s Mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got Shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. They believe the assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposingly insa! ne actor. This ruined Booth’s career.

Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was very large.

Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf that he wrote loud music and became the father of rock and roll. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.

The nineteenth century was a time of a great many thoughts and inventions. People stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up.

Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper, which did the work of a hundred men.

Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbits but I don’t know why.

Charles Darwin was a naturalist. He wrote the Organ of the Species. It was very long and people got upset about it and had trials to see if it was really true. He sort of said God’s days were not just 24 hours but without watches who knew anyhow? I don’t get it.

Madman Curie discovered radio. She was the first woman to do what she did. Other women have become scientists since her but they didn’t get to find radios because they were already taken.

Karl Marx was one of the Marx Brothers. The other three were in the movies. Karl made speeches and started revolutions. Someone in the family had to have a real job, I guess.

Received the first ever impression of Google Video Ads today

Google Video Ads

Today was the first time ever, that I received an impression of the much discussed Google Video Ads – that too a pretty high-paying ad from IBM.

So far I’d only heard about them and never experienced them first hand. They’ve been as elusive as the themed ad units though both have been in existence since the first half of 2006 – probably owing to the fact that most ad publishers find it very easy to go along with the quick & dirty text-based ad-unit setup of AdWords.

Video ads mean incurring an extra sizable investment on shooting & editing a good footage and converting it to a net deliverable format and I guess only the big players out there have enough time and money to go for it. According to Google

Note that as there is currently limited video ad inventory, you may not notice any ads on your site for some time. As our inventory grows, you may begin to see video ads appear on your pages. In the meantime, we recommend opting in to both text and image ads for your ads units to ensure you’re getting the ads that represent the maximum revenue potential for you.

Since video ads compete in the same auction as text and image ads for placement the increased competition leads to increased revenue potential for you. Video ads open your site up to a whole new type of advertising that is engaging and highly relevant for your users.

You can easily make out that there’s so sure-shot way of getting video ads on your site. However, you can always set the stage for them and thus increase your chances of getting them delivered to your site.

Video ads will appear only in the supported video Ad Formats which incidentally happen to be the large block-ish (rectangles or squares) formats that can deliver such ads best. The process is fairly simple and involves just two steps.

  1. Make sure that your ad unit adheres to one of the supported video ad formats as shown above.
  2. Opt-in for the image-ads for this specific unit.

Then onwards it’s a long long wait with your fingers crossed 😀 However, I believe including Geo-Tagged Headers in your site pages helps somewhat. If you carefully study the ad screenshot I’ve shown here, you’ll notice that it’s been delivered for IBM, Thailand. Was it a mere coincidence or a direct result of the fact that I geo-tagged my site just a couple of days back?

Free tools that deliver AdSense statistics straight to your desktop

Google AdSense LogoIf you’re a serious AdSense publisher, you’d have surely felt the need of an AdSense monitoring system that’d provide you with real-time statistics of the ad clicks & earnings from your site(s). Look no further – here are a couple of really handy tools that does the job for you. There are plenty of such tools available out there on the net, but keeping to the overall theme of my site, I present you with three carefully selected ones which meet the criteria of being a freeware as well as being feature packed. Out of these the first two work right from your Windows desktop while the third one is PHP based and can be used to display your stats anywhere on a web-site.

AdSense Status plug-in for Google Desktop

AdSense StatusFor those who use Google Desktop, here’s a really lightweight (approx. 450KB) plug-in from Airbear Software which displays your daily earnings and other related information from Adsense for Content, Search, and Referrals in a small panel docked in your Google Desktop Sidebar. The readings keep updating automatically every 5 minutes or so, unless of course you request a manual update. However, you don’t have any direct control over the refresh interva.

Clicking on the plug-in panel pops out a larger window with more detailed statistics about your earnings, page impressions, CTR, eCPM etc. on a daily or monthly basis. It can also display the All Time AdSense statistics.

The plug-in is compatible with both Google Desktop versions 3 & 4 and you need to have Google Desktop installed before you attempt to install / use it. Once installed, the only configuration involves entering your AdSense account’s username and password and you’re ready to roll. Though it hasn’t been updated or worked on since May 2006, it functions without any hiccups.

Get AdSense Status.

SysSense

SysSense ScreenshotSysSense from Singer’s Creations is another useful utility that displays stats similar to AdSense Status on your desktop.

The biggest difference between SysSense and AsSense Status is that this one doesn’t need Google Desktop installed on your system and delivers the statistics independently through a window that pops-up when you click your mouse on an icon in the system tray. Thus this is an ideal utility for non-Google Desktop users.

You can configure this tool to load along with Windows as well as monitor multiple AdSense accounts at the same time. Unlike AdSense Status, the refresh interval can be set manually to a figure you feel convenient. Moreover, you can make it display an audio-visual alert when a particular figure such as your earnings or number of clicks or even your page impression changes.

Another plus point over AdSense Status is that the stats displayed by this tool comprises of a wider range of daily/monthly figures.

I’d highly recommend this tool. I’ve been using AdSense Status for quite a while now, but am seriously considering a total switch-over to this one.

Get SysSense.

phpMyAdSense

phpMyAdsense is a PHP web application designed specially to provide detailed statistics of your Google AdSense advertiser’s account in real-time and using your own customized templates and colors. I haven’t used this one as such, but it seems an interesting and viable alternative to the desktop based ones.

However, being a PHP web app doesn’t limit this to web-site based installations. It can easily be used to deliver the stats right onto your desktop (similar to the former two) by running it in conjunction with Windows Active Desktop Channel. Other supported applications are phpNuke, phpBB etc.

Get phpMyAdSense.

I’m off for a while

Mountain ViewTo all my readers … I’m off for a short vacation and will be back after Monday, 29th January, 2007. So I guess no more posts till then.

I’ve got a bunch of good articles on mind and will get into a writing spree as soon as I’m back.

So long… 🙂

The Software Development Cycle!

HumourPlanet Boredom is a new section in my blog that deals with the lighter side of life.

Spending almost 15 hours a day on coding and running a techie blog can leave you quite high & dry at times. This is an attempt to introduce some humour into the drudgeries of everyday life and to bring out that fabled laughter which is supposed to be the best medicine ever.

A note of warning though. Expect to see plenty of Geek Humour up ahead.

Here’s the first one to roll it off…

The Software Development Cycle

  1. Programmer produces code he believes is bug-free.
  2. Product is tested. 20 bugs are found.
  3. Programmer fixes 10 of the bugs and explains to the testing department that the other 10 aren’t really bugs.
  4. Testing department finds that five of the fixes didn’t work and discovers 15 new bugs.Repeat three times steps 3 and 4.
  5. Due to marketing pressure and an extremely premature product announcement based on overly-optimistic programming schedule, the product is released.
  6. Users find 137 new bugs.
  7. Original programmer, having cashed his royalty check, is nowhere to be found.
  8. Newly-assembled programming team fixes almost all of the 137 bugs, but introduce 456 new ones.
  9. Original programmer sends underpaid testing department a postcard from Fiji. Entire testing department quits.
  10. Company is bought in a hostile takeover by competitor using profits from their latest release, which had 783 bugs.
  11. New CEO is brought in by board of directors. He hires a programmer to redo program from scratch.
  12. Programmer produces code he believes is bug-free.

And the cycle continues….

Source: Funtoosh

Enjoy 😀

Free eBook: Linux Kernel in a Nutshell

Popcorn KernelsLinux Kernel in a Nutshell is yet another release in the Nutshell series by O’Rielly that teaches you how to build, configure, and install a custom Linux kernel on your machine.

The author, Greg Kroah-Hartman routinely does the same for a living. Good news is that for the average user, no programming knowledge or experience is required to understand and implement the concepts discussed this book. However, readers are expected to be familiar with the basic operating principles and the command-line interface of Linux.

While the printed version of this book is available from Linux Kernel in a NutShellO’Rielly store, it’s offered as a free download in both Adobe PDF and Linux DocBook format from the author’s site as individual chapters as well as the whole book. It is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 license which means that you are free to download and redistribute it. The idea behind offering it for free is to bring out hidden talents and get more people involved in the Linux kernel development process. According to the author…

The act of building a customized kernel for your machine is one of the basic tasks needed to become a Linux kernel developer. The more people that try this out, and realize that there is not any real magic behind the whole Linux kernel process, the more people will be willing to jump in and help out in making the kernel the best that it can be.

As of now the book deals with the kernel release 2.6.18. With the introduction of newer kernel versions some of the configuration items may change / move around and / or new configuration options may be added. All said and done, the main concepts dealt in the book will still remain valid for any future kernel versions.

No single Linux distribution can provide you with a kernel that meets all users’ needs. Computers come in wide varieties and with special hardware that call for reconfiguration and rebuilding of the kernel. The book will benefit literally anyone – be it someone trying to get sound, wireless support, and power management working on a laptop or incorporating enterprise features such as logical volume management on a large server.

O’Rielly says …

Linux Kernel in a Nutshell covers the entire range of kernel tasks, starting with downloading the source and making sure that the kernel is in sync with the versions of the tools you need. In addition to configuration and installation steps, the book offers reference material and discussions of related topics such as control of kernel options at runtime.

Download the free eBook from the author’s site…

GadWin PrintScreen: Best freeware & lightweight printscreen tool I’ve come across

PrintScreen ButtonThis tiny freeware utility from GadWin has got to be best freeware screen-capture tool I’ve ever come across. Recently, I was reading a review / comparison of some of the more popular screen-capture utilities and I was surprised to see the meagrely attention devoted to such an excellent piece of software. So I decided to go ahead and write my own review.

The reasons as to why I call this the best freeware are by far many. First of all, this software allows you to capture the screen in four different ways…

  1. Current Window – captures the whole of the currently selected window
  2. Client Window – captures the client area of any window you select. Client area means the content region of a window minus the title bar and borders
  3. Full Screen – captures the whole of the screen (similar to normal PrintScreen function of Windows)
  4. Rectangular Area – captures a rectangular zone of the screen that you drag and select

Along with this, if needed GadWin allows you to capture the mouse cursor in your screenshots – a GadWin PrintScreen Screenshotfeature rarely found in screen-capture utilities. There’s an option to capture time-delayed shots, which is useful for capturing submenus that take a triffle bit of time to open up.

If you’re oh-so-used to the PrintScreen Key of the keyboard, you can easily hook it up with GadWin PrintScreen by declaring it as the screen-capture hotkey. This will redirect all the screenshots to GadWin instead of the normal Windows clipboard. You’re free to define any key combination as your hotkey.

You can even specify the action to be performed after the screen is captured, i.e. whether to copy it to the clipboard or to print it directly. Other options include mailing it out to a pre-speficied email address and saving it automatically to a file.

Now this last option really comes in handy when you’re set to take a whole bunch of screen-shots serially.. say from a sports highlight. The software allows you to take multiple screenshots consecutively and automatically names your files in a serial order and saves them in a folder specified by you. I find this feature really useful and have got it set up as my default option. Whenever I press PrintScreen, it dumps the current screenshot as a file, which I can later edit to suit my purpose.

Moreover, you can specify the format in which the image is saved, i.e. GIF / JPEG / PNG etc. There are six different image formats to choose from. If you want your captured images to take on any particular dimension (size), that can be set too and the screenshot will get automatically resized to that prior to saving. Other than that, a shadow can be auto-added to the images if desired.

If only PrintScreen could capture irregular screen areas, it would definitely outshine all others in this category as the best all-rounder.

GadWin runs on Windows 95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP and once installed sits as an icon in the System Tray. It can be customised to auto-load with Windows. What more could you want ?

Download GadWin PrintScreen for free.

Upgraded to WordPress 2.1 without a hitch

We Love WordPressI upgraded Chaos Laboratory blogs to WordPress v2.1 just sometime back. The upgrade happened without a single hiccup and to my surprise each and every one of the old plug-ins worked perfectly without breaking the installation. Even my old theme worked at one go – without any kind of modding.

I love every bit of the new interface and the features 😀 Terrific work on this one, guys !! Specially the enhancements on the TinyMCE editor, which allows you single-click switch between WYSIWYG and Code views. And the auto-saving of drafts is just oh-so-cool.

Ah well… I better stop now or else I’d be on and on with my incessant ramblings. It’s 101% worth the upgrade guys.. Go for it. 😉

WordPress 2.1 is born…

WordPress LogoThe long wait is finally over. WordPress “Ella” 2.1, named after the famed jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald has been announced publicly just a couple of hours back.

This was certainly a very nice way to start the day. I’d just sat down with a steaming cup of tea and fired up my browser, when my news aggregator (FeedReader) popped up a message from one of my acquaintance’s blog regarding a post that outlined the upgrade process to WordPress 2.1. I was so totally taken aback !!! To be honest I wasn’t expecting it anytime before the month-end and in light of the last few security patches, I had even begun doubting whether it would be on schedule. Nevertheless, this came as a very pleasant surprise.

Going through the upgrade story I figured that most of the old plug-ins are still compatible with it and shouldn’t present any problems. I plan to perform the upgrade ASAP. Meanwhile, here’s a list of the goodies that comes bundled with the new version.

  • Autosave makes sure you never lose a post again.
  • New tabbed editor allows you to switch between WYSIWYG and code editing instantly while writing a post.
  • The lossless XML import and export makes it easy for you to move your content between WordPress blogs.
  • Completely redone visual editor also now includes spell checking.
  • New search engine privacy option allows you take you to indicate your blog shouldn’t ping or be indexed by search engines like Google.
  • You can set any “page” to be the front page of your site, and put the latest posts somewhere else, making it much easier to use WordPress as a content management system.
  • Much more efficient database code, faster than previous versions. Domas Mituzas from MySQL went over all the queries with a fine-toothed comb.
  • Links in your blogroll now support sub-categories and you can add categories on the fly.
  • Redesigned login screen from the Shuttle project.
  • More AJAX to make custom fields, moderation, deletions, and more all faster. The comments page now lets you approve or unapprove things instantly.
  • Pages can now be drafts, or private.
  • Admin has been refreshed to load faster and be more visually consistent.
  • The dashboard now instantly and brings RSS feeds asynchronously in the background.
  • Comment feeds now include all the comments, not just the last 10.
  • Better internationalization and support for right-to-left languages.
  • The upload manager lets you easily manage all your uploads pictures, video, and audio.
  • A new version of the Akismet plugin is bundled.

There you go.. 🙂 Terrific work from the guys at WordPress. Keep it up, yo !!

What are you waiting for ?? Go grab it

Portable Apps: Your on-road productivity companion

Portable Apps SuiteLast week I’d written about a handy bundle of 37 essential PC Repair tools which easily fits on a 32MB USB Flash drive making it a really versatile and highly portable PC Recovery kit. I’ve been out on the hunt since then for more of such useful tools and recently came across this entire productivity suite which can be carried on a flash drive and worked on using any computer.

The suite is called Portable Apps and the tightly integrated bundle can be downloaded for free from their site. The bundle contains a web browser, email client, office suite, calendar/scheduler, instant messaging client, anti-virus, sudoku game, backup utility and integrated menu, all pre-configured to work portably.

Installation is extremely easy. Simply unzip the package on your portable drive and you’re good to go. The full package even includes a XAMPP (Apache, MySQL, PHP, phpMyAdmin) integrated web-server, portable GIMP, Media Players like Audacity & VLC and miscellaneous compression utilities.

What gives a big boost in the usability factor is that instead of being a loose bunch of utilities, you’re Portable Apps Menuprovided with a quick-access menu that acts as a central control / launch panel for all these apps. Moreover, these apps will work from literally any Windows compatible portable device like USB drives, iPod, portable hard drives etc.

Portable Apps suite comes in two flavours – Standard and Lite, none of which would fit on a measly 32MB flash drive. The Lite version, which is approx. 30MB in compressed form takes up around 105MB after installation. The Standard version can eat up almost 260MB space. While you just might be able to fit it on a 256MB drive, you’d be left with very little work space. The whole purpose of portability is defeated if you can’t carry your work around. I’d suggest at least a 512MB drive to give you some decent breathing room.

The advantages / conveniences of this suite are limitless. They’ve put up a nice summary on their site… to which I don’t think I can add much. So I’m going to quote it verbatim.

Possibilities

  • Carry your web browser with all your favorite bookmarks
  • Carry your calendar with all your appointments
  • Carry your email client with all your contacts and settings
  • Carry your instant messenger and your buddy list
  • Carry your whole office suite along with your documents and presentations
  • Carry your anti-virus program and other computer utilities
  • Carry all your important passwords and account information securely

The Convenience Factor

  • Have your favorite websites handy to recommend to a friend or colleague
  • Have your presentation AND the required software ready to go for that big meeting
  • Have your password with you if you want to bank online while traveling
  • Have utilities handy when visiting family or friends that are having PC problems

If you’re a supporter of the Open Source movement, you’d be happy to know that all the applications included in this package are built around the very same concept.

Get Portable Apps rightaway…