Posts tagged: software

Songbird, circling over iTunes



When you have a mozilla backed project, you can be rest assured that it will rock you like nothing else in the world! So, another round of software wars. After Firefox kicked IE out of the scene, Mozilla hopes to draw first blood with Songbird. Songbird is the first open source application for managing media, the way iTunes does. Perhaps better. Why do like firefox? I like because its extensible, and I can do anything I could ever dream of doing on the web. Well, songbird promises the same. And its meaner and leaner than iTunes! Songbird runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux personal computers with few OS-specific tweakages.

“Songbird is a player and a platform. Like Firefox, Songbird is an open source, Open Web project built on the Mozilla platform. Songbird provides a public playground for Web media mash-ups by providing developers with both desktop and Web APIs, developer resources and fostering Open Web media standards, to wit, an Open Media Web.” - from the website.

The plugins made are already the talk of the town, the most popular being the one that lets you synchronize your iPod with Songbird. Well, i really feel sorry for iTunes now. But what can i say about an application that is huge, bulky and slow.

Here are some screen shots of Songbird for you to start drooling. Yeah, it looks awesome and these are not the only skins available!


You can read all about Songbird here.
To download Songbird, please go here.

In the Year 1996

One of the smartest things i did, my entire life. I exchanged four free magazine CDs for one CD. Sounds weird? I exchanged them for the original version of Sid Meier’s Civilization II! I remember playing that game the time i got it for straight 10 hours. It took me 7 days to finish the first game, and I managed to lose it in the most royal way.

I was playing as the Indians with the Gandhi as the King. Well, I eventually managed to make him the President under a democracy. But by then, I was already routed from all sides by the Spanish and Americans. I had a pretty good run building some cities like Karachi and Lahore that were part of the Indian civilization. The Americans captured Delhi in the year 1976. What do you think happened next? Civil war!

The Indian civilization was split, one which was still under Gandhi’s control and the other controlled by the Persians. Which cities fell under the Persians? I was really not amused to see Lahore, Karachi and Chittagong gone from my territory! Those bastard Persians.

I moved my Capital to Calcutta with four more cities under my control. But it was too late. I had amassed all my armour and troops in those three cities for proximity with America and Spain. Soon, I was over run by the Americans. But I was holding on to my trading the knowledge for money and troops with the Sioux. But they were of little help since they were weak too.

During the course of the civilization, I got to do just about everything I always wished to do! I nuked San Francisco, I allied with the Germans and I destroyed the Russian civilization. On the way to this conquests, I bribed military units, built an extensive spy network, traded Uranium for money, stole technology and leeched the Germans of all their money and strength.

My last city, Calcutta, fell in 1996. The Stealth fighters scrambled to protect the city but with in vain. The howitzers and tanks were too much for the last of the cavalries. The fighter jets were a bit too late, there was nothing to protect by the time they reached.

I still play the game for old time’s sake. I personally feel there is no better game for a lazy Sunday. I am now playing yet one more round. Well I have come a long way in learning the nuances of the game. My present stats?


GNP $19919 million
Land Area 3023, 0000 sq Miles
Literacy 96%
Disease 3%
Approval Rating 75%
People Know me As Vinni the Lion Hearted
Number of Cities 189

No matter how many times I play this game, its never enough. Its a 2D game but I love it. You got any problems with that?

You can learn more about the creator of the game here. And you would surely like to check this out!

Creating a Professional Blog in Easy Steps!

Before I start telling you how to go about doing this, I assume a few things.

  • You know a bit of coding especially in CSS, HTML, jscripts and PHP.

  • Understand networking terminologies like CNAME, A Records etc

  • Know how to use FTP and have a FTP client

  • Finally, believe that you really can have a professional blog for less than 5$ !!!


Hosting Solution.

You would need a hosting solution first. There are hosts of free hosting providers. Some of them also offer space upto 2GB without any ads. I recommend FreeWebHosty. You can a comprehensive list from here.

What you need to look for in the hosting solution

  • PHP Support

  • SQL Database

  • Good amount of space

  • Native SSL Support

  • CUSTOMER SUPPORT (Yes, even free hosting providers give customer support!)


FTP Client.

You would need a FTP client. You can download one like FileZilla or FireFTP which are free. If you have purchased an FTP Client, its all upto you. But you would not require it. Freeware ones are just as good, if not better.



Download Blogging Software or ‘Blogware’

There are a number of blogger software available on the internet. Most of them are open source and that is what we are looking for. You can try these out, but for the ease of use and availabilty of vast number of skins and plugins my personal recommendation would be WordPress.

Meanwhile you can check these out as well.

Ok, now we are set. After choosing the blogger software, we need to upload it on to the server. I hope you have created the account with the hosting provider by now.


Upload Blogger Software

Upload the files on the webhost in the root directory. They would give you FTP details along with the registration details. We go to the next step now.


Server Side configuration

  • You need to create a database as most of the blogwares would need a SQL database. mySQL is preferred.

  • Create a user account with admin privileges.

  • assign the user to the database.

  • Enable SSL on the server, (you might have to contact customer support for the same)


PHP File configuration

  • The files that you would be uploading would contain a cofig file, in PHP format mostly.

  • You need to append the server name, username, password and database details.

  • The blogware you download would contain all these details and where to provide the details.


Run the installation script

You need to finally run the installation script which would execute the setup. It is mostly automated where it would create the database entries and tables. I would also install the scripts needed for the user interface.


Buy a domain (Notice, this is the only time you shell out cash!)

Finally, you need to shell out some cash for the domain. I am yet to find a domain provider for free. But Microsoft has been offering domain names for free. But please do not opt for the hosting solution as well, because it does not support PHP. I bought one in India for 200 rupees (thats around 5 dollars!)


Domain Configuration

We finally come to the domain configuration. You need to set the A record for the domain name as provided by the hosting provider. Please ensure you do not change the name server settings.


Going PRO! - Get an email service too! For free!

Log on to gmail and go the gmail for organizations link. You can find it here! This allows you to create email service for the domain name you have registered. Follow the onscreen steps and verify the domain with google. Now you need to set the MX record with the domain provider.


Lets see how much you have spent till now.

Hosting FREE
Database FREE
Email FREE
Domain $5-$10

You can contact me for more details and problems if you face any. However, i doubt that you’ll face problems.

Incase, you want to use Blogger and use the domain to be forwarded like i am using presently, you can read this article by Nikhil on Nikhil’s Musings.

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