March 2013 - Posts

Facebook: Making or Breaking Friends ?

 



Facebook helps to connect with your friends and families. And now it is actually a prominent part of one’s life. People are taking every aspects of their life online and share on Facebook with their friends.

And Facebook has kind of redefined the meaning of friendship. Everything between the friends is moving online and the way people make, and engage with their friends is changing. 

So, is Facebook is just a bad or is it just the fundamental shift in the way we communicate and engage with our friends.  Is it only a media of spending time online and is being good friends on Facebook really means that you are friends on real life too ? And how can Facebook impact you in making or breaking up with friends.

 

I asked some some of my friends on this topic and I am really thankful for their valuable opinions:

 

Manisha Thapa

I have got lots of new friends and some of them are really valued to my life. In addition, it has become my best time pass ie. chatting things in Facebook. So I think twitter is for making friends to me.

 

 

 

Archana Joshi

Facebook plays a vital role in breaking as wellas making friends but more of then it breaks friendship. :D

Let me give some examples:

Whenever I am talking or chatting with my close friend, if s/he doesnot reply, I become angry and I stop talking to her.

In the same way, some friends’ status as well as comments hurt us.

 

 

Subash Karki

Facebook could be a great place for making new friends. We can connect with friend’s friend from Facebook too. When a bot sees a sees friend suggestion of a girl in his profile and he is unknown to her, but the boy will surely reach her in Facebook with her name.

It also has a bad aspect. When a friend sees other online but do not talk, friendship could be broken. So Facebook could be good to make friends and could break-up relation of friends too.

 

 

Tika Raj Neupane

Facebook closes distances between the friends. It makes people comfortable to people who are new to them. But, some people also like to make boyfriend/girlfriend on Facebook and that could break relations.

 

 

 

 

Pradeep Thapa

Facebook is a place for making new friends & enjoying with them. It is somehow good for being in contact with friends & family. But as a coin has two sides, Facebook also has bad impact. It is good for using in good way. But it also makes the impact of a person bad in same way.

 

 

 

Ashok Dangol

The way of making new friends is possible due to Facebook. We can get photos & information of new friends in single click from Facebook.

 

 

 

Suraj kc

As for me, I think it depends on your perception. If you show positive attitude and be true to your friends, you can be good friends online as well as in real life. 

 

Posted: 03-30-2013 3:08 AM by Suraj kc with no comments

Microsoft re-imagining Windows in favor of touch

 

Windows 8 was designed with touch first user experience. Microsoft is focusing on “re-imagining windows” That means, it is making transition from its all-time popular desktop to metro environment for the next generation of touch devices.

Windows 8 presents you with dual environment ie desktop and modern UI. Sometimes, it can be jarring to switch between two interfaces. Windows 8 Build shows it will try to hold you in the modern UI. You will probably get more things done by the new interface.

Microsoft is also porting its desktop apps to the modern UI in favor of touch devices. You can see Paint, Onenote and Windows games in the new Windows Store. Probably, we could see more apps for new UI by Windows Blue including Office.

Users in favor of desktop could get a little disappointed. But I think it is time to change your mind to adapt to the new scenario and embrace the “metro” environment.

 

 

Posted: 03-28-2013 8:18 AM by Suraj kc with no comments

My Wish List For Windows Blue

 

 

Speech Recognition

It is kind of silly to talk to your device every time.  But it is fun and interesting feauture, after all it is 2013. There has been Voice recognition in Windows since Vista, but it never got improved.  Xbox and Windows Phone 8 too have pretty decent speech recognition features. So, it is important for Microsoft to allow users to interact with their devices just by speaking to make Windows Blue appealing. And I believe Microsoft can develop a better voice assistant than Siri or S Voice.

 

Online gallery for start screen designs

Windows 8 gives limited ie only 20 background designs. That’s just limited and kind of boring over time who want to make their start screen look alive and fresh. There is also an application called Décor8 by Stardock to select your custom image as startscreen background.

Early build of Windows Blue shows improved customized options for Start Screen. But why not create an online portal like Themes Gallery where designers can submit start screen backgrounds and users can get them online.

 

 Improved Multitasking

Snap feature in Windows 8 is an interesting concept but most apps in the Store do not go well with this feature. Running two apps on 50/50 screen could be coming on Windows Blue according to the latest build. So, half and one/third snap feature definitely has to make it to the Windows Blue.

 

More quality apps in the Store

Windows 8 is a beautiful OS and limited apps in the Store make it unappealing to iOS and Android. Okay, there are 60,000 + apps, however, featured apps like Facebook, Tweetdeck, Youtube, Spotify, PhotoSynth, Photoshop etc are missing from Store. Therefore, Microsoft really has to convince developers to port the popular apps to the Windows platform.

 

 Redesigned Windows Store

 Windows 8 embraces clean and chrome-less design. That is kind of beautiful and usable. But the Windows 8 Store is too simpler and kind of dull. It is static and the contents rarely change, may be it is due it limited apps. Windows Store needs a redesigned UI to let users see more dynamic contents, discover new and exciting apps. Furthermore, the semantic zoom should work like that of Start screen enabling see all apps. Automatic Updating of apps could be a welcome feature.

 

 Grouping of related apps

 Whenever I see start screen of my friends, it is like messy with all the desktop apps shortcuts. Installing desktop apps leave all kinds of shortcuts related to the app in the Start Screen. Previously, there were arranged neatly on the Start Menu in the folder structure.

And Windows Blue too needs to enable grouping apps of same products like grouping Word, Powerpoint, Excel and One note shortcut to Office tile.

 

 IE 11 for Windows 8

IE 10 for Windows 8 is all full screen and chrome-less design but that is kind of unusable to desktop users to have to work to many tabs open at once. Swiping with touch on tablets is fun but playing with IE 10 via Mouse is kind of clumsy. So, I wish to see a little improvement for desktop users on IE 11.

 

Surface Mini and Windows Blue for small sized tablets

 

Windows 8 defined Windows on every devices from high end PCs on intel architecture to laptops and tablets based on low powered arm chips. I think it kind of missed mini tablet market. Google, Apple and Amazon are already in the market with Nexus, iPad Mini and Kindle fire. So, Microsoft do have to optimize Windows 8 for small screens and extend Surface range to mini tablets before it is too late.

 

Improved built in apps

 

Microsoft is expected to update almost every built in apps like People, Mail and Music, possibly before Windows Blue.  And I am looking forward to huge improvements rather than minor updates.

 

No more restarts for updating Windows

One of the most frustrating feature in Windows has been updating/configuring Windows Update requires system restart.  That is somewhat fine for critical updates. But the minor updates and even if you installing Hyper V, it requires restart to complete the installation. That definitely has to go away with Windows Blue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted: 03-25-2013 7:49 AM by Suraj kc with no comments

MSP program, one of the best programs for Microsoft: Cliff Reeves

It was really great opportunity to have Mr Cliff Reeves as guest of honor at the inauguration session of Tech Mela.  And I was really glad to hear him talk about MSPs and commitment of Microsoft to Nepal.

According to him, MSP Program is the one of the best programs for Microsoft. He thanked MSPs for giving their support to the Microsoft technologies. He shared a good experience of interacting with a talented group of students during the MSP meeting.

Mr. Reeves talked about the skills required for students to shine in the competitive job market. He focused that in addition to academic studies, students do need to learn the technical skills and business experience. And getting certified with Microsoft certifications can help students learn the technical skills that companies are looking for.

Microsoft also helps students convert their idea into a business model/company via Bizspark program. The corp. can help students to start their own company by providing all the softwares, cloud platform and all Microsoft resources for free of cost.  He explained this could bring more number of students access to the technology and they can become good customers for Microsoft in the future. 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Posted: 03-25-2013 1:56 AM by Suraj kc with no comments

Wowzapp Hackathon @ Tech Mela 2013

 

There was two days session on Hackathon at Tech Mela 2013. Participants had to code Windows 8 app within two days and showcase the demo at end of the second day. And it was interesting to see new and brilliant ideas developed into a beautiful app just in two days.  Here are details about the apps developed in the Wowzapp Hackathon:

App Name: Nepali Guide

Developer: Ranjana Dangol

This apps is beautifully designed and targets tourists as well as Nepali people who like to learn about different aspects of Nepal. It helps to discover new places, learn about Nepali culture and suggests you travel destinations, hotel reservations and shopping malls here in Nepal. It also includes language translator to help tourists communicate with Nepalese.

I believe this app is going to help people globally to explore Nepal from their windows 8 devices and can become best travel app for Nepal in the Windows Store.

 

App Name: Guitar Tuner

Developer: Ashish Budhathoki

Guitar Tuner features user friendly UI.  The app lets you tune guitar in standard tuning.  You can enjoy this app in Windows 8 design with a single button for different strings or play all strings easily.

There are impressive guitar tuning apps on android and iOS platform but good ones are missing from Windows Store. And I believe this app bridges this gap and will get maximum downloads in the Windows Store.

Ashish also shared it was a fun experience and had good time interacting with new developer friends.

 

 

App Name: Learn Varna

Developer: Anu Maharjan & Pooja Baisyal

Learn Varna is for those who wants to start learning Nepali. It can teach anyone how to read, write the simple 36 letters of Nepali language.

Anu and Pooja shared they had a good experience, however, everything was done and fixed at the last moment.

 

App name: Mango Paint

Developers: Bikesh Mahato & Tika Datt Pahadi

This app is quite unique and impressive one. It lets users create lines, circles or draw random drawings and turn their imaginations into a beautiful painting. And handwriting recognition is interesting feature in this app.

Bikesh told that his experience in the hackathon was nice and app development with his mate Tika was quite fun. He said he was having a good time handling logical coding part with his friend designing the UI.  

 

 I hope the apps will be there available for download in the Windows Store soon and best wishes to the developers.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted: 03-23-2013 2:08 PM by Suraj kc with no comments

Community Chautari @ Tech Mela

Day 1:

Community Chautary is a session for sharing about tech stuffs. Microsoft Student Partners presented on different aspects of technology to the student community on Friday at Tech Mela. And Narisha sis was coordinating the program.

I was really glad to be presenting on blogging. The audience was really enthusiastic and interactive. The main points from my presentation were:

-          blogging is just like a web page where you write stuff on ongoing basis

-          blog is first tool for easy content creation on the web

-          blogs help in collaborative learning, sharing information, develop online relations with readers, share similar interests with people and make money

-          blogging on technetnepal

-          creating a blog and blogging in good manner

Ranjana Dangol gave presentation on courses and certifications provided by Microsoft for Students to broaden their ideas and technical skills. She focused that today’s job market is extremely competitive and it is kind of difficult to fight for the jobs with just a college degree. So, Microsoft certifications can help you shine. There are different certifications like MTA on Networking, software development, Security Fundamentals etc, and MCSD on HTML 5 etc to get certified with Microsoft. And MIC is also conducting Windows 8 Dev Camp, Web camps, Office apps dev camp and other events to provide students with cutting edge technologies to develop apps and solutions for the global community.

Ashish Budhathoki showed recording and creating tracks on Songsmith. Songsmith is a beautiful software that generates music to play well with the singer’s voice. His session was quite interactive and musical. So it was lots of fun.

And Ashim Adhikari gave inspirational presentation on Social Activism. I really liked the question: are we kathhar nepali or brave gorkhali ?

He inspired the student community to be an activist and reminded about our moral duties and rights to the nation.

 

 

 

Posted: 03-23-2013 2:12 AM by Suraj kc with no comments

Tech Mela 2013

 

Microsoft Innovation Centre Nepal is conducting Tech Mela at Administrative Staff College on March 22 and March 23. The event highlights the latest and cutting edge technologies from Microsoft to students’ community.

The attractions of Tech Mela are:

-       Inauguration by Mr Cliff Reeves, GM for Microsoft Innovation Centres along with renowned figures of Nepal

-       Tech briefing sessions on different products and technologies

-       Showcase students projects from various colleges

-       Discussion of the state, academia and industry to help students align with the requirements of the industry

-       Certification campaigns to help students get certified with Microsoft certifications

And there were 7 major guest presenters in the inauguration session who are renowned figures in their fields:

1.     Cliff Reeves

2.     Ram kantha Makaju Shrestha

3.     Mukesh Regmi

4.     Surendra Paneru

5.     Sanjay Golchha

6.     Anand Khanal

7.     Allen Bailochan Tuladhar

 

Other sessions at the Tech Mela include:

Wowzap Hackathon on Windows 8 Apps

ASP. net community session

Community Chautari


Here are snapshots from the main conference

 

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Posted: 03-22-2013 2:41 PM by Suraj kc with no comments

Is it a good idea to buy an antivirus ?

Nowadays, there has been a growing trend of purchasing an antivirus solution here in Nepal. And what's interesting is users who never purchase any kind of software including windows are actually paying for the antivirus subscription. So, is it worth paying for the antivirus solutions ?

There has been a culture that if you own a computer/laptop, you would probably want a premium Antivirus. And retailers do sell premium antivirus subscriptions by threatening that their computer or data could be at great risk if they are not paying for antivirus. Kaspersky including Eset, Quick Heal, Bit defender and F secure are easily available for purchase in Nepali market. There was also good presence of different antivirus vendors at CAN Info Tech.

Before installing/paying for an antivirus, better think if you really need one.

If you are not connected to the internet, it is a no brainer that you do not have to purchase an antivirus. The common means of transferring infected code is via internet or a USB device. If you just a little careful, you can avoid getting a virus.

Avoid auto run of USB devices. That's how most virus install itself in the host machine.

Virus mostly behave as system protected/read only and hidden file. So, you could use command prompt in Windows to check/delete a virus from the removable devices.

I am not a fan of installing an antivirus. It requires frequent virus signature updates via internet to be able to heal the infected system. I believe an antivirus actually hacks into the computer process, monitoring your data every second, auto starting and also making it unable to kill its process or disable auto start-up.

Most people would likely suggest if you are connected to internet, you will have to get an antivirus.  But I think that is not the case 

A computer virus is platform specific ie a scam infecting Facebook can not get on your PC or a virus designed to infect Windows can not harm your mobile device. It gets into a computer system breaking through weak points of an operating system. Updating the OS patches security vulnerabilities making it impossible for a virus to break into the system. Upgrading from XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8 patches security holes in the system code. Creating a Windows recovery media can also help if you run into problem caused by malwares.  And Windows provides different security features that prevents infected program to get into the system.

 

And browser itself protects extra security layer making it difficult for a virus to download to your system. So, updating browser to latest version helps enhancing security patches.

 

You just have to be little careful about browsing within the secured and known sites, avoid clicking unknown links, looking for verified torrents before downloading etc.

So, I just want to focus that if you are careful about your browsing behavior and embracing security protocols within Windows, it is unlike to get a virus. 

Anyways, if you want an antivirus, free edition of Avast/AVG/MSE can be best alternative to paid antivirus subscription from Kaspersky or other antivirus products that is likely to expire in 1 year.  And I believe they are no less than the premium editions for home/basic users.

People do pay for antivirus because unlike other softwares, antivirus solutions are difficult to crack as it frequently connects to internet to check for invalid signature. However, a couple of torrent search could get to working pirated/cracked copy of the antivirus.

Therefore, it is actually not a good idea to pay for an antivirus.


 

 

Posted: 03-21-2013 3:06 PM by Suraj kc with no comments

Deleting yourself from the Internet

 

Are there days when you wish you could just disappear from the internet?

There could be different reasons like harassment on social networks, privacy issues or maybe you just want to take a break.

Deleting every trace of your information is almost impossible. It is kind of directly proportional to your actions and how open you were on the internet.

 Most people actually do not take privacy on social networks seriously.  There are profiles on Facebook, Instagram and other social sites that are not protected. That means anyone could get to download your information especially your photos. It is like once you post your image online, it will remain there forever. It is always good idea your information private to yourself and your close ones.  

Anyways, here are few tips you could try to get offline from the internet:

Step 1:

Delete yourself from Social Networks

The best part about social sites is that you are pleasantly greeted with sign up. However, deleting account option is well hidden to make you sure you never get there.  

It holds quite true for Facebook.  I will try you to opt in to deactivate your account, but just ignore that and visit:

https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account

But Facebook will give you 14 days so you could change your mind and cancel your request.  

Deleting Twitter/Instagram/Google+/blogspot is pretty simple ie via Settings

Twitter offers you 30 days after to delete your twitter account to get back and reactivate. Pinterest account can only be deactivated.

And it is not possible to delete your skype account. However, you can remove all your personal information and make your profile undiscoverable.

You also cannot delete a wordpress account. So, you might want to delete blogs and remove your information from the site.

Step 2:

Delete your email accounts

Removing email accounts like outlook, gmail and yahoo is straightforward via account settings. However, deleting an email account will not remove other sites and apps associated with it.

You might also want to manually deactivate/delete your account on every site you signed up like cnet, stumbleupon, spotify etc.

Step 3:

Delete your online traces

Google/bing search your name or topics related to you to see something unpleasant pops up. You would have to remove your content from the original source rather than the search engine.  

If you succeed at removing content from the site, you can hide your content from search result via Google’s URL Removal tool.

Step 4:

If you come across sites/ apps that do not let you delete account, delete your personal information or fill in the wrong data. Make sure your real email is not associated with the account and input wrong email address.

Step 5:

Almost every sites that you visit are collecting information from you by leaving cookies on your PC for advertising or other purposes. So, it is a good idea to disable tracking in the Browsers settings. Internet Explorer 10 and Firefox 19 enables Do Not Track feature by default to protect user privacy.

Step 6:

If you are serious about companies tracking your digital data, you can purchase a subscription from DeleteMe. This service claims to remove:

Your public profile from data sites

Contact, personal, and social information

Photos of you, your family, and your home

 

 

 

 

 

Posted: 03-16-2013 3:48 AM by Suraj kc with no comments

When technology becomes absolute passion

I believe why I am here, as an MSP or may be studying IT is all about the passion for the computer technology. And I remember it all started in 2004 when I was a computer for the first time at some kind of office in Kirtipur. And it all started the passion to learn and explore the digital world of computer science. And I was lucky to be changing school in grade 6 because we could learn to use computers in that school. My previous school had one too, however, just in Principal’s room :D. The dark side about changing school was that you would be missing your classmates and your best friend too.

Let’s take this question -

Which is the technology that excites you most?

As an MSP, the answer would obviously be Microsoft Technology or any Microsoft related product.

For me it was always the passion for Microsoft that interested me to become an MSP.  Microsoft Encarta always remains my best software ever. It was discontinued in 2010, I guess, in favor of MSN search.

Experimenting with new software or web service was always kind of cool. And the first thing that hit me with a song by Swift (you belong with me, Microsoft) was Windows 8 Developer Preview.  

I really wanted to try Chrome OS too. Back then, it was in open source project and downloadable to try. The basic idea was run everything in the cloud via chrome browser. That was kind of uncool and may be ahead of its time.  

On the other hand, Windows 8 DP was something new and exciting. It was like the new interface, apps and everything was new to try. And hearing from Steven Sinfosky (Head of Windows 8 developer team) and Windows 8 engineers about upcoming features and new services in the Windows 8 via Windows 8 Blog was super exciting.  

And reading blog posts from Windows 8 engineers was my favorite way of spending time. Reading text books never felt exciting like the Windows 8 blogs though I could never understand the articles well as they were very long and technical.

The best-est part of being MSP was of course, I got to play with Windows 8 before it was released worldwide.

And may be the absolute passion for Microsoft Technology made me switch from Google to Microsoft services. I was always the one to ask my friends to switch from hi5 to Facebook and later Facebook to Google+. But now I do not even have a Google account (okay I have one but just for YouTube login). And I do not know why I don’t want to create one. May be it is because I am standing for Microsoft so, I am kind of going down on Google and open source.

Hatred for the third person brings two people closer, read somewhere. Here, for me, it is that passion for the technology that has helped to get close with MSPs and other friends. And nowadays open source guys are kind of rough on me but who cares: D

Writing for the homework and studies was never cool. But writing about the technology you really admire is pretty cool. And technically it is called blogging. I do love to write about technology and Windows stuff. I do believe I am friends with someone just because of blogging. Otherwise I guess I would be nothing.

Being MSP is always about the absolute passion for the technology. But the technology can be addictive too. And you have to choose between you have to do and you like to do. Like to do is always fun to do but it not good idea to forget about have to do. So, sometime it is difficult to make the choice and it is for you to decide what is best for you.

 

   

Posted: 03-15-2013 1:55 PM by Suraj kc with 2 comment(s)

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