Zamzar: online file conversion service and some thoughts about future

31 05 2007

If anybody is interested in online file conversion, I suggest a great service/website zamzar.com. It lets you convert files between most of the common text, document, image, audio and video formats. Just upload, select target format and give it your mail address, it will mail you the result instantly.

Let’s share a scenario with you. I didn’t install any office package in my new OS installation, partly out of laziness, partly out of scarcity of hard drive space.
Yesterday I had to edit and mail an important document file in a hurry. I thought that I can try google docs, instead of installing MS Office or Open Office, to eidt it. As I was ready to uploaded it to google docs, found out that it’s in docx format (introduced in office 11). Goggle docs doesn’t support docx. Then I found zamzar.com after googling. I thought it’s another freeware or shareware, that I have to download and install. But no, it’s an online utility. I converted docx to doc with zamza. And then edited the file in google docs. I saved hard drive space and installation time. And hey, I started thinking, what software I cannot replace with an online service within next two years? Hmm, operating system…… games (real ones)…. web browser…. hmm i keep thinking…\.

Why this is important? Have you recently heard the term SAAS (Software As A Service). That is the future of software solutions. Within 2 years more or less we will be able to do most of our daily tasks without ever installing a software other than a web browser. Day by day web services like these will become powerful. And web browsers will become center of all tasks. Flock showed some creativity, opera pioneered some ideas. And as much as I know FireFox 3 will kill all other browsers. DOM will become even more powerful. Flex, Silverlight, JavaFX (hmm i am doubtful) and Apollo will create new standards. And most of them will be free. We will use on line file storage instead of “My Documents” or “home/”, just like we shifted towards web mail services over desktop clients. It’s true that there is probably a bubble forming somewhere in the Web 2.0 world, but at the same time Web 2.0 is changing our life forever. So lets get ready to embrace the change. And I will write about Web 3.0 some other day.

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Pretty Chittagong

29 05 2007

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Hack Day website

27 05 2007

Take a look at the spooky London Hack Day website. Screenshots:

Hack day screen-shot 1

Hack day screen-shot 2

Trivia: Can you guess the chypher criteria used here? (Its very easy!)





About jobs, hiring and resumes

27 05 2007

I just woke up and had to read something to have my brain going and feel that the world haven’t gone past me by the time I slept. Joel Spolsky wrote a great article back in September on sorting resumes. Joel stresses on programming ability, passion for programming, likeliness of being able to pick up new technology/tools, good English (not necessarily as a medium of communication, but as a sign of care for correctness) etc. He also doesn’t believe in looking for list of alphabet based technologies in a resume which a lot of companies in my vicinity do.

There was another great article in the same domain which I read last week. Adrian Howard wrote in use perl about how not to advertise for a job (he actually recalled an original article he wrote long ago in perlmonks).

And lastly, I read Joel’s The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing. It’s about , well, interviewing to find the right candidates. It’s pretty much worth reading too. Has an interesting categorization of candidates:

In principle, it’s simple. You’re looking for people who are

  1. Smart, and
  2. Get things done

His elaborations on “People who are Smart but don’t Get Things Done“, “People who Get Things Done but are not Smart” are so true. IMO everyone looks for the “right kind of brain” for a programmer position (here programmer loosely stands for brain workers, who solves problems in any position of a team), above anything else. Joel points out the stellar techniques of managing that.

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Softwares I cannot leave without: Episode 1

26 05 2007

I am someone who appreciates great softwares. Let it be a windows or Linux software, an web app or a tool for mobile, I try, judge them all and use the softwares I find best. I am a download junkie too. I download, in my honest opinion, more than anybody else in Bangladesh. I download via my download managers, bittorrent clients, Linux tools and finally my custom web crawlers written in Perl (that’s another story, which I will write in some other series of posts) 24/7. I find it my duty to remain cutting edge. If I do not use the best softwares, how can I create best ones, right? Enough prologue, here is the part of the post that may come of use to you. And I will keep the series going:

Wordweb (free edition): It’s a tiny dictionary that remains in your system tray. Select any text in any window/editor/software and hit ctrl+alt+w. The dictionary pops out with the definitions/synonyms. If find yourself caring for your English, don’t live without it. Cons: Does not find rare words, in free edition. But serves well for me ( I got 7.5 in IELTS 😉 ).

DUMeter: Bandwidth monitor software for windows. It shows exactly what is happening with my Internet connection. If you have an Internet connection faster that you will ever need, you don’t need it. But I am someone who will, in my humble opinion, prove even few MBps connection slow. But anyway, in Bangladesh we don’t get fast enough Internet connections. And I feel blind if I do not get a measure of incoming and outgoing traffic of my PC.

That’s all for this episode. I would appreciate if anyone suggests any better alternatives or relevant info.

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Flickr, Peninsula Hotel, Chittagong, Sumon, Auvi, Memories, Fun

25 05 2007

Front-Elevation on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

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Interesting picture from Flickr

24 05 2007

IMG_0708 on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

What would you call it? Humanity?

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