Saturday, September 22, 2007

Apple iPhone and HTC Touch

This is being written on the background of using my pen for quite some time now. I have neither used iPhone or HTC touch. So my thoughts may be bit biased. At first thoughts, I had thought iPhone to be a wonderful product with on screen QWERTY keypad. But it now appears to me that typing long text is really problematic and if there would be a stylus with equivalent handwriting recognizing software on HTC it would be really wonderful and easy. If Microsoft can include their handwriting recognizer in Windows Mobile OS, they simply have a killer product. As you can do a lot more with HTC mobile than the Apple's phone. More over HTC is available here in India today at a somewhat affordable price of 14k. And it Microsoft can quickly add some localization support they would land up with something very useful to be used by general public rather than a jazzed up mp3 player.

Quick Review of iBall Pen Tablet with Vista

Lately I have been bored of using a keypad for entering text so finally got an Ball Pen Tablet. One of the first advantages being the product worked on my machine ( Windows Vista UE) without the need to install any additional software. With a bit of configuration I was up and running and writing this review with the pen. One great advantage of using the pen being that, I need not use mouse or keypad fordoing most of the tasks like clicking and entering prose text. Further, the tablet Input panel provided by Vista is really fantastic in handwriting recognition. It also sports a automated spellchecker. I also used the system with GTalk and had no problem text chatting with it. So far have only one complaint about the writing recognition Software, which is not really able to distinguish my I and J properly. In any case its a big boon for papa who are not really comfortable using a keypad. However if you use a Keypad and are good at typing then you may find any the Pen a bit cumbersome at first, but will definitely enjoy using it. Deleting text is as simple as striking off the word. And using it to Paint Some Stuff is another pleasant job. In all I find this product really useful for people with slow typing speed.  And I must also mention that the Vista's inbuilt handwriting recognition is d really fascinating and enjoying tool to use. Which to some extent is not good as even if you have a bad handwriting (like mine) , the Vista tool recognizes the stuff and you hardly try to improve! 

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Digital Library of India

Every one has heard about Google Book and many use it frequently.
The Gov. of India in collaboration with many Institutions is building up a digital library in India primarily to preserver old manuscripts and make available a number of books (whose copyrights have expired) to the general public.

Only complain i have about the site is that the books are mostly in TIFF format and is not very easy to read. Google Book interface is in contrast searchable and more accessible. For example a search on Astadhyayi on Google books returns many interesting results, but the DLI doesn't return any, though there are atleast two books on DLI on Astadhyayi.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Apple iPod touch

Though I am not a major fan of apple, largely because of its price factor, I almost always am awe with the kind of products it releases.

When iPhone was released, it was really a WOW product, execpt for the fact that it was tied to a particular operator and a particular country (US...). And the only thing that I didnot like about it was that it would not be available in India for a long, undecided time.

But, now Apple is introducing iPod touch ( with all the technologies borrowed from iPhone, except you can't do a phone call. The WiFi access is a cool option, but remains to be seen if i can access gtalk or skype on it. I guess with this Apple has really beaten MS's Zune, though the later was never quite near the competetion.

And I see no reason why iPod touch should be available in India as soon as its released in US :)

Widgets in MeTA Studio

Using the MeTA Studio and Java APIs, RK came up with some cool simple widgets (

For those of you who had gone through the widgets/ directory in MeTA Studio, you will already have an idea of how to create your own widgets. I give a small description using RKs, Flakes Widget (

1. Each Widget should have a unique file and function name in a given MeTA Studio installation. In this case it is flakes.bsh and the function name is flakes().

2. The first thing done by the widgets function is to get a shared instance of widgets panel:
panel = getWidgetsPanel();

3. Next a widget is created with a unique string identifier for the widget:
flakes = widget("flakesWidget");

4. Now "flakes" is a panel (just like javax.swing.JPanel) to with components can be added.

5. At the end give a call to :

is made to finally add the widget to the panel.

6. Finally at the end of this file you give a call to the flakes function:

and well here are some cool screen shots taken directly RK's page:


and Plane angles:

Note: There will not be any updates to MeTA Studio in coming 2 weeks ...