Sweet, Sour and Bitter

Things about this and that

The Firefox 4 XP

I just downloaded and tried the all new Firefox 4 beta and thought it would be nice to share the experience with all…..

To start with, i just love the new theme…..its much much better than the old one,… at least in my opinion.. But the tabs look similar to that of Chrome’s with just a little styling changes…The orangish firefox icon capures the eye every time you look at the browser…Whereas the others i.e. the backward , forward, home and refresh icons are really cool….

Also the way it shows the percentage of the page loaded in a pie chart style in the tab header is an innovation(but I’ve a strange feeling that I’ve seen it somewhere).And the taskbar which previously displayed only one icon for a window of firefox, now displays a separate icon for each tab (the same way it shows for IE..) which is kinda a letdown.. Even though with the borrowed styling from chrome, ff4 is a bit of a feast to the eyes..

Apart from the looks, the speed seems a little better than its predecessor, but am not sure if it beats chrome…and the downloads pop-up is the same old guy…

In short, Firefox 4, is an old dish with different toppings and added spices…:D

Click  this to download the beta version…:)

Firefox 4 beta

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Google Hacks

The name Google Hacks is often very misleading. Google hacking is a totally different field when compared to Google hacks. Clearly understanding the difference takes a little time and study. In brief Google hacking is the use of Google or any other search engine to locate security vulnerability in a site. This is an invaluable tool which has now become a necessity to those hackers who target the vulnerabilities in the software or user misconfigurations. On the other hand Google hacks are just tricks that can be used to narrow down your search and thus get more accurate results. As far as I have seen how people use Google I think it is time for everyone to learn these hacks.


Being a student myself I can tell how wavery a student’s mind can be. Let’s imagine we decide to go for a movie in the afternoon, in the middle of a class and don’t know where all the movies you want to watch is being screened, Google can give you the answers you want. In the search bar just type

movie: <movie_name> <state>/<city>/<postal_code>

with a space between each word, and pestro you have the names of the theatres with the timings.


If you are in search of books or power point presentations, in my case songs, videos and such, instead of searching for the name/ topic and searching each of the returned results for what you want, you could just search for pdfs/ppt/mp3 and all such file extensions by

filetype:<file_type> <search_string>


You could also use Google as a calculator. This is more than an ordinary calculator, and can be used for more advanced and complex operations.

To find the power of a number – 2^20

The square root of 65536 – sqrt(65536)

The sine of 60 degrees – sine(60 degrees)

You can even find the combination. For instance, 24 choose 7 finds the number of possible choices of 7 items from a group of 24 items.

The Google calculator can also be used in unit conversions.  For example to convert 20 cm to inches, just type

20 cm in inches

and if no number is specified in front of the base unit, it is assumed to be one. Even arithmetic operations can be used in the numeric value, like 5*10 inches in cm.

The general syntaxes supported by this calc are:

  • + for addition
  • for subtraction
  • * for multiplication
  • / for division
  • ^ for exponential (x to the power of y)
  • % for modulo (to find the remainder after division)
  • choose X choose Y fines the number of possible subset groups of Y out of the set of X.
  • th root of creates the nth root of a number
  • % of finds percentages X % of Y finds X percent of Y.
  • sqrt finds the square root of the number that follows
  • ln logarithm base e
  • log logarithm base 10
  • lg logarithm base 2
  • ! factorial – This must follow the number you wish to factor.

Since Google Calculator is not documented, we do not know all other things this can do. To make sure Google doesn’t confuse your need of the calculator with something else it is better to enclose your expression within parenthesis and add an equal to sign after the expression.


To use Google as a dictionary, just add the keyword define in front of your search, i.e.

define: <word>


If you want to search not only for your search term but also for its synonyms, place the tilde sign (~) immediately in front of your search term.



In order to restrict your search to specific domains like .in, .edu, .au , .nitt.edu, etc.

site:<domain> <search_string>


To exclude some terms specifically from the search ‘ – ‘ can be used.

rowling – harry potter


Other very helpful operators are inurl and intitle


intitle:free music



Searching for time will display the local time, auto-detecting the location and

time <location>

Searching for this will display the time at the specifies location


Generally the words specified in Google search bar with spaces follow the AND rule, ie, the results which contain all the words will be the first ones to get hit, but if you are searching for any of the words in the sentence, you can include OR between them to specify that you want results which contain either of the words.


More than one of the above keywords can be used in a search. For instance

site:edu filetype:pdf <word>

This is perfectly valid and gives the desired results.

All of these can also be done by clicking on the “Advanced Search” link near the search bar, but being one of the laziest guys you would ever come across, I prefer to use these than the advanced search.

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ABC Shortcuts in Adobe Photoshop

Many who use photoshop feel that working with mouse is the best option and the easiest way to get thing done….Well i fell otherwise….Moving the cursor from one end of the window to the other to select the different tools from the vast collection Photoshop provides justs sucks…and is a criminal waste of time considering that we have a way to save time to laze around later…..:P….. Here i’ve tried to list down all the shortcuts that can be used or anyone’ll at max use in when working in 2D in photoshop.. Of course I’ve deliberately omitted some of the 3D shortcuts which we are never gonna use (at least from my point) You can also find some of these if you hover over the respective tool in the tool box.

This is with reference to the standard configuration. If you have tuned you copy to match your needs then the respective tool in the tool cluster will be selected.

Single key Shortcuts

A – Path selection (Path selection/Direct Selection)

B – Selects the Brush tool (Brush/Pencil/Color replacement)

C – Crop (Crop/Slice/Slice select)

D – This changes the foreground and background color to their default values, i.e. black and white

E – Eraser (Eraser/Background Eraser/Magic Eraser)

F – Toggle Screen Modes

G – Paint Bucket (Paint Bucket/ Gradient)

H – Hand tool

I – Eye dropper (Eye Dropper/Color Sampler/Ruler/Note/count)

J – Spot healing Brush (Spot healing Brush/Healing Brush/Patch/Red Eye)

K – 3D Rotate (3D rotate/roll/slice/scale)

L – Lasso (Lasso/Polygonal Lasso/ Magnetic lasso)

M – Marquee (Rectangular Marquee/Elliptical/row/column)

N – 3D Orbit Tool (3D Orbit/roll view/pan view/walk view/zoom)

O – Dodge (Dodge/Burn/sponge)

P – Pen tool (Pen tool/Freeform pen)

Q – Toggles between the normal mode and quick mask modes

R – Rotate View

S – Clone stamp tool (clone stamp/ pattern)

T – Text (Horizontal text/ Vertical text/Type mask)

U – Shape Cluster (Rectangle/rounded rectangle/elliptical/line/polygon/custom shape)

V – Move tool

W – Quick selection tool (quick selection tool/ magic wand tool)

X – Used to exchange the foreground and background colors

Y – History Brush (History Brush/Art Brush Tool)

Z – Zoom Tool

F1 – Help

F2 – Cut

F3 – Copy

F4 – Paste

F5 – Show/Hide Brushes Panel

F6 – Show/Hide Color Panel

F7 – Show/Hide Layers panel

F8 – Show/Hide Information about the point in which the cursor is placed

F9 – Show/Hide Actions Panel

F12 – Revert to last saved version

] – Increase Brush size

[– Decrease Brush size

} – Increases Brush Hardness

{ – Decreases Brush Hardness

, – Previous Brush

. – Next Brush

< – First Brush in the palette

> –Last Brush in the Palette

/ – Toggle between lock and unlock of transparent pixels

Caps Lock – Toggles the precision of the tool that is used

Numbers 0-9: If the present tool is Brush/Eraser/Stamp/History Brush and tools in their clusters the opacity of the tools change as 10% for 1, 20%  for 2 and so on and 100% for 0(You can also use press two numbers continuously such as 45 for 45% opacity).In Smudge/Dodge tool clusters their exposure changes similarly. In all other cases the opacity of the selected layer changes in the same fashion

Two Key Combinational Shortcuts

(All these apply to the layer in which you are currently working and it is visible)

Ctrl+A – Select All

Ctrl+B – Selects the Color Balance

Ctrl+C – Copy

Ctrl+D – Deselect

Ctrl+E – Merge the present and previous layers

Ctrl+F – Use the Last Filter Used

Ctrl+G – Group the selected layers

Ctrl+H – View the extras in the panels

Ctrl+I – Invert the colors

Ctrl+J – Duplicate Layer

Ctrl+K – Opens the Preferences Menu

Ctrl+L – Opens the Levels toolbox

Ctrl+M – Opens the Curves toolbox

Ctrl+N – Opens a new document

Ctrl+O – Open Comand

Ctrl+P – Print Command

Ctrl+Q – Quit Photoshop

Ctrl+R – Show/Hide Ruler

Ctrl+S – Save file

Ctrl+T – Free Transform tool

Ctrl+U – Opens the Hue/Saturation Toolbox

Ctrl+V – Paste

Ctrl+W – Closes the file which is currently open

Ctrl+X – Cut

Ctrl+Y – Proof Colors

Ctrl+Z – Undo/Redo Once

Alt+Backspace – Fills the layer/selection with foreground Color

Ctrl+Backspace – Fills the layer/Selection with Background color

Ctrl+] – Move the selected layer one layer forward

Ctrl+ [– Move the selected layer one layer backward

Ctrl+; – Show/Hide Guides

Ctrl+’ – Show/Hide Grid

Ctrl+1 – View the file in 100% i.e. in actual pixels

Ctrl+0 – Fit the file in the screen

Ctrl++ – Zoom In

Ctrl+= – Zoom In

Ctrl+- – Zoom Out

Shift++ – Changes the blending mode to the next blending mode.

Shift+- – Changes the blending mode to the previous one in the list.

Both the above shortcuts wrap around the list of blending modes

If you are working in the RGB Mode

Ctrl+2 – Switches to RGB Channel

Ctrl+3 – Switches to Red Channel

Ctrl+4 – Switches to Green Channel

Ctrl+5 – Switches to Blue Channel

If you are working in the CMYK Mode

Ctrl+2 – Switches to CMYK Channel

Ctrl+3 – Switches to Cyan Channel

Ctrl+4 – Switches to Magenta Channel

Ctrl+5 – Switches to Yellow Channel

Ctrl+6 – Switches to Black Channel

Shift+F5 – To fill the layer

Shift+F6 – To feather a selected region

Shift+F7 – To Select Inverse

Alt+F9 – Show/Hide Actions Panel

Three Key Combinational Shortcuts

Ctrl+Alt+Z – Undo (This combination can goto upto 25 times back unless changed in the preferences)

Ctrl+Shift+Z – Redo (This also goes forward upto 25 times unless changed)

Ctrl+Shift+N – Create a new Layer

Ctrl+Shift+I – Inverts the selection

Ctrl+Alt+I – Opens the Image Size panel

Ctrl+Alt+C – Opens the Canvas size panel

Ctrl+Alt++ – Zooms in the file window

Ctrl+Alt+- – Zooms Out the file window

Ctrl+Shift+U – Desaturate

Ctrl+Shift+J – Make a layer by cutting the selection off the previous layer

Ctrl+Shift+G – Ungroup Layers

Ctrl+Alt+G – Create a clipping Mask

Ctrl+Alt+R – Refine Edge

Ctrl+Shift+X – Liquify

Ctrl+Alt+V –  Vanishing Point tool

Ctrl+Shift+E – Merge all the visible layers

Ctrl+Shift+K – Opens the Color Setting panel

Ctrl+Alt+0 – Shows the file in 100%, i.e. actual pixels

Ctrl+Alt+; – Clears all the guides

Ctrl+Shift+O – To goto Bridge, Browse photos (Same functionality for Ctrl+Alt+O)

Ctrl+Shift+S – Save as (same for Ctrl+Alt+O)

Ctrl+Shift+P – Page Setup

Ctrl+Shift+F – Fade

Ctrl+Shift+C – Copy the merged content of the visible layers

Ctrl+Shift+T – To perform the transformation previously performed again

Ctrl+Shift+L – Auto tone

Ctrl+Shift+B – AutoColor

Ctrl+Shift+] – Bring the layer to the top of all the layers

Ctrl+Shift+[ – Bring the layer to the bottom of all the layers

Ctrl+Shift+D – Reselect the deselected region

Ctrl+Alt+A – Select all the layers

Four Key Combinational Shortcuts

Ctrl+Shift+Alt+S – Save for Web and devices

Ctrl+Shift+Alt+O – Open as

Ctrl+Shift+Alt+I – Opens the File Info Panel

Ctrl+Shift+Alt+B – Opens the Black and White panel

Ctrl+Shift+Alt+C – Opens Content Aware Scaling ( One of the most useful concepts in which when you resize an image Photoshop changes only the less important content and

preserve the details)

Ctrl+Shift+Alt+K – Opens the Keyboard Shortcut Panel

Ctrl+Shift+Alt+L – Auto contrast

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Third Sems!!!

This is the first semester exams we are writing after entering the department full time. So obviously we were all afraid. Most of us except the obvious few had good internal scores. We CompSci guys had a good three week vacation before the exams but the other guys were not lucky enough, they had only a week to spare. The practical exams started a good ten days before the semester exams and each day you could see someone either coming back after a bad viva or preparing for the practical exams. I was really scared looking at the huge programs in the record, but thank god the question I got in the exam was not as tough as I expected. I finished it and came out within an hour in PPL and  an hour and half in DS.

Preparations for theory papers did not start before Saturday, but the mood was not as tense as it was last year. Everyone kept a cool head. The usual routine began from Sunday. Some early birds woke up at 4. Some late sleepers were retiring at 4. Studying, revision, practicing, searching for pens, pencils and everything just ten minutes before the exams.  Some skipping taking bath and even meals. Then at 2 everyone settled in the halls. Some knowing the answers,  some trying 2 write something, a group trying to get help from friends and some checkin the watch waiting for the first hour to pass so that they can leave.

The best part comes after the exams. Come out of the exam hall,  exchange niceties about not doing the exam well. After sometime we assemble at Raja Bakery and raid the shop 4 an hour and as DB and Suriya said “Lighta edu Freeya vidu…”

The schedule starts again for the next exam. Now here I’m with only one exam to go, on Monday, but not interested in preparing for it anyway. This third sem has been a bash and is about to end with a bash…

YES.. we are shifting to GARNET C.

How cool can it get.

But if the results come early…..” Lighta edu Freeya Vidu” 🙂 😉

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Life @ NITT

The life here is just too bad to be toooo good……..just keep track of this post to know the interesting things happening around us……..the sweetest of memories

The recent highlights:

1.Vinod  playing catch and catch with Aruniya during Festecole in the barn along with a song proposal and many other things which cannot be publicized

2.Jai and SRB brimming with jealousy teasing Vinod non-stop

3. Juj trying very hard to get some good pics of his soul mate….but to vain..

4. Bharat, Shn and Nachi as usual preparing 4 the next line follower comp…. all geared up for “Engineer

5. Good news boys. Bharat washed all his clothes today.FINALLY.

6. Anyone planning to learn mirdangam, contact izzzz….He has started par-time tuition classes wit punch as his first disciple

7. Our Shreyas ji is rumored to be on the verge of getting committed….but the question is with whom??????

8. Me….well just gave a shot at the ConnectNIT inductions, but screwed up in HTML and things,….but hey…come on….ask something I know…….but the interesting part is that I got in…………..yippy…….

The love tree of our gang:

These are the couple who share the shade of this tree nurturing it so that the others may also come under it one day to share its warmth and joy……but as of now the few who are under it are

1. Ajay – (name confidential)

2.Vinod- Ap

3.A.Balaji-(oops….,sry.. forgot the name….)

4.Bharat- he s a diff case…. falling in love with whoever he sees… u know boys….the  COE syndrome

5.Nachi-_____ (I think u all know….so what is d point in telling)

Those who are expected to be soon under this are

1. Juj



Lets wait n see yar manasula yaru……………..

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