Securing Windows for Free

Crap! This computer doesnt work! Its so damn slow!! Why the hell is it taking me to a different webpage? Why do I have a new anti-virus 2009 in my system? Why do I have so many pop-up ads selling me weird stuff? And why do I have so many security warnings coming up? — Deja Vu? Had a similar experience before? Having big time trouble with your computer? Anti-virus not helping? If your answer is Yes, worry no more! This post is here to help you out! (And dont beat me down if it doesnt! :P)

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Computer Science Engineering – Why am I in this class?

Ask any high school student — which engineering course he wants to join? — and chances are his reply will be Computer Science/IT. Information Technology has changed India the way no other field could have. IT boom has fulfilled aspirations of millions, made many a millionaire and empowered the middle class with new hopes. Everyone now wants to be a part of this revolution. But should students be forced to join a profession even if they have no liking for it?

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Be a Power Surfer!

(Recommended for: Novice – Intermediate)

Surf’s up is one of my favorite movies. I love the way Cody Maverick enjoys his passion and becomes a great surfer. If I ever get a chance, I will love to enjoy the adventure of surfing (real sea water surfing) as well!

However, we all surf another sea – everyday – without fail. We call it Internet! In Surf’s Up, ‘Big Z‘ explains Cody that to master the art of surfing one needs to carve out his own surf board. Similarly, to be a power (web) surfer we also need to customize our virtual surf boards – the browsers – to our own taste. Continue reading

The Tryst Begins…

A date with your love; a secret rendezvous, that is how “Tryst” is defined. Tryst is the best word that I found in my dictionary to express my relation with technology. It has been my first love since I was a child (thanks to my mom & dad who nurtured my creativity and gave me the best of everything I could dream of).

I was raised in an environment surrounded by all kinds and variety of technical stuff. My dad is an Electronics Engineer and owned a Security System Business unit and an Electronic Service Center (it was a great playground for me; more like ‘Toys r us’ for adventurous kids!). He is a great teacher and its because of him that I developed interest in exploring new out of every aspect of life.

When I was in Junior School dad bought me a computer, it was 286 AT machine (this was in early 1990’s and most of the middle class kids in India did not know what computer meant). That was truly my first knock-out tryst with computers! The first interaction was a Javelin throwing game that I played on its monochromatic CGA monitor, it was fascinating. Though I had played visually more appealing games on my Nintendo NES console but somehow the machine attracted my attention. After a couple of months my dad took it to his office for some accounting/book-keeping stuff and I was devoid of it but I soon shifted my focus back to my video games and usual poking at different gadgets in dad’s shop.

After couple of years, computers were introduced in our school and my love for them was re-ignited. I dived into realms of DOS, GWBASIC and QBASIC, it was again fascinating. In a short span of time I explored Logo, Basic, DBASE, Wordstar, Lotus 1-2-3, FoxPro and nearly everything that was installable on that machine. Soon I graduated to a 386 and then a P-II which I bought & assembled all by myself (it remained with me for next 7 years and is still in service!).

I was good at BASIC and loved the idea of programming. The excitement, joy and sheer contentment that I got by writing small programs that did variety of things was something that I never experienced before. It was this contentment that made me stick to the world of programming. After toying around with all forms of BASIC, I shifted to PASCAL when I bought my new P-II (in class 9th). It was a jump of huge proportion. I was able to do so much more in this nifty language that I couldn’t even dream of in BASIC. However, I was still not up to speed with rest of the world. I used to hear a lot about C/C++ from my school seniors. I was done with PASCAL in a year and now was eager to join the C/C++ bandwagon.

C/C++ opened a different chapter of programming in my life. Throughout my Engineering, C remained the language of my choice. I was ecstatic about programming and used to take part in every technical festival in North India (and never returned without a prize).

At one event it so happened that I was challenged to web-design competition. I assumed it to be a simple static site design competition but it turned out much more than that, they gave everyone a dynamic shopping cart to design. This was the first time I failed a technical competition. It hit me so hard that I decided strongly in my mind never to loose a web-programming/designing competition again. It was then I turned towards PHP, it was the easiest transition I have ever had. After flirting with PHP for a few months I was ready to face the music in another national level techfest; adrenaline was running high, heart was beating at its full, I was elated; I won.

I soon discovered that web enabled my reach to places I could have never reached with conventional programming. I was already a big Internet addict but freelancing added a new dimension to the whole concept. Freelancing enabled me to earn my own pocket money, pay my own bills and do quite a lot of stuff by myself. My love for PHP grew more and more.

Soon I graduated and joined a big Indian MNC in Noida. The organisation was totally Java centric and I was also looking forward to break ice with Java and become a SCJP soon. Because of my active profile I was soon shifted to a live product development project which was to be developed in revolutionary web 2.0 technologies. I was excited and was eager to work on it.

However, as fate would have it, I was assigned the lead role of handling the UI part of the product. So along with Java, I was responsible for creating the UI framework using JavaScript. This was one of the toughest but sweetest transition I ever had. JavaScript was one language that I never wanted to deal with. However, I was challenged to prove my worthiness and I readily accepted the challenge to build a web 2.0 interface using JavaScript. This experience shattered all the myths I had in my mind about JavaScript. I discovered the joy of functional programming, the pain of debugging JS errors, a new world of prototypical inheritance and the wonderful concept of Ajax. It was an enriching experience.

After spending a year and half with this company, I moved on to a small start-up in Chandigarh. At Chandigarh I continued my endeavors in the world of JavaScript and explored couple of different JavaScript frameworks (Qooxdoo, ExtJS, YUI, jQuery to name a few). As of writing this blog entry I am in US working with a new start-up on some superb ideas related to domain of data security.

All along I have been a learner and I think my thirst for more has not been quenched yet. Apart from my regular work I keep experimenting with new technologies and new frameworks. Also, I will specially like to thank all my friends and relatives who summoned me whenever they encountered any problem with their gadgets and computers, thanks for all the enriching experience, please keep providing me such opportunities so that I can learn and grow more.

Through this blog I would like to share my ideas with all my friends out there and would like to gain more from the overall experience. Part perfectionism, part procrastination and commitment to my full time work might lower down the frequency of posts I write but I will make sure that I keep the site alive.

Please feel free to critique my work and findings. I love hearing honest and unbiased opinions so feel free to share your thoughts with me and keep checking the site often!