Sunday, May 31, 2009

Soul Music

Just finished reading Soul Music. One of the better Discworld novels, I'd say. It deals with Rock Music and the meaning of life and death and is hilarious at places.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Making Symbolic Links on Windows

Symbolic links can be created in Windows Vista and Windows 7 using the mklink command. The mklink command is not available on earlier versions of Windows.

To make a symbolic link

mklink /d [link] [target]

/d tells the command that the link is to a directory. [link] is the name of the link and [target] is the target directory.

To execute mklink you'd have to run cmd.exe as administrator.

Cedar Point

Visited Cedar Point at Sandusky, Ohio. It is about a 2 1/2 hours ride from Columbus so we could comfortably stay literally all day at the park. We left at about 8 in the morning and reached there by 10:30. The park was open till 8:00 PM on the day we went and we stayed until closing down.

Now I haven't been to many amusement parks. I've only done Essel World at Mumbai, which no doubt, is a kiddie park compared to anything in the US. The first ride that we decided to do was something called the Raptor, a green and green monstrosity and we had no idea what it would be like. But roller coasters do not offer the fear of the unknown. We stood in line for about 3/4ths of an hour for this ride, hopped on, and got ridden. It was amazing. Breathtaking. By the time I got down my legs were shaking and the wind was out of me.

Now, the fear set it. One knew what one was in for.

We decided to do something simpler next. What we did was something called the Wicked Twisted which was a U-shaped ride which twisted towards the end. We did it. Wasn't all that tough.

Since we didn't want to walk too far after that, we did an indoor ride which really was too simple. I don't really rememeber the name of it, but it was space themed and used lots of neon and strobe lighting as you travelled through pitch dark tunnels.

I think the group had most fun with the water rides. Living in Ohio we don't get to see much water. :(

I think the best part that I liked were the two free fall rides -- Power Tower and Demon Drop. Somehow I like the idea of being in a free-fall, but only when I'm the right side up. Coasters put you upside down and I don't like that. These two rides made me genuinely happy.

I don't think I did any of the big rides. I didn't do Millenium Force. Neither did I do the Top Thrill Dragster. I didn't quite like the fact that the Dragster doesn't always function as intended. While were were there the car actually got stuck at the top. They had to ride up in an elevator and give it a push to bring it back. I hate the idea of being stuck up there for several minutes.

On the whole I find it quite fascinating that every year, millions of people come to amusement parks, pay a whole lot of money to get scared. Human behavious is really infathomable.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Windows 7 - I'm Loving It

Never before has Windows impressed me so much. Good old XP was reliable but lacked the feature rich punch that Linux had. Vista took some steps in the right direction (I'm a big fan of Vista's file browser) but was slow and sluggish and not nifty enough. Windows 7 hits the right cord between features, ease of use and speed.

The Taskbar
The completely revampled taskbar is perhaps the most talked about feature of Windows 7. It is very much like the OSX dock but I do think it's better than docks. I find docks to be irritating. They move around a lot and in general cause too much distraction. Windows 7's new taskbar is cool. It is static, configurable and useful. I like the fact that you can see progress dialogs in the icon and that right click shows you recent items. I also like the fact that the system tray now does not expand hidden items but shows them in a popup window. Additionally, Windows 7 does not break backward compatibility. You can get your old taskbar back with just a few click (well, almost).

Indexing does not slow down your computer anymore. Moreover, searching is fast enough to be useful now. Search as you type actually searches as you type. Still not as fast as most linux apps would have it (I've never understood why this should be) but still very usable.

Windows 7 extends theming capabilities. Wallpaper slideshow is now built in. Additional sound themes are also provided.

Window Management
Window management has improved a lot. Everyone knows about the aero peak. What people don't know is that if you drag a window to the left screen edge, the window resizes to occupy the left half of the screen. If you hit the top edge, the window maximizes.

The best part is, the OS feels light as XP and adds loads of new features. In short, I'm loving it!