Tuesday, 26 March 2013

3 Killer Note-taking Apps

"Smart" note-taking is becoming a trend. Whether you are brainstorming or taking down a recipe, gone past are the days when you used to hunt for a paper and pencil. It's just a matter of touch and type now. Here are the top simple and elegant apps for note-taking. Look them up in any app store to download for free, or just visit the links below to enjoy them on your desktop.

Google Keep

Is just amazing. Usually, your sticky notes are not there when you need them! But with this latest note-taking app, you are sure to never forget what you need to do.

  • Google Drive integration
  • Voice transcription 
  • Only available as an Android (4.2+) and web app
  • Minimal features in desktop application 

2. Springpad


Super neat design. Clearly a treat for those obsessed with categorizing and organizing their notes. 

  • Design
  • Web clipping
  • Built in categories ( that pretty much cover most categories) and the ability to create new ones
Con:  Needs to improve the suggestions that come up when you want to add a note in any category

3. Evernote


The most popular one of the three. 

  • Great cross-platform support
  • Evernote Web Clipper
  • Comes with Sktich - draw onto images
  • Location services
Cons: Audio notes are not compatible across devices. ( files get saved in .amr type. what happened to the good old mp3? )

Take your pick!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Think Inside the Box!

How many times have you come across-

"Think outside the box!"
"Be creative!"
"Think original!"
"blah blah blah"

I am sitting over here going, "Dude, what the hell do you even mean by that?! Tell me now or you will end up in a box!" Argh. So frustrating when I see those ABSTRACT phrases!

I don't know about you, but these cliches have only made me madder and dumber. To which ever person ( dead or alive! ) who thought it was a good idea to inspire people with these phrases, I wanna say, "Really? I mean. Really? Come on!"

I have good reasons for saying so.  I present to you a drift of my mind voice when ever I trick myself into believing that I am solving a problem thinking outside the box ( what ever that means! ) -

"Okay. This problem needs to be solved. "
<<Analyse, method, logic, analyse, deduce, method, order...>>
"Wait! I am forgetting to be innovative! I need to be creative! Do not, for the love of god, ever think conventionally! I am supposed to think outside the box..."
<<Hangs upside down>>
"la la la la la"
"Hey... what problem am I supposed to be solving here?!"
"Oh...yeah! Right...! How to save the universe!"
<<Analyse, method, logic....>>
"Think outside the box, you moron!!"
"la la la la la"
"huh... what?"
"That's it... I am chucking the problem out the window RIGHT NOW!!!"

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Get your NON-SMART phone to receive Gmail notifications!

Do you not have a smart phone? But do you want to get  notifications when you receive important emails in Gmail? Google Apps script allows you to interact between various Google products (in our case, Gmail and Calendar) and third party services.

Here is what you need to do to convert your dumb phone into an email notifier:

Step 1:  Register your mobile to receive SMS via Google Calendar.  Here is how to do it. Done? Great.

Step 2:  Create a new Label in your Gmail account. Here is how you create a label. All good? 

Step 3:   Create a Filter, to apply the label (which you created in the previous step) to this filter. Here is how your create a filter. Alright then.

Step 4:  Go to script.google.com. Select Blank Project.

Step 5:  Copy and paste this following piece of code: 

function sendText() {
  var label = GmailApp.getUserLabelByName('Send text');
  var threads = label.getThreads();
  var now = new Date().getTime();
  for(i in threads){
    CalendarApp.createEvent('IMP- '+threads[0].getFirstMessageSubject(),
                            new Date(now+60000),
                            new Date(now+60000)).addSmsReminder(0);

# This checks for emails under the label "Send text" and if any present, adds an event with SMS reminder to Google Calendar after one minute.  

Step 6:  Now save your script and run it. It will ask for authorization. Grant the access. After one minute, you will get an SMS if you have received any email labelled as "Send text". Pretty cool, right?

Just a little more.. 
You can automate this process by setting up triggers for your script. Click the "Resources" tab (which is above your workspace) and add a trigger (minute/hourly/daily/weekly/monthly). 

And now you're done! :-)

Saturday, 9 March 2013

More free stuff, thanks to the Internet!

Confucius once said, all good things come with a price. Au contraire. Some of the very best  resources, that do not come attached with a price tag, have been included here. Read further and judge for yourself!


It must be really tiring to search for songs that you want to buy/download. Many times, you end up with broken links, non-existent files etc. Here comes youtube to the rescue. It's very easy to find the songs that you want on youtube. But how do you get the mp3?

Here is the simplest way to get mp3's out of youtube videos. All you need to do is give the youtube video's URL and the site gives you the mp3 to download. Get any song on earth, for free.


Project Gutenberg offers over 40,000 books for free. 

LibriVox for those who prefer audio books. 

Movies (classics, indies and the like)

Phone Calls and Messages

Operating Systems

Chuck Windows, you might want to try any of these:

1. Linux Based
and many more...I've only mentioned a few popular ones. There are a LOT of options of Linux based operating systems. 

2. Google's Chromium OS

3. Haiku

Memory Storage/Back up

Make use of free online memory storage from:
All these offer sync services across your phone, laptop, desktop computer etc.


                                Udacity (includes courses like computer science, physics, mathematics)
                                Open Culture (a very comprehensive list with links to several courses)
                                Khan Academy (science, maths, computers, humanities and many more)

From universities:
                                UC Berkeley

                                 Code Academy
                                 Google Code University
                                 Open Culture

Musical Instruments:

Audio Editors

Audacity - A brilliant software for amateurs. Create your own remixes, karaokes and much more.
Online MP3 Cutter - A simple online tool to make your own ringtones.

Video Editors

Well, what are you waiting for? Make good use of the internet!                         

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Why not Hercule Poirot movies?

You're probably wondering who on earth is this Hercule Poirot. But let me tell you this: Agatha Christie fans would be asking the former question ( the title of this post ). He is -

1. A private detective.
2. An old man obsessed with order and symmetry.
3. A brilliant psychologist.
4. A Santa Claus version ( rounder ! ) of Sherlock Holmes.

His trademarks:

1. Egg shaped head.
2. Handlebar mustache.
3. Frequent user of his "little grey cells."
4. Indulgent eater.

Though physically a contrast to the tall and lean Sherlock, Poirot's wits are no lesser. Agatha Christie , the creator herself, found Poirot "insufferable", and she felt that he was a "detestable, bombastic, tiresome, ego-centric little creep". But the public love Poirot in spite of his quirks. Admittedly, the inspiration for this character was Sherlock. In fact, Poirot has an accomplice Captain Hastings ( similar to Dr. Watson ) who is also constantly annoyed by Poirot's mysterious ways.

Here's the complete list of Poirot novels for those who'd like to know more about his ways and methods. Each and every case is bound to keep you absorbed, guessing, and never failing to quite surprise at the end.

There have been a few shows portraying the cases solved by the little Belgian detective on the TV, but I wish there were new movies being made on him too. There may not be action packed scenes, but there would be no shortage of suspense and humor.  ( for some reason, Alfred Hitchcock keeps popping up in my mind as the sort of director who would do such films! )

The world needs another jolly detective. Agree ? :-)

Friday, 1 March 2013

Quotes from Harry Potter

I can sense the excitement of the HP fans rising. :-) It's been a long time ( a year, I think! ) since I read a Harry Potter book. The impact of these books on millions of people is plainly obvious when I try to recollect quotes by some of the memorable characters.

Disclaimer: This post is not, and can never be a summary of the awesomeness of Harry Potter. This is just a small attempt to keep up the HP mania!

Harry Potter

"You can't give a Dementor the old one-two!"

"Why were you lurking under our window?"
"Yes -- yes, good point, Petunia! What were you doing under our windows, boy?"
"Listening to the news," said Harry in a resigned voice.
His aunt and uncle exchanged looks of outrage.
"Listening to the news! Again?"
"Well, it changes every day, you see," said Harry.

"There's no need to call me sir Professor."

"He was my mum and dad's best friend. He's a convicted murderer, but he's broken out of wizard prison and he's on the run. He likes to keep in touch with me, though...keep up with news...check if I'm happy..."

"Dumbledore's man through and through," said Harry. "That's right."

Ron Weasley

"Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow,
Turn this stupid, fat rat yellow."

"Accio Brain!"

"Did I tell you I've invented a broomstick that'll reach Jupiter?"

"You need your inner eye tested if you ask me."

"Oy, pea-brain!"


“"That makes me sound a lot cooler than I was."

"We're with you whatever happens."

Hermione Granger

"All those poor elves I haven't set free yet, having to stay over during Christmas because there aren't enough hats!" 

"Just because it's taken you three years to notice, Ron, doesn't mean no one else has spotted I'm a girl!" 

"I hope you're pleased with yourselves. We could all have been killed - or worse, expelled. Now if you don't mind, I'm going to bed." 

"You said to us once before," said Hermione quietly, "that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We've had time, haven't we?" 

"At least no one on the Gryffindor team had to buy their way in. They got in on pure talent." 

Sirius Black

"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." 

"Reading between the lines, I’d say she thinks you’re a bit conceited, mate." 

"Keep muttering and I will be a murderer!" 

"If you made a better rat than a human, that's not much to boast about." 

Albus Dumbledore

"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." 

"Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!" 

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." 

"--yet, sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often. Best to say nothing at all, my dear man."

"I would assume that you were going to offer me refreshment, but the evidence so far suggests that that would be optimistic to the point of foolishness." 

"There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends." 

Neville Longbottom

"Gran, I've lost my toad again."


"STUBEFY!" shouted Neville, wheeling around and waving Hermione's wand at the oncoming Death Eaters. "STUBEFY, STUBEFY!"

Severus Snape


 "Oh, very good," interrupted Snape, his lip curling. "Yes, it is easy to see that nearly six years of magical education have not been wasted on you, Potter. 'Ghosts are transparent.'"

"You have a habit of turning up in unexpected places, Potter, and you are very rarely there for no good reason."


Fred and George Weasley

"We'll send you a Hogwarts toilet seat!"

"We've got it [ Percy's Head Boy badge]. We're improving it." The badge now read, "Bighead Boy." 

"You're a prefect? Oh Ronnie! That's everyone in the family!" [Molly Weasley]
"What are Fred and I? Next door neighbours?" 

"Make way for the heir of Slytherin, seriously evil wizard coming through..." 

"We tried to shut him in a pyramid, but Mum spotted us." 

"I'm holey"

Luna Lovegood

"Nobody's ever asked me to a party before, as a friend! Is that why you dyed your eyebrow, for the party? Should I do mine, too?" 

"I'll distract them all," she said. "Use your Cloak." And before he [Harry] could say a word, she had cried, "Oooh, look, a Blibbering Humdinger!" and pointed out the window. 

"I enjoyed the meetings, too. It was like having friends." 

"I've been able to see them ever since my first year here. They've always pulled the carriages. Don't worry. You're just as sane as I am." 

Professor McGonagall

"Are you quite sure you wouldn't like a cough drop, Dolores?" 

"I doubt it will make much of a difference," said Professor McGonagall coldly, "unless a mad axe-man is waiting outside the doors to slaughter the first into the entrance hall." 

"Ah, of course. There is no need to tell me any more, Ms. Granger. Which one of you will be dying this year?" 

"It unscrews the other way." 

"I should have made my meaning plainer," said Professor McGonagall, turning at last to look at Umbridge directly in the eyes. "He has achieved high marks in all Defense Against the Dark Arts tests set by a competent teacher." 

"Have a biscuit, Potter."

Aw! I must stop now. Or I'd end up writing the whole book. Hope this made your HP day. Nox :-)

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Good riddance to Zombies!

Here is a possible sequence of events:

Agreed? Some of us are a little too familiar with this routine that makes us groggy, pudgy faced beauties ;-) It got me thinking at some point that all this zombie business has to be stopped; or there would be a total invasion. But hey, how do you kill a zombie? Here are some gadgets that you need to be equipped with first:

A freaky alarm clock

You have pretty good choices here-

a) Wake up to money. This is an evil time bomb that shreds your money to pieces if you don't wake up!

b) Wake up to math. Solve puzzles to wake up thoroughly!

Click image to go to app
Alright, now you're awake. How to jump out of bed?


Leap out, for the sake of the workout clothes hanging in plain sight by your bed.
Or, for the sake of the open window.
Or for the sake of your favorite song.
Or for the sake of the inviting aroma of coffee.

Well.. you get the idea! Anything that makes you WANT to get out of bed!

So, basically...

These are pretty much that you need to go about prancing like a unicorn for the rest of the day.
One - An Event.
Two - A Cue.

Now, unleash your weapons to become...