Posts

How not to make customers happy

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I recently moved to Bangalore and subscribed to Vodafone. About a week and a half into the subscription, I get this SMS at 5:45 am, clearly designed to be as missable as possible. I hadn't subscribed to any such service. This seems flat out illegal. Anyway, I followed the message and immediately sent a STOP to the number. What followed is a hilariously intentionally vague UX: What do you have to respond? I was almost tempted to respond with "1, 2, 3" but instead did the 'logical' thing and punched in 1. I got a confirmation that it has been disabled.I have no idea what the silk service is, or whether I will be charged for it in my next bill. Let's see.

Trouble installing KB2881553

EDIT: The error is back :( These instructions did not help.EDIT 2: The error is mysteriously gone :) I think Microsoft did some magic on their end. I am back on automatic updates!For a long time, I was having trouble installing KB2881553: Update for the English Input Personalization Dictionary on Windows 8.1. These are rough notes on how I resolved it. The problem:KB2881553 is supposed to be only offered on machines that have a touch keyboard with lots of usage. I think it was offered on my desktop accidentally, because I also use a tablet PC with touch on the same Microsoft Account.If you hide the update, it doesn't go away, because a new version of the file is offered on Windows Update within a few days, on the same KB number.The error code was 6B2.The solution:I was mostly guided by this very helpful post.The gist of the problem is that the previous update .msi cannot be found, so you have to convince Microsoft that either (i) your package is up to date, and place the correct …

Dark Fonts and Colors for light theme in VS 11

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Update: The VS 2012 Color Theme editor has a lot more options and subsumes the functionality of this settings file. Check it out!——————————————— Visual Studio 11 comes in two themes: dark and light. I like how the code looks in the dark theme (since it is easy on the eyes), but I like how the menus and toolbars look in the light theme (the buttons look sufficiently different from each other.)

So if you want to use the colors and fonts of the dark theme with the light theme UI, you would think you could just export out the fonts, change the theme, and import them back in. However, this has the bizarre side effect of causing all the fonts to become bold.

So I went into the theme file and manually changed all the BoldFont="Yes" invocations, and finally I have a theme I like. You can download this settings file if you like, it has only the Fonts and Colors, so it should not mess up any of your other settings.

Download Visual Studio 11 Dark Fonts and colors settings file for the l…

Rhyming Harry Potter kweezz

A long time ago, I had made a Rhyming Harry Potter kweezzz. It was archived on kweezzz.com, but it has since been domain squatted. So I decided to post it here for safekeeping, thanks to archive.org for the data.

Theme: Harry Potter Rhyming Quiz (All questions will rhyme, the answers may or may not)
Date: 16th Oct, 2010
Kweezzz-master:@sushovande

Don't let Google track your entire browsing history

So Google has recently publicized the "+1" button for websites, which "competes"[1] with the Facebook [Like] button and the Twitter tweet button. This is a much more worrisome phenomenon than we give it credit for.

Notice how the Facebook like button is instantly able to tell you which of your friends have liked that page? That is because Facebook is able to correlate your Facebook login with every page you visit. In order to see if any of your friends have liked that page, Facebook has to correlate the URL to your friend list. So even if you haven't clicked [Like], even if none of your friends have clicked [Like], just to be sure of that fact, Facebook will send the URL and your Facebook login to its servers, building up your entire browsing history.

And now Google has done it. Twitter did it even before Facebook.

I implore you, do not let these corporations track you everywhere you go. This will only end badly. Fortunately there is an easy fix. Add the follo…

How to import facebook birthdays to your WIndows Phone calendar

Step 1: Use the Birthday Exporter facebook app http://apps.facebook.com/ical_exporter/Step 2: Save the ICS file that it generatesStep 3: Open up the ICS file in a text editor. Preferably one that can record macros. To each VEVENT entry in the ICS file (demarcated by BEGIN:VEVENT and END:VEVENT) add the following two tags:
X-MICROSOFT-CDO-BUSYSTATUS:FREE
TRANSP:TRANSPARENT
Step 4: Go to the Windows Live Calendar that is linked to your Windows Phone account. Click on “Subscribe”, click “Import from an ICS file” and then import the file into your calendar.Step 5: Wait a while. Your calendar on the phone will reflect the new entries shortlyNote 1: Step 3 is important, otherwise you will be shown as busy on the calendar, and windows phone will report conflicts on the calendar (shown with two arrows pointing towards each other diagonally)Note 2: Currently windows phone only syncs the primary calendar of the live id. If you don’t want to mess up the primary calendar, create a new throwawa…

Sometimes programs delight you

So I bought an Xbox controller for the PC, and plugged it in while Mafia II was running. It installed the drivers, and as soon as I pressed a button on the controller, it instantly responded, the on-screen menu items changed to reflect the new control scheme, and force feedback started working.It’s some of these experiences that keeps one interested in engineering and inspires one to bring a bit more joy to people’s lives.