Friday, June 27, 2008

Why I shall trust Wikipedia a little less from now...

I have had quite a lot of faith in Wikipedia. Till now that is. Although news stories and blog posts (and lately, some of my colleagues and friends as well) have been whining about incorrectness of facts on Wikipedia for quite long now, I somehow still held strong faith in Wikipedia's correctness. Not anymore. Here's why...

I watched Dil Dosti Etc some days back, and after having watched it, I felt like knowing who Sanjay in the movie is, in reality. A quick Google search informed me that it's Shreyas Talpade, and as I started reading about Shreyas Talpade on Wikipedia, I was a little surprised to read his age- 41 years. I was quite surprised that even at the age of 41, he played the role of a college guy in Dil Dosti Etc, and throughout the movie I didn't feel even once that he's 41.

Here's a screenshot of what I saw on Wikipedia
However, today when I made mummy watch Dil Dosti Etc, mummy said she already knows who Shreyas Talpade is, and mummy challenged me that he isn't 41 years old. I quickly showed mummy the article on Wikipedia, but mummy was firm that it just cannot be true. Then I conducted some celebrity searches on Live Search, and found this page on MSN India, from which his current age can be deduced as 34 years. Quite frankly, I was amazed as to how there exists a clear discrepancy between what Wikipedia says and what's mentioned on MSN India.

Here's the page I saw on MSN India
Who did I finally believed? Wikipedia or MSN India? I'll believe MSN India on this one.

And I'll believe Wikipedia a tad less from now.

Installing RAM modules having different frequencies- my experience

My problem is mentioned in detail here (it should be worthwhile to read this link prior to reading this post).

I now had 2 RAM modules
  1. A 512 MB 400 MHz module from Simmtronics.
  2. A 256 MB 333 MHz module from a lesser-known brand.
The 512 MB module was already present in the primary slot. I added the 256 MB module to the secondary slot. When I powered on my system, the BIOS began to give ominous beeps, indicating a problem. Naturally, it was due to the newly added RAM module. I suspected that this combination of 400 MHz and 333 MHz RAM modules isn't going to work on my system. Sigh...

As I was about to remove the 256 MB module, an idea flashed in my mind. I quickly swapped the positions of the modules and powered on my system once again, with higher hope. And guess what? It booted normally! The BIOS showed my system's memory speed as 333 MHz, and the total system memory as 768 MB.

I'm not sure why interchanging positions of the two RAM modules made things work, but what I suspect is this (and this is the idea that had flashed in my mind). Putting the 333 MHz RAM into the first slot caused its frequency to be set as the system's memory frequency, by the BIOS (during power on). And this frequency was imposed upon the module in second slot. Since in this case it was a module that supported higher frequency (400 MHz), it simply ran at a slower frequency, without any problems.

However, if the 400 MHz module is put in the first slot, 400 MHz is set as the system's memory frequency (by the BIOS), and the module in second slot isn't able to support it, triggering the error beep sequence.

I again emphasise that I'm not sure about what in reality is the reason for what happened, and that this is the idea that came in my mind. Most importantly, it worked!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A really rude message on uTorrent forums

This is the message I saw (the message can be seen in the image below- the image can be clicked to see it in full size) when I landed on one of the pages of the uTorrent forums. I reached here from one of the search results on Google Search, and the interesting thing is that this is the first time that I have ever been to the uTorrent forums.

It makes me wonder:-
  1. Why was I banned? (especially when this is the first time I've been to the uTorrent forums, and even more so because my computer obtains its IP address using DHCP)
  2. Shouldn't the administrators or the moderators resort to less abusive language when banning someone?

Friday, June 13, 2008

How to correctly enter the cat-only-symbols security code at RapidShare

Some minutes back I wanted to download a file from But it looks like they've changed the method they use to ensure that a user is indeed a human. The new method they use- still a CAPTCHA- is not only confusing, it's quite difficult too. One sees the following text when presented with security question:-

Please enter the following code when downloading. Only enter symbols attached to a cat. This is for security reasons. Premium users can jump this step.

And an image like this one is visible

A new user will almost certainly think that every symbol has a cat attached to it. However, since the field to enter the security code is only 4 character long (while there are 7 characters in the image above), it means that some characters out of the above do not have a cat attached to them.

Coming to the point, the key here is to enter those characters which have a head of a cat visible. In the above case, it's NNOO. Characters that don't have a head are invalid ones.

As a side note, I feel that this new system deployed by RapidShare is unnecessarily confusing. CAPTCHA systems used by Google and Microsoft, as shown below, do the job (of ensuring that a user is a human) nicely, without spoiling the user experience.