Seagate Central 3TB NAS Server

Got my Seagate Central 3TB NAS Server delivered today from Flipkart. It is very light in fact lighter than my Seagate 2TB BackUp Plus and about twice the size of an 3.5-inch internal hard drive. On the back it has one Gigabit Ethernet port and one USB port. Do not use the USB port to connect directly to your computer/laptop. It is also much cheaper than other advanced NAS servers. The top of the device is composed of a mesh grille that largely resembles the front of a speaker and helps to keep the HDD inside from overheating.

The Central’s Web interface opened by itself in the browser: I just followed the instructions to detect the NAS server and create my user account which I was going to use to log into the server’s Web interface. Once setup, you can always return to this interface via the server’s IP address.  Note to bookmark the web interface link in your browser or you will lose it.

seagate-central-dashboardConnecting the Central to my laptop was pretty easy. I just connected the device to my WiFi router and that was it. I could see the new drive in “My Computer.” What was more difficult was getting to install the “Seagate Dashboard.” It kept running into an error with admin security privileges. Eventually I had to run the installable via “Run As Administrator.”  The Dashboard lacks the functionality to make any setting changes. One has to use the Web Interface for those.

The Seagate Central by default had this public folder. Once I created my account it created another folder with the username. Its a very practical and helpful that I can store my shared data like music on the Public folder and my sensitive data in my private folders. Data on the public folder can also be used as a centralised media library where I can wirelessly stream my movies, music and photos to a DLNA device on my home network.

Seagate Central is a single-volume storage device, this helps to keep it small and compact but on the flip side it doesn’t provide data protection against hard-drive failure.  Advanced NAS Servers – multiple-volume storage spaces offer much faster speed and also data protection but are pretty expensive. So I set up my old 2TB Backup drive connected via the USB, as a precautionary backup, just in case.

I am yet to test out the web interface for accessing files, but I don’t have my hopes high since most online reviews dont give them much points on that count.

The Seagate Central also offers Facebook backup services. But not sure why one would use it if they already have Google Autobackup setup on the smartphone, which is in my opinion a much better option and the photos on your laptop/desktop are already backed up to Central. Facebook also compresses the photos too much, I would rather go with my original photos. The Web Interface also contains the link to the Android Store for the app to connect my Android Tablet and Smartphone to the Central.

Performance-wise, it offered around 8MBps for writing, I will need to upgrade my router. I believe the speed can be improved significantly.



Trekking to Bannerghatta Hills

Learning photography needs practice. Lots of it! Since I don’t get too much time off from work, I decided that I will have to “make time” and go for early morning hikes on Fridays. Generally office workload is less on Fridays and even if I feel a little tired after the hike it will be manageable.

Woke up at 5.30 AM. I am a late sleeper and waking early is so much harder :). Form our balcony I could see the sunrays fall right into the Hulimavu Lake as the Sun rose behind the hill beside it. It looks amazing, though the angle is too tight to take any pictures of the sunrise from up here. Mani left for office. I fed Iris(our Labrador) got my gear, wrapped myself in some warm clothes and trudged along to the main road. I hadn’t planned on where to go and was was just waiting for any bus to come along. In a few minutes the #365 Volvo came along and I took it. Its last stop is at Bannerghatta and I had to get down there. And my destination was decided right there, as in front of me lay a small hill with a temple at the top.

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As I walked towards the hill(it’s a 5 min walk from the bus stand), I realized there was another temple at the foot of the hill. I found out later on Google Maps its called Sri Champakadhama Swamy Temple. Its a nice piece of architecture. I was amazed at the intricate work on the idols all over the exterior of the temple. I could make out some idols were of  “Krishna”, “Vishnu” and “Hanuman”. The history of the temple dates back to 12th century. Inscriptions in the temple point to the fact that it was built around 1200 AD. I read somewhere that it was built by the Pandavas but historians credit the Cholas. The Chola dynasty is believed to be responsible for bringing Vaishnavism to Karnataka from the Late 10th Century to early 11th Century.

There is a path to the left of the temple, made by cutting a series of steps in the boulders that leads to the top of the hill. The path is a bit steep at the corners but it has railing for support.  Hiking up, I realised that the rocks have the same look and feel as the Lal Bagh Hill, I visited some time back. At the top is the Laksmi Narashima Swamy Temple. The view from the top of the hill is splendid. On one side you can see the beautiful mountain ranges in Bannerghatta Forest and on the other you can see an amazing view of the city of Bangalore. This hill is also called as Vahnigiri.

Once I crossed over the hill, there is a tricky path into the forest. A few minutes into the path, there was a signboard signifying the presence of sloth Bears in the area. Of course that didn’t discourage me and I went forward entering a beautiful parallel lane of trees and a lot of small boulders. A little further I could see another Hill(dont know its name). As I continued on the path, a little further there was another sign with the Leopard photograph. I could understand much of what was written since it was all in Kannada, so I decided not to go any further.

I headed back. Backtracking, I took some more shots of the temple on the top. A lady was there early, selling fresh Cucumbers. I sat for a while… looking onto the city, enjoying one. Then I headed down, back to the bus stop. The bus was easy to get. In half an hour I was back home, satisfied with the practice I got.

The Temple is open from morning 6.00 AM to 12:00 PM and again later in the evening after 05:00 pm to 07:00 PM.


Photography walk in Lal Bagh

It was a beautiful sunny day with streaky clouds and a blue sky, kind of perfect to get my gear out. Mani had her JLPT examination so I dropped her off at Christchurch College and took a bus to Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens.

Lal Bagh is one of the major attractions “within” the city of Bangalore. Spread over almost 250 acres of landscaped terrain, the beautiful Lal Bagh gardens were laid out in 1760 by the famous Mysore ruler, Hyder Ali. The tickets are cheap (per head Rs.10) and you can also take a guided tour with in an eco-friendly buggy (per head Rs.100), or like me, just stroll at your own pace.

Heads up for tourists wanting to visit, they should start early since as day passes, it gets more and more difficult to breathe on the polluted road to this beautiful garden.

Lal Bagh Hillock

As I entered the gardens, the first thing one sees is a hillock. Its not too difficult to climb and a good starting point. Take a breather at the top and plan a path to your liking as you can view the whole area from here. This hillock is said to be one of the oldest rock formations on earth, dating back to some 3 billion years! There is a small tower at the top called the Kempe Gowda Tower. It also has its own history. The creation of the Bangalore or “Bengaluru” as its now called is attributed to Kempegowda. He established four cardinal towers defining limits to the “city.” This Kempe Gowda Tower is supposed to be the southern end of the city, though currently, Bengaluru has very much outgrown these boundaries and the tower is now more of within the heart of the city.

Lal Bagh Glass House

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I came down the hillock and decided to take a left on the well-laid walker’s path that runs along the periphery of the park. Although Hyder Ali initiated the gardens his son, Tipu Sultan, further developed and completed it. The garden has quite a few trees and plants imported from several countries. Along the path are rows of benches with Red Cedar trees on either side providing a wonderful shade on both sides. Along the way one can see the Glass House, built during the British Raj and is said to be modeled on London’s Crystal Palace. It was desolate at the time but I hear it serves as a venue for Horticultural Shows twice a year on Independence Day (15th Aug) and the Republic Day (26th Jan). Right next to the Glass House is The Bandstand. Prior to construction of the Glass House, Bandstand was the venue for flower shows.

Lal Bagh Lake

Further on I could see quite a few morning joggers. Apart from health enthusiasts, Lal Bagh gets anything around 6,000 to 7,000 visitors every day including quite a few foreigners. Beyond the flowers gardens there is a small lake. Lal Bagh Lake is man-made and was earlier just a gorge. The lake project was commissioned in 1890 to provide water to the garden’s plants. There are benches all along the peripheral of the lake, where one can sit and enjoy the beautiful scene of the two islands on the lake. I am not sure but I did spot a White-breasted Kingfisher. Walking by I reached the The Lotus pond, just adjacent to the Lalbagh Lake, and if you visit it during the blooming season, the whole pond is pink with lotuses. I crossed a small bridge and it led to a closed and deserted Lal Bagh Nursery. Well, I couldn’t allow myself to but sneak in. Some plants were lying here and there but no caretakers. I took a few photographs… not really satisfied.

After the nursery there is some wounding paths lined with street lamps. Completing a full circle, I saw some boys flying kites  at the back of the hillock. There is a small pond there and one has to go very carefully on the narrow path to the hillock. The wind picked up and I was able to take some very nice shots here. It took me around 2 hours to go a full circle. Right at the exit, I saw a sweet dog trying to get some shut eye on the bench. I had a delightful time exploring the place and would love to go again some time with Mani.

Every year on Republic day and Independence Day, a lovely flower show is organized at the Lal Bagh Botanical Garden.

Timings: 6:00 am – 7:00 pm on all days

Denise Taylor

Denise Taylor

Denise Taylor

Business web site design for a career coach. The site helps people from every section of the society avail valuable information regarding how to enhance their career prospects. We went with a professional blue theme.

Website Features

  1. Professional look
  2. WordPress Theme
  3. Banner slidehow with Nivo-Slider
  4. Content slider on home page with Coda Slider
  5. Google Web fonts
  6. Hand-crafted, semantic markup (HTML5)
  7. W3C Validated
  8. Cross-browser Compatible across Firefox, IE7, IE8, Chrome, Safari and Opera
  9. Best SEO practices including use of Micro-formats
  10. Using unordered lists for all navigational elements
Personality Assessments

Personal Assessments

Personality Assessments

Business web site design for a career coach. The site helps people from every section of the society avail valuable information regarding how to enhance their career prospects. We went with a professional blue theme.

Website Features

  1. Professional look
  2. WordPress Theme
  3. Banner slidehow with Nivo-Slider
  4. Content slider on home page with Coda Slider
  5. Cufon for rendering special fonts
  6. Hand-crafted, semantic markup (HTML5)
  7. W3C Validated
  8. Cross-browser Compatible across Firefox, IE7, IE8, Chrome, Safari and Opera
  9. Best SEO practices including use of Micro-formats
  10. Using unordered lists for all navigational elements

Merlinvicki reloaded

The new theme, visually a close spin-off from the earlier v2.0 theme boasts more Web 2.0, more socially connected and more machine readable (using micro-formats). Although under a bit of indecision, I finally decided to stick to the original pink theme. It’s easier on the eyes and does not cause distraction from the real content.

We are also proud to be running on WordPress 3.0, arguably the simplest to use of all CMS with wonderful power packed features. As a user, I love the new lighter interface, the contextual help on every, bulk updates so you can upgrade 9 plugins at once with a single click. I have also re-coded the HTML to support the great functionalities that HTML5 has to offer as more and more browsers start supporting them. I’ve also decided to dunk IE6 support.

Recently Mani has also started contributing some nice articles. The new theme gives her more space and individuality on the blog, so her followers can look forward to some quality articles from her.

Some more additions like the official Twitter button to count retweets and the Facebook like button gives the site amazing bookmark options. The most amazing thing about the Like button is that you can actually add a comment too while liking it. Two thumbs up to Facebook. They have really good user experience, one of the primary reasons I believe that have led to them flourishing so much.

Share your thoughts, add your comments or suggestions about the new WordPress theme.


Using RSS Graffiti with WordPress for a no fuss social connectivity

I installed RSS Graffiti on my Facebook apps today. It is an amazing Facebook application that takes the fuss out of keeping my Facebook friends and fans updated with the latest news from my blog. It periodically checks the RSS/Atom feeds that I specify and posts any new entries it finds to my Facebook Wall. If you are a blogger, this is one quick & easy way to drive traffic to your blog.

Here’s a quick walk-through, how to add your WordPress feed to RSS Graffiti on Facebook:

  1. Search for “RSS Graffiti” in Facebook Applications
  2. The first step in installing an application onto your Facebook page is to go to that application. In the search results. Simply click on RSS Graffiti to begin the process of installing the application on your Facebook page.
  3. Below the icon in the upper left-hand corner is a button that reads “Go to Application”. Simply click on the button to start the installation process.
  4. You will need to authorize RSS Graffiti to access your Facebook page. You do this by clicking on the authorization button highlighted in the picture. This will result in a pop up message box that confirms you are granting permission. Once you have confirmed that RSS Graffiti has permission to access your page, you will need to grant it permission to allow constant authorization and permission to publish on your Facebook page. Once you have granted RSS Graffiti these permissions, you are ready to begin setting it up to automatically post your RSS feed to your Facebook page.
  5. Set up the individual RSS feed you would like to install on your page (see hints below). I have Mani also posting on my blog so I used just my individual author feed, so her posts don’t cross-post on my Facebook wall. If you are the only poster just draw the main blog feed.How to add your feed in RSS Graffiti on Facebook
  6. You are set. RSS Graffiti. You can also add other feeds later. The simple dashboard gives you a fair picture of how many articles it has posted on Facebook and when it last checked your blog feed etc. There is also a refresh link to force-check your feed right then.RSS Graffiti dashboard

RSS Graffiti is a really wonderful potential tool for social networking. If you found the article useful please share your comments below.


My new HP dv4 notebook

My HP-Pavilion-DV4
I am so excited with my new notebook that I just had to write something about it.

The machine itself is a 14.1 inch widescreen, HP Pavilion dv4-2123tx model with scratch-proof outer cover and many niche stuffs to boast. It’s powered by Intel’s Core i3 processor with a neat 3GB DDR3 RAM. It is also equipped with a 512mb ATI Radeon Graphics card plus a decent Hitachi 320GB, 7200rpm hard disk.

It came with Window 7 Home Premium as the preloaded OS (that’s good since you can use Homegroup sharing with other Win 7 computers.) Then, there’s the usual plethora of peripherals, a built-in web-cam with 2 USB ports, LAN/WiFi, Multi Card Reader, Blue-tooth and 6-cell Lithium-Ion battery and most importantly the finger print reader(better security)

The guy at the sales told me the battery backup is good for 2-3 hours (know I can get better). Maybe I will get an additional 9 cell for backup, will set me back by around 5k.

Well that’s it. I love my new gadget (christened EVA by Mani) and wanted to share my fun with you. If you also own one, share your experience by leaving a comment below.



The creation and evolution of Kanji

Have you ever wondered how did the Chinese form Kanjis? Just like the Egyptian heiroglyphs, kanjis were formed observing the nature and its surroundings. Later the Japanese borrowed these ideograms from China for writing their own language.

The Japanese language also uses the kana scripts for writing those words and phrases which cannot be defined through kanji script. These two kana scripts are called hiragana and katakana (which is used to write foreign words).

Now lets learn the formation of some basic kanjis which is used in day to day Japanese language.

1. The Japanese call their own country ‘NIHON’ which is written as  ‘NIHON’        nihon . This is a compound kanji ( two or more kanjis put together). Lets see how it was formed.

The sun looks like3. The Chinese found that it took too long to draw the rays, so they shortened it to21 . Then later, to make it easier to write they changed the character to25. It is pronounced as ‘HI’ (pronounce as ‘he’) which means the sun. With other kanjis it is generally pronounced as ‘NICHI’.

Lets find out how the other character in the word ‘NIHON’ is formed. The picture of a tree6 was gradually simplified to8 then to 9 and finally into 10. This is how tree is written in Japanese, the character is pronounced as ‘KI’. To form the character of roots from the character of tree 12 was formed. Finally the roots were squared off into a straight line as11. Other than meaning root this character also means origin or source. It is usually pronounced as ‘HON’.

So now you know how to write NIHON or NIPPON which means “the origin of the sun.”

2.  Lets learn how to write TOKYO , the capital of Japan.  A sun rising from behind the tree7 symbolised east. They put together 101 (tree) and 251 (sun) to finally write the character 13 . It is pronounced as ‘HIGASHI’ meaning east and also forms the ‘TO’ of  TOKYO”.

The “KYO” in Tokyo was originally a picture of a Chinese lantern, which looked like 14. These lanterns were used by the Chinese Emperor and hence symbolised the capital. The character went through a final transformation from14 to15 and then to16 .  So the kanji for Tokyo is 26 .

3.  Now discover some easy kanjis. Say like person, a general word which can refer to either a man or a woman. The human form was drawn as 17 and then simplified to 19. It is pronounced as ‘HITO’ by itself and ‘NIN’ or ‘JIN’ in compounds. For example 18 ‘NIHONJIN’ which means a Japanese person.

4.  A man with streched arms and feet 20 meant big. Earlier this character was written as211, but now it is written as 22 . This forms the ‘OO’ in OOKII which means big. Also pronounced as ‘O’ or ‘DAI’ in compounds.

5.  A man with arms and legs pulled towards his side signifies smallness. It was first written as 23 and then 24 . It is pronounced as ‘CHII’ in the word CHIISAI which means small. The other pronounciations are ‘KO’ or ‘SHO’ in compunds.

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