Eye-Fi: Make Your Camera Wireless

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Eye-Fi. All opinions are 100% mine.

Whenever I go for a vacation, I take my camera with me and click loads of pictures to capture those moments forever. As soon as the vacation ends, the people around me make me feel that carrying my camera with me was the biggest mistake of my life. Every friend, relative I meet has the same old question to ask- “Where are the photos from your vacation?”. All of a sudden everyone around me mercilessly asks for the pictures without understanding the hassles of transferring and uploading all the pictures. Whenever I decide that its about time and I should transfer the photos to my computer, I waste an hour looking for the USB cable which often ruins my plans of transferring the pictures. Eventually, the photos stay in the camera till my memory card gets full and I have no option but to transfer the photos. Does this sound familiar? I’m sure I’m not the only one who faces this problem.

I definitely need something to make photo sharing simpler. Eye-Fi is a Wi-Fi enabled SD card. Sounds interesting? Read on. Just insert the eye-fi card into your existing camera, snap photos and videos and all you need to do when you go home is to turn the camera on with your computer or wireless router on. It automatically transfers all your pictures and videos to your computer and organizes it in date based folders. It can also upload your photos and videos to your favorite web sharing site like Flickr and Facebook. Here’s a video that shows how the eye-fi card works-

To give you an idea of how good it can be to have a eye-fi card, consider a situation when you’re on a vacation and you don’t have access to a computer. You run out of memory and you need all the pictures stored in your card. Sounds like a very probable situation, doesn’t it? You are helpless if you own an ordinary card. If you are using a eye-fi SD card, all you need to do is step into a Wi-fi hotspot and turn your camera on. The pictures and videos will be uploaded to your favorite sharing site and you can free space on your card without loosing your photos. So if you’ve had enough of depending on the unreliable USB cable and memory card reader that get lost very often, switching to Eye-Fi can truly make your camera wireless.
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LAMP Installation On Ubuntu-Easiest method

For noobs, LAMP stands for Linux Apache MySQL PHP. If you don’t know what LAMP stands for, you probably have no business installing a LAMP server anyways. Installing LAMP on Ubuntu is pretty simple, you just need to install Apache, MySQL and PHP. I know there are many tutorials on how you can do a LAMP server install on your Ubuntu installation but most of them have long steps explaining how you should install and configure each part. This post is meant to tell you the easiest way to install a LAMP server.

If you are using Ubuntu(or any Debian based Linux distro), installing LAMP is easier than you can imagine. Just open a terminal and run-

sudo tasksel

This should show you a list of prefined software collections. Just select LAMP server and select OK. That’s it. Just sit back and relax while your LAMP server is being installed 🙂

Noesis 2009

Finally my blog readers get to read a post on my blog. For people wondering where I’ve been all this time, I have no answer except for the fact that I’ve been too busy with college. Hopefully this long post marks the start of frequent posting on my blog.

Noesis 2009 was organized by Vision, the technical society of MANIT Bhopal on 5th and 6th September 2009. It was a two day inter-college mega event. The event consisted of different events addressing different faces of technology. Every department had its own events. The events were-

1.Crime Scene Investigation (General Event)
2.Chem-Zone (Chemical Event)
3.Contrivance (Civil Event)
4.Cryptex and Codecraft (CS and IT event)
5.Didactronics (ECE Event)
6.Ecotecture (Energy Event)
7.Genestein (Bio Informatics Event)
8.Mechatreak (Mechanical Event)
9.Tatva Bodh (MSME Event)
10.Trical Bykes (Electrical and Energy Event)
11.Sci-Tech Quiz
12.War-Zone (Gaming Event)

The events I, being an IT student and a programmer by, was bothered about were CSI, Cryptex and Codecraft. Codecraft was an online submission event. There were around 15 programs to be submitted and I didn’t notice the deadline on time so I didn’t bother submitting the questions. Anant Khaitan (aka GNUger), 3rd year IT bagged the first place in Codecraft. My team managed to get a 2nd place in Cryptex, read on to know the full story.

Here’s a description of Noesis 09 from my perspective-
Noesis was a team participation event. Each team comprised of 3 people and registration fees was Rs 200 per team. I chose two of my good friends and classmates Shilpesh Mishra and Nishant Maloo as my teammates. I, for some reason, had decided that I wasn’t going to look for a winning combination while selecting my teammates so I chose my friends over anyone who could add better value to the team.

Day 1: I reached the registration desk on time and there were loads of people who reached there according to Indian Stretchable Time. The event was bound to get delayed by a couple of hours and it did happen. The day started with a short opening ceremony in the SAC. It was shortly followed by the first event, CSI.

Crime Scene Investigation was an interesting concept, a fun event but I feel it the alloted time wasn’t enough and my team didn’t feel like using our brains early in the morning over solving a murder mystery. I and Shilpesh didn’t take CSI seriously at all. Nishant was comparatively a bit involved in the event. We used the CSI time to have our lunch and gear up for Cryptex which was supposed to be held after lunch at 2:00 PM.

Now it was time for the most important event of Noesis, Cryptex. Cryptex was an event that was designed to test participants in every domain of the CS-IT field. On Day 1, the preliminary rounds of Cryptex were conducted in the SAC. There were 3 rounds on Day 1 of Cryptex. The first round was Techno-tale which was a Cryptography related event. It had a tech crossword and decoding questions too. People in general found round 1 a bit tough and I guess the scores would’ve been pretty close in the round. Round Two was Iconizer which was about identifying logos, tag-lines, pictures. It was extremely easy and the toughest it got was the logo of Debian. I managed to get a great score in that round. Round Three was Conundrums. It was a 75 question quiz that had 70 MCQs and 5 subjective questions related to programming in C, C++, Java and there were questions related to UNIX and Linux. This was supposed to be done in 30 minutes. I manged to do pretty well in this round too. A good question I can recall is

Write a Hello World program without using semicolon

At the end of the 3rd round, we were told that the top 30% teams would qualify for the Second Round of Cryptex. After the preliminary rounds of Cryptex, there was a performance by the college band Paradox and dance performances by the members of the society Roobaroo. It was followed by a Teacher’s Day special event for the teachers. That was all for Day 1 of Noesis. By the end of the day, I was confident of qualifying for the second round and my teammates were more confident than I was :).

Day 2: The first thing we did on day to was to confirm that we had qualified for further rounds. 30 teams had qualified and my team was one of them. For the rest of the teams, an auxiliary event was conducted through which 2 teams were given Wild Card entry to the Grand Finale.

The day 2 main event was Codex. It was a 90 minutes long event completely based on coding. The paper had three sections, the first one had MCQs and objective questions based on coding. A really nice question I remember and could solve was-

Write a fast way to multiply a number by 7 without using * and any loops

There were other output questions including tricky ones like one on the Lexical convention. Section 2 consisted of two programs that were not too tough but not too simple either. Section 3 was a cryptography section that had a long program that was supposed to be understood and we needed to find the input for which the given output would be generated. It was a nice section and I managed to do that one easily. After Codex, the top 5 were supposed to be selected from the 30 shortlisted teams. I had just a slight hope of making it to the Finals. The result of Codex was out at around 1:30 PM and my team had made it to the Finals.

Now it was time for Seven teams to battle it out in the finals of Cryptex at 2:00 PM. The Finale had 2 parts-Testing and Programming and Hardware Trivia. Testing and Programming had 9 questions- 7 questions were testing questions in which we had to check the conditions where the given code would run abnormally or would not perform the desired operation. There were 2 programming questions which were not too tough. The total time alloted for the Finale was 2 hours. Hardware Testing was an interview type round. Teams were called one by one and asked to identify the different parts of a Motherboard. Hardware Trivia was very simple and my team did pretty well.

I attempted almost all questions in the Grand Finale but for some reason, I felt that we weren’t going to get a podium finish. I had a word with other participants but none of them seemed to be confident except for GNUger and his team which everyone predicted would grab the first place. All I had in mind was that I was going to get a certificate for being a finalist. I was having an ice-cream with a friend when the results were announced and I was shocked to hear that my team bagged the second place. That was followed by a very excited me jumping around in public to meet my teammates and celebrate. The third position was bagged by another team from my class- Ayush Agrawal, Prateek Gupta and Amit Gupta. I was considering those guys to be good competition and they didn’t disappoint me. Congrats guys, you did a good job 🙂 .

Then I went to the SAC and saw the finals of the Sci-Tech quiz and a play on Sherlock Holmes waiting for the prize distribution. Finally when it was time for the prize distribution ceremony. My team got a cash prize of Rs 600, two free courses on Ethical Hacking by HCL CDC and a 20% discount coupon on CCNA/Linux by HCL CDC.

Noesis ended up to be a big success in all terms. The participation was high, the events were really good, it was well organized, I had lots of fun and last but not the least, the prizes were nice. In short, I had a great weekend and the credit goes to Noesis.

The World Through My Lens

People who know me well or have known me from my childhood, know that I wear contact lenses. Many more people know this fact now that I’ve mentioned about it on my blog. Well my contact lenses are not the only lenses I use. I often take pictures from my camera (Canon Power Shot A430) and my mobile phone (Motorola L9). I haven’t really shared any pictures online yet. I have a Picasa Web Album and a Flickr account but I just didn’t feel like uploading picutres.

This was my story until recently I realized that I have all the time in the world to start sharing photos. So I’ve decided to maintain a photo gallery. I bought hosting a few months ago and have lots of unused space and bandwidth. Thus I decided to host my own photo gallery. I considered Gallery2 and even installed it using GoDaddy’s Hosting Connection one click installer. I found it good but something about it just didn’t feel right. So I gave ZenPhoto a try through my Dreamhost Apps account as GoDaddy doesn’t have a 1 click installer for ZenPhoto. It turned out to be nice. In fact I found it better than Gallery2. It had all the essential features I needed and was easier to use. So I decided to go for ZenPhoto.

Installing ZenPhoto was the next step. Installation was not as simple as I expected it to be. I think needed to make some changes to the .htaccess file and also needed to create a php.ini in the gallery folder to satisfy a few installation requirements. Overall the installation was easy and the setup guide was useful in troubleshooting installation problems.

So that’s pretty much all it took to set up my own hosted photo gallery at http://gallery.namanb.com. I haven’t put up many pictures yet but I’ll be putting quite a few pictures soon. I made a short visit to Udaipur this June and I’ve uploaded the pictures of the visit on my photo gallery.

So now you can see The world through my lens, which happens to be the present name of my photo gallery at http://gallery.namanb.com.

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