Wednesday, February 20, 2008

In a flat world - I

I do not know how many parts I will be writing in this post. But since I have been reading the book 'The World is Flat' by Thomas L Friedman for a long time now, that is almost since the first week of January, completed more than half of the book, and liking it continuously, I think I can write a lot on this Flat world.

The author has given a list of things, ten in number, that are making the world flat today. But there is, to be very specific, one, that I have been using for a long time now. And that flattener is Google.

Friends, maybe I am obsessed with Google. But I think if it is so, it's worth it.

Well, I do not know how many of you use Google how efficiently but I would like to tell you here how much and in what manners I use Google. As long as I am online.

Google starts with web search. Web search for general knowledge, studies, projects, movies' details, songs, or simply time pass. May be I have left a number of categories I search for. Then, the very next, image search (going by the order on the Google home page). Image search of Google is used for various reasons, to find various things. From pictures required in assignments to movie posters. From beautiful girls (under censored language) to my changing profile pics on Orkut. Google image search only gives meaning to all JPEG, PNG, BMP and other such words. The next one, news, is though a thing I do not search through 'Google News'. But still, almost all the news are found through the standard Google homepage.

Then comes my dear old Orkut. Whatever I say about Orkut is less. I have used Orkut for a lot, lot many things. I have found lost friends on Orkut, have talked to them sending 200 scraps in a day (to one person only) when the reply option didn't exist, have talked to anonymous people on scraps, spent whole nights visiting profiles of girls with different algorithms, collected people of my own town from around the world under the community called Najibabad, gathered information regarding admissions, colleges etc, even provided information to many, shown my power (when there was a race among us friends to have the maximum number of friends, though trying to lessen the number now), and what not.

Then comes the Gmail. A forever favorite. Currently I have at least 5 Gmail accounts running out of which i use 3 regularly. Also, my college has assigned a new mail account in the name of college provided actually by Gmail, making my new Gmail id. Basically after using Gmail I do not want to use any other mail. Recently I tried AOL mail after using which I could say it was 'Not Made for India'. I was really pissed off as I could not send even one mail properly from the American giant's mail.

Then come the two things, Google Books and Google Scholar, which I rarely use. Actually I have hardly ever used Scholar except for the main Google search engine but after seeing the papers available there, I must say it is going to help people, including myself, in their assignments and projects.

Google blog search is another interesting thing. It has found me things I could never reach through the normal web search. One day I simply searched the name of a friend and I came to know he's running a blog about which hardly anyone knows. I also search blogs when I simply want to know people's view about something, be it Raj Thackeray or my college VIT Vellore.

Photos is one thing I could not use yet as I do not have proper internet connection to upload my pics. Still, I find Picasa really useful and better my photos using Picasa as Adobe Photoshop is too heavy a tool for me.

Then there is 'Blogger' through which I broadcast all the crap that comes to my mind. And those Google alerts in which I used to write any person's name I wanted to know about and get all the info on my mail (I had hundreds of mail alerts in the name of Sania Mirza once, to keep me updated) And the desktop search that searches every item on my hard disks with the speed of Google. Wow!

And even though I don't use Google's docs and spreadsheets as I have Microsoft office on my computer, I cannot afford to forget Gtalk that I use to talk to a number of people simultaneously. In fact I have talked to 4 people at a time in the Gtalk embedded in Gmail too.

Well, being a computer engineer, I do not want to tell you how much I search on google code. It'll tel you too much then. :)

Well, that is how Google makes my world flat. that is how I access information from all the corners of the world today. And that is how my life goes on Google.


Manasa said...

Thank you for the encouraging comment on my blog. Now that you mention about Shankar Mahadevan's concert, I do think it was Day 3. I must've blogged it on the 4th day.

I use Google products a lot too. I use all the things that you've mentioned that you use and I also use the gmail mobile browser so I can get instant access to my gmail inbox wherever I am. Not to forget Google Reader - all new updated content at one place.

Manasa said...

Hello Harshit,
Well, to be honest, I don't know much HTML or CSS or XML. I changed the width of my page by logic and luck. Thankfully, Mr. Douglas Bowman (who created the template) has designed it very systematically. So it was easy to guess what was to be changed. I don't know what your template looks like, but here's how I reasoned it out:
There was this structure:
background: $mainBgColor url("") no-repeat right top;
font-size: 85%;
word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
overflow: hidden; /* fix for long non-text content breaking IE sidebar float */
Well, it's simple after this, I just changed 700px to about 1000px. When I did this, the sidebar was at the bottom of the page and not at the side. So, I also changed the value of 'width' in this structure to a larger value:
#outer-wrapper {
background: #999;
margin:10px auto;
font: $bodyFont;