Thursday, July 09, 2009

Tata Consultancy Services Embraces OpenOffice

OpenOffice.Image via Wikipedia
During a recent call with some folks at Bhubaneshwar, I was amazed to find them using OpenOffice for editing their word documents. Not that they enjoy that, but TCS seems to have replaced Microsoft Office completely with OpenOffice in that particular location.

I am not sure if given a choice they will start using Thunderbird, but Lotus Notes still is the favourite with TCS.

Mentioning about OpenOffice, there seems to be a much leaner and faster fork called Go-OO. I have not personally tried Go-OO but will do that shortly.

Going open source proves once again that where there is a will to save, there is always a open source app.

Speaking of which TCS has tried to contribute to the open source world in its own way. Check out the WANEM and Jensor projects in SourceForge.

Other organizations can take a few pages out of TCS' experiences and try replacing some expensive applications with its open source counterparts.

Way to go TCS!


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Friday, April 03, 2009

Add and Edit Subtitles with Jubler

I was interested in watching a Telugu movie which is a language I don't understand, but I wanted to because of the actress! Well Andy (Anandakrishna B) suggested he would translate the dialogues into english subtitles for me, but only if I could provide him a software which would help him in doing that. Now Andy is a very helpful and nice guy to do that for me, but that does not mean he does not appreciate working with a software which will not bog him down and has a short learning curve.

We would not have needed his help had the subtitle been packaged and put up online somewhere (usually http://opensubtitles.org). And neither would we have read this post. So here I went hunting for one of the simplest and easiest and above all open source subtitle editor for videos or movies.

It was on this worthwhile quest that I found Jubler. A very simple, innocuous looking application, which at first glance might not look too useful. Truth is that like the rest of the apps I try without reading its faq or help, I was not able to figure out a few of the options which Andy said he needs to have to be able to use it. But a quick read of the simple FAQ answered all my doubts and was enough for me to start adding and editing subtitles.

Jubler lets you add subtitles section by section of the movie. Lets you slide and sort the subtitles around the movie and also offset them if required. We can hear the dialogues and even play the movie while adding or editing the subtitles. Jubler, needs the mplayer video player to be also installed in your system to play the video. Mplayer luckily is open source and pretty famous as VLC. Its not mandatory that you have to have mplayer installed, cause you get to hear the audio track of the movie in Jubler itself and the start and end of a subtitle section is identified with snapshots of the section being edited.

Well Andy has got his app but when is he going to add the subtitles? That is something we will have to wait for, hopefully not long! Till then happy movie watching and happier and quick subtitle editing with Jubler.
Update: Andy has got me the subtitle and is so proficient with Jubler, he has plans for adding subtitles to many more movies. Thanks to Jubler he is a happy subtitle editor and me a happy audience for his movie collection!


Friday, February 06, 2009

How to "scrape" images from html page/websites

Mozilla FirefoxImage via Wikipedia

This problem first came up as a question in Ostatic.com which I had answered there. But recently it cropped up again while a friend of mine was trying to extract the images from a site. This could be helpful when we are trying to download pictures from albums hosted on sites which don't have a download option.

The best way would be to start using FireFox.
And then use any of the following addons/extensions.
Listed below are few of the open source options to achieve the same.
1. Video DownloadHelper
2. FlashGot
3. BatchDownload
4. Image Download

You could even try HTTrack with some changes to extract only the pictures from the downloaded offline webiste.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Touchfreeze - Freeze Laptop Touchpad While Typing

Touchpad and a pointing stick on an IBM LaptopImage via Wikipedia

Annoyed when you are typing a document and accidentally the palm of your hand brushes the touchpad, changing the position of the cursor in your document or accidentally clicking on an option. TouchFreeze is a simple utility for Windows NT/2000/XP that solves this problem. It automatically disables touchpad while you are typing text. Like syndaemon on x-windows.

I had numerous instances when while typing on my laptop my palm or the stray finger brushes on the touchpad and moves the cursor or clicks a different location of the screen. This can easily become a irritating nag for people like me who use a usual keyboard at work and the laptop at home or outside. That was when I found Touchfreeze. As its name suggest Touchfreeze will freeze or disable the system touchpad only when we are typing or using the keyboard.


This app is hosted on Google Code. In case you would like to search for some interesting open source options try searching for your application here. Sourceforge is still my first preference and continues to host some of the best open source apps.

This app has been released under the GNUGPL and the source is available.

For a spam and ad free clean system move to Open Source applications.

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