Windows 7 : Remove a program from startup

The number of times I have had to remove a program from my start-up sequence in windows 7 is quite large. And the shocker is, the number of times that I have stumbled in trying to figure out how, is pretty large too ! XP had this option nicely nestled in the taskbar and startup menu, and it longer is there.

Anyways, there is a much easier way to do this.

1. Hit the Windows button in the bottom-left of your screen (hopefully if you havent reconfigured your start bar)

2. Type msconfig in the run-text box ; and click on msconfig.exe from the Programs Search Results.

3.  Click on the startup tab

4. Select the programs you want to disable on startup and hit apply/OK.

5. And you are done. Hope this helps.


From Slashdot to Washington Post

Wow. I echo Gruber in saying  “This is to be filed in the “I-never-thought-I-would-write-this-headline” category!

Rob Malda (aka CmdrTaco), the guy who started Slashdot, and who had been the editor at large for this awesome community tech site retired from Slashdot a few months ago.

In his own words –

6 months ago I walked away from what might be the greatest job ever. I had meaningful work at a place i truly called home. It was a scary decision, but the right one: 14 years had managed to grind me down.  I needed to shake things up, but thats easier typed than done with a wife and two kids.

I took the time to play with legos, go swimming and watch cartoons (mostly with my kids… mostly).  I wrote.  I read.  I took naps.  It was awesome.

But 3 months later, almost to the day, I knew it was time.  Maybe it was my wife telling me that it was time to get out of her house, or maybe it was just reading the news every day and feeling like a lazy on-looker.  But I knew it was time to start doing something again.   Life is to short to watch it go by.

And yes, true to his style, he interviewed with 35+ people in a few months ! And he thinks he was found what he is most passionate about. Community building. News.Technology. He is going to be the Chief Strategist and Editor-at-large and working with the WaPo (Washington Post) labs. He would be working with new technology in the news aggregation arena. Good luck CmdrTaco!

The Smart Phone Addiction/Dependency


pic credit – salon de maria

Remember the time, when the only phone in the house was the black beetel phone that BSNL provided ? And the phone book that lay next to it ? (Some might argue and go back further in time, where phones themselves were not in common, but let us stay in my era).

Then came the cell-phone (mobile phone). And then people rarely were using the land-line phone. The book that lay beside it was also largely unused. The cell-phone had all the numbers stored. You just could not even remember your dad’s phone number, because you just always searched for appa-cell in the contacts of the cell-phone, and hit dial – all this without thinking.

Pan-shot-moving towards the office. Remember the computer ? Desktop or laptop. All your emails arrived there. (Ofcourse, the same proponents of the phone-was-not-even-there theory above would say the same thing about email, but jest me here, and lets stay in my era). All your calendar appointments were in Outlook on the machine. So when you were in office, you checked emails, and outlook reminded you of meetings with the familiar ding-ding reminder.

Then came the smart phone. There were no times when you were away from your email. You had information at your finger tips all the time. This can be good, and this can be bad. I am about to tell you about one bad effect, which I just realized. The meetings. Until the computer was there, I was forced to remember which meetings were when – Group meetings were on Thursday 9-10AM. But now, I forget. My mind, without thinking, pulls out the smartphone, looks at the next calendar app and reads out the next couple of meetings.


And why might you ask, that I am being so philosophical about phones and smart phones? My smart phone got stolen a couple of days ago, and I am using the good-old-Nokia Torch phone. And the only thing you can do in it, other than speaking on the phone, is to check the time. And yes, of course use it as a torch light.I have caught myself many a time, in the last couple of days, pulling out the time, to see when the next meeting is, or whether I have any unread time. Oh, the shock, to just see the time in plain black and white on the phone !

Jowar Roti Meals at Kamat

(Image credit: flickr user chocolate geek)

Went to Kamat Swad over the weekend. I had tried the Jowar Meals here before (well I had tried it at Kamat Bugle Rock), but the wife had not tried it before .This is one type of meals that is worth trying atleast once. My review of Kamat Swad and the Jowar Meals:

  • Excellent ambience – 3rd floor of Kamat Swad .
  • Directions: From Sony World Junction, Koramangala, drive towards BDA Koramangala. You will see a Panasonic show room on the left. Make an Uturn immediately. The Kamat is the second building on the left, once you make the U-Turn
  • Despite being the top floor, the A/C was tuned beautifully to be at the perfect temperature – not too cold, not too hot. Both the wife and me had the exact same comparison – it felt like being under a tree.
  • The 3rd floor serves only Jowar Meals. But I did see a family in the next table, for whom, the waiter had brought Idly from the first floor for the baby. Good customer service, Kamat. Keep it up. There are some hotels, who just go overboard with their rules.
  • The meal is served on a clean banana leaf.
  • Awesome buttermilk is served initially, and also topped up.
  • A dhokla type appetizer and toasted papad is served.
  • A few leaves – I have no idea what leaves – are served. Peer pressure made me swallow my pride and swallow the leaves as well 🙂
  • The main meal starts off with Holige (for the tamil folk – this is our traditional poli ; and for the Maharashtrians, this is the Puran Poli). Awesome stuff, especially with the generous spoon of ghee 🙂
  • 3 gravies and one raita are served. 2 of the gravies are legume based – sprouts, channa, peanuts etc. This brings out the similarity in food between the North Karnataka regions, and Maharashtra. There is one egg-plant based gravy. The gravy was consumed with gusto, and the eggplant was gingerly kept aside (I hate eggplant!!).
  • The star of the show obviously is the super soft Jowar roti’s that are served. A small cube of butter is initially put on the roti. You can ask for more if you want. But the roti’s keep coming, and coming .. until you say STOP. 🙂
  • Then white rice is served. And Sambar, Rasam, and curds.
  • An ice-cream with fruit-salad is the finisher.
  • The above is the special meal. The difference between the special and regular meal is that the special meal has the poli, and ice-cream etc.
  • Service is Ok. As regular readers would note, our bar was not quite met. We had to ask for refill of water.
  • Even before we were finished, the bill and 2 bananas (wierd combination) were brought and kept at our table. I guess that was an indirect suggestion to scoot.
  • Reasonably priced meal (Rs 160 per person)

The men in Black (Advocates Issue in Karnataka)

As much as I do avoid writing about political issues, I could not resist penning down my current frustration at what is happening in the Karnataka at the moment.

For those who are not in the know of what happened since Friday:

  • Some lawyers attack media persons. Police disperse this issue.
  • Later friday evening, some lawyers attack local people and media folk from upper floors of the court.
  • Police bring in force to control the situation
  • Lawyers threaten not to stop if half the force is not diverted elsewhere
  • Police in an attempt to placate the situation agree and divert some of the police force away from the court premises.
  • Some lawyers take advantage (was this planned?) and set fire multiple vehicles on fire (including police vehicles). Some rooms inside the court premises also ransacked. A magistrate chased.
  • Lawyers flee by changing into plain clothes through the back entrance.

Few things irritate me about this situation. A well known saying is that – “Two people whom one should tell the truth and the whole truth are doctors and lawyers”. Such is the respect that is given to lawyers in society. They are the saviors of law. They are the ones who fight for other people’s rights. It is disgusting to see these folks pelt stones at the common man, and set fire to police vehicles etc. If they had had any sense of moral responsibility towards their profession, they would have handled this situation in a much more dignified way (whatever the original reason for the fight was! Arnt they trained in making well pointed arguments?).

I, for one, lost a lot of faith in the lawyer community after this incident. And it is going to take a while to regain it. Not that the musings of this ordinary man would matter much to them.


Gear-shift your productivity

(flickr source: noloran)

Utilizing our mind-power, or for that matter even our physical body, is much like driving manual shift car. Neither can you always drive in first gear, nor can you always drive in top gear. Let me explain using a few points (like I always do). For some reason, my brain thinks always in bullet points (my wife makes fun of me for this always!).

  • You can get the max power when you are in first gear. Driving up a hill, passing a truck, … But you cannot keep in this gear all the time. Your engine can get stressed out. Is this not true with your brain as well? You can be in full-throttle for some time (maybe a few hours), but then you have to shift down and start cruising.
  • Cruising in top gear does give you maximum fuel efficiency. I relate this to the zone. When you put enough enthusiasm (see above) and get to the zone, you then cruise off by finishing your task quickly. Do you realize how when after you get your task done fully in the zone, you are still fresh and not tired?
  • At the same time, cruising in top gear is always not a good thing. You do need to shift up when you need to pass the next truck, or round the next bend, or maybe negotiate the next gradient. I relate these to the distractions and the times, when your brain starts to sag down a little bit. These are the when you need to throttle up and put on more power (in the form of enthusiasm) to get you back into the zone, so that you can shift down and continue cruising.

So when you next focus on your next high priority task, remember to shift down and up your gears so as to get max productivity.