At work, I have bunch of batch files which take an export from Oracle database, compress them and move them to their respective folders. In addition to this, the scripts also copy the Oracle forms executibles (“fmx”), reports (“rdf”) and other miscellaneous files to the backup locations and these are further compressed. The compressed files are then transferred over to the SAN.
After a long (happy) time with my Dell Inspiron 1520, my previous laptop’s age was catching up – the processor was a bottleneck, the 8600m GT was akin to an oven stove. Figured this would be the best time to get a new laptop. I’ve mentioned previously as to why I chose the HP Envy 14 – you might want to read up that. Like most of the items that I’ve purchased in the past year or so, the Envy 14 was also bought from HP store with certain changes as compared to the base model. Some of them include:
- Opted for an Intel Core i5 520M instead of the base Intel Core i3 370M.
This option bumped the rate by about $100, but I felt it was worth it – going by past experience where I settled for a bare minimum Core 2 Duo T5250 – a decision which I kind of regretted since my processor was holding back severely. (Side note: The i5 520 is no longer available in HP store and has been replaced by the i5 560M.)
- Bumped hard disk capacity from 320GB to 500B
You can never have enough of available space.
- Lower resolution screen
Opted for a 1366×768 resolution screen, instead of a 1600×900. I really do believe that 1280×800 / 1366×768 resolution hits the sweet spot for 14/15″ screens. Here’s a glance at the laptop specifications.
Hard to believe, but it’s been two months since I’ve been in Austin. Let’s rewind back to my flight details.
As mentioned in my previous post my flight was due to depart at 04:45, and I would have to reach at the Airport by atleast 2AM. Since I didn’t have a vehicle, I called up a call-taxi and arranged for it to come at 01:30. The airport was about 45 minutes from where I stay, and wasn’t sure about the traffic (if any – plus it was kinda stormy that night/early morning) so revised the taxi timings and asked him to come over at 01:15.
I spotted this question on Super User about creating parameterized queries in Excel 2007 and attempted to answer it – as I thought it would be pretty easy.
And well – it was easy – the part part where you create the query, that is. Now creating parameterized queries – now that’s something totally different. I searched around a bit for documentation on doing so – and found that any articles on the same were woefully inadequate. To be specific: There are plenty of articles on how to change the parameters – just head over to Properties -> Query Definition -> Parameters. Ok, cool. Now hang on, the Parameters button is disabled. How the heck am I supposed to get it enabled ? I had a ball of a time trying to figure out a way to do it – and in the end, found the answer, and posted it. Figured might as well post it here for my reference… and for others who are searching for a way to do the same.
You owned and used a Dell laptop until now. Recently you purchased an HP Envy. What factors influenced you in choosing HP over Dell or even Acer, Asus for that matter? No beer for short answer.
Posted as an answer to Ashwin’s formspring me question
I had rather definite set of requirements that I was not going to deviate from:
– A 14″ screen
– Decent graphics card
– NO Full HD resolution on the screen
– Bonus marks for looking good
– Price not exceeding $1200
Let me elaborate on each of these points:
1. The 14″ screen – Why 14″ you may ask ? Considering that my previous was a 15.4″ screen you might think this is a downgrade. My reason was – weight. The difference between a 14″ and 15″ screen, in terms of weight is perhaps about 600-800 grams (on an average ?) – and this might seem small – but boy oh boy, when you travel( I realize I don’t travel much, but when I travel its _long distance_) every bit helps (hurts?) and when you stand for hours in queue, it hurts bad – and affects my back and shoulders for the next couple of days.
2. Decent graphics card – No brainer. I’m a gamer ( though my gaming has drastically reduced) – I do go on a gaming spree once a while and I didn’t want to be limited by this.
3. No Full HD resolution – Trying to get a non Full HD screen is increasingly difficult. Full HD screen ( ie, 1920×1080 resolution) on a small screen is a joke – the text becomes so freaking small it severely strains the eyes. You can do things like increase the DPI, but the effect still lingers. ANother thing is to reduce the resolution. But hey – WHY bother getting Full HD then ? And God save you if you try to play any games at Full HD resolution with those piddly onboard graphics.
4. Hey, I’m carrying it all around!
5. Getting light laptops under this budget, with all my requirements is tough 🙂
HP Envy wasn’t my first choice – though. Had a look at various others:
Asus ROG series – but they were too bulky, no 14″ screens, and the 15″ screen model was obsoleted, and new one was introduced – and I didn’t have time to wait ( not because I didn’t have patience – but this is currently NDA 😉 )
MSI had decent alternatives, but again the weight factor, and lots of complaints from users. Plus almost nil service/support in India.
Acer – Mmm yeah, Acer would perhaps fit for bit low on the budget, but not at this price range. Also, none of their laptops have what I needed.
Alienware – AHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAAH. Um, yeah. Waste of $$$ for a below average config and freaking bulky set. Sorry, for rich n00bs only.
Dell – Wouldn’t mind Dell again, but same problems – no suitable laptops
Gateway – Again they had nothing I wanted, plus now Acer backed & no support in India.
After all this analysis, going through the ‘web and some Ad hoc queries over at Chip, concluded on getting an HP Envy.
So would that be a Keg of Beer or a 2L of Chivas ?
Background: For the past few days weeks, I have been working on a way to export selective data from one schema to import into another. Now the problem is that “selective” data refers to the data as stored across various tables in the custom application that I’ve been working on, with elaborate relational links between the tables ( if you’re curious, the table count on the related data was about 65) – so it was not just couple of tables that I had to export.
Well, I’m heading back to Austin for a second stint. Had an amazing time the last time I was there – was there for almost a year. Learnt a lot – technically & otherwise. Unlike last time when I had a flight from Chennai to Mumbai and then a direct Mumbai to New Jersey flight ( with a Mumbai International Airport to boot) – this time, the flight will be from Chennai.
The route would be Chennai – Doha – Washington – Austin. Worst part about this journey is that flight takes off at 04:45, and I would have to reach there by atleast 2AM – which means – Goodbye sleep. Will be reaching Doha by 06:45 for a 2 hour stopover. The connecting flight leaves Doha at 09:00 and would reach Washington at 16:00. The final flight to Austin is set to depart at 18:50. I’m a little worried about this difference – I’m not sure if this difference is enough for me to finish off the formalities – especially the immigration part. Lets see how it goes. Hope it will not be anything like the last trip!
I’ve been looking for a reliable VPN client, one which works well on Windows Vista / Windows 7 and especially one which can connect to a IPsec’d Cisco VPN.
Of course there’s Cisco’s default VPN client but the one given to me is a crappy old 4.6 version, and works only on Windows XP. Tried to get the AnyConnect version, but after PITA registration and deep digging into a hopelessly unnavigable site, found that I cannot download it using a “standard” registration account :-\
Anyhow, I’ve been using ShrewSoft’s VPN Client for now, its pretty neat, user friendly(well, unless you’re trying to create a new connection anyway) , works great and can import Cisco’s pcf profile files as well, saving you the trouble of having break your head in configuring one.
So, go grab it now!
(PS: Haven’t yet tested the Linux version, will post on my Linux blog after trying it out)
If you’ve been reading my blog or know me, you probably know that I have a rather regular set of vacation times – ie, a week’s break once every three months or so. This time, however it was slightly different, and it had been about 5 months since I had taken a break. Let’s go back in time for a bit, however.
Its been a very busy, hectic past few months. Besides my
day night job( I work at US timings, PITA), I’ve also started contributing to techie-buzz, though my day night job takes a whole lot of my time, and I’ve not been able to contribute much. My Linux blog and as well as this blog has been lying almost in a coma state. I plan to start posting some articles now and then, got it in shipshape with a new theme, so watch out! I’m still pretty active on twitter ( again, not as active as I used to be – even with my “low” activity I keep getting requests not to spam the timeline :p). I’ve been fairly active on posterous though.
I started using tumblr as my tumblelog, but switched over to posterous. The primary reason for switching over was at that time, tumblr was incapable of handling multiple attachments – it’d post the first attachment and discard the rest. Started looking for alternatives, and posterous caught my eye. Its unbelievably amazing how simple posterous is. Just send an email to [email protected], and you’re done. That’s it. That floored me over.
I’ve been actively involved in Web communities for quite some time, and now time constraints mean that current my involvement is at Chip forums where I’m the Super Moderator and at SuperUser( with rep of 7.1k ) – The StackOverflow for Power Users. I also lurk around in Meta – there are some good discussions over there. When I get some time, just drop by Reddit, Hacker News and TED.
Coming back to real life, as mentioned I’ve been pretty deeply involved in work, and come this Wednesday, I’ll be taking a break for about 10 days ( after a span of about 5 months, I believe). Initially, the break was meant just for the weekend – the plan was to head to Thrissur, Kerala and then hop back to Chennai. I decided to extend the plan, and head over to Mangalore to take a break. Deepti, Ankit & the rest proposed that we meet up at Cochin for the weekend,and so it was settled. So, currently the plan looks like:
Jun 23rd: Chennai to Thrissur
Jun 24/25: Thrissur to Cochin
Jun 25 – Jun 27: Cochin
Jun 27 – Cochin to Mangalore
Jun 28 - July 4th: Mangalore
Will be good to take a nice break. Hope I don’t calls regarding work, my experience says I will get it :/
Got nothing planned in Mangalore, lets see how it works 🙂