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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Malayalam calendar in iPhone without using App.

Get Malayalam calendar on your iPhone default calendar without using any app. See important dates and star signs on the calendar.

If you need instructions to use the calendar in Android, click here.

Go to Settings in iPhone and click 'Mail, Contacts, Calendars'.

Friday, July 17, 2015

മലയാളം കലണ്ടർ ആപ്പ് ഡൌണ്‍ലോഡ് ചെയ്യാതെ നിങ്ങളുടെ സ്മാർട്ട്‌ ഫോണിൽ ഉപയോഗിക്കാം - Use Malayalam Calendar in your smartphone without downloading app.

നിങ്ങളുടെ സ്മാർട്ട്‌ ഫോണിൽ മലയാളം കലണ്ടർ ഉപയോഗിക്കാം. ആപ്പ് ഡൌണ്‍ലോഡ് ചെയ്യാതെ. ഈസിയായി.

To use the Calendar in iPhone, click here.

*** UPDATE ***

An easy method for Android users. Just send a mail to with the subject: Calendar Subscription and you will get the calendar on your device.

മലയാളം ദിനങ്ങളും നാളുകളും പ്രധാനപെട്ട ദിവസങ്ങളും നിങ്ങളുടെ ഫോണിലെ കലണ്ടറിൽ തന്നെ കാണാം.

ആദ്യം നിങ്ങളുടെ ഗൂഗിൾ കലണ്ടർ ( ലോഗിൻ ചെയ്യുക.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

BSNL recharge, friends and family, USSD and SMS new codes

BSNL Kerala introduces USSD Selfcare menu for Prepaid customers.

To know Own Mobile Number : Dial *888# 
To know Prepaid Account Balance : Dial *123# or Dial *124#
To know STV Balance : Dial *124*2# or Send sms STVENQ to 123
To know Data STV Balance : Dial *124*4# 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Should you use Login with Google or Login with FaceBook in other sites?

Many sites are offering the facility to Login with Google or FaceBook (using OAuth or Open Authentication). This is easier for us so that we do not need to create and remember passwords for these sites. 

Just a thought came to my mind that at a later time (not sure if this is the case now) Google or FaceBook will update their privacy policy such that they can use the information to login to the third party sites and index our data! Google is the biggest online advertiser, so they will use this data for sending adverts.

It may be okay to use this facility for kind of news sites, but for sites that have sensitive data, it is advisable to use a username and password combination.

Moreover, when using this facility to gain access to third party sites, we will be shown the list of permissions that we are granting to the third party sites. If we are giving offline-access, the third party site can access your Google/FaceBook account at any time without your intervention and will be able to post in Google+/FaceBook. So carefully understand and give permissions to your account to the third party sites.

Note: A new app by Intel and McAfee named TrueKey is now available which stores your credentials for different sites. The app then auto-fills the information on the login page. Worth trying.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Enable and use built-in (offline) Dictionary in iPhone and iPad

iPhone and iPad have provision to download and use dictionary so that you do not need to connect to the web to find the meaning of a word. The provision is hidden, though. To download and enable the dictionary, follow the steps below:

  1. Tap any word in an app (like Mail, iBooks, Browser) to reveal the menu to Copy, Define and Speak.
  2. Click Define.
  3. You will be shown a new window with a link 'Manage' to the left bottom.
  4. Click the Manage link.
  5. You will be shown a list of all dictionaries that can be downloaded to the device.
  6. Double Tap on the iCloud icon to the right of the dictionary that you want to download.
  7. To delete the dictionary, click the (x) icon that appears instead of the iCloud icon.
  8. Once the dictionary is downloaded, you can click the Define menu (Step 1 & 2) to get the meaning of the word.

Note: The dictionary files will be removed if you restore the iOS device and need to be downloaded again.

Monday, May 4, 2015

How to clear the browser cache for one web page.

The browsers cache a webpage on your machine when it is loaded, and on subsequent request show the data from the cache instead of requesting the server. You can instruct the browser to load the most recent version of the page from the server (called Hard Refresh) by the following steps.

Mozilla Firefox
Hold the Ctrl key and press the F5 key or, hold down Ctrl and ⇧ Shift and then press R.

Hold down the ⇧ Shift and click the Reload button or, hold down ⌘ Cmd and ⇧ Shift and then press R.

Google Chrome
Hold down Ctrl and click the Reload button or, press F5.

Hold ⇧ Shift and click the Reload button or, hold down ⌘ Cmd and ⇧ Shift key and then press R.

Internet Explorer
Hold the Ctrl key and press the F5 key or, hold the Ctrl key and click the Refresh button.

Hold down ⇧ Shift and click the Reload button on the toolbar.

Monday, April 27, 2015

What does the two letters (RM,BX,AD) etc in the name of SMS sender denote in India?

The two characters in the name of the bulk SMS sender denote the provider (1st character) and the region (2nd character) through which the SMS was sent. Below is the table to look up the provider and region. 

Provider List
Region List
A Airtel
A Andhra Pradesh
B Bihar
C Datacom Solutions
D Delhi
D Aircel
E UP-East
E Reliance Telecom
G Gujarat
H HFCL Infotel
H Haryana
I Idea
I Himachal Pradesh
L Loop Telecom
J Jammu & Kashmir
K Kolkata
P Spice Telecom
L Kerala
R Reliance Communications
M Mumbai
S S Tel
N North East
T Tata Teleservices
O Orissa
U Uninor
P Punjab
V Vodafone
R Rajasthan
W Swan Telecom
S Assam
Y Shyam Telecom
T Tamilnadu

V West Bengal

W UP-West

X Karnataka

Y Madhya Pradesh

Z Maharashtra

Reference: NDNC India

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Know your Bank balance through a missed call (INDIA)

Easily know your Bank account balance by giving a missed call to below numbers. The call will be immediately disconnected and you will receive the balance information as SMS to your mobile number. Your mobile number must be registered in your Bank for this purpose.

  1. Allahabad Bank 9224150150
  2. Andhra Bank 9223011300
  3. Axis Bank 9225892258
  4. Bank of baroda 9223011311
  5. Bank of india 2233598548
  6. Bhartiya Mahila Bank 9212438888
  7. Canara Bank 9289292892
  8. Central Bank of india 9222250000
  9. Dhanlaxmi Bank 8067747700
  10. HDFC Bank 18002703333
  11. ICICI Bank 2230256767
  12. IDBI Bank 9212993399
  13. Indian Bank 9289592895
  14. Karnataka Bank 18004251445
  15. Kotak Mahindra Bank 18002740110
  16. Punjab national Bank 18001802222
  17. Syndicate Bank 9664552255
  18. UCO Bank 9278792787
  19. Union Bank of india 9223009292
  20. Vijaya Bank 18002665555
  21. Yes Bank 9840909000

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Privacy in Internet - Avoid flash cookies

Due to some of the recent developments in the area, the browsers have a Do Not Track functionality which does not let the sites to identify a browser and ultimately you and your browsing habits. But the Ad providers are using Flash cookies which need to be blocked separately.
The method here is to block all flash content in FireFox and let the user choose which flash content to run. This has another advantage that unnecessary flash Ads will also not be played and thus saving bandwidth. An 'Activate Adobe Flash' message will be shown over blocked content. So, if you want to play a flash, click on the link and view it.
  1. Open FireFox and press ctrl + shift + A to open Add-ons Manager.
  2. Find Shockwave flash in the list.
  3. Change the button to the right end to 'Ask to Activate'.

Now if a site try to save flash cookie, you will see a notification below the address bar. You can now see how many of the sites you regularly visit are tracking you.

NOTE: This method is also not sufficient to avoid browser finger printing used by Ad providers. I will blog later on how to avoid browser fingerprinting.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Best way to get portable WiFi Internet in India for light or medium users

I think this post will benefit users who are thinking to get Internet in their mobile devices.

If you are a light internet user and have multiple devices, one way you can choose is to tether your connection with your devices. This will drain battery on your device. Otherwise you will need to buy Internet packs on all the devices which will not be a cost-effective method.

My plan is to have a single connection that can be shared with all the devices so that you need only one data plan and the devices will be connected with WiFi means less battery drain. The initial investment is a bit high though ;-)

The devices you need are:
  1. GSM WiFi dongle that usually supports 5 - 10 devices to be connected at once. (Sample)
  2. USB power-bank. (Sample)
  3. BSNL GSM connection with Internet. I chose BSNL as this is the cheapest with Rs.155 for 1GB data as of now and will support both 3G and 2G on this pack.
Setup is simple, slide in the SIM to the WiFi dongle and connect to a computer. You can add the WiFi security information (as you do while Tethering in mobile) in the page that automatically opens. You can select 3G only for faster Internet.
After this one time process, you can use the WiFi dongle in the power-bank and you can connect your devices. A 2100 mAh power bank can power the WiFi dongle for almost 12 hours.

Not just home, you can use this setup anywhere you want and the battery drain on your device will be less compared to using data in the device's connection. I believe with BSNL you can go anywhere in India and continue to use the Internet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Pictures of Kanyakumari, Madurai and Aattukal temple from some books printed around 30-40 years back.

Here are some pictures I found from the archives that are more than 30-40 years old.

Kanyakumari (Cape comorin as it was known at that time)

Cover page of the book

Photo of Sunrise at Bay of Bengal

Photo of Kanyakumari Devi Temple


Cover page of the book

Meenakshi amman

Main entrance of Meenakshi Temple, Madurai

The South Tower of Meenakshi Temple, Madurai

The Music pillars of Meenakshi temple, Madurai

Back cover of book. See the price. :-)

Aattukal Temple, Thiruvananthapuram

Front view of Rajagopuram, Attukal Temple

Ambala Vinayakar, Attukal Temple

These books have many other photos. If you like to see them, let me know.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Optimal settings for an iPhone to save battery (my experience)

There are lot of articles telling you to turn off many features in an iPhone to save battery and this is not one of those. I have been changing settings and get a best battery life for my iPhone 5c and with the following settings I am easily getting a 30 hour usage on a single charge. You can also try this.

UPDATE: I have written another post on how to setup cheap portable wifi. Check here.
  1. Switch off the battery percentage indicator (Settings -> General -> Usage -> Battery Percentage) and do not check the phone constantly to see if you got a notification.
  2. Use a louder ring tone (Settings -> Sounds) so that you are notified and use vibration.
  3. Use Auto-Brightness (Settings -> Display & Brightness) and set the level to the minimum that is comfortable to you.
  4. Use smaller text Text Size (Settings -> Display & Brightness) suitable for you. This will help you to read faster.
  5. Group the less-commonly used icons in folders so that you can access the productive apps faster.
  6. Facebook is one of the battery hungry app. Uninstall it if you have, there are other important things you should care about.
  7. Check that you have given Location Services only for required apps (Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services). Enable the Location Services only for apps that is useful to you. To the bottom of list there is a System Services item. Click on that and enable the Location Service only for Find My iPhone only.
  8. Use Cellular Data in utmost necessity. At places of bad coverage, it drains the battery a lot.
  9. Make sure to switch off WiFi and Bluetooth when not in use and lock the display orientation (swipe up from bottom in the home screen and enable the last icon on the top row)
  10. Enable Push notification for mails (Settings -> Mail, Contact, Calendars -> Fetch New Data) only when you require. Otherwise set the interval to Hourly to get the maximum battery.
  11. Switch off sound and notification center display for unnecessary apps. Go to Settings -> Notifications and disable notification. You will still see the badge with the number of notification above icon. You can also opt to completely disallow notifications for apps here.
  12. Do NOT close the commonly used apps. This will drain battery.
  13. Use Do Not Disturb (Settings -> Do Not Disturb) suitably.
  14. An advice from Apple: Change the phone to Airplane Mode (Settings -> Airplane Mode) in area of low/nil coverage to save battery.
You may try changing these settings as you like and see how it works for you.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

How is the price of some of products are kept constant for few years?

There is a joke about a person who is not concerned about the price of petrol. When asked he said "I don't care whether the price of petrol increase or decrease, I will only fill for Rs.100/-".
Do you know most of us have done this for years, may not be petrol, but for most FMCG goods?

Yes, if you notice the weight of the toothpaste that you have been using for years, you can see that it has been reduced while the price was maintained the same.

As we are only checking the price usually, we do not notice a small difference in the weight.
These are happening for lot of products.

Try to keep a watch on the price and weight from now on and see the changes.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

ColdFusion CFHTTP analogous to CURL

* This is a continuously updated post on the corresponding CFHTTP syntax for CURL. If you need help, send me a message and I will try to help.

I have been trying to integrate different APIs with ColdFusion/Railo recently and the difficult part is of course to understand the way the API is expecting data. Mostly they 3rd party will provide library or code for PHP and .NET, but not for ColdFusion. In some cases they provide the CURL syntax. I thought I will scribble my findings here so that it is useful for someone to write CFHTTP by seeing the CURL syntax.

File Upload 
  1. to post a file to the folder /upload to the server. The URL is
  2. the API uses Basic Authorization
  3. File name is test.png

curl -f file=@test.png ""

<cfset credentials = tobase64("#username#:#password#")>

<cfhttp method="POST" url="" result="upload_result">
     <cfhttpparam type="header" name="Authorization" value="Basic #credentials#"/>
     <cfhttpparam file="c:\test.png" type="file" name="file" mimetype="image/png">