Friday, March 23, 2007

Modifying Windows Gadgets

One of the things I like to be on my desktop all the time is my ‘To Do List’. It keeps on increasing, and hence having a look at the list everyday is necessary to remind me that I still need to do those things.

Windows Vista comes with a cute and tiny Notes gadget with a sticky note kind of look. But it was too small for me and I wondered why they never had settings to decide its size.

I tried downloading some similar gadgets, but none was satisfying. They either lacked features or were too clumsy. After reading a white paper on gadgets, I found it was very easy to make a gadget of our own. But it was easier to modify an existing one with the features we wanted. :)

I took a copy of the Notes gadget source files from C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets\Notes.Gadget and placed it in C:\Users\Sameer\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets\LongNotes.Gadget folder. Edited the settings.html file to add a text box for height and modified the javascript files to change the height of notes according to the settings. It was that easy and I had the ‘Long Notes’ I wanted.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

My Windows Vista Experience

As Microsoft promised, Vista really made me say Wow! Everything looked pretty and clear. It was easy to find and manage things. The glass like Aero looks were impressive. Flip 3D feature wass interesting.

Already Windows is known for working slowly and I hated loading it with more utility software… But those Windows XP days, it was necessary… Windows Search was the slowest and hence I ended up using Google Desktop Search. For picture management, there was Picasa. Another utility I loved from Google was their side bar with useful gadgets.

Now it looks like Microsoft has integrated all these utilities as Windows features. Search box is everywhere and it works instantly. Windows Sidebar looks stunning with lots of gadgets available for download. Windows Photo Gallery works exactly like Picasa and gives more control on folders and displays more information about pictures.

Speech Recognition is well integrated and I managed to open a notepad file and write some sentences without touching the key board or mouse. But I had a tough time making the computer understand what I really meant (thanks to my accent!). It kept on wondering ‘What the heck you are talking?’

And the Vista Security feature of popping up a window with ‘Cancel or Allow’ question whenever I try to run something, makes me laugh again and again… after watching that Apple Mac’s new ad.

So what is the sad part of it? Well… with a Core 2 Duo Processor and 2 GB RAM, I expected my laptop to perform with supersonic speed. But it is not. Sometimes it takes really a good amount of time to get things loaded. Other than that, everything looks great. I will write more as I explore more features.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Have you heard about AGLOCO?

It was in the air since 2006. But I just heard about it through a forwarded mail that was no different from the normal spamming mails that tell you about making money from internet. But I was curious to know what that word meant (coz it sounded funny?!) and followed the link. I had to do a lot of googling to see that it meant 'A GLobal COmpany'. And their logo looked pretty cool and the motto was also interesting. "Own the Internet".

There were lots of such scams like this including the offer to own a piece of land in moon. I was always against these ideas and used to delete such mails just by getting an hint from the subject line.

Just in case, if you want to know more about what I found out by spending (or wasting) more than an hour on this, read on...

AGLOCO is a new internet startup promising its users to pay money for the time they spend surfing the net. It works on building up on the pyramid model where one user refers another one and benefits from the referral. You also need to install a browser toolbar which will be available later.

I always believed that there is no such thing as free money from internet. But further reading on AGLOCO showed that there was a similar venture named AllAdvantage and it actually paid its users, though ultimately it fell victim to the dot-com bubble burst.

Considering that Ad-words model from Google is now a successful model (and one of my close friends confirmed that he started getting money from Google by having Google Ad-words advertisements on his site) and the same Stanford MBAs behind AllAdvantage are the leaders of this startup, there is a chance that this could take off well.

If you google for AGLOCO you will find lots of sites and blogs, some supporting it and some against it. But nobody is saying that it is not worth trying.

So for the first time in the history of my internet usage :) , I decided to try it out and signed up using an email id I rarely use and using a referral code I got. If you also want to try this out use my referral code link by clicking at

I also would like to hear what you think of this.... :)

Some links for your reference:
AGLOCO site:
Venture Beat comment >
Wikipedia about AllAdvantage: