October 19, 2006

Cool (Free) Web Services!

I've always had a penchant for finding really useful "cool sites" - mostly free web based services. Thought I'd love to write a journal-style book on it someday, a lot of new sites come up, lots get removed - so blogging is a better platform I guess - Enjoy! (This will be a regularly edited post - last updated on 08 July 2007)

PIM / Organization and Stationery
* Log your personal finances and track your historical spending trends - Expensr

* Print graph papers, Smith charts etc. at PDF Pad

* Create and print a cool foldable pocket organizer at PocketMod

Phone Stuff
* Call anywhere in the world - and talk on your phone! - Via Nick

* Find the Names Your Phone Number Spells - Via Manas Tungare

Health and Fitness
* Log daily workouts, get motivated and motivate others - Traineo

* Custom workouts based on your conditioning, experience and goals - Hyperstrike

The New Social Services ;)
* Quick, simple and easy blogging for everyone - Tumblr

* Pick from more than 100 social bookmarking links for your blog entries - 3Spots

* Create your free wiki with photo albums, ToDo, Calendar and more - JotSpot

Hobby and Craft
Yamaha paper craft
* Download, print and create 3D paper models of Yamaha bikes, animals etc. - Yamaha (Via Manuj Chandra)

HP Activity Center
* Check out TONS of awesome projects at the HP Activity Center - you can download PDF artwork and print it on HP recommended paper and then create some really fun stuff like albums and picture frames, calendars, cards, gift wraps and more - all for free!

Shrek fan like me?

Download and create some cool Shrek The Third prints!

* Create, maintain and despatch invoices for free - Blinksale

* Locate/post job listings for freshers - JobOKPlease

* Plan, print and share your trips and vacations - Yahoo! Trip Planner

* Read and share your trip experiences -
IgoUgo, TripAdvisor, WAYN, Raahi, HolidayIQ

* Find and book inter-city buses for transportation - RedBus

* Free accomodation worldwide through hospitality exchange -
The Hospitality Club, CouchSurfing, ExtraBed.in (for bloggers)

* Great holiday package deals (airfare + stay) from Jet Airways and Indian

* Satellite maps mapping minute details of every structure on earth! - Wikimapia

* Cheapest airfare, ticket booking, stay and vacation deals -
ClearTrip, MakeMyTrip, Yatra, TravelGuru, IXiGo, Arzoo, Travelocity, EzeeGo1

Video and Entertainment
* Watch online videos for free - YouTube, Vimeo, Gotuit

October 05, 2006

Google Wordmasters Challenge 2006

This time on my visit back home to Mumbai, I extended my stay by another week to participate in the Google Wordmasters Challenge - in response to an ad in the Times of India.

The ad challenged "word nerds" to register for an event to be held in Mumbai on October 1st and only 300 participants were to be accomodated.

Let's skip the yada-yada and get to the point - or the venue directly!

National College Bandra. Registrations done, I walked into a semi-packed auditorium with Google logos dancing about and curious participants sharpening their tools and discussing about them. We're given a sheet of paper which has 2 sets of 20 words each. Pick one set of words and use all of them in an essay more than 150 but less than 200 words. Fun no? :)

My set of words contained:

disagreement, insight, rethink, nerves, professional, adjust, viewpoint, democratic, motive, goodness, adamant, boss, meditation, accept, anger management, Einstein, differences, control, hurt, humane

Hmmm.... not bad I think. Spent 10 minutes of the given hour just trying to make sense and somehow trying to connect these words into a story. Another 10 minutes went in drafts and the last 40 mins. in the final entry, rechecking for typos... er... spelling mistakes and a word count.

Here's my final draft, although my entry varied a trifle bit with last minute changes...

"As far as I can remember, my colleague Einstein was always in disgreement with me and the rest of the team. Moreover, he was in complete denial of the fact that he was in fact, a control freak and an authoritarian in professional life.

He would act as if he was the boss in the team! But knowing him closely as a person, I knew his motive was not actually to cause hurt as he was as humane as they got. But we had real differences of opinion and viewpoints - and him being adamant about his, in most cases did not help. It only got on our nerves.

We were certainly willing to adjust and compromise once in a while. But what was really needed was a more democratic approach to his work. Then perhaps, he needed some anger management or meditation to gain insight into the goodness within him and how he could best apply this to his professional life."