06
Apr 08

Somnathpura Temple – Hoysala Stone Craftsmanship Exemplified

The seven hundred years old Keshava Temple at Somnathpura or Somnathpur, is a fine example of Hoysala stone temples. A very few such places exist. the craftsmanship of the stone workers, sculptors of the Hoysala period cannot be paralleled even today.

Also read the older post on the Somnathpura Temple (click here).

How to Get There ?

Somnathpura Temple is located in the south western direction from Bangalore, India. From Bangalore we can reach this place via Mysore Road or via Kanakapura Road. The Mysore Road would be the most recommended route to take.

Photo gallery follows, get to know what grandeur awaits you when you get there.

Photo Gallery (photos taken on Aug 20th 2006)

 


05
Apr 08

Install Older Extersions on Firefox 3 Beta

There is a pretty easy way of making older extensions compatible and successfully install on Firefox 3.0 Beta. This should make your test drive on the Firefox 3 Beta build a little more nicer.

Mozilla does not allow incompatible versions of extensions to install on FIrefox for some good reason. Incompatible extension may install through a backdoor,  but there is no guarantee if this will work at all and not cause trouble. Installing is one thing, but making it work is something else. So be cautioned, but if you would still like to try it out read on.

Nightly Tester Tool (NTT) extension –  Lets walk through the process with an example. In my case, AdBlock Plus extension was not compatible with Firefox 3 b5.

  1. Download  & Install the Nightly Tester Tool from this link (external link).
  2. Once NTT extension is installed, restart Firefox. After Firefox restarts, go to the menu : Tools -> Add-ons
  3. On the add-ons pop-up select the NTT plugin and click on  “Make All Compatible”.

The Nightly Tester Tool appears capable of  much more than making older extensions compatible. We will look at this extension itself some other day.

Systems Tested on :

  1. Firefox 3 Beta 5 – Mac OSX 10.5 (Leopard), 20″ iMac Core Duo (early 2006)
  2. Firefox 3 Beta 5 – Windows XP SP2, DeLL D630 Core 2 Duo

05
Apr 08

Srirangapatna – Photo Gallery

Srirangapatna is renowned as the island capital of Tipu Sultan during late 18th century. Srirangapatna has a lot of interesting places to see like the Darya Daulat Bagh, Tipu’s Mausoleum and of-course the famous island fortress of Srirangapatna.  Srirangapatna is 140km southwest of Bangalore and 15 kms from Mysore.

The Srirangapatna Fort popularly associated with Tipu Sultan, however the fort predates Tipu Sultan by a few hundred years to the Hoysala Period


10
Feb 07

Inquisitor 3 : Neat Enhancement to Web Search in Apple’s Safari Web Browser

The built in web search in Apple Mac Safari 2 & 3 web browsers leaves much to be desired in comparison to Firefox 2.0 ( or the new Firefox 3 Betas). This is where a nice little addon called Inquisitor brings in the much needed parity for Apple’s Safari web browser. When compared to Firefox’s (v2.0) built in search Apple Safari 2.0 and the Safari 3.1 lacks 2 very important features :

  1. Safari does not allow search engine customization. Only Google search can be used.
  2. Safari cannot provide live search suggestions like Firefox 2.0/3.0

Get Inquisitor 3 from the developer’s site located here [external link]. The developer has made Inquisitor freely available. The developer’s web page has link to PayPal for donation.

Installing/Uninstalling Inquisitor 3

Installation is pretty straight forward. The downloaded dmg file contains a installation app. Just execute the app and restart Safari. Inquisitor 3 now also works on OSX 10.5 (Leopard).Inquisitor, does not install in the Application folder, so in case you want to uninstall Inquisitor, you can use the same Install app – which gives an option for uninstalling Inquisitor 3.

Getting Started with Inquisitor 3

Once Inquisitor is installed and Safari is restarted, just try a web search on the Apple Safari’s search box on the top right hand corner. I just typed “Gone With the Wind”. Pronto, a beautiful pop up appears below the Safari search box with 3 site suggestions and some keyword suggestions. Inquisitor can use both Google or Yahoo to provide search suggestions. Check out the screenshot below. The way the search suggestion are displayed give Safari one up on Firefox 2.0. This looks so beautiful, so very Apple like.

Inquisitor default provides only Google search. New search engines can be easily added from the Inquisitor preference pane located inside the Safari preference pane. I quickly added Yahoo, IMDb and Wikipedia search for the predefined filters already provide by Inquisitor. For each search engine, I was required to provide a keyboard shortcut. All these were done in less than a minute. Inquisitor also allows adding on custom search engine. In my case I added Ask.com by adding the search url- http://www.ask.com/web?q=%@ .

Inquisitor 3 provides some basic configuring options. It also allows previous search history to be used to refine suggestions. With Inquisitor switching the search engine is not easy as in Firefox. The way it works i that the user is required to assign a unique keyboard short cut for each search engine selected. After the user types the search term in the search box, the appropriate shortcut keys needs to be pressed. By default, pressing enter/return results in Google search being used. In the screenshots above, I have assigned Cmd+Y for Yahoo search, Cmd+W for Wikipedia. If someone uses many different search engines, it will be a pain to remember keyboard shortcuts assigned to each search engine.

A work around for it is that as soon as the search key work is typed, wait for the pop-up to appear below the web search box (see screenshot on the left). Here there will be a list of search engines configured, use the mouse to click on the search engine you want to use for this search.

Conclusion & Recommendation

Overall, Inquisitor 3 is an excellent and high quality addon for Apple Safari web browser. It enhances the user experience on Safari web browser in a very neat way. Users should at least give Inquisitor 3 a try.

The reader should also check out the review of Acid Search addon for Apple Safari browser. Like Inquisitor, Acid Search allows customization of search engine in Safari, but cannot do search suggestion.

Test Setup Used for this review:

  • Safari 2.0.4 (419.3) Mac OSX Version 10.4.8 (Tiger), iMac 20′ with Intel Core Duo (Early 2006)
  • Safari 3.1 (5525.13) Mac OSX Version10.5.2 (Leopard), iMac 20′ with Intel Core Duo (Early 2006)

05
Feb 07

Netscape 9 browser on Mac OSX and Linux

After the windows only Netscape 8 disaster, there is Netscape 9 web browser being planned. Interestingly, according to this post [external link] in the Netscape blog, the Netscape 9 will be released for Mac OSX, Linux and Windows simultaneously.

For AOL Netscape has been a long and painful story of missed opportunity. Long back they could have used the Geeko engine as the default platform for their AOL browser. Instead they choose to persist with the Internet Explorer core and shut out the non Windows users. As a result, the Netscape platform became an non-entity in an internet ecosystem dominated by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

AOL has still not got it’s strategy right on what to do with the Netscape. The windows only Netscape 9, the super bloated Netscape 6 or even the new avatar of the digg-alike Netscape.com clearly illustrates this.

For a Mac user Netscape 9 will just be an alternative to Firefox or Safari. For Linux users Netscape 9 will just be an alternative to Firefox or Konqueror.
Considering how well Firefox web browser is doing, why do we need one more browser ?