All posts by zilhaz

FROM LOSING MY FATHER TO BECOMING A FATHER

THE REAL LIFE LESSONS that truly matter, matter so much so that they change us to the core, only come from the death and birth of our loved ones. At the beginning, right at the moment of the crude instance of death or birth, these lessons make all other teachings, learning, advice and idioms meaningless. Then when the intensity subdues and we come to terms with the newly learned lessons from death or birth, all other teaching, learning, advice and idioms become meaningful, or develop new meanings.

It has been two years since my father left from this world. And it has been three months since our daughter arrived to this world. In statistical terms, the equilibrium remains the same. But in my own world, the void created by my father just recently started to shrink a little. My daughter is not filling up the void left by my father, instead, she has brought an entire new world to me. But the eternal nature of time-flow and the happy-dad phase of my life have started decreasing the intensity of my thoughts about my father. In the first year of my life without my father, the thoughts of my father used to strike me with sheer intensity without any regard for time and space. Say I am in an office meeting, and from out of nowhere, the thoughts of my father strike me and the whole world starts to fall apart. Now, those thoughts are more controllable, less frequent. But I do not want that. My father is only living in my thoughts now. Sad but true, my father will not live in my daughter’s thoughts. She did not even see him. At most, he will be living as a never-seen-grandpa in her knowledge, but not in her vivid memory. Then one more generation later, he will not live in anyone’s thought or knowledge or memory anymore. And I cannot do anything about it. The only thing I can do is keep him in my thoughts, in my prayers, as long as I live. I recently realized that I do not even want my thoughts to bring him to me with such intensity so frequently. Bringing his memory with intensity simply means bringing grief into my fulfilling life (which now revolves around my daughter and my other loved ones).

And this realization makes me feel selfish. Now again, I want my thoughts to bring my father to me with all the intensity it can amass, ignoring time and space.

Going back to the lessons I learned from the death of my father, I do not think I have the skills to write such deep thoughts or even enough conscious thinking skills to put them into words. These lessons reside only in…I do not know where, maybe in my soul, although I do not know what the soul is. The ambiguity of these lessons make them so much atypical from conventional wisdom.

Sometimes, I have complex, difficult problems in my life. I sit to pray so that God helps me to overcome them. But soon after starting my prayers, often I find that I am praying for my father. And then my problems, complexity, hurdles, obstacles, everything becomes so insignificant, pointless. It might be the last prayer of my life. Should I use up this opportunity to pray for my personal trivial problems? My father cannot pray for himself anymore. How can I be that selfish? I do not know why I am writing it here. Maybe that’s the kind of lesson that I am talking about in this post, maybe it is not.

I have been thinking about writing this post for a long time. I believe, writing is the best way to preserve memory. Even our own memory which is safely and nicely stored in our neuron cells can mess up facts and cases big time. ‘False memory’ is an interesting topic in psychology. But if you write something from the core of your heart and if you look at it after ten years, the writing will not only remind you of the facts, but also the emotions, even the intuitions you had at the time of the write up. So, I know I had to write about my father when my feeling for him is still extremely strong and the memories are still intact. But then, I started arguing with myself, should I write it as a public post? At the end, I decided affirmative. I do not maintain any diary. Plus, if I write it up for a public domain, it will force me to organize my thoughts about my father and that’s the sole reason I have decided to work on this post in the first place.

Anyway, to end the notes about my father, my father is teaching me more about life since he died than he did when he was alive. I do not want time, reality, life, or even my happy-dad-of-a-cute-daughter state to cloud over my thoughts about my father and cease the lessons I have been learning from him, since the day he died.

As for my three-month old daughter, after a busy, long day when I get home and she greets me with a big (toothless) smile and talks to me in her unary language which consists of just one syllable “uuu” but varies in length depending on her expression, I realize that is it. THAT IS TOTALLY IT! That is happiness in its most authentic and pure form!

The only sigh — my father could not see her toothless smile and hear her unary language. Or maybe, he is seeing and hearing all of it. Or maybe it is just wishful thinking on my part. Someday, I will be able to know it myself.

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REMEMBERING THE BOOKS YOU LOVED

During my teenage, I think I read an insane number of books that were not listed as textbooks. If I had allotted a slim % of that reading time for the textbooks, I think I would become a better student, but that’s a different story.

The story I want to tell here is that, the books that once made me cry, taught me what to seek in life, fast-forward the timeline now I can barely remember anything about them! It’s not a realistic expectation to remember everything I read (especially in this age of information overflow). However, I had not even taken any conscious attempt to preserve at least the summaries of those books in my memory.  If I had, I could have made better yields from those books in my life. After all, reading a book is time-wise quite a commitment.

So, a couple of years ago, I created a folder in my Google Drive named “Books I read”. Since then, after turning the last page of each book I read, I have been noting down the quotes, facts or my thoughts on  that book and save them in Google Drive. Sometimes, I just google summary of the book that I just have finished, and copy-pasted that summary into a new document in my Google Drive’s folder.

The result has been amazing! Now at a glance, I can see the books I read in the past and make a quick mental revision. If it feels the summary of any of those book has started to fade away from my memory, I just give my notes on that book a quick read, and the things fall into places again.

To close this note, here is a quite from poet Siegfried Sassoon on forgetting what we have read –

“For it is humanly certain that most of us remember very little of what we have read. To open almost any book a second time is to be reminded that we had forgotten well-nigh everything that the writer told us. Parting from the narrator and his narrative, we retain only a fading impression; and he, as it were, takes the book away from us and tucks it under his arm. ”

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THAT WONDER MORNING

I don’t remember the date, but still remember the day. The morning. I woke up (and as always) felt my life really needed some change. Not a new feeling. But that day, I really wanted to change, and I changed. At times, the solution for even the toughest problem in life is as simple as that. 

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I wanted to change so badly that I decided to try everything available to make the change happen. I made an appointment with the university counselor thinking that there might had been some issue with my psyche. I will always regret wasting one hour of my university life with that lady. She asked me thousands of questions. Are you involved with any extra-curricular activities? Yes, of course. I watch “LOST”. Her last question was, ‘So, can we schedule the next session same time, same day next week?’ I said ‘No thanks’ in the form of ‘Can I confirm that by email later?’

I headed to a lecture thinking I don’t need to go through a process ‘to change’. I can just change, now, instantly, spontaneously. I did. I decided to start not giving a damn about what other people thought about my actions. Enough damns had already been given until that point in my life.

I did not understand a thing in that lecture. Unlike my typical-self, I directly went to the girl who was asking some good questions to the professor (and looked like she understood the stuff). I just said hi and asked for help. She helped. I got A+ in that course. I actually got a 3.8 GPA in that semester. Don’t ask me what was my previous best. I doubled my part time working hours. While being busy with study, part-time and LOST (most importantly), I submitted a research paper in an international conference. It got accepted which was kind of a big deal (or at least medium sized deal). My supervisor somehow even managed to arrange me funding to go to South Korea to present the paper.

I got a new scholarship. Aside from some stumbles here and there, I started achieving some serious milestones. I got accepted for an internship at JAXA – Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, which will always be a highlight of my life.

Then, at some point, I started losing the charm, and then I lost it. I totally lost it. In the past couple of years, I have woken up many mornings with the raw urge to change myself again. Many mornings, I hoped today would be that day. But no, just not yet.

Lesson learned – I cannot force the change. The change has to come to me with it its own force. Let’s wait for the change, let’s wait for the force. It will come. It has to come.

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LIFE BACK THEN – CRICKET, NEIGHBORHOOD AND A HAWKER

He was sitting on his knees and looking at the passersby. He was not asking for anything; there would be zero point in asking. But his eyes were still asking…..would any of you…please? You may call it ‘hope’, or maybe ‘irrationality’. I would call it ‘one of THE most depressing sights I have ever seen’.

In my small hometown, dusk was always psychedelic. Until 10 to 15 minutes before the evening prayer call, the entire neighborhood was a playground. There were football and cricket matches in all the backyards, gardens, street corners and any identifiable open space for that matter. Even on the streets, rickshaws were making their way through the cricket pitches and goalposts, with an angry-but-forgiving look. The kids, who were too young to play any organized sports (like football or cricket), were inventing and experimenting new types of sports.

The only (seemingly) unhappy group in the entire neighborhood was the ‘grandma group’ and they had a valid reason. Their gardens and rooftops were being continuously bombarded by projectiles in many shapes, otherwise known as tennis ball, cricket ball, football or basketball. Let’s say a kid hit a cricket ball too hard and the ball landed on the tin-made rooftop with a thunder-like sound. The moment, the grandma of that house realized that some foreign object just had hit her property, the grandma stormed out of the house. She then started looking for the ball, and yelled at the trespassers (although the trespassers could not still be seen). ‘The ball has to be seized or those kids will never learn’. On the other hand, the players knew that, the only way to get the ball back was to climb up the wall ASAP and find the ball before grandma reached there or saw them. It’s the happiest chaos you could ever see.

Don’t think that only kids were playing. In most of the matches, not only the grownups outnumbered the kids, they also took the match three times more seriously. There was screaming, and shouting, and honking, and running. But as the dusk/evening prayer time approached, the noise started getting dimmer. Some matches stopped and abandoned midway, as one team found the other team to be totally unfair. There is no point in playing with cheaters. They vowed not to play with these guys EVER AGAIN (until the next late-afternoon). As the dusk fell, winners, losers, cheaters and victims started heading back to their houses, and they had to be at their houses before the prayer call from the mosque.

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When I was a kid, I always preferred to say the evening prayer in the mosque. After a long day and a tough cricket match (!), it felt so good to stand under the ceiling fans running at full speed in the mosque. The light bulbs were dimmed. The imam was reciting verses from the Quran with all his heart. Somehow the atmosphere became something, something that I cannot explain, only feel. You are bound to become spiritual and feel close to Allah. That day,  when I had just finished my evening prayer and stepped out of the mosque, I saw the hawker.

He was selling fruits in two small baskets. Fruits in one basket were sold out but there were some left over ones in the other basket. But in his eyes, I could read that whatever he sold was not enough to financially survive yet another day in life. The left over ones were not in good shape. He knew he could not sell them. He knew he started the day with a small capital and stock. Yet, his eyes had still had hope in them. And in that hope, I saw one of the most depressing sights of my life.

I don’t know why it touched me so much. I have seen, experienced and suffered thousand folds more depressing things in my life. But I don’t know why I cannot get over that one instance. Maybe, I just misread his eyes. Maybe he was just fine that day, maybe there was nothing depressing about it….I don’t know, I will never know.

It’s a mystery what really touches us and what does not. Going back to the playground, one day, I hit a SIX and the ball landed in another house’s garden. Scared and worried, I ran to that house to look for our cricket ball. Suddenly, I saw the grandpa of that house standing a few meters away. He said, ‘it’d be difficult to find the ball in this garden, it’s so bushy, let’s look for it together’. I don’t remember if at the end we found the ball, but I will always remember his words, his smile at that moment.

Like that hawker, we inflict negative experiences on people without even being remotely aware of it. It’s beyond our control. But can we be that grandpa?

PS: Last time when I visited my hometown, I found that the entire generation of grandpa and grandma in our neighborhood were now gone forever. It was even more saddening to not see kids playing till the evening prayer time; instead I saw them going in/out to/from their private tutors house. And, all those places where we used to play, there now stood tall buildings. The neighborhood’s grandma/pa generation is dead, and the new generation is living a dead life.

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TO THOSE WHO ARE GONE

People say time heals everything. Partly true, mostly wrong.

At first, my maternal uncle took the trip there, nobody knows exactly where. Then, my maternal grandpa. Shortly after, my maternal grandma followed him, like always. And then, I had to bid the toughest farewell of my life. Saying goodbye to my dad. Yes, as time passes by, these people visit my mind less frequently. But when they visit, they visit with all intensity. My dad is leading that team now. As he is the latest member of the gone team, at first, his memory comes to my mind without any consideration to the appropriateness of time and space (say when I am in an office meeting). Then the memories of my grandpa, grandma and uncle come…..altogether.

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A few years ago, I wrote a book on my ancestors. My dad had a genealogy map which he really treasured. But that map only contained the names of my long gone ancestors. I was more interested in the stories associated with those names. For the first time in my life, my research skills came to rescue me for a real life project. I took interviews of soon-to-be-gone ones, read all the diaries and family documents I could gather, visited graveyards to see if the epitaphs could reveal something about them.

I wrote that book. But, I can only share it with very few people. It will certainly upset some people in my family. Nobody wants to hear the dark side of their forefathers. Stemming from the same root (Kishore Mahmood – seven steps above me in the family tree), our family tree spread its branches all over. Some branches became enemies with each other, some branches do not even know they come from the same tree. For all those reasons, in the interviews, I got contradictory perspectives on certain lost ones. Almost all the grandchildren thought their grandfather was a hero, the other guy was the bad guy. The other guy’s grandchildren thought the opposite.

But, good or bad, they are gone. Some of them are gone so far that, without my book, not a single soul in this world would even know that they ever existed! How sad is that! How many of us can tell our great-grand father’s or mother’s name? I know very few of us can reach 100 years longevity and that may be okay. But in less than 100 years time, there will not be a single person in this world who will know my name and the fact that I ever existed! Actually, that realization inspired me to write that book. I kind of wanted to give some of my forefathers eternity. Their names and stories are in (private) cloud now. I really hope my future generations will treasure it and take pride in knowing the stories of their long gone ancestors.

In this write up (I am not sure yet if it will be just a blog post or a book or an unpublished draft), I want to write in a way where I can share my uncle, grandma, grandpa and dad’s stories with other people. I am not going to write their biographies. Biographies are mostly about the facts. But I want to write about the love, the way they loved me and the way I love them.

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STAY HUNGRY, STAY FOOLISH (WITH SMART PHONE & DSLR CAMERAS)

First thing first, I am 4,506,396 km far from becoming a pro-photographer (Right, I love making up numbers :/). That said, I have been trying to get a grip on photography for a year or two now and I might be able to throw some tips at you, if you are contemplating getting started with photography –

i. You DON’T need a DSLR camera to learn photography. True that, you need a DSLR camera for fireworks, long-exposure photographies, but for most of the other types, a smart phone should be good. In some cases, smart phone is even a better alternative to a DSLR. For example, “selfies”. Especially Duckface selfies. Don’t you like Duckface selfies? I don’t.

ii. Before buying a DSLR camera, I did some serious photography with an Android phone. At first, I learned the ins and outs of my smart phone’s camera settings. I installed Camera FV-5 app, which virtually transforms a smart phone camera to a DSLR camera. Check it out. When I was sharing those smart phone photography on Facebook, some of my friends were asking me what DSLR camera I was using! (Sorry for the bragging :/ Here I just want to highlight the fact that you can do decent photography with your smart phone).

iii. Okay, this point might offend some people but I have to say it. I often see some people abuse their DSLR cameras! Yes, you bought it with your hard-earned money but that does not give you the freedom to abuse your camera. Show some love and respect to it. Please google and youtube how to use a DSLR. If you are not a Martian, then Google and YouTube should have all the answers of the questions that you can ever imagine. Learn how to change your camera lens. A camera lens is the most sensitive thing in this world (well, in some cases may be only second to your lover) and it’s very easy to get some dust in the camera while changing the lens. Google how to change camera lens. Google “how to change camera lens”. Google Rule of thirds.

iv. A common amateur misconception about the photography is that, image editing/enhancement equals cheating. Once someone told me, if you edit the photo, that means you are faking the photo by making the photo looking better than the actual scene. I guess, most likely, that person thinks a camera can capture the actual scene, seen by a pair of human eyes!!! LOL. Dear friend, our technology is light-years far from inventing a camera which can capture a photograph in the same quality as human eyes. In most of the cases, an unedited version would do worse job than a nicely edited version in representing the real scene. The edited version would at least please our eyes! I agree, some photographers use image editing for evil purposes. But most of the photographers do image editing just to retrieve the actual scene and feel in a photograph. A DSLR camera is not as smart as our brain (do I even have to say it?). When we see something, our brain knows what to ignore and what to capture. A camera can’t always do this judgment. In some cases, the photo holds a lot of information of the actual scene but can’t display it like the actual scene – and that’s where the power of image editing kicks in. Example, in the image below, look at the “”before” version of the image. Do you see any Japanese letters below the frog? No. But if you were present there, you would see some Japanese characters just below where the frog is sitting. Did the camera miss it then? No, it captured the characters but is not displaying it in the image’s current setting. Now, using an image processing software, I simply reduced the “Shadow” in the image and BOOM! There are two Japanese characters (thanks to the image editing)! Would you call it cheating?

Bottom-lime: Learn some image processing/editing to become a good photographer. My personal favorite is Adobe Lightroom.

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I’d like to close this note with yet another suggestion. We don’t look “cool” just because we are holding an expensive DSLR. At times, I see some newbie holding a DSLR as if it’s a AK47! Anyone can buy a camera. Nothing special about just holding or having a DSLR. There are millions of photographers out there and thousands of them are most likely better than you and me. So, let me remind you (and myself) about Steve Jobs’ that famous saying – “STAY HUNGRY, STAY FOOLISH” (With smart phone & DSLR cameras). Adios :)

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REDEFINING HONEYMOON

IMG_20150719_125239Have you guys had your honeymoon yet?

As the sun is about to make a full circle since Sadea and I got married, we often get the aforementioned Q, which leaves us a little puzzled. What really is a honeymoon?

The popular idea of a honeymoon is to go to an expensive resort for a few days and do some touristy activities and spend some romantic moments. We are not just that sort.

a. We like to claim ourselves as travelers/backpackers, not tourists. Being a traveler and a tourist are two different ball games. Being a tourist requires a lot of selfies. Being a traveler requires only one or two selfies 😛

b. (Kids can skip this point) Our romance is not location dependent 😐 Neither are our mini arguments 😕 If we go somewhere with a “honeymoon mood,” there is no guaranty that we would have a raburabu time. (“Raburabu” is a Japanese phrase…go figure ;))

c. Truth be told, we are too cheap to stay at a resort. Instead, we’d spend this money for food :/ Eating out multiple times a week is more fun than sleeping at a resort for one night. Plus, we have no problem in sleeping at a reasonably priced hotel. Once you sleep, you are just asleep. zzzzzz……………

d. Once we went for a casual day trip in a port city in Cambodia called Sihanoukville. It was dark and raining. We were in a tuktuk (something like a CNG in Bangladesh) and we had no idea where the driver was taking us to. All we could sense was that, it was a hilly road, leading to a beach. In silence, our minds were doing the talking. How on earth did we end up being there at that very place at that very moment? It was not a planned honeymoon trip or anything close like that. But, that was the best moment of our married life so far. The rainy air, twilight darkness, a creepy tuktuk driver, everything was just on the right wavelength. If a honeymoon means having a good time for a couple, we could not have had a better one than that. That said, we have had some boring trips too. Bottom-line, you can’t plan a “good time”. More often than not, “good times” are spontaneous and unplanned.  The so-called “honeymoon” is a business scam, it’s a billion dollar industry.

TIP FOR THE NEWLY MARRIED COUPLES: Instead of having ONE expensive honeymoon, go for short trips more often. There are always places nearby where you always wanted to go, but haven’t been to yet. Go, eat out more. Eating out is not just about eating. Go out and walk with your better-half with no destination in mind and call it a mini honeymoon! Don’t fall for THE HONEYMOON hype. Have a lot of honeymoons, every year, every month, every week :)

BONUS TIP: Who said a honeymoon has to be only with your spouse? We really enjoy taking (like-minded) friends with us. The more people you share your experiences with, the more you enjoy.

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Is the Android 5.0 Lollipop Upgrade Really Worth It?

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As we are die-hard Android fans, our hearts bleed to write this post. But the truth must be told! Who cares about the new so-called “material design” when you cannot perform the simple tasks you were able to do with a Nokia 1100 in 2003 with a shiny expensive smartphone?

  1. Silent mode with vibration off: Yes, the basics of a smartphone. Before upgrading to Lollipop, all you had to do is press down on the volume button to decrease the volume of your ringtone, and then press on the same button, again, to turn off vibrations. But, as of today, you cannot do that with your Lollipop. If you press the volume button, you will see three options on the screen—None, Priority, and All. Now you are telling us to go through this extra step in order to silence the ringtone on our phones (without stopping the notifications for our alarms)? Well, let us tell you Lollipop! Life is too short to figure out how to silence this phone.
  2. Connecting to WiFi: “What is your WiFi password?” Perhaps, one of the top 10 FAQs in the world. But if you have Lollipop installed on your phone, before asking this FAQ, first you may have to ask “excuse me, do you have WiFi here?” Because with Lollipop, it takes forever to even locate all the WiFi connections that are active in a certain location. So you will be lucky if you can even find and connect to WiFi at McDonalds, by the time you are done with your meal and heading out!
  3. Tethering: If you have unlimited data plan on your phone, I bet you are a huge fan of tethering. And, most likely you prefer tethering via USB over wireless. But it’s 2014 and you are using Lollipop. USB sounds more like a 1998 gadge—at least to Lollipop, that is. Lollipop won’t recognize when a USB is connected to it, almost all of the time. So if you are tethering, you can’t choose to tether using a USB. You will have to choose to create a WiFi hotspot instead, thanks to Android 5.0!
  4. Google Maps and Facebook app: The Facebook app fails to upload new newsfeed, even when you are connected to the internet! And Google Maps has no idea where you are when you turn on navigation. Not sure if it’s due to a bug in the respective apps, but the lack of these basic functions is definitely a struggle to deal with, at times .

All that said, we have to admit Lollipop does have some cool features such as the Battery Saver mode. And so far, the OS seems to be working pretty fast. But it is really striking how Google released such an important version upgrade without tweaking these seemingly trivial but practically big issues! Even worse, although it’s been quite a while since they released it, they have yet to roll out any updates for these bugs. So if you are reading this and have not yet upgraded to Android 5.0 Lollipop and your phone is reminding you to do so, please don’t upgrade yet (you can think about upgrading, perhaps after Google releases an update on these bugs)!

In collaboration with Sadea Shahan

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Forgot your password and DON’T want to reset it? Follow these steps!

You have your Facebook app installed on your smartphone so there is no need to sign in every time you want to check your Facebook. Just one tap on that facebook logo takes you to the magical world. If you want to log onto Facebook from your PC, you just type facebook.com and your browser does the rest. Long time ago, you clicked “remember password” and since then, your browser always logs you in automatically. In fact, you clicked yes to that “remember password” option so long ago that you don’t even remember the password itself anymore. Then one day, you need to login to facebook from another device….Now you clearly don’t remember your password. So what do you do?

No! Don’t click on the “Forgot your password” link and go through that lengthy process of resetting your password. There are easier ways to deal with this problem:

Method 1: Sign out from your Facebook or any other account, be it email or whatever. If your password is not visible as it is in the case shown below,

……then do this. Right click on your browser → Click “Inspect element” → Then follow the 3 steps (in red) on the screenshot below

(For better visibility, click on the image)

Show my password
Show my password

You can follow these same steps on Internet Explorer, Firefox and other browsers. There may be slight differences in the interface in other browsers, but the basic idea is the same. Look for type=”password” and change it to type=”text” (step 3 from the screenshot shown above).

Method 2: Once you click the “Remember password” button, your browser stores that password so that you don’t have to retype your password every time you sign in. You can easily see these stored passwords in your browser. In Google Chrome, simply follow these easy steps –

Click “Settings” → Scroll down and click “Show advanced settings” → Under “Passwords and forms,” click “Manage passwords“ → BOOM!!! There goes your saved passwords!

Here again, you can find these saved passwords pretty much in the same way in Internet Explorer and Firefox. If you have any trouble finding them, let me know!

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5 tech tips you are going to use (almost) everyday of your life

The following tips will help you get your day to day mundane tasks done faster so that you can spend more quality time on Facebook! (No need to mention it! You are welcome 😛 )

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  1. Paste-as-plain-text in Gmail (Ctrl+Shift+v): Of course you know copy/paste shortcuts Ctrl+c and Ctrl+v (copy/paste – the lifeblood of our student life :p), but do you know about Ctrl+Shift+v? Pasting formatted text is always a pain as the font of the copied selection often pastes in its original font which is different from the current text format of the page. Well, you don’t need to go through that pain anymore! If you are composing an email in Gmail and need to paste formatted text, just use the shortcut, Ctrl+Shift+v. The pasted text format will automatically match with your current text font.
  2. Selecting text (double click and triple click): Before copying and pasting text, you need to select the text first, right? Here is an easy way THE EASIEST WAY to do it. If you want to select just one word, just double click on that word. If you want to select a paragraph, simply triple click on the paragraph!
  3. Hacking the pdf: At times, (in my case, most of the time) we need to merge multiple pdf files. I wish I could do it, right from Acrobat Reader. But since we can’t do it, the easiest way to merge is by using www.smallpdf.com. This awesome tool allows you to split and compress pdf files. Plus, it also allows you to convert from pdf to other types of files and vice versa and you get all that for free!
  4. Sharing tasks in Gmail: We (Sadea and Zilhaz) dream of a day when we can control our entire virtual life in GMAIL! We are Gmail freaks. Sadly, Gmail Tasks is not the best to-do list service in the world but at least we can use it without leaving Gmail! However, we really wanted to share our Gmail Tasks list and to our savior, came the Todoist! Todoist for Gmail sits in the right, bottom corner of Gmail (just like Gmail Tasks) and gives you more control over your to-do-list. It has all the features that Gmail Tasks has, plus a lot more. In addition to being able to share tasks with others, mark tasks as priority, Todoist is also available for use as a web+mobile app and as a Chrome extension.
  5. Archiving in Gmail: We all know about that archive feature but many of us don’t use it. We all love to see our inbox clutter-free but archiving (and/or deleting) takes some extra clicks. Did you know that there is a “Send and Archive” button in Gmail? It does exactly what it says. Once you click “Send and Archive” for a specific email, it sends the email and automatically archives it. Just go to your Gmail settings and enable it from the “General” tab.

Edited by Sadea Shahan

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