Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Aluratek Internet Radio Alarm Clock rocks!

I recently purchased this device from Amazon mostly imagining myself to keep up to date with the news and music from channels other than locally available on FM/AM. Besides the fact that I was in love with the iHome Radio alarm clock which wakes you up to your choice of buzzer, Radio or iPod.

This one beats that, it wakes you up to Internet Radio, FM/AM, Music from USB disc or a simple alarm. As expected it also allows you to use all these options to listen to music. As the photo didn't mention it actually comes with a Remote control.

The setup of the device was pretty straightforward even on a WIFI with security enabled. It did take 2 attempts to get it right but then it immediately showed a impressive list of channels.

First thing I wanted to do was to check Indian news channel, specially seeing people talk about listening to BBC (in Amazon reviews), to my dis-appointment Indian news channels still don't offer internet radio channels, but I could listen to news from BBC or other ones easily.

Next, I was quickly able to get a list of Bollywood channels along with multiple other music channels (Go Locations->Asia->India (the list has about 7-8 channels including Tamil/Telgu music).

As people mentioned on amazon one single issue I can think of with this device is the lack of battery support, but in my extensive review for the products at this price range this one beats all.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Death Valley National Park trip

From Death Valley National Park


On the Thanksgiving long weekend we had a trip to Death Valley National Park (DV). DV is about 8 hours of driving time away from Mountain View, CA. DV turned out to be great. I have been to couple of national parks earlier like Yosemite and Kings Canyon and Sequoia national park, and also few recreation parks like Muir Woods National monument and Point Reyes, but DV seems to have been the best till now.


From Death Valley National Park



From Death Valley National Park


As they say DV is a land of extremes, I have only read about deserts' extreme climate conditions, during this first proper camping experience I felt it. When we reached Death Valley it was about 4:00 PM on Thursday pretty warm, had good sunlight around.then in some time we camped up and by around 5 PM or so things were very different, it got dark, very windy and started getting colder. Within an hour or two I had to put on gloves and head band to feel comfortable outside. Interestingly the second day of the camping we witnessed light showers in the night and early morning.


From Death Valley National Park



From Death Valley National Park



From Death Valley National Park

We stayed at the Emigrant site where the camping site we took easily accomdated 2 2-3 ppl camp and a 1 2 ppl camping and still had enough space to park cars around to save ourselves from the winds. The camp-site is about 8 miles from the stove-pipe wells village which had an Okay restaurant and a decent a General store. The Restaurant didn't have any decent Veggie dinner but we could find quick to cook food at the General store which they allowed cooking in their microwave.

Next day we went to points of interest around Furnace Creek which included The Badwater, Zebreikies' point, Natural Bridge, Artists Drive, the 20 mule canyon. All of these places are worth the visit. We missed the Golden canyon trek but had enough trekking at other places like Natural Bridge and at the Artists drive.


From Death Valley National Park



From Death Valley National Park



From Death Valley National Park



From Death Valley National Park



The next day we went to the Ranger's station at Stovepipe to figure our what was the next thing to try. We decided to head to Scotty's castle direction but not for the castle but the Ubehebe Crator which is an interesting place to visit. Ubehebe crator isn't very big in size compared to ones I have heard of or seen like the Lonar Crator in Maharatra, India.But interestingly this one allows you to go all the way down to the bottom most point as its not being filled with water and has a nicely lade out though a moderately difficult trek. We did see the castle but beside being a pretty one there is nothing much about it.


From Death Valley National Park


From Death Valley National Park



From Death Valley National Park




From Death Valley National Park


As planed earlier we left for Las Vegas after that. Vegas is about 3.5 hours away from Death Valley. The return trip from Las Vegas on Sunday of Thankgiving weekend became a painful one taking about 12-13 hours in stead of 7.5 required during normal timing ours.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Unhiding KDE applications menubar/toolbar when GUI fails to

Just figured out this by experimentation. If you end up hiding your menubar and toolbar and can't get them back through GUI, you can go edit the applications config file in

$HOME/.kde/share/config/

for e.g

$HOME/.kde/share/config/digikamrc
 [MainWindow Toolbar ToolBar]
Hidden=true
IconText=IconOnly

 [MainWindow]
Height 1200=1201
InitialAlbumID=10003
MenuBar=Disabled



Set these values to false and Enabled respectively.