My favorite Chrome Extensions

Google Chrome is the most used web browser; more than 50% of internet users use Chrome (according to W3Schools). Apart from the amazing user experience it offers, Google has made sure that it can be modified as per the user’s wish. For that, Google has provided chrome users a webstore. Everybody has their own preferences and the wide variety of apps and extensions on the Chrome Webstore caters to exactly that.

Being a regular internet user for almost five years now, I have spent time choosing apps that would best suit me. Here is a list of the apps and extensions that I like.

1. Adblock

Adblock is by far my favorite app on any browser. It works perfectly, blocking ads as I go surfing the web which makes my browsing experience much more annoyance-free. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend this to you. It always shows up in reviews like ‘Top 10 Chrome Extensions’, so it has to be good. There is a good alternative to this called Adblock Plus, which may actually be more popular than this. I have tried that one too, but I was not sure how to compare the two, I mean they (just) block ads, what is to compare? Well anyway, kudos to a fantastic idea and implementation.

2. Facebook Unsee

A nice little extension that gives you anonymity on Facebook chat. It makes sure that the person or the group you are chatting with does not know whether you have read the messages sent to you. Basically, it blocks the response sent from your computer which tells the server that you have ‘Seen’ the messages sent to you. I had installed it a long time ago, and I don’t even know if the developer keeps it updated. But it works, so I won’t be switching over to any other extension any time soon.

3. Google Dictionary

A pretty handy app that is useful while browsing. Just double click on a word it to select it, and a tooltip will appear with a definition of the selected word. A nice feature that it has is that you can even look for the meaning of a word in the definition that is showed in the tooltip. If you want to look more definitions, just click on the extension’s icon on the top-right corner after you have selected a word. If even that doesn’t satisfy you, it links you to a  Google search of the word.

4. Photo Zoom for Facebook

This extension should win an award! It is greatly useful while on Facebook. What it does is, it enlarges any picture (it may be a profile picture too!) that your cursor hovers on, so you don’t have to click on a picture to look at its finer details. Simply amazing in terms of both the idea and implementation. This one extension can redefine your Facebooking experience.

5. Speed Dial 2

Nice interface, but its a little heavy. But now, since Chrome always runs in the background that isn’t an issue. It takes screenshots of the websites shown in the dial on its own. Another cool feature is that it can show your browsing history in the form of a pie chart which shows how many visits you have had to a certain website to sites that you normally visit. What disappointed me was the way the bookmark menu was shown. Same with the Chrome apps menu. They should have done something else, honestly. I haven’t really bothered searching for alternatives to a Speed Dial extension because I rarely use bookmarks and much less the apps.

Collaborated Review

Hello,

I love reviewing anime, and I was thinking of trying something new. I got inspired by a reviewer on YouTube who reviews with a couple of his friends. The outcome of their review is great!

I find debates being more entertaining to watch than just monologue, and the discussion will have many different view points. But most importantly, it will be tonnes of fun!

Alright, I’ll run you through what’s going to happen. Reviewers come online on Skype, we group chat and record the conversation while we discuss. Later, we do some editing and publish the review. Simple enough, right?

Do not worry about the technicalities, we can make it work some way or the other. It is only a matter of interest.

So… Are you game?

Anime review: Anohana – The flower we saw that day

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai

Anohana is one of the most slow paced anime I have ever seen, but still you would not find yourself getting bored. The story revolves around an incident that happened 10 years ago with a group of friends. A tragedy occurred in which the life of a young girl was taken. After that grievous incident, the rest of the friends barely kept in touch. But 10 years later, the spirit of the dead comes to ‘haunt’ Jintan. Menma, who had died the unfortunate death appears as a ghost because she wants a wish granted, which she is unable to recall.

The story goes on depicting the different characters of the friends, and how they react in the situations they face. Even though you can watch the show without using your head much, I couldn’t help noticing the meticulous way the characters were so carefully designed. For example, how a certain character plays his or her part as though a real person would if they had the same kind of personality. For most people (though I can’t really say for sure), Menma stands as the star of the series. I feel so too! I am not sure if it is her divine innocence, or her sympathy that makes me like her. The character who is generally in the shadow of the others is Anaru. The first time that I watched Anohana, she didn’t leave such an impression on me, but now I could see her pure intentions, although selfish but she admitted them like the others. She is one of the friendliest characters in the group. Although, there’s one thing that gets to me every time. Her hair! It looks a weird (not that I should be saying anything, you should see my hair).

Tsuruko is the prudent type. If they would have shown her with a better sense of dressing, she would look great. Honestly, am I the only one who finds her cute? She hangs out with Yukiatsu, I will not reveal anything else. Yukiatsu on the other hand is short-tempered, and has a big ego. But he’s passionate about the things he loves and consistent at academics. Poppo is a carefree person. He never fails to make the atmosphere lively. He loves travelling.

One of the things that I would like to point out is the rocket. Everyone thinks that that is Menma’s wish, but even after all the hard work that went into making it, it turns out that it really was not her wish to begin with. To me it seemed kind of pointless.

In the first few episodes, Menma had made her point clear, that the wish that she wanted to be granted would only be possible when everyone was together. But later, as it turned out the wish was granted by Menma herself.

The revelation at the end of the show was that, a spirit which was barely a physical entity in the world could unite old friends, and sort out some really deep emotions. I find that conclusion wonderful. Anohana is one of the most fun-to-watch anime.

Anime review: Darker Than Black – The Black Contractor

You know, among all the anime that I have watched till now (which is not really a large list), this one seemed to stand out quite inexplicably. Why? Well to be honest with you, the first thing that occurred to me was how carefully the plot was developed. They made sure from the start to minimize any kind of errors and loose ends. It might not seem like an eye-catching anime to you, like some of the popular shounen examples like Naruto, One Piece, etcetera. But trust me, it has a simplicity of its own, and what I admire the most is that it has got a different, complex, but simple within itself kind of story. No wonder Darker Than Black (DTB) was voted as the best Original Anime of 2007.

The full name of the first season of this TV series is actually Darker Than Black: The Black Reaper, but shorten it to Darker Than Black. Sure enough, this show is not about shinigamis as it may sound. DTB features a world inhabited by humans and contractors. Contractors are said to have supernatural powers and have to pay a certain ‘price’ after using them. Another thing that makes you want to watch it is because of the powers which contractors possess. A lot of them are so innovative and original, and even scientifically accurate.

What you might find funny is that unlike most other anime where the main character goes around and stirs up things, in DTB it is quite the opposite. Here, the main character gets caught up in some incident by coincidence or he is at the scene intentionally (it’s kind of unclear at times). They do not show much of Hei, as in you get to know what kind of a person he is but that’s about it. Whereas, they did a decent job with Huang for his role in the story. There was always a part of me looking to understand Hei more, and craving for him to slip something that defines him better. I was almost satisfied in the end. He is the kind of person who strikes you as ‘cool’ when you first look at him. The effect is pronounced because he doesn’t talk much. Sometimes I couldn’t tell if he is genuinely happy or just pretending to be. Other characters are there to give a quiet guy like him support and inevitably the spotlight.

This show leaves many questions unanswered, mostly about the characters’ past and some concerning the main story. But they are not questions which will leave you frustrated at the end of the show. Subtly, the give it potential to become better. You may go like, why does this happen in the first place? Or why are they doing this or that, but worry not, they make sense out of almost everything at the end.

I primarily liked this show because it is a compact package of the good virtues that any show could have, they did not waste any episodes and the amount of screen time given to most characters is just about right. Because of all this, I recommend this as a must watch, it could also qualify as an entry-level anime, basically first time anime watchers may gain interest in anime by watching DTB.

Installing MinGW Compiler with NetBeans (IDE)

  • Download and install the MinGW Compiler.
  • In the NetBeans IDE, click on Tools>Options.
  • Go to the C/C++ tab.
  • Click on Add under Tool Collection.
  • Select the directory where MinGW is installed. It will in most cases be C:/MinGW/bin.
  • Now download and install MSYS. Identify the directory in which MinGW is installed as C:/MinGW to the MSYS installer.
  • Open the file browser next to the Make Command, and select the make.exe in the directory where MSYS is installed.
  • Restart the IDE.

Anime review: Angel Beats!

Type: TV
Episodes: 13
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 2, 2010 to Jun 26, 2010
Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama, Supernatural
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 – Teens 13 or older

NOTE: THIS REVIEW IS RIDDLED WITH SPOILERS

‘Does God really exist?’

The most controversial question every asked by human kind. Howsoever simple it may sound, it is has been hotly debated for centuries, and even now, science is not sure about the answer. Setting aside the scientific aspect, it has provided a great scope for fictional works. It gives the author the liberty to think beyond the conceived rules of our universe and gets the readers hooked to the unimaginable.

The anime portrays a ‘high school’ in the world of afterlife. Not everyone who dies in the real world comes there, but teenagers who have unfulfilled wishes from their real lives. There exist people other than the ones who have landed there after dying. But they don’t have souls, and like AI in video games, they are called ‘NPCs’ or Non-Player Characters. They interact like normal people but they lack character. By that I mean, they follow all the rules and do what they are told, which gives onlookers a sense of utopia, or shall I say ‘contentment’, but they don’t have a soul like the people cast into afterlife.

The more zealous face of Angel Beats! are the characters, as always, my opinion about what gives life to an anime are its characters. AB steals fandom with its splendid character development. I still haven’t talked about the crux of the anime. The description lies in the question ‘Why afterlife?’ Supposedly, such a world is provided for people who hadn’t had a great childhood, so that they can re-live something similar in an other world and let go of all their regrets and finally disappear. As long as people aren’t free of regret, they do not disappear. All the people who are brought to afterlife form a coup to rebel against god for the terrible lives that they have led. Everyone there was exposed to the rough edges of life, thought and seen the unthinkable. For a long time they do not understand the purpose of the place they are in.

The violence is mainly between the coup and what the coup thinks is god’s messenger, the angel. I got to see some of my favorite visual effects during the fights. Graphics are pretty decent. So is the audio. As for the music… I’m sorry, if you’ll please excuse me. *Jumps around like a lunatic remembering the excitement*
Ahem. It blew me away (for good). The best. Girls Dead Monster outdid themselves. The fun watching them escalated because the already amazing soundtrack was paired with an exalted music video. A formidable combination!

I’ll close this with my speculation. Angel Beats! is a highly emotional anime. I have noticed from researching that anime which make people want to cry are quickly pushed to the top of the charts. I’m not implying that such anime do not deserve it or anything, just that it is a persistent pattern, and hence it doesn’t surprise me that the anime has extravagant ratings. What I enjoyed the most in the anime were those depressing and passionate scenes and the overall idea of the plot. I’ve never cried while watching any anime till now, but if you usually do, then I suggest you keep a box of tissues nearby 🙂

Links: MAL AniDB

LibreOffice Startup Error

If you get an error after you install LibreOffice, you simply have to delete your user profile. But before you do anything, first close all the instances of LibreOffice.

The location of your user profile will be here:
C:UsersAppDataRoamingLibreOffice4

I’m using version 4.0.3 at the moment, and I remember I had the same problem when I installed 4.0.0. LibreOffice will work normally after you fix this, it won’t give you an error the next time you start it.

Anime Review: Kotonoha no Niwa

English: The Garden of Words
Synomyms: Kotonoha no Niwa
Japanese: 言の葉の庭
Type: Movie
Genres: Romance
Duration: 46 min
Rating: G – All Ages

 

“A faint clap of thunder,

Clouded skies,

Perhaps rain comes,

If so, will you stay here with me?”

 

Like all Makoto Shinkai movies, Kotonoha no Niwa is a masterpiece of art. The beautiful visuals and animation coupled with the most subtle audio that fits perfectly with what is going on gives the work an impression which will last in your head forever. The storyline is not all that captivating though, unlike his 2007 blockbuster 5 Centimeters per Second. It follows a romantic plot with a small twist at the end. What I was happy about is that the story ended well. I mean, after watching 5 Centimeters per Second, I was left with a strange mixture of feelings, which eventually made me read the manga. I guess I felt satisfied after that. Well anyway, I feel Kotonoha no Niwa is a light movie. Nothing much to think about, especially because it has a happy but it has an uncertain end. What I mean by that is the story wants to tell the viewers that things will work out for them in the near future. A similar understanding is brought upon the viewer even in 5 Centimeters per Second; it’s a nice feeling, but I could even do with a confirmed happy ending.

The protagonist Akizuki Takao is the ordinary good guy; he works hard, has good character and is honest with himself. Yukino Yukari is going through a bad phase in her life, and hence she is in a depressed state. Even though I am making it apparent now, the movie didn’t drill into my head that fact that Yukino needed Akizuki to make her see the light again. I guess, when I think about it, that meaning was there all along. I guess it is not such a light movie, after all it’s a Makoto Shinkai production. Just like his other works, there are a lot of not-so-obvious meanings in this movie, which are mostly depicted in the narration and the visuals.

I’ll keep this short, and try not to spoil the fun too much. By the way, from what you’ve read up till now, I might have made it sound pretty bad, but that’s not the case. It’s definitely an excellent watch. Especially if you like Makoto Shinkai’s works, or if this is your first time watching one of his movies, give it a shot, it’s totally worth the time. I frankly don’t know what else to say; it’s just that when you are watching the movie, it feels great, but when I am writing the review, I don’t remember the emotions that went through my head and all. I wasn’t thinking too much.

Simply, Kotonoha no Niwa is a perfectly ordinary story which is beautiful. Yeah.

Anime review: Tsuritama

English:  Tsuritama
Japanese: つり球
Type: Series
Episodes: 12
Genres: Sci-fi, Alien, Slice of life
Duration: 23 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13
Audio: Japanese
Subtitles: English

 


 

Plot

Sanada Yuki is an ordinary student. His parents are unfortunately no more, and he lives with his grandmother. Yuki does not have many friends, because he moves with his grandmother from one place to another often and as a result ends up going to different schools. Whenever he gives a self-introduction in front of the class, he breaks down under the pressure of all the students watching him. He starts sweating profusely and the tension on his face makes him look like a devil, and hence he is dubbed ‘Devil Face’ by his classmates. Yuki has a feeling of emptiness and he always recollects the events of the day when he is alone, especially just before he goes to sleep. One day he moves to a place called Enoshima. It is a fishing harbor. He encounters Haru, who starts living with them and other interesting people who he becomes close friends with. As time passes, he begins to enjoy fishing and becomes a totally different person…

 

My review

I especially enjoyed this because I really love ‘slice of life’ content. Tsuritama is brimming with that. I liked the  overall feel of the anime. It is slow paced, eventful and it is worth mentioning that if you are into fishing, this is a treat! There is also a lot of technical details about fishing, hence the ‘Sci-fi’ genre. Oh right, one thing that I observed was that there exists plenty of dramatic irony. I mean the anime characters don’t laugh about some spastic joke in the anime itself. There are a few instances like the Duck symbolic dance, or whatever they call it; that’s funny actually, but none of the characters ever laugh.

Story: Sometimes I wish that if the supernatural stuff like the aliens did not exist, the anime would have been much better. If it was only a slice of life anime with Yuki learning how to fish and finding friends, it would have been one of the the best anime. Well anyway, that’s just my opinion. Story-wise, Tsuritama is a bit dull in the beginning. But as the story progresses, it gets more fun but I got a queer feeling while watching it. So I’ll give this 8/10.

Art: It’s different from other anime I’ve watched. The sky lacks detail. I doubt they made it that way because they were feeling lazy, but I suppose that it’s an ‘artistic’ lack of detail. Not bad, but adds to the dullness. Characters and the animation is good, nothing special though. Right, the fishing gear is well done. One thing about the art is that in some scenes, there is an overdose of colour. I recall the flowers kept in the porch of Yuki’s house, they are of different colours. There are many scenes with such superfluous use of colour. It’s not that I don’t like those colours, it’s just that all of them together doesn’t look very good. But it’s not something that’ll ruin your day or anything. Just something I think that could have been different. Again a 8/10.

Characters: One thing about this 12 episode anime is that, each and every character has been developed to their extent. Now that I think about it, that is a well planned feat. All characters have a right side and a wrong side, and as the anime progresses, they improve themselves with the help of the people around them. The fact is that regardless of how the story is, the characters help make the anime complete. I got a great sense of satisfaction at the end, I owe that feeling to the climax too! Everyone is just so friendly. Enemies later become friends. Friends become best-friends. Everyone accepts one another. Oh yes, one aspect that made a lot of difference was that everyone is selfless. It brings about the cozy feeling of trust, it added to the pleasant feel of the show. This gets nothing less than a 10/10.

Overall Rating: 8/10

LinksAniDb MAL ANN

La Journée

A really random poem started off
by my friend and we kept adding new lines.

She napped like a sprog,
Gorged herself on dinner like a hog.
And now that her tummy was full,
She crashed out like a log.

The following morning,
She jumped off her bed like a frog,
Groaned at the week’s backlog,
And went out for a morning jog.

Later she waded through the dense smog like a polliwog,
Where she got distracted by a hotdog.
Losing balance she fell on a bog,
And shook hands with a hedgehog.
Staggering to her feet,
She glanced at her analog.

Realized that it was late,
She took to her heels,
And reached home all agog,
To see the collab on her pal’s blog!

~ Sunflower