Monthly Archives: April 2005

Office 2003 Tamil Language Interface Pack

After my earlier post on MS Office 2003 Tamil LIP, I had several enquires on where you can download this. The single source for all Indic Language related information and download from Microsoft is the Bhasha Portal.



Having said that, here is a cheatsheet for trying this out:


1) You need Windows XP (Pro of Home) as your Operating System.


2) In Windows XP, go to “Regional and Language Settings” applet in Control Panel. There in the Second Tab, titled “Languages” Enable “Install Files for Complex Scripts and Right to Left Languages (including Thai)” option as shown below.





3) Download & Install: You need Office 2003 Software. An evaluation (trial version) of this is available from Office Website here.


4) Download & Install: The next is Tamil Language Interface Pack (LIP) for MS Office (Office 2003 தமிழ் இடைமுக தயாரிப்பு) available from here.


5) Run from Start Menu, Start->All Programs-> Microsoft Office-> Microsoft Office Tools->Microsoft Office 2003 Language Settings, program. In that, on the first tab as shown below, select “Tamil” in the “Display Office 2003 in” listbox:





6) Finally, on the same application, in the second Tab titled “Enabled Languages”, Add “Tamil” as one of the Enabled Languages as shown below:





That’s all. Enjoy MS Office 2003 in Tamil.

Calculating Internet Server Bandwidth Requirement

As part of our Portal Management solutions, we are asked to do server sizing for many of the projects. We work with ISPs & Hardware partners in calculating the precise configuration. In the early Internet days this was purely a “guessing” game. Now it has become more and more closer to a science and if the customer has worked hard in their projections, we can get it right to large extend.


A few weeks back, one of our customers came with a requirement which is worth sharing here.


The Portal was expecting 30 Million Pageviews Per month - this was arrived by taking 10 Million Unique Users and Average PVs (Page Views) per user per month of 3. Each Page (including images) is expected to be roughly about 100KB (KiloBytes). Using this our monthly data transfer works out to 3000GB (per month). You may want to add 20-30% buffer and make this as 4000GB per month. Next comes the question of the dedicated pipe that you need for doing this data transfer per month. ISP’s generally recommend a 1.5Mbps pipe for every 175GB/month. At this rate we will require about 34Mbps pipe to do the 4000GB/Month traffic.


I cross-checked this calculation with my ISP who said a rule of thumb they follow is 3x of the average will be the peak bandwidth requirement. So how do I calculate the average bandwidth requirement for 4000GB/Month. Answer is simply to key this in Google “What is 4000 GB/month in Mb/s?”, we get 12.4Mb/s as result. Three times of this average is 37.2Mbps, which is near to our initial estimate of 34Mbps.

Vishwak’s Bangalore Office

After years of delaying the opening of a branch in Bangalore (India’s Silicon Valley), I finally did it. Last Sunday on the 24th, the Inaguration Pooja was performed for Vishwak’s branch office in Sanjay Nagar, Bangalore.  


My Colleagues (From left to right)
Harish, Bala, Pragathi & Myself

Microsoft Office 2003 – Tamil LIP Launch on 15th April

Myself seen doing the demo in தமிழ் of
Microsoft Office 2003 Tamil LIP

Last Friday was a very special day for me, I did a demonstration on a stage that seated the “Who’s Who?”. The special event was one in which Microsoft India launched their Tamil Inteface Pack for Microsoft Office 2003. C-DAC with association with Government of India also released a free Fonts and Software Tools for Tamil CD. The event was hosted by Mr.Dayanidhi Maran – Cabinet Minister for IT & Communication and was attended by Dr.Kalaingar Karunanidhi - Former Chief Minister Tamilnadu, Mr.G.K.Vasan – TN Congress President & other distinguished attendees.
From Microsoft side Mr.Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India spoke about the virtues of Microsoft Office Indic Editions. He also said briefed about Microsoft’s localization efforts through Microsoft portal, which is aimed at taking IT to the Indian grassroots. I followed Mr.Ravi Venkatesan to the demo of Microsoft Office 2003 Tamil LIP in தமிழ். Giving presentations is not new to me, that too presentations on technology or in my mother tongue தமிழ் (Tamil). But doing the combination – a technical demo in தமிழ் needs good preperation. The time given was also too short (10 minutes), so I prepared for almost half-a-day to do this correctly. At the end, the presentation went so well, that I received applause for couple of times from the gathering and I was told that the minister also complimented my demo :-).
You can download from here, the demos I showed on that day. The demos are in WinRAR format, as the file names are also in Tamil (Unicode) and RAR format preserves it. You can request from C-DAC’s ILDC Website or email CDAC a free delivery of their CD or you can also download it.


Mr.Ravi Venkatesan presenting the
Gold CD of MS Office Tamil to
Chief Guest Dr.Kalaingar Karunanidhi 

A view of the distinguished speakers on the stage, during the
launch of Office Tamil and CDAC Tamil Software tools CD

சென்னை சாலையில், நேற்று ஒரு அனுபவம்

நேற்று இரவு ஒரு டின்னரை முடித்துவிட்டு, நானும் எனது விருந்தாளியும் காரில் ராதாகிருஷ்ணன் சாலையில் வந்துக் கொண்டிருந்தோம். மணி  சுமார், 11:30pm இருக்கும், நான் தான் ஒட்டுனர். சாலை குறுக்கே பல காவல்துறையினர், வரும் ஒவ்வொரு காரையும் நிறுத்தி சோதனை செய்துக்கொண்டிருந்தனர். எனது காரை நிறுத்திய ஒரு காவலர், மிகப் பவ்வியமாக “சார், கோவிச்சுக்காதிங்க வாய கொஞ்சம் ஊதரிங்களா?”. அவர் கேட்டவிதம் எனக்கு அச்சரியம், சென்னை காவலர இவர்!.

கதையை தொடர, ஊதினேன், “ஒன்றுமில்லை, போலாம் சார்” என்று என் காரை அனுப்பிவைத்தார். 

World Fact Book

Recently I came across The World Fact Book, this is a US Government’s CIA website that provides comprehensive information of all countries – their geography, history, economy, people, culture, concerns and more.  Unlike the popular belief, seeing this site you will get convinced that US Government is well informed about rest of the world!.

Two sites I normally turn to for Encyclopedic content – the first is MSN’s Encarta and the other is free Wikipedia. Wikipedia even has a Tamil Encyclopedia (if you notice even this URL has a Tamil folder name!)

Munnar Photos

Two weeks back I was on a holiday to Guruvayoor & Munnar. Guruvayoor is one of the most regarded holy places in South India, it has a popular Lord Krishna Temple (Krishna in his child form). Munnar is a lovely hill station about 3 hours drive from Cochin, Kerala.


The Guruvayoor temple devasthanam maintains a well run Elephant santuary, which has over 65 elephants of different age, sex and origin (from various places of India). It is fun to watch the elephants get bath, eat, walk & even dance.

Elephant at Guruvayoor Yanakotai

Young Dancing Elephant

Elephant given bath by 3 keepers

Elephant transporting its food

View from Rajamalai (The Highest point in Munnar)

Sunset as seen from KSEB International Park

Venkatarangan in Rajamalai

Nilgiri Tahr (A Deer Like Animal) in Rajamalai

.NET UI Components, Logging & More…

In my last post, I mentioned that I am using Sauce Reader to do my postings. Though I managed to do text only posts, I am having problems with posts that include images. Sauce Reader supports two image upload options – MetaWebLog API and FTP. MetaWebLog is not supported in dasBlog 1.7.x and for some reasons (which I am yet to figure out), my FTP server refuses to get connected from Sauce Reader or even from IE. My FTP server gets connected only from GlobalScape CuteFTP, even though the FTP server is Windows Server 2003/IIS.

While using Sauce Reader I noticed that its UI looks sharp and clean; curious on the 3rd Party controls they could be using I went into the “C:\Program Files\Synop\Sauce Reader” folder and I noticed they used a handful of third-party components (a combination of free/commercial). I found the list of components impressive, so giving them below:

  1.  .NETXP  - This is a set of free packages that include lots of Windows XP like controls, Alerts, Reusable forms, Wizards, FTP Client, MSN Messenger/Outlook style alerts and more. Check it out. [Free & Commercial]

  2. .NET Components from Chilkat - Seeing their website this company seems to make lot of email, HTML related components for .NET & ActiveX. [Commercial]

  3. XML-RPC.NET from Cook Computing. [Free]

  4. esellerate - A Software commerce Provider. [Commercial]

  5. NET Html Agility Pack from Simon Mourier – An agile HTML parser that builds a read/write DOM and supports plain XPATH or XSLT [Free]

  6. SharpZipLib – A Zip, GZip, Tar and BZip2 library written in .NET. [Free]

  7. Infragistics Windows UI Development Tools [Commercial]

  8. Apache log4net - A tool to help the programmer output log statements to a variety of output targets. [Free]

  9.  - Lucene.Net is a byte-to-byte port to .NET of Jakarta Lucene a high-performance, full-featured text search engine library written entirely in Java. Now it is commercially available as Search Black Box[Free & Commercial]

  10. NetSpell SpellChecker  - A free .net Spell Checker. [Free]

  11. Microsoft Application Block [Free]

HP PhotoSmart 2608

Since I do little printing on paper and I have a variety of printers available in my office, I have so far resisted the idea (mine and my wife’s) of buying a printer for my Home PC. Though my Home PC is fully loaded (P4 HT, 1GB RAM, 180GB x 2, DVD-RW, CD-RW, TV Tuner, 17″ LCD, DSL, FireWire, USB) , till now I only had a scanner for emergency scan and email.


This week, when I wanted to scan and email an important document, the scanner decided to die. Frustrated, the next day as soon as I went into to office, I ordered for a top of the art, HP All-in-One Home device. Yesterday, the vendor delivered HP PhotoSmart 2608, which is a Colour Photo Printer (meaning it can print photos on special paper), Scanner, Fax & Copier. It includes a LCD Display for settings and Photo viewing, USB & Ethernet Interface & multiple memory card slot readers. In Chennai it costs Rs.14,600/-. I installed it today morning and so far happy with the print and scan quality.


Previously whenever I got to install any new device on my home PC (my Systems guys don’t let me do it in the office :-) ), I go straight ripping the package, connecting the power, installing the software and after few hours, turn to the manual. Today, I decided to act wise, I first read everything in the box, including the instructions on how to open the box and remove the printer. Then once I found the setup instructions, I went through it religiously one-by-one, all the way through the 20 odd steps and got the printer installed. It turned out to be good idea, as without the proper steps, this could have taken me hours to figure out.


The first time the software installation failed with some crazy MSI error. It offered to uninstall and reboot. I did that and reinstalled the software, everything went fine this time. During the software installation I noticed two things, that it required Microsoft .NET Framework (and installs it, if it doesn’t find one) and it took more than 30 minutes to complete it (probably on my machine, Windows XP itself doesn’t take this long). When I say 30 minutes on installation, I meant purely the file copy/settings time it took and it doesn’t include the waiting for user-response time or detecting the printer, etc. Definitely a long time…

Blog Reader and Posting

I have been using Sharp Reader for reading all my subscriptions and  using the Web UI of dasBlog to do my postings. Though I love Sharp Reader for its simplicity, lately I was feeling down because an update for it is long overdue.

Anyways, after trying out Newsgator, FeedDaemon and others now I am using Sauce Reader. I like the neat Interface, especially the clear, legible fonts (I guess enhanced by Clear Type). I will likely stick with this, will keep posted on how my trial goes.

This posting is posted from the WebLog feature of Sauce Reader – hope it comes out clean.