If everything goes as planned by ISRO, any of the days from October 19th to 28th would be remembered as a red-letter day for us Indians. Our very first, homespun lunar probe, Chandrayaan is all set to make its first voyage to the Moon on these tentative dates depending on the weather conditions. The mission if successful will put India into the elite club of countries who have been able to perform missions to the moon. If the weather plays spoil sport, the mission may be postponed to December.
Chandrayaan is still undergoing some tests which will simulate the conditions that the probe will undergo at the time of launch such as high-temperatures, vibrations during take off and the vibration – acoustic test.
Chandrayaan will carry 11 payloads totally consisting, 5 from India, 3 from the European Space Agency (ESA), one from the Bulgarian Space Agency (BSA) and 2 from NASA, making it a truly global initiative. The two-year mission will be invaluable as the Chandrayaan is programmed to orbit the lunar surface and digitally map it. One of its objectives is also to send information on the traces of the composition of the lunar surface apart from looking for atomic minerals such as thorium and uranium. The probe is also gearing up high-resolution cameras which could help it to comment upon the existence of water on the moon.
An upgraded version of the most successful launch vehicle for ISRO, the PSLV launch vehicle will be used to transport the probe to the lunar orbit. The vehicle holds the record for sending as many as 10 satellites simultaneously during its last mission. This time round, it is all set to break its own record by carrying 11 different payloads.
From using a bicycle as their first rocket transporter during its initial stages in 1963, the Indian space program has covered many miles to attempt to join the elite club of successful moon missions. When successful it will definitely be another feather in India’s success hat.
Photo sharing has stepped into a new era with Google releasing the new version of Picasa. Picasa, a photo sharing and editing software has improved enormously since acquired. The new version of Picasa looks promising with loads of features which could make photo meddling a lot easier and interesting.
Picasa makes big news by including a new feature which I would call it a blockbuster, which allows its users to assign ‘name tags’ to individuals captured in images. If you assign name tags to a few faces in your collection, Picasa Web Albums will help you automatically find other photos with the same people so you can quickly tag your whole collection. That way, users can easily make an album of any person present in their collections.
Picasa also has the ability to automatically sync albums from a PC to the web, ensuring images and albums can be added, deleted or edited both online and locally at the same time. Picasa web albums can also be shared with anyone without any registration or accounts. It provides a full resolution view of the photos once an album is shared.
A new ‘Explore’ section gives users a way to enjoy photos published by other Google Photos users around the world, including a ‘Where in the World’ game in which you guess the mystery locales of geo-tagged photos.
Users will also benefit from the addition of new photo editing tools such as:
- A drag-and-drop photo-collage tool giving total freedom over layout and content
- A powerful retouching brush to wipe out scratches and blemishes, and repair old photos.
- A slideshow movie maker that uploads to YouTube with a click
- Auto red-eye removal
- Smart auto-cropping that guides you on how to zoom in on your subject
- A fast-launching Photo Viewer to quickly inspect and manipulate images while in the Windows filesystem
Watch Picasa Video
‘Microsoft sucks!’ is one comment which gets old really fast. Users say it everyday but then they are back on track for a Microsoft update download. For the Microsoft interested crew, I write about Windows 7 or Windows Vienna.
Windows 7 is a project on which Microsoft have been working on for 3 years now. With a changed vision that Microsoft doesn’t want to make big changes to its OS after release they seem gearing up for something big.
While people believed that Microsoft was rectifying the numerous issues of vista, they were caught by surprise by the news about Vienna. Microsoft is backing up Vienna big time considering its wish list users have reported. Some of the best on the list are: (the last one being my favorite)
- Integrated font manager
- Network tray – ‘currently connected to’ with context menus
- Recycle bin should ‘fill up’ visually
- IE should have a close button on each tab
- Drag tabs from one instance of IE to another
- Windows should not need to spin up the cd drive every time you pull down the drive list
- Image (ISO, BIN) support in Windows
- Virtual Desktop Feature
- Multiple taskbars for multiple monitors
- Integrated anti-virus
- Replace error ID number with plain language explanation
The complete wish list is available in the snap below. There is no way that Microsoft could complete the whole of the wish list but we could expect something out of the new OS. Gates at a conference in Tokyo said the key aspects of Windows 7 will be “the ability to be lower power, take less memory, be more efficient, and have lots more connections up to the mobile phone.”
Controversial topics are always difficult to handle but a shot once in a while is a risk to be taken. Talking about Vienna’s performance, it takes a different approach to the componentization and backwards compatibility issues by not thinking about them at all. Windows 7 will be a from-the-ground-up packaging of the Windows code base. Making the break from backwards compatibility is a dangerous proposal but a dream for software developers. Performance of native applications can be increased, distribution sizes can be cut down, functionality can be added without the worry of breaking old applications, and the overall end-user experience can be significantly improved.
In January 2008 Microsoft when asked about Windows 7 said that it was still in developmental stage and would take 3 years of coding. But it has raised many eyebrows, when a source from InternetNews.com said that an internal calendar at Microsoft has June 3, 2009 as the planned release date for Vienna. The Beta 1 version is said to be available in mid-December. Whether Microsoft can release on June 3rd or it is one of those dates our managers deadline us with, is to be seen.
Windows 7 Official video – Featuring touch
Keep yourself updated with Windows 7 with this anonymous blogger supposedly a windows 7 developer at http://shippingseven.blogspot.com/
Windows 7 wish list: