Saturday, December 09, 2017

Locking Unlocking Aadhar Biometrics, Lock Unlock

Recently, there was a news item, which claimed that we can lock and unlock our Aadhar biometric details from being requested for biometric identification.

This seemed like a good feature. The news item also claimed that we can view if and when our biometric details were requested for identification.

This seems like a safety feature which the public may use to prevent misuse of their Aadhar information.

So, we went to the site address

and filled in our Aadhar number.

So, were we able to lock our Aadhar?

Unfortunately, NO. Apparently, there was some "technical issue".

The page responded with the message "Your request cannot be processed now due to some technical issue. Please try again later."

Hopefully, the hiccup is temporary. And, will be rectified soon.

But, the fact remains that we are risking a situation of our biometric not being recognized in an important situation.

Assume that we had been able to lock our biometrics and are shown this message "Your request cannot be processed now due to some technical issue. Please try again later." when we are trying to unlock it.

So, there.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Nature, most benign, most benevolent!

We have this habit of blaming nature for all our ills.

Obviously, because man is the most intelligent creature on Earth and cannot go wrong.

Just imagine, what doesn't nature give us? Nature gives us light, energy, peace of mind, food, water and everything that is needed for our survival.

And, what do we do in return?

Do not let any chance to damage her physically and spiritually.


The better our knowledge of nature becomes, the worse becomes our treatment of her, making her angry.

What does nature do when she becomes angry?

She reacts in ways we cannot fathom.

Just let this sink in. The world has seen 2053 nuclear explosions since 1945. 

What Nature teaches us?

So, what are the lessons that we have to learn from nature.

We should all know that the benign, benevolent character of nature cannot be taken for granted. Because, our actions can change the quality of nature.

Nature or the cosmos cannot be overpowered, but it can be won over by our responsible actions which take nature into account, in all our actions.

It is not for nothing that our ancestors worshiped nature, which the modern religions rejected outright. It only shows our depredation and fall from grace.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Compressing jpg files; Which online tool is better?

Compress jpg files; Which is better?

We needed to place a few banner images on one of our web sites. The high resolution images were of the size of over 2MB. This is not ideal for a home page of a website. So, we decided to try a few image compression tools online.

The Image Compressing Challenge Contenders

We tried three image compression tools, such as, and

The first mentioned compressjpeg gave me a reduction of 72% from the original. To the untrained eye, there is no difference in the quality of the images.

The process was also pretty fast.

On the other hand, tinyjpg failed to upload my 2.5MB file twice and gave me a compressed file the third time.

Guess what, the online image compression tool shaved off 78% from the original image size.

Compressjpg, the third online tool that we tried, took a longer time to process the source image. The first attempt seemed to be a fail.

When trying the second time. File upload happens and there is a message which says the file was converted. But, the download link seemed like a Google adsense link.

So, of the two successful ones, the choice would be for speed and for better compression.

But, wait. There are other online tools like and Of these, seems to be good choice, compressing the original image of size 2.4MB to a size of about 375K. That is cool 85% reduction in size., meanwhile gave a compression of about 71%.

The Image Compressing Champion

Finally, from our analysis of jpeg image compression tools, we found out that the following tools gave us image compression without apparent loss of quality. In order of compression efficiency, they would be,, and

The winner of the compression challenge would be jpeg-optimizer

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

jQuery not updating/switching a different tab div bootstrap tabs active class, Why?

We find that our bootstrap tabs active class not changing or working or switching and we wonder why. I had this problem of bootstrap tabs not switching and I will explain how I solved it, with an example. We are using jQuery to try switching bootstrap tabs programmatically automatically, using jQuery's set active tab on click.

We are trying to figure out and code how to change active tab in bootstrap using jQuery.

We find that our jQuery code is behaving not as we expect it to, which is, to say the least, very frustrating. Like, for example, we expect it to show a certain content in a certain bootstrap tab or div, but it updated the content in a different tab or div, instead. My jQuery was updating a different div.

The first time we encountered such a situation, it was frustrating. When you click on the tab or do it in the jQuery code and find that the bootstrap tabs are not switching, it really upsets you. You are setting the active tab using jQuery, but the bootstrap tab is not switching.

I have to state here that the key to finding a solution to a problem like this, or for any problem for that matter, is persistence. Also, try to split the problem into different small pieces.

It also helps to take a break; take our attention elsewhere and allow our sub-conscious to work on a solution.

Approaching the bootstrap class or div problem

In our case, there is also no specific error that is shown or seen in the debugger or developer tools window as we try and set active tab pane using javascript or jQuery. So, it becomes difficult to home in on the error. As with solving any problem, to solve bootstrap tabs active class not working, what we need is a cool mind and a some experience to troubleshoot in such a situation.

Taking time off from the task, addressing a different task and coming back at a later time helps, almost in all situations.

Here, I deduced that the most probable reason would be that the div that is getting updated is not closed. Some of the closing tags that should show the tab pane are missing.

So, the div or bootstrap class that you are updating is actually part of the previous named div and so the previous div / class is getting updated and not the one that you intended.

Solution: Close the previous div properly to create the differentiation. Check and compare the opening tags with the closing tags.

$( "#home" ).removeClass("active");
$( "#one" ).removeClass("active");
$( "#menu1" ).html( text );
$( "#menu1" ).addClass("fade in active");
$( "#two" ).addClass("active");

In the above jQuery script, div menu1 is updated with some html content.

Then the div with id menu1 is made active. Then #two is made active. #two here is a tab visualization. Two different tabs are created in this example to provide the visitor a feel of viewing two different screens.

In normal situations, this should provide the impression that a different tab is being viewed, due to the jQuery code.

But, in our case, it did not happen.

Because, our code looked something like this

<div id="home">
      <div id="menu1">

In this case above, "menu1" becomes a subset of "home" and thus any update of the menu1 is reflected in "home".

The right code would have been

<div class="container">
     <div id="home">

<div class="container">
     <div id="menu1">

Proper closing of the tags, is very important.

A simple solution for when jQuery is not updating the right tab or div or class, but is updating a different tab, div or class.

It is frustrating till we understand and identify it; then it becomes easier to make the update of the right div, tab or class using jQuery.

jQuery updating a different tab different div bootstrap class SOLVED!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

How to not print columns on display while printing on paper

Many of you may or may not be aware of a javascript code that is capable of printing page content.

We had created a report which looked something similar to the one shown below.

Notice that there are two columns that display "No" in orange colour. We want to print the report, but we do not want the "NO" columns to be printed on paper.

Hiding columns from a table using jQuery

jQuery has a simple command which can hide any number of cells based on their class names. That command to hide a class is given below.


This command was given in the jQuery code, to be called when the print command was called.

Let us assume that we gave the classname "noprint" to all those cells in those two columns, which we do not want to print.

In the code loop, we added an additional classname called "noprint" to the content, like so.

 If you see, the  class "noprint" has been added. Now, when I give the command 

All cells that need to be hidden, have to be given the classname "noprint".


All those cells that have noprint class in them are hidden from view.

We are using "class" and not "id" because of obvious reasons, the reasons being the "id" can appear only once in an entire page.

Printing using the system dialogue from web application

Now, the Print command may be used to call the system's print dialogue and get our page printed. See below for the code.


Friday, October 06, 2017

mdbootstrap css and the invisible uncolored button

mdbootstrap css not working as expected

This document can otherwise be called btn-success vs btn_success Bootstrap css. This is because, a simple oversight resulted in a confusion that left our imagination flying at the speed of a mythical spaceship.

Recently, we were working on a page, where certain page elements were to be painted dynamically in the course of the program.

CSS not updating cell as expected

When the program was run, the color of the cell did not change. On analysis, we found the css class to be present in the code. But, the change did not reflect when the page was rendered. It was quite a confusing situation indeed.

But, after many rounds of analysis, we found out the problem to be an innocuous "_" symbol. Instead of "-" it was found to be an underscore "_".

btn-success explained

To put it simply, the class that we called was btn_success,  whereas what we should have called or referred to would have been "btn-success".

Notice that the character "_" in place of "-". Though they seem similar, it is easy to overlook them when they are part of a larger group of words, in this case, a program.

We are recording it here so it may be useful to another set of desperate souls who want color in their mdbootstrap css.

btn-success In a nutshell

btn-success is a bootstrap class, which highlights the cell green. If you use btn_success instead of btn-success, your cell will not be highlighted in green.

Usage of btn-success


In the above example, a ? is displayed with in a button, which has the background color green.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Learning HTML Online, Fast and FREE

A FREE Online Course for Web Development

Yes! It is true. Though, it was a serendipitous discovery. There aren't many sites that offer you the best quality training on the web. And that too, for no cost.

A run through of the syllabus and the course structure has not failed to amaze us. Such is the smooth and easy flow of the lessons, which will take the student through all the aspects of the course.

FreeCodeCamp is my first choice if you want to learn a new subject, such as web development.

According to their website, they are a community that helps you learn to code, then get experience by contributing to open source projects used by nonprofits.

Established in 2014, freeCodeCamp has helped over 14,000 people get jobs or get better offers. They have helped over 30 non-profit organizations with their web sites too.

For the student, in addition to the course content, they also have a Youtube channel, which contains classroom sessions, which can be utilized by the student to improve their techniques.

You can follow them on twitter, facebook, Subreddit and 

Their LinkedIn University page is here

So, if you are looking to learn JavaScript, jQuery, HTML5 and web development online for FREE, freecodecamp is where you need to go.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Knee Jerk Governance ?!

A Country of RULES, RULES and more RULES

I do not know how many of you have noticed. We are a country of RULES, RULES & more RULES.

Probably the only country in the world with the most RULES (LAWS) for anything and everything.

Somebody alleged that it is because laying down rules are the easiest of tasks; doesn't involve any responsibility. 

Make a rule that helmet is mandatory. But, don't make a rule that safe roads are mandatory. Because, making safe roads involves effort. Whereas, forcing the biker to wear a helmet is simple. And, if he fails, more money to the government kitty.

I have been wanting to write this for a long time now. See, the idea is not to find fault with anybody. The idea is to highlight the problem in the system.

School tragedies

The trigger for this article is the sad loss of the innocent child in a Gurgaon school on account of alleged murder.

Similar incidents have happened in many parts of the country. It is alleged that in every case, there was always a reaction from the authorities and an assurance that steps have been taken to prevent the occurrence of such incidents in the future.

One such incident that comes into our mind in this context is the Kumbakonam school fire accident tragedy. 

There was another such incident in Bengaluru, following which schools in Chennai were asked to install CCTV cameras in their premises.

The schools were also asked to verify the credentials of the employees.


take action based on advisories

What would be the ideal course of action? Now, it is up to the local authorities, the police and civic administration, to verify periodically, if the advisories are being followed.

Regular visits to the schools by the police and the corporation authorities and frequent meetings with the principals of the schools would keep them on their toes at all times.

Getting updates on the status of security and safety protocols from the schools on a regular basis will give the schools a sense of fear and responsibility that they are being monitored. This will definitely ensure that the schools take extra care and do not let their guard down.

School infrastructure and layout of the schools, with entry and exit details, whether MCBs are installed, the ratio of students vs teachers vs maintenance and security staff and all such things need to be shared with the authorities.
Actions need accountability. Someone needs to assume the responsibility.
The authorities can then formulate a plan or ideal scenario, which can be recommended to the school to follow up and implement. A timeline may be given to the school for the implementation of the ideal security protocol system.

We do not know if such an exercise was taken up by the corporation and the police with the schools in Chennai.

Status of safety and security

The Blue book on school safety has to be drafted NOW.

In the context of safety and security of the children, what will be the present status of safety and security in our schools across the country? Is there a blue book available on such safety and security aspects of all schools in the country with the authorities? It would be a sweet surprise if such information is available with them. We, as citizens would be most proud.

That would have been wonderful. But, given the track record of our authorities, we are just waiting for another mishap to happen.

Then there will be another knee jerk action from the government, authorities and the schools, which everybody will forget over a period of time.

A Blue Book on School safety is the immediate need of the hour.

Knee jerk governance

As we all know, all our governments have always been reactive, not pro active. Our governance have been reactive and not proactive. The focus is always on rectifying the problem after it has happened and not taking steps to prevent the occurrence of a problem.

We have never been in a situation where we were on top of a situation all through our 70 years of governance of independent India. Let us take for example, the 2015 and 2016 floods of Chennai and the 2004 tsunami in the coastal areas of Tamilnadu.

Do you think the government is now prepared to tackle such an incident if it were to happen again? Think about it.

We are a reactive and relief offering system. We are never an anticipating and well prepared system. The problem is systemic.

It is not because we do not want to be prepared. It is because, there is no system in place. There are no long term plans that are prepared and put into place.

Is there a Solution for our ills?

Most definitely. But, we need to have long term plans for nation development along with the short term plans. We need to have at least a basic set of rules [as we all know, our governments are experts in laying down rules] for each department of the government, going down to the grass roots.

Presently, we have 5 year plans. We have governments that run for 5 years. And, if there is a change of guard after 5 years, there is a tendency to put the plans of the previous government in the back burner, or put them in the cold storage.

Hence forth, all our government decisions should be based on the merits of the plans. We need to take all the intelligentsia of the population into confidence and all decisions will have to put the interest of the nation paramount.

We need not all those 5 year plans or 10 year plans. 

We need to have 20 year plans. How do we envisage our city 20 years from now? 
How do we see our state 20 years from now? How do we want our country to be 20 years ahead?

This takes time, but it would be well worth the effort that is put into this.

Mould the young minds

We need to mould the young minds of today; they are going to be the rulers of tomorrow. There is a dire need to create a healthy future generation that is fit in body and mind, which is capable of leading the nation into its bright future.

We need to introduce compulsory physical exercises, yoga and meditation, to keep the mid and body focused and keep them from harm's way.

Follow the Japanese way

I recently saw a Japanese video, which emphasized the attitude of the Japanese people, which is respect and caring for the others. Every Japanese is known to be respectful of the others. That is a quality, which we need to inculcate in our future citizens. We need a country full of citizens who are concerned about other citizens.

We should tell our future generation about the glorious past of our country, which was the fount of civilization in its heyday, till greed and selfishness brought us down.

This is sure to bring down all the ills of corruption and greed, which are pulling the nation down from all sides.

There is HOPE for the future

We hope that at least from this incident onward, the government takes serious cognizance of its responsibilities as the ruler of this great nation.

Link: School buses in chennai to be equipped with cctv cameras

Sunday, August 27, 2017

What is FREEDOM?

The definition of FREEDOM

It is probably the most misused word in the country today.

Everybody wants freedom; everybody is free to do whatever they want to do; and they do it, in the name of freedom of expression, freedom of action, individual freedom, freedom of the press, freedom of politics...

But, nobody ever thinks about where our freedom ends and we intersect on others' freedom. Look around us and we can see live examples of this attitude in everyday life.

Do we stop before the stop line?

Take a simple example of stopping our vehicles before the stop line. If you stop before the
stop line, invariably there is one who overtakes you and stops ahead. This goes on till finally, the vehicles are beyond the zebra and at the junction, while the poor pedestrian weaves in and out of the halted vehicles to cross the road.
When we drive along the road, we see a jaywalker suddenly cutting across the median putting his life and others in the line.

We see the policeman stopping all vehicles after 10pm and asking politely to blow. Are all people driving on the road after 10 in the night drunkards?

We see vehicles weaving in and out or lanes [lane markers are non existent in our roads is another matter] with scant regard to other vehicles on the road.

We see vehicles occupying the opposite lanes, especially at signals, inconveniencing incoming traffic.

Right of way? We don't care

We have also seen those sudden processions and road rokos in peak hour traffic, taking the entire city to ransom.

No freedom for our children

We see the British royalty lip locking on prime time news, while our two, five and ten year old children look at it with curiosity. Don't the children have the freedom to be protected from unnecessary inputs at their age?

Then there is a condom ad at prime time, which is discomforting even to adults, under the name of freedom of expression.

Freedom to Tax, but not to tAsk

We have a government which finds out devious ways to get more money out of the citizen, no offense meant. There is freedom to tax, but there is also freedom to get the basic rights in return; food, water, roads, electricity, free education, free medical support etc. When the government does that, people will voluntarily share their money.
And the list goes on...

Freedom is a two way street

But, not here. So, instead of free India, it is essentially, free for all India.

It could be ignorance, but ignorance is not an excuse. If it is ignorance, it is high time that we told people that freedom is a two way street; everybody in here have equal rights.

People have to realize that with freedom comes responsibility. The idea is about creating the next generation, and if possible, change the mindset of the present generation, which will understand this dire need for FREEDOM WITH RESPONSIBILITY.

Let us be the change we want

The idea is to promote this thought and make it heard and understood by every citizen of the country.

In my opinion, the only freedom that we can exercise without borders is freedom of thought. But, even thought should be restrained, because, as we know, thoughts become action.

And we all know that some of the destructive thoughts that became action have wreaked havoc on this planet.

If your thoughts reflect ours, do visit the FreeWiRes facebook page that we have created, like and become a member.

Start posting images where you believe we, as citizens, can make a difference.

Let us begin the change, starting with us.

Monday, August 21, 2017

How to create video subtitles in 10 minutes easily

How long does it take to create subtitles for a video? It may take 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour or many hours, depending on the length of the video.

Is it possible to create video subtitles in 10 minutes? We happened to find out that it is possible and am here to share our experience. And, we learnt how to create useful subtitles, in less than 10 minutes.

You are visiting to find out if there are easy ways to create captions/subtitles/translations for your videos. Of course, there are. 

It is done easily,  in fact, as easy as making video subtitles using notepad.

There are a couple of simple sub-title software, which you may use to select the portion of audio/video to create the sub-title, type in your translation in the box meant for it and then save the translated text; it is as simple as 1, 2, 3.

Let us see them below.

Choosing the right subtitling software

Aegisub is a free video subtitle software that I used recently. It is so simple to use that you can begin your sub-titling work in less than 10 minutes. It is one of the easiest to use and best in the free category of sub-title software.

According to its web site, Aegisub is a free, cross-platform open source tool for creating and modifying subtitles. As I found out, it is definitely quick and easy to create subtitles in 10 minutes, perfectly synchronized to audio, using this simple and easy to use subtitle software.

Aegisub is available in Windows 32/64 and OS X Platforms

Free Aegisub is available in Windows (32/64 bit editions) and OS X platforms. This is the only video subtitle software you need.

But you may also consider another sub-title software Subtitle Edit, which too has received high ratings from its users.

Installing the sub-title software

I chose to install the portable edition of Aegisub. The portable version allows us to run the software from even a thumb-drive.

If you want to be able to start sub-titling in an instant, just connect the portable flash drive to a laptop and you are good to go.

It is as easy as that. 

Follow the instructions and install the video subtitling software.

Installing Aegisub

Note: You can leave the destination folder as it is, or if you want to keep your application portable, choose a common folder for all your portables.

I installed it in e:\portable\aegisub


Create a shortcut to the application

If you find that the Aegisub shortcut is missing from your desktop,

  • Open the folder where you installed Aegisub
  • Right click on the aegisubXX.exe file and create a Desktop shortcut 

Opening the sub-title software

Double click on the Aegisub icon to open the sub-title software.

Creating subtitles using Aegisub

Before we start creating the video subtitles, we need to open the source video file for the subtitles.

Click, Video, Open Video and choose your video file for creating subtitles.

The video file is open now and you are ready to create your subtitles.

The above picture is the Aegisub main screen. 1 is the selected Audio track, 2 is the button you click to play the selected audio, 3 is the box where you will type your subtitles, 4 is the button you click to save your sub-title, and 5 is the box where your saved subtitles are displayed.

The steps to create video subtitles in 10 minutes or less

Click and drag (from left [1] to right [2], see picture below) on the audio track to select the portion to create your subtitles. Please take care to select only a small portion, to make a small statement of one or two lines.

The purpose of our subtitles is to make it easier for the viewer. The viewer may not be able to follow the subtitles if there are too many lines or if they change too fast.

Now, click on button  [marked by arrow 3] to play the selected portion of the audio. Start typing your subtitles in the box below. After you have typed the subtitles for the selection, click on the Save button [see arrow 4 in the pic below]. 

The moment you click the save  button, it is saved and the next part of the audio is selected. 

Note: Right-click on the end point of the selected audio to extend or shorten the audio selection.

The different sub-title formats

There are different sub-title formats such as .srt, .sub and so on. After complete or partial sub-titling, you may want to test it.

Saving it in the required sub-title format

Use the Export Subtitles option and export it in a suitable format (popular formats are .srt and .sub) and save it.

Congratulations! You have just created your own sub-title file.

How do I name the sub-title file?

If you save the sub-title file in the same name as the video file, the subtitles will be detected and shown by the video player, automatically.

So, if you have only one sub-title file, it is better to name it by the video file.

However, note that sites such as Youtube will insist that the sub-title is named with the translation language such as -en for English and so on.

Creating video subtitles in 10 minutes, SOLVED.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

How do I Extend a Linux partition in AWS EC2

There are a lot of pages with instructions to extend a linux partition in AWS EC2 instance or expanding the storage space of an ebs volume on linux. Here is another one.

Here I try to give you step by step instructions, on a Centos 7 machine, to make it easier.

What does extending the Linux partition mean?

Extending our Linux partition (in AWS EC2) is the resizing of your partition to use the whole disk.

Our running instance size was a Centos with 25GB hard disk space. Now, Amazon has told us that "This instance is scheduled for retirement" and we want to migrate to another instance. We found that we needed a little more space and wanted to extend the linux partition. So, when we created an image, we chose to provide for 50GB in storage.

So, we took a snapshot of the image and launched an instance from the image.

When creating the instance, the size was defined as 50GB. Then, the instance is started. 

The used hard disk space

Before we resized the Linux root partition, of the AWS EC2 instance, we needed to find out the status of the storage now. The df -h command will show us the storage space in the running instance. As seen below, it shows only 25GB, which means the EC2 instance is not fully utilizing the available disk space.

al@ip-192-230-185-43:~/> df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/xvde1       25G   17G  7.3G  71% /
none            1.8G     0  1.8G   0% /dev/shm

The available and non-allocated space

We need to utilize the non-allocated space in our Centos Linux system. To find out if there is really 50GB of space in the storage, we issue the lsblk command

al@ip-192-230-185-43:~/> lsblk
xvde1 202:65   0  50G  0 disk /

Extend the hard disk space

Great! The next step would be to resize the Linux partition (of the AWS EC2 instance) so that it uses the non-allocated space. Issue the resize2fs command which extends the drive to occupy the whole available hard disk.

al@ip-192-230-185-43:~/> resize2fs /dev/xvde1
resize2fs 1.41.12 (17-May-2010)
Filesystem at /dev/xvde1 is mounted on /; on-line resizing required
old desc_blocks = 2, new_desc_blocks = 4
Performing an on-line resize of /dev/xvde1 to 13107200 (4k) blocks.
The filesystem on /dev/xvde1 is now 13107200 blocks long.

Find out if resizing (resize2fs) worked

The command df -h is issued again to see if the "Size" has changed. We found out that it had changed from the 25GB before to 50GB, which was the extended size.

al@ip-192-230-185-43:~/> df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/xvde1       50G   17G   32G  35% /
none            1.8G     0  1.8G   0% /dev/shm

The root partition of the AWS EC2 instance was thus extended to utilize all the non-allocated space in the Linux disk.  AWS EC2 instance extend partition problem, SOLVED.

Error 21 (net::ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED): Unknown error

Error 21 (net::ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED): Unknown error We recently had this issue cropping up when browsing in Google Chrome. Initially, ... Registered & Protected DWYE-NHTO-NBNH-7FFM