Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Google Talk Guru : Get Google Search Results Within Gmail Chat

Google Talk Guru is an experimental feature from Google that offers you a chat session through which you can ask certain questions (your search queries) and receive instant Google search results in the chat box itself.

Just add guru@googlelabs.com to your contact list and send a chat invitation. Apart from Gmail, it works through any chat client that supports Google Talk (Pidgin, Adium, Digsby etc.). It works quite well as long as you stick to simple commands and don't ask anything complex.

If you get stuck, simply type "help" (without quotes) in the chat box and receive a list of supported categories. Typing help followed by the name of a category tells you how to phrase your query.

 Few examples queries:
  • weather Nagpur, India
  • calculate 500+54(2568-2495)
  • define hakunamatata
  • web techmeasy
  • translate hello from english to french

Also Check :

Monday, November 28, 2011

Covergence : Highly Customizable, Great looking Skin for XBMC

As some of you might know, I am a big fan of XBMC Media center : the software of choice for my HTPC (Home Theatre PC), and with good reason: It's attractive, powerful, and highly customizable (check my earlier post where I covered the basics of XBMC).

Yesterday I came across a great skin for XBMC called Convergence. Convergence is a mod of Confluence (the default skin of XBMC) that share the basic core of the Convergence design but mix it up with new features and focus, incorporating a good number of eye candy, tweaks, addons and scripts. Also, its highly customizable: you can easily change transparency, main menu buttons or default actions. Check out the screenshots:

For complete list of features, check this link

To install Convergence, follow these instructions :
1. Make sure XBMC Eden is installed. Eden is the latest version of XBMC, currently in test phase. Dont worry, its quite stable. If you don't have it, download it from here 

2.Click here and download the zip file and save it to a local drive that XBMC has access to.
3. Start XBMC and navigate to System –> Add-ons –> Install from zip file. Browse to the file location, click on the ZIP file and click OK. A small notification will pop up in the lower right corner to indicate a new repository was added.


4. Now go to System -> Add-ons -> Get Add-ons -> Mudisle Repo->skin. In that you’ll find an entry for the Convergence itself. Select it and you’ll get an installation box.

5. Click install and wait for the installation to complete. This will take a while.

6. Now go to System  -> Appearance -> Skin and select "Convergence"

When you install Convergence you don’t just get a pretty new skin, you get a set of 5 useful plugins too. Pretty neat.

Note that you can repeat the process for any downloaded skin. Remember that each new skin creates a new repository and you’ll need to use that repository to install the skin.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hidden Smileys in Google Plus

As I mentioned in my last post, Gmail chat has a few undocumented smileys other than the regular ones. All those hidden smileys works even in Google Plus chats. Additionally, I discovered a few more emoticons that works in Google+ but unfortunately don't seem to work in Gmail Chat or in Google Talk. Here's the list :

Nyan Cat

Once again, thanks to Deen for his contribution.

Also check :

Hidden Smileys in Gmail Chat

Almost all of us know the regular gmail chat emoticons, however, there are a few other undocumented smileys that you can use to impress your friends. Below I'm listing all the hidden smileys that I have discovered so far. Just type the appropriate combination of keys in chat box and press enter to display them .

Broken Heart

Thanks to Deen for his contribution. If I missed something, do let me know in comments.

Also check :

Bonus Tips :
  • Bold Text - To write in bold, use asterix before and after the text, like *this is bold*
  • Italic Text - To format text in italics, use underscore before an after the text, like _Text in Italics_  
  • Underlined Text - Using minus sign before and after the text results in underlined text, like -Underlined Text- 
  • The command /me [expression or statement] results in italicized "[your name] [expression or statement]". So, "/me is awesome!" = "Agni is awesome!"  as you can see below