River Lapwing a first record at Bor Lake

River Lapwing in flight
River Lapwing in flight - Notice the wing spur

This is the first record of River Lapwing so close to Nagpur continue reading for another photograph, more information and some of the excitement

Photographing birds in flight – A mini HowTo

Indian eagle owl - Adult in flight
Indian eagle owl - Adult in flight

Capturing birds in flight is a vexing subject for many newbie bird photographers. Well instead of just randomly trying to get a shot if you think and plan consciously the subject is not at all difficult to master and the results are indeed very satisfying. Am writing down here a few points which can get you started in the right direction – these are by no means the only things you must do, just somethings which have worked out right for me Continue reading for the tips and several example pictures

Last month @ SANIsoft blog April 1, 2011

  • Announcing the release of Sphinx Search book
    Many of you must be following my posts on Sphinx Search Engine over the past one year or so. Well, today I am happy to announce the release of my book Sphinx Search – Beginner’s Guide published by Packt Publishing. The book was released earlier this month, that is, March 2011. As the name suggests, […]
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  • Introduction to using Zend_DB for database abstraction
    Welcome back! Today we are going to look into database abstraction layer of one of the most popular MVC frameworks out there. Yes, you are right the framework is Zend framework and the component we will look at is Zend_DB. While Zend_DB is an important part of the framework, one of the best parts of […]
  • Extended query syntax in Sphinx search engine
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Last month @ SANIsoft blog March 1, 2011

  • [CakePHP] How to show ‘all’ records options while still using paginate
    Admittedly this is a marginal case but recently a client wanted to show “All” records along with a list of ‘per page’ options for paginated records, for example, something like ‘2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, All’ or you need to use ‘field sort’ feature of pagination while displaying all records. So, following is a […]
  • [How to] Using wp_redirect() without getting errors
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  • Overview of the new SPL features in PHP 5.3
    Today we take a look at another powerful yet still neglected feature that’s part of the PHP 5.3’s stable. It is the latest offerings in the SPL (Standard PHP Library). While SPL has been around since a long time with PHP 5.3, some useful features were introduced. While they might not be the sexiest thing […]
  • [HowTo] Page expire on browser back/reload in CakePHP
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Kindle 3 keyboard shortcuts that I frequently use and some more

This is more of note to self but at the same time I feel it will benefit someone some day

  • alt + shift + G takes a screenshot which gets stored in the document folder as a png file
  • alt + G will refresh the screen, this is useful to remove the ghosting which may at times occur
  • shift + alt + m on home screen will start the built in mine sweeper game and if you are into games on kindle take a look here
  • alt + top row of letters will type out numbers
  • Slide and hold the power switch for long enough and it turns off your kindle – further investigations reveal that this is 7 seconds to turn off and holding it for 15 seconds will reset it
  • alt + B while reading adds and removes bookmarks
  • alt + space turns music on and off (mp3 should be uploaded in Kindle’s ‘music’ folder
  • shift + Sym turns speech on and off Space pauses it
  • Skip chapters in a book by using right and left on the nav controller
  • I discovered that pressing G when in Minesweeper starts GoMoku

The are some things which I want to try but have not as yet –

  • Use the Image Viewer in Kindle
  • Try using Calibre to remove DRM from the books I have purchased
  • Try out the  alternate Kindle OS Duokan. Works without jail breaking and claims better PDF rendering

Last month @ SANIsoft blog February 1, 2011

  • [How to] Optgroups in select for Drupal CCK module
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  • [WordPress Plugin] iPad Swipe
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  • Drupal 7 Release Party, Nagpur, India
    It was the 8th of January 2010, the big day had arrived. It was Drupal 7 Release Party – Nagpur edition. This was certainly one of the most awaited event of the new year. Drupal 7 had released a couple of days back and just like developers all over the world, Drupal community in Nagpur […]
  • Introduction to creating desktop applications with PHP and Titanium
    Welcome back! and a very Happy New Year. Yes, you saw it right. The post is about creating desktop applications with the help of PHP. And No, we are not using PHP-GTK. You can now create desktop applications without learning a completely new programming language! That is with the help of a free and open source […]
    Now this was a post which generated a record number of hits on the site

Osprey – A legendary bird

Osprey in flight
Osprey in flight

There are some species of birds which are common, almost everyone and their aunts have a great picture of them but I somehow do not have any decent pictures. The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) till very recently was one such species. Continue reading for some interesting trivia and 2 more pictures

Indian Muntjac

Indian Muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak)
Indian Muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak)

All my previous sighting s of this animal have been fleeting glimpses as it disappeared into the bushes. Indian Muntjac commonly known as the Indian barking deer is a small, very alert and shy member of the deer family. Read more with one more photograph

Last month @ SANIsoft blog January 1, 2011

  • [How To] Live index updates in Sphinx search
    Sphinx search engine can index huge databases with ease and speed. However, when new data (in database or the configured data source) comes in, there is no point in re-indexing everything again and waste our CPU cycles and other resources. Sphinx offers live (almost real time) index updates using a technique called as main+delta scheme. […]
  • [How To] Create content type with CCK fields from your custom module in Drupal
    In the previous post, Sumit wrote about creating content type through custom module. Creating the content type this way allows you to distribute your custom content type easily without asking your users to create the content type manually before installing your module. But what if you have a complex content type created with lots of […]
  • [CakePHP – How To] CKFinder configuration management using component
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Travails of 2010 and some new year resolutions

Last foss.in
Last foss.in

The year gone by can be best described as a year of photography and traveling.

I started the new year with my 20th picture on Flickr explore, but the novelty of Flickr explore wore off pretty soon as I got a front page explore again and then 40 pictures and finally 50+. We traveled to the Rann of Kutch for a week in the last week of January and got a lot of bird (and a few animal) photographs.

February saw me doing the long over due drive to Mallura Village in Melghat in quest for the the Forest owlet . The pictures I brought back from that trip have been in demand by several publications and websites.

I started collaborating with Lalit Vikamshi and we have been doing some very interesting experiments with studio photography since then…

Mid May we took another trip and this time it was to Tanzania, It was an wonderful and unique experience and once again there were a lot of photographs, in fact 14000+ I finally managed to post-process upload the last of selected few in November. Just before the trip we celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary

I got myself an iPad and became a fan.

September I tried out the 750 Words experiment successfully, turned 44 and noticed that my blog has 200006 published words.

The trip Botswana trip I planned with Amit Sharma materialized and we camped in the heart of Moremi and Savuti.

The most significant event of the year for me was the last foss.in, it was an amazing journey for all of us. For the curious Atul has written why it was the last. We stayed one day more and took the last wildlife trip of the year to B.R. Hills with Kalyan and stayed at the awesome Gorukana Resort

Resolutions: I have never been too much of a new year resolutions person but this year I have decided that starting 1st Jan for 100 days I will be a vegetarian and not take any alcohol. The second resolution is to continue with writing 750 Words daily for next 100 days