Hindi sounds program

In order to learn the Hindi script, I plan to create a program that would display all the symbols in Devenegari.  It would allow for you to “add speakers” and then allow for you to record each symbol’s sound by clicking on it in record mode.

Then it would allow for you to select a speaker, click on the symbol, and hear the sound.  Later, I plan to create quizes around this association of the sound to the symbol.

I had considered writing the program in C#/.Net.  But I can find no easy way to record/play audio.  It seems that it should be built in and simple.

However, I found this article about recording/playing sounds in Access. support.microsoft.com/?kbid=210067

Check back in a few days, I might have something for you to see 🙂

If you know of any program that does this or of an easy way to record sound in C#, please leave it in the comments below.

Three Microsoft Outlook plugin ideas

Microsoft Outlook is a very nice tool.  It has your email, contacts, calendar, and even a todo list all in one place.  You can create rules to sort your email, and it has a built in junk email filter that is pretty good.  However, there are lots of time saving features that have yet to be implemented.

Microsoft can not add every single feature that users think of.  But outside developers can create Outlook plugins that extend the functionality of Outlook.  Here are three plugins that would save me some time.

1) Why did I get this email?  Some emails I get have a “TO” and “CC” list that contains dozens of people.  Many of these are lists, that then contain lists.  This plugin would look at that list for any references to you.  Then it would look a the members of all the global lists.  Then it would look through any lists contained in lists.  It would then show which ways the email was sent to you.  So if list A was on the TO line, and list A contained list B which contained your address, it would say “TO: -> List A -> List B -> You”.  As a bonus, it would have a button that when pressed would generate an email to the list B owner (or whatever list you were on) asking to be removed from the list.

2) Who did I send this to? There are lots of emails and documents that I need to forward.  Sometime I lose track.  This plug in would keep track of which people a particular document/email was forwarded to.  It would give me a list of documents and the people that I sent it to and when.

3) How are we connected? In the Global Address List (GAL) there is information about who reports to whom, who belongs to what mailing lists, where people are located.  This plugin would allow for you to enter two people from the GAL, it would then show you what chain of managers connected them.  It would also show any shared mailing lists, or if there location was similar.  As a bonus, you could click a button on any entry in the GAL to display how the selected person is related to you, or select multiple people and see how they are related to each other.  This feature would be enabled in the email message view as well for people on the “From”, “TO”, and “CC” lines.  It should also be possible to create rules using this information.  For example, any email coming from a direct report of person A should be placed in folder A.

If you are an Outlook user and you know about a plugin like this, please leave informaton about it in a comment below.  If you are an Outlook plugin developer and would consider implementing any of these, please let me know that as well.

My dumb computer

It is 2006, and I should have a computer that I can talk to.  “Computer, what is my schedule for today?”.  “Computer, are their any birthday’s that are coming up?  Can you recommend some gifts?  Ok, buy those gifts?” 

 Why can’t we just tell computers what we want?  Ask a computer scientist this, an you will begin a conversation about how voices and speech patterns are different.  Every person pronounces even the simipliest phrases in very different ways in terms of pitch, intonation, timing, accent, and the like.  I understand all that, and I could do without actually speaking to the computer.  I would be happy just IMing the computer to get the information I need. 

 Indeed, there is a program that is like this called SmarterChild. However, this program does not take into account all the information that a computer should know.  It is a IM interface to online information and information that you choose to share with it.  But everyday we get emails, browse webpages, type IM messages, read news groups, read/write documents, and many other things online.  Yet even after years of passing these messages through the computer, it is no smarter and can not help me any more than the day I got it.  The computer is not expected to learn, but the computer user is.  The computer user is supposed to create rules to sort and mark emails.  The computer user is to bookmark pages of interests.  The computer user is supposed to keep track of what and where and from whom information comes, and keep track of what is sent out.

Why can’t the computer actually look at all these documents and start building up a knowledge base that could actually help me?  Why can’t it detect the relationship between myself and others by the information that I send and receive, the sites I view, the people I chat with?

I think this is a area where there is much “low hanging fruit” for the computer industry.  Can you imagine a computer that actually “learned” from you interacting with it?  Why we can’t even get a computer that can manage its own filesystem, so maybe I dream too much?

Christopher Blizzard » Blog Archive » One Laptop Update

Christopher Blizzard » Blog Archive » One Laptop Update

Produce Diagrams from text

This uses the Dot language to generate graphs.


There is a review on the Linux Journal:


If you want to use XML, you can use this tool: www.martin-loetzsch.de/DOTML/index.html
Online tool:



Nifty Corners – rounded corners without images

This is a neat programming trick to creat boxes with rounded corners without using images.

Nifty Corners