Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Share PDF, Word document, Excel files from Blogger

Blogger or Wordpress will not allow you to share files  that are not images from the regular posts attachment options.

Here is a work around to make your PDFs or other files available online and be able to share from your own blog.

Share the file using Google Drive

1. Login to Google drive
2. Click "New" from the top left
3. Select "Files" from the drop down options
4. Now select the file from your computer that you want to be made available online
5. Once the file is uploaded, select "Share" from the options available
6. Here select "Get Link"option. This will give you the link you can access this file from.

Link the file to your blog post

1. Using HTML editor view: Use this tag to link the file to your blog,

<a href="URL of the file" target="_blank">Text you want to link to</a>


1. You can type in the text you want to link the file to and select the "link" option from the editor window. From there, enter the link you want the text to be linked to. This does the same the HTML code does as mentioned above.

Hope this helps.

Photographing the Photographer

Candid shot.

Photo of a photographer taking picture of three guys standing behind three dustbins in a public beach

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Real-time Chennai rain map and tips to predict rain

This is a real-time Chennai rain map and will be updated every 15 minutes.

Here is a map I always use before I start out on a rainy day. I pull my predictions from this map. We can predict at least an hour ahead if it will rain or not.

Chennai MAX (dBZ) - 250 Kms radius

(Image source:

The mid point of this image where the cross is marked is from where this radar image is taken. This is the Doppler radar next to the RBI building when you take the sub-way to join secretariat road. The foot ball over the building where we all would wonder while passing this place.

This is a 250 KM radius image. You also will see the 50 km, 100 Km, 150 KM and 200 KM markings. From here you can find where you are, on this map. You can relate this with Google Map if you want to.

Now how can you predict. For South West monsoon, you will see the rain clouds moving from land to the sea. For North East monsoon, you will see the rain clouds moving from the sea to the land.

The color on the map shows if it is raining heavily or just a mere drizzle. You can see the scale on the right. Here is a quick reference.

Dark Blue - Very light rain (Drizzling)
White - Moderate rain (It is raining)
Magenta - Heavy rain (It is pouring)

I also use this Animation to see how fast and in which direction the rain clouds are moving.

Here set the time interval in milliseconds and the frames you want to see. This will stitch the frames to an animation which will show you the movement.

This is a crude way of finding. If you are really interested in knowing more, there is an active armature weatherman community. You can catch up with them here,

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

SOLVED: How to remove semalt data from Google Analytics report

Semalt shows up as referral on Google Analytics report. In actual these are not referral traffic, these are visits by Semalt web crawlers to the website. Semalt data seems to be misguiding the analytics data. It hurts with its 100% bounce rate. Semalt also does not follow exclusions marked in Robot.txt which does not sound like a credible crawler we can let through our websites.

There are two ways we can take care of this depending on your needs.

Option 1: Removing entry from Google Analytics

We can remove the data from analytics. In this case, Semalt crawlers would still be coming in to the site and would leave its trace on the analytics but would not be visible on the Analytics report.

This is how to remove the Semalt data from Analytics.

- Go to Google Analytics

- Go to Admin from the top Navigation

- Select Filter from the left Navigation

- Select the account for which you want to add this filter

- Now hit "New filter"

- Here is the screen capture for the settings, 

Option 2: Remove the website from being scrolled by Semalt

This is the better way to take care of this mennace. This will instruct Semalt crawlers not to scroll the website going forward.

Go to 

Here fill the website address you want to be removed from their scroller and submit it. They commit removing the website from the scroller in 30 min.

Hope this helps.

Phuzhuthivakkam Government School plantation on 11.Oct.2014

This was my first day with my camera for an event with Mazhaikaga,

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Meteor sighting 16.Oct.2014 - Chennai, Tamill Nadu, India

I was off to bed at 1:30 am (16.Oct.2014) IST. The room has a window facing north. I saw a shadow of the window grill on the wall on the south and the shadow seem to move. It was like a car passing by with the light changing direction. It was bright I thought someone was bringing the light closer. Ran to the window and saw this amazing meteor. It had a long tail. Ran to the room next to my bed room to grab my camera, it was a good 10 seconds or so before I can grab the camera, turn it on, point and take some shots. These shots were taken at 1:36 am IST (GMT +5.5 hours). Taken with a 50mm lens.

Here is the cropped version,

Meteor - Chennai, India, 16.October.2014 1.36 am IST

Here are the original images
Image 1 - Meteor - Chennai, India, 16.October.2014 1.36 am IST

Image 2 - Meteor - Chennai, India, 16.October.2014 1.36 am IST

Image 3 - Meteor - Chennai, India, 16.October.2014 1.36 am IST

Image 4 - Meteor - Chennai, India, 16.October.2014 1.36 am IST

Image 5 - Meteor - Chennai, India, 16.October.2014 1.36 am IST

Image 6 - Meteor - Chennai, India, 16.October.2014 1.36 am IST

Image 7 - Meteor - Chennai, India, 16.October.2014 1.36 am IST

This photo was taken approximately pointing at 10 degree North.

Someone was lucky to take a video of it.

It is also a coincidence that there was a launch from Sriharikota. It was the PSLV C26 with the new navigation satellite. It was launched at 1:32 am the same day. Up on looking at the flight path and seeing the light faded I assume it was not the rocket engine that was the reason behind the light streak.

Here is the flight path of PSLV C26,

As the light did fade, and if it was from the PSLV C26, it should have been the phase  where the booster would separate from the main vehicle. If we look at the flight path, the first booster separated at an altitude of 23.85 KM (78,248 feet), this is more than twice the altitude at which a commercial airliner would cruise. If this was the light streak from the separated booster, it would not have been so bright to have lit up the room.

I could still be wrong. With the information I have and with what I saw, I can only conclude it was a meteor and not a passing launch vehicle.