AlexaSkills

When I heard about Amazon Alexa, I wanted to understand more about it. So, attended a free Amazon bootcamp through hackster.io website promotion. I liked it. Based on the instructions and template, I was able to create some 3 skills and got it certified from them (certification process took close to a week after submission). Feeling happy. Following is the process.

  1. Understand the Alexa skill process, watch a sample video (http://bit.ly/alexafactvid)
  2. Develop the function for your skill and upload the same in AWS portal
  3. Create your new skill with invoking intent and sample utterances
  4. Self test the skill using http://echosim.io (echo simulator if you don’t have the device)
  5. Tune the lambda function powering your skill and the speech utterances
  6. Submit the skill for certification and wait for them to review and promote to live (correct the review feedback and resubmit if necessary)

Resources:

https://www.hackster.io/amazon-alexa

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USB Flash Drive Corrupted and Unreadable

I got some files from a known friend in my USB flash drive. It was working fine when the files were copied to flash drive but it failed to open when I plugged into my laptop. System threw an error as ‘The File or Directory is Corrupted and Unreadable’. I was able to use one of the options (chkdsk /f <drive letter>:) suggested in the below website and one more website.

https://www.partitionwizard.com/partitionmagic/the-file-or-directory-is-corrupted-and-unreadable.html

After running chkdsk, I got Access Denied error. I gave Everyone read permission under security tab based on some suggestion from one of the articles in internet. This resolved the error. I was able to successfully remove the flash drive. When I plugged in again, it showed a warning message that we have to scan and fix the errors. I did it and it resolved most of the errors faced in that USB flash drive.

I have formatted this USB flash drive and tried accessing in another laptop. It didn’t recognize. Then I went to disk management and assigned a drive letter. It started showing again.

I referred this webpage for solving unrecognized flash drive issue http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2117033/flash-drive-showing-computer.html

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Hotel California

I listen to Hotel California song quite frequently. I like the guitar music as many (O.. M… song). Quite interestingly I have noticed couple of lines in the song which means a lot philosophically 🙂

such a nice lyrics

such a nice lyrics (background)

http://www.bing.com/search?q=hotel+california+lyrics&form=OSDSRC&pc=EUPP_

 


We are all just prisoners here
Of our own device

Relax said the night man
We are programed to receive
You can check out any time you like
But you can never leave


I view these lines similar to life – rebirth cycle in our biological machine. Thinking. Does it ring a bell, anyone?

 

As mentioned in Eagles Wikipedia page, these are mysterious lyrics.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagles_(band)#1975.E2.80.9377:_Major_success_with_Hotel_California

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Lord Vishnu Ten Avatars

Lord Vishnu Ten Avatars – It is believed based on the interpretations from Hindu scriptures, Lord Vishnu self-incarnates at various stages of earth cosmic cycle (yugas) to bring ordinance whenever evil forces go beyond a tolerable limit.

Out of several views of avatar interpretations, I like the way how avatars are described related to life evolution characteristics in earth. Following are the avatars.

  1. Matsya – like a fish (initial life)
  2. Kurma – like a tortoise (life in water and land)
  3. Varaha – like a boar (disconnected from water, started living in land)
  4. Narasimha – like a lion (transition to knowledge; high in food chain)
  5. Vamana – short form (kind of Neanderthal; knowledge; wisdom)
  6. Parasurama – human form with axe, bow and arrow
  7. Rama – concept of King (society, community)
  8. Balaram – human form with plough and mace (civilization, farming)
  9. Krishna – intellectual dealing with politics, human weakness, life lessons, etc. (bhagavad gita)
  10. Kalki – (believed to happen in future) human machine

After 10 avatars, earth is believed to enter a silent phase / ice age / suspend state and again the life cycle starts and then the avatars from #1.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vishnu

http://www.drikpanchang.com/dashavatara/vishnu-dashavatara-list.html

http://www.balagokulam.org/kids/stories/dashavatara.php (in this article, they have considered Buddha in the list instead of Balaram)

 

 

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Reduce Word document file size with images

I was having a requirement to prepare a word document with lot of images for a training. It had lots of screenshots which doesn’t need to be in high resolution. Without any compression, the document was more than 10MB in size. After compression, it reduced the file size to less than 10 MB. Following 2 pages will help in achieving it.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Reduce-the-file-size-of-a-picture-8DB7211C-D958-457C-BABD-194109EB9535

http://www.gcflearnfree.org/word2013/19

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Import contacts from Android or SIM to Windows Phone

In Android, some devices are allowing to view contacts stored in SIM. But in Google standard version of Android, it is not encouraged and I couldn’t locate an option to see the SIM contacts.

That is the same case with Windows Phone to the best of my knowledge. I haven’t come across a Windows Phone which shows contacts in SIM as well. So, if you are moving to Windows Phone from Android then you have 2 options.

You can try using the Windows Phone app ‘Transfer my Data’.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/apps/transfer-my-data/9wzdncrfj3dr

 

Else if your new Windows Phone is unlocked / no restriction of using existing SIM then insert SIM and do Import contacts from SIM.

 

If there is a restriction of SIM, then you can export the contacts from SIM to a Google account, then upload the contacts in CSV and import the contacts from CSV to Microsoft account. Following link explains the steps.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Import-Google-Gmail-contacts-into-Outlook-edbacfde-f48c-49da-a6a3-bcbb8f4f4819?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US#bkmk_export

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Import-contacts-into-Outlook-on-the-web-cdd08f87-4e40-45dc-a367-d8ab3808ceca?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

 

If you have contacts in VCF file then please use Windows Phone Contacts+Message backup app. Install the app, take contacts backup, replace the backup stored in phone with your vcf file (keep the file name same as backup) and restore the contacts backup.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/apps/contacts-message-backup/9nblgggz57gm

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Breatharianism

I read about a person (Prahlad Jani) who is living without food and water for 50+ years. I was curious about the feasibility and came across the concept, breatharianism. Good concept to understand (fasting is time bound but breatharianism is forever). Wikipedia has good explanation and couple of other websites has more details. As mentioned in a website, humans needs practice to reach the final state (current state, vegetarian, vegan, raw foods, fruits, liquids, and then prana). Time taken to final state depends on individual (every human is unique). There are several explanations like prana, liquid light, life air, etc. and there are religious explanations as well from various religions. There are instruments commercially available to extract water from air, probably people following prana may get liquid sustenance through air.

http://www.breatharian.info/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inedia

http://www.angelfire.com/stars3/breathe_light/breatharianism.html

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