Archive for 2007

Dotnetspider makes you march ahead more active ...

Dotnetspider makes you march ahead more active ...

Just yesterday I had a chance to peek at the Diamond Level of Dotnetspider which I have discussed over here. But sometime late night when I was checking the profile pages, it had come back to Gold level again. But, as part of a response to another query, the webmaster of the site was kind enough to unravel the mystery. :)

The process of 'Level Launch' had one more phase that was released yesterday the essence of which goes like this:

"Calculating from the date of registration, the top members are deducted a few points (you can find it Adjusted Points in the profile page. This is basically to ensure that a few members do not block the top rows for ever and then do not participate for a said prolonger period." If you can closely observe, the other forum website (http://www.community-credit.com/) has also a similar feature to encourage more vibrant participation. They call it as 'Credit Curves'.

We see the following advantages due to this new feature in Dotnetspider:

1) More excitement
2) Vibrant Participation from all members to compete in the 'Top Honors' list.
3) Avoidance of any kind of stagnation or squatting by a few people in the 'Top Honors' list. Of course, if there is an active participation from your side, you keep clinging on to your position.

With this, my current profile set reflects the following stats as of 23rd December 2007 1450 hours. You can also check it out from here anyway.

1) Total Points: 5008
2) Adjusted Points: 3988 (About 1020 points have been offset calculating from the date of registration 07th March 2005)
3) Effective Points: 2988 (Effective Points = Total Points - Gifts Recieved)
4) Member Level: Gold

Sunday, December 23, 2007
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

Just became 'Diamond' Member in Dotnetspider

Just became 'Diamond' Member in Dotnetspider

Sometime back we were discussing about new membership levels that have been introduced in Dotnetspider over here. Today I was actually busy revising for my MBA fourth semester examinations and for a while to relax trying to answer some questions and help out peers in some of the forums. While I was online, Ramesh just sent me a message indicating that my dotnetspider profile shows up my membership level as 'Diamond'.

I have attached a quick screenshot below. However, you can also see out the profile URL here



Saturday, December 22, 2007
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan
Tag :

CodeProject as an ASP.NET Powered Website...

CodeProject as an ASP.NET Powered Website...

If you had been actively participating in the discussion forums of http://www.codeproject.com/ you would have already known about the significant upgrade that had been going along in the past week. The previous Sunday; Scripting and ASP finally got migrated into Managed Code (ASP.NET).

With always heavy traffic at the website, it is really a nightmare for the team to get running with the new upgrade. The CP development team really did a very hard work and a meticulous job of upgrading the entire website to .NET successfully. Let us join together to congratulate the CP Team and wish them all success in all quarters of life and in thier future endeavors.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

[Persits ASPEmail Review] A Powerful Server-Friendly SMTP Component for Microsoft Environment

[Persits ASPEmail Review] A Powerful Server-Friendly SMTP Component for Microsoft Environment

Introduction

Email and messaging has become an inseparable part of any web application. The days of static HTML have just disappeared. The era of depending on CGI scripts for email functionality and rest in the native applications is slowly disappearing. The compelling point is that every application should support fully tuned and fine-grained SMTP functionality be it Desktop or Web.
Applications use email for a diversified reasons. A few of the requirements are here under:

  1. Contacting back to (Parent) Website
  2. Newsletter Solutions
  3. Peer Email Services
  4. Current Solutions and Situation
The Classic ASP had two types of email support with Windows:
  1. CDONTS (Colloborative Data Objects for NT Server)
  2. CDOSYS (Starting with Windows XP).
When Managed Realm took control, these components were still used under a friendly cover namespaces like System.Web.Mail. The COM exceptions were taking ugly faces in some occasions and hence we had troubleshooting websites like http://www.systemwebmail.com/. However, if you are lucky to have started using .NET Framework 2.0, you are at relatively safe hands with System.Net.Mail (http://www.systemnetmail.com/) which does not get hands very much dirty with COM Interop since it is a complete rewrite of the SMTP functionality.

The ASPEmail

Although for most cases, we can live with the base class provided libraries there are occasions like newsletter mailing and similar SMTP-heavy applications which would bog down the server with overwhelming number of requests for emails. Here comes Persits ASPEmail (which is a lucid COM Component) that can help us with.

Features of ASPEmail from Persits

Although it is a COM component, you can use it with greater degree of ease in your ASP.NET applications through COM Interop. The site itself now says as "Free Mail Component for ASP and ASP.NET"

In one of my previous organizations, I had to have a newsletter component written. While the engine was ready, the significant problem we faced during the actual customer deployment was performance. After a bit of research, we moved the email setup to Persits ASPEmail. The Premium Version supports Message Queuing. This works in the free version also but as a trial feature and stops after the trial ends.

Support for Digitally Signed Messages. Note: However you need to use the sister component called ASPEncrypt to use this functionality and also purchasing a digital certificate from a certificate authority like Verisign or Thawte

Transparent and simple use in any type of application like Windows Service, Desktop Applications or Websites.

While preparing this note, I have also just observed from the vendor website that they have released the 64 bit version of the product now. However note that there may not be trial version for this product.

URLs of Interest
  1. Persits ASPEmail Primary URL: http://www.aspemail.com/
  2. ASPEncrypt (for Digitally Signed Email Messages): http://www.aspencrypt.com/
Summary
I am sure this would be a quick eye-opener note for developers who are looking at SMTP components that need to be be aggressive in the applications of type NewsLetters and High Traffic websites where any burden on the CPU for a single operation is not tolerable.
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

[Software Review] Granular Print Control with Internet Explorer

[Software Review] Granular Print Control with Internet Explorer

Introduction

Most of us developing web applications and JavaScript would have, in one time or another used window.print() to print the active document. And for most of the simple applications and plain vanilla documents, this would actually fit the needs excellently. However, there are a few business requirements that might dictate a more granular control over the printing, nature of printing (Unattended -- No Prompting), Custom Stylesheets, Nonstandard documents (like PDF).

When the need of accomodating such business requirements knock our door, I would say, there is neat little ActiveX From Meadco which answers the queries.

The Inspiration and Problem Requirements

The inspiration to dig deep into my memory on my use of MeadCo ScriptX Basic somewhere around in 2003 for a Fi-Serv group company based in California was a few queries last week in our forums about 'Unattended Printing'. By default, Internet Explorer would mandatorily throw open the Print Dialog and the user has to give his consent of sending the document to the printer. But when it comes to business applications like Banking, Library Management system etc, the user would be really irritiated to keep clicking OK button for each and every print request that he is enqueueing to the device.

The next salient example would be printing non-standard documents like PDF or Word. Currently, there is only option left. Link to the document and guide the user that he has to choose 'Print' from the document helpers' functionality. But with ScriptX, it provides a direct 'Print' command for such documents too. Of course, it internally downloads the document, calls the 'Print' function of the helper application, on behalf of us.

The Power-Features of ScriptX

A few of the features have been based from ScriptX Webpage here(http://www.meadroid.com/scriptx/)

  1. Enabling ScriptX in our web applications is as easy as telling 1, 2, 3. Meadco provides a simple latest CAB file for free (Basic).
  2. Support for IE 7 Templates. Internet Explorer Print Templates had been one another way to circumvent the limitations of window.print(). But without ScriptX, using the Templates directly and manipulating them would mean a little tricky whirlpool.
  3. Support for Framed Pages
  4. Optional Preview Support
  5. Unattended Printing
If you are a tech-savvy user wanting more out of ScriptX, some of the advanced functions might be wanting for you. However, you may need to purchase appropriate license for the same.
  1. Queued Printing
  2. BatchMode
  3. Zoom Facility
  4. Non Standard documents like Document and PDF
Summary

I am sure this would be a quick eye-opener note for the programmers in getting a more powerful print solutions for thier web applications. It also provides a cleaner wrapper on Print Templates besides unlearning the retired Web Browser object which is not considered safe post Windows XP Service Pack 2.
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

Online Winmail.DAT Opener

Online Winmail.DAT Opener

About sometime back we have been discussing about a few free tools that help us in managing the attachments that get stuck into Winmail.dat (the magic formatting file of Microsoft Outlook that no other email client can open). You can check out the permalink of the post here.

Today while casually surfing on the Internet, I came across a quick free online tool which helps you to upload Winmail.dat to thier servers and it would decode the attachments and give the same back to you. You can check out the website Winmaildat.com here:

http://www.winmaildat.com/

Note: Since it is an online viewer and you need to upload Winmail.dat attachment to a hosted webserver, they have restricted the upload file size to 5 mega bytes.
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan
Tag :

New Opening Level ("Gold Standard Member") in Dotnetspider

New Opening Level ("Gold Standard Member") in Dotnetspider

A few days back we actually discussed about the new features that have been introduced in Dotnetspider over here. I just thought of sharing one more delightful information that with the current points I have earned over there, I am currently a 'Gold' Member in Dotnetspider.

You can check out my profile over here.

Posted by Deepak Vasudevan
Tag :

Congrats to Pradeep for being Monthly Winner of Dotnetspider

Congrats to Pradeep for being Monthly Winner of Dotnetspider

It is a moment of rejoice that one of my colleague also has now become a very active participant in discussion forums and has also won the first 'Monthly Winner' prize in Dotnetspider for the month of November.

Let us join to congratulate Pradeep Joe Felix for his achievement and wish him success in more quarters.

Posted by Deepak Vasudevan
Tag :

New Features in Dotnetspider

New Features in Dotnetspider

I had been away from being online for a while the previous week and I had a pilgrimage to take to Sabarimala from December 5 to December 10. I just noticed a few cool and interesting features that have been introduced in Dotnetspider and thought I would write about them over here. These features are for sure, kindle the encouragement of technical fraternity making them to participate with more vigor and helping peers in the discussion forums.

  1. Dotnetspider's Sister Channel (India Study Channel) opens up 'Jobs for Freshers'.
  2. New Active Members' Widgets: On the left hand side of the website, you can find a cool widget called 'Active Members'. Currently it shows two categories
    1. Very Active Members Today
    2. Very Active Members for the last seven days (1 week)
  3. Enhancements in Profile Page
    1. The Profile Page now shows up the Points Earned (Total Effective Score) directly without one needing to visit 'Potential Winners' page. For an example, you can visit my profile page here.
  4. New Member Level concept has been introduced. Currently the management of Dotnetspider seems to have five levels like Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond and Platinum. You can check out the details here.
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

[Book Review] The Microsoft Encyclopedia of Security

[Book Review] The Microsoft Encyclopedia of Security

When I attended the Microsoft Security Summit 2007 event at The Park Hotels, Chennai on December 13, 2007, as part of the free goodies and gifts they were giving for the first two hundred registrants, I got a copy of the book "The Microsoft Encyclopedia of Security" by Mitch Tulloch.

I just thought I would share a few points about the book:

  1. No matter what is the level of knowledge of the reader in Information and Computer Networks security, this book is for sure, a definitive and a valuable resource that needs to finds its place in everyone's bookshelf.
  2. Even the most harder to remember and recall security concepts are explained in a way that we learn them in a breeze.
  3. Even though it is a dictionary-style encyclopedia, it never gives any boredom for reading it every page continuously. It is each user's individual preference. You can just jump into your appropriate topic of interest whenever you want or read from cover to cover.
  4. The book has also a cheaper-priced Eastern Economy Edition for sale in India and other Asian countries which would mean enormous savings for us.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

A New Role :: As a Community-Credit Forum Moderator...

A New Role :: As a Community-Credit Forum Moderator...

I would like to share the happier moments when I recieved an email from Community-Credit.com sometime a week back stating that my account also has been given privileges as a forum moderator. This brings in a new wave of encouragement for further more passionate community participation and helping peers with even more vigor.

I thank the Community-Credit Team for selecting me as a member in the moderator panel and my friends and other well-wishers for the continued encouragement besides humble pranams to my Lord Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa.

Posted by Deepak Vasudevan
Tag :

Backing up weblogs


Backing up weblogs

There seems to be really innovative service additions or blog addons from a number of service providers. Of late, I came across a provider who eases the task of backing up weblogs in quick and easy way. Here is more info about the website:

Website: BlogBackupOnline
URL: https://www.blogbackuponline.com/techrigy/

The website currently says that it is in BETA and every user account is allocated 50 mega bytes of storage space for backing up thier weblog in addition to the account being free while in BETA.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

'What happens if the user has disabled cookies'


'What happens if the user has disabled cookies'

Cookies are small amount of information that is used by a website for a variety of purposes like the following:
  1. Authenticating the information (Storing the User Authentication Ticket)
  2. Tracking user activity (Like which sections are most visited etc)
  3. User Preferences

These are almost next to impossible without cookies (unless you resort to complex serverside handling of sessions overburdening the webserver) in the environment of stateless HTTP connections.

Once upon a time, when cookies and Internet was new, people were skeptical about cookies and their personal information being stolen by websites through cookies. There was also a rumor that viruses can spread. These are just dumb rumors. A website can store just upto 20 cookies per domain and the most old cookie gets overwritten when it sets the 21st cookie. Also a cookie is a harmless text file and most browsers disallow more than 4 K per cookie or something like that. And these are some of the quick storage info about cookies:

  • 4 KB per cookie maximum
  • 300 total cookies, for a total of 1.2 Mbytes maximum
  • 20 cookies accepted from a particular server or domain
  • Sometime last week, I encountered a dumb question from one some one regarding a solution to a problem. He was skeptical about using cookies for a non-critical user persistence on the account what would happen if cookies are disabled. I am really getting irritated by such dumb questions in the most advanced and sophistical technology age. Reading from IEBlog, even they have now enhanced the cookie limit per domain from 20 to 50. Check out this post "Update to Internet Explorer's Cookie Jar".

    I think going forward, if some one asks such dumb questions, the reply should be like what Pete O'Hannon gave once in a discussion forum here.

    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan
    Tag :

    Microsoft Java LifeCycle Alert

    Microsoft Java LifeCycle Alert

    While casually browsing at Eric Nelson's weblog, I learnt that still there a lot of organizations who keep clinging on to Microsoft Java Virtual Machine based solution. Nelson has mentioned about meeting one ISV (Independant Software Vendor) who heavily uses Microsoft VM for their solutions.

    Just thought I would also mention about the same for the benefit of other developer fraternity. If you read Microsoft Java Virtual Machine Support webpage here, you can observe the following important dates that we need to remember:

    1. MSJVM reaches End of Life on December 31, 2007

    Microsoft has also presented a lucid compilation of Transition to alternate technologies like the following:

    1. Migration to a more powerful .NET Enterprise platform
    2. Third Party Java Vendors.
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    HTML Kit Tools -- The new face and a new evolution of HTML-Kit

    HTML Kit Tools -- The new face and a new evolution of HTML-Kit

    Sometime back we saw a quick review of HTML-Kit. Today while just casually browsing through the home of HTML-Kit, I found a good news about the new version (Build Kit) of HTML-Kit being released under the brand name of HTML Kit Tools

    Though I haven't tried out the IDE yet, even the list of features that have been enumerated seems to be very promising and compelling making it a truly inevitable tool in every Web Developer's toolkit. I just thought I would list out a few points that I got impressed with the new tool:

    1. Code Folding: Hiding blocks of code so that navigation in the page is faster.
    2. A more powerful GUI for HTML Tidy.
    3. Built in File Versioning.
    4. Unicode Support

    Check out and download HTML-Kit Tools from here.


    Free Online Photosharing - Share your photos online with your friends and family!
    Visit http://www.inbox.com/photosharing to find out more!
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    It is time to upgrade to PHP 5

    It is time to upgrade to PHP 5

    While just casually checking out www.php.net website, I found the news flash about 'End of Life Announcement' for PHP 4.x series.  With 13 July 2007 as the announcement got officially released, PHP 5 has been in for three years with a significant number of releases and security/other updates. Now it is considered more fast, stable and production-ready. What's more? The PHP.NET website also claims that PHP 6 is on the way.

    After 31st December 2007 there would be no more releases of PHP 4.4. Their team would work on crucial security fixes till 8th August 2008. Hence it is high time, that we also start looking into PHP 5 for our learning and updating our PHP applications and websites.

    Source Courtesy:

    1. http://www.php.net/index.php#2007-07-13-1
    2. From PHPDeveloper
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Microsoft Security Summit

    Microsoft Security Summit

    While casually browsing through Microsoft India events page, I came to know of the Microsoft Security Summit 2007 that is being planned to be organized in many of the cities of India during November - December 2007.

    The URL of the Summit is http://www.microsoft.com/india/security/ss-dev.aspx

    The Date and Time along with the venue of the summit for the different cities are as follows:

    1. 21st November, 2007 Grand Hyatt, Mumbai
    2. 23rd November, 2007 Taj Blue Diamond, Pune
    3. 6th December, 2007 Taj Bengal, Kolkata
    4. 14th December, 2007 The Park, Chennai

    Target Audience

    1. Software Developers
    2. Analysts
    3. Architects
    4. Project Managers

    About

    1. To learn about the different security threats that an application need to worry about.
    2. A brief about Software Development LifeCycle
    3. Understanding the challenges and how Microsoft is trying to address them.
    4. Make this an interactive platform where feedback can be shared with Microsoft on its Security initiatives.

    You can also contact the event managers for further details regarding the registration at securitysummit (at) erfolgcs.com.

    Other References

    I also checked out another weblog post on this topic by Praveen Kumar D, just now which mentions about a few promotional offers that were announced. But I could not find on the Security SSDEV page URL that I have mentioned above. The offers, as mentioned by Praveen are:

    1. The first 200 to register at the venue can walk away with a FREE copy of "The security development lifecycle" by Michael Howard (worth INR 395).
    2. Certification Discount Vouchers. The limited period Second Shot Offer provides upto 25 per cent discount on certification exams in addition to a second shot exam at no cost.

    Get Free 5GB Email – Check out spam free email with many cool features!
    Visit http://www.inbox.com/email to find out more!
    Thursday, November 08, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Finding Page Rank of a website Easily

    Finding Page Rank of a website Easily

    Every website endeavors to serve its user with really useful information. The process of search engines assigning the order of significance in which the information is useful and presentable/reachable for the users is often represented or illustrated by Page Rank. Page Rank is also a weighted measure of how many documents on the world wide web is linking onto a particular page. Check out the Wiki page for more explanation here.

    I just came across a very useful utility for webmasters called 'Check Page Rank' at this URL: http://www.checkpagerank.com/.

    It has a very simple interface and without even page refresh just updates the Page Rank of the website that you are intending to find the same.

    Sunday, October 14, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Free ASP.NET 3.0 hosting with ASPSpider

    Free ASP.NET 3.0 hosting with ASPSpider

    Sometime back, we were discussing about free ASP.NET hosting with Somee.com. For the interested readers, the discussion is here. I just learnt from http://www.dotnetspider.com/ homepage about the latest update in http://www.aspspider.com/ that they have promoted the free hosting with ASP.NET 3.0

    Now it is more cool and friendly hosting with http://www.aspspider.com/ with a good tech support in the forum besides troubleshooting tips in the forums of http://www.dotnetspider.com/


    Get Free 5GB Online Storage - Safely store your documents, photos and music online!
    Visit http://www.inbox.com/storage to find out more!
    Thursday, October 04, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Internet Explorer 7 Companion Tools

    Internet Explorer 7 Companion Tools

    Of all the Internet Explorer versions that have been released, Internet Explorer 7, beyond any doubt proved to be a distinct milestone with significant features being the following:
    1. Phishing Filter
    2. Tabbed Browsing (Cool Unique and Most Favored Feature)

    However, just as I installed Internet Explorer 7, a few things just made me gaze-struck. Nevertheless, in a search to find solutions to these surprises, I just discovered a lot of tips-and-tricks and websites that supported them. I just wanted to share a few of these here:

    1. EnhanceIE: This is a surestop website that you ought to bookmark and visit often for a lot of tips and tricks with respect to Internet Explorer and also towards troubleshooting Internet Explorer problems. I found a solution for the runonce IE homepag issue in this website.
    2. IEPlus: This is a very good toolbar button plugin for Internet Explorer that helps one with a lot of useful features. A few of them to mention are the following. It is a sure toolkit that any Internet Explorer 7 user should have.
    3. 1) IE 7 Crash Recovery
      2) Multi Proxy Feature
      3) Mouse Gestures
      4) Extensible Plugin Framework
    Sunday, September 30, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    [Review] Todolist -- Elegant Task Management Freeware Utility

    [Review] Todolist -- Elegant Task Management Freeware Utility

    I have been using a little freeware called 'Todolist' from Dan G's AbstractSpoon Software for a long time. Just thought I would write a small review on the same so that other people too would know about it and I am sure this would improve the productivity of the task that is being delivered by them.

    As I said, I am using this little tool since more than four to five years now even from the days of my very previous organization. As the homepage says, it helps you to streamline the tasks that you are doing so that you don't tend to forget anything. Even though it is a freeware, it is packed with features and the most comprehensive support that you can expect on earth. You can just visit Todolist homepage to see the responses from the users and as well from the author of the software itself.

    A quick list of its features as bullet-points would help describe the elegance and greatness of software more than anything else:

    1. A simple listing of tasks that are to be performed by the user. There is also a column for 'User'  so a simple todolist supports multiple users as well. But I use it mostly for my own purpose.
    2. Pretty simple Visual C++ Code and is available i OpenSource format. It is available in Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License and I am sure Visual C++ developers would love seeing the code of the application and learn various features of Visual C++.
    3. The data is stored in simple XML format so that there is no risk of data corruption or loss. Optionally, you can use an Encryption plugin to encrypt the data and save too. I store it plain format in my desktops and as encrypted in web storage.
    4. Comprehensive Filter, Find (Search) and Sorting.
    5. With the latest advent of Tab Browsing, Todolist also supports Tabbed format of multiple Todolist.

    So I just thought as a token of appreciation of me using Todolist, let me also have a small review of the same for the benefit of other readers in starting to use the same.

    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Essence of Commandline Compilation

    Essence of Commandline Compilation

    Whatever be the fancy IDE windows, the power and essence of commandline compilation is never hidden. Even the IDE actually uses the same compiler switches as the first line of the 'Output' window reveals. Here I am just trying to share a few tips and tricks to streamline an easy way to achieve commandline compilation. I am not using Visual Studio .NET command prompt and just SDK tools and hence this should work for users who do not have Visual Studio .NET also.

    1. Ensure that the appropriate version of Microsoft .NET is in the System Path.
    2. From within the explorer, a few simple steps can get you 'Command Prompt' without taking pains of navigating through the nested folder structures:
      1. Navigate to Tools -> Folder Options in Windows Explorer
      2. Choose 'File Types' Tab
      3. Choose Folder from the list. Click 'Advanced'
      4. Choose New
      5. Give a easy to understand name like 'Launch DOS Prompt' and the application as CMD /K CD "%1". The K switch is used to instruct the CMD.exe to carry out the command following it (CD "%1" in our case) and to remain without closing the window. You can check out the documentation on CMD.exe switches over here.
      6. Click OK for all the dialogs to save the settings.

    Now, you can launch csc.exe compiler to compile your .Csharp Files. This also further facilitates the following. Quick generation of Strong Names, Signing it off etc.

    Related Topics of Interest:

    1. If you have Visual Studio 2005 onwards, you can automatically get the path from 'Copy Full Path' option of any file that is opened as a tab in the IDE.
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Cool Hotmail and Super Cool Windows Live

    Cool Hotmail and Super Cool Windows Live

    There is one more reason for Windows Live to be more cooler and charming for everyone. There is one more compelling reason for anyone to possess a unique Windows Live ID of its own. Whilst casually browsing the India Broadband Forum, I just came across the news about Windows Live offering more Indian touch domain names which make you feel more homely and also distinctly stand out of the crowd.

    A fond recall was previously Mail.com had a similar offering and I had one domain (and am still using albeit with a lower frequency) at India.com.

    So what are you waiting for. Grab your Windows Live ID and with your Indian name touch at Cool Hotmail.

    Saturday, September 29, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    C# 3.0 in a Nutshell from Albahari brothers

    C# 3.0 in a Nutshell from Albahari brothers

    We were earlier discussing about a cute little tool called QueryExpress. Now the writer of the tool (Joseph Albahari) has also authored a book along with his brother (Ben Albahari) on C# 3.0 in a Nutshell. A brief review of the book is also available on Albahari's homepage over here.

    A quick run through of the companion website of the book really illustrates the vast deep exploration of it on C# 3.0 even upto and beyond Linq.

    They have made the book available for purchase at Amazon. Check out the book page at Amazon here.

    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    MSDN and Dr. Dobbs Journal in India

    MSDN and Dr. Dobbs Journal in India

    I was surfing at MSDN forums and found out the link where now we can subscribe for MSDN and Dr. Dobbs Journal through its digital edition for free. The premiere hardcopy editions are a bit costly but the digital editions are offered for free.

    Check out the subscription page here. You may need to signin with your Windows Live ID to proceed.

    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Free ASP.NET Hosting with SomeEE

    Free ASP.NET Hosting with SomeEE

    Just while casually surfing, I came to know of this website called Somee. They seem to offer some really promising web hosting for free along with thier paid web hosting offers. Even the free hosting seems to have really attractive offers:

    1. Allowed Disk Space: 105 MB
    2. Allowed Monthly Bandwidth: 3 GB
    3. FTP
    4. ASP.NET 1.1 and 2.0
    5. Microsoft Access database
    6. Quick Setup

    I think this should be a really great utility for novices in ASP.NET to start practicing web hosting in real time.

    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Free Database Hosting

    Free Database Hosting

    One of my friend was asking me whether there was any website which offers PHP with MySQL database. I suggested a few like Portland.co.uk and others. But most of them were offering only PHP. After a brief research and just I recalled about FreeSQL which was giving free MySQL hosting.

    When I visited the website (http://www.freesql.org/), it is now offering both MySQL and PostGRESQL for free. The website also offers powerful interfaces to the databases through PhpMyAdmin and PhpPgAdmin.

    I think this website should be of tremendous help for novices and learners in database systems to learn and practice effecient database programming.

    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Download StatusBar Plugin in FireFox

    Download StatusBar Plugin in FireFox

    A few minutes back I discussed about enhancing Mozilla FireFox Download Window with the Autoshutdown feature. For those interested, the permalink is here. I was just playing around the FireFox addons and found one more little addon called 'Download Statusbar'.

    This effectively hides off that big download window into a little status bar entity. For a web browser, saving screenspace is really a good feature. This one makes an elegant approach in this perspective and the download status now appears in the status bar instead of occupying a separate window of its own.

    Check out the Download Status Bar from here.

    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Autoshutdown for FireFox Download Manager

    Autoshutdown for FireFox Download Manager

    The most cute thing of Mozilla FireFox is the Download Manager which can queue up all the download requests and then slowly download one-by-one with the ability of Pause and Resume. One feature I loved in GetRight was there was an ability to turn off the computer after all downloads are complete. But FireFox does not have this ability. After all downloads complete, a balloon tool tip near the system tray would popup to indicate that all downloads are complete.

    While casually browsing through Mozilla FireFox website, I came across a plugin called 'Autoshutdown' which gets integrated to FireFox download manager. Now the download manager gets one more checkbox called 'Shutdown after all downloads are finished'.

    This would add more feather to the cap of the cute little FireFox right. You can get this plugin from FireFox Addons page here.

    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    EBooks from QuestPond

    EBooks from QuestPond

    Sometime back we were discussing about unique career development websites over here. From a regular newsfeed, I came to know of that QuestPond has also released eBooks in ASP.NET, C#, .NET Framework etc. If you are one of those who would like to purchase, they have also published hardcopies of the same and made them available at cities near you and also in Amazon.com.

    Here are quick links to QuestPond eBooks:

    1. C# Projects
    2. Sample .NET Questions

    Also check out http://www.questpond.com/ for more resources.

    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Musical Fest in Console namespace

    Musical Fest in Console namespace

    Sometime back we were discussing about the power and prowess of Console Applications. Perhaps this post would be a followup of the same. A few of you who might have worked in either GWBasic or QBasic would have known about the three powerful commands there:

    BEEP: Produces a short shirk beep from the computer speaker
    SOUND freq, duration: Produces sound of frequency freq for dur milliseconds
    PLAY Plays a musical note from your computer speaker.

    I was just wondering whether this is not going to be supported at all after QBasic from Visual Basic onwards. It is a good news that .NET Framework 2.0 Base Class Library supports System.Console.Beep equivalent to SOUND in QBasic. Check out the MSDN documentation for the song 'Mary had a little lamb ...'

    Sometime back when I started venturing into this musical power, I posted a question in one of the forums and I even got lot of library references as responses. I would like to give the permalink of the discussion thread for readers reference here:

    http://www.codeproject.com/script/comments/forums.asp?msg=2213024&forumid=1650#xx2213024xx

    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    The Power and Prowess of Console Applications and Enhancing it with .NET Framework 2.0

    The Power and Prowess of Console Applications and Enhancing it with .NET Framework 2.0

    To start learning a new programming language, following the C++ book style, the first and foremost application that we write is

    cout << "Hello World";

    We have been religiously inheriting this custom through Java and to C# via the essence of Console Applications.

    java:
    System.out.println ("Hello World");

    C#:
    System.Console.WriteLine ("Hello World");

    A simpler console application lays the greater foundation for a powerful and rewarding journey through the programming language. Let us in brief see about the essence of these console applications and how .NET Framework BCL richly complements console applications.

    The Inspiration

    This article was actually inspired from a discussion board question where a beginner had just vehemently violated the message board netiquette about a sample code snippet which an expert had provided with great magnanimity. Fuelling it, he/she had also scrapped base about console applications. I just thought I would take this opportunity to initiate the efforts in clearing the myth clouding about the console applications.

    Simpler and Stronger

    1. Console applications are a stronger support to even a full-fledged application frameworks. For example consider an application like 'Windows Service' project in C#. By default, you can not run a Windows Service project but you can only attach to the running process to debug the same. But there is an easy workaround using the Visual Studio IDE. With the other classes that are used in the same way, the launching class (Service.cs) can be excluded from the project while debugging and a sample (StartupConsole.cs) can be used. This can emulate threads from within a sample Console application facilitating easier peek of the startup configuration of the Windows service.
    2. Console applications are a very good applications to provide code snippets for articles since they are easier to visualize, compile for the casual article viewer also.
    3. Console applications are lighter and supported by the heart library of the framework. .NET Framework supports Console right in System namespace (rooted to the core) and Java supports in its java.lang.
    4. There is also a good business potential of console applications. There are still a lot of retail shops who prefer a commandline console based data entry approach for billing and other things. We can use the richness of Console applications there.


    Simpler and Sweet Extensions to Console in .NET Framework 2.0

    The console applications have grown more powerful at least with respect to .NET Framework 2.0. I first thought I would provide a Class documentation for the same in http://www.dotnetspider.com/ but then I chose to include it as part of this article context for better reach.

    A few of the new namespaces that add color and brightness to to the otherwise dark console are:

    1. BackgroundColor
    2. ConsoleColor enumeration
    3. CapsLock (To detect whether CAPSLock is on or off in just a jiffy)
    4. NumberLock (To detect whether NumberLock is on or off in just a jiffy)
    5. Clear (To clear the console display. Our class CLS command of DOS. No more P/Invoke :))
    6. A host of other Window manipulation utilities like SetWindowPosition, SetWindowSize
    7. ReadKey -- Equivalent to provide 'Press any key to continue in C#' without RETURN.

    However, for older .NET Framework versions, I have a workaround in my other article here: http://www.codeproject.com/useritems/PressAnyKeyToContinue.asp

    P.S.: A significant amount of them are also available in .NET Framework 1.1 albeit you have to delve into P/Invoke Library for the same. However, I would suggest ManiB's article on CodeProject which hides this P/Invoke management from your core application logic. Check it out here: http://www.codeproject.com/cs/library/csconsolelibrary.asp

    This article is also part of my other article in Dotnetspider. You can check it out here.

    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Chennai CP Meet Album


    Chennai CP Meet Album

    I would like to thank Vikram Punathambekar and Senthil for taking the lead in getting the memorable moments of the Chennai CPians (CodeProject) Meet recorded. The photos are available in either of the following URL:
    1. Vikram's Flickr Album
    2. Vasudevan Deepak Kumar's (My) ShutterFly Album

    It was really a very memorable get-to-gether and had one of the very famous member called 'Satips' also been present, it would have been still great time.

    Related Posts:

    1. Chennai CPians Meet on Monday (10th September 2007)
    Saturday, September 22, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Chennai CPians Meet on Monday (10th September 2007)

    Chennai CPians Meet on Monday (10th September 2007)

    Just learnt from the CodeProject Lounge forum post by Vikram Punathambekar about the planned meet of Chennai-based CodeProject members on Monday 10th September 2007 at 2000 hours Indian Time.

    The original invite permalink URL is here. They have decided the venue as Pizza Hut, Adyar. For other Chennai CPians easy reference, I have also tried to do some research and given a quick address along with driving direction reference from Chennai Airport over here:


    Address:

    Pizza Hut Adayar (Pizzas),

    Flat No.46, Door NO.61,
    Kasturba Nagar,
    Adayar,
    Chennai 600 020, India.

    Tel: +(91) (44) 52057110
    Fax: +(91) (44) 2441645 [Address Courtesy: Google and IndTravel]


    Landmarks and Driving Directions from Chennai Airport:



    1. Drive towards Chennai city from Chennai Airports for 5 Km till you reach Guindy Kathipara junction (Hotel Le Meridian).
    2. Take the straight road towards Anna Salai. The road itself would turn left and right after it reaches 'Little Mount' junction. Take the right towards Rajbhavan/Adyar. Be wary of heavy traffic at this stretch particularly during peak hours.
    3. Drive straight to Rajbhavan, which is about quarter mile.
    4. Take left towards Anna University and keep driving after you take the mini-flyover.
    5. After you cross the traffic lights at Madhya Kailash junction, drive slow till you reach 'Hotel Traffic Jam' junction and 'Adyar Terminus'. You can find 'Ambika Appalam Depot' at the entry of the road on the right, which you have to enter.
    6. Take the road that is right to you and at about 50 to 60 feet, you can find the Pizza Hut.
    7. The organizer has specifically requested the members to be there before 8. Considering huge traffic during the peak hours on Monday, please plan your travel accordingly.

    Driving MapCourtesy: Google Maps

    Sunday, September 09, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Winner of July 2007 Dotnetspider

    Winner of April 2007 Dotnetspider

    There is another proud winning of a monthly prize and happy news to share across. I have currently been the Monthly Winner for July 2007 in Dotnetspider.com. You can find out my Dotnetspider.com profile linked from here or from the right navigational widget of this weblog.

    You can see my listed in the Winners list in the Monthly Winners section of Dotnetspider here.

    Friday, August 10, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Bug Trackers

    Bug Trackers

    Bugfree Software is a dream of any software house or enterprise. There are variety of ways in which the resilence of software can be measured. Mature and quality-oriented organizations ensure that testing goes hand-in-hand right from inception. Others who are driven by sales pitch try completing the software and then dedicate time for testing. This of course, would involve a percentage of rework to address various gaps and deficiencies in the application. Also, enterprises have different means of testing. A few organizations outsource testing completely to third party testing agencies. A few have in house dedicated team.

    Also, the software used to track the defects really plays a vital role in the efficiency of the product. Here we list a few good bug tracking software for the benefit of readers. Perhaps sometime later, either in the same post or as comments or as independant posts, let us try having an indepth review of each of them. For now, let us get started with the list.

    1. QuickBase -- Hosted Bug Tracking and Project LifeCycle Tracking (for enterprises distributed across the world)
    2. PhpBugTracker
    3. ASP.NET BugTracker
    Saturday, July 28, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    "Windows Communication Foundation" Book-Gift Arrived

    "Windows Communication Foundation" Book-Gift Arrived

    The cool new community participation gift ("Windows Communication Foundation") from a hyderabad based organization arrived promptly yesterday. I had a call from Eswar Book House confirming the address of delivery and after that the book arrived in twenty four hours.

    It was a sweet new book to explore on the new journey through the next generation programming.

    Friday, July 27, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan
    Tag :

    Google NCR

    Google NCR

    Most of you would be knowing about this trick in navigating to Google generic website. But I just came to know only a few days before and hence thought I would share the information with others too.



    Whenever you type http://www.google.com/, Google automatically tries to redirect you to your country-specific website. For me, it always redirects to http://www.google.co.in/ (Google India). But when we specifically want to navigate to Google Generic website for some reason, there are two ways to accomplish the same.

    1. Click the 'Go to Google.com' link at the bottom of the webpage that is displayed from http://www.google.co.in/
    2. To prevent this redundant click, you can opt to type http://www.google.com/ncr/ which would prevent the redirect from happening. The NCR stands for No Country Redirect. There is a brief discussion about this NCR over this forum.

    You may also like to check out Google help documentation regarding the country redirections from here.

    Saturday, July 07, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan
    Tag :

    Seamless Update to Applications

    Seamless Update to Applications

    Any software developer would be confronted with the daunting problem of application update particularly desktop client. I am sure that no one would be in the position to support endless loop of software products. There would be a definite backward compatibility limit.

    Fortunately, nowadays to make updates to applications seamless, easy to the user and hasslefree, there are a large number of easy ways. When I say 'easy', it is as easy as saying 1, 2, 3 for both the user and the software developer.

    1. Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) API and SharpBITS Wrapper
    2. Web Update Wizard
    3. ClickOnce

    Now, I think these smart application methods would bring in a new rejuvenated application development model among developers to develop time-proof and robust applications.

    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Renewal of Microsoft MVP Award

    Renewal of Microsoft MVP Award

    It was a pleasant surprise today morning to recieve an email from Microsoft MVPAward on their renewing my MVP for another year.

    A few things to recall -- I have been MVP since 2003 respectively in the areas marked thereto:

    1. 2003-04: .NET Framework
    2. 2004-05: C#
    3. 2006-07: ASP/ASP.NET.
    4. 2007-08: Just got renewed. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Microsoft MVP selection team for considering my humble contributions towards this recognition.

    You can find my MVP Profile bieng linked to from the right navigation widget of this weblog.

    Monday, July 02, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Grand Prize Winner of Community-Credit June 2007 Contest

    Grand Prize Winner of Community-Credit June 2007 Contest

    I am very glad to inform that I have been winner again and more as a Grand Prize Winner for the month of June 2007 in the Community Credit website. I have conquered the Grand Prize this month. This has been the second consecutive winning of the Grand Prize in Community-Credit contest following the March victory, followed by a two-month hibernation.

    You can check out other winners at this page of Community-Credit. [You need to select June 2007 in the month dropdown].

    There is more to laurels to win and milestones to conquer. Stay Tuned!

    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Staying Tuned to Notification Messages

    Staying Tuned to Notification Messages

    It is a basic Internet etiquette to respond to any of the good email requests and messages within normal acceptable time, unless you have categorized them as spam aka junk email. Towards this, in this blog post, I would like to summarize a few webmail services and desktop email clients that come with good features to keep you staying tuned as and when email arrives in your Inbox.

    Webmail:

    1. Inbox Notifier -- Besides access to your emailaddress (at) inbox.com, it provides a host of other services like hosted notes, Virtual Storage, Photo Upload Wizard etc.
    2. FastCheck -- It provides a desktop utility to check your Fastmail.fm emailbox.
    3. Windows Live Messenger -- The Instant Messaging Service that gives a sneak preview into your MSN Hotmail emailbox.
    4. Yahoo Messenger -- The classic desktop messenger utility to provide a sneak preview into your Yahoo emailbox.

    Desktop:

    Most of the desktop email clients have an agent that can hide the main window of the application from the system tray and make an icon near the clock to keep monitoring your email server for new messages. A few of the good ones are:

    1. Netscape Messenger
    2. Microsoft Outlook
    3. Saberquest Mailspy -- This has been a very good tool to monitor your email server and launch your preferred email client. I could not locate the new download location.
    4. Email Remover -- This handy utility helps you to preview into your email server without actually downloading the full messages. Typically helpful in the case of heavy attachments and spam control.
    Friday, June 29, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Featured in Dotnetspider SpiderTeam

    Featured in Dotnetspider SpiderTeam

    I am happy to share the joyous moments that I am currently featured in the current month SpiderTeam webpage of Dotnetspider, India's premiere .NET tutorial website. Just after having a trip to my bank and came back to my workplace for a brief surfing on Saturday, I got the email from Spider Team informing the same. I have attached the screenshot of SpiderTeam webpage for quick reference of my readers. You can find under the following section in the screenshot 'Our Technical Board'. When you scroll down a bit more, you can find a few members who have been chosen as 'Most Value Professionals'. If you are now interested, to get featured here, then click online to http://www.dotnetspider.com/ to demonstrate your passion for the community and get recognized.



    Note: The screenshot was generated using Create Panoramic Image feature of Irfanview. You can find two review articles on Irfanview over the following URLs:

    With the page itself scrolling multiple vertical scrollbars, you can take individual screenshots and then use this feature to combine them into a single image. However, you need to be a bit careful when it comes to browser scrollbars and other elements since even these may be captured by the panoramic image by Irfanview, which is very precise and accurate in image operations besides the salient advantage that the size of the image too is relatively very less.


    With the grace of my Lord, it makes me feel more happier and enthusiastic in being more passionate with vibrant community spirit helping out my peers. The most interesting part of Dotnetspider is that it helps little peers who are just out of colleges by streamlining their software development habits making them more robust and resilent in thier coding and development efforts. It is a pleasure to serve the youngsters through this ever-vibrant forum that you get the bliss and happiness of serving as a little torch light (if not as a full-fledged beacon light) in taking newbies in the technology playground to greater heights gently by hand.
    Sunday, June 24, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Digital Signatures and Safe E-Enabling Written Signatures

    Digital Signatures and Safe E-Enabling Written Signatures

    Today while playing around my Zoho writer account, I came across a very innovative business model website called 'EchoSign'. The concept is simple. The document needs to be uploaded or published onto EchoSign server, where it is encrypted unalterably. Then the document can be sent to all parties. The sample trial option has two ways the parties can sign the document:

    1. Digital Signature
    2. Written Signature

    In Digital Signature mode, a form is displayed. The parties are expected to type thier full name and initials. Then click on the button captioned 'Echo Sign'. The document is generated as PDF and sent to all parties for filing.

    In Written Signature mode, the form is emailed as PDF. The parties are expected to take a print out the document, affix thier hand-written signature and then fax to a toll free number.

    I feel that this is a very innovative effort by EchoSign to speeden up electronic business model. In my observation of a quick five minute tour, here are the advantages and limitations of the website.

    Advantages:

    1. Terrible speed up of the processing of business transactions, offer letters, sales orders etc.
    2. Zero paper work. With these days of every banking institution and service provider switching to eBill to save cutting of trees for paper, I see this is a terrific innovative business model that anyone would appreciate.
    3. Third party document management by experts. We can be comfortable and feel free from processing and handling fragile and take-double-care documents.

    Limitations:

    1. Document Interchange over Internet is not that safe. At least email verification can not be handled with a reliable security. In particular reference, is Phishing security attempt. I have not seen any convincing method that EchoSign has mentioned in 'How It Works' on how it is able to manage Phishing attempts. So at the moment, Fax option can be considered safe, taking into account a few hours delay. The few hours delay is justifable for the security of the document and data concerned.
    2. The document is being stored in a different country. So we need to consult the lawyer first on whether the document can be allowed to travel across the borders. At least, I think, loan related documents would come into this restriction with respect to the financiers who support the loans.

    Just wanted to share with you a brief review on EchoSign and I think anyone should give a try to EchoSign -- a good business model to speeden up and make environment-friendly business transactions.

    Saturday, June 23, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Very Good Tutorial site on Java Servlets and JSPs

    Very Good Tutorial site on Java Servlets and JSPs

    A friend of mine wanted to know about some online or offline tutorial or books on Java Servlets and JSPs. He is a just fresher out of college and hence I was searching a while for some good references which would not use very heavy terminology and make learning a breeze and encouraging.

    I came across this website "Servlets and Java Server Pages (1.0) -- A Tutorial" which addresses our requirements of simple but comprehensive reference on Java Server programming. I would keep adding more tutorial links as I come across them for the benefit of readers. Also, readers: If you find some good tutorial links on the topic, please feel free to share with other readers too over here.
    Saturday, June 16, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Winner of Master T-Shirt in Experts-Exchange

    Winner of Master T-Shirt in Experts-Exchange

    I am glad to publish the news that I have been chosen as the winner of Master T-Shirt in Experts-Exchange. I am currently in the Master rank in both ASP.NET and Web Development topic areas. For more details, you can select the 'My Experts-Exchange Profile' in the right navigation widget of this weblog.

    I am publishing the Experts-Recognition appreciation email that I have recieved to this effect sometime yesterday.

    Friday, June 15, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    The Classic Daffodilnet Express


    The Classic Daffodilnet Express

    After a while today I casually dropped onto my own Daffodilnet Express weblog on searching something. As such, powered by .Text blogging engine, this presents an excellent wonder blogging environment. However, the current setup, the URLs might be bit cryptic numeric.

    I have hence hyperlinked Daffodilnet Express currently to the 'Links' section of this weblog. Sometime in future, when I get some time, I would try assign friendly URLs and try to load each permalink into that. For now, I guess, this 'Links' should be able to help you out with navigating Daffodilnet Express.
    Thursday, June 14, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    FireBug -- Good WebDeveloper Aide

    FireBug -- Good WebDeveloper Aide

    Most of us who are with web development applications would be facing the problem of supporting cross-browser compatible applications. Particularly with Netscape and Mozilla FireFox, web page development would be a little involved process because the browser is bit strict in HTML and JavaScript and a bit more standards-compliant unlike Internet Explorer which is more flexible, developer-friendly and user-friendly.

    Today, while casually browsing the Internet in a library, I found an interesting addon in my web browser. I was heard of it and just today found it installed in one of the systems that I was using. It is 'FireBug'. I was playing around it for a while. It seemed to be really packed with tons of information regarding the webpage, its content, network speed on various page contents that are getting loaded.

    At this moment, I would like to recall about our earlier post long back on 'Interesting and Useful features in Mozilla Firefox'. I would say that FireBug can also be added as on the very inevitable tools in enhanced webpage development with Mozilla FireFox.
    Friday, June 08, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Free Undelete Utility from OfficeRecovery.com

    Free Undelete Utility from OfficeRecovery.com

    Many a times I have a practice that after deleting a file and I periodically right click the 'Recycle Bin' and chose 'Empty Recycle Bin', to save/conserve and reclaim disk space. Recently I had a necessity of a few files that were such accidentally deleted (or rather expunged off). I came to know of (though I have heard of before) Undelete utilities from a few discussion groups but the downside with many of them is that most of them are commercial applications. Though a few of them are offered as free downloads, they come up bundled with shareware and we run the risk of getting spywares and other malware applications loaded onto our system.

    During this search, I came to know of 'OfficeRecovery Undelete Utility'. Of course, while running it was also running 'TaskManager Extension' to ensure that it does not trigger any malware applications. WinPatrol Scotty was anyway monitoring my system for any spyware activities. Interestingly, I found out that this is clean of any spyware and it even rescued the expunged documents.

    But remember that such recoveries are possible as soon as you run the Undelete utilities since if the allocated disk areas is reallocated to a new content, the files are gone once for all. The Undelete utility actually scans for disk tracks and recovers the contents from the said places.
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    TrialPay -- A New Innovative Product Purchase System

    TrialPay -- A New Innovative Product Purchase System
    Today while casually browsing WinZip website, I found another way of purchasing WinZip. They support something called TrialPay. This seems to be a very innovative concept. The bottomline is that you want a software and visit the trusted partners and/or advertisers listed for them in TrialPay directory.
    While you signup for trial or free membership with the partners, TrialPay would pay for your software and you can get the software for free. The software is still not free but instead of you paying for it, advertisers pay for it.
    I think, this should be a good innovative way to 'contain' and 'end' the nagging software piracy issue which is threatening 'healthy' software development worldwide.
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Inbox Compose Editor chides with Mozilla FireFox

    Inbox Compose Editor chides with Mozilla FireFox

    The most elegant web application (http://www.inbox.com/) has two interesting issues that I observed. I have also supported trouble tickets to them. Just thought I would have a small brief review on the issues on most generic terms so that similar web applications can use this as a stepping-stone and a learning experince to circumvent such similar issues.

    1. Powerful Regular Expression AutoComplete slows down Internet Explorer heavily. Sometimes I get the message the script on the page makes it to run slowly. Your webpage might become unresponsive. The support suggests that to use Mozilla FireFox.
    2. Deducing from (1), when I use Mozilla FireFox, the compose HTML Rich Editor does not support full-fledged keyboard based shortcuts like CTRL+B, CTRL+C, CTRL+K. Mozilla FireFox triggers its web browser navigational widgets like sidebars etc.
    This is one such analysis that we have to learn to address in our web applications, which we are increasingly pushing to be on latest state-of-the-art AJAX based technologies.

    1. Focus on the browser share.
    2. User-friendliness
    3. Best performance and fast loading webpages besides minimum load on the Internet pipe.
    4. Impact Analysis on bugs that we fix so that it does not hamper accessibility from applications or web browsers.

    Free 3D Marine Aquarium Screensaver - Watch dolphins, sharks & orcas on your desktop!
    Check it out at http://www.inbox.com/marineaquarium
    Sunday, June 03, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Elegant Tamil Unicode Editor

    Elegant Tamil Unicode Editor

    My sincere thanks to Lakshmi Rajagopal, for pointing me to the very friendly Web-based Tamil Unicode editor, எழில் நிலா, developed by Nila Mahen (nila.mahen (at) gmail.com). You can visit this Tamil Unicode Editor here. Hitherto my Tamil weblogs have been powered by either Baraha or Indic IME Editor for Microsoft Word. The downside of these was that these need to be downloaded and installed. When I surf from public internet kiosks, download and internet was presenting a problem.

    Now that it is a simple Javascript webpage, this encourages more live expressions in Tamil. Perhaps the first and humble word I would like to convey to Lakshmi is million thanks for the cool new utility. Here is the thanks in sweet Tamil:

    எழில் நிலா இணைய தள முகவரி வழிகாட்டுதலுக்கு, மிக்க நன்றி! You can check out Lakshmi's எழில்மிகு நந்தவனம்: http://malarvanam.blogspot.com/

    I am sure this post would be a mix of English and Tamil, appreciating Lakshmi for her kindness in guiding me to the Tamil editor link besides discussing about the greatness of the editor itself. That itself, I think, places a great emphasis on the the power and prowess of both.

    வாழ்க தமிழ்! வளர்க தமிழ்!


    எங்கள் வாழ்வும் எங்கள் வளமும் மங்காத தமிழ் என்று சங்கே முழங்கு -- பாவேந்தர் பாரதிதாசன்.

    Friday, June 01, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Chennai MVP Meet

    Chennai MVP Meet

    The scheduled MVP meet amongst Chennai did happen yesterday. However, since it happened to be a Sunday, there weren't much attendance. Hence Abhishek, myself and Naresh had some brief meetups, a touring around to Bikes and Barrels at Residency Towers and then disperse off home after some bites at a chat shop late night in Ispahani center.

    I have this experience in detail with reference to my more impressed Bikes and Barrels over here.
    Monday, May 28, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Expert Premium Services -- Back with the Vigor (Rejuvenated and Reloaded)

    Expert Premium Services -- Back with the Vigor (Rejuvenated and Reloaded)

    For a while from January to February there had been a lull in my Experts-Exchange community participation. I tried doing a analysis of what was going wrong? These are the introspection results which I would like to share with:

    1. The website itself was transitioning from Classic Legacy format to a newer theme based. I particularly experienced severely hit slow loading  pages on the age-old telephone-line powered dialup networking connections and the wrecked poor-quality Airtel Broadband line.
    2. The specified period had a little but more schedules to address, commitments to care and higher priority tasks that were preempting the same. These made Experts-Exchange participation to take the backseat for a while.

    Starting back on March, you could see the Spring Ahead in the same. Incidentally, our Spring Ahead coincided with the Daylight Savings Time Spring Ahead in US too.  You can check out my Experts Premium profile in the right navigation widget of this weblog.


    Prevent accessing dangerous websites - Protect your computer with Free Web Security Guard!
    More information at www.inbox.com/wsg
    Saturday, May 26, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Product Companies -- Good Lexical Compelling Ads

    Product Companies -- Good Lexical Compelling Ads

    Yesterday while travelling to workplace from Tambaram to Guindy, I saw a new advertisement near Velacherry put up by Aspire Systems. I know of some really good friends in Aspire, which is currently located near Siruseri Information Park in Chennai. You can also see a lot of employee transportation facilities that are offered by Aspire running through out the length and breadth of the city round-the-clock. Well! Coming to the main point of discussion, the most impressive word that caught my attention in the Aspire's Hoarding in Velacherry was 'Producteering'.

    Product companies vie with one another to provide innovative, captivating, enthralling and enticing products coupled with very compelling marketing for the same. More than project based development, product development, in a way involves more strategic effort from both the development and marketing. They have go in a very harmonious fashion to capture the market, as I myself learnt from my brief sojourn at Synaptris Decisions. Of course, I tasted the fruits of product development even while at C S Software long back, but the product-ship there wrecked no sooner it set on its sail due to various internal factors.

    Well! Coming to the main line discussions, even Santosh shared me another interesting and compelling product development buzzword -- Productization.  There is nothing review or like that involved in this post nor any significant material. Just wanted to share the interesting buzzwords that are associated with product development. You may like to check out http://www.dotnetspider.com/ for Hot BuzzWords in technology.


    Prevent accessing dangerous websites - Protect your computer with Free Web Security Guard!
    More information at www.inbox.com/wsg
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Winner of April 2007 Dotnetspider

    Winner of April 2007 Dotnetspider
     
    There is another proud winning of a monthly prize and happy news to share across. I have currently been the Monthly Winner for April 2007 in Dotnetspider.com. You can find out my Dotnetspider.com profile linked from here or from the right navigational widget of this weblog.
     
    The community-credit keeps winning in the background too. You can find out more about Community-Credit monthly summary over here .
    Tuesday, May 15, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Password Managers

    Password Managers

    How many times you have been faced with the piquant situation of forgetting a password and trying to retrieve one frantically? Particularly with the plethora of passwords to remember across this is becoming chaotic.

    There is a good move among the giants to bring in common signon networks like Microsoft Passport (Windows LiveID), Lycos Passport, AOL ScreenName, Yahoo ID, Google Accounts etc. But since there are little to big sites which have thier own registration besides the countless number of web and windows applications having diversified passwords and logon credentials that we are forced to remember each day.

    There have been a good number of password manager applications. I would like to mention about a couple of them which I feel are really good and comprehensive in the goal that they are trying to address and accomplish.

    1. Keepass: It is described in the website as an opensource password info. You can download the source and also try to enhance it for your own needs. It even features clipping and pasting logon credentials to appropriate websites assisted by plugins.
    2. Password Minder: It is a .NET tool, also an opensource tool which generates and maintains passwords for you. It is from PluralSight. It has a rich master password encryption. Do not forget the master password otherwise the data
    Tuesday, May 08, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Windows Vista -- Notepad Launch Warning

    Windows Vista -- Notepad Launch Warning

    During my current stay in Irving, TX along with Muthu Rajesh, he had purchased a new Dell laptop loaded with Windows Vista. While playing around Windows Vista Home Basic edition a bit, I observed some really good features. The most interesting feature I observed was when you 'View Source' on a web page, Windows Vista alers you and confirms whether you wanted to open the Notepad application.

    At the first sight we would think that this is tooo much of the warning message placing more emphasis on the security. But on careful study and deducing from IE Blog, it rather plugs a hole that applications do not try having thier privileges elevated unintentionally. As IE blog explains, this also tries to address any security vulnerabilities that may be there in Notepad, which a hacker can make use of to take control of the host system.

    Check out the full length discussion threat at IE Blog here.
    Thursday, May 03, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Drupal -- Effective Free OpenSource Content Management Solution

    Drupal -- Effective Free OpenSource Content Management Solution
     
     The other day, one of my managers who was working with me in my previous organization (Sasidharan Chinnaraj), who is currently working with iSoft PLC, wanted some tipoff or pointers towards some good content management solutions for his colleague, possibly an academic project I guess. Together we did some research and homed in Drupal Community Plumbing Content Management Solution.
     
    Just wanted to summarize a few things about Drupal so that other interested persons would be benefitted.
     
    1. Simpler but powerful Content Management Solution to install and maintain
    2. Opensource and hence a cheaper but powerful option for small enterprises and non-profit organizations also to take advantage of a good content management solutions.
    3. Powerful User Authentication Module.
    4. The native engine itself is pretty fast.
    5. Builtin Blogger API support
    6. Unique multiple database support.
    7. Good discussion forum module (if we need to use one)
    8. Web-based Administration.

    Perhaps you can refer this one to a friend who is also looking for good and cost-effective content management solution.

    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Community Credit -- Marching Ahead Majestically

    Community Credit -- Marching Ahead Majestically

    The passionate community spirit and a website that gives a greater spirit and enthusiasm for dynamic community participations and contributions. That defines Community-Credit.com. Albeit the fact that there resembles a different portrayal of presentation, there is a distinct progressive difference now. You can find myself enlisted in 'All Timers'.
    A screenshot is being attached here.

    A quick recap of few other recent Community-Credit developments that we have discussed.

    Stay Tuned. There are more laurels to win and to share across this weblog.

    Wednesday, May 02, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Offline Downloader for Streaming Files

    Offline Downloader for Streaming Files

    There are good many Internet Radio sites and sometimes when there is a good recording which you may like to download for offline purposes. There are quite a few good freeware that helps to serve the purpose. Check out them here:

    1. SDP Multimedia: This supports download of ASF and Windows Media files through MMS Protocol. The website also has a very rich documentation on MMS specification.
    2. Real7ime Convertor: This supports download and automatic conversion of Real Media files into AVI, MP3 formats.
    But before downloading, please ensure that you are allowed to download the content according to the copyright and other restrictions of the content provider.
    Sunday, April 29, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Inbox Photo Contest Winner

    Inbox Photo Contest Winner

    Just observed while during my casual logon to my Inbox.com account that my account has been upgraded following winner of Inbox.com Photo Contest. I really wonder, why hasn't been an official winners declaration by Inbox.com? I even raised a support ticket with them though. :)

    Inbox is really getting impressive by the way with the powerful spamblock features albeit the network support team there seems to be going for frequent slumbers. While I have a little though not a great one as a testimonial kind of in praise of and in appreciation to Inbox.com, I also wish that Inbox management be more strict with the network team there so that other core functional services like delays in deliveries, reliability are not affected. No doubt the application team does yeoman efforts in providing world's richest of the applications. Check it out yourself. They have a good convincing motto in thier Support URL too. 'You Use. We Care'.

    Inbox.com is giving away free iPODs, movie tickets and gigabytes!
    Learn more about this contest >>
    Friday, April 27, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    The Vista UI on Windows XP Desktop

    The Vista UI on Windows XP Desktop

    Many of us would be aspiring for the new cute Windows Vista on thier desktops but currently facing time or other constraints to upgrade from thier current desktops. For those of us, I found a cute little utility from Softopedia downloads called 'Windows Vista Transformation Pack' which applies Vista UI to Windows XP Desktop.

    It applies the same start menu appearance, desktop feel on Windows XP desktop similar to Windows Vista. The download is bit near to 30 MB and hence choose a fast broadband while opting to download.

    So, what are you waiting for. Get the WoW UI for your WindowsXP till you finally land proper on Windows Vista itself.
    Tuesday, April 24, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Paint .NET -- Free Image Utility

    Paint .NET -- Free Image Utility

    I was in dire need of a quick-to-learn and elegant Image Creation utility. While Irfanview, helps you to manage existing images, when it comes to creating a new image from the scratch, it might not be able to address the requirement. You are left in the dark with Windows default Paint but it has very restricted feature set or prick your wallet for purchasing Paintshop Pro.

    I came to know of this free utility called Paint .NET. Again like Irfanview, this is a freeware. It has a very good number and a long list of good features to share too. A few of them are:

    1. It is a freeware and opensource.
    2. Full-fledged image editing application like Paintshop Pro.
    3. Written purely in C#/Managed Code
    4. With a bit of effort it also supports creation of animated GIFs.
    5. Good support through forums
    I have started using it and would keep updating my observations, as I collect them.
    Sunday, April 22, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Elegant Http Debugger

    Elegant Http Debugger

    How many times we have struggled to resolve a SSL issue or a strange Flash ActionScript navigation and why it lands on a 404. I have been one such person and I came across a very excellent freeware utility and Help -> About shows that the author is from Microsoft. The tool is called Fiddler.

    Fiddler -- A Quick Overview

    Fiddler is a quick little tool which helps you by integrating itself with the web browser as a proxy server. Now all your web browser requests are routed through the Proxy Server. Fiddler can capture and display all information including SSL headers (in its 2.0 Avatar (version)). Furthermore, you can tweak with the values and Reissue the requests as well.

    Found a bug?

    Have you found a bug or have a feature that you would like to get implemented in Fiddler? They maintain a discussion forum over here. Check it out. I am sure this is an inevitable tool for any web developer's toolbox
    Saturday, April 21, 2007
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    The Necessity of Coding Standards -- Building Efficient Software

    The Necessity of Coding Standards -- Building Efficient Software

    In this short discussion, I would like to highlight regarding the necessity of coding standards, their advantages, methods to adopt in following a coding standards, a few reference standards besides a couple of review tools that help us introspect whether we are following standards.

    Necessity of Coding Standards

    1. Coding standards, as the name itself stands for denotes that it supports common shared view (aka) standardization of coding practices for a particular application development. This way, a new developer who comes on board or a fresher who joins the enterprise and takes up the application would find themselves comfortable enough to grasp the application logic without the necessity of the individual coder himself sitting with them and walking through the same. Not always the first-line developer can sit with the developer on job. The various parameters that affect are geographical, technical, chronological feasibility factors that dictate a restriction on the same.
    2. Standardization helps the application development to be process-centric instead of developer-centric. The developers can focus on the logic instead of understanding particular coding style trends.
    3. Standardization helps insulate regional, personal cultural differences and provide a formal approach to the application programming. For example, declaring a variable like int a, int b etc might show how much less experienced is the programmer. A good indicator would be like declaring variables like intDegrees, intMetrics etc.
    4. Standardization also effectively encourages new features to be incorporated as a breeze as it would be fun to maintain a well-coded and well-designed application. The development efforts would be minimal and deployment nightmares would be almost nil.
    5. Efficient and standard code reduces the cost of development, maintenance and support and helps the enterprise in reducing the running costs and make more profits too.

    Going About Code Standardization

    Standardization of code should not understood as a step near refactoring. The bad practice is that small organizations do it near the fag end of the project while delivering the same to the end client. A good standardization practice should begin right at the inception itself. There should be punctuated reviews of the code by peers and technical leads who can give feedback and ensure that these are included in the implementation. All said, the project plan must have a decent time component to accomodate such reviews as well.

    A few organizations claim to run short of time and hence overlook coding practices. However, there is a saying that 'Haste makes waste'. It is better to be systematic and win the race like the tortoise rather than being hasty like the rabbit and losing out.

    Reference Coding Standards

    We would here give a partial list of reference coding standards for various languages. These are, in no means, complete list. Furthermore, your enterprise might have a standard already in place. The bottomline is that the team should get to gether to represent the application in the single wholistic fashion rather each one going in thier own direction.

    1. .NET/C#:
      1. C# Coding Style by Mike Kruger
      2. Secure Coding Guidelines for .NET Framework
      3. Program Structure and Coding Conventions
    2. Java
      1. Coding Conventions for Java language
    3. C/C++
      1. C Coding Standards
      2. C++ Coding Standards
      3. GNU Coding Standards

    Are we going on the right track?

    All is fine. However, we ought to have a reckoner or an introspection process periodically to check out with ourselves whether we are going on the right track. I would like to share a couple of tools that help us periodically check up our code whether it adheres to standards and brings out the variants/deviations if any.

    1. Macadamian Code Review Checklist (They also provided a rich Visual Studio AddIn to detect the code. However, currently this tool seems to be not available on thier website)
    2. GotDotNet FxCop

    Summarizing

    I hope that this little discussion would have been useful to bring out the talents hidden in the developers in the best represented implementation for the long run and long term potential benefit of the organization. Let me know your feedback and information that you would like to share with your readers.

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