Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fancy bug in Visual studio 2005

Some how i got in to the above issue, were a region (label) is multi-colored and would not expand. Finally removed a single letter (change the region name to something) from the region and the cosmetics disappeared.

But I love this region feature with .NET, it allows you to categorize/organize code appropriately, that would help in easy understanding when some one looks at the bulkier code.

I reported this bug to Microsoft take a look @ FeedbackID=285182, you need a Microsoft Connect ID., to report bugs follow these steps:

Bugs and suggestions are submitted via the Microsoft Connect website as follows:

Browse to
Sign in if you are not already signed in.

You can browse existing bugs and feedback without signing in, but won't be able to vote or add new feedback.

If you haven't used Connect before, you will need create a profile by clicking on the "Manage Your Connect Profile" link at the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Once you have created a profile, browse to again.
Click on the "submit feedback" button (only visible if you are signed in and have a Connect profile)

Pay attention while you design dot NET Remoting running via a Windows Service

Aaah, I am having hard time nailing down issues, when a windows service is running my remoted server. The client could not connect to the server. Tried different forums including MSDN forums and could not find out whats going on. May be I did not understand the whole concept properly. So all i wanted to say is pay more attention while you wanted some kind of design like this. This is killing me !!!

Initially I had a remoted server using a remoting infrastructure and the client is able to connect, everything is fine. But when the remoted server and the remoting infrastructure are wrapped inside a Windows service, I could not get things working. The client disappoints me by not connecting and throws .NET remoting exceptions. OK to brief on remoting, we might have heard about the good old (D)COM this is now upgraded significantly and made easier with .NET framework, though .NET 1.1 had issues (lot of them) the framework beginning with .NET 2.0 (take a look @ .NET framework - click here) major issues has been resolved. Essentially remoting allows you to talk to objects beyond the boundaries such as application domains/process boundaries, be it the server is running in the same machine or different.
Remoting channels, usually in the form of HTTP, Binary format and IPC. MarshalByRefObject - objects that are derived from this base class complies with remoting, basically they could be remoted. Now remoting infrastructure provides you various ways of using the remoted objects singleton, reference etc.
Now coming to windows Service, there are lots of things you can do by using the windows service. A service is basically a background process, (Go to command prompt, type services.msc, you can get a display of all the services that are listed) which could do several tasks in the background. Why would you want to go for a service, say in my case I wanted to allow multiple clients to connect to my service (which runs the remoted server), do some custom actions when windows starts/shut down/reboot, make such that on Vista ,we could create gadgets and deploy them based on this service. The service could be started, stopped, paused and also the service installation could be based on various security levels whether to be installed for a user/admin/local system. Remember you have to provide impersonation level appropriately to make it run by the desired user groups.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Windows Management Instrumentation provides API's for retrieving system data and doing many hardware operations.
WMI Creator - This creates the essential code for what ever WMI data you wanted to collect. There are SQL queries for WMI called as WQL.

Following is a sample code to parse the SMBIOS data, by which you can collect the information on memory that your motherboard has. Instead of getting data via Windows, you can collect it through this interface. Well, why such a round about way of collecting data?

Yup in certain application development that needs more information on the hardware data, which usually the windows OS does not explicitly provide.
If you take a look @ SMBIOS spec, you will know how vast the structures are...

sample code

const string m_WmiNamespaceInterested = "ROOT\\WMI";

const string m_WqlQueryInterested = "select * from MSSMBios_RawSMBiosTables";

const string m_PropertyInterested = "SMBiosData";

internal void GetRawSmbiosData(out byte [] rawSmbiosDataArray)
object rawSMBiosData = null;

//Connection credentials to the remote computer - not needed if the logged in account has access
ConnectionOptions oConn = new ConnectionOptions();
ManagementScope oMs = new ManagementScope(m_WmiNamespace, oConn);

//get Fixed disk stats
ObjectQuery oQuery = new ObjectQuery(m_WqlQuery);
ManagementObjectSearcher oSearcher = new ManagementObjectSearcher(oMs, oQuery);

ManagementObjectCollection oReturnCollection = oSearcher.Get();

foreach (ManagementObject oReturn in oReturnCollection)
rawSMBiosData = oReturn[m_PropertyInOutput];

rawSmbiosDataArray = rawSMBiosData as byte[];


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Emergence of SML

The new web language of the season is SML Service Mdeling Language . System management tools and other utilities that are typically used to monitor/manage the servers, systems and storage are now being transformed in to a new way of XML called SML, so that they can be utilized via the web. Re-iterating the fact that the web way continous to be the leading front in the technology development, stressing that any new technology have to be part of the WEBoSphere.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Microsoft web portfolio

Microsoft is trying to catch up the race with other race leaders Google, Yahoo in the web domain atleast to keep up to the trend. Microsoft launched its live portal for search, maps (Google started their street view service in google maps, which hit many controversies) and started to give beta trial website OFFICE LIVE with a mail facility to spur up small business that needs web space( I have mine Though it is free they need your credit card details by which they say only genuine users will be allowed and will not charge us without notifying. If you need extra value added features like more mail space, storage then you will be charged. Live spaces, by which you can create your own space for photos, blogs, widgets, RSS and many more.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My first Spanish movie…

Ever since I heard of the language Espanol, I wanted to know more and learn the language. It is not only because it is the second most widely spoken language in the US but because of the Spanish speaking people.

I saw this movie Pan's Labyrinth -, I like it… Looks like a scary movie in the DVD cover and from the website, but it is a fairy tale based movie. The screen play of the movie is good, the two tracks in the movie (fairy part and the present world) wraps up each other well to give a very different combination. Good lateral thought I would say.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Indian media haywire

Focus on Indian media

Well media around the globe is always hot, particularly the growth and popularity of Indian media is all the more phenomenal in the recent years. The Indian media has diversified, expanded their horizons, capitalizing the advances in technology and much more.

And this is all for good, but I do think that the role of media in India or at least the way they are heading towards is quite frenzied. I feel it is clearly evident that media is becoming the limelight of issues, rather than the issue itself. This is not about when media is acting on the way it is supposed to do. Though there could be restrictions on what media can do and cannot, it is more often that the yard stick is in the hands of media itself. It is up to them to behave themselves, I know this is quite a strong way of expressing but I do get sometimes too annoyed on the way they portray and examine the news.

With a byte of news the media gets, they generate Giga bytes of more news.

On many occasions, the media’s news on Indian cricket team, politics, entertainment (to name a few) created too much hype, expectations beyond barriers and more pressure on the stake holders. Well it is always good to analyze, question and propose solutions involving various entities, too much questioning and too much probing are not good. It is like media playing bosses and rest of them have to subside. We have witnessed many guest speakers and other non-media folks (be it a politician or a cinema star) pointed out that the media is going too far on the issue or digging too much and adding too many unwanted things to the issue at whole. Well each media group wants to prepare their own flavor of the curry (news).

“While questioning is difficult, answering is even more”

plasma / LCD and displays

which is better plasma or lcd?

Price, resolutin, viewing angle, sharper image, longevity could be the prime factors to make the benchmark. With my experience working on projectors and DLP based televisions, I have some insights in to LCD and Plasma panels.

Apart from better contrast due to its ability to show deeper blacks, plasma screens typically have better viewing angles than LCD. Viewing angles are how far you can sit on either side of a screen before the picture's quality is affected. You tend to see some brightness and colour shift when you're on too far of an angle with LCDs, while a plasma's picture remains fairly solid. This is steadily changing, however, with more and more LCDs entering the market with viewing angles equal to or greater than some plasmas. Plasmas can also produce a brighter colour, once again due to light leakage on an LCD affecting its colour saturation.

Plasma pundits will also tell you that some LCD screens have a tendency to blur images, particularly during fast moving scenes in movies or in sports. While that was true for older generation LCD screens, newer models have improved significantly -- so much so that the differences in performance between LCDs and plasmas in this regard is almost negligible (here's a tip -- if you're shopping for LCDs, check the pixel response time, measured in ms. The lower it is, the better the image quality in fast moving scenes).

Traditionally, the biggest advantage plasmas have had over their LCD cousins is price, particularly in the large screen end of the market. In the past 12 months, this has changed, with LCDs matching plasmas in both resolution and price. Plasmas being sold in Australia generally run between 42-inches and 63-inches wide, with the cheapest standard definition 42-inch selling for approximately AU$2,300 (although you can expect to find sets cheaper than AU$2,000 in real world prices). 60-inch and above plasmas can go for as much as $25,000.

LCDs, on the other hand, top out around the 52-inch mark -- though there is a 65-inch Sharp available -- but are price competitive with similar-sized plasmas. Sony's high end 52-inch KDL52X2000 LCD, for example, retails for AU$9,999, while Pioneer's top of the line 50-inch PDP-5000EX plasma goes for AU$10,999.

4. What advantages does LCD have over plasma?
Apart from being price competitive, LCD has the edge over plasma in several other key areas. LCDs tend to have higher native resolution than plasmas of similar size, which means more pixels on a screen. If you're a true high-def junkie who's keen to see every pixel of a high-res 1080i/p image reproduced pixel-by-pixel (providing you have a source that high, of course), then LCDs are seemingly the way to go. However, top-of-the line plasmas will also display 1080p content, so the choice isn't as easy as it once was.

LCDs also tend to consume less power than plasma screens, with some estimates ranging that power saving at up to 30 per cent less than plasma. LCDs are also generally lighter than similar sized plasmas, making it easier to move around or wall mount.

LCD pundits also point to the fact that LCDs have a longer lifespan than plasma screens. This was true of earlier plasma models, which would lose half of their brightness after more than 20,000 hours of viewing. Later plasma generations have bumped that up to anything between 30,000 and 60,000 hours. LCDs, on the other hand, are guaranteed for 60,000 hours.

You might have also heard that plasmas suffer from screen burn in, an affliction not as commonly associated with LCDs. Screen burn in occurs when an image is left too long on a screen, resulting in a ghost of that image burned in permanently. Newer plasmas are less susceptible to this thanks to improved technology and other features such as built-in screen savers, but burn-in is still a problem. But after a few days of use most burnt-in images will fade -- they are no longer permanent.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Oracle and Cisco growing not just by leaps and bounds. Mergers/Acquisitions and the endless technology wars...

In all possible ways the empire is striking all over to build more and more fortresses. Yep the giant database and ERP leader ORACLE is in a massive acquisition spree for quite some time now, it's hunger to lead the industry has always been in the forefront of its policies. Take a look at the acquisitions that this company has made in the recent years. (Is this all to keep ahead of SAP?)

People soft for $10.3 billion in 2005
Retek for $631 million in 2005, this take over was a win over SAP's bidding and ORACLE emerged as the victor in the sharp bidding war.
Siebel systems for $5.85 billion in 2006
Hyperion solutions for $3.3 billion in 2007

Inspite of all these deals, there is a great rumor that Oracle is planning a take over SAP to bring an end to the cold war.
And Microsoft is trying to portray its influence in the ERP segment. They are buying different companies and integrating systems to show that nothing is limited to their reach and they can create a mark everywhere. (Though they are just a single coral island in the ERP ocean)
Let's wait and see what happens...

The other major company in the acquisition mode is the network giant Cisco, last year they were ranked as the second largest in the world, based on an organization's cash reserves. Their list of acquired or companies planned to acquire are Broadware technologies, Sypixx, Topspin to name a few.

Recently Cisco expanded its boundaries to other areas, remarkably there is a tussle between Microsoft and Cisco in the IP communications were the later is a hardware based IP leader and Microsoft, leader in the desktop application systems.

And Cisco is also coming up a big way in the area of video conferencing were HP is trying to make their mark with the Halo collaboration systems.
Cisco bought few video surveillance system developers, which is also being eyed by other giants like IBM and HP.

Not to limit, they are also establishing in the systems management and security software, which had always been the favorite kid of the greater three in this area IBM, HP and Computer Associates.

Speculations are that a potential battle emerging, where Cisco and other notable leaders, such as Dell, HP, IBM, and Sun, play tug-of-war over where network intelligence should reside - either in network gear, such as switches and routers, or in clusters of servers and blades.

An other arena or the type of industry is the Original Contract Manufacturer's or OCM's in which the current hot wave is, Flextronics to buy it's arch rival Solectron for $3.6 billion.

Meanwhile the daily clashers Microsoft and Google are going with zoom lenses to acquire all possible small and mid sized companies in their business or their opponent's business to make their foothold stronger and deeper as ever.

Why do comapnies acquire other companies

Monday, June 04, 2007

Surface Computing a deep dive

Please take a look @, before you start reading this...

Surface computing the latest buzz word(s) from Microsoft, expected to bring in billions of dollar business.

Here I am going to analyze the way surface computing works, based on my understanding/knowledge. Please feel free to criticize.

A milestone(s) here is in bringing the real world objects closer to the virtual world, by which they both can interact.

Microsoft briefly mentioned that they use camera/sensing devices that are embedded to the surface computer to recognize different objects placed on the surface. These devices proactively read for any change that happens on the surface area.

The biggest challenge for any device is to distinguish the real world object and understand its nature, behavior, texture and other properties.
I am sure humungous amount of math has gone in to this machine. To give a simple illustration, think of a glass of wine (Microsoft example) when placed on the surface computer, the computer has to analyze/understand what the object is say a cylindrical glass with certain mass, this itself is the object first hand. Again this glass contains wine which is a liquid that has its own properties. Imagine they are able to distinguish and re-produce the number of bubbles present in the glass, which are objects of third degree detail. Again it has its own properties like color, size shape and much more.

To recognize all this in minor detail is amazing.

In terms of mimicking the real objects and its properties, think of the favorite object oriented model, which came in to existence for the reason that the programming model has to follow simple real world scenario.

The first thing the surface computer computes is the first degree object, in our case it is the wine glass, which is cylindrical in shape, and it has a mass and occupies a considerable amount of area in the surface, based on image recognition and pressure mass index, the object is identified, just to name a few.
Now each such first degree object composes other objects (Has –A relationship), now this object here is the wine, which is derived from the base liquid and has its properties such as color, density just to name a few. And then we still go to the minor detail the bubble, the surface computer creates as many bubbles in the container and generates them in the surface computer environment. Now these objects can be dragged/moved and what not.
How long will the object be alive, will the objects be destroyed when the wine glass is removed form the surface of the (surface) computer?

Now more complicated things are such as understanding the real objects limitations, what can be done on them and what not, say when a cellular phone is placed on the surface, it is possible to upload the photos from the surface computer to the cellular phone by just dragging and dropping in to the space (the area or the zone occupied by the cell phone), but the amount of information that has to be collected is not just limited to recognizing the object itself, but its limitations and boundaries of functionality as well. What if the cell phone cannot transmit/receive through Infra red or Bluetooth, which in case is incapable of obtaining images from the surface computer. Thus the surface computer has to do a lot of study in understanding each entity of the object and think of the environment where multiple objects are placed, it becomes more complicated, the properties of one object might collide with the other and hence at run time they might behave differently, this is indeed next generation computing.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Landfill - Handling trash

Day by day tons and tons of trash is generated/collected, ever wondered how they are being handled?
Look at this -->