27 November, 2008

Are we all heading towards an era of cloud computing?

NO. Heres 8 reasons why:

1. Providing Mario, or for that matter any modern graphic intense game, as a service wont be easy.

2. If you’re NEVER going to use the computing power in your PC, and would rather rely on some server for processing your information, do you think major hardware vendors such as Intel, and AMD, who have spent billions to develop their hardware, would just standby and watch?

3. One MAJOR problem with cloud computing is that if, and when the central server crashes, ALL of your data would be lost, because of the failure. It wouldn’t matter if you have backup servers. They could not take in ALL of the traffic resulting in slower transfers. This would be unacceptable for large companies depending on the central server to provide it with certain programming “services”, and for your 9 year old son who wants to play DOOM 3.

4. 82% of the world is still using dialup connections to connect to the internet. What could possibly compel them to change that? And if they decided to change that, even for some unknown reason, would the costs be the same? Wouldn’t it be higher? Wouldn’t this would compel most of them to stay on the same infrastructure?

5. Programmers are humans too. We aren’t perfect. We couldn’t possibly come up with a mechanism that would go online throughout the world providing “services” to everyone involved, AND expect the system to be robust enough to NEVER crash. Even a primitive system, designed for this purpose would probably end up crashing because of the load involved.

6. If you think Im being a pessisimist, and Im making this up, consider this- Even a complex backend architecture such as server farms, possibly coupled with complex algorithms to optimize performance, do you think the access time would be anywhere near, or comparable to a file stored on your system?

7. If you do everything on a server, then why do you need your PC? Just input devices, and output devices will suffice in such a situation right? Then your PC wouldn’t be a “terminal” it would be a dummy terminal.

8. Finally, the security threat involved is totally unacceptable for any major corporation. As all “services” run on a central server(or on different servers, which ever you deem necessary for the purpose of this discussion) even a small loophole could prove costly for all those involved in such an endeavor.

What makes you think that distributed could ever be stopped? Lets hear them in the comments !

26 November, 2008

The confusion over chrome

With the advent of Google’s new applications, the press is abuzz with terminologies such as "cloud computing" and online operating systems. But is this really the future of the web?

Definitely Not!! I read a news article in a major newspaper a few days ago which called Google’s chrome a “revolution” and that it would eventually overtake windows and Linux.. Excuse Me? Is it just me , or can you spot the odd one out of the group too? Heres whats wrong with the article:

Ø First off, chrome is an application, not an OS. To be specific, it’s a browser, just like Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.

Ø Secondly, Chrome needs an OS to run.

Ø Third, the day when chrome will start up as soon as you switch on your PC is still VERY far away.

The very fact that a major newspaper called chrome an OS shows the amount of computer literacy amongst the press. And to think the article came from the associated Press! God knows how many newspapers all over the world published his and how many people believed it!

25 November, 2008

Top 10 things to do with dial up internet

1. Tune into internet radio:

You wouldnt believe how many internet radio stations have popped up over the years. Just tune into a low quality radio service such as Social crime and you will enjoy for hours. There are pop, jazz, rock, funk radio channels available like this too!

2. Join mailing lists:

Have a hobby? There are mailing lists for almost anything on the internet. Join some of these mailing lists and watch your hobby get better. A mailing list consists of everyone replying to a mail thats found in their inbox.

3. Watch videos:

Youtube and Dialy video have managed to provide me with hours and hours of non stop entertainment. The endless library of videos on these sites give you everything from the latest movie trailers, to game strategies, to video songs.

4. Play online:

There are countless sites that are offering free gaming services online. Many of these are fun and addictive games. But beware, even though you require just the flash player installed, these may bring with them unwanted downloads also.

5. Stumble:

Stumbling is the most addictive past time I have right now.

6. Avail the use of online operating systems:

Operating systems are available online too! These are basically built on the web 2.0 architecture. Get aquainted with one of them, and upload all your important files as a backup mechanism. This would ofcourse take time, but its worth it!

7. Read tutorials online:

Dont go out to buy that costly book when you can get the same content for free! There are people like myself all over the web, and they simply enjoy writing about everything. Sometimes you find information in blogs that you wont find even in a commercial publication. Wikihow is an excellent source of such tutorials.

8. Start a blog:

Have ideas that you would like to share with everyone on the net? Start a blog with free services such as blogger or wordpress. These services are free and easy to use!

9. Download updates for windows:

Windows giving you problems? Leave "automatic update" on in windows, and it'll download updates for ya!

10. Chat on yahoo!

I know what you are thinking. Yahoo! is infested with bots. I know, but it still IS one of the best places on the net to chat! Believe me, I do! My Yahoo Id is : shockstreamz.

24 November, 2008

Does windows get slower with a cluttered desktop?

I didnt believe in this concept until recently. One of my clients asked me this question, and I told him "No, it doesnt". He continued "I think it does!". I later began thinking that there may be more to this than meets the eye. The following article is based on my analysis of the situation.

> The more number of icons on your desktop, the more time it takes for all the icons to be loaded from the icon cache.

> This might be one of the reasons why windows seems to become slow.

> Whenever you exit a game, and return back to desktop, windows refreshes the desktop thereby refreshing the cache.

> Windows doesn't store all its icons in the memory because considering the depth of these icons, there would be no space in the memory left for running applications.

> This is also apparently the reason why a linux machine runs faster than a windows machine, with the same hardware configuration, apart from of course the OS architecture.

22 November, 2008

Why windows software installs are slower than uninstalls

Put the other way, why are uninstalls faster than installs? Windows was built to just incinerate a directory when its deleted. That is, the directory, or files are just removed from the partition table if you pressed Shift+Del (which it seems, everyone these days is very used to!). When installing, the program has to

>Look up the target drive and check if enough space is available or not.

>Unpack the files onto some temporary location (Most probably C:\windows\Downloaded program installations)

> Extract and copy the files onto the desired location on your installation directory

This is the step that possibly takes up a lot of time because the transfer is happening from the hard disk onto the hard disk as opposed to the transfer happening from some other medium to the hard disk which is atleast, a bit faster. Since the source and the destination of the files are on the same disk, the transfer bus is fully used, and thus the OS seems to get stuck. During this process, if you try to , say play your music collection with winamp, your pc would get stuck because the OS (which is quite a heavy resource consumer), your copy process(also a heavy weight) and your music player are all contending for CPU time. As and when the CPU gets more tasks in its queue, the system starts to become slower, as each task has a degenerating effect on the system, leading to the popular deadlock problem of computer science. When your PC gets locked up, you have to remove all your processes from the CPU queue. The easiest way to do which is to RESTART your computer, which I assume, all of us,windows users do from time to time. :)

>Seek a suitable location in the registry

>Enter keys in the registry

>Delete the temporary files

>Possibly do other tasks such as configure the application for first run
This basically involves the installer entering some values into the applications configuration files to tell the application that the next time the application runs would be its first on this machine.

20 November, 2008

Firebug – The ultimate tool for the web designer

Many of my friends were saying firebug could do that and firebug could do this. Recently, I decided to see for myself what it could and what it couldn't do. And , I must say I'm very pleased by what I saw. Firebug comes as an add-on with Firefox. Simply visit http://addons.firefox.com and get your firebug add-on. It sits just above your Firefox status bar, making it non – obtrusive and really helpful whenever you need it.


But the area where firebug really shines is its ability to highlight elements of the page you are viewing. Just click the "inspect" button on firebug, and wherever you take your mouse on the HTML page, the corresponding markup will be highlighted. This is really useful and priceless for a web page designer because this would save a lot of time and help you learn how someone else has coded his webpage. If you see a nifty CSS trick that you could use, just take your mouse over the element and its corresponding markup would be shown. You would be amazed to know that this works even with Javascript generated content. For example, if you generated a button at runtime. Now if you go into inspect mode, you can see the code for the Javascript that made the button what it is! This way you can get to debug your pages on the fly.


19 November, 2008

Is it time microsoft started making antivirus software?


If you use windows, you would probably have come across hundreds of security loopholes, and viruses trojans, and what not! With all this in mind, you gotta ask yourself, isnt it time microsoft started making antivirus software? I mean, windows is microsofts own creation, so no one else knows windows better than microsoft, right?


Confronted with the above, any microsoft employee would tell you that microsoft doesn't make application software. True, but I still think microsoft is the best company to make antivirus softwares, and it would easily rise to the top in the antivirus market.


With that said, why not build an antivirus along with the OS, so its fully interoperable with the OS? We windows users are anticipating the release of windows 7 in 2010. I would love to see the antivirus feature with that version of windows.

18 November, 2008

Using VS2005 IDE regular expressions for find and replace

Suppose you have redundant information such as :

, (11,12,1,5,75,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (11,13,1,6,200,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (11,14,1,7,50,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (11,15,1,8,100,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (11,16,1,9,25,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (11,17,1,10,60,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')

You need to replace the first two integer fields with say 7.

Hit Ctrl + F to bring up the find and replace dialog. click on Regular expressions.

Find : [(]:z:z,:z,

Replace with : (7,

Heres a nice page about VS 2005 IDE's regular expression comparison with other regular expression 'standards':

Coding horrors take on VS IDE regular expressions

, (7,1,14,75,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (7,1,15,60,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (7,1,16,10,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (7,1,17,25,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (7,1,18,150,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')
, (7,1,19,100,1,1,'2008-10-19 00:00:00')

Net Packets Out Of Order - Expected ( xxx ), Received ( y ) error in Toad:

Toad is one of the most versatile front ends I have seen for an efficient database such as MySQL. But toad does have its rough edges. The error message "Net Packets Out Of Order - Expected ( xxx ), Received ( y )" pops up whenever the client has been opened for many hours together. There is something about the situation that makes me feel that the toad front end was made to be specifically timed with the number of packets that were recieved after a transaction is complete. That is, it estimates the number of packets that are to be recieved whenever a transaction is completed. If at all the number of packets recieved after a transaction doesnt match up with the ones expected, the above error is seen.

The problem not only arises for specific transactions but also for transactions involving a series of transactions involving a large number of unions. Yes, this is a fact.

The solution:

> The first possible solution is to copy the query and execute it in the mysql command line client. You will be happy to see that it works.

> The second solution is to restart the PC and hope that Toad is back to its helpful self again.

The third and last solution is to modify your query to involve fewer number of joins, or unions. This would surely solve the problem.

17 November, 2008

Simple ExtJs Grid Example 2

var store;
var temp;

var arr=document.getElementById("hdnField1").value;
var splitter=arr.split("|");
var myData = [[splitter[0],splitter[1]]];
// create the data store
store = new Ext.data.SimpleStore
fields: [{name: 'Name'},{name: 'Designation'}]
// create the Grid
var grid = new Ext.grid.GridPanel
store: store,
columns: [{header: "Name", sortable: true, dataIndex: 'Name'},{header: "Designation", sortable: true, renderer: 'Designation'}],
stripeRows: true,height:320,width:240,title:'Array Grid'

var clicked=function()
var TopicRecord = Ext.data.Record.create(
{name: 'Name', mapping: 'Name'},
{name: 'Designation', mapping: 'Designation'}

var myNewRecord = new TopicRecord({
Name: 'Do my job please',
Designation: 'noobie'
return false;

Basic structure of an ExtJS grid

var arr=document.getElementById("hdnField1").value;
var splitter=arr.split("|");
var myData = [[splitter[0],splitter[1]]];
// create the data store
var store = new Ext.data.SimpleStore
fields: [{name: 'Name'},{name: 'Designation'}]
// create the Grid
var grid = new Ext.grid.GridPanel
store: store,
columns: [{header: "Name", sortable: true, dataIndex: 'Name'},{header: "Designation", sortable: true, renderer: 'Designation'}],
stripeRows: true,height:320,width:240,title:'Array Grid'

Of course, to make this work, you have to have the extJS libraries included first.Include them as follows:

>view your HTML code, and add the Javascript tags .The ExtJS path goes into the src property of the JS tag. I will be posting many more examples of ExtJS forms here. Be on the prowl until then...

12 November, 2008

Official Gmail Blog: Say hello to Gmail voice and video chat

Official Gmail Blog: Say hello to Gmail voice and video chat

The peeps at Google just launched video and voice chat from within Gmail. I really am waiting to criticize them for this move. Turns out, the app would be using H.264 encoding so external apps can choose to speak to this service. The implementation would no doubt involve a flash player on the front end. Im yet to really see an implementation of the flash player which can capture both voice and video from the client side at the same time not making the app sluggish (which im sure Googles' newest product WILL be!) .

10 November, 2008

Rest in peace DVD?

Do you use DVDs to backup your stuff? How much can you backup in 4.5 GB of media? 4 movies (compressed)? or 2 average games?

Move over DVD, 'cause this is the age of the Blu-ray disc and the flash drives. With hard disk drives getting cheaper by the day, and the advent of the Blu-ray disc's the DVDs are set to do a vanishing act ala the floppies. It is said the Blu-ray discs can hold upto 25 GB in a single layer disc, or 50 GB in a dual layer disc. Whatever the case, all digital storage will be replaced by bigger , better , and faster media in the coming days.

Or, better yet by flash drives. You can get a flash drive these days for as low as $3, or 150 rupees. We are on the cusp of the digital age. This is when the information bubble bursts and all media, information is gonna be exchanged freely.

Better still, why do you need to backup something when its permanently available online?? What with operating systems such as you OS, coming online. You can store your music , movies and games (?) online. With the advent of megabit broadbands, all of us can expect this medium to spill over into the portable device scenario too.

08 November, 2008

What does Wikipedia want $6 million for??...Simply Outrageous!!!

I was a fan of wikipedia, and its open mind theology until 3 minutes ago. I saw a banner on the site which said "Wikipedia:Making life easier", with a Donate Now button. It also showed a progress bar marking $2 million and odd, and that its goal was to raise $6 million!!!

Please interrupt me if Im wrong here, but arent all of wikipedias' articles written by commoners like you and me? So, its a collective effort isnt it? They shouldnt be asking for donations unless to pay for server bills!! SO, WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO DO WITH $6 MILLION?? Are you donating to wikipedia? If so please STOP!! Stop this insanity in the name of free knowledge.

Wikipedia has 20 odd workers, all doing what.. building a CMS thats wikipedia. Sure, its a good source of information and all, but do they REALLY deserve $2 Million???

If your answer is YES, please check in to your nearest mental hospital. You are in need of medical attention.

07 November, 2008

Is Google really a leader in technology?

Its a common misconception that any company that does things differently is supposed to be leading a certaing segment of technology. This seems to be true in the case of Google. Now, it may be a technology giant, but the products they make are far from perfection. Each and every one of their flagship products except other than their propreitery search engine technology ofcourse, is still in BETA. Do you know what that means? The services may go offline anytime, and may be entirely scrapped if not for Googles' ad based exploits. Most of their products are plagued by inconsistensies, and lack of basic support for their other products.

Take Google Chrome for example. Its supposed to be a a "revolutionary" piece of software, and they havent yet integrated their own Google notebook with Chrome.Google offers better support for IE than for chrome right now. Now, does that say anything about their competancy, and their development practices?Clearly, Google is very farsighted in its business practices and would be outstaged and outplayed in the coming years for sure.

06 November, 2008

Blogger VS Wordpress

Last week, I decided to try out wordpress because of all the eye candy. The themes there are pretty good. The sign up page was enticing and a good experience I must say, but after that things started going downwards. The following is a list of things thats wrong with wordpress:

>Wordpress serves its own ads on your blog instead of letting you earn money by blogging. Who runs a blog just to pass time anymore,anyway?

>Doesnt let you edit your CSS unless you pay $26 per month.

>Doesnt stop serving ads until you pay for the hosting, and that too without your own domain. So, basically you'll be stuck with yourname.wordpress.com for the rest of your life!

Things blogger lacks(that wordpress revels in):

> Themes. OOO shiny blog.Me like shiny blogs!

> closeness to the user. The ambience around the site is well maintained, and welcomes the user to try out things out on his own.

Well, thats it! It also allows for importing your "OLD" blogger blog into your wordpres blog, but I wont mention that because of anomolies in the posts when importing them

02 November, 2008

Are we all ready for multimedia compression?

If you download pirated games, and warez, youll already be familiar with UWE HERKLOTZs' UHARC. If you arent, look it up on the web. Its the highest ratio compression technology ever! It can compress games of around 1 GB to around 150 MB. Thats why its called multimedia compression in the first place. I havent found songs, and other media compressed with this. I have been using it to compress data that I dont really need right now, and burning such stuff off to DVD's for later use.But you gotta ask, if its such a good compression technology, why wont WinZip or Winrar use this?

>For one, it takes a whole day to bring down 1.5 GB of data to 150 MB, not all of us may be THAT patient.

>It eats up all your processors' bandwidth to do its job.

>Compression sometimes depends on the amount of RAM available. Since Winzip and winrar are used by people who may choose to work on pentium 3's, its not gained importance...yet..

>There is absolutely no guarantee that the output would be the same as the input. Though it works for a majority of the cases, it may fail too.