Posts

Showing posts from 2004

Contributing to Tsunami Relief in Asia

In India, you can donate to Prime Minister's Relief Fund by clicking here. You can know more about the Prime Minister's Relief Fund here.
You can see a big graphic on http://www.microsoft.com/ encouraging people to help the victims of the Tsunami tragedy.


Donation Tsunami Asia India Chennai Help Volunteer
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

The Bangalore One Project: FACT FROM FICTION

Reading the blog of a very interesting independent consultant whose livelihood depends on FUD (now we have heard this term enough no of times, haven't we?) .. I am sure that the ONLY good Indian citizen he is, there is enough information that exists with him to make sure that our country is in safe hands and not in the hands of some evil empire.. Interesting read for anyone who wants to learn about the devil in mind and really wants to see FUD at work..

Let's look into the wisdom of the wise man:"built on lack of information by the people executing it. ": there is enough information on all technologies out there and people undertaking such an effort want to make sure that the project finished in time (instead of a research project that never completes). Unfortunately, people assume that they are the only ones who know or think they are vigilant."proprietary platform": well arguments on what is proprietary has never ceased. and if you are talking about sourc…

Dual Monitor on my Machine!

Today I enabled support for dual monitor on my machine!

So on one monitor, I see all of my desktop.. and on the other, I see my taskbar! the advantage is, if you are working on multiple applications, you can "throw" the application that you are not using to the secondary monitor and get an uncluttered view of your own desktop.. it will increase your productivity (atleast that's what MS Research Labs say)..

Has it increased my productivity? Remains to be seen...

If you want to enable this support, you can do so by following instructions here.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

The Microsoft Professional Developers Conference 2005

Dates are out for the PDC 2005.. PDCs are held to aligh with key product development milestones and are held every couple of years.  There isn’t a periodic schedule set for PDC.Microsoft Professional Developers Conference, PDC 2005Dates: September 13 – 16, 2005.  (Pre-conferences September 11 and 12)Location: Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA.More information about PDC 2005 and sign up for receiving updates, including news on registration can be done at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/events/pdcWe can expect to hear about Longhorn, Avalon, WinFX, and Indigo and  lots of innovations that will cover many aspects of the Microsoft platform at the PDC 2005.

MDC India 2004.. Camera Phone Pictures and impressions

The MSN Spaces does resize the pictures very well..

http://spaces.msn.com/members/abhishekkant/Blog/cns!1pi7XripDUI-ycNchEZbs0zA!115.entry

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Desi ClickOnline

I like the BBC's ClickOnline that gives a good round up of the "tech scape" in the world. Friends and family feel that i have gone too techie to be listening to tech programs on TV as well :)

Recently i saw a program on SS Music television, that made me happy!! well yes, our own desi computer games reveiw program :) Airing daily, it is called "GameStation"..

the best part of the show was the detail with which they get into each program and show snippets of the quirk they are talking about. Something like, if they talk about separate teams in a game, they will show a snippet illustrating that point from the game.. somebody is definitely spending a lot of time playing them..

at the end they ask if we would like any game reviewed on the show.. yes, i would.. how about Microsoft Flight Simulator?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Drive Time - TechTalk on the Move

Do you enjoy listening to Technical shows (like game reviews, technology how tos etc)? I DO.
And to service this urge of mine there is something very interesting that i discovered recently - Drive Time CDs and Tapes. these CDs are produced by MS to be consumed internally (that means that they are not available to non-MS people) and are in two flavours:
1. Sales Edition
2. Technical Edition

The CDs ( i am subscribed to CDs instead of the tapes) that have been lying unutilized on my desk for long now.

Took up the drive time CD of technical edition of Speech Server and realised that my car (do i have one??) still doesn't have a CD player :)
The latest MP3 Player (courtesy MVP Program) came to the rescue... have ripped the audio tracks from the drivetime and copied them to my MP3/WMA player (i.e. Creative Muvo) using Windows Media Player 10.
And i am all set to listen to the drive times while on the go!!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

B.NET Design Day - First Peek

My visit to the B.NET Design Day event and the photos from there...
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Travelling to Mumbai and Pune

Will be travelling to Mumbai and Pune on 8th and 9th Dec 2004.

On Dec 8 2004, will try to meet the MVPs and the CSs in Mumbai to discuss the initiatives at the Mumbai User Group.
On Dec 9 2004, will meet the MVPs and CSs in Pune.

Later in the same day, have a presentation to make at TCS and introduce the MVP Program to them. TCS being the largest company only has a single MVP there.. with more light on the MVP and CS program, hopefully there will be more community leaders in the largest IT company of the country..

On 10th, will be talking at the MDC in bangalore.. and that is a very different story..
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

My Hotmail Account is 250 MB

The Hotmail upgrades have reached Indian shores.. my account is now 250 MB..

It's like brownie with vanilla ice-cream - MSN spaces and the Hotmail upgrade :)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

MSN Spaces Live - Blog Tool from MSN

Finally, the Blog Tool from MSN is out.. (they had launched launched a version in Japanese some time ago).. the blogging tool is called MSN Spaces..
MSN Spaces gives people a place to create and update a blog, and share their photos (10 MB of space available), music playlists and more, all while better connecting them with friends, family or the online world and support RSS 2.0.

So what are cool features?
1. Consumers can upload photos or blog postings to their Spaces from virtually any e-mail service or e-mail-enabled mobile device.
2. Contact Cards. When a person clicks on a Contact Card in a MSN Messenger or Hotmail® Contact list, the card pops up and gives a sneak peek at that contact’s Space – from its look and feel to the person’s most recent postings. The Contact Card includes links to the Space and those entries for easy access.
4. Gleaming. When a Spaces site is updated or content is added, the MSN Messenger Contact icon of the Space’s owner will light up, making it easy for …

My feedback Center Experience

I ran into a bug (atleast that is what i think) while using SQL Mobile and .NET CF 2.0 and raised it at the MSDN Feedback Center. I am very glad to see the lightning speed with which the problem was resolved. I posted the error on 29th and there was resolution in 10 hrs FLAT... TRULY OUTSTANDING..

I produce the error and the resolution (resolved as non-reproducible) below:


Description:
Opened by abhishekK on 2004-11-29 at 05:14:16

I am building the Walkthrough Sample on Master Details Forms for SQL Mobile. I have enoucntered an error that i believe could be a bug in the data adapter. The Fill function of Adapter is raising an SQLCeException that is related to pointers.

Resolved as Not Reproduced by Microsoft on 2004-11-29 at 15:50:16

We've made a host of changes in this area since Beta 1 to improve stability of the master/details feature and are no longer able to reproduce this problem. You should see this issue resolved in the next community drop.Thanks for your comments,Neil
Ste…

Enterprise Development Reference Architecture (EDRA) Released

The goal of the project (codenamed ShadowFax) is to provide architectural guidance that an organization can use to standardize the development of distributed systems.
EDRA has been released by PAG group of Microsoft.
The EDRA provides architectural guidance that an enterprise can use to standardize the separation of business logic from infrastructure concerns with the development distributed systems. The key principles on which EDRA is based are:
· Separating the service interface from internal service implementation to allow for deployment scenarios optimized for scalability, reliability, security, performance, and availability.
· Separating business logic from cross-cutting concerns such as logging, monitoring, or raising business events.
· Separating business logic from the underlying transport so that multiple transports can be used to access a single service implementation.

you can directly use the artifacts of the project: extensible application frame…

The Da-Vinci Code - Virus spreads to me!

Started reading the Da-Vinci Code yesterday.. i am only half way at Chapter 33.. i find the book till now a mish mash of fiction blended with religion and art..
IMHO, the book's author is a believer of the "conspiracy" theory..
the book is definitely captivating given I started reading it at 10 PM and kept reading it till 1 AM :) The anticipation of something very "phenomenonal" just on the next page keeps the reader glued to the pages of the novel...
I heard people say it is a work of "real" nature and the presence of Fibonnaci Series, Divine Proportion etc are proofs of the same.. i say the book melds the science and fiction together very well..
There is lot of interesting facts too in the book like - the name of the Mona Lisa painting in France is La Giaconda, the life of Da vinci, the Vitruvian man, the origin of word "Silas" and the pagan philosophies (Hinduism seems very much a pagan religion to me!!)
Of course, i will have more to sa…

India Community Chats

We have launched the community chats for India.. wonder what is the difference between the community chat and an MSDN Chat? a very valid question that I will try to answer:
1. MSDN Chats were primarily developer chats around MS Dev tools and technologies. Community chats cover the rest of them that include products like Office, Windows and any other MS topic.. we are even encouraging non-technical topics like people's experience with MSN and other philosophies.
2. MSDN chats are primarily operated as an "expert" mode chat. In the chat all the attendees ask their questions and the expert answers them. In the community chat we let people share ideas and have a true "community" experience. There is a "leader" who takes leads in answering the questions and the chat is open for everyone else to contribute in answering the questions apart from just asking them.

The list of community chats due in the future are available here.

We count your community partici…

Vacation.. Postponed!

I am in Delhi (Oh!! Gurgaon to be precise) right now supposedly on vacation!

Duty called and I am back on work for this week.. the vacation has been put on hold till some time later.. for the next week :)

The good thing is I am glad to be back on work (i was kinda missing the break neck speed of the mails that I have become used to and the 50 odd replies that i do everyday!)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

the Journey to MVP Nomination Alerts

This MVP Nomination cycle we did a NEW thing! we sent everyone who requested alert notification on the MVP program in India an SMS (apart from the email).. actually, we have only sent invitations for MVP nominations to them this time (not open to public)!
This is the backstage story that enabled us to do that!

Well, the moment you press "Submit" button on the alerts page we get an email with the information neatly formatted. We accumulate the emails till we have something significant to do with the same e.g. send the MVP Nomination alert on SMS. . at this stage we needed to extract numerous mails in hundreds and parse them to get the mobile phone nos.
For this I wrote an Outlook Plugin using .NET 2.0 and VSTO 2.0. The way the plugin works is that it steps through the folder structure (that is mandated) and gets to the folder where the alerts information is stored. Then it looks up the body of the mail and parses the same using regular expression classes. The information is t…

WinAmp - The Closing of a Chapter

Heard about one of the core team members, Steve Gedikian, of the widely used WinAmp media player leaving the company - Nullsoft..
What impressed me most was the respect Steve has for the behemoth that AOL is..
It is a good read on what people feel leaving a product/company that had created a media revolution and the love/hate they feel for the same guy...
And on the future of Winamp from the blog:
I anticipate that Winamp will continue to limp along for a little while longer. With minor bug fixes and updates for some time to come. Over the long term, I anticipate Winamp's identity will change to fit the goals of those at AOL who don't really care what Winamp means to the millions of our loyal followers.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

So you are using Lookout?

I have been using Lookout for quite some time now and am extremely happy about it!! it has been saving a lot of time for me.. translate that to dollars and the saving is huge! but i guess everyone knows about it by now.. if you don't then you either don't use Outlook or you have a lot of time (so you don't care) or you are oblivious to the tools that can increase your productivity !!

Why this outdated post then?

I discovered that if you install Lookout, Outllook doens't shut down even when you close the application. it keeps running in the background! I didn't expect that. It is either by design or by coding error..

In my brush with Outlook programming it has come up again and again that if the Add-In doesn't unoad itself the application will fail to terminate and keep running in the background. If this is the case, then Lookout should better unload while Outlook exits..

If you want to close Outlook, use task manager to shut it down :)
------------------------…

Wondering what happened to the MVP Nomination in Nov?

If you have been to the India MVP Page recently and visiting the page religiously in the past, you might have noticed that there is no MVP nomination that we are doing in this cycle..
As it says on the page, we are doing MVP Nomination by invitation only... There are primarily 2 reasons for the same:
We elicit MVP nominations at various opportunities (TechED, SAF, IDF etc) hoping to find any MVP candidate. The idea is to not let any potential candidate go unnoticed 'cause of lack of information.
The drawback is that we get lot of nominations with just name and email address and that sends the whole nomination in a big loop of soliciting more information, waiting, following up and so on.. And we have built up a huge collection of nominations that we are processing right now. Opening up the nomination for everyone will create a deluge that we won't be able to process with the detail we would like to.Most of the community candidates are well known and bubble up from one quarter o…

DPE Team Offsite

On Nov 2 and 3, the whole of the DPE team in India huddled into a room to discuss the team plans.. there are a lot of new people in the team and the Offsite helped to meet with them and get to know them...
Learnt a lot about the ambit if DPE activities and how we are organised.. i have heard it many times in MS that it is difficult to figure out what is everyone doing.. atleast for DPE team in India, I do have some clarity NOW!
Sunbhashini and myself made a presentation on MVP program and new community initiatives like Mileage and Alliance..
Mostly it was presentations on what everyone is doing or plans to do..
The fun was in food and go-karting...
Dinner at Samarkant and lunch at 100ft Restaurant were amazing..
My laurel from the Offsite: I am the fastest go carting person in DPE.. Scored 31.60 sec for a lap at Race Pace in RT Nagar.. i am reminded of my first roommate as a professional - heera (an avid go-karter with whom i had gone g-karting first time in Chennai!!) this win is ded…

My VSTO 2.0 start up pangs

OK.. so i heard Soma talk about the VSTO 2.0 that is much stable than VSTO with VS 2003. Wanted to develop 2 tools for long:
1. A button that will let me open 2 reply windows instead of one. i have a need for that. one for status intimation and one for action..
2. A program that scans a folder extracts all the mails and saves the content in the a file after parsing the mails..

Nice time to do so with Outlook 2003, VSTO 2.0 and Vs 2005.

After i spent some time looking for VSTO 2.0, i realised it gets installed as a part of VS 2005. You will need Office PIA for development. Install it from the Add/Remove Programs for Office and enable the .NET Programability feature.
For starters, currently VSTO 2.0 only supports Word and Excel. So, essentially i am creating interop assemblies again for Office 2003 (purpose of VSTO 2.0 LOST!!)
Starting with a new project of type "Shared Add-In" under Extensibility. One very important thing to remember:
DO NOT select "Enable Addin for use…

Hear what you want at MSDN Session

If you have ever wanted to say what Microsoft should be talking about at the MSDN sessions, you now have an option.

We are listening to the community for topics of their interest and would like to schedule MSDN Sessions based on this feedback..

Do let us know what topic you want to hear about and the level of detail you would like us to go into at the MSDN India Site.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Get to know SQL Server 2005 via Webcasts

SQL Server 2005 Developer Webcasts will begin running on December 6th. Initially there will be 15 WebCasts introducing all the new features of SQL Server 2005 for Developers.

Starting in January, we will be doing at least 1 web cast per week focused on specific developer topics for SQL Server 2005.

The link for the webcasts is http://msdn.microsoft.com/SQL/2005Webcasts
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Installing Visual Studio 2005 Beta

Finally got my VS 2005 Beta 1 working.. am going to create a Outlook application using the VSTO 2.0.

Had problems installing VS 2005 Beta 1 as my MSI was giving some issues.. Post installation, starting VS 2005 Beta 1 would end in an error - "Application configuration error" sort of thing..

I discovered it was Data Execution Protection (DEP) feature of the XP SP2 that was in confict with the MSI. Well, from then it was an easy chore.

Went to the Control Panel -> System -> Advamced -> Performance -> Settings -> Data Execution Protection tab and added MSI as an execption. That did it!

A re-install of VS 2005 and my VS 2005 Beta 1 was successfully installed..
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

New MVPs announced

Announcing the new MVPs in India:

1.. Hari K. Prasad, Trivandrum
2.. Dhamayanthi N, Chennai
3.. Sanjay Vyas, Mumbai
4.. KS Naveen, Bangalore
5.. Sarang Datye, Pune
6.. Tarun Anand, Delhi

Remarkably, the MVP program will now benefit from some very senior people now :)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Microsoft Video Email Add-on

Now send a video email directly from outlook...

You can use a Web camera to easily send a video e-mail to your friends and family. It takes just two clicks on the Video E-mail for Outlook 2003 add-in.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Community Star Portal Launch

We launched the Community Star Portal on schedule yesterday. We sent out an invite to all the registered community stars on the details of how to log on to the website and updating their information.

this is the first step. as expected a lot of email addresses were defunct and the mails bounced back on the same. maybe the mailboxes are full for some of the community stars..

if you are a community star and haven't received the email detailing the procedure to login to the portal please write to: commstarATmicrosoft.com requesting access details. for the mails that bounced back we have marked them as "Not Active" status in the contact list that we have created.

We also need some administrators who could help manage the site. There is good response to the request for volunteering for administrators. Since we can't have many we will shortlist the candidates and send individual invitations to all.

we will be shipping the VS.NET 2005 Beta 1 CDs to registered members by Oct…

Discouraging Piracy by providing more value to genuine Windows users

there is a pilot program being run for a few weeks at the Download Center of Microsoft.com for a few specific downloads..
for some users the site will provide a download that checks whether the Windows OS running on their PCs are genuine or not.
this is not meant to be a spooky affair.. rather one that provides the genuine users more benefits by unlimited download access..
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Windows XP Starter Edition Pilot Program

Starting in October 2004, Windows XP Starter Edition will ship on new, low-cost desktop PCs available through PC original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Microsoft OEM distributors in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

IMHO, this marks the entry of Microsoft into affordable computing.. the achilles heel of a lot of developing companies.. i say affordable and not cheap as cost of acquisition of the PC and software is just the beginning... in long run, this outweighs other peripherals and software we purchase.. windows is the ubiquitous choice that provides for unlimited software available off the shelf.. how many times do you go looking for Children's CD on Alphabets that runs on Linux???

For India, let's wait and watch.. and hope our country has stricter IP laws..
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Community Star Discussions and Future

In my continuing discussion with Community Stars across the country, I had a discussion today with Sadashiv. Though he works out of chennai and was here for a short trip, he found time today to discuss the opportunities for Community Star program to improve on.

Some of thoughts we generated out of the discussion are as follows:
1. Community Stars are disengaged 'cause of lack of communication with them from MS. Better communication channels need to be developed.
2. Award experience and delivery of the Community Star benefits leave a lot to be desired.
3. Community Stars feel that MS is not laying enough importance on Community Stars and do not value their contributions much. More information needs to flow to CSs.

From our end, we are doing the following:
1. Launch an extranet portal exclusively for Community Stars. We will host issue submission on this site. Also, we will share opportunities via this site e.g. beta opportunities
2. Re-launch the Community Star distribution list
3.…

New MSDN Site with URL alias

There has been a lot of noise around the new URL alias feature of the MSDN site.. i read 3 different MS blogs and was simply amazed at the stuff that is changing at the MSDN site..
In short, you can reach the documentation for a class or namespace by suffixing the fully qualified name of the class after: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/library/
Some of the blogs talking about the same:
http://blogs.msdn.com/junfeng/archive/2004/09/13.aspx
http://blogs.msdn.com/saraw/archive/2004/09/15.aspx
http://pluralsight.com/blogs/craig/archive/2004/09/15/2274.aspx
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

My Bluetooth Handsfree Headset

My latest tech gadget is a blutooth wireless handsfree headset.. it is a Sony Ericsson HBH-600. Bought it from the famous Heera Panna market in Mumbai.. started to buy from one shop there but realised that it was probably a used piece (the user manual was missing).. so switched shops and bought from another shop where i thought it was new... price: INR 3300.00
Have paired it with O2 XDA II and it works seamlessly... i get a range of around 5 meters in office that is stuffed with electronic paraphanelia and wireless transmissions creating interference...
the headset is light on ear but wearing it for extended periods of time irritates the ear very much.. the sound from the earpiece is very clear and the mic provides the same level of clarity to the person on the other end as the XDA itself...
my only reason to whimper - battery life is only for 2-3 hrs which means i have to charge the earpiece every day.
overall, a very useful piece of technology that has definitely increased my produ…

MVP Regional Summit

My take away from the MVP Lead Summit:
For this financial year, MVPs in APAC & GC (Asia Pacific and Greater China) would get an opportunity to attend the Regional Summit. This will be held in APAC region. The tentative time is around March 2005. It could be in any country in Asia (Korea/ China/ India/ SEA/ Australia).. Are you willing to look outside US of A?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Regional Summit at Phuket, Thailand

I will be in Phuket, Thailand from Aug 20 to Aug 24, 2004 in Phuket Thailand attending the Regional meet on MVPs and Community Stars for Asia Pacific. FYI, Thai currency is Bhat with 1 USD = 40.65 Bhat. They use 220V electricity and fall in +7:00 hrs GMT time zone...

MVP Leads and Community Program Managers from all over Asia Pacific (Korea, Taiwan, China, Australia, India and South East Asia) are gathering to discuss how MVPs can be empowered to do more. Community is the flavour of the week :)

We are staying at the JW Mariott hotel in phuket.. believe it or not, it is exactly like the Hotel we stayed in Goa for the Advocates Breakout :)

A lot of Subsidiary Updates e.g. what each subsidiary has been doing "significiant" in the past year.. it is here that MVP activities from each country gets talked about and MVP Leads either feel miserable or truly happy (depending on their presentation content)..

There will be discussions on regional programs like MSDN Connection, Community…

Blog directory of Asia Pacific MVPs being created

An Asia Pacific Regional blog directory has been created

Indian Communities Page Launched

If you were feeling lost on what Indian Communities were about.. you have single URL you need to remember:http://www.microsoft.com/india/communities A little note here, www.microsoft.com/india/community also points to the same location.
There is a lot of India specific content on this page. Before this page was launched, community resources were scattered across the www.micrsoft.com/india site. The site points to a lot of new community avenues available now apart from pointing to the already existing pages on the web.
In very little words, why would you want to use Community resources:1. It is FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE2. It is too much quantity with good quality of content3. It talks about your issues rather than general technology
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Microsoft Newsgroups and Lotus Notes 5

Well today morning someone asked me if they could access Microsoft newsgroups over Lotus Notes 5. Logically, there should be a way to access any newsgroup given NNTP is an standard and a very old protocol (giving enough time for implementation by various vendors). A little digging and here are the results of the same:

Lotus Notes 5 has support for accessing newsgroups. Earlier versions of Lotus seems to have only support for newsgroups hosted on Domino servers..


I found information at The only information that you really have to enter is a friendly account name, which you determine for your own use, plus the server name (msnews.microsoft.com) and a protocol -- in this case, NNTP. Then, you save the account document and Notes adds a bookmark to your client.
With Notes R5, the former Notes workspace is replaced by bookmarks, which provide a much faster way for getting to and managing information on desktops and the Internet. Once you click on your new NNTP bookmark, you can select from …

Office 2003 SP1 and Infopath SP1

So I finally installed the Infopath SP1 from the Office 2003 SP1. Here are the steps i followed:

1. Downloaded the Office 2003 Service Pack 1from:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/results.aspx?productID=3A4E9862-CDCE-4BDC-8664-91038E3EB1E9&freetext=sp1&DisplayLang=en
2. Ran the Office 2003 SP1.
3. Ran into the following error message:
“The expected version of the product was not found on your system”.

So i dug around a little and here is how it is correctly done:

1. Uninstall InfoPath SP1 Preview
2. Run gacutil.exe /cdl (Iinstalled with the .NET Framework SDK)
3. Run Office 2003 SP1
4. Reinstall InfoPath 2003 (by running the Microsoft Office 2003 Professional Setup program from Add/Remove Programs), and then reselecting the InfoPath check box

And this worked for me!! The Infopath SP1 forms for MVP Nomination and others are working fine with the this release as well.

The released version of InfoPath SP1 is 6357.6360. If you have any other version than this you don't have the co…

Google is down!

I have been trying to do some googling for some time and it is returning 503 -Server error over and over again...

looks like others across the globe are having the same problem.. what is it? a DoS attack?

another speculation of MyDoom virus at: http://slashdot.org/articles/04/07/26/1649245.shtml?tid=217&tid=1

but wasn't this supposed to target Microsoft sites rather than Google?

MVP Nominations now OPEN!

MVP nominations will be open from mid-night tonight i.e. July 26 2004 till August 12, 2004. If you think you are ready to become an MVP (Microsoft Valuable Professional), nominate yourself at:
http://www.microsoft.com/india/mvp/nomination.aspx

More information on MVP Program is available at:
http://www.microsoft.com/india/mvp
http://mvp.support.microsoft.com (International)

So who should nominate themselves for the MVP award:
1. If you have been contributing to the technical community (posting on newsgroups,running user groups, article writing, doing web chats/web casts etc) for the past year
2. If you intend to continue your contibution to the community
3. If you get excited with the idea of working with microsoft products

There is a very stringent review process for the MVP nominations. Nominations do not gurantee the AWARD of MVP status...

So are you up for it?

Community Stall at TechEd India 2004

TechEd India 2004 is THE gigantic Developer event from Microsoft that spans more than 4 cities and hard core developer sessions for whole 3 days... TechEd provides indepth sessions for developers, networking professionals and Office users (and developers).

Community has come to be the latest fabric of everything that Microsoft does... newsgroups, usergroups, "Community Technical Previews", community feedback channels, beta place etc.. It is implied that Community does come to TechEd India 2004 as well.. and we will be there at TechEd talking to anyone who is a community player.

We propose to do the following at the community stall

1. Distribute URLs of the local user group at the community stall
2. Provide information on community activities at community stall e.g. on newsgroups, other community sites
3. Provide several technical eval CDs at the community stall
4. Solicit nominations for the MVP and Community Star program
5. Showcase Tablet PC where people can come and work on Tab…

My first impression of the Bangalore Business Networking (BBN) Mixer

This was my first time attending a mixer of the Bangalore Business Networking (BBN) from www.ryze.com or any other social network..

for the mixer we paid Rs 200 for covering the expenses.. i was expecting a very informal way of gathering money.. was pleasantly surprised with the smooth management of the finances by the volunteers who daftly collected the money and created the badges... next i met Tarun.. now he is the main guy behind BBN. i had been confusing him with the other guy in the photograph he has on this ryze page..
the round of introductions that started went on till 9:00 PM ( we had started at 6:30).. and from the stash of 11 visiting cards that i have from the mixer, it is well understood the eagerness of people handing out their business cards.. the mixer this time (as i am told) was a much quieter affair..
there were people from IT (duh! this is bangalore), medicine, event management, HR, home business and garment industry... pretty varied, eh? a very good exposure to …

Lookout Lookout now Outlook ?

Some good news...

Lookout that was an add-in to Outlook and let you search PSTs with balzing speed has been bought over by MSN.

My take on this ... PST will have a new format based on Lookout's architecture.. the MSN search that was greatly improved recently, will be becoming much more relevant and much more intelligent...

my concern, since it has been bought by MSN, how long would it take to get incorporated into the Microsoft Outlook? hope Outlook team moves really fast on this....

For the official comment:
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2004/jul04/07-16LookoutPR.asp

Mike Belshe and Eric Hahn Letter (founders of Lookoutsoft) to users:
http://www.lookoutsoft.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=194

Prepare for SMS Notifications

During my recent visits to the User Group meetings, we mentioned Route64 seminar in Bangalore. Everyone was quiet. No one knew about the same. I remember getting mails from variuos newsletters about Route64. Why didn't people know? More than doing a post-mortem of why didn't people know, I set out to find how could people know?
I have seen something very interesting in seminars world over. People refrain from taking calls while the delegate is presenting but would look at their SMSs and punch in the reply. Very non-intrusive way of communicating with someone breathing down your neck.
It hit me that SMSs were the most effective of notification mechanisms. You carry the mobile phone everywhere (even when you are not checking your emails!!).. you can check the SMS whenever you want to.. and the retention of SMSs seems to be more than emails (given the sheer nos of emails that you receive). The solution i think would work is SMS notifications.
Currently, MS doesn't have an SMS ga…

My family genealogy : Kurmi

The Rig Veda, refered to an Aryan people living in the highlands of Pamir in Central Asia. Almost 1000 years later, the Aryans migrated in three different directions. One journeyed towards present-day Iran, another towards Europe, and through Afghanistan.
Those Aryans who settled in Punjab became a very happy and prosperous people. They organized themselves around a caste syatem that described four specific functions of the community. The Kshatriyas of that system were the protectors of the land. However, in peace time many of their members framed the land and raised cattle.
These people, named Kurmi Kshatriyas, eventually migrated to the fertile land of Ganga and Jamuna, eventually reaching Bihar and Bengal. From 600 BC to 200 BC, the kings of Iran and Greece repeatedly attacked Punjab, forcing most of the Kurmi Kshatriyas (also known as the Kurmis) to flee even further south to Gujarat in Vadnagar and Charator in the Kheda district. Around 1400 AD, the ruler of Gujarat granted the u…

XBOX for MVPs

We now have XBOX in Bangalore office installed for MVPs. Obviously only Bangalore MVPs can access the amazing console right now, these will be rotated in various locations across the country. MVPs across the country will be able to experience the magic..

What's unique about this offer? XBOX is not yet released in India!! So this is your chance to preview and write a review on the device of the decade!!

In Bangalore, the XBOX is available starting July 2, 6:00 PM. MVPs could come and unwind at the Kasturba Road office with a coffee / coke and play some cool games.

I can tell you the force feedback is soooo cool that you can feel your neighbours arms shaking while you are racing with him/her. And the graphics are too good... goes without saying :) I have already spent around 4 hours since morning playing the XBOX.. ahem!! it is that addictive...

Currently, we have Gotham City Racing 2 and Crimson Skies games available on the XBOX.

And here's a challenge.. Best me to the car rac…

MVP award announced!

The MVP awards for the June cycle have been announced. the new MVPs are:

1. Chandrashekar Chivukula, Hyderabad
2. Pooran Prasad, Bangalore (now Ahmedabad)
3. Atul Gupta, Pune
4. Deepika Aneja, Delhi
5. Vipul Patel, Mumbai
6. Ruwan Dissanayake, Colombo, Sri Lanka
7. Anantha KN, Bangalore

There were a lot of excellent nominations that i would also have loved to award apart from the above. There are some people who i very much miss here. Due to limited awards, we could only award the above people.

The award process is a very stringent one driven not only by one but selection panel of various groups.

Congratulations to the one who made it and best of luck for the next time to the others who couldn't.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Hotmail - The comeback!!

Upgraded Hotmail (ad funded) provides:
1. 250MB of free storage
2. 10MB attachments
3. free virus scanning/cleaning (unique to MSN)
4. 500 blocked addresses (5X Yahoo)
5. Calendar and calendar sharing

Upgraded Hotmail Extra Storage/Hotmail Plus: This is a paid offer ($19.95/yr) that provides users with 2GB of storage and 20MB attachments. It also eliminates graphical ads, includes client access through Dav (OE, Outlook) and yearly account expiration. This offer essentially matches Yahoo on storage and trumps on attachment size.

You know this already? Right... so when are you going to be seeing this implemented?

It is planned to be a staggered launch..
1. All Hotmail users WW will receive free virus cleaning (and not just scanning) by early July (neither Google nor Yahoo offers this service)
2. Upgradation of Premium users of Hotmail and MSN will happen starting July and November respectively.
3. Users in US, UK, Japan, Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Spain will get their accounts upgra…

Blogs I Read

The list of blogs I read are ever growing and shrinking...

Thought would share the blogs I read.. Apart from the great blogs from Indian MVPs, I really like reading the Cnet blog (always first with tech news) and Microsoft Watch from Mary Jo (insider details)

I use SharpReader as my aggregator and have exported the blog list using "Export" functionality and the file has been created as an OPML file.

Find the OPML file here.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Vacationing at Hoshiarpur

my holidays are coming to an end. holidays that are entirely spent at home.. i kept the resolution of not touching my computer during the entire holiday.. last but one day i have broken it.. taking some time to check out some of the mailboxes that are getting flooded.. the respite is i have not still checked my official mailbox..
i will be back in bangalore late night on June 27th.. joining office on June 28th..
the holiday was a relieving break and i am already feeling revitalised :)
So what all did i do in vacations?
1. Went to Hoshiarpur, Punjab where my parents stay
2. Ate and Slept (pure luxury) and the loop kept repeating
3. Caught with few family friends
4. Enjoyed a 10 hour drive (one way) from Delhi and back with good roads and drive through the fields of Punjab
5. Had a severe stomach ache but still kept on gorging on food
6. Saw "Main Hoon Na" in the nice little home theatre at home
7. Played with children in the house
8. Went shopping with mom and sisters in the…

Installed XP SP RC2

Installed XP SP2 RC2 today!

The install took more than an hour to download and install.. It went perfectly smooth.

On to exploring the features of the service pack 2 RC2.. Here is an article that talks about the feature changes in XP SP2 RC2...

A word of caution: XP SP2 RC2 will not be installed on the pirated copies of Windows XP. The official response - "SP2 will check the OS' product ID [PID] against a list of known pirated PIDs. If a PID is found to be invalid, SP2 will not install"

The SP2 RTM is probably coming out in July/ August..

"IT doesn't matter", does it?

Well this is one thing that deserves its own entry. Bob McDowell at the induction impressed it well that this is one piece of article that is a MUST read.. we are talking about an article "IT Doesn't Matter" from Nicholas G. Carr published by Harvard Business Review. Looks like everybody who is anybody in the corporate world has read this. I need to read this as well.
There are excerpts available on the internet. There is feedback on the article available at: http://harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/b02/en/files/misc/Web_Letters.pdf

Will add comments of mine once i am done reading the same.

My Yahoo Accounts have been upgraded to 100 MB

It has BEGUN!!

the speculation that Yahoo will be upgrading accounts to 100 MB is true.. out of 3 yahoo accounts i have, 2 have got upgraded to 100 MB.. Yahoo Mail also has a new interface :)

Let's see what happens with MSN now.. MSN has been maintaining that 2 MB is all that is going to be there for Hotmail as a free service.. can they still maintain that?

Induction @ MS: Day 0

My first event blogging ..

we arrived in afternoon around 1400 hrs (PST) and checked into the hotel - Residence Inn. On the plane, I had met Ashwini who was travelling on the same flight from Amesterdam. Laurent, a French guy from South of France was another MS101 attendee that i met while stil on the plane.
Overlooking my window, i see "Hobby USA".. a place where i definitely want to be before i leave US.
the good thing about the hotel is - Internet is FREE.. and the first thing i do when i arrive is connect my laptop to the internet.. the room is cosy complete with sofa and kitchenette.. i dream of having such a room for myself..
surfed a little and thought of taking a nap.. the 18 hrs of flight time began to take its toll.. i sleep around 4 hoping to be awake by 6 after which we could go to the nearest "hot" spot.. (i leave it to you to decide on the "hot spot" part)..
9:30.. the red numbers on the watch read... i am now awake and the chances of even get…

Heuristic Spam Analysis

If you are using Exchange Server 2003, there is an add on available now
called the "Exchange Intelligent Message Filter" that provides spam analysis
and filtering based on href="http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2003/nov03/11-17spamfilter
asp"> SmartScreen Technology from MSR.

I got to know about this from Corti's Weblog.

You have already seen this in action if you have seen the Outlook 2003 "Junk
Email Folder" and also at hotmail.. :)

Download the tool href="http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/downloads/2003/imf/default.asp">here



New community tools coming up

The cool new community tools being rolled out:

1. A new Web-based newsreader that will make perusing newsgroups easier.

2. "Smart components," which are dynamic Web-page elements that Microsoft plans to expose across the Microsoft.com community sites. (Examples of these components: a list of the 10 top downloads; the hottest newsgroup discussions; transcripts of the five most popular online chats.) Microsoft plans to make available to developers, customers and other interested parties these components in the form of RSS feeds. This feature will go live in late June.

3. A new "Chat 2.0" client that will allow users to participate in Microsoft online chats from inside their own corporate firewalls using port 80. This will be availale later this year.

4. Feedback sites from community for MS products like Longhorn, Windows Server etc.

If you have some more cool ideas about the community tools, feel free to post it as a comment.
----------------------------------------…

Unravel the MS Product Support Mystery: Updated Support Policy

Starting June 1 2004, changes have been announced to the support policy for various products.

In the new support policy, the support for most software (business and developer products) has been extended minimally to 10 years (5 years mainstream and 5 years extended) from 7 years (5 years mainstream and 2 years extended). However, support for consumer, hardware and multimedia products stay at 5 years. Mainstream products (e.g. Money, Encarta, Picture It) released annually are only supported for 3 years.

Mainstream support includes all support including security updates and request for hotfixes. In the extended support phase, only paid support is available and no warranties are entertained.
Self help support and Security updates are available by using KB articles and other resources throughout the mainstream and extended support timelines.

For the newly available Service Packs, an older version is supported for 12 months (24 in special cases) with extended support automatically comi…

I am not still a Private Pilot!!

I was up till 2:00 AM last night to get my private pilot license on Flight Simulator 2004!!
Today morning i am still not one...
the squeaky check ride instructor of Flight Simulator 2004 isn't convinced about my flying capabilities and keeps telling me that my rollout was too early or my airspeed was too high/low, altitude too high/low and the list goes on..
gave up after trying n times for the same.. i guess i keep improving each time i fail the checkride..

anybody got a suggestion?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Shape the future of the Microsoft products

Microsoft has been tilting towards getting more feedback from people recently.. this is visible from the fact that now we have "Community Preview" editions apart from RTM, RTW, IDW, Alpha, Beta etc.

At various opportunities, people talk to me about bright ideas they have about a particular MS product. I could listen to them and forget in sometime if there is no interest from others! Not to say that the idea was bad but that the idea gets drowned in the noise that is ever present.. Now, people can contribute their ideas on various MS products whenever they want. So if you thought that your idea was never heard or was lost in the noise, submit your wish to Microsoft directly at:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;en-us;feedback

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Java guys - .NET just became simpler for you

The Java Developer Resource Center is a site created specifically for Java developers who are interested in learning to interoperate, evaluate and/or migrate to the .NET Framework.

The Java Developer Resource Center is located at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/java/.

Site contains:

- Interoperate - What options are available for .NET and J2EE interoperability
.NET and J2EE Platform 4-page interoperability poster
- Samples Chapters from Simon’s .NET and J2EE Interoperability Toolkit
- MSDN Interoperability resources
- Evaluate - Learn or evaluate C# or J# and the .NET Framework
- C# Language for Java Developers whitepaper
- Visual Studio .NET 2003 Interactive Simulation
- PAG patterns, tutorials, quickstarts, and other resources on GDN and MSDN
- Migration - Migrate legacy Java assets to the .NET Framework
- Java Language Conversion Assistant resources
- Visual J# .NET resources
- Java Virtual Machine migration resources

-----------------------------------------------------…

Port Reporter Tool

Tim Rains, PSS Security Team has developed a tool called Port Reporter that logs TCP and UDP port activity on Windows Systems.
In his own words, this is the way that Port Reporter works:
"When your system binds a new UDP port or accepts connections on a TCP port, it logs this activity in a text file. It runs as a service on Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows NT 4.0. On our newer OSes (W2K3 and XP), this service logs what process is using each port, if the process is running as a service, and what modules (.dll, .drv, etc) the process has loaded. This information will help you determine if your system has been sending suspicious outbound packets or accepting traffic that you were unaware of."
You can download the same from:
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=837243
or






-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

What are people thinking internationally

One of Indian MVPs sent me a mail on perspective of MVP nominations in countries outside India.

Please find the post here.

One of the MVP Leads comments about the question that people don't ask but always wonder:
> I keep getting the feeling that something is expected of MVPs that we aren't being told about.

"You were awarded based on your contributions over the past year. You don't have to do anything at all as far as program expectations go. Of course, if you want to get awarded the following year, you'll need to continue to contribute at a high level. We do provide you with as many opportunities (beta programs, conferences, and so forth) as we can, but you don't have to take us up on any of them. The only expectations that I, as the MVP Lead, have is that you conduct yourself in a professional manner. If you start slamming Microsoft or other MVPs, we'll have a conversation. That almost never happens in my happy little world. :-)"

If you want to…

Media Player 10 BETA is here

DAMN nice.. we have windows media player 10 BETA available now!! it is currently only supported on Windows XP :)

2 things stand out there:
1. New design and layout
2. Enhanced support enabled via Auto Sync.

Some more new features:
1. Choice of Online Stores
2. Improved All-in-One Smart Jukebox

The release notes are an excellent place to find out what is the significant difference for Media 10.

For people willing to test this product, there is community feedback link right at the top! for people in India who have interest in digital music technology this is the right time to get ahead with Windows Media 10 and make a difference.
Post a comment on this blog to let me about your interest in the digital music technology :)

For developers, following SDKs are available:
1. Windows Media Player 10 Software Development Kit (beta version)
2. Windows Media Format 9.5 Software Development Kit (beta version)
3. Windows Media Rights Manager 10 Software Development Kit (beta)
4. Windows Media D…

List of All Indian MVPs Blogs

Anand M compiled a list of the Indian MVP Bloggers at the India Advocates Day. He has put up the list here.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Threat Modelling tool from Microsoft

The Threat Modeling Tool allows users to create threat model documents for applications. It organizes relevant data points, such as entry points, assets, trust levels, data flow diagrams, threats, threat trees, and vulnerabilities into an easy-to-use tree-based view. The tool saves the document as XML, and will export to HTML and MHT using the included XSLTs, or a custom transform supplied by the user.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=62830f95-0e61-4f87-88a6-e7c663444ac1&displaylang=en

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

India Advocates Breakout - the things that got drowned in noise

Unique things we did (if anyone can find a repeat anywhere.. i will be compelled to take him/her out for a dinner :)

1. Hardware Pool: We got a hardware pool constituted of a Tablet PC, an XDA and 2 XBoxs. Created to bridge the gap between what is not available and what should be available.

2. MS Executive in attendance for 2 whole days: Shu Fen Cally Ko, Regional Director agreed to be with us at the event (even when it was a weekend) for the whole 2 days. She goes forward to the next country, Korea from here rather than Taiwan where she is based.

3. MS India Insider: Jas Gulati agreed to come over on a weekend to be with us. He has never worked with MVPs before, but the faith that they are *exceptional* got him here.

4. 3rd Party Perspective made available: It is always better to get a ringside view of things. Prof. Sadagopan, Director, IIIT graced the occasion with his presence to deliver a very valid value system.

5. A collaborative agenda: The agenda was fixed before the event so …

i feel GREAT!

i was going to talk about the UNIQUE things we did at the Advocates Breakout, in case it got drowned in the noise :) i will in the next post..

but this post i dedicate to the spirit of community that i only got to hear about, never saw or felt...

i feel it now and i feel GREAT!!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Why MS product groups love MVPs?

Image
Thanks to Sudhakar, this is probably the first time I am reading in public the importance Product groups within MS see for the great individuals that MVPs are!!

Of course, I have "heard" numerous times about people talking about how great the MVP program really is.. but this is one documented musing :) At the MVP Summit, the Product Groups jostled for attention of MVPs and that is a fact important enough to realise the importance of "community" thinking in the products MS is developing going forward.

No application in the world has tighter community integration than the one i have seen with MS Office 2003.

The community is at the guts of a "commercial" product..

And if you have been following Bill's speech at CEO Summit, you would know about the community and blogs he talked about..
Now if only you were wondering why Product Groups are standing up and taking notice :)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Th…

Snapshots from Hell - Indian Version

So you wanted to be a techie from IIT? the JEE bowled you out?? take heart - only one in hundred applicants make it to IIT (which is tougher than getting into Ivy League colleges) author of the book "Five Point Someone", Chetan Bhagat (an ex-IITian) says.
When i was planning to do my MBA, i read the book "Snapshots from hell" authored by Robinson that gave a insight into Stanford Business School..
Now, we have our own IIT version of the pains and gains one goes through that makes them go from good to great..
The book captures the 5 point GPA (out of 10) travails that a few IITians went through..
the interesting stuff (like the omnipresent playboy) in the IIT hostels are making the book an interesting read :)
so things are not that "academic" behind the closed doors ;-)
i am still reading the book, it was soo interesting that i couldn't resist writing about it.. and chetan is going to be in bangalore on May 22nd (more details at the URL mentioned abo…

MY blogger personality - INTP

Thanks to Tejas, Took a blogger personality test here. The result:
My Bloginality is INTP!!!

So what does it mean as a blogger?
As a weblogger, you might not be as concerned about popularity, but more with the ideas and theories that you strive to understand. Because routines aren't your strong point, you might be more likely to work on the concept of how to do a blog, but not be as excited to keep it up.

The next cool thing i did: Added Microsoft Alert from Scoble's blog.. wonder if there is a service out there that just provides people the ability to provide MSN alerts to others who want to subscribe to their blogs??





-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

The Email Wars

GMAIL: 1 GB
YAHOO: 100 MB

Confession: I have a Gmail account.. the 1 GB utopia that is unleashing
a new kind of frenzy on the internet..

Though Yahoo has made public announcements on the 100 MB space my yahoo
account is still the old 6 MB. Yahoo plans to implement the 100 MB space
only in the summer!

Here are some of the interesting things that I thought make sense:

1. On CNET.com I read an article that said - GMail will be reading all the email that
flows in and out of the GMail mailboxes. On further investigation from
the GMail help pages, here is what I gathered - "No humans will read the
content of your email in order to target such advertisements or related
information."
This is talking about a technology called Ad-Sense that makes it
possible for advertisers to target specific email campaigns based on the
text of emails that a person sends or receives. Also, through the magic
of "Family-Safe" ads, only safe ads will be sent out to the consumers.
Ad-Sense an…

MS no more in Wi-Fi space

Microsoft will be discontinuing the wi-fi hardware that it has under its wings.. Microsoft had a complete line of Wi-Fi products including base stations, laptop cards, and USB and PCI add-ons for desktop machines.

i am myself an owner of a base station! what happens if i need support? well, the 2 year support stays with the product.. the product will be available for some more time in the stores..

someone told me that it is illegal to possess a 802.11g wireless device in India.. :(

does this reflect a broader range of changes wherein MS exits most of the businesses that are not core to its functioning.. like hardware.. does this mean no more MS mouse or keyboard? or is there a partnership in sight?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.