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Showing posts from 2005

SQL Mobile Query

On the paper:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnppcgen/html/med302_msdn_sql_mobile.asp?frame=true

While trying to complete the exercise, I encountered the following unexpected behaviour:

While configuring the subscription for the SQL Mobile (from the tutorial – To complete the subscription) section, I encountered the following error –

TITLE: Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio
------------------------------

Initializing SQL Server Reconciler has failed.
HRESULT 0x80045003 (29045)

The initial snapshot for publication 'SQLMobile' is not yet available. Start the Snapshot Agent to generate the snapshot for this publication. If this snapshot is currently being generated, wait for the process to complete and restart the synchronization.

HRESULT 0x80045003 (0)

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BUTTONS:

OK

So I confirmed that the SQL Server Agent is running, went to the publication, right clicked and clicked on “View Snapshot Status”. The result is “The agent has n…

Microsoft now powered by MSN search

Microsoft is as much a content creator as it is a software platform developer. The key strength of any Microsoft developer is the huge amount of documentation made available by MS and non-MS sources.

this has lead to another problem of locating the relevant data. The traditional search on Microsoft.com has been poor and that has lead to popularity of resources like www.google.com/microsoft
personally, i have never used this route to searching microsoft.com resources. Google does have good search algorithms in place and was able to do a better job of searching many a times.

now microsoft has deployed its MSN Search technology to Microsoft.com for search (http://search.microsoft.com) . some features this brings to the table are:

More relevant search results :)In addition to being more relevant, MSN Search results provide additional features such as search-term highlighting, so users can view search terms contextually, and spelling correction. Search results will continue to get better as we…

Application Verifier for your code

Application Verifier is a set of run-time analysis tests that helps detect execution errors in unmanaged programs. The errors detected by Application Verifier deal mostly with application compatibility, stability, and security issues.

Application Verifier is a runtime verification tool for unmanaged code that assists in quickly finding subtle programming errors that can be extremely difficult to identify with normal application testing. Application Verifier is designed specifically to detect and help debug memory corruptions and critical security vulnerabilities. It makes it easier to create reliable applications by monitoring an application's interaction with the Windows operating system, profiling its use of objects, the registry, the file system, and Win32 APIs (including heaps, handles, locks, and more). It also includes checks to predict how well the application will perform under Least-privileged User Account operation.

This initial release includes the following tests:
Basics:…

Community Initiatives - Course Correction

We have started with a lot of MVP/ Community initiatives in the past. We have partly succeeded in launching them but failed in continuing the momentum. Maybe this is the nature of the community projects.
but I think we can do better as a team of talented and passionate people. there is an email that i recently received from one of the participants that provides a possible solution:

1. there should be one person in each team who should be a point of contact.He should lead the entire intiative, that means co-ordinating with other team members about the status etc etc.
2. There should be spokeperson from each team who updates activities of each team proceedings on the weekly basis. That person should co-ordinate with MS folks to get arch or design or spec reviews.
3. Timelines - If we are not meeting the deadlines its tough, the project will be dragged.

I cudn't agree more.
the fundamental issue i think still remains of the motivation for the project. if one can see what value that his/ he…

Developer Website Design Templates

For developers, it is easy to thrash out the functionality. when it comes to design of the website, developers start looking for someone to help.
here is a resource that would help developers concentrate on writing code while design is already taken care of - The ASP.NET design Templates.
Look at it as analogous to PPT templates.. in this case it uses Master pages.
check them out here:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/asp.net/reference/design/templates/
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Common Criteria (CC) certification (EAL4+) for MS Products

The Common Criteria (CC) certification is a globally accepted standard for evaluating the security features and capabilities of information technology products. Certification of Windows platform products is issued by the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP), under the International Common Criteria for IT Security Evaluation (ISO Standard 15046)
By providing an independent standard for evaluating the security capabilities of IT products, the Common Criteria certification enables customers worldwide to better compare their security requirements with those of other products.
CC certification of Windows platform products helps provide customers with a higher level of assurance that Windows security features and capabilities meet a broad set of real-world scenarios.

The following Windows platform products have earned Common Criteria certification (EAL4+):
•Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition SP 1
•Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition SP 1
•Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Editio…

'cause Delhi Bloggers Meet rocked!

Here's my rocking experience about the DBM held at DV8, CP.
Firstly, this was my first time to DV8.. so it took me some time to park my vehicle and find the bar (of course had to call Tarun to get the exact location).. while at DV8, the first impression (and consequently most impressionable) that I had of the DBM was "whew!! bunch of neo-culturists".. now the word "neo-culturists" is self coined (for the more literary inclined!) and has positive connotations... don't ask me too much about it as i am still working to define this!
a brief pause here - why do i get to these blog meets ?Ans: To meet people from fields beyond IT.
the DBM started with a round of introductions between the 13-14 odd bloggers. and oh! did i forget the booze and food? interesting to see the varied set of people at the same table. though i believe journalists (freelancers and full time) and IT guys are the majority. in the eclectic bunch, around 4 of us were from IT, another 3 from medi…

IM Etiquettes

IM is a good thing.. it brings people together in an almost face to face like situation. Given the large no. of IM communications that I regularly have, I thought I would share some good practices.
they are as follows:

Good behavior
The following guidelines fall into the category of office politeness when using IM.
· If you are initiating the IM, it’s generally considered polite to ask the other person if they have time to “talk” with you. This may not be necessary with someone you work with frequently and when the question is quick, as opposed to something requiring discussion.
· Avoid non-business-related multi-person conversations. People who aren’t invited may feel left out if their colleagues are laughing about a private joke over IM.
· Don’t invite someone to join a conference in progress without first asking the others in the conference if it’s OK to do so.
· Don’t use all capital letters to type your message. It’s the IM equivalent of shouting.
· …

BillG in India

BillG is in India - ToI has already written about it! and so you know it :)

Bill G is here for a very hectic 4 days in India with a focus on "Realizing India's Potential". Bill G while here will be meeting with many govt. officials, business leaders, academicians, industry associations etc. It basically means that BillG's schedule is so tightly packed that i wonder if he will have time to breathe.

In all the hustle, developers remain the focus of his visit. To be addressed on Dec 9th in Bangalore, at this historic event BillG will formally launch Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006 in India. this event promises to be a landmark event of sorts.

BillG would also be sharing dias with Narayana Murthy in an TiE hosted event titled "Unleashing Entrepreneurship In India" hosted by Prannoy Roy. And i will be there to listen to both of them as well.
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Bloggers in India

I attended the Delhi Bloggers Meet yesterday (DBM). Amongst numerous interesting conversations that happened one was of Blogger's in India vis-a-vis the world.
Some interesting facts from Blogwise, http://www.blogwise.com/bycountry
No. of Blogs registered in each country:
India - 1719
United Kingdom (6139)
United States (41679)
Australia (2281)
Brazil (1773)
Canada (4896)
France (2978)
Italy (1818)
Spain (2407)

It is not great deal that more developed nations (does Brazil into the same category?) have more no of blogs registered at the site. Does internet penetration = more blogs?

does blogging have anything to do with culture (country) or gender or age?

What is interesting is that the following countries with high Internet penetration have lower no of blogs registered:
Germany (1364)
Philippines (1326)
China (507)


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DNN 3.2 forum and gallery modules TROUBLESHOOTED

In working with DNN 3.2 recently (that i upgraded from 3.1) I installed several custom developed modules. The ones that i did were:
Forums Module
Gallery Module
There are many more in development.
Now I faced issues with both.
Forums: The installation of the forums module was with out any hassle. And the module came with extensive documentation as well making working with the module extremely easy.
However after installation and configuration of the forums, it started throwing some foreign key errors upon trying to access the forums. Invetigation on the DNN forums revealed the answer and the link is provided here:http://forums.asp.net/1109287/ShowPost.aspx#1109287
The workaround involved running a DB script and then modifying the SP in the database.
Gallery: Wudn't install. I needed it to enable avatars in the forums.
The workaround was again available at:
http://forums.asp.net/953782/ShowPost.aspx
It just involved changing a single line in the .dnn file that came with the installation.

With …

Main Stream Media - Going Tech?

Microsoft released Beta of a Windows edition for High Performance Computing - "Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003" on Nov 15. Now this is something that should excite geeks and to be very specific the "Uber Geeks". Super computing is not something that people encounter everyday. It is the realm of the scientists and researchers working in a high security setup with a BIG breakthrough on their sleeves :).. but this post is not about the product...

What is exciting is that MSM (Main Stream Media) (specifically TOI - the one newspaper most people have love-hate relationship with) published this story the day it was launched. It is especially laudable given our media's love for politics, crime and scams. I have to admit that ToI has been publishing a lot of tech articles (blogging etc) in the recent past. It is very noteworthy and shows immense thought leadership.

A simple logic may be behind this interest - the penetration of PC is every increasing in India with I…

RSS via Chat

Ever since RSS has featured on the internet there have been numerous ways of consuming the feeds that have become available. I have seen:
Blog Aggregators i.e. SharpReader, FeedReader etcIntegration in applications e.g. Outlook, IE, FirefoxConversion of feeds into voiceRSS Feeds and posts being emailedToday i come to know of a service that would send you an IM message from a feed service whenever a new post is made :).. now if you are someone who is always logged on to some IM service this is an excellent feature that would provide you some information apart from all the chatting :)The service is available for free at: http://www.immedi.at-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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India gears up for Launch of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005

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Microsoft has recently released its new suite of developer products namely:
Visual Studio 2005SQL Server 2005The betas and CTPs have been around for sometime and the developer community has been able to play with the same. With CTPs around, feedback from the community were incorporated into the product thereby making the developer tools much better.As India prepares for the launch and Bill Gates, here is the website where all the exciting stuff's going to happen: http://www.microsoft.com/india/ready2005/Right from registration of the launch event to the cool game, it is all hip and happening at the Launch Tour 2005 website. P.S. Don't miss the cool autorickshaw at "Hitch A Ride" animation :)-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Desktop Search now in enterprise flavour

When i first heard it, i thought that an enterprise search engine (with MSN technology backing it up) has been released by MSN. on further research, i realised that is not true. It would be cool though to release MSN Search technology for enterprise deployment :)
On deeper look, this enterprise version basically is a flavour of the MSN desktop search that promotes:
Including Intranet Locations in creating search indexDeploying the same through SMS or other software distribution methodologyUse of APIs to build AddIns, filters and inclusion in custom application softwareMore details on:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/desktopsearch/enterprise
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Mera Desh Mera Gaon (My Country My village)

This vacation was a trip to my village called Khajauli in Madhubani district of Bihar.
Now this village is tiny and still retains it pristine environment with modern amenities still a respectable "minority".
Oh yes we have TV (via DTH) and radio (AIR). The internet is still missing.
Mobile phones are again limited in no with govt. not allowing mobile towers to be put up on border areas (i am told that there is clearence from Govt. now to install mobile towers that might spring up in a few months).
Here is a glimpse in the rural life of India from my camera:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/buddychints/sets/1345633/
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Google Analytics

Just came across this analytics tools made available by google. now i have just incorporated the same on my blog and still awaiting to view the statistics in next 12 hours :)

then why this post?
well, a neat feature captured my attention. the ability of a team to monitor the stats. Meaning thereby that now people who run their websites can objectively provide a third party resource that people can use to validate the site stats without fear of manipulation.

It is very relevant to my job as we need to verify the site stats of people running various sites. Now we have a tool apart from alexa.com that we can rely on :)

the analytics website is: http://www.google.com/analytics
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Delhi Bribe Rates

Here's some interesting stuff. A whole blog dedicated to the going bribe rates in Delhi.
http://bribedelhi.blogspot.com/

Here's my contribution to the same:
I was trying to get additional booklet for my passport. The procedure called for police verification (mine was made in chandigarh initially and my residence has shifted to gurgaon from that time). The police chap quitely mentioned that Rs 500 is what poor people pay. You should pay more. With all the swearing under my breadth i shelled out Rs 600/- for my additional booklet when all my papers were in order. what was even worse was the fact that my police verification had still not reached the Passport office when i went there almost 3 weeks later :(
And here's a tip, the correct way to ask if officer is interested is to say - "Is there any additional fee that i need to pay you for the police verification??"
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Have i evolved?

This is ode to the outgoing blog description of mine that read:

"Things are changing for me!! From being a .NET champ to becoming a champion of .NET champs - it is a trek in the unknown.. New faces, new things to do.. Blogging here I come!"

to


"I am in the IT field.. These are accounts of what I thought was of prominence in my professional field and littered it with what was beyond it. Here is my life and my musings.. Revolving around technology and the business of every day living.."

I joined this fun filled job almost 2 years ago. Over the years I met with brilliant (and not so brilliant) people from all walks of life. I think i have evolved for the better.
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The festival called "Chath"

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chath7, originally uploaded by buddychints. Amongst so many festivals in India, there is always a festival that is closest to the people of a state. Be in Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai, Durga Puja in West Bengal, Onam in Kerala, Lohri in Punjab.. the list is as long as the no of states.
In Bihar, the biggest of them all is "Chath".. this is is my view into the Chath festival..
http://www.flickr.com/photos/buddychints/sets/1346395/

Because Elections Hurt!

Democracy is survived by elections and the choices electorate makes. When the "process" of making choices becomes subservient to the cause, the "process" itself is an hinderance.
This time on vacation in Bihar, I had the fortune of witnessing the election process in the most "politically" aware state. The high point was listening to Rabri Devi in her public campaign who cudn't remember the name of the local MLA she was campaigning for in her speech.
The work of Election Comission is laudable in rooting out bungling from the state that has played host to 15 years of tyranny by the Lalu-Rabri led RJD. Of what i am told EC had revised electoral rolls that has lead to removal of many bogus villages (that don't even exist) and more than 55,000 voters being removed from one such revision. Now know why RJD won even when nobody was voting for them?
The wide presence of BSF, CRPF (all non-Bihar battalions) has lead to the right voter coming to fore rather th…

South Asia MVP Meet 2005

So haven't heard anything from me on the event??? Probably because i was busy arranging it that i didn't find time to blog!
Here's the official version:
http://www.microsoft.com/india/communities/southasiamvpmeet2005/
Details and inside scoop coming very soon.. right here..

If you attended the same, have you made a post still?
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Happy Diwali!

Diwali this year was good. The mood though was sombre.
2 days before there were blasts in the Delhi market at the busiest hours. More than 60 people died in the blasts. All innocent lives... :(

I wonder why kill innocent people? If the movement (or whatever the extremesists call it) kills innocent people, I don't see how you can get anybody to agree on what you want. The only thing that blasts did for the terrorist outfits was increased survillance and crackdown. Maybe you killed 60 people and in turn might face extinction. Why do it?

For now Delhi is back to business. I have not been to the blast site but saw numerous people checking on their families to make sure they are safe.

Diwali shopping was fine for my family who bought all the things that you buy during Diwali - sweets, flowers, utensils, crackers, decorative lights, gifts, dry fruits etc etc.

Delhi is back to business.

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Vijaydashmi in India

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Vijaydashmi (Dusshera) was celebrated widely in India on Oct 12th 2005. It culminates the days of Durga Pooja and on this day the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Duryodhan are burnt.

The frevour with which it was earlier celebrated seems to have subsided with air pollution being on top of the minds of people. the Durga Pooja is now an opportunity to go to a fair and enjoy meals outside.
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NEW Friends: MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger

MSN and Yahoo have partnered to interoperate with each other. this means, I would be able to see people added in my yahoo account even from MSN Messenger and vice versa.
This is damn cool! The service will be functional by second half of 2006 and that is good 1 year away.
that brings another important question to mind - if MSN and Yahoo, the two most widely used public IM services are going to interoperate (275 million subscribers), the relevance of "open" protocols like Jabber is highly diminished.
Recently, Google Talk was in news with its Jabber protocol... i think in IM space, the battle is won by providing more services/ better user experience in the IM client and possiblities of interoperating with as many other services as possible.
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New MVPs Announced: Oct 1

New MVPs have been announced for OCt 1 cycle. They are:

Alok Gupta ( Visual C++)
Veer Ji Wangoo (SQL Server)
Vipin Aravindakshan ( Windows – Printing/imaging)
Omar Al Zabir ( Visual C#)
Roji. P Thomas ( SQL Server)
Balamurali Balaji (Visual C#)Md. Shariqul Islam Azad ( Windows – Shell/User)
Radhakrishna M.V. ( ASP/ASP.NET)
Chandra Sekhar Ananthapatnayakuni ( SQL Server)
Chakravarthy DSK (Windows Server - Management Infrastructure )
Deepak Kumar (SQL Server)
Narayana Rao Surapaneni (ASP/ASP.NET)

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South Asia MVP Meet - Where are you going?

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Like to know where we will be having the South Asia MVP Meet? Check out the satellite image I pulled out from Google Earth:

And here is the link to the file that captures MS offic, Gurgaon and Hotel Bristol where the MVPs will be staying. You can get a satellite view of the area you are going to be in for the South Asia MVP Meet.
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Top ranking Videos to watch

If the world loves it, chances are you will love it too..

here is the list of top 5 videos from Channel 9 that have attracted highest no of views from the approx 25K registered users (who clock more than 2.8 Million views in a month!):

1.) A thank you to the Niners! (The Channel 9 Song)

2.) The new Outlook Express: Windows Mail demoed

3.) Manuel Clement and others - Introducing Sparkle

4.) Julie Larson-Green - Diving into the new Office 12

5.) Bill Gates - A short chat with Microsoft's Chief Software Architect

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MVP in India is an MVP in Switzerland

The title sounds obvious - right?

WRONG... if you consider the number of times I have been told about the lack of recognition MVP program faces anywhere in the world. Here is a line from a mail that i recently received from one of the India MVPs now in Switzerland on his experience in Switzerland:
"I met so many developers here and they remember my name as an MVP. thats really something that make me feel proud as an MVP and my activities."

That makes us feel proud too for the simple fact that your recognition is not only in India but worldwide. It's an award that breaks all international boundaries and brings technical people together even when you don't know them...

Now, if you are thinking about recognition in India, you don't want to miss the South Asia MVP Meet that we have planned for you from Oct 22 - 24 in Gurgaon. Now you can't be missing that, can you?
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Opinions on MVP Global Summit 2005

MVP Summit Begins at Microsoft
BetaNews September 29, 2005, 11:10 AM
By Nate Mook
http://www.betanews.com/article/MVP_Summit_Begins_at_Microsoft/1128006647

Microsoft to Focus on Networking at MVP Summit
By Peter Galli, eWeek - September 28, 2005
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1864853,00.asp

1500 MVPs attend 2005 MVP Global Summit
IrishDev - September 30, 2005
http://www.irishdev.com/NewsArticle.aspx?id=1102

Development Worlds Collide On Floor of MVP Summit
WebProNews - September 29, 2005
Robert Scoble
http://www.webpronews.com/news/ebusinessnews/wpn-45-20050929DevelopmentWorldsCollideOnFloorofMVPSummit.html

WinInfo Short Takes: Week of October 3
Windowsitpro.com - September 30, 2005
http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/47959/47959.html?Ad=1

MVPs need love like everything does : another year, another MVP summit, another delusions
MSMobiles.com - September 30, 2005
http://msmobiles.com/news.php/4354.html

Office 12 News Stemming From the MVP Summit:

Irish Dev
Joanne Kelly
October 3, 2005
http:/…

I am leaving on a Jet Plane

Tonight i fly off to Redmond to attend the MVP Global Summit 2005.

Apart from the technical content that is anyway going to be superb I am looking forward to:
Meet the Indian MVPs after a long timeRegional dinner where i will host tambola and have made a cool video that i hope everyone will like.Meet Pakistani delegation and explore ways of collaborating with communities thereMeet the MVP Leads from other region EMEA, LATAM and USANugget for information: I got so busy booking flights for attending MVPs that i forgot my own.. at the last moment i got a booking that is going to keep me in transit at Los Angeles for 6 hours and consequently i will arrive at 19:00 hrs in Seattle (i.e. around 8 hours more than other people flying into Seattle :)-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Birthday activities

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1. Here it is - me doing the yagna!

And the splendid Birthday Cake!
(says... Happy Birthday Techie Bro')

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The ethnic ME!

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Me dressed up for the Pooja on my birthday! This is the "authentic" India dress from the rural India - dhoti and kurta.
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The Art of Becoming an MVP

Reprinted from the newsletter printed at TechEd India 2005, the article titled - "The Art of Becoming an MVP":

Are you a technology enthusiast who takes pride in nurturing and inspiring fellow technologists to learn and grow to keep apace with the changing technological trends? Are you pondering over the question…
“What does it take to be a Microsoft MVP?”
While surfing we came across a line that inspired us to take a shot at the art of becoming an MVP - “I've always been concerned about the whole MVP thing, there seems to be a lot of mixed messages out there and I haven't seen anyone clear it up….”
Here's our unofficial attempt to clear the air!
Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) are the true Rock Stars in today's tech-savvy world; credible, technology experts from around the world who inspire others to learn and grow through active technical community participation.
Every quarter, a new set of MVPs are announced. The MVP nomination is an ongoing proces…

PDC 2005 - A quick glance!

With PDC 2005 done, many people talked about it. Here is a post from Somasegar that caputres what developers might be most interested in from PDC:

"This week at the PDC 2005, we announced a number of key technologies – Language Integrated Query (LINQ), “codename Atlas” and Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA) - that teams are hard at work in our division. From showing thought leadership and innovation to enabling more developers to adopting .NET to building richer web user experiences, these innovative technologies are a key part of delighting our developer customers at the PDC.
LINQ is an extensible set of language extensions currently available for Visual C# and Visual Basic.NET. LINQ enables developers to query objects, databases and XML using a unified programming model because LINQ makes data transforms and queries first class NET citizens. Historically, programming and data have been two different islands. The development of data-enabled applications has presented …

MVP Global Summit

The numero UNO benefit of the MVP Program worldwide remains the MVP Global Summit that is held at Redmond. It is being held from Sept 28 to Oct 1 at Microsoft Campus. It is the single event that brings about diverse set of people to a single platform of technology.
In year 2005, the MVP Global Summit will be attended by people representing more than 70 countries from across the globe. There are around 3100 of the Microsoft technology enthusiasts whom we call MVPs and around 1500 of them are attending this Summit (these are not exact nos but indicative only). That means around 50% of the MVPs will be at a single location abosrbing all the rich content that Microsoft has to provide. The detailed agenda of the Summit can be seen at:
http://microsoft.crgevents.com/MVP05/Events/MVP05/Content/Home/default.asp

In my opinion, if there is any event that provides so much of technology depth for a select audience it is this MVP Global Summit. I can't help but compare this to the PDC where Micro…

Adobe Flash has competition

With PDC underway, heaps of new technologies are being previewed. Amongst the graphic web designing space, there has been slew of 3 products released:
Acrylic: The professional graphic designing tool that supports vector and bitmap graphics.Sparkle: The "real" thing that let's you do the interactive design on websites the way flash does that todayQuartz: The tool for web page layout aka Frontpage reborn.This will form the next generation of tools for web designers and graphics professionals. The family of products is called "Microsoft Expression". the new technologies are based on the Windows Vista Technologies.Flash till now has been the only one and the most preferred of rich design tools for the websites. now you will have another that benefits from the latest in technology (Windows Vista) and has the benefit of being very closely integrated with Visual Studio that makes the interactive applications on the web a reality..More details about the products are av…

Now talk with others on Windows Vista Forums

Here are some of the forums that you might be interested in catching up with if you are a Windows Vista enthusiast:

Data Access, Storage, Search and Organize in Windows Vista
http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=113
Mobile PC and Tablet PC Development
http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=114
Networking in Windows Vista
http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=115
Security for Applications in Windows Vista
http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=116
UI Development for Windows Vista
http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=117
Windows Communication Foundation ("Indigo")http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=118
Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon")http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=119
Windows Vista Development General
http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=120
Windows Vista SDK
http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=121

The …

Google consolidating its identities an killing privacy in turn?

Was looking up orkut.com and was greeted by the welcome message that said that now orkut ID is being moved to a uniform Google ID.. post that on registering with the existing orkut ID i could link up everything to one GoogleID of mine.. the first time i had seen the effort towards unifying the identities was at gmail.

Not that the uniform ID is an issue but isn't it a movement towards monopolising / dominating the identity space by Google? The same MSN Passport frenzy that didn't go down well with some customers on the same fear... Personally, I think MSN Passport is much more privacy friendly than the current rudimentary google user ID and password combo. MSN Passport is built around privacy and then sharing of information.

From the google privacy page, they track your clicks on the page (including UI elements, ads, links, and other information), drop cookies on your machine that track all this aggregated information for benefit of google..
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Microsoft Toll Free Customer Service & Support - Now Accessible from 36 Cities in India!!!

Microsoft has announced that it is extending its toll free customer service and support telephone availability to customers in 28 additional cites across India. In September 2005, Microsoft’s customers and partners in 36 cities can now reach the company’s Customer Service and Support organization by dialing the toll free number 1600 111100, which is accessible by BSNL / MTNL phone lines. In addition to expanding toll free access, more customers without STD (long distance) will now be able to access Microsoft’s toll free support number.

Cities Covered By Microsoft Toll-Free Phone Support:
Delhi
Mumbai
Chennai
Bangalore
Hyderabad
Pune
Ahmedabad
Kochi
Kolkatta
Chandigarh
Ludhiana
Lucknow
Trivandrum
Nagpur
Baroda
Jaipur
Nasik
Bhubneshwar
Coimbatore
Bhopal
Gwalior
Jabalpur
Indore
Agra
Faridabad
Pondicherry
Vellore
Ghaziabad
Jalandhar
Shimla
Mysore
Meerut
Mangalore
Hubli
Ambala
Tirupur
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Introducing Microsoft Dynamics

At the Microsoft Business Summit in Redmond, Bill Gates introduced Microsoft Dynamics™, a new brand that will replace Microsoft Business Solutions. Each of the MBS products will be renamed on the above e.g. Microsoft CRM will be called Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

IMHO, just the name change tells me 2 things:
MS is "dead" serious about these products and one can see that they are going to be around for longerIt is consolidating all the acquisitions around SMe space to drive deeper penetration in the market.So if you are a company/ SI/ ISV using these products, the future looks bright and like with any other MS product one can hope to see more innovation coming in the product shortly.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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My Airtel Broadband is down!

My Airtel Broadband connection has been down for past 2-3 days. The ADSL Link light is not working and though a technician paid a visit he went away saying that the fault is somewhere at the back..

Now, all this means that i am not going to have any boradband till the time "backend" is fixed :(. However, the bill never seems to discount non-availability of the service that Airtel so conviniently seems to forget!

I had earlier requested these guys to change my plan but they didn't bother to inform me about the procedural hiccup that came up! now broadband doesn't make you omniscient (did i spell it right?).. so i am still continuing on the older plan as nobody informed me on the issue.. though i religiously have been getting calls like - "is your internet working fine" before all this happened...

And yes, if you want to measure your broadband speed check out:
http://www.dslreports.com/stest
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ASP.NET and Active Directory

ASP.NET ships with Active Directory Membership provider. Simply superb!

Most of the applications written for Intranets rely on Active Directory (or some other sort of LDAP) to authenticate a user. Now it is extremely simple to integrate AD with ASP.NET 2.0.
Read here how to.
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Blogs most widely read from Microsoft

Site QuickStarts in SharePoint Sites

I am an extensive user of Sharepoint - India MVP Extranet Portal, Community Star Extranet Portal etc. There are various activities that we do from time to time that requires creation of more libraries (document, list, calendars etc.

Microsoft has released around 30 "Applications for Windows SharePoint Services" that cover custom scenarios and provide site templates for instantenously creating frameworks for each of these scenarios.

I think i am going to find them extremely useful.. i already have downloaded the:
Room and Equipment Reservation template
Event Coordination template

Both of them are working great on the portal!
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Speech Application Development

Was trying to integrate Speech into an application i wrote... i realiased there are 3 options for the same:
MS Agent, Microsoft Speech Application Software Development Kit (SASDK) Version 1.0, and Speech SDK 5.1 for Windows® applicationsThis confused me. Which one to use for what?A little research lead me to this site that explains it well:http://thedotnet.com/nntp/135793/showpost.aspxSASDK is primarily meant to speech enable the ASP.NET applications and SAPI is meant for Win Forms applications. MS Agent might already be a dead technology :)Both SASDK and SAPI support TTS and voice recognition! So make your choice and get coding..-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Get to know the Code Camps!

Got to hear about Code Camps being conducted in US at: http://pacwest.ms/codecamp/pdx/1/

The tenets of "Code Camp" as per the site:
An original Code Camp organizer, Thom Robbins, wrote a six-point manifesto: Code Camps are (1) by and for the developer community; (2) always free; (3) community developed material; (4) no fluff – only code; (5) community ownership; and (6) never occur during working hours.

We have similar events in India called DevCons and subject related Days like - Architecture Day! What stands out in this event is the large participation of industry as speakers and attendees. An unofficial estimate puts the percentage of student attendees at these events at below 25%.

In India, the profile of attendees has largely been students (except HYD) and very less participation from industry.

IMHO, we should start to invite more people from industry to participate as speakers in these events. The attendees ergo will follow for sure!
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Event Management using Mobile Device Community Project Functional Spec

Preliminary Vision Document

User completes registration at the registration counter using the mobile device
Attendee could register for the entire event
Also, attendee should be able to select the sessions that he/she is going to attend during the event
Provide feedback to the sessions that he/ she attends. The feedback is an objective multiple choice type. Space for comments must also be maintained. Also, feedback to entire event rather than just a session should be possible.
Ad Hoc meetings and requests
Reports: reports should be available on how many people have attended the event / session. Also, a view into how many prospective participants are registered for a future session should be possible.

Users of the system:
Event Administrators
Event Managers
Event Volunteers
Attendees (Pre-registered/ Ad-Hoc/ Speaker/ Material)

Proposed tools and technology for development:
VS 2005 Beta 2 (.NET 2.0)
SQL Mobile
Pocket PC Enabled clients (Himalaya specification)
ASP.NET 2.0 Interfaces
Functionality Requir…

Some TechEd US 2005 presentations available

Some TechEd US 2005 presentations have been made available at:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/asp.net/community/events/teched2005/default.aspx

Enjoy the content with recorded webcasts even when you were not there physically attending it!
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Features for Windows Vista

Windows Presentation Fondation (or Avalon)
Windows Communication Foundation (or Indigo)
Infocard (Identity Management)

Managed API for Windows Vista (Win FX)
Unmanaged API for Windows Vista (Win 32)
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Visual Studio .NET for Linux

I discovered this gem at Codeproject newsletter:

Visual MainWin® for J2EE™ is an innovative product from Mainsoft (and not Microsoft!) that allows you to use the productivity of the Visual Studio .NET IDE to tap into the power of the J2EE platform. Now you can even write your applications in C# and ASP.NET and deploy them to J2EE servers running on Linux!
You also have an article that describes creating first ASP.NET application on Linux at:
http://dev.mainsoft.com/Default.aspx?tabid=46
This consumes a stock quote Web service, and presents it using a Web Form that will run on Tomcat under Linux.
This application demonstrates some of the technologies that are offered by the .NET Framework, and you will see these can be used to build Linux applications:Web service consumption via a proxy classXmlDocument managementData bindingADO.NET DataSetsASP.NET grid controlThere is much more that you can do with Visual MainWin building applications leveraging the .NET on Linux.

You can download the freel…

MVP Global Summit 2005 Lodging

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Google Earth locates my hotel for MVP Global Summit:

Searching on Google Earth directly gave me the hotel.

Virtual Earth locates my hotel:
I had to manually locate the address and then mark the hotel - Hyatt Regency Bellevue.


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BizTalk Server 2006 Beta 1

Want to experience the BETA for BTS 2006? Get it here:
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=46922.

Some documentation for the same is available at:
http://www.msnusers.com/biztalkserverstuff/Documents/
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*Earth: Know where on earth are you..

I have been recently looking at the various cool mapping applications enriched with satellite imagery that various companies are coming out with. What impressed me the uncanny ability of these applications to show you your location with help of very rich images.

I have seen 2:
Google EarthVirtual Earth (it is now publicly avaiable)
There is post on Channel 9 by the MSN Virtual Earth Team at: http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=91714#91714While Google earth covers parts of India very well, Virtual Earth can only currently do USA. using Google earth i can almost locate the roof of my house whereas virtual earth limits it to a dot called "Gurgaon" :(.. currently, virtual earth is totally useless for me unless i am travelling to US.The one big difference amongst the 2 applications is that GoogleEarth uses Rich client that has to be downloaded to your machine while Virtual Earth uses Internet Browsers only. Use of Internet Browser has an advantage that i can create permal…

Stay abreast with Architect News

There has been additional focus on Architects in the past few days from Microsoft. From PAG group to Architect BCC (remember SAF??) there is a lot that is being done to connect architects with current thoughts in architecture field.
I think the belief is, if you can design good, you can develop good.
Here's the Architect Journal that no architect (budding or seasoned) can afford to miss:
http://www.microsoft.com/architecture/default.aspx?pid=journal.5&abver=E9A00024-3DC1-4B6A-BC20-22716E4D2FEA
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Is tortoise fishing a sport?

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Here is me fishing tortoise out of a pool of water at night market in taipei.. they have little clips taped to their backs and you hook the tortoise using the clip and put it in a little bowl. When you fish 17 you win a turtle :)
the catch is that the line you are using to hook the turtles is very delicate and unwinds after 2-3 successful "catches".
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Pursuing the creative angle at a pottery class

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Sometimes a creative pursuit is all it takes to free your mind. Here me making pottery. WoW! it was childhood rediscovered.. playing in the mud and stuff.you can see my creation after labouring for 30 mins and expert guidance of the pottery teacher.
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On the Sun Moon Lake

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On the boat - Mr. President with Eddie Liu, CPM China and Jae Ho, MVP Lead, Korea.
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Taipei 101

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The tallest building in the WORLD is Taipei 101 and you can see me there dressed in Indian apparel (kurta). Cool?

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Community and MVP at TechEd India 2005

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More Community Photos Here -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Media Center Blog

Don't know if it is my lack of knowledge on Windows Media Center or there is less information available out there for all Media Center wannabeeeeeeeessssssssss...

Here is a blog on the Windows Media Center that might be of interest:
http://blog.retrosight.com/
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Me back from vacation

After 3 days of back breaking merry making and introductions to my really really large extended family i am back from the most treasured of all Indian traditions - The Indian Wedding.

The wedding was at Raipur, the capital of Chattisgarh.

so what did i experience while at the wedding:
Met many new relatives approx. 30 nos (i never knew i had such a big family!)Lots of food to eatLots of dancing to doGot to see a new place - Raipur (never knew Raipur is capital of Chattisgarh)Got educated on marriage rituals of our regionYou can see the photos of the wedding at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/buddychints/
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And it rained at TechEd India

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An excellent picture the cold and jubliant mood at TechEd India 2005 Mumbai..
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Men in Technology

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Created in Dedication to a particular event at TechEd India 2005. Thanks for the wake up call!
The community has been initiated and it is live at:
http://www.orkut.com/Community.aspx?cmm=2929700
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My Window to Mumbai

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Blogger now let's you upload photos directly without the use of Picasa or any other tool.. One of the problems faced by me while using Picasa was whatever i entered into the rich interface was all that i could enter.. editing the post made the picture just disappear!

For my first post using this feature, here is the panaromic view of Mumbai's Powai lake from the hotel I stayed at - The Reniassance.. The beauty of the area just bowled me over.. it was so beautiful that I was left comparing the view to any other hill station in the country.
Be sure not to miss out the mountains in the background!
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Email communication - Subject lines

An abstract on email communication rules that i find valuable:

。 All non-critical e-mail titled "FYI: "
。 Mandatory Action Items will be titled "Action Required"
- No action required e-mail to be sent after Friday at 5pm EST that has action item due before Monday at 5pm (emergencies excluded)
。 If you are sending a broad email requesting action but action is not mandatory, the email should be titled "Action Requested"
。 Recognition, Promotions and Rewards emails titled "Congratulations: "
。 No Reply All
。 cc indicates no action required of you

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Microsoft Acrylic (For Professional Designers) BETA available

From Somasegar's Blog:

"I’m really excited to tell you that today we’re making available a beta of “Acrylic” - the codename for a new graphics product for professional designers.
A little while ago, Microsoft acquired Creature House, makers of creative design toolset Creature House Expression. The “Acrylic” beta is a new version based on the Creature House Expression with added capabilities. It combines strong vector and raster painting and illustration capabilities, along with very cool effects. One of my personal favorite features is the amazingly fast & high quality automatic panoramic photo-stitching. I encourage you to download and experiment with it. You have been instrumental in helping shape the future of other Microsoft products like Visual Studio, and I would love to hear your feedback on this beta.
Click here to download the beta and provide feedback."

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VS 2005 and SQL Server 2005 Launch Dates Announced

Ending all speculation, it has been announced that Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and BizTalk 2006 will launch in the week of November 7 2005. This was announced at TechEd US.
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