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Showing posts from May, 2005

SQL Server 2005/Visual Studio 2005/BizTalk 2006 Connected Systems Developer Competition

On April 25th 2005 the SQL Server, Visual Studio and BizTalk teams launched the Connected Systems 2005 Developer Competition.

The Connected Systems 2005 Developer Competition, sponsored is a skill based competition for professional developers intended to highlight and reward creativity and programming excellence using SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk 2004/2006.

The competition is open to anyone who practices in the field of technology development, either individuals or organizations. Some eligibility restrictions apply; see Official Competition Rules for details.

Entries will be judged on creativity, innovation, design and technical excellence, usefulness, usability and value by a panel of industry experts selected from the Microsoft Regional Director program.

All competition entrants must be registered and have submitted a description of the application they are entering into the competition by August 30, 2005. The official closing date for final competition entries is Sep…

Speech from RSS

I had a bright idea! The problem is someone else had the same "bright" idea quite sometime before i had it :)

So here is the bright idea i had:
"This is about integrating blogs and podcasts..
The blog aggregation tools have the advantage that one can pull textual content off the internet (syndication). Podcasts take it to the next level by pulling off content in audio format.
The idea that I am proposing is a website that accepts your blog URLs that you are subscribed to and converts it to audio using speech server technology. The site makes it available to you as a podcast so that the same can be downloaded to your MP3 player for offline listening."

Here is where it is implemented and in action:
http://www.autocastsoftware.com/
http://www.feedvert.com/

I tried the FeedSpeaker but the voice is too mechanical and it definitely not something that you might want to listen as a podcast.
There was a new TTS engine that was demoed by MS called "Mulan": http://research.m…
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I recently joined the delhi bloggers group. It is a set of people from NCR area who blog and would like to connect with like minded individuals. The timing was right was for me as I was greeted by two events organised by the group: 1. Delhi blogger Meet 2. Blog Mela. The good thing in these meetings is that you get to meet many people from different areas of work (like law, journalism, traders) that your perspective expands. If you are interested in blogging / have an active blog / are in NCR area, you should join Delhi Bloggers at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/delhibloggers
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It was delhi bloggers meet time on May 28 at 6:30 PM at Cafe Coffee Day, Sahara Mall. Here is a picture that would have to be at 9:00 PM.

Learn how to interoperate between Linux and Windows machines

Wondering what to do when you have Linux machines alongwith windows in your network.. all these years it was always either Windows or Linux.. now it is time to break free with technology serving you rather than you serving the technology!

Learn how to share files between Linux file server and Windows. Managing User identities in both environments and enabling them to work together. Not only that if you have spent precious hours writing code on UNIX, how can u utilize the same to run on Windows...

All this and more at the IT Pro User Group session happening on Friday, May 27 at Nehru Place from 11 AM to 1 PM. for the ones who are hungry for knowledge, this session is for free.

If you want to give something in return, all that is being asked is you become a member of Delhi IT Pro User Group at: http://groups.msn.com/itdelhiug
And yes, even membership for the User Group is free!
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DotNetNuke and Community Server

In my quest for finding an apt solution (rugged and comprehensive) for community site needs, i evaluated quite a bit of softwares.. to name a few:
ASP.NET Community Starter KitProject HurricaneProject RainbowDotNetNukeCommunity ServerFlexwikiAfter having manually installed all the above on my machine, i think the answer lies not in one but a combination of the sites. I would think a combination of DotNetNuke, Community Server and Flexwiki provides the best choice.for all of them to be used, the simplest would be to install each of them in a different virtual directory and link them all through links on each others sites.. but that would essentially mean people logging in again and again when they transition from one site to another. so an identity management system is needed between these sites. A brief on integration of DNN and Community Server can be found on: http://ims.co.nz/blog/archive/2004/12/14/160.aspxIt has also being discussed at the Community Server forums here: http://comm…

Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk 2004

BizTalk 2004 used the Visual Studio 2003 for its design. From designing orchestration to writing code in BTS 2004, Visual Studio was required for the same.

Now that Visual Studio 2005 is nearing its release (it is already in beta stage) i was wondering how is BizTalk 2004 going to transition to Visual Studio 2005.

I got the clarification from one of the quarters.

The current version of BizTalk 2004 will NOT work with VS 2005. Only the next version of BizTalk will work with VS 2005. There seems to be no plans currently to issue any patch / fix to make BTS 2004 work with VS 2005.
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for your child - Computers the fun way!

Bitman’s Place is a fun place for kids from about age 8 to 13. It’s a place to play and learn cool stuff about computers and how to tell them what to do (we call it: programming.)
Don’t worry; you don’t have to already know a lot about computers to have fun. We’ve got fun episodes that help you learn while you’re playing games. You’ll be doing cool stuff in no time. In fact by the end you might be teaching your parent’s a thing or two about their own computers.
What’s really cool about Bitman’s Place is that it’s built for kids to use. It’s easy to find your way around, to go area to area, and by the end of the 24 lessons you should be really excited about the crazy things you can do with a computer and your brain. If you can point and click a mouse, you’re on your way to learning more about computers and how to program them.
so you are interested in this? You'll an invite to join the place.. Use this link to join the fun at bitman's place:
http://www.bitmansplace.com/Login.aspx?R…

Indian Bloggers getting recognised from Govt.

Refer to the article in the TOI (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1112368,curpg-1.cms) titled "Govt opens doors to net journos".

The bottomline is that journalists who have active blogs will now be given access to government offices and conferences. Currently to access them, one needs the mandatory Press Information Bureau (PIB) accreditation (just like you need membership of Bar Council to be a lawyer)..

This throws up some important things to ponder on:
1. Is there an Indian journalist that we know of in the internet world whom world knows of? I consider myself moderately active in the blogosphere and don't know any indian journalist of that stature actively authoring blogs.
2. Definitely govt is hugely progressive on the transparency front. What mechanism would it put in place to hand pick the journalists who are "active" in the blogosphere? Of what i can gather, the indian law would again be defeated in the hands of implementers (read IAS ca…

WiFi session in Pune IT Pro User Group - HiFi Stuff

i will be in Pune from May 21st to May 23rd for the Pune IT Pro session on WiFi.
Now what sets apart this session from any other is the actual display of devices that will be available for demonstration.. we will have home wireless routers, commercial wireless routers, laptop clients, handheld clients etc etc.
i have never seen such an array of hardware devices available for a single session... to beat it all there is a HOL session that is also being proposed...
i am looking forward to this session and am super excited about the same.
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MS Communicator is almost ready

MS communicator is the client for the Live Communications Server 2005. MS Communicator not only supports enterprise chat but also integrates with the enterprise telephony infrastructure.
The Communicator also has a much cooler interface than the Windows Messenger 5.1. A detailed review of this will follow once i get comfortable with the same.

You can download a limited time edition of Communicator from:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=9253DBEA-CC4F-4934-B35D-E2C90B6406DB&displaylang=en
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This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

MSN Search Toolbar RTM

RTM - Release to Market aka the product is now ship quality and you can install this.. no half baked bits..

MSN Toolbar finished product can now be downloaded from:
http://desktop.msn.com/

If you want to read about what team went through creating this final release, you ought to read the blog of the Program Manager at:
http://blogs.msdn.com/msnsearch/archive/2005/05/15/417691.aspx

i had an earlier BETA installed on my machine and when i started to install the RTM, the installation started with a warning that the machine will reboot after install. So i delayed the install and then when i really installed it.. it was a breeze..
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Firefox browser on fire!

Reading the morning newspaper - Times of India (yeah i read that)! Browsing through the pages, just before the sports page is the article "Beware, hackers go phishing" (on page 22). Being a techie that is something i like to read and so started reading it!

The last paragraph was a shocker though! It read like 21 vulnerabilities were discovered in Firefox and 13 in MS IE during July - December 2004. Here was a fact that was totally against the Open source (or no responsibility) advocates! The argument put forward that being handled by different people (who have no stake in the product or liability) would make the software more robust. the most touted software release - Firefox by the open source professionals has just shown that the argument doesn't hold water. How many of 21 vulnerabilities were fixed is another question that the Open source cartel wouldn't want anyone to focus on :)

the final conclusion, you are safer browsing with MS IE 6.0 rather than any other brow…

XBOX 2 previewed

The shroud of secrecy is finally uncovered. XBOX 2 now called XBOX 360 has been previewed to the world. this was done as an exclusive premier on MTV yesterday..

you can look at the console at: www.xbox360.com

If you are in India, you won't be getting this any time soon.. XBOX that got launched worldwide in 2001 has yet to make a debut here.. hey! let's see if XBOX 360 directly is launched here :)
After all we adopted cellphones late but we got the advantage of latest technology then...

Some of the games that were mentioned for XBOX 360 are NFS, PGR 3 :)
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Podcasting - I am in!

I have a little MP3 player (little as in little storage capacity!) that i have recorded a few songs. I have always been wondering on if i can do anything more than just record songs on the MP3 player.. funny enough, though i listen to songs often i am not a music junkie :)

amongst other things i like to read RSS feeds from various sources (especially the Indian MVPs :)).. in the recently concluded MEDC (where Windows Mobile 5.0 was introduced), they have made available podcasts from the event.. so what is a podcast i wondered?

Neatly tucked away at the bottom of the MEDC page was a link introducing podcasts: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/5/podcasts.mspx

well it was interesting reading it and I immidiately installed podcasting software from ipodder.com :).. ok i am all set.. but wait what now?? I needed to know more..

Here is a link that set the exploration in motion : http://www.engadget.com/entry/8895804146957771/

and to quote from Engadget: "Doc Searls may have said it best…

Establishing VPN connectivity

I recently ordered a 256 Kbps internet DSL connection from Airtel. I was provided with a Yuzon Web Distributor II modem (with Ethernet) for connecting to the internet by Airtel. My router was configured by the personnel who came to install the same. The setting of interest was the mode in which the router was configured - "PPPoA routed". I had to provide static IP to my LAN adapter for internet to work on my machine i.e. 192.168.1.5

I installed a wireless router (NetGear WRG614) after the modem to create a Wi-Fi network at home. Netgear auto configuration is excellent and it was a breeze setting the same up. Contrast this with MN-700 that sucks big time! The crux is that static IP was assigned to my Netgear AP and LAN adapater was configured for automatically getting the IP and DNS.

The internet connectivity worked hunky dory with this configuration. Websites (www.dslreports.com) reported a 183 kbps (download) / 190 Kbps (upload) on the connection with local LAN speeds at 100 …

.NET Worst Practices

You have heard of the Best Practices of development, naming standards in .NET, now get the Worst Practices on .NET:
http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/a/e/3aecde47-1431-46a7-bb40-b3a1777c3e81/dotNETWorstPractices_JackieGoldstein.ppt
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Microsoft Outlook - Safe Lists

More than once i have heard, please add this email ID to "safe sender's list".. I have often wondered how do i do that?

In my conversation with Md. Athif Khaleel, MVP from Saudi Arabia he took the effort of explaining to me the workings of this MS Outlook gem. So here it is folks, the workings of the most coveted safe list in MS Outlook 2003.

Highlight the mail that you want to mark as from Safe Sender. click on menu at the top Actions -> Add Sender to Safe Senders List. that's it!If on the other hand you are anticipating mail from some email address that you want to mark as safe, follow this procedure:
Click on the menu bar Actions -> Junk E-Mail -> Junk Email Options.
Click on the "Safe Senders" tab.
Click on the "Add" button and enter the email address you want to add. then click "OK".you can also bar certain email aliases so that they always reach Junk Email through the "Blocked Senders" tab.Now, pick and choose your em…
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The MVP Regional Team at MVP Regional Summit 2005 @ Singapore. Also check out Julie Ray (Regional Manager EMEA), Corey Heerman (MVP Site Manager)