Showing posts from April, 2006

IPTV in India - Airtel

Today, Airtel installed IPTV at my home. The service I thought was still a few years away from India is here already!

I already had telephone and broadband services from Airtel. Now i have been handed over IPTV as well. For now there is no charge for the service. this is a great move by airtel in increasing it product reach to customers.

Through this service, Airtel has currently made the following services available:
TV Channels (almost all channels available via cable guy)Time Shift TVOn Demand MovieAirtel Services - Accounting/ BillingThe professional who came to install the service was very courtesous and installed the service. The service uses the internet modem and a setup box to deliver signals to the TV.

Since, I use VPN and WiFi from home quite often, the configuration of my modem was slightly different than the most homes. that created a little confusion but we were able to finally configure Internet (with VPN), IPTV and voice telephone all over one single line of telephone comi…

Share prices of Microsoft tumble

After running stable for more than 5 years, Microsoft stocks have tumbled 11.4% on Q3 reports.
I had blogged about this earlier:

i had just sold my stock in Microsoft (whatever puny amount i have and can afford - believe me u'll laugh when u hear the amount) prior to Q3 results for an entirely different reason. The reason was that Microsoft stock had stayed flat for 5 years without providing any gains for its investors for so long. On the other hand, stock markets (and job market) in India are still on fire and giving much higher returns. Should i invest in the job market as well (wink.. wink..)

My outlook on the new products/ services is that while core OS will take sometime to come mainstream (give it 2 years), the Live services, XBOX and Dynamics will make a killing. The STB (Server and Tools) business should remain f…

Successful Vista Feb CTP Install

I recently did a clean install with the Feb CTP of Windows Vista on Compaq NC6000. The install was very smooth, except for:
The wireless didn't seem to be workingThe modem driver cudn't be foundBoth of these have been sorted out by downloading the modem driver for the laptop and wireless started working once i tried to configure Media Center on the laptop.Bonus of hard work: Glass effects are working on the laptop !!
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My first vector drawing using Expression Graphic Designer

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Microsoft Announces Fiscal Year 2006 3rd Quarter Financial Results

Today, Microsoft announced its third quarter earnings. Revenue of $10.9 billion was up 13% over results in the same period of the prior year. . Operating income for the third quarter included $397 million, compared with $768 million in the prior-year period, for certain legal charges. Operating income is expected to be in the range of $4.0 billion to $4.2 billion for FY 06 and in the range of $18.7 billion to $19.3 billion for FY07.Revenue growth continued to accelerate throughout the fiscal year, and this quarter it was fueled by strong demand for our new consumer and business offerings. Server and Tools had yet another outstanding performance driven by SQL Server revenue growth in excess of 30%. Home and Entertainment grew 85% as Xbox sales more than doubled. MED and MBS grew 46% and 21%, respectively, on robust demand for our Windows Mobile and Microsoft Dynamics product lines.

What new in IE 7.0?

New Look
Cut through the clutter with a redesigned, streamlined interface and maximized area for viewing web content.

Tabbed Browsing
Open multiple websites in one Internet Explorer window, see thumbnail images of all open tabs in a single view, and organize multiple tabs into a single tab group and save it as a favorite.

Printing Advances
IE7 automatically shrinks text for improved printing, so all webpage content fits on your final printed page. Print options also include adjustable margins, customizable page layouts, removable headers and footers, and changeable print space.

RSS Feeds
Tired of looking for the latest news and information on the web? IE7 can deliver the latest updates from your favorite sites to you. Subscribe to RSS feeds through IE7, and get instant access to personalized sports, news, and shopping feeds that keep you up to date on the latest information online.

Toolbar Search
Search the Internet directly from the browser frame using your favorite search provider with the t…

My favourite game: Age of Mythology

I am an ardent fan of Age of Mythology and I am enjoying it to the hilt in the Multiplayer scenario.
If you want to play me, my user ID on the ESO: buddychints
The civilization i play is "Egyptian" and these two are my favourite gods in the game - Ra and Isis.
I still remember the rush when i saw this game on its launch in India where we had an opportunity to play it online. The rush of playing AoM is still there!

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Indic Blogger Awards has organised the first Indic Blogger Award. The award is meant to "honour Indian Language Web Logs (Blogs) for their excellence in content, language and creativity across 8 categories and 11 languages" at:

translated simply, if you work with languages and computing and have a blog, you can nominate yourself. if you follow a blog on local language computing, you can vote for the blog.

Apart from the recognition, one also stands a chance to win prizes for nominating/ voting for the blog...

तो अब अपने मंपसन्द ब्लोग के लिये वोट करो

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My Favourite URL of late

Lately i have been visiting quite often. It is an amazing site that provides information on what is the latest from not one but a lot of websites like,,

I have been extremely happy as the content it throws up is really what one would care about. Long live World Live Web!

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Yahoo launches Windows Media Center Competitor

Yahoo has launched Yahoo Go Beta. It is an application that one can use to:
View photos (online from flickr etc or on your HDD)View VideosListen to music (Launchcast or local HDD)Record TVThe list of supported TV tuners cards is hugely limited right now. I have a PixelView PV-NT 1004+ USB TV tuner card. I am wondering if it will be able to work with Yahoo Go!A similar functionality is available in MS Media Centre Edition..
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IE 7 Beta 2 Released

Internet Explorer (IE) has released its Beta 2. Earlier it had released IE 7 Beta 2 Preview (build 5296).

The new Beta 2 seems to have no new feature but would have fixed a few bugs. The build no for this IE is 5346.

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Scott McNealy steps down as CEO

Sun's financial turmoil:

Revenue rose 21 percent to $3.2 billion for the quarter ending March 26, up from $2.6 billion a year earlier, in part because of acquisitions. Still, Sun posted a net loss of $217 million, or six cents a share, up from a net loss of $28 million, or one cent a share, a year earlier. About a quarter of the latest quarterly loss -- $57 million -- was due to stock-based compensation charges.

Scott McNealy steps down as CEO and takes on role of Chairman. Jonathan Schwartz replaces McNealy. From what i have learnt from reading about Jonathan, it appears that he is an ambitious guy with an eye to improve the finances of the company.

Let's see what Sun does in the future..

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Visual Studio Express is FREE

Visual Studio "Express" Editions have been declared as available for FREE! (yipee.. yipee..yipee)

From :

Visual Studio 2005 Express Editions including Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual J#, Visual C++, and Visual Web Developer Express will be free permanently!

Now i know a lot of teachers who were shying away from .NET technologies as there was no tool avaialble for coding in those technologies (well notepad was good enough if they looked!!).. that issue is now resolved and students can get hands on with professional development right in their college :)

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TechEd India 2006 Announced

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Instant Messaging Statistics

We have all used Instant Messaging (IM) or "Chatting" in one form or another (Client/ Web Based) at any point in time. IM remains one of the most popular applications after email.

ComScore has published data on IM usage. The report is available at:

Interesting facts from reports:

IM Usage in:
Europe: 49%
America: 37%
Latim America: 67% [HIGHEST]

IM client usage:
MSN Messenger: 61%

Also, skype is also used by around 14% of IM users worlwide.

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What is an MVP?

What is an MVP? It has been a rather common question.

MVPs have tried to define it.
Microsoft MVP Program has tried to define it.
Ex-MVPs have tried to define it.

Each time it sounds different. Why?

'Cause it a program that has continued to grow and adapt and take into challenges that evolving communities have brought.

Here is another interesting link into what one MVP has to say:

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Windows Live Academic Search Launched

What is Windows Live Academic?

Windows Live Academic is a new addition to the Windows Live Search family of services that allows users to search through academic information. Currently, users can search content in academic journals in the fields of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Physics. We will be adding more subject areas in the near future, based on user feedback and demand.

See a list of journals and sources indexed at

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Atlas Controls Released!

The "Atlas" Control Toolkit is a set of nine great controls and extenders that use "Atlas" technologies and allow developers to easily improve the client experience on their websites. All of the controls come with full source, and the toolkit also includes Visual Studio 2005 templates to get you started writing your own controls.

This is an early release of the toolkit and we plan to continue to refresh and incorporate feedback from our developer community.

For details check out our site online at:
Landing Page:
Toolkit samples live:

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Bribing for wedding registration

this is for the delhi bribe blog:

The Supreme Court has made wedding registration mandatory for all. With that there was no simplification announced on the existing laws.

As a law abiding citizen i wanted to get registration done for my wedding. First of all, the Hindu Marriage Act states that registration can happen either in at the place of soleminisation of marriage or at the place of residence of either of the parties. So, I decided to get it registered at Gurgaon, my place of residence.

the visit to the courts only brought to light the fact that you have to pay a lawyer to get the registration done. Charge - INR 1500/-

after 3 visits to the court, (the registration officer was absent on a day or two), finally the marriage was registered but not before paying INR 700/- more to the registration magistrate through the lawyer!

cudn't supreme court make online submission of the forms possible that would cut out the corruption?


Filing Consumer Complaint with Consumer Forum

If you have a complaint against any product/ service in India, you can use the consumer forum to file the complaint online at:

i have a complaint that i have filed against Kingfisher Airlines. it remains to be seen how well is that handled.

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Upcoming Microsoft Conference

MEDC 2006, May 8-11
Attend Mobile & Embedded DevCon 2006, May 8-11 in Las Vegas, and get the latest on building and bringing to market the next wave of devices, applications, content and services for the Windows Mobile and Windows Embedded platforms.

Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2006
May 15th – 17th, Meydenbauer Center, Bellevue WA. Microsoft experts will brief attendees on the innovations in the latest release of SharePoint Products and Technologies: Microsoft Office “12” SharePoint servers and SharePoint Services.

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Team Foundation Server Debuts

Team Foundation Server (or "TFS", for short) is the centerpiece of Visual Studio Team System that brings to life the promise of increased productivity for the entire development team. The server component of VSTS, Team Foundation Server, shipped in mid-March 2006.

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During his keynote address at this week's Office Developer's Conference, Bill Gates announced a new community called the Open XML Developer group. The goal of this community is to provide a place where developers can freely exchange, in an open way, technical information about how to use the Office Open XML formats that we are standardizing in ECMA TC 45. Membership in the community is open to anyone, free of charge, to enable broad development with the format, regardless of platform.

Here are a few important things to know about the community:
The official Web site of the group is
It's an open community, free to everyone, requiring only an e-mail address for participation.
For more information, see Brian Jones' XML blog entry.

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Smart Client architecture gets guidance

I am a big fan of rich clients (in MS lingo now called Smart Client!)..

P&P group from MS has recently released its Smart Client Baseline Architecture Toolkit at:

the kit provides for (including reference implementation):
Asynchronous communication to Web services, queuing messages, and working offlineBuilding complex UIs based on independently developed, tested, and deployed parts (smart parts) ClickOnce deployment and updatesLoosely coupled components communicating by way of events Handling exceptionsLogging Only recently one of my friends was looking for guidance on Offline reference architecture for .NEt 2.0.. so here is it..

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Exclusive "Windows Mobile" based service

Windows Mobile has been my choice of platform for sometime now.
Why? simply because it offers the same experience as Windows desktop and the progamming interface is the same that I already know of .NET. Given, the rich functionality of the platform it was just a matter of time before an exclusive Windows Mobile service was going to come out. and now here it is -
In May, Norwegian MVNO Novotel will launch their service in close partnership with Microsoft under the brand name “Hello”. Hello has decided that their best approach to offering a superior level of customer service and service differentiation is to focus exclusively on Microsoft Technology where at all possible and this also includes Windows Mobile Phones ONLY.
Part of the early news coverage is here and


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Microsoft Support Lifecycle

Microsoft Support lifecycle is detailed here. you can also find product support lifecycle dates here:'s_Support_Lifecycle

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Windows CE 5.0 Networked Media Device Feature Pack Launch

Microsoft Corp. today announced the worldwide availability of Windows® CE 5.0 Networked Media Device Feature Pack, an optional set of software components designed to lower the total cost of development for device-makers wanting to create next-generation networked media devices (NMDs) and Internet protocol set-top boxes (IP STBs), which will become an increasingly integral part of the digital home. The Microsoft® Windows CE 5.0 Networked Media Device Feature Pack supports a broader range of video formats, PlaysForSure™ certification and digital video recorder (DVR) functionalities, and helps developers focus their time on device differentiation and innovation instead of middleware licensing and integration.

Windows CE 5.0 Networked Media Device Feature Pack includes built-in middleware components that provide all the key networking, device drivers and codecs needed to develop an NMD or IP STB. This feature eliminates the need for device-makers to search for compatible third-party middle…

Communicator Web Access AJAX Service SDK

for any application out there, developers can expect a set of APIs available for programming the same. these are called 'SDKs'.

In December Microsoft released Communicator Web Access (CWA), ( the browser based Communicator client. Now an SDK has been released that lets developer build their own applications that use the CWA AJAX Service. We now have a platform for creating world class browser based, or services based, applications that can fully utilize Presence and Instant Messaging.

Info from the SDK:
Communicator Web Access AJAX Service is the application programming interface for Microsoft Office Communicator Web Access. Application developers can use it to create Communicator-compatible clients that allow users to manage and share presence information, to manage contacts and groups, to send and receive instant messages, and to search for users within an enterprise. Such clients can be a browser-ba…

Resources for Stress Testing Web Application

From an internal discussion, resources for Stress testing web application:

Application Architecture
Performance Comparison: Data Access Techniques

Designing Distributed Applications
Designing Distributed Applications with Visual Studio .NET

Microsoft Patterns & Practices

Application Architecture for .NET: Designing Applications and Services

.NET Development
ASP.NET Performance Monitoring, and When to Alert Administrators
Author: Thomas Marquardt, Microsoft Corporation
Updated July 2003

Garbage Collector Basics & Performance Hints…

Emulator image for 320x240 (Landscape) Screen

An emulator image (comptabile with VS 2005) has been released that is provides 320x240 landscape screen.

the emulator can be downloaded from:

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Welcoming the new Community Leaders - MVPs

Today we announce the new MVPs:

Abhilash MS - Windows Server System - BizTalk Server
Agnihotram J Reddy - Microsoft Office InfoPath
Nirmal Sharma - Windows Server - Networking
Venkata Murthy - Visual Developer - ASP/ASP.NET
Venkatarajan Arthanari - Visual Developer - ASP/ASP.NET
Asang Dani - Windows - Windows Embedded

Salute to the Community Leaders and the spirit of the volunteer contribution!

If you a Windows enthusiast/ Developer/ Networking Professional and would like to know more about the MVP award, please browse to: and fill in the nomination form available there.
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