Friday, December 24, 2010

Microsoft coming back to ARM

ARM, the processor manufacturer that powers 90% of the mobile phones, digital media and music players, hand-held game consoles, calculators and computer peripherals such as hard drives and routers is a super-power these days and Microsoft realizes this more than ever. That’s the reason why there is talk that Microsoft is going back to release a OS for the ARM processors.

Back in the old days of Windows NT 4.0, Microsoft has a release of Windows that ran on the ARM architecture, but due to pressure from Intel and the growing market of IBM-compatible PCs Microsoft stopped release OS running on ARM. Thus, Microsoft only released Windows for x86 architecture (…and sometimes for Itanium). Microsoft has had WindowsCE running on ARM, but it is not the Windows that is popularized. The latest buzz means that Windows 8, the next version of Windows will be able to run on ARM processors

The reason why this news is interesting is because Windows Mobile 7 was just released and is a different architecture than the desktop Windows. If this means anything, then it shows Microsoft’s idea that a common platform can be moved across different sizes of devices, similar to what Apple has been doing with the iPhoneOS, iPadOS, iPod Touch and OSX. The idea is that the OS can be stripped off services and run on smaller devices. Today as more and more devices became part of our lives, we want to have similar experiences on all these devices… probably through different interfaces, but want the way data is looked at through a common way. Especially as developers, it is frustrating that the same applications cannot be ported easily across processors and platforms. The web is definitely the future of data, but rich client applications are important for the experience and the browser is still not everything that the devices/PCs can do.

Hoping that we can move towards converging platforms… especially easy ways to port client applications across platforms

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

China bans wikileaks cablegate pages

The wikileaks release of the US cables is indeed the biggest newsmaker in world politics at the moment. Their leaks have shown the two-faced nature of diplomats, that we probably all knew, but never knew for certain. Nonetheless it is a major leak that could as some believe also result in World War III Smile with tongue out

The US government is clearly in a fix with the release of the cables and is trying to save face wherever it can by contacting its embassies around the world. Also Obama has said that the US government will exercise legal actions against wikileaks and its founder and run an embargo on this “irresponsible” and uncontrollable media.

But on the other side of the globe, China is clever enough to control the media. The Great fireWall of China just blocked the wikileaks cablegate pages and none from inside of China is able to view those pages on the internet. Now, if only the US learnt its lesson and started to whip naughty journalists and crazy activists, the world would have been a better… and safer place!! Smile with tongue out

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cheapest 5 Android Phones

While some including me believe that the top-end of mobile phones will live forever and the platforms of the top-end won’t come to the low-end, there are others who believe that open platforms like Android (or the many earlier Linux consortiums – CELF, OSDL) truly provides platform that can work on the high-end and low-end equally well.

But as we’ve quickly seen, instead of the hardware manufacturers, the software industry really has driven what hardware sells. We saw that for the PC market and are quickly seeing that in the mobile phone markets now. How the OS and the applications are making or breaking the success of the mobile phone handsets. Nevertheless, here are the cheapest Android phones in the Indian market, which may probably be global leading in terms of mobile phone growth in the low-end market… And the prices will keep dropping I guess!!

1. Huawei IDEOS U8300 – Rs. 6200/-


Huawei has many handsets in India in the CDMA market. Most of these handsets are serviced by operators that provide these mobile phones along with the plan. The IDEOS is manufactured in China and is sold in many markets around the world. I happened to see this phone is also available in Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia.

This entry-level smartphone was designed with the needs of young, mobile users in mind. This smartphone combines a QWERTY keyboard and a touch-screen in a small, chocolate-bar inspired package. Powered by Android 2.1, it comes with the most popular social networking applications pre-installed, so users can stay in touch anytime, anywhere.

For more information, please visit:

The phone has low battery life, but provides excellent features for the price.

2. Acer beTouch E110 – Rs. 6990/-


  • Stylish, compact and slim design
  • 2.8” (QVGA) resistive screen
  • 5-way navi key
  • 3G and Bluetooth connectivity

Looks pretty and is light-weight. Doesn’t have very good battery life, but does have some good applications and interfaces built-in like Spinlets and Nemo Player


3. Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro – Rs. 8700/-


- 240 x 320 pixels (QVGA)
- 2,6" capacitive touchscreen

- GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
- UMTS/HSPA 900/2100

- 5MP Camera with Flash
- WiFi

Great build quality and excellent software and hardware polish. Great support and service centers. Known brand

4. Samsung I5503 Galaxy 5 – Rs. 8800/-


  • Quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G support
  • 3.6 Mbps HSDPA support
  • Smart dialing
  • 2.8 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen
  • Android OS v2.1 Eclair
  • TouchWiz 3.0 UI customization (on both, I5801 has Orange UI too)
  • 600 MHz processor
  • 2MP camera with geo-tagging
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n support


5. Spice Mi300 – Rs. 9400/-


Android 2.1 Ready
Android Market Place
Google Messaging Services with Push Mail

Key features

  • 3.5G
  • Wi- Fi
  • 3.2” HVGA Capacitive Touch Screen
  • 5 MP Camera

Troubleshooting smslib-based applications (DHIS Mobile, SCDRT, InventMobi, StocksTracker)

While I’ve been troubleshooting SMS Applications (based on smslib, Gnokii, Kannel) for over 3 yrs, it is excruciatingly painful to tell people the basics of the troubleshooting again and again. There have been numerous small docs, readme files, emails that have repeated the same things again and again. To people who have gone through with the implementation and fixed problems, I’ve repeatedly requested to document these at some place (…infact as part of their job profiles), but none have sadly been able to produce anything useful. So, here is an attempt to make the troubleshooting process a little more easier for someone who is stuck. There is always websearch that will finally give you the answer to the troubleshooting process, but this is just a reminder to myself where to look at.

    0.) Archive the logs and send it... as basic as it sounds, ALWAYS look at the log file
  1. Check the application/library version – report this as part of any question you are asking
  2. Check the Native Library version and the Java Library version. These should ideally match or should have the same type. i.e if you are using RXTXComm (this is bundled with dhis-web-mobile module), then you should have (Linux) or rxtxSerial.dll (Windows). If using the older version, check the comm.jar and the required dlls is at the right location.
  3. Check the compatibility of the modem (Kannel) and (smslib). If not listed, check if it supports common standard AT command and may just work
  4. If you are using SMSLib for Java on Linux with the RxTx, you can have a no response exception or, as if no modem is actually connected to your computer – create a simlink to the dev/ttyS20 and also do start your application (for DHIS this is with the –Dsmslib.serial.polling parameter as given in this bug filing.
  5. Check if you have the correct port number in the configuration. For Windows, look at the device manager and the modem. Put the COM10 as the port (COM is needed for DHIS, while not for SMSListener), while for Linux add the /dev/tty<whatever> (/dev/ttyUSB0). For linux, try running the “wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf” (without quotes) or scanModem script. This will give the modem port
  6. Check the SIM memory location and add it to the configuration file. This is complex, but a Google search on your modem should help. If you don’t find anything obvious leaving it blank should likely work for your modem
  7. If you repeatedly see Framing Errors, it is primarily because the baud-rate mismatch between what you have set and what your modem supports. Running wvdialconf as earlier may give you good indication of what baud-rates are supported and best for your modem. If its windows, then setting to 56000 should be safe enough.
  8. Some modems supports a specialized AT command set. These are init commands and activation AT commands. You should change the manufacturer and model string. If you know the manufacturer, then it is always good to put the exact manufacturer name in that string.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Netbeans Community Testing for 7.0 starts

Netbeans has just started its Community Acceptance Program (NetCAT 7.0) for Netbeans 7.0. Basically developers who are using Netbeans as their IDE need to download latest builds and report bugs. Good experience to get involved with testing and learn more about Netbeans. Also makes some friends with community and developers at Sun Microsystems.

Helps improve the IDE you use daily!!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Women more respected in Pakistan & Bangladesh than in India

I’ve been pretty involved in health information and monitoring the state of affairs in that domain, but this is something I believe is as critical for humanness. The UNDP just came out with their Human Development Report (HDR) and celebrating its 20th Anniversary… I would like to congratulate guys at UNDP for the great work with this report and its indeed an excellent piece of work that has been going on for the last 2 decades. Also who better than Amartya Sen introducing us to the report.

The report is one of the most complete ways to give the overall picture to development. There are obviously critiques to how development is measured and qualitative analysis is sometimes required to study the cases. Nevertheless, it is indeed rich in data for looking at how development is measured. The report covers Health (… and life expectancy), Knowledge/Education, Standards of living, Innovation, Economic growth, Empowerment, Gender, Income inequalities, Security… and creates an index comparing these at a benchmark number of 10.

India ranks 119 on the Human Development Index and highlights somewhat of a sad story, when we are so happy celebrating our growth rates and world reputation success, a lot many things are lacking. May be even aggravating - in this view of achieving only economic growth and race for money and world power! Sure, we are doing great in democracy and political freedoms, but what about the many unfreedoms of gender and income inequalities. I would say it’s a shame that women feel more respected in Pakistan than in India, although we are the world’s largest democracy in the world. More and more as you read the whole report…

Sitting in Norway and reading the HDR feels like we are miles away in India…, but even in closer geographies (e.g. SriLanka), I feel we are very far off from our potential as a society!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Installing Windows 7 from USB

I wouldn’t believe it is so simple… Just download the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool from Microsoft. Have the Windows 7 ISO file on your computer and a USB Pen drive with more than 3.5GB.

The tool will format the USB stick and then just cope over all the required files from the iso. Then you insert the USB stick, boot from it and go through the installation screens… Installs in 30min and you are done!! Didn’t expect it to be this smooth…

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Google TV has Android running on Intel x86

While we have seen till now most Android products running on ARM, including the $35 tablet and other tablets, Google TV is a product that will be running Android on an Intel Atom processor and that makes me super excited!! Google TV is Google’s bid to get into the TV market, but installing its Android OS on set-top boxes and then also doing deals with broadcasters. Think of Apple TV, but on an open-platform

You can check out Google TV blogpost here. Google TV is good and there are already many such devices, but what is more exciting to see that Android has been ported to x86. Google TV is supposed to run apps, search media as well as play many types of media. Thus, this means that the whole suite of stuff is running on x86 processors.

It begins with the Logitech Revue, which is insanely price at $299 compared to Apple TV, which is priced at $99. But again, something which is niche product at the beginning of its lifetime is a high-margin product. The thing runs on Intel's CE4100, an Atom-based system-on-a-chip (SoC) and is supposed to become very popular chip for a lot of consumer electronics products. The SoC’s core will run the operating system and the applications, while the other media stuff will run on a different chip.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Prefox: Firefox for the Palm WebOS

One mobile operating system that has not got enough consumer appreciation, but has got critical reviews is WebOS. I’ve played with WebOS in the Palm Pixi and it is indeed the most intuitive mobile platform, in my opinion beating iPhone OS, Android, Windows Mobile and Blackberry OS in terms of pure usability. HP also realized this and bought Palm (and all its assets) earlier this year. What the WebOS lacks, is the rich set of applications that other platforms have and love from the application developers.

To fill an important gap in WebOS, Firefox is in the works to be ported to WebOS platform. The product is under development and is called PreFox. It is based on the source-code of the Mozilla Firefox for Mobile. As developer Dave Townsend states “PreFox requires webOS 1.4.5 and so far has only been tested on a Sprint Palm Pre. It probably works a little better on a Palm Pre Plus but I have no idea whether it would even start on a Palm Pixi.”

Bulk SMS Ban for Ayodhya Case

In another weird act by the Indian government (after recent attempts to get ransom from Blackberry), there has been a ban on bulk SMS for a total of 72 hours. The ban has been imposed through a directive to all the mobile operators that all corporate SMS messaging service need to be blocked. The explanation to this directive is a precautionary measure to prevent SMS as a medium of communication to spread communal disharmony following the Ayodhya Case hearing on Friday.

The Ayodhya-Babri Masjid demolition case has been on for the last 17 years and people have fears that whatever the verdict, since one of the religious groups will be at loss in their agenda, there is expected communal disharmony. I personally do not believe that religious sentiments are strong enough after so many years and politics has gone beyond religious/caste topics to more development-oriented topics these days… But you never know what these politicians pay for Smile

Is SMS the only way to mass spread messages?? If the Indian government believes that SMS is the only way to spread mass messages, then they have probably not understood modern day technology. With internet and messengers, there are lot more ways to fast communication. Such directives only cause headache to people… like banking website that rely on SMS for transactions or SMS voting systems have failed to work in the last couple of days


Friday, September 3, 2010

Android Logo Inspired from Atari

Engadget put up an interesting story today, where it shows the Android logo seems to be inspired from a not-so-popular game on Atari, called the Gauntlet: The Third Encounter. Looks to me quite similar and definitely an inspiration when someone was thinking of an Android image. Nevertheless, I do not believe the suing game will start based on the logo alone...


This also reminds me of many other similar inspired logos from popular brands, which once came by email:

bacardi-swissair carrier-ford

sun-columbia swait-unilever

volvo-quicktime sinarmas-airbus

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Age of Empires Online: Signup for the Beta

How many years have I waited for this?? More than a decade of playing my favorite Real-Time Strategy game, the Age of Empires is finally coming online… and I am super excited. The thing is currently under beta and if you are lucky enough, you might well be one of the first people to play the game online with the world of friends, share kingdoms and be friends/enemy with players all over the globe.


Although Ensemble Studios was closed down, a few developers from the original game creation team moved to Robot Entertainment. These guys at Robot Entertainment have taken AoE online.

Together with the Games for Windows – LIVE service, "Age of Empires Online" delivers a rich, social experience that lets you play however you want - anywhere, anytime.
Marrying fresh features with iconic gameplay, "Age of Empires Online" offers something for long-time fans, newcomers and everyone in between. "Age of Empires Online" will feature:
* A persistent online capital city that lives and grows even when you're offline
* Cooperative multiplayer quests, trading and a level-based system that lets you progress at your own pace
* Fun, approachable style and storylines
* Free-to-play experiences via Games for Windows – LIVE

More information, news and chances to join the beta program are available at

Monday, August 16, 2010

Netbeans UML Moves to Community

Today after the hand over conference call, we are proud to be the first set of community developers (The Since 2010 developers) of the Netbeans UML plugin. I’ve been a fan of the Netbeans UML plugin, as it was simple and helped produce neat looking UML diagrams, without a lot of fuss. When the Netbeans developers from Sun decided to abandon the UML plugin, I was pretty disappointed. Nevetheless, a few weeks earlier, some members of the Netbeans community were contacted to get involved in reviving the module and I was among the interested developers.

The primary goal of the community developers will be to create a stable release that can be put back on the Plugin Center. This means eliminating the P1 bugs and then P2 bugs which are listed on the dashboard against UML. I hope we can do this before the next release of Netbeans, which is Netbeans 6.10. There are about 3 P1 bugs and 19 P2 bugs today and I’m sure there are more coming on the way as we move to committing fixes and reaching code that works with Netbeans 6.9… It is indeed a milestone that UML has been handed over to the community. Next is the tough part of make it available to the users, so that they can then start filing more bugs and enhancement request and make our contributions more interesting. The developer wiki pages will be updated soon as we start committing code.

NetBeans IDE UML Features is listed under Netbeans 6.9 Features

I guess we aren’t yet here, but we wanna be there soon…

$35 Indian Tablet Vs Dell Streak

Sagar, a friend of mine has been pushing me news about the new $35 laptop from the Indian HRD Ministry… And I’ve been saying it’s one of the false promises that politicians are known to make. Nothing good comes out of these news flashes. On the other hand, we also have another device that Dell is preparing to launch known as Dell Streak. These two devices have a lot in common, but are also quite different in the markets they are targeted for and obviously the price.

Now the Indian $35 Laptop:

  • Processor / Chipset still unknown
  • 7-inch resistive touch screen display
  • Capable of browsing the web
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • USB port
  • VGA camera on the back
  • Interestingly the software or the operating systems seem to be different in different demos. Some recent demos are showing an Android operating system, while the initial demos of the device seemed to have Meego installed on it. The device is still a year away from availability, but having seen it run and that too pretty smoothly for such a cheap device on Android, I am very pleasantly surprised. No technology in recent years has blown my imagination like this one… and if it can be mass produced with excellent software, this is the tablet that the world’s poor children were waiting. Understanding some of the challenges of such devices, I do not believe the tablet is still there. But it is definitely a leap forward…

    Dell Streak:

    The Dell Streak is another tablet device running the Android operating system. The Dell Streak is costing $550 and is available with a contract from AT&T at $300.

  • 1Ghz Snapdragon ARM processor from Qualcomm
  • 5-inch capacitive multi-touch WVGA
  • 5 MP autofocus camera on back
  • VGA camera on the front
  • 512MB RAM
  • 3G + Wi-Fi support
  • GPS
  • Accelerometer
  • Streak is pretty expensive when you compare it feature-wise to the Indian tablet. Obviously the market and the margins are different, but just goes to show the line between phones and tablets is blurring. As Android becomes more prevalent in the market, the line becomes more blurred. As realized in Meego, the combination of Maemo (Nokia) and Moblin (Intel-Linux) turns out to be very powerful smartphone OS. Although these devices are great, it is the applications that make the user-experience special and make these useful.

    As the Indian tablet progresses forward, the acceptance of the device are going to be determined by the applications that run on the device. If they are targeted towards children between the ages (6-12), it is going to be very interesting to build applications for them. Where education and knowledge can be taken to new limits, the true potential of such devices also depend on how they are delivered.

    Saturday, August 7, 2010

    Tabbed Interface to OpenMRS Global Properties

    I’ve always hated to scroll through long lists when trying to find the thing I’m looking for. Computer interfaces which are designed as long list and give you a hard time to look through all of the things without a filter is definitely bad design. But even with a text field filter, long lists take a lot of time to load... The two applications that I’m working with these days, OpenMRS and DHIS2, both have these long lists that in my opinion are a pain to use.

    The DHIS2 uses lists for data elements, indicators, users and these are not divided into pages. There is a text filter, but the time it takes to load the page when the list is long is excruciating. One of the recent examples, where we had over 5000 users in DHIS2 Punjab mobile application, it was excruciatingly slow to load that list of users. And then finding through that list to change anything is also quite slow and painful.

    Similarly in OpenMRS, one of the things I often use for our modules is the global properties. Modules can use the global properties infrastructure to store options and it is a quick solution when you want to store some settings that can be configured by the user for your module. But as the number of modules or the number of options in a module increases, it becomes a pain to search the exact option from that long list of options. It also does not have a text filter, but you can always use the browser search to reach what you are looking for and text filters, don’t really solve much. Infact, may be the text filter in your application does not have a shortcut, while Ctrl+F would quickly give you a browser search text field.

    Nevertheless, a quick hack by our developer Viet Nguyen (the JavaScript Ninja), was an OpenMRS module called moduleoptions. This is his first module, just to understand the OpenMRS framework and to me is quite a useful thing. It divides the global properties in tabs and makes the properties more manageable in my opinion. It provides better management to the long list of global properties and looks more convenient to use. It was developed in a few hours time and is definitely something that I would want to see as default when managing global properties. Below is a screenshot of how the global properties looks now:


    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    Netbeans 6.9.1 Released

    Update1: Due to technical difficulties as mentioned here… The download links are not available

    Update2: Its available for download again…

    The latest bug fix release for Netbeans IDE was just released few minutes back. Netbeans 6.9.1 contains some critical bug fixes and includes some new updates to the JavaFX IDE. Hard to believe, but the resources into JavaFX continues…

    NetBeans IDE 6.9.1 is a minor update to NetBeans IDE 6.9 and includes the following changes:

    • Availability of the latest IDE bundled with JavaFX SDK 1.3.1
    • Improvements to the JavaFX debugger
    • Important usability issues fixed in the JavaFX Composer and Editor
    • Critical bug fixes made to other modules since the 6.9 final release

    The complete release notes can be found here… Netbeans 6.9.1 can be downloaded from here.

    Fixing Wireless in OpenSuSE 11.3 and Dell Studio Laptops

    The new and shiny OpenSuSE 11.3 was released on 15th July, 2010 and I was eagerly waiting because it promised to give a preview of the GNOME 3.0 and LXDE desktops on the DVD. As with my forgetful self, I forgot about the release, until now when I had to create an openSuse based appliance (but this one is long story for another day)… Nevertheless, I downloaded the DVD image yesterday and was ready to install it.

    After the installation like I always do with the Dell Laptops (which have the Broadcom wifi chipset), go and download the Broadcom proprietary ‘wl’ drivers from packman repo. But this time, the 1-click install button didn’t work and gave some error message. Nevermind, I got the rpm and installed it. Rebooted the machine, but couldn’t find the wireless on… Odd I wondered and went to YAST and checked what was the issue… I discovered that starting from OpenSuSE 11.3, the ssb module is bundled with the kernel to deal with the Broadcom chipsets, but then Broadcom changed the hardware address and hence the driver doesn’t work correctly. Also because there are two options (wl and ssb), I couldn’t get the wireless automatically working after installing the ‘wl’ like it otherwise does.

    Thus, I realized that ssb and its dependencies need to be blacklisted and only then wl will be the only one available in the kernel and things will work well… Thus, the following steps need to be followed:

    1.) create a file 50-Broadcom-wl-blacklist.conf, if it does not exist with the following content:

    blacklist bcm43xx
    blacklist ssb
    blacklist b43
    blacklist ndiswrapper

    2.) install the Broadcom-wl, if you haven’t already installed. Download it from the above linked packman repo. If you had already installed it, then do the following:

    rmmod bcm43xx
    rmmod b43
    rmmod ssb
    insmod wl

    3.) reboot

    This should only load wl into the kernel and should show the wireless in the network manager or ifup, whichever you may want to use.

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Slow JSP Editing in Netbeans 6.9

    Haven’t blogged in a while, but today was reminded by a friend, that I need to write about this… We’ve been using Netbeans as our IDE for some years now.

    I have been acknowledged as the most significant contributor in the Netbeans 6.9 NetFIX program, which is a where community members fix bugs in the Netbeans release… But this is something that I’ve completely missed. The JSP editor performance for free-form projects sucks real bad in the Netbeans 6.9 final release. The problem started somewhere in the beta1 release where the whole IDE hangs after any change in made through the JSP editor. This has been one of the showstopper bugs and yet it became part of the 6.9 release. The issue has been filed here.

    Thankfully, the issue has been fixed and is part of the latest release of Netbeans and is a candidate for the Netbeans 6.9.1 which should be sometime during this month. In the meantime, if you have been affected by the slow performance, I suggest that you download the latest release from here. Also keep a watch of the final release of Netbeans 6.9.1 from the dashboard below:

    Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    Headphone in Linux on Dell laptop

    The newer alsa sound in Linux kernel has an issue with the headphone jack... Most distributions have issues with the newer Dell, Asus and other laptops which have the Intel 5 series or H55, P55 etc chipsets. These use the IDT codecs and work well on the normal laptop speakers.

    I got a Dell 1749 recently and had issues with alsa configuration which resulted in no sound from the headphone. The same problem with other dell studio and XPS laptops that are using that chipset. Adding model=dell-m6 in the /etc/modprobe.d/sound (or /etc/modprobe.d/50-sound.conf in opensuse 11.2) will solve the issue.

    Saturday, February 20, 2010

    Blackberry to Get a Better Browser.. Finally!

    Finally I must say... I am a big Blackberry fan. Emails are really my thing and nothing better than a Blackberry. But there are many times when I want to surf something from that link in the email and it does not work well. Some bad layout, bad javaScript... it sucks! Thankfully now there is some movement to integrate the WebKit engine into the Blackberry browser. Watch this keynote from Mobile World Congress '10:

    Blackberry had last year bought Iris browser (a Webkit based mobile browser) company called Torch Mobile... and I was waiting when they would use that asset. Now it seems it will come. How difficult is it to ship a product that you just bought??

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    Google Buzz: Google's Twitter

    Google today comes with another competition, for another web company. It's called Google Buzz and it's a microblogging tool for short conversations/photos/videos/feeds. Its is integrated and publishes to all you contacts from Gmail. It can be used from Gmail and hence very simple to use...

    The most interesting part to me is how it's integrated with all the other Google services like Picasa, Maps, Youtube. It is even linked to Twitter if you want to. Google Buzz can let you share your stuff with the world through public conversations or with a group of friends. Very interesting is how it provides recommendations and I expect the recommendations are going to be great because it comes from Google. Google is someone who knows more about u do that you yourself do!

    Watch the video that introduces us to Buzzzz:

    Tuesday, February 2, 2010

    The first axe on Sun after Oracle acquisition

    Although the hardware business and the way of working at Sun Microsystems would continue as outlined in a detailed 5hr marathon by Oracle Boss Larry Ellison, we have the first victim of the merger... and its the not-so-successful "Kenai" project hosting services from Sun Microsystems. According to the announcement, "It's with a sad heart that we have to announce that the domain will be shutdown as part of the consolidation of project hosting sites now that Sun is a wholly owned subsidiary of Oracle." was never a good launch... Not a lot of marketing, nor a lot of support or projects jumped into their bandwagon. But it was kind of a nice set of features that was providing. It had source-code hosting with version control where you could choose between Subversion, Mercurial or Git. Issue tracking you could choose between JIRA and Bugzilla. It also provided you with mailing lists, wiki, forums, downloads, chat room etc. Basically covering most of the part of the web infrastructure that today open-source projects want. Nothing innovative or original, you get all of those at other places and probably somewhat better packaged, but Kenai definitely gave a lot of choices.

    The announcement also mentions:
    Project Kenai has always existed as two different things: Kenai the infrastructure, and Kenai the website (  While it has come time to close the domain of, the infrastructure (which is already used under will live on to support other domains in the future.

    So, you see the real added advantage for using Kenai was for developers and projects using Netbeans 6.8 because it was very nicely integrated. You could manage issues, code, forums etc from inside Netbeans. Nevertheless, its the death of one of the failed products of Sun Microsystems. This may just be the beginning where we see many axes chopping failed projects. Hopefully none of the huge, monolith trees get chopped, only because they aren't fetching money!

    Friday, January 29, 2010

    High-Res Dock Icons from Netbeans

    I often use Netbeans and hence want that on my desktop. This time when I dragged to the desktop, it looked a bit out of touch... Edgy icon didn't look to good for  my favorite IDE. Luckily I knew Netbeans ships an icns file for the OSX.

    The icns (Apple icon format) - as wiki states "supports icons of 16×16, 32×32, 48×48, 128×128, 256×256 and 512×512 pixels, with both 1- and 8-bit alpha channels and multiple image states (example: open and closed folders). The fixed-size icons can be scaled by the operating system and displayed at any intermediate size"

    So, I go ahead and install "icnsutils" which gives me the nifty tool icns2png. Then I run the tool:
    icns2png -x -s 128 -d 32 netbeans.icns
    ...and get a nice 128x128 32-bit png file. This I use as the icon for the launcher or use it at the dock.

    Linux Mint 8 is Perfect for me

    Over the last 12 yrs that I've been using Linux never has a distribution impressed me this good. I keep experimenting with distributions when they are released. From Mandrake to Mandriva, Redhat to Fedora, SuSE to openSUSE and even Debian to Ubuntu... I thought I had seen it all. All the time I kept coming back to SuSE, but this time it seems different. I tried Linux Mint and I guess I will be sticking to it for long.

    Over these years, everytime I've felt something is missing and I will need some bloody configuration to make something work, but Linux mint is one distribution which suites me perfectly. It has video/audio codecs, flash, Java out-of-the box. Nice looking fonts, simple installation, everything I would want to have from an OS. Photoshop was available through the Wine Doors. All the devices worked, volumes were perfect, performance was good...

    I needed Cheese... Click on menu, in filter i write cheese... it shows install cheese, I click and enter password... cheese installed and I click the photo!! Perfect...

    Sunday, January 24, 2010

    Freedom to Innovate

    This one brings me back to blogging:

    Don’t we all want to be free??