Sandip's Programming Zen

An attempt to share tech/coding experiences

Archive for February 2008

WorldWide Telescope Presentation Video

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TED has finally made the presentation up on their website. This will give you gimps of the actual software. As Curtis Wong (the guy responsible for this project at Microsoft Research) mentions in video it is just 1% of actual software.

Written by Sandip

February 28, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Posted in Science & Tech

Microsoft Launches WorldWide Telescope at TED

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Microsoft has launched WorldWide Telescope service at TED. On the website they describe:

“The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a rich visualization environment that functions as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from the best ground and space telescopes in the world for a seamless, guided exploration of the universe.

WorldWide Telescope, created with Microsoft’s high-performance Visual Experience Engine™, enables seamless panning and zooming across the night sky blending terabytes of images, data, and stories from multiple sources over the Internet into a media-rich, immersive experience”

It is still in private alpha release so not open to public yet, but I believe it would be an awesome experience to see such a piece of software. I am really looking forward to it. And yes this is what made Scoble cry and he explains the reasons for it on his blog now, and I seem to agree with him.

Written by Sandip

February 28, 2008 at 4:46 am

Posted in Science & Tech

Enterprise 2.0

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Enterprise 2.0 is about Today’s enterprise workforce using Web 2.0 tools to interact and collaborate.

Why it’s relevant? Because the way we work is changing in the competitive economy and email does not give right information and right time. You can find a comparison of Enterprise 1.0 and 2.0 here.

In this video, Professor Andrew McAfee from Harvard Business School explains nicely about how Web 2.0 is going to change enterprises. The summery of the video is like this:

  • Prediction: the adoption of Web 2.0 tools within enterprises will have a larger impact on businesses than the arrival of Internet in the 1990s.
  • “Enterprise 2.0” refers specifically to how people are using software and technology to interact with each other.
  • Social software platforms are emerging, promoting collaboration and innovation.
  • “Social software” is designed to let people interact and collaborate. The benefits tend to increase as greater numbers of people become involved.
  • Deep changes, driven by the Internet, are changing how people are interacting using technologies. These have the potential to transform companies by facilitating better access to the collective knowledge and experience of employees.
  • New modes of collaboration are possible thanks to new tools which do not require participants to have any special technical knowledge.
  • Wikis, tags, blogs… deployed inside the firewall, these can provide a self-organizing and dynamic environment for enterprise communication to develop in.
  • Enterprise 2.0 tools open up the possibility of obtaining information and answers from people with whom you wouldn’t otherwise have the occasion to work directly with.
  • Over time, Enterprise 2.0 technologies will tend to increase differences between companies (internal culture, working practices…) rather than making them more similar.
  • This evolution is in its early phases right now: there is still a lot to learn about management, implementation and benefits. Progressively, some clear winners will emerge, with innovative processes and business models that will increase competitiveness.

You can find professor’s blog here.

Written by Sandip

February 23, 2008 at 6:22 pm

Posted in E-Commerce

Tagged with , ,

Edit OpenOffice docs without OpenOffice installed.

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People who mostly use MS Office often see difficulties when they receive or have to send docs in Open Office format, Of course you can install OpenOffice.Org and work, but is there a way out where you don’t have to install anything and still you can view, create, edit docs in OpenOffice format? The answer is Google Docs.

1. If you receive OpenOffice doc in Gmail then it is simple. Gmail automatically detects it and gives you link to open it in Google Docs, there it is saved and you can edit it.

2. You can also upload doc in Google Docs to view and edit them.

3. If you want to create a brand new OpenOffice doc then no problem, you can create a document in Google Docs and then Export it in OpenOffice format.

And, finally you can also convert your OpenOffice docs to MS Office format using that export feature and vice-versa.

Google Docs rocks.

P.S. OpenOffice.org is a great software and it can easily replace MS Office but this post if for those  who occasionally encounter OpenOffice docs and not want to keep an installed copy.

Written by Sandip

February 21, 2008 at 10:10 am

Solution: ERROR 2003, Can’t connect to MySQL server on ‘localhost’ (10048)

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The behavior is seen on Windows Server 2003.

If your application is using data connections in large numbers than sooner or later it will stop responding after some time and only way to make it working again is resetting iis service.

Asp.Net is using Ephemeral Ports to connect MySql via ODBC but in Windows 2003 server there is no maximum port value defined in registry (surprisingly on Windows XP it is). So after consuming certain number of ports there are no ports available to connect and finally application crashes. I have resolved this issue by creating MaxUserPort value in registry in following way. This has solved my problem.

1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit.exe, and then click OK.

2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters

3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.

4. Type MaxUserPort and then press ENTER.

5. Double-click the MaxUserPort value, and then type the maximum value in decimal or hexadecimal.

You must type a number in the range of 500065534 (decimal). Setting this parameter to a value outside of the valid range causes the nearest valid value to be used (5000 or 65534).

6. Click OK.

7. Quit Registry Editor.

Warning If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Use this solution on your Own risk.

Written by Sandip

February 19, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Posted in Troubleshooting

Carbon Sequestration

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According to web definition Carbon Sequestration is “The capture and long-term storage of carbon dioxide before it is emitted into the atmosphere. One example: a system for filtering CO2 out of the emissions of a coal-fired power plant and pumping the CO2 deep underground.

And, it is on of the 14 Grand Engineering Challenges of the 21st Century, reported wired.

CO2 is the biggest gas contributes towards Global Warming and Carbon Sequestration is seen as one of the solutions to it.

Currently commercial technology for Carbon Storage and Capture (CSC) is available to Coal fired power plants but still lot of research to be done to tape bigger sources such as automobile emissions.

Written by Sandip

February 16, 2008 at 11:56 am

Low cost of ownership – ASP.Net with MySQL

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Recently we shipped one Asp.net solution to our client with backend as MySQL.

Why we chose MySQL as backend, well the biggest reason is Cost of ownership to the customer, normally we use MS SQL but owning or renting it costs high to the customer (especially when they plan to host in-house). Using MS Access as backend is not recommended for enterprise scale applications. MySQL is almost free as well as a proven-reliable Database solution.

Here how we did it:

  • Installed latest MySQL 5.0.5 server release on Windows 2003 R2
  • Installed MySQL ODBC connector for Win32 platform. Yes, you have to use ODBC to connect to database.
  • Created System DSN using MySQL ODBC connector.
  • Changed our data connector class code, using Data.ODBC library instead of Data.SQLClient
  • Changed our sql queries little bit to adjust with MySQL, believe me there are no major difference in syntax, the most obvious difference you will see is in this syntax (example MS SQL: select top 1 * from table 1 MySQL: select * from table 1 limit 1).

It was fairly easy because we have hardly used stored procedures and most of our database transactions are handled through in-line queries. I believe using in-line queries are way to go if you making applications supporting multiple database.

If readers have specific questions then they can write to me, we will be happy to share our experiences on this.

In my next post I will write how we migrated a Live MS SQL database to MySQL.

Written by Sandip

February 15, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Posted in .Net