Sunday, November 26, 2006

Got Vista & Office 2007 Installed

After patiently waiting for nearly 24 hours to get my MSDN Windows Vista downloaded to my PC, I was able to install it in my PC last night. I should say it was worth the wait. If I remember correctly this is the first time that I had a troublefree installation of Windows OS. I have Windows XP in my system and I installed Vista so I could dual boot into both the systems. Other than the interface and the graphics I dont find any major change in the OS. Microsoft has put in quite a lot of effort for the graphics. For a minute I was thinking that I was looking at a Macintosh system and not windows.

But so far I haven't seen anything worth in Vista which will force a user to go out and upgrade the current version. I tried out Media Center and it looks really cool. I also installed Office 2007 after reading quite a few blogs mentioning the ribbon interface. It looks very and feels very different. As an occassional user I found it really nice visually. But we have to wait and see what the end user who is going to use it for the whole day. I didn't like the gadgets on the desktop I feel it's just waste of precious desktop area but some will like it. I am sure there is a new market for developers to create new widgets.

I will keep blogging about the other cool things which I find in Vista.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Xbox 360 for only 100 $

Can you believe it ??? Amazon is giving out 1000 units of xbox for only 100 $. I saw a Amazon poll last week presenting a list of items they want to offer at really low prices and they had Xbox 360 for 100 $ instead of the standard 299 $. I was pretty sure people will vote for xbox 360 and the results came y'day that they are going to offer Xbox 360 for that price.. Wow !! I am really excited. It is going to be available in sale starting at 11:00
AM PST(thanks brian for correcting that). I am sure it is going to available for not more than 10 seconds.

Wish me luck !!! I hope I end up getting one of those !!!

Test Driven Development in .Net

I am sure every curious developer will be interested in learning about the test driven development (TDD) methodology. While developing a new software a software developer takes the approach of design and then coding. But TDD emphazies the opposite, stressing the need to prepare test cases even before writing the code. Take a look at this excellent article on how to learn the TDD for a sample project.

The author explains the advantage of using TDD and how to buildreusable test cases for a project. I have always been interested in implementing it for my previous project but the domain of the project (healthcare) and unrealistic deadlines for some of the projects made it really tough to implement the same. Creating the automated test cases in most cases will take more time than the actual coding itself. But I am sure I could have done a better job in some of the areas had I used TDD. Nunit is a great open source tool available for doing automated unit testing. So go ahead and try implementing TDD for your projects and let me know what you think about it.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Do you want Free Software ??

Lifehacker has posted a post about a cool new site for downloading free software giveawayoftheday. Read "Free software" it is not shareware, not freeware but commercial software which you should normally pay a fee to use is available to download freely. I am not sure how this business model is going to work. The website claims that it will pay the company money to make the software available for free download. The site is in beta now and I think it has been functioning only for few weeks now, but I haven't seen any sensational softwares available free over there.. But I certainly dont hope to see Vista or Age of Empires over there anytime soon. But would be nice to get some really nice free softwares.. so keep watching !!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cool tool for Remote Logging - LogMeIn

This is the coolest tool I have found in a long time. Check it out in Logmein. This is very useful if you want to remote login to one computer using a browser. I just tried it out by installing it in my home laptop and logging in remotely from my office laptop. Now I can take a look at any file/code in my home by using this tool and all I need is an internet connection to access them. I am not sure about the security of this application. But I am sure the developers who thought about this kind of an application would have put in decent thought about the Security aspects of it. You have pay if you want to sync files between the computers. But you can always use foldershare which is a better tool to sync up files between different computers.

I would strongly recommend this to be installed in your parents PC and you can troubleshoot any issues easily from anywhere as long as they are connected to the internet. WOW !!

The last few days have been really fun trying to check out the interesting tools that I have missed out for some time.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Portable Applications - How far will they go?

Have you heard of this term "Portable Apps" ?? When I heard of this term for the first time I thought it was some kind of application which is written in Java which can be easily ported to other platforms.. ;) But that's not the case.. The definition goes something like this

"portable - carried or moved with ease
app - a computer program like a web browser or word processor
A portable app is a computer program that you can carry around with you on a portable device and use on any Windows computer. When your USB flash drive, portable hard drive, iPod or other portable device is plugged in, you have access to your software and personal data just as you would on your own PC. And when you unplug, none of your personal data is left behind."

from the site PortableApps.

It's funny that oneside world is moving towards bigger machines with GBs of RAM for hosting faster/bigger applications and on the other side we have started looking for applications with small footprints that can be carried in a USB drive mainly to minimize the security theft of our data. I think employers should start forcing employees carrying sensitive data to start working with PortableApps thereby reducing the chance of data theft that has been happening recently with the reports of lost laptops with sensitive customer data.

I am surprised to see so many utilities/audio/video/games available for portable apps. I think one good outcome of this will be the shift in the developer mindset to develop applications with smaller footprint which has been lost in the past decade b'cos of the availability of huge storage spaces.

History of Computer Programming Languages

I came across this cool web page showing the history of computer programming languages in this diagram. Someone must have spent quite a lot of time to comeup with this pictorial representation. It's a common saying that "A picture is worth thousand words" and that's exactly true when you see this picture you get the whole idea of the history of Computer Programming languages

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Site of the Day - BetaMarker

I came across this cool site - BetaMarker it has an extensive collection of shareware/freeware tools/utilities for various areas like System Utilities, Audio/Video..etc.

I was looking to download a password manager for a long time to use in my system, since it was becoming real difficult to remember/cut & paste passwords from the text file I used to maintain. So I downloaded "Roboform" from BetaMarker will write another blog entry to say how roboform has been helping me maintain my passwords. So far I am happy with it.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Cool New Site - Zamzar

I came across a cool new site probably it has been around for a long time, but I came across it today. Zamzar is a site which provides you the functionality to convert your files to different formats without downloading any utility in your computer. They have multiple options for converting doc, video and audio files. I will use it going forward when I am having tough time especially for converting between various video file formats.