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How To Run Ubuntu in Windows 7 with VMware Player

| Thursday, February 25, 2010
Would you like to use Ubuntu Linux programs, but prefer the convenience of Windows 7?  With VMware Player, you can install a full copy of Ubuntu and integrate it with your Windows 7 computer for free.

VMware Player makes it easy to install Ubuntu Linux as a virtual machine in only 5 clicks.  It then offers easy access to Ubuntu programs straight from your desktop with Unity mode.  Here’s how you can set this up on your computer.

Getting Started

First, download and install VMware Player (link below).  It is a free download, but requires registration.

Read more: How-to-geek

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Free CG Software That Works

Time and time again, blogs in the CG community post a collection of free CG software to show what’s available on the freeware and opensource front. Unfortunately, the positive descriptions and legitimate-looking screenshots can lead people into believing that the workflow in the free CG world is identical or even better than that of payware CG apps. So, what I’m going to do is show you a comprehensive overview of free CG tools that you can actually use and not just look at.

Since there are no real offerings in terms of CG compositing, I’ll focus on two fundamental parts of 3D work: modeling and animation/rendering. I’m also going to avoid the really bare-metal applications like POV-RAY and all the RenderMan clones. Writing renderers, it seems, is a fairly trivial task. Writing animation and scene-composing applications, on the other hand, isn’t tackled by the free software community so much.


Modeling applications, unsurprisingly, are a dime a dozen. Most of them are polygon (extrusion) modelers that encourage the box-model paradigm. Therefore, I’ll attempt a very simple task, such as creating a box and extruding a single face of the box.


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How to download and crack a Xap in Silverlight

Sometimes it is useful to be able to download extra functionality into your application at runtime. It's always been possible to make a server call from Silverlight to download an extra assembly and load it into memory. But what if you'd like to download a bunch of assemblies in neat zipped up package.

As I'm sure you're already aware - this is exactly how Silverlight applications are downloaded. In a zip file called a xap.

It's easy to make another XAP that contains just libraries for use later. In Visual Studio, choose Add New Project and choose Silverlight Application. Yup, that was Application, not class library.

Now just delete the App.xaml and App.xaml.cs files to make it a Silverlight class library with the added benefit of being compiled and packed into a tiny xap file. You can also delete the MainWindow.xaml if you don't need it.

Read more: UK Application Development Consulting

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How to get Microsoft to speak at your event

If you’re holding a special event, such as a SQL Saturday or a user group, one of the challenges is to get speakers for the event. Now, the best speakers come from the community – people who use the product day-in, day-out. They have a wealth of expertise, and many of them are really great presenters.

But from time to time you might want to get a Microsoft person to speak at your group or event. Microsoft is a big company, and you can get everything from Marketing (yes, there’s a place for that) to deep technical topics in that skillset. But how can your group get Microsoft to speak for you?

It might be easier than you think.

Microsoft has three or four main areas that you might be able to pull from, starting with the folks that are closest to you: Sales.

Don’t make that face, there is sales and then there is sales. Within the sales team are four kinds of folks – your account manager, who owns the relationship between Microsoft and your company, the Sales professional, who owns the revenue and licensing for your account, the Account Technology Specialist (ATS) who knows about multiple Microsoft products, and the Technology Specialist (TSP or TS) that has a deep knowledge in a single technology, like SQL Server. These last two folks are the people who could deliver technical talks, especially around the newest products. And many of them are willing to do it. They are tied to a geographical area, so if your group has people in it that work at a company that is headquartered in that geography, the TSP and ATS might be willing to come out and chat with your group. And you might even want a Salesperson to come. Ever have a licensing briefing? Ever have questions? Ask them!

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Typemock Isolator – Much more than an Isolation framework

In my last post, I showed how to fake a dependency. But this involved doing a couple of things. First, it involved changing the original method. Then, I had to write wrappers (a real wrapper and the fake wrapper) and finally, I had to inject the fake object in the test. This is a lot of work, even for a very simplistic example. The solution for that is an isolation framework.

Isolation frameworks isolate the code from their dependencies, but they do it programmatically, and without hassle. What makes Typemock Isolator 2010 different than other frameworks (like Rhino Mocks and Moq) is that you don’t need to change the tested code just to test it.

Let’s look at the test we got last time – using a fake Message Queue to test that the message was called:

public void Send_StringMessage_MessageWasSent()
   var fakeQueue = new FakeMessageQueue();

   var server = new Server();
   server.SendMessage(fakeQueue, "message");


We’re actually doing two things in this test with our fakeMessageQueue object. The first is changing behavior – the SendMessage method does not call the original SendMessage method. The second is testing that the method was called. We do this by using a public field in the fake object.

Read more: IUpdateable from Eric Nelson

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Using Mocking Framework - Moq

I am sure you have heard about this if you have done unit tests before or you have experience in software development project that employs the TDD (Test Driven Development) approach.

What actually is a mock object? An object that mimics the behavior of real object in a controlled way. Mock objects are often used in unit test to simulate the behaviors of the dependencies for the object being tested. Mock objects are used because in real life the real objects are very impractical or impossible to create in the unit test environment. It is impractical and impossible because configuring and setting up all these real dependencies subjected to budgets, time or unavailability of the real dependencies at the time the unit testing is performed. For e.g. to unit test an object that uses a database, you  can easily setup up a SQL Server database connection with the Visual Studio and it is fairly simple and manageable task. What if the objects you need to test also depend on other data source that resides on the mainframe server in a secure environment or other third-party library that is still under development?

Let assume all the constraints to set up and configure the real dependencies for the objects to be tested don’t exist, then the unit tests themselves will look like the integration tests. This will defeat the purpose of unit testing as the unit test is to isolate each part of the program and to ensure each of this individual parts meet its design and behaves as intended. It meant to be simplest, fast and exercise very specific functionality.

The setting up and configuration of the real dependencies for the objects being tested should be deferred until the integration testing where the idea is to test the combination of units and to identify problems that occur when units are combined. It will eventually expand to testing the modules with those of other groups and finally all the modules that make up the process are tested together. It is significant slower than the unit testing.


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# 164 - Learning how to use Manual Mocks for Testing

In this episode we are going to take a look at how to use manual mocks for testing

Often times when creating unit tests we need to work in isolation in order to cover the paths we are attempting to test. When we want to test in isolation you can use a testing technique where you mock out your dependencies. When using Mocks you can either do it manually (what we are looking at) or you can use a mocking framework like Rhino Mocks. Either way you achieve the same results.

Read more:

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Мои первые шаги при создании Asp.Net MVC приложения

Каждый раз когда я начинаю новый проект на Asp.Net MVC, всегда выполняю кучу ритуальных действий, которые уже приелись. Вот небольшой список того, что я делаю слишком часто (и пора бы уже вынести это в отдельный темплейт).

   *      Определение базового класса контроллера. Это полезно для миллиона вещей, например для предоставления всем контроллерам быстрого доступа к сервисам, которые они используют. Единственный недочет так это то что у нас теперь есть AsyncController, так что получаются либо два разных базовых класса либо множественное наследование.

   *      Добавление в базовый класс обработчика отсутствующих путей, а также добавление страницы Http404.aspx для показа простенького сообщения об ошибке. Сам обработчик несуществующих путей выглядит так:

      protected override void HandleUnknownAction(string actionName)
       actionName = "Http404";


Read more: Дмитрий Нестерук – Статьи

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Why social media isn't just for teenagers anymore

How do you find IT jobs these days? Back in the day, the print publications were the main source. The first section that most IT professionals turned to when they got Computer Weekly or other trade magazines in the mail was the jobs part at the back. These days, the Internet has taken over as the main source for job seekers, but the signs are that employers and recruiters may not be taking advantage of it as much as they could. And that's potentially damaging, because innovation in online recruitment is speeding up.

Thanks to the economic crash, and the effect on information-centric industries such as financial services, jobs in IT these days are still relatively hard to come by. Almost a third of recent graduates are unemployed, and more than a quarter of those that are in work gross under £10,000, according to CWJobs' recent survey of 5000 jobseekers.

Read more: ITJOBLOG

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Recently I happened to find an error in the decision, which included the conversion:

     CAST(model AS VARCHAR)

Those who have studied the scheme "Computers", think about the absurdity of the type conversion in the same type (the column ‘model’ is defined as VARCHAR (50)). However, it is this conversion, and made the request wrong.

The fact is that, if the type size is not specified when converting, then SQL Server is set to defaults, which for VARCHAR are 30. Thus, if the converted string has larger size, then cut off all the characters except for the first 30. Of course, any errors will not occur. Just on the "long" model numbers the proposed decision and gave the wrong result. As they say in such cases, read the documentation. However, it is interesting that on this occasion Standard said?

Read more: SQL problem and solution

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How to Setup WinDBG

In order to successfully and effectively analyze a dump file it is very important to ensure your environment is configured correctly.

The first step is to ensure symbol paths are setup.  This is extremely important to have a successful analysis session.  Assuming you want your symbols to be stored on your local hard drive in a directory called “c:\symbols” you would create a folder structure that looks like “c:\symbols\web” and “c:\symbols\private”.  Set the _NT_SYMBOL_PATH and _NT_ALT_SYMBOL_PATH environment variables to “c:\symbols\private;srv*c:\symbols\web*”.  This symbol path will tell the debugger to look in the private folder first (where you can place your own private symbols as desired) then the web folder.  In the event that the debugger cannot find the symbol already in the web folder it will go the site and download them to the web folder, if they are available.

Note: If either environment variable already exists, do not overwrite their values without understanding the impact as it could negatively impact other applications that use them.  The symbol path is delimited by ‘;’ and you can often append the string above to the end of the existing string.

Next install the version of “Debugging Tools for Windows” that reflects the architecture of the dump you are analyzing.  If your machine is 32 bit you cannot install the 64 bit tools, but on a 64 bit machine both the 32 bit and 64 bit installations can coexist.  If the dump was taken from a 64 bit machine under WOW it will be considered a 32 bit dump.  After the package has been installed on one machine it can be copied to others as required.  

Read more: Practical Development

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10 shocking animations using CSS and I mean only CSS

Well I never knew that CSS can really produce such amazing effects that even games and puzzles can be created by it. cssplay is doing same thing , all examples and demos are worth checking and you will love them all. I have collected 10 demos which I liked

1. Calculator
2. Tic Tac Toe (Little Javascript)
3. Cops and Robbers – CSS puzzle
4. Not so simple photograph gallery

Read more: web developer juice

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Hg Init: a Mercurial tutorial

Mercurial is a modern, open source, distributed version control system, and a compelling upgrade from older systems like Subversion. In this user-friendly, six-part tutorial, Joel Spolsky teaches you the key concepts.

Read more: Hg Init

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Mercurial integration with Visual Studio

I recently posted about how to integrate Git with Visual Studio. Of course Git is not the only DVCS out there.

Mercurial is another source control system similar to Git that is having more and more relevance. Google code have been supporting it for quite a while and recently Microsoft announced that Codeplex is adding it as an option for new projects. (Codeplex already supported TFS and Subversion).

At work we use Fogbugz as our bug tracking/project management tool. A few months ago the people at Fogcreek started a beta for Kiln a code review/source control system that runs on top of mercurial.

I sign up for the beta and have been running a pilot project on it. Since I really like it I decided to start moving all our projects to Kiln and ditch Subversion. The piece that I was missing was a good integration into VS for the rest of my team.

A few day ago I found Mercurial VSS an integration package for Mercurial into VS.

The installation is very simple, just select the version of VS you want to install against (version 1.0.7 released today integrates without problems with both VS 2008 and 2010 RC).

Read more: The Dynamic Programmer

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How to Create a Contact Page or a Survey Feedback Form using Google Docs

Does you job involve collecting surveys and feedbacks? How do you do that? Do you send emails to your team, asking for reviews and manually enter into a sheet? or have a centralized excel sheet and ask everyone to update? – Now let me tell you, thats one sad way of doing., and I reckon.. even you will agree on that!

Now lets come to bloggers/Authors – Most of us have blogs and we all need our readers to connect with us, either for Questions or comments (compliments too..!). For this purpose we use plugins and embed it in our Wordpress/Blogspot blogs. Most of the times, you need to create an account in the plugin site and you really are not sure, if the same plugin will work, when you do a blog update. (Wordpress has frequent updates!!). Thats the compatiblity crisis!

This is where exactly, Google Docs can help you! Docs is a free service from Google, which provides you the same functionalities of Word, Excel and PowerPoint online. This means, you dont need Office to be installed on your machine. All you need is Internet and just your gmail id (I guess, everyone has it by now.!)
Ten Simple Steps to Create a  Contact Page or a Survey Feedback form

Step 1: Login with your gmail id, at

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A secure FTP component for .NET and Mono.

This initial release is a working, modified, component version of the BareFTP on the Mono and .NET 4 platform. This project is intended to create a Secure FTP code library for internal use within applications - this is not a graphical FTP client.

Read more: Codeplex

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PE-file Reader Writer API (PERWAPI)

PERWAPI is a module that reads and writes .NET program executable files. It was developed primarily as a file reader writer for programming language compilers. It defines classes for all of the features of the IL model, and methods to read and write the metadata of the PE-file. The module is written in C#, and does not rely on any facilities outside the base class libraries. It uses neither unmanaged code nor COM interop.

In its current form it supports most of the features of the .NET V3.5 framework.

Read more: Codeplex

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How to troubleshoot the “Red Arrow” issue in Component Services

In distributed environment, when we meet problems to call DCOM components or COM+ application, the first thing is to open the Components Manager to check or reconfigure COM+/DCOM settings.  However,  it is possible that when we open the Component Services, a “Red Arrow” displays on the “My Computer” node:


Read more: AsiaTech: Learning by Practice

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.NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 2 Update for Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP

There are some known incompatibilities in generic types using the BinaryFormatter or NetDataContractSerializer serialized and deserialized across a mixed .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and .NET Framework 4 environment. Installing this update addresses these issues.

Read more: MS Download

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Make your friends think twice before they click with ShadyURL's NSFW-looking links

There are dozens of URL shortener available on the web like,, and, to name just a few. They all take long URLs and squeeze them into fewer characters to make a link that is easier to share, tweet, or email to friends.

It's about using the smallest space possible: On Twitter or instant message status even a 60 character long URL can be too long. For example the URL contains 29 characters and can be shortened to - 17 characters. But it doesn't always have to be about efficiency.

Why not have some fun with your links?

ShadyURL is a little bit different: "Don't just shorten your URL, make it suspicious and frightening," they say. Hey, why use a run-of-the-mill link with some random letters when you can zap someone over to That'll make your coworkers think twice before they click -- or possibly not, depending on what they're into.

Okay, maybe it's not the best service for transforming URLs prior to sending them to your boss but definitely an eye catcher on Facebook and other social websites. Go check it out and hit the "try again" button after submitting your link to get a freshly-vandalized link.


Read more: DownloadSquad

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How Can I Ditch Cable and Watch My TV Shows and Movies Online?

Join the club! Some of us at Lifehacker HQ have already left or are ready to leave the cable company for 24/7 live TV streaming, too. We get this question all the time, and we've examined ditching the monthly bill in favor of watching programs online occasionally in the past, and we've also looked at ways to get your TV fix with apps like Boxee and Hulu, plus there are cool set-top devices like Roku and TiVo, but this is a good opportunity to get exhaustive. There are so many great options for catching a show here or there, but can you rely on them to replicate the cable TV experience? Well, yes and no.

If you're going to unplug from the cable company, prepare to exercise some patience when it comes to watching your favorite shows as soon as they air—it can take anywhere from a day to a week for them to appear online. Also, be ready to do some digging around to find who's streaming special events, sports, and other programming outside of the drama/sitcom variety. Let's take a look at ways to find certain types of programming without relying on your cable company.

# Clicker – Bookmark this site to help you figure out where your favorite shows are airing around the internet. It combs through what's available on Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming video sites, and is searchable by show or topic.
# Hulu – This video streaming service offers the five most recent episodes of dozens of many of the most-watched shows on television. Episodes are available for 30 days after their air date, so this is a great way to catch up on any shows you've missed. It's also full of full seasons of older TV shows
# CBS – Episodes from lots of current programming, as well as some oldies but goodies (MacGyver!)
# NBC – Check out new episodes of current primetime, daytime, and late night programming, and some original online-only series like Office parody show Ctrl.
# ABC – Episodes of current shows, including daytime programming and archives of specials like the American Music Awards

Read more: Lifehacker

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| Wednesday, February 24, 2010
StockTwitsIt was only a few months ago that StockTwits, a real time platform for stock traders to share information, broke away from Twitter and forged ahead on its own. Part of that separation was the creation of a desktop AIR application that created an entire investor ecosystem, including video, news and charts. Now those features are appearing on the StockTwits site itself, at For now the company will run the old and new sites side by side and give users a period of time to get comfortable with the beta site.

Read more: StockTwits

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EncFS encrypted filesystem in user-space

EncFS provides an encrypted filesystem in user-space. It runs without any special permissions and uses the FUSE library and Linux kernel module to provide the filesystem interface. You can find links to source and binary releases below. EncFS is open source software, licensed under the GPL.

As with most encrypted filesystems, Encfs is meant to provide security against off-line attacks; ie your notebook or backups fall into the wrong hands, etc. The way Encfs works is different from the “loopback” encrypted filesystem support built into the Linux kernel because it works on files at a time, not an entire block device. This is a big advantage in some ways, but does not come without a cost.

Read more: EncFS

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GMail Filesystem over FUSE

There is a Debian package which allows you to use GMail storage as a filesystem written by a nice guy named Richard Jones. He has a nice web site dedicated to it.

But, this implementation uses is based on something called libgmail which accesses GMail via its web interface. Unfortunately, that web interface changes constantly and libgmail not been able to keep up with the flux and is not working any more.

So, I went and stole Richard's code and improved it. Instead of using libgmail, I just used python's imaplib. GMail's IMAP interface should be pretty darn stable and not likely to break.

   * Mount gmail as a filesystem
   * Full UNIX uids, permissions, symlinks, hard links, and more...
   * Extended attributes (xattrs). This allows use of ecryptfs
   * Can store multiple filesystems inside the same GMail account
   * Stores files as attachments to email messages
   * Uses IMAP quota commands to determine free space available

Read more: GMail Filesystem

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Dokan library

What is Dokan Library

When you want to create a new file system on Windows, for example to improve FAT or NTFS, you need to develope a file system driver. Developing a device driver that works in kernel mode on windows is extremley difficult.By using Dokan library, you can create your own file systems very easily without writing device driver. Dokan Library is similar to FUSE(Linux user mode file system) but works on Windows.

Dokan library contains LGPL and MIT licensed programs.

   * user-mode library (dokan.dll) LGPL
   * driver (dokan.sys) LGPL
   * control program (dokanctl.exe) MIT
   * mount service (mouter.exe) MIT

How it works

Dokan library contains a user mode DLL (dokan.dll) and a kernel mode file system driver (dokan.sys). Once Dokan file system driver is installed, you can create file systems which can be seen as normal file systems in Windows. The application that creates file systems using Dokan library is called File system application. File operation requests from user programs (e.g., CreateFile, ReadFile, WriteFile, …) will be sent to the Windows I/O subsystem (runs in kernel mode) which will subsequently forward the requests to the Dokan file system driver (dokan.sys). By using functions provided by the Dokan user mode library (dokan.dll), file system applications are able to register callback functions to the file system driver. The file system driver will invoke these callback routines in order to response to the requests it received. The results of the callback routines will be sent back to the user program. For example, when Windows Explorer requests to open a directory, the OpenDirectory request will be sent to Dokan file system driver and the driver will invoke the OpenDirectory callback provided by the file system application. The results of this routine are sent back to Windows Explorer as the response to the OpenDirectory request. Therefore, the Dokan file system driver acts as a proxy between user programs and file system applications. The advantage of this approach is that it allows programmers to develop file systems in user mode which is safe and easy to debug.

Read more: Dokan  (and there's a .NET bindings !!!)

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Namespace extensions - the undocumented Windows Shell

This article explains how you can easily create a namespace extension with lots of features without doing lots of work by using some undocumented shell functions. The most noticeable function is SHCreateShellFolderViewEx, which creates the view for you and creates all interfaces you need for displaying the contents of your folder. You can modify the behaviour of the folder by implementing a callback function. This is how Microsoft implements its own namespace extensions.
Introduction to the windows shell

The windows shell is built around COM interfaces. The browser ("explorer") calls interfaces that are implemented by a number of DLL's and these DLL's can call back into the interfaces of the browser. You can extend the behaviour of the browser by plugging in your own DLL that implements the needed interfaces.

The householding of the DLL's is maintained in the registry, as is usual for COM objects.
The shell namespace

The shell namespace is a collection of folders that contain items. These items can in turn be folders, generating a tree structure. This ressembles the directory tree structure that is found in a file system, but should not be confused with it.

The top of the shell namespace tree is the Desktop folder. This folder contains "my computer", which in turn contains the drives on your computer. The part of the shell namespace that represents a drive looks almost the same as the directory structure on that drive, but is not exactly the same. The drive can contain additional items and existing items may look very different in the shell namespace.
Shell extensions

The DLL's that are plugged into the shell are called shell extensions. There are several kinds of shell extensions:

  1. A context menu extension puts extra items in the context menu that is viewed in the browser.
  2. A property sheet extension displays extra property pages in the property sheets that are viewed in the browser.
  3. A namespace extension adds extra folders to the namespace.


Every item in a folder is identified by an identifier, just like every file or directory on a drive is identified by a filename. This identifier is called a Pidl.

For someone who uses the shell to browse the namespace, a pidl is just an opaque structure that gets passed around without having any meaning.

Someone who implements a part of the namespace assigns a meaning to the pidls for his part of the namespace. The pidl is a variable-sized structure that can contain anything the implementor wants to put in. The pidl usually caches all information that is frequently needed. In a directory structure, the pidl contains the long and short filename and some other stuff.

Read more: Codeproject

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After 2 Years of Development, LTSP 5.2 Is Out

After almost two years or work and 994 commits later made by only 14 contributors, the LTSP team is proud to announce that the Linux Terminal Server Project released LTSP 5.2 on Wednesday the 17th of February. As the LTSP team wanted this release to be some kind of a reference point in LTSP's history, LDM (LTSP Display Manager) 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 were released on the same day. Packages for LTSP 5.2, LDM 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 are already in Ubuntu Lucid and a backport for Karmic is available. For other distributions, packages should be available very soon. And the upstream code is, as always, available on Launchpad.

Read more: Slashdot
Official site: LTSP

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Cassandra (database)

Cassandra is an open source distributed database management system. It is an Apache Software Foundation top-level project  designed to handle very large amounts of data spread out across many commodity servers while providing a highly available service with no single point of failure. It is a NoSQL solution that was initially developed by Facebook  and powers their Inbox Search feature. Jeff Hammerbacher, who led the Facebook Data team at the time, has described Cassandra as a BigTable data model running on a Amazon Dynamo-like infrastructure.

Cassandra provides a structured key-value store with eventual consistency. Keys map to multiple values, which are grouped into column families. The column families are fixed when a Cassandra database is created, but columns can be added to a family at any time. Furthermore, columns are added only to specified keys, so different keys can have different numbers of columns in any given family. The values from a column family for each key are stored together, making Cassandra a hybrid between a column-oriented DBMS and a row-oriented store.

Prominent Users

   * Facebook uses Cassandra to power Inbox Search, with over 200 nodes deployed.
   * Digg, the largest social news website, annouced on Sep 9th, 2009 that it is rolling out its use of Cassandra.
   * Twitter is working towards replacing storage of all tweets with Cassandra.
   * Rackspace is known to use Cassandra internally
   * Cisco's WebEx uses Cassandra to store user feed and activity in near real time
   * IBM has done research in building a scalable email system based on Cassandra

Read more: Wikipedia
Ofiicial site: Cassandra

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Welcome to the VisualDDK homepage. This project brings the simplicity and convenience of Windows application development to the driver development world. No more manual creation of build scripts, copying of driver files, installing drivers from INFs, switching between WinDbg and the source editor or waiting for seconds after each step due to the extra-slow virtual COM port. Just create a driver project using a convenient Driver Wizard, select a virtual machine, and enjoy debugging your driver directly from Visual Studio. Want to test a change? Just normally press Shift-F5, modify your driver, rebuild it and launch again. VisualDDK will unload the old driver, install the new one and load it automatically and quickly. Bored with WinDbg loading symbol files for minutes and looking up symbols for seconds? Just let VisualDDK optimize this for you using its own DIA-based symbol engine. Using C++/STLPort in your drivers? VisualDDK will natively visualize all STL containers and strings, as good as Visual Studio does for user-mode applications.

Note that Visual Studio by default queries lots of values from debuggee after each break/step (such as Autos, all locals, call stack, etc.). If you are planning to use VisualDDK with VMWare or VirtualBox, use the VirtualKD project (installed with VisualDDK), that replaces Virtual COM Port for VMWare and VirtualBox machines by a native KD interface, speeding up debugging ~18x for VMWare and ~48x for VirtualBox. Nevertheless, see the debugging speedup guide for more details.

Read more: VisualDDK

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Wishlist: Using the VMware Visual Studio plugin


Last year for Workstation 6.0, one of the features we added was a plugin for Visual Studio 2005 that allows developers to debug a project (native and managed C/C++, C#, or Visual Basic) inside of a Windows virtual machine (specifically Windows 98, Windows 2000, and later).  All of you Windows developers know how much of a pain it is to support multiple versions of Windows, but this tool is designed to make that process much, much easier.  The Visual Studio Integrated Debugger (VSID in short) plugin utilizes Visual Studio remote debugging technology to allow you to debug a project inside of a VM as if you were debugging on your host computer with the click of one button.

Read more: VMWare

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Hibernate Many-To-Many Revisited

The modeling problem is classic: you have two entities, say Users and Roles, which have a many-to-many relationship with one another. In other words, each user can be in multiple roles, and each role can have multiple users associated with it.

The schema is pretty standard and would look like:

CREATE TABLE app_user (
  PRIMARY KEY ( id ) );

CREATE TABLE app_role (
  PRIMARY KEY ( id ) );

CREATE TABLE app_user_role (
  user_id INTEGER,
  role_id INTEGER,
  PRIMARY KEY ( user_id, role_id ),
  FOREIGN KEY ( user_id ) REFERENCES app_user ( id ),
  FOREIGN KEY ( role_id ) REFERENCES app_role ( id ) );

But there are really two choices for how you want to expose this at the Hibernate / EJB3 layer. The first strategy employs the use of the @ManyToMany annotation:

@Table(name = "APP_USER")
public class User {
   private Integer id;

   @JoinTable(name = "APP_USER_ROLE",
      joinColumns = { @JoinColumn(name = "USER_ID") },
      inverseJoinColumns = { @JoinColumn(name = "ROLE_ID") })
   private java.util.Set roles = new HashSet();

@Table(name = "APP_ROLE")
public class Role {
   private Integer id;

   @ManyToMany(mappedBy = "roles")
   private java.util.Set users = new HashSet();

The second strategy uses a set of @ManyToOne mappings and requires the creation of a third “mapping” entity

Read more: JBoss Community

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Интересно о C#: странное поведение структур

Рассмотрим следующий код:

struct S
 private string blah;
 public S(string blah)
     this.blah = blah;
 public void Frob()
 { // whatever

Следующий код будет работать:

S s1 = new S();

Каждая струкура имеет конструктор по умолчанию, в котором все поля иницилизируются со значениями по умолчанию. А как насчет этого кода?

S s2;

Похоже, мы увидем ошибку "Use of unassigned local variable 's2'". Интересной особенностью C# компилятора является тот факт, что ошибка присвоения будет выдана лишь в том случае, если структура компилируется с исходного кода. В случае, если структура находится в подключенной библиотеке, ошибка не будет выдана! Рассмотрим другой пример:

Read more: Microsoft User Group

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How to take ownership of your local SQL Server 2008 Express

Ward Beattie, one of our developers, has published a nice script  that allows you to get sysadmin privilege to your local SQL Server Express instance. Obviously, you need to have administrative rights on your machine or access to an account that does.

The script can be very useful in the following situation:

When Visual Studio 2010 RC is installed by one user and being used by another user, the second user is unable to create databases, tables and other objects in SQL Server 2008 Express instance that is installed by Visual Studio 2010 RC. This is because only the user who installed SQL Server 2008 Express is granted sysadmin role in the SQL Server 2008 Express. So even if the second user has administrative privileges to her machine, she will not be able to manage the local SQL Server 2008 Express instance.

If this is your problem, just run Ward's script and become the master of your SQL Server 2008 Express!

Read more: SQL Server Express WebLog
Download: Script

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Comparing the Performance of Visual Studio's Web Reference to a Custom Class

As developers, we all make assumptions when programming. Perhaps the biggest assumption we make is that those libraries and tools that ship with the .NET Framework are the best way to accomplish a given task. For example, most developers assume that using ASP.NET's Membership system is the best way to manage user accounts in a website (rather than rolling your own user account store). Similarly, creating a Web Reference to communicate with a web service generates markup that auto-creates a proxy class, which handles the low-level details of invoking the web service, serializing parameters, and so on.

Recently a client made us question one of our fundamental assumptions about the .NET Framework and Web Services by asking, "Why should we use proxy class created by Visual Studio to connect to a web service?" In this particular project we were calling a web service to retrieve data, which was then sorted, formatted slightly and displayed in a web page. The client hypothesized that it would be more efficient to invoke the web service directly via the HttpWebRequest class, retrieve the XML output, populate an XmlDocument object, then use XSLT to output the result to HTML. Surely that would be faster than using Visual Studio's auto-generated proxy class, right?

Prior to this request, we had never considered rolling our own proxy class; we had always taken advantage of the proxy classes Visual Studio auto-generated for us. Could these auto-generated proxy classes be inefficient? Would retrieving and parsing the web service's XML directly be more efficient? The only way to know for sure was to test my client's hypothesis.

This article details the experiment we set up to test this hypothesis. Read on to see our results!

Read more: 4 Guys from Rolla

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Internet Safety for Enterprise & Organizations

This kit offers some tools that you can use to help your emloyees learn the skills they need to work more safely on the Internet and better defend company, customer, and their own personal information. What's in this kit Kit Instructions: Internet Safety at Work Readme - Instructions for how to use this kit, including printing instructions for the "Top Tips" card. PowerPoint Presentation: Internet Safety at Work Presentation - Give practical advise to help employees secure their computers; protect corporate, customer, and personal data; and defend their mobile devices. Tip Card: Top Tips for Internet Safety at Work Card - Condenses presentation information into a two-sided card ready for printing. Video: Stay Sharp at Work - Presentation information in a three-minute video. Quiz: Test Your Internet Safety IQ - Distribute this quiz before, during or after your presentation.

Read more: MS Download

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The 10 Keys to a Successful Web App

Think of your favorite web applications.  The ones that you keep going back to again and again.  Even the ones that you are willing to pay for.  Chances are, it was fast, clean, instantly useful, and easy to find.  Along with these main features, there are also many other important factors to consider when building a web app.  Speaking today at the Future of Web Apps conference in Miami, Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist from Union Square Ventures, outlined several key principles for building a successful web application.  Wilson knows the indicators that hint at potential greatness in a web app.  His company invested in Twitter, Foursquare, Boxee, Delicious, and Feedburner at an early stage.  The following principles are what he calls "The 10 Golden Principles for Building Successful Web Apps."

Instant Utility

Read more: DZone

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An Overview Of System.Collections.Generic

I recently put up a post on my blog about some of the new concurrent collections in .NET 4.0, and I noticed that a lot of people were being sent by Google to those posts who were only searching for System.Collections. I figured that maybe people could use a similar overview of the collections available to them in the System.Collections.Generic namespace, since it seems to me that no one uses anything other than List and Dictionary. So, in this post, I am going to take a look at a few of those collections, and explain exactly why you would want to use them.

Keep in mind as you read through this list that you shouldn't just start switching out collection types in code that you already have working. If something is working and performing properly for you, it is almost always better to take the easier route until you have proof that the easy approach does not work for you.

Read more: CodeThinked

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185+ Very Useful and Categorized CSS Tools, Tutorials, Cheat Sheets

In this article you will get access to one of the largest collections ever of CSS Tools, Tutorials, Cheat Sheets etc. It builds on previous CSS posts in tripwire magazine with the purpose of creating a one stop fit all CSS resource. Several new resources have been added.

Please comment if you know a great CSS resource that didn’t make it on the list and I will add it ASAP.

Read more: Tripwire

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SQL Server Triggers

The sixtieth and final part of the SQL Server Programming Fundamentals tutorial considers the use of triggers. SQL Server triggers can be defined against tables and views to intercept insert, update and delete statements and modify their results.

What are Triggers?

Triggers are a special type of stored procedure. Instead of being executed manually, they run automatically in response to events that occur in a database. In this article we will examine triggers that run when data is inserted, updated or deleted. There are other types of trigger supported by SQL Server 2005 that allow actions to be performed when the schema of a database is changed or when a user logs on. These are beyond the scope of this tutorial.

Triggers are often used to audit changes to data by recording when modifications are made and, optionally, the previous version of the information. They are also used to enforce business rules and data integrity when those rules are too complex to be controlled by primary keys, foreign keys, unique constraints or check constraints. In such cases, rules may be checked and, if broken, data changes can be disallowed, transactions can be rolled back and errors may be raised.

Read more: BlackWasp

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Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) 1.0 SP1 Release Candidate Available for Windows 7

Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) 1.0 SP1 Release Candidate  enables deployment and management of Microsoft Virtual PC to address key enterprise scenarios, primarily resolving application compatibility with a new version of Windows.

Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) removes the barriers to Windows upgrades by resolving application incompatibility with Windows Vista or Windows 7.  MED-V delivers applications in a Virtual PC that runs a previous version of the operating system (for example, Windows XP).  And it does so in a way that is completely seamless and transparent to the user. Applications appear and operate as if they were installed on the desktop, so that users can even pin them to the task bar.  For IT administrators, MED-V helps deploy, provision, control, and support the virtual environments.

Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization is an integral tool in the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, a dynamic solution available to Software Assurance customers that helps reduce application deployment costs, enable delivery of applications as services, and better manage and control enterprise desktop environments.

Similarly to MED-V 1.0, MED-V 1.0 SP1 will leverage Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 to provide an enterprise solution for Application compatibility, and enabling the deployment of Virtual PCs across the enterprise.

Read more: Blake

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Using Group Policy to Deploy Applications

How to use the Active Directory to deploy applications, even if those applications do not come with a Windows installer package.

One of the biggest chores that administrators have to deal with is application lifecycle management. Whether an office has 20 PCs or 20,000, no one likes the idea of going from machine to machine with an installation CD every time a new version of an application is released. There are programs that are designed to help administrators manage applications across a network, but most tend to be overly complicated and expensive. Microsoft’s SMS Server for example costs $1,219, not counting the necessary Windows Server license or additional client access licenses beyond the ten that the product comes with.

What you might not realize though is that Windows Server contains tools that you can use to deploy applications throughout your organization without having to buy any third party software. I will tell you up front though that the built in software deployment tools are not as good as what you would get in a third party application. Therefore, if you already have a copy of SMS Server or something similar, you will probably want to keep using it.

Before We Begin

The technique that I’m about to show you will allow you to deploy applications through the Active Directory. One of the major limitations behind this type of application deployment is that you can only use this technique to deploy certain types of applications. Specifically, you can install Windows Installer packages (.MSI files), Transform Files (.MST files), and patch files (.MSP files).

Read more:
Read more: MS Support (How to use Group Policy to remotely install software in Windows Server 2003)

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SQL fundamental tutorial

From the beggining level to advance. Including Server installation, TSQL, logic, etc...  Huge work

Read more: BlackWasp

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Announcing the YouTube SDK for .NET

I am happy to announce a new resource for the .NET fans in the YouTube developer community. The YouTube Software Developer Kit for .NET contains all you need to get you started with the YouTube API using Visual Studio 2008.

The SDK includes a help file, a project template and the following sample programs:

   * An application that use the Simple Update Protocol to watch for YouTube activity from a group of users.
   * An example ASP.NET website that illustrates the use of AuthSub authentication.
   * A bulk uploader tool that uses the new ResumableUploader component to asynchronously and reliably upload video files. Multiple threads are used to process video metadata, which is read from a CSV file.

After installing the SDK, you can open Visual Studio 2008 and select the YouTube template to get started writing your own code.

Read more: Youtube

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Description of the update for Windows Activation Technologies

There is an update available to the activation and validation components in Windows Activation Technologies for Windows 7.

Windows Activation Technologies helps you confirm that the copy of Windows 7 that is running on your computer is genuine. Additionally, Windows Activation Technologies helps protect against the risks of counterfeit software. Windows Activation Technologies in Windows 7 consists of activation and validation components that contain anti-piracy features.

   * Activation is an anti-piracy technology that verifies the product key for the copy of Windows 7 that is running on your computer. The product key is a 25-character code that is located on the Certificate of Authenticity label or on the proof of license label. These labels are included with each genuine copy of Windows. A genuine product key can only be used on the number of computers that are specified in a software license.
   * Validation is an online process that enables you to verify that the copy of Windows 7 that is running on your computer is activated correctly and is genuine.

Update ID:  KB971033

Read more: MS Support

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How to ask a question

(this site can teach you everything ! :)

When posting questions to a professional forum or newsgroup it is vital to format the question and it's content in a proper way in order to greatly increase the possibility for quickly receiving a good answer, and thus saving you time and frustration.

Read more: MSDN

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Body art

| Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Strange signs


10 most unusual calendar designs


Top 10 Largest Databases in the World

Some people have a tendency to collect items and they have collected something or the other during the course of their lives. While some collected coins, others collected stamps. These top 10 large databases collect newspapers, books, numbers, records- you name it, and they’ll have it.

10. World Data Centre for Climate

This database is controlled and maintained by the German Climate Computing Centre as well as the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. This database could be examined to find the patterns that led to the severe changes in the climatic conditions.

9. National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center

The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center is the second largest database of the world. It is controlled by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the United States of America. It holds research information related to atomic energy, high energy physics, theories related to various topics, etc.

Read more: The World Biggest

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   FreeMind is a premier free mind-mapping (  software written in Java. The recent development has hopefully turned it into high productivity tool. We are proud that the operation and navigation of FreeMind is faster than that of MindManager because of one-click "fold / unfold" and "follow link" operations.

So you want to write a completely new metaphysics? Why don't you use FreeMind? You have a tool at hand that remarkably resembles the tray slips of Robert Pirsig, described in his sequel to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance called Lila. Do you want to refactor your essays in a similar way you would refactor software? Or do you want to keep personal knowledge base, which is easy to manage? Why don't you try FreeMind? Do you want to prioritize, know where you are, where you've been and where you are heading, as Stephen Covey would advise you? Have you tried FreeMind to keep track of all the things that are needed for that?

Did FreeMind make you angry? Write a complaint

Read more: FreeMind
Linux installation: Info

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Quickstart: a good list of SharePoint Resources


Many customers in the process of rolling out SharePoint across the organization have recurring questions about the best sources for training and tools.  Below is a compiled list of some of the available resources (kudos to Gabor & his credits for the list):

Training and Adoption:

Technical White papers:

Read more:  shadowbox | 2010 wave for developers

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MeeGo Support in MonoDevelop

We just landed the support on MonoDevelop's trunk to support developing applications that target MeeGo powered devices.

MeeGo is a Linux-based operating system designed to run on mobile computers, embedded systems, TVs and phones. Developers would not typically use a MeeGo device as a development platform, but as a deployment platform.

So it made sense for us to leverage the work that we have done in MonoDevelop to support the iPhone to support MeeGo. Unlike MonoTouch, we are not limited to running on a Mac, you can use MonoDevelop on Windows, Linux and OSX to target Meego Devices.

Read more: Miguel de Icaza's web log

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