Wednesday, December 26, 2012

40 tricks to arm yourself for the new year

Gizmodo has a nice list of 40 very useful tricks for solving everyday problems. Check it out here.

Blogger keeps getting better

Blogger is getting better and more integrated with Google & Plus with the following new & useful features:

Good to see so many good features being added to blogger towards the end of 2012.
Hope 2013 makes it even better.

Google extends free GV calls to US & Canada through 2013

Google has announced the extension of free US & Canada calling using Google Voice through 2013!
Read the terse "official blog post" if you wish to hear it from the horse's mouth!
Yaay for all us Obi+GV users!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How to find if a port is in use on Linux/Unix

You can use the two below commands to figure out if a particular port is in use on a Unix/Linux box:
sudo netstat -tulpn | grep [port_number]
Or you can also use the following expanded command:
sudo netstat --all --programs --numeric-ports | grep [port_number]
If these commands return something, then the port is definitely in use. You could also use the above commands without sudo but then you might not get all the details of the process that is using the port.

Android Apps for 25cents

To celebrate 25 billion app downloads, Google Play (App Store) is offering great apps at a discounted price of $0.25 each. Check out the apps here. You can also read more on the office blog here.
Keep an eye on the play store, as they also plan to:
offer some special collections like 25 movies you must own, 25 banned books, 25 albums that changed the world and our 25 top selling magazines, all at special prices

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

OVH USA Alpha Servers

A couple of weeks back I was given an Alpha Server for testing by OVH US who are well established in Europe and are starting a new data center in North America.

The Manager back-end is very simple and makes re-installs / re-boots a breeze. They provide a choice of OS images if you want to re-install: Solaris, Windows, FreeBSD & Linux. Choosing Linux provides a plethora of options, notable among them is Linux Hadoop Cloudera CDH3 "pseudo-distributed"

Here are the server specs:
ProcessorIntel Core i3 2130 2x2(HT)x3.4+ GHz
Architecture64 bit
HDD2 x 1 TB - SATA2

So far the network speed has been very good, but the Hadoop image had a very basic thing missing - JAVA_HOME and HADOOP_HOME had not been setup in the default shell.
Also, this image did not contain Mahout which had then to be downloaded and installed separately. But then again these are just Alpha servers and such simple problems are to be expected.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Delete first and last line of a file

To delete only the first and last lines of a file on *nix, you can use the following sed one-liner

sed "1d;$d" < inputfile.txt > outputfile.txt

Similarly, you can extend this example to other specific line numbers in the file as well.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New UI for G+ is rocking

Google+ finally has a brand-spanking new GUI which is quite different from the rest. In Google's vein, it is quite simple, elegant, minimal yet functional. Check out the new features on the official blog in this post. I am enjoying every bit of it and looking forward to more such good things from Google. What do you think - let me know in your comments!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

101 Useful but lesser known Websites

I came across a list of 101 very useful but not very highly known websites that can be very useful for example for sharing your screen over the internet with others, or editing pdf files in the browser, or create nice charts/graphs, and so on.

Check out the links on original post here. You can also download the full article in pdf from the bottom of the original post.

Get free email alerts when your website is down

Recently Amit Agarwal of Digital Inspirations posted a nice article on how to get free email alerts when your website goes down. His solution uses Google Docs Spreadsheet with some nice scripting using Google URL Fetch Service, Google Mail Service and Google Spreadsheet API to create a trigger to check for the specified URL at the given intervals. The script logs the status of the test and also emails the specified address with the details when there are issues and also after the site is back.

Check out the details and get the Google Doc Spreadsheet from his blog post here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How to Install CM9 onto HP TouchPad - Step by Step Instructions

Here are the set of detailed instructions to get CM9 (ICS) Alpha 0.6 release installed onto your HP TouchPad - courtesy of my brother Rohit.

Download the following 6 items:
3. Moboot 0.3.5 (Mobile Open Bootloader for HP TP):
4. update-cm-9.0.0-RC0-Touchpad-alpha0.6-fullofbugs (Alpha0.6 CM9 for Touchpad): Mirror1: ; Mirror2:
5. gapps-ics-20111230 (Google Apps for CM9):
6. To run "ACMEInstaller2" from your PC, you need Novacom drivers installed.  If you do not have them, please download from here: 

Once the appropriate version of this file is installed on your computer, a folder named "Palm, Inc" should be created under C:\Program Files folder.  

1.  Copy "ACMEInstaller2" in this folder.
2.  Connect the HP Touchpad to the computer via USB. Once connected, tap the alert to enable Mass Storage Mode on the HP Touchpad.
3. Copy the ClockworkMod Recovery & Moboot zips into a folder in the media directory of the HP Touchpad called "cminstall" and Restart the HP Touchpad.
4. Once the screen goes black, hold down the Volume Up button until an USB symbol appears on the screen.  Once the computer recognizes the HP Touchpad, open terminal and naviagte to: C:\Program Files\Palm, Inc ( the directory Novacom is in) .
5. In the terminal on the computer, run the following command:
      novacom boot mem:// < ACMEInstaller2

The ClockworkMod Recovery & MOBoot should now be installed on the HP Touchpad.

To Install Google Market & Apps on CM9:

1. Reboot the HP Touchpad, and boot using Moboot by choosing "ClockworkMod"
2. Choose "install zip from sdcard", then choose "choose zip from sdcard"
3. Find and select the "" file you placed on the Touchpad;
4.  Google Market & apps will install;
5.  Reboot into CM9 - viola! you are all set.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Can't wait to play with Raspberry Pi and Twine

Have been keeping an eye on Twine and RaspberryPi as two very interesting little harwdare toys to lay my hands on and play with. Both are very interesting in terms of providing a very small footprint & energy usage profile at a reasonable price-point, while still managing to do something useful. These are like building blocks that you can tinker around with to create a useful real-life application. If you have wanted to play around with hardware applications without getting your hands dirty (for that, there's Arduino!), then these are very good starting points.

But most importantly, need to get some good ideas for applications based on these devices ... hmmm ... ...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Date Math in Oracle

If you are using Oracle 9i or greater, you can use the interval data type to do simple Date arithmetic as follows:

select sysdate + interval '2' hour from dual; -- to add 2 hours to current time

select sysdate + interval '5' minute from dual; -- to add 5 minutes to current time

select sysdate + interval '24' second from dual; -- to add 24 seconds to current time

For adding or subtracting days, you can simply add it as below:
select sysdate + 3 from dual; -- to add 3 days to current date

select sysdate - 6 from dual; -- to subtract 6 days to current date

select last_day(sysdate) - sysdate from dual; -- to find the number of days from current date to end of month

However when adding months, it is better to use the functions provided by Oracle:
select add_months(sysdate, 2) from dual; -- to add 2 months to current date

select add_months(sysdate, -3) from dual; -- to subtract 3 months to current date

To select the date of the next specified day, you can use the NEXT_DAY function:
select next_day(sysdate, 'SAT') from dual; -- to get the date on next Saturday after current date
-- use SUN, MON, TUE, WED, THU, FRI or SAT

To get the last date of the month for the specified day, you can use the LAST_DAY function:
select last_day(sysdate) from dual; -- to get the date on last day of current month

Cloud based app delivery starts heating up

Embarcadero Technologies has come up with its AppWave Store which converts Windows applications into apps and then delivers them through its own AppBrowser, thus removing the need to install applications. It also provides a free AppWave Studio to developers to convert their Windows applications into AppWave apps.

On the other hand, Numecent has come out of stealth mode with a new concept call Cloud Paging where it almost automatically "cloudifies" applications using its' Jukebox Studio tool which is then published to the Jukebox Server from where it is delivered to the client. Looks like a very interesting technology as it provides real time control over licensing, patching & upgrading. It also reduces the footprint by delivering only those pages that are required with an intelligent mechanism to predict and pre-deliver pages before they are required for commonly used scenarios.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

CM9 Alpha0 released for HP Touchpad

Seems that HP Touchpad is on a roll this month as CyanogenMod 9 Alpha 0 has been released for it yesterday. It looks very nice but still there's a very long way to go as the following still don't work:
  • Hardware accelaration - hence no Netflix and YouTube only works in SD mode
  • Audio is messed up and microphone does not work yet
  • Camera does not work as the hardware drivers are closed source
  • Most hardware problems from CM7 have been inherited
  • TP does not show as an external USB drive when connected
To get this on your TP, you need to do the following:
  1. Download the following 3 files and put them in a folder called cminstall in the root of yout Touchpad:
    1. CM9 Alpha0 from here or here
    2. Clockwork Recovery from here, and
    3. Moboot from here
  2. Install NovaCom drivers on you PC/laptop from here or here or here if you do not have them already
  3. Ensure that Development mode is on in your Touchpad and connect it to the PC in USB mode
  4. Run the command
    novacom boot mem:// < ACMEInstaller2
    and twiddle your fingers while waiting for the install to run & complete!
It looks quite good for an Alpha0 release - let's hope it progresses faster and better!
P.S.: Please let me know if the above does not work for you or if there's any step missing :)
You read more details about the CM9 Alpha0 release on the rootzwiki.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

webOS 3.0.5 update released for TouchPad

Good news for those of use still holding on to our TouchPads from the fire sale! HP has released the latest update for webOS 3.0.5 86 Over-The-Air for TouchPads. Good to see that it (allegedly) fixes the bugging audio issue that got introduced in the 3.0.4 update. It also has some good updates related to sensor, camera and HTML5 video playback.
Read more details on their HP webOS Developer Blog and in the webOS 3.0.5 release notes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Count occurance of character in a string

To count the number of times a particular character occurs in a string, use the below SQL query.
If you are using Oracle 11, you can use the new REGEXP_COUNT - note that it uses regular expressions and so special character need to be escaped:

SELECT  REGEXP_COUNT (first_name, '\.') 
AS dot_count 
FROM employee;

If you are using any other version of Oracle, then use this query:

SELECT  first_name, 
LENGTH (first_name) - LENGTH (REPLACE (first_name, '.')) 
AS dot_count 
FROM employee;


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