Archive for September 2007
Of all the Internet Explorer versions that have been released, Internet Explorer 7, beyond any doubt proved to be a distinct milestone with significant features being the following:
- Phishing Filter
- Tabbed Browsing (Cool Unique and Most Favored Feature)
However, just as I installed Internet Explorer 7, a few things just made me gaze-struck. Nevertheless, in a search to find solutions to these surprises, I just discovered a lot of tips-and-tricks and websites that supported them. I just wanted to share a few of these here:
- EnhanceIE: This is a surestop website that you ought to bookmark and visit often for a lot of tips and tricks with respect to Internet Explorer and also towards troubleshooting Internet Explorer problems. I found a solution for the runonce IE homepag issue in this website.
- IEPlus: This is a very good toolbar button plugin for Internet Explorer that helps one with a lot of useful features. A few of them to mention are the following. It is a sure toolkit that any Internet Explorer 7 user should have.
- 1) IE 7 Crash Recovery
2) Multi Proxy Feature
3) Mouse Gestures
4) Extensible Plugin Framework
[Review] Todolist -- Elegant Task Management Freeware Utility
I have been using a little freeware called 'Todolist' from Dan G's AbstractSpoon Software for a long time. Just thought I would write a small review on the same so that other people too would know about it and I am sure this would improve the productivity of the task that is being delivered by them.
As I said, I am using this little tool since more than four to five years now even from the days of my very previous organization. As the homepage says, it helps you to streamline the tasks that you are doing so that you don't tend to forget anything. Even though it is a freeware, it is packed with features and the most comprehensive support that you can expect on earth. You can just visit Todolist homepage to see the responses from the users and as well from the author of the software itself.
A quick list of its features as bullet-points would help describe the elegance and greatness of software more than anything else:
- A simple listing of tasks that are to be performed by the user. There is also a column for 'User' so a simple todolist supports multiple users as well. But I use it mostly for my own purpose.
- Pretty simple Visual C++ Code and is available i OpenSource format. It is available in Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License and I am sure Visual C++ developers would love seeing the code of the application and learn various features of Visual C++.
- The data is stored in simple XML format so that there is no risk of data corruption or loss. Optionally, you can use an Encryption plugin to encrypt the data and save too. I store it plain format in my desktops and as encrypted in web storage.
- Comprehensive Filter, Find (Search) and Sorting.
- With the latest advent of Tab Browsing, Todolist also supports Tabbed format of multiple Todolist.
So I just thought as a token of appreciation of me using Todolist, let me also have a small review of the same for the benefit of other readers in starting to use the same.
Essence of Commandline Compilation
Whatever be the fancy IDE windows, the power and essence of commandline compilation is never hidden. Even the IDE actually uses the same compiler switches as the first line of the 'Output' window reveals. Here I am just trying to share a few tips and tricks to streamline an easy way to achieve commandline compilation. I am not using Visual Studio .NET command prompt and just SDK tools and hence this should work for users who do not have Visual Studio .NET also.
- Ensure that the appropriate version of Microsoft .NET is in the System Path.
- From within the explorer, a few simple steps can get you 'Command Prompt' without taking pains of navigating through the nested folder structures:
- Navigate to Tools -> Folder Options in Windows Explorer
- Choose 'File Types' Tab
- Choose Folder from the list. Click 'Advanced'
- Choose New
- Give a easy to understand name like 'Launch DOS Prompt' and the application as CMD /K CD "%1". The K switch is used to instruct the CMD.exe to carry out the command following it (CD "%1" in our case) and to remain without closing the window. You can check out the documentation on CMD.exe switches over here.
- Click OK for all the dialogs to save the settings.
Now, you can launch csc.exe compiler to compile your .Csharp Files. This also further facilitates the following. Quick generation of Strong Names, Signing it off etc.
Related Topics of Interest:
- If you have Visual Studio 2005 onwards, you can automatically get the path from 'Copy Full Path' option of any file that is opened as a tab in the IDE.
Cool Hotmail and Super Cool Windows Live
There is one more reason for Windows Live to be more cooler and charming for everyone. There is one more compelling reason for anyone to possess a unique Windows Live ID of its own. Whilst casually browsing the India Broadband Forum, I just came across the news about Windows Live offering more Indian touch domain names which make you feel more homely and also distinctly stand out of the crowd.
A fond recall was previously Mail.com had a similar offering and I had one domain (and am still using albeit with a lower frequency) at India.com.
So what are you waiting for. Grab your Windows Live ID and with your Indian name touch at Cool Hotmail.
C# 3.0 in a Nutshell from Albahari brothers
We were earlier discussing about a cute little tool called QueryExpress. Now the writer of the tool (Joseph Albahari) has also authored a book along with his brother (Ben Albahari) on C# 3.0 in a Nutshell. A brief review of the book is also available on Albahari's homepage over here.
A quick run through of the companion website of the book really illustrates the vast deep exploration of it on C# 3.0 even upto and beyond Linq.
MSDN and Dr. Dobbs Journal in India
I was surfing at MSDN forums and found out the link where now we can subscribe for MSDN and Dr. Dobbs Journal through its digital edition for free. The premiere hardcopy editions are a bit costly but the digital editions are offered for free.
Check out the subscription page here. You may need to signin with your Windows Live ID to proceed.
Free ASP.NET Hosting with SomeEE
Just while casually surfing, I came to know of this website called Somee. They seem to offer some really promising web hosting for free along with thier paid web hosting offers. Even the free hosting seems to have really attractive offers:
- Allowed Disk Space: 105 MB
- Allowed Monthly Bandwidth: 3 GB
- ASP.NET 1.1 and 2.0
- Microsoft Access database
- Quick Setup
I think this should be a really great utility for novices in ASP.NET to start practicing web hosting in real time.
Free Database Hosting
One of my friend was asking me whether there was any website which offers PHP with MySQL database. I suggested a few like Portland.co.uk and others. But most of them were offering only PHP. After a brief research and just I recalled about FreeSQL which was giving free MySQL hosting.
When I visited the website (http://www.freesql.org/), it is now offering both MySQL and PostGRESQL for free. The website also offers powerful interfaces to the databases through PhpMyAdmin and PhpPgAdmin.
I think this website should be of tremendous help for novices and learners in database systems to learn and practice effecient database programming.
Download StatusBar Plugin in FireFox
A few minutes back I discussed about enhancing Mozilla FireFox Download Window with the Autoshutdown feature. For those interested, the permalink is here. I was just playing around the FireFox addons and found one more little addon called 'Download Statusbar'.
This effectively hides off that big download window into a little status bar entity. For a web browser, saving screenspace is really a good feature. This one makes an elegant approach in this perspective and the download status now appears in the status bar instead of occupying a separate window of its own.
Check out the Download Status Bar from here.
Autoshutdown for FireFox Download Manager
The most cute thing of Mozilla FireFox is the Download Manager which can queue up all the download requests and then slowly download one-by-one with the ability of Pause and Resume. One feature I loved in GetRight was there was an ability to turn off the computer after all downloads are complete. But FireFox does not have this ability. After all downloads complete, a balloon tool tip near the system tray would popup to indicate that all downloads are complete.
While casually browsing through Mozilla FireFox website, I came across a plugin called 'Autoshutdown' which gets integrated to FireFox download manager. Now the download manager gets one more checkbox called 'Shutdown after all downloads are finished'.
This would add more feather to the cap of the cute little FireFox right. You can get this plugin from FireFox Addons page here.
EBooks from QuestPond
Sometime back we were discussing about unique career development websites over here. From a regular newsfeed, I came to know of that QuestPond has also released eBooks in ASP.NET, C#, .NET Framework etc. If you are one of those who would like to purchase, they have also published hardcopies of the same and made them available at cities near you and also in Amazon.com.
Here are quick links to QuestPond eBooks:
Also check out http://www.questpond.com/ for more resources.
Musical Fest in Console namespace
Sometime back we were discussing about the power and prowess of Console Applications. Perhaps this post would be a followup of the same. A few of you who might have worked in either GWBasic or QBasic would have known about the three powerful commands there:
BEEP: Produces a short shirk beep from the computer speaker
SOUND freq, duration: Produces sound of frequency freq for dur milliseconds
I was just wondering whether this is not going to be supported at all after QBasic from Visual Basic onwards. It is a good news that .NET Framework 2.0 Base Class Library supports System.Console.Beep equivalent to SOUND in QBasic. Check out the MSDN documentation for the song 'Mary had a little lamb ...'
Sometime back when I started venturing into this musical power, I posted a question in one of the forums and I even got lot of library references as responses. I would like to give the permalink of the discussion thread for readers reference here:
The Power and Prowess of Console Applications and Enhancing it with .NET Framework 2.0
To start learning a new programming language, following the C++ book style, the first and foremost application that we write is
cout << "Hello World";
We have been religiously inheriting this custom through Java and to C# via the essence of Console Applications.
System.out.println ("Hello World");
System.Console.WriteLine ("Hello World");
A simpler console application lays the greater foundation for a powerful and rewarding journey through the programming language. Let us in brief see about the essence of these console applications and how .NET Framework BCL richly complements console applications.
This article was actually inspired from a discussion board question where a beginner had just vehemently violated the message board netiquette about a sample code snippet which an expert had provided with great magnanimity. Fuelling it, he/she had also scrapped base about console applications. I just thought I would take this opportunity to initiate the efforts in clearing the myth clouding about the console applications.
Simpler and Stronger
- Console applications are a stronger support to even a full-fledged application frameworks. For example consider an application like 'Windows Service' project in C#. By default, you can not run a Windows Service project but you can only attach to the running process to debug the same. But there is an easy workaround using the Visual Studio IDE. With the other classes that are used in the same way, the launching class (Service.cs) can be excluded from the project while debugging and a sample (StartupConsole.cs) can be used. This can emulate threads from within a sample Console application facilitating easier peek of the startup configuration of the Windows service.
- Console applications are a very good applications to provide code snippets for articles since they are easier to visualize, compile for the casual article viewer also.
- Console applications are lighter and supported by the heart library of the framework. .NET Framework supports Console right in System namespace (rooted to the core) and Java supports in its java.lang.
- There is also a good business potential of console applications. There are still a lot of retail shops who prefer a commandline console based data entry approach for billing and other things. We can use the richness of Console applications there.
Simpler and Sweet Extensions to Console in .NET Framework 2.0
The console applications have grown more powerful at least with respect to .NET Framework 2.0. I first thought I would provide a Class documentation for the same in http://www.dotnetspider.com/ but then I chose to include it as part of this article context for better reach.
A few of the new namespaces that add color and brightness to to the otherwise dark console are:
- ConsoleColor enumeration
- CapsLock (To detect whether CAPSLock is on or off in just a jiffy)
- NumberLock (To detect whether NumberLock is on or off in just a jiffy)
- Clear (To clear the console display. Our class CLS command of DOS. No more P/Invoke :))
- A host of other Window manipulation utilities like SetWindowPosition, SetWindowSize
- ReadKey -- Equivalent to provide 'Press any key to continue in C#' without RETURN.
However, for older .NET Framework versions, I have a workaround in my other article here: http://www.codeproject.com/useritems/PressAnyKeyToContinue.asp
P.S.: A significant amount of them are also available in .NET Framework 1.1 albeit you have to delve into P/Invoke Library for the same. However, I would suggest ManiB's article on CodeProject which hides this P/Invoke management from your core application logic. Check it out here: http://www.codeproject.com/cs/library/csconsolelibrary.asp
This article is also part of my other article in Dotnetspider. You can check it out here.
Chennai CP Meet Album
I would like to thank Vikram Punathambekar and Senthil for taking the lead in getting the memorable moments of the Chennai CPians (CodeProject) Meet recorded. The photos are available in either of the following URL:
It was really a very memorable get-to-gether and had one of the very famous member called 'Satips' also been present, it would have been still great time.
Chennai 600 020, India.
- Drive towards Chennai city from Chennai Airports for 5 Km till you reach Guindy Kathipara junction (Hotel Le Meridian).
- Take the straight road towards Anna Salai. The road itself would turn left and right after it reaches 'Little Mount' junction. Take the right towards Rajbhavan/Adyar. Be wary of heavy traffic at this stretch particularly during peak hours.
- Drive straight to Rajbhavan, which is about quarter mile.
- Take left towards Anna University and keep driving after you take the mini-flyover.
- After you cross the traffic lights at Madhya Kailash junction, drive slow till you reach 'Hotel Traffic Jam' junction and 'Adyar Terminus'. You can find 'Ambika Appalam Depot' at the entry of the road on the right, which you have to enter.
- Take the road that is right to you and at about 50 to 60 feet, you can find the Pizza Hut.
- The organizer has specifically requested the members to be there before 8. Considering huge traffic during the peak hours on Monday, please plan your travel accordingly.
Driving MapCourtesy: Google Maps