Friday, December 28, 2007

Family Tree at

From Microsoft's Family.Show's discussion boards, I discovered, a Flash based online family networking site. It allows you to build your family tree in a collaborative way (that is to invite family members, and let them make addition and modification to the tree). It is a great site, with a simple (if not so good as UI.

Have a look here.



I have now a tree that includes a total of 500 people (not directly linked to me) included on the tree.

There are some security concerns about the site that I am going to discuss in future posts.

Making a Family Tree

I recently encountered Microsoft's In case you may not have heard about it, It is a sample Windows Presentation Framework application created by Vertigo. The software became popular and people asked for more improvements for it, so now it has become an open source project on (Microsoft's Open Source Project  Site).


Here is a sample tree of Windsor family. The software has limited functionality, but it has a great UI. I would really love if some decent programmers join the project and enhance its capabilities.


One thing I would like it to have is ability to save file on the web (So it should essentially become a software running on a web page). If that happens, it would be great.

From here I found another free service, and I am going to write about it in my next post.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What is the next big thing in the Browser Wars?

People would probably miss next big thing in the browser wars, as it is happening quietly. But it is import to notice it right now. It is called as WebKit.

  • What is WebKit? It is the engine behind Apple's Safari Browser, Dashboard, Mail and everything else that Apple uses.
  • Then it is proprietary? It is Open Source, and it is based on KDE's KHTML and KJS libraries.
  • Why did Apple not update KHTML itself? Apple did what all big and powerful companies do to implement faster solutions based on open source technologies. They forked the code (copied and modified the code as they wanted without getting open source community involved in the process) and then opened source code of the fork.
  • Would that not kill KHTML? Well, it does not help KHTML much, considering that all the improvements Apple created would not be part of KHTML itself. But, there are some efforts on bringing those changes into KHTML without breaking it. It may eventually kill KHTML if KExplorer and other tools to use WebKit in place of KHTML engine (as there are efforts to do so and also here, it may survive only thru its descendants. )
  • Why is it important? There are few reasons.
    • Growing influence of Mac OS X.
    • Growing influence of Apple Safari (now it is available for Windows and also used on iPhone) - Mobile Phones
    • Nokia's S60 Platform forked WebKit to create its own browsing engine - Mobile Phones 
    • Google's Android uses WebKit based browser - Mobile Phones
    • GNOME's Epiphany browser has switched to WebKit from KHTML.

The next place where people would view a web site is not laptops or PCs but the mobile phones. And the browser on the mobile phone is going to define how the websites of future will be shaped and it looks like WebKit is in the center of it.

Did you not know that your batteries would perform better if they are cold?

Okay, everybody knows that heat effects electrical and electronic devices such as CPU and RAM, but what about the battery? Did you know that if a battery is heated too much it would not perform better? (Yes, everybody knew that heated battery can make your device catch fire), but was it kind of - yeh everybody knows it - type of idea. Well, someone just filed a patent around it.

So what about heat sink for battery or the cooling fans?

Whatever happened to Buffalo Tech

Okay, So all the technology companies are not exactly made of Gold. But then so are the patent trolls. I am not sure why CSIRO choose Buffalo while trying to attack the wireless platform 802.11g etc. But in most likelihood, because it was a soft target. Unlike Cisco/LinkSys and Netgear, Buffalo is still not a mass consumed  wireless gateway and it is neither American company (unlike the other two) who can possibly call some shots thru the US Congress.

But the buck has to stop somewhere isn't it? I mean just because someone in patent office was not competent to know if such an application is unique or not, who is at the fault?

Oracle XPI Issues

For some people who do not know what is XPI or WSG, here is a primer:

Long time ago, J D Edwards tied up with a company called as ActiveWorks for providing Integration Tool for their ERP. This tool was called as J D Edwards XPI - an OEM product from ActiveWorks for J D Edwards.

Later, ActiveWorks was purchased by webMethods and the relationship between J D Edwards and webMethods continued.

Soon after, J D Edwards was purchased by PeopleSoft. The relationship continued. The tool was renamed to PeopleSoft Enterprise XPI.

In the aftermath of Oracle's acquisition of PeopleSoft, the tool came to Oracle fold. It took Oracle few years to build a technology to integrate with J D Edwards, as a result, Oracle had to continue providing a lifeline to XPI. Only change it could do was that, it renamed the tool to PeopleSoft Enterprise Web Service Gateway (WSG) and would provide limited support (no patches are issued, only suggestion to what can be done provided).

Now, webMethods has become part of Software AG. Adding more complications in the MIX.

Oracle is almost ready with components that can be used as part of Integration - so called - Oracle Fusion.

Latest version of XPI/WSG is 6.1. This is based on webMethods's Integration Server 6.1 platform. The webMethods Integration Server platform has advanced. There are service packs and 100's of patches for the bugs that existed in the product. But none of them are available thru Oracle.

So if you are using XPI for developing integration for your J D Edwards, you are out of luck.

What you should do?

  1. If you have already invested in developing a solution around XPI, best thing would be to go with a regular webMethods license. That way you would have access to latest patches and service packs from them. On a flip side, you will spend money on integration license.
  2. If you are starting to develop an integration with J D Edwards, look to Oracle Fusion. That is what Oracle wants you to use and will continue to enhance. It is still like getting a beta software and you will have a roller coaster ride, but that's what Integration is supposed to be. Isn't it?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Days Ahead on CircuitCity

I visited CircuitCity couple of times during last few weeks. Each time, I really struggled to find clearance goods there. When I asked around, they said that each item on clearance is in its own isle, and there is no way to tell unless you read the price tag on the shelf. That is a hard to find thing, I mean you have to walk into the isle, and you have to read price of each SKU and around that price, you will find if it is on the Clearance. Why can't they put more attractive/brighter clearance tags/flags? or Just create a shelf of all the goods on clearances. After all, the idea behind putting a SKU on clearance is to get it out of the door faster. But at Circuit City they just make it harder and harder to find.

Obituary of CompUSA

CompUSA hasn't closed yet, but people are already writing an obituary of it. whether it was Mexican Entrepreneur who could not turn it around, or if it was the competition, one thing is true. CompUSA did not provide great service to its customers in its last days. All the visits to CompUSA that I had done before they closed in Atlanta weren't really great (Well, I do not have good words for Circuit City, Micro center and Best Buy either). I always found that they had parts costlier then many of other stores (not the web price).

I am not sure if Circuit City and others are reading this event closely and making changes. If not, they would meet a similar end too.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

unlocking Netgear WGR614

I have a Netgear WGR614 v3 router.

Here is how the router looks from inside:

I found from Seattle Wireless and other sites that the router has possibility of accessing it via telnet. So I ventured around. First thing to do was to find TelnetEnable tool that is described on the net. I searched for telnetenable.exe and found it.
My copy of telnetenable has following information:

Version:2.1, 2003/10/17
Here is what I had to do:
Execute following:
TelnetEnable [Router IP Address] [Router Mac Address]Gearguy Geardog
To get [Router IP Address], I executed ipconfig and picked up my gateway IP address. Since I was connected to the router using one of the lan port, it was easy.
To get router's mac address, I found two methods.
One: run arp -a command. This lists all the IPs that have been known to your PC and their mac address. The mac address is printed in the form of AA-BB-CC-DD-EE-FF. You need to remove all the additional characters and write the Mac Address as AABBCCDDEEFF.
Two: The mac address was on a sticker just on the back of my router. That was easy.
Gearguy and Geardog are the login ID and passwords for the telnet console for this router.
If the command executes quickly and ends without any error, that means the router was unlocked. But if it does not, or returns some sort of error, then it would mean it did not work.
More to follow in next post.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Fonera and DD-WRT

Someone at my home stepped on my Fonera and broke its antenna few months back. Since then it was sitting in the closet with all the other hardware that I had.

Finally, i decided to flash it with DD-WRT to try out if it works well. My Fonera was having 7.1R3 firmware. Just by changing the DSN to one provided for Kolofonium helped to enable SSH on the router. Once I got SSH enabled, the confusion was about logging onto it. The admin user of Fonera is actually a root user when used with SSH.

Finally logged in. Loaded patched kernel, changed the loader and then finally loaded DD-WRT. Keep watching for more updates.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

AOL and Plaxo

I just installed new AOL 6.5 client. What it did along with it is that it installed Plaxo with it. It did point it out as part of agreement.


I would have liked an option that would allow me to "not select" Plaxo.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Google Android

Google just released Android aka Open Handset Alliance.

Well, yes, everyone knows that.

But it is not something new. It is something Google had acquired as part of Android Inc. and they have been working on it since then.

But there is a problem. Is it fighting against Handset makers or the carriers or both? Well, it did get support from T-mobile and few others. But those are not the only company in the world. Even if they can not get AT&T and Verizon to sign up, there are many others (well they did get China Mobile) such as Reliance of India, Hutch Worldwide, Airtel Worldwide etc.

But one thing is for sure. It does give Linux Kernel plenty of credibility as a backbone of a Mobile Operating System (Yes, Linux is not an operating system, but just the Kernel).

New Windows Live Writer


But isn't it confusing? Am I Pro-Microsoft or Anti-Microsoft? Well, I am a centrist. I will use whatever works. I am a libertarian. If the tool is great, I would use it.  I would really love, if I can blog from Firefox (after all, it has an HTML editor).

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Plaxo Networking features

Plaxo has finally built a tool that will compete against LinkedIn. check out the screenshot.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Few Limitation on GrandCenterl

There are few limitations on GrandCentral.

  1. Grand Central can not be used to make international calls. This is understandable, but - If they would tie up with any provider, they can provide users options to buy international call credit and use it. That would be a revenue stream - would it not be? One can still configure a long distance call provider's 1800 Number and get the calls across.

  2. To open up a Grand Central Account, you need to have access to a real phone number. Hmmm. What if I don't have one? What if I have a phone with an extension? What if I am not in USA? Now, there is a work around to that.

Just for the start, For who have missed my earlier post on GrandCentral; GrandCentral allows you to get a phone number (virtual) in area code of your choice (most areas in US covered) and direct it to any phone you wish to. Not just that, you can choose which phone it will direct to based on who is calling or if it will go to voice mail etc. That is a good idea indeed. The best part of it is that you can choose to direct your calls to Gizmo (Well, that's where GrandCentral does save outgoing call money as it is a net to net call - or so I hope).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Upgrading RAM on Acer 3680

I used Crucial's Ram to upgrade memory on my Acer 3680 from 512MB to 1536 MB. I ordered the Ram using this link. It arrived in 6 days thru UPS and USPS. I had to struggle to identify how to open the laptop to upgrade, but found handy help at another blog.

Acer's own website does not provide much information on how to upgrade their laptops with such minor improvements. Dell is much better that way.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Configuring a VOIP Router for Gizmo


I think you all must have started using Gizmo by now. Now, what if you want to configure a VOIP Router to Gizmo, so that you can connect a regular phone to it?

That is very much possible. In fact, people have take up task of configuring Sun Rocket router, unlocked it and started using that for Gizmo. Check the link here.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

How to configure X-Lite for GizmoProject

if you do not want to install GizmoProject's client, you can use other generic VOIP Client too. e.g. X-Lite.

Here are the settings verbatim from them:

SIP account Information
Display Name: (Display name that you may like to use - say Gizmo - your name)
User Name: (found in your Gizmo Project profile)
Password: (exactly as typed in Gizmo Project)
Authorization User Name: (found in your Gizmo Project profile)
SIP Domain:
For Domain Proxy, you can select options as defined on the screen right now.

SIP Address:

At this time, SIP Domain and SIP Address reflect same server.

Free Incoming Internet Phone/VOIP

Who does not like a free VOIP Phone with a real phone number? So how do you go about getting one?

Okay, here is how it is going to work:

  1. Open up a free VOIP Account. There are a few ways of getting them. I have listed them here.
    1. GizmoProject from Sipphone provides a VOIP Client with Jabber Support as well as a VOIP Number. Optionally you can buy CallIn or Callout service from them. (But, if you want everything to be free you don't want that right?)
    2. MindSpring from Earthlink has free VOIP Service as well. They also provide a DialOut. To use the service, you have to open up a free earthlink email account.
    3. There may be more on the market that I may not be aware of. :)
  2. Get a Free Phone Number to direct to your VOIP Number. This can be done in two ways
    1. Get a Free Washington State Phone Number from IPKall. You need to provide details about your SIP provider here.
    2. You can get a Google GrandCentral Account to forward calls to Gizmo (At this point, GrandCentral supports only Gizmo as VOIP Option. I would love if they start doing regular SIP Peering like IPKall to any VOIP provider).
      • Locks you to Gizmo
      • Needs you to have an US Phone Number - to open up GrandCentral Account - may mean you need to be in US?
  3. if you used Step 2a, but you want a number in a specific area in US, then now it is time for you to open up a GrandCentral Account to direct the phone to your IPKall Number, which will get directed to your Gizmo or MindSpring Account.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Apple Safari on Windows - Issues

There are few stuff that are annoying about Apple Safari. It would not allow me to open up SAP SDN website. Try opening using Apple Safari and you will get annoying
Safari can’t open the page “” because it couldn’t establish a secure connection to the server “”.
I wonder how Apple Employees must be accessing SAP SDN, considering Apple uses SAP as ERP.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Apple Safari on Windows - Plug ins

Here is a list of what works automatically - if components are already installed on your machine:
  • Macromedia Flash
  • QuickTime and QTVR
  • Java Applets
  • Ajax

What does not work for sure:

  • Microsoft's new Silverlight

Finally - IE and Safari Side by Side

For Comparision, here is IE and Safari side by side. Safari offers better fonts by default (you can get them with IE too with twicking).

Apple Safari Beta... on Windows.. First Run - Screen 3

The Browser even on first run seems to suggest sights based on what you may have typed.

But on a closer look, it is actually reading the history of IE session from my machine.

Bad for someone who may not like such sharing.

Apple Safari Beta... on Windows.. First Run - Screen 2

For the multitasker, just pressing ctrl+t, will create new tabs to browse on. Just like Mozilla/Firefox and new IE 7.

Apple Safari Beta... on Windows.. First Run - Screen 1

After performing the installation, first run was just few minutes away. So is how it goes:

The UI has a very iTunish look (I am assuming that the normal windows user has never used Mac OS). It looks clean.

Apple Safari for Windows

Apple finally released a version of its Safari Browser for Windows. The Browser is currently in Beta. It will be a definite addition to what I have on my PC. I have used Lynx, Mosaic, IE, Netscape, Opera, Firefox/Mozilla before.

Let's take a look at Safari Running on Windows:

Step 1
The Installation Starts with a very simple screen.
Compared to installation of iTunes, the Beta has a very simple installation right now.

Step 2

It comes with an extensive Beta license agreement.
One of the key terms defined on the license are:
Consent to Use of Data. You agree that Apple and its subsidiaries may collect and use technical and related information, including but not limited to technical information about your computer, system and application software, and peripherals, that is gathered periodically to facilitate the provision of software updates, product support and other services to you (if any) related to the Apple Software, and to verify compliance with the terms of this License. Apple may use this information, as long as it is in a form that does not personally identify you, to improve our products or to provide services or technologies to you.
Indicating that the browser has something that calls home.
It also has several open source components - which is why Apple asks uses to refer to GPL and LGPL license (says the license is supplied with the software). I tried to look for the copy of LGPL and GPL license distributed with the software, but could not find one.

Step 3

Browser is supplied with Bonjour and Apple Software Updater (if you ahve iTunes, that you probably have both of these already).

Step 4

The setup ends. It does not provide any clue if Java is supported or of any other feature from the setup.

Monday, June 04, 2007

What is outsourcing and what are the terms around it

Sometimes, the terms such as outsourcing become to confusing. Hopefully this post simplifies it. It can be applied to any process such as manufacturing. This example tries to explain IT Outsourcing.

IT applications and infrastructure around it is an asset for a

When a company would keep the ownership and hand over management and upkeep of IT applications to another entity, it is outsourcing.

Sometimes company would outsource the management to captive unit providers (subsidiaries, sometimes legal entities seperate from the company but part of same conglomorate) - in this scenario companies are mostly shifting jobs from one company to other company, one location to other location. Sometimes it is done to save taxes (Layers of companies, less tracabilities)

Sometimes companies will outsource to third party providers. This is what is most people understand at outsourcing. Sometimes, the providers execute the work from same location - which is called onsite. Sometimes, the providers execute
the work from different location - in same territory (country, timezone, region
- dffers per vendor) - which is called nearshore. When the proejct is executed
from a far off location - it is called offshore.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Well, Intel decides to invest in Jajah and also provide its patents on VOID for use at Jajah. Smells fishy? How would Intel and Verizon have patent on same concept? if they have, different patents, because their concept is different, then how would the products interoperate? One thing stupid about Jajah is that you need to be connected to the net to make a call .. which means you should be on the PC, or should have a phone capable of running Jajah client.. (The call actually goes thru the Phone and not PC, but it needs to be initiated from the web... that is pain. It would be good if they would add a call in number..

Joost Anyone?

If you have not heard about Joost, take a moment to check, It is a web based Video Player based on P2P technology by the founders of Skype... and Napster..... and it is Legal.

If you need a Joost invite, all you need to do is just ping me - provided you know me...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

New Google Analytics

Google has updted its Google Analytics software to make it more simple. Google Analytics was added to Google's portfolio with addition of Urchin and MeasureMap, two of the aquisitions it had made.

Note: This blog's visitors are tracked using Google Analytics.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Tibco and Web 2.0

While other companies are heavily investing in SOA, Tibco is silently reinventing itself as a Web 2.0 company. It has heavily invested in Ajax technologies, while its mainstream products are still doing good in the market. What does it plan to do next?

Whatever Happened To SeeBeyond?

When Sun acquired SeeBeyond, it was widely speculated that it would be open sourced or atleast it will be made freely available. But all of a sudden, that seems to have died completely. Sun does have Seebeyond based Java CAPS on its site for marketting, but there are no downloads. Has it changed plans?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Google and Its Yada Yada

You must be wondering what is Yada Yada got to do with Google. Check out the screen shot of the message that I got when I downloaded New Google Desktop.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Microsoft Snooping on PCs without users knowing about it

Normally I implement most Microsoft Office patches without getting into fine prints, but the latest one spooked me completely. Here is a screenshot.

Want to read it verbatim? It says:

Size: 1.0 MB
Microsoft has released an update for Microsoft Application Error Reporting. This update fixes an issue with Microsoft Application Error Reporting that may cause some information about application errors to be sent to Microsoft without notifying you.
More information for this update can be found at

That means Microsoft had been getting data from My MS Office about crashes without me knowing about it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Free ZIP software from PKWare

Not sure how many of you recall, PKWare, the company that created PKZip program. They are offering free SecureZip utility for Individual use. Go to for more info.
You could also try this link.

Monday, April 23, 2007

webMethods after Software AG

I have been having offline and online discussions with people about Software AG's acquisition of webMethods. Some of the concerns that we have discussed are:
  • Combined Company has multiple overlapping products: Products from Software AG, webMethods and Infravio overlap in SOA Registry area. They would have to identify how they want to position these products.
  • webMethods' History of Combining different finished products is not so great. They spent a hugh amount of time developing products such as Modeler, Workflow etc and took a long time to merge them.
  • webMethods' History of Product Upgrade is not great either: Customers who upgraded from ActiveWorks/webMethods Version 4 Solution to their Version 5 and then Version 6 would tell you nightmares they have had trying to do the upgrade. Now the customers face a similar issue upgrading from Workflow to the new modeling tool.
  • A foreign company: webMethods has had large Federal Accounts: DoD, Military using webMethods for EDI etc. Would they want to buy same software from a non-american company? It is not a fair world out there.
  • Open Source: webMethods has been using Open Source Tools into its products for a long time now. It built first version of webMethods Manager and Optimize on Tomcat, Hybernate etc. It used embedded Tomcat Server for variety of purpose. But it has not been so great in contributing to Open Source. Now it faces increasing compitition from open source world itself. Without having partners in that arena, it faces a great challange in small and medium enterprises.
  • Losing F2000 Customers: webMethods positioned itself as a solution provider in Fortune 2000 arena. That is a highly crowded space. Integration Tools from SAP and Oracle when bundled with respective ERP solutions promise a better value proposition to the Fortune 2000 companies. Fortune 2000 companies also find that their IT Teams tooled in Java and Java Servers are able to adapt to SAP and Oracle's J2EE solution easily compared to a non-J2EE webMethods (this is also being seen as a way to lower TCO by not requiring specialized webMethods skillset).

There are more things to discuss... will wait to hear comments.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

IONA acquires LogicBlaze

IONA acquired LogicBlaze, a company with an open source Integration Platform apart from active supporter of Apache ServiceMix and ActiveMQ. They do not appear planning to provide support for LogicBlaze's products, which may cause worry for its 20 customers. But it means other Vendors may have a chance at these customers, unless IONA offers them an option.

Integration Space, Who remains?

After webMethods's aquisition, 0nly pure play ESB/Integration ISV that remains in the market are TIBCO (going strong and moving into other areas such as AJAX), IONA (which has developed a decent open source strategy as well as has a legacy of CORBA Servers to sustain on 2005 –ve, 2006 +ve) and Vitria (already burning money ;-ve net income in last two years). See the graph comparing their fortunes from Google Finance.

There are other integration tools such as Sterling Commerce (very strong in EDI and SupplyChain Space) from AT&T stable, and Seebeyond (now part of Sun), We have to wait and see how they grow.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Software AG to Aquire webMethods

Also see

First Thoughts:
  • I think all the 3rd Party ISV Integration Tools are losing market share (new license revenue as well as from existing customer accounts).
  • Fortune 2000 companies are moving away from Home Grown Legacy applications to off-the-shelf Enterprise Applications.
  • Off-the-shelf Enterprise Applications are promising better integration capabilities, as a result, clientsforesee a reduced need to perform internal integrations using Integration Tools.
  • Proliferation of SAP XI and Oracle Fusion bundled with ERP Rollout has reduced size of market for ISV integration tools.
  • webMethods' lack of footprint in J2EE space makes it less attractive (say compared against a JBoss, webSphere or webLogic based Integration Tool)
  • Its investment in SOA Space (in terms of money spent in acquisitions of about 6 companies in last 4 years) did not pay off very well (compared to pure play SOA companies such as Cape Clear).

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

IONA Acquires C24

IONA is on acquisition spree. It aquired C24, a company that is in Finance Messaging Standards.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Are you about to start an Open Source Project? Here are Tips

John D'Addamio has written a decent write up on how to start an Open Source Project and some Tips around it. Well, Considering that he works for Microsoft (!!) as an Open Source evangelist, it is worth a read. On their own, these tips are excellent and holds true.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Wireless Mesh Network

I am facinated by Mesh Networks. But I never found a very good example to explain to someone. I finally found one at OLCP's site. (Kudos). Here is the link .