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.