Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Lately I have been working on the Mozilla Firefox 's Android Version Fennec. And Linux was the most preferable place to setup the development environment. When I had created the VirtualBox Machine last year I never thought that disk space requirement will grow more than 10 GB. While upgrading the Android SDK itself I ran out of space and as a work around I had to delete the older version of flatforms (Android-8 to Android-12). I needed only Android-13 and above. However while building it I faced shortage of disk space again and this time I had two choices , either tweak the existing virtual disk to increase the size or re-create the machine. re-creating machine is a costly option as I had to setup everything in that machine. This is why sometimes I believe virtual disk is better than native installation. At least if you take back up of the virtual disk and it will work for life long , even if you change the hardware.
I took help of the VirtualBox forum and came to know about a solution as follows.
1.Resize the virtual disk
D:Program FilesOracleVirtualBox>VBoxManage modifyhd D:VMUbuntuUbuntu.vdi -
2.Download the Gparted http://gparted.sourceforge.net/ ISO
3.Add the ISO as Virtual DISK Boot from the it using the same machine in Virtual Box
4.Resize the primary partition which is has low space and extend it to the unallocated space
5.delete the swap and then extend the first partition and make sure to leave enough at the end to add the swap back.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
My friend and colleague Nikhil Tungare managed to take the full montage of the eclipse with Cyber Towers in the perspective.
He has also taken an amazing picture of totality.
I am waiting for pictures taken by few other photographer friends of mine and will post soon. Here is the album of few of other phases during the eclipse.
Monday, November 28, 2011
LSP immediately got busy shooting moon with his excellent photography skills and professional camera and lenses. Here is a 10 minutes exposure photo taken by him. All of us appear as faint shadows as we kept moving around , in front of the camera
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="960" caption="A long exposure photograph for 10 minutes. One can see our setup of telescopes and the rising moon in the background. I guess the trails in the top right are produced by the stars of the Orion constellation."][/caption]
We looked at Moon, Jupiter , four of its moon , Orion Nebula , M45 through the telescope with various magnification e.g. 50X and 125X, 225X using various eyepiece. Everybody except me were lucky enough to see some meteors of annual leonid shower also. I managed to take some long exposure photos of Orion , Canis Major , Canis Minor , Persius Taurus and Cassiopea.
We also tried some afocal photography with highest magnification. LSP was successful in taking a very sharp picture of moon and its craters after several attempts.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="960" caption="This is by far the closest I've seen of our Moon. Now count the craters there!! -LSP"][/caption]
Finally when constellation Leo rose , we expected some more meteors but shining moon made lot of them invisible. Then the red planet Mars rose very close to Regulus (brightest star in Leo).
Monday, November 14, 2011
I tried to do some afocal-photography using the telescope and my digital camera and managed to take the following pictures, which turned out to be better than the ones from 5 inch Newtonian telescope.
Overall , the clarity was marginally better in this telescope as compared to the previous one for the bright objects like moon and Jupiter even tough it's aperture is smaller. Also since this one is portable I can take this to nearby darker places for better viewing.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Google Hangout has been a coll feature where people can do video conferencing for free and it is totally web based. I have been a regular listener of AstronomyCast who were recording their episode 236 live in a Google hangout session on 24th October 2011. It was great to be in the live recording session with Pamela Gay and Fraser Cain along with other people having interest in astronomy. The interaction session before and Q&A session after the recording was great. Here is a clip I had recorded during the session.
The topic of this episode was "Einstein was right" . Pamela and Fraser cited many evidences which tells us how accurate the predictions made by Einstein's general and special theory of relativity were You can download the podcast mp3 here or listen in the following player. if you want to join the next recording session , you can Circle Pamela or Fraser so that they can invite you the hangout session.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
ICRISAT is my second most favorite ground in Hyderabad not only because it has a lot of greenery around but also one can do other activities like swimming and lawn tennis in the campus. Infosys cricket ground tops my list hence we call it South Africa in our team.
Finally match started around 10 AM local time . It was bright sunny day with an average of 32 degree centigrade. Oracle won the toss and batted first to set a target of 133 in allotted 20 overs. Thanks to Debraj who batted in the lower middle for a change and helped to reach this decent total. Ankit hit a couple of big shots to get some quick runs and Sriram almost carried the bat through the innings. The ground was big with a lot of big and hard grass. Hence boundaries were difficult to hit. ICRISAT despite getting a good start kept loosing wickets , thanks to back to back wickets by Raja. Finally ICRISAT were all out for 120 with 5 balls to spare when I got the last wicket in the first ball of the last over of the innings. Our overall performance was good but we gave a way too many wides.
We are looking forward to match again in next Saturday !
Sunday, October 16, 2011
The chief sponsor Tata Mcraw-Hill Presented me the book "ANDROID, a programmer's guide by Jerome DiMarzio.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Place the mouse pointer over the image to see the consterlation lines and labels
I recently tried to click some celestial picture with my new Sony Cyber-Shot Hx9V. Taking snaps of stars and planets is really challenging because very less amount of light reaches us and the lights generated from earth (specially at urban locations) act as hindrance. I played around with ISO and shutter speed settings to capture enough light from stars and making the camera as sensitive as possible without letting the noise to dominate. I found for stars with half moon shining in the sky ISO 200 and 15 second exposure worked as optimum setting. If I use optical zoom, the exposure time had to be reduced further to avoid trails. For 1x zoom trails does not dominate even at 20 second exposure but picture of sky becomes very bright with 200 ISO. and reducing ISO further (e.g 100 )is not a good idea as it makes camera less insensitive to capture such faint object. I manage to capture a aeroplane trail as follows .
How do you make gifs
I tried to take picture of Jupiter and its moons. I knew moons were visible at 15x zoom using my binocular with 70mm aperture. My camera has 16x zoom but problem is aperture which is F3.3 maximum for the camera. So despite good resolving power my digital camera may not able to gather enough light to display the Galilean moons. To overcome this problem I again used the long exposure technique but with such a high zoom trails are inevitable even at 10 second exposure. So I increased the ISO to 800 and decreased the exposure way down to only 3 second to avoid trails. I got the following picture
Finally I also tried to piggy back the camera on the telescope mount. However afocal photography (picture taken through the lances of telescope) is not yet much productive yet for me. I will try later with a stable tripod. Jerry from astropix.com helped me creating this where you can mouse over and see the constellation lines and star labels added by me later using GIMP. Laving you with the album of raw pictures from my camera.
I bought it from Letsbuy.com. They shipped it soon but aramex courier service was not that great. Finally I got it after some delay. Following is the unboxing video. Pardon me for the quality as it is taken from Samsung Galaxy ACE.
So far I am happy with the camera , tough I have not much chance to use it. I really like the automatic mode , ease of use. Following are the pros I have found till now
- High zoom with Compact camera
- Digital zoom quality
- In-camera charging
- super image stabilization
- up to 30 sec long exposure
- Easy panaroma
I am sure I will get to know more as I keep using it. Following are the cons
- Awkward position of the Flash
- video/picture is not flat (curved) at the edges when we take wide angle shots (without zoom)
- GPS takes time
With above feature , I guess I will not miss DSLR much and its easy to carry also. Absolute value for money. I am hopping it will work well without any defects. Will leave you with the Indian ad the camera featuring Deepika
Sunday, October 9, 2011
We started at 6 AM in the morning and took a more difficult path to enter the area adjacent to the Mumbai road. We had to climb rock and bushes at the starting point itself , so we did decent amount of body warm up at the starting point. We did scrambling at the medium sized rocks which was a new experience for most of the new comers. GHAC founder Diyanat explained the difference between rock climbing and scrambling (where only limbs are used to climb). He also said during scrambling one should always make sure that 3 of the 4 limbs are attached to rock/ground and make movement with the otherp one. Some up us also tried chimney climbing.
Photo Credit Sambhav
After an hour we went downhill through the medium size boulders where we had to warn (by shouting) the person in front/below in case we make any stone falling down accidentally. At the bottom we reached the lake side where a lot of eucalyptus trees and few peacock feathers were found. We walked along the bank of the lake and took a bushy path to reach the dargah. Somebody explained the reason why the lake is called "secret lake". It was called so because it was surrounded by small hills/rocks , hence could not be seen from from outside until one climbs the rock surrounding the lake. However now a days APIIC had done a lot of construction activities and blown the rocks away. We also discovered the concrete tunnel through which water is supplied to Golconda Fort. Everybody rested for sometime at the small concrete dyke and socialized a little bit. Finally we headed to the main road in a walkable plain path, which took around 15 minutes.
You can find all the photos here.
Thanks to Diyanat and Vamsi a lot for organizing this trip. I rated this event with 5 stars.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Finally after climbing many rocks ,enjoying breeze and the view of Hi-Tech city from the top we returned back .Here is the trail of returning patch , all the way till my house (as I forgot to stop recording the track)
Sunday, September 25, 2011
As per schedule we started at 6.30 PM from the meeting spot after introduction and warm up. 23 out of 31 RSVP turned up. Most of the guys seemed to be working in Delloite Consulting. We had Vamsi as organizer.While entering to the area we found out that they were going to blow the rocks up in few hours. So most likely it was last time were were seeing the rocks. I hope Save the rock society could have taken action but land is privately held .
After 15 minutes we climbed few small rocks and one of my friend got hurt her leg while attempting to jump from one to another (which is always a bad idea ). Hence I stopped climbing any further and helped her getting down to the plain path. Pappu and Sukumar were very kind enough to provide first aid and accompanying us right till the end of the trek.It was great fun meeting them , they were one of the most experienced. Now we chose a relatively plain path and avoided rocks. Rest of the group kept on climbing rocks.
Finally we headed towards home at 9.30 AM. We were questioned by the guards of the private firmed about purpose of our visit. So I would recommend to inform them before hand when going to this place. Few more photos can be found here. I have also played around Miscrosoft Photosynth and created the following.
The following synth is directly created from MS Photosynth
And the following is created using Miscrosoft Image Composition Editor where photos are actually stitched together to make a large picture
Monday, September 19, 2011
After few few morning activities in the garden , we moved to the ashram itself for lunch and rest of the indoor activities. We distributed most of the stuff they had it in the wishlist and finally closed the event with National Anthem.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
It started with the keynote by Rajdeep Dua about the Android 3.x Platform Overview and Boris Smus about new features of HTML5. Rajdeep introduced fragments in Android platform which are used as independent component under the Activity and created/destroyed at the runtime. Also introduced about the compatibility library for Android 2.x so that we don't have to maintain two code line separate for tablet and the phone. For layout rendering in phone and tablet its a good idea to specify screen size in the manifest file. Boris introduced the following new features in HTML5
- Pausing video automatically when user switches the tab so that it does not keep playing in the background.
- Pre-render the Hyperlinks where there are high chances that user going to click it.
- Support for detecting if the browser is online or offline.
- Graphics in CSS3 using webGL
- Native client programming in browser using C/C++ , stable chrome version 14
- Audio API and Visualization
- Full screen API
- Web RTC
And he ended with a "that was a lot" slide with a resting dog's picture :) loved the humor. CFor more HTML5 check out http://www.html5rocks.com/
Tony Chan started with Android: Fragments and ADK Overview. Main highlight was Android market. There were lots of improvement. There is still no review process but Android team is trying their best to keep the apps harmless. Better error reporting , statistics and localized listing were incorporated. He also warned to double think before making an app free because it can never be made paid after that. He also illustrated fragment back stack (stack of UI component sequence which keeps popping when back button is pressed). Transaction defines the rollback sequence of the UI screen. He also demonstrated code snippet to show how fragment component can talk to each other and pass "intent" via activity for better decoupling of fragments. He discussed about Open accessories API and Android Development Kit (ADK) the hardware unit. Finally he concluded with jaw dropping demos of servo motor robot being controlled by Android phone's touch and orientation. But the best part of the day came when he put the phone on the top plate of Gyroscopic robot and tried to tilt the robot so that phone fall off , but it did not ! The phone sensed the tilt and sent signal to the robot's top plate to tilt in the other direction so that it remains horizontal with respect to ground and keep the system balanced . It was simple a control system with feedback.
Now it was time for Building Integrated Applications on Google's Cloud Technologies( by Alfred Fuller). He talked about the following
- Google storage
(S3 compatible , RESTFul APIs GET, POST, PUT , DELETE methods )
- Prediction API
(Can upload training data, both text and number in CSV format ) to learn and make the model, and later model could be used to predict new set of unlabeled data. I personally chatted with Alfred during lunch time and got to know that best machine learing Algorithm for training is automatically chosen by looking at the data. It can also show multiple results with probability and if user chooses the correct label , it can be feedback to the system again to learn more , so that model gets smarter. One data record can also be marked as multiple label during training. Training data also can be added on the fly at any point of time. Now question is can google come up with unsupervised prediction e.g clustering into unknown labels.
SQL like query language and highly scalable with SSL access feature. REST APIs , JSON RPC are the major features in this. One can upload raw data and import to BigTable and then run queries. He demonstrated the performance of BigQuery with the wikimedia revision example with results. It turned out that George Bush's entry was revised most number of times. It could be integrated to Google docs using AppsScripts.
- App Identity API
Public/Private encryption of data.
After the delicious lunch it was one of the most interesting sessions by Chris Broadfoot who talked about "Displaying Large Geographic Datasets using Google Fusion Tables". Fusion tables looks like spreadsheets but have some more interesting features like merging records and Geo-Coding. Data could also be superimposed on Google Map and the result plot could be embeded as iframes. He also talked about fusion table SQL and styling the map. Data could could be populated into fusion tables using HTTP post requests. Plotting points in Fusion table is highly scalable unlike Map marker because it does not leave the rendering job to browser, it renders using the Google's high end clusters of servers and only send the tile images to the browser. During Q/A I confirmed that mouse co-ordinates also tracked for interactivity in the tile images using extra scripts.
Post tea break Alfred Fuller was back with his session "Building Robust, Redundant, Reliable Web Applications on High Replication Datastore" where he talked about dynamically scaling app engine datastore which is based on BigTable. He explained about Strong and eventual consistency with the examples of cash and cheque money respectably. He also discussed entity groups and its trade off in size and showed example of ancestor queries which leads to strong consistency.
The last session was by Google's one of the Android advocate Anirudh Dewani and Tony Chan who helped with the demos. This session was dedicated to the designers who plays major role in the usability and look and feel of the Android apps both for tablet and phones. He hinted about using renderscript for high quality graphics which brings a lot of user attention. They discussed and showed Action bar feature in Honeycomb (Android 3.x) which has three key sections namely Icon at the extremely left , menus in the middle which tells the current navigation location in the app and action buttons which enables tasks which could be done in the current screen. One major difference between phone UI and Tablet UI is that there is more real estate (screen space ) in case of the later , so two panes can be displayed simultaneously. It is advisable to have a single APK for both devices but different layouts. He showed various never ending list layout and informed about carousel and viewpager libraries for 3D and 2D. According to him , orientation change should not reduce the functionality of a screen in these devices. The best practice is to use the OS's visual style and theme married with branding of the app and keep it consistent with all the screens. Developers have to keep in mind is that tablets are not just large phones as they are designed to serve different purpose.
Overall, it was very good event with lots of information and inspiration to get started with latest in web technology. Let me know if there is any information in the post can be corrected. I missed some other exciting session simultaneously going on in the other hall. It will be great of sombody can post those details here in the comments.
Friday, August 26, 2011
This particular movie was released 1999 which is mostly about Steve Jobs and his personal life. It also includes his contributions to Computer industry along with Steve Wozniak and controversies with Microsoft.
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates appeared together in this interview. Part 1, Part 2
Another remarkable documentary about him and computer history is Triumph of the Nerds
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
While buying I was assuming that it must have boot from USB feature, otherwise it is very difficult to install operating systems like Windows or Linux without any optical drive. I could install Windows XP with the following steps.
- Downloaded WInToFlash
- Create the Windows XP ISO image file from the CD
- Use this guide to make a USB drive bootable with windows XP image.
- Now change the boot sequence of the notebook such that the USB drive takes preference over the internal hard disk (Where freeDOS is installed)
- Boot from the USB drive.
- Select the 1st Option in the following screen
- Continue with a fresh installation. Make sure you select a different location than the default one (which is the USB drive itself ). Typically you should select the Drive C: The first steps will be as usual text based installation.
- Windows setup will copy the files. For me this process was extremely slow. The reason is still unknown. It took whole evening to do so. SO have patience.
- After it reboots automatically , Now it should be booted again from the pen drive but this time select the 2nd option as follows
- Continue the graphical installation till it reboots again.
- Now windows will start for the 1st time and as per documentation this time also it should be booted with the 2nd option like the previous step.
- After completing the start up Remove the USB drive and you are done.
- Optionally you can revert your boot sequence back.
I am also planning to have dual boot in the netbook with Ubuntu . This can be done using pendrivelinux.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Note The views expressed on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
1. Download and Install EGit eclipse plugin into your eclipse.
2. Copy the HTTP url from your github project. Here is how to create a github repository
3. In Eclipse click on File-> Import and select "Projects from Git" under the the Git folder. On clicking next you might get a dialoge for Home environment variable not being set but you can ignore and click on OK.
4.Click on clone and paste the URL copied in step 2 and click next.
5. You will be asked for branch section, in my case I selected master and click next.
6.Then you will be asked to configure the local destination . You can give the a project directory iside your eclipse workspace.
7.Upon clicking next , You might get a message for master password recovery hint question.
8. Cancel the new project from git wizard and create a project from the existing source. Select the folder which we had given as the local destination in step 6.
9.Right click on the newly create project and click on "Team" -- > "Share Project". You can ignore the home environment variable dialog again and select "git" in the share project window.
10.click next and check the "use or create repository in the parent folder of project" checkbox. Check the newly create git repository folder and click finish.
11. Now you will see the project folder icon is changed and small yellow cylinder icon has appeared next to all files and folder in the hierarchy of the project which denotes that these are now version controlled.
Source control operations from Eclipse
After code changes you can right click on any file or folder in the project hierarchy and click " Team --> Commit " to commit the changes locally and finally right click on the project node and "Team -> Push to Upstream" for pushing the changes to the github server(remote) repository
More documentation can be found at the EGit Documentation page. Also see setting up the Git
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Your browser does not support iframes. click here to listen from BBC site
It was one week and I realized that I do not want to be restricted by Google's constrained blogging platform where you can not your own server side scripts. There was a free php and mySQL hosting offer from GoDaddy.com but it was ad-supported. After doing research for various free hosting services I found freehosting.com best because it supports CGI, Python, Ruby on Rails and Cron also (tough I have not tested yet). Its control panel is also very user friendly and clean. File manager application us also very rich and you can edit file right inside the browser. The bigger advantages of this hosting service are that it not only supports file large size upload but also allows php functions like curl. Absence of these two features put me trouble last time because it neither could update the Wordpress files automatically nor able to install extensions and themes automatically from the admin panel. Also wordpress software itself could not be uploaded into the host.
I had had imported my previous wordpress export to wordpress.com blog of mine. Hence I could easily import it in my new installation.
Note: Right click on the above image and click on view image. (screen-shot of the file manager pasted inline in the wordpress post editor using HyperSnap 6) You will not see the url of the image hosted somewhere. You will actually see a lot of character which makes up the image itself. Its actually Data URL Scheme . This specification is available since 1998 but Internet Explorer has not supported it yet.