Showing posts from 2011

Increase VirtualBox disk size


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 k…

Lunar Eclipse 10 December 2011

This was last eclipse of the year. I had already missed the longest total lunar eclipse this year on 15th June because of bad weather. Unfortunately this time also it was cloudy when the eclipse started. However the sky became clear even before half of the moon was covered by earth's shadow. Also I was at a place which was bit far from the city light, hence managed to capture some nearby stars also.

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.

Stargazing and Leonid meteor Shower 2011

It had been a while I bought a couple of telescopes but I had not used it outdoors yet. I had been using them only from my building terrace which is full of light pollution. I wanted to go out , at least with the small table top telescope. With encouragement from couple of my friends Srini and LSP we went to a nearby place where sky was relatively dark and one could see stars up to magnitude +4.5 (Naked eye limit in the darkest sky is about 6). This was just enough to see the the couple of stars (mu And and nu And) in Taurus which can be used to locate the M31 (Andromeda Galaxy, the only naked eye object outside our milky way ). We reached around 11pm on 17th Jan at the spot. I was expecting the moonrise at 12 midnight but to my surprise, the horizon was so low (we were at a higher place) that moon appeared at 11.30 itself. It was large and orange colored. We started setting up telescopes quickly to avoid moon light glare in sky. We only spotted very few objects as it was 1st session …

Orion StarMax 90mm Table top

My first telescope was a Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ which was quite big to carry. I recently bought another small one , Orion StarMx 90mm table top. Thanks to my friends for delivering it all the way from USA to my house. This is a portable telescope with 90 mm of aperture which  good enough to see bright nebulae. This has a Maksutov-Cassegrain design because of  which it has a high focal length of 1250mm even tough the size of the main tube is small .  It does not have a tripod but can be mounted on ordinary photo tripods. The mount is alt-azimuth, i.e it move horizontally and vertically. It comes with a battery powered LED red dot view finder without any magnification , which makes visible naked eye  objects easy to center even with low focal length eyepiece with high  magnification. On the other hand my old telescope had a cross hair based finder-scope with some magnification which sometimes makes it difficult to spot objects because low field of view without adding to the brightn…

Hang out with AstronomyCast

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.

Oracle Vs ICRISAT Friendly Match

After a long break finally Oracle Hyderabad team were invited to ICRISAT for a friendly match inside the ICRISAT campus on 22nd October Saturday. After so much of practice at our campus nets our team was desperately looking for some practice match (even if it was on mat). We played there last year and beat them with considerable margin however they claimed that their star players were unavailable and finally we had to give them couple of our players to play from their side. That was eventually my last match in that season before I got busy in some courses in IIIT. I had ended up in a high note with a couple of wickets in the same over. This time they were ready with full strength but we had couple of our key players like Captain and Vice-Captain missing. However our line up looked on good paper with a lot of batting depth unlike other tournaments where a lot of bowlers are available and usually bowlers are seen in the bench.

ICRISAT is my second most favorite ground in Hyderabad not on…

SiliconIndia Java Conference India

Today I spoke on creating RESTful  webservice using JAX-RS at SiliconIndia JAVA conference held at Green park Hotel Hyderabad. It was great to see the professional audience and top people from the Industry like Lalit Balchandani, Jay Pullur , Shastry Kuppa and Ashish Sarin speaking about JAX-WS, Spring Rooand Agile project management. There were also sessions touching cloud computing topics like BigData and Mapreduce.

The chief sponsor Tata Mcraw-Hill Presented me the book "ANDROID, a programmer's guide by Jerome DiMarzio.
RestFull Webservices with JAX-RS
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Thanks Arun Gupta for helping me out with the slides and other clarifications regarding  JAX-RS before the conference.

Astrophotography with Point and Shoot Camera

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 foll…

Sony Cyber-Shot HX9V

I recently did some search in the internet before buying my digital camera. I was looking for a compact camera with high zoom and very good video recording. I was also looking for features like long exposure and my budget was around 15,ooo INR. Finally searching a lot in and checking prices in Indian online stores  like , and . I don't really trust any other site as of now. I narrowed down my search results to Nikon CoolPix S9100/S8200 , Sony Cyber-shot HX9V and Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20. Panasonic one was having touch screen and 60 sec shutter  exposure and 240 fps recording options advantages over the others. However from the reviews I concluded not to go for touch as one has to operate buttons also along with it and I was not sure about this brand in digital camera category. I went to the nearby store and checked Nikon  s9100 and Sony HX9V and found that optical image stabilization was way better in HX9V than S9100 and later…

Durgam Cheruvu Trek Again

There was an unfinished trek of mine a couple of weeks back.Today it was time to complete it. Thanks to GHAC for giving the opportunity again. This was my 3rd trek with GHAC. The place was same, the starting point was same as well,  just the company was different and very friendly as usual.

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…

GHAC - Beginners Hike at Kajaguda

Last Sunday I went for the exploration trek near Durgam cheruvu. As it was incomplete for me, I decided to join GHAC again for another beginners' trek near Khajauda. This time a lot more people tuned up and there was hardly anybody common with the previous trek. This was first time I was going for a trek on a week day when I had to join office afterwards. It was a great experience to meet new people and climb small rocks. Unfortunately I did not try to do the chimney climbing like many others but I did some practice in a smaller chimney (climbing through the gap between vertical rocks).

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)

Durgam Cheruvu trek with GHAC

While looking for an astronomy meetup group around Hyderabad I had come across GHAC (Great Hyderabad Adventure Club ), which was also highly recommended by friend Kunal. I discovered there is no astronomy group yet so wanted to create one. However I did not go ahead as I became skeptical about how many people would be interested and it was a paid service. Last week when I came across the newsletter of GHAC meetup group, I saw there was a trek being organized by them at a very familiar and near by place of mine.It was Durgam Cheruvu : A Head To Tail Exploration Hike . I had already been to the IT park  side of the lake where there are boating facilities and lake side benches ( I has seen some people sitting their with their iPods and Kindle/Tablet). Hence was very excited about the rocky side.

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

Oracle Global Volunteers Day 2011

Last year we had a great time spent with  home For The Aged & Orpahn kids - OM SAI SEVASHRAM  as part of Oracle Global volunteers days 2010. This year also on September 19, 2011 we organized a trip to Botanical Garden.

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.

Google DevFest 2011 Hyderabad

Finally got some time to write a post after long time. Lately life was not that eventful  anyway. Today I got a chance to participate in Google Dev fest here in Hyderabad at HICC. So i thought of documenting the notes I had taken during the sessions for future reference.

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 h…

Steve Jobs and Pirates of Silicon vally

Steve Jobs resigned today from Apple Inc. When he did it so last time in 1984 it did not turn out to be good for Apple Computers.He rescued Apple again when he was back in 1996 with fascinating products like iPod and IPhone in later years.

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

CSI Student branch Talk on Introduction to JavaScript and AJAX at

Yesterday I had an opportunity to speak on JavaScript and AJAX at Narsimha Reddy Engineering college (NREC) at Hyderabad on behalf of Computer Society of India's Hyderabad chapter . Thanks to Mr. Narasimha Rao, Vice Chairman, CSI Hyderabad Chapter who had contacted me for speaking and choosing the topic also. Since my colleague Ashish Singh  was ready to talk about the jQuery I wanted to set the stage for him by talking about basics of javaScript and AJAX which is in turn used in jQuery. very large number of audience turned up (roughly 180).

Introduction to javaScript
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Installing Windows XP from USB Drive

I just bought bought a Samsung netbook (NP-NC108-A04IN). Like many of the netbooks of this price range it came with FreeDOS. Few price comparison revealed that the same model with Windows 7 basic license  costs  on an average 2500/- INR more that that of the once with FreeDOS.

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…

Bloomberg Game Changers: Larry Ellison

Few years back I watched him in The Triumph of Nerds and Larry's interview seemed to be very futuristic as it was shot on 1995 , soon after windows 95 was launched. This one of the amazing story and covers major facts will date. It all started with the relational database's research paper and took off like a flight. There were some bad moments in early 1990s. It was incredible to know that government sued the company but the private company ended up wining it. Oracle's product might not be known to common people like Google's but definitely most of our day to day life relies on Oracle products  at some point , be it a mobile phone company's business or Pharmacy's consignments.


Note The views expressed on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle

Talk at ATRI college on Introduction to Webservice

Today as part of IEEE computing colloquium , I got an opportunity to talk about introduction to webservices at ATRI college. The response was very good. Students were very eager to know about the trending topics. Also got chance to spend time with Dr. Atul Negi of University of Hyderabad and Rahul Dronam Raju who talked about wireless mesh networks and Project management respectively (Please see the poster for the schedule) . It was a learning experience as well from the experienced speakers like them. I am very grateful to the students who kept me informing about the event and escorted me right from my house all the way to their college and special treatment by student volunteers, the director Dr. Prabhu and the anchor for pronouncing my name right way :) which is very rare event in this part of India :D .

Intro to web services
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setting up eclipse with github

For most of the project I use eclipse as it is very extendable with so many plugins but when I want to be lazy and let the IDE do everything I wish I use Netbeans (i.e at work :)). I wanted my project to be stored as repository at git and let eclipse handle all the source controlling jobs , so that I do not have to use shell or git bash for committing and pushing the local changed to remote  repository everytime. I managed to connect my repository in github to my eclipse project in the following way

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 cas…

India vs England Live commentry BBC

It was 1996 and I was quite addicted to cricket and BBC. Everyday I had a habit of tuning my radio to the medium wave frequency of BBC World Service and Voice of America. I still remember listening to live commentary of the lords test when India toured England 15 years  ago. Somehow missed the 1st test, may be because it was the same old typical 90's Indian team. 2nd test was special because two young Indian cricketer made there debut at the mecca of cricket , the same guys would change the face of Indian cricket and become legends in ext decade. Also it was the last test of Dickie Bird as an umpire , whom I admired the most. Today it is the 2000th official test match  in cricket history and here is the live commentary broadcasted by BBC online.

Your browser does not support iframes. click here to listen from BBC site

Back to Wordpress

I had just shifted my blog to blogger last week and guess what, I am back to wordpress again.  Thanks to free PHP and MySQL host .
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 but it was ad-supported. After doing research for various free hosting services I found 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 instal…