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February 15, 2010

Augmented Reality: Tattoo that transforms into a flying dragon

Filed under: Computer Related,Computer Software,My Thoughts,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 7:52 PM

Augmented reality, the words bring to mind a science fiction world where people wear glasses hooked up to computers that give additional information on the item being looked at. I have read scores of novels where this technology is in use by humans (both in a positive and negative sense) but till date this technology was still in the realm of Science Fiction.

Now this has changed. ThinkAnApp studio based in Buenos Aries has developed specialized software that allows them to create a tattoo that when viewed through a camera gets transformed into a flying dragon. Or anything else you want. Pretty cool eh?

Here’s what the Tattoo looks like when viewed through a camera:

Check out the video demoing the tattoo in action here.

This is just a prototype and isn’t released for public use yet. But it is a step in the right direction and slowly but surely we are moving closer to the day when the virtual world will overlay the real world and open up all the awesome possibilities that entails.

Source: ThinkAnApp – Augmented Reality (tattoo).

– Suramya

December 11, 2009

Google Calendar Notifications/Issues

Filed under: Computer Software — Suramya @ 4:12 AM

Google recently made a change to its Calender service that I had been waiting for a long time. Actually they might have launched it a while ago but I only noticed it recently.

You now have the ability to send the reminder for an event to a mobile phone as a SMS. The best part is that it even works with my cell phone in India. So now I get reminders even when I don’t have access to my email (which I admit is pretty rare).

The only issue I have found so far is that the reminder via SMS is set about a day before the event no matter what setting I put in the interface. I have set the system so that I get a reminder 15 mins before any appointment set in my calender but I keep getting the reminder a day before, i.e. if the event is on the 8th I get the reminder on my cell phone on the 7th. Hopefully they will fix it soon.

The other issue I hit on the calender is that it seems to be impossible to change the date for an existing event. I wanted to change the date and time for a reminder but it refused to let me change the date. It did change the time to the new time but kept the event on the old date. I finally had to delete the old event and create a new event.

Now if I can get it to sync with my Phone it would be great. I got the phone to sync with my system but still need to get Google to sync to evolution. (The connection keeps timing out for some reason).

Other than these minor issues I really like the Google Calender.

– Suramya

August 15, 2009

Posting to WordPress Blogs from Lifeblog on Nokia Phones

Filed under: Computer Software,Software Releases — Suramya @ 4:45 AM

I have been wanting to have the option to make blog posts directly from lifeblog on my N95 for a while now but so far was unsuccessful because no plugin existed that worked with the latest version of WordPress.

So I downloaded the latest available copy of the plugin from this blog post and modified it to work with the latest version of WordPress.

You can download the latest version of the plugin from the Scripts Directory. This version works with WordPress 2.8.x (I tested it with 2.8.2 and 2.8.4).

Changelog :
Ver 3.5: (15th Aug 2009):

* Plugin is now compatible with WordPress 2.8.x (Tested upto 2.8.4)
* Replaced the SQL queries for categories creation/check with WordPress Functions
* Replaced the SQL queries for user checks with WordPress functions
* Added ability to Enable/Disable Debug Logging by changing one variable

Let me know if you have any questions/issues.

– Suramya

June 23, 2009

Firefox 3.5 RC2 and my experience with it

Filed under: Computer Software,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:21 PM

I have been using the latest version of Firefox(FF) 3.5 for the past few days and I am pretty happy with it so far. I first started using FF when it was version 0.5 (or was it 0.6). Since then I have used every alpha and beta version that Mozilla released for any of its new versions.

This is the first release for which I never tried out the alpha/beta versions. The first time I downloaded it was the pre-RC version Beta 99 that was released just before RC1.

Some of the things have changes. One major change that I have noticed is that it is using a lot less memory than any of the previous versions. Previously it would routinely take up 200-300 MB of RAM, currently it is using 100MB after about a day of surfing.

The privacy mode is also nice but I haven’t really tried it out yet. I haven’t really noticed a lot of speed difference while surfing yet but it does start up faster.

I am eagerly waiting for the final version to come out so that I can play with it.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

September 23, 2008

SugarCRM Silent upgrade issues and fixes

Filed under: Computer Software,Knowledgebase — Suramya @ 5:59 PM

The past few weeks I have been working on the SugarCRM Silent upgrade script that upgrades the CRM from ver 4.5.1 to Version 5.0 and I hit some issues that took ages to fix. So I am sharing the fixes/solutions here for others who might have hit these issues and are looking for a solution:

1. The upgrade fails suddenly with the following error message in the upgradeWizard.log file:

Wed, 24 Sep 2008 08:28:20 -0500 [UpgradeWizard] - *** ERROR: could not copy file: /home/suramya/public_html/CRM/include/SugarFields/Fields/Address/DetailView.tpl

To fix this issue you need to extract the upgrade zip file that you downloaded and then copy the SugarFields folder from the includes directory into the include folder of your CRM. Once you do that the CRM upgrade will continue normally.

2. Upgrade fails with the following error message:

Fatal error: Call to a member function on a non-object in /home/suramya/public_html/CRM/include/dir_inc.php on line 135

This one was an interesting one to fix. I had already migrated a couple of test installs on that server so I knew the server supported the upgrade script and I was migrating the same install again so I knew that the install could be upgraded.

Finally figured out that if you rename the upgrade zip file to another name it will fail with that error message. Which is kind of silly because we give the installer the name of the upgrade zip file when running it…

Hope this helps someone else out there.

– Sur

January 29, 2008

Open Source Software lists

Filed under: Computer Software,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 2:10 PM

Open Source Living has a great list of the various Open Source Software’s (OSS) that are available out there on the web.

It addresses one of the biggest problems with the OSS: the lack of knowledge about the various alternatives that are available. It is classified into various subsections like “Graphics & Photo”, Video, Audio etc. With a great listing. It is being migrated to another CMS (Content Management System) so while thats going on the creator is not making any additions to the site.

The advantage of OSS is that its free to try and its free to use. :) So instead of spending big money on proprietary software check out OSS . You just might find something that you like and save a few bucks.

In an earlier post I had talked about various Open Source Project Management software. Found this post that reviews the various Project planner software. Check it out if you are looking for a Project Management software:

– Suramya

January 17, 2008

Projity releases OpenProj ver 1.0

Filed under: Computer Software,Knowledgebase — Suramya @ 5:06 PM

Version 1.0 of OpenProj (which is a software that I have talked about before) was released earlier this week. This is a big step for the Open Source world as its the first formal release of one of the few competitors of MS Project (That can match it in features).

According to the information I received OpenProj has had over 25,000 downloads in the first two days after its launch. That means a lot of people are planning to use it or are atleast willing to try it out. Infoworld did a detailed review of the Beta version product last year and they mostly had good things to say about it. Now that new version is out we should be seeing another review from them shortly.

As most of the readers of this blog already know, I prefer using Open Source applications. That way I know what I am installing on my system and I get to install/use software without having to pirate it, or paying through my nose for it. Hence my recommendation that if you use MS project you should give OpenProj a try.

That being said; I haven’t installed OpenProj on my system yet nor am I planning to and no Its not because I don’t like the software but rather because I have no need for a project management software. So I don’t want it taking up disk space on my system. But if I ever need a project management software I know where to look.

You can download OpenProj ver 1.0 from their source forge page. More information on it is available here.

– Suramya

December 20, 2007

PDF Editing & Creation: Open source alternatives to Adobe Acrobat

Filed under: Computer Software,Interesting Sites,Knowledgebase — Suramya @ 12:43 PM

I personally don’t like using PDF files. They are bulky and need extra software for me to view them. Plus they are a pain to export into html (which I like). But they are a necessary evil especially if you are dealing with the corporate world/goverment where most of the forms etc are in PDF format maybe because they allow the creator to choose the layout/content and make it hard for others to modify without spending a lot of money. Atleast that used to be the case, now there are most than 50 alternatives to Adobe Acrobat that you can try out and use for free. The following site has a listing of all the tools with a brief description of each: 50+ open source/free alternatives to Adobe Acrobat.

I regularly use Open Office to create PDF’s that look good. I have also tried using the PDF creator but didn’t keep it as Open Office took care of all my PDF creation needs.

Check out the list. You might find the some tool that will save you a lot of money.

– Suramya

December 17, 2007

Ping Tunnel – Send TCP traffic over ICMP

Filed under: Computer Software,Knowledgebase,Linux/Unix Related — Suramya @ 10:56 AM

This very interesting application allows you to tunnel TCP traffic over ICMP. Basically if you are behind a firewall that doesn’t allow any TCP data to pass through but allows you to ping systems on the net you can use this to create a tunnel over which you can send any data.

Check it out here: Ping Tunnel – Send TCP traffic over ICMP

Sounds very useful and is something to keep in the toolbox.

– Suramya

September 29, 2007

Joy’s of Windows XP

Filed under: Computer Software,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:47 PM

Windows XP is one of the most stable versions of Windows currently out there but it can also get to be very annoying especially to a Linux user. Things that are a snap in Linux are a pain to accomplish in XP and some things are just plain annoying. Below is a list of things that I find annoying in XP, if anyone knows a solution for any of them let me know.

1. Folder sorting doesn’t work if you add a new folder: I like my directories and files to be listed in alphabetical order sorted by file type so I have the ‘Auto Arrange’ checked with the system set to arrange icons by type. Now if I add a new folder/file to this directory it should automatically arrange the listing so that the listing is sorted, but that doesn’t happen. The file/directory ends up in the end of the directory listing. Refreshing the listing doesn’t help, I have to right click and choose ‘Arrange icongs by type’ before it sorts it correctly. This is damm annoying. In Linux (KDE) this happens automatically, at worst I have to hit F5 to refresh the screen to get the sorted listing.

2. Files/Directories get locked for no reason: I hit this one a lot. For some reason Windows randomly decides that a particular directory or file is in use (even though its not) and refuses to let me delete/rename it. It only releases the lock if I reboot the system. Which I don’t like to do often.

3. The auto-update doesn’t have a pause option: If you have Windows set for auto-updates and it decides to download a patch then you can’t pause it or cancel the download if you happen to need the bandwidth for other uses. Hit this a couple of times when Mom’s computer was downloading Windows updates and I needed to download a file on my laptop, the update was using up most of the bandwidth and my download was going really really slow but I couldn’t cancel the update.

4. The constant reboots: Windows needs to reboot for every little update that gets installed. Yesterday I switched on my mom’s computer and as soon as it started up and I logged in I got a message “An update has been installed that needs you to reboot the computer to take effect” (Don’t remember the exact words but it was something to this effect). How about that… I started up the system and it wanted me to reboot. I upgraded the Antivirus and installed the Windows updates on the system and it took a total of 7 reboots for it to make all the changes.

5. The virtual memory requirements: My laptop has a gig of RAM and usually I don’t run more than 3-4 programs at the same time (Editplus, Firefox and Thunderbird) though sometimes I also run Visual Studio and MS SQL server. invariably every few weeks I get a message stating that Windows is running out of virtual memory and is increasing the paging/virtual memory(?). I have gotten this message even when I was just running Firefox and Thunderbird. How can windows run out of a GIG of RAM when I am not running many programs? On my Linux box I run a lot more programs on a system with less RAM and still haven’t had any problems so far. I have burned DVD’s, watched a movie with 3-4 programs running at the same time without issues. Don’t dare do that on my XP system.

Ah well. Nothing is perfect. But atleast XP doesn’t crash often. I go for weeks at a time without having to reboot. Linux has its own set of annoyances but thats a story for another day/post.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

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