Monday, September 19, 2005

BernieMac: Mac OS; DVD ripping/burning dilemma

Recently I started working on Mac OS-X , Got this fine Apple previous G4 with the Superdrive from friend of mine . I discovered few interesting things as far as DVD ripping and burning is concerned, after a long struggle on few things. I thought this would be useful for folks out there who want something quick about this part of the world.
To burn DVD movie which is as big as 8 GB to 10 GB is a pain. You have couple of options.
  • Have a Dual layer DVD 8.X GB, and burn your movie or data on that, But bummer is you will need a dual layer DVD-RW drive, which is not a great option
  • Second and best option is compress the movie or data file which is greater that 4.7 GB and then burn it on the standard blank DVD-R(+R/RW) disk
This gets extremely easy on Windows , just download DVDShrink , this puppy is one of the best of application ever written and best it is free, it does 2 important things
    • Rips the DVD data from the source
    • Compresses the data to the best compression % possible with default compression algorithms.
After that all you have to use a normal burning utilities like Nero or Roxio to burn the data. Simple and elegant.

Now How about Mac-OS, it gets little tricky and complex than that, primary reason is there is no DVDShrink available for Mac-OS, moreover its quite a work to find free and good software to find on Mac. So consider following options

  • MacTheRipper : Tiny little ripping tool (Its free) does a great job of ripping the DVD into VIDEO_TS format. Some of the rips doesn't work good for burning.
  • DVD2Onex This is a ripping + compression tool, works pretty well. Got to pay, you get one free rip with free download.
  • Roxio Popcorn This one is ripping + compressing + burning tool , so that makes it best of all of the above , again you got to pay for this one, but I would say it is totally worth it. You put a Source DVD, it will start ripping + compressing and once it is done, you pop out source dvd and pop in blank dvd and it will write the compressed data. With real good quality.
For burning on Mac, you can use Mac OS's in house iTunes, DiskImage, DiskUtility and Free softwares out there or commercial softwares like Roxio Toast Lite/Titanium. For more info on any of the above go to this Wiki

Have a great time ripping _and_ compressing _and_ burning.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

American Legend to roll in India

I'm writing after a long time in here, and I thought this one is really good information to share with all those motorcycle lovers, especially cruisers.
Harley-Davidson is planning to bring its legendry motorcycles to India, via import medium. Believe it or not for few people like me its a damn good news, if it really happens. Call it as craziness or whatever, it will be a big shift for Indian motorcycle industry (I mean motorcycles from India and _NOT_ Indian brand :)). This will add up to one of the reasons why I would move back to India. Here is the article which talks about this possibility.
Price tag is little too over the top for Indian market, but it would still draw lot of upper class people to buy this mean machine, Harley-Davidson is targeting range between 4 Lac rupees to 14 Lac rupees. So lower end price tag might fetch you Sportster brand and higher price tag will possibly have VRSC or Touring , if they plan to release all the models.
As India is one of the biggest market for motorcycles, I was always dreamt these big machines to be a part of Indian roads, where Kawaski and Yamaha sportsbikes was always in demand.
I know few people like Inddie Thumpers who ride and live the Indian manufactured bad boys (Enfield motorcycles) would either try this piece of American history or own it. I would for sure when I get back home and right now I'm enjoying my harley-davidson sportster ride around bayarea.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Quick and Dirty; Apache HTTP Compression

Following are few steps for HTTP compression on Apache.

  • Open httpd.conf
  • Uncomment line #LoadModule headers_module modules/, if it is commented
  • At the very end of the file, add following lines

LoadModule deflate_module modules/

# Insert filter
SetOutputFilter DEFLATE

# Netscape 4.x has some problems...
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html

# Netscape 4.06-4.08 have some more problems
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip

# MSIE masquerades as Netscape, but it is fine
BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html

# Don't compress images
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:gifjpe?gpng)$ no-gzip dont-vary

# Make sure proxies don't deliver the wrong content
Header append Vary User-Agent env=!dont-vary

  • Restart your Apache HTTP server and you are all up and running with compression server output compression.

For more details refer Apache's mod_deflate Documentation

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Connect Oracle behind Firewall

Problem: TNS:operation timed out
Reason : Oracle database server behind any type of firewall.
Solution: Add "USE_SHARED_SOCKET"="TRUE", on the windows registry.


More information can be found here

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Open source started running deep in IBM

There is a phenomena like open source and there are giants like HP, SUN, BEA who are adopting open source in a different way, and there is IBM who is turning the wheels all around.

IBM's push for
  • Eclipse project ; the IDE /Application framework swept the developers off their feet.
  • In-House support for Firefox; pushing the firefox the across the enterprise, making usage of breakthrough browser more prevalent (I don't think they realy needed to do this, people are already jumping onto firefox for its beauty!)
  • Embracing GlueCode [1+]; With this IBM will back up Apache Geronimo project, which will make JBoss/Novell worry for sure upto certain extent, because of the possible projection of Geronimo in the J2EE application server market. infact experts predicting IBM's wepsphere would be less of threat to BEA Weblogic, than Geronimo going after JBoss.
  • Last but not least IBM's own open source arena

My list will keep growing, I'm sure IBM will keep pushing and supporting this revolution.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Smart web clients; Ajax way..

We have been hearing a lot about Ajax (asynchronous JavaScript and XML) these days. It is for sure changing the way web clients are presented. Why go far; Google maps (so called poster child for Ajax) /Google Suggest are the few ones to implement Ajax, real time, but implemented extremely well. You will not feel a blink, that browser is talking to server real time, as user enters data.
Probably the driving force behind all this is XMLHttpRequest concept, which makes it quite possible. From the business front, Microsoft is been talking about smart clients for a quite a while reflecting their images on their Windows operating system.
I'm not sure how the scalability of Ajax works for business application type of products/Big data intensive/intelligent applications, where you have heavy database interaction, business models, data controllers, UI limitations etc. It might get clunky do a lot of work in Javascript/client side, if not designed right.

What is next ?

  • Now people speculate; is Ajax a alternative for Flash, I don't think so. In fact they will be compliment each other in terms of sharing feature sets. went ahead collaborated the Ajax model with Flash and they call it as Aflax (Ajax+Flash). Look at their google maps equivalent in Flash .
  • Toolkits and API for Ajax; We need toolkit and API's which support Ajax, which will learning curve
  • Speculations; Sam Ruby about Ajax's other side.
I personally see a good potential in this model, to turn around the UI world, if not 360 degrees, atleast 180 degrees. It gives user of Ajax a better control over user anxiety on waiting for web application to load. Also gives more convincing power to UI seller to paint pretty picture effectively without much impact on performance.
I would watch for it, with experimenting Ajax way.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Yoga; Open sourced...

Open source is proving to be phenomena , even attracting non-technological fronts like Yoga. Open Source Yoga Unity (OSYU) is a corporation to open source yoga in a right way, which will make people aware about benefits of more than 5000 year old spiritual practice and art of body work.
The fact is it is all gathering under the one umbrella of Open source. Because it sounds right and it was not be that way. Yoga was _NOT_ supposed to patented and copyrighted.. It has been given to students from Teachers for 1000's of years. Open source derives similar idea, with some change assuming it is treated right.

Friday, March 11, 2005

When 3 OS's meet in a imaginary world; iPod bridges the gap

This is really cool; iPod has done it again; IBM's attempt to use Linux on iPod for boot/recover/backup tasks. Think about this.

  • iPod is created by Apple; Home of Mac-OS
  • ipodlinux manage to get Linux on iPod and much more.
  • IBM uses iPod to boot Linux on PC.

Well there is the love-hate collaboration of 3 operating systems in a very imaginary world.

Like Google is a software development tool these days. iPod is becoming Google of hardware industry. Even though I do not own a iPod, it still intrigues me , this tiny masterpiece is taking the world by storm one inch by one inch.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Is AMQ threat for ESB vendors out there?.

Financial industry leaders like JP Mogran Chase, gearing up for the new Open source message Queue Platform based on web services and SOA standards. They are calling it as "AMQ" (I'm assuming this will be Advanced Message Queuing :-) ).

Financial industry argument points to following core factors.
  • Get rid of proprietary factors.
  • More lenient Support for C/C++/C# technology.
  • Huge data transfer rate (Close to 100 MB); This is driven from big concerns for regular feeds going back and forth.
  • Build the whole AMQ architecture right in the Operation System Kernel, (This is the Cool one I liked). Initial release already focusing on SuSE/Redhat/Solaris Kernel.

On the contrary it is not a new concept to have a open source MOM (message oriented middleware). There are few.

Here is the detailed article on this subject.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Check-in/Check-out On Demand Enterprise; Services to Grid

We have been hearing On-Demand buzz for long time now, last year it received quite an attention. Right from on demand infrastructure thru on demand services to on demand applications, its growing and it makes more sense for a customer to pertain to this trend. Reason is "Mother of all"; Cost benefit ; ROI factor; Customers realize the utilization of their money in a right direction sooner than later in this model. Most of all reduces overhead on maintenance.

IBM is quite an pioneer in this race, and it invested big bucks in this future possibility. As Sam Palmisano said "an enterprise whose business processes—integrated end-to-end across the company and with key partners, suppliers and customers—can respond with speed to any customer demand, market opportunity or external threat."

On Demand Platform changes the way you design and implement your systems. It is started as traditional ASP model and gained lot of mileage from the hosting model and eventually got exposed as Enterprise business model because of web services/REST/XML/Utility computing and similar technologies.

Recently we are seeing a real "Check-in/Check-out On Demand Enterprise", across different aspects. From Utility Grid computing to Enterprise E-Commerce. Some of the examples are

  • Enterprise services [1+]; are opening themselves to On-Demand E-Commerce.
  • Sun's Grid's availability for global computing; A real Kicker to the Grid world. Data center will be available to the customers, pay per use. $1/hr of CPU usage. What Sun gets out of these is; primarily they can make Customers to use their products and possible venture into different verticals, So that's On-Demand Computing.
  • Amazon's Message Queue Platform; This is a cool one, Amazon will open up its SQS(Simple Queue Service), as a add-on to its already existing web services infrastructure. Don't forget this again comes with certain usage boundaries. This makes Amazon as one of the few players moving to On-Demand Middleware.

From the technology front, IBM announcing SOMA, extension to current SOA, that will help enterprises to convert their model to On-Demand business.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Big Trinity's "Natural Selection": PeopleSoft as an Advantage.

Well it "It's a dog eat dog world" for sure. But I guess this one would be best described as "Its a dog eat another dog alive, world". Well everyone of aware of one of the biggest buy out story of this year. Oracle bought PeopleSoft for $10 b . and Oracle is proposing this one as a one of the strategic moves for their future. This is not one of the only attempt of Oracle to acquire big leaders, but this is the successful attempt to wipe out, such a big company and its people with a smart planning. Oracle tried to acquire players like Siebel and BEA in past also.
Now its someone should take an advantage of this whole situation, Big 3 did. Yes!. Its Microsoft , SAP and IBM.
  • Microsoft discounted migration services,This will migrate customers from Peoplesoft application. So their 25% discount program will be over by end of mid this year. So customers will rush and there goes Microsoft revenue, up again. As they reported revenue growth for their 3rd quarter already up by 13%
  • SAP buys TomorrowNow [1+]; Huge benefit for SAP going forward. Now they have their own way of spinning the wheel. with this deal, 75% credit towards mySAP ERP, discount for Netweaver integration platform
  • IBM to buy Corio; Corio is one of the leading ASP for PeopleSoft and Oracle ERP, IBM will kill two stones with this, first it will strengthen its own Hosted ASP business. Second slowly go after customers like PeopleSoft and Oracle, as IBM has its own small business application initiative, to go on CRM market.

interestingly this will go on because its a race but with advantage to your competitors sometimes, whoever wins they need to maintain the reputation, but people who loose or who are watching winners closely, they keep an eye on next revolution and run for it.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

SCO's win over IBM/Linux case: Good or Bad for Open source but more formal Open source adoption policy

is this good or bad for Open source and its forgoing future

Good from perspective of

Open source will be treated right from legal aspects, There will be a better open source adoption policy, chances for Open source compliance to become more formal

Bad from perspective of
Now enterprises will be skeptical about use of Open source technology inside the organization, because of possible legal threat with following loosing of millions of $$.

Bottom line, that brings up a point, Open source governance and right policy implementation to have a healthy environment going between open source vendors/legal experts/CIO's

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

OSI approves Sun's CDDL, what does it mean??

Open source initiative (OSI), approved Sun Microsystems's CDDL, What does that mean in short?.

  • Open Solaris
  • Create a unhappiness in Linux community and other fellow open source people.
  • Open source Patent giveaway war; With CDDL, Sun gives away all of its patents to dev community as compared to 500 IBM patents, Now there starts one more round of tug-of-war between these 2 big players.
  • Open source Operating system group will be more happening, with 2 distinct groups (Solaris and Linux) forming to run against each other.

Torvalds says

"It will be hard for Sun to build a community like Linux. Looks like Sun is trying to play the same track as they did with Java, where they tried to control the whole evolving to maturing process of Java, So they loose real advantage of Open source"

Monday, January 17, 2005

On Demand-Real Time-Human interaction based Customer Service

Is this annoying or "Minority Report" age for customers ?.

Circuit City's new approach to Customer Service. This changes how customers interact with products in a real store. Circuit City's CIO Mike Jones, want to sell products, infer products and sales to customers. Reminds me of Minority report and presentation of the technology in that movie. Remember guy walking on the subway train station, Camera/Screen on the side of the platform identifies the person and gives the personal advertisements for that person. I knew this will be a future, but did not think it will be this fast.

Optimist will say ?

  • Revolutionary idea, no representative needed. It is On Demand World.

Pessimist will say?

  • Are you crazy!, it is annoying, I do not want headphone hanging on my head and screaming at my ear, picthing me about products wherever I focus my eye sight.

Well its a give and take world, Got to loose something to gain. Its a matter of preference.

Here are list of scenario summaries, which Circuit city wants to present to customer.

  • Personal Thank you from the CEO to the customer who makes big buck purchase.
  • Personal delivery of the product to customer's home, based on availability of product in customer's home address area.
  • MP3 Player preloaded with customer's favorite music
  • Promotions based on customer's interaction with the products and his intrest, RFID based smart cards.

How will competitors react to this infrastructure revolution. We will see it sooner than later.

AudioBlogging Tests the limit of how far human can go; Over and Out Kilimanjaro

This is amazing. Audioblogging From Kilimanjaro via satellite phone, that too as a memorial for another late officer. Truly remarkable job!. As they were audio blogging MP3 on to the site, they reached the summit.
Needless to say, How powerful this information age is, with tomorrow's social engineering tools like Blogging(Audio/Video)/Wiki/Tagging it is all reachable within few seconds.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Building Open source evangelists; redefining software services model.

As Mitch Kapor said

"I think that for people who use software, in the long run, open-source products are going to be less expensive and of higher quality. Also, open-source products put more control into the hands of people and organizations that use the software, which is a good thing."; in this recent article.

It is true, it takes a considerable amount of time for revolution, Open source products started growing from developers heart to CIO's heart. It is a long transition from late 90's till date.

As fundamental idea behind open source , Companies have lesser burdern from software cost and more of long term maintenance/service work. Infact it is not only with open source , even with commercial product vendors are facing this problem. There is no "new license" money, its all about Subscription/maintenance model ,
" "subscription" maintenance business as "an extremely high-margin business." mentioned by Larry Ellison's earlier this year in a earnings call, Have a look at this graph (from Forrester Research) of New licenses/Maintenance/Services. It shows Maintenance is a constant growth and reaches close to 40% of total revenue, following that Services superseded New licenses during 2001 to 2003.

So How is open source players are taking this trend?. By proposing services as business model for open source companies, building open source specialists; soon to become evangelists, Who will
  • Promote and implement open source technologies around different stacks like LAMP/LAMJ and other components
  • Provide support for existing open source platform and components for different customers.
Companies are taking this real seriously, We currently seeing following service trend for open source industry.
  • New wave in Global Open source software services, Companies like SourceLabs, Spikesource; providing whole LAMP/LAMJ stack certification. Then Optaros, doing system integration and consulting.
  • Big players support for established open source prdoducts. (HP's support for JBoss/MySQL, which intern gives competitive edge against IBM/BEA)
  • Open source vendors (JBoss/MySQL) driving services as one of the key business factors.
  • Offshore SI/service providers developing open source services practices and expertise.

And there are companies like Apptility who wants to make open source adoption/compliance easier, along with services/support, Blackduck on compliance management.

Following diagram will show the transition of a concept to enterprise value element.

In a true sense it is redefining typical software services model, with the help of open source advocates and evangelists.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Geronimo; Will he lead J2EE App server tribe?.

A true The Geronimo Effect will be felt soon. It makes me believe that it is highly possible, when Geronimo finally matures to the level of full blown J2EE deployment, probably it will be the first open source J2EE application server, which will be loved by the community. Apart from JBoss beating big player like IBM, Oracle and BEA in Enterprise market, which establishes the recognition and liking for strong open source reliable product. Reasons are numerous on why this happens, simplicity and $$ are key factors.
Geronimo has already started making waves back in late 2004 and already eating Web sphere/Weblogic's breakfast.

Why Geronimo ?

  • ASF 's (Apache Software Foundation) License is more lenient as compared LGPL (JBoss) or GPL.
  • Solid stack of previously popular enterprise products, e.g.Tomcat, the best Servlet container ever written. The tiniest few Kilobytes kernel, JBoss's service driven kernel architecture.
  • Full blown J2EE application server for enterprise wide service on open source platform.
  • Huge community supporting Apache software Foundation products.
  • Possible commercial support on service basis like JBoss.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

More Power to Open source developers From IBM; Patents and IP becomes Primary attributes of Open source game!

After IBM gave away 100's of patents to open source development community, suddenly patents and Intellectual Property becomes one of the key attributes for open source licensing domain.
A great move from IBM, after sitting on top of tons of open source projects, what a smart way to utilize one of the largest patent list under their umbrella.
It is true shared open source innovation, makes true senses when IP is respected and followed in a right direction.
That's why FSF(Free Software Foundation)/Richard Stallman working on GPL next version, one of the most prominent and popular license in whole open source community. This rewrite is focused more for Patent and IP.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

How to Blog; Good Blog to follow.. When will we get Categories in Blogger.

This one is a real nice blog about How to Blog and details about other blog leaders, comparisons
By the way, why blogger team can not push this basic and useful "Categories" feature?. There are some hacks/workarounds at OldCola. But I would love a true feature than doing all playing around with the code. I will wait and see.

Friday, January 07, 2005

When Government goes Open-Source on technology; Brasil, aquele é a maneira ir.

This is the future of open source, when it gets to government arena, it have to have a potential to stir the vendor dominated nation.
Brazil government is going open source, They want to start right from the bottom of the stack. Javali is one of the initiative in this direction. They want to get java language itself under open source umbrella, and probably go from there.
Is this going to be the future trend, with government organizations, in selecting IT / Business infrastructure components ?. Is this how big enterprises are going to follow thru.
These enterprises and organizations do not mind paying for the services at all. As long as there is good value for money, they will be overwhelmed with the idea of free software(I mean it!), paid services.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

BlogWar between Six Apart , Google and MSN Spaces. Is MSN spaces making it more interesting ?

After Six Apart's acquisition LiveJournal (Six Apart to Buy LiveJournal), Typepad and MoveableType under their belt, it will become one of the biggest Blog Hosting providers. . Is this the game between SixApart , Google 's Blogspot/Blogger and New MSN Spaces

Looks like MSN has given its own twist to msn spaces, by collaborating traditional blogging with photos, that makes them close to Blogging + Flickr. Even though they are not as good as flickr today, in terms of innovation in photo blogging and cool derivation of fundamental blogging with its technical elements like tags, community etc. I guess one advantage MSN will have on all these blog hosting sites, that it will let you blog from your MSN Instant Messenger, which makes it blogging on your desktop while you are chatting with your friends, may be you can convert you useful chat conversations into blog content with intelligent filters.

Its definitely worth testdriving msn spaces and see how far they go with this. Race is on...

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

.NET not on IIS and On Apache ?. Yes : Cassini or Mono.

People who wants to run .NET framework or webservices part of it on a standalone, self-contained environment, without going thru the hassle of getting whole Microsoft IIS server setup. There are couple of viable solutions

Use Cassini : Cassini, Microsoft's own lightweight webserver (Old day Personal webserver for ASP applications), which is light in footprint. Also check for CassiniEx

Use Mono: Mono's 's XSP or mod_mono, Best part is You can envision running Microsoft .NET on Apache, using mod_mono module plugin for Apache HTTP Server.(Neat!!..:). Irony is this plugin is suppose to be working only for Unix/Linux I guess, not for Windows.

Use Cassini On Apache: Drop Cassini on top of Apache. This is one of the wonderful ideas, because Apache can serve your Java and .NET Both. There is a true collaboration or whatever you call it as.
That makes Apache a true winner across the Architecture/Frameworks.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Google and Sarbanes Oxley one of the top 2 things to watch in 2005; Now you know the reason...

This partially explains why Google and Sarbanes Oxley are going to be one of the Top two things to watch in 2005. Sarbanes Oxley Policy Forbids GDS article says, corporate IT needs to make an strong decision about Google Desktop Search, either supporting security factor for outcome of GDS install on all the computers or strictly banning the usage of GDS inside organization.
Sarbanes Oxley will keep going deep inside big organizations making every business unit Compliance Orinented, and Google will keep doing cool things which appeal to the masses. But when these two collide in the matter like personal intrusion subject, because GDS and Policy compatibility.