Saturday, July 29, 2006

MSDN Library is totally free now!!

For the first time, Microsoft has made their MSDN Library freely available for download from Microsoft Downloads. Previously, it was only available for download to MSDN subscribers. Starting May 2006 all future releases would be made free for public.

Download details: MSDN Library May 2006 Edition

Update:
The above link seems to be obsolete. The latest URL for this is http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=94596af5-cc58-45af-a14b-df627a31e783&DisplayLang=en



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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Easiest / fastest way to Delete ALL records in a Database

One of the very common activities a SQL developer face is to flush records from ALL the tables in their development database.

Though “Delete” and “Truncate” commands can be used to flush records in a table the issue is we can’t use them directly if we have constraints attached to some of the tables.

One of the solutions is to “Delete” records in the tables in an orderly fashion. Like, “Delete” the child table first and then the parent table. As long as there are limited number of tables in the Database this solution is more than enough. But for those databases where there are lots of tables with constraints this solution would be pretty tough to implement. In those cases, try out my solution which I have explained later in this article.

Code snippet to reproduce the foreign key conflict error:

Create Table TruncateTblDemo
(
[Sno] int identity,
[FirstName] varchar(50),
[SalaryBandID] int
)
Go

Create Table TruncateTblDemo_SalaryBand
(
[BandID] int identity primary key,
[BandName] varchar(50)
)
Go

Alter
table TruncateTblDemo Add
Constraint [FK_TruncateTblDemo_TruncateTblDemo_SalaryBand] Foreign Key
(
[SalaryBandID]
)
References [TruncateTblDemo_SalaryBand]
(
[BandID]
)
Go

Insert into TruncateTblDemo_SalaryBand Values ('Analyst')
Insert into TruncateTblDemo_SalaryBand Values ('Sr. Analyst')
Insert into TruncateTblDemo_SalaryBand Values ('Module Lead')
Insert
into TruncateTblDemo_SalaryBand Values ('Technical Lead')
Go

Insert
into TruncateTblDemo Values ('Vadivel', 1)
Insert into TruncateTblDemo Values ('Sailakshmi', 2)
Go

/*
The below code would throw an error message saying "it cannot delete / truncate because it is being referenced by a FOREIGN KEY constraint."
*/

Truncate
table TruncateTblDemo_SalaryBand
Delete from TruncateTblDemo_SalaryBand

Usual or Normal Solution

Delete
from TruncateTblDemo -– Child Table
Delete from TruncateTblDemo_SalaryBand –- Parent Table

Easiest Solution which would work for any [SQL Server] Database design

This solution is a 3 step process.

  1. Disable all constraints
  2. Delete or Truncate data
  3. Enable Constraints back

Code snippet

Alter Procedure usp_FlushRecords_AllTables
As

/*********************************************************
Stored Procedure: usp_FlushRecords_AllTables
Creation Date: 07/24/2006
Written by: Vadivel Mohanakrishnan

P
urpose: Delete ALL records within ALL the tables in a DB with ease.
Test: Exec usp_FlushRecords_AllTables **********************************************************/

Set
nocount on

Exec sp_MSForEachTable 'Alter Table ? NoCheck Constraint All'

Exec
sp_MSForEachTable
'
If ObjectProperty(Object_ID(''?''), ''TableHasForeignRef'')=1
Begin
-- Just to know what all table used delete syntax.
Print ''Delete from '' + ''?''
Delete From ?
End
Else
Begin
-- Just to know what all table used Truncate syntax.
Print ''Truncate Table '' + ''?''
Truncate Table ?
End
'

Exec
sp_MSForEachTable
'Alter Table ? Check Constraint All'

Points to note

  1. This stored procedure can be used against any SQL Server database design.
  2. Try this out in your local or development box ONLY.
  3. “sp_MSForEachTable” is an undocumented stored procedure of Microsoft
  4. You could save this SP within “Model” database. That way, all future databases which are created on that server would by default get this SP in it.
Hope this helps!

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Webcasts by Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs)

Webcasts by Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) -- July 24, 2006 - July 28, 2006

Attend these LIVE Webcasts by experts from Microsoft and get on to the edge of the steep-learning curve.

Participate in the Webcast Contest during the Webcast and 2 lucky winners will win a cool Orchid Music Player.

Watch Microsoft Experts all this July & August – LIVE. Register Now!

July 24, 2006

Data integration in Excel (includes Office 2007) and how to incorporate it into your applications
Speaker: Nitin Paranjape (Chairman & MD, Maestros Mediline Sys Ltd )

July 25, 2006

All about WCF “Indigo” Contracts
Speaker: Manoj Ganapathi (Cognizant Technology Solutions)

July 26, 2006

Get the Power of Microsoft Atlas to your Web Application.
Speaker: Saurabh Verma (Co-founder & Chief Software Architect of "The Perfect Future")

July 27, 2006

Sharepoint Portal 2007 - Managing your portal with Site Content Types and Workflows
Speaker: Saurabh Verma (Co-founder & Chief Software Architect of "The Perfect Future")

July 28, 2006

WSS 3.0 Architecture and Enhancements
Speaker: Ashvini Shahane (Member –Research Laboratory in Synergetics)

All about WPF: July 31, 2006 - Aug 04, 2006

July 31, 2006

Introduction to WPF and Layout
Speaker: Tarun Anand (CEO, "The Perfect Future")

Aug 01, 2006

Introduction to WPF Controls
Speaker: Tarun Anand (CEO, "The Perfect Future")

Aug 02, 2006

Resources and styling
Speaker: Tarun Anand (CEO, "The Perfect Future")

Aug 03, 2006

Data Binding
Speaker: Tarun Anand (CEO, "The Perfect Future")

Aug 04, 2006

Graphics fundamentals and Animations with WPF
Speaker: Tarun Anand (CEO, "The Perfect Future")

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Installing SQL Server 2000 Server Components in Windows XP Media Center

Check out my previous experience on installing SQL Server Enterprise and Developer Edition in a Windows XP Media Center box.

The error which i was getting all this while is "Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition Server Component is not supported on this operating system. Only client components will be available for installation." and "Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Developer Edition Server Component is not supported on this operating system. Only client components will be available for installation."

Later I have downloaded SQL Server 2005 Express edition and after some initial struggle I have installed it.

Today I was again thinking why am I not able to install the DEV version as it is supposed to be installed on Windows XP professional itself. So I reinitiated the installation process and the results were surprising to me.

First I wanted to install MSDE and then try SQL 2000 DEV version.

Installing MSDE:

Step 1: I downloaded MSDE 2000 from Microsoft and ran the installation file (MSDE2000A.exe)

Step 2: Went to command prompt (Start >> cmd)

Step 3: Ran the setup file. Though there are various parameter switches which can be used along with this setup file, I used the bare minimum options only.

Setup.exe InstanceName=db2000MSDE SAPWD=velias SecurityModel=SQL

Here, InstanceName == name of the MSDE instance, SAPWD == password of the SA account and SecurityMode == SQL (Mixed mode).

Check out this to know all available parameters. Btw, MSDE doesn’t have any user interface and it is designed to work as a background service.

Step 4: Navigate to Adminstrative tools >> Services and we could now find MSSQL$YourInstanceName there.

Installing SQL Server 2000:

After installing MSDE now I tried installing SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Editio. But it wasn’t successful (Only client tools were getting installed).

Next I tried my luck with SQL Server 2000 Developer edition and to my surprise this time it got installed. I am really surprised because previously I was also trying the same thing but I didn’t have MSDE then. So is MSDE necessary for installing Developer edition of SQL Server 2000 in Windows XP Media Center? Still I don’t think so!!

Just for my better understanding I uninstalled SQL 2000 DEV edition and MSDE from my box. Then without installing MSDE I directly installed SQL Server 2000 Developer Edition and it installed without any issues at all. I am confused :) Have anyone of you guys come across this issue?

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Faster way to find Row count of a table in SQL Server

In SQL Server 2000, normal way of finding the total number of records in a table is by using Count() function. Though it would give the exact result, it has a performance issue. Its because it would do a table scan on that table.

i.e, Select count(*) from Authors --- This would do a table scan on Authors table.

The work around is to fetch the number of records from SysIndexes table. But please be adviced that though it would be faster, the number of records returned would not always be perfect. Only if the database has uptodate statistics it would show the exact count.

i.e., Select Rows from SysIndexes Where [ID] = Object_ID('Authors') And indid < 2

Moreover it is not advisable to query the Sytem tables directly. It's because if Microsoft changes the schema of this SysIndexes table in future all your existing code won't work.

In SQL Server 2005 they have come up Partitioned Table concept. So its pretty easy to find the row count of a table without using Count function.

Select Sum(Rows) from Sys.Partitions Where Index_ID < 2 and Object_name(Object_ID) in ('Sales')

It is not necessary that we need to have upto date statistics for this.

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Friday, July 21, 2006

My site is accessible now in India too :)

At last my blog is accessible now within India too. Thanks to Indian Government and ISP's!!!

Blog blockade will be lifted in 48 hours!!!

http://in.rediff.com/news/2006/jul/19blogs.htm -- According to rediff.com blog blockage would be lifted in next 48 hours! That article was written on 19th of July. Now its 21st July here and still vadivel.blogspot.com is inaccessible directly!

I am wondering "Why would one need 48 hours to lift this ban!!!!?".

To my knowledge this move by the Government of India has only backfired. Most of the people wouldn't have perturbed to read those 17 odd actual sites which Govt was intending to block. But now since it is blocked many people would be very snooping to know what is written their :) So in turn Government is driving traffic to those banned sites without their knowledge.

Now people across the world know what is India's answer to terrorism --- "Ban Blogs". Great!!

Guess what could be the next step towards anti-terrorism policy of Indian Government --- "BAN THE INTERNET" !!!! Let the God save Indian democracy.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Internet Service Providers in India have started blocking blogs!!

Since yesterday I am not able to access my blog. Initially i thought it could be because of some problem with their server!

I was able to login to blogger.com and create or edit posts but not able to visit my own blogspace :)

As this error wasn't resolved for more than few hours I thought there is something fishy. So I started to look for more information on this with the help of "Google". In that process, I understood that the Indian ISPs have blocked .blogspot.com, .typepad and .geocities domain's completely. It's really strange to know that Govt has issued orders to block it.

Government seems to claim that "Terrorists are using this channel to communicate freely amongst themself". No second thoughts on saying "Terrorists links needs to be broken". But the solution they have implemented is totally ruthless. This is something like burning the whole house just because we have too much of mosquitoes in the house!!!!

If a site / blog contains illegal content then that PARTICULAR site alone needs to be blocked not the entire domain :( Isn't India a democratic country?

More interesting reads here:

1. http://digg.com/tech_news/Indian_Government_Blocks_Blogs
2. http://www.boingboing.net/2006/07/17/report_indian_gov_bl.html

Work around:

From these links I came to know about http://pkblogs.com/ which helped me to access the so called Banned blogs. Please be adviced that we need not necessarily use pkblogs.com alone! any anonymous browser would do. For ex: http://www.anonymizer.com/ can also be used (this has some limitation i guess).

Monday, July 17, 2006

Tips to prepare for an interview …

Off late, quite a few people are asking me about interview tips!! Though I don’t have any best prescription to follow before attending an interview, I thought would give it a try.

What I used to do when I was attending interviews?

I used to maintain a diary where-in I would take notes of imperative points while studying. Also after attending an interview I used to scribble down all those questions which were asked irrespective of whether I already know the answer or not. Later I would sit down and find answers for those questions which I wasn’t aware of.

So this diary would contain all important points of a subject and FAQ of that subject (with answers). Once I get an interview call, the first thing I would do is to run through that diary completely. It really worked for me, because I noticed that questions gets repeated after few interviews

The next thing I used to do is to collect FAQs from the internet and go through it WITHOUT fail. To my knowledge, for initial level of screening, interviewers in majority of the company make use of these FAQs only.

There are few companies / consultant who as part of their initial screening process ask us to take up online exams ( Brainbench.com is one popular site ). So I used to practice taking online exams whenever I find time. FYI, till few years back Brainbench exams where free. Now it isn’t.

Apart from this, if you know of any better methods do let me also know :)

Freshers:

If you are a fresher concentrate more on Puzzles, Aptitude questions, computer language which you have studied on your academics and be ready to explain in detail the projects you did as part of your course.

For Experienced:

Irrespective of what technology one is working on, they need to be spellbound more on these topics:

  • Object Oriented Programming ---- Common for both .NET and JAVA. But not limited to these 2 alone. For example, now OOPs based programming can be done in Flash too. Yes, Macromedia Flash MX has inbuilt support for OOP. Also, Macromedia Flex has OOPs support built into it.


  • Good knowledge of Databases Concepts ---- No matter what front-end one use, mostly from day one of their career they would be using one database or other. So it’s quite normal to expect good competency in database when experience grows.
  • Performance (application, database) ---- Self-explanatory. This is how one can find the difference between a fresher and a skilled programmer.
  • Design patterns ---- This comes into picture when you start applying for Architect position.


Importance of Communication:

Communication is really very important. No second thought about it.

I know of many people who have not been offered a job because of “lack of decent communication”. I really don’t buy this point unless or until that person has applied for a Module Lead or above position.

Communication is more important when a person is required to converse with the client (or) Give directions to their team mates etc., So if a person is just applying for a software engineer position I guess one need not give too much of importance to communication as they can improve it after joining the organization as well!!

Better to avoid:

Irrespective of whether you are a fresher or skilled aspirant mention that you have done certifications (MCAD, MCSD, MCP, OCP etc.,) ONLY if you have confidence in that subject. If you lack self-confidence but you have completed those with DUMPS it’s better to avoid mentioning about it in your resume. Why? Because with few questions one can easily find out whether you have real experience on that subject or not.

If you don’t know the answer for a question just accept the fact that you are not aware of it. No harm in it. Interviewers normally get goaded when a candidate starts to beat around the bush. By giving wrong answers you start exhibiting that you don’t have clear idea about that answered topic as well.

This post is by no means an exhaustive list of things to know and remember; it is just a beginning step for you to search more in the web :) But I hope this would help you get started!

All the best for your Job Hunt …

Updated on 07 October 2006: The part II of this series is here

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Interview with Steve Ballmer ...

Check this Interview with Steve Ballmer. In this he touches on topics like "Will Ray fill the shoes of Bill Gates?", "Is Google a threat to Microsoft?", "Why Vista is getting delayed?" etc., I enjoyed reading it.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

VS.NET + SQL Server 2005 + .NET Framework 2.0

I am working on an article for ASPToday.com. The article is majorly based on SQL Server 2005 yesterday night I started facing an error "Unable to start debugging on the server".

I have already blogged about this error and I tried out all those solutions I know off. But it didn't get resolved!!

Let me give you little more detail about my working environment

1. I have SQL Server 2005 installed which internally installs .NET Framework 2.0
2. Yesterday I installed VS.NET 2003 which has installed .NET Framework 1.1 automatically.
3. The Operating System is Windows XP Media Centre with SP2 (which comes with IIS 5.1)

Only now it struck me that it has something to do with the Framework. I did it and the error got resolved :)

To know the solution check this out "Error while trying to run project: Unable to start debugging on the web server. The project is not configured to be debugged."

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Windows Live Messenger + Yahoo Messenger

To be frank it has been almost 2 years since I either used Yahoo or MSN messenger [Bcoz of the restriction in my office!!]. Once in a while I am using GChat. Its because its embedded within GMail and it helps me not to loose track of what I was doing.

AFAIK, people majorly use MSN Messenger (Now called as Windows Live Messenger) for professional interactions and Yahoo Messenger for personal contacts. That means one need to maintain two different contact list and login into two different tool. Its real pain.

All of that has finally changed. Thanks to a partnership between Yahoo! and Microsoft, I can finally slim down to just two IM clients. Wndows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger can now communicate with each other. Finally, I can use the IM client that I like the most and still keep my contacts on the other service.

In order to share contacts like this you will need either the latest Windows Live Messenger client or the Yahoo! Messenger with Voice 8 beta.

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Microsoft is taking back Private Folder 1.0

Microsoft is removing an add-on feature to Windows that allowed users to create password-protected folders!! This feature was introducted only last week.

The disadvantages of this tool seems to be

1. Managing this tool in corporate environment is pretty difficult. For instance, how to control people who take illegal copies of an important document and store it within their Private Folder? The system admins have no easy way to scan and find out those.

2. If the users forgets their password then data can't be recovered,

3. All boils down to the fact that this tool doesn't come with any documentation. But I still feel that this would be really helpful for home users.

More over if Microsoft could redesign this tool to support some basic "Admin features" + decent documentation then I guess people would start accepting this.

At the time of writing this post the tool is still available for download from Microsoft site. So if at all you haven't downloaded it yet, grab this last opportunity.

Source: News.com

Related Post: Microsoft Private Folder 1.0

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Awesome old video of Balmer promoting Windows 1.0

Check this out to see the Windows ad done @ 1986 featuring Steve Balmer. Really interesting :)




Via: VideoSift


If at all you feel that the picture quality isn't that good ... try your luck with this link :)

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

My Wedding Anniversary :)

Six years back on the same day I married Sai Lakshmi (12-July-2000). Actually I know Sai for almost 13 years now :) I fell in love with her during my 12th standard (!!). Aknow @ 17 yrs any person wouldn't be matured enough to make a big decision like this. But thank God my choice was perfect :)

Even now, very often we used to think about the past and laugh at our own behaviors / actions then. Hmm my love story would be really interesting (at least for me and Sai :)) and I am sure none of you guys would be interested in reading about it .... so lemme not get into it in depth ... LOL. But one thing which I want to share is "Without Sai I wouldn't have entered into IT field at all". She was instrumental in convincing me to study my Masters degree in Computer Application. That's the move which changed my career totally.

Till my schooling my dream was to either become a "big" sportsman (Cricket and Badminton were my favorites at that time.) or an Aeronautics engineer. Unfortunately my left knee got badly injured in an accident and it ended up in a ligament tear. So my first dream was shattered. I was nowhere near becoming an Aeronautics engineer as my score wasn't sufficient enough to fetch me a free engineering seat. But i got through in St. Peter's Engineering College, Annanur, Chennai. Somehow I wasn't interested in doing my engineering via payment quota (other way to say we didn't have enough money to pay :) ).

Though I was confident of getting an engineering seat to be on the safer side I had applied in Loyola College for Bsc Computer Science as well. Huh after knowing that I could only do an arts degree I along with my father went to meet the Principal of that college. In the due course based on a well wishers advice we took a recommendation letter from a church father too :) You know what, the principal didn't even open that cover ... he teared and dumped it into the dustbin. For some reason he said I am not eligible for a seat in that college :( (If my memory is right I have scored between 80 to 90% in Computers).

I wasn't too sure on what to do next as I can't get into engineering and I am not eligible (!!!!) in the only arts college I have applied (Loyola College). At that time, my father’s friend was a Mathematics lecturer in Nandanam Arts College, Chennai. So somehow we managed to apply for it in the last minute and got a slot in Bsc Mathematics.

Though the lecturers there were all highly qualified there were few students who play the spoil sports as usual. Because of those kinds of students the college gets a bad name and in turn the students themselves are getting affected when they actually try to build a career later. That's what exactly happened to me as well. There were many incidents where I was shown the doors during the interview process just because I have studied from Nandanam Arts College.

I always wonder how education and IT career are related? There are many Mechanical Engineers, Chemical Engineers, EEE etc., guys working as Software pros. How is that possible? To me a person with good knowledge on computers, good attitude and interest to learn can be easily moulded to an excellent resource as per the project need. That said, I know of many bright people who are either college dropouts or haven't done their Bachelors degree itself. But most of those guys are well settled. On the same line I know of many persons who are still suffering because of not studying well during their school days :(

In my 9 years of IT career initial 2 to 3 years were real pain. As i didn't have a degree from any reputed institutes I was forced to fight my way up. I used to work without any salary for few years just to gain experience. During that period I have worked as a paperboy, sold toys, raincoats near Loyola College etc., as my part time jobs. How else i could meet my day to day expense :) Though those were really painful period in my life it helped me understand Sai better / fully.

I am glad to say that Sai is totally responsible for whatever little I have achieved till now in life. There were times when all my relatives wrote me off but Sai stood beside me and encouraged me a lot.

Let me stop here. If I start to talk or write about Sai I don't stop that easily :)

Many More Happy Returns of the Day Sai. Thanks for having confidence in me and staying with me through my lean period. I LOVE YOU ALWAYS.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Google results suggests to search in Yahoo :)

Do a search for “therapy products“ in Google and see what happens! In the “See results for” section Google suggests searching this in “yahoo”.

Source: InsideGoogle

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Google for Girls!!!!

Somehow I landed into Girgle now. They claim it to be "Google for Girls". I don't really understand the concept. The only point is they have used a girlish background color. Apart from that I don't see anything else to be specifically targetted for girls!

I checked out the blog of Javier, the guy who has created this still I am not clear about the concept :)

Many people say this has something to do with Adsense!! Anyway I am sure Google would surely bring this site down.

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Resume of Steve Jobs :)

Resume of Steve Jobs the CEO of Apple Computer is up here http://homepage.mac.com/steve/Resume.html. Lot's to learn from his resume.

One thing which I learnt is his education has nothing to do with his career. I was also wondering a big guy like Steve himself have only one page resume whereas I have a 6 or 7 page resume!! Time to have a relook at my resume :)

Wikipedia link to Steve :: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_jobs

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Think twice if you are using iPOD in an open area ...

Is listening to your iPod dangerous when a thunderstorm is near? According to Jason Brunch, a US citizen, it really is. He was mowing the lawn, when lightning struck him, while he was listening to Metallica on his iPod. Next thing he knew, he was in bed, vomiting and bleeding from his ears. He managed to call for help, however.

His ears are burnt on the inside, and on his body, wounds were found following the line of the iPod, from his ears to his pocket, where the iPod was. The iPod had a hole in the back, which is I think quite logical...

Bruch thinks that the iPod acted as some kind of antenna, and attracted the lightning. Weather experts however say that there is no proof whatsoever that the device is the cause of of lightning hitting the boy. They do say that when someone wearing earbuds, is struck by lightning, the current may run into the ears. "There are stories of current running through telephone wires, and killing the people on the phone", an expert said.

In my opinion, the pod is indeed not the cause of him being hit. Was the lawnmower on electricity perhaps? Or was he in an open area when he was hit? These things are much more dangerous than wearing an iPod I guess...

The fact that his ears are damaged, might be because he was wearing the earbuds. However, I wouldn't be surprised if this resulted in a lawsuit against Apple...

Source: Snowball

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Microsoft Private Folder 1.0

Microsoft have released Private Folder 1.0, which lets you have a folder called 'My Private Folder' which you can password protect. Its completely free and mind you it doesn't come with any product support.

When would one require this?

There are quite a few places where this would come in handy. For example: Normally I keep my bank account PINs saved in a notepad!! Now I can be bit relieved by saving it within this Private folder.

One can save all important documents, credit card information etc., within this. It would really be helpful in home PCs or shared PCs where multiple persons operate a same box.

Installation:

After downloading, double click on the .msi (Microsoft Installer) file. Usual MS installation with few Next, Next buttons :)

Once it is done we need to restart the system. After restarting the system, choose MS Private folder 1.0 from Start >> Program Files menu. This would start the installation wizard.

This is the first screen during the installation process





Second screen of the installation process



Final screen of the installation process

That's it. Now a new icon in the shape of a "lock" would appear in the system tray. You can right click on that icon to see whole a lot of functionalities which it offers.

Phew atleast from now on i need not be afraid of sharing my Laptop with my wife :)

Btw, one of my friend also introduced me to http://www.truecrypt.org/ which is an opensource disk encryption software.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

My profile in Microsoft site ...

Glad to let you all know that my short bio is up in Microsoft site now. Check this link http://www.microsoft.com/india/mvp/indiamvp.aspx#VadivelM yourself.

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Microsoft Certifications via dumps ...

Offlate, 2 out of 10 guys I meet on a day talk about Microsoft Certifications (MCP, MCAD, MCDBA, MCTS etc.,). Though its a good sign, not many have put any real efforts to get certified ... itseems just a overnight study was enough for them!!

Are they too brilliant to grasp the subject overnight? Nope not really. Then? they have used DUMPS to clear the exams :(

Few years back in CNUG (Chennai dotnet User Group) I have answered to a similar topic. Since I couldn't find that thread now I thought of making a blog post on this.

Given a chance will you take up Microsoft certification?

Yes and No!

Yes -- I am interested in getting certified by studying the materials and after working with the software myself for quite sometime.

No -- It's because I don't find any real use of having this certification.

What do you mean by "No real use"?

  • To my knowledge, MS certifications doesn't have much of value within India. Almost everybody knows that there are high possibility that people would have either used "dumps" or other dirty source to clear the exams.
  • Do you know? there are sites which SELLS dumps and on top of it they give money back warranty also :( People are just degrading themself and the value of certification by buying / selling dumps.
  • Just put yourself in the shoes of the hiring officer and think whether you would offer a job to a person because he is MS certified? No body will!! because almost everybody knows about dumps :)
  • There are many people now saying they are certified even without working with that software! Needless to say, they are cheating themself more than the hiring officer. If at all they are given a job I am sure they can't survive too long!
The bottomline is, Certifications are of no value (anywhere in the world) if you cannot apply it.

So do you mean nobody should do MS Certifications at all?

Nope. I didn't say that. I encourage people who are willing to do the certifications after preparing well themself (without dumps :) ). This way irrespective of whether they clear the exam or not, their confidence level would surely go up. That's what is more important than just reading dumps and vomitting the answers :(

More over, I understand service oriented companies do consider certifications. It's really a shame on those companies which encourages their employees to study with the help of dumps and clear the exams overnight :(

Also, I have heard that Certifications are having good value in US or overseas!

Is Microsoft doing anything about this?

I was really wondering why on earth Microsoft is not doing anything about this. But recently I learnt from http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/newgen/faq/ that they are also seriously against dumps :) Find below the Q&A which I extracted from the above link.

Q: What is Microsoft doing about paper MCSEs and the "brain-dump" Web sites?

A: Adding simulation technology will make it more difficult for the so-called brain-dump Web sites to be effective. In addition, Microsoft has a team that works to find the illegal brain-dump Web sites, and then we take appropriate legal actions.


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Monday, July 03, 2006

I am a MVP again :)

Just now, I received a mail from Abhishek Kant (MVP Lead) stating that "I have been awarded the MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) in SQL Server".


Wow nice to know that I got nominated again. Let me take this opportunity to thank Abhi and all those who were involved in this selection process :)

Btw, for those who are not aware, I was a MVP in ASP.NET for 2 years (2003-2004 and 2004-2005) and I lost it last year. Offlate, I was more inclined towards SQL Server and I am glad to receive my nomination on that category itself.

A co-incidence is Deepak have also got nominated as a MVP in ASP.NET. If my memory is right, he was also a MVP for 2 years (at that time he was a MVP in C#) and lost it in 2004 or 2005. Congrats for gaining the award again Deepak :)

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