Monthly Archives: May 2015


Most people come to agree that size does matter in certain aspects of life. Software is not always one of them.

I still remember my old days with assembly when software didn’t came in DVDs but fitted in a very small flash cpu. Trayconizer is a very small and very useful utility to minimize a running aplication to the system traybar. Most software I used adds a new button to the window bar and most windows skin software won’t display it correcty. Trayconizer keeps this short and simple. You only have to create a shortcut to your app and change the target. For example, say you want to run excel and minimize it to the traybar when you press minimize. Step 1: Create a shortcut to your excel file or “excel.exe”. Step 2: Edit the shortcut you’ve just created and replace the.. “c:\path\to\my\excelfile.xls” “c:\program files\trayconizer.exe” -minimize c:\path\to\my\excelfile.xls”


Blender is an open-source 3D-modeling/animation application.

It is available for Windows, Linux and Mac. Blender is an extremely powerful application that has been used for many movies including a feature film. It is capable of exporting to almost any format as well as allowing extremely careful adjustment of images and models. One of Blender’s newest features is the ability to model like a sculptor models clay. You use “brushes” that create different textures instead of moving individual vertices like traditional computer modeling.

Merlin Project Manager

Project managers who work on Macs have a tough decision to make. Since Microsoft Project is not available for Apple computers, what project management software is the best to use?

Being a Mac-using PM myself, I would like to review the Mac project management software Merlin. Merlin is a very visual yet very powerful program that rivals Project in many ways. I’ve found that Macs are usually the computer of choice at companies with more creative pursuits like advertising, design, or media. In companies like this, it is sometimes essential to be able to explain things to your team visually. Merlin provides the perfect tool for which to do this, as its Gantt charts and other layouts are – dare I say it – pretty, while Project’s visual schedules look about as exciting as Excel. Sure, it might be pretty, but is it powerful? Yes! Merlin easily allows you to create dependencies, allot resources across multiple projects, and monitor who is overextended and who has too little on their plate. It also allow you to export CSV files of your data so you can do statistical analysis on your team’s productivity in a sister program like Excel. Also, Merlin is unique in that it allows you to update from the web so that you can add a task in a pinch, even if you don’t have your computer or software in front of you.

Rich Internet Applications Development Tools

Rich Internet Applications are basically those that are feature rich documents that combine the powers of Animation, videos and basically multimedia to provide the user with better experience and enhanced usability.

Aligning to this platform a lot of companies have been developing compelling applications such that it provide greater UI’s and user experience than conventional applications. Today companies like Riya have been using this technology in their online shopping portal LIKE and Fashion sites like Fashioniq, Endless have used tools like Flex to provide for richer user experience.

So what is this buzz on RIA development all about. RIA’s are basically done with minimal interaction between the presentation layer and the business layer of any given application. The layman’s term is that results of any selection are displayed without the refreshing of the pages loaded to the front end. For doing this kind of Rich Internet applications development, tools like Flex 2, Apollo, Open Laszlo and the soon to be released WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) have been extensively used.

Each of these tools are know for its advantages and disadvantages that we can get to analyze as separate posts. But the availability of such tools makes applications dynamic and increase the stickiness of the traffic to the particular site. With the advent of Web 2.0 RIA’s are the in-thing in this market. Developers are looking at possibilities to converge the functionalities of different applications using newer tools like Ruby on Rails and so on. Similarly there is a lot happening in the developer community working towards combining the open source initiatives using Open Laszlo and also the interactive nature of Ajax. With the advent of WPF in the same levels the competition is all set to heat up. Only time will tell!

Underground Gaming Engines

The field of 3D graphics engines is largely thought to be the domain of huge game studios and seasoned industry geniuses.

But there is a huge under ground movement by hobbyist that most people don’t know about. These hobbyist are creating 3D Renderers and some times even full game engines from scratch in their spare time. Some of which rival even the cutting edge industry Game Engines. The distinction between Game Engine and Renderer is often over looked, and most of what you find these hobbyist doing are Renderers. The difference is a vast amount of code. Thus, full on game engines are few and often die early. So the hobbyist game engine scene has only a hand full of mature engines.

One new comer on the scene how ever is showing that it is here to stay with it’s drastically re-written new release. The team behind Black Engine is pushing hard and fast to have a fully functional 3D game engine in the next few months. The new release features a drastic change in ideology and makes the leap from simple real time rendered to flexible framework for a game engine. Out of the roughly 11,000 lines of code in the new release less then 1,000 were ported from the last release, the rest is completely rewritten. The engine is now cross-platform for Windows and Unix/Linux systems and features a robust code base for development of game material on top of it. Any game enthusiasts, programmers, or people just interested in what a few dedicated individuals can do with no formal support should check out this new release.

Automatically Install OS On Remove System

I have been working on a way to automatically install OS images on a remote system.

Although this is a well researched area, there are still some drawbacks to the currently solutions, like propriety software solutions from HP and IBM. These solutions do manage to install a specified OS image onto the system, but lock the Organization onto a particular system configuration and vendor.

What I have done is to use a technology available for doing the above called PXE [pre executable environment] and modify things so that the NIC [network interface card] gets automatically detected and gets the IP along with the image to be installed on the specified system. This is done by using the giving a range of IP’s to be given by the PXE server on a Linux system and then converting this IP to a hex form. This is then used as a pointer for that machine and boots the machine from the local HDD once the OS installation is completed.

On the completion of the tasks for the OS, the same machine can be automatically re-imaged with the next OS, just by deleting this IP hex value created file. This technique is simple and very effective and efficient in saving of resources and manual work. The technique does not require any intervention except the initial putting the boxes to boot from LAN. A simple logic with the use of text files can be written to determine the next image to be installed. A similar software application is also available – ‘unattended’, which is also doing the same as above. This can really help the small organizations into creating a value addition to their testing processes by using lesser resources and man power to test over a wide variety of Operating System configurations.