Ramblings of a Coder's Mind

Got Tech? Will Hack.

Building a Home Server: Part 1

The first question in your head would be “Why the world do I need a Home Server?“

Good question. I’d like to ask you a couple of things. Do you have multiple machines in your house? Do you ever feel like you should have centralized storage in your house? Do you have old hardware simply lying around the house waiting to be tinkered with? Do you like playing with your machines?

If you said yes to (most) of the above questions, having a Home Server could help you :) It can handle not only centralized storage of media and documents but also backups. Have you ever needed a file from computer x in your house and found it was shut down after being used by a family member? Well, you wouldn’t have this issue if you had a central server. People could go around switching off their machines all they want as long as you have the file you want on your Storage Server.

Lets get into it then. From now, I’ll walk you through how to make your old machine into a Network Attached Server (NAS).

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Sensible Vision's FastAccess on Windows 7

Sensible Vision came out with this pretty amazing software called FastAccess that does a decent job at facial recognition. But using it on Windows 7 has given me a few issues so I thought I should just talk about it.

I’ve been using Windows 7 ever since the first beta was made public. I have been using Sensible Vision’s FastAccess on every build I’ve used so far. Currently, my laptop is on Windows 7 build 7137.

I have 3 major issues with FastAccess.

  1. On every boot, it refuses to log me in. But if I logout/lock workstation and

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Visit to Microsoft, Redmond

Firstly, I’d like to apologize to all that have been waiting for this. My health and unusually booked schedules are to blame. Lets get into the trip on a day to day basis then!

Before I begin, I’d like to thank Microsoft for having us in Seattle despite the prior two scheduling issues. More importantly, I’d like to thank Jas who did a great job of not only showing us around campus but around Redmond, Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland and other neighboring places always making sure we get the best experience during our trip, getting a chance to try out different things and to keep each one of us happy. He really did make the trip perfect in every respect and for that I’d like to thank him on behalf of my entire team. Of course, thanks to the Interop team as well for having us there and giving us the opportunity to interview. The experience we bring back from meeting all those great people will indeed carry us a long way.

There are quite a few things that I saw a lot of which, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of. If I was, I have uploaded them to my Picasa Web albums here.

Beware, the post is (4500 words) HUGE. Sorry about that. :P Without further adieu, let’s begin!

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First hand at F#

With the release of the first beta of Visual Studio 2010 which includes support for F#, it was only a matter of time till I tried my hand at it.

I don’t go for Hello World programs. Apart from C, the first code I’ve written in every other language (since I heard this question) has been the same. Keeping up tradition, here’s the F# port.

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The power of the Windows key!

The Windows key might have started as something a tad bit redundant (considering Ctrl+Esc does the same thing) but the Windows Key is so much more.

I have already spoken about the Win+(1-9) to activate programs in Vista’s Quick Launch Toolbar and its transition to taskbar applications in Windows 7. Of course, everyone knows about Win+Tab activating Aero Flip 3D but there is more to this.

Here is one that really strikes me as super-useful. On Windows 7, you can now use Win+Up to maximize a window, Win+Down to restore a maximized window and minimize a restored one, Win+Left/Right to

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VS 2010 Beta 1: User Interface

Well, I’ve been browsing through Visual Studio 2010 for a while now. I’ve not gotten into coding but did get a chance to have a look at the User Interface for this product. Here are some of the things I’ve noticed.

  1. WPF is in: Oh yes, you heard right! The start page uses WPF for a clean and slick use. Have a look at the start screen (image in the gallery at the bottom)

  2. New context highlighting: Its bigger and better than ever! The editor looks slicker that ever before and I’m

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Is Microsoft delaying Vista SP2 launch?

Microsoft is usually eager to release updates to its products. I have been seeing Vista SP2 news and downloadable links all over the internets. Release Candidates have been around for a while now but I never got any of them because I didn’t want to spend an hour or so on the update (that’s how long SP1 took to install) and then possibly have to do it again when the final SP2 comes out. I was just waiting for Microsoft to push SP2 through Windows Update.

Microsoft has come up with the RTM for Vista SP2. They have asked

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Visual Studio 2010 / .NET 4.0 Beta 1 released

Yes, they are out! You might have been hearing about the two for the past week or two around the interneticle blogosphere. I certainly did and as with every VS release, I was excited. VS is the best IDE I have seen so its no surprise that a new release excites me.

Initial reports state that the editor now uses WPF at points, has a brand new editor and improvements in syntaxes. Another thing they have changed is VS 2010 now has native support for F# :o This release isn’t really high on performance and optimization but gives you a

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Small Platform Development

I guess a lot of programming lovers are into development on smaller platforms. I certainly am one of them. I usually speak of work I’ve done on actual programs when in actuality, there are a lot more smaller pieces of code that I write that never get shown off publically. Most of them are known to a select group of people; the ones who are meant to find use to it.

Not many know this but despite mIRC scripting being non mainstream and not a perfectly good platform to do a lot on, I spend a lot of time (perhaps

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Wolfram|Alpha up for Official Public Release

Have you heard of Wolfram Alpha (also called WoflramAlpha or Wolfram|Alpha)? If you haven’t, you best do it quickly. Its going to be brought online in about 30 minutes from now. I can’t wait! :D

Wolfram|Alpha is an answer-engine developed by Wolfram Research headed by British CEO and founder, physicist Stephen Wolfram. It is an online service that answers factual queries directly by computing the answer instead of providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer. It is an effort to make all the information known to man to be made available to everyone at their computational fingertips ;)

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