Saturday Apr 18, 2009

Facebook Quizzes developed by me

The day I realized that I was wasting lot of time on Facebook taking
those stupid quizzes, I also realised that I was not the only one
doing so! So I though we could make some fun quizzes on OpenSolaris,
MySQL, JavaFX and other sun technologies and use it for viral
marketing. So I started with this quizz What OpenSolaris user are you?

Try this out at and let
me know if you like it. It already has 83 users as of now and the numbers are growing every day.

 I also made a quiz after the great response from the above quiz called "What would be my top reason to join OSUM?"  which has become quite popular too.

I truly feel that these viral marketing strategies will take the name of Open Source technologies far and wide!!...

Read Gary's Blog here about it.

OpenSolaris Apps of Steel Challenge!!!

SUN Microsystems has recently launched OpenSolaris Apps of Steel Challenge which a contest open to both students and professional developers where they have to develop a package to be ported to OpenSolaris using  ZFS, DTrace, SMF, and FMA etc. The best port will win a Toshiba OpenSolaris laptop!!

So what are you waiting for? Go make your application and claim a brand new laptop... :D

Click here for more details.

Manipal University student bags first prize in Code JavaFX coding contest!!! :P

I had never imagined in my dreams that hard work brings fruits so quickly. I am saying it because I believe today my efforts have become successful.

I feel extremely proud in telling the world that a student named Chinmay Garde, third year, CSE department from our college Manipal Institute of Technology has won the first prize in the Code JavaFX contest. His application called FxTweet has been highly appreciated by all in the JavaFx team too as the evaluators sent him a congratulatory note.

All this is the result of a two day JavaFX workshop and hands on session we conducted here on campus with two SUN engineers Raghu and Subrata who tirelessly taught us about JavaFX in great detail. It was attended by about 200 students from all four years of Btech, MCA and Masters students too.

We installed NetBeans 6.5 with JavaFX SDK in each and every one's laptops and then we did a day long hands on session. After that we also had a contest where students had to develop an application using JavaFX in an hour's time and the best three applications would win prizes like Laptop bag, pen drive and a cool JavaFX  T shirt. We got some very good applications and the competition was very close. A guy Ankur won the first prize for his game.

We also conducted a quiz and lucky draw where we gave out t shirts, key chains, book marks, pens etc as prizes.

I am thankful to Raghu, Subrata for their time and effort, Ganesh and Abhishek for their support and congratulations to Chinmay for his grand victory. 

Way to go!!! :P

I can see MIT coming up prominently on the global map of Open Source!!

Friday Apr 17, 2009

My experience at IEC, Bangalore

I had been waiting for this day since ages i.e. the day I would go to India Engineering Centre, SUN's office in Bangalore, India. And it finally arrived on 5th December when my winter vacations began. It was like a dream come true for me to work in  a place like IEC with all the superb infra structure, support and help from engineers, guidance available at hand. It was an amazing experience where I worked on a project called Student Management Software using NetBeans 6.5, GlassFish application server, MySql and JSP. It was a very good learning experience to learn directly from the makers of the technology.
Apart from the technical skills I gained over there, I also enjoyed a lot of outings with our team. Ganesh Sir took us out for lunch to a really nice restra called Oh Calcutta! where we had nice Bengali food. I worked on the CampusWorld newsletter of January edition along with Ganesh Sir, Rajesh, Abhishek and Tirthankar. It was great fun to do it and after long tireless efforts, we finally made the final draft of the newletter filled with news and reports from India.
You can view the newletter here...

Abhishek and me also made a video of new year wishes by the Campus Ambassador team and SUN engineers for all the Campus Ambassadors of the world.
You can view the video we made here.. 

Thursday Dec 18, 2008

XVM VirtualBox 2.1 released with a bang!!!!1

VirtualBox is like magic for most of the students in my college because whenever I talk about it, people are awestruck and look at me gaping, asking me “How the hell is it possible to have Linux running inside Windows or vice versa??!!”...

Much to their amazement, I show them the demo and they all immediately want to try it out.

VirtualBox indeed is something truly amazing which does not stop to amuse and surprise people. Most importantly its safe to use as you do not really have to install an new OS on raw machine, rather its just a file on your hard disk which you can use/modify/delete in a second's time.

Not just in my college, its extremely extremely popular all over the world, check the facts:

8 million downloads worldwide, 2.5 million registrations and 25,000 downloads a day!!!”

Woah.... that's a helluva number!!!!!.....

I am extremely pleased to tell you about the latest version of VirtualBox, released yesterday which xVM VirtualBox 2.1 (my room mate who works for xVM team here at IEC, Bangalore) couldnt be any happier, infact we celebrated with balloons and stuff at home... :D

The main features of this new release are:

1.New Accelerated 3D Graphics – wow!!!!!
2.Improved Network Performance – much needed change!
3.Storage Support (built-in iSCSI support to connect to storage systems ie Amber Road)

4.Mac OS X on Intel's Virtualization Technology (VT-x) –
5.VMware's and Microsoft's Virtualization Formats -
now this is super coooool!!!!!
ntel Core i7 processor
64-bit guest OS on 32-bit host platforms

So what are you waiting...... get the “new improved VirtualBox” here.....

Cheers!!!!!! :D :D

Tuesday Dec 02, 2008

JavaFX version 1.0 Release!!!!

JavaFx 1.0 was launched yesterday with a big bang. This is one of the most revolutionary technologies developed by Sun Microsystems and is an extremely powerful tool for developing rich client applications and by rich I mean really super rich!! :D You have to see it to believe it!!....

JavaFX combines the best capabilities of the Java platform with comprehensive, immersive media functionality into an intuitive and comprehensive, one-stop development environment.

So here are some pointers about what JavaFx is really about:

  • Provides a unified development and deployment model for building rich client applications
  • Enables you to easily integrate audio and video, graphics, rich text, and Web services
  • Allows creative developers to program in a visual context
  • Provides tools to build and deliver rich Internet applications for desktop, mobile, TV, and other consumer platforms
  • Enables unprecedented collaboration between designers and developers
  • Allows designers and Java developers to easily leverage the best of today's advanced enterprise software and rich Internet applications.
  • JavaFX Script, a high-performance declarative scripting language, enables you to quickly and easily develop rich Internet applications and next-generation services for desktops, browsers, mobile devices, set-top boxes, and, over time, other consumer platforms.
  • Applications can combine audio/video and 2D graphics with 3D perspective transform (true 3D graphics coming soon) and rich text, with compelling visual effects and transformations.
  You can download JavaFX SDK and view videos at

Thursday Nov 27, 2008

NetBeans IDE 6.5 release

The much awaited NetBeans IDE 6.5 release finally was launched before the whole world on the 20th November, 2008. I was on top of the world this day as I had been waiting for it since a very long time. I was using NetBeans 6.5 Beta version for one of my projects and I loved it from the first day itself.
Now let me tell you about the new features in NetBeans 6.5 :

\* PHP support with code completion, Xdebug and web service features.
\* JavaFX 1.1 supports animation, graphics and media codecs for rich content application development for desktop and mobile devices.
\* New Support for Groovy and Grails.
\* Improved JavaScript, AJAX and Ruby support.
\* Automatic Compile and Deploy on Save for Java and Java EE applications.
\* Improved database support: SQL history, SQL completion, and results viewing and editing improvements.
\* Improved Java ME support for Data Binding, SVG and Custom Component creation.
\* GUI Builder: Support for Nimbus and simple class names.
\* JUnit: single test method support.
\* Debugger: Redesign of Step into feature.

Isn't it super cool??
What are you waiting for then? Download it here.....

Saturday Nov 15, 2008

Code For Freedom Contest

I planned out this workshop after taking feedback from everyone from in my OSUM club. The date we finally decided upon was just one week before our examinations. We then did online registrations for participants via email. In a couple of days we got around sixty registrations. Finally on the day of the workshop, the venue I had booked was being used for some other purpose. So, I took permission to use another auditorium as the venue and sent out SMS messages to all the participants about the venue change. After settling down at the new venue, I informed the participants about the contest, its rules and regulations, SUN technologies they can use, its benefit and finally the grand prizes.

I was happy to see the response of the students who were all very enthusiastic about participating in the contest. I asked them to register for it and clarified their doubts regarding it with the help of Tirthankar Das, OHAC engineer who is one of the coordinators of the contest.

I also asked all the participants to join OSUM and encourage their friends to do the same too. I told them about the benefits of joining it and what an useful and fun website it is.

Later on we also discussed ideas for projects to be submitted in the contest. I was extremely satisfied with the successful completion of the workshop.

Tuesday Oct 21, 2008

NetBeans 6.1, me and my sister who hated programming once upon a time!!!!!!

My sister Harshita studying in Class 11th, who is an excellent student with a very sharp mind (unlike me :P), has taken an extreme dislike for computers (unlike me again) thanks to her dull teacher at school plus her biggest complain was that she hated the typical blue Turbo C++ compiler with the various over coloured characters in all weird combinations....
As an over-enthusiastic evangelist that I am :P , I sent her a NetBeans CD along with Cygwin and asked her to install it on our home PC. Abhishek offered to help us out with it too over a telephonic conference call... It was a painful process and it took us ages over the phone (since I study in Manipal which is around three thousand kilometres from my home), installing Java first, followed by setting the path, variable etc etc as she was completely unaware of all these stuff.
Finally when she had successfully installed NetBeans 6.1 on the computer, we asked her to type a simple "Hello World" program although she was extremely reluctant at first. But after she saw the text editor area where all she had to do was start writing the code, not even write 'void main' and the thing which pleased her most was that as sson as she typed the opening double quotes symbol, the counter part i.e the closing double quotes came automatically!!!...I could hear her chuckling with happiness over the phone and she was "Man!!! I love this software!!!!" and she said she would practice all her C++ programs on it from now onwards.... She also told later on that she was having a great time programing and now she was actually enjoying something which she kind of hated a few days back....!!!!! :D
Everyone at home is extremely pleased at her newly grown interest in Computers and coding and hoping that, she will be upto some good with it in future.....
She also bragged about it to her friends at school who were extremely jealous of her knowledge of a cool software, so she claims. I have promised her to give a telephonic demo to all of them sometime and also give them NetBeans Cds so that they all can also benefit from its numerous features and make the process of coding in the same boring, cliched compiler, extremely interesting and alot of fun!!!!!.......... :P
Thank you NetBeans!!!!!
And also  wish you MANY MANY HAPPY RETURNS OF THE DAY!!!!!! :D
Way to go!!!!.....Rise And Shine!!!!! ....... HAPPY 10 !!!!!!!!!
Cheers to the Open Spirit!!!!!!................

Wednesday Oct 08, 2008

Love at First Boot and SFD festivities at Manipal........ :D

The very first time I heard about Software Freedom Day was by Gary during our induction program in Bangalore. Ever since then I was all excited and had started planning things for it to involve as many students as possible and make them a part of what I think is the revolutionary “Open Source Revolution”.... I am emphasizing on the word revolutionary a lot because I feel its certainly like a tide of new technology which will overturn the existing one and in a big, big, big way!!!. The bubble is growing and growing every day, every moment, every second.....
Anyways in my dreams of evangelizing Open source like never before, I completely forgot to take into account, the monthly exams which we have in our college whose dates coincided with SFD and all my dreams came crashing down like a sand castle..... But then I thought why should I not do it a week ahead and again with a new ray of hope, I called up Rajesh and Ganesh who gave me a thumbs up to go on...Then another miracle happened, while I was talking to Rajesh one day over the phone, Abhishek seemed to be around and I asked him if he would like to come to our college and give a lecture. The extremely enthusiastic and passionate Abhishek at once said that he would check out his project plan and let me know. So in a couple of days, I got a mail from him that he would be ready to come here at a cost that I would have to introduce him to all my beautiful female friends and juniors. Just kidding Uncle!!!... :D
Then began the usual work of getting posters designed,printed, putting them up, setting up info
desks at strategic places all across the campus, we ( my volunteers and me) managed to get a huge registration list, so much so that we stopped registrations and announced that seats will be on a first come first serve basis only....
Finally on a lazy Saturday afternoon, with our Lecture hall completely full i.e. With 200 participants (about which I was a bit sceptic as Saturdays in Manipal are synonymous to sleeping and partying only), we began with a talk on “Open Source technologies and You” where participants had a gala time and were laughing their heads off with Abhishek's interesting anecdotes. Then we did a hands on and demo session on NetBeans where we installed NetBeans on each and everyone's laptops and then followed it up with some simple programs which everyone would follow...Thus the first day of the two-day SFD celebration got over with the hall full to its brim till the last minute.....
The next day again we all met at the same venue and in the first half we did Open Solaris installations in VirtualBox in everyone's laptops, and it was such an overwhelming scene. I had tears in my eyes looking at the familiar dark blue Open Solaris desktops of about 215 laptops all at once.....
After lunch, we had a PHP and MySQL demo session where Abhishek told us about the basics of Internet, HTTP and then took us through an interesting journey of creating cool websites using the deadly duo PHP and MySQL. After that, Abhishek did the most comical intonation of “SHIFT HAPPENS!!!” and everyone present there was rolling with laughter. Then we ended the program with “Three cheers for SFD” and an extremely generous and warm round of applause for the king of the show i.e. Our UNCLE............
Never before did the MIT junta enjoy a technical seminar so much, this was evident in the fact that not one person in the whole audience wrote a single negative comment about anything in the feedback sheets we distributed at the end of the event, instead showed a lot of positive interest in Open Source technologies and said that they were willing to know more about them in detail, in future....
I would rate the event as 10/10 and I would give all the credit to Abhishek for his sheer excellence in the way he interacts with the crowd, keeps them hooked and interested and makes all of them fall in love with him literally( a few girls actually left their phone numbers on the feedback sheets for him, not that he was complaining!!! and a couple of guys too....lolz...... :D).....Thank You Uncle for all the pains you took to make this event an out and out success.......
I would like to heartily thank Gary for infusing the spirit of Software Freedom Day in us, giving us useful tips and suggestions all the time and personally dealing with all our little problems...
I would also like to thank Ganesh and Rajesh for being so supportive and encouraging at all times and being there, only a phone call or email away.....
I hope as a CA, I will be able to contribute in my little way in making the Open Source revolution bubble big till it encompasses every student living under the SUN (no puns intended!!!!) ...... Cheers!!!!!!! :P


Tuesday Sep 02, 2008

Talk on project Glassfish (turn out = 482 people) & what followed next!! :P

After a hectic and exhausting weekend, the whole yesternight I was not able to sleep as I was so damn anxious about today's event i.e. a talk on Project Glassfish By Sudhir Prabhu, who also happens to be an alumni of our college now working with Sun.  At last when I was done with running from one end of the college to other, getting permissions, putting up posters, mailing existing Sun club members etc  about the event, I was still apprehensive about the turn-out becasue Glassfish is a new technology and there is little awareness about it in our college.

Contrary to my expectations, students started thronging the Library Auditorium, the venue for the event, at a great pace and in a few minutes there were no empty seats, infact we had to put up extra chairs all around the place and even then people kept coming, so much so that we had to send people back. Some people even volunteered to sit on the floor. There were a total of 482 students, HODs and faculties from four departments and the associate director ( phew!!!!! :P )attending the talk when we did a head count and that is not counting people who had gone back.

Mr.Sudhir gave a very interesting and enlightening talk about Glassfish, its various versions, clusters and finally gave us the links and information of the ongoing projects etc where students can participate and contribute. I was amazed to see people listening to him with rapt attention (despite the cool AC, comfy chairs = perfect setup for a nap :D ) and asking alot of questions both during and after the talk. I gave a small talk about the Sun club we have in our college and how students would be benefitted by being a member of it.

We also distributed Open Solaris starter kits and Netbeans Cds to interested students and I also sent out registration forms for the Sun Club membership ( I had to get it photcopied thrice as the number of students was alot more than my expectations!!! :P ) but I now have all these new members for my club, so I am not complaining. At the end of the talk, I was the happiest person around and thanked everyone for attending the talk, participating and interacting with so much enthusiasm, thus making it a GRAND SUCCESS!!!!!! :P

This whole experience gave me so much confidence and a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that I cant put it down in words. Thanks alot Sun for giving me this wonderful opportunity to work as a Campus Ambassador, organise these wonderful events, interact with my fellow college mates, gain so much insight and I have to say it has changed my life forever. I am on a high!!!!!!!!!.......CHEERS!!!!! :D :P



Second day of the Induction Program (28th July 2008,Bangalore)

Let me begin my blog by making a confession, that by this day I was so excited to learn new things, listen to great minds talk passionately about the bleeding egde of technology and spend more time with my new friends that I did not sleep the whole night. I woke very early in the morning, woke up everyone else in my flat enthusiastically (I am sure they must have hated me for doing that.. sorry guys!!)..
We reached the venue, took our seats for another brain storming day which could have no better beginning than Gary addressing us on the CA program, FY09. He told us that we (the Indian CAs) consist of one-fifth of the total number of CAs all around the globe and thus we have an important role to play. He talked about the various goals the company has set and how we will help the company to achieve them in our little ways, as Sun Microsystems was formed by four students of Stanford University and still derives a lot of inputs from the student fraternity. So we do have an important role in evangelizing Open Source technologies back in our colleges.
After Gary’s inspiring and refreshing talk, we had Srinidhi who told us about JAVA which had the interest of almost everyone present in the auditorium since it is preferred by all to any other programming language. He talked about its various features like it is platform independent, secure, has no problems of malloc/calloc etc. He mentioned the uses of the different versions of JAVA like ‘enterprise, standard and micro editions’ in the industry.
Then, we had Mr.Anoop talk about the Sun Certification exams and how important they can be for us in future because of the value addition they do to our technical abilities. Pearl talked to us about “Enhancing presentation skills” and gave us a lot of ideas about how to go about things smoothly, increasing level of confidence, keeping cool if things are out of hand and how we should be our own roadies. We all a good time listening to her but she couldn’t finish her talk as we were running low on time. Then we had a fun session organized by Ankit and Abhishek where we had to claim for a bottle of packaged water by giving cheesy answers. I was also chosen as one of the participants unfortunately in the event and did make a fool of myself in front of everyone by saying that I wanted the bottle most as I wanted to be like Angad (who was coincidentally drinking water from a bottle of the same brand, Thank God for that!!!) as he was the 'CA of the month' and a Netbeans expert. Gary finally got to keep the bottle as he won the game hands on. But we did have some great fun listening to people coming up with cool answers like Rashmi said she wanted to feed it to Glassfish, Lalith did a mono-act etc. and Ganesh said that he wanted to resolve the water fight between two states.
After this we all had a lab session on Netbeans and Open Solaris installation and then we left for the India Engineering Centre, Sun Microsystems’ office in Bangalore. It was like a dream come true for me as I had waited for this day all along this time. We were taken inside the Data centre which was a huge place full of servers and wires which were helping run millions of computers all over the world. It was an absolutely overwhelming experience for all of us. We were also given a demo of the Ning community and how we were supposed to use it. Then, we taken to Eva Mall to this really chic restaurant called “Café Masala” where we had the time of our lives. Apart from the amazing food, ambience, crowd, and not to forget a chocolate fountain we played this ‘nickname game’ which was Ganesh’s idea where we all were rechristened with new names given to us by everyone else. Gary was called “Godfather”, Ganesh was “Teddy bear” and many others like Olive oyl, Dexter, Hulk, Sub-title, Uncle, Tweety etc. to name a few. I was given the nickname “Mentos” and now that is what has become my identity in the Ning community… :P
This day was so much fun and action-packed that I don’t think I’ll be ever able to ‘delete’ it from my memory. The much awaited Induction program was actually happening and must say it was “HAPPENING”!!!!........

The First Day of the Induction Program (Bangalore)

I somehow managed to get out from my warm quilt after cajoling myself for a long time in the typical, chilly Bangalore morning and get ready for the first day of the Induction program. We had breakfast consisting of Dosas and hot tea (which was a big relief!!!) and left for MSRIT which was the venue for the program.
Here we were warmly welcomed by the Sun team consisting of Ganesh, Vijaya, Rajesh, CA coordinators and tech leads, given our offer letters and asked to introduce ourselves to everyone.
Then, began our formal initiation into Open source Technologies by an enthusiastic (read hyper-energetic) Abhishek who went on talking for ages but none of us could do anything but listen to him with rapt attention. He talked about the “Age of Participation” and how we have graduated from the “Age of Information” where information was broadcasted not shared or discussed. Apart from this, his main emphasis was of course Open Source technologies like Solaris, Netbeans, Java, Glassfish and many others. So much so that Ganesh had to interrupt him mid-way as he went going blah-blah with no stopping him( No offense Abhishek!! :P ).After his talk, Anil took stage and he gave us a talk on Open Solaris in detail, telling us about its salient features like Dynamic Tracing Toolkit, Zeta byte file system ( which he called the Nexgen File system) and various other cool things.
Then we had a Netbeans session by Angad Singh who is a tech lead for us (whom I also consider my mentor in the Sun team :D). He began the presentation by a really cheesy one liner which said “Netbeans is not same as coffee-beans!!!” and then took us on a ride exploring Netbeans and also demonstrated a piece of code using the same. It was pretty intriguing and it definitely caught my interest.
Next, we had another session on Solaris 10 also called as Indiana by Vijay Upreti, who also happens to be the person who had taken my interview during the CA selection. He talked about the enhanced features of the latest version of Solaris out now in the market. He showed us the same presentation which he usually gives to customers, so we felt quite privileged and honoured at the very thought of it.
The icing of the cake was the arrival of Gary, who suddenly came into the auditorium and addressed us for a couple of minutes. We all immediately fell in love with his friendly, funny and captivating personality.
Tirthankar (who insists on being called the “Photographer guy” :D) took the picture perfect snap which was just the right ending to an amazing, enlightening and enriching day…..

Vasudha Amrit


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