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Moved! I now blog at http://www.saicharan.in

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Best GDB tutorial....

Once again, GDB comes to my rescue. Preparing for some exam, I need to debug. I need some advanced debug commands. Man pages are too long and do not provide examples. So, where do I go? To where I always went for GDB. To Peter Jay Salzman's web site tutorial ofcourse!
It seems to have been recently updated and it is great. Very technical and yet understandable too! - a rare combination. It is still under massive reconstruction as the web site puts it, but still great to go.
You can find his homepage here and his usful linux notes here.
He seems to use all those things that I am interested in (kind of one-stop for me!), except that I use Matlab while he prefers Mathematica. His LaTeX links are here. And here is his list of hackers (both good and bad as he puts it.)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

What the hell is that service?

Two days ago, my system became damn slow. Then, I started looking at the processes and services running. Then, I Googled them and found these amazing sites:


For my own quick reference, here is the list of the processes that were running on my machine; now, most of them are scrapped. BTW, my machine is now like a tuned string, waiting to be played with.
*) Bonjour: Apple Computer's
*) vptray : Symatec AV VirusProtectionTray
*) qttask : QuickTime Task
*) cftmon :The cftmon.exe process is a component used in MsOffice to perform language related functions. It is closely tied to the 'Language Bar' present in MsOffice, so if you use the Language Bar you should leave this process running. If, on the other hand, you do not use the language bar, you should terminate this process to free up system resources.
*) igfxtray.exe is a process which allows you to access the Intel Graphics configuration and diagnostic application for the Intel 810 series graphics chipset. This program is a non-essential system process, and is installed for ease of use via the desktop tray.
*) Intel hotcommand hkcmd.exe is installed alongside Intel multimedia devices and allows configuration and diagnostic options for these devices. This program is non-essential process to the running of the system, but should not be terminated unless suspected to be causing problems.
*) vsmon.exe is a processs associated with the ZoneAlarm personal firewall. It is used to monitor Internet traffic and generate alerts depending on the security rules configured by the user.
*) Adobelmsvc.exe is a process which belongs to Adobe Acrobat. This program is non-essential process to the running of the system, but should not be terminated unless suspected to be causing problems.
*) mdnsresponder.exe is a process associated with "Bonjour for Windows" software. It is used by ITunes for music sharing. This is a non-essential process. Disabling or enabling this is down to user preference.
*) mdm.exe is associated with Microsoft Windows process debugging system. It allows the user to debug Internet Explorer errors by using a script interface tool. This is a non-essential process. Disabling or enabling this is down to user preference. Note: is also a process which is registered as the Win32.Lydra.a information stealing Trojan. This Trojan allows attackers to access your computer, personal data and information. It is a registered security risk and should be removed immediately.
*) AcroTray.exe is the Acrobat Assistant used when you print your documents to a PDF. While converting documents to a PDF this process should not be removed.
*) Adobelm_Cleanup.0001 is a process which belongs to Adobe Acrobat. This program is non-essential process to the running of the system, but should not be terminated unless suspected to be causing problems.
*) lsass.exe is a system process of the Microsoft Windows security mechanisms. It specifically deals with local security and login policies. This program is important for the stable and secure running of your computer and should not be terminated.
*) Scrss.exe is a process which is registered as the HacDef-R Trojan. This Trojan allows attackers to access your computer, stealing passwords, Internet banking and personal data. It is a registered security risk and should be removed immediately.
*) smss.exe is a process which is a part of the Microsoft Windows Operating System. It is called the Session Manager SubSystem and is responsible for handling sessions on your system. This program is important for the stable and secure running of your computer and should not be terminated.
*) PSNGive.exe is a process associated with the lite version of Post-it Note from 3M.


Installing Mandrake Linux

The other day, my one of my friends had a problem installing Mandrake Linux. On first thougts, I thought I would get an image aided tutorial ready, but then, I checked out the all resourceful Google and found these. The second link is classic:

So, happy Mandraking!

Lookout - Outlook!!

Here is where I again had a hell lot of problems. I wanted to make a birthday calendar and export it in the standard iCal format to my Google Calendar etc, as iCal was hailed on the web as the defacto standard for calendars.
I started with Sunbird 0.3a1. Thinking that I could export things in iCal format, I filled in all the birthdays I wanted to. And, then I found that all I had done was a waste. It only allowed me to export selected items as iCal. Thinking that maybe the default format for the calendar is iCal, I looked in my profile directory and bingo! nothing like *.ical, *.vsc or *.vcal. Then the Mozilla Foundation's documentation told me that from this version of sunbird, the default file format was .sdb, some SQLite format. Gone waste was my effort.
Lesson #1: Always look for the existance of the features you need in the s/w you choose.

So, what do I do? Google it ofcourse!
This is what Google yielded and had some good reviews too: http://outlook2ical.sourceforge.net/
It was some VB script. Things went cool till I exported the calendar and imported it into Sunbird. The recurring events which were supposed to recur every year once were recurring every day for a month! Give up?
Lesson #2: Never trust feature description. Check out the features ur self.

What next?
I wanted to somehow get this b'day business running, so I filled out the calendar in Outlook (for the simple reason that it was faster to add in Outlook than in Sunbird, donno why). Then, I bumped into this: http://www.rainlendar.com. A very cute utility that seamlessly integrates with Outlook (oh my God!), reads from and understands iCal files! Thought this was a jackpot. Installed the software and loved its interface and cool features. Under the config > Plugins, i checked the Outlook option and refreshed the rainlendar on my desktop, it began showing the bithdays on the CORRECT days and onMouseOver(), it displayed the subject and description in a pop-up!
Cute piece of work.

Next, I wanted to take this calendar of outlook to my workplace. How?
I chose Calendar. Then I said File > Archive. I saved only the Calendar to an archive.pst (which was non-empty (~256 kb) ). Then I closed Outlook and made another copy of this file.
Next, on my Win XP with Outlook 2003, I found the archive of the current Outlook files here C:\Documents and Settings\%USER_NAME%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.pst
Just to see if I can import, I changed the name of the file from Outlook.pst to OldOutlook.pst. As expected, Outlook did not open saying it could not find the file Outlook.pst; but, it gave me file open dialog where I chose the archive.pst. Then agagin it gave some error and closed. The next time I opened Outlook, it opened, but there was nothing there. So, I decided to import the stuff. I chose File > Import and Export > Import from another file or program > Personal Files Folder (.pst).
Here I chose the backup file of the Outlook.pst that I had made earlier (did not want to take any chances with my calendar!). Then, I chose to import the calendar and hit the Finish button. Done!
I opened my calendar on the left tab and yo! the birthdays were there!!!

Okay, so much so far, but not good enough for me to export to iCal yet. Anyone ne ideas? Please lemme know.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Firefox extension updated!

At last! The SaveURI 0.1 for firefox is ready! Now I can breathe easy. It is available here. Try it and post your comments.
As I said earlier, this extension is useful for "remembering" the URL of every page that you visited and saved. This is still in beta as it has only just been submitted to Mozilla Foundation for review.
Cheers! Now I can do something else while I wait for the review. :)

Yesterday, the Firefox running on my system said I needed to upgrade, on saying go ahead, it checked my extensions for compatibility and said SaveURI is incompatible with! Anyway, later, I downloaded FF from Get Firefox and installed it. Then, I installed the SaveURI extension and it works just right!
Any ideas? Buzz me.

This morning (20th April), SaveURI 0.3 was ready. Queued it up for approval at the MDC. Waiting for their approval. If you want to try it, it is available here. Try it and let me know.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Post-it notes for the PC

That is one hell of a software for forgetfulls like me. You can cover your desktop with post-its and even set off an alarm on specific notes!. Terrific! You can download the lite version from here. You can try the newest version for 30 days from here. Beware! version 4.2 needs .Net framework 1.1. You can get that here.
The maker is father of paper-post-its -- 3M. Three cheers to 3M!

New Firefox Extension

Today, SaveURI- a firefox extension that I wrote is ready. It was a litte difficult to get things going, but it was fun.

By the way, this extension simply saves the URI or URL of every page that you save so that you don't have to search for the parent site link. This was a problem I had for long, especially when I was doing my master's project. The links were just not available on any of the pages that I had saved. I needed them all for my report references. I am glad I could solve my own problems.
You can download the extension here. Just be careful if you are using the CustomizeGooogle extension as SaveURI is in the test phase and WILL clash with the latter extenssion.


Welcome to my (b)log.
Here, I will be recording my experiments with Computers & Computing.