Wednesday, December 27, 2006

7th Done, 5 More to Go

Just got my grade for INFS 640. One more reason to be happy for this festive season. :)

INFS 640 Final Grade

INFS 640 Final Grade

INFS 640 Final Grade

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Holidays

Wishing you and your family the very best this festive season and in the new year.

Xmas 2006

Xmas 2006

Xmas 2006

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

You Can Never Have Enough Firefox Extensions!

I must give it to this guy at CyberNet for having attempted to install 200 Firefox extensions. It takes about 6 minutes to load the browser with all these extensions installed. That's not bad, but no thanks! :)

200 Firefox Extensions


200 Firefox Extensions

200 Firefox Extensions

Monday, November 27, 2006

Golf Pros in Training

My little cousins sure can swing. They are golf pros in training, so watch out for them.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving 2006

Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing you and your family a good and safe holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving 2006

Happy Thanksgiving 2006

Happy Thanksgiving 2006

Happy Thanksgiving 2006

Happy Thanksgiving 2006

Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing you and your family a good and safe holiday.

Here are a few of my Thanksgiving dinner pictures. Many thanks to HA for preparing the turkey. ;)

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Seattle in 3D

Seattle in 3D Microsoft has just come out with its new Virtual Earth 3D (Beta), which I think is pretty cool. You can only view a few selec cities in 3D right now, but I'm sure many more are coming soon.

The available cities are as follows:

  • Atlanta

  • Baltimore

  • Boston

  • Dallas

  • Denver

  • Detroit

  • Fort Worth

  • Houston

  • Las Vegas

  • Los Angeles

  • Philadelphia

  • Phoenix

  • San Francisco

  • San Jose

  • Seattle

Check out this 3D map of Seattle. I heard it's a beautiful city, and I hope to visit it some day.

Seattle in 3D

Seattle in 3D

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Let the Training Begin

70-536 I have been using this book to prepare for exam 70-536, which will be counting toward the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) credentials. My progress so far is Chapter 2 - Lesson 2. I hope to keep it up, because I still have a long way to go. You can get this book from

If you are planning to get these credentials, check out this link for more information: It can help you get started.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

One Project…Done

Over the last three months I have been working really hard on this one project called Personnel Management System. It is an ASP.NET 2.0/C#/SQL Server 2000 web application. I had to create everything from scratch, so it was challenging and fun at the same time. I felt pretty good for having completed it well and right on schedule. The least enjoyable part was doing the documentation, which I'm glad to say is finished.

My new project is an Asset Inventory System, which is a combination of a Windows Desktop Application written in C# and a Mobile App written in C++ running on Windows CE OS. I got to use virtual machine and work with embedded applications in this project. I'm pretty excited even though Window Desktop and Mobile Applications are not my expertise.

Friday, October 13, 2006

If Humans Disappeared Overnight

I saw this interesting picture from, and I'd like to share with everyone.



Thursday, October 12, 2006



Late Nights Again

I'm currently working on the next version of Dealyzer, and it's going to be a while til it's finished. Probably not until the first quarter of next year. I have many plans for this site, such as the addition of a forum. Definitely more functionalities than what it currently has. I don't mind all the late night work, but then there are also work and school, so it's not easy at all. In the mean time, I just need to keep myself motivated.

Dealyzer won't be looking like this much longer.




Thursday, October 5, 2006

SharePoint and K2.NET Workflow

SharePoint & K2.NET Workflow Workshop

I really enjoy going to these workshops, because I get to learn more about different types of technologies and how they are being used in various organizations. This workshop was held in the building where I work, so that gave me extra incentive to attend. It was presented by AIS and K2.NET, which are Microsoft Partners.

What I got from this workshop was THINK DIGITAL. It was interesting to see SharePoint, InfoPath, and K2.NET work seamlessly together to digitize file sharing in one of the demos presented by K2.NET. I'm not a SharePoint developer, but I am thinking of giving a try, because I believe that's what organizations will be using to move toward a paperless workplace.

SharePoint and K2.NET Workflow

Sunday, October 1, 2006

What is RAID?

Let me know if you find this amusing, because I do. See for yourself.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Go Hoos!

David Banh

David Banh, an 18-year-old from Annandale, just graduated from the University of Virginia in one year. With a double major. Read more...

David Banh

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Welcome to My InPhonic World

Actually it should be a goodbye, because my last day at InPhonic was last week. It was the best group of people that I could have worked with, and I really appreciated all the help and friendship. Thanks for making my transition to the working world much easier than I expected.

Below are the pictures from my last day at InPhonic. Thanks to everyone for taking me out to lunch and also the farewell wishes. I hope I didn't ask for too much ;).



Thursday, July 13, 2006

Done with MBA 734 - E-Commerce

It is because of this class that I haven't had time to update my blog in the last month, and I'm sure glad that it's over. Can you guess what my grade for this class was? ;-)

We learned how e-commerce and e-business affect the digital economy. It's a pretty cool class, and I learned a lot from it.

MBA 734 Grade

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Congrats to the Class of 2006

Hoang-Anh's Graduation - VCU - Saturday, May 20, 2006

Bao-Tram's Graduation - UVa - Sunday, May 21, 2006

Truc's Graduation - Penn State - Sunday, May 14, 2006

An's Graduation - GMU - Thursday, May 18, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend 2006

Giant Baby Panda at the National Zoo - Monday, May 29, 2006

The and Hoang-Anh
At the National Zoo - Monday, May 29, 2006

Dining - Saturday, May 28, 2006

Friday, June 23, 2006

Sucks to be Microsoft

I have been busy in dealing with work, school, and a personal project of mine in the past month; thus, I have been neglecting my blog, but I will get back to my regular blogging in two weeks after I'm done with my summer class.

I want to share with everyone something interesting I saw today from the list of's Popular sites. I feel bad for Microsoft being the Empire that it is and having to deal all this rivalry. What do you think?

Software Wars


Software Wars

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Your invitation to try Google Spreadsheets

Thanks for signing up to use Google Spreadsheets! Your Google account associated with this email address ( has been activated, so you can begin sharing spreadsheets on the web!

Please access Google Spreadsheets at this link (you may need to sign on).

To learn more before you start, please visit this link:


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My First Experience with Secured Application Development

Before I forget all the cool things that I learned today, I better write them now. I attended my second Microsoft training workshop today. It was on secured application development. I have never had much experience in writing secured code, and I must admit it was a pretty cool learning experience for me.

I woke up at 6:45 am to get ready for the workshop, which started at 8:30. The workshop is in Washington D.C., and I had to print out the directions before I left the house. The traffic was a little bad on I-495, which is normally packed during rush hour, but it cleared up after a few miles, so it wasn’t that bad this morning. I got off at exit 39B on River Road heading toward Washington D.C. Drove for about 5 miles before I took a left on Western Ave. I drove for about half a mile before taking a right on Wisconsin Ave. The Microsoft office is located in the Chevy Chase Pavilion Building, which is right on Wisconsin Ave. I parked in the Pavilion parking lot and took the elevator up to the Microsoft office at around 8:35.

There were two receptionists, who directed me to the classroom all the way down the hall. I didn’t see a lot of people there, so my first thought was may be I was there a little early, but it turned out there are only about 20 of us at the workshop. My first Microsoft workshop was conducted in a theater where there were hundreds of people showed up. That was part of the Microsoft’s Ready to Launch events. There were food and beverages on a few tables set up outside the classroom for the attendees. I had myself a muffin and a cup of coffee.

The presenter at the workshop was Talhah Mir. He introduced himself as a member of the Microsoft’s ACE (Application Consulting and Engineering) team, which is responsible for application performance, security and privacy engineering at Microsoft. He started off with an ice breaker. It was nice to get an idea of who were in the room and know what everyone wanted to get away from the workshop.

Talhah started off with Threat Modeling. I learned that threat modeling should be done independently off any specific platform. This is something that needs to be done before any code is written. Threat modeling can be summarized as follows: threats are realized through attacks, which are materialized through vulnerabilities, which then can be mitigated with countermeasures. Talhah described the task of the development team were to define these threats clearly and precisely, so that the security team could come up with attacks, vulnerabilities, and countermeasures appropriately. Talhah also introduced the Microsoft Threat Analysis and Modeling Tool along with Attack Libraries. I like the tool for its extensibility through XML and XSLT.

Talhah introduced the concept of cryptography. He also went on to demonstrate various loopholes in writing code. A few that I remember are Dynamic SQL, Integer Overflow and Session and Cookie Attacks. I thought the demos were cool and neatly organized to show the various kinds of attacks and solutions to these attacks.

The workshop ended around 3pm, which I like because I could go home before rush hour kicked in. I start to like these workshops more and more, because it gives me a chance to learn about so many things. I learned a lot at the workshop today, not only through Talhah’s presentation, but also from the discussions from other attendees. I still consider myself new to the development world, because I have only been doing it professionally for two years, so it’s always great to listen and learn from the people around me.

I thought Talhah was a good presenter. He was very knowledgeable about the topic, and he was able to communicate it clearly. I learned a great deal about threat modeling through his presentation and demos. He said if there is one thing that one should have got from the presentation was the Principle of Least Privilege. I will keep it in mind as I continue to learn to write less unsecured code.

Friday, May 12, 2006

No More School

Well not for another two weeks at least. Just had my last final yesterday. Now I'm ready to have fun this weekend, then it's just serious work all over again.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Java Collections in j2sdk-1_4_2


Hash Table Resizable Array Balanced Tree Linked List Hash Table + Linked List
Interfaces Set HashSet   TreeSet   LinkedHashSet
List   ArrayList   LinkedList  
Map HashMap   TreeMap   LinkedHashMap


Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Five Tips To Prolong Laptop Battery Life

These tips are very much common sense, but if you didn't know already, they will help to prolong your laptop battery life.

  1. Power down the display

  2. Turn off unused devices

  3. Decrease hard drive activity

  4. Disable startup items

  5. Condition the battery


Friday, April 28, 2006

New App from Google: SketchUp

I've never thought that I would be building 3D models, but Google's new app, Sketch Up, made me rethink. Google Beta SketchUp allows us to quickly and easily create, view, and modify 3D models. Users can also put their 3D models in Google Earth. Best of all, the Beta version is free for everyone, but design professionals can also purchase the professional version for $495.

Some features of Sketchup from Google:

  • Click on a shape and push or pull it to create your desired 3D geometry.

  • Experiment with color and texture directly on your model.

  • Real-time shadow casting lets you see exactly where the sun falls as you model.

  • Select from thousands of pre-drawn components to save time drawing.

Check out Google SketchUp site.

Google SketchUp

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Hospital Window

by Author Unknown (thanks to Anup for the story)

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."


There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.

Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.

Today is a gift, that's why it is called the present.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Google Calendar

The new Google Calendar is impressive in terms of simplicity and ease of use. Pretty cool AJAX tricks as always. Definitely worth a try, but be warned: You will be amazed, and won't be able to get away from it.

One cool trick I found was you could specify the time of the event in the event name like this: "Dentist Appointment at 7:45". Google Calendar is smart enough to recognize 7:45 as a time and set it appropriate for you. Neat!

You can check out the new Google Calendar at

Monday, April 10, 2006

Some Tips to Help You Get Organized

Do it in the first place
Be organized about being organized
Keep the goal in mind
Spend most of your effort on the most important task
Keep it simple
Get started early


Thursday, April 6, 2006

What is TortoiseCVS?

I am going to set up and play around with this application called TortoiseCVS, which is a CVS client that runs on the Microsoft Windows platform. It's officially recommendated by SourceForge. Thanks to Jin for telling me about this cool application. It's free, so you should give it a try too.

Here is an overview of TortoiseCVS from SourceForge:

CVS, Concurrent Versions System, is a centralized Revision Control System (RCS). provides CVS service to all hosted projects. In order to access our CVS service, you will need to install a CVS client. CVS allows developers to keep a historical record of changes made to their source code tree, and to allow multiple developers to work on a single set of files at the same time without accidentally overwriting changes made by other developers.

TortoiseCVS is a CVS client that runs on the Microsoft Windows platform. TortoiseCVS is integrated with Windows Explorer (Windows Explorer is the file manager in Windows, not the web browser of a similar name, Internet Explorer), rather than a separate stand-alone application. Since most Windows users are comfortable with the Windows Explorer interface, it is often easy for new CVS users to escape the learning curve by using TortoiseCVS.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Got Atlas Installed for Viual Studio 2005 and .NET 2.0

Atlas is a free framework for building a new generation of richer, more interactive, highly personalized standards based Web applications. It works with VS 2005 and .NET 2.0.

I'm excited to have it installed last night. Played around with it for a bit and also started a new project to learn more about the new Atlas framework and AJAX.

Here are some advantages of the new Atlas framework:

  • Atlas empowers ASP.NET developers to effortlessly create richer web experiences.

  • Atlas includes a client-side Javascript framework for easy script creation and reuse.

  • Atlas makes it super easy to consume services from ASP.NET.

  • Atlas makes building composite applications from the programmable web a snap.

You can learn more about the new Atlas framework at

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

“Is Java Finished?” By Vincent Ryan

Here are my takes from an article by Vincent Ryan called "Is Java Finished?"

  • Java's philosophy of development is to expose low-level system interfaces to give developers greater control.

  • Microsoft simplifies the development process; the developer has less control -- but the tools are easier to use.

  • In the Microsoft model, standards and portability are not important, he noted. That makes developing on .NET a high-risk strategy, because the developer is locked into Windows and Windows characteristics.

  • Will Java go away? Most unlikely, because developers who want cross-platform interoperability will take Java. No question about it!

Read more at Thanks to my friend, Anup, for the article.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What is a MS SQL Server Trigger?

A trigger is an object contained within a SQL Server database that gets called each time a row in a table is INSERTED, DELETED, or UPDATED. It is used to execute a batch of SQL code whenever one of these SQL commands, INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE, is executed against a specific table.

Trigger is stored in the database and can be accessed from any client or web page that connects to the database. If used correctly, trigger can save developers a large amount of time and work.

CREATE TRIGGER trigger_name

ON { table | view }



{ { FOR | AFTER | INSTEAD OF } { [ INSERT ] [ , ] [ UPDATE ] [ , ] [ DELETE ] }




[ { IF UPDATE ( column )

[ { AND | OR } UPDATE ( column ) ]

[ ...n ]

| IF ( COLUMNS_UPDATED ( ) { bitwise_operator } updated_bitmask )

{ comparison_operator } column_bitmask [ ...n ]

} ]

sql_statement [ ...n ]




CREATE TRIGGER trig_addAuthor

ON authors



-- Get the first and last name of new author


SELECT @newName = (SELECT au_fName + ' ' + au_lName FROM Inserted)

-- Print the name of the new author

PRINT 'New author "' + @newName + '" added.'

Read more on this at

Monday, March 27, 2006

Mason Advances to the FINAL FOUR

George Mason stunned the no. 1 seed University of Connecticut, 86-84, in a thrilling overtime NCAA Tournament game on Sunday at the Verizon Center. The Patriots are the first no. 11 seed to reach the Final Four since 1986. The next game is 6:07 p.m. on April 1 in Indianapolis, where Mason will face the University of Florida Gators. More...

Mason Advances to the FINAL FOUR
Members of the Patriots basketball team and coaching staff storm the court after Sunday's thrilling victory over the University of Connecticut.

Mason Advances to the FINAL FOUR

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Jim Larranaga - Head Coach

Mason Makes the Sweet Sixteen

Fresh off its historic win over sixth-seeded Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament, the George Mason men's basketball team met and faced another challenge, toppling the defending national champions, the no. 3 seed University of North Carolina Tar Heels, 65-60.

The Patriots now face no. 7 Wichita State University in the Sweet Sixteen on March 24 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

George Mason (25-7) became the first Colonial Athletic Association team to reach the round of 16 since 1988, when Richmond went. More...

Senior guard Tony Skinn, who sat out Friday's game, gets a hug after the Patriots victory over Michigan State.

A happy coach faces the media after the Michigan State win.

Mason Makes the Sweet Sixteen

My Google Page

Check out my Google page at

From Google's website:

Create your own web pages, quickly and easily.

Google Page Creator is a free online tool that makes it easy for anyone to create and publish useful, attractive web pages in just minutes.

  • No technical knowledge required - Build high-quality web pages without having to learn HTML or use complex software.

  • What you see is what you'll get - Edit your pages right in your browser, seeing exactly how your finished product will look every step along the way.

  • Don't worry about hosting - Your web pages will live on your own site at

Monday, March 20, 2006

My Very First AJAX Application

The application shows how the XMLHttpRequest object or the Microsoft.XMLHTTP ActiveX object is used to load and display a simple text file in the browser.

Check it out here.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Mr. Bill Gates Calls It the “Knowledge Economy”

In his speech to about 300 political, business and academic leaders from Canada, Latin America and the United States at the company's Government Leaders Forum, Mr. Bill Gates sketched out his vision for the future. He said we're transitioning towards the "knowledge economy". In this so-called knowledge economy, a cell phone will become a "digital wallet", able to receive e-mail and even scan business cards, while computers and TVs will merge.

Bill Gates is my idol, and I must say it would be really cool to see his vision comes true.

Read more on his speech at

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Jogging Routine: Days 3 and 4 Recap

Day 3 (3/15): Didn't feel like jogging today. Thought it was too cold outside to be jogging. Body still sored from jogging the days before. Went to bed at 12:30 the night before; thus, not enough hours of sleep.

Day 4 (3/16): Was able to jog today. Body felt better, even though still a little sored. Was able to jog a little longer without stopping. It was cold today; had to put on a hoody and sweatpants. Also practiced a few Taekwondo techniques to work out upper body. Progressing slowly and steady. Can't wait till tomorrow morning.

Goal: Working toward jogging around the neighborhood without stopping.

Display and Hide DIVs Using Javascript and CSS

Suppose I have some text within <div id="div1"></div> tags, it's easy to display and hide this block of text with the help of some Javascript code and CSS.

To hide the block of text, do the following:

<script language="javascript">
document.getElementById('div1').style.display = 'none';

To display the block of text, just remove the word 'none' from the code above as follows:

<script language="javascript">
document.getElementById('div1').style.display = '';

To further extend this capability, we can put the code above in a Javascript function, which can be called using the OnClick event. This can be easily done with a form checkbox as follows:

<input type="checkbox" id="CheckBoxID" OnClick="ShowHideDIV();">

function ShowHideDIV()
var blnCheckbox = document.getElementById('CheckBoxID')
document.getElementById('div1').style.display = 'none';
document.getElementById('div1').style.display = '';

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Jogging Routine: Days 1 and 2 Recap

Day 1 (3/13): Woke up at 6:30 to get ready. Started jogging around 6:45. Practiced a few Taekwondo techniques. Done at 7:30 to get ready for work.

Day 2 (3/14): Body sored from jogging the day before. Thought it was going to rain so just walked around the neighborhood in smaller loops. Practiced a few Taekwondo techniques. Done at 7:30 to get ready for work.

Goal: Working toward jogging around the neighborhood without stopping.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Top 10 Richest People in the World

Here is the list of the 10 richest people in the world according to

  1. Bill Gates - 50 B

  2. Warren Buffett - 42 B

  3. Carlos Slim HelĂș - 30 B

  4. Ingvar Kamprad - 28 B

  5. Lakshmi Mittal - 23.5 B

  6. Paul Allen - 22 B

  7. Bernard Arnault - 21.5 B

  8. Prince Alwaleed - 20 B

  9. Kenneth Thomson - 19.6 B

  10. Li Ka-shing - 18.8 B

This year the list of billionaires grew to a record 793, compared to just 140 billionaires 20 years ago. They're worth a combined $2.6 trillion. Read more on this story at

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Are We Nearing a Virtual PC?

With the introduction of GDrive by Google, a Virtual PC is very possible in the nearing future. Soon enough what we can do on a PC can be conducted over the Web. In order for this to happen, applications and plug-ins will need to be created to work with this GDrive technology. There were also rumor that Google is creating an OS to be run on the Web. If this is true, then I say: "We need to be ready for a Virtual PC pretty soon."

Read more on this at

Thursday, March 2, 2006

AOL to Charge Mass Emailers Fee to Send Emails to Its Members

AOL has just announced that it will be charging mass emailers a small fee for each message sent to its members. Their intention is to eliminate spams and junk emails, but it could a hard blow to the face for some legitimate groups who do mass emailing, because they cannot afford to pay the fees. I am not AOL email user, but I'm curious how current AOL email users will react to this announcement. I personally do not like the idea that my email provider would do something like this, because I can take care of junk emails myself. This is going to be better off for some people and bad for others. I guess we just have to wait for the results.


Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Javascript to disable user from using the browser’s Back button

The following Javascript code would disable the user from using the browser's Back button.

<script language="javascript">

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Bloch’s Standard Exceptions

IllegalArgumentException: Parameter value is inappropriate

NullPointerException: Parameter null where prohibited

IndexOutOfBoundsException: Index param out of range

ConcurrentModificationException: Concurrent modification detected when not allowed

IllegalStateException: Object state is inappropriate for method invocation. Ojbect may not be initialized before accessing its state. ClassCastException (Illegal state of object)

UnsupportedOperationException: Object does not support the method. Substitutional principal

Monday, February 13, 2006

Gmail for your domain

From Google website:

Bring Gmail to your domain.

This special beta test lets you give Gmail, Google's webmail service, to every user at your domain. Gmail for your domain is hosted by Google, so there's no hardware or software for you to install or maintain.

Gmail - 2 gigabytes of storage and search tools that help users find information fast.
Control Panel - Easily manage user accounts, aliases and mailing lists.

Want to be part of this beta test?

Gmail for your domain is currently available as a limited beta. If your organization is interested in helping Google test this service, we'll consider your domain for this beta. You'll need to sign in with a Google Account (or get a new one), and answer a few quick questions about your organization and your email needs.

Friday, February 10, 2006

What Is Next for Oracle?

Oracle is planning to buy the following three open-source software companies, which valued at more than $600 million according to Business Week Online.

  • JBoss: Based in Atlanta, specializes in so-called middleware, the program the serves as a connection between disparate programs, competition against BEA Systems and IBM, worth as much as $400 million []

  • Zend's PHP software language: Based in Cupertino, California, one of the most prevalent on the Web, present in more than 18 million Web sites, worth as much as $200 million []

  • Sleepycat Software: Based in Emeryville, California, specializes in technology that is used in many of the open-source databases that handle reams of digital data []

What is the next target for Oracle?

Read more about this at

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design

  1. Bad Search

  2. PDF Files for Online Reading

  3. Not Changing the Color of Visited Links

  4. Non-Scannable Text

  5. Fixed Font Size

  6. Page Titles With Low Search Engine Visibility

  7. Anything That Looks Like an Advertisement

  8. Violating Design Conventions

  9. Opening New Browser Windows

  10. Not Answering Users' Questions

Read more at Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox.
[Source: Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox]

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What is the Semantic Web?

Semantic Web is global mesh of information that is easily processed by machines. It is an efficient way to represent data on the World Wide Web. This sytem was thought up by Tim Bernes-Lee, who was the inventor of the WWW, URIs, HTTP, and HTML. It is constantly worked on by a team of people at the World Wide Web consortium (W3C). Also many languages, publications and tools have already been developed based on this sytem.

The Semantic Web allows people to publish and find information faster and easier. It is built on syntaxes which us URIs, Uniform Resource Identifier, to represent data, usually in triples based structures. A language which uses URIs is called RDF, Resource Description Framework. RDF XML is considered to be the standard interchange format for RDF on the Semantic Web. Semantic Web languages are very powerful in that they make it very easy for people to create and publish information using URIs and that it is very unconstraining in what it lets people say and do. But at the same time, they are the basis for very well defined and structured applications.

The next step in the architecture of the Semantic Web is trust and proof. Applications on the Semantic Web will depend on context generally to let people know whether or not to trust the data. These applications will generally contain proof checking mechanisms and digital signatures. The Semantic Web is growing and it is important that we address these issues before they get out of control.

Source: The Semantic Web: An Introduction []

Monday, January 30, 2006

Google Toolbar Beta 4.0

Now you can make your Toolbar as unique as you are. You can add buttons and bookmarks; get instant search suggestions; share web pages with friends; and enjoy the Toolbar's pop-up blocker, web form filler, and spellchecker. Learn more about Google Toolbar Beta 4.0 and also get a copy for yourself at

Google Toolbar 4.0

Thursday, January 26, 2006

XSLT Operations

<xsl:when test="ceiling(number($variable1) div number($variable2)) = 2">

You can perform the following operations on XSLT variables:

ceiling($variable): returns the smallest integer greater than or equal to $variable
number($variable): casts $variable to a number
div: performs division operation

Installed J2SE Development Kit and NetBeans IDE

The Install Wizard has successfully installed J2SE Development Kit 1.4.2_10 and NetBeans IDE 4.1 on your computer. Choose Finish to exit the Wizard.  J2SE Development Kit 1.4.2_10 installation location: C:\j2sdk1.4.2_10  NetBeans IDE 4.1 installation location: C:\Program Files\netbeans-4.1
To run the IDE, launch:
C:\Program Files\netbeans-4.1\bin\netbeans.exe
To uninstall the IDE, launch:
C:\Program Files\netbeans-4.1\_uninst\uninstaller.exe
To uninstall J2SE Development Kit 1.4.2_10:
Use Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel

Friday, January 20, 2006

Mix 06

The MIX conference is a 72-hour conversation between web developers, designers and business leaders. When you attend MIX you’ll learn the latest about IE7, Windows Media, Windows Live!, as well as “Atlas”, Microsoft’s new AJAX framework.

March 20-22, 2006
At The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino
Las Vegas, NV


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

QuickNote - Firefox Extension

I've just downloaded another Firefox extension called QuickNote. It allows me to take note from within Firefox. I can open it in a seperate window, a new tab, or a sidebar. As a web developer, I tend to switch between NotePad and Firefox a lot but not anymore. Thanks to QuickNote. This extension is my new favorite. You should give it a try too. Download it here. Let me know what you think.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Javascript Keywords

break case continue delete do else false for function if in new null return switch this true typeof var void while with

Reserved keywords but not used by Javascript
catch class const debugger default enum export extends finally import super try

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My Firefox Extensions

If you haven't done so already, you should go ahead and download Firefox browser. It comes with extensions and themes that you can download and install to improve your browsing experience. My favorite extension is the Web Developer and my favorite theme is iFox. Here is my recommended list of extensions.


Sunday, January 8, 2006

New Year Resolutions

Top 10 Most Common New Year Resolutions

  1. Lose weight

  2. Stop smoking

  3. Stick to a budget

  4. Save or earn more money

  5. Find a better job

  6. Become more organized

  7. Exercise more

  8. Be more patient at work/with others

  9. Eat better

  10. Become a better person

Top 10 InPhonic New Year Resolutions

  1. Make coffee when taking last cup

  2. Do own dishes in kitchen

  3. Clean up mess when making beverages

  4. Throw out old food in fridge

  5. Restock coffee, MOOs, etc.

  6. Remove paper jam in printer

  7. Add toner to printer

  8. Put paper in printer

  9. Leave cell phone outside bathroom

  10. Attend IT Bowling Bash

Thanks to Holly for this list.

Friday, January 6, 2006

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

New HR Policies

Please be advised that there are NEW rules and regulations implemented to raise the efficiency of our firm.


  • It is advised that you come to work driving a car according to your salary.

  • If we see you driving a Honda, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore you do not need a raise.

  • If you drive a 10 year old car or taking public transportation, we assume you must have lots of savings therefore you do not need a raise.

  • If you drive a Pickup, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.


  • Each employee will receive 52 Annual Leave days a year (Wooow!). They are called Sunday.


  • Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch as they need to eat more so that they can look healthy.

  • Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure.

  • Fat people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim Fast and take a diet pill.


  • We will no longer accept a doctor Medical Cert as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.


  • Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilets.

  • There is now a strict 3-minute time limit in the cubicles. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the door will open.


  • All personal internet usage will be recorded and charges will be deducted from your bonus (if any) and if we decide not to give you any, charges will be deducted from your salary. (note: Rs.20 per minute as we have 4MB connection).

  • Just for the record. 73% of the staff will not be entitled to anY salary for the next 3 months as their internet charges have exceeded their 3 months salary.

  • Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience.

Q&A: MySpace Founders Chris DeWolfe And Tom Anderson

A year ago Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. was an Internet also-ran. Now his Web presence rivals that of giants Google, Yahoo! and America Online, due in large part to his $629 million purchase of Intermix Media, and its MySpace social-networking business.

Two-year-old MySpace is a next-generation Friendster--a series of individualized Web pages maintained by some 46.7 million users, who generate 12.5 billion page views a month. Natalie Pace, CEO and founder of, talked to co-founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson about creating an Internet brand overnight, and the challenges of sustaining it in the future.

You did this in two years. Was it as easy as it looks?

Anderson: Actually, things did go remarkably easy for us. I can’t say that we struggled for a long time; we only struggled for about a month. When we were about a month into it, I remember thinking, “This may not work out.” Just one day, in particular, we saw this huge spike because of people telling each other. It just went crazy from there. We didn’t have this big, long struggle behind it. We put it up, and it got popular very quickly.

DeWolfe: One of the major reasons it worked so well is that we had a very experienced management team. We’ve worked together for the last seven to eight years. With respect to timing, when we launched the site, social networking began to take off, and the advertising revenue stream came roaring back. Two of the most interesting points were that we had no content costs and no customer acquisition costs. We had to make sure we had enough money to cover engineering and bandwidth costs, and we were confident that we understood the advertising business.

How do you get 46 million people to find out about your product without buying advertising?

DeWolfe: It was really key to create a set of functions that were compelling to our users and an efficient way to use them. Users socialize to figure out what they’re going to do on the weekend. They use MySpace to discover new music and post events. Musicians upload their music. People use it for entertainment purposes or to sell goods in the classified area. MySpace makes what they do in the offline world a) more efficient or b) more interesting. If you have ten friends, and nine are on MySpace and you’re not, you feel pretty left out. People end up joining sooner rather than later. The bigger the network gets, the faster it grows. We are now registering 160,000 people per day with no marketing.

Anderson: We didn’t do traditional marketing, but we did try to find photographers and creative people because we thought that would make the site more interesting. In the beginning, it was all Los Angeles--actors, photographers and musicians. That made for an interesting community, and brought in a lot of people. A lot of the early growth, however, had to do with the features and what our competitors were not allowing people to do.

Like what?

Anderson: On Friendster, if you were a band and you made a profile, they would delete it. They didn’t want bands on their site. If you made a profile for your company or for where you lived or a neighborhood or an idea, you’d get deleted. We recognized from the beginning that we could create profiles for the bands and allow people to use the site any way they wanted to. We didn’t stop people from promoting whatever they wanted to promote on MySpace. Some people have fun with it, and others try to get more business and sell stuff, like a makeup artist or a band, and we encourage them to do that.

Music has become particularly important to MySpace. How did you attract over 660,000 artists and bands to the site?

DeWolfe: Tom has a deep passion and understanding for what emerging musicians go through. He understands the frustration. I understood the macro trends of the music business. Labels were signing fewer acts, giving them less time to prove themselves and spending less money on marketing. We saw a need to develop a community for artists to get their music out to the masses. With MySpace, when they went out on tour, they could actually tour nationally. The band might have 20,000 friends on their list and send out a bulletin saying, “I’m going to be in Austin on Tuesday night. Come see our show.” It has allowed bands to make money on music without having a deal.

You can create a professional-sounding CD, sell merchandise and get your touring revenue in and make a living. It gives those artists a longer period of time to develop themselves before they get signed, or make a living without getting signed at all.

In the early days, there were a lot of bands signing up. They told us that they’d like to post their lyrics and tour dates. Users told us what they wanted to see, and we just built it. That’s how we do a lot of our updates. We catalog what people tell us that they want. It’s not super-complicated.

You've been growing at breakneck speed. How did you manage to stay on top of your business?

DeWolfe: I’ve run businesses before. The other people on my team have worked in senior positions in other businesses. Your partners are the most important things. If you don’t have good partners, it can’t work. Some of our competition had extremely high turnover. It wrecks the continuity of running the business. You need to have similar sensibilities and people you trust to fill in your weaknesses with strengths that they have. That is underrated.

Another trap that people fall into, when you start to grow and there is a little bit of success, is that people get on the soapbox, like pundits and venture capitalists, who tell you how to run your business. It’s important to be very disciplined in terms of not listening to them. We were resolute to do what our users wanted. Having discipline and saying no is why we ended up being successful.

Anderson: In a way, it’s our lack of experience that helps--definitely for me. The thing I like about Chris is that he’s not like all the other people I’ve met in business. He’s able to cut to the chase right away. We don’t waste time on things. We didn’t sit down and write up this big plan and spreadsheets and try to force that imagined plan. We’ve been quick and nimble on our feet. I was working from common sense. Even though Chris does have that background, he’s never been pushing me to that mold, and he doesn’t follow it himself.

So we are not doing what everyone else is doing. When we were getting popular, people were saying, “Why aren’t you doing this or that?” I thought they were ridiculous, and they thought I was ridiculous.

DeWolfe: They said that we were trying to do too much--music, instant messaging, blogs, etc.--and that we should just focus on one of those. That was the antithesis of what we aimed to do. Most of the sites that did that became boring after a while.

With that said, once you chose your product road map, then it becomes very important to focus on the top three to four initiatives and get those things done. Others try to do too many things at one given time. Our overall strategy was to build the next-generation portal that would be extremely sticky and layer those features in and around a social network. At any one time, we focus our developers on the top three to four initiatives and don’t get distracted with what others tell us we ought to do.

There's a good deal of buzz today around two different kinds of communication technologies: text messaging and podcasting. What are you planning on those fronts?

DeWolfe: Podcasting is not really that different from streaming music, which we’ve done for quite a long time. Having a traditional podcast that people subscribe to--the hype is ahead of the quality. Podcasting is essentially a download, and you run into copyright issues. What you’re left with currently is podcast talk radio. If it’s an established station, like NPR, it’s fabulous. The average person having a talk radio show will not be that great. We’ll keep our eye out and may undertake it at some point. We have a couple of different ways that people text-message one another. There is instant messaging on the site. We also have an Internal e-mail product, where people write messages. You can also leave testimonials on your friend’s pages.

You've now launched MySpace Records, which you are using to promote bands who are popular on the site but haven't signed with a major record label. Do you have more products coming through the pipeline?

DeWolfe: We’re always looking for the right opportunities. We are going to be doing some events in Sundance, in conjunction with our independent filmmaker section on MySpace. We’ll be doing more festivals, at least one major one over the summer.

You’ve certainly won the allegiance of some great bands and music fans in the U.S. Do you think that MySpace can be as successful at attracting the independent film community?

Anderson: Another part of my background was that I was in film school. It made a lot of sense to me that the music part of our site would work for filmmakers as well. They’ll be able to upload clips. There will be a section where you can watch what they are doing. They’ll tell where their screenings are. It took a lot longer than we wanted to because we were growing so fast. For actors, directors and everyone associated with film and television, this will become as big of a resource for them as it has been for musicians.

Google’s founders hired Eric Schmidt to run Google, and since then, the company has grown to $127.4 billion market capitalization. Do you imagine a time when the multibillion-dollar executive should come in and run things? Or, on the contrary, do you think that would be the kiss of death for a hip, young business?

DeWolfe: We feel really comfortable with our progress. We have huge plans for next year--international, wireless and expansion into other mediums. We’re hiring quickly, but in a controlled manner. We have set a plan that we believe everyone at News Corp. will bite off on.

At the end of the day, time will tell. Continuity with senior management is very important. It’s been one of the reasons why we’ve won. If we’d hired a big-time media executive a year ago, we wouldn’t be where we are right now. We have a great relationship with our new bosses at News Corp.

Culturally and aesthetically, News Corp seems like the opposite of the youth-based brand that you've created at MySpace. Did you get much fallout from your users after the acquisition?

Anderson: When this was announced, people were worried. It went away pretty quickly when we didn’t change. If anything now, people will see it get better. We have more money to grow, faster bandwidth and more programmers working on more features. We aren’t getting pressure on designing it this or that way. It’s our baby on what we want the experience to be. News Corp. has been great about that. I think we’re going to continue to do well.

Do you see any other benefits about being part of a large media conglomerate, like News Corp.?

Anderson: I just came back from a screening at 20th Century Fox, and they were asking me what bands to put in the movie.

Featured Site: MySpace

MySpace has surpassed Google, and is currently ranked as the number three web site, in terms of page views and user time online, just behind Yahoo and MSN (source: comScore Media Metrix). With 45,579,475 registered users (as of 12.28.2005), and increasing at 160,000 people per day, MySpace receives 12.5 billion page views per month and is transforming today's popular culture and digital lifestyle. All that in just two years of operations. [Source:]

Read the interview with MySpace founders conducted by Anderson.

Nov-05 Unique Visitors (000) Total Pages Viewed (MM)Average Minutes Per Visitor
Total Internet: Total Audience169,747454,4801,547.0
Yahoo! Sites125,03843,345260.1
MSN-Microsoft Sites115,52619,821182.3
Google Sites90,8896,73630.6

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Firefox Shortcuts

  • Select location bar: Ctrl+L or Alt+D

  • Select search bar: Ctrl+K

  • Back: Backspace or Alt+Left

  • Forward: Alt/Option+Right or Shift+Backspace

  • Change search engine: Ctrl+Down (Next) +Up (Previous)

  • Find as you type text: /

  • Find as you type link: ‘

  • Regular old find: Ctrl+F

  • Open link in new window: Shift+Enter

  • Open link in new tab: Ctrl+Enter

  • Open address/search in new tab: Alt/Option+Enter

  • Caret browsing: F7

  • Refresh: Ctrl+R or F5

  • Refresh (override cache): Ctrl+F5 or Ctrl+Shift+R

  • Switch tabs: Ctrl+Tab

  • Select tab (1-9): Ctrl+[1-9]

  • Compose email: Ctrl+M