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