3D Printers

11 Aug

3D printers have been there for a while, but are becoming commercially viable now. I have been through the specs for Z technologies’s model 650, which has a printing volume of 12,000 cubic inches. Pretty usable for prototyping a lot of stuff. You can find a lot of demos on youtube for this stuff. I specially liked a model aircraft that was “printed”.

I wonder how green the technology really is, as no one knows what constitutes the pixie dust and how environment friendly is it to manufacture.

However, they are fun to watch… and the results look awesome. Have a look !


Digital Graffiti – Arduino based txtBOMBER

05 Jul

Time for a techie fun post today.

Wall chalking and graffiti is kind of shunned in most social circles, except for the ones which are artistic minded. Well, my aesthetic sense isn’t good enough and I end up confused when it comes to the choice of colors. I was however intrigued by a three year old invention by a German fellow who created this little gadget that looks like a paint roller but is in fact a digital plotter like device that can print a text message on the underlying wall by actuating different brushes that leaves a dot-matrix imprint of the digitally stored text in the Arduino memory.

I am not sure if the device has been manufactured commercially, as wall chalking aids are discouraged 🙂 But it is fun watching a hand-held plotter in action on a wall.

txtBomber In Action

Click here for more photos and details.



IPv6 Certification for WebMasters – Is my server IPv6 compliant?

11 Jun

Okay, it’s easy enough to tell if your Internet connectivity is IPv6 compliant, just check out the previous post. A bigger question is if your computer/server/network is on the other end of the connection? Yes, if you are running a server that needs to be connected to by loads of clients who all will be using IPv6 soon if not doing so already…

I know that (Hurricane Electric) have been running an IPv6 project for a long time, recently they have launched a free IPv6 certification project that takes you through the compliance process as a webmaster/hosting provider.

The certification enables you to perform the following:

  • Prove that you have IPv6 connectivity
  • Prove that you have a working IPv6 web server
  • Prove that you have a working IPv6 email address
  • Prove that you have working forward IPv6 DNS
  • Prove that you have working reverse IPv6 DNS for your mail server
  • Prove that you have name servers with IPv6 addresses that can respond to queries via IPv6
  • Prove your knowledge of IPv6 technologies through quick and easy testing

Not just that, it will let you have a good grasp at the following:

  • the format of IPv6 addresses
  • AAAA records
  • reverse DNS for IPv6
  • the IPv6 localhost address
  • the IPv6 default route
  • the IPv6 documentation prefix
  • the IPv6 link local prefix
  • the IPv6 multicast prefix
  • how to do an IPv6 ping
  • how to do an IPv6 traceroute
  • common IPv6 prefix lengths such as /64, /48, /32

For more details regarding the IPv6 certification process, please follow this link:



IPv6 – How to tell if I am ready for it?

11 Jun

Yes, IPv6 is finally going to reach the user end. Our broadband providers will soon start furnishing IPv6 addresses to our routers and we’ll have the liberty of using IPv6 addresses on our private networks as well (although some of us could have been using it for many years).

So, how do I tell if my internet connection supports IPv6? Yahoo have kindly provided a very simple way to test exactly that.

Once you are on the page, just hit the Start IPv6 Test button and you’ll find out if your broadband is IPv6 compliant.

Happy IPv6 all.. !


Oracle NoSQL Database

14 May

Yes, this is true, ORACLE has come up with a NoSQL solution. not sure yet what’s their position in the NoSQL race yet.

From what I know about the MySQL Cluster, I can guess it could be based on something like it on the inside. But wrapped into a more NoSQL API, interestingly MySQL cluster also comes with a primarily C++ NoSQL API known as NDB++. I’ll perform a comparison between the two and share the finding in a later post.

Data is stored as key-value pairs, which are written to particular storage node(s), based on the hashed value of the primary key. Storage nodes are replicated to ensure high availability, rapid failover in the event of  a node failure and optimal load balancing of queries. Customer applications are written using an easy-to-use Java API to read and write data. The NoSQL Database links with the customer application, providing access to the data via the appropriate storage node for the requested key-value.

Oracle NoSQL Database Architecture

In the mean time, if you would like to know more here is a list of features.

  • Simple Data Model
    • Key-value pair data structure, keys are composed of Major & Minor keys
    • Easy-to-use Java API with simple Put, Delete and Get operations
  • Scalability
    • Automatic, hash-function based data partitioning and distribution
    • Intelligent NoSQL Database driver is topology and latency aware, providing optimal data access
  • Predictable behavior
    • ACID transactions, configurable globally and per operation
    • Bounded latency via B-tree caching and efficient query dispatching
  • High Availability
    • No single point of failure
    • Built-in, configurable replication
    • Resilient to single and multi-storage node failure
    • Disaster recovery via data center replication
  • Easy Administration
    • Web console or command line interface
    • System and node management
    • Shows system topology, status, current load, trailing and average latency, events and alerts



Steve Jobs – Passed Away

06 Oct

Rest in Peace, Steve. You have been an inspiration, an original innovator. Thanks for the good things you did for us..


Have you lost your computer’s service tag?

01 Jul

I had to rebuild my laptop recently and realized that I needed to download the drivers from Dell’s website. I started looking for the service tag at the bottom of the laptop but that was no use.. The label had fallen off. One way of getting that could have been a reboot of the laptop followed by an inspection of the BIOS setup information but I wanted to have something that would act as equivalent to dmidecode in Linux. Dmidecode is a simple command that provides a human readable view of the DMI data.

So, for Linux the command would be like; Read the rest of this entry »


Haskell gets backing from Intel..

07 Aug

We are witnessing a recent boom in parallel languages becoming main stream and more and more parallel programming libraries becoming commonplace in languages not considered as parallel programming languages. One such language which boasts fully functional programming is Haskell. It’s being considered as the next big thing for its ease of parallel constructs and genuine functional approach.

Intel has recently announced the first release of Concurrent Collections for Haskell. I believe it should be a real booster for the Haskell community.

For those of you who are new to Haskell, please take a look at the code below.

myStep items tag =
do word1 <- get items "left"
word2 <- get items "right"
put items "result" (word1 ++ word2 ++ show tag)

cncGraph =
do tags <- newTagCol
items <- newItemCol
prescribe tags (myStep items)
do put items "left" "Hello "
put items "right" "World "
putt tags 99
do get items "result"

main = putStrLn (runGraph cncGraph)

This short program is support to print out “Hello world 99”.

For more details please follow this link.


Google Analytics – Graph annotations

25 Dec

Google Analytics now permits one to annotate the points on the traffic gaphs and thus allows them to become more meaningful and useful. This means that people in the organization can add their part to the annotations and thus these graphs can mean more to the Read the rest of this entry »


An easy way to determine the best URL shortener

08 Nov

I had been wondering which of the URL shortening services to stick to/ I specially found to be very useful in terms of the stats provided on the hits received etc. Today I came accross an interesting quiz that interactively asks a few questions to intelligently suggest the best URL shorterning service for a specific set of requirements. The choices include things like the need for a custom short URL and whether an API is preffered. There was another question regarding the need for click stats for short URLs that I particularly find very useful.

Give it a try and see if you find it useful enough.

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