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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Importing Yahoo contacts to Outlook
This was actually a doubt that I had in my mind after I had accidently deleted my contact list by synchronizing in wrong way. This is possible and the method is as follows.
1. Open your Yahoo Mail and click on the Options -> Mail Options on the top right corner of the page.2. Select Contacts Options from the left pane.
3. Click on Import/Export under Management column.
4. Go down to Export section and press on the button named Export Now which is infront of Microsoft Outlook and save the file to your hard disk when it prompts.
5. Open Outlook and click on File -> Import and Export..., then select Import from another program or file option and click next.
6. Select Comma Separated Values (Windows) from the list and click next.
7. Browse for the file that you saved in Step 4 then select what to do if it finds duplicate items and click next.

8. Select the Contacts item from the list and click next.
9. If you want to map the contact fields manually you can do so by clicking on Map Custom Fields..., most of the time this is not required.
10. To do the import click Finish.
WOW you have successfully imported Yahoo contacts to Outlook.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Changing Manufacturer Icon in System Properties

Changing Manufacturer Icon in System Properties
Recently a friend of mine did ask me how to change the manufacturer icon and supported by text in System Properties. Even though, I have changed the Boot Screens and Welcome screen languages when I was at my earlier employer I forgot how to achieve this. :-)

Then after some trying I found the way and thought it is better to blog it.

1. You have to create an icon to be shown as the manufacturer logo. Also remember that even though how large your image, System Properties will only show 180x114 pixels.
  • The point is that the image you create should be 180x114 pixels to be shown as a whole.
  • The image name should be OEMLogo.bmp.
2. Create an ini file to hold the Manufacturer, Model and Support Information.
Open notepad and create a file in the following structure.

[General]
Manufacturer= Arjuna
Model= My Model

[Support Information]
line1= Tele xxx - xxxxxx
line2= Fax ### - ######
line3= EMail ME@MyCompany.Com
line4= What ever you want

When saving you have to save this file as OEMInfo.ini.

3. Ok, since now files are ready, you have to copy them to system32 folder inside windows installation folder. The default location would be C:\WINDOWS\system32.

Job well done !, now if you go on to System Properties you will see the image that you have just created with the information that you have just saved in the notepad.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Query Shortcuts in SQL Server 2005

There is a nice feature which I did not come accross until recently. That is Query Shortcuts. This can be very helpful when executing regularly used queries.

For example consider SELECT * statement that we use.

When ever we need to get the full record set of a table we are writing SELECT * FROM tblTable. So if we have 10 tables we need to write the same SELECT * FROM part 10 times or we may need to copy and paste that. Also mosstly, as developers we are using this statement for temporary purposes to just see what is there inside the table later we will delete the queries. In such cases the query shortcuts come in handy.


But to use them you have to set them up.
1. Open SQL Server Management Studio (SQL SMS) and go to Tools -> Options..., this will bring up the Options page.
2. In that, expand the Environment category and click on the Keyboard.
3. Now select a key combination which is easy for you to use (I selected Ctrl + 3.). Then in front of the key combination under Stored Procedure type SELECT * FROM and press ok.

Setup is done, now we'll use it.
4. Now open a new Query Window in SQL SMS. Then drag a table from the Object Explorer.
5. While the table name is selected, press the key combination (My case it is Ctrl + 3.).


See what happened?

It will run the SELECT * FROM tblTable query even though the query window is just having the table name.
Not only SELECT * FROM you can run what ever queries by using this method. But a limitation which I see is that we cannot create our own key combinations (I prefer assigning Ctrl + S or Ctrl + Space for SELECT * FROM rather than Ctrl + 3.).
I think this is useful to many developers to improve their productivity.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nice Windows Shortcut

Do you know that you can use both sides of the title bar to close an application in Windows?
Obviously in the right side you have the Close button which you can left click to close the application.
What about the left side? Yes If you double click on the left side then also application will close.
  • Windows XP and earlier
In the left corner of the title bar there will be a small icon , if you double click on this that will trigger the same action of application exit.
  • Windows Vista
In vista there will be no icons, but if you click on the left corner that will still trigger the application exit.


  • Office 2007
The new Office version will have a big circle on its top left corner . If you double click on or near this again the application exit will be triggered.
Wireless Electricity

Did you get to know that people are trying to send electricity wireless. Even though this is still at testing I think when this succeeds lot of people will enjoy true wirelessness. Since nowadays even we have wireless devices we need a cable when charging them. This will remove that disadvantage.

Read more at,
http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/notag/mit-dudes-develop-mind+boggling-wireless-electricity-267238.php.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Intel Core 2 Quad Processors





Intel has released Intel Core 2 Quad Processors, these are capable of handling 4 threads simultaneously.
Read and experience more at Intel.

http://www.intel.com/products/processor/core2quad/index.htm
http://www.intel.com/products/processor/core2quad/demo/demo.html

All recent processors.
http://www.intel.com/performance/desktop/dighome/index.htm

Monday, August 13, 2007

Debugging Web Services

I tried debugging some Web Methods (WM) in a Web Service (WS) using Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and noted the following things.

When your WM having simple parameters (Integers, Strings) if you run your project internet explorer will open up with text boxes to enter your parameters. After entering there will be a button named Invoke to invoke the WM. That will invoke your WM with the parameters you have provided.

But the thing is if your WM is accepting complex types as parameters (Objects, Datasets, Tables {Even though it is not recomended to supply complex objects like datasets to WMs there may be scenarios that it will save lot of development time of yours.}) then you will not see either textboxes or an Invoke button. As a result you will not be able to debug the WM.

Do not worry because I found the way to debug.

First you have to publish your WS to Internet Information Services (IIS). To make things simple for you Visual Studio will do the publishing for you. Before that make sure that your IIS is running by typing http://localhost/ in your web browser.

Then right click on your WS project in the Solution Explorer and click on Publish.... This will open up the Publish Web form to you. In that enter the target location as shown. Remember to change the IP address used to your IP address or you can put your machine name or localhost instead using IP address.



Click on Publish. This will create a virtual folder inside IIS and your compiled WS will be copied in to the virtual folder. Now your WS is hosted. In some cases you may have to give permission to the WS. If you needs then open IIS Manager by typing 'InetMgr' in the run windows. Browse to your newly created virtual folder, right click on the folder and click on properties.



In WebService properties window check if 'Script Source Access' check box is checked, if not then check that and click Apply and click Ok.

Now we have published the WS, we'll setup debugging.

Right click the WS in the Solution Explorer and click Properties. In the project properties page click on the Web tab. In that as the default, WS will be set to run on a virtual server comming with Visual Studio. We have to change this because we are not been able to debug on virtual server. To do this select the radio button 'Use IIS Web Server' and set the project URL to the same location you entered in the Publish Web screen.



Now close the WS properties screen and press F5 or Debug -> Start Debugging. This will start the Internet explorer and will load your web service. Keep that as it is and put some breakpoints in the WS code.

Then use the web service. I did use the WS from a PDA application. When ever the call is made the web service will break at the breakpoints you have put then you will be able to debug as usual (using the windows as such Immediate, Watch, etc)

Conclusion
In Visual Studio normally it will start the WS in its virtual server. We have to point that to IIS to make it debuggable. That can be done by setting Web properties in the WS properties.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Making a normal Column, an Identity column in SQL Server CE

In SQL CE making a normal column an identity column is not possible. This is because the process involved in the making of identity columns. If you would like to know more about the Identity creation behaviour please read my earlier article.

http://arjunachith.blogspot.com/2007/08/making-normal-column-identity-column-in.html

In SQL CE the process mentioned in the article is not possible because that SQL CE does not support enabling and disabling IDENTITY INSERT.

If you did try it out, should have noted that even SQL CE table editor is not supporting this.

So if you really want to change a column in to an identity column (which already having unique values) then what you can do is, create a new table and copy the data your self. But the problem is that you will not get the old values in the identity column because there is no way to copy them without turning the IDENTITY INSERT off. So identity column data will be new from 1 to n, But all other information will be there in the table with the identity column in place. If you even wants to keep the old identity values you can keep that old identity column and create a new column for the Identity column.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Making a normal Column, an Identity column in SQL Server

Do you know that you cannot just change a normal column into an identity column in SQL Server? This is because that identity columns can only be created when creating new tables.

Now some people will say that how cannot that be? Because they are used to change using the SQL Server Management Studio (SQLSMS). What management studio will do is, it will create a temporary table with the Identity column and copy all your existing data there. Later it will delete the original table and will rename the temporary table to the original.

For example we will take Sales.Individual table in the AdventureWorks database.



Think that we need to add a column named Id as an identity column. What we will do is just type after ModifiedDate column and make the new column an identity column.

In such a case when we save the change SQLSMS will first create a temporary table which matches the new schema with the identity column.

Then it will set IDENTITY INSERT OFF and will copy the data from the original table to the newly created temporary table.

After this it will delete the original table and will rename the temporary table as the original table.

Did any one thought that the SQLSMS is doing this much of work for us without our knowledge?
Retrieving Schema Information of SQL CE Database

There are very limited features offered in SQL Compact Edition (SQL CE). But with those offered you can do many things if you know what is there and what is not there.

Following are some views available in SQL CE which you can use to retrieve information about the tables in the database.

-- Gets the list of Columns with their associated Tables. You will be able to retrieve the column properties such as Data Type, Allow Null, Default Values, etc.
SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS

-- Retrieves information about the indexes contained in the database.
SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.INDEXES

-- Retrieves information about the Primary Keys used in the tables.
SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.KEY_COLUMN_USAGE

-- Retrieves all the Tables in the database including the System tables.
SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLES

-- Retrieves all the Constrains in the database.
SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.TABLE_CONSTRAINTS

-- Retrieves all the Data Types available in the database.
SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.PROVIDER_TYPES

-- If you have any referential integrity constraints in your database defined, those will be returned by this.
SELECT * FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.REFERENTIAL_CONSTRAINTS
Did you ever thought why we are saying "Many Happy Returns of the Day" on someones Birthday

Visit this link and find out more.
http://www.smh.com.au/news/big-questions/why-do-you-wish-a-person-many-happy-returns-of-the-day-on-theirbirthday/2005/08/25/1124562965035.html

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Dual Booting Windows Vista

As I normally need several Operating Systems installed in my machine, after installing Vista also I tried the same. This made me to find, that the Vista boot loader is different to the earlier OS boot loaders. Because of this difference if you install earlier version of OS after installing Vista, you will not be able to start Vista.
These are the things which I found out.
If you need to multi boot Vista, then first install the oldest OS first. If the OSes are Windows XP, Windows 2003 and Windows Vista then install Windows XP first then Windows 2003 and finally Windows Vista.
Also note that if you install any earlier version after installing Vista you will have to fix the Vista boot loader. This can be done by booting the computer using the Vista installation CD and trying a start up recovery.
A good article is located at http://www.itnews.com.au/News/NewsStory.aspx?story=55148.
Retrieving MAC Address in Compact Framework

Recently I have seen that getting the MAC address of a Pocket PC network card using the .Net Compact Framework requires calling to the API 'iphlpapi.dll'. This is because the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) classes are not in Compact Framework. Otherwise you should have used WMI to get the MAC address.
But believe me that the process involved in Compact Framework to get the MAC address is complex. So as a suggestion I would say to use the OpenNETCF class libraries. You have to use OpenNETCF.Net and OpenNETCF to successfully get the MAC address. If you want to know what is happening underneath you also can download the OpenNETCF source code too.

OpenNETCF web site is http://www.opennetcf.com/, visit them and see.

The code for getting the MAC address of the first adapter using OpenNETCF would be,

' Creating a variable to hold all the retrieved adapters.
Dim adpcol As OpenNETCF.Net.AdapterCollection = OpenNETCF.Net.Networking.GetAdapters
If adpcol.Count = 1 Then
' adpcol.Item(0).MacAddress will be returning in Byte stream, you have to use Bit Converter to convert the stream to string.
GetDeviceMAC = BitConverter.ToString(adpcol.Item(0).MacAddress)
Else
GetDeviceMAC = "No Adapters Fetched"
End If

(You have to refer OpenNETCF.Net and OpenNETCF to make this code run.)
Yahoo! Go 2.0


Have you tried Yahoo Go 2.0? It has many new additions than the earlier version of Yahoo Go. In supported areas you can even get the traffic reports and maps.

Also note that Yahoo Go 1 service will be stopped on 27th of August 2007.

Try it out at http://mobile.yahoo.com/go.

I am sure that you will like the new version with many new features.