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Ready for GMAT?!?!

So, tomorrow morning I will be sitting in front of the computer for almost four hours straight. The difference tomorrow will be that I will actually be frantically trying to solve GMAT problems!! :) I was scared last night when I started seeing symptoms of flu; which should not have been a surprise to me considering that almost every other person that I have met in the last week has been sick. Luckily I was able to skip work today and rest, this rest seems to have really helped me so far, and tomorrow, hopefully, I should be OK. Wish me luck!!! =D

Once the GMAT chapter is over, my goal is to fix the damage that I have done to my body in the last few months by neglecting all exercise and good posture. I don’t know how I let it happen but now is the time for me start before I get in the no-coming-back zone :) Well, at least until I start my MBA in fall. Oh and I have setup Beryl on ArchLinux, and just for kicks I am planning on doing a five-minute video version of the fairly popular Capistrano tutorial (see the articles section). That will be popping up on this website within the next month.

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Looking up Hostnames using WINS

A quick note, if you would like your Linux machine to lookup other machines using NetBIOS names (sometimes a.k.a. Windows host names) then all you have to do is change /etc/nsswitch.conf and add 'wins’ to the 'hosts’ line. Your 'hosts’ line will look something like “hosts : files wins dns”. Enjoy!

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Reminders Not Working on Your Windows Mobile 5 Device?

Have the reminders suddenly stopped showing up on your Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 based device? If so then you have come to the right place. I found the actual solution buried in this thread (post by rcmccart on 06-18-2006, 16:52) so I thought that I would try to make it more obvious and come up with reasons. This worked for me and I am hoping that this will also work for you; please let me know if it does or does not (post a comment on this blog entry). First, the solution.

  1. Figure out when this problem started happening. If you vaguely remember when that was then that’s great, otherwise you can use something like MemMaid to find that by browsing the Notification Queue.
  2. Set the date on the device to one day prior to when the reminders stopped appearing.
  3. Soft reset the device.
  4. Set the date to one day ahead of the date that you set.
  5. If there was a reminder for this date then it should show up now. If you know there was a reminder but it just didn’t show up, then I am sorry this probably is not going to work for you. Oh, and make sure you pay attention to the time. If the reminder was set for 3pm but it’s currently 2:30pm then it is not going to show up because it is still in the future.
  6. If you did see the reminder then you are on your way to getting the reminders back.
  7. Change the date to the next day, soft reset and repeat until you reach today.

Now, the explanation. Please note that the following text is my explanation of what might be happening, I haven’t verified this with anyone, it’s all just me applying my logic :) The problem seems to start with conflicting reminders; I am not sure of the exact reason, but whatever it is, causes a past reminder to be left on the Notification Queue as “new.” I am thinking that the reminders are saved in a chronological list, i.e. the earliest reminders at the top, followed by the later ones. Additionally there has to be some additional piece of data that is set the first a reminder is shown (some kind of “new” flag). The “notification daemon” then checks the earliest new reminders (i.e. with that piece set) and sets up an interrupt that will be called when the correct time comes. In this case the problem is that the earliest reminder will never come because the time has already passed. This causes the newer reminders to never come up because they are waiting in line for the earlier ones to appear. Considering the solution, this is what I think might be going on under the hood, but I am probably way off :)

I thought about creating a small utility that would get rid of the past notifications but as my last post mentioned, right now I am really, really busy. Maybe I will get to it in a month.

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February = A lot of work

This month has been crazy for me. I have started working on a new .NET project at work that is really exciting to me, most of customers are in full swing, and lots of other stuff on the side. To complete everything in time I have sacrificed my exercise schedule and blogging activity. I am hoping that the workload will go down towards mid-March, but until then there will probably be very little blogging :-/

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Site Updates

I have fixed the sorting issue with the RSS feed, now it should be in soonest to latest order. Additionally I have made the site XHTML compatible. You might find that a few pages are not compatible; that is mainly due to the imported HTML from the previous website. All the standard elements on the pages should be XHTML compliant.

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Geeky Comics

I somehow stumbled upon XKCD, and it has some funny geeky comics. If you are into this kind of thing then definitely check out XKCD. I especially like this one… hahaha :)

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The Best Formula

Haha, I was working on a document in Microsoft Word and noticed a formula in a table which is just too good to not mention here: =Sum(Above)

This is the best formula!

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Awesome Powershell

PowerShell showing the paths of the currently running processes

Almost every week I get excited about a new tool. The tool of choice for the last week was Microsoft’s PowerShell. After my exposure to the linux shells, I started disliking the command prompt because of it’s simplicity. I am really happy that Microsoft has finally come up with something at least as good as the linux shells (I have not spent enough time to make any conclusions on whether it is better). Some things that I still don’t like is that there is no easy way to delete a complete word, like the CTRL-W in some of the shells, or event better the vi mode! :) Anyways, back to PowerShell. For those of you who have had early exposure to this product, PowerShell was originally called Monad, and has been around a little while. PowerShell is an object based shell, and one of its best features is the object pipelining support. I don’t want to explain all the PowerShell things because there are quite a few articles and documents on the web that do that; instead here are some uses.

So, the other day I was playing around with writing an expect script to quickly upload a file to a client FTP server. During this process I had to kill the expect process a few times, not realizing that every time it was actually leaving ncftp running in the background. Today my computer became a little slow because I had a lot of programs running. So, I started Task Manager by pressing CTRL, SHIFT, and ESC. Oh, that reminds me; the other day, I was surprised to find out that this shortcut key for running Task Manager is fairly unknown. Memorize it, it comes in handy! ...Task Manager comes up and I see a ton of ncftp.exe processes running. I made this an exercise to learn PowerShell and decided that I was going to kill these processes using a PowerShell command. Well, after a few minutes and a few glances of the Quick Reference (part of the PowerShell install) I had a command to kill all of the ncftp process.

Get-Process | Where {$_.ProcessName -eq "ncftp" } | ForEach-Object { Kill %_.Id }

I know I could have saved a few minutes this time by individually killing the twelve or so instances of ncftp.exe, but where is the fun in that! No, more seriously, I made this an opportunity to sharpen the saw. I can see this knowledge coming in handy down the road.

Similarly, run the following command if you are curious about the actual paths of the executables that are currently running.

Get-Process | Format-Table -Property ProcessName, Path -AutoSize

Update: as mow points out in the comments, there is an easier way to accomplish my first task of stopping all instances of ncftp.

Get-Process ncftp | Stop-Process
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