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Hyper-V, SLAT blah blah for Windows 8 Phone App development July 21, 2014

Posted by Midhun in None.
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I was trying to run my first Windows Phone 8 application (the basic one where you just show a HTML page). But it kept telling me that Hyper-V was not enabled on my computer.

I got a Lenovo 400S Touch. Initial Setup:

– Freshly setup Windows 8.1 Pro with all updates

– Intel Virtualization enabled in BIOS (it was enabled when windows was getting installed too)

– Hyper-V settings in Control Panel were partially enabled.

 

Now when I ran the Windows Emulator for the first time, it gave me an error that Hyper-V is not enabled and directed me to the standard site : http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/windows/apps/jj863509%28v=vs.105%29.aspx

I checked my processor compatibility (although I was sure – wanted to recheck) using CoreInfo from here : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/cc835722. All looks good.

I did what was said:

1. Changed Hyper-V settings in Windows

2. Disabled Intel Virtualization technology as it said in the page above

On reboot, the PC made some installations but I was still not able to run the emnulator. Now I checked for Windows updates and put them to be installed.

I do a few more reading and get to check the SLAT status as mentioned here : http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=271819

The tool says that my processor supports SLAT but virtualization is disabled in BIOS. So I go to enabled the Intel Virtualization technology againin BIOS this time. And now, the emulator starts up 🙂

I am not sure what helped. Suspects are the udpates from Windows.

My Delhi Manifesto – II: The Solutions October 29, 2013

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So Delhi is awesome. It’s just hidden under a few issues. The issues that I highlighted in one of my earlier posts – My Delhi Manifesto: Issues. Once these issues are solved, everybody will be able to see the awesomeness of Delhi. So let’s bring Saddi Dilli back to its glory, shall we?

Here are the proposed solutions to the problems that I discussed in my last blog:

  • Women’s Safety: Be strict to the miscreants. 24-hours patrolling by special police teams. Support for an app like Smart Suraksha.
  • Solve Electricity Problems in Delhi: Build large socal energy plants. Bring in more strict governance of the electricity board. Transparency in how the electricity is priced.
  • “Tu Jaanta Hai Main Kaun Hoon?” ( The Law & Order problem): Be strict. Be VERY strict. Make amendments to free Police from the clutches of politicians. So that the police can have the power to investigate anyone, regardless of the fact that uska baap kaun hai.
  • Improve traffic: BRTS. Yes, I know it has failed in Delhi, but the blame lies solely on improper planning. Look at how well Ahmedabad has incorporated it. It is beautiful. And useful. And makes public transport worth so much more. And it’s cheaper to build than, say, a Metro. Another point
  • Maintain public hygiene: Public toilets to be built after every few kilometers. Also a policy for the commercial establishments – over a specified area limit (like large shops, etc.) – to build and maintain a mandatory public toilet.
  • General Safety: Regular police patrolling. An always-on emergency number to reach the police whenever one wants.

This is My Delhi Manifesto in association with BlogAdda.com

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Software Dev and Agile October 27, 2013

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There is a lot of Gung-ho about Agile methodology and software development. A lot of firms have taken it up for better productivity and better results in software development.

Going by the way the methodology preaches, there does seem to be a value add. As you let the Product Owner prioritize and stakeholders see the demo of working software, they get to know whether the software is capable of adding/creating the value that they need from it. If not, then change the requirements that instant and you have a better version in the next sprint.

So continuous feedback is a great thing. But as all say, Agile is about change in mindset. The developers have to get it into their mind that the requirements will change quickly – hence what they develop today is not the “ultimate” one. This brings out more value out of the software development.

But looking at a different perspective, the developers have goals are short term. They have some (if not a lot) pressure to complete a chunk of code in the sprint. This leads to times of constant pressure – ONLY IF the commitment is not made accurately.

Agile is a great way to deliver value to customers. The developers and the team need to make sure that their work-life balance remains intact too.

My Delhi Manifesto: Issues October 24, 2013

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Most women staying in Mumbai do not like to travel to Delhi. Their reason – lack of safety for women. Most men staying in Mumbai do not like to travel to Delhi. Their reason – lack of professionalism and an always-ready-to-fight attitude of the people of Delhi, in general. One of this problem is solvable. The other . . . well . . .

Delhi has some good things going for it. Solid infrastructure, awesome food, a rich culture. But it has some shortfalls, too. None though which cannot be fixed. I have tried to look at a few of them and list them down for my readers. Will welcome your comments on anything critical if I have missed.

Here are the issues, that in my mind need to be addressed:

  • Women’s Safety: We CANNOT have a lax attitude toward women’s safety. We just cannot. As stated above, the general image of Delhi in the minds of women across the country is that of the “Rape Capital” of the country. It is insulting, but not far from truth. This HAS to go. With so many top policy makers sitting right here, it’s a shame if we cannot do anything to improve the security of the city. Specially the capital of the nation.
  • Electricity Problems: Really? Electricity problems? In 2013? Living in Mumbai feels like a superior experience, despite the city not having such a well-developed infrastructure as Delhi. Why? Because it has solved the problem of electricity. In the 5 years that I stayed in Mumbai, I did not experience even 5 power cuts. And when it happened, it lasted not more than five minutes. Yes, they have solved it. It’s now upon us. The image of a child studying under a streetlight makes for good stories when they are from the 1970s. Not when they are from 2013.
  • “Tu Jaanta Hai Main Kaun Hoon?” ( The Law & Order problem): Nobody in Delhi knows who the person asking this question is (So, no. Main nahi jaanta tu kaun hai), but everybody knows this question. Yes, Delhi is the seat of top politicians and industrialists, but more than that – it looks like – it’s the seat of betas of these pseudo-celebrities.
  • Improve Traffic: we have vastly superior roads than a city like Mumbai. Yet, the traffic situation is no better. Why?
  • Improve Public Hygiene: Seriously. You just need to look at the faces of foreign tourists who visit the city (and the country, in general) to get an idea of how bad this is. We cannot have men answering their call of the nature just about anywhere. The city, with it’s solid infrastructure, looks awesome. But the hygiene has to keep up with that, too
  • General Safety: I should be able to go out at 1 in the morning and come back in one piece, wearing everything that I went out wearing, including my watch, with my phone still in my pocket, and the money still in my wallet. Aah, sounds like a dream already. Is someone listening?

And after reading all of the points again, I cannot help but ask the same question again – is someone listening ?

This is My Delhi Manifesto in association with BlogAdda.com

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Driving in Mumbai traffic October 10, 2013

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Mumbai has got very hectic traffic and it is known for it. But driving here is supposed to be better than other cities. There is said to be more lane discipline and people follow traffic signals better.

But driving in Mumbai for a year and half now, I feel a lot can be improved. A lot that the Mumbai Traffic police can do along with the Town Planning team.

  1. Foremost – make roads better. This contributes a lot in the speed at which vehicles move. Every vehicle slowdown effects all the vehicles behind and it has a ripple effect.
  2. Mark roads better – this should include better road signs so that new drivers do not waste time slowing down and asking for instructions
  3. Lane driving marking – all lanes must be marked as to which traffic should be in that lane. This should be marked well before a turning or diversion. Only the inner most lane should be for U turns (when and where possible).
  4. Lane driving enforcement – traffic police needs to put in effort to catch the culprits not following the lane discipline.
  5. Stop plying of heavy vehicles – Heavy vehicles should not be allowed during the time when they city traffic is on. They should be allowed only during the night time – its easy for them too and the city traffic.

Java Performance Monitoring October 8, 2013

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Java – one of the world’s most used language for application development – and the one that I worked on most too 🙂

As with every application, there will be performance issues as the application matures. There can be many reasons like future volumes not being taken into consideration, change in business requirements etc. So one will obviously need to then tune the application’s performance.

There are various levels off performance tuning – depending on how severe the issue is and how much you want to spend 😉

Basic level – Monitor JVM performance using jConsole  or VisualVM. These are pretty handy and free tools and easy to setup and monitor. But then they remain the same – basic. You will be able to get the heap usage and the generations and monitor them. You will be able to able to pick the Garbage Collection frequency. But not the details – may be at the max, you can map the memory usage to a process and keep monitoring it for some time to conclude which process is taking up the memory.

Intermediate – Once a process has been identified, then you will need tools like jProfiler. They are profiling tools that will integrate with the IDE used for development and you can find profile the process. This helps in identifying the parts of the code which will need tuning.

Advanced – The basic monitoring can be used in Production but it would not provide the required details for fine tuning. Intermediate one is more offline and development oriented. It cannot be used on Production systems. There are few more tools which can be used on live systems like Dynatrace. These help prevent and proactively monitor performance issues rather than tune the application after facing them. They do effect the CPU consumed but then they provide the most detailed information possible for a production system – the one where most of the incidents occur 🙂

 

Lovely Lumia 822 October 6, 2013

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At the time when I was looking for a replacement for my old Samsumg Windows 7 phone (Samsung Focus), I went through the ones available and founf Lumia 822 to best suite my needs. It is lowest phone with a 1 GB RAM and also a Corning Gorilla glass – both of which were deciding factors for me.

I started reading about the reviews for Lumia 822 and got to know that the latest firmware (as of that time) did not work in my country.  I ordered a white Lumia 822 on eBay and I made sure that the seller knows that I am looking for phone with the old firmware. He assured me that it will be the case and I was happy. But it turned to be the other way 😦 The phone was updated by the seller’s counterpart in US 😦 I was unable to connect to the data (neither 2G not 3G) and my outgoing SMS was not functioning.

So started a massive search on the internet and then a risky process to flash the phone to the lower version of the firmware. This ensured that I could use the phone to its full functionality :). Here Maps and Here Drive are a boon. The interface is smooth and fresh. And never a lag – NEVER. But the point of not being on the latest firmware available always bugged me 😐 Then came Microsoft’s announcement for GDR2 a.k.a AMBER update for Windows Phone 8. This brought in a host of features and my phone was on the latest firmware too. This made my Lumia experience a super duper one 😀

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Making Pasta October 6, 2013

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And at last I made my first dish of Pasta 😀

I am known for my non-cooking skills. But last time when one of my friend made Pasta at home, I was amazed at the simplicity of how it can be done if you have the right Pasta sauce. So I got the basic requirements- Del Monte’s Spirille Pasta and Dr Otekar’s Pasta and Pizza sauce.

I must admit that I underestimated the task – coming from my experience of making Maggi. I boiled the pasta for few mins (the pack said 9-11 mins) in salted water. I was checking for the structure of the Pasta to make sure that it has boiled properly. Once done, I started off with the Pasta sauce and cheese slices in another vessel and then put in the strained Pasta. I was happy in making it 🙂 But when I had my first bite, then I realized that the Pasta did not boil nicely 😦

Being determined to eat proper Pasta, I reboiled the sauteed Pasta. This time I made sure it has boiled properly by nibbling small pieces. Once done, I sauteed again with a batch of fresh Pasta sauce. There it was – my first Pasta. Not bad !!! 😀

Enron – Stanley Milgram Experiment & the world October 5, 2013

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Last week, I was watched the documentary – Enron – The Smartest Guys In The Room. My intention was simple – to know about Enron and reasons for its downfall. But then I discovered an insight into human behavior – that people obey and perform what they find unethical when it is asked for and approved by an authoritative figure.

This has been experimented and concluded by a psychologist named Stanley Milgram in 60’s. So when Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling approved (although they do not accept the same in the public eye) the various unethical activities that Enron performed, there was no stopping for the junior executives in the firm. As they got pushed more and more, they got more and more aggressive.

I think this is what is tilting the world away from good. People have an excuse that if someone else does an immoral activity and gets away, why don’t I ? The principles take a backseat and personal gains are driving people.

A brief video of the original experiment can found here :

Skoda Fabia – The mini tank October 5, 2013

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Skoda Fabia has proved to be a wonderful car from the time it was bought. It was got after a research of two months about all hatchbacks in the country in the most authoritative site for cars in the country – Team BHP. There have been many pros and cons discussed about the car. But the feeling when you get into the car and drive is what turns you on 🙂

What I like :

  • The doors open wide and in a three stage manner ( I am told this is typical of all European cars). Love it as it stops the door from hitting against a wall or fence if you parked the car pretty near to it.
  • Adjustable steering height and depth – I also have it fully out and up. But I think it is cool
  • Awesome comfortable seats – they warp you around nicely unlike the ones in Swift which feel pretty thin and lifeless
  • MID – displays all the required info in front of you. The one that mostly use is the instantaneous fuel consumption of the car.
  • The key – it seems nothing else would fit other than the keys provided by Skoda as the lock generates a random number when the key is pulled off. Pretty secure.. Huh ? 🙂
  • The same goes with the music system. If it has been stolen out of the car, it would work in no other car – not even another Skoda Fabia
  • The golf ball shaped gear knob and the smooth gear shift – there is no other hatchback which does gear shifting better 😀
  • The sturdiness of the car – You can always rely on it. Hence it is called the “Mini Tank”
  • Elegence  and thoughtfulness oozes out of every part of the car

What I do not like :

  • The engine is not upto the mark 😦 I knew this when I was buying the car. But being bought for city driving, this was brushed off. Now when I hit the highways, I do feel the urge for more power. Then too, it is not so very bad. I touch the maximum of 155 kmph 🙂