Tuesday, December 11, 2007

MoBlogger - Mobile Blogging tool for Windows Mobile Devices

I have been toying with the idea of creating a blogging application for the Pocket PC / Smartphone devices for sometime. i had done some extensive research on it sometime back, but due to limited time available for coding 4 fun (as I call my experimental coding activities) I had been pushing this idea away. But since I got myself a Windows Mobile phone, this need kept popping up.

My initial reaction was to go back to the applications that I had come across earlier and try them out on the phone. Well the fist one I tried refused to work on my blog unless there was an active Internet connection. This was a major limitation as I did not want to be online while I was writing my post. I know that GPRS/3G usage is charged for the actual traffic, but the downside was an active Internet connection on the phone drained the battery! So that experienced was very short lived.

Then I did come across several other applications that allowed you to work offline, but I had small issues with them. Some I had issues setting up and running. They had exceptions. Some supported only one blog. I wanted something more as I have a couple of blogs. And I wanted my client application to support all of them without me having to delete and setup when I wanted to switch blogs.

Also, I still had the urge to develop an application myself. With my involvement in GMobileSync now I was experienced in working with the GData API as well. So I went to work on my Mobile Blogging Application: MoBlogger.

Here are a feature list:
  • Multiple profiles
  • Multiple Blogs within a profile. So if your blogger account has multiple blogs setup, all of them will work!
  • Work Offline - you can work offline and save your posts for uploading later.
  • Supports labels.
Sounds great right? Well yeah... except right now it only supports Blogger! But I am working on supporting multiple blogging platforms! The immediate platforms on the radar are Wordpress.com and Windows Live Spaces.

In the mean time if you would like to have a go at it, drop me a mail, I'll be happy to send you an installation.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

October Challenge Update

It's been good so far. I know it's been just 3 days. But I have kept my pledge of daily dose of exercises! What I have noticed is that I usually keep it for about a week effortlessly. Maximum of two and then my motivation wanders off. But with regular updates on my progress, I am testing to see whether the accountability factor has any impact on my motivation levels. Hopefully if I receive some encouraging feedback, it will work well for me.

Since it is a bit of a hassle to update daily on the blog, I have chosen Twitter as my main medium of recording updates. The fact that I can update from the mobile is a big convenience factor for me and the chances of missing updates with such a convenience are lesser. In order to publish my Tweets, I have added a Twitter widget to this blog's side bar. So this blog will also be updated with my Twitter updates.

Please feel free to follow me on twitter!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

October Challenge

I should admit, my August challenge did not materialize even by end September. No, this is not a post to blame it on anything or anyone else. It was just my undisciplined self that needs to be blamed. And the outcome was a pretty bad feeling of FAILURE!

But still I am setting myself another challenge for myself. But this time I am going to go a bit more lean! I will target a more achievable goal. A goal that I am more likely to achieve without requiring a drastic change to my routine and something I am more likely to achieve with my lazy self!
I will lose 2 kilos by the end of this month. I will achieve this my
committing just 5 minutes of exercise on most days.

Trying to give up my food indulgence was a total flop. It brought me to the point where I started to question that I am a plain sucker for good food! So I will not fight my indulgences hard, but I will try to control my portions.

But the end result I expect, no matter how I achieve it is to be 88 kilos by the end of this month!

I would appreciate if you guys can make me accountable for this goal!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My Zen Habits August Challenge

Zen habits is a recent blog that I subscribed to recently. It is a wonderful blog about personal development and it is written with a perspective of of Zen Buddhism. It is all about simplifying your life!

Zen Habits runs a challenge for each month for his readers through the forum on his site. The users can register a challenge that they want to achieve within the month, and they are to practice and report progress online, through the forum daily. It is kind of like your personal accountability team.

This process of practicing a new habit for 30 days to internalize it has been proposed by many a personal development trainers. I first heard about it on Steve Pavlina's blog, and then I read about it on several books and other web sites and blogs. I have tried this approach several times, but at all times, it didn't go through for more than 2 weeks. I think the biggest reason was he lack of a personal accountability team. I never made myself personally accountable for my goals.

This time I decided to add that element to it. So I registered for the August Challenge on Zen Habits forum. I recorded my challenge for this month. But will I be motivated and to be accountable to the other people on the forum? Well, I could be, I could not be! But there is no loss of face if I don't!

So the way I figured it, in order for me to be really accountable for achieving my goal, I should put it here, on this blog. And everyday, I can make a progress update by way of a comment and intermittently, I can write a post reviewing the process. And come the end of the month, I will have to update on the result achieved.

Lose 5 Kilos by the end of the month.

I will attempt this by:

  1. Eating moderately and not giving into indulgences
  2. Exercising daily on the TimeWorks. The prescription is to do only 4 minutes a day!

Stay tuned for my updates!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Intentions and goal setting

After reviewing a lot of literature about setting intentions and goals, I wrote down a few goals that I wanted to achieve in the short term and a few far reaching goals. In one of the books that I had read called The Success Principles author Jack Canfield stated that each of us should set a life changing goal.

I was searching for this life changing goal and I finally settled down to wanting to create a killer Web Site that would have over a 100,000 unique visitors a day. The reason I chose this as my life changing goal was the thinking that such a web site has the ability to generate a large passive income which can pave the way for the financial independence that I seek in my life. If a web site attracts over a 100,000 unique visitors a day, that web site should have the ability to generate a few hundred, if not a few thousand dollars in passive income.

To cut a long story short, I was thinking about a web site idea, as I had set myself the goal of launching this web site before the end of this year. It is then that a friend of mine came to me with an idea for a web site and asked me if I would like to join in with him and a another friend to start off on it!

I said yes without a blink. I agreed to meet up with them to discuss the idea further, as I had a gut feeling that it is a workable idea. The reason behind me writing this story is to go on record that the universe does respond to your intentions. When I wrote down the goal of creating a killer web site, I had no idea of what it was going to be on. But out of the blues, my friend came to me with an idea that they had been toying around with. The way I see it, the universe saw three people who were having the same intention and brought them together.

I am not sure if the others who are in this with me will believe this, but as far as I am concerned, the universe has answered my call. Well I know that I have a long way to go towards achieving the targets I had set on my goal for the web site, but the universe has answered my call and had paved the first step towards manifesting my intention. I am waiting to see how this will work out and I will record the progress here, what ever way it goes!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Want to increase your productivity?

This guy knows his cookies. He was/is one of the best known guys in the technology space, he was the CEO of Netscape and now he runs two companies. And he presents interesting tips for increasing your productivity.

Marc Andreessen's article on Personal Productivity called The Pmarca Guide to Personal Productivity is pretty revolutionary coming from a guy who is so much connected with Internet and connectivity. I guess he also has felt the toll that connectivity can take on you.

First we worked towards getting ourselves wired so we will not miss out on things. We invented the telephone and then the mobile telephone, so we can stay contact-able while on the move.

Then we invented email and then figured out ways to get our email on our cell phones. Then we got wireless Internet also on our cellphone so we are always connected, where ever we were. And now, we are looking for ways to not to let the connectivity consume us.

It is very much like the nuclear science. First we spent millions getting the knowledge. Then we spend millions from preventing it from being abused (and abusing it in the process).

His tips are, in his own words, not suitable for people who have a structured lifestyle o a job. But if you can actually put them into practice, I think it will bring about a welcome change into most of our lives.

I am not very sure about his tip about not keeping a schedule. In my job, as much as I love to operate the way he proposes, I have to schedule activities in advance. A big part of my work involves scheduling activities both for myself and for teams as a project manager. So this is not for me right now.

I have had plenty of days, even after a full day at work, I end up thinking to my self, 'What did I do today?'. Sometimes what we do are not important but you end up doing them anyway's as they are in your face. As Stephen Covey suggests, we do urgent and un-important things and procrastinate Important but not Urgent things, things that can make a true difference in our lives. So his suggestion about coming up with 3 to 5 things to do for a day, the night before is a very good idea.

Putting this into practice, I can plan to get at least one important but not urgent things done each day. Since the planning is going to be done the night before, before you walk into the office where another lot of problems to solve are waiting in your inbox.

Again, due to the nature of my work, I don't think I can schedule emails for only two time slots during the day. I used to have my email client running in the background so I can respond to emails as soon as they arrived. But now I am actually closing Outlook when I run through my emails in the morning and switch to my other work. But I do check back a few times a day. Maybe I can have three schedules for checking emails, morning, afternoon and evening. I should give it a try and see how the response is from my colleagues and clients.

In any case, it is a pretty good article and contains many good and somewhat radical tips on ways you can organize yourself to become more productive in the information age!


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Be Lankan, Buy Lankan - the story of Micro Trend

This I saw on a Micro Trend Car. For those of who don't know Micro Trend it is a locally assembled Chinese car. It is the second car to be put on Sale by Micro, the first company to produce a fully indigenous car.

When I saw this only it struck to me that I have seen only a very few Micro Trends on the road. You can't complain much about the looks of it, if I remember correctly it was designed by an Italian design firm. Since it is Chinese, it must be as good as any Chinese made car. But for whatever reason, you see more Cherry QQ's than Micro Trends on the road. And personally speaking I think the QQ is a bit hideous looking to start with.

Maybe it's the price factor. The QQ is a few lakh rupees cheaper. So is the Maruthy 800. But what about the cars that are in the same price range. The Maruthy Zen and the Maruthy Alto. I think they are in the same price range. But they seem to be more popular than the local make.

Maybe the deep down reason is that we do not trust our local makes. This lack of trust is keeping us away from the Trend. When I saw the Trend for the first time, I thought it was a pretty good looking car. There were two things that kept me away from it, it's size (I need a bigger car due to my long limbs) and the lack of automatic transmission (it's a luxury that I have come to enjoy too much with the bumper to bumper traffic on Colombo roads).

So why do people choose the Indian or the Chinese varieties over the Sri Lankan assembled Chinese car? Maybe the price? So if the government gives the company enough subsidies to help them bring the price down, then they may have a pretty good market.

But the good news is the two Korean SUV's assembled by Micro in Sri Lanka seems to be having a good response from the market. The secret there maybe because they enjoy a price advantage. So why not do that for the cars and create a Sri Lankan automotive industry?


Monday, May 07, 2007

Dependency on connectivity

We are having Internet connectivity problems at work these days. Due to lightning, our network equipment has got damaged and hence we are on a very slow Internet connection.

This slow connection made me realize how dependant I have become on the Internet. Without a speedy Internet connection, I am seriously handicapped. Come to think of it, it is not just Internet that I have come to be dependent on. It is overall connectivity that I have come to depend upon.

I feel seriously lost if I step out of the house without my cell phone. It has become a part of my lifestyle so much I feel insecure without it. More than the incoming calls, I need it in case of an emergency. Not that I have managed to come out of many emergencies thanks to my cell phone. I wonder how my mother does without one.

The Internet too is becoming second nature. If I don't check my mail for a day, I feel as if something is a miss. It is not that I am expecting anything on the mail. Just that I need to be on top of my mails. I hate to come to my mail box with mails that are several days old and the total running into a few hundred.

There's another side to emails. You feel a strange loneliness when you haven't got any mail for a day. But thanks my clients there's hardly a day that goes without me getting a mail with some lame and sometimes stupid complaint.

What would it be like to spend a week without emails and your cell phone. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to do that while I'm on the job. I am obliged to answer my cell phone as it is a company phone and if I don't answer my mail within the day I am bound to end up with a few more complaining about the lack of a response.

So has technology made our lives easier or has it made us more connected and tied down and made us slaves to the technology? Can we go home after work and just forget about work? We can't. If something comes up, we are bound to get contacted over our cell phones. We will have to answer our urgent emails from home. I even work from home over the week ends, responding to client queries and resolving issues.

I think technology has blurred the line between work and private time. We can no longer have a truly private time away from work. If something comes up, by the mere fact that we are connected we will have to respond. So who gets affected? It is our families and the relationships that get affected.

I think we lack a certain level of discipline. Just because we are connected we should not jump to work while you are at home. I had a client once in Singapore who had clearly drawn a line between work time and private time. If you contacted him during off office time even for a small clarification, he would politely tell you that he would answer the query when he gets to work. I think it is a worthwhile discipline or a practice that you should develop, unless of course you are a workaholic.

The ideal Scenario

The ideal scenario out of this connectedness would be an ability to work from home. To have the ability to spend more time at home but still get work done. To be able to remotely work from home. But our mind set and the culture has not come to that stage where our physical presence is not required at work. I think we have not got used to working in that fashion.

But the good news is we are getting there fast. I have seen geographically dispersed project teams working on projects using collaboration tools and thier productivity is no less than them being on the same room.

Taking time off 

I want to take my annual leave for at least 10 days at a stretch and be away from my emails and cell phone during that time. I will dedicate all my time to spend with my family and maybe do some reading. That will be some holiday.

Now if I can sort things that are pending so I can actually go on that holiday...


Monday, April 23, 2007

The Dyer Dozen.

I just finished listening to an audio program by Wayne Dyer called The Power of Intention,  which is based on his best selling book. This is a very interesting audio program which talks about a topic which I have developed an interest on lately. Wayne Dyer has been an authority in this area for quite sometime, but to me he was a late discovery.

I got introduced to this topic via Steve Pavlina's blog. Steve called it Intention-manifestation. I have to tell you honestly my earlier dabbling's with this topic has been disappointing, which led me to be very skeptical about this topic.

But after coming across a new video called The Secret, my interest in this topic grew again and my recent dabbling's have been quite revealing! In this program they call it The Law of Attraction. The concept is to attract what you want to your life. This process has what you need to do to attract / how to attract and being ready to receive.

Wayne Dyer proposes twelve rules for realizing the power of intention in his The Power of Intention book. Here are those twelve golden rules. I will just list them.

  1.  Want more for others than you want for yourself -This is selflessness.
  2. Think from the end - Think about the results.
  3. Be an appreciator - Look for what is valuable, not worthless.
  4. Stay in rapport with source energy - be in a state of harmony with your source. Always think is this how my source thinks?
  5. Resistance - every thought you have that is other than that which you emanated from is resistance.
  6. Contemplate your self with the conditions that you want in your life.
  7. Understand the art of allowing - take the path of least resistance.
  8. Practice radical humility.
  9. Be in a constant state of gratitude - this is a great way to weed out the negative thoughts from your mind.
  10. Don't condemn the problems
  11. Play the match game - Am I matched up with the field of intention?
  12. Meditate - take control over your mind.

This list is an exhaustive list of things that you can follow to make the power of intention work for you. I found this list basically talks more or less about the same things that the other authors in this topic area also talk about. The difference is each author has one or two additional things in the list. But invariably, you will find the same core things appearing in all lists.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A GLObal COmmunity for sharing the Internet Revenue

Do you know how Google makes it's money? By selling advertisements. It's search engine is used to push targeted advertisements to millions of users. When someone clicks on an ad Google serves along the side of the search results, it makes money.

Google realized that limited advertisements on their search engine alone is depriving them of hoarding space to publish their ads. So they then came up with AdSense, where web site owners could sign up to serve Google ads on their web sites. And through this model, Google shared the revenue with the site owners.

This and many similar programs are great if you have a web site or a blog and if you had people coming to your web site and clicking on the Google ads on your site. Click through rates will depend on a lot of things. For starters the ads shown on the site was based on the site content, so they were somewhat relevant, but is it what your site visitors are looking for?

And what if you don't have a web site or a blog and what if the traffic to your site was not so great. You were being left behind.

Cry no more- Welcome to AGLOCO. The Global Community of Internet surfers.

Come again? Global what? And how is it going to benefit me anyway? AGLOCO attempts to share the internet advertising revenue with the internet surfing community. Not the web masters and web site owners. Just normal everyday people like you and me, who spend a a significant part of our time browsing through the web, for information, for work, for entertainment or because we have nothing better to do. AGLOCO through it's viewbar, which is to be released shortly, will serve ads based on your preferences, which means you are likely to get the most relevant information pushed to you.

Of course, AGLOCO will charge the advertisers and content participants for doing this. But the beauty of this is, they will share that with you. Of course, they stand to earn a chunk. But then again, they are doing all the work, and they are sharing their revenue with you. So what?

The other thing about this is, there is no catch. You don't have to pay anything upfront, you don't have to sell anything to get qualified (of course if you refer others you stand to earn more - what do you think I am doing here ? ;)). You just have to download the view bar (when it becomes available, which should be pretty soon) and then go on surfing the internet just was you would do always.

So what are you waiting for? You got nothing to lose. Jump into the bandwagon. Earn a portion of billions of internet advertising revenue while you do surf. While you are jumping into the band wagon, go through this referral link to sign up.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007


It's a strange thing. I am really starting to see some synchronicities.

I did realize that our mind spots things when we plant an interest. The most common example is when you sort of notice a particular car model, you will start spotting that model quite often that will make you wonder how on earth all these cars are suddenly appearing out of nowhere.

Similarly, I have been reading a few books / articles  /audio clips and videos on the topic of law of attraction, or intention manifestation and it seems that everything I hear, including the songs that I notice on the radio seem somewhat related to that topic.

Sometime back I was reading a post on Steve Pavlina's blog about the how intentions manifest and he mentioned that there is an alpha state and a beta state. The alpha state is where you get some sort of an acknowledgement from the universe. I have been seeing a few of such synchronicity on some of the intentions that I intended. I had some of those ' creative winks' from the universe.

The period that usually make us give up on the intentions is the period which Pavlina calls the ' calm before the storm' period. I too had such periods where after a small creative wink from the universe, where there was a period which was more or less silent. The acknowledgement that I received seemed to be the only thing that was coming forth. Things seem to have gone back to the state that it was before. Skepticism starts to set in to your mind, questioning your intention and the whole idea about the law of attraction.

It is this period that you need to guard against. Intentions do become true. They are a self fulfilling prophecy. So when you start to question the intentions and start to think about the opposite, these opposite thoughts then become your intentions. Some other author has called this period, the period where you have hit a plateau. It is as if no matter what you do, you don't seem to be getting anywhere. This is the period where people give up just as something is going to materialize. It is like the last mile.

In my case, after a silent period, I am starting to see beta reflections or some real positive and long term outcomes for my intentions. I may be a little too early to predict this as I am assuming that I am seeing beta reflections. But by the looks of things, they seem like substantial beginnings. And I am exited. I am looking forward to the universe guiding me through to manifesting my intentions.

Friday, April 06, 2007

I miss you thaththi

It's been three years! Three years since you suddenly departed. Without a warning, without any signs, you suddenly left. I was out of the house at that time. By the time I came to you, you had already gone. Not even a good bye! And I found myself, hugging your lifeless body and crying, unable to believe that you are not going to wake up.

I had to stop crying, I was worried about ammi. I was worried about malli. I was the eldest, I had to be responsible. I was old enough to take up the responsibility. But I wasn't ready. I wasn't ready because I never envisioned a life without you. I guess I took you for granted. But then as Buddha preached, life never can be taken for granted.

You were more than a father to me. You were my best friend. You understood me perfectly. When I was restless, you gave me the space to grow. When I needed protection, you were a tower of strength, always by my side. You allowed me to live my own life. Never tried to force your dreams or expectations on me. When I did things that you knew were going to fail, you never told me not to. You allowed me to find out for myself. Always there, in case I fell. But when I fell flat on my face, you never said "I told you so". Instead you asked me, "What do you want to do next?"

Last year was a tremendous year in my life thaththi. I too became a father. I now have a little daughter. She is such an adorable kid, I wish you were here thaththi, to see her! She is just five months old, but I sometimes tell her about you. I tell her how much you would have loved her, if you were around. I regret her never getting to know you. She missed the opportunity to know her other seeya. But I will make sure that she will know about you. And I will try to become the father, that you were to me.

Lushi also misses you thaththi. Though doesn't know you that well, though she has met you only twice, she misses you too. She has instantly liked you the first day she saw you. She had thought you were a fun father-in-law to have. You with your jokes and mild manners, you had taken your place with her. She regrets not knowing you better. But I keep telling her about you, about all those little things that you did for us.

Amma has still not got over your departure. She took a long time to get back to her self. Well not really her old self. I guess she can never get back to her old self, because you were such a big part of her for such a long time.

I know malli misses you too. But we have never really spoken about it. You know malli is so much like you. He doesn't want to show his pain to anyone. He keeps it all inside. But I know he misses you terribly. You were his world!

It was you who showed taught us to accept life gracefully and to make the most of it. You taught us the values of living by your principles. You taught us to do our best and to happily accept the results. Your lessons are still in our hearts. Your lessons allow us to live consciously and make the right decisions in these testing times. Not matter how long it has been I still miss having you around thaththi. I used to ask you before every decision I had to make. You never made the decisions for me, instead you showed me all the options. Now, I have to seek the options on my own. I miss your far sightedness.

Above all, I miss your love. I miss your friendship. And I miss you!

We will be having an alms giving in your memory on the 7th (tomorrow). I wish you a short journey through sansara and wish you the supreme bliss of nibbana. But until such time, I want you as my father in each reincarnation! So long thaththi, till we meet again!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Picasa web albums upgrades free storage limits

Seems Picasa has upgraded the free storage limit from 250 MB to 1 GB. This is certainly good news as I had already used up my 250 MB limit.  Since then, I had been uploading my pictures to webshots and snapfish.

Now that the storage limits have been upgraded, I can upload a few more of my albums to Picasa. That will be good for me as it will allow me to keep more of my albums in one place. Also, hope Picasa will allow uploading of videos as well.

Wonder how long more I will take to use up my 1 GB space. Hope Google will keep upgrading free disk space on Picasa. Way to go Google!


Sri Lanka beat England by 2 runs

What a match! A real nail biter at the end. It came pretty close to the Sri Lanka vs. South Africa match, which we came so close to pulling off with Malinga's brilliant bowling. This time if was Dilhara who did the trick for us. Here I am trying on my expert match commentator cap :)

When we were batting the runs came very slow for us. The commentators very getting sarcastic about our batting till about the 30th over with them showing people dosing off on their seats. But I think our team batted with a game plan. The idea would have been to not to give too many wickets away in the beginning and then to open up towards the end of the innings. But unfortunately, we really couldn't open up towards the end of the innings either. Our shots kept finding the fielders directly with an occasional boundary.

According to the commentators, given tech condition of the pitch, a competitive target was in tech region of 270. Maybe they underestimated our bowling attack. I thin our bowlers did a great job to bowl the Englishmen out.

As we were battling and at one stage when England seemed to be in control I was dead scared that we should lose. I was fighting myself to contain all tech negativity. Our victory now keeps us within the top four teams. I hope we end up being on the third spot. Then we will probably meet New Zealand in the semis's. Let's see how it goes.

Congratulations Sri Lanka. You did great and made us all proud! You are flying our Sri Lanka flag high in the air in the Caribbean. There are forces who are trying to deviate your attention to other matters other than Cricket, which you can do nothing about. Don't get distracted by those who are trying to pull the fast ones by playing dirty mind games. Keep your concentration on Cricket, and you will have the final laugh!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Creating my personal workspace

I was reading Dilantha's post on the perfect workspace, and it just struck me. I no longer have a personal workspace. I have given up my desk at home ( no longer have a desk as such) and at office also I have got too used to moving desks too frequently.

I used to be the most generous guy at work, giving my desk to accommodate the newest member in my team and moving in to any desk that was available. The fact that I was on a laptop and the office having wireless connectivity helped. I personally didn't mind at all. I was more concerned about keeping my team members together rather than me having a permanent desk.

But I think my boss became worried that I might get hurt and ensured that I got myself a permanent desk when we re-organized the office. There was nothing to worry really. I was not bothered or feeling lesser because I was moving about. I was happy to be of any help. I was more interested in being part of the solution, rather than a part of the problem.

But, now that I have got a desk, and a quite large one at that, I was still not feeling very attached to the desk or the place. The result, a very impersonal desk. No photos, no personal stuff (well except for a teddy that my wife gave me for this Valentines' day). I usually pack up my laptop and go at the end of the day, so when that is gone, there's nothing on the desk except for a pile of papers.

Looking at the photos on Dilantha's post and the related links, I now have an urge to personalize my work space. First project would be to personalize my office desk. Let's see what I can do to make it personal and to make the place a very enjoyable place, considering the fact that I am spending most of my day at this desk.

Then I would move on to creating a cool desk for me at home as well.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Sri Lanka beats West Indies by 113 runs!

Our team did it in style last night. We beat the hosts WI by 113 runs.

At the start, we looked a bit edgy. I was scared that we were going to see another fantastic collapse by the Sri lankan batting order. But our master blaster clicked. And with his 25th century, he brought victory to the Sri Lankan team.

Just remembered something. I remember someone saying that in order for Sri Lanka to win Jayasuriya has to play a big inning. Well, I certainly hope that is not true in all cases, but yesterday he DID play a fantastic innings. Oh and not forgetting the 3 wickets he took!

It was also nice to see Mahela coming back into runs. He needed to perform. He was getting a bit branded as a failure as he had not scored big runs, except in the match against Bermuda, who were the weakest of the minnows.

So what is next? With England on the 4th. Come to think of it, it is not much of a rest for our team. But hen again ICC has always been biased against us.Giving us the worst schedules. But that hasn't prevented our guys from performing.

Congratulations Sri Lanka.Keep up the good work! We are keeping our fingers crossed, hoping that you would make it to the Finals! And beat the crap out of the Aussies, in a repeat of 1996 finals!


Friday, March 30, 2007

End of the Financial Year

It is the 30th of March. The end of the financial year. I had a few targets to meet, to ensure that the company meets the revenue targets set for the year.

We were following up on the projects that were planned to be closed for this year very closely. We were reminded of the targets every week and during the last few weeks, a few times during a week as well. I am not complaining about anything. I was happy to be reminded as that was helping me stay on course. For some strange reason, I never felt pressurized by the responsibility. I felt completely at ease.

I even volunteered to push one of the projects which was due to finish in April into March, in order to be able to invoice this year. And I am happy that I was able to meet the targets. My team also delivered. It was them who felt pressured and worked their butts out in order to deliver on time. Thank you guys! you stood tall and delivered!

Now that we achieved the financial targets for this year, from Tuesday on, I will have to start planning for the financial targets for 2007 now that we have secured more work and the securities project set to go live in the coming months.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Google Calendar - yet another calendaring app???

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I am sure most of us who have used Google beyond the searching platform would have had a look at Google Calendar (GCal). I did too and then thought to myself, why would I want to enter my diary again into another application. I mean, not that my schedule was packed, I was already using my Outlook on my Laptop and I had my PDA sync' ed to it. But the main reason for non-adoption (I am trying out almost all of other Google services), was the the duplicity of data input.

I can across this article on WebWorkerDaily which talks about a program that can synchronize the GCal with the desktop. And it also talks about a few more hacks that you can do with your GCal to make it more usable and helpful.

Now, I should get my schedule on the calendar and start playing with it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Connecting to SQL Server Express from a Pocket PC application

I was recently trying to do a small sample application with SQL Express and Pocket PC's. Basically I wanted to try out a code to automatically synchronize with a database running on a network, when the application was cradled.

My solution was very simple. I used a dataset in the PPC application and updated to and from it to the database.

From my previous experience with PPC applications under .NETCF1, I remembered that PPC apps need the IP of the database in the connection string. Also, you have to set the SQL Server Express to accept TCP/IP connections as well as SQL Server Authentication. Instructions for all of that can be found on Daniel Chong's blog post. So I will not delve into that further here.

But the problem I faced was, no matter what I tried, I got an SqlException called "SQL Server does not exist or access denied." I searched the web high and dry and I still I was baffled. Then I tried trying out different combinations for the connection string and I realized that my emulator was not connecting to my PC at all. Delving in deeper, I realized I was running a wrong ActiveSync version. I was running version 3.8 and Visual Studio 2005 requires version 4.0 or higher. So I upgraded my ActiveSync version and enabled network connectivity on the emulator, everything worked great!

So a few pointers to remember when accessing SQL Express databases from Pocket PC (.NETCF2.0) projects:

  1. Ensure that SQL Express is set to accept remote connections. By default this is disabled.
  2. Ensure that your SQL Server is set to accept SQL Server Authentication as well.
  3. Fix the port for the SQL Express database.
  4. Create the connection string with the IP and the Port. eg: Data Source =,1433;Initial catalog=Pubs;User Id=****, Password=***;
  5. SQL Server Express installs with an instance name. Never give this instance name in your connection string. eg: Data Source=\SQLEXPRESS... This gave my application an error which could not be caught with exception handling within the managed code.

That's about it. Hope this helps someone out there. Any questions or clarifications, just ask.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sri Lankan classifieds web sites

One thing I like doing on Sunday is to go through the classifieds. Not because I am looking for something to buy. But because, I like to figure out the market value of things and at the same time to figure out what's in demand.

When it comes to the web, the classifieds web sites for Sri Lankans were not much. But since of late, a few sites have come up, some catering to specific market segments and some catering to the general market. I'll put down my take on those:

www.autolanka.com - This is not a classifieds site as such. It is dubbed to be the most popular motoring related web portal in Sri Lanka. They have a section where they list vehicles for sale, for a FEE though.

www.cfautomart.com - Maybe the older site,but seems to have lost its ground to the new entrant. Has a listing service with photos, which is a PAID service and a FREE service which are only text ads.

www.kaddai.com - I am not entirely sure, but I think they are trying to emulate ebay. Don't know what the conversion rates are, but frankly, I think the site can settle for a bit more visually pleasing design.

www.lankaads.com - A FREE web site. Simple design and provides quite good account management features.

www.lankapola.com - Another shopping site. In their case they have approached this more from a more online shopping mall concept. They seem to have gone for partnerships with businesses and providing a cyber outlet through their web site.

www.shotads.com - New kid on the block. A FREE classifieds site that allows you to upload PHOTOS as well. Quite a good feature when considering free ad postings. Doesn't specifically target the Sri Lankan market. But I am sure it is Sri Lankan web site. I think it is a good site if you are looking to promote your items internationally.

www.boomi.lk- Seems to be the most popular real estate website. And it is free. Comprehensive service and customized for the real estate market.

There are numerous property listing sites that are maintained by property brokerages. I am not listing them as they probably list only the properties they are selling for a fee.

I am sure there are plenty of other sites out there. I will post them as and when I come across them. In the mean time, if there is something I have missed, please post them as comments.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Spilling tea all over the laptop

I'm glad they make the laptops the way they do. They in that earlier sentence was Dell and I am referring to the fact that they make their laptops to endure a full cup of tea all over it!

Yes, it happened. I don't know how it happened, but it did. I spilled a cup of tea all over my laptop yesterday and I thought that would have been the end of it. I promptly switched it off, dried it as much as I can using tissues and let it dry for only about 5 minutes. I had to switch it on, as I had an urgent email to send. At that point of time, sending the email was more urgent than drying the laptop.

It booted up, but the scratch pad was not working. I used a USB mouse and finished my tasks for the day and packed it brought it home. I switched it on again today, praying to god that it will boot up. Not only did it boot up, even the scratch pad seems to be working.

Better be careful now. I am not sure whether it will take on a another beating with another cup of tea!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Using Timers with Windows Services in .NET

I was trying to help out a colleague by writing a small Windows service for one of his projects. The requirement was for the project to run periodically in a server and copy some documents from one place to another. Since this was a chance to get my hands dirty with some coding, I jumped at the chance.

Writing the service was a price of cake. But I hit a brick wall. The timer I had used (System.Timers.Timer) was not firing. As usual,I checked the tutorials to see if I was doing it right, and seemed it was all right. But still it was not getting fired when the service is started. So I started digging. And I came up with this article which explains using the Timers with Windows services. Helped me. Hope it helps someone else out there as well.

PS: It feels good to do coding on .NET.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I feel good - to be back on a .NET project

I feel good! Why? Because I am getting back to managing a .NET project after a long time.

For about an year I was managing Java projects. While I have nothing against Java, to me Java seems to be an overly complex language. I don't want to get in to an argument here. I don't want my Java teams members to get offended either. But my personal preference has been .NET all along.

This time around, I get to set the technical direction for the project as well. So I am going ahead with ASP.NET 2.0 and .NET AJAX Extensions and AJAX Toolkit. I want to use all the new cool features in ASP.NET such as the Master Pages, Generics, and maybe even .NET 3.0 features such as workflow support.

Hopefully, I will update this space with the progress I make with this project. Should put a weekly task in my Calendar to update this space.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Welcome 2007!

Another year has dawned. This time I welcomed the new year at home, with the latest addition to our family, our daughter Dinara. We were up at midnight, holding her close to us as she was getting a bit annoyed at the sound of all those crackers which were being lit by all our neighbours.

From that start, the year so far has been pretty good in many ways. Work was somewhat hectic, but then if it slows down too much I myself will get bored with it. So, in a way I like having a hectic work life, as long as I can manage it.

On the personal front, the first few weeks of the year has brought a lot of good news to me and my wife as well. The future looks pretty much exiting. I have a strange feeling, 2007 will be a good year!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

VS2005 Crashes when loading a solution

Ok, it did it again, today.

I was trying to work on a project that was long overdue and when I finally found the time and sat down to do it this afternoon. So I fured up VS2005 and clicked on the solution from the startpage. VS loaded the whole project and then after about a second or so, gave me an error message saying it encountered some unexpected problem and closed down.

This is the second time that I got this error with VS2005. On the first occasion teh solution was to re-install VS2005. So again, now I am re-installing VS2005. This is annoying to say the least. And it seems to be taking ages to do it also!