Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Easy guide on how to setup a C++ project from existing source

I am not a fan of C and C++, mainly because i could never quite work with pointers easily. Therefore I always try to use C# or Java instead in applications I write. But I just got a tough assignment on data mining and because the only example project that I could find which fits my requirements was in C++ I had to try and remember what I learnt in level 2 and setup a C++ project with the example source code.

My preferred IDE is Eclipse (mainly for Java) but when I tried configuring Eclipse for C++ I found the process to be extremely tedious. I just wanted to test the example C++ code so I didn't want to waste time configuring Eclipse just to do that. So instead I downloaded Visual Studio C++ and I had the example C++ code running within minutes.

Here's the step by step guide for setting up a C++ project.

1. Download and install Visual Studio C++ if you don't have it already. (you can get the Express Edition on a 30day free trial from here )

2. Run the IDE and go to File -> New -> Project from Existing code.

3. You will get the following screens. Simply follow the instructions given under each screen image.

this is the first screen you get. select the folder that contains the C++ source code as the 'Project File Location'. Give a name to the project and click next.

In this screen make sure you set the correct 'Project Type' (eg: Windows Application or Console Application). Click next.

When you get this screen just keep on clicking on next to setup the project with the default configurations. Finish when its done.

And thats it!:)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hide messy looking desktop icons with one click!

Just gave my pc desktop a facelift:D Was looking for a way to hide my messy desktop icons so that my seasonal wallpaper will show nice and clear and stumbled across this article.

It gives a link to a program you can add to your quick launch bar to show/hide desktop icons with just one mouse click (similar to show/hide desktop )

Here's a before and after view of my desktop:)



In case you like my wallpaper you can get it here!:)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dialog Buddy Tracker

Just found out about the dialog buddy tracker. Since I'm a fan of Google Latitude and wished i had an iPhone on which i can use it i thought dialog's new service might be worth checking out. As always I googled it first but since there were no useful posts on it thought i will try it out myself and see. Now im putting up a post about it as a guide for anyone interested in checking it out themselves.

- First activate the service by SMSing the word REG to 779

- U will then receive an SMS with instructions on how to use the service ( in fact through-out the use of the service you will receive many SMS from dialog with lots of instructions - i found this a tad bit annoying)

- To track a buddy u must first add him/her to ur buddy list. SMS the words ADD [friend's number] [friend's nickname] [a group name] to 779 ( don't forget to remove the [] marks)

- Now your friend would receive an SMS asking him/her to accept your request. Once he/she accepts you will get an SMS confirming this.

- Now you can find out your friends' location whenever you want by SMSing the words TRACK [friend's number] to 779 or SMSing the words TRACK [friend's nickname] to 779

- Soon you will receive an SMS with your friend’s location. At the same time your friend will receive an SMS notifying about the tracking and giving them the option to stop this person from tracking him/her.

The service also includes functions to find friends in the vicinity and to send secret messages(?) I didn't check those functions out yet.

Overall I think dialog's buddy tracking service is smethng new and interesting but it has some flaws..

1. It’s difficult to use. You have to send many SMSs with correct format in order to receive the service properly.

2. Dialog floods you with sometimes unnecessary SMSs when u use this service ( which is not harmful but can be pretty annoying)

3. Privacy issues are controlled well but it doesn't allow friends to mislead each other by pretending to be somewhere else. Its great to be honest with your friends but sometimes you don't want them to know where you are ALL THE TIME.

I think dialog should modify this service by giving user's the option to set their location in addition to allowing dialog to detect it automatically ( just like in iGoogle).

Finally i think it's cool that dialog will take the effort to provide new and interesting applications to users even if they are probably only doing it to make more money:D

If you have comments about this please post them here:)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Setup Vista and Ubuntu Dual Boot on Lenovo notebook

Yesterday I setup ubuntu on my lenovo y330 notebook which originally had windows vista installed. I had to try different setup methods before finally getting the ubuntu installation to work, but the method i used in the end was the simplest and it worked superbly!

First step - backup your current system. I already had windows vista installed on my laptop and wanted to make sure that if the ubuntu installation process messed up my system somehow i could easily return it to previous state. Luckily lenovo notebooks generally come with a 'One Key Recovery' system that you can easily use for this purpose. I used the 'One Key Recovery' software to make an ISO image of my current system and write it to a dvd ( i needed 2 dvds for this). Now i had nothing to fear!:D

Next ubuntu installation

method 1 - tried to install from CD. Didn't work:( The machine booted from the CD woth no problems but when i selected the option 'install' from the menu nothing happend! none of the menu options worked. Thought perhaps the CD i used was faulty so downloaded ubuntu ISO image from and wrote to another CD. Had same problem with CD no. 2 so gave up on this method!

method 2 - tried to install using wubi installer for windows ( downloaded the installer and ran it. installer ran with no problems. i could select the partition on which i wanted to install with ease. next the installer started downloading the ubuntu iso image, the program showed 3 hrs 17min to download! this frustrated me becoz i had already downloaded the ISO image to write the ubuntu CDs! luckily on the wubi installer page i found an option for install with previously downloaded ISO image. this lead to method 3!:D

method 3 - copied wubi installer .exe file and the ubuntu ISO image i had downloaded to a folder on my hard drive and ran the installer from there. first the installer kept asking for ubuntu cd, but after cancelling this message (which annoyingly popped up several times!!) it finally started installing from the ISO image in the folder. From then on it was smooth sailing!:)

Now im running a windows dual boot system on my laptop with Windows Vista and Ubuntu 9.04. I'm using ubuntu more frequently than vista because i love the way the OS works!,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lenovo Y330 review

I just purchased my very first laptop. Its a Lenovo Y330. There were 3 factors I was looking for in a laptop, price, performance and portability ( da 3 Ps!:D ). I found the best compromise for all these in the lenovo y330. Although weight wise it could have been leighter esp since its screen size is just 13.3". The final choice before purchase lay between the lenovo y330 and y410 [14.1"]. In the end i chose the y330 because it had better specs.


processor : intel centrino core 2 duo T6400 @ 2.00GHz ( i will be doing programming on this machine so needed a core 2 duo processor)
ram: 3GB
hdd: 320GB
screen: 13.3"WXGA
battery: 6 cell li-ion batteries ( on power saver mode with wifi turned off i get about 3.5-4hrs battery life)
dvd slot drive ( took some getting used to but seems to work fine)
2 usb ports
headset and mic in ports ( this is in addition to the built in sound and mic which have excellent performance)
BT/wifi/ CR
vga connector

I purchased the laptop for little under Rs. 100K from TechnoCity Unity Plaza, Colombo, Sri Lanka. I checked the online reviews for this product before purchasing and found them pretty compelling.

The vendor installed Windows Vista Ultimate for me and some additional programs as well. I'm just about to install Ubuntu and set it up for dual booting. Before that i plan to use the One Key Recovery program of lenovo to backup my current system. Will give details of this in another post:)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Google wave looks to be the centre of all communication on the internet..

After spending hours online to watch the official video on Google Wave ( i've gotta admit it was fully worth it. Google Wave unveils the miraculous possibilities for (internet) communication for the next few years.

I can't wait for Google Wave to replace Gmail and GoogleApps. Read more here..

Google Wave - will it replace Gmail?

Google Wave features

If you are a techy i will definitely advice watching the official video. Its 1.5hrs long but worth it!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Imagine Cup 2009

This post shares my experience in competing in Imagine Cup 2009 by Microsoft.

My friend Bhagya (from the IT Faculty of the University of Moratuwa ) and I signed up for this competition in the Mashup category. We made it to the semi finals from among 259 teams worldwide. We did not however make it to the finals in Cairo ( big sigh...). Only 6 teams got selected out of the 16 that were in the semi finals. However competing was a great experience and i learned a lot.

The mashup we created was based on the UN Millenium Development Goal of Universal Education. The idea was to mashup Facebook and Google Calendar to recruit volunteers to run virtual sessions on education and host discussions to raise awareness on issues related to the MDGs.

The project proposals we submitted for the Rounds 1 & 2 can be found here..

Round 1
Round 2

Monday, June 8, 2009

Why I hate the internet!:D

I love the internet so i cannot explain how i came across this article but i thought it really funny so posting it here. This is an article from 1995 , i guess the internet was not too popular back then and facebook and twitter and gmail and blogs and all those things were never heard of. Perhaps years from now people will laugh at what we wrote in blogs because its so primitive.. Who knows..:)


by Kim Bond, TG co-op student
The central evil in the universe today is people's obsession with the internet. Or at least, I think so. Everywhere I go it seems that people are falling all over themselves, drooling at the new technology that lights up like magic before their eyes. I can imagine the scene in the corporate men's washroom, with all those technology freaks standing around comparing the size of their hard drives. But no matter how many people tell me that the internet is the information highway to heaven, I can't help but wonder, why?

Now, before I go any further I guess I'd better explain what the heck I'm doing writing an anti-internet article to be posted on the internet. Yes, it is hypocritical and no, it doesn't make any sense. Maybe deep down my Catholic roots are trying to vent themselves by subconsciously driving me to try to secretly convert all of you internet junkies. Maybe I just feel sorry for all those readers who are being forced to log on for some assignment or work requirement (actually that - unfortunately - is my real reason for doing this. By some insane twist of fate this ranting and raving is actually a part of my job here).

Every argument I hear in favor of this seemingly amazing technology fails to convince me of it's worth. Of course, I'm just like everyone else in that if something comes along that can make my life more enriched, interesting, and above all easier, I'm going to appreciate it. But I'm just not sure that the internet offers any of these things.

Let me point out, for example, one of what I consider to be the most misleading pro-internet arguments, namely that the internet is the key to free information for everyone. Excuse me, but the last time I checked nothing about the whole set-up was free. The internet, like any communication tool, is a service provided by a reasonably limited number of companies which charge users according to the amount of time they spend worshipping this lovely invention. And that's for those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to shell out the three thousand bucks to get a computer in the first place. More than any other technology before it, the internet allows only the upper class of society to participate, making the whole "free information" spiel seem more than a little flawed.

Equally ridiculous is the idea that the future of education will involve link-ups from home computers with which students will communicate with teachers via the internet. How brilliant. The one thing that keeps most teenagers in school to begin with is the opportunity for daily social interaction with their peers. Ask any red-blooded teenager what it is they like about school and they will undoubtedly list friends, gym or art class, school clubs or teams, driver's ed., or other such aspects of high school life which could never be delivered direct-to-you through the internet. Surely stripping school down to the barest, driest facts will lead to a sudden surge of interest in lessons by teenager around the world (I know I'm planning on joining this trend right after that date I have lined up with Brad Pitt).

The one convincing argument I've heard in favor of the internet claims that the internet will make those long frustrating trips to the library a thing of the past. The idea is that with millions of articles on everything from Moroccan snail population trends to the history of beets, future research will simply be a matter of searching the internet for facts, all from the comfort of your own living room. But even this argument can be easily shot down, as the information posted on the internet has virtually no proof of reliability. Any knucklehead with a computer and half a brain can write anything he or she wants on the internet.

Wait a minute. Any knucklehead with a computer and half a brain can write anything he or she wants on the internet. Maybe that's the point, after all.
Copyright © 1995 TG Magazine/The Students Commission