General Tools

Maintenance version of the VirtualBox is released – VirtualBox 3.0.12

VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software. The Virtual Box Team did a maintenance release “VirtualBox 3.0.12” last week.

The following items were fixed and/or added in this maintenance release:

  • VMM: reduced IO-APIC overhead for 32 bits Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 guests; requires 64 bits support (VT-x only)
  • VMM: fixed double timer interrupt delivery on old Linux kernels using IO-APIC (caused guest time to run at double speed)
  • VMM: reinitialize VT-x and AMD-V after host suspend or hibernate; some BIOSes forget this (Windows hosts only)
  • VMM: fix loading of saved state when RAM preallocation is enabled


  • BIOS: ignore unknown shutdown codes instead of causing a guru meditation
  • GUI: never start a VM on a single click into the selector window
  • Serial: reduce the probability of lost bytes if the host end is connected to a raw file
  • VMDK: fix handling of split image variants and fix a 3.0.10 regression
  • VRDP: fixed occasional VRDP server crash
  • Network: even if the virtual network cable was disconnected, some guests were able to send / receive packets
  • Network: even if the virtual network cable was disconnected, the PCNet card received some spurious packets which might confuse the guest
  • Shared folders: fixed changing case of file names
  • Windows Additions: fix crash in seamless mode (contributed by Huihong Luo)
  • Linux Additions: fix writing to files opened in O_APPEND mode
  • Solaris Additions: fix regression in guest additions driver which among other things caused lost guest property updates and periodic error messages being written to the system log

You can check this article, to know how to create a VM using the Sun VirtualBox software – Here

Download this version of VirtualBox here!!!

General Microsoft

Microsoft makes .NET Micro Framework 4.0 Open Source

Yesterday, at the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference (PDC) at Los Angeles, Microsoft announced not only the release of version 4.0 of  the.NET Micro Framework, but also their stratergies towards open sourcing the product and making it available under the Apache 2.0 license, which is already being used by the community within the embedded space.

mfThe .NET Micro Framework is an innovative development and execution environment for resource-constrained devices.  It brings the same modern computing models that have proven to increase productivity on the desktop to small, intelligent devices. 

In solutions where small devices are integrated with other devices and even the cloud, you can now use the same programming skills and code throughout the solution. Its fully integrated Visual Studio experience brings a reliable and productive development system to the embedded world. 
The result of this is that the .NET Micro Framework has become a seamless development experience, bringing a single programming model and tool chain for the breadth of developer solutions, all the way from small intelligent devices, to servers and the cloud. There are also no more time-limited versions. Including the source code for almost all of the product also ensures that developers now also get access to the Base Class Libraries that were implemented for .NET Micro Framework and the CLR code itself.  However, both the TCP/IP stack and Cryptography libraries are not included in the source code.

The TCP/IP stack is third party software that Microsoft licenses from EBSNet, so it does not have the rights to distribute that source code. If someone needs to access the source code for the TCP/IP stack, they can contact EBSNet directly.  As for the Cyptography libraries, they are not included in source code because they are used outside of the scope of the .NET Micro Framework.  Customers who need to have access to the code in the cryptography functions will find that these libraries can be replaced.

Microsoft is also in the process of forming a Community of interested and involved members to help shape the future direction of the product. There will be a core technology team that is composed of Microsoft and external partners, and people will be encouraged to propose projects, which will be vetted before they are accepted. 

You can find more information this framework and download the SDK here

General IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

Do’s and Dont’s of a Good Presenter – Public Conferences

This is an Xcellent article i came across on Twitter today. This was one of the update from Atul’s Twitter notes.

atul_chitnisIn this article Atul Chitnis, writes on the “Speaker’s Guide” for conference. The very moment I went through it, It striked my mind to share this on my blog as well. 

All the points are so true and one has to really follow these guidelines to succeed. One has to really value the experience which Atul has seen. I’m sure that, these guidelines does fit not only for FOSS.IN but for every speaker, who dares to deliver!!

Trust me, you will never get to see such great tips in one single page !!!

In this article, Atul speaks on areas like,

  1. How to approach your audiences
  2. SlideShows and Slide Specifications
  3. Taking Questions
  4. Importance of Handling Stage Fright
  5. Critisizing and Handling Criticism
  6. Understanding the reactions of your Audience
  7. How much should you go in detail

You can read the complete article at the Speaker Guidelines – Here!!!

I really like this excerpt from this article –

A Speaker who supports an argument with “Windows sux” is history. Make statements you *can* support with facts. If you say “Linux is 10 times faster than Windows”, be prepared to *prove* it with references to actual tests.

Also remember that a large proportion of your audience is likely to be users of Windows and *possibly* Linux and other open source technologies. You don’t insult your audience – remember, they have come to learn, not to be abused!

I would also like to quote our very own bdotnet pal Vinod here, who once said me during the Community Teched that.. “Remember., Your audience are investing their one hour on you..!!, you gotta’ deliver!! “

Folks who aren’t aware of Atul – (I know that the chances are really lesss..!!) – Click Here to know him !!

Events General

Free Registrations to Novell Hidden Gems Tour – Register Now!

There are considerable facilities supplied in the box with Novell and SUSE products that many people simply do not know about! The Novell Hidden Gems Tour is a must-attend for those who want to get full value from their investment in Novell and SUSE products. With this tour the Novell team aim to help users get more from the products they already have or wish to acquire.

Event Dates

Hong Kong – November 27th
Kuala Lumpur – December 1st
Singapore – December 4th
Bangalore – December 8th
Mumbai – December 15th

To register please click here!!!


The technical topics to be covered focus on SLES/OES2 as today’s operating system platform of choice. Particular solutions to be discussed include but are not limited:

  1. protecting a Linux system from external repetitive attacks
  2. distributing patches and updates for SLES and SLED on a local basis without the need for users to refer to the Novell Customer Center
  3. backing up OES2/Linux (POSIX and NSS volumes, with iFolder and GW) at no additional cost
  4. showing the value of connecting a section of the NSS Filesystem into either NSS or POSIX whlist retaining full access rights
  5. quickfinder, a powerful identity aware search engine, in the box
  6. choosing Linux file systems and partitioning for servers
  7. methods of using eDir for almost all authentication pathways, from telnet through web serving
  8. the features of Novell’s Domain Services for Windows (DSFW) and how it operates within a server
  9. the tools and and useful tips on the migration of NetWare servers to OES2/Linux
  10. three sponsors have brief 30 minute technical presentations on their products, which will be conducted via interactive webcasts during the day

The tour will be managed by MindWorks Inc Ltd . The events will run from 9am to 4.30pm and the main speaker will be Professor Joe Doupnik who is currently based at the University of Oxford in the UK.


Attendance is free of charge, but the Novell team does ask you to please register so that they know who is going to attend from a catering and follow-up point of view.

For any questions concerning booking or the event in general please email Peter Atkins

Courtesy: Novell, Making IT Work As One Communications

General Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Microsoft Patches its Windows and Office Products – Patch Tuesday, November 2009

Microsoft has released six new security bulletins with fixes for a total of 15 vulnerabilities affecting its Windows and Office product lines.  Three of the six bulletins are rated “critical,” meaning they can be used to launch remote code execution or worm attacks without any user action.  One of the Windows vulnerabilities could expose users to drive-by malware attacks via the browser.

Security bulletins are released monthly to resolve critical problem vulnerabilities. This article provides you with an overview of the new security bulletins being released on November 10, 2009.  

Bulletin ID Bulletin Title Max Severity Vulnerability Impact Restart Requirement Affected Software*
MS09-063 Vulnerability in Web Services on Devices API Could Allow Remote Code Execution (973565) Critical Remote Code Execution Requires restart Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008
MS09-064 Vulnerability in License Logging Server Could Allow Remote Code Execution (974783) Critical Remote Code Execution Requires restart Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
MS09-065 Vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers Could Allow Remote Code Execution (969947) Critical Remote Code Execution Requires restart Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008
MS09-066 Vulnerability in Active Directory Could Allow Denial of Service (973309) Important Denial of Service Requires restart Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008
MS09-067 Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Excel Could Allow Remote Code Execution (972652) Important Remote Code Execution May require restart Microsoft Office Excel 2002, Excel 2003, Excel 2007, Office 2004 for Mac, Office 2008 for Mac, Open XML File Format converter for Mac, Excel Viewer, Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats
MS09-068 Vulnerability in Microsoft Office Word Could Allow Remote Code Execution (976307) Important Remote Code Execution May require restart Microsoft Office Word 2002, Word 2003, Office 2004 for Mac, Office 2008 for Mac, Open XML File Format converter for Mac, Office Word Viewer, and Office Word Viewer 2003

* The list of affected software in the summary table is an abstract. To see the full list of affected components please visit the bulletin via the link in the left column and navigate to the “Affected Software” section.

Summaries for new bulletin(s) may be found at

General Microsoft

Visual Studio 2010 & .NET Framework 4 Training Kit Available for Download

image002This week, Microsoft released the October preview of the Visual Studio 2010 & .NET Framework 4 Training Kit. The content in this training kit has been tested with Beta 2 and is ready for you to use.

Download: Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Training Kit – Here!!!

Training Course on Channel 9

Today, Channel 9 launches an online learning center that will play host to developer focused training courses created by developers for developers.  Channel 9 has always been about giving direct access to the engineers and future technologies from Microsoft.  These videos and labs, with links to extensive training kits, allow developers to get started on hands-on-learning about emerging technologies at your own pace.  
image004Explore Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 with a new training course on Channel 9

The developer evangelists who bring you the 10-4 Show are providing videos and labs for you to get familiar with .NET Framework 4 and Visual Studio 2010. This exclusive opportunity lets developers access free courseware online in a self-paced learning experience.

The online training course allows developers to search for and browse the content without downloading the full training kit.

Browse: Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Training Course – Here!!!

How to Download and Install Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2

image006Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 is here! In this episode of 10-4, Brian Keller takes us through downloading and installing Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate Beta 2 and Visual Studio 2010 Team Foundation Server Beta 2. This time-compressed video will take you through all of the key things you need to know to get up and running quickly with beta 2.

Watch: Brian’s 10-4 Episode on Channel9 – Here!!!

General Microsoft

Is your Photo Editing software FREE??

Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. An active and growing online community provides friendly help, tutorials, and plugins.

It started development as an undergraduate college senior design project mentored by Microsoft, and is currently being maintained by some of the alumni that originally worked on it. Originally intended as a free replacement for the Microsoft Paint software that comes with Windows, it has grown into a powerful yet simple image and photo editor tool. It has been compared to other digital photo editing software packages such as Adobe® Photoshop®, Corel® Paint Shop Pro®, Microsoft Photo Editor, and The GIMP.

You can download Paint.NET V3.5 Software Here!!!

Features of this Software

Simple, intuitive, and innovative user interface

Every feature and user interface element was designed to be immediately intuitive and quickly learnable without assistance. In order to handle multiple images easily, Paint.NET uses a tabbed document interface. The tabs display a live thumbnail of the image instead of a text description. This makes navigation very simple and fast. The interface is also enhanced for Aero Glass if you are using Windows 7 or Vista.



Extensive work has gone into making Paint.NET the fastest image editor available. Whether you have a netbook with a power-conscious Atom CPU, or a Dual Intel Xeon workstation with 8 blazingly fast processing cores, you can expect Paint.NET to start up quickly and be responsive to every mouse click.


Usually only found on expensive or complicated professional software, layers form the basis for a rich image composition experience. You may think of them as a stack of transparency slides that, when viewed together at the same time, form one image.

Special Effects

Many special effects are included for enhancing and perfecting your images. Everything from blurring, sharpening, red-eye removal, distortion, noise, and embossing are included. Also included is our unique 3D Rotate/Zoom effect that makes it very easy to add perspective and tilting. Adjustments are also included which help you tweak an image’s brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, curves, and levels. You can also convert an image to black and white, or sepia-toned.

Powerful Tools

Paint.NET includes simple tools for drawing shapes, including an easy-to-use curve tool for drawing splines or Bezier curves. The Gradient tool, new for 3.0, has been cited as an innovative improvement over similar tools provided by other software. The facilities for creating and working with selections is powerful, yet still simple enough to be picked up quickly. Other powerful tools include the Magic Wand for selecting regions of similar color, and the Clone Stamp for copying or erasing portions of an image. There is also a simple text editor, a tool for zooming, and a Recolor tool.

You can find more information on the Paint.NET v3.5 Software here

General Microsoft

Complete eBook: Using e-Documents for Collaboration

Collaboration and information exchange are ubiquitous in today’s business, government, and non-profit organizations. We have many ways to share information, from emails and instant messages to forums and social networking services. Along with new ways to share information, the traditional business document has evolved.

sguecThe first major evolution of the document came with word processing, which made the production and revision of documents more efficient.

Today, electronic content-sharing tools go beyond basic word processing to support collaborative content development, the use of complex workflows, and even the creation of audit trails to track document revisions. This guide describes how to effectively and efficiently use electronic content sharing to the complex information exchange and collaboration requirements of today’s organizations.

This guide is presented in four chapters:

Chapter 1 examines how document-sharing methods are changing and how new business drivers and ways of collaborating with electronic document sharing are helping us move beyond traditional word processing documents to more efficient means of collaborating and sharing information.

Chapter 2 examines the diverse array of factors affecting content creation and how different industries can use information exchange practices to meet their particular needs. Examples are drawn from life sciences, financial services, manufacturing, and government.

Chapter 3 describes ways to realize productivity gains and cost savings by streamlining around e-document technologies. Topics include document creation, data collection forms, collaboration services, review-and-approve workflows, and security measures for e-documents.

Chapter 4 discusses the need to align content and forms management with business strategy. Emphasis is placed on identifying potential areas for efficient content and forms management and establishing supportive business practices for efficient content sharing.

You can download the book here

Note: You will need to create a profile in Realtime Nexus (The Digital Library for IT Pros) when you click the above link. If you had already created one, use the same!

Courtesy: Realtime Nexus IT Management Alerts

You would also be interested in downloading these ebooks:

General Microsoft

What has changed from PowerShell 1.0 to PowerShell 2.0?

Windows PowerShell is an extensible automation engine from Microsoft, consisting of a command-line shell and associated scripting language. Windows PowerShell is built on top of, and is integrated with, the Microsoft .NET Framework.

powershellAdditionally PowerShell enabled easy access to COM and WMI to provide an environment in which administrators perform administrative tasks on both local and remote Windows systems.

Windows PowerShell 2.0 installs under the System32/WindowsPowerShell/V1.0 folder. PowerShell 2.0 is backward-compatible with PowerShell 1.0. However, the following points should be noted: 

Breaking changes from PowerShell 1.0

  • The value of the PowerShellVersion registry entry in HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PowerShell\1\PowerShellEngine is changed to 2.0.
  • New cmdlets and variables have been added. These additions might conflict with variables and functions in profiles and scripts.
  • The -IEQ operator performs a case-insensitive comparison on characters.
  • The Get-Command cmdlet gets functions by default, in addition to getting cmdlets.
  •  Native commands that generate a user interface cannot be piped to the Out-Host cmdlet.
  • The new Begin, Process, End, and Dynamic Param language keywords might conflict with similar words used in scripts and functions. Interpreting these words as language keywords might result in parsing errors.
  • Cmdlet name resolution has changed. In Windows PowerShell 1.0, a runtime error was generated when two Windows PowerShell snap-ins exported cmdlets with the same name. In Windows PowerShell 2.0, the last cmdlet that is added to the session runs when you type the command name. To run a command that does not run by default, qualify the cmdlet name with the name of the snap-in or module in which it originated.
  • A function name followed by ‘-?’ gets the help topic for the function, if one is included in the function.
  • Parameter resolution for Microsoft .NET Framework methods have changed. In Windows PowerShell 1.0, if you called an overloaded .NET method that has more than one best-fit syntax, no error was reported. In Windows PowerShell 2.0, an ambiguity error is reported. In addition, in Windows PowerShell 2.0, the algorithm for choosing the best-fit method has been revised significantly to minimize the number of ambiguities.
  • If you are enumerating a collection in the pipeline and you try to modify the collection in the pipeline, Windows PowerShell throws an exception.

For example, the following commands would work in Windows PowerShell 1.0 but would fail after first pipeline iteration in Windows PowerShell 2.0:
$h = @{Name=”Hello”; Value=”Test”}
$h.keys | foreach-object {$h.remove($_)}

To avoid this error, create a sub-expression for the enumerator by using the $() characters. For example:
$($h.keys) | foreach-object {$h.remove($_)}

Restricted verbs and characters:

If you use the Import-Module  cmdlet to load commands that use unapproved verbs or restricted characters in the command name, you will receive a warning. Use the Get-Verb command to see a list of the approved verbs. Do not use any of the following characters in command names: [ # , ( ) { } [ ] & – / \ $ ^ ; : ” ‘ < > | ? @ ` * ~ % + =

Reserved keywords and parameter names:

Windows PowerShell 2.0 has reserved certain keywords as part of language syntax and some names that can be used as parameters to commands, as follows: 

  • Reserved language keywords: USING, CLASS, DEFINE, and VAR
  • Reserved parameter names: –SelectProperty and –SelectObject

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) hardware acceleration:

The graphical elements of Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) might not render correctly if you are using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) hardware acceleration. If the graphical elements do not render correctly, disable the WPF hardware acceleration, especially if you are using older video drivers or virtualization software. For more information, see

Help over remoting might not work:

If a user is calling the get-help Windows PowerShell command over Windows PowerShell remoting from a highly/partially (not fully) localized operating system, the help content will not be displayed. Users will see only the command syntax, but no help content for the command and its parameter. To work around this issue, users should copy a localized help file (whichever one they want to make the default) from the localized folder under c:\windows\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\<locale> to the application/module base folder. (The default path for Windows PowerShell commands is c:\windows\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0.)

Courtesy: Windows Management Framework Relese Notes – Here

General IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

What happens to Emails, Twitter & Facebook when you die?

Remember the time you poured your heart out in an email to your friend or that sexy message from an old lover that made you blush at work? Well, if you die, your family and others could end up reading them !!

Web email services owned by internet giants Google and Microsoft have a policy of keeping your data after you die and letting your next of kin or the executor of your estate access it.

Accounts with Google’s Gmail can hold up to 7GB – or roughly 70,000 emails with a small to medium picture attached to each. And they archive the messages you’ve written as well as received. When it comes to deleting the data, Microsoft’s Hotmail will remove an account if it is inactive for 270 days, while Gmail leaves the responsibility to the next of kin.

Of the top three providers, only Yahoo! refuses to supply emails to anyone after a user has died. The user’s next of kin can ask for the account to be closed, but cannot gain access to it. A Yahoo! spokesperson said the only exception to this rule would be if the user specified otherwise in their will.

Few days back, I had a Crazy question which popped up in mind –

” Can we give a privilege to someone, who can update our Facebook / Twitter when we die? – Just one tweet/update that – this guy is no more! “

I wrote to the Privacy team of Twitter on the same. Here is the the response I got – “If a twitter user passes, we will remove the account or leave as is on request of the family. We will not send out any tweets on their behalf or give access to the account to anyone else.”

Facebook has recently publicised a feature called memorialisation that lets the family of deceased users keep their profile page online as a virtual tribute. Turning a profile into a memorial will remove sensitive information from the page and restrict access to the deceased’s friends. The family will not be allowed to log in to the account or access private messages, but can request that it be taken down.

Click here to read the policies of popular email and social networking sites » (source –