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...am a nice person, that's it..... i think so.....

Monday, May 27, 2013

Setting up OpenJDK source code

Recently, I had to set up OpenJDK on my system for work. This involved getting the source code, compiling the source, and setting it up in your preferred IDE. The steps are easy, but I had to dig around a bit on the Internet to collect necessary information. In this post, I will basically attempt to list down the steps together.

Get the source

The OpenJDK web page lists a few alternative ways of getting the source code, for example using mercurial repos, or directly downloading the compressed source bundle. I did try to user mercurial, but I got build errors while using make. Also, the link to the compressed source bundle on the OpenJDK webpage links to an old revision of the source for java 7. Instead I used the following to get the source for java 7. An advantage of  this is that this bypasses running into silly build errors that would otherwise crop up if you used the old java 7 source. The link I recommend using is https://jdk7.java.net/source.html.

Building the source

Extract the source bundle, and navigate to the root directory. The root directory should have a Makefile. There are a lot of options that can be passed to make to configure many individual parameters, however I will ignore talking about those for now. Just execute

make ALLOW_DOWNLOADS=true debug_build

This should build your compiler successfully. You are done.

Friday, December 03, 2010

My Guide to Synchronize Bookmarks Across Browsers

One big drawback in using several browsers is to synchronize bookmarks. Now now, just a tad of patience would be good. I can hear some of you shouting out names like xmarks, delicious, etc. New releases of FF and Chrome come with their own sync options. So many to choose from, right! You may be spoilt for choice. 

Currently, I am using IE 9, FF4, Chrome 9 and Opera 11 on both Windows and Linux platforms. So, now you know that I am game for any cross-browser sync solution. I have tried quite a few products, xmarks, bookmark bridge, bookmark sync, transmute, etc. Here's what I experienced.

I have used xmarks for quite some time now and was initially a big fan with their concept and product. I was really quite sad to hear that xmarks was going to go down. I even pledged support. But recently I have to admit that my opinion is changing a bit. I have been frequently running into problems with xmarks. You might ask, "What problems, Sir?". Well, first of all, bookmarks get duplicated after a few syncs. Also, the sort order of the bookmarks would get mixed up. Here, I would like to point out that I am an end-user and am in no position to judge why this happens. These bugs may be related to the browser or xmarks, and I really don't care.

I had contacted xmarks support team quite a few teams, but unfortunately, they did not respond excepting the initial thank you response. For an avid Internet surfer (daily average is round about 10 hours, I hope you get the idea!), this becomes really irritating. 

So, this is now what I do. I am now using Chrome's default option to sync my bookmarks. Then, I am using Transmute to copy the updated set of bookmarks to FF, IE and Opera. This is a bit more work, but it is free and more importantly, there's no bugs to bug you!

I really loved Xmarks and had recommended the software to many friends. I am not sure whether they are facing the same problems that I faced. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Simultaneously Running Multiple Versions of Firefox

The main drawback in using the newly released FF Betas is the delayed support provided by the extension writers. Hence, many of you may be wanting to run two versions of FF simultaneously, thus enjoying the power of your favourite extension as well as taste the new innovations. Here's the way to do it:

1) Select your FF shortcuts and right-click and click properties. In the Target box, add the following options: -profilemanager -no-remote. So your full path now looks like
 "XXX\firefox.exe" -profilemanager -no-remote.

Do this for all the installed versions of FF.

2) Start FF. The profile manager will start automatically. The default profile is the one which was already existing and will contain all the customizations that you have for your old FF installation (say 3.6.x). So, create a new profile for your new FF version (say FF 4b4). Choose between profiles depending your use.

This workaround has been around for quite some time now, and you will find many posts on the net. I have been using this feature since 2005, when a friend of mine, Indradeep, showed it to me. Still, thought of noting it down. I don't know why Mozilla doesn't have the Profile Manager enabled by default.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Benchmarking My Browsers!

The "browser war" has hottened up in recent times. So much so, that I am sure almost  every person who has been accessing the Internet for some time must have come across this fight at least once. Many articles have been written upon, many blogs have been posted, and many results have been and will be published. 

The race for the fastest can be gauged by the fact that a new version is released almost every week. Just for a second, let us ignore all the heaps of data and published results. What really matters to one is how a browser is expected to perform on his/her system. So, if you are really crazy about pace, which in reality should not matter much, the best is to execute a benchmark on your own-used browsers and then analyze the results yourself. That's how it should always be, judge and choose for yourself.

I was going through the Opera blogs when I came upon the Peacekeeper Browser Benchmark. Peacekeeper primarily focuses on the Javascript performance of a browser. Currently, I have not yet studied much about the effectiveness of this benchmark, but the main plus is its ease of use. And for once, I let myself be lured into the race-for-pace. And so here is my take on the browser war.

My system configurations are the following: Compaq SG3770IL desktop with a Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E7400 CPU, 945 GC chipset, 3 MB L2 cache, and a  Intel(R) GMA 3000/3100 GPU. I have both a 32-bit Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.04 OS installed. I performed my tests on both Windows and Ubuntu systems. 

Windows: I have four browsers installed - IE8, FF3.6.3, Google Chrome  6.0.422.0 dev, and Opera 10.60 build 3403. I have also tried to execute the benchmark maintaining identical load conditions. And now the wait is over, here are the results.

Ubuntu: And now for the results from Ubuntu. Note that at the of composing this post, Peacekeeper does not support a Linux system scan. The browsers that I tested on Ubuntu are FF3.6.3, Google Chrome 6.0.422 dev, and Opera 10.60 build 6347. The below figures shows the results obtained.

My Conclusion:
So far so good. Now what to make of the results? I was actually surprised to see IE8 and FF 3.6 lagging so far behind Google Chrome 6 dev and Opera 10.6. For while actually browsing, the difference is hardly noticed. Therefore, just in terms of mere browsing experience, FF is still my favourite. The seemingly extreme control it gives you is no match for the others. I am also impressed with the improvements in Opera 10.6 and recommend it strongly, but unfortunately it is still hardly used outside its niche users. Looks like its not only Microsoft but also Mozilla who has a lot to think about for its version 4.0 excepting the GUI. But for me, Google Chrome 6.0.422.0 dev is the clear winner!

Added on 6th July, 2010:
Results with FF4b1

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What does "h" indicate in computer benchmarks?

I was attending a class on Real-Time systems and our professor was discussing about various benchmarks that can possibly be used with computers and real-time systems. Many of you must at least have heard (if not knowing the detailed) of such synthetic benchmarks such as Whetstone, Dhrystone, Rhealstone, etc. These have been proposed in the early seventies and eighties and were initially very popularly used for evaluation purposes. 

However, my intention of blogging this post is not to talk or explain these different benchmarks. During our discussion, a friend Bhanu suddenly asked "Sir, what is the significance of "h" in these names"? Hmm...this apparently innocuous question got all of us thinking. Sir tried to explain the significance of the word "stone" embedded in these names. He said that just as some stones are used to determine the purity of gold, may be that has influenced the names.

After class, I looked up on the Internet for a possible reason. And the answer was not difficult to get. Whetstone was the earliest benchmark to be proposed. And the Whetstone compiler was developed at a laboratory in a place called Whetstone, Leicestershire, England. So that explains the name for Whetstone. Dhrystone was proposed as a benchmark for integer programming. So it was for something that was not a "float" - meaning its dry or rather, "dhry". As Wikipedia puts it, the name is a pun on the then-popular Whetstone benchmark. Rhealstone is for real-time systems.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Command Prompt - Anywhere!!!

You often feel the need to navigate to a directory nested in a deep folder hierarchy, and it often becomes a pain using DOS commands, especially handling blank spaces and all. So this is a tip to open a command prompt right at the desired folder that you want. Just follow the following steps and try out (for this you need to modify your registry, however this should not do any harm):

  1. Goto to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shell.
  2. Create a new key named say Command Prompt.
  3. Create another new key named say Command within Command Prompt.
  4. Modify the default string value of Command to the following: c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe %1

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

GMail Notifier: “Cannot connect to your mailbox. Service temporarily unavailable.”

I have recently upgraded my desktop and hence had to reload all the necessary and unnecessary softwares. That is when I ran into this small problem. I had faced it before, but somehow couldn’t seem to remember the solution right away. The fact is GMail Notifier just could not seem to connect to my GMail account. I thought the error might be with my proxy settings, but it was not so.

The error surfaces when once tends to opt for the https connection option provided in GMail settings. The notifier fails to login if the “always use https” option is checked. Not surprisingly, I do have it enabled.

To get around this, you can search for patch files available on the net. The suggested changes can just be imported into your registry and things should work fine. The following is the change suggested in the .reg file:


The change can be undone by resetting the key, as shown below.


Not difficult, right? I still wanted to post for ease of lookup.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pidgin - Invisible Mode in Google Talk

One of the most glaring drawback with Google Talk is probably the lack of proper updates and new releases being integrated into the software. I do not use the chat option inside Google Mail. Therefore, one aspect I find particularly irritating with Google Talk is not to be able to appear as invisible.  As I mentioned in my last post I use Pidgin for IM. Here’s how you can appear invisible in Google Talk using Pidgin.

  • Go to Tools-> Plugins. Scroll down the list of available plugins. Install the plugin called XMPP Console.
  • Now go to Tools->XMPP Console->XMPP Console.
  • Type the following in the console and send the message.

<presence type="unavailable">

  • Now you will appear as invisible to all your friends. Remember you need to resend the message every time you relogin to Google Talk, i.e., this is a per-session notification.
  • In case you need to appear available to specific friends, you can sent them custom notifications about your availability using the above plugin. Open XMPP Console as above and click on <presence/>. In the following pop-up dialog box, fill in the necessary details and send.

Seems troublesome, eh? Then why bother with all this crap. Add the Google Talk invisible plugin to Pidgin. Go to http://fahhem.com/pidgin/ and follow the instructions.

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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Configuring Pidgin for Google Talk and MSN Accounts

I have many accounts which I frequently use for chatting purposes, Google Talk, Yahoo and MSN to be exact. To refrain from using separate messengers for each of them, I recently installed Pidgin as an integrated medium supporting all the above three (and many more Chat Protocols). My desktop is behind an organization proxy and I myself also have a firewall installed. So I faced a few issues during the configuration. In this post, I would like to present the steps which I followed for configuring Pidgin.

Google Talk: The following are the settings which worked for me.

  • Protocol: XMPP
  • Domain: gmail.com
  • Resource: ……….Anything…….
  • Require SSL/TLS: Unchecked
  • Force old (port 5223) SSL: Checked
  • Connect port: 443
  • Connect server: Use any nslookup service and provide the ip for talk.google.com. I used http://www.kloth.net/services/nslookup.php. The ip I got is
  • File transfer proxies: proxy.jabber.com
  • Proxy type: Depends on your proxy settings.

The below picture shows the Settings for the Advanced Tab.


MSN: The following are the settings which worked for me.


Yahoo: I have not been able to get Pidgin connect to Yahoo as of now. Alas!

I hope this simple steps will help people who are facing issues configuring Pidgin behind a proxy.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

LaTeX Tricks

In this post, I will publish all the little, helpful tricks that I have learnt while using LaTeX. I do not claim to be the owner of all the troubleshoots for I myself have searched for information on the Internet whenever required. I will keep on updating this post whenever I have new material to publish.

However, for a beginner to LaTeX, a little information on the source and necessary softwares might just prove to be handy. Here is a list of the tools which I use:

  • LaTeX Distribution: a complete setup of MikTeX 2.7 release. This is free and its frequently updated as well. So no hassles.

  • LaTeX Editor: I personally prefer LEd (http://www.latexeditor.org) over TeXnicCenter (http://www.texniccenter.org/). LEd's toolbar offering is more varied and is more easily accessible. LEd also provides a very good help lookup on LaTeX commands which is extremely handy at times of crisis. The only blip that I find in LEd is the look and feel. Both are free but updates are pretty infrequent. WinEdt is another good LaTeX editor but is a shareware.

  • Diagrams: For diagrams, I use XFIG on Windows (http://www.cs.usask.ca/~wew036/latex/xfig.html). The link provides detailed instructions on how to go about setting up the required environment for using XFIG. However, the interface and usage of XFIG might prove to be cumbersome for some users. You could also try out commercial Windows applications like SmartDraw which is, unsurprisingly, more user-friendly.

1) Usage of \centerline:

{\centerline{\Large{\textbf{Hello World! \\}}}}

Unless you end your text with a \\ or a \par, the effect of \centerline will not terminate. So if you wish to justify only a single line of text, then end your string with a \\ or \par.

2) Referencing of Figures
Sometimes a small oversight can lead to wrong referencing and bring a lot of trouble and hassle. To avoid this, make sure you follow the following two rules:
  1. Always define the label after the caption unless the style file says otherwise.
  2. Never use numbers in your label name, e.g., sdg1. This can lead to wrong reference numbers being generated for the remaining figures.
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Friday, March 30, 2007

IE 7.0 Easter Egg

There are hidden credits in version 7.0 of Microsoft Internet Explorer

Open Internet Explorer 7.0 and type in res://shdoclc.dll/wcee.htm then click Go.
When it loads, a black page appears. Right click and select View Source - it opens in Notepad.
Find in this text: gurjPRR. This will find 2 lines of text including If and DecodeStr. Highlight and delete them.
Now save this text file as: wcee[1].html
Open the HTML file you saved and it will show fast scrolling credits about the staff and developers who made IE 7.[1]

Source - Wikipedia

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Windows Media Player 11 Beta

Its creating quite a few problems for me. Especially when the CPU usage is high, the sound streaming is getting broken. Otherwise the interface is good, but it is very memory consuming.


Well this is my current target. I have now become more of a software reviewer. And I do a hell good job at that. My focus now is to try out KDiff3 and compare it with WinMerge. I was using WinMerge till now. So keep your hands crossed till I come out with my own report.

Windows Live Writer Beta

First of all I would like to mention that I am posting this through writer only. And the most important thing is its damn good.

It does support a lot of blog services and you can add a number of accounts and also switch between those accounts to post articles.

The interface is nice as well. Haven't come across any bugs as of yet. I have just started using it. And I implore all you bloggers out there to give it a try. Its free after all.

Python Editors

Two python editors which I use and do like them personally are PyScripter and Stani's Python Editor. I have just started using SPE and so won't be able to compare it with PyScripter. But you people can try out PyScripter, its good. And its always fun developing in Python. Right guys.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Interested in Windows code names?

If you are really interested in knowing various Microsoft product codenames, then just browse through this link


A few headliners coming through

New Google feature flags dangerous sites

Google has begun alerting users whenever they click on a search result that may take them to a dangerous Web site. The new feature, which had been spotted earlier this week, goes live officially Friday, according to an announcement from The Stop Badware Coalition, which is collaborating with Google on this effort. The Stop Badware Coalition is a nonprofit organization led by Harvard University and the University of Oxford and backed by Google, Lenovo Group, and Sun Microsystems.

Source of this piece of info is http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/08/04/HNgoogleflags_1.html

AOL to Offer 5GB of Online Storage

AOL on Thursday(3rd August, 2006) announced it would begin offering all Web users 5GB of online storage through its Xdrive product, part of the company's new initiative to make its services available without cost. Through Xdrive, individuals can back up files like photos, documents, music, videos, and more. Users can even share files with others, as well as automatically upload e-mail attachments. A premium offering with 50GB of storage will be available to those needing more space for a fee that has yet to be announced.

Google has begun alerting users whenever they click on a search result that may take them to a dangerous Web site. The new feature, which had been spotted earlier this week, goes live officially Friday, according to an announcement from The Stop Badware Coalition, which is collaborating with Google on this effort. The Stop Badware Coalition is a nonprofit organization led by Harvard University and the University of Oxford and backed by Google, Lenovo Group, and Sun Microsystems.

Source of this piece of info is

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Launchy is a more than useful tool

How nice it would be if there was a shortcut to a small exe you have developed and is placed in a quite inaccessible location like say d:\project\python\hihaha.exe. Sounds like a really good alternative for all those buffs who dislike using mouse

Then those of you are still interested and have carried on reading , try out lauchy, an open source key stroke launcher for windows.

Version 0.9.6 is available now. I have using Launchy for the past few months and am very fond of it. By default, Launchy indexes applications present in your start menu and provides easy access to it. You can also request it to index folders where you have kept your, say, .lnk, .exe files. You can also index .mp3, .doc files. And launch your favourite song , right here, right now!

Launchy is pretty lightweight (3 mb or so) and is very easy to use. Beautiful skins are also avaiable for Launchy. So feel tempted to give it a try. For more info, visit www.launchy.net.