Sunday, March 30, 2008

Call Graph makes Skype call recording piece of cake

Call Graph is a free call recorder for Skype. It is a simple application to automatically record your calls in an mp3 file.


* Call Recording: record your calls in an mp3 file, automatically.
* Full Skype Support: record Skype to Skype, SkypeIn, SkypeOut calls.
* Completely Free: no limits or restrictions of any kind.
* Manage Records: use tags to mark your records.
* Integrated Search: use tags to search through your calls records.
* Simple and Un-intrusive: minimal interface, easy to use, un-annoying.

After the pidgin plugin by Skype this is one more important feature becoming available to make call recording easy.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

Monday, March 24, 2008

Taking screenshots with GIMP

I am fond of the GIMP software.

GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages. (more...)

There is a windows distribution of the GIMP. It makes the task of taking screenshots and saving them with some touching easier for me.

The options are either Paste as new, which created a new image document from the contents of the clipboard. So when I use ALT + ProntScreen option to take a screenshot of the current window, GIMP provides a handy way of creating a new file from the contents of clipboard.

The second option is Grab window or desktop which can be used directly to create a new image of the desktop or any window.

I need lots of screenshots for my Netbeans blog now a days and GIMP helps me doing that.

with regards

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Harshad Oak - First Java Champion in India

Harshad Oak is the first “Java Champion” in India. Harshad is involved with Rightrix Solutions , Rightrix Research, and the Conference On Java Technology.

Here’s some info about “Java Champions”.

Founded in 2005, the Java Champions project is a community of influential thought-leaders who have a passion for Java technology. The concept behind the Java Champions program is to build a somewhat informal but select grouping of Java technology leaders from different areas of the community including professional developers/architects, academics, authors, consultants, and other influencers. Sun wants to engage with these community leaders to give them the opportunity to provide feedback on technology ideas and directions for Sun…

More info about Java Champions can be found at -

Harshad I am proud of you as the first Indian selected as Java Champion.

with regards
Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

Friday, March 21, 2008

What IDE do you use Eclipse IntelliJ IDEA or Netbeans?

I started self learning Java with Notepad. Soon I discovered the Kawa editor which provided some compilation support and I was happy. In those days Kawa was seen as a great help as it provided some IDE like features. This Kawa editor was very small program that time and now is in the Kawa 5.0 incarnation.

The world of programming changed for me with the introduction of Eclipse IDE in my programming life. Eclipse was the first full fledged IDE where I started real Java programming. Being the first to land on my desktop Eclipse still enjoys the position of my favorite IDE.

I soon learned how to download different Eclipse plug-ins. The Eclipse plug-in world is abundant with plug-ins to suit each and every need.

When there came the time where I was required to recommend and IDE, obviously my choice was Eclipse. I had also conducted some trainings for Eclipse and I was very comfortable with Eclipse and actually that was the only IDE I was knowing for many days. So the choice of Eclipse was straight forward. It also provided the Open Source goodness and this made my recommendation powerful.

Project started this way with Eclipse IDE is still going on. Once you start a big project with some IDE then you need to stick to the same IDE what may come. There are release after releases to deliver and big code base to maintain. All our sandboxes are made Eclipse oriented.

So here I am happy with Eclipse. But this does not make me Eclipse fanatic. I like to explore different IDE solutions also. When I started conducting JPDC Java course I though I shall demonstrate all the professional IDEs to my students and hence got more interested in other IDEs like IntelliJ IDEA.

When I read about IntelliJ IDEA I read all the praises by the users of this IDE. There is ample evidence of people writing good things about IntelliJ IDEA to believe it is a good IDE with lots of features and support from Jetbrains company.

When I use IntelliJ IDEA I can find many features which I got acquainted with in Eclipse are present in IntelliJ IDEA. There are some common features in IDE world now a days which are supported by all the professional IDEs. In fact it becomes necessary for them to support those features to remain in the picture.

Then there are differences in the way of working in Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA. Obviously one who is very comfortable with Eclipse has some hard time getting acquainted with any new IDE. I have kept my brain open for any good tool which makes me productive and IntelliJ got added to my tool box after I used many features of this IDE.

Recently I have started exploring the features of Netbeans IDE, an IDE supported by Sun Microsystems. I have read many news articles and blog posts in favor of Netbeans. Netbeans also looks like a good IDE.

Netbeans also have some interesting features out of the box like Matisse GUI editor which is not directly available in Eclipse. GUI editing is available in IntelliJ IDEA.

So there are three main IDEs in my Java Programming tool box. I really do not want to favor any one of them just because of certain good features. I believe all the IDEs are evolving and ultimately will reach same feature levels which become common and indispensable in the programming world. Due to work constraints I have to use Eclipse at work as it was a conscious decision that time.

I am exploring Netbeans and IntelliJ IDEA passionately and this may also change my recommendations about IDE choice in the coming days.

Lastly if we make an analogy of programming with driving, we have some common tasks that need to be done for driving and the Car really doesn't matter in that sense. All Cars are used to reach to some destination. Just having a Car and bragging about the cool features of the Car wont make you reach the destination. You must drive the Car and which is a pretty common exercise in all the Car models. Surely different Cars will provide you different comfort levels and you are free to maintain a choice and also brag about your choice.

At the end of the day all IDEs remain tools for achieving task of completing the programming task assigned to you. They remain tools required to reach the destination and the destination is above the tool we use.

I will keep my exploration in the IDE world going on. Let us see what future has for us in this region, we may see many more IDEs and many more features in these IDEs.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

Monday, March 17, 2008

When TaskManager refuses to work

Suddenly the Google search page I launched re-opened in another tab. After some time it again opened one more tab. This was never expected. I thought this might be one of the many Firefox extensions I have installed due to my over enthusiasm but it opened one more time. I was annoyed. I closed all the Google search tabs. I opened a fresh Google Search Tab from the Google Toolbar, it opened a tab with Google Home page and again came the next tab with same home page and again and again. What is this... I was too annoyed.

I was so confused who to blame. Is the the Google Toolbar? Is it any one of my many Firefox add-ons? Is it Firefox? This was not happening on any other page but Google Search Page.

I grabbed IRC channel #firefox on and poured all my annoyance on the room. Somebody told me to create a new profile.

firefox.exe -P

Wow I never knew that shortcut to open the profile manager in Firefox. This trick didn't worked at all and then suddenly there was a dialog box in Firefox with text "ntdetect1.exe" with some more words. There were totally new words for me. I got a new word to search but the annoying Google Search page kept playing multiply game with me so much that I shifted to Yahoo Search. Sorry Google! buddy I could not help but to search for the word ntdetect1.exe in Yahoo search. What can I do your page was so screwed up for me.

No good answer on search pages for ntdetect1.exe and they only told me that this is some sort of virus and shall be removed by deleting its directory. But what has happened to my Firefox and the Google Search page?

I un-installed Firefox, re-downloaded version for Windows. I installed it again. I deleted all my add-ons, I tried safe mode but in all the cases the Google Page kept multiplying itself.

Now I got suspicious. Is there really a virus named ntdetect1.exe in my machine. I tried to start the TaskManager but as soon as I started the TaskManager it showed up for a second and vanishes. This happened so many times that I quited opening the TaskManager. I thought some thing may have gone wrong with the memory and I re-booted the machine. This time again the TaskManager did the same thing.. I started and then suddenly in moments time vanished from the screen.

Then came my feed reader GreatNews to rescue me with his tip. The DownloadSquad team just blogged about a cool product ProcX. As ProcX site says, ProcX displays all running processes and modules on your systems. It is a necessity to monitor running processes on your system to determine if anything malicious may be running. ProcX allows you to perform various functions on these running processes and DLLs. ProcX is especially useful for system administrators who disinfect computers.

I downloaded ProcX hastily and started the program and there stood the ntdetect1.exe executable running in my memory. It must have some control over the TaskManager and may be doing some trick to close it as soon as it opens. I terminated the ntdetect1.exe process. I also got the real path of this executable through ProcX and I deleted its directory also. Then I opened command prompt and started regedit to delete the Run key this program might have set in the system startup and yes it was there, for me to delete.

At last my machine is now ntdetect1.exe free. My Firefox is opening Google Search page only when asked and only once per request. It has stopped multiplying and annoying me. My all the old good add-ons are again back in my Firefox. Situation is under control now.

Thanks to all my friends who rescued me from this annoyance. Thanks to the friend at IRC #firefox, thanks to DownloadSquad, thanks to ProcX, and thanks to you all who read till here about my journey for saving my browser from the dirty hands of ntdetect1.exe virus.

with regards
Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Getting Things Done Video by David Allen

This is a 45 minutes video by David Allen about Getting Things Done. This is a video presented for Googlers and available on youtube. I happened to see this last week. Posting it here for reference and quick access for my friends and readers.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Getting Things Done

This is a presentation with gist of the techniques presented by David Allen in his Getting Things Done book.

Slideshare looks interesting and many people are posting their presentations on Slideshare now a days. I just created an account on Slideshare.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

Friday, March 14, 2008

Popular Environment for programming

IntelliJ IDEA people just released their 7.0.3 version out. I use this IDE for my Professional Java Course to provide the students taste of a professional commercial IDE. This is possible because of the classroom license Jetbrains provide me for this course.

My students can practice with this IDE as this do not fall under commercial usage and is available in Classroom License. This makes the student acquainted with the commercial IDE well in advance when they are just learning Java. Although they start with BlueJ in my course but they slowly graduate towards full fleged IDEs including IntelliJ IDEA.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

Teaching Kids To Code

Introduction to Greenfoot System from the creator of BlueJ the simple application to teach Object Oriented Programming.

When I first installed Greenfoot out of curiosity it did not seemed interesting to me. Now after watching this video I can understand the potential of the system for teaching Object oriented programming to students even of age 14.

The concept where a student get to create something and show off the creation is the most motivating concept.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

Monday, March 10, 2008

Feeding Twitter

I want my blog posts to be twitted on Twitter. I can do that as soon as I post a new blog post through manual process. Although there is no need to do so as I know Twitterfeed.

Twitterfeed is a nice feature to add all your blog links and it automatically feeds your twitter profile with the latest posts and you can configure the time interval.

I am amazed by the sites and services getting up around twitter day by day.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

Programmer friendly Debugger

Piotr Maj has started a series of articles about Eclipse Debugger features. He has described two very interesting features of the Eclipse Debugger. I was happy to read the features and found them very useful. I also cursed myself for not using these features even if they are right there in my Eclipse IDE since long.

Thanks Piotr, you have added to my knowledge and I appreciate your efforts of making your articles available to all through your blog.

Eclipse debugger part I - Detail formatters

Eclipse debugger part II - Logical Structures

I will be waiting for more Debugger articles. Earlier Mark Dexter has also provided Eclipse and Java: Using the Debugger screencasts which are fantastic. Now you have added some more tips to my list, which will surely help many people master Eclipse IDE and make their day tasks more productive.

with regards
Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

Friday, March 07, 2008

I miss Kathy Sierra

I miss Kathy Sierra.

Kathy was the primary author of the Creating Passionate Users blog, which she started in December 2004. Her writing was of sufficient quality to propel her blog into the Technorati top 100 within a year and a half. That's almost unheard of, particularly for a blog with no commercial aspirations. Kathy wrote because she believed in creating better user experiences, for no other reason than the singular joy of sharing her enthusiasm with us.

Thanks Jeff for reminding of Creating passionate Users again. I agree with Jeff and do remember how I kept waiting for a new post on Kathy's blog.

I will repeat what Jeff has said. So Kathy, if you're out there, I urge you to come back. We miss you.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur