My First Article in Software Development Journal

Hey finally my very first article on python iterators got published on SDjournal.org magazine http://sdjournal.org/python-starterkit-released/.

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Book Review “Building Impressive Presentations with impress.js”

“Building Impressive Presentations with impress.js” is an insightful book for anyone who wants to understand the concepts of impress.js (a Javascript library for creating beautiful 3D presentations). What I really like about this book is the conversational style of writing by the author and that the author starts off with the very basic concepts and each chapter later on builds upon those concepts, thus helping the reader grasping the basics of topics like axis, rotations, translations in the initial chapters and then helping them plan and create their own websites and portfolios. There are code samples provided in the book which is really helpful especially for the beginners. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get over the dreary presentations and create something truly magical using this library and their creativeness.
So do get your copies of this ebook from here

Re-registration of vehicles in a different state in India

These days a lot of people have to relocate to a different state in India because of work and they tend to take their vehicles with them. Traffic sleuths are always looking for a out of state vehicles to slap a huge fine and most people tend to bribe their way out because seriously who wants to get involved in matters concerning RTO and pay the whole road tax when they are actually for a short term period in another city, but all these vows can be avoided, a lesson I learnt the very hard way. It so happened that I moved to Pune and I didnt know about the correct procedure, I got caught a couple of times and then I couldnt take it anymore so I decided to get my vehicle registered in Maharashtra(as suggested by a dalal whom I met at Pune RTO). Re-registering a vehicle is not actually required but those dalal(read bastards) would say its better to get it registered to churn out more money from your pockets. The right thing to do here is just pay the road tax for another state, this sounds crazy as you are not going to stay permanently in another state but what most people don’t know is that there is a provision to get a refund if the stay is for a short time and the refund is calculated for the number of months stayed. So all you have to do is to get a NOC(no objection certificate) which is required so that the RTO knows that their are no pending cases on that vehicle or if the vehicle actually belongs to you. Getting a NOC is fairly easy, all you have to do is to go to the RTO where you vehicle is registered and they will tender the NOC in a day or two without any charges. Next when you arrive in another city then within a month pay the road tax. The papers that you need for paying the road tax are as follows

  • NOC
  • PUC
  • Insurance
  • License 
  • RC book

Well and thats all their is to it. You can get everything done in a days time just keep in mind not to contact any dalals in between or you will have to pay extra and it might take more time and a lot of headaches. Also if you dont pay the road tax within a month when the NOC  was tendered then the RTO will charge you extra for the months you have stayed in another city. So no re-registration is required all you have to do is to pay the road tax.

Some Really Useful Software for Engineering Students

These are some of the software that I really found helpful while I was pursuing engineering. Most of these software are unheard of especially to the people who are not from engineering background.

LateX

LateX (pronounced Leh-Tek) download  Irritated by all the formatting that needs to be done in MS WORD? Atleast I was when I was writing my thesis or papers, and the formatting of the document took far more time than writing the essential data. This is where LateX scores, a powerful, efficient, and high-quality typesetting document, you just type your data and let the LateX system handle the formatting stuff for you. Now LateX is not your WYSIWYG(What you see is what you get) application like MS WORD, but if you are working on your thesis or project or writing journal papers then this is probably the best software out there and its free. You can easily set up the whole system using this tutorial. Though the whole system might look a bit daunting at first and with lots of hassles but I assure you that once you get acquainted with it, you will never use your MS WORD again. There are various templates available online for thesis, journal papers, resumes etc. which can be downloaded for free and used for writing all these stuff without worrying about the coding stuff. Still if you are facing problems, then the LateX community is very very helpful and I am sure all your problems will be addressed in just a couple of minutes.

FreeMind

FreeMind is a free mind mapping software written in java, lets you organize thoughts on a page as they connect to each other and to the larger picture. You can also organize your class notes and other course works after all learning using mapping can is far more efficient than just cramming everything. FreeMind encompasses a fine range of features, including scads of icons and color formatting options to help you visually organize concepts. It also supports hyperlinks, which allow you to link Web sites and even documents to a map. In addition, you’ll be able to export your landscape of thoughts in a variety of formats, including HTML, PDF, and JPEG. As flexible as it lets your mind be, FreeMind works within an older-style logical structure that could get frustrating for some, but all in all I do believe it is very useful in preparing notes, visualizing a project or a process. A 10 min tutorial on how to use freemind is available on youtube.

Virtual Box

Oracle VM Virtual Box is one of my favorites. It is the most popular virtualization software available and its free. You can download it and install it on your existing platform, and start creating and running virtual machines alongside your existing applications.

Example: Installing Ubuntu on virtual box and using it alongside your windows 7

Add outbound email to your app

The GAE email service takes the form of “mail.send_mail(FROM, TO, SUBJECT, TITLE)” so I decided to use my blog form and add two further input fields for the From and To post input parameters. I just copied the original blog html form and added the two additional input fields, quite simple.

First off you must import the email function as such:


from google.appengine.api import mail

I created a new AppEmail class by copying my old NewBlog posting Class and making the following changes by adding this code;


user_from=self.request.get(cgi.escape("emailfrom"))

user_to=self.request.get(cgi.escape("emailto")

I then added additional parameter error handling as such;


if user_from =="":

params['error_from'] = "Please enter an admin email adress"

have_error = True

if user_to =="":

params['error_from'] = "Please enter a valid email adress"

have_error = True

Finally I needed to add the actual send email code as such;


else:

if user_from !="" and user_to!="" and user_title != "" and user_content !="":

mail.send_mail(user_from,user_to,user_title,user_content)

self.response.out.write('email sent')

And that’s it, except the first time I deployed I had forgot to add the mail.send_mail function as above and wondered why the email did not come through! A couple of points to remember.

The from email adress must be either from the GAE registered email account holder or an app administrator email account that was added to the app or an email from the app itself whereby it is in some form of valid email adress for the app such as string@appid.appspotmail.com.

Secondly there is an email limit before the charges start kicking in so you may want to check that as well. I think it is 100 per cycle but best check your app quota in the dashboard. Here is the link to the docs on Google, happy coding!

https://developers.google.com/appengine/docs/python/mail/overview#Receiving_Mail

Mental Maps

FreeMind is an amazing tool to create mental maps, brainstorm and organize your thoughts, meetings and projects. The best thing about this tool is  that it is not only free but fairly simple to use. The software can be downloaded from their website. http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

A 10 min video tutorial is all that you need to gain mastery on this software but even without this tutorial you would do fine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grut_2cardM

Cameras

Photography is one of the topics I am really passionate about, so I really thought I should enhance my knowledge about this stuff. After skimming through a lot of literature online, now I will pour down whatever I could figure out about these machine starting with their history.

The earlier cameras were very simple objects, they had a shutter to block light and a photosensitive material to capture that light, when the shutter opened. The only problem, you wouldn’t actually see what you are capturing, it was all guesswork. To solve this not so difficult problem, viewfinders were introduced, for the photographer to look through and compose their image, but this was a completely different lens than the one that focused light on the film and the result is that you are composing with one lens and shooting with another which created parallax. These cameras, a.k.a Twin lens reflex (TLR) a term not many are familiar with, wouldn’t actually produce the same thing that you are seeing through the viewfinder.

Enter Single Lens Reflex(SLR) Cameras. To solve this parallax problem, the engineers designed a machine that was capable of allowing the photographers to see and expose through the same lens. With the clever mechanism of moving parts the SLR cameras reflect the light coming through the lens to optical viewfinders.When the shutter is pressed the mirror moves and the same light is captured on the photosensitive film. The Digital SLRs use photosensors instead of films to capture images. The digital technology has totally changed the way people see photography. One of the best features is that people can actually see the result of the photograph and make appropriate changes on the fly, which wasn’t possible in the film version cameras, thus diminishing the time taken to learn photography. One of the reasons we now see a lot of people with no knowledge of photography going in for DSLRs.

Although most of the point and shoot cameras have separate lenses but these cameras cleverly use the same lens and sensors to create an image on the screen thus replacing the second lens, which brings us now to the introduction of mirrorless cameras.

Mirrorless cameras enjoy the technology from both point and shoot cameras and DLSRs. As there is no mirror this makes the body compact, smaller and cheaper to design and also the lenses can be replaced as in DSLRs. Like the body the lenses are also compact and cheaper for the manufacturer to design thus making the overall cost of the camera much lower than the DSLR but at the same time taking the same quality images