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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Starting process in background in windows using : start /b and start /priority

This information that I am posting came as a surprise to me two years back. And sine one year I have seen its usage groeing in my day to day job at Software Divisions of MNCs. Jokes apart, various automations that I did used the following concept in some way or the other. Sometimes the bat scripts and some times the python scripts.

Actually in Unix/Linux shells and hence in beautiful Mac machines I owned at Adobe Systems, there was an option to start a process in the “background” by (i.e. in bash) typing “./&“, or you may try pressing Ctrl-Z and then “bg“. The process then prints its output to stdout as usual, but the bash runs in the foreground and receives console stdin. The task was easy.

But in Windows, mere calling the exe would not do this job that easily done. But something similar can be done by doing: start /b . This would run the process in the background, and its output is printed to your stdout, even though cmd continues running immediately and receives your stdin. Be warned that if you do “start ” without the “/b” switch, then the process runs in another window, which closes when it exits.

There is yet another switch for “start” is /priority, which I learnt only after joining Symantec Software. In this command the ‘priority’ is the name of a process priority string. For example “start /b /realtime pslist” can be used to get a pslist output that runs in realtime priority.

Intresting trick to Show your name after Time in Taskbar

To help young ones and also to the grown up prank players, I am again with a simple trick. This time it is something unusual. You can add your name (If you want even my name is good enuff!!) in place of AM and PM beside the time. This would be catchy in your group of friend/ colleagues. Just to add, my best friend *SO*loves to know about these small lil tricks. She is an avid computer/internet/social-networking user though (I think Mark Zuckerburg should hire both of us for using his virtual space to love, fight,discuss and romance!!)

You can start by going to Start -> Control Panel -> Regional and Language option -> Press Customize button -> Go to TIME tab -> Change AM symbol and PM symbol from AM and PM to your name -> Apply -> Ok.
Has it changed?
Have patience…Sometimes you need an additional setting too. Go to the Time in taskbar and Double Click it to open "Date and time property" .Look place where time changes in digital form i.e. 02:47:52 AM. Now you have to click the arrow to change the AM or PM. This will popup your name (that I believe is legitimately yours. Rolf!!!). Apply OK there.
Mission Accomplished!!!

Making your System available with a Domain like name in Network

The key lies in installing IIS over your machine. This makes you machine a server. While working for Adobe System I owned eight Systems ( Three of them were Mac machines. Beautiful!!!) One of the machine has to be made a dedicated system to host our Bulls Eye Coverage reports (On this some other time!!) So I chose the system name to be cportal. The task was to make this available when any connected system on LAN typed ‘cportal’ over their browser. (@My Friend Anil Berry: Hey! It was not a Red File Secret Code. It was just that I never had time and many times forgot to tell you about this. Sorry for being so late, but now having posted this, I guess your problem would go fixed!!!)

The steps are pretty much simple.
Give machine a name eg cportal. Make it available on your domain. Test by ping cportal from other computer. Accessing it on local area network
In network&internet homegroup
Change advanced sharing settings. Select domain tab arrow key
Turn on network discovery :ON
Turn On FILE and printer sharing :ONPublic Folder sharing : ON
Now from other computer just writing
http://cportal your IIS page opens up.

A brief note on Normalization Forms in Database

The First normal form (1NF) sets the basic rules for an organized database. These rules relate to firstly, Eliminate duplicative columns from the same database table. Secondly, To create separate tables for each group of related data and identify each row with a unique column or set of columns (the primary key). The Second normal form (2NF) further Handles the concept of removing duplicative data. Firstly, It must meet all the requirements of the first normal form. And then remove subsets of data that apply to multiple rows of a table and place them in separate tables. In addition we must create relationships between these new tables and their predecessors through the use of foreign keys. The Third normal form (3NF) goes one large step further. Firstly, it must meet all the requirements of the second normal form. And then, remove columns that are not dependent upon the primary key. And the fourth normal form (4NF) has one additional requirement other than meeting all the requirements of the third normal form. It is maintained that a relation is in 4NF if it has no multi-valued dependencies

Logical Partition of Hard Disk/Drive without any additional Softwares

It often comes that you wish to use one partition to install the operating system and critical apps and another for your data files, which will simplify backup tasks. Or, you may just want to have your personal files stored in a separate looking disk. For this you have to do a partioning. There are basically three modes to do that. Third is simple, you have to use some Third party Application to do that. A simple Google search will reveal hundreds of such tools easily downloadable. (Understand the risks involved). In addition, there are two simple ways to get your job done.

Partitioning while Installation of Windows:

At time of Windows Installation process, you may Format and create the partitions. This is the most used, relevant and usual way to go about.

Partitioning when OS already Installed (particularly Windows):

To set up a new or existing drive in Windows Operating System, you have to use a trick. Go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, and click Administrative Tools, Computer Management, Storage, Disk Management. Your drive will appear. You will see new drives as unformatted space. Partition this space by right-clicking in the unformatted area and selecting New Partition. Then right-click in the partition and choose New Logical Drive.

What you must essentially know in interview of freshers in OOP Concepts

I dedicate this post to my junior roomies at sometime and more like younger brothers to me namely Ali the Smarty, Sadiq the Shera, Mudassir pucchu turned hunk, Fahed Aloo baba, Sufian cell phone love expert, and last but not the least to Mohsin. (Is anyone hearing!!!)

This post is aimed at dealing with information needed for freshers related to object oriented Programming concepts. Many of my friend’s siblings and friends have asked me several times about what knowledge is extremely important for an interview related to OOPS. And ‘extremely’ word is so catchy.

Actually what I outlined below is a possible list of question that is certain to be asked directly or indirectly. You can have great understanding on W3C School. But you must have practical exposure to programming of these . Or say, in least you must know atleast one working example that includes all the following concepts. In any case, essentially the interviews of fresh computer engineering graduates shall have following questions.

What is Object Oriented Programming Language?

The language, which obeys all the basic principles of Object Oriented Programming, which are Encapsulation, Inheritance and Polymorphism, is generally known as Object Oriented Programming Language. Languages like c++ and java are some well-known Object Oriented Programming Languages

What is Polymorphism?

The meaning of Polymorphism is something like one name many forms. Polymorphism enables one entity to be used as general category for different types of actions. The specific action is determined by the exact nature of the situation. The concept of polymorphism can be explained as “one interface, multiple methods”.

What is Inheritance?

Inheritance is the process of basing one class on another. In this process, a base class provides methods, properties, and other members to a derived class. The advantage of inheritance is that you can write and maintain code once it is in the base class and reuse it over and over in the derived classes. But the main draw back of Java is it doesn’t support multiple Inheritances; hence to over come this draw back Java provides us the Interface concept.

What is Encapsulation?

Encapsulation is a process of binding or wrapping the data and the codes that operates on the data into a single entity. This keeps the data safe from outside interface and misuse.

Why JAVA is known as securable language?

There are two reasons behind this. The first one is, as JAVA runs in JVM, which is a virtual machine, and it converts source code to byte code, which is not understandable for humans, so its safe. The second reason is JAVA does not support the Pointer concept, hence we can say that JAVA is a securable language.

What is the necessity of Interface?

As java is a Partially Object Oriented language, and it does not support the multiple inheritance concepts, it creates problem for the developers. To over come this situation JAVA provides Interface concept for multiple inheritance

What is Abstraction?

An essential element of object-oriented programming is abstraction. Abstraction is the process to hide the complexity. A powerful way to manage abstraction is through the use of hierarchical classifications. This allows programmer to understand the semantics of complex system.

What is Class and Object?

A class defines the abstract characteristics of a thing (object), including the thing’s characteristics, like its attributes or properties and the things it can do .The code for a class should be relatively self-contained. Collectively, the properties and methods defined by a class are called members. Object a particular instance of a class. Object holds the characteristics of the Class. The set of values of the attributes of a particular object is called its state.

Is JAVA a completely Object Oriented Programming Language?

The answer to this question is certainly no. The reason behind this is JAVA does not obey the OOPs concept purely. Certain concepts like Operator over loading and Multiple Inheritance are not supported by JAVA. Hence JAVA is known as Partially Object Oriented Programming Language.

In addition, it is advisable to know practical programs related to this. You also get to know about function overloading and overriding, multiple and multilevel inheritance, virtual functions, copy constructor, Final Class, Throwable etc.

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Unix Commands related to Handling files

Without an introductory speech let me come directly to the point.
Listing files in a directory

list the files in the current directory
ls -a
list ALL files, even ones which begin with a dot, which are normally omitted
ls -s
list files, with their sizes
ls -l
list files, giving full details about each file
ls -al mydir/
list all files in directory mydir (including those beginning with a dot), giving full details about each file
ls *.c
list the files which end ".c"
ls mydir/
list the files in directory mydir

Moving or renaming files (IMHO please consider both the same if you are on Unix flavored OS or on Mac)
mv oldname newname
rename a file
mv myfile mydir
move a file into another directory
mv myfile1 myfile2 myfile3 mydir
move several files into another directory

To Copy files
cp oldname newname
make a copy of a file
cp myfile mydir
make a copy of a file in another directory
cp myfile1 myfile2 myfile3 mydir
make a copy of several files in another directory

To Delete files
rm file...
delete the specified files
rm -i file...
ask for confirmation before deletion
rm -f file...
don't ask for confirmation before deletion. BE CAREFUL!
rm -r directory
Delete directory and everything in it. BE CAREFUL! To remove empty directories, see rmdir
rm -rf directory
Delete directory and everything in it, without asking for confirmation. Hey man its not the magic. Actually –rf tells the OS to suppress asking for confirmation. Actually there is never a magic in Software Arena. It’s all how deeper you go, and how diversified the developers approached to a problem. But defects/bug usually come as a magic!! (Some say, if you understand a woman, it is a magic in itself. Have I understood my Girlfriend and would be wife yet!!!!)

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Types of Software Testing

Oh Please! This post is not describing Black box and Whitebox testing etc. For this consult Textbooks (best resource) or millions of website over this. This is just to give you a checklist of various subcategories, each of which is done for different purposes, and often using different techniques.

• Functionality testing to verify the proper functionality of the software, including validation of system and business requirements, validation of formulas and calculations, as well as testing of user interface functionality. Basically testing whether it does what it intends to do.

• Usability testing to ensure that the software is easy and intuitive to use.

• Multithreading testing to see what is impact of running several threads.

• Performance testing to see how well software performs in terms of the speed of computations and responsiveness to the end-user. Just see the time and resources being consumed up. Sometimes even preparing a baseline even sucks!!! At Symantec we clubbed this together with some other stuff and collectively Called this persistence testing.

• Internationalization and Locale testing. Cum’on this needs no explaination for a tester. And if you are not the one, you would never want to know that. Ah! Actually it is beyond the scope to describe how it is done. Since linguistics testing also sometimes get clubbed with this. Some other time..

• Scalability testing to ensure that the software will function well as the number of users and size of databases increase.

• Stress testing to see how the system performs under extreme conditions, such as a very large number of simultaneous users.

• Forced error testing, or attempting to break and fix the software during testing so that customers do not break it in production. That is where hacking also comes into picture

• PCI Compliance testing. This becomes very important if your sales ( bread and butter guys!!) comes from online payment. The Online payment Industry has strict guidelines on Security testing and audits. Veracode again come into picture if you want to outsource this work to a professionally organized group.

• Compatibility testing to check that your software is compatible with various hardware platforms, operating systems, other software packages, and even previous releases of the same software. I remember days when in Adobe I was once testing AcrobatX. It was a really really huge task. You can see my name in Credits page on Adobe Website. Refer Anwar in AcrobatX Credits

• Application security testing to make sure that valuable and sensitive data cannot be accessed inappropriately or compromised under concerted attack. Using your coding, tweaking pointers, tweaking built in operators such as new/delete, using tools like BoundsChecker, Fortify, Application Verifier etc come to your rescue. You can also employ Veracode (See my previous details on VeraCode )

An Introductory lesson on Emergence of Relational Database Management Systems

From the older days of Data backup in notebooks and registers we graduated to Computer Systems having File based data storage systems. A major advent was seen when DBMS were pooping up. And now we live in ages of RDBMS ie. Relational Database management Systems. I have chosen three RDMS for my introductory lesson, typically because they are widely used in Enterprises.
Apart from what outlined below, you have MySQL, Sqllite3, Excel, Acces, and many more.

Let me start with the Oracle. Refer Oracle.comThis database has many features that makes it well suited to data warehousing, including support for very large databases, automated summary management, and an embedded multidimensional OLAP engine. It was 1970, when Dr E F Codd published a paper entitled A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks. This relational model, sponsored by IBM, then came to be accepted as the definitive model for relational database management systems – RDBMS. IBM developed a language to manipulate the data stored within Codd's model, which was originally called Structured English Query Language, or SEQUEL, with the word 'English' later being dropped in favor Structured Query Language – SQL. In 1979 a company called Relational Software, Inc. released the first commercially available implementation of SQL. Relational Software later came to be known as Oracle Corporation.

Second in my list is about PostgreSQL. You can see details Go Here For PostGre Official Website, which is Unix-based freeware Object-Relational Database Management System supporting almost all SQL constructs. It includes sub-selects, transactions, and user-defined types and functions. It supports everything from basic table structures, to extremely large datasets. This flexibility allows PostgreSQL to compete with MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, and Sybase etc.
The name PostgreSQL, was chosen to reflect the relationship between original Postgres and the more recent versions with SQL capability. With the version 6.x series of PostgreSQL, the emphasis has shifted from identifying and understanding existing problems in the backend to augmenting features and capabilities. The overall backend code speed has been increased by approximately 30%, and the backend startup time has decreased 50%, though some people say it go as low as by 83%( I don’t know from where has this figure emerged!!!)
Third is about SQL Server that is a relational database management by BigB Microsoft (Possibly the diverse areas MS is into has made it to remain the king even today. All kudos to Bill Gates). SQLServer supports more than SQL. It is easy to manage and provides a separate OLAP engine. It is the ideal database on web applications constructed in ASP.Net. It links possibly best with ADO.Net (All from Microsft!!. That does not means it does not suits to others. Actually it is what is called a cure to all remedies. This also tells me that it is well suited in Remedy Tool too. On this, some other time though.) One important point is that the SQL Server currently runs only on the Windows operating systems, and MS has no plans for porting it to other platforms (After all BigB has all choices to make. Ahem Ahem!!) has been disclosed.

The Microsoft SQL Server originated in Sybase SQL Server, and it was Microsoft's pleasant entry to the enterprise-level database market. It was first launched in the onset of 1992 ( Though I am poor in dates. But I remember this because I learned this for my theory paper of Engineering. How I managed to have time for studying with my Girlfriend *SO* sitting in same class is a different story. Some other time, on some other blog…) I would conclude with my last sentence tht Oracle and SQLServer still remain the biggest of all RDBMS systems currently used in enterprises, but slowly the paradigm is changing. We all seem to be much happier with open sources softwares. (Hey but I heard Oracle keen to buy MySQL!!!)

Using Torpark Browser to surf Anonymously

Opening proxy server to surf through or using proxy software like Anonymizer refer, has been the real solution for this through decades. There is yet another solution, novel in its kind. Torpark, which is a Firefox-based browser designed to access the Tor network of encrypted proxies. You can see more info at

When you use the Torpark browser, your Web session iterates through multiple secure proxies, encrypted, until your request reaches its destination. Torpark is a quick download and and you can just launch the executable when you need it.

For downloading you can go to URL

It should be remembered that, Secure browsing is considerably slower than regular browsing.

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Diagnose and analyse Windows Operating System issues Using Event IDs

Event viewer is the tool that helps your butts here. Anytime your system crashes or an application freezes up, Event Viewer dutifully logs the error. It is under Start, Settings, Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Event Viewer. The utility's System node logs Windows issues and the Application node logs issues with other software. In addition, any Third-party apps might create more nodes. Events are fairly self-explanatory in themselves. The date/time of each event are logged along with its source and some relevant information. The list is usually long but the 'Information' labelled events are generally ignored. The 'Error' and 'Warning' entries are what you should deal with.

In the Event Properties window, there is detailed information about the error in question and a link to the Microsoft’s support Web site. The link will open a detailed page within the Windows Help application for the error.

Using Keypad if your Mouse is not working properly

It is a simple trick. Just Press Left Alt + Left Shift + Num Lock Button + Ok
Now you can move mouse pointers with the help of Numeric Keypad.
7 8 9

4 6

1 2 3
For a Normal Click (usually Left Click in Windows) you can press 5.

enable Folder option if it is not visible

This was a secret Trick on how to enable Folder option if it is not visible. Now it is no more a secret. But who cares. It still remains a 'trick'!!

Often due to virus attack etc, users face a common problem on Windows Systems. Sometimes the "show hidden files and folders" option is not enabled. Even if enabled, you can not view the hidden folders.

In such a case, open RUN, type regedit to open Registry editor. Search for “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Explorer\Advanced”. In the pane on the right side modify the value of “Hidden” to 1 and refresh My Computer window. You shall be be able to see hidden files now.

List of Keyboard Shortcuts In MicroSoft PowerPoint

Hey, I got this list from Internet and the source claimed that he following is borrowed straight out of the PowerPoint 2000 Help File. I respect the author but the authenticity of each command is open for your test.

Function Keys

F1 Display Help or the Office Assistant
SHIFT+F1 Start context-sensitive Help
F2 Select the text box (with text or an object selected inside the text box) or select the text within a text box (with the text box selected)
ALT+F2 Carry out Save As command
ALT+SHIFT+F2 Carry out Save command (File menu)
SHIFT+F3 Change the case of letters
F4 Repeat the last action
SHIFT+F4 Repeat the last Find (Find Next)
CTRL+F4 Close the window
ALT+F4 Quit PowerPoint
ALT+SHIFT+F4 Quit PowerPoint
F5 Carry out Slide Show command (View menu)
CTRL+F5 Restore the presentation window size
ALT+F5 Restore the program window size
F6 Move to the next pane
SHIFT+F6 Move to the previous pane
CTRL+F6 Move to the next presentation window
CTRL+SHIFT+F6 Move to the previous presentation window
F7 Carry out Spelling command (Tools menu)
CTRL+F7 Carry out Move command (presentation Control menu)
ALT+F7 Find next misspelling (Automatic Spell Checking enabled)
CTRL+F8 Carry out Size command (presentation Control menu)
F10 Activate the menu bar
SHIFT+F10 Display a shortcut menu
CTRL+F10 Maximize the presentation window
ALT+F10 Maximize the program window
CTRL+SHIFT+F10 Activate the menu bar
ALT+F11 Display Visual Basic code
F12 Carry out Save As command (File menu)
SHIFT+F12 Carry out Save command (File menu)
CTRL+F12 Carry out Open command (File menu)
CTRL+SHIFT+F12 Carry out Print command (File menu)

Keys for working with presentations

CTRL+N Create a new presentation
CTRL+M Insert a new slide
CTRL+D Make a copy of the selected slide
CTRL+O Open a presentation
CTRL+W Close a presentation
CTRL+P Print a presentation
CTRL+S Save a presentation
F5 Run a presentation
ALT+F4 Quit PowerPoint
CTRL+F Find text, formatting, and special items
CTRL+H Replace text, specific formatting, and special items
CTRL+K Insert a hyperlink
F7 Check spelling
ESC Cancel an action
CTRL+Z Undo an action
CTRL+Y Redo or repeat an action
F6 Switch to the next pane (clockwise)
SHIFT+F6 Switch to the previous pane (counterclockwise)

Keys for browsing hyperlinks in a slide show

TAB Go to the first or next hyperlink
SHIFT+TAB Go to the last or previous hyperlink
ENTER while a hyperlink is selected Perform the "mouse click" behavior of the selected hyperlink
SHIFT+ENTER while a hyperlink is selected Perform the "mouse over" behavior of the selected hyperlink

Keys for deleting and copying text and objects

BACKSPACE Delete one character to the left
CTRL+BACKSPACE Delete one word to the left
DELETE Delete one character to the right
CTRL+DELETE Delete one word to the right
CTRL+X Cut selected object
CTRL+C Copy selected object
CTRL+V Paste cut or copied object
CTRL+Z Undo the last action
Keys for moving around in text
LEFT ARROW One character to the left
RIGHT ARROW One character to the right
UP ARROW One line up
DOWN ARROW One line down
CTRL+LEFT ARROW One word to the left
CTRL+RIGHT ARROW One word to the right
END To the end of a line
HOME To the beginning of a line
CTRL+UP ARROW Up one paragraph
CTRL+DOWN ARROW Down one paragraph
CTRL+END To the end of a text box
CTRL+HOME To the beginning of a text box
CTRL+ENTER To the next title or body text placeholder (see note)
SHIFT+F4 To repeat the last Find action

Keys for selecting text and objects

SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW One character to the right
SHIFT+LEFT ARROW One character to the left
CTRL+SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW To the end of a word
CTRL+SHIFT+LEFT ARROW To the beginning of a word
SHIFT+UP ARROW One line up
SHIFT+DOWN ARROW One line down
ESC An object (with text selected inside the object)
TAB or SHIFT+TAB until the object you want is selected An object (with an object selected)
ENTER Text within an object
CTRL+A (in the slide pane) All objects
CTRL+A (in slide sorter view) All slides
CTRL+A (in the outline pane) All text

Change or resize the font

CTRL+SHIFT+P Change the font size
CTRL+SHIFT+> Increase the font size
CTRL+SHIFT+< Decrease the font size
CTRL+SHIFT+F Change the font

Apply character formats

CTRL+T Change the formatting of characters (Font command, Format menu)
SHIFT+F3 Change the case of letters
CTRL+B Apply bold formatting
CTRL+U Apply an underline
CTRL+I Apply italic formatting
CTRL+EQUAL SIGN Apply subscript formatting (automatic spacing)
CTRL+SHIFT+PLUS SIGN Apply superscript formatting (automatic spacing)
CTRL+SPACEBAR Remove manual character formatting

Copy text formats

CTRL+SHIFT+C Copy formats
CTRL+SHIFT+V Paste formats
Align paragraphs
CTRL+E Center a paragraph
CTRL+J Justify a paragraph
CTRL+L Left align a paragraph
CTRL+R Right align a paragraph

This list would be of much help to those guys (Gals I m sorry, I always forget you!) who are keyboard-holic. In addition it turns out to be really sometimes coz it eases navigation and editing.

Microsoft Useful Apps and Powertoys for Windows

I am listing some of very important utilities that Microsoft shares with people. These can be very useful in day to day job. Some of the tools are also reffered as PowerToys by Microsoft. (And some of the contents are directly fro Microsft website!!)

WinDbg is a tool for debugging any Crash in a program. This tool automatically syncs up the required pdb files ie. The symols file from the MSDN and enables your machine to debug the problems. Refer http:// You can have a dump of your crash and investigate, or contact your administrator. In addition, you can also log a radar (defect/bug) on the Microsoft. (Also See

ClearType Tuner: Dramatically improves font legibility on some LCD screens. For more details over this see

Image Resizer: This tool adds a new menu when you right-click a photo on your PC. Just click Resize Pictures to change an image's dimensions without opening an editor. (You may even try this tool to test how your photo looks in your Splash Profile at

CD Slide Show Generator: With this PowerToy you can view images burned to a CD as a slide show. The Generator works downlevel on Windows 9x machines as well.

Virtual Desktop Manager: Manage up to four desktops from the Windows taskbar with this PowerToy.

Taskbar Magnifier: Use this PowerToy to magnify part of the screen from the taskbar.

Tweak UI: If you don't already have Tweak UI, get it. This essential OS tweaking tool offers more granular control over your privacy settings and operations, and even over the way you log in to your PC (plus much more). It should be one of the first things you install on any new computer.

Alt-Tab Replacement: Adds previews of each page when you switch between open applications using -.

SyncToy: Improves the task of synchronizing files among multiple machines, especially compared with Windows Briefcase.

These tools can really help incrrease your productivity!!
[not reproductivity ;)lol]

Using Process Explorer in Windows XP Server Vista and Win7

In Order to know what all processes are running and to forcibly terminate any you need to explore Process explorer. In Windows platform this can come easily by opening Taskbar. Ctrl+Alt+Delete and selecting Taskbar is historically the method to reach there.

You can instead of killing a process, suspend it (right-click on a process to see this option). This is useful in the case if program stuck in an endless loop.

In addition, if you wanna know what is the process identification (term better known as PID historically since the advent of Unix based Systems), then Open the program, then switch to Process Explorer. In the top-right corner there is a target icon (see concentric circles). Clicking this icon and dragging it onto the program you want to see, the Process Explorer will highlight the process.