Ahoy there! This is my personal blog which I use as my memory extension and a medium to share stuff that could be useful to others.

Application Software Archives

Orbit Downloader – Web 2.0 download manager

Orbit Downloader is a free download manager software aimed at managing streaming media downloads from social networking websites such as MySpace, YouTube, etc. In fact, you can use it as a download manager for downloading any resource from the web.

I use Orbit downloader to download YouTube videos and it works like a charm!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

svn commit fails with HTTP 400 error

Problem:

When performing an svn commit using TortoiseSVN, the commit operation failed with the following error:

Server sent unexpected return value (400 Bad Request) in response to MKACTIVITY

 

Background:

I accessed my SVN repository (http://) using TortoiseSVN via a proxy server and tried to commit some changes.

 

Solution:

I disabled the proxy server in Tortoise SVN’s Settings. i.e. I did NOT use a proxy server to access my SVN repository.

Note: If you must use a proxy server, you may fix this problem by installing certificates and accessing your SVN repository via HTTPS.

 

Root Cause:

TortoiseSVN uses WebDAV to access an SVN repository. Proxy servers which are not compliant with WebDAV will strip off HTTP headers containing WebDAV methods such as MKACTIVITY. However, if you access the SVN repository via HTTPS and a proxy, the proxy server will not inspect the request and will forward it as is.

 

NOTE:

(1) The solution above describes a successful problem-solving experience and may not be applicable to other problems with similar symptoms.

(2) Your rating of this post will be much appreciated. Also, feel free to leave comments.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)

Subversion is one of the most popular open source version control tools currently available. Many organizations are moving from clunky, proprietary version control or configuration management software to Subversion. Recently, I compiled and built Subversion 1.6.4 on Solaris 9. While compiling and building software from source is usually straightforward with the 3-step “configure-make-make install” process, doing so on Solaris(unlike Linux) can be a bit frustrating at times, primarily due to the lack of packages/tools that are commonly available on Linux. So, here are the steps I followed to build subversion 1.6.4 from source on Solaris 9:

Note: By default, Solaris 9 does not have the gcc C compiler and some other packages generally available on Linux platforms. I had installed packages libiconv, gcc and libxml2 to the default build installed by my Sys Admins. You do not require root privileges to install subversion. I installed subversion using a non-root user. Refer this UPDATE for instructions specific to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1

 

STEP 1: Download, unzip and extract the source code:

#
# Download subversion. Use your browser or the wget command below:
#
wget http://subversion.tigris.org/downloads/subversion-1.6.4.tar.gz
#
# Unzip and extract source (can be done in many ways)
#
gunzip subversion-1.6.4.tar.gz
tar xvf subversion-1.6.4.tar

The above commands create a directory called subversion-1.6.4.

 

STEP 2: Download, unzip and extract the dependencies (source):

#
# Download subversion dependencies. Use your browser or the wget command below:
#
wget http://subversion.tigris.org/downloads/subversion-deps-1.6.4.tar.gz
#
# Unzip and extract source (can be done in many ways)
#
gunzip subversion-deps-1.6.4.tar.gz
tar xvf subversion-deps-1.6.4.tar

The above commands will add the contents of the subversion-deps-1.6.4.tar archive into the subversion-1.6.4 directory created in STEP 1.

 

STEP 3: Remove the serf directory:

Subversion 1.6.4 uses two HTTP client libraries called neon and serf to enable users access the subversion repository using a browser (via HTTP/WebDAV). You don’t need both libraries and since the serf library made it mandatory to have SSL as a pre-requisite, I removed the serf library and used only neon. I’ve provided some feedback regarding this requirement to the serf team. This meant I could access the subversion repository via HTTP, but not via HTTPS (SSL) which met my requirements. However, if you do need HTTPS, then ensure you have an SSL installation (e.g. OpenSSL) and pass the appropriate options (–with-ssl) to subversion during the configure process. Refer Subversion INSTALL file.

#
# Remove serf directory within subversion-1.6.4
#
cd subversion-1.6.4
rm -rf serf

 

STEP 4: Set your PATH:

Set the PATH variable correctly, so that binaries like gcc (typically in /usr/local/bin) and make (typically in /usr/ccs/bin) can be accessed. For example, my PATH is /bin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/ccs/bin

 

STEP 5: Build Subversion:

Compile and build Subversion as follows:

#
# Change directory to subversion-1.6.4 and execute the following commands:
# Note: The --with-apxs option is required to build and load the mod_dav_svn to access subversion repositories via Apache using the WebDAV protocol. It creates the svn modules (mod_dav_svn.so and mod_authz_svn.so) in the Apache modules directory.
#
./configure --prefix=/wherever-you-want --with-apxs=/apache-ServerRoot/bin/apxs
make
make install

 

STEP 6: Test Subversion:

Test Subversion as follows:

#
# Change directory to where subversion-1.6.4 has been installed (cd /wherever-you-want)
#
bin/svn --version

If subversion is built properly, the above command will display subversion’s version and allowed methods of accessing the repository. For my installation, the output is given below:

svn, version 1.6.4 (r38063)
  compiled Sep  4 2009, 20:42:03

Copyright  2000-2009 CollabNet.
Subversion is open source software, see _http://subversion.tigris.org/
This product includes software developed by CollabNet (_http://www.Collab.Net/).

The following repository access (RA) modules are available:

* ra_neon : Module for accessing a repository via WebDAV protocol using Neon.
 - handles 'http' scheme
* ra_svn : Module for accessing a repository using the svn network protocol.
 - handles 'svn' scheme
* ra_local : Module for accessing a repository on local disk.
 - handles 'file' scheme

 

—– T H E     E N D —–

 

Note: Installing subversion on Solaris 10 is as straightforward as doing so on Linux systems as Solaris 10 includes all the GNU software goodies in /usr/sfw/bin , where sfw => Sun Freeware

 

UPDATE (27th October 2009): I just installed Subversion 1.6.5 and 1.6.6 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1. The steps involved are the same as listed above for Solaris 9 with the exception of STEP 5 (Build Subversion) which was done as follows:

#
# Change directory to subversion-1.6.5/zlib (or subversion-1.6.6/zlib) and execute the following commands:
#
./configure --prefix=/mysvn-location --shared
make
make install
#
# Change directory to subversion-1.6.5 (or subversion-1.6.6)  and execute the following commands:
# Note: The --with-apxs option is required to build and load the mod_dav_svn to access subversion repositories via Apache using the WebDAV protocol. It creates the svn modules (mod_dav_svn.so and mod_authz_svn.so) in the Apache modules directory.
#
./configure --prefix=/mysvn-location --with-zlib=/mysvn-location --with-apxs=/apache-ServerRoot/bin/apxs
make
make install
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)

Favicon.cc – Online favicon creation

A favicon is a 16 X 16 pixel square icon that serves as an identifier for your website (browser window, browser tab, bookmarks). So, it is important to create and install a suitable favicon for your website.

While searching for free software that helps you create favicons, I found that there were quite a few to choose from, but finally, I decided to use the free, online favicon generator at favicon.cc. This online tool is more than enough to create good basic favicons.

The features of favicon.cc which impress me are:

  • Free and web-based. No client to download and install.
  • Very simple and intuitive to use.
  • You can preview the created favicon before downloading it.
  • You can create animated favicons.
  • If registered, you can save your favicon online and even publish it under an open Creative Commons license.
  • You get useful tips on how to use the favicon within your HTML.

I used favicon.cc to create the favicon for this blog as well as an animated TrafficLight favicon published under the Creative Commons license.

Note: Different browsers handle favicons differently and website developers will be all too familiar with the frustration caused by browser compatability. For example, as of today, Microsoft IE does not support animated favicons.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

WLjvm will display details comprising the JVM version and options for a specified WebLogic Server. The displayed details are well-formatted and easy to read. The only parameter that needs to be passed to WLjvm is the name of the WebLogic Server whose JVM details you wish to obtain.

Why WLjvm?: At times, it’s required to know a few details about the WebLogic Server JVMs, like their versions and startup options. Well, you could use "ps" on Linux or "/usr/ucb/ps" or "pargs" on Solaris to give you this information. However, these UNIX utilities display information in a format which isn’t too pleasing to the eye (although "pargs" displays well-formatted details, you still need to use "ps" to determine the PID to use "pargs"). My intention is not to make WLjvm an overkill or make people lazy. It’s just that I observed many folks wanting to access JVM details quite regularly and so used a very simple script (and an alias to call it) to automate this task.

System Requirements:  Solaris/Linux, Korn Shell (/bin/ksh), WebLogic Server (all versions to date)

Download WLjvm v1.0     Download WLjvm v1.0 ReadMe

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

WLfdmon is a simple korn shell script that will enable you monitor open file descriptors used by WebLogic Servers. The salient features of WLfdmon are given below:

  • Can be run in interactive and non-interactive modes
  • Configuration-driven
  • Generates statistics on open fd usage of WebLogic Servers. These Statistics can be used for trend analysis.
  • Logs alarms when open fd threshold is breached. Alarms can notify Support Staff of abnormal application/server behaviour.
  • Logs lsof output when open fd threshold is breached. This output will be useful for root cause analysis of excessive open fd usage.
  • Housekeeping for data and lsof output files

 

System Requirements:  Solaris/Linux, Korn Shell (/bin/ksh), lsof

 

Download WLfdmon v1.0     Download WLfdmon v1.0 ReadMe

 

NOTE:

(1) WLfdmon has been scanned and is safe to download.

(2) WLfdmon has been tested. If you wish to use WLfdmon, I recommend you also test it before deploying it on a Production system.

(3) Your rating of this post/software will be greatly appreciated. Also, feel free to leave comments.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

When I started this blog in March 2009, I used the editor on the WordPress Admin console to create and publish posts. Soon, I heard about Windows Live Writer, tried it out and never looked at another blogging tool since then. Windows Live Writer (WLW) is an offline desktop application with rich editing features, which you can use to create posts and publish them to your blog (all popular blogs are supported). A screenshot of WLW taken while creating this post is shown below:

 

WindowsLiveWriter

 

WLW provides the standard features available with good text editors along with blog-specific features like managing different blog accounts, opening and retrieving recently published posts, scheduling publishing of posts and extension via plug-ins. For example, I’ve used a text template plug-in to create a template for certain types of posts, so that whenever I wish to create such a post, I simply use the template and fill in the blanks.

So, WLW makes blogging easy, but I still had the problem of blogging being tied to the laptop on which I had WLW installed. I use 2 laptops, one at office and one at home. Sometimes, I get some ideas for a post at office and wish to just make some quick notes for continuation later. How nice it would be if I can carry the same WLW installation with me wherever I go. i.e. use a portable WLW. Searched online and found a Portable launcher for WLW here. Thanks to Scott Kingery, blogging has been made even easier by becoming portable. I use portable WLW on my USB drive so that all my blog work is saved to the USB drive. Instructions for installing WLW and making it portable are given below:

Installation Of Windows Live Writer:

(1) If you do not already have Windows Live Writer on your computer, download Windows Live Writer from here and install it.

     NOTE: Windows Live is a software suite provided by Microsoft. So, when you launch the installer downloaded in step (1), you will be provide with options to install one or more Windows Live applications. If you’re only interested in WLW, then select only WLW and proceed with the installation.

 

Making Windows Live Writer Portable:

(2) downloadWLWPortablev3.png  or visit TechLifeWeb for the latest update on this software.

 

(3) Extract the downloaded ZIP file for WLW Portable into your USB drive. For example, my USB drive is assigned drive letter P: and I extracted WLWPortablev3.0 into P:, thereby creating a directory P:\WLWPortable3 with sub-directories and files within.

 

(4) Assuming you installed WLW in step (1) into the default location, copy all the files from C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Writer to the following location within the extracted WLWPortable3 on your USB drive:  WLWPortable3\WindowsLiveWriterPortable\App\WindowsLiveWriter

(5) You can now launch WLW Portable v3.0, by clicking on WLWPortable3\WindowsLiveWriterPortable\WindowsLiveWriterPortable.exe. I dragged this WLWPortable executable file onto my RocketDock so that I can easily launch WLWPortable as soon as my USB drive is inserted into my laptop. A screenshot of my set up (WLWPortable Launcher in RocketDock) is shown below:

 

WLWPortable_RocketDock

 

As the above steps make WLW portable, you may even uninstall WLW from your computer and you will still be able to use WLW from your USB drive (remember you copied a bunch of installation files to your USB drive in step(4)).

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

I required to create some “download buttons” for this blog. I didn’t have any appropriate Image creation/editing tool to create buttons and when searching the www, came across a good website called Da Button Factory which allows you to create buttons online. Salient features of Da Button Factory are:

  • The website is very clean, intuitive and simple to use.
  • Allows creation of 3 types of button : Rectangular, Rounded, Round
  • Allows creation of single colour and dual colour buttons.
  • Allows button to be integrated into your website as CSS code or an image (gif/png/jpg).
  • Allows customization of text, font, shadow, size, border, text padding and colour.

Using two colour gradient, you could create a button that is quite close to, if not like, the Web 2.0 buttons out there (colourful, glossy, shaded buttons).

A screenshot of Da Button Factory, taken while creating my download button is given below. It shows you the various options mentioned above. I opted for a PNG image, as it’s the optimal choice for small images with text (like buttons).

 

dabuttonfactory

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)

WLtd – WebLogic Thread Dumper

WLtd is a simple korn shell script that will enable you manage thread dump operations on WebLogic Servers efficiently and effectively. The salient features of WLtd are given below:

  • Can be run in interactive and non-interactive modes (so can be run as a cron job)
  • Configuration-driven
  • For more than one specified WebLogic Server, thread dumps are taken parallelly (as coprocesses – beneficial on multi-cpu hosts).
  • Thread dumps are extracted from the WebLogic Server stderr logfiles and stored in text files.
  • Option to email thread dumps, as an attachment (text files will be archived and compressed).
  • Housekeeping of thread dump text files

 

System Requirements:  Solaris/Linux, Korn Shell (/bin/ksh)

 

Download WLtd v1.0                 Download WLtd v1.0 ReadMe

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

On an earlier post, I mentioned the convenience of using portable applications on a USB drive. Typically, if you require to use a portable application on your USB drive, you will require to navigate to that application’s installation directory on your USB drive and then launch the application. Creating shortcuts to the applications on your desktop is pointless and will defeat the purpose of portability (tying you to the desktop). Fortunately, some software vendors have developed application launchers or docking software (similar to Windows QuickLaunch bar) that can be completely installed on a USB drive. By using one such dock called RocketDock (similar to the early Mac dock), I have quick access to my portable applications.

 

Download RocketDock v1.3.5

In order to launch RocketDock automatically on a Windows computer as soon as a USB drive containing it is inserted, I did the following:

(1) Downloaded the RocketDock executable. You may use the download button above or click here for the latest version.

NOTE: RocketDock is licensed under a Creative Commons Public License and by downloading RocketDock using the download button above, you are agreeing to use it as per the terms of the Creative Commons Public License. Although the RocketDock website says that RocketDock isn’t supported on 64-bit versions of Windows Operating Systems, I have been using RocketDock with 64-bit Windows Vista Ultimate with no issues experienced so far.

(2) Installed the RocketDock software in a directory RocketDock in the  root of my USB Drive. For example, if my USB drive letter is P:, then the location of the RocketDock directory will be P:\RocketDock.

(3) Added a file called Autorun.inf to the root of my USB drive (P:\Autorun.inf) with the following contents:

[autorun]

open = RocketDock\RocketDock.exe

icon = RocketDock\RocketDock.exe

action = Gimme RocketDock mate!

label = Mr.KIPS

 

The above steps will display a pop-up window similar to the following when the USB drive is inserted:

 

rocketdock_autoplay

 

(4) When RocketDock launched, I then dragged the executables of my most frequently accessed portable applications onto the RocketDock, resulting in a dock similar to the screenshot below:

 

rocketdock

 

So, RocketDock has enabled me access my portable applications quickly.

I have not had a perfect user experience with RocketDock. Sometimes, RocketDock just does not launch when my USB drive is inserted and rarely, it just disappears off the screen. However, both these glitches can be addressed by simply launching the RocketDock manually (RocketDock.exe).

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

When I started working as an independent contractor, I looked for ways to carry my work with me with minimum fuss and break free from the office PC/laptop. I was looking to install my favourite software completely on a USB drive without being tied to a PC/laptop (eg. by using Windows registry). I had been using a SanDisk Titanium U3 USB drive for a while, but was frustrated with the slow U3 Launchpad and unavailability of U3 versions of popular software. A little research led me to PortableApps.com which provides both individual portable applications and a portable suite of applications that can be run on a variety of hardware (USB drives, iPods, portable hard drives, etc.). I opted to use individual portable applications so that I could install only what I required. So, I formatted my SanDisk U3 USB Drive and installed portable versions of some of the software I use frequently (PuTTY, Mozilla Firefox, Notepad++, etc.) from PortableApps.com. The launch screen of Portable PuTTY is shown below.

 

putty_portable_launch

Although using some portable applications on my USB drive is a bit slower than their non-portable counterparts installed on my laptop, I don’t mind trading this minor performance impact (noticeable only for certain applications like Portable Firefox) for the significant convenience that portable applications bring me. With portable applications on my USB drive, I carry all my work in my pocket and easily switch working between my office and home laptops. For example, I can use all my bookmarks and plugins in Firefox or all my saved sessions in PuTTY (Portable PuTTY can save sessions to a file, thereby removing dependency on the windows registry) on both my office and home laptops (and any other computer) by simply switching the USB drive from one to the other.

Portable Applications give you the advantages of carrying your applications (and obviously data) with you, accessing them from any computer with a USB port and leaving no data behind on the host computer.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
 Page 3 of 3 « 1  2  3