Minimize Skype but dont miss a missed call

28 12 2010

In the good old days, Skype would minimize to the system tray (that area with the clock and volume control n stuff) and NOT take up space on the taskbar (that area with the start button and which lists all open windows). But the first version of Skype for Windows 7 did not do that. They initially argued that staying on the taskbar all the time was THE thing to do – as ordained by M$. Then they changed it.

So now after unticking a checkbox in Skype options, when you minimize it, it goes to the system tray and not the taskbar. Problem – if it was on the taskbar and you got a missed call, you could see a cute little orange thinge overlaid. But skype in the system tray can get hidden. It does have the capability to show you the cute little orange thinge though!

So, right click on the taskbar, properties, “Notificiation Area”-customize – “Skype – Show icon and notifications”. If you think that makes the system tray waaaaay tooo big, on windows 7, you can remove the Action Center – “Only show notifications”. Seriously, how many times do you REALLY need and use the action center?

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LogMeIn

28 12 2010

I’ve tried other things…

Windows Remote Desktop – Only works if your target machine is running a “professional” version of Windows
VNC – You need to install it yourself, and also configure port forwarding on your router. NAT may be a pain.
SSH – Only for Linux. Also needs to be configured beforehand. NAT problems, port forwarding. Remote computer needs to have X capability.
Screen sharing just doesnt do it and there are many many variants of VNC.

Of course, all this is for a graphical interface. I hate command lines. So, LogMeIn. It seems really nice. Advantages

1. You need to install an app on your target machine. But all port forwarding if any is handled behind the scenes (I am guessing there is something else at work here)
2. Its FREE
3. You can login to a website and then login to any of your registered systems that are ON.
4. No app needed on the remote computer. It uses Java or something else. Of course there are standalone versions of VNC available too.

Problem –
Me being paranoid, I dont really know if they are logging into my machine when I’m not looking and doing the most horrendous of things – rating all my music 5 stars 😦





Outlook Add-in

12 10 2010

This is kind of old, but I guess it never got onto this blog. So, I was playing around with the new Office and there was this problem on Win-7. Older versions of Outlook used to display a small yellow envelope in the system tray when I had new mail. But they decided to merge that into the Taskbar icon which is always there anyway. The only problem is that the notification feature does not work with IMAP inboxes… and of course IMAP is the way to go if you like to organize all your mail into >100 folders and you don’t want to do that twice! So there I was, all helpless and unproductive coz I didn’t know when I had new mail!

So, I tried to fix it myself. Fire up Visual Studio and there is actually an Outlook plugin that you can create. Now being M$ and all, every time you run the code in VS for debugging, it starts up Outlook and lets you test it out :). All I needed to do was to monitor each of my IMAP inboxes for new mail. This was quite a long time ago, so a lot of the details are hazy (of course that means it fits perfectly with this blog’s lofty incomplete ideals). I think I looked at just the unread count numbers. There were events fired automatically when you manually set an old message to unread – so no problem there. Of course if you do decide to use this, and happen to use POP3 too, the POP3 notification icon will overlap and ruin your tiny icon – so disable that in Outlook and track the POP3 mailbox yourself too.

Unfortunately, like all good experimental code, it doesn’t work on some occasions. I think its got something to do with my addin losing connection with the mailbox when I hibernate/restart etc. Of course the nice thing is that you can enable those translucent purplish-blue popups for new mails as events for IMAP too. That means I pretty much catch all my new mail in-time and can even delete stuff from that purplish-blue thinge. Meh.





OPENMP

12 10 2010

Is freaking awesome! So, lets say I have something like this

for(int i=0; i<99999;i++)
        a[i] = b[i] + 9;

all you need to do is

#include <omp.h>
...
#pragma omp parallel for
for(int i=0; i<99999;i++)
        a[i] = b[i] + 9;

… and thats it. Make sure you have OPEN-MP installed of course. One pragma and the loop is automatically parallelized. In linux, there is an environment variable OMP_NUM_THREADS that controls how many threads the loop runs in. By default though it will use all cores on your machine. REALLY, its just that simple.

Edit: OK, you also need the -fopenmp switch if you are using GCC. But overall, it really IS that simple.





THERE IS NO IN-PLACE MERGE-SORT

12 10 2010

… yet…

Just though you should know.

EDIT: Of course, if you use linked lists, you can achieve this pretty easily. Still O(n) time and O(1) space… (more like O(0) space LOL!)





Netbeans!

12 10 2010

OK, as you’ve probably guessed from my posts, I LOVE Visual Studio!! But for small testing type code, I usually use Developer C++ (the last version out is a beta and its quite old), but it supports non-project type standalone C/C++ code. After my introduction to Java (I was first introduced and then started introducing) I was mainly sticking to the “baby” IDE called DrJava. Sometimes used gedit directly. But Netbeans… Oh My God! Netbeans! Its awesome! Just like VS in many ways and so the migration was nice and smooth. I did use it a long time ago (like 2 yrs ago) for a project on my Nokia mobile phone – used the J2ME framework et al. It all started when I wanted a nice auto-completing IDE for that coding thinge. Now the way automated judge servers work (coding thinge), you usually just need a single non-project based IDE. But I WANT AUTO-COMPLETE. So I decided to try Netbeans anyway. Turns out its quite simple and I just realized (like three words ago) that the same thing applies to VS too.

Create a project (wait, don’t freak out yet)… patiently… then start coding. Once you’re done, test it – yes, use the cute GUI debugger… and once you’ve convinced yourself that your program is absolutely flawless, head over to the src directory within the project folder. And sitting there, the lone .java file is all you need. You may want to open it up, remove that package line and maybe rename the file from Main.java to something nice. PS:Remember to rename the main class within the file too.

Oh and the way some frameworks work – like thrift or slf4j – you just get the latest .jar files (compile if you need to), and just add one jar file for each dependency directly to the project. Right click on Libraries->Add something something. Just the way I like it – NO TEXT.





Hello world… again!

12 10 2010

NSLog(@”Hello world!”);

The funny thing is that I almost never needed to use this during my internship… guess there is a reason the Mac is so GUI oriented. The Apple developer site is kinda nice, but personally there is just too much text 🙂 Then again, maybe I’m just used to MSDN and its tiny-tiny but info packed snippets of code. XCode may seem rather plain at first sight, but its pretty good. The only down-side as of now is that you need a Mac to run it… and no, there is no “easy” way to run it on a VM. The NS is common to a lot of commands/methods/frameworks – stands for NextStep.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering that is cocoa – aka Objective-C.