A lot of web designing is routine for millions of companies and freelancers. But not all tasks are easy; many warrant long spells spent in battling complex problems. As a web designer, a checklist of questions to ask your clients can pre-empt many hassles along the way. With the right answers, you can create a documented set of requirements to guide yourself through a web design project. Detailed here are five key questions web designers need to ask their clients: Q 1. What exactly is your profession or business interest? Knowing the answer to this question will help designers finalize the right combination of shapes, colors and typography on the site. A dentist may want to infuse a refreshing mint[…]

UPDATE July 18, 2013: Approximately 7 months after this article was published, there’s been news that the TrueCaller database has been hacked into by the so-called Syrian Electronic Army. Again, this highlights the need for users to be careful in the choosing the companies with whom they entrust their private data. TrueCaller is a mobile app and online service that serves as a very large phonebook for reverse phone number lookups. It can be used to augment your own phone’s contact list in your iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian, or BlackBerry device, helping you let know the names of unknown callers. You can test to see which of your or your friends’ numbers are available in their database at www.truecaller.com. How does it work? TrueCaller claims to[…]

Which virus protection is the best? Well, to protect yourself against malicious software, the six defensive ways detailed below can work better than the best anti-virus software left to act alone. 1) Be aware of virus symptoms, and attack vectors This piece of advice might sound something beyond the realm of non-techies. However, non-techies had to learn how to use computers anyway, and learning a little about the basics of viruses won’t hurt. The information contained in this article is a good start. (i) Be wary of suspicious, new process names in the list of running processes Sometimes these processes have the same names as legitimate ones to disguise themselves (svchost.exe is an example). Sometimes they have similar names, like[…]

To convert multiple VMDKs into a single file, I used the following command (LinuxVM.vmdk is the name of the first VMDK file – i.e. the one attached to the VM): $ vmware-vdiskmanager -r LinuxVM.vmdk -t 0 LinuxVMSingleDisk.vmdk Note that vmware-vdiskmanager is bundled as part of VMware Workstation. I couldn’t locate that as a separate download, so I ended up downloading the trial version of Workstation. The above operation takes a while, but not too long. It shows its progress as it completes. Next, I had to modify the VM settings so that it would use the new disk. I couldn’t find this option in the GUI, so I had to modify the vmx file manually (use an appropriate editor on[…]

TCPMon is a nice little tool for testing TCP communication between a client and server. It is an open source project, distributed under the Apache 2.0 license. Downloading and Running TCPMon To download TCPMon, head over to the Apache TCPMon download page and download the binary distribution. (There’s a Google Code Project called TCPMon too, but that’s not the same one, and has fewer features) Once downloaded and extracted, navigate to the build folder and run TCPMon by executing tcpmon.sh on Linux or tcpmon.bat on Windows. (On Linux, you’ll need to set the execute bit on the sh file before you run it). Note that your current working directory must be the build folder, else Java will report a ClassNotFoundException TCPMon as an[…]

When you’re out to shop online, there’s a greater variety than ever before if you’re in India! Shopping giant Amazon has launched the curiously named Junglee.com in beta mode to target Indian customers. Presently, it is only a comparison shopping site rather than one that allows customers to order directly and obtain shipping from Amazon’s own dedicated courier services. Shoppers are taken to vendors’ individual sites to complete their purchases, and experiences may vary. UPDATE (10th Feb, 2012): Amazon has been granted FDI approval to set up its logistics service in India. Junglee means ‘of the forest’ in Hindi, and by all means, the offering at the first instant indeed looks to be just a subset of the vast forest[…]

The dot refers to the current directory. The forward slash “/” is the directory path separator. So, when you type in ./filename at the shell, you prefix the filename with the path to the current directory. Why do we need to do this when running any executable file? When you run a command in the shell, it either runs it as a built-in command, or as an executable. If it isn’t a built-in command, the shell tries looking for the executable in all the directories specified by the PATH environment variable – you can see what this contains by typing in echo $PATH in the terminal. So if your file is in the current directory, the shell won’t find it[…]

Shortcuts Learn to use the shortcuts. Seriously! Did you know that if you need to scroll suddenly while typing, you don’t need to reach out for your mouse? Just use the Ctrl–↑ or the Ctrl–↓ key combinations to scroll up or down. To learn more about Eclipse shortcuts, head over to TechNonStop’s tutorial on Eclipse Shortcuts. Templates Templates are a must-learn – there are so many out there. For example, sysout, syserr, and systrace. Look up Window->Preferences->Java->Editor->Templates for all the pre-defined templates available, and don’t forget to add your own! Often, those working on a single project would like to share templates they create so that the whole team enjoys the shortcuts. Tweaks to eclipse.ini I’ve had a noticeable improvement[…]

The popular open source news site LXer recently published a detailed article on the advantages of Linux, with the aim of dispelling unfair cynicism. Whether you are a home user or a business owner, Linux is a great choice for an operating system. I entered the Linux world pretty recently, after spending a long time with various Microsoft Windows versions. Now, there’s no looking back! I’ve identified the top 5 reasons to consider turning to Linux: 1) Cost of operating your computer. Microsoft Windows offers various paid license plans to run your computer, or install copies on several machines in a network. When you turn to Linux, software that runs your computers is completely free! This is a great advantage[…]

I often get a chance to work from home, and this has given me opportunities to look for ways to share sessions with my colleagues. Windows XP used to have the excellent NetMeeting tool, but I recently switched to Ubuntu and haven’t yet found an equivalent. Yes, I’ve heard of VNC and used it a lot too, but I wasn’t happy with its remote desktop sharing performance. Ekiga is interoperable with NetMeeting calls, but doesn’t support screen sharing. Even Skype’s screen sharing does not seem to support remote screen controlling. However, Linux’s power is at the command line, and this is true even in the case of remote sharing. So here comes screen to the rescue – this magical command allows you[…]