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Month: June 2016

THE CLOUD- A Service With No Boundaries

THE CLOUD- A Service With No Boundaries

Look at the sky…… You can see the clouds floating in luscious and boundless blue sky. A nature enthusiast may see it as white blotches swaying in the sky. But things have evolved and undergone changes. For today’s technology-stricken world, cloud is a metaphor for “the Internet”.

Cloud Computing is a network sharing resource which has been in practice from small networks to the far and complicated networks for big business magnets for the past ten years or so. Some networks still do refrain from using cloud service as it seems confusing to handle but the reality is just the opposite.

Cloud is basically a pathway or a platform for sharing a pool of resources that consists of both physical and virtual resources on the internet rather than relying on local hardware or servers. Structurally, it uses a network of remote servers hosted on Internet.

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To understand the concept of cloud computing we’ll take a real time example. Consider a situation where we are assigned a project which needs lots of external resources like different software packages and data sharing between other networks. So, if the requirements are hosted on cloud, for usage, storage, sharing and management of these resources can be done directly on the cloud without depending on local servers.

Cloud computing offers individuals access to data and applications from nearly any point of access to the Internet, offers businesses a whole new way to cut costs for technical infrastructure, and offers big computer companies a potentially giant market for hardware and services.

-Jamais Cascio

The main characteristics of cloud computing are:

  • The resources that are meant to be computed are pooled together to serve multiple consumers with different physical and virtual resources are dynamically assigned and re assigned according to the consumer demand.
  • The resources hosted in the cloud can only be retrieved “on-demand”.
  • It supports multi tenacity, i. e, for different consumer constituencies it provides features like service levels, isolation governance etc.
  • It is used to cater different services; for storage, hosting servers etc.

Why cloud computing so popular?

All described in a nutshell in the image below.

cloud1

There are four main types of clouds. They are:

  • Public Cloud: As the name suggests, all the files, resources that are uploaded on the cloud are made available to all the public users. Users can use the reserve directly from cloud on demand as and when required.
  • Private Cloud: This cloud mainly deals with a single organisation for pooling, sharing the files and data within its own network. Here, the network confines to that particular organisation only.
  • Community Cloud: As the name suggests, it is for a community or in other words, a group of organisations. The cloud may or may not be controlled by a third party organisation.
  • Hybrid Cloud: It’s a combination of both private ,public and community clouds. It finds application in areas where sensitive data are to be stored as well as resources should be made available for public sharing.

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The most easily understandable and popular applications based on cloud storage is Microsoft’s OneDrive and Dropbox. In both these applications, files which can be pictures, documents etc. can be uploaded onto the cloud storage from any devices and those uploaded files can be accessed by any user on any other device who are registered with the the application.

Cloud is basically a network service. The users can modify the cloud to their needs and use the cloud so as to cater its needs as a “service”. That is, the same cloud can perform as a platform for some users whereas infrastructure for another section.

Mainly, cloud can provide three main services. They are:

Cloud_computing.svg

  • SaaS (Software as a Service): When cloud work as SaaS, software (application) are hosted on the cloud and these software can be used by the users on a subscription license agreement rather than relying on the original server. In this service, data is accessible from any connected computer. Since software is directly used from the cloud, no data is lost.  It runs on distant remote computers that are connected to users via Internet.
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service): In PaaS, cloud is used as a “platform” for developing as well as deploying applications. When used as a platform, it reduces complexity for generation of the project.
  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): The whole infrastructure required for the complete build of the project is facilitated by the cloud , it is IaaS. All the functions of the server computers, hosting, sharing etc. are all done by the cloud, so there is no investment in the hardware required. So the infrastructure needed for these functions is supplied by the cloud as a “service”.

 

Our views have changed from the premature stage. Now cloud can be described as a network of computers , endless storage medium and a source of services deviating from its common meaning.  Almost everything available on the internet (even this blog post  you are reading:)!) are cloud hosted.  So go the cloud computing way..!!

 

How to Play Age of Empires 2 Online – Using GameRanger

How to Play Age of Empires 2 Online – Using GameRanger

Age of Empires is a series of strategy games developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft Studios since 1997. The series includes: Rise of Rome, the Conquerors, Age of Kings, and The Asian Dynasties among others. Each game comes with the multiplayer option. At present, you are able to use a few third party websites which support the game in order to make use of the multiplayer facility. And one such method is to use GameRanger. GameRanger is a multiplayer online gaming for PC and Mac.



Given below is a detailed instruction on using GameRanger to play Age of Empires II:

Step I: Downloading

GR Download

 

 

Download GameRanger client from their website.

Step II: Installing and Creating an Account

Install it on your PC or Mac and create an account on GameRanger.

GR Email pwd

 

 

Create your account by choosing a username and password. Now you’ve successfully joined the GameRanger community. You can change your username later on.

Step III:  Locating Age of Empires Servers

GR TABLE

 

 

  • Make sure you’ve the required game.
  • Open GameRanger.
  • Checkout the list and choose any game you want to join provided you have the same game on your system.

For example, suppose you have Age of Empires: The Asian Dynasties. Then you can only join those rooms which are hosting this game. You can’t join Age of Empires: Rise of Rome etc or any other game for that matter.

The rooms with the green dots mean that the game is currently in session and you can’t join. So find a game and just enter the room. The host will decide the rest. People can freely come and go from a game room and you are able to kick users from your room if you are the host.

If you want to host a game, follow STEP IV.

Step IV:  Hosting the Game

GR Hosting

 

 

  • Choose the “Host” button in the GameRanger window.  Ctrl+G is the shortcut key for hosting.
  • Select the required settings and select OK. You’ll be redirected to your room.
  • Once you have the sufficient number of players in your room, select Start.
  • The game will load automatically and you’ll be redirected to the Multiplayer page in AOE where you can choose the game settings and begin the game.

 

NOTE: If anyone in the room has their name in italics it implies that there are some connection issues between their computer and yours. So, you can NEVER play with them even if you are in the same room. Usually, the guy ends up being kicked out. Secondly, everyone in the room should have the same version of the game.

Enjoy!

 

Agar.io – How to win big!

Agar.io – How to win big!

 

Agar.io is a simple, fun and addicting online game. All you have to do is become the biggest cell by eating the smaller ones either directly or by splitting in half. It’s fun when you start playing it.
Becoming the biggest cell in agario is much easier said than done. So here are some strategies and tips that’ll help you win big.

agario

Attacking Strategies

  1.  Conservative play

    This is the safest method to grow. All you do is roam around and eat until you find the best cells worth splitting for. You don’t split a lot and more than once. (conservative)

  2.  Reckless play

    This is a pretty daring strategy. Either you win big or go down quick. Kinda like Do or Die. You split for almost anything that looks like good enough and stay away from enemies when you are in your weakened state.

  3.  Baiting

    You can bait other smaller cells by ejecting a small piece of mass as bait and eating them by splitting. Good strategy though may not work all the time.

  4.  Team play

    This is a fun and easy way to grow quick and safely, that is, if you get a good teammate. One person splits and eats cells and feeds the other. Next the other splits and feeds you and this goes on. This tactic is pretty safe and powerful. With this you can take on cells much bigger than both of you and small mistakes can also be corrected. You can also team up with more than one person if all goes well.

  5.  ‘Et tu, Brute?’ Betrayal tactic

    This is a cold blooded tactic to win big quick. You team up with someone, grow bigger and when the time is right, you go on and eat your teammate. This makes you really big as your complete size is equal to both yours and your teammate’s mass. Easy was to get to the leaderboard, but cold hearted cheat.

  6.  The King

    For this, you need to be really big already. This helps sustain your huge size without much risk. For this you team up with much smaller cells and make them big enough to eat some cells. Hopefully they’ll work as pawns, eat others and feed you. This is a win-win play for both of you as they get to become bigger from nothing easily.

Defensive Strategies

  1.  Predator becomes Prey

    A good way to escape from someone who’s chasing you is by running onto someone who doesn’t care for you but would love to eat your chaser.

  2.  Hiding inside or behind Viruses

    One of the basic escape strategy in the game and very efficient. Hiding inside can only be done when you are smaller than the virus.

  3.  Giving the slip

    When being chased by a split cell, you can actually go through the split cell at the point of joining if you can position it correctly.

  4.  ZigZag escape

    By moving in a zigzag motion when attacked through splitting you can potentially dodge the split and escape

Tips:

  1.  Viruses split on shooting it 7 times. You can use this offensively and defensively. Remember it’s the 7th shot that matters, things can turn around with the last shot.
  2.  People with the same skin have a higher tendency to team up.
  3.  When you are smaller, staying in a virus concentrated zone can be helpful. When you are big, just stay away from it.
  4.  If you split a LOT, you can actually eat viruses if you are big enough.
  5.  Sign in and play the game, gives you a huge starting advantage.
  6. Agario is a game of patience, keep your cool.

 

Hope these tricks help you win the game! If it did help you share this post, that’ll help someone else too 🙂

Follow Your Dreams – The Alchemist

Follow Your Dreams – The Alchemist

We, human beings irrespective of age and gender dream a lot…during night or any point during daytime. As scientist told dreams are illusions which may or may not have a connection to any event that had occurred during the day. Above all that, some dreams may be exicitng , others frightening or may be a sign for an event that may occur in the near future. But have you ever thought about following your dream? Realised that it happened for a reason??

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is an exciting, adventurous novel which convinces the readers that dreams are not just mere visions, they are meant to be followed. It also imparts knowledge about many aspect of life like omens, Soul of the world and Universal Language of love whose significance can be found out only by those close to the world. Coelho just turns this adventurous and realistic novel to an “inspiring” one by stressing on some facts that most of the people fail to realize making it an International Bestseller.

It’s a kind of novel that motivates the readers through optimism  tells you that everything is possible as long as you really want it to happen. That may sound like an oversimplified version of new-age philosophy and mysticism but its true.

As the alchemist himself says,

“when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true”

This is the core of the novel’s philosophy and a motif that echoes behind Coelho’s writing all through “The Alchemist”. He also stress on the aspect that love , affection ,adoration cannot refrain anyone from reaching his destiny by saying “love cannot stop one from pursuing his dreams…if it stops, it’s not true love…..The Universal language of love”.  Such phrases and statements forms the the insipiring essence of this novel.

Santiago, a shepherd boy hailing from Andaulsia left his life of becoming a priest and chose to become wanderlust. This boy stood firm on his desire to realise and experience the joy of travelling and for that, as his community suggested to choose his destined profession – a shepherd. He had a recurring dream that he finds a treasure somewhere among the Pyramids of Egypt. He craved for someone to tell that his dream was true and his destiny lies in finding it. He meets a Gypsy woman who tells him that his dream is true and that treasure exists. On this event, he decided to start his venture to the Egyptian Pyramids.

On his way, he meets an old king who points him in the direction for his quest. He makes him convinced that desires should be strong and the whole universe conspires to achieve it. He also hands him over two precious stones – Urim and Thummim, which will help him distinguish between the good and bad omens that will come across. But unfortunately, he gets robbed and works with a crystal merchant to make enough money to continue his journey. Around one year he works for the merchant and gifts him profits due to his job. He , himself was a good omen to the merchant. He makes enough money and continues his journey in search for the treasure.

He meets an Englishman, who is profound in alchemy and he teaches Santiago about the magnificence of alchemy and alchemists. He says him that an alchemist residing in the oasis can help him to reach his goal and he personally wanted to meet the latter. In addition, he teaches Santiago about the Universal language of Love, Soul of the world and they continue their journey in a caravan along with the song of the desert.  When they stop their travel at the oasis, He meets Fatima, the love of his life. She being the woman of the desert,  assure him that he will return back to find and marry her if their relationship was true love , bonded by the Universal Language of Love.

He moves on , after a battle between bitter and sour experiences when finally meets The Alchemist who directs him to his fortune but with a twist. Will he find the unexplored treasure..??

 

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Ruby: A Programmer’s Precious Gift

Ruby: A Programmer’s Precious Gift

From the views of a layman, Ruby is a beautiful, precious stone with an ever attracting red color. But for a programmer, ruby is as precious and gorgeous as the gem but in the form of a programming language. The developer’s of this language claim ruby as a “programmer’s best friend”. It was created in 1993 by Yukihiro Matsumoto of Japan.

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Take a look at these words of the creator:

“Language designers want to design the perfect language.They want to be able to say, ‘my language is perfect. It can do everything.’ But its just plain impossible to design a perfect language, because there are two ways to look at a language. One way is by looking at what can be done with that language. The other by looking at how we feel using that language- how we feel while programming”

– Yukihiro Matsumoto, creator of Ruby

Ruby is an upcoming programming language spreading its roots far and wide. The main beauty of a language is its simplicity. Ruby is simple in appearance but has a complex internal structure making it beautiful in its own way.

As most of the programming languages, Ruby is completely free and open source, but subjected to a license making it easily available in any platform. Moreover, Ruby has great similarity in appearance to popular programming languages like Python and Perl but it has similarity in syntax to C++.It has a very neat, clean and easily understandable syntax which can be captured easily even by a new developer.

Ruby has its application confined to web development which consists of developing Internet as well as Intranet applications. Ruby has its own web application framework named Ruby on Rails which is gaining high popularity in recent days .Many of the must-need applications for a coder like Github , Basecamp was built by ruby on rails. It has a MVC (Model View Controller) framework and it also encourages use of existing languages like HTML, XML, CSS, JS..etc for building the desired application.

It is purely an Object Oriented Programming Language but with a little twist from the existing ones. All the OOP concepts like abstraction, polymorphism, inheritance and encapsulation are possible with ruby. But here, each and every part of the code is an object. Ruby offers excellent flexibility, portability and exception handling features.

What makes Ruby stand out from other languages??

Apart from all the above highlighted features, Ruby has so many extra, exceptional features that many other programming languages cannot do like changing background colour, easy build of small game applications , adding images to labels, buttons and so on. It has an inbuilt tk library that makes these features come into practice.

Lets look at an example. Given below is the code to create a button application and the output generated when the code is run in a suitable compiler. The code uses tk library.

Screenshot_2016-06-15-10-26-56

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Example of a code to add image on a label:

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A Simple Notepad app using Android Studio

A Simple Notepad app using Android Studio

A daily purpose, simple notepad app can be easily created by means of Android Studio and can be used ocassionaly by the code and steps provided in this article.

Software requirements:

  1. Android studio (prefereably latest version) IntelIJ platform
  2. Any android device (for testing)

Hardware requirements:

  1. Intel core processor
  2. 4GB RAM
  3.  1GB memory space (for studio)

 

Generating the application:

Install Android Studio and open it. Start a New project and name the app. Choose blank activity for the basic layout and hit finish button. Android studio will generate the basic app project framework.

img1

 

Since it is a notepad app, focus has to be given for adding each activity as the user clicks the plus button i.e, adding a new note. For this a separate file named NoteActivity.java has to be created for controlling each note.

Go to app folder->java->file with app name-> right click->new->activity->empty activity->name the new java file -> finish. Add the following code:

img2

Inorder to view the saved notes in a list view, we should change the RelativeLayout of MainActivity to ListView layout. This is changed in the content_main.xml by adding the code below.

img3

The aesthetic part of the app and UI are controlled by XML files. MainActivity has two xml files ; activity_main.xml and activity_note.xml.

img4

img5

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A template layout is only provided by the Android development libraries. This item defines the styles used to render out ListView on screen. It is an XML file which contains one item.

To define the item as a list, simply right click the simple_list_item1 text in the MainActivity.java file and a menu will appear. Select GoTo, select the declaration menu item and Android Studio will open up that layout (XML) file for you. This is basic style for a simple list view. The screen shown below will be created as soon as you create it.

img 11

Another XML file called string.xml file is required for the functioning of pop-up messages on button clicks and other strings used in the app.It is a resource file.

img12

All these  XML files and the NoteActivity.java has to be now incorporated into MainActivity.java to include all the functionalities of each xml files and java class into the application.

img7

img9

Saving the notes:

Once UI is done we need to save the notes created by the user upon clicking the “Save” button. The code for adding this functionality is as follows:

img10

 

After filling all this code, go ahead and compile the code. Debug all the errors and after the build is finished run the generated app on an emulator or any android device with the help of ADB (Android Device Bridge).

Final app will look like this:

Screenshot_2016-06-11-22-09-59

Screenshot_2016-06-14-00-16-40

 

Screenshot_2016-06-11-22-10-10

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden – A Review

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden – A Review

Memoirs of a Geisha is a historical novel written by the American author Arthur Golden and published in 1997. It recounts the tale of a geisha working in the Gion District in the Kyoto prefecture of Japan before and after the WW II.
The main characters: Sayuri (Chiyo), Mameha, Hatsumomo, Chairman, Nobu.

 

Memoirs of Geisha Book Cover

Although it is a work of fiction, narrated in first person perspective through the eyes of Sayuri, the feeling is actually quite real.

Like many a fairytale, the story begins in a poverty stricken village called Yoroido on the coast of the Sea of Japan. Chiyo aged 9 and her elder sister Satsu are the children of an aged fisherman and his ailing wife. But unlike her sister, Chiyo is a beautiful and bright girl distinguished by her lovely gray eyes that resemble those of her mother’s. But the girls end up being sold into slavery by a local businessman after their mother’s death. Chiyo is sent to a geisha house (okiya) run by the Nitta family in the Gion District and her sister Satsu into a house of prostitution. Chiyo makes a futile attempt to escape from the okiya, find Satsu and run away. Later on she is introduced to the life of a Geisha. She masters various art forms and begins to dress up in ornate clothing, makeup and accessories. She befriends another geisha around her age, nicknamed Pumpkin who lives in the Nitta Okiya. Chiyo the village girl blossoms into Sayuri, the geisha. En route to becoming one of the most popular geisha Kyoto had ever known, Sayuri must endure her rival Hatsumomo who is more or less like a witch.

Mr.Golden allows Sayuri to narrate in a simple manner using chatty and colloquial terms. The reader is able to relate to her feelings and the ordeals she has to undergo while being a geisha. We get to know how a geisha gives company and how she acquires a wealthy patron (Danna). The story is so convincing that you feel like you are beside Sayuri throughout her journey.

The element of suspense is encountered here and there.
Will Hatsumomo undermine Sayuri and her reputation? Will Mameha, her mentor, protect her? Will she end up with a wealthy doctor as her Danna? Or will it be Nobu, the ugly but kind business partner of the Chairman? Or is it the one she loves, the Chairman who becomes her Danna? This results in such an entertaining plot with a lot of twists and it holds the reader rapt. The author presents before us the portrait of a Geisha and the beauty of a largely vanishing world.

The book was described as an “overnight success” for Mr.Golden. But Memoirs of a Geisha came after 15 years of hard work and research. The best-seller was later made into a movie. The book and the author received flak for misinterpreting facts and information and defaming a geisha. Even then, it is worth reading.

 

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I Too Had a Love Story by Ravinder Singh

I Too Had a Love Story by Ravinder Singh

The national bestseller I too had a love story is a pure blend of emotions like happiness, love and deep pain. The author Ravinder Singh has presented his true story so vividly that he makes the readers fall in love with the book only to cry in the end. I too had a love story is really a “feel good” novel and teaches the readers that the life is not so sweet as sugar ; a mixture of bitter, sweet, spicy and sourness.

Book Cover

The plot revolves around Ravin , a software engineer who is hailing from Orissa and the different incidents and circumstances that endures in his life. The book has a great head start; a reunion with with his college friends – Happy, Amardeep and Ramji. The excitement and thrill of that moment can be felt in the lines. That reunion made Ravin to open an account in a matrimonial site.

We’ve seen people falling in love by means of college, school, internet in films and other books. But this novel takes an unexpected route to make a bud of love bloom in Ravin’s heart –A matrimonial site. He receives an unexpected call from Khushi who contacted him by viewing his profile in the site.

The calls became frequent, then came up face to face meetings……getting full knowledge about each other and their relationship thus took a flight to the peak. Both Ravin and Khushi was sincere and very much cared for each other at times of happiness and sorrow yet clinging onto their very respected Indian values.
In the midst of their love and dreams of living together very soon……A series of unexpected events unfolds portraying life is not so rosy as it seems.

I too had a love story is a must read for all the people in the teenage genre to adults and all those who love Indian writing to realize the ups and downs that can happen in ones life.