Category Archives: PC

Demonoid is back once again

Well after a long time, once again, Demonoid is back,  the user accounts are still there, and our upload /download statistics are still intact. enjoy !!


ونڈوز پر اردو کے استعمال کے لیے چند مشورے اور جُگاڑیں

Computer usage in one’s own native language is getting popular these days, and many Softwares now include several languages to overcome the language barrier of the users. It has its own joy of interacting with computers in mother tongue.

Urdu is also one of the languages which is gaining popularity in computer usage. Efforts have been conducted by Pakistani Universities and other professionals to enhance the presence of urdu in general computing activities. These efforts are often supported by Govt. of Pakistan. NUCES Lahore Campus has contributed significantly to the cause with their CRULP ( Center for Research in Urdu Language Processing) initiative.

Following is a list of few good utilities for using urdu on PC from CRULP.

Just to let you know about the complexity of fonts for languages in arabic script is that the actual appearance of character /alphabet is dependent on the context. e.g م is meem, in محمود there are 2 positions for meem, initial and middle,and in علم meem is in final position:)
Now urdu uses alphabets from arabic language, but it follows persian script “Nastaleeq”, which may be a bit difficult for computers, as each new character is connected at a lower level and the whole word follows a slanting path.

So use these utilities, and send your suggestion to the developers, so that they may come up with a better and enhanced version.



LPT0006 passed away ! – Obituary

Its really sad for me to break that my laptop ‘lpt0006’ has passed away on wednesday 8th January, 2008 at around 2:45 pm (local time). 😦 The exact cause of death is still unknown, but initial reports claim that it was due to hard disk controller failure. However I am still waiting for an official autopsy and hopes that it may be able to rise again :).

‘lpt0006’ was from the family of acer ferrari 4000 series ( ferrari 4005 WLMI). The departed soul had been in service since 26th March 2006 11:am and meticulously executed it duties during that period. During this period which spanned over 654 days, ‘lpt0006’ served 18-20 hours /day, while the disk I/O usage is estimated at 500 mb read writes /day ( this is only for user data and does not include paging and caching i/o). Awesome thorughput , I would say, from this family. But its sudden death was an extremely surprising incident.

Although I didn’t like the machine , but hey it was free and an above average performer, and didn’t cost me any thing 😀 .  I usually spend most of my after office time over my laptop, and suddenly after getting deprived of it, I had no other choice but to stare the roof while lying on my bed :).  ( I have already taken my xbox and complete Harry Potter books set back to Pakistan  while visiting during this winter vacation) . But the worst part isn’t over yet, the next three days were holiday , Thursday was off  due to 1st Muharram,  while Friday and Saturday are our usual off-days of the week.  So I had nothing to do , literally nothing , to do at home, except for sleeping 😀 .

Anyway , I used Dell Inspiron 8600 ,borrowed from Khurram bhai, for sometime, until I got a replacement laptop tablet notebook. Its LT-20 from LG, bundled with Windows XP Tablet PC edition. Its really cool to use it. It has a touchscreen and can be turned into a small notebook or tablet , by rotating and flipping the screen. Though machine is not so strong, apart from being bloated with support softwares( input panel, keyboard surrogate, bla bla) which consumes almost 80% of available physical memory (400 out of 512 megs, consumed after getting logged in to the system). Anyway its lighter to carry ,with 11″ screen. Helpful in taking notes, preparing documents, chatting, light browsing activities, but nothing more then that. :P.

I am planning  to buy a notebook for myself, after going through some reviews, I am finally settled for Dell XPS M1530  , cool han!  I am waiting for DSF promotions which will be starting from 24 th January 2008. Mean while , I will look into products from other vendors, most probably from Alienware ( Personally I don’t like HP pavillon, Lenovo thinkpad).

By the way, did I mention it was an obituary for the deceased one 🙂



Demonoid is back

If you know what is Demonoid, then you might already knew that its back, hurayyyy!!. and by sheer factor of luck if you don’t have any idea what this would mean, then my sympathies are with you. :P.

Demonoid, is a site for sharing torrent files. It hosts a large no. of torrent files. Torrents are sort of links to actual files which are hosted on different peers all over the world. Bit Torrents is p2p technology for sharing large files. Users usually get a torrent file from servers like Demonoid, piratebay, meganova,torrentbox. These torrent files contain links to the tracker of the data file ( e.g movies, Linux distro etc). The actual downloads are not hosted on the servers and are dispersed over a no. of peers. Most of the time, torrent client is downloading different chunks from a large no. of peers. Trackers are used to collect statistic about a torrent i.e no of uploaders a.k.a seeders, and no of downloaders a.k.a leechers, and are very vital to the torrent network. Most of the torrents sites are usually available for free, you might required to create an account. However some requires paid subscription for accessing the listed torrents and only allows registered members to access the tracker. Some sites, although free, but require you maintain certain DL:UL ratio (usually at least 0.5), you may receive a warning if your ratio get too low. This is intended to promote a sharing community, because without sharing, torrent community will come to its knees. It is often recommended to upload at least the amount which you have downloaded.

So, what’s so cool about Demonoid. I think, it is the best torrent site, I have ever landed on. It is free if you want to access only latest uploaded torrent files, but to access the older files, you are required to be registered. Registration is also free, but opens only at some unannounced time during each month(usually start /end of month). Torrents are usually of good quality and categorized making them easy to locate.

Demonoid has been receiving law suits threat from the beginning, they moved their server from Germany to Canada ( afaik ) to avoid them. Last week they received another notice from CRIA. (Why these anti-piracy morons always come when something is hitting the big scene, where were they, when the technology was in its infancy, I am sure an intelligent investment at that time would not only benefited them but also they might have contributed something important to the computer industry.)Their website was down for few days, though the server was replying to ping messages. Now they are back. welcome back!!



Default ThreadPool size in .net 2.0 SP1

ThreadPool in .net framework , as the name applies ,  a pool of thread, that an application can use to execute diiferent code section concurrently, instead of creating its own thread. Application borrows thread from thread pool to exectue via ThreadPoolQueueUserWorkItem , which queues the request , the request is furnished when a thread is available in the thread pool. After execution , the thread is returned to the pool so other requests in the queue can use it. Thread pool are mostly utilized in Asynchronous Programming model.

In the release of .net framework 2.0 , the default max no. of available threads in the pool was 25 per processor. You can set it to a different value, but it is usually discouraged to set to a value too higher, and you may need to reconsider your application (profiling etc) , since it may lead to starvation of the threads. With .net 2.0 SP1 , this max no of thread has been elevated to 250 threads per cpu . Joe Duffy has discussed about necessity of this higher limit in his post.

well I think it is not a good decision, setting a default 250 limit, will result in larger startup time to intialize the thread pool. Though you can set your limit to a lower level,(do it as early as you can). But I think this feauter should be an opt-in feature , instead of an opt-out (as .net framework 2.0 already presents it).



Blog Publisher source code uploaded

I have uploaded the blog publisher (messenger add-in)  source code, and added it to my projects section. Check the projects page. 

I will be adding few more fun apps soon , so do check back later.



Xbox Linux

I am preparing for GRE and hence I got several things on mind to do instead of concentrating on my preparation. So this time I choose to experiment with Linux on Xbox. I bought my Xbox in 2005, and got it modded soon (for the reason I am sure you know.) and its no longer under warranty. I have tried many things with Xbox, evox, dashboards, networking with my existing cable net. As the accessories are not available at the moment, so I am planning to go deep down it , I am thinking about attaching USB ports to it. There are plenty of tutorial available for that on Internet.

But , before that I would like to feel the power of Linux on Xbox. Why I am tempted to do so. Well the idea came to my mind when I started looking for web hosting for my domain and sub-domain. (currently I host my sub-domain on my laptop which is subject to my availability at home). I was thinking about running a full time web server on my Xbox machine, (its 733 MHz Intel, with 64 MB ram  and 10gb HDD, a network card ). I am not expecting much traffic on my domain, so this simple machine will be able to cater as a webserver ( a lamp setup to be precise).

Xbox Linux is not a new concept , born along with the release of Xbox. Xbox-Linux and Xbox-Scene are good source for tutorials and guides for running Linux on Xbox. There are several methods for doing so, usually categorized as software mod and hardware mod. Software mod requires the use of software exploit to run the unsigned code (Microsoft does not endorse home brew application /Linux on Xbox, ). Using the exploit , the installer flashes the bios with a different bios known as Cromwell (an alternate firmware for Xbox though it only load Linux and cannot be used for playing games). A hardware mod requires hardware modification (installing a mod chip etc).

There are several Xbox Linux distributions available on the Internet. I found the following three quite interesting (I was looking for live flavors).

  1. Lumumba by Dynebolic
  2. Xebian (based on Debian)
  3. Gentoox (based on Gentoo)

Each distro has its own advantages, but each can be run live. I will try to list the difference along with my experience as I don’t have writable cd with me right now. I am looking forward to the weekend for this experiment.