Thursday, April 27, 2006

ascii2unicode - an utility for ascii to unicode transformation in nepali

ascii2unicode is an utility that transforms nepali font in ascii to corresponding unicode. One can find similar type of utility called Rupander from, however it lacks an ability to address varieties of nepali fonts with different keyboard layout. ascii2unicode is developed to address that issue, by the usage of an external xml mapping data file. One can create such file for any font and the application will display those fonts in a selection option and the transformation is done accordingly. More test is needed for error free transformation. I have included binary at the following location for review only.

Monday, April 24, 2006

working with XML

I know XML is a great technology but I never tried to learn more than needed. I was just using it for configuration file. The greatness about XML is it doesn't complain, unless you use standard library and your XML tag doesn't confirm to the standards. Recently I am working on an application that will tranform ascii font to unicode, in nepali. In nepali, the fonts are not standard so mapping of one font is not necessarily the same as for another font. The solution is to create XML file for each font. I used XML to replace text files I was using previously. I need to make sure that XML file is valid, I am thinking of releasing it soon to the public and the people should be able to create a new XML file if needed or the change the existing one as required. This great technology has provided XSD that will confirm the validity of XML file. I spent almost 1 hour to write xsd file manually, peering into examples and the source xml file. It worked and just in time I found a tool that will automatically generate xsd from source xml file. This tool xsd.exe is bundled with .net SDK framework. I am really enjoying xml. It's a great tool with lots of tools and libraries for manipulating it and it indeed has a tremendous potentials.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

My reminiscence of OpenGL

Today I came across the memory game code, using OpenGL in MFC, that I coded 3 years back. It took me almost an hour to get this code working into an exe. I don't any idea of versioning then. Now I couldn't wait to send it to my subversion repository. The code is really bad, that was the time when I came across, the tutorials provided by nehe inspired me to write some interesting code of my own. I did and left unknown to the rest. It was really interesting to see it working now. It was consuming almost 90% of CPU continuously. It shouldn't now. I used the CPU idle time for rendering, I am thinking of rewriting the code from scratch again and using threading than idle time, with code comments and really useful documentation. Currently you can move the perpective using arrow keys. You can play around to see the effects. This is not a game yet, the time, level are to be implemented, hopefully in my next version. I have also included source in case you are interested. Some screenshots to give you the rough idea.

download binary
download source

Simple One

Complex One, which can be chosen from the options menu

Complex one from different perpective, can be altered using arrow keys

Same as above

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Just 5 lines to generate dynamic PDF in php

Normally we don't care about technologies until we need them and later wondered ...that's great. The same happened to me today. Asked to generate pdf dynamically and after googling for few minutes, i got hold of perfect library; perfect because it doesn't require you to install modules and change configuration. If you want to use PDF functions listed in the php manual, then you would have to install the extension. However this great site has the perfect solution for dynamic pdf creation.

Just download the zip file from the site. Unzip to some folder in your document root.
Create a new file and add the following code to see the effect in a second. You will also find some example in the readme.pdf, packed in the zip file. You can also have html tags in the passed string. Isn't that 5 lines of code amazing?
$doc = "Hello World!!!!";
include (
$pdf =& new Cezpdf();

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Get NT services by their Horns

Command line interface for windows users is highly unlikely. Windows is not designed for such. One will not doubt that using command line interface is very efficient compared to GUI counterpart. Remember our mighty Linux!! . Especially I don't like to start services.msc whenever I need to start/stop/restart some services, like I have installed apache, mysql as services and I need to start/stop them ferquently. That's when I get to understand the use of CLI in dealing with NT services.

If you know the service name, you can use net start/net stop
>net start servicename
>net stop servicename

To find the servicename, start services from MMC(Microsoft Management Console) or type services.msc at the start->run and enter.

However this requires you to open GUI, which indubitably consumes RAM. There's another utitity sc, which is defined in its help as

SC is a command line program used for communicating with the NT Service Controller and services.

sc <> [command] [service name] <> <>...

The option <> has the form "\\ServerName"
Further help on commands can be obtained by typing: "sc [command]"
query-----------Queries the status for a service, or
enumerates the status for types of services.
queryex---------Queries the extended status for a service, or
enumerates the status for types of services.
start-----------Starts a service.
pause-----------Sends a PAUSE control request to a service.
interrogate-----Sends an INTERROGATE control request to a service.
continue--------Sends a CONTINUE control request to a service.
stop------------Sends a STOP request to a service.
config----------Changes the configuration of a service (persistant).
description-----Changes the description of a service.
failure---------Changes the actions taken by a service upon failure.
qc--------------Queries the configuration information for a service.
qdescription----Queries the description for a service.
qfailure--------Queries the actions taken by a service upon failure.
delete----------Deletes a service (from the registry).
create----------Creates a service. (adds it to the registry).
control---------Sends a control to a service.
sdshow----------Displays a service's security descriptor.
sdset-----------Sets a service's security descriptor.
GetDisplayName--Gets the DisplayName for a service.
GetKeyName------Gets the ServiceKeyName for a service.
EnumDepend------Enumerates Service Dependencies.

The following commands don't require a service name:
sc <> <> <>
boot------------(ok | bad) Indicates whether the last boot should
be saved as the last-known-good boot configuration
Lock------------Locks the Service Database
QueryLock-------Queries the LockStatus for the SCManager Database

With sc in hand, you can do anything with services as that in case of GUI.

Let's say you want to see all the running services.
>sc query
Our eyes certainly don't allow us to see at such speed. You may use the following to send output to the file and look at the running services taking your time.

>sc query > c:\runningservices.txt

A file named runningservices.txt will be created at c:\. A sample of one of those services looks something like this

DISPLAY_NAME: Application Layer Gateway Service
WIN32_EXIT_CODE : 0 (0x0)

runningservices.txt in my c:\ is almost 380 lines. Only the servicename or display name would have sufficed. findstr came to my rescue.

Piping (usage of |) is popular among linux users, with which you can feed the output of one command to next command . I am happy to see the Microsoft also has provision for pipes in its CLI.

Now to get the services names only, try this
>sc query | findstr /I service_name

/I will make findstr case-insensitive.
Type findstr /? for more options

I hope you can now send the output to file easily. Incase of confusion, try this
>sc query | findstr /I service_name > c:\runningservicesonly.txt

To get the names of all the services
>sc query state= all | findstr /I service_name
Note there's no space between space and =; and there's space between = and all.
I don't understand why MS compelled us to do this.

To get display names of inactive or stopped services
>sc query state= inactive | findstr /I display_name

Like net start and stop, you can also start/stop the services using sc

Let's say you know there should be service called apache but you are not sure about the service name and You need it to start or stop the service. Please forget about services.msc. I am trying to focus on CLI.

I typed the following command
>sc query state= all | findstr /I apa
The output being

Now the service Apache2 can be started using
>sc start apache2

To ensure whether it is running or not
>sc query apache2

For extra details,
>sc queryex apache2

To stop
>sc stop apache2

Let's say you delete the apache folder manually but forget to run the script that deletes apache service from MMC. Don't worry if that happens to you, with sc at hand, you can even outrun GUI.
>sc delete apache2

I don't think NT services have horns to get them by, as title says you to. But I hope you are in a position to get them without mouse. Happy getting serviced.

I tried the above commands in Windows XP (SP2). I haven't tried sc in other flavors of windows 2000, XP and 2003. Please find yourself and let others know in case.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I installed greasemonkey extension to firefox long ago but never tried to understand what it is for? though i read that it is very powerful and easy, i found that for the first time today, when i could change the stylesheet of google homepage by installing scripts and enabling greasemonkey... there are many greasemonkey user scripts scattered around the net... with such, you can also disable google ads on website, sometimes very annoying... so you are changing the way the website looks in your firefox browser... the whole concept is amazing... bless greasemonkey...

today i got mail from the google pages to start creating my pages at i just love google..