Microsoft’s New OS Mango Finally Catching up with the Crowd

During their Microsoft’s MIX ’11 conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft announced their upcoming release of Mango, the new Windows Phone OS. Mango is expected this fall. Mango will be Microsoft’s offering to finally compete with the more robust operating systems currently dominating the market — finally bringing features already popular in the market like multitasking.

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Useful Tools for your Ubuntu installation

Ubuntu love: Tools to make your life simple

Photo by Magicfab

Ubuntu LoveTools to make your life simple.

With the advent of the latest release of probably the most preferred Linux distro, Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope), life for a lot of has become simpler. I have been loving the changelog that Ubuntu team works on. With their six-monthly release schedule they come back with better UI, support for new technologies, newer kernel, etc. You may wish to check out the scintillating features of the latest release.

I wonder if a lot of reader know the Ubuntu philosophy which says “I am what I am because of who we all are“. Ubuntu, from its birth has focused on providing a stable, user friendly and easy to install and up to date operating system.

What adds to the glory is the availability of numerous free applications that help you do most of what you’ll need to pay for on a alternative operating system.

The following are a few useful tools which make life simpler;

  1. APTonCD – A tool that can be used to create local repositories for the various downloaded files from the web keeping the dependencies on a DVD/CD intact. This also permits the installation of these packages on another installation without the usage of internet.
  2. CheckGmail – One of the easiest and smallest tool that positions itself in the taskbar and notifies a user whenever there is a new Gmail in the mailbox! On clicking the small notification window, the default browser leads you to Gmail.
  3. Ubuntu Tweak – With the use of wizard based easy to use interface, this tools helps in easy configuration of Ubuntu. This makes a lot of tedious tasks simpler. A must have for noobs.
  4. 3UNetbootin – Well known as Universal NetBoot Installer. It eases the installation on either a HDD partition or a USB drive. Another point worth noting down is that it is available both on Linux and Windows platform.
  5. GSmartControl – Control and monitor storage systems by using Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology System (SMART) which is built in ATA and SCSI hard-disks. By installing this tool, various information about the Hard Disk Drive such as its state, degradation and other parameters is made available for easy viewing.

You may use the inbuilt package manager to search and install these applications with a few mouse clicks.

I could find a lot of other interesting tools as well which help optimizing your Linux installation with their powerful-yet-simple UI. Most of these tools intend to improve the overall performance of the system.

Another key concern for novice users is the presence of hacking element which tend to create vulnerability. You may like to have a look at this interesting Ubuntu Geek article that showcases few tools that help you safeguard your beloved Ubuntu installation gainst security issues and concerns.

Before we close, I would like to share an interesting list of bandwidth monitoring tools for Ubuntu users.

RegExr: Free Online RegEx Testing Tool

Grant Skinner have released a Utility Tool — RegExr, built with Flex 3, and uses ActionScript 3’s built in RegExp engine.

RegExr is an online tool for editing and testing Regular Expressions (RegExp / RegEx). It provides a simple interface to enter RegEx expressions, and visualize matches in real-time editable source text. It also provides a handy RegExp snippet sidebar with descriptions and usage examples to make it easier to learn Regular Expressions through trial and error.
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Actionscript Viewer 4.0 : Review

Actionscript Viewer 4.0

Well, the weekend seems to be a good time to look at new softwares; this time I got ActionScript Viewer 4.0 and the first thing that came to my mind is “Wow! every teenagers dream is here”. Had James Bond been a Flash Developer, he would have been presented ASV 4.0 by “G” long back. On first looking into it, I could see that it had totally stripped the well dressed SWFs naked; I could see everything, the audio files, the bitmaps and more importantly the Actionscript.

The Timeline, Frame, Library, Instance Names, Actionscript, Special Tags are helpful enough to show you how a SWF was constructed and what do they contain. AS2 Mode for Actionscript is another cool feature to view SWF 7 files, just click on the “ActionScript” section and view each and every script for all frames, symbols. The Classes used can be seen, just copy them and study them yourself; you can see how other developers script and learn from them. You can also use the File > Save SWF data as Text … and have all scripts in a single text file complete with the location of the scripts on the frame of the individual MovieClips etcetera.

ActionScript Viewer is a SWF decompiler and resource extractor that lets you view ActionScript embedded in Flash movie files, extract resources and browse the internals of SWF files. ASV is at its fourth incarnation at the time of writing this review. The current version of ASV supports ActionScript in Flash 7 published files and below. The ActionScript are decompiled and converted to text format, which you can then view on screen and are easy to understand, copied and pasted.

ASV have an easy to use interface which displays lists of frame labels, instance names, library symbols; provides a timeline view with context sensitive preview with many options. “ASV can extract most of the resources from SWF files and displays all the necessary information to help you reconstruct a FLA file you have lost. ASV even tries to help reconstructing a FLA file by generating a JSFL command file for Flash MX 2004 to rebuild the FLA“.

JSFL for Rebuild-Data Extraction : One of the cool and striking feature I noticed was that of ASV’s ability to generate a FLA file using JSFL. ASV extracts and saves resources, a readme file and a JSFL command to a folder of your choice, with the intention of helping the reconstruction of the FLA file for the current SWF. Though there are limitations to this, this feature should be able to help you to get a head start for rebuilding many SWF files and can even rebuild some SWF files without any problems. The FLA file for the SWF may not be rebuilt 100% accurately, depending on the content of the SWF file.

ASV works better with Actionscripts in the SWF file have been compiled by Macromedia Flash 3/4/5/MX/MX2004/MX professional 2004, it learnt from reliable sources that it does not always gives a reliable output when Actioncript at Obfuscated by other tools.