Consolidating My Online Presence: This blog is currently on hiatus

There comes a time when you decide to re-brand yourself online and extend your online presence. That’s exactly what I’m doing and working pretty hard to get there. It takes time, but always worth the efforts.

This blog will be on hiatus till i find a use for it. I’m sure I will :)

A new site describing my years in the industry and what I’ll be working on in the near future:

ahadborg

A inner page of my new jekyll blog. I love WordPress, but wanted something new. I love mardown:

lslab

My Jekyll blogs home page:

lslaa

Github for Windows

Github for Windows

I’ve spoken to many developers here in Karachi that have no clue about Github, the awesome open source code collaboration platform for developers. Many of them have expressed their disinterest in fancy commands, push and pull request, clone repositories etc. etc. – learning them can be cumbersome yet fruitful at the end of the day.

There is however a simpler alternative for Windows users where they can clone, share, collaborate, branch and browse popular Github repos. You can develop on Windows and share on Github. A valuable tool indeed, well worth fiddling with and browsing repos in your spare time.

Be sure to find some popular repos, fork them and look through the code examples.

Create, Print and PDF Your Own Custom Book From Wikipedia

On keeping the web open, this is great work by Wikipedia and Pedia Press to enable users to create their own books. You can now find this option on the English Wikipedia home page under “Create A Book.”

That’s it, the book creator has gone live in the English Wikipedia! A few hours ago, the book creator has been made available to all users of the English Wikipedia. This feature, which allows all readers to create books from Wikipedia articles, has been until now only available to logged-in users. It has been available in other Wikipedias for a a longer time, it’s now available on the English Wikipedia, for all, without restrictions.

Aside Note: Available for English version of the Wiki only.

Curl with PHP 5.2.9-2 and Apache 2.2.11 on Windows XP

This is a quick follow up post from Tony Spencers post “cURL with PHP and Apache on Windows.” I’d like to thank him for sharing his knowledge.

The reason i wanted to post this is to clear up any confusion you about getting Curl to work on Windows XP (with PHP 5.2.9-2 and Apache 2.2.11). Most likely this solution will work with all versions of PHP5 and Apache 2.2.x and if you are running XAMPP you can check how easy it is to >> enable << .

Getting Curl to Work!!

  1. First thing to do is to have the development environment installed locally on your computer. I have one at the office with installed without the installer and one here at home with the installer. For all intensive purposes lets concentrate on using php/apache installed with the MSI installer. If you got that going thats great, if not head on over to this >> Tutorial to install your local development << (the manual way with the installer) If you got it installed already head on over to the next point
  2. Next thing you need to do (after your installation) is to check your phpinfo() file. If you don’t have one make one and load it up on your local web-server. It should look like the screen below:
    Php.ini showing Curl extension

    If you don’t see your Curl extension in phpinfo() after trying to find it I suggest you install php again using the installer. Make sure your ENABLE all extensions/features in your installation as you will get an option to do so. (install all features please) If you explore the extension features in your install dialogue box you will see CURL there. This my friends is the key to the problem. If the installer gives you the option for less headache then use it. Did I mention that you can also rerun the installer and choose “Change”, then add the CURL extension?!

  3. Once you have installed properly and find the Curl extension in your phpinfo() screen make sure to copy these files from your PHP root directory (mine was D:\Program Files\PHP) to your c:\windows\system32:
    libeay32.dll
    ssleay32.dll

    Also make sure that a copy of php5ts.dll is also in your Apache/bin directory
  4. Last step is to uncomment this line curl: extension=php_curl.dll in your php.ini file. That should do it for you and hopefully everything worked out right!
  5. To test that Curl is actually working use this snippet of code and drop it in to your server root (usually htdocs):
    [php]

    [/php]

    Try this as well to display feeds from your blog (where $sXML = show_feeds(‘put the url of your blog here/atom’)
    [php]
    foreach($oXML->entry as $oEntry) {
    echo $oEntry->title . “\n”;
    }
    ?>
    [/php]

  6. If you see the the rss feed of Google then you are done! Change the output to ‘html’ and you will see the RSS feed displayed properly in html.

Scripting Twitter with cURL via Command Line

Ok the above explanation shows you how to use Curl and PHP together to build applications based on API’s that you would like to hook into. It doesn’t mean that you have Curl installed in your command like prompt where you can actually see the XML.

To do that is quite simple. Go over to http://curl.haxx.se/download.html and download the the Win32 Generic (7.19.4) by Dirk Paehl. Go ahead and extract it to a local folder (I extracted it to D:\Program Files\Curl).

Next open up the command prompt and cd into the same directory you extracted it into. Now just type in curl at the prompt to make sure the command is recoginized
Curl at the CMD line

If you want to easily overcome the shortcomings of Twitter’s API us this command below:

curl --basic --user username:password --data status="Checking out Curl!!" http://twitter.com/statuses/update.xml
//replace username:password with your user name and password

You should end up with this below:
Scripting status update

So by now you should have a good idea of how Curl works with Apache and PHP as well as on the command line. The way i explained above should work straight out of the box. Good Luck!

Awesome! – Portable Ubuntu Shell In Windows (XP, Vista, 7)

Portable Ubuntu

So you have heard of Linux and one of its most popular flavors (Ubuntu) and want to try it out on your Windows system? (Most people probably don’t know what Linux is and where it came from.) So, if you are new to Linux I just wanted to quickly mention that the name is derived from Linus Torvalds (the creator of Linux) a kick-ass Software Engineer and Computer Scientist from Finland. Learn more about him!

To make a long story short Ubuntu is a community developed operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. Whether you use it at home, at school or at work Ubuntu contains all the applications you’ll ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools.

Ubuntu is and always will be free of charge. You do not pay any licensing fees. You can download, use and share Ubuntu with your friends, family, school or business for absolutely nothing.

INSTALLING PORTABLE UBUNTU ON WINDOWS XP

The installation procedure is simple enough. Goto http://portableubuntu.demonccc.com.ar/ and download from the Souce Forge Site.

Next drop that application file into your local hard-drive or on a USB or flash drive (choice is yours). Run the application (Double click on the Portable_Ubuntu.exe icon and it will self extract).

Lets stick to the easiest way to get started. Once you have extracted the files either use your CMD prompt (Command Line Prompt) to run the portable_ubuntu.bat file or double click on portable_ubuntu.bat to start the Operating System. The portable_ubuntu.bat can be found where you extracted the application.

Once you have done that you should see screens similar to the one below of the installation process. Dont worry about any errors at this stage, it should work straight out of the box.
Screenshot of Install process

All you have to do after the install is complete is to watch out for the rectangular Ubuntu Dockable Palette on your desktop – it looks just like the screen below. You can drag it around and Portable Ubuntu lets you work with Dual monitors too!

Dockable Floating Window

Thats it you are done. Now you can have an Ubuntu Shell right in your Windows operating system. Note that Portable Ubuntu does work on Windows Vista and Seven, however you have to log on as the administrator to prevent security issues.

Check out some of these links as a reference in case you run into problems:

http://lifehacker.com/5195999/portable-ubuntu-runs-ubuntu-inside-windows
http://portableubuntu.demonccc.cloudius.com.ar/documentationhttp://www.pendrivelinux.com/portable-qemu-persistent-ubuntu-linux/
www.howtoforge.com/running-ubuntu-on-windows-xp-with-portable-ubuntu