Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It was a very good year - 2013

The best thing that happened in 2013 was the miraculous recovery of our dog Oliver (Shar Pei, Shih Tzu mix with a black elongated tongue) from breathing problems which was troubling him since the day he was born. He recovered and is now enjoying the sunshine and the breeze in Honolulu.

All my blogs, four of them had increased readership to something like over a few hundred page views a day. I have not had the time to post to two of them which I hope to improve in 2014.

Hodentek is generic and HodentekMSSS  is 100% SQL Server

The book I had started writing in December 2012 got finished in the middle of 2013. This was the second edition, or the second avatar of my first book on SQL Server Reporting Services published in 2008. I managed to pack-in the SharePoint services providing Reporting Services 2012 as a service. This really gave completeness and justified the writing. Microsoft is relentless in its releases and I am not sure how many have adopted SQL Server 2012 (already SQL Server 2014 is in CTP2) and I am sure quite many are still on 2000 and 2005.

Honolulu is a haven for tourists and the scantily clad crowd but can get boring if you have to live. I was getting to the stage when I wanted to do something more engaging. In November 2013, Pacific Center for Advanced Technical Training provided me the opportunity to teach a non-credit introductory course on Structured Query Language. Some five professionals signed up and the course went very well to my satisfaction. I will be offering this course and one on SQL Server Reporting Services again in early 2014.

Finally the to do list for 2014:
  • Keep up the long walks, Yoga and the Surya Namaskaras
  • Improve my posts
  • Work on my website
  • Teach the course and add other courses
  • Travel

Monday, December 30, 2013

Big Data generation 1: India's Aadhar Project

For a previous post on Hodentek follow this link here:

By December 6, 2013 Aadhar had captured demographic and biometric data of over 500,000,000 Indian residents for India's Unique Identification project. This is the largest biometric database in the world. as in everything else there are critics and the criticism has been directed against choosing MongoDB for data capture and Management. MongoDB is a document-centric, NoSQL database which relies on tables allowing easy integration with some applications. It has been used by many organizations besides GOI (Government of India's Aadhar)such as eBay, New York Times and others. The reason for criticism is that MongoDB raised funding from in-Q-Tel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-Q-Tel). Presently it appears most of the data is stored on MySQL (found good for scalable demographic data) and perhaps still some on MongoDB for images.



Leaving aside these political developments UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) is an ambitious project that will make life easy for its inhabitants by reducing the time it takes for the citizens to avail of the entitlements which in the past has been brokered by middlemen with vested interests and corrupt businesses. This is just the beginning.

Present size of database is around 5 petabytes which may grow to 15 petabytes.

Even as the database is growing it has already been used to link up 40 million bank accounts to make payments easier. More APPS are in the works to leverage this humongous database.

This was also recently aired on US TV on CNN as 'Fareed Zakaria to take viewers to India on Sunday for a look at a nation at crossroads' where he interviews tech entrepreneur Nandan Nilkeni.

Nandan Nilekeni on Aadhar

Here are some highlights of Aadhar showing screen shots and videos:

This post is basically made to bring to Hodentek audience who might have missed (the Aadhar news or Zakaria's TV show) this important technical development in India which touches upon Big Data Generation. Any use of the graphics used in this post are governed by the terms of use as referred to here:

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Impact of social media on recent political happenings in India

Not only American elections but elections worldwide and political changes have been influenced by  the tremendous amount of sway social media have on public emotions that includes the 'Arab spring'. This post was inspired by a New York Times article that appeared a few days ago.

Google Hangouts have been used by Non-Resident Indians to bring about ground breaking changes to how business is run in India especially targeting corruption and ushering in new leaders and parties to end this scourge.

One incident of recent time that is noteworthy is the election of Kejri Lal of Aam Aadmi party to the post of chief minister of Delhi.

Google, Facebook and Twitter have contributed to make this happen with a great deal of crowd sourcing efforts and personal participation of overseas Indians in USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany and other places where Indian diaspora have found their homes.  

The growth and proliferation of social media and the availability of mobile devices have forever changed the World and politics is no more localized.


This image was screen captured from the above site:

Friday, December 27, 2013

SQL Training in Honolulu: Introduction to Structured Query Language (SQL)

The above course will be offered again as a non-credit course by the Pacific Center for Advanced Technology Training.

Course summary:
Databases, organized repositories of information, have become indispensable in today's world. In this introductory course you will learn about relational databases and the basics of Structured Query Language (SQL) including sorting; grouping result sets; using DDL, DML, DCL, and TCL. All SQL statements will initially be written for one table. Most practical, modern and relational databases will include a large number of tables and SQL queries have to access information from several tables. This course will then introduce you to querying more than one table. With this skill you will be able to query two or more tables in a database. This is a hands-on course which will take you from installing SQL Server 2012; learning the ins and outs of SQL Server Management Studio and of course a full dose of SQL.

The course covers most of the requirements to take Microsoft’s latest certification (98-364), the Microsoft Technology Associate.  During each meeting the students will be assessed for their knowledge, competency and proficiency in SQL.

Feb 4 - Mar 6, 2014; Tuesdays and Thrusdays; 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm; 10 mtgs

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Can you deploy a Data-tier component extracted from SQL Server 2014 CTP1 to SQL Server 2012?

This should not be possible according to documentation here  and quoted below unless the DAC Framework version are the same.

'A DAC package or export file built with one version of the DAC Framework cannot be processed by an earlier version of the DAC Framework. For example, a DAC package extracted using the SQL Server 2012 client tools cannot be deployed using the SQL Server 2008 R2 client tools.'

This post is about a little experiment to test the validity of the above statement. In an earlier post in HodentekMSSS.blogspot.com here a .dac extracted from SQL Server 2012 was deployed to CTP1:


The above post was about a DAC package extracted from SQL Server 2012 Express on Windows 7 Platform (x64) and deployed to SQL Server 2014 CTP1 on Windows 8 Preview platform.

In this post the database created using the above procedure was extracted and deployed back to SQL Server 2012 Express on the other partition. This was also successful in violation of the previously quoted procedure.

The reason was the DAC Framework versions were found to be the same on both servers using the DacUnpack utility.

The DacUnpack utility unpacks the .dac files. Here are the two files opened in Safari browser.

Northwind.dacpack's Origin.xml false 4e266c18-42ec-4e0c-b3ce-5894ab3f1cd1 2013-12-09T15:29:51.5237832-10:00 0001-01-01T00:00:00.0000000 Microsoft.SqlServer.Dac, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a 11.0.2902.0 http://schemas.microsoft.com/sqlserver/dac/Serialization/2012/02 

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 - 11.0.2218.0 (X64) Jun 12 2012 13:05:25 Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation Express Edition (64-bit) on Windows NT 6.1 <X64> (Build 7601: Service Pack 1) 

8 103 1 9 13 27 1 1 13 91 100 11 1 19


NorthwindCTP1.dacpack's Origin.xml (obtained after unpacking) false c1c8859f-2548-4873-a550-b322e63d5ef4 2013-12-26T10:09:30.4691845-10:00 0001-01-01T00:00:00.0000000 Microsoft.SqlServer.Dac, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a http://schemas.microsoft.com/sqlserver/dac/Serialization/2012/02 
Microsoft SQL Server 2014 (CTP1) - 11.0.9120.5 (X64) Jun 10 2013 20:09:10 Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation Enterprise Evaluation Edition (64-bit) on Windows NT 6.2 <X64> (Build 9200: ) (Hypervisor) 
8 103 1 9 13 27 1 1 13 9 1 100 111 19


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Did a Chinese phone manufacturer preempt Apple in China?

The company Goophone has cloned Apple's 5 phones by just looking at the leaked photos of Apple design. It appears they even patented the design in China even before Apple's release which will make it very difficult for Apple to get in.  It may be noted that the decline of Nokia in Asia was often quoted as being related to Chinese cheap know outs.

On the plus side, the Chinese Goophone has impressive specifications even rivaling Apple's. I will not be surprised that you will soon find this cheap knock-out (I would not call it that as it deserves more respect vis-a-vis its specifications) coming into USA any time soon.

Follow the story here, if you have missed,

More story with Goophone i5 specifications and some graphics here,


A tablet for under $50 (http://hodentek.blogspot.com/2013/12/a-tablet-under-50-can-you-believe.html) and now an iPhone better-than-look-alike for under $300. Where is the bottom?.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A tablet under $50, Can you believe?

These things can only happen in India (also in China). This tablet is going to get into the hands of all the students in India as it is also subsidized to some extent. The version to be released in early 2014 is Aakaash 4 (Aakaash means SKY in Sanskrit). The earlier versions were manufactured by Datawind of UK but there are more than 11 bidders for the new version according to Indian Web Sites.

You will find more information here,


But here are some pictures of some of the models.

The above picture is screen captured from this site:

The above is from the following site:
This one from the following site:
Don't you worry, they are getting there!


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Coffee, anybody with VS2013?

Coffee is perceived as an elegant programming language that compiles a script file with extension .coffee to a  Javascipt file (.js).  Bing it and you can find lot more references.

The Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Exprees for Web seems to include access to a new item with the extension .Coffee as shown here.

However it is not supported on Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Exprees for Web. It is supposed to work with extensions such as Web Essentials 2013 (free) which can be downloaded from here:

or using the Mindscape Web Workbench from here ( a free and not so free version):

However, you cannot add these extensions to Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Exprees for Web.
I failed to install although I tried both. The last few lines of the installation log is reproduced here,

12/22/2013 1:33:17 PM - Microsoft VSIX Installer
12/22/2013 1:33:17 PM - -------------------------------------------
12/22/2013 1:33:17 PM - Initializing Install...
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM - Extension Details...
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -  Identifier      : 5fb7364d-2e8c-44a4-95eb-2a382e30fec8
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -  Name            : Web Essentials 2013
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -  Author          : Mads Kristensen
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -  Version         : 1.5
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -  Description     : Adds many useful features to Visual Studio for web developers.
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -  Locale          : en-US
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -  MoreInfoURL     : http://vswebessentials.com/
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -  InstalledByMSI  : False
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -  SupportedFrameworkVersionRange : [4.5]
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -  Supported Products :
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -   Microsoft.VisualStudio.Pro
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -    Version : [12.0]
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -  References      :
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -   -------------------------------------------------------
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -   Identifier   : Microsoft.VisualStudio.MPF.12.0
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -   Name         : Visual Studio MPF 12.0
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -   Version      : [12.0,13.0)
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -   MoreInfoURL  :
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -   Nested       : No
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM -
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM - Searching for applicable products...
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM - Found installed product - Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Shell - Integrated Mode
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM - Found installed product - Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2013 for Web
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM - Found installed product - Global Location
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM - Found installed prodsiouct - ssms
12/22/2013 1:33:18 PM - VSIXInstaller.NoApplicableSKUsException: This extension is not installable on any currently installed products.
   at VSIXInstaller.App.InitializeInstall()
   at System.Threading.Tasks.Task.InnerInvoke()
   at System.Threading.Tasks.Task.Execute()
A similar install log was generated for the Mindscape Web Workbench.

I might have missed something, let me know if you succeeded.

Well, I have only the express edition, I go and get my coffee from somewhere else. Of course not, from Starbucks, coffee is way too much roasted for my taste.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Microsoft BI and Power Query

Power Query adds one more arrow to Microsoft's BI strategy. This time around Power Query provides  the hooks to connecting to a variety data sources over encrypted/unencrypted connections. Processing of the raw data from tables can be carried out using the controls on the Query Editor.  Power View if installed can be used to produce dazzling adhoc reports.

Some details of Power Query were posted here:

After installing the add-in you can easily connect to SQL Server (in this case SQL Server 2012) and generate a query easily as shown in the next image,

You can further process the query with built-in controls and save to workbook. The present MS Excel version is 32 bit and Power View is not installed.

Step-by-step procedure working with Power Query can be found here:


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Get performance analysis of your site with this free tool from Compuware

                 Compuware APM AJAX version 4.3 Edition gives a very comprehensive view of the performance of your web application, be it a site, a blog or anything on the internet which can be accessed with an URL. You can quickly trace and profile web apps and understand performance characteristics, hot spots, loading times, and many more. Finding what is causing performance is one of the key things one wants to know and how their pages render is always of concern.
Review the full capabilities here:

This edition, 'Compuware AJAX Edition Version 4.3' is free and you can download it from here and start off with a msi file.

All you need to do is install, launch and point it to an URL of the site you want to trace, voila it is done.

Here are few screen shots that may help you out. I did try to see how my blog loads on IE 10 and MOZILLA 25.
You start from Step 1

This launches your chosen browser and the rest of the processing you do not even see. The results are available in the navigational side as shown above.
 Here is what I found for my blog on two of the browsers on my computer.

This is a summary of report and you can go to each of the KPI's and look at the details.
While you are on this page, review the following link:


You have a Mac but you are pining for Windows

No problem.
Parallels can make you happy and make your dream come true. Now you can run windows on your MAC easily with Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac (~$80). Here is a link you may want to follow:

It is not one or the other, but both side-by-side like good buddies. You can just about do anything, drag and drop files from one to the other, launch windows applications and so on.

Here is a video from Parallels site.


Parallels (Parallels' 'Hyper Visor') has passed Microsoft's Server Virtualization Validation Program. Now it is Kosher.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Celebrate Christmas and improve your resume

What does $5 buy in Honolulu or, for that matter anywhere in USA?
  • You can't buy lunch for $5
  • Two cups of coffee costs more than $5 and I am not talking about quality coffee.
  • One only 2lb Pomegranate costs over $8
  • The minimum is $5 (to and fro, or both ways) to get on to TheBus
and so on.

Packt is offering you for $5 any eBook or Video for $5.
  • Isn't that generous?
  • isn't thus very Christian thing? Think about it.
Was it not Desiderius Eramus who said, I quote,
"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.
Well, you get what I am driving at.
 Help yourself to any eBook or Video from my publisher, Packt Publications for a paltry $5.

From December 19th, Packt Publicatons customers will be able to get any eBook or Video from Packt for just $5. This sale covers every title in the 1700+ range and customers can grab as many as they like until January 3rd 2014 – more information is available at http://bit.ly/1jdCr2W 



Microsoft Cloud OS Network is launched

This post is a mini brief note (my version) of Microsoft Post on their TechNet site,

Microsoft launched the Cloud OS Network to day. Cloud Operating System - CloudOS has a network of more than 25 cloud service providers (CSV's) who will deliver hosted services built on Microsoft Cloud Platform consisting of:
  • Windows Servers with Hyper-V
  • System Center
  • Windows Azure Pack

When business needs are top priority businesses can keep mission critical data applications locally on premises and choose to use the storage and computing in the cloud when needed. This gives them the liberty of having not tied down to just the cloud based service. This network delivers the Cloud OS vision of Microsoft.

Watch this video from the above site (try IE 11, Mozilla or Chrome);

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I don't mind Cortana to be my digital assistant

I look forward to Cortana.

If this is what Cortana looks like,

then I don't mind at all.
Windows Phone 8.1 updates the present phone. According to rumor mill (not so unlikely rumor), Windows Phone 8.1 with Personal Digital Assistant Cortana should be available as early as April 2014. This may coincide with the build conference.

Cortana can easily challenge 'Siri' and 'Now'.

More info here:

Monday, December 16, 2013

Data from SQL Anywhere 16 using Microsoft Query


In a number of previous posts we have seen how to access data on SQL Anywhere 16 using either ODBC with OpenOffice or ADO.NET connectivity. Follow the links here:

Connecting to SQL Anywhere 16 from MS Excel has some obvious advantages and the first thing that comes to mind is to crunch numbers and using other powerful tools of Excel such as graphing and Power Pivot.

Microsoft's Microsoft Query offers the easiest route to getting data out of SQL Anywhere 16. This posts shows how you can do it.

Microsoft Query requires an ODBC connection. When you install SQL Anywhere 16  Developer's edition, a ODBC DSN is added to the ODBC Manager screen.

The data comes into MS EXCEL very fast and very easily as shown. The image below shows all the columns (unfiltered, un sorted) from the Contacts table in the demo application that accompanies the SQL Anywhere 16 download.

The detailed steps are available here:



Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sorry to let you go, Lawrence nay Peter

One of my favorite actor is dead. I feel sad at his demise but as somebody said he did everything he wanted. What is there to live for?. Here to you, one for the journey!

His stellar performance in 'Lawrence of Arabia' was most impressive. His other movie, I liked, 'How to steal a million' was equally entertaining with another great star who is no more, 'Audrey Hepburn'.

I did not get to see, 'Molokai' but I enjoyed 'Becket' immensely with the other great actor I liked, 'Richard Burton'. It is very difficult to come across a serious (but irreverent) and flamboyant actor like Peter.

What is Microsoft Power Query?

Sharpen you BI skill set!!

It is an Microsoft Excel add-in that is intended to enhance the Business Intelligence that you can carry out as it provides a simplified path to discover the data and access it. Once discovered the dat can be analyzed in EXCEL. It also has a US only Public search feature.
It is available in both x32 and x64 bit versions.
Features of Power Query:
The following types of data can be discovered,
  • Relational databases
  • Excel Spread sheets
  • Data in text
  • XML data
  • OData Feeds
  • Web Pages,
  • Hadoop HDFS and many others
You can mash up data from different sources and can be analyzed by Power Pivot and EXCEL.

It is supported on Windows 7, Windows 8. With .NET 3.5 SP1 it is also supported on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008

You would also require,
Office 2013 professional plus
Office 2013 standalone
Excel 2013 Standalone
Office 2010 Professional Plus

Power Query is different from MS Query. How different? Follow this link:

Here is the ribbon tab for POWER QUERY

Here is how you access data or discover it.
Yet another great tool to work with.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Animated comics with Manga Studio

It is claimed as numero uno when it comes to comic software. You be the judge by giving it a try.
Manga is serious business in Japan and cannot travel in Japan not noticing the Manga afficonados skimming pages and pages of Manga magazine. Mostly comic but often with risque motifs focusing on the latest in bravado, heroism, cruelty, reglogiosity and you name it. It is no wonder it is the Manga center of the world.
My class mates in Japan started the day with skimming a few pages of the then popular Mangas before getting on to more serious tasks of the day. It was the daily routine.

Manga studio has great products, Manga Studio 5, Anime Studio, and Poser which can be accessed at the following links:

http://manga.smithmicro.com/  - one stop solution to creating stunning manga(comics)

http://anime.smithmicro.com/  - Comprehensive support for creating movies, cartoons and film animations

Here is an example:

http://poser.smithmicro.com/  - Create relaistic, professional 3D artwork, it also comes with canned content for rapid creations

Interesting Poser Video here:

You can download a trial copy(I think!). Give it a try and see.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

What is Neo4J?

It is billed as the 'World's Leading Graph Database'.
It is a different kind of database if you are thinking about relational databases like SQL Server, Oracle etc. Graph database is all about nodes(vertex) and relationships(edges)between nodes. Both nodes and relationships have properties. On the surface it does not seem to have the rigidity of relational databases in terms of integrity relationships, but I have only skimmed the surface. If relational databases are synonymous with set theory, the Graph databases seems to lean on graph theory. These considerations apart it appears to be well suited for social networking and non-structured data. Well it may not be a good fit for relational data. Who knows the 'relational people' may add other hooks to do the same.

Get yourself acquainted with this powerful database technology here:

Download and try. The file size is small  (x64 bit version is 65.4 MB) and easy to install. It does not work on IE right now, but only on Mozilla, Chrome and some others. Looks like they are going to include IE as well in the future. The server comes up on my IE 10; can see the documentation but cannot work with objects. 
This one on Mozilla.

The querying the database is called traversing the nodes, consists of hopping as it were from node to node. It has its own query language which is called Cypher which borrows some concepts from SQL and you write commands using a shell.  The web based server has a navigational side to it which can be used to do the coding and viewing responses.

Hey, download and do a test drive



Word of caution

The browser may come up asking to download some JAVA upgrade. Watch out, you may be downloading all sorts of programs you may not need or you will be spending energy to uninstall. Probably the upgrade is not needed, I am not sure. Before the 'Java' was run the Neo4J was working!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

The death of Office and rebirth of Office 365

The birth/death cycle is eternal. Microsoft is one of those companies, which in my humble opinion should have taken up the icon of Phoenix - the bird that always come come back.


I think it was a brilliant idea to take Office to the cloud. Google was angling to kill Microsoft by providing office lookalikes that can be accesed over the Internet. Well it was barely successful. With full backing of Microsoft resources, Office 365 will dominate web just like Office dominated the desktop. Well, Microsoft saw the demise of many nice programs like Word, Lotus 1-2-3, Harvard Graphics and many others, but that is history-RIP.

Keep reading:
DMCA.com Protection Status