Sunday, May 31, 2015

Google I/O concludes with a deluge of products/fun stuff

Google I/O 2015 just concluded (May 25-29) recently at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco, CA. Google has been very productive with lots of stuff battling in many fronts. Looks like almost every other similar vendor has comes out with a plethora of awesome to near awesome products/Services/fun stuff. It has been hectic everywhere.

Here are some highlights:

Android M
With emphasis on Security rather than look and feel. Finger print scanning (Windows 10 from Microsoft-finger print + facial recognition), and significant restrictions of app's data access
capability by implementing privacy controls. It is still in preview but will be released in the fall of 2015. What does M stand for - perhaps more of the same? App Links in Android M makes it easier to
link between apps by improving discoverability. Androids DOZE feature is aimed at battery consumption. If the device is inactive for a set period of time, the device goes to sleep with minimum
energy consumption making it significantly better than Android L.

Now on Tap
Bring your own pitchers-kidding. "Now" was already there but adding on TAP make it much more appealing and immediate. Does it and can it compete with Our assistant of the Web - Cortana? Let's wait and see.
One thing that makes it easier with Now on TAP is that you need not ask to get the contextual information related to whatever you are doing (this is what I understand!), it is near automatic.

Virtual reality enters everyday life with the Google's Cardboard gadget. Google wants to make it affordable and easy to use, It has competition in the virtual reality arena from others such as
Microsoft's RoomAlive (
corporations-mind-bending-plans-for-virt.aspx), Facebook, Sony (Project Orpheus). With Microsoft and Sony with their focus on Gaming, Cardboard might have a stiffer competition. Will Google's
Jump can take on RoomAlive? Wait and see.

Photo Storage
Google Photo offers unlimited storage for free. This is an insane offer that will definitely upset Apple and Microsoft who charge something in the range of $84(Microsoft) and $100(Apple)n store
images on their cloud services (

Android Pay
Google wallet did not make much of a headway and now comes Android Pay which allows Android M Users to pay with their credit card information tokenized. It is not a replacement for Google Wallet
which is going to morph into a new avatar for peer-to-peer payments. This is going to vie with Apple Pay and with Microsoft's aspirations to get into this field with SoftCard (

Google Maps going offline

In USA it's perhaps OK you can get connected fast to Internet but to get connected to Google Maps on the Internet is not so easy for some other countries. Going offline will help this, but how effective is it going to be notwithstanding Google's resources. This will be very similar to others operating
offline, like YouTube in some Asian countries.

Brillo for home automation via Internet; Weave to establish
communication between devices; UniversalAPP and education directed
Android 101 were other announcements.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Installing SQL Server 2016 CTP2

Download the files from here:
The details of the downloaded files are shown


Double click the executable (extension .exe) to begin the installation.
Location of extracted files:


The install directory contents are as shown.

The SQL Server Installation Center opens.

Read all these details and click Installation navigation on the left hand side.
Installation page opens as shown:

Click on the item "New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation" This starts a wizard to install SQL Server 2016 CTP2 in a non-clustered environment.
Processing window shows up briefly and the product key page appears as shown.
You can choose either the Enterprise or the Express edition.
For now the Evaluation edition is chosen (later I should remember to add an Express edition as well).
Click Next to go to the License Terms page.


Place check mark to accept terms and click next.
Global rules are checked including Product updates and goes quickly to install setup files. Finally the Install rules are checked as shown.


Here are details (Click link in the above) of Rules Check Msg.

Close out warning by clicking OK and click next.
In the setup role that gets displayed shown next, choose the default-SQL Server Feature Installation.

Click Next on the above page.
Feature Selection page is displayed. In the feature selection page choose 'Select All'. Choose each of the features in the features window and look up in the feature description pane all the details. You can find the install directory. You may need to know this directory when it comes to uninstalling. Note it down.
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\
The shared feature directory is on (x86) folder.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Start evaluating SQL Server 2016 CTP2 now

Starting May 27 you can download your own copy of SQL Server 2016 Community
Technology Preview 2 from this site:

Since it's lifetime is 120 days download right away to test drive. You can
download a CAB file or an ISO file. I believe there is a virtual image on the
Microsoft Azure cloud as well.

SQL Server 2016 has taken a big, big step in what it can offer compared to the
previous versions.

Here are some of the big steps.

It offers a whole lot of benefits listed here from a
Microsoft site:

◾Enhanced in-memory performance provide up to 30x faster transactions, more
than 100x faster queries than disk based relational databases and real-time
operational analytics
◾New Always Encrypted technology helps protect your data at rest and in motion,
on-premises and in the cloud, with master keys sitting with the application,
without application changes
◾Built-in advanced analytics– provide the scalability and performance benefits
of building and running your advanced analytics algorithms directly in the core
SQL Server transactional database
◾Business insights through rich visualizations on mobile devices with native
apps for Windows, iOS and Android
◾Simplify management of relational and non-relational data with ability to
query both through standard T-SQL using PolyBase technology
◾Stretch Database technology keeps more of your customer’s historical data at
your fingertips by transparently stretching your warm and cold OLTP data to
Microsoft Azure in a secure manner  without application changes
◾Faster hybrid backups, high availability and disaster recovery scenarios to
backup and restore your on-premises databases to Microsoft Azure and place your
SQL Server AlwaysOn secondaries in Azure
You can get it for both x32 and x64 bit architectures.

SQL Server 2016 CTP2 CAB file:
Download the following files from the Evaluation Center to a temporary directory on your device:


Once the download has completed, extract the zip files then double click on the SQLServer2016CTP2-<architecture>-<language>.exe to begin the installation process.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Learn Azure RemoteApp Core Skills for free

Jump the skill gap and what is better, do not pay for it.

Read now and get yourself ready with preliminaries:

You can register for this event at this site here.

The live event (Microsoft Virtual Academy) is in Redmond and if you are in Honolulu it starts at 6:00 AM on June 11, 2015. Get ready.

What are you going to learn if you are getting up so early in LuLu?

"Learn the skills required to help employees stay productive anywhere on a variety of devices, Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, or Android. With Microsoft Azure RemoteApp, your company’s applications run on Windows Server in the Azure cloud, where they’re easier to scale and update. Users can access their applications remotely from their Internet-connected laptop, tablet, or phone, and apps appear to run on users’ local devices. Join us for the details, plus helpful demos and practical tips.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Nigerian Non-banking Company goes to Azure Cloud

Meristem Securities Limited and the subsidiaries from its group, the Meristem Group has taken most of their services to Microsoft Azure. They have saved considerably dollar-wise and operational-wise by moving into the cloud and adopting Microsoft Azure SQL Database and Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Their move was motivated, besides getting into the modern way of doing business, by the problems they encountered with custom software and the inconsistency in electrical power availability which required running diesel-generator sets.

By adopting Microsoft Azure they could better attend to the five subsidiaries geographically separated in Lagos as well as at other locations.

Recently they have also gotten on to Office 365 which integrates with other components besides providing the access and use of OneDrive.

Read the full story here:

Monday, May 18, 2015

Installing Arduino IDE on Windows 8.1

I was able to work with Arduino UNO using Visual Studio 2013 Community edition (here and here). However, when I wanted to install the Arduino IDE to run on Windows 8.1 Professional, the drivers that came with latest nightly builds (Arduino 1.6.4) did not work. In the device manager I could not find the ports and all that I could see was the node for 'Other devices' having an unknown device. I later found that the driver would work for Window 7 but not on Windows 8.1.

The version appropriate for Windows 8 was an earlier version which I found in the release notes.


The download of the drivers was on a Google site shown here.


I downloaded the zip file, arduino-1.0.5-r2-windows. The extracted folder has the same kind of folder structure as the other versions as shown here:


From the driver's folder installed the following:   dpinst-amd64.exe 


Now I could see the ports in the device manager as shown:


The Arduino UNO's IDE can now be started as shown:


Clicking Yes and choosing the latest opens up the IDE in the more recent version


With so many boards and supported OSs, it can consume time to find the right thing.

Reading serial port with PowerShell:

Windows 10: The story of the hardware

The story leading up to Windows 10 and a detailed description in great detail is discussed
by Don Box. (at WinHEC Shenzen in China)of Microsoft.

Review this link for full details:
Several screen shots (not all) of the talk are included if you want to skip the video (about an hour) for any reason. The power point slides are well made and need no explanation.

Same program running on different hardware devices :Demo

Significant items from the talk(from above site):
  •  The Windows 10 device platform allows IHVs to develop a single universal driver that can be deployed across all Windows 10 device families (e.g. PCs, phones, IoT)
  • The Windows 10 device platform provides new tools and techniques to reduce the cost and complexity of imaging and manufacturing Windows 10 devices.
  • In-market and new hardware development boards will support Windows 10 and Windows universal drivers.
  • Windows 10 will include a new IoT edition for small devices that is tuned to run Windows universal apps and drivers and is royalty free to makers and device builders.

You may need the latest Silverlight Installed.
X Protection Status