Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Deep learning AI with Caffe2GO

You create a video and you want it the way Picasso or Monet would have visualized it. Can it be done? The answers appears to be answered by Facebook's Caffe2Go. It was easy with stills as many programs do it, but with a video it is another thing.

Caffe2Go is supposed to be third iteration of AI, the deep learning. This was possible earlier with big machines and lots of computing power, since the program has to learn the myrid images that these great artists envisioned it could not have been done otherwise. But to do it on the phone in the palm of your hand, that is something that Facebook seems to have pulled off, with the Facebook app Caffe2Go.

It is a deep learning platform on the mobile phone. The app takes the style of the artist and transforms the input video, it is basically a style transformer.

Here is a demo of this deep learning app:

Monday, May 29, 2017

Creating Full-Text Catalog in SQL Server 2016 SP1

A full-text catalog is a logical container where a group of full-text indexes are stored. A full-text catalog is needed before you can create a full-text index. Full-text catalog is a virtual object and does not belong to the file group.

In order to text search a full-text index will be needed. For example, the Categories table in Northwind does not have a full-text indexed column. If you try to create a Full-Text indexed column you will get this error:
Msg 9967, Level 16, State 1, Line 11
A default full-text catalog does not exist in database 'Northwind' or user does not have permission to perform this action.


You can create a Full-text catalog using the SQL Server Management Studio or using Transact-SQL(T-SQL)
Here is how it is created for Northwind database in SQL Server 2016 using T-SQL

USE Northwind
Create FULLTEXT CATALOG ftCat_Nwind as default

Before the above statement was run there was no Catalog:

After the above statement was processed the named catalog was created:

You can access the properties as shown here

All tables and views are eligible and you can assign the objects to the Catalog by transferring using the > button.

Creating a Full-Text catalog for Northwind using SQL Server Management Studio is easy. Right click Full-Text Catalogs in the Storage node and provide a name for the catalog and a owner. Choose the accent sensitivity and click OK to create.

The Catalog gets created as shown.

Is this the end of the story? No

Although SQL Server 2016 SP1 allows you to create a Full-Text Catalog, you will find it missing in the System Views as in the following query.

This feature has not improved even from the older versions. It has not been fixed and the error messages that you get such as the following does not give a clue.

Property IsAccentSensitive is not available for the Full-Text catalog <catalog name>
Property PopulationStatus is not available for FullTextCatalog <catalog name>

The reason for this error is that the Full-Text feature was not installed in the first place.
Watch the video and review features not installed:


Saturday, May 27, 2017

BitLocker behaving badly

This is the classic example of getting out of one problem and getting into another.

I had the virus problem (probably the ransomeware except that I did not click on any link and the threatening page did not go away after a reboot, etc.) on my Toshiba tablet with Windows 10 and decided to System Reset to clean the tablet. It went through the process and now requesting entering of a recovery key. There is a Key ID on the tablet (8 alphanumeric characters) and if I try to enter I get a basic numeric keypad like on a calculator with keys marked with only numbers.
It may work if I can enter. But how can I enter this 8 character ID using this calculator-like numeric keypad? and Drive Label with a date.

The tablet is on a Wi-Fi network with 3 other laptops (two running Windows 10 Pro and the other Windows 7 Pro)

It turns out that I am supposed to have a key and what was shown above was the KeyID (only the first part of it). The key itself is all numeric with 48 characters.

Finally I used the manage-bde commandline command to see what is going on.
Finally using manage-bde, I could find out that I have only the recovery key id without a recovery key.

What surprises me is that I never meddled with BitLocker as I do not have great secrets to guard. How come the BitLocker was locked in the first place? I toook the tablet to the Microsoft Store where they might be able to find some thing.

 It is not I don't have a key, I believe there never was one!

It is still puzzling, that since I did not lock the machine with BitLocker, who did?

According to Microsoft Store, when I signed into Microsoft Account the BitLocker by default locks it. It did not seem credible to me. I did not get the impression the technician was fully conversant with BitLocker. I avoided BitLocker for the simple reason, I did not want another layer of complexity to my files/folder that do not contain sensitive information.

One of the members of Microsoft Forum provided some background information of BitLocker's evolution. This is what might have happenned (his words):

"Earlier, Microsoft used to enable bitlocker on the home version of windows if
A a microsoft account was used
B the computer fulfilled the hardware requirements (TPM chip, instant-go compatible).
That was quite an idea... they even shot the recovery key through the network in plain text - some german IT magazine ("IX") discovered that. By now, they stopped it."

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Microsoft's Globally distributed database, Azure Cosmos DB

"Azure Cosmos DB is Microsoft's globally distributed, multi-model database. With the click of a button, Azure Cosmos DB enables you to elastically and independently scale throughput and storage across any number of Azure's geographic regions. It offers throughput, latency, availability, and consistency guarantees with comprehensive service level agreements (SLAs), something no other database service can offer"

If you are looking for Global Distribution, horizontal scaling, guaranteed latency, high availability, comprehensive SLA's and unrivalled Data Model and APIs that no RDBMS, no no-sql database can provide, there is nothing out there to match Azure Cosmos DB.

Azure Cosmos DB Engine supports multiple database systems and it is based on the following:

 Atom: Consisting of a small set of primitive types (String, Bol, number)
 Records: Structs
 Sequence: Arrays of atoms, records and sequences

Azure Cosmos DB engine currently supports the following:

Document DB SQL
Mongo DB
Azure Table Storage
Gremlin Graphh Query API
It will support other API's in the future.

For developers looking for a globally distributed database system Azure Cosmos DB is the answer.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Hands-on training event in Honolulu: SQL Server Reporting Services 2012 in Native Mode

Updated information: SQL Server 2016 SP1 will be used

This hands-on course will provide you with the ability to create cutting edge reports using Microsoft's latest reporting services product, SQL Server 2012.
The course is offered by the Pacific Center for Advanced Technology Training(PACTT): http://pcatt.hawaii.edu/home
Report writing is one of the most important IT related jobs in an enterprise. This course is for you if you would like to master report writing/authoring using SQL Server Reporting Services. The course begins with a presentation of essential technical background, after which you will work through guided hands-on exercises.

At the end of the course you will have gained:

• A solid understanding of how to interact with SQL Servers
• Knowledge and experience installing and configuring reporting Services
• A working knowledge of using Report Builder to author reports and deploy them to report server
• A working knowledge of Report Manager's (Web Portal) ability to carry out administrative tasks related to all aspects of reports; creating shared data sources, folder and folder hierarchies on the report server, and report models; managing security and subscriptions; and configuring data driven subscriptions
• An understanding of how to embed report viewer controls in windows and web projects.

Venue: Honolulu Community College Honolulu Community College
874 Dillingham Blvd Honolulu, HI 96817-4598

Phone: (808) 845-9211

Official Website: honolulu.hawaii.edu/

Recommended Prep:
Computer literacy on a PC and experience using a database 

- Section 1 - May 18 - Jun 27; TTh; 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm; 12 mtgs

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