Monthly Archives: September 2009

Microsoft giving away expensive development software for free through WebsiteSpark program

Microsoft WebsiteSpark program is giving away thousands of dollar software for free

Microsoft WebsiteSpark program is giving away thousands of dollar software for free

Microsoft has done it in the past and they are doing it again. Just another program to woo developers and designers from around the world to start using their platform. When it comes to web programming PHP is by far the most used language on the face of World Wide Web, primarily because its free to develop in and secondly because its deployment is very cheap i.e all you need is a Linux box with free Apache server running on it.

Microsoft has launched the WebsiteSpark program after BizSpark program(to what they call a great success). The program offerings are mouth-watering and there is no doubt about it. Even a PHP savvy programmer like me would like to jump in and check out the business opportunities which can arise due to this exposure to Microsoft technologies.

The software they are giving for free are:

  • Visual Studio Professional (~$799 regular cost)
  • Expression Studio 2 or 3 (1 user) and Expression Web 2 or 3 (up to 2 users) (~$599 + $149 regular cost)
  • Windows Web Server 2008 or R2 (when available) (~$469 regular cost)
  • SQL Server 2008 Web Edition (~$50 regular cost)

and you will have free access to MSDN which is around $500 a year value.

I have taken these prices from Microsoft website, the editions they give may vary but still its around $2566 value software and then the only thing they want is you to start developing websites which would run on their platforms (want to know how much a standard SQL server cost? just $5999). However, the check is that this program is valid for 3 years and you will have to go and renew yourself each year and on exit from the program you will have to pay only a nominal fee of $100. The other check is that they really don’t want you to get hold of their expensive products and sit around rather they want you to start developing and you will have to register your first MS based website with-in six months of registration.

Software is not the only thing Microsoft is giving away in WebsiteSpark program, there is some value addition to it as well. When you would have developed your website project you will get production support from Microsoft Hosting Partner which will include:

  • Windows Web Server 2008 or R2 (when available) (~$469 regular cost)
  • SQL Server 2008 Web Edition (~$50 regular cost)

Deployments may be on 4 servers or VMs of 1processor each, on 2 servers or VMs of 2 processors each, or on 1 server or VM of 4-processors.

Then you will have access to the WebsiteSpark Marketplace, Partner Solution Profiler which is a Microsoft Partner Network and Web App Gallery, where you can showcase your project. You will have to choose a Network partner first while joining the program and only upon their approval, you will be able to join the program. The role of Network partner is to look after you, give support for finding new business opportunities, technical support and overall mentoring for your company.

To be eligible you should be a company with less than 10 employees and you should be a designer/developer working primarily in the field of Web. You can access more information and signup for WebsiteSpark program through this link.

Microsoft releases new OS project called Barrelfish for next generation

As all we know next generation systems are not single core as the case at the moment as well. Probably the system on which you are viewing this blog is already a multi-core system. The software we are running today are becoming more resource hungry as with the each passing day. Current operating systems are already capable of talking to each other on the level of boxes and they tend to share some resources as well, such as memory and processing power. But as the multi-core systems are around from more over than a couple of years now, there wasn’t an OS which talks at core level with the parallel system. Well, now we have!

Team at Microsoft, Cambridge has announced on 15th September, 2009 that they are working on project code-named Barrelfish in collaboration with ETH Zurich and this new OS is supposed to talk and share resources at core levels with the other systems. It is also a rumour that this new OS will be free as it uses several software libraries which are available under BSD license. However, we need to wait for the more details to come out and yes you can view a snap shot of this project in here.

Connection with Virgin Media ADSL National Service

Virgin media national ADSL service

Virgin media national ADSL service

After 7 weeks I got my ADSL from Virgin Media activated. It was a long pain since I moved my house and they told me that I am now in a national service area and can’t have a cable service. It was really great with them while I was on cable, never faced any problem but now from past 7 weeks (which was supposed to be a 2 weeks waiting time), it was a pain because all I could hear back from them was that they apologize for any inconvenience caused and because they are not charging me for the service, it was supposed to be their right to keep me pending from a service which is just like water and electricity for me.

Any way, today after coming back from the work I figured out that the ADSL LED on router was not blinking and Internet icon was also lit-up and then it took me more than 1 hour just to connect to the Internet. It wasn’t I am a novice or something, it was just because the customer service of Virgin National forgot to tell me my new account number or to mention the email address and password I need to use. Their lines were also closed as they close at 9p.m on weekdays. After much of Internet search I finally found the email address which ADSL service requires while connecting you. No, its not your virgin email address, its ADSL email address and its in this format and then the password is your normal password which is of your account and which they ask every time you call them.

I just ran my speed test as well from and the download speed I am getting 1.98Mbps from Manchester while upload is 0.38Mbps. This is nearly 20% of Virgin average speeds but I am still happy at least I have got something.

Wondering why virgin took 5 extra weeks to activate the service? because they were out of capacity in the area (and a friend in Sheffield told me that they are always out of capacity) so, if you are going to order new connection, please ask them first if they have capacity in the new area, otherwise they will first get hold of your line then they will send you ADSL router, then they will give you activation dates twice and then when you will be really annoyed they will tell you that they are out of capacity. Be careful!

Virgin Media logo is official trademark of Virgin Media.

Noop: A new JVM language by Google

So, google struck again, this time with a language. It seems this giant is stopping nowhere. The language name is Noop and it runs on JVM (Java Virtual Machine). The developers at google said: “a new language that attempts to blend the best lessons of languages old and new, while syntactically encouraging industry best-practices and discouraging the worst offenses”. At the core of this agenda is the function of integration, at a language level, of dependency injection and testing, along with default immutability for objects. Noop also eliminates static code and variables, implementation inheritance and primitive objects to encourage better, functional, limited scope code. Putting language readability at first, its source code will look familiar to Java developers as it intends to use same language interpretation but by having its own rules.

The language Noop is licensed under the Apache Licence 2.0, and as it is in an early stage of development, requires Mercurial and Ruby to download and build. You can get more information about Noop through its Google code page.

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