Thursday, March 27, 2008

Photoshop Express Adobe Free Web Tool

Adobe has launched a free web based Photoshop Express tool. The website is https://www.photoshop.com/express/landing.html. It is in public beta, Adobe Photoshop Express is a free online photo sharing, editing, and storage site. At beta launch, users will be provided with 2GB of free storage and integration with popular Web apps like Facebook and Photobucket, with further partnerships with sites like Flickr in the works. Designed to be, in part, an entry into the sometimes intimidating Photoshop series, Express offers a number of tools aimed directly at beginners, including user-friendly one-click versions of essential editing tools like cropping, blemish and red-eye removal, sharpening, and resizing. A number of other effects are also offered at launch, including sketch, pop color, and distort.

Thanks for these questions from Cris (http://pintandoenpositivo.blogspot.com/):
  • can we use personal tools, new fonts, brushes, actions, downloaded from adobe exchange or another site?
  • how install it?

Here is what I have understood after playing with PhotoShop Express.

  • Photoshop Express is Adobe Macromedia Flash (specifically Flash Player 9 (version or later)) based lite version of PhotoShop product.
  • Photoshop Express works with JPEG photos only. Per Adobe, TIFF and PSD are of large size and could not be uploaded without timeout. GIFF format has low photo quality.
  • Photos larger than 10M and 4000 pixels in height and width cannot be uploaded. Photos larger than 2880x 2880 pixes will be shrunk after editing.

Here is the screen shot and tools available online for you to use with photos/images uploaded on Photoshop Express website:

  • Crop & Rotate:Turn it, straighten it, crop out the background.

  • Auto Correct:Automatic, one-click, optimal lighting and contrast adjustment.

  • Exposure:Change the brightness of the photo.

  • Red-Eye Removal:Removes red eyes caused by some camera flashes.

  • Touchup:Remove scratches and other imperfections.

  • Saturation:Ramp up the colors to blinding brightness, dampen them down to black and white, or anywhere in between.

  • White Balance:Ever notice how people look different inside an office with the ugly fluorescent tubes, as opposed to outside on a bright sunny day? Adjust the white balance and you change the type of lighting in the photo.

  • Highlight:The brightest parts of a photo are the highlights. This control lets you brighten or darken just the brightest part of the photo, without affecting the darker parts (we call those the shadows).

  • Fill Light:If you take a shot facing into the sun, your subject can end up too dark due to the camera’s automatic exposure adjustment. Fill Light brightens the dark area without overbrightening the background.

  • Sharpen:It’s like putting in your contacts. Suddenly everything comes more into focus.

  • Soft Focus:It’s like taking your contacts out. Soft Focus creates a subtle blur for artistic effect.

  • Hue:This one changes all the colors in a photo at once.

  • Black & White:Control how the colors are converted when you change a photo to black and white.

  • Tint:Imagine instead of black and white, you want red and white, or pale brown and white for that old Western look.

  • Sketch:Makes any photo look like you drew it yourself.

  • Distort:Stretch, twist, bulge specific areas of your photos.

Now to your question, about using personal tools and other goodies you have on your local machine, apart from above things I do not find any option to upload those tools.

Adobe says that "Photoshop Express is not an application on your computer so you can use it anywhere. If you want a copy of a photo on your computer, run your mouse over the photo to reveal the options menu at the bottom right. Open the menu and select Download, once you’re done editing."

So in short, you have to work with your images/photos online using Photoshop Express and offline using your all powerful complete Photoshop.


Monday, March 24, 2008

CiteULike : A social service to store, organize and share acedemic papers and more..http://www.citeulike.org

CiteULike is a free service to help you to store, organise and share the scholarly papers you are reading. When you see a paper on the web that interests you, you can click one button and have it added to your personal library. CiteULike automatically extracts the citation details, so there's no need to type them in yourself. It all works from within your web browser so there's no need to install any software. Because your library is stored on the server, you can access it from any computer with an Internet connection.

Cool Web 2.0 Apps for Everyone: Webware.com

Vote for Your Favorite web 2.0 app Today at http://www.webware.com/

An interesting website. It's tag line is "COOL WEB 2.0 APPS FOR EVERYONE".

Per Webware.come

"There's a shift underway in how people use computers and the Internet. Every day more utility is being delivered over the Web. Full applications can now be run in a browser, accessible from any computer. Software? It's no longer required. Software is becoming Webware.

There are different types of Webware.

  • Productivity applications. Microsoft may own the desktop, but not the Web. Online, Google has solid productivity apps. And there are dozens of upstarts in this market too.
  • Data-driven applications. Many new online services rely on real-time data that simply could not be encapsulated into software. Examples include Google Maps, Zillow and Farecast.
  • Community services. Webware enables people to network, share their lives, and work together. Examples are MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube, and SmartSheet.

Webware.com is the site where computer users can learn about new and useful Web applications. "

This site is hosting voting for the best Web apps out there. They have the best of the 300 finalists that which has been selected from a list of almost 5,000 eligible services. The news is that Webware.com crossed the one million vote count Friday. So they're getting some pretty robust data on what's popular among Web users. Categories and subcategories which are covered :

  • Audio
    Music, podcasts, audiobooks
  • Browsing
    Browsers, start pages, RSS readers, widgets, runtime engines
  • Commerce and events
    Retail, auctions, travel, real estate, concerts, conferences
  • Communication
    E-mail, chat, voice
  • Productivity
    Application suites, to-do lists, groupware
  • Publishing and photography
    Blogging, content management, photo sites
  • Search and reference
    Search engines, encyclopedias, mapping
  • Social
    Social networking, family sites, recommendations, online worlds, contests
  • Utility and security
    Infrastructure providers, storage, online protection
  • Video
    Video storage, playback, streaming, editing, and animation

If you like to vote for your favorite web 2.0 applications or like to see the previous year's top 100 list or may like to just take a look these categories and finalists you may please visit


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V

One of the hot utilization of virtualization is Server virtualization. It is also known as hardware virtualization. It is very important to the IT industry because of the high potential of several benefits. Server virtualization enables multiple operating systems to run on a single physical machine as virtual machines (VMs). With server virtualization, workloads of underutilized server machines can be consolidated onto a smaller number of fully utilized machines. These reduced numbers of physical machines could achieve reduced costs by less hardware, decrease in energy use, and management overhead. On top of it will create a more dynamic IT infrastructure. Being said so, Hyper-V is significant development.

Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, the next-generation hypervisor-based server virtualization technology, allows to make the best use of server hardware investments by consolidating multiple server roles as separate virtual machines (VMs) running on a single physical machine. With Hyper-V, IT can efficiently run multiple different operating systems—Windows, Linux, and others—in parallel, on a single server, and fully leverage the power of x64 computing.

Microsoft has reached another key milestone in the development of Hyper-V, with a feature-complete version now available for download as a release candidate (RC).

You can download the update for Hyper-V RC here :Knowledge Base (KB) Articles:KB949219 Update for Windows Server 2008 x64 Edition (KB949219)

The release notes for Hyper-V can be found here http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=3ED582F0-F844-40BA-B692-230845AF1149&displaylang=en.

There is step by step how to document on how to install windows 2008 Hyper-V release candidate (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/hyperv-install.aspx). Apart from this Microsoft has provided Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Started with Hyper-V here (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=bcaa9707-0228-4860-b088-dd261ca0c80d&DisplayLang=en).

Once you install Windows 2008 Hyper-V and enable Hyper-V role, if you plan to install Ubuntu 7.10 (either server or desktop) on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, I would suggest to read Sriram Krishnan's blog http://www.sriramkrishnan.com/blog/2008/03/running-ubuntu-on-windows-server-2008.html. Sriram has discovered a bug around emulation of real mode instructions and the graphics instructions that ISOLinux uses to boot and has described a solution to patch .iso file in this blog.

You may ask the question about how this cool technology for hot usage in IT world works.I personally found couple of resourcs Keith Combs' Blahg : Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V 10 Minute Tour - Redux with Screencast, computerworld article "Windows Server 2008 Revealed: Hyper-V virtualization" by Jonathan Hassell, Ruben Spruijt blog on Hyper-V solution overview etc very helpful and quick to learn things on Hyper-V

Keith Comb's blog has Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V 10 Minute Tour - Redux (http://blogs.technet.com/keithcombs/archive/2008/02/16/windows-server-2008-hyper-v-10-minute-tour-redux.aspx) Windows streaming media screen cast mms://wm.microsoft.com/ms/inetpub/keithcombs/ws2008/WSvTour.wmv

Also Dec'20th,2007 issue of computerworld does a great job of explaining the things.

The article "Windows Server 2008 Revealed: Hyper-V virtualization" by Jonathan Hassell (http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&taxonomyName=operating_systems&articleId=9053781&taxonomyId=89&intsrc=kc_feat) covers

"how it works?

To understand Hyper-V, consider its three main components: the hypervisor, the virtualization stack and the new virtualized I/O model. The Windows hypervisor basically acts to create the different "partitions" that each virtualized instance of code will run within. The virtualization stack and the I/O components provide interactivity with Windows itself and with the various partitions that are created.

All three of these components work in tandem. Using servers with processors equipped with Intel VT- or AMD-V-enabled technology, Hyper-V interacts with the hypervisor, which is a very small layer of software that is present directly on the processor. This software hooks into threads on the processor that the host operating system can use to efficiently manage multiple virtual machines, and multiple virtual operating systems, running on a single physical processor. "

Another good informative blog on Hyper - V solution overview Written by:Ruben Spruijt Publication Date:March 11, 2008 (http://www.brianmadden.com/content/article/Microsoft-Windows-Server-2008--Hyper-V-solution-overview ). It covers "an overview of the Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V solution".


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Virtualization - definition, methodologies and utilization


  • From virtualization wiki
"[Virtualization is] a technique for hiding the physical characteristics of computing resources from the way in which other systems, applications, or end users interact with those resources. This includes making a single physical resource (such as a server, an operating system, an application, or storage device) appear to function as multiple logical resources; or it can include making multiple physical resources (such as storage devices or servers) appear as a single logical resource."

  • From webopedia:

virtualization means to create a virtual version of a device or resource, such as a server, storage device, network or even an operating system where the framework divides the resource into one or more execution environments.

Three main methodologies used for providing virtualization:

  • System emulation:

The execution environment is called a virtual machine and it emulates all the hardware resources. This emulation layer in turn uses the real hardware resources from the host. This enables the emulator to run a guest operating system without any modifications, as the guest OS can use the hardware resources by going through the hardware emulation layer, instead of the real hardware. The VMM executes the CPU instructions that need more privileges than are available in the user space. This approach is followed by products such as VMware (http://vmware.com/), Microsoft Virtual PC (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc/default.mspx), and Parallels (http://www.parallels.com/).

  • Paravirtualization:

There is no hardware emulation. The operating system that runs on a guest needs to be a modified version that is aware of the fact that it is running inside a hypervisor. This cuts down the number of privileged CPU instructions that need to be executed, and as there is no hardware emulation involved, the performance is much better and closer to native speeds. This is the technique used by Xen (http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/research/srg/netos/xen/) and User-Mode Linux (http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net/).

  • Operating System level virtualization:

Each guest instance is isolated and runs in a secure environment. However, you can execute only multiple instances of guests that run the same operating system as the host. If the host operating system is FreeBSD, you can run only multiple instances of FreeBSD. This is the approach used by the FreeBSD jails (http://www.freebsd.org/) and Solaris10 zones (http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/).


Virtualization is highly utilized and visible in three areas of information services, server virtualization, network virtualization and storage virtualization ..

  • Server virtualization:
It is the abstraction of server resources. The virtual server includes the number and identity of individual physical servers, processors, and operating systems from server users. The intention is to shield the user from having to understand and manage complicated details of server resources while increasing resource sharing and utilization and maintaining the capacity to expand later. The example could be deployment of various business applications on server racks and deployment user has to remember all the server ipaddresses,available ports etc.

  • Network virtualization
it combines the existing and the available resources in a network by splitting up the available bandwidth into channels. Each channel is independent from the others. Each of these channels can be assigned (or reassigned) to a particular server or device in real time. virtualization disguises the true complexity of the network by splitting it into manageable modular chunks.

  • Storage virtualization:
It is the pooling of physical storage from multiple network storage devices into what appears to be a single storage device that is managed from a central console. Storage virtualization is commonly used in storage area networks (SANs).

Predications about offerings and solutions:
Virtualization: Desktops The Next Wave Desktop virtualization enables solution providers to change the kinds of conversations they're having with customers
By Joseph F. Kovar, ChannelWeb
6:00 PM EDT Fri. Mar. 14, 2008
From the March 17, 2008 issue of CRN

Top Choices PRODUCTS


1 Server hosted virtualization
2 Virtual desktop PCs
3 Hypervisor-based server virtualization
4 Storage virtualization software
5 Processors optimized for virtualization (AMD (NYSE:AMD) Opteron, Intel (NSDQ:INTC) Xeon)


1 Server consolidation
2 Disaster-recovery solutions
3 Storage virtualization
4 Network virtualization
5 Testing and training environment solutions



1.Introduction to Virtualization

Introduction to Virtualization presentation was created for technical and non-technical audience with no or small knowledge of virtualization technologies.

In 10 minutes you'll have an overview of problems modern virtualization technologies can solve and what alternatives the market is offering today.

btw, you can even download the video for later viewing here http://www.virtualization.info/webcasts/WhatisVirtualization.swf

2. virtualization WiKi

3. virtualization
"The only online dictionary and search engine you need for computer and Internet technology definitions."

4. XenExpress tutorial: Introduction and installation

5. VMWorld 2008 (Europe),2007 to 2004 Free Sessions and Labs

This has free keynotes, sessions videos/mp3 as well as labs pdf. very interesting collection.

6.Xen and the Art of Virtualization

7. More Virtualization Resources:

This list is by no means complete. Please feel free to add your favorite virtualization engines here in comments.

a. OPEN Source

i.qemu - open source processor emulation

QEMU is a generic and open source machine emulator and virtualizer.

When used as a machine emulator, QEMU can run OSes and programs made for one machine (e.g. an ARM board) on a different machine (e.g. your own PC). By using dynamic translation, it achieves very good performances.

When used as a virtualizer, QEMU achieves near native performances by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU. A host driver called the QEMU accelerator (also known as KQEMU) is needed in this case. The virtualizer mode requires that both the host and guest machine use x86 compatible processors.

Xen™ is a virtual machine monitor for x86 that supports execution of multiple guest operating systems with unprecedented levels of performance and resource isolation. Xen is Open Source software, released under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

b. VMWare

VMWare is the pioneer in virtualization technology. They have tons of virtual appliances and free tools to play with them. Please visit VMWare downloads sections to download VMWare server (Includes Drivers & Tools and Open Source ) and VMWare Player.

c.Microsoft Virtual PC

Microsoft has caught up with virtualization very fast and has great offerings available as multiple versions of Microsoft virtual PC available for its windows product line. To learn more about Microsoft and virtualization, please visit the Virtualization Web site, or the Virtualization TechCenter.

Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, the next-generation hypervisor-based server virtualization technology, allows you to make the best use of your server hardware investments by consolidating multiple server roles as separate virtual machines (VMs) running on a single physical machine. Microsoft has reached another key milestone in the development of Hyper-V, with a feature-complete version now available for download as a release candidate (RC).

d. Citrix XENserver

e. Video: Intro to Novell SuSE XEN Virtualization

more to come...soon...

vmware Workstation : Your host does not have synchronized TSCs. Please read VMware Knowledge Base article 2041

VMWare Workstation evaluation

While trying out vmware workstation trial/evaluation copy, come across warning messages. Here is what happened. Downloaded VMWare workstation from VMWare downloads section.

  • Hardware
The home PC has amd athlon X2 64 and Windows xp sp 3 with 250 gb hdd and 3 gb ram.

  • Installation
Installation of VMWare workstation is easy breezy .

  • Fedora core 8 for guest OS
Downloaded Fedora Core 8 to play with VMWare workstation.

  • Creation of virtual machine
On completion of successful download of Fedora Core 8 at c:\temp, started VMWare workstation.Using new => virtual machine have invoked virtual machine wizard selected custom option to choose other linux 2.6.x kernel. And allocated resources like virtual hard drive, RAM, etc.

  • Warning Message
When powered on fedora core 8, it give warning message

"Your host does not have synchronized TSCs. Please read VMware Knowledge Base article 2041".

Clicked on ok and let Fedora Core 8 power on.

  • Issue Resolution
To resolve the issue I have added following lines to config.ini which is existing in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware workstation

processor0.use = TRUE
processor1.use = FALSE
host.noTSC = "TRUE"
ptsc.noTSC = "TRUE"
host.TSC.noForceSync = "TRUE"

  • Interesting findings:

While digging into the issue, I have come across some interesting resources. These resources are related to .VMX file which is generated by VMWare workstation and performance degradation issue for computers running windows xp sp2 on multiple processors with resolution fix pack from Microsoft.

Here are those resources for further reference on virtual machine file: