Saturday, December 31, 2005

Well im off to Florida today, should be back by Tuesday !!! And to everyone a Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

MSN Messenger 8.0 Invites

I have 4 of them, if any one wants them leave a comment

Update: All gone, as soon as I get more Ill post em here.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

So fresh, so clean clean

I just reformatted that machine removing all the junk that I have had to install for these classes :)

I have also switched from AVG to Avast because after some research I found that Avast has better detection rates and its real time scanning is quite powerful

btw long what did shon do ?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Its Over !!!

Finally this wacky semester is done with ..... wow, seemed like forever. Definitely some fun and weird times this semester like:

Hurricane Rita screwing up thing like nobody imagined.
15 ppl in one elevator going for the arch exam
the rent a coder cheating scandal
more than 12 hours worth of coding for the multimedia mid term !!
The architecture debacle ..... ( everyone who was in the class knows what Im talking about )

Anyone have other stories worth mentioning ?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Monday, November 28, 2005

Can you ..

shut down your computer and not use it and the internet for 2 whole weeks ?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Monday, November 21, 2005

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Friday, November 18, 2005

Hey its time to update your blogrolls , Abhi has started blogging as well !!!!

Monday, October 31, 2005

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Cake is delicios !!! But it would be interesting to see what Zend can come up with ==>

I also have 2 more invites to giveaway, so you know what to do.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

For the past couple of years I have been using Crimson Editor to do most of my php coding ( and it does a fine job), but recently I have felt the need for more features such as auto completion, intellisense etc........ What are some other ( preferably freeware) editors out there that other php coders prefer ?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Google Reader is terrible, its confusing to use, the UI is terrible. It took forever to load my blogs from the OPML file and the feed lists tend to disappear. This one from google has a lot of problems.

What a waste !!!!

Monday, September 26, 2005 Invite

Most of us know about FREE blog hosting provided by . I was lucky enough to get an invite today . So far the interface is amazing and is really simple to use.

Now I also happen to have 1 invite to give away. The person to get is the one who leaves the best comment at to what they would do with their blog :)

UPDATE: I will be emailing the lucky winner the invite tomorrow.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Post Rita pics , thankfully nothing major happened and right now we are having beautiful weather.

Finally some sunshine

Friday, September 16, 2005

Since PHP and Security have been in the limelight these past couple of days, here is an excellent little flash tutorial that gives you hands on experience with some common security lapses that can occur when coding.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Monday, September 12, 2005

i need to post more

In other news I have moved all my pictures from textamerica to flickr.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Although I have yet to have that trouble here, but it is nice to see blogger implement word verification for comments. I have had this problem at my f2o site , but have curbed it with comment moderation.

Lets see what other features are going to be packed in.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Wow, some radical changes are being proposed for PHP 6.0, some of which are

Remove register_globals completely
Remove magic_quotes_*
Remove safe_mode
Remove some stuff that has been marked deprecated since PHP 3/4
Remove various function aliases

One thing is for sure, this means people will have to change their code radically in order for it to work on php 6.0 .....

Should be interesting to see how things shape up

Friday, August 05, 2005

I just finished redesigning my f2o site and one the "new" things that I wanted to add was AJAX. Since for my site the only place that it seemed obvious was the forms . After some searching here is a nice tutorial that shows you how to mix php and ajax and use it to validate forms:

Monday, July 25, 2005

I am definitely impressed with MSN maps on first use.

First thing that comes across is the load speed, it definitely kicks google out of the water, even though im pretty sure their servers must be loaded since they just launched. Another aspect that stands out is the smooth scrolling, another +1 for virtual earth.

They have also included some features such as "locate me":- ( cant say much since both google and microsoft cant find my house and simply give me the map of houston ), "scratch pad":- which remembers all the places you searched for and also keeps track of where you last left off using cookies.

MSN maps is brilliant, though I dont see myself completely switching to either service I will surely be using them both side by side while comparing the results.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

As most of us know msn's virtual earth will be releasing tomorrow. Thanks to the google cache you can have a look at the web page here

Saturday, July 23, 2005

After coding in C and C++ for such a long time , it really takes some effort to keep in mind that there is a quite a big difference as how strings are evaluated in languages such as PHP or javascript when enclosed in double quotes as compared to single quotes. Proper use can definitely help in performance wise.

I think its safe to say the general rule of thumb when it comes to deciding when to use what is use single quotes when outputting plain strings and html with no variables since the PHP parser wont have to look for variable, and use double quotes when there are variables, special characters, symbols .

Here is a nice PHP benchmarking site

Monday, July 18, 2005

Something that would be cool is to have the complete map of the USA ( google map) with major highway intersection cams. Basically all the cams on one map.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Friday, July 08, 2005

With the Google Maps API release, I definitely wanted to play around with it and come up with something fun. First thing that came to mind was to show the various highway cameras on the maps and in those small boxes show a screenshot of the current conditions. I now present to you Houston Traffican Cams powered by the Google Maps API which can be found here . The maps shows about 10 popular intersections with little markers. Click on the little markers to show a little camera shot .

These are the intersections that it is currently showing ( If you would like to see more, leave me a comment :) ):-

I-10 at Heights.

I-10 at TC Jester.

I-610 West Loop at Bellaire Blvd.

I-610 West Loop at Beechnut

I-45 at Cross Timbers.

I-45 at Tidwell .

I-45 at Little York.

59 at Hillcroft.

59 at Weslayan.

59 at Shepherd

59 at Beechnut.

Please let me know if there are any improvement that I can make to it. If there are other intersections that you would like to see you can visit the Houston Transtar and drop me a line at kashif-khan at excite dot com.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Excellent little tip to use your gmail account as an organizer
After a simple little test, seems like yahoo maps have the most up to date information. They were able to locate my place while the other services like google, a9 didnt even know that it existed. +1 Yahoo

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Is anyone actually surprised that yahoo released its maps api soon after google ???

Anywho, this will surely lead to some amazing applications using the power of AJAX

Friday, June 03, 2005

An excellent guide for PHP programmers who wish to make their code more secure

Friday, May 27, 2005

Some of the most powerful functions implemented in PHP are those involving regular expressions. They make common procedures like file parsing, string extraction etc really quick and easy. But actually learning to use them successfully is not that easy. Here are a couple of my favorite links that do an excellent job of going over regular expressions
PHP Freaks

Monday, May 23, 2005

The new msn maps looks awesome, screenshots available here

* Satellite images with 45-degree-angle views of buildings and neighborhoods

* Satellite images with street map overlays

* Ability to add local data layers, such as showing local businesses or restaurants

From the screenshots the image quality is definitely awesome. Hopefully they have updated their maps, since google maps still cannot locate my house. Impressive stuff !!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Its good to be back to a zippier blogger :)

As for other news, the semester is over and I have been busy adding features to my blog at . I just recently added a rss feed for the sucker and am distributing it using feedburner, so lets see how that turns out.

Oh yes, the Sony Playstation looks awesome

Monday, April 18, 2005

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Next semester i am taking a class that definitely sounds so cool ... mobile programming -> my latest interest.

Class descripton:

Have you ever wished you know more about programming your smart phone, your web camera, your VCR, or your Tablet PC. Have you ever noticed that computing has slipped away from the desktop and even from the laptop and has gone ubiquitous? Do you know that 'gadget computing' is the fastest growing area in our tech sector and where most of the new computing jobs are created? If your answer is yes to all the above, you like 'cool programming,' and you have an affection for 'bluetooth,' then you are perfect candidate for the "Multimedia Programming" class offered in fall 2005.


Component Object Modeling (COM)

Microsoft DirectShow SDK

Video and audio programming and applications

Programming and applications of serial devices

Embedded Visual C++ and Pocket PC

PDA programming and applications

Smart phone SDK

Cell phone programming and applications

Tablet PC SDK

Programming and applications of Tablet PC

Sure does sound exciting !!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

My old excite account has been receiving a lot of spam lately, despite having spam filtering level set to high .... I also dont think anything really happens when i report spam since i tend to receive the same mail in my inbox without fail !!!!! I have turned the filters on to max and implemented my own custom filters ... lets see if that has any effect on it.
Is it just me, or is the total post count on the dashboard broken ???? It has been showing the same number for quite some time now

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A little more coding, I was able to modify the S5 : A simple standards-based slide show system and added yahoo image search results using the Yahoo Image Api. So your image queries come out in the form of a nice little slide show.

You can demo it here

Saturday, April 02, 2005

I finally got a yahoo 360 invite from Nathan Weinberg ....Thanks a lot to do some exploring of the features and if you would like an invite just leave me a comment :)

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Wow, nice new service from Google called the Google Ride Finder ..... an excellent service that lets a person find taxi services to various places around the city.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

This is such a cool wallpaper, Im so gonna do this with my laptop

Click the picture for a better view.
PHP 5 has some handy new functions but two that really stand out are date_sunrise and date_sunset ..... I can see some potential uses such as a weather channel, or a counter for a competition or for religious prayers but asides from that, are there are any other important uses that had to be implemented as a function ?

what I also dont like about it is the type of input data it needs to return an answer

mixed date_sunrise ( int timestamp [, int format [, float latitude [, float longitude [, float zenith [, float gmt_offset]]]]] )

other than that little "rant" I think PHP 5 is definitely a major step from 4.0


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Well my first experiment with PHP5 was using the new SimpleXML extension , and I was definitely blown away as to how simple it makes parsing xml files and accessing the data.

I decided to implement something with the new yahoo api, and I decided to go with a simple spell checker. Now I coming across a little problem with this, yahoo only provides spelling suggestions if it can actually find something with that query, so that you can query with the correction. If it cant , no spelling suggestions are offered. I am hosting it here and the source can be seen here

Can anyone offer some tips or further suggestions ?

Monday, March 21, 2005

Finally I got my dotgeek account, which boasts of free PHP 5 web hosting. Now to start some fun projects !!!! Got any suggestions ?

oh and something totally random, someone came to this page after querying for this on google: " *Kashif Beattie* " .. How weird is that ??

Friday, March 11, 2005

I saw this google text ad in my gmail account while having a conversation with a buddy .... now why would someone want to buy a bad movie ??

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

I remember reading somewhere that adding six slashes at the end of changes the way the page look. So, I decided to check on some other sites that I frequently visit and so far have come up with one page. If you put one more slash at the end of ( ) the date and time on "in the news" section changes to 6:00pm Wed December 31.

Here is a screenshot(click for a better view):


Got any others ?

Monday, March 07, 2005

PC Magazine has a review of that funky looking Nokia 7280 that i was talking about the other day ....,1759,1772513,00.asp

Sunday, March 06, 2005

I saw the mac mini today, and my jaw just dropped at the size of the little thing .... just amazing.....thats all i have to say

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Apple has upgraded its lines of photo ipods by increasing the hard disk size to 30gb and 60gb and slashing prices -->

With so much space available now, how hard would it be for Apple to incorporate video playing capabilities to the next generation of ipods . I definitely think that will be one of the key features , especially with all the video on demand services going around these days.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

It all started at Russell Beattie's website where he demonstrated a cool little flash application which showed the New York Traffic Cameras. It lead to Christopher Schmidt building his own little app in Nokia's Series 60 Python. And from there people starting hacking his script to represent their own cities. I added Houston and the script can be downloaded from here. Chris has updated his script to incorporate all the cities, and can be found here

UPDATE: since is down at the moment I have also uploaded the script at this location

Friday, February 18, 2005

I came across this story on boing boing that everquest players can now order pizza online while playing their game. The headline speaks for itself and I can just picture a Jay Leno monologue along the lines of "How fat are we getting ? .."

in my opinion - Unbelievably Ridiculous

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Doesnt the Nokia 7280 look a lot like the new Apple Ipod Shuffle ??? Either ways it looks so cool

Came across this story on slashdot while back tracking for a certain article, about a person "experimenting" with google adsense by centering his blog solely around high paying keywords , in this case being asbestos. Excellent idea to make money, but isnt this against the TOS of Google Adsense ?

Monday, February 14, 2005

Finally the comments of blogger have been updated and about time as well. It was just so pointless that only other blogger members could comment.

Now I think one of the major fixes would be the whole rebuilding of the site whenever you edit anything. Its okay if you have a small blog, but couple of hundred posts and you could be sitting for quite a while before all the changes take place. And thats if you are lucky and dont suffer a time out in between, in which case you are stuck with partially working site. Something should be done about that so that it is more dynamic.

End of rebuilding rant

Friday, February 11, 2005

Bloglines is awesome !!!!

For people looking for rss feeds for xanga users , this is the link to their feeds username . Just replace username with their xanga id and it should point to their site feed. For some reason it doesnt show up on the xanga site itself.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Monday, February 07, 2005

MSN music has announced that it will be offering one free music download per day . The tracks will be the ones that the MSN Music team think will win grammy's. Not bad for FREE !!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

One of my favorite programs Sunbird has a new release, 2RC for Sunbird .2 . The software is very much in beta and is quite buggy , but it is excellent nonetheless. Definitely worth a try and one to keep an eye out for.

To download Sunbird visit here

[UPDATE]: The official .2 version has come out today.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Wow it has been more than a month since the last post. Definitely need to breathe life into this place again ...... just been so busy with so many things :)