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Preview: Hardik Shah - Trying to be with Technology

Hardik Shah - Trying to be with Technology

Last Build Date: Mon, 06 Oct 2014 19:42:29 PDT


Nokia N96 Review

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 22:48:14 PDT

I had a chance over the last 10 days to review Nokia’s N96 for the tech section in one of the Indian Publications:

Here are my takes on the phone:

Good things that I like about the phone:
1.       Huge memory
2.       Quick application Install speeds
3.       Much better camera (thanks to the 5MP Sensor and 2 LED flashes)
4.       Ergonomics (two way slide, tactile feel, button placements)
5.       2.8” display
6.       Car Charger – a must have these days for folks on the go
7.       Dual Camera (though VGA) – A secondary camera which is good and is quite handy to take “self portraits”
8.       Personal GPS Device – Attach the Phone to the Deskboard of the car, connect it to the car charger and you have your own personal Navigation device which will guide you, “telling” you to take a left or a right at the next turn (Nokia Maps is really a great app to have)

Things that I dislike about the phone:
1.       Smudges on the screen – It’s a fingerprint magnet
2.       Slow application response once filled with data (I copied a 3 GB movie file on the phone – and it took me 40 seconds to open up the gallery )
3.       Startup time – it took me more than 30 seconds to turn on the phone post the initial configuration – the time increases as you install apps on it
4.       Average sound quality – with such a high price for the phone I would have expected a “premium” headphones along with the box
5.       Battery Life – significantly reduces as you start using the music/video player + camera (it lasted me 3 hours with continuous video/music play).
6.       Value for Money: Not a good value for money as a complete package – can be good if you think of it as a Avg Phone + avg Cam + Avg Music player


Update: Here’s it in the publication – Monday’s HT Cafe.

PS: The views of the phone were as “Hardik Shah, tech enthusiast” and not as a Microsoft guy

Student Partner Boot Camp – August 08

Sat, 09 Aug 2008 23:00:05 PDT

It’s time of the year again when a few bunch of excited students – who represent Microsoft in their respective colleges – gather for a two day Technical Session on various Microsoft Technologies.

Day one comprised of WinForms; SQL and .NET basic framework along with C# Patterns. A 8 hour training session and at the end of it – this is how the gang appeared


Same Place; Different People

Fri, 27 Jun 2008 13:33:01 PDT

What is the future of Technology? Where is the age of Internet going to lead us to? Do we think the last mile connectivity is still an issue for the majority of governments of developing countries? Is there something that I can do – to bypass the limited resources of my knowledge and think bigger?

These were some of the questions that I had to ask to myself before I decided to put in my papers with the Regional IT Team. It had been a tough decision for me – I had been around in the team since couple of years, serving in different capacities and roles. Unlike other CompSci / IT Grads, being a part of Field IT was always the first choice for me (not that I hate coding, but I simply do not like the term “Developer” and the abuses it comes along with), throughout my college life and also during the various interviews that I had been though. Being a part of IT, guys who give your company an environment which is not only robust but also scalable and efficient. The guys who every employee runs to for simple queries like “The Printers are not working”; “Is there something wrong with our VoIP Phones?”, “I need 40GB storage space on the server, do you think you can provide that?”, to more complicated ones like “I need more bandwidth on my laptop, can you please pull a pipe for me?”. In fact, the IT guys are interface between the new employees and the older ones, they take responsibility of getting them introduced (albeit during Xbox Gaming Session or TT or Snooker) and then happy live the life of “King of the Jungle”. It defiantly was a journey, which will still be a part of my life – a part – which has given me confidence, courage and most importantly lead a team in true sense.

I move onto doing bigger and more exciting things. I join the Digital Advertising Solutions team – as a Solution Specialist – Brands-  being an interface between the sales folks and the technology folks. I would primarily be a blend for the Media Industry with the IT Industry. Which mean, I’ve moved domains, and look forward to an exciting career in the Media Industry.

Until the next update on my job role (which I am trying to analyze / see though) – you guys have a great time surfing the net :)

Windws Live Messenger on Blog

Mon, 17 Mar 2008 00:56:00 PDT

Finally got this to work - a simply HTML code, embedded in the template, and a simple way of communicating to me over the IM without actually installing it..

Get it for your blog

And now it's Apple in front of the Law

Thu, 13 Mar 2008 06:58:23 PDT

The recent buzz around - ZapMedia based in Atlanta had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple Inc, for using it'sU.S. Patent Numbers 7,020,704 and 7,343,414, each of which is entitled “System and method for distributing media assets to user devices via a portal synchronized by said user devices." - in iTune and iPod.

iTunes is the famous media player cum online marketplace for songs which gave back Apple it's brand name, image and share in the consumer market. It was because of iPod's and iTunes (and now iPhone) that Apple is called a company which is Digital Media & Consumer centric.

Though the guys back at the Cupertino based company refused to comment on the media reports - Apple has been known as a company which has a loyal fan following.

.... more about the report here

Windows Server Launched

Tue, 11 Mar 2008 04:36:20 PDT

Fianlly, after a wait - Microsoft Launched Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008. This was one of the most exciting events that I had been to - and was at a local movie theatre. More about it on this.

.... Will post photos and more about it a little later :)

My MixBook :)

Sun, 30 Dec 2007 01:37:45 PST



Am I Legend?

Wed, 12 Dec 2007 22:13:38 PST

One more premier to attend yesterday and my bad luck still continues. After Saawariya and Beowulf this was the third bad one I had.

"I'm Legend" - a Will Smith movie, with bang Bang and bullets all around - as everyone would have expected, is not. It's not a typical Will Smith, and sadly disappointed me.

I won't write the plot here - however - a word of advice - it's not worth a 200 bucks on a ticket and about 150 bucks on popcorn and cola. Watch something else - not this one.

"I'm Legend"? Of course not!!!

iPhone - Jail Broken and Activated

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:13:59 PST

It's Sunday morning, 9th of December 2007, and in comes the call at 0800 hrs of a friend who recently got an iPhone from US. I had promised her to activate and sim break it as a birthday gift (Her birthday was last week). I was wondering - on a Sunday you gotta sleep till 12 noon rather than leaving for Andheri and cracking up the phone :).I got up - 8:15 was the time and took a public transport to her office, which had WiFi Connectivity. That's the first thing that you will need before you jail break the iPhone. A WiFi connection (non-encrypted, unsecured) is required in the process of jailbreaking and unlocking the iPhone.So there I was at her office and ready to hack into the iPhone, activate it and give her an awesome birthday gift. We got ready to unlock - a coffee & a coke as our only refreshments - and an awesome WiFi connection. Mind you - the phone was pre-installed with ver 1.1.1 of the firmware and it was upgraded to ver 1.1.2 by the seller. The crack is not possible if you have the newer iPhones which come pre-installed with ver 1.1.2I stated up my Vista, installed iTunes (yes - you need to download a 51.08 MB of crap) and connected the iPhone to it. The idea was to first downgrade the firmware to 1.1.1 and then jailbreak in. We downloaded the ver 1.1.1 of the firmware on our local machine, got into the Apple Recovery mode (turn off the iPhone, Hold the Power button & the home button, release the power button after 10 seconds and you will enter into the recovery mode). Once in recovery mode, iTunes detected it and asks us to restore it to the latest version of the firmware - in our case it was 1.1.2 - however we did not want to do that. We had to manually select the downloaded firmware by holding the "Shift" key on our machine and then hitting the restore button - where it will displayed a "Windows explorer" type window. The firmware was highlighted - which was just downloaded and the restore process progressed (it just took about 10-15 mins). At the end of the restore we got an error (1015), and just as mentioned on forums, ignored it.Now came the most crucial part of Jail Breaking into the phone. We had to search for "iPhuc for Windows" to get out of the recovery mode. Once installed on the system, shot three commands to get it out of recovery mode:cmd setenv auto-boot truecmd saveenvcmd fsbootA wait for 20 seconds and we were able to see the screen which says "Slide for Emergency" We were now ready to JailBreak the iPhone. Then followed the coolest and sexiest part of jailbreaking. We followed the process till Step 9 and the phone restarted - however to our surprise it went automatically into the Recovery mode :(.After a lot of R&D, and searching onto other forums, upgrading to 1.1.2, and again downgrading it to 1.1.1, we still would get stuck up on the same screen. There was a moment in doing this when the Phone just didn't respond for couple of mins and our heart were in our mouth (I was just praying that I didn't iBrick the phone - it would have been the worst ever birthday gift to anyone then). However - I was lucky and the phone rebooted after a wait of 5 mins.I later realized the mistake I was doing when downgrading the iPhone to ver 1.1.1. When you downgrade the phone, only the firmware get downgraded. It was also necessary to downgrade the "BaseBand"firmware as well. Hence I followed steps mentioned here under section "Downgrade the baseband firmware". Once the baseband was downgraded, we had to restore the firmware to 1.1.1 and follow the steps of "JailBreaking" mentioned here. This time the screen changed to "Slide to Unlock" rather than "Slide for Emergency" (This is when I said to myself - the phone is about to get SimUnlocked - and the birthday treat would be awesome).Then followed a series of simple steps right from installing the AnySIM application to doing all the[...]

First's from my EOS

Wed, 28 Nov 2007 02:22:03 PST

After a long wait (of over 8 months) - I finally managed to get a D SLR for myself. Being super excited ever since it has come - here are the first few from it :)




Radio on Google Talk

Sat, 08 Sep 2007 03:37:30 PDT

Wanna listen to Radio? Internet Radio? On your Google Messenger? Follow the steps:

1. Add
2. Then add:
3. Make a Call to
4. Enjoy listening to the radio :)

.... Make sure you have good internet bandwidth before you listen. You do not want the songs to kill in between buffers.

Windows Mobile 6 for HTC S620

Tue, 04 Sep 2007 10:14:13 PDT

For the past few months - a wide number of SmartPhone users had purchased HTC Codename Excaliber (HTC S620 / T-Mobile Dash / Dopod C720w). This is probaby the best Smartphone that is available as of today - however it came loaded with Windows Mobile 5.0.

T-Mobile was the first one to release a Windows Mobile 6.0 upgrade last month and now its the turn of HTC. The HTC upgrade can be downloaded from here. And for those who did not know - Dopod has merged with HTC and this build can be used on a Dopod phone as well

DevCon 2007 @ Pune

Fri, 24 Aug 2007 11:43:53 PDT

From the site itself:

DevCon is a Developer Conference from the developers, by the developers and for the developers. Developers may be professionals or students who will represent next generation developers.

DevCon was first held in the year 2003 at Trivandrum. It attracted approximately 200 professionals. After this success at Trivandrum, in year 2004, Mumbai User Group organized “DevCon 2004”, which included two different tracks, one for Professionals and another for Academia, and combined track attracted more than 500 professionals and students.

In year 2005 “DevCon 2005” was organized by Pune User Group in association with the Mumbai User Group and INETA, following with the blueprint of “DevCon 2004” and attracted more than 600 professionals and students. I

n year 2006, Pune User Group, in Association with Microsoft® organized Acad DevCon 2006. This event was the most successful event of all the times with a huge response of 700+ audiences.

NOW, “DevCon 2007” is being held this year at Pune organized by Pune User Group in association with the INETA, following with the pattern of “DevCon”. This year it is also targeting both professionals and academics with two separate tracks of sessions for students and professionals.
... for agenda and speaker details hop onto

Microsoft Student Partner Meet - West Zone

Fri, 24 Aug 2007 11:34:42 PDT

The last three days of my week have been on a roler coster ride, with Microsoft Student Patner Meet on one end and implementing the Exchange UM Project on the other.

Over the last two days, we have talked a lot about User Groups, SQL Server, Windows Server 2008, ISA Server, SMS Server, MOM Server, ForeFront Server, MOSS, and probably all the products under Microsoft's Infrastructure Domain.

Today - we will look upon technologies like AJAX, Katmai, Secure Coding and lastly - we will watch Die Hard 4 :)

Back after long

Wed, 04 Jul 2007 11:55:04 PDT

Due to commitments and a stressful days at work, I was out of the blogging scence for over 6 months.

Now I've made a promise to myself to try and post atleast one everyweek - so I am back to blogging and rocking.

.... things that happened in the last few month

  • New Job role at Microsoft
  • Showcase of e-Home at MES
  • Showing Technology Scenerios at Microsoft TechMela (formely Microsoft Tech.Ed)
  • Shooting for bit for MTV India on various technologies
  • POCs on SharePoint Portal Server
  • POCs on Live Communication Server and Exchange Unified Messaging
  • 6-7 User Group Meets

Cascading Dropdowns in Infopath Forms

Fri, 27 Oct 2006 03:05:48 PDT

SharePoint and Infopath forms ideally go hand-in-hand. There have been times when doing a POC questions are asked if we can do a "Leave Request requisition". Sometimes the data needs to be populated using other dropdown boxes.

Digging though information - I ended up landing on the Infopath Team's blog. They have a great article on how to design "Cascading Dropdowns in Browser Forms". A great article and must read if you work extensively on Infopath

"Failed On Start" - SPS 2007 Error

Tue, 26 Sep 2006 03:49:42 PDT

I have been trying all these days to make my hands real dirty with SPS 2007! And I finally suceeded.

I have a machine running Win 2003 R2 and SPS 2007 (Beta 2). The idea was to try and get hooked up with SPS 2007. There are couple of things that need to be done (as pre-requisties) to install SPS 2007. Here are a few of them:

1. .NET Framework 2.0 or later
2. Windows Workflow Foundation Beta 2.

I 'm smart and installed .NET 3.0 RC! (it has released versions of both the components) And bingo - my SPS got installed without any glitch! No additional stuff to be downloaded or installed except for Framework 3.0.

However, couple of days later - I was trying to work on a "Approval" workflow, which is pre-defined in SPS 2007. I give all the parameters, all the options filled up and start the workflow. The workflow on starting says "In Progress" however within moments it changes to "Failed to Start". I tried installing SPS again and the framework as well - but the workflow just couldnt start.

I failed to understand the reason - as all the pre-requisites were installed and the workflow should have run. Infact stuff like Excel services were running great. I failed to get a solution to why this was happening.

Then came a brainwave - I installed Sharepoint again - this time with .NET Framework 2.0 and Windows Workflow foundation 2.2 (Beta). I tried running a workflow on a document library and voila, this time it surely worked! No more errors and the process was as smooth as it can get!

Here is a story behind! SPS 2007 Beta 2 was supposed to work with Windows Workflow Foundation 2.2 Beta! With .NET Framework 3.0 - I got the RC build of WWF. That created the problem. I had hence to download both the components (WWF and .NET Framework 2.0) and reinstall SPS 2007 Beta 2. However, I guess if I had Beta 2 tech Refresh of SPS 2007, .NET 3.0 RC would have work - thats my assumption - though havent tried that out.

Task finally completed - and a Shutdown in process. More about SPS 2007 installation comming up in later posts! Keep blogging :)

Great SharePoint Server Consolidated Links

Thu, 07 Sep 2006 01:18:33 PDT

I have been getting my hands dirty - and I mean it - real dirty with Sharepoint 2007. There have been times when I am frustrated and just end up banging my head on the desk - cause there are only a handful people whom I know - have an drilled down in-dept knowledge of sharepoint and have answers to most of the question that you can ever have.

One such guy is Mark Krugar, a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) - who runs a Sharepoint blog on

This guy is really awesome and wonderful! He has gone ahead, taken pains to consolidate all the link of articles, trainings, weblogs, webcasts, etc on Sharepoint and post it on his blog! A truly awesome community spirit - and probably my only one stop source (his blog) for all my sharepoint problems.

Will Vista stall Net traffic?

Thu, 07 Sep 2006 00:59:43 PDT

There have been talks going on in forums about Vista doubling the internet traffic because it supports the new IPv6 standard, which will provide a broader and a larger range of IP Addresses.

I tumbled upon a CNET News article, which have interviews from Paul Mockapetris, the guy who invented DNS (Domain Name System). Its a must read article - probably one of few better written.

Dont know if Vista will hamper the network traffic or not - but sooner or later just like China - everyone will move to IPv6 standard and probably an OS which would be (rather it is) ready for IPv6 addressing space would be Vista.

Windows Vista Available to CPP

Thu, 07 Sep 2006 00:51:37 PDT

Vista RC1 , finally releases to the CPP (Customer Preview Program) participants. And again - its the same build which was released on friday to beta testers (like me).

In Microsoft's words
"Update: Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 (RC1) is now available for Customer
Preview Program (CPP) participants only. If you are not registered but would
like to receive RC1, the CPP will open to new participants in the coming weeks.
Please check back periodically for updates."

Get it from

Need Windows Vista for Free?

Tue, 05 Sep 2006 00:30:18 PDT

Microsoft lately appeared quoting in couple of international media about offering Vista for free! Yes, Microsoft is offering Vista, free upgrade.

However, the free upgrade will be only available for MCE (Media Center Edition) users of Windows XP. For Windows XP Profession users, the upgrade would be around USD 110 for the entry level OS, while for the premium version it would be close to USD 270.

apparently, there is a tentative corporate launch of Vista scheduled around 10th November 2006 - Vista will only be available for Corporate customers - the retail versions are slated to be launched in January 2007

So if you are a retail user, and what a free upgrade to Vista and are looking for buying a new computer, go ahead and buy it with Media Center Edition.

Installing WinFX [.NET 3.0]

Thu, 03 Aug 2006 07:44:54 PDT

Well - after the much pains I look installing WinFX, I found a simple way out. All that I had to do was to browse to and under Downloads for Running .NET Framework 3.0 (formerly WinFX) Applications - just click the appropriate link.

I was taken to the download page, where after reading though the text, I could go ahead and download the complete runtime which was in .exe format.

Now wasn't that a nice helpful thing done by Microsoft :)

Installing WinFX [ .NET 3.0 ]

Mon, 17 Jul 2006 08:35:09 PDT

Recently I was trying to get my hands dirty on Sharepoint Portal 2003. However for the portal to install correctly, what we need is WinFX.

WinFX is not bundled with the SPS 2007 DVD. Its a additional download. Once you click the download link, a small exe of 1MB is saved on your computer. This "exe" file, when executed, connects to the internet to download additional 24MB files. These files are part of WinFX setup.

However, at India, where bandwidth is still an issue - the "exe" may not be a feasible way to distribute your apps which use WinFX as a platform. The user will have a machine connected to the internet to get the redistributables. An internet connection might not be available at every location, hence it makes all the more sense to "extract" the files and burn them on CD.

Here is what you will have to do, when the exe is installing WinFX, it has temporarily extracted all the files to the "Temp" folder under "Documents and Settings\Local Settings". You should copy the folder names "WinFX" from the "Temp" folder, copy it to another location and you are done.

However this is to be done before the setup is complete, else the setup might delete the files it extracted.

Changing Splash Screens of a Windows Mobile phone

Sat, 08 Jul 2006 21:12:20 PDT

I was always fascinated by those funky operator logos that used to appear on Nokia phones. You had those dirt bikes, your names, cakes, etc and various not-to-be-mentioned logos. I always wanted something like that on my smartphone.

I realized there is no way to get a operator logo on the smartphone (Rather I just couldn't find a way). And hence nevertheless, I have been trying to find out a way to change the Splash Screen / Shutdown screen to something custom (like my pic ;) ). Something which gave a "personal" feel to my phone. Finally, I was able to achieve that :).

For all you Windows Mobile Freaks, and for all of you who didn't know how to change the splash screens, here are the steps to do it:

  • Create your jpg /png images with size 176 x 220 (in pixels).
  • Copy them to some folder in the phone memory (eg \my documents). Make sure its not on the Storage Card.
  • Open the Registry Editor and add a registry key 'Splash Screen' (or whatever you want it to be) to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft].
  • Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\splash screen] and add string values 'CarrierBitmap', 'CarrierShutdownBitmap', 'MSBitmap' and 'MSShutdownBitmap'.
  • Edit added string values, so that they point to the images. Make sure you use full paths to the images even if they are placed in \Windows.
  • Restart the phone.

BTW this also applies to Pocket PC - however I am not sure of the size for the image. If you can figure that out yourself - its great - else let me just post it here in couple of days.

PS: Thanks to Anando, he pointed out that this would work only with non-QVGA display devices. So there is a different resolution for QVGA and Pocket PC Devices.

Office Live Mail vs Hotmail

Tue, 18 Apr 2006 12:11:52 PDT

I had recently signed up for Office Live and associated my passport ID with it as a primary email.



I would log onto my Hotmail account using one instance of my browser and using the second instance I would log on to the Office Live account. The moment I do this and refresh my Hotmail browser, the MSN Hotmail logo changes to Microsoft Office Live Mail.

I am sure many of you who have Office Live accounts associated with you passport account you might have faced this problem (you can call it a "bug" though). The problem here is the "cookie" which is shared by Passport and Office Live to associate the accounts.

If I just log out of Office Live, and refresh the Hotmail page, I will get my MSN HOTMAIL logo back, also if I delete my cookies and refresh the Hotmail browser, MSN HOTMAIL logo comes back.

This looks like a bug which the Office Live team might be aware of and will get fixed in future releases of Office Live.