Faculty Trip - 2007

Last weekend I participated for the first faculty trip organized by our faculty in it's short 5 year history. Well it was a historical moment where more than 150 students participated for the trip from 4 batches. 3 university buses were used for the trip. According to the trip plan we were suppose to visit Knuckles mountain range and Wasgamuwa National Park. Nearly 20 students from my batch(Batch4) participated the trip.

But unfortunately because of the heavy rain we couldn’t visit some places that we planned, heavy rain foiled every thing. We were planning to have a mountain hiking at Knuckles and visit tow beautiful waterfalls.
Road to Knuckles mountain park is very difficult. Specially with large university buses. It was very difficult to drive on that road. In one place one of the buses get stuck in a bend.

On that day we were able to visit "Pitawala Pathana", a high plain and "Punchi Lokanthaya", small Worlds End. Both were covered by heavy mist, we couldn’t see more than few feet. So obviously we couldn’t see any thing at "Punchi Lokanthatya".

Next day (Saturday), as it was on Friday heavy rain foiled every thing. We have to cancel mountain hiking at Knuckels and we continue our trip to Wasgamuwa national park. We were able see quite a few wild life there. Peacock, verities of cranes, Dears, Foxes, monkeys and an Elephant. Near Mahaweli river we were caught in heavy rain again.

Finally we went to visit "Sorabora Wewa", master peice of anciant Sri Lankan irrigation technology. We spent nearly 1 1/2 hours at "Sorabora Wewa".
Then It was time to go home. Return trip took very long time. So when I came home it was around 4am in the morning.
This trip was not as fun as our Batch trip to Sinharaja. But any way we all had a very good time together. And it was a very good occasion to get away from the office life.

More Photos >>

Free Videos from LearnVisualStudio.net

LearnVisualStudio.net is a great site which provides thousands of videos on how to program in .Net. But you have to get subscribed to get access to their full set of videos. But occasionally they release free videos as well. You can get information about these free videos through email by subscribing. These are few free videos I received that way.

1) Designing Relational Database Tables
Why are relational databases the most popular? Differentiate between primary and foreign keys. Design relational database tables and learn about normalization rules and de-normalization.
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2) Understanding Security and Network Connectivity
Differentiate between database files and SQL Server processes. Explore scenarios for connecting to SQL Server Express databases, enabling and disabling user instances, login permissions, and other security precautions.
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3) Introduction to Anonymous Delegates
After reviewing How to Create and Use Regular Delegates, this video explains the concept of creating anonymous delegates, when to use them and when not to, and explains the concept of closure for retrieving the state and scope of the anonymous delegate at instantiation for use upon its invocation. (Anonymous delegates are not available in Visual Basic 8.x or earlier.)
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4) Introduction to Generics
Generics allow you to create flexible data structures that are strongly typed. This video compares the System.Collections.ArrayList class versus its generic replacement, the System.Collections.Generic.List, explaining exactly why generics are the prefered way to add stability to your collections by catching situations where objects of the wrong type are being added to your collections at compile time.
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5) Understanding Web Application State
In this lesson, you will see how to maintain state in your ASP.NET 2.0 applications.
Not familiar with the term “state” as it’s used in web jargon?
Basically, the web is inherently a stateless environment … each “page” of a web site is independent. The trick is passing along certain information between each individual visit to a web page for a given user.
ASP.NET 2.0 has several different ways to accomplish this. In about 35 minutes we demonstrate and explain the major ASP.NET classes and various techniques you can use to provide your users a rich web-based experience.
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6) Debugging and Tracing your Website
In this lesson, you will learn how to debug and monitor your ASP.NET 2.0 Web applications.
Fortunately, Microsoft has made it easy to step through each line of code to observe how it's executing to ferret out difficult-to-find bugs. Skills you've developed in writing Windows applications will definitely help, but there are some more tricks and tips that you can use with live applications (i.e., web applications that you've already deployed).
We'll show you almost everything you'll need to know about debugging and monitoring the execution of your app in less than 30 minutes!
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7) How to use the BackgroundWorker Control
This video comes from the Windows Forms Controls 2005 Series. This video demonstrates how to use the new BackgroundWorker Control to easily create a multi-threaded application. (Works with all versions of Visual Studio 2005, including the Express Editions)
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8) Securing your ASP.NET 2.0 Web Site with Membership and Login Controls
Your next free tutorial comes from our "Getting Started with Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition" series. In this video you discover the new membership capabilities of ASP.NET 2.0. In addition, you will learn about role-based security, and how you can use roles to control access to your web site.
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Salute to the heroes….

Few days back I received this email from one of my friends….
I thought to put it in my blog in respect to all the heroes of Army, Navy, Air Force and Police who sacrifices their lives to build us a peaceful Sri Lanka…

Take a minute to think on this please...

Your alarm goes off, you hit the snooze and sleep for another 10 minutes.
He stays up for days on end.

You take a warm shower to help you wake up.
He goes days or weeks without running water.

You complain of a "headache", and call in sick.
He gets shot at as others are hit, and keeps moving forward.

You put on your anti war/don't support the troops shirt, and go meet up with your friends.
He still fights for your right to wear that shirt.

You make sure you're cell phone is in your pocket.
He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog-tags.

You talk trash about your "buddies" that aren't with you.
He knows he may not see some of his buddies again.

You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls.
He walks the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists.

You complain about how hot it is.
He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.

You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong.
He doesn't get to eat today.

Your wife/mother/maid makes your bed and washes your clothes.
He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean.

You go to the mall and get your hair redone.
He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today.

You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over.
He's told he will be held over an extra 2 months.

You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight.
He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.

You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday.
He holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume.

You roll your eyes as a baby cries.
He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they'll ever meet

You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything...
He sees the innocent tortured and killed by terrorists and remembers why he is fighting.

You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of men like him.
He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the wounded - and of the innocents who have no one to stand up for them.

You see only what the media wants you to see.
He sees the broken bodies lying around him.

You are asked to go to the store by your parents. ... And You don't.
He does exactly what he is told.

You stay at home and watch TV.
He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep, and eat.

You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable.
He crawls under a tank for shade and a 5 minute nap, only to be awakened by gunfire.

You sit here and judge him, saying the world is probably a worse place because of men like him.
If only there were more men like him!

WHO is HE?

If you support him , then please send this to everyone you know...
Perhaps people will change their attitude and behavior to support HIS worthy cause...
HE is sacrificing his today for our future Sri Lanka!!!

In dedication of the true Valiant Sri Lankan Men and Women in the Army, Air Force, Navy and Police!

Sri Lanka ArmySri Lanka NavySri Lanka Air forceSri Lanka Police


How To Make Your Brain Active

Have you ever walked into a room and wondered why you are there? Have you ever faced someone you've known for years and couldn't remember his/her name? I don't know about you, but these things do happen to me sometimes.

Today while I was surfing the Internet I came across a very good article about how to keep our brain alive and active.
The article I read points out few things that we have to do in order to healthy brain;

  • Run Up Your Brain Cells
  • Exercise Your Mind
  • Ask Why
  • Laugh
  • Be A Fish Head
  • Remember
  • Cut The Fat
  • Do A Puzzle
  • The Mozart Effect
  • Improve Your Skill At Things You Already Do
  • Be A Thinker, Not A Drinker
  • Play
  • Sleep On It
  • Concentration
  • Make Love For Your Brain
  • Play With Passion!
  • Cycles Of Consciousness
  • Learn Something New
  • Write To Be Read
  • Try Aroma Therapy To Activate Your Brain
  • Drugs To Increase Brainpower
  • Build A Brain Trust.
You have probably heard that we use only a fraction of our brain's capacity. By practicing at least few of those methods we may be able to increase the percentage we are using.
Read the complete article 22 Ways To Overclock Your Brain...

Creating Goolge Toolbar Custom Buttons

With new Google tool bar you can easily create custom buttons. Creating buttons is very easy, you just have to create a

simple XML file. Most common use of the custom button is to view the RSS feeds of a site. Here is how to do it;

  • Create an XML file called yourname.xml
  • In that file use the following template
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<custombuttons xmlns="http://toolbar.google.com/custombuttons/">
<title>Name of Button</title>
What that button does or what the site is about.
<site>URL of tool or homepage </site>
<feed refresh-interval="900" refresh-onclick="true">feed location</feed>
<icon mode="base64" type="image/x-icon">base 64 version of your icon - not needed but it looks nice to use.
The feed refresh # is in seconds, and the refresh onclick ensures you have the most recent version of that feed when you click it.
you can also have a icon in you custom button. To add an icon you have to have it on base64 mode.
Find small 16x16 icon.
You can find thousands of small png, jpeg pictures from famfamfam.com
Convert selected png,jpeg file into *.ico using this site.
Convert your *.ico file in to base64 form using this online tool.
Copy and paste the base64 text for the icon within <icon> </icon> tag.

That's it... Now you have the XML file for the custom button. Next you have to install it to the tool bar. To do that replace the file path of the following URL with the actual path where you have saved the file, and copy and paste it in FF address bar and hit enter.
http://toolbar.google.com/buttons/add?url=file:///<File Path>
eg: http://toolbar.google.com/buttons/add?url=file:///D:\Temp\Custom Buttons\SandarenuBlog.xml

After installing the button you will be able to see it in the tool bar.

I've created a simple button to get RSS feed of my blog. Using it you can see the updates of my blog in a single click. You can try it here.

See Google Custom button API for more details.

What does your e-mail say about you?

Everyday we send number of emails to our friends, colleagues, lectures, etc.... Little details that we left out or inadvertently included can suggest that we are lazy, incompetent, inattentive, mistrustful, or unprofessional. Today, while I'm surfing the net I came across an interesting article by Paul Glen which gives some important points that we have to consider when sending a email. Those are;

  1. Spelling.
  2. Grammar.
  3. Signature Block.
  4. Subject Line.
  5. Format.
  6. Length.
  7. Urgent Indicator.
  8. Bandwidth Usage.
  9. Delivery Receipt.
Read the complete article.
So before clicking the Send button there are lots of things to be checked.

Microsoft's 'Enchanted Office' Comic

Microsoft has created a comic story to teach the users the importance of Office 2007. It tries to convince the user the importance of Ribbons in the new Office interface and how it can improve the productivity in the office. It is titles as "The Enchanted Office: Once Upon a User Interface," and goes around the character of Madeline a CEO of a company.

To view the comic click here.

Sri Lankan Holidays Google Calendar

I previously posted about how to add Sri Lankan holiday list to MS Outlook. After that I though how wonderful would it be if I can add those holidays to my Google calendar.
So I did exactly that. Itwas not that difficult. I exported my Outlook holiday calendar to iCal file and import it from Google calendar. I made my holiday calendar public so you also can add it to you google calendar.

Click on the button to add the Holiday Calendar to your google calendar.

Add Sri Lankan holidays to your Outlook calendar

This is a simple method that enables you to add Sri Lankan holiday list to MS Outlook holidays. I first saw this at Meril’s blog. It only had information to add the holiday list to Outlook. But it is possible to add the same list multiple time creating duplicates. (It personally happened to me) After Googling, managed to find a method to remove those duplicates. I’m including that in this post as well.

– – – – – – – – – Start Copy – – – – – – – – –

[Sri Lanka] 26
Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day(BPM),2007/1/3
Tamil Thai Pongal Day(BPM),2007/1/15
Navam Full Moon Poya Day(BPM),2007/2/1
National Day(BPM),2007/2/4
Mahasivarathri Day(BP),2007/2/16
Medin Full Moon Poya Day(BPM),2007/3/3
Milad-Un-Nabi (Holy Prophet’s Birthday)(BPM),2007/4/1
Bak Full Moon Poya Day(BPM),2007/4/2
Good Friday(BP),2007/4/6
Day Prior to Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day(BPM),2007/4/13
Sinhala & Tamil New Year Day(BPM),2007/4/14
May Day(BPM),2007/5/1
Vesak Full Moon Poya Day(BPM),2007/5/1
Day following Vesak Full Moon Poya Day(BPM),2007/5/2
Adhi Poson Full Moon Poya Day(BPM),2007/5/31
Poson Full Moon Poya Day(BPM),2007/6/30
Esala Full Moon Poya Day(BPM),2007/7/29
Nikini Full Moon Poya Day(BPM),2007/8/28
Binara Full Moon Poya Day(BPM),2007/9/26
Id-Ul-Fitr (Ramazan Festival Day)(BP),2007/10/13
Vap Full Moon Poya Day(BPM),2007/10/25
Deepavali Festival Day(BP),2007/11/8
Il Full Moon Poya Day(BPM),2007/11/24
Id-Ul-Alha (Hadji Festival Day)(BP),2007/12/21
Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day(BPM),2007/12/23
Christmas Day(BPM),2007/12/25

– – – – – – End Copy – – – – – – –

Update the current holiday file

  • Exit Outlook if it is running.
  • In Microsoft Windows Explorer, locate the following file:
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\1033\Outlook.hol
  • Open the file using notepad.
  • Add the contents of the above text (between Start Copy and End Copy) at the end of the Outlook.hol and save it.

Updating the Outlook calendar with customized events

  • Start Outlook.
  • On the Tools menu, click Options.
  • On the Preferences tab, under Calendar, click Calendar Options.
  • In the Calendar Options dialog box, under Calendar options, click Add Holidays.
  • Select the check box for your customized set of events and holidays, and then click OK. For this example, select the box labeled Sri Lanka.

Note It's possible that a set of holidays or events observed in your country/region has already been selected in the Add Holidays to Calendar dialog box. If you try to add the same country/region again, you see the message, "Holidays for country are already installed. Do you want to install them again?"
Click No. If you click Yes, the holidays and events are installed a second time, and you will see duplicate holiday and event entries in your calendar.

In case if you accidentally clicked Yes here is how to remove duplicate holidays.

  • Choose View | Arrange By | Current View | Events
  • Right-click any column heading, then choose Field Chooser.
  • In the Field Chooser, switch from the Frequently-used fields list to Date/Time fields, and then drag the Created date to the view to add it to the fields displayed.
  • Click on the Created column header to sort by that field.
  • You should now see two distinct sets of holidays, each in reverse chronological order. Click on the first holiday of the set you want to delete.
  • Use the scroll bar to view the last holiday of that set. Hold down the Shift key as you click on the last holiday. This selects all the holidays in that set.
  • Press Delete to remove them all from the Calendar folder.
  • Drag the Created column header out of the view to remove it.


Tribune to Heros

Tribune to Heros
We will never forget the sacrifices you made to protect our country....


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