Thursday, March 31, 2016

What is Microsoft Translator?

Microsoft Translator is a Microsoft Edge extension in preview for the Microsoft Insiders in a recent Build.

You can read more about it here and here.

It supports 50+ languages:
The Microsoft Translator supports more than 50+ languages.

Languages that are supported by this extension:
   # Arabic
   # Bosnian (Latin)
   # Bulgarian
   # Catalan
   # Chinese Simplified
   # Chinese Traditional
   # Croatian
   # Czech
   # Danish
   # Dutch
   # English
   # Estonian
   # Finnish
   # French
   # German
   # Greek
   # Haitian Creole
   # Hebrew
   # Hindi
   # Hmong Daw
   # Hungarian
   # Indonesian
   # Italian
   # Japanese
   # Kiswahili
   # Klingon
   # Klingon (plqaD)
   # Korean
   # Latvian
   # Lithuanian
   # Malay
   # Maltese
   # Norwegian
   # Persian
   # Polish
   # Portuguese
   # Queretaro Otomi
   # Romanian
   # Russian
   # Serbian (Cyrillic)
   # Serbian (Latin)
   # Slovak
   # Slovenian
   # Spanish
   # Swedish
   # Thai
   # Turkish
   # Ukrainian
   # Urdu
   # Vietnamese
   # Welsh
   # Yucatec Maya

It supports even Klingon for the Star Trek afficionados.

In order to work with Microsoft Translator you need to be signed in for the Insiders Program and then you can download and install as explained in one of the above links.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What is Unity? Where can I get it?

If you are a game developer, I suppose you may not even read this post. Unity is a multi-platform, 2D/3D game development engine and you can learn about it here (

It is supported on most platforms and a leader in game development. With just one click you can deploy to:
  • Mobile - iOS, Android, Windows and Tizen
  • VR
  • Desktop
  • Web
  • Console and 
  • TV platforms.

Here are the platforms to which you can deploy the games.


If you are developing for the mobile area it has lots of built-in stuff:
  • One-click deployment to Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Tizen.
  • Tons of optimizations thanks to features like occlusion culling, asset bundling, and build size stripping.
  • World class monetization and retention services for mobile games.
  • Dedicated, easy to use 3D and 2D tools and workflows.
Unity for VR and AR is already garnering from most vendors shown here:


You can develop very immersive and entertaining games for the desktop be it Windows, Mac or Linus/StreamOS


If you have game console such as XBOX, PS4, Wii and 3DS they are covered too:


I have a Samsung TV can I deploy? of course you can. Unity supports these Smart TVs as well:
Android TV
Samsung TV
Apple TV


Now what about Web?

Of course you can target the Web and it has already been used commercially.


Hay! What are you waiting for? Download.

Why fret?
Download the free stuff
Just to get your feet wet

Don't huff and huff!

Get the free stuff here:

If you like it and if you can work with it, go and get the professional.
If you are going to work with Microsoft's latest, Hololens, also get the Visual Studio 2015 Community. It is already integrated to work with Hololens and you can get your Unity projects into it.

Let us Game!

Source: Pictures and some language taken from Unity site.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What is Night Shift and how do you enable it?

Night Shift is a new Apple iPhone feature that is bundled with iOS 9.3  which was released recently. Night Shift is supposed to help you sleep better by providing a background color of the display which shifts from blue during morning hours to a more helpful range of  spectrum towards the red. This reduces the strain on the eyes.

Night Shift is a part of the Settings. From Settings choose Display & Brightness to get to the Night Shift Screen.

From Settings on your iPhone 6S (assuming yo have downloaded and installed iOS 9.3) you come to the following screen.

 From here you can Schedule it or Manually Enable Until Next day. Also you can adjust the degree of warmth. The above screen shows the color of display in real time as you adjust the slider but the display reverts to normal afer the adjustment.

You can hit the > arrow in the From/To screen customize your own schedule.

What is JavaScript hoisting?

In programming, usually a variable has to be declared before it is used. However with JavaScript you can declare a variable after it is used. Hoisting is JavaScript's default behaviour. JavaScript hoisting moves up all declarations to the top. Note that variable declarations are moved up and not the variable assignments.

This is variable declaration: This gets moved up to top
var x;

This is variable assignment:This does not move up, stays put where defined.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Where do you find the MAC address on a smartphone?

In order to access Hotspot provided by your internet provider you may have to register your phones with the service provider. You will also require your userid and password. The provider would ask for the MAC (Machine Access Control) address of your phone. MAC address is also called Physical Address. Normally this is found in the settings of your phone.

For Windows Phone Microsoft Lumia 950 it is found under:
Settings---About---Device Information--MAC ADDRESS
With the following format:
Mac Address: 33-F3-8D-99-0A-99 (some fictitious address)

For Apple iPhone 6S it is found under:
Settings-----General----About---;Wi-Fi address
with the format similar to the above.
Wi-Fi address: 33:F3:8D:99:0A:99 (some fictitious address)

You better don't give away your MAC address to anybody as it is unique for a phone. If somebody spoofs it and commits something inappropriate you could be blamed for it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Is there a personal expenses related EXCEL template?

 Yes, there happens to one which looks good.
Microsoft's Personal Expense Excel template is a nice piece of organization application. Perhaps you should give it a try. It is built with three sheets that are interactive and each sheet has a lot of information.

Here are some pictures that will give a preview of what it can do.

Just click on Create to create the template.

The template gets created immediately. At the bottom you can see the three sheets. The first sheet in view is the dashboard.  I think it is showing graph for six months. The page is interactive, you an switch off a month or two and the graph changes. similarly with the categories etc. It's based on Power Pivot (I think).

 This is the expense log arranged chronologically and categorically. After downloading the template and saving with your name, you can make suitable changes and customize it.

 This is the Categories sheet.

 Here using the category drop-down you can do sorting, switch of couple of the categories or even all of them, etc
 Here I took April off to see what difference it made for the dashboard. Actually thee interactivity in the dashboard is very useful to see your spending habits, more Starbucks; less eat out, more cinema, etc.
Give it a try!!

What is Intel XDK?

 This is the age of mobile and mobile applications will be dominant in the coming years.

Intel XDK is a good tool to create cross-platform mobile applications for diverse device foot prints from Smart Phones starting with generation 3 all the way to 7 from diverse manufacturers, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Black Berry etc. Developers using Intel XDK can test their apps on their own device over Wi-Fi; test them in the emulators and debug them as well.

If you are interested there are various resources on the web. But first get to this site:

 The support forum is very active with Intel staff answering questions from users.

You can do lots of stuff, these are just for starters:

 There are many step-by-step tutorials on our other site:

Here are some direct links on the above site:

Part 1:Creating a Intel XDK project using a template; SideMenu project UI, SideMenu on iPhone6 emulator

Part 2: Review of Controls and Layout as well as working with Pages. Pages in a SideMenu

Part 3: Linking the pages and Navigation

Part 4: Adding the BACK button to return to the previous page.

Part 5: Adding pages and organizing controls  to the project

The project you create will be on a server. For accessing the app from the server over Wi-Fi you need the Intel App Preview which is available for most devices and the software gets updated and the preview app is available from the app store (Apple store, Windows Store, etc.).

The Intel App Preview is available for the latest phones as well, such as iPhone 6, Microsoft Lumia 950 and many others.

For iOS devices from Apple Store:

For Windows Phone from Microsoft Store (Windows 10) :

I recently created several apps and naturally wanted to see how it works. I downloaded Intel App Preview for both iPhone 6S and Microsoft Lumia 950. I was surprised to find that generally Microsoft Lumia 950 did a much better hob, or rather the Preview fared much better on Lumia 950.
One of the biggest drawbacks of using the Preview on iPhone 6S was that once you click to look at an app, there is no way you can go back to the Preview activation link. You will have to delete Intel App Preview and reinstall again. For example, I opened an app, 'Hodentek Books', the page shows up neatly, but how do I go back?  The 'back' on the screen is actually a refresh to populate a 'iFrame' widget.


On Microsoft Lumia Intel App Preview fared much better because of the software back button that takes you back to the quiescent state of Intel App Preview.

However the access time of the apps from both the devices over Wi-Fi were quite long and will not match with the patience of the audience.

On the fidelity of the app on the phones, the iPhone 6S was identical to the one on related emulator in Intel XDK. The Windows 10's rendition was far from perfect although the claim is made that styling issues have been fixed. However, the present emulator was really made for Windows 8.1 but tested on Windows 10. It may be noted that Intel App Preview claims to have been built for Windows 10 which perhaps is an optimistic statement.

I had a response from the Intel XDK Forums (User Forums| App Framework) that a new version for Windows 10 will be released soon. Perhaps things can get better.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Does Stock Analysis with Microsoft Excel work?

This appears to be a new thing that Excel is supposed to do. It is really
Business Analysis, and I was just curious to see how much intelligence can
be gathered and how interactive the application. It uses the GET and TRANSFORM
features of EXCEL. Get started with Power Pivot to reap the benefits.

This program came with my Office 365 subscription and I was encouraged to
take the tour. Here are some images of my tour. It only worked partially. When
I added a third stock symbol, it could not come up with an anticipated response.
I think it is still in the works! More can be found on Excel Team blog.

This is what you would see after launching EXCEL2016 from its shortcut.

Click on Stock Analysis

Click Create.

 Click My Stock Analysis. It comes up with a two default stocks, their performance over a number of years as well as a chart. The application is supposed to allow you enter one more NASDAQ stock.

 I tried a couple of them like XOM, AAPL, GOOGL, etc. It asks for privacy information as shown in the next. For both option choose, PUBLIC and it should allow the third stock to enter

I could change the default stocks but the third stock did not work as expected. The charts, I suppose is no more relevant.

As I said earlier, it is still in works. It could become a great tool in the future.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

How can I backup a SQL Database to a folder on my computer?

You can do it using SQL Server Management Studio(SSMS) or Windows PowerShell. If you are a 'click' expert you would choose SSMS, but if you are a 'dba' type you would rather choose the key board.

The backup-sqldatabase commandlet in Windows Powershell can do it in no time at all. There are only two lines of code.

Let me show the database Northwind in the Object Browser of my SQL Server 2012 Instance.
The name of the instance with the domain is Hodentek8\RegencyPark. On this instance there are several databases. we will backup 'Northwind'


Launch Windows PowerShell ISE by typing in 'Windows PowerShell ISE' in the searchbox('cortana') in Windows 10.


In the Script Pane of Windows PowerShell ISE type in the following lines as shown:

$sqlServer = new-object ("Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Smo.Server") "Hodentek8\RegencyPark"
Backup-SqlDatabase -ServerInstance "Hodentek8\RegencyPark"
                   -Database "Northwind"
                   -BackupFile "\\HODENTEK8\Users\Public\nwind.bak"

After this code is processed the backup file will be found in the UNC location shown above.

You may want to review this post: