Sunday, November 15, 2009

ACM Membership Benefits

I've been a member of ACM ( for about a year now and it's almost renewal time. It's been arguably the best investment I made last year! As a member of ACM, I am entitled to a number of great benefits that help me excel in my career. My favorite ACM benefits are online books from Safari and Books24x7 and Element K-based online courses and virtual labs. Here's a complete list of what you get with an ACM membership:

  • A full year 12-issue subscription to the newly redesigned and redefined "Communications of the ACM," ACM's flagship publication, the most trusted source for industry information for today's computing professionals.
  • Access to 2,500 online courses in multiple languages and 1,000 virtual labs.
  • Access to 1,100 online books on today's hottest IT topics including 600 selections from Safari® Books Online featuring leading publishers such as O'Reilly, and 500 titles from books24x7®.
  • ACM Career & Job Center - Whether you are a seasoned professional, or a student studying computing, you will find valuable career resources and extensive job postings in the ACM Career & Job Center.
  • Full access to ACM's enormous bank of over two million bibliographic citations in the Online Guide to Computing Literature.
  • Full access to the new acmqueue website featuring Planet Queue blogs, case studies, CTO Roundtables, video and audio content, and much more.
  • The option to subscribe to the powerful ACM Digital Library with 50+ years of archives and more than 40 publications.
  • The opportunity to become a mentor through ACM's partnership with MentorNet, the leading organization promoting e-mentoring relationships between students and professionals in the areas of engineering and science.
  • ACM online publications that keep you current on the latest computing developments:-
    • "TechNews" and "CareerNews" digests for professional and career trends
    • "MemberNet" brings you the world of ACM…and beyond

It's important to note that all members must subscribe to the purposes of ACM. To access the ACM Code of Ethics go to:


Friday, May 15, 2009

What's in a Codename?

It's often helpful to codename a project that a team is working on. This has many benefits including secrecy of the product being developed (hiding it from competitors), giving a common and, perhaps, interesting name to the project, and giving the company/team a lot of time to decide on a good product name while it's under development. Here are some codenames Microsoft have used for their products:
  • Whidbey
  • Orcas
  • Jakarta
And here are some used by Apple:
  • Leopard
  • Jaguar
  • Puma
Thinking of great project codenames may not be as easy as it seems. So help comes along. Here's a link to a Web Site that generates cool codenames in a military-oriented way but they can be used for any sort of project. Here's the link:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

VirtualBox 2.2.0 Bug: HostKey Can't Be Changed

I recently upgraded my VirtualBox installation to the latest & greatest version 2.2.0, on my Vista Business notebook, just to find that NAT and bridged-networking wouldn't work in my Windows XP Professional guest. Research revealed that this problem could be fixed simply by re-running the installation and choosing "Repair." That's precisely what I did and that fixed the issue, however, only partially. Now I could browse the Internet in my guest OS but I couldn't access any resources on my office's network (my host connects to the office via Cisco VPN). So this time around, I uninstalled VirtualBox, restarted my notebook, and installed VirtualBox 2.2.0 afresh. This resolved all networking-related issues. However, now it wouldn't let me change the HostKey from Right Ctrl to Right Alt, or any other for that matter. After a bit of Googling, I landed at a page describing this was a bug in the newest version (the bug's been fixed and the fix will be available in the upcoming release). Crap! Because I couldn't live with Right Ctrl as my HostKey, I had to figure out a way to change it to Right Alt. Here's how you do it without having to hand-edit any configuration files. Perhaps an easy way of changing the HostKey until the fix is released is to use VBoxManage with the setextradata switch. So if you wanted to change the HostKey to the Right Alt key (numeric code 165), you would execute the following command: VBoxManage.exe setextradata global GUI/Input/HostKey 165 I've posted this solution at the bug page also. You could see details on the bug and this work-around (and others) here.