Friday, February 29, 2008

Time to think Miles per Dollar (miles/$)

I guess with the barrel of oil flirting with $103.00 , i better start amending my driving styles and engage IT(Information Technology) to max out the miles per dollar. I have stopped thinking about miles per gallons few months back when the barrel was going against Newton's third law and i myself started following Newton's second law(Every action has equal and opposite reaction). It seams like just few years back we had the liberty to drive the car with lower prices and be more social then now a days. So for me the higher gas price is taking a toll on my social circle. A change that i made in my driving pattern was to walk to the stores, if they are within one mile radius, no need to burn the gas. This way i have three fold benefits (will keep fit, take care of the environment and keep my wallet happy).

Since 2007 January i have started keeping track(formed a habit) of all my fuel, service and car insurance expenses in Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition. To get a feel of how much i'm spending per car per month and annually. When Microsoft came out with Visual Studio 2008 Express Edition i created a web based application to streamline the tracking of services, fuel receipts and generating the analysis reports before i get shocked by the credit card statement. Its a good idea at least for me to see my monthly fuel expense as soon as i start the application and when the next service is and what needs to be done in that service. I have attached the screen shots of the application.
If you want to give the application a spin and start tracking the expenses i will be glad to provide you the application and database structure just email me your request.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Grim Banking Forecast

Today i saw a very interesting article by Ken the Bank Deals Guy where he is referring to a recent article on CNN about FDIC bracing for large number(100-200) of bank failures in the upcoming months(12-24). That is a big scary numbers. What happens to the contents stored for safeguarding at the safe deposit box when the bank goes under? Next time i visit my bank i will ask them this question and see what the reply is. This article further mentions how an individual can safe guard his deposits, i would recommend this article to all my viewers and readers. I bookmarked that article so that i can read it often.

I hope FDIC increases the $100,000.00 deposit insurance to cater for the inflation.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Free tools bonanza for students from Microsoft

First thing first i would like to apologize for been away from posting any new blogs. Its been hectic for me as i have been trying to squeeze in 25 hours out of 24 hours . I have started my doctoral research studies as i cleared my qualifying exams in late Jan. 2008.

I would like to say a big "Thank You" to Microsoft for providing, students with FREE copies of Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server and Windows Server 2003 thorough Microsoft DreamSpark . If you want to learn the new cutting age technology introduced by Microsoft, i will encourage you to register, roll up the sleeves and start using it. If your school is not listed in the listbox, not to worry they have provided a link to JourneyEd. This company will do the student verification and once your verified you will receive an email within 24 hours with downloading instructions. I got my downloading instruction email in 15 minutes. Its almost 3.3GB to download the VS 2008, so you better leave the downloading for overnite. I have been using VS 2008 Express Edition for almost 2 months now and i liked the LINQ classes, AJAX controls that are provided along with the ease of coding(reducing the loc and errors that might go with it). I'm hoping to see the ASP.NET, VS 2008 and Silverlight to enable the user to develop RIA (Rich Internet Application) with a shorter turn around time.
Microsoft will launch VS 2008 in Baltimore on May 23rd, 2008 and the registration is still open. So if you guys wanna be there, please register soon.