Wednesday, July 06, 2011

ICC impact on 495 traffic

What will be the impact of ICC – Inter County Connector (MD -200) on the traffic on the Washington DC beltway?  The ICC is scheduled to open in the early part of 2012.  This road will connect MD-370 in Montgomery County to I-95 in Prince George’s County.

I do not believe this road will alleviate any traffic on the DC beltway.  First of all, the ICC is a toll road.  The tolls will be very heavy during the rush hours.  The road will cost motorists over $10 dollars a day during rush hour commutes.  A stiff price to pay.

The second reason, the often not discussed reason, is that the direction of the road is designed wrong from the start.  The road goes from southeast towards northwest if you look at the map.  The rush hour traffic does not flow that way in DC suburbs of Maryland.  The heavier traffic flow is from Prince George’s County and Howard County towards Montgomery County and into Virginia during the morning rush hours.  The ICC sort of takes the motorists away from the general flow in the morning.  This road is essentially useless for the morning commutes for a lot of people.  The inverse also applies in the evening.  Because of this design flaw the road lends itself almost useless in terms of reliving traffic on the I-495.

On the other hand, I think that if the road was designed in such a way that it connected Howard County from around Route 32 or MD-100 to Montgomery County around MD-370 then the traffic flow could have been either east to west or northeast to southwest.  This type of design could have had a huge impact on the traffic on the I-495. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Charge iphone in india

How to charge iphone in india? I have an iphone 4 and I will be travelling to India shortly. Dose the iphone charger I use in USA work in India? Or do I need to get a converter for the iphone?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Waist size 35 pants

Why there are no waist 35 pants in the stores? The pant waist sizes go from 32, 33, 34, to 36. My pant size happens to be 35 waist and 32 length. The 35x32 pants should fit me perfectly, but I don't see any 35 size pants at stores. The 34 waist is too tight and 36 waist is too loose. The pant shopping is a nightmare right now.

Who decided that there is no need for the 35 size pants?

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Toyota 60,000 Mile Maintenance Service

My 2009 Toyota Camry's scheduled maintenance guide says that the following will be done when the dealer's service department performs the 60,000 mile maintenance service on the car.

  • Replace cabin air filter
  • Replace engine air filter
  • Replace oil and filter
  • Rotate tires
  • Inspect ball joints and dust covers
  • Inspect lines and hoses
  • Inspect brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs
  • Inspect drive belts
  • Inspect drive shaft boots
  • Inspect engine coolant
  • Inspect engine valve clearance
  • Inspect pipes and mountings
  • Inspect front differential oil
  • Inspect fuel lines and connections, fuel tank band and fuel tank vapor vent system hoses
  • Inspect fuel tank cap gasket
  • Inspect radiator and condenser
  • Inspect steering gear box
  • Inspect steering linkage and boots
  • Inspect transmission fluid or oil
If the car is driven on the dirt roads or dusty roads, the maintenance recommends that the dealer tighten nuts and bolts on chassis.

If the car is used in towing then do the following
  • Replace front differential oil
  • Replace transmission fluid or oil
  • Tighten nuts and bolts on chassis and body

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Maryland EZPass

During the blizzard of the 2010, my car got stuck in a lot of snow. So, I was using my dad's car. I had to travel thru the Baltimore's Harbor Tunnel a couple of times in my dad's car. Now, my car has the EZPass with the commuter plan for the Baltimore's tunnel. Since my car was stuck and I was not able to remove the EZPass from my car I decided to pay cash when I pass thru the Harbor's Tunnel's toll booths.

My dad's car I was driving also had EZPass in the glove compartment, but I did not know that. I assumed that his car did not have EZPass. So, I pulled out the cash when I approached the toll booth. As soon as I got to the cashier, the display said "Paid $2 EZPass".

I asked the cashier, "Do I have an EZPass in this car?"

He asked, "Is this a rental?"

I said, "This is my dad's car."

He said, "Looks like you have an EZPass in this car." He then asked, "Do you want to pay cash instead and override the EZPass charge?"

I asked, "Can you do that?"

He said, "The cash you pay will override the EZPass charge."

I then paid cash and drove away.

So, it looks like that if you hand over cash when you have a EZPass in your car. The EZPass account will not be charged.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Zee TV on Comcast

What happened to the Zee TV on Comcast? Up until now it used to be available for free on channel 666 on Comcast. But, it has disappeared from the channel lineup in the last few days.

Is Comcast going to charge for this channel now? or is it taken off from the channel lineup altogether?

Thursday, December 10, 2009


FQSVF water filters are hard to find cheap. These filters are made by GE. I have yet to find these filters cheaper than $30 anywhere, online or in stores. I do not think Lowe's stock these kinds of filters, but I have seen these filters for about $45 in home-depot stores. 

Previously, I was able to purchase FQSVF filters for about $31.99 on website but they charge about $5 to $7 shipping. That still makes it close to $40.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bollwood Hindi Movies Netflix

I recently found out from a friend that Hindi bollywood movies are available on Netflix. I searched the Netflix site for the Hindi movie inventory and saw that almost all of the new movies were available. I signed up immediately. Now I wonder why I did not know about this sooner. So far, the service has been really good. The movies get to my home in about 1 business day once it leaves the Netflix warehouse.

One other thing I noticed is that all baby Einstein DVDs are also available on Netflix. I was thinking about purchasing the baby Einstein DVD set for my 7 month old daughter, but now I don't have to. I can just rent the age appropriate baby Einstein DVD from Netflix and once my daughter gets bored with it, I can return it for another baby Einstein DVD. I think this will work out very well.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Recursive Common Table Expressions - SQL

One of the best use of the recursive common table expressions in SQL is to generate consecutive numbers within a range from very simple SQL query.

The query below will generate numbers 1 to 100 from a Select statement using recursive common table expression.

SELECT 1 Number
SELECT Number + 1
WHERE Number

Sunday, February 22, 2009

phpBB3 installation on godaddy

I set out to install phpBB3 on godaddy servers recently. The first set of instructions were to create a database where phpBB3 installation will be creating the database tables. I did that first and had my database username and password prepared and ready to go for the installation procedure.

The second thing I had to do was to upload the files for the phpBB3 installation on the godaddy servers. I used a FTP program to upload the phpBB3 folder on root directory of the hosting account. The root folder is located where missing.html and welcome.html files are located.
Now I was ready to kick start the installation by browsing to /phpbb3/install/index.php file on the server. But, this did not work. It kept giving me missing.html whenever I tried to browse to the /phpbb3/install/index.php file. It meant that I was getting a 404 file not found error. That did not make sense to me. I had uploaded the files in the proper public directory and still I was not able to access it.

Finally, I realized that path could be case sensitive. So, I plugged in /phpBB3/install/index.php and hit enter. That did the trick. The installation wizard was initiated. /phpbb3 did not work. /phpBB3 worked.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Job search in 2009

I am currently searching for a job as a .NET developer in the Washington DC Metro area; which includes most of the Maryland up to the Baltimore city. I have to say that the job market has tighten up considerably. Last time I was in the job market in the June 2008, I was getting about 5-6 calls from recruiters everyday for a month after I posted my resume on Dice, Careerbuilder and Monster. But, this time around in January 2009 the market is drastically different. I get a call, maybe a couple, a day and I can figure out from recruiters describing jobs that they are talking about the same job. For example, last week I received a call from a recruiter about a SharePoint developer job in Alexandria, VA. Today, another recruiter called me a for a SharePoint developer job in the Alexandria, VA. Both of these recruiters emailed me the job description and as I was reading the second job description today, I realized that the second job description was identical to the first job description. Two different recruiters from two different consulting companies sent me the same job description without modifying a single sentence or word in it.

Then there was a third recruiter who called me today. Instead of trying to show me some jobs that match my profile he was desperately trying to extract leads from me. He asked me if I was in the market and if I was looking for a new job. I said I was. Then he told me that he will keep his eyes and ears open for me but he then immediately proceeded to ask me about my previous managers. He wanted me to share my previous manager's phone numbers with him. At that time I realized that these recruiters are also getting desperate about their own business. They are not able to get the leads and are not able to place the candidates at the companies. The companies are no longer hiring like they used to.

Friday, December 19, 2008

SQL Server 2008 Error

I downloaded and installed the SQL Server 2008 Express on my home computer and was testing it out. I created a test database and a test table in it. Then, in design view I was adding columns to this table. When I hit the save for the first time, I was prompted for a table name. I gave this table a name. After the table was named and created, I wanted to add a new column to it. But every time I was trying to save this table I was getting the following annoying error.

"Saving changes is not permitted. The changes you have made require the following tables to be dropped and re-created. You have either made changes to a table that can't be re-created or enabled the option Prevent saving changes that require the table to be re-created."

Here is the screenshot.

The solution of this problem is to go to Tools -> Options -> Designers -> Table and Database Designers and uncheck the "Prevent saving changes that require table re-creation".

Here is how to solve it:

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Night Shift, Cancer And Vitamin D

I recently saw a news story stating that working night-shift hours can cause cancer in humans. This news story got me thinking that this is an interesting development to say the least, because if more studies actually confirm this without reasonable doubt then class action trial lawyers will get very rich very soon. These lawyers will sue many companies that burn midnight oil and drag them into bankruptcy.

As I was thinking about this story and I started thinking about number of times I have stayed up late for work or to study for exams when I was in college. Could those midnight cram sessions while I was in college can actually cause cancer in my body?

While I was thinking about all this, I realized that I have seen numerous news stories linking lack of Vitamin D in the body with occurrence of cancer. If you do a simple google search of “Vitamin D Cancer” without the quotes, you will find that many articles and scientific studies link lack of Vitamin D with cancer.

How Vitamin D is usually made in the body? The answer is: sun exposure. When sun is exposed to the bare human skin, Vitamin D is naturally generated.

Who does not get enough Vitamin D? The answer is: people who work nigh-shift hours. Why? Because they work during the night hours when there is no sun exposure, and when they sleep during they day their skin is never get exposed to the natural sunlight. This naturally causes deficiency of Vitamin D in their body and this deficiency makes them more prone to cancer then people who are awake and active during the day.

Now, this is my hypothesis. Someone needs to do a study where Vitamin D levels are measured in people who work night shifts and people who work regular morning shifts. And if the night shift people show reduced level of Vitamin D than the other group then I think we found what causes cancer. Night shift? Or Vitamin D deficiency? I am putting my money on Vitamin D deficiency.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Top 10 Bollywood Hindi Songs

If you live outside of India like me and if you are a big fan of bollywood music then you are always trying to find out which new Hindi songs are currently humming strong in India. I always try to seek out new popular bollywood music. So far, my methods of extracting this knowledge from the world has been asking my friends or asking my cousins who live in United States what they currently like.

I have tried to bookmark different websites that list top 10 Hindi songs every week or month. These websites go for few months and then they stop updating the list after that; or they shut down altogether. Now that does not help me at all. But at last, I think I found a great way to find out which songs are hit in India. The source of this information is: Any guesses??

Google Music Trends!!!!!

You can select the country India from the right dropdown and then select Hindi soundtrack from the left dropdown. This gives you a list of most popular songs right now. How does Google know which songs are hot now? "When Google Talk users opt in to Music Trends, we'll capture information about the music they're listening to from their music player. We then anonymize the information and add each musical vote to our Music Trends page. The more users that are opted in, and the more music they listen to, the more accurately the Music Trends page will reflect the world's musical tastes", according to the Google Music Trends FAQ page.

I think this is a great way to compile a top 10 list. As more users opt-in to the music trends, the list will become more accurate over time. You can also check the list of top 10 songs in United States in different genres.

I think this is another "wow" application from Google.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Where is Hindi station on XM or Sirius?

Where is Hindi station on XM or Sirius?

The answer is, it is not there. I keep checking the XM and Sirius websites for a Hindi station almost every month and I keep getting disappointed. I don't understand why either one of them, XM or Sirius, does not offer a Hindi/Indian music station. I have even e-mailed both companies telling them that they need to do some demographic research and find out that there are many people of Indian origin currently live in the United States and they are losing all those potential customers.

What is holding XM and Sirius back from offering a Hindi station?

I don't think getting rights to the songs is difficult part. There are radio stations in India that play music all day long and I am sure the rightsholders of Hindi songs are dying to sell it to some international customers.

I don't think bandwidth is an issue because as I check today there are 3 Christian, 3 classical, 4 comedy, 7 country, 5 dance, 6 decades, 8 hits, 5 jazz and blues, 2 kids, 4 latin, 4 lifestyle, 16 news, 14 rock, 18 sports, 22 talk and variety, 7 urban and 3 world channels on XM satellite radio today. I don't think it will be vary hard to squeeze a Hindi channel in there.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Monthly Nissan Altima Sales

I drive a 2002 Nissan Altima. I really like this car. In my mind, it is the best looking car on the road today (for my price range at least). I bought this car as soon as Nissan redesigned it in 2002. I think Nissan Altima is a better car than Honda Accord or Toyota Camry even though Honda Accord and Toyota Camry regularly outsell Altima. Nissan Altima is bigger in size than Accord or Camry and performs similarly or better.

With another redesign of Altima for the model year 2007 I think Altima is ready to take the next step and challenge Accord and Camry in the sales department. How much Nissan Altimas are sold in USA every month? In the following table I list the number of Nissan Altima’s sold every month since the year 2004. As you can see from the numbers, the sales in the year 2007 have really picked up. The total sales in the year 2007 may approach 300,000.

Month Monthly Nissan Altima Sales
Jun-07 25,935
May-07 23,980
Apr-07 16,309
Mar-07 27,521
Feb-07 22,114
Jan-07 24,394
Dec-06 24,832
Nov-06 18,203
Oct-06 14,761
Sep-06 19,752
Aug-06 20,281
Jul-06 17,669
Jun-06 14,174
May-06 21,981
Apr-06 23,790
Mar-06 23,790
Feb-06 20,080
Jan-06 16,758
Dec-05 18,448
Nov-05 15,154
Oct-05 16,624
Sep-05 26,442
Aug-05 23,362
Jul-05 24,865
Jun-05 22,239
May-05 23,900
Apr-05 22,869
Mar-05 25,329
Feb-05 19,044
Jan-05 17,095
Dec-04 19,627
Nov-04 16,345
Oct-04 18,819
Sep-04 21,284
Aug-04 20,182
Jul-04 22,933
Jun-04 17,516
May-04 20,558
Apr-04 15,596
Mar-04 24,716
Feb-04 18,013
Jan-04 20,300


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Visual Studio Keyboard Shortcuts

1) How to compile the solution with keyboard shortcut in Visual Studio?
'ctrl + shift + B'

2) How to search a word in the current document in Visual Studio?
Highlight the word and then press 'ctrl +F3'

3) How to search a workd in the entire solution in Visual Studio?
Highlight the word and then press 'ctrl + shift + F'

3) How to go to the definition of a function in Visual Studio?
Move the mouse over to the function call and press F12. This should take you to the definition of the function in the VB.Net and C# code. This shortcut does not work in the classic ASP code.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I-495 Capital Beltway Traffic

I travel on the outerloop of capital beltway each morning from route 50 to I-270 North. That is, I enter the outer loop at route 50 in Maryland and take I-270 North exit. This stretch of highway commute is probably worst on the capital beltway and probably worst in the Washington metropolitan region. The outerloop comes to a standstill just after the route 1 interchange everyday. I think the main reason for this traffic is the inflow of traffic from the I-95 South that merges into the outerloop after the route 1 interchange. The outerloop has four lanes before the I-95 merge and I-95 comes in with 2 lanes of its own. So, 6 lanes of traffic tries to squeeze into 4 lanes after the New Hampshire avenue. If you are a daily commuter on this highway, you will notice that there is a bridge after the New Hampshire Avenue and just before the University Blvd on the outerloop. Just before this bridge all 6 lanes must merge into 4 lanes because the bridge is not wide enough to accommodate 4+ lanes of traffic.

Here's are the interchanges and traffic patterns on the outerloop every morning:
  • Route 50
  • Annapolis Road (MD-450, Exit 20)
  • Baltimore-Washington Parkway (MD-295, Exit 22)
  • Kenilworth Avenue (MD-201, Exit 23)
  • Baltimore Avenue (Route 1, Exit 25)
  • I-95 interchange New Hampshire Avenue (MD-650, Exit 28)
  • University Blvd (MD-193, Exit 29)
  • Colesville Rd (MD-29, Exit 30)
  • Georgia Avenue (MD-97, Exit 31)
  • Connecticut Avenue (MD-185, Exit 33)
  • Wisconsin Avenue (MD-355, Exit 34)
  • I-270 North (Exit 35)

The backup starts at route 1 interchange (exit 25) and goes all the way to the Georgia Avenue (exit 31). This is about 6-7 miles of stop and go traffic every morning. It takes about 30-40 minutes to go through this 7 mile stretch in the morning. I have yet to figure out a reason why the traffic starts moving at posted speed limit after Georgia Avenue interchange. Does anyone have an idea?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Load and LoadXML in ASP

Dim objDOM
Dim blnOutput
objDOM = Server.CreateObject("MSXML2.DOMDocument.4.0")

blnOutput = objDOM.Load(Server.MapPath(XMLFileName))
blnOutput = objDOM.Load(StringXML)

The main difference between Load and LoadXML is that the Load takes XML file as input while LoadXML takes the XML string itself as input. Both Load and LoadXML returns a boolean value indicating if the XML was loaded successfully or not into the DOM.

Friday, June 08, 2007

ObjDataSource Control in ASP.NET 2.0

1) Name a few properties of the ObjDataSource Control?

2) How does a GridView control binds to a ObjDataSource control?
by DataSourceID property on the GridView control is set to the id of the ObjDataSource control

3) Which ADO.NET objects can be represented by ObjDataSource?

4) Can ObjDataSource represent a web service?

5) Which Parameters can be included in the ObjDataSource control?

6) Which types of parameters can be used with ObjectDataSource control?

7) Which events are supported by ObjDataSource control?