USTHB .NET club & imagine cup 2010 presentation

November 11, 2009

 

Hello guys,

It’s been a long time since I didn’t post anything here, sorry for the inconvenience, I’ve been pretty busy as usual, anyway, yesterday, the USTHB .NET club presentation was held at the lecture hall of the computer science department.
The presentation was mainly about introducing the student club “.NET club” to the USTHB students, this club was founded last year, and has been empowering IT students ever since. We hope to be more productive than last year, so, Ryadh and I presented what’s this club about, and what are the objectives we intend to achieve this year. To sum things up, here’s a brief summary of what we presented:

What’s this club about?

  • This club is just an environment for IT passionates, so, IT and non-IT students are welcome among us.

The club’s objectives:

  • Encourage technological creativity among students.
  • Create a strong IT student community.
  • Introduce students to the .NET and other technologies.

The club’s principles:

  • Team and collaboration spirit.
  • Sharing IT skills and experiences between the club’s members.
  • The club doesn’t have a complex hierarchy, all members are equal, and every positive initiative matters.

The club’s activities:

  • Organizing technological contests with motivating prizes (netbooks…)
  • Teaching courses: C#, SQL Server… We have started the series of .NET courses last year, but we didn’t finish it, we’re going to start it over this year, and we hope to finish it, everybody is encouraged to attend it, and it’s not a fully practical series, it has some theoretical courses like OOP fundamental & advanced courses, so, even non-.NET programmers can benefit from it.
  • Organizing workshops, pizza parties, install parties..
  • Realizing innovative projects, last year a good project started out, it’s a 3D game, the project is still in progress and you’re encouraged to join the project’s team, the project is called “AURORE” by the way.
  • Supporting and advising the competitors of the imagine cup 2010, Ryadh and I have been the national winners of the imagine cup 2009 and have been at the worldwide finals, so, we have a humble experience of this great event, and we’d be pleased to share it with this year’s participants.

Imagine cup 2010:
We also presented the imagine cup 2010 competition, this year’s theme is the same as the 2009’s one: “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems facing us today”, another thing to note for this year’s edition is that there are less categories than last year, here are this year’s categories: Software design, game design, embedded development, IT challenge, digital media, for more details please visit the imagine cup’s home page. Here is the time line of the software design category in Algeria:
1st step: Entry submission (deadline: February, 1st, 2010 at 00.00 GMT+1)
2nd step:
February, 15th, 2010: The entries selection.
February, 16th, 2010: The selected teams will be notified to participate in the local finals.
3rd step: Each team will present its project in front of a judging committee.
The local finals date will be announced soon.
The worldwide finals will be held in Poland. Don’t wait, start your way to Poland now !

We enjoyed presenting this event, and also, special thanks to our attendees especially Mr.Abdelmakek Chetta who is the DPM of Microsoft Algeria for his positive interventions. Thank you all !

Edit: I forgot to say big thanks to KTAlgérie for these pictures !

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SixthSense: The revolutionary invention from MIT Media Lab !

March 26, 2009

Pattie Maes has unveiled the SixthSense project at TED’2009 which is an annual conference that has the mission of spreading unique innovations,
the SixthSense project is a wearable mobile device that has a projector, this device is just magical in the way it can interact with the extern world, yes, I’m not kidding it can recognize some of your gestures and do appropriate actions, for example, you don’t need to hold you phone to take a picture, you can do it just by making a gesture by your hands.

Moreover this smart device allows you to make better decisions in the way it recognizes the product you’re buying in the market and provide you with information about them and whether they are convenient to you, it does this by googling them on the fly, it’s applicable to a bunch of other stuff, like watching videos related to the article you’re reading in newspaper, getting book’s infos from Amazon by just picking the books on your hands, magical !
It does all this by projecting information on surfaces, so everything is a light, and you don’t have to touch your device ! Another stuff, this projected light is sensitive to your touches ! You can dial a number from a projected keypad !

I can say that this invention has impressed me a big deal, the genious behind this system is Pranav Mistry, who’s a Phd student at MIT, congratulations ! You guys are making the IT future. I let you with Pattie Maes introducing SixthSense at TED, this video is a must-see, really !

It’s a new era in the world of human-machine interaction ! The current prototype of SixthSense costs 350$, that should lower down the road.

For further reading: http://www.pranavmistry.com/projects/sixthsense

Cheers

Open source Programming languages for kids

February 20, 2009

Were you coding when you were a kid? Well, if you’re lucky enough you’d answer Yes, but were there easy programming languages that can be understood by a child mind? Humm, BASIC? Yes, this latter was a good choice back in time to learn how to code simple programs, but with the evolution of technologies today, it would be great to learn a new programming language that offers facilities to the new minds in order to understand the principles of coding with some new trends.

In fact, there are many open source programming languages that aim at teaching younger minds how to create programming projects in a funny and amusing way. Here are some of them with a description from their official website:

Scratch

Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share your creations on the web.

Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create and share Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.

Scratch is available free of charge: go to Download.
Currently available for Mac OSX and Windows (see system requirements)

Scratch’s home page: http://scratch.mit.edu/

Alice


Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a teaching tool for introductory computing. It uses 3D graphics and a drag-and-drop interface to facilitate a more engaging, less frustrating first programming experience.

Alice’s home page: http://www.alice.org/

Shoes

Shoes is a tiny graphics toolkit, designed for beginners. But make no mistake: this is real programming. You can make real, colorful apps in Shoes.
Well, what is a colorful app?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but a colorful app is one which lets you freely paint with colors! And Shoes does that. You can paint colorful shapes and images wherever you like. The entire app is a canvas.

Shoes’s home page: http://shoooes.net/

Come on kids, you’re so lucky to have such friendly programming languages, start coding ! Now .

Bee Linux v1, The first Algerian Linux !

January 26, 2009

Hello guys, I’ve got some big news for you ! The first Algerian made Linux is out ! Its name is Bee Linux, it is free and full of great stuff, I contributed a great deal in this distribution development, I really enjoyed it ! The Linux world is endless, after a lot of efforts and sacrifices we finally released the version 1 of Bee Linux, it’s a fully functional operating system made for desktop usage, so people who aren’t familiar with Linux won’t find it hard to use Bee Linux, it’s really easy to use, it offers lots of software to do almost anything, (Multimedia, Graphic, Network tools…), so, in a nutshell, Bee contains:
– Internet browser (firefox) with many preinstalled plugins (like the praytime plugin, adblock …)
– E-mail client (Thunderbird, evolution,…)
– E-calendar (meetings’ planning)
– A complete office application suite (OpenOffice.org)
– Multimedia software (images, photos, audio and video)
– 2D and 3D games
– Educational games for kids
– Islamic software
– Many other software

Why using Bee?
In addition to English and French, Bee allows to easily editing texts in both Arabic
and Amazigh using a full office application suite with spell checkers in many
languages. Based on Fedora, Bee includes an advanced protection system for ultimate
security.
Bee automatically recognizes graphic cards (Nvidia/ATI), USB modems, and
your devices (webcam, sound card, wifi ..) and installs them without any intervention.
3D is operational right from the starting of the LiveDVD:
– CompizFusion
– Neat Dock and Look&Feel
– Lightweight and user-friendly desktop environment with XFCE
With Bee’s WINE!native integration,!your Windows applications and games will
run at the same speed you are used to.!
Bee is delivered with a fast boot technology and an advanced security
management system.

You heard it right, Bee lets you use your ADSL USB modem without a headache:
In fact, we have developed an application “Assistant de connexion ADSL” that is included in Bee Linux , it automatically configures and detects your USB modem, I have a USB modem (SAGEM FAST 800 E3) that is provided by my ISP EEPAD and it works like a charm on Bee Linux.

How do I get Bee?
Bee is distributed as a LiveDVD, an ISO image to burn, but also as a virtual image
for VMWare!OS emulator. You can use Bee without altering the operating system
or files already installed on computer’s hard drive, install it on a free partition, or
simply emulate it.

DOWNLOAD

Support:
Bee is user friendly and, an active support team is there for you to answer
any question you might have.
– Forum

– Documentation
– Blog
– IRC network ! irc.freenode.net channel ! #beelinux

INEODEV offers technical support to companies wishing to migrate to
Bee or needing special development at the following address:
http://bee.ineodev.org/fr/contact
bee@ineodev.com

We’re all waiting for your feedbacks and creative contributions.

Windows 7 Beta release, out now

January 17, 2009

Hello folks, sorry for being inactive lately, I’be been really busy, anyway, Microsoft has finally released its new operating system Windows Seven, available in its Beta release since a week, the good news is that it’s available for public download and for free, Microsoft seems to be interested in everbody’s opinion, good thing, the downloads will be available till January 27th, within this time you can have your Windows 7 key and activate your Beta copy, after January 27th you won’t be able to activate it, just to test it for 30 days, bad, so hurry up, here’s the download link:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/beta-download.aspx

Test it and give your feedbacks to MS so they can improve it in the upcoming releases,  though, Microsoft is being much sef-confident with Windows 7 and said that it’s “feature complete” and it doesn’t expect much changes in the final release, so the Beta release is pretty close to the final release, we’ll see.

Windows Seven main features:

In my opinion the biggest step Microsoft has made with Win 7 is that it’s really not ressource-consuming comparing to its predecessor Windows Vista, the minimal hardware requirements for Win 7 are:

1GHz CPU, 1GO of RAM, 16GO free disk space.

About the ergonomics, it’s improved a little bit, but especially optimized I’d say.

Here’s a link that provides the Windows 7 features:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/whats-new.aspx

Will this OS succeed? Will this OS cover the failure of Vista? To answer these question you have to be patient.

OpenCL : A prgramming language that takes advantage of the GPU

December 19, 2008

Graphical processing units (GPUs) are of a stunning power, they are as powerful as CPUs or even more, with millions of transistors they are supposed be used for comlex processing, however, most of us exploit the GPU to play fancy  video games, with that usage the GPUs are underused, and they can be useful for more important stuff, that’s why The Khronos Group has developed the OpenCL specification, it stands for Open Computing Language, it takes the power of the GPUs and give it to regular application processing, thus, it can turn your computer into a supercomputer.

The first company that took advantage of that technology is Apple, it developed the OpenCL 1.0 and will make it available in MAC OS X Snow Leopard, it will considerably help developers to boost the speed of their applications.
Microsoft hasn’t gone for the support of such technology yet in Vista or Windows Seven, however, windows users can still benefit from the OpenCL technology when the GPUs manufacturers such as Nvidia and ATI support OpenCL.

Microsoft upcoming DirectX release (DirectX11), will provide developers a great control on whether to do the processing on the GPU or the CPU, though, it isn’t as broader as the OpenCL as the DirectX11 will be more focused on 3D games performance improvement.

The USTHB .NET club activities program

December 14, 2008

Hello everybody, sorry for being inactive these days on the blog, I’m really busy at the moment, anyway, the USTHB .NET club has unveiled its new program for the upcoming weeks, pretty interesting activies  are down the road, here’s the program:

C# training through multiple weekly sessions, there are 4 club members (I’m one of them by the way) who are going to be the instructors of this training. The dates will be communicated on the .NET club homepage.

[15/12/2008-14h30] Presentation of Robitics and Algorithmic:

This will focus on presenting the art of writing softwares for robots, a local Robitics and Algorithmic competition will be initated soon.

[16/12/2008-13h00] WPF and Imagine cup interface design presentation:

This presentation purpose is to introduce students to the Windows Prensentation Foundation (WPF) as well as to the Imagine cup  Interface Design category, this will be presented by me, Djalel, Ryadh and Aziz. Many parts of this prensetation are demonstration-driven as we’re going to focus on the practical side of the WPF technology. Ah and by the way, a pizza party will be held on this presentation.

So, don’t miss these events.

Microsoft install Festival organized by the .NET club at the USTHB

November 24, 2008

The USTHB .NET club has organized a Microsoft install festival since yesterday, up to Wednesday, 26th, 2008, but what’s this festival about anyway?? Well, the USTHB students can bring their PCs to the .NET club, and they can benefit from genuine licenses of some Microsoft products, here is the list of the available products in English:

  • Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition (x86 and x64)
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise and Standard
  • Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite (x86 and x64)
  • Visio Professional 2007
  • SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
  • Project Professional 2007
  • Office SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise
  • Expression Studio
  • Windows XP Professional with SP2
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft MSDN Community Distribution Program CD

Two days have gone by since the beginning of this event, and as a .NET club member I can say that Microsoft is moving closer to the USTHB students and showing a great interest on IT students, it’s a positive thing as there’s been a lack of such initiatives in our universities.
So, come and bring your machines !

My notes from the presentation «operating systems evolution» held at the USTHB

November 18, 2008

I attended the presentation given by Nicolas Gardet at the USTHB today, the overall discussion was about the evolution of Windows operating systems up to Vista, there has been a little talk about Windows Seven, but it focused a great deal on Vista, as many of people have a mistaken perception of the Vista operating system, Nicolas worked on presenting the Vista continuous improvements and enhancements that makes it really stable and supports older platforms, here are the main points of this presentation:

1. Windows history:

Nicolas presented Windows  old versions and their evolution over time, by the way, Microsoft has just stopped selling Windows 3.x versions.
Different features that differentiated the Windows versions.

2. Motivations that pushed Microsoft to develop Widows Vista:

There’s been a talk about Windows XP limitations, mainly, security vulnerabilities, and the need of developing a Windows that enables richer platform development, these factors encouraged the release of Vista.

3. Presentation of Internet Explorer 8:

This presentation was a video that showed the new features introduced by IE8, these are:

  • Smart search.
  • Safer web browsing.
  • Web slice and accelerators.
  • Standard-compliance.

You can visit IE8 website for more information. (Heyyy I’m not promoting IE8!)

I can say that the only thing I hated about Vista is that its first versions weren’t compatible with older platforms, I couldn’t run some of my programs that were working like a charm on my XP, I told that to Nicolas, and he claimed that today’s Vista SP1 is really more developed than the older versions, and actually this is one of the challenges Vista is facing, he confirmed that Microsoft is really active on this, and with the upcoming release of Vista SP2 the full older platforms support will be enabled. Here are some statistics showing the compatibility of programs built for older platforms with Vista:

  • Devices 98% are supported.
  • Most popular user applications 50% are supported.
  • Enterprise applications 99% are supported.

4. Windows Seven:

As I mentioned earlier, there hasn’t been a big talk about Windows seven, though, Nicolas pointed out that this OS has a uniform user experience environment; this will decrease the number of problems in a short time. According to Nicolas, the Windows 7 has the same kernel model with previous windows versions, though, there has been some kernel optimization.

I enjoyed attending this presentation. I hope you enjoyed reading this little coverage.

Fedora 10 Cambridge final release is coming soon

November 17, 2008

While we’re trying to get used to Fedora 9, Fedora 10 final  release is coming in eight days, of course there has been a Beta release and a preview release before that to test and report bugs. This upcoming final release is about to change lots of features Fedora hadn’t changed before, for example in Fedora 10 the boot process is quicker than all the previous releases, and of course this upcoming release includes the latest Linux kernel 2.6.27, which has a great support for webcams and wireless network cards, here are some other features:

  • Better printing: Fedora 10 handles better the printers and their management.
  • AMQP infrastructure: A technology that enables you to build interoperable, scalable enterprise applications.
  • Adhoc connection sharing support.
  • Eclipse 3.4: The famous Eclipse is present with its latest release.
  • Endev input driver: The default input driver for the X server is Endev, this latter provides hotplugging capabilities for keyboards and mice at run-time, with more stability of course.
  • First Aid Kit: An excellent recovery tool, it tries to fix your system  when it has a problem, with a possibility of undoing its changes.
  • Glitch Free Audio which is an updated PulseAudio sound server.
  • Gnome 2.24.
  • KDE 4.1.
  • NetBeans IDE.
  • RPM 4.6.
  • Better virtual storage.
  • Improved Apple Macintosh hardware support.

I just mentionned some features you can see them all from this link.

A desktop screenshot of Fedora 10

A GNOME desktop screenshot from Fedora 10 Beta

I can’t wait to install the final release, Fedora is my favorite Linux distribution, its popularity makes its development very fast-growing, since Fedora 10 is all new, you might not find all your packages on Fedora or third party repositories like Livna, it takes a while to package everything to Fedora 10, I hate waiting, I hope it will be as fast as it was for Fedora 9.

So, in 8 days from now, you’ll be able to download the Fedora 10 final release, enjoy.