The OS Conundrum

I have just finished reading a post on ZDNet titled “Are Hyper-V and App-V the new Windows Servers?” in which the author – Kenneth Hess discusses that the rise of virtualisation will shape the future of the Microsoft Windows OS such that, in his words:

The Server OS itself is an application. It’s little more than (or hopefully a little less than) Server Core. Of course, you could deploy either major server type onto physical hardware or into virtual machines.

The author is also advising his readers that they “have to learn a new vocabulary” and that they’ll “deploy services and applications as workloads.”

This has been a topic of discussion for many years now and I believe in 2006 Scott Lowe actually discussed this in one of his blogs “The Future of OS” and argued that the general purpose OS could vanish in 10 years’ time. Although, to my surprise he was at the wrong end of the stick regarding Mac OS X as we see today, windows  OS taking more advantage of the virtualisation solutions. It is only recently that they have tried building virtualisation into the OS (10.7) to run windows and Aqua applications side by side.
Furthermore, almost 5 years ago, Srinivas Krishnamurti of VMware wrote an article Get Juiced! describing a new concept (at the time). This new concept was the idea of a trimmed OS instance that served as an application container:

By ripping out the operating system interfaces, functions, and libraries and automatically turning off the unnecessary services that your application does not require, and by tailoring it to the needs of the application, you are now down to a lithe, high performing, secure operating system – Just Enough of the Operating System, that is, or JeOS. An OS finely tuned to the application it supports is smaller, more secure, easier to manage, and higher performing than a general purpose OS. A smaller footprint means IT organizations can run more instances per server.

The idea of the server OS as an application container—what Ken suggests in very Microsoft-ish way in his article – is certainly not a new idea, but it is good to see those outside of the VMware space opening up to the possibilities that a full – blown general purpose OS might not be the best answer anymore. Whether it is Microsoft’s technology or VMware’s technology that drives this innovation is open for discussion but it is obvious that this concept is already being deployed and will gain further popularity as IT companies will look to reduce their carbon foot print drastically.

The OS finished, but its just starting I would say !

Food for thought: If this really is happening then what is in store for massive upgrades in the pipeline i.e. Windows 8 coming out soon and Server 2012 in the planning as well?

Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman – A Pride of Pakistan, A FIRST EVER Muslim to have a genome mapped

Dr. Atta-Ur-Rehman is a house-hold name for every Pakistani who has had the chance to go to a Higher Education Institute in Pakistan. He is best known as the man who proved to be a ray of bright light at the end of a dark long tunnel for hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis like me to pursue their educational dreams in Universities and Colleges across Pakistan and around the globe.

There is a long list of achievements that can be listed against Dr. Atta-Ur-Rehman. He is a leading scientist and scholar in the field of Organic Chemistry with over 840 Publications in the field of his expertise including 663 Research Publications, 18 Patents, 103 Books and more than 50 Chapters in books published by major U.S and European Press Institutes.

He is 1 of the only 4 Muslim scientists to have been elected as a Fellow of Royal Society, London. He has been conferred honorary doctorate degrees by many universities around the world and been awarded countless awards for his contribution towards Science & Technology.

However, the most distinguished award to date for this son of the soil is that he has become FIRST EVER MUSLIM man to have a genome mapped. He is the 3rd one amongst the list of globally renowned people whose genomes have been mapped by scientists. With this historic achievement Pakistan has become the 6th country working on the genome projects and joined the ranks of few countries – U.S, UK, China, Japan and India – which have successfully sequenced human genome.

This is a moment of great pride for us that Pakistan has proved itself as the leader of Muslim Ummah once again in the Field of Science & Technology as this project was completed by Pakistani scientists at a cost of approx. $40,000 in just 10 months with China contributing $20,000 towards the project, whereas the genome of first American was mapped at a cost of $6bn, across a 10 year period.

It is pertinent to mention here that the research team, who mapped the genome, consisted of Dr Kamran Azim, Assistant Professor in the Dr Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research and Dr Yong Zhang, head of the genomics department at the Beijing Genomics Institute, Shenzhen, China, one of the leading authorities in genomics.

Dr Kamran Azim has acknowledged the fact that the complete Pakistani genome has been sequenced for the first time, and that this research will improve the diagnosis of disease, while the earlier detection of genetic predispositions to diseases will also be a benefit of this research. He said, “The new thing in the study was the technique which can trace back a mutation to the specific parent. We are still studying the actual genome data itself and how the genetic differences we identified may predispose this particular individual to certain diseases”.

In Pakistan we are brought up in an environment and culture where becoming a Doctor, Engineer, Scientist or a Lawyer is the best one can achieve. There are a selected few who go the Armed Forces to protect their Mother Land but these Doctors, Engineers & Scientists are the selected ones who are equipping Pakistan with the latest inventions and discoveries and making the Country a growing hub for technological advancements.

I hope that this milestone helps us strengthen the hopes that all is not lost for us as Pakistanis and there is still a long way to go forward.

May Allah Bless my PAKISTAN with more people like Dr Atta-Ur-Rehman who can follow his lead and become the FIRST EVERs in their respective fields of expertise. Aameen!!

Enable “Tap to Click” in Windows 7 for Macbook Pro

Another amazing trick to enable “Tap to Click” feature on your Windows 7 virtual machine on the Macbook pro.

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The steps to enable “Tap to Click” are:

  • In the right side of the taskbar of windows 7, you will find a square greyish button denoting the boot camp. Click the button and then select ” Boot camp Control Panel”
  • A window will open up like this :

Select the “trackpad” tab and you will see a window as shown above.

  • Select “Tap to click” and click “ok”

You will now be able to use your tap to click action on your macbook pro!

Sync Your iPhone on Multiple Computers

As you all know that Apple only allows you to sync your iPhone with one iTunes library at a time and when you attempt to sync your iPhone to another computer you get a very annoying warning of being deprived of your apps, music and you name it. This has been bugging me and I have been on a look out for a solution for a while now.
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The solution below is easy enough to be implemented given that you have a fair idea of what you are doing and have played around with iTunes before.
When you try and sync your iphone with another iTunes library you see a familiar warning below;

Note: “Computer 1″ represents your usual computer, “Computer 2″ represents the new computer you would like to sync your iPhone to.

On “Computer 2″, backup “iTunes Music Library.xml” and “iTunes Music Library” (Tunes Music Library on Windows) safely.

Download a Hex Editor.

  • On Computer 1, open “iTunes Music Library.xml” with Notepad and search (Ctrl+F) for “Library Persistent ID”
  • Following “<key>Library Persistent ID</key>”, copy the code between <string> and </string>

In this example it is “8B6C633F7DACB74B”

  • On computer 2, find that same code, and replace it with the code from computer 1.
  • Open “iTunes Music Library” (iTunes Library.itl on Windows) using your hex editor on computer 2.
  • In the Hex Editor, go to Edit -> Replace.

  • In “Find”, insert code from computer 2. In “Replace With”, insert code from computer 1. There should be 1 match.
  • Save this file. Close it.
  • Start iTunes on computer 2, and plug in your iPhone.
  • Select “Manually manage music and videos”
  • You will no longer be alerted to erase your data.

Enjoy !!