Thursday, February 19, 2009

First contact with Microsoft Azure

I got my LiveID invitation code 2days ago so I decided to invest 15minutes evaluating Azure. I am already pretty familiar with Google AppEngine having developed my own Web site on it but since I am striving to be "technology agnostic", I needed to investigate Microsoft Azure PaaS.

Revision Control
My first shock was to learn that SVN integration does not exist with Microsoft Visual Studio. I wonder how Microsoft developers handle this critical activity. This process must be addressed but I do not know how, being a Microsoft .NET newbie.

It appears as though the VS environment automates the creation of the CS file ( akin to a Java WAR file it seems ). But the kicker: one must go through the web portal to upload the file to the Azure fabric... a tedious process to say the least compared to the "one click" AppEngine deployment made possible through some simple scripting in Eclipse.

I'll surely follow the "Hello World" tutorial and hopefully get a better feel for Azure in the coming weeks.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cloud Computing Mind Map

I invite anybody wishing to share their knowledge of the Cloud Computing market to edit (click the MindMeister image on the bottom righthand side of the map or here) the following wikimap:

Update: I'd like to thank Jim Dowson ( linkedin profile ) for his extended contribution!
Update 2: I would suggest collaborators complete their Skype profile when registering with MindMeister: this facilitates group discussion. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Uploading Outlook .pst to GMAIL

I was digging through old backups just recently and I decided to make some .PST files more productive ( e.g. searchable ). I could have opted for Google Desktop ( I think ) to sift through those backups but I instead followed the GMAIL road since I am in the process of trying to convince my wife to move completly to GMAIL from Outlook.

  • Step 1: install readpst ( link ) on a Linux machine ( I use Ubuntu primarily )
apt-get install readpst
  • Step 2: extract mail from the .pst file into mbox format
mkdir /tmp/mail
readpst "some-pst-file" -o /tmp/mail
  • Step 3: Configure Mozilla Thunderbird with GMAIL through IMAP: instructions can be found here.
  • Step 4: Install an mbox import/export extension for Thunderbird: available here.
  • Step 4: Import mbox folder hierarchy in Thunderbird: use Tools -> Import/Export in mbox/eml format -> Import mbox file menu option and select the appropriate dialog option ( I used #4 i.e. Select a directory where searching the mbox files to import (also in subdirectories ) ).
  • Step 5: Move the emails as desired.
  • It appears that the use of the IMAP interface through Thunderbird might be cause some "silent failures" from time to time. I suggest moving/copying emails by small batch in order to track & manage this shortcoming.
  • Also, I would seem that GMAIL's web-interface is not able to track "in real-time" the changes and of course this problem is compounded by the amount of moving/copying being done in a particular time interval.
Have fun :-)