Sudar Blogs: My Certification Experiences

A record of my experiences with certifications. Starting with BrainBench, moving on to Microsoft (MCP, MCDBA, MCAD) and … surely one day with Sun (SCJP), together with things I come across my day to day life.

Note: This blog has been moved to

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Good Bye Blogger, Hello Wordpress

Note: This blog has been moved to

At last, I have finished shifting my blog from Blogger to my own domain which is running wordpress. It has been in my to-do list for quite a few months, may be from the day Fred shifted his blog to his own domain ;)

You can find the new blog at and if you have subscribed to the RSS feed the feed url ( remains the same.

Shifting all the posts with comments from Blogger has been a little pain since Blogger doesn’t provide a direct export option. But thanks to the import script written by Andy Skelton and the explanation given by catsutorials. It really saved a lot of time for me. If I find time I will write a small explanation with screenshots to help people who want to use this script.

Wordpress has been really excellent so far and has satisfied all my requirements. You get tons of themes and plug-ins. And the credit goes to the community. Right now I am playing with lot of themes and may be even this theme may change in a few days.

So guys welcome to the new version of my blog and do let me know your comments and suggestions.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Another spam email

Here is another interesting funny spam which has escaped Gmail's spam filters and found it's way to my inbox. This one claims to be from eBay and is structured in the same way as an legitimate email. Even I was about to click the Respond button. But then something striked me. All the emails that I have received were only from and not from And so I hovered my mouse over the link and found that it is getting redirected to some other server and not eBay. So as usual I clicked 'Report Spam' So the lesson learned. If you need some laugh and have some time to spend, then go to your spam/bulk folder and read those emails. But one word of caution don't reply to them or click any of those links, they may track you and may find that your email is active. Happy Spaming....;-)
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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A funny spam mail

Some days ago Jeremy was talking about a funny spam email that has escaped Gmail's spam filter. And today even I got one such funny spam mail. Just look at the screen shot. The funny part is that the email shows my email address in the senders address and also in the subject line. This one was delivered to my inbox ( not in spam). And added to that when I clicked more options, Gmail doesn't show that it was mailed from some other domain (which means that it was indeed sent from a Gmail address itself) I am not sure whether I should report this as spam to Gmail. My reason for my fear is that I am not sure whether Gmail will consider my email address itself as spam or not when I report this mail. More over I am not sure yet whether some one else has received this mail with my email address in the from email address.
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Thursday, October 13, 2005

My right hand has less work now

GMail has spoiled my mouse usage to a great extend. The recently introduced Google Reader was also having keyboard shortcuts. So I thought of changing to Google Reader from Bloglines. So I logged into Bloglines and I was about to export my subscription list as a OPML file but to my surprise I saw a bunch of hotkeys on its footer. Viola! Bloglines too have keyboard shortcuts and I dropped the idea of switching.You could see them in the footer. Here is the list
  • j - next article
  • k - previous article
  • s - next sub
  • f - next folder
  • A - read all
  • r - refresh left pane
I wonder how things change suddenly when there is a competition. As I always used to say it’s the users who are going to get benefited when there is a competition. Now I just can’t wait to see Bloglines redesign its interface and Google Reader introducing more cool features. So because of Keyboard shortcuts Bloglines is still my feed reader.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Happy Birthday Google

Happy Birth Day Google.

Google has turned 7 this month. And the birth day gift is that Google is expanding it’s web search index by 1000 times.

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Monday, September 26, 2005

Learn J2EE programming with passion

Found this from SitePoint

Ready to get serious about learning Java Web application and enterprise application development? I can’t say I blame you—those skills will net a pretty penny in the current job market. That’s why J2EE Programming (with Passion!), a free online class offered by Sun Microsystems employee Sang Shin in his spare time, is such an amazing opportunity.

Offered by means of a Yahoo! Groups discussion list, the class runs for about the length of a university semester. Once you subscribe, you’re responsible for reviewing the weekly pre-class reading material, reading the classroom slides with accompanying notes, and completing the assigned coursework and final project by the assigned dates. It’s just like taking a university class only you don’t have to show up at lectures… oh, and did I mention it’s free?

If you’ve been awaiting an opportunity to learn J2EE in a structured way without shelling out a bunch of money on books and classes, this might just be the ticket. Sang Shin also offers a few other online classes, an advanced J2EE class among them.

The next session is starting today (26-Sep-2005) and I have registered for it. How about you? Thanks Sang Shin for the course

Update: Forgot to link to sitepoint when I posted it for the first time. Thanks Kevin for reminding.

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Apple vs Microsoft

I was going through CNET’s editor’s top 10 list and found some wired pattern.

Apple has two products listed in the ‘Top 10 products of the decade’ – iPod (2001) and Apple iMac (1998) and Microsoft has two products listed in the ‘Top 10 worst products of the decade’ – Microsoft Bob and Windows ME

Does it infer anything?

Incidentally Google and Firefox also find a place in the ‘Top 10 Best products of the decade’.

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Monday, September 12, 2005

Two companies change hands

I was reading Robert Scoble and he reports that two companies are changing hands. First Skype is sold to eBay and Oracle buys Siebel.

He also discuss about the advantages that eBay may get by using Skype.

Some people have come up to me and asked me "does this deal make any sense to you?" It does. eBay is a marketplace. It's about putting buyers and sellers together. Now, how can you make that marketplace more efficient? Voice and video.

Selling things is easier when you can tell and show. Skype is all about that.

Can't wait to see how this is going to change the way people buy things online.

Hopefully at least this is true, not like the Technorati rumor

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Saturday, September 10, 2005

My First Podcast

Just now finished my interview with Kamla. The feeling that my voice is getting recorded made me little restless in the beginning but once I got started the restlessness vanished. I just cannot wait to hear my voice back. She said that she will probably post it later today. So guys be ready to read err… listen my first podcast. I will post the link as soon as it is uploaded.

Thanks Kamla for making my view reach the public and also for your great tips.

Update: Here is the link for the podcast

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Interview with Kamla

I am still not able to believe this. I am going to be interviewed by Kamla for a podcast to be featured in the techtalk section of her podcast/blog. If you are wondering who is Kamla, she is the first Indian podcaster. She maintains two podcast sites at and

I just had a chat with her over phone and she seems to be a very knowledgeable person. We had a quick discussion about KingPing and GoogleMyWay (my two pets). We also chatted about life in India and particularly in Chennai, about work, about the outsource world and also about the collaboration between India and US in the IT field.

Hear about all these in the podcast which is scheduled to be recorded this afternoon and also I have a surprise for you in that podcast ;-)

As you know I start my day by reading Jeremy and Robert Scoble. May be from tomorrow I have to add Kamla to the list.

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Friday, September 09, 2005

Major Security Threat in IE

Recently I came to know about a major security threat in Internet Explorer from Lifehacker tips. Any website can read the text present in your clipboard with out your knowledge and can even replace the text present in your clipboard. I went to the article present in the tip and they mentioned that you can use ASP, PHP or Perl together with Javascript to retrieve the text.

This interested me much and I tried to figure out how to do it and to my surprise I was able to retrieve the clipboard text with just two lines of javascript code alone without even using any server side script like ASP or PHP. I have written more about it and you can find it out in this url (

After retrieving the text I was thinking what a website can do by knowing your clipboard text and then an idea struck me what if it is combined with AJAX. The website can get the contents of the user’s clipboard even if the user is not submitting a form or clicking a link. I have put up a practical demonstration of it here. Once you enter your email I take you clipboard text and email it to you even if you don’t click a link or submit a form. This sounds to be a very serious threat for me.

I have also put up a page, where you can find out how you can prevent it by changing your Internet Explorer settings. Luckily this seems to occur only in Internet Explorer. Firefox doesn’t seem to have this vulnerably. So one more reason for me to use Firefox. Asa, are you reading this?

Friday, September 02, 2005

Gmail Outage ScreenShot

I cannot believe this. Gmail is down. Here is the screenshot which I took on 2-Sep-05 at 10.15 pm (IST Indian Standard time) (GMT + 5.5hrs) Did any one else noticed it? PS: If the screenshot is not clear, here is a big one Update: 11:00 PM Gmail is back again.
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Sunday, August 28, 2005

My Own Google Page


Due to my enormous presence in the online world, Google has decided to dedicate a separate home page for me. You can check it out in the following url

With Regards, Sudar

PS: If the geek with in you is still wondering, ask him to check out the url

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Google Talk released

I opened my aggregator (Bloglines) today and found out from Mark Jen that Google is going to release their IM Google Talk today.

I am one of those who have been waiting for this day. I went to the Google Talk site and downloaded it and installed it. The interface looks very thin and sleek and it supports both text and voice. (But yet to test it as none of friends have downloaded it yet)

And when I was looking around the interface I clicked the about box and it had the usual copy right notice and below that I found this text Play 23 21 13 16 21 19 . 7 1 12 5 and I was breaking my head to find out what they mean by it. Then only I found that I was the only one do so.

Asa has a nice guess for this and gives an explanation in his blog. If any one else has a better guess do leave a comment and also let me know about your experience with Google Talk.

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Free ASP.NET training from Microsoft eLearning

If you are looking for some ASP.NET training or course, then there is some good news for you. Microsoft eLearning is offering 17 hours of hands-on ASP.NET training for free. (yes)
Here is the quote from the website Are you looking to learn to create ASP.NET Web applications with Visual Studio.NET? If so now is your chance to get 17 hours of hands-on ASP.NET training for free from Microsoft Learning. For a limited time only, Microsoft Learning is offering Developing Microsoft ASP.NET Web Applications with Visual Studio.NET, a 17-hour self-paced online training course, for free ($349.00 value).
I think the offer is valid for a short time only. So if you are interested then hurry up. To Yuvi: Are you reading this..?
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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Features that I want in Blogger

Improbulus wrote in her blog that Google is conducting a survey for users of Blogger. And I went to my dashboard and followed the link to give up my feedback. There were some questions like how long have been using blogger, how frequently you have been using it etc.

After that they asked for the features that I want to be implemented in Blogger. I thought posting my answer here so that we can discuss about the different features.

So here is my list of features that I want in Blogger (in no particular order)

  • Reduce Spam
  • Better support for editing posts.
  • Support for classifying posts into different Categories.
  • Trackback support.
  • RSS Feed for comments.
  • ‘Blogger tags’ for displaying the total number of comments and trackbacks.
  • Ability to keep track of the comments that I have posted in other Blogger blogs (you can list the comments that I have made in my dashboard).
  • Email notification of other peoples comments on blogs in which I have commented.
  • Ability to add an ‘about me’ page.
  • Custom Index page (the first page that comes up when we type the blog url).

So guys what you say? If you feel that I have missed out some, leave me a comment I will add it up here.

It seems that one of my feature requests is answered. Google has released a Blogger for Word toolbar. I have just downloaded it and it works great. This post is posted from my Microsoft Word itself ;)

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Monday, August 15, 2005

College Get together

This weekend, we had a college get together and it was really nice to meet all my friends after about 18 months. Each one had an interesting story to share. It was a great feeling to find out that all my college friends are really doing well. Thanks KK and Arun for making it a great success. I have uploaded some photos in Flickr. You can check them out at
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Happy Independence Day

Wishing all a Happy Independence Day. Read about the Indian independence movement on Wikipedia.
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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Technorati to be sold

BL Ochman is reporting a rumor, that Technorati is available for sale. Any one who is watching blogsphere for some time would have easily guessed as the long standing question 'What is Technorati's bussiness model?' is still unanswered. So eventually it is expected to be brought by some big company. Robert Scoble the-talkative-but-silent-recently-microsoft blogger also reports it and says that if he would have had access to cash then he would have brought it. BL Ochman's guess is that it would be brought by Yahoo. But I feel that Google would be more interested in buying Technorati rather than Yahoo. Recently there have been lot of speculation about Google's SandBox effect which prevents new sites from showing up in Google's search result and lot of people were discussing about the non-real-time-result of Google and near-real-time-result of Technorati. So my guess is that it Technorati would be brought by Google. What do u say guys..? Update: This appears to be just a gulp of Google Juice. Technorati is still owned by David Sifry
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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

New MCP exam 70-089 for MCSE

Microsoft is releasing a new MCP exam for Systems Management Server 2003. The exam name is Planning, Deploying, and Managing Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 and the exam no is (70-089). The objective guide for this exam shows that Microsoft has designed two courses for this exam. They are
  • 2596: Managing Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003
  • 2597: Planning and Deploying Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003
70-089 will fulfill an elective requirement for the MCSE on Windows 2003 title. It will also count toward Technology Specialist fulfillment under the "new-generation" MCP program. Currently the exam is in beta and the beta ends on Aug - 22. Exam 70-089 is an update to the older 70-086, Systems Management Server 2.0. Those who passed that exam do not need to recertify, as certifications never retire. Since I am not into the MCSE track, I am not going to take it and so can guys into MCSE throw some light about this exam and also about Systems Management Server?
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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Got on the Broad BANDWagon! Finally

Recently I have had some very bad experience in buying peripherals for my computer.

First it was my USB-IR port (BAFO 120b), which I brought to connect my mobile (Sony Ericsson T630) to my computer using IR. I bought it from a local shop for Rs 550 and when I connected it to my computer it was not recognized by my Window XP operating system. I tried all I could do but it didn’t work. I searched about it in Google and posted about it in various forums but no luck. Finally I gave up and packed it and placed it in my shelf.

Next, I decided to take up broad band connection (Believe me till now I was using only Dial-up Connection). And I selected BSNL Dataone 500, as the plan suited my needs. And regarding the modem, BSNL gave me two options either I can opt for their modem (Huawei SmartAX MT880) or I can buy my own modem. I gave a thought for some time and then decide to get my own modem and I bought a DLink DSL – 502T router / modem for RS 2450.

I was waiting with excitement to use my broadband connection. After about two weeks BSNL approved my request and enabled ADSL for my telephone line. Then came the real problem, I was trying to connect using my modem and it was not able to do that and was getting an error. I called up BSNL and they said that the problem is with my modem and not with their connection and went to the shop (yes still I am buying from a brick-mortar shop and not an e-Shop) from where I brought the modem and asked them to replace it, since I had warranty. They accepted it and gave me a new modem and even that one was giving the same problem for me.

I searched about it in Google and posted about it in various forums and almost every one gave me the same answer, connect the modem, run the wizard and you are through. I have changed almost all the configuration parameters and even then I just couldn’t do it. People from BSNL started saying that I shouldn’t have opted for my own modem and virtually all people with whom I discussed about it started pointing their fingers on me saying that it was my fault (expect my parents). I was in real frustration for about a month and finally decide to get the modem from BSNL itself and I listed my modem in ebay for Rs 2000, but I got a response from only one person who wanted it for just s 1500.

I was at my peak in frustration and something inside me asked me to give just one more try. So I just connected it (thinking that it would be my last time doing this) and the LED’s started to blink and I was staring at the screen and my hand was trying to point my mouse pointer to the shortcut (for my connection) which I have placed in the desktop.

Suddenly my yahoo messenger popped up and was trying to connect and I was trying to close it and to my surprise it got connected, I was not able to believe this because I haven’t clicked on the connection which I have created in my network connection yet. Then I opened firefox and typed Google and WOW! Google’s home page flashed.

Finally I realized that my modem has an in-built PPPoE dialer and there is no need for me to create a connection in network connection. And all these days whenever I switched on my modem it was connected to internet but I didn’t realize it. (How bad!)

My sprits went high after finding out that I have actually made a right decision while buying my modem and now I can prove to all those people who pointed their fingers at me that I did took the right decision.

And after making sure that I am connected the first website which I opened was , the forum in which I was posting my query and I found that a person named Ashok who was helping me all these days and suggesting me all the possible combinations for configuring my modem has posted a reply to my post saying that my modem doesn’t need a connection to be created in Control Panel. Thanks Ashok.

And then I cancelled my ebay listing for my modem and told my parents about it. Even they shared my excitement and finally even I got on the Broad BANDWagon!

This has some how given me the confidence and energy to start fiddling with my USB-IR port and I will post my experience if I succeed in that too..

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

King Ping has a new logo

Thanks to Wes (Trafic Transit) King Ping now has a new logo now. The new logo looks cool and fits the design very much. Check out the logo at

Here is Fred’s comment about this.

Got a suggestion / Feedback / Comment / Feature Request, let us know we would be glad to hear that from you.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

King Ping has started to ping

Last week I asked you people to suggest some good AJAX libraries and I also gave you a hint, saying that I am currently working on a pet project. Ok now its time to reveal that pet project. It’s actually an AJAX version of a ping service hosted by Fred.

People at Diva Marketing helped us to get a good name for our service and it was christened as King Ping. Currently it is pinging around 18 ping services and has its own domain at More features to come. You could find more info about it, in the about page.

So guys have a look at the King Ping and do let me know your suggestions / comments / feedbacks or feature requests. You can either leave them here or at Fred’s Blog or drop me an email.

Happing Pinging…

PS: If you blog about King Ping then tag them with ‘KingPing

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Friday, July 22, 2005

MCP Program takes new path

Microsoft is changing its certification pattern with the release of the next version of Visual Studio. NET and SQL Server. They are introducing a new framework for certification that will pair up a credential with a skill-identifying certification based on a tiered approach consisting of three credentials:

  • Tier 1: Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist
  • Tier 2: Microsoft Certified IT Professional or Professional Developer
  • Tier 3: Microsoft Certified Architect

Out of which the last exam Microsoft Certified Architect is supposed to be very rigorous, board-level certification. Microsoft released information about this exam somewhere in last April.

The following is the update path for the current exams

MCDBA + 2 exams – Microsoft Certified IT Professional

MCSD + 2 exams – Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (Enterprise Application Developer)

MCAD + 1 exam – Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (either Windows or Web Developer)

Microsoft is yet to give information regarding MCSE and MCSA. But those people who have already taken the current titles (MCP/MCSE/MCSA/MCDBA/MCAD/MCSD) will still have their certifications intact.

My current plan is to take that one exam for Web Developer and upgrade my MCAD title to Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (Web Developer). But who knows there is lot of time to decide though ;)

So guys share with me how your upgrade path is going to be.

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Monday, July 18, 2005

Arfa - Youngest MCAD

Till now I was quite proud that I got MCAD and even posted my certificate. But I felt very bad about it when I found that a girl named Arfa Karim Randhawa in Pakisthan has finished her MCAD at the age of 9. Ya even I didn’t believe it at first (I read it twice before believing). Here is the link.

To recognize her talents and encourage her Microsoft has invited her to its Redmond campus and also arranged for an interview with Bill Gates.

What impressed me most was how she was described.

She made an impression through a combination of charm, flattery and boldness uncommon for someone her age. For example, during Arfa's meeting with Gates, she presented him with a poem she wrote that celebrated his life story. But she also questioned him about what she perceived to be the relatively small proportion of women on the campus."It should be balanced -- an equal amount of men and an equal amount of women," she explained afterward.

Here are some more excerpts

Later in the afternoon, she sat outside with S. "Soma" Somasegar, a Microsoft corporate vice president, and described her vision for a self-navigating car. He listened to her ideas and told her about some of Microsoft's existing software for cars.

To be sure, despite her question to Gates about employing people her age, Microsoft wasn't about to offer a job to someone so young. But Somasegar talked about the possibility of an internship in a few years.

"The thing that's exciting to me is her passion for technology at this age," said Somasegar, who decided to invite Arfa to Redmond after reading a story about her in MicroNews, an internal company newsletter.

I think it is a big success for Microsoft and also a real booster for both Microsoft and also the developers who use Microsoft technologies.

It looks strange how Robert Scoble missed it. Come on Scoble stop comparing Technorati and Bloglines and blog about this too. She promises to be a better evangelist than you for Microsoft ;)

Update: Some one in the comments said that this is news is a fraud. Here is the official news from Microsoft site itself.

BTW Scoble I am still waiting for your answer. Take some time to comment on this apart from comparing different blog searching engines. ;)

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