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

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Is FireFox 1.4.0 unstable?

Update: I have messed up with the title. It is actually Firefox 1.0.4 and not 1.4.0. (I am not changing the title because it is changing the permanent link) Sorry for that.

Towards the end of last year I came to know about Firefox and soon it became my default browser. I use IE only for Microsoft site and my company’s intranet sites. I updated it to 1.0.4 about a month ago.

Recently I saw Swaroop saying that Firefox 1.0.4 is frequently crashing in his system. It was only after reading his blog and the comments I began to notice that even I have a similar problem, particularly when I keep it open for long time without using it. (I have the habit of not shutting down my system for weeks together).

The problem that I am facing is that Firefox freezes whenever I try to open it after keeping it idle for some time (say 30 minutes). It takes about 5 minutes for it to come back to life and sometimes it doesn’t. I am having this behavior only in 1.0.4.

But I cannot blame Firefox completely for this because I have installed the famous (?) Window XP Service Pack 2 around the same time I updated Firefox and also I have recently installed some extensions.

I was googling for around 2 days to find out the reason for this problem or at least someone with a similar problem. And I came across some good articles by Joel Webber. He talks about a serious flaw in IE by which memory leak occurs when the JavaScript in the webpage contains closures. He also claims that even other browses apart from IE have this flaw.

Asa can you throw some light on this issue. (Probably after you are back from your vacation)

I would be really happy if this is not the problem with Firefox. Does any one else face the same issue? Please leave a comment or an email

While searching I found this page which contains pics of earlier versions of IE. What was more interesting than the pictures was the title - History of Err… Internet Explorer ;-)

Here is my System Configuration

Pentium 4 (2.8 GHz)

512 MB Ram

Window XP SP 2 with all latest updates and patches

Firefox 1.0.4 with the following extensions

Tabbrowser Preferrences 1.2.6

Web Developer 0.9.3

Greasemonkey 0.3.3

All-in-One Gestures 0.15.2

Inspect Element 0.3

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Monday, June 20, 2005


I have taken a really looong break after my last exam. So its time that I start studying again for exams and after much thought I have finally decided my next exam. It’s going to be SCJP (CX-310-035).

The reason for choosing SCJP is that, for the next year or two I have to work mostly in java and will not be able to use much of .NET (at least at work).

Currently Sun is giving a discount of 25% for the exam till 30th of June. But I don’t think I can take up the exam with 9 days. I have kept the third week of July as my target for this exam. Hope I meet it.

BTW I am planning to use the book Sun Certified Programmer and Developer for Java 2 Study Guide (Exams 310-035 and 310-027) by OSBORNE. Does any one have a better suggestion..?

PS: Probably my friend Ram could help me, as he has already completed SCJP ;-)

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Received my MCAD Welcome Kit

I just received my MCAD Welcome Kit from Microsoft. It was nice to see my name printed in it as it was signed by Bill Gates.

But this time there only the usual contents (like tie pin, MCP card etc..) were there and no discount or special offer coupons as with my MCDBA Welcome kit ;-)

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

TagCloud – Replacement for Categories

For long time I have been trying to organize my posts into categories. But unfortunately Blogger doesn’t support categories yet. (Hope they do it soon) and that was the reason for me to add Technorati Tags to my posts.

I was searching for an alternative way to organize my posts into categories in Blogger and I stumbled upon TagCloud. Man it was just amazing. I just gave my feed url and it constructed the Cloud for me and placing it in my blog was also very easy. (Just two lines of code for my template) You could see it in the right side.

Speaking about TagCloud, it’s very easy to use and all you have to do is to just register and give your feed url. You can even import an opml file and it will analyze the feeds and will pick up the prominent words and will build up the cloud automatically. It uses Yahoo Content Analysis Web Service for picking up keywords. Even its UI is simple and pleasing. Hats off guys!

Meanwhile Improbulus reports that she has noticed some problem with the technorati tags pages and has done a detailed study about it and has published her report. She is also conducting a poll to find out the scale of the problem. You can take up the poll here and can help her with her study.

And a friendly request to Improbulus, can you kindly do a similar study with TagCloud as you have done for Technorati and publish your findings. I just love your articles ;-)

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Saturday, June 11, 2005

Yahoo 360 Invites available

Oops forgot to mention this, I have lot of Yahoo 360 invites left. So, if any of you need it just leave a comment here or send me an email. If you are leaving a comment don’t forget to leave your email address.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Comments about Yahoo 360

After much struggle I managed to get an invite for yahoo 360. Tyler West was kind enough to send me an invite. Thanks Tyler.

Right from the day, I heard about Yahoo 360 from Jeremy (ofcourse) I was eager to try it out and even thought of shifting my blog from Blogger to Yahoo 360. That eagerness made me to hunt for Yahoo 360 invites and after much struggle I found that Tyler has some invites left, from his blog.

I don’t know why, but my initial enthusiasm for yahoo 360 dropped a bit after seeing the home page itself. But the Yahoo 360 team has really put in a lot of effort and they have integrated lot of features which Yahoo is providing. The problem with me is that I don’t use most of those features now ;-). And I found that I have very limited options for my blog. For instance I cannot even change the template for my blog. I played with the different features available and even created a blog out there. You can check it out here.

But we should’nt forget that it is still in beta so probably these features could be shipped with the final release. Over all I found that Yahoo 360 team has put in lot of effort, but the product has to evolve and lot of things (at least for the blog) need to be incorporated. And it is really useful for people who use Yahoo’s features extensively and is tightly integrated with messenger. You can even compose and post your blog without stepping out of your messenger. That’s really very cool.

Regarding my decision to move my blog from Blogger to Yahoo 360, I have dropped that idea (atleast for now), since it does not have trackback or category for posts and also I cannot have my own templates. And also the permanent link for the blog articles are not human readable. For instance this is the permanent link for my first article (

Hoping that things will change once the final release comes out. BTW some one let me know whether I am totally out of track. Till then I have to be happy with Blogger.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Sun Microsystem's Offer for Java Certification Exams

Sun Microsystems is celebrating Java Technologies 10th Birthday by giving a 25% discount on Java Technology Certification Exams. This offer is for a limited period from May 23, 2005 to June 30, 2005 and is available worldwide. More information about the offer can be found here.

That’s a very good news for guys like me who want to take these exams as they are costly when compared with Microsoft Certification exams.

Also Sun is introducing a new beta exam named SCJA (Sun Certified Java Associate). This exam targets Entry level java programmers with at least 6 months of experience. Even this exam is offered worldwide. For more details check out this page.

In my previous post I mentioned that Microsoft’s offer is favoring my decision towards MCSD, but after seeing this offer will it shift to SCJP ?

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Microsoft Second-Shot offer extended

Microsoft’s Second-Shot exam offer, which was supposed to end by May 31st has been extended for another 3 months. The new deadline is August 31st. Exam retakes must be completed by September 30, 2005. The offer is available worldwide, but it can't be combined with any other exam offer that requires a promotional code, including the MCP 2-for-1 exam offer or special offers in India. More details can be found at the details page.

This offer is surely going to have a huge impact on my decision – whether it is MCSD or SCJP, next

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Blogger Enhancements

Most of you would have noticed that there are many changes in my blog. Yesterday I got some free time and I used it to make some changes to my blog, which was in my TODO list for long time.

First I changed my Blogger template to ‘Thisaway Blue’ by Dan Rubin to make it look more colorful.Thanks Dan.

Then I have stated to add Technorati tags to my posts. I am using a greasemonkey userscript for this and is quite handy.

The most important of all, I have added Trackback support to my blog through Haloscan. Improbulus has an excellent article, which explains how to do this.

Again you people could have noticed some new links in my blog, like ‘Bookmark in or Furl’ link and ‘Subscribe via email’ from Bloglet. Again Improbulus has an article which tells you how to add this in you blog.

If you have a blog in Blogger and want to enhance it, then I strongly recommend you to visit Improbulus blog. She really has lot of hacks for Blogger including multi-lingual support.

The feature which I still miss out in Blogger is the ability to group my blog entries according to their post category. I searched for it but could’nt get any solution. So let’s hope Blogger implements it soon.

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