Build idiot proof systems!

Few days ago, I was asked to evaluate a few possibilities for a new project. I wanted to check the Jetpack plugin but we/I did not have any WordPress installation in any of our/my servers. In order to save time, I directly came to this site and tried to install Jetpack 1.9. It did not let me because I was using an older version of WordPress, probably 3.5.2. I was in hurry, so I downloaded a backup utility with a good rating, XCloner and took a full backup. Despite all those “verify your backup before you proceed” warnings, I tried to update to the newer version directly.

As you’ve guessed, my site went down half way through the update! Not to worry, I was smart, I took a backup! I started googling how to restore a XCloner backup. It seemed more complex than I had anticipated, but was not rocket-science. I started the restore process but it came back with a warning in red lines, my extracted files did not have the expected file sizes. This is when it strike me that I was an ass not to take a proper backup and verify it. I probably lost all of my articles. I am a lazy man. It took me one year to motivate myself for a personal blog, one more year to set it up and one more year to actually start writing! I am not the type to not lose faith and start over. So I mentally prepared myself for the worst. I was feeling like an idiot!

When I came back from office, I started to dig down.  I looked at the source files on my server. There was a lot of files showing zero bytes. I looked at the XCloner backup files and database script. There were only a few files, I must have done something wrong while setting up the backup. Also, the database script was broken half way through a INSERT script, a lot of tables were missing. In summary, the backup wasn’t usable at all.

I decided to delete everything and go for a fresh installation. I downloaded the latest version of WordPress. While downloading, I noticed that there is a process for manual upgrade. I also noticed that its not very uncommon for people to crash their site during version upgrades and then they have to switch to manual upgrade. I started with finding all the files with zero byte size, and replace them with the files from the downloaded distro. To my greatest surprise, the site started showing up! Well, not all of it, but I could read the articles and see the pictures, at least some of it, but I could not use the backend. The UI was broken, the site was missing CSS styles, the scripts were not working. Firebug console was full of warnings and errors. So, instead of replacing only some files, according to the WordPress manual upgrade guide, I decided to replace all files except wp-config.php, .htaccess and wp-contents folder from the downloaded archive of the new WordPress 3.8.2. After copying everything, I tried to log into the backend again. It automatically took me to the database upgrade screen. This time, I performed a mysql backup from cpanel before upgrading it, but the upgrade was smooth. My site was back, up and running in less than an hour!

I was awestruck by the simplicity of the upgrade process. As a developer, there are times when you hate the users but you should also expect them to make very unusual mistakes. When they cause disasters even after being instructed specifically on how to avoid it, they will come to you and at the end of the day you should be able to find a way around. Just because you told them not to push that red button does not mean somebody will not push it. May be it was accidental, may be he was in a bad mood, may be something else happened but your system should be solid enough to handle catastrophes. Deleting a file or a record, power failure during a transaction, changing a password and not remembering it, the list goes on and on. We are sitting on a world of automated systems where for every system, multiple automation options exist. These small idiot handling will make your system come on top of another. No matter how good your system is, if its not idiot proof, its simply not good enough.

How to estimate a project very fast!

Yesterday, my boss called me around noon. He told me that he’ll be working from home in the afternoon as he had a client call to attend. Also, he has received a new project proposal from a client who wants to clone a very famous website, for which I need to provide a rough/ballpark estimate. Usually for big projects, he works directly with me in preparing the estimates, but this time I will have to do it alone. On top of that, I have less than three hours.

I am sure, some of us have to face this scenario often. You don’t need to do an accurate estimate, yet you can not go off by big margins. You don’t get much time to evaluate and list every details, you don’t even get to play around with the system. In such cases, the ideal approach, we not exactly ideal, but it worked for me so far, is to:

1. Isolate the features. As many of them you can, obviously without missing the major features. If its a web project, it might have several back-ends for users of different roles. List those features as well. First take a notepad or an excel file and keep listing features as you go through the URS/FS documents or sample website. Don’t waste too much time to layout every details, but try to put the feature in a single line. For example: you should write “Save/Update user’s location data after every successful login” instead of “When a user logs in, save his location information in the system. If a location is already available, overwrite it.”

2. Separate and list the UI elements and page designs. Most of the well designed projects often has reusable UI components or design blocks. Use your common sense to roughly guess how much of the work can be reused.

3. Beside every feature or UI elements, make two columns: Min hours and Max hours. Think how much time the feature would likely take to develop. Whatever you think is fair, make the Min hours ~20% less than that and the Max hour ~40% more. For example: If you think a feature would take 16 hours to develop, put 12 hours in Min and 22 hours in Max. Please note that, for some of the items, the hours are very obvious and kind of standard. In such cases make the Min and Max as close as possible, or better, avoid the Min, put the exact amount in the Max column.

Estimate a project

Estimating a project

4. Don’t forget to include some standard items i.e Initial Analysis, Database Development, Product Research, Documentation, Testing, Deployment, Client Communication etc. All these items makes up a complete project. If you forget to mention these, you’ll regret it later.

5. In addition to all these, I personally add another item “Contingency” which is a flat 10% of the Min and Max hours columns, often calculated by a formula and rounded to full numbers. This items gives you a little peace of mind which is often prove to be a life saver during the end days of the project. If you’re one of those guys who estimates a project very tight, make sure you add the contingency period. Your developers will thank you for this.

Thats all I can remember right now. How do you estimate your projects? Feel free to share with me.

Things I’ve learnt by killing my CRS

I have read almost every CRS guide that I could find on the internet. Some of them are heavily biased towards a particular brand and make things look so easy! Then why do people across the world complain about it being tough? Because it is! Here are a list of things I’ve learnt through my losses, things most of the guides do not say or emphasize.

Test Kits: (GH/KH, TDS, pH)
The single most important kit you need is the GH/KH test kit. Yes, I know GH can be guessed from the TDS, but first of all, when it comes to CRS, guessing does not bring any good, second of all, read first of all. CRS has a wide range of acceptibility for TDS (90-150, even 200) than it has for GH (4-6). Keeping a TDS of 120 does not ensure your water has the perfect GH for shrimps to molt properly. You should mineralize your RO water to have a GH between 4-6 not for a certain TDS. Then whatever the TDS the mixture reaches, thats the TDS you should aim for always. KH also plays an important role in keeping the water parameters stable, specially the pH. Internet says its okay to have KH 0 but in fact its not. Having a KH 0 means your water is prone to sudden pH swings. Having a KH value of 1-2 is equally important. You should also aim for a pH below 7.0 but this is not the end of the world, slightly above 7.0 is okay too as long as it always remains that way.

RO Water pH:
It is advisable to use RO water for CRS. Dont get fooled by the pH measurement of the bottled RO water. It will read way below 7 but if you keep it in an open place for an hour or two or preferably overnight, it will climb towards 7 or even above 7. Do not ever measure the pH of the water unless its been aged for a couple of hours to 24 hours depending on the water volume.

You should always aim for a soil that buffers the pH of the tank to less than 7. But if your water has a very high KH, the substrate can not help you. Amazonia II buffers the soil around pH 6.5, Africana to pH 6.0 and Malaya to Ph 5.5 approximately. Please note tha you must have a fat (at least 4cm) layer of substrate for the soil to be able to buffer properly.

Temperature:Do not even think of keeping CRS in temperatures above 26C. You will not have much success. The ideal temperature is between 21C and 23C but keeping a stable temperature without fluctuations is much more important than struggling to keep it low. That means, if you can manage to keep the temperature stable at 25C, that is the better option than trying to force it to 22C but fluctuating it between 21C and 26C.

Water Change:
When it comes to CRS, what do we say to frequent water changes? Not anymore! Frequent water changes cause more stress and does more harm than good. If there is one single thing CRS dont like, its “CHANGE”. If your Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate reads within the safe zone, dont change water. If you have a good filtration, you could go upto 6-8 weeks without water changes.

Also make sure your water is aged at least a week before releasing CRS into the tank. This means, do a 80-90% water change on week prior to introducing CRS. Check for water parameters one day before and make sure they are stable. This means, your tank water should read:

Ammonia/Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0-5
pH: 6.0 to 7.4
GH: 4-6
KH: 1-2
TDS 90 – 150

No planted tank:
It is impossible to balance the need of a proper planted tank and CRS at the same time. Pick one. Yes, your tank better have some plants for CRS, but those should be low demanding plants i.e moss, ferns etc, not resource hungry red plants or hairgrass. CO2 is also a big NO, in fact CRS prefer a O2 rich water.

I would avoid having any kind of stones at all, other than may be those mineral stones sold specifically for shrimps. Rocks and stones may cause the GH instability in the tank and also cause pH swings overnight. However, driftwoods are okay, in fact preferable. Its better to set a dedicated tank up for CRS using a fat layer of substrate, easy low tech plants like moss and ferns tied on branch wood and optionally mineral stones. No fancy rocks, no fancy plants!

Again, CRS do not like changes. Do not put your hand inside the tank, like ever. Use a long twizzers to do stuffs you’d use your hands for.

And now, some pictures of my CRS, which I’ve lost in the process of learning.

Crystal Red Shrimp

SS/K10 Crystal Red Shrimp

Golden Bee Shrimp

Golden Bee Shrimp


Feel something is wrong? Something probably is!

Today I had faced a near disaster. We were to deliver an offline HTML/CSS/JS based web application which was planned for distribution in a major Arab-African event using USB drives. The application itself was pretty straight forward, we had to export and stage data, implement a JSON provider, convert those exported data to JSON and use it inside our application using AJAX calls. Even though the project was small, we had a commitment and a very rigid deadline. There was another company who were waiting for us to provide the files for them to prepare and deliver the USB for the event. I had a junior colleague working with me. For the sake of visibility, we placed the development version of the application in his local apache server and also on our demo server. The project ended very quickly with almost no hiccups. Not even the smallest ones! I was very happy to see it progressing rapidly. But, at the same time I had something in my head telling me something is wrong. The project was too small for me to get worried. We tested the application in different browsers for compatibility and then delivered on schedule. The client was more than happy.

Three days after, the company who were responsible for the USB came back to us with some questions. I was not in the office, so my project manager downloaded the contents which we had sent them earlier and KABOOM! It was not working! Well, it was working with Firefox, but not with Chrome or Internet Explorer. By this time, they must have prepared the USB cards and shipped them to our client! We were at loss!

The problem was in making AJAX calls to local JSON. Both Chrome and Internet Explorer were treating the AJAX calls to the local JSON files as cross-domain calls and it was failing. I quickly got panicked and could not think of a way to make the AJAX calls domain safe without taking the whole thing apart. This glitch got overlooked since were were testing the whole thing from a local apache server and the JSON file was on the same domain (localhost) as the HTML file. I did check the files directly from the file system, but using only Firefox (which was my default browser) and things worked flawlessly. It never occurred to me to check the files from the file system using different browsers since we had them tested in different browsers earlier from our apache servers, both development and demo!

The solution was very simple. Since all those JSON content were static, we just had to copy those into a javascript variable and use it from there instead of making AJAX calls to get them from the file system. We changed it very quickly and made a second delivery. By this time, my PM had called the USB provider and made sure they did not go for mass production yet. So, in the end, this whole thing did not cost us anything, other than sweat and panic!

The thing is, I was not comfortable while delivering the contents the first time but I did not care to recheck the files thoroughly and systematically. When you’re working in the industry for some time, you actually grow a sixth sense which tells you if something is about to go wrong. Do not ignore these feelings, make sure you’re absolutely confident while delivering. If you feel something might be wrong, chances are high that something is wrong! Trust your instinct, it never hurts to invest an extra hour double checking if everything is behaving as they should.

Autorun HTML file from a CD-ROM

I recently came across an interesting project which required to open an HTML file inside the CD-ROM using the default browser on the users side. There are two ways, both are equal in terms of complexity and flexibility.

Method 01:
This uses the standard ShellExecute command.

label=Autorun HTML
action=Open index.html

Method 02:
This method requires you to download a small executable and put it within the contents.

open=autorun.exe index.html
label=Autorun HTML
action=Open index.html

Please note that the above examples only shows a few of the options you can use in a Autorun.inf file. For other possible entries, please refer to MSDN.

Developer vs Googler

So you google a lot while writing code or developing a piece of application and that makes you wonder whether you really are a good programmer or just a good googler? Lets find out.

This thought has been bugging me for the last few months since it seems like I cant really do anything without the help from the mighty ‘G’. Whether its a simple JavaScript String.ReplaceAll() method or a C# String.ReplaceFirst() method. Lets see what most of us (considering a developer of average skills) will come up with, without googling:

//C# ReplaceFirst(): Replaces the first occurrence of a given pattern with another
public string ReplaceFirst(string baseText, string toSearch, string toReplace) {
    int pos = baseText.IndexOf(toSearch);
    if (pos < 0) {
        return baseText;
    return baseText.Substring(0, pos) + toReplace + baseText.Substring(pos + toSearch.Length);

//JavaScript ReplaceAll(): Replaces all instances of a given pattern from a string
function ReplaceAll(toSearch, toReplace, baseText) {
    while ( baseText.indexOf(toSearch) > -1) {
        baseText = baseText.replace(toSearch, toReplace);
    return baseText;

Now, on first thought, my incapable mind did not event think about using RegularExpressions! If I were to google first, I could’ve done much better:

//C# ReplaceFirst(): Replaces the first occurrence of a given pattern with another
public string ReplaceFirst(string baseText, string toSearch, string toReplace) {
    var regex = new Regex(Regex.Escape(toSearch));
    return regex.Replace(baseText, toReplace, 1);

//JavaScript ReplaceAll(): Replaces all instances of a given pattern from a string
function ReplaceAll(toSearch, toReplace, baseText) {
    return baseText.replace(new RegExp(toSearch, 'g'), toReplace);

Now that you’re thinking I must be a noob to not think about using RegularExpressions on the first place, how about we try to do this without RegularExpressions but in a super cool way?

//JavaScript ReplaceAll(): Replaces all instances of a given pattern from a string
function ReplaceAll(toSearch, toReplace, baseText) {
    return baseText.split(toSearch).join(toReplace)

If I had googled first, I could see all these different implementations which I would be able to use in similar scenarios in future, not just this one. These solutions might not be bulletproof but will do the job for my particular need. Also, imagine the facial expression of the developer who gets to work on this after me seeing all these elegant solutions to otherwise very simple problems.

Googling is simply not about copying code out of peoples work but also to explore the possibilities. Technology has enabled us to share and teach what we know to others who wants to know. There is nothing wrong with a bit of researching before jumping into writing codes. You’ll be surprised to see what you could learn simply by studying other peoples code and suggestions. And not all of our problems are related to programming, we also need to trouble shoot server problems, network connectivity issues, code deployments etc. All these will keep throwing different challenges to you and its not heroic to try to solve all these without any help. If you have a senior colleague or a friend or a mentor who helps you whenever you’re stuck, google does the same for you. Its true that if you’re blindly copying the code and pasting without even understanding or studying the code, than this can not be any worse for you!

How could we make the most out of googling and improve our skills at the same time?

  • Study the solutions provided by others. Compare their solutions to what you had in mind.
  • Try to learn different ways to solve a problem. Do not stop at the first solution you get.
  • Use the knowledge you’ve gained to solve other problems of the same kind.
  • Avoid copying wherever possible. Get the idea, understand the algorithm but write your own code. Nothing beats the knowledge gained by doing it yourself even though you’ve borrowed the idea off someone else.
  • If you think you can do better, contribute to the community. Take your solution to them.
  • Even if you think you know the solution to a problem, studying always helps. With the always changing technologies, chances are you’ll find a better solution each time you look!

So folks, don’t worry about how you code as long as you get to learn something in the process. Its okay to not know something and its a lot better than knowing the wrong thing.

Iwagumi Bowl

My iBowl – 5g Iwagumi Bowl

The journey started when I got addicted to Iwagumis but my wife would not allow another tank in my home. Due to warm and dry weather conditions in Bangladesh, I had bad experiences with Hemianthus Cuba (HC) before, so I wanted to set this up inside an air-conditioned room! Luckily, a 5 gallons bowl did not count as a *tank* and I somehow magically convinced (read blackmailed) my wife to place it inside our bedroom. She even went as far as buying the stand for me!

There were some major challenges.  First, I wanted to start dry, in which I had no idea before. Second, my previous attempts of growing HC did not go well. Third, it is inside our bedroom so I need to make it aesthetically good, otherwise I might get thrown out of the house along with my little project. Fourth, I did not have any solid plan on the filtration I’d be able to install inside a container this small. I knew I simply can not buy something off the LFS but make something on my own. Fifth, quality commercial substrates like ADA AquaSoil are not available in my country and I needed to come up with a good soil recipe. Sixth, I needed good looking stone pieces suitable for Iwagumi layout.

I bought a 5 gallons bowl from a local store. Also picked up a wall mounting light fixture which can hold a 15W CFL (6500K Phillips) from Nababpur. I had to use a small piece of wood in order to mount it to wall. A local fish-keeping friend of mine helped me with the stones. And my wife bought me a rose wood textured stand from Panthopath.

I mixed garden soil and river mud 3:1, then mixed some earthworm compost 5:1 to the total volume. Later I mixed siphoned water off my tank (with fish waste and poops) with the soil and let it dry a little bit until it became like a dough. I picked some sylhet sand from my other tank and put a 1cm layer in the bowl. Then I added a 2cm layer of the soil. I added the stones on top of the soil layer and played a bit with the formation. At this point I planted a few stems of HC borrowed from a fellow hobbyist inside the bowl, covered the top using a plastic wrap and put it under light. The lighting hours were irregular, from as low as 6 hours to 16 hours a day.

Iwagumi Bowl

Day 01

A few days later, a shipment of plants came to a LFS and I got a pot of HC. I separated and planted each stem individually. I kept misting the plants once a day with fertilizer mixed water.

Iwagumi Bowl

Day 08

After 7 days, I got slight hint of BGA (Blue Green Algae/Cyanobacteria).

Iwagumi Bowl

Day 15

I immediately stopped the fertilizer, switched to plain water, soaked the extra water off the soil using a sponge and cut down on the misting sessions but it did not help a bit, the BGA started to spread rapidly. I tried to cover the BGA by sprinkling a layer of dry sand over the soil in hope to choke it but did not help either.

Iwagumi Bowl

Day 20

From my previous experience I knew it is a bad sign and I did not have any option other than putting medicines. But, previously I dosed the medicine in the water column, so how in the world do I dose Erythromycin in a dry setup? i seriously started to consider flooding the tank and dosing medicine but later I took the simplest option of adding it to the spray bottle. I sprayed two times a day with Erythromycin mixed water. The BGA turned black after three days but I continued to dose for 7 days.

Now I did not have any BGA left but the plants were in bad shape. They simply would not grow and it took them at least three weeks to start growing new leaves. After two months, I had a good enough carpet of HC. Oh, I added some Dwarf Hairgrass too!

Iwagumi Bowl

After two months

I used an airline tube to slowly fill the tank.

Iwagumi Bowl

Filling the tank

I added DIY CO2 (Yeast + Sugar) almost immediately and also added a small 200LH power-head so that the CO2 reaches evenly across the container. I could see good pearling for the next few days. I still need to come up with an idea for filtration and need to decide on what too keep. Currently I have a Nerite snail ruling the bowl!

Iwagumi Bowl

DIY CO2 with DIY Diffuser

Next Week Update:
Its been 7 days since I flooded the bowl and its going steady. I have not noticed any kind of melting, blackening of leaves yet. I have DIY CO2 on 24/7 and a small water-pump for circulation. I have added a DIY filter using a half-cut beverage bottle with holes drilled at the bottom, some synthetic cotton and a small powerhead. The total height of the filter is 4 inch and the diameter is 2 inch. I have used fishing thread to hang the filter from top. The water enters from below, through the synthetic cotton and then pumps back to the bowl by the powerhead. I had two failed prototypes before this design worked. Its been 3 days and the filter is running stable.
I had to change the filtration system. Please read below the update from 24/09/2013.

Iwagumi Bowl

DIY Filtration

Oh I have also added a young pair of my own bred platy in the tank. I will cycle the tank for 3 more weeks and if everything looks okay, I will be adding some shrimps to it.

Iwagumi Bowl7 days after flooding

Update [19/09/2013]:
Facing brown algae (diatom) problem. Reduced the lighting hours from 10 hours to 6 hours. The Nerite snail is too big to clean the brown algae off HC leaves, but it did a nice job cleaning the glass walls. Deployed an Otocinclus today, lets see if this can keep the problem under limit. If I see it cleaning the brown algae, I will put a few more. My only concern is that, since the cycle is not complete, the Otocinclus might have a hard time surviving there. If I see it struggling, I will take it off.

The brown algae appears in new tanks because of the imbalance. As the tank matures, these get over-powered by the plants or other types of green algae. Its been slightly more than a week since I have introduced the filtration system. I am hoping as soon as the bacteria colony establish themselves and the cycle is complete, the tank should recover.

Update [22/09/2013]:
Added 3 pairs of Yellow shrimps (Neocaridina heterpoda var. Yellow) along with the Otos. Removed the pair of Platy.

Update [24/09/2013]:
Spotted severe problem with the filtration. The enclosure was transparent but the bacteria like to grow in the dark. This also explains the instability of the tank since the previous filter actually did nothing but mechanical filtration. Switched to mini spray bar power filter. Installed it with the help of an acrylic piece placed vertically. Cleaned the bowl, did a 50% water change and replaced the filter media with one from my existing tank. Hope this sorts the filtration problem once and for all.
Aaaand spotted a berried shrimp! Yay!!

Iwagumi Bowl

Berried Yellow Shrimp

Update [26/09/2013]:
Facing cloudy water problem. It might be due to the nitrogen cycle being incomplete, another possibility is its just road-side dust. We live beside the main road and our room gets tons of dust everyday.

Update [30/09/2013]:
I experimented by keeping a lid on top of the bowl during the off-light hours and guess what! No more cloudy waters! Also the carpet seems to have covered the bottom of the tank. The submerged growth is at-least twice faster compared to emerged growth. The bowl is stable and running without CO2 for more than two weeks. There has been no sign of algae, brown algae seems of have disappeared as well. I am maintaining a lighting period of 6-6.5 hours daily and 50% water change every 3/4 days.

Iwagumi Bowl

High light promotes compact growth of HC

Iwagumi Bowl

The growth of DHG is out of control

Update [06/10/2013]:
The bowl is stable with no major disaster or algae problem. The rocks are showing slight green tint as a result of maturity. I can rub them off but decided to keep them for now. I have added 6 Galaxy Rasboras. As soon as they settle in the tank I’ll post a picture of them. The filtration system is now working flawlessly with no detectable toxins. The only problem I have is a thin oil layer keeps forming on top of the bowl. I hope this is from the lubricant of the new filter, but if not I’ll have to add in a skimmer of some type. Lighting hours remains at ~7 hours a day with 30% weekly water change.

Update [27/10/2013]:
The tank is stable. Plants growth is steady. No algae issue other than a few strands of Hair Algae which is removed manually while cleaning. The Shrimps and the Rasboras are doing fine.

Iwagumi bowl

Fisheye view

Iwagumi bowl

Shoal of Galaxy Rasboras

With these updates, I am done with this article. Unless there are any major changes, this article is complete.
Thanks for your time.

Boraras Brigittae

Boraras Brigittae

Boraras Brigittae (also known as Mosquito Rasbora), one of the smallest fishes I’ve ever kept. These are semi adult, slightly bigger than 1cm in size. The adults reaches roughly 1.5 to 2cm.

Boraras Brigittae

Boraras Brigittae

Don’t let the small size deceive you. They are very territorial and males are aggressive towards other males. Once they’ve established their territory they’ll defend it violently. One male will become dominant (the alpha) over the entire colony and will control roughly 50% of the tank while others will take the rest half. Its very fun to watch the alpha male defend his 50% space whenever others try to take a swim there!

This is a very rare-to-find fish in Bangladesh. I am probably one of the first few persons keeping this delicate species, still a lot to know. Hope they’ll live a long happy life!

Golden Dwarf Barb

Golden Dwarf Barb (Pethia Gelius)

I was lucky to get a few of these wonderful creatures from a senior fish enthusiast. I was thinking of getting a few adult specimen but to my surprise I was given some very young fishes, slightly longer than a centimeter at max. Though I was a little concerned, I had trust in my tank water chemistry so I brought them home and after acclimating for about an hour, I released them in the tank. They did not have any color except from a few black smudges, so they got lost in the plants within a blink of an eye. After about 12 hours, they had the stress marks gone and carefully started to check out their new home. I was surprised to see their extreme schooling. I have kept some of the well known shoaling species but these little guys surely surpass them all.

Golden Dwarf Barb

Golden Dwarf Barb

More importantly, these are our native species so they’re well adapted to our environment. I did not see them suffer from sudden temperature changes, which is becoming very common in our country. Previously they were kept in a species only setup and I wanted to see how they do in a community. I have Cherry Shrimps, Neon Tetra, Harlequin Rasbora and a few other small fishes of the same size. So far I did not see any compatibility issues or nipping. Occasionally they’d chase one other but only for a brief amount of time.

They are currently almost two centimeters in size, this species is know to become slightly more than an inch in adulthood. They get a nice golden over all color with horizontal black blotches. Some of them has more prominent black stripes than other. Females are bigger and have a round belly compared to the males.

I’ve been feeding them tetra bits and occasionally dried tubifex. The growth seem to be good so far. I’ve also seen them eating chunks of algae wafer I feed my shrimps and otto cats. Though barbs are famous for the nipping tendency, I did not see any such behavior but then again, I don’t have any fish which might taunt them. I’m so in love with this fish that If I get the chance, I might consider setting up a species only setup soon. This is definitely one of the best looking ornamental fish that is native to our country.

The pictures were taken by me about an week after I put them in the tank.

Check-In documents automatically after uploading to Sharepoint

For the last two days, we’ve been suffering from this problem where, we need the following features:

  • Support for Sharepoint library versioning
  • Documents need to be checked out before one can edit
  • Whenever a new document has been uploaded, it needs to be in checked-in state (we have a custom workflow which fires on document upload, it requires the document to be in checked-in state)

Now, if we disable the force checkout option from library settings, multiple persons can open and edit the same document, which obviously we don’t want. On the other hand, our workflow simply wont trigger on new document upload because the newly uploaded document remains checked-out. If we manually check-in the document, the workflow follows immediately. The bottom-line is, we need a post-upload event to check-in the uploaded document forcefully.

Sharepoint allows developers to create Event Receiver handlers which can be used to override sharepoint events on various levels. On this occasion, we need to override the ItemAdded method of Document Library. For this, we added a new Event Receiver item within our workflow project. Sandboxed mode was chosen for this purpose. From the Visual Studio wizard’s list of events, select An item was added from  List Item Events on Document Library. This will create a new class file with the ItemAdded method overridden. We just have to write our own code.

using System;
using System.Security.Permissions;
using Microsoft.SharePoint;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Security;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities;
using Microsoft.SharePoint.Workflow;

namespace CustomItemAdded.EventReceiver1
    public class EventReceiver1 : SPItemEventReceiver
       public override void ItemAdded(SPItemEventProperties properties)
           SPFile thisFile = properties.ListItem.File;

           if (!thisFile.CheckOutType.Equals(SPFile.SPCheckOutType.None))
               thisFile.CheckIn("Checked in by custom event handler.");

SOAP Calls using jQuery Ajax

Few days ago, I came across a situation where I had to get data from a .NET Web Service using jQuery Ajax. Here is a sample code:

var soapMessage =
    '<soap:Envelope xmlns:xsi="" xmlns:xsd="" xmlns:soap="">'+
                '<Arg1>Arg1 Value</Arg1>'+
                '<Arg2>Arg2 Value</Arg2>'+

    url: "http://localhost/someService.svc",
    type: "POST",
    dataType: "xml",
    contentType: "text/xml; charset=\"utf-8\"",
    headers: {
        SOAPAction: "http://localhost/someService/SomeMethod"
    data: soapMessage,
    success: function(soapResponse){
        //DO SOMETHING
Panam City

Panam City

Panam is a locality in Sonargaon thana of Narayanganj district, located about 27 kilometre north east of Dhaka city and 2.5 km to the north of Dhaka-Chittagong highway from Mograpara point. Sonargaon (golden village in literal meaning), the administrative centre of eastern Bengal under the Muslim sultanate rulers of Bengal of medieval era survives at present in the name of a ‘upazila’ in the Narayanganj district.

Standard 3 bracketed shots (-2/0/+2). HRD tonemapped in Photomatix 4.0. Slightly retouched in PhotoShop CS5.



Langalband a Hindu holy place situated on the bank of old brahmaputra close to Dhaka-Chittagong highway, 20 kilometres to the southeast of Dhaka city. Every year on the 8th day of lunar fortnight in the Bengali month of Chaitra, thousands of Hindu devotees from home and abroad assemble there for Astami snan, a holy bath in the river. They believe that this bath will please Brahma and they will be relieved of their sins and distresses.



Blausee (literally: Blue Lake) is a small lake in the Kander valley above Kandergrund at 887 m, near the river Kander. Administratively, it belongs to the Bernese Oberland. The lake has an area of 0.64 ha. The lake can be reached by bus from the train stations of Frutigen or Kandersteg. It is a popular tourist destination.


Green Bee Eater (সুইচোরা )

The Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, (sometimes Little Green Bee-eater) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family. It is resident but prone to seasonal movements and is found widely distributed across sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal and The Gambia to Ethiopia, the Nile valley, western Arabia and Asia through India to Vietnam. They are mainly insect eaters and they are found in grassland, thin scrub and forest often quite far from water. Several regional plumage variations are known and several subspecies have been named.

Taken at Tanguar Haor, 2012