An easier way to exporting your Google Reader feed (OPML) when Google Takeout is not helping

Tried exporting my links through Google Takeout, but was stuck with the following screen for a long time

Google Takeout being very helpful for exporting Reader feeds

Google Takeout being very helpful for exporting Reader feeds

Google Reader being retired as of July 1, 2013

As part of the second spring cleaning Google is retiring Google Reader from July 1, 2013. We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.

Working with .NET Boolean and Oracle along with ASP.NET MVC

Somethings that are straight forward in MS-SQL and .NET are bit convoluted when using Oracle and .NET. A good example for this case is when trying to map a database Boolean field to a .NET POCO. With MS-SQL we can straight away use bit which has a possible values of 1 or ``, but with Oracle since it does not have a built in Boolean type we would normally go with a single character field with a value of 'Y' or 'N'.

ClickOnce and WinForms application – tiny tips

The below are few points that we learned during a recent application developed using WinForms and deployed using ClickOnce.

Refracting to use native PC/SC interface

The core functionality of the application was to provide proximity card based attendance system for students in a classroom. For this we were previously using the API provided by HID Global. This caused various dependency issues between Windows operating systems and architectures (32bit vs 64bit), so as part of the refactoring we have removed the dependency and using the PC/SC interface exposed by Windows natively. Of course, this means mucking around a bit in the P/Invoke world (for accessing WinScard.dll related functions), but it provides elegance to the application by eradicating extra baggage of dependency.

Authenticating with the help of System.DirectoryServices.AccountManagement

With the help of System.DirectoryServices.AccountManagement (available from .NET Framework 4.0) authenticating users against Microsoft Active Directory has become a lot simpler. Compare the below code 1 2 3 4 5 public static bool IsAuthenticated( string domain, string username, string pwd ) { using ( PrincipalContext pc = new PrincipalContext( ContextType.Domain, domain) ) { return pc.ValidateCredentials( username, pwd ); } } to what you have to do previously

Secret Universe – The Hidden Life of the Cell

Came down with fever, and this reminded me of this documentary … go defense go!

Zen Coding for Visual Studio 2012

Don’t wait, head over to VS extensions gallery and grab hold of Web Essentials 2012 by Mads Kristensen. The extension offers good amount of features for VS based developers, of all of them the one I am going to talk about is the Zen Coding style introduced by Sergey Chikuyonok (as mentioned in

Before I proceed further Zen Coding style has been implemented across various text editors, and if you are a full time or regular web developer you should have a look into it. For all the supported text editors check out the Wikipedia entry at

Once you have installed Web Essentials 2012, you will have support for coding in Zen Coding style development inside of Visual Studio 2012. The main idea behind the coding style is to reduce the manual typing process of creating the mundane html code for your web application. It is kind of text expansion mechanism, but it is much more than that.