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Educational Purpose – Free Office 365 – UAE – Microsoft Gulf

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Microsoft has announced the free availability of Office 365 and Office 365 ProPlus to students, faculty and staff all across the world – at no charge, starting today, February 23, 2015. Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus for Education is a communication and collaboration platform available in the cloud, currently used by over 110 million students, faculty and staff worldwide.

Eligible students, Microsoft notes, will be able to sign up for Office 365 ProPlus and install Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Access on up to 5 PCs or Macs and mobile devices including Android, iPad and Windows tablets. In addition, they’ll also have access to OneDrive and Office Online.

From now on, students can check their eligibility for free Office from their school. Teachers can do the same by clicking here.

Good move from Microsoft Gulf 🙂

Read Emirates 24/7 article

February 24, 2015 Posted by | Educational Purpose, International, Microsoft, Office, Office 365, Personnel, Software | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Network Camera – Installation tips

What is IP-Surveillance? IP-Surveillance is a term for a security system that gives users the ability to monitor and record video and/or audio over an IP (Internet Protocol-based) computer network such as a local area network (LAN) or the Internet. In a simple IP-Surveillance system, this involves the use of a network camera (or an analog camera with a video encoder/video server), a network switch, a PC for viewing, managing and storing video, and video management software.

Indoor or outdoor. Outdoor network cameras must have an auto iris lens to regulate how much light is received. Many outdoor cameras require a protective housing. Others may already be designed with a protective enclosure. Housings are also available for indoor cameras that require protection from harsh environments such as dust and humidity, and from vandalism or tampering. A network camera with built-in wireless support is a consideration when running a cable between a LAN and a network camera is impractical, difficult or expensive. Wireless network cameras are suitable for use in outdoor situations, in environments such as historic buildings where the installation of cables would damage the interior, or in cases where there is a need to move cameras to new locations on a regular basis, such as in a supermarket. Ensure that the wireless network camera supports security protocols such as IEEE 802.1X and WPA/WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access), which will help secure the wireless communication.

A megapixel network camera (i.e. one that delivers an image comprised of 1 million or more pixels) can also offer resolutions greater than what an analog camera can offer, which means that more detail or larger areas can be covered. High image quality is essential in a security surveillance application. You want to be able to clearly capture an incident in progress and identify persons or objects involved. In a network video system, the quality of images produced can be more easily retained than in an analog surveillance system. A network camera that uses progressive scan technology provides clearer images of moving objects because the whole image is presented at one time. With an analog video signal, two consecutive interlaced fields of lines are presented to form an image, and when displayed on a PC monitor, blurriness occurs when objects move between the image capture of the two interlaced fields.

PoE enables networked devices to receive power from a PoE-enabled switch or midspan through the same standard cable that transmits data (video). Power over Ethernet (PoE) (IEEE 802.3af) When a network camera supports this feature, it means that the camera can receive power through the same cable as for data. Hiring a certified electrician and installing a separate power line are not needed—a big advantage, particularly in difficult-to-reach areas. With PoE, network cameras/video encoders will also be able to receive centralized backup power from a server room with an Uninterruptible Power Supply; so in the event of a power failure, the cameras/video encoders will still be able to operate.

Network management features: They include support for Quality of Service (QoS), which can prioritize and reserve network capacity for mission-critical surveillance in a QoS aware network, and support for Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) in addition to IPv4 addresses. Network switches allow devices such as network cameras, servers and PCs to communicate with each other to share information and, in some cases, a common Internet connection. Network designs can take many forms and may vary in terms of performance and security. First, determine what your company is using the network for and how congested your local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) is. If you are implementing a smaller surveillance system involving 8 to 10 cameras, you should be able to use a basic 100-megabit (Mbit) network switch (Now a days gigabit switches are more cheaper to buy) without having to consider bandwidth limitations. With more than 12 to 15 cameras, you should consider using a switch with a gigabit (Gbit) backbone. If a gigabit-supporting switch is used, the server that runs the video management software should have a gigabit network adapter installed on the running machine. When running wireless camera, make sure the AP supports gigabit, inorder to avoid slow frames.

Remote accessibility: You can access live and recorded video at any time and from virtually any networked location in the world. Multiple, authorized users at different locations may be able to access live or recorded video. This is advantageous if your company wants a third-party, such as a security firm, to benefit from and have access to the video.

Hardware (server, softwareand storage): The hardware requirements of an IP-Surveillance system are not complex. Simply use standard components found in the IT industry. Today’s PC, with a Pentium processor and Windows operating system, is able to run a video management software, and record and store video from up to 50 cameras. If the hard disk on the actual server running the recording application is not enough, there are solutions that enable you to increase storage space and achieve increased flexibility and recoverability. As larger hard drives are produced at lower costs, it is becoming less expensive to store large amounts of video. A wide range of software is available to help you in the preparation, installation and management of an IP-Surveillance system Eg: Axis Camera Management, if you buy Axis cameras, Video Insight etc.

H.264 Storeage calculation:

  • Bit rate / 8(bits in a byte) x 3600s = Kilobyte (KB) per hour / 1000 = Megabyte (MB) per hour
  • MB per hour x hours of operation per day / 1000 = Gigabyte (GB) per day
  • GB per day x requested period of storage = Storage need

MPEG-4 calculation:

  • Bit rate / 8(bits in a byte) x 3600s = KB per hour / 1000 = MB per hour
  • MB per hour x hours of operation per day / 1000 = GB per day
  • GB per day x requested period of storage = Storage need

Motion JPEG calculation:

  • Image size x frames per second x 3600s = KB per hour/1000 = MB per hour
  • MB per hour x hours of operation per day / 1000 = GB per day
  • GB per day x requested period of storage = Storage need

Legal considerations: Video surveillance can be restricted or prohibited by laws that vary from country to country. It is advisable to check the laws in your local region before installing a video surveillance system. You may need to register or get a license from an authority to conduct video surveillance, particularly in public areas. You may have to place signs to warn the public that they are entering a zone covered by surveillance equipment and there may be rules regarding the signage. Video recordings, for instance, may be required to have time and date stamped.

PTZ network cameras: The camera’s view can be remotely controlled, either manually or automatically, for panning from side to side, tilting up and down, and zooming in and out of an area or object. There are now mechanical as well as non-mechanical PTZ cameras.

Automatic day/night functionality: This feature is incorporated into some outdoor cameras and enables the automatic removal of the infrared (IR) cut filter that is incorporated into all color cameras to prevent color distortion from near-infrared light. When there is light, the IR-cut filter is on and the camera delivers color video. In dark conditions, the camera removes the filter to make use of near-infrared light to deliver infrared-sensitive black and white video. Infrared or day/night cameras are particularly useful in outdoor environments or situations that restrict the use of artificial light. These situations include discreet and covert surveillance applications.

Minimum illumination/light sensitivity: A network camera’s light sensitivity is often specified in terms of lux, which corresponds to a level of illuminance in which a camera produces an acceptable image.

Type of video compression: There are three main video compression standards in use today. Motion JPEG, MPEG-4 and H.264. H.264 is the latest standard that is expected to become the video standard of choice in the coming years. Without compromising image quality, H.264 can reduce bandwidth and storage requirements by more than 80 percent compared with Motion JPEG and as much as 50 percent more than with the MPEG-4 Part 2 standard.

Enjoy!!!

May 22, 2012 Posted by | Axis, Gadgets, International, IP, IP Surveillance, Switch, video Insight, Wifi a/b/g/n | , , , | Leave a comment

40th anniversary of the birth of the United Arab Emirates

 40 years ago, seven emirates became one nation. This week marks the 40th anniversary of the birth of the United Arab Emirates.

I sincerely wish the UAE a happy 40th national day, and many more to come.

-Prem Nair

November 29, 2011 Posted by | Dubai, International, Personnel, UAE | , | Leave a comment

Apple iPad 2 may soon replace aviation paper charts

Apple iPad 2 may soon replace paper charts…to start with The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted preliminary approval for the use of iPads in airplane cockpits. Read more, Click here.
FAA: iPad Can Replace Charts For Executive Jet – Read more, Click here
Apple IPads in Cockpits May Hasten End of Era for Paper Charts – Bloomberg – Click here
FAA approves iPads for pilots’ electronic charts – CNN Tech
So to know more about iPad2 from Apple.. click here
For technical Specification, Click here
For Built-in Apps for iPad, Click here
Features:
  • iPad is one big, beautiful display — 9.7 inches of high-resolution photos, movies, web pages, books, and more. LED backlighting makes everything you see remarkably crisp, vivid, and bright.
  • Two powerful cores in one A5 chip mean iPad can do twice the work at once.
  • Multi-Touch on iPad. You use your fingers to do everything, so everything you do — surfing the web, typing email, reading books, and swiping through photos — is easier and a lot more fun.
  • You’ll see two cameras on iPad — one on the front and one on the back. They may be tiny, but they’re a big deal. They’re designed for FaceTime video calling, and they work together so you can talk to your favorite people and see them smile and laugh back at you.
  • It’s highly secure, stable, and responsive, and it’s made to work seamlessly with the iPad hardware. iOS 4 is the reason no other device has yet come close to iPad.
    Pick up your iPad, press the Home button, and it wakes from sleep instantly. That’s because iPad features fast, efficient, and reliable flash storage that lets you access data quickly.
  • Every iPad is built with advanced 802.11n wireless technology.  iPad is also available with 3G connectivity.
  • With the built-in accelerometer, you can rotate iPad to portrait or landscape, or even upside down, and whatever you’re watching, reading, or seeing adjusts to fit the display.
  • Video mirroring is new for iPad and for every app, web page, presentation, video, movie, or photo you want to show a big audience. Just plug in the Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter (sold separately) and your HDTV or projector becomes a bigger version of your iPad.
  • With up to nine times the graphics performance, gameplay on iPad is even smoother and more realistic.
  • Even with the new thinner and lighter design, iPad has the same amazing 10-hour battery life
  • AirPrint – Print your email, photos, web pages, and documents right from your iPad over Wi-Fi
  • Photo Booth – When the mood strikes, turn the camera on yourself, make some faces, and start shooting snapshot-style.
  • Accelerometer, three-axis gyroscope, and compass all work together.
  • AirPlay –  your music, photos, and video — can now stream wirelessly to your HDTV and speakers via AirPlay-enabled speakers or Apple TV on a Wi-Fi network

March 14, 2011 Posted by | Apple, Digital Charts, Gadgets, International, iPad, Mails, Social Connectors, Wifi a/b/g/n | , , , , | Leave a comment

Indian Rupee Symbol – Changed

Indian rupee will soon have a unique symbol which is a blend of the Devanagri ‘Ra’ and Roman ‘R’ ,  joining elite currencies like the US dollar, euro, British pound and Japanese yen in having a distinct identity. A beautiful though…soon we can start using it..Now no more INR or Rs etc… just…
The new symbol, designed by Bombay IIT post-graduate D Udaya Kumar, was approved by the cabinet today…Today 15th of July will remember the new era of Indian Currency Symbol…!!!

July 15, 2010 Posted by | India, International, Personnel | 1 Comment

Drobo – The new storage system

All new style  – BeyondRAID leverages the benefits of traditional RAID systems, while leaving many of the limitations behind. This next-generation of redundant storage technology brings together safety, reliability, expandability, efficiency and ease-of-use.

BeyondRAID fits in the same place of the software stack as traditional RAID between the file system and the driver. Hence, BeyondRAID can be adopted without any change in infrastructure, allowing you to maintain your current file system and operating system, while eliminating the friction costs typically associated with moving to a new technology platform.

As business conditions change over time, IT managers are obliged to choose between purchasing a new RAID array and the cost and effort of redeploying a more appropriate RAID level. Data Robotics BeyondRAID solves these two critical issues, delivering flexibility without downtime. Built on an advanced storage virtualization platform, BeyondRAID chooses the correct RAID algorithm based on data protection needs at any given moment. Since the technology works at the block level, it can write blocks of data that alternate between data protection methodologies. If an IT manager needs to add storage capacity to a Drobo product, he or she can simply insert additional disk drives or replace the smallest disks—no need to change RAID levels, purchase a new storage array or go through the complex administration of pooling RAID groups. This even allows IT managers to switch from single to dual disk redundancy with a single click, thereby ensuring enterprise-level dual parity data protection if required

Beauty is that..now you have the requirement only for 1TB Volume and in future your requirement is 16TB and currently in your hand you have one 1TB drive and one 2TB drive…its simple..insert both and configure the volume to 16TB …DONE…as it is near to reach the inserted disk capacity to maximum, DROBO warns and you insert another one…now a days you can get higher capacity HDD in less price…tomorrow it will be cheaper too…

They now release the new system which is Drobo Elite..Dual High-Speed iSCSI Interfaces It’s an industry- standard, high performance protocol that has become extremely popular with businesses and individuals who demand high data storage throughput, but it can often be complex to manage. DroboElite changes that by introducing zero- click iSCSI connection creation with optional LUN-level CHAP authentication for both Windows and Mac OS X.

There are different options available..i’m using DROBO Pro and DROBO Elite….cool ones with rackmount kit too

Disk Interface

Eight-bay capacity – 3.5″ SATA I or SATA II hard drives, Mix and match capacities, drive brands and speeds

File System Supports :
Windows: NTFS
Mac OS X: HFS+
Linux4: EXT3
VMware: VMFS

Operating System Support : Windows XP (Service Pack 3), Windows Vista (Service Pack 1), Windows 7, Windows 2003 Server, Windows 2008 Server, Mac OS X 10.5.6 or greater (Intel Only), Mac OS X Server 10.5.6 or greater (Intel Only), Linux, VMware ESX/ESXi 3.5 or VMware vSphere 4

To know more about this click this link

March 16, 2010 Posted by | Computer TIPS, International | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Go green…its time to act

Stop printing and use digital technology

SAVE OUR EARTH

February 21, 2010 Posted by | International | | Leave a comment

Golden Globe Award goes to … ‘Avatar’

First Golden Globe Awards  held in January 1944 at the 20th Century Fox studios in Los Angeles. The 67th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and television for 2009, were presented January 17, 2010 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, where they have been held annually since 1961 onwards…to know more about this event click here

Avatar won in both the main headline Globes categories: Best Film and Best Director, putting it on track for a clean sweep of Oscars at the 82nd Academy Awards on March 7. Best Actor: Jeff Bridges for his role as an alky singer in Crazy Heart. Best Actress, at both: Streep for Julie & Julia and Bullock for The Blind Side. (At the Golden Globes, to get more stars to show up, the actors’ awards are split into Comedy/Musical and Drama.) Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds. Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire.

To Know more… Timesonline  NPR Golden globe official site

January 19, 2010 Posted by | International | | Leave a comment

Ring of Fire – Celestial Phenomena

 

 courtsy NASA

Friday, 2010 January 15, an annular eclipse of the Sun is visible from within a 300-km-wide track that traverses half of Earth.. The partial solar eclipse can be seen over the UAE from 9.20am to 12.29pm where  in India, the eclipse will start around 11 a.m. from Kerala and end around 3.15 p.m at Mizoram. Trivandrum (at Varkala), Kanyakumari and Dhanushkodi..where you get a proper view of the “Ring of fire”

There will be partial eclipse of the moon on June 26 followed by a total solar eclipse on July 11, 2010 which, however, will not be visible from India .  The last eclipse during the year will be on December 21, a total lunar eclipse, which will also be visible from India . In any given year there are a minimum of two eclipses… India saw this ’Ring of Fire’ last was Nov 22, 1965, and it will not witness such a phenomenon again before June 21, 2020. The next longest annular solar eclipse will be seen in 3043. whaooooooo…i won’t be there for sure…!!!!

January 15, 2010 Posted by | International | , | Leave a comment

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