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  • Catch up with Khalid

    25th January at 2:12pm GMT
  • One of the key members of our team is Software Developer, Khalid Munir. He’s been hard at work on our new online mindmapping tool, Mind Doodle, making sure early users will be able to export their doodles to applications such as Word, Powerpoint and Excel. Here, Khalid opens up about some of his favourite projects and videos that are circulating in the tech sphere right now.

    1) More than just a Bash shell

    Everything you can do with Windows 10’s new Bash shell: Microsoft has released more than just a Bash shell, this is a full compatibility layer for running Linux applications on Windows. In the past, many tools have attempted to offer a Unix-type environment to use Unix (or Linux) commands in an MS Windows environment, but they have all been third party products and fell short of the mark somehow. Now, Microsoft has finally opened up to the idea of letting developers use these commands (and some tools) on a Windows machine. It’s a big step forward!

    Bash on Ubuntu on Windows

    Bash on Ubuntu on Windows

    2) Battle of 50,000 players

    Microsoft Cloud allows Age of Ascent to handle 50,000 players in the same battle: The aim was to create a game of massive scale that still ran naturally, the challenge was to build a system that could cope with huge demand. Games company, Illyriad, used the Microsoft core product, Azure, with ASP.NET and Azure Service Fabric, and worked closely with Microsoft to make the game scalable.

    The game was tested using 50,000 concurrent players in the same battle arena, with the system handling 276 million application messages per second. The extra servers automatically fire up when they are needed. When the loading is reduced the servers automatically shut down. This is the biggest games platform I know of, its size is insane!

    3) Faster than the speed of light

    Imaging at a trillion frames per second: At a TED talk recently, Ramesh Raskar showcased imaging at a trillion frames per second, calling it femto-photography.

    Ramesh’s team fired a tiny light pulse and slowed the event down by a factor of 10 billion, so you can see light in motion in a video. This exposes other properties to harness like being able to see around corners.

    I have never seen light travel like this and I’ve only managed theorised discussions with friends about this subject. It’s truly amazing that someone has worked out how to show and harness this power. This is the most impressive thing I’ve seen for a long time and I eagerly await for someone to try to top this video!

    4) Alexa, do you like Raspberry Pi?

    Alexa Voice Service harnessed by Raspberry Pi: I’m a huge advocate of the Raspberry Pi. I love reading about cool projects and trying things out for myself.

    This project provides a step-by-step walkthrough of how to build a hands-free Alexa Voice Service (AVS) prototype in 60 minutes. I tried this out and quickly managed to harness the power of Alexa’s voice using my Raspberry Pi and registering an account with amazon development services. Now I have a working Alexa! New commands can be added by creating new skills for Alexa using the developer account.

    CAD 3D model drawing of the Raspberry Pi

    CAD 3D model drawing of the Raspberry Pi

    5) Mirror, mirror on the wall

    Magic mirror powered by Raspberry Pi: Next up on my list of Raspberry Pi projects is the magic mirror! I’ve started making one at home already.

    I recently watched a video showing a web-based app using a Raspberry Pi and camera to create a mirror that helps the owner get ready to take on their day. The mirror can recognise the user by facial recognition, and then display customised data for that user. Pretty cool!

    Magic Mirror

    Magic Mirror

    Do you know of a cool project that the team at FlexiDB might want to try out? Email tess@flexidb.com to let us know.