Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Prepare 3 Envelopes

A fellow had just been hired as the new CEO of a large high tech corporation. The CEO who was stepping down met with him privately and presented him with three numbered envelopes. "Open these if you run up against a problem you don't think you can solve," he said.
Well, things went along pretty smoothly, but six months later, sales took a downturn and he was really catching a lot of heat. About at his wit's end, he remembered the envelopes. He went to his drawer and took out the first envelope. The message read, "Blame your predecessor."
The new CEO called a press conference and tactfully laid the blame at the feet of the previous CEO. Satisfied with his comments, the press -- and Wall Street - responded positively, sales began to pick up and the problem was soon behind him.
About a year later, the company was again experiencing a slight dip in sales, combined with serious product problems. Having learned from his previous experience, the CEO quickly opened the second envelope. The message read, "Reorganize." This he did, and the company quickly rebounded.
After several consecutive profitable quarters, the company once again fell on difficult times. The CEO went to his office, closed the door and opened the third envelope.

The message said, "Prepare three envelopes."

Apple Office fifth avenue california

This above incident just happened at Apple today. Two of the key executives were asked to leave and top executive are re-structured to make Apple even more innovative. As Apple haven't done anything innovative to iPhone since its launch in 2007. So to come back with new ideas and invest heavily in research , they have to do something. Lets see what can this bring to Apple and Tim Cook.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Beginner's Guide to Open Source Software

Many students complete their higher education in college without even knowing what is open-source and how it can help them in their career. They just want to develop for some for-profit company and earn some money. But nowadays Open-Source is becoming a must for every Computer Science student. 
Following are some of the frequently quesitons asked about Open Source Software that may help you: 

What is Open Source?

In production and development, open source is a philosophy, or pragmatic methodology that promotes free redistribution and access to an end product's design and implementation details
 Open Source Software is the software which source code is available for free to study, change, improve and at times also to distribute the software.

Why it is good for students? 

Students don't get see code base of Windows OS or Microsoft Office. They do not have a clue, how a proper software is developed and coded. They have written some nifty programs and some small projects each semester, but what about software that require collaboration of hundreds of people, 1000 LOC. 
Open Source Software gives all of this. They open their code base to be used and studied. And if someone found they interesting enough to collaborate, then they can. Anyone can file a bug report, feature code to most of the Open Source Software(OSS). 
When students interact with other developers on that project and write code with them, they get a picture of how a well polished is written and shipped, how testing is done. They read other people's code and come across different ways of expressions in software world.
Moreover when you write your own software and open source it, after looking at it, people in community will contact you for business and jobs. So its a Win-Win.

How to find and contribute to Open Source Software?

There are many well known projects that people will tell you about. But start with something small, something you can get familiar with in small time. Here is how you do it simple way (See Note below): 
  1. Go to Github and search for a software in your favourite programming language. 
  2. Select any project and clone it.
  3. Use it, explore its code.
  4. When you are using it, you may find some bug, file it on github. or
  5. If you have feature in mind that can be implemented in that software, add that.
  6. When writing code, try to follow original developer's style of programming.
  7. Push it and make a pull request.
  8. There is more than 95% chance, that concerned developer will contact in 48 hours.
And you have made your first contribution to Open Source.

Some popular Open Source Projects

Application software

7-Zip – file archiver
Blender – 3D graphics editor
Eclipse – development environment comprising an IDE
GIMP – graphics editor
Inkscape – Vector graphics editor for .svg
Mozilla Firefox – web browser
Chromium – web browser
Mozilla Thunderbird – e-mail client
NASA World Wind – virtual globe, geobrowser
OpenOffice.org (and the LibreOffice fork) – office suite
PrestaShop – Electronic commerce platform
ADempiere – (now Free Software forked from Compiere) an enterprise resource planning (ERP) open source software platform for business
Vue – (Visual Understanding Environment) mind mapping software project of Tufts University

Operating systems

Android – operating system derived from Linux
FreeBSD – operating system derived from Unix
Linux – family of Unix-like operating systems
OpenIndiana – a free Unix-like operating system
ReactOS – operating system built on Windows NT architecture
Haiku – free and open-source operating system compatible with BeOS

Programming languages

Perl – a general purpose programming language
PHP – scripting language suited for the web
Python – general purpose programming language
Ruby – general purpose programming language
PHDL – hardware description language used for PC Board Design

Server software

Apache – HTTP web server
Drupal – content management system
MediaWiki – wiki server software, the software that runs Wikipedia
MongoDB – document-oriented, non-relational database
Moodle – course management system or virtual learning environment
WordPress – blog software
TYPO3 – enterprise content management system

Keep going.
Ask any question if you have in comments.

Note: For this you need to have some knowledge of Git.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Startup - what it is?

My definition of startup - Startup is what every person who have any idea of it wants to do. 
Paul Graham's - A startup is a company designed to grow fast. Being newly founded does not in itself make a company a startup. Nor is it necessary for a startup to work on technology, or take venture funding, or have some sort of "exit." The only essential thing is growth. Everything else we associate with startups follows from growth.

Now we have lot of differences in our definition, but in my view they relate to each other. You see humans crave for fame and they get to know startup can be the key to that. So they wants to do that. So they try one(if they have guts) and wants to get their fame as soon as possible. And how they would get this fame? Through very high growth. Paul give an example that a Barber Shop is not a startup. Yes it is not. Because he is not their to earn fame but earn some decent money (well, most of them). But most of the people who fell into startup fever are from my definition and they think they do bunch of things and create a product and ask their some to use it and that's it. They are the next Mark Zuckerberg. Well from personnel experience, I am telling you, startups are hard, damn hard. You got to give your everything to them.

Now I would not go on my personal theory of startups but you should read that article by Paul. He says two things about startups:

(a) make something lots of people want, and (b) reach and serve all those people. 
That's is exactly why startups exist.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Thoughts about God

Define God? Define the origin of this universe. Most religions talk about god and our origin without telling much about the motive(they do give some motive of our life, but not any reason as to why God created us).When I think about time and how it governs our universe, I come straight to some questions:

  1. Is time a reality?
  2. Is whole universe is governed by time or just our part?
  3. Will time(as felt by us) be same in some other universe having some other physics laws?
  4. Is God tied in time?

For last question, my mind counters, Isn't god, God? He must have created time. So now I proceed with this fact- God is not tied in time anyhow
So why he created this universe? Some religion(Pantheism, Pandeism and Deism) gives a picture that god made this universe and don't do anything with it. My question is why? Is he just playing around to see how things would go, then he should know it already because he is god(remember our fact). So why is this universe here and how we get our  conciousness(this topic has very good video in "Through the wormhole" series in "Is there a life after Death" Episode.). 
When I asked some of my friends, they said because God wants us to do this, that... and pray to him. But why God wants to be prayed? He is not human. He doesn't have any sins that we humans have(humans have desires ). 
Whereever I look to the defination of god, I found the defination, characteristics and his intentions to be too humanistic(though many religion says he cannot be imagined, reached or described by us). So sometime i just tell myself that Every God related thing/arguement is here because humans fear. We fear from unknown, from death, from illness(myself included). We fear from our own imaginations(what happens if questions). And then we need something to console us. And we introduced the concept of God(whom we cannot describe, cannot imagine). And who questions the deity who cannot be described?
So concept of god may just be our imagination for our recounciltion in bad times.

For me. I don't know.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Indian English

A Quora question about some English phrases and terms commonly heard in India but rarely used elsewhere had lot of good answers. But the best was so hilarious, I want to share it with you. Here it is:

Let me revert back to you on the same after I have done the needful. I will be out of station this weekend as my cousin niece is passing out from college. All her mugging and all the coaching classes paid off for her I guess. The ceremony is at a hill station. It will be good time pass.  It is also my native place so all our near and dears will be there. Definitely worth using up all my casual leaves.

Soon, her mother will be looking for a suitable boy as she is of marriageable age.  Unfortunately, her father expired recently. Her mother wants a foreign-returned or NRI bridegroom. Someone convent-educated from a status-family. Wheatish complexion highly desirable. Caste no bar. But, my niece says she will be going for a love marriage only. I think she likes her lecturer. Issueless, innocent divorcee. Sorry case. Long story. Her mother says that will be a big nose-cut for the family. She wants an arranged marriage. She refuses to discuss about it. She has already put in a matrimonial in the leading dailies.

But I am suggesting my niece to seriously give the GMAT and CAT papers instead. Because, see, there I am having no pull and we can not afford the capitation fees for the private colleges. And nil chance of paper leaking and the invigilators are very strict. But she says her chance of getting in is too less. But I say, always some chance is there, no?

My niece is having PG-accommodation only so I will be putting up at the Taj hotel. Although, the staff there acts very pricey. But more better to avoid dicey food and the loose motions, and the gentry there is good only.  Their mutton curry is majorly tender.  Fresh baby goats. Order with curd. Portion size is too huge so we always order one into two. Plus, never any load-shedding. Cent percent full value. Why take tension? It is bang opposite to the airport. One just has to cross the flyover. Ask anyone for directions if you are having your own conveyance, but the auto-wallahs and taxi-wallahs who ply there are knowing it very well. It is easier to find a parking slot if you enter from the backside. All the Page 3 type people go there. Last time I was staying there, I met a Bollywood starlet. Very tip-top. Her item numbers are heavenly. I had a good mind to.. ok,ok, no non-veg jokes.

As it turns out, the manager there is also my college batchmate. You can use my connection there. Just give your good name. We were both backbenchers but he was actually rusticated for ragging and bunking. The final straw was when he was caught eve-teasing the dean's daughter. But, he did some jugaad and palm greasing, and got himself a license to manufacture Indian-made foreign liquor. Rags to riches story. Now he is a mover and shaker. For a while he was under the scanner of the IT authorities and they chargesheeted a disproportionate-asset case against him. I think he may have been doing some hawala transactions. The whole official machinery was after him.  He tried to file a grievance but there was no redressal mechanism for such cases. Ultimately, he went on an indefinite fast. Some local politicians and godmen came to his rescue as he is also from the same minority community. Vote bank politics. Soon the whole city was in a bandh. Hartaals every day. Even on gazetted holidays. Miscreants took advantage of the situation and it spiraled out of control. The police ordered a lathi charge. Then there was air firing. Many MLAs defected. The assembly was adjourned every session. President's rule was imposed in the state after many ultimatums by the high command. Finally there was some seat-sharing agreement and the impasse was resolved. After that he was given a clean chit. The CM even held a felicitation function for him. Many many VVIPs. Of course, at the very same Taj.  Later that CM was caught up in the 2G telco scam. Too good, yes?

That reminds me, I should get my pre-paid converted to post-paid to make sure there is no hassle with roaming. The operator tells me that under the current scheme roaming is free but always the possibility for screwup is there. But the paperwork for updation is too great. Every time wanting same to same KYC. Limited timings, phones always engaged, very much difficult. They trouble you like anything but never answer any of your doubts. Tell me, what is one to do yaar? They are like that only.

I need to prepone some meetings to arrange for the trip so I need to rush due to the same, but not to worry,  I will keep you initimated of my progress. Will give you a missed call when I deplane upon returning back.