Thursday, September 30, 2010

You will always be beautiful in my eyes …

"You will always be beautiful in my eyes." Joshua Kadison in Painted Desert Serenade says these marvellous lines. This statement has an echo of eternity in it. And this is a directive from God. More than a directive, it's a direct inference of truth. Imagine a 'just married' couple saying these lines to each other. Isn't that romantic in the beginning especially?

In terms of computing, it's like the main function in 'C' language. It encompasses all functions that have been written within the program. The main function remains the same, despite changes in the functions (referring to body not arguments) and however the function may be written, the main function loves all the functions equally.

Another cliché now. "And I, I'm glad I didn't know. The way it all would end, The way it all would go." This is Garth Brooks in The Dance. This truism is about future. Once it happens, the poet realizes that it's not worth it, to have conceived, a myopic future and face the consequences. Our lives are better left in God's hands.

Again in project parlance we talk of alternatives for a problem. The solution that we may be using may not be right for the future. Remove emotional bias and work on facts. Choose a solution that has the highest merit and then leave the rest to God. Work to the best of your ability. We will never be able to predict the unknown future, hence no point worrying about it.



Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The holy trinity

There is a great similarity between Life and Software Development Life Cycle. (SDLC) In Life there are many phases: New Born -> Infant -> Teenage -> Bachelor -> Married -> Above 50's. In a similar manner, in SDLC we have Requirements -> Analysis & Design -> Coding -> Testing -> Delivery -> Maintenance.

As we all know that the Hindu trinity of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva represent different aspects of this lifecycle. For E.g. A new born or a requirement stage corresponds with Brahma's job of creating. All other phases are overseen by Vishnu and finally the project getting shelved or death is Shiva's portfolio.

Why do we have these divisions? One reason I can think of is delegation where the power to do things are delegated among different people. More importantly, it helps us to see the phases in a logical fashion. By this I mean breaking down a problem into smaller ones, and addressing them individually.

There can be overlaps in the above also. For e.g. creating code can be the forte of Brahma, but maintaining it is that of Vishnu. Clearcase and VSS (Versioning tools) fall under the hood of Vishnu. Remember, anything new to be created – assigned to Brahma and anything to be maintained assigned to Vishnu. Final liquidation – Shiva

Jai Guru Dev, Om


Monday, September 27, 2010

Have a lovely day !

You know, I'm normally a night bird. But today I woke up early in the morning (maybe after a year or so) and I find it as refreshing, maybe better than sitting at night time. I can clearly hear the crows and sparrows chirping and morning sunlight slowly descending upon the earth. Never knew that mornings are so blessed.

If I was a poet, I would have written a haiku, just for this moment. Just outside my window is a tree which stands still, as there is no wind. There are 2 crows sitting on a branch maybe planning their day out. Oh! Now there is only 1. That too flew away. So here I'm sitting in my room all by myself writing this post.

I'm thinking of one of my best friends. He wakes up at 3:00 AM in the morning, after going to sleep at 9:30 PM. That is just 5 ½ hour of sleep. Really wonder how he manages to do this. If you are reading this blog post, three salutes to you man. Today I'm really going to make that plan which has been outstanding for some days now.

But I guess that all these plans are nothing but artefacts of possibilities. So you know what, I really am not hung up on plans. Because we need to leave a gap for God's plan that precedes over ours, since he knows our best better than we do. But a general plan we definitely need to follow. Not to compartmentalize it. Leave a lot of spaces, for God to fill it in.

So, for the ones, on my side of the earth, a very Good morning to you, and to my friends on the other side of the planet, Good night and Sweet dreams. And for those in between, Good afternoon and Good evening.

Have a lovely day.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

The greatest gift - Love

There is one language better than all languages of the world put together and that is the language of love. What God speaks to us every second. But we are simply not tuned in. Our mind keeps whizzing away and we think that, we are our mind. Actually we are a soul of God and like Water takes up the property of the what you mix it with, (like say red coloured dye or whisky) we are also drenched in God's love. And God is like water and takes up the form that we have.

In computer parlance, a user defined data types is similar. However you define it, it takes up your definition. For example, in Javascript, your variables do not have a type defined. You can use it as a string, a date or whatever you define it to be as. Data is what makes the program important, like Water is what makes the drink tasty, although by itself, water is tasteless.

There are different ways we can use the analogy given above. The simplest is to listen to God's transmission which is on 24 by 7, always. We sometimes do get a glimpse of it like an epiphany that happens from time to time. And this is the real moment. Seize it. Because we have to realize that we are submerged in God.

The other similarity would be between hardware and software. Here the hardware is like Water. It takes up the form of the software. The very way in which the software is written, drives the hardware. You see God happens in Silence. Hence he is everywhere. So why worry about that presentation for tomorrow. Work hard and leave the rest to God.



Thursday, September 23, 2010

Why Twitter and Facebook should not be banned in organizations

You see both Twitter and Facebook are publishing and collaboration tools. There are advantages and disadvantages of both. In office time normally of 8 hours, if we are not having any work assigned or need to shift our focus temporarily from the work being done, then the employees should be able to Tweet as well as Post.

Also there is the freedom factor. We are not confining them to a tight boundary. Besides tell me honestly who is 100% productive for the whole 8 hours. At the same time, if the tools distract you from your work, you should immediately switch them off. In fact, the best way to work is to switch them off, when concentrating on work that needs to be done.

Having said this, I would also like to add another angle to it. Using the powerful feature of collaboration, lots of information can be gathered from the appropriate networks. For example, if I'm a Java developer, I can subscribe to those tweets and posts from similar groups or forums or whatever you may call them.

But the very moment , we shun our work for, say chatting about politics / movies etc, that's a misdemeanour (if I may use that word) Work related chats are OK. Self development chats are OK, as long as you don't have anything in hand. This value system has to come from within. People have to become accountable and subsequently autonomous. In fact then they can become mentors to others also.

To all the role models,



Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Do not complain. Explore yourself

You know I was sipping limejuice and I remembered the good old saying 'If life gives you a lemon, make a lemonade out of it.' There are still so many people complaining that life hasn't dealt them in the right way. I personally think that each one of us has to face challenges and circumstances that have been predestined. We need to cut thru the veil and arrive.

Now when do you say somebody has arrived? Well, for one thing, this person does not wish bad for anyone, sings like the ecstatic 'Rumi' (the poet) and is always at peace with himself and the world. I wouldn't dare to call him a Yogi, as I myself do not clearly have an understanding of this term. But one thing is for sure – this person believes more in his work than serendipity.

Let me try to make the connection to technology now. You see a harddisk does not stop working on its own. It only does so after thorough use or when it is free. It does not complain that it has been formatted for Linux or Windows. Neither does it holler when found to be in AT cabinet, instead of ATX. Here's the lesson we should all learn – complain only when exhausted. Rest – leave it. In fact, I would say that complaining is also not required. In such a situation patience is of utmost importance.

That is the difference between machines and people. The threshold of people is very low in comparison with machines. We are all strange creatures, in our own worlds, trying to seek something outside, when all we got to do is look inside each of us. Like Rumi said, 'Don't look for miracles outside, you yourself are the world's greatest miracle'.

To your continued success,


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Limits of an illusion

Time is a big illusion. There is no such thing. So is what we see or what we perceive through our senses. Because senses are limited, we have a limited understanding of the world viz. only that world which we are exposed to. There is a whole underlying reality which lies untouched beyond these fleeting experiences.

And that reality which is unmoving, limitless and incomprehensible is the truth or the Brahman as they call it in the Vedas. This is the same silence pervading the dance of the universe, beyond creation or annihilation. There is no darkness or light there, just peace and love, in abundance, a world beyond imagination.

Words are just metaphors for the truth. In the computer world also the binary part makes it work, but God exists in the place where the switch between a '1' and a '0' ('On' and 'Off') happens. How minute it is – indivisible beyond an atom, or a particle or a string. Hence he is everywhere – in places where the light does not reach, in the silence of the desert, in the depths of the oceans.

Remember the law, energy is neither created nor destroyed, but gets transferred from one form to another. This is an immutable law. How much energy does our universe or all that exists has is an absurd question. Because the answer is infinity and matter has limitations. Even a Deep Blue computer is limited by the number of FLOPS (Floating Point Operations) that it can perform. It gets better by the day, but will always be an approximation. Maybe we will settle for something near real in the future, because with the mind also, it has a creation and a finish time.

Hope that was not confusing.


Google Instant

Google Instant is really changing the game of SEO. Now everyone would see a different view even if they are searching for the same term / words. So ads are also dynamic. I checked out the Google site to test 'instant' and it's very impressive. They are using AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) technology for the exchange between the machine that we work on and the Google Servers.

Google has taken a very risky approach, as this will upset the whole way Adwords work. I think that this is a step in the right direction. Because finally the customer is in charge. He/She needs to get the best user experience. The bottom line is end-users. Respect them, keep them delighted always. And listen to their comments carefully. Incorporate changes that are valid.

The future will be thought devices, which read the mind and relays it to the computer. Although this technology is nascent today, do not rule it out. Already we can control the desktop by voice; later we may be able to transfer our thoughts to Google Website and this in turn will give back a response to the brain. It will be a 2-way communication.

Let me stop soothsaying, and bring your attention to other Instant Search products. One is called Cloud Magic, which indexes all mails from Gmail (at present) and then allows anyone to instantly search Gmail on their desktop. (Wonder why Google did not come out with this idea). After this the company is focussing on Google Apps, Salesforce and Yahoo mail. MSN is not included because they do not support IMAP. (Internet Message Access Protocol) Going forward I see a lot of scope for Instant Search on all devices like mobile phones, Ipad's and other gizmos.

To a fast world,


Friday, September 17, 2010

The complete man and the complete software

Flood your system with lots of dopamine, and you will feel a lot of well being. It's a catch-22. Unless you feel fine, dopamine will not circulate in your system, and unless you take dopamine supplements you won't feel happy. I know that all of us have stressful jobs, but unless we strike a harmony in the 4 spheres of completeness (Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual) and try to be full individuals with overall growth, we will be frustrated.

We need to balance all these aspects and become a complete human being. These needs are to be fulfilled in every second that we live. In computer parlance, a mix of all constructs will give us a better solution, than sticking to some common reusable patterns. Depending on the requirement, we have to leverage the software base that is already available.

Earlier we needed to have a login into most of the websites. Now we can login to a website using Facebook, Twitter, Buzz etc. (if it is supported) and work as usual. This I believe is a great feature available, as we do not have to remember usernames and passwords of sites that we visit. Of course if you use a password filling program like Roboform, this concern is also put to rest.

As the features increase, the more power a program gets. Using the same (say) loop structure can give us consistency or call that a standard. But using different features will make your program not feel boring. I'm just kidding. Standards have to be followed, else there will be chaos. For e.g: A WHILE loop is faster than a FOR loop. Use the constructs judiciously, at the same time keeping in mind simplicity. It's a trade-off mostly, but it's worth the while.



Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The power of simplicity - making your presentations rock

Do you know why I write these posts (or articles as some may call it) in maximum 5 paragraphs? Because, finally it's all about simplicity. People don't like to read long articles. They want to get to the essence in the shortest and the sweetest way. If you really cannot put across your point in say 20-25 words, you need to practice the subject better.

Look at a product like Twitter. You are forced to enter your thought in 140 characters. Twitter is a sweet and short micro-blogging site. I think twitter really enhances the depth of your subject. Because if you are clear about what you are saying, you should be able to put it up in, as few words as possible. Communication begins with listening, understanding, planning and finally putting your point across.

The other thing I would recommend is visuals. Somebody once said an apt quote 'A picture is worth a thousand words.' If you ever wonder why it is so, the answer is quite simple. Our brain works on visuals. Comprehending an image is much easier and faster than a string of words. An animated visual is still further catchy, because again the mind loves to observe and narrate stories.

To make your presentations snazzy, follow the big rule – short is sweet, no extra texts, give visuals wherever possible. Have you seen the way Steve Jobs presents. Well, then you know what I'm talking about. But please note that a very good presentation will also not cut it, if your content is bad. Good content + Good aesthetics + Good delivery = Super Presentation.

So go ahead, and unleash and embrace the power of simplicity.

Best Regards,


Sunday, September 05, 2010

Did God create this universe ?

Did God create this universe? Stephen Hawking in his new book 'The Grand Design' says that he didn't! Well, I haven't read that book, but I'm sure that the spiritual universe was not created by God, because it used to exist always. Eternity does not have any creation date attached to it. As far as the material universe is concerned, I believe that he conceived it.

After all, can the creation of the universe be explained by mathematics – Never. At least, that's what Godel's theorem in plain language says – 'No algorithm will be able to explain creativity or for that matter spirituality', and it's true. Mathematics is based on logic and love cannot be explained by logic. It can never be quantified. A probabilistic model will just be appropriate. Not accurate.

Remember what Lord Krishna said in the 'Bhagvad Gita' – The whole universe is strung upon his pearl necklace and only 1% of his power sustains the whole. So we really cannot imagine the remaining 99%. I guess we are too small a speck of sand to extrapolate universal designs. We haven't yet gone to our nearest neighbour Mars (manned trip I mean) and here we are prophesying about a universe that we hardly understand.

I'm not against Science, in fact I love it. But when we make such grandiose statements, we should know that we know maybe a fraction of the universe for us to speculate about the universe accurately. I admire Stephen Hawking, as I have read all his previous books, but I think it's too early to ordain a judgement on God and the Universe. Awaiting to read that book.

To the unknown …


Saturday, September 04, 2010

Conserve Energy

Energy consumption is increasing. There are four main people who use energy. They are Commercial offices, Industries, Residential premises and Transportation. A lot of energy that we see in action is coming to us after thermal losses. It can be as high as 50%. Energy conservation is the need of the hour and also stipulated by Kyoto protocol.

This energy that we consume releases Carbon dioxide into the air. This is called as Green House emission. A typical family in using electricity releases as much as 6.2 tonnes of Carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. (Almost as much required to send 3 hot air balloons into air) Passive energy can be controlled by things like insulation, but the time of actively monitoring is due.

Active monitoring of energy can be done by thermostats, capacitors and detectors. These are available at very cheap rates. But still we avoid things like rewiring or other work, that which we perceive as causing a lot of headache. Actually redesigning a building for energy conservation may save as much as 50% of the total maintenance costs.

Technology is another energy guzzler and GHG (Green House Gas) emitter. With data centres sprawling all over the place, the requirement for more energy is a necessity. The question is can we meet these growing demands? I believe we can. Not just by generating more energy but conserving it actively.

Carbon credits should be traded at a premium I believe, as everyone falls in line to conserve energy for the generations to come.



Friday, September 03, 2010

The case for the Cloud

The next wave would be Cloud Computing, I think. And along with it, would be the associated technologies like Virtualization , Data Storage and Broadband, which in turn means more ISP's, the hardware for the net (including higher end processors, routers, switches and the works). VMWare, Xen (Citrix) and Microsoft Hypervisor are all good virtualization software.

The cloud will be divided into private and public clouds. Some will opt for a hybrid model depending on the application type. Those applications that are critical would still be behind a firewall or a private cloud, so to speak. Public clouds will be primarily consisting of those applications where data security is not that much of importance.

The data centres will mushroom. (I hear that Microsoft is buying 1 data centre at least a day) Micorsoft's Desktop Software strategy will collapse, as applications like Google Apps, which have a much better ROI take off. There are other Saas (Software As a Service) contenders like , Sugar CRM and others. These applications have already been in the cloud.

The initial consideration for any CIO would be the capex to opex ratio. As I understand it the Capex for the cloud is very much contained. The Opex would be a recurring cost. New licensing models would evolve, and so will the SLA's (Service Level Agreements) We are going to witness fanatical support from vendors. Those who are able to cut it, will survive. Others don't have a choice but to improve.

Going forward, I'm willing to bet on this phenomenon. Hope that the recession blues go away soon, so we can go full steam ahead.

To your success …


Towards a more secure world

The threat of malware is rising day by day. The bad guys are devising ingenious ways of tricking the good guys. Not just as in social engineering, but new viruses for example in device drivers, parasitic javascripts that attach to your web pages, annoying adware that pops up and the latest click harvesting on facebook and other social media sites.

Here are some tips to make your online experience more safer.

  • Have an antivirus installed on your machines. Update it regularly. Typically today's antivirus contains other goodies like stopping adware and spyware.
  • Activate your firewall . This will stop network snooping attacks.
  • Do not click attachments or links from unverified sources.
  • Before you click, think! It may be a social engineered link.
  • Do not share your password, credit card or bank information with any program or website or people.
  • Turn on incognito or private browsing if you don't want to leave any breadcrumbs (your trail)
  • Click Harvesting on Facebook makes use of something called iFrames and hence before you click the Like button on some other sites be careful. If you are using a Firefox browser install 'NoScript' plugin.
  • When you install plugins or addons or extensions, please do not install from unverified sources.
  • Run your antivirus everyday or at least three times in a week.
  • Take regular backups.
  • Keep yourself updated on malware news by subscribing to security sites.
  • And finally, Be alert !!!

Towards a more secure world …


Thursday, September 02, 2010

What about the losers ?

Agreed that new technologies are very interesting and disruptive in nature, but have we wondered where those who are still using older technologies will go? For example let's say that shale gas is going to be a substitute for crude oil, what about the billions of dollars invested by oil drilling companies, how will we account for that?

Another example can be electric cars which are going to displace the gasoline driven vehicles. What will we do with these old model vehicles? Should we simply junk them or reconvert them to something more appropriate and applicable. The question here is not just to protect investments, but it's about lives which will suffer because of the onslaught of the so called latest technology.

We need an inclusive plan wherein every stake holder of the industry will benefit. The old investors should be given some form of equity participation in the new vehicles of investments. The other thing we need to look for is reusability, rather than scrapping everything. A timeline needs to be mandated for successful conversion.

Although the problems are complex in nature, it's easier said than done and I know that. But I think, to establish a factory which is going to affect the livelihood of people is a little selfish, unless the factory owners have a plan to support these people for life. We are all accountable to Gaia or mother earth. Let's not plunder the loot.

There is enough that the earth produces for all 6.5 billion of us to live together happily. But this imbalance is creating the chaos. Hope that we can have more individuals and groups which can contribute to the overall vital signs of this planet, just to start with.

Perhaps very soon …

Best Wishes and Regards,


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Techno Nirvana

It will happen one day. Peace, abundance and happiness for the whole world. Technology today is driving the world in its quest for these things. The advent of the people rising to power has been promoted by the internet. Today more than 60% of the world is connected. The only problem, the developments blur the landscape.

There is so much happening in the world of technology. It's presumed that more than 1 exabyte (1 with 18 zeroes) is going to get created year after year. No wonder everyone is flocking towards data centres. The cloud is for real. Be it private or public. The other aspect of productivity from these machines is heightened by Virtualization.

Social networks today transport so much of data across the internet, I suspect that they will soon outpace email. Or maybe they already have. Email is the oldest way of exchanging communication which is still prevalent today, despite the dawn if instant messengers and other phenomenon like facebook and twitter.

The best facet of social computing is the sheer amount of people networked by it. News and other issues of interest mushroom in a viral fashion. It's not just computers anymore. Now all kinds of devices will also be connected to the internet. It's estimated that 2 trillion contraptions, including computers are connected to the internet. No wonder we will be soon running out of internet addresses. IPV6 will become a reality soon.

At the end of the day, the information warriors will triumph. Bits and bytes are driving the new economy, which is slated for a revolution.

Techno Nirvana for all …