Sunday, June 05, 2011

Moving on...

From the last couple of years, I have been more active here, and more active in general.

Life is indeed beautiful, and gets more and more beautiful everyday..

Friday, February 20, 2009

School to career

Pixar University's Randy Nelson explains what schools must do to prepare students for jobs in new media.

If you’re interested in learning more about one of the world’s truly innovative companies, watch this video (it’s only 10 min).

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Erlang Exchange

Thanks to Dennis Byrne, I got the opportunity to attend and present at The Erlang Exchange in London, on the 26th and 27th June.
I thoroughly enjoyed those two days at the conference - lots of interesting sessions, lots of erlang gurus and a lot of technology enthusiasts.
I got to speak to a so many new people in those couple of days and had lots of interesting conversations.
Here is my account of the event as I saw it.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Separation of concerns

{ :tech_stuff => Concrete Abstractions, :others => Chain of Thoughts}

I don't want to mix the two people in me... So let there be two blogs, one for each of myself.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My fav road

Nanda road is my favourite one - one of the few roads where its a pleasure to walk or drive. Good to know that there's an effort to do something about it here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Snow at Work

Probably the snow had taken off for the weekend. We knew that it was round the corner because of the clouds and the wind.

And promptly enough, on monday morning, just when we were having breakfast at the Hotel, it was back to work. It snowed and snowed, and continued to snow for hours together till afternoon. And what was left back was a whole new white picture of the place.
and promptly enough...

The old taxi driver says, "The sun'll come out soon and clean all this away". High hopes. But that that was just the beginning. For it again snowed after a couple of days, only heavier this time, accumulating more work for the sun. And also for a lot of people - people who clean the snow off the roads, the traffic police who'll have to be on the lookout for accidents, and so on.

It was just beautiful! The way the snow settles down on the ..on practically everything, is a sight to see.
With Christmas in the vicinity, all the trees and buildings are wonderfully decorated, and along with the snow adding to it, its all the more impressive. The festive mood strongly strikes one who walks through the streets.

By saturday, the snow again took a break and the sun started. It took more than two days to clear all the backlog and now the streets are back to their original colours.
hard work...

But I don't think its for long, though. The snow is just lurking behind somewhere and will soon be back I'm sure.

P.S.: Click on the image for actual size

Monday, October 30, 2006

Uniquely Singapore

My Diwali this time was spent in a unique way - in Singapore!!
Being my first visit outside India, it was a great experience.

To begin with, here are a few facts and comparisons (source):
Singapore, though has a very short history (of about 600 years), established its identity in the guild of nations of the world.
It is a very small country compared to India, being 699 sq.KMs(190th largest country) and having about 4 million people.
India is the 7th largest and has 3,287,590sq.KMs and more than a billion people (!!) (source)
But in terms of the GDP per capita, India(122nd place) is way behind Singapore(22nd place) (source)
Tourism is one of the largest industries of Singapore, with about 9 million tourists in 2005.

Singapore has a rich mixture of different cultures as it is mainly formed out of immigrants from Malay, Chinese, Indian, British among other places. From what I observed, the identity of singapore as a country has evolved as an amalgam of the different immigrants who have settled there.

The importance given to small details which may seem insignificant to us Indians, hit me right on the face. Be it the roads, or the cleanliness, or the infrastructure effort that has gone into the architecture and planning, especially with respect to the tourists, it is commendable.
The blend of art and technology is visible everywhere. Its indeed very difficult to get lost out there, with all the indicators and helpful people. The creativity with which the places are built makes it a pleasure for tourists to spend time.

Well, they do have their own set of problems, which I wont go into now, but on the whole, it is a beautiful country.My visit made me learn a lot about India too, along with, needless to say, Singapore.

I am not trying to compare two nations and rate them or anything of that sort. The few days that I have seen in singapore is very trivial to make any such comparison. And also, as obvious from the facts, the scale at which these countries operate is totally different.

It was definitely a good decision to visit Singapore. Thanks to my sister who pushed for it the most, we decided to go in the last moment. I'll upload a few snaps when I get some time.

Majulah Singapura!! (Malay:"Onward, Singapore")

Friday, August 04, 2006

Hair Raising!!!

No! I'm not talking about my visit to Wonder-la. Yes, no doubt that was hair raising.
But I'm talking about literal hair raising - yes "hair raising".

Well, there's nothing serious about it. I had grown my hair quite long till last week (It was almost starting to touch my shoulder). Everyone around me was quite surprised and i saw different kinds of expressions. Some were of the opinion that it was horrible and i should get it cut as soon as possible, but there was a minority of them who showed quite positive reactions to it :-). Some asked me if I had taken a vow or an oath that till I do something I wouldn't get it cut and some others teased me saying that my girlfriend had probably ditched me and i had lost interest in life. I was being compared to all sorts of people ranging from musicians to saints to film actors to mythological characters and what not! There were very very few people who were totally indifferent to this and went on as normal.

Nevertheless, i continued growing my hair till I felt like doing it. Honestly, there was no other reason at all. And there need not be.

After about 6 months, one fine day I just went and got my haircut done and was back to my normal looks.
Now again all the reactions(fun ;-)) started. People who had liked my long hair started scolding me as to why I did this and lost my individuality! And others phewed sighs of relief and said that they could atleast see me now.
Again mixed reactions!
Anyway, my experiment ended here and I am "back to normal?"! Hahaha!

Saturday, July 15, 2006


How to destinguish a "true" random number from something else is often difficult to decide, since the concept of randomness is itself somewhat difficult to define. What is universally agreed is that any "random number generator" based solely on deterministic computation cannot be regarded as a "true" random number generator, since its output is inherently predictable. John von Neumann once famously said "Anyone who uses arithmetic methods to produce random numbers is in a state of sin", thus neatly summarizing the situation.
- Wikipedia (Random number Generator)

For eg., if you use a single random number generation algorithm and initialize it with the same seed twice, it generates the same sequence of random(??) numbers.
Yes, there are random number generators which use chaotic sources to generate "high quality" random numbers. But in the end, all they seem to use is the inherent randomness in the universe to generate random numbers.

This is in fact pointing to something quite fundamental.
Is there anything thats actually random in this universe?
Look at this now:
What exactly is chaos? The name "chaos theory" comes from the fact that the systems that the theory describes are apparently disordered, but chaos theory is really about finding the underlying order in apparently random data (see here).

To look at an example,
The flapping of a single butterfly's wing today produces a tiny change in the state of the atmosphere. Over a period of time, what the atmosphere actually does diverges from what it would have done. So, in a month's time, a tornado that would have devastated the Indonesian coast doesn't happen. Or maybe one that wasn't going to happen, does. (Ian Stewart, Does God Play Dice? The Mathematics of Chaos, pg. 141)

David Deutsch, in The Fabric of reality, goes on to conclude that given enough computational resources, it is possible to build a virtual reality generator whose repertoire includes every physically possible environment (The Turing principle).That is what makes reality comprehensible. Which kind of says that the universe in itself is completely deterministic.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The "Right" choice!

... or should I have said "Sahi"!!

Recently I had to give a demonstration to the customer about our approach to functional testing in my project. So I gave a demo of how Sahi works and how intuitive and powerful it is - and needless to say, they were impressed. Not with my presentation skills obviously,(I know that i suck at those things) but with the way Sahi works. Whether they will use it or not, I dont know, but one thing is for sure - I was even more convinced about this after the demo.

See for yourself if you don't believe me. There are lots of Web automation and testing tools out there and I'm not trying to compare. But the choice of a tool should not come in the way of development or maintaining the application. It should have minimum interference with the application but still achieve the purpose. And you should be able to extend the tool to your needs. And I think Sahi goes a long way in achieving all this. It just works like a charm. Well, I won't talk about what all it can do... just visit this and have a look.

Good job Narayan!