Charting Your Life

Today I discovered Uladoo (pronounced yoo-LAH-doo). This is a nice charting utility which gathers data from twetter. Uladoo converts data from then creates chart and displays in the form of am image. You can use Uladoo to keep track of you coffee consumption or calories taken or weight loss program etc. You need to send a tweet (as many as you like) to @Uladoo and it updates the chart. You can browse the chart going to the Uladoo.com. It generates a URL for your chart which you can share with your friends and family members. You can even share this chart with your doctor.

How Uladoo Works:

You need to tweet Uladoo and it automatically updates the chart, if it exists. If the chart  does not exist, Uladoo creates on. For example, I send following tweet to create my coffee consumption chart

@uladoo coffee consumed 3

Then number 3 tells that I have consumed three cups of coffee from morning. Next time, when I will have another cup of coffee, I will tweet

@uladoo coffee consumed 1

and my chart will be updated. I can see this chart here.

How can you make Uladoo work for you:

You can make Uladoo work for you. First decide what you want to chart. It may be your cigarette consumption, number of calls you made to your girl friend/boss/client, lunch expenses, number of calories you take, your wife’s daily expenses etc. Some people track their daily exercise, pull-ups and push-ups.

 

Happy charting…

Advertisements

Birthday … or April Fool

What is the relation between birthday and april fool?

Well, you may call people at a food junction telling them that today (1st of Aptil) is your birthday. Most will believe you and wait for you at the food junctions. but some will be smart enough to figure out that it’s the Fool’s Day.

But what if somebody actually born on Fool’s Day? My boss, Kiran, is one of those rare persons. He was born on the first day of April. There was a great party at our office cafetria (to make us believe!). We brought a very beautiful chocolaty cake for him.

Kiran told us the same story. He used to call people for his b’day and people thought that he would be fooling them. He used to keep waiting at the cake table and nobody turns up. He then had to call them many times and turn all the stones to make them believe that it was a real party.

Kiran will give us an unoffical party on Friday ………………………………………not to be disclosed.

I have one more friend who has a very unique thing about his b’day. This year he celebrated his 11th birthday. And his daughter is doing Post Graduation at the university (believe me!). I will discuss that later on.

How To Purchase A Laptop

Question: How many people are required to purchase a laptop?

Answer: Five.

Question: And what is the flowchart of purchasing a laptop?

Answer: Acquire 100% resources –> Drink beer –> Have lunch –> Go to theatre –> Watch movie –> Then release 60% of resources and utilize 40% resources to buy laptop –> The process is exhausting so re-energize 40% resources with more beer.

Don’t believe me? Read the story below (it’s real):

Bob is a software professional who is working for a large MNC. Currently he is posted at client side. He has a team of six people who share good chemistry. Today one of his team mate Mr. M decided to buy a laptop. His office is very near to largest electronics market so it was decided that team will go to buy laptop in the lunch time.

Unfortunately, nobody in the team brought their car today. Usually people use company provided cabs for commute from home to office and back. So they decided to hire an auto. Bob and his mates asked many auto driver but all denied. Finally it was decided that they will take bus. After long wait bus stand, finally a bus arrived. Frustrated after waiting long time, they were onboard in fraction of seconds. Things seemed to be on the right path when they discovered that they had boarded wrong bus. After changing the bus at the next stop, they finally went to the market.

While passing through the theatre M proposed for watching the movie. Mr. V proposed for having lunch. Se it was decided that they will watch the movie after lunch and they they will buy laptop. The restaurant was unfortunately close to the beer and wine shop. It allowed carry and drink facility. Mr. D proposed for beer and Mr. G immediately approved. V and M gave silent approval. Bob doesn’t take alcohol so his vote was neutral. Since nobody opposed the idea, they decided to have beer first, and than lunch and then movie. Purchasing laptop was last in the list.

Things went well as planned. They had beer and then had lunch. After lunch every body enjoyed movie. D and G want to have more beer. But theatre management didn’t allow them to go outside while the show was running. By than, it was evening and almost dark. The office cab would leave in the one hour. So it was decided that first they will go to office and M and D will come back to buy laptop. D wanted to drink more beer. He proposed to drink one more beer and then go to office and then come back to buy laptop. Bob along with G and V opposed it. Going to office after having beer was not appropriate. So finally it was decided that M and D will purchase laptop, have more beer and than went to home. Bob, G and V will go back to the office.

What happened next is that they follow the plan. In the night Bob called M to confirm weather they had purchased the laptop or not. M had purchased it.

Who is Bob? It’s a suspense. I will revel it at the appropriate time.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Happy Diwali

Diwali is the celebration of enlightenment. This year, Diwali fulfilled one of my dream. I always fantasized about wearing traditional India dress – dhoti kurta in office. But you are not allowed wearing such dress in office – damn office protocol. On Diwali, our admin department was kind enough to let us wear ethnic wear. I took the opportunity and wear dhoti kurta.

Diwali is a five day celebration. The first day is called dhanteras. Traditionally, utensils are purchased on this day. Second day is chotti Diwali also called Naraka Chaturdashi. This is said to be the Diwali of shopkeepers. People buy sweets, crackers etc, on this day. The third day –Diwali is the main festival. People wear new clothes and distribute sweets. People worship the goddess of wealth – Laxmi along with Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva. The next day is Govardhan Puja. The go-dhan i.e. cattle especially cow is worshiped this day. The last day is Bhaiduj, the day to express love between brothers a sisters.

Every corner of the city is lighted with candles and diyas. Now-a-days people use electric lights. The city seems like beautiful heaven. People burn crackers and fire works.

But I have some concerns. First, why we celebrate Diwali. Common belief is that Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya on this day after killing Ravana, the king of Lanka. Then why don’t we worship Lord Rama? Some people believe this day as the beginning of Hindu financial year. So we worship goddess Laxmi. That’s OK. Then why do we waste money in crackers?

We do worse to our environment on this auspicious day. Crackers cause lots of air pollution and noise pollution (report). People suffering with heart disease are prone to attack because of the loud and sudden noise of crackers. The amount of poisonous gases such as sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide in the air increases beyond limits on Diwali. Even you are not able to breath smoothly.

In India, we have less electricity than we need. And we waste thousands of megawatts of electricity on a single day. Does this do any good to us or our country? As a responsible citizen, we must think about these problems.

The true celebration of Diwali, however, means something else. Diwali comes after a chain of festivals. First comes navratras. This is a nine day festival where people keep fasts and pray different goddesses. People prey shakti (The Power) which governs the world. The aim of navratras is to purify our behavior. It is the process of aatm-shuddhi i.e. purification of one’s thoughts. After navratra, comes Dussehra. This is celebrated as the victory of good over the evil. This means that by dushhera, we have cleared and purified our thoughts. A pure heart is subject to enlightenment. So now we are on the path of enlightenment. Then came Diwali – the festival of enlightenment. By now, our thoughts are purest and our heart is full of enlightenment.

So Diwali is about the lightning of our inner self and not about wasting electricity and polluting air. I hope, next time before purchasing crackers, we will think about it.

Some cool tips on writing good blog entry

Scott Mitchell (founder, 4 guys from rolla) published a post on his blog about writing good blogs. I read the post and follow the suggested links. After reading through a chain of links, I read lots of material on good blogging. Below is the summary of what I read:

How To Achieve Ultimate Blog Success In One Easy Step(http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000983.html)

My theory is that lead generation derives from Google rank and that the best way to increase Google rank is to be like a professional fighter: neither jabs nor haymakers are enough. You must be always jabbing and you must regularly throw haymakers. Blog continuously to keep your hit-rate and link-traffic high and write longer pieces, containing the high-value words associated with your niche, occasionally.

Fear of Writing (http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000516.html)

And that’s exactly why people who are afraid they can’t write should be blogging. It’s like exercise. No matter how out of shape you are, if you exercise a few times a week, you’ll inevitably get fitter. And if you write a small blog entry a few times every week, you’re bound to become a better writer. If you’re not writing because you’re intimidated by writing, well, you’re likely to stay that way forever.

Users don’t care about you (http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000536.html)

Unless what you’re writing ..

  • solves their problem
  • provides useful information
  • entertains them
  • makes them feel like they rule

It’s irrational to expect users to care about it. Every time you write, ask yourself, “so what?” If you can’t answer that question convincingly, reformulate and try again.

Blogging about Blogging (http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000297.html)

  • you have to want to write
  • you have to believe you have something to say
  • you have to have an interesting way of saying it
  • you have to be a decent (not great, but decent) writer
  • you have to enable blog comments

Rory explains first three of above point in details in his blog post Why do some blogs succeed?“.

Writing Tips for Non-Writers Who Don’t Want to Work at Writing (http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/004023.html)

0. Speak what you write: If you can’t speak it naturally, rewrite it. Simple.
1. Punctuate, damn you:

2. With sentences, shorter is better than longer:

3. Learn to friggin’ spell: This is particularly the case with basic spelling errors like using “your” when you’re supposed to be using “you’re” or “its” for “it’s” (or in both cases, vice-versa). For every spelling error you make, your apparent IQ drops by 5 points. For every “there, they’re, their” type of mistake you make, your apparent IQ drops by 10 points.

4. Don’t use words you don’t really know:

5. Grammar matters, but not as much

6. Front-load your point: Now, sometimes people write to find out what their point is; I think that’s fine because I do that myself. But most of the time after I’ve figured out my point, I’ll go back and re-write.

7. Try to write well every single time you write: There really is no excuse for writing poorly in one’s blog. You’ll look stupid for the whole world to see, and it will be archived for as long as humanity remembers how to produce electricity.

8. Read people who write well: Don’t just read for entertainment, but also look to see how they do their writing — how they craft sentences, use punctuation, break their prose into paragraphs, and so on.

9. When in doubt, simplify: Ultimately, people write to be understood (excepting Gertrude Stein and Tristan Tzara, who were intentionally being difficult). Most people are, in fact, capable of understanding. Therefore, if you can’t make people understand what you write, most of the time it’s not just because the world is filled with morons, it’s also because you are not being clear. Downshift. People will be happy to know what you’re saying.

10. Speak what you write: If you can’t make your writing understandable to you, you can’t make it understandable to others.

Hints for revising (http://www.testing.com/cgi-bin/blog/2004/11/16)

Read your text aloud. Reading aloud is one way to get some distance, to separate the piece from your memory of writing it.

If a sentence is unclear, split it.

If a paragraph is unclear, split it. Then Write text to head off the problem, then return to adjust the guilty paragraph.

If an idea or procedure is complicated, add an example.

After you change a sentence, leave it aside for a while, then come back and reread at least the whole paragraph that contains it. Then tweak the sentence to make it fit better into its environment.

Can you turn that bullet list into one or more paragraphs? Bullet lists are, on average, easier for writers but harder for readers. They don’t provide transition between two ideas.

Beware of Big Names … (Accenture)

I was just reading interview of Shivprasad Koirala (author of .Net Interview Question) with Times. He said many interesting things but the thing which caught my thoughts is his experience with Avanade Accenture. In his own words

when i was working in Avanade Accenture my salary was reduced because of not performing good. But i had actually
performed , atleast i was not worth of negative salary, if not a decent hike. I felt bad because my hard work was not appreciated. I did not feel bad because my salary was reduced or the work was not appreciated. While working in Accenture i used to normally come late hours. When i communicated my negative salary to my family, my wife just said then what where you doing all those late nights in Accenture when your performance is rated so bad and I broke off because i had no answer to hidden politics.

Yes big companies have lots of politics. I always believe that working in a smaller company gave you good exposure and knowledge. In a big company, you have very little responsibility. And the creativity there is most of the time zero. You are bound to the procedures and other things. And now Shiv revels that politics is also a key factor. I have heard that there is no job security with Accenture. Accenture is known to fire people, if its project is finished or it looses a project. And now you see its negative approach for its employees. Instead of promotion and increments, it reduces the salaries. With all the knowledge that Shiv has, I can’t believe that he did not perform.

I attended a workshop organized by Avanade Accenture and Microsoft India. I sensed same politics there. One guy was giving some demo about grid computing and his laptop (or software) malfunctioned. His boss, instead of helping him to come out of problem, gave him a strange look. The guy, who was giving presentation, became so scared that sweat came out of his forehead. That time I thought that the guy just got nervous, But now I can figure out that the poor chap was afraid of loosing his salary (or his job).

So guys, always beware if you are planning to join Accenture.

And yes, when you devote late hours in the office, working due to poor project management and you did not receive good hike (mainly due to politics), you don’t have any answers to your family. You sacrifice their time to company and get nothing in return. I personally have similar experience but could not share that with you this time. And believe me, if any project fails or a team’s performance is poor, this is because of bad management. Workers (developers and leaders) has nothing to do with it. Its either because of the senior management who was not able to understand the requirement or because of the business people was unable to strike the proper deal. But the bad thing is that its developers and leaders who are at the receiving end.

Interview Link: http://computerauthor.blogspot.com/2007/08/my-interview-with-times.html

Visit : My Web Site | My Space

India Won Cricket World Cup Twenty20 – Pics