Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Surfing Journal

I love to surf the web. For fun. For information. Many times, as part of my work. Everytime, I visit a nice website, I used to write down the URL in my notebook or send in email so that I will have a note some where. But I often find it very difficult to get the url when I really needed it. Used to send an email whenever I wanted to share with somebody. But none of my buddies have no idea where I have been wandering, unless I send them an email. Not any more. I found del.icio.us website, an easy way to post urls from anywhere and get them back when I really need it. My buddies can instantly see the urls I post. Not just that; when they see an url that I like, they can automatically post it for me. Excellent way to keep in touch. So from now onwards del.icio.us will be the host of my surfing journal.

Here is the address: http://del.icio.us/mkmurali
And here is the rss feed: http://del.icio.us/rss/mkmurali

Monday, February 27, 2006

Proud to be a Software Engineer

Software is invisible to most of the world. Although individuals, organizations, and nations rely on a multitude of software-intensive systems every day, most software lives in the interstitial spaces of society, hidden from view except insofar as it does something tangible or useful.

Despite its transparency, as Bjarne Stroustrup has observed, "our civilization runs on software." It is therefore a tremendous privilege as well as a deep responsibility to be a software developer. It is a privilege because what we do collectively as an industry has changed and will continue to change the world1. It is a responsibility because the world in turn relies on the products of our labor in so many ways2. In the context of that labor, software is perhaps the ultimate building material: it springs from pure thought and is intrinsically malleable, yet it can be made manifest in our hardware systems, limited only by our vision (and certain immutable laws of physics and software3). As software professionals, we seek to develop and deploy useful systems of quality in a manner that reduces the distance from vision to execution. That the fruits of our labor are transparent to the world is as it should be: users want results and value, not more technology. For this reason, the primary challenge of every software development team is to engineer the illusion of simplicity in the face of essential complexity.

Handbook of Software Architecture - Grady Booch

These are the most wonderful words ever said about the profession of Software Development. I have enjoyed every bit of my career in Software Development. I loved all those little shell scripts and apps that I developed. I was excited to contribute to one of the first Wireless Prepaid service applications. I cherish those moments of designing the Unlimited Evenings and Weekends feature. I can always rave about those business support applications that I created. I love most, the fact that every 1 in 4 mobile calls made in US touches those few lines of code that I have written. I equally loved a lot, the money that came with this profession. But I never felt so proud of myself for being in this exciting profession. I feel proud for being a software engineer. For the sheer joy of creating some thing out of dreams. For such a previlege. For such a responsibility. And for such an opportunity to impact the lives of others.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Robin Good...... no good at all?

Robin Good, who assumes himself a communication expert who can teach to communication experts recently announced a Design Challenge, 'The MasterNewMedia Design Challenge', an open interface design contest to redesign hiw own website. Why? I guess he could not do. I am afraid he don't understand what makes a good user interface, let alone how to design one.

Anyway, finally deadline arrived. Robin must have been dreaming of thousands of proposals and must have allocated his next few weeks to review them. But there were NO official entries to the competition. He was however seem to be delighted to update the news saying that he did receive ONE submission before the deadline. Oh, it saved a life.

I first visited this website around 6 months back. The compilation of articles was good. So I added to my rss reader. As I started reading for a while his blog posts, I did not see any originality in his blogs. I never see Robin in his own posts. Most of them are mere compilations from other blogs/sources. The original source of the post is some times conveniently mentioned somewhere at the bottom most the times.

I don't like to even talk about the web interface on his website. It is so cluttered, and full of advertisements. I left my comments about this two times as far as I remembered when I was very annoyed by the mix of advertisements in the posts. A typical blog entry will be like this: (Click this link to see for real)
Post title
Google Adds
Summary of the post in few lines with a photo linked from external source
Again Google Adds
Actual Post mostly as a list of things. The list goes so long, by the end of the list, you forget what you are reading.
Once Again Google Adds
Comments ( often none)
Some more Ads ( recommended books)
If you think this is all about it, hang on. On both sides of the post, lot more ads/links and inflated sections.

No wonder, no body like to clean up his own mess, even at the prize money of $1500. He had to extend the deadline and prize money, and admit that he was asking a lot. What a joke? If he were a real communication expert that can teach communication experts, he would have atleast made himself clear on what he really needs. Or with a hint of luck, he would have realized the missing point. I hope.

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Wal-mart in India

A few weeks ago, Wal-mart filed an application with the Reserve Bank of India to setup an office in Bangalore for market research and business development.
News story at http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1397292.cms by The Economic Times

Still a long way to go for Walmart to do anything in India.....but Indian Retailers better watch out!!

NDTV.com : Fact or Allegation ? Just another twisted title for sensationalism

This is yet another example of NDTV.com’s sensationalism twisted titles. The title says, as if this was a fact, woman made to urinate in pub...