29 January 2012

First workshop in 2012

We have been thinking of conducting workshops for students for quite sometime and glad that we came up with one. We will be presenting our  workshop on Linux/Network Programming and our first workshop in 2012 in an Engineering college near Trichy on 4-Feb.

Hoping to cover Linux, Computer Networks & Protocols and Socket Programming. It is going to be a day's long  and we would be spending half-a-day on hands-on, involving the students to write some code. That is going to be a lot of fun for us and learning too.

Here is the link of our initiative.

Link to our workshop page

We are starting with Linux User Space Programming. If everything goes well, we are planning to bring more stuff like Datastructures & Algorithms, Programming, and Linux Internals. That's so much of fun. Isn't it?

Thinking of spreading a work around, hit the like button (or choose any of the options - Facebook, Twitter, forward the link - you have options :-) ).

21 January 2012

Be careful about social media

Many of us use social media especially facebook, twitter and linkedin in our everyday's life.

We spend too much time in reading updates of our friends (liking them, disliking them and commenting them) and this takes away equal amount of time from the other aspects of our life. If offices came up strict rules on facebook and ask their employees to reduce facebook usage, we try to get a tablet or cell phone and provide status updates even from loo. Normal usage is fine, but what is normal usage? Every individual should have a limit on how many hours they spend online and limit it to what they feel it normal. I think, we can recognize it by just profiling our profile and the duration we spend online in social media.

But what we cannot recognize is long term mental hazards. There was an article published that states that the brain of internet addict looks very similar to that of a drug addict. May be we are not addicted to internet, but i feel that many of us provide  status updates and we should try to filter out the ones that cannot be shared. Either someone dashed you in the road and if you are slightly limping or you had a small encounter with your boss at office, your facebook status shows it all. Facebook sometimes becomes so sarcastic.

I feel that it is very dangerous to share everything as you will be chewing the anger little longer time and one becomes little more reactive. Within few years, there is a possibility of one becoming hyper-reactive.

Googled and found this article. It is always good to get different point of view - http://thurs.hubpages.com/hub/Negative-Effects-of-Facebook-Addiction

Another video from TED

15 January 2012

Just absorb it to overcome it

Wishing you very happy Pongal & Sankaranti.

For the past two days, i had a terrible encounter with fever. I think, it was lesser than 100 degree Fahrenheit till last afternoon and it shot up to 102 midnight. I just wanted to try not to see a doctor and get the medicines. I just had a Crocin and decided not to consume it again. Not this time. I had lot of disturbances in my sleep and woke up every 3 hours and it seemed like i enjoy the fever. As i m writing this, i feel that my fever has receded without any medicines (except one Crocin). I just had few servings of Samahan (an ayurvedic preparation). I think, i m in a better shape today and most importantly with a better immune system (which would heal my body for an ordinary fever).

What about building our emotional and psychological immune system? What could build a better immune system?  Failures and Mistakes. When we fail, i think, we fail in achieving expected results and we don't actually care about or recognize the good it causes. By our failures and mistakes, Aren't we building our immune systems? Aren't we going to get better and slated to do well to reach expected results the next time? Aren't we become less fragile? Aren't we become less fearful of the failures?

I think, my recent encounter with fever taught me a lesson - just absorb it and you will overcome it.

Disclaimer: I handled my fever in a weird way and i don't recommend you to try it out. It is my perception that i got better by not taking medicines for an ordinary fever. If it had been a much complicated disease or my fever got into advanced state, i would generally consult the physician and consume the medicines that she would prescribe.

12 January 2012

I wish i could be wisest

I wish i could be wisest, but until i become one (remote possibility), i prefer to be foolish.

I wish i could behave like a grown-up, but until it comes naturally to me, i prefer to be like a child.

I wish i could write little better (particularly my posts here), i can just copy here, copy there and sound like a thinker. I wanted to be original but not a photocopy. Until it comes naturally to me, i prefer to stay foolish & half-baked.

But the point is, i like to be looked at as a fool and i feel so proud to be such a fool.

11 January 2012

Idea of Cheap and Free

Linux is free but it is solid operating system, so it is not cheap.

Wikipedia is free but it is not cheap (the amount of information and quality is simply amazing).

Advise in StackOverflow is free but we never say/feel it is cheap.

Free is something valuable you give with "no strings attached" to convey that you value the relationship and association. If all the free you give is not valuable (or literally of no use), then the free becomes cheap. It, then, spoils the relationship/association.

Certainly, free and cheap are two different/extreme/opposite experiences.

10 January 2012

If you are a hero @ work

There are two ways to work and technically both ways can yield same results visibly.

If you wanna be a hero, you make a lot of noise, trying to be relevant by being irrelevant, always trying to be little far from reality, overly obsessed with perfectionism (and bosses) and hyper-reactive.

The other way to work is by just being simple, making mistakes and introspecting those mistakes and little pragmatic.

Most of us tend to be of mixed type, doing both but the question is ratio. It could be 9:1, 5:5 or 0:10.

The ratio decides the destiny and the happiness that we derive out of work.

08 January 2012

Perception Profiling

Now, it gets very interesting when you witness the crux of you undergoing a change. The change by itself is not so satisfying. The moment that you get converted is so enriching. When you move from the camp of understanding to actually doing is something very important.

I have told you before (couple of weeks back) about Dan Ariely's book "Predictably Irrational" (here and here) . Since the book discusses about decision making and human behaviors, i was thinking that i would get some insights on how people are in general and what forces us to make certain decisions than others. I never thought that it could affect me so deeply and give a breakthrough.

For past few days, i tend to profile my thoughts and profile the way i perceive others' action and my interactions with them. Note here, that i m not profiling or judging others but my own perceptions on others and my interactions with others. Though not consistently, i change my perceptions but the good news is that i m at least willing to change my perceptions after analysis/thinking.

In some cases, knowingly i was able to recover from my usual half-baked thinking/reactions and soon i think should be understanding those hidden forces. I stop building up perceptions (my own perceptions) and i think the next step would be not to mix the perceptions when making decisions (a difficult job, though it is worth trying).

I m glad that i m able to profile my perceptions on others and i think it will help me to build my relationships with others - may it be friends, relatives or friends @ work.

By the way, don't ask me what is perception profiling. I don't know yet what it is. I tried to draw parallels from software (you know, i m a software guy ;-)). We profile applications when it is slow/consumes more memory. I joined perceptions and profiling together to make it perception profiling. Disclaimer: I haven't searched for a possible prior art :-))

[if you think Dan has hired me to sell his book, you perception is wrong and if you are not thinking like that, my perception is wrong :-). I was awestruck with his experiments and trying to understand why we are totally irrational and what can we do about it when we come to know that we are irrational. Here is the book]

About Image:
I first saw the image (young lady/old lady image) in the book "An introduction to general system thinking" by Gerald Weinberg.

03 January 2012

Wikipedia - Fundraising

What is the cost of a magazine that we buy? May be few bucks when you buy from the stands and you get few cents off when you subscribe through the publisher's website. It is a business. Are you going to buy the magazine the next time? Well, it depends on the perceived value. If you recognize that there is value, you buy it next time.

But what about Wikipedia? Why should i contribute to Wikipedia?

Unless it is a cutting edge research (and if it is a recent one), Wikipedia equally a place where you look for information. It is not just information but it is so accurate one as it is contributed by subject matter experts and verified/modified by numerous subject matter experts. It is not a business but a community. It doesn't differentiate between donors and non-donors. It is free for everyone. Free doesn't mean that it is cheap. Here free leads to accessibility. Think of people who do not have privilege to access information. For the amount of value that we get, i think, we may need to pay at least hundreds of dollars in return (may be more) if it is a standard magazine.

I would like to point you to the Wikipedia's fundraising page where it says why Wikipedia do not show advertisements. Being fourth largest website, it would be easier for Wikipedia to just build the advertising network or at a very least to insert few ads and start making money. But it is not the case.

For the past years, i have used Wikipedia everyday and the amount of knowledge that one gains is so huge and i felt that i should contribute.

I request you to think about donating to Wikipedia. Here is the page to make contribution in case if you decide to donate

Thank you.