The man behind the IPOD

The Telegraph ( has a great writeup on Jonathan Ive, the man behind the IPOD and the iMAC. The man is supposed to be a very shy, yet a very personable, charming, and gentle figure.

Ive’s reticence has added to the fascination about the man, particularly among the millions of Apple devotees.

The new iMAC has an entertainment center bundled with it. It has a remote with one large button which performs 14 functions (compared to the nearest competition which has 40 buttons). The remote even has a magnet in it, so that you can stick it to the side of the computer – so that it does not get lost.

Read the full article here.

Production of the XBOX 360 a truly global operation

Microsoft is a manufacturer of software, which even if made globally, is fairly easy to manage. The XBOX is a piece of hardware and it was a challenge for these guys. The Wall Street Journal has an article detailing how the global production is carried out for the XBOX 360.

  • The core chip is made by IBM in the US
  • The graphics chip is made by ATI in Taiwan
  • The buttons of the console come from Lacrosse, Wisconsin
  • Scores of small companies around the 2 main production plants in South CHina which make the capacitors, cooling fans etc.
  • 25,000 workers work in 2 production plants in China to put all these together.
  • The units get about 2 hours of manual testing
  • Get shipped either through air freight or shipped to the US of A

Wow. Right out of a globalization text book. Read the full article here.

More presentation tips

Continuing on my carnival of presentation posts, I found this excellent list of powerpoint tips in Particletree. Chris has picked up a really cool list of URLs. Ofcourse leading the pack is presentationzen (which has made its way into this blog sometime back). The one which picqued my interest this time and I checked was Seth Godins Ebook – titled ‘Really bad presentations’. It is pretty good.Go check the list yourself at particletree.

If you want to go directly to Godin’s book, click here [pdf].

Earth-friendly trucks …

(via slashdot .. via wired)
HFI is short for hydrogen fuel injection. This is a very cool concept. An aftermarket part, which basically injects small quantities of hydrogen along with air intake in diesel combustion engines. The deal is that hydrogen combusts faster than diesel. Hence, two nice things happen. One, there is faster combustion and you get more energy than if you just burn fuel. Two, you burn more completely, and hence lesser black smoke (which contains partially combusted hydrocarbons) is emitted. Truckers in North America are trying out this concept – which is saving them big bucks.

Ego …

Steve Pavlina has written a nice piece in his blog about why you should not be worrying what other people think of you. A few quick take-aways from his post:

  • At the time during which you are worrying about what other people are thinking of you, they are actually worrying about what you are thinking about them. Henceforth, everyone spends time worrying about what everyone else are thinking about them.
  • Just because someone told you not to go through a path because it is wrong, do not just shrug it off. You may encounter failure (and they may point it out to you that they told you before), but that is ok. Now you have learnt your lesson, you brush off the dust and continue.
  • Failure is not the opposite of success. They aid in the path to success.
  • Self-trust is a far greater possession than anything you might lose along the way.
  • Faith in yourself isn’t a result of success. It’s the cause of it.

Read the full post here.

Robert Frost quotes …

All of us would have read the famous quote by Robert Frost:

  • “Woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles and miles ot go before I sleep”.

But has anyone heard the following two quotes by the same man ?

  • “Until that point, he was lonely and desperate. Then his life took a turn. Then, he was desperate and lonely.”
  • “A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella during fair weather, and ask for it back when it rains”.

Satire at its best ! 🙂

Gen Y

In the US, the generation that saw the WW or the sons of those who saw the war are often called the Gen X or the baby boomers. As a natural consequence, their sons are hence called Gen Y – this is the generation which was born around the late 70s and early 80s.SavvySaver has an excellent post pointing to a yahoo biz article on how the attitude of Gen Y towards financial planning and work is totally different from how the Gen X used to look at it. Very nice.

Interesting point qouted by savvysaver from the article:

After witnessing the financial insecurity that beset earlier generations stung by layoffs and the dot-com bust, today’s newest entrants into the workforce are generally savvy when it comes to money and savings. They care about such benefits as 401(k) retirement plans.Thirty-seven percent of Gen Yers expect to start saving for retirement before they reach 25, with 46% of those already working indicating so, according to a September survey by Purchase, N.Y.-based Diversified Investment Advisors. And 49% say retirement benefits are a very important factor in their job choices. Among those eligible, 70% of the Gen Y respondents contribute to their 401(k) plan.


Unlike boomers who tend to put a high priority on career, today’s youngest workers are more interested in making their jobs accommodate their family and personal lives. They want jobs with flexibility, telecommuting options and the ability to go part time or leave the workforce temporarily when children are in the picture.

The 401(k) plan in the US are retirement plans – kind of like the PPF.