Three excellent technology articles

Two excellent technology articles. Very good reads – all three of them.

  1. The first one is from eetimes. It talks about how computer science is still rocking. It details how there are so many problems which are still out there waiting to be solved, and how there are new breakthroughs in computer science even in this day. Very good read.Read the article here.
  2. I should admit that I found the second article by its catchy title – Robots of Arabia. It is about how, the Qatar government is replacing child labour (child jockeys) with robot jockeys. Yes, I am not joking. These are 2ft tall robots, built by a Swiss firm, which are robot controlled. They are bidextrous – one hand using a whip and the other pulling the reins. Very cool. Read the full article here.

10 Rules for Web Startups

Evan Williams of Blogger fame, has a neat set of 10 rules for web startups. He even has some GTD stuff going on. Check out rule #10:

#10: Be Balanced
What is a startup without bleary-eyed, junk-food-fueled, balls-to-the-wall days and sleepless, caffeine-fueled, relationship-stressing nights? Answer?: A lot more enjoyable place to work. Yes, high levels of commitment are crucial. And yes, crunch times come and sometimes require an inordinate, painful, apologies-to-the-SO amount of work. But it can’t be all the time. Nature requires balance for health—as do the bodies and minds who work for you and, without which, your company will be worthless. There is no better way to maintain balance and lower your stress that I’ve found than David Allen’s GTD process.

Read the full article here.

The Gauls are coming !

This posting is not related to personal productivity, or gadgets, or anything related to the two in its remotest incarnation. But I could not pass this up.
An amazing article written by L Suresh in, where he draws analogies to the current state of the Indian Cricket team and the Gauls (from Asterix). A very nice read.

While the series ended like a good Gaulish adventure — on a happy note — there was only one sequence where the Indians deviated from the typical Gaulish finish. After each match, the grand banquet was held amidst great celebration, but one wonders why Mohinder Amarnath, unlike Cacofonix, was allowed to break into song.

Read the full article here.

(Thanks Usha)

Capital Punishment for Software

Michael Hyatt of ‘Working Smart’ writes about his recent decision to sentence software to death row. Over the last year, he has been using his ‘ mac extensively and loving it’. But he says that, he suddently found that an overwhelming 150 new software titles had gotten into his power book. And to reduce the clutter, he has created a folder called Death Row. If he does not use any software in deathrow over the next 30 days, they would get uninstalled. Nice way to reduce clutter. Read the article here.

Creativity as an Investment

Adrian in his Coyote Within blog has an excellent post titled ‘Coyote and the Grim Reaper’. Wow is all I can say. He writes a post about seeing the Grim reaper outside a corporate office. He talks about how ‘The One’ above invests in creativity. Investment planning is done in earnest. People are assessed about the investment returns – on how creative they have been. If they have not been productive, the investment is withdrawn. The best that I really liked was when Coyote asks about insects and dogs, and the Grim Reaper replies: “Sure,” said the Grim Reaper. “We put a lot of our investment into safe holdings like those. You don’t invest much in an ant, but there are billions and billions of them, so it all adds up. And the investment is totally safe. Insects and such do what they do and we always collect a tiny dividend when they die. The more advanced the creature, the more investment it takes and the higher the rewards. Of course, the risk goes up too. Humans demand a huge investment and they’re very, very high-risk. But when it works as it should, the rewards from just one human are immense. All that creativity and learning. Beautiful stuff! You know, I collected our investment from Socrates — and Albert Einstein. You could barely quantify the rate of return, it was so massive.”

Read the full post
‘coyote and the grim reaper’.

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.