Make in India

productivity software

Thunderbird Rocks

In the recent past, I have been using solely Ubuntu (12.04 LTS) as my primary work machine. And I use Thunderbird for my mail and calendaring needs. It integrates beautifully with Exchange server.

But what surprised me pleasantly was this:

I had typed in “Please find the resume attached” in the email. Nice touch Thunderbird. For a person who has been burned multiple times by missing to attach files to emails, this comes as a refreshing surprise indeed.



Six ways to write more comprehensible code

Great article over at ibm developerworks. The six points are:

  1. Comment like a smart person
  2. Use #define a lot. No, a LOT.
  3. Dont use variables names that will mock you.
  4. Do error checking. You make errors. Yes, you.
  5. “Premature optimization is the root of all ill”. – Donald Knuth
  6. Dont be too clever by half.

I love the point 5, and agree wholly with it. Read the entire article here.


Setting a clear type font for your cmd window on XP

If you are like me, and you use the cmd window (or the MKS Korn Shell window, or the Cygwin window, or any other command line interface), you might be interested in this. If you had noticed earlier, these terminals had very limited font changing support. You could either change it to Lucida or to Raster. Both of them are definitely not the best. Microsoft recently released a set of clear type fonts, which are much much easier on the eyes, and look a whole lot better than the clunky lucida.

(click on image to see full size. The clear type effect is best seen when you see it full size)

If you want your terminals to look like the above, jump to this link to get a step-by-step tut on how to get this done. I did this just now, and it works like a dream.

Update: One of uses of this blog is to put some of the esoteric tricks that I find here, so that I can refer them later. Today was my day of reckoning. I wanted to add my new fav font “Monaco” to the mks bash font listing. So all I did was search my blog, and voila. One thing that I would do is to put in a screen shot here.

Go to start-run-regedit. Then open up HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> software -> Microsoft -> Windows NT -> Console -> TrueTypeFont. Then right-click -> new -> string value. Add ‘000’ as the key and the new font name as the value.


software technology

Wipro factory ?

I have always made fun of the large software houses like Wipro, TCS, Infosys in Bangalore (in good jest). I have nothing against them. They are giving more than their fair share to the GDP of the nation, and I admire that. But I always make fun of them, by calling them code factories, where thousands of engineers write code-after-code, for offshore clients. I have heard inhumane conditions of work — not physically, but conditions of work, where creativity is stymied, and routine work is admired, and gains you a promotion etc. In these factories, there are all but a few people who decide the specs, and what goes where, and the others code, code, and code … Readers who work there, please do not take offense. I am not saying these are menial jobs. It requires expertise and good software engineering skills.

Anyways, coming to the point of the post, yesterday, in one of the Wipro buses, I found this slogan. I may be missing a few words here and there, but the gist went like this:

Wipro — Innovation at its best … etc etc … We follow the factory model, resulting in 30% lesser defects and higher quality software products.

I was floored. Wow. They really follow some factory model ! Very interesting. And I went and looked up on wikipedia to see what the factory model is, and sure enough, there is something called the software factory.

And guess what, I even found the following paper in IEEE through google.

A Software Factory Model Based on ISO9000 and CMM for Chinese Small Organizations

Very interesting.

news software technology

News burst about Yahoo and Microsoft

(pic courtesy:

Everyone has heard about the proposed take over of Yahoo by Microsoft. Their repeated increase of their offer price, and Yahoo not giving in. Lots of people predicted yahoo shareholders would be upset, and newspapers reported that Yahoo stock plunged – because they did not take what seemed to be a good offer etc. But did anyone do an accurate calculation, like what Kottke did ?

On Jan 31, the day before Microsoft offered $31/share for Yahoo, YHOO was at $19.18/share (market cap: $26.4 billion) and MSFT was at $32.60/share (market cap: $303.6 billion). At the close of trading today, YHOO closed at $24.37/share (market cap: $33.5 billion) and MSFT was at $29.08/share (market cap: $270.8 billion). In other words, the Microsoft offer increased the value of Yahoo! Inc. by more than $7 billion and decreased the value of Microsoft Corporation by almost $33 billion. In still other words, in attempting to take Yahoo by force, they let an amount equal to Yahoo slip through their fingers. Why isn’t anyone writing about Yahoo’s amazing stock gains and Microsoft’s plunge?

If everyone did, the whole concept of media sensationalism would die ! (and I sure wish it did, after the unfortunate incident of me watching Headline news the other day!)