Wednesday, September 28, 2005

time to move on

I've fallen in love with the following lyrics from Tom Petty's "Time to Move On":
It's time to move on, time to get going
What lies ahead I have no way of knowing
But under my feet, baby, grass is growing
It's time to move on, it' s time to get going

It's such a chill song, and it's whispering intimately to my heart right now.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

six dumbest ideas in computer security

The Six Dumbest Ideas in Computer Security has some great stuff. (link from osnews)

fc goodness

from Digital Competition
Communication is a big part of making deals. One minute, I could be talking to three guys with pimples in a garage; the next, I could be speaking with the CEO of Deutsche Telekom. The most important thing is to get rid of all your prejudices. You have to open your mind. It doesn't matter if the people you're talking to are 22 years old or 57 years old. It doesn't matter what their color is, what their gender is, what language they speak, how big their company is, or even if they were a success before. The playing field today is a lot more level than ever before.

In Hollywood, you're expected to be intuitive. In the entertainment industry, you have people who have intuition and people who imitate. Nobody there analyzes. But for the most part, in our society, if you know and you don't know why you know, then obviously whatever you know doesn't matter -- which is stupid. If you have been right about things for 20 years, then you should be able to say, "I don't know why I know, but I know." If I'm hiring people, I don't want to know how they know, I just want to know that they have a good record of being right.

Interesting. Good intuitive decisions being applause, but when the bad intuition costs you money, I'm sure things hit the fan.
if you try to keep everything in your company under your own control, then your company has built its own coffin: It's limited by itself in every direction. If you think of your company as a box, then there should be only one side to the box. The rest of the box should be open.

From GM Has a New Model for Change
inside virtually all big companies -- is that you spend most of your time with people who are exactly like you. To counter this insularity, Ochalek, 43, lobbied to get his team out into the real world. Members of APEx went to work inside various car dealerships and visited with companies in different industries. They stopped attending auto shows and started going to Internet conferences, consumer-electronics trade shows, and toy fairs.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


India's really proud of Sania Mirza. She's in the press all the time, and you can see her advertising jewellery on billboards all over town. Recently, some clerics made an uproar about her short skirts on court.

Here's a nice article in reaction to all the fuss. You go Sania!

file systems and web ui's

From an interview with Hans Reiser:
    I also learned to focus on the little things in the data that don't make sense. Often the guys I hire will disregard them, thinking there must be something wrong with the benchmark since it does not make sense. Being more experienced I know that the things that don't make sense are the most important data collected. Time and again, getting to the bottom of a minor performance anomaly that should not exist reveals a design flaw or failure in my understanding, and curing it leads to an advance in our performance that was well worth having. (link from osnews)

pretty cool. I think I tend to turn a blind eye to anomolous data. I didn't get all the way through the interview...

I forget where, but I saw a link to this site called A List Apart.
    A List Apart Magazine (ISSN: 1534-0295) explores the design, development, and meaning of web content, with a special focus on techniques and benefits of designing with web standards.
My first observation was that the site is beautiful. I read some of the articles today and they taught me a lot about CSS. I now subscribe to the feed so hopefully my web-authoring skills will improve. I hate crappy-looking sites. And I hate writing crappy UI code - even if it looks nice. Hopefully, some of the techniques mentioned will help beautify both the end-product and what lies beneath.

Incidentally, I'm working on a little app using Ruby on Rails. After working on very platform-level distributed systems code, it's fun to work on a web app. Sometimes I focus on db stuff, sometimes I work on the functionality, sometimes it's usability, and sometimes I just putz around trying to make it look pretty.

Update: I really want to make sure I have a ticketing system in place before I release my web-app (even though it's not going to be a huge release). Here's a somewhat long, but informative rant that reminded me why it's a great idea.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

gems from FC

From Here's How to Make It to the Top:
    "I've been so successful in my climbing because I usually haven't turned back during that final, exhausting 5%. Making it to the top isn't about a final sprint; it's about maintaining your rhythm - even if that rhythm is five breaths for every one step. That kind of focus means that you're more likely to have the energy to deal with unforeseen challenges - and less likely to lose sight of why you're climbing the mountain in the first place."

I thought upward (manager) evaluations were standard practice. I'm horrified to know that they are not.

From The Fall and Rise of David Pottruck
    Just before the meeting got started, Andy Grove, the gruff chairman of Intel's board at the time, pulled Pottruck aside. " 'When you got promoted to CEO,' " Pottruck remembers him saying, " 'did that make you a better man?' I said no. He said, 'Well then, do you think the fact that you're no longer CEO of Schwab means you're not a better man?' I said, 'No, I don't think so.' He said, 'You're as good a man as you were last week. Hold your head high.' It helped me a lot."

Monday, September 12, 2005

my wife's murder

Last Wednesday was Ganesh Chathurthi, so we had the day off. Sindya and I decided to go watch a movie with Praveen. We ended up watching My Wife's Murder, a Hindi movie about, well... read the review I linked to if you want to know. I loved it because none of the characters are overly exaggerated. And, although the main character ends up making some pretty crazy decisions, he seems to be responding to the very real first instinct that we (at least I) have of running and hiding from problems. Apart from hoping that I never get into the same situation as the protagonist, I found myself constantly being like "shoot... I wonder if I would've made a similar decision?"

This weekend Sindya and I went shopping for a small music system. In the process of driving around town, we also stopped by an exhibition of 'nature lamps'. This one artist has made lamps out of tree bark. We ended up buying a free standing lamp. It should get delivered today; I'll see if I can post a picture.

On Saturday night we had an anagrams party with a twist; everyone had to bring a guest who we didn't know. It was cool; I ended up meeting some really cool people. It's funny because all of the random people actually ended up having some connection to someone else at the party; small world.

(If you haven't played anagrams before, you have, to try it. It's frikkin awesome)

Back to Monday. No rowing for the next few weeks; the Army rowing team is preparing for a competition so they hog the boats and don't let civilians play. Oh well.
Update: Lamp pictures here and here. Hiking pictures from two weekends ago here and here.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

(more) rowing

Maybe it's annoying reading about day-to-day progress in my rowing abilities. But it's still pretty exciting for me so I'm writing anyway.

Today I went on a double-scull with this girl Sarita who's been rowing a few months. It felt awesome. I got a really good workout (arms are in pain) and it was just so cool to have two sets of oars rowing in time (most of the time) and the boat just shooting (at least compared to rowing when you're tied to the dock) across the water.

When we were out there, I looked to shore and saw that Sindya was out on a single scull. She was actually standing up on it without holding the oars. That's super difficult to do. She eventually fell in. But given that I fell in while sitting down with only one hand off the oars, she did pretty damn well. She divulges the secret to her balance here.

Pretty soon, Sindya and I may be able to go out on a double-scull by ourselves. And if it's anything like riding a tandem cycle with her, I'm sure I'll get a solid workout. :)

On an unrelated note, check out amazon's cool ajax UI for doing a
diamond search.