Thought for the day

I seem to be posting fwds more than writing stuff here
- Vibhu

If human bodies developed the way programmers write their code !

Picked the following from Reinvent. Great article.

Growing Pains!

If the human bodies developed the way many programmers write their programs, the world would have been a far more interesting place to live in.

Assuming average human life spans 80 years, you would see the left leg growing for almost ten years.

Once the left leg grew completely, the right leg would start showing up.

After about 20 years or so, it would abdomen’s turn to grow. (I met a very close friend of mine yesterday, who is about 60% complete, and his arms have just started showing up.)

After the entire left leg grows, the testing would begin and then the leg might have to shrink a little bit to be totally bug-free.

Interesting world to live in, isn't it?

That's how many programmers treat the code that they write. And that's the reason very soon programmers find that their code-base has become very complex, tracking bugs becomes all the more difficult and they totally lose control of their own application. The result is – S_ _ _

So, how do you understand your own “code” [human] body?

The human body, at whatever stage of development it is, is perfect, complete and fully functional. New features get added as the body grows, but at whatever stage it is, the body is complete in itself.

That is the reason bugs in human bodies are relatively easy to diagnose and fix. And, that's why new features show up with ease, almost naturally.

That is what you could do to make your software development process easy and manageable.

At any point of time, ensure that whatever code-base exists is perfect, complete and fully functional.

Then, you add some more functionality. And you ensure again that whatever has been added is perfect, complete and fully functional.

At every step, you are confident that your code works perfectly well.

At every step, you would be confident that whatever you have just added works perfectly well.

And if something has gone wrong, you will know precisely where to look for errors.

The most striking result of this would be—at every step you would feel great about yourself and your code.

The next time you type in 200 lines of code before compiling, executing or thoroughly testing—remember that “interesting world”, where, at your present age, you had two legs working fully developed and the "implementation" of the abdomen would be just about to begin.

Ensure that you are in control of your code right from the first line of code that you write. And then, add some more code and again ensure that you are in control again. That will save you several hours of unnecessary debugging.

That will be enjoyable. That will be confidence building.

The Ant and the Grasshopper

Got this as a forward...

OLD VERSION...

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.
MODERN VERSION...

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving. NDTV, BBC, CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house.
Medha Patkar goes on a fast along with other grasshoppers demanding that grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter.
Amnesty International and Koffi Annan criticize the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the grasshopper.

The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance) .

Opposition MP's stage a walkout. Left parties call for "Bharat Bandh" in West Bengal and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry.
CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among ants and grasshoppers.

Lalu Prasad allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains, aptly named as the 'Grasshopper Rath'.
Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act [POTAGA]", with effect from the beginning of the winter.

Arjun Singh makes Special Reservation for Grass Hopper in Educational Insititutions & in Govt Services.

The ant is heavily fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government and handed over to the grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV.

Arundhati Roy calls it "a triumph of justice".
Lalu calls it 'Socialistic Justice'.
CPM calls it the 'revolutionary resurgence of the downtrodden'
Koffi Annan invites the grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly.
A FEW YEARS LATER.......

The ant has migrated to the US and set up a multi billion dollar company in Silicon Valley.

Thousands of grasshoppers still die of starvation in India...

Thought for the day

Crafting a mission statement is usually one of the first steps entrepreneurs undertake. Unfortunately, this process is usually a painful and frustrating experience that results in exceptional mediocrity.
- Guy Kawasaki, The Art of the Start.

Apple's evolution

iPhone

iPhone, the latest release from apple was released last week ... and it was crazy ! People were hanging out in line since monday to get it ! The buildup was a lesson in creating hype by arguably one of the best showman today - Steve Jobs.

Just a bit of history for people who do not know much or are not into tech as deep as me :)

Apple was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniac. It was a giddy climb to stardom and Steve was in his time the worlds youngest billionare. Board politics reared its ugly head, and he was removed from apple. In the interim he went on to make Pixar - the company which redefined animation movies with Toy Story. Then, in the later part of the 90s Steve was back as CEO of Apple, and apple never looked back. ( If you are interested, read iCon which is on Steve Jobs)

Together with designer Jonathan Ive, the products from apple just went on becoming better and better - objects of desire so to say. Diverging from the desktop business which was seeing a revival of the macOS, apple launched a revolution in the form of the iPod. Frankly, at that time , and even today, there are many mp3 players which have more features, but what the iPod did was beat everyone on usability. Just about anybody could use it. With its simple white slim box design it became a hit. Apple's attention to detail are just too good.

Then about a couple of years back, rumors about an apple phone started surfacing. In Jan this year, Steve Jobs demoed the phone for the first time to an ecstatic audience and showed the world the iPhone. It was finally relesed on the last friday of June to an expectant audience worldwide, but only in the USA.

And no, you cannot use it here in India.

Plz dont do this to your phone!

People first in line became heroes after getting the iPhone. You can get hundreds of blogs/pics of those now on the net. However, what facinated me was a couple of links of opening up the phone to see what is inside. $500 up in smoke. Check out the links below :

The amazing compactness achieved is really remarkable. I have never designed hardware, but since most companies do not get near to this level of compactness, I think that its ok ;-)

So, what does the iPhone do ?

Most questions can be answered ont he iPhone website. Check out the videos there if you can, words cannot describe what the videos can. However, a brief summary of important points :
  • Touch screen with multi touch. Basically you use your fingers to type and flick the pages.
  • Take pics with a 2MP camera. you can then zoom in and zoom out using two fingers. As the distance increases between the fingers, it zooms in. Aaah !
  • 4GB and 8GB memory to play your songs. Did I mention , the iPhone is the best iPod till date ?
  • Fully capeable internet browser. The palm treo i use is not good with full html.
But if you are gearing up for buying it right now, I suggest you dont. Here's the reasons :
  • Locked SIM with AT&T . Which means I cannot open it up and replace the SIM with my Airtel/Hutch SIM. If you check the take apart pics from AnandTech or ThinkSecret you will notice that there is no way to open the phone apart from destroying it totally. I think interchangeable sims will be available in the future (EU release end of 07, rest of world release mid 08).
  • No Edge. Believe me , full html on a slow gprs connection is quite frustrating.
  • Cannot add any other applications. This is a bummer. What it means is that if there is a cool application available, you cannot install it.
  • Limited storage space. 4GB is small for music and videos. I have a feeling the storage is going to explod pretty soon to higher nos. Anything less than 20GB is not worth it.
  • No IM.
Following is an interesting photofeature of the evolution of apple through the times ! Click on link below to see it in full.

Apple Evolution