The Xtra Day Special

I was wondering for a long time, what to write about this extra day we get once every 4 years. My wondering went far to wonder what other people might be wondering to do on this wonderful ‘Xtra’ day. Then I thought we all wonder what other people are doing but never wonder what our government is up to. I went to a search engine and typed ‘Government Initiatives’ in India. With some flipping and scrolling and then trying combinations, I came across this->

Gujarat Solar electricity project

Translation of Marathi wordings: Ahmedabad- To generate more electricity, the Gujarat State Electricity Board has come up with a novel idea of literally putting up solar panels on a flowing canal. By putting up solar panels on the approximately 100 kms long canal, they have not only saved space, but also provided cover to the canal (thereby reducing evaporation in Summers).

I never thought government could be so innovative. This can only happen in Gujarat. Bravo!

One Way to Effectively Use Electrical Power

This is my contribution to VoiCE blog. You can read the original article here.

Have you ever experienced how irritating it can be when the the power supply goes off? Outages are common in most cities in India, baring a few metros. And it causes the highest discomfort to the people. As a result people look to solve the problems. Possible solutions are fitting an inverter in the house (which typically lights 3-4 tube lights and 3-4 fans). Or installing a generator to support larger loads. In any case, both are costly options. But what if you could find some thing cheap, convenient, less noisy, less cumbersome to install and more environmental friendly? Continue reading

5 Things A Software Startup Firm Must Not Forget

This is a back post from my contribution to the VoiCE blog. Find the original article here.

India is a land of opportunities these days. The last decade saw lot of new technology companies letting their baby cry out and then biting dust as well. Delving deep inside the ones who failed and the ones whose success sky rocketed, we come to know why some were successful while most of them bit the dust. Here are the following simple steps a new company must never forget before getting into business-

1. Plan for the future– Most companies, whether service providers or product developers try to emulate what is already there in the market. While it might earn you business immediately, you need to keep yourself abreast of what the future of your product/service is going to be. New technology becomes obsolete even before it reaches the masses in the corners of the world. Plan for future. Your services might be a hit today. But they will soon be useless if you dont improve upon them.

2. Handle your product life cycle well– Every product has a life cycle. It starts slow. With good marketing, it picks up and the consumption of your product/service increases. If you meet the expectations of the users, the value continues to grow till a time it reaches the maturity. Lot of companies fail to understand the maturity phase and when the product starts its decline. They keep on milking the cow when they should have been raising another calf. As a result, just version control doesn’t help and the product falls steeply in the gorge.

3. Standardize– Indians have a habit of customizing every thing. It leads to many bad things such as slow delivery process, difficulty in getting the right expertise, too many different versions and hampers the brand name of the service/product. Instead, your focus should be on standardization. It is good to give options to the customers. But even the options must have standard configurations and most desired features. Apply the pareto’s rule. 80% of the users are going to be satisfied by 20% of your features. So you have room to experiment with the rest.

4. Collaborate– No company achieved every thing on his own. To ensure better performance and usability of your product/service, complement it with matching products/services from other companies. Make sure it adds value. It will also help you sustain better in case of slow down or product failures.

5. Technology and People– Please note that better technology and better people are the only two things that contribute to the success of any IT firm. Respect your people and update them as well as yourself with the latest trends and game changing innovations. There will be people with brilliant ideas and very bad executions. Boeing learnt from Douglas’s mistake and went on to become the largest aircraft company in the world. Remember!

Hope this was useful.

Maharani Gayatri Devi

Maharani_Gayatri_DeviI’m feeling very sad deep inside my heart that Rajmata Gayatri Devi is no longer with us now. She passed away yesterday at the age of 90. No, I was not connected to her in any way. (But alas, wish I could have been, anyway). But I’m her fan just like that.

My association with her (rather her fame) goes back to my late teens. I read her interview in Times of India’s erstwhile supplement, Men & Women. I think I was 17 or 18 then. I was instantly awestruck by the aura and the splendor of her beauty. She must be approaching 80s by then. Yet one could feel the charisma in the way she had answered the questions. A princes from Kooch Bihar and a descendant of the Gaikwad family of Baroda, she was married to Sawai Mansingh II, the enigmatic Maharaja of Jaipur. Gayatri Devi was once included inVogue magazine’s Ten Most Beautiful Women list.

I will miss you Maharani!

PS: After some hunting I finally laid my hand on the book. “A Princess Remembers: The Memoirs of the Maharani of Jaipur”. Believe me, it is a very good read.

Ask questions to Wolfram Alpha creator

Guys, here is a golden opportunity for you to ask questions to Dr. Stephen Wolfram, the creators of Wolfram Alpha! For those who dont know, Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge engine that draws on multiple sources to answer user queries directly.

Dr. Wolfram has agreed to have a short conversation with Crazyengineers. Interested to have your queries answered? just click–> here!

Slumdog Millionaire wins Oscar awards

oscarsjpgDanny Boyle’s much acclaimed movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ swept the Oscar awards willing in 8 out of 10 categories in which it was nominated. This includes Best Picture and Best Direction for Danny Boyle, Best Original Song and Best Original Score for A R Rahman (for ‘Jai Ho…’) Best Film Editing for Chris Dickens, Best Sound Mixing for Ian Tapp, Resul Pookutty, Best Cinematography for Anthony Dod Mantle and Best Adapted Screenplay for Simon Beaufoy.

Jai Ho! Congratulations to the team and the people who made it possible.

Holy SAP

Sant Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan in Shegaon is known to be one of the holy places in Vidarbha sub-state. I was reading through a magazine today and an interesting article caught my eye concerning the same regional institution. Sant Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan has deployed SAP ERP solution to manage their day to day operations.

Holy SAP! I was indeed amused, though not surprised. With over 5000 donations and 2000 vendors to manage on a daily basis, the institution is arguably one of the busiest in state. Few years back, the entire process was managed manually. Keeping track of numerous transactions was obviously very painful. Students from adjoining engineering college, also a part of the same sansthan (institution) helped the temple develop a legacy software to partially keep track of the transactions. However as the number kept increasing, the need of an ERP surfaced. What started as an engineering project turned out to be one of the most comprehensive SAP ERP deployments at a non-profit organization in the country. The students were helped by Indian IT majors Patni Computer Systems, L& T Infotech and Tech Mahindra.

Even god has now become tech savvy. Bravo! Gajanan Maharaj ki Jay!

(Source: Networking Magazine)