October 27, 2007

To do when bored!

Save an alien.

Get some investment advice.

Make some neat paper skulls.

Make a robotic-snap-o-lantern.

Job searches.

more and more... but first finish these :)

October 23, 2007

Sit back and Cry!

Right from the day since i saw the Photosynth demo in one of the TED talks, i wanted to get a feel of this wonderful application. It reminded me of my grad days when i was trying hard to get a 3-d reconstruction of a face from pictures taken at multiple perspectives. I was unable to come up with an algorithm due to the technology bottleneck and the associated memory requirements (Finally, i went on to propose a new algorithm for Face Recognition, but i wasn't satisfied with the results as i had made some assumptions which were not practical in the real life ...anywayz... life went on). My machine was just a 64MB, 733 Intel P3 machine. I knew that this was a very interesting area and anyone how could come up with a kicka$$ algorithm would rake in millions(and billions).

I went to M$ Live labs to check the progress made on this software and get a hands-on.

I was more than happy when i saw the 'Try It' link. The browser refreshed and i got this error :
"Windows XP SP2 and Vista Only

The Photosynth technology preview runs only on Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista.

If you feel you've reached this message in error, you can try anyway."

Am i pushed to the darkest corners of the Earth ... can someone hear me .... alllo.... why is this piece of software OS dependent!!!!

October 08, 2007

Choosin a Startup to Work for

With the successful marketing of Ajax and the associated Web 2.0 confusion, the profusion of startups is quite understandable. Under these circumstances, it is very much natural that a growing number of enthusiasts wish to work in a startup and make some good quick money (stock options, et al) along with a good learning curve. Choosing a startup to work for is equally important as desciding whether to start a new company or not. Though the experience of working in a startup is quite exhilarating , it should be well understood that it has equally greater impact on the career that one chooses.

I wish to enumerate certain DO's and DONT's while choosing to work in a startup and how to evaluate them and take suitable course of action :

- Decide on your priorities in life ; i.e., whether you are ready to sacrifice (trade-offs) certain 'privileges' for the sake of other benefits. This should be brainstormed well and all the possible outcomes (+ve and -ve) should be well examined. There are lots of options that you may need to consider - few for eg., working long late hours, money, relationships(bf, gf ;) ), travel etc.

- Do a personal SWOT analysis - find out your forte` and weaknesses. W.r.t, the IT Industry , find out the domain that interests you the most and how much experience you have in that domain. Are you well versed with the techinical intricacies and troubleshooting. What is your skill level in the field of interest and what is your skill level in the domain that you are currently working in(it is so often possible that your area-of-interest does not coincide with the area-in-which-you-are-currently-working).

- Identify the Startups that are working in the intended area of interest. Usually word-of-mouth or good social networks helps one in identifying startups and their fundamentals. Also, being a member of the social forums(Yahoo/ Google groups) helps in identifying the startups operating in and around the intended-area-of-work. Blogs often provided a greater insight into these.

- Once you have identified a set of startups that match your critieria(this is done by a simple visit to their website and getting an idea of what the company is into), try to get a contact who is working in that firm. Have a chat with him/her over a cuppa-caffine and understand how they operate and the working conditions.

- If things look fine and you have identified your prospective employer, fix up an interview/meeting with the person who runs the show or the manager in charge. During the course of the interview(either before-during-after) do express your interest to work in the firm for 1-2 days [probably over the weekend, since most of the startups work all days ;) ] so that you get a feeling of the nature of work and also you can exhibit your skills. Mostly this step will be well appreciated and the firm will accept it.

- The 1-2 days that you are going to work in the startup is very-very important and crucial for it decides on the future course of action that you might need to take.
Try to find out the intentions of the show-runners (i.e, whether they want to make some quick bucks by creating a product and selling it or want to sustain in the market - i prefer the latter to the former, as i believe that once the focus shifts to selling the company, innovation takes a backseat and one just works towards getting a larger client base and leaving the product innovation behind).
Try to find the attitude of the 'prospective' co-workers. What is the skill level of these people and whether they really know what they are doing and whether they are competent to do what they are asked to do. How will they match you or you with them. It often helps to work with highly talented people(NOTE : I HAVE NOT MENTIONED THE NUM YEARS OF EXPERIENCE THAT A PERSON POSSESSES) , as they can be a great source of knowledge and learning.
(I personally will not look into the infrastructure facilities and other add-ons as i believe that once the cash inflow is steady , things automatically start looking rosy).

- If all the above satisfy you then its time to talk about money. Discuss the remuneration structure(yada yada , now some of you may tell me that satisfaction is what counts more than money - that's very true , but one also needs to keep himself and his family happy .. hence money is 'more'-equally important :) ). Also consider the fact that market is on the boom and growth rate of the IT industry is pretty exciting.

- Ball is in your court now and play it accordingly.

I have tried to enlist some of the very simple steps that one needs to consider and am sure that many will have more inputs to share. Let me know if this was of any help to you.

October 05, 2007

Should History be repeated?

When Dhoni and his lads arrrived in India after winning the T20 WorldCup :
- Mumbai traffic on the roads came to a halt for around 3-4 hours
- Lots of money and awards were given to the team
- the players got more endorsements
- a selected few in the team got 'more' money than others
- few members of the Indian Hockey team went on a fast in front of the Karnataka CM's office/house
- more ladies went ga-ga on Yuvi
- all the TV channels had this as the main news for 2-3 days (and some of them even continuing now :) )
- people said that this is like the 1983 WorldCup team returning back

well... the last observation was quite interesting..... and led me think about the actual aftermath of the 1983 WorldCup.
The mighty WestIndians visited India and 'destroyed' :'crushed' : 'mutilated' the Indian team :)

Now, Australians are visiting India ..... Does History repeat itself!! Interested in predicting ????

Check out the Summary of Results (From CricInfo.com):

alt

Sheep Theory

coming sooooooon .....
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