Saturday, June 30, 2007

What type are you?

Question: Have you ever got into an argument or witnessed one over how to solve a particular problem.
Answer: Yes, a million times!!!

This excellent blog tries to explain the reasons between such conflicts. It defines two distinct personalities on the basis of techniques used to devise solutions to problems viz. Incrementalists and Completionists.

In my professional career so far i have seen numerous examples of both the types and i have also experienced the conflicts between the two considering i am an incrementalist myself.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Steve Jobs

I must confess I am a big fan of Steve Jobs. Although i don't own a single product made by Apple (yes thats true no macs, no ipods and certainly no iphone) but i totally worship the man. Time and time again he has been criticized for being a salesman, a showman and for his skills of persuasion also dubbed as Reality distortion field. The question here is, which CEO/leader isn't? Look at Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, et al. All these guys are supremely confident about their products and its this confidence which has got them to where they are.

The key to his success is his fighting spirit which is substantiated by his rise despite hitting rock bottom after he was fired from Apple(his own founded company). I guess his background too has contributed to his nature, i mean being put up for adoption just a week after birth by your own blood mother is not the most pleasing thought. This itself would have broken a lot of wills.

His technical capabilities have been under the scanner too. So often i hear people say "Bill Gates at least wrote DOS what did Steve Jobs do?". The way i like to see it is, Apple as a company is still going strong and year after year they churn out quality products (they do have bad days like the safari edition for windows but everyone makes mistakes ;)) The point being, Apple has given us great products and they all have been under the leadership of Steve Jobs, so lets give him some credit for it.

There is an interesting post by Seth Godin on Jobs, look it up. I also like his concept of a 'rifter', makes a lot of sense.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Dual Monitor setup

My background in electronics and lack of cash during my engineering days taught me very important lessons -- never waste hardware and always utilize hardware to the fullest. In fact i am big fan of the google strategy, use cheap and low end hardware but write intelligent software to compensate for the hardware/network deficiencies.

So when i saw this discarded 17th inch CRT monitor lying around in the office (everyone in our office has an LCD monitor along with a docking station, kbd, mouse, etc or they prefer to work on laptops directly) i just couldn't stand it.

My earlier setup comprised of a docking station connected to an LCD monitor using the VGA connector. A little investigation revealed that the LCD monitor also had a DVI-D connector. Since all my hardware is from Dell the docking station too had a supporting DVI-D connector. With the prerequisites validated i sneaked into my IT admins office and dug through heaps of cables to find the correct DVI-D cable to complete the loop. Trust me this was the only challenging task in the whole process. During my search i found all possible conversion connectors but the cable i needed was brilliantly hidden in the furtherest corner of a drawer. Now armed with the cable i connected my LCD monitor to the docking station via the DVI and the CRT monitor via the VGA and voila(!!) my dual monitor setup was ready.

One misconception about using dual monitors is that everyone presumes a 2x increase in productivity. Now this is highly impossible since you still have the same input devices (kbd/mouse). Realistically i would assume the increase in productivity to be in the range of 1.25x to 1.5x since you just save on the time required to analyze or sort the output (i.e. content displayed on the screen). Also we forget that the brain still processes data at the same rate, additional monitors don't influence our ability to think they just facilitate better visualization.