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Amazon may have tamed the cloud but…….

Recently I got an opportunity to attend the Amazon Web Services cloud computing event held in New Delhi. I am not going to blog about the cloud computing stuff and all. However, it is worth mentioning that the lead Amazon has got in the cloud computing race is definitely going to be worth observing. I really like the simplicity they’ve brought-in onto the complicated infrastructure and deployment related issues which enables one to scale their application without bothering much about the underlying details. This is definitely going to stay!

So why was I there?

I was hoping to win the Kindle ;-). I didn’t!

However, there were a lot of interesting observations during the event. The event was attended by almost twice the number of people the venue could accommodate. Amazon decided to distribute complimentary T-Shirts to all the attendees. Boy! did they imagine what this would mean? Definitely not. The moment the T-shirt distribution was announced, all the composure of the audience fizzed off! People started invading the counters from all nook and corner. And we are talking about senior people from reputed organizations. Honestly speaking even I was interested in getting the freebie, however I was quite willing to remain in the queue and wait for my turn. Poor organizing staff at the counters really had a horrible time.

And then there was more to it. Over-sized people getting small T-Shirts and skinny people getting XXL. That was definitely not worth their effort. So people flocked the counter to exchange the T-Shirts. AND then, imagine the T-Shirt stock getting over and those people who didn’t get one. All sort of sweet words were heard all over (yes pun intended!).

Did I talk about the dinner? Two plate counters and hundreds of people trying to eat at the same time? I’ll leave you to imagine this one.

I was wondering Amazon might have tamed the *cloud* but can they tame the *crowd* ?  Hmmmmmm……


My ‘Book Push’ theory!

Although I am not an avid reader like my friend Ankit I do tend to read stuff on and off. While I want to read a lot, lack of time (and lazyness) prevents me to read as much. Also, when I have some free time I use it to decide whether to read, or to watch an astronomy documentry or to watch a movie or……………or to sleep. And eventually I sleep.

So under such flikering conditions, how do I keep myself motivated to read stuff? Over the last couple of years, I have come across a few postulates:

  • At any given point in time, I must have a few unread books else I won’t read any particular book.
  • I stop reading when the number of unread books falls to two(2).
  • There must be two or three junk books with me, which I would never read. These books have been bought by mistake and discarded after reading a chapter or two. However the guilt of buying these books remains until I buy a few ‘readable’ books after them.

So that implies that as soon there are only two unread (and readable) books with me, it is time to order new books! This is what I call the ‘Book Push’ theory! In order to motivate myself to read, I push books onto the stack so that a couple of unread books pop out.

So the planned books you see on the left pane are the one’s which I already have and not the ones which are planned to be purchased.

Although wierd, the theory works for me!  Does it also work for you?  😉


Risk profiles

It is said that everyone has a risk profile according to which they take their decisions. Opps, for those who do not know, ‘Risk Profile’ is simply the ability to take risk. The more risk you take in your day-to-day life, the steeper is your risk profile. We take more risk when we are young and the risk taking ability or urge diminishes as we grow old. Of course, different people at the same age could have diametrically opposite risk profiles.

Anyways, why I am writing this is for the fact that I seem to have a high risk profile. This is what happened today:

I went to the ATM to deposit cash (did you know you can do that?). I had two envelopes to deposit. I inserted my card, chose to deposit cash from the menu and slid the cash envelope on the beep. Wow, as soon as the ATM machine engulped the cash envelope, I got a message on the screen informing that my transaction has been cancelled! What do I do now?  Well somehow I knew that when the cash is cleared from the ATM machine, the bank will anyway acknowledge my deposit. So things are safe.

So far so good. Here’s where the risk profile comes in. Already knowing that there’s something wrong, I started another transaction to deposit cash on the same ATM! And guess what? The result was the same!

Well, just to ensure that I was thinking in the right direction, I called up the customer care. They assured that the deposits will be registered in 48 hours. So all should be well.

So am I someone with a high risk profile, or am I someone who is utterly stupid? Hmmm…tough call. Let’s see. If the deposits come through smoothly, I have a high risk profile. If for some reason they don’t then……………..Alright, I am utterly stupid.

Update: Just got a confirmation that both the deposits have been credited. So that proves that I have a high risk profile and I am not stupid 😉


Professional Communication Protocol

Of late, I have had opportunities to interact with various people across the globe. And I am only referring to communications over the phone/web messengers. Invariably, the first piece of communication would be a question form the caller to the receiver:

 “Hi receiver! How are you doing?”

So what’s special in this? Well nothing yet. Let’s continue…

From the answers I have received and also the one’s I put up in response to the greeting, it almost always has to be one of the following:

 Hi caller! I am doing ‘Good’. How about you?

 Hi caller! I am ‘OK’. How about you?

 ‘Not bad’. How about you? (Notice ‘Hi caller’ being dropped!)

Needless to say, ‘receiver’ would also respond in a similar way.

Now let me take the opportunity to briefly put up what each of these actually mean:

Expression   => What the person says.

Explanation => What the person actually means.

Expression: I am doing ‘Good’

Explanation:  Surprisingly, everything seems to be under control. I am not used to such situations but it has somehow been magically conjured and there’s a high chance that after this particular call, it may not remain the same. Whatever, let’s continue.

Expression: I am doing ‘OK’

Explanation: I am barely managing to keep up to speed with the happenings. Something seems to be terribly wrong and I am afraid, as we speak, it may go hay wire! I am struggling hard to figure out that ‘something’ since morning. It would be great if could help me do so.

Expression: ‘Not bad’

Explanation: Well too bad! It couldn’t get any worse. Nothing seems to be as it should be. It would be great if I was left alone. But let’s continue. Since I am already overloaded, please be aware that anything new which comes up will safely overflow!

It’s important to note that no one ever says, “I am doing great!” or “I am doing fantastic!”. Neither does one say “I am doing too bad!” or “I am screwed up!” And this is why I had to formulate the above theory.

All this just means, people are too good to trouble with their problems.

Is it???


Posts and Profession

The new year hasn’t been forgiving at all. Three weeks and no post! That itself tells the story. Good that I didn’t make a new year resolution to put up a post every week at least.  

I have as many as 4 articles at the ‘draft’ stage. Two of them are at the ‘conceptualization’ stage! Unfortunately a couple of them are technical in nature, and are held up for some simple validations before I publish them. I need 3-4 ‘quality hours’ if I have to publish those. And I am not able to do this for about two weeks now.

It makes me wonder if the same has been happening in my professional life as well. There are some things which need attention. And they need ‘quality time’ to be spent.  There are so many things which are happening in parallel that I am just being pushed by the sheer momentum of the state-of-affairs. Not that I am not trying to get over, but it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Now this is what came to my mind yesterday night.  Since I have too many articles at the draft stage, I am into this trouble. Probably if I would have focused on one at a time, I would have had two new posts. But I chose to get into all of them simultaneously and kind of got stuck with all.

Again posts–>profession! I think the solution to the situation is to take up things one by one. It would be better if I spent each day on a particular assignment/problem and try to close them rather than juggling with everything in a day. It’s as simple as that. I am going to try it from today itself.

I hope it sounds sensible. I am open to any suggestions to tackle this situation. Also, I’ll try to be more regular in blogging. So please keep hitting my blog once in a while.

Here’s a twist–> I just wrote that I’ll take up one task at a time and finish it, spending quality time etc. etc. What have I just done? Instead of taking up one of those drafts and completing it, I wrote a new post altogether! So the situation remains as it was. I bet I do the same when I am at office.  You know what I mean. Life is so funny 🙂