Prabhu Kumar

a tech twaddler..

Learning By Slipping

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Here’s an old, but still relevant, post by Steven Sinofsky on shipping products,

http://blog.learningbyshipping.com/2013/05/01/learning-by-slipping/

Some excerpts,

“In order to slip you need to know the ship date. When people talk about projects shipping “first quarter” that is about 90 different dates and so that leaves everyone (on the team and elsewhere) guessing what the ship date might be.  A date is a date.  All projects should have a date.  While software itself is not launching to hit a Mars orbit, it is important that everyone agree on a single date.  Whether that date is public or not is a different question.”

“Interestingly, the error rate in short-term, continuous projects can often (in my experience) be much higher.  The view of continuously shipping can lead to a “project” lasting only a month or two.  The brain doesn’t think much of missing by a week or two, but that can be a 25 – 50% error rate.  On a 12 month project that can mean it would stretch to 15-18 months, which does sound like a disaster.”

“When a task cannot be partitioned because of sequential constraints, the application of more effort has no effect on schedule.  The bearing of a child takes nine months, no matter how many women are assigned. The Mythical Man-Month – Frederic P. Brooks

“Quality is the most difficult to manage and why the test leadership is such a critical part of the management structure of any project.  Quality is not something you think about at the end of the project nor is it particularly malleable.  While a great test manager knows quality is not binary at a global level, he/she knows that much like error bars in physics a little bit of sub-par quality across many parts of the project compounds and leads to a highly problematic, or buggy, product.  Quality is not just bugs but also includes scale, performance, reliability, security, and more.”

“Quality is difficult to manage because it is often where people want to cut corners.  A product might work for most cases but the boundary conditions or edge cases show much different results.  As we all know, you only get one chance to make a first impression.”

On the same topic, if you know that you suck at planning and factor this in next time, it might actually prove a little useful ;-)

Written by Prabhu Kumar

February 14th, 2014 at 6:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

chirp

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* chirp * chirp *

Written by Prabhu Kumar

December 11th, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Posted in Rant

Get ‘Programming Windows 6th Edition’ by Charles Petzold for $10!

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Programming Windows 6th Edition

O’Reilly has a special offer on the new book that Charles Petzold is working on, Programming Windows 6th Edition. This should be a great book covering Windows 8 app development in C# and XAML.

You can get this book for $10 now (offer lasts till 31st May), and future editions of this book, as and when new chapters are added, will be available to you for free.

Read more at Charles’ blog here: http://www.charlespetzold.com/blog/2012/05/An-Experiment-in-Book-Publishing.html

Shop at: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0790145369079.do

Written by Prabhu Kumar

May 30th, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A festive feel for the 404 page?

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Was just playing around with JavaScript and came across this snowflake tutorial by Kirupa, we have a fancy 404 page now :)

Try this – http://www.techtwaddle.net/404

Snowfall effect – http://www.kirupa.com/html5/creating_falling_snow_in_html_js.htm

Written by Prabhu Kumar

December 18th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Posted in Development,General

‘CODE’ by Charles Petzold: An absolute must read

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You know how sometimes you come across a book and you go “I wish I had read this years ago!”. CODE is just that book. It’s a book about how computers work and the way in which Charles Petzold flows through the topics is pure artistry. Those electronics class lessons in college would have been much more interesting if I had read this book then ;)

The book starts off with two best friends trying to communicate from across the street using only flashlights. This is how the idea of ‘code’ is introduced. It then takes you through a journey involving Morse Code, Braille and how telegraphs and relays were used to send codes over long distances. For me, the most interesting part is when he starts building logic gates from relays and switches. This lays a solid foundation for things to come. These logic gates are then used to build half-adders, full-adders (using two half-adders), oscillators, flip-flops and latches; finally getting assembled into a unit of Random Access Memory. Towards the end, a simple computer with processing, input and output systems is designed. The book might be a little old but still very relevant.

The most amazing thing about this book? It teaches you concepts at such a fundamental level that your mind will be blown. And before you know it you will be building ripple counters from flip-flops! If you have anything to do with computers go read this book. You won’t be disappointed.

CODE on flipkart

CODE on Amazon

Written by Prabhu Kumar

November 15th, 2011 at 12:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized

My next job

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Today was my last day at Samsung. I completed 3 years there this July. My next job takes me to a new city and my domain takes a 180 degree turn from device drivers and firmware to something more related to the web.

I will be joining Microsoft, Hyderabad as an SDET in the Bing team.

Next monday, 12th September, will be my first day at Microsoft. I’m really excited and I know there is a ton of things for me to learn. Really looking forward to this!

Written by Prabhu Kumar

September 9th, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Posted in General

Hey ma look what I got, gingerbread on my HD2!

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Yep, that video above shows my HTC HD2 running Android Gingerbread (v2.3.4)! I came back home, and not having much to do thought I’ll give android another try. Sometime back I had tried running android from SD card but it didn’t work, later I found out that it was because of an older radio version on my device, so I had to update the radio version to fix it but it all looked like too much trouble and I put the HD2 back in its box. This was 6 months ago.

Today I thought I should take it for another spin. But this time we go all in, erase Windows Mobile 6 and flash the ROM with all the android goodness! It is pretty simple really, all you need is some patience to read all those articles on XDA a little carefully :)

The basic steps I followed are,

  • Check your radio version and update to 2.08.50 (if you’re running an older version)
  • Install MAGLDR 1.13 on your phone
  • Install Clockwork Mod on your device
  • Select an android ROM of your choice and flash. I chose the stock android gingerbread ROM version 2.3.4.

Here are the posts on XDA I referred to androidify my hd2,

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=893948 (read this fully first, very important!)

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1044830

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=609477

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=905060 (this is the android rom I installed)

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=10206031&postcount=2 (faq)

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=929324 (a list of all the rom’s you can choose from)

To all the guys at XDA, thanks for all the posts and how-to’s for noobs. You rock!

Written by Prabhu Kumar

July 23rd, 2011 at 1:15 am

A quick update: Mango on my HD7

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IMAG0001

This is going to be a quick post. Just over 2 weeks ago I got the Windows Phone Mango invite I was waiting for; my HD7 has been running mango in full glory since then. The installation took a long time but went pretty smoothly, backing the data up takes most of the time. I am really liking the Mango update, this is what windows phone should have been when it launched. Multitasking, IE9, better facebook integration in people’s hub and a plethora of other features. The voice command integration in mango is exceptional, and I find myself using it quite often. Being able to listen to an incoming message, compose a reply and send it, all using only your voice, is really amazing (or magical, as some might call it) and works really well.

Strangely, I am not using the multitasking feature all that much. Somehow I have an obsessive compulsion to keep the backstack clean all the time. Whenever I am done using the phone, I keep pressing the back button just to make sure there is nothing on the stack. I have a feeling I’m not alone.

In other news, AppHub gets some new features and Windows Phone is expanding to new markets. More importantly, Microsoft’s pubCenter, finally, will be available to developers outside of US of A. According to Todd Brix’s post, pubCenter should launch to new markets (including India!) before the end of 2011. I can’t wait to try out adCenter. You can read Todd’s post here,

http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_phone/b/wpdev/archive/2011/07/20/windows-phone-developers-get-new-app-hub-features-mango-app-submission-just-one-month-away.aspx

Written by Prabhu Kumar

July 21st, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Windows Phone Mango 7.1 SDK Beta 2

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The developer tools for Windows Phone Mango were updated to Beta 2 a few days ago. You can find the bits here,

Web Installer – http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=26648

ISO file – http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=220415

You can read this WindowsPhoneGeek article on installation instructions.

On June 29th, Microsoft also released Mango for developers,

http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_phone/b/wpdev/archive/2011/06/29/developers-get-goody-basket-full-of-mangos.aspx

I am still waiting for my invite. Looks like they are sending out invites starting from the list of supported countries, which unfortunately, India is not a part of. I’ll write when I get the invite and let you know how the installation goes on my HD7.

Written by Prabhu Kumar

July 3rd, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Windows Phone Mango Developer Tools

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The consumer side of Windows Phone Mango was unveiled yesterday by Microsoft. It brings in some great new features like multitasking, IE9, fast application switching, maps, web marketplace etc to name a few. I was also impressed with enhancements to bing like local scout, bing vision and bing voice. With the NoDo update fiasco now behind us, I think the expectations are set just right for the ‘mango’ update which will be coming this fall ;) One thing that annoys me is the feature-market fragmentation that’s happening with Windows Phone. What’s the deal with making some features available only to a few markets! Just look at the way zune services and their features are split region-wise. It’s horrible and needs fixing.

Nothing was mentioned about Microsoft’s ad framework, PubCenter, and its expansion plans. It’s been close to 8 months since windows phone came out and PubCenter has expanded its market by zero, zilch, nada! There were talks a while back that it will be made available in europe, I don’t know how that’s working out. Hey you, make it global already! And show us some pay-per-impression love.

Tools

You can download the Windows Phone Developer Tools 7.1 Beta from here, (web installer) http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=77586864-ab15-40e1-bc38-713a95a56a05&displaylang=en

And if you don’t believe in web installers, here’s the link for downloading the ISO file, http://download.microsoft.com/download/0/0/D/00D22BA8-E716-4272-93D8-C4D98F0567AE/WPDT_v2_Beta_en1.iso

Aaron Stebner’s post contains some more links and other useful information, do take a look, http://blogs.msdn.com/b/astebner/archive/2011/05/24/10168008.aspx

And remember to install Visual Studio 2010 SP1 first.

You have a good day while I watch the ISO getting sucked from the interwebs at mind-numbing speeds.  /s

Until next time…

Written by Prabhu Kumar

May 25th, 2011 at 11:17 pm