Tag Archives: technology

PDF or MS Word for resume

One school of thought says pdf-s are not as machine readable as word documents. Some “online job search gurus” to suggest avoiding PDFs so that machine can parse keywords from MS Word better. Unless a recruiter/website specifies a type of document the candidate can only guess what the recruiting system wants.


Sending a document via e-mail warrants a properly formatted document. So may be a fraction of the resumes send into the resume black-hole needs to be in PDF.  However, some recruiters are generous enough to give feedbacks. Seeking advice and suggestions on resume is aided by the ease in which the mentor can comment and keep tracking changes in MS Word. An open source enthusiast may frown. I have not seen a more popular word processor than MS Word. The most popular may not be the best. But it is worth if it works.





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Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the FutureZero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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I came across this book accidentally. My lab mate had this book on his table for a long time. I see it sometimes on this desk , even now. I am not sure if it is an illusion. What captured my attention was the cover. The design of the cover than the name.

And the cover designer did a wonderful job in that. In the beginning of the book , the author says that incremental efforts and improvements do not help build a lasting company. The competition builds up as more imitators join the crowd and therefore, a start up should have some product/solution that is atleast ten times better than that provided in the market. This makes the company unique and sell-able.

It is exciting to think about this, if one forgets about the government and public policies and the types of market. I still do not get how can a whole crowd be so patriotic. The American-ism of the book is indisputable, and the love for the country is too evident. How does every US American book get that same?

I am not sure if that will happen with any other country. For my knowledge is limited. I know the affinity for languages and cultures are high in India. And even then when it comes to political decisions and the Government or Nation, it is best not spoken / mentioned in any literature.

By being a technical start-up conglomerate. USA can proudly showcase the technical talents. But how that is analogous to the rock music in USA may not be understood for the broader audience (for which the book was definitely not written) is a question the author should ask. It is nice to be local, but was that rock music and pencil sketched necessary. It kind of deviates the seriousness of a nicely written beginning and is a distraction best avoided. As a result, I could read the first three quarters way faster than the end of the book.

I do not know if it is to fill pages or lack of more cases like Tesla, Solyndra et al that the book mentions that made the passage go into such extent as to bring in mythology .

And also to write

“Every king was a living god.

Every god a murdered king.

Every king is just a scapegoat who has managed to delay his own execution.”

after elucidating examples such as Apple founder.

Overall a nice book. Worth reading especially the first half. It is a simple english book and the name of Peter Thiel and Bio to sell the book off. Not to undermine the effort, it is a very well written book for a content targeted for start up and easy to handle at 195 pages.

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  • “Sharing” work in the Internet - This post is a book review for “Show your work” by Austin Kleon This is the TVC that comes first to mind about “sharing” Like the boy in ad, whatever our age, we do “sharing” for personal need/satisfaction/benefits , knowingly or not. Austin talks about the value in sharing work online, establishment of personal brand, […]
  • Blinked - Blink: The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell My rating: 3 of 5 stars View all my reviews I picked this up a second time. Thanks to Buffalo-Erie Public Library System for providing this free facility. Blink takes the reader through some case studies and associated case studies on snap-judgements and its base […]
  • Reading Napolean Hill’s – Keys to Success - Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement by Napoleon Hill My rating: 4 of 5 stars View all my reviews   Having read Think and Grow Rich and quiet impressed by it, this was a natural choice to pick up from my wishlist. Napolean Hill does an amazing job in formulating […]
  • Book review: The Score Takes Care of Itself - This book on leadership based on American Football (ഇടികളി) coach Bill Walsh is best read as a leadership case study. The book was gifted to me as an employee by my company.  The style of writing is slow paced and boring. The connection between the real life experience of Bill Walsh as a coach and […]
  • Book Review: Destiny Disrupted - I heard about this book from a Palo Alto entrepreneur. I read the book Destiny Disrupted by Tamim Ansary. The style of writing is unbiased for most portion and biased whenever it is expected. This book gives a good idea on the endless wars that the west Asia has seen the history and some facts. […]
  • Book Review : Algorithms to live by - This book came up in the circles of job search and discussions of things that don’t matter. It would have been a fallacy if the title said stood by what it said. Algorithms are thought processes and having behavioral philosophies of itself, that mathematicians may appreciate better. However, math being a yesteryear wonder-keyword and a […]
  • “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love”: Book Review - Background My previous reads were “Biography of Steve Jobs: Walter Issacson“, ” Notes on Startups: Peter Thiel“, “Siddhartha : Herman Hesse”  and I can only wonder how this book connects with those. I came across the author Cal Newport due to the Happy Schools Blog. This book arrives in style, for  a job hunter in […]
  • Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups - Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel My rating: 4 of 5 stars View all my reviews I came across this book accidentally. My lab mate had this book on his table for a long time. I see it sometimes on this desk , even now. I […]
  • Great reference for life and sales - How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger My rating: 5 of 5 stars… View all my reviews I did not expect to give such a title for reviewing a book that had the ” How to ..” in its title. But the book “How I Raised Myself from […]
  • Narrative of the Blunder termed war - Brig.  J.P Dalvi gives a clear account of want exactly happened at the India- China war (1962), which was less than a war in his book, “The Himalayan Blunder”. The motivation to read this was reading about VK Krishna Menon , the then Defence Minister of India. The title given is great because it happened […]

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Posted by on September 10, 2016 in Book Review, Review


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Synchronising the universe of technology, The Univercell Sync experience

Work and life has minimised, to having storage in cloud and processing power in hand, that is, a smart phone.  When such powers are bestowed upon oneself ain’t one inclined to muse more deeply into what kind of prowess to behold. Thence began the sojourn to Univercell Sync store. Univercell Sync  logo from Phoenix site It was a pleasant day to start with a cool climate which was gradually moving to hot, typical Chennai. I had these thoughts of what my role is as I go to the Univercell Sync shop. I could be a regular blogger, a curious window shopper, a mobile critic, a customer. I had my options open as I was also considering making a purchase.

One month back I was in search of a mobile. My criterion were very simple. I needed a good music player, since I’m a student of music, also a decent web handler for the occasional ticket booking, social networking and a camera not less than 5 MP with a flash. I was on three-five online stores almost all days. And every week I was seeing a new release of mobile. Most confusing were the decisions in the budget of 5000 INR. For Karbonn, Celkon, Intex, Nokia all had good suggestions for me online . I was in search. Google could not help since there were so many parameters to be checked and compared across various sites. The gsmarena site was good for end comparison between two phones and the reviews. Flipkart was most confusing with mixed reviews and thousands of buyers in each phone category. Life was not simpler thanks to Amazon, snapdeal, ebay, homeshop18, cromaretail and exclusive launches that I had to check on. Some sites like Junglee and smartprice gave some bearing though very vague.

I could not depend on my friends as all had different company mobiles and each liking their own. They could cite the good and bad of their own phones but could not zero in on what is best for me. Some great engineering friends could tell me how the dual core and quad core handles a multitasking scenario, switching and interrupts. The greatness of Qualcomm Snapdragon vs the omnipresence of Mediatek. The need for a higher Ah( Ampere-hour) rated battery for a 4.7 inch screen if I wanted to go without charger for one and a half day. It was too confusing. The fun of dilemma was increased more when I played the game on MI site to create my own phone. They give a set of components , each having its own price tag. The total budget set at 8000 INR. The best design will be scored on the basis of entertainment, multitasking, battery life and so on. The exercise gave me an idea on how much a phone costs as per its prime components, viz. RAM, processor, camera, number of SIM slots etc. But some companies like Sony put more into your phone . There were things/jargon/terms like ClearAudio+ technology. Sony smartphones go into schematic details of how their phones reproduce best quality music. In search of mobile phones my knowledge may have increased but I still use the Nokia 100 for I am not able to pick a smartphone for myself. And the knowledge gained from words of letter do not let me suggest a phone to someone with confidence. What is the solution? I needed to have some hands on experience. I had experienced laptops and tabs at Croma store but not phones. One that was in Mobilestore where dummy pieces and dead weights. How can I see what is there for me. For instance I saw many go behind the hp slate 7 a low priced tab for its function, some say that the price was reduced due to glitches and quality issues. On one day, one reviewer gives all thumbs up to it , on another day , some just smash that image to pieces by scribbling how their piece of technology is so useless and crappy!

As I searched for phones I also had to search for service centers nearby. I remember taking a Nokia “supernova” phone 150 km away to service centre and then go back home and come another day when the phone was ready. And the service was not great since the phone started on its symptoms again after a few months. The access to service centre and the quality of the service also mattered. I had all this in mind as I entered Univercell Sync showroom at Sterling road, Nungambakkam.

The showroom had a neat and fresh look, as if it was not a regular mobile shop. Greeting smiles welcomed me inside. I had a walk around. There was a space which captured my attention, the music section. The showroom assistant gladly helped with his explanation of different sections. He explained the music section very nicely, and allowed me to check the difference between beats audio headsets in-the-ear and over-the-ear (which costs 15k). I was surprised!, who will let you check such an expensive item before purchase ? Thrilled by just the sound of it I went on to explore more. The music section had phones and headsets which you could test with any permutations and combinations and then decide which is best. The phones were all live and you could see all the functionalities of it. The showroom assistants are helpful and would guide to choose the desired aspects. Mr. Abhimanyu explained the  concept of Univercell Sync, why it is relevant now and why it is a requirement of mobile industry.With a little bit of background history on market for mobiles and current scenario, the plethora of designs, and functionality makes one’s mind wobble. The number of phones, the number of apps and accessories all are intended to make your life simple. The idea is to get the best out of technology for one’s life and hence the Univercell Sync shop. The specialty of the shop is that the phones and tablets are all live. The phones are all categorized into following sections.

  • Imaging section
    1. With a studio setup and photo printer to check the camera quality
  • Music section
    1. With headsets that one can check for quality before purchase
    2. With other accessories such as Bluetooth speakers and sound shooters
  • Work and play
    1. Where the phones full performance and capabilities could be checked. In fact, there was TV on the wall which displayed content from a smartphone.
  • Top selling desk
    1. Updated once a month with top-selling products
  • Bazaar section
    1. The section is for phones which are jack of all trades but master of none. This is best budget smart-phones section, displayed very neatly and in accessible manner.
  • Children’s section
    1. There were tabs on display which the kids could spend time with. This relieved a customer to focus on the job at hand viz. looking for a phone. This is a very thoughtful of Univercell, nobody could check the full features of phones with a more delicate issue at hand viz. children.

Each section had a questionnaire relevant to that section that the user can cross check. The showroom assistant could guide with the parameters of the phone and give options as to which phone is the best for the customer.

The WOW (Walk out Working) factor The value addition comes when someone can tell how to choose your phone apps and install it before you leave the shop with the bill. My sister had a phone from ebay which costed 12k INR. I had a basic phone with Bluetooth and I wanted to transfer a song and see the sound quality of the supposedly smart-phone. But the android did not have  a Bluetooth transfer option. Being new to android at that time I was shocked that somebody sold a phone at that price without Bluetooth. That was cheating ! I searched on net and later concluded that the phone was android phone and a Bluetooth app had to be installed. Relieved and reassured I went on to check the same. If someone could provide all this basic features and apps in the phone with the bill then it is really nice. The Univercell Sync provides WOW ( Walk out Working ). All the apps that are required will be installed before we leave the shop. This greatly reduces the time and effort required to search and install. Also, lets us save time for what we do the best.

Univercell provides the best phone that meets our desires. There are almost as many brands and phones as people’s wish. It is for the buyer to choose the best among the lot. We are in  a world where our dream phone is really in the market, though obscured by choices and numbers.  We may be constrained by budget, also willing to take whatever discount available on the internet. The Univercell makes this simple by EMI options and help the customer buy the best phone that suits them in an easy way.

The Univercell shop becomes a single point of reference for all your mobile issues if it comes up. There is no need to send your mobile purchased online to unknown places and wait. Univercell provides a warranty service in which there is door pick-up and delivery. I personally am very afraid to handle the phone a friend recently bought. What happens if it slips, falls and breaks, everyone will be disappointed. But, Univercell provides total care package where within the period of care there is replacement guaranteed for screen and parts. Now, with that I need not be afraid to let my friend check my new phone. Univercell Sync was a pleasant experience, it brings the human touch to digital world of purchase. The personal touch with which customer and purchase is valued is evident from the schemes of total care and pick-me service. When there is an expert to guide, we can reach our maximum potential. Here, the Univercell really shrinks, simplifies and synchronises all the needs of customer through Univercell Sync experience.

PS: This entry was written for indiblogger Univercell Sync Contest.  This was published on 1/9/2014. Received the prize for valid entry : Philips soundshooter SBA3010BLU/00 on 30/10/2014.


Posted by on September 1, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Ingredients of smart / green home

This is a continuation for the previous  post Here, I would like to reflect upon the ingredients that build the smart building. The words to lookout for are smart, green, low carbon, energy efficient, sustainable, eco-friendly living spaces.

The Architecture of the box:

A house is ultimately a box in which we confine our activities to safeguard ourselves from bad weather and ‘predators’. The architecture of the box should never be congested and aweful.  We intend to live in spaces that are conducive for a healthy happy time. Most bachelors look at the box (read home) as a pplace to rest their head, take bath and move on. Now, for a bachelor to live happy what is required is defined. What about a family? How about a couple of elderly living their last wishes. What about retirees ? A single space need to capture the imagination of many and incorporate and account for each person’s whimsical fantasies on a conducive habitat. This is a up-hill task involving sociological, psychological and habitual aspects of  everyone. Sustainable living spaces have a long lasting life and they should cater to the need of various age groups and prospective dwellers. Architects do  a wonderful way to keep the habitat acceptable and durable, while not compromising on the structural aspects of it. Various aspects such as the interior and exterior design, colour combinations, blinds, contours and aesthetics are taken care of.

Technologies at work:

Civil Engineers and traditional/oriental house designers have their own time tested, scientifically proven techniques to make up the box. This box has to withstand the temperatures, humidity, air content – such as salinity near coastal areas and what not. There is a plethora of factors to be considered, but thankfully only a few need the utmost attention. No one would want to live in a 100 % dust free clean box. The idea is to minimise the harmful affects, increase the comfort, within the budget and please the dweller for the time  they live. Some structures get refurbished and revamped every 10 years. Hence, variations and modifications can be easily adjusted to the existing box. The various considerations include : – usage of bricks, specifications of marble, granite and tiles, the structural stability as per seismic zone classifications, the knowledge of water tables and variations in climate and wind patterns that may affect the structure.

Financial fundamental:

Everything boils down to one single stuff, money. The rich and poor alike would like to spend only a limited amount for their home, either for rent or for purchase. Now this money is a constraint on how much is to be spent on making the building smarter, greener, intelligent, maverick and what not?.


There is never a perfect design, but their are acceptable and unacceptable designs. the box under consideration would be sustainable if it has the same noble acceptance rate throughout its life time.  The sustainability of any structure depends on those who live. Hence utter veneration are bestowed upon a box that had lived upto expectations and sustained generations. The building then acquires a soul, that is not pluck-able from mind of the generations that have lived through it.

Smart technologies:

Technologies that help sort out the energy issues are always welcome. If something helps reduce cost of the Electricity Board bill what is more satiating? We forget to switch off some appliances and mull over it and spoil our free thinking, sometimes we catch a bus back to switch off the water-heater. Some computers switch off themselves, Air conditioners try to increase their temperature gradually to match the temperature in the morning. There are so many silent technologies. But can each and every light be controlled. Can the Air conditioner be put at the optimum temperature, so that the best thermal comfort is available. Is it possible by technology to satisfy each and every one of these wants?  There are urinals which work automatically, sensor fitted taps and occupancy based lighting. Adding more brilliance and automation into appliances do cost. This should be in acceptable range for the facility it provides. A true trade-off would be how much you can get concerned about the energy usage and cost of automation. If you can be careful and switch off unwanted items then what can be a better control. This is because you know how comfortable you are better than some technologies do. That is a truth.


Renewable Energy:

If the box is located in a nice very hot sultry area then you have all the possibilities to have a solar panel and start generating the energy needed for the home. This is like direct to home connection. You tap directly from the sun for your usage. If you are on vacation and the solar panel faithfully works out to give electricity , you may feed it to the electrical grid and generate money. This is useful. The same works for windy places. Feed the excess produce to the grid , count how much you have given and get money for it. Such mini power plants could harvest for self sustaining homes in addition to generating some money. There are devices that make the electrical grids smarter to make this smart technology work. USA is in the process of implementation of the same through NSF funded projects, research, development and deployment

Comfort Level:

Technology does not turn any stone un-turned.  Technology tries to automate many stuffs that you are forgetful about. It tries to generate electricity give you money and also judge how good you are feeling. Algorithms, programs and embedded systems in ubiquitous computing make this possible. this increases your comfort level  physically and mentally.

Customer/Owner’s Satisfaction:

That all these smart homes and technologies will really satisfy anyone for a long time is yet to be tested. Deployment of smart grids, smart buildings and smart technology are happening world over at a good space. Customer may get to give his feedback very soon and it will not be disappointing.

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Posted by on April 9, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Smart Homes , Oh ! Really ?

A buzz word in its on right smart homes find a standing on its own.
Moreover, a learned man would use the terms, systems engineering, Cyber-physical systems, Mathematical modelling, Stochastic determination and multivariate analysis and probability theories to go hand in hand on the design of smart home. All of these would throw a normal/ casual searcher to stop his pursuit.

What is a smart home?, Let’s Capture the basics

How stuff works

Get some technical stuff from :-

Dr. Amarjeet Singh ( in IIIT Delhi have some nice really nice statistical tools that help reduce the carbon footprint.

His startup Zenatix provides more information

IIT Hyderabad has done many smart works in the field. The idea is again to move to zero energy smart environments.

CDAC Chennai has some bearing towards smart homes R&D

When Honda opened its smart home in UCDavis.(Video)

I was happy about someone talking about the colours to be used. That has impact in saving lighting related energy expenditure.

Nevertheless, I have this odd feeling that when there is more analysis and scientific data crunching to get to the essence, there is a lurking doubt on whether all this is necessary.

Talks relate to use of Information and Communication Technology for the betterment of day to day lives. The cost of houses rise like anything and these technologies become affordable in the related sense. But, in the beginning, there was a house that was decently priced, is it even necessary to modify it.

Here, is a traditional home (in Kerala). Image taken from

A traditional house in Kerala, the image is taken from

The pillars of the house is brick and reinforced cement. The roofing is brick-tile. There is lot of shade around the house. The central plot would be free of any construction. Mostly,Ocimum tenuiflorum (Tulasi) stands in the central plot. Air flows from main and back doors and windows into the building, and towards the central plot. From there the comparatively hot air (after absorbing the heat dissipated from the buidling ) could rise up and leave the premise. Rain falls in the middle and around the building. Very often we can see a couple of glass tiles on the roof corresponding to each room. This gives natural light. That is good enough for normal life, except living. There is no much colour sense and aesthetic painting done on the walls, interior or exterior. Does this act as a smart home? Partly yes, with natural lighting and cooling (26-34 degree Centigrade during summer). What is missing is the lighting during night. If supplemented by lights then it does not give as great a illuminance as a concrete roof with white painting on underside. The traditional brick-tile has brown colour and is not great reflector of the light. But lights can be so arranged as to suit the reading requirement of the reader. Other cons , would be non-optimum structure as far as cost -generated per occupant is considered .



Find more about Weather in Thiruvananthapuram Airport, IN
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Let’s us see another example of planned building construction. This one is from Yemen

Find more about Weather in Aden, YE
Click for weather forecast Wikipedia provides image for High-rise architecture at Shibam, Wadi Hadramawt and many details. At Shibam, the high rise buildings gave protection to residents, low cost of maintenance and no need for high tech eco-friendly cost-effective “energy-efficient” HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) control and related hassles of sensors, actuators and automation algorithm, software and what-not.

Things really can be simple and they really work. The role of technologist is to make life better, not more complicated. Just like a fast use doesn’t need graphical eye-candies to get his routine work done. Just like some people stick onto to notepad and keep the memory required low (which is really low carbon) remove unwanted fonts, formatting and fanciful items. Life could be made simple. Only if we had thought of it.

People call the frugal Indian’s miss-call communication as an innovation, as Jugaad. We have been doing this for ages, without anybody telling it. We could use a pen to open a difficult-to-open pack of snacks, no scissors, no blades are really a requirement. I would say people are made to believe to do certain things in certain way, say bad education, and make them feel developed, well-researched, “knowledgeable” mind. These refinements have become a hurdle to free thinking. It had also hampered the clear judgement of a common-belief. Is this a practice to corrupt the mind of masses? Does technology wish to do it, inadvertently? What do technologists and evangelists, educators and professionals do to correct the mechanism?

If we had an answer, we could proudly say , we are smart people in a smart world, with smart technologies and smart homes.

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Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Uncategorized


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