The Habit of Winning - A review

Thursday, October 27, 2011

“Sow, whatever you wish to reap”. Sub conscious mind accepts what is impressed upon it or what you consciously believe. Your subconscious mind is like a bed of soil that accepts any kind of seed, good or bad. Your thoughts are active, they are the seed, so naturally negative or positive thoughts and thereby attitude depends on what you sow on soil (subconscious mind) and grow over period of time. These excerpts and interpretation are from book “The power of your subconscious mind” by Dr Joseph Murphy.

The author - Mr Prakash Iyer, through his experience has nicely mixed sports and corporate world stories to induce positive thoughts in one’s mind, which is very essential to become a leader. A leader does not mean that you need to lead a team of people, to be successful you need to be leader of your own life at various stages. Not just young professional or managers, I would say it’s a must read book even for youngsters.

Any such program or book, always need to have take aways, which one need to keep working to reap the benefits and towards this, the book has many real life example from sports and corporate world, whom I sure most of us know,
The author had provided details about cricketing legend like B.S Chandrasekar and Marvan Attapatu life, we would not been talking about these cricketers, had they not overcome their challenges to make their habit of winning. For years Attapatu’s test innings scores were in single digit and he had been dropped repeatedly, this did not deter him from making the attempts, having perseverance, self belief and working towards getting back into Sri Lankan side, also going ahead and becoming a successful cricketer. This being the case, India might be the only country, were too much importance is given to exams and there are stories of student taking their life due to just one failure, which is a tragedy. Whenever one fails, one need to take lesson out these sportsmen life and think like a sportsmen.

Short stories about learn to give more, no struggle - no success, getting out of your comfort zone, staying focused, perseverance and interpersonal relationship would take you towards making your habit of winning. In all, a good book to anyone, who so ever wishes to work through his or her betterment and make winning a habit.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

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Are you safe from ATM - Skimming?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

About a year back, I had written in my blog about email Phishing A year later ATM card skimming seems to growing at alarming rate. If you are an ATM user, are you safe and a broader scale, how safe is India?

Though, have been hearing about, ATM card skimming for some time now, was not really bothered to check more about it, since I thought such theft could well be confined to developed economy. But after reading today news paper reporting about 80 people account at Chennai have been hacked through cloning of ATM card, which left their account depleted, my mind radar was inquisitive to know more about the same. Its also disheartening to note that such 'cloned' ATM transaction had even happened at abroad.

The below presentation had clearly brought the technique used towards skimming ATM card.

Interesting, while browsing the web, I came to know that even new technology like 3D printing is used to camouflage the skimming device, so that one would find it very difficult to identify such a device fitted in ATM.

Unlike Phishing, were at least one might have a track record as money is transferred from one account to other account, with 'cloned ' ATM card it would be a challenge from police and bank.

Technology related to money need to evolve over the time and security needs to be made strong, otherwise criminals can get better on the system. ATM being in use for more than a decade now, the security needs to be revisited & improved.

Well, technology can be a boon and at times in turn out to be bane, if not properly put to use.

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Cloud computing - Part 2

Saturday, October 22, 2011

This is in continuation of my part 1 on cloud computing.

Organizations are not going to jump into cloud computing, they would evolve and move towards characteristic of cloud computing infrastructure over period of time as they feel confident about the same. As far as cloud computing is concerned, I believe we are at stage, similar to, as of early 90’s with respect to IT services outsourcing. IT services were outsourced, so that organization could concentrate on the ‘core’ business area, cloud computing could well be a further step forward.

Now, let look at the service models normally considered in cloud computing.

SAaS : Software – as – a service :
This model is talked about quite some time now, business application are hosted on server maintained by data centers. Legal issues, security, integration and confidentiality of data of the deterring factors on this model at this point of time. Once policies, procedures and standards get defined and refined our the period of time, this is bound to get adopted, over period of time.

In terms of usage, the application are accessed through web browser and terms and condition could be governed by service level agreements.

Possible examples could be simple free generic email service to complex ERP system. Some time back, read an article in leading newspaper about ERP application in cloud computing at Tirupur, India. Its interesting to note, cloud computing has gaining acceptance even at a generally convervative society like India and that too at small town like Tirupur.

IaaS : Infrastructure – as – a service:
Computation servers, storage, hardware are considered under this service model. One would also find free on storage offered in web, this could be refered as IaaS.

PaaS : Platform – as – a service:
Development and deployment platform could be offered as a service to developers to build, deploy manage, application on SAaS.

If one looks at cloud deployment strategy, its normally, public, private and hybrid clouds. I feel the name itself quite significant to describe about the type.

The next question is any one's mind would be, what kind of hardware does one require towards hosting cloud computing?.

At this point of time, normally cloud computing is deployed in traditional model. By traditional model, I mean one might have a server to cater database tier or application tier, which is almost a 'silos' based model. But, since cloud computing, one need to have efficient hardware and manpower(refer to my example of restaurant) to manage cloud better in a data centre. This is where hardware could play a main role, the new technology like grid computing, Real application clusters, automatic storage management, server scale up features plays in important role toward better management and deployment of cloud.

Will briefly provide more details about the hardware part in the next write up.

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Happy 'Eco-friendly' Deepavali!!

Wishing you all a very happy and eco-friendly Deepavali !!!

For most of us, lighting of fireworks is the highlight of deepavali. For many of us, its not deepavali, if one does not ignite sparkling colour light OR hear deafening sound after shutting the ears. In fact, I have known communities where there would be indirect competition amongst neighbours to show their money power, as who lights fireworks for maximum time and also with array of newly introduced crackers.

Interestingly, you could hear the same set of people crib and talk about pollution and global warming the day before or day after. If you have a friendly chat the response would be "Chalta hai... its just one day fun and enjoyment".

To me, one can always do much better things with the money saved as well!!.

Good luck and Happy Deepavali again to all those who celebrate it in 'Eco-friendly' manner.

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Cloud computing - Part 1

Sunday, October 16, 2011

As the IT field evolves, it becomes more mature & the need to optimize cost naturally drives the innovation and creativity. The new concept coupled with technology, which is now doing rounds is ‘Cloud computing’.

I had come across people, with limited IT knowledge enquiring me as what is ‘cloud computing’ ?, though I had tried to explain to them in best possible way, most of the time, I end up a vacant stare from them, which was indicative that they did not understand the concept or background behind cloud computing.

Quite recently, I have started giving them example of home with Kitchen Vs restaurant towards explaining the concept behind ‘cloud computing’. A kitchen at home is dedicated for home, the resource – may it be the vessels or appliances or the cooking person is dedicated to that home. The owner of the home invests in kitchen and avails the benefit of having the kitchen to him or her or the members of his family. It’s the owner of the house who has to maintain the kitchen. When one compare home kitchen with restaurant, the end objective is same, which is specific food offered, but how food is prepared or serviced is different. One does not own anything is a restaurant except for the food offered. In a nutshell same is concept between Traditional IT offering Vs cloud computing.

Just like home kitchen, in case of traditional IT offering, the company owns the hardware and licenses for software and at times company outsources application development to a 3rd party which is comparable to chef hired (if a person is rich) to prepare food at home. With Evolution of IT sector in hardware & software, we are marching towards ‘restaurant’ model of IT services; you just pay for what is your end objective - ‘processed food’ or services. Like in a restaurant, in which you are only concerned about the quality of food and expected service offering and not much bothered about who is the chef, waiter or the kitchen appliances or even where the kitchen is, so is the case with ‘cloud computing’, the customer is focused on service offering and not on hardware, software or resources employed to provide the service offering or end product.

In the next part, I would dwell more technically on cloud computing… till then happy reading!!!..

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Kodaikanal - The princess of hill stations

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Kodaikanal - This word bring a cool and pleasant feeling in everyone's mind. We’ve decided to have few days of vacation in first week of Oct. With about 2 to 3 days available, we got into planning to make a trip to Kodaikanal Or Munnar. After animated discussion with family members, we finally decided in favour of Kodaikanal the "princess of hill station" in India.

How to get to Kodaikanal:

The next immediate thought was, how to get there and the accommodation. As we just had few days, we decided in favour of taking my car from Chennai to Kodai . I was sure the drive through the ghat road, would be a pleasant one as I can determine the speed of my car and stop anywhere as per my wish to enjoy the scenic views, further I wanted to drive in morning hours to enjoy the beauty of nature.

This certainly requires planning accordingly to each one’s budget and need. To us, as we would be taking our car, we were looking for a cozy place little away from centre of town with good view of valley or the hills and need to be quite decent place to enjoy the stay. As a matter of fact, I would have spent about couple of days in planning, searching the web and reviewing the comments toward's identification of accommodation. If one is looking for a confirmed accommodation, all hotels or resorts require payment in advance, which is quite natural on part of owners of accommodation. We did not want to lock the accommodation without seeing the place and since we would be having a car, we thought we can roam in search of alternative location if one is full or if we don't like the accommodation. So, we narrowed down to a list of about 4 accommodation places based on internet search and reviews, our top in list was Carnival resort .

Reach Kodai :
First day we started from Chennai at around 11:30 AM and Madurai is about 440 KM, the road have been made as a 'express way' quite recently with toll collected every 50 to 60 KM. To a person who has passion to drive, I would say it one among the best highway road in South India, may be because it’s newly laid particularly from Villupuram to Madurai. We reached Madurai by 6:00 PM and rested at Madurai that night.

Next day morning, we left Madurai by 8.00 AM. Madurai to Kodaikanal was about 120 KM, with 50 KM stretch on the ghat road. We entered the ghat road around 9:30 AM, I would say it was a pleasant feeling to be in control of the wheels and drive up the hill. It was nature at its best, as weather was perfect for the drive with scenic view around you, one would feel the mesmerizing beauty of nature.

We reached Kodaikanal around 12.00 Noon, immediately called Carnival resort and got the direction to reach the place. I would say Carnival resort is about 1 to 2 KM from town centre. When we reached the place and we immediately liked it. The view from balcony was the best, it was as if you are in middle of woods, though it’s not far away from the town centre.

The CARNIVAL RESORT was quite new one and understood from reception that it was opened in Dec 2010, the place is very calm, neat and one side facing hill view with lush green canopy trees .We relished every moment of our stay there.

We visited many places which were quite popular, but we liked Bear Shola falls for its greenery, with no crowd around , we felt like being in middle of woods. Not sure as why this place is not promoted much towards tourism at Kodai, probably its might be due to narrow lane of about 500 metres where parking of vehicle could be difficult and one needs to walk or trek for another 500 metres to reach this place.

We stayed two night at Carnival resort and started our drive back on ghat road during the morning hours to relish the beauty of nature.

In all, I would say, it was a relaxing trip to Kodai and enjoyed nature beauty.

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