Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Every Computer Performance Book: How to Avoid and Solve Performance Problems on the Computers You Work withEvery Computer Performance Book: How to Avoid and Solve Performance Problems on the Computers You Work with by Bob Wescott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a very concise and to the point book about application performance. It has captured the essence of performance of applications and capacity planning for an on field engineer. Additionally, Bob Wescott has also provided insightful tips on giving presentation tips especially when telling the bad news. It is a good read and any newbie in performance can take this as a starting point for understanding performance and capacity planning of applications

View all my reviews

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit (Jeeves, #11)Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit by P.G. Wodehouse
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I always connect with Bertie Wooster.. He ties himself into knots till jeeves steps in to untie the knots. Aunt Dahlia and the analogy of circumstances gave me the most chuckle and like all jeeves books, Wooster and co. along with a mug of coffee makes a Sunday afternoon worthwile.

View all my reviews
Best Kept SecretBest Kept Secret by Jeffrey Archer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The start was griping and Jeffery Archer again reminded me of what a great story teller he is. However, the pace of the story grags a bit after election of Giles Barrington and Alex Fisher. However, it gets compensated with an abrupt ending leaving you to try reading the blank pages in the end.

Overall it is a nice read and it is just about worth spending a weekend reading it!

PS: This is part of a trilogy and I haven't read the prequels of it. So my next stops will be the prequels!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

[A-Z Challenge] Z for Zero

The final Quirk of Life for 2013 is Zero! It had to be zero and nothing else.

I am writing at the zeroth hour and after this there is zero posts to write for the challenge. Additionally, zero was invented by an Indian called Aryabhata. The last sentence wouldn't make much of a difference but then zero is supposed to not make a difference.

So what does this guy has which others don't? It has nothing. That is what makes it special. It describes nothingness.  You are quantifying nothingness.

It sits right at the middle of the number line. It defeats its only contender 1 in this. It doesn't have a negative counterpart unlike 1. It is unique. But the value it brings to table remains 0.

It remains at the beginning of most  things in life. You start with zero. You are born a zero. A  new day starts with zero. 

In the game of cricket, you can never score zero runs. If you have a zero against your name, it means you haven't scored and it will called as a duck.

Zero is the only number on which if you perform a mathematical operation, it will result in infinity.It is the divide by zero operation!

If you try teaching a  kid about numbers,you show 1 bead and say that is 1. Then you show 2 beads and say it is 2. But what about zero? Only at the end, when child understands the concept of numbers, you would run a scenario that when all the beads are removed, then you say there are 0 beads.

Thus  although the value of zero is 0, it is invaluable. Thus like zero, this challenge has brought immense pleasure to me. The only place I have never wanted a 0 was on my mark-sheet. 

I do intend to write Reflections post  for this. However, to present a gist, it has made me aware of my own strength and failings. More importantly, it has exposed me to so many wonderful people and their varied thoughts on so many different subjects! Thanks a ton to A-Z Hosts! It was truly a wonderful effort from you guys! Cheers!

With that I finish off the challenge!

[A-Z Challenge] You are late!

Ah! Those three words are rankling my mind again. This post explains the futility of measuring your life against the scale of time.

Well, time is off essence and being late is never accepted unless you become late. As humans we have created a standard time which had nothing to do with us just as it has nothing to do with the cow. Yeah - the cow. The cow has all the time in the world to chew on one straw of grass and yet they are not able to digest it. We, on the other hand not only have to ensure the food is digested but also have to burn calories off to remain fit.

People may argue that, if things were not time-bound we wouldn't have a civilization in place. True. But who needs a civilization?

Man did not invite fire or wheel in a time-bound manner. He did it accidentally. So why not keep it like that. Let things happen accidentally else, sit and enjoy the sun like a dog does. It is so much simpler.

Then there are birds that forage for food in the early morning only to return to the nest before sun-down. Yeah they follow time. But they have 12 hours where the only useful things they do are to eat and drop bombs. Instead, we slug it out, fill in time-sheets for the work done every hour and yet return home unsatisfied on most occasions. 

The next argument is if I am comparing everything to animals and birds, how do we differentiate between them and humans?  Well, we have such big egos which tell us that we are better than the rest of the species on earth.  If we consider the vast expanse of the universe then this superiority does not amount to anything.

We believe, if nothing is time-bound there will be only chaos. Don't we already have chaos by following time? Here, I rest my case!

Of course, since we have been working in the paradigm of working on time for some centuries, I do agree reverting to a care-free, no time zone will take some time and am not putting any time limit on that. However, I do request you folks to excuse me when I am late for I do not want to measure myself against time!

PS:  This post is already late! 
P.PS: Quirks of Life starting with Y is "You are late." With getting on time being the topmost priority, most of us (at least self here) gets that message every now and then. So thought of explaining my stance once and for all.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

[A-Z Challenge] X

Unknown I am
Sign of danger
I can be; yet I am
Just another letter

Very popular in math
Popular as unknown
Yet I help define
Line, Circles and parabolas

Popularity in math
Made me unpopular
In literature and
In other worlds

I was for the abstruse
Not worthy of the
Simplicity and elegance
of literature;they said

I was confined forever
To the scribblings of scientists
In their little diaries;
How dull are those diaries!

Yet abstractness made me
An exotic
Exoticism came in vogue
And made me famous

Now I sit proudly
Outside those diaries
Generation - X, X-Factor
I am in the popular culture

Yet I am still a humble letter
Those Romans liked to use
In every business transaction
And maybe I wanted just that!

Quirks of Life starting with X is the letter 'X'. Reading on it, I found  it to be very fascinating as it has different origins and has been used differently in many cultures. This is part of April A-Z challenge details of which is present here.

[A-Z Challenge] W for Window!

A memory of a childhood
It is
For you could sit by
And watch the world passing by

An audience you become
For the actors of the street
As you watch the drama
Happening before you

The play begins
With the first ray from sun
The birds taking flight
As the first actors arrive

Actors fill the stage
Playing their part 
Emotions galore- Laughter, cries
And occasional silences

Yet none aware of
Being part of the play
For an unknown face
Beside the window

The actors leave the stage
As the night arrives
Bringing millions of stars
Making the little heart smile

For the sky is adorned
With million little jewels
Giving birth to million dreams
Lulling the tired eyes to sleep

Quirks of Life starting with W is Window Virus which has always kept me fascinated. Sitting by a window with a coffee in hand still is one of my favorite pastimes.  This is part of April A-Z challenge details of which is present here.
PS: After the talk that virus gave, the venerable one also decided to  give my body a visit and had been a painful visitor for the past few days. So fell behind in the challenge for the second time.

Friday, April 26, 2013

[A-Z Challenge] \/ for Venerable Virus

Quirks of Life starting with V is Venerable Virus which has existed from the beginning of life and still needle proud humans every now and then. This is part of April A-Z challenge details of which is present here.
Pulling it out from the crevices of various living cell, I have managed to get one virus talking for the A-Z challenge and having seen one and  all, it surely is the Venerable Virus!

From the times when a living cell originated in sea, I was there needling the living cell. I have continued the needling across the centuries needling all the organisms across all kingdoms including huge dinosaurs and the current rulers of earth - humans. However, in terms of pure numbers, I rule the world. 

A very simple makeup consisting of DNA/RNA, protein and lipid layer is all that is needed to make me. This makes me highly adaptable to various circumstances that earth can provide. Now this is called elegant design by the Universe/Creator, whichever school of thought you come from. 

Only by changing a small set of combination of DNA/RNA, I can turn into numerous different types ranging from absolutely lethal to harmless ones too. However, whatever the case, it is always a pain for the host.

However, humans being the smartest of species have created a digital version of me. Like me, it is created by few strands of software code that has the ability to reproduce and propagate. But it is a bawdy copy of me. 

The software code is unsustainable and these viruses have very little shelf-life. Humans, however smart they consider themselves to be can never come up with the elegant design that Universe/Creator could conjure up. 

More importantly, there are now species of me that can immediately clean up huge number of human population. Strategies have been devised to counter me. 

But I cannot be killed. How can they kill something which is not alive in the first place?  The only thing that humans can be done is wait for my next juggle of RNA/DNA and voila they will be spending billions to counter me. Ha ha to that!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

[A-Z Challenge] U as in Uncontrollable Urge!

Quirks of Life starting with U is Uncontrollable Urge. The urge to do something which we are not supposed to do is always there. Difference is some of us know to control it. Rest of the mortals like self succumb to it. Here is a micro-fiction of 55 words celebrating just that. This is part of April A-Z challenge details of which is present here.

His coach’s instruction rang in his ear.  No shooting. Only pass the ball. But the urge of shooting over goalkeeper's head remained. He had controlled. But then he had the ball. Suddenly, everything blanked out. He saw himself shooting the ball. He was helpless. He looked back for reproach but instead saw a happy coach.

Leaving with my favorite comic character - Calvin