February 27, 2011

Time is Money

I was browsing through some sites, when I came upon this product called BRING TIM!. TIM stands for Time Is Money.

It seems like a very much required device for most of the organizations which spend a lot of time in meetings. If they can keep in mind how many dollars are spent in the meetings, it can help save a lot of time and hence money.

The problem of repetitive and often unproductive meetings is predominant in corporates, politics, government offices and such similar groups which need lots of brainstorming. If such devices are installed and utilized in those places, it will surely help in increasing their productivity. Afterall, how many really like to sit all day discussing the same things again and again, without much results?

It seems there is also a free online tool which does the same. Visit Meeting Ticker.

February 11, 2011

Instinctive Software Engineering

When I stepped into the profession of software engineering, a good 1.5 years back, I had a feeling that my habit of relying on gut feelings, trial-and-error and happy-go-lucky would help me excel in my job.

But after 1.7 years of working in different environments and with different people in the same organization, I feel that though I was not completely wrong, I was not completely right either.

Instincts and creative sparks help you in some tight spots or spur you to new domains. But more than those, it is the tried and tested principles of Software Engineering which will keep your ass away from the fire for a longer period of time.

Simple processes like always doubting every single piece of word in every document, every line of code and every test case, go a long way in keeping you on the safe side. Having said this, I can't still stop thinking about the amount of time 'wasted' on such processes in cases where you 'know' what has to be done.

But time and again, it has been proved to me that the benefits of such habits are valuable beyond what they are generally believed to be.

So my new mantra which I am trying to tell to myself and my colleagues is: "Trust your instincts, but trust your test cases more".

February 05, 2011

VLC Shuffled Off

I have been using VLC media player for Windows and Linux for over a year now.

Since then I have been plagued with various issues ranging from improper folder expansions, crashes etc.

Now, the lack of randomness in its 'Shuffle' feature has been a pain in the neck for me for the last one week. That became the last nail in its coffin.

There is no doubt that VLC is quite good in playing various file formats and provides a good UI. But randomness in my tracks is a must for me. Hence I decided to replace it with Winamp for playing my audio tracks. VLC still maintains its position as my favourite video player.

Winamp with its global hotkeys and awesome experience had been my favourite media player for Windows during college days. Now it is back to take its original place. I must add that Winamp for Windows 7 is quite intuitive and flexible for me. I am one satisfied music buff now.

On the other hand, I need to explore for VLC alternatives in Linux. I might opt for rhythmbox, which somehow resembles Winamp w.r.t the UI. Or there are tonnes of other players out there, from which I can take a pick.

Question: What would be my choice for Mac. Update: Received a tweet from Moosa to go for Itunes player in all three OSes. Will certainly give it a try.