Thursday, February 25, 2010

A techie equivalent of Sachin's innings

Some of my non-cricket-following colleagues won't understand all the fuss about Sachin Tendulkar's historic feat of scoring a 200* in a innings in an ODI. So, I am going to take a shot at converting it into a programmers achievement to see if I can make get across to them. Here it goes:

Imagine you are a programmer who has mastery over any one programming language (take your pick). Now, there is a guy or gal who comes in the morning and gives you a spec, one which may take about 1000-1200 lines of code in a highly structured language (e.g. Java) and less if you can use a concise language. You have to implement this in exactly one day with only two breaks allowed - 20 mins for lunch and 15 mins for coffee in the evening. You are not allowed any references (Internet and types). You have to implement the spec - but the catch is that you have to write it in one go - you can keep editing the same line as many times as you want, but once you press enter, you are committed to keeping that line. You compilation is allowed to fail only once, but as long as it keeps compiling, you can keep redoing it.

For starters, imagine that you are given the same spec every single day and you have keep opportunities to master it out (a la net practice), but on the actual judgment day, you can be given any random spec.

Now that you get the context, Sachin Tendulkar, in equal terms, was given the spec to write the real time OS for the next space shuttle and he did it, in one go, without his compilation ever failing, with only those breaks. Thats why all we cricket fans are creating such a fuss.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

[Summary Post]: HK holiday, iPad and Parents in Singapore

Many apologies for not posting for such a long time. It has been a rather interesting period since my last post, but I have just not come around to writing about any of it. In the past 5 weeks since I wrote about my mexican food experience, a lot happened, but I am going to do a quick summary (and probably come back to address a particular experience in detail later on):


  • I took my wifey out for a 4 day holiday to Hong Kong. Hong Kong was superb. The location, climate, geography, look and feel, transportation and the overall outlook makes it a great urban destination. Having come to Singapore earlier as tourists, and with the general perception as HK and Singapore being similar cities, owing to their past as British colonies and both being successful city-states, the comparison between the two became an obsession for us on the trip, and the conclusion we arrived at was the HK was a far better destination.
  • The iPad got launched and as with the general sentiment, I am confused on its prospects - useful device for moms and dads or an useless device lacking in basic features.
  • My parents made the trip across the Indian Ocean and into Singapore for a week long visit to the island during the Chinese New Year time (which also happened to be our first ever CNY celebrations) and they had a nice time in Singapore. I hope they finally understand why I decided to make the move from Bangalore to Singapore. 
More as I find time (and topic) to write.

Administrative note

All tech posts have now moved to http://tech.shreeni.info or you may subscribe to its RSS feed. In due course, I shall be moving it out completely, so if you follow my tech posts, please shift to following that blog.