Abhishek Desai

Me, Myself and the Internet

Care More

Few months back I wrote an article called "Single biggest advantage you may have over your competition"

I wrote about how being available to your clients always can become a serious advantage of yours.

But I would like you to read one more article from Seth Godin. 

A simple antidote to a corporatized, unfeeling, profit-maximizing world

"Caring gives you a compass, a direction to head and most of all, a reason to do the work you do in the first place."

If we follow what Seth says here, we will never lose a direction in the business. 

Thank you Seth for writing this. It is probably the best article I have ever read.

Care More.

A book and/or an article for project managers

If you are a project manager, you have to read following book (Don't look at the price, its worth it)

If you can't read the book, you MUST read following article by the same author

What should every programmer know about web development?

Web developers,
You should read following question and answer (the top one of course) multiple times. 

http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/46716/what-should-every-programmer-know-about-web-development#answer-305381

You should bookmark the link in all the browsers you use and refer it whenever you are starting a new project.

And did I mention that you are really missing a lot if you don't participate in Stack Overflow or Stack Exchange Sites?

To PHP developers

Dear PHP developers,
Following article is a great read. It is amusing as well as serious at the same time. It is long and thoughtful. 

http://me.veekun.com/blog/2012/04/09/php-a-fractal-of-bad-design/

I know most of you won't be able to read the article in its entirety but this is a must read for you. As programmers you are craftsmen and you should know your tools in and out. Assuming you spend most of your programming time with PHP, you should know its limitations. 

But other than that, this article will help you understand how good programmers / writers can think and write about something in such a great detail. 

We all should aspire to have depth of knowledge like this guy.

One of the best talks for students about to join college

This is one of the best talks I have ever heard for students.

6 things I wish I knew the day I started Berklee

Derek is talking about Music college here but I don’t see any reason why it can’t be applied to all streams. Engineering, Science, Commerce, Arts anything.

So if you know someone like that, please share this with him today.

It may change his/her life entirely.

All the best.

PS: First, second and third year students will also benefit a lot in respective order!

Facebook Application vs A Website with Facebook Connect

Recently I had a discussion with my client about which one is better:

1) A Facebook Application OR
2) A Website with Facebook Connect

I searched for an answer and found following 2 very good articles.

Choosing Between a Facebook Application or a Facebook Connect Website

The answer is: It depends but personally I will always prefer a website with Facebook connect integration over a Facebook app.

Here are some more links on the same discussion:

But may be they are old and little irrelevant now. 

Three priceless online resources for learning

Here are three online resources which will help you learn more than what you learn in your school or college.

1) http://academicearth.org/ – Online courses from the world’s top scholars.

2) http://www.khanacademy.org/ – Watch. Practice. Learn almost anything for free.
3) http://www.udacity.com/ – We believe university-level education can be both high quality and low cost. Using the economics of the Internet, we’ve connected some of the greatest teachers to hundreds of thousands of students all over the world.

Update (Thanks Jignesh):

Bunk your college classes but listen to these online lectures without fail. I am sure it will make hell lot of difference in your life.

Spread the word. 

Let me know in comments if I have missed any good online resource.

PS: I really feel I wasted my years in school and college at least from the academic perspective. I hope you don’t have that feeling in your life.

Windows Phone so far…

I have started using Windows Phone OS 7.5 on Samsung Omnia W I8350 recently. 

I wanted to give this new platform a try. Somehow I liked it more than Android even before I used it. I also wanted to see how people design apps for this platform. 

It was a hard decision because it means I won’t use iPhone as my primary phone!

Now let me quickly give some comments about the hardware
  • Overall the hardware quality is pretty good 
  • It has a plastic feeling on the back side but the screen is nice. 
  • Battery life is great. It beats iPhone in that area. 
  • Camera is wonderful and has a dedicated button.
  • It is robust. I have dropped it 3 times already but not a scratch so far!
Now some good things about Windows Phone OS 7.5.
  • It is original and tile concept is pretty cool. 
  • I like deep integration of Google, Facebook and Twitter in the OS. 
  • The people tile is great. I get to see all the updates, photos of that particular contact from one place.
  • It allows me to link multiple contacts in one. So if I have the same person in facebook, google and in phone, they all become one contact now with all their information merged.
  • I can write on a wall, tweet directly from the contact details
  • Inbuilt photo studio app is fun. I took some panoramic photos and they were awesome.
But like any new OS this one has fair share of issues and I would like to highlight some here.

Apart from simplicity and apps of iPhone, I am missing following in Windows Phone 7.5.
  • It doesn’t remember the copied item in memory
  • It can’t send SMS (text) to multiple people
  • It can’t call the number greater than certain length (I use vodafone calling card to call international numbers and have to add 5 digit special code before the number)
  • It can’t paste the number on keypad
  • It can’t forward the SMS (text)
  • It can’t delete one of the conversations in SMS (text)
  • It does not have Skype yet! I think Skype is already a Microsoft company, what’s taking them so long?
  • It is cumbersome to close apps running in the background

 

Overall I will give great ratings to this phone. If you look at the price it is totally worth it. I would vote it as the best phone around INR 15k category.

If you are planning to buy a phone, I highly recommend it. 

How short term can you think?

Recently I came across 3 examples of bad customer service and all of them from the domain and hosting providers.

If you really want to see how good your domain and hosting providers are, just tell them that you want to transfer the domain or hosting, their true colors will come out. 

How short term are they thinking? 

By keeping your customer hostage for few more days or weeks, what gain are you making here? Few thousand bucks and a customer gone for a life along with all the references she could have given you!

I wish them all the best for their business because it is surely closing soon.

Your movie will return in 20 seconds!

I think this is pretty old news now but many of you might have seen this message on your TV.

“Movie will return in 20:00 seconds”

This is so brilliant!

Whoever came up with this idea must be rewarded by all the TV channels! It is earning them millions. 

When you see this message chances are that you will stop switching the channels and you will see all the ads for those 20 seconds. I am sure there are different rates for the ads for those 20 seconds. If not, hey I gave you this idea! 🙂

Sometimes small ideas like these make so much difference and they are so simple that they make us say “Ah! Why didn’t I think of that?”

Three cheers for the inventor of this idea.

UPDATE:

After reading above post my colleague, who has worked in an analytics space, gave me an interesting intel on this topic.

In his own words:

As per the report this works better if countdown starts right after the break….Initially when they implemented countdown started after 5 mins of ad and people really got frustrated. Also, note that expensive and sponsor ad slots are near the countdown ends as people do take a break and go away from the channel till they reach final 20-30 seconds of countdown. So it’s unfair for people giving ad in the middle of the break. While earlier it was the prime slot as people assumed that by this time movie would have started but it’s not.!!!!..so that was frustrating for viewers and unfair for sponsors and that’s why all channel started 2 mins break (by strict measure) to implement this idea. However, shifting of viewers is surely observed as we did analysis of viewership data collected right from the set-top boxes and people tend to come back when countdown comes near to completion.