Madhav's Blog

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Random thoughts on technology, books and anything else …

Tech Breakthrough – Bulb Changer

Finally figured out to use the telescopic bulb changer.  It is not as easy looks.  Major lesson that I learned – do not throw away packaging with instructions.   It took me 3 months to realize that I was using the wrong “bulb grabber”, so could never really get it to grasp the bulb.  Also, I did not figure out how to get the rod to telescope until after spending a few minutes on the ladder which induced my fear of heights.

All in all, an eureka moment when the bulbs came off.

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Filed under: Tech Ramblings

Back from Hiatus …on a Mac!

Wow, its been a long time.  I am glad I still remembered my logon and password for WordPress.

Last week was interesting at work and other simulation that I am exposed to.  After being a Windows user for over 12 years, I finally gave up Dell at work and switched fully to a mac.  Ofcourse, using a parallel for certain apps is a minor transgression I hope.  But that timed with watching “Welcome to Mac” on CNBC, made me appreciate the design masterpiece that I am currently banging away at.  From the inherent stability to the design of the interface, I can see why there is a loyal following for a machine that does not fit in the groove neatly.

In addition, a colleague of mine pointed me to a video that showcases the “Woz” and what he is up to currently.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCehSfNRPs8&feature=youtube_gdata

Filed under: Tech Ramblings

“Marty” The Martian

Earlier this week, I attended an internal Lunch and Learn on Web User Experience.    This was an extremely interactive sessions.  They broke us up into team and had us design portals for specifics kinds of  users.  For example, 16-year old girl, 40-year old mom etc.

Not surprising given my luck with random draws, my table had the Martian to work.  The goal was to make him more “down-to-earth” and get connected locally.  We did a few fun things for “Marty”.

  1. Gave him a cool name (don’t stop reading, we did more than that)
  2. Gave him a Intergalactic Access Frame – he can choose if wants to read about that Martian volcano or follow the local Mayor (on Earth) via Twitter.
  3. Decided that Blogging is a priority for him and gave him the ability to make quick updates via his portal.
  4. Shamelessly plug our company’s other products (movie tickets, up selling communications channels) via a reference engine.

Long story short is that designing user experiences is not so random as I thought it is.  Not only do you have to understand what the user’s priorities are but you also have to live within Business rules (you cannot put everything there and you have to make money).

Filed under: Tech Ramblings

“Do No Evil”

Recently, I had the opportunity to read the book, Google Speaks by Janet Lowe.  Even though this is a generic book (i.e., there is Bill Gates Speaks and others), I found some interesting analysis and commentary.  For example, the discussion around “Do No Evil”.  This is actually one of the key themes from their Corporate Philosophy.

  1. Does not necessarily translate into “Do nothing illegal”, given Google’s foray into IP issues and their “compromises” in China.
  2. This was great 4 years ago, when Google was a pre-IPO company but not so apt now that Microsoft (once the Voldermot of the Technology Industry) is the underdog as far as the Internet is concerned.
  3. Very loose definition of evil – are they saying that other companies are FODs (friends of the devil) by placing ads on their website.

I am sure this horse has been flogged and is adorning a handbag somewhere.  Here are my $.0223 (adjusted for inflation).

Filed under: Tech Ramblings