Wednesday, 15 December 2010
This did not help much though when it came to a complete non-tech person. So, I again use an example that was used in the seminar I attended. Consider your work place in an IT company, you may be availing a lot of services such as email and intranet sitting at your computer. If you are accessing a leave management system like I did some time ago, you could look at the back of your computer and see a network cable. Following the cable you end up on the socket on the wall and then you plough out the lines and still follow them to a switch then to a router and you finally find yourself in the server room of your company. Then, you follow the cables to the server that, was hosting the leave application software for everyone in that location. So you have pin pointed the fixed server/hardware, the room, the air conditioning, the people who maintain that (by this time you should have met them), saw the power supply, back-up and the like. Now you get the general idea. You, the user, located it feeling.
Now, if you ended up in huge warehouse with containers upon containers (holding the cable of course), and you see that, there is a lot of hardware with thousands of network connections going to as many stacks and you simply cannot pin point which one is your application server by yourself then, you are dealing with a cloud. Basically, you may have ended up with something like this.
There is a video of the Google Datacenter too.
Notice/see the mentioning of network, storage, cooling, power supply etc which you might have located in your server room too but, in a minute scale compared to this. So your data, application are on some server that is in this huge software + hardware infrastructure. There might be someone else’s data, application residing there too.
So did this explain the concept? It does not seem to be so very new outright but, the approach as we will see to utilizing such hardware software infrastructure and deriving advantages from it is new.
I have been reading up on a number of stuff the past couple of months and have consolidated stuff to put on my blog. One of the topics is cloud computing. This was rather vague in the sense that, if, I referred to any material couple of years back I used to get different ideas. But, a seminar I attended recently helped me to get some basic ideas to build upon.
What is there so much to understand about cloud computing? You may ask. Rather than being able to work with it in all its glory, you would be better off if, you can explain simply and clearly to an executive, preferably from a non-IT background, about the what is, how, why of cloud computing. Not agreeing to this? A lot of literatures just do this and only this. Why? Because as long as the execs don’t see the up-side, no computing is going to take off. So explaining the whole idea, selling cloud seems to be challenge I am facing now. So who started all this? A colleague some time ago asked how I would explain cloud computing to my grandma and expect her to figure out some advantage on her own. I am never going be able to explain to my grandma because, she is not around. But, the idea was still hanging around. After this, I just continued with my reading to understand cloud more and pursue some development too.
The rest of the stuff such as developing something to run on the cloud for an example, using the Google App Engine etc is left to books and technology literature directed at the tech people. I am going through these too and will put on some stuff as I progress. These will be totally technical and nothing in the direction of the para above.
The next few blogs would focus on specific aspects/points that, I got from my literature review which I did not come across in general.
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
It took me a while to build it manually, and the VPL program was larger than most other examples.
It was all worth the effort. Why? There are a lot of reasons for a software engineer to be happy with this.
- First, not a single line of code has been written!! All the instructions are using the VPL that comes with the mindstorms studio. Yes, it does compile and all that stuff but, hey I did not have to type in the code. I was dragging 'logic blocks' to get the job done.
- Second, with this a software engineer can imagine something and he has to imagine not only the logic but, also dream something that is mechanically feasible.
- Third, you have to build it mechanically!!. Finally, something tangible compared to the programs and processes.
The walking mechanism is here in this video
The touch sensors usage is very very impressive so is the technique used to walk. Stuff written on the package is true. 'Only three motors, 2 touch sensors, ultra sonic sensor, color sensor but a lot of possibilities'
Monday, 25 October 2010
I had a copy of MS Robotics Studio and played around with the studio. Missing was the sensors and motors i.e a robot kit.
Recently, I got a Nxt2.0 Kit and started doing some VPL programs and running it on the servo motors, sensors in the kit.
1) It is really nice to see and use the VPL studio that comes with the kit.
2) Even though there are only a limited number of sensors and motors, there is a lot of things that can be imagined and programmed.
3) Not to mention that, MSRS is compatible with this kit and we can code specifics in addition to the VPL capabilities.
When you read a books on Robotics, you see terms like actuators, sensors, services, concurrent execution etc and it was upto imagination to piece them together. But, with a kit like this it makes understanding things a lot more easier.
I tried out a few of the vehicles and really enjoyed building and programming with VPL. One of the sensors I really like is the Ultrasonic sensor that can be used to measure distance. The shooter robot was really interesting. The technique to shoot the colored balls is really impressive. (old pool game idea). My bot was ready and I gave it a try.
The video is here ---> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhB_lYPPCto
It senses when some thing comes closer than one foot and fires. Simple. The villain was the only thing I can get my hands on before the batteries ran dry, a rolled up carpet.
Next would be Finishing the alpha rex humanoid and then moving to using custom code with this.
And yes, there are a lot of other robots and kits you can get your hands on these days. But, this is definitely a good place to start.
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Sunday, 6 June 2010
a) Someone is talking about a new model.
b) The benefits list is longer than your shopping list.
c) There are also convincing Wow! Wow! examples.
d) It is some thing very different from all the models you have ever seen, heard or used.
especially that mean Waterfall model.
Then, the all time champion false claim
e) The model is promised to deliver you success at all times !!.
Here is what I think.
1) The Waterfall model gave us the basic stages of software development. That's the truth. Face it. It is NOT a guaranteed to fail. It might fail.
2) Every Software model has all the stages laid out by the waterfall model. Rarely do you see a new phase in the new models.
3) It is how you string these phases together, how much effort you spend in these stages, that makes the difference and the different models.
The questions to answer before adopting a new model.
1) What is the process you are following now?
2) What precisely is wrong with that process?
- Look for answers in Cost, Effort, Schedule.
- Get the numbers straight for the above three.
3) How much is the new process profitable in the above three?
4) Is this worth the shift?
5) Above all, Is your business process, team process compatible with the new model??
i.e can you map it to your processes?
These basic questions can set things really straight.