Tag Archives: story

Celebrating Awesomeness

mvp_blackonly


Let us meet someone interesting today.

One of our software engineers at Mindfire, Tadit Dash, was recognized by Microsoft this week as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for South Asian region. His MVP profile is here. You can read about Tadit’s journey here in his own words. On tech side, Tadit does his stuff on ASP.NET and Dynamics CRM.

It is wonderful to observe Tadit’s enthusiasm and vibrant participation in the global developer community – mostly at CodeProject and also on StackOverflow. Excellent.

Tadit has done all of this while being on projects constantly, and with continuous happy delivery for all projects he has worked on. Brilliant.

When desire and direction combine, time bends to the will.

Tadit is a great example of the type of people we want and love at Mindfire.

People who love technology, people who want to connect, people who want to carve an identity for themselves, people who are responsible, people who are passionate. People who are bound to their own work and talent and reputation and identity – not within the boundaries of an organization or role, but floating on the unchained melody of the unbounded universe.

People who intuitively understand the obvious – things like companies and designation and salary and teams and projects will come and go – what stays with you for your life is the knowledge you gain, the reputation you build, the well-wishers you have, the abilities you possess.

People who see beyond, and rise above. What fate and fortune give, they multiply.

I have never met or spoken with Tadit.

His story inspires me. Coming from the small town of Nayagarh, Tadit joined Mindfire at Bhubaneswar 3 years back. After proving his worth at work, his voluntary energy led to  responsibility for “extra non-work stuff”, and subsequent awards, at Mindfire. He moved ahead to receive a CodeProject MVP award few months back, and now he has received the Microsoft MVP recognition. That’s not all.

He is not only Mindfire’s first Microsoft MVP, but also the first Microsoft MVP from Bhubaneswar, a city with 10,000 software engineers! Wonderful.

If Tadit can do it, so can you and me.

Be awesome. Be Tadit. Look beyond today – build a brilliant tomorrow using today.

Let us think about this story over what is, hopefully, a happy and inspiring weekend.

Cheers!

 

certsuccess1

Mission Certification: Accomplished

Since I have cleared two of the Microsoft’s certifications within a month I have been besieged with questions of my colleagues on how to clear the exam. There is phobia that the certification exams are tough and we must prepare rigorously for them. It’s nothing like that. Now I feel happy to share with you the inside of cracking the certifications.
Somebody said in the past that “Work Smart Not Hard!“.This is the trick since we do not get enough time as professionals.

Continue reading Mission Certification: Accomplished

Netscape Vs Internet Explorer

The Browser Wars 1993-2004 – Part 1

Netscape Vs Internet ExplorerThe First Browsers

Browsers began to be taken seriously around 1993 . The first were the Unix browsers such as Line Mode Browser, ViolaWWW, Erwise and MidasWWW, and MacWWW/Samba for the Mac. In a short span there were more like Cello,Arena,Lynx,tkWWW and Mosaic. The most popular was Mosaic. It was designed by National Center for Supercomputing Applications(NCSA) to run on multiplatforms.

Marc Andreessen, a founding developer of Mosaic, started his own Mosaic Communications Corporation and his first product was Mosaic Netscape. The company was renamed Netscape Communications Corporation and the browser Netscape Navigator. The Netscape browser was much better interfaced and reliable than other browsers of that time but the best thing was it was free.

Corporates soon recognized this as a new market and many more IT companies jumped in like Browse, IBM’s Navipress, SlipKnot, Web Explorer, UdiWWW, Omni Web, Web Rouser, Mac Web . And then one day Bill Gates took notice of Netscape and soon Microsoft introduced it’s own Internet Explorer 1.0.

 The War

By 1995 Netscape Navigator in only about a year was more than 80 % of the web browser market. Microsoft released Internet Explorer 1.0 with licenses from NCSA’s Mosaic on its Windows 95 Plus! Pack in August. Some time later Netscape was free only for educational institutes and non profit organizations while Internet Explorer 2.0 was released as a free download. Everybody realized how competitive the new market had become and started to provide free installation with new updates appearing regularly at a rapid pace

On October 1997, when Internet Explorer 4.0 was to be released, Microsoft had a 10 feet “e” logo put on the lawns of Netscape office with a sign “From the IE team … We Love You”. Netscape responded by knocking it down and setting their Mozilla dinosaur mascot on top of it , with a sign reading “Netscape 72, Microsoft 18” representing the market distribution.

Internet Explorer 4 was a turning point. It was introduced as a part of Windows to exploit the already dominant personal computer market of Microsoft. IE 4 was free and already there with Windows and thus no need for users to get another browser.

The U.S. Government soon took notice of this and was concerned because Microsoft had already had some trouble over monopoly rules in the past. Microsoft defense was that Internet Explorer was not a separate product but an upgrading feature for Windows, although the IE was part of the Plus! Pack which was sold separately from Windows 95. Microsoft in its reports said that the government, under influence from its competitors, was trying to constrain the Windows business.

The Trial – Part 1
 

 

On May 18, 1998 the U.S. Justice Department and the Attorneys General of twenty U.S. states sued Microsoft for illegally obstructing competition in order to protect and extend its software monopoly and for violating a 1994 consent decree by forcing computer makers to include its Internet browser as a part of the installation of Windows software.

Bill Gates himself was brought to trial. But his attitude was reported to be “evasive and non-responsive” and saying ‘I don’t recall’ so many times that the judges got irritated. Intel Vice-President Steven McGeady, called as a witness, quoted Paul Maritz the senior Microsoft Vice-President as to “extinguish” and “smother” rival Netscape Communications Corporation and to “cut off Netscape’s air supply” by providing Netscape Navigator’s clone for free.

To prove that IE 4 was an upgrading feature of Windows, Microsoft provided videotapes that demonstrated that removing IE 4 from Windows caused slowdowns and malfunctions. Interestingly Microsoft Vice-President James Allchin had stated the video to be a seamless segment filmed on one PC, but the prosecutors found some icons mysteriously disappear and reappear on the PC’s desktop, and thus claimed it to be a fake. Allchin confessed and blamed his staff, “They ended up filming it – grabbing the wrong screen shot,” he said. Microsoft had to drop the the claim that removing IE slowed Windows and got irritated by the lawyers’ “nitpicking on issues like video production”. Microsoft submitted a second videotape to demonstrate how easy it was for America Online users to download and install Netscape Navigator onto a Windows PC. Microsoft’s video showed the process as being quick and easy with the Netscape icon appearing on the user’s desktop. The government produced its own videotape of the same process, revealing that Microsoft’s videotape had conveniently removed a long and complex part of the procedure and that the Netscape icon was not placed on the desktop, requiring a user to search for it. Brad Chase, a Microsoft Vice-President, verified the government’s tape and conceded that Microsoft’s own tape was falsified.

Continued in the next part

Author- Soumendra Barik

The Interview

The shrill tone of the alarm dragged Harish from under his blankets and his dreams, into the cold consciousness of reality. And while still trying to find equilibrium between the real and the surreal, he remembered that it was the day of his interview!

The previous night had been hectic to say the least. Software companies these days, hire people by the dozens and most of them middle class undergraduate students who flock to these companies with dreams of making it big one day. Harish too got an opportunity to try his luck with this company and it can be said, he tried his best. But somehow by the time he returned home after the aptitude test, he felt he had missed the bus this time. And so, it was a pleasant surprise when Mr. Roy, the paan chewing, attitude throwing placement officer of his college, called to say that he had indeed cleared his test and had to have an interview the following morning.

Nine o’clock found Harish sitting on a plastic chair, his face white and hands sweating, in front of the room where his fate was to be decided that day. He looked at the people around him. While some seemed confident of facing the interviews, most of them were of the state as him. This ironically was comforting to Harish. He looked at his friend, Vivek, who gave him a comforting “don’t worry” type of smile. Harish smiled back weakly. He had hardly recovered from this state when his name was called; it was time to face the trial by fire.

An interview is never the straightforward affair it is supposed to be. Like say, if it’s a technical one, you might expect a question like “Draw a graph showing the relation between current and voltage in a diode..”, but you will most likely be asked “Can you draw the graph showing the relation between current and voltage in a diode?” To this, the most appropriate answer will probably be “Yes I can”. Harish‘s interview lasted for about twenty minutes, but quite naturally, to him it seemed a lifetime. And he came out of the room, trying to make up his mind about how he had faced his interrogator. One moment he felt that he had flopped the whole thing and the next moment he was sure he had given his best shot. Finding nothing more to do there, Harish and Vivek, whose own interview had proceeded more or less along similar lines, decided to take a break and came out of the building. They sat in a tea stall, Harish still pondering over his performance, with a dirty looking glass of piping hot tea, when his friend, who was smoking a cigarette, said “We could not have done better” and then added prophetically, “we are not going to make it.” This obviously didn’t make Harish’s condition any better.

This was by no means the end of their trials. Another round of interviews had yet to be done, and the seemingly endless wait to know if they had crossed the first hurdle, made them anxious and uneasy. Harish tried to shift through the study materials he had brought along but the strain of the endless wait was too much and he soon gave up. After what seemed to be an eternity, came the news about the selected candidates. Harish’s heart was literally leaping out of his body, when he heard his name being called. His joy was complete with the news that his friend too had been selected.

Then there was the wait for the final round. Even as the day gave way to afternoon and afternoon to evening, it didn’t seem to end. With his mind heavy and stomach empty, Harish waited. A girl came out of the room, agitated. By the time she had crossed the corridor, she had started crying herself hoarse, to the consternation of all present there. Just then (call it luck or whatever) the interviewer happened to come outside, and finding the girl weeping (much to his alarm), decided to have a retake. The whole incident lasted only a few moments but left everyone dazed. Harish went back to waiting out his turn and as darkness approached, found himself among very few candidates left waiting; and thus was immensely relived when at last his name was called. What transpired at the interview is better left alone but it must have been a pleasant affair because Harish came out looking quite satisfied.

It was raining slightly and night was approaching rapidly when Harish called it a day and went home.

The wave of expectations that were building up inside Harish was waiting to break. They would either lift him into heights of ecstasy or plunge him into depths of misery. Harish maintained a diplomatic stance throughout as all and sundry enquired about his interview but secretly, hoped for the best.

And then…

Nothing happened. No wave of ecstasy or misery broke upon him. News reached him from somewhere about other candidates who had received calls. Harish and his friend, made frantic calls to all those who could help. “If not an acceptance letter, then may be give us a rejection letter!” This enigmatic silence was really unbearable. They checked their mailboxes thoroughly and even tried in vain to contact their interviewers, but to no avail. The search was abandoned after a few days and they resigned themselves to their fate. But the whole episode, like an anticlimax after a fantastic movie, left Harish high and dry.

Life returned to the humdrum existence again.

NB: Remember the girl who wept? Well she got the job. Last heard, Harish was trying to learn “How to weep at an interview”.
(Based on a true story :))

Five Minutes can make a huge difference

In our world today, we spend so much of our time working, that sometimes we forget some of the very important duties we have to perform. At the 11th hour, we seem to recollect the lines (What-if-I-had…, I-should-have, it-could-have-been, etc.) of a person who we generally call an idiot, an idiot who missed some of the most important things he could have done or enjoyed but couldn’t. I am going to let you understand this with a better concept. Yes, A short story..

The Story:

After a long hot afternoon, Raghavan decided to take his six year old daughter to the children’s park as the evening was getting cooler and pleasant. His daughter Sintu was over joyed with the decision. Raghavan felt happy for the first time in months. Ekamra Park, he thought, there she will be happier with so many other kids. They went to the park and Sintu ran unto the slide, arms stretching out in joy and her eyes cheerfully sparkling.  While Raghavan waited for his daughter a woman clad in saree came and sat near him.

“That’s my son over there,” she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide.

“He’s a handsome boy” Raghavan said. “That’s my daughter in the white dress.”

Then, looking at his watch, he called to his daughter. “What do you say we go, Sintu?”

Sintu pleaded, “Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes.”

He nodded and Sintu continued to slide to her heart’s content. Minutes passed and Raghavan stood and called again to his daughter. “Time to go now?”

Again Sintu pleaded, “Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes.”

Raghavan smiled and said, “OK.” This went on for a couple more times.

“My Goodness, you certainly are a patient father,” the woman responded.

Patient? He wondered how patient he was a couple of months ago. It was so vivid in his mind that he could never forget it. Never, in this life.

Raghavan was a man with short hairs (he kept them short not to waste time in brushing them). He was well built in length but there was a weird growth in terms of his health. He was termed as a man with insatiable desires because he used to work on music so much that sometimes he forgot to take his two consecutive meals at a stretch. Not to mention, sometimes he wondered if he used the washroom in the past 8 hours. His wife, Suneema died of appendicitis 2 years ago.

Venkat, who was just a child of 8 last year was very lonely after his Mom’s death. Raghavan’s little income from his music classes got him nothing more than a third-hand-purchased bicycle. Suneema had gotten it after paying Rs.300 to the second-hand bicycle owner 3 years back. Raghavan was in the middle of a Raaga when Venkat came in, “Dad can we go to the Ekamra park today?” He very well knew that it was hopeless to ask his dad for such a favor. He also knew he would now get a blast from his dad, but he couldn’t hold his desire to play out anymore. After all, he was an 8 year old. Even a Scamp could have loved that childish innocence filled eyes. But Raghavan shouted at him until he almost broke his Harmonium in anger.

“If you want to go to the useless park to play, go by yourself. Take your cycle and get lost!” He shouted with his lungs almost coming out through his mouth.

That evening late at around 8pm when Venkat had still not returned he got panicked. He respectfully and neatly kept all his belongings, which consisted of a harmonium and a stack of papers filled with Raagas and other music notes. Then took out his Grandpa-aged scooter and went out. Venkat had met with an accident on his way to the park. A drunk truck driver had run him over on his little sweet head. His body had collapsed to the side of the road.

He had never spent even 5 minutes with his children, nor his wife. She had died of such a silly reason. Appendicitis! Now, he lost cute little Venkat. He thought, what if I had given him his share of joy, I should have paid more attention to Suneema. Oh my God! It could have been so nice and easy. It must have been a wonderful evening today.

Now, he looked at the woman sitting beside him on the park bench. He said nothing more than, “I can’t bear to lose more” with tears filling his eyes.

Learning from it

I could have written a better story. This was all I could. But this does the needful. It has helped me learn, that apart from the duty to work, we have duty towards friends and family. Without which, any sort of accomplishment would look hollow. Its true that we should work, but for whom? Thats the ultimate question one should ask to himself/herself.

If we cannot share the success, its measurable with our stupidity.

Best Regards,

Satya