Looking for partner(s) to join for techstars.org program

[Open Letter]

Well, I’ve been working on a hi-tech startup offering a tablet PC based B2B application for quite some time now. Since I don’t have any funding at the moment therefore I’m looking for funding as well as interesting people in my business. Fresh out of thedifferenceengine, I’m all too excited to apply for techstars but for that I need a partner with a good match of tech and entrepreneurial skills. Furthermore, I’m willing to offer founder’s equity for joining. [Remember, the deadline for techstars is 1-JUN-2010]

I’ve figured out the architecture and the technologies behind it: Flex4/Air2 as front end, Scala as backend and No-SQL (probably) as a data store. The application may also be available as SaaS offering, in a cloud, some time in the future.

For that I need someone who has 3+ years of experience in enterprise software development: Whether he has worked in .NET or Java, it doesn’t matter, but what matters is his ambition to learn to do enterprise application integration, preferably with CRM or payroll systems, in a far efficient and elegant manner. I mean doing it through RESTful concurrent Scala!

Scala is a new kid in the block but it has garnered great reputation after twitter and linkedin chose to migrate their core technology to this new JVM-based language. It supports elegant multi-core concurrency language features apart from providing a very clean syntax.

Another person, who may be of an interest to me, would be a Flex desopler (designer/developer) who is also an expert in designing UX (user experience) for consumer applications.

I myself have worked heavily on enterprise software and business intelligence projects too. Mostly, Java and Applet based technology but I kept myself updated with what’s going on out there and what’s hip throughout my career. I’ve been advising various startups and also coming up with business plans ever since I graduated. However, this is the first time I’m out seeking funding 🙂

So anyone with ambitions, authorization to work in UK and willingness to take the risks in order to change the world is welcomed!

sim4biz[at]gmail[dot]com


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Change in blogging pattern

After a long break, I’m back. In the meantime, I immigrated to a new country, changed a couple of jobs, working on a new business plan and refreshed myself for new challenges in life.

With this post, I’m changing the pattern of my blogs; from long well written and 3/4 blogs a year to short quick blogs with enough meat to justify a post 🙂

So here I am.

I’m a big IntelliJ Idea fan but as a startup, I need to be able to do quick edits, configurations here and there and quick feedback loops for the changes. Therefore, I’m going with an old favorite editor, Notepad++, and added a little macro that can compile/run java programs.

1) Press F6

2) type

npp_switch Main.java
cd ..\..\..\
javac -sourcepath src -classpath classes;lib\*.jar src\com\myfirm\*.java -d classes
java -classpath classes;lib\*.jar com.myfirm.”$(NAME_PART)”

[N.B. dont forget to press <enter> after every command]

3) Press Save… and name the script java_runner

4) Invoke by Ctrl-F6 on any class of the same project

Job’s done!

Assumptions:

1) It requires that all java source files are placed with src/com/myfirm directory

2) The directory classes is already created at the level of src directory

3) There is a class that ends with a name Main

4) The required libraries are placed in the lib directory

5) All java etc environment variables are set properly

6) Notepad++ menu Plugins–>NppExec [Save all files on execute, Follow $(CURRENT_DIRECTORY)] are checked

Cheers!

Rovista-5

I had a rather unusual experience some days back. However, at that time I wasn’t willing to admit it as unusual. Only after people convinced me to consider it weird, did I bring it to my blog.

Say, for the past three months, I was getting medicines for my mama from a couple of pharmacies in the town. My last choice was a distant store that I have visited only 3-4 times in the past but haven’t been there for a month prior to that incident.

I always have to purchase 12 or so medicines and they are never available in any single store. I went to one, they gave me 8 medicines; went to another, they gave me 3 more. Now, I just needed 1 medicine: Rovista-5.

I have never faced that boy, the salesman, in that distant store. I enter that store, he takes one look at me and goes:

Rovista-5?

and I’m like:

Uh Yeah. 7 tablets.

He smiles, brings back the medicine and I go:

I wish our doctors were as good.

Considering the fact that that boy must remember 2500-3500+ medicines to pick up from the shelves. It wasn’t a wild guess and I didn’t ask him how he guessed that. However, when I contemplate I see that he must have seen the pack of midicines I was holding. For that day, guys with this much pack must have asked for Rovista-5 only since it must be gone from the inventory of other stores…I can think of many reasons but I’m still dumbfounded.

About six months ago I had a similar accident. I needed to reclaim the warranty of a shoe. The warranty was for three months but I used the shoe for five months. I go into the store, ask for reclaim.

He asks for how long was that shoe used?

I don’t know may be 2-3 months.

He goes:

No, this shoe is used for atleast five months.

me again dumbfounded.

All, I’m trying to prove is that civilization in Lahore has gotten really intelligent in guessing. This is because there is rampant use of deception tactics among the public. So people need to guess accurately and precisely.

It is also a famous proverb in both Indo-Pak region that, He is not born who did not see Lahore. May be it is because guessing so intelligently is the coming of age criterion for men.

This reminds me of a nation that Gabriel, the angel, had to destroy. [The story is either covered in the Qura’n or Hadith]. Gabriel asks God, why do I have to destroy that nation considering they are so intelligent. God says, find that out yourself. Gabriel goes down and takes up a conversation with a shephard, an illiterate person among them. He asks him

Where is Gabriel?

The shephard swings his staff around and replies:

I see him neither in East nor West, South or North. Neither above the ground nor below it. It must be either me or you.

I rest my case.

Triopoly

After a longish hiatus from blogging. I’m back!

It seems either too difficult or way too easy to analyse the current situation of business dynamics of computer semiconductor manufacturers, namely: Intel, AMD and nVidia.

vs. vs.

Let’s see how it all started…

AMD, second highest desktop CPU market share holder and performance leader till first half of 2006, bought ATI, the highest GPU market share holder but not the performance leader, in late 2006. It forced AMD to directly compete both Intel and nVidia, chipzilla and grahpzilla in theInquirer.net lingo. It yielded only shame for AMD till the end of year 2007. During this time, AMD lost both its CPU performance leader crown and highest CPU market share crown. AMD reportedly bought ATI for some $5 billion. By the end of year 2007, the net worth of AMD, previous AMD and ATI combined, was $3.83 billion including its cash in the bank. But AMD is AMD. It bounces back after all hope has faded. It’s managers also boyishly rejoice unlimitedly the little pleasures they may have, once in 5 years, for beating Intel in performance numbers.

Intel, the CPU performance and market leader, bought Havok, the software physics game engine market leader. This gave Intel a killer app solution for its multi-core CPU fanaticism. Intel immediately killed the Havok’s plan to release an SDK, HavokFX, which was supposed to run on conventional GPUs for bringing improved and detailed physics effects in games through its physics engine. A sad point in time for all the gamers out there who were drooling for making better use of their graphics card other than just, well, graphics rendering.

Most interesting of these acquisitions was that of nVidia buying Ageia, world’s only hardware physics manufacturer and the second highest software physics game engine market holder. This brought it into some competition with Intel due to the Havok deal. The real tragedy, in fact the tragedy of tragedies happened when nVidia spokesperson announced that they will not produce hardware physics processors, more generally dubbed as PPUs. [Since this is reported by fudzilla.com and considering fudo’s rumor mill I would want to think that nVidia is still strategizing about Ageia and nothing about discontinuation of PPU has been announced.]
However, in contrast to Anandtech.com analysis, I believe that nVidia, being a semiconductor hardware manufacturer, needs to diversify its hardware products portfolio by introducing whatever they have in their arsenal. They can prove to be a monopoly in PPU market if they put their marketing muscle and game developer relationships into Ageia offering. They have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

Now a new broth is about to be cooked regarding nVidia’s acquisition and/or possible merger of VIA.
Why?
VIA is the only third x86-64 CPU manufacturer and their CPU designs come from their US division Centaur, previously producing Cyrix CPU. Since buying VIA will not transfer x86 license from VIA to nVidia according to VIA’s deal with Intel therefore nVidia and VIA might have to become partners in crime. This brings nVidia in league with Intel and AMD as premium semiconductor manufacturer.

Apart from acquisition, Intel has announced multiple times that it is working on a project code-named Larrabee. This might turn out to be a CPU+dedicated GPU and/or CPU+GPU multi-core design. Only time will tell what it turns out to be.

We all know that Intel, nVidia and AMD (ex-ATI) already manufacture motherboard chipsets. Considering the above strategies, it seems that all the three BIGG chippery firms are going to compete fiercely in CPU, GPU, chipsets and PPU domain. Only AMD will miss out the opportunity of PPU or software physics engine offering. However, nVidia seems to be open in bringing its Ageia software SDK to work on both nVidia and AMD GPU platforms thus bringing acceleration of physics on AMD’s hardware.

2010 will be an exciting year when the three semiconductor giants will have their full arsenal armed and ready. By 2012, I expect that one of these three giants will lose the battle and will be bought by the other. This is a pure speculation based on the fact that “nature has never allowed triopolies to settle peacefully”.


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Business Plan: Interactive displays

Interactive displays

Informal Business Plan

 

Touch sensitive technology has always been around since the early days of smart phones. However, that technology never got out of the confines of small portable electronic devices. The buzz words here are small and portable.

 

There has always been academic research going on in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) area. Some of their publications have produced commendable results. Microsoft surface technology is an evolution of interfaces between mankind and computer beyond colorful & twisted keyboards and light flashing mice.

 

On the other extreme is the ubiquitous computers research. This research elates the use of computers as omnipresent & invisible machines in our homes and offices, assisting us in our daily tasks as obedient servants acting on our commands. The bottleneck in this research is the imperfection of voice recognition technology.

 

Microsoft Surface is a middle ground in terms of pace of technology.

 

  microsoft surface logo

 

The business value that can be extracted from Microsoft Surface technology is in the form of time saving activities for routine tasks wherever HCI is involved. These activities include but not limited to reading out a restaurant’s menu, placing order and receiving the bill, Point-Of-Sales-Terminal (POST) plus RFID, ATMs, computer terminals for banking professionals synced with hardware calculator, using CRM applications for assembling custom products and ordering them online,
designing business workflow blue prints, interacting with the machines on a manufacturing assembly plants and…In short it can be used wherever there is a routine use of only one software application on top of an operating system.

 

How does it improve efficiency of the workforce? Firstly, this technology can act as a confined window of work to concentrate only on the task at hand and forget about the intricacies of the operating system itself. Secondly, the use of text not as a virtual but a real button can help eliminate human error, double mindedness for new users and save time for a user from grabbing a mouse, fine positioning it at the desired virtual button on-screen and clicking it.

 

Things interactive display is not good at are replacement of type writer interface to write lengthy paragraphs, design professionals like architects using AutoCAD, Maya3D artists and others and of course for the technology professionals like IT professionals, electronics and mechanical engineers and the likes.

 

Long story short, these technologies will be employed in above mentioned work situations as prophesized by many of the Steven Spielberg movies but who does that is the question.

This, some have called, is embracing the World 2.0!

Faceless Crusades

A lot of times the nemesis of US of America after 9/11 has been termed as “Neo Crusades“.
The original crusades being the ones fought for the Holy Land. That was a Holy Land for all the three heavenly Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christanity and Islam. However, somehow the Christian rulers of the dark ages weren’t satisfied, were ignited, had other political aims or for other yet-to-be-discovered reasons for somebody’s dissertation, they wages bloody wars on a foreign land and justified it by mentioning the atrocities of the Muslim governor on the people of Holy Land. This claim is partly true.
Then came Saladin. The one factor that united the whole of humanity for the sake of peace and won not a piece of land but he won people’s hearts through and through.
It turned out that the Christian rulers brought more miseries on the Holy Land. Therefore the followers of all the religions welcomed the rule of the governor Saladin. He can quite safely be dignified to the level of best conquerer of the modern history of clashes between the three civilisations.
There can only be one simple reason.
Justice.
Humanity loves justice, needs justice and craves for justice but one thing it never does is that humanity at large never brings justice to itself. We need a just ruler to rule us.

Well, that was history!

One subtle fact that the third world countries are facing is that of justice. Our rulers are pro-America but they want to bring all kinds of miseries to their own people to satisfy their personal/American objectives.
On the other hand, we see Americas, England and rest of Europe being ruled with justice. Consequently, we see brain-drain and immigrants to these lands despite these nations involvement in affairs exactly opposing immigrants countries.
The reasons Christians of Holy Land prefered Saladin over Christian rulers, we see brain-drain for exactly the same reasons.
This is a faceless facet of the modern crusades.

However, I have hoped and still hope that histroy will repeat itself and there shall be Saladin raised amongst us who will bring a global justice and win everybody’s hearts.

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Ruby and threading for multi-cores

With the CPU manufacturers’ focus on multi-core architecture rather than GHz boost, a lot of debate and research has started to scale existing software applications to take advantage of this development.

Let’s consider Moore’s Law for a moment. This is not really a mathematical law but just a rule of thumb that CPU manufacturers aka Intel & AMD follow. Therefore the software industry expecting that much growth in processing power X months down the road always optimize their software to match the performance of the hardware at the time when their solution will be launched. This growth pattern is followed by all game developers, DBMS vendors, corporate solution vendors like SAP, Siebel etc. and others.

Optimizing software solutions to match raw GHz processing power was easy but matching it with multiple cores, 2\4\8, seems a rather difficult task. As the software languages of today don’t support auto multi-processing. That means to say that a lot of manual coding effort is required to keep parallel processing optimized for parallel tasks. Then there is the insurmountable work of synchornizing the manual threads to avoid deadlock situations, thread starvation, keeping critical section safe and the like. This is the situation with all the modern dominant languages like Java and C#.

On the other hand, its time for another software language shift. Industry consultants predict that after every 10 years, the dominant software language gets replaced by some other language. Case in point is, Cobol, Fortran, C++ and now Java.

The most appropriate successor to Java seems to be Ruby<period>

I found one of *the* most comprehensive coverage of threading in Ruby and the latest trends/research.
But the problem I figured out is that there is no pattern of thought process developing or research heading somewhere concrete.
Although Ruby MVM is posed as the best option available but still issues with this approach are mentioned. Also any successful work on that is hard to find.

It seems threading in Ruby will remain experimental in nature and may only improve with the advent of some other language that has a solid implementation of the threading experiments done in Ruby side.