whihathac's Den

code is poetry

Website is up !

Hi,

My webesite had been facing a lot of problems off late. Firstly my host (Softsys Hosting) changed the servers, wherein there was no backup of my site. 1 week passed before my friend Ruchir Shastri - who has provided with this hosting helped me out. The site data was back, thanks to him. And to be more reliable, I switched to a premium server, which Ruchir suggested. This created another problem - my previous control panel included Plesk, and now its HELM. It took me a while to understand the new control panel.

Now hopefully all the switching problems are gone now. And I'll be able to blog :)

Regards,

Bhavik Vora

Interview tips for Microsoft Internship

Hi,

I got many queries asking for help in the preparation for Microsoft Internship Interviews. So i thought to put out the reply i sent over here.

I'll firstly inform you that i was selected for the interview for internship through Imagine Cup 2007. We were top-11 National finalists and we got a chance to get ourselves interviewed.

The interview was telephonic and was around 45-mins long. You can expect a variety of questions ranging from creative to technical to HR. Also the technical qns were C/C++, AOA, Data Structures, OS and CN based. But all of them were purely practical. Also if you have programming skills as .NET, you may expect a cuppa of qn's on the same.

The most important part is your resume. You wont be asked a single thing outside your resume. So do not claim anything you dont know in your resume. Also the projects/technical papers form the basis of the interview.

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Bhavik.

Microsoft's Bid on Yahoo - a Genius !

Hi,

This article is adapted from an article on TALK BACK from CNN.

Marat Glazer, a software developer in Los Angeles, writes:

Look at it this way for a minute.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) bids for Yahoo Inc. (YHOO); Google Inc. (GOOG) shows fear. Google is now under pressure, and should remain under pressure as long as the Microsoft deal is on the table. Google doesn't like pressure (e.g., they don't give earnings guidance). Why would Microsoft rush to "sweeten" its bid? Microsoft has Google right where it wants it, and all Microsoft had to do was send out a few memos and press releases.

Now Yahoo is scrambling for higher bidders, trying to outsource search to Google, thinking about a merger with AOL, all while deploying new initiatives to hold up what it knows is its soon-to-be declining stock value.

No matter how many articles Yahoo writes about reinventing mobile social networking, it won't hold its stock at $30 a share. I don't think such lackluster news is even worth $20 a share. At this point, Yahoo shareholders only have one thing on the brain: "Show me the money!" It's my opinion that Microsoft won't show them that money.

In its statement, Microsoft said its offer was "full and fair" (indicating it would NOT raise its bid over $31). I'll take Microsoft at its word.

Microsoft also made hints at a potential proxy fight. Based on Tuesday's Yahoo stock activity, I don't think Yahoo shareholders are ready for a fight. If Yahoo was getting ready for war, then the price of Yahoo stock should go higher as core Yahoo shareholders move to ratchet up outstanding shares in the market. That's NOT what happened Tuesday. Yahoo went sideways-south.

Microsoft is now playing the waiting game. I believe that after Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang and his company board's arrogant and greedy response to Microsoft's generous offer, Yahoo shareholders will be waiting a long, long, long time for anything over $31 from Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft may lower its bid, or withdraw it entirely.

If I were Microsoft, I would wait about a month or two, as Yahoo, Google and Time Warner Inc. (TWX) stocks flail about. Then I would either lower or withdraw my bid, citing "a lack of perceived value." The aftermath of this move would be CATASTROPHIC for Yang and the Yahoo board. It would also cause internal turmoil for Yahoo shareholders and staff, as Yahoo employees who WANT the Microsoft deal are disgruntled. Basically, Microsoft lowering or withdrawing its bid spells big trouble in little Yahoo. And that's good for Microsoft.

In the end, however many ways you toss this salad, Microsoft comes out the clear winner here. Whether it gets Yahoo or not. Yahoo and Google are the clear losers, and I'm inclined to believe that's exactly what Microsoft had planned all along.

It's genius!

Hmm.. another side of story !

Regards,

Bhavik Vora

Microsoft + Yahoo! = ?

Hi,

Well I have been writing this post after such a long time. Heres a great experts comments from some of the journalists like BusinessWeek's Arik Hesseldahl who are willing to tell them what to do for free, ofcourse ! Here's a readable version which I take it from VALLEYWAG.

An Open Letter to Steve Ballmer by Arik Hesseldahl

Dear Steve,

Let's talk over this Yahoo thing. It's a profoundly bad idea. Big mergers practically never work. IBM and Rolm in 1984, AT&T and NCR in 1991. Lucent and Ascend. Compaq and Digital Equipment, followed by Compaq and Hewlett-Packard. Time Warner and AOL. The standard pitfalls: brain drain from departing employees, political turf wars amid clashing cultures, morale-depleting anxiety, customers going to less-distracted rivals like Google.

The Microhoo online operation could make $1 billion a year in profit down the road. But is it really worth blowing $41.5 billion in cash and stock? That investors have wiped $3 billion off the value of that offer in a week should tell you something.

If someone took Microsoft Office away from me, I could get by using a Web-based office suite. You should have had Office on the Web five years ago. You've been wasting time, effort, and attention trying to be a consumer electronics company, a digital media company, and now an online advertising company. Microsoft is a software company. Everything else is superfluous.

Desktop software is one of many things Microsoft is awfully good at, and you make a pile selling it. Then there's server software and Microsoft Office. Between those three units, you've got a $43 billion business that's generating 62% operating profit margins.

Here's what you should do: Package Yahoo with your online services division, the entertainment and devices division (yes, the Xbox, too), and spin the whole thing off. Keep an equity stake, even a majority. If you force these businesses to fester within Microsoft, they will always play second fiddle to Windows.

Well all I want to say is we dont really know what MSFTs' has planned to do with Yahoo!, but the foresaid comments need to be thought. The deal may result in technological imbalance in whole, who knows - its a way to stop the internet giant, Google - which Y! hasn't been able to contain itself !

Regards,

Bhavik Vora

(batch) PhotoResizer Release

Hi,

I am releasing PhotoResizer. The application is a small utility that helps in (batch) resizing of Photos (Jpeg images).

Latest Version: 0.2.0.1 (dont mind the numbers :P)

Change since Last Revision: Click Here

Pre - Requisites:
.NET Framework 2.0

Features:
Select Bulk Images to resize
Resize Image by Pixels or %age
Control Quality of resized Images
Zip the resized Images
Conversion and resizing of bmp and png resizing to jpg
Save and review Log

Known Issues
The Application hangs when it has more than 50 photos (for 512MB RAM). Please make sure you batch the photos. I am working around this issue. If any1 can help me with this, contact me asap. :)

Procedure:
1) If you have any previous versions of PhotoResizer, please uninstall it first with help of Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel.
2) Download the Setup Archive (.zip) from here - PhotoResizer 0.2.0.1.zip (333.10 kb).
3) Extract the files using utility such as WinRar or WinZip.
4) Run the Setup.exe from the folder
5) Start the application from Start-> Programs-> PhotoResizer->PhotoResizer

Terms of Use:
This software is not to be resold. Use the software at your own risk. Please make backup of the images the application will process. I am not responsible for any loss of work or time or pics ;) Please don't use the software in a business environment which has risks of losing critical data.

Screenshot:

For feature requests or reporting bugs, you can mail me at - contactme@bhavikvora.com

Also I need your comments and feedback to understand your needs. I have given just over 5 hours of my time in between the exams (I just love to do it ;)). I hope the software comes into good use as it did for me. There are few kinks in the software, and I am trying to put things in place.

I'll be developing a project page soon for PhotoResizer on CodeBox :).

Regards,

Bhavik

PhotoResizer Updates and Revision History

Hi,

This is a post dedicated to keep a tab on the versions/releases. I just hope my CodeBox comes alive ! Its getting difficult to maintain my project :(

Latest PhotoResizer ver: 0.2.0.1
Release Date: 31 January 2008.
Downoad Information: Click Here to go to the respective post.

Revision History: 

Version 0.2.0.1
Release Date: 31 January 2008

Resize Photos by selecting photos, not folder-wise - Thanks SaM for the feature request.
Zip the resized Images - Thanks Karthik for the feature request :)
Conversion and resizing of bmp and png resizing to jpg

Version 0.1.0.4
Release Date: 12 January 2008

There have been issues with the Application trying to open each file as a jpg image and trying to resize it. I overlooked a piece of code, while formatting it. And now i have corrected it. 

Ver 0.1.0.3
Release Date: 10 January 2008

First Release to public download.

Regards,

Bhavik

Imagine Cup 2008 India SDI dates postponed(yet again)

Hey all,

Well I am definitely not gonna comment anything on it. The new dates of IC2008 - SDI are:

December 1, 2007: Registration Open
February 14, 2008: Round 1 Submission Deadline
February 28, 2008: Round 1 Results Announced
March 20, 2008: Round 2 Submission Deadline
April 5, 2008: Round 2 Results Announced
May 9, 2008: India SDI National Finals
The India SDI National Finals will be held at Bangalore on Friday, 9th May, 2008

Hope you have already started working for it. Take time to brush up you idea.

Regards,

Bhavik Vora.

IC SDI Round 1 Example Submission

Hi,

In last few days, I have been getting many queries about how to write the Round 1 Submission of IC SDI. This post will solve some (if not the most) of the queries.

Last year, we were given a format to do the Submission. Click Here (80.84 kb) to download it. Remember that this is the format that was expected last year. It may vary for this years submission. I'll explain the submission with respect to last year's format. You can take this as a starting point for your submission. Hope you do check the actual required format and follow it.

The titles are self explanatory. I'll just point out few points.

Project Motive
In here you actually write what problem are you trying to solve through your idea. Remember, the idea is the most important thing, while implementation is secondary issue. Make sure your idea affects a mass of people, rather than a select group (Exceptions in some special cases). In short, this is the brief intro for your project. So you need to make it really appealing.

Technologies/Resources Used in the Application
Write the names of technologies/APIs that you may use. It is not compulsary to use the technology once you have written it. (Hence you can bluff the usage of it ;)). Make sure you know what each technology helps in achieving. For Eg. Speech API (SAPI) can be used for Speech to text conversion and vice versa. You dont need to explain the use here, but just the knowlegde of usage of technologies will be helpful for next rounds.

Project Description
This is the main part of the submission. Here, you need not go about the implementation again, but the functionalities your application will be providing. For Eg. My application will be available on a Smart Phone, which has a very limited set of features, but it provides me access to the data anywhere and whenever I want.

Project’s Impact
Another important part. This should again highlight how your application will help the world to be a better place or rather your explaination for the theme - "Imagine a world where technology enables a sustainable environment". Make sure you highlight your USP of the project here.

Business Proposition
Every project should be business viable or else its just shunned to the research world. You need to explain how are you going to sell your product or even you can enlist the finantial gains (or in this case, environment gains) by the use of the software.

I hope to have given a brief idea of making the Round 1 Submission. Be clear - your Idea is more important than anything. Think of something that is unique and effective. It may be imppossible to implement it but you never know, someone already knows how exactly to do it. Your idea can change the world. Be the part of the change you want the world to be.

Hope it helps.

Regards,

Bhavik Vora

Imagine Cup 2008 SDI dates changed !

Hi,

The dates mentioned in my previous post about Imagine Cup 2008 SDI have been modified.

The new dates are:
December 1, 2007: Registration Open
January 31, 2008: Round 1 Submission Deadline (Postponed from 15th January)
February 15, 2008: Round 1 Results Announced
March 15, 2008: Round 2 Submission Deadline
March 28, 2008: Round 2 Results Announced
April 25, 2008: India SDI National Finals
The India SDI National Finals will be held at Bangalore on Friday, 25th April, 2008.

Gear up for the Challenge, now that you have got enough time for Round 1 Submission.

Thanks Krunal for sharing this info again.

Regards,

Bhavik Vora

Hats off to the people who made it possible for Australia to beat India

Hi,

Even though it's a tech blog, i'll like to say about Cricket, my fav sport ! I really want to "thank" the people who made it possible for Aussies to win the "historic" Test Match at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, January 2-6, 2008  (Australia vs India, 2nd Test).

The 3 people are:

  • Mark Benson (Eng)
  • Steve Bucknor (WI)
  • 3rd Umpire: Bruce Oxenford (Aus)

Well you may wonder y is it so ! You know what, They have taken the most no. of catches, well even Stumpings and LBW wickets than the bowlers themselves. Also not to mention they also managed to score a century in form of Symonds ! The "best" Test match i've ever seen. Also hats of to Pontings team (read: Symonds) for creating a controversy of "nothing".

I wish we could afford to have such great people in our team. But we know we cant match their standards. We'll get off the pitch if we are out without waiting for Umpire's referral (which obv will be of no point). We stay calm while playing in front of 11+3 men team.

Words from CricBuzz.com -

"Well there you go. That is all over for India. Right from the word go, they were up against a stiff Australian side but when they took the field, they had other opponents to face as well. On Day 1, Australia were 50 odd for 2 when Ponting was given not out by umpire Mark Benson. The Indians overcame that and had the Australians reeling at 134 for 6. Some time later, Symonds was adjudged not out by umpire Steve Bucknor, again a clear edge which only Bucknor was unaware of. Some more time later, the third umpire joined the party, a stumping appeal was turned down against Symonds with his foot on the line. He went onto score his career best score and with another decision going in favour of him, a stumping appeal not even referred to the third umpire by Bucknor. Then comes the Indian innings, Jaffer was bowled off a no ball but it went unnoticed. Then came the Aussie second innings, Hussey was caught behind but given not out. He was out lbw some time later but given not out. Then came the final innings. Rahul Dravid was given out caught behind when the ball was nowhere close to the bat, Ganguly was given out despite Clarke having grassed the catch twice and Dhoni and RP Singh were at the wrong end of marginal decisions. It might seem like a case of sour grapes but had so many decisons not gone against them then perhaps India would have ended up with a 200 run first innings lead. Decisions go wrong as to err is human but the consistency, obviousness and timing of the decisions was so much against India, that they cannot stop themselves from feeling unlucky. "

On a serious note - Hats off to the Indian Team. I am proud to be an Indian :)

Regards,

Bhavik Vora