Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Darkest Lunar Eclipse tonight (15th Jun 2011)

Today we are going to witness a darkest Lunar Eclipse in decades. The last such a dark eclipse happened in 1971 and the next will be in 2058.

The Chandragrahan will be taking place in India between 23:53 hrs and 03:32 hrs (that is, 11:53 PM on June 15 to 03:32 AM early morning on June 16, 2011). Total Lunar Eclipse - the moon is fully covered - is from 12:52 AM to 02:33 AM on early morning of June 16, 2011. (Source: Hindu-Blog.com)

There is an interesting myth about the eclipses, which is part of an amazingly interesting fictitious story of Samudra Mantana (Churning of ocean) in Hindu mythology. Here's a short and simple version of it. For a long time, I'm waiting to see someone make a special effects movie around this story. Some Hindus make pregnant women even more scared of these eclipses. Here's a write-up about what do they do.

The BAS and the BVJSC are conducting an observation and discussion session on the Lunar eclipse tonight at the National College, Jayanagar, Bangalore. The Event is open to all and it is absolutely Free. It's open from 6:30 PM to 3:30AM. They have planned to
1. Have telescopes for observations of night sky (BAS is arranging 3 telescopes - 17.5 inch, 6 inch and 4 inch)
2. Talk about Eclipses - Science & myths involved
3. Observation of Eclipse.

Witness this wonderful celestial event without irrational fear - not sure how many of us will be alive and in enjoyable mood the next time in 2058!

Have fun,
Channa

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Google Instant.. Results as you type.. No clicks..

Google Instant is released on www.google.com couple of hours back. It's a great user experience as I've seen. Here are couple of screen shots I've taken to demonstrate and list down some positives and negatives I've observed.




+ It shows search results as you type.. no Click, no Enter. (In both images, I'vnt pressed Enter key)

+ It predicts your search and flashes results. (In the 1st image, I've typed only 2 letters "ad", and it predicted "adobe".)

+ When you press down arrow, it flashes result s...creen for respective suggestion. (In the 2nd image, I've typed "adobe" and pressed down arrow till "adobe reader". This makes me to look for Adobe products faster than ever)

+ Pressing right arrow will take you to the first result of the current suggestion. We got rid of "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, and this makes me to go to first result faster.

- This may increase the network load a little and hence some of the people at very low network speed may not like it. There is link next Search button to turn off the feature.

+ Some people guess that this may make search slower because it flashes so many different search result pages. Well, it's doesn't make it so slow as you may think. Extensive caching of searched results and improved indexing (recent launch of Caffeine) makes this not so tough job.

- It's released only for google.com domain, but not for specific countries' domains like google.co.in and google.co.uk. It'll be rolled out to the next set of domains in the next couple of weeks. But, co.in domain is not in the first set of domains :-(

The official site telling about Google Instant is www.google.com/instant.

Here are couple videos demonstrating the feature.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElubRNRIUg4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcm0rG8EKXI

I'll be happy see your comments.

Happy Searching,
Channa

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bengaluru BMTC Bus Route Search

We have witnessed that the Bengaluru BMTC bus service is one of the best in the nation. But, there was no easy way to find which bus runs on the desired route and especially for between two locations which doesn't have a direct bus. This information gap is now filled with an easy to search tool developed by a friend of mine; Narasimha Datta.

Here's the Search tool; http://narasimhadatta.info/bmtc_query.html

Here's the authentic blog post from the developer; http://narasimhadatta.blogspot.com/2010/08/bmtc-bus-route-search-now-more-powerful.html

Please help me in reaching this information to the needy people by passing on the URL http://narasimhadatta.info/bmtc_query.html.

Thanks,
Channa

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

To add Football World Cup schedules to your Google Calender

A friend of mine has created a calendar with all Football World Cup games this year. Please follow the instructions if you want to add it to your Google calendar:

1) Go on your Google Calendar site
2) In the top right corner, click on 'Settings' -> 'Calendar Settings'
3) Click on the tab 'Calendars'
4) On the right side, in the middle of the screen, click on 'Browse
interesting calendars'
5) On the right side, click on 'Add by URL'
6) Enter http://www.google.com/calendar/ical/n7nopfeehis3gpi2ljic74795k%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics
7) Hit 'Add Calendar'
8) Done! - If you now go back to your normal calendar view, you can
see that have a new calendar in the list on the left underneath 'All
World-Cup Games' and you should see all games in your calendar
starting Friday the 11th

Have fun!
Channa

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Google AdWords Hiring Event on April 24th/25th in 15 cities

For exciting career in Online Sales and Operations at Google.


Here's is the ad on today's Times of India edition.
(http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Daily/Skins/Ascent/navigator.asp?Action=view/issue&section=Times%20Ascent&Daily=TOIBG&Issue=TOIBG/2010/04/14&BaseHref=TOIBG/2010/04/14&Page=40)

It's for the positions
1. AdWords Representative - Hyderabad
2. AdWords Associate
- Hyderbad

The hiring event is happening in 15 fifteen cities
1.
Bangalore
2.
Mangalore
3.
Hyderabad
4.
Vijaywada
5.
Vizag
6.
Cochin
7.
Trivandrum
8.
Chennai
9.
Pondicherry
10.
Madurai
11.
Trichy
12.
Coimbatore
13.
Delhi
14.
Kolkata
15.
Pune


Sounds interesting? Pass your resume across. My email id is on gmail with username "channabankapur".

Thanks,
Channa

Monday, March 8, 2010

Job Searching tips for aspiring Software Engineers

​Q. Target audience?
Fresh computer science (or equivalent) graduates looking for job opportunities as a Software Engineer.


Q. What to prepare?
Obviously, it's not so orthogonal to what you learn in the engineering program.

First set of subjects (Hard-Core):
1. Structured (Procedural) programming with C
2. Object-oriented programming with C++ (or Java)
3. Data Structures
4. Fundamentals of Algorithms

Second set of subjects (Soft-Core):
1. Algorithmic design and analysis (covering analyzing complexities, Dynamic Programming, exploring BSTs)
2. Operating Systems

Third set of subjects (Electives):
1. DBMS
2. Network Technologies
3. Distributed Computing
4. Systems Programming (Unix)
5. Data Mining and Machine Learning
6. Embedded Systems (and Real-Time Systems)
7. Pattern Recognition
etc.

The Hard-Core is essential to be good at. You can't say "I'm not so good in that", "That's not my key area". This is not a domain, it's the ABCD of a Software Engineer.

The Soft-Core is also generally expected to fairly good at for a Computer Science graduate. But, you can afford to avoid it.

You are expected to be passionate about at least one of the subjects in the Electives set, which plays a key role in the domain you are going to work in.


Q. How to prepare?
Having said that, the preparation could be little different depending the kind of companies you apply for.

Suppose, you are looking for companies like Google which gives a high thrust for problem solving skills irrespective of languages-knowledge and technologies. Some companies like Microsoft also looks critically for problem-solving skills. In addition to that they care how clearly you can convert your abstract algorithm into a ready-to-run code. For both categories, the Hard-Core subjects are good enough in terms of knowledge. But, they look for how much you can stretch your brain-cells to get a new solution to puzzles of programming. Here the interviewers look out for how systematically you can approach to solving the problem. Start with a simple (maybe brute-force) solution and use its complexity as the benchmark to improve your algorithm. Then stretch out for more elegant ways and improve the algorithm.

To prepare for such interviews, the first thing I recommend is start solving problems in Google CodeJam, TopCoder.com, EulerProject.com, etc. These questions are the right set of exercises to stretch your gray-cells. More than the knowledge, they look for the problem solving skills. So, more than reading anything, getting the momentum of problem solving is more important.

Suppose, you are looking for I.T. services companies like TCS, which cares about what all technologies you know so that they can allocate you to the respective projects.


Q. How to write email to the recruiters?
Show your humbleness and preparedness while asking for an opportunity to be interviewed. Don’t just throw your resume in hundred different places and hope to hit any one of them. Look out for the jobs which leverage your skills and strengths. Here are a few things you should watch out for while sending an email to a recruiter.
+ Address them politely in the email. If you know the contact person’s name, address the person directly like “Hi Narayan,”.
+ Summarize your career (for a fresher, about your degree, the descipline and your core strength) in about 20-30 words.
+ Avoid using generic words like “in your esteemed organization”, do your homework about the company and show your interest in the company.
+ End your mail gracefully requesting them to consider attached copy of resume to get you an opportunity to be interviewed.


Q. And, about RESUME?
+ Filename of the resume should say it’s a resume and your name. E.g. “Resume of Kiran.pdf”.
+ If you can send the resume in “pdf” file format, it’s great as the spacings stay intact and the pdf reader is free and well known. MS doc format is also okay, but sometimes different versions spoil the spacings. Also, some may not using MS Word! and using free OpenOffice, which generally spoils the spacings.
+ Name, email id and contact phone numbers should be clearly visible in the top. Even making this info into a “header” and appearing in all pages is also great. Avoid printing “Resume” or “CV” in the top.
+ Avoid fancy looking email id like “starcastle5000@gmail.com”
+ Sections: Contact residence address, Career Summary, Education (table), Technical skills, Projects, Extra stuffs like “Activities and Honors”. This is one of the acceptable format.
+ Avoid “Objectives” section. It doesn’t mean anything - they know that you know that.
+ Avoid Personal details talking about Father’s name, Sex, Nationality, Languages you speak. This is obsolete in I.T. resumes.
+ Education details should be crisp and clear.
+ Be very ready to explain your academic project - in just two sentences, or summarize in 2-3 minutes, or explain for an hour.
+ Remove the Date, Place, Signature thingy in the end. It’s irrelevant for sending it over email.


I've just dumped whatever I wanted to say for now. Lets improvise this iteratively. All kinds of comments are welcome!

Thanks,
Channa Bankapur

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Russians and Chinese rock in Google Codejam

I made it to top 3000, but failed to make it to top 500. Top 500s get a T-shirt each, and I missed one. I saw the results of succeeding round among top 500s which decides top 25 for the final round at Mountain View office. Among those 25 people, 12 are from either Russia or China (7 from Russia and 5 from China). And, the remaining 13 people are from 13 different countries. So, no other country other than Russia and China has got more than one person in top 25. Here is the link.
http://code.google.com/codejam/contest/scoreboard?c=243103#

Russians rock even more because other than the 7 from Russia, other 4 are from former Soviet Union. One from each of Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Georgia. Basically, former Soviet Union has got 11 out of top 25!

What about Indians? 169 is the top-most rank any Indian has got and there were only 4 in top 500 :(

For more stats on Google Codejam, goto http://www.go-hero.net/jam/09/

./Channa