Project managers have to be good software engineers

Every project manager would swear on the fact that managing the s/w development process aka software engineering is a pain. There are two kinds of project managers
– A hardcore technical guy who enjoys writing code, even though he is a project manager. He loves to dig at difficult problems, loves to work with his programmers to find interesting solutions to tough problems and believes that a project manager should also code.
– A second kind is the one who became a project manager because he managed to clock X number of years with the organization and since there is nothing else that can be done with him he is made a project manager. This person might be a complete stranger to the project for which he is the manager (something like a fella who asks what an object is, but still could be the project manager of a SmallTalk team).
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Open source has its set of advantages

Even though the debate about open source and closed source gets hotter by the day, the advantage of an open source system is significant. I had to make few changes in our installer system and after looking at the different possibilities, I decided the only way to take now is the highway.
   The source of the installer system was huge and definitely I could not hack the entire thing in one night. All I needed was few changes in the resources, so few trials in removing the resources and the associated APIs, I was in business. Another problem was the SpaceTexts in the script. They were getting enabled by default. Again tried few things via the script – did not help, so again – change the source (though this time I was lured into hacking the source much faster) .
Wee hours into the day, I was able to get the installer system close the specification, though need to remember that the new installer needs to be used for the script. Thank you people !

Internet censorship in India ?

Via ChaosZone. The Indian government seems to have entered a new field of censorship. Trying to censor a group, and that too by asking an ISP to block the group is clearly outrageous. We pride ourselves as the largest democracy, but some sarkari afsar decided that this was not good for the good (sic) of the country and decided to block a chota ethnic minority’s views. Then why on earth are the other groups in Y! being allowed ? There are a vast majority of e-groups that discuss matters like this, why target only one group ? Will someone answer this question ?

First shot at a lil optimal code

After reading up a few articles long back, I was wondering if I could optimize the code I was writing. I prefered not to get down to processor specific information nor could I use the optimizing features of the compiler.Thanks to the profiler with the IDE, I was able to find out the bottlenecks. There were few more things that sunny asked me to look at, which I plan to do tomorrow, but the small optimization I did was using bitwise operators to perform division.
   Instead of dividing with a perfect power of 2, I used a bitwise left shift , and got an improvement of ~7% 🙂 .May be Micheal Abrash might want to add this in his next version of the Zen 😉 On a side note, I found that its almost impossible to get this book. On Amazon, a used copy is selling at ~100 $ …yikes !

How come no one teaches about Turing Machines in comp. app ?

I couldnot help but reflect on why the Turing Machine never found a place in my academics. I remember there was a vague mention of it in some text ( I dont remember which subject it was). But something so fundamental (even though some would argue it is more of a historical fact than anything to do with comp applns in particular) is missing out in what we study.
Reading about the Turing machine and seeing how Alan Turing wanted a computation machine to work, I set off in my life’s memory lane trying to unearth how I understood the concept of a program / algorithm.
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The great blog escape

Got some time after 3 days of battling with bytes and DWORDs. From Anti’s blog I found about the great blog escape. Cool idea heh ! Pushing this idea further, every nonwork site should have an escape window (a la in case of emergency click here). There seems to be an interesting idea lurking somewhere 😉 . In case you wanna add it to your blog too, the code is here.

SYN flood detection has reached a new level

Simulating a SYN flood is one of the very first things anyone would have done when starting off with raw sockets. I did that too. I was trying to flood our lab’s telnet server (he he he can u see the devil inside ). But that was way back in college. Of course the fact that I was not successful in creating a flooded TCP stack still haunts me (boo hoo …) . I still wonder what was it that I did not do right…
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Interview questions leaked ;)

Joel is a nice critic of software development. His latest post on interviewing is just too good.
An absolute no-nonense post. Must read for any s/w developer or program manager.
I guess I have been compiling a list of too many must-reads. The interesting part of the post was the one about the number of petrol bunks in LA.I think that a vital trait required of a s/w developer.
   Now lets try an Indian isthyle joel question – how many bhains did you encounter while coming from your place to this office..