Tuesday, November 13, 2007

TCP is 30 !

The Transport Control Protocol(TCP) is thirty years old. The Register reports on the invention of TCP:

On November 22, 1977, as it motored down the street somewhere south of San Francisco, a souped-up delivery van sent some information to a computer lab at the University of Southern California, 400 miles away. No one can quite remember what the information was, but that really doesn't matter. What matters is the way it traveled.

It didn't travel as the crow flies. It traveled from San Francisco to Boston, before a trip to Norway and Britain. And from Britain, it bounced back to Southern California by way of a tiny town in West Virginia.

And it didn't travel over one data network. Thanks to a certain protocol called TCP, it traveled over three: a wireless packet radio network covering a few California hilltops, a satellite hookup bridging the Atlantic, and the Arpanet, a wired network that would go on to much bigger things.

Jon Postel's RFC 793, written in September 1981, is one of the most readable RFCs I have seen.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Mac comes home

After 14 years of Windows, we finally defenestrated it and upgraded to a Macbook last week.

The out-of-the-box experience was a dream compared to what we've seen with the two Dell machines we purchased over the last 4 years - no junk ads proliferating on the desktop and system bring-up with minimal user interaction. The system came loaded with Mac OS X Tiger and an upgrade DVD for Leopard. Upgrade was a breeze - load the DVD, agree to the license conditions, and within 20 minutes it was up and running. This is something I would never expect with a Windows system.

I've only used the Mac for web browsing so far - the real test will come when I start processing my photos, videos and home-audio recordings on it. We've already hit a hitch with the home-audio recording - the digital audio recorder records in the WMA format which, of course, Apple does not support.

Country Transformation With Wireless Technologies

One of the advantages of being a "lesser developed country" or a "developing country" or an "emerging market" (pick your favorite nomenclature) is that new technologies can be deployed without having to worry about support for legacy deployments. Now, thousands of patients in rural Tamil Nadu are receiving treatment thanks to a WiFi deployment that is a collaboration between Aravind Eye Hospital, Intel and University of California, Berkeley. This allows eye specialists at Aravind Eye Hospital at Theni to interview and examine patients in five remote clinics via a high-quality video conference.

Aravind Eye Hospital has a strategy of bringing disruptive technologies into medical treatment for the masses. A recent update on the deployment is available at Livemint.

Fast Company has a great profile on the the founder of Aravind Eye Hospital Dr. G.Venkataswamy.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Thinking of Career Change ?

Some things to think about while contemplating a change of careers.
Jack Welch weighs in on whether to stay or go.
"Does the prospect of going in each day excite you or fill you with dread? Does the work feel interesting and meaningful or are you just going through motions to pull a paycheck? Are you still learning and growing?
Second, do you enjoy spending time with your co-workers or do they generally bug the living daylights out of you?
Third, does your company help you fulfill your personal mission?
Fourth and finally, can you picture yourself at your company in a year?"

No matter where you work, at some point you will have to endure difficult times, and even a deadly dull assignment, to survive a crisis or move up. But it makes little sense to stay and stay at a company because of inertia. Unlock your door and get out.



Bloglines sent me to this blog called All Things Workplace that considers the same topic.