Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hans Rosling: Debunking third-world myths with the best stats you've ever seen

You've never seen data presented like this. With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, statistics guru Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called "developing world" in TED.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Elevator Story

There is a classic case in which the tenants of a large office building complained about the increasingly poor elevator service. A consulting firm specializing in elevator-related problems was employed to deal with the situation. It first established that average waiting time for elevators was too long. It then evaluated the possibilities of adding elevators, replacing existing elevators with faster ones, and introducing computer controls to improve utilization of elevators. For various reasons, none of these turned out to be satisfactory. The engineers declared the problem to be unsolvable.

When exposed to the problem, a young psychologist employed in the building's personnel department made a simple suggestion that dissolved the problem. Unlike the engineers who saw the service as too slow, he saw the problem as one deriving from the boredom of those waiting for an elevator. So he decided they should be given something to do. He suggested putting mirrors in the elevator lobbies to occupy those waiting by enabling them to look at themselves and others without appearing to do so. The mirrors were put up and complaints stopped. In fact, some of the previously complaining tenants congratulated management on improvement of the elevator service.

Ackoff, R. L., 1999

Re-creating the Corporation
Oxford Univ. Press, NY p15-16

Saturday, April 19, 2008

How to use the Firefox like a Pro?

I have consolidated some of the shortcuts to use the Firefox like a Pro.

Opens a New Tab.

Reloads Current Tab.

ALT + Home
Loads your Home/Start Page.

Changes to Next Tab.

Changes to Previous Tab.




CTRL + Click a Link
Opens in a New Tab.

Auto Complete URL to .com

Auto Complete URL to .net

Auto Complete URL to .org

Restore Last Closed Tab

download the linked file

opens the link in a new window

reload the current tab

reload the current tab and override the catch

change to the tab with this number

scroll down

close the current tab

ALT + F4
close the window

open an new firefox window

download the current webside

How to deselect all the selection in a select ( combo ) box?

In a HTML page sometimes we may have to deslect all the selection in a select control of html. but as a user we can't do anything. But using Javascript programatically we can achieve this. Here is the sample code in Javascript.

function clearSelect( selectObj ){
for (var i = 0; i < selectObj .options.length; i++) {
selectObj .options[i].selected = false;

note: we need to pass the select object as a parameter to this function.

the alternative to this code is
function clearSelect( selectObj ){
selectObj.selectedIndex = -1;

Friday, April 18, 2008

Bug Fixing

The huge printing presses of a major Chicago newspaper began malfunctioning on the Saturday before Christmas, putting all the revenue for advertising that was to appear in the Sunday paper in jeopardy. None of the technicians could track down the problem. Finally, a frantic call was made to the retired printer who had worked with these presses for over 40 years. "We'll pay anything; just come in and fix them," he was told.

When he arrived, he walked around for a few minutes, surveying the presses; then he approached one of the control panels and opened it. He removed a dime from his pocket, turned a screw 1/4 of a turn, and said, "The presses will now work correctly." After being profusely thanked, he was told to submit a bill for his work.

The bill arrived a few days later, for $10,000.00! Not wanting to pay such a huge amount for so little work, the printer was told to please itemize his charges, with the hope that he would reduce the amount once he had to identify his services. The revised bill arrived: $1.00 for turning the screw; $9,999.00 for knowing which screw to turn.

Commentary: most debugging problems are fixed easily; identifying the location of the problem is hard.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Vanilla Ice Cream that puzzled Automobile company

This is a real story that happened between the customer of automobile company and its Customer-Care Executive.

Pls read on.....

A complaint was received by an automobile company: 'This is the second time I have written to you, and I don't blame you for not answering me, because I sounded crazy, but it is a fact that we have a tradition in our family of Ice-Cream for dessert after dinner each night, but the kind of ice cream varies so, every night, after we've eaten, the whole family votes on which kind of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. It's also a fact that I recently purchased a new car since then my trips to the store have created a problem.....

You see, every time I buy a vanilla ice-cream, when I start back from the store my car won't start. If I get any other kind of ice cream, the car starts just fine. I want you to know I'm serious about this question, no matter how silly it sounds "What is there about the car that makes it not start when I get vanilla ice cream, and easy to start whenever I get any other kind?"

The company was understandably skeptical about the letter, but sent an Engineer to check it out anyway. The latter was surprised to be greeted by a successful, obviously well educated man in a fine neighborhood. He had arranged to meet the man just after dinner time, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the ice cream store. It was vanilla ice cream that night and, sure enough, after they came back to the car, it wouldn't start. The Engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, they got chocolate. The car started. The second night, he got strawberry. The car started. The third night he ordered vanilla. The car failed to start.

Now the engineer, being a logical man, refused to believe that this man's car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. He arranged, therefore, to continue his visits for as long as it took to solve the problem. And toward this end he began to take notes: He jotted down all sorts of data: time of day, type of gas uses, time to drive back and forth etc.

In a short time, he had a clue: the man took less time to buy vanilla than any other flavor. Why? The answer was in the layout of the store. Vanilla, being the most popular flavor, was in a separate case at the front of the store for quick pickup. All the other flavors were kept in the back of the store at a different counter where it took considerably longer to check out the flavor.

Now, the question for the Engineer was why the car wouldn't start when it took less time. Eureka - Time was now the problem - not the vanilla ice cream!!!! The engineer quickly came up with the answer: "vapor lock". It was happening every night; but the extra time taken to get the other flavors allowed the engine to cool down sufficiently to start. When the man got vanilla, the engine was still too hot for the vapor lock to dissipate.

Even crazy looking problems are sometimes real and all problems seem to be simple only when we find the solution, with cool thinking. We shouldn’t' just say it is "IMPOSSIBLE" without putting a sincere effort....


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch

This man is so inspirational... Highly motivating

Thanks to Rajesh paruchuri for sharing it with me.