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Decision Influencers

I sometimes wonder what influences our decisions. Why do we end up making certain decisions? while other choices are available. I tried to explore the subject, and found following 3 influencers, in that order. Values
Growing up, our parents, relatives and friends help us understand the world around us. Especially, parents take the responsibility of giving right values to their children. These could be religious, financial or others. For e.g.  Do not waste food, overspend etc. As these come from our trusted relations, we make them part of our life. We start taking our decisions based on these values. Beliefs
When we move forward in our life, especially in our adolescent and young years, we develop deeper understanding. Some of us become independent as part of being away from home for higher studies, or work. We meet new people who challenge our current values. A lot of us start re-thinking about the very values in light of new knowledge. For e.g., while we shouldn’t overspend, what e…

Types of Employees

I have worked for almost 19 years in IT Development. Out of this, 12 years is of building and managing engineering teams. I have come across 4 types of employees during my experience.
Here I explain the types, and discuss the ways for managers to work with them.
Not talented These kinds rank low in the list, and do not seem to get the measure of anything. Some of them have got the right education, but perhaps not the right acumen. I remember, once an engineering qualified team member having hard time to even follow Linux CLI commands.
What to do It may sound harsh, but Managers should get rid of them at first opportunity. You might actually do them a favor. I remember once firing an underperforming employee, telling me emotionally, “I know, you don't find me worth anything”. I, in an empathizing tone replied, “That's not correct. You are worthy, just not here”. A year later, I came to know he shifted to Singapore on a support assignment, and was doing well for past few month…

Restore Grub / Grub 2.0 in absence of Ubuntu installation media

For the background,

Grub is Ubuntu's boot loader. On dual boot machines (e.g. Windows & Ubuntu), Grub takes care of providing User an option to boot in one of the OS.

Grub can be overwritten by Windows loader (e.g. during Windows installation), and Windows does not give option to boot in any other OS, except its own :(

The easiest method is to use boot-repair from Ubuntu to fix the boot entries post Windows installation. However, this requires a Live CD or equivalent (ubuntu usb boot etc.) to work. How this works is out of scope for this post. You can find more information on http://www.howtogeek.com/114884/how-to-repair-grub2-when-ubuntu-wont-boot/

If you happen to be in my situation, i.e. without Ubuntu installation media, you need to do few other steps. This works only when your other operating system is Windows, and at least Windows Vista or above (7, 8, 10 etc.). We will use Windows tool, bcdedit to do these steps. bcdedit lists and manages the boot entries. You can do a…

Sone ke gahno ki Bangalore mein adla badli (exchange)

हाल ही में, मैं और मेरी पत्नी ने अपनी बारहवीं सालगिरह पर एक दुसरे को प्लैटिनम लव बैंड्स देने का निर्णय लिया।

क्योंकि, पूरी कीमत हमारे बजट से ज़्यादा थी, हमने अपने पुराने गहनो को देने का विचार किया। हमारे पास कुछ पुराने गहने थे , जिन्हें हम इस्तेमाल नहीं कर रहे थे। इन्हें देने से हमारा खर्च कम हो सकता था।

मैंने अपने रिहाइशी शहर बेंगलुरु में सुनार कंपनियों से बात करना शुरू की।  सबसे विश्वास योग्य बात तनिष्क कंपनी (जयानगर) वालो ने की। उनके मुताबिक वे हमारे आभूषणों को पहले शुद्धता (प्यूरिटी) के लिए चेक करेंगे। उसके बाद वे हमें एक आकलन (एस्टीमेट) देंगे। अगर हम मंज़ूर करे, तो वे आभूषणों को गलायेंगे। गलने के बाद, सोने की शुद्धता दोबारा चेक की जाएगी। अगर शुद्धता ९१.६ फीसदी  से कम हुई तो ८ फीसदी एस्टीमेट में से काटा जायेगा, अन्यथा २ फीसदी। हर कंपनी ने इस एक्सचेंज से पैसा देने से इनकार किया। पुरे दाम का कुछ गहना लेना ही पड़ेगा।

हम तनिष्क जयानगर पहुचे। हमें वहां पर अपने पसंद की कोई भी अंगूठी तैयार नहीं मिली। सेल्समेन ने हमें  आर्डर देने का सुझाव दिया, पर अंघुठिया ३० दिन से पहले नहीं मिल पाएंगी। हम…

Old Gold Jewelry Exchange in Bengaluru

Recently, I and my wife decided to gift ourselves platinum love bands on our wedding anniversary.

We figured that we do not have enough money to buy it outright, and decided to exchange our unused gold jewelry to cover the cost. Most of our jewelry is done by an old family goldsmith almost 10 years ago. Understandably, there is no receipt, as most of it is done based on trust.

Our first problem was to find someone trustworthy to handle our jewelry. Trusting can be tricky, so I decided to find someone with clear and transparent exchange process. I talked with Tanishq, Orra, Joyalukas and a few others.

Among above all, I found Tanishq (Jayanagar, Bengaluru) most straightforward, with a clear and transparent process. They will evaluate the jewelry, and will give a rough estimate. If fine with us, they will melt the jewelry. If purity is found below 91.6, they will deduct 8%, otherwise 2% from the estimate. All the work, including melting, will be done in front of us. None of the company…

OpenOffice Row Height resetting on each edit / sheet opening

The issue is about Optimal Row Height. I was tired of setting Optimal Row Height each time, to reveal the text that just hid.

Optimal Row Height is the spacing between largest character in the Row and Row boundary with other rows. Row Optimal Height can be either set Manually, or it switches to default. My default was set to 0.0. This hid the text on each Edit / Open.

I modified the setting by
Selecting the entire rows (Ctrl-a)Right-Click on any row number, e.g. 1, 2 etc.Select Optimal Row HeightTried various settings, i.e. 0.1, 0.05, 0.2Settled with 0.1, as the spacing is optimal for the view Let me know if this doesn't work for anyone.

Performance boost for GPU

I recently surfaced couple of ways to speed up GPU based application. I was experimenting with art transformation of images on a P2 class AWS machines. The process was taking anytime between 10 to 16 seconds, with an average of around 14 seconds. I was exploring, if time can be further optimized.
A brief chat with AWS resolved it for me. The AWS support guy asked me to set up my P2 per https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/new-p2-instance-type-for-amazon-ec2-up-to-16-gpus/
I had done almost everything confirming to link above, except last 4 statements. Turns out, these commands configure some cool performance configurations.
Nvidia-smi (https://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-system-management-interface) is a CLI for Nvidia GPU devices. As AWS P2 class server contain Nvidia Tesla K80 devices, I can use nvidia-smi to see and set options.
nvidia-smi -pm 1 The above option toggles Persistence Mode. It’s a GPU Attribute, which ensure Nvidia Driver remains loaded, even when an application is not runnin…