Monday, October 15, 2007

The Boardwalk

Yesterday Rosie and Simon went to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with their friend Nico. Rosie rode plactically everything, from the kid rides to the throw up rides like the Tsunami. She did not throw up! In fact, she's only thrown up once in here life (sorry, no pictures of that.)

Simon's favorite ride is the Ferris Wheel. He says he likes it most because it doesn't make him sick. The picture at the top is Rosie, Nico, and Simon at the very top of the Ferris Wheel. He did eat something called Dipping Dots, a weird sort of ice cream that sticks to your tongue as if it were kept frozen with liquid nitrogen. At least he liked it!

Simon also liked the climbing wall.

We finally got smart and bought a season pass. Rosie and Simon have been to the Boardwalk tons of times, and this will keep my wallet from getting sick, too!!

We all went to the beach afterwards. It was a little chilly out, but that didn't seem to bother the kids in the least.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Power Outage

Saturday morning, I woke up around 6:45. With the time change and all, that's about as late as I've managed to sleep on any given day. Today the plan is to go into the office for half a day or so, since Tuesday was the big Ganesh Immersion holiday. This is where the streets of every city are clogged with Hindu worshippers carrying statues of Ganesh to dunk in their favorite body of water. Ganesh is the Hindu deity with the body of a man, but the head of an elephant.

Around 7AM, I plugged my laptop into the wall, and simultaneously, the power in the entire apartment went dead. I instantly thought that my laptop was somehow responsible. But after looking up and down the hallway, and out at the other dark windows in the building, I figured it was a "planned" power outage.

All of this reminded me of my days in Turkey. Once in a while in the dead of winter, especially when a cold snow storm blew in from the Ukraine, I'd be without power and water for up to two days at a time. The temperature in the apartment I lived in then would drop steadily. By the time the power came back, it was frigid inside, and the toilet was in need of a good flush.

At least here the weather is warm and the water is on. Plus there's bound to be power at the office. Or, maybe not...

High Society

Friday, after a morning of phone calls and other office business, the KnoahSoft VP of Administration, Ramana Reddy, took me for a tour of the main call center facility in the Hyderabad commercial district.

Quite unlike the other parts of the city I had seen so far, this part, called Banjara Hills, was all new construction, glass, and steel. This is clearly where the well-heeled of Hyderabad shop, dine, and hang out. After visiting the call center, Ramana took me to lunch in a restaurant outfitted with a vintage railcar and fabulous Indian food.

The people in the restaurant, as well as the rest of the shopping center, were clearly the benficiaries of the IT boom that has lifted some peoples boats throughout India. It was almost like not being in India at all.

The contrast between this one mall and the rest of the infrastructure is pretty stark. We drove back to the office from this modern commercial district in clogged traffic on worn out, potholed roads desperately in need of the kind of spending and attention as the place we just left.

Home Sweet Home

I got back to the apartment and had dinner. Next time I'll try and write up something about the food and my cook, Suresh. But this time around I want to talk about the home front. I had run out of bottled water, so I decided to head down to the restaurant associated with the apartment complex to buy some.

The weather outside has not been terribly hot, and this evening was positively beautiful. A slight breeze kept the air clear, and the complex and grounds that the apartment is in are pretty quiet and clean.

The surprise, though, was the park and immaculate swimming pool at the back of the complex. There were lots of kids running around, as there are many families living here. The scene was not much different than what I'd find at any park back home: families spending time after work with their kids. Click here for a look.

On the way back, I passed an old couple sitting near the pool, enjoying the evening. I said "hi" and they invited me to sit. So we sat and chatted for a few minutes. He told me proudly about his daughter who's a VP at a local IT company.

Proud parents, happy kids playing. Just like at home.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

On India Time

Day 2, and I think I'm totally adjusted to the 12.5 hour time change. This meant that I was able to get through the day at the office without my eyes glazing over. This was useful, as I spent the day with Shankar and Virinchi working through the KnoahSoft 2.0 database model and related software design. Did I say I managed to make it through that without my eyes glazing over? Must be the water...

I got a ride "home" with Virinchi. He had to run a few errands, giving me a chance to take some photos and video. Have a look here for the video. If the link doesn't work, it's because my Internet connection here was too slow to upload the huge file.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Getting Down to Business

The first day at work in India was interesting and eyeopening. After a 5 mile drive through throngs of traffic, consisting primarily of yellow motorized jitneys and water buffalo herds, I reached the KnoahSoft building.

The moment I arrived, the work began. I've been meeting with the technical leads of the India development team, some of whom are photographed above (Phani, Shankar, and Virinchi, left to right.) The primary purpose of my trip is to coordinate the design and architecture of the various technolgies to be integrated in the KnoahSoft products. So the more time I can spend with these folks, the better.

Around three o'clock, I was getting pretty tired from jet lag. This was just as well, since at that very time my to "handlers," Malik and Ramand, took me on a grocery shopping junket. So I got to wander through a Hyderabad Q-Mart, something like a cross between Safeway and Nordstrom's. There were a few other Westerners shopping there, and I wondered what they did in India. Malik and Ramand then took me back to the apartment, and showed me around the virtually empty gyn and totally empty swimming pool that belong to the apartment complex. Beautiful facilities, being used by no one. I couldn't help but think how much Rosie and Simon would have loved the pool.

As we left, I passed a blond boy who was about 6. He looked at me like I must have been looking at him, with a face that said "what could you possibly be doing here?"

Dealing with Jet Lag

I landed in India last night around 11PM. This picture gives a pretty good idea of what everything looked like to me after nearly 24 hours in transit from San Francisco to Hyderabad.

After getting my bags, finding my driver, and reaching the aprtment and getting settled, I got to bed just after 2AM. I managed to sleep on and off until about 6:30 in the morning, when I decided to give up trying and get ready to head into the office.

Amazingly, I wasn't completely wiped out today. I was definitely tired, but I managed to make it through the day without collapsing. My hope is to stay up until about 8 tonight, then hit the hay and sleep all night. That should be enough to get adjusted to the time change.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Countdown Begins

In about 24 hours, I start the journey to India. I'm getting all of my last minute preparations done. Not least of these is spending time with the kids. Simon just read his first "I Spy" book all by himself. I'll miss working with him on reading, but it's only 11 days. Rosie? She spent the night at a friends, and is pretty busy with her own life!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Native Mobile Blog

I just noticed that fellow Microsoft MVP João Paulo Figueira posted a link to my blog. His own blog, Native Mobile, can be found here. He's got a lot of great resources on his site for native Windows CE code development.

Have a look, and thanks João Paulo for the plug!!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Embedded Systems Conference 2006 Slides

Here is the final version of my slides from my Embedded Systems Conference 2006 (San Jose) presentation Embedded Application Programming With Windows CE. Thanks to all of you who attended!

Click Here For The Slides.