jay's old blog

this blog will be deleted soon - please visit my new blog - https://thesanguinetechtrainer.com

Thanks to W3Schools and Johnson G

None of us were born with programming skills. We all learned it somewhere. In the case of web programming, we are obtaining our knowledge from two sources, primarily. 

W3Schools 

This site is excellent for extreme beginners. Like, while taking baby steps. They have excellent menu system which helps to locate the needed topic quickly. Further, they also have a very cool live editor which is great for practicing basic stuff. 

They can be found at www.w3schools.com 

Programming in HTML5 with JavaSript and CSS3 Training Guide by Johnson G

This is the book we are using, specifically, as we pursue the web certification from Microsoft, Exam 480. We actually wanted to buy the official book (like we did while studying for the other certifications) but for some reason, the official book does not have an Indian Edition, and hence insanely expensive. Fortunately, we found this alternative.  

Other than this, as usual, I have to thank my mentor Mika and stack overflow. They are the usual sources when learning of course. And countless other blogs from which we learn something or the other.

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Real Developer uses 2 monitors

This will hopefully be a simple blog post. I have previously written about developer tips. Stuff like documentation and use wireless keyboard and mouse. This is part of that.  

One of the things that I know from experience is the value of extra real estate. Only a few minutes after I sit down to develop, I find that I have the following on my monitor. 

  • At least three communication apps – Skype, Messenger and Slack.  

  • At least three different browsers – Edge, Firefox and Chrome.  

  • At least a dozen browser tabs. More, as the day progresses. 

  • At least half a dozen folders. 

  • At least three sticky notes. 

  • Then, quite a few word documents which contain essential notes.  

  • Then, visual studio 

  • Then, visual studio code. 

  • Other office related applications that are essential to get the work done.  

  • Two to three emulators. 

As you can see from the above, life of a developer means constant multi-tasking. However, even a super cool developer can only switch so much. Multitasking is one thing, but getting annoyed (due to having to switch so much) is another thing. Even a hardcore firefighter yearns for the calm moments when there is no fire. 

This is where external monitor comes into picture. Adding further need for this is the fact that most of us (developers) use our laptops as our primary developing machines. Laptops are powerful today. They have 8 to 16 GB RAM, dedicated graphics card. However, they are actually getting smaller. 14 inch and 13 inch laptops rule the roost. Even expensive laptops come with a pathetic resolution of 1366 X 768 (slumped!) which is just not enough.  

The low resolution coupled with the 14 or 15 or 13-inch real estate can drive any fast working developer mad. That is why, you should consider getting an external monitor to your workstation. If you can get two, that is even better. With more real estate, you can reduce some of the unnecessary window switching that you can do. 

For instance, debugging is something we all do a lot. With a single, small, low resolution laptop screen, you are constantly switching between your IDE (Visual Studio for instance) and the UI of your app. With two screens, you put the IDE on one screen (the larger one) and the UI on the smaller laptop screen. 

Ah! Now that’s better isn’t it?

platform kathe – updated

Although, I consider myself a patient individual (LOL), there are times when I am particularly impatient. One of those times was June 3rd when I published my first novel. By god, the novel had mistakes. Of course, nothing can change the fact that the novel is boring and mind numbing. However, the novel had other problems like spelling mistakes which simply were intolerable. 

My friends and friends who have been emotionally blackmailed to read my novel, are true god souls. I can only imagine how they read through the spelling mistakes. So, I decided to fix it. Thanks to the nature of Amazon Kindle Publishing, I am allowed to 'push' updates to my own novel.  

Here are the fixes. 

Anyway, here are the fixes for this edition.  

  • added more content to 'hello' page.  

  • added the 'new in this edition' page (this very page you are reading).   

  • added more stuff to the 'thank you' page.  

  • added age rating to the disclaimer page.  

  • added an 'other stuff' page.   

  • more than 500 spelling, grammar and typos fixed. It's clear that I did zero editing and let the first edition go with zero fixes. Allow me to apologize for that. It was my first book and I clearly wasn’t thinking straight.  

IMPORTANT NOTE: No story related changes have been made in this edition. That means, whatever you remember from you first run (in case you read the earlier editions) is still completely valid. 

Now, there is a good news bad news situation here. As per Kindle rules and regulations, only ‘new’ buyers will get the updated book. The existing buyers won’t get the new users. However, I have asked the kindle support to allow past buyers to get the latest version. I hope they will allow that.  

Almost, forgot, you can buy the book here.




Note : If you already purchased the book, you will need to follow the following steps to get the updated version.

Check Your Updates

If you purchased a copy of your book and need to see updates, click "Contact Us" and we will send the updated content to your device. You won't need to purchase it again.
To receive updates to your Kindle books automatically

1. Turn on the Annotations Backup* for your Kindle device or Kindle reading app to sync your notes, highlights, bookmarks, and furthest page read
2. Go to the Manage Your Content and Devices page
3. Select "Automatic Book Update" under the Settings tab
4. Select "On" from the dropdown menu
Note: The Automatic Book Update feature may not yet be available for markets outside of the U.S.
*The following devices automatically enable the Annotations Backup:  Fire HD, Fire HDX, Kindle for Android, Kindle for Windows 8, and Kindle for BlackBerry 10. 
As a result, you cannot turn off the Annotations Backup.

Microsoft Makes Buying Difficult

Now that I am blogging like a crazy person and also writing novels and doing the usual writing stuff as part of my job, I needed better productivity tools. Till now, I was using Word Online and I really did not want to do any of that pirating software stuff.  

In fact, today morning when I was editing my novel (it had a lot of spelling mistakes) I just realized that, yeah, I need the full power of Word behind me. This Word Online is good but my work will get faster with a real desktop app. So, I looked around for the button that says ‘Upgrade’ and you know what, I could not find it. 

This baffled me! 

At this point in time, it is clear that Microsoft is not a consumer facing company anymore. The loss experienced in the windows phone hit Microsoft hard. There is no turning back from that. It’s an enterprise company and one that sells services. That is why, it is baffling that they did not include a simple prompt or something or anything in the ‘Word Online’ that points to an upgrade option.  

In some ways, this is good. Microsoft – unlike Facebook or Google – is one company that is not ad dependent. It asks its users to pay for its services and very rarely does it pester you with commercials. Sometimes it does pester. Like those windows 10 upgrade notifications, elegant ads in Outlook.com and even Skype ads. They are ads but they are still less invasive than what Google and Facebook do. All in all, I am thankful that there is at least still one company that is not hammering down on me and showering me with ads. 

At the same time, I feel that perhaps Microsoft will make it slightly more straightforward to upgrade from its free version of apps. In my case, I already know about Office 365, the subscription program. I binged it and got to it. However, a lot of other folks may not know that. 

Game of Thrones - A Clash of Kings

[This blog post is rated A for Adult. If you are less than 18, don’t read] 

[Spoiler Alert if you havent watched Game of Thrones or read Game of Thrones]

Previously, I had written about the first book of Game of Thrones. Of course, spoiler alert if you haven't read the novels. Then again, at this point, it’s almost impossible to avoid game of thrones spoilers. However, I am a pretty smart guy (who occasionally takes dumb decisions) and hence, have developed and mastered the art of avoiding game of throne spoilers. Ah! Hope you do that.

Alright, so when the last book ended, things ended badly for everybody who lives in the GOT world. You see, the main king who kept everybody at bay is long dead (Robert). The one guy who was morally upright (which translates to being an idiot) is also dead (Eddard Stark). Some moron is the king now which is Joffrey, who is a complete idiot by the way. Then again, he is 13, which explains a lot. Now, everybody is literally fighting everybody. That's how the book starts. With everybody fighting everybody and everybody themselves kings and trying to tell others that they are to yield.

This book is simply not good as the first one. I mean, really. I kind of felt that the author and the publishers became greedy. I call it the 'Order of the Phoenix' effect. Although 'Order of the Phoenix' from Harry Potter help flesh out the story and characters, it seems like one big 'take that' to some principal that JK Rowling probably never liked. Seriously, those who are new to Harry Potter can simply go from book 4 to book 6, and really not miss anything. Book 6 starts at exactly where Book 4 ended, making Book 5 of Harry Potter one big filler.

To me, this Clash of Kings was and is like that. It does not do anything to any characters. In the first book, there was some really cool characters. Like that Khal guy, that idiot but honor bound Eddard Stark and another dumb guy which is Robert. These are all characters who were pretty weird in their own way but they were interesting characters. When they died, it was all very shocking and had massive impact on the story. For instance, if Robert did not choose Eddard, none of the story would have happened. If Robert himself did not die, there would be no game of thrones in the first place.

The thing with Clash of Kings is that, nothing really moves. People who were searching for something to happen are still searching for something to happen. That Danny woman got cool dragons in the last book. That is awesome and totally badass. However, in this book, the dragons are literally doing nothing. They are as dangerous as a windows virus on a mac computer. Then, there are the lost daughters of Stark and they are both still where they were previously. Then, the house of Winterfell which was in shambles is still in shambles. The house of lannister is still where it was before. Some huge battles happen and sure they are pretty well detailed, but no one of consequence dies.

Then, magic is introduced. Yes, magic! That source of magic is never explained, and hence, we never find out what its limits are. Or, where it comes from and why only works for some and not for others. How would one defend magic? That is not mentioned either. In fact, there are points in the story where 'artificial limits' are imposed so that magic won't clear out entire battles in seconds. Then there is Jon Snow who is just as clueless as he was about what he wants to do with his life. Does he want to return to his family? Does he want to stay on the blacks? Then, there is the part where he becomes a double agent. The only reason it works is because the other gang is just stupid.

Then, there is food. There are times when the book just becomes food and about food. The ending is just, well a non-ending. I am reading and I am reading and I am reading...and dun...dun...dun..it's over. No resolution for you, says Mr. Martin.

Anyway, the book, though not 'read again' material, helps cement the positions of a variety of characters. Tyrion is by far the coolest dude in the entire series and of course, he is the real hero in this book as well. I fully expect him to continue to steal the limelight in the rest of the series as well. Then, I have high hopes for arya stark, because she is secretly turning out to be a ruthless badass. Other than that, I really want to see what happens to the Lannisters. They are doing all kind of shady things, and they do deserve some karmic blows for that. Of course, in the world of GOT, its difficult to say who is good and who is bad. We make our alliances and see where it goes.

Perhaps, that is why, I will move on to the next book. There is simply so much happening and yes, some parts of the books are boring. I mean, whenever the battle scenes happen or feasts happen, I just skip ahead and read some Wikipedia to see if I missed something important. While Jon is a cool character – with his constantly confused aims in life – his story moves slowly. His group – the blacks – simply are taking way too much time to figure out who is riling them up. His only achievement in the entire book is that he is now a double agent. And he won't kill women. Still, it is clear that he is more of a Stark than every other stark in the book. He may be a bastard but man, if only he did not leave for the Blacks, Winterfell won't be as bad as it is now. He probably left because his step mom is just pissed off with him. That is just stupid.

Then, there is the special case of Theon. This guy is just made of stupidity. Really. Has he never played chess? You move fast and without taking down the other pieces, you get rid of the queen. Sure, that is awesome. However, after you have the queen, you still need to guard your location because you don’t have a plan to take out the king, horse, camel and all the other chess pieces. Seriously, is there anybody more foolish than him? I mean, everybody around him knows he is useless. Then, he actually gives money to another guy so he can buy his own army. Why god why!!!!!

In fact, if anything, the book just goes to show how stupid people can be. Like those two brothers who would fight each other than gang up against a seriously common enemy. I mean, everybody is talking about how their brother's own wife is doing all kind of nasty things and did nasty things for their own brother. Instead of marching towards that, they fight each other. Then, there is Robb Stark and his mom, who are trying to conquer the world but leave their own home unguarded and with a disabled prince no less. Then, the Lannisters who are busy conspiring against each other instead of the others who are coming after them. Or, why did they not think their plan through before they screwed things up.

If not for anything, at least to see how stupid the starks can get...how stupid the lannisters can get..and even more stupid theon greyjoy can get. Hopefully, people will grow a little common sense in the next book. Also hopefully, the next book actually gets the characters around instead of keeping them where they are.

Why are all digital assistants girls or women?

Now that I am slowly going from a single platform (Microsoft) guy to multiplatform guy (Microsoft, Google and Apple), I am now using services from every service provider. Today, I was exploring launchers on my droid device, and I found that it had a personal assistant. Of course, I used to be a super user of Cortana back when I used to use windows phone and my expectations with digital assistant are already high. Whatever may be Microsoft fault's with mobile, Cortana is not one of them. I mean, Cortana is just awesome. She jokes, she talks back and she sings songs and tells amusing jokes.  

So, today, thanks to that launcher, I ended up turning on Google Now, which is Google's version of Cortana. I must say, Google Now is useful but she does not have a personality. Seriously, she cannot even respond to a simple 'hello'. I don’t know why. Yes, Cortana is there on droid too, but it’s a beta and its not available in India. From what I hear about Siri (Apple's digital assistant), she is not that good either. Although I don’t have personal experience with that.  

Anyway, in this blog post, I want to talk about, not their personalities. It just weirded me out that, all of them are girls or females. Seriously. Why are they all female voices? I mean, men and women are equally likely to use smartphones. They are both equally like to use services in the phone. Yet, for some reason, the voice is always female.  

I remember watching this movie Space Odyssey. That movie depicted a future where spaceships are commonplace. That is pretty cool. The sad part is, the pilots were all men. The stewardess were all female. Back when the movie was made, sure women were 'stay in the kitchen' material. That movie is old too. Like at least 30 years old. Now, in the year 2016, if the digital assistants are to be believed, women are still 'assistant only' material?  

I really am not sure, what all this means. Are we not moving forward, yet?

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Development Documentation and why do it

Now that many of study nildana students are pursuing some serious, hardcore certifications, I expect many things from them. I expect them to take up mentoring of their own. I expect them to conduct workshops with minimal supervision. I expect them to program like pros and that means, I expect them to document the sky out of their code.  

A lot of times folks think that I boast about myself a lot! Like, way too much. Many imply that I probably lie a lot as well, about my abilities. Without denying or confirming that, I can be honest about some other things. For instance, as a developer I am average at best. I have the essential skills to get the job done. When given an assignment, I will ensure that the bus arrives on time, and the passengers were safe and comfortable during the journey. I may not be able to give them a thrill ride, like jumping across bridges or drive them through a herd of buffaloes or lions who are going at it like the species is going extinct.  

While my developer skills are passable at best, I make up for it by doing stuff that I am yet to see many developers do. One of those things that I strongly believe in is documentation. I have wrote about this previously, and decided to add some pointers to it.  

The nature of software is that it evolves over time, and until someone pulls the plug and says 'okay we are done with this app', there is always something that can be done with it. This is why versioning happens with software. Each version will be built, targeting a particular feature set that needs implementing. This feature set is provided to the developer, who will then go about developing it, one feature after another.  

What I have seen is, developers – the moment they are assigned – just pull out their laptops irrespective of whether their brain is ready with a rock solid solution. That means, a lot of times developers are working with half-ready solutions that don’t really go anywhere. Eventually leaving everybody involved dissatisfied and creating awkward scenarios.  

Rather, what I suggest is to start with documentation. 

Even in the world of software development, perhaps the most important tools are a pen and paper. A drawing board is also useful if the developer has access to it. When a feature (hence the problem to solve) is to be ready, best to start off by solving it with the pen and paper. Find out if said feature can be implemented. Since almost everything is actually possible in the world of software development, the real deal here the time it would take to build said feature. If a feature takes 10 hours and the available time is only 5, then that feature cannot be built. If a feature takes 10 hours and available time is 15 hours, then yes, the feature can be built.  

In fact, many forget this key step. Since they already pulled out their laptops, they will trudged on find out 10 hours later that, yeah, said feature actually needs 20 hours. At this point, they realize that this feature, given the time limitations need not be done. That means, 10 hours are now wasted.  

Once it is understood that a feature can be done at reasonable time, next comes the actual plan to make this work. Each feature will need knowledge of specific library usage, method calls, class definitions and of course the algorithm of fixing it. Some algorithms are short (hence you can simply keep them in your brain) and other times, they are complicated and you draw them out on the old faithful pen and paper. When working along, mind stored algorithms (which only apply for short stuff) are best. Your brain has already figured out the solution and drawing it down 'may' be a waste of time.  

When working in a group which is working on said feature together, algorithm drawing – short or long – needs to drawn physically. Same goes to planning out the knowledge of understanding all the necessary libraries that will be used, classes that will be used, classes that will be defined new and understand relevant code that was written by other teams. Unless each and every component is understood and all particpating members are in the clear, the actual 'coding' should not start.  

This is another area where I have ran into issues. I find that my team members don’t really want to do any of this. They think, acquiring this knowledge is a waste of time and they get ready to whip out their laptops. Remember what I said about not having a solid solution? On the contrary, I believe that knowledge is truly a battle half won. You don’t go to a battle hoping to win. Rather, you plan in advance and have a 'calculated' guess that you will either win or lose.  

After all this is done (and you have jotted everything down), you start the coding. The documentation does not stop at this point. What I do is, transfer everything that I have jotted down into an online document which includes all the notes about the flowchart (in the form of photos or scans), links to relevant libraries and code (msdn, stack overflow, forums and comments from previous code).  

Now, earlier I said that the battle is only half won with knowledge. That is very true because, despite all this planning and documentation, there are any number of things that can go wrong once you do start coding. Perhaps the earlier assumption that the class would be public is no longer valid because the other team has changed into a private. A method signature might need changing for which you need to get approval. A method could be depreciated by a new library that is required by the feature you are developing.  

Which is why, even as I code away to get the feature to work, I make notes about the code I am writing. I make a note of issues that I ran into. Obviously, my code is intersped with comments which also make their way into the document I am maintaining. Finally, when the code is completed and the feature is successfully added, I have a fully developed documentation that compliments my efforts.  

Of course, the 'documentation' is an overhead. It consumes time. 

Developers, especially experience developers (those who like to whip out their laptops in a hurry), don’t like to do this. They want to be 'fast'! Perhaps, it gives them a sense of accomplishment when they add a requested feature in less than a minute even if the project manager has allocated two days (16 hours) for it. 

For me though, it is about trust, more than anything else. If a project manager (who we have to assume is competent) has given 2 days to do something, it probably needs that much time.  

Then, there is the fact that this documentation will help me in the future. A lot of times, it just so happens that future features require similar thinking and similar code and similar libraries. When a new feature request arrives, I need not 'rack my brain'. I need not spend time thinking really hard (while wearing a big hat and growing a thick beard) trying to remember what I did one week, or one month of even a year ago. I simply do a search (all documentation is stored online and hence indexed and searchable) and open up the documentation. In less than ten minutes, my mind is refreshed and my 'prep' time for the new feature implementation comes down from an entire day to less than a few minutes.  

As time goes and more features are built, the documentation also grows. With each documentation, the 'prep' time keeps going less. Eventually, you would reach a point where almost everything that is relevant to the job is documented and building new features become an actual walk in the park.  

As always, I believe in the long game when it comes to software development. You code, not for today, but for ten years from now. Take your time, play around until you are in the groove, be sure of your plans and only start doing when you are sure that you have a solid solution in your hand.   

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In defense of Terminator Genisys

[I have intentionally misspell the movie title throughout the blog post]

For reasons I cannot really explain, I like all the terminator movies. I like the first one, and of course, the second one. Then the third one too, the two more they made after that. Today, I want to talk about the latest one, Terminator Genisys. (I might be spelling the title of the movie wrong but its definitely not my fault. I blame the movie folks for that). 

I like the Genisys movie because, the movie keeps me engaged. Not because how well thought out it is. Rather, I love the movie because no matter how many times I watch it, I always find something about the movie that simply does not make sense. In fact, Batman and Robin makes more sense than Genisys and that I believe is the reason why I love this movie so much. It's just, hilarious at every possible level. In this post, I am going to go through the many things that are outright funny in this movie and perhaps, others will find similar joy from this movie.  

Arnold 

I grew up watching the many, many movies of Arnold, and it's always fun to watch him. Rather than being an action hero, I think Arnold is best when he is being funny (intentionally or otherwise) and how he is convinced (at least his character is) that everything is super serious.  

For instance, in this movie, he is old. I have nothing against being old. We all get old (if we are lucky) and die. The thing is, for some reason, the movie insists on building his character as that of a 'Dad'. He's an odd kind of dad because he really wants her daughter 'Sarah Connor' to mate with her chosen guy, Kyle Reese. The movie is littered with scenes where Arnold has become like this Step Dad. He keeps constantly reminding her that, yes, by god yes, she has to mate with this Kyle Reese.  

On one hand the movie is clearly setting him up as her dad. Yet, can you imagine a dad, even a step dad, who is egging her daughter to have sex with dude who just time traveled? It's just bizarre and funny. As always, with Arnold's Austrian accent and his deadpan delivery, all this becomes even more funny.  

The Gore and Nudity 

Another thing that is funny to me is how the dreaded PG 13 rating is ruining all the movies in the series. If one were to go back in time (waa!) and watch the first terminator, it is straight up rated R. There is the typical 80s sex scene with boobs and everything. People and objects are not strategically placed to hide the leads nudity. Then there is lot of blood. At one point, the terminator even removes his eyes!! Lots of blood is filled and there are harsh language used throughout.  

That entire movie seems to do things straight. It's made very clear that the terminator is flesh over metal skeleton. Which means, muscle and blood. The terminator gets shot, hurt and it is reckless. Flesh is still flesh and blood will flow. It's natural. The same thing with the romantic scene. For some reason though, the terminator movies have continued to dumb down the gore. I don’t miss the nudity (I can happily get it elsewhere) but the gore is something that is so jarring. When the terminator is smashed, we immediately see the metal below. It's like there is no flesh. It's like the skin is painted on (like paint on a car) and the 'skin' gets scratched off! 

Now that is what pulls me out of the belief suspension. Based on the premise of the movie, I agree that time travel is real and robots are sent out to kill. However, the same premise has told me that there is flesh below that exterior. In fact, this movie goes that extra step, declaring that the tissue ages (a lame attempt at explaining the old Arnold) and hence blood must be involved. However, when the terminator gets hurt, there is no blood at all. Frankly, this is one of the things that make me cringe and immediately turn the movie into a comedy.  

Sarah Connor 

Then, there is Sarah Connor and the actress portraying her. I have not watched Game of Thrones, but I have started reading the novels. The internet tells me that she is a fine actress, this Emilia Clarke. Yet, in this movie, she is like a teenager. Acting like a teenager. I don't know who to blame. The writers, The directors. The actress herself. Any scene between her and Arnold is comedy gold. It's impossible not to laugh and if the movie was released with a laugh track, it would be that much better.  

One of things that always pulls me out of the movie is the way she refuses help from her pal, the dude from the future. When her character is introduced, we see her firing a sniper rifle. We see her in leather clothing. We see her daringly rescue Kyle Reese, drive a van and all that. So, as a viewer, I am convinced that she is a woman who is quite capable of taking care of herself.  

Yet, it seems like, she goes out of her way to stamp her 'I am a woman but I am not weak' thing. Why does she do that? Is all that jacket wearing and sniping just posturing? When Kyle Reese offers her to help, she rebuffs him. For some reason, despite being raised by a robot from the future, she wants to 'show' that she is tough. From where I am looking, Kyle Reese is the kind of guy who will offer help to anybody around him. He is not helping her because she is female. He is helper her because he looks at her as another soldier and he is offering assistance.  

Of course, as the movie progresses, this independent becomes completely independent on him, which is another jarring character shift. Special amount of funniness happens when Kyle Reese and she time travel. They find themselves in the middle of the road, and yes, she is all scared and surrounding my Kyle Reese's arms for protection. What happened to all that toughness? And then, only a few minutes later, he offers help and again she is acting up with all the toughness. Why? Why are you doing this Sarah.  

Boringness of Kyle Reese 

If Arnold and Emilia are not funny enough, additionally funniness comes from Kyle Reese and the actor portraying him, Jai Courtney.  

For some reason Jai Courtney is like that guy who is not really leading man material but he is not exactly a 'side role' man either. He's kind of there and he will fit into almost any role. More importantly, he seems to be the only one who is taking the entire movie seriously. He acts genuinely, to the best of his abilities, throughout the movie.  

Now, coming to the character of Kyle Reese, from the very first shot, it's impossible to take the character seriously here. In fact, it is difficult to take any soldier from the future, in this movie, seriously. Part of the problem is the gore issue I talked earlier. The movie refuses to show any blood. That means, every kill is clean. Death is never shown and explosions are just that, explosions without any consequences. Kind of like every Marvel movie ever made. People get upset, people fight with each other, but nobody ever dies or relationships remain as they are.  

Then, there is lack of scars on any of them. Except John Connor, all other soldiers look just fine. They are healthy, fine and look pretty good. Especially Kyle Reese, who looks like he just walked off the ramp. This is why the Kyle Reese in the first terminator movie looked so good. He look haggard and worn out. He really looked like he has spent his entire life on the battlefield. Kyle Reese in Genesis does not look like that at all.  

Then, there is Kyle Reese with Sarah Connor. Sure, Sarah has been trained from a young age to be tough and independent. That is all good but Kyle Reese has spent the same years in a battle. He has done it all, seen it all. He is hardcore. Yet, Sarah keeps refusing to take help and advice from Kyle Reese. Oh man, no soldier would like that. It has nothing to do with gender. It also nothing to do with opportunities. Kyle Reese had no choice but to become a soldier of war. Every time she refuses his help, it makes her look that much dumb.  

The Second Half of the movie 

The movie touches upon our constant need to be connected. That is an interesting thread of thinking. Then, the movie does not do anything with it. At one point, an executive announces something about 'killer app'. Wow! That is just lazy writing for the movie right there. I wished, they did something better than that.  

Then, there is the mess that is John Connor. This mess starts even before the movie starts, and that is where the trailers come in. For some reason, the terminator trailers are hell bent on spoiling key plot points of the movie. This goes back to the previous movies too. Terminator 2 was spoiled because a trailer showed that Arnold was the good robot (the movie tries really hard to hide that in the beginning). Terminator 3 had none of that twist so the trailers did not spoint (or could not spoil). Then, Terminator Salvation spoiled stuff by showing that Worthington's character was a robot. Once again, the movie really tries to hide that.  

Then, now, in Genesis trailers happily showed that John Connor was a robot. If you look in the movie, this is supposed to be a twist. Then, they spoiled it. And also at the end, Arnold's robot becomes like that metal robot from Terminator 2. I mean, that is like turning Arnold's robot into a Superman. How can they possibly write a sequel when the terminator is now all powerful. In fact, being limited and an older model is what made the T 800 model so good. He could be heart. He could be damaged and he was constantly outdated by the other terminators. Somehow, he would win, despite all these limitations.  

Now, Arnold has become so powerful, it becomes so much difficult for the writers to come up with a sequel. In fact, the writers hoping for a sequel itself is a joke. They have dug themselves so deeper and erased so much of continuity, how can they possibly recover from it? Then, there is the fact that Arnold is getting older and it would be difficult for him to reprise his role. Unless, they will do a reboot but I find that hard to understand. Arnold is the terminator and no one else can do justice to that role. The terminator is not like James Bond. Recast but still be awesome.  

There are some movies that are called 'guilty pleasures' or 'b movies' or so bad it's good. For instance, the Evil Dead 3 which was written fully in mind to be a good 'guilty pleasure movie'. The directors are completely aware that that is what they are targeting. That is one kind of fun. It’s like back in my college when I would intentionally flunk my tests, just to see how my faculties would react.  

Then, there are these movies that are aiming for something serious, but end up being 'guilty pleasures'. Terminator Genisys falls into that trap (and they have successfully managed to make me forget the real spelling of Genesis) and that is why it's comedy gold. I watch it whenever I have a couple of hours to kill and really want to keep myself entertained in a goofy way. 

Faasos – Loving It – Praise for their customer service

I mostly buy everything online. That includes, literally everything. I sometimes go without touching cash (for buying) for days and even weeks. That means, I get to interact with a lot of services. Most of them are good (Like Vodafone, whom I have previously written about), and some of them are bad (like Airtel Mobile, who totally suck by the way).  

Recently, an incident happened, and things could have gone either way. Fortunately for the brand and myself, it went the good way.  

Fassos is a company on which I depend for my dinner. It's some kind of a food delivery service. To me they are like Dominoes (who are also a good customer service brand according to me) but for regular food, instead of pizzas. They give food in a nice packaging, and the quantity is almost always more than I ask for.  

Recently, there was a minor issue where the order was delivered an hour and half after it was ordered. Maybe even more. I lost track of time because I got hungry. Even on that day, Faasos people kept me informed about the delay, and when they finally delivered, they were polite and apologized profusely. As is always the case, I don’t like to shout or yell folks. I prefer to do things the polite way. So, I sent an one star rating, chatted with support and aired my concern. I also aired my concern with the local delivery center. In each case, they were polite and agreed that they should have done better.  

Then, a few days later, when I ordered again, I asked to speak with the manager, who came on the phone right away. I told him that what happened on Sunday was bad and I would like to be compensated. The manager could have given stories about how that would be impossible and all the usual nonsense. Instead, he was prompt and said that he would allow me to have a free meal of my choice whenever I want. Later, he kept his promise.  

Overall, I am very pleased with what Faasos did. I even sent an email to their support team, praising how well the local Faasos delivery team had handled a disastrous scenario. Great job, team at Faasos! 

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Self Publishing my first novel

At some level, I guess I have always been a writer. However, like so many things, I let it slide by. Yet, here I am writing about my first published – self published – novel. 

Hopefully, this will help others as well. 

The novel is a short one. Not more than 30000 words. Perhaps a little more. I used Microsoft Word Online to write. I must say Microsoft has built a fantastic online office suite. Of course, once the novel is published, I should definitely go for their office subscription to get the full suite. This is the nice thing about cloud. I get to write on my first laptop, continue on my second, then review on my droid and fix issues on my windows phone.  

Then, perhaps the less fun part about writing a novel is the re-reading. I am self publishing. I don’t have a editor. Editing means rewriting huge chunks of material. Then, after that rereading to see if it all makes sense. Then there is the note taking. The notes that support the novel are almost as long as the novel itself. Continuity issues are something even a boring writer such as me should avoid. My logic is, yes, my novel is boring. At least it is logical and does not break it’s own rules. 

There are multiple ways to self publish. I have this blog, the main study nildana website. Then, I could have simply chosen to distribute a pdf or html or epub. Of course, there is also Google play store. 

Yet, I decided to go with Amazon Kindle Publishing. Amazon has done a fantastic job with their Kindle platform. I cannot think of a day when Kindle apps have disappointed me. Their publishing terms were simple. I chose them. 

There are a few things that first time writers must remember. I found this out the hard way. 

  • Format the document with table of contents before publishing. 

  • Have a neat cover letter ready in advance. 

  • Have a disclaimer page  

  • Have a copyright page  

  • Have a thank you page 

  • Have a welcome page (which can also double up as a author page. 

As a developer, I like that I can update my books as I do with my apps. That means I can keep revising the novel without having to charge my customers (if any) for the second time. 

If all goes well, I can finally unleash even more boring novels, books and short stories on this unsuspecting world. Thank you Kindle and Microsoft Word for enabling me! 

Muaahhhhhhhhhh…Ha ha…..ha ha ha ha ha ha….. 

It’s evil laugh time! 

Okay, I have got to stop the laugh thing now. Now that the book is live, what next for me? Let me see.  

First up, I really need to revise this published book. There are like so many spelling mistakes, sentence mistakes and in general so many mistakes. Need to fix that.  

Then (now that I have the confidence of taking a story from writing to editing and rewriting to publishing), I have some more stuff lined up. I have a sequel (of course there is!) idea for the book that I just published. Then, another story which is set in the universe – my own shared universe if you will – is in the pipeline. In fact, the character actually makes a gratuitous cameo here. Man, how I hate gratuitous cameos but what a writer is to do.  

Then, some serious stuff as well. I am fast and furiously blogging on c sharp lately. Three years ago, I did the same thing with c programming as well. The idea is to turn at least some of these into programming books. I have found that some folks hate blogs but prefer books. If I could put my information in book form, it just might be useful for some of my students who belong to the book reading category.  

Then, there are all those short stories I wrote over the years. Then that novel I started writing but abandoned. So many stuff. Hopefully, I will get them all published soon.  

Will keep you, my dear reader, posted. 

Note : You can buy the novel on Amazon Kindle right here.