Sunday, April 28, 2013

Happy 35th Anniversary Mom & Dad.

This picture speaks all.

How to find "The Book" in the jungle of "Books"?

If you ever faced the challenge of finding a book on a particular subject which you wished to educate yourself on but couldn't decide on which one, then we both share the same problem.

The idea to find the right book amongst the lot confuses me always and not just sometimes. Being unknown to the topic I find it hard to narrow down to the one book which I might truly enjoy and be justified on the parting of hard earned money.  My recent trip to this journey was when I was looking for books to learn JAVA programming language. The JAVA language is a pretty popular one in industry and as you would expect there have been tons of books written by many accomplished authors. But the question still looms large, "How do I know which one is best for me and what if I am getting biased by selecting something which may not be right book to learn from?" 

Well, I think the answer is very subjective in nature but can be reached upon careful flow with these steps of ideas.

Step 1. Figure out what are the popular books in the domain. The reason is, that's when you know that you are not getting biased by your option and there have been many people who have read it before. Make sure you at least have two choices.

Step 2. Go and read the reviews (both good and bad) of the book and if sample chapters are available, read them too to get an idea about authors style of writing. This factor helps me a lot because for me I have specific criterion on style of writing that suits me otherwise I find it hard to read. Books which are verbose, with poor English grammar or with eclectic styles are not the ones I like when I am talking about something serious like programming language. I want them to be well structured and to the point.

Step 3. Ask yourself, what is it that you want to accomplish from this reading. This is because, based on what your goal is, some books do a better job in focusing on that particular need of yours rather than on side dishes. For eg. I don't need to know about EJB when I am focusing on Core Java. That way when I buy a book and read it, I will be content at the end by fulfilling my goal. 

The way I started was to list the names of popular books dealing with JAVA and see if I can get a sample chapter to read from each of these books and also get reviews (I made sure I read the ones where it got single star apart from 4/5 stars) from other readers. I went to my school library and peeped through the pages and read a bit to get a feel of each of them. I finally ended up selecting Core Java Volume-I by Horstmann and Cornell. The reason I chose this book over 100's of other selection is because this book makes a smooth transition from C++ to Java. I am a C++ Programmer and a bridge to Java will be any day helpful than a jump over a gap. Next, this book is a no-nonsense style and comes to the point in few lines. That's my style in general as to come straight to the point and get it done. Know that the other books are not bad but just not my style. Simple.

Good luck in your next trip to book store.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Let's talk

If the idea of going on road trip on a avg decent car across America from Boston to Los Angeles excites you on a min budget, let's talk.

Here's how the trip looks like.

View Larger Map

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Terror Attack : I am safe and pray for others safety.

Just a quick update for some friends of mine who might worry about my well being on account of the ongoing terror attack this week in Boston. I am doing fine and secure. I plan to be more careful before making any travel plans and I hope well for others in Boston region too. It is surely a grave concern. I never thought I will hear some news like this in this part of the country.

Stay Safe.

Half Staff American and my University Flag on account of Boston Marathon Attack.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

How to Meditate?

Here's one video which demystify the complexities of meditation in the most effective and easy way. I think its pretty neat and hope you like it too.

Yes, its that simple.

Some articles on benefits of Meditation:-
MIT/Harvard  Article Link
Yale University  Article Link 
Mayo Clinic Article Link
Art of Living Article Link
Ted Article Link
Boston Globe Article Link

Good Luck.

Some interesting documentaries

Here's few interesting documentaries I have watched in past recently. Hope you like it too.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The day I just had fun and no work.

When I went to sleep last night, I had just one plan for today and that is to go to Boston Symphony Tour and get back to studies after coming back. But instead what I ended up doing is here:-

  1. Boston Symphony Hall - 10 am - 4 PM
  2. Staples Projector and Grocery Shopping - 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
  3. Helping Curran's Band setup and attending their performance - 6 PM - 7:30 PM
  4. Sleep 8 - 9 PM
  5. Prepare Dinner : 9:30 - 10:30 PM
  6. Watch a movie on a projector in my room : 11:30 - 12 : 45 AM
  7. Now, I guess I will go to sleep.

I don't regret not studying or not doing anything of work kind today. I think I really needed this break of not doing anything and just having a relaxed day. The trip to Boston Symphony Hall was wonderful. This was my first visit to any place like this. It was a good learning about intricacies of a symphony hall and about musicians there. Since there was a transport service, I didn't had to worry about anything. On my way back, I had discussion with Nita on various topics ranging for career/internships to relationships. Every time I discuss this topic with a new person, it gives me a new perspective of looking at it in a new way and I appreciate her sharing her views openly.

Curran and myself then went to Staples to buy a projector for his band performance which was today at 6 PM. The plan was to buy a new one, use it and then return it tomorrow :). Yes, we can do it in this Country. As a student, we cannot afford to have a project costing $500. Then we went for grocery shopping. It was our usual trip but we focused more on getting lentils and healthy food. I finally got cotton swab for myself, something I have been pinning for a long time. The total bill came around $85.

Once we got back, Curran  went to Egg Roll Cafe to setup his band but soon he called me to find out if I had a white bed sheet to be used for projection. Luckily went I went to home last December, I got my Mangalore dhoti with me. I have this idea of wearing it to my class one day (LOL) and note the expression of the other people. I took my dhoti and tact and helped them fix it on the wall of the cafe. Later the band started playing with projection of Curran's India trip video clips. It's always great to hear his band play and I like hanging out with these guys. I also spent some time with Curran's mom and her friend and some other friends  of mine who came for the show. Later I decided to leave early as I was feeling tired.

Went to bed but woke up after and hour and half because it was my turn to do the cooking and I wanted to make sure that I do cook. Since the grocerry was still in the car, I had to manage with what I had in the cabinet. There was red beans, chick peas and lime beans. I decided to go with them and also boiled some brown rice. Funny that I forgot to add bell pepper and tomato puree and hence decided to add it after it was already half cooked. Anyways, it turned out well and Curran and myself had dinner together.

Since, I knew the day was pretty much gone, I did not bother to stress myself but flow with it. For a long time I had this curiosity of watching a movie on a project in a home setting.  Today was a perfect opportunity and I decided to grab it by neck and got it all setup. I played the popular "The PhD Movie". It was good time and experience to see how I had some similar interactions like the ones in movies. It's a fine movie and does a decent job of showcasing the life of a graduate student.

So overall, it was a fun and relaxed day for me. I think I will be fine. Its good to break the cycle and relax sometimes. But I do look forward to an exciting day tomorrow where I got to accomplish twice as many things as it was initially planned. 

Good Luck and good night.