Archive for February 2012

Imagine a world…   Leave a comment

The past few days, I was not lucky with my electronic devices. My laptop and my cellphone both crashed and I was trying to do what I wouldn’t do if I had them. Most of all, the things I think about in the evening are so funny and I want to share it with you. I like watching science fiction movies. Specially if it is challening my imagination, but this time I created my own imagination and thought it might be good to bring it to you.

This is not a time machine, a machine which takes you back or to the future and show you what happened or what will happen. some people were looking forward to the realization of time machine if the particle said to travel faster than light was real. But, this is a virtual reality. Say, it starts from the idea of evolution, ‘survival of the fitest’. We were told that human beings evolved and changed to who we are now from our ansestors. Other animals are extinct because they can’t cope up with the changing environment. We know that parts of our organs grow/shrink depending on their function. What if the earth evolves and try to resist global warming? what if it tries to destroy our technological innovations in trying to protect itself? It’s a plant that arrives to rescue the earth. We may also say it is from religious perspective. Just like what happened when people tried to build the tower of Babel.

We are where we are now, with all our intelligence and creativity, but nothing to support it. No communication, no transportation, no electronic devices,and all the technology we can think of are not there. We have buildings with no working lifts, we have roads with no working cars, airports with no functional airplans, our cellphones are not working…. We have a new earth, with all the vegitations as they are and natural resources untouched. Everybody is in a rush to do what they know it existed back then but not working now.

All we have as a reference are the printed books in the library.No google to search for what we want, no wikipedia to check for something or facebook to see our friends who got engaged or divorsed. We have to do all the dirty integration and derivation by hand to get the results, we should mold the metals just like what our ansestors did. I am thinking of the developers and computer technicians. we have no visual studio, no eclipse or netbeans to use or the fancy high level language compilers or interpreters, no database servers or operating systems. We have to start from zero. The world is a level playing ground interms of existing IT infrastructure. The meeting continues…

First speaker: we have to make sure that the rest of the world is also facing the same challenge. who knows, they might not faced the attack. we have to wait till they come here for some time. We might get back our communication infrastructure back and we build up the rest. I belive that communication is the key.

Second speaker: In my opinion, the issue is global. Even though we can’t be sure of what chemical the plant released to distroy the chips, we are sure that it is the reaction with the silicon atom that resulted in this distraction. We have to try to find out the reaction and try to reverse it back. We have to give priority for that.

Third speaker: We have to accept that we are back to where we started civilization and start all over again from industrial production. We have to start reconstructing our basic tools and repeat what we did before. It is clear that we will be reach in the same state faster than the previous cycle.

It is your turn to speak what you feel. Where should we start building our world?  Can we build it from scratch? Is it a challenge or an opportunity?

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Posted February 28, 2012 by Behailu S. in Uncategorized

Good artists copy, great artists steal   Leave a comment

The original saying was from Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest artists. To be honest, I don’t know his story and how he said that. I am not going to talk about art. Steve Jobs, also said the same thing refering to Picasso. He said on an interview ‘We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.’ Well, he actually said an opposit thing on a patent issue with Htc as ‘competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours’. Most technological inovations are inspired by either natural things or existing ones or combining some of it. We have heard a lot of countries grew through copying other countries technology and making it to the best of their people, marketing it with another brand and finally creating their own.

I was listening to dotnet rocks podcase and the interview was with a guy who moved from Microsoft to google. One of the question they asked him was ‘do you think Microsoft can learn something from google?’ Well, in my opinion, they do have something to learn. However, I am not going to talk about Microsoft or google as a company. There is something clear that I have noticed this month as Google brought lots of its engineers to Ethiopia, which I haven’t seen from Microsoft. It shows the difference in ways of how they see the market here or anyother reason. What I noticed attending the event was, most people working on Microsoft technologies were there to see if there is something they can learn from google or may be switch.

I started my professional software development with dot net. I loved it the first time I saw it and I promised it we’ll be friends forever 🙂 The first time I saw C#, I was trying to see what the story behind is and almost all say it has it’s inspirations from java beside the others. The more I stay with C# and tried to solve problems with it, there comes other challenges which have solutions in other languages/ frameworks. As dot net framework gets enahanced to versions 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and now 4.5 I have seen lots of progress both from Microsoft itself and from the open source contributors. That doesn’t mean other languages or frameworks don’t have problems. There are lots of new things which are new to dot net but not in others.

If we see the world of cellphones, we notice the same kind of scenario- another world of copying and stealing. Android, ios, windows phone come from three different companies with their own brand but clearly enough one copying the other, but not an exact one. The cloud services and tablets are also another world. Social networking sites, facebook, myspace, google plus and all revolve around the same concept but with different approach. When I talked about open data and the experience other countries have, well that is copying. There are lots of similar things to take from, including the work culture, not only the ‘valentines day’ culture only as we saw yesterday 🙂

I think we have to be good artists first and copy the experience of other countries to bring change in the community, the experience of other companies to bring change to ours and that of other people to ourselves. There is a saying, it is enough for a student if he is good as his teacher ( this is not the exact sentence but the meaning as i understand it). If we do this, we are equal to our teacher. Then comes the idea of adding our own experience, inovation to what we built. This might look like it discourages creativity and being unique. I know this doesn’t work for all genius people out there who can create things out of nothing. That is an exception.

Posted February 15, 2012 by Behailu S. in Uncategorized