Anoop Dixith's Digital Footprint

Latest few of my write-ups

Questions that Bother Me the Most

Thirty Layers of Enterprise Testing

Table Analogy   for Software Firms

"Purposefully Bad"   Design Pattern

My talk in the global Kafka Conference

Creating Connector to Bridge the Worlds of Kafka and gRPC

What do you do when you've two different technologies on the upstream and the downstream that are both rapidly being adopted industrywide?
How do you bridge them scalably and robustly? Built an open source connector to do the same.


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Tech Like A Story

Explaining complex tech to people from non-technical backgrounds in the form of stories

A lot of people, particularly from non-technical background used to ask me questions like 'What exactly are these crypto-currencies?', 'How does SEO work?', 'What is big data and what do you do with that?', 'How does Hadoop work?' etc. What I realized was that while these technologies are incredibly complex to implement, the core concept/idea behind all of them was VERY simple! It's almost like we have all done those things in our lives - big data processing, crypto currency concept, growth hacking in terms of search engine optimization, monolithic vs micro kernels etc! So, I decided to make this series of tutorial videos under the title - "Tech Like A Story", where in each short video, I attempt to explain tech that's either trending or widely in use already, through analogous stories!

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Building the first generation batch analytics platform for Conviva

As one of the early engineers in Conviva's Platform team, built the first generation analytics platform, specifically for historical batch analysis - 3D (Data Driven Development) Engine

We had anamoly detection, AND spell check :).
Though, I think this looks cooler than the more hilariously looking award from its previous company.


Also, when working 50 hours straight was so much fun!

Though, nothing beats the hilarity of the way this certificate of recognition (probably my first in professional life) is designed.

Or my pic when I appeared in a newspaper for the first time.

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Ported the Constitution of India onto Git

Based on a discussion on /r/india, ported the Constitution of India and all of its Amendments onto Git. I've used the name of the person who passed that bill as the 'author' of the commit. So, you'll see commits authored by many ministers from Arun Jaitley, LK Advani, AK Sen, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri to all the way back to Jawaharlal Nehru at the very beginning.


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Programming Interview Questions I've Created

I'm not a big fan of using Leetcode and Leetcode-like question-banks for interviews. I like creating my own questions that fit the purpose, run them by a lot of my smart friends and colleagues, and use them in interviews. There are multiple reasons why I'd do this.

  • This way, I can custom-create my questions for different experience level and background
  • Not all interview questions should test the same thing. Some interview questions test logical ability, some coding proficiency, some test the candidate's ability to convert algorithm to runnable code, and some more explore the candidate's "debugging" and "investigation" skills. I like creating questions that cover these aspects.
  • These are not available anywhere else to have practised earlier. So, fairly original.
  • I like doing it!

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    My Compilation of Interesting Posts from Engineering Blogs of Software Companies

    In my opinion, engieering blogs of top firms are the epitome of best non-fiction material out there. They go through rigorous reviews, and since reputation is on the line, they're data-backed and generally highly trustworthy.
    If you're into reading interesting posts on software engineering, give it a gander.


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    LeetCode for Puzzles

    Original Math and logical puzzles that I created

    Started creating these puzzles as a way to bring engineers together during the quarantine time on something they like to do. Realized there was a lot of companywide demand for these original puzzles, and hence continued creating two every week. On the lines of LeetCode for puzzles.



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    StringLab - My JVM library for (almost) all kind of string operations

    On the lines of Matlab (for Matrix ops), this library is for String operations.

    There are a gazillion things one could do with strings, but most default String implementations are optimization oriented than utility oriented. This is an attempt at building my own String representation that would include interesting stuff one could do with strings. Started calling it StringLab and adding methods along the way. This has now become my default string class in almost all my projects. It includes an English dictionary trie, anagram finder, password generator, comprehensive email-id, ip address, and domain verification, KMP matching for huge log analysis, permutations and subsets among other simple operations like number to speaking-words, counting sort etc. I have a long list of methods that are yet to be added. And I'd be glad to receive any pull request as well if someone wishes to use this

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    In the fictional town of Irvin, there are all kinds of people - couples, singles, folks in long distance relationships, gay couples, open relationships, poly-marriages and in its largest employer Notox, there’s widespread nepotism and gender imbalance!
    "So?".You might ask.
    I realized that most engineers who are new to the Spark ecosystem are overwhelmed by the different set of APIs that it offers! Most of their questions that needed some human answering or that waited on StackOverflow for an answer were related to porting one API call to another, differences between them, using the most optimized approach, how to use them etc.
    Made this sample project to explain most of it. It does an audit using

  • RDD APIs
  • DataFrame APIs
  • Dataset APIs
  • Spark SQL

  • ...

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    New Blackjack sidebet and simulation

    While Simulating Blackjack game, came up with this side-bet for Blackjack that has features of a typical casino side-bet.

  • a. Simple to play and verify,
  • b. There's a lucrative element (two huge wins which are rare) that makes the player bet on it,
  • c. In the long run, casino always makes 10 to 15% of the profit.

  • "Multiply Bet"
    How does it work?
    If the product of the cards in your hand is less than or equal to 21:
    Two cards: Pays 2:1
    Two cards both Aces: Pays 3:1
    Three cards: Pays 4:1
    Four or more cards: Pays 50:1 (the major luring, but rarely occurring bet).
    All twos four cards: Pays 1000:1 (the bumper bet)
    Turns out in the long run, casino always makes around 10 to 15% profit on 5, 6 or more deck Blackjack. (Not suitable for single or double decks)
    Simulated it here.


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    On a completely different note, I've done decently well on poker as well.

    Pitching my concept of using Kafka as an API framework

    Using Kafka as an async, load balanced, server-controlled API framework

    Though, later turned out to be an extension for Ben Stopford's seminal blog on CQRS

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    Meanwhile, 'meanwhile' manages threads on JVM

    One of my really bad approaches to tackle boilerplate code in Java

    I always thought Java's boilerplate code for handling threads was just way too verbose.
    A runnable, a run, a thread, a start, a callable, a future...argh.
    In this era of memes, handling threads (that run concurrently) should be as simple as: "meanwhile (do_this)" in the middle of any code ;)
    Now it is. Here’s the EasyUtil lib with ‘meanwhile’. Uses reflection, works with methods static or not, without parameters or with (unlike bare Runnable)
    I realized after some testing though that in real life enterprise applications, this is not very performant, though friendlier.


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    CV as a Java Class (for grabbing attention of a start-up)

    This was a fun exercise! There was (and is) this start-up that was rumored to be going public in a year or two and hence had generated a lot of buzz! I applied, too (who doesn't love stock options?). Got rejected outright! Checked the company profile and noted it was actually pretty small! Realizing that CVs probably got screened by engineers, I had to resort to something weird to get noticed. So, there it was, a CV in the form of a Java class incorporating best practices (annotations, design patterns etc.) and their method documentation!
    Result? Response from their engineer - "hey there, this is probably the first time I received a CV as a github link. Maybe we should chat".

    See CV See documentation

    Determinant Game by Anoop Dixith

    Determinant Game is a two player game. It's played like Tic-Tac-Toe except that the two players take turns placing a number between 1 to 9 both inclusive and unrepeated in a 3x3 matrix.
    The goal of the first player is to place numbers such that the determinant value of the matrix once it is full is positive.
    The goal of the second player, unsurprisingly, would be to place numbers such that the determinant value of the matrix once it is full is negative.
    Once all the numbers are placed, the determinat value is calculated. If it comes out positive, player 1 wins. If it comes up zero, the match is a draw. Player 2 wins otherwise.

    3 1 9
    4 7 5
    6 8 2

    3 * (7*2 - 8*5) - 1 * (4*2 - 6*5) + 9 * (4*8 - 6*7)
    = 3 * (-26) - 1 * (-22) + 9 * (-10)
    = -146

    So, the second player wins

    5 topics I'm (almost) always down to discuss!

  • Bell's Inequality
  • Extrapolaton between RMS Titanic and MH370
  • Evolution of the Eye
  • Grover's Algorithm
  • Gettier Problem
  • CoderTee - The T-Shirt business I used to run of coder themed tees

    All the quotes are original. Special tees on themes of Girls Who Code, Corporate Stacking etc created for unique occasions. Some quotes used on tees include:
    I Belong to the Church of Emacs
    An ant and maven walk into an old broken bar. Built it
    I'm Psychic. I Foresee Runtime Errors
    An i for an i makes it O(n2)
    I'm a billionnaire. In Binary
    /wallet 200, /money 404
    I'm independent minded. Check my pom file

    ... ...

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    Predictive Domain Trading ;) (I don't do this anymore)

    Or simply - predict who/what will become popular in near/medium future and purchase the domain name associated with that entity hoping it could potentially become the primary online resource for that and then sell it. NOTE: I no longer do this, and when/where I was doing this, there was no restrictions on this :)

    The following are a few of my successful exits.

    Aaradhya Bachchan



    Arvind Kejriwal

    .cl domain name
    In December 2013, the Chile's TopLevelDomain - .cl - became available for anyone to buy. I sensed that "cl" could be read/pronounced as "cial" and thus can be used for several words that end with cial, like Social, Facial etc.
    Bought, and a few other domain names. Unfortunately, the paperwork and technical problems with registering a foreign ccTLD hindered and eventually blocked the purchase.

    My hobby (software) projects.

    (Note that I don't maintain a majority of these actively, but most are in the auto-maintenence mode)

    Bitcoin Trader (SmartBCT): A Scala based project that automates buying and selling of bitcoins by being connected to Coinbase exchange. Gives three strategy for the user: Greedy, Long Term, Volatile, each with different optimizations.
    The user simply could set the strategy and the engine takes care of transactions given the market conditions.

    Extendable for other stocks, bonds, etc, acting as the robo-advisor engine.
    Randomizer: If you have the habit of browsing random, interesting things on the internet (be it Quora questions, Reddit, Wikipedia articles, blogs, random movies, Goodreads books, etc.), I've created a simple site for the same.
    Give it a click. Click on any card, and it will keep randomizing the content of that site under this site's header where you can further keep choosing continuously.

    Whatsapp Analytics: This Scala based tool analyzes your chats (currently, Whatsapp chats, but anybody can write a parser for other chatter apps like Skype, Hangout, Messenger etc. and plug in) to provide you with a ton of statistics, do sentiment analysis using smileys, find text and message gaps, and also identify the general gist of discussions in a Whatsapp group.
    Give it a shot - I respect your privacy and DON'T store any data.
    Post on Facebook on the same

    ... ...
    Two reasons:
    1. Wanted to learn UI dev using Kendo n Javascript libraries.
    2. Needed a different interface of my own, of the boring Facebook.
    So created this site
    Tired of cluttered facebook that overflows with sponsored ads, annoying game notifications and unwanted events and apps?
    So was I.
    So, created a lightweight version of Facebook called FBLite.
    Facebook with just what you need and with a different UI. Try the new FBLite
    Open in PC browser (and best opens on Chrome), not so compatible with mobile browsers.
    Please provide all the facebook permissions that it asks for, we promise we won't spam you. After all, that's the whole point of this app!
    Post on Facebook on the same

    Cricinfo Audio: I noticed that a lot of techies keep monitoring the score and continuously alt-tab reading the commentary summary of the cricket matches on Cricinfo. They have this continuous ball-to-ball text commentary on their site, as we know. So, created a text-to-speech site that picks up the commentary summary of the last two balls from Cricinfo and converts it into audio. It's like you are working, and listening to the commentary of the match with your headphones on.
    I personally needed it badly. I had this habit of checking the live commentary very often on Cricinfo (when I was still following Cricket). Resolved now

    Post on Facebook on the same

    Mineblock Chrome Extension: The Mining Equivalent of AdBlock
    Here's my new Chrome extension: MineBlock. Because, prevention is better than cure!
    What does it do and why care?
    Bitcoin mining is getting big, despite its uber-fluctuating behavior. Given that, there will at least be a few websites in near future that would make use of the mining power of your CPU while you're browsing their site, instead of showing up ads.
    This MineBlock extension blocks any mining script from running on your system. It is the mining equivalent of 'AdBlock'. Post on Facebook on the same

    University Deadline Reminder
    I did not want the future MS aspirants to go through the hassle of struggling to find and organize the deadlines of a gazillion universities. So, created a web app - University Deadline Reminder.
    Tells you what the deadlines are for your course in the universities you choose, and sends easy reminder emails about the course deadlines in ways you prefer

    Lazy Like/Comment Facebook
    This bot LazyLikeFb lets you customize what posts you'd like to 'like' and "Like"s them automatically.
    The philosophy here is to eventually let bots handle our digital presence while we get more real and go out, interact with people in real, rather than poking virtually.
    Post on Facebook on the same

    Scramble Hack Program
    I was fed up of losing to a few people on Zynga's Scramble with Friends every time! So, created a webapp that gives me the longest words possible from a grid! Try it out, Scramble fans! My firt implementation of a "Trie" that is tailor-made for Scramble. I call it "ScramTrie".
    Kinkara: A Data Movement Tool
    Library to manage files (retention, deletion, moving, rule creation) based on multiple conditions.
    While managing data on HDFS/S3 and even local file system, there's often a need for an easy file management tool to do things with multiple conditions like, for example, "move all files with size >= 2 GB AND that were created before May 2016 OR were created by 'root' AND contain(s) the lines "terminal command" inside them to a new directory. Or, delete all files which contain the word "temp" inside them OR were last modified last month OR whose filenames are all just numbers! (Might be log files).
    Here's one tool I created to do all those sort of operations - Kinkara.
    Cookie Bites
    If you're someone who browses the internet quite a bit everyday, and have gained weight in the last couple of years, you can completely blame it on all those cookies you've been generously accepting every time you visit a new website ever since GDPR came into effect. 😉 On a serious note, Cookie Bites is a cookie manager that focuses on the cookie part, rather than the manage part. There needs to be a lens to look at cookies that focuses on what the cookie is about, which website is using it etc. The existing cookie managers focus on the cookie part - removing, accessing, setting etc. Cookie Bites is a cookie manager that focuses on the cookie part, rather than on the manage part. See, search through, and check which websites are using what cookies on your browser.

    #TakeYourCookiesSeriously #Don'tSimplyAcceptAll.

    Because we are not aware of the number of units of electricity our running electric instruments are consuming in real time, we tend to waste a lot of power on something that's unwanted. For example, not turning off our lights while going out, keeping our phones plugged-in all the time, being in the shower for a really long time etc. If there was a way (through a device optionally connected to an app) that informed us of the number of units of electricity that is being consumed by those devices ON THE GO, i.e WHILE THEY'RE BEING USED, people tend to reduce/avoid unnecessary wastage of power.
    InstaPowerMeter shows people how many units of electricity is being consumed by various running electrical appliances IN REAL TIME i.e ON THE GO WHILE THE APPLIANCES ARE BEING USED and also computes the cost of electricity bill based on it. This helps users be conscious of their spending on electrical power and cuts down their electric tariff.
    Post on Facebook on the same

    Logovern, the Branded City
    Created an iPhone app to test a product-placement business model. The app attempts to test a reverse business model wherein it lets brands pay for promoting them within the storyline. In this particular app, "LoGovern, the Branded City", the player's day-to-day life in the fictitious city of Santa Colada, CA, is based on identifying right brands for all his/her chores. Currently, in beta release and new data is being continuously added. Version-2 will carry a localized Bay Area and NYC theme to highlight local brands and to do some association-learning (like, what percentage of consumers who like KFC prefer Coke over Pepsi, what concept do people like more for temporary local transportation - Zipcar or Uber etc)
    Nature of Signature - one stop shop for Signature/Autograph aficionados
    Created an Android app called "Nature of Signature" which was both a quiz app (during the time when quizzes were a fad) that let users identify signatures of celebrities, as well acted as a place where signatures were analyzed scientifically to discern personalities and traits. The app also allowed users to own a sandbox for experimenting as well as to practice and perfect their signatures.
    TINACT (Or - Tinder for Activities): App that generified Tinder to any activity (though started out for house-matching and house-swapping).


    Also, an example of how start-up contracts work in Silicon Valley :-)

    ... UNited DUring REcession

    A Recession Management System

    This was created around 2010 when the recession hit India (where I had just started working). The site is not active anymore but who knows when I need to rejuvenate it?
    Group freelancing based on skillsets for developing product needs/enhancements. Flattest hierarchy with no management overhead.

    Recession has different effects on different industries. The solution proposed here is a software one for recession. The idea is to enable this website to be a non-profit software solution for helping people who lose their jobs or companies which have software needs but are at the verge of closing down without alternatives.
    Managing business is difficult during recession making the availability of skilled workforce for a lower capital investment critical for recession management. Therefore, correct planning of workforce through this system (website) may prove to be useful. At the time of recession, mass layoffs in software companies are unfortunately common. This implies less job opportunities and therefore, less consumer spending. During the recession in 2007, consumer expenditures decreased substantially in every major category. It sloped down from $52,203 in 2007 to $48,109 in 2010. The product value drastically comes down in terms of product demand. This is when the software companies incur huge losses. To handle this kind of emergency, UNDURE.ORG was developed. It works as follows:
    People with skills and experience who lose their jobs register on as users. These users are equipped with required skillsets to do a software job. Based on their skills, working-groups are automatically created. For example, twenty people who know Javascript are grouped together. Remember, these are not amateur coders; rather they are professionals.
    Now consider a product based company that is under budget reconsiderations and requires that a product/enhancement be developed within a limited budget. This is when the solution (website) comes into picture. The product company posts the requirement on the website. The job is assigned to a group based on the skills required to complete it. People within the group create a workforce and one of them takes the initiative of being the leader and manage the work progress. This reduces the overhead cost of managing.
    Advantage: No corporation coming into picture. Therefore, no overhead cost. The social and economic effects of recession can be managed. Mental distress due to loss of job can be avoided. The pay is decent. This amount, though not extravagant, is sufficient to maintain a balanced lifestyle.
    Why will this system work? People who just lost their jobs because of worsening economic conditions around are self-motivated. They will work without a manager. The feedback system within each group will maintain the velocity and quality of the project, and any non-performing engineer would get sent out. The users get to continue working on their skillsets as well.

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    Corporate Ideas

    Some of the ideas I have sent to other companies/corporations!
    And their (often) funny responses!

    I'd written to Lay's, suggesting a tiny tip about how it would be great if all packs of Lay's carried a small sized napkin inside them so it would be easy to wipe off our palms and fingers when we are finished with the pack.(Because, most people eat Lay's on the go, maybe in metros, while chatting with friends, or so). The response was hazy.
    Post on Facebook on the same

    Uber introduces "Quiet Mode" option after I had suggested them the same (and had gotten a response for)
    My terminology was "Silent Mode" though, but I think "Quiet Mode" makes more sense.
    Full request is also captured here

    ... ... ... ...
    Taco Bell Menu idea.
    My idea was a wild fusion of items for a burrito, inspired by Far Eastern and South Asian cuisine.

    Foster City Traffic Signal: Idea submitted to Foster City Local Government for creating weather-aware, pedestrian prioritized traffic signals.

    Some of my no-response or negative response corporate ideas include:

    1. A detailed mail on a Smart Shipping Box for Amazon (to avoid the package issue). Yes, you can send a mail to and you will get a response!

    2. Proposing Pinterest to (also) become an NFT marketplace (Pinterest is the one that is positioned closest to this in my opinion)

    3. Instagram Stories' sound modulation (gradual increase when someone taps on a Story to avoid a sudden noise burst) for Meta/Facebook

    4. A business plan/proposal (with presentation) to McDonald's on food catering supply-chain for flights (in-flight McDonald's offerings)

    5. An idea for MediaWiki on Wikipedia Yearly Calendars, with each month accompanied by a Featured Article related to that month, and each date shows one event taken from Wikipedia for that date

    6. Idea about an "Anonymous Channel" in Slack. Basically, the only two rules are that there will be only one anonymous channel per workspace and workspace admins control that, and that all posts posted by everyone in that channel become "forever - for all - anonymous", meaning no one, not even the admins would know the poster of any post in that channel.
    a. This will help in getting honest, anonymous feedback from employees
    b. Channel could be used where anyone can report any suspicious activity she/he finds
    c. Anonymously discuss compensation and other related stuff (in regards to transparent payscale discussion)
    d. Top executives would know what's really happening inside the company.

    7. "Game Show/Reality Contest" for Commentator of IPL - for Sony. Participants give commentary with their own quirks and style for a clip of a match. Legendary commentators like Harsha, Siddhu, Chappel judge the show!

    "Blend It Like Beckam": Crowdsourced name for a pub. The owner actually chose this name that I suggested for his pub!


    Like being there early, and fail fast or go big

    I like being in innovations early, and either fail fast to move on, or make big!

    Project Loon
    Was an advocate of (the now discontinued) Project Loon from Google and used to manage the Loon Community facilitating conversations, networking on Loon from across the world. (Still do but the project Loon is no longer active)
    My page was the top page and resource on the project, so much so that Google asked me to add the word "Unofficial" to the description!

    ... ...
    I was also running a community on Hyperloop (which was, at the time, an Elon Musk initiative), which acted as a main hub for discussions on Hyperloop from people around the world.
    Yo Service Registry
    When the Yo App went viral, created the first Yo registry for the services on Yo (even before Yo team had it) and let users submit their own. (Pronounced You-Paste)
    One of the two cofounders of one of the earliest social-bookmarking sites in India - Over its course of operation for over a year, it reached an Alexa Ranking of 10,400 at its peak. Snapshots of the site can now be found on Wayback machine.
    As one of the two cofounders, ran one of the earliest image boards (think Pinterest) targeted towards Indian netizens.
    One of the earliest websites to include infinite layout, image tagging, image sharing etc functionalities (in 2012/13)
    Google Glass v1
    Had written some of the very early apps for the now defunct versions of Google Glass


    Errata in the books I read

    One of my favorite things to do when I read a technical or a non-fiction book is to read it to the word, and if I find any mistake, write it to the author.
    Below is a partial list of some of the mistakes/errors I've found.

    Book: Programming In Scala, Second Edition
    Author: Dr. Martin Odersky

    Book: Cracking the Coding Interview
    Author: Gayle Laakmann McDowell

    ... ... ... ...
    Book: The University Of Berkshire Hathaway
    Author: Daniel Pecaut

    Book: The Big Short
    Author: Michael Lewis
    Mistake: I found a rather impactful mistake on page 137, where "ensure" and "insure" have been mixed up in the last line!
    Not really a mistake, but almost, for a book of this calibre and level of non-fiction.
    Book: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
    Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson
    Mistake: For a very "equation" oriented person like me, there were a few places where I found the explanations and comments sort of lacking exactness. For example, in one of the chapters, the author says, "On thirteen mile long Phobos, a 150-pound person would weigh a mere four ounces", and I almost thought I should send an errata to make it 'a person that weighs 150 pound on Earth'.
    Book: Sapiens
    Author: Yual Noah Harari
    Mistake: This book was so well written, even though being a research oriented non-fiction that the only mistake I could find was a spelling mistake (not a typo).

    ... ...
    Mistakes come in all shapes and forms. Always follow-up :)

    ... ...
    But by far the most mistakes I have found in a book has been in "Kafka: the Definitive Guide".
    However, practically all of the ones I found were already reported and was available in this long list of errata for the book.

    My 2020 in Books

    I'm a huge fan of reading (and summarizing) non-fiction books. This is a collection of reviews of all the 55 books I read in 2020.
    (Plus some errata that I sent to authors and their responses).


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    My 2019 in Books

    Again, as a huge fan of reading (and summarizing) non-fiction books, this is my collection of reviews of all the 22 books I read in 2019.


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    IT'S LIKE this, BUT FOR that.

    Considering a lot of successful websites,apps and services are just mashups or tweaks of a few core services, I believe it's not completely stupid to do this exercise. For example, LinkedIn is Facebook for professionals, Khan Academy is Youtube of educational videos and Snapchat is ephemeral Whatsapp.


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    Software Engineering Lessons from RCAs of world's greatest disasters

    Disasters happen! Post Mortems are done. It would be stupid not to learn from them or apply them to other industries.
    My compilation of RCAs of disasters as applied to the software engineering world.


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    On HackerNews

    Rangitaranga Mask Campaign (Went viral)

    To help promote the low budget, but very well made movie Rangitaranga, ideated and implemented this campaign where fans could impose the "Rangitaranga" eye mask (which is an essential prop in the movie) onto their profile pics.
    The campaign went viral with thousands of fans using the site.

    ... ... ...

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    The "Concept" of FruitBasket ETF

    The sloth paced capitalism

    When it comes to investing, I'm an old-school-aggressive rather than a meme-stock-aggressive. Being a Buffet-ier and a Bogle-ier, I go long-term on most. I prefer matched 401k + ESPPs over YOLO (though I do nano-YOLOs all the time, including buying lottery tickets and hitting casinos for Poker and Cumulative Blackjack). I believe that 90% of the hedge-funds are on the negative wrt S&P500 if considered large enough time-window, and that a simple index fund would fare better. I also think that the Wall Street is fairly disconnected from corporate financial basics most of the time (which proves Buffet's quote again - 'Be greedy when the market is afraid; be very afraid when the market is greedy').

    To prove the above two, a few years ago, I conceptualized a mock-ish “Fruit Basket ETF” that is an index of NYSE/NASDAQ traded firms with either fruits or fruit derivatives in their names - now or historically.


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    "Sense Alarm" - A multi-sensory, accessible, comprehensive alarm clock.

    “Sleep” has been one of the very vital activities for every genetically developed species on the planet. Humans spend almost 33% of their life sleeping. But in a highly competitive and schedule oriented world, it also became necessary for humans to wake up from sleep at the right time against our inbuilt melatonin cycle. The need for this resulted in utilizing the ability of our brain to respond to external stimuli and build a clock that alarms us at the slated time. The ‘alarm’ essentially triggers a loud sound to which our brain can respond and wake up. While sure it’s a simple solution, it’s far from being elegant and useful all the time for the modest reason that its sound is audible to people around you who might not always wish to wake up at your time. This is indeed a nuisance for others and a cause of morning quarrels in places like hostels, dorms and even in some households. An easy way to solve this is to analyze to what sort of external stimuli our brain responds and binding their power for the same.

    “Alarm Sense” can
    1. generate sound whose intensity and pitch are customizable,
    2. turn on a highly focused and bright beam of light over your face. Remember, you can’t sleep under bright light. But the effectiveness of this depends purely on the illumination flux of the beam and the nature of the person,
    3. can generate sweet to pungent odors depending on the ‘seed for smell’ you put into it. Less effective, but it can be a soothing experience to wake up to the fragrance of roses or jasmine (or chlorine if you wish?;)),
    4. can use its two ‘hand-like’ auto arms with soft palms to repeatedly poke you to help you wake up,
    5. Can spray a gentle stream of cold water over your face and wakes you up; a bit weird, but really effective.


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    Regular PPTs to explain a project are old school. We make movie trailers :)

    Made this movie for highlighting the kind of work we were doing in our team, instead of a plain old PPT. This was played in all-hands to a "thunderous applause" ;-)

    Relic Chess - My Spatial Version of Chess

    Relic Chess is a variant of Chess that I've created which can be thought of as a spatial version of the regular chess.
    That means all pawns have the same valuw, but different squares have different values.
    Board configuration is paramount, and different configurations lead to different difficulty levels.
    In the hardest configuration, there's only one Queen Square, controlling which would mean controlling the entire game.


    If you'd like to work an algorithm with me on making the most optimized board for length of play, difficulty, and other criteria, or on creating an algorithm for the machine to play the perfect game (something better than minmax ;)), do feel free to connect below.

    I want to connect

    My First NFT (Minted on Bitclout) - Abstract Conceptual Art

    "The Traffic Light of Life", where all the three colors are always on, all the time; and you and only you decide whether to proceed (hustle/step up), wait (follow), or stop (disappointed).


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    Neologism or coining new words is one of my favorite topics. I believe it boosts creativity as there is no set rule for these. While in some cases, neologism can overlap with pun or play with words, a dedicated neologist knows her/his words ;)

    Some of my neologies include - Algorhythm, Moneymoon, Marstyr, Pybuse, Sudo-code, Wework Tourism, Carbage, Undure, Parallel Entrepreneur, Feedfront


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    400 days of Mandarin (and counting).

    Wo xihuan zhege! This was more of a consistency challenge for me than learn Mandarin language challenge, so I'm sort of happy about reaching this 400 day milestone given so many life changes that happened last year.
    While I can hold a conversation in Mandarin with friends, it's still the case that most of my Chinese friends don't understand what I speak :)


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    Pybuse: Using Python in a very hacky, careless way to accomplish a task that's of little practical use.

    Pybused to find some of the most dangerous places in the world to visit as we were planning our "Dare Tourism"! "Dare Tourism", which is an extreme form of Adventure Tourism and part of Experimental Tourism is where one (or two - to make it more dangerous ;)) visits some of the most unstable, volatile, dangerous places of the world. My idea of an extreme form of Dare Tourism is Ero-Dare-tourism in which a couple travels to a dangerous place separately and tries to find each other

    Here's the Pybuse that found some of the interesting "WARNINGS" about visiting various destinations. Many WARNINGS were rather really intriguing and gives us an insight on how places become dangerous.


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    A few of my blog posts and articles

    My idea of an optimized calendar
    This is also how the 4 day workweek could become a norm :)

    Eleven Questions You Don't Need To Answer
    Special points if you don't answer the 9th one :)
    Logicless Series
    For fans of number series!
    'Bus' kar yaar, rulayega kya?
    And my ideas on inter-vehicular communication ;)

    The "Purba" Design Pattern
    “Purposefully Bad” or the “Purba” Design Pattern!

    Methodically Managing Enterprise Austerity
    Managing Austerity using Unix Permission Triads

    'The Green Mile' Experiment!!
    An experiment to bolster creativity, IMO!

    The Weirdest Debate Competition!

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    Brainstorming is one of my ever favorite topics. It all started from the chapter "The Science of Deduction" by Arthur Conan Doyle where Sherlock Holmes seamlessly brainstorms by himself, and went all the way till reading in "Space Barons" about Bezos's extreme brainstorming for building rockets that included even a bull whip as long as a train before settling on chemical rockets.
    My list of brainstormed ideas could use a different day for posting, but I do think brainstorming could be made more structured than how it is perceived now.
    When I was working at Wework, I had proposed the below as part of Wework Transform program (along with other ideas like WeCard - Wework's credit card, WeExt - Member extensions like cab and flight affiliations etc, Corporate Interview Rooms for remote interviews, Wework Tourism etc).

    Specialized Brainstorming Room in Wework spaces

    From design teams to technology teams, from interior arts to architecture teams, innovation is key to growth. To be innovative, a creative ambiance that promotes it, a network of people, a set of utilities are among the essentials - all of which could be brought under one umbrella of brainstorming. The regular conference rooms and huddle spaces are definitely creative and artistic but are not specialized for brainstorming. So, specialized brainstorming rooms that provide highly creative ambiance and help spark ideas among brainstormers is needed - maybe one such room per WeWork space.

    Unlike conference rooms, Brainstorming Rooms will have some special features that make them tailor-made for brainstorming. Some of them could be:
    1. Colors that are known to boost creativity
    2. Wall art that show/promote innovation, ideas, networking etc.
    3. Books that are specific to ideas and innovations
    4. Board / digital boards with sticky notes and pens,
    5. Software that could be used as tools for Brainstorming (I've a sample/prototype software already for this, which I'd love to show you)
    6. Furniture that are novel and creative
    7. Most importantly, running availability of coffee :-)
    8. No-external-disturbance mode to avoid distraction
    9. Meditation-friendly seats for silent-thinking

    While brainstorming could be seen as something that can be very ad-hoc, I use the "What's your Chess" approach to make it have a tangible ice-breaker point
    In this, we come up with out own variants of chess, from minor to major, cosmetic to dramatic. The idea is to brainstorm.

    See some of my chess variants

    On a similar note, here's another brainstorming on Musktopian Twitter.

    Musktopian Twitter

    On a related note, I also emphasize the "empathy focussed" equivalent of brainstorming, which I call Heartstorming.



    My Tryst with Duolingo - A collection of all the hilarious questions and comments on Duolingo.

    A friend of mine was very happy when he read that French was called Romance language,as he was learning it. Then he saw that even Spanish was called Romance language! And then Italian too!! Later we came to know that languages derived from Roman are referred as Romance languages.


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    My Fifa Pseudo-Fandom

    This Pretend-Sheet is for "those pretending" Football fans (like me) that helps them discuss the ongoing FIFA World Cup events with their hardcore football-worshipping friends without much embarrassment!


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    My flowchart for the Post-Cricket career of international cricketers.

    Excuse my sms lingo. I was very immature when I wrote this and don't have the patience to modify it now :)


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    Politics Trump Card Game

    If you remember the WWE Trump Card game we used to play back in the 90s(?), where there were Height, Weight, Biceps, Chest, Rank etc of wrestlers like Triple H, Undertaker and many more, I thought it would be fun to have a similar trump-card game but with politicians' profiles!
    Probably, I could also make a case that it kind of increases awareness among people and opens the mind of those apolitical ;-).
    Applicable to politics/leaders from around the world


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    [Startup For Everything] Blame It On Me (

    So, you're very angry on someone and wish you could take that off on them with the strongest swear words you know!
    But turns out you can't because doing so would result in weighty consequences for you. Maybe that's your boss, professor, or someone in a commanding position.
    So you take your anger off on your close ones - your partner, children, friends, OR, spend the night in a bar.
    We are

    What you can actually do to quench your anger is simply use our free app to talk to one of our trained Blametakers. Blametakers not just pretend like the one(s) you want to scold/blame/tussle with, but also help soothe you by responing appropriately (maybe in an apologetic way if the situation demands).
    No filter! Remember, they are trained! Scold them as long as you wish, till your anger is quenched, and you're back to normal!


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    Some of the utterly useless/ridiculous things/thoughts I've pondered.

    But hey, "uselessness" is relative. So, these could be useful from some perspective in some universe.

    Interpretation of Differentiation/Derivative

    I wanted to understand the "real world" interpretation of a derivative (differentiation), and how "exactly" it works beyond equations and functions.
    Of course, going by the definition and countless formulae for d/dx of a 'y' is the easier task. The hard task is to understand the physical interpretation of that all.
    I mean, this sure wasn't quantum mechanics whose physical interpretation was beyond the limits of the human brian! Or so I thought.

    Going by the very definition:
    Differentiation of y with respect to x is "the rate of change of y with respect to x".
    Well that's simple to calculate, I reasoned!
    Let's take a simple example.
    If y=x^2, how does y change with respect to x?

    x 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
    y=x^2 0 1 4 9 16 25 36
    Change (i.e x^2 - x) 0 0 2 6 12 20 30
    Rate of change (Column minus its previous column) 0-0 = 0 2-0 = 2 6-2 = 4 12-6 = 6 20-12 = 8 30-20 = 10
    Rewriting it as... 0 = 2 * 0 2 = 2 * 1 4 = 2 * 2 6 = 2 * 3 8 = 2 * 4 10 = 2 * 5
    Which is nothing but.... 2x 2x 2x 2x 2x 2x

    Hooray, that clearly seems to show that the rate of change of y (which is x squared) with respect to x is 2x, which is to say that the differentiation of x squared wrt x is 2*x.
    Or in other words, as x changes, x square changes at the rate of 2*x.

    The reasoning above is clearly flawed (feel free to message me if you find the flaws (there are many)), but it fascinated me as a highschooler, having "allegedly" found what differentiation means numerically :-D
    This is one of my worse ideas! Please forgive me after reading this, for reading this
    I always thought transportation itself could be made less expensive by utilizing the power of earth's gravity to make stuff move down on their own. For example, imagine you have a two mile long path that a truck has to travel on. Now imagine a special "UPLIFTER" machine (basically a big, electrically powered, mechanical floor) at the beginning of that stretch which, when the truck (or multiple vehicles) is on it, lifts it up to a height of say 200 meter and then leaves it on a slope of pre-calculated slope angle to slide through that two mile path without spending any energy/fuel, just leaving everything to gravity.
    My point was that it would cost less to lift a vehicle to X meter height than spending on fuel needed for the vehicle to travel that distance.
    Now imagine all the two-way freeways with such 'UPLIFTER's at every y mile stretch which continuously uplift the vehicles to a height x and then the vehicles come down travelling on the slope on their own with their engines turned off till the next 'UPLIFTER"!!
    I know I know, forgive me!


    Proving 1=2 using Physics

    Reach out to me if you manage to find the mistake in my derivation ;)

    We all know that old and outdated trick of using algebra, cancelling out 0 on both sides to prove 1=2.
    This is an advanced version that I've found out to do the same, except this used Physics.

    We have our classic formula : v = u + ( a * t ) ----------------- (1)
    And we also have … : v ^ 2 = u ^ 2 + ( 2 * a * s ) ---------- (2)
    Squaring (1) , v ^ 2 = u ^ 2 + ( (a ^ 2 ) * ( t ^ 2 ) ) + 2 * u * a * t ------------- (3)
    Equating (2) and (3) , (Cancelling v ^ 2 and u ^ 2 on both sides),
    2 * a * s = ( (a ^ 2 ) * ( t ^ 2 ) ) + 2 * u * a * t
    Cancelling ‘a’ , 2 * s = ( a * ( t ^ 2 ) ) + 2 * u * t
    Bringing ‘t’ to the LHS, 2 * ( s / t ) = ( a * t ) + ( 2 * u )
    But (s / t ) is distance travelled over time taken, that’s velocity ‘v’.
    Hence, 2 * v = ( a * t ) + ( 2 * u )
    Bringing ( 2 * u ) to the LHS, 2 * ( v – u ) = a * t
    Bringing ‘t‘ to the LHS, 2 * ( ( v – u ) / t ) = a
    But ( ( v – u ) / t ) is the rate of change of velocity, that’s ‘a’
    Hence, 2 * a = a
    which I can write as , 2 * a = 1 * a
    Cancelling ‘a’ , (note that this is perfectly valid to cancel a non-zero entity from both sides of the equation ),
    we get, HURRAY …. 2 = 1 …….

    Automating the world (OS for Spaces) one step at a time

    During my time at WeWork, I tried automating everything in a public space, and the first step towards that being the end-to-end integration of IoT for restroom maintenance. As evident from this pic, it was pretty well received!


    Snow Pusher

    I used to live in a place where the winters were Game of Throne-ish. Instead of using an existing solution, I decided I'd go full DIY style.
    The welding of this never materialized because I soon had to move to a place that would see no snow, so this remained a concept.


    A Pocket-size Analysis of Core Values of Fortune 500 Companies

    I categorize corporate core values into two - “protective” and “disruptive”. “Protective” values are those that are typically “safeguarding and preserving” in nature. On the other hand, “disruptive” values tend to incline towards an advancement culture or “what's next?” angle. It was not surprising to see that a large percentage of Fortune 500 companies have embraced Protective Core Values, as opposed to Disruptive, and unlike the growth, tech companies.
    “Integrity” being the top core value, and by far.


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    Earning a million dollars the hard way

    Some of the hardest, but possibly very satisfying, ways to make a million dollars. Sticking to "definitive" ones rather than a probabilistic one like MegaMillions

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    Brainfuck Compiler

    I'm a big fan of all the useless coding/algorithms related folklore like Code Golf, Quines, Pessimal Algorithms, Esoteric Programming Languages, Deep Programming Concepts etc.
    One of the results of that being me writing my Brainfuck Compiler.

    Nobel in Medicine

    By far the most childish idea I had as a middle-schooler: Science classes taught me that AIDS is essentially the destruction of our immune system. A year later, the then Science textbooks mentioned that Leukemia is basically an abnormal increase in our WBC!
    AND, the "billion-dollar-idea" neurons fired to suggest that these are practically mutually beneficial! And that a potential cure for Leukemia is through bio-medicine - having the HIV do its job in a controlled manner and maintain a delicate balance in WBC count!
    Of course, I thought I'd win a Nobel in Medicine for this revolutionary strategy!

    Things that were relevant (and cool) in 2013 - "Attachment Reminder"

    We say we are attaching something, but send the email without the attachment. Then send an embarrassing apology email after five minutes correcting the mistake! How many of us have done this? Wrote a plug-in for Outlook: This "OUTLOOK ATTACHMENT REMINDER" looks within the subject and body of your email for the word "attach" and plenty of its variants (-ing, -ed, PFA, pfa, etc.). If it identifies that there should have been an attachment but couldn't find one, it alerts you and, on your command, opens a prompt to select the file(s) to upload.


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    Or this post on Facebook

    British and English literature

    By far one of the most useless ngram inferences out there - when did American English surpass British English in literature?
    The answer is 1911-ish btw.


    A few of my originals! Part 1 (Mostly unnecessarily geeky)

    Caffeine annotation for ESG coding
    Fine, next OKR for ChatGPT
    When the same memo went out in three offices of a company
    When you've to approve an ugly but necessary PR
    After the success of NASA's Mars Curiosity project, NDTV 24x7 is already working on starting a news channel on Mars.
    They just released their logo.

    A few of the English poems that I've penned.

    I go by the penname Adichi, which is short for Anoop DIxith CHIkmaglur.

    My full-length screenplays, novels, and treatments

    I've written several full length screenplays, and wikipedia-esque movie stories.
    This used to be one of my favorite hobbies!
    Below is a partial list of my full-length screenplays/novels/treatments.
    Do reach out to me if you'd like to discuss any, or interested in the rest.

    Screenplay: Mystery: The Psychiatrist
    Screenplay: Drama: Karodpati
    Screenplay: Suspense: Death Ring
    Novel: Mystery: Vihanta
    Movie: Sci Fi: MosquitoMan
    Movie: Drama: Kundali
    Movie: Drama: Sach
    Movie: Comedy, Action: Tu Maaro, I Never Die
    Short story: The Pen Shop


    My tryst with satire writing

    I started out writing satire articles for popular Indian webzines, and my articles were respectively the second most widely read and most widely read articles on UnRealTimes in 2014 and 2015.

    Below are a few of my articles (Note that many of these are probably no longer accessible outside of the Wayback Machine

    1. Govt bans; Developer takes 6 hours to swap 2 variables
    2. EA Sports’ coders develop 7 new algorithms to accommodate AB de Villiers’ shots in EA Cricket 2015
    3. IITian accepts Infosys’ 6 crore job offer, Infy in utter shock
    4. Impressed by their acting skills with referees, Adi hires footballers to teach Uday Chopra acting
    5. Future legend Virat Kohli’s emotional speech when he retires after 18 years

    My tryst with philosophy

    Philosophy is one of my favorite topics (and the final page you land on when continuously clicking on a link on any Wikipedia page). I have spent and still do spend my free time thinking about philosophical concepts, thought experiments, applications, philosophical stories etc.
    I have written a few mildly philosophical stories in the past, but much of my thoughts have been on analysis of various philosophical concepts.
    I have collected my thoughts, thought experiments, interesting philosophical concepts and questions, anecdotes, potential applications etc. on my Trello board here . Feel free to visit.
    When I retire, a blend of philosophy and Physics would what will take a lot of my time! It's my brian's happy place.
    Some of my favorite philosophical concepts to discuss are:
    1. Gettier Problem
    2. The birth and evolution of morality
    3. The 'BLISS' of Sisyphus or the 'Happy Truckdriver'
    4. The philosophy of quizzing and the need to know something unneeded
    5. Materialism Explains Everything
    6. Albert Camus's ultimate question

    ... ... ... ...

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    Calmness Under Chaos

    The necessity to remain calm, and how to go about it...


    Writing poems, articles and experimental writings in my mother tongue Kannada is one of my favorite hobbies.
    I use the penname Adichi - which stands for Anoop DIxith CHIkmagalur.
    Below is a collection of my poems, articles, and writings in Kannada.
    A larger collection is available here
    I also have unsuccessfully tried to add Kannada to Duolingo!

    A few of my personal pictures on traveling and others

    Somewhere in Denmark, during my first work related travel
    Amsterdam (business travel)
    No caption needed
    My experiments with Google Glass
    Somewhere in Russia
    When in Mexico...
    Chugging 21L of tequila/contaritas
    With my coolest colleaues from Guadalajara
    Work-trip to Mexico...
    Includes a road trip to Tequila
    Another one from Mexico
    And one with this man...
    Hiking in Norway
    Lone Tree
    Tulip Gardens, Holland
    Dubai, during the business trip from Zynga
    When I used to have a mustache
    A train trip in Sweetzerland
    Hiking to the top of Eurpoe
    Somewhere in Switzerland again
    My first one on a ship!
    IPL. I don't have proof
    but this came up on TV ;)
    In Hong Kong. When I appeared on a busy billboard in Hongkong
    for a few brief minutes for winning a promotional event
    Regarding the pot-hole, watch this link :)
    Capturing the peak of Burj Khalifa
    One of my favorite places in the US
    The gang in Goa
    The Zyngang
    The Yoga Gang
    America's Loneliest Road. We drove the full length
    Ruins of the Greek civilization
    Circa 1849. When I was working in mining camps
    The notorious bitcoin mining camps.
    Childhood friends meeting in our native city
    Gazebo and the gang
    37 states on the wheel, and counting
    Startup Weekend, with co-founder and now a close friend. NY
    Was a technical volunteer for President Obama's speech.
    Trevi Fountain, Rome. Threw that damn coin
    The Great Salt Lake
    No comments. Madame Tussads, London.
    With the OG gang
    John Cooperworks Cooper
    Niagara. Maid of the Mist
    Cakes and friends
    Camping in Wyoming, the old mid-west way
    Hiking on a not-for-hiking attire,
    with the world's best HR - Ellice Kwak
    An Italian Opera House, Milan
    Boston, with friends!
    Zynga trio and the world's tallest tree
    The Three Musketeers
    Us, playing my Relic Chess
    Souq Waqif, Doha, Qatar
    Ancestral home, India

    Movies I'm always down to re-watch, and have watched over a hundred times

  • Apollo 13
  • Zero Dark Thirty
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Beladingala Baale
  • 3 Idiots
  • Swades
  • The Big Short
  • Erin Brockovich
  • Spotlight
  • There Will Be Blood
  • Fargo
  • Bombshell
  • Moneyball
  • The Founder
  • My Go-To Videos for Inspiration

  • 2007 iPhone Launch by Steve Jobs
  • Start With Why by Simon Sinek
  • Apple "Genius" Ad
  • John Carpenter Million Dollar Phone Call
  • The Mother of All Demos, by Douglas Engelbart (1968) (non-video details)
  • Susan Boyle - I Dreamed A Dream Audition
  • Shane Warne's Gatting Ball or the Ball of the Century. This led me to do many weeks of research on the aerodynamics of leg-spin
  • University Challenge India Semi-Final
  • Game of Algos series
    by Anoop Dixith

    When Developos, the ancient G(r)eek disciple of Codepus deity finished his 1M-LineOfCode long meditation, Codepus, the Lord of Logica was impressed, appeared before and granted him three wishes...
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