RamsThoughts

September 15, 2012 7:27 am

Cars run on Alternate fuels

The other day , Vidya and I were driving to her art class while filled the gas on the way, she asked :

V: appa (dad) when I grow up to age to drive the car, what kind of cars will be around? are they Gasoline fueled or like hybrids

Me: These cars would still be around (given that it is about 10yrs away)

V: would most of the cars be Gasoline, hybrid or electric?

Me: with the trend, I would foresee mostly electric cars, tremendously improved with mileage, (and so on and so forth)

V: appa, I would probably prefer the cars run on Air fuel, are there those around? If not, how is this IDEA?

Me: made me think. hmmm… isn’t this fantastic idea? but why do you think so? Why air and not electric?

V: Now we stop and at times panic for running out of gas. We saw the electric fueling (charging) station at the city hall or would charge at home, we still need to stop and panic if we run out of battery, like you do when I play games on your phone.  So with air, the fuel can be generated on go, and not panic for gas stations.

Me: Fantastic idea.

V: Can you help me build this kind of car So we would be the FIRST Inventors ?

Me: Lets do some read up on this aspect.

By then we arrived at the arts class location and the conversation paused. I was curious and while waiting at her class, started looking up on similar concept. Looks like there are some similar concepts and research in progress, and some hit the streets .

Do you foresee any improvements in that area? Know of any pointers for further research?

 

January 24, 2011 11:31 pm

Remotely Change password on Windows Server 2008

Filed under: Software Security,UX - User Experience — ramsblog @ 11:31 pm
Tags:

Interesting to see the lack of consistency between Windows desktop and windows server OS in terms of changing the account password. I remember I have done it before when Remote into a windows server 2008, it has been a long time and completely forgotten to get around and locate again.

i went around several options including Start—>Lock computer; Security wizard etc. Server being located at remote location obviously can’t take chances to shut it down and not being able to restart again. 

To change the user password on a windows 2008 server while logged in as a Remote Desktop:

> Remote desktop login to the windows server machine
> start –> Windows Security
> click Change password
> to change password of different accounts other than the one logged in with, click Other Credentials
> enter user name domain\user
> give Old Password
> Enter New password and repeat followed by Arrow to submit.
> changes the password and brings the control back to

imageimage

 

some Intuitiveness can be further improved as part of this progress. for instance the 4th bullet (other credentials) takes additional clicks to figure out or get to the other user password change window; it could have reduced few clicks apparently.

hope the above steps help some of you…

December 16, 2010 12:13 am

Purchase price different from Advertised price?

Interesting to see the purchase price different from the advertised price on the same site between two pages…

This company has put up a front page banners saying 80% off on 100pk DVD spindle that turns out to $9.99/- . Proceed further to place an order for this item, the item results page shows $14.48.

Now proceed further to check out page or the shopping cart, it shows the $14.48 and other summary of delivery charge etc…

Amount inconsistency? Where might this have gone wrong?
data Configuration?
intentional?
latency in price points?  so the images for advertisement did not have this price?

 image

image

 

Looking at the coupon page, i realized if the offer was In-Store only, and went back to the home page to check if it was available online too. Well, it looks like it does the advt shows “in store and online” .

#WhatIsWronghere #PricingBug #AmImissingSomething

ps: i am not posting this to pin point an issue on the site here. The intent is to probe other software professional visitors here to think what might have happened and how such scenarios can be prevented in their work situations.

Tags: Software quality, User Experience

December 11, 2010 7:31 pm

Great learning on TFS2010 and warehouse ….

I have been playing around the TFS2010 (Team foundation Server) and the way it manages the data between the operational database and its counterpart Data Warehouse. It has been a long time since I had ever tried the warehouse concepts and learning some of those concepts…

At the same time Microsoft Team Foundation Server also offers the Client side of the tools like Test and Lab Manager and they are part of the Microsoft Visual Studio Test Professional SKU. Being a v1.0 of this client utility, obviously we can say there are some limitations, but on the positive side there are great features to leverage with Source control, work item associations, work item management overall and several others…

December 9, 2010 2:39 am

Computer account trust relationship – Excel to Analysis Server

 

This issue popped up on my computer several weeks ago on my Excel instance when  connecting to the SQL Analysis services. Enquired several people and searched several blogs.

Here is how I had installed the applications on my machine .

Client config
                Windows 7   [7600]
                Office 2010 
                VS 2010 ultimate

Sequence of installation, if that matters:
     Windows 7 –> Office 2010 –>  VS2010 –>  uninstall/reinstall Office 2010.

This is pretty straight forward, right? I don’t see any conflicts here of course, and the add-ins that were required were still in place. And I thought i didn’t have to reinstall VS2010 at this time.

Here is how i would connect the Excel instance to an Analysis services

1. Launch Excel
2. Data –> from other sources –> Analysis services
image 
3. Provide the server name on data connection dialog, and connect if you are connecting with windows authentication
image  
4. takes a while and boom – gives this following error message:

“The following system error occurred: The Security database on the server does not have the computer account for this workstation trust relationship”

clip_image001

5. well, apparently i tried logging in with the same user account but via providing UserName and the Password.
6. it would go through the first level ok and gives the list of cubes and perspectives available
7. select one of those and proceed to create a Pivot –> now again, gives the same error message as above….

It is at times frustrating when the message doesn’t say exactly what is wrong and how it can be fixed. It gets more frustrating if the issue wasn’t resolved for longer time.

Well anyways, finally found the solution – who would have thought the issue was something completely *repeat* completely unrelated in nature with an Excel application connecting to a SQL Analysis service, and where did Live ID assistant come into picture.

Yes, thanks to the following MSDN forum post – http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sqlanalysisservices/thread/b058635f-6d3e-4240-a555-1dbd945ae25a – that said three options
1. to update the kernel on the Server
2. check the windows Live ID assistant on client
3. connect as NTLM from the client machine

…and recommended #1. Well, why should I be looking at the server level configuration when i know another person could connect to  the same server and i was unable to. Well, I was also able to connect to the same server from different client machines and not from this current machine…  So, i chose option #2..

yes, uninstalled the Windows Live Id Sign in Assistant:
1. Launch Control Panel –> Programs and Features
2. look for Windows LiveID sign in Assistant
3. right click and uninstall
4. if cautions close all the applications suggested (Outlook, Visual Studio, etc)
5. Restart the machine
6. go over the Excel –> Analysis service connection process
7. wow! connects through and able to retrieve the data..

ufff! this hard just because the message was not that friendly and the event log didn’t have the right message?

October 27, 2010 6:16 pm

our daughter at the apple store…

Filed under: UX - User Experience — ramsblog @ 6:16 pm

We had stopped by an Apple store over the week end. Out of all devices, my daughter caught an iPad section and went straight over there. She figured out using the device in terms of getting the Games, puzzles, and book shelf etc…

image

It is amazing the device is designed for the market where that side of the community get so well-versed in using it without any guidance or help.

October 13, 2009 8:53 pm

Ok / Cancel?

Filed under: Software Quality,UX - User Experience — ramsblog @ 8:53 pm
Tags:

I was on a BillPay page on a banking web site today, provided name, address and other information and about to confirm –> Continue / Edit / Cancel

image

Now i changed my mind and thought of waiting since I didn’t have the account number to pay to, handy at that time. Decided to hit “Cancel”.

Cancel takes me to an alert with a question mark and two buttons Ok / Cancel – what is expected from the user? Ok or Cancel?

what does a OK supposed to do?
what does a Cancel supposed to do?

does it mean my account is now somebody else’s if I hit Ok? or does it mean “Thank you for bill pay sign up, we give you $10/- as a token of thanks” –> hit cancel :)

October 2, 2009 9:31 pm

Little things that matters for better UX

Filed under: UX - User Experience — ramsblog @ 9:31 pm
Tags:

October 2nd is considered as Gandhi Jayanthi – Birthday celebration of Mahathma Gandhi. I noticed Google.com showing MKG’s picture as part of Google’s image on its search home page.

image

Several days ago, i had noticed Mysore palace pictured on Bing.com for independence day.
http://ramsblog.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/image.png

May 22, 2009 4:46 pm

Rounding Currency…

Filed under: Banking,Customers,Software Quality,Tech,UX - User Experience — ramsblog @ 4:46 pm

It is often interesting how the UI screen validation goes, and not all the scenarios completely thought of when the applications are released to public.  Here is an example, although my screenshot was taken a long time ago, it was misplaced and couldn’t get to it back then. Anyways, The minimum payment due on my account was $3/- while my statement balance due was $2.59/- Why should I pay $3/- when I owe less.

 clip_image002

Agreed there are three options and I could choose to pay what I owe with the 2nd option and proceed further, but it is apparently misleading the customer saying “your minimum payment exceeds the amount you owe!”

clip_image004

another observation: why should the default be at the minimum payment Due when the statement balance is less. Agreed, there is a note “payment must be at least $1.00 and cannot exceed your current balance” , however it would be a better user experience if the default was set to statement balance when it is less than the Minimum payment due. I don’t know how MinimumPaymentDue calculated, it is probably at least $3.00 or percentage of the balance due. But this assumption conflicts with the note of “at least $1/-

just a thought! There is an opportunity to improve in the way we communicate to the customers. The way build the relationship with customers. The way me make the life simpler to the customers and not complicate with unnecessary ambiguous messages we provide on our sites.

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April 7, 2009 10:23 pm

GM/Segway innovative PUMA

Filed under: Cars,Did you Know,Tech,UX - User Experience — ramsblog @ 10:23 pm

While driving from work this evening I heard this on Radio that GM is partnering with Segway imageto come up with a 2-passenger vehicle on Segway’s model and would run on the battery. Following are the facts I heard :
1. moves at 35mph
2. looks elegant but a modified version of Segway
3. GM is probably looking to produce this starting 2012
4. No comments about pricing yet
5. PUMA would have sensor ability to keep away from the vehicles and the pedestrians, making it safer to ride.

few questions posed:
1. would it be safer on our roads?
2. It is very small and not safe to be on road with other vehicles; but it is quite bigger to use on sidewalks
3. What are the designated places this device is intended to be used?
4. cities’ infrastructure department might think of constructing separate lanes for these models like (like the bicycle lane)

see a video here on this blog [picture snapshot from one of these videos]

PUMA stands for: Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility

more on huffingtonpost [link]

see more on Segway website:  http://www.segway.com/puma/ ; http://www.segway.com/blog/20090406introducing-project-puma-329.html

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