Skip to main content

I am an Optimist..

I want to be an optimist

Being a software engineer involves a lot of pessimism: a lot of thought in the software engineering process revolves around things that might go wrong, that are going wrong, that have gone wrong, or that went wrong.

Over time, professional pessimism has been bleeding over into my personal life, and many times I tend to think more of things that could go wrong than about things that are going right.

There are times, though, when I want to be an optimist against the odds, and that even applies to the world of mobile gadgets.

I want phonebloks to succeed.

This is a great idea on paper. I hope that they can manage a level of integration that makes the size, weight, price and shape competitive with integrated solutions. I hope that going through a common backplane doesn't hurt battery life or system speed. I hope that hardware drivers can be made portable enough. I hope they can resolve the issues of antenna performance on a variable-geometry device, especially for big coils like NFC or Qi. I hope that carriers will be willing to provide end-user support for those devices.

I want Firefox OS to succeed.

This is another great idea on paper. I hope they can succeed in that direction where many other companies have failed. Looking at the ZTE Open, I hope that they can provide a user experience on that class of hardware that rivals what other systems offer on devices that cost nearly ten times as much. I hope they can transparently handle the high packet losses and connection drops that make the reality of mobile devices.

I want network interoperability to be a reality.

2G GSM interoperability was a mess. It took a while for phone to be available with all 4 common bands, and that didn't stay relevant for long as UMTS was getting deployed.

UMTS was a bigger mess, and it took 5 bands to cover the US and Europe (and most of the world with the notable exception of Japan). Now that we have phones that cover all 5 bands (e.g. Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4), LTE is getting deployed.

LTE is an even bigger mess. It takes 5 bands just to cover the common US and European GSM carriers alone, and before you know it the list grows to over a dozen without digging much. Nexus 7 manages to support 4 bands in GSM, 5 bands in UMTS and 7 bands in LTE (and the LTE bands aren't the same in all variants). Other devices don't seem to be so lucky and have fewer connectivity options.

I hope that we can quickly reach a point where LTE devices can cover a dozen different bands or more, so that they can be used while traveling.


Popular posts from this blog

FirefoxOS, A keyboard and prediction: Story of my first contribution

Returning to my cubical holding a hot cup of coffee and with a head loaded with frustration and panic over a system codebase that I managed to break with no sufficient time to fix it before the next morning.  This was at IBM, New York where I was interning and working on the TJ Watson project. I returned back to my desk, turned on my dual monitors, started reading some blogs and engaging on Mozilla IRC (a new found and pretty short lived hobby). Just a few days before that, FirefoxOS was launched in India in the form of an Intex phone with a $35 price tag. It was making waves all around, because of its hefty price and poor performance . The OS struggle was showing up in the super low cost hardware. I was personally furious about some of the shortcomings, primarily the keyboard which at that time didn’t support prediction in any language other than English and also did not learn new words. Coincidentally, I came upon Dietrich Ayala in the FirefoxOS IRC channel, who at

April Fool and Google Part 2: A Round Up of ALL of Google’s April Fools Jokes

Ok....this post I think will contain all of the pranks I could find  for today. After my last post here Last Time I reported Only a handful of the pranks.. Understandable, as it was only the morning. After that I stumbled upon more of them Which I am gonna round up here. Now staring with the list. The very first one is obviously our favourite Google Maps Quest The above is their official video. In a post in Google Plus they say about it as follows  Today  + Google Maps  announced Google Maps 8-bit for NES. With #8bitmaps , you can do everything you'd normally do in Maps—search for famous landmarks and sites around the world, get directions and even use Street View. Just in time for April Fool's Day, Google has introduced Google Maps Quest, a retro 8-bit version of its mapping tool that is... totally awesome. In a characteristically whimsical video, available above, Google emplo

Curious case of Cisco AnyConnect and WSL2

One thing Covid has taught me is the importance of VPN. Also one other thing COVID has taught me while I work from home  is that your Windows Machine can be brilliant  as long as you have WSL2 configured in it. So imagine my dismay when I realized I cannot access my University resources while being inside the University provided VPN client. Both of the institutions I have affiliation with, requires me to use VPN software which messes up WSL2 configuration (which of course I realized at 1:30 AM). Don't get me wrong, I have faced this multiple times last two years (when I was stuck in India), and mostly I have been lazy and bypassed the actual problem by side-stepping with my not-so-noble  alternatives, which mostly include one of the following: Connect to a physical machine exposed to the internet and do an ssh tunnel from there (not so reliable since this is my actual box sitting at lab desk, also not secure enough) Create a poor man's socks proxy in that same box to have my ow