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Showing posts from 2014

A melange

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A melange Sometimes, we get saddled with random vegetables in the kitchen. I had bell peppers, indian cottage cheese and baby corn at my disposal. Here is a paneer jalfreez with all these ingredients.
Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.
Published 17. October 2014

Ingredients1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)1 tablespoon of crushed black pepper 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste2 chopped red onion250 gm diced indian cottage cheese2-3 chopped red chilli1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder1 teaspoon of turmeric1/2 teaspoon coriander powder1/2 tablespoon of garam masala powder1/2 teaspoon asafoetida1 cardamom1 cinnamon4-5 tablespoon of vegetable oil2 chopped bell peppers6 chopped baby corn1 teaspoon cumin seeds InstructionsHeat oil in a pan or a wok.Add asafoetida powder and cumin seeds.Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onions, baby corn and bell pepper. Saute in medium heat for a while.Add all the powders, ginger garlic paste and spices. Continue to saute.Add salt to taste.Add the cottage che…

Tech - xCloud Architecture (Part 4): At Your Service

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"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.", Walt Disney.
Let's start developing the e-commerce platform feature one at a time. Since, services are the centre of the platform, I initially built the basic set of services required, like - product, price, category, search etc. Building Blocks Identify the key building blocks of a service. Some of them could be - Programming language to be used, in this case it's Python.Framework - Flask.API Gateway to provide authentication, throttling, etc. - 3Scale.Logging provider - Logentries.Provider - The provider under the service contains the business logic. I am going to take one service as an example - search. I used two providers - Indexden and ElasticSearch. I will explain in a moment why. Anatomy of a Service
Handling Change "One eye on the past and the other on the future."

Once you have a service in place, it's always a balancing act. On one hand, the consumers of a service expect stability. O…

Tech - xCloud Architecture (Part 3): The Best Laid Schemes Of Mice And Men

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So far, we have looked at the objective  and some principles. Now, to start executing the plan. The Team I now need a team and tools to start executing the plan. So, there's me and a mini-me. I am the team - product owner, designer, manager, architect, developer and support analyst all rolled into one. So far, I think we all got along just fine!

The mini-me is the tools required - Acer Aspire One Netbook with 1.66 Ghz CPU, 2 GB RAM, 160 GB hard disk and a home broadband connection. Admittedly, the netbook is not the most powerful of machines. Since I use everything on the cloud, I was not too handicapped by the netbook.

In terms of the software, all I used is - Node, Python, Notepad++, Git, Putty and the Appfog/Openshift command line tools.


The Maneuvers It is said that, one of the reasons Napoleon was successful in his battles was the brilliant use of maneuvers. Although, he had a relatively smaller army, he used speed and flexibility to great effect.

So, from a development pers…

Tech - xCloud Architecture (Part 2): It's Elementary My Dear Developer

As I described in my earlier post, every component of the application needs to be in the cloud. Let's now get into the business of identifying the various cloud providers that we want to use. There are several factors to consider. Litany of Choices "When you see a web-based accounting system, the architecture of that system should scream accounting at you." - Uncle Bob. I am going to take a leaf from this quote. An application is always built to deliver a customer feature(s). And, almost always we will have constraints like time, cost, capabilities etc that we need to overcome. This forces us to prioritize the features, accept trade off's and focus on the most important aspects in the application. 
The constraints also help us take decisions on Build vs Buy vs Rent. The Build here refers to building a bespoke software, Buy is buying an off the shelf software and Rent is renting a software on the cloud. On a similar note - Less critical feature of the application - us…

Tech - xCloud Architecture: The Beginning (Part 1)

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It all started in the spring of 2013 when I came across an article on how Netflix was built on the Amazon cloud. It got me thinking about what is involved in building an entire application on the cloud. For example, what implications does it have on the following - If any, does it have any impact on the application features?What impact does it have on architecture principles?How do engineering practices need to evolve?Does it make it any easier to monitor, administer and support such an application?How does one handle data and security?Lastly, what were the trade-offs? So, I started reading up on the various cloud providers. These ranged from IaaS, PaaS and SaaS providers. I also looked at how organizations were leveraging these providers. I jotted down a few architecture principles on which to build an entire application in the cloud. All resources, tools and technologies to be based in the cloud.Use a diverse set of cloud providers to test the interoperability between them. It also h…

Beat the Heat

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Beat the Heat Summer is marching on this year and leaving behind parched throats. A simple and popular summer cooler is made all over India with yogurt. It's called by various names - "lassi" and "chaas" in the north and "more" in the south.

Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.
Published 30 March 2014

Ingredients1 chopped green chillies 1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon mustard seeds3 chopped ginger3 cups natural yogurt1 cup milk InstructionsDry roast the mustard seeds, chopped ginger and green chillies in a pan for a minute.Blend the salt, yogurt and milk.Mix the yogurt with the spices. Serve with ice cubes.

Happy drinking.
Further details Serves 3-4 people. Preparation time is approximately 5 min. Cooking time is approximately 5 min.

Song Review - Bismillah

Posted by Rajan Manickavasagam
January 5th, 2014

Rating: 5 out of 5
Bismillah. This Arabic word has many meanings, the most common being "In The Name of God". It is typically intoned before starting anything new. Almost all chapters in the Quran start with this word. If we remove the religious context, it is about creation of life, celebration of peace and love without the ego of self. 

Bismillah is a song in the sufi style by Kailash Kher and Munawar Masoom. The rustic voice of Kailash blends brilliantly with the powerful Munawar. Munawar is popular for singing poems of sufi poets like Rumi and Khusro. He impresses the most as he brings to bear his ghazal and sufi style of singing. Munawar gives a great start to the song with his deep baritone voice. Kailash joins him into the song and provides a great middle and ending with his clear voice. The acoustics add to the song's atmospherics.

The simple lyrics are by Irfan Siddiqui. The brothers, Salim and Sulaiman Merchant have…