MEDC 2006

April 7th, 2006

Hi!! guys, MEDC 2006 is over and finally im back in Chennai and blogging from the comfort of my warm cosy home :D. The 3 days were exciting and we got lot of ideas for extending our project, 1 of them being notifying people through sms if they get new mail; or if they are currently logged in to the service, then send an alert to the software. This was the first mobile and embedded conference i attended and thanks to the Directors of my college who sponsored the cost 😀

As usual, after a tired morning journey to Bangalore on 3rd, Moyeen, Siva and myself had lunch at Pizza Hut. We went to microsoft office that evening cos we had to meet some champs and decide about the event and how as students, we will be organising the contests n all. A contest was supposed to happen over the span of 2 days. The give-aways was a TVS Apache, a Windows Mobile 5.0 based Pocket PC and a Windows Mobile 5.0 based Smart Phone. Ooooo!! how i loved to have the 2nd one.

[4th April 2006]
The day started with the Keynote from the VP of Asia Services. It went on for a hour and a half with lots of cool demos. The second session that i attended was on “Creating Custom Controls for Mobile Devices”. This session was awesome and told how easy it was to develop complex controls specifically for Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC. The control was for sending SMS from Pocket PCs that doesn’t have phone capabilities. I tried using the API but it didn’t work 🙁 . If you are 1 of those successful ones, do ping back 🙂

The second session was “Developing Apps using Location Based API” by Gaurav Khanna. It was awesome and whole lot of new concepts that are possible GPS was exposed in a very appealing form; which reminded me of the Tracking Dot in the “Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown. The architecture of this application and how the OS implemented it was great. Latest mobile devices have support for these features without any addon. The next session by the same person was on “State Notification Broker”. The idea for the project i was talking about in the first para, came from this session. Moyeen was very happy about this relevation and was scratching my shirt (he he) to tell about this 😉

Amidst all the nice sessions, there are some crap sessions also. One such was the “Windows CE Compete”. Somehow, i hated the session and it was truly boring. The rest of the day was spent with the student champs from bangalore and i spent Rs.400 giving a small treat. Moyeen’s elder brother is a genius and gave us lots of tips on how to improve our existing technical skills so that companies could come looking for us. Though we were washed out through the day’s events, we ended up chatting with him until 3am 😀

[5th April 2006]
Paramesh, Director of Developer Tools at Microsoft started off with the keynote and his VSD team gave a demo of the device emulators. The emulators are such exact representations of actual devices that if u tap the emulator real hard with the stylus, it cracks (i mean it cracks virtually and the emulator switches off, which is damn cool). Developing data enabled applications are really simple now and it is almost equivalent to desktop development. The keynote continued with the embedded team of the IDC.

The second session was by Gaurav again and it was on synchronising your app on the mobile device with the desktop equivalent application. This session concentrated more on RAPI (Remote API) that works on top of ActiveSync. RAPI is used to build custom applications that need to synchronise the desktop and mobile equivalents of the application. Next session was the one where they showed Origami. Yes!! its Origami…Oooo!! its such a nice device that, everyone will want to acquire one at first sight. Ofcourse its not as s**y as iPod but then its powerful enough to run a full featured windows xp tablet edition. It also supports multiple input devices and you can operate everything with your fingers alone. There is also a keyboard that opens sideways on the device monitor itself. Kinda cool if u have a look at it…The session on RFID was also good.

Today evening, i met Nisha, who was my online friend until now and she will also be working with me in the near future. We saw the offices where we may be working and also visited the famous Bull temple and Coffee Day, where I was treated by her friends :D.

After another treat that night for the champs, we went back to the room and hey, what a surprise !! was waiting for us :D. Moyeen’s brother brought home his Apple iBook G4. In a word, the device was *amazing*. I would like to own one just for the style factor alone. The coolest part of the iBook was the cd-rom drive. There is no u-click-a-button-and-a-drive-pops-up. Theres a small hole on the side on which u insert the cd and the drive pulls in the rest of it; u needn’t push it all the way into the drive 🙂 And the ejection of the cd is so powerful that it can launch a satellite 🙂

[6th April 2006]
Aha!! this was the section i was waiting to blog for. Pardon me, i was too tired yesterday. This day was the HOL (Hands-on-Lab) sessions day. 2 tracks were happening. One track was on Mobile and other was on Embedded. I wasn’t into the embedded track ‘cos i was busy enjoying the sessions at mobile.

The first session (as expected) was handled by Gaurav Khanna. God!! he is an amazing speaker. Anytime of the day, he is one of those uber professional guys from whom we students have to learn how to do presentations and handle bizarre questions from the audience. Since the demos were very good and would be able to do them, i also volunteered to be a proctor. Proctoring a crowd is always nice.

There were about 50 computers each running WinXP Pro and had visual studio 2005 installed on them. Each computer had enough space to house 2 people. When Gaurav started the lab, i thought i was the slowest one in the whole group and was trying my level best to keep up with him. But hey when he was repeating the same stuff for over 5 times, i thought of going around and having a look of what people were doing.

Here is the 1st line of code:
int iNewValue;
bool v=i new Value ? value: yes;

If you are able to decipher something from the 2nd line, please let me know :)) I’m almost half bald now 🙁 trying to figure what the second line meant. That lady even called me and told there were 50 errors when trying to compile the file :((…

Another fellow had a hell of a time writing a SQL query. The query was a simple insert query to insert 3 values in a table. And guess what, he messed up the query soooooooo much that my eyes were bleeding after reading that. Even a 10 year old kid would have understood what an insert query meant. As i had a tough time explaining what an insert query is, 1 of the other champs came besides me and told me to let him suffer. Cos that damn fellow was supposed to be a professional and we were supposed to teach him only mobile apps and not SQL.. Correct he was.

Ha ha ha!! we were laughing for the whole day when Reza told a guy to create a table with 4 fields named Sno, FirstName, LastName and Age. When Reza told him that, “u can give any name for the columns”, the genius gave some number as Sno column’s title, his first name, his last name and his age. We all broke into laughter at the same spot itself, well i just couldn’t hold it.

The whole hall were full of these people and we had sooooo much fun teaching these guys. These so called goddamned professionals are a HUGE LIABILITY to the company they work for. Paying them is useless and they should very well go back to high school and learn a few things. See, not knowing a language or technology isn’t a crime but not knowing how to declare a variable and not knowing to use it, surely is. What would you think of a crazy guy who gives his age as the title for the Age field huh! ??

Meanwhile, the embedded team had a very good time learning some really cool stuff on how to compile windows embedded OS. Their people were not only good but also asked some relevant questions for doubts it seems. Anyway, i had an awesome time today with all those people at the mobile track ha ha ha!!

Moyeen’s bro treated us at a hotel tonight. As it was already very late, we left for the station immediately and :(( the train was late by 2 full hours. We spent the time at a nearby hotel on a sprite.

Thats it guys!! I’m leaving for the BarCamp event that is going to happen in a few minutes from now. It promises to be very exciting and I’m presenting my final year project on day 2 along with Moyeen. Whoa!! what a week its been !!

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