Showing posts from November, 2010

You cannot borrow trust

If you ever find yourself saying, "If you don't believe me, you can ask <insert a trusted party>", stop. It is already too late. You cannot make up for the lack of trust by borrowing it from someone. On the other hand, you can borrow money in a time of crunch. So when faced with a choice between keeping somebody's trust or saving some money, choice should be obvious.

How to get Google to fund your startup right after college!

If you are a hacker and a student in India and you are interested in doing a startup, you have a golden opportunity in your hands. The Google Summer of Code (GSoC)  program offers $5000 for a 4 month project you do for one of the participating open source projects. You get a mentor, hands on experience of implementing something which will potentially be used by real users and also get to be a part of an ever growing community of hackers in India. Now let us say, you were able to get into the program. So you have access to: Money At today's conversion rate, $5000 translates to Rs.2,22,000/- approximately. After paying taxes (which comes at max to about Rs.6500/- assuming male and no other income), you are left with 2,15,000 in your hands. For a college student, 4 months expenses can be as low as Rs.10,000 when living on campus. But let us keep it at Rs.25,000/- assuming you really decided to live it up. Still there are ~Rs.1,90,000 in your account. Excellent Pool of Co-founders

Python - A good introductory programming language?

First a little experiment. The other day, I needed to count words in a string. One straightforward method for this is to break the string into tokens and count them: def count_words_split(sen): return len(sen.split()) This is nice since split automatically takes care of multiple consecutive spaces if present. However in my case all the words were guaranteed to be separated by 1 space only. So following should get the job done with a little less work: def count_words_count(sen): return sen.count(' ') + 1 This is essentially a single pass over the string with no need to create an intermediate list of strings and so should run faster. Surprisingly, on Python 2.5, the first method is twice as fast as the second one. I have no idea why. However sanity is restored on Python 2.6 and the second version is not only faster but also gets better with increasing size of input. This got me thinking about a good introductory programming language. I learned programming with C and