Prototyping using Excel

Software prototyping is becoming more and more important with the evolving internet and Web 2.0 where the applications are richer in terms of functionality and content. The GUI (Graphical User Interface) friendliness decides the success or a failure of a website. Prototyping has become the quintessential process in the product life cycle. Flash, Visio or even MS Word are most commonly used tools for prototyping. Sometimes the developer can use the product development tools itself for prototyping. Nevertheless, can anyone think of MS Excel used as an efficient and useful tool for prototyping?
Jonathan Arnowitz, Michael Arent and Nevin Berger describe the applicability of Excel as a prototyping tool in their book Effective Prototyping for Software Makers. For more information visit
Here are some snapshots of demo examples of prototyping using Excel.
All the prototypes are built using Excel.

Open Source super-linear growth # 2

Currently I am investigating the trend and patterns in the overall open source software growth. We are using the source lines of code as our metric to measure the total open source growth across thousands of open source projects. Personally I think that open source is not just growing super linearly but exponentially. There are many reasons I think that it is increasing exponentially (current research) but here I will just like to unveil the open source penetration in the web server market. Apache which is an open source web server outperforms the proprietary Microsoft web server IIS by a large margin. According to the Netcraft survey (April 2007) of 1.2 billion websites, Apache had a share of 58.8 % while Microsoft had 31% share. Also, looking at the usage trends the Apache web server seems to have much more healthier future than Microsoft IIS web server. Considering the fact that web is increasing at a tremendous rate, the IIS usage seems to be constant or mostly declining. The sudden increase in IIS usage in April 2006 can be attributed GoDaddy’s decision to shift to Microsoft technologies away from open source. Except this ‘artificial’ and ‘paid’ (?) sudden spike the IIS is certainly on a decline.

Your attitude can do wonders

Just read through this and think about it ...

Father: I want you to marry a girl of my choice
Son: "I will choose my own bride!"
Father: "But the girl is Bill Gates's daughter."
Son: "Well, in that case...ok"

Next Day Father approaches Bill Gates.
Father: "I have a husband for your daughter."
Bill Gates: "But my daughter is too young to marry!"

Father: "But this young man is a vice-president of the World Bank."
Bill Gates: "Ah, in that case...ok"

Finally Father goes to see the president of the World Bank.
Father: "I have a young man to be recommended as a vice-president."
President: "But I already have more vice- presidents than I need!"
Father: "But this young man is Bill Gates's son-in-law."
President: "Ah, in that case...ok"

This is how business is done!!

Moral: Even If you have nothing, You can get Anything. But your attitude should be positive.

Thanks to Neha for sending this.

How many best friends do you have?

Interesting question... Huh? Here are the results of a poll on Facebook for number of best friends (1003 participants). According to the poll, 46% of participants have 2-3 best friends. Of course the term ‘best’ friend is loosely defined and depends upon one’s perception. The poll result follows the natural bell curve. Firstly one can observe that age of a person is not an influencing factor in determining number of friends one has. The breakdown of results by age does not show any significance pattern. Another interesting facts is that males seem to be more extreme with 7% male having no best friends and 20% having more than ten best friends. In contrast 50% of females have 2-3 best friends and the percentage goes on decreasing sharply as we go away from the mean in either direction.

The best spam

Email spam is not something new to the Internet world. The early days of internet saw email spam in form of spam links in emails, password hacks, advertisements, marketing, free stuff, prizes etc.. As spamming increased the service providers imposed some good spam control software’s and also the people got smarter to avoid spam. However the spammers also devised new methods and managed not just to survive but to flourish even today. Today I received an email which I consider one of the best spam emails. Instead of getting angry and frustrated I kept my cool and read (for the first time) the whole email. It’s amazing to see the plot and the way spammers and luring you to fall in their trap by making up some real stories with real names and to-believe themes. Now days they start making stories about money transfers, commission, profit etc… and at the end politely ask for your personal information. There is also an emotional edge to capture your sympathy. A well crafted can spam can really work if the user is novice/beginner. Enjoy reading the following spam:

This letter may come to you as a surprise due to the fact that we have not yet met, but it shouldn’t, since we are determined to get what rightly belongs to us anyhow, but soon when everything goes according to plan. The message could be strange but reality will definitely dawn on you, if you pay some attention to it's content. I wouldn’t have notified you but for the sake of your integrity and goodwill. Please accept my sincere apologies.
In bringing this message to you, I have to say that I have no intentions of causing you any personal pains or discomfort. My name is Caron Keon, 23 years of age, living in the company of my junior brother a native of Dabou in Cote D'ivoire.
Our father before his death was a gold merchant and cocoa merchant before his death. Also our father was also one of the casualties of the invasion of the rebels, after their emergence in the capital city, in some parts of the country, of which our hometown was their stronghold. Since the killing of our father by the rebels’ life had been miserable, and we had been living in Abidjan, the capital city of Ivory coast, in a Church meant as a camp for the displaced citizens of my country. The most passionate of all , is the existence of the rebels here in this country since 19th September 2002.
Our mother died when I was just 12 years old, and since then my father took me so special. Before his death on May 25 2003 he called the secretary who accompanied him to the hospital and told him that he has the sum of Eight Million United State Dollars.(USD$8.000,000) left in a metallic trunk box being registered as family valuables.
I am just 23 years old and a high school drop out and really don’t know what to do. This is because we have suffered a lot of set backs as a result of incessant political crisis in Abidjan. The death of my father actually brought sorrow to our life. During my escape, I manage on to get on in my possession the vital documents that relate to the consignment and i have even called on the company for confirmation.
Sir, we are in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards. Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded.

Now permit us to ask these few questions:-
1. Can you honestly help us as your son or daughter/.
2. Can we completely trust you?
3. We have decided to offer you 15% of the total sum .
4. How can you assist us also in moving away from this place? Please get back to me on my personal email address.

Please, consider this and get back to us as soon as possible.
Thank you so much.

My sincere regards,

Miss Caron Keon