Developers Podcasting at Apple’s WWDC 2018

We just recorded a podcast at WWDC by making an appointment at the Apple App Store labs. I invited two other developers who were also attending the conference for the first time. We talked about the following topics:

  1. Experience at WWDC
  2. Parental Control
  3. Car Play
  4. Grouped notifications
  5. Siri Shortcuts
  6. Design at Apple
  7. Memojis
  8. Dark Mode

Following is a photograph from the podcast recording room. We will try to finish the editing and publish it soon.

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Traveling Experiences

Xianyang
“Exploring lands and technologies.”

Born and brought up in New Delhi, I am now living in Xi’an, the ancient capital of China. I love traveling, meeting new people and organizing different kinds of events. Following are few of my travel experiences from:

INDIA

I have covered almost all of the North India and a few places in the South as well. I have been traveling since I was in high-school. So you can imagine what happened when I started getting salary; almost every other weekend, I found a new place to visit by myself. I have been to many beautiful towns in Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana and Punjab.
I have completed treks to Kedarnath temple and Hemkund Sahib back-to-back in just 4 days. Around 60km of difficult hiking.

BHUTAN

The fairytale kingdom where gross national happiness is considered more important than the GDP. The serene valleys of Paro can take your breath away. Bhutan is a country where people are so kindhearted and helpful that they will win your heart within few minutes. For instance, our taxi driver was so righteous that he gave us a huge discount at the end of our trip because some of the attractions on our agenda got closed. Another surprising fact about Bhutan is that there are no traffic lights in the whole country. In fact, people are so relaxed and carefree that they would happily wait for each other. Go figure!

THAILAND

I have spent one week in Thailand where I made some friends via Toastmasters community who helped me visit places like famous shopping malls in Bangkok. One of them recommended a travel agent who then booked a perfect tour for me which included lots of water sports in Pattaya.

MALAYSIA

I had my first HostelWorld experience in Kuala Lumpur where I met many fellow travelers. The dorms were a perfect place to meet new people who were interesting enough to make travel plans with. This allowed us to talk about our home countries and travel experiences as we explored KL together.

HONG KONG AND MACAU

I met a group of friends who already had their week planned. I traveled with them to a few spots and clicked lots of photographs. From the famous peak tram to the secluded Ding Ding rides, we enjoyed almost all different tastes of Hong Kong.

MAINLAND CHINA

I have explored Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi, Wuzhen, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Dongji Islands, Taiyuan, and now I’m in Xi’an. Each of these places were unique in their own way. The sunset and sunrise looked beautiful from Dongji islands. I am still exploring and would love to visit more places in future.

Kushal in 2010

about meThis following blog post was written by me in 2010 when I was a college student:

Social networking is one of my favorite online activities which includes real-time tweeting. Reading novels and posting reviews on Goodreads is among the other ones. I tried Dancing as well, which is one of my ways of balancing out my adrenaline rush and enjoying the music. And guess what is my profession: Computer Engineer. But I don’t spend all my time in the air-conditioned office, I rather like to go out and do something that makes a difference and I call it an investment in our future. One of these activities is teaching the underprivileged children in the nearby slum area. I seldom miss a chance to volunteer and have worked with various NGOs and societies. I believe in the idea of excellent education for all children which is the vision of Teach for India.

Motorcycling
I love to take risks and that’s why I like stunting. I believe in the quote, “if four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul”. Now you can reckon how much I love my motorbike. I’m d kind of guy who’ll be sneaking out of my bedroom at three o’clock in the morning to look at my bike.

(If you don’t ride in the rain, you don’t ride.)

One can key me out as a speedoholic. When I sit on my bike and kick-start it, I get a strange feeling as if I were omnipotent.

(Everyone crashes. Some get back on. Some don’t. Some can’t.)

Here is a video featuring one of my driving experiences:

Photography

 

In photography, my interest prevails as I keep up my photostream on flickr. Though with the advent of Instagram  I started clicking more pictures by using a smartphone.

I am going to put all about me and my thoughts on this blog, and I hope that you revel reading it.

More : http://about.me/kushalashok

Protected: Rain trip with Manik

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Technical Presentation at Toastmasters ACB9 – Mobike | How stuff works?

Tonight I delivered a prepared speech at Toastmasters club after several months. It was my 19th (ACB9) Speech as per Toastmasters International education system; project 4 of Technical presentations manual, which provided me 12 minutes of stage time. You can refer to the slides which I used during the presentation, by using this link: Mobike PPT

Also find below the link to white paper which inspired me to choose this topic:

Mobike White Paper 2017

In terms of experience, I got an engaging audience and all of them had used Mobike before. Thus, it was quite easy for me to get their attention. I was worried that I may have included too many technical terms for everyone to understand, but I believe it went well since I got voted as the best prepared speaker. I think the inclusion of a poster from movie “3 idiots” successfully brought back nice memories for everyone.

I also got a nice feedback from my evaluator and she rightly mentioned that I could not summarize the speech to reiterate the key take away since I ran out of time. The agenda of this speech was not to publicize or praise Mobike, but to inspire people to learn and investigate more about the machines they use in their daily lives. To have that curiosity and zeal, to find the answers, and more importantly; to ask questions.

I also got some feedback from the Grammarian on my pronunciation, which reminded me that I still need to work on it. It gave me another reason to continue delivering more speeches at Toastmasters clubs.

P.S.: I used the word of the day (in retrospect) twice, once in my prepared speech and once during table topics.

 

 

10 months without blogging

I have never been a regular blogger but I did write diary entries from time to time and the whole experience of documenting my thoughts has been wonderful. Other than making the memories permanent, it also serves as a way of sharing my knowledge and experiences. The only reason Google is able to answer most of our queries is because somewhere, someone wrote about the solution online and Google team is smart enough to make that answer reach you.

This is the reason I am writing a blog post after more than 10 months now and the first topic that came to my mind was applying PAN card and Aadhar card for Bhutanese as foreigners in India. I am not sure if people will be getting this as a result when someone searches for “How to get a PAN card in India” but at least if a Bhutanese citizen if making a specific search like “PAN card for Bhutanese”, he or she might stumble upon this post and it shall fulfill my purpose.

The only thing that is lacking in my blog is discipline. If I can follow a schedule and write posts regularly, I am sure I will be happy about it and maybe even proud to be owning a blog which narrates my story beautifully.

Procrastination

My first expert

This post is dedicated to my Mom and today being the Mother’s day I talked to her patiently and tried to understand her concerns after a long time. I left my home after completing 10th grade and started living in a hostel while preparing for JEE. I will always remember that I used to fail whenever I tried to lie to her. For instance, when I was out with my friends playing counter strike at Reliance WebWorld, no matter how much I tried she would instantly know that I am lying about my whereabouts. After many such failures, I simply stopped trying because I had learnt that there is no way around it. Thus, I started speaking out the truth. Not to my mother, but my father instead. I know that this must be quite opposite to what most people do, but for me convincing my father has always been easier.

My mother has been an expert teacher for me literally. She not only helped me learn that the letter B comes after the letter A in English alphabet, but she also straightened me and guided me whenever I made the wrong choices. And she did all of this while managing the house and completing all the chores. Now that I think of it, if I had to cook food, teach children in school for 6 hours, keep the house clean and manage clothes for everyone, I would hardly have any energy left. But even today she manages all of that on her own.
While watching the India’s got talent show on television yesterday, I was again reminded of the ways in which my mother took care of multiple tasks at once. As the anchor talked about Goddess Durga and her multiple capabilities, I was recalling all the tasks that my mother have been completing since so many years without any fail. No wonder our mothers are able to take care of us while managing their own job and the complete household.

Another experience that refreshed some memories of mine was watching the movie Piku. I never thought that emotions could be so well related to motion. The movie simply portrayed the common yet complex situations we face with our families and successfully puts across the importance of relationships. Especially the relationships that we share with our older generation. No matter how open minded or educated they are, there is always a gap that we need to bridge. I have certainly learned a lot from this movie and I am sure that these learning will help me in future. Now that I am working as a Senior Systems Engineer and hardly have time to sit idle and meditate, I think there is certainly a need for increasing my threshold of patience and this movie has helped me get one step closer to that goal.

Following is a picture of me with my mother. This one was clicked by my father when I got back from school:

mom and me

Also, do have a look at the Godrej Expert.

My friend Sachin

This post is dedicated to my friend Sachin Mittal whom I know for more than 7 years now. Our friendship began in college where we used to hang out together. We belonged to the same batch during first year and studied together during all our exams. Even today when I look at the pictures or videos that we shot, it brings a smile on my face. Laughing on each other’s poor jokes, playing the same prank again and again, enjoying the common sense of helplessness before an exam and then talking about the wrong answers after we came out of the exam room, all such memories are always there with me.

2009

Tea with snacks

 

Since we belonged to different streams of engineering, we were allocated to separate batches in the second year of college. But we continued to go on short trips, which increased further as he moved to a room in the same building as of mine. We started sharing more and used to talk about our failures and aspirations. Other than the daily outing to the nearby market, we also went on a long trip to Kedarnath which started with a simple discussion we had on a Tuesday evening. Following is the narration as per my recollection:

Sachin: It’s Tuesday, Do you wanna go to the temple?

Kushal: I don’t think one should only go to temples on a Tuesday. But never mind, it has been almost an year since I went to one, so let’s go.

After paying a visit to the temple

Kushal: You know what, I think I missed out on a few things by not visiting a temple during all these months. And this visit to the nearby temple did not make up for it. How about the Kedarnath Temple?

Sachin: I have been wanting to visit that temple since long. When do you want to visit?

Kushal: Tonight!

The next thing I knew, we were four guys with baggage on my Bajaj XCD driving as fast as we could, to catch the last bus to Haridwar. The whole trip was as adventurous as this beginning and we literally ran down the hills while coming back from the Kedarnath temple.

After college, though we got placed in the same company, I started my job a few months sooner since I belonged to the computer science stream and he was a mechanical engineer trying to fit into the same shoes. After almost an year we met again as he got the same allocation as mine. We continued the journey of our friendship together and he played a huge role in helping me meet my love. From recharging my phone to getting my bike repaired, this friend of mine did everything I ever asked of him. He has always been there when I needed him the most. He has been the source of my strength and optimism.

Today I am married and we still share the same trust and frankness which we had in college. I am lucky to have a friend like him and shall cherish this friendship forever.

Holi 2015

Holi 2015

Following is a video that we created on our last day in college.

P.S.: This post was inspired by Housing.