Looking back at 2016
A year is a long time. A lot of things can happen. A lot of change can take place. Year 2016 has been a year of many events and developments.
Here at the end of 2016, I would like to share major events of my life that took place in this year. Some were technical and professional and some were personal.
Trip To Kodaikanal
More books on Amazon
Trip To Dubai
Father Passed Away
Other Important Events
Trip To Kodaikanal
Our family had been to Kodaikanal during Pongal break. We wanted to enjoy our time together in train. We were set to leave to Chennai by Coromandel express by 4:40 am on 12th Jan. We were in railway station at 4:15 or so, ready to board and enjoy journey. I love train journey.
But train got unduly delayed due to some track malfunctioning at nearby station. So it came at 8:00 am. We had to wait for hours. No, it was not waiting that caused the anxiety. It was the concern that we might miss connected bus to Kodaikanal, which would start at 8:00 pm. If train doesn't reach Chennai by 7:00 pm, we were sure to miss bus.
Half way into the journey it was clear that we would not reach Chennai by 7:00 pm and would not be able to catch our bus to Kodaikanal. So I had to cancel those tickets (thanks to RedBus.in) and book tickets for another but that starts at 10:00pm (again thanks to RedBus.in).
We literally had to run in the station to come out and go to Bus station to catch bus. At the end we were relieved after boarding bus.
We had a memorable time there. We enjoyed boat ride in the lake the most. We also enjoyed riding bicycles around the lake. Eating Bajji and drinking tea in a tea stall nearby lake was everyday routine during the trip. Me, Praneeth and Pranav played a lot of Table tennis in the sterling resort's games room.
Returned to Chennai on 16th and spent some time with friends there and then boarded train on the same day to reach Vizag.
Cycling at Lake
I have been contemplating using Apple Mac for quite some time. Wanted to go for Mac Pro (Laptop), but eventually settled for iMac (Desktop). Bought it on 31st January. My experience with iMac started. It was my first experience with Apple system.
I had to get used to Mac way of doing things. It took me some time to get going. New OS takes time to sink in. Having used only Windows all these years, I had to spend some time to know OS X and use it comfortably. Hmmm. I can't say I am very comfortable even now. I am OK with it. But certainly not as comfortable as I am with Windows. May be I didn't spend enough time with it. Or maybe I didn't read enough about it to understand. All could be reasons. It looks good and robust for sure. My keyboard had issue in first month itself. It was eventually replaced by Apple Service Center.
The reason for not being comfortable is, I use a lot of Windows OS in a day. I use Windows with my Laptop and Desktop in classroom. So juggling between Windows and Mac doesn't help. Keyboard layouts are different and mouse gestures are different.
I am disappointed to know OS X doesn't run Oracle and Visual Studio - two of the most important software for me. For other software it is good.
My iMac in my room at home
Kindle version of Oracle, Java SE and Java EE
I received a lot of positive feedback for my Oracle book in my website. But it covers only Oracle 8i. So I decided to upgrade that to 12c and make it available to more people.
Worked on that for a few months and made it available in Amazon in Kindle Version. Though the royalties are not important, reaching to people all over the world is quite gratifying. Sold a few copies even in markets like Brazil and Spain. Thanks to Amazon, otherwise I would have never reached those people.
In the month of December, made course material for Java SE and Java EE also available in Kindle version in Amazon. They are especially very important for my online students to whom we can't provide hard copies. So they buy these course material from Amazon in kindle format.
Oracle Database 12c For Beginners
Java SE Course Material
Java EE Course Material
On 5th Sep, I completed 25 years of professional life. It has been a long journey. Started with a class on Pointers in C way back in 1991. From system with KB of RAM with no hard disk and DOS operating system to Windows 10 and OS X Sierra, I have worked with many languages, operating systems and products.
I always feel, it is a treat to stand in front of students and share my knowledge and experience. It is my passion. I live my passion.
Work and my life are so tightly intertwined. I came in touch with my best friends and my wife in my work life. Had it not been my work, I would not have met them.
We decided to celebrate this occasion. And why not, silver jubilee is worth celebrating. So we spent a day in Sunray Village Resort with my family members and friends. Then on 5th evening we spent a few hours at office where I recollected the whole journey in the presence of people - my family members and friends - who have been part of most of my journey.
Enjoyed watching photos of past and recollecting various glorious trips and events that took place in last 25 years.
Wish I would go on for another 25 years (at least).
At Sunray Village Resorts before start of Football game
At Srikanth Technologies
Trip To Dubai
During October, we went to Dubai. It was a family vacation. After visiting Singapore in 2014, we wanted to visit Dubai next. So at last, we made it this time.
Of course it has been great. We were there for 3 days and could visit major places.
In summary, roamed around huge shopping malls, thrilled by Desert safari, enjoyed Dhow Cruise and watched city with delight from tallest point possible for us - Burj Khalifa 125th floor.
Beach near Burj Al Arab
Though I have been thinking of online training for sometime, concrete steps were taken in the last quarter of this year. We offered a lot of courses online starting from October. We experimented with different software and networks and finally settled for Act Fibernet for Internet and GotoMeeting software for virtual classroom.
Unfortunately with BSNL Broadband, I couldn't think of seamless online virtual classroom. It was made possible with Act's 30 MBPS connection.
Overwhelmed by student, Saavan, who joined online classes from South Africa at 3:30 AM. Thanks Saavan, your trust in me is a huge motivator.
Will offer more courses online and also weekend sessions to those who can't make it during weekdays. I am always excited to share my knowledge. Now I got opportunity to reach beyond city boundaries and country boundaries.
Father passed away
A big loss of the year came on 20th November, when my father passed away due to Cancer. He was 81. He was diagnosed with Cancer in 4th stage and there was no hope of cure.
He lived his life with utmost sincerity and honesty. He could go for walking regularly and climb stairs of his house till this September. Then his health started deteriorating and Cancer eventually took his life on 20th November.
He was in my hands when he took his last few breaths. I could see and sense his ending. I was very sad and little happy. Sad as I can never see him and talk to him. I was also happy as he was relieved from agony he had to endure in last few weeks. The day before his demise, I was with him whole night taking care of him. Saw his pain and prayed he would be relieved. Gods listened to my prayers.
Being a small middle class family, our family was closely tied. I always looked up to him for his sincerity, honesty and discipline.
Looking back, feels so good to recollect how he enjoyed Ooty trip with my family. It was a special vacation for me, Padmaja, kids and my father. We had a great time in Ooty and we all remember those memories very fondly.
With Father at Ooty in 2007
With Father on Father's Day in 2009 at Hotel Dolphin
Set a target of 15 books and almost completed them. Some of them are fictions. After completing some I felt it was a waste of time. Never mind. It was fun to read fiction, though waste of time. Read some really interesting books about how Nike was built by Phil Knight, how Elon Musk works, and how Peter Thiel built his companies.
Overall it has been a satisfactory year in terms of books.
Read most of the books in iPad - a device I added to my list of devices in this year. Some were kindle editions and some were PDFs. Enjoying new device and backlighting it offers.
Here are blogs posted by me in this year in all categories. I feel I must post more blogs to share my knowledge with others.
A blog per month is what I must work on.
How to use Hibernate + Maven + Oracle in Eclipse (23-Oct-2016)
25 Years of Blissful Training(3-9-2016)
How to use Jersey + Jackson + jQuery (30-July-2016)
Inter-Fragment Communication (20-July-2016)
Android Application - Vehicle Registration Number Finder
CRUD Operations with Restful Service in Java (5-Apr-2016)
Resetting SYSTEM account password in Oracle Database(7-Mar-16)
The following are the videos I uploaded to YouTube in this year. Some of them have got around 3000 views in a year. That sounds good to me. I need to share more knowledge through videos. The target must be one video per month in this year.
How to use CodeBlocks IDE for C Programming
Get started with Oracle Database 11g XE and SQL Developer
How to use Oracle Database with Oracle Application Express
How to use hMailServer and Outlook 2013
The following are other important events of my life in 2016.
Praneeth turned major (18 years) on 28th Feb.
Fell sick twice and had to cancel classes. Once due to food poisoning and another time due to fever.
Using SMS to communicate with Students and Enquirers.
Made a trip to Araku with friends and had a great time. It always feels fresh no matter how many trips I made.
Attended two important marriages. Functions are always a source of joy.
Felt sad as George Michael died. I grew up listening to his songs. His songs gave me immense pleasure.