Sunday, October 15, 2017

My Prolink PWP107G wireless presenter with air mouse function

Did you buy anything online during the recent #MYCYBERSALE event? I have bought a Prolink PWP107G wireless presenter with air mouse function at the cost of less than RM100.

This presenter is very straightforward and easy to use. Its wireless USB receiver is stored in a compartment at its bottom, which is plug-and-play in the Windows system.

In front of it, there are 6 buttons which their respective function is well explained behind the packaging front cover as well as in the user's manual booklet.

Its laser pointer button is located at the back, which can be easily controlled by your index finger.

At its right hand side, there are volume up and volume down buttons to control the sound volume.

At its left hand side, there is a power on/off toggle switch. You can switch it off when not in use, to save the battery lifespan.

Also come together inside the packaging box is a nice carrying pouch and 2 AAA alkaline batteries. It's documentation said that the 2 batteries can last for up to 100 hours of usage as a presenter, and up to 66 hours when its air mouse functions are also being used.

It works very will with Microsoft Powerpoint to start presentation (similar action to pressing F5 on keyboard), end presentation, page up, page down, blank the screen, and control the sound volume. However, it doesn't seems to work with LibreOffice Impress nor Adobe Acrobat Reader.

When it operates in air mouse mode, it works with all applications in Windows. You can use it to move the mouse cursor by your hand movement, and also to perform right click and left click with its respective button.

I would say it has all the necessary functions as a wireless presenter, with main limitation of only working well with Microsoft Powerpoint. At the same time, it is also a pretty nice air mouse which function similarly with a basic 2-button mouse. Yet at the same time, you can use it to control the sound volume.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Book: How Business Works - A Graphical Guide to Business Success by DK

DK of Penguin Random House is a publisher that differentiate themselves by producing a series of books that are very colourful, full of graphics and charts, and not so wordy.

How Business Works - A Graphical Guide to Business Success is one of them. It explains many important business concepts in a fun, easy to understand way. Its content is up-to-date with today's business environment, covering topics about leading-edge information system, modern business practices and industry standards.

I find this book very suitable for the busy start-up entrepreneurs, students who are planning to go to business school, business school students who need a quick revision, traditional businessmen who want to keep abreast of today's business world, managers, investors, or anyone who are interested to know about how businesses in this 21st century work.

This book is divided into 4 major sections with their respective chapters as follow:

1. How Companies Work
  • Business ownership
  • Start-ups
  • Buying and selling business
  • Who's who
  • Corporate structure
  • Human resources
2. How Finance Works
  • Financial reporting
  • Financial accounting
  • Management accounting
  • Measuring performance
  • Raising finance and capital
3. How Sales and Marketing Work
  • Marketing mix
  • Marketing approaches
  • Outbound marketing
  • Inbound marketing
  • Business development
  • Information management
4. How Operations and Production Work
  • Manufacturing and production
  • Management
  • Product
  • Control
  • Supply chain
This is how the pages content in the book look like:

This book is pretty comprehensive, covering a broad overview of essential business knowledge and concepts, though not going in-depth to the very detail.

One thing I found for this book to improve in future edition is that: in certain topics, it will mention about some interesting statistical statements, such as "44% of US companies had distinct CEO and chairman roles in 2012 - up from 21% in 2001". The book actually cited the sources of those statements in its Acknowledgements section at its very back, behind all the Index pages. While reading the book, readers like me have no idea about where are the sources of those statements because it is not mentioned anywhere that there is a "hidden" subsection called "sources of statistics, facts and quotes" under the Credits section inside its Acknowledgements. If you don't read until the last word of this book, you might possibly unaware of such subsection and wondering where the quotes are coming from. I suggest the editors of the book to mention about the location of this subsection in the Introduction so that we readers can be aware of it.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Book: Cracking the Coding Interview (6th Edition) by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

Whether you are a fresh graduate or an experienced software developer, if you are thinking about landing your dream job in the software engineering team of one of the world's top IT companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Palantir, etc., this is the book for you to get well prepared for your job interview.

In fact, this book is suitable for anyone who want to secure a software engineering job in the global IT industry, regardless of level from coder to development team lead to manager to even director or VP.

If you are already working in the industry, the author also alerts you that in the event your company undergoes acquisition or acquihire by those IT big gun companies, eg. the recent case of Google-HTC deal, existing staff of the acquired company (which could be including the CEO himself) are likely required to go through similar interview process, as "they don't want acquisitions to be an easy way into the company" (page 19).

The author, Gayle, is a talented software engineer herself, having working experience at Google, Microsoft and Apple. She had gone through the experiences of being an interviewee as well as interviewer in those companies. Now, she is the founder and CEO of consulting company

For computer science graduates, this book will walk through a very quick revision of the important topics you have already learnt and passed in your college, things like the Big "O", data structures (such as hash tables, linked list, stack, queue, tree, graph, etc.), algorithms (such as sorting, searching, bit manipulation, etc.), object-oriented design, system design with scalability, programming logic such as recursion, etc.

If you are not a computer science graduate but have learnt about computer programming and is eager to enter into the software engineering industry, these topics give you some idea of what your computer science graduated counterparts have gone through in their college studies (of course, the whole course covers much more topics than the above list. Those are just some of the fundamentals which they learnt during the first 2 years of their study). You might not be required to know in-depth of such knowledge to secure a software engineering job, such as how to apply them in assembler design, compiler design or operating system memory management design, but it is good for you to know the concept of those knowledge in order to pass the technical interview test. It is out of the scope of this book to teach you such topics. It highlighted them for you to pick up the knowledge from other sources such as computer science textbooks or online courses.

This book contains 189 programming questions and solutions to give you an idea of how you will be tested during your technical interview session. Well, don't be frightened by the questions as they are the level used at Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and those top-notch IT companies who only target to hire highly talented employees. You will probably be tested with less challenging questions, but yet within the domain of similar computer science knowledge. At least, you should be able to write simple function such as listing out the Fibonacci sequence.

Bear in mind that technical knowledge is just a portion of the interviewee assessment. There are other area of evaluation such as soft skills about handling ambiguity, customer focus, communication, passion for technology, teamwork, leadership, etc. before you are offered the job.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.