Friday, July 20, 2018

A packaging manager for windows

Finally, came across a packaging manger for windows, where I can easily install windows software, the way its meant to be, unobtrusive and smooth.
Chocolatey is not the fanciest tool out there, but the one for which I  long felt a need and while you can argue that docker does that much fancier, but on a dev box, this is a tool that just works.
Just like apt-get , rpm or dpkg in Linux/Mac OS, finally came across a handy tool in windos.

Installation is a breeze (just open up cmd in administrative mode) and you just need to paste the following and sit back.

@"%SystemRoot%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe" -NoProfile -InputFormat None -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command "iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString(''))" && SET "PATH=%PATH%;%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\chocolatey\bin"

Remember to close the console and you are all set.
In a new command window, you can now see the chocolatey:
 choco -? to see all the options which chocolatey provides.

Here's a sample install:

And its a breeze, as I mentioned.

While the software is free (but close sourced), it also has enterprise options (for multiple machine automated installation options), its still has a lot of potential to be an indispensable tool. Microsoft, pay heed!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

On future in advertisements

Technology today has made an ever-increasing inroads into our lives - and with the advent of immersive techniques, made largely thanks to increase of sensors in the common smartphones as well as the apps which utilize them has made advertisements where the target customer can experience the product in more than one dimension.
Coca cola recently launched their coke zero advertisment in the United States during a football game where the users can 'drink' coke during the ad break and redeem coupons that can be used to get a coke zero drink for free by displaying their coupon, which happens to be a QR code.
Such immersive ads are not new (we had samples embedded in newspapers before) but as they require users to perform an action (like hold their phones and imitate the drinking of coke), they move the user interaction to an entirely new dimension.
With the advent of sensors like gyroscope, NFC and technologies like QR, different possibilities to interact with the users in innovative ways has come up which can be a game changer for both the advertisement industry and the e-commerce industry (on the functional and technical side of things respectively).

Recently, I created a mashup for demonstrating a smart chatbot for a client, where the user could enter issue number and fetch the details. By hiding the implementation behind a RESTful api, I was able to use a machine learning chatbot (these are becoming quite prevalent over the internet today) which supports decent nlp-language parsing capabilites as well as machine learning that can be used to train my bot to respond to certain lingo, and then pass on certain keywords to my API, which will provide the required data. Ultimately, the end result for the customer experience is the key to success of any such project and this is precisely what happened in this mashup.