tech strokes

Friends, I have moved this page to Pooja’s Tech Central .

This page is for everybody, those who are tech savvy and also those who are not comfortable being around it πŸ™‚ .

Over the years I have had good amount of exposure to technology. My interest, and the nature of my work in the past have been main contributors πŸ™‚ . I use this page as a medium to share what I know and to keep learning more, tech wise.

my story, why tech?

Right from childhood, I had a keen interest in numbers and mathematics. I would wonder a lot how things worked around us. Finding answers to those questions, getting excited and awed on getting them was the fun part of my life.

I got onboard engineering for my higher studies. And then as a natural progression, software became my line of chosen work.

I will not dig deep into the mundane aspects of this field, like all other jobs πŸ™‚ . I am going to focus on the highlights of software related work, because that’s what keeps tech enthusiasts  going.

Software development is predictable, unlike the nature of people πŸ™‚ . The predictability of the outcome, makes it very reassuring to those who work on it.

You have a certain problem, you think of a solution for it. Then you choose a software language to develop that solution. After some tweaking, testing, frustration, disbelief, the software generates the outcome expected. That moment, you feel you cracked the Big Bang Theory πŸ˜€ . And that keeps you alive for the next round.

Why do people do coding? Because it turns imagination into reality! Simple.

In my first job as an R & D engineer, I was mesmerised by how technology actually affects us in real world. I started understanding how it worked in everything around us. How we program the micro-controllers, and how they run our devices πŸ™‚ . Another Eureka moment for me, and many more came along. All these discoveries have kept my interest in technology afloat, and is not going to die down, I believe πŸ™‚ .

This page is for everybody, those who are tech savvy and those who are not comfortable using it.

I now start my journey of discussing and discovering the amazing world of technology and software.


Apps, Tools and Software

1. Evernote our new secretary

I started using Evernote some time back to write down lists, of work that I wanted to complete and so on as I was just forgetting important tasks to complete.

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And today it is my secretary in true sense πŸ˜€ . Its made me more efficient and it is very handy.

Reasons are:

  • Its easily accessible on the phone. And it gets easily synchronised to other devices, so you can access your note on multiple places.
  • Its intuitive. All features are self explanatory.
  • You can use text option, to make simple text lists.
  • You can click pictures and save them as a note, eases out saving and searching later.
  • Edit pictures.
  • Create your own doodles.
  • It also has an option to save voice notes. It was very handy for me sometime back when I was unable to type due to pain in my hands πŸ˜€ . That’s when I discovered this very useful feature.

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Next time you feel frustrated due to inability to organise your work, consider having a look at this very useful tool.


2. Google docs

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An essential if you believe in writing, while on the go as well. Google docs is a documentation tool, it has everything that’s needed for writing effective documents. It has support on the cloud, so you can write on one device, access it on another. This reduces dependence on a particular device. For example, you can start a document using the ‘google docs’ app on your smartphone. And then if you don’t have access to your phone, you can open it on your laptop and continue working on it.

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You need to use your google account to manage the document. And using that account you can access the document on all devices.  http://docs.google.com is the link for opening document in the browser.

Another good feature is that you can save the document in different useful formats. the ‘.docx’ format is compatible with windows word. You can also save the document as PDF. Both ‘.docx’ and PDF formats are the most popular ones.

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These documents can be saved in Google Drive.


python basics.

3. Python

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What is Python?

Python is a software language used for developing software πŸ™‚ . It is known for being used by many big players like Facebook, Wikipedia etc. It has plenty of support on all the major platforms. And it is very interesting, to say the least πŸ™‚ .

Why Python?

It has many features that makes it likeable, and preferred over other conventional languages. Some of them are:

  • readable
  • simple, lesser lines of code
  • dynamic type checking
  • object oriented
  • lists, dictionaries
  • automatic memory management

How do I start?

Simple, read about it, practice it and write your programs πŸ™‚ . And if you are a software enthusiast, think of a problem and create a solution for it in python πŸ™‚ . W’ll talk about it later..

Some Basics to begin with

  • Indentation: python uses whitespace for defining the block of code. It doesn’t use curly braces or any such other brackets. Same number of white spaces defines a block.
  • Comments: To provide information, comments are used in any programming language. Python uses ‘#’ to define the start of a comment.
  • print : print function is used to print messages. It is very useful to understand the working of our code, and is used extensively to find problems.
  • Writing code in file: Lines of python code can be written together in a file, and saved with the extension of ‘.py’ .
  • Executing Environment: Open a terminal window ( can be a Mac or Linux machine). Type python and press the ‘enter’ key.

$ python

Python 2.7.10 (default, Jul 30 2016, 18:31:42)

[GCC 4.2.1 Compatible Apple LLVM 8.0.0 (clang-800.0.34)] on darwin

Type “help”, “copyright”, “credits” or “license” for more information.

>>>

  • Data types: number (int, float), string, list( like arrays in C, [1,2,3…] ), directories (like hashes, key-value pairs ), touples( (1,2,3..))
  • operators: +, -, *, /, %, **, ==, !=, , =, …

Brain of Python, How to decide what to do

Most of the programs that we write need to make some decisions, that’s why I call it the brain part πŸ™‚ . Decisions are made by using statements like many other languages, some of which are:

  • If statements
  • If,else statements
  • while
  • for

All these statements, when used with correct logic in the code, help in making the right decision about the action to be taken.

And Now, some simple coding…

Open a terminal window.  Create a directory where you would want to stash your precious code πŸ™‚ .

$ mkdir mypython

$ cd mypython

Open a text editor, my favourite is vi. Its simple to use, and almost all Operating Systems have it. You would need to familiarise yourself with vi commands.

$ vi firststep.py


Eg 1. Compute and print 

Write the following lines of code in the file firststep.py .

This code computes the result of 20*10 and prints it on the command line.

#!/usr/bin/python

i=20*10

print “value of i is: “,i

Save the file, give it executable permissions.

$ chmod +x firststep.py

Execute the code on command line

$ ./firststep.py

If all is well with the code with no errors, we are going to get the following output:

$ value of i is:  200

So you see, its as simple as this πŸ™‚ .


Eg 2. Taking input from user

#!/usr/bin/python

name=raw_input(‘what is your name?n’)

print “hello “,name

When the above lines are saved in a .py file and run, the output is:

$ ./readuserinput.py

what is your name?

pooja

hello  pooja


Eg 3. Using a system function to print date

Write the following code in an executable .py file

#!/usr/bin/python

import datetime

today = datetime.date.today()

print today

Datetime is a module, that provides date related functions. Python provides many modules for different functionalities.

Execute the above code, and the output will be

$ ./finddate.py

2017-01-11


Eg 4. Using ‘if’ to make a decision

‘if’ condition is used to make a correct decision. It is usually implemented in ‘if, elif, else’ format. Best understood with example πŸ™‚ .

Write the following code in validuser.py . It tests if the user is Anna or James. Otherwise, it prints Invalid user.

#!/usr/bin/python

girl=”Anna”

boy=”James”

user=raw_input(‘what is your name n’)

if user==girl:

        print “hello Anna”

elif user==boy:

        print “hello James”

else:

        print “Invalid user”

Run the code as in other examples above:

$./validuser.py

what is your name

Anna

hello Anna

$ ./validuser.py

what is your name

hobbes

Invalid user


Eg 5. Using ‘for’ loop

When we need to perform an action multiple times, we can use a ‘for’ loop.

Open findsum.py and write the following code in it:

#!/usr/bin/python

digits=[10,20,30,40,50]

result=0

for j in digits:

        result=result+j

        print result

print “sum is: “,result

As is evident from the code, the ‘for’ loop adds all the elements in the list ‘digit’ and prints the sum.

Here, I end my very basic tutorial on Python. I hope you got a little comfortable with the language ☺️

 Happy coding ☺️


Going Cashless.

4. Going Cashless

With the sudden demonitization, we all have been forced to go cashless, slowly but surely. I know many of you are comfortable using Net Banking, Credit/Debit cards, and now e-Wallets like Paytm etc. But there are still many people, older generation or those who don’t have much interaction with technology, who are little apprehensive using them. So, here I start a series where I explain in plain words how one can start using these digital facilities, and get comfortable with them πŸ™‚


1. Paytm

One of my favourites, in recent times. Primarily because of ease of use and simple interface.And now, it is being accepted for payments in all the necessary places.

a. Download Paytm app from Playstore

Goto Playstore of your smartphone. Search for paytm, it’s a free app. Download it.

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b. Start Paytm app

Paytm icon is as shown below. Click on it and open the app.

Front page will open, as shown below.

Most important options are:

  1. Pay
  2. Add money


c. Add money to your Paytm account

Click on the option ‘add money’ . The screen shown below will open. It will ask you for the amount of money you want to add. Enter the amount, and press ‘add money’.

The next page will ask for your credit card details, card number and cvv number. It will then authenticate the details entered.

You can also use Net Banking option.


d. Pay money

Select the option ‘pay’ on the home screen to make payments.We can either send it by using

  1. phone number  of the receiver
  2. QR code of the receiver

For sending money to the receiver using  his QR code, scan the QR code of the receiver. You will see the name of the receiver for confirmation. Confirm and send.

For sending money using receiver’s phone number, select the option ‘mobile number’ . Enter the phone number and amount.

Another important option is to see the ‘passbook’. Here all of your money transaction details are enlisted.

All the places as shown below accept Paytm for money transactions.

I hope this tutorial is helpful. It maynot be all inclusive yet, but I am sure it will help in getting past the initial hitch πŸ™‚ .


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UPI.

2. UPI, direct bank to bank money  transfer

In going cashless, UPI is another endeavor to simplify the transfer of money. I got to know about it accidentally in one of my visits to the bank ☺ , and it turned out to be extremely handy once I started using it.

The ease of use is what makes it a worthwhile technology. It is actually like sending email: from sender’s email ID to receiver’s email ID . Bingo!

Steps : get your upi address from the bank ( it is easily generated online in simple steps). Get receiver’s upi address. Using upi app, like iMobile for ICICI bank, seamlessly transfer money.

Advantage: you don’t need receiver’s bank account number, IFSC code and other details everytime you make a transaction. Its free☺ , no additional levied for now .


a. Download iMobile app from Playstore and install



b. Open iMobile app and setup as directed


c. Provide your account login detail


d. Authenticate using your card details


e. all done, set up UPI address

1.Select the upi option in the screen given below



2. Select manage option to create upi address

3.Select create virtual payment address

You can give options like abc@icici

f. Start transferring money using upi


  1. Select option pay to virtual payment address.

2. Enter your address and receiver’s address.




So easy ☺ .

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CM Security.

Kids safety on phone

If your kids are any bit like mine, they would be using your phone many times to play games ☺. While I don’t mind their seing harmless stuff, I am all the time worried they might access things inappropriate for them.

There can be photos, adult jokes, videos, anything for that matter. While the phone is in their tiny hands, my mind is a little dizzy with fear πŸ˜€. So, I decided to get rid of this problem once and for all 😎 .

CM Security app is just what I needed. Here I will be describing simple steps to get this app up and running on your phone.

CM Security to lock your apps

This app has got many security features, but I will be mainly focussing on its ‘app lock’ feature.

You can individually choose and lock different apps and data on the phone. For eg. you can lock your photos, facebook, whatsapp etc. You can use passwords, patterns or whatever you are comfortable with.

1. Download CM Security Applock Antivirus

Goto playstore of your phone, and search for CM Security Applock Antivirus.

Download it and install on your phone.


2. Select Apps for locking while installation



3. Select the apps that you want to lock after installation from homescreen



4.Set password



5. Set CM Security access on



6. You are all set !

Congratulations πŸ˜€ . Your kids are now protected from seing unwarranted things.

Everytime you will try to access your locked app like facebook or whatsapp, you’ll be asked to enter the password. That is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that you get πŸ˜€ .

So friends, I highly recommend using this app. I have been using it for quiet some time now, and am very satisfied.

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