Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Monday, 11 January 2016

Never Ending Learning

( Contributor : A M Rao )


After the New Year 2016 started and people wished each other, there was (thankfully) more than a week of utter silence! 

Maybe it was an overdose of forwards, wishes and greeting emails that made people take a break from writing or worse - from pressing the forward button!

Since it appears that we are only reactive in writing, let me provoke some action: 

English Medium to Rare

When I joined L&T, I had found almost everyone using good English in all their communications. 

Of course, in those days the big bosses had steno typists who took dictation and typed out very neatly spaced documents, but I believe there was always a fear that any document could eventually find its way to MPW's table and not a dot out off place would be tolerated.

So even though quite a few people shared a common mother tongue or spoke the local language, all official discussions, meetings and notes (even the handwritten ones from the triplicate books) were in crisply worded, grammatically correct English!

For me, coming from a English medium school background and loving to read whatever I got my hands on, it was a dream to be able to get so many valuable insights that resided in the SDP (SDDC now) library. 

Naming documents and files and tucking away every paper subject-wise, date-wise was something we learnt quickly in our first few months in SPD. 

Registering new projects and drawings into the Kalamazoo was as much fun as it was dreaded, but looking back at what we learnt there, version management, change management and so many other concepts that have fancy names in PLM, but were practiced by people so matter-of-factly as a part of their daily routine.

Computers were coming to every employee's desk and since each computer had its own keyboard, storage and network connection, the "humble" secretary became more or less obsolete.

E-Mail became a tool for daily usage. Filing slowly lost out in importance and most people today even laugh when told that we used to practice cataloguing and filing in neat chronological, alphabetical and physical order

The "Search" or "Ctrl+F" has made each one of us so dependent on computers that even checking whether we have paid our PPF or LIC premium on time is dependent on a string of computer entries today.

With the personal computer and the "user friendly" tools coming in, remembering spelling, grammar and basic courtesies as well as good practices like file naming, version control etc went flying out of the (MS) windows. 

We just keep on pounding the keys any which way we wish to and the little squiggly red, green and blue lines below the typed text, the auto correct, grammar check and spell check make all of us look like literary laureates.

Again many of the bosses who were used to scribbling abbreviations onto the paper notes that came to their table, used similar TLAs (computerese for Two letter and Three letter Acronyms), in their emails. 

So we saw people start working on PSM (Please see me), PD (pls discuss), BU dd/mm (Bring up on date), OK and Not OK (self explanatory). 

As one of the great bosses used only that many keys, there was a standing joke that he deserved a specialized keyboard with only those 7-8 keys.

Living amid the micro and nano revolutions, we find the power equivalent of room-full of yester-years servers crammed into the pocket sized mobile phones, batteries charged and GBs of RAM, TBs of memory and Cores of CPU raring to go - and unleash shortened text messages, punctuated with colorful emoticons.(luckily the word "emoticon" is still not in any dictionary!). 

The keyboard comes with at least 4 layers of keys - lower case, upper case, numbers and symbols, advanced symbols etc. 

With another app loaded (sometimes default) you can type in any language of your choice. Predictive text and inbuilt intelligence helps form sentences that would appear like you have imbibed Wren and Martin, cover to cover, 


My note :

Some 15 years back , when I failed to master all of the tricks mentioned above , I tried out , Voice-to-Text software " Dragon - Naturally Speaking "

But correcting the " mistakes " that this software made , proved to be even more daunting ! 

I gave up and still not recovered enough to try SIRI / CORTANA etc  !


Corporate  Culture  :

Courteous Communication  /  Love  for  details  /  Systematic / System Orientation  /  Methodical  /  Emphasis  on  correctness  /  Intolerance for sloppyness 

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