Sunday, December 30, 2018

SSSIHL/SSSU (Sathya Sai University) ID cards with face blurred (Ravi S. Iyer)



SSSIHL/SSSU (Sathya Sai University) ID cards (with face blurred) during my (Ravi S. Iyer) free service from Jan. 2003 to Mar. 2012 with designations of Hon. Staff, Hon. Faculty and Visiting Faculty.

I have blurred the face in my above photo IDs as I prefer to lead a reclusive and low profile life in the real physical world. However, I am easily accessible on the Internet, via Facebook, blog, email and even Twitter. The bottom of this post provides my Internet contact info. and other details.

DMACS stands for Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and is the department I was associated with during my entire stint though I also taught some software lab. courses in the Physics department.

SSSIHL (Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning) name changed to SSSU (Sri Sathya Sai University) and then back to SSSIHL during the course of my stint. But the institution was the same.

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My Internet social media channels and contact information

Ravi S. Iyer
Social media writer on spirituality, religion and miscellaneous topics
Retired international software consultant
Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, India

Spiritual/Religious Websites/Blogs
* About Sri Sathya Sai Baba and more: ravisiyer.blogspot.com
* Existential reality, Vedanta and God & science conversation: iami1.wordpress.com

Software Websites/Blogs
* Indian CS & IT Academic Reform Activism: eklavyasai.blogspot.com/p/table-of-contents.html
* Course material related to computer programming (software lab.) courses: raviiyerteaches.wordpress.com

Misc. Topics Blogs
* ravisiyermisc.blogspot.com/
* Misc. Tech.: ravisiyer.wordpress.com/category/misc/

e-mail:   ravi@raviiyer.org
Twitter:  twitter.com/RaviSaiIyer
Google+:  google.com/+RaviSIyerSai
Facebook: facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7

Service to Society is Service to God

Friday, December 28, 2018

Documenting my part auto bio with pics - school and college education certificates and marksheets

Last updated on 24th May 2019

This post follows up on my previous post: Documenting my part auto bio with pics - computer software industry appreciation and experience letters, https://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/12/documenting-my-part-auto-bio-with-pics_27.html.

My first school was English High School, Dadar, Bombay perhaps from Ist standard to VIth standard. I do not have any records of this. The school itself is not around now.

[To open pic in higher resolution, right-click on pic followed by open link (NOT image) in new tab/window. In new tab/window you may have to click on pic to zoom in.]







Above pics are about my second school stint and the important Xth standard Maharashtra state board exam. The school was Cardinal Gracias High School, Bandra (East), Bombay, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardinal_Gracias_High_School, and I studied there from VIIth standard to Xth standard, from mid 1974 to mid 1978.





Above pics are about the first two years at my first college, Ruia College, Matunga, Bombay,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramnarain_Ruia_College. The first two years, XIth and XIIth were referred to as Junior College, at the end of which there was an important XIIth standard Maharashtra state board exam.













Above pics are about the next three years at Ruia college for my B.Sc. Physics degree awarded by University of Bombay. First Year B.Sc involved three main subjects: Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Second Year B.Sc. had two main subjects: Physics and Chemistry. Third year B.Sc. focused only on Physics.

Three pics of the B.Sc. degree are shown above. The first (from top) pic of the original and laminated B.Sc. degree shows a bulge at the line where it is folded. The second pic of it was taken when the bulging part was held flat by weights on the sides. To eliminate the weights on the sides from the pic, I decided to show only the key inner part of the degree in this second pic of the B.Sc. degree. The third pic of the B.Sc. degree is of a zerox copy of the original degree.

I do not seem to have any records of my partial first year (perhaps around 6 months) M.Sc. (Physics - Electronics) with theory classes at University of Bombay, Kalina campus, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Mumbai#Kalina_Campus and practicals at Khalsa college, Matunga, Bombay, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guru_Nanak_Khalsa_College_of_Arts,_Science_%26_Commerce. My grand plan of earning money by conducting tuition classes for school and other students to self-finance my M.Sc. studies, and in parallel study well in M.Sc. did not work out properly. I think I fell behind my targets in both earning money and in my M.Sc. studies.

So I dropped out of M.Sc. after around 6 months. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I was able to get into the sunrise field of software development at an earlier age. In fact, two of my student colleagues in M.Sc. in Khalsa, joined the same company, Datamatics Ltd. that I had joined in March 1984, after they finished their M.Sc. (Physics). They would have finished M.Sc. sometime in mid 1985 and perhaps joined Datamatics a few months later. So I think I was around one and a half years senior to them in the software development field because I had dropped out of M.Sc. (Physics)!

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May-2019-Update:

Later, for the paperback book (grayscale) and for the ebook (colour), scanned images were taken of some of the pics given in this post. Colour versions of those scanned images are given below without any text captions. The text captions can be seen in corresponding camera pic in this post.




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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Documenting my part auto bio with pics - computer software industry appreciation and experience letters

Last updated on 24th May 2019

This post follows up on my previous post: Documenting my part auto bio with pics - the Visa trail as documentation of my foreign trips, https://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/12/documenting-my-part-auto-bio-with-pics.html.

I worked in the computer software industry from March 1984 to August 2002.

Here's my computer software professional biodata including my free service stint as Hon. Staff, Hon. Faculty and Visiting Faculty, in an Indian deemed university, https://ravisiyer.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/ravisiyerbiodata.pdf.

And here's my computer software industry work-experience details, https://ravisiyer.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/raviiyerindustryworkexperience.pdf.

Appreciation Letters

Given below are pics of some appreciation letters I got during my software industry career:

[To open pic in higher resolution, right-click on pic followed by open in new tab/window. In new tab/window you may have to click on pic to zoom in.]





Above pics are from my seniors/bosses at Wang Laboratories, Lowell, Massachusetts, USA, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Laboratories, which was a famous tech. company in the 1980s but had started running into financial difficulties in the second half of the 1980s which is where my Indian company, Datamatics, got an opportunity to offer lower cost technical services through us software developers. The first two pics (from top) are for my 2nd USA stint from Sept. 1988 to Sept. 1989. The third pic is for my 1st USA stint from March 1987 to Sept. 1987.



Above pic is an appreciation letter dated Aug. 1991, during my stint in Boshu Technics Corporation. We had done work in our Bombay office, for a Cologne, German client called BUSY Gmbh. Mr. Kaiser who has signed the above letter was the client company boss. But there was a technical lead in Busy Gmbh for this project, a Mr. Achlietner (if I recall the name correctly), who sent us in our Bombay office, a delicious cake as an additional form of appreciation for the work. I don't know whether the cake was sent from Germany or was sent from someplace in Bombay itself. My guess is that they sent it from Germany as, if I recall correctly, it was some German speciality cake. We enjoyed the cake :-)!







Above pics are appreciation letters during my stint as Technical consultant in Mastek, Mumbai, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastek. To help manage my health issues which got easily precipitated by stress, I had completely given up project management work and offered only technical consultancy services as an independent consultant (not employee).

Experience Letters

Experience letters from various companies I was associated with as employee or as independent consultant (not employee), are given below.



Above pic of experience letter is from my first company, Datamatics Ltd., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datamatics, where I was employed from March 1984 to May 1990. I joined as Trainee Programmer and by the time I left the company I had risen to Project Leader.



Above experience letter is from my second company, a startup, Boshu Technics Corporation, where I was employed from June 1990 to November 1992. I was essentially the technical head with the proprietor, Mr. S.K. Basu (ex IBM India, ex IDM founder-director) being the overall head of the small company. (The company had around or less than 10 employees when I joined and I think even when I quit it was around 10 employees though it was an almost completely new set of employees by the time I quit). The official designation I had was: Manager Software.

Boshu Techics is not around now I think. Perhaps after Mr. S.K. Basu passed away, the company closed down. Here's an article from Indian Express in Nov. 1998 that references Mr. Basu and Boshu Technics: Innovative software keeps company going, http://expressindia.indianexpress.com/fe/daily/19981116/32055744.html.



I free-lanced for most of the 1993 year. Above experience letter is from Mastek Ltd.,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastek, with whom I was associated with, as a regular technical consultant (not employee) from end 1993 till June 2001.



Above experience letter is from a startup, CelPro Group B.V. (a Dutch - Netherlands - company), that I was associated with as senior technical consultant (not employee), through (for administrative purposes) an Indian company called Continuum Technologies, from July 2001 to Aug. 2002.
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May-2019-Update:

Later, for the paperback book (grayscale) and for the ebook (colour), scanned images were taken of some of the pics given in this post. Colour versions of those scanned images are given below without any text captions. The text captions can be seen in corresponding camera pic in this post.












End-May-2019-Update
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Given below are some comments from my Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/2377203519162878 associated with this blog post:

In response to a comment, " It was wonderful going through these Sir. One observation: The length of the recommendation letters are progressively decreasing as the years go by :)", I (Ravi) wrote (slightly edited):
After 1993 till early 1999 when my mother passed away, my main job was mother care involving no money earning but expense. My secondary job was earning money part-time as software technical consultant. So my work output had reduced. Further, I had stopped taking on project management responsibility and would limit myself to technical advice. Now I have noted that the later set of appreciation letters start from October 1999 (from Mastek), though I was with Mastek from end 1993. A few months after my mother passed away in Feb. 1999, say from around April or May 1999, I had started working almost full time (but staggered hours) with Mastek. So the appreciation letters are from after I started working almost full time with Mastek. But I was not accepting project management responsibility and limiting myself to technical advice. I think this may be one reason for my appreciation letters after 1993 being less laudatory and less long :-).
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In response to a comment which said in part, "Probably Sir, the managers became too busy!", I (Ravi) wrote:
In my case, brother, what I said above is the truth. My job profile drastically reduced after 1993, even though I still was able to contribute technically. Earlier I used to own projects, take full responsibility and deliver to the customer. So the customers were very happy with me then. That's reflected in those appreciation letters.
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In response to a comment which partly said, "Wow! Ravi, you took me down my own memory lanes with your chronology! I'm 1963 born and I was with the World Bank group from late 80's until 1997 and we had Wang VS and then we implemented Banyan VINES on Tokenring. I remember attending training courses in Massachusetts in early 90's.", I wrote (slightly edited):
Very interesting --name-snipped--! Fascinating that I found a Facebook friend who knows of Wang VS and Banyan VINES!!! Most of the post 2000 software industry people which includes students I taught software development from 2003 to 2011 in Sai university, Prasanthi Nilayam campus, would not have heard of Wang VS or Banyan VINES!

John Kowalonek was the big man in Wang VS work on porting Banyan VINES to Wang VS. He was earlier in DEC.

Fascinating that you attended training courses on these topics in Massachusetts in early 90s.

You put it very well: "Everything moved towards Windows (both server and desktop) eventually. How things, technologies and whole companies become obsolete over time! Nothing is permanent." I entirely agree. Especially in Tech and change is so blindingly fast in Tech.

How big were the names of IBM, DEC and Wang in the 1980s! Where are they today? IBM is still around as it reinvented itself as a services company. The WinTel PC revolution just blew them or their computer system maker brand, away!

Thanks a ton for your comment.
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In response to comment that said partly, " Ravi, you're way more technical than today's CS graduates! You say you discontinued your MSc, but you managed to work on such a wide variety of platforms and OS's!" and referred to some Wang computer models, I wrote (slightly edited):
For me the big Wang computer model was the VS 80, which was said to be very close to IBM 360/370. I got pretty deep into it, and also had an opportunity to see a little bit of the actual operating system code.

I think I had to study far more during my computer industry career than during my college days. Honestly!

But my studies have been informal and on-the-job. No academic degree to show for it. But then neither do some of the biggest names in Tech of my days have academic degrees to show for their prolific knowledge and technical accomplishments - Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. So I am in good company :-).

If I recall correctly, I had told one of the vice-chancellors of the Sai university that if I wanted to get a Ph.D. I could get two, not just one :-). It is just that I was not interested in academic research. I was focused on spiritual endeavour and my teaching & guidance on tech matters to students, and initial 5 years of additional role of Systems Manager at Sai university, DMACS (Dept. of Maths & Comp. Sc.) Lab, were my Seva offering to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, which was an important part of my spiritual endeavour done in the physical presence of Bhagavan. At that time and even now, I was, and am, interested in a spiritual career and NOT an academic career or a tech. career.

I also realized that as in my industry career, all my work was intellectual property owned by the company, even if I wanted to I could not publish articles in trade magazines or even technology magazines, giving key information about my work. So there was no way outsiders would know of my work details, unless they interviewed me on something or somebody from my company told them.

In contrast in academia, one publishes papers on the work that one has done quite freely (unless it is an industry sponsored thing in which case there may be some constraints). Even I am the co-author of two papers published from work done in M.Tech. (CS) student projects where I was technical consultant and a USA based professor (NRI) was the key advisor. Given the intense tech. stuff I had to do during my Wang Labs. work days as well as some other intense software projects I have done, the M.Tech. student projects resulting in published academic conference papers, were minor stuff! Really!

But most Indian CS academics that I came across could not really understand the depth of technical work that many in the Indian software industry who were not formally educated in Computer Science or Information Technology, including me, had done, Their tech. knowledge was, at best, superficial. And so they played the UGC/AICTE game of Ph.D. requirement before anybody is considered knowledgeable in Indian academia!
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In response to comment, "Ravi, you're so right! Formal education is far less important than your passion and drive. What all you did was out of genuine interest to learn and master the subjects! My hat's off to you ", I wrote (slightly edited):
Thank you so much brother --name-snipped-- for your kind words.
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A former student of Sai university whom I taught software development lab. courses, wrote me over email, and was OK with sharing publicly:

You have had an illustrious career laced with multiple fantastic achievements. It must have been lots of hard work to earn those sincere and appreciative compliments. It must also be very pleasing to look upon them fondly - I feel privileged to know you and be your student.
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I (Ravi) responded (slightly edited):
Thanks for the kind words, --name-snipped--. Yes, it was hard work backed with a lot of genuine enthusiasm and interest in software technology that brought the accolades, some only verbal and some written. I took to software technology/software development like a duck takes to water. So while some of it was intense work, including night-outs and long workdays, it was usually very satisfying work.

And yes, it was a pleasure to look back upon these written accolades in the process of documenting my part auto bio.

Glad that you feel good about having been my student (for software development lab. courses) :-).
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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Documenting my part auto bio with pics - the Visa trail as documentation of my foreign trips

Last updated on 24th May 2019

This post follows up on my previous post: Some old pics of me (Ravi S. Iyer), https://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/12/some-old-pics-of-me.html, where I mention about providing pics for my to-be self-published part auto biography.

From mid 1985 to end 1991, a six and a half year period, which would map to my age of around 23 to 29, I spent around 3.5 years abroad which is over half the time period, and remaining period in India mainly working on foreign software development project work from Indian company offices in Bombay. The foreign trips were to Western Europe, USA and Far East Asia. This had a profound mind-broadening impact on me and made me feel that I am a global citizen. I was largely able to relate to India, and at the same time, relate to Western world (USA and Western Europe) and, to a lesser extent due to lesser time spent there, the Far East Asian tiger (economy-wise) countries. I mean, I was quite at home in living and working in all of these places and having a good time - no problem at all!

As my health problems became significant from 1992 onwards, my life orientation changed. Spirituality became a key interest area in my life from end 1992 onwards with my software career taking a less important role than earlier. Partly due to health issues and partly out of choice, I did not go abroad i.e. visit any foreign country from 1992 onwards.

I guess I am a somewhat strange person now and was somewhat strange during the days of my foreign travel as well. Somehow I did not get into taking pics when I was doing my foreign travel. I chose instead to deeply experience my visits rather than capture them on a camera. Even today, I have clear recollections of many things from my foreign visits. As an example, from my first trip to Niagara Falls, USA (and Canada) in the second half of the 1980s, perhaps in 1987, I still recall quite clearly how I was stunned and awestruck when I had my first sight of the big and great Niagara Falls.

These were pre-Internet days for the wider public. I would have seen some pics of Niagara Falls but I had not realized it was so big. There was a big roar of sound as we were approaching the viewing area (USA side) from the parking lot but it did not prepare me for the huge volume of water and the height from which it fell, at Niagara Falls. I think I was talking to my friends while we were walking to the viewing area and suddenly the awesome Niagara Falls came into view. I was spell bound and completely awestruck.

So Niagara Falls experience is still accessible in my mind, around three decades after I saw it first, but I don't have any pics of me at Niagara Falls! Including such pics would lend more life to the part auto bio.

But what I have are my passport visas! It does provide an official documentation of my visits. So I thought I should include them/some of them as pics with sensitive info. masked, in the ebook. At least it will give some corroboration info. to the ebook reader that I did make those foreign visits.

I thought of also sharing them here. Readers may please feel free to ignore these pics :-).

[To open pic in higher resolution, right-click on pic followed by open in new tab/window. In new tab/window you may have to click on pic to zoom in.]



Above pic: Benelux Visa for my first trip abroad to Brussels, Belgium in 1985 for around 15 months with a break in between. In Belgium, I applied for and got a regular Work Permit, which document I don't think I have with me now.


Above pic: USA Visa for my first USA trip to Lowell, Massachusetts and Nashua, New Hampshire for, if I recall correctly, around 7 months in 1987.


Above pic: Benelux Visa for Netherlands (Holland) trip to Barneveld,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barneveld_(town), for, if I recall correctly (IIRC), around 2 months in 1987 (almost immediately after I returned from USA trip).



Above pic: USA Visa for 3rd USA trip to Goleta near Santa Barbara, California, for, IIRC, around 2 months, in 1990. The 2nd USA trip was to Lowell, Massachusetts and Nashua, New Hampshire, for a year in 1988-89, IIRC - I have omitted its Visa pic.


Above pic: South Korean Visa obtained from its consulate in Los Angeles, USA for a trip to Seoul, South Korea for around 2 months in 1990, from USA. After this trip got over I came back to Bombay.






Above pics: Short marketing and international exhibition (CeBIT, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CEBIT) related trips to Sweden and Germany in March 1991, and Singapore in December 1991.

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May-2019-Update:

Later, for the paperback book (grayscale) and for the ebook (colour), scanned images were taken of some of the pics given in this post. Colour versions of those scanned images are given below without any text captions. The text captions can be seen in corresponding camera pic in this post.






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