Mid week readings – Dec 10, 2014

  • Finding Alibaba: How Jerry Yang made the lucrative bet in silicon valley history (link)
    • Fascinating reading about the history of two companies, especially the relationship between Jerry Yang and Jack Ma. It also shows how great business decisions are carried out by nascent people-to-people connection.
  • Anonymous messaging app Yik Yak raises $61m funding round. Interesting read about this company here (Chicago Maroon).
  • There is a quite a bit of confusion about data science, especially analytics vs predictive analytics. Good read here (link)
  • Shopify is an interesting startup with 120,000 customers and more than $5B in business transactions enabled for its customers. However, not many people never really heard of. Including myself until recently.
    • Read about Shopify here (link).
  • Have you ever wondered how Amazon WebService (AWS) operates? How big it is?
    • Rare peak into massive scale of AWS (link)
  • There seems to be not a single day passes without hearing about Uber in the news, positive or negative. As a business they’ve been very successful in setting strategy to go after their customers and compete with Lyft.
    • Read about some of the stuff here (link)

Last Updated on December 11, 2014 by SK

This Week’s Readings: Sept 12, 2014

  • Data Lake, Data Reservoir, Data Hub, Data Dump… (link)
    • Agree with Bill Schmarzo here. Who really cares what you call the place where you store all the data in an enterprise? As long as you truly use and know how to get value out of it.
  • Last night me and my son (Anish) got a sandwich to go from a  restaurant near our house (The melt). I thought it was a cool restaurant, but didn’t realize it was funded by Sequoia and has Ron Johnson (former Apple retail chief and former CEO of JC Penney) as one of the BOD. Here is an interesting blurb from gawker about the $10m VC funding event (gawker)
  • Many a times companies frown upon employees working virtually. I believe this trend is changing rapidly with the new technology and knowledge workers prefer to work from distant locations where they can spend more time with their family, work more productively, live cheaply and with flexible hours.
  • Linux Hackers Rebuild Internet from Silicon Valley Garage (wired)
    • Misleading title but makes for an interesting read
  • The man who build a computer the size of the entire internet (wired)
    • Another over the top title, but this one at least has some truth behind it. I like what docker is trying to do.

Last Updated on September 12, 2014 by SK

Mid-Week Readings : June 18, 2014

  • 10 Hot Startup Websites (FoxBusiness)
  • Your Company is not a Family  (HBR)
    • Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn hits the point home very well. A company is a team, not a family.
  • Every company should dream of getting this kind of endorsement from a VC that has invested in it (a16Z)
    • A blog post by Steven Sinofsky about Tanium.
  • Breakthrough Technologies every analyst should know about (analyst one)
  • Big Data & Business Intelligence Forecasts and Market Estimates 2014 (Forbes)

Last Updated on July 26, 2014 by SK

Using HAWQ/Pivotal Hadoop Virtual Machine

Yesterday I was asked by someone… Can I play with PivotalHD and HAWQ? How? What do I need?

This prompted me to think about going through this process myself afresh using my home computer to make sure everything works as smoothly I expected to work when we put together PivotalHD/HAWQ VM.  As I was downloading and trying to run the VM I realized that though running VM, thereby PivotalHD/HAWQ is straight forward there is no single place the entire process is laid out.  Therefore, hoping this blog post will guide someone step by step, from scratch to run PivotalHD and HAWQ.  In particular, in addition to running VM I wanted to show using HAWQ with pgAdminIII a popular open source tool used by Postgres community.
Install VMPlayer
Step 1: Skip this step if you  have either VMWare Fusion (for Mac) or VMWare Workstation/VMPlayer (for windows) already installed in your computer . If not, proceed to download one of these tools  from https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/downloads.

Tip: VMWare Fusion (for Mac) and Workstation (for Windows) are paid tools. If you are running windows and don’t want to pay for Workstation, you’ve the option of using VMPlayer which available only for Windows or Linux, there is no Mac VMPlayer. If you are using Mac/OS X you would’ve to use other free alternatives.  VirtualBox is a free Mac alternative to VMPlayer you could try. Be warned, I’ve not tried this option myself, but should work. I’m sure you can google  http://smallbusiness.chron.com/open-vmdk-virtualbox-28847.html

Scroll down to “Desktop & End-User Computing” section and download VMPlayer.



Download Pivotal HD.

Download Pivotal HD VM from http://gopivotal.com/big-data/pivotal-hd.



VM is pretty big 1.9GB, be patient. At my home, I’ve reasonable fast AT&T uverse. It took approximately 45min to download the entire file.

If you don’t have unzipping software, you can download 7z windows version from http://www.7-zip.org/download.html

Once unzipped, right click on the file PIVHDSNE110_VMWARE_VM and select “Open with VMWare Player” option to open using VMWare Player. Once launch happened you’ll see PivotalHD Desktop as shown below.



HAWQ administration documentation can be found here: http://docs.gopivotal.com/pivotalhd/HAWQAdministration.html

Double click on “start_all.sh” to start HAWQ services in the VM.


Before connecting pgAdminIII to HAWQ host based security should be enabled for the local host.


[pivhdsne:~]$ echo $MASTER_DATA_DIRECTORY

cd to “/data/1/hawq_master/gpseg-1” and open the file “pg_hba.conf” in your favorite editor. Add your local host where pgAdminIII runs as shown below.



After saving the file, run the following command to reload the configuration file.

[pivhdsne:~]$ gpstop -u


Now configure


Connecting pgAdmin3 to HAWQ.

Click on the connect icon. In the dialog box, enter your pivotal HD virtual machine ip address. To find virtual machine IP address enter the following command in a terminal window



[pivhdsne:~]$ ifconfig
eth1  Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:0C:29:D8:10:3B
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
inet6 addr: fe80::20c:29ff:fed8:103b/64 Scope:Link


In the above example, virtual machine address is Enter this in the host field of pgAdminIII. Enter username as “gpadmin” and password as “gpadmin”.

Click “ok” to connect to HAWQ. Ignore following warning message.



Download pgAdmin3 from this link: http://www.postgresql.org/ftp/pgadmin3/release/v1.18.1/win32/

Once successfully connected you should be able to see pgAdminIII screen as shown below.



PivotalHD tutorial can be found here: http://pivotalhd.cfapps.io/index.html

PivotalHD samples can be found here: https://github.com/gopivotal/pivotal-samples

Last Updated on December 5, 2014 by SK

YouTube Suggestion: Five (hundred) little monkeys jumping on the bed!

YouTube server displayed this message this morning at 8am PST. My 2 year old found this, couldn’t understand what was going on and started screaming!!:-) May be time to show a kid friendly 500 message (with a video of 500 monkey’s working on something important), considering early morning during summer holidays people who use youtube are kids?  Just saying….


Last Updated on July 3, 2014 by SK

Early Week Readings – Mar 22nd, 2014


  • Who was Carl Sagan? (link)
  • Fascination read about Termen (Our Comrade the Eletron)
    • Growing up in India in early 80s, I had easy access to Soviet books than Western books. Vividly remember simple but informative scientific books I used to read from former Soviet Union publications. Even today,  I’ve couple of books that introduced me to electronics and computers. 
  • Interview with Donald Knuth  (link)
    • The father of algorithms!
  • 10 simple tips to dramatically improve your photographs(link)
    • If you like taking good photographs using simple tricks, read this through. Great tips.
  • So many leaders get this wrong – Jack Welch (link)

Last Updated on March 25, 2014 by SK