Posted by: George Christopher | August 10, 2009

Swine Flu – All that you need to know about


The source of the following fact sheet can be found here.


What is influenza – A(H1N1)

Influenza – A (H1N1) (earlier know as swine flu) is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. First detected in Mexico in April, 2009, it has spread to many countries in the World. Swine flu is basically a misnomer. This was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to those found in pigs in North America. Further on, it has been found that this new virus has gene segments from the swine, avian and human flu virus genes. The scientists calls this a ‘quadruple reassortant” virus and hence this new (novel) virus is christened “influenza-A (H1N1) virus.”

Influenza A(H1N1) outbreak

It is causing an epidemic among humans in Mexico and it has spread to Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, UK and USA.

Are there human/infections with influenza – A (H1N1) in India?

One passenger who traveled to India from USA has tested positive for Influenza A [H1N1]. There is no furt her spread from him. Do not panic!

Is it safe to take pork items?

Pigs have nothing to do with this disease. Pork products are absolutely safe if properly cooked. There is no need to cull pigs. Do not panic if some pigs die in the community due to natural disease.

Is this flu virus contagious?

Influenza A (H1N1) virus is contagious and spreading from human to human.

What are the signs and symptoms of influenza-A (H1N1) in people?

The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with influenza-A (H1N1)

How does influenza-A (H1N1) spread?

Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through droplets created while coughing or sneezing by a person infected with the influenza-A (H1N1).

How can someone with the flu infect someone else?

Infected person may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to seven or more days after becoming sick.

How to keep away from getting the flu?

First and most important: Follow simple steps as cough etiquettes (covering mouth & nose with handkerchief or tissue paper while coughing), stay at least an arm’s length from persons coughing or sneezing, avoid gathering and wash your hands frequently. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

Are there medicines to treat this flu?

Yes. Necessary medicines in sufficient quantity are available. The Government has in the designated hospitals stored medicines if required. It is strongly advisable not to take medicines of your own, as it will lower your immunity.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?

(a) Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

(b) Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

(c) Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

(d) Try to avoid close contact with people having respiratory illness.

(e) If one gets sick with influenza, one must stay at home, away from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. However, if one is having any respiratory distress, one should report to a nearby hospital.

What steps Government of India taking to prevent outbreak of this flu in India?

(1) The strategy is basically to detect early cases among the passengers coming from the affected countries either by air, road or ship.

(2) The Government has launched a massive mass media campaign to inform and educate people on dos and do nots.

(3) Sharing information with public through media.


People who have traveled from the affected countries in the past ten days and show symptoms of influenza A (H1N1) like fever, cough, sore throat and difficulty in breathing should immediately contact the telephone number given below or the nearby Government Hospital.


Outbreak Monitoring Cell (Control Room, NICD): 011-23921401

Important Websites:;


The source of the revised guidelines can be found here.

Revised Guidelines for testing of persons with flu like symptoms reporting at hospitals notified for influenza H1N1

So far, the present guidelines stipulate that a person suspected of influenza A H1N1 need to be referred to an identified govt. health facility. He/she needs to be kept in an isolation facility in that hospital and if found positive, is treated accordingly.

In order to make the testing facility for H1N1 more accessible at large and due to the onset of the Influenza season in the country, it has been decided to revise the existing guidelines.

Under the new guidelines, any person with flu like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, cold, running nose etc. should go to a designated Government facility for giving his/her sample for testing for the H1N1 virus. After clinical assessment, the designated medical officer would decide on the need for testing. Except for cases that are severe, the patient would be allowed to go home (This was not allowed under the existing guidelines).

The sample of the suspect case would be collected and sent to the notified laboratory for testing. If tested as positive for H1N1 and in case the symptoms are mild, the patient would be informed and given the option of admission into the hospital or isolation and treatment at his own home.

In case the patient opts for home isolation and treatment, he/she would be provided with detailed guidelines / safety measures to be strictly adhered to by the entire household of the patient. He/ she would have to provide full contact details of his entire household. The house hold and social contacts would be provided with the preventive treatment.

Notwithstanding the above guidelines, the decision of the doctor of the notified hospital about admitting the patient would be final.

In case the test is negative, the patient will accordingly be informed.

These guidelines have been issued by the Government in public interest and shall be reviewed from time to time depending on the spread of the pandemic and its severity in the country. These guidelines would however not apply to passengers who are identified through screening at the points of entry. The existing policy of isolating passengers with flu like symptoms would continue.

Useful Links which contain more detailed information about Swine Flu.

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (Govt. of India) –

Wiki –


A group of techies have created the following useful website to give information about swine flu for the benefit of all.


Please be aware of the symptoms of Swine Flu and follow the safety precautions. Consult a doctor immediately if you see any symptoms.

Posted by: George Christopher | August 6, 2009

10 Tips for a Good Service


Posted by: George Christopher | August 6, 2009

Customer Service


This is a real story that happened between a customer of General Motors & its customer-care executive.

A complaint was received by the Pontiac Division of General Motors:

"This is the second time I have written to you, and I don’t blame you for not answering me, because I sounded crazy. We have a tradition in our family of ice-cream for dessert after dinner on almost every night, but the kind of ice cream varies. So, every night, after we’ve eaten, the whole family votes on which kind of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. It’s also a fact that I recently purchased a new Pontiac and since then my trips to the store have created a problem…..

"You see, every time I buy a vanilla ice-cream, when I start back from the store my car won’t start. If I get any other kind of ice cream, the car starts just fine. I want you to know I’m serious about this question, no matter how silly it sounds .. .. What is there about a Pontiac that makes it not start when I get vanilla ice cream, and easy to start whenever I get any other kind?"

The Pontiac president was understandably skeptical about the letter, but sent an engineer to check it out anyway. The latter was surprised to be greeted by a successful, obviously well-educated man in a fine neighborhood. He had arranged to meet the man just after dinner time, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the ice cream store. It was vanilla ice cream that night and, sure enough, after they came back to the car, it wouldn’t start. The engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, they got chocolate, the car started. The second night, he got butterscotch and….. The car started. The third night he ordered vanilla. The car failed to start !

Now the engineer, being a logical man, refused to believe that this man’s car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. Therefore, to continue his visits for as long as it took to solve the problem. He jotted down all sorts of data: time of day, type of gas used, time to drive back and forth etc. In a short time, he had a clue: the man took less time to buy vanilla than any other flavor. Why ? The answer was in the layout of the store.

Vanilla, being the most popular flavour, was in a separate case at the front of the store for quick pickup. All the other flavours were kept in the back of the store at a different counter where it took considerably longer to check out the ice creams.

Now, the question for the engineer was why the car wouldn’t start when it took less time. Eureka – Time was now the problem – not the vanilla ice cream!!!! The engineer quickly came up with the answer : "vapour lock". It was happening every night; but the extra time taken to get the other flavours allowed the engine to cool down sufficiently to start again. When the man got vanilla, the engine was still too hot for the vapour lock to dissipate.

Even crazy looking problems are sometimes real and all problems seem to be simple when we find the solution.

Posted by: George Christopher | August 6, 2009

Monkeys or Gorilla?

I came across the following posters in the website of the Product development company called Gorilla Logic specializing in Flex and Java. They claim that their developers are 10x (10 times) more productive or efficient in delivering value to the customers.



Their exact claim is “10X Productivity, Cost Savings and Quality Difference” which essentially means that one of their software developer would be table to do the work that 10 people do in other companies. They simply bank on the technical expertise of their developers to leverage the business growth of the company.

My thoughts :

I was greatly impressed by their strategy as I am a firm believer in the fact that,  in most times , a work done by 5 or 10 people can be done by a single person who is a technical expert with a clear overview of business requirement or using a tool. I always felt that the absence or very minimal product developments that happen in Indian software companies when compared to the services is because of the lack of technical expertise and the ability of developers to be on top of new upcoming technologies and used them appropriately in the required places.

Posted by: George Christopher | August 6, 2009

Designing Applications – Apple, Google and Us




The picture says it all. 🙂 How true!

Posted by: George Christopher | August 6, 2009

Evolution of Apple

I am a great fan of Apple products and was thrilled to see their evolution. Have a look.

The following picture is a preview. View the full size picture here.


Posted by: George Christopher | August 6, 2009

Everything you wanted to know about Google


It might take a couple of minutes to load the presentation below. Please wait.

Posted by: George Christopher | August 6, 2009

Who owns the fish?


This puzzle was allegedly written by Albert Einstein, who said that 98% of the people in the world would not be able to solve it. Are you one of the exclusive 2%?

There are five houses in a row, and each house is a different colour. The person living in each house has a different nationality. The five residents each drink different drinks, smoke different brands of cigar and have different pets, one of which is a goldfish.

1. The Brit lives in the red house.
2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
3. The Dane drinks tea.
4. The green house is on the left of the white house.
5. The green house owner drinks coffee.
6. The person who smokes Pall Malls keeps birds.
7. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhills.
8. The man living in the house right in the center drinks milk.
9. The man who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
10. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
11. The man who keeps horses lives next to the one who smokes Dunhills.
12. The owner who smokes Bluemasters drinks beer.
13. The German smokes Princes.
14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
15. The man who smokes Blends has a neighbor who drinks water.

Question is : Who owns the fish?

This is not a trick question and there is one true answer–pure applied logic will lead you to the one and only correct answer.


Posted by: George Christopher | August 5, 2009

Best Flex Resources and Tutorials Sites

Flex unlike Java does not have a large amount of resource on the net. But there are few very good sites and amazing developers who keep posting their work which can help the beginners in flex and even experienced developers to a great extent.

I have given below a compilation of best flex resources on the net which I found from here .

1.Flex Examples

Flex Examples

Peter deHaan currently works for Adobe on the Flex SDK QA team. He writes so many small tutorials that it’s hard to even keep up with this man on any level. I always go to this site if I am in need of a small specific item.

2. Dzone


Dzone is a great community based site for sharing developer links. The site is setup in a similar fashion as popular sites such as Digg or Reddit. The great thing is that this site has as many tutorials linked on it as anywhere else on the web.

3.Adobe Flex Developer Center and Cookbook

Flex Developer Center

The Adobe Developer Center is great resource for complete tutorials and articles on how to get started with Flex or any of the other Adobe products. The other Adobe resource is the Cookbook which is built off of community code snippets that solve small programming tasks.

4. Doug McCune

Doug McCune's Blog

Doug is a pretty big name in the Flex community (he gives presentations all over the country at Flex events), most of the items you are going to find on his site are examples of cool applications built using Flex. These examples usually include the source code. I would not strictly call them tutorials, but all the source and examples make it a great place to learn Flexing techniques. Flash Blog

Franto Flex and Flash Site

This blog is written by Frantisek Kormanak (Franto) and has great deal of posts on how to program in Flex and in Flash. I would say that most of his posts are informational and include great examples.

6. is the main community site for Flex developers, which includes a showcase and resources for everything from PHP to .Net.

7. Ryan Stewart

Ryan Stewart's Blog

Ryan Stewart is a Platform Evangelist for Adobe who is also a prolific blogger. He writes about anything involving RIAs and web technologies that catch his fancy. You can also check out his ZDNet blog here.

8. Alex Harui

Alex Harui's Flex Blog

Alex writes short posts that are usually nice Flex examples solving common and uncommon problems people run across in Flex. He works with the Adobe Flex core team in San Francisco.

9. Eric Feminella

Eric Feminella's Blog

This gentleman writes very interesting pieces on Flex, AS3, and programming architecture. He has given a lot of code to the community and is always trying to architect a new solutions for common issues.

10. Switch on the Code


Other good flex sites:

Posted by: George Christopher | August 5, 2009

FlexMonkey – Unit testing tool for Flex

I am a strong believer in unit testing and believe that these tests when integrated with the continuous build process ensure the quality of large applications. Junit for example is used in almost all Java applications for writing unit tests and they are integrated with the build process so that it alerts the users in case of any failures in tests because of a newly updated code. This feature is very useful especially if the code runs into millions of lines of code. Without these tools no one would be able to tell whether a newly added line of code would affect the functionality or not.

While I was searching for a tool like Junit for Flex, I came across FlexMonkey and I found it to be very useful. I have given below the details of the same.


FlexMonkey is a testing framework for Flex apps that provides for the capture, replay and verification of Flex UI functionality. FlexMonkey can record and playback Flex UI interactions, and generates ActionScript-based testing scripts that can easily be included within a continuous integration process. It uses the Flex Automation API and was created by extending Adobe’s sample automation adapter, AutoQuick.

Visit the FlexMonkey Project Home site for downloads and documentation. FlexMonkey has been donated to the Flex community by Gorilla Logic, who developed FlexMonkey because of their belief that only monkeys would develop code without being able to automate their testing.


  • Records and plays back Flex UI interactions
  • UI Interactions can be edited and replayed
  • Generates FlexUnit TestCases, and can also be used with non-FlexUnit-based testing frameworks
  • Works with Flex and AIR apps
  • Apps can be tested running standalone or in a browser
  • Tests can be run from build systems such as Ant
  • Handles all Flex UI events
  • Uses Flex Automation API to provide native control over your flex app. Requires no javascript or browser plug-ins to use.
  • Unit tests are written entirely in ActionScript. No other programming or special purpose scripting languages are needed to develop comprehensive UI test suites.
  • Non-invasive. Requires no modifications to your application source.



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