Great Strength

As Elbert Hubbard said “It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires great strength to decide on what to do”.
Similarly in equity investing, it does not take much to trade, but it requires a great strength and patience to decide on what and when to trade.

From birth of transistor to tell tale brain

In the last post I listed my reading list for the year. Someone asked, which books will I recommend from this stack?
The books that come to the mind are…

1. The bell labs

Engrossing account of the birth of transistors and otheri bell lab inventions. Loved the way how the chapters were framed and how each was organized. 

2. Gun germs and steel

Long book but fascinating in many ways. Takes you back in time and unfolds the history bit by bit. Highly recommended. 

3. The tell tale brain

Another fascinating book. I thought I knew enough about the brain and this book explained everything I knew with a neurological twist. Loved it. After reading this you will never see brain with the same eyes. 

4. Survival of the fittest

Evolution from a genes perspective. Loved it and many a times, turned to YouTube to experience and learn more. 

5. Black swan

This is again a long book but fascinating. Read it for the longest time and still marinating on some of it idea. Cryptic language but love the way the author was playing with the reader throughout the books narrative. 
6. I built the Industrial Age Henry Ford

Started the book thinking I know the crux of the topic but found lot of new perspective. The author transforms the reader to a time when cars were just introduced. It reminds me of the digital and mobile transformation that is happening now. Loved the entire book although felt the organisation of chapters was a bit off for me.

Do you have any recommendations?

Reading for the summer 

I didn’t realise the power of a daily routine until the time I sat down to jot down this list in excel. 

After reading so many reading list type blog posts in my social media newsfeed, I decided to collate my reading so far. Here’s the list. A significant increase from the past and all because of two decision made in January.

A daily reading habit for 30 minimum minutes and no TV in the evening.  

  • Data a love story by Amy Webb
  • 59 seconds think a little, change a lot by Richard Wiseman
  • The Reluctant Mr Darwin by David Quammen
  • Darwin among machines by George Dyson
  • Math Geek: From Klein Bottles to chaos theory by Rosen, Raphael
  • Letters from a Father to His Son Entering College by Charles Franklin Thwing
  • Guns, germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
  • Give and Take by Adam Grant
  • Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
  • The ISIS apocalypse by Willam McCants
  • Respecting truth by Lee McIntyre
  • Why sex is fun by Jared Diamond
  • Deep work by Cal Newport
  • When to Rob a Bank by Steven D. Levitt
  • Curious by Ian Leslie
  • The Making of the Fittest by Sean B. Carroll
  • Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen
  • Value Investing: A Value Investor’s Journey Through The Unknown by Neely, J. Lukas
  • The Tell-Tale Brain by Ramachandran, V. S.
  • Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed
  • Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson
  • The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Gertner, Jon
  • The Wisest One in the Room by Thomas Gilovich and Lee Ross
  • Smarter Faster Better by Duhigg, Charles
  • I Invented the Modern Age: The Rise of Henry Ford by Richard Snow
  • Pebbles of Perception by Laurence Endersen
  • The black swan by Nicolas N Taleb
  • The human advantage by Suzana Herculano-Houze
  • Concorde by Jonathan Glancey
  • Food Rules by Michael Pollan
  • Made to Stick by Chip Heath
  • A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age: Scientific Habits of Mind by David J. Helfand
  • Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson
  • The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Stone, Brad
  • Brain Bugs by Dean Buonomano
  • The 5 Mistakes Every Investor Makes and How to Avoid Them by Peter Mallouk
  • Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • A Little History of Science by William Bynum
  • Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt
  • Bounce by Matthew Syed
  • The Halo effect by Phil Rosenzweig
  • Methods of Persuasion by Kolenda, Nick
  • Warren Buffett’s Ground Rules by Jeremy C. Miller
  • I Don’t by Susan Squire

What are you reading right now? 

Error spawning ‘cmd.exe’ and how to solve it


Yes I know the world have moved beyond visual studio 2013, but at office we are stuck with Visual studio 8 and after working for some time, it spits the following error.


Error 4 Error spawning ‘cmd.exe’.

Then, I have to close the visual studio and restart again. This works. Although not ideal, I was happy doing this as writing the method was more important than tinkering with visual studio.

Last week I had enough and decided to google and get this sorted.. So here’s the solution from ever useful stack overflow that worked like a charm for me.


Just open Tools -> Options -> Projects and Solutions -> VC++ Directories

and add these lines :


Now back to work!!!

Historical Primer on the Algorithms, and Techniques that are shaping our world

giants of machine learningLast year in April I attended a good course of machine learning which pushed my self learning to a new level. The course also introduced the language R and I have loved dipping with machine learning since then though most of it is done in python.

We had an excellent trainer with more than 20 years of experience in the field. I loved his 101 course in statistics as the prelude to the course and the practical examples that the trainer brought up while teaching us the mechanics of perceptrons, ridge regression etc.

What the course lacked was an historical perspective on machine learning and how it all came about as we now know it.

Found this excellent video that provides that perspective.

From the first meeting in summer of 1956 to the many A.I winters followed by the eventual emergence of deep learning, the below video provides an excellent historical primer on the algorithms, and techniques that are shaping our world.


The secret to balancing work and play

BooksToReadI like google photos on my smart phone. Love the way it organises the photos. I particularly like the feature “This day a year ago”…

Wish I had similar feature in my ebook reader, until that time, I will keep revisiting my notes from the already read books.

Here’s a note I stumbled across today. This is from book The Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun, which was one of the last year’s read..

The secret to balancing work and play is thinking of the mind as a filter. Instead of binary switches—open vs. closed, creative vs. routine—we want a sliding scale of openness that we can control.

If you want new ideas, you have to slide toward openness, turning some filters off, exploring thoughts you’d ordinarily reject offhand. Do this until some interesting ideas are found; then, gradually turn more filters on until you’re left with a handful that are both good and practical for the problem at hand.

Choosing which filters to apply when has much to do with successful innovation; it’s not just having an open mind, it’s also knowing when to postpone certain judgements, and then when to bring them back in.

If a mind is always open, it never finishes anything; if a mind is never open, it never starts.

Google are you listening!!!

Mixing debug and release libraries in Visual Studio

buffer overrun

Mixing debug and release code is bad practice.

Different compiled versions can depend on different fundamental parts of the C++ runtime library, such as how memory is allocated, structures for things like iterators might be different, extra code could be generated to perform operations. In particular, the std containers and iterators are different and incompatible and do not let this work.

Sometimes one get the following error

A buffer overrun has occurred in Program_64.exe which has corrupted the program’s internal state. Press Break to debug the program or Continue to terminate the program.

For more details please see Help topic ‘How to debug Buffer Overrun Issues’.

So are we stuck?

But what if you have inherited the release library and do not have the source code. You are stuck for development and if the compiler is not letting you to use these libraries in your debug development code.

But we are not entirely stuck, here’s a workaround that worked for me.

// the offending libraries
#include "quad.h"
#include "uqtktools.h"

#include "mytypedef.h"

using namespace std;

The work around

#ifdef _DEBUG
#undef _DEBUG
// the offending libraries
#include "quad.h"
#include "uqtktools.h"

#define _DEBUG

#include "mytypedef.h"

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