Middle East Mess Recipe

French President Jacque Chirac recently said:

“Democracy is not a method; it’s a culture, Reform is not imposed from the outside. It is accomplished from the inside.” See the full report report

This is a very sensible comment from the French. I only wish they had pursued this line of argument to oppose the war in Iraq at an earlier date. They have further emphasized that democracy can’t be achieved in the Middle East without solving the Arab-Israeli conflict. Focusing on solving this conflict is the most sensible thing leading world nations can do rather than identifying a target list of rogue nations, axis of evil etc. and going around invading them. Given the mess that has been created in the middle east, thanks to the current US administration, its painful but true that this mess can be fairly easily re-created given the right framework. So here goes…

  • Picture this — you are assigned to maintain law and order in a town where two groups are constantly clashing because of certain differences.
  • Don’t try to address the differences between the groups, instead simply draw up a short list of you favorite violent elements and start beating them up!
  • Then you go around making statements in favor of one of the groups.
  • Imprison a bunch of people and torture and humiliate them. Make sure youtae some pictures
  • And remember when all hell breaks loose, make sure no one takes responsibility, and don’t fire anyone.
  • Lastly, be sure to start a lengthy investigation which will lead no where, of course.
  • Throw in a bit of religion if you care for any and your own “Middle East Mess” is ready.

    DAC 2004 — It’s all time and place!

    I took a day trip to San Diego to check out Design Automation Conference 2004’s exhibits on Mon 6/7. The best part about the travel is that the convention center is barely 10 min away from the airport. As expected there were so many DAC visitors on the plane that I piled on with three others on a taxi ride!

  • As always I renewed a number of old contacts and made a few new ones. I thought the attendance was a shade better than last year.
  • Logicvision didn’t turn up (either they are saving on cash or don’t find this conf. useful anymore) this year. The last time I noticed a company that didn’t show up was Get2Chip. It was acquired shortly thereafter.
  • The EDA industry hasn’t changed much from an outsider’s perspective. Still a $3-4B industry. Very critical to the semiconductor industry, but can’t seem to get paid more for the value they provide. Three large players (Mentor, Synopsys, Cadence) and one up and coming large player (Magma). Then a whole slew of startups, all mostly providing niche products and hoping to be acquired by one of these big three.
  • Mentor acquired 0-In and Matrixone acquired Synchronicity.
  • An interesting perspective from Intel CTO. There could be some interesting changes in the industry with some new stuff coming up to address the issues he talks about. As chips get smaller, designing them efficiently so they turn out in high quality in a predictable fashion is not going to be easy. I suspect there are some new opportunities here. I also think that there is a huge opportunity in education/training. So much of new tools and technologies that are going to fundamentally transform design methodologies and so many people the world over to be trained and supported!
  • Most of the standup folks hired in the booths were pretty lame.
  • The Cadence booth was perennially full, thanks to the free food. Unlike last year no free beer was served after 4.00 pm.
  • Lastly, I shook hands with Art de Geus, Synopsys CEO when he came by to meet my publisher (I happened to be talking with him). I also shook hands with the Cadence CTO, Ted Vucurevich (again, I happened to be talking with an old acquaintance at the Cadence booth). My moment of glory and brush with fame, ladies and gentlemen! …..it’s all about time and place 🙂

    Presidential Election – How about GC holders?

    The recent Businessweek had a good article on the Presidntial election and why the process of electing the President has to change. Very well researched, analyzed and written.

    I wish they had mentioned about voting rights for green card holders. If green card holders live here for many years and pay taxes like anyone else, it makes sense that they have a right to vote, especially, given that these days the US President can wreck havoc all over the globe.

    Museum of Dotcomm era excesses

    There is no better place to see first hand how much things have changed since the dotcomm days. I recently visited our ISP’s co-location facility. Man, that place is like a ghost town. A large lobby with just one attendant! If you are not careful you’ll miss him. You get your access approval from him and find your way through several doors and corridors until you get to your servers. Its cold and empty!

    I remember the days when the same facility was packed with people and machines. In those days, if you were not careful you could easily mess up the neighboring servers. Today so many cages are empty with no machines whatsoever. There is an eerie silence and emptiness that is almost frightening.

    Operation Legacy – The SCCC Veterans Rendezvous

    A fledgling but fast going group of Santa Clara Cricket Club Veterans got together yesterday at the Tied House in Mountain View throwing caution to the winds and guzzling eye-brow raising amounts of beer, bringing back memories of the early to mid 90s when Tony & Alba’s, Duke of Edinborough and other joints suffered from acute beer shortage until Krish-bhai flew to Germany for re-fills and fresh supplies.

    The SCCC veteran’s coterie included Kiran, Bharat, Prasad, Babu, TR and Pran. Krish and Radha were unable to attend as was Pradeep. It was an extremely warm day, so warm that Bharat-bhai lost his way (very much like old times) and made it to the 5 pm meeting shortly after 6.00 pm. TR braved a meeting with his boss at 5.30 pm and arrived shortly before the end of happy hour. So happy were the rest of the veterans assembled there that they promptly ordered another beer to welcome TR and kiss a painful goodbye to the Happy Hour.

    Beer & Apps flowed as the veterans reminisced about old times and simultaneously hatched a plan to form a stealth team to challenge the best of current SCCC-ites. However, there was a clear dilemma — should we stake out our ageing muscles and challenge the best of SCCC or “take it easy” and butt heads against the socials. This issue is still open to debate and will be finalized after subsequent discussions within the impromptu veterans governing council. The current target date is around 10, July subject to availability and fitnesss of the veterans, the oppenents, the grounds etc. The war cry on both sides is clear, “Bring them on!”

    As for the news update and other highlights—

  • Bombay is now based in Bangalore. If India can shine, Naidu can be logged out, Govinda and Jayprada can win, sure Bombay can be in Bangalore. The veterans are hoping they can organize a get together when he is here next and absorb some his limitless energy.
  • Bharath-bhai is with a startup in San Bruno. Babu is gearing up to re-join the work force (stay tuned for a more formal announcement regarding this). TR and Prasad are in the semiconductor business as they have been historically. Your truly still has his start-up gig going. Kiran, formerly with Andiamo Networks is now with Cisco. Someone asked if Andiamo Networks got its name from Andy Bechtolsheim 🙂
  • Prasad-bhai said he used to walk four times a day (before the kids came along) and promptly corrected himself to say he used to walk four times a week!

    There were a couple of humorous moments before Kiran and Bhrath-bhai arrived. The veterans who had assembled were anxiously looking at everyone who entered the Tied House to confirm if they were part of the veteran’s coterie. One turned out to be a woman and another an elderly gentleman in his 50s. These mistaken identities were put to bed the moment Kiron strolled out displaying supreme fitness as he grabbed the first pint with the ease of a sharp catch at square leg.

    Prasad-bhai was the first wicket to fall after barely managing a pint, while Babu who survived several close calls on his cell phone until he said “I am on my way!” to the approving nod of the other SCCC veterans, who seem to imply, “Been there, done it!”. TR was open to a carrying his bat into the night given his temporary bachelorhood, but unfortunately he was soon running out of partners, barring an MT correspondent who offered him a polite stroll to the parking lot.

    On popular demand, Morgan Times might have some re-runs in the run up to the battle of “The Men vs. The Boys” provided the archives are still available. Stay tuned…

    p.s: If you are a SCCC veteran and would like re-join the fast growing circuit please contact a veteran nearest you or simply respond on this blog and you’ll be notified of the next rendezvous.