Friday, January 20, 2012

My 2011 Read List

This time around, I want to talk about books. Particularly about titles that I read in 2011 that are worth some reviews; I reckon too much of FingerTec talk sometimes could bore the audiences.

Last year, I bought about 100 books in total and a few eBooks from Kobo and not counting my magazine subscriptions. Some books are for references; some are trashed after a few chapters, and only 30 or so that I read cover to cover. Here I introduce a few English books that I like.  

1. MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and The World  - Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams
Tapscott is a thought leader in digital world. This MacroWikinomics should be an extension of his observation for mass collaboration, in a larger scale after the published of Wikinomics in 2006. In this book, he gives some true examples on how MacroWikinomics happened in business, government and civil society.

2.  A World Without Islam - Graham E. Fuller
This book is NOT about criticizing Islam. In fact it concluded that the global confrontations wouldn’t be lesser if the world is without Islam. Fuller, a former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA gives a lot of analysis and proofs that the conflicts and tensions that exist between the West and the East are geopolitically mounted, rather than caused by religious origins. The discussions are not confined to Islam only; in relation to Islam, it broadly covers the Christianity, cultural, politics, economic, history and more.

3. Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacton
I don’t prefer celebrity biographies, and I hardly buy or read any memoir. But this was an exception to me. We are in an IT-related business and a person like Steve Jobs is such a legend that the details of his life are worth a look at.

4. The Takeover  - Stephen Frey
I bought this book in a second-hand bookstore. I have a few books of Stephen Frey, some I finished and some I discarded half way. My last purchase, Hell’s Gate unfortunately felt in the latter category. This one so far I think is his best. If you want business world’s thriller, this is it.

5. Fall of Giants - Ken Follet
I have a full collection of Ken Follet’s books. This is the first book of his trilogy about the change of the major world powers before and after the World War 1, written in a style that gives it a lot more fun than a history book. I would definitely consider getting his second installment due this coming September.

 6. The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga
This is Aravind Adiga’s debut novel that won him a Booker Prize. I bought the book, expecting some surprises to be in store and it didn't disappoint. I must say that I enjoy books written by Indian writers, especially one like Rohinton Misty who beautifully and powerfully depicts the harsh life in India.

Aravind’s White Tiger novel has a more comical feel. The low-life chauffeur turned “social entrepreneur” tells his own story, justifying his crime, and at the same time, revealing the rampant corruption that has eroded the Indian democracy system.

7. The Fear Index - Robert Harris
In my view, I found Ghost Writer more interesting in film rather than a read, but nevertheless, Robert Harris is still one of my favorite writers. His latest work, The Fear Index, is a combination of technological, financial and psychological fiction, which brings an interesting and creative turn to the book.

His ancient Rome trilogy, based on the tale of Cicero’s slave secretary, Tiro, is another intriguing piece although it seems like Robert Harris has totally forgotten his mission to complete the trilogy - after the publication of Imperium and Lustrum, I, for one, have been eagerly awaiting for news of the third and final part.

8. Animal Farm - George Orwell
We all know George Orwell because of his classical 1984, which was first published in 1948, the famous prophetic haunting tale about the “Thought Police” and the “Big Brother”. This novel was first published in 1946; and I bought the digital copy, as the printed copy is a rare in major bookstores. Both Animal Farm and 1984 criticize totalitarianism, and the author uses animals as characters in his Animal Farm.  

by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Historical Record For Every Terminal

Our practical branding concept continues to bring us some new and innovative systems that benefit resellers and customers, this time we introduce CloudTrack.

Yes, this is a cloud computing technology platform, but no, this is not a system for  sale. This is an additional support system from FingerTec to make sure that as our sales grow, our technical support improves to the benefit of every party involves in FingerTec business.

This system is expected to provide convenience to our resellers and technical team in tracking every terminal’s historical records, complete with necessary information required to perform technical support.

It begins with this simple idea: Every respectful human life keeps a medical record for doctors to issue the right prescription in time of need. What if the same practice is applied to a machine?

Many manufacturers don't bother to know where and to who the device has been sold to and they would rather consider their obligation fulfilled so long as the limited warranty is provided and served.

But to be different, we are pleased to consider a functional device as having a life of its own. Imagine that it was born to serve its master whom has different expectations. Its burden of workload depends on the total workforce and the nature of business of its master. Hence, keeping a 'healthy body' all the time is fundamental for a machine to serve its master well. If you can pull records of a specific machine at anytime and check on its health condition even for the slightest hiccup, and be able to give an immediate and right treatment on the machine, wouldn't you want to?

The only reason that deterred us from introducing the CloudTrack much earlier was due to the difficulty of integration with our backend accounting system. In fact, we had quite some talk with the supplier in the past years, and the breakthrough came  only early last year.

With respect for all life, there is a thread of health records keeping track of the devices' well-beings. And after a device is 'born' from the production line, its full "maternity" record i.e model, serial number, firmware version, core board and MCU version, and etc. would be uploaded to the CloudTrack for easy reference. Resellers who bought the devices are given the rights to access the  records, they are encouraged to continue the trail by filling up where and to who the device had finally gone to, and enrich the biodata whenever they perform technical supports to the particular device.

I believe that one of the reasons our business continues to grow is because we never underestimate the capacity to accommodate technical supports that usually increased in tandem with the sales growth. Besides adding a few technical personnel, a good system would definitely play an important role. 

by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ