Archive for July 27, 2010

8 Essential Skills A Project Manager Must Posses

Many time people mistake that a good technical expert is expected to possess good project management skills. This is not necessarily true. Project manager are like small business owners and they need to know every aspect of  management. The general management skills are the foundation of a good project management practice.


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Here in this post we look at eight essential skills that every project manager must possess. Your mastery of them or lack of them is likely to affect the project outcome.

1. Communication Skills

One of the most important skill needed for every project manager is excellent communication skill. Project manager should ensure that project related communications are explicit, clear and complete to the audience. Just one miscommunication has a potential to derail the project.

2. Organizational Skills

Project manager have project documentations. minutes of meetings, project reports etc. They need to organize information well,organize meetings, put together teams and at times also organize media release schedules depending on the project.

3. Planning Skills

In order to stay organized, planning skills are very important. Project manager needs to plan the delivery milestones, plan meetings with clients, management teams etc. Planning skills go hand in hand with organizational skills and is one of the most important skill needed in addition to communication skills.

4. Budgeting Skills

As the project manager needs to manage the project in a given budget, his knowledge of finance and accounting principles are important. Essential skill is the ability to perform cost estimates for the project budgeting. Right from hiring cost, resourcing cost to apex cost, the project manager needs to budget them appropriately so the project does not over run the budget.

5. Conflict Management Skills

There are no projects without problems. Conflict management is resolving problems. It could be conflicts between team members or conflicts for some resource. The project manager should be able to clearly separate out the problems from cause and analyze the problem, the situation causing it etc and implement the best course of action.

6. Negotiation Skills

The negotiation starts at every stage of the project right from the beginning. Negotiation skill is essential as the project manager needs to negotiate various aspect like scope of the project, the schedule, cost, team structure that is needed to deliver the project, milestones and many other things that happen through out the project

7. Influencing Skills

Influencing skills go hand in hand with negotiation skills. Influencing is convincing the other party on the choice that project manager thinks is better than the other. Influencing requires an understanding of the formal and informal structure of all organization involved in the project.

8. Leadership Skills

Not all project managers turn out to be a good leader. But a project manager who has good leadership skills can impart vision, gain consensus for strategic goals, establish direction and inspire and motivate the team. Project manager must exhibit the characteristics of a leadership during different times in the project.

OpenStack – The Open Source Cloud Platform, Lets You Run Your Own Internal Cloud Infrastructure!

Rackspace has introduced OpenStack, an innovative, open source cloud computing software for building reliable cloud infrastructure. From small start-up to large scale enterprises can easily setup OpenStack cloud within the premises. We had featured Open Source Cloud Platforms available. OpenStack claims that none of the available Open Cloud is as flexible as Rackspace Cloud software that powers OpenStack.


Why OpenStack?

Main intention is to allow any organization to create and build cloud computing capabilities using the available standard hardware. OpenStack Compute is software for automatically creating and managing large groups of virtual private servers. OpenStack Storage is software for creating redundant, scalable object storage using clusters of commodity servers to store terabytes or even petabytes of data. This is a great effort by Rackspace which let you have your own cloud platform, incase you are not comfortable with the external cloud.

Break Free From Proprietary Lock-In

Absolutely free to download with Apache 2.0 license, OpenStack is truly open and takes changes from the community. A great way to have open and transparent software for the cloud geeks. The Open Source model removes the fear of proprietary lock-in for cloud customers.

Supported By Rackspace, NASA, Dell, Citrix and Many More

Rackspace and NASA have donated their source code to have this Open Cloud project going. RackSpace running the project with its donated code that powers its Cloud Servers to the OpenStack project. The project also has the technology from the Nebula Cloud Platform developed by NASA. There are many like Dell, Citrix, Intel, AMD etc who are supporting this initiative. Needless to say, the project is going to get lot of attention now.

Recetly Released

OpenStack was announced July 19th, 2010. Many components of OpenStack have been commercially used for years and now these technologies are released as open source software. Early code is now available on LaunchPad, with an initial release for OpenStack Storage expected in mid-September and an initial release for OpenStack Compute expected in mid-October.

via GigaOM

Train Your Brain And Master Your Memory Easily With Free Flashcard Software

Stop thinking that every passing year makes your memory fade. Its a complete misconception that your brain will automatically deteriorate with age. Its true that you need to look after your brain and train as you do for your body. While there are various methods to train your brain, flashcard is one of the well known methods that is used as a learning drill to aid memorization by way of spaced repetition. There is a wide range of software available for creating and using virtual flashcards as an aid to learning. There there some commercially ones and some open source software that help you create and use flashcards virtually and help in learning. Here in this post we look at free open source flashcard software.

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1. Anki


Anki is a software aimed at making remembering things easy. Using Anki helps you to decrease the time spent in studying and increase the time spent in learning. Its a apt tool for anyone who wants to learn languages or study for medical or law or even memorizing guitar chords.  With its support for images, audio, videos and scientific markup (via LaTeX), the possibilities are endless. For example: it benefits anyone who needs to remember things in daily life.

The free software is available for download. It supports Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and freeBSD. The mobile version is also available for iPhone and Android phones.


2. Mnemosyne


Mnemosyne is a sophisticated free flash-card tool which optimizes your learning process. Its a software as a result of a research into the nature of long-term memory. With its use of sophisticated algorithm, it schedules the best time for a card to come up for review while memorizing question answer pair. Difficult cards that you tend to forget quickly will be scheduled more often as the Mnemosyne software does not waste your time on things you remember well.

The free software is available for downloa. It supports Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

The plugin called Mnemogogo allows you to review cards on Android phones and the there is also Mnemojojo for phones with Java.


Free Open Source Software Image Processing For Biologists And Researchers

Biologists, Clinical Researchers, Druggists, Chemical engineers etc often analyze image obtained from microscopes etc. This is a specialized image processing and reimagequires specialized software. Often, these software are not reachable for independent researchers sometimes. If you are biologist or a hobbyist just trying to understand microscopic image processing, then you could try these open source software tools. They may not be as capable as the proprietary software but would be a great way to start. 


CellProfiler is a free and open source software that helps biologists analyze cell/non cell images without much knowledge on computer or programming. Lots of tutorials for you to start!

Tissue Sample



Fiji is an plug-in oriented image processing package. It is based on ImageJ but with Java, Java 3D and a lot of plug-ins organized into a coherent menu structure. The main focus of Fiji is to assist research in life sciences, helps review images. It is easy to install and has an automatic update function, bundles a lot of plug-ins and offers comprehensive documentation.



ImageJ is a Java based image processing software that run as an applet as well as a downloadable app. It can display, edit, analyze, process, save and print 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit images. It can read many image formats including TIFF, GIF, JPEG, BMP, DICOM, FITS and "raw". It supports "stacks", a series of images that share a single window. It is multithreaded, so time-consuming operations such as image file reading can be performed in parallel with other operations.



Endrov is a multi-purpose image processing tool. It can analyze images from Microscope too.


Great Free and Open Source Molecular Modeling Software List

Scientists have always been looking for Molecular Modeling software, which enables them to view structure of molecules in 2D and 3D space, rotate them as they wish, undersimagetand molecular patterns, DNA/RNA structures etc. These are highly focused/specialized software with lots of software development costs involved from scientific research companies. Interestingly, there are quite a few Open Source tools that can help one understand the Molecule details, perform molecule modeling etc. This is really encouraging for those who admire and support such open software tools. Please support them if you like! 

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Gabedit is a graphical user interface to computational chemistry packages like Gamess-US, Gaussian, Molcas, Molpro, MPQC, OpenMopac, PCGamess and Q-Chem. It can display a variety of calculation results including support for most major molecular file formats. The advanced "Molecule Builder" allows to rapidly sketch in molecules and examine them in 3D. Graphics can be exported to various formats, including animations.



Jmol is an open-source Java viewer for chemical structures in 3D with features for chemicals, crystals, materials and biomolecules and much more.



PyMOL is a molecular viewer, render tool, and 3D molecular editor developed in the spirit of RasMol and OpenRasMol and intended for visualization of 3D chemical structures including atomic resolution X-ray crystal structures of: proteins, nucleic acids (DNA, RNA, & tRNA), and carbohydrates, as well as small molecule structures of drug leads, inhibitors, metabolites, sugars, nucleoside phosphates, and other ligands including inorganic salts and solvent molecules.

A Virus Visualization



QuteMol is an open source, interactive, high quality molecular visualization system. QuteMol exploits the current GPU capabilities through OpenGL shaders to offers an array of innovative visual effects. QuteMol visualization techniques are aimed at improving clarity and an easier understanding of the 3D shape and structure of large molecules or complex proteins.



RasMol is a program for molecular graphics visualization originally developed by Roger Sayle. RasMol is a molecular graphics program intended for the visualization of proteins, nucleic acids and small molecules. The program is aimed at display, teaching and generation of publication quality images. RasMol runs on wide range of architectures and operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, UNIX and VMS systems.



Sirius is a component-based visualization framework designed for application in molecular modeling, drug discovery, protein structure analysis, as well as database mining and sequence-based work. It is equally suited for protein and small molecule construction and visualization.



Molekel is an open-source multi-platform molecular visualization program. It cross-platform, works on Linux, Windows as well as Mac OS! and rendering features etc.


Are there any better ones?

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