Tag Archives: MitzChauhan

Welcome to the Good Life: The Blueprint

Life is good – and here are a few things to introduce into yours, if you don’t agree, or need a ‘boost’….

  1. Drink Coconut water everyday – stay hydrated
  2. Eat whole foods everyday – stay healthy – follow the Four Pillars of Healthy Eating’ 
  3. Do Hot Yoga – and become a teacher like my housemate @YogaShirley!!
  4. Travel – and share your experiences
  5. Banish negativity from your Facebook – and yes – un-friend/un-follow!
  6. Read – all the time!
  7. Love family, friends and strangers alike
  8. And a personal one for career progression, that’s worked for me and my friends – learn ‘salesforce.com‘ and learn about the ‘Internet of things’ (iot) – this ‘Salesforce for Dummies‘ book may help get you there
  9. Smile as often as you can!
  10. Finally, my favourite: Get yourself a Ganesh NOW – to remind you daily that YOU have the power to remove any obstacles in life

Welcome to the Good Life!

My story:

I was fortunate to experience a few milestones which helped me along the way, which may not be relevant to everyone, but got me to where I am today – a happy place…..

I studied Engineering and Software Development at the University of Central Lancashire, UK.

I then moved to London, ended up working for a UK Startup – ‘GlobalExpense’, where I was able to implement a CRM for all aspects of business management – from Customer Support, Account Management, Invoice/Billing Management and Automation, QA and beyond – a fantastic opportunity – Item 9 on my list. We were later acquired by Concur Technologies, who are an incredibly innovative company with immense talent and foresight into the world of Business Travel. Prior to that acquisition, I had only traveled abroad 4 times in my life, but in the last few years, I have had the opportunity to travel to some wonderful places and experience differences in culture which opened my eyes and made me appreciate the world we live in, and everything in it – item 4 on my list. (Side Note: The fact that the owner is Indian made my mother very happy, and settled her heart – I’m 35 and unmarried -well past my ‘sell-by date’ – rebellious in an Indian culture!!!)

During my time in London, I was lucky enough to live with a good good friend, who having been a Dance Teacher, had 2 hip operations, lost one career, and had to ‘transform/pivot’  – she discovered Hot Yoga, and recently became a qualified Yoga instructor with Fierce Grace, taught by the first lady of Hot Yoga in Europe – Michele Pernetta – this helped me with points 1,2 and 3 on the list above – probably the most influential and positive items.

‘I Have a Dream’

I’ll finish with this: Several years ago, I really did have a dream, which I will summarize as follows:

If only all the children in the world could grow up with the belief that they all possess the power and ability to remove any obstacles presented to them in life.

Being of Indian origin, I thought – ‘we have something for that’ – Ganesh. A few conversations with my brother resulted in the creation of a new type of  ‘teddy bear’ – one that EVERY child should have regardless of cast, creed or religion – but being a workaholic, I was immersed in the world of Business (and travel), so my brother followed through, created that very ‘teddy bear’ – and today, I am so proud at what we were able to achieve – http://www.plushindia.com. There’s still lots to do, and lots more teddies to come, but we need your help and support to get there: If you got this far, I thank you, but I urge you to please go one step further: get yours now, and help make this a reality – and free up some space in my loft!!…. Namaste!






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Making my MaKeyMakey Beat Maker

When I first heard about the ‘MaKeyMaKey‘, I knew I’d have to get one, so when it finally arrived in January 2013, I was elated!! I went through several bananas, tested most things in the house for conductivity (including cats and dogs), and then thought about making a cheap ‘beat pad’. Here’s a short explanation of how I did that.

First, it’s probably worth visiting the MaKeyMaKey.com site for a quick rundown on how it works, but I’ll attempt cover it in one sentence here: it’s a device that replicates ‘key-presses’ on a keyboard, but you can connect each ‘key’ to a ‘thing’. So you could type an ‘A’ onto the screen by e.g. touching a banana. Pretty cool. Check out the official site here:


To make this work for a ‘beat pad’, I had to find software that allows a sound to be played, when I press a particular key on the keyboard. Although there are many music/studio applications that would allow you to do this, I wanted something really lightweight, simple to use, and cheap/free. I found that Soundplant was simple enough to cope with the task at hand.

I searched the web for free drum sounds and samples, and found a range of sites offering free sample packs. I download a few, and started to assign these samples to the keys I needed to trigger sounds.

Now I needed to gather all the parts to make the actual beat pad.. The list:

A MaKeyMakey
A laptop
Aluminium Foil
Sellotape/Insulator Tape
A Shoebox
Some wire
Software used: Soundplant

I started by cutting strips of foil, then folding them into squares, leaving a little bit sticking out, so I could attach a wire clip to it. I attached these foil squares to the lid of an old shoebox, and gave the device a quick test. Here’s a little video of the device, going through its first proof of concept test:

I completed the top of the box with 12 pads, and connected each of these to an output on the MaKeyMaKey, using the crocodile clips provided. I used a lot of insulator tape to make sure that everything stayed in place, and also to make the device look a little neater! I had finished creating my MaKeyMaKey beat pad, and was ready to plug the MaKeyMaKey into my laptop via USB.

The next job was to prepare the samples I wanted to use, so I used the Soundplant app to do this. Once I had found all the samples, I saved the configuration file, and began to plan a demonstration video. Here’s the first take of playing a beat using my new MaKeyMaKey Beatpad:

And here’s a video of me playing a beat to some spoken word, a reading by Seth Godin, of his book ‘The Icarus Deception’, which is also a great book – a recommended read.

Big thanks goes out to @ericrosenbizzle and @wakeupsilver for inventing the #MaKeyMaKey and @ThisIsSethsBlog for the #Kickstarter Project that allowed me to get ‘The Icarus Deception’ on vinyl (I’m old skool!). Also gotta say thanks to @YogaShirley for putting up with the annoying samples playing over and over again while I created my masterpiece!

I hope you enjoy these videos as much as I do! Play, Share, and let me know what you think!


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