Friday, December 30, 2005

Ending the year on a high note

Year 2005 has been remarkable for me in many ways. Both personally and professionally I have tasted both success and failures. Here I am trying to be more pragmatic in accepting the failures.

In terms of blogsphere, I had a 'joshful' year. I had been bloging through the year capturing vivid memories of happenings, thoughts and perspectives. It is quiet eventful to end the year on a high note, look at the graph to see for yourselves.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

slap on the face of politicians

Infosys chief and mentor Narayana Murthy while delivering his alumni address at NIT bangalore, delivered slur against the inexplicable corrupt politicians of the state.

Link to rediff article

The highlight of the address is the stat
"Indians, the chief mentor of the Nasdaq-listed IT major said, spent over Rs 21,000 crore (Rs 210 billion) in bribes and illegal payouts in 2004 -- close to one per cent of the country's GDP."

Could our mighty politicians who trumpet their own virtues answer this one?

Monday, December 26, 2005

Tamizh Murasu

"Tamizh Murasu" is the new tamil evening news paper from Sun TV group. Sun TV and all their associate channels are doing major ad campaign for this eveninger. In the recent times it has been under the controversy of blowing out the chennai relief stampede death victim number out of propotion.

The ad campaign for this paper shows people reading the paper while traveling back from work in a (uncrowded) Pallavan bus (seeing such a lightly crowded bus is quiet impossible). Though I could not imitate to that extent.. at the least I read it along the streets in TNagar area of chennai. Photo courtesy by Arun.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Addiction to Coffee

The smell of the roasted coffee beans is very hard to resist. Though I try to keep my addiction to coffee as low as possible but sometimes the smell turns me down. I had to resist myself getting addicted to coffee as more caffeine leads to migraine.

For the past few weeks I am breaking the rule at least once. I see a very bleak chance of avoiding coffee in the days to come.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Grunt work at MS

Via plaxoed

An excerpt from a post relating to work done by a college hire in MS

I've seen many college hires at Microsoft put into positions where they are taking care of build scripts, fixing bugs in code they didn't write, and setting up test machines - basically doing the "grunt work".

This answers the question that I had in my mind for a long time. It also raises another question, who really does the core work?

Contribution to NGO

Depending on the government to do good things or improve infrastructure is not going to materialize. Even public private partnerships initiated by the Karnataka gov is faltering. The best example is the Bannerghatta road where the relaying of the whole road has started with gov and private constructions partnering. But the work has stopped in between and the whole road is again a mess.

NGOs has done a great amount of good work for the benefit of the society and people. I feel that some NGOs could also take up the work of building infrastructure in cities. In order to pool money for such noble cause, the citizens should have privilege to contribute a part of their taxes to the NGO of their choice. That way there will be much more accountability to the tax money that we pay and much more transparency in the work that has been carried out in our tax money and better infrastructure.

The million dollar question is whether the gov and politicians agree to this?

If by all wonder this happens, how are going to prevent corrupt politicians by starting NGOs on their surrogate names?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Posting from desktop posting tool

via plaxoed

I just read about w.bloggar in a post by Mark Jen. Thought of trying though I had skepticism whether Blogger will be supported. It is cool... blogger has exposed a set of predefined APIs for these kind of desktop posting applications and w.bloggar perfectly implements it.

This pretty app gives us control to draft and store the posts even when you are not connected. Once you get connected, you can upload the posts in a click. Quiet awesome.

Need to try how this copes with photos.

Monday, December 12, 2005

On the verge of loosing credibility

I had been to chennai over the weekend to attend a friend's marriage. We made this trip even with the forecast of cyclone "Funoos" making a land fall on Saturday between Chennai and Nagapattinum and prediction of heavy rainfall on the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu.

Sun TV has been showing footages of flood ravaged chennai for the past few weeks stating that major parts of the city has been marooned with flood water. Sun News channel showed raining footage on Friday evening. These footages gave us jitters as there was an imminent cyclone waiting to hit and we need to make sure that we return to bangalore on Monday.

I was quiet relieved when I landed in chennai to see that the main parts of city was pretty dry. There were hardly any water logging and felt that even if it rained heavy for the next day or so, there should not be any problem for us. Luckily the Rain God gave the much needed respite to chennai with very little showers on the next two days.

In my perspective, Sun TV has blown these flood related incidents out of proportion. They have created huge hype as if Chennai is under water and the state gov has turned deaf ears towards these pressing issues.

This is not the first time that the Sun TV network does this mistake. Yesterday, Sun TV showed a flash news stating that there was a major bomb explosion in London which has been extensively covered in their evening news paper "Tamil Murasu". In a short while most of the news channels reported that the explosion was in a oil depot with no casualties reported. In order to publicize and sell their news paper, such hypes are created. Sun TV is quiet on the verge of loosing their credibility !

Thursday, December 08, 2005

What do you watch in TV?

From 8:30pm to 10:00pm every week day is the prime time for TV channels when the viewership is maximum. During this period, tamil cable TV channels show up their addicting mega-serials. The channels come up with their best, to hook the viewers to their channel and maximize ad revenue. I guess the ads shown during these prime times are booked at max cost per second.

Of all the tamil channels Vijay TV some how doesn't understand this simple logic. They show unattractive and stupid programs during these periods except for a mega serial by name "Ethu ooru kadhal kadhai" in the slot of 8:30pm to 9:00pm.

Sun TV captures the whole viewership by hosting some variety programs for 8:30 to 9:00pm slot and with "Kolangal" during 9:00 to 9:30pm slot and with "Selvi" during 9:30 to 10:00pm slot. Most of the households are hooked on to these mega serials. Even our house inmates are hooked recently to these serials as there is no other good programs to watch at that time.

Some facts to ponder about mega-serials:
  • Even if you miss a couple of episodes, you won't feel the gap.
  • The whole story can be told within a A4 sheet
  • The whole story revolves around a central character/cast
  • All situations and turning points affect only the central character.
  • As expected the central character comes out in flying colors at the end
  • Off late most of the central characters are being done by women (best way to hook the households)

Before we started with these tamil mega-serials we use to watch "Full House" played by Zee English. In recent days we have turned to tamil mega-serials, donno when it is gonna make us boredom.

Monday, December 05, 2005

KPN monopoly and pathetic customer service

KPN Travels India Ltd is one of the most prominent night service travels that connects Bangalore to almost every other place in Tamil Nadu. Though there are quiet a few other travels (Sharma, Conti, GokulRaj, etc) they do not provide connectivity to the extent KPN provides. It is fair to say that KPN is a monopoly operating regular night bus service to various places from and to Tamil Nadu. For those who are not familiar with KPN, it is something similar to GreyHound services in US.

With the IT boom, KPN has also grown over the period of time. With their business flourishing and growing leaps and bounds and with no competition in the field they had started taking advantage of the situation.

Firstly the ticket charge is very hefty compared to train charges. There is no control over the ticket charges and the customers are left to the mercy of the management. They have kept revising the rates often. For instance, three years ago, the ticket fare to Erode from Bangalore is Rs 190 (distance is 280 kms). Now it stands at Rs 250. Train fare is just 180 Rs. And during festival times when most of the people move to their hometowns, you need to really haggle around for the tickets as the cost skyrockets abnormally.

Secondly they never manage time properly. You would be asked to report at a particular time and the bus will arrive to pick you up an hour or so later. Until then you need to wander aimlessly on the pavements along the road or wait in the dungeon that KPN madiwala provides. For instance this week I was made to report at 11:00 pm and the bus arrived at 12:00 am. One hour I had to stand on the pavements.

Thirdly they do not have any proper hassle free arrangements to enable customers board the bus. Since there are umpty buses leaving for different places at the same time, it is left to customers responsibility to go and find their own buses. KPN management doesn't provide you either a boarding pass with bus number or other means to properly identify a bus, nor there are any public announcement to help the inconvenience. It is always a mystery. This has let many passengers missing their buses for which management claims no responsibility.

Fourth, they have very little respect for the customers as they are under the pretext that even if one turns away, there are much more unsavy customers to pick up the seats. This happened to me over the last week. My seat was in the last row and behind my seat in the empty space they have filled luggages in such a way that I cannot push-back my seat. Even after complaining to the ticket checker, nothing really happened. They did not even mind if one shouts.

I have seen unruly scenes almost every time I travel through KPN for one reason or the other. It is a total pathetic service worth nothing for the big bucks you spend. I have made up my mind to move away and I swear that I will not travel by KPN here after. I knew a couple of my friends keep up this promise for quiet a while. It is time to move on and teach them a hard lesson.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Air pollution check

The Hindu (30-Nov-2005) reported that in Bangalore "Care for Air" campaign has been launched. The report highlights that autos running on adulterated fuel causes major concern.

" Autorickshaws running on adulterated fuel are causing concern. Diesel and petrol are mixed with kerosene and used engine oils."

I would like to suggest an active feedback mechanism to check the air pollution caused by autos. Connect the auto exhaust to the driver. Autos has exhaust openings in the back. Extend that exhaust pipe and put it in front of the drivers face. This is the active feedback mechanism that I have devised.

I got this idea from software management process where active feedback about the process is considered as important. Similarly the auto drivers needs to know how much they pollute the air. Let them enjoy the nonsense they create. What say!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Bloglines feeds omit pictures

I have seen this happening multiple times in bloglines. When you have subscribed to a blog and if the post contains pictures along with text, the pictures are omitted. Often most of the pictures are missed. This little bug is pretty annoying as I need to get back to the blog the see the pictures.

Since this happens irrespective of the blog hosting sites, I am guessing that this issue has to do with bloglines and not with the webhosts or rss.

First hand experience with Nokia 770

We had a non-boring weekend with a new gadget at our disposal. Nokia 770 Tablet PC gave us a good company. Usual lull weekends was replaced by active testing of Nokia 770. I am pretty spell-bound at looks of this pretty tablet PC.

The first thing that stuck me is that the tablet PC runs on a customized ported version of Linux. Pretty inspiring to get a feel of that. Second best is the highly usable UI in that platform. Hooking the tablet to internet using the Wi-fi is a breeze. With the stylus as the input medium you have choices of using a Virtual Keyboard or hand-written recognition as the input medium. You get the input medium popped up when you get the focus to a text-box where data can be entered. The hand-written recognition was pretty sturdy and handled the scribblings well.

The tablet PC comes pre-installed with highly used standard set of applications like PDF reader, Browser, Notes, Calc, Audio/Video player, Games (Chess, Majo, etc), Email and IM. One could also install applications of their own choice. Additional memory slot is available.

All together it is a handy gadget for frequent travelers.

A review of Nokia 770 from The Register, UK.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Nat Geo programs sucks

I really mean it. I had a couple of such bad experiences with Nat Geo. They do not really produce the program up to their hype. It is not about the content they present but the way the program is produced. It really sucks :-(

Nat Geo Investigates:
Slot: Weekdays @ 10 pm
The much hyped series is about Nat Geo investigating and throwing some light on the complicated investigations of major/critical accidents or incidents.

This program runs for an hour with commercial breaks in between. And after each break they recap the incidents from zero. I bet if you turn on to the program even on the last minute you should be able to catch up the crux of the investigation. They drag the program with no contents to cover up the entire slot.
They dilute the entire contents though they use advanced graphics and other technologies to re-enact the incidents.

Nat Geo Mission Udaan:
Slot: Sundays @ 10pm
From their website:
"Bombing orders, strategy meetings, top secret briefings. Everything that happens behind the closed doors of the IAF is about to be thrown open. Hear directly from the Marshal of the IAF as he tells you, in his own words, what it takes to keep the IAF fighting fit. ThereƂ’s only one show in the world that can show you all this. Nat Geo, in association with the Indian Air Force, presents Mission Udaan. A unique reality series that will take you right into the heart of the IAF."

On their first show yesterday they didn't keep up their words. I got really frustrated. I am a bit excited about planes and jets. Given a chance I wish I could know more about IAF, its operations and the jets. Nat Geo opened the show with a footage from Kargil and how the IAF helped Army to recapture the peaks. That is the end of it.

Then they showed the history of IAF and pre-independence existence. The one hour show went on without telling us about the current status of IAF and their capabilities. The program then took us to the selection of cadres which Nat Geo has organized in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and their process.

Does this program stick to the statement that is given?
I feel it is not worth tuning to Nat Geo any more.


One night @ Call Center is the novel that I read over the last week. It is by Chetan Bhagat, his second novel after the bestseller Fivepoint Someone novel. It is good to see an Indian writer writing novels targeting Indian readers and printed & published by an Indian publishing house (Ruppa & Co). The reason that I say that the novel targets Indian readers is because the story line is much more what you see around you.

In terms of my personal review, I feel that ON@CC has not made that good impact on me as Fivepoint Someone did. I think the following are the reasons
1. The author picks the same personal narrative style used in his previous novel. He tells the story through the character.
2. The qualities of the hero is as same as the one in Fivepoint Someone. An average guy who lacks self-confidence.
3. The hero-in fills the same quarters of the story as characterized in the previous novel. The hero and hero-in goes for dates and have physical relationships.
4. Finally the hero recognizes his potential gains confidence.

At the outset the storyline feels one and the same.
The usage of simple and less complicated words makes much sense for the Indian public as the majority are not that well articulated. The less confusing plot also adds up the point.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


It is my 27th Birthday. The day break passed on smoothly without much fanfare which use to happen in college days. I guess all of us are growing up so no more bumps. Got a whole lot of wishes from friends in all circles.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bangalore Traffic

I was not used to bangalore traffic until recently. My office use to reside pretty close (2-3 kms) to my residence and I do not cross major roads or traffic signals. When people complained about traffic snarls and crumbling infrastructure, it made very little sense to me. Though I understand their concerns, it wasn't pain in the butt for me.

Now I need to do a long (8-9 kms) daily commute to the office. And I go through Koramangala inner ring road, Domlur junction and Airport Road. All these roads are pretty congested during the peak hours and now I really feel the pain in the butt. On an average with average traffic the commute takes about 25 mins. The same commute during peak hours jumps twice that is, takes 50 - 60 mins.

I do see a lot many ways to improve the traffic congestion.
1. Sync-up the traffic signals
2. Place bus-stops at less congested places (Only in bangalore I have seen bus-stops immediately after a turn which adds up to the traffic woes)
3. Put proper medians along the road
4. Construct Fly-overs for congested junctions

The incessant rains has done enough damage to road surfaces. Take a look of the potholes that has been left in the city roads from bangalorepothole site.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Natwar in bench

You might be aware of the recent news about Volcker report and its repercussions. Natwar Singh has been striped off his external affairs portfolio, which literally means that he is in bench now.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Gmail down

It seems that GMail is suffering. I have never noticed this long down time period for GMail. I guess something majorly got messed up. I see lot of people also reporting the same.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

CellOne Plan 100 for Central/State govt employees

Quiet a novel and useful way to catch market.

BSNL CellOne has introduced a cheap post paid plan for Central/State government employess "Plan 100".
With monthly rental of 100 Rs and rest other deposits and connection charges waived off, this is quiet a good plan to opt for low call volume government servants. This will rake up the number of mobile connections that BSNL CellOne will own.

Logistical failure of movie halls in Erode

Last weekend I along with my parents and brother went for a movie (Ghajini, the latest release in Tamil staring Surya and Asin) in Erode. It is very rare that we go out for a movie. One reason being that my parents are not movie buffs (they like to peacefully relax at home munching snacks in the evening).

So the evening unfolded as myself and my brother went ahead to book tickets for the movie. The movie hall doesn't have a booking. Second major logistical failure is that the tickets doesn't have seat number. So after getting the ticket you have rush to the hall to secure your seats. Pathetic :-). This rule is same for all class of tickets right from second, first class and even for Balcony.

One good thing is that TamilNadu government has banned smoking and spitting in movie halls. So the canteen no more sell Cigarettes, Paans and Gutkas. Way to go!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Ganguly hate site

Ganguly has gone to an extent of attracting a hate site in his name. Hate sites are very rare in India.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Wi-fi access in Legend Koramangala

Just had been to the restaurant Legend in Koramangala. I am bit astonished to see that the restaurant being Wi-Fi enabled. It is free of cost. Carry your Wi-fi enabled laptop, get hooked to 512 kbps connection, carry on with your business while munching your lunch/tiffon.

Gmail Auto save feature

Gmail has a new Auto save feature. It is a boon. I use to loose mail contents that I had typed because of combination of enabling keyboard shortcuts and auto refresh of gmail.

Most of the time when I am mid-way typing the mail, a refresh would take the focus away from the TextField and Gmail web app responds to the keyboard enteries as shortcuts discarding the mail contents that I had typed.

The auto save feature saves a draft every few minustes and I will not be loosing contents badly as I was.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

CCD advisory notice from Canon, Sony,...

Close on the heels of Canon's advisory notice to customers on faulty CCD in their camera's many other digital camera manufacturers have also provided advisory notices.

Konica - Minolta

Canon Customer Service responsiveness

As I posted earlier about my camera problem, I had been in touch with the Canon Service Center representatives in India. They are polite and responsive. Approchable through email and you get prompt replies. They have adviced me to give my camera for repair to M/s Deendhayal camera & co in bangalore.

I am keeping my fingers crossed till I receive my camera back with free CCD replacement or repair.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Darshan of Lord Muruga

Was on vacation over last week (12 to 16 Oct). Made a dashing trip to Palani hills to salvage the pilgrimage desire of my parents. The new addition to Palani is the Rope car facility (as I posted earlier, no photos due to faulty camera). Rope car makes the trek up the hill easier. It is the same one you see in movies that hangs and moves across valleys. The winch car is still operational, but used less as it is not that efficient in handling crowd.

The rope car is quiet fast as it takes 3 mins for one way ride and can carry 4 people. You have to shell out Rs 15 per head for the one way trip. Rest other things are as usual. Since this time there were less number of devotees, the place seemed a bit neat than I expected.

I had two good dharshans of lord Muruga.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Exporting RSS subscriptions using OPML

By now most of us would have got to know that Google has released RSS Reader beta. As usual I wished I could give it a try. I had been using bloglines for the past 6 months or so and wanted to checkout what google has in its store to offer.

Both bloglines and google offers you to export and import your subscriptions using OPML. Oh heavens..What a cool way to migrate things across products. I realized the power of open standards.

It will be really beneficial if even other competitive products start supporting open standards.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Combo pack

During shopping in large shops/malls you always come across combo pack or offer. Say for instance you can get three tees for some money rather than picking them individually. Price wise it always makes sense, since it gets you the best offer, but on the choice wise you are fooled.

Out of the three tees, I am damn sure that one will be useless (bright red / maroon/ yellow color simply which you can not wear). What a trick these marketing guys play with you? They rip your money by getting you a simply useless offer.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Canon Powershot A70 imaging problem

What to say... it is a pure coincidence.

I own a Canon Powershot A70 digital camera bought on Aug 2003 from US. It is pretty good in performance and quality of pictures. Over a past couple of months it showed me some signs of problem. Intermittently it failed to powerup properly, in the shooting mode, I will see blank screen on the lcd.

I guessed that it could be a problem related to Ni-MH recharagable batteries. After doing some research on the Ni-MH battery lives, I found that Ni-MH batteries do get crystallized over the period of use. Then I came to a logical conclusion that the batteries need to be replaced. I bought a new set of Energizer Ni-MH batteries for use.

Even after using the new set of batteries the intermittent problem still remained. Today when I powered on my camera in shooting mode, I saw a blurred image appearing through the lcd. That seemed to me as if the CCD has worn out. The photos that I took also came distorted.

When I started checking my bloglines today morning, I found from dpreview that Canon has advised users about the same problem that I am facing. They are offering a free service. But am I eligible is the million dollar question?

Since I bought this camera from Amazon through net shopping, I do not have a receipt for the same. I do have the order information and Voucher from Amazon. But still will it be a valid proof. I am planning to give it a try by calling their customer care.

Will update more as I go through this.

Sleep Deprivation

I had been under sleep deprivation for the past couple of days due to some pressing work. Over these days the deprivation had a detrimental effect on my concetration and energy. I felt dousy all through the day and over the end of day I had very little concetration left with me. This made me to miss a couple of important points.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Krish gives a new meaning of being bangalored in his blog post. Read through it.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Form factor

As per Moore's law, every 18 months computing power doubles. I found a similar empirical formula on the form factor. Every 24 months the form factor decreases by 2 folds.

Here are some comparisons...

Canon Powershot A 70 camera (bought in Aug 2003) - uses 4 AA size batteries
Canon Powershot SD 300 (bought in Sep 2005) - uses Lithium ion battery

Both cameras roughly has the same set of features, but the form factor has decreased by a factor of 2. Even in this case I could say it decreased by a factor of 3 or 4.

Similarly the CF card
SanDisk 256 MB CF card - bought in Aug 2003
SanDisk 512 MD SD card - bought in Sep 2005

Both has form factor difference of similar calibre.

Apple iPod Mini
Apple iPod Nano

iPod nano has really flattened everything that Mini had. Nano even had a special flattened pin for USB connectivity.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Google removes index size from its search page

Earlier Google homepage use to show the index size (some 8 billion pages) used in search. With the onslaught from competitors like Yahoo who claims to have indexed more than 20 billion pages and in the absence of standards in measuring the index size and its relevancy to search result, Google seems to have removed its index size in its homepage.

More news related to this in CNET. Moreover it is the 7th birthday of Google.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Google blog search

I can not resist from blogging this.
Google has joined the fray of blog search engines with its ultra-fast search.

Ok, What to try... I tried this blog and with sort of relevance, the Related Blog pointed out this blog clearly. Awesome.... But rest of the results seemed crappy to me as I was not related to any of those. I do not know how they rank those blogs high on the list.

I tried sorting by Date and there came the google with the bang. Almost all my recent updates are listed in the results section. Pretty fast though. So with google's entry the blog search arena will be hot and will also get a close watch.

Friday, September 09, 2005

iAudioU2 Updates

In my previous entry I posted about my recent purchase of iAudio U2 mp3 player. Here are some more updates to it after a couple of days of use.

1. Firmware releases happen more often and contain handful of good bugfixes. The latest firmware version is 1.40.
2. The BBE options really rocks. iAudio is superior in sound quality compared to Creative MuVo and iPod Mini. I found that iPod Shuffle is better than iPod Mini.
3. The earphones doesn't really fit. It is very uncomforatble though the sound quality is good. So I started using my old Sony ear phones.
4. There is a cap of 175 on the number of mp3 files that you can have. If you exceed this number then the firmware starts misbehaving. Hope that future firmware updates will rectify this.

Yesterday myself and Gops did a cost-wise split-up to see how worthy the iAudio mp3 parts are. The split-up is very approximate based on the facts that we know.

1 GB CF memory - $45
4 line LCD - $10
Internal components - $20 (includes mp3 encoder/decoder, fm tuner, line in recoder, Direct MP3)
Earphones - $5
Casing - $5
Misc -$10 (includes cables, USB adapters, lanyard, Packaging)
Software - $15

Total - $110

On Stores -$160.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Dearer Foundation Ceremonies

Karnataka Govt has spent 3.1 crores on laying foundation stones and conducting inaugural ceremonies for infrastructure improvements and other programmes.

Source: The Week.

Monday, September 05, 2005

iAudio U2

Though Chandan suggests to be less materialistic in the 43things to do in life, I can not resist myself from buying iAudio U2. The frequent monotonic travel on road forced me to buy this.

Gops has already blogged an extensive rave review of iAudio U2. Rather than repeating the same stuff once more over here, I prefer linking to his blog.

To be frank, it was not my decision to go for this player. I blindly went ahead with Gops decision as I knew that he would have done an extensive analysis and has the experience of owning 2 mp3 players previously.

Gops, You need to take a pat on the back for this well thought decision!

The sound quality is cut above the rest. It is pretty awesome.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Blog hit stats

This personal blog has been up for quiet some time now. I created it some time back in June 2004 and was in hibernation till Jan 2005 when I revived it back to life. From then on there is no look back, I had consistent postings about vivid topics. This post is my 100th post to this blog.

To keep abreast about the traffic, two weeks back I added a hit counter to this blog. Most of you wouldn't have noticed as it is a non-intrusive hidden counter. StatCounter is pretty good in features. It had everything I looked for. You can create different projects using the same login for different blogs. You can create html based, hidden counter and even set a blocking cookie so that you can prevent your visit from being counted.

For a free account, the stats collected are pretty good. I could get a summary of total hits per daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. A nice bar graph shows you the details of the traffic. I would prefer Line Graph instead of Bar and Area Graph. With Line Graph plotted over the period of time you can easily see the trend in the traffic.

Another interesting stat is about your readers location based on Country, State/Region, City and ISP. Majority of the hits are from India and US. Gulf and Europe provided minor contributions.

Browser based stats provided interesting clue. Though IE is predominant, but FireFox is catching up. Ahaa.. Safari also figured in, so somebody had a Mac OS.

OS stats reveals this. Again Windows is predominant. But where is Linux in the picture?

So on the whole for the past two weeks I have been averaging 77 hits per week. Will I retain and increase readers is a question that will be answered as time flies by.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Airtel Services....

Really SUCKS :-(

My roommate Gops has narrated his experience with the shoddy Airtel Customer Service. Here is one that I faced in the recent past.

In our house, there are six Airtel connections and we live in prime residential area in Bangalore. Out of the six, couple of them are corporate connections. Often (almost every time) the call gets disconnected if we try to receive one from inside the house. The model of handset has no significance. The case is valid across both Nokia and Motorola models. One could see us rushing out of the house if a call comes in.

I had to receive an early morning call from my parents and the call dropped numerous times even when I moved out of the house to the balcony. It is frustrating when you had something important and calls drop off abruptly. It screwed up the whole thing.

Out of infuriation, I tried to reach the Airtel customer service to complain. The connection that I own is personal connection and I had a hard time crossing the Airtel tune to the customer helpdesk. Finally I broke and used Arun's corporate connection to reach the corporate customer helpdesk and got the call transferred to the regular customer helpdesk.

After hearing my complaint and threatening to move out of Airtel, they accepted to look into the matter and gave me a complain number(5492359, Date: 25th July 2005) stating that I will hear back from them in 24 hrs. The 24hr deadline is still approaching and I haven't received a call from them.

It would be better if Airtel stops bragging about providing network to remote areas and does something to help their pathetic services within the city.

I know that there will be numerous souls around bangalore frustrated because of Airtel and I am venting my anger out through this post.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Many of us regularly use "grep" command day in and day out. It is such a common command. Do you know that grep is an acronym.

GREP - Global Regular Expression Print

Regular expressions are invented by Steven Kleene and "*" used in reg-ex is called "Kleene star".

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Google Talk - Audio components

Have anybody checked Google Talk About box.

First thing, they include audio components from Global IP Sounds, seems they are pioneers with VoIP and voice over packet network. See their partners and customers page.

Secondly what is that about play 23 21.....

Monday, August 29, 2005


I never came across this phrase until now.

Hodophobia - refers to an abnormal and persistent fear of road travel.

And because of which one of my friend doesn't drive vehicles. It seems to be a worthy decision considering the hetic bangalore traffic.

Respite from spams in comments

Couple of weeks back I reported some spam being left in my comments. Blogger's jumped up to give us a respite sooner than expected. Go to your blog settings -> Comments tab and turn on "Show word verification for comments". By default it is turned off I guess.

This will help you to open up the gates for unregistered people to leave comments in your blog.

Google Ads in Yahoo Flickr

Incidently got noticed that Yahoo! Flickr shows Google Ads. Where is YPN?

But for some pages I could see Ads by Yahoo too. What a mess!

Do users have control over these or is it just by mistake?

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Friday, August 26, 2005

Google Talk - Voice chat

Yesterday I tried using Google Talk to do a voice chat with a friend in US (Ann Arbor, Michigan). I am spell bound and awe-stuck by the voice clarity. There is very little unnoticeable lag and the clarity is much more superior than I expected. Evidently Google has added another feather to its rich haul hat.

Google Talk is based on open source jabber (XMPP) spec. The interesting point to note is that the spec has been available since 1999 and google has implemented it to get it noticed.

Also the first line in the Google talk page is interesting.
"They say talk is cheap. Google thinks it should be free."

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Which is India's first Wi-fi city?

Nowadays, my office hour opens with a little tech-geek talk with Abhinav. We share little tit-bits about the tech stuff each day we come across. Our today's chat was about Google talk and Wi-Max technology.

In the course of the chat, he pointed out two things.

Mysore is the India's first Wi-fi enabled city. It beats India's Silicon Valley Bangalore and other metros.

Secondly, India is much ahead in mobile-telecom and Wi-fi incomparison to US. The reason being that we haven't invested much on the conventional wired lines and we are free to embrace mobile and wi-fi now.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Google spreading its wings

The much rumored thing is happening again. According to news reported by Reuters in LA Times, it seems that Google is entering IM and VoIP space.

When there is a healthy competition, quality is on the rise. The end users of these services are going to benefit largely.

courtesy: Plaxoed

Update: Till midnight yesterday, it was rumor, but today it is a reality.

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Web Popularity

You need not be a celebrity to be in a limelight, ofcourse it is a different kind of limelight. Being popular in Web world enthrals the same kind of experience.

With the search engine wars picking up, I tried to nail down "How popular am I in the web?", just by measuring search rankings of my petty blog contributions.

Search Engines:

I have been keeping this blog active with my own musings about the interesting stuff that I come across day in and day out. I haven't used any paid services or through other means of improving traffic to my blog. I have taken measures to popularize my blog only among a selected group of pals. I have added up Google Adsense to my blog which has started showing context sensitive ads very recently. Though I cannot confirm, google does seem to have a slight edge over other search engines in indexing my site.

With this setup, I used the same keywords in both google and yahoo search to analyze the search results. I have used both Web wide search and site specific search.

Keyword used:
rajakumar blogspot

Search Results:
Google Web wide search:
The first hit is a comment that I had posted in Govar's blog.

This blog came up in third place (Hurray, I am not doing bad in ranking it seems)

There were total 19 results, out of which just these two were related to me.

Yahoo Web side search:
The first hit is my bloglines subscription export xml url

The fourth hit is a comment that I had posted in Govar's blog

And on sixteenth hit is this blog

On the whole, the total results were 26 out of which 8 is related to me. To my surprise the index page of my blog has been indexed by Yahoo search and I could see my comments in Gops, Vig and Smart Senthil's blog.
Thanks to Vig for exposing my CGPA to world wide audience and I need not blow my own trumpet :-)

Google site specific search:
In Google's index there is just one entry related to my blog.

This proves that Google adsense doesn't have any relation with search index.

Yahoo site specific search:
Yahoo wins hands down here. There are 7 entries related to my blog

The analysis that I had done doesn't consider factors that influence any of the search engines facility. All I did is from layman perspective. With the results I do not denounce or appreciate google/yahoo. It is just an exercise to find the popularity of my blog with respect to search index.

Comments are welcome.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

SuDoKu Program

I had posted couple of weeks ago about my intention to write a program to solve the sudoku puzzle. Now I have implemented it incorporating the Elimination, Naked Pair and Unique Member technique. I have also created a UI for the program to enable users to enter and solve the puzzles. I have to accept the fact that the UI is not that snappy, but it is good start to begin with.

Lang: Java 1.5
UI: Java Swing

UI Snapshots:
Puzzle fromThe Hindu (Dated 17-Aug-2005)

Shown are given values and the possibilities for the rest of the cells

Solution by using elimination technique

If you want to try your hand, do drop in an email/comment, I will mail you the binaries and the src code.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Spam in my blog comments

Oops! I got a spam in my comments section. Though I had intentionally prevented anonymous users from commenting, this registered spam user somehow slipped in. Hey blogger guys, are you listening :-(

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bloging captures Mangal Pandey

Mangal Pandey - The Rising is the latest historic movie from the bollywood releasing this week. It is no surprise that such a big-budget movie getting in all the hypes before reaching screens. The lead actor Aamir Khan has a blog about Mangal Pandey. Check it throu'

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

HSBC Preapproved Personal Loan

Today HSBC sent me a letter with a calligraphic certificate stating that being a priviledged customer, I am afforded a pre-approved personal loan. In that certificate they have stated my bank account number. Given the fact that this being sent in a snail mail/courier, it could have well landed in some wrong hands, exposing my account number.

For the sake of their marketting campaign, I cannot afford to loose my credentials. On the part of the bank's security lapse, I seriously condemn their carelessness in revealing customer credentials.

Friday, August 05, 2005

MS vs Google

I wonder why Microsoft is competiting against Google in all segments. I could see some relevancy related to Desktop Search. But not in mapping and other services. I guess that these services does not pull any major revenue.

Is MS afraid of loosing its reputation and ground to Google? Or does it sound MS to be incompetent in terms of services? What is that they are going to achieve?

Mapping service for India

In the recent times there has been a spurt in the mapping services all over the world. Mapping service is also the recent buzz word of the technology domain. First there were yahoo maps, then came the Google maps, and their hybrids. Google Earth was launched later. More recently MS launched its Virtual Earth to add to the competition.

Not just the mapping service providers has increased in the course of time, but also their content of the service. Initially yahoo maps were used for the travel directions. Now mapping services has advanced to show you real pictures of the places along with the road directions. Even traffic updates could be got through these mapping services, so that we could take up alternate routes. In the blog sphere, these mapping services are used to locate blogger community in the neighborhood. Probably this led to the trend of Blog-Geek-Dinners!

When are these services going to come to India? Are there any organizations heading up that way! I have no clue.

On a lighter side, I could not comprehend the complexity and confusions that will arise when we try to map bangalore using the addresses. The street where I live is addressed as 4th Main, 1st Cross, Maruthi Layout. The street opposite to mine is addressed as 3rd Main, Kurupanpalaya. Not to mention there are already two 1st crosses in the same area. God Save!

Gops states that Europeans are much ahead in mapping services from the rest of the world. He states that Taxis in Finland run with a mapping service and GPS installed!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Adsense magic

Hurray! Google adsense that I added to this blog has started working. It has started showing relevant text ads related to the first post I have in the page.

I need to reposition the adsense from the bottom left of the page to some where in the top. This should increase its visibility and usability (as adsense shows ad related to the first post in the page).

The ad-revenue share I have earned till now 0.17$ :-)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Wi-fi Hotspot at our house

Yesterday was a grand day(night) when we finally enabled Wi-fi hotspot in our house. As I posted early about our intentions of enabling Wi-fi in our house, it all got resolved yesterday.

  • AMD Athlon based Desktop PC (using ethernet connection)
  • Dell D 600 laptop (Wi-fi connection)
WiFi on HowStuffWorks.
Blog post from Atul Chitnis on W-B setup using similar topology.

The network topology at our house

Until now, I haven't come in close proximity of configuring any network, this time I had lot of surprises and learning. The end result is that I understood all the basics of network setup and configuration of routers. Thanks to Gops for patiently answering all the intriguing questions that I had thrown to him.

The basic purpose of a router is to route the network traffic according to a fixed set of rules. In our case the Huawei Router (BSNL DataOne router) acts as interface between the public internet and our private network. The Linksys BEFW11S4 Wireless-B Cable/DSL Router is used as internal router to enable Wi-fi. The linksys router acts as interface between the Huawei router and our PC/laptop.

The private network IP of Huawei router is (default for most of the routers) to which the linksys router connects to. The linksys private network IP is set to (luckily linksys allowed us to configure its private IP from default, otherwise our wi-fi intentions would have been grounded).

Routers provides a web interface to setup the configurations. The web application is a servlet/jsp application running at its private IP (192.168.xx.1). One needs to login as admin to change its configurations. The router comes with preinstalled OS which is used in routing the traffic (Cisco's Router OS is called IOS - Internetwork OS). Apart from the easy to use web interface for the configuration, the router also supports CLI (command line interface for configuration, mostly for advanced professionals) You can telnet to the private IP (192.168.xx.1) and connect as admin to get the CLI.

More updates will be posted as we explore the options in the routers...

Now we are roaming around with 11 Mbps wireless connection. Configuring the Dell D600 laptop was bit tricky. You need to enable the WLAN adapter in the laptop using Fn+F2 key which failed to work. Finally we managed to install the QuickSet application provided by Dell to make it work.

Cisco VPN client failed to work with the WLAN for the first time. We need to uninstall and reinstall to make it work with WLAN.

Things to do:
  • Enable security options in the Wi-fi (IP based filtering and encryption)
Let me know if I have missed anything!

TOI bashing

I feel elated when people bash TOI. It is no worth to call it a national newspaper or even a newspaper for that matter. They make and retain huge subscriptions to their newspaper by thier tabloid supplements. The supplements pull all the strings on the celebrities and cover all the gossips going around. The classical example is the Bangalore Times which is added as a supplement almost everyday. If TOI stops their supplement, their newspaper revenue will fall down to earth.

It is no wonder that TOI published a half-a-page article on celebrities comments on not receiving TOI on 27th July when the whole mumbai realed under torrential rains. TOI nowhere reflects the sentiments of the people!

We all share the same sentiments that TOI is not even worth to use as TOI(let) napkin. Such is the shoddy nature of the paper.

Monday, July 25, 2005


Past weekend I came across a couple of incidents that stood for the determination.
One is about a Fat man walking across US to reduce his weight. More details at

Another is about Lance Armstrong who survived cancer and became seven time World champion in the Tour de France. Photos at CNET.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Offlate this japanese puzzle has caught a lot of attention! Thanks to all major leading news papaers across the sub-continent providing it as a daily feature. The Hindu has started publishing Su-Do-Ku in the main page. Like others it has also caught my attention and it has now become a habbit to solve it early in the morning. Now I can say that I am addicted!

I thought of writing a logic to solve any sudoku puzzle through means of programming. But it seems that I am defeated before contesting! Check the rediff news here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Finally the rumble over college admission is over

It has been a long wait of three months for the students who passed out the higher secondary exams and the TNPCEE with flying colors. Though the results were published much sooner than expected, the rankings finally came in yesterday after a lot of deliberations. The single window system by which the students were admitted to the professional colleges has been on and off few times like every year throwing in a lot of confusions and questions to the students community.

Firstly now the single window system serves only 37K odd seats out of the 64K odd available seats, as the rest is under the management quota. The apex court ruled sometime back in favor of management of self-financing colleges to have their quota increased from 5% to 50%. You can see the peril of this ruling as most of the unaccomplished wealthy heirs could easily get a seat in any reputed self-financing colleges.

Every year something or the other comes up to jeopardize the admission system. This time it is the TN governments eleventh hour plan of demolishing TNPCEE effective from the current year to benefit the rural students. After a lot of arbitrations, the apex court came in to rescue the students and asked the govt to follow the old scheme.

The single window admission is set to commence on July 30 and will prolong for 30 more days. The colleges would commence in the first week of September. The settlement of all these legal issues took nearly 4 months which has thrown the students and their first semester into tangle.

With the admission system being juggled over by the political big-weights and bureaucrats, most of the self-financing colleges completed admission to their management quota and started classes for this academic year. The admission to these management seats are based purely on financial merit. Couple of days back, apex court ruled that the admissions to the management seats should be based on CET. The TN Self Financing Colleges Consortium which is deemed to hold the CET is now preparing for the exams on Aug 6,7 for the seats which are duly filled already. The CET is going to be an eye-wash!

Given the ranking, I wished if the students could know the tentative details of where they will be admitted, it would be great for them to decide on the alternatives. Luckily it didn't fell on the deaf ears, Anna university released the last year admission results in their website by which students can know in a particular college, for a stream and a quota which is the last rank.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Canon's beginner SLR site

Canon has come up with the novel idea of making its range of Digital SLRs popular with an educational site. This site is too good for a beginner to learn all the basics of photography. Canon has now become the market leader in Digital SLR category with its range of cost effective digital SLR. The prediction is that sub USD 500 digital SLR is not a distant dream. I am looking for the dream to come true!

My notes when I browsed through the webpages...

Digital SLR cameras have a reflex mirror that swings up when you press the shutter button. It allows light from the lens to pass through to the sensor. The picture is then recorded. Since a single lens and a reflex mirror are used, this type of camera is called "single-lens reflex" (SLR).

While shooting in SLR camera, the scene is not displayed in the LCD. You have to use the eye-piece.
(This is really surprising !)

The shorter the focal length (mm), the wider the view will be. And the longer the focal length, the more telescopic the picture will be.

Shutter button is positioned right at your index finger.
Will there be a customization for a left hand person?

Larger the aperture, lower the f number, narrower the depth of field
Smaller the aperture, higher the f number, wider the depth of field

The range of acceptable focus is called the depth of field.

Changing the sensitivity makes it easy to photograph bright or dark scenes. The sensitivity is called the ISO speed.

Low ISO speed for brighter scenes (lesser noise and finer image quality)
High ISO speed for dark scenes (more noise and rougher image quality)

For capturing indoor sports, you use larger aperture and slower shutter speed during to less light. But with slower shutter speeds you get hazy picture. So use higher ISO and faster shutter speeds in those scenario.

ISO controls how the sensor becomes sensitive to light.

Wide angle - lesser the focal length
telephoto - greater the focal length

The 50mm lens is called the normal lens because it gives the closest perspective as seen by the human eye. Any lens with a focal length shorter than 50mm is a wide-angle lens, and any lens with a longer focal length is a telephoto lens. A wide-angle lens covers a large area of the scene, while a telephoto lens covers a smaller part obtaining a telescopic effect.

Wide-angle lenses exaggerates perspective,while telephoto lenses compresses the foreground and background.

A wide-angle lens covers a larger area of the scene, the perspective becomes more apparent.

With a large sensor, the size of individual pixels is also larger. The pixel's larger area is more sensitive to light, resulting in better image quality.

To make white subjects look white,increase the exposure compensation.
To make dark subjects look dark,decrease the exposure compensation.
For bright colors like yellow, increase the exposure amount.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Diving into GreaseMonkey

In the recent past, I came across the GreaseMonkey (hereafter GM) jargon multiple times. I didn't immediately throw myself into the investigation of finding out what it is and what it does. Probably the reason being that it is a scripting extension and I have an aversion towards scripting.

With the advent of Google and Yahoo maps and their bitter fight to establish their mapping service, there had been lot of talk going around about GM scripts. For instance the Craigs List webpages can be overlayed with Yahoo maps using GM scripts. Ah.. two web services are integrated using GM script! This really kindled my interests in GM.

GreaseMonkey extension provides a scripting option through javascripts to make changes to webpages. There are lot more you can do with GM. Dive Into GM is a excellent site that provides enough insight into GM and the scripts that you can write using GM. The only caveat with GM is that this extension is only for Firefox and is not supported in other Mozilla clones.

I had no intentions of stopping here. To try my hand, I wrote a small GM script for the Bug DB report that we have in our office. The report is a plain black and white html report. With GM script I have color coded the report based on the severity of the bug. It really improves the usability of the report. Just scan through the bug report you can get a feel of hot and cold bugs.

I least expected this utility to be appreciated. But on the contrary it was well received by enthusiastic firefox users.

Since our Bug DB being an internal tool, the GM script that I wrote has very less significance to be posted to whole internet community. If you are interested do drop me a note in the comments section.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Low Cost Computing

It has been the need of the hour. With everything going digital way, low cost computer should evolve to occupy the vaccum. This step will surely improve the computer penetration into the masses. Mobilis by Encore Software is one such computer built with such envisage.

Does this mean that India has done its contribution?

I feel we still have miles to go ahead. Though we have raised the bar of affordability, we still need to catch on the usability of these gadgets. We should improve our network infrastructure so that all these pretty instruments could be hooked on to netwrok to unlease the power of networking to the common man. We could do wonders with these little gadgets and having them connected to internet.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Online Tutorials

Came over this excellent tutorial site for all web related scripting.

Simple, elegant and to the point.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Perfect Long weekend

The longing for a long weekend ended in a perfect sense. Vasanth's marraige was on 27th June (Mon), so we used it to bunk office on Monday. Headed to Salem on Sunday, made a short trip to Yercaud, attended reception, night show - Anniyan, attended Muhurtham in the morning, lot of mokkai, cards and usual train journey back to bangalore with pleasent memories.

I guess only in Vasanth's marraige one will be able to see friends cutting across class, departments and batch. He is one heck of a guy who values and preserves so much friends.

Blogger supports posting pictures from desktop

This is a sweet surprise for photo-bloggers. I often wondered why blogger wasn't supporting this feature.

Post on google blog.
Help document in Blogger

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Steve Jobs speech at Stanford

He says three stories and the moral of each story is

"you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life"

"Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle."

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

"Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."

Here is the link to the complete speech.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Is blogging definitely male?

I got this weird thought while driving to office today. Firstly I am not a MC and this statement is not a fall out of such an attitude. I feel that there is a strong logical reasoning behind this thought. I have been following/reading blogs for a while now. I have been syndicated to 35 feeds in my bloglines (Pretty low, I knew people who are subscribed to over 1000 feeds). And there are no females in the subscribtion list. I haven't heard any girl blogging in my class or in my acquaintances. And so is the doubt.

I have seen some random blogs of females while I hang around the internet searching for good blogs. There are lot of people who blog (stats says that 20000 new blogs are added per day) on various topics and interests. I am yet to see stats on blog propotion based on sex.

Some people blog on official stuff, some their personal stuff, some their hobbies, some do a mix of all these (like me :-) ). While following the blogs you tend to get a feel of the character of the person. Since blogs are mostly non-commerical and pursued in self-interest, the information posted tends to be authentic. Bloggers remain honest to themselves on the facts that they publish.

Thus I had a chance of observing quiet a few people over the blogs and tend to get a feel of their character. But as I said, I have no female bloggers in my list. Wanted to know whether the same rules apply to them. All this just out of curiousity.

Let me know if some girl around does blogging. I would like to get subscribed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

F1 tussle

I follow a bit of F1, but I am not an avid geek to know all the nitty-grittes of it. I knew the pretty basics of the race jargons. Offlate, F1 has been hitting the news headlines in a different sort. With the agreement of teams ceasing in 2007, there are already issues brewing up on renewing the agreements. There were news sometime back stating that couple of teams has agreed not to renew their agreements but rather to have thier own F1 championships.

The rift became wider with 2005 US GP. 7 teams using Michelin tyres pulled out of the race stating safety concerns. With the rule to use the same tyres for both practise and race, there has been couple of accidents related to tyres. Though I am indifferent to the rule, the claim made by Michelin is not justifiable. If Bridgestone is able to thrive, then Michelin should be competitive enough.

But this fiasco has done enough damage to reputation and interests of F1.

What will be the future of F1?

More news at rediff, hindu.

Owners Pride Neighbours Envy

From the past month, I have been trying relentlessly to get my blog listed in the search sites index. There are couple of facets behind this effort. One is that your blog will be shown in the search results page. Another one is that you can enable blog search (site specific search) in your blog. The second one comes handy when you want to search your blog when there had been quiet a handful posts.

I am particularly interested towards getting my site listed in google's index. To get this done, one needs to understand how the google's spider / bots crunch the webpages and index them. One way is to get more incoming links to your blog so that the rank of your page increases (google's page ranking is based on the active links to your blog - this is the simplestic view). Another way is to use the ping service which sends a ping whenever you blog is updated. Third way to enable google adsense in your blog. Apart from increasing the incoming links, I have done the rest. But still my blog is unlisted in the index.

I saw Govar's blog listed in both Google and Yahoo search index. Kudos to him. Owners Pride and Neightbours Envy!

Gmail Notifier

All of a sudden, Gmail Notifier (ver 0.4.2) extension for firefox stopped working for me. It is a handy extension that enables me to remain logged in at gmail all through the day. It alerts you when there is a new message in your inbox. That way I save a tab in firefox.

Any clues how to get it back to work. The error message shown is "Failed to log in. Pls verify the username and passwd". But I am able to login to gmail using the gmail webpage.

There is a workaround available. Gmail has changed its address from to
Check the extension webpage here.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Power of hash

For the past two days, I was trying to improve the performance of a piece of code that I wrote, during which I learnt the power of hash in real numbers.

On a high level, the problem is about searching an ordered list of objects to figure out the position of the given input object in the list. There is no bounds on the number of objects stored in the list and also on the number of input objects. If the given input object is not found in the list, it also possible that given input object might be subset of any of the objects stored in the list. I was doing a linear search on the list (provided by the Java Collections API) which has a time complexity of O(n).

Profiling the code indicated the bottleneck and I was able to figure out the floppy logic. First I was using 'contains' API to check whether the given input object is found as such in the list and if found I use 'indexof' API to retrieve the location in the list. Thus both the operations were O(n). I updated the code and was able to cut down the time by 50%.

With this fix in place, still the performance was no where near what I targeted. A deep look at the problem revealed that for given 'n' input objects the time complexity of the linear search would result in O(n^2). After pondering a while on the plausible resolutions, I decided to change the data structure from ordered list to hashtable. In the hashtable the key being the object and value being the order that I need to generate. This improved the performance by leaps and bounds.

The following metric should reveal the power of hash in real numbers

No of objects in List: 10000
No of Input objects: 10000
Linear search timings: 255 secs
Hash based search: 25 secs

Thursday, June 16, 2005


JS/UIX is an UN*X-like OS for standard web-browsers, written entirely in JavaScript (no plug-ins used). It comprises a virtual machine, shell, virtual file-system, process-management, and brings its own terminal with screen- and keyboard-mapping.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


I migrated to Thunderbird email client today!

The verdict is that I did not feel appealing or awesome immediately. The reason I guess is that from where I got migrated.

I was using NS Communicator 7.02 previously and almost all the features that were present in NS is available in Thuderbird. So I guess I could not appreciate the excellence of Thuderbird immediately. Hoping that in the long run, Thunderbird would be my prefered email client.

The compelling reasons for the switch from NS is
  • Close association of Thunderbird to Firefox
  • Large memory footprint of NS (annoying)
  • Email composer is not that keyboard friendly
  • Email Composer lacks complete support for table (advanced options) and other complex formatting
I wonder there wasn't any migration support in Thunderbird for NS users. I did manually copied the local folders and mails to get it working. Yet to import my address book. Seems there is no straight forward way to do all these! Firefox wins hands down in all these nitty-gritties.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Google Page Rank

The following link contains details about the google page ranking strategy and how they distinguish legitimate websites from spaming websites.

This page also contains links to other google related topics.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Handy Features - Titbits

These are nice handy features

In Firefox, go to address box and type more than one word separated by spaces and enter. Firefox will automatically search the string using google and shows the first hit of the search result (I'm feeling lucky option). You can get to address bar using F6 key.

In bloglines, go to a feed that you have subscribed. On the top of the page, you get to see the number of subscribers of that feed. Click the link to get all the public subscribers.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Jungle Look

Came across this excellent site, refered by Chandan. The photos are exceptionally well shot. Clarity and focus is amazing. These photos thrashed my (bad) ideology that such good photos could be shot only abroad, as they maintain nature in a better state than us.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Apple shifting to Intel chips

This news is the latest buzz in the tech sector. Until now, I just under-estimated the significance of this news which was leaked a couple of days back before the official announcement by Steve Jobs in Apple Developers conference in SanFranscisco.

More details at CNET site.

Link to Scobleizer's blog post on this news.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Shanmugha college alumini profile exposed

I was browsing through web to collect details about Shanmugha college. First of all the website was down. Shanmugha college is a part of sastra, which is a deemed university. It is really a bad example to take the website down at the crucial time of admissions. I feel more and more people are nowadays turning towards web to collect info about the college for which they would like to apply. The absence of apt information in the website really upsets a lot of people.

While continuing browsing, I got a link to SASTRA alumini network. I casually browsed through the site to check whether there are any other Shanmugha sites that I could use in the mean while. Secondly to check any available comments or feedbacks about the college. I was surprised to see all the alumni profiles exposed freely. The site requires a login and the guest login and password are supplied freely. You can get 684 profiles of students who have enrolled in the alumini site. You have a chance to get their full name, reg no, DOB, photo, email id, phone number, blood group, their current positions, etc. It is all exposed.

I remember a similar breach that happened recently with the stanford campus network, where info pertaining to students were exposed by a hacker. The university profusely apologized for the breach and took systems down to curtail the leak. It even promised to investigate further to prevent such future occurances. I guess, FBI were also involved in the investigation. See the personal info is given higher value in West, where as such info is freely available over here, without any hack. Will somebody act on this?

Over the weekend

watched "Kana Kanden" movie and did a short trip to Nandi Hills on Sunday. The details of trip and photos are there in my travel log blog.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Summer of code: Google's philanthropic hand to studs

Studs who are enrolled in the colleges should feel elited. Google has stepped up its philanthropic deed once again. It is now easy to get a summer internship. They are coordinating with lot of Open source projects who mentor the studs and their summer project. You get a chance to work on a real world project and feel happy to get an awesome stipend in USD.

More details at Code @ Google

XML file format for Office

MS Office (Excel, Powerpoint and Word) will be supporting xml-based file format. This is a radical move by MS from its traditional binary file format. Last time when they upgraded the binary file format without backward compatability, there were lot of compliance issues between users having various versions. The open source based format is welcome move.

More details from CNET page.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Usability: Change in Template

In our e-ottings group we had a "Big-Fight" about google's new perosnalized portal. Ppl argued about the various aspects of it. Some said it was brand new and some complained about it as the old concept. Inspite of all these difference in opinions, everyone agreed on the fact that the customizations provided by google is awesome from the usability perspective. Thus I learnt the significance of usability.

This blog was originally using "Minima Black" template and there were complaints about the dark background causing hinderance. To alleviate this concern and to improve usability, I have switched on to "Harbor" template. The contents part of this template contains white background with black text color. I even remember reading some where that this is the standard and recommended format for presentations.

Longing for a long weekend

The past weekend is a long weekend for people in US as this monday is memorial day for them. So there are less and less emails and blog posts. I have started longing for such a long weekend. The next long weekend in India is when we celebrate our Independence day on Aug 15th which falls on Monday.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Modem Picts

Huawei MT880 ADSL Modem

BSNL Phone and the Modem Posted by Hello

Friday, May 27, 2005

Zero Visibility

For the past couple of days Bangalore is experiencing very heavy thunder showers mostly in the evenings. Right now it is raining very heavily with almost zero visibility.

Check the weather update here

Wi-fi @ our house - Proposal

We have come up with a nice proposal. With the advent of DataOne broadband at our house, we are seeking option to convert our house as Wi-fi enabled. We are planning to acquire a Wi-fi router and get it hooked to the DataOne router. Gops has some concerns on hooking mutiple-routers this way. Let me know your suggestions in case if you are an expert in this area or your experiences in this kind of seup.

Now I am concerned about getting a laptop to enable me work at home!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

ADSL Broadband @ our house

Should thank Arun for taking initiative and all pains in bringing internet to our beloved house @ 63, 4th main. The speed is awesome and suffices most of our requirement.

Here is the arun's experience on getting this done!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Phishing + Extorsion = "ransom-ware"

Hackers have started using phishing techniques to lock your critical information in your system with some large encryption code and then demand ransom to unlock those for you. This has just started spreading and a new term has been coined to refer these kind of soft-extorsions as "Ransom-ware" .

More details at News

Update: This post is done from my home using BSNL DataOne broadband connection. How nice to get hooked to net from home!

OTIS Elevators: Suffers init problem

The power went off, when I was coming down in a OTIS elevator. When the alternative power was switched on, the elevator went straight back to the lowest floor and started again afresh. It seems really awkward when OTIS could not have a flash memory to remember the state and had to start over it again from the init. I name it the "stateless syndrome".

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Philosophy: Man and Money

I am not sure how I picked up this philosophical idea (could be that I read about it somewhere).

Man and Money run in a circular path, trying to catch each other. So if you are desperate to get money, you keep running behind it and money tries to find you and keeps running behind you. It is an infinte loop. Neither you find money nor money finds you! Still a better visualization is a dog trying to catch its tail. Did you had a chance to see it!

But if you are not bothered about money and you run behind other objectives, it is a kind of linear! Soon or later money catches you! This my philosophy on man and money!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Phishing Paper

Came across this Phishing Paper from a blog post.

Know your Enemy: Phishing

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Today we just started with the project work of "ThirdEye".

So finally something concrete seems to be happening. This project is going to fulfill a couple of aspirations that I had.
  • Build and deliver free software
  • To delve in data mining area - decision trees
To begin with we created a blog for the project so that we can capture all the details of the progress.
Learning process is underway and let me see how we progress through it. Krish is also on board.

Indians rock in CA challenge

Came across this news in the Business section in Rediff.
Astonishing to see compatriot Indians toping the challenge...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Thinking in terms of solution

This is what blogging has done to me.

I have started thinking innovatively in terms of solutions. Nowadays I have started giving quick solutions (on top of my head - kind of) for any problem that I face.

Awesome, good improvement, so keep blogging.

Solution: Decissive Predicting from historical data

The topic of this post really sounds weird.

As noted from my previous posts, Sampath has just managed to score 210.79 as cut-off. Currently we are not able to determine where will he be enrolled? To which college, to which stream. Based on this prediction we would like to evaluate the alternatives.

We are really stuck at this point as we could not make an educated guess. Reason, historical data is unavailable for the prediction. It will be nice if we could know the last year admission results. A simple table of data would do..

Attributes of table: {Year, Rank, Cut-off, College, Course}

Given this table we should be able to predict reasonably what are his chances. I know there are lot other parameters that varies each year and alter the admission results. But to begin with these details should be sufficient.

How great it will be if we could take these data and put a (decision tree based) data mining model above this and derieve the current year admission trends given the cut-off marks. I would love to work on this solution if I am given the data.

Why not let me start with some dummy data? Simultaneously try getting the real data and plug-in to the system. I am also thinking with year after year historical data, the system should have sufficient genetic algos to update itself with the trends and give more and more accurate results.

Another mediocre performance by sampath

The results for the TamilNadu XII Board Exams came in today at 10:30 am.
Almost all the sites which provided the results had a huge hit as the server response was pretty slow. Like previous years, this time also results were made available through SMS. You can send in an SMS with registration number to get the results back.

The overall performance by Sampath was average. I really do not know how he managed to get 185/200 in language paper (tamil). The math score was poor again. Even Physics and Chemistry is not sufficient. He should have done the exam better than this. I blame his shoddy homework for all.

Eng - 173/200
Tamil - 185/200
Phy -181/200
Che -172/200
Maths -158/200
Bio -165/200

Total: 1034 / 1200

So his cut-off for the professional courses is 210.79/300
This won't be sufficient to grab a seat in CS/ECE stream in a reputed college. Right now I do not know what are we going to do with this!