Friday, December 08, 2006

Bogus message on HDFC online

Once more I had to take a dig at HDFC Online. Today when I logged in, the personalized message at the top of the window, captured my attention.

"Dear RAJA KUMAR T, We have a special message for you. Please Click here for details."

Though I ignored it in the beginning, somehow the curiosity took over me. See for yourself what message did HDFC came up with on clicking the link. Big Bogus!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Non-standards in adapters

With the advent of good non-dry batteries almost all the electronic gadgets come with in-built batteries that need to be charged and used. It is much common these days to see three to four different adapters hanging out of the electical sockets in any house.

Why can't there be any standards enforced on the adapters? Most of the gadgets requires 9v/12v DC input. And at any point of time, no one is going to use more than two. If one single type of adapter could be used for multiple gadgets, it really eases the pain a lot.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Kidnap and ransom - will the trend continue?

Off late I am not catching up completely with the news in TV and print media. Somehow the Anant kidnap case slipped through and caught my attention. I am quiet surprised that the hefty ransom being paid to the kidnappers to seek the safe rescue of the child has been broken out to public. In other such kidnap cases the amount of ransom being paid were never disclosed in public.

I do not question the way adopted to rescue the child. But this should not pave way for anymore future kidnappings. Hope this trend wont continue and the kidnappers would be brought to justice.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Break from inertia

It has been rather a long vacation. Once you go to hibernate mode, I feel it is difficult to ramp it back to normalcy. To break this inertia is this post. Today I became a year younger (over optimistic). Lot of wishes from the loved and dear ones made the day perfect for me.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Blue screen of death

Not sure from where this blue screen of death concept came? The other day when I was watching TV and suddenly when the cable went off, TV started showing blue screen. Originally with the older television sets, we use to get grainy screens. In the new television sets, the grainy screen is replaced by the blue screen of death.

Originaly BSOD is very familiar with Windows OS crash. Where did it came from? Why there is a blue screen instead of red or green?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Chikungunya and the false reports

There is no need for me, right at this moment, to explain what Chikungunya disease is about and its impacts. For people residing in India, particulary in south, they would have known all the bare facts by now. Unlike kerala gov, tamilnadu gov is playing down the spread of this disease. I could state so because I knew around 12 people who had suffered/are suffering from this disease. Within my close knit of people, if such high number of poeple are contacted by the viral spread, one could imagine how many people would have been affected across the state.

But still the ruling gov claims that there is no wide spread chikungunya. A big lie! And they use the media effectively to downplay all the private statistics. People have lost hope long ago on the government hospitals and expect for people in below poverty line, nobody goes to gov hospitals for treatment. The statistics that you get from the gov hospitals are greatly skewed. On effectively hadling the situation, the gov could have done a lot to bring down the spread. Nothing has been done till date. And this barbaric politicians are behind the local body elections slated for next week completely ignoring the health of the people.

Will people teach them a lesson this time?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Observations from a small public function

I had been to a small public function at my mom's school. The public function is all about NSS (National Service Scheme) camp and its closing day. The guests included a few political leaders (councilors belonging to local administrative bodies of the government) and academics (Principal of Carmel Matric School and HM of the government elementary school from where the NSS camp was run)

There are quiet a few observations that I could make.

1. There is a system to motivate students to do service. The system also helps in exposing students to public affairs, management and collaboration
2. Never ever the politicians keep up time! The function was due to begin at 5:30 in the evening and the so-called busy politicians turned up only at 6:30. To the worse one came just when the function was half over
3. The context of speech tendered by politicians and academics have significant difference. One could feel the sense of peace in the speech of academics and fit of rage in politicians (since they have got tuned by attacking the opponents at all the places)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Citibank ATM

Have you ever used Citibank ATMs? Did you notice that the ATM screen after dispatching the money, shows up your account balance to everybody standing in the queue. No looking over the shoulders is required here.

The ATM screen is placed in such an angle that it is clearly visible to all the people standing behind in the queue (even though the queue is about 5 to 6 ft away). Either the screen could be mounted at a lower angle such that it is visible to only the user or else the viewing angle of the LCD panel could be reduced.

As a workaround, the only option left is to hide the screen from others!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sillunu Oru Kaadhal - review

First time I am writing a review for a Tamil movie. Watched "Sillunu Oru Kaadhal" movie.

The screenplay was very obvious (nothing new or different). I mean the anticipation of what is going to happen in the next frame is quiet obvious. The hero has an usual flashback and there are no surprises. The second half of the movie was quiet boring, a good test for your patience if you could stick to your seat till the climax. The climax was bit different but again predictable. Music is by ARR and I could hardly understand the lyrics. I could just make out only a few tamil words in the songs. It is pity that the good lyrics are thrown to waste. At a few places I feel that flow has been disrupted. For the sake of having comedy Vadivel was shown in a few scenes and disappears forever after that.

Finally my rating would be below average movie!

Review from IndiaGlitz. Their review is quiet positive and I hope that is because IndiaGlitz has sponsored for the movie.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Bitter experience with PVR online movie ticketing system

I was trying to book online movie tickets in PVR cinemas. It is one heck of a pathetic web application that could have ever been built. Firstly, the availability is never updated properly. While trying to book the ticket, the app showed that the seats are available and even gave me the seat numbers. After entering the credit card details and going through the payment screen, it died down. The app never refreshed to show the status of the payment. On refreshing the page, it showed the same seat allocation and the payment screen. Going through it second time also ended in vain. After restarting in fresh browser window, I found that the seats are full instantaneously. There has been no error or update stating that the credit card hasn't been charged.

This made me feel that online train ticket booking is much better app. IRCTC should get a pat on their back!

Need of thin chat clients

My usage level of chat is very sparse. I would prefer picking up the phone and talking rather than chatting. For conveying unimportant things I prefer chat over phone. I have never realized the usage of thin chat clients until my office network blocked the usage of thick chat clients due to a virus outbreak. Chat option in Gmail and Meebo came in really handy at certain points.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Send Email at Residence/Office

The above option at one of the HDFC NetBanking forms made me to think for a while. How can one classify email as residence/office?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Ways to wriggle money from customers

In this materialistic world, almost every other service vendor tries to wriggle the hard earned money from the customers. Airtel and Citibank is no excuse to this.

With Airtel when you get a new connection, they automatically enable Hello Tunes (though you request them not to enable) since it is free for the first month. The customer is never told that it is "only" free for the first month and from the next they will be charged for this petty service. Secondly they never intimate the customer that such a service has been enabled without their approval. Lot of such options are taken for granted.

Secondly, Citibank is very famous and notorious with such promotions. They will send you a life-time free gold credit card without your request on applying for a savings account. Apart from this they will enable Ready credit and all other such options automatically and keep charging heavy penalties and dues if you happen to violate their laws/policies. With a dismissal quality of service they pester you continuously with promotional offers. Nothing useful could be got from them.

I just came across an illogical incident with Citibank. I requested a bank statement and they promised to deliver it through courier only to my residential address. Since this being an account statement I had to sign and collect. With no body at my residence during office hours, the statement will be sent back to Citibank which they will duly thrash for security reasons. And the worst part is yet to come, for such a service I have to pay them charges.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Time to dump rediff

I use to frequent Rediff portal to have a quick glance on the day news and other interesting gossips. Time has come to dump rediff as they have turned on their nagging ad page for each news link you click. CNet use to have this feature but it is very random and doesnt appear for each news link. Hope rediff will learn and rectify sooner.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Blogging vacation

It has been quiet a long time I turned my attention towards blogging. There is no dearth of topics to post, but it has been a deluge so far. I am occupied with personal and professional duties to a large extent. Hoping to return to mainstream soon!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Nice basic articles on EMI

For those who fail to understand the complexities of EMI, the Get Ahead section of rediff reveals the basics of EMI. The whole article is made into three parts and worth a read!

1. Understanding EMI
2. How EMIs are calculated
3. Are you comfortable with your EMI?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

How to calculate EMI using Excel functions

Via Rediff

I was never aware that the EMI calculation is a standard across the world and MS Excel features a function to do it easily.
Go through this rediff page.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Flickr leech

Flickr Leech
Excellent utility that gets photos from flickr and displays it as thumbnails. It creates an excellent collage.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Experience with freshers interview

Recently I came across two incidents related to interview of fresh college grads. Both are different scenarios in different places.

1. I interviewed a couple of fresh college grads. When it came to choosing one of them, it was pretty awful. I felt guilty of not able to choose all of them. When all of them are of same calibre, it becomes pretty difficult to choose.

2. In another incident, when you have decided prior hand that you are not going to choose a candidate by screening the resume, it doesn't make sense to call and interview the candidate for namesake. If you happen to do so, then it would be better not to ask some BS questions and reject the candidate. It really spoils the reputation of the organization that you represent. The better way to handle such scenario (in my perspective) is to conduct decent interview, ask relevant questions and let the candidate know the result at the end.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

How do you want your boss to be?

For long time, I have been trying to find a convincing answer to this. When I watched Robbert Scoble's exit interview in Channel 9, this question did popup over there too. In his terms, the best boss should not intercept him and should clear way for him to proceed. Again quoting him, "the best boss should be an ice-breaker".

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Airtel sucks

Adding to the already existing woes, Airtel website sucks pretty badly. They use heavy graphics and it is damn slow. I just tried to get their postpaid tariff plans and could not get to it from the morning.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

AIIMS Director dismissed

Though it is an expected news, it is quiet appalling to know the dirty politics played by PMK. The "egoistic" Union health minister Anbumani has avenged by dismissing Dr Venugopal, director of AIIMS, as he took a soft stand on the reservation issue. Read the story in The Week to know how much Dr Venugopal is respected in the institute. These politicians are taking our countries premier institutes for a ride.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Bandipur Mudhumalai Trip

Over the past weekend, we (myself, gops, nag and gowri) did a road trip to Coimbatore via Mysore, Bandipur, Mudhumalai and Ooty.
Read the complete story in the travel blog.
Flickr photo tag.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Time for charity

If you are following the international news, there has been a sudden splurge in the charity contributions from the celebrities.
Bill Gates was followed by Warren Buffet. Now Jackie Chan joins the chain.

I am wondering will there be any mentionable charity contributions to NGOs from desi celebrities! As per tradition, the family wealth is inherited by the heirs and there is very little left over for the charity!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

TeleMarketing at its peak

Until recently my desk phone at my workplace had only internal extension and could not be reached directly from outside. The call to my desk phone had to be routed through the front desk office or through the EPABX system. The moment DID (Direct Inward Dialling) got activated, the telemarketing calls has started coming in.
HSBC was the first one to sniff. Most of my officemates had got a call from HSBC for their free lifetime gold credit card offering.

How did HSBC get these numbers? Might be the service provider could have leaked. Otherwise nobody could sniff the number right on activation.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Too much sports to follow

If you are an avid sports buff, there are too many sports to follow these days. Coincidentally all of these events are happening at the same time of the year.

Football : FIFA World Cup
Racing: F1
Cricket: India - WI Test series
Tennis: Wimbledon
Hockey: Azlan Shah tournament

Our cable operator had just two slots for the sports channels and he use to swap sports channels in those two slots based on the coverages. These days he has increased the slots to three providing ESPN, StarSports and TEN Sports simultaneously.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Hooking through dial-up

After so much getting used to broadband, I got hooked to net from my native home through dial-up. Being slow is awfull. I had to see and wait for the progress bar to complete which normally doesn't show up while on broadband connection. Luckily the connection was solid and never dropped off until now!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Dirty politics and bangalore

DeveGowda is always blamed for his dirty politics and his hand in bringing down bangalore to a crumbling state. Rediff published a guest column by S Raghotham on this. Substantiating it there was another news about Infy recruiting in Chennai (probably just out of coincidence).

Friday, June 09, 2006

Tribute to President of India

Though there are many qualities that one likes in our President APJ Abdul Kalam, I like to mention three top most of them

1. Not a rubber stamp

From the past experiences, most of the times the President is considered as a rubber stamp to the ruling government approving all the bills and amendments passed by the parliament. By rejecting the Office of Profit amendment bill our President stands tall from the usual claim. He has become a prefect precedent setting high standards for many other presidents to come in the future.

2. Active

Generally the eminent person selected for the President post are in the age group of 70+. At such age most presidents had lacked activeness and willingness to take risks. Again our president had ditched those myths and in this year he has tried travelling in submarines and Su30-MKI fighter planes which no other presidents would dare to do.

3. Reach people

Our president has again raised the bars in the area of reachablility. The interest he shows in mingling with common people and not staying secluded inside Presidential palace is well appreciated. Though I am not aware of how other presidents had their reachability, I am certain that our current President is much higher on this.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Win XP titbit

Have you ever noticed your screen getting color faded gradually and going into monochrome mode when you invoke and leave "Shutdown Windows" box for a while.
I am not aware of any preference setting to get this activated. Is there one?

Food poisoining

It has happened twice to me. Food poisoning on eating out. Last sunday I took breakfast at fast food hotel in jayanagar. In less than an hour I could feel symptoms of food poisoning and I had to suffer for two days with in-digestion, stomach-ache and moderate temperature. In this post I am planning to maintain an exclusion list of hotels/fast food chains. It is a WATCH-OUT list.

HotelName - Place - Food to avoid
Adthiya - Jayanagar - Karabath

New trend in surrendering

It is obvious, observing the incidents attached to the mysterious ill-health of Rahul Mahajan (the son of slain BJP leader Pramod Mahajan), of the new trend followed by the suspects. All the suspects has turned to private channels to air their statement before surrendering to the police.

With the media hypocrisy going among the channels, it is no wonder that media doesn't hesitate to air such fresh news to attract the masses.

The police will be put under immense pressure to get the real truth and prove their trustworthiness. They will not be in a position to manhandle the suspects to get truth out of them that contradicts the news in the media.

Apparently with the media airing all the angles of the story, it becomes quiet a overdose for any common man and ends up confusing things a lot. Will there be any prudence/discretion in airing such disclosures or will there be a ban on such things will be answered as time flies by.

Update: Apparently one of the suspect contradicted his earlier statement given to the media. What a heck!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Reservations - My take

Firstly I haven't been following the reservations issue closely. But this is just my take at how reservations should be implemented for educational institutions.

Rather than having a caste based reservation, I would prefer having a reservation against location or strata of the society. Primarily it is not just backward castes that needs help or reservation. There are lot of people belonging to forward castes who suffer economically and also from lack of exposure. Reservations should be looked in from a different angle so that all the downtrodden sections of the society gets uplifted and thereby we also alleviate the caste based stigma.

The current reservations are kind of overkill for all the forward castes and in this competitive world capabilities of the individual should be given higher priorities than their caste.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bigger the Better

In my work environment, I am provided with Dell 19 inch Flat panel monitor. The bigger the monitor, the better the visibility and productivity. The other day when BillG told that he has multiple monitors connected to same PC to increase his productivity, I was surprised and quizzing how that improves. There is lot lesser alt-tabs and switching between applications. It is pretty awesome experience.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Busy Vacation

Finally I had the luxury of having a real vacation. Five years in IT Industry without any vacation really sounds ridiculous. Apparently the vacation turned out to be busy one, learning few things that I ought to know and forgetting few things that I wish to do.

It turned up to be much deserved break that I was longing for. Lots of stuff to catch up!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

HashMap and memory

While working on a project, we were faced with classical datastructure problem of achieving a balance between space and time cost. HashMap datastructure allows to have a quicker access to data but has the overhead of space. Other linear datastructures has slower access to data with less hit on the space. The following post in the java forum provides a good insight into the space occupied by a HashMap based implementation to store the data.

Otherwise the HashMap can be tweaked with the initial capacity and load factor to suit to need.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Coding Standards

I am a big fan of coding standards. I get jitters when the conventions are grossly violated. It really hampers the understandability.

Most developers are either lazy or does not have the diligence to appreciate the advantages of following the coding conventions. It is really good that the contemporary IDEs has come up with the automatic code formatters to lend a helping hand.

For the past couple of days I had been working with a peer in a piece of coding. I could see how the absence of coding standard hampers understanding and impacts productivity.

Monday, April 24, 2006

A better way to spend lazy Sunday morning

It is always interesting when you hack around something. BSNL DataOne has a scheme by which anything downloaded between 2 am to 8 am is unaccountable. This scheme helps you to get some really heavy downloads from the net. It is pretty easy when you just need to schedule some download in that time. But the hiccup is that the router session should begin after 2 am.

So myself and Gops came with the idea of hacking this up. Gops knew that router CLI interface has option to restart the session. We wrote a simple perl script which connects to the router CLI telnet interface and restarts the session. We used Windows Task Scheduler to run this script after 2 am. The happy download hours are back in our control now.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sharing of Contacts across multiple phones

There are various web services like Plaxo that help you to organize your contacts. These web services will allow you to import, export and maintain your contacts. They also allow interoperability/sync-up across various Email clients or Address Book softwares. But I doubt whether you have some service by which you can share your phonebook across multiple phones.

It would be a nice service to build up so that you can keep your phones books in sync if you use multiple phones. And in this time I see multiple phones is not a remote possibility. For instance I have a mobile phone and a LG Wireless phone (for landline). Both of these phones support PhoneBook feature. But there is no interoperability between these phones. So I will not see my contacts in one phone in another.

As a first cut thought, the phonebook contact should have a standard industry agreed format. All the phones should support that format. Then build a common service which can be accessed by any phone service provider. Keep your phonebook in your phone in sync with your account in the server.


ERO100 is a quiet innovative service by the TamilNadu State Transport Corporation(Erode). There are umpteen number of buses that ply between Erode and Coimbatore. The distance between the two places is 100kms and it generally takes more than 2 hrs to reach the other destination. Thus the average speed is around 50 km/hr.

ERO100 is a non-stop service between Erode and Coimbatore run by the state transport corporation buses that reaches the destination in 100 mins. Avg speed equates to around 60 km/hr and it is a hassle free travel. Prior to this service, there were Point-to-Point services (PP) which on contrary had stops in almost all the points between the cities. At the least ERO100 lives up to its name now!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Mobile Nonsense

It is a lame title for this post.

Everyone knows that mobile penetration is very high in India and every other individual is trying to possess one sooner than later. But at the same time the mobile usage sense among people is in abyss. The other day I was travelling to Coimbatore from Erode in a bus. The travelling time is around 120 mins. More than 50% of the occupants in the bus should have possessed a mobile phone. And every other minute there was a call. I ended up hearing at least 30 different ring tones (all popular songs tunes in Tamil) all screaming at all possible volume.

Shouldn't people consider putting their mobile in vibration mode while in public places. This way they will not end up disturbing others.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Currency Notes

How long has it been since you counted currency notes in a pack?

I do not have an answer when I counted a pack last time. Most of us have started using online transactions say it for bill payment or account to account transfer. With credit cards being prevalent most of us hardly carry any cash these days for shopping. But the scene is not same in smaller towns in India. Hard cash is used in every transacation and monotonous counting still needs to be done.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Bangalore Weather

Temperature during summer in Bangalore has been scoring high in the recent years. Over the past four years of stay in Bangalore I haven't seen such horrible sweltering summer. Adding to it, the temperature controlled office space makes us much more less adaptable to heat. This weekend during most part of the day, I survived the heat with liquid foods like butter milk.

Maximum Temperature(Deg C) 34.9
Departure from Normal (Deg C) +2

An increase of 2 degrees from normal indicates where we are heading to.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Bangalore traffic update

Bangalore traffic woes are scoring new heights this week. Particularly the Airport Rd and MG Rd users has suffered major brunt because of VVIPs hitting the road during peak hours.

Here is a humble request to VVIPs. Please do not block traffic and make commoners suffer. probably if you travel once in the peak hour traffic in bangalore, I guess no VVIP would turn back again to bangalore. TOI reported that it nearly took 1 hour to cross the section of Indira Nagar, Domulur and Airport Rd junction yesterday. And believe me it is no exaggeration.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


(In philosophy)
It is not just in Matrix that Neo, "The One" has the choice, every other move you make in life has choices. Choosing the right one gives you the taste of success.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Organization Phrases/Jargons

Different organizations use different set of jargons/phrases in their own terms. The following are the some that I have recently come across

1. Touch base with -- to check out what is recent or get the latest update
2. statying on top -- to get it done with top priority

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Google Blog unavailability

Today Google Blog wasn't available for a short period time to much of a surprise. When they are back the update given sprang a much bigger surprise.

We've determined the cause of tonight's outage. The blog was mistakenly deleted by us (d'oh!) which allowed the blog address to be temporarily claimed by another user. This was not a hack, and nobody guessed our password. Our bad.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Petrol bunk cheating

Cheating at petrol bunks is very rampant in India. It is done at various levels,either through adulteration (mixing kerosene with petrol) or tampering with the quantity.

I just came across an incident today, when I went to fill in petrol for my bike in a Bharat Petroleum bunk on the koramangala inner ring road. I was forced to fill in at this unusual place as my bike was in almost dry condition and I missed out the usual place when I regularly fill-in.

The service guy at the bunk was acting very hastily. I was keeping a watch on the meter at the pump, then another guy distracted my attention. Before I could realize the service guy finished filling in and has reset the meter. By no way I could ensure that he filled in the correct quantity. I was suspicious that he would have cheated at the least 1/2 litre of petrol from me. To support my claim the bike went to reserve mode even before I could travel another 5 kms.

404 - Page not found

It is rather unusual when I got Page Not Found in when I cliked on a news link on their Front Door page.

In case of rediff, it is very rampant that you often hit upon Page Not Found or wrongly linked page.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Poster campaign

With the impending state elections in TN and the curb by the EC on advertising in public walls, the political parties have gone haywire in trying to reserve private properties and walls to do their campaign. I am surprised why the parties still haven't embraced other forms of campaign. At the least in metros, e-campaigns should take precedence. Bangalore is no exception. Even with the advent of multiplexes, one can see a lot of cinema posters all over the city. It really gives an ugly look to the city. Over the years, I haven't decided on the movie to watch by looking at the posters. Probably the poster campaign could work only in smaller towns where the e-media still nascent.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Photo blogging tool for camera phones

Couple of months back myself and Gops were thinking of writing a small app to upload photos from camera phones to blogger. The idea is to experiment and understand the capabilities of J2ME and getting exposed to atom specs/Blogger API.
We did start with some prototyping. Then the project went on hibernation as both us were occupied with office stuff.

Nice to see that ShoZu really implemented the complete solution. I guess this is the second time I came so close to conceiving a brand new product idea and failing to capitalize on it.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Telecom tariff tumbling

The Telecomm tariffs India are in flux. The tariff are tumbling down like an avalanchee. When there is a competition, the subscribers are most benefitted. Close on the heels of every service provider providing One India One Rupee tariff, the Reliance Infocomm has spearheaded another tariff cut. Now with reliance you can enjoy 40p per min to any Reliance number across the country and 75p to any other number in the Joy 499 plan.

Reliance customers are getting the best deal out of this tariff wars.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Not a surprise

Google is known for its pamper. It doesn't come as a complete surprise when I saw pug speak at Official Google blog. Even I remember Oracle Japan having a dog listed as their employee.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Awesome Photo

It took me some time to grasp the camels and their shadows

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Over last week, I read an article on Rediff about how people take chances for pursuing their dream job. There were clear statistics showing people leaving their well-paid risk less comfortable office job to pursue their real interests. In a sheer coincidence, I learnt that Gopal (via) has relinquished his job to pursue his dream company for full-time. Eminent Infotech which has been nascent for a while is set to ramp up its operations. (the website is partially complete, hang on for while)

This initiative does answer my quest on India born tech companies rolling out its products and securing market leadership. I wish Eminent Infotech the very best in all their endeavors. And I hope to see another Joel in Gopal sooner. (Now I get a better chance of having shares in Eminent Infotech IPO !)

Jokes apart, the sheer experience that this exercise will bring is unquantifiable. This also reminds me of an adage, "Taking no risk in life is a big risk on it own".

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Motivation - Failure is your friend


Failure is your friend

It is really a motivational article on Failure. To be honest, something has been bugging me down for the past couple of weeks. It was related to an attempt (I know this is vague but can't reveal anything more) I made, that got flopped drastically. Though I am convinced that the decision gave me a very good learning expertise on various fronts...Still there is a pinch of feeling that I miscalculated a lot of stuff while taking that decision. I had failed to give due significance to a couple of factors or suggestions that came along my way.

A quick read of this article really made me feel consoled. I hope this learning experience will help in the future!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Design caveat

Have you ever observed a coffee vending machine making a huge noise while delivering hot water? I could not understand why it makes such a loud grinding noise as if it is crushing coffee beans.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Messy Education System

This post is a rant about the illogicalness of the state board education system. For those uninterested turn away!

Over this weekend, I had a chance to meet a couple of people doing their Higher secondary study. With the academic calendar closing up and the imminent board exams has thrown a cover of anxiety over them. They are grappled with fear of performance and there has been a lot of pressure put on them to score good marks in the exams. The marks single handedly decides your career path. If your exam score is excellent, you are deemed to get enrolled into a top-notch college in the state and at the end of the four year degree course you get a placement in IT company.

First thing, I noticed in them is their lower fitness level. They look very lean and the stress has got enough energy out of their body. Their are completely occupied by studies (I won't be surprised if they tell me that they sit with their syllabus books all through their day) and look tired. They fail to understand the significance of mental and physical health. All that is going in their mind is to study, mug and vomit back in the exam. Nobody is really interested in learning things, rather only point is to score marks in the exams.

Even the case was same a decade ago when I prepared for the board exams. Competition has increased many folds now and it is more tough to perform.

The point of contention is that the students aren't developing critical and logical thinking. The sole purpose of Education is to make you to think, which gets beaten up. They won't be able to solve problems on their own and put to use the concepts that they have learned during their school times. There will not be any application of the basic learning that has been done. I feel it is real waste of time and childhood.

Though the state gov has come up with various committees to suggest revisions to the education system, until now none has helped to revive. Unless the education system is revived sooner than later we would be losing the potential younger generations who has to shoulder the burden of the country in the years to come.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Google Page Creator

Probably I will be the last soul on this earth to report Google introducing Page Creator. Google has released it in beta and due to enormous response, Google has limited the access to the page creator. But is there any significant difference between page creator and blogger?

Update: Page Creator is intended for hosting webpages of small business organizations. As per statistics, there are 45% of small business which doesn't have a website. (via)

Tech makes work harder

I some how had the feeling that technology is making life more miserable. From a common man's point of view, at the outset technology could help in doing things much faster and better. But at the end of the day, the satisfaction and happiness is less and cribbing about life is more.

CNET has an article published on this topic. Some excerpts from the article

"Technology has sped everything up and, by speeding everything up, it's slowed everything down, paradoxically," said John Challenger, chief executive of Chicago-based outplacement consultants Challenger, Gray and Christmas.

"It's harder to feel like you're accomplishing something."

"We think we're faster, smarter, better with all this technology at our side and in the end, we still feel rushed and our feeling of productivity is down," said Maria Woytek, marketing communications manager for Day-Timers, a unit of ACCO Brands.

Companies that are flexible with workers' time and give workers the most control over their tasks tend to fare better against the sea of rising expectations, experts said.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Is there a cutting-edge technology company from India?

I was having a pep talk with my colleague. I really wanted to record his observation.

"Name one(some) of the cutting edge technology company that has originated in India and are the market leaders in the world? "

I could not answer. I do not know one such company.

Windows XP rules

I was going through the site analystics of this blog. The traffic to this blog is very minimal. I manage only getting very few hits per day. But even with this minimal traffic certain facts stands tall. In the OS category Windows XP rules. I guess for a normal PC user still Linux sounds geek.

Google Chat in Gmail

The integrated Google Talk in Gmail is a bonus for users. There is an article about this in The Hindu which pointed out that this integration does away with the dependence on installed chat programs when one has to browse from internet cafes or parlours. This is a very common scenario in India and sharing PCs are very normal. The automatic saving of chat text within Gmail and making it searchable is a real candy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

What do project managers ask?

When you sit for a project meeting with project manager you deemed to face these questions

When can we expect this task to be complete?
Any timelines for this?
What is the status of this task?
How much percentage is this task complete?
What are the blocking issues?
Is this task in critical path?

...more to come :-)

Friday, February 17, 2006

Unconscious thinking

Nice article published in rediff.

I am going to quote heavily from the article, mostly for people who are lazy enough to click the link and read the article.

The study argues that difficult decisions are best handled by our unconscious minds.

The study -- published in the journal, Science -- showed that conscious thinkers could make the best choices about simple products, while unconscious thinkers could make the best choice among complex products.

Apparently, thinking about things consciously means a person can only focus on a few things at once. When it is a tough decision to make, therefore, the mind can sometimes give certain factors undue importance. Thinking about something for too long can also lead to different evaluations and inconsistencies. Unconscious thinking, on the other hand, can handle large amounts of information that can lead to a fairly evaluative summary judgment.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Reliance and their strategy

As I had been scouting over the various phone service providers, I decided to check on Reliance and their "One Nation, One Voice and One Rupee plan" with the fixed wireless phone. In this activity I did attain my goal but also suffered some brunt.

The Wireless handset that I picked is LG 350R which is quiet sturdy with all mobile type applications and options in it. The voice clarity is good and the instrument weighs light compared to the one supplied by Tata Indicom Walky. It has a built in Lithium ion battery and when it is charged to complete, the phone automatically switches to use AC power for its operations until it plugged out from the power.

I have been using it for more than a week now and I didn't face any poor signals or call drops. A good sign of service.

But the strategy that reliance opts for this service is bit weird. The model of service is based on the type of residence you have. It is not purely based on your salary or your capacity to pay the bill. For instance since I stay in a rented house along with my friends, I had to pay advance rental of Rs 1000 and the credit limit for my connection is just Rs 1000.

When I reach this credit limit, I need to settle the bill with the reliance and then renew my credit even when the billing cycle is not complete. Basically this is done to prevent defaulters from getting a connection, using it to maximum limit and then running off. This rule doesn't suit to every other customer.

Certainly the One nation tariff has lesser impact on one's pocket with increase in the call volumes. To prove my claim, let me assume that I make 1000 mins of STD calls.

With Airtel :
Rental : 150 + 50 (clip) + 75 (STD pack)
Call charges: 1000 * 2 = 2000
Service tax: 227

Total: Rs 2500

With Reliance:

Rental: 499 + 50 (clip)
Call Charges: 1000
Service tax: 155

Total: Rs 1700

So ultimately this exercise will save me Rs 800 per month and I recover the installation charges within the first month. All provided I make 1000 mins of call. The more the call volumes the cheaper the rates will be.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

BSNL OneIndia tariff put off

There is going to be some more posts on the telecom tariffs.

The earlier post I did pointed to the proposed OneIndia tariff by BSNL. It now seems that BSNL will not be launching this tariff any time soon. When I read through a couple of articles on that area, most of them pointed out that it is hard to slash the STD rates to 1 Rs per min. The minimum tariff for STD cannot go below 1.85 Rs per min. But I wonder how Reliance manages to support OneIndia tariff. How does Reliance recover the loss? Through higher call volume and higher rentals?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Turning the heat on

When I was scouting through the tariff plans of various phone service providers, I was wondering why BSNL didn't bring down the tariffs of their conventional fixed line phone (FLP) to current trend. Though they were competitive in reducing their CellOne tariffs, they didn't touch the FLP tariffs. Just today came the answer.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Just in words - Reliance Infocomm

I was pretty interested in checking up the reliance broadband as a fail over option in our house. Yesterday I went to Reliance Webworld in BTM II Stage to enquire about the various plans. To my surprise the helpdesk guy told that the broadband hasn't been commenced yet and will start soon. But he is clueless about how soon?

Secondly I started asking him about the Fixed Line Phone(FLP) with One India tariff. He denied reliance providing such service. The helpdesk guy had no clue about FLP, though I asked him to check up their website.

Then I asked him about One India tariff plan with Fixed Wireless Phone (FWP). Again this plan seems to be not supported in the FWP. I do not understand to whom these tariff plans are provided.

After analysing Reliance's One India plan, I understood that for high volume users it works out cheaper when your call terminates with in reliance. Otherwise BSNL is much cheaper than Reliance.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Tariff wars

Reliance Infocomm spearheaded another tariff war this January with their One India tariff plan. With One India tariff plan, customers enjoy the privilege of paying a single charge to any number they call within India associated with any service provider. This plan at large simplifies the complexity in understanding the tariff plans and chossing the better that suits the individual needs. It also allows people to enjoy greater talk time for high volume users.

Close to the heels, BSNL also came up with a similar plan whereby you end up paying a single charge to any number you call within India within their network. It really surprised me when the state-run company came up to this competition much ahead than one would have expected. Observers accounted that these could revolutionize the telecom sector. But nothing changed in Airtel or Hutch or with other players over the past month.

As a customer of Airtel, it is really frustrating to see that the provider not keeping up with the tariff cuts. I have to pay nearly 60% more tariff for STD calls in comparison to choosing One India tariff plan. It is high time that Airtel should consider slashing their rates, otherwise they are going to see their customer base getting eroded by Reliance and BSNL.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


The new political outfit started by five IIT alumni. They have formed the party to fight out current political stigma and bane suffered by our country under the selfish politicians. Hats off to these guys for their courageous move to clean the political system in the country and bring out relief to the suffering.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Off from tech savy world

It was a rejuvenating weekend. Took off on friday to grab a long weekend. Spent half the time at my maternal grandmother's place in a rustic village farm house amidst raffling sound of tree leaves and unheard bird sounds (which one can not have in the chaotic city life). The peaceful atmosphere kindled a lot of thoughts. When you stay calm for a while in this kind of a place you start hearing your inner voice. You could think profoundly and make critical decision in an easier way.

For the rest of the period did a lot of talking (all due the lot of thinking) leaving my parents sullen.
My dad got a TVS Star City(deluxe) bike and I did most of the test ride over the weekend. The feel of the bike resembles much like Splendor. It is as light in weight as Splendor but with more engine power. The gear shifting is in the same fashion as Splendor (shift from the traditional TVS way). Will get some pictures next time.

Monday, January 23, 2006

iLap - innovative and useful laptop stand

The other day when I was using Dell D610 laptop at home, I nearly got my lap burnt due to excessive heat emitted from the laptop. I was twiddling as I could not sit with the laptop supported at my lap. I was going through a Apple's site on their Mac Products guide when I saw their accessory laptop stand for Mac books.

The product is named iLap, has innovative and thoughtful features considering the heat dissipation and ergonomics factor.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Spruced Up - Part 2

Added a new header image with link to my blog mainpage. Moved out blog description to the sidebar. Seems pretty neat now!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Spruced Up!

For those reading this post through RSS aggregators, I have spruced up the face of this blog.
The idea behind this page layout is to display post contents in a broad space and stick to the conventional method of displaying profile and links on the right side of the page. This mostly involved hacking a bit of CSS from the Minima template.

It is not over yet. Some more sprucing up is on the anvil.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Necessity is the mother of invention

The other day, myself and krish were talking about designing a helmet with built-in head-phone in it. This will enable us to listen to songs in our mp3 player while commuting to office. The conventional ear-phone get away when you wear the helmet.

I am quiet surprised when another guy in the blogsphere shared the same idea.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Dublin too crumbles in traffic

I was interacting with an Irish person from Dublin. He was complaining about traffic snarls in Dublin. The pictures shown in the link doesn't really do justice. In my perspective, dublin traffic is very less compared to bangalore.

These infrastructure problems in upcoming cities seems to be common. But how well and quickly the city copes up is to be watched.

Infy has pointed out that all its expansion for 2006 would take place out of bangalore and consultants have predicted that bangalore will loose its percentage of expansion. Will ever bangalore political honchos pickup these clues.

Monday, January 09, 2006

WinXP login screen titbit

Have you ever noticed WinXP login screen prompting Caps Lock turned on for your password field?

It is a nice thoughtful titbit that WinXP has provided. Most of the time you unlock and just type in your password without noticing that Caps is on and get your password denied. After trying couple of times you get to notice that Caps is ON. Even you can end up in your account being locked. All these hassles are prevent by this little titbit.

See how a small feature improves usability.

Friday, January 06, 2006


Most email systems ardently fight to protect your inbox from spams. AOL reported last year that it has blocked half-trillion spams over the year. Out of these, majority of the spams are porn related or sexually suggestive. Though the article suggests that such sexually suggestive spams took a tumble last year, I am not still spared.

I am more conservative in revealing my gmail address. I give out only to legitimate sites/person so that I would not end up using it as a junk box. Still I get close to 5 spam mails per day and out of which at least one in sexually suggestive.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Got my camera back

Just got it repaired back. After an arduous wait of over 2 months, I got my Canon Powershot A70 camera returned from Canon Service. As I reported earlier (link to my earlier post) it was down with the CCD manufacturing defect.

Though I had to wait for a long time, I am quiet satisfied with the service. The Canon center representative was approachable and cooperative. They gave me the status every now and then. Even the delay was attributed to CCD out off stock as there was a large number of turnout for the CCD replacement.

I haven't tested the camera completely, but took a couple of shots at the service center to confirm that it is working. I am quiet pleased with the handling too. No scratches or rough handling.

The crux of this exercise is that I haven't spent a penny from my pocket, everything is taken care by the Canon Service. This is an exemplary of QoS.

Traffic woes back in form

In the last two weeks of december, the traffic woes has come down drastically as majority of the people has gone out for vacation. This trend points us how much tourism industry is picking up in India. With good pay checks and LTA (Leave Travel Allowance) at their disposal most of the IT employed people look for lucrative offers from tourism sponsored states. As well it symbolizes that the western life style is picking up.

With vacation coming to end, the traffic woes are back in form. You could see bumper to bumper traffic in all signals. Commuting is a pain in bangalore.