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Showing posts from 2007

Search Travel in India - 90DI.com

A few friends and ex-colleagues of mine have come up with an interesting idea about travel search. First a little background - The Indian Railways operates around 8700 passenger train trips but still these many trips are not sufficient to give you point to point connectivity to around 6,856 railway stations. So we have this practice of connecting trains.

To go from point A to B, you first go from A to C then from C to B. You can have various options depending on your fare, time and location preferences. And you may want to check about the availability on these routes, the pricing, time taken etc. To this, if you want to add the options provided by the fast growing air travel industry of India, you will have even more options to compare for.

So what my friends have done is that they have come up with a website called http://www.90di.com, which lists all the connection options from point A to point B in India. One can select modes like Train, Flight and Train+Flight and it fetches informa…

Route to E-City in Bangalore...

This blog is for people in Bangalore, who happen to travel on Hosur Road every weekday or more to reach their offices in Electronic City. I have tried to create a tour in Google Earth of an alternate route from Wipro Office in Electronic City to Bilekahalli-Bannerughatta Road junction. The latter junction is a few hundred meters away from the Bannerughatta Road and Outer Ring Road junction. This route will be a wee bit longer than the regular BTM-Hosur road route but the time one would take on this route is always close to 30mins (in almost all weather conditions!) unlike that on regular route which varies from 20 min to 4 hours.

To check this route, you will have to install Google Earth and open the .kmz file using that. The route starts from the Wipro Office gate in Electronic City and takes you thru some villages although the road thru them is mostly wide and tarred and in very new condition and rarely used. This even avoids the NICE road whose exit to Bannerughatta road is always c…

Long time no see...

Its been a long time, lots of things to post but never posted.

Workplace changed, blogs labeled Infosys will decrease and those labeled Accenture will increase! Apparent changes in web presence - AOL becomes primary IM. MSN is also there to some extent. And came to know about this nice thing called trillian. Sleek one, useful if you use many instant messengers and you actually chat using all of them. Supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo and ICQ.

My home PC recovered from a near crash situation. Its working fine right now, touch wood! Reason being, switching it off from the UPS directly instead of normal shutdown (There's a four year old in house!). Ubuntu is totally unusable now, is not booting up at all and I saw it going from bad to worse while trying to recover. Windows looks normal now after a system restore and multiple chkdsks.

Had to buy additional USB harddisk for backup. You get a 160GB Seagate hard-disk, vendor assembled in a Tech-Com casing for Rs 3328/- (tax included) in Bangalore. T…

Call from Google search...

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I was trying to search for some Movers and Packers in Bangalore today when I noticed this call thing in the sponsored links. So I dialed out the first result and it actually connected me to the movers and packers listed there. Its another thing that I was trying to call at 10pm in the night and this movers and packers guy didn't want to talk and disconnected immediately. The feature as such was a pleasant surprise. I will test this out tomorrow during working hours.













~mks

Pownce, Inviteshare and Techcrunch

First Joost and now pownce, thanks to Techcrunch. The joost invite I got directly from Techcrunch courtesy this post. And today I stumbled upon this news item about Techcrunch acquiring Inviteshare. So I checked up Inviteshare and immediately signed up. And placed myself in the queue for invitation for pownce. And vow! Within 10 min one Mr. Maverick sends me an invite. I am amazed. Come to think about it, inviteshare is good, one way it fetches you invites for new happening type sites and other way it tells you which are the sites which are of happening types these days!

Coming back to pownce, some of my friends who have been powncing for sometime now, must have noticed new friend request from me. Getting into pownce thru this method was interesting, now I have joost invites and pownce invites which I am going to send/share now thru this inviteshare. So if anybody is still looking for them, please sign up on inviteshare, and then I will invite you for joost and pownce :-P.

~mks

PS…

Joost!

I have been watching Joost for some time now (Ok, few weeks!). And all I can say that its been an experience so far. The ad-free viewing experience is great (save for that Coke text-ad which I noticed yesterday evening). The other day I and my son were watching that continuous burst of cartoons when my wife came and remarked - "No Ads!".

Apart from the No-Ads thing, the choice of channels is also good. So many things to watch and explore, Joost has the potential to revive my interest in watching TV (on computer of course). And my 2Mbps connection is also managing it well, now I need one with no limits on downloads/uploads!

By the way, going by Text-Ads thing, why can't the TV channels do the same thing for themselves. Tickers are already part of the news channels these days. This way they can have ads coming on the screen all the time while the programs carry on with their stuff in the main viewing area. At least the channel which starts this experiment can boast of hav…

This is cool!

When I checked for the source of traffic to my blog today it showed one link from Yahoo! OurCity. On exploring it further I was pleasantly surprised to see that Yahoo! OurCity for Mysore contains my Mysore Trip blog. Yahoo! posts the results of this Technorati Search in the Travel Blog section.

That was cool anyway!

~mks

Mysore Trip...

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Last Saturday we went on a trip to Mysore. We drove all the way from Bangalore and came back on the same day. We used SH-17 (Bangalore-Mysore State Highway) for our travel.















Our first stop being Sangam at Srirangapatna. A Sangam is a sanskrit word meaning confluence. At Allahabad its the confluence of three rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. This sangam at Srirangapatna is different. Actually the town of Srirangapatna is an island and is enclosed by the river Kaveri. So the point where the river Kaveri meets back again is called Sangam.
















The river Kaveri is sacred for the people in this part of India. And the people you see in the photograph above were actually going to perform some puja on those small islands in the river. Our next stop was the Dariya Daulat bagh. It used to be summer palace of Tipu Sultan built in year 1784.


































As the description says, its made up of wood and work done on those wood is huge and amazing. Imagine something like that, wholly made up wood and still standing in…

My Hindi Blog...

I have started a separate blog page in Hindi today. You can check my posts in Hindi at Manish Uvaach!

~mks

हिंदी ब्लॉग (Blog in Hindi)...

नमस्कार,

अभिषेक को देख कर मैंने भी सोचा कि एक ब्लॉग पोस्ट हिंदी में भी करूं। यह तो काफी आसान है। गूगलनेंतोये सुविधा मार्च में ही दे दी थी पर मुझे अभी पता चला। काफी सही है ये तो!

अरे सही, इसमें तो गलती करने पर सुधार के लिए उदाहरण भी देता है, वाह! किसी भी शब्द पर लेफ़्ट क्लिक कीजिये। अगर आपको भी हिंदी में ब्लॉग करना है तो Settings में जा कर Basics में देखिए वहा पर आपको Transliteration का drop down दिखाई पड़ेगा. सही है ना! पर अगर हिन्दी व अंग्रेजी मिला करके लिखनी हो तो फिर थोड़ी समस्या है। editor थोडा slow हो जाता है। मुझे लग रह है कि editor का "Write Hindi" option click ना करके सीधे शब्द पर लेफ्ट क्लिक कीजिये उस से आसान रहेगा। और समस्या तब हो रही है जब मैं कुछ गलत टाईप कर दे रह हूँ। खैर दिमाग तो काफी लगाया है गूगल नें उसमें कोई दो राय नही है।

वैसे मुझे अब लग रह है कि मेरी हिंदी लिखने की आदत अब छूट चुकी है क्योंकि कोई भी वाक्य पहली बार में बिना अंग्रेजी के एक शब्द इस्तेमाल किए हुये पूरा ही नही हो पा रहा है।

१ - "option" को हिंदी में क्या बोलते हैं?
२ - "Blog…

Rail Enquiry...

Have you tried the Rail Enquiry using the number 139? This one is IVR and it allows you to type in the train number or speak the train name. There is an option (in Bangalore) where you can enquire for either train bound to Bangalore station or elsewhere. For elsewhere you have to speak the station name. Today when I said "Yasvantpur Jn", the IVR lady said "I **think** you said Yasvantpur".

The "I think" struck me hard. Vow! To make the software sound more interactive/human they have used the word "think", cool!

~mks

PS - I use the Train Enquiry website. Todays was an exception.

Kiddo Chat...

My son has this peculiar inclination towards reading text from right to left like we do in Arabic/Farsi/Urdu. Yesterday, when his Mom asked him to spell Apple, he said "E L P P A"! If I try to read newspaper to him and start reading "The Hindu" like "T H E H I N D U", he will say "no read it like 'U D N ...'".

My grandfather was a teacher of Farsi so that could possibly be one reason. But its interesting, like they force kids to use their right hand we will make him read from left to right.

~mks

Bad day!

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We went to one "Hemadri Cermaics Shop" near Silk Board in Bangalore. I parked the car with enough space for parking two more cars on the left. But one lorry driver had other ideas. While we were inside checking out the bathroom accessories, he apparently while backing up his vehicle, did a huge smooch with the rear left door of my car -















He could have stopped while the lorry just touched my car but that has not to happen, the lorry's rear stuck at this point in my car and dragged the car till its front bumper hit the boundary wall some 3 ft ahead of it -















The lorry driver ran away after the incident. The shop owner who owned the lorry as well has promised to bear the cost for the dent. But lets see if they hold their promise when I tell them the cost of repair tomorrow. When I showed the damage to service center they were suggesting change of door. I am going to claim the insurance for this and hope they pay the part which will come to me. I will be loosing the no-claim b…

Tip

A tip is a payment to certain service sector workers beyond the advertised bill or fee.

It was a sad day yesterday. One of my relatives passed away. The family decided to take him to the native place Lucknow. The air travel required the body to be embalmed and casketed. There is an agency in Bangalore which does this. So we went to this mortuary where this was to be done. The guy over there could speak in Hindi and he very clearly explained us everything. He was very forthcoming in giving all the information and he assured us that everything will be done on time.

While all this was happening, the youngest son went to a corner and was crying. We went to console him. And suddenly this guy walked over to us and asked for a tip. Apparently he was going to bring dinner and he was asking for a tip to get the same. We were shocked. We gave the money but the shock stayed and probably this is one of those events which will reside in my mind for all my life.

Later we discussed the same and we ded…

Formula One!

Watching formula1 is dangerously infectious, it gets into your driving immediately!

I have watched two Alonso won races (KL and Monaco) till now and he must be really thankful to Hamilton for blocking the Ferraries for him all the way till the end. Such consistency! When LH starts getting the pole position...

Monaco race track is crazy, you start from Residency road - St. Joseph School Crossing, take right at Bangalore Central, take right again on the Richmond Road at Lifestyle crossing, go straight, climb up the famous dissected flyover of Richmond/Residency road, take a U-turn on the flyover itself towards Residency road... That's Bangalore Formula1 race track for you. If you want, you go from under the flyover, that will give you the tunnel like feeling.

;-)

~mks

Meeting Sunil Gavaskar...

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Sunil Gavaskar came to our office campus today for some promotion. And we got a chance to hear him. Me and Veetrag went together to see him. We didn't bring our cameras and we didn't have anything appropriate to take autograph on (and not even a pen). Luckily, people arranged for some notebooks and pens in the audi and Veetrag's w700i worked as our camera.

Since Gavaskar retired some 20 years ago so the junta which turned up on time was mostly from that era when he played. But later on the hall was full with people from all ages. The Gavaskar I saw right there speaking in front of me was a little different. When I looked up at the screen behind him, the Gavaskar in that looked familiar. I am so much used to his on screen presence I must say.

Some very candid discussion on all aspects of (mostly Indian) cricket happened. He fielded all the questions very coolly and I felt good seeing and listening him. I asked a question (why no triple hundreds from Indians (only one till d…

Kiddo chat...

After buying the car, I gave my bike to my cousin. He visits me often, and today was one such day. When he left, my son got curious and this happened -

Son - Papa tum car kisko doge? (Whom will you give the car to?)
Me - Nahi beta, car hamaare paas rahegi. (No dear, car will be with us)
Son - Main chalaunga. (I will drive)
Me - Haan, jab tum bade ho jaoge to car chalaoge. (Yes, when you grow up, you will drive the car).
Son - Tum peeche baithoge? (You will sit on the backseat?)

:-)

~mks

Paisa - Random Musings

Microsoft agrees to buy aQuantive for $6 billion, compare this with google's acquisition of Double Click for $3.1 billion. Other such acquisitions I heard of - Yahoo Inc. buying online ad exchange Right Media Inc. ($680 million), and WPP Group PLC buying ad firm 24/7 Real Media Inc ($649 million).

Baba re! kitna paisa hai advertisement mein!! (Gosh! there's so much money in advertising business).

This one is from GigaOm - Alltel, one of the smaller mobile carriers has decided to go private in a deal that values the company at $27.5 billion ($71.50 a share in cash), a 23% premium over Alltel’s closing price on December 29, 2006. The company is being acquired by two private equity players, TPG (Texas Pacific Group) and GS Capital Partners (private equity arm of Goldman Sachs).

Baba re! Mobile business mein aur jyada paisa hai (Gosh! Mobile business involves even more money).

Vinnie Mirchandani discusses salaries and billing rates of Indian Offshoring companies in his blog post title…

Insane Rail Fan...

Can you believe somebody would lie down on the rail track to take a video of a running train? No? Confused? Watch it yourself -



~mks

Bengali/Oriya Tam Bram!

I met this friend of friend of mine today. He is son of Oriya Tam Bram father and Bengali Tam Bram mother. He can understand Tamil but cannot speak. His paternal ancestors settled as Raj Purohits of some Kingdom in Orisa and maternal ones settled doing same for some Bengali Raja. He himself has married a Marathi Brahmin settled in Andhra.

Really interesting lineage!

~mks

HP's second quarter earnings...

GigaOm reports that HP has to release information about its second quarter earnings one week earlier due to some internal mess-up. It was better than market expectations anyway but what caught my attention was these statements -

H-P’s announcement rolled across Business Wire’s feed at 8:45 a.m., EST

...snip...

By 8:46, the stock had shot up 2.7% to $44.92 a share. That’s not a
huge percentage gain per se, but for a stock as large as H-P’s, it
meant $3.2 billion injected into its market cap in one minute.

Lets read it as - Three point two billion per minute!! Very interesting indeed. I now understand what they mean by "eyes popped out!"

~mks

Summer Training...

Is it mandatory to do 2 months summer training course during your engineering? Say after 6th sem. What is the norm like?

The demand-supply equations have changed. When these courses were designed, they had only a few seats to start with, and there were only a few industries (government run/public sector), that equilibrium is gone now.

There are so many engineering colleges out there churning out so many grads every year, how is the availability of genuine summer training opportunities? With the colleges making it compulsory and junta is coming out in such large numbers, how is it possible for everyone of them to do something useful. 2 months will be spent in no time with the trainee just getting acquainted with the norms of the industry, when will he/she produce something useful for the organization.

The companies will rarely get any returns from the such short trainings. If at all they do, they enforce stringent mechanisms to induct trainees, and add some branding benefits to it. It mig…

Happy Feet Video - Desi Ishtyle

This one is one of my favorite video off late on youtube. Very nicely done and can work as a very good promotion for the Happy Feet - Hindi version.

~mks

Another father-son chat...

Last night it was raining in Bangalore, a little bit of thunder and lightening as well. And while this was on, me and my son were having a chat -

Son: Ye kya bol raha hai? (What is this noise?)
Me: Badal bol raha hai. (Its the clouds)
Son: Chal hum log chapat laga ke aate hain badal ko. (Lets go and slap the clouds)
Me: Vaha sky mein kaise jaoge? (How will you go up in the sky?)
Son: Superman ka towel pahan ke jayenge. (We will wear Superman's "towel"!)

:-D

~mks

Google Masterplan and Privacy...

Watch this movie on google and privacy debate, recently posted on digital inspiration. DI says its best ever movie made on google.



And for the privacy debate, I think there is a race to collect as much data about individuals as possible all over the web. Some guys are doing it decently and some are not. This video talks about gmail where each of your mails are scanned (of course with your consent, apparently) but what about social networking sites (orkut et al) where people voluntarily part with personal information. Actually, in all these cases, the onus resides on us! If we believe that google (and others) will abide by its (their) privacy policy forever then its a risk which we are taking and we should be aware of that.

~mks

Kiddo Chat

Yesterday Star Plus was showing Richard Attenborough's Gandhi. My son walked by, paused/watched for a while, and asked "bole to uncle kaha hain? (Where is "bole to Uncle" (Munna Bhai)?).

~Mks

India Shining...

Rising India

India Poised

Do these remind you of anything?

India Shining

When is the election? ;-)

~Mks

I am a conservative and an orthodox...

Because I am wondering what to understand from this statement -

"a form of intimate entertaining communication involving some very subtle and complex combinations of gesture, language, play and relaxation"

This is quoted verbatim from an ibnlive news. But then my attitude explains, how difficult life is for people from that domain, in our society.

~mks

Tata Indica ad...

Remember that Tata Indica Liar ad, my son used to come running from anywhere in the house just to see this ad and he must be just one or one and half year old at that time. I was wondering if I could find it on youtube and yup, it is there, here you go -

~mks

The Techcrunch Effect...

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Techcrunchblogged about Go2Web20 and heres what they did to themselves because of the traffic coming to them from techcrunch.















~mks

PS - Yeah, I know, I have got too many unread feeds in my netvibes!
PPS - Looks like there is some problem with blogspot today, I can blog at blogger but cannot read posts at blogspot. And I smell fish here, because the same blogspot is available thru internet proxies!

Bandwidth Crazy!

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Here I go...














Finally it changed - my BSNL dataone bandwidth!

~mks

Ek Anek aur Ekta...

I am part of a mailing list of parents in my office. There was a discussion on "Ek Anek aur Ekta" (One, Many and Unity) - a films division video which used to be aired on Doordarshan in the good old days of single TV channel. And its there on Youtube and Google Video. Here you go -

Today morning my son woke up in bad mood. And then I showed him this video and voila! He immediately got back his rhythm... Actually I had to drag him from the computer to finish with the daily morning chores.

~mks

BSNL Dataone - Again!

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While I am eagerly waiting for 1st of Feb when they remove the bandwidth cap for my connection, I got a glimpse of what my neighbor is getting @ Rs. 250/- per month -















Looks cool! Mine is still lingering around 100-300Kbps.

~Mks

Linux Asia Conference (Update)...

I see that the schedule is up now. Good to see that its not really packed up - The Tech Track. No parallel talks, no attempts to fit in as many speakers/tracks as possible.

Less is good!

Best wishes

~mks

BSNL Broadband - Dataone

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While I was raving about BSNL's dataone broadband all around the world, BSNL was busy in its own bureaucratic innovations!

I use dataone at home and I have Home Unlimited 900 plus plan. This means I get unlimited downloads and uploads and the bandwidth is 256Kbps. When I saw this news on dataone portal I was very excited and I happily blogged about that in my intranet blog also. But then Veetrag asked me to do a bandwidth test and post the image showing 2Mbps or so bandwidth. So I did a bandwidth test and saw this -















Eating the humble pie! A retest within a few minutes was some solace -














But I am confused! Though this is still not enough (afterall they said they will be giving 2Mbps). I checked up with the helpline, and its there at the dataone website also. BSNL is not increasing the bandwidth for Home Unlimited users so why am I getting > 256Kbps b/w. For me the higher the better, but where is 2Mbps? So now, I have asked them to migrate me to Home-1000 plan where there is an assur…

Impressed...

Sun's CEO gives an interview to Scoble. Talks about a lot of things. Wordpress Founder watches it and blogs about his experience with Sun, not so good. The crib being -

The Sun platform is completely wrong for a new generation of startups

And Sun's CEO apologizes on his blog to Wordpress Founder. Cool no!!

I think it's like the difference between your requirements analysis documents and your end product. You should be able to deliver what you promise, or you should be able to chew what you wanna bite. And to some extent, I agree with this perception thing with Sun.

~mks

Linux Asia Conference 2007...

Linux Asia Conference - Some observations...

1) Microsoft is one of the Sponsors - "Interoperability Partner". Now what is that and what happened to this.
2) Turbolinux is alive - I almost forgot!
3) Conference starts on 31st Jan, I am still searching for the schedule.

Best wishes

~Mks

PS - I gave a talk there in 2004.

The crowd on the dais...

The presentation ceremony today for the India-West Indies cricket match was quite interesting. Some 15-20 people (dignitaries) were standing there on the dais, or probably more, including two ministers. What for? To give out some 3 awards to the man of the match. Lot of big people in Orissa!

And what is this Tripti Foods? Their CEO was also named there, last match also some similar company's CEO was there. Both seem to be related to Pepsi. Tried googling without success. My guess - local franchises of Pepsi and misuse of sponsorship rights. Hope its not true, but still the crowd on the dais is annoying, especially when there's nothing much to do.

With each of these ODI centers getting matches after a long time (3 years+)... nobody knows when the next time will come. But then how does BCCI manages maintaining such huge lights put for day-night matches when they can give a match to this venue once in every three years only. Or may be they are used for local matches like Ranji et…

Solaris + Intel

I have always had a great respect for the Solaris OS. And I hope this move of Sun and Intel pays well for both of them.

~mks

Flip Test...

"Let's say the world has only e-books, then someone introduces this technology called 'paper'. It's cheap, portable, lasts essentially forever, and requires no batteries. You can't write over it once it's been written on, but you buy more very cheaply. Wouldn't that technology come to dominate the market?"

Those are of course not my words, while reading Andrew McAfee, I came across this cool concept of flip test. And that's not the thing he wanted to discuss in that blog. He takes this discussion further to compare old generation collaboration technologies (email, chat, cellphones...) with the new generation collaboration technologies (blogs, wiki etc). Interesting read!

There is always some opposition to any new technology or disruption while many people (old economy thoughts) oppose new adoption there are always people (new economy thoughts) who advocate for change or new additions. One should be able to view things from the top, understand al…

Spams...

If you are sending me a mail and if you think that I don't know you then please write a reasonable subject in the mail. Because I get so many mails these days from so many people from around the world about so many things which are totally irrelevant to me that I just delete them without opening if they don't sound convincing from Sender's name and the subject line.

Some of the key subject lines -
1) Hi
2) free blah blah blah
3) Your mail
4) Words where "0" (zero) is used for "O" and so on...

And Senders names like
1) Instant Business CD
2) Way of life

And lets not talk about the unmentionable subjects and sender names here.

Spams have totally ruined some of my webmail accounts. Lycos is totally gone, I don't even bother to delete the mails there. My primary web mail used to be Yahoo but that has moved to gmail now, the latter having better filtering. And whenever I visit my Yahoo mail, I have to first delete all those "unreasonable subject" mails a…