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Showing posts from 2008

My Top 10 things of 2008

Today I got stuck in a barber shop for more than an hour - the last hair cut of 2008 eh - and ended up reading India Today's top 10 things of 2008. I got this brain wave for a list of my own top 10 events of 2008. 
10. Stealing my nephew (Achu's) cycle. I turned green this year ( partly inspired by my wife, partly by oil prices ) and thought now I will cycle my way around AECS Layout. Well cycle is here but the back wheel does not hold air. Have to fix it first thing in 2009 so we can use it.
9. Learnt how to change nappies, sterilize bottles, hold a baby, put him to sleep, feed him, entertain him - I can write a book !!
8. Worked on my first .NET project on Vista. No comments.
7. Got the shock of my life on the new modified 81 seaters in Sleeper class and a never ending journey from Bangalore to Calcutta and back with a demanding never-tiring-keep-entertaining-me 10 month old.
6. Watched Obama create history.
5. and my heart brimmed with pride seeing Chandrayaan take India to new l…

IE gotcha - does not render row colors

My dynamic table rendered by an AJAX call had alternating row colors - which as expected rendered beautifully in all the major browsers ( except IE of course ). 
The row looked like this tr bgcolor="#EFEFEF"

I had to push the bgcolor into an inline style and then IE started showing the row color.
tr style="background-color:#EFEFEF"
Hope my IE posts get over, because to find every IE gotcha I spend quite a fair amount of my time.

Should I eat my humble pie now?

Ahem..Dravid has now scored a century. Perhaps he read my blog and got angry and wanted to prove a point. Anyway hats off to you Mr.Dravid. May India win.
But here is some statistics I painstakingly gathered  - The total runs scored by Dravid in the last 10 matches - in both the innings.
47 - V South Africa 24 - V Sri LAnka 46 - V Sri Lanka 78 - V Sri Lanka 56 - V Australia 39 - V Australia ( he did not bat the second innings though) 22 - V Australia 03 - V Australia 07 - V England 136 - V England ( only the 1st innings score )
I rest my case. 
It is time to retire - when you have scored a century. You have contributed immensely to Indian cricket. Scoring 10,000 runs is a major feat. You have delighted the world and us with your stroke play. But the time has come - let us see more Dravids emerging out - give them a chance.


IE will not render my dynamic table

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And today I wasted an entire afternoon trying to figure out why IE will not render my dynamic table got from an AJAX call. And as usual all the other browsers were rendering the table without skipping a beat.
I stripped out everything till nothing was remaining in the table and still IE will not render the table. 
Finally I found out the culprit. I did not have a tbody tag. UGhhhh. 
Should I send a bill to Bill for all the wasted hours because of this inconsistent browser?

Freebie alert - ajax loader generator

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I did not expect that such a thing will exist - but it does exist. You can customize your ajax loader circle here - http://www.ajaxload.info/ .
Here are some samples ( which blogger is converting to png - so you will not be able to see the gif animation )





Javascript : Attaching to an event with a function that takes parameters

Thanks to IE refusing to play well on a dynamically loaded table with controls - I am learning new things.
Here is how to attach a function which takes parameters to a control.
document.getElementById('button').onclick=new Function("some_function('parameter')");
God bless IE.

another Gotcha - adding event to dynamically added control

This time the culprits were Chrome and IE.
The table I dynamically pulled had a select all button. But the onclick was never getting fired. The work around was quite simple. I had to attach the event to the control once again. Then the onclick event worked.
Attaching the event is quite simple. 
document.getElementById('button').onclick = functionName;

IE 7 does not show the table header - THEAD on AJAX call

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I would have spent more than an hour breaking my head with IE. 
Problem : I have a table which is fetched using AJAX. Now this table has a thead with header contents and rendered fine in all the browsers except IE. 
My code looked something like this 
<table>
<thead>
<th>Name</th>
<th>Age</th>
</thead>
<tbody>

Solution :  There should be a TR within the THEAD. Now the header started showing fine after the ajax call. The funny thing is - IE rendered it fine when this table was part of the page. When I moved it to be rendered from an AJAXy call this problem surfaced. 
Now the code looks like this.
<table>
<thead>
<tr>
<th>Name</th>
<th>Age</th>
</tr>
</thead>
<tbody>

Server issues but I am sticking with my hosting provider.

It was a harrowing time yesterday. My virtual hosting provider had network issues and so ApartmentAdda was down for 1 hour 44 minutes. First time in it's short history that it has been unreachable. I discovered it after an hour and quickly changed the dns settings to point to a page that had please be patient - we are facing network issues message.
It seems they had a hardware fault in one of their main switches and the  hazaar virtual hosts became unaccessible. Wondering who the service provider is - it is eapps.com.
I always wanted to write about them - but let me do it now. Perhaps they are getting a bad rap everywhere because of the downtime they had and their 9999 something went for a toss because of yesterday's down time. But I will stick to them. They are good. 
Here is why : They are prompt and whoever I talked to is knowledgeable. Either they can call you ( yes I am in India and they use skype or something ), or you can chat with them - and they answer  you any time of t…

and I give Dravid Man of the Match award

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The man-of-the-match award committee did not give Dravid the man of the match award - they are a bunch of fools anyway. But I confer the man of the match award to Rahul Dravid. 
Why?
No one deserves the award better than Dravid. He faced 19 balls and scored 4 runs ( see my earlier post about 5 opt repeated cliches - point no. 5 - I still have some cricket left ). After 19 balls he sacrificed his wicket so India can go and win the match.  He could have easily wasted 113 balls to score 5 runs - and then get out - so that the asking rate is impossible to achieve, and also the other batsman would have lost all interest in playing cricket. But he did not do such a thing. The noble soul sacrificed his wicket for a just cause. He deserves to be honoured.
Also he pleasantly surprised the poor crowd who had come to see a defeat or a draw. Man of the match always should be given to the ad model who is instrumental in shaping the victory - who else is responsible for paving the way for an India win…

Hi Venkat.

This post is to that Venkat - oh you are a little confused is it? Let me clear the air a bit. This post is for that Venkat ( I don't know him though ) who keeps occupying the online world before I get there. 
I probably rank somewhere on a 7 on a 1 to 10 scale when it comes to the nerdish world. Why 7 - because I started twitting only a month back, had this blog since 2004 but seriously started writing only now, have an xbox - but have not completed a single game - better than the average unwashed masses but not a complete certified nerd yet.
Now this Venkat is miles ahead of me. He has grabbed venkat@gmail.com ( spam that guy you bots ughh ), has already created an an account with the name "Venkat" wherever I go. Today I tried to register in an online game - tavarian - and lo and behlod venkat is already taken.
So to you Venkat - I salute. And I certify that you are a 8 on a 1 to 10 scale. And my parting words to you - GET A LIFE.

Airtel GPRS - it is quite good.

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Next week I will be traveling to Calcutta to my in-laws place. Apartment Adda is live and I need to keep monitoring the servers, reply to support emails etc. and I cannot afford to be cut off. Also going to a cyber cafe is not an option - I am paranoid of key stroke loggers and what nots. 
I did quite some research - USB cards, data access card - which were quite expensive for the 1 week access that I needed. Finally ended up trying Airtel GPRS. The speed is dial up - as advertised. My site loads up fast and I am able to SSH. That is all I will need. 
You need a data cable for your phone - so you can use your phone as a modem. Then send the message "MO" to 6123 - this is a week plan for Rs 140 - unlimited usage. And when you want to stop the service send the message "MO CNCL" to 222. Simple isn't it?
Also with the frequent power cuts I am facing - probably I will go for the 1 month plan - 100MB for 350Rs or so. 
Thanks AR Rahman for the tune and Airtel for your awe…

Google Chrome now shows alert

My of late favorite browser has become my regular browser once again. It has started showing alert boxes in pop up windows. This is of build 0.4.154.29. Enjoy !!

The seed, the nucleus and the tribe

I have been following Seth Godwin for a while - he posts frequently, and each post teaches me something new. Here is a video of him giving a speech on creating a nucleus and building around it - and identifying tribes and telling them a story - http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/12/the-seed-the-pi.html
What I learnt?
* You need to sell your service to the whole world. Identify a little group of people - and show them your service, tell them your story - they will spread the word for you - if they like it and your service is good.
* Everything starts small - as a seed, as a nucleus. Hold on tight to it  - and start developing on it - working around it and slowly let it evolve. Much like the agile process that I follow - in many iterations - adapting and modifying according to the feedback and what the customer wants.

5 oft heard cliches

I am still fuming from the Mumbai carnage and hearing our politicians soundbytes. Felt it is bad for my blood pressure - so here is a post on a lighter vein - the cliches that media,politicians, pundits, commentators - keep telling on and on.
1. "Iraq is in the danger of going into a civil war."
Knock knock - Iraq was in civil war from the very beginning since Dubya started his engagement 4 years back. Stop saying it and call what it is - civil war, failed state etc. 
2. "We will give a fitting reply"
This is what our Indian politicians say immediately after a bomb goes off somewhere. They have been giving fitting replies for the past 50 years. No one knows what the reply will be. Our youth leader has said Pakistan has slapped us and we should give a fitting reply. When asked what will that be - he says that is for the PM to give.  Dude don't pretend to be a leader come join me  in writing blogs - I can speak such things without giving any solution.
3. "Our stra…

Scapegoat

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The man on the left is the scape goat because of the incompetency of the following stalwarts.
1. Manmohan Singh 2. A.K.Antony.
3. Sonia Gandhi.
Mrs.Gandhi has successfully placed "dummies" for Prime Minister, President, Defense Minister and Home Minister. 1 and 2 might be clean but that did not come of any good to handle crisis. I prefer a corrupt paan chewing bad guy who will make our enemies think twice before indulging in any such adventures.
Venkat how can you say such a thing? I know I know - even if 1. and 2. are clean - the rest of 3,4...272 are  looting - remember the just concluded Telecom scandal  - Rs 60,000 crores swindled by a Swan technology and one more company - who never had any plans of selling mobile network - but got the spectrum from Mr.Raja for a measly sum and resold it within days to companies who wanted the spectrum badly. 
So corruption will happen - its a serious cancer. But the wounds that are being inflicted now will bring us a quick death. It has to b…

2 reasons why Terrorists made a mistake this time

Terrorists choose the wrong place and wrong time to strike. They have dug their own graveyard.
Here is why. 
1. It is election year. The in power, out of power, no chance of power - all politicians with half,quarter brain will be baying for terrorist blood. Any draconian bill will get passed this time in the assembly. 
Of course the short term impact will be - the terrorists will look for alternative professions and lie quietly. The long term impact will be - too much power with police,army will backfire in the long run. Then a peace loving government will come to power and clip its wings.
2. Those idiots attacked businesscapital. In the past few years business lobbying has started growing. So now enough businesses ( I am counting on you feuding Ambanis, Tatas and Birlas) will lobby for tougher security - and the half and quarter brains will comply and pass the laws even if they do not understand a thing.
And in another note : 
We are tired of our Neighbour
 My great neighbour next door I la…

Art of the start

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Art of starting...

Well this is the name of my blog, inspired by a great book - Art of The Start by Guy Kawasaki. 

I bought this book on Nov 27,2006. ( I write the day I bought a book with an interesting event that day if I had one ) - and read it half way. But never finished it - gave me lot of crazy ideas and inspiration.

Now I picked the book again and re-reading from the beginning. And suddenly it makes sense - every word of it. Earlier when I read this book it was as if I was reading the syntax of a language in a book. Now when I read the book it is as if I am coding and compiling and running it. 

If you are a wannabe entrepreneur, just starting like me, or a seasoned entrepreneur who eats VCs for breakfast - this is the one book you should have read back to back.

Shame on us

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I respect Mumbai more than Delhi.
It is India's capital according to me - so many businesses, ideas, entrepreneurs have flourished here. 

I got my coffee ready and picked up Indian Express and saw "Terrorists take over Mumbai" - I could not believe it. Thought it was a prank. Economic Times concurred.
This is like a movie script. What is going on with our country?
Knock Knock Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and Shivraj Patil - what are you guys doing? Enough of your vote bank politics and cuddling terrorists. Terrorists have gone from 0 to 1000s in the last 4 years - thanks to your inaction. 
If you cannot deal with it - quit. Take with you the crores that you got from Telecom licences and what nots and go holiday in France or Swiss - I don't care. Leave my country alone - and let an able administrator take over. Cannot watch this country bleed slowly to death. 

Who is John Galt?

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I completed Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. After 1000 pages and sitting through the philosophical discourses by John Galt ( what a fabulous speech in the end), Atkinson - the philospher, Fransisco the Copper Barron, a pirate, a car manufacturer, a music composer - I am still in one piece and I still love humanity - more later.
First Who is John Galt? This phrase gets asked by everyone in the book. John Galt is the intellectual who decides to stop the motor of the world - by withdrawing the forces that drive it - and he is successfull in doing so. 

The whole story is about intellectuals going on strike. The intellectuals - producers,scientists,thinkers - are the one who are bearing the weight of this earth - like Atlas holding the earth. But they are not rewarded for what they deserve - the industrialists are accused of exploiting others for their wealth, the scientists are not rewarded for their inventions but ridiculed and stifled, the music composer is not appreciated "with the mind…

Comprehensive list of Tools for Web site testing

http://uitest.com/en/analysis/
Accessibility,SEO,Validation,Load Time

Top 5 things I lost by shunning TV

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It has been almost 2 months since I stopped watching TV. With 2 exceptions - Followed Chandrayaan launch on the (t)rusty Doordarshan and saw Obama creating history.
Rest of the time I have shunned TV. Here is my top 5 things that I miss about TV.
1. Breaking News - yeah right. I do miss a whole lot of things that seem to break continuously round the clock. 
2. Cricket - Oh I miss so much. During this time 4 test matches and 2 ODIs were played and I missed  the painful ecstasy of watching world's most boring entertainment and not to mention Rahul Dravid score 0 in 3 balls or Ganguly's o in 1 ball of his last match (don't take the knives out yet, my next post will be on Ganguly - in fact I like him a lot) 
3. Movies laden with Ads -  A good hollywood movie will take 3 hours with all the ads strewn  inbetween. I really miss the analysis I do with all the products and advertisements that are shown between the movies - so I can plan the next unwanted purchase and help the economy r…

Free website monitoring

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Site24x7.com
This is a very useful free resource. They let you monitor up to 2 websites free. Also they send a weekly report about your site uptime and performance. This is just one of the many free services that are available which we can take advantage of.

Browser shots !!

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So I was wondering how does Apartment Adda look like on different browsers, different platforms - is it loading fine or is it throwing errors? Head over to browsershots.org and give your url. It will take some time but your site is hit with 61 browsers from all the OS platforms of the world. I got my results back with errors on an old version of opera and chrome. The entire development of Apartment Adda has been done on chome with occasional switch to firefox to use firebug. Need more investigation - you can download the results to your desktop and view each one of them carefully.Very useful service.

Launching ApartmentAdda.com

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I am happy to announce the launch of ApartmentAdda.com - it is an online portal for communication and management for apartment communities. Today most of the apartment communities network online using yahoo groups or google groups. Apartment Adda is a replacement to these groups and in addition provides more tools custom built for apartment communities - like notice board, file sharing, polls and also management tools like maintenance fee tracker, issue tracker etc.It is close to 2 months since I started working on this. Has been quite a roller coaster ride. Had to take care of legal aspects, UI design, logo, the mantra, features page - it is endless !! Is my work over? -no in fact it is just beginning and things are getting really interesting !!  Head over to apartmentadda.com and see if it can benefit you. It sure will !!

Launching ApartmentAdda.com

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I am happy to announce the launch of www.ApartmentAdda.com . It is an online portal targetted at apartment communities.
Today most of the apartment communities network online using yahoo groups or google groups. Apartment Adda is a replacement to these groups and in addition provides more tools custom built for apartment communities - like notice board, file sharing, polls and also management tools like maintenance fee tracker, issue tracker etc.

I have been working on this portal for the past 2 months. 
Some major milestones !!
October 2007 - Registered apartmentadda.com domain
Then Prithvi was born and I got busy in a couple of projects. 
September 17, 2008 - Work begins on Apartment Adda
September 28,2008 - Prototype demo to Oasis Breeze Apartment's Association Committee
Oct 5,2008 - Early Beta release - Oasis Breeze, Harmony Apartments sign up
Nov 12,2008 - Launch
Head over to the site and have a look - www.apartmentadda.com . I feel very excited and nervous !! Perhaps this is how Steve…

Google chrome not showing alert and confirmation dialogs in popup

Am I the only one noticing this? I have a pop up page which shows a confirmation dialog - it used to work with the earlier Chrome version. But the current chrome version ( 0.3.154.9 ) does not show the confirmation message.The confirmation messages shows up fine in Firefox, IE ( holy guacomole ),Opera and Safari. Weird.

Michael Chrichton ( 1942 - 2008 )

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Michael Chrichton passed away on Nov 4, 2008.
A salute to a great author with a great imagination. 
His books that I relished.
Jurassic Park
Enjoyed it for the chaos theory and he inducted me into fractal world.
Disclosure
Picked this book in the middle of my 3rd year exams. Started reading at 2.00PM and put it down at 3.00AM the next day.  ( thankfully I had a day between exams).
Eaters of the dead
I don't remember much about this book but for one interesting anecdote in the book - the length of a man's nose determines the length of his..you can guess :)
The Great Train Robbery
Chaltahai book. Nothing is sticking on my brain now. 
Prey
Introduction to Nano technology. But kind of predictable and got boring towards the end.
Airframe
Marketing said you will never fly an aircraft after you read this - but my memory is too short so it did not matter !!

Movie adaptations that I enjoyed.

Sphere
I made the cardinal sin of seeing this movie and then regretting later that I saw this movie. Now I will …

Legalities of starting a business

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I always wondered what it takes to start a business in India.

Turns out that it is quite simple - no big bureaucratic red tape which I always thought India was. There are 3 major types.


Sole Proprietorship:

This is what I opted for. Nothing to register with the government, lawyer or auditor. You are fully responsible for your business. Liability is solely yours. What it means is you incur a huge loss - you have to pay from your personal property. You wake up in the middle of night and decide - man let me start a business. There you go - your business is born. As simple as that.

Want to open a bank account. No problem - tell them your company name and give address proof and PAN card number. Done.

Till 2 Lakhs of income, you pay 20% tax. Beyond that it is 30%.

Partnership:

You need help from an auditor for this purpose. You and your partner(s) decide what is the percentage you own the company ( and hence the liabilities ) etc. Costs some 5000Rs I guess. I did not dig deep into this as this wa…

Good Luck Mr.Obama

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Good luck Senator. I hope you win the election and by next week you are Mr.President.  Here are the reasons why I support this young man.
1. Obama is young and is experienced enough. If W can be President, Mr.Obama - editor of Harward Law Review - can very well be. No arguments. Shut up Mc.Cain and Palin.
2. I am an admirer of Clinton. I love to listen to him. Obama is another great orator of our times. Give him a chance to speak to the world.
3. This is kind of a hope. Currently I am reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and there is a striking similarity to the story and our present day crisis. In the story all innovation wasstifled. The industrialist who invents a new alloy, another one who invents a new way of drilling oil - all are hounded by the establishment ( Washington, old way of doing business guys, incompetent scientists ) - to not prosper with their innovation. In fact these new ideas are killed unceremoniously citing various reasons. 
Roll forward 70 odd years and the same t…

Best stress reliever

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I have a 10 month old son - and he keeps me occupied all the time I am at home -and I am at home all the time !!
Whenever he is up he tries to grab the chords. He is fascinated with the optical mouse and keeps turning them upside down to see if the light is still on. He just does not get bored of it.
Whenever he enters the room after a nap, or after his feeding battle - he gives a big smile. And I have to smile back at him. And of course the other times when he is doing something really crazy and I will silently smile inwardly without distracting him. 
And of course all these smiling sessions will be punctuated with lot of blood curling cries - when he bangs himself on the door,wall,chair - in fact you start noticing how many hard objects are around you. And when he gets sleepy and does not want to sleep. His motor skills go for a toss and he will make any Bangalore policeman suspicious.  
Someday will introduce you to him - he is a great guy :)




more funny probes..

More funny bot probes..
 File does not exist: /home/****/html/intl

client sent HTTP/1.1 request without hostname (see RFC2616 section 14.23): /w00tw00t.at.ISC.SANS.DFind:)

 script '/home/*****/html/thisdoesnotexistahaha.php' not found or unable to stat

[Wed Oct 22 03:24:11 2008] [error] [client **.**.**.***] script '/home/*****/html/cmd.php' not found or unable to stat



and we have a lift off !!

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Morning today I woke up to see Chandrayaan lifting off on our trusty Doordarshan. What a feeling it was. There was cloud cover so did not quite get the majestic spectacle of a rocket firing on all cylinders - but instead had to watch a dull 2D representation of a dot moving through a graph paper with the rockets speed slowly increasing - 4.8Km/s and so on..
A few minutes after launch when all the boosters had done their job, and the satellite was safely tucked away in orbit around the earth a mic was put and all the scientists got behind it and one by one started congrajulating their team. The 3rd to speak was one gentleman who was so emotional that he said "i dont know what to say" and his eyes were moist. And he did went on to congrajulate all his team members.
I was waiting for some sound bite where some scientist will say take that you NASA or take that for calling us land of snake charmers and call centers - but none. All of them were such sophisticated gentlemen and were…

Chandrayaan

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I have every reason to be proud of India. A mission to the moon. I am awaiting eagerly for this historic lift off tomorrow.

When the rovers scooped dirt on Mars I was proud to be a human being - from swinging from branch to branch - and now to hopping planets  - what a giant leap mankind has taken. Also was teeny weeny jealous of NASA for having achieved such a big feat
But when a Made in India metal starts orbitting the moon, it will be doubly special. We have squeezed a rocket from pinching poverty, corrupt netas, terrorism, border disputes, pollution, suppression of minorities - it is an endless list. But for the common man beaten up by all these bad elements - the lift off will be one uplifing feeling - to encourage him to fight off all these cancers and rise above the clouds to achieve bigger things. 
ISRO - a salute to have dared to think beyond 36,000KMs. What is next?

Ajax Daddy

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I was researching on a ajaxy table edit and stumbled upon this useful site - ajaxdaddy.com

Bots hitting my site.

The server is kind of up - not yet open to the public but the bots know about it already.  I always keep checking the error logs for such abnormalities.It helps a great deal if you clean all the warning messages your Application is throwing - this way the errors that come up in error logs are genuine and you can monitor your server better. Wondering if I should invest some time in a script to have a look at these logs - see if a "file does not exist" error happens in error_log and then take the ip address and see what got accessed in access_log - to see if the system is compromised.On the below code scroll to the right to see the bot's probes.
[Mon Oct 20 01:39:29 2008] [error] [client **.***.**.***] File does not exist: /home/*****/html/README
[Mon Oct 20 01:39:29 2008] [error] [client **.***.**.***] File does not exist: /home/*****/html/horde
[Mon Oct 20 01:39:29 2008] [error] [client **.***.**.***] File does not exist: /home/*****/html/horde2
[Mon Oct 20 01:39:29 2008] [e…

No you take the bill, no you pay the bill!!

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Senator Obama and Senator Mc Cain meet each other on the eve of the November Elections. Both are in a generous mood.
BO : Hey John. I thought a lot about the past few months and I want to apologize for all the things I told about you.
JC :  Same here. I too want to apologize. I should have treated  you like one of my grand sons. 
OB : Anyway, coming to the heart of the matter, I want to withdraw from the Presidential race.
JC : Hain?  You crazy or what. You are leading the charts, go ahead it is your cake. Eat it.
OB : Well I think only you can handle the economy and war and all that. I am still a bachoo you see compared to you. So please become the President.
JC : My dear grand son listen to me. I do not want any part of it. I just joined the Presidential race because I was bored. The Bushs had made sure no republican will ever win the election in his lifetime.  I joined the race because lot of people are dependent on this circus - media, my friend Bill O'Reilly..and also my autobiogra…

Starting up on a bad economy

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With the US and Europe banks falling like bowling pins all around, I keep hearing - this is only the tip of the ice berg - I do question myself - Is it wise to start up now? So I keep my eyes peeled for any news on startup and recession in the same line.
Here is a an article on how its good to start a startup during recession. 
For hackers - your competition is less. You cohackers and competitors are probably hanging tight to their jobs or going to join a job or doing their degree.  Also things will be cheaper during recession. And Apple,Google,Microsoft all started on a recession.
For investors - buy when the market is bad. Invest in start ups now - against conventional wisdom - so when market picks up and start up is not start up any more - you reap better rewards. 
Thats what I read ( I read what I want to hear :D)  - you can make your own views from the article.
Paul Graham's why to start up on a bad economy

Double Whammy for my bong people

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I am half a bong so I can talk about myself. So dont throw fish bones at me. Chew them instead ;)
In the last 2 weeks 2 important events happened in West Bengal.  Nano moved out and Ganguly puts his stinky feet up. These 2 are isolated incidents and both happen in different sections of the newspaper - business and sports. However I read both and since the events happened close by I have to connect the 2 dots. 
Ganguly - love him or hate him he does hold a mind space among us. There is this IndiaWatchDogs website which was born 3 years back mainly because of Ganguly ( to talk on how to throw him out of the Indian team ).  Or the 100000hours of coffee time that bored techies talk about Dada - for and against. Ganguly has done a great service in entertaining the masses. A salute to him. And of course he has scored some runs in that boring game called cricket - which I have striken off from the list of things that I classify as sports. 
Nano - I am waiting eagerly for it. Its like linux - giv…

You Used that Programming Language to Write What??

I stumbled upon this nice post about the tech choices we have. Resonates with my earlier post about PHP - how its good as a prototype bring it out fast language but needs to be re written in Java in the long run.

http://www.cio.com/article/193750/You_Used_THAT_Programming_Language_to_Write_What_

Office space under 500Rs !!

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My budget is for the stationery that I added - not the gizmos I had painstakingly collected over these years - that will be my next post - the stuff that runs on electricity.
Whats in my home office
1. Stickies - 40Rs 2. Color sketch pens - 20Rs 3. World Map - 200Rs 4. India Map - 150Rs 5. LIC diary - 0Rs ( given free by my agent )

I do miss having a white board but it is prohibitively expensive - a decent sized one costs 4000Rs - and also the white board markers are not cheap either.
The backside of the maps are very effective card walls - stickies cling on to them nicely. And I can move the card wall easily. Now I have a visual progression of my project.
You are wondering what is a card wall? It is a must have in any agile project - it visually depicts the "stories" waiting to be played, being played, the ones that are in QA's desk and the ones that have been passed by the QA.
In the first week I did not have the card wall and my partner ( Sangeeta - my wife who is supporti…

Why PHP?

I have decided to build the online portal in PHP, supported by Apache, MySQL hosted on Linux. The most cliched LAMP model. Did I consider other players?* Ruby on Rails : It was very much on my plate. I have done small utilities ( a server status monitor and a code snippet repository ) in rails and was blown away by the speed and simplicity of doing things. However 2 things went against RoR. ORM : My last project was a .NET project on Hibernate. It was a 2 year old project and already it felt like a legacy application with things tuned for performance to the maximum. They had crossed the return on investment period of Hibernate ( when relations stay simple at the beginning of any project ) and now were paying heavily for having Hibernate - performance, complexity, things moving to stored procedures..the usual pain points. So active Record did not interest me - being a one man army I did not want battles couple of months from now when I have to hack to implement a feature.Server support…

A little about me and who this blog is for

Who am I?I am a "techie" who lives in Bangalore. But now I have taken a break to embark on a journey - auspiciously on the day Lehmann Brothers went bankrupt, Goldmann Sachs got degraded and blood bath happened in Wall Street. A journey to explore what it is like to go on your own - to be your own boss and create a business. Currently I am building an apartment management plus residents communication portal targetted at mid to large sized apartment complexes.  Its an alternative to yahoo groups, google groups and orkut that most of the residents use for apartment related communication. Who this blog is for?I have been toying with the idea of starting something on my own for quite a long time. Have read lot of blog posts, books and finally now I have taken the plunge. I intend to help out the souls who want to take the plunge - share my experience and learnings in this new life of mine. Also inviting ideas, tips, tricks that you think might help me in my quest. Also, to keep …

Google has run out of space !!

Now I have to reschedule all my appointments because of this...ughh..
" Thank you for your interest in Google Developer Day India.  Due to huge demand we unfortunately have run out of space and are unable to accommodate your registration this year.  We encourage you to check out our new APIs and Developer Tools on code.google.com. Hope to see you next year.

Sincerely,
Google Developer Team"

An announcement..

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"As we are hurtling through space at the rate of 67,000mph ( milky way's velocity), in one corner of a small blue planet, in a small 3BHK apartment in Bangalore - there is this guy who has decided to take a plunge into the unknown. ThoughtWorks was generous enough to offer him a 3.5 month off time from work to try out some of the ideas he always wanted to work on."

Of course - the guy above is yours truly and I am relishing every moment of it. It has been 12 days since I stopped attending daily stand ups and work commutes. I wanted to write about this on day one but suddenly things got super crazy from day one and never found time to make this announcement. 
Right now I am in the middle of building this online portal for apartment neighbourhoods.  I have completed the ground floor - still 3 more floors to complete :) We are aiming for Oct 20th release if everything goes fine. Wondering who "We" is - it is Sangeeta of course joining in my crusade. She is continuin…

Is Windows not detecting your external hardrive/thumbdrive?

Thank you Windows. Thank you. You wasted half an hour of my precious* time because I thought the flash drive was faulty. This is another reason why you should have a linux system to make sure the flash drive can still flash.
The problem was I had mapped a network drive as E: ( C: the only partition and D: being my dvd drive). Now when the flash drive was plugged in it wanted to take the place of E: and not increment to F: as any sane human being and a pig wearing lipstick would have expected. 
I had to blink finally by pushing the network drive to z: and then the flash drive showed up with a smirk on E:.
precious*:  Today is the first day of my unpaid Leave of Absence from ThoughtWorks. Working on a business idea that is going to change the world and bring world peace and prosperity.

Now it is the turn of fountainhead to trouble me

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If you have been following the last few posts you know how much I am troubled by these books - in a great positive way. "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand is no different like the great books I have read earlier. It puts a twist on individualism by linking it to creativity and how collectivism is crass base and all the bad things it represents. You can read the entire book to appreciate Howard Roark's speech or if you are still curious to know what the ruckus is all about without spending a month or two you can see the speech here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc7oZ9yWqO4 . Don't worry if you are intending to read this book its not going to take anything away.

The book is still sinking in. It kind of justifies some of my actions so far - and kind of makes me feel a little uncomfortable on what I could have / should have done. Instead of mulling over spilt milk this book focuses me like never before - to achieve an objective - can be anything - signing the 1000th autogra…

The alchemist

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This book lasted 2 days. Started on a Friday after a colleague of mine managed to steal the book from his wife to keep his promise or to escape from my embarrassing remarks I made about not keeping your promise ( hey Georgie just joking :) ). And I finished it on saturday. I am not bragging - its a simple read and its only 160 pages. The book is full of metaphors and inspiring thoughts. Perhaps I would put it along with Art of the Start by Guy kawasaki. Forget entrepreneuring - its all about thinking through the pathetic mediocre life one is having - and ask oneself - where are you headed.

I remember lying on top of the water tank of my second year hostel along with a friend called Musk. We were watching the flights on the landing path right above our head - with their wheels extended before they touch down minutes later at Meenambakkam. We did not know what business we were going to do but we were multi b and were doing quite some serious globe trotting.

Fast forward 10 years ahead…

Kafka on the shore

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I was in between books. Had a heady read of Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance and had to unclog my brain !! And what a pick this book is. Totally mindless and riveting. Forget the story - cats talk, stones listen, time stops - it was fun to have a peek at the author's mind.

* Archduke trio - Beethoven's last composition I guess. One of the characters goes on and on about how good it is. I am trying to lay my hands on it - and on the way I am discovering Beethoven. Still I do not know what a minor C or D or symphony or sonata whatever means - but the discovery process has started. Also at the same time my son Mr.Prithvi awakened me about the power of classical music. The other day he was wailing uncontrollably and I was making stupid noises to no awail. Then I started singing the basic Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Da Ne and he became quiet. It was a repeatable experiment. Now when I do variations of it as A B C D E F G H in the same tone he listens. Why -I cant fathom but one thing is…

Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance

Probably I am the millionth person to read this book and go ga-ga about it. This is my second attempt. First was in 1998 when I was in college a friend of mine ( who later turned out to be my wife :) ) - was reading the book and it piqued my interest - so got hold of it and started reading. Did not survive more than 2 chapters.

Now again I gave it a go and what a read it turned out to be. Here is some gist of what I felt reading it.

Things in no particular order :

* Robert Pirsig, the author, says about "gumption". What an idea - gumption is kind of an energy cum enthusiasm. You have to earn it by doing things - when you acquire gumption it gives a good feeling - kind of smug and happy feeling. I have felt it lot of times when I fix a problem or do some thing useful. The author says it in the context of fixing a motor bike - but you can feel it at lot of places - installing ubuntu on an old worn out computer. Now the trick is to watch out for the things which will drain gump…