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Showing posts from 2015

Blast from the past

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I have some strong view points on usage of WhatsApp today, which I will share in another blog shortly, but not all are against it. The one good thing that has happened is, it has helped bring back long lost friends back in contact (sounds almost like bhule bisare geet from Chitrahar). We recently created a group of our school time friends (kudos to the Admin of the group) and a realization hit me that I am getting in touch with many of them after about 27 years. There were mainly only two of them, which whom I had been in pretty regular touch, but others… time had forgotten, or rather mind had forgotten.
When I got an invite to join the group, I gladly accepted and soon the group was flooded with school time photos. Our memory is an interesting database. Items that are long archived and put away, are so easily and quickly fetched. Looking at those photos, memories flooded back of that time gone by, a time of daily studies, assignments, projects, exams and side by side total masti. I ca…

Travelogue: Silvassa

It has been a while since we went for a family trip and just after diwali seemed a good time to plan one as my daughter still had a week of holidays left. I prefer places where I can get to by road (driving) and wife prefers that we go out of Maharashtra, so this time around we narrowed onto Silvassa, capital of Dadra Nagar Haveli.
Getting to Silvassa is fairly straight forward. From my place, we had to get onto Pune Mumbai Expressway (current toll on this is Rs 195), then via Thane, crossed over to Mulund East via Mulund Airoli Road (before Airoli) and joined the eastern express highway (which is also NH 3 or Agra Mumbai highway) (two toll booths on the way both charged Rs 35), took Kapurwabadi flyover to get to Ghodbunder road, continued on this till we hit onto NH 8 Mumbai Delhi highway (at a T junction) and then continued on NH 8 all the way to Bhilad (for about 100 km). Here there are two options – if your hotel is near Naroli (like mine was), get off the highway at Bhilad and th…

Two Decades

28th August 1995, a thin, tall, hesitant, individual had joined one of the upcoming IT companies in the Silicon Valley of India. Thin and tall, because that’s how the individual was built, as are most fresh graduates, stepping out of college. Hesitant, because he had no idea what to expect, this being the first job. At the back of the mind, first day of college was coming up again and again and that meant being scared of seniors and ragging. As he slowly ventured into the company premise, he was impressed with the office building, nice and clean, shining floors, security guards, immaculately dressed, standing at the gate etc.
The office bus had dropped bus full of employees, including this individual, at the company gate, ahead of time and hence there were not many people to be seen. The receptionist was also yet to arrive. Watching his each step, he slowly moved towards a room besides the reception, having seen some people inside. In a barely audible voice, he asked, “Excuse me Sir! …

Microsoft Edge – living on the Edge

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When I upgraded to Windows 10, I had in my mind to retry the Microsoft’s new explorer. I had long stopped using IE and shifted to Chrome as my default browser. MS had been claiming that Edge is a totally new browser, very fast performing etc. However a few days of use of Edge and I seem to be concluding that Microsoft should just stop making the browser and concentrate only on the OS and other applications.
On launching Edge, it opens up in a page called as Start Page, which has tried to do a Google like simple interface. So you get to see a search box titled “Where to Next?” (See image below).

There is a small circle towards the right of the page that seems to be my account picture. It took me a while to figure this out. This could have been a bit bigger to easily understand what this is. After a few seconds, the page loads MSN News and some other items like local Weather, Stocks (if configured in the Stocks app). The page uses the infinite scroll list concept, so as you scroll down, …

Don't ban a community, ban the acts

More than 2 years back I had written about the ever growing problem of banning bachelors from staying, in many of Pune Societies. The problem hasn't been resolved and I am definitely surprised how come those affected by this, the bachelor community, which is pretty sizable in number, hasn't acted on this yet, when we all know that this isn't legal. 

But the good thing is that Pune Police has finally decided to do something about this on their own and address this growing menace. The bachelors probably don't make as much nuisance as this self proclaimed ban by the societies has. 

I stay in a society that fortunately didn't fall pray to this rule. We had successfully counter argued against it and today we follow a simple rule. Anyone can stay, but any tenant (bachelor or family) if found creating nuisance, which is unacceptable behavior in a public place, will be asked to leave immediately. And we have been living happily with this rule for the last 10 years at least w…

Twin Tragedy: Could at least one be averted?

When I heard the news yesterday morning about the twin train tragedy in MP, I could not help but wonder - Kamayani express was the first to derail and then later it was Janata Express. Lives were lost, which is terrible, but could at least the second derailment of Janata express be averted? 

In the era of GPS tracking and internet of things where we have billions of sensors helping collect and manage so much data, could proper user of these technologies help avert some of these disasters? The first train got derailed due to localized issue of flash floods and the land near the bridge giving way. This probably was difficult to predict and prevent against, but after the first train derailed, why wasn't the second train stopped before it too got derailed? If the time gap between the two was very small, then I guess nothing could be done. I tried to figure this out, but could not get much from the news, as most articles just mentioned about the two trains being derailed. 

Most vehicles …

Windows 10 Upgrade Experience

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Microsoft’s Windows 10, last of the lot, upgrade started to roll out yesterday world-wide and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be one of those who upgrade on the first day. While at my home laptop I had reserved the Windows 10 upgrade via the Windows icon in the task bar, I had not been able to do so for my work laptop. The Windows icon wasn’t appearing. KB 3035583 is required to be installed via Windows Update for the icon to appear, however my attempts to install this optional update failed continuously. When I tried various options like sfc /scannow or DSIM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth, I could not get past the failure. My system constantly showed that a system reboot was pending and however many times I rebooted, it kept showing the same message.
I wasn’t however going to miss the opportunity for the free upgrade, so I followed the steps mentioned in this article. Note that if you are upgrading the OS on the machine on which you access this link, then while yo…

QWERTY Keyboard

Close to 20 years back when I joined the IT Industry, I felt that I could increase my productivity many fold if I could learning typing. I had seen people struggle to type on the keyboards even after years of use, and it basically was due to the fact that they had never tried to really learn typing. A classic case was one of my colleagues who used to hold the keyboard with one hand and used his pointing figure of other hand to type. In time he did get good speed with it, but it was still not fast enough. 

With proper training, one can type almost at the speed with which one is thinking and that's when you get the true benefits. To put my plan into action I had downloaded a few free tools that taught typing and once I felt comfortable, I started getting my daily news paper to office. I would pick up any random article, open notepad and start typing it. My attempt was to type as much as I could without looking at the keyboard, but only at the news paper and then see how much mistakes…

Saturating IT Industry

The other day I was reading "India's IT Party is over. Reinvent yourself or suffer" by Ravi Venkatesan. He has touched upon some very interesting points.
The point on slower rise in incomes, slow hiring etc. I feel should also be looked at from another angle. Any new industry will typically have an initial high rise, high demand period and slowly in time it will saturate. About 40 years back, when the IT industry as an Industry started to pick up, it was like an ocean and anyone getting into it like a drop in the ocean. So there was plenty of demand but very less supply. Hence things moved fast for the initial players. They got good business, good rates, they rose very fast and expanded at a fast page. In nascent stage as the organization was growing, it needed more and more people, so ‘hiring’ was good. It needed more and more people to manage the growing work, so ‘promotions’ were good. Business was growing by leaps and bounds, so the ‘compensation hikes’ were great. I…

CIO Tech 2015

I got a chance to attend a CIO Klub organized daylong conference called "CIO Tech 2015 - Leveraging Technology for Business Transformation" this last Friday. It was a good event with all topics of discussions very relevant to the very current issues that CIOs/CTOs face. 

As I reached the venue, I immediately felt out of place as I seemed to be the only one not in a business suit. I had thought about wearing one, but the May heat discouraged me. My mistake that I missed the point that the venue would be well air conditioned. 

The conference stared 10 min, but that's very reasonable given how such conferences are. By the time the initial key note was over, we were running 20 min behind schedule. But I must mention that during the course of the day, things got back on track and the last the session of the day finished right on target at 4.00 pm. I had to skip the final Mind Matters session as had some personal work to attend to. 

In the keynote address Mr. Manoj Barve, touched…

The Year gone by

19th May 2014 was a milestone date in my career and I had written all about it here. Today, a year later, I think it is but expected that I look back and think about this year gone by. 

I could not have imagined a life outside of Infosys for all the years I had been working there. A friend even had joked when he heard about my resignation, "How can you leave Infosys? I have been saving to come to your retirement party!". Afterwards, over the months I did think if I did miss Infosys and had shared my feelings here

A year later now, it is time to do my personal annual appraisal and share the results. The catch is that this is a self appraisal and hence the results may be biased :).

It has been an exciting 1 year outside the campus that's a dream come true for so many youngsters. While I am yet to complete 1 year at my new organization, Curologic, but I could not have asked for something better. Working in a start-up has its own challenges and you start living month to month…

Node.js Event Model

Node.js has gained lot of traction in the last few years and many high performance sites are today using it. When we started with it, I wanted to understand what’s it that makes node.js so high performant, over and above the regular web servers, which were created with the purpose of being able to handle loads of incoming requests.
The answer lies in the core of node.js that uses a single thread for its main execution and passes on the work to asynchronous functions. In the world of multitasking and multi-core CPU machines, this come as a surprise, but then when you look at the cost of creating all these parallel threads vs handling all incoming requests in a single thread, you suddenly realize the benefits, and is very clearly visible also in the performance it delivers.
As I thought about this, I realized that this concept isn’t new but is something that is at the heart of windows programming, something I had learnt back in 1995. We had started programming on Windows for Workgroups.…

Windows 10: Last of the Lot

"Change is the only constant" is something that we in IT world strongly believe in and the technological evolution around us have been a constant reminder of the same. However the recent declaration by Microsoft that Windows 10 will be last in the series of Operating Systems (OS) seems to go against this well accepted norm. It is a significant milestone of sorts, this announcement. 

Microsoft so far had relied heavily on sales of OS, Microsoft Office and more recently SharePoint Server as their backbone. Newer versions every few years was the way things had been all these years. If I look back, I started my career with Windows for Workgroups 3.11 in the year 1995, which was a significant improvement towards graphical user interface based working experience. Then I worked on Windows 95, which added preemptive multitasking and then on Windows NT that introduced the UNICODE character set. Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Millennium edition (that actually disappeared in the mill…

Down the memory lane

Come Summer and it used to be the time to get packing and make the month long trip to grand parents place. A tradition that kept on for many many years and then took a break in between as I graduated from school to engineering and then onto my job. These trips became far and wide. However for the last few years they are back on track, though the destination has changed, for now it is the grand parents for my daughter. 
Though climatically this isn't the ideal time to visit Delhi, but can't help it. Fortunately due to the changes in weather pattern, the summer heat has also got pushed along and the initial few days of the month of May aren't as hot as it used to be. Eventually the heat does catches on, but we do get some days of good weather. Interestingly this time, the electricity board was also a bit favorable and the power cuts were less and also not long lasting. 
After my typical week long break (that's all I manage these days), I boarded the Duronto Express from…

Nokia Lumia 730 Review

I have been wanting to get back to write a more detailed review of how my Nokia Lumia 730 is fairing, but work pressure had been keeping me away. Finally found so time. So here’s the update from what I had shared earlier.
First to clear up what I had written earlier. In Whatsapp I could finally find a way to clear the chat conversations without having to exit the chat. For this, while in chat you can either tap on the header that displays the group name/person name or click on the 3 dots at the bottom and select “group info”/”info” from it. In the screen that loads, click the 3 dots at the bottom and you will option to “clear chat history”. So this issue is resolved. I can however still not find a way to add to list for twitter and the kid’s zone still doesn't works without having to unlock the phone with my password.
A very interesting feature while typing messages in a chat window or a message window or any place, you will see icons being suggested based on the words you type so…

Travelogue: The Ark Wellness Retreat

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If you are looking for a place to go and relax; kind of de-toxicate, then Ark Wellness Retreat, off Paud, on Paud Lonavala road, is the right place to be. 
Our daily chores keeps us busy all week long, so when we planned our vacation, we wanted to go to a place, where we will not have to get up and go visit echo point, or lovers point or suicide point etc. All we wanted was a nice and cozy place to go and relax. We would be fine to not go out of the resort at all and just stay put in the room or roam around the resort and literally do nothing.
Ark’s website looked promising and so did the rooms. The place is just about a year old and extremely well maintained, so looks the same as you would see in the pictures. I called the resort and the person on the other side was very patient to explain the various options and the facilities available. They have only 8 rooms of which 4 of Deluxe and 4 Standard. Both rooms are good, well maintained and with good interiors. The deluxe rooms are bigge…