Archive for September, 2006

An outlet for Venting…?

September 28, 06 by Bharani

Series of incidents over the last 40 days have created an unrest in my mind. There is a huge anger built-up…nothing against anyone, nothing against anything….I am not sure myself against what…But I want to vent out the anger….Squash used to be my outlet before…Pedalling was another….Blogging was during sometimes…but now, none of these seems to happen or allow me the freedom as before….I am off to chennai for 3 days…and I am looking forward towards the trip eaaagerlyyyyyy……No work, No laptop, No missed-breakfasts…!!!

Open Source Consulting…

September 28, 06 by Bharani

Since one of my job roles entails evaluating Open Source technologies, I was wondering if there are any good career options in “Open Source Consulting”. There are some firms doing exactly this.

Organizations world-wide are slowly embracing Open-source solutions as the choice for the enterprise-level IT needs. The challenge, as I already mentioned in one of the posts, lies in evaluating the suitable solutions and Recommending an executable-strategy based on the fit analysis. There should be a deep understanding of each and every open-source offerings across all solution space. Every possible advantage and disadvantage should be captured. The inter-dependencies/synergies/incompatibilites between different open-source technologies should be documented. Best practices in deploying open-source technologies should be arrived at…

Different set of Solutions should be formulated by mixing and matching different technologies. The possibilities are endless, just like in the business of consulting.

As more and more Tech start-ups are cropping up in India, as more and more web 2.0 based companies are coming up everyday, I believe there is good business opportunity for Open-source consulting in India. My thoughts…

Google Search: Open Source Consulting

Scooter mama…

September 25, 06 by Bharani

When my family moved to Manali New Town (even before I was born), there were only a handful of houses, out of 200+ houses, that were inhabited. The place use to look like a deserted forest. During the same time we moved in, there was another family that moved in. Later, we (the then kids of the locality) use to call the head of the family, fondly as “Scooter mama (uncle)”. Because, he was the only person who had a scooter in that locality. A very jolly person. He also repairs and makes watches during his spare time and he was very good at that. 29 years has passed by since he and his family have occupied that house. All his sons are married now. He became more subdued over the years, but he was very healthy for his age…His 3 sons celebrated his 70th birthday just a week ago….Everything was well…

4 days ago, he slipped out of the bus while boarding. The rear wheel of the bus went over both his thighs. Listening to the noise of crowd and thinking that he was caught under the wheels, Driver stopped the bus…and came back in reverse…and the wheels damaged his legs to unimaginable extent…Heavy bleeding…The real tragedy was the 30 minutes of helplessness on the road. He pleaded for someone to save him…The actual reason why no body came forward, I am not aware of…After the hopeless and futile attempts of doctors, he passed away today morning…

Why do such things happen? I don’t know. But these are the incidents, which makes me really think about life…Some people are made to undergo severe trauma during their last days/moments…That I cannot digest at all…

Scooter mama…may your soul rest in peace…I will remember you…

Update…

September 23, 06 by Bharani

14 hour working cycles coupled with Hard-disk failure in my laptop has temporarily slowed down my blogging activity…Don’t bother to check the blog for next 3 days…I will be back in 3-4 days time…

Q&A…

September 17, 06 by Bharani

I acquired this last week, largeley due to my impulse. I had no idea about the existence of this stuff before. The 4 line summary at the beginning was all that I needed…

Q&A,is a novel by Vikas Swarup. This novel is about an eighteen-year old orphan, nomadic boy (Ram Mohammad Thomas) who wins the highest sum ever in the history of Television Quiz shows. 100 crores! Thomas thinks that it is a pure luck that he could win this show. The producers think otherwise and they are hell-bent in proving Thomas a Cheat! The plot revolves around his life told as as a series of narrations. The way the story is creatively narrated will definitely surprise you…It is a definite page-turner.

Film four, a UK-based film producers have secured the rights to transform this novel in to film. Vikas Swarup has recommended Sharukh-khan for the protagonist’s role!

The novel has sarcasm, tragedy, suspense, poverty, happiness and all possible elements. Though I have to warn about the elements of grown-up stuff(I am not quoting any words to avoid my blog turning up for such words in Google search :)) that are intertwined into the story…I also had this occasional feeling that Vikas swarup has picked up ideas from various indian movies and novels and created this mash-up…Nevertheless, this can definitely keep you occupied during those few hours of travel…

Book @ Indian Book stores

Click ‘n’ Lage Raho…!

September 15, 06 by Bharani

Lage Raho Munnabhai

The two movies that I saw this week were entertaining, humorous, philoshopical and touched my heart! LRM (Lage Raho Munnabhai) gave me the reassurance in being honest, forgiving, helpful and a good human being. The world we live today is misanthropic and may not really appreciate these qualities in people. But in the end, it only matters whether one was a good human being or not!

The most powerful weapon presented in the movie is “Gandhigiri”…composed of Silence, non-violence, benevolence and honestness. For me, the instances of Gandhigiri depicted in the movie are the lime-light-grabbers apart from Circuit and Munnabhai. I had a tough time comprehending the Tapori hindi of Circuit though!

Another side-arsenal shown in the movie is ‘Vinamratha’. (The same characteristic, for the lack of which Mumbai was controversially named the Rudest city in the world!). Vinamratha is a quality which many of us exhibit in abundance within the confines of home, relatives, friends. The same quality goes for a toss when we step out of our home…Am talking about the ‘crowd behaviour’ (as correctly pointed out by an article in Reader’s digest)…It takes a ‘movement’ to change this crowd behaviour…The best place to begin is self…

Click
Leave aside Gandhigiri for a moment…Let’s talk about the Universal remote control – A device to control our life. How nice it would be to fast-forward our lives to skip all the sad moments and to ‘pause’ those happy moments? You can skip the moments when you were sick, frustrated, disappointed, cried, suffered and felt mechanical….Wow! that would make life so exciting! But hold on…do you really think so? Then watch “Click”…The real message from the movie is Love your family…Don’t neglect people who love you…Enjoy each and every moment of your life…

LRM…Kal Ahimsa… Aaj Gandhigiri…
Click…Old message delivered humorously!

Saleem naam hein sir!

September 13, 06 by Bharani

Prepared a presentation after 1 day of effort. Just 5 minutes before the client presentation realize that some crucial information is missing. Cool-headedness and some damage control tactics saved the day…Presentation went on very well…professionally..

Almost intimidated by a person who is taller than 2 metres. Almost intimidated by the size of the huge hands that shook my hands. Kept the focus away from size-comparison by engaging in conversations…After all, the other head had to look down so that I can proudly look up!

However, what made my day was the incident with Autowalla…Normally it costs me Rs.55 for a ride in autorickshaw from my home to office. Today, when I reached the office the meter displayed a figure of Rs.25.20!

I asked…”Aapka meter ko kya ho gaya?”.

He looked at the meter and was disappointed…”Psssch….Pssch…Arre sirr…phir yehi problem…Aap jo doge de do saab!”.

“Teek hai..Mein roz 55 deta hoon…Aapke liye saat rupya deta hoon!”…

The guy had a very innocent look in his face…He was all smiles…

“Aap meter ko teek kar leejiye..!”.

“Kar doonga sir…zaroor!”

“Aapka naam kya hain…?”

“Saleem naam hein sir mera..”

“Aapko Boolonga nahi…”!

He came out of his seat and stood…”Thanks sir..Thanks sir..” I walked away with a satisfied feeling…

It’s quite funny because only yesterday I exchanged the same line with another autowalla (“Aapka meter ko kya ho gaya?”)…Only difference was that the meter showed Rs.75..!! Nah…I didn’t give a rupee more than Rs.55…

Related Links:
1. Lessons learnt about life from auto-rickshaws…!
2. Indian Auto Rickshaw Challenge! First of it’s kind…Has a link for “News about Autorickshaws”…

Unwind

September 10, 06 by Bharani

After a hectic week I decided to unwind on Sunday. The original plan of spending sometime in “Snow World” collapsed as we reached the venue late. Fortunately, Go-karting spot nearby kept my hopes of fun alive! I also wanted to check out the “Mirror Maze” that opened up in Prasadz multiplex recently, so did that too. I was impressed with what they have put up there. Vistors are even requested to wear plastic gloves to avoid fingerprint impressions on the mirrors. Then I tried the “Spintrix” thing that has been put up. Spintrix invoked the kid in me…I have never tried that illusion stuff before…but it is just fantastic….!

On one of the rooms in Spintrix, I was gazing at a 3-D image. Suddenly my friend called me from behind. I turned back to listen. When I reverted back to see the 3-D image, there was an alien standing right in front of my eyes, with its claw-like hands just inches away from my face…! It scared the shit out of me and I lifted my hands as if somebody commanded me “Hands up!” and made some arbit noise!…It turned out to be one of those human decoys to scare the visitors. My friend had a hearty laugh…! Well, so did I …:)

SpiralFrog!

September 10, 06 by Bharani

Rob Peter and Pay Paul” is probably the right adage to describe the music piracy caused by some online music websites and file-sharing networks. But, a new set of people called “advertisers” have come forward and saying to these online music websites that “Listen, Here’s the deal. Get Paul to visit me. I will give you the currencies that you need. Keep some for you and share the rest with Peter. Don’t rob Peter…He will not produce music if you keep robbing him“.

So what happens now?
Paul gets free music and gives his time to visit Adveritser.
Advertisers get Paul’s attention and gives money.
Peter gets money & peace of mind and gives music.

Music websites coordinates the transaction, get to make profits and gives an online service!

That essentially sums up the intention behind the new venture called “SpiralFrog” and “QTrax”.

SpiralFrog is a new online music destination, offering ad-supported legal downloads of audio and video content licensed from the catalogs of the world’s major and independent record labels.

SpiralFrog will be a secure environment where music lovers can satisfy their unyielding passion and thirst for music, entertainment, and information. Our site will be as multifaceted, smart, and current as the audience we hope to attract. An audience that we believe is the driving force behind the way music is created, discovered, and consumed today.

Who are willing to supply legal music to SpiralFrog?
Universal Music Group
EMI Music Publishing

Where does the Revenue come from?
Business Model is based on sharing the “income streams from advertising” with the content partners. Customers pay with their time.

Is it sustainable?
It all depends on making the customers to visit advertisers. It is the job of advertisers to monetize the footfalls. But it is a challenge for Spiralfrog to attract highly targeted audience and luring them to advertisers website. Not easy!

How different is it from some Joe poky’s website supplying MP3 but filled with Google adsense?
Well nothing in terms of delivery of service. But the music is legal! Moreover, It is not plain Google adsense, where the advertisers are not official partners with you.

Is it really free? Any catch?

Yeah…in a way it is really free. But users are required to visit SpiralFrog each month to validate the music. Otherwise the music expires. They are doing this through some DRM Technology. Well, I think soon there will be some hackers who would break that validation mechanism. A definite Watch-out-Factor!

Any other similar company?
Yes there is. QTrax [You play the music, We pay the artists!] . QTrax has a slightly different delivery mechanism. It allows free download but in proprietary format called “MPQ”. These tracks can be played only in QTrax player. Moreover the music expires after being played for specified number of times. Unlimited music playback can be obtained for a premium fee.

SpiralFrog has plans to extend this ad-supported business to Video [MP4s?] in 2007. I think it is just a matter of time for this to extend to e-books and all content that could be delivered over the web.

Come December, we will know the answer from SpiralFrog! For now, it looks all bright and colourful on paper…

What say?

******

September 09, 06 by Bharani

For past few months, I have been witnessing some form of amnesia with crucial informations. The number of UserIds, Passwords and PINs that I have to maintain has gotten big that I have begun to forget a few. Actually, I am quite ok with remembering details. So this crucial-moment-amnesia is surprising me and at times bothering me! I am too skeptical to write it down in paper. I am too scared to have single password for everything (diversification of risk?). So, I have to remember the passwords by-heart.

Office applications, emails, blogs, mobile phones, online bank accounts, ATMs, online subscriptions…huh!

Can someone bring on the Biometrics everywhere soon…?

I do hope that I am not alone…!

PS: I did a very sentimental thing today. I created an userid/password for my brother to update my blog. In case I cannot update the blog, he will do it on behalf of me!