Monday, December 24, 2007

Tough times

Many times in life, it so happens that when you just begin to feel that everything is falling in place, something goes wrong. Terribly wrong. It has happened to me couple of times in the past. Last Thursday, it started again.

I was very happy with low bug count on my name and because the year end was approaching. I planned to go to my hometown and welcome 2008 with my family. Everything was so nice until I got that phone call.

It was around 7 PM. I was in the office gym. I had just finished with my workout and was about to go to the shower to cool myself down. That's when I heard my phone ringing. It was Rahul (my room-mate). In a very low voice, he said "Can you please come home as soon as possible". He sounded like he was in great pain. I asked him if he was alright. He said he had hurt his leg and he was bleeding. Given Rahul's history, an accident is a fairly regular thing for him. But I somehow felt this time it was bad.

I packed my stuff quickly and started from office. I wasn't getting any vehicle to reach home so I called my landlord and asked him for help. He being a nice person, acted promptly and took Rahul to Apollo Hospital (it's very close to where we stay in Hyderabad). I managed to get a cab and I too reached there by 7:45. He was in the emergency ward. His wound was dressed. We got an X-ray done to see if there was any fracture. Thankfully there wasn't any. We left for home.

Next day, we again came to the hospital to consult the doctor. The doctor said the wound needs to be stitched. They took him to the operation theater. They said the procedure would take half an hour and then he would need to stay in the recovery room for another half an hour to get out of the anesthesia influence. They started the process and it went on for well beyond half an hour. While Rahul was in the operation theater, I kept asking the officials what was happening. They informed me that it was going to be an operation instead of a simple stitching procedure. They also told me that they had to give him a heavy dose of local anesthesia. The operation lasted for around 50 minutes and he had to be in the recovery room for more than 2 hours.

It was very tiring being in a hospital for more than 6 hours where you hardly see any happy faces. All through that time, it was my local friends, Esha, and the rest of my family members who kept calling me and that was a huge support for me.

Next day afternoon, I got to know that my mom wasn't keeping well and she may have to get hospitalized. By evening, she was admitted in the hospital. By then I was completely shaken. Within just 48 hours, everything around me has turned so bad. Though the doctor had said my mom was alright, I couldn't sleep the whole night worrying about her. Next day morning my father told me that she was absolutely fine and there was nothing to worry about.

With god's grace, everything is fine now. Rahul is at home recovering from his injury. My mom is still in the hospital but she is alright now. And I am back to my desk - composing the blogpost and getting ready to kill some bugs :-)

Monday, December 17, 2007

One call at a call center

This is the funniest conversation I have ever heard.


  1. Requires Microsoft Silverlight
  2. You need to know Marathi to understand this

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


About 6 years back when I was in college, I was a C++ enthusiast and I never thought anything could be better or beyond C++.

It was during those days when I wrote a version of Shuffle (a very popular tile game) using MFC. I don't have the source code now. But as far as I remember, it was very complex for me at that time and it took me almost a week to code it.

Now, my world has evolved and I write code for a better platform - .net

Today evening at about 6 PM, a though crossed my mind - Why not rewrite Shuffle using C#? As I had some time with me, I went ahead and wrote it only this time with a better and extensible design.

As I am writing this post, it is 8:20 PM and I am done with a basic version of Shuffle which is an exact replica of the MFC version that I had written earlier.

Here is a Screen Print of Shuffle:


Presently, it includes simple Numbered tiles based game. But I intend to add Image tiles as well.

Click here to download it.


NOTE: The source-code isn't available for download as of now. I will make it available once I am done with Image Tiles as well.



The source code is now available for download. I haven't implemented Image Tiles yet. And I don't think I will be doing it anytime soon. If you are very keen on Image Tiles, go ahead and modify the source code. I made a couple of fixes to the code and added comments before releasing it for download.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I am an author now :)

Couple of months back, I posted a blog entry about my Bad(???) Luck while traveling back to my hometown (Mumbai). Couple of days back, I posted it on MSN India Contribute (and it has been quite a hit!)

If you did not read the original story, go ahead read the version published on MSN

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Listen to the PLAN


I hope you still remember how I had got annoyed with idiotic phone calls from ABN AMRO call-centers. Well, after I wrote a post dedicated to one such call, I sent a link to ABN AMRO and after a few more calls, things got cleaned up. I don't get any calls from ABN AMRO now and the extent of satisfaction I feel is only known to me :-)

You will soon know the reason for the eternal satisfaction that I feel. Read on...

What do you mean by tarika warika ?

Today, Times Of India reported something that clearly illustrates how miserable the situation is. A judge in a sessions court in U.P. got a call from one such call center. Check out the excerpts of the conversation:

Caller: "I have several plans for you..I have called up to explain the plans.."
Judge: I am a judge... presently busy with the court work.. this is no manner to compel any one to listen to your plans especially if the person is not ready to listen to them. yeh koi tareeka nai hota ...
Caller: What do you mean by tarika warika ? This plan is for your benefit...
Judge: Who is calling?
Caller: That does not matter.. just listen to the plan.
Judge: Will you please shut up?
Caller: You shut up... (and the caller put the phone down).

In case you do not believe me, read the full story here.

It's no secret now

Now you know why I feel so satisfied. Actually, satisfied is probably is not a word that can express what I feel like. Add a lot many words in the superlative category -amazed, overwhelmed, feel out of the world, etc. The reason is simple. I am one of those lucky humans in India who do not get unsolicited calls despite owning a cell-phone :-)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

IM Me from my blog

Here is something that I had been waiting for since long.

Since you have visited this page, you might have already noticed the new control that appears on the right-hand side "IM me on Windows Live Messenger" right below the "About Me" section. With the help of this control, now you can have a real-time conversation with me right from this page. If you want to get this control for yourself for hosting on your website/blog, you can get it here.

This is a part of the super-cool stuff Microsoft has been doing around Web 2.0.

Monday, November 5, 2007

XYZ is your Yaar!

I am sure you would have received a lot of emails with subject line similar to the title of this post. I have. And I have received a lot of them. So many social networking sites have come up in the last one year. Practically uncountable number of them. Most of these emails come from social networking web-sites. Usually the junk email filter learns that this is most likely spam. But in this case, these emails come from your friends. And the junk email filter wouldn't bother to put these emails in junk. This is even more annoying. Have all of your friends gone crazy or something?

As a temporary solution, I created an email rule for such subject and asked for marking all of these emails as spam. I run that rule once in a while and I am happy (well.. not so much. But it gives me some relief at least).

After having had so much pain with it, I had to investigate what's wrong with all of my friends. And it turns out that something is wrong with all of us (that includes me as well).

Here is what I did -

I went to one of the social networking sites and registered there. In one of the registration steps, it asked me for my gmail username and password. This drove me curious. I went back and read the "Terms of Service". I am not going to replicate everything here. But in a nutshell, it said "you give us all right to send invitations to everyone on your address book just by registering".

This is really alarming. And it is alarming in two different senses. For one, we do not read any of the licence agreements or terms of service (if we did, we probably wouldn't even care to sign-up. I wouldn't). And secondly, online companies exploiting this weakness of web users and spamming our email inboxes.

From a legal standpoint, none of these online companies can be blamed or held accountable for these viral marketing tactics that they are using. It's something to do with our ignorance. We ignore the EULA, we pay the price. We hear the scolding from our friends. Like it or not, the mistake is ours.

I don't know to what extent it is ethically correct though. Is it ethical on the companies' side to exploit on this weakness? Maybe not. Hopefully someone someday will recognize this and file a PIL :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ant & Grasshopper

I was on vacation and had gone to Delhi to meet my fiance - Esha (remember that I got engaged a few weeks back?). It was simply beautiful spending time with her. Once I came back to office today, I had this huge pile of emails that I had to read (and in some cases, respond to them). While digging through the pile, I stumbled upon this email from one of my colleagues. The Subject line was "Ant & Grasshopper". I thought it would be some silly old story. But still, I went ahead and opened it. The first few lines were pretty standard (and boring because I have read it so many times). But as I read on, it became pretty interesting. I thought its worth posting it here.

So here you go... Read it and let me know what you think about it

Ant & Grasshopper

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.
The Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.
Come winter,the Ant is warm and well fed. The Grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.

Modern Version

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.
The Grasshopper thinks the Ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.
Come winter, the shivering Grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the Ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.
NDTV, BBC, CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering Grasshopper next to a video of the Ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.
The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor Grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?
Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the Ant's house.
Medha Patkar goes on a fast along with other Grasshoppers demanding that Grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter.
Amnesty International and Koffi Annan criticizes the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the Grasshopper.
The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the Grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance).
Opposition MPs stage a walkout. Left parties call for "Bharat Bandh" in West Bengal and Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry.
CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among Ants and Grasshoppers.
Lalu Prasad allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains, aptly named as the 'Grasshopper Rath'.
Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the ' Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act' [POTAGA], with effect from the beginning of the winter.
Arjun Singh
makes ' Special Reservation ' for Grasshoppers in Educational Institutions & in Government Services.
The Ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes,it's home is confiscated by the Government and handed over to the Grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV.
Arundhati Roy calls it 'A Triumph of Justice'.
Lalu calls it ' Socialistic Justice '.
CPM calls it the ' Revolutionary Resurgence of the Downtrodden '
Koffi Annan invites the Grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly.
Many years later...
The Ant has since migrated to the US and set up a multi-billion dollar company in Silicon Valley .
100s of Grasshoppers still die of starvation despite reservation somewhere in India...
As a result of loosing lot of hard working Ants and feeding the Grasshoppers, India is still a developing country !!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sir I am calling from ABN Amro Bank

I get 2 calls per day from ABN Amro Bank (without fail). It’s been a while that I have been getting these calls. I was sick and tired of getting calls. So… I went to the ABN Amro website, and entered my name in their DO NOT CALL registry and I was told that they will take care of it.

It’s been a month that I did it. But I still get calls from ABN Amro. From the same number, different people calling. Today, I ran out of patience and had an argument with the CSR. Here is the conversation:-

(Smart) Caller: Sir.. this is (someone) calling from ABN Amro Bank.

(Poor) Me: How many times do I have to tell you that I am not interested in your credit card? I get 2 calls every day and I say the same thing every time. Does that not make sense to you?

(Smart) Caller: Sir. I am sorry sir. Bye sir…

(Poor) Me: No… wait… I need to get this cleared out today… I have even registered on your Do Not Call registry. What else do I have to do in order to avoid calls from your bank?

(Smart) Caller: Sir… you cannot do anything sir… you will get calls… just say that you are not interested.

(Poor… and surprised) Me: What? That’s ridiculous. What do you mean? Are you punishing me for having a cell-phone? This does not make any sense to me… From where do you get these numbers?

(Smart) Caller: My manager Sir.

(Poor) Me: I want to talk to your manager. Transfer the call to him.

(Smart) Caller: No Sir… he is not available here right now.

(Now aggressive) Me: Okay. Let me talk to his manager then.

(Smart) Caller: No Sir… even he is not available.

(Puzzled) Me: What the heck is this... Is there anyone who is superior to you that I can talk to?

(Smart) Caller: No Sir… right now no one is available sir.

(Now going insane) Me: Okay, give me your manager’s number. I’ll call him on his mobile.

(Smart) Caller: No Sir.. I don’t have his number Sir.

(Again puzzled) Me: What do you mean you don’t have his number? You have the entire world’s number by not your manager’s. Don’t lie to me.

(Smart) Caller: No Sir. I don’t have his number. How will I have his number Sir.

(Totally aghast) Me: Look…. I don’t know what your process is. This is completely insane. I don’t want to get anymore calls from your bank. Please mark me in your database and tag it with “this guy does not want a credit card”.

(Smart) Caller: Ok Sir

[Hang Up]

30 minutes later… I get another call (only this time from a different number)…

(Another Smart) Caller: Sir.. this is (someone) calling from ABN Amro Bank.


You think I need to file a lawsuit or something?

BTW, you may have noticed that I have put different qualifiers to my expressions. But I have not changed anything for the caller. Do you know why… because… it was just me who had any change in expression (tone I mean). The telesales caller was the same… in every sentence.

Visiting Devnar Foundation

Last Saturday, October 13th, myself and Sudhakar visited the school being run by Devnar foundation. It was amazing to know the kind of things that the students have achieved even when they have one of their critical sense organ not functioning properly. Not to mention other limitations such as scarcity of resources and non-acceptance from the mainstream society.

Most of the students are on vacation but still we got a chance to meet two of them – “Rajshekhar” and “Deekshit”. Rajshekhar is doing Chartered Accountancy. He is the first blind person to have cleared the entrance exam and now he is preparing for the mains. Deekshit has just cleared his 10th and is not studying in a reputed college. He is studying science and aspires to be an engineer. The principal of the school later told me that many of the students are preparing for IITs. Some of them have got admission in prestigious engineering colleges across the state and most of them are securing first ranks in their respective colleges.

Rajshekhar and Deekshit took us around to show their school. When we entered the laboratory, I was amazed to see several scientific models made up of clay, wires and other day-to-day household items. Rajshekhar told us that their Egbert sir had made all those models for them to touch and understand (Egbert sir is a 76 year old man committed to the cause). Rajshekhar also explained to us one of the clay models depicting the flow of blood (and the purification system in the heart). And he was just fabulous. Later he proudly told us that he got appreciations from the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh when he had explained the same model to him during a science exhibition. Next up was the printing press. They showed us the Braille printers that could automatically translate English characters to Braille and then print them. They also told us that the foundation prints Braille books and provides them for free to all the schools in the state. Next thing that we saw was the computer room. The school teaches computers to the students after 5th class onwards. The students use some special software that converts text into speech and they can listen to the messages, text etc. They use the same kind of keyboard that we use (They don’t have special Braille keyboards).

I am in discussion with the school and some of my friends from Microsoft here in Hyderabad and we are trying to find out ways to get engaged with the foundation and help them. Meanwhile, for those who are unable to contribute directly by being present, here are a few things that you could do.


  • Meals - one time:
    • Vegetarian: Rs. 3000/-
    • Non-Vegetarian: Rs. 4000/-
  • Breakfast: Rs. 1800/-
  • A sum of Rs. 50,000/- can be deposited as FD. The interest accrued will be utilized for meals on any day of your choice during the academic year
  • Snacks: Rs. 1800/-
  • Sponsor a child's education - Rs. 6000/- per annum
  • A sum of Rs. 1,00,000/- can be deposited as FD. the interest accrued will be utilized on permanent basis
  • Sponsor a teacher's salary - approx Rs. 4000/- per month
  • Sponsor a student's uniform (two pairs of dress, shoes, socks, tie and belt) - Rs. 1500/-
  • Provisions (monthly requirement of the school) - These can be donated in full or part
    • Rice -1500 Kgs
    • Dal - 150 Kgs
    • Oil - 45 ltrs
    • Sugar - 45 Kgs
    • Wheat Rawa - 100 Kgs
    • Idly Rawa - 100 Kgs
    • Urad Dal - 50 Kgs

Other ways

  • Work as a volunteer teacher to teach the students
  • Arrange for computers for the students
  • Arrange for Talking dictionaries (these softwares are costly and not easily available in India)
  • Arrange for voice enabled scientific calculators (the school has a few... but they need more of these)
  • Voice recorders with large memory - the students who go to higher classes need to record their lectures so that they can revise things later.
  • Scanners and OCR software with higher accuracy

And most of all, they need our moral support.

NOTE: All donations to Devnar foundation are exempted from Income Tax (in India). Contributions should be made in favor of "DEVNAR FOUNDATION FOR THE BLIND"

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Let there be light

Today is a very special day for me. As you may have guessed from some of my previous posts, I am a person who is easily moved with emotions. Today, something happened that ripped my heart apart. This would definitely bring a major change in my life. Or at least the way I look at things.

Microsoft as an organization has been committed to give something back to the society so as to empower the weaker sections to come up and help them shape the future of mankind. As a part of this, we have something called as "Giving Campaign" through which employees can contribute money, time towards this noble cause.

Today, we had people from India Literacy Program who had come to the campus. We could buy things from them (adding our contributions to the base price) and that would help empower the mission. I bought a T-Shirt with a small little contribution towards the fund.

This had again brought me into the "social" mood and I kept thinking about various things that we could do to help such initiatives. In the evening, we had kids from "Devnar Foundation for the Blind" visiting the campus. They were here to show us some of their talents. They were singing, dancing (group dances with amazing synchronization), playing musical instruments. It was an eye opener. And after watching them all, I hate myself for having thought of these bright kids as disabled. They are not disabled. We are. We do not see all the amazing capabilities they have.

There were a few very touching moments. One of the kids was asked what would he want to be when he grows up and he said "I want to become the President of India. We don't need your money. We don't need your sympathy. All we want is for you to share your knowledge with us. We can do everything that you can do. Just open your heart towards us". Have you ever imagined of a blind child having so much of confidence? Leave alone a blind kid, do we see this kind of confidence in ourselves? No. We are nowhere close to how courageous these kids are.

In closing speech, one of the kids (his name was Shrikanth) said, "I want to thank you all for spending your valuable time with us and for giving us a chance to perform in front of you. I know you have to work till late in night. Still you spent your time with us. That is very much encouraging for us. Maybe after 5 years, when I will be an employee of Microsoft, it would give me a lot of pleasure organizing such programs. I cannot describe in words how happy I would be to so. Have a nice day... or night". His last words struck me the most. I just don't know what to say for it. It was just very emotional.

I am moved with this and to start with, I have decided to spend 2 days every month with these kids and try to help them achieve what they want to. I will also sponsor a child's education through the foundation. The reason I am stating this here on my blog is that I know there are few people who read my blog. I want to use this as a channel to ask everyone to try and do their best to help these kids realize their potential. Please come forward. The world needs you.

If you wish to know more about Devnar Foundation, you can visit their website -

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Things to Consider Before Getting Married - Dumb Little Man

Today, I got an invitation for lunch from a colleague of mine. The occasion is - She is getting married in December.

On the same email thread, another colleague of mine forwarded a link to a blogpost which I found particularly interesting. So I thought of sharing it with all the readers. Its something interesting (particularly for those who are going to get married soon)

Things to Consider Before Getting Married - Dumb Little Man

Friday, October 5, 2007

Its s(h)ame again

Yet another one-day match. Yet another triumph. And the result is the same - yet another defeat.

A few days back, I was actually thinking of going to the stadium to watch the match. Thankfully I decided otherwise. Yesterday my manager said he would be on vacation as he is going to watch the match. Jokingly I had said "I can't watch India loose on TV. Watching them loose in front of my eyes would hurt me even more. I am not going." But you know what... I didn't mean it. I really had hope from the team. Alas... nothing came out of it :(

Just like any other cricket fan in India, I am wondering

  • What has happened to the top order?
  • Why is Gautam Gambhir in the team? Why can't we replace him with Saurav or Dinesh Karthik?
  • so many other questions that I am unable to blurt out right now...

I know writing a blog post when you are upset is not a very good idea. But I can't stop it coming out of me.

Yeah... one good thing that I liked today was the way our bowlers performed during the mid-overs. Also it was pretty nice to see some of the middle-order batsmen doing a good job chasing the hefty target.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Mahatma - from my perspective

As a youngster, I always hated Gandhi. For reasons that do not seem too obvious to me now. I just could not understand why someone would not support Subhash Chandra Bose when he was engaged in gun-battle with the British. Why would someone not retaliate when innocents were being jailed, tortured and even killed? These questions were coming from a child who could not understand the greatness of the principle of Non-Violence. At times, I would even go to the extent of endorse Nathuram Godse for killing the Mahatma.

I don’t exactly remember when this happened. I was talking to someone about Gandhiji and was exchanging heated arguments (to be true, it was just me who was arrogant). He then said something that struck my mind really hard. He said, “Take a plain white cloth and sprinkle a little bit of ink in the middle of it. Ask anyone to take a look at it and ask them what they see. They would say – ink spots. Hardly anyone looks at the white cloth but nobody fails to notice the ink spots”. “Gandhiji is a personality far beyond our analysis. We often ignore plethora of things he did for the country and keep our eyes fixed on some of his mistakes”. This thought kind of enlightened me. It was nothing miraculous or anything even close to being miraculous. But it gave me a different way of looking at things. Some people choose to call it as “Dimensional Thinking” or “perspective thinking”.

This incident forced me into reading more about Gandhiji and the history of those times. I read almost everything that was accessible to me at that point in time. Ranging from criticism, third party view, views of some of the British officers, praise etc.

Now I think, to some extent I understand what Gandhiji was and the difference he made to our society, our nation and to the entire world at large. While trying to understand a personality as great as Gandhiji, we must keep one thing in mind – Gandhiji was not GOD. He was a human being. And it is unfair if we expect a human being not to make any mistakes throughout his life. Everyone makes mistakes. We need to be wise enough to look at the larger picture and not confine our vision only the mistakes that he made (if I can take the liberty to say so).

As I write this today, I know and I understand that there are many (not just youngsters) who do not think Gandhian principles are applicable now. Today, on his 138th birthday, I am announcing a series of essays that I am going to write on my blogs about Gandhiji. This is an attempt to make people aware of what Gandhi was and how his principles can still change the way we carry on with our lives and how we can use them to make the world a better, safer place to live in.

Hindi version of this essay is available on my other blog.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ugaldo - Yet another Micro-Blogging site

In last few months, Micro-Blogging web-sites have become very popular. I see more and more of my friends on Twitter. Sometimes back, there was some discussion on the famous Scobleizer blog (owned by Robert Scoble). I was on twitter before this discussion happened, but that's when I came to know of this term - Micro-Blogging. Its an amazing thing to see people contributing with so much of enthusiasm.

Today, someone forwarded a link to Ugaldo. I believe this is one more web-site that falls under the Micro-Blogging category. Ugaldo (read as उगल दो) is a Hindi phrase that means - "Vomit Out". lets you vomit out your emotions, frustrations (or anything and everything).

Lets see how far this phenomenon goes.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A trip to the bank

It was a regular day at work. I was doing something on my laptop (I still have a hangover of getting this mighty new Dell Latitude 820 Platinum Edition) trying to install a few new things. My colleague Ankit (who happens to be one of my best friends in Microsoft) came to me and said - "Let's go downstairs. I have some work. I need to go to the bank and have to meet a friend of mine". It was a fairly regular thing. We usually go together for short trips within the campus. I said ok... lets go. I locked my computer and off we went... on our way to the bank (we have a branch of ICICI bank within our campus).

On the way down, in the lift, Ankit said "I have to meet a friend of mine and I want to introduce you two to each other. Along with that friend, there's also a female friend. I need you to tell me if she would be good for me!". This was something new... and exciting. I was looking forward to it.

We took a sudden turn towards a Barista stall (again, within the campus) and he said "My friend will meet me at Barista". I said "Okay..". But I saw something that signaled something fishy. I saw my manager sitting there at Barista. What is he doing there? As we moved on, I could recognize more and more number of faces there... Boy... its the entire team sitting here. My whole team was sitting there at Barista... And now the secret was revealed by Ankit "Its a surprise for you!".

I could not believe what was happening. The surprise party was for four things

  1. I got engaged
  2. Mahendra and his wife were blessed with a son earlier this monday
  3. It was Ankit's birthday last saturday
  4. Gowri was moving on to pursue another career opportunity (not sure if this was a happy occasion)

The team had arranged for a cake (which all four of us cut), and a few gifts for me. Things went on well with a small speech from each one of us and cake cutting and painting of course :).

Here are some of the photos from the small little trip to the bank :)

A trip to the bank

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I am engaged now!!!

As I had announced earlier, I finally got engaged on July 26th 2007. Have uploaded the photographs on the web.

Click on the photograph below to view the entire album.

Engagement Photos

Update: Many people have been asking me about Esha. Well... here are a few things about her.

  • Who is She? Esha is a small town girl from Aligarh staying with her parents in Narora
  • What does she do? She has done her MSc in Physics and she also has a BEd (too good for just a graduate (me!) isn't she?). Presently she is doing a course in Information Technology.
  • How did I meet her? Its an arranged marriage. We met just one day before the engagement :-)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Yet another insignifcant post

Warning: This is yet another post that is insignificant and that has been written due to a strange state of mind that I frequently get into these days.

As I had mentioned in my earlier post, I am getting engaged on August 26th. Right now I am in Hyderabad and will be leaving for Mumbai tonight in bus. As the time comes closer, various feelings are starting to taking control of me.

I am excited, nervous, shy, scared all at the same time. I hope I get back to my senses soon :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A bunch of announcements

It’s been quite some time since my last post. So much so that people have started asking me why am I not posting anything? Well, there are two reasons for it

  • I am going through a lot of changes in my personal life
  • I wanted to separate personal blog entries from those related to Microsoft

Changes in my personal life

One BIG News

I know this is probably not a place to announce something like this! But hey… this is my personal blog. And I want to give it a further personal touch by posting things that are actually personal to me.

So… the news is – I am getting engaged on Sunday August 26th 2007 with Esha Singh. I have been personally instructed by Esha not to post her pictures. So I won’t do it (basically I don’t want to get into trouble at such an early stage!). As opposed to most of my friend’s expectations, it’s an arranged marriage!

I am very excited about it and am looking forward to a happy new life.

Some more changes

A few years back, when I was a kid, I started reading about Mahatma Gandhi. It took me so many years to understand the value and impact of Gandhian principles. In the recent times, I have been reading a lot about history, politics, and a lot of other social issues that affect an average Indians life. When I put both the learning in context, it surprises me to see that this nation of Gandhi has deviated so much from Gandhian principles. It has only been 60 years and the political system as almost collapsed.

It may sound little too big (and a bit stupid too) but I have decided to take an effort to change this. More on this front in the coming few posts.

Moving MS Related posts

I will no longer post Microsoft related stuff here

I have a blog on MSDN to which I have not posted anything so far. Primary reason for this was that I did not have too much of tech-stuff to contribute. Or, to be more specific, I didn’t have any experience of writing a tech-blog. And being a long time reader of various blogs on MSDN, I understand that a normal reader would expect technical content on MSDN blogs.

The new destination for MS Posts

All the forthcoming posts will be on my MSDN Blog.

I have started writing at least informative posts about Microsoft and its products, so, after contemplating the decision for the past few weeks, I have decided to move this piece to my MSDN Blog. However, I will keep posting a link to the posts on my MSDN blog for the first few posts.

What happens to this blog?

I will continue to blog here but only on things that are not related to Microsoft (my personal life beyond Microsoft). Additionally, as I said, I will be linking to my posts on my MSDN blog.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Introducing Windows Live SkyDrive

Windows Live SkyDrive team at Microsoft announced three major changes yesterday-

Change in Name:

As you can see, Windows Live Folders is now Windows Live SkyDrive. I like the new name because it sounds cool. Way better than something like "Folders" or something.

Bunch of cool new enhancements
  • An upgraded look and feel — new graphics to go along with your new features!
  • "Also on SkyDrive" — see most recently visited SkyDrives and easily navigate to them
  • Thumbnail images of the image files on your SkyDrive
  • Drag and drop your files right into your SkyDrive
  • Embed your stuff anywhere — with just a few clicks, post your files and folders anywhere you can post html
Expansion of user base

Windows Live SkyDrive is now available in three regions - US, UK, and India.

I tried playing around with it a little and found it to be super cool. Very easy to use and yet very powerful. Go, sign-up now!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Windows Vista Test-drive

Have you not had your hands on Windows Vista yet? Still thinking if it will actually help your business? Well, here is your chance to take a look at it online. Try your hands on Windows Vista running live right through your web browser.

Visit Windows Vista Test Drive Website today.

For the techies who are willing to know how this online hands-on thingy works, here is a bit of Gyan for you. It is powered by Microsoft Virtual Labs. Virtual Labs is a cool new way for Microsoft to demonstrate its new products running live in virtual environments. Its something like running a virtual machine on your Virtual PC. The only difference here is that the virtual machine runs on Microsoft's hardware and you seem to work in a live online environment.

I am confused about one thing. And the reason for my confusion is - why on earth are you still reading this post? Had I been in your position, I would already be taking a tour of Windows Vista or playing around with cool new technologies on Virtual Labs. Go ahead. Do it :-)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Wanna be a daredevil???

Yeah!!! You read that right... And I have not gone crazy (yet)!!!

I have to make a confession. I am a rash rider. I go wild when I listen to the roaring sound of an engine. It just takes senses out of my mind and I feel like flying on my bike. It thrills me taking my 150cc bike to 120 kmph on curved roads. I love the feeling when the person sitting behind me gets scared :-). For the records, there has been just one person who was never scared of sitting behind me! Thankfully, I have very good control on two-wheeled vehicles and have a very good record of avoiding accidents or at least reducing the impact to a minimal.

While I was in Mumbai, things like crossing lanes, applying sudden breaks, tilting the bike as opposed to using the handles for taking turns, wheelie (okay... I didn't do that too many times) etc were fun but I exercised them only when there were no (or very few) vehicles or cops :-) on the road. And I used to call them stunts and I thought I was a daredevil. Nevertheless, I was a happy rider with a bit of guilty feeling of not following some of the traffic rules.

There has not been much of a change since then.I am still a rash rider. I still take my machine to 120k. I still love to take wild turns and scare people sitting behind me. But there is one thing that has changed. And that one single change has made doing any of the above mentioned things almost impossible. And that one little change is -

(insert mystery music here, dramatic entry)

- I am in Hyderabad.

You may be thinking its not possible for me to all my favorite stunts (I need to reconsider use of this term now) because traffic rules are strictly followed in Hyderabad. Let me make a correction to your thoughts - You are absolutely wrong!!!

The fact is - any rule that you read in your driving school does not apply. Hyderabad has its own set of traffic rules and people (including traffic cops) follow them religiously. Here are a few rules that people do follow

  • You should see road-signs (do we need to follow them??? Oh.. I thought they were there for decoration)
  • Somebody had a lot of extra white paint and spilled it on the road. Some fools say they are lines to indicate lanes. Why on earth do you need lanes when you have roads. Idiots!
  • Traffic cops are not cops... They stand there on the roads for all emergency purposes... such as - when you meet with an accident, or to clear the roads when a minister (or any VIP) arrives.
  • You have all rights to take turns anytime and anywhere. All the vehicles behind you must watch your moves (and not your indicators. indicators are a nice way to host a small little light show. why should I use them for turns?)
  • You don't have to stop at signals. God knows why they waste so much of electricity on those flashing colorful lights. You know... we must question the government for spending tax-payers money for such light shows.
  • One way??? What the heck is that??? Don't try to quiz me man... I see a road. And I am going to drive through.
  • You must follow all the above rules. You can append this list with any new fancy rule that you discover (provided it is not a rule in the government's book)

I am not a racist. And I have nothing to hold against people from any particular region or state. I don't want to hurt anyone's sentiments. But I must say this - I am sick and tired of this place. People have absolutely zero civic sense. They don't understand what discipline is. They have no respect for human life. Coming from a place like Mumbai, these are certain things that we take for granted in a citizen. These are core values that I grew up with.

I get speechless when someone compares Hyderabad with Mumbai. I have no words do describe how I feel. The best description for Hyderabad that I can for is - It is a village that is trying to become a metropolitan very fast. A metropolitan is not just about tall buildings or bunch of IT companies or for that matter a lot of money. The word metropolitan identifies a culture. It comes up with a lot of social responsibilities and moral values. Mumbai became what it is in more than 300 years. Please don't insult Mumbai and Mumbaikars by comparing Hyderabad with Mumbai.

I have not seen too many places and have been confined pretty much to the limits of Mumbai city for a long long time. Maybe rest of the country is like Hyderabad. I don't know. But if that is the case, we must stop feeling good about ourselves. It is our country and we must take the responsibility of making things right.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Visual Studio 2008 beta 2 launched

July 26th was quite a happening day at Microsoft. As outlined in my previous post, Microsoft launched "Open Source at Microsoft" to connect better with the Open Source Community.

On the same day, Microsoft launched beta 2 of Visual Studio 2008 and .net framework 3.5. Also, there came an announcement that Silverlight 1.0 RC will be available for public download in the next couple of days.

For further details on Visual Studio 2008, you can see go to Visual Studio 2008 Downloads website.

Open Source at Microsoft

I know exactly what's on your mind. Is this some kind of a joke??? Well! your reaction to the unexpected title is quite expected. Generally, developers (or in general software users) do not relate Microsoft and open source in a positive sense.

But Microsoft has shown time and again that it is committed to the evolution of software platforms and to sharing knowledge via various open source/shared source initiatives. On July 26th 2007, Microsoft took one more step to reaffirm its commitment.

Bill Hilf, General Manager, Competitive Strategy at Microsoft announced plans to submit the Microsoft Community License (MS-CI) and Permissive License (PL) to the OSI. Both these licenses are available as of today.

Additionally, Microsoft launched a new web property Open Source at Microsoft that contains information like how to get engaged with Microsoft in various shared source initiatives and updates on what Microsoft is doing in this space.

I remember I heard of Rotor (commonly known as SSCLI) several years back. I am amazed to see people still getting amazed by the fact that Microsoft has such an initiative. In fact, that precisely is the reason why the title of this post startled you. Probably we were not able to build a proper channel to connect with the open source community. The newly launched initiative will sure help bridge this gap.

BTW, you see... I wasn't joking :-)

Thursday, July 26, 2007


No! Its not another 'i' from Apple :-)

We all listen to mp3 and we can select from a large number of portable mp3 players out there in the market. But, if you are someone like me, you also want to sing those songs and probably record your own voice with your favorite music and listen to it. Yeah.. I know I can do that with so many Karaoke systems that are available. How about having a single device that helps me do both - listen to mp3, act as a karaoke system and record my own voice with my favorite music.
i-Singh does just that. "It's Outrageous", one of the entertainment companies in the US has launched the world's first interactive, handheld MP3-Karaoke player, that allows users to sing along to their favorite tunes, listen to top hits, and record their own voices all at once. This ultimate portable device brings together MP3 and Karaoke technologies like never before.
Watch the video below

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The ultimate fan

I have a news. Its kinda strange but definitely pleasant. least to me :-).

Let me ask a question. How big a fan you are of Microsoft? I know there are quite a few Microsoft fans around here and they will have all sorts of things to justify that they are the biggest fans. But wait... the fan that I am talking about is definitely the biggest fan of Microsoft.

Microsoft MVP Bil Simser named his daughter "Vista Avalon Simser". I don't have to say what Vista is. Avalon was the codename for Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). And Simser ofcourse is Bil's family name.

There is something more to it. If Bil had had a son instead of a daughter, he says, he would have made sure that his son's initials read as DOS (the first name being "Dev").

Geeks do all sort of things (which may sound weird but trust me, we have our sentiments attached to things we do). This is just one of them. I am now waiting for more of these. How about having names like - Zune, Linux, iPod, William 2.0(instead of Willuam Jr.)

For those of you who still don't believe me on this story, Bil runs a blog titled Fear and Loathing on And here is the post that introduced Vista Avalon Simser to the world. You are already famous baby girl!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Remembering 11 minutes of disaster

Today marks first anniversary of what I remember as the worst day of my life as a Mumbaikar. Exactly one year back, 7 bombs exploded within a span of 11 minutes in local trains at different locations across the western suburban line of the city claiming 209 lives and injuring over 700 others.

Thinking of the portentous day, memory of each moment makes my heart heavier. I do not have words to describe how much I love Mumbai and the people out there. It’s a city that taught me the way to live life. And it was really really painful to see my city losing its pulse.

As I got the news, my heart stated sinking. It was not more than a year ago that rains lashed Mumbai claiming hundreds of lives. And now a terrorist attack... Why is this happening to my city? I had fair bit of an idea that the telephone networks would soon get either suspended or they will be very congested as it happens on every disaster of this scale. I immediately tried calling home and ensured everyone is fine there. Then I tried calling my father but his cellphone was unreachable. It wasn’t too unexpected as his network provider doesn’t have a very good network. But still, my father being untraceable was something that added to my fear and grief. Hoping for the best, I called up at his office and got to know that he had gone out for a meeting and should have finished with it now. In my mind, I tried to calculate the time it takes to reach from the place where the meeting was to the bombing spots and I was quite sure he was not in any of those trains. I was a bit relieved. Then I called some of my friends to ensure everyone was fine and to inform that I was fine.

Having got to know that my father was not on any of the bombed trains, but still was untraceable, I decided to take onto the roads and go to the place where he had gone to attend the meeting. I started from my office at Kandivli at about 6:45 PM. I had a long way to go (more than 40 kms) to reach Churchgate. And I knew it was not going to be easy. All the local train services were shut down. And anyone who is familiar with Mumbai would know the huge number of people using local trains as major mode of transport. It happened during peak hours and the sheer thought of millions of Mumbaikars travelling on road was scary.

All the while, I kept picking up people and kept dropping them. No traffic cop stopped for having 3 people sitting behind me on my bike. I could see thousands of stranded people trying to get into any vehicle that could help them get to their homes.

Seeing my city so helpless was painful. And the pain was very intense. I didn’t realize when I started crying. All I remember is that I stopped the bike in a corner and cried like hell. I could not handle it anymore. Somehow I gained some courage back and I started my journey again. When I reached Bandra, I got a call from my father. He said he was fine and he was at a family friends place in Wadala.

In the next two hours, I reached there and picked him up. Coming back home was no different. We had about 50 kms distance to cover (from Wadala to Bhayander). Still the same kind of traffic. The only thing that was different was that now we had people on the streets helping others who were stranded in whatever way they could. Some were offering water, some were distributing biscuits. Everyone was ready to help others. I again had tears in my eyes. But this time, it was not just out of grief it was more out of a sense of pride, a sense of belonging.

I kept riding until I reached Malad. It had been almost 6 hours that I was riding my bike. I took some rest there for about 30 minutes and then started again. We reached home at about 3 AM.

News channels across the world were airing the footages of the blast sites. We could see it all... Blown off trains, rattled bodies, shaken people, some crying some still in shock. I specially remember that it was raining. Kept raining for the most part of the night. Seemed like nature was mourning at the sacrifice of martyrs of Mumbai.

The calendar on the wall says it was one year back, but even now, all memories are still fresh on my mind. I want to forget it but I just cannot. It rarely happens to me but I am falling short of words to describe what I am feeling right now. May the souls of the martyrs rest in peace and god give strength to all the families that lost their loved ones. I wish and pray to God that such an inhuman thing never repeats anywhere in the world.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Good news for Windows Live Search

A recent study by revealed that Live Search increased its query volume by 67% from May and 48% from a year ago. Quoting the entry on Compete Blog,

Google finally has a competitor join it in the (until now) exclusive, positive-year-over-year-growth club. MSN/Live increased their query volume by 67% from May, and 48% from a year ago. Search volume was up all across the board in June and took most everyone else in the same direction.

Now, that's impressive!!! Cheers!!!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Yet another Grand Slam for the king of Grass

It was pure beauty to watch the Wimbledon men's final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal yesterday. It was for the first time after 2001 that a Wimbledon final had gone for five sets. It was real pleasure watching the two legendary players fight for each point.

I could not see the whole match as I had gone out to meet some friend. I saw it from the fourth set (Federer was leading with 2 sets to 1; and in the fourth set, Nadal had broken Federer's first serve). Nadal was at his best in the fourth set. Smashing the ball around, making Federer stretch himself to the maximum limits. At several occasions, Federer seemed to loose confidence. Specially at a point when Nadal challenged a decision and the decision was reverted to favor Nadal. It was quite evident that Federer was loosing it. At least I felt so. I am sure nobody wanted to see a champion loose his temper. But a champion that he is, he made a magnificent return in the fifth and the final set. Remarkable is the only word that comes to my mind. Towards the end of it, Nadal almost cried.

It was fifth time in a row that Federer won the Wimbledon title leveling the record of Björn Borg. You rock Roger!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A thing called (bad???) luck

My sister's 10th grade results came out last weekend. She got 86 percent. Pretty impressive (better than mine)!!! This was a big occasion in my little sister's life, so I decided to visit her back in my hometown of Mumbai. I booked "Bus" tickets for both ways (It is a 14hr journey from Hyderabad to Mumbai in a bus). Anxiously waiting for Friday evening somehow slipped through the week. I had no idea what was in the store for me. This was going to be a journey of a lifetime.

Day - Friday June 29th, 2007. Time - 6:30 PM. After finishing my day-job, I went to Rahul's office (he also works with Microsoft, but in a different location). We left his office at about 7 and reached the bus stop by 7:30. We kept talking, sometimes taking a look at the TV that was airing 2nd ODI cricket match of the Future Cup between India and South Africa. Slowly time passed and I was ready to leave. 8:30 PM sharp, the bus started and I was headed home!!!

The night was pretty dull. Though I didn't have any expectations of "a night in a bus" to be exciting, it was way too boring. The bus stopped by a "Dhaba" at about 11 PM and I had my dinner. After coming back into the Bus, I started listening to my favorite songs on my Nokia 6280 (I realized later, this was one of the biggest mistakes I made). Don't know what time did I sleep but I do know that I woke up somewhere in the middle of the night and turned my phone off (with hardly any charge remaining).

Day - Saturday June 30th, 2007. Time - 7 AM. I woke up due to some noise. Realized that we were very close to Pune and the bus had stopped because someone had to get down. Felt really happy. Closer to home. The bus started again. Nothing significant happened until we reached Pune. That was when I called up home and got to know that it was raining heavily in Mumbai and local trains have stopped.

This was no shock to me. It happens many a times in Mumbai. But, I wasn't prepared for it. My cellphone was terribly low on battery. There were no trains running. It was a flood like situation in the city. And that flood hit city was where I was going!!!

I kept telling myself - calm down, don't panic, everything is going to be just fine. Things could have gone fine but as my luck had it, the bus broke down due to some weird technical problem (as described by the staff). I was about 70 kms away from home. Stranded. With a phone that will work only for 10 minutes if I kept it ON, a bag that had my laptop, and (very) heavy rains.

After an hour of marathon effort, I got an autowala agreed to drop me till Vashi (some 20 km from the place where the bus broke down). The auto driver was really gutsy. He drove through fully submerged roads and took me till Vashi Railway Station.

There was another setback waiting for me. No trains (in straight direction to my home) were operational. There was one route (Vashi-Thane) which was operational but that will take me even further from my home. And, at that time, it was known that there are buses running from Thane till my home. I had two choices, wait at the station for the regular route to become operational; or, go the other way round and try to reach home before the weekend gets over. I chose the latter.

The train wasn't too crowded but still pretty much over-occupied as compared to other days on that route. Anyway, this part of the journey was very smooth. I spoke to a couple of people in the train. We discussed a lot of things - rains, government, politics, corruption, pretty much everything that a common man in a local train would discuss. Once I reached Thane, One of the folks that I was talking to explained to me the directions to the Bus Stop.

One more bad news was waiting for me at the Bus stop - there was a landslide on the way and there won't be anymore buses to Bhayander. Whoops.... what the heck should I do now... I spoke to some of the people out there and the idea of hiring an auto to get closer to home seemed nice. But there was no autowala ready to go there. Kept waiting there at the bus stop for nearly 2 hours. And then came the first good news of the day - the road has been cleared and soon there would be a bus coming in. There were about 250 people waiting for that Bus. I wondered how was I going to get into it. Still kept waiting for soon to get over. After nearly 1 hour, a bus came with Bhayander written on it. Despite me having disliked ST buses the most, at that moment, it seemed to be the most beautiful thing in the world.

People stormed in. ST buses have a single door which is used for entry and exit both. There were 250 people trying to get into a single door all at once. The only phrase that can come close to describing the situation is -"Perfect chaos". Suddenly I saw something amazing. Someone had spotted the emergency exit door (which is at the back of the bus) to be open. That seemed like end of trouble, some of the young guys (including me) took on to the adventurous job of climbing up to the emergency window and pushing our bodies inside the bus.

I sat on a window seat and throughout the way, I could see devastation. Stranded people, broken roads and vehicles. I took a couple of snaps on the way. Will post it here sometimes. But thankfully it wasn't as bad as July 26th 2005. Usually that bus takes about 30 minutes. But that day, it took more than an hour to reach my place.

I reached home by 5:30 PM. almost 8 hours late. Still, it was a big relief for my family to see me.

And yes... my return bus got cancelled and I had to extend my trip for one more day and took a flight on Monday evening back to Hyderabad.

I look at it in two ways - on one hand, it was a bad experience going completely off the pre-planned schedule. On the other hand, I could spend one extra day with my family and off-course got the taste of Mumbai monsoon once again :)

Good luck or bad luck. Whatever you call it. Was definitely a trip worth remembering.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Yet Another i from Apple

Apple released its much hyped iPhone a few days back and reviews have started coming in. Here is what Ryan Block has to say about it

    • The mobile version of OS X or whatever it is the iPhone runs takes up 700MB of the device's capacity. Damn son!
    • There's no way to cut, copy, or paste text! WHOA! Big, big mistake.
    • No A2DP support. That, friends, is such a huge bummer right there.
    • Sorry, music can't be used as a ringtone -- even if it's just a raw MP3. No additional ringtones will be sold at launch.
    • On a PC the iPhone syncs with Outlook for calendars AND addresses! Noice.
    • It supports Exchange in some capacity, according to Walt, but he doesn't exactly say how.
    • Pogue again confirms document file reading -- but not editing -- for PDF, Word, and Excel (only).
    • Adobe Flash support is officially out. It's just not in the browser. Neither is there any other kind of embedded video support. Sorry everybody, that's that.
    • It will take snaps, but won't record video. How can Apple love YouTube as much as it does and not realize cellphone-shot movies make up a sizeable chunk of the crazy crap you find on there?
    • Oh, and no MMS. And sorry, no voice dialing, either.
    • Contact groups can't be emailed as contact lists.
    • Apple sez between 300-400 charges the iPhone will lose battery capacity -- you'll send it in and get the cell replaced for a fee. Meh. We knew this would be the case, but still, meh.
    • Apple can (and supposedly will) be rolling out periodic updates -- no surprise there.
    • Battery life is, somehow, almost as mind-blowingly good as Apple claims for calls, music, and movies.
    • As we suspected, users are prompted with lists of WiFi networks if you're not nearby a trusted hotspot. We've seen this on other phones, and we're afraid this would get friggin annoying.
    • It's said to be very scratch resistant. The facade both front and rear apparently just doesn't pick up marring like regular iPods do.
    • Voice quality is said to be good -- not great.

Well... Not that everyone dislikes it, there are others who did like the new iDevice and thought it is worth the hype.

Anyway, I am not going to pass any comment on it (as I have not seen it!).

But, I would recommend people to take a look at this new device from HTC running Windows Mobile 6.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Lets help Earth cool down a little!

Its normal for me to leave my computers ON for longer than they need to be kept ON. I believe there are many more people doing something similar. I don't know how others feel about doing it. At least I regret doing so, but I still do it. Its become a habit now. It ends up wasting a lot of energy which in turn is taxing on the environment.

Uniblue Labs (a Microsoft certified partner) took note of it and made a cool tool to help us save some energy without having to leave this bad habit of ours. The tool basically minimizes energy consumption by our computer in several ways, turning off monitors in sometime, lower/turn off the hard disk spin, hibernate the computer. All the settings are configurable. The coolest part is, it shows you how much energy you have saved and how it has helped the earth. Take a look at the screenshot below :-


I have installed it on my machine and I urge everyone to download it and use it.

However, it doesn't mean I will continue with my bad habit. I'll work towards improving on it :-)

Lets help Earth cool down a little!

Friday, June 22, 2007

A quick lite note

Just happened to stop by this . Watching the video makes me feel happier. I am not the only guy who feels miserable about things. There are others who feel more miserable than me :-)

It reminds me of a saying. Well! I don't quite remember the saying but the essence was "We feel happy about others being miserable and we feel miserable about others feeling happy". Though most of the times I disagree with the quote, at least for now, I am with it :)

And above all, it's Apple facing the heat. There is nothing else that makes me happier.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

25 years of a hard plastic disc

Today, Compact Disc (CD) completed 25 years of its existance in the Market. Nothing much to talk about it. Everyone who can read this article pretty much knows about CD.
However, if you are interested in knowing a bit more about it, you can do that here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

How miserable can you feel

I lost my bike keys on Thursday. I had lost it inside the campus so I had high hopes that I would get it back somehow. And finally I got it back today. Had left it in the Gym Locker. However cool I pretended to be, I was feeling miserable inside. It felt awful leaving my bike in the office and taking a cab (specially in a very nice weather when you want to cruise along on your bike). Anyway, the chapter is closed now. Now I love my bike more than ever :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Safari for Windows

#define WinSafari "Safari for Windows"

Apple released their famous (???) Safari browser’s beta for both OS X and Windows. Before getting into details, I must say, it definitely is a welcome move from Apple. Apple had been very close ended so far targeting Safari only for just about 5% market share that they have in the Desktop market.
On day 0, hackers around the world put their brains to work and wrote exploits for WinSafari . Here is a quick compilation of some of them:-

You can find many more if you search on the internet (or if you write one)!!!
I downloaded Safari today out of curiosity. I didn’t get into details of writing an exploit on Safari. But I just tried to surf a few websites that I visit quite often. All I can say is that it is highly immature for at least rendering. CSS breaks most of the times, Unicode doesn’t work, JavaScript breaks every now and then and many more. This is not a hacker’s perspective. This is a naïve user’s perspective. As a simple user who wants to surf the web, one would assume that the pages will at least appear as they should.

Here are some side by side comparisons of how the same page looks in IE 7 and in WinSafari

PageOn IE 7On WinSafari
Windows Live Image Search
Unicode characters (Hindi)


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Interesting Reflection Problem

First of all, there is no problem with reflection!!!
I didn't get a nice title for this post. So sorry about that :-)

Actually, its a problem that I am trying to solve using reflection.
Here is the problem.

I've been trying to get the value out of a command expression inside an string, something like this:

Class1 ob1 = new Class1();

string strCommand = "ob1.Price"; // price being a property of the ob1 object

int iResult = Exec(strCommand);

In the iResult variable the actual price (a number) should be there. So what i want is that the command inside the strCommand string is executed, and their return value is taken.

I don't think it is possible to do it exactly in the way it has been asked. I tried to have a workaround using reflection. Here it is

class Program
static object Exec(object ob, string PropertyName)
System.Type objType = ob.GetType();
PropertyInfo property = objType.GetProperty(PropertyName);
return property.GetValue(ob, null);
static void Main(string[] args)
Console.WriteLine(Exec(System.DateTime.Now, "Day"));

I am not sure if this is the best way to do it. But thats the only way I can think of doing it :-)

Monday, May 14, 2007

This is not a post

This is not actually a blog post. But its an answer to another blog post made by someone.
You can read the referenced blog (unfortunately, comments are disabled on that blog) here

FireFox is compatible with almost all of the versions of windows unlike IE new release which works only on XP SP2 and above so that's means people using Windows XP SP1 or older have 3 choices and that is either to stick with the older IE which has so many security issues or to buy a new version of Windows which is not cheap or to migrate from IE to other web browser like FireFox and I must say that the third choice is the easy one to make without compromising on security and also without paying any money as Microsoft has abandoned its consumers who uses XP SP1 or older in terms of IE.
---If you are running Windows XP(with or without sp1), SP2 is a free download and requires you to pay ABSOLUTELY NO EXTRA CHARGE. So go ahead and upgrade yourself (oh yes... you can't do that if you are one of those who like to steal software rather than buy it... in simple terms i mean pirates)

The new release of IE seems to be solving most of the problems of the older version of IE but many of the problems still remains and many new exploits will emerge later on.
---Two things
1) Tell me one browser that has NO COMPROMISES
2) Can you tell me some of the security flaws in IE 7

Go write an exploit on IE7, publish it and then come back to me saying IE got a flaw... Don't throw stones in the dark

Most of the website are made to run best in IE because IE has support to many web components like VBScript, ActiveX etc which makes the website more useful but on the other side these components are at the core of most of the security issues in IE which is exploited by the hackers and some of the exploits
are very serious in nature
---I feel pity on you lad. VBScript, ActiveX are web components.... makes me laugh like hell :D
Well! I admit ActiveX has been a problem in the last few releases. But, now if you look at IE 7, it specifically warns you for every script and activeX, and by default it blocks everything. Its the user who is supposed to trust the website from where the content is coming and decide whether to run things or not. And BTW, FireFox also runs on plugins... and there are so many exploits on that too :)

Microsoft is very slow in releasing patches for the exploits in their softwares and in this case IE which makes IE even more vulnerable to attacks from hackers.
---I don't remember any such incidence (i guess i have been a Microsoft user since quite long). Can you please help me recollect at least one of those incidences when MS delayed (a lot) in releasing a patch

Most of the website are now being made to work in both IE and other web browsers like FireFox which is encouraging more and more user to migrate from IE to FireFox
---What a reason to leave the browser we all love :P

IE has less options as compare to FireFox which gives its users so many options like extensions etc to enhanced their web browsing experience
---I don't know what options the author refers to. As far as extensions are concerned, IE has them since last 13 years :)

In FireFox you can open multiple windows in a single window in order to browse multiple websites and this is a very plus points as this feature is not available in IE
---Have you ever seen something called IE 7. I am sure you have not. Go have a look at it. And BTW, "multiple windows in a single window" is called as tabbed browsing :P

FireFox has less security issues as compared to Microsoft's IE.
---Evidence please...

Options like extensions etc. are available on a large scale as compared to IE
---As I said... IE has them since last 13 years (the first release came in 1995)

FireFox has good download speed
---This one is the most hilarious... What makes you think so dude???

FireFox has one of the best pop up blocker available in the market today
z---Now I am damn sure you have not looked at IE 7

You can view news headlines whenever you want without even going to a news
website and if you want to read a particular news then just click the headline
you want to read in
---That's called feed reader and yet again... take a look at IE 7 bro. Its got it all

NOTE:The views expressed here are solely my personal views. My employer or any other community/organisation that I am associated with have nothing to do with the views expressed here by me