Saturday, December 29, 2012

If Only I Had Cut That Article . . .

The other day I saw pamphlets in my newspaper, Hindustan Times. I quickly kept the needy ones like discounts in kirana stores, local Chinese restaurant and rejected most of the others.
I wish I had this acumen earlier. There were so many articles that were worth cutting and keeping. In Hindustan Times(HT). One was on KK Birla, the founder of HT. There was a series of articles continued for months. This was worth keeping. Mr.Birla was easily the most widely regarded businessman in India. Incidentally my father served in a Marwari organization. My father worked with JK group. Singhanias were the owners. So right from my childhood I was curious about rich people. About their lives. Their secrets of success. And the article on KK Birla gave a lot of insight on his persona. The lesson learnt was give attention to small details. I read in Business India, Shri Hari Shankar Singhnia commenting that India should have promoted entrepreneurship in a big way. He is right. Especially young men who are "destined" to lead a free life should take up entrepreneurship. But I went on to join a PSU. The factories impressed me.
Another article that was worth keeping from HT was the series on music directors. Lengthy articles on the lives of famous music directors. And of course the famous Khushwant Singh columns "With Malice Towards One And All".
I have learnt that rejection is a good policy for leading a life. You have to be choosy and reject what is unwanted strongly.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

CORBA issue

The government has worked a lot on providing web services in their sites. Even Metro Apps are available.
The SOAP and XML issue are OK. But what about CORBA? Does the government has clear guidelines on this. Who are advising on this issue? UIDAI would have installed their systems and must have given utmost care. It has been done by topmost expert.
The government is making hue and cry over Huawei hardware.
It is essential to know the CORBA guidelines followed by GOI. Are you with me folks?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Doomsday - December 21, 2012

The Mayan calendar does not have a date beyond December 21,2012.
People all over, hear the rumours of the end of world. Will the world end?
Now consider a sample astrological prediction."If you go in a crowded bus, you may meet with an accident". How far is this statement accurate? Logically it has ifs and mays. If you go in a crowded bus. Remember only crowded not empty. Ok. Then what will happen? You may meet with an accident. Again may here.
The probability of accident happening is nearly same as the statistical accident data. So astrological prediction do not mean a thing.
Coming back to Doomsday prediction, there must have been some basis for the calendar of Mayans. Some beliefs. Based on these beliefs the calendar must have been made. I do not wish to state that these beliefs are wrong. But wish to say that people have changed a lot. Most of the beliefs may not be applicable today.
If we look at it closely and think, then we can appreciate that some of the countries' can go for war anytime. This is no prediction. But actual reality. This may happen anytime.
The probability of Doomsday matches with the probability of triggering of a war. So in real terms, the Doomsday prediction should not mean anything significant. Only that Mayans were correct in understanding the way time will change.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Windows 8

I have upgraded my laptop to Windows 8.
Microsoft claims the software will get installed in 30 minutes or so. But it took me 5 hours. The reason could be that my laptop had proprietary software like face recognition and other Dell software. These were not removed when Windows 8 was installed. They now work in conjunction with Windows 8. 30 minutes installation time must be on a machine with pure Windows 7.
What is Windows 8 about? It is mainly about all your social accounts at one place. It is also about an excellent interface called Metro Apps. It is also about promotion of Microsoft products like Messenger, Calendar, Finance etc.
I was finding it difficult to read my blogs and other blogs I follow at one place. There did not seem to be any Metro UI for this. After about 3 days, I managed to find the right Metro app. News Bento App for Windows 8. This app supports google reader.
So finally I am well settled with my laptop configured with applications of my realm of interest. Books, news, blogs, games and social communication apps.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Spectrum Allocation - an attempt to explain

Today, I somewhat understood about the spectrum allocation.
Spectrum is frequency ranges.
Hardware and devices were available for utilising spectrum. Digital revolution was happening all over the world and India cannot stand alone. That is probably the best reason why India was considered for using these hardware and devices.
Let us say 1000 spectrum was there to be used. Initially, I remember there was an attempt to make mobile wireless completely private company affair. Batata (Birla, AT&T, Tata) term was coined.
Then do not know what happened. Government came in.
Government kept 300 out of 1000 for some unknown purpose. Rest (700) was planned to be auctioned.
Reserve price was fixed for 700. The 700 would have been auctioned to 7 companies, let us say. 100 each. The 7 companies will have 100 customers each.
This is what is spectrum all about.
Spectrum is easily one of the best ways to make India modern. e-governance, communication, idea flows all could have been a reality. But somehow not much was achieved in the rural areas. Instead we are being choked out of software and many software professionals are facing problems with regard to permissions to objects(software).

Monday, October 22, 2012

Petrol for Military Vehicles

The other day I was going to my office in car. My car was getting filled with petrol. On the other side I saw a military car filling up petrol.
Immediately a thought came to my mind. Do military men get allowance for petrol or do they fill from their salary? Then I consoled myself with the thought that oil from Bombay High is used for filling up military vehicles. Of course, imported oil may be used but accounting can be managed with Bombay High output.
Then I switched my thought and wondered how money works. I always read Richie Rich and was impressed with photos of money and cartoons showing man with bulging pockets filled with hot crispy cash. Smells fresh !!
Well, upar wala jab deta hai to chappar phad ke deta hai. This is the truth for money. Personal accounting and being a self cop never really works when it comes to briefcases stuffed with cash.
I believe everyone gets one opportunity to get lucky and become filthy rich with all the fingers having rings of diamond. But my opportunity has gone. I know it from my heart.
Never mind, I consoled myself. Work hard and keep taking in instalments the way they do it now. It is also safe for me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The role of a father

The other day I was going to the market. In front of me about 3 metres ahead was a couple walking holding the small hands of a child which was walking between them. The child was obviously the couples' child.
From the opposite side about 5m ahead an old man of about 65 years was walking towards the couple. The couple seemed to know the old man. The old man greeted the lady and did not look at the man. He said pleasant things to the lady and enquired about the health of the child. The lady seemed happy at the concern of the old man and replied back. Then the young man tried to break ice and talk with the old man. Again the old man ignored the young man and kept talking with the lady. The lady smiled and seemed to be thankful of the old man's concern.
I crossed these guys and went ahead to the market to buy my objects.
Then I thought about the whole thing. The couple, the child and the old man. A husband always has a view contrary to his wife. There may be some stupid exceptions !! If it is blue for him, it is red for her. If it is Shimla for him, it is Goa for her(holidays). And then if she wants to keep the child close to her, he would want the child to be independent. By default a mother would want the child close to her. So one may confidently conclude that the role of a father is to make the child independent. To be free. To fly in air. To explore. To discover.
That cleared a lot of rubbish from my mind. And hey . . . . what about the old man? He is just a onlooker ensuring that the roles of the father and mother is maintained properly or not.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Self Sufficiency Sucks

Self sufficiency is an old Nehruvian model which died much before Nehru. It is not smart that one tries to find solutions to problems all by himself. As Amitabh Bachchan would have said, "It is not necessary for every one to be an artist. There is a need for art lovers too." Really, a leader is no good without followers. Each and every follower is equally as important as the leader.
For the last two days or more, we have been listening to the news of Arvind Kejriwal forming a party. This has shocked me. Why? Is he falling into the trap that he will present the Lokpal Bill in the parliament? This is no way.
The fight is more important than the result. Anna Hazare has brought about a revolution in thinking in this digital age. He is a true leader and must be obeyed without dissent.
If at all Arvind Kejriwal wants to enter politics, he must try to become a Rajya Sabha member. Not Lok Sabha. Because the Lokpal Bill has been passed by Lok Sabha. It is stuck up in Rajya Sabha. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Newspaper vendors

The other day I was wondering why the newspaper reach homes late.
I occasionally go for a walk very early in the mornings and reach the central market at about 5 am. The market is bustling with activity. The newspapers have been delivered and all the boys are busy arranging the newspapers according to the buying pattern of their clients in their area. All these start at 5 in the morning. But then by 7:30 the newspapers do not arrive at home.
I was wondering what could be the reason behind it.
I guess it is the stuff that lies between pages in a newspaper. No, not the printed article of the newspaper. But the pamphlets that are put inside the folded pages of the newspaper. The pamphlets on local restaurant, cloth dealers, music schools etc. Some local goon must be late with his bunch of material for disbursement and he must have given a dhamki to the boys that newspaper will not leave the place without his arrival.
Local ads are important. No doubt. But newspapers are not the only way for transport. How about radio for local ads? Or community notice boards? So much wastage of paper can be avoided.
A danda and a seetee is what is required. The seetee shall remind these goons of the danda that they had and will stop this dadagiri.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fits like hand in glove

Microsoft's evolution of .NET has been magical. Everything seems so good. There was web. There was PC. And now we have .NET.
But Microsoft has made loss this year. First time in 26 years.
Where does Google stand, now? Use their search technology in XML, throw in some artificial intelligence and identify meaning of data. This is what I think Google can do.
It might be a stupid idea, considering XML files might be encrypted. And sort of illegal too. Also they might need clearance from ECMA so that OOPS fundamentals are not violated.
India needs a government policy for a lot of things. Nandan Nilekani's UID program is getting a lot of bad publicity over internet. How internet routing is done? What is our stand on Internet? These are crucial questions that need to be answered urgently than a military economy. Level 5 leaders will ask who rather than what (as Jim Collins has written).
You cannot say a government chaprasi is against Kirtivasan getting an important position in government IT.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

FM Radios

I listen to FM radio when travelling. On Sundays, I would listen to Amin Sayani's Sangeet ke Sitare at 12 noon in Radio City.
Now, Big FM is my default radio station. They play older songs. If an ad or RJ comment is being broadcast, then I switch channels. I then change to Red FM. The only new songs. I change to Radio City, Mirchi too depending on songs, ads, RJ etc.
Newer songs have become more routine like. Punjabi mix, desi pop songs. There seems to be no variety. Older music was about adaptation of Indian classical and folk for cinema. The new trend seem to running out of steam.
Surender Sharma the haasir jawab is a true genius. Absolutely good. He answers questions from audience and is able to give a humorous reply. Almost everytime he manages to make me laugh.
Some of the other comedians are pajama naada types.
Radio will never die. It is a fantastic invention and promotes imagination unlike the TV. After all imagination is the key to variety in life.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Just another loadshedding

The northern grid went down. Twice. Seven states were affected.
To me and crores of others, it was just the normal loadshedding. I wonder what the fault in grid meant to the rulers of our country. What is their thought process? Hum ne garibi dekhi hai. Roti ke liye tarse hain hum. Streetlight mein pade hain hum. And now. What? Hum aaj bhi aam vyakti hain. Is this their thought?
Shinde was transferred to another ministry. Not removed. Fear of loosing votes, perhaps.
To me, politicians only job is to promote unity among themselves and among people. The work people will do. It pains when this clear cut guideline is not met.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Crowd management

Crowds, traffic jams, queues are a common phenomenon for an Indian living in a city.
The other day the traffic signals at an important junction went off at peak time. It was a cross-section of roads and did not have traffic police nearby. Such occurences do happen in cities, though most of the cross-sections do have traffic policeman nearby.
The chaos was tremendous. Everybody wanted to get out of the jam quickly and thought he was doing the right thing by moving ahead at a specific time and others were not cooperating.
I thought about this problem and tried to find a solution. The solution or the law (Ha !! Ha !!) I thought was " If the distance between you and the car in front of you is equal to or more than 1 meter;
or the distance beween you and the car in the road perpendicular to you is equal to or more than 1 meter then move forward. Otherwise stay still." If this law is followed by everyone meticulously then the traffic clearance will be faster. And the people will have peace of mind till the traffic policeman arrives back from the tea shop !!
Another thing is the queues in important govt. organisations. I had to face this problem once. At that place there was separate queues for general, ladies and govt. officials. I stood in the govt. officials queue though I am a PSU (semi-government organisation) employee. I was able to get my job done without anybody asking questions.
For other queues, passing the time by reading papers, browsing net over mobile may be the best option.
The best solution is of course is to start early. Considering that we follow IST (Indian Stretchable Time !) and general public mostly join in at stipulated time, this is the best way out.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pirated audio CDs.

I run errands for my house almost everyday to buy some thing or the other. Most of the daily needs are met in a shopping complex near our flats. Somedays I go to the main Central market.
About three days back I went to the Central market. The market has shops for supplying all the needs of a modern consumer. In the pavements there are pirated audio,video CDs sellers.
I normally look out for audio CDs. And I do not hesitate in buying the latest dump of Hindi film songs combined in one CD and priced for 50 odd rupees.
I had been buying this audio CDs for quite some time. I then copy these songs in my PC. And then from these songs, I move selected ones to another directory.
For the last two years I was looking out for Jatin Lalit collection. I could not get them. I got Shahrukh Khan hits, Aamir Khan hits (which had a good collection of Jatin Lalit songs) but not specific Jatin Lalit songs.
Three days back I managed to get specific Jatin Lalit songs, with the title Jatin Lalit hits. It had songs from about 20 movies of them.
What made me think is that till two years back the pirates of audio did not have the guts to bring a Jatin Lalit CD. But today they have. This definitely gives an indication that music before 2000 is a history. And the pirates have managed to break into the empire of the last Sultans(Jatin Lalit) of 20th century.
A fine collection of songs which I can now hear whenever I please. Thanks to the piracy !!