Tuesday, December 18, 2007

~ Stage6 hack ~

I have been watching many movies which are hosted on stage6 for the past one year. Most of the movies or videos I watched where referenced from either DivxTube or DivxLive sites.

When I tried to search the Stage6 site for the concert videos for few of my favorite thrash metal bands, I was unsuccesful. I approached the google dorks way, which still didn't make any significance difference to the search results.

Finally, today I found a easy way to search for videos hosted on Stage6. My search approach holds good for those videos that have been tagged by users.

The default search would return a list based on top ratings, which normally wouldn't be the one you are looking for. Instead I construct the URL for stage6, it isn't that complex. Follow the steps,

1) URL Pattern: http://www.stage6.com/videos/tag:[tag_name]
For Ex: http://www.stage6.com/videos/tag:metallica

2) Copy & Paste the URL in the address bar of your browser and hit enter. This would list all the videos belonging to Metallica or click here to do the same.

This resultset isn't much different than that of the default result. As said before the default search would order the videos based on the ratings. You can better this search, by using 'length' as the value on the order key.

1) URL Pattern: http://www.stage6.com/videos/tag:[tag_name]/order:length
For Ex: http://www.stage6.com/videos/tag:metallica/order:length

2) Copy & Paste the URL in the address bar of your browser and hit enter. This would list all the videos belonging to Metallica or click here to do the same.

Now you would definitely see the difference in results displayed. I finally got the video of Metallica & Symphony Orchestra I was looking for so many days.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

~ Tuesday Reflection: Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You get what you think ~

Have been following the blog 'Friday Reflections' from Anand Shah for quite a while now. The posts are reflections on various topics surrounding the human behaviour & they are inspiring. 'Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You Get What You Expect' happened to be the last Friday's post. Although I get what Anand meant, I have a different take on the same.

My perspective goes something like this, "What you think is what you would get & become, eventually. I believe that the thoughts have more power in shaping the future of an individual. Ultimately your thoughts are the pre-cursor to your actions, which in turn adds to your ever-growing Karma. So, for me, the thought is the primitive factor which decides what an individual would get, when & where (Space & Time)."

Time to re-think what you have been thinking off late, because you might get that very soon :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

~ Iron Maiden: Somewhere Back In Time World Tour ~

Iron Maiden kick start their World Tour 'Somewhere Back In Time' on 01 Feb 2008 from Mumbai, India. Bangalore doesn't seem to be lucky for a second gig. Fair enough, Iron Maiden gave their first performance in India, in Bangalore, early this year.

As of now, I plan to attend the concert. Hope I get my leave sanctioned & the tickets. Anyone interested in joining, let me know.

Image copyright: Iron Maiden.

~ Never miss a performance ~

Came across this interesting & informative website called 'Bandsintown' via Rands in Repose. The name of the website says it all; once you sign up on this site with your current location, it just lists you all the bands who are gonna perform. Amazing service isn't it, especially for someone who loves music & has moved into a new city. You can follow the music scene in the locality without having friends/connexions.

Wish I had come across this website when I had moved to UK back in Feb. If you haven't noticed, I have update the blog with a widget ;)

Monday, December 03, 2007

~ Whatz in a Name? ~

Rory Sinclair : just found a guy in TopUp TV HP live
Rory Sinclair : Mr Paul Sourbutts
Rory Sinclair : :-)
Rory Sinclair : great name
Vivek Kondur : LOL
Vivek Kondur : great surname
Vivek Kondur : he wld have had a good time while studying
Rory Sinclair : lol

For the question 'What's in a name?' on BBC lead me to an article which states 'Link to your Past'. I wonder what kind of a history this guy would have had, to arrive at that surname ;)

~ The !nvisible guy turns an year older ~

Can't really believe that an year has passed by since my last birthday, there are so many moments which still remain fresh in my mind.

The decision to leave my family, friends & bean-town (Bangalore/Bengaluru); to quit the job I enjoyed most; so to take up a job in the UK, was a little sacrifice & at the same time an investment which has reaped me value of a lifetime. There has been an evolution in various shades of myself, when compared to this day last year. It has been a fabulous year which has enriched me many ways, that would definitely make the difference how I deal & handle the rest of my life.

Following are some of the significant principles that I have adopted over this one year:

  1. Enjoying the simple pleasures of life.
  2. Being contented.
  3. Orthogonality with respect to people & emotions.
  4. Drop the Stuff.
  5. Living in the moment.

The toughest one of the above happens to be the last one. Until you adopt the third & fourth principles correctly it is tough to reach the fifth. It takes a lot of effort & practice to get there, but never impossible for the human mind.

'Past is history, Future is unborn and enjoy the Present'

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

~ Career Snapshot: Then and Now ~

(Click to view better)

I have been analyzing, over couple of weeks, the way my career has shaped up over the past 10 months i.e. the time I took up the oppurtunity to work in UK as a consultant/contractor. Today happened to channelise my thoughts to come up with this chart, which gave me the snapshot of my career.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

~ Axioms from Leaping the Abyss ~

'If you can't have fun with the problem, you will never solve it'

An axiom cannot be proven to be true: it simply is. The value of an axiom is found only by discovery -- through applying it to real situations.

For more axioms, visit here.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

~ Of Holidays & Festivals ~

During the past nine months I have been in the UK, realised that I have taken just five days off from my professional duty. A very significant drop in the number of leaves I used to take (have) while I used to live in India. It’s not that I don’t want holidays; rather I don’t have the option to take leave while you are into consulting/contracting job. As of today, the leaves, I am entitled to take in the coming months are 2 state holidays, 3 sick leaves and 2 week paid trip back home.

In India, the months of October and November form the festive season; celebrating Dussera and Deepavali. This being the first time outside India during the festivities, I am feeling the difference in the state of mind; i.e. missing the celebration of the sights, sounds & environment of Deepavali. Of-course I am missing my folks & loved ones, that’s implicit ;).

'Wishing everyone a very warm & happy deepavali'

Have fun! Play safe.

Picture from 3rdeye.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

~ Leopard has arrived ~

Visit Apple (before 26th 2007) and then have a close look at the above image. If you happened to spot the difference, then you know what I meant to convey. More on it after the official launch.

Monday, October 15, 2007

~ Nadaka ~

One of the best Indian Classical I have come across in the recent past. Nadaka, is not the name of a music group/band, rather the person himself.

"In Sanskrit, Nada is the origin of sound and Ka is the one who carries it within. Nadaka was born in Quebec, and learned to play the guitar at an early age." For more, read here or click on 'About Nadaka' over here.

You can enjoy few of his performances which are available on youtube. and let me know if you liked it.

Thanks Sudharshan, for introducing me to Nadaka.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

~ Quote of the week ~

'Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.'
Issac Asimov

~ Darfur: Sad But True ~

I had heard about Darfur conflict before, but didn't proceed any further in knowing what was the conflict actually about. Until last month, when one of my friend, Radhika, sent across this link. After visiting that, it shook me & think about the insane world we live in.

Even though it shocked me, didn't blog it then. I have practically given up following world affairs these days, because the main stream media is totally controlled by the governments for spreading their own hidden propaganda. Moreover, I don't know if writing posts / talking among friends, regarding it would make any difference to the situation in Darfur. But, I happened to stumble upon this video tonight which made me think once again about whether I can make a difference. I believe I could by creating awareness to the current state of affairs in Darfur, at the least, to those who visit my blog.

Monday, October 08, 2007

~ 6° of separation ~

It is very unlikely that you contact your girl through various degrees of connections. But , there are times in life when you need to depend on the 'Six degrees of separation'. This happened to be one of those situations, where I had to use the 6° to reach my love.

From wiki,

Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that, if a person is one "step" away from each person he or she knows and two "steps" away from each person who is known by one of the people he or she knows, then everyone is no more than six "steps" away from each person on Earth.

I happened to call her over the weekend, but she wasn't answering my call. Tried at various intervals for the next two hours, without much difference. Didn't know why she wasn't answering my calls, didn't want to buzz beyond the difference in time-zones.

Tried reaching her once i woke up at early in the noon (was up late night) yesterday. Called her on the mobile for don't know how many times, but everytime it was in vain.

1° - Decided to reach her on the landline (wanted this to be the last°) but ended being the 1° of separation. I chose it first, since she doesn't socialize on Sundays, was sure of reaching her. But, that never happened, no one seem to answer the call.

2° - Dad. Reaching her through her dad's number. (If you are thinking that her parents know about we going around, then you are wrong, they don't have a clue). By now you must have realised how much I love her and how
crazy 'm. This ° wasn't the best bet either, each time hearing an automated response saying cannot be reached.

3° - Her colleague, who also is her close friend. Didn't want to disturb her, who btw got married last week. Wasn't really sure if I could actually reach the newly wedded couple, still buzzed her. As expected, got a message saying switched off.

4° - Her cousin, who lives in the capital of India. My hopes were dampened, once she didn't answer the calls.

After 4°s, wasn't really sure of what was happening. I decided to complete the book I was currently reading 'All Things Must Pass: The Life of George Harrison', to take a break from being paranoid.

5° - My cousin. Gave her a buzz late in the evening. Asking her to check if she could reach her. She gave me the same response, that she wasn't answering the call.

After giving few more calls before I hit the sack, hoping she buzzes me once she returns form where ever she has been.

Woke up at 4 am today and there you go, thinking of various things which could have happened to her or her family. (The reason I mentioned her family, her dad had recovered from a severe accident couple of years). To end the early morning weird thoughts, I decided to run through all possible connections, common relations we had. After sorting them in ascending order, only thing which floated at the top was to call her workplace and find out if she had left any message.

6° - Workplace. You don't expect people to start at 8:30 am in India. Fortunately, at her workplace, they start at around 7 in the morning. This time around, I was sure someone would answer the call, the receptionist answered. Asked for her, hoping she would connect me to her extension. The lady said, she still hasn't checked in. In response, I instinctively asked her immediate reporting manager's name, whose name used to crop up during our conversations regularly. Then she connected me to her manager. I upraised her of the situation, she said not to worry, I will find out. I said will buzz her in another 20 mins. @ 5am, called her workplace once again, to get an update from her senior. Manager said, "
She isn't answering her". Which didn't make much of a difference to the existing situation. She added,"But, she had called up the workplace to inform she would be reporting late by an two hours. Once she reaches ofice, I will ensure she returns the call". I said that would be great & ended the call. Two hours to go & I wasn't getting any sleep, was just thinking about the programme which I once saw on Discovery Channel, which had aired some experiment on the 6° of separation between two individuals in the world.

So, I analyzing how many °(degrees) of separation I was from my own love & it turns out to be magical 6. Thats how this post originated. Am just waiting to talk to her :)

On a lighter note, wish Google had a service to find whereabouts of a person based on the enormous amount of online personal data which is available to them. May be it would happen one day, time would be factor. Great Idea! ?Google already has Location :P

I have managed to kill time by writing this post, now need to get ready & leave for work. Lets see how the day unfolds....

Have a good one!

Called her up, she happened to be @ work. She said,
couldn't answer the call on saturday, as she was very tired after a hectic schedule. On Sunday, she was busy with her cousins visiting them from Delhi & they were out for lunch in the afternoon. She was so very busy that she couldn't respond to the calls.

I happened to tell her that I had tried calling across various numbers, to each her. As expected, she didn't like me calling so many people. What she doesn't know is the fact that I have written a post about the whole stuff, am sure she would get wild if she reads this one ;)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

~ Formula 1:2007 ~

After being an ardent fan of Michael Schumacher & Ferrari all these years, I thought 2007 season would be one sided with Alonso taking the championship for his new side,The McLarens. Not to write off Ferrari, even though Kimi has the potential & experience, didn't feel he had the machine which would get him the championship. Half way through the season, Massa was performing well & winning the races for prancing horse. I thought Massa would be the Ferrari's hope for 2007 championship. Thats when Kimi Räikkönen, the Iceman, responded with back 2 back wins @ the French & the British grap prixs to close upon his team-mate & be a contender for the championship. Its never easy for any racing team, if the championship points are held evenly by their drivers.

If that was the case with Ferraris, things were only getting worse for McLarens. Alonso, having moved to the McLaren, probably thought (or may be promised) that he would be given the 'Numero Uno' driver status. Guess, McLaren would have honoured Alonso the status, if their rookie driver, Hamilton wasn't winning them races. No one, at least myself, ever expected such a brilliant performance from a rookie. Despite being the youngest double champion, Alonso never got any preferential treatment from his McLarens team; which seem to have upset the Spaniard.

With so much of competition among drivers, the spy gate brought new twist to the season. It became more exciting when Alonso threatened McLaren Boss, Ron Dennis, regarding the usage of the Ferrari’s confidential data to tweak the performances of their cars. The differences between Alonso and the McLaren team was/is no longer confined behind doors.

Just when Lewis Hamilton won the Japanese race, everyone thought the rookie would be creating history in Formula 1 in the upcoming Chinese Grand Prix. But, there comes yet another twist to this season's championship, 'Hamilton faces Japan win inquiry' & 'Ferrari accused in F1 spy twist'.

This season, post-Schumacher era, so far has had everything - best performances from the drivers, good competition, high drama & spy-saga - which in all could be made into an Hollywood movie ;)

One thing which I learned from this season is that there can be only one 'Numero Uno' driver in a team. The team needs to decide that & convey the same to their drivers, which would enable him to win the championship. Now, I understand why Ferrari had always adopted that strategy of honouring Michael Schumacher the 'Numero Uno' status. Otherwise it would be a nightmare for both the team management & the drivers, if there is no clear stance on the 'Numero Uno' position.

Lets see what the next two grand prix & the Japan GP inquiry hold for us, am sure they won’t be disappointing. Let the best driver win this season’s championship. My bet on the championship would be in the following order:
  • Lewis Hamilton
  • Kimi Räikkönen
  • Fernando Alonso

Whom are you betting on?

~ Swarathma ~

~ Swarathma: Performing @ Opus, Bangalore ~

One of the Indian fusion bands from Bangalore who play some good music. I happened to listen to their Kannada song called Ee Bhoomi & instantly loved the song. It has been ages since I actually listened to any song from my mother tongue. Didn't know that Swarathma had Hindi compositions as well, till I visited their re-vitalized website.

You can listen to their few of their songs here. The credit for introducing this band goes to Naveen, my college buddy, who occasionally strums his guitar & a wannabe musician.

Photo Courtesy: Suresh BJ

Friday, September 28, 2007

~ Quote for the week ~

"It’s not the knowledge that matters, it’s doing that counts"
- Vevck

Sunday, September 09, 2007

~ Quote for the week ~

'The important thing is not to stop questioning'
- Albert Einstein

Monday, September 03, 2007

Wide Angle 2007

Hey Everyone,

All those who love photography, there is an exhibition - Wide Angle 2007 - coming up this weekend @ CKP a.k.a ChitraKala Parishad, Bangalore.

If you are passionate about photography & have sometime, then do give it a shot. All for some good cause. I am sure you would have a good time attending this exhibition. The exhibitors are some of the coolest people I have know personally & their passion for photography is captured in their work.

I would miss this event, hope you can make it.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

~ Quote for the week ~

'Experience is not what happens to a person; it is what a person does with what has happened to him/her'

Friday, August 10, 2007

Infosys:IT or Realty?

Yesterday evening me and my roomy where having a very casual debate over 'Is this India's best IT campus?' which appeared on Rediff.

The debate was over whether Infosys is right in constructing Multiplex, bowling alleys, etc; in their campus. They have been on buying large chunks of land @ subsidized prices in various parts of the country.

Roomy's view:
They shouldn't be constructing Multiplex, bowling alleys, etc; on the land which was obtained at subsidized prices for IT.

My view:
Every IT company in Karnataka had the same level playing field in getting the land @ subsidized prices. Once they have purchased the land, its upto the respecetive companies to utilize the land according to the vision & goal of the organisation.

Looking forward to know your perspective on this.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

~ FC Barcelona Vs Hearts FC ~

I got to watch my first live football match a fortnight ago, between FC Barcelona and Hearts FC. Even though it was as pre-season match for FCB, it still went into the record books for having the largest attendance for Hearts FC, at 57000. Having been a gunner fan for almost 7 years now, I got to watch my favorite footballer Theirry Henry in flesh and blood. I couldn't have asked for anything more, only disappointment was that he wasn't in Gunners colors, we will surely miss him at the club. But, I am happy to see him play for one of the competitive football clubs in Europe.

The atmosphere in the stadium came alive when the players of the home team made it to the field; it got better when the known faces of FCB - Ronaldinho, Deko, Eto, Zambrotta - made their way onto the field. Henry received a hearty welcome at the MurrayField stadium in his second appearance for Barca in the UK. Messi was one of the players from the barca squad who wasn't in the Scotland visit.

I felt first half of the match had more character to the match, when compare to the second half. Ronaldinho put Barca ahead with his penalty, this however was equalled by Hearts. Ronaldinho scored another goal for Barca before halftime, taking the lead to 2-1. In the second half, both teams made many changes; Deco & Henry were the key changes for Barca. Henry came very close to score a goal, which deflected the goal post. He did put up a good show, before barca managed to net another goal. Barca won the friendly effortlessly, not without filling the coffers of Hearts FC ;).

The joy of watching football live, like any other sport, is very unique. Here are few pics from the match.

Monday, August 06, 2007

~ Fantastic 4 ~

As of yesterday I completed 4 fantastic years after stepping into the IT profession. After graduating with a degree in Electronics & Communication, I landed a job in the vast software industry. Through these four years, there have been personal highs & lows. I consider myself to be lucky to have started my career with a small company, unlike the general trend of starting with a large MNCs. Had I joined any of those big MNCs, I would have missed out on - working on latest technologies; understanding the nitty- gritty details of operations; above all, some of my (eX)colleagues who have been the best buddies.

Having started my career as a trainee in ReadiMinds, a Web Services Product development company, to being a consultant/contractor for the Professional Services Group wing of Nous Infosystems, the journey has been a good learning process. I have had the chance to witness a lot of transformations in my thinking and approach to way the software is developed.

Spent most of my time working with product development companies - ReadiMinds, SourceN - RainingData collaboration - I am kinda biased over the services companies. The whole goal of developing a piece of software is to make our lives comfortable. You develop them so as to be used by someone. Even though I happened to be in product development working on some of the latest technologies, they never made it to the production stages & failed to reach the end user. So, I decided to take up the onsite oppurtunity, in the form of a consulting job with the Professional Services Group, Nous Infosystems & lead a life of nomad. This time I am working with the product & application development teams at MGt as consultant/contractor through Nous Infosystems, UK. Having been here for 6 months, I got the taste of production & the challenges which come along with it.

Following are few of my observations through the various phases of my career:

  1. Technology never drives the business, its the business which drives it. Technology is just a catalyst, never really get carried away by any particular technology.
  2. Time & Cost determine the life of the product development
  3. Making every member of the company understand the objective/goal of the company in the nascent stages is very crucial for both the individual & the company to accomplish their respective milestones.
  4. People, Patience & Perseverance are key for the growth of an organization.
  5. Be passionate about what you do for a living.
  6. Implementation of policies should be uniform, without any exceptions.
  7. Some of the brilliant ideas often don't get selected, if the management board doesn't gives a nod.
  8. Marketing & Development teams always seem to have differential views of the same thing.
  9. Sometimes businesses seem to adopt complex processes over the simple.
  10. Too much of red tape becomes an overkill.
  11. The success of a software doesn't rest upon the Architects & Architecture alone. Having the right Managers & Art of Managing resources also determine the success.
  12. Developing products around standards defined by the industry would provide an edge in maintenance & integration over home grown standards.
  13. Hiring the right people solves half the problems in a startup.
  14. Holistic approach should be adopted in design stage, which adds agility to your software.
  15. Being honest to your job, definitely adds value to ones credibility.
  16. Never get caught up with your designation, rather try to fit into different shoes, which gives you more growth.
  17. Keeping the work environment similar to that of a home, does reduce attrition levels.
  18. Social activities integrated with the regular work routines, help people de-stress.
  19. Never run a software company like Italian Mafia ;)
  20. Above all, try to follow this quote as a thumb rule 'Love Your Job, But Never Fall In Love With Your Company'. Coming from Narayan Murty, who has been successfull in putting Bangalore, India & IT on the global arena & been an inspiration to me as well.
By the way being a consultant/contractor has its own pros & cons (will save it for another post).

Adiós, amigos! weekend is almost coming to an end :(

Sunday, August 05, 2007

~ Happy Friendship Day ~

'Life is a journey; in this journey friends are the ones who stand by you for everything you are. Without them, circle of life would just be zero'

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Interesting Quote

Terrorism is war by the poor, and war is terrorism by the rich
— Peter Ustinov

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Uncoiling with Lacuna Coil

It has been quite a while since I tried some new music. Last weekend, while syncing my iPod with my new babe (a.k.a MBP) noticed that there were few MP3s copied from Rags sometime last year, which had gone unnoticed by me. There were songs from 3 artistes - Amorphis, Lacuna Coil & The Agony Scene - I decided to start with Lacuna Coil.

Did a digg on my favorite music site, Last.fm on Lacuna Coil to know more about the artist, here is wee info about Lacuna Coil....

"Lacuna Coil is an Italian gothic metal band formed in Milan, Italy, in 1996. The name means an "empty spiral". They were formerly known as Sleep of Right and Ethereal, counting various musical influences as doom metal and progressive metal."

As always, began experimenting with their music. After listening to most of the tracks from their albums - Karma Code, Comalies, In a Reverie, Unleashed Memories - happened to like the following:

  • Purify
  • To live is to hide
  • Our truth
  • Enjoy the silence (personal fav)
  • Closer
  • Within me
  • Fragile
  • To myself i turned
  • Heaven's a lie
  • Unspoken

If you haven't hit their home page yet, Lacuna Coil like few other metal bands [Arch Enemy, Evanescence] has a female lead vocalist, Cristina Scabbia. It's a pleasure listening to her voice & her looks would be enviable to any women. If you wanna try them, then you should be heading here to watch some high quality videos.

As for Amorphis and The Agony Scene, I haven't given them a try yet. Would give my 2cents once I listen to them. So, till then uncoil yourself to some good music from Lacuna Coil.

Image courtesy: Last.fm

Monday, July 09, 2007


The wait is finally over, my macbookpro arrived few minutes back. I haven't yet opened the parcel yet. Waiting for lunch hour to unpack and see it. 2 hours to go.

I have switched for the best!

Goodbye Microsoft.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Apple blunder?

I have been anxiously waiting for my MBP (MacBookPro) from 21st June. Today when I hit Apple bridge-point for tracking my order status, here is what I didn't expect from Apple....just check the snapshot.

Did u spot the blunder?
If you haven't then go back and check the Date mentioned against 'Estimated Delivery Date', it says '04 Jul 2007 (Subject to change)'. Wonder if anyone can go back in time? I am not the lonly soul who has experienced this, check out Bri Guest's second comment on the apecode forum.

Hope there won't be such blunders with their 'Time Machine'

Friday, June 22, 2007

I'm Switching...

After being indecisive for two weeks on which laptop to buy, yesterday I placed an order for the new Macbookpro from Apple. The decision wasn't easy though, because of the following factors
  • Money - As with most Apple products, their notebooks too come for a premium price.
  • OSX - Have been used to Microsoft's OS for the past 13 years. I knew if I choose a mac, it would be worth unlearning for the best.
  • Softwares - Wasn't sure if I could get same or similar softwares for a mac.
  • Support - Apple still doesn't have its footprint in India, but this gave some glimmer of hope.

If I made my mind on the M factor (which would also resolve the Support factor), the air wasn't clear on remaining two factors - OSX & Softwares.

Rory, my colleague and mac fanboy, cleared all my concerns regarding OSX and the softwares available. I thank him for sharing the time & info, which made my decision a lot more smoother. He hasn't looked back @ PC since he switched & guess its the same from me.

Here goes the config

MacBook Pro 15-inch Glossy Widescreen Display
2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB DDR2 SDRAM @ 800Mhz
120GB Serial ATA drive (5400rpm)
NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor with 128MB RAM
8x Dual Layer DVD burner

For more details, check the tech specs here.

But the sad reality is.....I need to wait 20 days to lay my hands :(

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pragmatic software development

The urge to write this post arises from two articles which i read recently. First one being Basil's 'To Be or Not To Be Agile' article, followed by Joel's 'A game of inches'. Have always desired to work for a company whose prinicples & processes are oriented on Agile Maifesto. I am in a similar situation to what Basil describes 'I am an agile software developer doing non-agile software development'.

The other article is from Joel, whom I have been following for 2 years now. His thoughts have had a tremendous impact on my approach & thinking towards software development. This article 'A game of inches' in particular massaged my ego, How...?

All those who have worked with me over the past two years could easily relate to it. They know how critical I can be during the design & development phases of the product. I always wanted to ( & continue to) give the best to make the product better.

My constant critique on design of certain modules of the product, didn't go well with my peers in Silicon Valley (California) & in Silicon Valley of East (a.k.a Bangalore). They felt that me being critical on small things weren't that necessary. They missed the whole point, of why I was being so cirtical & true that I failed to convey the message. The failure on my part can be attributed to the manner in which I used to express my cirticisms. I realized during my farewell at SourceN*, that many of my colleagues weren't against criticisms, rather the manner in which I used to conveyed them. Another good reason why a team needs to adapt Agile principles, where feedbacks are a part of regular development life-cycle rather during farewells.

In Joel's words, 'It takes a mindset of constant criticism to find them. You have to reshape your mind until you're finding fault with everything. Your significant others go nuts. Your family wants to kill you.'

'There are thousands and tens of thousands of these tiny things. And as you fix more and more of these little details, as you polish and shape and shine and craft the little corners of your product, something magical happens.'

I have always believed, 'A person should have the passion in what he does. When the passion dies, just quit! '.

*SourceN, which provided me the fertile ground in honing my techincal skills, work with latest technology, presented me the ideal oppurtunity of co-authoring articles on Javaworld & the ability to manage was an ideal place to work..

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Quotes for the day

'Nothing is more dangerous than an idea if it's the only one you have' - The Pragmatic Programmer

Monday, June 11, 2007

Expressions on email names

Recently, i recieved a fwd from one of my friends; And I wanted to fwd the same to few other common friends, did a look up to skip if anyone was already on the intial mailing list. What caught my eyes were the custom messages against email names. Many of us use custom messages to show current state or feeling to buddies on IM list. Offlate, people seem to be customising their email names to express their thoughts, don't know if its a new trend. Now I wonder, why don't they use email signatures to convey the same?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Check this video

English kid singing a hindi song for his friend. Good one!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Foods I have been missin

...... in the past 2 months, because there isn't one decent Indian restaurant or they simply don't seem to exist in Kirkcaldy. Let me classify the food I have been missin for breakfast, lunch/dinner & snacks.

1) Idli & Vada along with sambhar & coconut chutney @ home / Adiga's / any dharshini.
2) Masala Dosa @ home / Adiga's / any dharshini
3) Avalakki / Poha @ home
4) Kharabath / Upma /Uppittu @ home / restaurant
5) Poori @ home
6) Onion Uttappa @ any dharshini

Lunch / Dinner
1) Raagi Roti which mom prepares or @ Hallimane Restaurant, Malleshwaram
2) Bisi-bele-bath @ home
3) South Indian lunch @ home
4) Andhra styled lunch @ Nandhini or any other andhra style restaurant in Bangalore.
5) Curd rice with onions, cashews & pomegranate with pickle.
6) Wide variety of Indian curries along with Roti
7) Stuffed paranthas - onions/radish/cauliflower - with yogurt @ Paratha Plaza.

1) Indian Chats - bhel puri, dhai puri, masala puri - @ Adiga's; pani puri - any corner guy; congress masala, tomato spread @ 13th Cross Malleshwaram.
2) Mysore bondaa, Masala vada with hot coffee @ Hallimane.
3) Paneer Sandwich with fresh fruit juice @ Vijaya Bakery, Bhashyam Circle, Sadhashiv Nagar.
4) Sandwiches with fresh fruit juice @ Casapicola, Cunningham Rd.
5) Different chais with bruschettas @ Infintea, Cunningham Rd.
6) Bread toasts, pastries & veg puffs @ Pooja / Vijaya / Iyengar Bakery.
7) Cafe Mocha @ St. Marks Rd Barista / 100 Ft Rd Indira Nagar Cafe Coffee Day

These are some of the dishes which I could think of & post it....may be more names would follow. This post is in response to the post 'Foods I Cannot Have' by Firang Squirrel. I can correlate to Squirrel's gastronomical state very easily.

Even though the food here is very appealing, but, they are very bland for your taste-buds. I like my food to be hot'n'spicy, which is missing in most of the dishes you get here. Even the Indian dishes aren't spicy :(

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Another change in the eco-system: India to UK

As of today, it has been a month over in UK. I feel I have enough to blog about my observations, views & experiences about the change in ecosystem. I hope to rejuvinate my blog & keep entertaining all the invisible souls who visit my blog regularly ;).

Hope all of you are doing good, it has been quite a while since I have kept in touch with my friends. Firstly, I am very sorry to all those whom I couldn't meet or call them personally before I left Bangalore. Secondly, after moving to UK, I haven't been able to keep in touch with many you. Its not like I didn't want to, just that I needed sometime to settle down & feel comfortable with the new ecosystem. At the same time, needed to get over the initial hurldles - finding a new house, getting the landline & the broadband, above everything else opening a bank account.

Now that we - myself & my housemates - have crossed few of those inital hurldles partially, I get to spend sometime re-collecting my thoughts & blogging about my experiences which has transpired over the inital month.

Here I go with my experiences...

The inital week was quite tough on myself, emotionally, missing my parents, cousins, friends, bangalore, food, etc. If you are wondering why, let me share a fact - well, I have never lived away from my home in Bangalore for anything more than 15 days at a stretch; quite paradoxical ain't it? for a guy who loves travelling.

Now, here I am staying in a different nation & sharing the house with my colleagues. However, the silverlining is that I happened to be working & living with one of my colleague from the previous job. I believe that there are six-degrees of separation between people, thats b'coz one of my colleague currently happens to be a good friend of my ex-colleague.

The place did have an effect on me, the weather was windy and cold. The air is fresh and clean, hardly find the air polluted here. Smoking in publicly enclosed places is prohibited, which has been here in place for over a year now. Had heard from few folks back home that public places in western nations are litter free. Am not contending their facts/figures, but I have come across littering at quite a number of places. Coming to people, they are generally kind & helpful, there are few exceptions with few of them. One thing I observed in the inital days were the stares I used to get from the passers by in Glenrothes. It's not like they haven't seen Asians or Indians before, there is a significant number of Indians living in Kirkcaldy & Glenrothes region. Don't really understand those stares.

Regarding work, I am part of software engineering group of MGt plc, involved in product development. It took two weeks to get accustomed to the nature of the job, people, place & work culture. Another observation @ work place, is that few co-workers go the extra mile in helping you understand the technical nitty gritties of the job. Approaching the tasks with an open mind and enjoying it. IT isn't that big here in Scotland, when compared to US or India, but definitely growing.

Apart from work, most of my time is spent on shopping for groceries & cooking. I haven't done so much of cooking nor have done shopping for groceries while I was back in Bangalore. Quite a number of retail stores - ASDA, Tesco, Morrison, Sainsbury's - around. Get most of the stuff here, for some Indian spices though we need to head towards Edinburgh every fortnightly.

Haven't travelled much in the past month, just visited Deep Sea World & Edinburgh Castle [album coming soon] over two weekends. I wish to cover as many places around Scotland & across Europe during my stay here.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Graduate in MBA-IT

I am very happy to share this news with all of you, got to see the results of final semester of my MBA today. Scored an A & now hold a degree in Master of Business Administration specialized in Information Technology from ManipalU.

While doing this correspondence course was fun, it has given a lot of input & brought a new dimension into my thought process. Especially, in my profession, which gave me the insight into the dynamics of an organisation structure, behavior, economics, operations, etc. Even though I didn't learn anything new on the technology front, over the two year term, it was quite refreshing reading ERP & CRM in the final semester. Financial Accounting and Financial Management were the only subjects which were boring & tough, otherwise rest of the subjects were manageable.

After 2 years, 4 semesters and appearing for 24 exams, have obtained a degree in MBA. I would like to congratulate my buddy Rags for achieving the same.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Legends of Rock set to rock Bangalore

During one of our (self & Rags) discussions on the music bands performing in India or Bangalore in particular; we were listing out some of the rock & metal bands and wishing they perform in India. Iron Maiden too figured in that list and rags said,"I am damn sure none of these bands would ever perform in India". Dude, you were wrong, tommorrow they are gonna perform in the city for the first & hopefully not the last time. I know you & malhar would be going to the concert....Enjoy maadi!!!

Am sure all the Maiden fans in India wld be there in Bangalore. No doubt that they are gonna rock the audience 2mrw.

I am gonna miss this once in a lifetime oppurtunity to witness them perform in my city, will never get another chance.

Feeling very low now.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Leaving on jet plane

Leaving Bangalore today evening @ 18:15 hrs.

Note: I will not be reachable on my existing mobile number after 15:00hrs.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Moving to UK

I would like to share this news with you, that I have quit SourceN India and have joined Nous Infosystems India 15 days ago. I would be joining Nous Infosystems UK next week & shall be flying this Saturday.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My Political Profile

Your Political Profile:
Overall: 30% Conservative, 70% Liberal
Social Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Change in Ecosystem:Pond to Lake

In my three and half years tenure in the IT industry, have had the opportunity to work for two product companies. ReadiMinds, a Singapore headquartered, which was one of the earliest innovative companies in SOA platform and SourceN Inc, a US based startup, specialised in product development. There were many similarities in the organisational setup and the work-culture in my previous organisations. Since, both of them were typically small sized when compared to my current employer.

It has been a week and a day since I have joined Nous Infosystems; though my official presence in the company has been for 4 working days. I feel like a fish which made its way from a Pond to Lake, which requires sometime to get used to the new ecosystem. In such a short span of time I have noticed a lot differences in the organisational setup & the work-culture. The size of work-force @ Nous is 10 times that of SourceN, so its obvious their would be processes for every functional area of the company, to manage the organisation function effectively.To get used to processes, so many people around, organisational hierarchy, formal attire, guess it would take some time to get used to this ecosystem.

In the coming weeks the fish needs to brace itself to face yet another ecosystem, which would be completely alien.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day

Wishing all the people in love a very happy valentines day.

As the proverb goes,"Love is a sweet tyranny, because the lover endureth his torments willingly". The article from WSJ titled 'Is It Love or Mental Illness? They're Closer Than You Think' provides scientific perspective to the proverb.

Have fun!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Reality check

Yesterday, my cable guy while collecting the monthly rental had dropped a complimentary desktop calendar. Today, I happened to have a closer look at it, to notice a sunset pic & the message in the foreground, which goes like....

"We need 0.84 Kgs of Oxygen [O2] and atleast 1.9 lts of Water [H2O] a day. An average human needs 18144 Kgs of O2 & 39278 lts of H2O in a life time.

What are we giving back to earth? Save Trees! Tree Saves!"

I googled to find out whether the above stats of Avg. human needs of O2 & H2O were true; they [check against Human Needs] indeed turn out to be true. The groundwater levels in the urban areas happens to be falling every year & during summer, people face acute shortage. Hope we effectively utilize the natural resources especially potable water which is becoming scarce in India & go for rain-water harvesting.

Earlier in the day, Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal gave the verdict on the never ending Cavery Water Dispute.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Iron Maiden all set to ROCK India this year

Naveen was talking about the Campus Rock Idols 2007 & mentioned that the Iron Maiden is coming down to India this year. I couldn't believe it, so checked the Official Home of Iron Maiden for the tour 2007 dates, couldn't find dates for India tour anywhere.

09/03/2007 Dubai Desert Rock Festival
11/03/2007 GREECE - Athens, Faliro Pavilion Indoor Arena
14/03/2007 SERBIA - Belgrade, Fair Indoor Arena

After googling, it turns out that the Gods of Rock are indeed set to Rock India (Bangalore may be the venue, as per the information available on the web).

So, lets hope Iron Maiden performs in Bangalore!!!

1) In other MAIDEN-related news, DNAIndia.com reports that Bruce Dickinson and company will play at least one show (Bangalore) in India later this year. A "battle of the bands" has been launched to give one local act an opportunity to open the concert, which is being organized by Venkat Vardhan of DNA Networks [via]
2) Roger Waters performing in Mumbai on 18thFeb07 [via]

Updates II [5th Feb' 07]
Iron Maiden @ Palace Grounds, Bangalore on 17th Mar 07 [via]

via Gigpad --> MaidenNorway --> DNAIndia.

Hail the Gunners

You can never predict the result of any game in soccer, yesterday's fixture betweem Gunners & Lions was one of them.

I caught the live action only when Rooney had scored a goal against the Gunners . I knew Gunners would strike back and it came from 2 late goals of Robin van Persie - the current leading goal scorer in this EPL, who substiuted Alexander Hleb & Thierry Henry - the captain himself.
It feels so good to win a match against your arch rivals & even better when you have beaten them twice (home & away) this season.

May be we won't win the EPL this season, but a win against ManU is worth more than the championship.

More news @ Arsenal.com | Arsenal wins thriller

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Taken for a ride!!!

As I take you for ride, hold on to your seats & enjoy the ride; trust me it won't be disappointing, it would rather be a noteworthy one ;-)

Here it goes..................

It was a bright sunny day & I stepped out of my office for my regular noon stroll. Gave a call to my father, to get an update on whether the private water supply people had come home (guess we will have some serious water problem this summer in Bangalore, so better embrace yourself). While I was on the phone, I noticed a lady walk by and speak to a lad who was sitting on his bike. The next thing I see her walking towards me, while I was still having the conversation with my dad. The call snapped, when she approached me and asked me if I had change for Rs500 on me. I check my wallet & told her I didn't have; guess she noticed that I had couple of 500's myself.

Since the call had snapped, I re-dialled my dad's number. In the meantime, she approaches our company's security guard & talks to him. I saw him speaking to someone within the company & give a negative response. I presumed that he had asked someone within the company for the same - about the change for Rs500. I ended the conversation with my dad and she re-approaches me & here is how the rest of the events unfolds

Action #1
(Note: I am standing atleast 10 feet from the security cabin, while this conversation takes place)

PerfectStranger: Can you please lend me 500 bucks?
Vevck: What??? I was surprised by what she had asked me. I am thinking how do I deal with this women, don't know her....& now she is asking me 500 bucks.....by the time I plan to speak up, she starts narrating me her story.
PerfectStranger: I just happened to get off the bus & walk to the medical stores to purchase medicine & realizes that someone has pick-pocketed. Now, I urgently need some money to buy the medicines, trust me sir I need your help.
Vevck: I am still unsure about how to deal with the situation & thinking whether to trust this women or not. While she continued her story......
PerfectStranger: I know its tough to trust a stranger (YEAH! right, thanks for educating me; I didn't know that). Actually, my husband works for Infosys, he gave me money in the morning for the medicines & now I am robbed. (Infosys or Wipro or any damn company how does it help me trust U). I actually live near by near SanjayNagar police station, next to RadhaKrishna Temple. (Guess this point made me believe her to a certain extent)
Vevck: OK! May be what you are saying might be genuine, for me you are still a stranger. So, I still can't lend u money.
PerfectStranger: Sir, I shall return your money by 13:30 (an hour and 15 mins to go) to the security person. Please trust me (Another point which made me take the bait)
Vevck: I thought about it for few seconds, may be this women has been robbed & needed the money for her medicines. So, pull one 500 note & hand it over.
PerfectStranger: Thank you, Sir. Thank you very much, I shall return it by 13:30.
Vevck: Hello, can you please drop your contact number.
PerfectStranger: Sure, you can have it. While she spontaneously spelled her number, I keyed it on my mobile. She says,"Don't call that mobile number right now, its @ home". Then asks me, "Can I have your number too?"
Vevck: Gave her my number. Then I asked her for the address of residence, only to make sure whether she was spontaneous in writing that too. The security guard gave her a piece of paper to write down & she wrote down, giving me directions.

While she was giving me her address & taking down my number, the security guard just remains a spectator. This woman leaves the scene to the Subhikshna store which is bang opposite to our office. Thought I will update the guard about this women returning back @ 13:30hrs.

Action #2

Vevck: What did that woman ask you?
SecurityGuard: She asked if there were any job openings @ our company?
Vevck: (WTF???) I WAS SHOCKED...I repeated the question again, only to get the same response.
SecurityGuard: I spoke with the HR & responded that currently there are no openings.
Vevck: Didn't she ask you for some change on 500 note. Weren't you asking about the same with someone within the company.
SecurityGuard: No, sir. what happened?
Vevck: Told him what had transpired.
SecurityGuard: He was shocked too, he said, "This women got off an autorickshaw, few minutes ago. She never came by bus".
Vevck: Now I was sure that,"I was TAKEN for a RIDE!!!".
SecurityGuard: Sir, how could you trust a stranger & give her Rs500. (Dude, don't make me feel worse. I have already had enough). Sir, how do you know whether the credentials - phone number & the address -she gave you were true?
Vevck: Correct, lets find out whether the number she gave me exists or not. I dial the number.....its ringing on the other end.....(some hope that atleast the number is acitve)


Vevck: Hello! Can I speak to Priya? (YEAH! thats the name she gave)
Unknown: Hello! Priya??? there is no one by that name?
Vevck: Doesn't this number belong to the person named Priya?
Unknown: Nope!
Vevck: OK. Sir, do you work for Infosys?
Unknown: No, who are you?
Vevck: Well....I am Vevck....just wanted to know if Priya is on this number. May I know who I am speaking to?
Unknown: Balachander.
Vevck: Sir, may I know where you live? (I didn't expect him to say SanjayNagar)
Balachander: Bannerghatta Road.
Vevck: Thank you.

I told the security guard that I have been taken for a ride & the number belongs to someone else. He says the address too won't be correct one. I told let me walk to Subhikshna & see if she is somewhere around. I walked into the store and started looking for this woman, couldn't spot her any where. Moreover, I knew Subhikshna never sold medicines. I asked the guard of that store whether he had seen any woman who was tall & fat, walk out in the past 10 mins. He said, he had she seen her walk out 5 mins ago. He asked me to speak to the store manager, as she had spoken with him too. So, I walk up to him & ask the same. Store manager said she had left towards the ATM, which is right next to the store.

I walked out of the store, to see if she is anywhere around. But, couldn't find her there either. Just as I stepping down from the complex, I was analyzing everything that had happened. How could I believe a perfect stranger & lend her 500 bucks? How on earth could I buy her story? Before I turned right to my office, just glanced once again. Guess whom I see, the women I was looking for; she was walking towards me. As she approached, I asked her," Why haven't you purchased your medicines?". I could sense the fear on her face, she replied,"Actually, I called my cousin, she is on her way now. Will do so when she comes by". By saying 'Thanks!' she handed me over the 500 note. I took the note & I wanted to confront her with the story, phone number........but then, I didn't confront her, just walked back to office & updated the security guard.

Over lunch I shared this with few of my colleagues & they were shocked too.

Moral of the ride: Never trust strangers & don't ever help them by lending cash.

I guess there are many of them out there who take people for a ride, so just be careful when someone approaches you the next time. Have you been taken for a ride anytime?

Monday, January 08, 2007

'Ash might be too dominating for the Bachchans'

I DON'T CARE if 'Ash might be too dominating for the Bachchans' or not. What I fail to understand is the fact that how could this make it to headlines on Rediff?

All those familiar with Indian Media, would agree with the fact that most of them just survive by running such stories. Media alone can't be blamed for this, guess we as citizens of this country are equally responsible for this. I was surpised by the number of responses this article has recieved, running into more than 19 pages.

We have so many ppl in this country with so much of time to debate over such things. I wonder if our Prez dream of 'transforming India into a developed nation by 2020' will be realized by then.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Goodbye! 2006, Hello! 2007

'Wishing everyone a very warm, prosperous and successful year ahead. Hope all your dreams & aspirations come true in 2007'