Thursday, May 29

Reality :-)

Ad or Mud-slinging

Tuesday, May 27

Indian SEO

We are in the process of releasing a website targeting SME's. The portal is aimed at collecting orders from enterprises for customized corporate merchandise. You select the product, you upload your design, you put in your logo, we will deliver the product to you.

As part of our online marketing plan, we decided to go hire on search engine optimizer. This entire process of hiring an SEO was certainly an eye-opener. To understand this, you have to be an Indian ... the way an Indian thinks is slightly different. The exact term I am referring to is jugaad ... this very characteristic of an Indian to get things done ... by hook or by crook. So, how do you increase the page ranking of your website the jugaad way? Simple, you become a link-whore, or a forum spammer, or someone who keeps on flooding the open directories of the web.

What happened to the fine art of online PR? Is it alive or do I have to hire on these? Somehow it does not feel right. What will happen later on when the Semantec web revolution begins?

Monday, May 26


Is it not sad at what can happen if the top management fails to take ownership of certain initiatives. Then the lower and middle management are running haywire in order to make for the top guys shortcomings. How fast can you run bro?

Side-story: Foo was certain that the monster was beaten (for now) and he felt relieved to an extent. The hands quivering, he decided that monster fighting is not his job of choice and he needs a break from all this. Foo is now contemplating finding a replacement for his job. Applicants can send in their resumes here.

Friday, May 23

Travails of Foo: The IT Super hero

I have decided to make a fictional character, called as Foo - The IT Super hero. His abilities and misgivings are yet to be decided. But I think that being super-efficient and super-intelligent, he would also be super-lazy. Suggestions are of course welcome. His weapon would be an unbreakable rod of some unknown alien metal (which of course can do a lot many other awesome cool things!) ... and it would be called ... wait for it ... yes!! ... foobar!!

So the life in IT-Rawksdom (the kingdom where Foo lives) seems to go smoothly, everything is on schedule, the resources are showing good utilization, variable pay is coming high and mighty and everyone is happy.

But Lo! and behold!! What do we have here!! The evil multi-headed monster called as Scope change creeps up behind the mighty heroes, and plans to throw the lands of IT-Rawksdom in disarray! The heroes caught unawares feel like helpless maidens frozen in terror of the oncoming assault.

Now is the time to show true valor. To stand together and say up front that no!! The monster should not enter this land, and if it so chooses, then there should not be any violence.

And if there is violence, then do not ask me to fight thy battles! The monster backs down ... slowly pacing the entrance of the kingdom ... waiting for a chance to strike.

The adventures of the Foo, the IT Super hero will continue.

Wednesday, May 21

Hardy Heron

I have decided to make the leap from Gutsy Gibbon (Ubuntu 7.10) to Hardy Heron (8.04). First impressions are great, deciding to upgrade the operating system online ... so the download of the entire online update took a mammoth 12 hours to complete. The unpacking of 1.4 GB of upgrades should take me another hour or so.

Finally it's done! Some of the issues that came up are -
  1. The grub entry has been reset - so my Windows is lost again. No big deal, I had written about it earlier on my blog, made the changes and we are good to go.
  2. Ubuntu has become sluggish during booting, but once it starts, then we can roll along
  3. My earlier stint had left some confusion with kdm and gdm ... that is still there
All in all, the upgrade was nice. The OS is hardy, gnome is updated and so is kde.

Whew!! and a big Yaay!!

Tuesday, May 20

Prince Caspian: The Chronicles of Narnia

Those who have not read the book, please read the book first and then see the movie. Often we see some beautiful gem of a movie which are based on books, wherein the rendition and the picturisation done is so perfect, that you have imagined the entire scene as it is when reading the book. This movie does not make that cut.

I was expecting a lot after watching Chronicles of Narnia, so ... the movie turned out to be a slight disappointment. Maybe, the plot itself was too long to unfurl within 2 hours.

The IMAX screen helped, leaves your head reeling. A decent watch ... the story has our four Pevensies back in the world of Narnia and in the middle of a family feud where the evil uncle wants to kill the heir and usurp the throne. Prince Caspian is needless to say the aforementioned heir. Go watch the movie and roar with Aslan (voice over by Liam Neeson). It's a very decent 7.9.

Wednesday, May 14

Pimp my Laptop!!

First it was Dell, and now Asus!!

Its great to see the era of designer hardware in India. Where users get to sport their identity by the very laptop decoration they use. Gone are the days where executives would sit tinkering on their ugly, grey/black boxes looking so busy and mighty. Nowadays, you see young bachhas in faded jeans and t-shirts carrying lappies of all shapes and sizes, but very few of them would be actually working while waiting at the flight terminal.

Soon, we will see more customer centric models where the customer can completely customize the look of his/her laptop. I can hardly wait for that day!!

Tuesday, May 13

Server and Vastu: Technology and Spirituality

Throughout my life, I have been a Mulder and sometimes a Scully (for those who have not seen X-Files, a believer and sometimes a skeptic), but mostly a believer. But whenever there would be a rite performed which seemed a bit on the inane side, I would question the entire objective behind the same.

Some days back, we procured a server for our hosting needs. After a decently elongated procurement cycle, we realized that we would also need a separate server room for the same. Thus, a server room was built and the server was appropriately installed in there. Then, most of the management suggested that we do a vastu study on this. Fair enough, a vastu feasibility study was conducted, and it was decided that the server be shifted to the corner of the room. The power supply could not be put in the corner, and the table had to be shuffled across in that small space. Finally, my server room was vastu compliant. A post-installation pooja was done for the server, the coconut was broken, arati done and sweets distributed.

Funny no? That we have reached such a decent level of technology, albeit we stick to our religious practises and beliefs, to ensure that the gods are appeased.

Who would the god of hosting and server space be? Suggestions welcome.


Monday, May 12

Corporate Pujari!

At eYantra Ind Ltd, we have a very nice culture of weekly pooja. Every Friday evening, the employees assemble in front of the office's devghar and the pooja begins. This rite is performed by our Accounts manager (I do not think its just a coincidence!), Mr. Koteswara Rao. Personally speaking, I like this weekly rite being a god fearing person myself.

Today, while I was talking to one colleague on this, he informed me that many Indian corporates are into this, a lot of SMEs, and some big ones like Satyam as well. He then went on to inform me that his friend does this for a living!! He goes to Satyam every week, and they have set up this employee pooja fund, which is given to the pujari as dakshina! And a pretty decent amount at that. So true, how many of us do take the time to do a small pooja every day? Its not surprising then that many of us dont even know how to proceed when its needed. My daily ritual consists of a simple incense stick and a small prayer, but for formal occassions, I would definitely want one Corporate Pujari for myself!!

Interesting business no? In fact a friend of a friend has launched a business of his own just on this theme. Its known as Sacred Moments, wherein he supplies to individuals and businesses with kits for occassions like these. Looks like some people are into Corporate Karma after all.

Sunday, May 11

The Caddy

Decided to watch one of the oldies today. Managed to find this on the torrents, and downloaded it. Classic Jerry Lewis stuff with a dash of Dean Martin thrown in. 

The story is about a fisherman and the prodigal son of a professional golfer who team up to be a golfer and caddy team. They end up ultimately as a winning combination but in a totally different field altogether. The entire story is just that. Simple and full of antics and funny scenes. The slapstick Jerry is so back in this ... Dean Martin has the girls swooning with Amore.

Connoisseurs should love this one. Seemed unfair when I saw that this movie got only a 6.0.

Wednesday, May 7

The Spiderwick Chronicles

Do you think life is real enough? Do you think What you see is real or are there forces acting behind the scenes that make shit happen on those entirely bothersome days?

Spiderwick Chronicles opens a world of ogres, fairies, goblins and talking hogs. I think its a story based upon a book of a similar name. Cute little story of three kids and their mom stuck in a small house once inhabited by an eccentric scientist in possession of a book of such strong knowledge; that a strong ogre Mulgarath is after that book.

Studious ogre!!

Worth a watch ... suggest you download it through a torrent and not on an IMAX screen!!

Monday, May 5

Y! Open

Imagine a platform or a web application that can make sense out of your mail, your other affiliated activities and even track where your friends are all in one go!! It can make schedules for a dinner meet up in one part of the town with your selected friends and suggest other viable venues. That is precisely what Yahoo! is set out to do.

God Speed fellas!

Facebook a matrimony site?

Read this here. How many of you lot have hit on/flirted with the opposite sex on some social networking site or the other? Oh ... c'mon be honest, I know a lot of us have done it. In fact, there was is a social networking site dedicated solely for that purpose. So do not tell me that you haven't, I know that you did (smug smile).

Trust us desis to find a unique usage for the likes of orkut, facebook, myspace, et al!! As they say - Majboori ka naam hain Mahatma Gandhi!!

Sunday, May 4

Pipes, Twits and Feeds

No people I am not referring to a new plumbing assignment or for that matter a new categorization of idiots!

Recently, I wrote a small post on Twitter, and how its micro-blogging utility is taking India by rage. The rabbit hole goes deeper as Alice (by analogy, that's me!!) decides to plunge and find out where this world leads to. After Twitter, I came across a new web service + social networking utility that helps you keep in touch with what your friends are doing ... a small friend feed of sorts. FriendFeed helps you keep track of your friends online digital imprints. A social engineer's dream come true :-)

But what really got my goose (or is it gander?) is that Friendfeed managed to coalesce a lot of my activities in one feed (, LinkedIn, Picasa, GTalk, Blogger, Twitter, StumbleUpon,, et al). Thats one mouthful to say the least.

The coup de grĂ¢ce is delivered in the form of Yahoo! Pipes ... its a web platform where you can fetch content in the form of feeds, RSS, et al and manipulate it. I have yet to come to terms with how to go about setting up a pipe, the moment I do that, youll be the first to know!

Saturday, May 3

Iron Man

In classic Marvel comics style, Iron Man takes you through how eccentric (to the point of being irresponsible and brash) weapons prodigy Tony Stark played by Robert Downey Jr. realizes the sad consequences of his creations and decides to wage a war against his own corporation. Out comes Iron Man, a gold and titanium alloy war suit which every gadget-freak would want to own. Hoooooo - wheeeee!!

As always, Robert Downey rocks with his I-am-so-careless-that-I-could-not-care-less attitude, Gwyneth Paltrow plays a nice subdued Pepper Potts ... whilst the main man is the baddie, Jeff Bridges who has played the corporate head honcho to the hilt. I could not believe my eyes that this was the same Jeff Bridges of the Big Lebowski fame. The movie simply rocks with special effects and a nice movie outline to show how the super hero came into being. Although the fight between Iron Man and Iron Monger (the baddie) could still be a little bit more packed with some FX, the movie is still a must see for all action and comic buffs. 8.3 all the way!!!

PS - Stay on at the theater even after the credits ... there is a special treat at the very end.

Friday, May 2

Blogs: Enterprise 2.0

We are in the middle of SAP Go-Live! and a lot of the users are facing problems getting acclimatized to the new user interface and work flows of the ERP. We tried multiple ways of doing things to ease the adoption process ... training sessions, training manual, hands-on personnel, et al. Nothing worked as efficiently, as involving the user a little more (hands-on personnel works, but for that then I have to spare valuable SAP resources!!).

Following a lengthy discussion, it was proposed that we create a SAP blog, wherein users would login and post their queries regarding SAP, the answers and the discussion that follows there-in would be through the comments section of each post. The idea was weird at first, but soon employees have started posting their queries.

First time I was involved in using a blog as an enterprise tool for collaborative discussions. Chalk up one more for corporate blogs!!