Tuesday, September 30

No more IE readers

Following up from my last post. I have decided to take my hate for IE to the next level. Readers will not be able to read my blog in IE. I have used the browser specific HTML to identify the browser, and dish out customized content to the reader. If you are a Firefox user, you should see the blog as it is without any changes. IE users, beware, you will see that nice grey banner across this content asking you to use Firefox :).

I checked the site statistics, turns out a hefty 35% of my readers use Internet Explorer. Call it creating a niche, or call it active evangelism.

Stay Safe. Get image Firefox.

Saturday, September 27

I deleted iexplore.exe

Funny, I had not talked about Google Chrome uptil now. I still won't rave about it, since I prefer Firefox over Chrome. Tried it, uninstalled it. End of story. But with the recent launch of this browser, people are now forced to relook at their choice of browser. I hope this helps informed users take a decision and switch to Opera or Firefox, which are way better browsers than the rest available in the market. The last one of which is the market leader, Internet Explorer. Phycuk!! Just talking about it makes me want to spit, and clean my tongue. I hate it. Not because it is a Microsoft product, but because it actually is a pretty crappy browser. The fact that you cannot take it out of your Windows Operating System just goes to show how smart the MS IE Product management team is, full marks to them!!

So, I took it upon myself to remove this insult to a browser once and for all from my WinXP machine. I went to Add/Remove programs, and removed it. The icon on my desktop went away ... yaay!! Then when I went to Start -> Run and typed iexplore.exe, back again it rears its ugly head. Grrr!! You can't remove it, that's that. So finally I did what I should have done when I installed WinXp, delete the folder Internet Explorer in my Program Files. And life was good.

I forgot one teensy weensy thing, I work in a web retailing firm, which has a propensity of churning out portals. These portals need to be tested. Since my marketing guys feel that a major portion of their customer base would be on IE, they expect me to make the portal IE-Compatible (read compatible javascripts, reduced effects, workaround on ajax), nothing that we can't do, of course not. Just I ask my readers, why?

Why bother to make things compatible with IE? Why not force those ignoramuses to switch to a better browser. You are not only doing yourself a favour but improving the world. Impacting your customers positively. Being the change not just trying to make it. Yes, "customer-centric" people would say that you need to sell what your customer wants, I say, tell that to an artist and see his reaction. So if you agree with me, go delete your iexplore.exe and make the world a better place.

Thursday, September 25

Twitter uses

I have posted earlier on Twitter as well, but this time, its for a more practical purpose. It is on how to use this web tool to market your site online, to get those readers/customers to your portal. Social media is a powerful thing, and using it to promote your product/service online at minimal cost is even better :-)

So here are a few ways you can use twitter to tweet your way to more hits.

  1. Have an RSS Feed on your site, if it is content based, eg. Crazy Engineers, put that RSS in Twitterfeed, and push out regular updates through twitter! Similar updates can then be sent to your twitter of your blog/corporate blog as well.
  2. Once you have your twitter account setup and your tweets are flowing a-go-go, then you can have your social networking accounts like Facebook, to display the same tweet.
  3. Take care not to over do the feeds, since your followers can get bugged with you. I know a few friends who have complained of me tweeting of what songs I am listening to and all that jazz, so keep a filter on those feeds.
  4. It also helps if you are tweeting every once in a while by yourself, so you get a more human face. For eg. Zappos' CEO, Tony Hsieh is there on twitter, and he actively tweets about his daily routine. How cool is that, direct access to a firms CEO, can you be more customer-centric?
  5. Use twitter for simple market surveys, qualitative and quantitative as well. For eg. You can tweet, "What do you think is going to happen to the Indian economy?", the answers would be more than enough to put forth a blog post. Later, you can tweet that post url, and there is a likely chance that people who participated in your twitisurvey would also read your post

Try it out, give twitter a twhirl!!


Related Links:-

Pipes, Twits and Feeds


Friday, September 19

We need more products


With the changes in the US economy, India is feeling the ripple effects pretty early on. Even before the financial giants announced to the world that they are either wrapping up or being taken over, the Indian IT sector knew that times were going to be hard. Layoffs are bound to follow. The dotcom bust 2.0 is here :-). I had earlier written about this on my previous blog. A senior management professional at TechMahindra had predicted this as early as August 2006.

If you see the graph above, the dependence of the Indian economy lies largely with the Service sector, and that dependence has been growing constantly over the past years. We had the green revolution to bolster our agricultural sector, over the past decade, we have seen the IT revolution, that has significantly bolstered our services contribution to the GDP. I know this is obvious to most of you ... but did we all see it coming? And if we did see it coming, then how come none of us sat up and took action.

Would we now try to start a belated industrial revolution, giving more priority for a product-based economy instead of a service-based economy? Can we see the contribution of Indian industry to our nation's GDP increase? Or will our aam aadmi continue giving service to the firangs, depending on derived demand to earn his daily bread.

Friday, September 12


iris_elements elements

Ever since we have discovered the internet, we have found this unending source of pirated software .. be it the latest games, operating systems, software, graphics packages, movies, music, what not. We simply download and use. Have we thought about how it is affecting the creator of that content? Not just financially, but rather, the thought of knowing that there exists a Prasad Ajinkya in the world who is knowingly using content/media created by that particular artiste/programmer. No, I have not thought so in the past, and certainly would not have thought about it in the future had it not happened to one of my close friends.

Today I was just browsing through Digit Magazine's August DVD (the one that's free). In it were different wallpapers that they had shared for everyone's use. One of the wallpapers was this ... Now take a look at IRIS-2005 flash intro, it has been painstakingly made by my classmates - Amit, Jhasketan and Sanchit. Jhasketan had drawn those figurines on a tablet, it was then imported into Photoshop, colors and effects were added, and then it was imported into flash. I saw the entire creation process right in front of me ... these three guys put in days and nights on this. Try juggling that with a day full of lectures and quizzes, and it becomes a handful.

Now after 3 years, I see it being ripped-off, straight out. There are no acknowledgements mentioned, so that the thousands of Digit subscribers can unknowingly use the same wallpaper on their desktop without even saying a simple Kudos! to the three artistes.

Life is not fair. Shame on you Digit.

PS - Can you tell which is the original?

Related Links -



apt-get so many files!

Yes. I am going to bitch about Linux for a change. Throw your brickbats at me, I dont mind, but for this one time, I will rant. The problem with having an open OS is that there are a lot of updates ... a LOT!! Also considering the fact that I have taken my time to view all the UIs viz., KDE3, KDE4, Gnome, Ice et al, that means a lot of updates as well.

Everytime I do an apt-get-update and an apt-get-upgrade, half a GB of data is downloaded, the system is re-initialized, and there are more updates to download. Whoa! Thats a lot of packages.

What is one to do? I just finished downloading 600 megs, I start Gnome ... no big change :-)

Yes, now I will tout the stability of linux ;-)

Wednesday, September 10

Smokers Beware

cigarette_burning I am generally a tolerant person, but I have decided to step up my protest against smoking. Quite a few of my friends smoke (you know who you are!!). Is it not unfair, to smoke it every day, it's almost criminal. You are not only killing yourself (which is OK with me), but you are also polluting the air for your peers. Thankfully most of the people I know are considerate enough to remove themselves off the premises and go for a smoke. Out in the office corridors, or just outside the restaurant, et al. Have I got some news for them!?!

From Oct. 2, 2008, the Government of India will put a ban on smoking on private AND public premises. Punishable with a fine of Rs. 200/- (to be hiked to Rs. 1200/- soon). These fines can not only be exercised by policemen, but also by school-teachers, bus drivers, motor-men, social workers, etc. Restaurants who have a smoking section will have to keep that in a separate enclosure with a separate ventilation. Employers will be fined a heft Rs. 5000/- per employee. Whoooweee!!! I hope they increase the tax on cigarettes as well.

Let the smokers burn in their own heaven!! Sing the song with me fellows - Bh3nch0d Sutta, Sutta na mila ...

Tuesday, September 2


walle This weekend we decided to catch Wall-E, thanks to my best friend Ashish's suggestion. I am not such a great fan of Pixar, I love their culture, but not much of their art ... well, that things changed now! I mean, I like animated movies ... the effects and all that jazz, but why would you resort to toons ... only because you cannot render the same effects in real life? C'mon ... give me a break here. Then came a genre of movies which used toons to good effect, and how!! KungFu Panda, Finding Nemo ... and now this. This is the coup de grĂ¢ce of why you should look at animated movies as a serious competitor to other motion pictures.

The movie takes us around 800 years into the future, when the Earth is a lonely desolate planet. It's a touching love story of two robots, and how they rescue us human from permanent space colonization. A whopping 8.7 guys, do check this movie out.

Some radicals will always rant about AI and the terminator crap, but honestly, each machine has a fail-safe mechanism, and that can have another fail-safe. So why worry? The machine can only be as devious as its creator :-)

PS - Watch the end titles of the movie, the background changes from the initial cave drawings to hieroglyphics to sketches to classic art to renaissance art, so on. History kind of repeats itself, now with machines and humans. Awesome conceptualization.

Digg Suxx

I am a Digg fan ... or rather, I was one. Since the past month or so, I am reading about Sarah Palin. Finally curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to click on one of the links. Read her wikipedia entry, you might get some insight into her. Anyway, that's not the point.

Today, I am going through Digg, to find out six articles about Sarah Palin doing the rounds on the same Digg page ... blehhh!! There have been rumours that Digg is rigged, now its just confirmed. The stories are made popular only by a select few and their followers. Is web2.0 a collaborative content management system always going to be plagued by a few leaders and a throng of their followers? If that's the case, then I see Digg as nothing but a PR tool. Sad really.