The morning on the other day, was not very cloudy. I didn’t think it would rain either as it was quite cool and there was a soothing breeze even at around 10 in the morning. As usual I drove to our client’s site alone. After an uneventful morning session, when I came out of the building it was raining heavily. I didn’t even have my windcheater. Cursing my luck, I came out and waited for some time until the downpour turned into a drizzle. The dark clouds forebode rain for the entire day. Not wanting to get stuck in a heavier downpour, I started driving the two wheeler back home, hoping the rain gods would ceasefire for the next hour or so before I could reach home. The road is located through scenic and landscaped surroundings, with nothing to come by, except the occasional vehicle or some kids on their shepherding routine.

Somewhere in the middle of this road, I saw a middle aged man walking briskly in the drizzle. Hearing my vehicle, he suddenly turned and waved his hand. I stopped near him and he asked me if I could drop him. I said I could and asked him where he was headed to. He asked me to drop him somewhere further in the road from where he could take a bus to the city. It started raining heavily by now and as a car passed us by, I was wondering if I did a right thing by offering him help. He could have hitched a ride in the car and saved himself all the drenching :-)

As we neared a bus stand where a bus just overtook us and stopped, my passenger asked me if I too were going straight towards the city. When I replied in the affirmative, he asked me to drop him somewhere near my place from where he can go further. Though puzzled by his request – he could have chosen to board the bus and travel safe and warm – I consented and continued the journey inspite of getting drenched thoroughly.

After about 30 minutes of driving through the varying rain I almost reached my place. Just before I was to take a turn, he asked me to stop at the nearest bus stop. I stopped and he got down. But he kept his bag on the seat and asked me to wait. I was puzzled. He then started searching through his shirt pocket. I asked him as to what happened. He didn’t reply, but took out all contents from his pocket and started shuffling, sieving and vigorously searching through them. All the while, I was standing there trying not to look like a fool.

Finally with a winner’s look on his face, he took out his visiting card out of the mess and handed me the same. And said, “I’m an insurance advisor with this company. We’ve very good tax saving plans. Please do call me to know more. Please tell your friends also”.

I broke into a wicked smile, thinking I should tell him that I was also one of his breed some time back and that the only client I could manage to snare — was myself and sped. :-P

But ruminating about the whole event, I am amazed by the tenacity these people demonstrate. I know several people who have managed to achieve considerable businesses even under extreme adverse conditions.

I need to learn a lot from them.

+1 for Windows to Linux migration

We scored one more for a migration of a Windows based network to a Linux based one. The nitty-gritty’s yet to be done. The situation currently at the company in question is typical of many SMEs.

When a company pays for a vendor lock-in, they buy not only into the upgrades/support, they also “buy in” a assured End-Of-Life date for the product. Though it’s natural that any product reaches it’s EOL sooner or later, open source based products usually follow a evolutionary approach to progression and growth.

I’ve seen Sendmail installations that have withstood the march of time and have been maintained and upgraded regularly without the need for any redeployment, massive reconfiguration or any increase in IT budgets. I’ve seen software systems deployed at a time when the term open source was not at all coined running the show without any complaints.

Open Source based solutions really work wonders on a SME’s infrastructure breadth, stability, budget. The only weak link in such deployments are the availability of skilled people to maintain and enhance the services.

This is where we come in. We do take out a lot of headache for SMEs (and a couple of Large corporates too).

BTW, we have an interesting internship programme for students, freshers who wish to learn more about Linux deployments. If you’re interested do drop me a mail