Please, Kindly Adjust

Twang! Twaang!! Twang! Twaang!! The brain went on an auto-pilot – ‘4AM! It is the alarm! Hit the Dismiss button’. I use the expensive – relatively – android phone for almost everything including waking me up every day.

Today isn’t every day, though. Today is Monday. The day I travel from my home town to Bangalore, where I work. I had arrived at my home town, three days back. After putting in an extra 0.5kg to my already bulging pot belly – thanks to my mother’s extra helpings – I am ready to leave for the war zone in some time. I ran through the motions, got all dressed up and encountered the matroness at the door, by 5AM. My mother has a glass of hot milk and a satchel containing my breakfast ready by then – Sweet Mom!

My ticket for the 05:30AM train has been booked some days in advance. Just knowing I wouldn’t have to wait in queue or jostle for space makes me feel lazy … and happy. I leave home at 05:05AM and walk down the road, where I hope to meet a dozing auto-rickshaw-wallah, wake him up and ask him to drop me off at the Railway Station. Unfortunately, there seems to be no auto-rickshaws parked here today. A couple of auto-rickshaws that are on the road are already engaged. The time is already 05:15AM and my train leaves in fifteen minutes. Though it takes less than 10 minutes to reach the railway station from here (in clear early morning traffic), from where will I find the elusive auto-rickshaw? … or a bus!? Then, suddenly I see the headlights of what seems to be a bus coming down the road. As my luck would have it, it is a city bus and most buses do go via the railway station. So nice!

But, the bus stops at the designated bus stop down the road and the next bus stop is still some distance away from my current position. I couldn’t possibly run that distance and catch it at the bus stop – no, really! These days, buses have been very strict in stopping only at designated bus stops, opening and closing the doors only after stopping, being on time, etc which are infact good things.

I frantically wave my hand – right in the middle of the road – signalling the driver to stop and open the door. The driver stops and does open the door. I get into the bus. Hand over a Ten Rupees note to the conductor and ask him for a ticket upto the railway station. The conductor hands me change of Six Rupees and walks away.

I ask him for the ticket. He simply says “You’re getting down in a few minutes. Why do you want a ticket? Leave it”.

Should I have got into a fight (and risk missing the train, starting the week on a jumpy note) with him over the ticket, the non-issual of which was actually corruption?
Should the driver have stopped for me in the middle of the road, which was in-a-way, out-of-the-way favor for me?

Unfortunately, I do not have any answers.

Please, Kindly Adjust!

Whither Social? Whither Cloud?

The last few days have seen quite a few events that give rise to skepticism about the Cloud and the Social Websites.

  1.  Linkedn says display of tweets in user’s profile no longer possible due to a limitation imposed by Twitter –
  2. The supposedly all pervasive and ubiquitous AWS cloud got punctured taking down Netflix, Pinterest, Instagram and many other services down with it.
  3. Facebook in an attempt to push its email usage screwed up their implementation and in the process got its users annoyed and frustrated.

Now, these social networks and services do not work in isolation like the Yahoo, Aols of the yesteryears. There are a lot of startups, companies, other services who have based their critical infrastructure on these services whether paid or unpaid.

The lesson that is obvious from these repeatedly occurring natural or forced disruptions  is that their users need to maintain a certain amount of healthy skepticism and also should keep looking beyond these services.

Scott Adams on Venture Capital and the Neo Rich

Scott Adams’ satirical take on the new rich kids becoming venture capitalists.

I came up with the Ego Theory of Venture Capital while reading through a list of startups that recently got funded. Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t see anything in the bunch that looked like a potential winner. Ego has to be behind much of the funding because economics wouldn’t explain such weak investments, even under a venture capital model. Historically, a venture investor hoped to succeed 10% of the time. Now I’m seeing startups that seem, at least to my non-expert eyes – to have something like a 1% chance of success.

The punch!

Now we have this absurd situation in which society is complaining that the rich have too much money at the same time the rich are begging the poor to take their money. The only condition the wealthy put on the transfer of money is that the poor need to put together some PowerPoint presentations that use the words “social” and “cloud.” Is that too much to ask?

Finally …

If you think the rich have too much money, stop complaining and do something about it: Start your own Internet company and go get some venture capital funding.

SkypeOut – MicrosoftIn

A joke that’s making the rounds of the Internet goes like “Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5 Billion. Nobody told them you can download it for free.” 🙂

Though rhetorical, it hits the point right on its head. It is a matter of common knowledge that the current owners of Skype were very edgy and wanted to sell it off to anybody who could pay up its latest market valuation (around USD 3 Billion). Various analysis of the buyout have explained that Microsoft is looking at the value that Skype shall add when integrated with Outlook, Sharepoint, Office and their other enterprise collaboration tools.
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Raising Credit for Startups through Banks – CGTMSE

Bootstrapping a startup can be an arduous task. Especially raising capital while growing can be a daunting goal to achieve. The most popular approach seems to be approaching Angel Investors for cash in lieu of stocks or a partnership in the startup. Though less risky and usually reliable, this approach also has its own pitfalls like determining how much ownership to cede?, involve the investors in management roles? etc.
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My submission for MacBook Air Contest: How Do You Move Applications to the Cloud?

If you like it, please “Like it” :p
And you too can write your take on moving tech to the cloud.

You can find it here:

Contrary to popular perceptions, implementing cloud for the enterprise has to be a planned and carefully executed exercise. In fact even migrating from your locally hosted email and collaboration suite to Google Apps could turn out to be a flop if you dont have the necessary variables sorted out.

Some basic and necessary steps towards a successful move towards cloud
Continue reading “My submission for MacBook Air Contest: How Do You Move Applications to the Cloud?”

Successful resuscitation of the blog

Some weeks back, while cleaning out the cruft in our server I managed to erase the database of this blog. Unfortunately there was no backup of the DB as well. I was resigned to the fate of starting the blog all over. And the story would have ended there, but for the successful resuscitation using cached content from Google, Bing and Blekko. Thanks to @twistedlogix for his professional online stalking expertise that the blog is back with each and every blog, comment, category, tag, plugin configuration intact.

My blog has its own share of search engine driven traffic and a few popular articles include the ones on configuring Gnokii for Nokia phones, Zimbra tweaks, etc. In addition, I also maintain some links to websites covering the mankuthimmana kagga. Hence it would have been a tough task to create everything from scratch.

The only surprising element in the whole process was that the Internet Wayback machine has no record of my seemingly popular website :-p

So if you happen to erase or destroy your website or blog due to any reason, you know whom to contact! 🙂