Sunday, June 03, 2012

Most Advanced Form of Writing: Facebooking

Finally its here. The 200th  blog post. Its been a slow and long climb that started in the year 2005. Lately blogging is not getting most attention like the Facebook. And hell yeah, the same Facebook is one main reason why I have kept blogging two arms away.

The pup inside every one of us is more happy to see or expect to see the instant feedback through likes/comments. The likes and comments are just one rewards like throwing biscuit at the dog which has done one activity. Facebook makes us do some activity and its rewarded back. Without the reward, Facebook would go the way Twitter gone - barely floating for only one reason than any - huge user base like big hull of the ship. The recent valuation Facebook got, still after keeping away the botched up high IPO debut drama, is telling fact for the hold it has over us. Thats in stark contrast with Twitter, which is undeniably strong but lacks the dimensions Facebook represent.

Facebook is taking the traditional pinning down of memory like writing a blog, narration in to whole new direction. By laying down rules, the rules we follow without even knowing they are rules. Take example of life status update, events, images, videos, event invites, attending the event, association with groups. All these are called as activities inside Facebook, but in reality they are rules that channels our activities which we otherwise do in unstructured fashion all across the web like

  • blogging at Blogger, Wordpress, now defunct Geocities; 
  • uploading images at Flickr, Photobucket
  • joining groups at Yahoo Groups, countless lists
  • micro blogging at Twitter, Tumblr etc
  • creating/attending event through MSN Calender, Yahoo Calender etc.
  • sharing the sites through etc..

So when all the different activities we do as said above continued, as you can see there is no one single way to correlate. Facebook, over the years since its internet debut, combined all these activities by putting as focal point and that made Facebook Timeline UI debut as matter of patch release rather than technology breakthrough. Facebook should be credited for pulling us into the information swirl without even making us realize we are in mid of the swirl. With that said, Facebook takes us into new era of writing/creating information by playing within the rules it has put in place. And Facebook can be rightly credited with taking most of us into most advanced form of writing. Facebooking.

That completes 200th of my blog post.

Monday, January 02, 2012

By Sify, For Sify, Of Sify

One best thing about brain is, it stores almost all of the details we come across in our life. The darker side of this fact is, brain can't pull back all the details it has until its shown a needle of information or remainder. Considering this with the decision to move on from Sify for various reasons, I don't see any reason to move on from the people I spend time with, it doesn't matter the time was for fun, fight or work. But I wouldn't be disclosing whether I had fun, fight or working relationship and I leave it to the reading brain to pick it from its store of whatever it has.

It was during the middle of March in Gurgaon. Winter has just wrapped its shift and Summer just checked in. It was a Saturday I guess, routine housekeeping day. Cleaning, washing, and then do nothing with ever playing ZOOM Music TV. Those are days when I 'just started' to think Hindi as second language after English. Most Hindi words started appearing more familiar and understandable mostly by context rather than each word. Amidst this routine and as a surprise, there was an unexpected incoming call (calls to me are very rare considering the fact the I'm least mobile lover and I choose to decide when to take up mobile rather than mobile dictating me to take it up) at very odd time, around 9AM. Kareem, an independent HR consultant, from Chennai was on the line. Since this call came just couple of days after I changed my Naukri status as looking for job change, I was prepared and started the conversation. He mentioned company as Satyam and they are looking for developers.

Swiftly in couple of days, I got first level interview call successfully done over the phone with some named Mahesh and Senthil. Even now, I was in understanding that I would be joining Satyam, a great company with great integrity(it was then in 2007, before Ramalinga Raju's letter episode) and was excited to work in a public listed company for first time. Then a shocker was thrown, a potentially end game. I was asked to visit a Delhi office for video conference interview ASAP. Fact was and is, I hate traveling to new place without a very detailed cost and effort analysis. I usually try to find answers for What are the different transport mediums available? Favorably can it be reached by walk? What are the risk probability of conductor wala/taxi wala/rickshaw wala charging me extra by taking advantage of my language problem? What I can do if I miss last available transport medium? What I can do to avoid this travel? After considering Gurgaon's notorious cab wala, poorest ever seen public transport, and alien people around, decided to skip the interview and okay to purge the interest working with Satyam. Conveyed the same.

Soon, not sure due to what star formation, just in couple of days I got into situation to travel to home via Chennai. This time I called Kareem and got the interview scheduled at Chennai and this time while saying the address the cat was out. Yes, Kareem asked me to visit Sify. Amused and disappointed, was checking about Sify profile on net and kind of settled down after knowing even Sify also is a listed company, that too in United States of America, my dreamland. I had mad liking to stock market when I was in college and no money on hand. I followed Hang Seng(HSI) index closely every day, since that was the only index BBC tracked in Asia during 2000. After having money in hand, luckily I didn't have same mad liking for stock. That saved a lot.

By the time I was in Chennai for interview, couple of weeks gone and now I'm at government office kind of structure. Its called as Elnet Software City. Completed the second level successfully with some named Raj(the first person I met at Sify and didn't know then that I will work with him till last day last hour for all FIVE years in Sify) and done with the formalities of HR and the joining date has come very soon.

The beginning of Life at Sify was great. Not for reasons of huge money or great facilities or closer to home or native language or same skinned people, but because of great people with some of cool characters/attitude I have ever come across. Probably for first time in the job, I felt a real homecoming in a company. That might well be a clear case for spending 5 colorful years at Sify.

Here comes the real faces of the beautiful minds I spend time with. The first batch, I will not say team here since in most cases we never worked in single team but we were together not by design but by liking to each other for one or other reason. These are great set of people. Let me intro them from L to R: 
  • Dhanaprabha, a great soul and cool mind. Never tired to fight with. Shared same cubicle row.
  • Myself(on back of Dhana)
  • Vasanth, the trip to erode for his marriage is memorable and I still remember superb marriage dinner. A great mokkai creator.
  • Senthil, He is the guy who interviewed me over the call. That was the first and last time he asked me questions. Since then for almost 3yrs, it was me asking him tons of question.
  • Siva, a techie.
  • Suresh, my saviour from boring times. A dependable person to make mokkai. Never fights back, never questions. Great soul.
  • Satya, cool guy. Joined Sify little later than me but at the end of my term at Sify, he own a home in Chennai. Not sure how he earned more than me, probably from in-laws I guess. :)
  • Abdul, my another savior from boring times. Excellent human being but he is extreme in communication. Never attends my call. Fortunately for me and unfortunately for him, till the time he left Sify, we worked together in same team for all the different projects. Tons of time has been killed along with him.
  • Logesh, a techie. I strongly believe he has traveled for long distance than Astronaut Armstrong. He travels everyday some 4hours between office and home.
  • and Sunil, quiet guy.

While joining Sify, I was weighing just 60. 

 New people, from L to R, 
  • Myself, 
  • Hari, quiet and content guy. Makes quiet mokkai. 
  • Abdul, he don't have interest in astronomy, but sometimes acts weird by staring strangely at different angles). 
  • Rajagopal, interesting guy. Very matured. Shared some good mokkai. Got chance to met him after he left Sify. He is as ever. 
  • Sundara Chandran, quiet and nice guy. World missed him so early. All of sudden, came his passing away news. It was great time with him. Believe, wherever he is, he will and should be happy.

The days of original Elnet Canteen is unforgettable. Now it has been given to some big commercial outlet but when I joined, it was run by a private individual and it was like typical college hostel canteen. Simple, poor menu, bad taste, cheap price but was very fun due to less restriction like outside food can be brought and taken inside. Almost 3 years, we had lunch together, picking girls for fun - decent fun - very decent fun I promise, post lunch we hangout around bike stand again for picking girls for fun - again decent fun - very decent fun I swear to god. 

New people, from L to R,
  • Venki, manager, cool guy. Though never worked as team but had as many arguments as if a team. Always remember the sign he put for my BITS MS application when my reporting manager was away and I had to courier it on the day itself.
  • Karthikeyan, amazingly quiet guy. Calm guy beyond my imagination. Have always asked him tips to keep quiet, he never replied even that question. I think that itself is a tip to be quiet which I never can follow. He made good fortune from his Puducherry in-laws. Thats one fact he agreed explicitly. 
  • Bharath, fantastic personality and my reporting manager for almost a year. Learned what preserverance means from him. 
  • Krishnaraj, great techie and cool guy. Makes mokkai often and makes the place around him fun.

New people on chairs(L to R),
  • Kuppuraj, Excellent mokkai cooker and serves it deliciously. Got introduction to him lately, but after that no turning back. Often there is accusation that I make technology backed mokkai and reached only A class people, but this guy makes mokkai that can reach B and C class audience very well. Nice guy. I'm debted to him for a garlic breadstick. I hope to return it back ASAP. 
  • Rajasekar, the great. Maintains his cool attitude come what difficult work may be. :) He troubles me many times but a nice guy.

New people,
  • Pachai, on left with red zebra crossing tee, cool guy with strong liking to samiyars. After the nityananda episode, he appears to changed but not very sure :) 
  • Sathish, next to Pachai in dark orange tee, he shared my native place. Extreme personality. 
  • and finally Josh, on bottom right in dark red shirt, very fun loving and easy goer. I still remember, in this fungama event, he won prize in one of the tough competition, karla kattai event. Proved a strong guy.

New people, from L to R,
  • Tamilselvan, What a guy. Maintains his composure no matter what pressure its. Quiet mokkai maker. 
  • Krishna, Sathish, wrote about them. 
  • Dineshkumar, a techie. 
  • Pachai, this pose happened before nityananda episode but still not sure why we went into hiding. 
  • Jude, an easy goer. 
  • Kuppu, Josh, wrote about them.
  • Mahalingam, time spend was small but still memorable. 
Here comes the people who usually spend time at Sify. Note I didn't say they worked in Sify. For privacy and fear, no names. from L to R. Just initials.
  • Ms. PK, talented techie, but very angry women for good cause. She sometimes plots how to kill the non-vegetarians, so far not successful. 
  • Ms. AK, spent most of the time thinking what todo with the computer Sify gave. Later she realized buying property in Chennai is costly affair, she went to create uncontrollable number of property file for Java programs. Nice way to overcome a problem you see. 
  • Ms. CK, frequent Saudi traveler. I leave the rest for guessing. 
  • and then its Ms R., Ms. ., Ms DP. 
Once my first batch left Sify to different places, the second batch of this people filled up the rest of my time at Sify. From L to R,
  • Tamil, Kuppu, Pachai wrote about them. Mr. Veera, nice guy. 
  • Suresh, Java developer. 
  • Shareif, train companion. Thankful for bearing the brunt alone. 
  • Ajay, young guy. 
  • Vijay, vellore guy. Taken fun lightly. 
  • and finally the groom Selva, fun loving. My next seat colleague, spent most of the time at office thinking how to change his computer login username. 
The batch which helped me complete the final leg of Sify time. from L to R,
  • Yamini - very strong and cool attitude. 
  • Deepa, techie and fun loving. Makes good mokkai. 
  • Kousalya, terror :). Only second women in my core team. 
  • Janani, big quiet mokkai maker. now a noisy home maker in Atlanta. Vidya, great techie and on top of the job. 
  • Kannan, great manager. 
  • Jayesh, techie and quiet mokkai maker. Thinker and it may appear to be sleeping. 
  • Pachai, Tamil, Kuppu, Abdul, wrote about them. 
  • Raghav, at extreme right, fun loving guy. Disappeared from the world from the moment he left Sify. 
New people, from L to R, Kishore, a terror, my core team.
  • Prakash, reminds yahoo smiley. 
  • Kuppu, we know. 
  • Sadha, the java crorepati. After Java creator James Gosling, he is the one who made most money from Java. :) 
  • Venkat, dedicated programmer for UK. for whole country. :) 
  • Pachai, we know. 
  • Karthik, my reporting manager till the last minute. Very straightforward. Goes by heart. 
  • Prabhu, great human being and trying to be excellant developer. A great mokkai cooker. 
  • On middle row, from L to R, Ms. , Ms. Ash., Ms. , Ms. , Ms. Vidya. 
  • Sitting, from L to R, Meenakshi, quiet and composed. 
  • And rest are terror. 
New people, just names, Java Venkat, Senthil, Selva, Jayagopal, Ravi and Santhosh. 

fun time at Karaikudi. 

fun time at Basera, ECR. New names, Anil.

Public mokkai making during the Valentines day competition. Won second prize. Official recognization for mokkai.

 The dream come true, during US visit. 

Some fierce competition. Intense dance and dialogues. Won second prize. new people, Jude Sekar, Rajesh, Ramki - blasting techie. 

Having great time at Kodaikanal. 

Regret the best chance to kill that guy. 

The only picture of Mahesh, my first reporting manager. 

Then finally came the conclusion,

From entry to exit, Raj. Thanks. 

The great core team. 

The bell rang loud and clear for one last time and that's it. It was colorful and thoroughly joyful ~5 years. Thanks everyone.

Jan 1, 2012

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What does it mean Onsite?

So often we hear or see so many people we know travel to foreign cities for short term engagement or long term deployments. Through them many details flow back about lifestyle changes like food, time zone, social sense, people behaviors and even about dog shit cleaning. Though we take them as news and good to know, there are many instances where one can't bear the incessant references of how their new world is so wonderful and different. Sometimes we hear odd details about how they suffer in supposedly wonder land. To save the world, you can safely assume this odd crib about new wonderland as mere lip service and indirect form of conveying the message. That wonderland, true to the techie habit has been encapsulated, shortened and sweetened as 'Onsite'.

Enough with intro talk, we move into decoding instances(include odd ones) of Onsite acts into true meaning. Going with a old saying, we shouldn't take everything as its said, we need to see the other side of it.

So what does the bulk upload of new wonderland pictures means: Going back to days of 1990's where the gates of US were truly wide open for new people, in those times sharing pictures comes with cost. There was no UNLIMITED hosting or easy to use software's to share. Fast forward to present, with Facebook and Flickr giving options for free and unlimited flow of details, everything works in favor of consumers at least when internet is concerned. So when you see the picture next time, credit/blame Internet.

What does the flashy, ultra fast, hi-tech mobile means: In India we remember the mobile service company only when you go out to purchase the recharge cards. Few people wont even remember that if they are postpaid customers, where they just pay the bills online. Compare this against major western world where, getting mobile is like pulling the toilet paper or buying the dog with really long leash. Mobiles and Service providers are so interlinked that its SAVES cost when you buy phone with long contract. When its long contract, getting a just phone or hi-tech phone cost more or less same. So why normal phone when hi-tech phone is just a cost slab different. So when you see 'updated from Blackberry' or 'sent from iPhone 4', laugh yourself about the beast they are holding on the other side.

What does trips to trekking, malls, fantasy amusement parks means: In the new wonderland, its all about ONE and handful of acquaintance. Its a new land, new job and new acquaintance. There is no prior commitment. No prior relationships. No prior hatreds. The social life is new and it starts with going out. When its out, its public. Its to mall, its to trek, its to restaurant. All this can be pictured and posted wherever and whichever notice board permits. Now compare this against the life in the motherland. You have very big fabric of social life. Filled with good, old and bad. You have to attend good and bad of family/friends. You need to be part of the problems and solutions. You can't share the picture of lunch you have with your uncle and family. So many stakeholders to deal with. So many threads you need to follow. So when you see the trekking picture next time, think about the social fabric.

In short Onsite is just like the gaseous state of Earth when it started, where everything was new and all were great and fresh. But as the time goes and the gaseous state transforms to Earth, there are equal problems for all the good things.

I think that's all I got now. May revisit this post when I get more time and energy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Letter Drafting For Your Enemy!!!

Considering the current social-political scenario, If you want someone you dont like get arrested, take a printout of this letter and fill in and fax the details. You are 100% assured that person is behind the bars.


தலைமை காவல் துறை - நிலம் மீட்பு பிருவு
சென்னை 01

மாண்புமிகு காவல் அதிகாரி அவர்களே

கடத்த தி.மு.க. ஆட்சியில் முக்கிய கையாக ஆனால் தற்போது அல்லைகையாக இருக்கும் மரியாதைக்கு தகுதி இல்லாதவர் _____________________(உங்கள் எதிரி பெயரை விலாசத்துடன் இங்க நிறபவும்), பழைய ஆட்சியில் பல கோடி ரூபாய் மதிப்புள்ள அண்ணா சாலையில் உள்ள முக்கியத்துவம் வாய்த்த அரசு இடத்தில ஒரு பெரிய மாளிகை தனக்காக கட்டி உள்ளார். அவருக்கு பல ஊர்களில் முறைகேடான வழியில் சொத்து நிறைய உள்ளது. தயவு செய்து நடவடிக்கை எடுக்கவும்.

_____________________(உங்கள் புனை பெயரை இங்க நிறபவும்)
அன்ன நாமம் வாழ்க, எம். ஜி. ஆர். நாமம் வாழ்க

(at your own risk. forewarned.)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Why is United States Perfect?

We often come across views about how beautiful, organized, perfect US is. There are so much things to say but to name few - traffic signals, fly overs looking similar across states, lane standards across states, automatic vending machine that gives from money to cigars, drinks etc.., drive thru food outlets, drive thru brush-less car wash, lined similar looking homes etc.. etc.. so many things to rant about..

A retrospect at what could have lead to this gives interesting thoughts. With limited labor power, vast area, limited population but huge consumption, they got to match supply/demand things at some point. Then comes the big plan of mass production and employing machines to make stuff that one use from the time you wake up to sleep. Important thing to note here is everyone uses the same quality stuff irrespective of where you bought and how big your lifestyle is.

When Apple's Steve Job drives thru Burger King in Cupertino, CA, he gets the same exact weight, quality burger content just like anyone like Joe the Plumber from Ohio gets there. All thanks to great supply chain logistics in place. Mass produced meat from one place, Mass produced bread, Mass produced sauce and every ingredient that goes in is controlled by machines so say potato mash has .2g of salt, each machines in Burger King is set to release the same exact content. Take this and apply to every ingredient that goes into making a burger, every hell in the country gets the same exact size, quality and taste.

Compare this against the making of meals in Indian hotel. Quantity of salt depends on in what degree the chef tilted the salt container - more he tilts more salty the food is; same applies to pulses, spice etc., the amount of time it cooked depends on whether chef gets a phone call or not while he is on the job of cooking, taste of food depends on what brand of spice, pulse the chef got on that day and finally the time you visit hotel have final say on how delicious the food tastes for your bud.

Take another example of Star Bucks, every item that goes in to making the coffee are measured and set in the machines that delivers the same exact quantity and taste to everyone. Apply the same development style to the making of ingredients, and those are made exactly the same way by its machines.

Take the example closer to home, the morning tea. Its dip tea, mass manufactured pockets. The Tea container, its standard size 'small, medium, large' cups. So standard size cup with standard size water. Then comes the sugar, that comes with mass manufactured pockets. So say always a standard 2 pockets i.e. 2g. Mix all. Time to heat. Then comes the Machine Microwave oven. Heat the mix always to standard time 2mins. Everything repeats the same every single day and unarguably  the mix is perfect but its the same perfect taste every day of life. When its perfect every single time, how can it be felt? Perfect from non perfect or even more perfect.

Compare this against typical Indian tea shop, where the quantity of milk that goes into glass depends on number of people visited (to make sure all gets), quantity of sugar depends on its cost at that time in market, the coffee mix is random since its manually added and also depends on the sales, and finally the temperature depends on what time you visit the shop - daytime, outside temp is hot and coffee will be even hotter; night, outside temp is moderate and coffee will be little less hotter than other times. Considering so many variations that goes into coffee/tea, there is so many possibilities of perfect to bad tastes.

Take the example of fly overs. In US, machines play almost all part from controlling the quantity of mix to making the size of structures and placing them in place. So a perfect, standard across the places.

Compare this against India, constructing the fly over has one critical component. How much % of commission was asked by that part of local politician, govt officer in charge. Forget about quality, quantity and standard. With this variation, a bridge may live for 10years to few days(recently a day before Mumbai mono rail bridge collapsed before starting the trail run).

With just these few accounts of comparison, I know why things are so perfect here in US.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Team Treat @ Food Village, ECR

After a long gap we are back again to dent a big bang hole in wallets of recent birthday buddies...

war table... so many unnamed chickens, mutton, fish gonna have its last rites...

a part of the army...

you may think these people are after some serious discussion by their look here.. but they are after none other than one plate onion...

here is the core army of flesh eaters... you will know soon why this part of gang is core...

these woman's may be called as soft power... but when it comes to dining table, they are no way in short of men... all equipped and ready for deadly catch...

here is someone who brings armageddon to little chickens...

with so many flush eaters around... here is the soul who believes in peace and showing sympathy towards lovely birds... dedicating these bird statues to the world in fond memory of numerable birds killed for food...

here is almost statue like Ducks... how clean... thats one proof of impact when u take bath regularly...

thanks for the treat folks...
L to R: Kishore, Prabhu, Dinesh, Myself, Satha, Tamil, Selva, Kannan, Illayaraja, Kuppu, Pachai, Seeni and Prakash

our very generous hosts has got this one additional item... really expensive one... very lucky guys...
(indeed a costly place when compared to Baseera Restra just two blocks away from Food Village)