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Archive for August, 2007

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I know that this topic must have been done to death uptil now, but the immense realisation of it all just hit me.

My uncle from the states, sent me an email and asked me to reply back with everybody’s phone number in the house.
I say okay, hit the Reply button and go:

Home (primary): XXX
Home (secondary): XXX

Dad’s Cell: XXX
Mom’s Cell: XXX
My Cell: XXX
Bro’s Cell: XXX

When I keyed in the last number – was the exact time it hit me.
6 phones !!!!

6 bloody phones for 4 people!!!

And just about 4 years ago, we were extremely happy with one landline number – which I would proudly tell everybody.
And now, the first thing I grab hold off – even when I am moving through rooms in my house is — yeah — my cell phone.

Technology is a very funny thing.
You do not realise how badly you needed something until you start using it.
I resisted buying a cell phone till I was in my final year for this very same reason — and now, it’s something I cannot do without.

There was a time when I had only one email address and was extremely happy with it.
Now, I have one personal email address, one for spams, one for business and a couple more which I need to check for the websites that we have (activeciti, thinkingspace).

I have an account on each popular IM (GTalk, Yahoo, MSN, Skype) and a couple of social networking sites (Orkut, Facebook, LinkedIn).

The thing which really baffles my mind is – do we need all this?
And if we really do, where do we stop? How do we know where to stop?

I can see kids in the future spending a good couple of hours checking all their mail and then checking all their messages in their social networking circles, etc. etc.

Makes you really really want to run away to a distant village for a couple of months – with nothing except some cash and some clothes — an exile from being digitally connected.

PS: I found the calvin strip above by searching on this awesome tool: http://www.reemst.com/calvin_and_hobbes/stripsearch

[ Min number of posts to go till Mar 17, 2008 : 78.]

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If you really think about it, India is in a pretty mixed up place – economy wise …
We’re nowhere near a capitalist economy – nor are we entirely communist either …
We are somewhere in between …

I am talking about this because of late, there have been incidents in my life – caused by this aspect and I was wondering – whether a right balance could ever exist …

When I was returning from Proto a couple of weeks ago, I was to come to Mumbai by flight and then catch a bus from there to Pune. My flight was supposed to land at 10:40 PM – but it being Indian Airlines, it only landed sometime around 12:20 AM.
Luckily I had no checked in baggage and I was able to get out of the airport by 12:30.

I rushed to Dadar, and in my heart knew — that the last State transport bus would have long left and I would have to spend the night at the bus stop. I reached the bus stop at 1:00 AM.
Unbelievably – there was still a bus going to Pune (which I think would have probably been the last one).
It left with around 10 passengers (out of a capacity of 35 – 40) at 1:15 AM and albeit an extremely bumpy ride, I was home by 5:00 AM.
I secretly thanked the government for running such buses – even when there were hardly any passengers at such odd timings.

This is the other incident.

I live on the outskirts of Pune. As such, we have all the benefits which come with such a setting.
Clean, calm and pollution-free surroundings, lots of open spaces, etc. etc.

At around 10 kms – the main city isn’t too far either …

However, we also face the problems which come along with such a setting.
Namely, that of infrastructure — in this case, the internet.

The place where I live, there are no private players providing high speed internet services (or broadband).
This is primarily because not many people would go for it – so it does not make sense for these companies to lay fibre cabling all the way for a handful of subscribers.
The only one which does – is the government owned BSNL.

Until sometime ago – they had the monopoly in the telecommunication sector – and if you had a phone, it had to be from BSNL.
As a result, they have cables already setup – through which they provide the internet services.

The service though, leaves a lot to be desired – and the sorry fact is – being a government enterprise, no one gives a damn.
I’ve been having connection issues since eons (it works sporadically and mostly, only at nights) – but no one seems to be bothered. After about a hundred complaints, nothing comes of it.

I seriously have started believing that if anything needs to come of a government run agency, some palms eventually have to be greased. Haven’t tried that yet – but sadly, we’ll probably have to do it eventually.

So coming back to the issue.
Living in an entirely capitalist economy definitely has its merit. I honestly believe that the entire country progresses at a much, much faster rate as compared to living in a communist one.
People who are smart, talented or hard working get their just rewards – encouraging more people down that road, thus leading to faster growth of the entire nation.
(Monopolies are a negative – but then, thats just the way you look at them)

However, if we were actually in a completely capitalist economy, I would have spent the entire night at the bus stand and would still be on dial-up connection at home.
And if the government does step up and provide services like the state transport bus running at night or me getting my broadband at home (even though its on only half the time), am I right to demand good service — or should I just be grateful that I am getting such services in the first place and be happy with it?

The Indian consumer at large, I think, follows the latter ideology …
What do you people think?

(My connection went off and on 7 times while I wrote this post)

[ Min number of posts to go till Mar 17, 2008 : 79.]

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I uploaded some more photographs on flickr – have gotten into that spree of late :)
These will be the last batch I think – for quite sometime now … Have run out of good photographs to upload.

The complete set can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/saurabhj/

The ones which I really really like are:

[ Min number of posts to go till Mar 17, 2008 : 80.]

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I dunno why I did this, but I went to Flickr today and uploaded some of the interesting snaps that I have clicked so far in my life …

Check them out here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/saurabhj/
Comments are available, so please do go ahead and comment.

A couple of ones that I really love are:

Larger sized images are at flickr.
I have tonnes more left to upload – will do as soon as I can extract some time for myself …

[ Min number of posts to go till Mar 17, 2008 : 81.]

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Blogging again …

I think I am finally in that place, where I can start blogging again …

The past couple of months have been pretty hectic – and everytime I thought I’d start writing, I would realise I had something better to do …

As you can expect, some important stuff happened since the last time I wrote …
A small recap is the order of the day I guess …

I will dedicate a blog each to all of these things …

  1. I have switched to wordpress. It was waiting to happen. Blogger has been extremely awesome – and I will miss a lot of things there, but it was time that I took up the hosting of my blog on my own server.
    (As of writing, this blog is actually on wordpress.com – but I will be moving it soon to another personal server)
    Wordpress has tonnes of more features too which I just loooove … so the move was just waiting to happen…
    More about this in another post …
  2. We finally registered our own company – ThinkingSpace Technologies.
    Technically, we’re 4 months old already – but the registration happened of late – and I am still basking in that sense of achievement.
    We’re just three classmates from college, don’t have posh offices (yet) but are poised to get there extremely soon!
    Watch this space for more …
    And yes, we also do useful things (see next point)
    http://www.thinkingspace.in
  3. We took ActiveCiti to Public Beta.
    ActiveCiti – our first product, entered into its public beta phase (after a month of being in stealth private beta) and the response has been good so far.
    If you don’t know what it is — ActiveCiti is this extremely cool event management application — with which you can create, plan and organise your events very, very easily.
    From inviting friends, adding other organisers, polling people to what they’d prefer, sending automatic emails about changes to the original plan — ActiveCiti does it all.
    You can check it out at: http://www.activeciti.comIf you are wondering, this is not quite the same application we did for our final year project a year ago.
    It has been completely written from scratch – and does tonnes of things the previous version did not …
    Please do check it out and we’d love to hear your comments and feedback on this.

Hmm …
So, these are the things that have happened to me so far – and which have consumed the bulk of my time.
Will update this list if I think of anything else …

And please do update your bookmarks / blogroll to: http://blog.saurabhj.com for my blog.
Even if the base platform changes, my blog will always be accessible from this URL.
(Now why didn’t I think of this before !!!)

Anyways, feels really good to be back.
Thank you for being so patient and coming back and reading what I write.

[ Min number of posts to go till Mar 17, 2008 : 82.]

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