Showing posts from February, 2012

The Better Man

It was my uncle who thrust this book into my hand when I visited him a few weeks back.  "Read this... You will be transported back to our native place.  It is so realistic".  He meant - Kerala - where we both hail.

The book was The Better Man by Anita Nair.  That I had a senior in College by the same name as the author was another incentive to read the book.

The Better Man is set in a village (fictitious, I presume), Kaikurussi.  The author was born in Mundakottakurissi and perhaps wanted a name easier on the tongue.  The novel talks about the life and times of a bunch of character - notably, Mukundan, a failure in life, who lives in the shadow of his father and who is forced to return to his ancestral home to lead his retired life and Bhasi, a painter by profession, but a healer by practice, who finds Mukundan a curious case for cure.

Amidst the lush greenery and the regular rains, the story moves on. Mukundan craves for recognition like his father Achuthan Nair and gets his…

To chrome or not to chrome

I have been a faithful Firefox fan, mainly thanks to its amazing Add Ons. I use Chrome in my home PC - off and on.  I decided to install Chrome in my office laptop this morning, having discovered that some of the Firefox Add Ons (AdBlock Plus and WebNotifier) are available in Chrome (called Chrome Extensions).

The installation in my Windows 7 laptop was a breeze and so was installing the Add Ons.  It did not require a restart unlike Firefox.

The browser was quite fast and the surfing experience was as good as browsing in Firefox - at least for the sites that I visited.

Being an avid cricket fan, I checked cricinfo for update on an ongoing match and was surprised to see an alert - saying there was a Crininfo extension for Chrome.  I installed it and saw that I could now get the scores with a click of a button so long as Chrome was running.

Chrome also imported all my browsing details from Firefox, which meant I could continue in Chrome where I left off in Firefox. 

I now have a dilemma …

Of reputation in Stackoverflow

6th December evokes memories of the infamous Ayodhya incident.  But 6th December 2011 is an important day in my technical career - the day I reached 10000 reputation in Stackoverflow.

I first got exposed to SO (as it is called in short) in my earlier organization, when I interacted with the customer, for whom we were doing a project.  "What a name for a website", I thought.  This was more than two years back and SO was not that popular (at least in my circle).  It was strange to see a website for question and answers.  "I can understand people asking questions, but who would want to take the time to answer them?", so I thought.

How wrong was I!

So far, I have been used to various forums and mailing lists for discussing technical topics.  They continue to exist and vary in popularity.

We faced a problem in our project and I decided to ask about this in SO - my first question.  I did not expect a response and was surprised to see one in a few hours.  Though it did …

Why MJ?

No, I am not referring to the late Michael Jackson, arguably the king of pop music.  I am wondering why all the anchors in Radio One have the same initials - MJ.  I hear MJ Prithvi, MJ Pavithra, MJ Rakesh...  Surely, they are not siblings or share the same family name.

Ok, you tell me, MJ is not their family or father's name, but the acronym for Music Jockey or Disc jockey, as they are more popularly known.  Fine, but their profession is implied by what they are doing - anchoring radio shows.  Why keep telling they are MJ this or MJ that?  Their names are good enough to identify them without resorting to their profession, which is obvious.

I don't see Vice Presidents in companies going about telling they are VP this or VP that.   Sure, it can be in their visiting cards.  They may even mention their designation when they converse in groups where they are not known. 

But to self-profess your profession as an initial day-in day-out - that too on Radio - sounds too ego-centric to…

Registering credit card for online banking

I recently received a Credit Card from a reputed Bank, having succumbed to their sales pitch of 5% cashback, buy 1 get 1 movie ticket free and such offers.

I went to their website to register my card, so that I can check my transactions online.  I was impressed to see that I could register online by having my Card information handy - namely card number, expiry date and my date of birth.  I went into the registration screen and started entering the required information.   I filled the card number and moved on to the expiry date.  The expiry month and year and drop down boxes, where you chose a value.  The month was easy, but then I came to the year.  I had a choice from 2010 to 2016.  So what is the problem you will ask.  The problem was, my card expired in 2017!  How do I chose the correct year now?

I was stuck and emailed the Bank.  They were quick to send a regret email, but I could not help wondering how an international bank had a web application, which did not work for some of t…