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Showing posts from April, 2012

Upgrading to Precise Pangolin

I booted up my home PC this morning to find an upgrade message - "A new version of ubuntu - 12.04 Precise Pangolin is available.  Would you like to upgrade?"  Like to?  I love to.  This is the second time I was upgrading ubuntu and it has been a breeze.
My broadband has been dead for more than a fortnight thanks to road digging and indifference of BSNL, despite innumerable complaints.  But what are wireless USB dongles for?  Reliance Netconnect+ works like a charm on Ubuntu.
The upgrade screen announced about 800MB of download required with around 1600 packages needing upgrade. The download happened in an hour (a shocker - perhaps wireless broadband is faster on weekends). It did take more than an hour for the upgrade - my desktop being a Pentium 4 1GB configuration.
Unlike the Oneiric Ocelot upgrade, which forced me to Unity desktop (GNOME no longer being supported), this one did not have any noticeable User Interface change.  But Banshee was gone and Rhythmbox in its plac…

Review: Codermetrics

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Codermetrics - Analytics for Improving Software teams by Jonathan Alexander (O'Reilly) is a book about metrics for software developers and software development teams.  It is not about software quality but about the contribution of each individual to the software and the product. 

The book is organized into three parts. 

Part I talks about the concepts. It outlines the purpose of the metrics and then talks about how important it is to get the right data.  It drills into the kind of data that is relevant to each individual - based on the project that he works in and his responsibilities.  The book then moves on to describe the various data that can be used for the metrics like productivity, speed, accuracy, breadth, helpfulness, innovation and initiative.

Part II is about the metrics themselves.  These are categorized as Skill Metrics, Response Metrics and Value Metrics.  Skill Metrics is in turn sub-categorized as Offensive, Defensive and Precision Metrics.

The last part is abou…

Gavaskar reveals true colors

I had the pleasure to watch Ajinkya Rahane, the new wonderkid of IPL T20, who scored a 100 in 60 balls for Rajastan Royals against RCB in Bangalore.  I could not help remembering what Gavaskar wrote in the Times of India on Ajinkya Rahane a few days back... This was after he scored a 98 and was out in the last over trying to score some quick runs.

He got a brilliant 98 in the previous match but was run out for a duck in the next game.It will,hopefully,teach him not to throw away a landmark when he is so near,just to show he is playing for his team. Getting a hundred in 70 balls is better than a 98 in 68,and it in no way hurts the team.He got out attempting a shot that he hadnt played earlier,only to perhaps show that he wasnt playing for himself. 
...
As long as his conscience is clear,that he has given it everything,he should not worry about anybody elses perceptions because these are seldom based on experience.


Gavaskar has been notorious for attaching importance to personal milestones…

Service tax hike

A few minutes back, I received an SMS from BSNL - my telephone bill was ready.  I could see it was Rs.10/- more than last month. I have a rental plan, which entitles me to about 500 minutes of free calls (to any landline in India) as well as 1.5 GB of internet.  I rarely exceed it and hence wondered about the additional Rs.10/-

I viewed the Bill online and saw that the additional cost was on account of service tax.  I realized that the Union Budget 2012-13 had been passed, which now comes with a higher service tax (from 10% to 12%) along with the existing 2% Education Cess and 1% Higher Education Cess on Service tax) - a total of 12.36% of tax.

This means, my Rs.500/- rental now incurred a Service Tax of Rs.61.80 from Rs.51.50 - an increase of exactly Rs.10.30

And for what do I owe the pleasure of increased Service tax?   In the last 6 months, our telephone line has died at least once in a fortnight - mostly thanks to digging by various utility services in the area around us.   Each…

So when was Mahavir Jayanti?

Like many other Indian religious festivals which are dependant on lunar calendar rather than Gregorian, Mahavir Jayanti also fell on two different days - based on which part of the country you are from - 4th of April in Bangalore and probably a few other places and 5th of April elsewhere in the country.

It could not have come at a worse time if you had to do some Bank transactions during this week. 2nd of April was a holiday on account of Account Closing. 6th April is a holiday due to Good Friday.  With Mahavir Jayanti sandwiched between the two and falling on different days in the country, you could count only on 3rd April (or wait for Sat, 7th April).

What with all the computerization, I am still surprised why a whole day is need to "close accounts".  That too, when the computers had a field day on 1st April, a Sunday.

I initiated an NEFT transfer on 3rd Apr, which got processed earlier today (5th Apr) - a delay, which I attribute to high volume of transactions on 3rd and…

An humble attempt to learn hindi

I cringe each time I listen to Radio JockeyPrithvi announce in Radio One about his program "Prithvi ko hindi kyun nahim aathi" - an humble attempt to learn hindi.

Why is it an humble attempt?  Is humble pronounced umble?  If not, why would you use an instead of a?  Should it not be a humble attempt?

Before he learns Hindi, I think he should first learn English!