Showing posts from March, 2014

Reading the Cobra

That caught your interest, right?  If you think, I am going to tell what you should do when you see a cobra and how you can get away from it, you are mistaken.

It was completely unplanned.  My colleague and I were returning from a meeting.  My colleague, a voracious reader could not resist stopping at Crossword and making a few impulse purchases.  The occasional reader that I am, I browsed the empty bookstore (by empty, I mean - no customers - just a few staff), looking for something interesting.  As usual, the Crossword Top 10 Fiction/Non-fiction was the place to start.  The new novel of Khaled Hosseini seemed interesting.

Anyway, as I walked to the back of the store, I chanced upon a few books lying around with marked-down prices.  The Cobra was one of them.  It was a hard-copy edition, which said Rs.299/- in the back, but Rs.99/- as the markdown price.  Considering that even the roadside guy ends up charging about Rs.100/- for the "pirated" books, this was a good deal! …

Zero balance account in a foreign bank? No kidding


I stared at the online transaction statement of my HSBC Savings account with dismay.  Oh man!  what now!   This was the first Bank account that I had opened after coming to Bangalore - salary account in my first company.  Subsequently, I got a credit card from the same Bank and used the standing instruction facility to pay the card on the due date.  I moved Companies and the Bank for salary account changed as well.  But I did not close the account since I continued to use the credit card.   Pretty much the transactions in the account was the occasional transfer of money to the account and the monthly payment of credit card amount.
I had received a communication a year or so back asking me to maintain some minimum balance.  I failed to do so once and ended up with the first line above.  I got it reverted quoting my loyalty and so on.  
What had happened now?  I thought I did have the minimum balance.  I search the website and went…

Android, gradle and sonar analysis - Part II

In the previous write-up, we saw how to get an android project building in jenkins using gradle build script.

Let us now delve into how to do a sonar(qube) analysis of the android project and have jenkins automate it. I don't want to get into why sonar analysis or for that matter, code quality management.  (That is a separate topic in itself - you can start with this).

Sonar provides an android plugin to analyze android projects.  The plugin uses android lint data as well as analyzes manifest and resource files.

Now sonar analysis itself can be done in many ways.  In many of our earlier projects, we had used sonar runner which is recommended as the default launcher.   This was mainly because we had multi-module multi-language projects.  We need to have the sonar-runner software (which is different from sonar) and create a file.

Anyway, this one was a pure android project and since I was using gradle, I wanted to see if I could use gradle to run sonar ana…

Android, gradle and sonar analysis - Part I

In this two-part write-up, I capture my experience setting up one of our android projects to use gradle to build as well as do sonar analysis.

With Android Studio, google is moving from ant to gradle to build android projects.  This being the case, I thought it was imperative to get our build working with gradle (as well).

To this extent, when we started a new android native project, I decided to set it up to use gradle, instead of ant, to build in our continuous integration tool jenkins.
Before trying to run in jenkins, it was important to get the build script running on our desktop. 
On my Windows desktop, I downloaded and "installed" (if unzipping can be called that) the latest version of gradle. (1.11 as I write this).  (Gradle needs java to be installed, but then fancy doing android development without java!) 
I added GRADLE_HOME environment variable as well as added GRADLE_HOME/bin to PATH.  If these are done right, you get the following:

gradle -v 

How to identify a pre-2005 fake 500 rupee note?

Ok, I don't have the answer and hence this post.

It was a Sunday morning - the second Sunday of the month.  Our milk supplier had come to collect the money for the previous month.  He was followed by the newspaper supplier.

I did not have change and gave him a Rs.500/-  The newspaper agent looked at the note for a few minutes and said, "Can you give me another note?"

"Why?" asked I.

"It is a fake".

"A fake?  How can it be fake?  I hardly do cash transactions and if at all I get any cash, it is from the ATM machine." thought I.

He showed me the back of the note and pointed to the absence of the year of printing.

"Yes, I see that.  That is because it was printed before 2005", said I, aware of the recent RBI directive to stop honouring pre-2005 notes.

He showed the note against the light and pointed out to the absence of watermark.   I did not know how to counter.

He said he will take the note, but return it to me, if there was &quo…

Scrapping of Direct Benefit Transfer scheme for LPG subsidy

Let us look at a few events or schemes in the recent past. The Direct Benefit Transfer scheme which used aadhaar data.  One of the popular places where this was used was LPG subsidy.A cap of subsidized LPG cylinders to 9 per household per year.  This was expected to save the Government thousands of crores.An attempt to curb illegal LPG connections (multiple connections per household, using domestic connections for commercial use), by linking the LPG subsidy through aadhaar.An attempt (at least, in Karnataka) to curb illegal LPG connections by linking LPG account with the electricity bill per household. What is common to all of the above?
All of them are scrapped.  By pretty much the same people who initiated the schemes.  
Why?   Was it because the schemes did not make sense?Was it because the schemes did not save money or curb illegal activities? No.  Then why? They were not populist.  They did not generate or nurture vote banks.They caused hardships to few (for instance, those who gen…