Payback Time!

Harshad Oak's this little article was quite thought-provoking. Beside highlighting the important point regarding over-hours slogg, a major point that got my attention and kept me thinking over the dinner and drive back home was his statements about India's "consumeristic" behaviour with regards to the Open-source usage.

Right from the days Indian media begin to spell "computer" and "software" correctly, Indian govt started to talk in terms of "open-surce software". This statement may hurt someone, but to me it seemed like using those abusive words in a language first even before you learn a new language (like my friend who only learned the word "patti" (meaning Dog) in Malayalam when he started learning the language ..and as you would have already guessed, used it first against his teacher...yeah me !). At first, it sounds like govt thinks and talks like the computer "geeks" do, but on contrary, as Terry Prachett rightly puts it, they only looks at free software as a way to save on hefty licensing fees (and that is probably the exact same reason they hate Microsoft).

I will write yet another post about my thoughts on what govt, educational institutions and software firms in India can do salvage some pride in this context.

Apart from all that, what is really disturbing is the "Consumerism" behaviour. Before I could crib about it, I did an introspection on myself. Even if you leave out the real-techy stuff like contribution towards "open-source", there are much simpler areas where we can make a small difference, like answering a beginers query in a tech forum. That counts as a contrinution to the internet too. I realized that I had googled for solutions starting from trivial API method lookup to even looking for specialized solutions on my own problem domain. More oftern than not, I was fortunate to hit exact answers or atleast the pointers to the right direction of thinking to solve these problems. Now, looking again at the way I contributed back...not much would sum upto a max of 0.000000x% of my consumeristic behaviour.

On this one time, I was crazy about contributing back (may be I wanted to have my name shown up on the search engines or to boast to my friends about this heroism) and had spent several hours answering questions posted on
experts-exchange forum. But, then that was it. I would have helped my friends solve some of their problems too on some instances in the office, but never bothered to document them either for anybody's good. On most of those days, I was working for this corporate who could afford to buy commercial software. Back then, I never had any real intimacy with the so called "open-source" community except that I had a notion about them as "geeks" (and had a good deal of respect for my friends who talked like "real programmers" ...the funniest part about this real programmer story is of them wearing hiking boots to work thinking...just in case a mountain pops-up in their workstation...they can be ready to give a

With my present company being into product development and with its tech-savvy work culture, they rely too much on the open-source softwares. Initially I thought these folks are just pretending to be like real programmers and felt little sad about them of not having the luxury to buy commercial software bundles and blame the vendors for any fault. But, gradually and very convincingly, my perception changed dramatically. I could see the benefits of open-source, everytime a problem surfaced and we wanted to customize it for our own needs. It was very clear that product companies and service companies operate on completely different tech awareness levels.

My recent craziness for quite some time has been blogging (of course during non-working hours ... yeah, non-earthly timings as you can see the timestamps on some of the posts). During the working hrs, the things I most love to do these days is to logon to our development community portal - wiki and jot down whatever I found out on that day. My friend U and folks from Munich are quite active in putting their contributions onto wiki as well. At the end of the day, it gives you a sense of being part of the community that contributes something back. Thanks to wiki, although the payack is not to the open world, atleast, it takes away some part of that guilty know what I mean !

When dreams come true!

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There are certain times when dreams truly comes true. And it comes so true that you feel amazed and stand still holding your breath for a while. Being a kid having a lot of love towards the nature, I have always had dreams about probably the msot beautiful places on earth. Of those, the the most desired picture in my mind was of this little valley somewhere on this universe whaving blue skies with goose-feather-like clouds, a plane with lush-green grass cover, with trees having lot of branches with yellow leaves, with many leaves on the ground covering some portion of the lush-green grass cover, with mild snow flakes making its way down, at the same time very much bright and sunny, with cool breeze flowing around, with children running around making only noice of laughter, a good old baroq music playing in the background from the nearby grill, where I sat down on one of the benches of the grill, enjoying every bite of buffallo wings with its sweat aroma floating in the fresh air.
The folk stories need your genie or god to appear to grand you these wishes to make them real. Here I was standing with my digicam seeing and experiencing this eternal beauty of nature...nature at its best for me...I would never want to wait or wish for anything more from God. I just wished I could stand there, watching that scene for ever in my life...I only wished if my eyes could absorb the scene in its entirety and keep recalling it whenever I close my eyes, wished if my ears can record the sound track and play it back when I close my eyes, wished my nostrils could immibe that sweat aroma and fill them in air when I close my eyes, wished my skin could remember the feeling of that cool breeze and bring it back when i close my eyes, wish my tastebuds could store in memory the taste of the buffallow wings and recall it when i close my eyes.
I did not have any better dream ever after and I don't think I will have any...ever !

...and the things that make you mad!

Last time I wrote about things that make you smile. This week I had several incidents that make you mad for no real reason of yours. I have seen it in one of the episodes of Apprentice (yeah, the Donald Trump Show) and “Kannadi” (an Asianet program) but in two different contexts. Both of them were cases of isolation of one individual or family by the team or the society. In “Apprentice” the guy finally ended up being the first to be fired by Trump. In Asianet, this family happened to be left in a state of dire distress by the society just for the reason that they were fortunate to be richer than the neighborhood community.

You probably have experienced this at least once in your life. Or if you are really sincere, may be in more than one occasion. Those are the moments when the teams you work with, or the friends you live with ditch you and keep you on spot, bombard you with the most disgusting arguments. The moments when you feel completely rejected and isolated. You feel so much for your stand that you know with all the might in the world that you are right in this context. Why on earth does this bunch of fellows cannot figure out what you are trying to convey? Is it that I am not communicating properly or it is just that these fellows are the dumbest idiots who have ever inhibited planet earth?

The situation could get quite subtle you might even feel sorry for the position some of these folks are holding. Just the kind of moments when you fell that the whole world is against you and God alone can help you come out victorious, winning over the opponents. It is true that life is not fair to some of the unfortunate folks around; somebody who is short, or dark or fatty or clumsy. The world blindly looks at their external appearance and completely ignores their capabilities and skills. The “equal opportunity employer” turns out to be just a fad for the fame.