On why the IT roadmap for Kerala is political eyewash

/Disclaimer: I am not any software company including Microsoft. I run linux on my laptop and i love free software!/

The new IT roadmap roadmap draft for Kerala has been released. Is this the road down to neverland for IT in Kerala?

Lets take a few of the salient points in the declaration

1) IT sector not to be exempted from strikes- IT sectors are cash rich and have higher margins compared to other industries. This declaration enables the trade union leaders to hold investors to ransom, demand higher money from them and grow mob violence with more funds.  Which start up would want to start in Kerala knowing that as it grows more, the more the trade union leaders are going to demand from them?  Then why this point int he declaration? Because that enables party cadres to make money and work harder for the party. What is the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid? -the huge vote bank.

2) Free software to be pushed- Sounds good. Looks to be in line with the leftist thinking of bridging the gap between the information rich and the poor. But, what if free software is made compulsory for companies working in IT parks? Now, thats bad. Its good to spread IT at the grassroots ( not that we dont have an abundance of friendly pirates who will give whichever program you ask for). Its good to spread awareness about FOSS and Linux, and have more people working on such systems. An unbelievably large number of people equate the image of a computer to Microsoft Windows. Even people who service computers see Microsoft was a gold standard for approving any software. (One of them even asked me whether the Mac OS X was Microsoft certified.. ha ha ).

It is not as if no one makes money in open source software. People do it not just for feeling part of the movement. They do it to increase their employability, and showcase their skills to the developer community. Someone has to profit someway for  a sustainable business model. IBM declared it was investing $ 1 billion in Java technologies. Why? Coz there would be more people to work on IBMs WebSphere Application server that is made on Java. It is an irony that the same people who swore against big corporates like IBM suddenly find themselves working for the same company. It is like giving free razors so that people will buy your razor blades. Companies should be free to use whichever software they want, be it free or paid. So nothing in particular is achieved by making it compulsory to use free software. Except may be fool a few more people and sway votes. Aha!

But there is one thing I love this government for, esp the chief minister VS Achuthanandan. For kicking the Microsoft arse by making it compulsory to use free software for educational purposes in schools in Kerala.

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How to speed up broadband connection on Windows XP

Here is a nice trick to make your broadband connection faster on Windows XP. Microsoft reserves 20% of your available bandwidth for their own purposes. This also affects your Broadband peformance. You can get back this 20% as follows:

 

Click Start–>Run–>type “gpedit.msc” without the inverted commas, of course.

This opens the group policy editor. Then go to:

Local Computer Policy–>Computer Configuration–>Administrative Templates–>Network–>QOS Packet Scheduler–>

Limit Reservable Bandwidth

Double click on Limit Reservable bandwidth. It will say it is not configured, but the truth is under the ‘Explain’ tab :

 

“By default, the Packet Scheduler limits the system to 20 percent of the bandwidth of a connection, but you can use this

setting to override the default.”

So the trick is to ENABLE reservable bandwidth, then set it to ZERO.

This will allow the system to reserve nothing, rather than the default 20%.

 

I dint find this out myself, found it while trawling the net for something else. I also forgot the URL where I found it. Sorry. Congrats to the man who did find out! I have a feeling he might be a disgruntled Microsoft employee;)

This worked for me.

Let me know how it works for you!

The rise and rise of Apple- now the iPhone

Microsoft launched the Zune to combat Apple’s iPod and take some market share away from them. Apple launches the iPhone- combining three devices into one, a widescreen iPod, a revolutionary phone and a internet browsing device, all on a beautiful handheld device.

Is there any sensible person around who would go and buy a Microsoft Zune now? The launch of the iPhone has more or less killed the Zune, which anyway was not very successful anyway. On top of that, the elegant looks of the iPhone constitute the epitaph on the Zune grave.

The king of software still sits in Redmond. Starting with axing the Internet Explorer using the Safari browser, apple is moving to greater heights in the software world. I love it when the guys in Cupertino do their ‘insanely great’ things. Great work Steve!

Here is a very good logical article on why the iPhone may or may not succeed.

Meeting up with Tux, the penguin!

Its been quite a long time. I have been wanting to kick out the windows XP professional out of my laptop and put in a linux build. Ubuntu sounds good. Dapper Drake 6.06, with three years long term support!! wow! this is awesome. I chance upon a book with the title ‘Ubuntu Linux for non-geeks’ by Rickford Grant. All my apprehensions get washed away when I read the first chapter of the book. Its written in a very readable style and without too much technical jargon.
Carefully back up all the data I have in piles of CDs and store them safely.
I slide in the installation CD and restart the machine to boot up from the live CD. It seems horribly slow, but then my laptop is 3 years old and out of its prime. But after some time the first screen flickers on just as told in the book. Great! I press ‘Forward’ and wait… and wait…I try starting from square one again… and wait… and wait…fall off to sleep and wake up and see… the system has still not budged. So much for the book for non-geeks!
Thankfully I meet my geeky cousin and he magnanimously agrees to help me out. A bit of a Gates admirer, he insists on a dual boot, but I wont have any of that. I know that if i’m gonna learn this system, its gonna have to be just one system on the disk. After all, necessity is the mother of invention.
As it turned out, just installing in safe mode did the trick. Installation was a breeze.
I absolutely love it when these guys have repositories all over the world and I can download whatever program they have available in their repostiories and with the right dependencies. Installation is easier than a windows system!

This is my first post powered by Tux!

Mr.R.E. Bullet Singh

The Royal Enfield Bullet- a legend in its own right. Its undergone some quantum innovation now. Any guesses- yeah you guessed it right, they fitted it with a electric start! The bullet has been one bike that has stood the test of time. The bullet is loved for the simplicity of its mechanics, the ride comfort and the feeling of nirvana that thump of the bullet gives. Any true bulleteer would willingly marry his mechanic if he can tune the bike to suit his taste. Bullets are the most preferred bikes of long distance bikers. This is partly because of the ease of repairing it, partly the ride comfort. This halo helps sell the bullet more also and the company carefully cultivates the user group by organizing himalayan trips, creating user communities etc. But mind you, on himalayan trips, a team of mechanics also travel with the bikes.

What about the rolling stone with wanderlust who buys a bullet. Its difficult to learn the mechanics of the bike. You don’t take the bike on too long a ride because you fear some part my give way and you do not know how to repair it. It’s so simple, your hardcore nuts and bolts bulleteer will say. But, what about the not so mechanically inclined riders? The mechanics exploit precisely the simplicity of repair to fleece the uninitiated. They charge a bomb for small stuff, that if known, could actually have been done by oneself. They say they need to rework the engine, when all that was required is to adjust the spark plug gap. In it’s endeavour to build the user base the Royal Enfield company in India should also hold classes for teaching avid bulleteers how to perform small repairs on their bike. Things like changing a clutch cable, tightening the brakes, identifying a fault etc. This will enable them to spread their wings wider and build a much more loyal user base.

Turning retail management principles on its head

Welcome to Saravana Stores, T-nagar, Chennai. Retail customer experienc- nil. Apathetic employees. Lowest prices- wonderful!. Retail footfall- well, its more like a stampede, chances are you will visit all the 7 floors (yes, its sprawled out on all 7 floors) because you have no option but to be pulled by the sea of people moving. Saravana stores seels stuff at unbelievably low prices, you get more discount than you would get at a wholesale outlet of the same brand. The business thrives on Volumes (with a capital ‘V’). They procure stuff in bulk at low prices ( talk about an order for a 500 televisions!) any manufacturer would set up a factory exclusively for the store and supply televisions to it. But, in case you are looking for some peculiar type of TV, sorry this is not the place. If you have size 11 feet, sorry sir, this is not your place. The store stocks only the fastest moving stuff that is in highest demand.

But are wonderful prices that great? For one, I don’t think I save much by shopping at Saravana stores. Firstly, I feel I buy more things than necessary only because I think this is cheaper than what I get outside. I lose money here. Secondly, the shopping experience is horrible with people pushing you around and no place to try on your clothes. There is no good salesman to attend to you. I would not mind paying a few extra bucks for better service. Getting onto that street itself is like being on a mumbai metro station in the evening. Shopping at this place is more like a adventure trip rather than a pleasurable shopping trip

Nice photo sites

Found some nice photosites on the net

http://www.nonphotography.com/streetphotography.html

This site is about street photography, a dying phenomenon. Guys, just take your camera out when you go and you could capture some nice moments. It doesn’t necessarily need to be dramatic pictures right from the start. Even I am to blame..I also do not carry my camera around too much these days

http://www.weeklyshot.org/

This is an invite only site. But if you know any users you can get an invite. Some really nice pictures are uploaded here