.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 1 comments

My Feeds

Sunday, August 09, 2009 0 comments

My Fuze !!

Hi

Its been quite some time since i hve the Fuze.. My first smart fone.. However it hasnt got ne mention in my blog yet.. So here i am posting it now.. Y now? There is a reason .. Bcoz my fuze hasnt looked so good before.. Now it looks just fantabulous..






I knw its very iPhone-like .. But i does look damn good. And its so easy to use. All credit goes to MiToNiOeS.. coz he is the creator of the iPhoneToday (the theme that u see above). Apart from this theme, i have also installed Iconsoft PhoneEx and some other finger friendly nifty utilities that enhance the expreience a lot. The GPS is also working gr8.. Also Popcap has released pocketpc versions of my favourite games , namely Zuma, Chuzzle and MummyMaze so tht adds to the fun..

To sum up.. I love my Fuze.. But i think i m loadin it up a tad too much .. As of I have as much as four full-fledged today themes (the Default, TouchFlo 3D, Titanium and the IPhoneToday) that i can use and all seem to be really good.. Need to do a backup soon..
:) ..
Sunday, August 09, 2009 0 comments

Realise Love ..

Sometimes you love somebody ,
But you are not so sure about it..
You think its just a infactuation ..
You just dont care about it..
Suddenly you start feeling.
feeling you are missing something..
What you feel is inexpressible..
Its smthg u hve never felt before..
But then how does it matter now?
Its a bit too late..
Conceal it , Accept it and
yeah !! start living with it..
Its that easy or is it ???


My maiden publication :) ..
All rights reserved
Sunday, July 12, 2009 0 comments

Utilities ..

Hi,
This post has arisen out of my personal need and the subsequent frustation tht arises when i dont find those small little nifty utilities tht i use so often but yet end up downloading them again and again. The reason ?? may be because i m not organised a person .. or maybe because i switch os/do cleanups so often tht i end up deleting them. Whatever it is.. i knw many of u are in the same boat as me.. So i have come up with a workaround.. Rather than on my comp.. i m storing these small utilities on the web.. in my own space .. no zips.. no rars.. direct link to exe!! so when i need them , they are just 2 clicks away.. so i will keep adding them.. First to be added is the one tht i use most these days.. ne guesses? Yes its hjsplit !! You can find the exe at this link.

I might add some portable softwares also. I will post if and when i do so..
Saturday, June 20, 2009 3 comments

A jump to remember !!!

It was the end of just another day @ office. The clock was just nearing six! ASC (social club) was just bout to open . Vinay was supposed to be there and he was .. as usually chit-chatting on his N79. He seemed to have ended his talk early after seeing me.. It had been a while since i had played TT.. so went into the TT room for a game or two... But as luck would have had it.. there were no balls.. err.. TT balls.. I had seen a ball in the dustbin at the door but was obviously sure tht it had to be defective .. Vinay , being the "never be sure before you try all possibilities" guy, also saw the ball and picked it up , to find ,to my surprise , tht it was surely playable with. We played a few knocks, but vinay decided to hit a smasher which didnt do much good for the ball . So we were again left w/o a ball. Only solution seemed to find one at the mysterious open area just above the entrance. I m not sure why it's situated there but surely turns out to be of great help in a situation like ours. So i, being the more athletic of the two (or so i thought) readily agreed to do the fetching. I had climbed there earlier but now the position of the cupboard next to the door was changed making it much more difficult to accomplish the deed. But determined i was to play TT tht day. Nothing could stop me tht day. W/o second thoughts on how wud i get down, i took the chair's help to get onto the cupboard , then over the discarded and wobbling TT table, somewht held in place by vinay , then over the gate again held steadily by vinay using his other hand and finally using my strong arms to get to the area.
Half job done. and sure enuf i found 2 good balls out there. Next job was to get down. I m sure it was bout 12 feet high but from up there ..didnt seem tht high.. I thought of going down the same way but somehow i thought i did let gravity do the work. I consulted vinay and in the most calmest voice possible he did tell me once not to jump.. I looked again.. It didnt seem high.. I consulted again .. Before he could reply ..i told him i was jumping.. i had made up my mind.. I was ready to take the plunge.. and so i did.. After bout 3/4th way down i had realised "Shit! this is high!!! M screwed! " I landed prefectly (an vinay describes) on both my feet but somehow mysteriously bounced off the ground , the impact making my spectacles go for a toss... In two mins i was back up.. gathered the remnants of my specs .. only to realise my heels were aching like hell.. I looked up and now it seemed damn so high ... The idea of TT was dropped :( and i left for home in my car instantly ...

It was only the next day i went to the doc .My heels were bruised and m advised a week's rest.. but I m recovering well.. and Hoping to be back to office on Monday..
Friday, May 15, 2009 1 comments

Life@Cyprus

Its been more than 8 months since I last posted. This post was long due. I have always wanted to post but for some or the other reason (lethargy being the prime culprit) , I couldnt. A lot has changed in these 8 months, the most visible change being tht now I am in Cyprus., working for a reputed company and life has never been more comfortable. The place is great , nice weather , great beaches (situated just a stone's throw away), no pollution , have a personal car and yes a good job too.

It been almost 7 months here. Time has flown so fast. But then there were so many things I have done. Here's a gist :
came to cyprus..... BANG!!!! banged the rental car on its second rental day…. found a good house after a month's hard work .. Danced to my heart's content at the navratri/dandiya celebration at Amdocs(my best moment as yet in Cyprus) …. bought a car .. the fiasco at summer end party... late night journeys to Troodos mountains (even though we had been to troodos thrice, had no clue how it looked !!)... car breaks failed and used SpeedFire (the car pickup service) .. Friday night get togethers at Pradeeps .. Tennis ball cricket on Saturdays .. Dance rehearsals and finally the dance at the Charity function … Played for amdocs in the practice matches at the Happy Valley and scored “a golden duck” and “a second ball duck” in my first two innings .. Enjoyed my first snowfall at Troodos … Ski-ied on the dangerous Troodos mountain slopes albeit with no training … had an insane attachment to the Ninja Sigma PS3 game (sometimes dreamt bout it too ) and successfully crossed all the levels in the game (with a friend's help) only to restart the game at a higher difficulty level … watched one of my very good friend (also my roommate) being fired and then leave for India .. found a second house and had a bad time shifting all the stuff …. Force convinced a friend to come ski eventually leading to his leg bone fracture (still walks using crutches :( ) .. got my first smartfone (HTC Fuze)... Fooled around with GPS capabilities of my fone and flashed it n times (technical noobs, dont bother).. Watched my roommate bang his car into our common friend's car (hilarious!!!) .. Watched another of my close friend repatriate to India .. went to the eastern most tip of Cyprus and saw the most beautiful beach … Drove my car for 170 kms straight eventually leading to an overheated car and time for Speedfire again … finally found time to write this post..

Phew!! And these are just the milestones!! I have not even touched upon the mundane activites … Like the vegetable shopping at the Saturday Market .. Bowling at Galactica .. Dinners at Raj Tandoor/Pine Tree/Indian Masala/Pizza Hut/Mc Di …But then these arent tht intersting as the previous ones, so chuck it...

Thts it for now.. expecting more interesting things to happen and hopefully I will write on more interesitng topics in future..

P.S. : I may have forgotten some imp things in the gist..do lemme knw ..

P.S.S : I knw u must have already noticed but have only mentioned Pradeeps name in the post. Reason being am sure he will be least concerned bout it and he will surely feel a lot nicer when he realises tht now he is on the World Wide Web :) ..
Wednesday, September 03, 2008 0 comments

Keep the Spark

Inaugural Speech for the new batch at the Symbiosis BBA program 2008

© Chetan Bhagat

Good Morning everyone and thank you for giving me this chance to speak to you. This day is about you. You, who have come to this college, leaving the comfort of your homes (or in some cases discomfort), to become something in your life. I am sure you are excited. There are few days in human life when one is truly elated. The first day in college is one of them. When you were getting ready today, you felt a tingling in your stomach. What would the auditorium be like, what would the teachers be like, who are my new classmates - there is so much to be curious about. I call this excitement, the spark within you that makes you feel truly alive today. Today I am going to talk about keeping the spark shining. Or to put it another way, how to be happy most, if not all the time.

Where do these sparks start? I think we are born with them. My 3-year old twin boys have a million sparks. A little Spiderman toy can make them jump on the bed. They get thrills from creaky swings in the park. A story from daddy gets them excited. They do a daily countdown for birthday party – several months in advance – just for the day they will cut their own birthday cake.

I see students like you, and I still see some sparks. But when I see older people, the spark is difficult to find. That means as we age, the spark fades. People whose spark has faded too much are dull, dejected, aimless and bitter. Remember Kareena in the first half of Jab We Met vs the second half? That is what happens when the spark is lost. So how to save the spark?

Imagine the spark to be a lamp’s flame. The first aspect is nurturing - to give your spark the fuel, continuously. The second is to guard against storms.

To nurture, always have goals. It is human nature to strive, improve and achieve full potential. In fact, that is success. It is what is possible for you. It isn’t any external measure - a certain cost to company pay package, a particular car or house.

Most of us are from middle class families. To us, having material landmarks is success and rightly so. When you have grown up where money constraints force everyday choices, financial freedom is a big achievement.

But it isn’t the purpose of life. If that was the case, Mr Ambani would not show up for work. Shah Rukh Khan would stay at home and not dance anymore. Steve Jobs won’t be working hard to make a better iPhone, as he sold Pixar for billions of dollars already. Why do they do it? What makes them come to work everyday?

They do it because it makes them happy. They do it because it makes them feel alive. Just getting better from current levels feels good. If you study hard, you can improve your rank. If you make an effort to interact with people, you will do better in interviews. If you practice, your cricket will get better. You may also know that you cannot become Tendulkar, yet. But you can get to the next level. Striving for that next level is important.

Nature designed with a random set of genes and circumstances in which we were born. To be happy, we have to accept it and make the most of nature’s design. Are you? Goals will help you do that.

I must add, don’t just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced, successful life. I use the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order.

There is no point of getting a promotion on the day of your breakup. There is no fun in driving a car if your back hurts. Shopping is not enjoyable if your mind is full of tensions.

You must have read some quotes - Life is a tough race, it is a marathon or whatever. No, from what I have seen so far, life is one of those races in nursery school. Where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first. Same with life, where health and relationships are the marble. Your striving is only worth it if there is harmony in your life. Else, you may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.

One last thing about nurturing the spark - don’t take life seriously. One of my yoga teachers used to make students laugh during classes. One student asked him if these jokes would take away something from the yoga practice. The teacher said - don’t be serious, be sincere. This quote has defined my work ever since. Whether its my writing, my job, my relationships or any of my goals. I get thousands of opinions on my writing everyday. There is heaps of praise, there is intense criticism. If I take it all seriously, how will I write? Or rather, how will I live? Life is not to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here. We are like a pre-paid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worked up? It’s ok, bunk a few classes, goof up a few interviews, fall in love. We are people, not programmed devices.

I’ve told you three things - reasonable goals, balance and not taking it too seriously that will nurture the spark. However, there are four storms in life that will threaten to completely put out the flame. These must be guarded against. These are disappointment, frustration, unfairness and loneliness of purpose.

Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you.

But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember - if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be.

Disappointment’s cousin is frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release.

Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts , having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life - friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.

Unfairness - this is hardest to deal with, but unfortunately that is how our country works. People with connections, rich dads, beautiful faces, pedigree find it easier to make it – not just in Bollywood, but everywhere. And sometimes it is just plain luck. There are so few opportunities in India, so many stars need to be aligned for you to make it happen. Merit and hard work is not always linked to achievement in the short term, but the long term correlation is high, and ultimately things do work out. But realize, there will be some people luckier than you.

In fact, to have an opportunity to go to college and understand this speech in English means you are pretty darn lucky by Indian standards. Let’s be grateful for what we have and get the strength to accept what we don’t. I have so much love from my readers that other writers cannot even imagine it. However, I don’t get literary praise. It’s ok. I don’t look like Aishwarya Rai, but I have two boys who I think are more beautiful than her. It’s ok. Don’t let unfairness kill your spark.

Finally, the last point that can kill your spark is isolation. As you grow older you will realize you are unique. When you are little, all kids want Ice cream and Spiderman. As you grow older to college, you still are a lot like your friends. But ten years later and you realize you are unique. What you want, what you believe in, what makes you feel, may be different from even the people closest to you. This can create conflict as your goals may not match with others. . And you may drop some of them. Basketball captains in college invariably stop playing basketball by the time they have their second child. They give up something that meant so much to them. They do it for their family. But in doing that, the spark dies. Never, ever make that compromise. Love yourself first, and then others.

There you go. I’ve told you the four thunderstorms - disappointment, frustration, unfairness and isolation. You cannot avoid them, as like the monsoon they will come into your life at regular intervals. You just need to keep the raincoat handy to not let the spark die.

I welcome you again to the most wonderful years of your life. If someone gave me the choice to go back in time, I will surely choose college. But I also hope that ten years later as well, you eyes will shine the same way as they do today. That you will Keep the Spark alive, not only through college, but through the next 2,500 weekends. And I hope not just you, but my whole country will keep that spark alive, as we really need it now more than any moment in history. And there is something cool about saying - I come from the land of a billion sparks.

Thank You.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 0 comments

Cheap calls to India

For people looking to call to India at cheap rates, defintely have a look at the following blog http://freepctophonecalls.blogspot.com/ . Especially try the rebtel.com one. Its a bit complex to understand but once u hve understood its easy enuf. Also try the vouchers listed.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008 2 comments

Cleared SCJP 1.5 with 91%

Finally gave the exam.. Having had planned to give the test several times before, finally i managed to take the date.. and give the test today ... and Voila !!! cleared with 91 % (65 q out of 72 correct ) . All thanx to two people kathy Sierra and Bert Bates for coming up with such a brilliant SCJP prep book. I wud neone who is giving the test and others who arent giving also to read it... The concepts are explained brilliantly with humor interspersed which prevents u frm getting bored. A must read for every SCJP aspirant.

And now comin to the main part. Apart frm the mentioned book, make sure u read the dumps tht are roaming around every where on the net. I've listed two documents tht r again, well a must read. Around 50% of my questions in the real exam were from these dumps. So u can very well imagine how important these qs are. But read them only after reading the book prperly. Just reading these dumps w/o understandin wont get u far. But remember these dumps are for exam 310-055. So use them accordingly.


scjp5_dump.doc

Feel free to ask queries or if u hve doubts in ne Qs.
Saturday, July 19, 2008 0 comments

Amazing Pic!

One of my very first and very few pics taken in school .. this one is taken when i was in KG clas.. Cant resist putting this up.. i look so innocent and yeah so confused.. try to figurs out where m i!


Thursday, July 17, 2008 1 comments

Cracking ThoughtWorks

Hi,
On popular demand, I'm back to blogging ;) ... and with something tht i m sure will be of help to all the aspirants of ThoughtWorks (hereon mentioned as TW).... Hving been rejected twice, Hve got a good feel of how the process is and wat is expected of the candidate.. however although the title suggests otherwise, there is no perfect way of cracking TW .. (otherwise y wudnt i be there!!) ... So accordingly dont expect to get into TW by following this article... This will just help u to get as close to getting selected as possible (and then getting rejected ... :) ... lol ) ....

Will just brief wid the process :
1> Starts wid the aptitude
2> Code Review
3> Code pairing
4> HR+Technical Interview

Of the 4, the first is the easiest to clear , closely followed by code pairing. Code review and interviews shud require most of ur attention and effort.
So wat to expect in code review?? In this, u'll be sent 2-3 problems by mail of which u need to code one in ur choice of language and send them back within app. 3-4 days. I wont be able to disclose the problems as tht wud be unethical (i knw i hve used it wrongly !!) but if ne of hve participated in GCJ (for those who donot know Wat GCJ is ..... try to find out ....) , then u r definitely on the rite track. Others try to register for GCJ and see the practice problems . TW problems are more or less on the same lines (P.S. : i've used the code written for TW to solve one of the practice problems in GCJ) (Wat did people do when paranthesis werent invented!!! ) ... However there's more to Code Review than just coding... TW expects u to do Good Programming rather than mere coding... Which implies using OOP concepts like Inheritance, Polimorphism, Encapsulation, etc not just for the heck of it but to make ur code more robust, flexible and reusable!! (Dont worry u'll learn to use these concepts in ur programming.. but u 'll have to make a concious effort to shift ur mindset from POP to OOP) ... Also a bit of testing knowledge helps... Coz u mite be expected to write testcases for ur program ... again using ne framework of ur choice .. (I had used JUnit fr Java) .... Finally and mostly importantly, Write it on your own... U can take some help from online sources or ur friends to understand the problem or even bout some concepts but as far as possible write it yourself... If not in the code review , u 'll defnitely be dumped in the code pairing... coz u need to implement an addon to the problem then and there ...
Next Code Pairing... Very innovative and intersting activity... For MU students , we are used to it ... Its similar to coding in pairs as we used to do in pracs ... However wid a more professional touch... The reason to use code pairing is to reduce errors and thereby facilitate quick development... W/o getting into intricate details of wat it is, we did rather concetrate on wat u need to know or rather do. Firstly, Dont be nervous... Ur pair wud be a quite jolly person (since he wud be a THoughtWorker . ... ... ... . :) ....... Can i join on Monday? Is the TW HR listening? ) . So be relaxed... NExt and most important communicate wat is going in ur head ... As in if u need to implement an HashSet or ArrayList and are a bit confused then let him know . (Do Not try this @ home ).. Like " A Hashset wont allow me to add duplicates .. however arraylist will and i can refernce elemts quickly in arraylist.. This problem requires.... blah blah ". The benefit of this is tht u make him realize tht ur concepts are clear regardin Collections ... Also he mite be able to help u out if u get stuck.. since he wud know wat was goin thru ur head!!! So speak up... But again not for the heck of it (Bcoz some damn stupid blogger told u !!! ) wat u say shud also make sense!! Otherwise u are better off keeping quiet!! ... Lastly if he tells u to implement an addon to the problem, first discuss n clarify watever doubts u hve... then tell him wat ur POA is... then start programming (not coding)... with periodically letting him know of wat u r doing! (Time for a secret : My pair was so impressed wid me . he let him thru w/o even programming the addon!) ... Once u follow these guidelines be rest assyred u r sure to clear the code review **
** Subject to Terms and Conditions

Lastly the interview ... Cant help u a lot in this ... But again can give some tips ... Dont expect a routine "siitng on the other side of the desk" interview.. Its an actual interview... A whiteboard interview to use sophisticated terms ... So be prepared for it... Goin into a TW technical interview w/o reading DS properly and properly (ya no mistakes here .. used twice for more effect! ) is suicidal ... So dont attempt it... Next read bout the design patterns (important ones ) (Book update : Head First Design Patterns) ... also bit of Aspect Oriented Programming .. SQL ... OS COncepts (Concurrency) (was asked the dining philosophers problem! No its not easy! ) .. (A bit of caution : TW interviews can be really long! Mine was bout 100+ mins .. i ve heard of some crossing the 150 mark!! ) And last and Most immportly read :
PROGRAMMING INTERVIEWS EXPOSED : SECRETS TO LANDING YOUR NEXT JOB
Dont read this and u r in for the worst!

Hope this wud help ... Comments and queries welcome!
Sunday, May 04, 2008 0 comments

Useful Softwares



Hi,


This time im gonna list some softwares tht have been my favourite over the years and it will be so not good if if i didnt mention them to u..
I hope u find them useful too....


1> One tht tops the list is Unlocker! (For download for XP users)

Ever had such an annoying message given by Windows?
Then Unlocker is the solution..
For more info, goto http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/

2> Second best is Open Command Prompt Here Powertoy for XP. (Must install for Java Developers)
This PowerToy adds an "Open Command Window Here" context menu option on file system folders, giving you a quick way to open a command window (cmd.exe) pointing at the selected folder.
Download : http://download.microsoft.com/download/whistler/Install/2/WXP/EN-US/CmdHerePowertoySetup.exe

3> Next is Image Resizer PowerToy for XP
This PowerToy enables you to resize one or many image files with a right-click.
Download : http://download.microsoft.com/download/whistler/Install/2/WXP/EN-US/ImageResizerPowertoySetup.exe

4> Google Desktop (Must install for XP users tht search their computers for files a lot)
Google Desktop makes searching your computer as easy as searching the web with Google. It's a desktop search application that provides full text search over your email, files, music, photos, chats, Gmail, web pages that you've viewed, and more. By making your computer searchable, Desktop puts your information easily within your reach and frees you from having to manually organize your files, emails and bookmarks

Google Desktop doesn't just help you search your computer; it also helps you gather new information from the web and stay organized with gadgets and sidebar. Google Gadgets can be placed anywhere on your desktop to show you new email, weather, photos, personalized news, and more. Sidebar is a vertical bar on your desktop that helps you keep your gadgets organized.

For more info : http://desktop.google.com/index.html
More to follow...
Tuesday, April 01, 2008 2 comments

My Experiences @ ThoughtWorks --- Part 1

I waited all day long!! Waited all nite... Through the train journeys ... Through the lectures... Sometimes getting impatient ... sometimes nervous... other times excited ... and some others curious... But deep within was afraid ... having faced a series of rejections this season... Lots of things going thru ma mind.. Somehow got thru the day... But eventually got tired waiting and then got to one of ma favourite passtime .. 'Sleeping'... @ around 5 pm, "Dus Bahane karke le gayee Dil" my phone rang all guns blazing .... All excited i got up just to find a friend at te other end... @ 6 again.. "Dus Bahane karke le gayee Dil" This time with not so much eagerness i answered the call , but to find the HR of ThoughtWOrks, Mr.Mayank at the other end. I got up instantly. He started
" Puneet, We are done with the collaborative discussion and we have come up with the result. U had mentioned earlier ur interview didne go all that well. And i had said that your previous rounds had gone good and we have to take that under consideration while deciding about u. So we had a discussion and the people who took ur technical interview gave theis views. I'm sorry to say tht i guess ur technical interview proved to be a great hinderance in ur selection process. And this time u r not selected. "
My hopes were thrashed . It brought memories of 6 months back, the same news was given although at a different place and by a different person. I had by then almost stopped listening to him, bt remember a bit of rest of the conversation. He continued."Having said tht, Ur code review was really good. and the person who paired with u (Amit swami) had given a positive feedback. The HR people had also given a decent feedback. I'll be mailing u these feedbacks so tht u can hve a look at it. in 2-3 days time."
I dont remember myself saying any thing more than "OK" in between his lines. But frankly speaking after Saturday, i had anticipated it. The tech interview was nothing more than "average" at best. Was a bit sad but this diappointent didnt last for long... I had so many positives to take out from the process... When i think of them.. I really think even getting rejected was worth it. :D .. The place was gr8.. The people were welcoming.. Everyone who i had interacted with.. Mayank, Steve (twice now), Atul, Manav, Amit to name a few. All and all was a good , memorable experience.. Details of the interviews will be posted soon..
Monday, March 17, 2008 0 comments

Give Gambhir a chance!!!!!! #$^@*

The headline shouts "Gambhir fails to make the cut in Test squad". The discussion is about to start. The Sports Primetime section has an issue to discuss. What does it require to get into the Indian Test Squad. Experience? Form? Performance? I guess it requires something more than tht. Coz the 26 year old Gautam Gambhir not just had those qualities , had those in plentiful. With an experience of 14 tests and round bout 50 odis, is in sparkling form having scored 440 runs in the CB Series at an astounding avg of 55 and a good first class season last time. Still he missed the bus. Compare this with the stylish Yuvraj's . In the Border Gavaskar Trophy he managed 17 runs in 2 test matches(avg 4.25) and in the Cb series, 202 runs (avg 22). And he's not looking any better with just managing to scrap through the fitness test. Same is the case with Wasim Jaffer, who was in the same league as Yuvraj having made 49 tuns in 3 matches at an avg of 8.16. But i guess his stars were well placed (this is only reason i can think of) that he mad it into the squad.
I seriously think he deserved better treatment from the selectors. The selectors hve surely messed up by giving Wasim or Yuvi for that matter yet yet another chance.
Monday, March 03, 2008 0 comments

Cricket --> Robin fit for opening?

So the CB Series is bout to reach its climax after a month long duration. And i hope it ends where it started,"The Gabba, Brisbane". But for that, some thought process needs to go in.. With Ishant Sharma doubtful for the match, it will be all the more difficult for the Indian team to write history..
The first thing that needs to be sorted out is the opening slot. I certainly dont think Robin Uthappa has the technique or the temparament to be a good opener (at least as of now). So that leaves either Gautam Gambhir or inclusion of Virender Sehwag. Sehwag's last two innings at the Gabba yielded a 33 (off 37 balls) and a meagre 6 (off 8 balls), but he surely showed signs of promise in the former innings. Also a 7 batsman-4 bowler side looks like a more balanced one, with Yuvraj Singh coming good with the ball. Robin should drop down to his usual No.7 position (definitely not No.8) with the bowling brigade lead by Ishant (Sreesanth in case Ishant is unfit), Praveen, Bhajji and Pathan.
P.S. : I sincerely hope Dhoni doesnt mess with the batting order and send Pathan up the order or even make him open the batting.
Monday, March 03, 2008 0 comments

Cricket Simplified --> Duckworth-Lewis System

The Duckworth/Lewis system was invented by two statisticians, Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis in an attempt to solve the perennial problem of creating a fair target for the side batting second in a limited-overs match shortened by the weather.
At its simplest, the problem is this. If the side batting first in a 50-over match makes 250 runs, the target for the side batting second is 250 to tie, 251 to win. Their average run-rate must therefore exceed 5 per over if they are to win in a full 50 overs. But if rain or bad light stops further play after only 20 overs, during which the second side score 101 runs, then comparing average run-rates would make the second side the winner. But if they had lost nine wickets in gaining those 101 runs, then few would give much for their chances in an uninterrupted 50 overs. So the old average-run rate system gave an unfair advantage to the side batting second if the number of overs was reduced. They could blaze away without worrying too much about losing wickets. Other variants were tried, such as basing the target on the best overs of the side batting first, but this was unfair to the side batting second.
Enter Messrs Duckworth and Lewis, who studied the performances in a great number of limited overs matches, and concluded that the factor to take into account was what they called the "resources" available to each side. The resources depend on the number of wickets lost and the number of balls remaining to be bowled.
So at the start of a 50-over innings, the batting side have
100% of their resources available. With 40 overs remaining, the resources would be 90.3% if no wickets had been lost, down to 7.6% if 9 wickets had fallen, as shown in the table below. The full Duckworth/Lewis tables go down to the resources available after each individual ball has been bowled, but for purposes of explanation we will stick to units of 10 complete overs here.
With 30 overs remaining, the table gives 77.1% of resources remaining if no wickets have been lost (in other words, on average the team would be expected to make 77.1% of their total score in the remaing overs), down to 7.6% again if nine wickets have fallen. So our team chasing 250, having scored 101 after 20 overs when rain stops play would lose 77.1% of their potential resources to rain if no wickets had fallen, leaving them with 100% - 77.1% = 22.9% resources used.So they should be expected to have scored 22.9% of the first innings score, and their target to tie the match would be 22.9% of 250, which is 57.25 rounded down to 57 to tie, and hence 58 to win. So 101 for no wicket after 20 overs would be a winning score. But if they had lost 4 wickets then their resources lost would be 54.9%, and their resources used would be 45.1%. So the target to tie the match would be 45.1% of 250 = 112.75, rounded down to 112. So 101 for four wickets or more down would be a losing score.
If only things, and the weather were that simple. Either innings could be interrupted, possibly several times, or cut short.But the Duckworth/Lewis system can cope with anything the weather can throw at a game.
If the game starts late and is reduced in overs, or if it was only scheduled to be of less than 50 overs in the first place, then each side has their resources available reduced by the appropriate amount. So a 40-over match starts with each side being reduced to 90.3% resources, so having lost 9.7%. If there is an interruption with 30 overs remaining, as a result of which the match is reduced by ten overs, then if four wickets had been lost, the resources available would drop from 54.9% to 46.1%, a loss of 8.8%. All the losses in an innings are totalled and then subtracted from 100% to find the resources available for that innings.
If the resources are the same for both sides, then no calculations are necessary, and the side with the highest score wins.
If the side batting first had more resources (R1) available than the side batting second (R2), the the target to tie the match is calculated as the first innings score multiplied by (R1/R2) rounded down.
If the side batting first had less resources (R1) available than the side batting second (R2) then the target is the first innings score plus the difference between the resources divided by 100 and multiplied by the typical score in a 50 over match (normally 235, but could be different - it was 190 in the 1997 ICC Trophy). So if the first side scored 150, and had resources available of 60%, and the second team had resources available of 70% when the innings finished, then the target to tie would be 150 plus (10/100)*235 = 173.5, rounded down to 173.
So the apparently unfair position can arise where if the first innings is truncated by rain after 40 overs with six wickets lost, then resources lost would be 24.6, resources available would be 75.4. The second side might start with 40 overs to play, no wickets lost, and so have 90.3% resources remaining, more than 75.4% so their target to tie would be 235*14.9/100 rounded down = 35 more than the first innings total, even though both sides would have to face 40 overs. The discrepancy would be because the first side would have been pacing themselves for 50 overs, and the second would have known from the beginning of their innings that they would only have to face 40 overs.
One final detail is that if the side bowling first take more than their allotted time to bowl their quota of overs, then they may be penalised by having overs deducted when their turn to bat arrives. The Duckworth/Lewis system compensates for this this by treating it as a reduction in the resources available for the first side as if they had been deprived of that many overs.
To avoid the spectacle of the batsmen meeting in mid-wicket and consulting Duckworth/Lewis tables and pocket calculators between every over, the scorers generally do the calculations at the end of each over and display the difference between the runs achieved and the score needed to tie if the match were to be finished at the end of the over as a plus or minus figure on the scoreboard (or sometimes just the target), so all can see whether they are ahead of or behind the target.




Wednesday, February 20, 2008 0 comments
Hi,
Had my Gd/Pi on 18th...

Must say very Well Organised! However my Interviewers were reeeeeaaaaalllly slow! my PI got over an half after any other group.

The process went like this:
1> Go to 905 and deposit the SOP and work exp. certi. U'll get ur group no and appln form no.
2> Wait in 902
3> Vice Chancellor willl come and give a brief speech... Nice speech ..
4> Groups will be called for GD
5> GD will take place. My GD started at around 10.10 am
6> Then u'll go back to 902 and they will call people for PI.

The GD as stated earlier had 2 mins of thinking time followed by 18 mins of discussion.
We were given 2 topics :
1> Smart Work and Success
2> Examinations and Education

Everyone voted for the second topic
GROUP NO .4
ROOM No.705

After the two mins were over, Everyone jumped in to start.. I waited :) ... Start was that there are three diff levels of education ... primary.. secondary... graduation... post grad.. They discussed about the curriculum being too theoretical and needs to have much more practical aspect to it... i kept seconding the views for the first 5 mins. Got cut the first 3 times i tried to say... But kept trying never the less.. (Was the only fresher in the group) Everyone around 10.15 were concentrating on how examinations test the rote power of a student ,etc. I then put in a point that Its not only exams but more importantly the evaluation of exams is also faulty. Eg: During the primary level, Evaluators cut marks for grammatical mistakes even in subjects like History,Geography.. Instead they shud look at the content of the answer... Everyone took notice :).... Waited for another two three mins ... Then when the discussion was getting boring .. Said that the Evaluation shud be percentile based and not percentage based.. SO it gives the performance of a student w.r.t his batch... So 10 yrs down the lane my marks might be less as comapared to the standard then but my percentile will come to my rescue... Around that time the warning bell rang ... SO one person (with Batch no 4)i guess panicked and started concluding abruptly (with still 5 mins to go).. Dont know whether i dd the right thing or know.. but told him that there is still enough time for us to discuss a few more points.. He agreed (or did he? Who cares!!! I had to make a point so i contiinued.. :D).. .Then I decided to put the blame on exams ... Exams are too predictive and this nature allows Coacing classes and students to crack the exam easily.. ALso inspires rote learning ... So like CAT exams shud have a dynamic nature.. their pattern shud keep on changing ... Some one then summarised very effectively... He had jot down points that were discussed and must say he didnt miss any.. Was a very good summary...


All and all it was a very good GD. nO fish market at all... And my contribution was satisfactory enuf..

Then came PI
PI was a breeze.. Was the last person to have my PI in the morning batch.. My turn came at 1.27 pm (3 longs hrs of waiting Phew!!). The interviewers were reallly friendly and sweet.. Consisted of two people (1 ma'am and 1 sir.. didnt ask their names .. shud have though). They asked me general qs.

Started off wid "hws engg going?"
then "what u do in ur spare time?"
then " what u aim for?"
then "difference betwn Bussiness Analyst and Consultant ? (puys! i need u all to ansswer this for me) "
then "Got placed? where? "
then "One thing u'll remember bout Jai Hind (my junior col)"
thats it i guess
It went on for about 10-12 mins

They asked me whether i had ne qs to ask?
I said "yes" and asked "HOws my SOP ?" (wat was wrong wid me? Guess the wait took its toll on me)
Ma'am said spontaneously "Too Long"
But sir was diplomatic and said "We are not here to get judgemental and stuff (didnt really understand.. but still gave a smile,....)

Overall good one ..

Comments Welcome....


Tuesday, October 09, 2007 1 comments

Hi

I have been thinking to start blogging but dont know why havent been able to get myself to sit down and write one.. But today finally i'm writing one.. and hopefully will continue to write at regular intervals if not daily..

Since its my first blog, i'll write on something that interests me more than anting else.. And that is Computers!!! I've fascinated by this machine no ends since my early days and havent been able to stay away from it. And how could i? There's so much to do with it.. Music , Surf, Download, Chat, Post, Help, Socialize and now Blog!

I try to keep myself updated with the new developments in the Software Industry, and the most recent development that has caught my attention is Virtualization. Ya, many must have heard that word before and must be knowing bout it also but for those who havent i'll explain it a bit...

Virtualization is synonymous to Virtual OS and allows an OS to be run under a diiferent OS. In other words, U can run the OS like u run other programs. The Original OS of ur system is termed as Base OS and the OS which is run under the Base OS is termed as Virtual OS. The Virtual OS uses a portion of the Main Memory, Hard Disk and other resources of the Base OS.

So where can this technology be used? Currently, This technology is proimarily used by developers who need to test their s/w under diiferent OS. So this comes in very handy then.
Students can use this if they need to learn new OS like the Unix Shell. And enthusiasts like me use this to try out newer versions of OSes.

Now the immediate question is How do u start using a Virtual OS. I would prefer u use Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (if u prefer to load a Windows based Virtual OS). If u want to load Linux as the Virtual OS, then u shud try VMWare Workstation. Both are downloadable from their respective sites. The former is free , while u wud be able to download only a trial version of the later (;)).
Microsoft Virtual PC is very simple to use and shudnt take u more than five minutes to get used to it.

Sunday, July 08, 2007 20 comments

Fresher's Guide To Amdocs

Hi friends.. This is my fist blog... And since I got placed in AMDOCS just a day back I would start with an informative blog on the same. However, This post is a cut paste from THE thread on orkut, the replies are from Mr. Ronak and Mr. Jitendra, compiled into some sections. Lets us all not forget to thank Ronak and Jeetendra!! 

Documents:
dont worry about the documents..it would be conveyed to you what documents you should bring when u receive an email from them regarding ur accomodation and date of joining...the main problem we faced was for PCC(police verification certificate) but that was required for those who were travelling for Cyprus and from your post i could see that u r not selected for Cyprus so dont worry, be cool... everything is good here.....
The medical certificate u need is jst the one that amdocs had given u while handing over the offer letter.. nothing more is required.

Regarding the pcc, its only required for the once migrating to Cyprus. Rest, dont need it at all. And if u r planning for the future then u would get ample time for that after coming to amdocs. infact amdocs will help u get one if they plan to migrate u....
You need to have the ECNR stamp on the passport if u want to go abroad even for a week.

If u have issued ur passport recently i.e. after ur 12th, then u wont need the ECNR stamp coz its already done in recent passports but its better to get it checked by someone who knows it.


Lot of employees here miss their chance to work onsite just because they dont have ECNR. so pls c to it that u have ECNR on ur passport before u join.

For those who have just applied for the passport need not worry. u wont have to get the ECNR Stamp. it would take around 1 month to get ur passport and the training period here goes on for 2 months.. so still there is lot of chance that u can get ur passport before it is decided that u have to travel.....

Training:
All of you would be getting training in DVCI (i.e. india) except those who are recruited for Cyprus...
After that it depends on the type of the project u get.....
if the need be in a half month's time you could be picked up for a specific project and would be sent to israel or any other
country for training... and it is also possible that the project u get would require a 3 months training in DVCI
Training period is the most enjoyable period......
u get to learn many new things.. how this professional world behaves.. how u have to mould yourself into it....and basically u will be provided training on c,sql,java,xml,unix,cobol, etc....
and there would be a small test after each language is done........(for which there is no need to study at all)
there are some sessions known as e-learning sessions wherin u r given headphones and a pc and u have to take classes from online training classes....and ya the training period is for around 2 months

After training:
the kind of work depends on which project u get in amdocs after training... there could be development work in some projects or you could get support... or some testing stuff.. it all depends in which project u get selected and believe me that process is totally random...u r picked up and sent to any project.. it does not depend upon ur performance or academics....) the chances of flying abroad also depends upon the project u get...... there are people who have travelled 4 countries in 7-8 months and there are people who have not gone outside india for 2 years.. so dude it depends on the type of the project...

Accomodation:

first 15 days:

Hey dude.... dont worry about ur accomodations.... it would be in a 3 starrer...and it would be only 2 people per suite. and believe me i have been thru this... its really like a some sort of picnic from SOTC.... its gr8 to have some 50 people living in the same hotel and leaving for amdocs in the same bus for 15 days... u would really enjoy your stay in the hotel.....

after 15days:
Most of the ppl working for Amdocs live in Magarpatta, Wanowrie, Hadapsar and NIBM...ppl rent a flat and share among themselves the costs could be Rs.2000-3000 if a 2bhk flat is shared by 4 ppl.

If you want to go for upmarket location then Kalyani Nagar or Koregaon Park could be your destination, the rent for a 2bhk starts from 10K.

Finding a good house is actually tough as you need to search it thru brokers and they charge hefty amounts for this usually (1.5 to 2 mnths rent) but u could be lucky if u find a house thru personal ads of amdocs intranet then u wl be able to save brokerage.
dont worry about the accomodation, u can get it in 15 days, no need to come here specially for it. Some friends of mine felt it tough enough and thats because they dint start searching from day 1. But then its on ur luck and choice..

But b ready for this.

1BHK rent 5k-7k, deposit 20k - 30k
2BHK rent 8k-10k deposit around 50k
brokerage- around 15k

above figures indicate a house which is unfurnished or semi-furnished.
for a fully furnished house u need to pay more...

now it depends on u how many of u can stay in a house...and how much u can cut down on ur rents.
i think u should avoid areas like aundh, kothrud etc. these areas are far away from amdocs and it takes nearly an hour or hour and a half to reach office from these areas. There are many people from amdocs who live in these areas and bus service is also provided but the only thing is distance and time. it wont affect initially but as time passes u start feeling bored to travel such distances......
u can get accomodation in magarpatta itself but they are EXPENSIVE....
so if u can afford 6-7 guys in a 2 bhk then its good enough or it would cut down deep into ur pockets.....


Ya PGs are available but u will have search hard for it.....
In PUNE i have found boards on almost all the apartments

"STUDENTS/BACHELORS AND FOREIGNERS NOT ALLOWED ON RENT."

U will be seeing this at almost all the places coz people here fear from students as there were incidents in Pune which created this fear in them.
But dont worry u will find if u try to.

"Dhundne se to bhagwan bhi mil jaate hai"
MAIDS bhi.Infact aap jis apartment me rahoge vaha upar neeche kisike ghar me aati hi hogi... humne bhi aise hi kiya hai....

But starting me jab hum hotel me rahe the tab humne kapde apne haatho se dhoye the...

After renting a flat too we washed clothes and utensils until we got a maid and a washing machine......
And believe me it was fun........

Dress code n work environment:
the work environment is excellent over here....
there are no constraints of anytype... u can wear anything u like...
i have seen guys over here who come office in their bermudas...
so dont worry... we are allowed to wear casuals at office...
no matter in which area of pune u live, there will be bus service provided to u.. and we have 4.5 days week.
We work only half a day on friday because we celebrate something called as 'KABALA SHABATH' this is a hebrew word meaning 'CAKES MEETING'. All the team members get together and bring snacks, cakes, coldrinks...etc and enjoy some light moments with each other.. we even play games during kabala shabath. so most of the friday goes in this celebration.

and we have complete holiday on saturdays and sundays

regarding time constraints.. there are no time constraints as such....
u can come at any time and go at any time.. but in the whole week you have to report 45 hours. thats it.. its on u if u like working at night or during the day time..

one more thing if u decide to work according to ur time u wont get the bus service... buses ply at morning 9.and on the way back we have buses at 6 30, 7 30 and 8 30. anyone u like...

Package:
the package offered to us was 3.6 and the thing about the package hike are all rumours.... its 3.6 for u also....

Infrastructure and sports:
Amdocs Inida (DVCI) has one of the coolest infra as compared to its other branches and other companies all over the world... some people tend to compare it with googleplex.....
u get all types of indoor games in amdocs... u can see my pics for that purpose.....
For outdoor games we organize many events.. For eg. last week we had a cricket tournament and i was one of the organizing committee and it was a huge success.....


there is a club in magarpatta where u can play tennis (as i can see from ur name u like tennis). Just come to pune u will know....
amdocs has its own cricket team, football team, volleyball team, basket ball team which has its name among the IT companies.....
amdocs has won many inter IT tournaments so dont worry all sport lovers.. u will get ample opportunities to show ur skills....

Food:
for all the food lovers..... PART I
During ur stay at the hotel which would be a 3 starrer....only the breakfast (and ofcourse stay) would be complimentary....

But the breakfast there would be such that u wont need to have ur lunch..

what we had was.....
2 hot dishes (south indian/chole bhature/french/italian etc. etc.)
loaves of breads (indian/french) alongwith jam, butter (as much as u want)
Fresh fruit juices (water melon, orange, pineapple)
Real fruit juices (7-8 flavours)
tea, coffee and all those conventional stuff

and the breakfast was so yummy, we literally dint have any space left for lunch..

NOW WHAT DOES AMDOCS PROVIDE.....

BREAKFAST (Absolutely free) :
7 types of sandwiches (all available at the same time) : jam, cheese, vegetable, brown bread vegetable, chicken, omlet, green chatni
hot dishes (one per day) : upma, idli, kanda pawa, utappa, alu-gobhi paratha alongwith curd and pickles..
PRIMARY FRUITS (provided everyday) : apple, banana
SECONDARY FRUITS (seasonal) : watermelon, mangoes, grapes.
tea, coffee, nescafe, capucino, moccacino, hot chocolate, soup, milk, taj mahal tea bags, sugar cubes are available 24x7 at amdocs.
low sugar items are also available in the above mentioned drinks....


SNACKS (free :) ) : u get snacks at around 4 30 in the evening... all the above items are available at snacks too except the hot dishes.... at snacks the food u get is something like this : dabeli, muffins, bhel, pani-puri (at 5 u wont find a trace that todays snack was pani puri), kachori, etc....
LUNCH (only Rs. 20. Just swipe ur card at the entrance of the cafetaria and 20 rs are deducted from ur salary) :

3 types of meals are provided at LUNCH.

1) INDIAN (veg/nonveg): Nearly 18-20 items are provided in the indian menu starting from soup to dessert. It has an extensive menu which is only repeated i think once a month....

2) western junk food : any type of junk food (veg/nonveg) is available at this stall and it has a menu of nearly 30-40 items...

3) continental : i dont like continental food)i havnt tasted it but people say that its good... for the rest, u can tell me once u get here..

sometimes in desserts there are ice creams too...

apart from these if u have a habit of a cold drink during ur lunch, coke, thumsup, sprite, mirinda bottles are always there to be picked up.

fresh fruit juices are also available (watermelon, lemon, kokam sharbat etc.)

after all this at the end there is saunf and that it...

Salary details:
U will get Rs. 20,000 in your first salary.

Rs. 40,000 will be given 2 u as a loan which will be repayed as Rs. 4000 from ur salary everymonth. but it will take time (2 months or so).

so its better u come prepared frm home itself....
in all,u r given 4 benefits..........

1) Rs. 20k to all the new joinees without any condition. This 20,000 is separate from everything else...
u r getting cash 20k, with no conditions.
Airfare and other reimbursements are separate.

2) Rs. 40k as loan (which i have explained earlier)

3) Reimbursement of the transportation bill ( which includes transportation of all ur household goods and related things) but for this u have to produce a valid bill.

4) reimburesement of ur personal travel fare from ur place to pune (which includes air fare also)
They will reimburse even 10-12 k if u have a valid bill.

Initially u will be joining around july august.. so ur package will be counted from july to march '08. which comes around 200k.

Now one thing i dint know when i joined amdocs was
100k was tax free from ur salary.
u can make an investment of max 100k. Above that even if u invest it is not taken into consideration for income tax.

so until march '08 ur entire salary will be tax free (assuming u show an investment of 100k).

so u would be getting in hand around 24k per month.

But after march '08 that will reduce to 21k.(if u dont show any kind of investments)
and if u do u would get around 22.5k in hand... so this is it...

this was the question i always had in mind when i joined the community AMDOCS '06.
But no one had this definite an answer....

ur salary wont increase atleast untill july '08.... (coz our first increament is in this july)...

and it would be around 20-25%. This is what my seniors have got..
God knows how much will we get.... but we r expectin the same...

and yes it depends on performance....
Even in december u get bonus...based on performance....

there are bonuses of around 60-70k. Yes... 60,000 - 70,000 Rs. if u perform well.....

and there can be perks of 3k, 10k, 15k available if our clients are happy with us and appreciate us.....

Parents??
Parents wont be allowed into the office.....and they wont be providing any accomodations for them....
if ur parents are here they are entirely on their own...
yes visitors are allowed in amdocs.....
u can bring ur friends and family but u have to register them at the reception.

Cafetaria is open to them but it will cost u Rs. 68 per each extra person.

Further studies:
Yes u can continue with ur GRE and other exams.. but if u leave amdocs before 1 year of ur joining then u have to pay back amdocs all the expenses they did on u...

for eg. hotel stay, 20,000 Rs., reimbursements....etc. which comes around 30- 40 k and maybe more....
and 1st day @ amdocs is very boring...... u will be getting a whole list of rules and regulations and code of conduct.. and there will be people from HR, Finance, Hewitt (our payroll manager), everybody and will be explaining to us how amdocs work.


Orkut:
yes orkut is blocked in amdocs...
but there are work arounds...
come to amdocs and i will tell u how to access it...
cant tell u this in public...

Laptops:
u cannot bring ur own lappy to office (officially) but people do tend to bring them... but u cant use it....ONLY people at PM and Director level can use their own laptop.

As far as laptops by amdocs is concerned, only people providing weekend support get laptops along with broadband.
But believe me nobody wants to have the weekend support coz customer can call u at saturday morning 2 or 3 am and u have to give them answers.... which i think nobody likes....
one of my roomies does so....

if u have lappies dont let amdocs know that u have one coz if they know, they would request u to work on weekends....