Yet another exam was over

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Today was the end of the second term for me at XL. For me this term was quite a long term compared to the first term. The reasons could be many things. Maybe I am very badly homesick, or the grueling  projects and case presentations of this term or “Surprise” quizzes of special subjects that often signaled my ignorance or could be the summer placements that showcased my hesitation in expressing thoughts in every group discussions. Even could be for any other reason which I am not able to recollect now.
Almost 6 months of MBA - one quarter of my aspiration is complete today. When I look back to check whether I have really reached where I wished to be. Computers where my Passion and still it is, and a career in training and development was the attraction for me at XL when I came here. But what all I have read and understood in the last two terms are totally different. About 280 Sessions in the two terms,in the six months I have been inside class rooms listening to lectures,presentations or case discussion for about 420 hours. Writing multiple quizzes, last minute submissions and it looks like my four year engineering studies was compressed and given in this two terms.
But some good learning for me in the last two terms which I must preserve. Some excellent Professors who have inspired me to become a professor if I complete a PhD. Summer Internship was a good evaluation for me to find out my weakness, or probably a test to my strengths. Finally next term and summer placement will be giving me a better perspectives and changes for good.
And Miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep…

Easy way to Create Photo Galleries

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I have created a photo gallery, it was quite easy for me to do with the aid of Google Picasa. To check my photo gallery , Click the Photos link in the top navigation bar. I have made the slide shows with the auto code generated by Picasa. Followed the steps mentioned below.

You can embed a Flash slideshow of any web album. It'll be automatically updated when you make changes to your album. Follow these steps to embed a slideshow:

  1. On the My Photos page, click your album.
  2. Click Link to this album on the right-hand side.
  3. Click Embed Slideshow.
  4. Choose your slideshow settings, such as image size, captions, and autoplay.
  5. Once you've chosen your settings, copy the resulting HTML code (Ctrl-C).
  6. Paste the HTML in the source code for your site (Ctrl-V).

- Google Help

This feature is very helpful having easy galleries instead of Static Image Folders which according to me is not an attraction in this Web 2.0 Era. Have a look at my Photo Gallery and you decide Static Image Folder Gallery Vs Flash based Slide Shows.

Life of Lively is almost over

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Almost the day lively came, I had mentioned earlier as Lively is bit lively But…May be for Children to Enjoy. Of course this was totally away from Google’s innovative product line. Finally the day has been marked by Google itself for Lively to be on Dec 31 2008. A good move by Google I would say, not to manage products which does not has any market.

Related Posts.

  1. Lively is bit lively But…May be for Children to Enjoy

  2. Google Enters - A new area not thought of

Google Truly Brilliant – Amazing Move

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Today, I tried the new feature introduced by Google – Integrated Video and Voice Chat in Gmail. Truly a very innovative move, Google was first to integrate chat inside Email environment. They further improvised it now by adding video and voice to it. But you need a plug-in to be installed for the same. You can download it here.

The great news for me was, this works the same way with Google Apps users also. So I think all the XL users can now integrated further with this feature.

Google has created their every application more like a reusable template and hence they are able to easily adopt changes and do the same applicable for all the customized users. Their Apps is an innovation in terms of business strategy in this internet industry.

Only bad news now is this feature is not available for Linux users, only for the loyal Windows OS users. I think the Linux version of the plug-in would follow soon, so no need to comment on this.

Related Posts

  1. A Small Sense of Satisfaction

  2. Students testimonial – Update from Google

Microsoft in - Reaching Differently

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Microsoft has launched a new project Dream Spark. Through this project, MS is providing A Gamut of Free Licensed softwares to all the Technical Students.
In India any technical student ( graduate or undergraduate ) can walk to nearest NIIT or Aptech and receive a DVD of the softwares. Also you can download from Dream Spark if you have a high speed internet connection.
This is a great surprise for me, because Microsoft has always been criticized for the Licensed software and Zero Free Wares. The company has adopted itself to change in the environment by reaching the students community for free right now, we need to see how effective this will be.
I am no more a Technical Student, So I really missed the chance to try with some of the softwares which wanted to try my hands. But this is a great move by MS.

Students testimonial – Update from Google

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The following is from the Google Got the aptitude challenge website.

Please check here to read about other college testimonials(Click this Link –>Student Testimonial)

XLRI Transforming with XL Connect
Google's 'Got the Aptitude' challenge has given us the opportunity to transform our communication system. After registration, the first thing we did was to implement Google Apps in our existing test server. We named this initiative 'XL CONNECT' because the services provided by Google Apps will help the XL community stay connected 24/7. We then came up with a working model to increase Google Apps awareness and market its advantages in campus. The presentation created by Google came in handy to explain the benefits from Google Apps to our faculty members, IT admin and student committees. Since Email was a default application we focused on the other Google Apps products like Talk, Sites and Docs. Our main selling point was Google sites which would be very helpful for our student committees. As every committee wanted a group site, it was easy to make the sale and obtain approval from our IT admin. The contest deadlines really pushed us to stay focused. We are excited about the launch and we have already started increasing Apps awareness through teasers, posters and some merchandise. We also plan to create some use cases on how effectively Google apps can be used.

- XLRI Team Members: Hariharan R, Chintan Agarwal, Amrit Pal Singh, Srikanth Thunga, Prof. Ashish Pani

A Small Sense of Satisfaction

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Today at XL, we have completed the shift of our Students mail server to Google Apps Education Edition. I am a member of Systems Society of XL– better known as

SOCRATES – Society for Rapid Assimilation of Technology and Systems

My love for technology and systems made me apply only for this students committee. I was very happy when I was selected for this committee because I consider being with this society was not an extra-curricular activity but an opportunity to be in touch with my interests. I always believe technology can make our life simpler and our energy can be utilized for better needs to care for people. Actually I should learn this, caring and concern for people which I most of the times miss it which I am struggling to get it.

At XL we were using an internal mail server for students which had the age-old Squirrel Mail. We provided a 100 MB limited space for every student. This year my agenda was to bring in a change for the betterment of everyone in any are which I am comfortable. Finally, I had a chance to suggest a change for shifting the internal server to Google Apps Education Edition. Google of-course provides 7 GB of mail box each and also a gamut of services bundled like Chat, Sites, Docs and Calendar. Google provides the basic edition for free which is far better than the system we had.

Suggested this change on October first week to the IT administration. After a set of permissions ,approval and testing finally today we went live after complete migration from the legacy server. Now we call the new gamut of Google Apps service as XL Connect. This change will be of great use to the students community to be in touch with every one easily using the internal chat now , also I hope the Docs and Sites will serve further for team projects and committees. I am happy that some change I wanted is visualized, though a small change but a Satisfaction for me. This would not have been possible without the help of my committee secretary Chintan Agarwal and the Help Desk guys at XL who really did the actual implementation.

Next :  The one I felt a great thing done by a great institute is MIT OCW. This one will be my next agenda. Hope this comes true soon. :)

Economically expressive Gurus

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I think the role of Teacher – Guru has a great influence in our interests. My interests did not vary a lot because of my personal interests. The Gurus who taught me and guided me were one of the major reasons in my passions. I observed that very recently in my introspection. I must say the first time hostel experience life gave me some leeway to introspect in-spite of the pressing schedule of XL.

Computers became my passion when I did a course on computer applications ( Basic Course : Windows 3.1, Fox Pro – All Stone age Era :P and Microsoft Office 97).I must really confess one thing my real interest in computer came out of me not the moment I started working with computer. It came due to proper facilitation by my life mentor Mr.Elango, who was the faculty of course. I am still passionate of technology and Computers – though I never prefer to spend too much in these because of my usual habit. This passion carried on from my Higher secondary school to my work seeing computers day in and out. To add to it, in-spite of my interest in computers I never owned a PC till I landed in XL. Still I managed to keep me abreast with the pace of technological change.

The same holds true for my interest in Training and Development. This interest was the primary reason why I landed in XL for my post graduation on Personnel Management. The 3 days training on Personality development by International Faculty Jc.Mahesh Bagawandas was a moment of enlightenment for me. I never imagined how a role of a trainer could be. The three days totally gave a new career path which I aspire now.

Before my first term in XL I never thought Economics was a very interesting subject to study. In my state it was a norm that only if you do not score well in SSLC exam people land up in economics group for their Higher Secondary education. Had I known about this subject earlier I would have opted for this was  my thought recently. The interest was due to the professor who taught micro-economics Mr.Sumit Sarkar. I struggled in the beginning to understand the subject, but the pressure gave by him by continuous quizzes and completely problematic approach really made me work hard. Eventually I started to like the subject a lot. This term I am studying Macro-Economics. In the initial two classes of macro-eco I could not understand the new professor’s style. But eventually now I have got a little grip of the subject, Hope my interest stays on and the professor too should facilitate a little to better my interest.

A good teacher according to me should not just impart education or knowledge. He/She should create an interest in the subject, show a student a path in his life to survive. He should make the student find out one’s strength and weakness. I am just reading a  book on leadership ( My interest area) and I find no difference in the influencing process of a leader and a Guru. For a student his guru should lead by example as a leader is to his followers.

My Thanks to all my Gurus!!!

Optimism on Obvious Calamities

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“And allow me to leave you with a pinch of optimism, just because I can. I call it Adams' Rule of Obvious Calamities. It states that any calamity that is foreseeable by the public at large won't turn out so bad after all. The best recent example was the Y2K problem, where computers worldwide were expected to fail. It seemed impossible that those issues could be resolved in time, but they were.

The problems that hit hardest are the ones that sneak up on you. Our current financial problem is big, but I expect a recession to be mild and even useful, precisely because so much human energy and attention is being focused on the fix.”

- Scott Adams, The Credit Crunch Explained.

One of my friends,forwarded me an email about the Sub Prime Crisis which explained the Credit Crunch in very easy language. Have a look at the Presentation. It is a good read to understand the credit crisis in a funny cartoon language.

Stumbled On 2 Interesting Things

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I have always fancied Time Machine. Google has done something new, yes it has launched again its old, Year 2001 Search Index back for you to check what all existed and which all did not existed.
I obviously tried my name and some fancy new terms like blogging, orkut and some more. You also can try your own search terms.
I also stumbled one more interesting feature by Google, SMS Channels for RSS Feeds. Excellent Idea, and you can create your own channel for your blogs.
I have created the SMS Channel of this blog- eXcellence. You can subscribe for it. Have a try with this yet another innovation, of my Fascinating company.

More than 2.2 million%

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I was shocked seeing that number. It is the Inflation rate of Zimbabwe - HYPERINFLATION. The Fortune magazine reports as below.
“If purchased on the newsstand in Zimbabwe, the issue of Fortune you're holding would have cost you 270,543,825,555 Zimbabwean dollars.”
You need to carry cash in cartloads to buy simple goods like eggs and bread to the nearest departmental store where the store owner can only weigh the currency notes to deliver you the goods. He has no time to count those notes, even the IT system are struggling to handle the bank transactions which are giving a data overflow error. Of course the programmers would have never imagined the basic withdrawal transaction of an Automated Teller machines would ever be of billions of Zimbabwe dollars.
Parade magazine ranked Robert Mygabe the dictator of Zimbabwe one among the worst 10 dictators of the world. Of course this year he is going to top the list, in transforming a country, which introduced Zimbabwe dollars in the 1980s, at a conversion rate 1Z$ = 1.47USD. The transformation has been a collapse of a country, and I have seen these many days Zimbabwe for Cricket and never seen this worst governance in the country.
Worth of a 100 Billion  Carry Bag for Cash Currency does not give a good livingHe is going for purchase of GroceriesInflation Rate
ZWD-EUR_2008 (1)
These photos and graphs are relatively skewed too much in this country in the recent years.
The fate of the people here is a Big Question.
The Economic Imbalance of the world was very much shown in this, may be after this term if I am well equipped in Macro Economic theory I would really do a detailed analysis on the complete background of this.

A Change in Look and Feel

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Almost after a year, I finally found a way to alter my blog template. This fluid template is quite spacious and I decided to stick with this. This requires some changes in the colors which I need to really work on the CSS, which I am bit scratchy. I am just learning the rope, would do that also soon.

Being a Part of It

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My friend wrote a post some time back, which I happened to look back at it again today. I wanted to mention it here, because its a good read, if you happened to understand the intended pun related to a small group of B School guys.

Google Enters - A new area not thought of

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After my review on lively, I thought Google is exploring the User friendly Chat Rooms and other web experiences possible in web 2.0. It was an unlikely that Google will launch a browser which I have never thought of. Of course, that is why they are market leaders now. I am happy in one way that somehow at 00.30 hrs I was wide awake and waiting for Google to launch its open source browser – Chrome, and write a review of the same. I cannot review completely as of now, because of my end term exams. But I would keep updating this post as I use.
The client looks very thin, as such not consuming much memory. As usual, the browser is very simple - No menu bars, title bars and tool bars. It is tab based browser and the Google Suggest is embedded in the Address bar. I could try only these as of now, till that time you keep trying and post your comments.

Update: 1.00 Hrs
You have a new incognito window in the browser. It says “Pages you view in this window won't appear in your browser history or search history, and they won't leave other traces, like cookies, on your computer after you close the incognito window. Any files you download or bookmarks you create will be preserved, however.” But cannot save from “People standing behind you” :)
And each tab is a separate process, hence managed separately in task manager.

One sudden thought : Some similarity in colors getting closer Google Vs Windows.

Still it Thrives

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This is life without a safety net-Thrilling and Dangerous.
Misjudgments are punished ruthlessly.
When competition gets tougher, small business feel it first.
Financing is hard to find, sometimes impossible.
Regulatory costs hurt more in companies with less fat -One Reason, Growth is slow.
Owners lie awake at night worrying…. Yet Entrepreneurial Sector THRIVES…
-Charles Burk (Fortune Magazine)

Save as PDF or XPS Office 2007 Download without Validation

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Almost a year and half before I wrote a review on the experience of Office 2007. But personal laptop gives you real experience in our day to day activities. I was searching for a way to install the Save as PDF or XPS plug-in to install in the office 2007. Because of the irritating compatibility issue with Office 2007 Word documents (.docx). My Adobe Acrobat Pro 8.0 is was not helping to convert my Word documents in this format. So I had to save the word document in the .doc format and then use the Create PDF option of Acrobat Pro.
The plug-in for this Save as PDF is available in Microsoft portal only to genuine office licence key holders. Don't ask me who I am :) I was searching for some direct download link finally BINGO.... I got the direct link for this download of this plug-in. Please click this link to download the plug-in. Enjoy now the inbuilt PDF save feature of Word 2007.

Scratchy Start after a couple of Years

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Of late, after a long break, I resumed one of my favorite hobby - Graphic Designing. Adobe Photoshop was one of the tools which revered the most during the 4 years of my period at Rotaract Club of Saibaba Colony. I was given opportunity in the club to test any kind of ideas I had, and in that way I started doing graphic designing for the club as a cost cutting exercise. It turned out to be a great hobby where in some instances I got paid for some huge banners which I designed for my friend's college festivals. For designing I always wanted a PC with a good Processor Speed and at least 512 MB RAM a couple of years of back. I did not have the hardware at that time and hence for every design I need to request someone's PC Hours, that is what I call for borrowing their PC for doing my work.
Today I own a laptop with a specification of  2.1Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo and a 2 GB Ram. I never imagined I will own such a sophisticated hardware. Now at XL I got a couple of opportunities  to start with my hobby, so I did not want to leave now, I loaded my Laptop with Photoshop CS2 and started with some initial designs. Though my designs are very scratchy in some time it will improve. I am going to publish the designs which I will be doing here afterwards. For that I am using my Beautiful Rants Blog at Yahoo 360.
So to look at my recent designs click here.

The Road Traveled #2

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So continue my narration, from my earlier post, after joining TIME Mumbai things were not showing hope immediately for me. I started to struggle in class, as CAT comprises of three major areas - Verbal Ability and Reasoning , Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation. I must accept I am neither strong or weak in any areas. With an average aptitude in all the areas, the classes were a big learning for me. I understood the effect of  skipping some areas in lower standards at school.
The first of that I struggled was Basic Geometry. Its only in  Tamil Nadu I hope there are four boards for passing your 10th Standard. State Board, Matriculation Board, Anglo Indian Board and the CBSC Board. How far 4 different boards for a high school education with in a state effective is a debatable question. Because of this you cannot judge performance of the students till the high school based on their grades as there is additional parameter required to weigh the grade. State Board - easiest of the lot to study, so of course its more crowded with students who like to boost up their scores. There is always an argument made by the students of CBSC board that their education standard is high and State Board syllabus is no match and of course its like that. I understood this arguments validity in my CAT coaching class. I had sailed through my School education without learning basic concepts of Geometry, and the best part is I scored a 100% in my Mathematics board exam. This was easy because I can leave the complete geometry chapter and still manage a 100 because of the question paper pattern and the content in the chapter.
I had to cope up with this problem, so I revisited the NCERT 8th, 9th and 10th standard mathematics book to understand the basic axioms and theorems. So that was about My Quantitative Struggle to score. The next dreaded area for many and also loved by many is Verbal Section. Here Norman Lewis gave me a little confidence that I too can perform well in this section. With that confidence I followed the sample question booklets to manage the other section. I would suggest people who feel they are very bad in Verbal skills especially with words Norman Lewis is my recommendation to start with.
The TIME mock cat series was like a struggle for me in the initial exams, where every 20 Sunday afternoon I after the test I would think am I in the right place trying for the right thing. I could not find out any pattern in my exam results, sometimes I performed Quantitative section extremely well but the next time I failed to clear my cut offs also. All these were a better learning to show my instability :).
After all the struggle On the D-day, November 18th 2007, when I saw the CAT paper the paper had no surprise in terms of number of questions. But that is the only thing familiar, the quantitative section this time had gone through a big upturn with really teasing questions. The Data Interpretation was full of calculation intensive sets instead of logic based. Verbal section which I though was the easiest and attended the maximum count of 17 questions. I did not know I have entered into the trap myself by attempting these many questions in verbal section. The result was some thing that was totally disastrous for me when it came January 2008.   (To be continued....)

The Road Traveled #1

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"Profits are a Signal to resources holders where resources are mostly highly values in society"

- Michael R Baye

I think, I was fascinated a lot about Economics before landing here at XL, because of  Tim Harford's Under Cover Economist. This book was the eye opener for me. And Why I started to say all these, Profits are Signal, we always are in search of becoming a unique from one group and that is a never ending process. When we are in school we would like to go to college which is the best and that gives you an identity, so we would look for "Signals", like which is the best college to join, based on the "Profits of others", may be the advantages of the existing students of the college.

Once we reach that college do our search stops. That again starts, we would like to make our self Individualize and would want to look for the best company. And the search continues there on...Now I had two question. Are we looking for excellence and perfection ? If So what is that will end this search?.

From Here on I would give my narration of how I ended up in this institute at Jamshedpur . I still remember the first time I read this name of the city during my Social Science class, when I read about the revolution of Jamshedji Tata and Tata Steel. I never thought I would land up in this city and would spend a couple of years in this place.

Doing an MBA was a major aspiration in my life, but I never had a plan to do it after my Graduation. So I ended up working with TCS for the last two years. As I loved Mumbai a lot after a visit during my college days for a South East Asian Rotaract conference at Daman. The packed train I boarded at Dadar was the biggest attraction for me to spend my initial two years of career in Mumbai. So I landed the same way in Mumbai working for TCS.

Joined a Domestic project of TCS, since technology interests me a lot, the big Implementation project for the domestic client was a Huge learning opportunity for me. I had a good mentor, Arun, who taught me the skills required and that really helped me in delivering my work with a sustained high performance. I made some Friends here at TCS, the list I am giving is not exhaustive so I can name a few, Vivek, Charan, Karthi, Gokulan, Niraj, Ram, Prasanna, Rakesh, Chezhian, Archana, Vidya, Anu, Amol, Pulkit, Ashish & POS Team...and the list does not end there.... it goes on. So when I started to work I was not in any idea of doing my MBA in my near future. I started my preparations for management entrance exam off late in 2006 in December.

As I never researched on this, I did not have any Idea of what all B schools exist. I was aware of only 2 exams one was the CAT and other was GMAT. I was planning of GMAT. The first day I saw the astronomical fee I need to spend stumped me and that was the end of GMAT story. The next Best option was CAT. So I started my preparations aiming at CAT 2007 from December 2006 by joining TIME Mumbai.

(Will be Contd... # 2....)

This blog, now on Sits on my own Domain

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Addressed To : The very few readers of this blog, my good friends and those people who come accidentally because directed by or any other search engines.
Subject:  This Blog, from now on is moved to my new domain name.
So after a long time I now write a blog in my own domain.
Next Target: Host my own site and blog, but since monetary situations at present do not help me now to do that so. Wait for that to happen soon.
Thanks for spending time to read this Rant from your Weblog writer.

Lively is bit lively But...May be for Children to Enjoy

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Today I had some time to look into the new Google labs innovation Lively. The idea looks the same old chat rooms of the past with a only new thing seems to be lot of efforts have been put in the look and feel. 
Lively, the efforts spent on the interface is good but as you can see the time consumption in loading is horrible as they are 3D models. The avatar concepts are not an innovation. So as such I expected quite very new from Google and they have also started to give some look and feel bloated applications usually done by Microsoft. I still love Gmail for its simplicity and for its elegance and minimalist approach. This lively I feel, at least for now is a waste of time for me. May be for kids its a big time entertainment. But one warning already there are so many Adult only rooms opened. So you need to keep watch if you children are into it. :)

When I Double click the Drives - Open With dialog box appears

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I had this weird problem when I clicked the Drives in Windows Explorer. The Open with dialog box appears and asks me to choose the program to open. I did not have enough time to find out the resolution for this as I thought, I would have screwed my registry accidentally while researching my new laptop.
To tell about my new laptop its a Dell Vostro 1400 series. Full black in color and I find it quite compact. You can refer the link to find the special features of the laptop and other usual features like 3 year warranty, Graphic card etc, I do not want to bore you with those details. Only thing attractive in this deal was it came with a DOS OS, which gave the freedom to load the favorite Windows XP, expecting to load Fedora soon. Licensed XP was provided in college, that was an additional bonus I got. XP on 2 GB RAM and 2.1Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, is giving lightning speed boot up. That is enough boasting I did about my laptop.
I wanted to fix the Problem, mentioned above very badly because it was irritating me at times when I have some urgent work. In my lecture classes today, the classroom system had the same problem. The Professor was also not able to access his flash drive, because he was trying to double-click the drive. Temporarily I just gave the drive name in the address bar to continue with the lecture. Came back to room and did a bit of Googling for some time to fix the issue in my laptop. Yes, it was a worm attack which had screwed the registry settings.It was the stupid W32/RJump.worm. I tried with Windows Drive Fix Registry File downloaded from Microsoft site. It made a different problem. It fixed in some drives leaving some drives the same way.Finally this forum gave me the actual file I need to run to clean the worm and access the drive freely. So you may well check with that if you too have the same problem by referring the forum. Hope this will reduce the time to fix the problem :) I have to try the same in my lecture hall system Monday to fix this.
Update 24 July 2008 :  As I can see a huge hit for this post from search engines dear readers you need not follow that forum and find that tool to clear your Problem. Please download the Flash Disinfector Tool from here. Run this tool after download to clear your problem.

Loser but a Winner of Hearts

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I am still thinking, whether the match I saw today was the real match and the player was Don of the All England Club. But its a reality. Roger Federer after fighting till the last moment showed me who he could have been. Down with 4-6, 4-6 in first two sets and taking the next two sets in 7-6, 7-6 is not an easy thing against the No.2 player. The most important thing to note here is the mental strength he showed at the third and fourth set says " I am Roger."
But Federer did not give away easily his sixth title, fought till the end of the fifth set to 9-7. He really would have won the hearts of many who lose their mental strength when we are down and out after the initial struggle.
In fact this is a great lesson for me, Roger you are still my Favorite not because you have won 12 Slams but you are a Real Character in my Life.

Self Interests - Ever Maximizing Function

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"Its not out of the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the banker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regards to their own interest"
These lines make me write again after a short break in posts in this log. I could state multiple reasons for not posting but still it could not be replaced for the act of not doing. There has been a lot change in the environment when I started this blog to this day. People changed , places changed even my self has gone through a lot of changes to adapt to the external environment. Now I sleep and eat at weird timings, because that is the culture here. Should I adapt to that is the biggest question. When I read the above quoted lines today in Baye's book on "Managerial Economics and Business Strategy", this showed it is not that bad to be a self-interested person and after all the whole world is full of them.
That will be my ice-breaking post as a new B School student, after a stint as a software engineer ( I am not sure, can I call myself like this, may be my colleagues can really say). So what made me come here is all I would be briefing more as it would make myself clear and also could be of great help for others who may have Self-Interests in my similar lines.

Tabula Rasa - Nature Vs Nurture

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I always like the famous Nature Vs Nurture argument. When people start with a topic like "Inborn Genius", "He has his talent in his blood". They will turn me off. Yes I never go with the concept that some qualities come by birth. I always say it comes based on the situations you undergo and those opportunities mould every individual. Tabula Rasa is one such thought which favors the Nurture side. But still I usually try attempting to strengthen my argument from my reading and analysis. Today I received a mail from my dear friend Pratheeba regarding this and I have posted below.
All babies look alike to certain extent. All are born alike but we are changing when we grow. What changes us? What make us look beautiful and ugly? What make us think positive and negative? There exists a force that changes how we want to be both, physically and mentally. Some call it Belief, some call it faith, some call it thinking, some call it a mystical power of subconscious mind, some call it thoughts, or we call it as GOD. But ultimately there exists a force that changes everything we want to be. We can name it anyway we want, but the result is same!
I got a thought to process in the above lines. All new lives which come to this world has only a soul inside some flesh and blood. On its birth, it is taken care by parents/grand parents. So the child's physic and face looks like the person who is taking care of the child for most of the time. Also its characters are getting formed and moulded like its environment and family members. So this means, nothing is inborn including beauty.All comes from the focus the child has. If the child constantly looking at his/her Mom who looks bright and beautiful the child also becomes the same way. If the child always looks at the clean and fresh place then it feels and become good and fresh.. the same happens what it wished.
The body gets formed inside womb from mere molecules and then the blood and muscles.Then the hands and legs. Mean time the soul is also selected and erased from all its previous life memories, then the soul is given to the body only when the body comes out of the womb. That is why the child is crying when it comes outside i think, because only that time the soul enters the new body. In many cases only body is grown inside the womb and the soul will not be given when it comes out, that time we are telling the child is born dead. Also, the soul get affected not by the direct words alone, but strongly by the thoughts. Any thoughts including ours and others can affect the soul, that is why i think when we make others feel bad, we are getting same thing back in some time as the other soul that got hurt wants us to hurt like that. If you get a bit further you can understand clearly, when you motivate someone or do some good to someone, you feel good. I think that is not because you are feeling good because you did good, but because they are feeling good and their thoughts towards you are good which makes you feel good!
Same happens in each and every aspects of life. If we sit and analyse we need ages to do that :) What an interesting psychology? See how easily we can change ourselves. This is how the system works ultimately! Very interesting topic. Lot more to explore .. but I think already I stressed you so much..
-Received via Mail from Pratheeba Subraminian
I am still in the process of strengthening the Nurture side and hope the readers will help me too .

Real Vs Reel

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The mantra being chanted by all the cricket lovers in India is IPL- The Crickets Mahaydh ( I call it as only as a money milking cow). May be this IPL is doing for cricket what Rupa Publications did for books. Cheaper books and selling huge volumes, here too many matches all around and an affordable rate. I too had a chance to go for a match here in Mumbai @ D.Y. Patil Stadium. Mumbai Indians Vs Delhi Dare Devils, I missed the Chennai Superkings Match. The Crowd response was the greatest amazement for me as they booed and cheered every ball. I enjoyed the crowd response than the match.
As for as the match is concerned, it looked like any other college tournaments if you forget the fact that you are watching Professional players. They also do a lot of mistakes on field. To our luck Sanath Jaysurya and Shewag rewarded our eyes with some brilliant Sixers. I felt the cricket we watch in Television screens is similar to the movies which has lot of editing and mixing to make it look attractive. The real match was something like a movie shooting :) I can say. You can read more about the match from my accomplice in the act in his blog.

Quick Review of Recent Reads # 1

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After my last book review, I thought of grouping my book reviews into a separate head. This will reduce the scattering of information, as I get some extra bit of time to read many books at present. To start with recent reads I will chronologically list in the order which I have read and add a small bit of Review and my Rating to it.
Book 1:
"Fermats Enigma" by Simon Singh was the book acted as an impetus to continue my reading habit which was in quite bad shape in the last six months of 2007. My reading was in abrupt halt with some scanty reads. This book was in my wish list for long after I read Simon singh's The Code Book during my sophomore days. I accidentally came across this book in a nearby book shop, did not want to leave it and snatched it immediately. This book is a must read if you love maths and logic. I have added logic as most of the mathematicians where great logicians and vice-verse. This captures the story of how mathematicians over centuries struggled to prove one of the greatest riddle of maths. It starts with the riddler Pierre De Fermat and moves gradually across all the greatest mathematicians the world has ever seen till the year of Andrew Wiles who solved the last theorem of Fermat after struggling for eight years in isolation. I had a great learning in this book on how inquisitive the minds of every mathematicians had been, especially I loved the logician Bertrand Russels Paradoxes.
My Rating : 4/5

Book 2:
"I Too had a Dream" biography of Dr. Verghese Kurien is one of the very few biographies I have read. I rarely read biographies, because I felt they are just blowing their own trumpet. But after reading this book I had to change my mind as there was a great learning for me in various aspects of a persons life. I never knew what a Co-operative means, and what went behind the Great Operation Flood which has made India self-sustained with milk and diary products. I was asked a question recently in one of the interview to differentiate Labour Union and Milk Unions. I was so clear with my answer because the concepts were so clear from this biography. The story of Anand Milk Union Limited (AMUL) also made me understand what AAVIN means to farmers in our state of Tamil Nadu.
My Rating : 3/5

Book 3:
"The Pregnant King" by Devdutt Patnaik started to have a break with non-fictions, but turned out to be a thin line of fiction added to the Great Epic Mahabharata. Since this is the first fiction work by the author, it was vivid in his plot. I must say there was no plot actually in this book as most of the story included branches of mahabaratha which I have been reading since my childhood, so it was not quite enthralling. But I could learn some valid justification of some traditions of those ages like Niyoga, Anuloma etc which has been puzzling me a lot when ever I narrate Mahabaratha story to any one Whenever I narrate how the Pandavas where born, people who are listening will start questioning about chastity and sanctity of those days. This book could help to some extent. From this book I was able to add some of the missing branch stories in my inventory like "The story of Iravana", "The story behind Arjuna's masquerade as a women" and "Story behind Shikandi". Overall I cannot say this is a must read for all, if you are interested in Mahabaratha this would be a small addition to you and an interesting read to certain extent.
My Rating : 2/5

At last! Relieved from Haloscan

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Haloscan is a site that offers free commenting and trackback services for blogs. One of the feature which Blogger does not offer is Trackbacks. This tempted me in switching to some other commenting sites. So when I encountered Haloscan I did not even think for a moment and switched to Haloscan commenting. The problem is that to switch to Haloscan commenting, you need to download the existing template of your blogger. This has to be uploaded to Haloscan account and the template will be altered and given a new template. This new template I uploaded without even storing a backup six months back. Now if I switch to any new template all my valuable scripts embedded in the code which I have used in it for analytics and other purpose will be gone for ever.
But since them too many problems I have with the commenting system of Haloscan, though no trackbacks I have ever received for which I switched. Nowadays most of the people don’t bother to give trackback pings; instead they just post a comment with the link of their post. The main problems you will face are,
  1. It reduces the load time of the pages as the comment details are taken from a different site
  2. The Comment page also takes a considerable time
  3. No option of automatic restriction of anonymous comments
  4. No profile image shown in bloggers with each comments are far better than Haloscan’s
  5. Ad’s of Haloscan that cribs in the comment page.
Since then I have been struggling to change the code to remove the Haloscan commenting and switch that to blogger comments which has improved a lot after the beta. But since the template was in XML I used to make mistakes every time and end up with an XML which was incomplete tags.
So Today I forced myself to complete this task and finally I have converted the commenting system back to Blogger’s. For those who are having similar problem you need to follow these steps.
  1. Take a backup of your template
  2. Then you need to look for the following parts in the template
<!-- start haloscan (part 1) -->
<script src=' username type='text/javascript'> </script>
<span class='post-comment-link'>
<a class='comment-link' expr:href='&quot; username /&quot; + + &quot;/&quot;' expr:onclick='&quot;HaloScan(&quot; + &quot;\&quot;&quot;+ + &quot;\&quot;&quot; + &quot;);return false;&quot;'>
<script type='text/javascript'>postCount(&#39;<>&#39;);</script>
<a class='comment-link' expr:href='&quot; username /&quot; + + &quot;/&quot;' expr:onclick='&quot;HaloScanTB(&quot; + &quot;\&quot;&quot;+ + &quot;\&quot;&quot; + &quot;);return false;&quot;'>
<script type='text/javascript'>postCountTB(&#39;<>&#39;);</script>
<!-- end haloscan -->
-- Same as above Part1, Part 2 also will be embedded in the XML.
<!-- start haloscan (part 3) -->
<a class='feed-link' href=' target='_blank'>Comment Feed (RSS)</a>
<!-- end haloscan -->
  1. Now the above tags has to be removed
  2. Now the hilarious task is to insert blogger commenting. In the place of Part 1 & Part 2 of Haloscan code the following code is replaced
<a class='comment-link' expr:href='data:post.addCommentUrl' expr:onclick='data:post.addCommentOnclick'><b:if cond='data:post.numComments == 1'>1 <data:top.commentLabel/><b:else/><data:post.numComments/> <data:top.commentLabelPlural/></b:if></a>
  1. For Part 3 the following code must be replaced.
<a class='feed-link' expr:href='data:f.url' expr:type='data:f.mimeType' target='_blank'><> (<data:f.feedType/>)</a>
  1. Now still you will face a problem that comments will not come for individual posts page. To fix that you need to add the following code just above the line where you have replace Part 2. Since that code is long you can get the patch here.
  2. Alas! You landed back to your home land of blogger commenting. You would have lost all the old comments of Haloscan , that you can compensate with the Haloscan widget which you can see in the side bar of this blog.
Hope the above steps would help you in removing the irritating Haloscan commenting.

Came out of the Cover

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"Under Cover Economist by Tim Harford”. This is the latest addition to my book shelf. Probably after my reading taste shifted from Fiction to Non-Fictions, this is the only book which I have taken about a month and half to complete. This long duration is because I enjoyed each and every line of his revelation about the World Economy.
This book is a real eye opener for me. Every profligate youth must read this book and understand the value of money. I found this book more relevant for every person working in the IT industry. May be this book will create the same kind of thought for people from any industry, because the content discussed is universal truth.
This introduced me to a lot of new Economic concepts for the first time.  

The cases he has discussed about Starbucks Coffee Chains, etc all were jelled so intricately that it re-instantiated the concepts so clearly to me. This is a must read for every youth who spend lavishly. This book could be a turning moment in your life also it may lead you to shun Pizza Huts, Mc-Donalds and CCDs (Café Coffee Day) like me.

Verbs for Modern Internet Verbosity - Retronyms

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With the advent of web 2.0 technology websites - social networking, tagging, blogging new verbs are introduced in English every day.Here a statement goes like
"I have a blog, this blog, which you probably found by googling me. I blogged about Orkut (which I'm on but don't use often). I don't IM, and I'm impossibly lax about friending people."
In the above statement :
1. Blogged-Wrote a post like this
2. Googling - Searching
3. IM - Instant Messenger /Chat
Have become the new Internet verbs you can use to show your too smart with Internet. That's why I have said its a way to be verbose about Internet. You need not ask some " Do you use Orkut ?" - Instead just ask -" Are you in orkut". Orkut is a place to be for social networking rather than a tool.
These things you can call as the adaptability of the English language to engulf new words as the world changes. The word commenting is now more prevalent as commentating because of Cricket. Same way technology pushes a lot of new words into the English language. Let us take some examples.
1. Digital Camera
2. Skimmed Milk
3. Digital Watch
In the above list one common thing that connects them all is called as "Retronyms". The advent of a digital camera forced us to create a new word in English called as Film Camera, the advent of Skimmed milk , digital watches forced us to introduce Whole milk and Analog watch into the English language. There are retronyms introduced every day into the ever growing English language. Now Internet is pushing its boundaries into the language with lot of new verbs. So we need to update ourselves with the new introductions every other day, like Podcast or cybersquatting. To keep track of the new introductions you can always refer the oxford university press' Word of the Month.

Cleared my Level 4 Speech

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Yesterday, I gave my level 4 speech in Toastmasters. The objective of this level was "How to Say".This speech had a great improvement in terms of my presentation. First and foremost I spoke to the time given. I spoke for 7 minutes and 28 seconds. As usual, my content was less so that I stick to the timing.The topic which I delivered was "Characters in Life". I must really thank Pon.Rathnavel or in cyberspace called as Reaven. I took the liberty in using his name in my speech without his permission, because he is also one of the person I have met who is really a character. This speech is very different from previous speeches. This was a Humorous speech.

Evaluations of the speech - Positives:Body Language which added to the humour, Effective utilisation of Stage, Voice Modulation. Negatives: Clasped hands some times, Short conclusion.

To see the draft of my speech refer here. As usual my presentation was different when compared to the draft. This may be helpful if you want an overview on this speech. It really took a considerable time to frame the speech humorously and some effort on the delivery of the humour part. Overall there was a good response for the drama I did which created the humour and this will be a great learning for a better humourous speeches in future. This is my personal Goal sheet too.

A Mark to Identify IT Peers

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Douglas Engelbart never would have though that he would imprint a mark in every computer geek. Last week I noticed a mark in my right wrist which was not present in my left wrist. This mark was so prominent that it would have occurred due to over stress in that particular area which you can find in the picture below.
For Left handed people who will be using their computer mouse often can find the similar mark in their left wrist. After identifying this I started to observe the same in all the people who I interact. Two days before I had a group discussion where I had to meet a group of 12 people who work in different companies. In that lot after the group discussion was completed, though we did not have an introduction with each other I made a probably a good guess on who were from IT field and who probably are not from IT. I identified this, just from the mark they have in the right wrist. After reading this you may also start observing this mark in every one’s wrist. The horizontal mouse which is widely used creates a stress in our wrist, and also creates a forearm twisting. Evoluent has come up with a new vertical mouse which will eliminate these problems. Even Steven Feuristein once made a remark on this mouse long time back.
Probably I need to shift to vertical mouse and an ergonomical keyboard to avoid any personal mark. Of course its up-to individuals to decide on what they want :)

The Place where our Communication Stops

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"The moment a baby is born it cries, it could be because of three reasons. One , because of the pain which it suffered during the process of birth. The second reason could be because of hunger and third possible reason could be because of the change in surroundings from the mother's womb to this external world. An obstetrician understands which could be the reason for any child she helps in getting to this world. This instance signifies that We start Communicating the moment we are born. The same communication stops the moment we stand in front of a podium to address a gathering. That will be the pain of public speaking for beginners."
These were the opening lines made in our Officers Training Program at Mumbai Toastmasters by Mr.Deepak Justin. This training also had a session on Humour in speech. This day was a big day for leanrning. All I had to learn from this training was, The best public speech delivered ever in the history was after a diligent preparation. The speaker would have swallowed, chewed and digested the speech to beautifuly vomit in front of the audience. This process may look easy when I explain in this fashion but this is really an intimidating process which can decieve many people by imparting a phobia in them on public speaking.
The next important thing which I wanted to share was on humour. To add humour to our speech, it does not come that easily by reading the joke books and tieing in our speech.For humour we need to practice timing jokes which sticks exactly on the context which we speak and also directed towards the self which hurts none.
Overall this training gave me a deep insight on the organisation called Toastmasters International. Also It provided me an oppurtunity to attend the District Conference of India and Srilanka "Ovation 2008" at Banaglore in May 16,17,18 2008. Will post you the experience of Ovation once soon :)

Divide and Rule

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Divide and Rule is a greatest strength of Structured Programming. This video is a best analogy for Divide and Rule. The greatest strength can simultaneously become the greatest weakness, as the video content explains. Its upto each individual to take the right decision.

PS : This video could be understood only by people from South India, especially Tamil Nadu.
One because of the language , the other , it deals with Tamil Nadu politics.

Reliance ADA IPO Pvt. Ltd

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This news , Reliance Entertainment plans IPO, really made me feel irritated. Just a week before Reliance Infratel has filed their DRHP, even SEBI has not yet started to review the DRHP this news is hitting the market. I am frustrated with the way they are trying to loot money from the public. It does not looks like capital generation for a company but for an Individual. Reliance Power IPO is still a big question for Reliance Energy Investors. This is the first time SEBI has given approval for a company to raise huge capital for a company with ZERO revenues. Reliance Power is expected to reach the valuations given by promoters by 2016. Stil the name Reliance made investors crazy and that resulted in huge subscription. Only people can answer to these when this IPO is listed. I must honestly say what RNRL valuations at present are upto. This post is a must read for any one, I laughed at it for a long time. A lot more IPOs are expected from the Reliance ADAG IPO Company, I think thats the Business of the company :)

Maitree - A Helping Hand

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Last Saturday I had a chance to be a part of the Annual Volunteers Meet of TCS Maitree. I must give a true confession here, I am with this Company for the last 21 months but only on this day I had a real picture of this social service wing. Started on Feb 23 2002, in this 6 years, this initiative of Mrs. Mala Ramadorai has gone miles deep in embracing the society in every possible way.

I must list down some of the important initiatives by Maitree for the society and for the associates of the organisation.

  • Women Empowerment Programme at Wazapur to make them self dependent
  • Panvel Village Devlopment Programme
  • Peer Education to protect against HIV AIDS
  • Sion School Initiative to train the hindi medium children in Conversational English
  • Colaba Fishermen community children intiative to groom them
  • Sion Junior College Initiative to train them for Entrance exams for higher studies

Other Initiatives/Clubs for associates are the following. I really don't know how many associates are aware of this.

  • Music Club
  • Trek Club
  • Adventure Club
  • Quiz Club
  • Toastmasters Club - I have already posted about this a lot.

Overall the Volunteers meet was refreshing for me it reminded me of my Rotaract Days. Surrounded by bubbling volunteers and I felt like I am back in a Rotaract event. The main objective of this annual meeting was to discuss on the various problems faced by these initiatives and to arrive at solutions to those problems. Every associate must try to contribute to Maitree, inturn he contributes for the betterment of Society and Self.

A Special Movie - Taare Zameen Par

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I must thank my friend Niraj for sponsoring to this Movie. I did not know the value of this movie at that time but when I came out of the movie I could not bear the weight of the messages it delivered.
The movie has shown itself that Bollywood Film Industry have lot more to deliver other than the ever boring Love stories - Damsel in Distress and Knight in a Shining Armour- kind of movies. This movie is a wonderful Debut for Amir Khan's Direction.
I will not reveal the plot of the movie, since its a must for every one to watch this movie. But this movie had well crafted Screen Play which can touch any one emotionally. Without my consciousness i had a drop of tear at some instances of the movie.
This will be a good learning for Every Mother/Father/Teacher, as they shape tomorrow's pillars of India. So Don't Miss this master piece, a lot to learn , enjoy in this.