Category Archives: Random/Personal

Random thoughts and rants

Struck by a Lightning

Last Thursday night, there was a mild thunder storm in my place and my house was struck by a lightning.

Within a fraction of a second, the parapet wall on top of the third floor of my house disappeared, my computer busted and both my dad’s heart and mine skipped a beat. It struck with such a force that it shook the whole building (three floors) and I could feel the vibration in my room in ground floor. I could see a huge flash of light through my glass window. It is one of those rare situations where you feel powerless in front of the mighty forces of nature. It took around 2-3 minutes for both me and my dad to figure out what has actually happened.

I have given my computer for service and so far the service guys have found out that only the power supply is working fine and the motherboard was fried. I am just hoping that my hard disk is not damaged so that I will not loose my data. Let’s see. πŸ˜‰ Because of this I have limited access to Internet and if you have sent me a mail in the past week, then please note that it might take sometime for me to reply to your mail.

This is not the first time my computer is crashing but this whole thing has thought me two lessons.

  • Backup Backup Backup!!!
  • You are nothing in this world and anything can be changed completely within a second!

Update: I just got a call from the service guys. It seems that my motherboard has been totally fried, but the hard disk seems to have been saved. Thank God, now I can have my data back. Even though I am going to repair it instead of thrashing, I guess it is better that I have decided to get a new one. So guys don’t forget to give me your recommendations.

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Happy Birthday Chennai

There is no better place than home and today my beautiful city is celebrating its 368th birthday.

Happy Birthday Chennai. πŸ™‚

More details about Chennai and Chennai Day is available in Wikipedia.

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Harry potter and

The final book of Harry Potter is releasing tomorrow and even though I am not a Potter Maniacs some of my friends are so crazy about the name and I thought of gifting them the book.

Being lazy to go to the local brick and mortal book shop I searched for an online book shop and found an exciting offer from IndiaPlaza. You can pre-order it and it will be shipped on 21st July, plus 35% discount in prize. Harry Potter offer

I immediately added it to my shopping cart and clicked proceed checkout. I was asked to signup and I filled the registration form and after that I logged in using the new username and password. But now the shopping cart was empty. I went to the homepage again and added it to the shopping cart. When I clicked the proceed checkout, I was logged off and asked to signin again. I was doing the same steps for quite a few times. My firebug extension showed lot of JavaScript errors and only then I realized that the site is broken in Firefox. It may be there wish not to support the second mostly used browser but they could have given a warning message when I logged it or at least given a message in their footer that the site is IE only. I may be bit overboard here, but that is the problem in being a web developer because you know that a simple browser sensing would have solved this.

I opened a new instance of IE and did the steps again and proceed to checkout. There was an option where I can select that this is a gift and can include a message. I selected it as a gift and typed in the message, but it didn’t allow me to choose July 21 as the delivery date. I badly needed it to be delivered on July 21st and so I choose it as normal shipping and paid using my credit card. Delivery date

(Personal Message to my friend: If you received the book from me without the gift message then this is the message which I wanted to be delivered and don’t forget to tell me the whole story. πŸ˜‰ )

At the end after confirming the order there was a feedback form and I have entered about my experience there together with my mobile number. Let’s hope that someone actually reads it. If I get a reply I will post it here.

Update (22-July-2007)

My owes with them still continues. I choose it as a non-gift only for the reason that it will be delivered on 21-July. I got an email from them yesterday (21-July) night with the consignment number and a contact number from DTDC. More over they have missed out the address2 field in the address. I called them up and gave my consignment number and he said that he is yet to receive the goods from India Plaza. I am now hoping that it gets delivered at least by Monday.

Update (30-July-2007)

At last the book has been delivered. But it has taken a couple of emails and a dozen or more calls with India Plaza. But was it worth pre-ordering the book? A big NO. I pre-ordered the book so that it will be delivered to my friend on July 21, the day it was released. But it took them nearly 10 days to deliver the book after it was released and in the mean time my friend has almost finished reading the book. Even the surprise element which I planned for my friend has gone in vain. So the very purpose of me pre-ordering the book was defeated πŸ™ and let me see whether someone from IndiaPlaza comes forward to take up the responsibility. I have also sent a mail to their CEO Vaithee with a link to this article.

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Thank You Google and Linux

One big advantage in having a unique name is that people can google and find you. Well, that’s what has happened now. One of my friends at school, (with whom I lost contact) found me after 7 long years through a Google search about Linux which let him to this blog post of mine. Thanks Google and Linux.

So I have found one more reason to blog, to help my old buddies find me through Google search πŸ™‚

Posted in Google/Yahoo, Random/Personal | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Error in error message!

Windows XP gave me a crazy error message. My fingers automatically pressed the print screen button and here is the screenshot (Click on the thumbnail to open the full version) .

Windows XP Error Message

This message appeared after a brief period of inactivity and once I pressed ok my system back to action. πŸ™„

Well, I guess someone at Microsoft have forgotten to check a variable is null or not :). A simple Google search revealed that I am not the first one to get an error in an error message πŸ™‚

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What ever happens, Life has to go on..

Frequent readers of my blog would have noticed that I am not very active these days, especially for the past one month.

Many things have happened in the past one to two weeks which have made me to realize that nothing is permanent in this world and how powerless we are in controlling the things which happen around us. I have read the quote “The only thing that is constant in this world is change” so many times but it is only now that I have experienced and realized the exact meaning of this phase.

I don’t usually write about personal things which happen in my life so those who are close to me (in the physical world) would know what I am talking about. This past week (and the thing which happened) has changed the priorities in my life. The things which appeared to be of high priority have gone down the list and some have left the list all together. It is only when you pass through the phase of immense sadness; you realize the importance of life.
Well, what ever happened is happened and it’s time for me to realize that life has to go on. And I guess I am recovering and will be in a position to overcome it.
What ever happens, Life has to go on…

Posted in Random/Personal | Tagged | 14 Comments

Stopping Telemarketing calls from Banks

Every now and then I used get a call from a new number in my mobile. When I pick it up the person on the other side of the line, usually greet me with my name and ask me whether I am interested in getting a credit card or personal loan. Only then I can realize that it is a telemarketing call from a bank. I usually say no and the person at the other end ends the call. But some guys get really creative and will start the conversation by saying that I have been chosen by there XXXX bank from a lucky draw (which I know about only now) and have been awarded a free credit card or a new account. Sometimes they even know my personal information like my full name, where I work, my full address, my mobile number, sometimes even my official desk number, my salary and sometimes even my age.

I usually stop them by saying that I am a student and don’t have a monthly salary and they will promptly say that the offer is only for a person who works and earns a decent salary. This can be an amusement if I am in a good mood or free at that time but can get really irritating if I am in a meeting with my clients or was in a very bad mood.

I do know that as per RBI regulation, every bank should have a mandatory ‘Do Not Disturb Me‘ page on their website. But I was too lazy to go to every bank’s site and find the page. But just now I found that Vadivel has done it and here are the links for the top banks. Thanks a ton Vadivel. At least now these banks will leave me alone.

Update (26-Feb-2007): Few more

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How safe is your data?

One of the things which shocked me when I came out of my hiding period is the sudden disappearance of Performancing Metrics. As you have guessed by now, I was using it here to have an understanding of how my users use my site.

Performancing was recently acquired by PayPerPost and they couldn’t get the deal right with Metrics. This has made them to stop the hosting of Metrics service and have decided to release the code as open source, which may take some time. So the net result is that now I am left without a Stats package πŸ˜‰

Don’t get me wrong here. I am not here to criticize or accuse Performancing or PayPerPost. Metrics was a great product and I was one among the thousands of happy customers they had. It was totally free and was completely invisible on the page, since you don’t need to display a graphics or a back link on your site. They were not deleting the old data (as most stats services do) and the stats were also private. But what concerns me is that I have lost all the valuable stats data which was recorded till now by the service. Worst still, according to the comment by Nick, there is no way for me to export the stats data out of the system. πŸ™

Now the question which has popped up in my mind is “How safe is my data?” with the other (web 2.0) websites. So just for a wild imagination, what happens if Google gets dissolved or bought up like Performancing or goes bankrupt (Just imagine). My (digital) life may come to a standstill without access to my email (gmail) and schedules (Calendar). And what if the same fate happens to Yahoo, I will loose all my bookmarks (, my old emails (Yahoo Mail), my photos (flickr and Yahoo photos) etc. Well, it gets too shocking. Isn’t it? πŸ™ Worst still what happens if they say, pay $XXX to get access to your data?

This leaves me with lot of questions and also with some shock. But back to the original problem, now I have to look out for a new Metrics/Stats package. I am not able to decide whether I have to go for a 3rd party package (like Feedburner, Google Analytics etc) or install my own copy in my server (like Mint, Analog, Awstats etc). Guys do you have any recommendations?

Posted in Google/Yahoo, Random/Personal | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

My New Year resolutions

Well, yet another year has come and it’s time to take a second look at your life and make some resolutions. (and whether I really follow them throughout the year is another major questions anyways πŸ˜‰ )

And here are some of my New Year resolutions (some of them are in my to-do list for quite some time now) and lets hope that I keep them up πŸ™‚

  • My reading habit has gone down very much, so first resolution – Read at least a book every month (novels don’t count).
  • Learn a new language (or technology) – 2004 in was PHP, 2005 made me to (re)learn JavaScript for AJAX, 2006 it was Python and 2007 it is going to be Ruby.
  • Redesign this site for May 1st CSS Reboot.
  • Start (or at least take part in) an open source project – it’s time to give back something to the community.
  • Try to do some freelance work – Does anybody need a WordPress consultant? πŸ˜‰
  • Buy Apple iPhone – (How about a PayPal donate button here for you guys to donate ha ha πŸ˜‰ )

So guys, what are your resolutions?

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I am back

Hi guys, I AM BACK πŸ˜‰

I am perfectly alright now and seeing the computer screen with my own eyes without the help of my specs or contact lens. It’s really a great feeling since I was wearing the specs for the past 17 years and the contact lens for the past 8 years.

My heartful thanks to Yuvi, Vadivel, Aswin, David and all the my readers who showed their support by either sending me an email or posting a comment in my previous post or calling me up to find out about my health. It’s really a nice feeling to know that there is some one to really care about you. :-).

So guys, you could see this blog getting updated frequently as it used to be. But I am yet to catch up with my email and if you have sent me an email, please bear with me and I will send you a reply as soon as possible.

And wish you guys a happy and prosperous 2007.

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