<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d6418452\x26blogName\x3dFootsteps+on+Clouds\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://chirayu.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://chirayu.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d7754879049997020549', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Zeitgeist: What the world is searching for

Category: Professional

What is the world searching for?

Search patterns, trends, surprises, keywords, phrases, music, sports, celebs, shopping, and much more.

Google Zeitgeist - The general moral, intellectual, cultural climate of an era. What is the world searching for? Top gaining queries from around the world. A must read page each week.
(Zeitgeist is a German word which means 'Time' 'Spirit').

Yahoo Buzz Index - Daily search trends. Search terms that have shown a phenomenal increase, top searches for movies, music, sports, television, video games, and actors.

Lycos Top 50 - A list of the top 50 searches on Lycos for the week.
Note: Includes adult content.

TenbyTen Image Zeitgeist - 100 words and images that define the world at present. What is the world searching for? Check the images to find out.

WordTracker - Top searched keywords. Read the marquee at the top of the page. Note: Includes adult content.

Ebay Shopping Pulse - The most popular searches at Ebay.
(Got this link from John Battelle's blog - This is one must read blog. On one of these weekends, after I get a fast, broadband Internet connection, I'm going to spend an entire weekend reading this blog).

What's your Zeitgeist, Chirayu?
This blog is my Zeitgeist. :-) I've been true and I have written about my successes as well as failures, the good times and the bad times.


Footsteps on clouds

Category: Misc

A four liner jlt (just like that).

Footsteps on clouds
Sea gulls in the air
The jingling of earrings
My sweetheart's walking tall and fair

Monday, November 29, 2004

Configure Gmail for Thunderbird

Category: Professional

Stepwise instructions to configure Gmail for Thunderbird.
POP access for Gmail.

  1. Download and install Thunderbird.
    (Thunderbird 0.9 - Size: 5.8 MB for Windows, English).

  2. Open Thunderbird.

  3. From the menu bar select Tools --> Account Settings

  4. Click the Add Account tab on the left-hand side of the Account Settings window.

  5. Select the radio button that says Email Account in the New Account Setup window and click on the Next tab.

  6. In the Identity window, enter your Name (as you’d like it to appear) and your email address as yourname@gmail.com, and click on the Next tab.

  7. In the Server Information window, select the POP radio button.

  8. Enter pop.gmail.com in the text box for the Incoming server name.

  9. Check (tick-mark) the Use Global Inbox checkbox, and click on the Next tab. In the User Names window, enter your email address.
    For example, chirayu, vijay.chauhan, or abc.xyzee
    Do not write @gmail.com

  10. Enter a name for your account.
    For example: Work, Personal, Office, Gmail, or Friends etc.
    You may also keep yourname@gmail.com as the default account name.

  11. Read your account setup information. Click on the Finish tab to exit or click on the Back tab to edit the information.

  12. From the Menu Bar go to Tools --> Account Settings --> Account Settings window

  13. Enter the Outgoing Server (SMTP) settings as follows:
    - Server Name: smtp.gmail.com
    - Port: 587
    - Check (tick-mark) the use name and password checkbox
    - Username: yourname@gmail.com
    - Use Secure Connection: Select the TLS radio button
    - Click the OK tab

  14. From the Menu Bar go to Tools --> Account Settings --> Account Settings window.

  15. Enter the Server Settings as follows:
    - Server Name: pop.gmail.com
    - Port: 995
    - User Name: yourname@gmail.com
    - Check (tick-mark) the Use Secure Connection (SSL) checkbox
    - Click on the OK tab

Note: Login to your Gmail account on the web and in Forwarding and POP settings, ensure that you have enabled POP access.

You are done with configuring your Gmail account for Thunderbird.
Check your mail. Try it out.
Hope this helps.


PS: For sending messages in HTML format, in Composing & Addressing, check (tick-mark) the Compose messages in HTML format checkbox.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Rabindranath Tagore's Poetry

Category: Misc Poetry.

Wrote this in the afternoon. Posting it in the evening.

A Sunday afternoon - a perfect setting for poetry.
I'm reading Rabindranath Tagore's collections of poems.

To read Tagore is to experience the beauty of poetry in its pristine form.
If you enjoy reading poetry, and you haven't read Tagore—you should.

To read one line of Tagore is to forget all the worries of the world
But then, I'm a dreamer, and I get lost in my world! :-)
I need a Kavita (Poem) to give Disha (Direction) to my life.
(A play on words :-))

Tere pyaar mai kahin kavi na ban jau
Ae meri Kavita!
May I not become a poet in your love
Oh my Kavita (poem)!

The beauty of Tagore's poetry, makes you forget the world.
An example,
My heart the bird of the wilderness has found its sky in the beauty of your eyes
They are the cradle of the morning, they are the kingdom of the stars.
My songs are lost in their depths.
Let me but soar in that sky, in its lonely immensity.
Let me but cleave its clouds and spread wings in its sunshine.
~ From The Gardener

Amazing, isn't it. The power of words at the right places to construct a sentence that creates magic, and shows emotion in its different colours.

If you read it as prose, it is *just* a sentence.
If you *can* feel what is written; it is magic, absolute magic.

I've used the word can. One should have the ability to feel what is written, and that comes across through experiences that one has been through and personal interest.

Rabindranath Tagore's Poetry - Links to check, read, and download:
- Fruit-Gathering (html)
- Crescent Moon (txt)
- Gitanjali (txt) (pdf)
- The Gardener (txt)
- Fireflies (html)
- Google: Rabindranath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore Quotes.

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain but for the heart to conquer it.
Let me not look for allies in life's battlefield but to my own strength.
Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved but hope for the patience to win my freedom.
Grant me that I may not be a coward, feeling your mercy in my success alone;
but let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure.
~ Rabindranath Tagore - Fruit-Gathering

If you would have it so, I will end my singing.
If it sets your heart aflutter, I will take away my eyes from your face.
If it suddenly startles you in your walk, I will step aside and take another path.
If it confuses you in your flower-weaving, I will shun your lonely garden.
If it makes the water wanton and wild, I will not row my boat by your bank.
~ Rabindranath Tagore - The Gardener

On the seashore of endless worlds children meet.

The infinite sky is motionless overhead and the restless water is
boisterous. On the seashore of endless worlds the children meet
with shouts and dances

They build their houses with sand, and they play with empty
shells. With withered leaves they weave their boats and
smilingly float them on the vast deep. Children have their play
on the seashore of worlds.

They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets.
Pearl-fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships,
while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. They seek
not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets.

The sea surges up with laughter, and pale gleams the smile of the
sea-beach. Death-dealing waves sing meaningless ballads to the
children, even like a mother while rocking her baby's cradle.
The sea plays with children, and pale gleams the smile of the

On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. Tempest roams
in the pathless sky, ships are wrecked in the trackless water,
death is abroad and children play. On the seashore of endless
worlds is the great meeting of children.
~ Rabindranath Tagore - Crescent Moon

Where the mind is without fear

This is one of my favourite poems. (I prefer the English spelling of favourite).

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow
domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the
dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought
and action-
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
~ Rabindranath Tagore - Gitanjali

Read and download Tagore's poetry at the Gutenberg web site.

This is a cool post. I'm going to bookmark it for my ready reference.

Let me write a two-liner.

To have nothing and be comfortable is worse
than having everything and being unhappy

Always choose the lesser evil
Make money and be unhappy!

A Haiku (5-7-5). Can you call this as one?

Empty azure skies in November
An eagle soars above the lazy clouds
Inviting them for a race


Cricket: India v. SA. 2nd Test - 1st Day's Play

Category: Misc Cricket

South Africa’s cricket tour of India in Nov., Dec. 2004.
2nd Test played at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
End of the 1st Day’s Play.

South Africa was 227 for 5 at the end of the 1st day’s play of the 2nd test at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

Jacques Kallis was unbeaten on 103 with de Bruyn giving him company.
Irfan and Zaheer started the day’s proceedings with a bang, sending the South African openers back to the pavilion with less than 20 on board. Greame Smith was caught behind off Irfan and first test match centurion Andrew Hall was also caught by wicket keeper Dinesh Karthik of the bowling of Zaheer Khan.

Jack Rudolph and Jacques Kallis steadied the innings and took the score past 100. Zaheer bowled Rudolph after lunch. Debutant Hashim Amla was bowled by Irfan, a peach of a delivery - pitching on the leg, moving towards the off, squaring him up and knocking back the off-stump. Boeta Dippenar didn’t last long and snicked an Irfan outswinger to Dinesh Karthik, and South Africa were 182 for five.

Zander de Bruyn survived a strong caught behind appeal of Harbhajan, then settled down and played sensibly to give Jacques Kallis the support to complete his century. It was his first century versus India, and it came at the Eden Gardens.

South Africa’s batting was dull and defensive. The Eden Gardens has a fast outfield, and we’ve seen a lot of runs being scored on the first day. However, the South Africans played safe and played the waiting game. The score of 227-5 in 80 overs is an indication of their defensive approach. They entered the game with a defensive mindset and the loss of two early wickets gave them a setback, and Kallis and Rudolph consolidated from there on at a slow pace.

Tomorrow’s play will be interesting. If we can get them all out before lunch under 300 it will be a job well done.

Irfan and Zaheer shared the wickets. Irfan, who bowled superbly, took three and Zaheer took the other two. Kumble and Harbhajan went wicketless. Harbhajan was distinctly unlucky not to have got a caught behind decision in his favour.

Irfan Pathan is a fantastic bowler. It is a joy to watch him bowl. The ball that got Hashim Amla clean bowled was a gem. Irfan from left arm over the wicket to right-handed Hashim Amla, the ball pitched on the leg and middle, curved towards the left (right of the batsman), beat the bat when the batsman went on the back-foot, and took the off-stump out of the ground. Well-bowled Irfan!

Score: 2nd Test. End of the 1st Day’s play.
South Africa.....227 for 5 v. India.

What are the rates for SEO in USD?

I am looking for part-time SEO work.
If you have any leads, contacts - please let me know.
Thanks very much.

An Enquiry: What is the going rate per hour in USD for SEO work?
For programming it is in the range of $18 to $30 per hour.
I guess it is on the higher end for SEO, or is it? If you guys have any ideas, please let me know.
Thanks very much.

Plans: 2nd/3rd week week of Dec. - New system.

Category: Personal.

Plans for the second/third week of December.
If I am in Pune.

Buy a new system.

- 2.8 GHz Intel HT Processor
- 512 MB RAM
- Asus Motherboard
- Buy a scanner, a DVD Combo, a webcam, a 17" monitor, an optical mouse, and keyboard.
- 100 GB Hard Disk

Article: India's Diamond Industry

Category: Misc

India's $8 billion diamond industry.

From Palanpur on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border to Surat, Gujarat to Bombay, to Antwerp, Belgium to Johannesburg, SA to New York.

India's software industry earned approx. $10 billion (last year's figures) and accounted for around 0.5% of the world's market share.

India's diamond industry earned approx. $8 billion and accounted for almost 80% of the world's market share.

A very interesting read.

From the ToI

Part I, II, III, IV

A Feb. 2004 article.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Link: Blogwise blog directory

Category: Misc

I've added my blog to the Blogwise blog directory.

What's new at Google - Google Downloads

Category: Professional

Google Downloads offers a one click download of five applications. An all-in-one download page.

Download Google Desktop, Toolbar, Gmail Notifier, Google Deskbar, and Picasa photo organiser with one click. (Size: 5MB)

Gmail Notifier - For Windows 2000 and XP.
Google Toolbar - For IE 5+
Google Desktop - For Windows 2000 and XP

What's new in Gmail - Thumbnails of images

Category: Professional

Gmail now shows thumbnail pictures of images alongwith the name of the file, its type, size, and links to view and download. This is a welcome addition.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Poem: The mind sets off on a trail of its own

Category: Personal

My mind was bombarded by Queen's Another one bites the dust in the afternoon. I am not in the mood for any more Bohemian Rhapsodies.

A poem in the evening.
It's the onset of winter and it gets dark by 6:00.

Wrote this-
As the sun sets, darkness descends, and the birds fly home
The mind sets off on a trail of its own

A path untrodden, an avenue unexplored
The thoughts swirl and its whoosh echoes
Bouncing of the mind straight into oblivion

A smile to show the world
A turbulence within
I am fine and hope you too are
Small talk that belies the discomfort beneath those saccharine words

Emotions need an outlet
Ability needs encouragement
Potential needs a mentor
And energies need to be challenged

I need a shoulder for a hug
A pat on the back
A good luck wish
And a challenge to take on the world!
Can someone give me that?

Another week gone
I'm not looking forward to the weekend
Time is flying by the hour
And the days are long and weary

My life on the net doesn't need me
I need to pack my bags and find my way
To pass those 12 hours of my life from 8 to 8
To earn a living and get a life!
~ Chirayu

Lyrics: O mere dil ke chain

Category: Misc

Aapka armaan aapka naam, mera taraana aur nahin
In jhukti palko ke siva, dil ka thikana aur nahin
Jachtaa hii nahin aankhon mai koi
Dil tumko hi chaahe to kyaa kijiye

Yun to akela hi aqsar, gir ke sambhal sakta hun main
Tum jo pakad lo haath mera, duniyaa badal sakta hun main

~ Lyrics of O Mere Dil Ke Chain.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Link: Review of Alexander & History

Category: Misc.

NYT's scathing review of Alexander. Registration required.

The reviewer has used words like puerile (childish) and kvetch (complaining) for the writing and characterisation.

From fiction to fact.
An interesting read, if you like to read about History.
Alexander's famous battle with Porous - the battle of Hydaspes (Jhelum) in India.

A beautiful quote - Not a daydream

Category: Personal

Beautiful, lovely, fantastic, inspiring, motivational, action-oriented, thoughts provoking, and magical quote.

It's not just a daydream if you decide to make it your life.
~ Lyrics of She's on Fire Band: Train

Lovely - Fields of Gold.

I never made promises lightly
And there have been some that I've broken
But I swear in the days still left
We'll walk in the fields of gold
~ Lyrics of Fields of Gold - Sting

Links: Bibliomania, Sparknotes

Category: Misc

Free online Literature and study guides. Bibliomania, SparkNotes

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

A google whack. 404 messages and a joke.

Category: Misc

Wow! I found a Google Whack. Two words that give a single search result on Google. Pythagorically Amazon. Clicking on the link gives a 404 error. Check the cached link to access the page.
What is of my use is found search results 1-1 of 1.
Cool, isn't it! :-)

Q: What would be Pythagorically Amazon?
A: A geometry theorem that is very lengthy.
This goes in my database of original ones. :-)

We used to say Tangent in college for lectures bouncing off without making an impression.

Talking about 404 – here are some examples of 404.

The work I do makes my mind 404.
May I speak to xyzee? No, he is 404 at his desk.
His brain is always 404 in meetings.
On a cell phone - You have reached a 404. This number is not found.
During a presentation – how many say yes, how many say no, and how many are 404?
All these go in my database of original ones :-)

Reminds me of a joke.

Santa Singh and Banta Singh have had enough of cell phones. They decide to revert to the age-old tradition of communicating through pigeons. Santa sends messages to Banta and Banta replies back. The pigeon carries the messages to and fro.
Once Santa sends the pigeon to Banta without a message.
"Oye Santa, why did you send the pigeon without a message?" Banta said.
"Oye Khotte, that was a missed call," Santa replied!

English translation of Tere Jaisa Yaar Kahan

Category: Misc

An English translation of the song, 'Tere Jaisa Yaar Kahan'.

I didn't know Bollywood was famous in France. I received a mail from Abdillahi. He wanted the English translation of 'Tere Jaisa Yaar Kahan' from Yaarana. He reached my blog through a search on Google France.

Tere jaisa Yaar kahan, kahan aisa Yaarana
Where to find a friend like you, where is that friendship
(You may also read this line as, Is there a friend like you, is there that kind of friendship)

Tere jaisaa yaar kahan, kahan aisa Yaarana
Yaad karegi duniya, tera mera afsaana
Where to find a friend like you, where is that friendship
The world will remember, the friendship between you and me

Meri zindagi sawaari, mujh ko gale lagaa ke
Baithaa diya falak pe, mujhe khaakh se utha ke

You gave a direction to my life, by hugging and accepting me
You made me sit on a throne, by picking me from dust

Yaara teri yaari ko, maine to khuda maana
Tere jaisa yaar kahan, kahan aisa Yaarana
Yaad karegi duniya, tera mera afsaana

Friend, I have accepted your friendship as God
Where to find a friend like you, where is that friendship
The world will remember, the friendship between you and me

Mere dil ki ye duwa hai, kabhi duur tu naa jaaye
Tere binaa ho jeena, woh din kabhi naa aaye

It is the wish of my heart; you should never go away from me
Without you I have to live, let that day never come

Tere sang jeena yahan, tere sang mar jaana
I'll live here with you, I'll die alongwith you

Tere jaisa yaar kahan, kahaa aisa Yaarana
Yaad karegi duniya, tera mera afsaana

Where to find a friend like you, where is that friendship
The world will remember, the friendship between you and me


PS: Suggestions to improve the translation are most welcome.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Cricket: India v. SA 1st Test - 4th Day's Play

Category: Misc. Cricket

South Africa's Cricket Tour of India
First Test at Kanpur - End of the 4th Day's Play - 23rd November 2004.

India are 401 for 4 in their first innnings in reply to South Africa's score of 510 for 9 declared, at the end of the 4th day's play of the 1st test match in Kanpur.

Virender Sehwag carried on from last evening and played the only way he can - smashing the ball to all corners of the ground. Gautam Gambhir was unlucky to miss his century by four runs. Virender Sehwag went on to make a 164 runs. Saurav Ganguly finally got some bat on ball and was shaping well before trying an extravagant pull shot and holing out to the long leg fielder for an entertaining 57. Sachin was bowled by Andrew Hall for 3. Rahul Dravid - The Wall was unbeaten on 51 runs with VVS Laxman giving him company, when bad light stopped play at 04:35 pm on the 4th day.

This test is heading for a draw, unless India takes a lead of a hundred odd runs and puts South Africa in to bat on the fifth day turner, and hopes for a repeat of the last test match v. Australia when the bowled out Australia for under a hundred runs on the final day.

A draw is the most likely result. The South Africans would be happy with the result and the performances of Andrew Hall and De Bruyn. Andrew Hall's selection proved to be a master stroke by Greame Smith, as he not only scored a century (163 runs), but also went on to achieve the distinction of becoming the highest individual scorer for SA in test matches in India.

Our spin bowling has to fire for us to win the next test match. Murali Karthik bowled 42 overs without taking a wicket. Kumble took 6 for 131 and Harbhajan took 2 wickets.

The series with South Africa seems to be dull and uninteresting. Part of this is due to SA's defensive frame of mind, and the inability of our spinners to get them out. South Africa scored 300 odd runs in a day and a half of play, whereas with Australia the scoring pattern was almost four runs an over, 350 runs a day. South Africa have come with a relatively new team, and they are no longer the force they used to be in world cricket. However, our inability to force the pace on a turning track, made batting easy for South Africa. Why was Irfan Pathan not chosen to play the test match? We went with three spinners and Murali Karthik ended without a wicket in 42 overs. Gautam Gambhir played well for his 96 runs. He has cemented his place for the next test match.

Test matches versus Australia are always thrillers. However, they outplayed us this time around, with only a vicious turner getting us a victory in the fourth and final test match.

Australia is on a roll. They are the best cricket team in the world. They defeated New Zealand by an innings in the first test at Brisbane. Michael Clarke scoring another century and Adam Gilchrist playing a hurricane knock for one more ton at the number six position. New Zealand were bowled out for only 76 runs in their second innings.

Now, Australia have defeated India in India, and they are unbeatable at home.
Let's see what will be the fate of Pakistan when they tour Australia in December.

Scores: At the end of Day 4. 1st Test.
South Africa - 1st Innings..........510 for 9 decl.
India - 1st Innings.......................401 for 4

Email forwards

Category: Personal

I like to read interesting forwards, especially the ones with inspiring messages, motivational stories, poems, and thoughts.
I don't like mails that propagate religion.

I received a beautiful mail with the Gayatri Mantra, and some hopeless advertising - send this mail to these many people to improve your life, with the name of the temple and link to its web site.

Bro, let me read the mail, don't advice me to send this mail to 15 people to improve my life drastically, and if I send it to only 4 people I will get a little benefit, and deleting this mail will bring forth a calamity. What crap! The first thing I do is to delete those mails and then send a mail to the sender, saying if our fate was in God's hands, all of us would be millionaires, doesn't everyone ask God for something or the other, and as for me, I'm happy to earn on my own. God has enough of His own troubles looking after a billion plus people, why to ask something from Him?

The Gayatri Mantra - One of the few shlokas in Sanskrit, that I can recite by heart. The other one is, 'Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya' from The Gita.

The Gayatri Mantra

Om Bhur Bhuva Svah
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyoyona Prachodayat

An English translation of the Gayatri Mantra.

I am ready to learn, I don't like being taught.

Category: Personal

A beautiful thought

Personally, I'm always ready to learn,
although I do not always like being taught.
~ Sir Winston Churchill

Note: I've marked this as a Personal post and not a Misc. one.

I can identify with this saying.
I like to learn. I like to learn and explore on my own.
I don't like being taught. Tell me what to do and let me find out how to do it, on my own.

I've a good chance with a telecom major. Let's see.
There's also an opportunity with a small Bangalore based writing company.
I have fond memories of Bangalore. I would love to go to Bangalore once again.
Relocation and all no worries for me.
Three jeans, four shirts and I'm happy! :-)

Regarding the ID opening those guys are so slow, they haven't informed me about the date of the interview. Now, if it comes, I won't be interested. The last time too, I had been there for the test and interview, and they didn't send me the offer letter, it wasn't ready and then I joined my ex-company. Why is HR so useless? I've never had a positive experience with the HR dept., and this comes from someone who always looks at the brigher side of life.

HR is a redundant department, as they don't understand the value of a 'resource'. What can they do? They are burdened with a hundred plus applications a day.

Read Krishnamurthi. Enlightening. Although abstract and sometimes difficult to understand and agree to. Whatever freedom one yearns for it is always from something or for something. Freedom from fear, from social customs, for money, for ambition etc. Unless one detaches the mind from the from and for of freedom, one won't be able to achieve freedom.

This was heavy stuff. Couldn't agree with it. Although it makes for interesting reading. J. Krishnamurti On Freedom.

I'm happy

Category: Personal

I'm Happy. :-) Why? One doesn't need an occasion to be happy. It comes from within, and I'm happy for now.

Personal: Thoughts

Category: Personal

Going by this saying,

Count your age by friends not years - my age would be zero!

I am bored.

Mood: Pink Floyd's Time signifies my mood

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.

Kicking around on a piece on ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine
Staying home to watch the rain

You are young and life is long
There is time to kill today

One day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines

I should take the XLRI test, there's still time, and get an MBA - do something with my life.

I have abilities, but I don't have the degree, and so no one is able to make out my abilities.

I am impressive, my CV isn't!

What is there in learning a few softwares.
Give me a day and I will learn them.
I have never got a chance to do that work so how will I learn those softwares.

I had enquired for a training class, a 3 day course costs Rs. 10,000/-
Instead of that I will learn on my own!
Why should I pay Rs. 10K for a certificate.

Ask me what I know and I will tell you.
Don't ask for certificates.

Whatever I've learnt, I've learnt through Google :-)

I need speed. I need to do something with my life.
I am wasting my potential.

Potential that remains unutilized, stagnates and becomes junk, it has no value.

A moment passes by me
The days go slowly and the years are over


Category: Misc

Face towards the stars and feet on the ground.
~ Swedish saying

One should go invited to a friend in good fortune, and uninvited to one in misfortune.
~ Swedish saying

A Thought for Today

Category: Misc

Count your life by smiles not tears,
Count your age by friends not years.

Monday, November 22, 2004

A lovely thought

Category: Personal

You don't get paid for the hour.
You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.
~ Jim Rohn

Link: ebazm Urdu poetry and Shayari

Category: Misc. Urdu poetry and Shayari.

ebazm discussion forum for Urdu poetry and Shayari.

A nice sher

Jaam do andar hon baahar jhilmilaati raat ho
Doston ke darmiyaan phir shayari ki baat ho

Two pegs inside - the starry night outside
Then the talk of Shayari between friends by the side

The original meaning (the poetic meaning) is lost in the English translation, especially the second line.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Link: Search Engine Strategies Conference

Category: Professional

Search Engine Strategies Conference.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

A Lovely Quote

Category: Misc.

How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Personal: Job front and plans for the weekend

Category: Personal

I took a test on Thursday and another one last evening. I have an interview scheduled for Monday and the result of last evening's test would be known next week.

I am going to watch Naach. It is a Ram Gopal Verma film with Antara Mali and Abhishek Bachchan. The promos of Naach are good. It should be a fast and entertaining flick, I suppose. I'll watch it tonight and then write a review.

A beautiful verse

Category: Misc Poetry

I give you my hand!
I give you my love, more precious than money,
I give you myself, before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself?
Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live.
~ From Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman

A Thought for Today

Category: Misc.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road.
~ From Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman

Link: Emule P2P File sharing

Category: Misc

Emule P2P File sharing software.


Category: Misc

Random three, four liners.

Idle afternoons
Drilling in the background
Why is it still so silent?

Life is slow
I want to make it fast
There is so much to do
And here I am
Searching for a job!

Project Gutenberg - Free ebooks

Category: Professional.

Download free ebooks, read books from Project Gutenberg.

The books are in html and text formats.

Project Gutenberg Homepage
Online Book Catalog Search
Advanced Search link
This week's top 100 books

Use Internal links to your advantage

Category: Professional

Use internal links to your advantage.

If your website has 40 pages and each page has three links back to the homepage, then effectively there are 120 links back to your homepage. This helps in Google's PageRanking, as it relies on the number of context relevant backlinks to your homepage. You can check the number of sites linking back to your homepage with the link operator. For example, link:www.zdnetindia.com

Always link your logo back to the homepage. It is the simplest way of directing a user back to the homepage, and also of generating a backlink for SEO.

Use the Title tag effectively

Category: Professional.

The Title tag.

Utilize the title tag effectively. There is so much space to effectively advertise your company and its products instead of a plain Hi Welcome to our site.

For example, if your company is in the field of software application development for the medical sector. Use the title tag to say,
XYZee, Pune, India - Scalable, effective, and customised software solutions for the medical industry.

This helps in SEO, as when your website shows up among a hundred others, most of them don't have a good title while your web site will encourage the surfer to click as it has an effective title, which provides information the user is looking for.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

What's New at Google - Google Scholar

Category: Professional

What's New at Google - Google Scholar (Beta) - Search service for researchers, scientists, and scholars (everyone who studies is a scholar, so this one's for all of us)

Google Scholar - Search results in the form of pdfs, citations, books, and links to library & web search.


Category: Misc.

Download Thunderbird (5.75 MB)
Configure Thunderbird (email client) for Gmail POP access.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Search for .swf files on Google

Category: Professional

Search for ShockWave Flash (.swf) files with Google's filetype:swf operator.

Format: search query filetype:swf
Instructional Design filetype:swf
An Interview with God filetype:swf
Quotable Quotes filetype:swf
Friendship Greetings filetype:swf


Category: Misc

The simple way to build a search query
For example, http://www.google.com/search?q=Download+Thunderbird+for+Firefox

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Boogle - Google search with sayings

Category: Misc

A cool link. Boogle.com - Search Google with images and quotes.

A new quote and image everytime you refresh the homepage.

POP access for Gmail

Category: Professional

Gmail offers POP access.

Note: Enable the Forwarding and POP tab in Gmail Settings.

How to enable POP for Gmail.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Search Engine News, Blogs, Forums, and SEO Links

Category: Professional

For my ready reference.

Search Engine Industry - News, Blogs, Discussion Boards, and SEO Links.

Search Engine Blogs

John Battelle's Search Blog
Search Engine Watch Blog
Search Engine Blog
Yahoo! Search Blog
Google Search Blog
MSN Search Blog
Abakus Search Blog

Search Engine News

Search Engine Watch
Research Buzz
Pandia Search World
WebmasterWorld Forum
Search Engine Watch Forum
Ozzu Forum
Traffick SE News
WebPro News
Search Engine Journal
Search Engine Lowdown
Search Engine RoundTable
Search Engine Guide

Search Engine Optimization

ISEDB - The Internet Search Engine Database
High Rankings
SEO Meetup

Note: All the links on my blog always open in a new window. You've come to read my blog, so don't lose your place from here, and always do multi-tasking. Firefox users press Ctrl+T to open a link as a tab in the same window.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Happy Diwali

Diwali Greetings

Here's wishing all of you a Very Happy Diwali.

I'm using Firefox

Category: Misc.

I've started using Firefox.
Link: Download Firefox (4.7 MB Windows, English).
Firefox has set Google search as its homepage.
Spread Firefox

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Microsoft's New MSN Search

Category: Professional

Check Microsoft's MSN Search (Beta).

Reviews of MSN Search (Beta):
Search Engine Watch, PCMag, John Battelle's Search Blog, and Seattle PI.

Google News links for MSN Search.

Link: MSNSearch Blog.

Check the Slider features (Match, Popularity, and Updates) of the Result Ranking tab of Search Builder.

A Search Haiku

Category: Misc. Poetry.

You may call this a Search Haiku or an attempt at one.

A Haiku is a 17 (5,7, & 5) syllable verse form with a reference to nature.

Intelligence expands and horizons widen
All you need is to search Google
The world's in your palm

You have a Search Haiku to share. Let me know.

Google searches more than 8 billion web pages.

Category: Professional.

Google's index doubles.
Google now searches more than 8 billion web pages.

Google searches 8,058,044,651 web pages.
The previous number was 4,285,199,774

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Zaheer's mail

Category: Personal.

I received a mail from Zaheer. He was my room-partner in Bangalore. He's marrying his sweetheart Ladly in May next year. Congratulations Zaheer!

Read Zaheer's story. Good luck Zaheer. I'm so happy for you. We'll meet when you are in Pune.

Life takes strange turns. You moved to Bombay because things weren't working out (personally) in Bangalore, and now the wheel has turned full-circle, and you're marrying your sweetheart - with her parent's wishes. I'm very happy for you Zaheer. Your mail made my day. :-)

In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities.

Reading for this month

Category: Personal

I'm going to catch up on a lot of reading this month.

There's a lot on my plate (that's a very 'corporate' word).

I'm reading, The Fifth Mountain by Paulo Coelho. After that I'm going to read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, then The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I'm also reading, Inside Out Microsoft—In Our Own Words - it is an interesting coffee table book.

I'm going to read On Freedom by Jiddu Krishnamurti and then a couple of classics, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and Vladimir Nabokov's Short Stories.

And after all this reading there will always be time to read Love Story for one more time.

Writing Quotes

Category: Misc.

Quotes on Writing.

Read, read, read. Read everything - trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.
(now, hit shift+del)
~ William Faulkner

Writing is my refuge. It's where I go. It's where I find that integrity I have.
~ Charles Johnson

My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
~ Ernest Hemingway

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
~Anton Chekhov

Link: An extensive collection of Writing Quotes.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Just Do It

Category: Personal

Nike advertisement. Inspiring words.

Too often we are scared.
Scared of what we might not be able to do.
Scared of what people might think if we tried.
We let our fears stand in the way of our hopes.
We say no when we want to say yes.
We sit quietly when we want to scream.
And we shout with the others,
when we should keep our mouths shut.
After all, we do only go around once.
There's really no time to be afraid.
So stop.
Try something you've never tried.
Risk it.
Enter a triathlon.
Write a letter to the editor.
Demand a raise.
Call winners at the toughest court.
Throw away your television.
Bicycle across the United States.
Try bobsledding.
Try anything.
Speak out against the designated hitter.
Travel to a country where you don't speak the language.
Patent something.
Call her.
You have nothing to lose
and everything, everything to gain.
Just Do It.

Verse: A world of a difference

Category: Personal

A verse on the spur of the moment.

Chin straining against the window grill
My gaze beyond the ground
Looking at the building construction going on
A mile's distance between the two
a building here and a building there
A world of a difference on both sides.

Looking out of a Bombay local
Huts along the railway tracks
A handshake's distance between movement and stagnancy
(or should I say, us and them)
A world of a difference between the two

If you have a moment to spareevery window has a story to tell.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Poem: I'm free to choose my way...

Category: Personal

A poem on the spur of the moment.

You can't wait to write a verse or a poem. It just comes, and you've to write, like I wrote this one.

I don't know how it came, it comes naturally, and you've to seize the moment. Carpe Diem

I'm free to choose my way...

You rush to work
Shut your mouth
Seal your lips, and hold your tongue
Do what is told
Get back home
The pay is good
Why do you need to brood?

Not for me the way of the crowd
When I say something
I want to be heard aloud!

Kick me out
Tear me down
Don't ever think
There will be an inkling of fear or frown on my crown.

No friendship, no emotions,
No feelings, no empathy,
No connections, no good byes,
One day you're here,
The next day you're out somewhere,
No one cares,
And all that's left is a(an) (e)motionless chair!

I may stumble
I may fall, I may get it all wrong
It's my life, it's my pace
I handle it my way

I'll fail a hundred times
Live on peanuts for the rest of my life
I won't be stable
Atleast I'll be happy
I'm living my life.

The world says this is wrong
Let them say
I feel this is right
And I'm sticking to my way

God has given us a neck
Why can't we stick it out
And if there's something you feel wrong about
What's stopping you from saying it out aloud.

The money is good
The name is big
One more year
And I'll be stable and sick.

Think conservative
Act practical
Be rational
Why to heed
The words that strangle me.

The wind on my face
A song in my heart
A love to win
A dream to pursue
I'm happy
What's more I want?

The world is big
The ways are many
It's another lovely day
I'm free to choose my way...


Life n' times in Pune and Hyderabad

Category: Personal and Misc. Life and Times.

Life and times in Pune and Hyderabad.

Places I have to check out in Pune.

1. Mainland China - Boat Club Rd.
2. Sheesha Cafe - At Koregaon Park (Read about it on a blog)
3. Jazz Garden - At Koregaon Park
4. Flags Restaurant - Near Inox
5. The Place - Near WestEnd
6. Ofcourse - Marz-o-rin, Pasteur, Kayani, and Cafe Naaz at Main Street.
7. 1000 Oaks. (Need company).

Let me write about 'Cafe Naaz ka samosa aur sauce' and maska-pao (bun-maska).

Cafe Naaz is a landmark in Pune. It is situated at the beginning of M.G. Road, opposite Aurora Towers. There were two cafes, one that used to sell veg/ and non-veg. (meat) samosas and the existing cafe that sells veg. samosas. One of the cafes was sold, and made way for Barista. This was, I guess, a couple of years ago.

The specialty of Cafe Naaz is its samosa.

When you tell the waiter chai-samosa, he brings six samosas, alongwith a bottle of sauce. You can't call it ketchup, it is sauce, a very sweet thin liquid. You eat what you want and pay for that. There are six samosas and if you eat only three, the waiter will take the other three back and you pay Rs. 15/- only @Rs. 5/- per samosa. Tea costs Rs. 5/- and Maska-pau (Bun-Maska, bun and butter) is available for Rs. 9/- (There is a family room on the first floor).

The tea costs Rs. 5/- (which is costly), and is nowhere near Hyderabad's Irani chai (wah). Read my post on Irani Chai.

Pune's cafes offer maska-pau (Bun-maska, bun and butter), which Hyderabad's cafes don't. Hyderabad's cafes have 'mirchi' (big green chillies), it is a 'bhajiya' (what do you call a Bhajiya in English?) and 'Osmania' biscuits, and ofcourse the chhota samosa and the alu samosa. Once you taste Irani chai, nothing can compare to it. For all those who've never been to Hyderabad, if you ever get a chance, don't miss sipping a cup of Irani Chai at one of the cafes. There are a lot of cafes in Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Each area, almost every street has a cafe. I remember going to a cafe at Rd. No. 12, Banjara Hills, on my way to Nampally station, at 4 in the morning. I miss the Irani chai of Cafe Diamond Point at Bowenpally, Secunderabad. It serves one of the best tea made in Hyderabad. And talking about Hyderabad, go to Paradise for Biryani. Jahangir and Venu preferred the biryani of Bawarchi. They say it is the best in Hyderabad. I haven't been there, and also to Angethi on Banjara Hills, and Utsav at Secunderabad.

A visit to Hyderabad is incomplete without a cup of Irani chai, a plate of steaming Biryani, shopping for Chudiyaa (Bangles) and Moti (Pearls) near Charminar, eating ice-cream at Mozamjahi market, having sandwich at the 24 hours joint at the petrol pump near HPS, buying Karachi biscuits, gifting Bisticks from Almond House at Banjara Hills, shopping at Sultan Bazaar, visiting Golconda fort, dinner at Hotel Banjara Darbar near the Punjagutta signal - those giant tandoori rotis for Rs. 3/- only, and how can I forget zooming at 90 kmph on the KBR park road (LV Prasad road) :-).

Jannat: The advertising hoarding of Katrina Kaif on the Begumpet flyover and my favourite one opp. Chutney's, the one in pink top and jeans, wow, she looked gorgeous (I used to call that pic. Jannat, Paradise). A respite to look up at that heavenly beauty, after the traffic on Begumpet anytime after 6 until 9 in the evening. Jannat jaisa poster, Katrina Kaif ka.

Anwar had sent me a mail, the Begumpet flyover isn't the same. They've removed Katrina's poster.
I sometimes used to drop Anwar till Panjagutta, on my way back home from work. I used to tell him, Hyderabad mai traffic jam ho to koi badi baat nahin hai, agar traffic jam na ho, especially on Begumpet to koi problem hai. Hyderabad ke kya kisse sunaaye... :-)

I'd love to work in Hyderabad once again.
It is one of India's cleanest cities. Pune has a lot to learn from Hyderabad, especially in infrastructural development.

If 15% of Hyderabad's infrastructural development takes place in Pune, it has the possibility of a 50% increase in business, as Pune has the advantage of being near Bombay, a pleasant weather throughout the year, a student city feel, and a cosmopolitan outlook.

Pune needs better roads, streetlights that work, greenery on the roads (check the Cyberabad-Madhapur road - beautiful landscaping going towards Gachibowli), lighting during Diwali (check Tank Bund on Diwali, amazing), wider roads, roads without potholes, more traffic signals; and a Traffic Sense, which unfortunately will never prevail.

I like to write about cities.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Book Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Category: Misc. On Reading and Books.

I am very fond of reading. I read a lot - both online and offline. A book that I have read and re-read, and one that has inspired me is, 'The Alchemist' written by Paulo Coelho.

The essence of this book is in its simplicity. It gives us the message, "In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities." It is a simple book with a philosophical meaning. The Alchemist is the story of a young shepherd in search of his dreams. The shepherd boy meets a king who urges him to go in search of a treasure, which lies at the Pyramids. The shepherd boy decides to follow the advice, and starts on a voyage that takes him beyond places he has ever seen, meeting different people, finding new places, and learning new things.

There are times when the shepherd boy wants to abandon his journey and go back, and each time, destiny makes him go ahead. The boy meets an Alchemist, one who can turn metal to gold, on his way in search of the treasure, and the Alchemist takes him to the Pyramids. On their way they meet warring tribes, explore the magic of nature, and understand the power of the soul of the Universe. The shepherd boy also finds the love of his life, and he leaves her to go ahead in search of the treasure, knowing well that she would be waiting for him on his way back.

The book gives us the message that if you have a dream then you should follow it. If you want to achieve something and you are in search of your dreams, the entire universe comes together to help you achieve your goal.

This philosophical book is a way of living life. Be bold, fearless, courageous, and always follow your dreams, and doors will open where there aren't any, and friends will appear where there are none, and there are no strange places, only new ones.

Someone somewhere is waiting for you be it in the middle of a desert, or in some great city, and one can always go back to do what one is currently doing, but those who risk and go in search of their dreams achieve the impossible.

Life is not about stability and money, it is about dreams and love, and when you follow your destiny, the entire universe conspires to help you achieve it.

It is a book worth reading and remembering. A must read book.

A single line description for The Alchemist would be, "In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities." So what are you waiting for, go ahead in search of both, be free and fear no one.

Rating: 5 on 5
Must Read.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Cricket: My team for the test series v. SA.

Category: Misc. Cricket

My team for South Africa's tour of India in Nov-Dec.

1. Virender Sehwag
2. Akash Chopra (I'd give him four more chances).
He is a good player.
3. Rahul Dravid
4. Sachin Tendulkar
5. VVS Laxman (Yes, Laxman should bat before Ganguly)
6. Mohammed Kaif (Saurav Ganguly, if fit).
7. Irfan Pathan
8. Dinesh Karthik (wkt-keeper)
9. Harbhajan Singh
10. Zaheer Khan
11. Anil Kumble

12. Gautam Gambhir
13. Murali Kartik
14. Ashish Nehra (if fit)

A Thought for Today

Category: Personal.

A thought for today.
Leave excess baggage behind.

A story for this saying. I've written this Zen story before.

I'm writing this in short, once again.

A Chinese monk and his disciple proceed on a long journey.

They meet a beautiful girl, who is waiting by the riverbank. She wants to reach the other side, and there is no boatman in sight.

The monk lifts the girl on his shoulder and calmly carries her across the river.
The disciple has a strange look on his face.

After a long walk, when camping for the night, the Monk asks the Disciple, "It seems you have questions. You look worried? What's the matter?"

The Disciple asks the Master, "This morning you carried a girl across the river. Are we not supposed to follow the path of Salvation. Was it right for you to touch a girl? She looked beautiful, her hair flowing in the wind, her face breaking into a smile when you carried her."

The Master answers,
"I left her on the otherside of the river."
"Why are you still carrying her?"

Leave excess baggage behind. Beautiful.

A Transparent World

Category: Personal.

On the incidents that happened over the week, a lot of people told me, "You should have written whatever you wanted to write, but why did you give the blog link to your clients (exasperated)?"

That's a good question and I have a simple answer.
It's a transparent world.

How much time does it take to find information about someone?
Just Google and the world opens up. Isn't it? So what's wrong in being transparent?
(I know this a different way of thinking. And why not?)

Friday, November 05, 2004

Cricket: India has won the 4th test by 13 runs.

Category: Misc. Cricket

Australia's Cricket tour of India 2004-05.
4th and Final Test Match at Wankhede stadium, Mumbai.
3rd Day's Play. 5th November 2004

India 1st Innings................104 all out Overs: 41
Australia: 1st Innings........203 all out Overs: 61
India 2nd Innings................205 all out Overs: 68
Australia 2nd Innings.........93 all out Overs: 30

Result: India won by 13 runs. (On the 3rd day!)

An amazing test match, over in three days, with only two days of actual play.
40 wickets falling in a span of 3 days. Check the overs played by the teams. For a test match this is amazing. Wickets falling like nine pins on a turning track. I haven't seen even a ball of the test match. The cable connection is off.

Laxman played a good knock of 69 in the 2nd innings and alongwith Sachin helped India to a respectable, in the context of this game, score of 205 runs in the 2nd innings.

Australia needing 107 to win, collapsed to 48 for 6 and ended 13 runs short of winning, all out for 93 runs in 30 odd overs. Harbhajan took 5 wickets and Kartik claimed three wickets, including that of Damien Martyn who was LBW for a nought.

So, in the end, it is an Indian win on an absolute turner. If the groundsman had prepared this kind of a pitch at Nagpur, we'd have won, but to the credit of the groundsman at Nagpur, he prepared a sporting pitch.

Here, it was a spinner's paradise right from the 2nd day. There was hardly any play on the first day.

For all those who think Laxman should be dropped, check his innings in the context of the game, and see the importance of those 69 runs.

I am a supporter of VVS Laxman - he should be always there in the team, and hope the selectors take the wise decision of keeping him in the team, especially after his innings on a turning track here. You can't neglect genius.

Result of the match: India won by 13 runs.
Series: Australia won by 2-1.

Next Series: South Africa in India.

Cricket: 4th Test: 3rd Day's Play.

Category: Misc. Cricket

4th Test. 3rd Day's Play. Mumbai 5th Nov.

What kind of a pitch have these guys prepared? It's the third day of the 4th test match, in which a day has been lost due to rain, and it's already the final innings. Australia need 107 to win. What's the latest score? The net connection is slow, the cable is off, and I don't have the latest news? Any updates? Please let me know.

PS: Ranjeet, if you're reading this, aakhir Laxman ne batting kiya :-)


Category: Professional.

I. Thoughts on Usability.

Use white space to your advantage.
Follow the Google model.
Simple homepage, fast loading speed, and a prominent search box.
A white background, lots of open space, a good (preferably) light colored logo.

Don't use drop-downs. Use plain html links.
An example. Instead of giving the user options to choose one or more drop-downs - give them links to all the options and let them decide.
Why is it so? The answer — people find it easier to click - rather than select, or click and then select.

Why is Google so easy to surf?
Google doesn't bother the user with drop-downs, check boxes etc.
Everything is HTML. (Gmail is Javascript).

Make it easy for the user to decide what to choose.
Keep the pages uncluttered. Instead of showing a lot of stuff, limit it to the one that would be the most clickable.
(It's debatable, I suppose from a user's perspective, this works).
If a user finds what he is looking for there are chances that the most probable click would be to that link itself, instead of trying to experiment.

There are ways of deciding.
A first time user may surf, a compulsive shopper would directly go to the link of interest. An inquisitive person may like to read a review.
Different search results can be set to be shown for different types of surfers.

The biggest challenge for a search site is the algorithm of the webspider. Once the spider works, everything else follows.

Always give links back to the homepage from the top and bottom of all the other pages of the website. Use the Logo to your advantage. Always link the logo back to the homepage with an appropriate 'Alt' tag. This will help in Search Engine Optimization.

Link popularity is an important factor for a shopping website.
Use the link: operator in Google to find the number of websites linking to your site. Check link:www.epinions.com, link:www.bizrate.com

An easy way to check your competition and also to find related websites is to do a related: search on Google.
For example if you want to find websites similar to Price Grabber enter the search string as related:www.pricegrabber.com

Images should show up on the left-hand side of the page. The best way is to enclose images and text together in a table format. All images should have alt tags that describe it.

People read from the top to bottom, and left to right, so instead of an image appearing above or below a text, it should appear alongwith the text.
An image on the left hand side and then the text for it.

Give links to all the important pages from the top and bottom of your page. Give the user a chance to navigate.

A way to think for the future would be to work on a shopping toolbar/deskbar. Most of the shopping websites have a toolbar that rests on the browser. An innovation here would be to think of a deskbar, if I may call it that. It brings shopping search to your desktop, not just your browser. I'm not able to think of an exact explanation for it.

II. More on Usability

Before doing a usability analysis - ask yourself

What do I want to do with my site?
Who would be visiting your site? Surfers whom we've got to convert to Buyers. You need users who buy, so that you can make money.

What's the business model?
Do we also go in for paid advertising?

How about contextual advertising? Something on the lines of Google's AdSense?
For paid advertising and contextual advertising, the webspider should be capable of showing relevant links.

And now start your Usability analysis-

Get them to your site. Search Engine Optimization.
Make them surf. Links
Help them navigate. Buy, Compare, Homepage, Contact, and Feedback links.
Let them read. Use white space. Keep the paragraphs short.
Guide them properly. Provide links.
Now get your Shopping page and catch the user. Compare, Buy, Shop links.
Allow them to make a choice.
Invite them to try your paid services.

Personal: On Blogging and the word 'domineering'

Category: Personal

From now onwards, I'm only going to blog about search engines and poetry. And, sometimes about cricket, if India plays well.

So all you people out there who get a 'vicarious' pleasure in reading about my life's ups and downs (vicissitudes is the right word, but it's very difficult, and always use an easy word instead of a difficult one), would not be able to do so. Cool adjective this, 'vicarious' isn't it.

Similarly, 'to domineer' is a verb, and the word domineering comes from that. It is such a harsh word. It means exercising overbearing control. Someone from US, without meeting me IRL (in real life) used that for me.

I'm a domineering person and am disrespectful towards co-workers.
What a big sweeping statement.
I felt bad. I really felt bad.

I had decided not to write about this. But I have to write, to get those emotions out. It really hurt.

A domineering person doesn't go half-way round the city to get a special cake because one of his co-workers has a fast, doesn't run downstairs to get a packet of fruit salt because someone isn't feeling well, doesn't go to the other end of the city to drop one of his co-workers home because it's late, doesn't drive slowly because someone's baby is sleeping, doesn't bring chocolates because someone expressed a wish for them, doesn't say Hi to almost each and everyone on the floor, and Shilpa, Neeta, Suman, Sonia, Mohan, and Ashish would second that.

And, I'm a domineering person. Such a big sweeping statement, without meeting me IRL (in real life).

I'm disrespectful towards co-workers.

I Cannot take this. I cannot. I don't even say, Haan, I always say, Haanji, the politest form of Yes in Hindi, to even the security staff and the office boys, let alone co-workers, and because someone from far-away feels I'm disrespectful towards co-workers, I have to be.

Mohan said this to me on my 2nd day in office. "Chirayu, I like your nature. You're open and friendly. You have knowledge and you don't mind sharing it."

And, I'm disrespectful towards co-workers because someone from far-away without meeting me IRL (in real life), on the basis of conference calls for five weeks, says so.

It takes a lifetime, and even that isn't enough to know a person, and they sent across these damning comments about me. And the company, believing in the maxim, the client is always right, without asking for my opinion, ordered me to resign.

(I'm going to make paper rockets out of all these damning comments, and fly them against a strong cross-wind).

It would have been better if they would have told me, "We don't like your work, and would like you to resign." And, I'd have done that. But, showing all these damning comments. Domineering and disrespectful. Such harsh words. Not one person among my friends, co-workers, or for that matter ex co-workers from Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Secunderabad would second that.

And my manager didn't even meet me. I got a call, was told to meet the HR, and asked to resign. What was my manager doing? Couldn't he stick his neck out and say, this guy can be anything, but he can't be disrespectful.

Who is a good leader? A good leader is someone who stands by his team-mates.
(You don't need to go to Harvard Business School to learn leadership, whatever leadership one has to learn, or whatever I've learnt, I've learnt from the cricket field watching Steve Waugh captain).

Maybe for them those were just two words, domineering and disrespectful and just another day in life.

This has been one bad experience for me.

And, if at some point of time in life, I do meet them (the people who made these remarks), in US or India, they'd know... how wrong they were.

Call me anything, call me a bad writer, a million times over, and I won't mind.
I suck at writing, I'm no good, and fire me. I won't mind.
But, I can't take disrespectful. I cannot. Sorry!

I won't be writing personal posts for sometime now. I'll write more about search, poetry, books, cricket, and the places I visit.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

I'm reading...

Category: Misc. Books.

I've finished reading the Manual of the Warrior of Light. It is a good read. A collection of sayings, aphorisms, philosophical thoughts with an explanation for them. Later on I'll post the ones that I liked the most.

Crossword at Sohrab Hall has a sale going on until, I suppose, the 7th of this month. Most of the books have a 10% to 20% discount.

Current Read: Atlas Shrugged
On the Shelf: Dreamcatcher
To Buy: Vladimir Nabokov's Short Stories.

Employers should have a policy on Blogging

Category: Personal.

Software companies need policies on Blogging.

Companies need to define policies on Blogging. There should be
a clause defining the company's policy on Blogging in its
Non-Disclosure Agreement. Do they allow blogging from the company? If
they allow blogging, do they allow personal blogging? And, if personal
blogging is allowed, then would that be taken as a part of the NDA if
it is done so from the company? If someone blogs personally from
outside the company and writes something about work, would the company
have the right to take action; and all such legalities should be
included in a Blogging clause, and I feel it's time for companies to
come up with that.

What we need is HR people, who understand the meaning of a 'Resource'
and how to utilize one. A 'Resource' has 'Value' and the value is in
it's 'Utility' that has to be utilized. Add the word 'Human' and it is
a 'Human Resource'. They didn't treat me as one, they treated me as a
commodity to be jettisoned.

It's time for companies to provide clear policies on allowing or
dis-allowing blogging.

And the first question that I'm going to ask when I join a new company
is, "Do you have a policy on Blogging, and if so, what is it?"

What I am unhappy about is that the company didn't give me a clear
reason for firing me?

- Either I'm not good at work, then give me a month's notice period;
or terminate my services on some solid ground.

Just because the client thinks I'm domineering and I wrote something
on my Personal Blog (in no way related to the company, or any
part of the company or having to do anything related to the company)
are not grounds for firing me, because it is a personal blog, and even
if the company wants to remove me from the project because the client
didn't like my work, there are 'n' number of projects going on, why
didn't they put me in another project? Why did they ask for my
resignation? On what grounds? On grounds of non-performance, then
where is my one month's notice period?

Employers need to define policies on Blogging.

Here, my ex-company didn't have a policy on Blogging; and so I
was right to blog, blog personally, and blog from the office. These
are harsh but true words, and nobody likes to hear the truth.

It is holiday time, and I'm not in the mood for cross-questioning, but
these were some points, and I thought I'd put them online.

Hope you guys who read this blog would agree that it's time for
companies to get a Blogging Agreement in place during new joinee
induction, and even if they don't have an agreement, they should have
clauses that define Blogging, and its implications on the individual.

People who blog, and are reading this, ask your company a question,
"Do you have a policy on Blogging, if no, then why not, and if yes,
what is it?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Quotes from The Alchemist

Category: Personal

Current Read: Paulo Coelho's Manual of the Warrior of Light
On the Shelf: Stephen King's Dreamcatcher

Link: My favourite quotes from The Alchemist.

A quote for the occasion: You are never as good as everybody tells you when you win, and you're never as bad as everyone tells you when you lose. You have to believe in yourself.

There are no strange places, only new ones.

Personal: Developments at work

Category: Personal

Breaking News

The best thing about the unexpected is that it happens so fast.

I'm not working anymore with my present company. They gave me a choice - either you resign or we terminate you, and they didn't give me any other option, so I resigned last afternoon.

My take on this is - can companies be so childish.

I wrote something on my blog, the clients didn't like it, they sent a mail to our company, and my company fired me.

Now, the point to note is - it's a personal blog, no way related to the company or for that matter with the work I do. It's my life and I'm keeping a diary online. So even if I write something, it is personal and besides that I've categorised my posts as personal, professional (related to my interests, nothing about my office work) and misc. Now if I write something, why would anyone take offence and even if someone does, shouldn't the company deal with it in a mature manner.

The HR manager, (he wasn't aware of a blog - now he knows, as I've told him) asked me whether I'd resign or get terminated, and I signed a one page resignation letter, and got my relieving letter.

So the merry-go-round is swinging again, that's life and there are ups and downs - no worries for me. Nothing fazes me, least of all finding a new job.
There's one waiting round the corner and I'll grab it.

As for what I wrote that the clients didn't like. Check the undermentioned post (On keeping an open mind), now why would someone call the first two paragraphs as disparaging remarks? I wonder?

I'm not a person to speak ill of anyone, leave alone write about it.
(And those who know me, have met, and interacted with me would vouch for that).

And, I'd be frank enough to write that yes, they didn't like my work, and they are entitled to their opinion.

One more point - why would the client say, I'm too domineering, and even if they feel so, did my company even check with my colleagues regarding what opinion do they have about me?

Whoever read my blog and didn't like should have acted in a mature way and read it as an individual, and not as representing the company. And come on it's a personal blog, why take it seriously. I was making points for myself, and when I said I need to be more serious about work, it should have been taken in a positive context, not a negative one.

There can be a lot of too and fro explanations, and it's worth nothing.
Let bygones be bygones.
Alright, whatever happened - happened and it's a new beginning.
No hard feelings.

My blogging continues, why shouldn't it, and everyone is free to read.

A simple way would be to think of not writing personal stuff online. In the first place if I would not have written anything, or for that matter not given my blog link to the client this would not have happened.
Then that way of living is not for me. Not for Chirayu. It is for losers.

And when I join the next company, I'll make it a point to tell the HR that blogging was one of the reasons for my being fired, and if they don't want me, I don't mind.

I have seen the moon shine on the other side of the world
And I am no longer the same.

This Jovan Musk deo is very strong. I'm not going to use it, besides that I don't need to, I'm not going to office today.

Bye for now. I got to run, find another job. And, why to worry... it's waiting down the corner for me. The lights are red, the moment they turn green, I'll zoom and get one.

It's a dull, grey, and raining start to a Wednesday morning. It's November, and it's raining and it's time for me to listen to If you wanna love me darling don't refrain, or I'll keep on walking, just keep on walking, in the cold November Rain.

Yes, I got to keep on walking...

It's going to be Diwali time next week and some questions will be difficult to answer...

Where are you working?
How much do you earn?
And the question I hate to answer, When are you getting married?

Life is an open road and there's something better written for me.

I can try for Google and get in their AdWords Marketing, and I don't want to do that. So I need to think about what do I want to do.

One final point. People are entitled to their opinions, and I'm entitled to accepting or rejecting them, because after all they are opinions.

Note: This is a personal post. No way related to my employer or ex-employer. This is my blog and I'm entitled to my opinion online, and if you value your freedom then you'd appreciate that I value mine.