Follow me on Twitter

Interestingly I am more active on Twitter over the last 2-3 weeks than here; I guess that might be because it is easier to dump a quick thought – which I suppose one can do here but kind of “seems out of place” (yeah, weird!).

Another contributing factor is I have been extremely busy – both on work front and also on the personal front (between relatives visiting and my assignments does not leave me any time).

Also, I finally got around to building a new MCE – so whatever little free time I had went in that – life was very interesting the few days we were “in between” MCE’s the old one was disconnected and the new one was not up and running yet (that’s a story for another time).

Lastly, the fact I want to move away from CS 2007 to WordPress has also somewhat been at the back of my mind; the more I post, the more data I will need to move and the more headache.

I should get more active here soon (once I get some time), until then follow the tweets.

I am Scrobbling

I love music – not only it enriches my life and helps me relax (especially when I am cooking), but I can think clearly and much quickly (for reasons I cannot frankly explain). So, finally I am scrobbling on – feel free to reach out to me there.

RIP – Sam Manekshaw

I recently got to know that Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passed away and the ripe age of 94; I am especially sad to hear that – I cannot explain it – might by my army roots. I think fellow Army brats might get it. May he rest in peace!

Who would want to be king?

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemies eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing:
"Now the old king is dead, long live the king!"

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt, and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword, my shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
Once you go there was never, never an honest word
That was when I ruled the world

It was the wicked and wild win
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become

Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string (Ooooh)
Ah, who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword, and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Ooooh Ooooh Ooooh Ooooh Ooooh
(repeat with chorus)

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword, my shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world
Oooooooh Oooooooh Oooooooh

{Kudos, if you figured it out – it is not that difficult and btw I love it and think  there are so many different levels to it and see some elements of this in everyday life}

Time to boycott Apple?

If I bought an expensive gadget, I own it and can do anything with it (as long as it is legal of course). So if an update deliberately bricks the gadget how is not bullying? Also is it legal (obviously I am no lawyer). Phht … and people say Microsoft acts life a bully! I think it might be time to boycott Apple and take my business elsewhere.

Catching up with an old friend

It has been so long that I can't remember when I last spoke with my dear old friend Govind. We use to work together back in Seattle. He is one guy who I have a lot of respect for and when he talks, you shutup and listen (yes I know that is very difficult for me to do). It is interesting the twists life throws at one and how everyone adapts and changes. It is difficult to imagine him now and how his priorities and what he is passionate about has shifted – one won't even fathom the idea in your wildest dream.

I don't even know why am I surprised about change – after all the only constant is change. Maybe I'll learn someday – though don't hold your breath.

Dominus Illuminatio Mea

What? Is that even English? I'll get to answering it in a second.

Not sure how many of you know, but for a very long time I have been wanting to do a Masters and also dabble in the world of Academia Research. I have done some commercial research in the past which I thoroughly enjoyed but never done any Academia research – well not yet anyway's. 

After procrastinating on this for a long time, and with many other factors which I'd rather not get into here, finally the time came and I just had to try and pick this up again. After all I had been postponing this for over a decade and it was about time I got around to it!

I finally took the plunge a few months ago and started doing my research on various universities and options and in the end settled down on Oxford. I went to their open day a few months ago, and decided it was an excellent opportunity for me in one of the top schools in the world! After applying to them and going thru the interview process, etc. I was glad to have been accepted by the school into their part-time masters program. Needless to say those who know me were flabbergasted and wondered, how the heck did *I* (of all the people get in)! Wink.

I am going to be joining the Software Engineering Programme at Oxford and will be starting soon and am quite excited about the whole thing – sort of like a kid in a candy store – or me in Fry's is probably the better analogy (sorry if you don't get that last part – you need to have been hanging out with me for that Wink). This is a part time program – which means I will continue to work full time. Also it will give me an opportunity to plug in to some of the research going on at Oxford and it would be up to me (or so I believe) on how deep I want to get involved with the research. Irrespective in addition to Avanade, this would be dominating most of my time outside of work and you can get bet you will see some posts related to this over the next few months. Another way to sum it up would be – I won't have a life for the next 2-3 years.

But joking aside, Oxford topped Guardian's league table for the third time in a year – and is the number one university in the UK in overall ranking. And the fact it increased it's lead over Cambridge was just icing on the cake. Big Smile The whole Oxford vs. Cambridge is new to me as well and I am surely going to have more details on that later.

Getting back to the title of this post, Dominus Illuminatio Mea roughly translated to "the Lord is my light" and is the Legend in the Coat of Arms of the University of Oxford. If you see the image carefully you can see the words in the book which has a few leather straps on the left. The arms were adopted around the year 1400 AD and you can read about their significance and origin here. The University has a long rich history – full of tradition, much of which is new to me and over the next few weeks I would surely be posting some of the things I find new and interesting.

Update: Changed some minor sentence construction.

Go Karting

We had a team event from work yesterday and went Go Karting – which was the first time for me! It has been something I have been wanting to do for a while but never got around to for one reason or another. It was a lot of fun – we did three rounds of about 15 minutes each with about 10 minutes break in between each session. And other than our team there was no one else there for some reason so we had the whole place to ourselves – which made it quite easy and flexible.

My first go was quite crap and I was the second slowest in the whole group – but given it was my first time ever Go Karting it I was still lots of fun. At the end of it I think I did pretty well and dropped 4 seconds on my fastest lap! Hand in hand with that is the number of laps I did also went up. Below are my statistics (fastest laps only) for the three run:

  1. # of Laps – 17; Fastest Lap: 38.30 seconds
  2. # of Laps – 19; Fastest Lap: 35.26 seconds
  3. # of Laps – 22; Fastest Lap: 34.30 seconds

If you have never done go karting, I would highly recommend it. I can’t wait for the next time around. Big Smile

Is he dead?

Nope, you ain’t that lucky – I am alive and kicking and just have been quite busy lately (or for a change as some of you might say). Between starting a new project and traveling (with very limited access to emails and the Internet), getting the final chapters and code samples for the book out the door and have friends and relatives over from abroad, does not leave me any time for blogging.

I do have a few things saved “offline” and should be posting the same soon.

Fry's finally has a site – w00t!

Those who know me, know how much I love Fry’s electronics and is the single most thing I miss after moving to London! They finally have a website now! Although they have had the domain for a while they have not started using it till now. If you have not heard of Fry’s (where the heck have you been living dude), then read up more here.

Ah, I miss the those Fry’s Ads in the newspapers every week.

Happy Diwali

Hope all of you have an very happy and safe Diwali!


I am not really a TV junkie (with the exception of Tom and Jerry and Discovery Channel), but I recently saw a few episodes of a new drama called Numb3rs, which is all about a genius mathematician who uses Maths and helps solve crimes with the FBI. It is pretty cool (and g33ky of course Wink), check it out if you are into maths – you usually learn something in each episode.

Upgraded to CS 2.1 Beta 2

Continuing the Living dangerous theme I upgraded this blog to CS 2.1 Beta 2. It's a painful process (including smoke testing). Anyways it all seems to be working. I also added a couple of new things which are not very evident upfront. One being the completely automatic public turing test to tell humans and computer apart control (or better known as captcha control) – to get a better handle on spam and the other is a Google Sitemap generator that you can check out here. Both of these are addons to CS that are available from their download section.

Now, I need to add the option to spell check, insert code in posts (another add-on) and get this working form Word 2007 (which I have tried a few time and does not work – if anyone else gotten this working then please let me know). Confused

Living on the Edge

It seems I cannot get enough of the adrenaline rush and like to live on the edge. I have further upgraded this blog to run on CS 2.1 (Beta 1)  and is now using .NET 2.0 instead of v1.1. and also on the backend is using SQL 2005 instead of SQL 2000. Now all I need to do is sit and pray that nothing breaks. Devil

HDD Crash – backup software recommendation?

The HDD on my work laptop crashed over the weekend – started with CRC errors and then went kaboom (not literally). While our IT folks are trying to recover the data off it as I type this, I wanted to know if you can recommend a cheap or free tool for backing up? I of course did not have the latest backups of my files – I use to till about a year ago and got lazy. This of course is a lesson learned the hard way :(.

The couple of tools that come to mind are something like either SyncToy or robocopy, does anyone else have a recommendation?

Have I been ignoring your emails?

If you have send an email to my work email address within the last week and you have not heard from me, chances are I did not get that email. I am one of the lucky guinea pigs, whose mailbox has been moved to Exchange 12 (officially now called Exchange 2007) where we are using it in production. There seems to be an issue (which we are investigating), where Exchange is kicking back emails saying something along the lines of:

Returned mail: see transcript for details
The following recipient(s) could not be reached:
You do not have permission to send to this recipient.  For assistance, contact your system administrator.
< #5.7.1 SMTP; 550 5.7.1 spam access denied; ip; see>

If so, then you might want to resend that to me. On the other hand, if you send me an email to my personal account and have not heard, then I have just been ignoring you 😉

Where the heck am I?

Well lots of stuff happening in life and as a result this is on the back burner. Firstly we bought a place and moved last weekend, so last few weeks have been just awfully busy with that. Also started a new project in the last few weeks and that has kept me busy as well. Some more stuff happening, which hopefully I can talk about some day. But all in all, next few weeks, I am going to be snowed under again, and you should hear from me eventually. 🙂

On the move note, if you did not get a change of address notification from me with details, and you would like to get the updated info then please ping me and we can take it from there.

Google Calendar – just what I was looking for

I have had an issue for a while – how to share calendars with Meenakshi and the rest of the family in an easy way. Right now my primary calendar is in Exchange at work, and that is fine for work related items, but tracking and sharing personal items was not possible. Right now, I mark them as Private in Exchange so my colleagues can see that I am busy then, but cannot see the details. And the personal events when added, Meenakshi gets an invite, but if she wants to send me an invite (or look at when I am busy or free), then that is not possible. We exchange a number of emails or IM’s before finding out what a suitable time is. This gets more interesting, when other friends and family want to know when are we free or busy for say a theater show or dinner.

With Google Calendar, I can solve these issues. Not only do I have my personal calendar (which is exported from Exchange), that Meenakshi has access to view in a secure manner, we also have a public calendar which is open to the world – so friends and family can look at that and see when we might be available. Yes, the public calendar is a subset of the complete calendar, but it certainly helps a lot. More these days, since we moved to London from San Francisco – seems like its easier to get to London from most places and we are getting quite popular with people wanting to come and spend time with us (hey who would have thought I was popular) ;). Now they can look at which weekends we are free and they can plan accordingly.

If you are interested in this public calendar, the ICal version can be found here (which you can import in Outlook or another program). If you prefer, you can get the XML version here.