Steve Jobs R.I.P.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.”

~ Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

A Bad Nightmare

A Bad Nightmare - Ace 2006 Documents
A Bad Nightmare - Ace 2006 Documents

Sketched awkwardly on the Nokia N900 using the stylus 🙂

For the uninitiated, I have been doing a MS degree that is partially managed by IBM and due to “administrative challenges” there is a huge backlog in issuing mark sheets even though its 4 and a half years since the course started. Taking a dig at that.

Everything is amazing and nobody is happy

My friend, Jax, tweeted today:

At the post office, the only counter that has business is the one for bills payment. Times have changed…

This set me off thinking, and I thought about all the things that we take for granted, Emails, Cell-phones, The internet, everything! Our whole life has changed, but still a lot of us keep complaining for really trivial things.

I recollected seeing this really humourous video and thought that you might like it too, check it out:

Louis C.K on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien

Life is good, there are so many good things that make living a lot more worthwhile. Stay safe and enjoy the upcoming year with your family and friends.

Wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2010!

Multi-level humbug

I am really getting mighty irritated with these multi-level marketing guys, the type where you are supposed to make millions without working your ass off. I had this friend from high-school, and we were good friends and then I lost all contact from him for a few years. Then, all of a sudden, I met him in Bangalore and found that he stayed very close to where I was staying(though I moved away from there a month ago). It so happened that there were a few other friends living nearby, all former school/college mates and we used to team up for dinner every night. I got to know that this guy was involved in some kind of multi-level business as they call it, which involves getting new people into your network and you get a payout from the parent concern for every guy who joins your network. I have asked these guys how will they earn money “as people are added to the tree”, but they insist that after just a few months, money will flow in like anything(guess their training involved deception).

I always had a feeling that this kind of business was BS and never thought of earning money just by getting people into the net. This business model will work(for the parent company at best) and a little for the guys who go around pleading for friends and family to join this network. But after a while, or even early on, you figure out that not many people are buying it and you end up with no one to sell your ‘stuff’ to. This ends up spoiling friendships and relationships amongst the seller and the buyer since most of the time, they should be well-known to each other and you just cant sell to any stranger on the road.

I really felt bad when this guy called me up and tried to get me into his ‘network’. He kept saying on his own that he did not want me to join and only wanted me to attend one of these meetings that they conduct everyday and that I could make thousands in days. He also said that of his 30K investment, he had ‘recovered’ 15K or so. And that he was making money fast..

I felt haggled when he kept explaining it when I was not interested upto the point when I politely hung up the call and that was the last I heard of him. Our friendship had turned sour just because he tried to push something onto me which I did not like and this is the major reason why I hate this multilevel crap.

Now my girl calls me to tell that her colleague had started doing something on similar lines and just casually started explaining this to her. She was wise enough to know what it had in store and jokingly asked him to share his millions if ever she was in need. Here comes another one.

I just have one question for such people, if ever you had a decent day job, would you ever try getting more people onto your ‘network’ after you have recovered the amount you had initially invested? 

Work hard and come up in life, money can be earned anytime, but friendships soured over such things as petty as money will take a beating for a long time and may never come to its previous state.

Into the new year

I have started into the new year with a lot of non-resolutions, which I set almost every year and even then, do not adhere to them. One thing is procrastination, which I am beginning to overcome finally.. 😀 Atleast, thats what I think I am doing. My biggest pain is starting off something, the initial step that takes a long time, but once I have started, I stay put till the finish and complete everything that needs to be done.

Over the past few months, I have worked on a lot of technologies and scenarios, which included XSL, BroadVision JSPs, Portals, and also created a lot of schemas for some Web Services that we are creating on DataPower, yup, like what I mentioned in my previous post, I am certified in DataPower(heck, I need some more time to actually answer real world questions!) and have already started on my first DataPower Implementation and I am beginning to recollect all the things that I learnt over two months ago.

There was more than a month’s gap during the time when I took the certification and when I actually began to look at the current application from a DataPower perspective that I need some more time before I can be comfortable in knowing what I have to do without reaching out for the manual!

Happy times and a lot more things to do, I have to tell myself, do things today that I can do today, and that is exactly what I am trying to do!!

And by the way, if you aren’t already aware, Sun acquires MySQL!

The Law of the Garbage Truck

Got this via Email.

How often do you let other people’s nonsense change your mood?

Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive colleague ruin your day? Unless you’re a robot, you are bound to blow your top off. However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly he or she can get back his or her focus on what’s important.

Just read below……….

Sixteen years ago, I learned this lesson. I learn it in the back of a New York City taxi cab. Here’s what happened. I hopped into a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car’s back end by just inches! The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us.

My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean he was really friendly. So, I said, ‘Why did you do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!’ And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now called, ‘The Law of the Garbage Truck’.

Many people are like garbage trucks.
They run around full of garbage,
full of frustration,
full of anger,
and full of disappointment.

As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it. If they happen to dump it on you, don’t take it personally. You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You’ll be happier if you did that rather than fight them.

So this was it: ‘The Law of the Garbage Truck’. Lets start thinking, how often do we let garbage trucks run right over us? And how often do we take their garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at home, on the street? We see garbage trucks everywhere and everyday. We see the load they’re carrying. We see them coming to drop it off. And like that taxi driver, don’t make it a personal thing; Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on.

Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting. Good parents know they have to welcome their kids home from school with hugs and kisses. Teachers and parents know that they have to be fully present and at their best for the people they care about.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by?

This was a good one!

So, What have I been upto?

I have been a little too occupied these days with exams and a little work that was lagging behind schedule! Have some last minute official commitments to complete before the start of the new year.

I also came across Coding Horror by Jeff Atwood, which has quite some interesting posts on programming in general and a lot of posts on usability.

Its a good read, consider dropping by there while I figure out how to manage my time efficiently!

IBM WebSphere DataPower Certified!

And just when you began to think that I was letting my blog die without being fed with its much needed ‘posts’, I am back with an update!

After two weeks of training and POC’s I finally cleared the IBM Certified Solution Developer exam(Test-284) for WebSphere DataPower SOA Appliances exam yesterday with a good score and held upto my manager’s hopes! The DataPower Certification exam was said to be quite tough and needed a lot of attention to clear it successfully!! The going was a tough one as there are a lot of questions in the exam with plenty of Use Cases and scenarios which weren’t completely covered in the classes, but most, which if you analysed the question correctly would narrow you down to two choices or less! All of this made me take up almost the entire duration of the exam, a little over two hours. I have found that I finished two other exams I took (Teradata Certified Professional and an IBM Certified Database Associate) with more than half an hour to spare. But ultimately, alls well that ends well!

A big kudos to the organisers, staff and mentors from IBM! (Tapan, Sateesh, Vanishree, Yaseen, Manu and all others!)

I also got to know that our batch were among the first people(after Yaseen) to take up this exam in the Asia Pacific Region! Cool! Makes it even more special! And with almost everyone clearing the exam, it was happy moments indeed!

I am now officially certified for WebSphere DataPower!! Yaay!!

Donate Free Rice – Vocabulary Game

I came across this site via the Instant Messenger status of one of my pals which promises to donate ten grains of rice for every word you get right in their vocabulary game. The game works like this, a word is presented to you with four probable synonyms. You are given the task of choosing one that best relates to the current word. If you answer correctly, ten grains of rice are donated through the United Nations to end World Hunger and as you play, you also get to see a nifty bowl beside with some graphical grains in it!

Fun apart, this seems to be a noble initiative to end world hunger, and all you have to do is play the game! The game is quite interesting I tell you and you get to build your vocabulary too. If you select a wrong option, you are told the right option and are allowed to play again. You can learn a lot of new words this way and I also read that the system automatically guesses your vocabulary level and adjusts accordingly! Cool! And as you keep guessing the right answers, ten grains of rice are donated for each correct guess!
I played for a few rounds and had some 100 grains in my basket when I was curious as to how this was being funded. I noticed ads at the bottom from some biggies like American Express and just checked the FAQs and found that the rice was sponsored by the ads! Way to go guys, A noble initiative for a noble cause!

Start donating free rice NOW!