Anand is back – with a lot of changes :)

February 4, 2008 at 7:08 am (Personal)

It’s been a long time since I posted anything here. Lack of time, Anand turning lazy, etc

Lots of things happened during this time and its kind of too late to write about each one of them individually.

So let me just list them out –

1) After 2.5 years, I’m out of Bangalore. I now work out of Microsoft Chennai office.
2) I sold my Yezdi :(
3) I’ve got my company car finally. It’s a Toyota Corolla
4) I got engaged to Keerthi in Jan’08
5) I’ve lost 2/3 kgs
6) I’m reporting to a new manager, my third in the last 6 months
7) My marriage date is fixed, 5th March 2008
8) Travelled to Coimbatore once after a long long time
9) Changed my orkut status to “committed” :)
10) Got a new Windows Mobile phone. HTC Touch
11) Learnt to play No Limit Texas Hold’em and liking it a lot

Think I’ve missed some more.. hmmm, will make time to come back and write more.

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HTC S710 SmartPhone – Windows Mobile 6.0

September 26, 2007 at 5:27 am (Personal)

Finally, after a really long delay – I got my new Windows Mobile Phone. Its a HTC S710 Phone with Windows Mobile 6.0 operating system. Nothing much to say about the phone yet, got to use it more to find out. But its certainly going to save me a lot of hassle of carrying my really heavy laptop wherever I go. HTC gives me Mail, messenger and everything else on the go – there is nothing that my HTC can’t do and my laptop can do! :)

HTC S710 Windows Mobile 6 Phone

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Dasavatharam Movie – Wikipedia

September 10, 2007 at 5:23 am (Other)

Good to see Dasavatharam getting in to Wikipedia so early. Hmm, should read more to get to know the hype this time around in tamil movie industry. Sivaji was one wild ride and lets see if Dasavatharam tops that :)

From Wikipedia:

Dasavatharam (Tamil: தசாவதாரம் ) is a forthcoming Tamil language film, directed by noted director, K. S. Ravikumar. It stars Kamal Haasan, who plays ten different roles, Asin Thottumkal, who plays two different roles, Mallika Sherawat and Jayaprada in the lead roles with Napolean, Nagesh, Santhana Bharathi and Ravikumar himself in other pivotal roles. The movie upon release will be subsequently dubbed into six Indian languages, which are Hindi, Telugu language, Malayalam, Kannada, Bhojpuri and Bengali with the same title. The film’s score and soundtrack has been written by acclaimed composer Himesh Reshammiya with lyrics from two lyricists. The film, prior to release, has given rise to great expectations due to the number of high-profile artists involved within its creation. At the present status of progress, the film is still being shot in various locations and a trailer is being readied. The movie is set for a Diwali release on November 7, 2007.

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Changing jobs – within Microsoft

July 9, 2007 at 7:17 am (Personal)

After spending two years with my first job at Microsoft, I finally decided to change verticals. I did try getting in to something within my first org. I waited for some time for that to click and finally made up my mind to accept a new role in a completely new vertical altogether.

    Starting July 6th – I will be reporting to the Sales & Marketing Group within Microsoft, moving out of the Services Group.

It was a big change when I moved from HCL and joined Microsoft back in 2003. Changing jobs could be a big breakthrough in terms of compensation and other such aspects – but the change in environment is really a task to cope with. It’ll take some time before the uneasiness leaves your mind.
Anyways, keeping my fingers crossed hoping for good things in my new job.

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Parents

May 29, 2007 at 9:27 pm (Personal)

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday evening. From his voice, I could make out that something was bothering him deeply. I tried to start a conversation and asked him if everything was alright. What he said next really moved me. It wasn’t a dramatic story or something but it really held me speechless for a long time. I couldn’t get this out of my head for the second day now.

The guys was basically a chennai resident, married and has kids. He was staying with his wife and kids in Bangalore while his parents stayed in Chennai. He is looking for a transfer for sometime now to go and join his parents in Chennai.

Both his mom and dad are in their late 60s. Last week, his father fell ill with typhoid fever and was admitted in hospital for a day. Only his mother was there to take care of his sick father. This guy talks to both of them almost everyday and he spoke to them several times in the last one week. But neither his dad nor his mom told him about the problem. His father is alright now and it is only now that they tell him about the typhoid incident from last week. They did not want to tell him about it before as they did not want him to get worried unnecessarily. They wanted not to disturb this guy when he himself would have several other day-to-day issues on his own related to work or his own family here in Bangalore.

End of the story.

Like I said, this is not a dramatic narration of sorts. But honestly, how many of us are lucky enough to have such self-less parents? Hmm…

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Weekend at Chennai – Poker and more

May 15, 2007 at 1:15 pm (Personal)

Last week was pretty bad at work with things not working out the way I would’ve liked it to. Wanted to get out and forget work and Bangalore for a while – made a last minute decision and packed my bags and off to Chennai for the weekend.

The summer heat almost vaporized my spirit to go out there and have fun! But the 20 odd years I spent there before helped me to gather the residual energy! :)
Spent Saturday evening with my sister and my bro-in-law at the NewYorkers. Good place to eat and good ambience.

Called up friends to find out what’s in store for the weekend. Quickly formed a small group and planed to have a gathering at my place since my parents were not at home. Friends came home by 11pm and a couple of US returns convinced us to play poker instead of the usual “three cards” we play most of the times back in college days. Took some time to get in to the groove and by mid night we got a grip of the game. Played till ~5am and then hit off to have some coffee outside. Didn’t know what to do and went to Marina beach in the morning expecting a cool sea breeze. Bump! All we got was more of HOT … really HOT winds in the beach too! Man, whatever happened to the concept of “sea breeze” cooling the land in the night?? :)

Anyways, that is how our Saturday went. My bro-in-law came home Sunday early morning to take me back to their place at Pallavaram. Reached there and had some really nice filter coffee! Man, I love mornings and coffee with some good news to read in the papers. Coffee in Bangalore is notas good :(
Played around with my bro-in-law’s comp for some time and then dozed off for few hours. Woke up and had some specially prepared Sunday special lunch. Watched some TV with everyone else in the family. This Vijay TV Airtel super singer Junior craze had hit their home too! Man, people are crazy about this show these days… it’s good. And hey, in case you didn’t know the host of that show Chinmayi has her own blog… you wouldn’t want to read it if you don’t know her as a celebrity. Too lazy to link back to her blog, just search for it on the net. And in case you didn’t know there is an alternate search engine to Google called http://www.live.com :)

Anyways, back to the weekend story – Sunday evening was my college buddy’s wedding reception at Guindy Race Course groups. Must say you must be little crazy to host a reception in open lawn during a scorching Chennai summer. But the dinner buffet kind of compensated to everything else! Man, it was one hell of a buffet menu. Bombay chaat, Delhi chaat and Banarasi chaat… some 15/20 varieties of sweets… about 10 flavours of Baskin Robbins ice-cream… at least 10 varieties of rice and breads. Anyways, had a really lengthy and filling dinner and then had to wait for my sister and my bro-in-law to come and pick me up to go back to their place at Pallavaram. Spent the night there and back to Bangalore the next day.

Now though, back to the boring work place! :(

Things need to change a lot for me to get some interest and focus back on my work. hmm…

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Malgudi-O-Palooza – “Malgudi Days” by R.K.Narayanan

May 9, 2007 at 8:24 pm (Personal)

My friend Uma here is hosting a “Malgudi-O-Palooza” contest. Don’t be confused now, there is no new release of “Malgudi Days” by R.K.Narayanan Junior or someone else. It is the same old “Malgudi Days” we are talking about. The one that is probably as old as me now :)

Anyways, I don’t know much about R.K.Narayanan or the book to “officially” compete in the contest. But thought I can atleast pass it one to five others who I know to give them a chance to participate in the content.

here goes:

Kutty
Bhuvana
Arun
Ambimama
My Alpine path

The above five are hereby officially tagged to participated in Uma’s contest :)

Tags: Malgudi-O-Palooza, malgudiopalooza

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My gadget collection

April 16, 2007 at 11:46 pm (Technology)

I wanted to come back and post a “My second Windows Vista Gadget” – but wait, I was busy building not just one more but 8 more gadgets! Yeah baby, that’s 9 in total! :)

Six of them are Vista sidebar gadgets and 3 of them are Windows Live gadgets.

Here is the complete list of all my gadgets

Windows Live gadgets can be installed in either your Live.com homepage or in your Live Spaces Blog page.

Download and try them! And don’t forget to give it a 5 star rating ;)

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My first Windows Vista Sidebar Gadget :)

March 29, 2007 at 1:22 am (Technology)

After ~8hours of enjoyable efforts, here is my first Windows Vista Sidebar Gadget! It’s not rocket science, just a simple desktop scorecard gadget for Vista sidebar. It talks to cricinfo website and displays updated scores on your sidebar user interface.

If you are running Windows Vista, please try the gadget. You can download it from here

It is called “Cricinfo Live Scores

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Pursuit of Hapiness – Can you relate yourself to Chris Garnder?

March 26, 2007 at 4:53 pm (Pointless Philosophy)

Last Saturday I watched ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ with my dad at Six Degrees, Satyam Cinemas. I wanted to see this movie for a long time. Finally got a chance when I visited Chennai last Saturday.

Am not going to write a review of the movie, not worth spending time on it. It was good acting by Will Smith but overall movie was not something that is fresh to me. Being an Indian, I have seen and heard thousands of such “rags to riches” story. More of “money is not everything” types like one of my favourites, tamil movie “Varymayin Neram Sevappu” back in the 80s.

Movie apart, I don’t know how many of the audiences would’ve understood how Will Smith would’ve felt having no money left to spend for tomorrow and no clue on how to make some money right now. Sparing a few, I don’t think I know anyone who would’ve gone through tough times when money was a serious “lacking”.

… Or even if they did I don’t think they have shared the experience with me. Well, here is something new – I can tell you exactly how Chris Gardner(Will Smith) would’ve felt while he hit rock bottom having no money left to survive.

Can you relate some part of your life to Chris Garnder’s story? I can.

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Rewards from failure?

March 19, 2007 at 1:50 pm (Pointless Philosophy)

Can success of a failure be measured? How?

It would be great if failure was rewarded as long as you fail fast and fail in new ways

    – Tren Griffin, Microsoft

Tren Griffin is working as a Network Services Strategist with Microsoft. He likes to talk about current trends in Telecom, Search and other domains. His emails to the internal discussion forums are a great source of information and learning to many like me within Microsoft.

Tren is one of my idols at Microsoft :)

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Free Antivirus, Free Spyware Removal tool – Windows Live OneCare

March 16, 2007 at 4:05 pm (Technology)

This is old news, but still appears to be widely “unreported” news. I have spent hours searching for a Free Antivirus for my home PC, couple of hours more to get a Free Spyware Removal tool.

ENTER: Windows Live Onecare safety scanner. (FREE)
Windows Live OneCare (Paid service, subscription based)

Windows Live OneCare safety scanner is a free Web-based service that gives you quick, on-demand PC health and security scans to help you diagnose and solve problems, but it does not proactively protect your PC against new virus infections.

And if you need a full fledged antivirus then you got Windows Live OneCare for $49/year. (Free Trial Version for 90 days)

Windows Live OneCare is subscription-based software that, once installed on your PC, runs continuously in the background and automatically updates itself. Windows Live OneCare offers persistent, always-on security features that generally don’t require any action on your part.

I was excited when Microsoft launched a Free Virus scanner and a Free spyware removal tool. It is of good value considering that is from from Microsoft can save you from all the time you wasted on trial versions and crappy free but limited editions.

But it is sad to see no traction around this ALL IN ONE and very useful tool for HOME users. Heck, how many of you know that the tool is actually FREE for first 90 days and FREE safety scanner for life?

Imagine Google launching a similar service? It would be declared as end-of-the-world for Symantec and McAfee and instant nirvana for the Google Fanboys! Jeeez!

Back to reality, the “not-so-popular” edition of Onecare safety scanner is available for FREE Windows XP and Windows Vista.
Windows Live Onecare

Safety Scan for Windows Vista

Hello, early adopter! Welcome to the Windows Live OneCare safety scanner test area. So you were the first kid on the block to download Windows Vista—now be the first one to try the Windows Vista beta edition of the Windows Live OneCare safety scanner.

I wish they make the real-time-scan and a Personal Firewall also FREE soon! Good bye AVG, good bye Zonealarm!

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Tata Safari Ad – Makes me wanna buy this machine!

March 14, 2007 at 8:48 pm (Pointless Philosophy)

I don’t know what is it that I really like about this Tata Safari ad in particular – but I love it. It connects to me at some level that is making me want to buy this machine although I have no clue how good/bad it is nor do I have the money ! :)

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MIX07 – Win a trip to MIX07

March 14, 2007 at 8:31 pm (News)

Come join the conversation
MIX is designed to facilitate an open exchange of ideas between presenters and attendees.
Like last year, expect to hear from some of the most successful and innovative practitioners
on the Web.

Come meet up and network.
At MIX, you can talk firsthand to Microsoft executives (or give them a piece of
your mind) and rub shoulders with a whole host of influential Web personalities,
business leaders, analysts and venture capitalists.

Come see something cool.
Microsoft and its partners will be unveiling innovative new technologies and services
at MIX and showing off the latest opportunities with Windows Vista™, Xbox 360™,
Windows Mobile® and Windows Live™ services. Microsoft Research will return for another
peek at the latest wonders they’re cooking up in the labs.

Come have some fun.
We hold MIX in Las Vegas for a reason! We strictly enforce a casual atmosphere throughout
and try to help everyone have a good time at the end of each long day. This year,
among other things, you can look forward to a private party with the world-famous
Pussycat Dolls at PURE, the hottest nightclub on the strip.

Come to MIX07 for the Next Web Now.

A Web Developer, build:

  • AJAX Web applications quickly and easily with ASP.NET
  • Living room applications for Windows Media® Center
  • Gadgets that live on the Windows® desktop
  • Sites and applications that consume Windows Live services
  • Xbox 360 games and experiences with XNA
  • High-scale back-end applications with Windows Server® and SQL Server
  • Exciting new Web experiences with the still-secret “Technology X”
  • And more
  • A Web Designer, learn about:

  • Optimizing your site for IE7
  • Using WPF and “WPF/E” to design gorgeous and highly functional user interfaces
  • Extending your Web experience beyond the browser and onto televisions and other
    devices
  • The suite of Expression tools that revolutionize the way designers work with developers
  • And more
  • A Web Businessperson, learn about:

  • Case studies of profitable sites built using the Microsoft platform
  • Monetizing RSS
  • Building a better user experience to unlock new revenue opportunities
  • Forging tighter, stickier customer connections
  • Microsoft’s comprehensive advertising platform
  • Building innovative media experiences into your site
  • And more
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    Nishabd – Ram Gopal Verma Movie

    March 5, 2007 at 5:03 pm (Personal)

    Movie Review of Nishabd… well, let’s not waste time and move on. It’s crap. The worst Ram Gopal Verma movie I’ve seen in theatres in the recent past. I know, I know.. don’t mention James et al now – I was lucky enough not to watch those “movies” in theatres but fell in to the “Nishabd” trap.

    Pros: The cast – Amitabh Bachan, Revathi, Nasser and Jiah Khan’s legs
    Cons: Disturbingly loud background score and everything else that you notice on screen.

    Please don’t waste time and money. I am waiting for “In pursuit of happiness” to be released in Bangalore, hope it is a good one.

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    Google vs. Live (Math as search string)

    March 5, 2007 at 3:19 pm (Pointless Philosophy)

    This is funny. Real funny. I don’t know who is to be blamed – Google or Live?

    As most of you already know, both Google and Live are search engines and they are constantly evolving every day to serve better search results. One area that I really like about both of them is accepting “mathematical expressions” as search strings. In fact, they can also do conversion of units from one to another (like seconds to minutes)

    But a friend of mine pointed me to some funny set of mis-interpretations of mathematical expressions as search input.

    1. Search string = “2^4^2”

    Google.com says 2^4^2 = 65536
    Live.com says 2^4^2 = 256

    2. Let’s try to get 65536 out of each search engine

    To get the value 65536 you need to enter 2^2^2^2^2 in Live.com Search
    To get the same value in Google.com it is enough to enter one “^2” less = 2^2^2^2

    After a little more research I figured out why this is happening – any guesses on what is causing this? any guesses on who is right or wrong here?

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    Book claims Indians world’s most undemocratic people

    March 5, 2007 at 2:01 pm (Pointless Philosophy)

    Reported here and I can’t agree more with this text.

    Indians are perhaps the worlds most undemocratic people, living in the world’s largest and most plural democracy where a persons self-worth is almost exclusively determined by the rank he occupies, says a new book.

    A profoundly hierarchical society, in India the determination of relative rank (Is this person superior or inferior to me?) remains very near the top of subconscious questions evoked in an interpersonal encounter, says the book The Indians, Portrait of a People by psychoanalyst and culture commentator Sudhir Kakkar and anthropologist Katherina Kakkar.

    The gratification of the 300 million middle-class consumers, the new Brahmins, does not lie in their being consumers in a global marketplace but in being somebody in a profoundly hierarchical society, the authors say. You must be somebody to survive with dignity, since rank is the only substitute for money. Thus retired judges, ex-ambassadors and other sundry officials who are no longer in service are never caught without calling cards prominently displaying who they once were, authors say.

    Although at first glance the notion of Indian-ness among the one billion population speaking 14 major languages with pronounced regional differences may seem far-fetched, yet from ancient times European, Chinese and Arab travellers have identified common features among Indian people, it says.

    Must get a copy of this book. It talks about us and it is speaking the truth.

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    Bill Gates talking about Vista on the Daily Show

    January 31, 2007 at 1:09 pm (Videos)

    Casual watch

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    My favorite Departed Quote

    January 12, 2007 at 7:57 pm (Pointless Philosophy)

    I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me

    – Frank Costello – Departed

    I’ve not seen many Jack Nicholson movies before. But as “Mr. Costello” in Departed, he is God.

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    Microsoft Website revamped

    January 9, 2007 at 1:13 am (Personal)

    After a long time – Here, All *new* Microsoft.com

    Looks cool :0

    New Microsoft

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