Tuesday, January 25, 2005

FireFox on a roll

Atlast the no of downloads of Firefox 1.0 has crossed 20 Millions. This is phenomenal for an open source product. I am proud that I am one of their evangelist having influenced lots of people in my company to switch to Firefox. Surprisingly I have not been able to convince my immediate colleagues in the project to switch. They are loyal fans of Microsoft :-(

Usually I reply to technical queries in Bulletin Board. Yesterday there was a post on Unix which I followed up. I have spent more than a man day in trying to solve their problem. Several solutions were shot down bcoz I develop in Linux but deployment in Unix. The Linux version of commands like find, date, touch etc have lot more options than their equivalent Unix kins. Lets see whether my latest solution was acceptable or not.

- Dheepak Ra

More on SUN

As a follow up to my previous posts, let me add that SUN developers were pretty co-operative. Eventhought their products arent that great, they were ready to own up to bugs and they even fixed it within two days sinced I emailed those fellows.

Atlast I finished some profiling and soak testing using JFluid. Now its time to do some stress testing. Gearing up for another long weeek end filled with couple of training sessions too. One is on testing and another on performance engineering.

- Dheepak Ra

Sunday, January 23, 2005


Well here it is - Another attempt to photo-blog the Golden age of Madras. Last time, I had connection timeouts. Lets hope I am luckier this time. [ Update: Yeah I u can read this it means that I was lucky. ]

Here is the good old Central Railway station - the gateway to South India. Look at those beautiful river and ferry system. Though they are in disuse, we are trying to get it back soon. I have been working with Sivaraman regarding inland navigation system. Things were shaping up well when I was called up to handle the Nuclear Power Plant construction at Kaiga and Sivaraman is freaking out in Ahmedabad under the cover of Masters in Environmental Architecture or something one those lines. Still the proposal and project plans are still valid. If you know anybody who can either invest money or influence decision making, then get in touch with us. Together we can change the face of Chennai.

Here is the beach road. I never knew that it had so many trees. Is that the campus of University of Madras?

Here is the good old Marina beach. Though not as great as Elliots for hanging out, still it is one of the most popular beaches in India. This is the same beach which was hit by Tsunami nearly a month back.

Parrys Corner - This is also pretty close to Central Railway station. For majority of us, it is the northern limit of Chennai. Notice the ships at the dock.

Napier's bridge is the one in which Tamil version of Yuva was shot by Maniratnam. Eventhough I believe the current one is a renovated or rebuilt version. Look at the line of bullock carts - a sight to behold. Also notice the river joining the bay of bengal.

The pious Mylapore region. It has one of the most famous and biggest temple in Chennai. I join my parents in visiting this atleast during important occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. I never knew that there was so much free space dotted with coconut trees surrounding the Temple Tank. Currently majority of the space is taken up by Jewelery shop.

The longest and most famour road in Chennai - Mount Road. The place to hangout, if you dont prefer East Coast Road and partying stuff. First thing which strikes is the abudance of good theatres. Devi complex may not be posh, but the college students atmosphere is omnipresent. Satyam - multiplex which is 5 min walk away is perhaps one of the best in India. Atleast much better than Forum, Innovative, Rex and everyother theatre which Bangalore can throw at it. After all where do you get such posh theatre (really comfortable) with great ambience in the heart of the city at 60bucks and more importantly showcasing movies of all languages as and when they are released.

Apart from that there is the British Council library where I used to hang around atleast thrice a week. But who can forget the Chit-Chat restaurant at Teynampet or the magnificient Spencer Plaza. For starters it is India's largets shopping mall and several times bigger than Bangalore Forum. I hate to admit it but till date I still get lost within the mall. Several Pentagons linked together isnt easy to remember. I think spencer deserves a separate blog. But before I wind up, let me add my mothers office is also in this road. So I had to keep my eyes open......

I have few more which you can check for yourself.
Pycrofts Road
Moubrays Road
Esplanade Road

Let me thank the sponsor www.photobucket.com for hosting the images of this blog.

Update: Sorry I forgot to add that these images were forwarded by my college senior last week to me.

Java IDEs

Initially when I started working in Java I had an option between Eclipse 3.0 and NetBeans 3.6. Eclipse was miles ahead of Netbeans and I had no hesitation to use it. But recently NetBeans4.0 was released. And I decided to give it a shot mainly because it had a free plugin for profiling. I have to admit that it has improved by leaps and bounds since its intial days. Some of the features they offer are note worthy like collabration, profiling, builtin J2EE Management, UML integration etc. I think Eclipse can learn from them. Yet if Eclipse release a stable version, it means it is stable unlike NetBeans.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Well I just came across this site which claims to describe you. It seemed funny at first. Still I tried it and here is my report card which it generated. However I would like to know your results also. Please leave it as a comment in my Blog.

You are a sock.

You are a cozy, fuzzy, warm-hearted person. A lot of your friends describe you as a hopeless romantic. You fall for the opposite sex very easily. But be careful, because usually you don't know what you are getting into, and because you are very sensitive, you can get hurt... especially in early relationships. Also, don't exclude the cold-hearted from your "want-list", because they just might be looking for a kind person to warm up their heart.... or a sock to warm up their feet.

Most compatible with: Toilet Paper.

Click here -- What Random Object Represents Your Inner Self?

Two hours down the drain

Today I had attended a session on creative writing along with my colleagues. To make sure that it didnt go as a waste, I had decided to pen a beautiful blog today.

I spent more than an hour and half in the middle of the night between 1:30 to 3:30 am in composing one. It was supposed to be the biggest blog, I have ever written. It was so big that it was longer than all my previous post combined. I had tweaked it, edited it and previewed it several times.

Finally when I clicked on "Publish", all I got was a connection time out error. I did a refresh but it was of no use. So I pressed the back button and to my horror, it showed me a clean blank page with the message that the page had expired. Give that shit a decent burial.

I had done this with Microsoft IE6.0. I am not too sure as to whether this error was with the server or the browser. I normally use only firefox but in this instance the www.blogger.com site wasnt coded perfectly. Hence I was forced to use IE and now I paid for it :-(

I am being paid roughly Rs. 1000 per day. Which turns out to be Rs. 125 per hour. So I have lost 250 bucks. Not to mention the mental agony. I guess I should sue them. May be my dad will represent my case.

Infact the blogger website's home page had also gone down. So I wasnt even able to login for the first 10mins to post this post-mortem post.........

It was one valuable lesson which I wont forget in a hurry. No matter what save incrementally. Atleast the data & effort lost wasnt official with deadlines to be met.

Follow-Up on 23 Jan 2005. I read the help pages of Blogger website. Bcoz they are from Google, they claim that their site supports Firefox. Infact it seems all their developers use Firefox only. Its surprising bcoz I am not the only one having problem even for my colleague the buttons dont work in firefox browser.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Links 4 U

My school mate is also in Infy. I was wondering whether we were utilizing the net to the best potential. So we decided yesterday that we will pass each other atleast one interesting website link per day. Lets see as to how long we can maintain this.

And here are the links for the past two days:

This is my favourite. I browse this site for atleast 1 hour per day. Its a great site where you can find views on latest news. They vary from sound debate to rib-tickling funny comments.

This was the first link which I recieved from my friend. It is a beautiful site where you get immersed in the beauty of Cascading Style Sheets. They have some really simple but elegant CSS which bring website to life.

This site is dedicated to spreading the Firefox browser. It is one of the first successful cross-platform open source product which has targeted non-techies and won. Just the 1.0 version has been downloaded 18million times. It has tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, no ActiveX, adheres to W3C standards, has themes and extensions but best of all it is open-source. If you are using IE then check out this site atleast once.

Targeted at health conscious people (it rules me out) but it really held my attention for quite some time. It extols the virtue of different fruits and juices. Apart from facts, they also have recipes.

If you come across any interesting website, either email me or else leave it in the comment section.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Pongal Resolutions

Yes folks. I have decided to given in to your pressure. This blog is back.

After all didnt somebody say that "Starting a blog is easy, keeping it updated is the challenge". I do realize what he meant.

Usually I dont make any New Year resolutions. But this time I have one - to keep this site updated. Jan 18, is too late for New Year resolutions. May be we should call it as Pongal resolution.

Speaking of Pongal, here is a mini intro for my colleagues. It is a festival spread over three days - Jan 14-16.

Jan 14 - Farmers thank God for the past yield and pray for the next harvest. As can be expected offerings and prayers are done. But more importantly couple of dishes called 'Pongal' (yeah same name as that of the festival) is prepared. First dish is called "Chakkarai Pongal" which literally means Sugar Pongal. It lives up to its reputation as really sweet. But I prefer the second dish called "Ven Pongal". Ven is white. It is a bit bland dish and it contrasts well with Chakkarai Pongal. Come on guys, dont ask me why I didnt distribute it in office. It is a dish which is meant to be eaten when its hot.

Jan 15 - Today is Mattu Pongal (Cow's Pongal). Cow is an integral part of any farmer in South India. Its a day in which Cows are treated royally. They can get away with anything. In E-City where I live, I saw a cow which reached into a petty shop and ate the banana which was hung there. Normally this would have resulted in sound thrashing but on this occasion, it just recieved a gentle pat on the back. In villages there is an event called "JalliKattu" where young men show their mettle by subduing fiery bulls. This is similar to the Mexican bull fight but the tradition in South India predate them by several centuries.

Jan 16 - It is Kannum Pongal. It literally means "Deknekha pongal" in Hindi. On this day majority of the people go on outings or visit their friends and relatives. This is the worst day to get stuck in public place like Park or Beach.

I wanted to keep it short but couldnt help it. Sorry it was a bit too long.