December 17, 2008

Aim of Life for Wanna-preneurs

Here is a very good pic I found while browsing the web. This pic represents my true intent and that of several other wannapreneurs... Click to enlarge!

November 25, 2008

5 Ways to Scale Your Web Application

Writing web applications is a time consuming process, and when the application begins to get popular, it may not have been built to scale and handle volume. A great example of this is Twitter, a popular web 2.0 application that often has downtime. Here are some ways you can build your application with scaling in mind.

  1. If you can, build your application with scaling in mind from the ground up. Write tighter code, test it against perceived loads, and continually try to lower the amount of time and resource usage required to run the application.
  2. Build your application on cloud computing. Services like Amazon's Cloud computing service allow you to host your code, databases and files on their servers, and can scale instantly with your demand. It also saves you money in the long run, as you don't need to constantly plan to build new servers, database clusters and bandwidth.
  3. If you're not using cloud computing, try using a grid hosting company. These are companies that can give you instant access to more resources as soon as the demand rolls in. The difference primarily lies in the pricing – cloud computing companies charge based on actual usage, while grid hosting companies will charge based on the amount of "slices" you need to meet your requirements over a month.
  4. Optimize your databases and queries. If you're not a true expert in Databases, hire a freelancer to optimize your code. Correctly writing queries, caching queries that are run often, and correctly building the structure of your database can make or break a web application.
  5. Use reusable, well documented code. Try not to reinvent the wheel –find classes and functions that have already been proven in the field, and use them for the heavy lifting part of your projects. Use frameworks and coding methods that have already been proven, and don't try building a heavy use platform on new or untested code.

This is a guest post authored by Maya Richard, who writes on the topic of high speed internet. You can email her at with any feedback.

November 03, 2008

Mind Matters

I just heard the discourse by Swami Swaroopananda on "Mind Matters". Its an excellent speech as you can expect from the great master. Here is a snippet of his teaching. Please listen to the original discourse on CD if possible.

When matters matter, matters mind; When mind minds, matters don't matter.

If the body is unattended... it stinks! does'nt it? It needs daily bath, deos, etc...
What would happen if the mind is unattended. Mind is the real treasure, and the body is just a casing around it. So, Mind Matters!

Why is that we want anything that we want. In my case and most others, it starts with Education.
Why Education? To get a Job
Why Job? To earn Money
Why Money? To buy Things
Why things? To get Happiness!
Why Happiness? ? ? No answer. Thats final!

We only want something, so that we can finally be happy. Afterall, we are all seeking anything that can lead to happiness.
Education -> Job -> Money -> Luxury -> Happiness!
Music -> Melody -> Peace -> Happiness!

In this ever-changing world, can there be permanent happiness? As a child, we seem to be happy but cry all the time. As an adolescent, we live with a hope of happiness. Finally as adults, many sadly conclude that there is no happiness.

There cannot be ONE situation in life that can give happiness to everyone on the planet. So, When matters matter, matters mind.

Our wisdom gurus (rishis) have taught us the art of right contact of the mind with the world. Happiness and Joy does not depend on the objects and situations in the world, but it depends on the condition of our mind. So, When mind minds the mind, matters don't matter.

As our mind, so is the world.
The world we experience is according to the condition of our mind. If the mind is joyful, the world appears beautiful; If the mind is depressed, the world appears gloomy. You can compare it to perspectives of a man who has fallen in love, and the man who just got dumped.

Life is a series of experiences, and the whole world is a pair of opposites (Heat-Cold, Joy-Sorrow, Beauty-Ugly, etc). Even if sorrow comes, it is not permanent and it has to change. Nothing is permanent and everything changes. Whatever happens, consider it as the lord's wish and it happens for the best. If we can fine-tune our mind around this concept, we can have a positive perspective towards Life and stay happy all the time.

Attitude of our mind is very crucial. An optimist/realist will look out for opportunities, while a pessimist looks out for calamities. Everyone of us have a limited self image. When the mind decides that we cannot do something, we will not even try it. Only when we break the barriers in our mind, we can shoot for the stars.

Here is a famous joke. According to laws of aeronautics, flight is impossible for a bumble bee due to its huge body and tiny wings. However, the bumble bee does not know about this and continues to fly. Like the bumble bee, we should forget the constraints and "Just Do It". On a similar note, watch out for the movie YesIsTheNewNo by Jim Carrey.

October 15, 2008

Eventful trip to India

After my return from a fabulous trip to India, I find myself in doldrums. I had a great time during my sister's marriage (in India)... Though two weeks is too short a trip for this joyous occassion, I still had a blast. The only stuff I did during my trip (Sep 27 - Oct 12) was to eat, have fun, and sleep. Good times~

Check out my Sister's website for updates on her wedding photos, and the rest.

September 21, 2008

We like in circles!

We all want something... As mentioned in, its the Circle-of-Life. A wants B, B wants C, C wants D, and you know... D wants A. Here is a good AD.

August 14, 2008

Expressing in Sanskrit is now more fun

After the success of Sanskrit-Digest, we are now offering a couple of fun ways for students to express in Sanskrit on the web.

In a survey, a consistent pattern was noticed among several Sanskrit students. Many students in India study Sanskrit during their school days, but they do not get an opportunity to speak or use the language after graduation. As a result, they forget the language very soon.

These students should be given opportunities to converse in Sanskrit on a regular basis, and they should be fun too. So today, we're launching Sanskrit-Expressions - An online community tool that will enable interaction among Sanskrit learners. It has two components to it: Word-Game and Two-Liners.

The Word-game helps the users build their Sanskrit vocabulary steadily, while the Two-liners will encourage them to frame short-sentences and converse in Sanskrit. Further, the users will have complete control over their data (create/update/delete) at all times. One can also keep track and follow other writers via RSS feeds. These tools are proven to be effective tools in the past, and are used in several domains. Now, they are available to the Sanskrit community for the first time.

I conceive this as a proof-of-concept to fix a commonly observed problem which hinders the spread of Sanskrit. If user response for 'Sanskrit-Expressions' is on a high note, new features such as Online-Chat-Rooms shall be soon be launched.

Thanks to the sincere efforts of several NGOs such as Samskrita Bharati which enabled many to embrace Sanskrit in their daily lives. Regular Sanskrit workshops are conducted by Samskrita Bharati in India and abroad. With increasing number of Sanskrit teaching institutes, it is now important to retain the interest of the people and help them stay in touch with the language. Engaging in Satsang and community-meet is a good way to appreciate the language. For the Computer Savvy, online tools like 'Sanskrit-Satsang' can help build an e-Community for Sanskrit speakers.

August 13, 2008

Elgg and WP-BuddyPress - Evolving the Social Networking space

New BuddyPress Default ThemeImage by Andy Peatling via FlickrScheduled for release on Aug 18, Elgg v1.0 is set to create a stir in the world of social networking scripts. With an open-source strategy, it has won the laurels of many. It already has a well established community for the Classic Elgg v0.9, and hopes to expand its market with the new release. The v1.0 is advertised to be more flexible and robust in design, and allows developers to create custom social apps with ease.

The best feature of Elgg is the access controls that empower users to control who can see their data. Elgg is used by a few Universities and large organizations, and thus demonstrates its scalability.

However, here are a few things to have in mind before you embrace it for your new webapp.

  • The community is not as large as that of Wordpress.
  • There are no ready-made plugins yet for integrating thirdparty components with Elgg (Ex: Integrating a MediaWiki or BBpress). You may expect them in future.
  • Its hard to find developers/freelancers for developing with Elgg
  • There are not many themes available out on the web.

Well... A good alternative to Elgg is BuddyPress, a project backed by Wordpress. BuddyPress is a set of WordPress MU specific plugins, each plugin adding a new distinct social feature. The idea of BuddyPress is to take a standard vanilla installation of WordPress MU and turn it into something that represents more of a community building tool, or niche social network. The new theme developed by Andy is awesome. See it for yourself on the sandbox.

BuddyPress is still new and half baked right now. Wordpress has promised to complete the project by the end of this year. The lead-developer Andy Peatling has done a terrific job of adding the social layer over WP-MU edition. He is now employed by Automattic, the company who makes Wordpress.

BuddyPress or Elgg??? Hmmm...
  • Wordpress has a larger community, easy to find freelancers to work on it, plenitude of themes and plugins, and has a huge community.
  • Elgg v1.0 on the other hand has the best access controls for users, more flexible in design, and has been well-tested for over an year.
  • Developing on Elgg may require more work and tech knowledge to integrate various third-party components, build a theme, and configure it.

Next week, I will get my hands on both of them and test the waters. So until then, I cannot choose one over another.

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August 05, 2008

How to Secure Your Web Application

Disclaimer: This is a guest post written by Heather Johnson, who writes on the subject of dial up Internet.

Web applications will install firewall to restrict unauthorized access to ports 80 and 443. But these don’t exactly stop unwanted attacks that come over these ports. There is much more that a web professional should do in addition to installing firewall. We’ve come up with a list that should help you sew up any holes that may appear in your latest web application that you’re working on. Without further ado here’s our list that should help maintain the integrity of your newest program:

  1. Limit access to your profile. One of the first things a hacker looks for is information regarding your web server. Be sure to take away the server header from the response of your web server. Go ahead and map out different paths to the file extensions of your dynamic pages. Take steps to ensure your machine isn’t named something that could identify its operating system. Take out your personal information from your WHOIS records that help someone in a social engineering attack.

  2. Authenticate. Unfortunately you can’t always trust the users that visit your website. You need to have your users authenticate who they are and their intent for visiting your site. You want to try to separate legitimate traffic from traffic that can hurt you. We’re not saying that every user is evil, but you need to be aware that there are unsavory people out there that try to hurt people in your position.

  3. Always be ready for the worst. If your server is compromised it’s important that you go offline and plug up any holes. You need to protect customer data such as credit card information and in order to do so you need to install security software that will protect this information.

  4. Always be monitoring. Instead of waiting to take care of a problem after it occurs if you are constantly logging your website’s activity you can help avoid a problem instead of simply reacting to it. Make sure you pay careful attention to your server’s error log.

  5. Don’t execute a poor request. There will be times when a user’s request is simply not good for you. Many attacks occur that attempt to modify the HTTP request that will end up create an averse effect. You should set up the positive model that will only allow what you want to allow; everything else should not be allowed to be processed on your site.

This post was contributed by Heather Johnson, who writes on the subject of dial up Internet. She invites your feedback at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

July 28, 2008

Its summer time - Its movie time!

The summer is a festive time for movie-freaks. I am no freak, but do enjoy watching good movies. A usual weekend during this time of the year is spent worthwhile by watching a movie a day. That means watching 2 movies in theatre every weekend.

Yesterday, I watched 'Jaane Tu, Ya Jaane Na', a movie by Aamir Khan Productions. Aamir indeed has a great acumen in selecting his movie scripts. This movie is fantastic with a fresh cast and a debut director. Genelia is cute as always, and the movie packs so much fun! The music is at its best as you would expect from the master Rahman.

Prior to this, I watched Hancock and 'The Dark Knight'. I liked both of them. Hancock was bit of a drag, and its good for a one-time-see. 'The Dark Knight' is a superb action-packed movie that is worth its hype. I regret not having watched it on IMAX. A couple other good ones I watched are Wall-E and Wanted.

Now, I'm waiting for the launch of "The Mummy", and that Steven Spielberg's upcoming movie (I forgot the name). Life is Fun!

July 15, 2008

Moving from Textpattern to Wordpress

Until recently, my website SanskritVoice was using Textpattern as the CMS. But now, I'm moving to Wordpress. Read below to know why and how.

I liked Textpattern for several reasons. I can have multiple Sections like Home, About, Articles, and Resources. Each section can have an assigned template, and I can publish blog-posts for a specific section. Under a given section, I can further classify my posts based on category.

The main drawback with Textpattern is the difficulty in moving the website to a different server. It has weak import/export features, and less support for unicode. It lacks a WYSIWYG editor, no widgets, and has relatively less number of plugins.

On the other hand, Wordpress has a huge community, excellent feature-set, and myriad plugins for almost anything. However, Wordpress lacks the concept of a section. It only has Pages, Posts, Categories and Tags. Ofcourse, I can assign an appropriate template to a page. I spent some time in reading the Wordpress docs on how to use it as a traditional CMS. I had to use custom-templates and custom-variables to match the URLs of textpattern and to create pseudo-sections.

Here is an overview of what I did. A traditional Page in Wordpress is static. So, I created a custom template (say "Featured Page" template) that displays the content of the Page, and reads a custom field "categoryid" defined on that Page. The template then displays all posts that were published under that category. Thus, I projected a Page that contain posts from a specific category as a virtual Section.

July 10, 2008

Capitalize on Confluence to create Synergy

Be it TOI's Teach-India initiative, the idea of FriendFeed, the concept of Alltop... All of them do one thing in common - Create Synergy. It is the creation of great value by bringing the appropriate resources together.

TOI' Teach-India project brings together several NGOs on a common mission of spreading education to the masses. It added more value by getting corporate companies into the mix. The heavy works are done by the NGOs and Corporates, while TOI is just an organizer/mediator. To oversimplify the story, TOI has done nothing but confluence of the right people. Now, look at the synergy that TOI has created - Its massive and effective.

FriendFeed is an aggregator of activity across several social websites. Though it currently packages several unique features, it started just as a confluence of social activity on the web. It thus achieved more fame with less work! Similarly, AllTop is just a RSS feed-aggregator to read several blogs in one place.

On the same lines, I created 'Sanskrit Voice Digest' as an aggregation of selected Sanskrit blogs across the web. Though I had spent less effort to create it, the value it offered to Sanskrit enthusiasts is huge. I only capitalized on confluence of the right resources.

So, Confluence is a smart act if done right, the remaining pieces of the puzzle will fall in place. Lets apply this idea for the growth of a nation. Bring together several charity institutions under one roof, and provide an easy interface for the rich and benevolent people to contribute. I think several nations including India lacks such Meta-Organization. Hope this becomes TOI's next social experiment. Click here to read more on this idea.

July 09, 2008

Analysis of TOI's Teach-India Project

'Times Of India' has struck the chord once again with its 'Teach India' initiative. Their previous project was 'Lead India' campaign, a campaign that encouraged entrepreneurship among Indians.

Purpose (Idea)

With a population of over 287 million illiterate Indians, we need motivated teachers in every corner of the country to go back to school. The aim is to bring together children in need of education and people who can contribute a little time towards teaching them. To begin with, the project is introduced in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.


This mission would not have been possible without the partnership of over 60 NGOs, schools and companies such as Hindustan Lever, Aditya Birla Group, Nokia, Wipro, Reliance Communications, Barclays and Amex. The companies have come on board with the promise that at least 50 employees will commit two hours a week on company time to teaching.

TOI has made good use of its existing popularity in winning the support of NGOs, and tie-up with coporate companies. The partnership with right organizations is what I believe to be the first step in carrying out a social experiment. The NGOs know where to find people in need of education, the poor, and the illiterates. The corporate companies are the ones to fund the experiment and offer mass volunteers. So, TOI has done its groundwork perfectly with tie-ups.

We have seen the best of viral videos in TOI's Lead-India campaign. The videos spread all across the web and some on television too. I'm sure Teach-India project will also capitalize on social websites to go viral. Being a media company, no external PR or Marketing agency is required.

Teach-India project is an offline venture that gets the help of internet to speedup the process of volunteer registrations, etc. This is exactly how a successful experiment should be carried out. Especially in India where not everyone has access to internet, offline mode is very essential for the success of the project. So, it brings both offline and online worlds together. One without the other will have less impact and reachability to the masses.


The highest response has come from the capital city, Delhi, followed closely by Mumbai, and then by Chennai and Kolkata. There was more than 10,000 people signing up to pledge at least two hours a week to teach a child in their neighbourhood, mostly for weekend sessions. This army of volunteers is a multi-lingual, multi-talented one drawn from diverse streams - doctors, lawyers, company executives, etc...

Business Plan

Lead-India and Teach-India projects are social initiatives by TOI with a business model wrapped around it. Truly, they are noble efforts with a worthy cause. But, they are not without a profit in mind. I love such undertakings that wrap a for-profit business plan around a noble cause. Its a win-win for all. For the same reason, I love the open-source companies like Redhat, Sun, Automattic, Google, etc...

So, How does TOI profit from these social projects?
First of all, these projects create a BUZZ in the media world. They have successfully created a topic of conversation for the bloggers and media to jump-on. Thus, getting the "Times of India" name to appear everywhere.

Secondly, they create a loyal readership and fan-following from most of the country-lovers and educated citizens who wish to see India grow. That includes a substantial percentage of the youth and NRIs.

Thirdly, TOI has partnered with several NGOs for these initiatives. Hence, the NGOs tend to spread the word and advertise 'Times Of India' for free. On the whole, TOI has acquired the title of being a dynamic non-evil media company in India. This means increase in reputation, readership and revenue.


Well Done TOI! Keep it up and continue to lead as an example to all other media companies in India.

Click here for answers to the following questions...
How do I apply?
How does Teach India work?
What kind of education will I be providing?
How long will I have to teach?

July 07, 2008

Refreshing trip to San Jose

Just the day before the long weekend, Karthik and I decided to visit San-Jose and San-Fransisco. On arrival, we met my friend Vinoth who lives there at San-Jose. We stayed there for a couple of days, went around the Silicon Valley and had a lot of fun. Just the three of us, it was like what you see in "Dil Chahta Hai".

On Friday (July 4), we had a walk on the Golden Gate Bridge at SF. The view was beautiful, weather was chill, and it never felt like summer. The next day, we visited the Napa-Valley Vineyards during the day, and 'Half Moon Bay' beach in the evening. Running the car through the cool breeze of misty-mountains to the beach was among the best rides I had.

We returned home on Sunday afternoon (July 6) to end a refreshing trip!

July 06, 2008

Destiny starts with a Dream

To phrase it in a line, here it is: The Destiny starts with a DREAM, and flows with COURAGE fueled by FAITH in the direction of ACTION. Let me explain it.

Watch your Dreams
They become your thoughts...
Watch you thoughts,
They become your words...
Watch your words,
They become you actions...
Watch your actions,
They become your habits...
Watch your habits,
They become your character...
Watch your character,
It becomes your DESTINY!

- By Frank Outlaw

In the movie GURU (Hindi), I love Bachan's starting dialogue "I always dream, and my Papa used to say dreams dont come true. But, I still continue to dream". Daring to dream is probably the larger motif of the movie Guru. We should dream BIG, and the dream should be followed-up with action. To perform such action, we need faith and courage. This courage holds the key to make the dream come true.

Faith and courage go hand-in-hand. When we lose faith, we lose courage. I hope you all agree with me so far. So, the topics to ponder are...
What should we have faith on?
How do we not lose faith?

There is just one answer to both the above questions. This answer is also the secret of "Success without Stress". It is the faith in the supreme self. If we exhibit our best effort and leave the results for the god to decide, we become more vivid. Whatever happens will happen for good and happens for a reason. That is the law of Karma!

June 18, 2008

Launching Sanskrit Digest

Guess what's new in the online space for Sanskrit enthusiasts? Its an Online Digest, that can give you a morning dose of Sanskrit articles written by qualified writers.

"Sanskrit Voice Digest" is started as an honest effort to compile Sanskrit related blogs and articles under one roof. Currently, it has partnered with nearly 10 blog-authors and a few organizations. With its magazine-like layout, the Digest makes it easy for readers to keep tabs on all Sanskrit related articles in one place.

India is a nation of several Vedic scholars, Sanskrit pandits, and Religious gurus. The need of the hour is to educate the people (esp. the youth) about the wisdom conveyed in the ancient texts, and revive Sanskrit for the modern age. This is also the mission of "Sanskrit Voice". In the latest effort to bring all Sanskrit readers and bloggers together, we launched the "Digest" today on June 18, 2008.

In the first week, the Digest has articles in nearly 10 categories that revolve around Sanskrit. It includes "Sanskrit Quotes" written by Kiran Paranjape, who was awarded Indic Blogger Award for best blog in Sanskrit. The wonderful 'subhashitanis' that includes verses from Panchatantra, Bhartrihari's Nitishatakam, and Bhagavadgita are written by Karthik Raman.

In the past two years, blogging in Sanskrit has been well practiced by the pandits and students of Sanskrit. Blogger Himanshu Pota focuses on teaching Sanskrit via his blog "Learn Sanskrit". He told us that his blog shares his Sanskrit learning experience with other Sanskrit learners. He hopes this will encourage the learners to realise that one doesn't have to be a Panini to start reading, writing, and talking in Sanskrit.

The Digest also compiles the articles on Sanskrit literature written by Kannan Srininvas (the author of Book "Vedic Management") and Venetia Ansell (an English girl from Oxford University). Adding Sanatana Dharma to the context, we hope to pass the ancient wisdom, along with Sanskrit language.

The advances in web technology facilitates the creation of a virtual community just for Sanskrit enthusiasts. The RSS feeds, Widgets and Campaign buttons provide easy ways for readers to follow the updates, or learn Sanskrit glossary every day. You will find all these features packed in the parent site "Sanskrit Voice" hosted on .

"Undoubtedly, it is the greatest language ever, and I feel that more initiatives to spread the language, in a written or spoken form, through blogs etc are always welcome", says Karthik Raman - a PhD student at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

June 03, 2008

Real Education can give you a new personality

What we get in today's schools is not real education. The real education should help in the wholistic development of oneself. There is a lot more than academic knowledge. A school should teach its students how to differentiate the good and bad, develop their vision, give clarity to their purpose, shape-up their character, and make them fit to handle life as it comes.

I recently read an article about "Chinmaya Vidyalayas - Schools with a Difference" written by Swami Tejomayananda. It was very well said that it requires hard work from all the four - students, teachers, parents and the management for educating the child. They should be taught not only academic knowledge, but also some values and ideals that will remain with the students through out their lives. Here is an excerpt from his article...

"If you don't stand for something, you will fall for everything". If you don't stand by some principle, value or ideal in life, you will fall prey to the innumerable temptations that are sure to come your way. This can be best explained by two words - Compromise and Sacrifice. Compromise is giving up of higher ideal for the sake of a lesser thing. Whereas in sacrifice, one gives up the lower things for the sake of higher ideals. It is always the person with sacrifice who is respected, and not the person of compromises.

Here is another one that is so true... In success - we should have humility; And in failure - have the enthusiasm to go ahead. We should be like a "Rubber Ball" that bounces back with more force after a fall.

Education is not about acquiring knowledge alone. The real education is about acquiring the knowledge and utilizing it for good. Though we have the Nuclear Science that is capable of resolving the energy crisis of the world, many have effectively used it for destruction purposes only.

The parents should make an effort to teach their children higher values along with rich knowledge, and thus shape up tomorrow's ideal personalities.

May 29, 2008

Auto-blogging tools

I've been recently experimenting with a few auto-blogging plugins for Wordpress. Well... Its NOT for creating a splog, or earning those Adsense pennies. The intention was to compile well-written Sanskrit articles published across the web, and create a Digest. I decided to use Wordpress for greater flexibility and support. Following are the plugins I found that helped me create the auto-publishing Digest.

A reBlog facilitates the process of filtering and republishing relevant content from many RSS feeds. reBloggers subscribe to their favorite feeds, preview the content, and select their favorite posts. These posts are automatically published through their favorite blogging software.

This allow the automatic creation of new post based on external feeds content

This makes autoblogging a snap by automatically creating posts from the RSS/Atom feeds you choose, which are organized into campaigns.

This is an Atom/RSS aggregator for the WordPress weblog software.

For tips on how to use wp-o-matic plugin, check out Blogging Empire. It has a few guidelines on how to use the plugin ethically, and provides a few resources that you can make use of.

May 13, 2008

Eventful trip to India

Having got a decent deal with Lufthansa airlines, I purchased the flight tickets just a week before my departure to India. On April 17, I boarded the flight to India from Dallas. After 21 hours of travel boredom, I got down the plane at Chennai Intl airport, and felt the breeze of India. Warm and comfy... and it was midnight!

I got done with the routine procedure at the immigration, and had to wait for the baggages to arrive. Lucky me... Both my baggages arrived without wearing out. I then rushed out to meet my loved ones outside the airport. I saw my dad and mom waiting right at the door. We exchanged hugs and kisses, and soon reached home. My sis, grandparents, uncle, aunt, and cousins were all awake to see me come home. We talked for a couple of hours before we all slept for the night.

During my trip to India, my family along with my uncle's family had a 9-day trip to a couple of hill-stations Coorg and Munnar. We quickly visited Mysore and Madurai that were on our way. I'll write more about these places in a separate post. We returned home on May 3.

The next day (on May 4), I was invited as a guest-of-honor at the Rotary club of Vadapalani, where I spoke about "Entrepreneurship and Ethics". I borrowed most of my speech content from this very own blog. After my speech, the president of Rotary club presented me with a memento and a book.

It was my mom's birthday on May 5. My sis and I wished my mom on her birthday, and we gifted her a silver-plated MOM-frame. Also, we got a groom for my sister on this day. In the evening, we all went to celebrate and dine at a nearby restaurant. The next 1 week of my stay in India is filled with shopping, temple-tour and quality time with my family. Packed with lot of memories, I reached US on May 12. In brief, this trip has been very eventful and pleasurable.

April 08, 2008

Flash-Works with Wix

Today, I got the invite code for, and was able to explore it in a few minutes. I was pleased with its powerful feature-set which is dead-simple to use... Now, there is no reason for most of us to learn Flash programming. Developers can use Adobe Flex for developing Flash applications, and use to create super cool layouts on Flash. Below is my Siddhi-Labs layout that I created on in 10 mins.

Click here for an enlarged version. FYI: The writings on the flash paper are actual hyperlinks.

April 04, 2008

Living, Loving & Finding Your Inner-ness

Today, I re-watched the movie "You, Me and Dupree", and loved it yet again. The very essence of life is just that... Living, Loving & Finding Your Inner "-ness". Many times in this blog, I mentioned that each one should truly be oneself, and not just follow the herd or mimic the society. This movie conveys this message right on spot!

The most important part of the movie is understanding your "-ness". The principle is taking your name and adding "-ness" as a suffix. For instance, Mark becomes Mark-ness! Well... The other half is to live and love life, dance with the tune of life, and enjoy every experience (be it sorrow or bliss).

In the movie, I liked the scene of Dupree's interview, where he speaks about his ideals. The movie is fun, and Kate is really cute!

Speaking of this topic in hand, here are a few quotes to remember...
"Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever."
"Plan before you act, and Act before you talk."

Also check out this wonderful article that I recently came across on LifeHack.
How to Be an Expert (and Find One if You’re Not)

March 12, 2008

Did you try these websites...

Here are some excellent websites that I came across in web2.0 blogs, and worth a review.
Fun: Animoto
Create a high quality jazzy video in a snap with your pics in place. The slideshow dances to your favorite tune, and best of all its free for short videos. I created one with a blend of my hobbies and passion along with my pics.

Utility: Keepm
Its an address book, and similar to Plaxo in functionality. It has a good interface and handy import features. Its a good one to better manage contacts.

Developer: WaveMaker
Ajax webapp developers should worry no more. Wavemaker makes our lives a lot easier with drag-n-drop interface to create Ajax websites. This is a good tool to develop web2.0 sites.

Develop & Consume: Clickpass
Excellent work by the clickpass guyz… I gave it a shot, and was surprised at how much easier it is to use OpenID with clickpass. I will soon use Clickpass developer-kit for one of my openID enabled site that I developed ( Read the full review on Techcrunch.

March 03, 2008

A weekend drive to OSU on Mustang

Y'day, I made a day long trip to Oklahoma State University (OSU) to meet a friend of mine. I got the flight from Dallas and OK City, and then drove 1.5 hrs to reach the university. At the airport, I rented a Ford Mustang Coupe and a GPS device to make my trip a lot more fun.

OSU is located in Stillwater, a town close to Oklahoma City. My friend guided me to a quick university tour. I should say OSU is pretty big, especially compared to UTD. The buildings are old like any other univ, and new constructions are in progress. This town reminded me of CollegeStation where Texas A&M univ is located.

I liked the comfort of Ford Mustang'07 as it is similar to my own VW Jetta'06. I however disliked a couple of aspects in Mustang. It gets thirsty often, and craves for gas (i.e. low MPG). I don't complain becoz I knew it before I rented it.

I was surprised at the absence of an Electric Power Steering (EPS). As a result of it, the steering wheel is very sensitive to touch even at high speeds. Thats not safe! Anyways... At end of the day, I had a nice drive on the Mustang, but I always love my own VW Jetta.

February 23, 2008

New Features to Sanskrit Voice

Sanskrit Voice now supports Devanagari font in the new Glossary RSS feed (subscribe)! Hope this will give joy to some of my users who have requested this feature in the recent past. In addition to it, a dictionary widget to search Sanskrit words-meaning pairs can be found on the homepage. Feel free to steal this widget for your blog.

Also, a unified Facebook-app is built for the glossary feed and dictionary search. If you are a Facebook enthusiast, you can now learn Sanskrit glossary from the comfort of your favorite social application. Thanks to Dapper tools for making all these enhancements possible.

February 16, 2008

I found secrets in my room

Here is a mini-article that talks about the secrets of success that one can learn from his bedroom. I really liked it.

Roof said 'Aim high'
Fan said 'Be Cool'
Clock said 'Every minute is precious'
Mirror said 'Reflect before you act'
Window said 'cd world' (i.e. change the world)
Calendar said 'Be up to date'
Door said 'Push hard to achieve your goals'

Multi facets of FundooWeb

FundooWeb is now updated to provide you multiple interfaces in an effort to become ubiquitous. It has a new logo, and an easy navigation layout at its footer. Now, you can use FundooWeb from your IPhone, Facebook, or your Homepage via widget. Also checkout its new Flash interface for superior look and feel.

I used Adobe Flex to provide these enhancements. Hope you all will like it.

February 11, 2008

Free Give Away : Fancy About-Me Icons Set-2

Do you think you are any of these... Here are a few About-Me campaign buttons that I created last weekend. Feel free to use them in your Blogs, Websites, MySpace, or wherever you like.

Here is the first set...
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The second set of images can be viewed in my RSS feed. Subscribe here!

Here is the second set...

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Note: You are NOT permitted to re-distribute these images. Right click on the image, and save the image to your PC. There is no obligation to link back, but I would appreciate it.

February 06, 2008

Logic and Emotion in Decision making

It is important for the decision to be backed-up by both logic and emotion. The decision can be as small as choosing an electrical gadget, or as big as choosing a career, life-partner, etc... we should first make a logically sound decision, and then get approval of our emotion.

Remember how we choose a professional career in life... We don't conclude whatever we love doing the most as our undisputed career choice. It is probably just a career option to consider. Quickly, other factors such as long-term happiness, benefits, requirements, and passion kick in. We make a logical decision that is supported-by and inline-with our emotion.

Arranged Marriages Win! A marriage is a huge responsibility and a decision of a lifetime. I bet most non-Indians are not (may be vaguely) familiar with the system of arranged marriages. They may also find it funny in the first place. But, I personally believe this concept is a perfect winner! There is analysis prior to getting emotions involved.

We have seen investments made and wars fought purely out of emotion and has no proof of reasoning. You know what I am referring to... Don't you? Such mindless actions can be evaded by putting more thought in after-effects of a decision, and thus changing the decision itself as required. Check out the article "How emotions affect economic decision making".

I am a believer of intuition. I tend to go by intuition (no reasoning required) only if:
# The decision itself is very small
# I should pick from a set of options that have no appreciable advantage over each other.

In all other cases, I believe we should put logic first to shortlist all options, and then make a final decision based on emotion. The articles at "Changing Minds" and "Practical Philosophy" have explained this concept very well.

February 01, 2008

A jukebox for Indian music

Finally, a jukebox for Indian music is in the market. Its called Rhydhun, and is owned by the highly popular music site MusicIndiaOnline. I've been using it for the past week, and am very pleased with it. It has a huge collection of live streaming songs in decent quality.

I'm truly impressed with the clean ad-free user interface, and browser-like navigation. I'm sure they borrowed the code from Mozilla Firefox to program the browser functionality. It's currently in Beta and is free to use. However, I don't mind paying a premium for this service if I am asked to. Life seems more fun with it...

This comes as a huge blow to Ad dominant Easily, I can see where Rhydhun is heading... In times to come, it may provide Itunes like functionality to buy individual songs online. Recently, Amazon announced to go international with its music store. Hope India is in its radar!

January 29, 2008

Flex: I'm lovin it so far!

After reading about the well praised Adobe Flex on several tech blogs, I gave it a shot last weekend. Its simplicity and ease of development took me by surprise. No prior experience with Flash is required to get started on Flex.

Adobe® Flex is a cross-platform development framework for creating rich Internet applications (RIAs). With flex, I can create powerful good looking webapps in less than an hour. I'm lovin it so far! Ajax is sooo old fashion. Quite a lot of web2.0 sites were developed in Flex. Check them out at Flex showcase.

The Flex SDK is free, but the FlexBuilder (an Eclipse based IDE for Flex) will cost us a bunch. I plan to get a lot done during the 60 day trial period of FlexBuilder. We can learn Flex in a couple of days using the Getting Started Guide from Adobe website. There is also a Video Tutorial on how to develop and debug a very basic application.

This weekend, I will probably get my hands wet in developing a flex version of my search mashup FundooWeb. I also found a great Javascript IDE called JSEclipse that is supported by Adobe, and is free for personal use. Great find Ah!

UPDATE (2/2/08)
Here is my first Flex application! It comes 2 sizes: Wide and Slim. Below is the wide one!

Feel free to grab this widget (Wide OR Slim), and embed it on your site.

January 19, 2008

This Week's Link Love

Some great useful sites that I found this week... Some are fun, some intuitive and others are useful.

Web 2.0

  1. Revision3 : Nice videos to watch from the comfort of your computer chair ;)
  2. MicroPlace : Invest money, and end poverty
  3. OpenID wins the support of Yahoo and Google. Hurray!
  1. What’s Stopping You from Getting Started (and What to Do About It)
  2. 10 Secrets of Success: Same old stuff, but good to be reminded.
Startup Tips
  1. How to choose Mentors
  2. The Launch of 5PM: Casestudy of a web startup
  3. Collaboration between Startups: Mutually help each other succeed is the way to go!
  1. The Zero Rupee Note: A new way to show your finger to the corrupted idiots in India
  2. Provoked at Perth: Great victory for Indian cricket
  3. Taare Zameen Par : An excellent movie that should be watched by parents

January 06, 2008

Add Life to Years

Here is an excerpt from Swami Vivekananda that can give us the strength and vigor to make this new year 2008 blissful.

I admire the swamiji for the following qualities that we should all strive to develop:
1. Daring
2. Sincerity
3. Steady Mind
4. Selflessness

This year, my goal is to consciously take these four striking qualities to a whole new level.

Here is a quick thought on Sincerity. The path we take to achieve a goal should be as pure as the goal itself. Resorting to illegal or unethical means to achieve a worthy goal is NOT a sincere approach. The satisfaction that we get on living life with a set of noble principles cannot be equaled by anything else.

Dareness is usually a side-product of being sincere & honest. When there is nothing to hide, there is nothing to fear. Steady mind can be achieved only by the path of yoga and meditation. We can selflessly spread love, care for each other, and make this world a wonderful place to live.

Lets add LIFE to years, and not just years to our life. Happy New Year to all... Have a fabulous year 2008!