random thoughts..

Six months of using public bus for daily commute

BMTC Vayu VajraIt has been just over six months since I started using the BMTC Vayu Vajra(bias/bial/bia) buses for my daily commute to office. I was car pooling with a colleague before that and when he moved company I decided to give the BMTC Vayu Vajra bus a try and so far been a great experience. There are some very good things apart from the very obvious benifits of using public transport.

Staying enroute to the airport has helped me as the BMTC Vayu Vajra which is the airport shuttle, picks passengers for other stops enroute, this has made my commute very convenient. I used the BMTC  website to get the details of the buses and to figure out the bus that would best suite my needs.

One of the best things that has happened to me because of using public transport is the amount of walking that I get to do. I walk aroundn 3kms every day on an average, while covering the last mile to home and to office. This has helped me lose weight and get back into shape. Moreover I picked up a new hobby of collecting seeds of trees in bangalore and plantimg them. Most of these seeds were collected while walking as part of my commute. I have so far planted around 8 saplings in my balcony and have also gifted some seeds and saplings to friends and relatives. I now observe trees around me more keenly than I ever did. Am able to identify quite a few trees and their seeds. On that note here is a very good reference for the flowering trees in Bangalore.

The other good thing has been my reading. I have read lots of books in this past six months, thanks to the time that i get on the bus. The 40 min ride each way gives me around an hour and half of reading time each day, which is quite good. I have got so used to reading on the bus that I start feeling very itchy if I do not have anything to read while on the bus. So, I now carry atleast two books with me all the time in my bag.

Another very good experience has been meeting nice and interesting people. More often than not I run into very interesting people in the bus. I end up having good conversations and making friends. Very recently I met a part time wildife photohrapher, who was on his way to Kabini from Mumbai. Had a nice time talking to him and getting to see his photography equipment.

I would encourage everyone to see if they can find a good connecting bus from their workplace to home and atleast try using the public transport. Even if you can do it once a week, it will be a good experience. Here are some resources which can help you plan your travel.

  1. BMTC Website
  2. BTIS Website
  3. Route Finder

And how could I have missed mentioning that most of this blog post was composed on my bus ride to office today morning.

October 12, 2010 Posted by | Personal | , , , , | 3 Comments

Growing up or growing confused ?

Gargi (my daughter) is a year and nine months old and has started to speak a few words, which are enough for her to get her point across on what she wants to eat, what to wear or what she wants to do at any point in time. And she is very adamant of her choices. Very often her choice of food, clothes or games, conflict with what we (me and my wife) would feel fine with and we try to influence her decision with ours. She does comply sometimes, but most of the times she protests.

Well, the whole point is that she does protest pretty vehemently. Which means she is very sure of what she wants to do. I cannot clearly remember when was the last time I put my foot down and said this is what I want to do, without bothering about what other people had to say. Not that I never do what I wish to do, rather either no one stops me from what I want to do, or probably I am not so adamant on what I want to do. So, I end up doing things that people around me want me to do.

Do we become more compromising as we grow up and as a result lose track of what we like or want.

This might be a far fetched conclusion from watching a toddler. But quite possible that, as we keep growing up, due to the people surrounding us, we do sometimes become insensitive towards what we really want, and end up doing things which everyone else is doing or wanting us to do. They could be friends, acquantence, neighbours, relatives, parents etc. etc. and hence we grow up into being very confused (because our inherent thought process has gone silent by now).

January 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

2009 to 2010

2009-to-2010

2009 has been an eventful and hectic year. Well most of the high points of the year were related to Gargi and her growing up. We celebrated her first birthday in April and had a good time. She learnt to walk on her own and also has now started speaking a few things. Already has developed a taste for things, chooses the clothes she would wear and even the food she would eat. A good experience over all.

We got the chance to take a few breaks from the daily routine. Summer break of around days in May, when we went to my parents place (Karnal) was a nice, and we spent quality time with parents and my sister’s family. The trip to BR Hills with office friends was a lot of fun. Trip to Hyderabad in Oct got a bit extended by the rain gods, when train and bus routes got submerged owing to the heavy rains lashing southern india. Then there was also a trip to Pune, Shirdi and Mumbai. Pune, to meet our friends Atul and Dipti and their cute son Aaroh. Mumbai, to meet my maternal family in Mumbai, which was pending for a long time.

I also took a two week break from work to exhaust my pending leaves in the last two weeks, to spend some more time at home with Jayashree and Gargi. We also did a short trip to Mysore in the past week to meet Jayashree’s cousin Rajesh, and also took the chance to visit Bylakuppe.

On the work front the year was fairly ordinary. However, Jayashree got back to work after an year and half break. And started off on her own. Which was quite exciting for her and also for me. We also did discuss a lot of our own ideas and also worked on a few of them to put down on paper. Maybe on of these days, we will get back to implementing one of them. I met a lot of very nice and interesting people at the OCC, StartupSaturday, NASSCOMPC and other events and had a good time learning about the happenings in the startup space in Bangalore.

Started contributing more time to my social commitment DYPC. And am hoping that in 2010 we will be able to take DYPC to the next level.

I got introduced to twitter and now tweet almost on a regular basis. Read more books this year than 2008. Blogged more often than 2008. Watched more movies than I did in 2008.

And hope that I will be able to do more in 2010 than what I did in 2009. 2010 promises to be a year of making more decisions and playing a more active role. There are already quite a few challenges lined up and I am looking forward to them.

2010 starts with the ACM Bangalore Compute 2010 and Quiz 2010 events.

Happy New Year 2010 to all !

December 31, 2009 Posted by | General, Personal | , , | 1 Comment

Router power-cut troubles : fixed !

netgear

I use a netgear router to power my home wi-fi network. The router and the adsl modem, which it is connected to are both powered by a 500va UPS.

But during power cuts, although the adsl modem would work fine, the netgear router would go into a loop of reboots. Impacting my wi-fi network. And this did not occur at all the time, but most of the times.

Until I could find a permanent fix for the problem, which probably is being caused by the inability of my UPS to provide sine wave supply to the router, so a cheap and good solution might be to change the power adaptor of the netgear router. I thought of an interim solution. I put a voltage stabilizer in between the UPS and the netgear router and this has fixed my problem for the time being !

UPS

November 6, 2009 Posted by | Technical | , , , | 1 Comment

Help DonateYourPC and win Google Invites !!

DonateYourPC

DonateYourPC

Google Wave

Google Wave

Still waiting for that elusive (and exclusive!) invite for Google Wave. Here is your chance to win it and trust me it doesn’t get any easier! All you need to do is help DYPC in spreading the word about this concept of PC donation and the site itself. Read More…

November 3, 2009 Posted by | I like | , | Leave a comment

NASSCOM Product Conclave 2009

NASSCOM Product Conclave 2009

 

 

 

 

I had the opportunity to attended the NASSCOM Product Conclave on the 27th and 28th of Oct at Bangalore. Although the conclave was supposed to focus on Products, it did seem to me and also to a lot of other delegates that it ended up being more of a startup focused conclave rather than being a product conclave. And I am not complaining. Moreover I think it was good that the focus of the conclave was more startup focused because there is still a lot to be done and a long way to go before we can start claiming that the indian software industry is churning out world class products. We do have some good products that have come out of here, but there is still a lot to be done in this space.

I particularly enjoyed the Keynote and the tweetup sessions with Guy Kawasaki. He has the ability to keep the audience involved and interested. The best part being, he never misses out on an opportunity to sell alltop and keeps creating such opportunities every once in a while.

Some of the other sessions that I found really interesting were :

Business Plan session by Prof. Naeem Zafar. Naeem kept the audience engaged and interested in the two hour long session and gave very interesting insights on writing a Business Plan. He brought out the importance of doing proper market research and also suggested some very nice ways of using google tools to go about it. The importance of having a right team and the composition of the team was also well covered in his talk.

Sessions on developing technologies, products and services for the consumers at the bottom of the pyramid and for the rural areas were very interesting. One of the sessions was moderated by Ramesh Ramanathan of Janagraha fame (he has started a micro finance company Janalakshmi) and the other session was moderated by Prof. Ashvin Mahesh of mapunity. It was very interesting to know how companies like Babajobs, Co-options, ITC (echoupal), M Cril, Janalakshmi etc are doing a great job of helping people and using technology to reach out to areas unexplored.

Some of the unsessions that I got to attend were the Mentoring for startups and the evolution of the startup ecosystem in India. The Mentoring for startups session provided good insight on how to go about finding the right mentor/advisor for the leaders of the company and how best to utilize their time and potential. My key takeaway from the startup ecosystem discussion was that, there is a dire need to focus on the educational institutions and groom students well in advance to prepare them mentally and technically to face the challenges of the startup environments. So that the startup and the student communities can benefit the most from each other.

Overall, it was a good learning experience for me and I had the opportunity of meeting a lot of very nice people.

October 29, 2009 Posted by | General, I like | , , | 1 Comment

Jolicloud on virtualbox

Continuing my search for a lightweight OS to be run on my old spare laptop I chanced upon jolicloud and requested for an invitation. Got the invitation right away and downloaded the iso image yesterday.
The initial impressions are good. The installation was fairly straight forward, much like any ubuntu install.
Have posted a few screen shots below.
Now I have two OSes that I want to try on the old laptop this weekend – jolicloud and goodOS.

I do like the new look of the desktop that jolicloud has and also the very nice and intutive interface to install new apps (see last image) makes is easier for people accustomed to other OSes to move seamlessly.

However, what I am not quite sure is how will jolicloud login behave when I connect to the jolicloud webservice from another machine. Since it seems to keep the data of my installed apps on their server.

jolicloud-image-1

jolicloud-image-1

jolicloud-image-1

jolicloud-image-1

jolicloud-image-3

jolicloud-image-3

jolicloud-image-4

jolicloud-image-4

October 23, 2009 Posted by | Technical | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Help Flood Victims in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

If you are willing to help victims of the floods that affected Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Please see the information below:

Donate Dry ration, Utility items, Clothing, etc. Pls contact Priyanka(9986043080) or Vivek(9845080313) or send an email to sahayata@pankhudifoundation.org to donate or fill this form:   http://tiny.cc/vcFMa

Donate whatever you can to help the people in distress !

October 22, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Diwali break

My week long diwali break ends today. It was a nice and relaxing break from work. Parents had come over from Karnal to celebrate diwali with us. Gargi had a lot of fun playing with her grandparents.
We had made plans to visit Kanyakumari and Rameshwaram, but it had to be cancelled as my father had some urgent work to take care back in Karnal and they cut short their trip by 5 days.
I read the latest book by Chetan Bhagat2States using the free time and liked it. Will write another post on my impressions of the book.
Back to work from tomorrow !

October 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

DYPC on Radio Active Community Radio 90.4

Radio Active - Community Radio

Radio Active - Community Radio

Cross-posted from DYPC blog.

One of the volunteer’s at DYPC, Aman Jain presented us with a nice opportunity to talk about DYPC on Radio. Aman is dynamic youngster, apart from his day job and his social initiative The Zav Foundation, he is also a RJ at the Community Radio station called Radio Active. It is being run by the Jain Group Of Institutions in Bangalore and has a impressive listener base. Aman is hosting a program series called “Youth in Action” and he offered to cover DYPC as one of the youth initiatives.

The show is a bilingual and targeted at both english and kannada speaking audience. So, we had to find one person who would be able to field questions in Kannada. So, I roped in Jayashree (my wife) to be the one to speak in Kannada.

On Saturday (26th Sept)  morning me and Jayashree along with our 18month old daughter Gargi started off at around 7:45 am to be at the recording studio in the Jain University Centre for Management Studies. Aman was already there waiting for us. He showed us the studio and also explained us about the show he was hosting and the motivation for having a community radio station. We also met Ramya, who manages the recording studio.

The recording took around half an hour and Gargi had a nice time looking around the radio studio and was very co-operative not to disturb us.

Meeting Aman was a nice experience. We discussed a lot about the good work he is doing as part of the The Zav Foundation and how we could help each other.

The show will be telecast after 15th October. Will update with the exact time and date once I hear back from Aman.

September 29, 2009 Posted by | General | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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