random thoughts..

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 !

Advertisements

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

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

How to increase the main text area of your blog on wordpress

Well this might sound pretty simple for people experienced with setting up blogs. However, since I faced this issue and was unable to find a straight forward answer to it, I thought this post might help others when they face such issues.

If you are unable to understand what I mean. See the screenshots below :

image-2

image-1

theme-2

The image-1 is a blog which has wide sized text area, making it easier to have longer posts and also media (photos/viodeo clips) placed conveniently. However, the image-2 is a blog with a very narrow main text area which makes things a little diffucult for making longer posts and placing media.

So, with wordpress there are two ways to get the kind of view in the image-2.

1) Buy custom CSS upgrades from wordpress, and use your CSS skills to modify the CSS code to reflect the changes you want to. This will cost you depending on the amount that wordpress wants to charge for the custom CSS upgrade.

2) The other simpler option can be to use a Theme which allows flexible-width. This is free of cost and the only downside is that you need to use a different theme, and that there are not too many themes with flexible-width option. But then if you are not too keen on spending money to get this done and are able to find the theme that suits your liking and also also allows you flexible-width blog, then this is the way to go. I have used this option !

If you would like exploring more on how to chose the theme for your blog, there are many posts out there already. Just google “how to chose the right wordpress theme”.

September 12, 2009 Posted by | General, Gyaan | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Introducing: DonateYourPC.in a social venture

DYPC-logo

I would like to introduce to you a new social venture, aimed at promoting computer literacy among the underprivileged by reusing old computers.

DonateYourPC.in is a unique platform to bring together Indian PC and Computer Peripheral donors with NGOs/Schools and people who need computers for education and empowerment. We know that there are people who would like to donate their old computer for a good cause but they don’t know any such requirement. So either they sell it to some junk dealer or it lies there gathering dust! DYPC plans to give such people an opportunity to donate their computer for a good cause.

We would like to get in touch with NGOs/Schools/Individuals/Anyone who would like to use our platform to either donate or use the donated peripherals we can provide them. Please visit the site, check our FAQs, checkout the volunteer page and if you think you would want to use the platform or would like to join us drop us a mail.

You can join our Orkut community: http://www.orkut.com/Main#Community.aspx?cmm=50977416
and the Facebook group:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/DonateYourPC/142705396804

Follow us on Twitter @dypc.

For any queries/comments please mail us at contact@donateyourpc.in

Please help us spread the word.

March 17, 2009 Posted by | General | 1 Comment