Archive for the ‘General’ Category

I switched to a Mac. Actually to a MacBook Pro. And I am writing this post on it!

I was thinking about upgrading my laptop for a month or so now. I’ve been using my old lap top for about 18 months and I kind of got to the point I wanted a little bit more screen real-estate and a better battery life. My previous laptops battery had passed through its motions and had very little charge retention.

I was working from the road a bit, not because I was travelling on business, but because I was shuttling my kids for classes and I wanted to get some work done while I was sitting around till their classes finished. Since my usual laptops battery wont last through the duration of a class, I was using a netbook, which was getting to me with is crawling, slow performance and the tiny screen size. Even it’s keyboard was tinier than the normal laptop so even typing on it was a chore.

Hence, I was looking for a better laptop with a better processor and a better battery. And guess what came on the list that met that criteria? MBP!

It’s amazing that the best windows developers laptop happens to be a Mac. My job requires me to run Windows and the Mac supports that natively with bootcamp. And the first thing I did after getting my hands on it was actually to get Windows7 on it! I find myself using Windows& on this more than often than I am using MacOSX. I am surely hoping the tide’s will turn around as there is a some python work on the horizon.

I can’t even begin to say how much I am enjoying this machine. The display is fabulous, the keyboard feels natural under my finger tips and the over build of the machine feels so assuring. And performance, even though this one has only a 4GB of memory (as opposed to 6GB, the max allowed on my old laptop) this one never seems to be wanting of anything to perform any task that is thrown at it (Maybe it’s the Sandy-bridge processor on this?)

The design and practicality of this machine is enormous. I love the mag safe power adaptor. Even those two tiny hooks built into the power adaptor that you can use to coil the wire. The unibody feels so assuring in your hands.

Switching to the Mac had other expenses lined up for me as well Smile. I wanted a fancier bag and it had me shopping for leather bags and I ended up getting two of them!

Advertisements

It’s a long weekend

It’s a long week end. And also, the school vacations have started. Avurudu is around the corner. If I was not broke, I would have planned something for the family. But I am just recovering financially from the alms giving. Besides, my wives parents are out. So we are with the kids, playing parents after a long time.

Yesterday, though it was Poya, I was working on and off. Spent sometime finishing up a project that was in the back burner for a while. And have to finish up another proposal. So I can send them out on Monday.

Also, spent sometime setting up the computer. After a recent hard disk swap I’ve been running with the bare minimum software I needed. Setting up a few more nice to have tools on the computer. Also, taking an attempt to exclusively use the SLT broadband connection so I can officially terminate my Lanka Bell broadband connection if the SLT connection works well. My initial experience was a bit sketchy, but I am not sure whether the issues were due to the connection or my old router.

Tomorrow I am hoping to join Pedal Pushers on the Sunday ride. Haven’t ridden for a long time. I think for the whole of this year so far I’ve ridden only twice or thrice. And that is with the group conducting two rides weekly, on Sunday and Wednesday night.

I’ve been working like crazy the past couple of months. And I have to find a way to better organize my day. The way I’ve arranged my work, I’m more or less working round the clock. I need to find a balance and also find some common time with wifee when she is at home. Seems I’m at home, but working when she comes and she’s sleeping when I’m done!

At least this couple of weeks should be better able to manage my time with the kids being at home!

Being busy

I’ve been extremely busy the last couple of months, My pretty balanced life has become erratic, I miss my meals, I always feel under pressure, there is always something to get done, and between the regular work and family errands, I am always on the edge as if on a pressure cooker. 

I used to have it pretty balanced. I had time for work, for play, had my meals on time, spent time with family, found time to go cycling was fiddling around with the camera. I loved what I was doing and was looking forward to picking up a hobby in Photography. 

Then, work started piling up, meaning we were getting a lot of work on our plates, and there were a few situations that I needed to handle in order to rescue what I had built thus far. So I dived in, took the reins and am now running at full speed. Adding to that, my kids are growing up and they joined extra curricular activities. My wife changed her line of work and she’s been busier than me ever since. So the whole shuttling the kids for their classes thing fell on my shoulders. And now, I have no time for myself! It’s just work and errands!

I was always pretty big on work life balance. I read about it, I arranged my life around those principles, I turned to freelancing mainly so I can find more balance in my life! But now that balance is off the grid. I need to find it again. And probably it will require some pretty big changes in my life. In the the responsibilities that I’ve taken. Maybe I need to scale back, learn to say ‘no’ more and then be happy with having less!

In love with Macs

Im falling in love with Macs these days. I don’t know. I think I’m finally becoming an Apple fanboy.

I’ve been on a Compaq, Core i5 machine for a little over a year now. And I even upgraded the RAM and the hard drive on this rig. It’s a fully spec’ed up machine now. I should easily be able to get a couple of more years of work from this rig.

I dunno. I suddenly find myself reading up about Macs, comparing the prices and checking out them at Mac stores. They certainly are now available in Colombo. Sri Lanka used to be a Windows country. But I think now the macs are invading!

I’ve been drawn to a few gadgets in the past and what I found out about my self was that my lust for the devices last until I buy them and then for about a month afterwards. Then they become just a part of my portfolio of stuff I own. This happened with my last expensive purchase, which was a DSLR. Not to say that I dont use it, but I dont use it as much as I envisaged that I will use it prior to buying it. I justified buying it a lot (to myself mostly) saying that I am picking up a new hobby. But, that hasnt been the case. With my work schedule, I hardly find any time for a hobby (i hardly find time to sit down and have a meal, let alone to indulge in a hobby).

Getting back to the topic of a mac, more than a camera, or any other toy for that matter, I will use a Mac as I spend most of my waking hours in front of a computer. And the justification this time around is, that though they are expensive, (probably you can buy 2 high end windows laptops for a MBP with similar configuration), I am upgrading the primary tool that is used in my line of work! How is that for a justification!

And I have been extremely busy with the computer and it will pay to upgrade it without waiting till it reaches its end of life. At least, if I upgrade now, I should be able to sell my existing computer for a decent price as it is still not out dated (they still sell this configuration).

Well, now I need to see if I can actually go through with purchasing a MBP.

Homework

My daughter is in grade 1 this year. And as such she is starting to get home work. That notorious thing we used to hate as kids.

But this time I am at the other end of the fence. As the person who has to face her teacher everyday, I have to answer if she has missed her homework. The weekends are the worst. She usually gets a ton.

I am in the process of sitting down with my daughter to complete her homework for thus weekend. Seems like it’s going to eat up the rest of the morning.

I am also learning the process of getting a 5 year old to sit down in one place and doing her homework when all she wants to do is watch cartoons or play. One think that is working to my advantage is the fact that she missed out doing her homework and she remembers vividly the repercussions. So she is also making an attempt.

I am trying to to find the balance of coaxing and being strict with her. Age is a restless kid by nature. So getting her to sit at a stretch and actually finishing something is a challenge. Can’t blame her either. All this time she was subjected to experiential learning and now she is being introduced into formal learning with a bang.

As a parent I want my kids to have a sound education and for them to do well. But I also want them to enjoy their childhood. And I am also concerned that forcing them to do work against their will would force them to dislike learning.

I guess with time I will find what works best with my kid. But to get there I will have to be patient and learn from her as well. This is going to be an interesting journey!

I was never a gym person. I’ve never been to a gym in my life, ever!

My attempts at working out at home had been sporadic. I own three exercise machines, but they lie around, unused. I’ve attempted to walk, which kind of worked while I was working from home, alone, but after I moved to an office, it fell by the wayside. I’ve attempted to go for a walk during the weekends and that too was never regular. One thing, which I have picked up is cycling on Sundays with the Pedal Pushers, which has been somewhat regular.

With my weekly cycle rides one thing I came to realize was how unfit I was! All this time my fitness was not an issue as I hardly engaged in any physically demanding activities. But cycling 25-30km’s just showed me how unfit I was. And secondly, my wife become pretty interested in staying fit. She took up a Zumba class twice a week. I joined her once a week and and it was an eye opener to my fitness level.

With all this when my wife wanted to join a neighborhood gym, I tagged along and joined too. So now, I’ve committed myself to working out three times a week.

I was asked to define my goals of joining a gym and here’s what I came up with:

  • Lose 10 kgs of weight
  • Lose 2″ on my waist line
  • Generally improve my fitness and stamina
Losing weight and waistline has remained a goal of mine for quite sometime. But this is the first time that I am going to be doing something specifically targeted towards achieving it. So let’s see how well I keep to my commitments. Hopefully I will be posting periodic updates about progress here. And if nothing is posted, over time, it would probably mean I would have not achieved my goals or have not kept my commitment. This post is an attempt of a public declaration, so that I will hold myself accountable.

The last time I coded in classic ASP was about 7 years ago. Ever since I moved to ASP.NET 1.0 it was the way of .NET for me. But, we recently landed two relatively small projects, for two pretty large, world wide corporates, which required us to use classic ASP. And these are not small companies. These are billion dollar global companies.

Both these companies own pretty extensive IT infrastructures. Both of them have their own server farms. And I reckoned this was one of the reasons they are still sticking with classing ASP. They have invested heavily on hardware, software and platforms and it is not an easy task to keep updating them with the latest and the hip things that come out year in and year out!

All this time I didn’t have a hobby per se. My work takes up most of my time (as a result of working across two timezones 12.5 hours apart) and the remainder of the time (which actually boils down to a little over couple of hours on weekdays) I try my best to spend with my family. So there never was time any time to spend on anything else. And during weekends, I would spend time with family (and doing a poor job of being there then) or lounge in front of the TV.

I’ve not been a great photography fan lately. I remember when I was in my early teens I tried my hand in photography. I had an old 35mm Yashica film camera, which was my fathers, and the cost of the films and the development never really worked for me.

When the digital camera’s came along, I was a late entrant to the scene. I just used a point and shoot digital camera to capture occasional family gatherings and functions. And I never really pushed the cameras to its limits. I would mostly use it on the ‘auto’ mode and would switch to other modes rarely. I went through an Olympus u700, which died on us soon after the warranty expired, and then a Cannon Ixus.

Ont the other hand my man, Rukshan’s was into photography. I always used to think he was addicted to photographs (and honestly he looked very good on them). And since he lives overseas, he always used to pester me to take photos around the house, and people and share them with him. But I was too lazy to do that on a consistent basis and after a while he stopped pestering me for photos.

My interest in DSLR’s picked up when I was asked to pick a DSLR for Rukshan from Malaysia. Just before the trip and soon after I returned with the camera (which was a Nikon D3100), my general knowledge about DSLR’s were greatly enhanced, thanks to him. During that trip I was compelled to pick the same camera for myself, but instead, being the computer geek I am, I picked up a laptop. This was about an year ago. And I thought my interest in photography will subside.

But it was not to be. So I started to put small sums away with the idea of getting myself a DSLR. And by last month, I had saved enough to afford one! So I got myself a Nikon D3100 with a 18-55mm kit lens and a 55-300mm lens. So, equipment-wise, I am content. There are only two more items I would buy in the foreseeable future and those will be a 50mm f/1.8 lens and a flash.

So now I am in the process of experimenting with my camera and finding out what I can do with it. So far it’s been mainly used as a point and shoot, but I am trying my hand at manual focusing and other manual settings. And hopefully, I would come up with photographs that I would be proud to show off (other than those of my family’s!)

A late night rant

There were several days on which I logged into wordpress.com hoping to post something here. But in all occasions there were one of two issues that prevented it.

1. I was disturbed – either I was required to sort something out, answer a question or manage something. Then I lose the thought train and I end up saving it as a draft, but never get to finishing it later, as it is very difficult to figure out what I was going to write previously.

2. So many things were running through my head I could not zoom in on one thing to write. So many things on my plate and trying to do more than one thing at a time and the stress of running a business.

Even right now, I do not have a specific subject to write about. I am staying online for a client meeting, and thought of mumbling something to keep me from falling asleep.

I think I need to focus on doing some meditation to bring about some serenity to the chaos going around me. In a way I am used to the chaos in my life. I walk into the office fully expecting a lot of things to fall into my plate when I open my inbox. And then I go about sorting them out and getting things out of the door. And usually on such days I end my day with a sense of having had a productive day.

I am pretty used to that and if it is a slow day, I become quite lethargic. I think a little stress keeps me going. Like a race car needs to be driven hard!

Oh, my client is calling. SO this post is getting published!

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 27,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 14 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 260 posts.

The busiest day of the year was February 4th with 153 views. The most popular post that day was moBlog.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were w3avenue.com, ryeblog.wordpress.com, wordpress.org, speckyboy.com, and dead-pixels.co.uk.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for moblog, proactive language, fancybox close, clear print spooler vista, and moblog windows mobile.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

moBlog December 2007
548 comments

2

Running ASP.NET 2.0 Applications on IIS 5.1 (Win XP) March 2006
16 comments

3

Installing Blackberry desktop software on Vista March 2008
8 comments

4

Connecting to SQL Server Express from a Pocket PC application March 2007
9 comments

5

Tyre expiry date July 2006
7 comments

Notepad Trick

We are a new company which specializes in building web applications. We are experts in Microsoft Technologies and are at the forefront of new technology adoption. We provide our services mainly to the US market and in particular to the start-ups emerging from the West Coast.

We are a truly virtual company operating without boundaries. We make use of technology and Internet to blur the boundaries and create a virtual and collaborative work environment for teams spread across continents and time zones.

Out US partners have been impressed by the talent of the Sri Lankan team which worked on their projects and now are keen to find more people with the correct attitude and skill set to join our team.

  • Do you want to work on the latest technologies?
  • Would you like to work on cool projects for US clients?
  • Want to have control over your schedule?
  • Want to be treated with respect and your ideas heard?
  • Do you keep abreast of the technology evolution?
  • Is coding an art form for you?
  • Are you responsible?
  • Can you work without having someone watch over your shoulder?
  • Can you manage your time effectively?
  • Do you take pride in your work?
  • Do you pay attention to details and deliver well tested code?

We believe in allowing our team members the freedom to work from anywhere and anytime, as long as you adhere to certain guidelines. What matters to us is whether you deliver error free, high quality product on time. After the initial probation we wont pester you to come to “work” everyday. You are free to work from home (or wherever you like for that matter).

Skills and Competencies:

  • Are you an expert in ASP.NET 2.0 and above?
  • Are you a ASP.NET MVC guru?
  • How are you with ORM’s like nHibernate, Subsonic and EntitySpaces?
  • Do you test your code with tools like nUnit?
  • Can you do client-side interactions with jQuery/CSS?

 

If you fir the bill, please drop your resumes to talent@enablerworld.com.

I don’t know whether it is a rediscovery of the love for writing or the love for fountain pens. But I tend to put pen on paper every day these days to record my thoughts!

I used to like writing when I was younger. During my school days I was pretty good at essay writing and always scored well, be it in Sinhalese or English. I stopped learning languages and literature around the age of 16, and from that point onwards it has been all technical subjects for me. Then, I had to master scientific writing. I learned to keep things concise and to the fact. I lost the art of writing.

Soon after I left school I did a short stint as a journalist. It was for a weekly paper and as a cub reporter. I did it purely because I liked to write. Of course that was also the time I was going through university and after a while I decided to give up my journalistic career and concentrate on my university life including the fun side.

Then onwards it was purely scientific writing., I studied mathematics and physics and I ever considered myself a master of any of those subjects to write about them.

And after I started working, being into IT, I spent all my time with a keyboard. Hence my writing became typing on the keyboard.

Until recently I could hardly write for five minutes with a pen and paper without feeling an uncomforting feeling around the wrists.

But throughout I carried forward my passion for fountain pens. I always carried a fountain pen if I ever carried a pen. I lost a few along the way, most notably though my university career. I remember once while running in the rain, the pen I carried got thrown out of my pocket and fell into a ditch full of water.  I searched for it ended up being wet but didn’t find the pen. I remember how I sad I felt at that loss.

I have also had several occasions where the fountain pens leaked in my pockets. I remember once it leaked on my way to a job interview. Luckily I had some time so I went into a shop, and bought a new shirt and ended up walking out of the shop clad in new shirt and headed straight to the interview. (I landed the job and signed the documents using the pen that leaked!)

Back to the topic, I plan on using all my fountain pens now. I had them packed and nicely packed away in a drawer. But now that I want to write with them, it is time to make use of my collection. After all, what’s the point of a collection if they cannot be used.

Earlier, a refill used to last for a month or so. But at my current rate, I think a refill will only last a week or even less. Therefore all my pens will have an opportunity to scribe on paper in my hands.

But one thing I am in need is a good notebook with fountain pen friendly paper. Most of the notebooks in the market tend to have very thin paper which, when written on with a fountain pen, the ink blots through the page. I would also like something which has a nice bound cover.

I am now finding more ideas for my blogging also through writing. I tend to write my thoughts on the paper and then convert them to blog posts if I feel if there is some significance in them. This post in itself is one such incident.

Enough typing, off to more conventional writing!

Finally moved.

We finally moved. After a lot if coaxing and pressurizing we managed to get the house into a movable state. But the work was not complete and even to this date there are small finishing up tasks being done.

The move was hectic and was done in stages. First night it was just me and Lushi. Then a day later the kids came over. Stilk some kf out stuff are at Wattala. We will be getting them over the next couple of months. There are a still some more work that needs to be done, like getting the closets built in some rooms before we bring the stuff. But it was a good feeling to be here finally. The little bit of finishing touches are being done now and being here helps to get them done exactly the way we want with constant supervision.

The major thing that they have not done so far is my office room. Since there are people still working, they have been using it as their quarters. I am hoping to get them off of the place within the week and tart setting up my homebase there soon. I will be writing a seperate post on setting up a home office. I went through a lot of blogs about setting up offices and want to record my own experience.

It is a major convinience living here. Dinara’s school is just ten minutes away. Lushi’s office is also ten minutes away. All the malls and the offices that matter are also within ten or fifteen minutes away. Once this convinience sinks in, it will be very difficult to move back anywhere else.

Finally a big thank you to Lushi’s parents for all the trouble they went through in getting this place ready for the move.

Whoa 2010!!!

Man I feel old. 2010 is already here and I can’t imagine a decade has gone by since the dawn of the millennium, which I remember pretty well.

One thing that doesn’t wait for you is time. And we need to make the time spent count. I am hoping to spend a couple of days in retrospect and figure out just that.

There are things that I know that would count. Mainly the family. During this decade I lost my father, got married and raised a family. And a lot of things are falling into place right now.

2010 would see if the new directions in my life would actually going to go somewhere. I think this is going to be a decade that would count a lot more! If last decade was about finding direction, this decade will be about reaching a destination.

Whoa 2010! I am looking forward to you!

I need to vent some seriously annoyed steam off my head. I am as p***** as I can be with the people who are doing up our house. No wonder they never seem to be improving their quality of life. Those buggers cant figure out sh** if their lives depended on it!

They have no sense of time and no sense of a deadline what so ever. If I had a signed contract with a project timeline I would have sued them to their last penny. In the absence of such a legal document the best I can do is to beat the crap out of them. Wait, I don’t think I can do that, there are too many of them.

This is the third deadline they missed. What was initially estimated to take a month to do, now has spilled over to over two months and they are still not done. Damn!

Damn it was heart breaking. All that looking forward, watching matches at the expense dog my productive work hours, and the anticipation down the drain. Our guys did not comeout at the most crucial match.

Congradulations to Paks for their fantastic performance. I wish your team were playing for Us!

Posted with LifeCast

Reflections on life

I can vividly remember my teens and my twenties. I’m glad that I lived up the years, experienced life to the full. Now that I am turning 33 today, life is taking a different path.

Those were the years that you could eat anything you want, play as much and party all night long and still make it to classes or work the next morning. Had no care for cholesterol or BMI or blood sugar! We played cricket, almost every day and cycled a few kilometers daily.

Now when I cannot play badminton for an hour at a stretch and when you do, the next day you feel as if a truck has run you over! Now the concerns are on losing weight and getting the waist line to a respectable figure, to a figure that you can tell a shop assistant without feeling shy! Typical life story of a Sri Lankan professional male?

But I am not lamenting in any way about how my life turned out to be. I am glad and proud of it in fact. True, I may be a little over weight and a few muscles that needs shedding, which I am working on by the way, but what i have, I truly cherish!

So on this birthday I like to thank all those people and circumstances that I am grateful about!

Thaththa – It’s been a while since you bid adieu. But you have been the biggest influence in my life, my mentor and my role model! Need I say more? Except, I miss you and there isn’t a single day gone by without me wishing that you were around!

Amma – Thank you for putting up with me for all this time. For bringing us up in one piece. You have been the strength of our lives! All relations tell me that I was a brat and now I know what it must have been like, because I have two of my own!

Lush – You are the best a wife can get! I thank my destiny every day for bringing us together. You love me and support me unconditionally and that is all a man can ask for. And you put up with all my sillinesses. I love you and promise to love you till my last breath!

Dinara and Dineth – You are the apple of my eyes. Thank you for bringing a joy into our lives which we did not know that existed before. You two are a handful (and more), but the joy of seeing you two blossom is the greatest joy in the world and brings a new dimension to our lives!

Malli – Thank you for being my brother, friend and advisor. Above all thanks for putting up with me. You give all you have and never expect anything in return. You have always been there for me and I truly value our friendship.

Siri/Diana – Thanks for trusting your daughter with me and also accepting me for what I am. You give me the space and the freedom to lead my life but yet silently support me. You’re the best in-laws anyone can ask for!

Rukshan – I had a brother and then I found another! You are a brother to me and there is no in-law part in it!

All my friends – You know who you are! Far too many to name individually. I treasure every memory with you all and though we don’t get to meet as often as we used to, I know our friendships will stand the test of time and distances. The great thing about the friendships that I have with you all is we can always pick up where things were left off! I have learned from all of you and all of you have been there whenever I needed you all! Remember the good times mates!

Relations – Thank you for being my relations! I do not regret anyone one of you being my relation. Some of us we meet only occasionally and some more often, but what ever the time and distances between us, our relationships will remain!

I have also to thank my past colleagues and bosses who shared the fun times with me, and from those of whom I learned quite a bit. Thank you for sharing those moments with me.

It is a great time to be alive. And a lot is going on in my life right now. So a few years from now, it should be interesting to see how my decisions have played out.

Moving on his own

Today my beloved BIL is moving to a house on his own. We all used to live in one big house and it was a lot of fun! I was getting used to living in a large family. And our daughter Dinara adores him.

But he has a very important exam coming up and the environment at the house was not one that was very productive for him to study. He just came back after spending 6 years on his own in Latvia and I think he prefers a not so crowded place to effectively study. And also a place that will save a lot of time he spends commuting from Wattala.

So he is moving to his own place in Colombo. We are going to miss him quite a bit. I am going to miss having him around to discuss the latest gadgets and software. Though he is trained to be a doctor he is pretty much a geek as well.

I think the person who would miss him most will be Dinara. Since he is one of her favourite persons, she will miss having him coming home in the evenings.

The whole process of him moving on his own kind of triggered a hidden streak in me also to move on our own. This was something that me and my wife discussed sometime back, but ended up putting it off with the expected arrival of the new baby in March. We didn’t want to leave the support net provided by her parents in looking after the kid, and specially with the new arrival we would need more help.

Anyway, we thought it would be good for Dinara to be with her grand-parents during the time we are at work rather than leaving her at some day care or with a care taker. She would never get the attention or the love she is currently getting from her grand parents and from Rupa, our ever faithful domestic!

But at some point we would have to consider moving on our own. Probably when Dinara starts schooling. But until such time, we would stick to the serviced apartment at my in laws!

Contrary to the official stance of the government recession is having great impact on Sri Lanka. One of the most obvious signs are the drying up of the job market. Take any weekend news paper and check the employment sections and you can see this for yourself.

A few more pointers, notice how many times properties and vehicles for sale ads are being repeated, and the going rate. Property prices are being slashed quite significantly. And how long rental properties have been vacant without new occupants. These are tell tale signs of cash drying up from the hands of the consumers.

And the stuff that usually do not hit the news stands. How many companies did away with their annual bonuses in December. How many did away or curtail the spending on Christmas and new year parties, calendars and diaries they were printing?

So what does it tell the average salary earning professionals? Hold on to your job like its dear life? Damn, I am praying for a speedy recovery from the recession.

Something I noticed. There are quite a few Chinese and Japansese blog posts which have been posted using moBlog. To be honest, I never tested moBlog in any other language other than with default English. But I guess if you cahnge your Windows Mobile’s language to any other language, you can use moBlog to post to your blog in that language! Brilliant! One minor defect though. Your moBlog user interface will still be in English!

Check out my blog entry on the above topic on my blog dedicated to personal development .

This I saw on a Micro Trend Car. For those of who don’t know Micro Trend it is a locally assembled Chinese car. It is the second car to be put on Sale by Micro, the first company to produce a fully indigenous car.

When I saw this only it struck to me that I have seen only a very few Micro Trends on the road. You can’t complain much about the looks of it, if I remember correctly it was designed by an Italian design firm. Since it is Chinese, it must be as good as any Chinese made car. But for whatever reason, you see more Cherry QQ’s than Micro Trends on the road. And personally speaking I think the QQ is a bit hideous looking to start with.

Maybe it’s the price factor. The QQ is a few lakh rupees cheaper. So is the Maruthy 800. But what about the cars that are in the same price range. The Maruthy Zen and the Maruthy Alto. I think they are in the same price range. But they seem to be more popular than the local make.

Maybe the deep down reason is that we do not trust our local makes. This lack of trust is keeping us away from the Trend. When I saw the Trend for the first time, I thought it was a pretty good looking car. There were two things that kept me away from it, it’s size (I need a bigger car due to my long limbs) and the lack of automatic transmission (it’s a luxury that I have come to enjoy too much with the bumper to bumper traffic on Colombo roads).

So why do people choose the Indian or the Chinese varieties over the Sri Lankan assembled Chinese car? Maybe the price? So if the government gives the company enough subsidies to help them bring the price down, then they may have a pretty good market.

But the good news is the two Korean SUV’s assembled by Micro in Sri Lanka seems to be having a good response from the market. The secret there maybe because they enjoy a price advantage. So why not do that for the cars and create a Sri Lankan automotive industry?

 

Do you know how Google makes it’s money? By selling advertisements. It’s search engine is used to push targeted advertisements to millions of users. When someone clicks on an ad Google serves along the side of the search results, it makes money.

Google realized that limited advertisements on their search engine alone is depriving them of hoarding space to publish their ads. So they then came up with AdSense, where web site owners could sign up to serve Google ads on their web sites. And through this model, Google shared the revenue with the site owners.

This and many similar programs are great if you have a web site or a blog and if you had people coming to your web site and clicking on the Google ads on your site. Click through rates will depend on a lot of things. For starters the ads shown on the site was based on the site content, so they were somewhat relevant, but is it what your site visitors are looking for?

And what if you don’t have a web site or a blog and what if the traffic to your site was not so great. You were being left behind.

Cry no more- Welcome to AGLOCO. The Global Community of Internet surfers.

Come again? Global what? And how is it going to benefit me anyway? AGLOCO attempts to share the internet advertising revenue with the internet surfing community. Not the web masters and web site owners. Just normal everyday people like you and me, who spend a a significant part of our time browsing through the web, for information, for work, for entertainment or because we have nothing better to do. AGLOCO through it’s viewbar, which is to be released shortly, will serve ads based on your preferences, which means you are likely to get the most relevant information pushed to you.

Of course, AGLOCO will charge the advertisers and content participants for doing this. But the beauty of this is, they will share that with you. Of course, they stand to earn a chunk. But then again, they are doing all the work, and they are sharing their revenue with you. So what?

The other thing about this is, there is no catch. You don’t have to pay anything upfront, you don’t have to sell anything to get qualified (of course if you refer others you stand to earn more – what do you think I am doing here ? ;)). You just have to download the view bar (when it becomes available, which should be pretty soon) and then go on surfing the internet just was you would do always.

So what are you waiting for? You got nothing to lose. Jump into the bandwagon. Earn a portion of billions of internet advertising revenue while you do surf. While you are jumping into the band wagon, go through this referral link to sign up.

 

I was reading Dilantha’s post on the perfect workspace, and it just struck me. I no longer have a personal workspace. I have given up my desk at home ( no longer have a desk as such) and at office also I have got too used to moving desks too frequently.

I used to be the most generous guy at work, giving my desk to accommodate the newest member in my team and moving in to any desk that was available. The fact that I was on a laptop and the office having wireless connectivity helped. I personally didn’t mind at all. I was more concerned about keeping my team members together rather than me having a permanent desk.

But I think my boss became worried that I might get hurt and ensured that I got myself a permanent desk when we re-organized the office. There was nothing to worry really. I was not bothered or feeling lesser because I was moving about. I was happy to be of any help. I was more interested in being part of the solution, rather than a part of the problem.

But, now that I have got a desk, and a quite large one at that, I was still not feeling very attached to the desk or the place. The result, a very impersonal desk. No photos, no personal stuff (well except for a teddy that my wife gave me for this Valentines’ day). I usually pack up my laptop and go at the end of the day, so when that is gone, there’s nothing on the desk except for a pile of papers.

Looking at the photos on Dilantha’s post and the related links, I now have an urge to personalize my work space. First project would be to personalize my office desk. Let’s see what I can do to make it personal and to make the place a very enjoyable place, considering the fact that I am spending most of my day at this desk.

Then I would move on to creating a cool desk for me at home as well.

del.icio.us tags: