Monday, December 24, 2007

Mission Mendocino

On this long weekend in california i woke up to a clear sky again and decided to go on another drive this time on CA1 north. My objective was very clear Drive to Mendocino (This was the code name of Duet, the project i work on) take a pic of the entrance to Mendocino and catch the sunset in Mendocino.

The drive as usual was spectecular and i achieved both the objectives :)

Here are the results....

Entering Mendocino Town

Sunset in Mendocino

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Drive on CA1

I am in Palo Alto this week and guess what i did on the first day of a long weekend. I took a long drive on CA1 and it turned out to be a drive with spectecular drive of my stay in USA. My route looked like this...
Palo Alto -> Half Moon Bay (US101 N -> CA 92 W)
Half Moon Bay -> Santa Cruz (CA1 S)
Santa Cruz -> Carmel By the Sea (CA1S)
Carmel By the Sea -> Cambria (CA1S)
Cambria -> Palo Alto (CA46 E -> US101 N)

I chose this route as i wanted a drive similar to what i saw in a hindi movie "Salam Namaste" which is in parallel to sea coast and boy i made the right choice. It was probably better then what i saw in the movie...

A total of 422 miles on map and add 40 miles to it where i had lost my way (Its hard for a software engineer to read the maps correctly :) )

I am damn tired at the end of it however the drive was worth the effort. I had planned to start early morning 7.00 AM however as luck would have it i didn't set up the alarm correctly (My hotel has given me iHome and i messed up while setting the alarm and put the 6.00 PM alarm) so i woke up at 10.00 AM and managed to start by 10.45 AM. I am finally back in my hotel at 11.00 PM after having my dinner.
I would love to write pages about this drive however as they say it a picture is worth more then thousand words and i am posting many of them below. So enjoy the pics ...

Breath taking pacific after sunset

Santa Cruz

Pigeon point light station

Well its christmas weekend

My rental car


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Live Services, SOAP, REST ?????

As i mentioned in my previous post i attended a in person session on Live Services in Redmond on 15th November.

Here are my notes/ observations about the session

We discussed about what all services are available which is already well documented on
I would be more interested in finding why some services are REST services and some are SOAP based. Does it have something to do with live authentication or it is only because of the fact that REST is a simple light weight protocol.
I have a feeling that it might be because of the authentication. As i understood it all the services which need the user to be signed with live Ids are using REST APIs eg. live contacts while the services which can work without a live id authentication are using SOAP eg. live search.

Now how much of it is true remains to be determined. I would probably work towards finding this out and post my findings in a different post here.

BTW at the end of the event a free XBox was given by a lottery and it was won by the person who picked the lottery from the bowl. (Do i smell something fishy here :) )


Monday, November 19, 2007

OBAF and Office 2007

Currently i am travelling to Redmond and i got a chance to attend a MSDN in person event about OBAF and live services on 15th November.
It was a power series supposed to talk about OBAF and live services. Here are some interesting point which i got out of the OBAF session which i attended

1) Office developer map :- It helps in identifying the tools which might help in developing various office applications. Its a click once application which can be installed on desktop. (I'll give it a try to validate that i understood the discussion about the map correctly)

2) Microsoft is having a set of tools which can help develop an office application. The tools are BDC/ VSTO/ Sharepoint portal

3) The discussion got deviated towards office in between and i found that office 2007 uses a COM SHIM to actually display the ribbon controls

4) One more discussion which happened out of deviation again was about the file formats of office 2007 files. Now i knew that they are xmls embedded inside a zip file however one thought which came into my mind while attending this session was why does the outlook object model still has to be so complex. Why not represent all the message classes like IPM.Appointment, IPM.Post as simple xmls and store them in psts like that. It was discussed in the forum and Joe (Presenter) believed that it might be because of the pst being already an efficient format to store these message classes. I agree with him however it is not an open standard. I believe even .doc was not a bad format. It was converted to .docx to make it more open and we should do the same for message classes in outlook. I would be interested in finding out why it is actually not changed.

I would make a different post for the session about live services.


Uninstalling beta version of VS 2008

I installed VS 2008 today on my machine. I had a beta on my machine and in my experience with betas i am never able to uninstall them easily.
To upgrade from VS2005 beta to actual release was a pain and i had to actually struggle for hours before i got it right.
However it was simpler for visual studio 2008.
Just follow the instructions on link to uninstall the the stuff and you are good to go


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mirza Ghalib the ultimate fighter

When i was a kid there used to be a program/ serial on Doordarshan (India's national and only television channel of that time) called Mirza Ghalib. At that time this was one program which i couldn't stand. There was nothing in this program which could attract me as a kid. There used to be a guy with big beard, wearing some clothes which were better suited for ladies and singing some songs which has amazingly boring music. So all in all nothing which could attract a kid.

A few weeks back i got the chance to view this series again. This time i am 27 and i have some interest in literature, specially biographies. So i watched this series and was amazed by the life of Mirza Ghalib. He was married at a pretty young age (12 i guess) and he started writing poems (Shers as we call them in Hindi) at 13 or so. And his writings were high quality at that time. Later in his life Ghalib went through too many issues because of his attitude which IMHO was not a bad attitude. He knew he was the best and worst problem was that no one really understood his writings because of the fact that they were too good for everyone. Once he was invited by the emperor to read some poems in a Mushayra and he narrated one of his best poems. After reading the first 2 lines of poem he was really pissed off as no one actually gave him any appreciation. (Its a custom of mushayra's that you appreciate and encourage a poet almost after every line he reads). Ghalib walked out, without caring about the fact that emperor and other dignitaries will feel violated by this and his career might be at stake.

This and due to other incidents like this erased Ghalib out of the good books from high profile dignitaries. This ensured that Ghalib won't get any pension and hence will not any source of income for the most part of his life. On top of this Ghalib indulged into drinking and gambling which was illegal during that time. This ensured that he lived a poor life and couldn't arrange enough money at any point in time of his life.

Because of all this issues Ghalib could never save his literary work for future generations and all the dignitaries of that time ensured that he doesn't. The emperor appreciated Ghalib in private however in public he could never gather enough courage to actually help or support Ghalib's work.

Ghalib had 2 loyal servants and a caring wife which was his support system all through his life and my guess is that this support system actually ensured that his literary genius was alive in spite of the adversaries he faced in his life.

There's a department in one of the universities (Its University of Agra or Lucknow. I can't remember correctly :( ) in India which is working to find as much as possible and is sharing it with the world.

The whole series is directed by Gulzar (One of the best poets we have today in India) and he has famously said. Ghalib had 2 servants and i am the 3rd one.

Long live Ghalib's poems and his name.


Friday, September 7, 2007

Bangalore the place to be ?????

This evening i returned early from office as its a weekend and decided to watch a night show.

After the movie we decided to go to MG road at Empires to have dinner. The idea was that as there would be no traffic jam at 12.30 AM in midnight it would be a good experience but it turned out to be an eye opener and made me wonder whether i really stay in a place like this.
The trip went like this. At 12.3o we came back walking to our flat to pick up the bike. MG road is around 10 Kms from our place Sanjay Nagar and we thought it would be a refreshing drive. My roommate decided to drive while we go to MG road and by default it meant i had to drive on the way back.
The weather was great and nice breeze was blowing. We reached from Sanjay Nagar to Mekhri circle without much problem however just after Mekhri circle and before Cuvery theater we heard the first Honking cab overtaking us. The road is a 4 lane road and since we were on bike the driver had ample space to overtake us from right but he honked. My reaction was that cabbies always honk and drive rough. I give them a discount on swearing as they are on the road for the whole day and are obviously frustrated.
After this once we reached near Le Meredian hotel a bus entered this road from the left and didn't even care that we are coming from a priority road and he should wait. Result Ashish applied the brakes and just then 4 sumo cabs, 1 bike and a car overtook us without even caring that they almost ran over us in the process !!!!!.
Now i was pissed off by this attitude. From there to MG road we got countless honks for being on the left side of the road and for stopping at red signals and for driving at 30 km/ hr :(
Once we reached Empires we saw an ocean of people waiting outside empires to have a late night dinner and i wondered whether anyone cooks at home in Bangalore or not ?????
Anyways we found a table for 2 at empires and somehow ordered food in midst of all the noise and chaos. If one looks at the people having dinner it feels like all the hep crowd of Bangalore was there but the decibel levels in the reastaurant were at a level which is unacceptable for any ears. I felt as if i made biggest mistake of my life by coming here for dinner. To worsen the situation even more this hep crowd was honking incessantly and continuously below the restaurant to ensure that none of them falls asleep on the road and for showing off that they are very much awake and kicking !!!!
Once the dinner was done we just wanted to get out of that chaos and go home.
On the way back i took the rider's seat and my roommate took the pillion's . As soon as we entered crossed Anil Kumble circle on MG road i saw a car which had run over the divider. Fortunately the driver was alive. (Who says that drink and drive is not safe. This again is a Educated Bangalorean who would not dare to touch the steering wheel after a pint of beer in a european country :( )
A guy stopped his car in the middle of the road to have a look at the whole show and never cared that he is standing in the fastest lane blocking all the traffic !!!!!! This frustrated me even further and for the first time i honked :((
On the next signal i waited as it was red. Many educated, well settled, highly qualified bangaloreans didn't care and went about jumping the red light. Once the signal was green i started moving and i saw that a guy was coming from the opposite side without even looking where he is driving. Another guy came from other side and i had no option but to wait on a green signal for these 2 to cross. These guys almost sandwiched me when i screamed and the guys put a break on there cars realizing that they have to look in front and drive. Yes they were looking sideways....(Who says that 1 should stop at red and move at green signal)
After this i was frightened.....
Now i was driving in extreme left and just then 2 couples whizzed past me on there bikes at blazing speed. My guess is that they were again educated IT engineers who cared less for their lives and even lesser for others....
By the time i reached Sanjay nagar signal so many vehicles had overtaken me from left and right that i was actually shocked.
As we reached home me and Ashish congratulated each other to reach home safely and felt that we won't be able to gather courage to go to MG road at least for next 1-2 years. We also thanked Bangalore's infrastructure that it causes Jams whole day which makes people like us feel safe to drive. (If someone hits you at 10 Km an hour chances of survival are more)
So this is Bangalore's traffic for you which can make seasoned Bangaloreans like me and my roommate (We stay here since last 5 years) frightened and forces us to think how should we leave Bangalore and which is the safest place in terms of traffic.
Note that i am not afraid of being dead but am really scared if someone disables me in a road accident coz then i would be a liability to myself, my parents and friends.
So Bangaloreans if you read this then please for your own sake Drive safe and respect traffic rules. Or else we would always project ourselves as global players to outside world but in reality we are as good as wild monkeys who are trying to imitate human beings!!!!!!
Its 4.00 AM now and probably i would need to sleep thinking of tonight's experience as a bad dream

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Chale Chalo!!!!

Its 2.14 in the night and i am just back from work.
As soon as i entered my flat contrary to the expectations i found half litre of water to drink. (I am amazed that Ashish my roommate actually got a bottle of water tonight)
The second thing i found is the CD of the documentary/ movie Chale Chalo and i thought why not share what it is about.
Till sometime back i thought that making a software is the hardest job in the world and managers in IT industry can't really plan as dependency matrix is too complex.
That's the reason why 90% of the projects in this industry are slipping and 100% of the people who are working sincerely in this industry are overloaded. But after watching this movie my perception changed and now i think that the dependency matrix is not so complex in software field only and being a manager and to plan anything is really tough.
Now after talking all the crap about managers and industry let me get to the point and share with you what Chale Chalo is about.
So the documentary is about making of the oscar nominee movie Lagaan and it depicts the passion of director Ashutosh Gowarikar about the subject. The Guy narrated the idea first to the actor Aamir Khan (who later produced the movie) somewhere in 1998 and the movie got released somewhetre in June 2001. The director and producer lived with the idea for more then 3 years and believed in it. Note that there's a book names Chale Chalo on the same subject as well.
They planned the movie for 9 long months and came up with an estimate of a schedule of 4 months but managed to complete the whole shooting in more then 6 months. (that's 50% slippage after such a careful planning)
The slippage matched with the slippage in most of the software projects i hear of in the industry.

The way it has been portrayed in the documentary the team comprised of the best possible talent pool. Best hair designers/ cameraman/ ADs etc. were available for the project. (There were minor ego problems in the artists according to the book though) .
The production team planned for every scene of the movie but they didn't plan for the hiccups like planes passing above the shooting area stopping the shooting for minimum of 20 mins., they couldn't plan for one of the teammates injury, they couldn't plan for actors inability to do lip sync for songs in one shot, they couldn't plan for actors not able to hit the ball (Movie is about cricket)

But the result is there for all to see. The movie was one of the big hits of 2001 and went on to become an oscar nominee from India after a long time.
I hope we get to see the team together again....
And i also hope to see some more inspiring stuff like Chale Chalo again!!!
And to all the software developers in the world i say Chale Chalo!!!!!


Integration .... Is it the next big thing!!!!

I've been in this industry for around 4 years now out of which i have spent around 1.5 years in a services industry and rest in a product based company.

What i personally found about my experience in product based company is that integration products have bigger value here. The product companies normally have many offerings which exist for there customers.

One such product offering from SAP is Duet which is an integration of SAP business data with Microsoft.

SAP currently has an array of mature product offerings for its customers. Now the next big thing which i see is that after having so many mature product lines what you look forward to is integration of 2 or more existing SAP products or integration of SAP product offerings with some external highly used software.

Microsoft has the office suite which works for at least 80% of desktops in this world

For more information you can check
So the question which comes up now is that is integration and collaboration the next big thing in the IT world!!!!
Fortunately or unfortunately answer is yes.....
I look it from a developers angle and i find it challenging.
Challenging because of the fact that these mature products might not have been developed by keeping in mind that they'll need to integrate with products which either didn't exist at that point in time and even if they did exist the integration was not even thought of in dreams because of the fact that collaboration was a impossible thing some 5 years back in history.
And now when we work on integrating such product lines we struggle on a daily basis to do something which is an obvious expectation from a product if we design/ develop now.

I read on some link a few days back that oracle is also coming up with integration to office for their business suite.

Looks like integration products will be next big thing in this world and i hope they are here to stay!!!!


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Chak de India!!!!

I travelled to Germany in the week in which the movie got release. Best or worst part was that i was travelling on Saturday morning 3.00 AM and there was no way that i could watch this movie before i leave for Germany. Best because i get a weekend in Germany where i can drive at 180 Km/ hour while the worst because i can't catch the movie.
Once i landed in Germany i didn;t have access to internet and for 2 long days i.e. Saturday and Sunday i was wondering how the movie is . I was dying to see the review of this movie on
So on Monday morning when i landed up in office it was in my agenda to check the review on rediff. however due to work pressure i could not check the review till wednesday evening and once i checked the review i just wanted to fly back and see the movie myself.
As soon as i landed in India my flatmate ashish told me that the movie is amazing and he has already watched it twice. The good thing was that he was ready to watch it for the third time. So the first thing which i did the next morning i.e. on 15th august 2007 was to book 2 tickets of Chak de and go to watch the action myself.
It was really an amazing experience. This one of the movies of Shahrukh which i liked after a long time. I was an ardent Shahrukh fan but somehow people convinced me that he is not an actor but an over acting guy who can't present an emotion convinvingly enough to make it look real. All the Shahrukh critics must watch this movie to know what potential he has as an actor and what can he do to a role given to him.
The movie is not only about Shahrukh but i also loved the way all the girls have acted in it. None of them is really a big time actor but everyone has portrayed the character assigned to them convinvingly enough to make it look real. The movie is a tribute to Indian women and Indian national sport hockey. I wish we do win a world cup some day and we rejoice in real life as well.
I've asked Vishnu Bairagi to check the movie and throw his views on the same. It would be interesting to check how he reacts to a movie like this.
You can find him on


A deviation!!!!

For a deviation and it is because of my friend Vikas ( who has cursed me for being selfish and write only the technical problems on my blogs. So i thought of posting something different on this blog and hope to continue doing it in future as well.
Last week i travelled home for rakhi (An indian festival) and i discovered 2 important things.
The first one is a link which can help me converting hindi typed in english into devnagri font. Its an amazing innovation by google and i appreciate it a lot.
Believe it or not but it is worth trying it out!!!!.

The second discovery i made was that people in my hometown Ratlam are blogging. Its in central state of India called Madya Pradesh . And the best part of it was that my friend Valkal's dad aged 60 years has done all kind of exploration to start blogging and he is writing amazing blogs and writing them at an amazingly high frequency.
Check Vishnu Bairagi on
At his age i believe it is a miracle that he is enthusiastic enough to learn a new technology. (Computers are still a miracle in my hometown) and blog with such enthusiasm .

I wish him all the best and will try to draw some inspiration from him to keep updating this space regularly.


Monday, June 18, 2007

DateTime and TimeZone in .NET

I am trying to deserialize/ Parse a datetime object with the below string "2007-05-14T08:00:00.000+02:30" . If i am in GMT + 2.30 time zone everything's fine however if i am in GMT + 5.30 i get the DateTime object which represents 11.00 AM. Now this is perfectly fine as if i go from GMT +2.30 tp GMT + 5.30 , 8.00 AM becomes 11.00 AM. however this is not what i want to achieve in my program. What i want to achieve is to reconstruct a date time object which gives me the 8.00 AM as clock time.
And i am stuck as off now. Will post the solution if i find any

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Problem with generic List class

I am using a generic list in my program to have a list of objects stored. I want to compare all the objects in this list with object of another class and find all the objects which meet the criteria. To make it more specific I have a class Employee and a class Salary which look like
Employee { Name Salary Age Id}
Salary{ Currency Amount}

Now i am having a List and when now what i want is to get a List of Employees whose salary is greater then 2000. One way to achieve this is to write a method in class Salary which looks like
public bool IsGreaterThen2000(Employee obj)
{ //some logic return true/false;}

and then pass this as predicate to FindAll method however the responsibility of comparison lies with Salary class. I want to shift this responsibility to some other class which already has the logic for comparison. Is there a way to achieve this using existing generic List class in .NET framework.

Any good ideas out there to solve this with .NET framework 2.0 ?????


Synchronized thread safe Dictionary

While working in a multi threaded environment i tried to work with a dictionary today. After reading some documentation on msdn i understood that the Dictionary class is not really a thread safe class and if we want to do that we need to make it thread safe we need to do it ourselves.
I understood the fact and tried to write a wrapper over this class and make a generic thread safe dictionary for using it in my application.
So what i did in this wrapper is i maintained a reference to the generic dictionary and implemented IDictionary interface. I plainly delegated the calls to the reference however made sure that each of the call acquires the lock over the object and hence i assumed that my dictionary is a thread safe dictionary.
However while discussing it with one of the colleagues i realize that still is not really a thread safe class. It can still cause problem when i am trying to use IEnumerator. Let's see how

when we loop through a dict with 3 elements with SynchronizedDictionary

foreach(KeyValue keyValue in dict) {...}

will perform like


get enumerator


<--- another thread might modify as dict is not locked now

lock (assuming returned enumerator calls this[TKey key] for fetching items. else it won't be even locked!)

get first item


<--- another thread might modify as dict is not locked now


get second item


<--- another thread might modify as dict is not locked now


get third item


and hence there's a problem.
Any suggestions out there so resolve this problem.