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Confused employee wading through Nerd Nirvana

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Location: Hyderabad, AP, India

Program Manager Microsoft IT India

Monday, December 19, 2005

It's raining, it's pouring...

If there's one thing we Chennaites have had a lot of this year, it's rain. Mother Nature seems possessed of a conviction to right the wrongs done to the previously parched metropolis in bygone years, and has opened up her bounty to fall upon the bad roads beneath. Resultantly, half of Chennai is flooded, the State Govt. seems nonplussed, and all the students of Chennai's multitudinous schools and colleges are having a field day at home.

Well, not all. I don't know how many crackpots like me exist, but surely there must be more than one person who would rather go to college and endure lecture than sit at home in a not so idyll lassitude. So, this post is for social animals like me, for it addresses the $64,000 question: What do you do on a rainy holiday?

I put my thinking cap on, and embarked on a quest for ideas. And I got quite a few:

1. Organise your CD collection: If you're a college student whose varied compact discs, digital video discs, and tapes are all in perfect order, there's something wrong with you. Consult a sociologist, you may get some idea as to what you should be doing. For everyone else, here's a beautiful chance to get an old shoe-box, sit in front of the PC all day, and work out which CD's should be trashed and which should be kept.

2. Read a textbook you liked: Now, then, don't look at me like that. Textbooks are really good books if you don't have to study them. Check out an old textbook that you liked reading, and go through it. It'll be interesting, useful and you can impress your friends with some technical terms in the coming days. (Warning: This author is not responsible for any ostracisation that follows as a result of this advice)

3. Call that special someone: Definitely there's someone whom you've planning to call for a long time, but have kept putting it off due to the pressure of events. Pick up the phone, give them a ring, and your day may be made.

4. Wash your bike/scooter/moped/car: This is for people like me, so you can safely ignore this piece of advice.

5. Explore your creative side: Have you ever tried writing a diary? Or a blog? Planning to start reading more? Planning to learn the keyboard, or to sing? What better day to start? Of course, you must be thick-skinned to initial feedback (i.e. your stressed out Std X sibling shouting "Get the hell out of here");-)

6. Manage finances: Start a graph of the money in your purse. You'll find that it always goes one way (down). But you can fight against entropy, you know. Get out the Classifieds coumn and see if there is something you can do. The world is FLAT enough. Ref. earlier post.

7. Prolific Messaging Service (applies to email to): This is a god-sent opportunity to forward messages to everyone you've seen at least once (if you've got free messaging). Keep sending forwards, they're a really nice way to communicate. Send all those useless fwds that you've been saving up. If you want something funny to send, this site has a funny quote of the day section. For hardcore computer techies: I just found this one

"Unix is an operating system, OS/2 is half an operating system, Windows is a shell and MS-DOS is a boot partition virus"

So, get a move on. With so much to do, it's criminal to be just lying there!!!

It's raining, it's pouring...

The World is Flat Enough.....

A very interesting article I read today was on a blog I stumbled on by mistake, with the title This WILL change everything. The author posits that places like Bangalore and Chennai, are "peaks" in the global infoscape, and the work produced by these centres, especially in the fields of BPO and ITES, will have the effect of "flattening" the world.

It's a nice thing to hear (for the average AU student, who will no doubt be contributing to the flattening process). Especially after just completing One Night @ the Call Center (which deserves a post in its own right). Vroom's words (in the book) still echo in my mind "America has, like, ten smart people. The rest call us at night."

It's true that legions of Indian call-center and ITES employees are doing Westren World (read American) grunge work. But the grunge work is important, because, believe it or not, it's the grunge work that provides real experience. In five decades, American students may no longer learn the "Hello!World" program. If this scenario were presented to Isaac Asimov or Stephen King, what a novel they would make out of it.

To the real enterpreneurs about to enter the ITES field, its opportunity knock-knock time. Pay attention to what you're doing, bcos' those are the needs you'll have to fill to succeed in coming years. Also don't miss a single opportunity to dream, and use your ingenuity. It'll flatten the world.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Only in India

Senthil commented today that I hadn't blogged in a long time, and I am one who likes to rectify errors (and create them too). So here's this entry, dedicated to Senthil

A few months back I attended a Group Discussion session at the SQC (they're not doing them anymore, I wonder why :-)), and the topic of that GD was "Only in India". We were supposed to bring out the unique aspects of India in that GD, and I think I commented on the fact that India was the only place you could find life's paradoxes magnified in true colour on the big screen of Society. Well, two news items that have caught my attention recently seem to, in my opinion, reinforce this point.

The Hindu of two months back carried an article on "Changes in CBSE admission procedures", or something like that. The gist of it was that our erstwhile Minister for Eduction, had decreed that all girl children studying in CBSE schools throughout the nation will recieve free secondary education. The purpose of this ostensibly, is to reduce female infanticide, by removing the education fees' motif from parents minds as factor while considering whether they should raise their girl child or abort it. (Yeah, I know that's crude, but I'm making points here)

While only the dim-witted can follow this tenuous argument to its logical conclusion, it is only the faintly moronic who will fail to perceive that this move, far from achieveing that aim, achieves justthe opposite. Consider: it's the private schools that shall suffer, bcos the government school fees are practically free anyway.) With staggering costs, private CBSE schools have to meet a bottom line, and so they will just stop admitting girl students. Voila!

The Hindu, two days ago, carried another article. Chennai-based Indira Srinavasan was awarded by the Internal Revenue Dept., USA, for uncovering a serious bug in the IRS database program that allowed peopel to accumulate interest on tax refunds. She was lauded by the IRS, and by the time they found out her contribution, she had returned to Chennai, and is now settled here for life...

Only in India......