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Showing posts from April, 2008

Trip to Puri, Orissa : Toshali Sands

On this trip I stayed in a resort called Toshali Sands . This resort is about 65 KM from Bhubaneshwar city and it takes about an hour and a half by car to reach the resort from Bhubaneshwar airport. The road is very good and it is quite a smooth ride. You can call up the resort and arrange for a car pick up from the airport which we did and it cost us Rs. 1200. In front of the resort is the Baiukhanda Reserve Forest which is basically a cashew plantation owned by the government and were told that there were mainly deer in it but we did not get to see any. If you drive through the forest then you reach the Balighai beach. Although the resort claims to be of 4 star quality it is not really of the same quality of other 4 star properties although it might have similar amenities as a 4 star property may have. It is comfortable and decently clean. The food is very homily and do not expect too much of exotic food. The room that we stayed in also had a small kitchen with a single burner stove

Trip to Puri, Orissa : Shamshabad Airport

Having got so used to going to the airport in about 15 min when it was in the middle of the city I was a bit apprehensive about the long commute to the new International Airport at Shamshabad . So I went to their website and found out all the options about getting to the airport . I decided to try out their airport shuttle option and I took it from the Paryatak Bhavan at Greenlands junction. The cost of the trip is Rs. 95 per head and there is a bus that leaves every 30 min and it is pretty much on time. On weekdays it takes about 1 hr and 30 min to get to the airport but since the date of my travel was Sunday we reached the airport in about an hour. The ride is very comfortable and smooth. The airport itself is very new and swanky. It has quite a few food and beverage options inside the airport but they are quite expensive. You do not have baggage screening anymore as it is all automated. So you have to find your airlines counter and directly take your bags there and get your boa

Trip to Puri, Orissa

I went on a vacation to Puri, Orissa and hence the long silence. Well I am back now and in the next few articles I am going to tell you all about my trip there and my experiences. Some of the things I will be covering in the next few articles are Shamshabad Airport Toshali Sands : Resort that I stayed in Boat Ride Konark Temple Other places to see around Puri

Learning and Understanding CRM

I have not been blogging recently as much as I used to blog earlier and the reason for that is I have been spending a lot of my time learning and understanding CRM and more specifically Microsoft CRM. It has been an interesting experience so far as I started without knowing anything other than what was the full form of CRM which happens to be Customer Relationship Management. In any business finding and retaining the customer is the hardest. Whether it was selling Christmas decorations in the church or in the one and only exclusive online baby shop in India finding the customer, convincing the customer that you have something that they want and then finally being able to manage and sell the product to the customer is so hard. In an earlier article I lamented that it is easy to conceptualize and build a product but finding the customers for that product is so hard. A CRM system will help you manage the customer right from when they are identified to when they are managed after th

Interesting Blog

I came across a very interesting blog today. It has pictures of what can happen when things fail in real life. I am not sure if all the images are real as a lot of them look like they have been doctored, but anyways, it sets you up for an amusing ride. The only issue is that you take pleasure in these pictures at the expense of someone else's pain - but then we tend to do that often in real life too - so what the heck. Anyway here is the blog - Fail Blog

Buddha Statue - Hyderabad

Last weekend being a bit cloudy I went on a boat ride to the middle of the Hussain Sagar lake to see the Buddha Statue. It is quite an impressive statue and the lake having just been cleansed of all the water Hycianth was quite pleasant. Looks like my Sony Ericsson P1i did quite a decent job in capturing the statue. You can take the boat to see the statue either from Eat Street on Necklace Road or from Lumbini Park. The cost of the ticket as of writing this post is Rs. 40. From Lumbini park you have a speed boat option. In the evenings on weekends they also have a boat which has some entertainment on board. This boat too leaves from Lumbini Park. While at Eat Street check out the Ice Cream parlor for some unusual flavors of ice cream. The medium size portion costs a steep Rs. 110 to Rs. 130 but it is worth it for something different and nice. A once in a while treat to yourself for trying to be good :).

Free Local Information courtesy Google

If you have been spending money calling up Just Dial services on 24444444 to get information about local businesses in Hyderabad, you have an alternative now. Google has launched its free telephone service on the number 1 800 41 99 99 99 . You call them up and you get instantly connected to their call center. You ask them for what you want and they ask you for your mobile number and then send you an SMS. The last time I called up Just Dial they asked me for my name and if I had a business and if I was interested in listing with them and a zillion other stuff. Nothing like this with Google - just call them up and they were quick and efficient. You can alternatively also get local information by sending them an SMS to 54664 (' 5GOOG ' on most devices). But you are charged for sending the SMS and you can see the charges here http://www.google.co.in/mobile/sms/index.html. You can alternatively search for the information on the link given above without sending an SMS. I checked

World's smallest Girl is Indian

Jyoti Amge is the world's smallest girl at 15 years she is 1 feet 11 inches tall and weighs just 11 pounds. Caught this on twitter a few minutes ago - so twitter is really not too bad but you have to wade through the junk messages that do come in it.

Disconnect between Management and Programmers

One of the biggest reasons why attrition is high is due to the disconnect between the management and the programmers. The reason for this disconnect is very inherent in the type of work that each one does and there is a clash of interests. Some of them are The goal of the management would be to complete the project within the shortest possible budget which means ultimately in the shortest possible time. The goal of the programmer is to do the project in the best possible manner and this may mean multiple iterations before he gets it right. This need not necessarily mean that it will be done in the shortest possible time. Management likes to have a clear understanding of the progress of the project and how long more it takes to complete a particular job so that they can keep everyone informed about the progress and also keep in check the escalating cost of the project. But software projects due to their inherent qualities are tough to estimate accurately and there are problems that may

Pushing yourself to Take

I was reading an interesting post by Seth Godin in his blog on Getting vs. Taking in which the following paragraph struck me A few people, not many, but a few, take. They take the best education they can get, pushing teachers for more, finding things to do, exploring non-defined niches. They take more courses than the minimum, they invent new projects and they show up with questions. I used to keep telling people that I work with - you need to leave work everyday asking yourself the following questions Did I learn something new today ? Have I made progress since yesterday ? Have situations improved since yesterday ? If the answer to any of these questions is "NO" then you did not have a good day at work. I feel that in order to make sure that we have a yes for these questions each day we need to "take" away from our job rather than expect to be "given" at our job. It is unreasonable to expect a supervisor to make sure that you are given opportunities

Estimates are dangerous

We always hear of software projects being over budget and the reason is because how the budget of the project is determined. The issue is greater if the project is a fixed budget project where the budget is determined based on the initial estimate that is done for the project. Let me explain what is the fixed budget project. Lets say you have to do task "T" which you know will take "H" hours. The per hour cost of a developer is "C" dollars. So you know the total cost of the developer to do task "T" is H*C dollars to this you add M which is the cost of the material needed such as software licences, machines, etc. So the total cost of doing task T is H*C + M. In a fixed budget project you agree to do the project for this amount. If there are any overruns it is over budget. This looks like a logical deal for the customer as he has a budget before hand but it has inherent problems in it due to which in most cases the project will go over budget. W