Thursday, December 11, 2008

China Trip experience

Currently I'm at the Shanghai airport heading to Bombay thinking what to do. So I thought lets write about my experience at China :)

I was in complete awe when I went from the Shanghai airport to my sister's home. Very good multiple lane roads with directions in English and Mandarin. Skyscrapers and huge apartment buildings and bridges with neon lights everywhere.
I spent in all 3 days in Shanghai. It was very easy to get around as my sister took me to all places with a chauffeur driven car :) Covered places including the Yuyan garden, Jade Buddha Temple, Longhua Pagoda etc. Most impressive was the recently inaugurated Shanghai World Financial Center. It has a
shape of a bottle opener. I think currently its *one of the tallest towers* in the World (yes taller than Petronas in Malaysia). Visitors can go all the way to the top level where flooring is made of glass tiles! So you can actually see the bottom and I can tell you it was very scary to step on it :)

Next I went to Beijing for 2 days by myself. On the first day I visited the Forbidden City, Tianamen Square and strolled around in the neighbouring areas. My life was made easy by the Lonely Planet Beijing City Guide that I was carrying with myself from the US. I could see the influence of Olympics as I could still see signs of Beijing 2008 at most places. Also Olympics contributed towards many infrastructure developments in the city. They added around 5 additional subway lines from the earlier 2! It was very easy to get around using subway. I could see lot of buses plying but it would be hard to figure which bus to take, where to get off etc. Taxis are relatively inexpensive starting from 11 Yuan.(1 USD == 7 Yuan approx)

I stayed at an international youth hostel which was pretty cheap for around 60 Yuan for 1 night. I met groups of backpackers there. It was just amazing to hear about the plans they had. Some heading to Africa from Beijing, some going to Moscow taking the Trans-Siberian train which will take them 15 days!

Next day early morning we headed to visit the Great Wall. We took the 10k trek on the Wall starting from Jingshanling which is 120 km from Beijing. Trek was hard, really hard as the Wall has steep inclines. Moreover it was made difficult by the first snowfall of the winters on that day. But the experience was just breathtaking!

About the food, I could see that Chinese are big on pork. Inspite of being non-vegetarian it wasn't easy to find food with just chicken/sea-food. Also even at the upscale restaurants the waiters won't understand English much, so its hard to customize your dish like replace pork with chicken, no mushroom etc. I relied on the McDonalds/KFC for my meals. If you are a vegetarian visiting, hmmm.... I noticed that the decibel levels at the restaurants are relatively high. Initially I thought there is some fight going on in the restaurant but that was the case at most places.

I would highly recommend visiting China, Shanghai in particular just to have a look at the pace at which the city/country has progressed. We keep reading about articles suggesting the shift of power from West to the countries in Asia specifically to China and I won't be surprised that in next 25 years China emerges as the new superpower. Also the talk about transforming Mumbai to Shanghai, I would be glad if that does happen :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Golden Rules of Career Success

I'd come across Golden Rules of Career Success by Richard Moron during Infy days.
I had taken a printout and put up at my desk in Infosys. I did the same during my 1st week at VMware as well :)
With the recent financial turmoil happening in Wall Street those rules seem to make much more sense.

Esp "Job security does not exist. Always have an answer to the question, “What would I do if I lost my job tomorrow?""

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Interactive VMW Wikichart

I know that the VMW stock isn't doing great these days but I thought this was cool....

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sparks: Speech by Chetan Bhagat

Though I haven't read his books, the speech is very inspiring.

read more | digg story

Monday, February 25, 2008

Insecure routing redirects YouTube to Pakistan

A black hole route to implement Pakistan's ban on YouTube got out into the Internet's routing system, which can't effectively protect itself against this type of mistake—or attack.

read more | digg story

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pictures of Last Night's Lunar Eclipse

The Earth passed between the sun and a full moon last night, sending our interstellar sidekick into rusty shadow and Wired Science readers to their cameras.
Pictures Link

read more | digg story

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Addicted to a song!!

Usually my day starts by turning on the laptop and starting some music. This continues in the car as I drive to work. Well I'm not boasting but my Acura has one of the best sound systems!! Its a pleasure to drive listening to my fav music.
I haven't charged my iPod so been listening to FM lately (94.9 FM in Bay Area). Yesterday while driving back I heard this song and really loved it. I tried hard not to forget the main line of the lyrics so that I can go home find it on Youtube. But I come back home and a friend calls up. I speak to him and after the call I somehow forget/jumble up the lyrics :( I try hard remembering but some other song shows up in the search. Eventually I recollect the lyrics and find it on Youtube. yay!!
I listened to this song in repeat mode almost the entire day today at work!! Well this is not the first time that I've got hooked onto a song. I'm sure I'm not the only one :)
So here is the song "Hey There Delilah" by Plain White T's

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Microkernels: Tanenbaum-Torvalds debate

Very interesting article by Andrew Tanenbaum (Remember the OS book we studied from :) )
Excerpt: "Over the years there have been endless postings on forums such as Slashdot about how microkernels are slow, how microkernels are hard to program, how they aren't in use commercially, and a lot of other nonsense. Virtually all of these postings have come from people who don't have a clue what a microkernel is or what one can do. I think it would raise the level of discussion if people making such postings would first try a microkernel-based operating system and then make postings like "I tried an OS based on a microkernel and I observed X, Y, and Z first hand."

read more | digg story

Saturday, January 26, 2008

America's 25 Fastest-Growing Tech Companies

It has been a rough 12 months for the stock market, including technology stocks. The S&P 500 is off 2.1% over the past 12 months (dividends excluded) and the Nasdaq 100 Tech Index is off 8.7%. But you could have done well owning these really hot technology companies.

read more | digg story

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Taxpayers could get checks under economic stimulus plan

American taxpayers would get checks of several hundred dollars from the government under a plan to stimulate the economy, sources said Thursday.

read more | digg story

100 Best Companies to work for 2008

100 Best Companies to work for 2008

digg story

1 Rogue French trader costs bank $10.2 billion

French bank Societe Generale has announced losses of 6.9bn euros ($10.2bn, £5.2bn), blamed on a fraud by its trader and the credit crunch.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The 53 places to go in 2008

Collection of exotic places to visit in 2008. Nice guide for people who like traveling and discovering new places...
I was discussing with a friend places that I would like to visit in the US mainly Boston and Washington DC... Its a pity that I didn't visit them when I was on the east coast :(
Also I had a look pictures of Hawaii sent by a friend and it looked beautiful.. Outside mainland US, Hawaii and Alaska are top on the list :) Lets see how soon I get a chance to see them....

Places I've visited....

digg story

Tech's all-time top 25 flops

For all the amazing advances that the computing industry has brought us over the years, some of its most pivotal moments are memorable for all the wrong reasons. Not every idea can be a winner, and not even Microsoft can avoid every misstep. Infoworld Article

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Citibank crisis

After seeing the stock markets recover yesterday I thought the situation will improve in the coming days. But with Citibank announcing today its worst results in history of the company; stocks overall plummeted including the ones in my portfolio :(

Here is an interesting US News article related to Citibank and the foreseen recession in US economy.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

VJTI moments..

Ankit has always been the "jaan" of VJTI Computers 2004 Batch. Always upto some prank and fun guy to discuss the "Pyaar-Ishq-Mohabbat" topics ;) Friend for life...

This time he has put together pictures and made a nice video clip....

Halla Bol

I watched Halla Bol starring Ajay Devgan, Vidya Balan & Pankaj Kapur. Didn't have any expectations from the movie as I had come across mixed reviews; Rediff review Indiatimes review.
The movie was "okay" overall. The concept was good but the treatment could have been much better. The flashback part wherein they show the initial struggle of Ajay Devgan is dragged unnecessarily I think.
I liked the spoofs of celebrity endorsements. Esp the one targeted at Govinda on hair-oil and SRK on dancing at weddings.
I was shocked at the scene where Vidya Balan says "coz he has got the balls"!!! It actually sounded hilarious to me :))

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Long-time Apple developer says goodbye...

Nice post by a long-time Apple developer who has quit to try something on his own...

Taare Zameen Par

I watched Taare Zameen Par last week and really liked the movie. Loved this song from the movie.
Its been a while since I had tears in my eyes:)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Pedestrian Killer

This simple flash based game is fun to play. You run your car over pedestrians and kill them!!!

I like the background score...

read more | digg story

Thursday, January 10, 2008

18 Stunning Bridges From Around The World

From the awe-inspiring to the historic, from the elegant to the quirky. Check out these amazing feats of engineering. Glad to see Golden Gate here :)

Stunning Bridges

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HD DVDs Fall Like Dominoes

There has been lot of buzz surrounding High-Definition; HDTV, HD-DVD, HD-Radio etc. Personally I'm not into American TV shows (I still like watching the good old Malgudi Days, Byomkesh Bakshi, Hum Paanch etc.) so don't watch TV. Last Thanksgiving most ppl were looking into deals to buy HDTV so that got me interested into learning details about difference between Plasma v LCD, 1080p resolution, HDMI ports etc.

If HD wasn't enough there was the Blu-Ray promoted by Sony and compatible with its PS3 gaming console. With Warner Bros & Blockbuster both supporting exclusively Blu-Ray; it will be interesting to watch who wins the battle of standards and what consumers adopt eventually...

read more | digg story

Google Processing Over 20 Petabytes of Data Per Day

Google currently processes over 20 petabytes of data per day through an average of 100,000 MapReduce jobs spread across its massive computing clusters.

read more | digg story

Ratan Tata Unveils the $2500 Car: Tata Nano

The specifications like 624 cc engine, 30 bhp etc look reasonable for driving conditions in India. But somehow the tires look too small to me :)

read more | digg story

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The research dilemma at the IIMs

I've seen rush among peers to do an MBA in India.When asked why they want to do it most don't have a convincing answer.Its the "placements" or lucrative offers from MNCs that drive them towards it.Though this article doesn't delve into that aspect it does go into explaining why candidates aren't interested in research in these premier institutes.

read more | digg story

Posting Links

Everyday I read a bunch of articles, posts, videos etc. I like to share it among peers. Usually I keep it as my Gtalk status so the ones interested can click and view them in their spare time. But it so happens that I want to go back and read those articles again but then I have to search for them ...
May be I don't know the right app that does this (Google Reader??). Facebook has a nice app to do this but not everyone uses it and so it becomes restrictive. So thought might as well use Blogger where visitors can similarly post comments...

PS: I found a cool integration between Digg and Blogger that exactly serves the purpose :)