Sunday musings

Sunday found me with two bored and hence irritable people 😉

A Sunday which I had planned spending curled up with my Palm reading with the coolers on full blast – thankfully the hot and very dry climate of Nagpur means that we can use desert coolers and the temperature drop is sufficient to make you pull a sheet over yourself – but instead I found myself watching Nth re-run of K3G and Scooby Doo Laffalympics with Swati and Aasim (in that order? 😉

2 years earlier this would have left me ragged BUT not now… … What’s the point in getting ragged? It was a bad week at work for Swati and a boring weekend for Aasim. So if two people in the family feel good if one person does things their way – I feel it is a good deal!

And no it does not happen that one person is always the “Bakra”.

Even though at times a person feels that (s)he is always “it”. Invariably it is not true in 90% of the relationships but almost 90% people feel that they are the victim – what follows is a vicious cycle of self pity <-> self indulgence <-> guilt and once you are in it, it takes a lot of clear headed thinking to get out of it

Of Course somewhere in between I managed to snatch some time to test out a couple of cool XML rendering classes from http://www.php-tools.de

Looks like the dinner of Pudina Chicken and Chicken Handi Biryani is here – droooooool

Moving on …

Phew!! a very hot and tiring day, We recently got the Office painted – was sick of waiting for the owner to deciede – shifted the furniture around a bit. The office now as a different look :-)

Kit & Kat whom we re-introduced in the wild returned home as expected towards evening complaining loudly that they are hungry, thirsty, tired and generally implying “How could we do this” this will go on for about a month by that time they would have learnt to forage for food and seek water from the various bird baths which we have placed in the garden.

Swati shot her bolt from the blue – “The limiting factor next year could be the lack of programmers and not the lack of projects”

Hmm… That is very very likely. Priti is out, Neha is in and likely to be on a commercial project soon. Guess no point in getting worked up on imaginary ghosts.

And tommorow is Sunday – I don’t want to think on a Sunday!!

Atul Chitnis adopts .net and uses MS Office

Ah! the power of disinformation 😉

While what is stated in the subject line is not untrue it is not what it seems – In the hard facts of reality it reads that since http://atulchitnis.com was some what of a misnomer (it not being a commercial domain and blah) Atul has changed it to http://atulchitnis.net, the second piece of information is in no way connected to the first – Atul has become one of the early adopters of Codeweavers product Crossover Office. This reportedly amazing program allows you to run M$ Office and M$ Internet Explorer under Linux (note no emulation!!)

However before I jump to shell out $54 I would prefer to wait for more power user reviews. What is of particular interest to me is

1) Do Excel Pivot Tables behave properly
2) Do Excel Macros run properly

This is an absolute must for Swati … …

Also how good or bad is the IE support (this is officially unsupported) as already confirmed by Atul it couldn’t run that M$ thingie of embedded WYSIWYG html editor (you may try it at http://www.sanisoft.com/editor/index.php3) and are the dynamic fonts working? (you should see Hindi font when you visit http://www.aaina-e-ghazal.com)

This is a requirement for me because 90% of the clients use IE to view my work, agreed that 90% of what I do is backend stuff BUT if the front end is 90% ugly then the client is bound to feel that the code is 90% bad …. (mis quoted from ????)

Usability!

Paradoxically I am writing this using something which most usability gurus consider utterly unusable the Palm.

But consider this – I am doing this lying comfortably on my bed without anything to weigh me down – I call it very very usable 😉

Any been reading a lot on http://www.joelonsoftware.com , more than usability I find his project management tips helpful! Had we managed our projects properly we would not be 30% less in our turnover, I fact we had the worst developer nightmare come true – something which was meant to be over in 5 weeks is still continuing after 8 months. Yeah, you guessed it right it was a fixed price project!

Swati most likely will dump the woodhead, after paintakingly following 3 pages of instructions(?) he says this is not what he meant, not to mention the fact that he could not unzip a zip file. LOL! atleast Swati has now experienced first hand what we have felt so many times and will perhaps think twice before asking us to “grin and bear it”

Comming back to the topic Joel’s uability recommendations I find are more practical than those of Jackob Nielsen at http://www.useit.com

All my techies are reading this NOW!!

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000356.html

Thanks to Atul for the link

Learning to RELAX!!!

Looks like I am finally learning to relax – today is the third consequetive day in the week that I intend to have a siesta :-)

Currently enjoying a “in between projects” interlude – the madness will begin from Monday again.

Earlier I use to start biting my nails or other people’s head when such things happened !!!

And for once Swati has work and I dont … … and to top it she is working for a total woodhead who doesn’t understand the difference between a HTML file and a M$Word doc let alone difference between various type of form elements

He He He… …

FY 2001-2002 Retrospection

The last money that was to come in this financial year has been confirmed as deposited. So how was the year?

To put it in a line – we survived the dotcom bust and did not earn a single Rupee this year.

Swati has been smart enough to see that all the formalities needed to make all our $$ as tax free as possible are complete! The situation this year is definitely better, last year this time Swati had exactly 18 days worth of reserves left to run our company, today by grace of god we have a reserve of 6 months. And this despite earning about 30% less than what we had done in the boom time.

Was it the grace of god alone? definitely no!

It was tremendous amount of hard work by us and by our entire team – there is work to be found on the net, the down in the dumps days are over BUT now we are competing against the Chinese and Russian programmers who are good and willing to work for almost nothing. Where they fall short is their knowledge of English, which thanks to our British legacy in not a problem for us.

Another good thing that happened this year was that our earnings were evenly spread across clients unlike previous year where 80% came from just 2 of the clients.

And finally after 2 years of trial and error Swati managed to master the art of “Cash Flow Management”

So what happens next year – saying this hopefully – most of our clients are now planning projects with bigger budgets, and thanks to excellent PR by Swati I am confident that we will be the developers chosen, in fact most of them are planning things based on their experience with our expertise.

Now I can hazard that our business seems to be maturing…

The priority next year would be buying the Office property and remodeling the Office + House , and may be at the end there will be enough for me to get a Notebook –

As a bottom line I can add that there is no magic mantra for success in this dotcom world – you just have to keep moving with the cheese

Hmmm….

A hot tiring day – already feel like dropping off to sleep. BUT I have to complete Bob’s work before that… as entered in her journal “What is this life so full of care” – to fall asleep I do not dare!! apologies to W.H. Davis

Rajesh was here for lunch – talked with him for more than an hour he will be back in USA in ten days. God! I miss my friends… and the best one I had, I married her!!

God! I miss friends…

Tommorow Vinay will be back – will have some semblance of sanity on atleast two of the projects

There Ain’t No Justice

Husbands of the world unite!!

I invite Swati to LJ and it has not even been a day and she gets paid membership for herself $25 only

She even hijacks my LJ client ….

I have been asking her to spare that $25 for me since exactly a week and I am still waiting …

Now she wants me to rig up something which rotates her pic at LJ based on days of the week … …

TANJ!!!

PHP, Flame Wars and Me

With the philosophasters of LI blasting PHP with their corybantic mails several (three to be precise) people asked my why I did not defend PHP. Well just for the same reasons that I dont defend my religion.

Besides, why me? Who am I? I am a good PHP coder, fine! BUT that is it, that no way implies that I have to be the knight in shining armour rushing to defend the cause of PHP right into the heart of every flame war that takes place on Indian list.

No way!!

One, PHP does not need that kind of advocacy, and consequently two, I dont have that kind of time to waste.