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Suddenly it is cold! week before last it was as if we are going to have an early summer and now the temperature has dipped ushering an extended winter – I love winters in Nagpur specially sitting in the warm sun on Sunday afternoons.

It has been a very hectic past few days with Swati playing nurse/foster parent to her niece who has had an accident and then to Aasim’s class teacher who was operated upon to have her appendix removed – Swati’s verdict – She (Aasim’s teacher) is a 27 year old Aasim :P I guess anyone who see’s Yoda in Degobah when under anesthesia rightly qualifies as such! Swati’s also discovered that how being empathic towards the physical suffering of others can sap you up emotionally… this is something which I use to complain about when I was practicing but one needs to experience it first hand to truly understand what I meant….

Yesterday morning saw us again at the near by Wena Lake for watching birds – this time while Aasim, Swati and Raju roamed about I sat inside a hide which Raju had fashioned out for me using Ipomea branches right on the spot. I had the thrill of seeing Common Teals, Greater Cormorant, Little Ring Plover and some more waders at nearly handshaking distance – unfortunately the close proximity also meant that they could not be photographed really well :(

Late afternoon turned out to be very creative and fruitful – we have finally found a new model (after interviewing and rejecting many dumb tweenagers) who is intelligent, creative (she is a Kathak dancer), 30+ and most importantly comfortable working the way we want her to… looks like the year is going to be interesting! B-)

OK! we are not a Sweat Shop

Got some flack for calling SANIsoft a sweat shop…

Two of my biggest clients pointed out that calling SANIsoft a sweat shop would not please their investors (heh! I did not know that you people read my personal journal)

They went on to point that you cannot call a SME which creates PHP apps optimised to take 10,000,000+ hits a day, designed to work seamlessly on clusters, designed to be easily plug-able, designed to be secure, a sweat shop. Sweat shops do not have clients who are partners with *the* biggest web companies in the world (Wow! we do all that? damn, we are not getting paid enough!)

Sweat shop also connotes that the employees are treated at just one rung above slaves. Oh well! my programmers are slaves, slaves to program what they choose to – they cannot do anything else when they are at SANIsoft – when on bench they are forced to work on Open Source projects, forced to participate in mailing lists and forced to answer mails for problems they can solve. Yeah! they are all paid once a month on the last day without fail and then given performance bonus whenever Swati can afford (5 times till now in this financial year). They are free to freelance if they have time after they are released for the day – so that way the working conditions are a shade better than a sweat shop.

There – I have set the record straight, done PR for my company on my personal journal and pleased everyone – All smile please =))

Failure of your business model is not my problem

“Failure of your business model is not my problem” It is sad to tell a client this but that however does not mean that I do not understand business or business process, The following in no particular order are my few common sense guidelines

I am outright wary of clients who wants my opinion on their business model/idea. Dude I had a wonderful business idea and I am following it to the hilt right now! We wanted to be and are a “PHP sweat shop”
I prefer to take clients who are taking their existing brick and mortar business to the web – these clients usually last with you for a long time.
I know that clone of a previous big idea is not going to make it as the *next big idea“ however these clients have money to throw around – if you are ready to let go of the last installment of your payment take them.
I refuse to give discounts on my rates to a new client – these clients are usually troublesome, we however give a lot of non-billed hours to our old clients and they are thankful for it
I know that a proposition that is ”too good to be true“ usually isn’t – development in lieu of partnership/profit sharing/extra money later is always a loss making deal – want to do free development? do it for free software, the returns are worth their weight in gold (no that is not a joke or a flame bait)
I am wary of propositions which begin with ”We are looking for a long term relationship with a development company having strong technical knowhow“ – Good deals come with a detailed project(s) RFC documents

P.S. I have most probably written all of the above somewhere before – just cant remember where


Fun started right from Saturday afternoon once the barbecue party was confirmed.

All the ingredients were just right for a great party – a few friends, great white wine (and rum), excellent prawns, lots of chicken with great marinade from Swati and crisp dried easy to light coal… sorry no pictures were taken, slept at 1am but was again up at 6am. I just can’t seem to sleep late no matter what but on the flip side it gives me a lot of time all by myself, I post processed a bunch of pictures for http://nagpurbirds.org – if you have not looked at the birds on the site I would suggest do take a look – It now has 910 pictures of a total of 181 species.

The birds some how sensed that we were home and were creating a ruckus outside so for a large part of the morning Swati and I sat out in the sun feeding all our familiar courtyard visitors, it was heartwarming to see all the old friends coming, inspecting, muttering, chirping, tweeting in excitement or displeasure. The most vocal amongst our visitor is a pair of Common Mynas…

Early afternoon we got hooked to a movie on the cable “Neal n Nikki” which we like despite the fact that the movie bombed at the box office – may be general movie going public does not like fun being made of the stuff they really enjoy 😉

After the movie Swati just did not want to stay indoors so I called up Raju and asked if he was game for some bird watching, he was! he has just acquired a new 10×50 and I baited him with my fresh copy of Ripley’s Guide, within 20 mins we were off to Wena Lake situated about 20kms away. For the first time I saw a flock of “Pacific Golden Plovers” and there were 9 of them….

Ummm, seems like awfully small number of words to describe the awesome amount of fun we had over the weekend – but thats that.

Another week

The feeling for entire week gone by can be best compared to sitting in a second class compartment of a train which is running terribly late – you cannot do anything but wait!! Everything seems to be in a state of transition the loan, the clients, projects, photography everything!!

Hopefully things will improve from today on wards.

Have got a great field guide on Flowers of Sayadhari – must make some efforts to learn at least a couple of hundred names besides “flower watching” as a hobby is easy and cheap… somehow birding seems to be taking a second seat in terms of preferences these days. It is not that we have not been moving around Saturday we went to Koradi and yesterday it was Ambhazari and Sonegoan lakes…

Among other things my programmers have taken upon themselves to (re)learn C++ and KDE programming – Checkout See http://koppermine.sf.net. It still has a looooong way to go but we are surely on the way.

First week!

It passed by fast… things on the work front were a bit subdued with some clients still on a holiday, thankfully I have a new programmer and she will be ready to go on a commercial project in about 10 days more.

Lately I have been lurking on PixelPost Forums and have contributed a bunch of addons and am now on to optimizing and security audit. I have been using PixelPost 1.5beta on my latest project, I did consider using Coppermine NG but then Coppermine NG now is #1 a 1000 pound gorilla with a kitchen sink, #2 A gallery software I wanted a Photoblog

On a personal front Aasim clear his test for Yellow Belt Karate and is waiting to get his Mindstorm NXT I guess I will get one for myself as well 😉

New(er) Year!

The song for yesterday’s evening was Piano man by Billy Joel

“And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
And say, man, what are you doin’ here?”

Was very tempted to steal some presentation format and fill in the blanks but then as far as LJ goes there are a lot of gaping blanks in what I have chronicled, yes I broke the new year resolution of writing at least twice a week almost the very next month.

On the personal front the year was largely dominated by photography, I managed to setup a small studio and Nivedita was the first model to be photographed there, wish I could have more sessions with her. I attended the New school workshop on photography. In response to a retort that my site was popular only because of my abstract.minimalistic nudes series I stopped updating them for almost 6 months and reintroduced them only after proving my point, have however now removed them to an independent site, will be expanding the project with collaborations and more… I did manage to put up the 1000th picture for display on to my site.

Nagpur Chapter of BNHS triggered the re-launch of passion for bird watching and I splurged on a D70 with a good set of lenses – this was my 500th LJ entry

Things got very hectic from April onwards, We again went to Bangkok. I still had a clean bill of health for the year and we made another trip to Kanha, soon there after Aasim travelled alone to Delhi.

Events are mostly a blur after that – We created the site NagpurBirds.org with a promise to put Nagpur on the birding map and succeeded. I did another ‘first time in life’ thing – joined a gym – have still not given up…

September saw me turning 39, around the same time SANIsoft turned into a private ltd, we got ourselves a new car and took a mini vacation in Pattaya.

This year Diwali Eid and Aasim’s 8th Birthday happened in the same week – the first week of November…

foss.in happened this year was Aasim’s year, we almost did not take him to Bangalore though. For a change I did not give a talk and enjoyed the event much more than ever before. Interspersed between these are periods of work work and still more work. Thankfully I have managed to reign in my working hours and learned to delegate responsibilities at work and the sky does not really fall.

2006!? It is starting with promises of things which are bigger than I/we had ever imagined to be, it is almost scary in a way, like, like school exams but I guess we are prepared. Will write more as things unfold