Monthly Archives: September 2006

Uncle Sam

Americans and People familiar with USA, know “Uncle Sam” is a national personification of the United States. Several years back when I first came across this term , I didn’t understand it but eventually figured it out from the context. Over the years many times when I came across the term, I was curious on its origin and official status but never bothered to check it out.


Today I took the effort to find out and got the answer from here & here. It dates from the War of 1812 and there are multiple theories behind the actual origin.

My Keynote – Advanced Computer Conference

Last Wednesday (20/Sep/2006) I delivered a Keynote address for “National Conference On Advanced Computing & Technology” – a technical conference organized by MCA department of Jayaram College of Engineering & Technology, Pagalavadi, Trichy. As the Chief Guest of the event, I had the privilege of sharing the dais with Dr.R.Krishnamoorthy, Deen Bharathidasan Institute of Technology, Trichy (BIT).

When I agreed to attend the event, my expectations were not great – Students are not going to be interested in hearing one more industry talk. I was mistaken, the participated students were attentive and even had some interesting questions for me. I spoke about the reasons why I believe that Indian IT Exports are poised to grow further and tips for fresh graduates. I thoroughly enjoyed doing the event and the trouble of spending one-and-half days (Chennai to Trichy by Road takes about 5 to 6 hours each way) was worth it.  

The Hospitality of the organizers was awesome and their College Chairman Er.M.Subramaniam & other dignitaries spoke great about me – I am not sure I deserve it and I had to accept them in all humbleness.

Following the Inauguration function, there was a brief press meet for me organized with the reporters from media (TV, News Agencies & Print). Press meets are always interesting and they are a tight rope to walk – you want to tell them as much as you can so that you get good coverage and at the same time you don’t want to imply anything that you didn’t intend to. You got to be as clear and as explicit as possible, to the extend you don’t sound boring/legal. My position also makes it difficult, I want to talk about my company “Vishwak Solutions Pvt. Ltd.” and the great work we are doing there; but press wants (as expected) to focus on my honourary title as “Microsoft MSDN Regional Director” -  I don’t want to be mis-interpreted as a “Microsoft” Official. This meet was useful for me, as I got good oppurtunity to talk about Vishwak’s investments in mobile web technology, hiring challenges, problems of taxation for Indian Small Software exporters and more. I am happy to see good coverage resulting out of it, coming in various media (On DD Poodhigai TV – 27/Sep, The Hindu – 24/Sep, Dina Malar – 21/Sep and others).

After the event, I had a spontaneous invitation by Dr.R.Krishnamoorthy to deliver a similar talk in his college. Accepting the invitation I travelled down to BIT (in Pudukotai highroad near Trichy Airport) and talked to the students there for about 15-20 minutes. It was lunch time so I didn’t risk standing in front of their food :-)

Watch video of my speech: From Google Video (or) From (or) From MSN Soapbox Beta


Media Coverage:

How to stop exam cheating?

The Register (UK) carried a news item about an interesting idea to prevent Students from cheating in exam halls – it is to put them behind cages :-). Read more here at “How to stop exam cheating: put teenagers in cages | The Register

I am wondering on what happened to good ol’ copying by seeing the answers of the Topper in front of you?. Nothing can beat the thrill and joy of it - I am not advocating this, but doing it during your class trial tests are neverthless fun, right? :-) 

Vettaiyadu Vilayadu

As part of our office monthly Movie Mania, I today watched in Melody theatre, Kamal Hasan’s “Vettaiyadu Vilayadu” directed by Gautam. To summarize my comments in 3 descriptions it will be “a disappointment”, “very gruesome” and “missing logic”.

ChennaiOnline has a good review about the movie, I agree with it except about Kamal looking good in the movie. My recommendation, please don’t take your kids to the movie (though I saw many in the theatre). 

KingFisher Airlines – Pocket Checkin

Today on our return journey from Mumbai to Chennai, I had an interesting touch of technology. We went near the Check In counter of KingFisher, quickly there came an airline staff and asked us if we travelled only with “Hand Baggage”. On answering Yes, he collected our tickets, picked his PocketPC completed the check in and printed our tickets (with a pocket printer he had in his belt). All this was done in less than a minute. Hat’s off to the innovative use of technology – this is much better than the stupid self-service check in counters you have in the USA.

When I was wondering whether KingFisher has improved and my loyalty towards Jet should be re-valuated, they let me down big time. No one from KingFisher to check your tickets before the Security Check counters, no announcement/sign about the gate number for our flight. Above all the flight was delayed by 1 hour, absolutely no announcement either by the ground staff or by the on-board staffs. If this is “Flying with Good Times” and as Vijay Mallaya calls it “Staff been asked to treat each guest as his personal guest visiting his house”, then I am not impressed!

Related Posts:

Shree Siddhivinayak & Maha Lakshmi Temples

Shree Siddhi Vinayak Shree Mahalakshmi

I keep travelling Mumbai quite often for client meetings, in the last 5 years I should have done atleast half-a-dozen trips to mumbai every year. Most of the trips are same day return trips and I hardly get time to make it to airport for return journey. So it is not surprising I haven’t seen many tourist/important places in Mumbai. It was only few months back that I went to the famous ”Gateway of India” and saw it in person.

Luckily today my meeting for the day got over early (at 4PM) and we (myself and my co-workers) had plenty of time; we were infact in Prabhadevi locality. So we walked to Siddhi Vinayak Temple and got a great darshan. The whole place around the temple was cordoned off with security and 8 feet wall. After Ganesh Darshan, we took a taxi and had a good darshan at Shree Mahalakshmi Temple. Since today was a working day and it was raining, may be because of that there was hardly any crowd in both the temples.

Being a “Chennaiaite” and a South-Indian it was an interesting experience for me to go to a Western-India temple and see the Idols, Decoration, Puja methods, etc. there. Then again temples in North India and East India are different as well, each with the local favour. The difference is what makes India interesting I think.

What I look for in Freshers?

Today I was asked to give a quote on what I look for in fresh graduates, here is what I said:

I am excited whenever I get an opportunity to work with graduates from campus. They come unpolluted & bring the much needed fresh air in to work places. So when it comes to selection, I am very unassuming and I look for the basics – Thirst for experimenting with technology, Open Mind to Learn and spoken language skills” – Venkatarangan TNC

After reading this I realized myself that at times I do make some sense :-)