Monthly Archives: December 2007

Bangalore autorikshaw problem solved!

I read this post with a sense of deja vu. Now, deja vu  is not the right choice here. Deja vu means a sense of having experienced something when you haven’t actually experienced it. In this case, it actually happened to me too.

I was in Bangalore in May 2006 and wanted to go to M.G. Road from Sahakaranagar. Having missed the BTS, auto was the next choice. But no one wanted to go to M.G. Road. Oh, come on folks, M.G. Road is the “heart” of the city. After being refused/ignored by more than 10 I changed tactics. I started asking, in Microsoft style, Where do *you* want to go (today)? I wonder who these folks drive the autos for? No matter where you want to go, *they* don’t want to go there.

This is ridiculous. So here is a solution. Bangaloreans and most Indians have leap frogged and everyone has a cell, nee, mobile phone. Even the auto drivers have one. Hanging around their necks. Sometimes you feel like tightening it a bit when they refuse you a ride. What if we setup website (say BlrAutoHopper.net or BlrAutoHopper.mobi) that can be updated via cell phones? (Maybe activeMobs will take up the project) You walk up to an auto. You say M.G Road. Driver shrugs. You fire up the app on your phone. Then ask the driver. Where do you want to go? He has to go somewhere. He says, Mekhri Circle. You enter the information and update the website. With enough refusals and enough updates we should be able to gather all possible places a given driver or majority of drivers from a location will go to. Once we have the info, the website can offer a new service. Enter the from and to and a set of possible hops, like directions from a map service, popup. Tie that to your schedule and plan your trip accordingly. Maybe you do in fact can finish up something at Mekhri Circle after all. Or you may want to check out the lecture at IISc on your way to M.G Road. What are you complaining about? Go do something good.

Sideeffect? CNR Rao can stop his call to Burn Bangalore. Crowdsourcing, opensourcing (as suggested by Ram Shriram ) as a way to help solve some real problems. 😉

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Keep it simple stoopid

Atlanta is feeling the effects of global warming! Last week was fantastic. Back to shorts. Upper 70s. This week its back to “normal”. Freezing. Last Friday was warm and we had the a/c turned on at work. The last guy out forgot about the temperature drop over the weekend.

Monday morning, the office is freezing. I walk over to M’s office

M: Its soooo cold in here

I: Yeah, I guess we need to bring in space heaters. Those things can be dangerous!!

M: I  got one @ home that switches itself off if it falls over

I: Cool! Does it have some kind of gyroscopic sensors?

M: Nooo…. there is this switch at the bottom….

Switch at the bottom. Here I am conjuring images of gyroscopic sensors and the simple solution is to just put a switch at the bottom!! Clever. No wonder they call it KISS.


A Christmas Gift – Its On

Thanks to Blogus Maximus (my friend, former colleague, Microsoft MVP, User Groups starter), I have had quite a few hits on my previous post requesting for ideas on setting up a fundraiser for sending a Christmas Gift to Nikhil Kothari for his work on Web Development Helper.

I have now setup a campaign on Fundable.com and its open to pledges. I have set a lofty goal of $2500 and you can see my first pledge already. I urge you to please make this fundraiser a success.

 If you are not familiar with how fundable works, here in a nutshell is what’s going to happen

1. You access my fundraiser here

2. As pledges roll in, we race toward the goal of $2500

3. If by the deadline, $2500 is raised, Fundable.com cuts a check to Nikhil Kothari. I don’t have Nikhil’s mailing address so I used Microsoft’s Redmond address. If you know his real address please let me know and I’ll update it.

4. If the deadline passes and $2500 is not raised, your credit card/pay-pal account is not charged

Fellow developers, lets roll.

Please make your pledges here


A Christmas Gift

If you are an ASP.Net developer, you know who Nikhil Kothari is. If you don’t know who Nikhil is, I think ASP.Net means something else to you.

Anyways, more than once I have used Web Development Helper, a tool developed by Nikhil, to ferret out pesky issues in my web projects. Without the tool I no doubt would have spent endless cycles trying to figure out what the heck was going on. Yes, there are techniques you can use to debug your web code, but Web Development Helper makes your life as an ASP.Net developer easier.

Here is a proposal/request for help. I would like to express my gratitude to Nikhil for this tool. I was planning to setup a fundable.org account and solicit donations. But I am unable to set the account without I being able to access the donations or set it up so that Nikhil can be declared the direct beneficiary. I am not sure if I can recruit Scott Hanselman, Phill Haack or other MVPs. Now that Scott and Phil are Microsoft employees I don’t want to cause any trouble.

So if you, dear reader, have an idea or know of a website/organization that will let me setup a fundraising drive to solicit donations for an individual, let me know. I appeal to all you developers who have benefited from Web Development Helper. Let’s pool our donations and show our gratitude to Nikhil for Web Development Helper and other projects and send him a BIG Christmas gift.


Test Post

An obligatory test post from Windows Live Writer