Monday, November 3, 2008

Chrome Rekindles The Browser War !

The excitement of the browser war never ceases - at least for those of us who try to stay abreast with the latest browsers in hope that with each new product and each new version, the average netizen will have a larger basket of goodies at his disposal ! And these "goodies" are not hard to come across - with Google's Chrome, Firefox 3 and IE beta 8, all loaded with features that might change the way we know and access the WWW.

The usage share figures above say it all. Piggybacking on it's Windows OS, Microsoft's IE still commands the largest market share. My apologies to all IE users - but guys... its high time that you DO move on to better options :)

Not only does the browser war keep the net users hooked but it provides ample scope for discussions, articles and benchmarking on numerous tech websites out there. A notable mention to CNET's Prizefight ( which pits IE7, Firefox 3, Google Chrome and Safari against each other on the following parameters:

  1. Speed
  2. Security
  3. Customization
  4. Killer feature

Needless to say, Firefox wins hands-down in Security, Customization (you didn't think anyone could even come CLOSE to that huge add-on library, did you ?) and killer feature (that's again customization).

Google's Chrome has been touted as the fastest browser around and there are third party tests which prove so. However, there's more to Chrome's blazing speed than meets the eye. Google Chrome has a significantly faster "page rendering" mechanism because of its Javascript engine which speeds up client end processing. So at the end of the day, if you have a below average net connection (not very difficult to find in India), you end up noticing (if you reallly notice) only a marginal improvement in Chrome as compared to, say, Firefox 3.

Safari and Opera (which was left out of CNET's test) are definitely better options than IE, but both of them lack that "one USP" which Firefox (customizability) and Chrome ("blazing" fast) have to offer.

Firefox is, without any doubts and questions, the big daddy of all browsers out there. Call it Mozilla's gift to mankind and it won't be an overstatement. Installation is a cakewalk, security patches are always on time and they really mean it when they say that you can make Firefox "your own" ! Although, if I had to be really nitpicky and find ONE fault with Firefox, that would be the memory usage (which CNET conveniently seems to have ignored), which could shoot over the roof with those add-ons and extensions all loaded at the same time. So think twice before installing an add-on to see if the value it delivers is worth the RAM that its gonna eat up.

Amidst the biggies vying for market share, we have a lil kiddo called "Flock" which brings a smile to those social-networking addicts amongst us. With a delightfully seamless integration of social networking, mail and browser into one neat package, Flock is a welcome product which could change the way we look at browsers in the future.

That brings me to my final '2 pennies-worth 'thought on the market leader - Internet Explorer. Now, I don't mean to sound biased or anything, but if I had to give ONE advice to the IE team, it'd be - "WAKE UP!!" Going by a few features of IE 8 Beta, Microsoft seems to have woken up a bit but they need to gulp down a mug of hot coffee, come to their full senses and see where the competition is heading. IE, as a browser, takes the last place in ease of installation, adherence to open standards, ease of updation and frequency of security updates. It doesn't score too well on customizability either, especially considering that it is best placed to use Microsoft's advanced technologies like Windows Presentation Framework (used in Vista) for some really neat UI effects. IE 8 Beta looks promising but in no way would it prove to be the brahmastra that'd stop Firefox from eating into IE's share. IE is all set for a plunging market share unless Microsoft comes up with an orbital shift in its design and feature offering!

Till next time... Cheers !

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Favourites !

In an attempt to lend a more personal touch to this blog, here's a list of my favorites across various categories that I can think of :) Did I hear someone saying "How am I concerned??".. Go hit the red cross button in the upper right corner of this window :P !

A few riders before I actually start the listing - these are in no particular order and I've only included the categories where I've a distinct favorite . So there's no "favorite hindi movie" section coz I can think of many of them which I like almost the same.
  1. Favorite Author - P.G. Wodehouse
  2. Favorite Actress - Aishwarya Rai
  3. Favorite Game - Age of Empires series
  4. Favorite Book (recent) - Ramayana Series by Ashok Banker
  5. Favorite Book (all time) - Jeeves and Wooster series
  6. Favorite Movie (English) - Lord of The Rings series
  7. Favorite Color - Orange
  8. Favorite Chat Messenger - Yahoo
  9. Favorite E-Mail service - GMail
  10. Favorite Search Engine - I deny answering this ! As far as I'm concerned, there's just ONE search engine that exists ! The rest is all hogwash !
  11. Favorite Website -
  12. Favorite Cartoon Character - Bugs Bunny
  13. Favorite Comics - Archies
  14. Favorite Newspaper (National Daily) - Times Of India
  15. Favorite Newspaper (Financial)- Mint by Hindustan Times
  16. Favorite Technology Brand - Google
  17. Favorite Possession - My laptop !
  18. Favorite Fruit - Mango
  19. Favorite Ice Cream Flavor - Butter Scotch
  20. Favorite Greeting - "Hey.. Hi!"
Hope that you all keep the above list handy till my next birthday :P


Monday, August 18, 2008

The Epic Saga.. Retold !!

Every so often, we hear stories of good triumphing over evil, stories of men and women who inspire us or stories that are beyond the realm of mankind and earth-kind and yet inspire us. But there's one story that ecompasses all this and more - the epic tale of ramayana.

But what, pray tell, is left to be told of this epic tale that has been narrated time and again in the form of books, teleserials, cartoons and theatre? Nothing ? Thats what I thought till I chanced upon a gem titled "Prince of Ayodhya" by Ashok Banker (published by Penguin). It was first of the collection of 6 books kept in a desolate corner of my institute's library. Apart from the (highly) abridged version of the Ramayana that I'd studied as part of my school's Hindi curriculum, I never really had a detailed exposure to this monumental epic. The book looked inviting.. and well.. since it was only one of the 6 books that I'd have to read to get the entire story of Ramayana, I'm sure it must have been pretty inviting for me to actually pick it up and read in between the hectic MBA schedule.

I generally pride myself on my selection of books - I read very little but I've thoroughly relished and enjoyed every book that I've read. This one didn't let me down either.

From the very initial pages detailing the source and the history of various versions of Ramayana, Ashok Banker gives you a sense of the richness of the magnum opus that would unfold in the books to follow. The story that has been told and re-told again and again is told YET again.. but this time with the finesse of an artist who lends new colours, vibrancy and imagination to the same old portrait. This is Ramayana like never before - The dialogues, settings and events are realistic enough to teleport you to the Ayodhyan era, the sorcery and the witchcraft is binding enough to keep you glued to the pages and the emotions are touching enough to melt your heart.

My heart skipped a beat when Manthra shot a green flame of light from her forked tongue, it sank when Rama used the Brahma-astra to elimiate the asura forces and it almost stopped beating when Parasuram's axe touched Rama's neck only to dissipate concentric circles of sound evergy leaving Rama unscathed !

With every page I turned, there was just one thought that crossed my mind - If this book were to be adapted scene by scene in the form of a movie, won't it put the likes of 'The Matrix', 'Lord of The Rings', 'Spiderman', 'Superman' and 'Star Wars' to complete shame? My guess - Yes ! It would !

Till Next Time..


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Good, Bad and The Joker !

Call it incessant rhapsodizing, euphoria or viral marketing.. the fact remains that The Dark Knight's 'Joker', brought to life by Late Heath Ledger, will sweep you off your feet, curl you up in your seats and put you in deep thought ! As the comic book character, Joker, the maniac who loves to kill, Ledger delivers a performance which probably surpasses any prior rendition of the Joker, animated or otherwise. Watch the Joker bring a "smile" to his preys' faces as he goes on a rampage - killing, bombing and looting Gotham city. Every scene and every entry of the Joker on screen is purely a high-wattage affair. So much so that a fairly good performance by Christian Bale as Batman is pushed to the background.

The biggest achievement of Ledger and the directorial team, although, does not lie in creating yet another "high-wattage" drama. Hollywood's done that before.. with incandescent actors like Ledger, camera work par-excellence and graphics capabilities, its a given ! What separates the chaff from this movie is the fact that it is a breath-taking attempt at baring the mind of a psychopath. Why does the Joker kill ? For money ? No ! For revenge ? No ! The Joker kills because he LIKES to kill. He kills because he believes that there's that hidden streak of evil in everyone around him - the only difference is that we don't like to show it as blatantly as he does. His crime is an attempt to provoke others to bring out their veiled evil streak in the open..

The movie depicts an "idealist" view wherein citizens of Gotham city do not possess that evil streak at all (am not gonna give out any spoilers.. watch the movie yourself !). But idealism will lead us nowhere ! Which brings us to the question - Does the world really need a Batman or do we need a Joker first ??

Till next time..


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Why 8.5 million+ users love Firefox 3 !!

It's as grand as it gets ! With over 8.5 million downloads on the first day of its launch, Firefox 3 is all set to create its mark as the "most downloaded software" in Guinness Book of World Records. Glancing back at Firefox 2, the figure of 1.6 million downloads, though not puny by any standards, is overshadowed.

The Firefox 3 Download Counter

Why do the net surfers of this world love Firefox 3 ? What instigates 8.5 million users to ignore the default Internet Explorer and Safari browsers that come bundled with their company's OSes and download Firefox ?

For starters, Firefox makes the web YOURS, literally ! It is probably the only browser that'll let you run plug-ins that enhance the feature set of sites like Orkut and GMail. My GMail has an all new themed look, thanx to the "Better GMail 2" plugin. It makes the browser a personal product, letting you add/remove/modify the features by way of plugins or by using the config option. Need an integrated dictionary option ? Wanna see screenshots next to your Google search results ? Want to write your blogs offline ? Want to view all images in a 3-D window ? Firefox has a plugin for all that and more !

GMail (Themed) with Better GMail 2

Numerous other benefits, especially faster product patches and fixes (many thanks to the Mozilla Community), easy installation (NO system restart), neat interface, faster loading of websites than any other browser and lighter consumption of system resources (with Firefox 3), make Firefox an indispensable software for any PC.

And for those of you who think Microsoft's might lies in marketing.. think again ! Visit and see how Mozilla's marketing, based purely on the strengths of their product and users' faith in it, has succeeded in getting that staggering figure of 8.5 million downloads within 24 hours. Millions of users pledged to download Firefox 3 the day it is released. And the product hasn't let them down ! 12 million plus downloads have been done since it's release, which is a testimonial to its viral spread.

What does the Mozilla Community have to gain from this ? It's a FREE software, aint it ? It doesn't have ad-bars or pop-ads either !

The answer is simple - The internet belongs to the users, Firefox lets them reclaim it ! With a horde of proprietary coding techniques (read : IE), which result in non-standardized display of sites across different browsers, the net is in a mess ! Firefox and Mozilla stand for OPEN standards. As the Mozilla Developer Community tagline goes - "Don't hurt the web... Use open standards !"

Three cheers for Mozilla and Firefox 3 ! Click any of the buttons below to download Firefox 3..

Firefox 3


Abhinav Kishore

Firefox 2

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Blogging In A Round World !

Firstly, thanks to all my blog visitors for being umm.. regular visitors ! With the last post my blog completed 1000 hits. Looks like people from far and beyond have been reading my blog too :D My statistics counter reveals that this blog is visited by people from India, US, UK, Germany, Singapore, UAE, Mauritius, Egypt, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Japan, Senegal, Romania, Canada, Malaysia, Qatar, Netherlands and some others which the tracker couldn't track.

Speaking of hits, don't we all like more and more hits on our blogs everyday ? But then how many of us actually manage to get hits without pestering our friends to go and click on our blog links (GA and PDV - are you listening ? :P) ? But let that not bring a wrinkle on your forehead. Venture out into the Google territory and there are enormous number of sites and blogs which give you "tips" on increasing your blog traffic (yeah.. they tell you to go and pester your friends too :P). Now you might find this weird but blogs which tell you how to increase your blog's site traffic get some pretty good traffic themselves !! So here's what I'm gonna do.. like a true consultant, I shall give you wonderful topics to blog about. These topics are sure to get you increased traffic on your blog.

(The topics come with my extended never-return-to-my-blog-if-not-satisfied-guarantee !)

  1. How to increase hits on your blog ! (Tried and tested... never fails)

  2. I love Windows Vista ! (Write on this topic and I assure you threatening comments from the indignants)

  3. MBA, placements, money (You get 2 lac CAT aspirants from India buzzing to your site)

  4. How to lose X kgs in Y days (The number of hits is directly proportional to the X:Y ratio. The larger the X and smaller the Y, the more is your blog traffic)

  5. Osama Bin Laden (ONE hit assured.. guess where from ? ;))

  6. Shakira, Sakira, Sakhira, Sakir, Sharikha - just try ANY one of them. With people desperately googling for any info on her and making little typos in the process, you'll be better off tagging ALL those keywords.

  7. Give out freebies on your blog - free software, wallpaper, iconset.. anything ! (Here's the analogy - FREE:Humans::Honey:Bees)

  8. Aishwarya Rai (Who cares if you get traffic or not - just drop me a line with your blog link and consider one hit added)
Satisfaction guaranteed with the above topics. Do leave a comment if you blog on any of those topics. Unfortunately I can't reserve copyrights to the above topics, but I'd nevertheless expect a thank you phrase in your blog, a link-back and a courtesy mail should any of them work for you :P

Till next time..


Thursday, April 17, 2008

SPJIMR DOCC Project @ SOS, Bhopal

The DOCC (Development of Corporate Citizenship) projects @ S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai (SPJIMR) is an attempt to bring future managers closer to the social sector. During the six week tenure of this project, SPJIMR participants work with NGOs across the length and breadth of the country. This year's participants have been to places like Ladakh, Andaman & Nicobar, Shimla, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore. Since the theme was "rural and slum based projects", most of the participants are working in villages and communities adjoining these cities.

This series of projects, started in 2001, has had multi-pronged advantages : sensitizing MBA students to the needs of the social sector and providing inputs to the NGOs for funding, branding, program enhancement and assessment. This also offers an avenue for the participants to put their learnings to fruitful and practical use.

As far as I'm concerned, my project is titled "Family Strengthening Program" which is a run by the SOS Children's Villages of India, Bhopal. Currently, me and good friend, Diksha Mangla, are working on this project along with 2 SOS co-workers. I've put some of the pictures above from the field visits to the villages that we've made so far.

Will keep you posted more on this ;)


Monday, April 14, 2008

Vista Boot Repair for Dummies ;)

"The afternoon sun poured brightly into the office of the manager of Guiderstern's Stores, Madison Avenue, New York, but there was no corresponding sunshine in the heart of Homer Pyle, the eminent corporation lawyer, as he sat there."

An excerpt from Wodehouse's master-stroke "Girl in The Blue". But why I quote it here is because, all you need to do is substitute me for "Homer Pyle" and my home in Bhopal for "Guilderstern's Stores, Madison Avenue, New York" and you've got the complete picture ! "Why?" you ask ? Well.. that's the most reasonable stance (of lacking corresponding sunshine in the heart) you can adopt when Windows Vista simply denies to boot on your laptop. Yes.. mysteriously, miraculously and to my great annoyance, without bothering to throw up a boot time error.

Well.. I eventually got it working, so I'll put this post in flashback and detail the steps for recovering your corrupted vista boot sector. While I was attempting to fix my own installation, I googled voraciously and found several bits of scattered information which I'll attempt to collate here.

To start with, my system configuration:

Toshiba Satellite Pro
Intel Dual Core (2.xx Mhz)
Windows Vista Business Service Pack 1 (32 bit)

When your vista installation fails to boot and all you get is a flickering cursor on the upper left corner of your screen on switching on your laptop, you KNOW that it's a boot sector error. There are 2 broad options to fix this:

  1. Use the recovery disk utility that comes with your laptop. Most manufacturers like Dell, Toshiba etc create a recovery partition on your HDD and provide you with a utility to create a recovery disk (CD/DVD) from that partition. Of course, they expect you to be far-sighted and keep such a disk handy in case of any such eventuality as a corrupt boot sector. My Toshiba laptop also came with such an option but the disadvantage of using the utility is that it needs to format your entire drive (at least your primary partition - C:) which'll cause you to lose all data.

  2. Another option is the Windows Vista Recovery Disk that is an added feature of Vista SP1. This recovery environment lets you fix your startup errors (boot errors) after you boot in with your recovery disk.
Second option is the one that I attempted first and it worked for me. Here's how :

  1. Those of you who have Vista SP1 installed, may follow the steps given in this article to create your recovery disk :

  2. In case you do not have SP1 installed or you cannot find the recovery disk creator for some reason, follow these steps:
    • Download the image file for the recovery disk (120 MB) from this torrent (you'll need a torrent downloader like u-Torrent or BitTorrent(, which I'm sure most people have these days ;) ) :

    • Once you have the ISO file, you need to burn it onto a CD/DVD (I recommend a CD since it's only 120MB). I was stuck here for quite some time since several burning programs gave me improper results and the CD wouldn't boot my laptop. Please use Img Burn ( only. It's a small (around 3MB) freeware utility for burning ISO files and fits the bill perfectly.
Once the Recovery disk is ready, you need to boot using that disk. Instructions henceforth are specific for the Toshiba Satellite Pro Laptop and the Phoenix BIOS. Read through and judge if it can apply to your system model also:

  1. Press F2 at boot time to enter "System Utilities" (BIOS setup)

  2. Goto "Advanced" tab

  3. Change the value of the "Execute-Disable bit" to "Not Available" (The default value is "Available"). This option apparently prevents the execution of malicious code at startup and in this case, even prevented my recovery disk from booting.

  4. Save and exit using F10

  5. Your system will restart. At the next boot screen, press F12 to select the boot device. Select the CD/DVD drive as your boot device.

  6. The next screen will show you a message "Loading Windows Files" after which you get a slick (typical Microsoft style ;)) GUI. Among several options, "Startup Repair" is one. This should take a few minutes to run and at the end of which it'll ask you to reboot your system. I got my windows booting after just one run of the "Startup Repair" utility but in some cases you might require you to boot with your CD/DVD run the utility again.

  7. Once you're convinced that your system is booting properly, do remember to change the status of the "Execute-Disable bit" back to "Available"
I'd strongly recommend that even those of you who are not facing this problem currently, keep a copy of the Windows Vista Recovery Disk and your manufacturer's Recovery Disk ready.

Till next time...


P.S : The title is dedicated to one of my friends who's constantly been pushing me to write a book titled "PPT for Dummies" ;)

Do leave a comment to let me and other visitors know if this worked (or didn't work) for you !

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Microsoft, Yahoo and Google - The Mammoth Clash !

Much has been reported and discussed about Microsoft's attempts at gobbling up Yahoo! Inc in what could turn to be one of the biggest consolidations of software giants in recent times. There was a time when Oracle Corp. went on a shopping spree ending up with PeopleSoft, Siebel and other biggies in its cart only to come "closer" to the market leader in business software - SAP.Microsoft's motives are similar, but much bigger than we can fathom. I'll not mince my words in saying this - It's a desperate attempt on part of world's leading software company at slowing down the pace of the charging internet mammoth called Google.

The might of Google has not been hidden from Microsoft. With a share of 75% in search advertising, Google has tapped one of the most lucrative online businesses which big daddy (read:Microsoft) totally missed out on. Also, several attempts by Microsoft at improvising its own services (MSN, Live, Hotmail revamped etc.) have not really taken off and it continues to be only the 5th most popular destination on the World Wide Web. Google has also opened the doors to a completely new world of online software. Microsoft's might in desktop software stands challenged today with Google replicating the same features in online softwares such as Google Docs, Google Apps for Enterprises. The next step for Google is rumoured to be the launch of its very own Operating System. It's high penetration into an era of net savvy PC customers will give Google more than an edge in selling their OS (IF the rumours are to be believed!). What options does this leave then for Microsoft? For a company sitting on a pile of cash worth $6111 million, the easiest way out would seem to be to BUY its way to the top. That's probably the thought that struck MS when it made a bid for the ailing Yahoo! Inc. Microsoft can only aim at at being a "reasonable" competitor to Google after its tie-up with Yahoo.

In the war of the worldwide software giant and the search leviathan, we cannot underestimate what has been the most popular online destination for netizens worldwide - Yahoo! Inc. Yahoo's messenger, chat rooms, groups, avataars, games and much more - have been hosts to millions of users across the globe, transcending boundaries of culture and language. I remember typing "" into my browser's address bar the FIRST time I ever used the internet - and so do lacs of others. Yahoo has rarely let down its users by constantly improving its services, giving users what they wanted and doing it BEFORE anyone else did it. But while Yahoo managed to do this for several years, it has recently been accused to failing to keep pace with the advancements in technology. It's profits and share prices have taken a dip, and shareholders' confidence has been at a low.Businesses like Microsoft would term the situation as "Hit the Iron While It's Hot" but the move would undoubtedly invite the ire and anxiety of millions of users worldwide. Microsoft is not very popular among the net-surfers for its online services - Hotmail, MSN Live Messenger, MSN Communities etc., all of which invoke a solitary feeling from users -"Ancient"! Its inability to feel the pulse of the evolving netizen and its needs has pushed Microsoft on the back front in the arena of online services. Microsoft taking over Yahoo could have dual implications for the users. While Microsoft as an organization is known to be a highly innovative software developer and marketeer, it’s knack of bringing technology under the umbrella of proprietorship is also well known. Users might, therefore, end up with better services, should Microsoft manage a seamless integration with Yahoo (as-it-is) or a set of inferior services, led by proprietary technology (and hence little growth), should Microsoft try to have an iron grip on everything.

In the end - the internet has tremendous potential for growth which needs to be managed and captured not by ONE monolithic giant but by several technology leaders each of whom can specialize and innovate in their domains. Microsoft, without doubt, is the company that needs to be credited for making the PC a household name. It is the company that needs to be credited with making operating systems which enable “dummies” to use computers. But the internet is one place that will be better off without a giant such as Microsoft. And should Microsoft manage to successfully complete this deal, let it be known that the fate of the internet and the companies that drive it is determined NOT by the companies or the governments – it is determined by the users of the World Wide Web who have a mind of their own.

Till next time.. Cheers !

Friday, February 1, 2008

A tele-protagonists' dilemma !

Just when I was rid of my end term examinations and was strolling in Andheri with my friends to celebrate the joyous occasion, a huge billboard caught my eye - one of the tele-serial bahus, with the typical tele-serial look (expression, make-up, saree, bindi included) posing a tricky question to the audience of the hoarding - "Saas sasur ki salgirah ya mayke mein pooja - Aap meri jagah hote to kya karte?" (For those not conversant with Hindi - "My in-laws' anniversary party or pooja at parents' house ? What would you have attended if you were in my position?").

Now for those of you who are already rolling on the floor, laughing away to glory, I'd like to emphasize upon the criticality and urgency of this question. Do you people even realize that it was close to a life-and-death situation for this poor female? Lets explore some options...

You say that she could've easily divided her time between the two? HAH ! Fat chance! With all her poor luck (and ours too!), the very muhurat for both the events would match till the last millisecond washing out any multi-tasking plans she might have had.

You say that she could've attended the anniversary party and ditched her parents? Woah ! You inhuman soul! The very same parents who nurtured HER from childhood till adulthood and finally managed to get her married into a nice rich family (where the in-laws throw prompt anniversary parties :P) will now be deprived of her company on such an important occasion? To add to the trouble, the pooja is probably meant for the longer life of her ailing father/ mother/ brother/ sister/ bua/ tai/ tau/ mausa / mausi / kaka/ kaki/ ba/ ba's ba etc and is an absolute must-attend!

You say that she could've attended ghar ki pooja and ditched the party at in-laws' house? Now thats where you cross all lines! How will she ever come back her in-laws' place? Won't they burn her alive? Won't they torture her and ridicule her all her life for not joining in the celebration of their matrimonial union? Won't they get her divorced? Won't they disown her? The poor soul will then have nowhere to go (neither will YOU when you sit there watching episode after episode of tears trickling down the protagonist's eyes!)

I urge all readers of this blog to spare some time and give a serious thought to this poor female's dilemma. Help her out - by helping her out in solving this dilemma, you'll not only help her but also help a large section of the populace by saving them innumerable episodes of long winding discussions, unending tears, unceremonious slapping, shameless lying and bitter verbal retorts! Do tune in to future episodes of "Babul... blah blah.. aangan.. etc etc.." on one of the regular saas-bahu channels (Sony/ Star/ Zee) to know more and advise the protagonist.

Till next time.. Cheers !

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Browser Wars !!

No matter how much my good friends GA and PDV hate it, tech posts will always be a part of this blog. So here's another one on a topic that I have always been meaning to write and have finally been able to do so with some concrete conclusive bit of supporting evidence too - The Browser Wars (more aptly titled "Firefox v/s IE", given that the rest of them have barely been able to capture any market).

We all know how Microsoft virtually monopolized the internet browser market by shipping Internet Explorer (IE) free-of-cost with Windows. Netscape made a hue and cry over the "unfair" competition but finally lost out to Microsoft's might.

With a company whose revenues were lesser than what Microsoft earned in interest on its cash, Netscape was indeed vulnerable. It depended only on a single product - Netscape Navigator while Microsoft had 90% of the OS market captured with Windows. IE research and development was funded through Microsoft's Windows revenues and hence MS could afford to ship IE free of cost. By 2002, when IE gained almost 92% of the market share, Netscape was destined to be washed out !

But peace was not in sight for Microsoft yet. 2001 saw the launch of what I personally regard as one of the most robust and extensive pieces of software - Firefox !

Launched in 2001, and growing by leaps and bounds ever since, Firefox is undoubtedly one of the greatest contributions of the open source community to the home PC user. It is easy to use, customizable, powerful, secure and FREE - fits everyone's requirement like a glove ! With a huge repository of Firefox add-is and themes that enable customization of the browser look and feel, Firefox has been eating into IE's share slowly and steadily. Here are statistics from the World Wide Web Consortium (

The official statistics show an approx 54% of share with IE variants while 36% share with Firefox variants. However, I have a different story to tell. I maintain some basic statistics of the visitors to my blog, including their browser information and out of 200 odd visits, here is the information that I've collated:

I agree that the sample of people visiting my blog is not exactly representative of the entire population of web surfers but the point that I'm trying to make here is that probably the scene is changing faster than MS can imagine. The message for Microsoft ?

"Beware! Open source giant on the loose!!"

Till next time.. cheers !

Friday, January 18, 2008

Backtrack to MBA entrance days...

Since there's nothing interesting happening in my life these days (at least nothing that I would want to bore my blog readers with), I decided to take a walk down the memory lane and share my journey through the tumultuous days of MBA entrance examinations which culminated in the very delightful SPJIMR, Mumbai admission.

2006 November - It was my second attempt at MBA entrances. My first attempt in 2005 (while I was in my final year of engineering) didn't go too well (percentiles remain undisclosed!). The second attempt was placed right in the middle of my job tenure at Oracle, Bangalore. Thankfully for me, the work-life balance that so many corporates CLAIM, was a reality at Oracle. I had sufficient amount of time on my hands to prepare for the entrance exams. But as luck would have it - I made the most unproductive use of that time that was possible. The few Sunday Mock CATs which I attended (purely out of the guilt feeling of paying 5K odd bucks to Career Launcher and not attending a lot of the mocks) were the saving grace.

The exams happened - some good, some bad, some ugly and some not worth qualifying with any adjective invented yet by mankind! For the sake of maintaining my reputation amongst those who know me, I shall restrict to discussing the "good" ones here. XAT was one of the good ones which ultimately fetched me an SPJIMR call.

Didn't come as a MAJOR surprise because I had the call in 2005 also with a lesser score in CAT. But nevertheless - it was wonderful to see my name on the website after hours of refreshing and

Then came the most difficult part - "converting" the call (for the non-MBA aspirants : It means securing a final seat in the institute after clearing several rounds of interviews!). And while the logical mind would start expecting a whole lot of things here about how I went about preparing day and night for the interviews and stuck to that call for my dear life, I prefer to spring a few surprises :D

I only remember glancing at the newspapers every now and then and following some news channels once I was back from office (the news channels would still not receive higher preference than my favorite prime time channels - MTV, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and HBO). Of course, the experience of attending an SPJIMR interview last year had me well prepared for what was coming my way :)

The fist round of interview took place in Bangalore - "smooth" is how I would describe it. No high points and no low points. Came to know the results a few days later when I was sitting in my office refreshing the website :P - I had cleared the first round. The second round held in Mumbai was also a breeze. The final results this time created a much bigger flutter than earlier - I was happy (and running right through my office corridors to call up home!), my manager at office wasn't too happy (I wasn't too happy about leaving Oracle either... one of the best places to work!) and mom and dad were obviously elated!

Amidst all this, I must mention that there was no bigger support than my friends and my brother who'd have to bear with my endless discussions about interviews, result dates, B-Schools etc. etc. etc. I virtually spoke the "MBA" language for those few months right through my coffee and lunch breaks at office (My good friends GA, BKD and PS will vouch for that!). If someone asks me today about why I converted my call this year and not last year - the answer would not be "good score", "work-ex" or "luck" - the answer is that it is these people who made all the difference :) So a BIG "thank you" to all of you.. And a specially BIG thank you to my special friend code-named "Sona Chhele" who was probably the saddest of the lot when I broke the news about leaving for Mumbai.

Till next time... Cheers !

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Weekend Retreats @ Mumbai

(Me @ Infinity Mall, Andheri(W), Mumbai)

After several comments and suggestions (please refer the comments for my previous posts for some pretty harsh ones :P) about how I should stop blogging about technology, Madhuri, Aishwarya and Wodehouse and get back to blogging about ME, drove me to write this one.

Amidst the hectic MBA life out here at SPJIMR, the only saviors that we have are a few hangouts which are our weekend retreats(just to re-iterate : weekend at SPJIMR is a Thursday and not Sunday like in most other parts of the world). Here are some of the top ones:

1. Vrindavan - Lifeline for the mess-oppressed souls at campus, this little joint, right outside the campus gate is undoubtedly a favorite. Located in Andheri(W). Specialty - Malai Kulfi with rabdi and falooda!

2. Krishna Udupi - Pretty much the same as above. Has the distinct advantage of being close to my hostel and hence gets my vote on occasions when I'm tired/lazy/sleepy (Those of know me would have inferred by now that I'm a pretty good contributor to the profits of this Krishna Udupi setup!!). Located in Andheri(W). Specialty - Palak paneer

3. Infinity Mall - The "Forum" (ref : Forum Mall, Bangalore) of Andheri(W). Always abuzz, always festive, good food, close to campus. And yeah - true to a mall-hopper attitude, have never bought so much as a pencil from this place. We don't go to these malls to BUY, do we ??

4. Juhu Beach - Have been here only twice. It's dirty and crowded, but when with friends, who cares ?? The waves (which in my opinion look starkingly similar to a bunch of little chihuahuas yapping towards you) make one forget all about the assignments, quizzes and exams back there at college!

Till next time.. stay good, keep smiling, post a comment and keep coming back to read more!


Monday, January 7, 2008

A Likeable Desktop..

After several weeks of exploration and experimentation with wallpapers, Windows Vista Aero themes and icons - I finally seem to have stumbled upon this desktop setting that looks pretty cool :) For those of you who like the above theme and would want to replicate something on similar lines, here are the details:

1. Wallpaper - Download Here (Expand in full view in picasa and copy)
2. Mac style icon bar - Rocket Dock ( Free Download
3. Windows Vista Aero colour scheme - Read Colour
4. Icons - Disable "autoarrange" and drag icons to the center. Arrange as per your choice though I personally prefer the horizontal look!

Till next time..


Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year Resolutions..

It's that time of the year when we are all making resolutions and when I say "all", I have a jolly good mind to include myself ! So here goes my very own set of new year resolutions (those who have been waiting for this can whistle, hoot and clap.. the curtains are going up):
  1. I shall LISTEN to the professors in class. Exceptions - The boring ones, classes that stretch beyond an hour, classes held after I've had a good meal, classes which deal with Finance or finance related topics, classes which are held when I don't want them to be held !
  2. I shall stay well organized (with the help of a planner diary which I soon propose to buy)
  3. I shall be nice to everyone. Exceptions - Two old ladies who don't miss an opportunity to make my life miserable (ping me in private for details), those who are not nice to me, those whom I don't WANT to be nice to !
  4. I shall make my bed every morning before leaving for class. Exceptions - days when I get up after 8:00 am for the 8:30 am class.
Those who know me will vouch for the fact that the exceptions are damn reasonable and nothing to be scoffed at.

Shall try and keep you all updated on how well I'm keeping all my resolutions...
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