Brigade Road on the last day of the year

Hmm…it is that day of the year and Ramkrishna along with Parag and myself decided to take a stroll down Brigade Road. That was a packed crowd. Brigade Road incidentally also had a bomb scare at that particular moment in time. So there was a large posse of all geared police personnel (with a press photographer merrily clicking away from all angles) right in front of Monarch Hotel – ready to go into action. Pity I did not have the camera for this Kodak Moment.

The other stuff that mandated a camera was the Blue Anti Hangover Pill being distributed (free or for retail I don’t know) all over Church Street by some lads and lassess. Considering that some serious drinking is going to go on tonight, this would be a nice marketing move.

del.icio.us/sankarshan

Keeping a track of my bookmarks across my scattered workstations is slowling becoming a nightmare, more so since I tend to check out a number of browsers and their versions. So when some good friends began to use a web based bookmark stuff, I decided that it was time to create this. Now, to be honest, I really don’t know how much this is going to be helping me categorise stuff but I guess it will help me to keep a watch on stuff.

It is the 31st and I am in office catching up on a good bit of reading – my wife is at Kolkata at her parents. So things are a bit skewed. Just the time to catch up with a bit of Python foo someone suggested and that is what I plan to do.

First thing to do when office opens up for business: get my name corrected here (for those who fail to spot it – Mukhopadhyay is misspelt)

And of course if you manage to find a nice image for my blog, please mail the same across to sankarshan dot mukhopadhyay at gmail dot com

This gets annoying

Sometime back I had posted about my tryst with digital editions of books at Amazon. Since I had sunk in around 25USD into that deal, the only hope ever was to get the hardcover version of the book and shell out the difference (a hefty 13USD ๐Ÿ™ ) . To this end I have been keeping up a constant line of mails with the Customer Service and am really annoyed. Ok, before we begin – that eBook did not open on a licensed Windows machine having a licensed Adobe Reader. So the hard copy was the only way out.

The responses from the Company:

I’m sorry, but we do not yet offer e-books for the Linux operating system.
We currently sell e-books only in Microsoft Reader format (for Windows
desktop, laptop, or Pocket PC) and Adobe Reader format (for Windows or
Macintosh).

If you are wondering what the book was – it was about the CUPS Printing System ๐Ÿ™‚

Another…

Thank you for writing to Amazon.com with your comments about your
recent e-book purchase.
I will be sure to pass your message on to the appropriate department
in our company for consideration. Customer feedback like yours is
very important in helping us continue to improve the selection and
service we provide.

The last I heard from them was on the 14th of Dec 2005. And then there was nothing about whether I could exchange the e-book with a hardcover by paying the difference. And it is time they polished the self help Customer Service page – that one is decidedly lacking in options and response quality.

GNOME Marketing – Love, relationships and beyond all that…

Just to put a placeholder to this blog post, read these two articles before you decide to read further along. Before you begin the classic case of cribbing “Engineers and Marketing men: here we go again”, read them one more time.

For those who have been following the GNOME Marketing list, either as a part of it or as observers who read the posts on Planet GNOME it would appear that nothing is right in the GNOME world. Nothing could be more contrary. I would not go so far as to say that things are spick and span – Linus’s comments have made enough mail archives grow in size to be that. The fundamental issue I would think is that GNOME is not organised. Hey – it sure is a smashing desktop environment and has cool stuff which are led by an amazing team (which seems to blog and talk on IRC while coding ๐Ÿ™‚ ) But it is a mish mash of happenings. There still is an amazing lack of global awareness and need for decision making on a global scale. Given that GNOME is volunteer driven and any additional work is just that – work, it was forecast long back that such a situation was imminent.

So how does one progress from here ?

[1] Have a clear vision of what GNOME relationships (with developers, with would-be contributors, with governments and with any stakeholder who is interested in GNOME) would look like. To paraphrase Jack Welch – if you wake me up in the middle of the night after 3 days of total night-outers I will be able to state very clearly what as GNOME community we plan to do
[2] Provide very concrete directions to would-be contributors (perhaps put up a Coders Required bulletin board for GNOME)
[3] Go out and collect customer data. Take note I did not mention consumer data. GNOME is consumed by users, but the more we reach out and collect data the better placed will we be in terms of sample sizing and fixing [1]. It is a high touch activity and given the popularity of GNOME in places where data links are poor, it might turn out to be counter productive to use the web
[4] Use relationships with distributions (Fedora, Ubuntu and the whole host of others) who aggresively push GNOME into niches that are rarely thought about

Lovers quarrels are a renewal of love – GNOME Love needs some love and so does GNOME Marketing but what GNOME needs is Relationships. Touching base with the largest number of keyboards will help us go along. GNOME has been around for far too long to still wear the aura of an immature environment.

I wish I were back at college

The students never had it so good. With all the student programs and code challenges that are being put in place it would simply be a layup to be a student. Here’s a partial list:

1. Lord of The Code – the original and one of its kind in the Open Source world

2. Solaris 10 University Challenge – did not get much talked about

3. Code for Bill – wonder why they did not talk about it much ? Was it because the Student Project Program was also sort of cool ?

Frankly, it would be much better having a wiki page to keep a track of all this rather than keeping blog links updated. This might be useful…

House-hunting begins

I am looking for a semi-furnished/furnished 1/2 BHK flat (preferably in an apartment block) in and around the following areas: Indiranagar, Cambridge Layout, Jaynagar etc. Anyone who can help me in my househunting activities feel free to write in to sankarshan dot mukhopadhyay at gmail dot com or call up at 09341092017 (between 0730 and 2100 hours).