Moving from windows to Mac

This year, I finally made the switch and now am using a macbook air after my really old windows laptop conked off.

Now the reason I went to the mac is not for software, but becasue I wanted an ultraportable high battery life machine. That was somehow more expensive on the windows side than the air.

But after using this machine for a few months, I have come to a realisation –
1. I prefer the MacOS way of doing things over all. Only things that windows does better in my opinion:
a. Windows management – snapping should be inbuilt
b. Cut is missing in the mac – a little off putting to having to so a move instead of cut. Don’t even get me started on editing docuaments in word!
c. Explorer is a better file manager – the sorting and display options in Mac make little sense to me.
d. The free software selection is better in windows, but the paid apps on Mac are generally better quality as per me.

But the speed, simplicity and reliability of executing a command are just better on the Mac.

So I am sticking to this, and leaving the idea of installing windows via bootcamp!


Avoiding sales

There is something to be said about the ecommerce wars going on in India at this moment.

On one side we have the American Juggernaut in the name of Amazon, and on the other an Indian titan, Flipkart. The fireworks have been spectacular so far, but every year they go nuclear on each other and launch the great Indian sale and Big billion day! The best time to switch off your internet and go outside!

Don’t get me wrong, I like to get discounted products, but the problem with sales like this is that they make you buy junk that you don’t need. Now I have the will power of a puppy and the self control of an imbecile.

Given those wonderful qualities, I will have to say bye bye to login into Amazon and Flipkart for a week now!

One final thing – Amazon seems to be winning this war!

Sahara on a unicycle – the miracles of global projects!

Allow me to explain, how running global projects can metaphorically leave one on a uni-cycle in the middle of the Sahara, saying hi to the Bedu people!

So, it all starts with a goal – lets say the intent is to reach Alaska in a year and to get there by flight. Now the real magic begins!

One fine day, 2 months after the project kicked off, a miracle happens in the corridors of power as deemed by the gods of corporate mountain, and now somehow, everyone is now going by boat to Alaska.

Then another month passes and a voice booms out of the sky. Now we are all headed to Nebraska. All hands on board with this – aye aye sir!

It takes another 2 months for the small voices to reach the tall ears and now everyone realizes, that a boat can’t go to Nebraska – it’s landlocked!

2 weeks of vacillation later, you are still on a boat….but now a canoe, that too pink and sailing to Greenland.

Another month passes, in trying to package your household and half of Walmart in the canoe. It doesn’t go smoothly, so the gods of the corporate mountains order to build our own canoe – as long as it is pink!

3 months later you have built the boat – its 13 stories high but built atop a pink canoe – on the trial run it sinks with your budgets in it!

1 more month of vacillation – the corporate mountain gods hire a consultant, she recommends a bicycle. Minus her fees, you afford a unicycle!

The seasons have changed, Greenland is too pleasant a goal now – we need to aim higher say the gods of corporate mountain. Now you are going to the Sahara!

Thus you find yourself, atop a unicycle, pedaling away through a sandstorm with a mountain of stuff on your back while the Bedu watch you from top their camels!

Hey! At-least the unicycle is pink.




My Corporate Superstition

Every morning at 9:00 AM as I am about to swipe my access card and enter the office; the guard looks at me and carries on with whatever it is that guards do! But occasionally he will look straight at me, pass a smile and say Good Morning!

This usually has the effect of throwing me off completely; I didn’t expect that, he just bowled a Googly! And every time he says good morning – my day goes unbelievably shitty – so now I have this superstition, and have evolved tactics to defeat it”:

1) Come in really early – like 8:00 AM. This throws the guard off balance. He didn’t expect anyone at this hour. Score!

2) Running Late? No worries I have that covered as well. Take the stairs and enter from the fire exit – usually no one is there.

3) Fail safe precaution: Have headphones on!

Touché mister Guard, Touché!

Civic Pride & Patriotism

I am a typical middle class fellow, who’s first sojourn outside India was on a company sponsored trip to Thailand; a place that I visited again – for its unrivaled beaches and people.

But that first time also made me wonder! Why is that none of our cities even resemble Bangkok in cleanliness. To the western eye the Bangkok traffic is chaos personified. But my Indian sensibilities of traffic struggled to hear horns being blown unnecessarily, find people cutting into wrong lanes and missed seeing a whole lot of road rage.

Moving on to Krabi, we met some of the most hospitable people, spic and span turquoise beaches and people with a genuine pride for their native land. A country that started why behind us, after us has become better off than us. This thought dissipated from my head over the next few weeks.

With lady luck supporting me – I recently got back from Europe, with a whole week in Germany, another in Switzerland and a couple of days in Salzburg. This thought burned again in my head.

I understand that the population of Germany is 80 odd million and ours is 1.24 Billion! but the system works for another reason – Civic pride.

For Example, in Switzerland, some tourist had thrown a cigarette packet over the railing on the descent from Trummelbach falls. It hung perilously on a few blades of grass over a 70-80 feet drop.

The lift operator came out, said a warm hello; threw a leg over the railing, hanging from it he scooped the litter and threw it in the garbage can before taking us down – all the while politely talking to us. That is civic pride!

On the other hand some colleagues of my wife in Germany who have been delegated from India, met her in the city bus. Now my wife had a ticket – its 2 Euros for 2 hours – unlimited journeys in the city. The amount might seem high to an Indian on an Indian salary – but when you are paid in Euros its on par!

Her colleague tells her that you are wasting your money – no one checks for tickets here so I never buy one! A system that works on honor is shamelessly exploited by us.

When ever there will be a surprise check (which are common) it will be India’s name that will be pulled down!

To that gentleman I say – India is lucky that you have spared her for a couple of years; Germany not so much.

Input – Output

Every morning I wake up to the call of an electronic rooster, promptly silenced by a swift flick of my finger!

What happens next to me and many others is this:
1) We wake up our phone and check the pending messages, emails, whatsapp messages, Facebook pokes etc.
2) Switch on the lights and get out of bed.

The interesting thing is the order. We live today in a world of constant inputs on our intellect. We respond as biological robots with immediate output to these.

My day sees me sitting in front of a display from 6:30 in the morning to Midnight in some form or the other. The only time I smell the roses is in the air freshener of my car! The only music I hear is interlaced with the horns of a million others around me on the road.

The lunch hour; you go down to the cafeteria with your colleagues and there are an inordinate amount of people on the phone. Even 20 minutes away from the chatter is difficult to find

The demands on our time and cognitive capabilities are ever increasing and there is no end in sight. I am embracing a simple solution for myself – NIPO – No Input no Output.

Every Sunday I will switch off all my devices, except my phone and switch data off. I will only be available to my wife and parents on the phone and try and stay away from all the electronic noise!

I will instead read a book, go out, meet friends explore the city and eat copious amount of good food!

My Kindle is Toast!

It was love at first sight for me, standing there in Pune, midst the August rains exactly a year ago. My girl friend then and Fiancee now, got me a 3rd Gen Amazon kindle for my birthday; complete with the cover light!

As I am lucky enough to live in India, it had to be ordered to a friends address in the states and have her relatives coming back to India haul it over for me (cheaper than international shipping by Amazon).

Me being a reader par normalcy;, I used it more regularly than even my phone till the day it departed our word to go to gadget heaven. I suspect the battery’s dead or the charging circuit is toast! But even in the mecca of all things electronic in India – Nehru Place; no one had seen a Kindle before, let alone attempted a repair.

So dejected, I have ordered another one from Chroma, who have been kind enough to get them to India at an affordable price of 7K INR. The order is through and the wait begins!

Waiting for gadgets is tough – but for my kindle in maddening.