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Showing posts from 2005

Trashing Linux Bashers - 01

Daniel Lyons is a journalist writing for Forbes who has been busy putting a negative spin on Linux and OSS. Since such people to my mind are worse than farm pests, I decided to post a reaction to some of Daniel Lyons' comments.

This one is in reaction to:
http://www.forbes.com/2003/08/05/cz_dl_0805ibmlinux_print.html


Daniel, you are ignorant and your work is miserable. You don't know jack about what makes Open Source software tick, and are a pathetic writer on technology topics - which makes me feel sorry for Forbes Magazine.

I think I've had enough of your trash, and want to document here what your lies actually amount to...
But IBM has a broader agenda--undermining Bill Gates' company. Here lies the next big battle in tech, pitting two erstwhile allies against each other in a fight to rule the computer industry in the years ahead. As big corporate customers seek to lash together worldwide networks and imbue them with more online commerce, a new $21 billion market for Web-…

Business Plan for Indian Software Co.

Being an IT guy myself and having compatible cultural roots, I have often pondered upon setting up a "software sweat shop". A venture never materialized as I never seem to be able to get a grip on all the success variables. The formula, as it applies to my situation, is as below:

The main success factor is to have a handful of customers who have granted contracts - ideally small or big packages of recurring revenue. This gives a financial basis for starting the operation, a few reference customers who provide the basis for sales arguments and new customer acquisition.

The 2nd most significant factor is strong local management at the Indian operation. Some one technically competent, capable of understanding target customer mentality and loyal enough for hanging in at the job for the long-term is an ideal candidate.

The 3rd success factor is financial strength. India programmers for full-time hire cost Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 50,000 in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Pune depending on the ski…

The War No One Wants Any More

The daily news pouring in on fresh terror attacked - today in Jordan have begun to instantly suck me up into sadness, where as I had a more matter-of-fact attitude toward it not too long ago. So much life lost. In retrospect I wonder what leaders in seat in the the U.S government have learnt at all from wars of the past. It's late, but if we don't think it through this time, we may repeat these mistakes again, and again, and again as the U.S has proved it is capable of.

"Dealing" with terrorist elements has meant declaring war on them for the U.S. Other solutions are possible, such as dialogue and political problem solving - but that's a whole another subject.

Not surprisingly continental Europeans', in particular the Germans' postion has been that of a sage where they demonstrate understandings of the ill-effects of war, which history has shown is actually the only long-term effect. This can be owed to WW-II, which in no small way has been decisive teachin…
Embedding Perl with HTML::EP

At various times in my short programming carreer, I have programmed in ASP, JSP, PHP and Perl. The first 3 of those languages had nice features which would allow dropping language code into HTML documents. So if I needed some small pieces of dynamic information such as a date or a name to go into an otherwise largely static HTML document I could encapsulate the code in certain tags, submit it to the webserver and have it return the static + dynamic information. There was minimal performance effect and as a programmer I had freedom to choose where to place the code for extracting the dynamic output.

Until now however, I never did this in Perl/CGI. Whenever I needed dynamic information in Perl I would have to write a script for it. This was a huge waste for such HTML output-pages which were for the most part static. I had to write a script and print all of the static content in one or more print statements.

Apparently Perl language add-ons/modules have been ava…
Black Hawk Down - those Sympathetic US Army Soldiers

I got to make my first impressions about the 1992-93 war in Somalia through Black Hawk Down last night; and came out saying - What a typical Hollywood war piece!

Since Vietnam and probably even WW-2 Hollywood has been doing the biggest recruitment campaigns for the US military by protraying the men in combat as pure heros fighting pure evil in places like Vietnam, Iraq, Somalia and Serbia. Most of those men might well be heros, but I can't help asking what happened at Abu Ghraib!

After finishing up with the movie I went into the Internet out of curiosity to "check on the facts". Indeed the top 3-5 results (on Yahoo!) were accounts that described this particular battle in not such pleasant words. It was reported that about a 1000 people were killed by US weaponary, a significant number being civilians.

I also found noteworthy that General's plan was to penetrate deep into enemy territory in Mogadishu and take top politi…
Euro-English

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German,
which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-
year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like
fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage t…
No to Software Patents

We bought a 300MHz PC for $45 - 80GB HD for $100, paid nothing for software and setup a mail-server for 15 of our users in 4 hours (including webmail, Anti-spam, Anti-virus and IMAP). And my stomach cringes each time my staffers sit waste during morning hours rebooting their XP laptops multiple times because it froze when connecting with the file-server.Big Software Corporations didn't Deliver InnovationAs most of us who have something to do with software over the years have witnessed, the industry has suffered in the trade-off between profit maximization by big companies (some monopolistic) and innovation.

In 10 years the non-profit Linux, GNU, *BSD and other Open Source groups have produced better and faster innovation than what establishment-type companies have in some 20 (most started in period of 1975 to 1985).

I sympathise with Gordon Moore's recent statement on his disappointment with software companies which have lagged miserably in delivering inno…

Paypal's Ridiculous Business Practices

In Q3-2005 we discovered the power of online sales and started to market Wapsol's products extensively online. Just as importantly we decided to get into the trading business for WLAN accessories (antennae, cable, connectors etc) which entails buying from manufacturers and selling on online-retail. Needless to say ebay's 26 worldwide markets were lucrative points of sales.

We used Paypal for collecting most of payments from customers outside Germany. The numbers ticked up fast and we were hecticly building up infrastructure for shipping, online-support, product-portfolio and payment-systems.

One morning as I woke up in Germany I found that Paypal decided to lock up our account without any specific reason. There were no disputes or complaints from buyers or anything that suggested provocation. They just locked it. In it a few thousands of dollars of cash-flow and the account was listed as a favored payment option for some 100 pending auctions - now customers couldn't pay for …
Perl Web-Apps Without Sessions

I don't program much, but when I do it is usually Perl for one of Wapsol's Linux/*BSD based networking products. For user interaction we use a Web-GUI based on the multi-purpose web-based systems administration package Webmin (www.webmin.com), which runs off a light weight webserver called miniserv. miniserv supports Perl/CGI, but not server-side-sessions, which makes it impossible to write apps like configuration wizards.

Luckily Perl's global availability of variables submitted through POST/GET comes to rescue when variables submitted have to be processed in several scripts/libraries. Without passing around the POST/GET variables in function calls it is possible to avail them through the %in hash which is available throughout the request/response, but is re-written upon the next call of the script.

This doesn't totally solve the problem, but helps to process several scripts with the submitted variables (in a single submission).
German Mid-term Elections 2005

Following the loss in state elections in Nord-Rhein Westphalia in April-2005, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's SPD party decided to call a confidence vote in the German parliament, paving way for a general election in September the same year. As I write this log, elections are less than 30 days away and the summer in Germany has been anything but usual, a usually relaxed month with most people in vacation, converted to a dull month of rains and bad weather and remarkable frenzy of political activity.

The SPD (Socialists) and CDU/CSU (Conservatives) have crossed swords. SPD's mandate is squarely based on the Agenda 2010, whereby the purpose of the reforms is to shape up Germany into facing the challenges posed by the extraordinary phenomena facing every economy on this planet, called Globalization.

Indeed Germany is a little unprepared for this phenomena - the prime weakness being the cost of labor and production in the country. People enjoy a hi…