10 Favourite books

Guy Kawasaki has listed his top 10 books ... I have not heard about a single one of them, so I guess I need to find out more.

Now I have given it long thought as to my list of favourite books... and here it is (in the order of how i remembered them) !

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence
You should have guessed it by now :-). Since I am a bike freak, this book had to be on the list ! I think that it is the only book which mixes Bikes and Philosophy. The first time you read it , it starts of ok, and the you get lost. The second time , it starts to penetrate your thoughts. The third time, you think you have got it !

Blink, Tipping Point
Both books combined together. They provide an insight into intution and fads. A very enlightening read, and if you are into marketting, very thought provoking books.

The Google Story
Guess where I read this book ???
It was in Microsoft. :-)
Yeah, a lot of negative things are said about Microsoft, and I am also not averse to pointing out the ills. But there can be no doubt that the library in Microsoft is the best one around. The book covers the entire history of Google and the people behind it. How they started with the thought of downloading the internet in 1 week, and how they are still at it.

The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
The book is a precursor to the Lord of the Rings. I personally like it better than LOTR as it is shorter and easier to read. LOTR is grand in scale, but it still does not have battles with dragons.

7 Habits of Highly Successful people
I don't read self improvement books much - but this book is really good. The 7 habits really help.

Design Patterns
A book on the common patterns used in programming. Its surprising how many coders in India have not even touched this book. One of the biggest drawbacks of people in india is that they don't do something unless they are told to do it, and I think that's why we have so many services companies and so few product companies.

Hitch Hikers Guide to the galaxy
One of the most hillarious sci-fi books ever written. Now, if you have not read it, just drop by at your neighborhood book-store and pick it up.

Ramayana - by Ashok Bankar
Ramayana , along with the Mahabharatha, are the oldest epics in the world. Over the ages people have passed it on to the next generation by word of mouth, then some wrote it down in the ancient languages. Now, Ashok Bankar brings it to life in a new treatment of the epic. Beautifully scripted it makes the story come alive.

Holy Cow : An Indian Adventure !
A book by a journalist who was in India for a few years, it details the life and activities of India. An amazing read to know what a foreigner thinks of India.

My Family and other Animals
By Gerrald Durrel, the book is about his life and his love for animals. Humourous, easy read and the life with animals - it was a hit with me when I was a kid, and still love it.

If you know of other people's top 10 books, please leave a comment and I will update this post !

Google Talk now with Avtars !

Google Talk has just been updated. It now shows avtars !!! You can read more on it in what's new.

Bootcamp . Apple + Windows on the same machine!

One look at Apple machines during my college days and I was all ga-ga over them. However, the cost of those machines was prohibitive (still is). In the world of custom made low end pcs running windows/dos the Apple machines were like a Merc to a m800 owner. Also - it did not run Diablo or other common games.

Over the years, apple has reinvented themselves. Moving first to give a total makeover to their OS with OSX ( which btw uses a bsd-unix core called darwin) and then crashing into the entertainment industry with iPod. Interest over the last few years in Apple has been growing exponentially ... even in India. Almost any hip youngster cannot be seen without an iPod. A lot of people even have bought the iBook. But still Microsoft Windows is the market leader.

Now, Apple brings out BootCamp - a way to have windows run on their latest computers. Ofcourse you will need to buy the WindowsXP copy separately - but many people who want an Apple machine and still be able to play windows games are getting hooked. From the website :

Boot Camp lets you install Windows XP without moving your Mac data, though you will need to bring your own copy to the table, as Apple Computer does not sell or support Microsoft Windows.(1) Boot Camp will burn a CD of all the required drivers for Windows so you don't have to scrounge around the Internet looking for them

But... the machines are still soooo expensive :(

PC Gaming or XBox ?

Microsoft has gone into the console gaming market with its XBox. It is putting its muscle behind it to take on Sony Playstation and other console makers. But how does the XBox compare to the other gaming media ? Comparing with Sony Playstation is well nigh impossible as game makers dont come out with both versions. However, making a game on XBox and Windows PC is more easy - and there are quite a lot of games which are available for both the XBox and the PC.

Gamespot has a comparison of a game called Oblivion on their site. Check out the screenshots - pretty good comparison.

Conclusion - a high end PC is better than the XBox.

Advice from me - stick to a PC . You will anyways have one in your home and you can keep upgrading it to make sure that you have the best graphics around. With an XBox - you will need to keep buying the newer versions of it all the time.

My plan - upgrade my current pIV 1.5 G to a PIV 3.0G, 2GB RAM, 19"LCD monitor, Nvidia 256MB Card and let the games RIP :-)

Be(in)g Good

Life takes its own course sometimes. When I joined Microsoft, I was wondering what I was getting into. Life there was not too exciting. And then a friend's friend contacted me to startup a company. At first I was really excited about it, and quit MS so that I could startup. However, maybe the startup spirit is lacking in me, and seeing my current circumstances, I took a very difficult call of not going ahead with it. That left me in a bit of a tangle, as I had already quit.

However, everything in life seems to be connected. The company I finally joined is Good Technologies, a California based company.

Good had started its office in Hyderabad just a few months back ( late 2005). The work here is amazing ( have a look at their website), and the work culture is one of the best that i have been exposed to. Good was also my client when I was in Ruksun. So, when the guys there got to know that I was looking for a job after MS, they extended an offer to me. The feeling of working together was mutual.

If I had not gotten into Microsoft, I would not have come to Hyderabad. If I had not come to Hyderabad, I am sure that I would not have joined Good. Strange is the circle of life.

The current office is nothing great to look at. Its actually very bad compared to the US standards. However the change to new location will be happening over the next few months ... and then it should be an office where people would compete to get into.

So guys, just be Good eh ? ;-)

Time is 123456

At 123 seconds after midnight, the time was 01:02:03 04/05/06 !

i.e. if you follow the American way of writing dates. Here in India it will come next month - so if you missed being awake the first time or did not know about it - you can try and make it on IST ( don't we always say IST is late ;-) )

Info flicked from Wired.