Good Technology brought over by Visto

Good Technology was one of the companies that I worked with during my last 10 years as a techie.

And it was the best time I have had working ... worked there twice.

The first time was when I was working in Ruksun. That time they were my clients.

The 2nd time was when I worked as a full-time employee of theirs. Good Technology was also the single biggest factor for my leaving Microsoft after just a few months. GTG rocks ! I never felt that I was working there. It was more about having fun and a passion working with the other people, working on new tech, working on beating RIM's hold on mobile messaging systems.

However, like most start-ups, things change. It was first bought by Motorola almost 2 years back ( and I was there during the transition) . Now, Motorola has sold it to Visto [press release]. And the most amazing thing that I feel all throughout the transitions is that Good retained its Identity. The power of the brand was so much that whichever company bought it, retained the Good logo.

The experiences in Good Technology will always remain with me. Some of the best people I worked with. Some of the coolest technology I worked with. Some of the coolest devices I got hooked onto. Being part of the entire group/company in a way its not possible in most places. And most of all, the fun I had doing what I was doing.

Anil Kapoor Watch

Got this as a fwd from a friend who got it from another friend ! I had also been wondering what Anil Kapoor was doing... but not to this detail !


I may or may not have told some of you over the weekend about the Kapoor-watch that Anil and me have been doing over the last couple of weeks. He has been a major source of comedy and cringe-worthiness in equal measure through his appearances on American TV and clueless interviews. Yesterday was the crescendo, obviously. Here is a choice collection for you to enjoy.

A few excerpts from various articles!
  • Steven Spielberg announced that Slumdog Millionaire had won Best Picture last night, did you happen to notice which hilarious Bollywood egotist was the first one to the stage? Of course it was serial podium rusher Anil Kapoor! Once Danny Boyle and producer Christian Colson arrived at the microphone, they had to motion for the film's cast members to follow them — but not Anil, because, somehow, incredibly, like a pompadoured bolt of lightning, faster than a poop-covered slumdog, he had already made it out of his seat and up the stairs. How did he do it? Did he bodysurf over the first ten rows? Had he just been hiding under the podium the entire night? - NY Mag
  • Millionaire's eight-Oscar haul has got Anil Kapoor (pictured with Danny Boyle) , the Bollywood star who plays the movie's oleaginous quizmaster, thinking about an alternative career. Egged on by two of the biggest names in the business, Sir David Frost and US talkshow giant Larry King, the 50-year old actor says he's considering taking up full-time TV presenting."I've been encouraged by Larry King and David Frost," he told the Independent. "Both said my television presenting skills were second-to-none. When such icons of the form give you a compliment like that you simply cannot ignore it. David said I could go on to be one of the great television hosts of our time so it is something I'm seriously looking into." He adds. "Perhaps I could front my own show here. I'll rule nothing out."
  • Anil adds that more than him, it was a proud moment for all Indians. "Today, I wasn't thinking about myself or from my point of view. It was like an Indian award and I was thinking of India winning รข€“ not me. It was an Indian moment. I could see Indian faces around me. I wasn't floating on air, India was!"
  • It's time to stop the petty bickering and small-minded behavior amongst us in the film industry. There are only a few films like Ben Hur and Gone With The Wind which can come on the same level as Slumdog. Slumdog is the triumph of the human spirit against all odds. Everyone, all over the world, loved the film. We all got a standing ovation from the entire audience at the Oscars. It was one of India's proudest moment of glory."
  • "I felt so proud when I came out and was greeted by my old friends Goldie Hawn and Will Smith who came to congratulate the Slumdog team and me. They both were like "apna bachcha jeet gaya". Rahman, Danny, we are all together. I was so thrilled!"
  • And what is it in your case?
    I feel it is the role. It's an integral part of the story. And it's a very performance oriented role. It has lots of layers. And critics from The Washington Post, NY Times, London Times and others have singled me out for a mention. I don't think people have ever seen an actor play a host. A lot of people asked Danny (Boyle) if I was the host of the show back home.
  • How has your family reacted to the success of slumdog?
    My family teases me about it. They keep telling me, 'Control, control.' They rag me and say, 'Stop giving all the these interviews now. Enough!' My wife says, 'You are coming out of everybody's ears. For heaven's sake, stop! Wherever you go, London, US, LA, you're just doing interviews.' I tell her, 'What can I do? Rahman is impossible to get. Toh ghoom phir ke main hi aa jaata hoon." Maybe I should also try to play hard-to-get now. But I like to be myself. And I have been told the foreign press appreciates that I am myself. When I am happy and excited, I show it. More than the success of Slumdog, they are thrilled with how I behave and how I speak.
  • Slumdog resurrected you literally...
    Maybe the exposure, and opportunities, are more now. Maybe a thousand more people know me. But, yes, it’s a nice feeling when people in the aircraft and airport come up and shake hands. After Barack Obama’s win, there’s a strong ‘loving underdog’ sentiment sweeping the world. And Slumdog is also about the win of the underdog.
  • Have you decided which Oscar you will go up to collect?
    At the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, we had to follow a protocol. The cast was asked to go onstage. I being the seniormost amongst the actors, held fort and spoke. This time, too, we will follow protocol. I don’t know the situation yet. Whatever role is given to me, I will take.
  • At the Screen Actors Guild Awards you touched Anthony Hopkins’s feet onstage and got introduced to Angelina Jolie through Irrfan Khan. How did they react?
    Sir Anthony, I later thought, must have got the scare of his life! He didn’t understand why I suddenly bent down to touch his feet. He must have thought I would pull his leg! I explained the ritual to him later and he smiled. Angelina was sweet.

And from earlier on this season,

  • “Kapore” strides out in a suit and light-colored tie like he’s got tickets to the gun show…and by that I mean that he’s doing the “I am victorious!”-arm-thing. He immediately growls something like, “Hey!” and proceeds to grope Regis via a bear hug which lifts Reeg off the ground. Let me type that again: Anil Kapoor has just bear-hugged Regis, whose feet are dangling in the air. Wait! It gets better! Kapoor is now spinning him around, as his co-host, Kelly Ripa, cackles gleefully and claps like a seal. Regis, who is shaken, then grabs Kelly, growls at her and spins HER around, and by doing so imitates Kapoor while reclaiming some of his threatened manhood. Or something. Kapoor is delighted at what he done started. Regis turns back to shake Kapoor’s hand and Kelly steps up to air-kiss him on both cheeks. They settle in to the most awkward-looking chairs/stools on daytime television.“OH BOY!”, Regis exclaims. Kelly points out that Regis is going to “suffer tomorrow, just so you know” for his foolish act of hugging and spinning-bravado.
  • Regis compliments AK about Slumdog, “you played it so beautifully”. Anil returns the favor by smarmily telling Reeg that Reeg reminds him of someone…ah, yes. Dean Martin. Regis is concomitantly flabbergasted and as giddy as Kelly, who immediately asks, “Aneeel, who told you to say that to him!” AK then says “Ve Indians never lie!” They cut to a clip from the movie. Anil claps for himself enthusiastically, but at least he doesn’t clap like a seal. Kelly tells AK that Reeg saw the movie before she did and later told her that it was the best movie he had EVER seen. Yowza. They discuss how he’s having the time of his life on awards shows and how he’s the toast of hollywood; when asked where he had dinner this weekend, AK exults, “Dustin Hoffman’s house!! What a host! WHAT! A! HOST!”
  • "Slumdog Millionaire" star Anil Kapoor exits his New York hotel and does his best to please every paparazzo with a picture. Followed by his own, personal videographer, Anil stopped for the New York photographers before climbing into a town car for a trip to his next meeting. Unfortunately, the Bollywood superstar climbed into the wrong vehicle and had to make an embarrassing exit! - http://www.thenewsroom.com/details/3627118

Oscar Fever ! 8 Oscars !

I am backstage. The presenter has an attack of nerves and is crying. A lady (indian) makes up her mind and moves to the stage, and says "Sorry for this , we have had a change in plans". The audience boos. The stage ? The 81st Oscars.

The dream breaks. I get up and look at the clock . 7am ! Just in time for the Oscars...

Wife was sleeping . Had to keep the volume really low. And lo and behold what a run for Slumdog Millionaire ! 10 Nominations. 8 Academy Awards ! Double Oscars for A.R. Rehman !

The list of awards:
  1. Best Movie : Slumdog Millionaire
  2. Best Director : Danny Boyle
  3. Best Music Song : AR Rehman for Jai Ho
  4. Best Music Score : A.R. Rehman.
  5. Best Editing : Chris Dickens
  6. Best Sound Mixing : Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty
  7. Best Cinematography : Anthony Dod Mantle
  8. Best Adapted Screenplay : Simon Beaufoy
Phew !

It's more amazing cause you know that the movie is based on Amchi Mumbai, with the crew and cast of people from India.

Now, all the above has been already talked about by everyone, and all websites are covering it - oscars.com, TOI, CNN, BBC - you name it , and they are rattling out the figures and the accomplishments. But, I have a few more thoughts...

The message of the film - reel and real.

The movie is about a small time guy, in love, dreaming always, and making it in the end. The 'hope' that keeps one going.

The movie is also about a small rag-tag crew, with a small budget, working with passion and love and dedication, working together as a team, making the unbelievable happen. I am sure none of the guys would have even thought at the start that they are going to one day be part of history.

I thought such things existed only in movies. But here I see a live example. Here is one of the things that I have read in books .. even like the Bhagwat Gita... not really believed in it - but it has happened. Phal ki chinta mat karo, karm karo. Do not wish for rewards, just do you job. I never did believe in that. Without an end goal, how am I to work with the passion and towards a goal ? I always thought i needed that . But many places people say that if you really put your heart into it, you will achieve your dreams.

And here I see that. And I am getting convinced, that one has to just work their best without thinking of the end gains. Difficult to change the programming in your mind for many years, but I think that the seed has been sown.

The 'its indian' syndrome.

No, the movie is not Indian. Its a British film with Indian actors and part of the crew. It was released in the US in August 2008. The Indians did not freaking even consider it. Its only when it started to gain international fame that we Indians started to look at it. Its only when it started to get rewards that it was released in India in end Jan 2009. And now that it is winning awards, the media in India touts it as an Indian film.

Dudes in India, the govt and others, I have a question for you. Why do you only pick up stuff related to India after it makes an international splash ? Why did distributors in India not pick up Slumdog Millionaire for shows here after it was released worldwide ? Why do we suddenly want to claim people of Indian origin as Indians after they have lost hope in the Indian system, moved to a foreign country and make some inventions ? Why do we suddenly find Yoga and Mehendi (Henna) the 'in thing' after the west starts to tout them ?

India. Wakey Wakey. I believe we are letting too many opportunities, inventions and innovations go waste because of the society we have created. We need to promote and nurture talent here. Then , when we start winning on the global scale , we can say we have truly arrived !

For the people with hopes and dreams (including me!). Think about the reel and real life stories for Slumdog Millionaire. Think AR Rehman. Be passionate and love what you are doing. Don't just look for quick results. You will succeed.

Jai Ho !

What Sena ?

Recently there has been an explosion of groups in India with either 'Sena' or 'Ram' or both in their name.

And I think they are a disgrace to the legend that was Rama.

Well, what do we know about Lord Rama ? The first thing that comes to mind, and the first thing that we are taught as kids is 'Dharma', which means the virtuous path. Another thing about Rama that comes to the forefront was how he followed the path of non-violence, unless in self-defense or the defense of the others. He also corssed the length of the country to wage war on Ravana, but even there , he had sent out a peace treaty first.

From wikipedia :
Rama is always shown with a bow (called Kodanda) on his shoulder. As per Valmiki Ramayana, Sita once enquired as to why her Lord, Rama always carried a bow with him. Sita was upset with Rama's promise to sages that he offer protection while they performed their sacrificial rituals and therefore petitioned Rama that 'We are in the forest and we should live life of sages so why wield this weapon?'. Sita then narrated a story about an ancient sage who became violent simply by having a weapon in his possession (in this case a sword). Rama smiled and promised to Sita that he would never attack anybody unless the other person provokes him to do so, a promise that he kept throughout his life. In fact he had always given two chances to his enemies Tataka, Maarich, Vali and even Ravana. He even offered a peace treaty to Ravana before starting the war. Angada took his peace message to Ravana which was declined.
Persecution of women was not his passtime.

The only place in Indian Mythology that I remember reading about anything against women is the vastraharan of Draupadi by the Kauravs. I think that todays political parties who indulge in such passtimes should be named Kaurav Sena.

One of the usual refrains that these people have is that they are the custodians of Indian Culture. What a hoot ! Which culture are they talking about ? A few hundred years back when India was under colonial rule and the culture was about sati, child sacrifices etc ? Or more years back when India was under the rule of the Emperors Shah Jahan and created the Wonder that is Taj. Or even a few years back under the rule of Akbar when the grand trunk road was made ? Or earlier depictions on the walls of temples of India with nude and semi-nude people ?

If they are so worried about culture and going back in time, about the negative influence of "western culture", then why do they use the inventions from the west ? Dear xyz sena, do not use the inventions from the west. Here are a few.
  • All the people in the video are wearing jeans/trousers and T-shirts. Go and wear traditional indian dresses. Why don't you do that ? Don't you know Jeans, Tshirts are from the west ?
  • Don't use electricity at home. Yup, thats also from the west. No louspeakers, TV, radio as they were invented in the west and use electricity.
  • Don't use a phone or a mobile phone. Oh boy , how can you do that ? thats also from the west.
  • Don't use cars, motorcycles etc. These are also from the west.
  • Don't use posters as they are printed with technology from the west.
  • Don't use any allopathic medicine as they are also invented in the west.
  • Don't use computers.
  • Oh ! dont use the internet also. I mean that's also from the west.
There's been a lot of outrage, but the government seems to be totally lacking in decision making, or maybe they are taking decisions, as this is the election season, to not do anything.

The high handedness from these self proclaimed culture custodians has resulted in some people taking up innovating ideas. I came across this totally novel concept of Pink Chaddis !
At some level, this all hurts me. This is not the India I grew up with. This is not the India that I read about in books when I was young. This India is a place where we are afraid, not only about cross-border terrorists, but also about terrorists who don the garb of the culture police.

TFD : If you really hate what you're doing

If you really hate what you're doing, stop telling yourself to hang in there. Your first duty is to yourself. These are hours of your life. Spend them happily.

Lunar Eclipse

Did you know yesterday evening was a lunar eclipse. However, its not a complete eclipse, but a penumbral one, where the softer shadow of earth falls on the moon as the moon is too far away.


Moon with partial eclipse

TFD : In the company of great people

Today, I came across one of the best quotes I have ever heard.
In the company of great people, the journey is its own reward.
This is such a profound quote that for a few minutes I was stuck speechless ! Hope you find it good too !

TFD : Dance Like

Quite a fav quote of mine. Filched from a friend's signature.
Dance like no one is watching
Love like you'll never be hurt
Sing like no one is listening
Live like it's heaven on earth
Work like you don't need the money

LOTRO Finally

Oops ! I missed something ! Dumb ! Dumb ! Dumb ! Apologies to LOTRO devs.

My earlier post about LOTRO was way off the mark ... and the amazing part is that I found the problem and managed to fix it myself ! 

/cheshire cat grin
/pats back
/looks suitably amazed at my own amazicity ! 

Well, here was the peroblemo hombre... 

The .NET did not install. 

Yup. You got that right. .NET 1.1 does not install on Vista directly. Viva le Microsoft ! 

erm. But then one wonders why 1.1 is not available properly on Vista, and also one wonders why developers are not using .NET3.5 - the latest and .. errr.. greatest (?) .NET framework out there. 

Anyhows, the following was the error I was getting while installing .NET ... 


Duh. Amazingly precise and helpful ( /sarcasm) message from the devs on what is happening. 

Fortunately, Google is finally working ok today, so gave a search for the error ... and viola, got a great link for it. 
Essentially the steps are as follows ... 
  1. Download .NET 1.1
  2. Download .NET 1.1 SP1 <-- this fixes the install problem, but unhelpfully not bundled as a stand alone installer. 
  3. Put both of them in a common directory (e.g. c:/dotnet)
  4. Start a command prompt as Administrator (rt click on the cmd prompt icon. no sudo here you dumbo!)
  5. Mumble a few voodoo words and run the following commands... esentially the commands make a single installer from the 2 you downloaded above. 
  • c:\dotnet>dotnetfx.exe /c:"msiexec.exe /a netfx.msi TARGETDIR=C:\DotNet
  • c:\dotnet>dotnetfxsp1.exe /Xp:C:\DotNet\netfxsp.msp
  • c:\dotnet>msiexec.exe /a c:\DotNet\netfx.msi /p c:\DotNet\netfxsp.msp

Huzzah ! Ze magik Werks ! 

Run LOTRO


WTF ! Maintainence ! 

Finally is not Finally enough... 

Wait for more demented updates ... 

LOTRO

LOTRO  = Lord of The Rings Online

I guess you already know about Lord Of The Rings . Well, LOTRO is a MMORPG based on the setting of the universe created by JRR Tolkien in that book. Its one of the online games which came out last year which created a flutter, but WoW still held its own with its expansion release. 

Anyways, I have been off WoW for sometime - 1.5 weeks to be precise. Currently playing NWN2 - sequel to one of my favourite games NWN ( NWN = NeverWinter Nights). What being off MMO games does is, it frees up your time a bit. At the back of your head is not the nagging thought that if you do not play you are losing money (its a monthly subscription!). However, MMOs are addictive because of a simple thing - you are playing with and against other humans. The social aspect is something which hits you like nothing else. Its like a transition from the days of snail mail to social networking sites like facebook and orkut. 

Right now I don't want to go back to WoW - been playing that game on and off for 3 years now. My main is a level 80 (level capped) and the only progression is via end game instances - which with my current work life - I just cant give the time (raids start at 6:30pm IST, and I am in office usually till 7:30pm -8:00pm)

So, I started looking for alternate MMORPG experiences during breaks from NWN ( I am still in ACT I there). Eve Online - already done some playing. Warhammer Online - its basically a PvP game and I just don't like PvP. That lead me to LOTRO. Well, this game hasn't done so well, but there are lots of fans of it - including someone who created a google map for it ! 

Like most MMOs nowdays, this also provides a 10day trial period, where you can try out the game for free. Huzzah ! 

So, I started the download yesterday night. 



WoW was a 1.2GB download (followed by another GB or so for each expansion and expands upto 10GB on the disk). EVE was around 900MB download. This game is showing me 10GB ! And people wonder why this game did not do so well ?? LOTRO devs, do yourself a favour . Figure out how to slim down the initial install so that people do not have to wait a long time for the game to download !