Archive for August, 2007

Do as I say, not as I do

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

I thought I liked John Edwards until I just read this story on CNN. Here he is, talking about Americans being 4% of the population and generating 25% of the world’s greenhouse gases; advocating we not drive SUVs and so on. Turns out the dude lives in a 28,000 sq ft home! Talk about over consumption by any stretch of the imagination for a family of 5 people. When someone asked him about this – his defense is basically that he earned it – what a bloody hypocrite!

That does it for me – definitely not someone I’m wasting my time listening to …

Finally, CSS Demystified

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

If you’re a programmer type like me and have tried your hand at CSS, it’s very likely you’ve struggled like I have to understand how CSS really works. As I programmer, I’m used to writing code while visualizing in my head what the outcome of running the code is going to be (ignoring all those nasty bugs of course :-) ). However, with CSS, I was never able to get the feeling that I knew exactly what was going to happen when a page rendered. All the books I read until recently did not really help me – it seemed like the authors of the books were also as confused as I was as to how things exactly worked. The tone of the books was – “if you are looking for X, here is the CSS that does it”; well if you are not looking for X, tough luck :-(

All in all, CSS was a bit of a dark art until I recently read CSS : The Missing Manual.

This is an outstanding CSS book! It really explains how things really work with CSS. After reading the book, I’ve actually been able to write CSS and have the page turn out as I visualized in my head. The book is well worth the money just for the chapter on page layouts – very well explained. Now if only I could pick some decent colors and fonts to go with all those cool layouts …

Back from the land of opportunity

Monday, August 20th, 2007

Been missing from action the past couple of months due to increased responsibilities at work and my dysfunctional organization skills :-)

Hopefully I’ve gotten my act together now and can spend more time on my blog …

I’m just back from spending over a month in Bangalore, India working with my colleagues based there. It has been a very long time since I spent this much time in India and it was a wonderful opportunity for me to really observe and understand what is going on with the Indian economy. I will try to capture some of my key observations in posts over the next few weeks.

Overall, I must say that I am totally amazed at the level of activity and energy I saw – India is definitely a happenin’ place. Very different from the India I left over 16 years ago.

Indians in their twenties who have either recently graduated or are about to graduate from college are the most confident bunch of people I have seen in a long time. They really feel like the world is theirs for the taking and are not shy of putting in the effort to take it. What is very interesting to observe is that some of the older folks in the work force – those that have been working for over a decade in the Indian industry and are doing extremely well economically are also the least risk taking. On the other hand,  folks fresh out of college are jumping straight into launching their own ventures!!

All is not quite so rosy – the infrastructure in India is pretty poor. The roads in all major cities are totally clogged, there are issues with the water supply and frequent power cuts. Pretty much anyone who can afford it spends the money to insulate themselves from these problems. It may take time and energy to navigate the crowded streets, but one’s personal chauffeur takes on the stress while they kickback and chill in their air conditioned car. Clean water may be a un-affordable luxury for common folks but for those who can pay, it can be delivered home in sterile bottles.  Sultry days and nights without power are only for those who cannot afford a generator or an UPS system to ride out the power cuts. Of course, lot of these workarounds add more problems like pollution, smog and traffic – but not many people are thinking about these long term consequences – they’re just enjoying their newfound wealth and status …