Network Bridge

This is as a personal note to myself and to all you amateur gamers 🙂

Yesterday, I was at my sasural for some pani puuri and general chit chat. My wife’s cousin had also come-over. They have one desktop and one laptop over there, I had also taken my laptop over there. Enough for a mini-lan party :). So we were three gamers, with three machines and many multi-player games to play. The problem – how do we connect to each other and create a network? There are no switches available.

Fortunately, Ameya (that’s my saala) had a cross-cable through which we connected my laptop and his desktop. Then we took the other laptop and created an ad-hoc wireless connection on it, and connected that laptop to my laptop. So, my laptop was connected to both the machines on two different network interfaces viz., one lan card and the other wireless card. After this, I selected both the connections (in Network Connections) and clicked on Bridge connections. Thus a network bridge between the two connections was created allowing network traffic to pass between the two networks through my laptop. Voila!! The other laptop could now ping the desktop and vice-versa.

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Convergence

I think I have already written a blog post by this title, this could be a continuation of the same. When I was working with TechMahindra as a part of their leadership cadre, some of us were asked to meet up with British Telecom’s (BT) Vice President, Warren Buckley. He launched into how telecom, ISPs, content providers, etc are soon converging into one maelstrom of user enabled content. That was the first time I heard of the term Web 2.0. Back then one of BT’s top concerns was that Google will eat up the entire market. That was 3 years ago. This is now.

I am currently working with I2itelesource Pvt Ltd as a Delivery Manager. The organization is into deploying cutting edge solutions for telecom service providers and mobile network operators. They do a lot of business in the Asian subcontinent, and a lot of business comes from Middle East. The kind of demands and promises our sales team does is stupendous, stupefying and sometimes plainly stupid.

Coming back to convergence, back then it was very difficult to plan and put together a service platform for content providers. Now, they can be built by taking ready-made blocks and clubbing them together. Service Oriented Architecture and Web Services in full flow. Makes my mouth water J. Imagine streaming content in real time off a media/streaming server, encoding it so that the user can watch it only once, creating the charge records and charging the customer’s account and delivering the content to an IP-based device (TV/Computer/Projector, et al) for a seamless on-demand service. Can this be done? Yes.

There would be a time when telecom, internet, television and other new age media would converge in one seamless integration. Imaging checking your email on your TV while you are watching a cricket match. This can be done. Playing hookey at work seems so much easier, yes?

No more IE readers

Following up from my last post. I have decided to take my hate for IE to the next level. Readers will not be able to read my blog in IE. I have used the browser specific HTML to identify the browser, and dish out customized content to the reader. If you are a Firefox user, you should see the blog as it is without any changes. IE users, beware, you will see that nice grey banner across this content asking you to use Firefox :).

I checked the site statistics, turns out a hefty 35% of my readers use Internet Explorer. Call it creating a niche, or call it active evangelism.

Stay Safe. Get image Firefox.

I deleted iexplore.exe

Funny, I had not talked about Google Chrome uptil now. I still won’t rave about it, since I prefer Firefox over Chrome. Tried it, uninstalled it. End of story. But with the recent launch of this browser, people are now forced to relook at their choice of browser. I hope this helps informed users take a decision and switch to Opera or Firefox, which are way better browsers than the rest available in the market. The last one of which is the market leader, Internet Explorer. Phycuk!! Just talking about it makes me want to spit, and clean my tongue. I hate it. Not because it is a Microsoft product, but because it actually is a pretty crappy browser. The fact that you cannot take it out of your Windows Operating System just goes to show how smart the MS IE Product management team is, full marks to them!!

So, I took it upon myself to remove this insult to a browser once and for all from my WinXP machine. I went to Add/Remove programs, and removed it. The icon on my desktop went away … yaay!! Then when I went to Start -> Run and typed iexplore.exe, back again it rears its ugly head. Grrr!! You can’t remove it, that’s that. So finally I did what I should have done when I installed WinXp, delete the folder Internet Explorer in my Program Files. And life was good.

I forgot one teensy weensy thing, I work in a web retailing firm, which has a propensity of churning out portals. These portals need to be tested. Since my marketing guys feel that a major portion of their customer base would be on IE, they expect me to make the portal IE-Compatible (read compatible javascripts, reduced effects, workaround on ajax), nothing that we can’t do, of course not. Just I ask my readers, why?

Why bother to make things compatible with IE? Why not force those ignoramuses to switch to a better browser. You are not only doing yourself a favour but improving the world. Impacting your customers positively. Being the change not just trying to make it. Yes, “customer-centric” people would say that you need to sell what your customer wants, I say, tell that to an artist and see his reaction. So if you agree with me, go delete your iexplore.exe and make the world a better place.

apt-get so many files!

Yes. I am going to bitch about Linux for a change. Throw your brickbats at me, I dont mind, but for this one time, I will rant. The problem with having an open OS is that there are a lot of updates … a LOT!! Also considering the fact that I have taken my time to view all the UIs viz., KDE3, KDE4, Gnome, Ice et al, that means a lot of updates as well.

Everytime I do an apt-get-update and an apt-get-upgrade, half a GB of data is downloaded, the system is re-initialized, and there are more updates to download. Whoa! Thats a lot of packages.

What is one to do? I just finished downloading 600 megs, I start Gnome … no big change 🙂

Yes, now I will tout the stability of linux 😉

Facebook or Orkut?

social

I was mulling over Alexa this weekend, when I decided to compare the web traffics of the three networking sites; facebook, myspace and orkut. The annual traffic graph revealed an interesting picture I must say. The myspace traffic is more or less constant with its brief set of fluctuations, Fox Interactive Media should be a happy puppy. Their market share has remained solid,whew!!

But look at orkut and facebook, facebook (in red) has been steadily growing from milestone to milestone, and recently was crowned as the top social network site on the blue nothing (that’s the internet). The sudden spurt you see in all the curves, I think its the announcement of Facebook, when they announced their predator safegaurds. Remember that time in May, when a youth in India was kidnapped by some strangers through orkut? Well, could that explain the sudden dip in orkut traffic?

Strangely, during that time, orkut went the facebook way by having a few orkut apps, could this culture shift have thrown more traffic towards facebook?

I know a lot of people have not put too much thought into social communities, et al, but community management and monetization of the same is the only revenue models for both orkut and facebook. I wonder whether the orkut product manager is breaking a sweat on this? Incidentally, the orkut development and engineering team has shifted entirely to Brazil, where it is the no. 1 social networking site.

Addendum

I don’t know how he came across this blog, but Gaurav Dua gave a very logical explanation for the sudden dip in the traffic. If you see the Orkut url, then for Indian users it is nowadays orkut.co.in, same for Brazil, hence the traffic figures have dropped to 33% (approx.). I feel like such a dunderhead 🙂