Happy New Year

2008 has been an eventful year to say the least.

It begun with an awesome party at my last place. We have since moved to a nice little place and have had a couple of fun parties there too 🙂

Work was fun. Some friends moved on from Evalueserve to seek a different career path and that forced me to think about my future plans. After a lot of dilly dallying I finally decided to take a plunge at MBA and since then life has been almost exclusively about work and apping. The next month and a half will be very crucial for that and I hope to get some good news.

On the tech front, I learnt a lot more about my DSLR. Did experiment a lot with it. Resulted in a couple of good snaps. Also, Twitter was a big addition to my online profile, and in the last year I updated it approximately twice daily on average. I also posted on this blog more than a hundred times.

Personal life was interesting. Bro came back from the States. Thax came back for a while, only to return. Debo moved to UK for his education. Four very close friends (three couples) have decided to get married before the end of next year. Here’s wishing them and their significant halves best of luck and loads of joy. And I wish one of the couple puts their wedding invite online on Slideshare – it is absolutely the most amazing invite, wedding or otherwise, I have seen in my life – Hats off to both of you!!

What 2009 holds in store for me, but I can’t wait to find out.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year 🙂


Cricket becomes interesting…

… once again!!

A long long time ago, test cricket became boring. Not because of the run rates or the draws. But because one team beat everyone else, every God damn time. And then as it happens with everything else, the winds of change started blowing.

McGrath, Warne, Langer and Gilchrist retired. About a year ago Ponting and Hayden decided they could not bat anymore. Symonds found things more important than playing. Hussey and Clarke were ok, but they couldn’t carry nine other. Lee lost his mojo. Krezja is a pathetic excuse of a spinner (tonnes in first four innings!!), even Symonds and Clarke bowl before him. Only Mitchell Johnson looks like he can do some damage. But then one bowler doesn’t a test match win.

India started the downturn, and Australia lost at WACA. Can you believe that?? They lost at the WACA. It was the Australian fortress, and they had not lost there in more than a decade. They cheered for a victory that was more a farce than anything else.

In fact, the entire Australian team lost is so much that they lost again at WACA. That is a first in history. Back to back losses at the WACA for Australia. Who woulda thought?? 

But here is the thing. The test world has become interesting again. India, SA, England and Australia are now equal contenders for Test supremacy, and possibly Sri Lanka.

India has a good batting line up, and a promising bowling department. Australia still have Ponting and Hayden, and along with Clarke, Symonds and Hussey can bat anyone out of a test. England with KP and Flintoff would have a realistic chance at the Ashes, but methinks they need another good bowler. SA seems to have buried the ghosts of the past, and seem to have a good batting line up, and perhaps the best bowling with Ntini, Steyn, and Morkel.

So here it is. To exciting times ahead.


Faith restored!

There are millions out there who want to believe in God, and profess their love for the religion. However, they have always looked for excuses to not profess their love and faith. The ghosts of 1999 will, hopefully, finally be buried.

Yesterday, the God removed that final hurdle. Now those disbelievers will have no more excuses. You will not need to  have any more excuses to profess that cricket is your religion.

And no it is not that vulgar and obscene version. It is the pure and serene version that gives us the high like nothing else. Test cricket will for ever be my first love.

There are good batsmen, the Pontings and the Haydens. There are great batsmen, the Inzys and the Dravids. There are sublime bastsmen, Lara. But there is only one God – Sachin. He is the hope of millions. He is the man who comes closest to Atlas in the modern world. And he has not shrugged for nineteen very long years now. He is the heart beat of the Sydney crowd, who I think love him more than anyone in the current Aussie dressing room. He is the darling of millions across the world. He may not anymore be the wicket to be taken. But as long as he is out there, India believes.

I believe, and always have.


The Thomson Innovation Experience

We have started using the Thomson Innovation recently at work, and I must confess that I was hooked the first time I started working on in. The data coverage is good. A lot of nifty features, like combining Derwent with normal queries.

However, now that I have used it for a while, I must say that I have a few suggestions on how it can be improved. Thomson folks, are you listening??

  1. Fire your helpdesk. I have sent them two emails with queries in two days and they have not responded yet. That sucks and is simply unacceptable. And these were very standard and basic queries. You need better people on it. Emulate the STN helpdesk. They rock!!
  2. Too many rouch edges. E.g., data download – bad output for bigger sets and standard fields missing (Inpadoc family??).
  3. Your system is tooooo damn slow!! It practically stops working at times. Use some help from professional people in designing your webpages to decrease page download. Reuse a lot of downloaded parts of the page.
  4. Your Derwent is broke at many places. Fix it ASAP. Partial manual codes. Are you kiding me?? Use Derwent data from Delphion.

From my experience, MicroPatent remains the most user friendly database for regular IP work. And Delphion most trustworthy, though it is not user friendly.

I believe that there would not be too many people using patent databases at any given point, and therefore producing a good, stable, fast and efficient database should not be a problem and should not require too much effort.

Just wish these people listened!! Sigh.

Update: Thomson just released the next version today (Dec 15). Don’t know if they took care of some of the issues I mentioned above though. Will test and post back.

PS: Please note that these is a personal opinion only and is not meant to criticize a product or company.


Changes at workplace!!

Suddenly out of nowhere, we got an email yesterday about a session where we had to represent our group in a short session where we would have to speak on a common topic. Though the entire exercise seemed a lot of fun, the kind of work schedule I am facing did not make it a welcome act.

Anyway, the topic is “Work place changes that will enhance my potential“. I thought about it last night, and here is what I could come up with.

  1. IT – Suspend stupid rules, remove bottlenecks, simplify workflow, etc, etc…
  2. Engage us – Come on, a debrief of the last month to the Managers and above will create transparency and build trust.
  3. Work from home – at least 2-4 days a month.
  4. Did I say IT – Remove that stupid wallpaper, and the forced screensaver – they are insulting!!

What do you think would help you?