Monday, December 01, 2008

AVG Antivirus 8 doesn't update

I recently upgraded my AVG 7.5 to 8. I have been using and recommending AVG for home users since a long time now primarily due to two reasons:
  • It is free.
  • All major antivirus solutions are trying to become all-in-ones with integrated firewall, anti-spyware etc etc. While this is beginner friendly, it also makes them pretty resource hungry. While Avg Pro is in the same race, I still see Avg free as much lighter on resources.
Having said that, I also feel that an average Avg user needs to be computer literate.

I didn't face any issues with AVG 7.5 other than the update server being down sometimes. However, I ran into an issue as soon as I installed AVG 8. After a few auto-updates that went fine, it suddenly stopped updating, giving an error message - "Invalid CTF file". At first the AVG update server was down, but this went for longer than I would expect the server to be down.

I googled around a bit and found this. The solution was straight-forward
  • Goto C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\avg8\update\download
  • Delete the 2 .ctf files there.
And it worked. No issues with AVG 8 after that. However, I am pretty surprised by that AVG has not understood the gravity of the situation and have failed to provide an automatic patch. I agree that this is a free product, but how do you expect your free users to convert to pro if your free product will fail to provide the security that it promises. Issues like these can single-handedly kill a product.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Farewell letter to Sourav Ganguly

Dear Sourav
Sourav GangulyI was in class Xth when I first heard about you. My friend told me that these matches would be telecasted in some new channel ESPN, which I cable provider didn't provide. I wasn't too keen anyways. Next day he told me that you hit a century on Lords. Bahut hi beautiful khel raha tha yaar, aur off side main to amazing hi maar raha tha

Then came Toronto, the Sahara Cup. You won the man of the match with your batting. Sachin, who was captain then, said - We have a secret weapon, and he did it for us. Next match, small target for Pakistan. They were doing well. Suddenly you came and took 5 wkts. We won and you won the man of the match again. Sachin - As I said we have a secret weapon, and he can bowl too. Another match, another man of the match. and then another one. Sachin was running out of words. All he said was - Well, our secret weapon is not longer secret. And you became the God of offside.

Natwest Win. Sourav took off his shirt.Then I went to college. you and Sachin became the most successful opening pair for India. And you would come at no 6 in tests, inevitably hitting a century playing with tailenders. And inevitably you would come down the track and hit the ball for a six on mid on. Sixes from Indian Batsmen were a rarity those days. We actually believed that Rahul Dravid cannot hit a ball for six as he doesn't have enough power. This and the Straight Drive six from Sachin were the treats that we would watch a match for. And what happened in that faithful match with Sri Lanka Sourav. You just kept on coming down the track on Murali and hitting him for a six. A score of 183 to break the age old Indian record by Kapil Dev. I haven't seen anything like that before. And I thought, what are you doing Sachin, this record should belong to you. And he heard me too. In the hindsight, Sachin and Sourav with #1 and #2 best individual scores for India make perfect sense. 

Me and my friend used to just read statistics on cricinfo as a pastime. We found out, not surprising though, and that you have taken less matches to cross each 1000 runs landmark. I remember this link, At that time there used to be only 2 names there, and your name on the top (and only one name in the next list).

An injury to Ajay Jadeja and you were given captaincy for one ODI which we won. Then among some match fixing controversies and a ban on Jadeja, you became the captain. That was the time when we realized that your true greatness was more than batting. You became the most aggressive Indian Captain ever. Statements by the Steve Waughs would now get matching answers. You became the center of Indian Cricket, as many critics and there were fans. Some would say you couldn't play on the leg side. Others would say you can't play bouncers. But we the college youngsters just loved your attitude. You made us believe that we can be more than just tigers at home. And forget cricket, you taught us aggression, and the confidence to take on the world. 

It was you under which we witness the most historic wins. That Very Very Special Eden Gardens Test, that Natwest Final where you took of the ur shirt. In there anyway one can forget them. Then there was the overseas victory in England. And it didn't come easy. You took the brave decision to bat first on a testing pitch, then Dravid passed that test with flying colors to hit a century on day 1. Then Sachin and you took over and just murdered the English bowlers. I remember the umpire offered you guys light and you didn't take it. Instead, both of you scored 83 runs in the next 10 overs that we bowled. The first time when the God, the Wall and the Prince all hit centuries in the same test, and that too an overseas one. We had to win that one. 

Then people started questioning your batting. We thought its just a lean patch and will be fine as long as you are leading well. Then came the World Cup. Suddenly the pacers who used to be the weakness of the team became match winners. Suddenly the fielding improved. Suddenly there were weird things happening like Team Huddles. Before the Pakistan match, you said We just need to win every match. And you did. Except Australia. But you did establish India as the second best team after all.

But what happened then Sourav. That lean patch would simply not end. Its not that we didn't wait. 3 years is a long long time. Its a long time when everytime you would watch a match hoping to see that flair again that Sourav was known for, and all you would get a yet another disappointment along with everyone else saying bad words for you. You got a century in Australia and you almost made it a miserable last series for Steve Waugh. But we wanted more than that. You only taught us aggression. And aggression also means dropping a senior player mercilessly if its good for cricket. But you seeemed to forget your own principles. And one day you were out. I thought it was probably good for you. But I felt bad the way media used it. But that was is their business, isn't it. 

It indeed was good for you as you fought back. You taught us yet again on what to do in unfavorable circumstances. You fought and fought hard. You won back ur place. And you proved yet again that you deserve a much better exit than what you got earlier. 

Cricket ceased to be the same and so did life 6 years after college. There would not switching off the TV when Sachin would get out. There would not be a sense of confidence that one need not worry as long Dravid in on the crease. And there would not be leader like Sourav who would just not take sh*t from anybody. 

You can never forget heroes that you grow up with. And You are one of those. Farewell Sourav, I salute you, as much for being in the game as for leaving it. 

Update: This post is on BlogBharti

Photo Courtesy:,

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Paragliding in Manali

What a fantastic vacation it was. I have always had a knack for adventure sports and Paragliding was loads of fun as well as satisfaction to learn something new. Five of us went together to do a course on Paragliding at Solang close to Manali  Best travel blog for Manali

Continuing the tradition of live blogging in Ladakh, I wrote most of the blog during the vacation itself, and this time it was much easier to type on my iPhone. 

10-10 8:30 PM
Learning from the mistakes of Ladakh Trip, we booked a HPRTC Volvo Coach well in advance. In the bus right now and it looks pretty good. This is the last official bus to manali. However, lots of private deluxe and sleeper buses seem to be available.

11-10 11:30 AM
Reached manali in exactly 15 hours. Gonna be leaving for Solang Valley(thats where the paragliding happens) immediately via a taxi. He has agreed for 400 bucks.

11-10 10:00 PM
Today has been all about resting. While having lunch at our hotel, we spotted some people doing paragliding and clicked photos. 

First View

Had a walk in the evening to the paragliding centre. There is Horse Riding, Zorbing and a ride in an all terrain vehicle. Prices are exorbitant and nothing other than Paragliding seemed interesting. 


12-10 3:00PM
Today is our first day at paragliding. Our instructor is Mr. Anil. The first session was pretty good. Paragliding is best during summers. Heated surface generates thermals needed for high flying. Also the wind needs to be continuously belly up.
The basic concept of paragliding is "take the glider and run". As Rishi Kapoor said in Namastey London - ball phad, aur saand ki tarah bhaag.
Run hard

We couldn't do any paragliding in the afternoon as the tail wind started instead of belly up. Need to start early tomorrow.
We met Mr. Bhagat, who is the organizer here. Very nice guy. He would be giving us lift to Manali. On the way, he showed us this great place for pizza and beer. Its called Himalayan sports club and its open only on Sundays. After a good pizza, we are off to manali. 
With Bhagatji

13-10 8:00PM
A very satisfying day at Paragliding. The trainers today were sikander and dharmender, two young and enthusiast chaps. During the last practice of the day, I was actually able to take off. Shobhit also reached pretty close to taking off. One bad thing that happened was that Shitiz got injured during the start of the day. Though the injury is minor, it prevented him from any practice today. We came back at 4, rested and then left for Vashisht Springs and manali at 6.
10:00 PM
We had a bath in the hot spring of Vashisht Temple. The water was pretty hot. It was just great. Had dinner and came back.

Come on Fight

14-10 4:00 PM - Rest Day.
We decided to take a day off from paragliding as everyone was pretty tired. Shitiz injury is not yet healed. It came out to be a good decision as it started raining around 11AM, which meant we could anyways not paraglide today. We decided to visit Manikaran to visit the gurudwara and the hot water springs there. Manikaran is quite a long drive from solang. The route is solang -> manali -> kullu -> manikaran. Took us 2.5 hrs to reach there. We visited the gurudwara and had langar. Then we saw the hot water springs and the shiva temple of Manikaran. The water was boiling hot. Even the temple surface was pretty hot due to the water.
Hot Springs

We went to Kullu to see the dussehra mela. Kullu Dussehra is famous and is celebrated over 7 days here. Various god statues from nearby villages are brought over to kullu where the kullu god is brought by the king of kullu. We reached just in time to see the procession of the gods.
Kullu Dev

Now we are going to manali to have dinner.

15-10 11:30 PM
Another rest day, a forced one. We started at 10 in the morning in overcast conditions. Barely did 3 flights when it started raining. Kept on raining throughtout the day. We have been playing dumb charades of Hindi songs since yesterday and we continued that. We have pretty much guessed every song of the world :D Sleeping and playing dumb charades has been the order of the day.

16-10 1:00PM
It hasn't stopped raining yet. Shobhit is not too happy. He wants to fly. But it seems like our paragliding dreams are over. It has snowed a lot at Rohtang and the roads are blocked. There is snowfall in Marhi too, which is normally the location for medium flying (i.e. people paraglide from Marhi to Solang). High Flying is from Rohtang to Solang, take around 45 mins. 
We went to Manali in the morning to take Shitiz to a local doctor to fix the bone joint of his knee.
We would be going to Marhi today to enjoy the snow.

Marhi was fantastic. I remember stopping at this place when we went to Ladakh. This time around it was covered with snow. Snowfall was going on when we reached, and we played in the snow for a while. Took some nice photos as well. The weather got cleared by the time we came back which gave us hopes of paragliding for tomorrow.
The Five Samurai

White all around

Marhi Panorama

At 11 in the night, I came out to photograph the snow covered mountains under the moonlight. Whatever photography knowledge I have gained so far got me this photo which I would call my best photo so far. 

Mountain in Moonlight

17-10 7:00PM
Beautiful sunny day. Paragliding at last. Started at 10 today. Shitiz is still not fit and Kirti got unwell due to the snow last night. So its gonna be just me, shobhit and shubra. We had quite a few flights today. Notice that I used the word flights and not trial :-) we learned a lot today and got lifted quite a bit in our flights. We paraglided till around 2 after which the tail wind started.

11:00 PM
We got tickets for Volvo coach back to Delhi for tomorrow at 5:30PM. Tomorrow is going to be our last day here and at Paragliding. We plan to paraglide till around 12PM and also get a tandem flight from medium height if possible. 

18-10 6:00PM
Another very satisfying day at Paragliding. This also concludes a very satisfying paragliding beginner's course. Shobhit and me both got some great flights, and I was able to reach the highest point for a beginner to take off from, in the last flight of the day.

Me Flying

Shobhit Flying

I finished the flight, took off the harness and helmet and went over to Sikander. As soon as he sees me, he says Aap Pitching theek se control nahi kar rahe hai, this is dangerous ... not really realizing that I am done for the season. That has been the story of the two coaches, Sikander and Dharmender, very keen on teaching and very strict. Next time when I come over, I would like to continue the classes and scoldings from them. 

With Dharmender and Sikander

Shubra and Shitiz did tandem flights too.

Shubhra Flying

Shitiz Flying

Now we are in the bus back to Delhi, ending a fantastic week. Next destination for me would be my hometown Jaipur, where I'll stay till Diwali. See ya and have a great Diwali. 

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Off to Manali

Its been 3 good months in Bangalore. Its been fascinating working on Must See India and there has been great progress to keep the enthu going. For one, the traffic on Must See India has doubled in these 3 months! But the real motivation is the encouraging comments for travel enthusiasts that keep on flowing.

Other happenings in these 3 months have been Tennis, trip to Coonoor, two trips to Chennai and a rediscovered interest in photography. Traveling with some great photographers to Coonoor gave me motivation to get better pictures from my camera and I have been working towards learning the manual modes of my Canon Powershot S3 IS. The best of the pictures that I have taken all go in this Must See Photo Album.

After a real busy past 2 weeks, its time to take a break and do what I like the most - travel! Leaving for Delhi today, and then to Manali. The primary agenda is gonna be Paragliding at Solang Valley. And its gonna be a 5 day course where we should (hopefully) be able to paraglide all by ourselves.

So here I go, wishing everyone Happy Dusshera and a prosperous Diwali in this festive month.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ideas are dime a dozen

Most people in startups or planning to startup have now dispelled the notion that one needs to come up with a great unique idea to succeed. What I believe is more important is whether you are solving a real pain point of a real customer and can you execute your idea to perfection.

For those who are still living in the idea world, here are 30 ideas that ycombinator would like to fund.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

6 years of software engineering

This is probably going to be the shortest review so far. I have already talked about my new venture a while back. Life has not been the same ever since. I always thought of life as a series of challenges. You solve one, you get another. The level keeps on increasing. Its almost like playing a game. I am pretty satisfied with the way I completed the previous level, and what gives me extra satisfaction is the 2 statements my previous company's GM made when I was about to leave:

  • You have very high professional ethics, and such people succeed in the long run.
  • You have followed one of the most complete career paths in this company.
That level is over, and its time to play up the highest professional challenge.

On the personal side, life continues to be a roller coaster. I remember that long long time ago (before I even started this blog), I took an EQ (Emotional Quotient) test. In the results, they said that I fell into the same category as Albert Einstein did. Before I could feel proud, I read the next line which said - Albert Einstein had 3 broken marriages.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Back to Bangalore

There is one thing I really like when I go on a drive. Switch off the AC, pull down the windows and feel the cool breeze on my face. Can I get that in Delhi? Only in my dreams. Can I get that in Bangalore? Probably 4 years earlier, but not today.
The weather is still magnificent, but all that one gets today is polluted air and noise. The amount of pollution and noise on the city roads has gone up significantly.

I shifted to Bangalore a week back. It has been 4 years since I left this place. Since then, I see more things worsening rather than improving. Good that my home is my office, and I don't have to drive everyday.

On the brighter side, there are quite a few places around Bangalore to make a 1 day/weekend trip and I really should be planning one soon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A New Beginning

6 years in software industry. 3 years in a software product company working on a web-based product.
That is the time it took me to realize what I really want.

Last year, I talked about how I have always been fascinated by software products which can solve pains. I also talked about the potential of Indian software market, and that we software professionals in India need to serve our own people.
There is one more thing to talk about. That I am a travel buff. And after traveling to quite a few places over the past few years, I find out that the pains to traveling remain the same. Its always about:

  • When to go
  • Where to go
  • who else is available to go with me
  • where would I stay
  • what would be the prices like
  • what to do while I am there
  • My friends are too lazy to send me the pictures.
To solve all traveler's pains, here comes ... let the drums roll ... It's gonna solve all my pains. It's gonna plan my holiday. It's gonna make my lazy friends upload their photos. It's gonna fetch me the best deals.
Well .... not quite all pains as yet. We are a young startup who aim at connecting travel enthusiasts. We know that its people who solve each other's pain by sharing their experiences.

Communication with our readers is really important for us and hence the first thing I did was to setup a MustSeeIndia Blog. See you there.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Three weeks in US

I am going back to India after 3 weeks of stay here. It has been a lot different than what it was last year when I first visited US..

I have too many mixed feelings this time around. I don't know whether coming here was a good idea or bad. Going back today, I don't know whether am happy or sad. And overall I still am not sure whether I would call it a good trip.

I have this firm belief that whatever happens, happens for good, and am gonna stick to that.

So bye bye US, you are pretty cool, but India is where I belong, India is what I love, and am looking forward to meet all my friends and start a new phase of life.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

iPhone coming to India

Vodafone has tied up with Apple to offer iPhone in India later this year. Check out Vodafone to Offer Apple’s iPhone in Ten Markets

Great news. My biggest issue with the iPhone so far as been that GPRS settings using Vodafone live doesn't work on it. And Vodafone Mobile Connect is pretty expensive.
Also, there are no good data plans available in India as people do not really do much web surfing from the phone. I hope all this would change when iPhone comes to India and it would be much more useful with its Internet based features.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Impossible is nothing....

But some things are just not worth the effort ;-)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tujhe sab hai pata hai na Maa

I have recently developed a liking for this song. Makes me think how internally we are all fallible. No matter how many coats of toughness do we wear, at some point we are all vulnerable, desiring emotional support from our nears and dears.

मैं कभी बतलाता नही, पर अंधेरे से डरता हूँ मैं माँ,
यूं तो मैं दिखलाता नही, तेरी परवाह करता हूँ मैं माँ
तुझे सब है पता है ना माँ
तुझे सब है पता मेरी माँ

Also, makes me wonder why I need to tell our nears and dears on how I feel about them. Why can't they just see how important are they in my life.
तुझे सब है पता है ना माँ.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The sidekick must die

I sometimes think about the life of the sidekick. You know, the guy besides the hero who never gets the girl and always dies at the end. What does he get for being the good guy all through - pain and death?

Being a good guy is not easy. Neither is being the mentally tough guy who has learned to wipe his tears himself and not get fazed no matter what life throws at him. But why does the audience claps for the hero who cannot control his emotions?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Losing Friends again

I don't understand. Is my life designed like that?
Why does it happen that all my friends suddenly go away from me. I understand that this fast pace life is cursed for friendship. But why does it never happens that one of my friend goes away. It is always almost everyone around.

I have always been a great fan of God's sense of humor. Now I see that he is pretty good at optimization as well. PreparedStatement.executeBatch() performs better than PreparedStatement.execute() :-D

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Republic Day Parade

I have seen Republic Day Parade on TV ever since I was a kid. However, this time around, I got an opportunity to see it live.

We got reserved tickets a week earlier. However, I was a bit apprehensive on the traffic situation and the crowd situation that day. Not to mention the fact that I had to wake up at 7 AM in the morning to get ready for it, an alien concept for someone like me who sees mornings only in his dreams.

I did finally wake up early and went for it. It was good to see that the traffic situation was pretty good. There were signs everywhere to suggest the route. Once we reached there, we had to get into a really huge line to get into. This was something that certainly has lots of scope for improvement.

Once we got inside, it was a great experience. Seeing the biggest celebration of Indian Republic is amazing. The part I like the most were the military helicopters and airplanes flying past. This is something that can never be captured on TV.
Recommended atleast once.