Goopplebook In the Black Box

So, my close friend online, and a closer friend offline, Manoj retweeted a post saying thus: “RT @lemay: Apple cannot do cloud, Google cannot do social, and Facebook cannot do apps. It’s like the “walked into a bar” joke for tech nerds.” Being a serial entrepreneur in my imaginary world, I couldn’t resist coming up with this cool-sounding, socially not-awkward, easy to remember name for a company that could do great in all the three.

Thus was born Goopplebook : A (as yet) fictitious company that does cloud as good as Google, apps as good as Apple and Social as good as Facebook.

Anyway, the conviction behind each of those claims isn’t very strong. It is all a fad and media magic and social engineering on the part of all the three companies to make you believe so. If at all, the three biggies are, in my opinion, struggling to get things right on their own turf. Google is starting to have apps as great as they are in Apple, Google+ is slowly permeating as a hybrid between Twitter and Blogging and Facebook apparently is struggling the most to live upto its past.

So, what should Goopplebook do right to be the next big thing, and not struggle to be relevant for a long time?

While this is the general public side of things, we would need something that serves the corporate side pretty much the same way, but being extra secure, with not-so-funky sounding name, extra boring and colored blue, black and grey. Clearly, Goopplebook ain’t a name for that! So, which are the players that wannabe social, apps and cloud in the corporate side of the world? LinkedIn (Perfect balance between hardened corporates, and wannabe corporates), Blackberry (resurrecting the dead!!), and Dropbox (well, this one doesn’t suck). So, my imaginary serial entrepreneur self comes out with a name and can’t resist from making it lame, yet catchy and apt.

Thus will be born InTheBlackBox : A (as yet) fictitious company that does the cloud, apps and social for corporates, and doesn’t suck, bore and isn’t blue, black or grey.

Of friends, love, and marriage

There he is! Shows up now, after this half-an-hour of agonizing wait. But, why is he ducking behind the flower pots! Oh, I guess he’ll play his usual Surprise! trick on one of us. Silently, I told this to the others and we were waiting to see what happens. As usual, he targets the well-pampered, innocent-looking, but not-so-innocent girl of our group. 3 years since we all met and he is into his old shoes already. Within no time, the old-time chit-chat starts and continues into animated banter. People taking about jobs, companies, and future plans. And, suddenly starting to tease the married guys and gals about their marriage and kids. It was all so lively and fun. I thought we would take sometime to get comfy after all the ups and downs we’ve had in life. I mean, once upon a time, we were thick friends and came to each other during trying situations. But, a long gap can pull people apart. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the case now and God! I was glad for that!

“So, how come you haven’t married yet? I thought you would have had 2 kids by now!” he started his usual mockery. Hadn’t it been for my engineering, I’d have got married at 18; and hadn’t it been for my MBA, I’d have got married at 22! Now, being 25 and still living free as per my will was something that didn’t go down well with my family. But still, if not now, when could I ever be so independent? This discussion seemed to have enlightened to him that I am no longer the daddy-says-marry-this-guy kinda gal. There was a sudden swell of appreciation in his eye and I kinda felt proud that it came from him. This guy was my closest friend in engineering. He dropped me home, gave me advice, enquired about my crushes, settled fights between me and my boyfriend. Heck, he had the audacity to challenge me to take up an MBA and convince my dad against marrying me off. So much for being independent for a small time in my life!

Soon, other stories started coming out. None of us who were committed in college continued to be so. After listening to 2 marriages, 3 break-ups and this guy’s ever-growing list of could-be-lovers, we headed out for lunch. I felt we were no longer our daily selves of well-groomed, well-behaved 24-25 old employees. It was college days again. Everyone was elated at being together. The food session began: after some glass clanking, fork scratching, and spoon fighting, we were on our fingers. I bet that hanging out with college buddies over a morsel of good food is 10000 times more satisfying than team lunches with colleagues. The sense of belonging to a group and still being able to become kids in a matter of few seconds has a nostalgic, yet heartening feeling to it.

Soon, the married guys had to leave and we were making fun of them that their mistresses were not too pleased with them hanging out for so long. Gradually, each one of us were put into that situation and others gave the verdict as to how each would react. People told that coupla years earlier, I’d have been my husband’s permanent unpaid chef.But seeing me now, they were convinced that I’d rather make him cook for me before giving in. I tell you, it was a secret pleasure listening to that! 😉 Some time later, this guy’s verdict is passed and people told that he’d be his wife’s yes man! I knew him very closely and knew he was a romantic and that he’d love his wife a lot more than she’d expect. But my friends thinking that, it would make him a yes man shook me a bit. For a second, I thought if it was gonna be true. I despised the thought that he could become like that. My close friend, in fact, my best friend becoming his wife’s yes man was unsettling.

I argued against it and took people by surprise. Even he was giving me questioning glances and I told them in strong words that he’d treat his wife as an equal. Sensing that the situation would become serious, he cleverly deviated the topic and all was forgotten. But something had stung me. It was neither small enough to be ignored nor strong enough to be termed ‘love’. Or, was it? His part in my life flashed before me like a movie. For some part in my life he was the cynosure, and arguably, they were the best days! I could be a princess in his world and I had the feeling that he’d never let me be unhappy. OMG! The seeds of love are planting themselves in my head and I’m drifting away from reality. Suddenly I turned crimson and started blushing whenever I glanced at him. I couldn’t meet his gaze. Oh damn! that was too fast for me to handle. I was in sweet trauma, revelling in the feeling of new-found love and the inability to express it! Restlessness and excitement seeped through every part of me and I was dying to vent them all out!

I was so engrossed in keeping my emotions under control that I missed something that was being said. I was sure it was about some person out of this group. I listened a little more intently and realised a bitter truth.

He was about to get engaged to the love of his life.

It was late!

The IB.in Bangalore Bloggers Meet!

A bright sunny day it was, with something stirring in my mind saying that its gonna be a helluva experience – The IndiBlogger.in Bloggers Meet in Bangalore. 🙂 The threat of traffic jam due to a HUGE ANTI TERRORISM RALLY notwithstanding, I set out on an early summer’s Saturday’s afternoon, towards a destination 20km away on my ‘Feel like GOD’ bike. 😉

The Microsoft Signature Building, located on a fantastic campus appeared as if it was made for events such as these. The seating and setting was neat, as if a high level conference were to happen there! 😉 Before long, pleasantries were exchanged and people got started.

Anwin Joselyn was the first person I greeted and immediately I lost the nauseating feeling which you get when you’re visiting a place for the first time! Thanks to him. 🙂 Later he took me to Renie and as he has put it in IndiBlogger blog, it felt like de-ja-vu, as if we knew each other by minds before, and the faces got their chance now! Not to miss at all, the man whose face can show a million expressions – Anoop! He kept the event rolling with a lot of zeal and energy. Its hard to miss what he says, even if says one thing with his mouth and means something else too, by his expression! 😀 The man behind the scenes most of the time, Karthik a.k.a Zeon, did his best to avoid any glitches at all, in the running of the event! Well, thats about the IB.in team! 🙂

The first event ‘1 Minute to Fame’ gave a chance to every blogger present, to express himself. The excitement of having such a good opportunity was evident in every speaker’s eyes. The amount of humor and quality-talk exchange is hard to be surpassed.

BizSpark – A software support for start-ups from Microsoft, was introduced in a short, yet informative manner by Girish, from Microsoft.

The major issue a blogger can face is fighting for his rights. This topic was well-handled and eloquently presented by Sandil from Mutiny.in. The discussion would have lasted longer if not for the Windows 7 beta demo and the hot-n-spicy Pizzas. 😛

The Windows 7 beta demo was the show stopper of the day. What with the V-squared duo – Vic and Vijay presenting the New OS in all its glitter and showing how it has over-shadowed the problems its predecessor, MS Vista had. They’re interrupted by the Pizza session (yum! yum!), but soon got back their audience for the live demos. (It is a different matter that I’ll continue to use Ubuntu 😛 )

After the demo of out-of-the-box features embedded in Win7, we moved on to the Offline Forum – A non formal discussion by the bloggers present. Clearly, the star of the day was a self-proclaimed Money Maniac – Shirin! His tips on SEO and Monetization was indeed, enlightening! He makes a good tutor for making money from ur blog!

The later part consisted of Anwin, Jerry, Nischal, and a couple of others speaking about self hosting and its cost, efficiency, reach-out, status and the like. I sure am tempted to buy a domain for myself, but lemme count my pocket money first! 😛 Finally, Arif Ali Saiyed presented a tool which can be a breather for Windows users. Check out his own explanation first for better understanding. Guys, it rocks! Trust me! 🙂

By the time I finished with Arif’s demo and playing with Win7 a li’l, the hall was pretty empty and i started back. The 20km drive back was tiresome to the body, but my mind was all fuelled up. Thanks to the IndiBlogger.in Bangalore Bloggers Meet! 🙂

Dont Miss : The Flickr Photo Gallery of the meet.

PS : I’ve tried the new theme from WP – Vigilance. Loved it very much! However, plz provide feedback. 🙂

Added later.

My 1 min to fame :

Hello, My name is Sriharsha and I blog at harshasrisri@WP. I started blogging an year ago with a rant post about not having a girlfriend. 😛 Its a different matter that I do not have one even now 😀 . Coming to my blog, the topic diversity is quite vast. I write about anything that catches my attention and triggers interest. So, u can say the topics are random. But, only the topics are random and not the content. You can see pretty good content in quite a few posts. Finally, about what I’m doing – I’m a final yr Engg Student in E&C branch. Thank you! 🙂

How to go about with an Engineering Project

Its funny actually, to talk about this topic. One reason because, I’m in a state trying to find an answer to the above question, all by myself. Another reason because, even my classmates are, but not necessarily independently. 😐 However, the final destination is the same. Scoring something around 240+ marks out of 250. Well… Yeah, that is the idea!

I’m amused and envious of my friends who manage to get their project ready by going to a few institutes (read : Tuitions for projects). Envious because, they’re always in a state of inertial comfort backed by the guarantee of a successful project. The institute provides them this guarantee at a nominal price and at a cost of 2 sessions per week.

Now, coming to the more interesting part, I’m amused because, the nominal price is not so nominal afterall; the 2 sessions per week spent there are probably worth it, but I don’t care to estimate how much; the time and money, if well spent, would aid in so much practical exposure, that if people realised it, the institutes would run out of business! 😀

Before anyone calls me a hypocrite, I’ll clear the dust around ‘my choice’. I tried to do something of my own. Succeeded in bits and pieces at most times. But flopped when it came to the big picture. Very recently, I took part in a competition and thought of presenting whatever I do for this, as my Engineering project. After more than a fortnight’s toil (the reason behind my absence in the blog-o-sphere,) it was time for me to face my first biggest technical failure.

The feeling was bad. Worse, actually. At that moment I thought about my classmates’ comfort and why people choose institutes over the toil and adventure spirit of experimentation. It was for marks. Those bloody God-damned 240+ marks, which speak little about a student’s quality; which speak highly about the institutes’s ability of having a good business; which speak of the sad story that this is an Artificial Life, and make one wonder if this is an Education Boom or an Education Doom!

Whatever happens, I wont give up. Nor shall I give in. Atleast, I’ll try not to feel bad further. 😐

[How To:] Fix the problem when XP doesn’t boot from GRUB

Intro : First, GRUB was erased. After fixing it, XP did not boot from GRUB owing to ‘ERROR 12’. Lastly, How I could fix both, rather discovered work-around for some part.

Recently I faced the first battle arising from the conflict between Windows and Linux. Thanks to Linux, I won it 🙂 .Let me give you a brief history of the problem.

I had to format my friend’s hard disk for some reason and connected it to my comp. Here, the sane me should have relied upon Ubuntu Live CD and formatted the whole thing. But the insane me chose to rely upon Windows. So, I used Partition Magic ver 7.0 and tried to do the job, but failed miserably. After a few more futile attempts, the Insane me decided to rely upon Windows again. I used the WinXP Pro installer CD and wished to format the slave drive through DOS. Voila! It worked. My friend was too happy and left my place cheerfully!

Now, I switched ON my PC after sometime and to my horror, didn’t find the GRUB. (GRUB – GRand Unified Bootloader; somewhat similar in concept to the OS-selection menu in Windows) WTF!!! What did Windows do to my GRUB? Being a newbie to Ubuntu, I was clueless. I tried hopelessly to somehow fix it up by using the live CD. FUCK! No success. Then, I browsed through the web from the Live CD itself and found this link which was very helpful. (Plz go through the link to understand what is written further)

Assuming that u’ve gone through the link I’ve given above, I’ll use a few terms without any explanation. I created the GRUB diskette as described in the above link. After leaving the diskette in the floppy drive, I rebooted the PC.

Run the system BIOS. Make sure you’ve specified the boot device priority in this order : 1st – Floppy drive, 2nd/3rd – CD Drive/Hard disk. Save changes and exit. Now, the PC reboots again and something like this appears.

[ Minimal BASH-like line editing is supported.   For
the   first   word,  TAB  lists  possible  command
completions.  Anywhere else TAB lists the possible
completions of a device/filename. ]

grub>

First, I specified the root drive where GRUB has to be installed, by this command

grub> root (hd0,4)

hd0 – My 1st hard disk.
4 – the partition number on the first hard disk where GRUB is to be installed.
Generally speaking, the ‘n’th partition of the ‘m’the hard disk is written as (hd[m-1],[n-1]).

Next, I’d to setup the GRUB, and this command did the job.

grub> setup (hd0)

This command sets up the GRUB on the root drive specified. Simple enough right? 😉 Now, remove the floppy diskette, change the 1st boot device priority to hard disk and reboot. A round of applause ladies and gentlemen, a novice just meddled successfully with GRUB, MBR (Master Boot Register) and a few alien things, of whose importance I know little about! 😀

But my sigh of relief was shortened when booting into XP was not possible 😦 . Ubuntu could not mount the XP drive even at startup and I was left clueless again. Fuck! 😦 I thought about it for a while and tried out something which would turn out successful. Here is what I did.

  • Make the 1st boot device as CD-ROM by following the procedure mentioned earlier.
  • Insert XP installation Disc into the tray.
  • Let it do all the pre-install-setup-bullshit.
  • When it asks if you wish to install XP or repair using Recovery console, press ‘R’ which means the latter option.
  • It scans your hard disk for available XP installation and asks you to select the one you choose to repair.
  • Enter the Number specified against the Installation you wish to repair and press ‘Enter/Return’ key.
  • Type this command and press ‘Enter’  key.

C:\WINDOWS>CHKDSK C:

  • This thing checks the apparently inconsistent FAT/FAT32/NTFS/NTFS-3g disk drive for volume errors and fixes them.
  • Now boot into Ubuntu or any other distro and go to the drive where you’ve an installation of XP.
  • Copy the files “AUTOEXEC.BAT”, “boot.ini”, “CONFIG.SYS”, “IO.SYS”, and “MSDOS.SYS” into some other drive. Congrats! You’ve just made an alternate “boot sector” for WinXP 😀 . Please note the partition number of the destination drive.
  • Now, to edit the GRUB menu : open the all powerful ‘Terminal’ and type the following command

sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

  • Provide your password. The window opening now is the ‘menu.lst’ file which determines which OS boots from which partition. scroll down to last to find something like this :

### END DEBIAN AUTOMAGIC KERNELS LIST

# This is a divider, added to separate the menu items below from the Debian
# ones.
title        Other operating systems:
root

# This entry automatically added by the Debian installer for a non-linux OS
# on /dev/sda1
title        MS WinXP Pro
root        (hd0,1)
savedefault
makeactive
chainloader    +1

  • I’ve ‘bold’ed the parameter to be changed in the above sequence.
  • Primarily, my XP partition was (hd0,0). But, in the above visual, it shows (hd0,1). That means, I’ve changed the drive, which XP seacrhes for the boot sector to exist.
  • In your case, If the files you’ve to move are in the 1st partition of your first hard disk then it should be as (hd0,0) in the GRUB menu file, initially. If you are copying the files to the 2nd partition of the first hard disk, then change the ‘bold’ part to (hd0,1) as in my case. As said earlier, the ‘n’th partition of the ‘m’the hard disk is written as (hd[m-1],[n-1]). Save the file and close.
  • That said, make the change only in the ‘bold’ed part and NOT anywhere else, because, I CANNOT help you with the problems arising out from that.
  • Reboot your PC and you should be able to boot int XP. (Atleast, I could do it in my case, and so, since there is nothing much to meddle with the hardware, your problem should be solved too.)

Important part : Disclaimer : I’m a novice and did many things (esp the latter half) according to my instinct/intuition and was not guided by any tutorial either on the WEB or on paper. So, it is up to you to believe in me and perform all these, the proof of whose working is the successful re-birth of my PC without any damage, and through which I’ve written this post 😛 .

I do not know the persom whose link I’ve provided here. Whoever you are, thank you very much, man. You revived my hopes 🙂 .

If anyone else faced the same problem and solved it in a different way, Please let me know. If any pro’s or Ubuntu/Linux Gurus find this stupid, please educate me further.

And so ended my first adventure in Ubuntu 🙂 . Hope I see much more and learn much much more! 😀 Thank you for being here.