SBH Sucks BIG TIME

I am a SBH (State Bank of Hyderabad) customer since last four years and never faced a single problem apart from eventual no-cash in ATM type problems. But this time they really frustrated me. I applied for Internet banking a month ago. The guy at office gave me a kit saying that your account will be activated within three days and you can enjoy ibanking :) I was really happy that time as these things are kinda turn on for me 😛 Tried after three days. Nothing worked. Tried after a week. Nothing worked. Called their customer care thrice with no help other than “You have to physically visit the bank”. Filled the online support form and they never replied positively or negatively :( Well went to Hi Tech City office last Monday. And it was a really awesome surprise to find that the guy who handles ibanking was on leave. WOW!!!!!

After spending a lot of time convincing myself, I motivated myself to visit the bank again. I was happy to find the guy. Cool!!

Me: Sir, my ibanking account is not working.
Guy: What happened?
Me: Sir, I am not able to login even for the first time.
Guy: Whats the error?
Me: Incorrect username or password.
Guy: Why its not working?
(I was like WTF!!! Are you nuts?? If I knew it, why would I ask you …)
Me: How do I know??
Guy: Ok. Sit there for a while.

I waited for another fifteen minutes. I again went to him explaining the problem.

Guy: What can I do?
Me: What!! What can I do??
Guy: I can’t do anything.
Me: Are you sure?? Who will sort this out other than you? ( I was heating up)
Guy: I can’t do anything.
(Tried to calm myself down a bit)
Me: Sir, then you suggest me what should I do? (Very politely)
(He showed my account on his screen and showed that it was granted all access.)
Guy: I have given you all the access.
Me: I am NOT able to login. (I was really frustrated now)
Guy: I’ll reset your password and it’ll be mailed to your address.
Me: Ok Sir.
(Showing my address on computer screen in a form.)
Guy: Where do you live?
Me: IIIT Hyderabad.
Guy: Your permanent address?
Me: Somewhere in Haryana.
(By now I saw that address in the form was “IIIT Hyderabad, House No. 2201, Sec 17, HUDA, Jagadhari, Haryana”. I really wondered if I have IIIT inside my house :P)
Me: Sir this is wrong address. (I was like in mood to just blast.)
Guy: This is the address. The mail will be sent this address.
Me: This is invalid address. (Shouting).
Guy: Why are you getting angry?
Me: If you are going to mail this at the above address, where will it go?? IIIT or Haryana?? (literally shouting this time)
(I wish god gifts these people with some common sense.)

After lot of shouting and convincing, I got the “IIIT Hyderabad” removed from address. And that guy clicked the confirm button.

Such a bad service is not expected. Feels like we are still living in pre-historic times :(

 

Farewell Speech (Tech Issues)

Below is the soft copy of my farewell speech on tech issues.

Good evening everyone. Carry forward the legacy left by one of our seniors, I am going to narrate a short story.

There was a boy, by name OMI, who came to IIIT without having any background in computers. He used to spend all this time in workspace exploring Linux usually at the cost of missing his lectures and even meals. Inspired by the works done by Nirnimesh, SMR etc., over a period of two years, after struggling, only as he could have done, he climbed onto the post which he always wanted, the sysadmin of IIIT.

Today I would like to speak about a few topics. The first one among them is my experiences as a sysadmin.

Our network is not ready to take the ever increasing load. The old wifi infrastructure has already crossed its End Of Life period. Also, the network is not properly planned which increases the time required to solve the issues. For example, it took several days to fix the network loop problems in different research centers last year.
Though we use open source to cut down our IT budget, we don’t make the best use of it.
The process of getting things done is slow. For example, we have not been able to narrow down on buying a firewall since last six months.
Now coming to the people part of it, the server room staff is generally co-operative but the problem lies with the administration mostly because of the slow decision making.
Within the administration, there is lot of interference by the people who don’t have adequate background in related fields.
Most of the time server room staff do the work they should not like asset management. Why a person who spent all his life in exploring technology should count number of computers in your lab?

Now, I’ll talk about the changes I tried to bring about and problems I faced.
There has always been an invisible gap between students and server room server room administration. It wasn’t very easy to convince people to stop treating the other end as enemy.
It was my top priority to restore the faith of administration in students so that more students can be brought into administration process.
Different research centers manage their own servers which poses a great difficulty for the server room staff to assist them. Everybody having their own network eventually increases the security loopholes as well. We tried to reduce the decentralization. Research centers are not usually ready to give up the rights easily but slowly things are changing and we have already moved few servers back to server room.
Since our network is growing, the policies that have been in place for past few years are becoming obsolete. We are in process of revisiting the different policies.

I’ll conclude by mentioning few key points. We urgently need to renovate the existing infrastructure otherwise there will be chaos. There is a need to invest more funds in IT infrastructure as its the backbone of the institute and it should not be seen as a burden. Gear up the approval process. We should be more transparent with students while forming the new policies.

I would like to thank IIIT for giving the students an opportunity to be involved in system administration and I hope the future batches will take this up as a serious job.

Thank You!

 

I announce cachevideos.com ( the official guide for caching videos )

I still remember when I launched saini.co.in in November last year. That was my first website that I owned and I came to know about things like hosting, domains and related things. This year, I am proudly launching cachevideos.com, which will act as an official website for my (now) popular squid plugin youtube cache. The website is drupal based and all I have done is populated the content, modified some CSS, installed some modules, themes etc. It took almost 1-2 days for building that website. Drupal is a real cool CMS if you want to build sites quickly. Will write a post about how I build that site sometime. A big thanks to Sambhav Jain for customizing the header image for the website using photoshop. And train loadz of thanks to SMR for providing fu**ing awesome hosting service at g33k.in. Will write a review about the hosting sometime soon.

My addiction for purchasing domain names is growing with time. I currently own 10+ domains just for the heck of it. Wasted (invested?) more than $100 in last one year on purchasing domains. I own the following domains currently.

  1. saini.co.in
  2. fedora.co.in
  3. cachevideos.com
  4. pixomatix.com
  5. fedoraproject.co.in
  6. fedoratube.com
  7. intelligentmirror.org
  8. suse.co.in
  9. cacheyoutube.com
  10. kulbirsaini.com
  11. iiitblogroll.com
  12. iiitbloggers.com

Hopefully I’ll stop purchasing domains and start working on putting content on them :)

 

Yours truly’s birthday party / Angeethi / Barista / City Center

Well, It was my birthday on October 25th and today I threw a party. We left for Angeethi at 7:30PM. The journey was fine as the roads were not crowded due to festival season. We were in Angeethi in almost 45 minutes. Got a nice place to sit. Well, after browsing the menu we eventually discovered that there was no soup. Had to order Paneer Tikka and Hara Bhara (chu****pa) kabab which unexpectedly turned out nice. Main course was also cumsi cumsa.

Kulbir Saini Birthday Party at Angeethi

Kulbir Saini Birthday Party at Angeethi

Ajay’s photos can sometimes be really unexpected.

Kulbir Saini Birthday Party at Angeethi - Ajay

Koi isko (Ajay) ko bhi khana dedo

Afer having dinner at Angeethi, we moved on to Barista which is on the ground floor in the same building. This was first time I was visiting Barista. I ordered something randomly and fortunately it was good. It was fun at Barista. The ambience of the place was really good (from a newbie photographer’s point of view 😛 ) and pics came out real good.

I don’t know what I was doing when somebody clicked this pic 😛

Kulbir Saini Birthday Party at Barista

Kulbir Saini Birthday Party at Barista

Kulbir Saini Birthday Party at Barista

Kulbir Saini Birthday Party at Barista

After that we moved on to City Center just for browsing random stuff in crossword (a book shop in City Center). After roaming around and clicking pics in city center we moved out.

Sambhav has made these two awesome gifs from the photos we clicked in city center and barista. Hats of to his skills.

Kulbir Saini Birthday Party at City Center

Kulbir Saini Birthday Party at City Center

Kulbir Saini Birthday Party at Barista

Kulbir Saini Birthday Party at Barista

PS : Though its only a day left for diwali, city is not really decorated. Almost no lights :( This shop which I found opposite to City Center is one of few decorated on the road no. 1.

Krsala Designer Jewellery

Krsala Designer Jewellery

 

Four Seasons / Hyderabad House / Mak’s Kitchen

October 10, 2008

I was in Yuktahaar mess with Deepak Vig. I picked up plate to fetch some rotis from the basket and my phone rang. It was Pankaj. I immediately understood his problem. I received the call and he asked for going out to Four Seasons to have some biryani. That mouth watering word biryani took control over me. I returned the plate back to mess guy. I accompanied Deepak for the dinner but didn’t have anything. We walked down to NBH main gate. Gaurav and Kiran Dandu was already there. I told them about going out and they were already waiting for someone to join. Finally me, Pankaj, Sachin, Ajay Somani, Gaurav and Kiran left for four seasons.

We reached four seasons at almost 8:00PM. The place was totally full. And when we queried, the attendant said that it will take almost an hour to get a seat for six people. We were hopeless. All of us dying of hunger. Though we didn’t want to go to Hyderbad House because Biryani at that place sucks pretty much, we decided to checkout. We entered the place and as expected we were the only people there apart from one family. We took seats. But to our surprise they had only Mutton Biryani. I wanted to cry :( Hungry!!!!

We walked out. And while walking different people suggested different place from Ginger court, McD (by me 😀 ), Hyderabad House near Lakdi Ka Pul, Mak’s Kitchen etc.. Finally we decided to go to Mak’s kitchen which is beside Temptations in front of Four Seasons. The place was average. Others took soup, it was below average. But biryani was good. It felt like having biryani after a life time. I still remember, the OBH mess once started offering biryani in lunch and dinner daily. I had biryani in lunch and dinner continuously for two weeks during that period.  Good old days 😀 In the end the person at Mak’s Kitchen forgot to bill me and somani for the food. Nice 😛

After that we had ice cream at Temptations and headed back to THE holy place on earth, IIIT Hyderabad :)

PS : Have a lot to write about.

 

Hunt for a digicam begins

Every time I come across something amazing like a poster or creature or scenic beauty, I feel a strong urge to capture the moment but I don’t have a god damn camera :( Since the beginning of this summer vacations I wanted to buy a digicam but wasn’t motivated enough to grab one. But a few guyz and gals have finally motivated me enough to begin my hunt for the digital camera.

I have set the budget at 10K (strictly) and I want a nice digicam + 2GB memory card. My primary requirements are a nice optical zoom of at least 4x with a good digital zoom and Li-ion battery (no AA batteries please). FYI, I am not a pro photographer and if I tell precisely I have not crossed even the newbie level. I have hardly used any digicam ever(only mobiles till date), so I don’t really have any idea about optical zoom and focal lengths but those seems to be the standards when selecting a camera that fit your requirements. I need this camera basically for clicking anything (outdoor/indoor/wherever) and at any time (day/night).

Keeping the above requirements in mind, I spent the entire day on ebay and google. And I finally found that Sony Cybershot DSC W110 fits my needs. Also the price is really low for the features of the camera. Plus there are nice reviews about this model everywhere. I also found Olympus FE 290 good in terms of specifications but this review about the product scared me.

I have almost decided to buy the one from Sony unless I find some other model which offers more for the same or lesser price. If you have any suggestions regarding the camera I should go for, please leave as a comment. It will help me a lot :)

 

Mouse gestures in Gmail

Did you checkout the gmail labs thingy on the settings page in gmail? They have introduced many features to enhance the email experience.  One of the features is mouse gestures which looks pretty cool and makes browsing in between mails very easy :) To enable, go to setting page in Gmail and then to Labs tab in there and enable ‘Mouse Gestures’. Now go to any of the email folder. Open a message. Right click and hold. Now moving your mouse to left will take you to the next message in folder. Similarly, moving the mouse to right will take you to the previous message and moving the mouse upwards will take you back to the folder 😀 Thats just awesome. Hopefully this will save some of my time while browsing the all time flooded gsoc list :)

Here is a pic of the gesture.

Gmail Mouse Gestures

Here is a video as well :)

PS : I didn’t even realize that the previous post was my 50th post 😀