Sunday, July 27, 2008

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Just today, i saw this amazing speech by Randy Pausch, a former Professor At Carnegie Mellon University.
It was his "Last Lecture".

His shares three things
  1. Achieving your Childhood dreams
  2. Helping others achieve their childhood dreams
  3. Lessons Learnt
Here is the entire video. I find it truly inspirational.
Its an hour long video though but please do take out time and watch it, you surely won't regret it.

After that, you can play it in vlc or kaffeine.
or watch here on youtube directly.

Randy Pausch, an Inspirator for millions

Icebreaker Speech

In IBM Pune, I am part of the local Toastmasters' Club known as the IBM Thinkmasters.

The first speech that you give here is known as the Ice Breaker. Typically you would take about yourself.
I did just that and i am going to share is here.

Good Afternoon Everyone!
This is my ice breaker speech.
I will talk about myself.
But I won't be talking about Academics and things like that.
I will talk about a bit of my hobbies, experiences and the lessons
that i have learnt.

My Hobbies
I love travelling a lot.
My favourate state is Himachal Pradesh.
In the last 5 years, i have visited Himachal 4 times.
I like going unknown not-very-popular destinations rather than the regular tourist places.
I love travelling by train. As i kid, i was always fascinated by the train and i still enjoy travelling
by train. Along with travelling another thing i enjoy is trekking. Recently I completed 10-day trek again in Himachal.
Besides that, the biggest two passions i have reading books and watching movies.
I typically read a lot of non-fiction books, and the categories range from History, Economics, Philosopy
to Travellogues.
In movies, no specific genre...any good movie is fine.

My Experiences and Lessons learnt
1. During my school years, i had fallen into bad company. I was distracted from studies, good friends
and a lot of positive things.The end result was that i got really bad marks in SSC i.e 10th.
I found it tough to get into a good college. Luckily I did get into a good college.
My parents did support me a lot. I realized my mistakes then and worked to correct them.
I studied hard and got good marks in my 12th. That helped me get into a good engg college.
The lesson i learnt from this is that
"we will make mistakes in our life; we will fall down but life
always gives us chance to get up and rectify these mistakes
and we should take those chances and make full use of them"
In the movie "The Shawshank Redemption", there is very dialogue
"Salvation lies within". This is very apt.

2. In 2004-05, I had just finished my 2nd yr of engg and i had gone with a local pune group for a himalayan trek.
On the last day of the trek, (the day we have trekked the most). We were completely exhausted.
I, along with another friend on the trek got lost in the jungle.
We were lost and spent the entire night in the jungle.
I was just an amateur trekker back then, just learning and this friend was an expert.
We had to cross a lot of dangerous terrain which wouldn't have even in our wildest
dreams. Even though I was not a greater trekker or very fit trekker, i never thought of quitting
no matter how tough or dangerous the terrain was. We are lucky to have lived to tell the tale.
I learnt firstly "Don't get lost" and "secondly, When there is a will, there is a way"

3. Now, I will talk about the most important part of my life.
I am really lucky that I got to marry the love of my life.
There were a lot of issues which we knew of before hand, that
would surely prevent our being together. There were times
when our closest friends would say that it not going to happen
and that we should stop seeing each other etc.
But obviously, we couldn't live apart and things fell into place
and everything got resolved.Again My parents supported me here as always.
I learnt that "When want something from the bottom of your heart
the entire universe will conspire to make it happen and surely does!"

These are some of the most important lessons that i have learnt in my life.
I thought sharing these experiences and the lessons learnt would help others.

I hope i have broken the ice !

Friday, July 18, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

Po's dad has a very successful restaurant business. He has a "special ingredient" soup which is very popular.
He tells Po that ingredient has been passed down generation after generation.

"The secret ingredient to the secret ingredient soup, Po is nothing", He tells Po . Po says "Nothing ?!"
Po's dad says, " You have to believe that your soup is special, then it becomes special"

This is what makes this movie teaches.

Po is a big fat panda who dreams of kung-fu and dreams of being an awesome kung-fu master.
His dreams turn to reality when is chosen by mistake to guard a secret scroll against a ferocious snow leopard who is the greatest warrior.
Po's master albeit hesistant to teach Po kung-fu initially is forced to realize that "Believing is everything" and as Po's master's master puts it "There are no mistakes"

The animation and story telling is very good as expected from dreamworks. Jack Black does an amazing job as voice of Po.

When Po meets the snow leopard in the final showdown, the leopard say "I can beat you easily, you are just a big fat panda". Po responds "I am not a big fat panda, I am the big fat panda !!! "

Now thats confidence from someone who believes in himself !

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Broadband Internet in India

The current state of affairs of Broadband Internet in India is as follows:

The Good

  1. Airtel Broadband (Bangalore) : The best so far (as per my experience). The uptime/performance is good, so is the customer service is good. The problems are handled very well. Incase of an outage, you get an intimation well in advance. Down side is that its not available in all areas
  2. YOU Telecom(Pune): They are not as great as Airtel but their services are decent. Problems are resolved within 24hours.One pain point is their billing system. Postpaid isn't truly postpayed and they keep nagging you to pay the bill. Another is they rate limit data downloaded via p2p networks.

The Bad
  1. BSNL (Bangalore): When it works, nothing like it. The question is how often does it work and how long does it take to get it fixed. Customer service is pathetic. They don't care about customers. You have run around to get things working.
The Ugly
  1. BSNL(Pune): People here just don't care. It took them more than 2 weeks to find out the reason why the Internet connection is not working after numerous phone calls. Not that its fixed. There is no concept of customer service! No one cares about you. Incase of a complaint you are redirected to another person and then to another. I already 5 numbers stored.
  2. Hathway(Pune): The management is bad. Its been 2 years since i have disconnected their service; i still have the rented modem and still keep getting bills. Again when it worked, it worked like a charm but unfortunately it never worked for me. The concept of customer service didn't exist.
This leaves out Satyam and Tata Indicom. I have heard/read really bad reviews for both of them. Recently Reliance entered this space. I don't have any reviews about them yet.
The state of affairs of broadband in India is really pathetic. Only few players provide good service. But again they can't provide connectivity to all parts of the city.