Friday, October 31, 2003 | The next hot internet stock

How Good is Google?
Can Google fend off Microsoft?
Can Google not make the mistake of another revolutionary company, aka Netscape?
Can Google sustain it's dominant position?
Can Google...

There are so many questions in your head - this might answer some of them!

Security Holes in Mac OS X Jaguar

It's not only Windows that has security holes - the venerable Unices and their direct descendents, ala Mac OS X, have their own share of holes. This article intrigues me because it alleges that the Macintosh maker is not going to provide fixes to patch the holes in the earlier release of it's OS, version 10.2 purportedly because it wants people to upgrade to 10.3 (Panther). Panther released only last week to ooohhs and aaaahs in Apple Stores all over the country. The enthusiasm and hype was redolent of any other Mac event because the company has some devout and rabid fans - fanatical I'd say.

The public outcry was quick and scathing. Panther isn't a free upgrade, it costs $129 for a single license and $150 for a home license (up to 5 computers). People equated Apple's actions as daylight robbery, heresy and what not...

It turns out that the Mac company got a lot of flak for nothing or maybe, the flak made them re-think their original plan. Whichever way, the consumer has won again. Here is the updated article, courtesy Slashdot and MacWorld: Apple will fix security flaws in Jaguar

As the poster of the original story said: Next conspiracy please...

Ohhh My Goddd

Google considering partnership with Microsoft

So what's next?! This is just speculation and a lot of people have thought about the eventual buyout of Google by Microsoft (which would end the search engine race) but I am sure that another search engine will rise to become worthy competition...

Hope this isn't the death knell for Google - actually, any company that Microsoft has taken over has flourished, so this could be a blessing and a curse. Okay, I've read more of the article now - interesting snippets:

Microsoft as a search competitor could change the market's assessment of Google's value. Moreover, if Microsoft attempts to integrate Web search features directly into its coming Longhorn operating system, it could restart the bitter feud that led to the government antitrust case that grew out of Netscape's failure.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003


I struggle, fight dark forces In the clear moon light
But there's no release, no peace
I toss and turn without cease
Like a curse, open my eyes and rise like yeast
I can't get no sleep

I've been trying to sleep since 12:24am this morning to no avail. It's strange, it's not one single thought that is keeping me awake but a whole flurry of myriad, random thought-provoking interjections into what should be an instruction-less pipeline in my head! Damn geekness...

So what is on my mind? Pay bills, get cheque from Mumtaaz, pick up mail from the post office, repro issue in Digest Test, eat healthy, take multi-vitamin tablet, why is my hair falling (oops, inside secret), how does a user mode buffer get written over by data received by the kernel from a driver, what does the IO manager do, why is my right shoulder hurting... I'm trying to answer some of these concerns (some by reading, others by planning my day tomorrow) and am going to go see a doctor before the end of the week. But still, I can't get no sleep!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

The iTunes saga

Choice links from the web, as I know it, revolving around Apple, iTunes, Windows, File-sharing, RIAA and any related razz-matazz. The shenanigans, umm, they never end...

Wired News: PC User Whistles a Happy ITunes

Buck a Song, or Buccaneer?

Microsoft Lassos Music Customers

Apple whistles a happy 1 million iTunes

Windows iTunes sparks mixed reactions

Apple adds iTunes DRM to one million Windows PCs

And more to come... Watch this space.

Microsoft monopoly says Apple monopoly is too restrictive

How ironic is this statement? The article is funny and satirical but I must say iTunes is here to stay - I am very curious to see where this power struggle goes, but as a consumer, my choices have more than doubled, and the games have just begun...

Thursday, October 09, 2003

It's just an illusion

As was customary till around 3 months ago, Karan, Darwin, myself and a varied set of people saw every new big movie the first night it released. T-3 was a movie we were all waiting for expectantly; Arnie back as the android that saves the world from total annihilation - how can one resist that? A surprise member of our bunch that Friday evening was Suzanne, the iSCSI Team PM. So yeah, the movie got over, we saw that the world actually does get destroyed, that Judgement Day couldn't be stopped, even by Arnie. I hadn't got any sleep the previous night (was at work on the impending iSCSI RTM release), so I wasted little time in getting set for bed when I got home. That's about when Karan called asking me to accompany him to a party with Suzanne. I was tempted, but my exhaustion got the better of me and I passed out...

I wake up the next morning to news that Karan tells me that he was totally buzzed the night before and that he was badly hung over. I wondered about what made the professed teetotaller crack and knew exactly who to ask - Suzanne - she was there at the party too right, she should know right? But I had to wait till Monday for her to tell me, Karan had met a girl - Cassidy, and they had hit it off pretty well. The weekend was eventful, Karan and Cass went to a movie Saturday and got some dinner - so there was something brewing and I was hella happy for the guy - he's intelligent, smart and pretty good-looking (some girls don't think so but what the heck) and now he was hitched!

Two weeks later, I was informed that Cass was going to be in town and she and Mr Karan were gonna get it on, at Suzanne's place. Karan made elaborate plans and we decided on a sign that would indicate to me that she was around, so I wouldn't knock or use my copy of his key to get in to his place. Also, no one else seemed to know about this, so I was to keep it under wraps - I didn't, I teased him about it in front of a couple of our friends. But all in all, I was glad he was getting some - he needed the change from a very hectic work life.

Cass came to Seattle a couple more times before things started getting rocky. She wanted to move to Seattle to be closer to Karan and they started fighting - he didn't want to commit but she had started developing strong feelings for him. Eventually, they decided to break up because he wasn't quite ready and she was 3 years older than him. It surprised me that he could resist the draw of the white girl, blonde hair and buxom breasts package to garner peace of mind, but I sympathized with him and sincerely felt bad that the relationship came to a premature end.

Time went by, he'd make sporadic references to their telephone conversations, especially when he was late to get some place where we'd decided to go together. I'd immediately understand and not object, sucking up my anger at his tardiness. And then, finally the night before, I figured something out...

Cassidy doesn't exist - she's a figment of Suzanne and Karan's imagination - they made up this elaborate hoax to get back to me for all the dissing I subjected Karan to. Karan is pretty proud of his achievement, so must Suzanne - they had me convinced for 3 months and it was only after Karan told me that he had lied to me about something that many others had conspired about did I figure things out.

So I guess I was at fault for giving Karan the credit to go out with a girl - to actually get somewhere with her after the first date. I was also at fault for trusting him - I might become the object of ridicule for believing this for so long, I can live with that. I considered Karan to be one of my closest friends in Seattle and now, I doubt everything he has done or said. He was up there in my eyes, for his stellar performance at work and his virtuosity - suddenly he seems to be in a glass house whose walls have been shattered. My trust might be easy to earn but once it's lost, it's hardly ever regained... I'll never find out how he feels about that - but I sure hope he enjoys it! And Suzanne, I'm just glad that we aren't going to have a working relationship for much longer...

Schwarzenegger's new role may be most demanding

Can you believe he actually won? I don't think there was much doubt about his winning though but there can be many a slip betwixt cup and lip. He proved that an immigrant can rise to the helm - only in America!

Okay, enough said about Arnold. It would be unjust to write him off before having given him a fair chance at governance. California is in dire need of a turn around and if this is what it takes, so be it. I'll jump on the bandwagon if things go right - it's all about the opportunity and then, you get married :)

So there is other stuff I wanna write about, which I will once I am done working. Just finished rambling on the phone with my parents and brother, fun becomes when you talk to your folks in India, doesn't it?

Oh well, I'm done for now - till later...

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Agenda Setters 2003 - Setters

The impact of IT outsourcing in the computer industry can no longer be over-looked. In fact, two of the top 10 on the Agenda Setters list are Hu Jintao, President of China and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India. The role these 2 visionaries will play in the future of IT is paramount. From the buzz I've heard in IT circles round and about is that Americans are terrified of losing their jobs to their Eastern counterparts. As I see it right now, the West has an edge, outsourcing companies in the East are still minnows when it comes to the reliability game, but how long will this gap exist? If there is anything I know it is that people adapt and improve.

Dinner conversation on Dassera this past Sunday revolved around outsourcing and how it would be a boon for some of us Indians to go back and work in Hyderabad. That seems to be an interesting thought, I might ponder over it in a couple of years. But right now, I wanted to be firmly planted where I am - Redmond is home away from home...

Friday, October 03, 2003

Can't Figure anything out

My brain is fried - I can't figure out why a problem is occurring. This has become the bane of my existence with iSCSI and the windows device model. Sometimes things just work and other times, they fail - for no logical reason. I'm trying to get the Device Instance Name from a Device Number (in this case a Disk) but the results I get are flaky - sometimes I get the name and at others, I don't. And what I get depends totally on whether I compile with UNICODE or without, but there is no conclusive and deterministic answer to my problem. I hate it when I am reduced to a babbling fool, adding and deleting tiny breakpoints to pinpoint the actual problem - why can't it be intuitive?