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02. April 2009

The Programmer’s Reference: Looking at the Right Places.

This is a guest post by Binit Thapa, Chief Software Architect, InRev systems (

Anyone is a programmer in today’s world. Whether you like it or not, knowingly or unknowingly, you’ve come across bits and pieces of programming. Even if you haven’t made your hands dirty with languages like C/Java or Perl, you must’ve done some Microsoft Excel (VBA) programming or writing Ms word macros. Whatever be the case and your programming experience, it always helps to have a place, a temple, where you get help from. While this exact place may vary among us, fixing one always comes in handy. Here I’m compiling a few such places, the ones I loved, which I’m sure you’d like it too for the programming languages that I’ve used.

For Qbasic, and this is the first programming language I learnt, the best place I’ve found is its in-built help. As a high school student and unaware of the power and limitations of programming languages, I used to read this a lot. The examples provided there will always guide a student.

Next is C-Unix/Linux. The in-built manual pages is a very handy reference. Though it serves just as a reference and not learning or exploring new functions, this is a time-saver as you won’t have to open the browser and visit the web for such a trivial thing as syntax. Manual pages (the man command) is very extensive too. From finding help for the system commands to the shell programming (bash/ksh/sh/csh) do the man and find it out.

Perl. Once you learn this language, you start knowing the limitations of C. C is fast, Perl is easy. The Perl’s help system, the way modules are installed (perl -MCPAN -eshell), all these are unique and make it all the more powerful. For standard Perl functions and the run-time options, for the special variables and regular expressions there’s perldoc. Then for new modules (which you’ll almost certainly require), we have CPAN ( Mostly written by the module owners, the Perl’s contributors are many; yet I’ve found it to be largely exemplified and serving the purpose.

vim/gvim. The editor that is lightweight and yet supports every complex operation to do your job fast. When you learn this, you know its “optimized for speed” for the same things might require a long,long time in any other “flashy” editor available (except of course, emacs). The vim’s starting tutorial is very good for beginners. The in-built help is very extensive but I’ve found it unnecessary to dig-in unless you want to become an expert in vim customization. You can open files across ftp and make changes as if its local, you can check-in and check-out files, you can run cscope commands, you can even compile applications all with this lovely editor.

Microsoft technologies (C#, VB, VC++). I’ve done little work in this arena but digging into MSDN always helped me a lot. The examples provided and descriptions given have never disappointed me. IMO developers can work even without an internet connection and having the MSDN provided.

Google has spoiled developers. Yes, it has got answers to all questions but its always easy to directly hit the bird rather than proxying through google. And if you’ve the habit of finding help in a common place, you already know the interfaces and chances are likely that you’ll look into the right places and find the solution faster. But for troubleshooting and quick-fix solutions, nothing beats google.


08. February 2009

Layoff and how it happens !!

Once upon a time the government with Ruling Party XYZ.. had a vast scrap
yard in the middle of a desert.
Ruling Party XYZ Said.. – “Someone may steal from it at night.”

So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.
Then Ruling Party XYZ Said..

– “How does the watchman do his job without instruction?”

So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to
write the instructions, and one person to do time studies. Then Ruling
Party XYZ Said..,

– “How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?”

So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One to
do the studies and one to write the reports. Then Ruling Party XYZ Said.. ,

– “How are these people going to get paid?”

So they created the following positions, a time keeper, and a payroll
officer, then hired two people. Then Ruling Party XYZ Said..,

Who will be accountable for all of these people?”

So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an
Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal
Secretary. Then Ruling Party XYZ Said..,

– “We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $18,000
over budget, we must cutback overall cost.”

So they laid off the night watchman.

12. April 2008

Useful Windows Run Commands.

To Access….

Run Command

Accessibility Controls access.cpl
Accessibility Wizard accwiz
Add Hardware Wizard hdwwiz.cpl
Add/Remove Programs appwiz.cpl
Administrative Tools control admintools
Adobe Acrobat (if installed) acrobat
Adobe Designer (if installed) acrodist
Adobe Distiller (if installed) acrodist
Adobe ImageReady (if installed) imageready
Adobe Photoshop (if installed) photoshop
Automatic Updates wuaucpl.cpl
Bluetooth Transfer Wizard fsquirt
Calculator calc
Certificate Manager certmgr.msc
Character Map charmap
Check Disk Utility chkdsk
Clipboard Viewer clipbrd
Command Prompt cmd
Component Services dcomcnfg
Computer Management compmgmt.msc
Control Panel control
Date and Time Properties timedate.cpl
DDE Shares ddeshare
Device Manager devmgmt.msc
Direct X Control Panel (If Installed)* directx.cpl
Direct X Troubleshooter dxdiag
Disk Cleanup Utility cleanmgr
Disk Defragment dfrg.msc
Disk Management diskmgmt.msc
Disk Partition Manager diskpart
Display Properties control desktop
Display Properties desk.cpl
Display Properties (w/Appearance Tab Preselected) control color
Dr. Watson System Troubleshooting Utility drwtsn32
Driver Verifier Utility verifier
Event Viewer eventvwr.msc
Files and Settings Transfer Tool migwiz
File Signature Verification Tool sigverif
Findfast findfast.cpl
Firefox (if installed) firefox
Folders Properties control folders
Fonts control fonts
Fonts Folder fonts
Free Cell Card Game freecell
Game Controllers joy.cpl
Group Policy Editor (XP Prof) gpedit.msc
Hearts Card Game mshearts
Help and Support helpctr
HyperTerminal hypertrm
Iexpress Wizard iexpress
Indexing Service ciadv.msc
Internet Connection Wizard icwconn1
Internet Explorer iexplore
Internet Properties inetcpl.cpl
Internet Setup Wizard inetwiz
IP Configuration (Display Connection Configuration) ipconfig /all
IP Configuration (Display DNS Cache Contents) ipconfig /displaydns
IP Configuration (Delete DNS Cache Contents) ipconfig /flushdns
IP Configuration (Release All Connections) ipconfig /release
IP Configuration (Renew All Connections) ipconfig /renew
IP Configuration (Refreshes DHCP & Re-Registers DNS) ipconfig /registerdns
IP Configuration (Display DHCP Class ID) ipconfig /showclassid
IP Configuration (Modifies DHCP Class ID) ipconfig /setclassid
Java Control Panel (If Installed) jpicpl32.cpl
Java Control Panel (If Installed) javaws
Keyboard Properties control keyboard
Local Security Settings secpol.msc
Local Users and Groups lusrmgr.msc
Logs You Out Of Windows logoff
Malicious Software Removal Tool mrt
Microsoft Access (if installed) access.cpl
Microsoft Chat winchat
Microsoft Excel (if installed) excel
Microsoft Frontpage (if installed) frontpg
Microsoft Movie Maker moviemk
Microsoft Paint mspaint
Microsoft Powerpoint (if installed) powerpnt
Microsoft Word (if installed) winword
Microsoft Syncronization Tool mobsync
Minesweeper Game winmine
Mouse Properties control mouse
Mouse Properties main.cpl
Nero (if installed) nero
Netmeeting conf
Network Connections control netconnections
Network Connections ncpa.cpl
Network Setup Wizard netsetup.cpl
Notepad notepad
Nview Desktop Manager (If Installed) nvtuicpl.cpl
Object Packager packager
ODBC Data Source Administrator odbccp32.cpl
On Screen Keyboard osk
Opens AC3 Filter (If Installed) ac3filter.cpl
Outlook Express msimn
Paint pbrush
Password Properties password.cpl
Performance Monitor perfmon.msc
Performance Monitor perfmon
Phone and Modem Options telephon.cpl
Phone Dialer dialer
Pinball Game pinball
Power Configuration powercfg.cpl
Printers and Faxes control printers
Printers Folder printers
Private Character Editor eudcedit
Quicktime (If Installed) QuickTime.cpl
Quicktime Player (if installed) quicktimeplayer
Real Player (if installed) realplay
Regional Settings intl.cpl
Registry Editor regedit
Registry Editor regedit32
Remote Access Phonebook rasphone
Remote Desktop mstsc
Removable Storage ntmsmgr.msc
Removable Storage Operator Requests ntmsoprq.msc
Resultant Set of Policy (XP Prof) rsop.msc
Scanners and Cameras sticpl.cpl
Scheduled Tasks control schedtasks
Security Center wscui.cpl
Services services.msc
Shared Folders fsmgmt.msc
Shuts Down Windows shutdown
Sounds and Audio mmsys.cpl
Spider Solitare Card Game spider
SQL Client Configuration cliconfg
System Configuration Editor sysedit
System Configuration Utility msconfig
System File Checker Utility (Scan Immediately) sfc /scannow
System File Checker Utility (Scan Once At Next Boot) sfc /scanonce
System File Checker Utility (Scan On Every Boot) sfc /scanboot
System File Checker Utility (Return to Default Setting) sfc /revert
System File Checker Utility (Purge File Cache) sfc /purgecache
System File Checker Utility (Set Cache Size to size x) sfc /cachesize=x
System Information msinfo32
System Properties sysdm.cpl
Task Manager taskmgr
TCP Tester tcptest
Telnet Client telnet
Tweak UI (if installed) tweakui
User Account Management nusrmgr.cpl
Utility Manager utilman
Windows Address Book wab
Windows Address Book Import Utility wabmig
Windows Backup Utility (if installed) ntbackup
Windows Explorer explorer
Windows Firewall firewall.cpl
Windows Magnifier magnify
Windows Management Infrastructure wmimgmt.msc
Windows Media Player wmplayer
Windows Messenger msmsgs
Windows Picture Import Wizard (need camera connected) wiaacmgr
Windows System Security Tool syskey
Windows Update Launches wupdmgr
Windows Version (to show which version of windows) winver
Windows XP Tour Wizard tourstart
Wordpad write

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07. September 2007

You are a Software engineer When…


04. August 2007

This Can be compared to How developers Fix Bugs

15. June 2007

Real States in Pune and IT Professionals

I found it somewhere . I dont know who the author is but it made me comprehend.

I work in a Small IT firm at Pune. I have been looking for a house at
Wanawadi area for last six months. I have visited several new Constructions
as well as contacted various dealers.

i have had discussions with agents, who quoted Rs 45 lakhs on PHONE FOR A
3bhk and which went up to 55 lakhs the moment he come to know that I work in
an IT Company.

I finalised a Dupleix for 30 lakh only to see the owner jack its price to 40
lakhs because some agent in his society told him that he is selling him
cheap and he should sell at 40 lakhs. Till now the flat is unsold and i am
now quoting 25 lakhs for it.

I have visited new constructions and they keep on hiking prices by 200 every
week till last month. Its a another fact that most of the units are not yet

One Builder in Lullanagar keeps on increasing his flat rate by 8 lakhs every
four months with atleast 30 flats not yet booked. He has completed his
construction four year back. This alone shows the type of demand.

In one society the rate has gone from 1800 to 3100 in one year and with the
fact that only 50% of the flat has been sold and most of them at below 2100.

So what make them think that they are worth 3100 per sq feet or 60 lakhs for
a 3 BHK when the going rate was half a year back.

The common answer is – IT is coming. They have very high salary and low
mental aptitude and can easily be fooled into paying that rate.

There is an another angle to it. It is the agent lobby. They have now
started to work on anything beyond X is mine policy. Talk to any agent and
you find that They have flats at baner worth 1 crore and if you dont buy it
in a day it will go. If you happen to meet the same agent six months back,
he had said the same thing abouth that flat at Baner, but at 25 lakhs.

Suddenly Baner, Kharadi has become as expensive as the heart of Pune.

Its a another fact that it still resembles a Village and if you have not got
your own car, you will be skimmed big time by any auto that you find after
waiting for one hour.

House search is a big joke. I have simply laughed at whenever any agents
tell me that if I dont take a decision in another Ten minutes, someone else
will buy the flat. Trust me, no one is going to buy that. Ask your wife to
call that same gentleman again after 2 months and he will still be selling
you at the same time.

I have the following suggestion for any flat hunters-

1. Tell them beforehand that you are from IT and listen to whatever price
they quote.

2. Go and see the flat.

3. Meet the owner.

4. Quote him and not the agent around 10-15 lakh lower than its price.

5. Come out.

Trust me, if he really wants to sell he will follow you after a month.

Till the time you can live on rent. At the maximum a 2 BHK will cost you
10000. Please remember that if you buy anything for the rate they quote and
if you need to shift to Bangalore, you wont even get half of it. The same
agent who sold you at that rate will quote 75% when you plan to sell.

Remember all the resale flats are owned by investors who themselve are
feeling the pinch of high interest rate and want to get out. Its the greed
installed by the agents which is stopping them.

Call every builder you get. Tell them that you work in Oracle and IBM etc.
They will tel you that only two units are left. Then say that you dont want
because you need a choice. They will then say that there is lot of flats
from which you can choose.

Now ask for the price. The moment they quote laugh heavily and say that they
must be joking and then disconnect. Please remember to give them your phone
number. Trust me I still get calls from these guys.

This strategy has worked for me. Prices have come down from 65 lakhs to 50
lakhs now and I have become greedy. Remember Pune is not Mumbai. Just drive
through 10 kms and you see so much empty land.

This is just greed where they have assumed some wrong things about IT

Industry– They all are idiots.

Every IT person makes 1 lakh and above.

Again they are fools.

Remember there are guys out to exploit you.

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