Thursday, June 30, 2005

yet another spoof

the wrangling over the governement order to quash the TNPCEE continues. with the high court ruling that the entrance examinations marks should also be taken into account, the Tamil Nadu government as expected, has moved the Supreme Court. Final sufferers - the students & their parents.

hasty decisions by both the central & state govts aren't new to us, eg., carrying of original license papers, CAS/set-top box, VAT to name a few. when will we learn from our past mistakes?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Mother of All Software Please

The newsletter, Dr. Ralph Wilson's Web Marketing Today, that I subscribe to listed all the software thats being used in putting their site up. Some extracts:
Most webpages are standard HTML constructed with templates and Server Side Includes (SSIs) using HotDog 5.5 from Sausage Software and MS FrontPage 2003 webpage editors, and uploaded to the site using WS_FTP from Ipswitch. The site is hosted on a fast Sun Solaris server from ViaVerio and located in Dulles, Virginia. Since December 2003 I've been using a Perl content management system, Article Manager from Interactivetools, to handle and display Web Marketing Today Free Edition articles, producing static HTML pages and an RSS feed. If I were to start again from scratch, I'd look for a search-engine-friendly content manager to run the entire site, but to do that now would render useless altogether too many incoming links to nearly 10 years of article URLs on my existing site. A variety of _JavaScript programs attempt to make the site more intuitive and user-friendly.

Contact forms are powered by FormHandler.cgi, from the CGI Perl Cookbook, modified to plug security holes. My article syndication system runs with Botranger's Master Syndicator. I monitor search engine optimization and tweak pages using WebPosition from WebTrends. I examine linking patterns with OptiLink from Windrose Software. I study site traffic patterns with ClickTracks Pro, page tags version. I use Offermatica and Vertster to do A/B split testing to optimize conversion rates on my site.

I use SitePal animated talking heads on my site introduction pages to capture visitor attention. Site audio (sparse on but used extensively on another site) is powered by SonicMemo. (I had very good experience with Audio Generator, but switched to SonicMemo because it requires only a one-time fee.) I use pop-up windows from DPG (which appear once and only once) to increase my newsletter subscription rate. The site carries contextual text ads from Google AdSense.

Web Marketing Today Free Edition is edited in MS Word 97 (which produces pretty good, clean HTML, compared to later versions of Word) and then set up in the HTML e-mail newsletter template using MS FrontPage 2003. I send it out in both text and HTML/text multi-part MIME formats using AutoResponse Plus from ECom24, using a MySQL database backend and a dedicated server and IP address. I employ a Habeas license, with its header and whitelist, to increase deliverability, which I track with DeliveryMonitor from AWeber Systems. I monitor blacklisting using Blacklist Monitor from MailWorkz.

My subscription system for Web Marketing Today Premium, as well as database lookups in the Web Marketing Info Center and authorization for password-protected areas of the site, are powered with custom-built ColdFusion applications, which access data in MySQL databases. I e-mail newsletters to my smaller WMT Premium subscriber list using Gammadyne Mailer, a desktop mailer which is able to access e-mail addresses from and write to my online MySQL subscriber list, as well as desktop databases and spreadsheets.

I re-index my entire site every night using Swish-e, which powers my site search system. My shopping cart is ShopSite Pro which handles digital downloads for my e-book and seminar ticket sales. VeriSign Payment Systems Payflow Pro is my payment gateway and Ultimate Affiliate Software from is my affiliate program. I manage my orders -- both digital and tangible -- using Stone Edge Order Manager. My accounting system is run with QuickBooks.

But here comes the clincher :

I hope that helps you get a picture of how one siteowner uses software to manage a rather complex online business. Wouldn't it be nice to have just one software tool that would do it all while I went hiking? In my dreams! :-)

Anyone out there who's dreaming of such a single package?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

aussies get a sound thrashing

it was a shock reading that bangladesh has beaten australia in their ODI of the trination series which also features england. kudos to the minnows. more on this here :

and more happy news - our baby's doing real well :-)

Saturday, June 18, 2005

the pirillo effect

hey chris, got to read this seattle times article on you. and visited your lockergnome site too. saw a download section for software out there. how daya select which products get featured in ur site? u see the products am working for at the left - opmanager, a network monitoring software & servicedesk plus, a help desk & asset management software. any chance o' u (evaluating &) putting 'em out on ur site?

believe u'll turn up commenting here as said in the article ;-)

tried it yet?

thanks to the microsoft geek blogger, came across this kool page which is more than an RSS aggregator. try it out, one of the better products from msft. hope they won't mess it up in the end. and hey the persian lady, sanaz, at the left is one of the 3 who's working on the project. doesn't look like a programmer, rite? looks so cute ;-)

And some good news - our baby's doin fine, as mom & child are back home after a week in hospital. praying now for her to remain outta trouble & to reach the 3 kg mark soon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

life & death

oh, it was a wunnerful feeling looking at our cute baby girl for the first time. she was born on june 10, 8:16 am IST.

for the first day or so she was ok, but she was just 2 kg during birth & was diagnosed with jaundice. the poor child has since been kept under blue light in an incubator sort of. drips were given too so were anti allergic & antibiotic medicines. she's pulled thru quite nicely till now & the doctors say there's nothing to worry, but then as a dad of a baby girl only 4 days old, one can't just stop worrying.

and, in the most cruelest tragedy of life i've ever witnessed, one of my best friends for years, govindarajan died in a car accident. he got married only last friday, just when my baby girl was being born. his wife escaped though. govind, raja to his friends, was my room-mate in annamalai for 3 years. we had a lot in common, reading books in particular. just couldn't forget the days when we cycled or walked to the small lending library every other week. he was a voracious reader of tamil fiction, particularly those based on history. saandilyan & kalki were his favorites. he was a studious guy too being one of the toppers in his class. and he excelled in NCC, the high point being his long cycling expedition through many parts of tamil nadu. and govind was the one who pulled me away from L&T to my present job with adventnet.

had a memorable trip with him & his team to ooty 2 years before. will try posting the links to the blog about the trip and the pics we took there.

whoever's reading this, please pray for the departed soul & for the well being of the baby.

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Twister

You have to to see this terrific account on tornadoes in the NatGeo site. Nice flash presentation with some very close photoes. Reminded me of the film "The Twister"

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remembers me of something regional

From Techdirt :
Not quite sure what sort of message this is sending, but a British job training school is offering free iPods to unemployed kids who take their classes. You can kind of understand the rationale. These are often kids who aren't interested in going to any kind of school -- but getting them in could help them find a job, which would be a good thing. However, as some critics point out in the article, this is basically bribing them for being lazy. Shouldn't the fact that they don't have a job be incentive enough for them to go to a program designed to help them find a job? Meanwhile, the people who actually do work hard in school and actually have found a job don't get rewarded at all. It seems to be sending the wrong message.

atleast the first part of the story resembled our own "sathunavuth thitam" where children are offered a lunch if they come to school. And it's a tremendous hit in Tamil Nadu where its being practised for around 4 decades. btw, anyone knows who was the first to introduce this idea - Bhagthavatchalam, Kamaraj or MGR?