Monthly Archives: August 2006

Oh, for a new telephone connection…

Thank God that a night separates the day. And I hope tomorrow is not like today. Nope; my depressing state has nothing to do with the training I am delivering now. Well, I am delivering an Identity Manager training program (this time it is not IDM 345, but IDM 2525) at Sun Education Center, Bangalore. And in between, during the lunch break, I set out for an adventure. Before I talk about what the adventure, let me give you a oneliner background on the same. Of late, I have been thinking about a new telephone connection from BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.) so that I could take a broadband Internet connection at home. Having understood from the call center that the payment mode to get a new connection is only through a Demand Draft (they still live in some old century I believe), I went to my bank to make a demand draft. Unfortunately, the machine was non-functional (of course not the first time). Then I went to another bank, which has been in exsitence in our country for quite a long time now. Don’t they look very lazy out there? Yes, they did and it was really an experience in itself to get hold of a Demand Draft from there. Time then was 12:50 P.M. Took an auto and reached the BSNL office to submit an application form for a new connection. It was 1:10 P.M. then.I was told that they open only between 10:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. (a very convenient time for other employees to visit the BSNL office !!!). And I was the the last in the queue, which had only three people! The lady there at the counter was keying in the details from the application form to the computer very slowly and carefully. That’s understandable. I was getting a bit restless because I had to reach back the Sun lab at 2:00 P.M. for my afternoon session. At around 1:30 P.M. (well, exactly at 1:30 P.M. rather), that lady told me rather harshly to get back to her at 2:30 P.M. after her lunch break. I wonder whether she thought that the people who went to BSNL to submit the forms are unemployed and had no other work than sneaking in at the BSNL counters as and when they tell. By all means I had reached there much in advance to their lunch break and hence had all right to request her to spend another five minutes to accept my application form and give me the acknowledgement. She mercilessly rejected that. Well, I felt really annoyed and walked out of the BSNL office immediately. Well, who cares. Afterall they don’t get anything if a new connection is requested for.

I came back to my office and during the tea break wrote an E-mail to all reachable authorities at BSNL on this issue. I have absolutely no idea whether they would be generous enough to read through my E-mail at least. But I have decided to cancel my Demand Draft tomorrow and try to get a broadband connection from some other private companies who offer this service. I am sure they wouldn’t be harsh like this BSNL people. Having had this personal experience, it is no surprise to me now why these private parties are flourishing in our Nation in spite of allegations like hidden charges etc. Well, service matters. It’s high time that the Government organization learn about it and make appropriate amendments to their working model. Need some good sleep today to get over this frustration.

One more IDM 345 training reaches the chequered flag

It was an exhausting five days of training sessions. One more Sun Java System Identity Manager Deployment training got over this evening (course coded IDM 345). I have taken quite a few batches of this course before, and all of them have been a wonderful learning experience for me as well. I love this particular course for several reasons: one of course it is conducted on my favourite Solaris Operating Environment (unlike the previous course on Sun Java System Identity Manager); and secondly it has around 32 hours of lab, which makes the trainer and the participantes occuppied all through the day on all five days of the training program. I have heard my participants murmering to me, towards the end of the training, “You are putting us under a lot of pressure.” This course covers this provisioning product of Sun in detail and is in fact designed based on Sun’s actual experience of deploying this product in an organization.

My participants were very co-operative. You would see all of ’em below in the picture (and the blurred handwriting that you would see on the while board in this picture is my handwriting and what’s written there is an XPRESS code to generate an E-mail address from the account id of a user in Sun Java System Identity Manager)

As usual, after four and a half day of exhaustive theory and lab sessions I continued to “torture” my participants by conducting an online test and asking ’em to “teach me back” the modules in the course. I must mention here that the gentlemen, whom you see in the snap took my request on “teach back” very seriously and I happened to witness some very good presentations on the course. Good job folks.

I have the same product training next week as well and the participants are from the same organization; but the course is slightly different and is very “light” as compared to the IDM 345. Before I leave, let me clarify here that Sun Java System Identity Manager is not referred to as “SIM,” as I happend to hear from several participants of mine.

Back to College

Woke up quite early; at around 3:30 A.M. and had to catch a flight from Bangalore at around 6:30 A.M. The destination was Hyderabad. After one hour’s flight journey, I had my breakfast from Greenpark restaurant (a decent one I must add) along with another Sun fellow Raju Alluri and the Chairman of the Holy Mary’s Institute of Technology and Science( In fact the main and the only purpose of my journey to Hyderabad was to conduct a seminar on Java at the aforesaid college. After having the breakfast we travelled towards the college. It was a good one hour drive from the Green Park restaurant. It appears to be me that the college was located in an isolated area and kept wondering how the students commuted. But then, later realized that the college had a dozen buses from the city to carry their students. We were welcomed by the Principal of the college. It was nice to be back in a college; a cherished, nourished and protected environment. Raju gave a wonderful presentation on various Sun technologies that mainly revolved around Solaris 10 and Sun servers. I felt that the initial few minutes were tough for me as the students, who attended the seminar took some time to get into the groove. Raju ran through several slides that talked about some important features of Solaris 10 (that included ZFS, DTrace, FMA and SMF). He gave some good examples of the various ranges of Server that is marketed by Sun. I heard a sigh of wonder from the audience, when Raju discussed about the 25K server. I liked the way he handled the questions from the audience (to my surprise there were lot of questions from the student community). The way he answered the questions clearly reflected the decades of experience he has in the field of Information Technology. A few questions that I am able to recollect are mentioned below:

a) Why should someone prefer Solaris/Linux to Windows?
b) On a scale of five how would rate Solaris, Linux and Windows (in terms of Virus attack?
c) How feasible is to assemble a Sun Server by buying its parts?
d) Is Open Office available for Windows operating system?
e) How would a Sun Technology help an Electrical & Electronics Engineering Student?

My session started at around 2:30 P.M. I was in no mood to have lunch. So I had only a short lunch and rushed to the venue. Students assembled by around 2:30 P.M. As usual I had no plans. But the flow I feel was good and I was personally satisfied towards the end of the presentation. My seminar emphasized on the application of Java Programming Language, its scope and more importantly on the importance of getting Sun certified. I could speak the latter aspect from my heart because I myself got certified on Java Programming Language, when I was in my 7th semester in Engineering College. And I know the level of confidence that I achieved after that. Perhaps, it is that calculated risk of bunking several sessions during my seventh semester and focussing myself on Java Technology and getting myself certified in the same laid the foundation of getting into Sun Microsystems. I know I spoke truthfully and spoke from the heart and I only hope that at least a handful of my younger friends get benefitted by the same and focus themselves for a productive career. I felt really exhausted towards the end of the presentation. Raju and myself rushed back to the City. I was early in the airport. Thank God my flight was on time.

A Dream Come True

Well, I have been associated with Sun Microsystems for more an a couple of years as an external consultant for Sun Learning Services and now I am quite excited to be on board with the Standford University Network and to be a part of fun@sun. I have been maintaining a habit of writing diaries for several years now and have printed out a majority of my personal writings only to keep it in a wooden box (my paternal grand mother’s property) in my small bedroom-library in Kochi, Kerala (a southern state in India popularly known as the ‘God’s own country). But those writings are quite personal and I don’t intend to make it public in the near future (you rightly guessed that it would also contain all embarrassing moments in my life as well). Well in this blog site of Sun, which I believe is a wonderful initiative as it gives out the opinions of some major Sun fellows, I wish to write something that’s neither too personal nor too official. I like writing and I do write a lot, which only means that you would see me writing something or the other more than often in this blog. My only wish is that whatever I scribble down in the time that I get, my dear readers would derive something relevant out of it. So welcome to my blog and I sincerely request you let me know your comments and suggestions, if any, for I have been a firm believer of constantly improving the quality of activities that I indulge in.

Now, before I proceed further, I think it makes sense to give you a vague idea about me. Probably the best way to do so is to let you know my interests so that you could try to derive what kind of personality do I belong:

My main hobbies include reading books on English classics, on spirituality, writing diaries, letters and the likes, sketching (of late I have not been doing this; there was time in my life, when I had spent lot of money on buying mediums like pencil, charcoal etc), Graphology (I wouldn’t, of course, rate me high in this), mirror writing (inspired during the school days reading about Da Vinci) and playing Guitar (Well, I have a couple of instruments with me, which I generally use to figure out how to produce some “noise” that’s pleasant for a small family audience; as of now, I play Guitar for myself; it’s risky to play it for the public). Some of the books that I have read and which I believe to have changed me (either in improving my language or in the way I think) are mentioned below (list incomplete):

All the books by my spiritual guide (Shri P Rajagopalachari)
The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes by Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle
The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Wings of Fire by Dr. A P J Kalam (Honourable President of India)
Ignited Minds by Dr. A P J Kalam (Honourable President of India)
Guiding Souls by Dr. A P J Kalam (Honourable President of India)
Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda by Swami Vivekananda
Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Practical Unix and Internet Security (Publisher: O’Reilly Publications)

Watching movies was a routine affair in the earlier days (these days the standard of all movies regardless of the language have come down drastically; that’s what I believe personally) and some of ’em that stays with me even now includes the following in no specific order(again the list is incomplete):

The Sixth Sense [English]
Nayakan [Tamil]
Parinda [Hindi]
Manichitrathazhu [Malayalam]
A Few Good Men [English]
Pingami [Malayalam]
Amrithavarshini [Kannada]
Dil Chahta Hai [Hindi]

I presume I have written sufficient to give out an idea of what my interests are and to some extent what type of personality do I belong to. Having introduced myself, I think i will take leave for the moment, hoping to come back with something more interesting, more informative in the days ahead.