Friday, June 30, 2006

Indian Postal Service ..Amazing!!

I went to post an Letter Weighing 290 gms today to Post Office.

I was surprised !! :

Normal Letter Postal charges for 290 gms is Rs. 75.00...
  • slow, un-registered, no tracking..
The postal guy suggested me to goto the Speed Post counter, as it might charge less, I was surprised, but as he said the charges were :

Domestic Tariff( As on 30th June-2006)

Weight Local Upto 200 Kms 201 to 1000 Kms 1001 to 2000 Kms Above2000 Kms
Upto 200 Gms Rs. 20 Rs. 25 Rs. 30 Rs. 50 Rs. 50
201 to 500 Gms Rs. 20 Rs. 40 Rs, 45 Rs. 60 Rs. 60
Additional 500 Gms or Part Rs. 5 Rs.7.5 Rs. 10 Rs. 20 Rs. 25

So I did the Speed Post of my Article which was infact 1 book we were giving as gift to some of our relatives on their birthday !!

The charges were Rs. 45.00 + Taxes = Rs. 50.00 only
  • Fast Delivery(All my Speed Posts tell date reached either 2nd or 3rd day to Pune from Bangalore).
  • Registered
  • Tracking Facility !!
Cheers !!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Printing Digital Images for FREE ..In India !!

Yes, you heard it right ..I came across : Its an Indian website offering FREE printing of 4x6 digital photos if you refer a friend. I tried the website, its good. Some of the things I like :

  • Prints of 4x6 @ Rs. 4.50 !! : Shipping @ Rs. 36.00 upto 50 prints.
  • Good & Simple Appearence
  • Useful User Interface
  • Fast Upload & View.
  • You get started Instantly

There are plenty of Photo Album websites to store Photos, but very few offers services @ Rs.4.5/per photo in India. Which is as good as going to a Photo Studio & getting your digital Photo's printed.

One of the other popular website I reviewed

KodakEasyShareGallary : : This is Indian version of Kodak Gallary in USA. · You can order prints which can be delivered thoughout India. ·

  • The cost is Rs.10.00 for 4x6" : Shipping @ Rs. 45.00 :( ..very expensive·
  • Website has different look than its parent popular website :·
  • Website is very slow ..I have tried it many times for past 2-3 months..same response.
  • Appearence & Ease of operation is not so good.

There are others too who just offer Photo Album services without printing services in India :·

I would try the services with Picsquare & will post my feedback here !! Specially when the website is managed from Bangalore !! ...This is a venture by 2 Indian Entrepreneurs

enjoy !!

Good Article : Managing the Pain

Today I read this article : Managing the Pain

The article is in Its good article & the author has summarized it rightly as under :

The worst real losses are those of investors who got attracted to the stock markets in the last four or five months. Typically, these people have made a series of bad choices. Instead of investing steadily, they have put in large chunks of money at one go. Their mutual fund investments are in untested new funds and their stock investments are in rumour-of-the-day type of stocks that were being pushed by brokers till a few days back. The more recklessly adventurous have already lost large chunks of their investments to repeated margin calls from brokers and lenders.

This is very correct. I remember Investment Advisors keep telling about SIP !! . Which comes true. Even in SIP, you will incurr losses, but it will be less as compared to what happens when you invest in bulk.

But as the author said, its tough for many investors to resist when the market was in Bull Run & everybody wanted to make quick money.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Indian Stock Market Swings

Disclaimer : I am not a stock market expert or Investment Advisor

The stock market in India seems to be swinging more than anybody could understand. In past 2 months since the market started bear phase(downturn), I have been observing following :

1.No or very less Ads in TV/Radio/News Paper on Mutual Funds
2.Investment Advisors have stopped giving recommendations !!
3.Everybody who invested recently(2-3 months back), lost lot of money :(

So it seems that people who where so bullish about the market, suddenly stopped talking about it :) ..Which is not a reality.

Equity Investments were always risky, just that in last 1 year it was too good to believe & everybody was jumping in it..thinking that it will be like this always :) .

So this recent crash has made people think more logically & re-look at their portfolio. I know people who exited after the crash..

I still feel that one should expect good returns in long term taking into account the short term risks sometimes. That way you are more reasonable & will not become emotional while investing you hard-earned money.

I was doing some research on some websites about the funds who performed better than others(that means gave less -ve returns !!) in past 2 months !!..Here some of them : Ratings are as per

1. Sundaram Select Midcap
2. Magnum Contra
3. Magnum Global
4. HDFC Equity-G

The above funds which I listed above are on the TOP of my list !! ..Again these are based on my research as per current performance. I looked at the funds which are at least 3 years old & have out-performed the Sensex/Nifty even in the crash.

Earlier whenever Investment Advisor used to tell us that, do not expect mroe than 10-12% returns from Equity Market MF, I used to think how it can be .as we were all seeing the upword trend for long time :) ..But now everyone knows that its really risky in investing in Equity. So follow these guidelines always :

1. Only Invest if you have cash left with you which dont need for next 1 or 2 years
2. Investment with Mutual Funds with previous track record only
3. NFO's can be tried, but they are very risky times.
4. Always do you own research to understand what the Fund delivers & what's its Portfolio(Not all funds are same).
5. Diversify within Funds if you can
6. Last but not least : Invest some part through SIP for sure.

For past 1 market is again showing some continuous upword trend :) ..So its a good sign, but again watch out & be careful before investing...But do Invest if you can !!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Bangalore Pune Volvo NH4 experience !

I was in Pune for 4 days. It was a short trip. I was expecting some rains in pune but it was not much. Though while going from Bangalore ..on road in Karnataka ..there was good rains after Tumkur.

I took KSRTC Volvo - Airavat. It was good & comfortable ride to Pune in 16 hours with stopping at Tumkur/Davangere/Kolhapur/Katraj Ghat ..

This was my 2nd trip in Volvo bus by KSTRC ..It was good experience overall. The drivers seems to be good in driving & do not overtake too much (which is a usual practice on Highways by buses & Cars).

The NH4(Mumbai-Chennai) is supposed to 4-Laned by 31-DEC-2006 as per PMs statement last week. The status is available on the Website : Here is the latest MAP with status:
From the MAP it seems that most of the work is completed. Also it is completed at most of the streaches. But whevever the work is not done or abondon because of re-tendering or whatever reasons. Its the worst part of NH4, the road become narrow & traffic plays from both sides. There is no tar work & its very dangerous to drive for those streaches in night specially. I saw one Truck loosing its control & accidently fell on the dich on the side of the road(there is no road infact ..just mud!!).

I am sure everybody must be feeling bad about the fact that, after spending so much the 4-laning of highways is taking so long just because our govt. do not have control to make sure that the work happens as per the deadlines in tender. Once the govt. in power changes everything stops & waits for nod from new govt to continue ..

I took almost 1 hour to reach Yashwantpur from Bangalore Bus Station. From there till Tumkur the road is 4-laned, but there is heavy traffic of Trucks & lot of people/vehicles crossing the highway. The best part of NH4 is from Belgaum to Pune(till you reach Katraj Ghat !!). The road is perfectly done with good quality material(you can see the difference from your eyes !!). Once can easily drive at the avg speed of 75 kmph at that streach in non-peak hours.

Katraj Ghat realignment is something I am looking for when I go next time pune :) ..if that is done before dec-31 people will save almost 1 hour.

Overall its good to see that something is happening :) ...we in india sometimes are too accomodative or too aggressive !!

I am looking for a day when one can reach Mumbai from Bangalore(1000 kms) in 12 hours :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Books on Oracle Applications

I found this nice Compilation by Marian Crkon.

It has good compilation of books on Oracle Applications. I gave comments about one more book on the blog post !! ..The Blog is here :

Since I have started reading technical blogs about Oracle Technologies I like I am finding new ones !!

I would try to compile the Blogs of my interest & will make a link at my blog for easy reference.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Experince with Indian Postal Services

Today I had a good & bad experience with Indian Postal Service (

I have always had good experience with Indian Postal Service recently, as the service levels are improved now as compared to earlier what I have seen.

But today I was shocked to see how they behave. I went to post office for sending 1 letter by Speed Post to Pune. Normally it costs only Rs. 30(even as per website that is correct), but today he charged me Rs.50+6=56.00 for the same letter which was just 26 gms. The reason given to me was that the system is showing thay way :( ..What can I say in front of the dumb computer or even the person sitting next to me. As I was in hurry I did not say anything & paid Rs.56 & got my thing posted as it was urgent.

Later when I got time, I called the Speed Post Manager(Yes there is something like this !!) at GPO & he admitted that this is a mistake :) ..So that's the good part that somebody listed in their website picks up the phone & answers too :) ..He said send me a letter 7 I will refund Rs. 26 back to you ..great what a service. He also mentioned me that send a letter w/o stamp on it & it will be served.

Once my letter reach the destination I will lodge the complaint & see what happens.

As all know that the Minister of Communications & IT is doing good for quite some time & it really feels good that things are changing...But still lot to be done to the people level & make feel more better when they interact with Govt depts ...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Airdeccan ..not again :(

Not again !! ..I knew this already but still trying to book tickets at for the offer they have Sept To Oct-06 period ...It never works :( .Also their India wide phone numbers do not work at matter which number you try.
This time also I am trying to book tickets since morning 8:30 am & the site is not working. Just the first page comes & the search results end no where !
We all know that the low cost airlines are operating with low margins..but why can't they spent little on Internet Servers or have their websites on good ISPs where they can manage such heavy loads. I feel that they don't even bother sometimes to take pain in order to fix such they anyway get passengers.
Just to recall some of the Low Cost Airilnes in India :
1. Air Deccan :
2. SpiceJet      :
3. GoAir          :
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Thursday, June 08, 2006


So here you have a Indian version of Its called as I have been thinking about this kind of service in india for long ..& now its here for everybody to use FREE !!..The venture is from ..Appreciate their efforts in this area.

Its kind of exactly the same way PayPal works. So whoever have used PayPal, they know that it is good way of exchanging money faster.The service launch was done by Amitabh Bachchan(Our Bollywood Hero of all times !!).

These are the following uses & advantages of using this service. I will try to use this soon & let all know about it !! :

Uses of

Send money to anyone
Receive money from anyone
Make payments to businesses
Pay for online shopping
Pay utility bills
Store money online

Advantages of

Safe and Secure to use
Financial details are protected
Beyond Credit Cards
Use any bank account
Instant transfers
Free Sign-Up

So technology ideas are being imported from West now !! ..I heard Sabir Bhatia(Hotmail guy !!) is coming with a VOIP Service in India ..will dig out more on that...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Attending Oracle 10g Admin-II Workshop

Attending Oracle 10g Admin-II Workshop, which is for 4 days, started
yesterday. Its interesting to learn the new stuff(10g) & try to
compare it with old stuff(7,8i,9i) !!

Lot of new things in Oracle 10g Database. DBAs job looks like made
simple...but it is not !!

Conceptually many things are new & needs lot of hands-on before you
can claim that you know them ...

Many things to do with Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g...

In last 2 days, learned following :

1. Backup & Recovery(RMAN)
2. Flashback Database ..nice feature
3. DB Corruption - Identification & correction techniques
4. Using EM 10g

Still lot more to go ...using EM 10g is good experience, but many
things sometimes do not work properly as expected(e.g. I was trying
Password Authentication for Listener & it was not working as expected)
..Will try to figure out tomorrow...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Downtime !!

I have some guests visitng us tomorrow. I was trying to look at their Train schedule real-time with the help of Unfortuently the website is down & I am not sure whether the Train is delayed or running on time.

The website is a very good & I have used it many times to spot the Train really provides very accurate information. But when its down, what can we do !!

Its very important in this Internet world to maintain the systems/software in order to have them up & running 27x7x365 !! ..Its tough job ..but there are couple of examples I would like to take ..e.g. How many times you tried accessing your Yahoo or Google email & the website was down ? ..No way even if you get sometimes message that there is some issues & it will be corrected. Next minute you try to access & you are in !!

Its quite late now & I need to get up early to pickup guests from Train Station. I woul need to call the Indian Railawys call center tomorrow morning to check the status now :(

good night !!