Farewell party to Mr 2006

I just came back from the Morning session and now going back for the farewell party for Mr 2006, followed with a fresher party for Mr 2007.

I will write more about the fresher party once I come back (may be morning 5 am). This is the time to thank many people who have helped me make 2006 a better a year.

I will like to thank God for everything He did in my life. As I keep saying that all you can do is “word hard” but then the result still has some more parameters. I count myself very lucky as there are many who pray for me daily (in thousands). Thanking my parents for everything, they care of all my pains and I keep enjoying the moments being away from all pains. I thank all my Church members, ICPF groups, CGPF groups and other youth ministries for their continuous support. I thanks everyone in Grmtech, where I spend almost half of my day. Its been a great year with Grmtech, taking many important decision, done some really helpful recruitments (people make the company and now we have the right team for that). I thank all my friends for being their at all moments. I know there are many whom I should thank and I do that with whole of my heart, may God bless you all abundantly.

I need to push back in another 10 mins else I will go late for the special dinner :). Saying farewell to

  • Year 2006.
  • Old office building.
  • I will complete the list once I am back.

Bye Bye, Mr 2006.

Multi Gmail Account manager not that safe

As I wrote earlier that multi email accounts can be managed using one gmail account. Is it protecting my identity (my primary email account details)? On the surface it is hiding your primary email but not at a technical level.

We use some ids which are anonymous and the person should not come to know the sender (this is used for some internal communication for improvement, we are using it with inferno team).

Let me again use the screenshots for better explanation with a step by step description:-

  1. I am sending an email to xyz(at)gmail.com(Manojit) using aji(at)aimk.org. aji(at)aim.org is an additional email account added to my primary account ajiissac(at)gmail.com.
    Google account manager not safe
  2. My friend Manojit gets the email. On surface it looks as an email from aji(at)aimk.org
    Google account manager
  3. Even while reading Manojit can’t figure it out.
    Google account manager

How can Manojit figure out then?
How can Manojit figure out that it is sent by ajiissac(at)gmail.com (who is managing another email id aji(at)aimk.org)? It can be done by Looking at the full header of the email. Click on the “reply down” and choose the option “show original”.
Gmail options

You will get the full header where the sender is ajiissac(at)gmail.com not aji(at)aimk.org and thus anyone can figure it out.
full header

In the above example it is not a problem as there is no harm if my primary email id is exposed but take a different case where [email protected] says “You are doing the right thing, please correct yourself Mr Manojit.”.

Now if Manojit figures out that it is not anonymous but ajiissac then the purpose is lost. In short Multi Gmail Account manager is not safe if you do not want to disclose your identity (your primary email account).

Inferno 2006-2007

My involvement with Inferno (B-School Fest by AIMK) holds a record. I am the only alumni (or student) who have attended almost all the Infernos (Did I miss any at all?). From being a member of reception crew to a participant to a Judge, it was a journey full of experience (Good or Bad experience? If I can use the experience then Good else as useless as Bad).

I attended the first inferno being a member of reception crew (I was a first year student and was in support team). I helped the team with Book Stalls as well. Also I played the Stock Exchange Game (the only competition where I participated).

Second year, where I was in managing committee the Inferno. During this phase we had already started our small company (or Group) called Idealog , so we designed a full ad campaign for Idealog and its first big product. “Bulls and Bears“, done in VB and MSaccess, Lan based program with run time stock prices and graph, worked really hard for almost one month (thanks to the silent Programming lab, where I spent almost a month with Dinesh and Joshi. Dinesh was also busy with another project for “Aries Logistics, Netherland”, some good old days). If I am not wrong we started asking Rs 20,000 for “Bulls & Bears” product. After the event some of the colleges wanted a demo. All the participants were impressed with the Product. The product was termed a success where we lost few thousand takas (no Bulls all Bears) and learned some good lessons worth millions.

Inferno 2, conducted in 2002, had more of me that just “Bulls and Bears”. We had complete advertisement done in Flash for coming events (thanks to Vinny, MCA-3 for the 100% help). Being a member of the committee I am sure I was involved in many more things. We also participated in “Software Engineering Event” and ended with second prize (some Rs 1500 prize). We were happy to get 1500 as prize but spent almost close to that in celebration (I think that was the fun of student budgeting) at AquaJava (that’s not a tech product, it was a happy zone restaurant specially made for NIMCians).

Next Inferno, when I was in third year (also working for Grmtech). By this time we had lost some of the code for “Bulls and Bears” (Learned the importance of code management and subversions). Those were 2 nights and one day where I worked with three other NIMcians to make an alternative plan. One of the programmers was Prabhat Kumar whom we hired recently and still has the same passion to work through out night. I was biased towards him when I recommended him (may be because I had experience of working with him without a break). At last we came up with a better product, “Dallal Street”. It was fun, we introduced Dallals as well and it was a complete market. I also participated in Ad-Mad (made a mad ad on women contraceptive, we had 2 great Sardars in our team, we discussed more about contraceptive and its working than the ad, was really fun), Logo Design, Website designing (We came 2nd) and may be some more events.

Last Inferno, I was called as a Judge for website designing. I gave away some free tips without even charging the customary 2 cents. Was fun altogether!

Finally I am back with Inferno as a Consultant, where I with the team (Best AIM team I ever worked with, certainly after my batch, I am biased here) will make it a success. I did pray for it and working really hard. Our team has already done a great work. Some of the features,

  • We are doing a lot of documentation using Google Docs. Want to see the doc, contact Narendra.
  • Inferno site is based on a very special Wiki.
  • We will be blogging about all the activities.
  • We will be using Youtube and other video application.
  • We are planning to extend our reach with making few events online or using postal services.

A lot of talk about Inferno but time to call it a day, 00:30 IST. Wishing Inferno team a big success and praying to God for the required help. Your participation will motivate us. You will not get a better team than this to make Inferno a bigger success.

What is my incentive?
I get free Dinners at GP after every meeting. We had one today. I had “two capathis” and “anda thadka”. You can feel J :).

Gmail Account Manager – Simplified multi-mail personality

Before I rush back to Church for the special Christmas prayers I thought of penning down an important blog posting for the Inferno’s Technical team. This is about managing multi email accounts using big G’s Gmail (It may be not safe, know why). It is much simpler than what many thought. Here I go with more images and less words (oops if one image == 1000 words, then worth almost 5000 words :)).

Characters of this play

  1. ajiissac(at)gmail.com – My mail account
  2. aji(at)aimk.org – Seasonal account
  3. aji(at)idealwebtools.com – Official account for idealwebtools.com

After fixing AIMK email accounts (Now it is working with Google, I have pointed the MX records to google) I have already fixed it for aji(at)aimk.org. Lets fix it for aji(at)idealwebtools.com.

What do I mean by fixing?

  1. All the mails coming to aji(at)idealwebtools.com should come to ajiissac(at)gmail.com.
  2. I should be able to send email from ajiissac(at)gmail.com using aji(at)idealwebtools.com.

Part 1 is relatively simpler. Just do a forward and it will work (Do let me know if you need help with it). The second part is somehow new to many.

Sending as aji(at)idealwebtools.com from ajiissac(at)gmail.com

  1. Go to settings > accounts
    Manging Gmail accounts - Fig 1
  2. Click on “Add another email address”. You will get a pop up (some pop up blocker can blog this). Fill in the pop up box (you can also specify a different reply to email).
    Manging Gmail accounts - Fig 2
  3. After clicking on the “next step” from step 2, you get this screen in pop up box. Click on “Send verifiication”.
    Manging Gmail accounts - Fig 3
  4. Check you email (for me it was aji(at)idealwebtools.com) for verification code. I got the verification code and entered into the last screen of the popup box.
    Manging Gmail accounts - Fig 4
    You are done.
  5. Start sending email as aji(at)idealwebtools.com from ajiissac(at)gmail.com using the drop down.
    Manging Gmail accounts - Fig 5

Wasn’t that simple? If you have learned something new, do drop a comment (just kidding). Once again Merry Christmas, enjoy the season and Thank God for all his benefits.

Happy Chrrrristmassssssss to everyone – God bless

Time to celebrate but please do not forget Christ during Chirstmas :). I believe in God not because I am extra religious or I am different from others but because I feel much better after every prayer. I have seen things working miraculously with prayers. During this Christmas our Church is going different. Our Church is having a 21 days fasting till 31st Dec and the party starts 31st afternoon and continues throughout the day and night. I too am on fast for 2 days, just to thank God for all His benefits in my life. I keep telling my friends, “I am really lucky as there are hundreds and thousands of people who pray for me daily. It sounds odd but I really count on these prayers. The ideas you get needs to come and you actually do not know how to generate it but it is generated somehow”. If you have a prayer request, send me an email and we will pray for your need. May God bless you all this Christmas, all blessing for you and your family. And you be with your near and dear ones and be loved for ever.

Once again a Big and Happy Christmas to all
Happy Christmas

Social networking – Flies attract Flies not honey

Web 2.0 is more about platform than applications. Does honey (application or platform) attract flies (users) in social networking? My opinion is no (almost 90% of the time). I was never attracted to a social networking platform because of its taste (quality or USPs) but was pulled by my friends. In social networking sites, flies attract flies and honey factor is just not that significant. I was pulled to orkut by friends, I was pulled to linkedin (otherwise I do not like this network at all, it is too complex for me) in similar fashion. Ask yourself why did you join a social networking site and you will get an answer.

While designing a social networking site always provide enough tools and incentives to attract more and more friends. Once you are able to get a bunch of targeted flies it will attract other flies. This applies to forums, blogs, wikis and all other web 2.0 tools, provided you are making it a social tool than a question-answer, announcement, content site resp.

I had talked about a similar issue with respect to companies in a lecture (ppt will be made available soon). I explained that why “A pessimistic company (group of pessimistic company) will attract and breed pessimistic employees”. There are other articles that say, “Smart people will go wherever other smart people are”. So concentrate more on tools to attract flies than making honey sweeter.

Google – Websites downloading speed and sales

We all know that downloading speed is important but we have always underestimated it’s importance else all our sites would have been Google. All Google products render faster compare to its competitor. Google head really understands the value.
Mayer of Google

According to Marissa Mayer (VP, Google) at Web 2.0 Conference

“Part of Google’s secret sauce is that a round trip for a search query that returns a result in .05 seconds touches 300 to 700 Google machines across the country. Users really respond to speed”.

In simpler terms

  • Every 100ms delay costs 1% of the sales. (Data taken for Amazon)
  • Every 500 ms delay costs 20% traffic. (Data taken for Google)
  • According to two surveys, conducted by Forrester Research and Gartner Group, ecommerce sites are losing $1.1 to $1.3 billion in revenue each year due to customer click-away caused by slow loading web sites.

More statistics

  • The average time a user wants to wait for a page to load is 8 seconds give or take 2 seconds! That’s a very short time.
  • Akamai and JupiterResearch have recently released the results of a survey in which 1,058 online shoppers participated. According to the survey,
    1. Poor site performance leads to customer dissatisfaction.
    2. Brand perception is diminished by poor site performance.
    3. Site pages should load in four seconds or less.
    4. Customer loyalty depends on quick page loading

    This survey offers a lot of good points. Get a full version of the survey.

Full Page loading vs Progressive HTML Rendering
Firefox renders the table in a progressive way but Internet Explorer loads the complete table at once. If I get time I will write more about it (Do let me know if you have queries). The following images will help us understand the difference (Credit to codinghorror.com for the images).
Progressive vs normal rendering

This is optimized page
Better rendering for pages

Some tips for faster rendering

  1. Tableless designs to support progressive rendering.
  2. Using CSS files to use the local cache. The CSS files are cached in local machine and used there after for faster rendering. Use a http watcher to understand this.
  3. Reduce the non visible content as much as possible.
  4. Others: Avoid heavy flash files, heavy images and other obvious factors.

I will write one small Google trick later. Google is loosing the battle to win the war, that is another trick for faster rendering (I will write when I get some more time, force me to write earlier).

SEO Advice
Faster rendering can help in SEO indirectly, ask me if you have doubts.

Using subdomain’s folder using htaccess

I was using http://www.idealwebtools.com/blog/ as my blog url for various reasons. Yesterday I added a subdomain blog.aimk.org (aimk.org is added as an addon domain with dns hosted with idealwebtools.com but the site hosted with a different hosting company. I have done it to host inferno.aimk.org with idealwebtools.com), which takes the same folder public_html/blog/.

http://blog.aimk.org was just a redirect to aimk.blogspot.com so I could tweak the .htaccess a bit and make it work. (I could have also done this by troubling by hosting company to add few lines to the http.conf, which I avoided as I could handle it).

What is done?

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond % ^blog.aimk.org$ [OR]
RewriteCond % ^www.blog.aimk.org$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.aimk.blogspot.com [R=301,L]
(rest of the wordpress htaccess for cleaner url)

Some Tweaking for inferno.aimk.org
http://www.inferno.aimk.org and http://inferno.aimk.org (without www) both exists, now we will do few htaccess tricks to redirect www to non www subdomain.
RewriteCond % ^www.inferno.aimk.org
RewriteRule ^(.*) http://inferno.aimk.org/$1 [R=301,L]

It is simple for one who knows and difficult for others :). Enjoy

Simple Keyboard tricks for Website Browsing

One of the key to success is time optimization. Creating more than 24 hours in a day is not a possibility except on Oct 28, where you get 25 hours a day. But improving the effectiveness of the 24 hours can help you create more hours within the given 24 hours. I was doing this small keyboard trick when I came to know that some of my colleagues did not know this, so I thought I should share it with all. These are really simple tricks

Here are some of the keyboard tricks for faster browsing (works only in Firefox). Type google and press Ctrl+Enter to add www and .com to the domain. This trick also works in Firefox, which has shortcuts for “.net” and “.org” as well:

.com -> Ctrl+Enter (works in IE too)
.net -> Shif+-Enter
.org -> Ctrl+Shift+Enter

Here are some other links for keyboard shortcuts

Enjoy the shortcuts for faster browsing.

Finally got my adsense PIN – Adsense tips

My account had some $120 and wanted to encash it during Christmas. I requested for my pin but my wait ended up with another wait. Then I contacted the adsense team with some one way emailing. I decided to take all the adsense off from the blog. Now after some wait and re-request I finally have got the PIN. So I put the adsense back to my blog. Starting with some tips.

I am testing the adsense on by blog. I had worked on adsense before and here are some all time valid tips:

  1. Ads should not look like ads: People have developed a blindness towards ads. So don’t make it look like an ad.
  2. Color of link: Use the same color for links throughout. If possible use the blue colors for links as many are taught that blue and underline means links.
  3. Color of the URL link: Use a lighter color for text of the URL. Avoid if possible.

There are various tips and tricks available for adsense optimization. If time permits I will write more about it. Recently Google has added a new policy for images near adsense.

“We ask that publishers not line up images and ads in a way that suggests a relationship between the images and the ads. If your visitors believe that the images and the ads are directly associated, or that the advertiser is offering the exact item found in the neighboring image, they may click the ad expecting to find something that isn’t actually being offered. That’s not a good experience for users or advertisers.” Read more