Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Voice Mail in India

I don't understand this.
Its clearly not a technical issue.

Why is voice mail not a part of
communication culture in India ?

Fun, Sun, and Distributed Software Development

RedSwoosh moved their engineering team to Thailand for a couple weeks and received alot of good press for their working vacation on the beach.

It's a great example of the possibilities for the nomadic cyber hacker culture my friend Ulrich has been promoting

When I arrived in India, I spent 6 months searching for a location that balanced my ambition to create an Internet Start-up Factory with a desire for a fun healthy life style. My search ended when I landed in Koregoan Park, Pune. Its a resort area, but also has a vital tech scene, and is known as a university town within India.

Since then I have been a part of a number of global software development projects and feel strongly that to make global development more healthy its good to get everyone involved spending as much time as possible hanging out together. So, for western companies there is a real economic incentive to be working with remote engineering teams located some place nice. It makes it much more likely the western part of the team will be willing to spend significant time working directly with their Indian counterparts creating the team spirit and cohesiveness necessary for a healthy engineering organization.

With the outsourced engineering projects I've seen go bad, the failure has come from an 'us and them' type attitude between the US and Indian development teams where the two sides talk generically about the other side as a whole rather than about the individual issues with specific people. This would be alot less antagonistic if everyone involved had spent several weeks working together from a beach shack in Goa.

wifi love in berkely

This morning I did a quick search for a 'walk in clinic berkeley' and found the free clinic on Durrant. Figuring there wouldn't be much of a line at 10am I headed there with just the address written on my arm.

Walking up Durrant what I expected to be an obvious health clinic just didn't materialize. Standing in front of the prespeterian church at 2348 Durrant I lamented my poor planning in not writing down a phone number when I was home online.

After standing for a while wondering where there might be a cyber cafe I remembered that my phone has wifi access. I popped it open and searched for open wifi networks, and with just alittle walking I got online and found the websites and phone numbers I was looking for.

God bless the Internet.

Friday, November 16, 2007


I love the world.

I'm staying in a cheap hostel in Rome after working with Fabio up in Rimini for the past week. I got off the train and some girl with a laminated badge and a clipboard asked if I needed a place to stay. I am so used to ignoring hawkers in India that I walked past her before I did the math and figured out that I absolutely needed a place to stay and I had no clue how to go about finding one. (short of logging onto the internet) Standing on the platform she called a couple of hostels until she found one in the center of town with a bed for 18 euro / night. She pointed to the place on a map she gave me, smiled, said have a nice day and walked away.


So, now I'm sitting at a small desk in this room on the 6th floor overlooking a small intersection in downtown Rome. After walking around the ruins for awhile and taking a short nap I opened up my laptop to write a trip report. At the same time I turned speaker on my phone to play music. After playing Bhajans for awhile it clicked into 'Be My Lover'. The older Italian lady running this place came into ask in broken English what the song was she would look for it on the internet. I wrote the title down for her and 5 minutes later I heard it playing loudly from her office. For kicks I checked to see if there was wifi available. All the initial access points were locked, but after some time another free access point came online which I'm on now.

The only downside to my techno fabulous day is my Nokia N93i. After 3 weeks in the shop they gave me a 'refurbished phone'. This is after two previous attempts of about a week each where they responded to my problem of a broken mic for the video camera by flashing the firmware to rid the phone of any viruses that might be causing the problem. My original phone also had this annoying habit of randomly shutting off sometimes.

The mic on the new phone works fine and it hasn't shut off on my yet, but its got its own drama. One of the buttons I used to set options on the camera doesn't work, and more importantly at the moment, the connection to the pc cable I use to upload pics and videos doesn't work reliably. So, while I've been shooting lots of pics and videos this past week, they're stuck for the moment on my phones rapidly filling up memory card. :(