Win7 on my official notebook

Determined to make lemonade when lemon is presented, made use of my excruciating albeit depressing time for better use. Converted my laptop from Vista Enterprise to Win7. Space is lean as all unwanted gotten rid and sports a new look & feel and very responsive.

Copied all my IE bookmarks.
For Firefox, just dumped backup from old laptop content to “C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\c9383301.default”.  Copied all IM message history to location “C:\Users\username\Documents\My Received Files\<hotmailuserid>3016784287”.

Back to norm with my outlook 2007 restored. Have to do more app installations to be techie ready – Microsoft Expression, Visual Studio, SQL Server, Skype, etc in the repertoire to be installed and setup.

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Almanac

Based on the good selling Poor Richard’s Almanac of 1739 by BenjFrank, Charlie Munger has released his own and bumped on it – on and off for an hour as my kid allowed me to read. I had to tend to her restlessness and constant need to be engaged. Tons of children books neither amused nor fixated her mind of age 5 for a while. I had to constantly remind her to whisper than talk in the library.
Our library location is a great convenience. It’s near my dwelling place, a few hundred steps from my flat and a wealth of wisdom at calling distance. I’m so privileged by its accessibility. Different people have different yardsticks to measure their property worth. Since I love books voraciously and no wonder I would always want my dwelling place to be near a library and that speaks of my property’s worth to a book lover property hunter!

This almanac by a leading investor cum billionaire was rich in diversity providing advices and observations from his experiences. He calls himself as a septuagenarian. His advice on investing the buffet way:

  1. Always be prepared, only to prepared mind opportunities present
  2. Even though you may not have tons of money like buffet, there’s always stocks that you can figure out with great potential at affordable prices – need to sift, sieve and mine through myriad of stocks out there with analytical and practical mental models
  3. “Sit on a**” investing – choose a stock that you can sit forever. Well if you can select one, great, if not my practical strategy is to sell them at record high to prepare funds for next round of fishing or sell low to stop loss if this stocks heads south.
  4. I’m just torn between this and Perfect Portfolio Management concept. In the end decided to have both flavors in my investing strategy though.

Various references were sited from his voracious reading of great people’s works. Cato, Cicero, Benjamin Franklin, Rudyard Kipling, Milton, Shakespeare and countless contemporaries. His reading suggestions are my must read. His musing on getting a good wife is to deserve one, as a good wife is not a nut. Still I’m not done with the book, prefer to read rest during my library sojourns, in weeks to come. Perhaps I need a great partner like Buffet, do our own rounds in investing for aging comfortably and pursue passionate interests and be not worried about money and toeing the line to someone in corporate ladder. As Robin Sharma, “A monk who sold a ferrari” author says, write 101 things that you want to do in this lifetime and start doing them….on among is above stuff.

How to remain unscathed

Had a opportunity to do some serious reflection and referred a couple of books in my personal store, The Paranoid Wins by Andy Grove and couple more. If you commit mistakes 2nd time, it’s time to hard wire your myelin of these virtues forever.

Let me summarize the wisdom on conducting yourself in IT Consulting projects when dealing with bosses:

  1. Play by ear with bosses every week/fortnight – different priorities keeps them busy than attending to you or your schedule
  2. Always be watchful for visual cues whether your messages are considered or value adds: simple nod, flinches, displeasure, “I know more than you” look and accordingly tack your responses and be stoic
  3. Never be opinionated unless asked for – sometimes bosses never want to hear truth but only niceties – I think as long as it doesn’t affect you, sing the song required and reap the benefits, because his days are being numbered – get “best for bucks”
  4. Align with your supervisor and keep a tab of his mental models
  5. If your boss is less confident, unsure, laggard, unexpressive and clueless – always do a math – how does it affect you? will you be fired for non action and have you covered your a** is important – firing squad is waiting for him but it’s a matter of time…watch from sidelines
  6. Follow-up and update status on time – whether can or can’t do. Whenever situations arise for casual conversation, if the guy is a email non-reader, bring it up to his knowledge – so you’re covered
  7. How to deal bosses who say – you never take initiative and lack courage but still never allow you to do – these are bunch of people explained in point 5 – be wary
  8. When a new consultant drops from air and provides comment and critique and well liked by boss, be on vigil, accept the critique and go with it. This new guy is value adding and make sure your next materials are well thought through and self-critiqued in the same style as this guy does – essentially you allow this guy to add less value subtly from now on.
  9. When you get angry, never ever show signs and be calm , composed and focused. Assess your level playing field and lie low for appropriate situation to present. Only for prepared minds, occasions present well.
  10. Never blindly follow a boss for loyalty when things are covered up, in deep mess and you’re asked to part of the cover up which is not of your making. Silently move away not to return
  11. When good people are asked to go from projects, its the sign that a project is going to be in deep trouble. Sometimes your instinct tells that too. If so, take it it with a pinch of salt and check after a year, how things are coming up. You may be surprised!?!

Reflections on weekend….

I had a run on (13 Aug 09) this book at Jurong library — The Compassionate Life: Walking the Path of Kindness by Marc Ian Barasch. Was a great book which cleared the air of insecure feelings of future. Determined to be very compassionate despite whatever be the dictates of fate.
Happened to read “an eastern mystic’s answers to primal questions” – all questions point or ends in one answer – always find who is this I. He admonished to take a practice on a daily basis whenever time affords and this practice itself takes that inquiry even when you’re in sleep automatically at some stage.
I had some thoughts on this grand inquiry – for some, once this truth is uttered, the I is annihilated immediately. For some, it takes a while with deep contemplation. For some, it never strikes a cord even after repeated encounters of hearing such truth and remains elusive as ever. Everyone has the capability and should aspire for this “consciousness experiments” – look deep into the I thingy to see whether I can be rooted out and see the reality without reality perceived by conditioned mind. For this to happen, some constraints – economical, social and ‘duty bound chores’ needs a respite or adequately covered in lieu. This reminds me of a couple of eastern mystics like Ramana, Vallalar & Aurobindo, providing answers in their own flavors but the central theme is the same. Enquiry on I, enquiry before mirror as to who you’re – are some of the practices better than mediations and methods that has religious connotations. These 2 methods are direct, simple and actionable. This is what the book “Tao of Physics” tries to exemplify vividly comparing it with parallels from physics – a wonderful comparison of what is possible in physics and where it stumbles upon. A great book which I longed to read for a long time.

Off late one thing has happened which I can’t belie, my love for books has become astronomical. All pastimes takes u-turn for real reading though. And the nation where I dwell provides a great repertoire of books on public domain through its library system – a reader’s paradise if you have plenty of time!. I’ve read somewhere, you have to judge a nation by the number of libraries/books available to public.

Win7 installation was a breeze, enterprises should go for it..

I tried installing windows 7 Ultimate (on 10 Aug – during the holiday) with some apprehension even though blogosphere set great expectations. Was indeed smooth sailing, quick and nifty. Also got my old wireless driver to be detected and is a great OS from all respects compared to vista blues.
ImgBurner was a simple but great freeware tool to burn from ISO to DVD

Tact and Patience

Yesterday I was hearing BBC news which flashed that Hillary Clinton lost temper to a question by students on whether she discusses on foreign affairs with Bill Clinton. She was replying with a haughty voice which amply demonstrated that she lost her cool and wildly irritated. She retorted that if the African students want her opinion she can give hers and not her husband’s and students need to ask Bill if they need one from him.

This reminds never ever to slip and sling your tongue and not to loose cool factor if you aspire to be statesman or ambassador or a high ranking dignitary. The same holds good for all out there. But you can always choose to be firm, categorical and convey the message with verve.

At the extreme, this couplet will keep you on toes when you converse with anybody:
Prestige and popularity flee the best of men The moment they speak inane and useless words.

Deep insights but no realization

I read Tao of Physics avidly and realized that duality of mind stays but it  teaches is something profound. I’m used to this “enlighten” trap and did my own research around year 2000 – reading possible eastern/Indian classics and Buddha’s teachings. Realization never happened just reading them. But had the same taste of reading that profound truth again with parallels being drawn with Physics. Sub atomic particles cannot be measured for location and momentum simultaneously but when one is measured the other is devoid. I was amazed knowing that Taoism, Zen and Buddha’s Teachings are just a different manifestation of the same profound truth.

Eastern mystics always say this: “whoever seen it, can’t express and those express, never seen it” contradictory yet true to Descartes state of mind. I’d like to quote a Upanishad verse:

Where there’s duality, as it were, there one sees another, there one smells another, there one tastes another…But when everything has become one’s own self, then whereby and whom would see? then whereby and whom would one smell? then whereby and whom would one taste?

In the words of Taoist Guru – Chuang Tzu:

My connection with the body and its parts is dissolved. My perceptive organs discarded. Thus leaving my material form and bidding farewell to my knowledge, I become one with Great Pervader. This I call sitting and forgetting all things.

There’s one from a Tamil poet, let me attempt to get a translation for that:

formed, unformed, with, without
as smell and flowers, as sound and light
as embryonic and full life, as dependent and fateful
great providence come forth as guru to protect and preserve us.

After deep contemplation, I reckon realization may happen and happen not! But some eastern mystics still had ways to overcome the Maya and achieve realization or Brahman. What I assess after all these research and deep reading, is it

  1. introduces the concept of duality without ambiguity
  2. states that there’s a ultimate consciousness that is attainable where observer ceases and observer and observed melts yet both exist – how & when attains it – nobody knows not

Practically what I’ve gained is to treat the dual nature of an act as equal in all realms, for example life goes through pain and pleasure cycles and this has to be accepted as it is, whenever pain afflicts, pleasure is next affliction waiting. Yin & Yang in action. Also eastern mystics and various self-help gurus always talk about diet –  more of vegetables and less/no meat. I totally agree with them, it gives a refreshing mind and body and prepares one towards greatness in life.