Friday, May 20, 2005

VI tips - Copying from file to file

Here is how to copy the required number of lines from one file to another in VI editor. First use the following key combinations in the source file.

Press Shift "(Shift double quotes)
Press a
Press the number of lines you want to copy
press yy
Now press " : " (COLON) to get the vi prompt.
Hit e "Destination file name"

Once you enter the Destination file go to the line where you want the lines copied to be inserted.

Press SHIFT "(Double quotes).
Press a.
Press p.

The lines get copied.


Blogs -- ignorable ?

BW Uncut

Come on, crib about blogs. But you cannot afford to shut your eyes to them, as they've been the most explosive outbreak in the Internet industry ever since the internet boom. There's a blog for almost anything happening on earth. And today, this overnight sensation is shaking up just about any business on earth. It doesn't matter if you are shipping paper clips or videos of Britney in a bikini, blogs ar a phenomenon you cannot ignore.

A few stats about blogs -
1. There are around 9 million blogs out in the net today
2. 40,000 new ones keep popping up everyday
3. Fine, we must agree that 99.9% of those blogs are off point, but that still gives us 40 new blogs every day to talk about our businesses.

You make one miscalculated step, and they have you in. Blogs even get the most tech-savvy companies also involved - Google for example. Lets see what happened there.
In January, when a young programmer named Mark Jen started blogging about his primitive days at Googleplex, it in inturn started attracting many links. Jen certainly wasn't revealing the inside dirt or something. But he griped that Google's health plan was less generous than than his former employer's -- Microsoft., and he used to argue that Google's free food was an enticement to work past dinner.

2 weeks later, Google fired Jen. And thats when the 22 year old became a big story. Google was blogbusted for over-reacting, and Jen was wooed by top firms like A9, Microsoft, Yahoo! etc. A month later, Jen landed at Plaxo, an Internet contact management company. So what got him fired turned out to be his trump card.

Blogs have put the media folks into a critical juncture who seemed to be shadowed with the popularity of blogs giving out the latest headlines, be it the Pope election or Michael Jackson's trial. And blog advertising is the new buzzword. So, you start a business, make sure you start a blog alongside, thats going to make your business do wonders!


Monday, May 16, 2005

FTP: My experience at Restaurant-X, Hyderabad

Last night, we first-timed a restaurant, codenamed Restarurant-X in this post, at Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad - India. As the name indicates, it was a Kerala-fashioned indoor dining area, very well decorated with good show pieces around, that even made my friend feel as though travelling in a boat at the Kerala "backwaters". (Theres a reason why this is in double quotes :-)) While we were admiring the arrangement, little did we know of what the dinner had in store for us.

Ok, let me come straight to the very reason why I'm publishing this. You won't believe it, we found a cockroach, small one though, in one of the dishes. For a minute or two we were just shocked, after which we called the bearer who cleverly took the plate away immediately and said he would replace the dish - now with what ? lizard ?. Theres no way we were continuing our dinner there. As it is, the food was horrible, yeah, even without the insects - probably the cockraoch was added to spice up the food. When we asked to meet the manager, we heard that he had left early, that was ridiculous. So, we just passed on our written comments, hoping it would reach somewhere.

I normally get angry at such incidents caused by negligence, but was desperately trying to control my temper until.....the golden-hearted bearer, who looked a little Chinese to me, I dont know really, who actually waived off the dish as we'd expect, but managed to find his guts in tact to offer me a discount coupon on a come-back offer, along with the bill. I placed is back into his hands, and gave him his much required verbal thrashing and walked out. Thankfully, we guys had some nice ice-cream on the way back home, to compensate for / feed the cockroach(es). Yeah, you never know, I 've been feeling somewhat odd today :)


Firefox vs Internet Explorer

CNN Uncut

Microsoft's Internet Explorer, though the market lead by a huge margin, has started to slip in its share of the world's browser market. Open sourced Firefox, developed under the Mozilla Foundation was not even tracked separately till last October when WebSideStory first started tracking it. Today, as on April 29th 2005, Firefox had a 6.8% share as against 3% last October.
AOL's Netscape has a 2.2% share, while Microsoft's IE dropped to a 89% share from 95% share last June.

These figures seem to be for all OS's combined. But, even on machines running Windows the IE share has gone down from 97% to 91%. If this is the case on a Windows machines which comes pre-installed with IE, its not very difficult to guess the plight of IE on other OS's.

A quick browse over the browser market outside the US also reveals similar statistics. Germany, one of the leading pioneers of Firefox with a 23% share, has just 69% for IE !

So, the reasons for this migration ?
(1) People are starting to believe more in the open-sourced community
(2) They are getting averse towards Microsoft's products
(3) Firefox has much lesser security holes than IE does
(4) Microsoft has lost grounds on its user-friendliness too, whereas firefox is starting to dominate that region slowly
(5) In short, people want a change.

This migration is in its inception, but towering faster than we expect. This being the case, I dont see Windows surviving long too, especially with Linux catching fire so rapidly and Tiger roaring loudly into the streets.

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Friday, May 06, 2005

United Online Q1-2005 results

Reuters Uncut
Motley Uncut

United Online (NASDAQ: UNTD) announced its Q1 results on May 3rd 2005. It said that its quarterly profit fell, but revenues rose 21 percent from non-access business such as online advertising. I'm putting together a few stats on this quarters earning -
  • We posed a first-quarter profit of $11.5 million or 18 cents a share, compared with $12.4 million a year earlier.
  • Revenues rose 21% to a $130.5 million, thereby beating the Wall Street expectations of a profit of 18 cents a share and revenue of $127.9 million.
  • In this quarter, we added 214,000 subscribers, ending up at 6.2 million
  • The Board has decided to pay a 20-cent quarterly dividend, to return capital to shareholders, reflecting the confidence in UNTD's strong cash flows.
  • UNTD rose 75 cents to $9.6 late Tuesday
  • And on midday Wednesday, shares rose 25% to $11.16
  • The company has now forecasted an operating income of $31.5 million to $32.5 million for the June quarter

So, overall, I feel we've done considerably well in the first place to have exceeded Wall Street expectations, though the quarter results have been a mix. Over the past year, our paying accounts have risen from 3.1 million to around 5 million, building our cash coffers upto $203 million. Our acquisitions of Classmates and Photosite should continue to keep us popular. Hoping for the best, in the quarters to come!