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Amazon may have tamed the cloud but…….

Recently I got an opportunity to attend the Amazon Web Services cloud computing event held in New Delhi. I am not going to blog about the cloud computing stuff and all. However, it is worth mentioning that the lead Amazon has got in the cloud computing race is definitely going to be worth observing. I really like the simplicity they’ve brought-in onto the complicated infrastructure and deployment related issues which enables one to scale their application without bothering much about the underlying details. This is definitely going to stay!

So why was I there?

I was hoping to win the Kindle ;-). I didn’t!

However, there were a lot of interesting observations during the event. The event was attended by almost twice the number of people the venue could accommodate. Amazon decided to distribute complimentary T-Shirts to all the attendees. Boy! did they imagine what this would mean? Definitely not. The moment the T-shirt distribution was announced, all the composure of the audience fizzed off! People started invading the counters from all nook and corner. And we are talking about senior people from reputed organizations. Honestly speaking even I was interested in getting the freebie, however I was quite willing to remain in the queue and wait for my turn. Poor organizing staff at the counters really had a horrible time.

And then there was more to it. Over-sized people getting small T-Shirts and skinny people getting XXL. That was definitely not worth their effort. So people flocked the counter to exchange the T-Shirts. AND then, imagine the T-Shirt stock getting over and those people who didn’t get one. All sort of sweet words were heard all over (yes pun intended!).

Did I talk about the dinner? Two plate counters and hundreds of people trying to eat at the same time? I’ll leave you to imagine this one.

I was wondering Amazon might have tamed the *cloud* but can they tame the *crowd* ?  Hmmmmmm……


Risk profiles

It is said that everyone has a risk profile according to which they take their decisions. Opps, for those who do not know, ‘Risk Profile’ is simply the ability to take risk. The more risk you take in your day-to-day life, the steeper is your risk profile. We take more risk when we are young and the risk taking ability or urge diminishes as we grow old. Of course, different people at the same age could have diametrically opposite risk profiles.

Anyways, why I am writing this is for the fact that I seem to have a high risk profile. This is what happened today:

I went to the ATM to deposit cash (did you know you can do that?). I had two envelopes to deposit. I inserted my card, chose to deposit cash from the menu and slid the cash envelope on the beep. Wow, as soon as the ATM machine engulped the cash envelope, I got a message on the screen informing that my transaction has been cancelled! What do I do now?  Well somehow I knew that when the cash is cleared from the ATM machine, the bank will anyway acknowledge my deposit. So things are safe.

So far so good. Here’s where the risk profile comes in. Already knowing that there’s something wrong, I started another transaction to deposit cash on the same ATM! And guess what? The result was the same!

Well, just to ensure that I was thinking in the right direction, I called up the customer care. They assured that the deposits will be registered in 48 hours. So all should be well.

So am I someone with a high risk profile, or am I someone who is utterly stupid? Hmmm…tough call. Let’s see. If the deposits come through smoothly, I have a high risk profile. If for some reason they don’t then……………..Alright, I am utterly stupid.

Update: Just got a confirmation that both the deposits have been credited. So that proves that I have a high risk profile and I am not stupid 😉


Zen and the Relief of Motorcycle Servicing!

Not long enough I had read a book called ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance‘. While it was more of a philosophical journey as opposed to what the title suggests, there is definitely something good about motorcycle maintenance (or anything for that matter).

I had been deferring the routine servicing of my motorbike for quite some time. If I remember correctly, it has been over 9 months. And guess what, this is when the workshop is (rather was) just behind my workplace! This is the height of laziness, isn’t it? (I know most of you are no different 😉 ). Anyways, 2-3 months ago, I decided to shun the laziness and went to the workshop behind my workplace. But wow, look at my destiny (or my bike’s destiny rather), I came to know that the workshop had been closed. Possibly because of people like me not bothering to service their bikes.

Anyways, the closure of the workshop nearby gave me a solid reason to defer the servicing. I could only imagine, how good it would have been if the workshop was still there. Servicing the bike at the other, more prominent workshop, would mean killing a day. So weekdays were out of question. I somehow couldn’t convince myself to trade off a weekend to get this through. Moreover, a couple of my friends warned me against the main workshop which received hundreds of bikes everyday and supposedly couldn’t pay attention to details. Ah! this was more than enough for me. How could I get my bike serviced at such a place? So I decided to live with a couple of smallish troubles which were already starting to show off in my bike. I was noticing a drop in the mileage. The chain and sprocket were making noise. The rear view mirrors were long out of alignment and beyond any use. I could neither see my face nor the traffic in them. They were somehow pointing to the ground beneath!

With all this, as I went on for my work every morning, the troubles my bike gave was nagging. I actually avoided using my bike as the feel good factor was lost. Now, people around me could notice the irritating noise it gave when changing gears. Thankfully it never broke down.

This morning, I remembered the joy and feel of riding the bike when I first bought it. I decided that it was enough and I must do something about it. It was simple. I went ahead for servicing. Had a tea with the mechanic over there as he examined the bike for the problems. I mentioned all the troubles I had along with the cosmetic changes which were necessary and came back. Somehow I felt a huge load, off my head!

And this effort was not in vain. When I went ahead and received my bike in the evening. It looked almost new. I could resist riding it back. And wow, there was a whole lot different experience while I rode it back to my home. Suddenly all noises were gone. Everything was in perfect shape. The ride was intact. I cannot explain the relief and the ‘feel good’ factor I got in the short ride from the workshop to my home.

I am sure most of us have had such experiences. Motorbike is just an example. It can happen with anything. The joy of putting things back on track is just so refreshing.

So did I learn a lesson? Well yes, to experience the joy of getting the broken things fixed, wait till they break! Ha ha! Just kidding. Let’s see when I go for the next servicing 🙂