Monday, April 30, 2007

World Cup 2007 comes to an end

Here we are. ICC World Cup 2007 came to an end on Saturday evening (28th April 2007) at Barbados. The final was played between the tournament favorites Australia and the Asian tigers Srilanka. Yet another rain hindered match which ended up being restricted to maximum of 38 overs each side. Once again the team which played first won the game convincingly and the match had almost no element of excitement from start to finish. Except for the fact that if Sangakkara had hit McGrath for a few more sixes it would have been some turnaround for the match but it was the day of Australia from the start till the end.

Australia remained unbeaten in all of its 29 matches. All the matches were won convincingly by them and they proved once again that they are just world class keeping in mind the number of upsets which happened in this cup. Minnows Ireland defeated Pakistan the same day when Bangladesh defeated India. The day after the defeat, people got literally enraged and it was a furore all over the country. It came to such an extent that we had to even watch the clash between India and Bermuda which could have been easily forgotten. I remembered getting a forward which had names of India and Pakistan already in the Super 8. Both the teams could not make it to the Super 8. The other major upset of the tournament happened in Super 8 when Bangladesh defeated South Africa and proved that they are the next Asian Tigers. Nevertheless one win was not sufficient for Bangladesh to get into the Semis which already had some of the best teams waiting.

The host West Indies again put across a dismal performance with just managing to win 2 out of their 7 matches in the Super 8. The team which once upon a time had stalwarts like Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards was reduced to dust within no time by the likes of Shane Bond, McGrath and others. England ensured that they continue their pathetic form and put up a performance which can be said as a little better than Bangladesh. None of their batsmen were in form leaving Kevin Pieterson. Ross Taylor really could not get his form back. Flintoff got himself into trouble after some charges were filed against him.

The surprise package of World Cup 2007 was nevertheless Ireland. They were the team which proved that if there is a will to win anything is possible. Its quite possible that all that happened because of team Ireland may be a chance but surely they did bring some welcome change in the World cup.

India's performance was probably one of the worst one in the recent time. The series against WI and Srilanka was a warning sign in terms of the form of the key player but of no avail. Most of our top batsmen collapsed. In the entire tournament India played three matches out of which two were not with the test playing nations even. But again India keeping up with the tradition of records ensured that this world cup 2007 does not go without. India scored 413 against Bermuda which is the highest ever total in World Cup till date. All our batsmen played an excellent innings in that match. It was unfortunate that we all had to even view that match. Bangladesh thrashed India badly with the opener Tamim Iqbal hitting the top Indian bowlers all across the fence. India was trailing at 159/9 when the tailenders came in took charge of the score and added about 32 runs to take the score to 193 which was a modest total to defend keeping in mind the strength of Indian bowling. The match against Sri Lanka was a nightmare and it really put each of the television viewers into a sorrow state. Muralitharan proved that he can be a match winner once again. Solid performance by the Sri Lankan team in the world cup must say better than the rest of the sub continent teams.

The final was a treat to match only in terms of the batting by Adam Gilchrist. He really rocked that day and it was proved again and again that it is his day today. Rock solid batting by Australians together with some tight bowling by Nathan Bracken and Michael Clarke turned the match towards Australia very easily. McGrath took one wicket and ended up as the Man of the series which he truly deserved. There cannot be a better ending than that for an illustrious career lead by this bowler. All across the newspapers and internet websites people were talking about watching McGrath bowl for the last time on an international arena.

A good number of big guns retired from the international cricket with this world cup. Inzy retired with tears in his eyes, Lara got a standing ovation from the crowd as departed from the ODI scene, McGrath retired from the limited overs cricket, Anil Kumble was the only Indian player to retire post this world cup and there is a good chance that we will not be able to see some of the players in the next world cup also. Stephen Fleming stepped down as the New Zealand Captain after a shocking defeat to Sri Lanka in the semifinals. New Zealand and South Africa stand as the most unfortunate teams of the World Cup. South Africa played disastrously in the Semis against Australia and it was really a bad performance by them.

All in all the this world cup had nothing literally for Indians other than the funky sarees of Mandira Bedi which incidentally got into a rage courtesy Indian Democracy and a pathetic telecast of the SETMAX where ads kept sneaking all the time even between a single over. Indian cricket teams came back amidst tight security and were given a very very warm welcome in literal sense. The tour to Bangladesh starts this Saturday. Let’s hope for some fireworks this time.

Some knowledge trivia about the World Cup Mascot is here

The 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup held in West Indies had Mello as the Mascot. The mascot resembles an orange raccoon-like creature wearing a blue short-sleeved shirt over a white vest and blue canvas shoes. Mello is shown standing with cross legs and tossing a white ball in the air, while leaning on a cricket bat. Mello pins a red ribbon on the left side of his shirt showing his support for the ICC/UNAIDS initiative, aimed at creating awareness of HIV/AIDS challenges among people.

The mascot of ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 has sparkling eyes, relaxing smile and pleasing personality, representing a youthful, friendly and fun loving character with a positive attitude and a zest for life. Mello is in his teens - cheeky and curious and aware of social and health challenges around us. The world cup mascot was chosen after an extensive worldwide research and development sessions.

Here is the photograph of the Mello

Monday, April 23, 2007

Windows Vista running not just capable

Yes my DELL Inspiron 6400 Laptop is now running Windows Vista Home Premium edition and is not just capable. About 2 weeks back, I upgraded my OS from Windows Media Center 2005 edition to Windows Vista Home Premium edition.

I bought my Dell Laptop Inspiron 6400 in London for not a very cheap price of about GBP 600. When I was buying the Laptop over the phone, I got the feel of the outsourcing advantage of India. I dialled a UK Toll free number and the voice at the other end was something like this :

Hi this is Rajesh? How can I help you (The accent was a typical english accent)

Thereafter our conversation got complete and I ordered the Laptop and asked the executive as to where is he calling from. His reply was like this :

Sir, I am calling from a city called as Hyderabad in India. Do you know about this place ?

I was not surprised over this response since Dell runs a huge call center out of Hyderabad located in Hi-Tech City. It was a pleasure talking to Rajesh as he was extremely cordial unlike the ICICI Bank customer care executives.

My Laptop is of very decent configuration (I will not rate it excellent as the RAM it has is just sufficient for Windows Vista Home Premium edition). Intel Core 2 Duo running at 1.67 GHz, 1024 GB RAM and 120 GB Hard disk. It comes with a DVD Writer, Windows Media Center Edition 2005 and Norton Internet Security 2007. Must say its a value for money when compared to the other brands in the market. I was lucky enough to buy the laptop in the period when Dell was also providing an express upgrade to the Windows Vista which got released on 30th of January.

The Windows Vista was complimentary to the purchase of Laptop and it was shipped to one of my friend's in London who got it for me to India on 5th of April. Windows Vista due to release in the month of October 2007 went into a few glitches before coming into the market on 30th January. After that Dell started shipping the eligible desktop with the Windows Vista DVD and Dell Utility DVD to ensure that the migration of all applications is smooth. Must say, the way DELL has organized the upgrade DVD and other issues is just terrific and truly a masterpiece in itself.

The installation of Windows Vista is completely automated. In the first step the Dell Upgrade Assistant thoroughly checks the PC for that software’s which can interfere with the installation of Vista. Most of the software’s which are older than 2006 version is not supported by Vista. For the matter of fact Norton Internet Security 2006 was also not supported by Vista and had to be upgraded to 2007 vista compatible version. Once the upgrade assistant completes the system checkup and uninstalls or migrates the software which can interfere with the installation, the screen for entering the software key came into picture. For the first time I was entering the OEM key for software. It was a delightful and memorable experience for me altogether. Believe me original software is definitely different from a counterfeit or pirated one in more ways than the look and feel. The installation is fully automated and does not require any kind of user intervention at all. The system restarts several times and if you PC/Laptop belong to the latest generation running on Intel Core 2 Duo, you would complete the installation in less than 1 hour of time.

Once installation is complete you are greeted with the Welcome screen where you create the User ID and password for your login. Windows Vista comes loaded with several features at different levels of the operating system. The start up and shut down tunes are very different and the Aero interface is one of the most special features of Vista. Windows Aero is the premium visual experience of Windows Vista. It features a transparent glass design with subtle window animations and new window colors. Part of the Windows Aero experience is Windows Flip 3D, which is a way to preview your open windows in 3D stacks, as well as taskbar buttons with live, thumbnail-sized window previews. Windows Vista has a new feature called as User Account Control which helps prevent unauthorized changes to the computer by requiring permissions before performing actions on the computer which can be potentially damaging. Vista has photo organizer called as Windows Photo Gallery which is very much on the lines of Picasa although not as versatile as the latter is. Some of the enhancements include features like support for a Tablet PC, a completely new Windows Mobile Center for devices which run Windows Mobile Software, an enhanced security center together with Windows Defender which is Windows Spyware protection tool. Here are some of the screen shots of the Windows Vista Home Premium Edition which supports Windows Aero Interface.

Windows Vista Home Premium running and not just capable

1. The revamped Start Menu
2. The Side Bar a new feature

3. Windows Flip 3D

4. My Computer Icons. Look at the clarity
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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Career and Life

Job has become very important part of our life now these days. Since most of us spend close to half of our time in a day at our workplace, it’s quite natural that whatever happens at the office does make a difference at your home also. The key lies in separating the two as much as possible.

Most of the time the work place expectations are not met as per our expectation. Either the work pressure is too much or it’s too less. Sometimes the work is very trivial and does not carry any challenge with it. The other times the work is massively complex and can give sleepless nights to most of us.

How about a condition where the work changes rapidly? It’s a mixture of absolute boredom and the other moment the things change rapidly and you have something really interesting to learn from the project. The moments when you decide “yes its time to call it a day” to the moment when you feel “Yes I have arrived”. These conditions are really difficult to succumb to and can really pull you back in a moment. It becomes really tough to come out of such conditions sometimes and things can go for a toss before even you react.

Sometimes it becomes really important to match the expectations of the people. These expectations may be very low keeping in mind the current scenario or can be very high keeping in mind the need of the hour.

Sustaining the interest of the individual in a particular job has become very critical now for an organization to retain the talent. It’s very important that organization if possible engage the individuals who are a cut above the rest into some of the most challenging assignments. Routine assignments cannot really allow an individual to continue for long in an organization. Motivation is one very important factor which can come from two sources either self or induced by a mentor. Unless and until we are motivated, its impossible to give a high performance.

Job satisfaction is extremely important for every individual. It’s the key sometimes if we want happiness in life. But its also important that we put that fine line between life and career and understand that career is part of life and not vice versa.