Configure Airtel GPRS / Mobile Office for Android

Short, quick post: I’d purchased a Nexus S recently, and once I got back to India, I had to re-activate my connection again.

Unlike the iPhone, however, my Android was unable to pick up the settings automatically & I had to enter them manually. To do this, head over to Settings -> Wireless & Networks -> Mobile Networks -> Access Point names. Tap on the options button -> New APN & enter the  settings as per your plan, as  mentioned in my previous post comparing various Airtel GPRS plans.

To recap:

Name: Enter a name to identify

APN/Address/Access point: airtelgprs.com for Airtel Mobile Office.

That’s it. Restart your phone(if required) and you should be able to start browsing.

Of Thanksgiving Trip, Gadget Overloads, Cancelled Christmas Trip & Back To India

I’ve been absent in posting here – more because there’s hardly anything interesting going on. Well, there’s laziness as well. So here’s a recap.

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For the past couple of months, my colleague had returned back to India, which meant me having no company. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I decided to pay a trip to my cousin sis’ place in Allen, TX. With no car with me & bus service from Austin to Allen non-existent – I decided to rent a car from Enterprise.

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Dream Jobs That You're Glad You Didn't Pursue (AKA: How "Enterprise" Applications Work)

The day finally came to launch the product but there was no fanfare. No big payoff. No feeling of fulfillment. It was merely a quiet launch with one beta customer. You didn’t know what to do with yourself so you sat there all day refreshing a view on the database to spy on what they were doing. Answer: not much. The things they did do, they did wrong. They found bugs. They found ways to circumvent all of your carefully constructed system rules and validations. Not because they were master hackers or brilliant technicians…but because they were just stupid. They clicked on things they shouldn’t click on. They typed things in that they shouldn’t type in. They didn’t read simple instructions. They didn’t listen in training. They were personally insulting you by being terrible at using your software.

In a field labeled “Enter the number of specimens:” they typed “five specimens.”

In a field labeled “Social Security Number:” they typed “he doesn’t have one because he is an illegal.”

Instead of using the button labeled “Create New Patient Record:” they kept changing the information in a single patient record over and over and saving it.

Then the calls came in from the sales team demanding to know why the system was broken and why you had taken so long to develop something that clearly didn’t work.

There was nothing you could do but respond to the bug reports and issue system patches that added no value other than handholding people through the software. You wondered aloud how these people had managed to survive this long without drinking bleach by accident.

via Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Dream Jobs That You’re Glad You Didn’t Pursue..

Déjà vu all over. Must read.

Making Oracle Forms Use JRE instead of Jinitiator

By default, Oracle Forms Application Server serves Oracle Forms applications using the built-in Jinitiator JVM. While JVM works swell with cutting edge browsers1 it pretty much crashes most of the other browsers2 and doesn’t work at all in Chrome. There are workarounds but the workarounds do not play well while working with multiple tabs.

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  1. IE6 []
  2. Firefox, IE7+ []

Batch file to delete files older than x days

At work, I have bunch of batch files which take an export from Oracle database, compress them and move them to their respective folders. In addition to this, the scripts also copy the Oracle forms executibles (“fmx”), reports (“rdf”) and other miscellaneous files to the backup locations and these are further compressed. The compressed files are then transferred over to the SAN.

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HP Envy 14 Review

After a long (happy) time with my Dell Inspiron 1520, my previous laptop’s age was catching up – the processor was a bottleneck, the 8600m GT was akin to an oven stove. Figured this would be the best time to get a new laptop. I’ve mentioned previously as to why I chose the HP Envy 14 – you might want to read up that. Like most of the items that I’ve purchased in the past year or so, the Envy 14 was also bought from HP store with certain changes as compared to the base model. Some of them include:

  • Opted for an Intel Core i5 520M instead of the base Intel Core i3 370M.

This option bumped the rate by about $100, but I felt it was worth it – going by past experience where I settled for a bare minimum Core 2 Duo  T5250 – a decision which I kind of regretted since my processor was holding back severely. (Side note: The i5 520 is no longer available in HP store and has been replaced by the i5 560M.)

  • Bumped hard disk capacity from 320GB to 500B

You can never have enough of available space.

  • Lower resolution screen

Opted for a 1366×768 resolution screen, instead of a 1600×900. I really do believe that 1280×800 / 1366×768 resolution hits the sweet spot for 14/15″ screens. Here’s a glance at the laptop specifications.

Laptop Specifications:
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Two months on, I’m soldiering on…

Hard to believe, but it’s been two months since I’ve been in Austin.  Let’s rewind back to my flight details.

As mentioned in my previous post my flight was due to depart at 04:45, and I would have to reach at the Airport by atleast 2AM. Since I didn’t have a vehicle, I called up a call-taxi and arranged for it to come at 01:30. The airport was about 45 minutes from where I stay, and wasn’t sure about the traffic (if any – plus it was kinda stormy that night/early morning) so revised the taxi timings and asked him to come over at 01:15.

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Creating and Editing Parameterized Queries in Excel 2007

I spotted this question on Super User about creating parameterized queries in Excel 2007 and attempted to answer it – as I thought it would be pretty easy.

And well – it was easy – the part part where you create the query, that is. Now creating parameterized queries – now that’s something totally different. I searched around a bit for documentation on doing so – and found that any articles on the same were woefully inadequate. To be specific: There are plenty of articles on how to change the parameters – just head over to Properties -> Query Definition -> Parameters. Ok, cool. Now hang on, the Parameters button is disabled. How the heck am I supposed to get it enabled ? I had a ball of a time trying to figure out a way to do it – and in the end, found the answer, and posted it. Figured might as well post it here for my reference… and for others who are searching for a way to do the same.

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