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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What do you do if you drop your iPod / Mobile falls into Water?

What does one really do when we drop our most priced gizmo's like the personal iPod or the featuristic mobile in water? There have been instances of some of my pals accidentally dropping their ipod into a cup of steaming cappuccino early morning. And there was a pal of mine who dropped his new mobile accidentally in the loo.

In all these cases, we just think that we need to forget about our lovely gizmo and head to the malls to pick up another one. But did you know that help is at hand and at home!! Yes, of course - Rice is commonly found in all Indian homes (Since rice is the staple food of Indian and most South Asians too).

So, the next time you accidentally drop your loved electronic gadget in water. Dry it completely (atleast the exteriors) off water with tissue. Then, most importantly - don't attempt to switch ON the device. Place the gadget inside a bowl of rice and leave it un touched or disturbed for atleast 24hrs. Rice being a natural desiccant will absorb all the excess moisture. If your gadget comes with a removable battery, then dry the battery separately - this will speed up the drying process.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How can we control Inflation easily :: Thoughts!!

As you all know Inflation is touching new highs every now and then - here's a logic to beat that!! It may work if we collectively bargain for it. Read this story and the idea behind it.

A man eats two eggs each morning for breakfast. When he goes to the Kirana store he pays Rs. 12 a dozen. Since a dozen eggs won't last a week he normally buys two dozens at a time. One day while buying eggs he notices that the price has risen to Rs. 16. The next time he buys groceries, eggs are Rs. 22 a dozen.

When asked to explain the price of eggs the store owner says, "The price has gone up and I have to raise my price accordingly". This store buys 100 dozen eggs a day. He checked around for a better price and all the distributors have raised their prices. The distributors have begun to buy from the huge egg farms. The small egg farms have been driven out of business. The huge egg farms sell 100,000 dozen eggs a day to distributors. With no competition, they can set the price as they see fit. The distributors then have to raise their prices to the grocery stores. And on and on and on.

As the man kept buying eggs the price kept going up. He saw the big egg trucks delivering 100 dozen eggs each day. Nothing changed there. He checked out the huge egg farms and found they were selling 100,000 dozen eggs to the distributors daily. Nothing had changed but the price of eggs.

Then week before Christmas the price of eggs shot up to Rs. 40 a dozen. Again he asked the grocery owner why and was told, "Cakes and baking for the holiday". The huge egg farmers know there will be a lot of baking going on and more eggs will be used. Hence, the price of eggs goes up. Expect the same thing at New year, Diwali and other times when family cooking, baking, etc. happen.

This pattern continues until the price of eggs is Rs. 60 a dozen. The man says, " There must be something we can do about the price of eggs".

He starts talking to all the people in his town and they decide to stop buying eggs. This didn't work because everyone needed eggs.

Finally, the man suggested only buying what you need. He ate 2 eggs a day. On the way home from work he would stop at the grocery and buy two eggs. Everyone in town started buying 2 or 3 eggs a day.

The grocery store owner began complaining that he had too many eggs in his cooler. He told the distributor that he didn't need any eggs.
Maybe wouldn't need any all week.

The distributor had eggs piling up at his warehouse. He told the huge egg farms that he didn't have any room for eggs would not need any for at least two weeks.

At the egg farm, the chickens just kept on laying eggs. To relieve the pressure, the huge egg farm told the distributor that they could buy the eggs at a lower price.

The distributor said, " I don't have the room for the eggs even if they were free". The distributor told the grocery store owner that he would lower the price of the eggs if the store would start buying

The grocery store owner said, "I don't have room for more eggs. The customers are only buying 2 or 3 eggs at a time. Now if you were to drop the price of eggs back down to the original price, the customers
would start buying by the dozen again".

The distributors sent that proposal to the huge egg farmers but the egg farmers liked the price they were getting for their eggs but, those chickens just kept on laying. Finally, the egg farmers lowered the
price of their eggs. But only a few paisa.

The customers still bought 2 or 3 eggs at a time. They said, "when the price of eggs gets down to where it was before, we will start buying by the dozen."

Slowly the price of eggs started dropping. The distributors had to slash their prices to make room for the eggs coming from the egg farmers.

The egg farmers cut their prices because the distributors wouldn't buy at a higher price than they were selling eggs for. Anyway, they had full warehouses and wouldn't need eggs for quite a while.

And those chickens kept on laying.

Eventually, the egg farmers cut their prices because they were throwing away eggs they couldn't sell.

The distributors started buying again because the eggs were priced to where the stores could afford to sell them at the lower price.

And the customers starting buying by the dozen again.

Now, transpose this analogy to the gasoline industry.

What if everyone only bought Rs 200.00 worth of Petrol each time they pulled to the pump? The dealer's tanks would stay semi full all the time. The dealers wouldn't have room for the gas coming from the huge tanks. The tank farms wouldn't have room for the petrol coming from the refining plants. And the refining plants wouldn't have room for the oil being off loaded from the huge tankers coming from the oil fiends.

Just Rs 200.00 each time you buy gas. Don't fill up the tank of your car. You may have to stop for gas twice a week, but the price should come down.

Think about it.

Also, don't buy anything else at the fuel station; don't give them any more of your hard earned money than what you spend on gas, until the prices come down..."

...just think of this concept for a while.

Friday, July 11, 2008

How to easily file IT returns online in India :: Simple steps for E-Filing your Income Tax

It's that time of the year again when you need to tell the Tax Man about the taxes you have paid! The last date for filing your IT returns being July - I thought it'll be useful if I listed out the simple steps on how you can file your tax returns online very easily.

You can submit your Income Tax Return on-line by following process - without submitting your Form 16.
1. Go to http://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/portal/index.jsp
2. Register and create user (username will need to be your Pan Number)
3. Go to https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/portal/individual_huf.do
4. Download the ITR-1 form
5. Fill the form
6. Cross Check the form for correctness.
7. Generate barcode
8. Next generate .xls(the excel file) and save on your system
9. Then go to https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/portal/login.do and login again
10. Click on submit return.
11. Upload xls file.
12. Click on upload.

Once you have submitted your return, you're done.
The best thing is that you can also check your refund status if any.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Did you Know - Vinegar can be used as an excellent Weed Killer

I have some excellent news for all the GREEN folks out there (I know there are many of you - since my last articles 'How to easily reduce your Carbon Footprint - A simple/practical guide' and '10 tips to make your House more Green!!' aroused a lot of feedback from you people). Well, there's a GREEN solution to easily get rid of the weeds from your garden in no time.

It works perfectly since I tried it a few days back and was simply amazed at the results. Use some white vinegar (7% acetic acid) which is easily available off Supermarket shelves. Spray it on any leaf you want to kill on a hot sunny day and within 10 minutes it's starting to turn brown and shortly afterward the leaves are completely dead. So all the unnecessary weeds were off my garden in no-time and the dead weeds serve as manure for the other plants.

When, I did some research on how it works I was startled to find this : It works by stripping off the waxy coating on leaves that causes the leaves to begin dehydrating too quickly.

No need for expensive or potentially dangerous chemicals, just make sure it's at least 7% acetic acid (I suppose stronger would be better but the vinegar available off the shelves is for "Pickling" purpose and has a 7% acetic acid content) and put it in a cheap plastic spray bottle and you have a plant killer. It will kill almost any leaf you spray it on depending on how waxy they are some will be more resistant (that's why I suppose something like 20% would be even better) but it works great on dandelions, thorny bushes, grass etc. For dandelions just spray the leaves and the center of the flower. The entire plant dies out.

Dandelions and others with a long tap root will need a subsequent application because it won't kill the root, just all the leaves, but as long as the leaves are dead the root will die in pretty short order. The dead roots serve as manure.

When I checked with a local pesticide store - I found that there are a few commercial formulations based on vinegar now and they contain surfactants to make the liquid spread more evenly on the leaf. I even heard that a neem formulation works wonders.

Now that makes me wonder why aren't the farmers really adapting this? It's so cheap and easy - ain't it?

Friday, July 04, 2008

Process of selecting a Software Bridegroom :: Interesting Read

I got the below article in the form of an e-mail forward from one of my colleague. It just intrigued me as to how true can such a subtle mail really be. So read on and let me know your views too.

This is a conversation about the process of selecting a software bridegroom....

Vidhya: hey! what is the matter you have called up all of a sudden?

Nithya: do u remember that my parents gave my horoscope, to search for a suitable match, to many people? So many horoscopes of the groom has come.. in that 4-5 seems to match.. I don’t know which one to select, I am confused because of it.

Vidhya: what is the confusion about?

Nithya: horoscopes of many software engineers have come. It seems now a days, the software guys are wanting to marry girls in the other field. That’s I why I don’t know whom I must select among this. You are a software engineer so please give me some suggestion .

Vidhya: not a problem at all. So tell me the position that each one holds.

Nithya: first is a manager.

Vidhya: manager?? Then he will show cast himself that he is busy always. But he will not do anything properly. He will get u 1 kg of rice and ask you to prepare for the whole locality say -a village. He will get you mutton and ask you to prepare chicken 65. Even if you protest telling you can’t make it, he’ll not accept. He will tell you to work hard day and night to prepare it. He will also tell he’ll provide you with the night cab. Even if you ask how can I prepare chicken 65 out of it by sitting day and night he will not accept.

Nithya: ohh..so dangerous he is!! Then I must escape. Next is a test engineer.

Vidhya: he is more dangerous than the other person. Whatever you do he will correctly tell only the fault in it. Even if you try to surprise him with 10 variety of food, he will tell the item which does not have salt in it. If you ask him “will you not at least tell that it is good”, he will reply back saying it is your duty to make it good so why must I tell that. He is sooo good …

Nithya: then a NO to him also. Next is the performance test engineer.

Vidhya: he is another specimen.. even if everything is good, he will ask why did it take this much time. If you take 10 minutes to make a coffee, he will question you asking why you have taken 10 min for a coffee which can be done within 5 min. Even if you say that he is talking about the instant coffee while you have made the filter coffee, he will not accept. The same will be with all the work you do. You must not think about this person if you want to do make up in your life !!!

Nithya: then! you mean to say that we should not marry software guys??

Vidhya: who said like that?? In software there is one more group. They are called the developers group. How much ever you hit them they will bear.

Nithya: then tell about them.

Vidhya: you don’t have to do anything. They will do everything themselves. If we sit back and just boost them it is enough. But the problem with them is- they will say “I know it” whatever you ask them.
Even that is ok. They will bear how much ever you hit them but the condition is you must keep saying “you are too good” after hitting them every time.

Nithya: this is superb. Then we must search for this kind of a groom..