Sunday, October 23, 2011

Desi Techie.. dissected

The desi techie ..  usually the Newton of his village, the chamakta taara of his community, and what not. Five years into this world and you start seeing patterns of people, patterns of managers (yeah managers are not people). I have the uncanny habit of interviewing people and getting deeper into them (thats what she said)
There are some intersting observations I`ve seen across all these years .. Usually most of the people fall into one or the other category..

Child prodigy
This person was introduced to computers during school-days. The time when a person is influenced the most. When others were busy with video-games, he wondered how they worked inside. He was the one who knew how to do complex things like "formatting the machine", "Cracking" popular softwares and games.
Usually all they do is google the term in simple english and then follow the steps. These guys are the one who survive phone-book changes, not because they are popular but because they are the one whom you can call when the printer gets stuck at the 11th hour of submission. They are one of the very few people to have balls to "pull out the pendrive without safely disconnecting" and not losing any data. They are the people who remain virgins till their parents find someone.

Medical reject
I wanted to become a doctor, I wanted to serve the humanity, but humanity played a dirty joke on me and last week I finally threw away my childhood "doctor-doctor" kit. Then my dad finally convinced me to take admission into Engineering. These people become sentimental whenever MBBS is mentioned to them.
They are lousy coders. They usually end up in QA teams.

For the Moolah
Mechanical/civil core engineering company: 1.6 lpa. Tinfosys 2.4 lpa. Hail Tinfosys!! Fuck all the 4 years spent in learning fluid dynamics, Design of diesel powered asswipes. Engineering was always for better salary, more dowry and aukaaat.

Comp Engg has more chicks
Many fathers give "permission" to their daughters to become engineers only when its Computer or Electronics. Electronics enginners are a interesting bunch of engineers I will deal with separately. As they say in the other branches there are males and non-males. So having some females in the campus gives a rare boner. Hence Computer Engineering. The career goal is to increase the chances of having female friends in the college and later in the companies. Period

The Electronics engineers:
Electronics and telecommunication. I have never understood till date why the hell is this branch of engineering so popular. Almost 95% of all the placements are in IT. Their proudest moment is when they do something in C++. They will come up to the computer guys and boast "we also know programming".

The coolcat from the Tier-1 college
These guys. They are from the IITs, RECs and the "government" Engg colleges. The best thing about them is that they belong to these colleges. They are eager to reject anything which a usual guy will do. If the usual crowd throngs to the Cafe coffee day, they will go to the chaai tapri and pretend to be cool. If the chai tapri is crowded, they will climb a tree and have tea.
Their trick is to use some mathematics. Even a tiny tinge of mathematics is enough to give nightmares to the average citizen of the democratic country. (The undemocratic ones have lot of other abuses to worry about)
"Oh to actually give the optimized out-put,  the right way is to use Bayesian prediction using machine learning"
That trick works for most of their lives.. till they encounter another Tier-1 person :P

The underdog from Tier-3 colleges
Basically Tier-2 is bullshit. There exists nothing like that. Tier-3 colleges are the one run by local construction tycoon or politician. The crappiest of the infrastructure. You still pay 50000. You get value of 5000. They basically know that you have no other option. Either you are a north-indian or your parent dont trust you enough to send you to a better college outside town.
During placements, they select Tinfosys over TechMN just because the former has presence in 22 countries and the latter has only 18.
They are totally impressed by the "fluent english" speaking hr personnel and their stupid videos about innovation and teamwork and how they represent the progressive Indian youth.
Usually the industry project is actually done after paying 5000 to a local computer institute. There are usually 1-2 people in a classroom who can actually code. Others mug up the code for practicals. They all want to go on-site asap. Their college hero is the one who ends up in the US/ UK in 3 months of joining the company.
They dont know "why" do they want to go onsite.

The MS from USA
Usually the extension of the previous group. A sad fact is that all the pretty girls are taken up by the NRIs. How much ever idiot the person might be, how much ever ugly he might look, he gets a awesome deal here. Unfair unfair!
Partyyyyyy. All the people who have spent their teens surfing the mardi gras websites. They think its easy to get laid there. I have seen people pumping it up at the gym just months before going there, but ending up just to give themselves a longer fap time.
Apart from this motivation some people, who have seen discovery channel all their childhood, whereas others were watching ftv and actually getting a better deal. They fantasize that all america is NASA and Microsoft Research labs. They dont think twice about the college they are getting into. Amrika it is.

The MS from Bits Pilani correspodence
Arey baap re. The moment the joining formalities are done, this course is introduced. Pay some huge amount. Dedicate all your future weekends for doing a crap course. A course which everyone know is crap. People join this course just to get the MS tag and to fall into the category above.

The galli ka hero. The family pride. The one who has successfully conquered america. There are tales in the family how the american company depended on him for their survival. How the visa officials tried to stop him from being successful. In the 90`s they were invited to their schools and colleges to give speeches, to give inspiration. In the 2000`s they were pestered by relatives and neighbours and friends to recommend their son/ relative to get into the usa.
He is the person who has an awesome laptop/cellphone which you can only dream of. He comes for a week, books a flat, chooses a bride, and vanishes for honeymoon. He can cook good food. He usually does not believe in caste system. He hates bribing. He believes men and women are equal. These qualities vanish once he stays around for around for more than a month.

The NRI turned desi Swades-wala
One more pain in the ass. They come back after a long stint. They hate every thing indian. Indian street food: unhygenic. Indian subordinates: lazy slobs. Indian actresses: unclassy. Once back to india, they try to change the system. They will get scandalized when you ask for the dvd he bought last week, "copyrights!"
They will hate it when u use torrents to download software and movies.
Then he starts with the Indian pay. Then he slowly starts getting converted back. After an year or so you cannot recognize him as an NRI.

The "product based company" techie
One more ripoff. Product based douchebag. The good thing is that they always earn more than their services based inferior counter-parts. The bad thing is that they think so.
Once in, they realize that no one in the team actually has an onsite opp. They will proudly claim "onsite is not our ambition".Secretly they are jealous of the services based douchbags who go out once a while and also manage to earn more than them.
The advantage is that they can explain their work to non-IT people easily as products are better known. They think by being in products, they will know the cutting edge bullshit. Sooner or later they realize that actually the "IDC" is basically a legacy version maintenance team or worse a end-of-life support team. Except the better biscuits in the pantry and the fancier diwali gift, the benefits are fast dwindling.

The Company worshipper
This person sticks to the company because, the founder belongs to the same caste/ community. He has intense respect for the company. Usually he will justify any negative decisions taken by the company. He is the companie`s unofficial HR counsellor.

The EMI slave
One small mistake can change your life. In jawani ka josh, many people have bought houses so big, cars so huge and a lifestyle they cannot afford. Its like a drug. Here you want to get out, but you just cannot.
The salary is an instument to pay the EMI. Your life is an instument to get the salary.

The metro slave
The one who is addicted to the city life. The one who thinks that the pubs in the city are the ultimate solace (which is somewhat true). He is so addicted to buying stuff from the malls on his credit card, that he has lost all his bargaining skills to the dogs and cannot survive the brutal experience at the neighbourhood baniya.
Pure regional language makes him sick. It has to be hinglish. Pure english is also not ok.

The QA who wants to be a dev
Yaar I was good in coding. BE project also was actually coded by me. But my fate played a dirty game on me.
This guy will desperately try to get into the Dev team. The hr and the manger constantly show a ray of hope.  He is the one who will pick up the small scripting assignements. Scripting is also like coding na.. Thats what he thinks.
Someone must tell him that as long as he earns at par with other, theres no need to change himself. QA are the one which goes onsite more than others.

The dev who wants to get into management
He is the person who thinks that he is at the top of the world when he gets into the dev team. Just to realize that the daily dev work is usually as monotonous as the ticket seller in the theatre. He is usually disillusioned by the fact that even the technical decisions are actually taken by his management. Holy shit aint it. managers dont even know what it takes to churn out code. The real power looks to be in the hands of the management.
So he sacrifices all his free time ti study the crappy MBA notes of TIME institute. IIM is all what he dreams of. Never mind he actually ends up in IIPM instead.

The manager who wants to come back to "technical":
Being a manager seemed to be the destination. But once there, the realization that the sick leaves of the subordinates are just hangover leaves, the internet research is just ripping off code form codeguru. The constant threats of switching the company for higher pays. Damn wheres all the power! The techie days seem golden. The golden memories which seem difficult to get back. Till then make sure the prettiest of the chicks atleast join the team for a while :P

The support guys..
Screw the support guys. who cares about them anyway

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Anatomy of a desi Computer

Since my childhood, I had been the "techie" for most of my friends and family members. Whenever shit happens to their prized asset and I used to be on their speed dial list. Though a techie for them, all usually i do is google for the solution (yeah in front of them) and take the credit. Too bad I never made a penny out of it. My story apart after visiting many houses / offices / wherever, I observed that most of the "desi" computers have some peculiar characteristics, such as....

The Cabinet
Yeah the cabinet. The gray/black "dabba". The location and the posture depends on the age of the box (quite like humans) The new box, it will be very clean and will have Gods photo on it. Stickers like "Knowledge is wisdom" and "Ubuntu" are stuck up all over. "Ubuntu" because no one can ever use it properly and since its linux it has to be cool. even though the ubuntu crap is formatted within a week with a pirated XP, (damn its friggin difficult to even install a new program).  The old boxes are the poor ones, dusty and neglected, often used as a leg support, and switched on by kicking the poor thing :D

The girls drive
Yeah then you have this girls disk drive. There is one music folder with all the girlie pop songs. There will always be a corresponding lyrics file (god! else how will they sing english songs :P ). Then there are some random folders ... and there is a folder which is... even if ur mouse pointer comes 50 pixels near it .. the girl will scream "NOOOOO!! Not that". Then after a quick check whether u pee`d urself, ask her for water. The girl will give a warning with that "look" ....Once the girl has left .. ofcourse the folder has to be opened ...:D
and inside the folder will be....
Pics of Atif aslam
Pics of Avril
Pics of the girl with her friends when they had a night out... and they all applied facepack together
All the friggin collection of photographs from college, school, special days...
A folder named "Movies" and also the seasons of friends, how i mated your mother ..watever
The contents vary with the age of the girl

The boys drive
The content does not vary with the age of the boy. one folder of heavy metal music (just because its uncool to not like it). One folder named "Movies" with half the collection common with the girls folder.
There will also be all the seasons of Heroes, the japanese action cartoon (sorry animated) series and all.

There is a speciality of the boys drive. You select all the files and it will be of the size 78.3 GB. Then you go and see that the drive actually consumes 698 GB. Hows that possible is upto you to guess :D

The common drive
Yeah the common drive. The sarkari drive. It  will have a folder named "All software setups" which is basically the backup of the Internet itself.
 It will have a folder named "Pics" which basically contain the pics you dont mind anyone seeing (or if they already are public)

Definitely this drive will have a folder named "Videos". This is a backup of YouTube. You will find most of the ads, funny clips, stuff basically you watch 1000 times and still will watch it again. The origin of this folder is basically the times when broadband was still in infancy and the rich kid used to download all the videos.

The "Studies" drive
The smallest drive on the computer. It will contain the  ebooks and educational videos. They are made to make your dad happy when he first bought the friggin "45000 rupees" ka computer for "bacchon ki padhai". They are not even used once. Most of the space is used for Movies and music videos which overflow from other drives.

The internet router modem
The untouchable of the lot. You try to go near it and the entire family will scream at you. NOO.
There are 100s of LEDs blinking. God knows what they actually mean.
But people only know one thing.
If it stops blinkin because of you.... you aint going home tonight ...till it blinks again

One of the most abused lot. You can find chivda, rice, dal, everything. Usually some keys are missing. esp the small enter key. The rule of thumb is: When you want to press enter, press enter. When you are sure, then bang the enter key. Type your username password..Bangggg
Poor thing gives away after sometime

The cloth
This is a piece of cloth which you dedicate to the computer. On the first day of the computer. To make mom happy. Later on it sits in its place just like your dads old scooter, waiting to be used. Lo and Behold, your friend comes up to you place suddenly. Within 3 seconds the cloth is taken and the monitor is cleaned up, then the keyboard, and then .. no the modem is not touched. The timeout is 3 seconds. Just till the friend is convinced that you are a clean person.

Antique equipment
Yeaaah the equipment which is replaced. The cd rom drive which is replaced by a DVD writer. The graphics card replaced by a new one under peer pressure (you  have ATI 7500 and not NVidia 5xDouche ? damn you suck )
 The equipment is all working. So why throw it. It is kept till the new version of the OS refuses to use it and goes on a strike.Then it is given away to a loser-er friend having the oldish pc. Its still given with pride "Jab liyaa thaa 6790 ka thaa". Never mind its given away for free.

The leg stand
Yeah there has to be a leg stand. Without it the computer is not complete. Never mind if there is no decent piece of furniture, the cabinet, the spare chair, the desk itself makes an excellent leg support.

The own laptop
This is the laptop which is again bought out of peer pressure. Later you realize that the battery never lasts for even finishing a movie. And much later you realize that laptops cannot be upgraded that easily.
The laptop being the new "sautan" gets more attention. Sometimes as much as a dedicated table for it, till you realize that all you have now is the same desktop which sucks donkey balls.
yes sir, donkey balls

The company laptop
Yeah this is the showoff laptop. You tell your parents how important you are in the team that they gave you a new laptop. You finally let your young nephew play games on it. sooner or later he quits for his usual ps3
The owned laptop is a "sautan" and this one is the whore
After the work its usually thrown somewhere. Who cares!

The freakin CD collection
Yeah the CD collection. Indians consider the CD and DVDs to be holy and precious. From the  CHIP cds from the 90`s to the blue ray disk, every single disk is well preserved. Just in case we need the Yahoo messenger 2.2 and also Windows 98 and also maybe Wordstar

The super friggin "Original CD collection"
Yeah these are the CDs for which one has to pay money... the original XP CD, the original VSNL internet CD, the original "Kaho na pyaar hai" vcd
The CDs and floppies that come with new hardware and the seller warns the user "keep it safely". He did not mean "till eternity"
They are kept in a separate soft CD case. And usually not all the family members know of its existence

All said and done, the desi PC is the new king of the house. It has captured the place of the erstwhile TV. The pride of the family, it has some time to bask in glory......