Goodbye WordPress

I started this blog in September 2011 with this highly controversial post (which has apparently lost all the controversy with the loss of comments but trust me it got pretty wild back then) and have been writing here on and off. Till today, 25th Oct 2016, this blog had been powered by Wordpress, that too pretty well I must day. But starting today this is now a static site comprising only of static HTML, JS and CSS files using Hexo as the backend static site generator. If you have visited the site in the past the first thing you will notice would be the improved speed. Taking away all the runtime code compilations has drastically reduced the load and render time of the site. Honestly, a simple blog/site does not need to be dynamic at all. The primary reason I, like everyone, chose WordPress is the sheer ease of use. Having said that I would like to list down some of the factors that made me decide to make the switch.

  • Speed - Whenever we open a web url the page that is rendered in the end is HTML, CSS and JS only. No matter what the backend technology is or how complicated the logic is the end result would always be HTML only. Wordpress was doing the same but with an added step of running PHP code to determine what HTML has to be rendered. By eliminating this step I am able to save the load time.
  • Safety - If you have used any of the PHP based CMS’s in the past I am sure you are aware of the “Viagra Hacks” that these are prone to. If you are not careful about updating your Wordpress or Joomla installations or do not have a reliable hosting provider you will not ever know when your site will get hacked and search results for your site on google will start showing links to Viagra. Not only is this embarassing at that moment but takes a lot of time to fix. No such problem exists with a static site.
  • Better and easy deployment - This site is currently hosted on AWS S3 which means this site will have 99.99% uptime, and 99.999999999% of durability (yes, 9 nines), I won’t pay anything for hosting if I am doing less than 20k file requests a month, and I won’t have to waste any more time messing with servers.
  • Cost Effective - I no longer have to manage a hosting/server which saves me a monthly fixed cost I had been incurring for a very long time. And S3 os cheap.
  • Less Code - The static site generator tool Hexo is really minimalistic in nature. Any change in the theme layout only requires the knowledge of HTML, CSS and JS which fortunately I know :)
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How are you proud to be an Indian?

The concept of patriotism has never come naturally to me. Gender, race, nationality, religion etc are traits that I have but had nothing to do to get them. I was born a male brown Hindu Indian and that was the default setting and I never had a say in that. If I say I am proud of being a male I will be termed as a sexist, a white person is called a racist if they claim they are proud to be white, we all know how much issue secularity causes in our society but being proud of once nationality is not only socially acceptable but is rather expected. Even worse there could be sever consequences if someone is considered non-patriotic in India. I am not saying that I don’t feel good about being an Indian at times, many times, but pride does not come naturally. Hence I implore the people who think they are proud Indians, please help me reach the point where you are because I do want to be there. Thoughts?

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How Truecaller works on iOS and what sucks about that.

I have always liked the product Truecaller. As someone living in India it is more of a necessity than a utility considering telemarketers will not give a single f* before calling you at any time of the day. What sucks is that Truecaller does not work on iPhones. Primarily because of the closed architecture of the iOS that does not provide hook or access to any app to get access to the dialer. What that means is that Truecaller does not get access to incoming/outgoing calls and can’t perform its most basic function.

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'Freelancer' - The Magical Word

“Freelancer” is a truly magical world. The moment you add it to any profession that whole world becomes immediately profitable to everyone involved. I have seen startups looking for kickass rockstar coding ninja freelancers with at least 5+ years of experience at the super attractive compensation of 20k per month and exposure (how can you forget that!!). The moment someone adds “freelancer” to their profession it seems all their bills start paying themselves on their own which is why it would make sense for them to charge not based on their experience and calibre but the standard “freelancer” rates. The best thing is that people want to build their entire startups, and the eventual business empires, with the help of these cost-effective freelancers and hard-working dedicated go-getter interns. I implore you to just open any local startup community or group page on Facebook and you will find all these awesome promoters eagerly looking for these magical freelancers to come and build their product at..lets calculate. Lets take the highest number I have ever seen offered to a freelance developer 20k. Taking 20 working days a month with 8 hours a day it comes to (20000/20x8) = Rs 125 per hour. I am pretty sure the momo vendor on the road makes a lot more than that. I do not mean to imply anything but I am just putting this statistic out there. I wonder how many successful startups are built by the efforts of these kickass rockstar coding ninja freelancer. Also growth hackers.

Note: If you are a “freelancer” providing your services at the rates mentioned above, do consider the momo stall idea. I know for a fact that the ROI is there and is easily scalable.

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The thing about Udta Punjab

The thing about Udta Punjab is that the the track involving Alia Bhatt, who has performed the best of all, has nothing to do with drugs. The reason for the misfortune of that character was not drugs but greed and if you really want to stretch it, curiosity. It could very easily have been guns, gold or top secrets. So no matter how much you appreciate the antics of that bihari girl that is a story unrelated to the core story. I am pretty sure there was some back story to Kareena Kapoors character but for some reason it was not told to us. So it was really hard to understand where her “activism” was coming from. The speed with which Shahids character reforms is mind bending. I have no idea about drug addiction but I am certain it does not go away that fast. The only character that stayed true to the story and was actually the portrayal of everything drugs affect was Diljits character. He gets to display a range of human virtues from greed to despair to immense loss ending with redemption. I will not comment on the controversy because I didn’t actually find anything controversial but the movie was definitely worth one watch. The starting star wars sequence was a nice surprise.

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Why my phone no longer has a lock

I apologise in advance for this morbid thought. Imagine you get in an accident. It could be anything. A hit and run, a mugging gone wrong or just plain bad luck. There you are lying on the road, covered in your own blood, unconscious, helpless. Maybe your luck has not totally run out and some one spots you. They want to help you. They have called the police and/or the ambulance for you. They want to inform your family and friends. Maybe you still have your phone with you. They take it out and try to find the contacts. But its locked. It is asking for a pin code. Now your loved ones will only be informed once the authorities come and do a reverse check on your identification documents or licence plate.

What purpose did lock solve? Do you really have data on your phone more valuable than your own life. I don’t think so.

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Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee

This is probable the most popular quote of the great Muhammad Ali. And trust me it is not just a quote. If you go and watch any of his fights on Youtube you see all the floating and the stinging happening. Some people deserve to be called legends. Ali was one. And not because he was a great and successful boxer. But because he had the attitude of legends. There is almost no person on this earth who does not want to be great. Of all these people “wanting” to be great, a very small portion work towards being great. Of these people who are working towards greatness only a handful sustain the hardships of the world and not give up. And out of these few people only those people become great who believe, or even better - know, that they are meant to be great. Ali was one of them. So with a slightly heavy heart I share with you my favourite quote of Ali

I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was

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You are average. But its ok.

A bird can just be a bird. When the sun rises it isn’t accompanied by a feeling of dread. It’s daily tasks are solely comprised of being a bird and being a bird still.

Humans are a problem. There’s no place for us. I cant just go out into the woods and be a human. But then again, I have a taste of the finer things and I’m an enlightened person that doesn’t care to live in the woods anyway. So I have a job, I put in my 40+ hours a week, I pay someone for the privilege of having a roof, I drive 15 miles a day, and I take care of a dog.
This lifestyle has cost me friends. It has cost me relationships. I cannot visit my family without it being rubbed in my face that I merely live like a king. That’s right- a king.

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Before you go ahead and buy that gym membership..

Resolutions


Tis the time for resolutions. The new year is just round the corner and like every year we all have our resolutions in our minds. This is an age old practice which has been engrained in us ever since we were little. Our resolutions might have changed with time but our excellent habit of not following them to the end remains a constant. One resolution that becomes kind of constant for people my age which we make every year to abandon in the very first week is “Get Fit”. This resolution is most commonly phrased as “I will fix my eating habits and start working out”. Most of these people stay enthusiastic for at max a week. Although in this one week they will accomplish a lot of things. They will see what a day that starts at 6am looks like in Delhi winter and what a lettuce tastes like. Now the best and easiest part of the “fitness process” is preparing for it. Which means buying new workout gear, water bottle and a membership at a swanky gym. For most resolutioners gym sign up is well begun and well begun is half done. I will be pulling stats out of my ass but 95% of these people will stop going to the gym within a fortnight. If this year too you are planning to resolve to get fit and are thinking about getting a gym membership/fancy equipment, I have a few pointers for you which I am sure will help you make an informed decision.

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