Boeing lands in Nagpur

Following up on on Nagpur becoming the country’s international cargo hub Boeing has named Nagpur as the site of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Facility in India.

Here is some part of the news:

We believe that Nagpur will be an excellent location for the Boeing MRO facility because of the tremendous investment being made in the area by both government and private companies,” said Dinesh Keskar, vice president of Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Boeing is committed to helping strengthen India’s air transport infrastructure by investing up to $100 million in this MRO facility.

Boeing agreed to establish an MRO facility and provide training as part of a 68-airplane order placed by Air India in December 2005.

The Nagpur facility will provide a convenient, centralized location for India-based airlines to schedule routine maintenance and overhaul work, and to have repairs completed.

As in a previous case, this news was sent to me by my friend, Vishwajeet!

Welcome news for the airport at Nagpur

It has been long since I heard anything really exciting and good news from Nagpur – news that could make me feel, “Ah! Finally, someone realizes the importance of Nagpur and the vast potential that it has.” This morning, I woke up with an email from my friend, Vishwajeet and it has a news-link with the following title:

Rs 2000 cr facelift for Nagpur Airport

Here is an excerpt:

Nagpur Airport, spread over 1,200 hectares, will be an international hub with ultimate space for parking 50 aircraft in the terminal and 50 aircraft remote.

Meanwhile, Chennai-based SICAL Logistics will set up a rail-road terminus at an estimated cost of Rs 200 crore to link the airport with other places. MADC will also construct a special sorting centre and bonded customs area for cargo terminal, enabling airlines to redistribute cargo freight. Indian Airlines has decided to opt Nagpur as hub airport.

For those of us, who have been to the Nagpur airport, this is a welcome news at many fronts. Most importantly, such activities promote the growth of the city, in general. Already, the presence of companies such as Persistent Systems has given the city an uplift. This is not to say that there is little development.

I have witnessed a complete turn-around in Nagpur, in terms of infrastructure and other facilities, without destroying the amazing amount of greenery that it has. However, activities such as above lead to significant industrial growth, job creation and better economy!

Long way to go…

Gmail server error

Like many others, I have now been hit by Gmail’s “beta” problems…

Here is what I get whenever I try to login:

Server Error

We’re sorry, but Gmail is temporarily unavailable. We’re currently working to fix the
problem — please try logging in to your account in a few minutes.

And there seems to be no fix for this – nothing has come up at Google’s site anyways! People are waiting for as long as 5 days…


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Moving back… from Outlook to Thunderbird

Finally, as expected, I had to move away from Outlook. I don’t have an Exchange account anymore and Outlook is pretty useless without an Exchange account! So I moved back to my old favorite, Mozilla Thunderbird again. This time, I decided to:

  • Use the nightly build, and to my surprise, it seems that Thunderbird is moving from 1.5 to 3.0! Will there be a 2.0 release (there are nightly builds for 2.0!)?
  • Use Lightning,  instead of Sunbird for my calendar!

Noticeable improvements:

  1. Tags Finally, there is an email client that allows me to create any number of text tags (as in gmail!). Just makes life so much  easier and structured! I wonder how the tags will be stored across different IMAP clients. As of now, I cannot see my tags through the web interface. I can even tag RSS feed (although, I will keep using Flock as my RSS reader!)
  2. Virus checking Every email can be checked by the anti-virus software before it loads up on my computer!
  3. Lightning makes the calendar an integrated part of Thunderbird. With the available Webdav and Caldav support, and especially, with extensions such as SyncKolab, which stores the calendar on the IMAP server, Thunderbird can  potentially compete with Outlook!

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Phir Hera Pheri

I watched “Phir Hera Pheri” over the last weekend. What drives a film such as Hera Pheri is not the story, but the originality in the well-presented subplots, and the character-development.

  • The character-development: Already done in Hera Pheri, so Phir Hera Pheri (and the audience) was saved from it.
  • The subplots: Phir… is just a hera pheri of one of my all-time favorite movies, “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.” The rip-off is just as bad as Priyadarshan’s Malamaal Weekly was of “Waking Ned Divine.” Adaptation is fine, but these films are just moronically copied.

The Master and the Apprentice should just get back to what they do best – Priyadarshan should start directing good focussed stories; Neeraj Vora should focus on writing dialogs (he does it good enough in Phir…)

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Old times…

Two CAM Lab moments (summer of 1999):

AA : abey hum log sab saath US jayenge
LaPa : Hann sab log Bambai se jaayenge
Deb : aur kahin convenient international airport thode hi hai..
AA : (in disgust) abey.. banaras mein international airport ban raha hai…
Others : KYA ????
AA : haan, abhi lucknow tak pahunch gaya hai!

Deb : AA, tujhe swimming aati hai?
AA : haan bhai aati hai…
Deb (surprised): kya!!! abey sach bol raha hai kya?
AA (in ttottaall anger): kyun? nahin aa sakti kya? Banaras main Gangaji ke pass rahta hun
LaPa : BTW, Gangaji aur swimming ka kya relation hai…

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Urban Legends at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

When I joined the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, I was confronted with a few legends (none of them are dreadful like the Halloween Massacre ones)..

  1. There is a University of Michigan flag on the moon.In 2006, this was debunked in an article by the Michigan daily.
  2. Classes can never be officially canceled in inclement weather, because some law school student sued the University asking for a refund of his tuition. This was obviously untrue… at least it seems so!
  3. You will never graduate if you walk on the M symbol anywhere on campus. Interestingly, I have heard of this only once in my life – my very first day in the US. I was immediately informed as walked on the M. Since then, I religiously avoided walking on any M anywhere on campus :) It took me 6 years to believe that it was untrue after I graduated last year…

On second thoughts, maybe there is some truth in the last one – I am still at the University!

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Why I removed IE7 beta 3

Internet Explorer 7 has several improvements over IE6. But the "find bar" in Firefox tilts the scale against IE (and even Opera).

But, the reason that I had to uninstall IE7 beta 3 is the fundamental problem with a beta software, i.e., it is not yet ready! Several websites render so badly in IE7 that I wonder what is  the W3C standardization all about. We need a standard to represent, but should there be no standard to render?

For some sites, I had to "spoof the website" to make it appear as though I am in Internet Explorer 6. I got registry tweak from microsoft’s site. Here are some screenshots of the results:

  • The left menu in Seatguru is "rendered" useless

  • What is the use if one cannot download at Tucows?

  • Here is what it does to MSN.COM (the main Microsoft site itself!)

Here is how it looks in Flock  (which is also a beta software)

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Different renderings of Nikhil’s website in IE, Mozilla and Opera

This is how Nikhil Joshi‘s homepage renders in Internet Explorer 7, beta 3 (looks same in IE6):

Nikhil Joshi's website in Internet Explorer IE7

This is how it renders in Flock (looks same in Firefox and in Netscape which supports both Trident and Gecko engines):

Nikhil's website in Flock

This is how it looks in Opera 9:

Nikhil's website in Opera

All three of them are different! Assuming that Opera 9 is the correct version, IE7 has a different width for the left menu and adds in a right scroll-bar – an inactive one, while Flock/Firefox/Netscape moves the left menu down! Since there is no upper border, I am sure, Nikhil intended it to flush with the top.

On another note, I wonder why he has an “RTF” version of his documents.

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