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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Best of AnthoBLOGy

Unripe Revolution
Rooster's Dharma
Don't Know Jack
No Love for Condi
Blogger's Block
Father of  the Bride
TinTin's Diary - I
TinTin's Diary II
Hate Bollywood
Child Labor
M.F.Husain Guilty
Marathi & Konkani
Artist's Daughter
India's First IT Guru


Computing, Libraries, Tennis, India & other interests of Vikas Kamat


February 29th Durable Link to this BLOG
Rackshack ( Screws up

What a freak this guy Robert Marsh is. He thinks he is protecting me ( is hosted on RackShack), while he is harming me!

Yo, cancel your deal with evil SCO, or I will cancel my deal with you!

"Bissextile" is not Kinky

The word bissextile ( is not what it appears, and instead has to do with wheather or not the year is a leap year.

I can't believe it has been four years already since all the programmers had to learn the denitions of how to compute a leap year. Year 2000 was a leap year, not because it was divisible by four, but because it was divisible by 400.

The year 1800 was not a leap year!

Remembering Morarji

Every February 29th, I remember Morarji Desai. He was born on that day.

When he was a Prime Minister of India he was already in his 80s and for every criticism about his age he'd say, "But I age four times slower!".

Morarji was just like Gandhi. He was stubborn, childishly adamant, and an idealist. He was for prohibition of alcohol in India.

He was a favorite topic of redicule among the masses, as he practiced urine-therapy. He went on to live till 100 and would climb steps to his flat on the third floor even in his 90s.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, March 1, 2004
Last Modified: 3/1/2004


Putting a Face to the Stories Durable Link to this BLOG
Putting a Face to Kamat's Stories

Kamat's Potpourri is a non-fiction website, meaning our stories and pictures are real. They might be skewed due to personal limitations and prejudices of the creators, but all our contents and stories have real people behind them.

For example, the man in a western suit, yet wearing a traditional turban, is M.V.Gopalaswamy, who started Mysore Radio Station. The woman churning butter-milk in now-and-then is my grandmother. The man in Gandian clothing is K.M.Kamat, a prominent lawyer of North Kanara. The head being shaven in Going, going.. is my own, and the two curious boys are me and my cousin Pradeep, soon after his munji.

Picture of Sukhdev Rajamestry

For those who have read dad's books on Madhya Pradesh and Bastar, the character of Sukhdev Rajamestri is very familiar. He is both a tailor and a carpenter in the village of Chotedongar, and knew many trails in the dense forests. He first-hand knowledge of the local people and customs helped Kamat to study and understand the complex intricacies of the tribal culture of Bastar.

Guess what I found today! A portrait of Sukhdev Rajamestri!

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Tuesday, March 2, 2004
Last Modified: 3/2/2004


Making Good on the Threat Durable Link to this BLOG
Making Good on the Threat

If there is one thing George W. Bush has taught the world, it is to make good on the threats.

A couple of days ago, my hosting service provider, made a deal with SCO, who claim that they own parts of the Linux Operating System.

I protested, saying it was immoral to fund a blackmailing company.

But in today's response, the CEO of justifies his decision. He does not recognize the legitimate reasons of my anger (and I am not alone, see this SlashDot thread).

Now I must do what I said I would do - switch to a different company.

I have had two offers for free hosting from two companies. Thank you, but no thank you. I prefer to pay, so I can make threats like above ;-- )

I have shortlisted Interland and ServerBeach. I will decide soon.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, March 3, 2004
Last Modified: 3/2/2004


Heartbeat Check Durable Link to this BLOG
Heartbeat Check

This is just a "I'm alive" message.

I've been busy with server-migration and a overhaul of Kamat's Potpourri webiste. I am going to retire the Guestbook, upgrade the search engine to support phrase searching, and start making the Kamat Database, public.

Notes to Self

Some ideas for future blog entries:
• Stories of India they didn't tell you
• Tintin's brother
• Usability Review of USTA Website
• When I met Kusuma Sorab (picture)
• Searching for Chandrashekhar Azad (picture)
• When I met Steve Jobs
• How to customize SimplyBlog to support sub-blogs
• The 100 200 Million Dollar "Ego Surfing" Industry

See Also: Blogger's Block

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Thursday, March 11, 2004
Last Modified: 3/25/2004 10:29:50 AM


Hasta la vista RackShack Durable Link to this BLOG
Server Migration Pains

I am drenched in deployment of the new server. New serach engine, new ad. server. new hardware, new control panel...

The good news is that if you can see this message, you are already accessing the new server.

Hasta la vista RackShack(Ev1Servers)! You guys served me well. It is too bad you cannot see my POV.

Kamat Remembered as a Kannada's Foremost Travel Writer

From Amma (via telephone). Kannada writer Nemichandra's latest book narrating her South American adventures was released in Bangalore. The book has been dedicated to Bappa. During the function, the author fondly recalled Kamat's influence on her own life.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, March 15, 2004
Last Modified: 3/15/2004


Spring Pictures Durable Link to this BLOG
The Spring is here in full bloom.

Some pictures of my yard:

Spring Tree

Flowers and Puppies

Here's a recent picture of TinTin.

Tintin Kamat

Add to the list of Spring pleasures of Alabama, the great win by UAB (my alma mater, and customer) over No. 1 Kentucky!

What a Match! Go Blazers!

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Sunday, March 21, 2004
Last Modified: 3/22/2004


Stop Israeli Terrorism Durable Link to this BLOG

Israel today assasinated a cleric (link to BBC) returning from a prayer.

People who say they are opposed to terrorism must oppose terrorism committed by the state as well. I hereby deplore Israel. You can't commit violence and expect peace in return.

I can't think of a more cowardly act than using missiles to kill a wheel-chair bound, old man. They could have arrested him.

For those who follow Bush's "either you are with us or against us" doctrine, I plead not to be blind to the requirements of justice.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, March 22, 2004
Last Modified: 3/22/2004 11:00:05 PM


Cricket Heals Indo-Pak Animosity Durable Link to this BLOG
The ongoing Cricket series have done wonders to India-Pakistan relationships.

The game of Cricket has been a winner too. The intense rivalry and history has led to some of greatest action in Cricket's history.

Youngsters like Jyoti have been to Pakistan and can tell us first-hand stories of Pakistan.

Three cheers to Indo-Pak friendship.

See Also:
• Kamat Goes to Pakistan
• Cricket Team

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Last Modified: 3/24/2004 4:49:52 PM


200 Million Dollar Ego-Surfing Industry Durable Link to this BLOG
The 200 Million Dollar "Ego-Surfing" Industry

Ego Surfing is searching the Internet for mentions of one's own name, discussions of one's own content and opinions. It has become quite a popular hobby among those who think they are important.

Apparently, this ego-detection is a two hundred million dollar industry! A lot of people pay a lot of money to see their own names cited and referenced. I guess it is natural, but I am still shocked by the size of this business.

The biggest vendor of this space is not Google, but Thompson ISI (combined revenue for 2003, $7.6 billion, of which $200 million is from the "current contents" business). They have a tool that I'd call "Ego-Alert" that tells you whenever someone cites, reviews or critiques your work. Having a high-ego-factor (called "ISI Impact Factor") is very important in many vertical industries to get promotions, grants, tenures, and jobs.

Naturally, I was curious if a phenomenon analogous to being a "Link-Slut" (linking to other's pages with the understanding of a reciprocal link, so the ego-factor goes up) was prevalent, and unbelievably, it is! I have been speaking to many scholars and users of ISI Impact Factor, and they all said that's just the nature of the beast.

See Also:
• Opportunities in the Invisible Web

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Thursday, March 25, 2004
Last Modified: 3/25/2004 10:20:50 AM


How to Boost Your Impact Factor Durable Link to this BLOG
Impact Factor and Open Access Journals

The other day I wrote about ISI Impact Factor and and drew analogies between ego-surfing and Impact Factor monitoring.

Today I want to share with you my ideas on how to boost your own Impact Factor.

My idea is based on the belief that ISI Impact Factor does not take into consideration the circulation or readership of a journal, nor does it consider the rank or relevancy of the citing source (unlike Google PageRank™).

First, an one-line introduction to Open Access (OA) Journals: Open Access journals are high-quality, scholary or peer-reviewed periodical publications that do not restrict access to their readership through embargos, pay-per-view, or such licensing restrictions.

How to Boost Your Impact Factor

For the next artcile you wish to publish, consider submitting to a Open Access Journal (link to over 800 Open Access Journals). By the very definition, OA journals are much more widely read than the expensive (and hithero known as prestigious) journals. Further, search engines like Google index their full text, thus making them comeup more and more for deep-searches. My premise is that the more fellow researchers are likely to read your article, the more likey they are to cite them.

Some publishers opposed to OA models are very concerned that this idea may take off. If the word spreads that OA journals buy you a better Impact Factor, more people will write for OA journals, shaking the fundamentals of scholary publications business.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Last Modified: 3/31/2004 10:49:14 AM

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