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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


House of Million Dollars Durable Link to this BLOG
This might sound silly to y'all, but I'm so proud of my idea.

I had to do some artwork for the website of a real estate investment club. During our meeting, this customer had given me some million dollar currency bills in jest.

I wanted a graphic that conveyed real-estate and wealth in an interesting way. After going through plethora of clip-art collections, I thought of making something original.

I made a house out of the bills the customer had given me and placed it in my yard and photographed it.

The customer loved the art work!

© Vikas Kamat

House of Million Dollars - literally!

See my other art:
• Paintings by Vikas Kamat
• Pencil Sketches by Vikas Kamat

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Sunday, December 4, 2005
Last Modified: 12/4/2005 7:36:52 PM


Updates and Downdates Durable Link to this BLOG
From Archives: Australians and Racists

Long Overdue: Notes and pictures of my India Trip of 2005


• Devadasis - Servants of God -- a new article on an old profession.
• Shantanu and Matsyagandha -- a new painting added in Raja Ravi Varma section.
• Temple of Rats -- article on Karnimata temple in Bikaner.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, December 12, 2005
Last Modified: 12/12/2005 2:56:52 PM


Thumbs Down for Yahoo Mail 2.0 Durable Link to this BLOG
After a LONG wait, finally Yahoo showed me their much debated interface. I am disappointed and prompty switched back to the old interface.

It would have been probably acceptable, if I were not a paying customer (I am), or if it didn't precede with so much hype.

I really like GMail. If only Google stopped hyperlinking the last words of a sentence when not accompanied by a space. (If you skip the space after the period, GMail thinks it is an URL and hyperlinks it).

Someone asked to be specific about what I don't like in new Yahoo mail and not spread negative vibes unless I have reasons. So here we go:

What I don't like in 'drag-and-drop' Yahoo Mail
(As compared to GMail)

The search still sucks. Guys, if you are going to copy, copy from the best. I want search like GMail Search.

What's up with the "Loading Yahoo Mail" wait? Give me a break. I login to Yahoo mail 100 times a day, and waiting for it to load 100 times means you have wasted two hours of mine each day.

I don't want to clutter my address book with every Tom-Dick who sends me email (I get a LOT of mail), so why can't you drop down the nearest match as I start typing the email address (like GMail does)? Currently only those in address book are dropped down.

Why is "Search Web" box in my Mail account? It is confusing. If I want to search web, I go to the toolbar, don't I?

Drag and Drop is cool for only those organize the messages into folders. I don't, because many times I want one message to appear in multiple folders. GMail has solved this problem by use of labels.

(HTML) Frames are old technology. People didn't like them. The new Y!mail technically may not be using the frames, but they look and behave like frames. I hated them in Outlook and I hate them in Yahoo Mail.

Broken Back Button. Isn't that Web 101?

Overall Rating: 5/10. That's a failing grade.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Thursday, December 15, 2005
Last Modified: 12/16/2005 2:57:50 PM


This I Want to Believe Durable Link to this BLOG
(With apologies to NPR's "This I Believe" series, which has been excellent, BTW.)

This I want to Believe
(but really don't)

  • I want to believe in the sanctity of human birth. I want to believe that we are created equal.
  • I want to believe that humans are monogamous by design.
  • I want to believe in God. I want to believe that animals and plants believe in God.
  • I want to believe that money is nothing and character is everything.
  • I want to believe in fairness of laws and fairness of life.
  • I want to believe that I am an honorable son, husband, citizen, vendor, and friend.
  • I want to believe in the power of non-violence.
  • I want to believe in the dignity of death.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, December 19, 2005
Last Modified: 12/20/2005 9:57:13 AM
Tags: belief


Handling of Indian Characters in RSS Feeds Durable Link to this BLOG
Request for Pointers or Help.

I am re-writing the spider that fetches the latest Pickup Lines for Blog Portal and realized that all the non-English characters render incorrectly.

I am using .NET for the spider and the Pickupline is fetched correctly with the XMLDocument class (prints OK in debug window), but gets messed up in the process of making a round trip to the database (Microsoft SQL Server 2000; the PickupLine is a nvarchar(200)). I have played with converting encoding mechanisms, storage sizes etc, but in vain. Anyone with experience in handling non-English characters in feeds please help me with your tips at Contact Kamats.

FYI: Microsoft says this.

Minor Changes to Indian Blog Portal

If you have a cool idea, please drop me a line

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Last Modified: 12/21/2005 8:25:01 PM


Entha Blogu! Durable Link to this BLOG
AnthoBLOGy Cartoon

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Thursday, December 22, 2005
Last Modified: 12/22/2005 1:06:29 PM


Incompetent Report on Incompetent Indians Durable Link to this BLOG
I can't begin to list the flaws in the research and report filed by Satish Jacob in this ABC News Story on Stortage of Skilled Workers in India (link to ABC News).

First, he skims off commonly available jokes on Indian English (example: "As I am marrying my daughter...") as something he encountered during his research (proof).

His estimate that one out of seven knowledge workers in India are foreign, seems unbelievable (per article, there are 350,000 such workers of whom 50,000 are foreigners).

At one point in the story, he suggests that since Indian's don't have adequate European language skills, they would have to be filled by American workers -- as if American workers have skills in non-English European languages.

Finally he suggests that American and British workers should move to India where "... their English and their accents will be an asset.".

A very incompetent report, I must say.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Saturday, December 24, 2005
Last Modified: 12/24/2005 6:35:12 PM


RIP Kerry Packer Durable Link to this BLOG
OK, this gives out my age. But when I was a fan of the game of Cricket, one man single handedly changed the game. His name was Kerry Packer -- a reminiscence at BBC upon his passing.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Last Modified: 12/27/2005 7:46:52 PM


Incremental Changes Durable Link to this BLOG
Happy New Year! -- Here's a recycled New Year's Greeting using just text and styles.

Some new stuff at

• Added detailed Profiles to Blog Portal, click on the icon.
• Added a new category called "Ad. Infested Blogs" that have too many advertisements or have pop-ups.
• Added a new category "Frankenstein Blogs" is a category of India blogs that have more than four subsystems.

All these are automatically computed, using a software system, so if you think it is classifying incorrectly, please let me know

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Saturday, December 31, 2005
Last Modified: 1/2/2006 9:54:42 AM

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