Entries Tagged 'General' ↓

Blogging Plan at Thoughts Unlimited, going forward

Hello to all readers of Thoughts Unlimited. We had a wonderful time so far, but somehow I am unhappy about my blogging routine, schedule and topics.

I did some homework and came up with a plan on how take this blog forward. Following is what in store for all you readers, in the coming days…

I have decided on a few categories and almost all of my posts will belong to one of these:

  • Technology Tips and Resources
  • Blogging, SEO and Twitter Tips
  • Personal Finance Tips

There may be one-off posts on other topics but these will form the mainstream.

Also, the posts on these categories will be spread across the week - Technology Sunday/Monday, Blogging Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday, Finance Friday and General Saturday…

I am working on redesigning my blog to make it simpler for you to navigate and access the contents.

All I need from you folks at this stage is constant and open feedback on all my experiments.  I would be glad to take in comments like “Your blog sucks as I can’t see my comments”.

I will work my best to provide you the best of contents from all around the web and improve your technology life.

How to get out of your Personal Credit Crisis? [Personal Finance]


Times are bad and you don’t need a blog post to tell that!

This blog post is all about suggestions for you, to lead a healthy and successful financial life.  By no means this is a comprehensive list, but sure to provide a start.


Beware of Credit Cards !!

Credit Cards are very useful and at the same time, highly misused tools in the financial world.  They are supposed to be used as alternatives to cash, to prevent you from carrying too much of them but not when there is NO cash.  Certain thumb rules of Credit Card usage are:

  • Never use Credit Cards when you are out of cash, unless absolutely necessary
  • Never, ever withdraw cash with your Credit Card.  It is one of the costliest credits you can ever get…
  • Always pay off the entire amount on your Monthly Credit Card Bill.  Defer payment only when it is absolutely impossible to pay it off
  • Be extra careful about revealing your Credit Card details on websites or over the phone.  Finally, you and only you will be responsible for any misuse and pay off
  • Never use Credit Cards for expenses that are more than 50% of your monthly earnings, unless absolutely necessary
  • Final word – Avoid Credit Card usage when possible !!

Follow the 1/3 Rule

It is not just about earning huge sums – it is all about what you do with it.  All of us have commitments and mandatory expenses.  Here is a simple rule on how to better manage your spending:

  • Use 1/3 of your monthly earnings for all your expenditure needs
  • Use 1/3 of your monthly earnings for all your investment needs
  • Use 1/3 of your monthly earnings for all your saving needs

I am sure this is good for a start and you can build on it as you move along.

Foreclose your Loans whenever possible

It is hardly possible for any of us, to live without loans.  Auto Loans and Home Loans are order of the day and you can rarely get out of this virtuous cycle.

Whenever you take a loan, clearly understand the foreclosure norms for that type of loan.  For example, if you plan to repay the entire loan in say 6 months of time, what would be charges levied on you.  And, whenever you have sufficient balance in your savings kitty, the first thing you should consider doing, is to get out of debt.

New Loans to Close existing Loans – A Strict NO NO!!

It may be tempting to go for fresh loans, to close some of your existing loans as you are tired of repaying them.  Avoid this deadly practice, as much as possible.  Sometimes, it may be fruitful if the rates of interest for the new loan are drastically less than the older one.  But many a times, you will end up losing more money than repaying the original loan.

Another similar catch, is to transfer credit card balances from Card A to Card B.  Again, there are lot of loopholes here and ultimately you might stand to lose more money.

If you definitely have to do any one of these, exercise extreme care !!

Maintain a Note of your Daily expenses

I know many of us have it as part of our New Year resolutions!!  But sadly, many of us don’t succeed in putting this into practice, throughout the year.

This primarily serves two purposes:

  • Getting a grip on where your hard earned money goes
  • Identifying some unnecessary expenditures towards the end of a month and work on avoiding them

Hope you found this post useful.  Feel free to add in additional points, as comments to this post.

Photo Credit:Andres Rueda

Blogging Resolutions for 2009

First things first - Wish you all the readers, a very happy and productive New Year!

I have a regular habit of coming up with attractive new year resolutions, but find it really tough to achieve them.  So, one of my resolution is always to - Achieve all other resolutions

Here is the list of my Blogging Resolutions for the year of 2009.  I hope to work on these, for the days to come:

  • Make my blog and posts, much better!!
  • Increase the Subscriber base to at least 100 and Page hits to at least 25000
  • Better my Alexa Rank by at least 50%
  • Enter Google Page Rank!!
  • Start with Guest Blogging
  • Start with SEO Services

Wish me good luck on moving towards these targets and Wish you good luck on whatever you do!

Branding yourself for the tough times

Times are tough and everyone knows it. I have tried to identify a few points, that one must consider. I would rather recommend these to be a part of your Personal Brand, rather than as tactics during difficult times.


  • Crib about your current employer or current job using social media like Blogs, Facebook etc.
  • Actively scout for jobs citing job insecurity or financial targets - time can turn tough for everyone and they might guess your attitude based on this
  • Be passionless about your current job or rule - better alternative is to talk about these to your manager and improve the condition
  • Building credit by the way of Credit Cards, Loans etc. - these can be a burden that you may not be able to offload


  • Try and add value to your current role at the organization
  • Equip yourself better for the current job in hand - part time education, certifications, etc. are a few options
  • Be open to take up additional responsibilities that might come up, due to more people leaving the organization
  • Be prepared to take some beating on the financial front - the organization treated you well at good times and now it is your turn
  • Save money by all possible means - this might turn out to be an investment on the new business you might have to start :)

Feel free to add additional points as comments to this post. As they say, “Tough times never last, but tough people do”

Inspirational Posts - #1

I happened to read this post at Sramana Mitra’s blog - http://www.sramanamitra.com/2008/11/16/steve-jobs-on-being-laid-off/

Inspirations from persons of Steve Jobs’ stature are essential during these tough times. Thanks to Sramana Mitra for sharing this post with us.

Right to die

Hannah, a terminally ill teenage girl from Marden, has won the right to die at her home. Hannah has developed a hole on her heart due to medications taken from childhood, for leukemia. The hospital where she was treated for her heart, has been forcing her on a heart transplant. Suffering huge traumas for a 13 year old, Hannah didn’t wish to go through the pain of Heart transplant and all the treatments that would follow. Following her clarification with the child protection officer, the hospital has withdrawn the court bid to undergo a heart transplant.

Am not sure if one can wish her for winning the case, or console for a bleak future.

Key attributes of New Ventures

When someone starts a new Business venture, sailing is not always smooth.  New Ventures are prone to acceptance, appreciation, uncertainity, criticism and rejection.

DNA Daily is entering Bangalore and following qualities in their marketing, won them a subscriber :) .  I think these are essential bare minimum qualities, that any new Business venture, must exhibit.

Creating an Irresistible Urge for Acceptance

  • An introductory offer to have both the National and Business news for Rs. 299 an year
  • My current daily (with business news) costs me about Rs. 1800 an year
  • That’s a flat savings of 83% !

Minimal Change and Compromise, required on the Consumer

  • DNA Daily would be circulated by the same Newspaper vendor, who delivers my current daily
  • Only thing required by me, is to intimate the vendor to supply DNA Daily, instead of my current daily
  • No compromises required, as I am quite satisfied with my current vendor


  • Though the offer was a good one, I was not ready to accept it on the first attempt
  • I wanted to get in touch a week later, on our first meeting
  • He kept his word and met me again
  • He won a subscriber!

Business Lesson from Singur!

Current imbroglio in Singur, presents a crucial lesson when doing Business, especially outsourcing!

Keep all Stakeholders in the loop

WB Government has done the mistake of not keeping the stakeholders in loop, twice.

  • First, when land was allotted to Tata, overlooking Mamata and possible agitations.  An agreement that time, would have made the process a lot smooth
  • Second, when the “peace treaty” was made yesterday between Mamata and the Government.  Tatas were not involved and they are still reluctant to stay in Singur, due to uncertainities

So the thumb rule - Keep all Stakeholders in the loop!

Who the heck is an Architect?

One can find many techies with over 5 years in the industry, expressing their interest to be a software architect.  As it is rightly said, not all good programmers make good architects.

Architecture is an “artistic” science.  The primary aim of architecture is to understand the business problem, identify suitable components, mix-match them in right proportions to design a solution, integrate them to peacefully coexist in harmony and deliver a reliable solution to the customer’s business problem. This is a very generic description, that would definitely apply for software architecture.

With this description, following can be a broad set of characteristics that an architect must possess, at a minimum:

  • Excellent Communication skills
  • Inquisitive skills to understand the business problem, in its true sense
  • Creativity and Innovation - as required in any form of art
  • Up to date knowledge on various Application frameworks and Technology tools - to evaluate broad range of solutions that are possible
  • Strong Design Pattern Experience - not just knowing them but experience in putting them into use
  • Effective Decision Making
  • Motivational and Inspirational capabilities
  • Keen eye for Perfection and Progress Tracking - to make sure that the solution implementation is synchronous with planning
  • Ability to take ownership of the solution

These are the minimum set of characteristics that any architect must possess.

A programmer must evaluate him/herself on his aspirations, skills and future plans - on whether architecture is the right path to choose.

Happy Architecting!

A new entrant into the Blogosphere

My pal Shirupa (drum-roll….) has entered the blogosphere!  Her blog deals with the display and sale of her artwork, which she terms as an obsession.

Visit her blog and encourage her to carry on the wonderful artwork of hers!!