Saturday, December 23, 2006

Almost settled in bay area - Moving was a big pain - Moving guide

After three weeks of initial settling period I am feeling now that I am adjusted in bay area (aka Silicon Valley). Few things which I have observed and would like to share about moving is as under.

1) When you decide to move from one city to other in US either because you are changing your job or some other reason, movers and packers is a big cost. If your company is paying for you then you don't have to worry (not true all the time). Sometimes you might have to join early within a month and movers usually take more than 25 days of notice. So ultimately you have to either go for Uhaul or Budget to move your stuff. If you are doing by your own, don't go by the name of U-haul (I was under the impression that Uhaul is cheapest but i was wrong) and their big printing of 19.99/day on side of their truck. I found Budget to be $100 less than U-haul and confirmed this with one of my friend. Further if you do online booking you get 10% off for budget truck rental. In now way I want to do marketing for budget and I am not getting anything for this but I wanted to bring some important points when people move.

2) Secondly when you do booking for your truck, please take insurance from them. I would recommend to take full insurance (I was very luck in this regard). I have never driven a big truck and it was my first time and when i went to book this truck for myself i was quite hesitant to take insurance and was little confident of my driving ability and the person out there suggested me to take their collision insurance and i was still have liability covered from my car's insurance. I agreed with them and started driving and it was a peaceful drive from Reno to San Mateo. It is always said that at least one thing should go wrong when you do something big or something for the first time. When i went to return my truck, I need to refill the gas and then return so I went to the gas station and then there was a big truck already there and I was trying to be careful to stay away from that giant truck. When i was making turn to park near the pump, side (cap of my fuel tank) of my truck got shovel into the protecting red post which is kept near the sides of the pump. After juggling my truck for a while I was able to take out my truck. After parking this truck on the side, I called budget and told them about this incident and then they have sent their AAA guy to help me out. I was then not confident to drive after this incident. Here are some pictures which I have taken on that day.

The round post to which I have hit my truck is shown below (I have take this picture because gas station guy took my information and wanted me to repair it but at the discretion of 76 gas station. But since i have not damaged anything except my truck I guess that is why they have not contacted me till now. TOUCHWOOD!!)

So the crux of the above story is take insurance and in fact take full insurance from your rental truck agency.

3) You have to go through the pain of changing addresses everywhere.
a) Forward your mails from old address to new address. Go to USPS
b) if you are a immigrant in this country then you have to fill AR-11 form and you can get it from here
c) all your banks, credit card, investments accounts.

d) Get a new license (if you are moving to other state)
e) Get new registration for your car (this is valid if you move to other state). I hate doing this because of the two reasons, first is we have to go through this pain again and second is we have to pay for it again. I was surprised to find that Nevada State has no law of refunding your car registration or transferring registration to other state. I have more than 8 months of registration remaining and they said that they can not give me refund. I then asked them how about charging car owners month by month then the customer representative tell me that it will incur extra cost to them. Then i told her then there is big big flaw in this rule and to save your cost you are taking our money for free with no provision of refund or transfer of registration. I hope this thing will be better in few years.

4) When you move out from your old place cancel all of your utilities like cabel, electricity, telephone (you don't need to do this because now a days they do provide transfer) and so on.

5) At the same time at your new place you have to order for all these utilities.

6) Change your insurance (if you are moving out of state). I got a big hike in my insurance premium. In California as a whole insurance is quite high and further if you move towards the city (San Francisco) then start praying. Well mine got doubled. Shhh!! (Please don't ask for my driving record)

I have covered major things only (must have forgotten something) for moving. You are most welcome to add it.

So finally after all these dramas I am feeling now that I am almost settled. Mind you bay area is very expensive and if you are moving here be prepared to drive in bad traffic. In my previous work, i had to drive only 4 miles and I was to drive that in 5 minutes. But here now a days, I am driving for 13 miles and going through that most famous highway here 101.

Nevertheless, I am happy to be here. I am enjoying my work and weather.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Googlemap for India

Recently I read that now Google has added India in their map database. In other words the details about various streets, locations et all.

This is a location for India and then you can drill down where you want to go.

Below is the picture capturing my home (a red circle if you look at the top part of the image).

Sunday, December 17, 2006

P2P streaming - SOPCAST

Stream Over P2P (peer to peer) is a client (plugin available for Internet Explorer ) is a media broadcast system. I like the ease with which it allows users to deploy thier own broadcast and embed it on their website and share it with the world.

You can download SOPCAST player from here.

My favorites are all the sports channel.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A movie on Call CenterAQ

We all have problems with one or the other utility service like cell phone, cable, credit card and finally when FAQ's and online help doesn't work we do call 800 or 888 number. Most of the businesses have deployed their call center in low cost labor country like India, Philippines, Africa etc.

Here is a great spoof on how call center business works.
Call Center Movie

Well in reality this is not the case, call center operations are flourishing well in all the above mentioned countries and bringing in great business. But sometimes we do get frustrated if we get a really bad experience.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Google Reader - Facelift, Updated, feature changes

I was list of blogs and today i have observed weird behaviors in the google reader. Even after reading some items it was not marking it as read. I have to refresh it few times and some of the times it was working and sometimes it was not.

When you click on the folders you have created, it shows the latest blog added in your reading list. I don't know why they are implementing this features, as previously there were showing the number of unread post and which was very obvious way to read individual post from the blogs. But now they are aggregating all the blogs and posts...arrrgg..

Well i will see what they will roll up in next release which will come up shortly as I am presuming that they must be testing new features now and that is why all these discrepancies. Further I can't blame and nobody can and that is the advantage of keeping your software in beta for a long time.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Moving for Good - Last day today at work

I have decided to move to bay area to pursue other opportunity and leave my current company PC-Doctor Inc.

Today is my last day and I am going to miss my product on which I was working for last 20 months. Further, I am going to miss all my colleagues along with whom I was working closely. I have learned so many things out there from my team mates and manager, have gone through all phases of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), Agile Programming Practice and this place has taught me how to be a pragmatic programmer.

I am joining Actuate Corp. from next Monday. I am really excited about starting there.

So I will be in silicon valley and will be able to go to many seminars and talks which I was not able to from Reno NV.

Adios Reno!!