Gaurang's Blogs

Secret of building confidence - Start meeting people.


Start meeting people. 


Meet everyone and learn from them. Partner with them if possible but just keep meeting and learning from them. There will be some embarrassing moments but that's okay. If the idea clicks, you become successful, your confidence will grow and that will empower you. 


Secret of building super confidence is in meeting people. 


Confidence might get shaken in between the way but it will soar when you will continue meeting more people.


Don’t miss any chance of meeting people. NETWORK!


Things to keep in mind while investing

Humility, especially intellectual.

Being humble in investing isn’t about doubting yourself or believing that you are unworthy or unintelligent but it is about being humble about our intellect, it is about asking yourself if what we know or what we are doing is correct. Also are we adjusting our beliefs according to the new information being received. It is being intellectually humble.

Philip Tetlock wrote in Superforecasting that the true humility in investing is about recognizing that reality is profoundly complex, that seeing things clearly is a constant struggle when it can be done at all, and that human judgment must therefore be riddled with mistakes.

Very few investors have the nerve to say “ I don’t know” But that’s how you build humility in your investment process. If you start with “ I don’t lknow” then you are unlikely to act so boldly as to get into trouble. 

How to have an amazing Career?

Career is something everyone cares about. People spend their lives struggling in it’s betterment. No doubt it’s one of the most critical things in anyone’s lives. Then why is it very challenging for millions of people around ? What is it which sets apart an overachiever / overperformer from underachiever or underperformer.

There are so many factors which defines the success in career and most certainly Luck is overrated. As there is no substitute of hard work and relentless work ethics as celebrities like Will Smith put it.

One has to struggle, master the craft of the skill you are into and continue to beat on the craft until you become the master ofit.

There is a saying “Work your ass off until you are identified by your work and you no longer have to introduce yourself”.

In past 5 years, I have spent thousands of hours reading and watching career related resources and I have come to the conclusion that there is plenty of inspiration out there. Take some of it and work your ass off in the field you dream to be into. As there is a saying “Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” which absolutely isn’t cliché. It is the truth and one realizes it sooner or later. So if you don’t want to be victim of inspiration hoarder then take a piece of paper and write about what is it that makes your life worth living, what is it which leads to sleepless night, what is the cause which moves you.  Now take a hard look into it, that’s your goal of your life. Now Take it and write down 11 ways to achieve it ( it could be anything , important part is to write the possible ways. If you could think of more then write them as well ).

Every large thing is made up of small bits or atoms and together they form some meaningful object. Same goes with Skill or the Dreams / Goals.

Once you have identified your goal, now you have to focus on achieving it by dissecting it into smaller set of goals.

History of performance on Dell computers

History of performance on Dell computers

In IT Hardware Domain , we can't generalize the no. of years the particular Peripheral / device will last . We measure life expectancy differently using  different units .

About reliability , Dell is one of the most Reliable Laptop Manufacturers.

About the failure of hardware ,
Scenarios :
a) 2008 - 20**  - companies are coming with minimalistic designs ( Slim / Small Computers ) which are as powerful as the giant ones . But internal circutary thus , is even more sophisticated , many of the chips are fused with the PCB boards .
b) 1960-2007 - PCB Boards were big , Chips had visible pins , therefore repairing with success rate > 50 % was possible .
For eg :
a) Monitors ( LEDs / LCDs ) -
 Typical Life of : 10,000 to 30,000 hours ( For monitors ) / 30,000 - 40,000 hours ( For LCD LED TVs )
OEMs- LG / Samsung .
Realistic Life expectancy - Assuming 30,000 hours life , if we use it 6 hours a day , 6 days a week then it will last for about 833 days or 2.3 years .
Shikshantar's scenario - In last 3 years , we faced problem in 1 out of 15 LCD Monitors we have.

b) Hard Disks - Ref Notes (d,e,f)
Typical life : 1 month - 5 years .
Warranty offered - Post 2012 , 1 years - 3 years . Before that it used to be 3 years - 5 years  . Western Digital & Seagate both reduced warranty from 3 years to 1 year(d)(e)
Though Hard Disks are very reliable yet they are vulnerable to internal errors / circuitry damages within 90 days of purchase . 
Hard Disks are sensitive to temperature . Spending more than 50% of time in 40C is an indication of possible problem .

We count the usage in terms of Cycles ( Reads / Writes )
OEMs ( Used in Shikshantar ) - Seagate ( Dell PCs / Laptops )  , Western Digital ( Dell PCs ) , Toshiba ( Apple MBP )
Reliability between Vendors : Seagate is more reliable than Western Digital . WD crashes frequently as compared to Seagate .
Recommended :  When it comes to data and data storage, it is never too extravagant to assume that drive will fail tomorrow , so we need to backup data accordingly .

c) Battery - In case of Laptop , after 1000 cycles typical Dell / HP battery looses about 50 % of its strength  , while Apple MacBook Pro's looses 20% of strength . 

d) Motherboard -
It contains hundreds of chips inside it , when it goes for repairing , any of the faulty chip found is replaced / repaired . Increase in sophistication of circuitry disallows manual repairing thus parts are repaired by OEM ( their authorized vendors )
Dell ( might ) operates like this , they collect the damaged parts , replace it with new . Sends parts to OEM , parts are installed in refurbished machines for reselling .

e) Power Supplies - For optimal life of computers , Voltage Stabilizers should be installed first , which will further provide power supply to UPSs which in turn , will power Computer Machines . Only  this way we can absolutely rule out possibilities of Power surges , High Voltages which generally damages computer parts like Motherboards . ( Possible reason of Laptop's failure ) .

Note :
a) Temperature of the environment affects the life of Computer . Standard Operating Temperature of Machines is 10 to 30 degree Celsius
b) Dell purchases parts from different OEMs , assembles them . Thus we don't get warranty from OEMs but Dell which is limited .
c) Reference 

d) Reference  -
e) Google White Paper - Reference -

Bottom line : About Dell ,  we have 29 Dell machines ( including PCs & Laptops ) , and in 2-3 years we faced problems in 6 Hard Disks & 1 Monitor ( Partial Functioning ) excluding this issue till date .

So , performance of Dell had been good .

How to grow wealthier?

Everyone aims to become wealthier. That's an intrisic motivation to many. So what's the art of becoming richer?

Fundamental lies in building multiple streams of money and money will in-flow from them.

Build products.

Build a network which will help build assets.

Meet and talk to lots of people.

Start series of small businesses.

The truth is success requires years of hard work and success requires consistent work on things project skill.

written in 3.08.2014

The art of measuring your success

We all strive to become better version of what we are. The eternal chase of better life starts from the moment when our mind becomes goals oriented.

So how to measure the success and achieve goals eventually?

The secret lies in choosing your metrices of calculating your success.

Never measure your success on the basis of how much money you made / but how much value you generated for others.

Money is simply a facilitator / medium to how wealth / values are exchanged. Therefore the more the value you will share with others, the more value you will get back eventually. 

You should care about most competitive market in business to really test out your product’s competitiveness. Rest will follow.

Personal trait - you should be spontaneous, shorten the time required to achieve the goals.

Find more productive ways to do things since time is in limited supply. 

How do you plan to outstand?

Don’t just compete but be creative about solving problems in more efficient manner. That will help you in standing out from your competitors. 

The madness we humans are into - long hours commute to work

There was a time when I used to go to Gurgaon from Faridabad through Public Transport which used to take 6 hours bothways. It was crazy. It happened to be my first job and my excitement fueled me with energy to handle that extreme stress of taking an auto rickshaw to a delhi metro, a shared cab and in between the transitions an hour long walking. It was a tiring affair.

I managed to optimise the commute time by finding different routes and modes of transport and brought down that time to 4 hours but things were tiring and crazy.

In 5 months, I was convinced that I need a car to save my soul and hell lot of time so my parents bought one for me and I paid all the installments every month. It brought the time of commute to 2 hours. That was pretty relaxing comparing with 6 hours getting lost in public and public transport.

But Gurgaon has world's one of the busiest traffic which used to make the commute time very tiring as perpetually you have to accelerate and apply brakes. Besides losing time, mental sanity, you also utilise your cognitive resources way too much ( brain and other senses works too hard that they get tired and need resting period for coming back to efficient stage ).

In a year, the decision was made. I was absolutely convinced that I had to leave my job. It didn't matter how much I loved to work with my colleagues as they were brightest set of people I came across during that time.

That's nearly the picture of so many people like me. Majority of human beings who are aged between the 22 and 55 are indulged in some sort of employment in any part of the world. We are part of a rat race where we wake up every morning to get ready for the office, spend hours in commute and 8 to 10 good hours at work and commute back to home to have the final meal of the day and go to bed to sleep absolutely exhausted.

That's the life of millions around chasing their dream life, better life for their children, their family.

No time to keep up with the hobbies, a few nights can be spent reading. Can't really follow the gym routine due to irregular work frequently, social life is notion reserved for only weekends.

As a result, we not only get extremely busy minds but also deteroited health and relationships with families and friends as both needs constant attention, nurturing.

So, how can we design an ideal life for working professionals like me and many others in their mid 20s?

Best way is to find a job nearby the home. Ideally an hour to work bothways should be upper bound, 30 minutes would be just perfect.

So what are the other alternatives?

Besides finding a job nearby your home, you can start freelancing or private contracting ( if you are proficient enough with good networking and communication skills ). That will give you luxury of time and defining your working hours and the cost of services you offer.

You can also become a part time blogger who can generate some income from it. If you are a coder, you can start your side project which if takes off, can replace your full time job.

The catch there is to leave your full time job once your side project starts generating atleast 3/4th of your present salary. That will ensure that your living standard is maintained and you don't get desperate to join the rat race again.

One of the most inspiring books I read about side-projects is The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich.

It taught me how I could drop out of the mudane rat race and follow my passion while keeping my life financially sustainable. Perhaps you should see it a read as well if you are planning to hop out of your rat race.

I got inspired by following post(s) to write on this topic:

1. - It is a story of a lady who commutes for about 6 hours to work ( both sides ) and spends about 10 hours at work. She sleeps for about 4.5 hours a day and She is 60 years old. Surely you won't want that kind of life for yourself.



My observations about controlling Spam in your Drupal Website

So I have multiple Drupal Websites and controlling Spam is one of my jobs. Following are some of my discoveries while managing these websites and spams:
  • Whenever lots of illegitimate users used to create their users account, I became absolutely sure that either the core is out of date or are the modules. Updating them became my first priority. ( By far, the most important way! )
  • Then there is honeypot module which works like charm. The catch is that you don’t get form specific timing option out of the box so you have to choose the least common time for all the modules which can many of times defeat the purpose of having honeypot. 
  • ReCaptcha is another great way to keep your spammers occupied. It surely can defeat the purpose of having honeypot ( but all automated bots will get bypassed by this ). 

How to upgrade macOS without any trouble?

Apple has started shipping free upgrades for MacBooks which is a great thing and it really helps us get access to new features, a secured operating system. But while that's tempting, upgrading macOS can get a bit messier. 
So recently when I was upgrading my macbook's Sierra to High Sierra, something tragic happened. 
So always remember,
  • Always download/ initiate your upgradation process while using high speed internet connection or else you will struggle all the time. 
  • Have everything on cloud, these hard disks can crash anytime. These accounts and everything can get demolished but your cloud will stay. 
  • Have redundant backups of things around.

I tried to restart the machine 4 times but nothing worked out well. 

Thereafter I tried resetting the NV RAM of the Mac by following steps:

Shut down your Mac, then turn it on and immediately hold down these four keys together: Option, Command, P, and R. Keep holding the keys for about 20 seconds, during which your Mac might appear to restart. (If you have a Mac that plays a startup sound when you turn it on, you can release the keys after the second startup sound.)

And, that didn't work out either for me.

So I tried pressing following keys to reset ( have to google ) 

and it showed me the following screen ( which was less depressing ): 
And that was pretty movitating to me and selected the language, clicked on next button and then following screen appeared: 
I selected Time Machine Option and it was such a heavenly feeling that things will work out just well ( they don't normally work like that ) but it did somehow: 
But it asked for the password as my hard disk was encrypted which is okay, right? Well, the keyword wasn't working then - somehow I couldn't enter any input from my keyword and only my mouse was working. That was horrifying moment for me as I really thought that it will just work but it didn't. 

So I restarted the computer 3 times and tried the above steps over and over but it just didn't work.

So then I pressed following keys again:

and it took me to a screen, and i moved the cursor on the top and then default macOS menu appears with few menu items on the right and wifi icons on the left. I entered my WiFi details there to connect it with Internet just in case something works out well. 

Therefore I went to disk utility option and this time i took a brave yet stupid step and formatted my main hard disk. It just wiped out entire data from there and my macbook was data-less. 

Then it showed me the screen of Internet Recovery and since I was connected to Internet, it started downloading lots of data from Internet which will now help me in the recovery process: 

So this Internet Recovery Mode - took 40 minutes to download and load the packages it had to ( on 2 Mbps connection ) and finally showed the screen of great relief: 

which is similar to earlier one but then when i selected Time Machine option, it took me to following screen: 

I could enter my password which made me so happy as earlier I couldn't use the keyword ( not even the external one ). 

Then I selected the latest backup I had and clicked on restore. 

and it restored the backup in 5 hours. 

So, I typed this blogpost in a hope that it will save thousands in some heartaches as whenever my mac does this thing to me, i get a severe heartache :D

So remember: Never format your hard disk from the top menu ( in case you have chosen reset NV RAM ) as once you are done with formatting of your main hard disk then nothing is help in the hard disk and you will land into Internet Recovery Mode ( which might look a wrong option but only that took me out of the trouble. 

Apple/ macOS should fix the issue of keyword not functioning after resetting the NV Ram and getting into recovery mode.