Monday, November 02, 2009

50 cent baby by me video

50 cent baby by me video

-This blog post is just an experiment

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Setting up an office in Karachi

About 6 months ago I started looking for an office here in Karachi. I was tired of working out of my home ... the lure of the TV and my comfy bed was too strong to resist when working in the adjacent room. Plus I had a few opportunities to expand my work and hire some developers to do my bidding :P

And hence my search began. Following were some of my concerns at that time:

  1. The Location of the Office
    That was kind of a big debate in itself. On one side, I had the option of getting an office near my home in DHA. That would've been pretty convenient for me, but Defence is on one end of Karachi. It would've been pretty hard for other people to come from other ends of the city. The second option was getting an office on Shahra-e-Faisal. There are hundreds of office buildings and thousands of offices over there. And since it's somewhat in the center of the city, getting there would not be that big of a hassle.

    I eventually decided to get something near Shahra-e-Faisal. I knew that in the beginning, I'd need to work with freelance developers and designers and I didn't want them to make a fuss everytime I asked them to come to the office. Plus, its hard to attract good developers to come work in a startup, I didn't want to add the burden of a long commute to their decision to come work for me.

  2. Decision to get a furnished office:
    Being a stingy memon that I am, I wanted to risk the least amount of upfront cash in this venture. Because I didnt know if I'd still be needing the office after a few months. And buying air conditioners, desks, chairs, other furniture would have costed me hundreds of thousands of Rupees. After meeting with the first real estate agent, I realized that furnished offices were only 3000-5000 rupees/month more than unfurnished ones. So that decision was not a tough one. I ended up getting a furnished office for Rs. 20,000 / month and it had cubicles and cabins to seat 7 people. It even had ethernet cables in place, so all I had to do was bring my computer and get settled in from day one.

  3. Lease Duration
    The standard leases ran for 11 months and had a two month notice period if I decided to break the lease before the 11 months were over. This wasn't bad at all. Plus I was able to negotiate down to a 3 month deposit + a 3 month advance rent.

  4. Other Expenses
    Even though the office was mostly furnished, there were a few things that we needed to start off. The unreliable power supply required an electric generator. I found a diesel generator for Rs. 30,000 that works just fine. It did give us problems twice in the last 6 months, but other than that it works like a charm. I found an extra microwave oven and a electric water cooler in the basement of my house which I quickly transported to the office. With just that, the office was ready to be moved into.

  5. Internet Connection
    I got one of those WorldCall EVDO wireless routers the very first day. The speed was painfully slow, but at least I had internet access from Day 1. Applied for a DSL connection, and got delayed by the stupid beuracracy and the bribe induced stupor of our telecomunication department. The PTCL DSL department told me after wasting two weeks that they don't provide service to my number. And even though I didnt get the connection, they've been billing me for the internet for the last 3 months :(
    Finally got a LINK.NET connection, but the telephone lineman in our area wanted to wet his beak too. By this point I was just battered, exhausted and irritated by using slow internet for a 45 days (shared by 3 people) and didnt care how much bribe I had to give to get decent internet at work !!! After haggling with the lineman, I paid him Rs. 1,500 to just turn on the switch that they had purposely turned off in the first place.

And thats the story of how the office started off :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

My Movie Editing Skills

I was just going through some of my old youtube videos in my account (nothing better to do on a Friday evening, waiting to get off from work) and came across this home-made movie trailer that I had made last year for an upcoming trip to Colorado with some friends.

I used my trusty little Cannon MiniDV handycam and used iMovie for editing. And as narcissistic as it might sound, I'm totally in love with this work of mine !!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

random tidbits

I haven't blogged for quite some time now ... On several occasions I have started writing, but then due to my really short attention span, I would drift on to something else, leaving several unfinished blog posts in my drafts folder.

  • So, here's what I'm going to do ... I'll write several small blog posts -- in bullet form just like this !!!

  • See .... wasn't that short and sweet ? :p

  • I totally love playing tennis now (the real tennis -- not the one on Wii) ... A friend of mine talked me into taking lessons last month and now I can't get enough of it. My weekdays are crazy busy, but I've been able to manage to play tennis atleast twice during the week. Plus I've got a hookup at the Royal Rodale club in DHA which allows me to play for FREE on their rooftop tennis court :D

  • The Pakistani TV scene isn't that good, there aren't many good Pakistani TV shows and Lollywood is -umm- lollywood. So it seems like the news channels have zeroed into this gap and are providing 24 hour entertainment to the Pakistani public. They've taken reality show fad a step further by letting the politicians be the actors in their shows. And it's probably cheaper as well, since the politicians don't ask for money after blabbering incessantly on the microphone for hours. It's just STUPID that everybody in the political scene is fighting for power. The roadblocks and marches and traffic jams -- WITHOUT ANY REGARD to the needs, problems and issues of the normal public. It's just SICK.

  • I've discovered, I ordered Guy Kawasaki's 'Reality Check' online, and the book arrived within two days -- and I was able to pay cash on delivery!! Hail to the e-commerce in Pakistan.

  • I attended the most down to earth and sanest wedding I've ever seen. My cousin got married this weekend and it was elegant as well as simple. That includes all the wedding dinners and dholkis etc. Since I'm not that big fan of overly crowded events and places, I ususally do not like weddings and the tremendous amount of socializing that goes along with it. This one was pretty decent with a nice crowd.

  • I saw Jim Carrey's 'Yes Man' movie yesterday. It made me re-think about all the times I've been saying 'NO' to so many opportunities around me lately. The movie is okay, but it does make you think.

  • These days I'm totally obsessed with this old song that came out when I was a teenager. It's called 'Bolo Bolo tum ney kia dekha' by Sajjad Ali. I like this unplugged version better.

  • I really need a vacation. I've been working non-stop ever since I got here 6 months ago. Pakistani holidays don't coincide with American holidays and vice versa so it's been like a continuous run.

  • The new facebook layout is confusing -- but then, that happens every time they change something. We all get used to it after a few days.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My duplicate on facebook?

I routinely google my name to see what comes up. I have a google alert set up that emails me whenever a new listing comes up on their search results with my name. You can't be too careful these days when your identity is partially based online and very much public.

A couple of days ago, I found this really strange thing. There's a guy on facebook with the exact name as mine and I know 4 of his friends !! And out of those four, three of them are Russian programmers that I normally outsource projects for work. So I decided to email this guy and say hi to him but I never got a response back.

Why does his profile come up when you look up my name in google? Why not mine?
He only has seven friends. And I know most of them. And he doesnt respond to emails.
For some reason, I have a feeling that somebody I know created the fake account with my name. And then people who knew me added him as a friend thinking that they were adding me.

Why would anyone do that .. I don't know :S