Nov 27

Before I start telling you how to go about doing this, I assume a few things.

  • You know a bit of coding especially in CSS, HTML, jscripts and PHP.

  • Understand networking terminologies like CNAME, A Records etc

  • Know how to use FTP and have a FTP client

  • Finally, believe that you really can have a professional blog for less than 5$ !!!


Hosting Solution.

You would need a hosting solution first. There are hosts of free hosting providers. Some of them also offer space upto 2GB without any ads. I recommend FreeWebHosty. You can a comprehensive list from here.

What you need to look for in the hosting solution

  • PHP Support

  • SQL Database

  • Good amount of space

  • Native SSL Support

  • CUSTOMER SUPPORT (Yes, even free hosting providers give customer support!)


FTP Client.

You would need a FTP client. You can download one like FileZilla or FireFTP which are free. If you have purchased an FTP Client, its all upto you. But you would not require it. Freeware ones are just as good, if not better.



Download Blogging Software or ‘Blogware’

There are a number of blogger software available on the internet. Most of them are open source and that is what we are looking for. You can try these out, but for the ease of use and availabilty of vast number of skins and plugins my personal recommendation would be WordPress.

Meanwhile you can check these out as well.

Ok, now we are set. After choosing the blogger software, we need to upload it on to the server. I hope you have created the account with the hosting provider by now.


Upload Blogger Software

Upload the files on the webhost in the root directory. They would give you FTP details along with the registration details. We go to the next step now.


Server Side configuration

  • You need to create a database as most of the blogwares would need a SQL database. mySQL is preferred.

  • Create a user account with admin privileges.

  • assign the user to the database.

  • Enable SSL on the server, (you might have to contact customer support for the same)


PHP File configuration

  • The files that you would be uploading would contain a cofig file, in PHP format mostly.

  • You need to append the server name, username, password and database details.

  • The blogware you download would contain all these details and where to provide the details.


Run the installation script

You need to finally run the installation script which would execute the setup. It is mostly automated where it would create the database entries and tables. I would also install the scripts needed for the user interface.


Buy a domain (Notice, this is the only time you shell out cash!)

Finally, you need to shell out some cash for the domain. I am yet to find a domain provider for free. But Microsoft has been offering domain names for free. But please do not opt for the hosting solution as well, because it does not support PHP. I bought one in India for 200 rupees (thats around 5 dollars!)


Domain Configuration

We finally come to the domain configuration. You need to set the A record for the domain name as provided by the hosting provider. Please ensure you do not change the name server settings.


Going PRO! - Get an email service too! For free!

Log on to gmail and go the gmail for organizations link. You can find it here! This allows you to create email service for the domain name you have registered. Follow the onscreen steps and verify the domain with google. Now you need to set the MX record with the domain provider.


Lets see how much you have spent till now.

Hosting FREE
Database FREE
Email FREE
Domain $5-$10

You can contact me for more details and problems if you face any. However, i doubt that you’ll face problems.

Incase, you want to use Blogger and use the domain to be forwarded like i am using presently, you can read this article by Nikhil on Nikhil’s Musings.

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Nov 18

Currently running on all TV networks. Advertisements have changed over the years. They have become more meaningful and aim to connect to the consumer. I remember ads, that aired some years back. Most of them focused on features. Ads later started focusing on the benefits and the value associated with them.

A new trend has started - Ads with a social messages. These ads are meant to appeal to consumers with what they feel strongly about and . Its not really CSR (corporate social responsibility). They are essentially trying to sell, but in a very smart way. What we are seeing is, a strong trend where brands are utilizing issues that surround the consumers’ immediate environment and are addressing them through their mainstream advertising.

Some such ads in recent times have been the ‘Jaago Re’ campaign by Tata Tea. They have tied up with the Jaago Re Foundation and have been airing different ads every fortnight. The TV commercial deals with political corruption, while the website intends to take up socially important issues like literacy and child labor. The ads in the series have the same messages, those that will touch upon this pressing social concern, corruption at high places of power. Further each packet of Tata Tea products other than Tetley will carry wobblers with the Jaago Re message. The ad campaign has been designed by Lowe.


The other advertisement of note is idea’s advertisement where Abhishek Bachan offers a unique solution to communal tension. “All people would hence forth be addressed by their mobile numbers”, exclaims Abhishek Bachan. Take a look at this ad. Incidentally, this has also been designed by Lowe.

Hindustan Lever Ltd was an early adopter of this trend with its campaign for Surf Excel Quick Wash detergent that tried to sell soap on the promise that it would require less water (by as much as two buckets). That campaign, featuring activist film actors Shabana Azmi and Revathi, aired more than two years ago. But by far the earliest I remember was the ad by Bajaj Caliber - The unshakable campaign. If you can remember, the person riding the Caliber 115 bike refuses to budge and skip the signal when he continuously honked at by the crowd and mob behind him.

Although pitching social causes in ads has become the latest buzz, the trend could become pronounced enough for it to become mandatory for all ads to show the environmental regulatory compliance of the products or service they sell.

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Nov 14

Four years of engineering life, and the same four years in hostel. The best of my life, undoubtedly. I have seen friends come and go. But there was one who never left me, in spite of me! The old lovable hostel mutt. I have known him since the 1st semester. I used to call him maadarc**d (motherf**ker in english), and he is used to lovingly come running to me and jump all over me. I never gave him a dog name. He liked this inane name.

the 2nd semester i had decided to stay back and not go back home. I was all alone in the hostel. Who was there for me? Maadarc**d! For want of company, I used to keep in my room. He used to spend the cold night in a corner where I had made a make shift bed for him with newspapers. He used to be sitting outside till around 7 PM after which it would get cold outside. He would keep scratching on my door till i let him in. He was so cute! Could never say no.

I used to code late into the night and whenever i was frustrated I used to say the beautiful words (maadarc**d) and he used to look at me like I called him and came to cuddle used to put his forelegs on my thigh. Dumb mutt. As I moved from one hostel to another, changing rooms and roommates, he was the constant companion.

God! Did he love those darn Tiger Biscuits! He used to eat a whole pack in one go. I would have fed him so many packs and he never got bored, not once did he ever say no! I used to throw it in the air and he used to jump almost two feet to get them! I don’t he ever dropped it even once! It did take me a while to train him though.

Dogs can get very protective. Maadarc**d was no exception. He used to literally drive out even the few visitors I had! And everytime he did that, he got a tight whack on his head with a roll of paper. Let me tell you, I was checking how potent it could be. It really was lethal. Really did sting! I had a swollen thigh for a couple of days. (I was the crash test dummy!).

When I first met this mutt, he was perhaps a year old. He was castrated back when I was in 2nd semester. The ‘ball less’ maadarc**d was trotting away after the surgery like nothing happened. All the while it would have been wondering why so much f**king around never helped even once! Dumb ball less mutt!!

The last semester when we were clicking snaps around the campus, he was running along with us. Some of the snaps we clicked came out really nice. People said, the mutt was mad. Aaah! What do they know! They were mad. Maadarc**d was the cutest dog I ever came across. He had grown four years with us. I left college that day and he was outside my room. I gave him the last pack of biscuits I had. Maybe it was me, but i felt he did not relish them like he usually did. Nor did he spring in the air. I was packing and he knew it, I was leaving for good. Dogs can sense human emotions like no one other. I have not seen him since and not heard about him either, for the last two years. I hope the dumb mutt is alright and is getting a lot to eat. I only regret, he was not there to see me off when I left. Hope you are ok, wherever you are, maadarc**d!

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Nov 5

Salesmen are a big problem to their bosses, customers and wives, to credit managers, hotels, and sometimes to each other. Individually and collectively they are cursed and discussed in sales meetings, conventions, behind closed doors, in bar rooms and under one’s breath from many angles, and with much fervor.

They make more noise and more mistakes, create more cheer, correct more errors, adjust more differences, spread more gossip, explain more discrepancies,, hear more grievances, pacify more belligerences, and waste more time under pressure, all without losing their temper, than any class we know – including ministers. They live in hotels, cabs and tents, on trains, buses, and park benches, eat all kinds of food, drink all kinds of liquids – both good and bad – sleep before, during and after business hours with no more schedule than the weather bureau, and with no sympathy from the office.

They come in at the most inappropriate time, under the slightest pretext, stay longer than desired and under more opposition, ask more personal questions, and take more granted under greater resistance than anyone on the face of this earth.

Yet salesmen are a power in society and in the public economy. In many ways they are a tribute unto themselves. They are the ones who introduce more new goods, dispose of more old goods, load or move more freight cars, unload more ships, build more factories, start more businesses, and write more debits and credits in ledgers than anyone else. With all their faults, they keep the wheels of commerce turning, and the currents of human emotions running. More cannot be said of any man. Be careful whom you call a salesman, lest you flatter him.

Every once in a while, one comes to a crossroad. I reached one a few days ago. Unlike the clichéd - one hard and the other easy, both the paths were difficult and both were (un)fortunately right. There was no wrong. And I had to choose between the two. What was it? What came of it? Let me just say, I am looking forward to a long and hopefully rewarding career in sales.

I got an offer from HP. The pay was perhaps not the best. I could have done much better if I had gone for the campus recruitment; perhaps up to 30% more than what HP is offering. But I took HP, with a lower pay for just one reason. It helps me keep my options open. I would start with Sales in IT Hardware and solutions. Some years down the line I could look at software, telecom or even soap!

IT has always been first love, and maybe for once sales is taking over that love of mine. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced: Sales is a way of life. As I look forward to what awaits me in another 5 months I hope to embrace it and make it part of me. About the journey as an MBA, next post!

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