Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How Much Computerised We Are?

There were couples of incidents provoked me to ignite thoughts on computerized systems and their involvement in our professional life. In past several years, many organizations racing hard to transform their business into automated system(s) but the question is "How much we succeeded?"

Recently I visited a popular bank, requesting to issue my account duplicate statement hard copy with authorized signatory. The lady told me that it will take 2 hours to get it!! I was surprisingly looking at her and politely tried to mention that it’s a computerized process should not take more than 5 minutes. She sharply looked at me and said “Though it’s a computerized process, it will take time; it’s not that easy as you are assuming”

I emailed a letter to the popular newspaper editor pointing out the mistake done in the news coverage. I got no response from him. If his answer would be “I get too many such mails daily and can not respond to everyone…” my immediate response will be “Resign and step down from the position. You are just not doing your job.” We have email filters to sort those out and automated responders to make your job easy. No reasons please.

It will be too much if I expect all offices to become computerized and start executing their work in few minutes with high precision response and time, because I see most of the software companies (MNCs are not exceptions) itself lagging from this transformation.

I feel most of the time it’s not about the technology or the kind of solution/comfort what it offers, it’s more with people’s mentality whether they want to adopt it or not. There are very less chances of technology aggressively dominating offices (popularly known as “Paperless Office”) at least for next 10 to 20 years!

Well, now thinking about Online Office might be too early to deal with.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Google More Specific...

...Noticed it when I was looking at advanced search options in google.com. A separate URL to search on only Microsoft technologies www.google.com/microsoft

As everyone knows these two companies are competing profoundly for their world wide software domination; but when it comes to providing service to the mass, we see their world class professionalism.

Google has also provided such facility for: Apple Mac, Unix, Linux, U.S Government and universities.

I liked it and found useful too.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Windows XP - A Custom Setup Build

I am a freaking web surfer and I strongly recommend myself to have windows updates applied to my operating system. One of the ways to keep my computer/laptop healthy and protected. I use to depend on Autopatcher - an offline windows updates/patches collection/applying tool to keep my operating system up to date. Few months back Autopatcher discontinued its service because Microsoft was unhappy with it. From that day onwards my search was ON to get new alternative for it. All I wanted is to have an offline copy of windows updates so that I can install those whenever I make a fresh installation of windows operating system on my boxes. My search got over with “Windows Update Downloader”, a free utility which has a good list of windows updates, clever enough to connect Microsoft Windows update website and download patches/updates to local machine.(Recently I came to know that Microsoft has launched a web site for bulk patch/update downloads, named "Microsoft Update Catelog"). I was happy when I was browsing downloaded patch files (around 100+) in the download directory hive. The next challenge was how to apply these patches. Who will like installing 100+ patches double clicking one by one? (if you think you are such a person then I recommend reading this blog post completely :). I started looking out for an automated utility or an approach which can be done with a minimal code or a setup. But luckily I found nLite - a free utility which knows how to merge all these updates/patches with Windows XP setup files and slipstreaming service packs (SP2). It also facilitates integrating unattended installation setup, system drivers, windows tweaking, optional component removal, adding extra files in to setup disk and finally creating ISO image or burning directly to discs. After working with this tool I was able to create a Windwos XP setup CD which is an integrated version of XP SP2, patches/updates and my machine drivers! Now onwards, all I have to do is initiate the installation process and just sit back and relax. When windows setup finishes its installation and the machine restarts, it is just ready for next level operations with no much time spending on basic driver installations. Nice tools and good experience :)
Yeah, though I restore my machine(s) using drive imaging tool but sometimes I require fresh CD/DVD based installation for several technical reasons and that is where my above effort will help me to get updated windows operating system in one shot installation process.