Author Archives: Jasnoor

Now Reading: Chetan Bhagat’s 2 States

Chetan Bhagat has stepped into a fair bit of controversy over the last month or so with the whole twitter #chetanblocks thing and then the ‘3 Idiots’ credits issue. Talking about his books however, I did find his first book, ‘Five Point Someone’ pretty interesting, primarily because it was a good description of engineering life. I cant say the same thing about the next couple which were strictly ok, though I did make it a point to read them. I managed to snag a copy of his latest book, 2 states, from a classmate 2 days back. The ‘Now Reading’ in the title is kind of inaccurate since its a short 270 pager that I finished in a couple of hours.

The book is based on the real life story of Chetan’s own marriage to his South Indian IIM-A classmate. I did find the story interesting actually, with descriptions of life in South India for a North Indian and typical descriptions of Punjabi families in Delhi who only and only care about money and showing off. Added to it is Chetan’s take about a career at CitiBank for someone who’s in it solely for the money before he can retire and become a writer.
While the story is interesting, the fact remains that its a typical Chetan Bhagat book. Typical? A friend on twitter summed it up pretty well: “well thats with most of his books…he starts off as a loser…gets a chic in the end…is it on similar lines by ne chance??”
And thats pretty much what happens here as well. While I actually like the story, Chetan’s writing style is another matter. The story could definitely have been better written, and it doesnt seem to have the impact it could have had. Of course, thats my unqualified opinion. Till next time…
Meanwhile, in ISB, the interview season starts mid-Jan, and PPTs and applications/resumes are in progress 😀

Uninstalling Xobni – Outlook is fast again!

Now first of all, Xobni is a great tool. I have been using it for a couple of months now. Its installs an Outlook add-in that makes search pretty quick inside of outlook itself and definitely better than the built-in default Windows search. Plus it has added social networking features and integration with Linkedin/Facebook etc which helps pull in contact information. While I have been a fan of Xobni for a while, there have been rumblings of discontent recently.

The first issue was when I found that I needed to split up my PST files (getting too large) due to the huge mail volumes here at ISB. Apparently in between, Xobni disabled the ability to search multiple PST files when they introduced a separate premium version. While older users were still allowed this, I had to go and reinstall my OS (moving to 7 RC), so lost out on this ability.
I finally moved back to my old tested and tried free desktop search tool, Copernic. I enabled only email search for the tool. While I may not have it available as an add-in, its still pretty comprehensive and accurate enough.
The fun actually started once I uninstalled Xobni today. Outlook suddenly became much much more responsive. Folders opened like that! I just realised that my Outlook had become so slow over the past few months, but I had just gotten so used to it that I stopped noticing it!
So if you have it installed. Try removing it once and see the difference. Trust me, you dont want to go back to it, advantages or no advantages. Oh, and give Copernic a whirl. Its an excellent search engine for files/mail etc on the desktop. I find it better than windows and Google desktop search as well.

Now Reading: Matthew Reilly, Moving Mt. Fuji

After a lot of selling from my quaddy Ashish, I finally decided to give Matthew Reilley a try. He’s a big fan. I started on hte books in chronological order, and what can I say? I am hooked. I have always been a fan of good action writers with Alistair Maclean being one of my absolute all time favorites, however, Matthew Reilley is pretty good! The books are action packed, with never a dull page. The chapters seem to be in small bite sized pieces, but with so much action crammed into everything, you can never stop yourself at the end of a chapter alone!

To give you some idea, I went through his first 3 books in 4 days some weeks back (yes this blog post is, as always, overdue)! And especially considering that the only time you can get in ISB is against normal sleeptime, I didnt get a lot of that. So much so that I had to ask Ashish to keep the books away from me, till whenever I have enough time to sit and read one of those in a single sitting. 🙂
I am currently reading ‘How would you move Mount Fuji?’ by William Poundstone. A great book about puzzles, based on the kind initially popularised in the high-tech industry, this book was on my reading list for quite some time, till I saw it lying in the library. I am about halfway done, and it does have some very interesting puzzles that force you to look at problems from a number of different angles.

Now Playing: Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 2

With GPUs increasing in power with every generation, PC games are becoming more and more lifelike with each successive iteration. While the recession was not supposed to affect the gaming industry by much, PC game sales this year have been low, not because of the recession, but because there havent been many good games released this year. The only halfway decent ones this year were batman Arkham Asylum and Prototype.

Well, Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 2 is the latest game to join the pack, and will probably be the best selling game of the year (the just released Assassins Creed 2 is the only worthwhile challenger). Sequels generally rake in the big bucks in the games industry. The latest title in the CoD franchise was developed by the original game studio ‘infinity Ward’.
The story of the game (yes, it actually has one) is in fact halfway decent with some great direction. It shows how newer games are becoming more and more like movies, with proper titles, storylines etc, quite unlike older games which were just run and gun with some country’s uniforms and accents added for local color. The graphics as I mentioned for the latest generation CoD game are quite good so long as you have a graphics card which is relatively recent. My generation old 4850 was able to take the load pretty well. I guess th fact that I still play at 1440X900 helps 🙂
The storyline is workable, allowing you to play 2-3 different characters with some stunning visuals. The only fault I can find with the game is that the story is too short, actually feeling like a movie….. I would have loved to have gotten a longer game.
While the multi-player mode and a set of special times missions etc are there to give more value, I kind of prefer single player story oriented games (+ the fact that most ports here are blocked, so no online multiplayer), and the shorter storyline is my only complaint.
All in all, its an excellent game, and am actually thinking about playing it through once again just because of the nice visual effects and gameplay.
Gamespot has a great video and text review of the game up here.
PS: Next: Back to STALKER- Shadow of Chernobyl, an RPG (role playing game) + FPS (first person shooter) that I have been playing on and off for some time now. I will end up finishing it one day!
PS2: For those wondering how I manage to find time for games, you guessed it right, I get less sleep!

So much to do, so little time…Term 6

Ok, so this is going to be summary of the fast paced Term 6, simply because I don’t have much time to write a detailed post on each event. And that’s the whole point of this rant, time!

Term 6 started off pretty slowly with not much to do except all the events that we had this time. We had the Venture Capital Investment Competition, in association with the Kenan-Flagler Business School @ UNC. This was an internal round and the winner from ISB gets to participate in the Asia Round that we are organizing for the first time sometime in Feb. The winner of the Asia round then gets to goto UNC to participate in the finals with students from among the top B-Schools in the world. So this was kind of a trial run for us in preparation for organising the Asia round. I was handling all the logistics and I can tell you, it wasnt an easy job. It did go off without a hitch though, so no complaints.

VCIC Internal Round
Parallel to the VCIC, we also had the Energy Conclave organised by the Energy and Manufacturing Club on the same weekend!

Next, we had the RBI Governor, Dr. D Subbarao on campus to talk about the impact of the recent crisis on India and our future growth.

Dr. D Subbarao @ ISB

Then we had the ISB Leadership Summit, ISB’s flagship event with over 30 speakers coming over to speak on multiple panels, all on a single day. It was an interesting experience, with the sad part being the choices we needed to make on which discussion to attend. I settled for a very interesting panel discussion where Mr. B S Nagesh, the MD of Shopper’s Stop, spoke on his experience with Indian Retail and its growth over the years.

Mr. Nagesh on Indian Retail

Then of course, we also had ISB Day celebrations as ISB turned 8, with a cultural program over the weekend as well, with some great performances by students, staff, families, you name it!

ISB Day- The Acapella Band!

In between we also had the finals of iDiya, the social entrepreneurship competition, with teams of working professionals from all over India competing, and the top 6 teams attending mentoring workshops at ISB. One of the highlights of the competition was the session on Responsible Leadership by Rahul Bose, who besides being an actor, is involved in a lot of different things, from the Indian rugby team to his NGO.

In addition, pre-placement talks have started, with companies coming to campus almost everyday to deliver their pitches. There are some really interesting roles up for grabs, and resumes are being polished, and interviews being prepared for.

And last, but definitely NOT the least, we have Solstice 2009 this weekend. The biggest fun event of the year, when ISB alums from all over come back to school for 3 days of partying with the current batch.

WHEW! So much for being short, I am already out of breath.
Oh, and this is just a single term at ISB!

PS: Originally posted at, and edited by Amit Goyal, our friendly ISB weblog admin.