Life, living and Web 2.0

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  • Author: Amol Dalvi

    Amol Dalvi

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Archive for the ‘Life & living’ Category

Paperless billing

Posted by Amol Dalvi on January 6, 2008

Over the past couple of years, mostly last year, I have been diligently shutting off paper bills. Instead of having paper bills mailed to me I have been asking the service provider to send me electronic bills via email. So, I was quite surprised this weekend when I cleared out all the bills for 2007 to find several paper bills over the last year. There are still about five or six vendors sending me paper bills.

 So here’s my resolution for this year – I am going to eliminate more paper bills.

I say “more” because I know some small service providers aren’t savvy enough to provide electronic bills. But I think if I ask for e-bills and put some “pressure” on them, hopefully they will embrace electronic billing. I know it’s a small thing, but every less paper printed is better for you, me and the environment.

Can I encourage you to go electronic and request e-bills from your service providers?


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Climate change

Posted by Amol Dalvi on July 8, 2007

I didn’t get to watch the LiveEarth concerts on TV. It was a busy weekend and I got about 5 minutes in front of the TV. But in honor of LiveEarth and all the good citizens of the world that do wonderful things to slow down climate change:

 1. Change your light bulbs at home, even if it is one at a time. See the site I really love what they are doing there, and it all started with one person deciding to make it happen. Here is a snaphsot of what Indiana is doing –

Indiana (US) Bulbs Change Statistics

 2. Please, please don’t idle your car. At the parking lot, at the gas station, when you are picking up your kids at school, when you want to run back in to your house quickly because you forgot something. Or don’t start your car and then spend two minutes in the garage before you back out and get on your way. You can probably afford the gas but we all can’t afford to keep hurting the environment.

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Signature blocks

Posted by Amol Dalvi on July 1, 2007

Last week I updated my email signature block. I made a couple of changes; actually more than a couple if I include the formatting changes. The signature now has my full name, my title, name of company hyperlinked to my company’s website, my desk phone number, link to my blog. Something new I added last week was a link to my LinkedIn profile.

I have seen some really nice looking email signatures. Professional, short and give you the information you need. I have some people include graphics in their signatures. I don’t like that personally.

In my signature the link to my blog and my LinkedIn profile is blatant self-promotion. However, in some sense you are your own brand and the face of the company. It is important that people get to know you and are able to build a close business relationship with you. In today’s social networking world you have to let others know you beyond your pure business side.

The other thing I did was I dropped all the details from Reply & Fwd emails. If I am replying to an email or forwarding someone an email, it is quite likely they know who I am; there is need to add a block of text especially if there ends up being a string of replies.

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Goodbye Trillian – but I want you back

Posted by Amol Dalvi on March 16, 2007

I have to use two IMs – Yahoo! and Windows Live. So I decided to go with Trillan on my new laptop. I downloaded it quick, installed it easy. The interface looks nice, connecting to my Y! and MSN accounts was easy. I even liked using it for the first couple of days. I especially liked the tab feature.

However this afternoon I had to uninstall it and go back to Y! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger. 😦 Here’s why, and I am hoping the Trillian folks will take notice –

1. The biggest reason was I realized I was missing offline messages. If I go offline and someone IMs me, I expect to receive the messages when I log back in. There is no way I can afford to have people think they sent me an IM and I never get it.

2. I lost the friendly names for all my contacts. Instead I had to deal with usernames people create they create their IM accounts.

3. None of the frills of Y! messenger and Live messenger are included. By frills I mean the IMvironment, winks, buzz/nudges, audibles and such goofy stuff.

So out the door it went. Unfortunately. I do want it back. It’s better and easier to use. Having one IM tool and all your IM contacts in one place is good.

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Moving to Vista

Posted by Amol Dalvi on March 15, 2007

Alright, so back on March 7th I gave my first impressions of Vista’s UI. It’s been a week now and I have been using my Vista laptop consistently for the past week. I have to admit it has been a little painful to make the switch. Things are in the same place as before yet hard to find. Probably because they look different and are shown different. Here’s an example –

Alt-tab I use Alt-Tab to switch between open applications. I am sure you do too all the time. When I use Alt-Tab a context window pops-up and shows all the open applications as before. However, now there is a small screenshot of each open application (which is very cool) and the application title is shown in the middle of the pop-up window – not right below or above the application screenshot – as I cycle through open applications. For some reason that took some time to adjust too. I had to literally look and figure out which app I wanted; while with XP I could almost instinctively tab enough times to get to the right application without really thinking.

The control panel is another sore sticking point. It’s all there like before, just laid out differently.

But I have to say, overall it’s been a very good experience so far. Same wine in a new bottle, but I really like the interface overall.

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It’s been a week

Posted by Amol Dalvi on March 15, 2007

It’s been a week since my last post. Jeez, I didn’t realize a week had gone right by me. Between being under the weather, then enjoying a couple of days of unusually warm spring weather followed by three projects due all by end of week – I was barely able to keep my head above water. And add to that the fact that I am adjusting to my new Vista laptop. But more on that in a minute in a seperate post.

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Google – thinking for me

Posted by Amol Dalvi on March 8, 2007

Google does a really nice job of “thinking for me” – basically interpreting what I might be doing and taking the chance and doing it for me. A common example that is touted is if I type in a FedEx tracking number in the Search box it will tell me where that package is.

Well, there are times when that can get in your way. For example I an trying to read up on AdWords to advertise my quotes site. However it won’t let me read the AdWords home page. I am forced off the AdWords home page and taken to a page which lets me go to my AdSense account or sign up for AdWords account. I just want to read about AdWords first….aarrrgghh. Sometimes I don’t want software to think for me. I want to think for myself.

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Interesting changes in how we will work

Posted by Amol Dalvi on March 2, 2007

I thought both these are going to change how we work:

1. Free version of Photoshop will be available online
2. IBM gets Google gadgets

I am sure other companies (MS, Yahoo, etc. etc.) will follow suit…

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Posted by Amol Dalvi on March 1, 2007

I was on a couple of days ago and again today. Today is ranked #77 in terms of traffic (on a related note, since is advertisement driven I wonder how much advertisement dollars that means for them!). is ranked 119. So is many many spots ahead of Interesting.

Does that mean more people go to than to New York Times’ website to get news & information?

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Funny conversation

Posted by Amol Dalvi on February 21, 2007

A local radio station (WKLU 101.9 FM) plays songs on request everyday in the morning. A person called in today and said

“Can you please play a song…it’s actually for my girlfriend”. DJ replied “Ok, which one”. And the caller says “Ummm…her name is Melissa…”.

After a slight pause DJ says something like “well, I just wanted to know which song you wanted, lover boy…”

Ha, ha, I hope Melissa wasn’t listenting. 🙂

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