Harley Davidson models and prices in India

Posted by Unknown User on 12:11 PM in , ,
So you’ve always wanted a Harley. Well, here’s your chance. These awesome bikes are finally in India. The price tags are too steep for most Indian riders, then again, that’s what the whole Harley’s branding of exclusivity is all about.

XL 883L SPORTSTER – Rs. 6,95,000

XL 883R ROADSTER – Rs. 7,50,000

XL 1200N NIGHTSTER – Rs. 9,95,000

XR 1200X – Rs. 11,95,000

FXDB STREET BOB – Rs. 13,95,000


FLSTF FAT BOY – Rs. 18,45,000



FLHR ROAD KING – Rs. 20,45,000

FLHX STREET GLIDE – Rs. 21,95,000


*All prices are Ex-Showroom, New Delhi.

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Workstation – where work stops.

Posted by Unknown User on 11:31 AM in , ,
I have been working for a client who is an Open Source company. Over the last few weeks, I’ve learnt a lot about Open Source. The most remarkable thing is that open source software is often made by people working at home. Yet, open source products are gradually eating into traditional software giants like Microsoft and Sun. This is just like a home-made aircraft shooting down an F-18. Companies spend crores to build office buildings for a single purpose: to be a place to work. And yet people working in their own homes, which aren't even designed to be workplaces, end up being more productive.

This proves something a lot of us have suspected. The average office is a miserable place to get work done. And a lot of what makes offices bad are the very qualities we associate with professionalism. The sterility of offices is supposed to suggest efficiency. But suggesting efficiency is a different thing from actually being efficient. The atmosphere of the average workplace is to productivity what flames painted on the side of a car are to speed. Superficial and utterly useless

Things are different in a startup. Often as not a startup begins in an apartment. Instead of matching cubicles, they have an assortment of furniture they bought used. They work odd hours, wearing the most casual of clothing. They look at whatever they want online without worrying whether it's "work safe." And you know what? The company at this stage is probably the most productive it's ever going to be.

The most demoralizing aspect of a traditional office is that you're supposed to be there at certain times. In reality, only a few people in a company who really have to be physically present in the office. Most employees work fixed hours just because the company can't measure their productivity. The basic idea behind office hours is that if you can't make people work, you can at least prevent them from having fun. If employees have to be in the building a certain number of hours a day, and are forbidden to do non-work things while there, then they must be working. In reality, they spend a lot of their time in a no-man's land, where they're neither working nor having fun.

The ideal would be if the company tells its employees that, “This is what you have to do. Do it whenever you like, wherever you like. If your work requires you to talk to other people in the company, then you may need to be here a certain amount. Otherwise we don't care.”

The problem for me is not just that it's demoralizing, but that the people pretending to work interrupt the ones actually working. The problem with pretend work is that it often looks better than real work. When I'm writing, I spend as much time just thinking as I do actually typing. Half the time I'm sitting drinking a cup of coffee, smoking or walking around. This is a critical phase-- this is where ideas come from-- and yet I'd feel guilty doing this in most offices, with everyone else looking busy.

Till there are corporate reforms, I guess we all are stuck with this fixed time menace.

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Farmville tips and tricks

Posted by Unknown User on 3:16 PM in , , ,
Farmville is quite a rage. People who used to look down at my voracious hunger for online games are getting hooked to it left right and center. Not that they are just playing it, but are blogging about it too! My whole facebook homepage is infested by questions like How do I earn more coin/cash, what is the best crop etc etc.

So, I’ve decided to put down whatever I have picked up by playing the game for over a month now. Frankly speaking, I find the game tad boring as there are not too many things to do or pit your wits against your opponent like in Travian or even Evony. But when friends plants four hour blueberries/blackberries and climb up the levels, the competitive spirit does kicks in.

Anyways, I am not here to review the game because I know, if you are reading this, in all probability you are hooked to the whole damn thing…just like I am. So, here are a few things that I have picked up over the last one month of Farmville madness.

Time your crop
The basic point of the whole game. After you’ve harvested your crop, plant something that gets ready for harvest at the same time when you log in next. Supposedly, you have harvested your crop at nine in the morning and will not be checking it again for the next 10 hours. Plant something which takes 8-10 hours to ripen. Pretty simple huh?

Remember, a crop will wither after double the time of its ripening. A tomato crop gets ready in eight hours but after another eight hours (16 hours in total) it will start to wither away.

Age old corporate mantra – holds true for Farmville too. Instead of planting one type of crop in your entire area and then go “click click click” for one hour HPP (Harvest, plough, plant), the better idea is to plant different crops in small blocks so that they are ready in different time.

There are three distinct advantages.
  1. If you are using Tractor/Harvester/seeder, then different timings of crops will replenish your oil automatically which otherwise you’ll have to buy using FV cash.
  2. Planting a small part of your farm doesn’t take too much time. This makes it easier to quickly tend to your farm between classes, client meetings, love making sessions - take your pick!
  3. Err…I am still working on the third one.

Block the farmer
I know it looks cute when your animated avatar goes from block to block harvesting and collecting fruits and animal products – but it takes a hell lot of time. Capture the farmer in a closed fence so that he/she cannot come out of it. Just make a square using fence/haybale, keep one side open so that the farmer can come in. Once the farmer is in, close the opened section and he is captured. Try doing HPP then and you’ll find that it is much faster that ways.
(Edit: Check out Vivek's comment (#1) for a better solution)

Don’t buy trees/animals
No point buying stuff which you’ll get from friends as gifts anyway. If your friends are not as good as mine, then go ahead buy a few trees and animals. Don’t buy cows – they take a lot of space and their milk sells for just 6 coins!

Help out friends
I am sure you already know it that when you help your neighbours to rake up leaves/scare away crows, you get 20 coins and 5 exp. Do it. However, after helping a certain number of friends in a single day, the incentive becomes 5 coins and 1 exp.

Try to earn all your ribbons – you get both coins and experience when you earn them. Click on the Ribbon Tab on Farmville (next to the Market Tab) to check the requirements to earn Ribbons. And when you earn them, don’t forget to share your wealth with your friends!

...this is what I've been able to do so far. Still a long way to go!

Happy Farming

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Travian Strategy II

Posted by Unknown User on 5:21 PM in , ,
Lot of people are bumping into the blog looking for playing tips and tricks of Travian. As a continuation of my last blog on Travian strategy, I am sharing with you all a few more insights to help both new and old players alike.

This post is dedicated to the Travian Hero – a special unit that you can create in your Hero’s Mansion.

Troop type

The first step is to decide which type of troop you want to select to be your Hero?
In my opinion, only the best unit of a particular tribe (Teutonic Knight, Haeduan or Equites Caesaris) should be trained as a Hero. Researching the premium troop types need a lot of time and resource at the initial stage - Stable level 10 and Academy Level 15 (level 5 for Romans). If you do not want to wait for so long to train your hero, you can at least make sure that your hero is a Cavalry Unit. They are stronger than infantry and thus has a better chance of surviving the initial stages. Moreover, a slow hero will be useless for a quick strike – making you lose out on the entire offense bonus that you would have got.

Skill point distribution

When you first create a Hero, you are given 5 skill points that you can distribute between offense, defense, offense bonus, defense bonus and regeneration. You can redistribute the points till your Hero is at Level 0. As your Hero kills troops, he gains experience. Once the experience becomes 100, the Hero’s level is increased and you have 5 more skill points to distribute among offense, defense, offense bonus, defense bonus and regeneration.

Offense indicates the total offense strength of your hero alone. Similarly, Defense shows the total defense of your Hero. The two numbers in form X/Y means your Hero’s defense against Infantry is X and defense against cavalry is Y.

Offense/defense bonus indicates the percentage bonus given to your army when their Hero fights with them. For example, your Hero’s offense bonus is 10%. If you send 100 soldiers with your Hero, then they’ll have the offense power of 110 soldiers. Same is with defense. Though initially this do not seem like it make much of a difference, but imagine how much a Hero with 15-20% Off bonus will effect an endgame hammer which is anything between 10 to 50 thousand infantry plus another few thousand Cavalry, Ram and Catapults!!!

The Regeneration value determines how quickly your hero gets healed and back to 100% health. It is indicated by the number of health points regenerated per day. This is very important at the beginning as the Hero keeps on losing his health when he goes of battle. If you do not allot any Regeneration points, he will eventually die of all the battle wounds. You may revive him in your hero’s mansion but it will cost you a lot of resource and time. Save the heartache, give him some Regeneration points initially.

Capturing Oasis

This is another primary reason to train a Hero – to annex Oasis near your villages to boost your resource production. To capture an oasis, there are a few pre requisite.

Firstly, the oasis you want to capture should be within the 7x7 of your village
Secondly, you need to get the Hero’s mansion to level 10 to annex one oasis, level 15 for two oasis and level 20 for three.

Once these two conditions are fulfilled, all you have to do is kill all the animals in the oasis with your Hero (and some army) and the oasis is yours.

Good to know about your Hero

Travian Hero is not from Hollywood. So don’t send him out alone even to small villages, unless of course you want him dead!

When your hero dies, he is frozen in your hero’s mansion. It is always better to revive the hero with maximum experience levels. But you can neglect this at the initial stage of the game if you are choosing a stronger unit to be hero.

Try to kill as many troops as possible with your Hero as it increases his experience and thereby his value.

Keep your eyes open for this space. Next time I'll share what I know about developing end game Hammers/Anvils as well as Chiefs/Senator/Chieftain.

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Analogue Memories

Posted by Unknown User on 9:36 AM in , ,
Today while cleaning up my room, I just happened to open my big junk carton. There I found the sad remains of what once used to be my cassette collection. I distinctly remember putting in one hundred sixty something cassettes when I first came to Delhi. But those, and another shipment of around hundred more are now reduced to about twenty odd ones by the “borrow and never return” human nature. Now that I have them and then some more in my hard drive, I am not mortally depressed about my losses.

I managed to trace my once best friend, the Walkman that I bought with my first real salary in the same carton. Poor guy, how he has fallen from grace! I jacked my old mate to my comp’s speakers and I am all ready to be sixteen all over again. There weren’t too many choices, but I managed to find “Big Hits…” by Twisted Sisters among the twenty odd survivors.

As my room exploded with the bass heavy analogue tapes (unlike their clearer sounding digital counterparts), it brought back memories obscured by the rust of time. I remember buying that cassette when one of my friends told me that they were banned in the US. “We’re not gonna take it” – an anthem of sort for teenage kids against their parents did not go well with some moral watchdog and was made a part of the “Filthy Fifteen.”

Last heard, Californian governor Arnold Schwarzenegger used that same song as his campaign soundtrack. So much so, that the band themselves came to play live on one of Schwarzenegger’s fund raiser. Times, they sure are changing!

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Cricket Overdose

Posted by Unknown User on 10:09 AM in , ,
There has been an overdose of Cricket since the last couple of months and I am growing sick of it. Quite a bold statement for an Indian. The types that can get you loads of hate mails and even get you in the wrong side of a PIL. But what the heck, this way I might get a little publicity. After all, one thing that I’ve learn during my stint at the YMCA learning "Ad and Marketing" that no publicity is bad publicity (Somebody tell Shiney Ahuja about it)

Coming back to the issue at hand – Cricket – let me clarify that I am not a Cricket hater. Many of us from the North Eastern part of the country prefer football to cricket. But I grew up in a community where boys play football during summer and cricket during the winter. The idea of an India-Pakistan match is as interesting to me as anyone else in the country. Even then, the overdose of cricket, its blatant commercialism in the name of “popularizing the game” have made me cringe.

Those who followed the IPL matches were subjected to 10 minutes of uninterrupted TV commercial in the name of Strategic Breaks, camera following Mr. Lalit Modi signing autographs and some member of the audience reading (rather pretending to read) the T20 cricket magazine while commentators giving hint after hint to "go buy it while it is still at the stands." To top it all, we have Mandira Bedi who just manages to scream and make weird faces to be more exciting and bring some oomph (humph?!). I think it is lame, irritating and embarrassing more often than not. If things remain such, I might be on my way to confirm to the stereotype that North Easterners do not like cricket.

Despite all the cribs I continue to watch the World T20 championship and to be honest, I am quite happy with the results so far. Here’s why:

Australia going out of the tournament from the first round
I have nothing personal against the Aussies nor the above comment is a backlash for all the racial attacks on Indian students in Australia. A dialogue from the movie Dark Knight seem to sum up the reason quite well. “You die a hero or live long enough to be the villain.” Australia has been the number one cricket team for many many years and I was starting to get sick of it.

India being knocked out of the tournament
The immediate effect of it is pull out of the stupid ad campaign “Yeh cup kahin nehin jayega” (This cup will not go anywhere)…and it’s a great relief. The ouster also showed the technical weakness of the Indian batsmen, toothless pace attack (apart from a few exceptions). When faced with real opponents like West Indies, England and South Africa, the Indian team was quickly put to their place. Too much cricket and too much money – serves us Indians right for worshiping a bunch of technically challenged players who can flourish only on small grounds with a flat pitches.

South Africa losing in the Semis
Boy! Don’t we love it when someone confirms to whatever “tag” they are given? South Africa managed to keep their choker tag intact after losing in the semi finals of yet another major tournament. Thank God I am not a South African or I’d have felt even worse.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the finals
Yes, being an Asian, I supported these two teams after the MIGHTY (mind the bold and italics) Indian team lost. Whoever wins the title, I hope the title of World T20 Champions will bring some happiness to the two countries torn apart from war and killings.

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Guys are SCUM...Girls are WHORE

Posted by Unknown User on 2:10 AM in , ,
Today morning I was in for a rude shock when I opened up my Delhi Times to see those dreadful words printed across the front page.

Guys are SCUM (with even bigger fonts)

Then they went on to explain that “Girls would agree – that’s even more true now. SCUM is a neologism that means Self-Centered Urban Male.” This little explanation made it look even worse because it is claiming it to be true! I honestly expected it to be some kind of a joke, just a good headline to get people excited. If there is a joke in there, I fail to notice.

Or maybe the writer expected us guys to behave the way we almost always do. Being a guy I should have laughed at it without giving it a second thought instead of getting offended. But what the heck…I don’t want to join the PIL bandwagon and demand an official apology (read 15 minutes of fame). I don’t want any “pangaa” with the largest news feeder of the country. But I can’t help but wonder, since when an urban male became a Scum? And what if there is a neologism for a Self-Centered Urban Female is something as demeaning as scum, say WHORE. I bet not one in the country have the balls to even think of putting out something like that.

I am an urban guy. I don’t know any of my urban guy friends beat up their girlfriends. Instead they wait patiently for their partners to get ready in just five minutes. When a guy waits for his girlfriend, it is chivalry. Make a girl wait for actually five minutes (exactly 300 seconds; not to be confused with the female version), you get the tag of being “rude” and “bad dating/husband material.” A poor guy goes through salsa classes, peppy chick flicks, PMS tantrums, and a host of difficult questions like “Am I looking fat?” only to be named Scum? That’s unfair.

It is even unfair that we are supposed to put down the toilet seat after use. Can’t the girl simply pull the seat down instead of complaining in rims and rims of cheap newspaper?

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