19
Apr 12

24X7 Shopping

Once again the human tendencies are changing with each passing day, we are talking about how preferences have gone under a sea change with new technology coming in every day, Internet has changed  every thing right from socializing to shopping , Here we are….shopping 24×7 online from simple Innerwear to classy plasma T.Vs. Online shopping has broken all the barriers, be it location, time ,offered products or in cases service offering. Recently i have bought Hanes underwear from site called “Menzkart.com”. They primarily sells men undergarment, site has been divided into different categories/departments. And the list is: Underwear, Vest, Shorts, Track pants, Boxers, Shocks, Thermals, Shaving razor…. Site seems to be very basic but there services are upto the mark. I really wish all the best to them and want to see them grow.

 

You might find something from these two category:

Briefs : http://www.menzkart.com/categories/Underwear/cid-CU00029308.aspx

Vest : http://www.menzkart.com/categories/Vest/cid-CU00029312.aspx

 

I have got my orders on 4th day, good to see that some player in market understand the service importance. Lot of new player in market has come up but need to see who all can survive in the longer run. Larger share of eCommerce business goes to net banking & online ticket booking. Also due to lot of bad service by some player, the consumer restricts themselves from shopping online.

 

COD: cash on delivery will not stay in the market for longer period. As it takes away lot of profits from business and put pressure on profitability of the companies. Online transactions now a day are very secure, it is due to strict guideline from RBI and i am happy to see that.

 

In India there should have some regulatory authority to ensure the service quality of eCommerce entity. It is not necessary that nice looking site does guaranty the good service.

I really recommend that if men are planning to buy their underwear or vest, do give your considerations to Menzkart.com.

 

All the best happy shopping…!


18
Apr 12

godaddy VS discountasp : ASP.NET shared hosting review

I had personal experience with godaddy and discountasp.net for ASP.NET shared hosting. Lots of people asked me about my opinions about hosting. In this blog post I’ll review with godaddy and docuemntasp and compare both of them on various points.

While choosing any hosting I try to look for following things (I used them in same order):

  1. hosting company support
  2. Speed of their servers
  3. Easiness with their control panel
  4. Online community
  5. Price.

First time hosting people my go for cheaper option but I can tell you from my experience speed and support should be most important criteria to choose any hosting.

Speed of your website/webapp will affect your search engine ranking as well as user experience. So more speed of your web application means more users and means more business and means more money.

Speed of you application should be top priority feature because performance is a not just feature but most important feature and no one  either developer or website owner should compromise with speed. Remember yourself how you hate those slow websites.It’s a difficult with web application to have 100% uptime but you can get closer to 100% if you have responsive support from your hosting provider.

Godaddy is much more popular hosting provider than disocuntasp and at first shot. It is difficult to identify speed of their server, easiness with control panel and support without trying them. You can only compare price with features.

I also went with Godaddy at first in 2007 while creating my first website. The first problem with godaddy is that they never have up to date Microsoft technology stack. Godaddy always implement Microsoft technology latter than other player in market. As a shared hosting provider godaddy is too restrictive as compare to other windows/asp.net hosting providers.

If you follow buying process of godaddy then you will find there is lots of marketing stuff and there are chances that you buy some of the items accidently so beware with their marketing/sales gimmick.

Control panel of godaddy is OK and you can do most of the stuff but the biggest problem I have faced with them is speed of their control panel. Some time it really becomes very slow.

Things are fine when you don’t need support (who like sending mails to support staff) but when something goes wrong hosting provider support really big things. Once I had waited for a query more than 18 hours that day I have decided that hosting facility of godaddy is not going to work for me.

I am still having account with godaddy and use as domain hosing and they are good. But for ASP.NET hosting I don’t recommend.

Once I had bad experience with godaddy than I have decided to switch the hosting provider and after couple of days of research from different forums I had choose discountasp for couple of client websites.

Speeds of discountasp servers are better than godaddy. I found it remains better over the time period. Some time they also have problems but overall it was a much better experience.

Control panel was another reason I suggest discountasp hosting to most of the first time shared hosting user. It’s easy and fast and up most of the time.

Support is the one thing on which they are far ahead of GoDaddy. I found their KB is more structural and their forums are more responsive as compare to godaddy. Their support staff was also responding quickly.

Discountasp is more expensive than godaddy but running a speedy servers and having good support really cost money.

Another advantage I can say about discountasp as compare with godaddy is that their technology stack are closely sync with Microsoft release and you can try most of the stuff from beta onwards.

In summary I have create a comparison table for quick view about my verdict.

hosting provider/feature point godaddy discountasp
Support Worst Good
Price Cheap Expensive
Speed Slow Relativity fast
Domain registration Good Average
Control Panel Average Good
Online community Average Good

In my option; use godaddy for domain hosting and discountasp for asp.net website hosting.


16
Mar 12

Online Shopping Men vs Women

The battle of the gender is as old as history itself and it has just entered a new realm-the cyber world. The pertinent belief that women shop more than men is not so true at least not in the cyber space. My sincere apologies to all the males out there but it is true. The difference in the money spent while shopping online is the maximum when they are into the 45-50 age group .In this stage, men have hit their mid life crisis and the women are peaking in their career so have less time to shop. According the digital marketing agency iProspect, about 70% of men prefer to do their marketing research and buy online.

Men prefer shopping online mainly because it has two big advantages. First they are saved all the hassle of going to the retail store to search for their product and secondly they find paying cash much more difficult than simply punching in the debit card number. It is a low maintenance, simple experience which men tend to enjoy and experience.

Reuters has reported that men’s shopping is on the upswing generally. The online sale of men’s apparel is expected to grow by 20 % on a year on year basis for the year 2012 which has been the largest increase year on year in the last twenty decades.

There are a few interesting facts about online shopping. There are 19 million men online and nearly 67 % of them make multiple purchases every month. 58% of them make at least two purchases online every month. On an average they spend close to 30,000-40,000 per year shopping online. The big ticket items are more often bought online by the males than the females. Amazon.com is the most frequently visited website when it comes to online shopping. Luxury menswear and accessories are leading the trend. Male customers are more likely to make a bulk purchase and are more likely to have a higher purchase frequency as compared to the females. They are also less likely to return a purchased item which makes it easier for them to shop online.

Women are more likely to try out an item before making the purchase. This is simply not possible in the cyber world. Men on the other hand buy after they have an image in their mind about what they want. Simply put, men buy on need, women buy more on sight.

The trend remains the same when it comes to online shopping for innerwear. It has been found that men are more likely to buy online than women when it comes to shopping online for undergarments. Based on the market research, Menzkart.com has come up with the idea of providing men’s innerwear online. Men are more brand loyal and are less likely to experiment with their brand and style of underwear. Men do not carry large number of innerwear as compare to their counterparts and are more likely to make purchases more often. This is one of the reasons why Menzkart.com has brands like Jockey and Hanes on offer.

Get Your brand get your style at menzkart.com..!!

 


30
Jan 12

Html.Partial vs Html.RenderPartial in ASP.NET MVC

Both functions used for rendering the partial view and use same logic to render the partial view, but their fundamental difference is in their return type.

@Html.RenderPartial returns void and that’s why its require following syntax. Html.RenderPartial output their content into the same TextWriter object as used in the current template. This is more efficient, because the view content is not buffered in memory.

@{
Html.RenderPartial("TestPartialView1");
}

Where Html.Partial return MvcHtmlString which you can keep in any variable for latter use. That’s why it require following syntax.


@Html.Partial("TestPartialView1")


19
Sep 11

Unusual but Achievable: Running 0 to 10K in 60 days

First of all it’s not difficult, if you are actively involved in some level of sports or other physical activity.

My background

My profession does not facilitate me to do any physical activity nor I was involved any kind of games in my life time. Before running I usually walk (3-4K) as exercise for few times in month.

How I started

My wrist size was increasing and it makes me worried, so I started doing walk in morning almost 2-3 days in a week. To cover 3-4K walk I have to spend around 1 hour.

First Month

I want some quick exercise, so I have started jogging. First few days was difficult.  Running was quicker so I keep running every day. After two weeks I started enjoying the whole process. Listening music while running was also great feel. I started  increasing distance and within one month I was able to complete around 3K.  I had a great feeling about my progress.

Second Month

I thought now I should have some target and practice it with some schedule.I discovered http://www.halhigdon.com/ and selected training for your first 10-K.

I never follow this because my schedule of going for running based upon lots of things. Having day job, father of a 2 year old daughter and staying with parents; all these does not allow me to follow the schedule.

But one thing was very clear from schedule that, if I have to do long run than only running will not going to help me. I have to do other exercises as well. So I created my own schedule according to my need. My schedule was 1) Having less time – Lets do some Stretch & strength through body weight or try to run 3-4 200m sprints.  2) Miss  – don’t worry today is a break ;). 2) Enough time, do complete running with Stretch.  Idea was -  “keep going.

Every time I go for running I try to increasing my distance by 200-500 meter. After around one month I have reached the level of 10K though timing was not so great but who cares at this level (10K in 1 hour 6 mins). As a side effect I have loose around 5Kg weight and improved eating habits because it helps me in running.

Why running

It require nothing. You just need a pair of shoes and that’s it. You don’t need training, expensive gym membership, people etc. Except rain in morning there is no problem . There is no age  sex bar.

Running on treadmill

I have tried treadmill at gym for couple of days and believe me it sucks big time. 1) Its boring; running on same place every day is not going to motivate you for long distance running. Running on ground or on road keeps your mind engages with activity surround you. 2) It will not as effective as running on ground because your base is moving through motor and it makes running less effective. 3) Cannot enjoy morning freshness at gym.

Things you need for running

1. Shoe

I used basic nike jogger and I don’t think anybody need any expensive shoes until they are professional runner  So far I am not facing any problem with related to my shoes.

2. Body outfit

I used adidas running shorts and believe me these running shorts are worth. Before that I used normal shorts which have two side pockets and it was uncomfortable to keep your cell phone and keys in side pocket while running. Running shorts are design for running so they fit and there is only one small pocket with zip on the backside for cell phone and other small stuff.

3. Music

Initially I used music while running; latter I discovered running without music is more employable. Running without music helps me to think about various tasks. This whole blog post I have thought while running.

4. Running Track

Park where I run in morning having cemented 1400 meter track as well as 1600 meter grass track. I use grass track.

5. Time

Now as I am running 10K and I have to spend around 1.5 hours on park. I have changed couple of things in my lifestyle a) I Try to sleep on same time very night between 9:30 – 10:30. b) I have cut down all the time waste activity.
To satisfy both the condition I have stopped watching TV. Also promote my family members not to watch TV after 9pm. It works very well. It helps to go for sleep on same time. Second I get more time in my life to do running and spend with my family.

I try not to miss a single day. Some time when I have no time for running I just go to park run one 200 meter sprint and come back to home. It give me a feeling o f get going and not stopped.

I have read somewhere

If you miss today there is highly chance that you miss next day as well.


26
May 11

VSS to Mercurial

Note: I was using VSS around 2 year back and move to mercurial when i have started my own company. Few days back I had discussion with one one of my ex colleague who is still using VSS and does not feel they required to move to new source control. This blog post is all about the discussion I had with him about VSS, distributed source control especially mercurial (because I am using it) and people who are not using any source control.

Why to use source control

Do you know “The Joel Test” – The first requirement of good software development is source control. If you or your company are not using it then change that; either company or way of work.

Now a days people don’t ask “do you use source control?”. They ask which all source controls you have used so far and what is your workflow.

Some people argue that I am alone developer and I take backup every night to my code (through some automated system or manual) and I don’t need source control complexity in my life. This project can be in your organization or your pet project in your free time.

My argument is; any serious source code should be in source control otherwise it is not serious. Backup is not primary reason to use source control it is a bi product of using source control.

Around two year back we used VSS as a source control. Its seems nice because I never used any other source control system. I heard about CVS, SVN etc but never get chance to using it. VSS had lots of problems like

  • It damage often. Once In past we even lose all the history from VSS due to damage.
  • Lock – VSS work on lock mechanism; where developer have to locked the file before start the work. So developer have to keep in mind before doing any changes with the code base. In locking mechanism no two developer can work on the same file at same time. There are lots of time when developer goes on leave and he locked couple of file in VSS.
  • Over internet VSS (Till the time i used) is not reliable. We use paid third party plugin to use VSS over the internet.
  • VSS required IT guy to manage the server.

When I have started in new organization, one of the first few things which I required is source control. My wish list for source control was

  • Free or less license fee
  • Reliable
  • Easy manageable (Till date we don;t have any server administrator guy.)
  • Work well on over the internet.
  • Good support on windows.
  • Reliable hosted solution.

I had couple of options a) SVN, b) Git (A big buzz word in source control due to github) c) mercurial.

All above are free and open source. github.com (for git) and bitbucket.org (for mercurial) was my favorite one because of distributed source control buzzword. After little bit of research I found that mercurial have better support on windows, bitbucket.org have option to create free account with private repository for life time and 5 users allowed with free account.

So I have decided to use mercurial because

Using distributed source control require only mental shift from client server source control system and that shift is really worth.

In distributed source control every developer holds complete repository on his local machine. so every time developer commit any change it commit on his local repository. Once he finish his changes then he push his changes to other repository. Because every developer holds copy of repository on his machine it gives following advantage.

  • Speed -It makes day to day task very speedy because it holds complete repository on his had drive and there are no network latency. He required network only for pull or push the changes form other repository. So It can be used online and offline. Distributed source control was design with the mind set that developer not necessary connected to internet/internet every time.
  • Separation of work by branching and merging - Branching is another reason to use mercurial. I never use SVN and there are no concept of branching in VSS. Consider the scenario- You and your team have just release the code base to QA and then you have start working on future version of app and same time QA is raising bugs. I don’t know about the SVN but in VSS handling these type of situation is not possible. In VSS days we all are not allowed to write new code until QA have finished all the testing and there are no more bugs. Once everything is fixed we label the codebase in VSS and start working on new version. In mercurial we create new branch and start working on new version with other team mates. If QA raised any bug we simply switch to main branch and fix the bugs. Once QA done with testing we marge newly created branch with main branch. Switching between branch in mercurial is super easy and pain less.
  • Reliability – Due to distributed nature it really hard to destroy. As each developer machine have complete repository creating new centerlize repository is pretty easy.
  • Easy to learn – I have started using mercurial after 2 hour of learning.
  • Collaborative – Distributed source control allows developer to communicate directly without affecting the central server.

Only mental shift you require while working with team in organization is; you need to have one centralize repository. Every team member will pull or push changes from centralize repository when they are ready to. It don’t mean that you can’t pull or push changes with your team mate. Centralize repository will don’t have working directory because nobody will going to work on centralize server. Every team member will only push his latest finish changes to centralize server and take latest changes from centralize server. Just as we do with VSS or SVN . So distributed source control have all the advantage as client/server source control with addition to speed, reliability and high level of celebration with other team mate without affecting the central server.

Our setup

We have pretty simple setup. Every developer machine have configured a free account of dropbox (2 GB is so far sufficient for source code backup). We use bitbucket.org as a central repository. Every developer have it own repository and working directory in dropbox folder.

Resource

I have used http://hgbook.red-bean.com/ for mercurial.

http://hginit.com/ is also a nice tutorial about mercurial and distributed source control.


29
Sep 10

What we can learn from Babies.

Image by kretyen

Image by Kretyen

Being as a parent I closely notice each and every movement of my daughter and i found that there are some fundamental differences between our lifestyle and lifestyle of my daughter.

1. Baby doesn’t stay ideal on bed.
As far as I know babies they don’t stay ideal on bed. As soon as they wake up they start crawling or walking. Every time my daughter wake up she start making movement towards to door or start playing  with toys around her.

Opposite to her some time I wake up but stay on bed lying ideal and lazy. It’s totally wastage of time. Every time I regret it whenever this happened to me, but at least once in month this happened to me.

2.    Touch the world

Yes, go and check with any baby around you. Babies don’t sit ideal on the front for TV and Internet and kill their time. Babies want to touch, see, and feel each and everything which they can feel through their senses.

Oppose to this we adult sit on the front of TV and internet and waist hours and hours.

3.    Everything is new.
This is killer one. For babies everything is new. Whenever my daughter goes to any place she starts staring everything with open mouth. I analyze this with other babies as well their behaviour is also more or less same.

We also have same behaviour but due to repeatable life style we are not in situation to watch new things in our life. As we grow with repeatable life style we start fearing with change and stop learning new things.

Bottom line is babies ability to explore and experiment make them different from us (adults). As we get older, we start making decisions based on what we know & works, and we stop exploring and experimenting.

See the video – Remember when you were a kid



22
Aug 10

Talent vs Attitude – Harsha Bhogle speech

I just watched this video where Harsha Bhogle (Follow Harsha Bhogle on twitter) argues that attitude is more important than talent (~4 min talk).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-R8gfbump0

I am pretty convincing with Harsha Bhogle’s speech of talent vs attitude;  that attitude that actually creates the difference and attitude is all about your love and passion about that work which we do.

So, if we do what we love to do, will increase our success rate as well as we don’t feel like doing hard work.

Even if you look around in your office, family or friends that there are lots of people who are talented i.e. have better IQ, score better at their colleges but not have as much as successful as much as people with bit lower latent but have better attitude towards work.

To test this case there is only one ideal scenario we have with is we.

Just compare yourself with your past (5-10 years back) and you will find you are better with skills where you worked harder and if it’s your desired or lovable skills then your loves towards your work was definitely  increased, right?