Category Archives: News and Information

TEDx in Kanpur – TEDxIITKanpur

Entrepreneurship Cell (E-Cell), at IIT Kanpur, is organising TEDxIITKanpur event on March 12, 2011. This is the first event of it’s kind, and I hope we would have more of those (TEDx, BarCamp, DevCamp, etc.) in Kanpur (within IITK campus or outside).

Our company (Allies Interactive Services) is honoured to contribute as design sponsor of TEDxIITKanpur, and hopefully other events organized by E-Cell, IIT Kanpur.

HR and Payroll for small companies in India

Running a company in India is not an easy task, not because you don’t know what you are good at. One has to know a lot more to do things – laws, acts and statutory requirements. It’s easy for anyone with just technical background to make mistakes (i.e. unintentionally not being able to follow things) unless one is surrounded by people who are either domain-experts or professionals.

For last one year, I have been spending a lot of time reading about basics of accounting, acts, laws and such things. Thankfully, there are some good resources (listed below) which proved super useful to anyone like me (technical guys with hardly any background in accounting, laws, etc). I am listing some websites (forums) below, which really helped me a lot.

Though I missed doing things (programming, development, flash/flex, etc), I love to do, during last one year. But I realize, as an entrepreneur, I would have to learn things sooner or later. I hope, in long term I would feel it was worth spending time (almost an year).

(If you are interested in more resource, keep looking at my delicious bookmarks.)

Anyway, let’s talk about things which are related to the subject of this post.

Towards an attempt to be more organized and productive, we started looking at various software/SaaS options for accounting, HR and Payroll. In a small company like ours, which is located in a city where it’s hard to find many good consultants and professionals in these domains, SaaS might be super useful.

At first, we thought of using and customizing some opensource software like openerp for our requirements. But we know, we don’t have domain experts in these areas (accounting, hr, payroll, etc), hence can not keep changing the software the various compliance and statutory requirements by law/government. On the other hand, the total cost (time, money, etc) of ownership for such things is lot more. We find there is more value to use professional services offered in the form of SaaS . That would allow us to focus on things, we should be i.e. innovating, doing great work, building great team and providing great services to our clients.

We are trying to move to a smart SaaS that helps with our HR and Payroll stuff. I have been playing with following websites that offer SaaS for Indian companies.

There are other companies but they don’t allow you to quickly signup and check out their services, before you can make a decision.

I also found one interesting software (windows desktop application), it’s not expensive and actually allows most of things for small companies like ours. The only issue I see, it’s desktop based  and requires windows.

I was expecting Zoho might have payroll solution, it seems they are still working on it (I got a confirmation via email). Zoho seems to have HR (HRM, HRIS) stuff:

After spending a lot of time during last week checking out and playing with various services/software (some listed above). I realize,  greytip is the most mature, flexible and smart solution but user-interface in greytip can be improved a lot.

On the other hand, evetan (thanks to Swaroop for pointing me to it) seems to have a simple user-interface and workflow. It can be improved a lot too while keeping the simplicity.

Hopefully, I would choose one very soon and start using it for our company. If I get some time, I would love to post a detailed comparison of these SaaS/Software (listed above).

DevCamp Update

I am in DevCamp, currently sitting in Mozilla Prism session. I attended some interesting sessions:

During my session (on AIR, AJAX centric), I ran out of time and couldn’t complete it. I should have scheduled one hour instead of thirty minutes. I got pissed off and didn’t talk about Media RSS. BarCamp/DevCamp should have longer sessions, otherwise it sucks.
Some people seemed to be interested in AIR, asked about it’s availability on different platforms (Linux, Mobile etc). I have uploaded my presentation-slides on slideshare.net, you can download the PDF or see the presentation below:-

Note: Most of the images used in this presentation are from Adobe slides/articles and screenshots of various AIR apps. Please let me know, if I can not keep those images, however, I feel it’s fair use.
Technorati tags: , , ,

DevCamp: Talking about AIR and Media RSS

I am going to be at DevCamp and would be talking, if my proposed sessions get a slot, about Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) and Media RSS.
This event is going to be interesting, proposed-sessions sound very interesting. I am going to attend sessions related to semantic-web, microformats and Ruby-On-Rails (ROR).
BTW! This is an unique opportunity to meet Martin Fowler, he is also going to talk about something(not yet decided).

February 9, 2008 8–7pm – DevCamp– at Bangalore
DevCamp is an unconference for the software development community. DevCamp will focus on all aspects of crafting software in any language and on any platform, so if you’re a developer, architect, analyst, tester or manager, this event is for you.

Technorati tags: , , , , ,

BarcampPune – Are you participating?

http://barcamp.org/BarCampPune2

I stopped going to conferences and unconferences for sometime. The last event I attended was BarcampBangalore, I wanted to help folks in organizing BarcampBangalore but couldn’t do as much as I wanted to, because I fell sick. Though It was good experience. After that I have been busy with work and many ideas around my project so didn’t feel like or didn’t get time to attend any other Barcamps or events.

Now I feel I can start doing it again, I am planning to speak in BarcampPune on some topics, I have to decide from a list I have.

FYI! BarcampPune2 is most likely happening on Dec 16-17, 2006 in Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research (SICSR), Pune. You can register on BarcampPune2 Wiki.

If you are around, let’s catch up.

Nanocast alpha is released


Check out my blogspot for more Nanocasts examples: http://abdulqabiz.blogspot.com/.

Nanocast is the startup I joined around six months back. We went public alpha couple of days back. We have done amazing work in last four months, yeah whatever you would see on http://www.nanocast.com/ has been done in four months. I think, we have really tried to push limits by using Adobe Flash Platform, I believe our tool is one of good examples to show power of Adobe Flash Platform.

There are many bugs and known issues in this release, but I would love to hear your comments/suggestions. Please feel free to either send them on channels mentioned later or through commenting system on my blog.

Following (italic text) is an introduction directly from the mouth of our community relation team.

This is about Nanocast at http://www.nanocast.com/. Our team have been working on something technically and socially challenging for the past coupla months. We’ve come to a stage where we are eager to get feedbacks from people who are Industry Experts, Community Harbingers, Internet Gurus and more importantly all the other internet enthusiast.

It would be an unpalatable choice if we have to tell you what it is and thus we’ll leave it to you to figure out. This will make us easy to comprehend how to change/upgrade it further to make it more easier and productive to use. Please Visit, Register, Play & Work with http://www.nanocast.com/, Alright, here is a brief synopsis.

Nanocast is a service that gives you the tools to create rich-media advertisements or expressions containing video, audio, image, text and animation. These expressions, which we call “Nanocasts” are some of the coolest ways of flaunting your media on the web. At the very core of the Nanocast service is the Nanocast Creator, a unique web-based tool that combines the power of widgetized media presentation, collaborative photo and video editing and webcam capture in one unified platform.

Think of it as a free-form tool that can allow you to create anything from an advertisement, to a photo slideshow, to a collage, to a radio show, or a video channel. Its ease of use makes it possible to create superb rich media expressions within less than three minutes, while giving the experienced user a plethora of advanced tools to tweak their “Nanocasts” to perfection.

QUICK STEPS TO NANOCAST
Here is the quick step to Nanocast if you want to get in quick.
1. Register (and it is good to authenticate through your email)
2. “Create”, Yes, use that big create button. That is most fun part. Select “Category” > “Select Template” > Add your medias > Play.
3. “Done”. Well, that’s done and now enter the Meta Data like the Title, Description and be “Done” finally.
Note: You can post your Nanocasts to your website, blog or to others like Blogger, Myspace, etc.

There are lot more features than meet the mouse, we’d love that you try them out. We would love if you would like to be more involved with Nanocast and share the excitement. Here’s how you can do:-

FORUM: All Discussion related to Nanocast can be done at http://forum.nanocast.com/ and we’ll be there to discuss, help and hear your feedbacks. This is separate from the Nanocast Login credentials to have a separate entity for free flow discussion.
BLOG:
http://blog.nanocast.com/ is the blog where we will be updating “behind the scenes”, updates, gotchas, undocumented features, et al. Or you can directly subscribe to our RSS feed at http://blog.nanocast.com/feed/.
However, if you don’t want to do anything but just browse what others have created, published or remixed, feel free to browse the site through the categories at
http://www.nanocast.com/.

Finally, just like every other company we too have our excuses for any glitches on the site – This Application is in its ALPHA stage.

If you are reading this line, it means you are interested :), so it’s my duty to help you to get started. I suggest looking at Nanocast tour, we are working on help/documentation but this is something quickly made, hopefully would help you understand things better. You can also browse through existing categories(Personal, Jobs, Blogger etc) to see the creation by other users.  

Searching about Flex made easier

Ted Patrick has been working on a search-engine that would allow us to search different Adobe Flex knowledge-bases (blogs, flexcoders, livedocs, Adobe-Devnet etc) from one place. He has just posted about the search-engine. I would rather let you read his post than rewriting everything here.

Interestingly,this search-engine is developed using Adobe Flex 2.0 and Coldfusion. The source-code is available which would allow you to customize search-engine front-end. I believe, it can be useful for companies who have Adobe Flex development going on and public internet-access is not allowed to employees, yeah there are many such companies :)

Oh yeah, if you write about Adobe Flex on your blog/website. You can get it added to search-engine, it would be indexed too. Follow these instructions.

Rajshri Productions chooses Brightcove for content distribution:

I was talking to Tareef Kawaf of Brightcove this morning and got to know that Rajshri Productions of India have chosen Brightcove‘s network to distribute their content online. Infact, what excites me more is ‘Vivaah‘, the latest release, is the first Indian movie to premiere on the internet (online). It is also the first Indian movie on Brightcove network, ok I don’t mean those pirated (or copyright violations) uploads.
You can watch movie online or (and) download Windows Media Player format (I guess it is WMP with DRM), just for USD ($) 9.99. I would say it’s reasonable price.
This is great news and I don’t know why but I am very very excited to see this beginning. I am sure, more and more production-houses/studios are going to choose Brightcove network in near future.
Update: I forgot to mention Jeremy‘s post.

Blogines gets better

Bloglines has added a new feature called Playlists. Following is the description directly from Bloglines:

Playlists let you view your existing feeds in smaller sets available with a single click. What song Playlists are to your MP3 library, Bloglines Playlists are to your Bloglines blogs & feeds.
Glimpse lets you view every feed in your Playlist at once. You’ll see the first five postings for each feed–and you can organize the feeds in your Playlist just by dragging and dropping.

I like this feature a lot, it allows me to quickly look at related posts, a big time saver. If you have noticed, Bloglines is getting better day by day. Thanks to Bloglines, they are indeed solving many problems and making us more efficient.
BTW! I am sitting at Bangalore airport using Airtel WIFI. Though Tata Indicom WIFI is also available but they don’t have facility that lets you buy WIFI-access online, you need to get some kind scratch-card from some counter, where I don’t see anything except a table and a chair :) I can bet, Airtel WIFI would be making more money because they do provide the facility.

Gmail on mobile

Just installed Gmail client on my Nokia N90. Installation was smooth, I have to point my mobile’s browser to gmail.com/app and page detected my mobile model and installation was finished within few seconds.

User interface is very similar and shortcuts are also simple to use. List of emails are updated one demand, when list is scrolled. It is optimized for mobile screen and data capabilities. Though, I don’t like the way it accepts the user-input, probably it’s made in J2ME so it uses standard input mode which is different screen to enter and then come back to main screen. I would really like if they allow data-entry in place or edit-in-place.

Overall, it’s good and I can now check flexcoders emails more often.

I am listing shortcuts (function key) here, might be useful:

  • Inbox 0
  • Search 1
  • Compose 2
  • Mark as unread 3
  • Delete 7
  • Report spam 8
  • Archive 9
  • Add start *

Just wondering, if Gmail client can be made for FlashLite 2.0? Is Gmail API open for such things?

Adobe Flash Player 9 beta for Linux

Today is a good day because Flash Platform‘s reach has increased to more operating system. Adobe Flash Player 9 beta for Linux has been made available on Adobe Labs website. Right now, it supports some selected Linux boxes but I have a feeling that it would also work on FreeBSD, Solaris, Debian etc.

I just tested one of our flash-applications, which I would say is very complex and large application. The application worked like anything and I don’t see any difference so far but I am sure there would be some assuming the beta-quality of software. Our flash-application surely covers 50-60% areas of Flash Player API and features. I hope to log some bugs and issues.

Thanks to Adobe, Mike Melanson, Tinic Uro and entire team for working hard for this. I am happy, really happy to see how better Flash Platform is getting…

Onfolio is free now

Microsoft acquired Onfolio and now it comes free with Microsoft Windows Live Toolbar. I got an email from Onfolio that I can request refund since I bought Onfolio last year. Cool!

But I think, FireFox extension is not installed anymore. I guess, you can still use old extension as long as you don’t uninstall it while removing old Onfolio version.

BarCamp Bangalore

BarCamp Bangalore is going to happen very soon in Bangalore. Dates are yet to be finalized but we are working on plans. I hope, very soon date, venue etc would be finalized.

We are infact meeting on this saturday(March 18th) in Barista (near Koshys), Near M.G Road, Bangalore at 4PM
You can check out the BarCampBangalore WIKI. Manish has created a Yahoo! groups mailing-list for discussion.

BarCamp in Chennai and Hyderabad is also happening next month. I am impressed the way, Chennai guys are planning for ideas and budgets etc.

I am planning to participate in BarCampChennai but once again not sure due to work schedule. But I would try my best….

BarCamp in Delhi

Jonathan Boutelle and some other folks(Amit, Gaurav, Manik) are organising a BarCamp in Delhi, venue is Adobe office, Noida. The scheduled date for this event is March 4th, 2006.
The topic would be “Next generation internet: Web 2.0, mobile applications, and other cool stuff”.
Check out Jon’s blog to know more about this event and about BarCamp.
If you are around Delhi, you should try to attend it. Unfortunately, I would not be able to attend, wish I could.