Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Update of my Laptop

At last I have destroyed the virus that hit my laptop, Yee Haa. The time trusted and always reliable method of formatting the hard disk did not ditch me. I must admit I still have reservations about formatting hard disks, as I have lost one 10 GB to such techniques. But times have improved, and my laptop has a recovery partition that does a reimaging to the same state when I bought the laptop. Anyway, here is to my laptop, and keeping my fingers crossed.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

A Virus Attack

How would you feel if your computer, relatively new laptop is hit by a nasty worm? My laptop has been hit by a Spybot worm, and this has wrecked havoc. I have Norton Antivirus 2004 installed in my system, but it does not seem to solve the problem. I have just downloaded the latest virus definition files and I am praying that it will solve the problem.

The training sessions at my work are going well and are due to end tomorrow. It has been pretty interesting and hope everything will be fine in the floor as well.

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Sunday, September 12, 2004

The Worm

No !!. I am not wanting to be a virus writer. The Worm is just the name of a technolgoy that the Channel Nine network uses to judge the response of the audience as and when a major debate is taking place. I dont know how many of you are aware that the next National elections in Australia is scheduled for October 9, 2004, featuring John Howard for the Liberal party and Mark Latham for the Labor party.

Tonight, these two leaders have just had their first debate televised live on the Sixty Minutes program, which was, incidentally ad FREE. The Channel Nine network employed the worm to get the response of the audience on each question. There was the final verdict as well. There was this ninety something strong audience voting on each question that these leaders had. I guess the people got into a real frenzy when Howard was answering how he loved the PM's job. The worm never got above the 0 line. It was all the way negative and the same happened when Howard answered about Australia's committment in the Iraq conflict. He took a heavy beating in that. Meanwhile, Latham was scoring in the Healthcare questions. I should remind that the worm's response is based only on the ninety odd people in the audience, but the final verdict of that group was that Latham won 67% to 33%. As the presenter remarked after the debate was over, it is going to be a long four weeks to October 9.

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Thursday, September 09, 2004

Customer service training sessions

At work, I am in the learning mode. By learning, I mean to say that I am in the training session for the Customer Service for the prepaid mobile phones offered by Telstra. The customer service is the next step in the hierarchy of the call centre consultants. Although this is true, I have been warned by many of the existing customer service consultants that this is relatively a death hole in our call center. Irate customers old and young. I am apprehensive about my stint as a customer service consultant.

In the training sessions, I have been able to increase my trivia knowledge by a considerable amount. For instance, the only planet in our solar system that spins anti clockwise is Venus and the number of pizzas being consumed in the world on an annual basis is nearly 5.2 billion. Wondering what these have to do with customer service ?. I am always available for learning trivia even if I am waken up in the dead of the night.

The customer service training sessions have been a sort of a relaxation for us, so far. Not much to fret about, only basic customer service skills. I guess I have to improve my patience on the calls.

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Thursday, September 02, 2004

A Trip to the Great Ocean Road

I went for my first real trip outside of Melbourne couple of weeks back – a trip to the Great Ocean Road. The cost of the trip per person was $80. First things first, it was a typical Melbourne day when we stepped out of home to the city centre to board the bus to take us on the nearly 600 kms journey. Being a typical Melb day it started raining when we landed at the starting point at 7.30 AM. We were supposed to be making the journey on the first bus. But, due to lack of people, we were asked to take the next bus 45 mins later. And, it was cloudy all the way upto Corio – a small town on the M1 from Melbourne to Geelong which is the second largest city in the state of Victoria. But, the sun started shining on our faces after we left Geelong and made our first stop at Bells Beach. That was were we had the billy tea, which is something traditional to Australia. In the olden times, when people were traveling on horses and by foot, the billy was something that gave a real pep up to the people. All that they did was to boil some tea with some eucalyptus leaves and sugar. In our case, the billy was prepared by our excellent driver, Bruce. His voice was just like Richie Benaud and it was very good to hear the interesting facts all along the way to the 12 Apostles.

The highlight of the Great Ocean Road trip was the visit to the 12 apostles. Actually, it is part of the mainland, but the sea water has eroded some parts of the land, and so they now look like statues in the sea. Interestingly, this was the place where the song ‘Enna Vilai Azhagae’ from the movie ‘Kadhalar Dhinam’ was shot. Inspite of watching Sonali Bendre in the song, the Great Ocean Road does not have a happy story, for history has it that more than 300 ships have been crushed along this coast line of Australia. Many of the Glens and turns along the road have been named after famous ships that were destroyed along the coastline. For the first part of the trip from Melbourne to Apollo Bay, the road typically followed a zig zag pattern as in mountainous routes. We passed through some excellent rain forests called the Otways. This is where I had my first glimpse of a Koala, not a Koala bear as I had originally thought – the reason being the Koala is a marsupial and not a bear. Apollo Bay was the first town that I visited in rural Victoria. Life seemed to be very slow paced compared to life here in Melbourne or Sydney. I ordered a veggie burger for lunch and was pleasantly surprised to find a big burger and a big pan of French fries to go with it, something that would not have been possible in Melbourne.

After finishing lunch at Apollo Bay, we then began the next part of the journey to the 12 Apostles. I should say that it was something of an anticlimax that I felt when actually reaching that place. The reason being seeing so much of the sea and beaches. But, on going to the actual viewing ledge, all my earlier misgivings were, so to say, completely misplaced. The view of the sea and these towering columns was breathtaking. The next stop was at London’s Bridge – where a portion of the land has been totally cut into half by the sea. Gives an impression of a part of a bridge being broken in half. There was also a chopper ride, which takes us over the sea, but due to the earlier misgiving, I did not get on it.

I was unable to stop myself comparing the beaches in India, especially Madras Marina with the beaches in Australia. No comparison, the beaches here win for cleanliness and beauty, but there was this problem of not having bhel puri, pani poori or molakai bajji. If only I could have both the beauty and the food …

I have not been able to recount the entire trip in the best possible manner, as it has been sometime since I went. I hope you can visualize the grandeur of the 12 Apostles from these photographs.
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Bells Beach
Great Ocean Road Memorial
A Few Apostles
One of Apostles
Near the London Bridge
A shot from Kadhalar Dhinam