berlin

void, main!

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Last few days, weeks and months have been very crucial for a lot of reasons.

Being an Indian, Cricket has always been in my veins. India has painfully let go some of the stars of Indian cricket in the past. But none have matched the splendour of Master Blaster. This farewell and retirement is going to create a void in the hearts of all the cricket fans from India and across the world.end

Being a Software Engineer for mobile platforms, Nokia has always had my trust. Not only as a consumer but also as an employee. I have always cherished the nokia ways of working things and am really happy to be part of some of the teams which delivered products very fast, for example, the qt team for SuSe based embedded linux, the here maps team. I am also very, very proud to be a part of some of the product programs like Nokia N800, N900, N9. I have also had a pleasure to work with great managers and great minds at Nokia.

On Oct 31st, 2013, this wonderful ride with Nokia came to an end. I beleive, everything that has a start, has an end. And so is my journey with Nokia, as an employee. I also beleive that its a small world. I will surely come across Nokia in future, may be when they start making phones again.. 😉

At work, I have a special respect for a few fellow workers like Raine, Alexey, Kristoffer, Lörre, Lauri, Sebastian, Frank G, Frank V, Stephan B. and a few managers like Venkat, Devesh, Sami and Jens.

I think that a void has definitely been created with these changes but that is the charming part in itself. We will see more and more Sachins coming forward now. Nevertheless, it has been a great journey so far and now, I look forward to complete my masters course and new job at rightware.

Phoenix

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Due to some negligence, I lost all the data on my wordpress blog while trying to migrate from my old server to Amazon EC2.

Right now, the original content of my blog is resurrecting from its ashes.

Just like “Phoenix”!

(and coming soon, a part 2 of this post! [update: well, hopefully, by Dec 31, 2015 or latest, by Jan 2016])

[Sep 8, 2312hrs] Update: So, finally, after a bunch of tasks**, I successfully imported all my posts from a local copy of my blog. And they are visible again. Although, I do not know why, I see one post missing!

 

** Tasks:

  • extracted old backup of blog from archives to “blog.aseemshakuntal.co.in”
  • installed mysql database on my server
  • created a database for my blog
  • imported old-blog.sql
  • NO LUCK STILL, posts show only on first page and old posts return 404
  • Google, google, google
  • Finally, found mod_rewrite as the culprit
  • Enabled mod_rewrite, NO LUCK STILL
  • Updated apache’s sites-avaialble/default configuration to “AllowOverRide all”
  • Links start to work, but pictures are not shown still.. brrr
  • Manually edited all posts with uploading pictures again!

It works now! Das is gut! Sehr gut!

Berlin, first thoughts

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So, as blogged earlier, I am now in Berlin! Mainly because of my job (and some other agenda, which would be revealed via this blog when time comes)

After having lived for 3 wonderful years in Tampere, my first thoughts about this place are pretty mixed. In first look, I did not like this place at all.

What I did not like explicitly:

  • This city is too crowded.
  • I have met a couple of grumpy people already (thankfully, none of them were Germans).
  • The public transport line stations, especially those for S-Bahn and U-Bahn are sometimes very dirty.
  • The crime rate is high. I have been advised by lot of friends and colleagues not to rome around in night in empty bus / train / tram etc.. [1]
  • There is a lot of fight in finding an apartment. [2]
  • There is a hell lot of bureaucracy! [3]
  • Health insurance is damn expensive!
  • Who said that renting apartments in Berlin is very cheap?
What I did like about this place:
  • Relatively well connected public transport
  • Good colleagues at work
  • More and more Indian restaurants
  • Lot of “happening” things around
I personally, felt more secure during my first few days in Helsinki / Tampere, than I did here, in Berlin. Here, I always try to be as secure as I can. For example, beware of walking on empty streets in night.. Probably, I would be able to give more inputs and have better thoughts after a couple of months.. whether I really like this city or not. Although, I am still pissed of a few things..
  • It is famous that a german moves with his kitchen. I knew this but never realized that I will not get any houses with a “fitted kitchen”. Mostly, an empty room, which I have to furnish myself. Damn! Thats gonna be an expensive affair.
  • Cold rent + warm rent..
  • Houses are not so maintained (as they are in Finland)
In fact, living in Finland, has raised my expectations a bit too high, probably! And I am happy about that.

  1. A Viatnamese guy was beaten to death one late night, last year by some people at Potsdamer Platz.
  2. Just in order to apply for an apartment, I have signed and provided my relocation agent with lots and lots of documents. Counting the number of those pages, I could have easily written a master’s thesis in Finland.
  3. I received my social security number after 5 weeks of stay in Berlin. In Finland, you get it almost instantly! You need something called a Schuffa credit report to apply for an apartment. Its ridiculous that I am new in Germany, still I have to have a German credit report. And yes, they do not accept Finnish credit report.

Of course, most of my comparisons are w.r.t. Tampere (and sometimes Helsinki).

Change of plans

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Sorry for the noise, but there has been some change of plans related to my stay at Nokia. While already resigned from the company, accepted the severance package and ready to become an ex-Nokian, I got an offer from Nokia Berlin on Wednesday, 29th September and I decided to stay back for a number of reasons agreed between both, me and Nimika.

I was a bit sad to leave another opportunity that I had at RIM, Sweden.

Now I have made a choice and its all mine.