December 24, 2005

Year End Err?

Five thirty in the morning is not really the ideal time to update your much-neglected blog. But a combination of factors – sucky RPM-installed server components (Apache, PHP Postgresql), the weird ways of Unicode and really thick fog – has ensured that I am finally left with a little bit of time to dust off the environment here.

These days home has become a place where I just drop by at weird hours in the night or early morning to get some much needed sleep and have a quick shower before I head out for the flyway and make my way back to the office. It has been an insane week; actually, make those two weeks. Due to the unpleasant surprise of an earlier-than-planned launch, we ended up rushing things through the door in whatever shape or form we could.

My crazy lead developer and I have done some 13 days on the trot now, with more than a handful of overnighters and late nights thrown in for good measure. Even if adrenalin were to be the food of product launches, I don’t think we would be able to play on for much longer at the same rate.

Strangely, after having blogged pretty consistently for close to five years, I don’t feel at all like blogging in my official capacity. It almost feels like being transplanted from the coziness of your tiny little home to the uncomfortable and exposing environs of a steely building. It feels impersonal and unfamiliar.

Maybe it is also a case of selling overkill. I’ve been trotting out catchphrases and thinking so incessantly about the product that when it comes to an activity like writing, which I can only do consistently when it is unforced and pleasurable, I draw a complete blank. I will readily admit though that the wider and grander audience is a great draw, but it is just not good enough a draw right now.

Moving on, it looks like another year is about to end. 2005, was it? It has been a long time since most measures of time made any significant difference to me. Most days look and feel the same. Months are measured by cycles of bill and rent payments.

Years are those irritating celebratory demarcations wherein you have to find out ways to keep yourself safe and far from depression at the same time. If you stay home, to be safe or because you don’t have anywhere to go, it sucks because the whole world is outside and you are not. If you go out, it is crazy, dangerous and
awfully cold. Die if you do, die if you don’t.

The good point is that you will only die sooner with this passage of time.

By the way, on a slightly technical note, has anyone noticed that the MSN Live Mail beta now works on Firefox too? Well, kind of works, that is. A couple of tabs have gone missing from the top and there is no reply button. But it does work more or less the same as on Internet Explorer, minus the right click context menus, with IE Tab extension.

The writing interface has also grown a very Microsoft Word-like spell check on-the-go feature now. I have to admit that it does feel pretty spiffy now, maybe even spiffier than Gmail, though I’d wait till it is deployed across the entire user base before I pass any judgment on that.

Is there anything else that I wanted to write about? Don’t think so. I can hardly haul up my eyelids and keep them open for any decent period of time now. Besides, it is half past six now. The thick fog should have lifted a bit by now and I think I really do need sleep.