Gaurang's Blogs

Traveled 1500 kms on train last weekend

So Mumbai is my love and I love being there but this time I had to explore more places just one. Since I am in Goa,I thought of making a plan where I will be traveling to and from Mumbai but little did I know, the plan changed and I reached Lonavala first and then the Pune to finally reach Goa. 
So how did it all start when tickets weren't already booked?
First goal was to book tickets to Mumbai and I really wanted to explore what Tejas Express is, how does it look like. Reaching to the Karmali Station was a bit adventurous as I left for Panjim just 2 hours before the train's departure and I booked my tickets 4 hours prior to it and I got additional 10% discount too. Then at the Panjim Bus stop, I was finding the bus for Karmali Station which took a few minutes to figure out and thereafter I waited for 15 minutes for bus to move.
Only 60 minutes were left and I was calling my gods to help us reach the bus on time. 
Journey was really nice and surroundings were pretty scenic. There was one very old yet massive church on our way. 
In about 30 minutes we reached over the flyover below which there was a railway track and we were finding a way to reach there as we wanted a shortcut to reach sooner or else we would have definitely missed our train. 
A local old man helped us find the way out which was a bit off road, there was a stair case and we were just blindly following him. We walked for about 10 minutes on that railway track and we could see the station and people waiting for the train. The moment we reached the station, the Tejas Express was also approaching the station.
It was a decent looking train and I was super excited to board it. I grabbed my seat and after that I started roaming around the train, checking out what does make it super special. 
So it is one of the fastest trains in India which can touch 160 km/hr on certain tracks while average is 80 km/hr. It has got IR fitted Soap and Water Dispenser which is a great thing to have when you have unclean hands and moreover it saves a lot of water as well. Entire train has got CCTVs which is great as then you don't have to worry about security. All gates of the Tejas Express are power controlled so no one can accidentally open them and that prevents accidents greatly. 
The entire journey was pretty scenic and I loved the journey. I caught naps in between but it was worth it and all refreshing. 
Although I chose "No Food" Option, the food was really amazing and it is better to order Food or else you have to pay INR 220 per meal instead of INR 365 for entire meal. 
By 11 PM we reached the Mumbai Station and I wasn't much tired anyways. 
The next day, I went to Lonavala as I got the train from CSMT station which was LL Express. It was about 30 minutes late but still left the station on time. 
We reached Lonavala at 12:30 AM and it was cold out there. Our hotel was 3 kms away yet Auto charged INR 150 for dropping us. It was find as we didn't have any option nor I had enough strength left to bargain or walk in mid-night -- being absolutely unaware about how safe that place is in the mid-night. 
We reached the hotel in 10 minutes - the last 300 meters route was a bit shaky and we thought we have reached the wrong place but it was the real hotel with imaginary road. 
I was completely exhausted and I slept the moment I reached there to wake up at 6 in the morning. I strolled around the hotel and I loved how beautiful the hills looked like and how amazing was the breeze. 
I got a call from my friend in Pune and he summoned me to come there and hurriedly I left for Pune after having a fantastic Poori Choley breakfast which was included in the breakfast. 
Deccan Express - the train was 30 minutes late and I started reading book in the waiting room. The moment our train arrived, I jumped into it and god, it was a pretty chair car train. There were oldies who were busy doing make up behind our seats. The journey was fun as I was sitting alongside my favorite person. The entire route passed through hills and suburbs and looking outside the train is what you cannot skip.
It was Sivaji Jayanti and entire city was either singing valours of Shivaji or they were carrying saffron flags, statues of Shivaji on roads. It gave me a great feeling of pride as Shivaji is one most inspirational personality to me and to entire India.
We strolled around in the roads of Pune, the subway markets were pretty and they looked like the ones we have in Janpath or Pallika Bazar. It was sunny outside and yet I could see hundreds on road, celebrating with full joy the Shivaji Jayanti. 
I had to leave for Goa immediately so I was finding bus/ train options and I could find a train - Goa Express which was leaving Pune at 4 PM and I got the tickets of it. It was super slow Mail express and to cover 550 Kms, it took 14 hours.
Since it was a sleeper train, I could work and sleep which I did throughout the journey. It was exhausting but I loved how I traveled little over 1500 kms in the train seeing the wonderful cities of Maharastra. 
That's how my weekend looked like. Share your travel stories at

Engaging with your audience well

Social Media is all about engaging with the target audience ( prospective customers - now, 1-5 years down the line ), interacting with them and staying relevant for them. 

Major brands have mastered the art of connecting with their audience. Some of the prominent examples are: Apple, Zara, Westside, and the recent amazing experience I had with Sennheiser. Here is what happened with me when I posted a post about how amazing my sennheiser headphones were:

and after not so long time, I started receiving notifications from Sennheiser itself. 

now that's what leads to user's/ consumer's delight, doesn't it? 

Someone from their marketing team took out a few seconds to interact with their customer by leaving a comment. 

Indeed that gesture is memorable for the consumers and it delights them, it keeps them loyal since the element of personal touch is dear to everyone ( afterall most of us still are human ). 

So as a marketer, you need to engage with real humans over the digital platforms. If you will master this and start creating content which touches their minds and hearts equally then no one can stop yourself from becoming a great communicator. 

What are your views? Leave a comment!

Installing Php7, Mysql, Phpmyadmin on Debian/ Ubuntu

Since PHP7 is prerequisite for Drupal8, I had to upgrade the Php version to 7 from 6 and also the Mysql versions which certainly introduced multiple changes in the implementation. 
Following are some of the links which were extremely useful in setting up the LAMP setup correctly. 
It is important to know that once you have upgraded to MySQL to Version 5.7, you cannot login into PhpMyadmin as the root user. Following link helped me understand that.
1. Run mysql_secure_installation to remove the test database and any extraneous user permissions added during the initial installation process:
2. sudo mysql_secure_installation
3. It is recommended that you select yes (y) for all questions. If you already have a secure root password, you do not need to change it.
Set Up a MySQL Database
Next, you can create a database and grant your users permissions to use databases.
1. Log in to MySQL:
2. mysql -u root -p
3. Enter MySQL’s root password when prompted.
4. Create a database and grant your users permissions on it. Change the database name (webdata) and username (username). Change the password (password):
5. Create database webdata;
6. Grant all on webdata.* to 'username' identified by 'password';
7. Exit MySQL:
8. Quit
Some of the commands which always help me while reinstalling Php7, PMA, MYSQL are:- 
- UPDATE mysql.user SET Password=PASSWORD('password') WHERE User='root';
- CREATE USER 'newuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password'; ( This is for creating a new user which you will use for logging into PMA as root users cannot login from Mysql 5.7 onwards)
- GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON * . * TO 'newuser'@'localhost'; ( This is used for granting super user permissions to the new user created ).

About Jagriti Yatra

Thoughts for entrepreneurs

By no means I am a successful entrepreneur and certainly it will take 3-5 years more to become a successful one. But there were learnings from past initiatives which I have compiled and I wanted to share.

Follow are they: 


Secret of building confidence - Start meeting people.


Start meeting people. 


Meet everyone and learn from them. Partner with them if possible but just keep meeting and learning from them. There will be some embarrassing moments but that's okay. If the idea clicks, you become successful, your confidence will grow and that will empower you. 


Secret of building super confidence is in meeting people. 


Confidence might get shaken in between the way but it will soar when you will continue meeting more people.


Don’t miss any chance of meeting people. NETWORK!


Things to keep in mind while investing

Humility, especially intellectual.

Being humble in investing isn’t about doubting yourself or believing that you are unworthy or unintelligent but it is about being humble about our intellect, it is about asking yourself if what we know or what we are doing is correct. Also are we adjusting our beliefs according to the new information being received. It is being intellectually humble.

Philip Tetlock wrote in Superforecasting that the true humility in investing is about recognizing that reality is profoundly complex, that seeing things clearly is a constant struggle when it can be done at all, and that human judgment must therefore be riddled with mistakes.

Very few investors have the nerve to say “ I don’t know” But that’s how you build humility in your investment process. If you start with “ I don’t lknow” then you are unlikely to act so boldly as to get into trouble. 

How to have an amazing Career?

Career is something everyone cares about. People spend their lives struggling in it’s betterment. No doubt it’s one of the most critical things in anyone’s lives. Then why is it very challenging for millions of people around ? What is it which sets apart an overachiever / overperformer from underachiever or underperformer.

There are so many factors which defines the success in career and most certainly Luck is overrated. As there is no substitute of hard work and relentless work ethics as celebrities like Will Smith put it.

One has to struggle, master the craft of the skill you are into and continue to beat on the craft until you become the master ofit.

There is a saying “Work your ass off until you are identified by your work and you no longer have to introduce yourself”.

In past 5 years, I have spent thousands of hours reading and watching career related resources and I have come to the conclusion that there is plenty of inspiration out there. Take some of it and work your ass off in the field you dream to be into. As there is a saying “Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” which absolutely isn’t cliché. It is the truth and one realizes it sooner or later. So if you don’t want to be victim of inspiration hoarder then take a piece of paper and write about what is it that makes your life worth living, what is it which leads to sleepless night, what is the cause which moves you.  Now take a hard look into it, that’s your goal of your life. Now Take it and write down 11 ways to achieve it ( it could be anything , important part is to write the possible ways. If you could think of more then write them as well ).

Every large thing is made up of small bits or atoms and together they form some meaningful object. Same goes with Skill or the Dreams / Goals.

Once you have identified your goal, now you have to focus on achieving it by dissecting it into smaller set of goals.

History of performance on Dell computers

History of performance on Dell computers

In IT Hardware Domain , we can't generalize the no. of years the particular Peripheral / device will last . We measure life expectancy differently using  different units .

About reliability , Dell is one of the most Reliable Laptop Manufacturers.

About the failure of hardware ,
Scenarios :
a) 2008 - 20**  - companies are coming with minimalistic designs ( Slim / Small Computers ) which are as powerful as the giant ones . But internal circutary thus , is even more sophisticated , many of the chips are fused with the PCB boards .
b) 1960-2007 - PCB Boards were big , Chips had visible pins , therefore repairing with success rate > 50 % was possible .
For eg :
a) Monitors ( LEDs / LCDs ) -
 Typical Life of : 10,000 to 30,000 hours ( For monitors ) / 30,000 - 40,000 hours ( For LCD LED TVs )
OEMs- LG / Samsung .
Realistic Life expectancy - Assuming 30,000 hours life , if we use it 6 hours a day , 6 days a week then it will last for about 833 days or 2.3 years .
Shikshantar's scenario - In last 3 years , we faced problem in 1 out of 15 LCD Monitors we have.

b) Hard Disks - Ref Notes (d,e,f)
Typical life : 1 month - 5 years .
Warranty offered - Post 2012 , 1 years - 3 years . Before that it used to be 3 years - 5 years  . Western Digital & Seagate both reduced warranty from 3 years to 1 year(d)(e)
Though Hard Disks are very reliable yet they are vulnerable to internal errors / circuitry damages within 90 days of purchase . 
Hard Disks are sensitive to temperature . Spending more than 50% of time in 40C is an indication of possible problem .

We count the usage in terms of Cycles ( Reads / Writes )
OEMs ( Used in Shikshantar ) - Seagate ( Dell PCs / Laptops )  , Western Digital ( Dell PCs ) , Toshiba ( Apple MBP )
Reliability between Vendors : Seagate is more reliable than Western Digital . WD crashes frequently as compared to Seagate .
Recommended :  When it comes to data and data storage, it is never too extravagant to assume that drive will fail tomorrow , so we need to backup data accordingly .

c) Battery - In case of Laptop , after 1000 cycles typical Dell / HP battery looses about 50 % of its strength  , while Apple MacBook Pro's looses 20% of strength . 

d) Motherboard -
It contains hundreds of chips inside it , when it goes for repairing , any of the faulty chip found is replaced / repaired . Increase in sophistication of circuitry disallows manual repairing thus parts are repaired by OEM ( their authorized vendors )
Dell ( might ) operates like this , they collect the damaged parts , replace it with new . Sends parts to OEM , parts are installed in refurbished machines for reselling .

e) Power Supplies - For optimal life of computers , Voltage Stabilizers should be installed first , which will further provide power supply to UPSs which in turn , will power Computer Machines . Only  this way we can absolutely rule out possibilities of Power surges , High Voltages which generally damages computer parts like Motherboards . ( Possible reason of Laptop's failure ) .

Note :
a) Temperature of the environment affects the life of Computer . Standard Operating Temperature of Machines is 10 to 30 degree Celsius
b) Dell purchases parts from different OEMs , assembles them . Thus we don't get warranty from OEMs but Dell which is limited .
c) Reference 

d) Reference  -
e) Google White Paper - Reference -

Bottom line : About Dell ,  we have 29 Dell machines ( including PCs & Laptops ) , and in 2-3 years we faced problems in 6 Hard Disks & 1 Monitor ( Partial Functioning ) excluding this issue till date .

So , performance of Dell had been good .