There is so much talk about how to go about quitting your job, but there is such little focus on what you should take with you after you’ve quit your job. I’m not asking you to violate policies or steal data; but just reminding you to carry stuff that belongs to you which is going to come handy in the future.

From the payroll system:

What to pack in your box?

What to pack in your box?

  1. Copies of last 6 salary slips
    If HR/Admin co-operates, get them stamped with the company seal. This helps if you’re still looking for a job. You should also look for any Loss-of-Pay (LOP) days in there (see below).
  2. Form 16s for the years you’ve been with the company
    This has to be on your file! It is mandatory to process loans, and also required for visas and insurance at times. If not available in your online HRMS, Finance or HR will surely have a copy.
  3. Copy of the Tax slip for the current year
    This highlights the heads under which you were paid and how much tax was deducted. This will be a life-saver when filing returns (if your old company delays/denies you a Form-16) in the following year, because your CA has to access salaries received from both companies.

From the leave & attendance system:

  1. Snapshot of leave balance in each leave category
    This will allow you to reconcile the balance days you’ve been paid for in the F&F (full & final) statement.
  2. Track of Loss-of-pay days
    Whatever your company calls it: leave-without-pay or loss-of-pay, keep track of these days by going over salary slips for the past months. If possible, regularize these days, get them approved and reconcile in your F&F.

From Finance/HR:

  1. PF account number/office OR PF deposit slips
    Good news! In India, your PF account is now online on the EPFO website; all you need is your PF account number & office/zone to keep track of the balance. You can get this info from your HR/Finance department. They would also have a deposit slip for each year View full article »

Aditi had done her bit of making our wedding cool by getting me to do a pre-wed photo shoot – that turned out awesome thanks to Frames of Mind. It was my turn and I had to prove to the lady (who had agreed to risk her life with me) that as a Product Manager I was creative enough, and thought of surprising her with our own “wedsite”. When the question of build-or-buy came up, I couldn’t find anything that matched my needs and the flexibility I needed to fiddle with it. So without much thought, I created a sub-domain, grabbed a copy of Bootstrap and got glued to NetBeans. I released the first cut online in less than 8 hours of work, and improved it over the next couple of weeks part-time (24 hours in all I guess). And yes, it really cost me $0, because I had already purchased hosting space and the prasadgupte.com domain.

It was AditiWeds.PrasadGupte.com for the guests…

With domain & hosting available, this was just 24 hours of work @ $0

With domain & hosting available, this was just 24 hours of work @ $0

The pre-wed shoot had given us quite a few fun pictures, and together with the nimbu-mirchi trick View full article »

Full-text search & inline display of information are key differentiators

Full-text search & inline display of information are key differentiators

In the last couple of years that I’ve owned an Anrdoid, I’ve tried everything from ColorNotes to Any.Do to store small bits of information. Trivial stuff such as

  • daily medicine dosage
  • recipe of my favorite sub (which my wife needs me to text every time)
  • frequent flyer / loyalty membership numbers
  • utility / bank account numbers, etc.

Such information that needs to be handy is usually lost under complex navigation menus. I’ve seen folks saving this information as draft messages (SMS) or even using memos which does not allow tags & full-text search. And that’s precisely the problem I tried to solve with Bitstore.

Download BitStore*

My hands were yearning to write some code and this couldn’t have been a better time to try out mobile app development with PhoneGap. Before this, I did try installing the Android SDK but the learning curve seemed quite steep, and after all, my purpose wasn’t to develop coding skills. PhoneGap with jQuery mobile & Jasmine for unit testing View full article »

Aditi

Aditi

I should’ve done this long back, and there’s no great reason to justify holding the news. All I can say is the probation is over and the news is confirmed, I’m married!

Yes, I got married late last year to this wonderful lady – Aditi Chitnis (now Gupte). No, she’s not a nerd; She comes from a completely different vertical that has nothing to do with engineering or IT. And that alleviated the development of our interest in a common, neutral area – us!

You don’t come across great human beings like Aditi every other day; someone who exemplifies love, understanding & support. Her energy levels are completely disproportionate to her physique – she’s “atom ant”. Barring numbers, I am sure she will help add everything else in our life.

Welcome to the family Aditi!

 

5 tips to eat all you can at a buffet

Foodies love buffets. I love buffets for 2 reasons: I get to try out a lot of dishes which I would otherwise never order; the other being I can hog as much as I like. Often times, amateurs at a buffet regret not having enjoyed their money’s worth. After several tummy-full buffets, I have put together this list of tips for those interested.

1. Stay hungry & reach on time

Call this Buffet 101 if you wish to, but even if you don’t wish to hog, make sure you have enough hunger for a full meal. If you reach on time, you are likely to have the best lot, well-marinated, well-cooked and pampered by the chef. Refills are sometimes done in a hurry to meet the demand.

2. Browse the menu before starting

I’ve seen folks get excited by a Live pasta counter or Chicken Lollypops in the appetizer, only to find a their favorite main course or dessert for which they have no space left. Know the menu and plan your meal :)

3. Experiment with yourself: try everything

We usually tend to order the same things over and over when dining à la carte, View full article »

Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Aditi & I have forever been crazy fans of mashed potatoes. I hadn’t cooked anything on the flame other than maggi before (don’t go by the order of posts here) and a (part-successful) attempt at roti prata (aka roti canai). Aditi was out for work on a weekend and I thought of trying this out as it needs very few ingredients. Most indian households will have all of this. Check: oven, baking dish and cream.

Ingredients:

The Final Product

The Final Product

  • 4-5 Potatoes50 grams butter or fat spread
  • Processed or soft Cheese (optional)
  • 1/4th cup milk
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Pepper
  • 2 tsp Chat Masala (to Indianize it)
  • 2 tsp Oregano (optional)

Procedure:

1. Boil potatoes as usual, peel the cover and mash them

2. Pre-heat the oven at 170c. I used the convection function on my microwave

3. Add butter. I used Nutrella fat spread as its cholesterol free, tastes just like Amul butter and provides better binding

4. To keep the recipe low fat, I went easy on the cream, and used more milk instead

5. Grated cheese – processed or mozarella to make it thicker

6. Salt, pepper, chat masala & oregano and mix well to form a consistent mixture

7. Grease (apply butter) to the surface of the baking dish and pour the mixture in it. If you do not plan to eat it right away, apply shrink-wrap to the dish and refrigerate.

8. Bake in the oven for about 40mins at 170c, or until the surface changes color.

9. If you’re making this for your wife or mother, make sure you return the platform spick-n-span :)

 

Google Reader had been a close buddy for quite a while, after Chitresh Jain got me addicted to a bunch of feeds, most importantly FMyLife :) And then comes the sad shut down news  that creates a lot of rant all over the web. After trying a few alternatives immediately, I was hopeful (and sure) that this would tickle opportunists and deliver a much better RSS reader. The threat of data lock-out that Google users were anticipating after the announcement was more than relieved with Google TakeOut and their commitment to Data Liberation (FYI, this was #6 on my list of the top 7 non-functional requirements for web-based products). And I am huge fan of the Google PR team. They made good sound great, and bad sound hopeful. And they’re so unbiased, they even delegated listing out the best alternative to end users itself.

Early July, Google Reader finally went down - RIP Reader – and I was exposed to Feedspot through Anuj Agarwal‘s bio on Quora. I had some troubles importing my subscriptions directly from Reader, but that looked like a problem at the Google  end. It gulped the Reader TakeOut export without a hitch.

Excellent use of real estate

Excellent use of real estate

What I loved:

+ Minimalistic, responsive, consistent UI – Zaaro glitches View full article »

Open-toast pizza recipe

Sandwiches are my favorite food. I’ve been a subway patron for years. If you need something to accompany mashed potatoes or baked beans, this recipe is a no brainer.

Ingredients:

Open Toast Pizzas with Mashed Potatoes

Open Toast Pizzas

  • Bread slices, 8
  • Sliced capsicum, 2
  • Sliced tomatoes, 2
  • Sliced onions, 2
  • Olives, to your taste (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano, chilli flakes (optional)
  • Butter or fat spread
  • Processed cheese slices
  • Tomato ketchup
  • My no longer secret sandwich sauce

Procedure:

1. Butter both sides of the bread slices
2. Apply My no longer secret sandwich sauce on one side
3. Place all sliced vegetables: tomatoes, onions, capsicum on top. If you’re not feeling lazy or prefer the vegetables cooked, you can saute them in a pan with some cooking oil, 2 garlic cloves & tomato ketchup/puree.
4. Sprinkle salt, pepper, oregano & chili flakes as per taste.
5. Grate processed cheese or place an entire cheese slice over the toast. Avoid mozarella as it takes longer to melt, and your toasts will be burn.
6. Place them on pan over medium flame and let it toast.
7. Serve with tomato-chilli ketchup.

My no longer secret sandwich sauce recipe

I always had a fascination of stocking up all the various sauces that they have at Subway. I try to gather as many as I can find. Some at local malls, and the more exotic ones at Crawford Market. And I’ve figured out a wonderful combination of a few of these sauces for myself. They go with almost everything. I’ve tried it with sandwiches, open-toast pizzas and salads.

Ingredients:

  • Mayonnaise, 1 tbsp
  • Honey Mustard Sauce, 1-2 tsp
  • Curry (Tangy) sauce, 1-2 tsp
  • Tomato Ketchup, 2 tbsp
  • Sambal/Schezwan sauce, 1-2 tsp
  • Oregano, 1/2 tsp
  • Milk, 3-4 tsp (for the diet conscious, optional)

Procedure:

Just mix all of these as per your taste. The milk increases quantity sans the fat that mayo adds. Adjust proportions of the honey mustard, tangy & spicy sauces as per your taste.

Its damn simple, and trust it will make your sandwiches fly!

Baked Beans Recipe

Baked Beans is my favorite part of a continental breakfast. The canned version with haricot beans is easily available in hyper marts and is very close to the original. I had no clue of where to find haricot, so I went ahead with kidney beans. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

Preparing the base

Preparing the base

  • Kidney beans, 200 gms
  • Onions, 2
  • Blanched tomato puree or just ketchup
  • Honey, 2 tsp
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Cooking oil, olive or any other vegetable oil
  • Garlic cloves, 2

Procedure:

1. Soak the beans overnight View full article »

prasadgupte | 1999-2014