Free Tech Support Blog – Dave Taylor

A few days ago, on one of my machines, IE was no longer the default browser. So I went to google and “googled it” to find how to revert my settings to have IE the default browser.

One of the sites that I found which I was really impressed was: Ask Dave Taylor.

Dave’s blog is a great site for answers to most of your technical questions. As he says on his blog:

Dave answers technical questions on wide variety of questions including Facebook, Windows, Search engine optimization, etc..

Check it out.

Review – October 19, Diwali Celebration in Edison NJ

So this weekend, I went to a Diwali Celebration in Edison NJ with my wife and kids. My niece was dancing and I wanted to support her as she’s an amazing dancer.

The event was held at the Holiday Inn and of course it was “Free admission”. That is when my flares should have gone off. So we go to this event and it’s held in a cnference room that can accomodate about 200 people. Do you want to guess how many people showed up? At least 500. So you can imagine the crowd. Food, clothing, insurance, “call India Today” vendors and a of course the stage..

What I don’t understand is this: With all the publicity, didn’t the organizers realize that having this kind of “free” event would generate huge crowds, as Diwali is THE festival that the south Asian community celebrates. I’m surprised that no-one fainted or the beloved Edison Police department didn’t come and close the place down due to the fire hazard..

As usual, I spent my time observing. Something I do very very well.

Overall, the event was poorly designed. From the stage layout to having 10 to 15 Vendors sprawled around the perimeter of the conference room hawking their merchandise (Multiple food stalls, music and video (best bargain), clothing, insurance, satellite TV, Non-Resident home purchases in India, Raffles). The stage for the performances was tiny. Surprised that no child either fell off the stage or hurt themselves.

Oh, I forgot the heat. It seems that when you have over 300 to 400 people in a room of this size (with a capacity of 200) , you will need decent Air conditioning.

What I did admire is the tenacity and the dedication of the kids that danced their hearts out for the audience, REGARDLESS of where they were. I know that the organizers meant well, but besides generating revenue from the vendor sales, didn’t they think about the celebration and the comfort of the attendees? It’s absolutely unacceptable to hold this kind of celebration without planning.

So we were there for a few hours and finally escaped after my niece performed (awesome!). Yet this whole experience left me with one lasting impression. Diwali is a festival of lights, and to celebrate it in with the right venue (accomodations/surroundings) is a must. With better planning this could have been an inclusive event not just for South Asians, it could have included EVERYONE in the community (not just a local politician looking for the vote).

There I feel much better now. Happy Diwali to all!


Free sharing and Recycling sites

I was watching the today show this morning and this caught my eye. The concept of recycling your unused stuff. Similar to Garage sales, but with this, it’s free.

The sites listed below is just a starting point. You can also search on these types of sites on Yahoo and Google Groups respectively.


  • Freecycle – Largest site. Move fast or the item is gone. You can find groups in your city and join.
  • Freesharing – Next generation of recycling. State by State
  • Freeuse -Person to Person Recycling
  • Sharing is Giving – Groups all over the US who do the concept of recycling your stuff

In this economy, what’s better than getting free stuff? Getting more free stuff. Take a look and have fun. Just remember to be careful that you do not get taken for a ride by any scammer that might be lurking on any of these sites. Use common sense.


Navratri 2008 – Hindu Celebration

In the Hindu religion there are many holidays. As we approach the end of 2008, we are in the midst of the Hindu New Year, Dushera, Navratri (9 nights and 10 days of celebration), and Diwali (Festival of Lights).

The underlying theme of these Hindu celebrations is the victory of the forces of Good over Evil. It is considered an auspicious day to begin new ventures in life. So if you are starting new ventures this is a good time to start the business. I do also hope that this is also the beginning of a turnaround in our economoy. Yet I digress.

The festival is celebrated for nine nights once every year during the beginning of October, although as the dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar calendar, the festival may be held for a day more or a day less. To really get a flavor of the celebration you have to see this video on You Tube

Back to the overview.
Last night I went with my teenage daughter to a Navratri celebration at a highschool in Elizabeth, New Jersey. I went as my role as chaperone and a “watcher” of the festivities. Yet, let me tell you watching this celebration was an amazing experience. What I saw was a rainbow of celebrating and coming together of the Hindu community. By the time I left in the early morning hours, I was absolutely excited that I had made this annual journey to the Navratri celebration.

The Gymnasium that the festivities were held in was huge so the couple of thousand of people that turned up were very comfortable in both the bleachers and on the floor. As I sat in the bleachers and observed what I saw was not just the Indian community celebrating but I saw many non-indians participating in the festivities (both adults and children).

One thing you must understand that Navratri in the United states for Hindu’s has gotten to be huge. Many cities have multiple venues that celebrate Navratri. Typically, the celebrations occur over the weekends. So in the case of my state (New Jersey), the celebration I went to was just one of many Navratri celebrations that take place at the same time.

Navratri has also become a large fundraiser as well as money maker for the many organizations that sponser these events. Typically the admission for these events is anwhere from $5 – $20. In NJ the major event is organized in Somerset New jersey at Exposition Hall.

To describe the celebration from my perspective (a Navratri Child of the 70’s from NY), the maturity and celebration today is absolutely amazing. I don’t consider myself to be a devout Hindu, but the celebration I witnessed yesterday, made me appreciate my culture and heritage.

Today’s kids really enjoy the Navratri celebrations. It allows them to become one with their heritage, even if many of them have never been to India, or seen the massive celebrations that occur for this celebration there. The kids are dressed in a rainbow of dresses that truly epitomize the hindu tradition. Their knowledge of the dance steps (and let me tell you they are pretty complex for both the Garba and dandia Raas.

The live music that blares from the speakers, is something that can make the deaf man hear. Huge speakers at the center of the gynasium, pump the music into the rafters. So you can forget about putting on your Ipod to listen to anything else besides the live music.

Navratri Celebrations start at 9:00 (this is a generous start time) and go till about 3:00 AM. If you survive till 3:00 AM, there is no need to work out for the next 3 weeks.

Let me end this review by saying that as I left the Gym last night with my daughter. I was proud on how far Navratri celebrations have come in the past 30 years (since I migrated to this great country). I also felt proud of my culture and heritage. Now if only I could learn how do the Raas .Yes! That’s my goal for next year.


Money and where does it come from – A blog

Today a good friend of mine at work (let’s call him AJ) shared this blog on money on how money is made with me.

AJ is one of the smartest guys I know when it comes to tech toys. I know he’ll be reading this later and saying, so I’ll get this out of the way first.

Another interesting site is the Economic Advisor. This blogging site talks about the financial crisis in detail as well. The site gathers information across the web.

Thanks AJ for sharing this with me and my sparse following!

Career: Salary Surveys from the inside

Now this is a cool site. It gives an insider’s perspective on Salary from many companies. Yes you can use the other salary sites to see what you are worth, but this site gives you sensitive salary information from the employee’s perspective. Gotta check this out..

Money Savings Guide

Here’s a site that I liked. The layout was quite clean and it allowed me to read some excellent tips for saving money. What I liked about this site is that instead of just providing me with coupons or coupon codes, it provided me with articles that make me think!

Everyone wants to be reminded of common sense ideas for their family, kids, houseold, gas, banking and credit cards, and money saving reviews and ideas.

What I also liked was that there was a blog section where there were people wrote about various ways to save money. I noticed that the adverting was minimal. Didn’t see any pop-up ups, etc..

I thought the advice offered on saving money and spending wisely across everything for your life was well laid out and extremely usable.

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