Life Around

Facebook, baba and Christmas bhandara

By now we all know that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was in India. Speculations were ripe on his planning an Orkut killer product targeted specifically for Indian net users. Gossip website Techgoss had declared a bounty for his pictures and yet it seems nobody really knew why he was here.

Valleywag reports that Mark was actually here to follow on the footsteps of giants and take blessings from his spiritual guru Baba Neem Karoli. You & I may have never heard of this Baba, but he has been an inspiration for people like Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs and Google’s Larry Page, to name a few. Apparently Baba, who is actually knows as Neeb Karori in India, likes his Amreekan name of Neem Karoli better. He even has websites booked for all versions of his name at, and With high profile clientèle from Silicon valley at his disposal, Baba can’t afford to be off line, anytime. So apart from all other things there is even a Christmas Bhandara in his ashram.

So what did Mark actually ask Baba for? If he had an inkling of the scalability issues Twitter is facing, he would have asked for some tips to deal with ever growing userbase. But probably he just sought blessings for a win over arch rival Orkut. But who would Baba have favored from his disciples: Larry and Mark? Well, it all depends on what they offered to the divine Baba 🙂


Collablog and Pebble

Few of my colleagues and I were thinking to have a sort of collaborative blog on our intranet where we could post our daily Tasks, TBD Lists, Reminders etc, a purpose which can’t be called blogging perhaps. I was looking for a free Java blogging tool and recalled Pebble. It’s a lightweight, personal blogger written as a web application that can run inside standard J2EE web containers. Pebble uses standard technologies such as JSP, Servlets, filters, JSP custom tags, JSTL and JAXP. The installation on Tomcat is fairly simple. Since the blog is collaborative, we wanted multiple users who could post on the blog, so I created few users in the tomcat-users.xml with role blog-contributor. Incidentally Pebble needs JDK1.4x and does not work with JDK1.3.

Though we just started using it there were few suggestions which I sent to Simon Brown, who wrote Pebble:

  1. After Login the link to Login probably should become “Logout”, in fact there is no Logout option in Pebble interface
  2. Option needed to alter post dates/make the post private
  3. The blog main page should refresh when we make a post and close the popup window
  4. After posting we do not get any message that the post has been made (difficult to decipher as the same window remains open).
  5. Email address field missing in comments form.
  6. Facility needed to preview the blog (as user would see it) after we make the posts, because all the editing links are visible at top and there is no way we can logout.

To which Simon replied:

Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll certainly be implementing some of them. 🙂 In addition to my website, I’m also using pebble for collaboration on an intranet, mainly for project news and stuff like that. Again, not “blogging”, but it’s great that I can use the same concepts and software, just by changing the JSPs.

Don’t ask me why I did not go for Roller, probably because I wanted a new interface and secondly I was not looking for too many features. BTW we call this blog Collablog, any other suggestion?