Hari's Corner

Humour, comics, tech, law, software, reviews, essays, articles and HOWTOs intermingled with random philosophy now and then

Air crash investigations and other random jottings

Filed under: Bits and Bytes by Hari
Posted on Mon, Aug 6, 2007 at 22:05 IST (last updated: Thu, Oct 30, 2008 @ 07:31 IST)

National Geographic's Air Crash Investigation is an extremely interesting programme to watch, mainly because of the drama they introduce in narrating air disasters and the cinematic recreation of the last moments of a crash. Of course, the crashes where nobody gets killed are more fascinating than those crashes that involve fatalities. Air France Flight 358 was one of those miraculous escapes where everybody on board survived.

Flying seems a pretty dangerous business until you realize how many thousands of flights take off and land every hour of the day without incident in all parts of the world. Puts things into perspective. My advice: Never watch one of these programmes if you're a regular air-traveller. :P


I'm geting increasingly annoyed with internet fads and memes (how I hate that word!). I'm even more annoyed with the excessive importance people attach to SEO. My policy has always been: take care of the content and SEO takes care of itself. Popularity (or notoriety) doesn't really have any attraction for me and I prefer to remain an obscure nonentity online.


I briefly touched on the subject of blogs fading away in this post. Now I'm seriously considering removing some of the dead blogs from my link list. By dead, I mean blogs which haven't been updated in over two months. This doesn't include those who who are in touch with me by e-mail or those who comment on my blog on a fairly regular basis.

My reasoning is that if somebody hasn't updated in more than a couple of months they're either too busy in life to bother about a blog or have just abandoned it for other interests. In either case, they probably don't care whether I continue linking or not. Of course, if some of these blogs do get updated later, I will restore the link. It takes just around half a minute to write a post which says "I'm back."

On a slightly different note, if you have a blog and want a link exchange with Hari's Corner, do comment on this post.


Following on a similar thread there are two kinds of people: those who respond to e-mails and those who do not. An amazing number of people do not seem to understand the etiquette of responding to (non-spam) e-mails. Their mail-boxes are probably like black holes: mails go in never to see the light of day. Why on earth do such people continue having an e-mail ID I will never know. Even Richard Stallman responded personally to a message that I'd sent him some time back and my brother had got a doubt in C++ clarified from none other than Bjarne Stroustrup himself. They probably get hundreds of legitimate e-mails a day and still find the time to answer.

Is it too much to let the sender know that the mail has been read? Something as simple as an acknowledgement (not an automated response) is much better than no response at all. How on earth will the sender ever know whether the message has been read or not otherwise?


The server on which this blog is hosted has been experiencing some wierd issues of late. Drew, who kindly provided this hosting space, has been looking into the problem and suspects that it might be a hardware issue. So if you have trouble reaching this site, LiteraryForums.org and harishankar.org at some point then you know what might be the issue. So far I've only noticed the site go down once.

I really appreciate Drew's timely updates. Not many professional hosting services seem to have the basic courtesy of informing their paying customers of server downtimes.

20 comment(s)

  1. Yeah, let me tell ya, I love getting pager notification at 10:30PM on a Sunday telling me my own server is down.. so much fun! :PHopefully we'll have it all sorted out once I find the actual problem.

    Comment by drew (visitor) on Mon, Aug 6, 2007 @ 22:12 IST #
  2. I was just editing this post when you caught me out... :)

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Mon, Aug 6, 2007 @ 22:13 IST #
  3. I echo your thoughts on SEO completely. I've constructed my site so that its accessible and tried to write interesting things. They have come. you probably noticed on my recent traffic comparison that one of my acquaintances (the one who blogs drunk a lot) seemed to think that I needed even more help, suggesting some cheesy link exchange schemes. I guess that is my fault for not writing to my audience.And, gee, I can think of someone who's in that hosting conundrum...

    Comment by MrCorey (visitor) on Tue, Aug 7, 2007 @ 00:03 IST #
  4. Yeah... that practice of responding to emails is very important (although I'm guilty of not having replied to one of yours recently! :( ). About the hosting company thingie --- we recently had a downtime on one of our servers (www.edulix.com) and now we're planning to shift:lock stock and two smoking barrels :)

    Comment by Sudipta Chatterjee (visitor) on Tue, Aug 7, 2007 @ 06:22 IST #
  5. MrCorey, your website is indeed uniquely designed. I've not seen too many blogs constructed like that.Sudipta. Actually I was talking about people who *never* respond to any e-mail. There are a lot of people like that. I hope you didn't take offence as it did occur to me later that you might consider it a rebuff. :?

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Tue, Aug 7, 2007 @ 07:06 IST #
  6. The only thing bad about my hosting company is, well, it's me. So when servers go down, it's me that has to drive to the colo where the servers live. :)But I might have found the problem and hopefully it's resolved. But hopefully replacement hardware is on the way, just in case. Now all the Hari fans can continue to enjoy Hari's insightful website. Don't want to let any of the fans down.. ;)

    Comment by drew (visitor) on Tue, Aug 7, 2007 @ 09:03 IST #
  7. Drew, you're an entrepreneur. Keep up the good work. :grin:And it's Papa Hari fans, not Hari fans.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Tue, Aug 7, 2007 @ 09:29 IST #
  8. Hari, Vaazhga!!!!!i think i'm not in the blacklist :mrgreen:i atleast comment on ur blog :neutral:

    Comment by Logesh TamilSelvan (visitor) on Tue, Aug 7, 2007 @ 12:40 IST #
  9. Logesh, you in my blacklist? You are in my whitelist.Ommanasu suddham... on idhayam vellai... :mrgreen:

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Tue, Aug 7, 2007 @ 12:44 IST #
  10. Flattered! :lol:

    Comment by Logesh TamilSelvan (visitor) on Tue, Aug 7, 2007 @ 20:14 IST #
  11. "take care of the content and SEO takes care of itself" I do not quite agree with it. A high quality content on a website which has pagerank 0 and url abc. com / section1/subsection2/articles/title.html will have very very poor visibility compared to a low quality article in a high pagerank website with URL xyz. com / title.htmlWith some simple tricks if your ranking can increase on a search engine why not? Ever since I took SEO seriously I'm getting over 150 hits per day average whereas earlier I was getting around 20-30 hits (The time they spend, probablity of them commenting, subscribing etc are low, but even if one in 100 visitor likes it its worth. What do you say?

    Comment by Shrinidhi Hande (visitor) on Tue, Aug 7, 2007 @ 22:09 IST #
  12. Shri, my point was that most of the blog and CMS software of today already come SEO-optimized.It's good to apply some SEO techniques, but my point is that if your site is liked and linked to by more people, the SEO happens automatically and you needn't spend hours "tweaking" the layout to improve SEO.And I think you're wrong about the URL issue. I think the SE visibility is based purely on pagerank which in turn depends purely on the backlinks to your website. Not the formation of the URL.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Wed, Aug 8, 2007 @ 07:41 IST #
  13. I am verymuch right about URL issue. Example from my own experience: I have written my article on Club Mahindra on both my blog and MOuthshut.com, a consumer review website. Mouthshut has PR of 6 and my blog has PR of 3. Still I'm able to beat Mouthshut for Club Mahindra related queries because URL in my blog post is http://enidhispeaks.blogspot.com/2007/02/never-go-for-club-mahindra-membership.html while on Mouthshut it is www.mouthshut.com/review/Advice_on_Time_Share_Membership-118913-1.html (Note: here keyword Club Mahindra missing in the URL and title)SEO involves millions of other such logics. Some most common and simple ones are certainly worth giving a try. Standby for my posts on this topic...

    Comment by Shrinidhi Hande (visitor) on Wed, Aug 8, 2007 @ 09:21 IST #
  14. SEO is critical to gain some visitors and get some first time visitors. But to retain the readers and make them come again, good quality of content is must. No substitute.

    Comment by Shrinidhi Hande (visitor) on Wed, Aug 8, 2007 @ 09:25 IST #
  15. Shri, it is an interesting debate. I agree that SEO is important, but then, I am more interested in the repeat visitors than fly-by visitors.Of course, in blogging, you get more regular visitors by link-exchanges and blogging networks than with google.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Wed, Aug 8, 2007 @ 09:32 IST #
  16. It again depends on the type of content you have and type of audience you want to serve. By link exchange you get those readers who have time to spend and browse on net looking for something interesting to read.With SEO you target people who look for some very specific information on net. With SEO you can convince them you have the info they are looking for and make them come to your blog. (99% of such people will not spend any time on your blog and leave once they get what they are looking for)

    Comment by Shrinidhi Hande (visitor) on Wed, Aug 8, 2007 @ 10:11 IST #
  17. Very true. But over a period of time, I have lost interest in the one-time visitors as they hardly ever return and comment on articles.Of course, I occasionally get some unknown person commenting on my blog, but that's quite rare.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Wed, Aug 8, 2007 @ 10:30 IST #
  18. ok. For me over 80% traffic comes from search engine so I cant ignore it. Even if one in 100 visitor leaves a comment or comes back second time it is fine for me (than having no comments at all).At the same time, regular readers should not be ignored and need to served with contents that interests them...

    Comment by Shrinidhi Hande (visitor) on Wed, Aug 8, 2007 @ 10:46 IST #
  19. I disagree about the email thingy. :) Scenario which proves my point: ME: So, X, can you tell me about the location of the compasses in the bunker? X: sure, they are located on the bottom right shelf. Let me know when I can show them to you. ME: thanks! I'll get back to you on which dates work for me. X: ok, that will be fine. ME: thanks! X: thanks! ME: thanks! X: thanks! --So, when do we stop? Obviously it doesn't work that way, but after starting a conversation, who gets to end it without violating "message received etiquette"?

    Comment by titanium (visitor) on Wed, Aug 8, 2007 @ 15:07 IST #
  20. Hehehe... nice point TG. My take is that the message ends when both parties stop expecting a response. My point is about people who never respond to any e-mail.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Wed, Aug 8, 2007 @ 15:51 IST #

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