Thursday, September 18, 2008

Updated EMI Calculator with enhanced features

I have been using an EMI Calculator that I had made few years back. Now I have updated that and is available for download.

Please see the right side of this post and you would find a section "MY FILES". The "EMI Calculator Plus V3.01.xls" will be available there and you can download it from there.


1. Calculate EMI (Equated Monthly Installments), if you know the Loan Amount, Interest rate per year and no of installments.

2. Calculate the Interest rate if you know the EMI. (This is useful because sometimes the bank will only say the EMI).

3. Calculate the Loan amount. You know how much you can pay per month. Then you can find the Loan amount for a given interest rate and tenure.

For all these, there would be additional information like - How much I pay in full, How much I pay extra per month etc..

Also, you can see the breakdown of the Loan for each month. How much is the Interest Component? and How much is the Reduction In Principle? etc.. This is very useful when you have tax exemption on a housing loan.

a snapshot.

Check out.. Im sure that you will find it useful..
Let me know, if you have any comments, suggestion, problems...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

India is the 4th largest country in terms of the GDP (PPP)

You must be thinking that I'm joking or I'm talking about 2025. No Im not. These are figures of the year 2007 given by IMF and World Bank. I will come to that in a while. Lets forget that for a moment.

I was just browsing to get some comparative index of the living standard of people across different countries in the world and their purchasing power. How do you do that?

For a long time, GDP (Gross domestic product) and GDP per capita used to be the benchmark for that.

In simple terms, wiki says:
GDP = consumption + gross investment + government spending + (exports − imports).

Next came the Human Development Index.

Wiki says:
This index is a normalized measures of life expectancy, literacy, educational attainment, and GDP per capita for countries worldwide.

But if I understood these correctly, it does not take into account the purchasing power of an individual.. Lets take two countries - India and Germany. Their respective currencies are Euro and Rupee. The exchange ratio between these two currencies is 1Euro = 65Rs approximately. So lets compare a service in both countries.. I take the haircut. In Germany, it costs 10Euro minimum in general. In India, It may cost 100Rs max in big cities for an above average one. (Although you can avail that service at much cheaper rate, I kept the Indian one slightly on the higher side to have a correction factor for quality of service.) Now, simple maths says that the cost of the haircut is 6.5 times cheaper in India. So if we take the haircut as a benchmark, the German need to earn 6.5 times the Indian to have the same living standard. Obviously, the values are way of target, but my point is that, just because an Indian may earn less doesn't necessarily mean that he may have a lower living standard. Thankfully, people who know these things have made another index to make necessary correction to account for the difference in living cost.

That is PPP (Purchasing power parity)

Wiki says:
The purchasing power parity (PPP) theory uses the long-term equilibrium exchange rate of two currencies to equalize their purchasing power.

India ranks 12th by GDP but 4th by PPP.

Fig Courtesy Wikipedia.

See the following link to get the ranks based on PPP.

Thus you can see that India is the 4th largest economy in the world today, bigger than Germany and UK.
(based on GDP-PPP).

As you would read in those pages, this, by no means, cannot be considered as the absolute index for comparison. But this will give you a perspective of the purchasing ability of the people, which is missing in other indexes.


Even PPP is a Gross Income. It means that the bigger the population, the bigger the GDP (in general, of course with exceptions). India, due to its size would have come that high in the list.

I think, more than PPP, the PPP/person (PPP per capita) would be a more interesting figure. But here also, the figures would be distorted if the wealth is concentrated among few.

So I think, an even more interesting figure would be the average PPP of the middle 70% of the population. What I meant is this. Remove the top 15% and bottom 15%. Calculate the PPP of the remaining 70%. Divide that value with the no of people that fall into those 70%. Thus you would get the average purchasing ability of the common man in that country.

This is the "Joe's 70% average PPP".


Gross domestic product

Human Development Index

Purchasing power parity

List of countries by GDP (nominal)

List of countries by GDP per capita

List of countries by Human Development Index

List of countries by GDP-PPP

List of countries by PPP per capita

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Hidden Radio

What you see is a camouflaged Radio design by John Van Den.

You can lift and rotate. Lifting increases the volume. Rotating will tune the radio. The light will give a you a feedback on tuning with varied brightness.

Have a look

Sunday, August 24, 2008

the performance enhancement methods of today and tomorrow.. the doping direction.

Today the Beijing Olympics 2008 came to a close. I was not following it very closely, but from the few impression that I get, it was a wonderful event. China can take pride in the way it has organised it. There would always be criticism, but I think the World has seen another dimension of the Dragon Empire. China also would also have learnt a few things out of this. Congratulations China!

I was just browsing for the Doping Counter Hits of Beijing 2008. I didn't get there but I reached some interesting sites.. thought I will share with you.

Today its the age of Performance Enhancement Drugs.
Tomorrow it will be the Gene Doping. Although cant really be sure if its so futuristic because it might be here already.

A German television report on the availability of gene doping in China, which aired just a few days before the Olympics, stunned anti-doping experts. In the documentary by ARD television, a reporter posing as an American swimming coach met with a doctor who is the head of the gene-therapy department of an unnamed Chinese hospital. The hidden-camera report shows the Chinese doctor, with his face blurred, offering gene-therapy treatment to the undercover reporter in return for $24,000.

Quote from the full link is given below

Interesting links..

Is 'gene doping' the next Olympic threat?

an unofficial list of banned athletes..

The nonsense of Olympic doping rules.

couple of years back, I had a posting on Marion Jones (click here to see the post). I am no expert in sports drugs, but I had felt at that time that something is smelling bad. An year later (Oct 2007), she admitted that she Doped and all medals of Olympics 2000 and subsequent medals were stripped off her.

So what you see is not always what it is, more so in this case.

Monday, August 18, 2008

what defines you and me.

I came across this movie on YouTube the other day. Its not only very touching, but make you introspective and indeed very thankful what all we have.

It was a very beautiful day for him until that small accident happened. But the consequences were not so small. Its amazing that he could survive in spite of all these, because most often the mental damage (of lost abilities) would be more devastating than the physical one. It is not easy to recover from that.

I was watching the movie FELON, where the life of this guy turns upside down by an event. His fellow prisoner has this Quote for him.. "when your life is defined by a single action, it change the concept of time."

If you have watched the above movie full, at the end he says this to all. Can you define yourself, beyond the physical abilities that you have?

Probably another reason why he was able recover is that he could accept himself being not good in certain things.. Things which he was good at and had taken pride in.. He was able to redefine himself.. he was able to find joy when he could do simple things.. that was an achievement for his at his level.. I think there is an underlying lesson in that. We often compare ourself with the best and gets disappointed that we are not as good as they are.. May be we need to set the benchmarks for ourself and not by comparing with others.. Be happy at what you have achieved, however small that may be when comparing with others.. But, for you, you had to put the 100% to get there and that's what all you can ask for.. Take pride in that..

We, most often gets concerned at what all we missed, could have, would have etc etc.. But probably, once in a while we have to sit back and think what all went right for me. There could be so many instances where we miss the worst by a whisker.. But we soon forget that. Things that we don't forget are on the other side of the spectrum. I guess its human.

So define yourself beyond the physical abilities.. Can we?

what do you think ?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Beijing Olympics 2008. Is it the Phelps-Bolt Olympics

Some more superstars !!! Rather they are a phenomenon in themselves..

Usain Bolt
Michael Phelps

When the competition gets tough, you normally expect the winning margins to be very small.. But here are two guys who are just miles ahead of others (one over land and the other in the water).

There are obviously speculations that these are backed by illegal substances. But I like to believe otherwise. May be they are not cheating and if they are not, then I think its the biggest crime not to give it to them. I mean, there are ways and means to keep a check on those. And so long as they are proved otherwise, I think its not fair to doubt their ability and efforts they might have put in.

On the one hand you have the (Thunder) Bolt, who didn't compete in the 100m until one year ago, suddenly emerges from the cloud and in the BIGGEST stage, takes the glory with ease. He was posing for the cameras even before he finished and even then won it with a margin that is the biggest in last 40 years and of course broke the world record by a big margin. "We've never seen anything like that before" was the verdict of the great Olympian Michael Johnson after a breathtaking 100 metres final.

On the other hand, you have a superhuman in Phelps. The way he strokes past others will mislead you to think that he is competing with armatures. And he does that event after event. There is no stopping him. The term - Fatigue - might have to be redefined now, because he seems to have not heard about that at all. I heard a comment about him "He is just another guy, but from a different planet". One can't help thinking in those lines. Interestingly enough, if you read through his physical specialities (c/o wiki), then one might wonder, if this is a small evolutionary change!

Further reading
Olympics: Bolt saunters into history in 9.69 sec
9.69 - and Usain Bolt didn't even try
The Michael Phelps diet: don't try this at home

Bio of Usain Bolt
Bio of Michael Phelps

youtube channel of Usain Bolt

6th Pay Commission (INDIA) and calculator

The India Govt. has decided to implement the 6th Pay commission recommendations with effect from from 1st Jan 2006.

This post may not have the comprehensive info on this subject, but just an easy link to the official site (which may not be easily found out) and some basic info ..

The news is that, for most, the revision will be better than the pay commission recommendations, especially for the defence oriented. The Sixth Pay Commission headed by Justice B N Srikrishna submitted in March, its report to the government. It had recommended an average 28 per cent hike for central government staff and defence personnel.

Now the Cabinet has approved the recommendations and there will be a 40 per cent hike for the Central government employees and defence personnel.

However, the arrears will not be disbursed in one go, but will be divided into two components to be given by the end of next year. 40 percent of the arrears will be disbursed in 2008, while the remaining 60 percent will be rolled out after March 2009. The cost to the government will be over Rs.23,000 crores.

As per the cleared proposal, the minimum basic pay will be Rs 7000, while the minimum salary per month at the lowest level will now be Rs 10000.

Click here to go to the calculator links
The official version can be seen at

Click here for the excel prepared by Deva Arul Daniel (FDD/ISAC). please check yourself the correctness of this.

The following will give you the table of the original and new scales...

Pay ScalePay ScalePay BandCorresponding Pay BandsGrade Pay
S-3326000(Fixed)Apex Scale80000 (Fixed)NIL
S-3430000 (Fixed)Cab.Sec./Equ.90000 (Fixed)NIL

Further Reading...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Basics of Induction Cooking


I was browsing for some details of Induction Stove and Induction Cooking.. The following pages give you pretty much everything you wanna know..

Pros and cons of Induction Cooking..
Wiki page..

In short..

* Induction Stove works on Electro Magnetic Induction principle..

* Unlike the conventional heating, in Induction Heating, the stove does not get heated up.. It mearly generates energy..

* In this method, the ferrous pot gets heated up by the magnetic field..

* YES. Only ferrous (magnetic) pots can be used with induction stove.. Others will not get heated..

* because of the above fact, the stove barely gets heated.. See the picture! Ice cube stays alongside boiling water on the stove..

* Another aspect of this is Instant and Precise control of heat.

* Because of the fact that the heat is generating element is the POT and not the STOVE makes this considerably much more efficient than other methods of cooking...


Bakeware Glossary
GLASS: Glass bakeware can go from oven to table, is microwave safe, and is attractive to boot. May be dishwasher safe, but hand washing is usually recommended.
CERAMIC: Keeps food warm and looks great on the table. May or may not be used on the stovetop.
PORCELAIN: Conducts, diffuses, and retains heat extremely well. Can go from refrigerator or freezer to microwave or standard oven without risking cracks or breaks.
ENAMEL CAST IRON: Colorful metal cookware coated in a porcelain enamel that helps prevent reactions with acidic foods and prevents rust. Great material for Dutch oven.
METAL: Carbon or stainless steel, cast iron, and aluminum are durable and promote even heating. Look for a nonstick coating for easy release of baked goods and quick cleaning.
SILICONE: Nonstick by nature and flexible for quick release. Safe in oven (up to 428° F) microwave, or freezer, and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Folds up for less storage space.

Cookware Glossary
ALUMINUM: Heats quickly and evenly. Easy to clean, if combined with a nonstick or stainless steel lining.
ANODIZED ALUMINUM: Highly conductive, scratch resistant, and will not react with food acids.
CAST IRON: Absorbs heat quickly, distributes it evenly, and retains it for maximum fuel efficiency for frying, browning, and baking.
COPPER: Heats and cools quickly. A favorite of professional chefs, often lined with stainless steel.
EARTHENWARE: Ideal for slow cooking, it does not heat up quickly but once it's hot, it retains its temperature for a long time.
ENAMEL COOKWARE: Colorful metal cookware coated in a porcelain enamel that helps prevent reactions with acidic foods and prevents rust. Great for stews and slow cooking.
NONSTICK: Extremely easy-to-clean cookware surface that requires little or no cooking oil.
STAINLESS STEEL: Durable metal that won't tarnish or corrode. It is usually bonded to an aluminum or copper disc at the base of the pot or pan for better heat conductivity.

Additional Reading:

Understanding Stovetop Cookware
Cookware & Bakeware


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

BSE Sensex chart in Google Finance

Click here to see the BSE Sensex Chart...

On the chart, click and drag to move the domain..
Just scroll the mouse to increase the domain...

for the domain you see, all charts will start from 0%, and all charts will be shown in percentages.. this is really good to compare easily.. I have not found anything in this fashion, although I was looking for this for sometime !!

Thanks to Google...........

One snapshot is shown below, with some markings..


Sunday, June 22, 2008

List of VOIP.s

I was just curious about these voip.s ... everything looks like sibilings.. who are the parents !!!

I did what everyone does, when you become curious.. YES, Google.. here is what I got..

This site (My VOIP Provider) is a comprehensive site for VOIP Services..
For eg, see the TOP 100 ranking of voip services.. Most of which was irrelevant for me..

But this was what I was looking for... the company that runs all these is Betamax, Germany. Earlier these were the products of Finarea. You can all these and more by clicking here...

The following are the list of services by them.. You can to individual sites to check the best deal for you..

# (launched 29 June 2006) - redirects to now

Last but not the least, there has been some risks associated with these.. at least thats what this page says.. it says there has been claims by a lot of people about the fraud that they have been subjected to.. Frankly I dont know.. Possible.. But I have been using for about two years now.. has never found anything like that...

best VOIP Rates to India

if you are new to VOIP calls, please have a look at one of my previous posting about this.

The basics are more or less same but, they keep coming up with new sites with better rates.. through this posting I will try to keep u updated about the best rate that I come across with (to India)..

1. VOIP Cheap === 0.07 Euros/Min to India (7 cents / min)

This is what I have been using for some time now.

2. Internet Calls === 0.03 Euros/min to India

I have registed to this site recently.

3. VOIP Raider === 0.022 Euro/Min to Landline and 0.027 Euro/min to mobile. (Even if you calculate with 66Rs per Euro, one minute of call will cost you only 1.5 Rs/- !!!!!!!)

I saw this rate today. I have not registed yet.

4. WebCallDirect === 0.02 Euros/min to landline, 0.03 Euros/min to Mobile. (Super deal)

I found this today..

One more thing. Earlier I was able to pay using credit card. Now a days, it doesnt seem to work at all.. You can do the Bank Transfer or "Elektronisches
Lastschriftverfahren" (if you are in Germany) or its equivalants...

Watch this space for better rates that I find.

[Added on 13.09.2008]
5. CallEasy === 0.02 Euros/min to landline and Mobile. (Super deal)

Only difference from other sites is that this does not allow people to call from PC to phone. Instead you need to make a call to an access number and use the pin to login and then enter the destination number.

The catch with this is that, you can use this effectively only if you can call to these access numbers for free. For eg, here in Germany, most internet connections comes with telefone-flat, which means you call all landlines in Germany for free. So I use that option to call the access number and further call to India. If you are not able to call these access numbers for free, then its better to go for another option (say WebCallDirect) by which you can make the calls from PC. Or if you already have such an account like WebCallDirect, that will help you to make that first call to access no for free and then use the CallEasy Account.

[Added on 15.09.2008]
6. FreeCall === 0.015 Euros/min to landline and 0.02 Euro/Min to Mobile. (Super deal)


Monday, June 16, 2008

Shaving !!!

Whats the big deal ??

I having a googling about Dry Shavers (Electic Shavers). Wanted to know if the foil type or rotary type is better in performance. Foil type may be slightly better in terms of reachability to corners...

In between I found this site, where he has discussed in detail about shaving.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

a simple calculator using Tcl/tk......

My new project is to customise the CAD sofware using another software that uses Tcl/tk (known as Tickle tk).

I started learning it by making a calculator.. It was not as tough as I thought it would be and I was able to make it prety fast..

You can download the .exe and the source code..

1. calculator-dot-exe

calculator dot exe
calculator dot exe
Hosted by eSnips

2. Calculator.tcl
Hosted by eSnips

(please rename the file "calculator dot exe" to "calculator.exe")


Monday, March 03, 2008

Saving on Tax - from the year 08-09

Soo, the good news is out!

the reduction in Tax is much better than everybody expected...
Not only the Standard deduction is increased, the slabs are also reshuffled for good..

I have an excel for you, for you to calculate yourself how much is in your kitty thanks to Mr. Finance Minister!!

Click here to download the file...

Note that the value to enter is the Taxable Income and not the Annual Income..
(Taxable income = Annual Income - Deductions like HRA, Medical, LTA, LIC....)