What is a Vodafone thinking with Site Timing?

This has to fall in the weird category. Vodafone’s Corporate Online site, where I need to login to see my company provided mobile bill has timings from 07:30 to 22:30 GMT – WHY??? Don’t they get it, this is online and the site can be up and running 24×7! This is not some technical support I am talking about where they have actual humans monitoring and answering – this is access to the billing system.

When you are in another country and timezone (like I am right now), does Vodafone have any idea on how irritating this can be?

Vodafone Site Timings
Vodafone Site Timings

How not to handle exceptions!

Was trying to pay my Electricity bill online via a site called Bangalore One, which is the Governments, premier one-stop shop for Electronic Delivery of Citizen Services.

I could not pay because it seems like some backend services they need for credit card payment is down. How do I know this? Because the site is revealing too much detail! See the exception details pasted below.

This is a great example of what not to do! I have seen this often, and it is lazy developers and even lazier testers who approved this and get this into production. One would have thought that government managing the “Silicon Valley of India” would know better!

It is also interesting to see that they are on a very old version of .NET – running on v1.1.

Timeout expired. The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not responding.

Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

Exception Details: System.Exception: Timeout expired. The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not responding.

Source Error:

An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below.

Stack Trace:

[Exception: Timeout expired.  The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not responding.]
   BangaloreOne.clsBESCOM.fnCheckTransCnt(String LocationRRNo, String StaffCode, Int32 intDeptCode) +381
   bOneWebPortal.BESCOMConfirm.Page_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e) +721
   System.Web.UI.Control.OnLoad(EventArgs e) +67
   System.Web.UI.Control.LoadRecursive() +35
   System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain() +750

Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:1.1.4322.2300; ASP.NET Version:1.1.4322.2300

Google Logic

I came across this very interesting article in the guardian called “Google logic: why Google does the things it does the way it does“. This is a fascinating insight and a lot of it makes sense to me. What was also interesting to understand a little more on how the mindset is very different from the other corporates and technology leaders out there. Especially interesting the self-righteous view one perceives that Google has of themselves. It is a little long, but worth a read.

Broke my Microsoft Surface Pro device!

I am probably the only guy on the planet who broke his Surface Pro device! 😳 So much so that the screen shattered – so much for Gorilla glass and all that!

I was starting out on a 4 week long trip and the Surface slipped and fell at the airport when taking it out for the X-Ray machine. It fell on one corner and the screen shattered. With small pieces of glass everywhere on it, it was not usable. However it did work when I switched it on a week later. Here are a few photos that show the extend of the damage and the fact that it was still working post that!

Surface Pro 1 Surface Pro 4 Surface Pro 3 Surface Pro 2