Friday, August 29, 2008

Effortless way to book rail tickets online

I was often troubled to find relevant information on about trains and availability on Indian Railways website. The UI is unintuitive and there are no useful features over the basic functionality. So, I had made a switch to ERail website, an outstanding effort by an Indian geek to bring some relief to the traveller. But his problems were as big as Railways itself. One, there is no real-time updating mechanism for trains and schedule. Then, it was also considered illegal by Railways to run such a site! (Just do a simple availability search on ERail site to see the warning marquee).

It seems that IRCTC is finally serving information about reservation to a third party system. It just came across an advertisement in TOI which said you can now book Indian Railway tickets online through Thomas Cooks Indian website.

Though these are still early days before they actually open the APIs for Indian Railways site. But still a big step forward in that direction.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Why does Zoho compete with Google?

Zoho is an India (Chennai) based online document company. They are in the same business as Google Docs. So, people (me too!) would often wonder why would someone ever choose to compete with Google

Sridhar Vembu answer, very succinctly in

He is shrewd, very shrewd :)