Monthly Archives: December 2010

Why has the PuneTech website been changing so frequently?

Regular visitors to would have noticed that the website has been undergoing major upheavals in recent times. This article gives you an idea of what is going on behind the scenes. This article is not directly related to tech in Pune, so busier readers should feel free to skip this article.

But before I get into the details of what’s going on, I should point out: If you have noticed that the website has been changing frequently, you are doing it wrong. You should not be visiting the website. You should instead subscribe to PuneTech via RSS or by email. Why? Because that ensures that you’ll never miss a post, and for us, the benefit is that we get a “loyal reader” rather than just another “monthly unique visitor.” We value the loyal readers more.

So, what’s going on with the website?

Basically, for the last few months, the PuneTech website has been consuming too much CPU, more than the acceptable use allowed by the shared host. It’s in danger of being kicked out, and the problem needs to be identified and fixed. That’s why you’re seeing all the changes on the site.

Technical details: Many people were surprised to see the “default” wordpress theme on the PuneTech website, and some also wondered whether we had migrated PuneTech to wordpress. Actually, since the first day (almost 3 years ago), has always been on wordpress. Over time, we’ve had a bunch of wordpress themes (which allow us to change the look-n-feel of the site while keeping the underlying software the same), which made the site look like a magazine or something else. One of the themes was a freely downloaded theme from the internet, while the others were all hand-crafted by me.

Anyway, to see if we could fix the performance problems, we tried the following:

  • Use various DEBUG plugins on wordpress to see if any specific query/queries were taking up too much time. Doesn’t appear to be so.
  • Disable all plugins to see if any plugin was causing the problem. That’s the first time you might have seen some functionality disappear from the website. Nope – the problem still remained.
  • Turn off the “tag cloud”. That did not help either.
  • Replace the latest theme with an older theme to see if the theme had some code that was causing the problem. Again, that did not help.
  • Delete the entire installation and do a fresh install – this was to ensure that there was no malware that got into the site somehow. Apparently not.
  • Replace the older theme with the wordpress default theme – this pretty much guarantees that we haven’t done anything to screw the site up. This is the reason why you’re currently seeing the wordpress default theme.

Our host Rochen has been very supportive throughout the process, and they’re pretty solid (I host a lot of other sites with them, some with higher traffic), so I’m pretty sure the problem isn’t at their end.

Why bother with all this? Shouldn’t I simply opt for a higher plan with more CPU and forget about the whole thing? The geek in me doesn’t allow me to do that. For one, I can’t believe that a small site like PuneTech can/should cause this much CPU usage. Second, I can’t give up without finding the root cause of the problem.

Hence, I’m still experimenting. So, apologies as some of the things will randomly stop working. The site might keep changing. But, the flow of article RSS feed and the daily email will continue. Thanks for listening…

How to get your event promoted on PuneTech

The PuneTech calendar is the most comprehensive source of information about tech events happening in Pune. And, with a large focused readership, PuneTech is a great way to provide publicity to your event. In this post, we provide guidelines on how to get your event promoted on PuneTech.

There are two different ways in which an event can be promoted on PuneTech. The first is to get listed in the PuneTech calendar. This is easy, and anybody can do it. The second is to get listed on the PuneTech main page. This is more difficult, and is subject to selection by PuneTech editors. Details on how to submit your event for these two listings is given below.

Adding an event to the PuneTech Calendar

To add an event to the PuneTech Calendar, follow these steps:

  • Add your event to Yahoo Upcoming. To do this, click on this link and then fill out the form in as much detail as possible.
  • Note: you will need to sign in using your yahoo ID. If you don’t have a yahoo ID, you’ll have to create one.
  • Don’t forget to indicate whether the event is free or paid.
  • If registration or RSVP is required for the event, please include information about how to do that. If no registration is required, please say so explicitly. (Otherwise we get mails from people asking us how to register for the event.)
  • Remember to click “Preview Event”, followed by “Submit”.
  • After the event has been created, send us the link via email to and we’ll add it to the PuneTech calendar.


  • The event must be in Pune, and must be a technology event. (We sometimes relax this condition if we feel that enough of our readers might be interested.)
  • The event must be a real, physical, offline event. No webinars/webcasts or other online events
  • Did we mention that the event must be in Pune? No Mumbai/Hyderabad events. (Yes, we routinely reject requests to list events from other cities.)
  • Listing of paid events/trainings is allowed, but only if the price is clearly indicated.

Remember to send an email to with the link after you’re done.

Featuring your event on the PuneTech main page

Events that we find particularly interesting are posted to the PuneTech main page. This gives much wider coverage to the event. In addition to being seen by all the visitors to the website, it also goes automatically to the 2500 “subscribers” of PuneTech who get the latest PuneTech news via RSS or email. It also shows up on and is sent to the @punetech twitter account.

To get your event promoted to the main page, you need to first add it to the PuneTech calendar (by following instructions in the previous section), and then send us an email suggesting that we promote it to our main page. Here are the rules:

  • Only free events or events that charge a nominal fee are considered for inclusion on the main page. Specifically, any event that charges more than Rs. 1000 is definitely not promoted. Events charging less might be considered, based on interestingness of the event.
  • Adding the event to the PuneTech Calendar with all details filled out properly significantly improves your chances of being promoted. You could try sending us an email with just the event details, but without adding it to the PuneTech Calendar. But that significantly increases the time and effort required on our part to add the event. And then, since we’re doing this in our free time, for free, we might or might not get around to it depending upon how busy we are.
  • Please make sure that the “Description” is filled in detail using plain text. Just a link to an image or a PDF is not good enough. (We can’t cut-n-paste text from images, and we’ll probably not feature events for which we cannot give a good text description.)
  • Promotion to the main page is based on various subjective criteria, including “interestingness”. There are no guarantees. You sends us an email, and you takes your chances.

Suggestions/comments/feedback? Let us know in the comments below.

5 Tech Events in Pune this Saturday (this is no longer surprising)

There are five tech events in Pune this Saturday. ClubHack (security), DocType HTML5 (html5/css3), POCC Networking Event (startups), PLUG monthly meet (Linux), and ACM Pune Event (Indiana University pitch). In the past, this would have been cause for celebrations – but it is no longer surprising. We now regularly have days that are full of tech events. November 19 and November 12 both had 5 events each.

About 2-1/2 years ago, when PuneTech and Pune Open Coffee Club were started, we used to worry about scheduling an event on a day when there was already another event on the same day. We would get vaguely uncomfortable if a POCC meeting was scheduled on the same day as a PLUG monthly meet – why force Pune techies to choose between two events? In those days, we had the luxury of thinking like this, because, on an average, there would be 3 or 4 tech events in a whole month!

How things changed. In the last 3 weeks alone, there have been 21 interesting events in Pune that we know about (I’m sure there were more). The tech community is thriving. There is so much to choose from. And yet, if we take into account the population of tech professionals and students in Pune, so much more could be done. Maybe we don’t need more events, but we can definitely do with more participation.

What we need to do:

  • Be more aware of what events are happening. In The PuneTech Calendar we try to list all the events we find out about. We don’t necessarily feature all of them in the PuneTech blog (i.e. in the daily email that you receive). So if you want to be informed of all the events, you need to separately subscribe to the events rss feed or email subscription.
  • Get more people to attend events. Spread the word. Encourage your friends to attend.
  • Start “doing” things in events, in stead of just “attending” and “listening”. We have such a thriving community – we should harness the spirit to start creating things. Maybe we can create websites that help the community, or the city. Maybe we can create interesting services. Maybe we can write mobile apps. Ideas are welcome.

In any case, check out the list of events. There’s a Rails Meetup today (but you’ll probably not be able to attend because they’re already full and have a waiting list of people wanting to get in). On Saturday, Bruce Schneier, renowned security expert will be at ClubHack (in addition to all the other speakers). has collected together a bunch of experts in HTML5 to tell us why HTML5/CSS3 will take over the world. Pune Linux Users Group will be planning GNUnify, one of the biggest open source events in India, which will happen in Pune in February. And Dr. Bobby Schnabel, Dean of the School of Informatics at Indiana University, USA, will tell us about the crucially important and stimulating challenges that lie before us in the areas of computing and information technology.

It’s a good time to be a techie in Pune…