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The Mutual Fund Mandate Conundrum

I always use the biller option in net banking to set up mutual fund SIPs. This time I was set to help an elderly gentleman to set up a SIP in a scheme run by UTI Mutual fund and that led me to write this post - one after several months in this blog! He has his savings account with a PSU - Canara Bank and I must say that is one tough bank to deal with. Every update requires a branch visit and they charge for literally everything - even for mobile number and email ID updates, separately. It cost us ₹59/- including GST. Tip : If you are unable to reset your net banking password for Canara Bank due to your date of birth not being registered with them, use the Unix default - 01 January 1970! 

DevOps Demo: GitHub Actions for Azure WebApp Deployment

On a daily basis, I automate builds and deployments with Azure DevOps Pipelines. I was excited to come across the news of the launch of CI/CD capabilities on GitHub Actions and was looking for an opportunity to try things out. The opportunity came when I got to be one of the trainers for DevOps track in the NASSCOM GCC Skills development session for select Engineering college faculties hosted by Hexagon. SonarCloud Dashboard

How to pay India Post Recurring Deposit (RD) installments online?

Most middle-class Indian households have Recurring Deposit (RD) accounts with India Post to save for the future. My mother used to open RD accounts in such a way that money was available just before an academic year begins to cater to school expenses. In those times, the monthly installments used to be paid through agents who visited every month collecting to collect the dues. While this continues even today, some of us wish if we could avoid these agents and pay the installments online. In the recent years, India Post has launched internet banking facility for accounts held in Department of Posts and also the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB). However, it is a hassle to activate net banking for each member of the household when small monthly contributions are involved to products such as RD. Thankfully, this can be avoided if you have an IPPB account. 

Cashbacks - How about investing the money and see it grow?

I have always been a fan of cashbacks, especially the instant ones. Deferred cashbacks can be a hit or a miss - have seen instances of they not coming through at all. Wallet Cos. like Paytm, Amazon Pay, Freecharge all give us cashbacks ranging from tiny amounts like ₹5 to large amounts like ₹250. For long, I counted cashbacks as free money and didn't worry about tracking them. Just ensured that they don't expire and used them up. Recently, I was excited to notice that my total cashback earnings were hitting three digits as in ₹300 in some months. 

Azure Az: Operation failed with status: 'Forbidden'. Details: 403 Client Error

I was trying to create a new resource group on Azure using a Shell script. An app registration was created followed by assigning the 'Contributor' role to the Service Principal. However, the az group create  command repeatedly returned 403 Client errors.  Operation failed with status: 'Forbidden'. Details: 403 Client Error: Forbidden for url:<subscription id>/resourcegroups/rg-internal?api-version=2018-05-01

Changing the host name on Ubuntu 18.04

I cloned an Ubuntu 18.04 Server instance post which I wished to change the hostname of the new instance. What was supposed to be a simple operation of updating the hostname in the /etc/hostname and running sudo hostname <new hostname> didn't work as expected. The hostname used to revert on reboot. It took me quite some time to arrive at the right solution. An Ask Ubuntu answer set me in the right direction though it did not work as-is. The reason is the shipment of cloud-init in Ubuntu 18.04. I got it to work with the following steps - 

Why I moved away from Airtel?

Little over a year ago, I ported one of my BSNL numbers to Airtel. The idea was to make Airtel my primary number, essentially due to strong coverage at my workplace. However, post becoming a customer things took a different turn. It turned out that Airtel's coverage is pretty bad across Hyderabad - except for okayish internet speeds, calls were a nightmare. Call drops and getting connected to a number other than the called number was way too common. The experience became even poorer after much-hyped network upgrades to offer VoLTE services. I'm yet to meet anyone in Hyderabad who is constantly seeing VoLTE active on the device. In contrast, several of my friends and colleagues who even use high-end devices like iPhone and OnePlus didn't see VoLTE show up even once. In the recent months, several of them ported out and the first choice was Jio. Speaks volumes about India's fastest network.  I should add that beyond the network experience, there are several other fa