Tuesday, 14 December 2004

MSN Toolbar Suite

I hoped to get to this before Sriram Krishnan, and looks like I'm successful ;)

Anyways, it's not like I'm going to do a full-scale review the way he does it, but that's only because, just like he said in his review of the Google Desktop Search
I'm amazed at the size of the download - its only 440 Kb. Its half the size of the Google toolbar! If this had been a Microsoft utility, it would have been some 20 MB with some 5 dependencies and a service pack required.
While not exactly that large, it still clocks in at a pretty sizeable 4.70 MB.

Admittedly, the size is for the entire MSN Toolbar Suite, which includes 3 toolbars [the usual toolbar, the search deskbar, and some thingy for Outlook]. However, an option to download the components separately would be nice. Currently, only the toolbar can be downloaded separately. My most major grouse is, apart from the useless alliteration just used, I don't use Outlook in any avatar. Not MS, not Express. So how's the bundle helping me? [Incidentally, similar grouse with Google Desktop Search - add to that the fact that I don't use AOL]

I'm not going to waste precious dialup bandwidth getting a ~5 MB file that's still in beta. I believe the Godzilla has a 'broadband' connection, so lets just wait for his full review ;)

Finally, to round off things, I would like to state that Google Suggest officially rocks. Even though I'm yet to find a proper use for it...

Monday, 13 December 2004

Computer issues

While getting back from VIT, I chanced to blow a 100 bucks on the latest CHIP-India, which carried 2 CDs + a DVD filled with stuff that looked cool.

Anyways, long and short of it, when I installed Sygate Personal Firewall 6 point something, and then tried other stuff, nothing would happen. As it turned out, I thcame to the conclusion, after a lot of fiddling around, that the damned program has some sort of a memory leak which screws up my comp. So I ventured to install ZoneAlarm 5.1, and wonder of wonders! It works perfectly! Hence the change of logo in the links list...

Still on tech, I chucked my broken AVG 7, had AntiVir PE for a while, before downloading the entire 10 MB of the new AVG Free and installing that thingy. So yeah, I'm happy with my setup now. I just wish I could carry my comp wherever I go.

The last sentence above was/is a reference to my impending Mumbai trip. I hope to have a blast. Wish me luck! [And based on the +ve feedback from all of 2 people, I think I'll even put up a post detailing my daily activities, though not in explicit detail, which'll just lead to brain damage...]

Friday, 10 December 2004

Long overdue update

Lots of people have complained about the redundancy and unnecessary verbosity that plagues my words. Sheesh, bugger off :-P

Set up a new blog at MSN Spaces. So now, all my blogs are:
Oh yeah, and I'm well again! Oh food, how I've missed you!

Google's beginning to piss me off. I don't want to have to download some huge software thingy to upload pictures to my blog. And Google News is such an amazing service. The company's obstinacy in refusing to let anybody syndicate the news is perplexing...

Thursday, 2 December 2004

Yuck

Been sick for a long time now. And hating every moment of it. Can't eat what I like, can't drink what I like, sheesh. Life sux.

Now that the fever's gone [and all the associated hoohaa - blood tests, doctor visits all wrapped up, forehead pe patti etc] there's this weird dry cough that irritates the hell out of me. I mean, I WANT MY COLD DRINKS!

Tuesday, 23 November 2004

Friday, 19 November 2004

Late night/early morning quickie

CAT time's rolling around, and is just around the corner. Hell, it's turned the corner and heading for me at breakneck pace. And going by my level of prep, that's exactly what's going to happen to me :(

Took a proper 2 hour simulation with the 2002 CAT Bulletin. I wonder where a 51.5 will land me...

Tuesday, 16 November 2004

Random lyfe update

Hmm, my University exams are finally upon me, and I've had absolutely no choice other than to study. Y'see, I'm going to have to, if I want to maintain at least an 80% average. Currently I am on 80.12%, and that is as borderline as anybody can get. Although I *do* have the 8th sem to look forward to, where I think I can put together a decent showing in the project thingy, it'd still be nice to do well this semester. As a result, for a change, I'd have done well in an odd semester. Curiously, for the last 3 years, I've topped the 80 mark only in even semesters, and fortunately for me, it's been a decent topping (~82+), which has served to offset the previous semester's poor performance. So I can still claim to have 80% every academic year...

Many a time, people have wondered why I place so much value in exam results, after basically mucking around all semester. Well - now you'll know. I like giving exams. No, really. Time for a disclaimer here - specifically, I only like giving the exam, not the preparation that has to go into it. If you have any issues with this, kindly take it up over e-mail ;)

Lots of people have been posting political stuff on their blogs - the most prominent being George W. Bush's getting re-elected, and more recently, the Shankaracharya getting arrested. At the time of those particular bits of news breaking, I thought I'd definitely do a long-ish piece on either, but everytime I got close to a comp, I could actually feel the lethargy sneaking around in the my bones, so yeah. But here are my two paise anyways:


  • Dubya - Calamitous. Suckiest news I'd heard all month

  • Shankaracharya - Let the law deal with it.



The latter event had multiple members of my family in a regular to-do. By 'my family', I mean all people related to me. My immediate family's too cool ;)

Anyways, today blew. Went to college and turned out, I'm supposed to come tomorrow. So go back. Sheesh. Hmm, change of topic necessary....

I've finally gotten around to liberating my list of links from the LHS table to the RHS table, below the Google AdSense [click on them!] iframe. Now - I think - they look so much better, free of the table border constraints. If any of you think some link should be there, tell me, and I'll add it! And preferably, get me the URLs of the images of the buttons too ;)

Currently, my comp's running only Windows XP Professional Edition. And this flies in the face of all of my friends' advice to use Win98 for my Internet purposes. But I've installed a firewall thingy [after having to chuck ZoneAlarm for Sygate], so I'd suppose things are fine 'cause I keep blocking the strange shit that WinXP chooses to do, like broadcast to some weird-ass address for 'Simple Service Discovery'. But the amount of spyware inherent in Windows XP is simply staggering. I mean, hello! I really don't like my comp sending/receiving any type of data without my knowledge. And when I'm online through an archaic 56k dialup connection [that isn't really 56k, and never averages above 36-40k, but that's another story for another time], I want to save as much bandwidth as possible for *my* work alone. I don't want my important packets to have to jostle for space with some inexplicable data transfers.

And Google's finally let me down. The Google Desktop Search Tool tries to connect to the Google website, even when I chose for it not to do such stuff during the install procedure. Talking about Google letting down people, I would like to think Orkut is not that bad because of Google. Orkut's so buggy in spite of Google. And that's only because it runs on ASP.NET. I've also noticed stability issues with dotNETJunkies, and a couple of other similarly-enabled sites. So yeah, compared to Google, Microsoft still sux.

Sometime, I'll do a properly full technical post. But until then, I'll just keep updating about each exam!

Nth update: Abilon rocks as a feed reader, but is sadly deficient went it comes to blogging :(

Thursday, 11 November 2004

Amazing!

Guys, check this out! I know, I know, nerd alert and all, but wtf! This, especially, is damn cool.

Don't forget to check out the other demos as well. The things people do! Just when you think there are some things that can never be done...

Wednesday, 10 November 2004

Mumbai Shenanigans

This may seem slightly lopsided, but there's simply *got* to be a post about my Bombay trip, so here goes...

Saturday, 30th October was my date of departure by some Air Sahara flight at 2115 hours from Kamaraj Domestic Terminal. So I reach the airport all decked up, through a light drizzle which very, very uplifting. Now I'd bought a bunch of stuff to eat on the flight, you know, biscuits, chips, the usual, in the hope that there may be at least some time to read a bit. After abusing the free phone in the waiting area near the boarding gates, we board the bus which glides over the tarmac towards our winged wonder. And man. First glance, and I burst out laughing while still in the bus, what with everyone else staring at me and all. The plane! Holy krap, was it small! No, scratch that, it was tiny! It looked like a home-assembled dinky craft. This view of mine was reinforced when they opened the doorway, and it drops to the ground acting as a staircase. Woah!

Now, when I checked in, the female at the check-in counter asked me what kind of seat I want. I said aisle, as a window seat at night may not be all that awe-inspiring, save for the city lights during take-off and landing. So she hands me a boarding pass that reads: "Seat: 9D". This had me doing a minor double-take. So close to the front, sheesh...

As it turned out, Seat 9D was actually so close to the rear! All the plane's interior consisted of was - two columns of double seats, with a single aisle. And there were maybe, oh, 50 seats. And I'm thinking that's a bit too much...Seriously, I think all these planes are the private jet collection of Subroto Roy, converted into passenger craft.

Once the engines started running, and after I got over my initial mirth, me and my window-seat co-passenger were mildly shocked to notice fumes swirling around our feet, all the way up to our knees. But the steward assures us it's just the airconditioning. At that point I noticed one more thing. No stewardesses! Double woah! Domestic airline without stewardesses! What am I supposed to look at, for the duration of the flight? What's the purpose of getting all dressed up and smelling all pleasant, when there are no stewardesses to ogle at?!?

‹disclaimer›
I specifically said 'domestic', not because I like the internation carrier guys, but because international flights usually have in-flight entertainment. So there. Put away your "Will Truman, Esq." theories right now...
‹/disclaimer›

Beyond that, uneventful flight. Except I never got to eat my snackie-wackies, 'cause immediately after take-off, they served an excellent dinner, which, as usual, I wiped off. Following this, I whipped out the CAT Bulletin 2004, and tried out some of the DI thingies, which I soon gave up on. But apparently, not soon enough, because the pilot was announcing the seatbelt stuff and some other 25°C ground weather matter, which clued me into the impending landing event.

And so we touched down, and I met Dad outside the airport. He had a minor temper explosion when the 1st auto guy demanded 250 bucks for going to the Mulund check naka. We hopped out, picked out another auto guy who quietly took us there without so much as a whisper, and charged us normal fare, which came to around 130 rupees. Only.

Sunday saw me getting back in touch with Anusua and Shinaya. Anusua's birthday it was, so she'd called the 10th gang over to her place for a partay. Unfortunately, only meself, Shinaya, Rupal and Akshar could make it, but it was nice nonetheless. Well hell, it really rocked! I even shook a leg! And this was after refusing drinks! Hmm, sometimes even I surprise myself..

Monday was nice. Sat at home and did nothing.

Tuesday was damn cool. Lunched in Pizza Hut at R-Mall, followed by a spot of shopping, with Gitanjeli. Then came home, only to be informed that I had to go back to R-Mall for more shopping, this time with Dad.

Wednesday was nice. Sat at home and did nothing.

Thursday was my driving test! I was slightly apprehensive, and had the occasional irrational moment, when I imagined the RTO Inspector asking me questions about the Motor Vehicles Act. As it turned out, the entire testing process is one great, super-duper sham. All I had to do for the LMV thingy was release the clutch of my Maruti 800 testbed ride, with my instructor [that's right - not inspector] by my side, and drive in a circle. And come to a complete halt. That done, all I had to do for my MCWG test was sign the RTO register declaring me passed in the same. This after me worrying about putting 8 with a proper mobike, with which I have problems ;) And also after I was told I'd mostly have to drive a Kinetic at the test. And again also after i was told that I'd have to drive some old lady's TVS Scooty. Sheesh...

Friday - watched Sachin play some nice shots before getting out like a cheapo. And then, met up with Manish and Biprorshee and went to Hiranandani at Powai. Which was when the fun began.

*beep* *beep* *beep*

We thought we'd go for a spot of bowling at Hakone, but on entering we saw Australia at 58-6 chasing 107, so we settled for a few eats and a round of Air Hockey, which i lost 6-7 to Manish :( I always lose to the damn guy, and its always that close :( But India won and all was OK :)

Later, Akshar joined us at the go-karting tracks, where we were informed that we'd have to wait a couple of hours for our turn if we chose to drive around. Consequently, we ended up just sitting there making fun of the kiddy riders who kept bashing into the tire-walls, and watching one kid in particular blaze a totally professional trail. Heck, he was better than everyone present there that day. And he was probably 11. And all this while we were abusing Manish's cellphone and singing songs out loud.

When we finally left the place due to Biprorshee's folks screaming at him, me and Akshar decided to go to Manish's place, fool around and go home later. Decent decision, that was, because we ended up staying at Manish's place for the night after inventing some creative stories to tell Akshar's folks, right after we

*beep* *beep* *beep* *beep* *beep*

had dinner at this Punju restaurant :)

I tried to read Asterix in the night around 2, but the guys were adamant on turning off all lights :( Oh yeah, that could've been because Akshar had an exam the next day, heheheh :-D

Saturday - oh the despondency of it all! Leaving for Madras this day :( But yeah, oh well, what the hell - as McWatt would say. Quietly packed most of my stuff, but left my new Nike shoes behind due to lack of space :( Finally, caught the train at Kalyan and thanked my lucky stars that the reserved seat guy didn't turn up and make my RAC life uncomfortable :)

Reached Madras Sunday night, and went off to sleep almost immediately upon reaching the house. Who cares about some useless practical exams anyway? ;)

Books read:

- Dan Brown's Deception Point - As usual, a treasure trove of info, but overall, somewhat insipid, compared to Angels & Demons and of course, The Da Vinci Code. But gave me something to talk to my biotech cousin about ;)

- Mario Puzo's The Family - Biography of the Borgia family, forced into a novel. I'm ambiguous about this book, though. Interesting at points, but mostly dull. Unfortunately, not unputdownable :-/

- Sidney Sheldon's Are You Afraid Of The Dark? - Oh God! Mr. Sheldon, why? Surely, his most trite [tritest?] work to date :(

Prax

Wokays, so I'm finally back from Bombay. Actually, I returned this Sunday, as I had univ pracs on Monday and Tuesday.

Monday was Network Programming Lab, and I got to do a UDP echo client/server thingy. Which was done is fairly quick time. The writing part, i.e. After typing out the programs (client and server) and compiling them, everything seemed fine. The first execution cycle brought out a segmentation fault, which was easily enough debugged. The second execution cycle is where my problems began. For some vague, obscure reason, sendto() gave me a "Network Unreachable" error. When I pointed this out to the teacher, she was totally nonchalant about it and said something to the effect of nobody else having any issues. But hey, minor things like this don't bother me at all. What to do next?

Engineering solution ahoy! Since my lab only requires me to run both programs on the same machine, and the teachers looking at your program execution care only about the output, and not too much about the code itself, all I had to do was hardcode the localhost address into the program, and nobody was the wiser. Messages were echo'ed nicely enough after that :)

Of course, there was another problem with multiple users somehow using the same port numbers, but that's silly enough to be considered only transient...

Tuesday was Software Development Lab, where I had to demonstrate my project to the external examiner person. Fortunately, a few days before the exam, we were informed that there wasn't any need to prepare transparencies for the OHP, which came as a great relief. Money saved is money spent on eating! Woohoo!

Anyways, the actual thing was quite awful. First the lab proxy wouldn't let my program connect, so once again I had to hardcode the proxy address into the program, and re-compile and build the entire thing again. And as lots of developers will - and should - agree, MinGW is really, really *SLOW*. Throw into the mix the wxWindows API and Bloodshed Dev-C++, and you have a killer development platform, but one that absolutely, completely *CRAWLS*. Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 is a total speed demon in contrast. Someday I really have to download the wxWindows Installer for VC++...hmm...maybe for the final year project...

But I digress. Once I got through the proxy, I discovered that the ftp:// and the dict:// portions of my project wouldn't work at all. Upon enquiry, the SysAdmin informs me that only http:// connections will be allowed. Can you believe this? So does this mean nobody is allowed to do programs that use FTP and other protocols? So I request him to just allow everything through the proxy for about 10 minutes, which is supposed to be the duration of my presentation, and he says ok. When on a trial run of this solution, we discover that he has absolutely no idea what to do to allow the connections. I was given the thumbs-up, but even a commandline foo:\>ftp ftp.cdrom.com wouldn't connect. So yeah, he basically told me that he'd take responsibility for the mess, and tell the external examiner (who, incidentally, was from Crescent Engineering College, which is somewhat significant) that the proxy will not accept such connections. Hokay, I'm down with this, as I had the foresight to take screenshots of the functional FTP and DICT thingies at my place. And the demo itself was okay, except it lasted all of 3 minutes! Which left me mega-frustrated! Dude! One full day wasted for 3 minutes! I ask you!

However, I had an inkling of the circumstances and somehow managed to squeeze in some funda sounding terms like "Ghostscript library", "endian-neutral" and "subclassing". Yeah, yeah, I can see all you programmer studs shaking your heads in pity, but college life is basically about being able to suitably impress thy superiors.

Now, about the significance of the Crescent thingy - now, most of the students had downloaded their projects from various places, some had flicked other students' projects, and a small number had actually - wonder of wonders - done their own work! [About my categorization - your call ;)] Anyways, the bottom line is that G.D had taken her project from a Crescent guy, and the examiner was asking her questions like - Did you do this project yourself? Are you sure? So right now, she's plagued by a lot of doubt about her showing in the 'exam'.

Apparently, most people were given rather low marks in the latter exam. Rather low, for practicals, that is. I heard lots of rumours about completely decent people getting only 80s...which is slightly worrying for me. My aggregate is 80.12%, which is borderline. And this can be kept up only if I hit 80 every semester from now. And that's possible only if I get large-ish practical marks...

Saturday, 30 October 2004

And away I go!

Off to Bombay for a week. Be back on Sunday night, 'cause I've got univ pracs on Monday and Tuesday :(

Anyways, the place will rock, what with the wonderful weather and all! Just btw, Pizza Hut will be nice too ;)

Hey, Chinta, if you're reading this before Sunday, yeah, I know her number, but can't give it now, for obvious reasons. Will talk to you when I return, wokay?

Bye all!

Friday, 22 October 2004

Long time no see

It's been a really long time since I've updated, and believe me, it's not for want of time. Just generally been lazy. Add to that one more thing - sometimes when I've sat at the comp and come online, certain things go through my head that really aren't fit for public consumption. Hell, they shuldn't even be going through *my* head in the first place.

Btw, I've almost decided on a project for my final semester. Just a few more details to flesh out, and I'm done. It's going to be a more algorithmy kind of thing rather than some practical application thingy, but I'm hoping it's decent enough to pass muster. And if you e-mail me asking about details, I'll just politely say no.

I just took my first mock CAT. Admittedly, it was at home, and even more admittedly, it wasn't even complete, but I did sit for an hour and managed to finish up 60 questions. Actually, I really was intending to take it completely, but as usual my luck deserted me when the lights went out. Taking the test by emergency light is *NOT* an option. Unless, of course, you don't mind having all sorts of unknown insects crawling/flying/walking/running/whatnot around you...Oh yeah, coming back, when I decided I couldn't wait for the lights to come back, I went ahead and evaluated meself, and came to the alarming conclusion that I really need to brush up on my mathematical abilities to reach the CAT level. In fact, the situation is so bad that I actually did better on my reading comprehension - a traditional rival - than on the maths bit that I attempted. But seriously, how many people still remember sum to 'n' terms type of problems after the 1st year any more?

Incidentally, out of 60 attempted, I got 44 correct, 12 wrong, and 4 left blank. All for a grand total of 41 out of 60. Which is positively brilliant percentage-wise. At this rate I should get 123 out of 180 in the full paper. But hello. Any sane human being taking the CAT will tell you that's just a pipe dream. Actually, even a 90+ is considered God level. Sooo...

Anyways, apart from the CAT, I will also be taking the NMAT and the Maharastra CET thing. The former for NMIMS and the latter for JBIMS. Sigh...*and* I've also given my GRE/TOEFL stuff and will be app'ing..

For some reason, when I run a Google Image Search for Asin, a few pr0n results are thrown up. I know I've turned off Moderate SafeSearch, but man! As we would say in college, this is a-two much! Incidentally, for the uninitiated, Asin's the new love of my life :)

Sunday, 10 October 2004

Misc Musings

[You have been warned. This post goes off on a tangent at many points.]

Does anyone else really enjoy listening/watching fights? I don't mean like in movies (dhishum dhishum or otherwise) or WWE (get the F out, I say), or even television mega-serials. What I mean is real-life action. No seriously. I really really enjoy, in a weird, twisted way, watching 2 people go at it hammer and tongs. More than that is okay, but it should ideally be 2. The other(s) may take sides, which spoils the to-do a little. The balance should never really be shifting towards anyone. When the fight is actually in progress, I tend to make little bets with myself internally, as in, "He's going to raise his hand first." or "She's going to swear first.". Oh yeah, one more very important thing. Fights between guy and girl and invariably more interesting than same-sex fights. No, no, don't get into orientations. I'll tell you why.

If it's a guy-guy fight, it won't be too long before it simply degenerates into a brawl involving either cuss-words, or fisticuffs. And that's just boring. Anyone can do that. But it takes a real man of intelligence to keep his end of a fight up in the air. Although admittedly, it takes much more intelligence to quell a fight one is involved in. But that's beside the point!

If it's a girl-girl fight, it quickly becomes downright nasty. Which gets very, very awkward. What is even more awkward is, generally two girls fight with each other directly only if they're somewhat close to each other. As a result, after the fight, both of them will more often than not end up in each other's arms apologizing 'for all the horrible things said'. That's far too anti-climactic...

But guy-girl is absolutely perfect! The guy's trying to win while still remaining properly gallant, and the girl is trying to win and crush the guy's gallantry at the same time. You can actually see the effort on the guy's face as he exercises, or tries to exercise, restraint. You can see the effort on the girl's face as she, for her part, diligently applies herself to the total annihilation of her unfortunate adversary, while still somehow appearing at the receiving end.

Truly, the female of the species is deadlier than the male. No, actually, there's no comparison. Whoever coined the term 'weaker sex' ought to have his head examined. And if it was a female who did come up with that, which seems highly likely, I salute her. A stroke of sheer brilliance. A perfect decoy. And such a typically feminine move.

The above paragraphs are so unabashedly male chauvinist, that it makes even me shudder..

This warrants a different heading...

Anyways, on a different note, I won 2 grand on Friday, the day before yesterday, at a quiz in Panimalar Engineering College. And no, I will not hyperlink that, because I don't think it deserves that 'honour'. Admittedly, though, that place was nice to me. The students were nice, and it gave me free food, and best of all, cash. In spite of all that, I still enjoyed today at Shaastra, where I got chucked out in the prelims of the Main Quiz, more than I did at that useless excuse of a Jeppiaar-run college. My apologies to all Panimalar students, but seriously man, your man runs Virgin Vaults, not engineering colleges.

IITM, on the other hand. What can I say? That place just oozes brain. And not in a grotesque, Ramsey Brothers manner. You can physically feel the rise in mental activity on the campus. You can sense the vastly different brainwave frequencies. I can't think of a proper term in English, but in colloquial Tamil, IITM is 'one range place'. Phew.

And this is applicable at all times. Even if I just go there for QFI. In short, it's different. And that, my sir, is palpable.

Tuesday, 5 October 2004

Me = Mo Joe!

I've finally got my hands on Firefox 1.0. Frankly, I thought Firefox 0.8 sucked majorly, which is why until now, I was in no great hurry to get rid of Internet Explorer 6. And seriously people, don't even *bother* suggesting that lame excuse for a competetive product - Opera. It takes even longer that IE 6 to start up. Ditto for Netscape. Firefox though - phew! F.A.S.T! In *all* aspects, be it loading web pages, or just starting up. And I used to think I'll never get to like tabbed browsing interfaces!

Incidentally, in the title of this post, I am *not* referring to that great simian evil-doer - Mojo Jojo. Since I'm just another user of a Mozilla product, I become a Mo Joe...heh...mokkai party...

Monday, 4 October 2004

New comp!

I know I've been on this 'new comp' issue for quite a long time with all my friends, but finally, it's up and working! And I hope this time, it lasts! And for anyone who cares, here are the system specs:

AMD Athlon XP 2600+
256 MB DDR-RAM (333 MHz)
80 GB HDD
Sony DVD-ROM/CD-RW [48x/24x/48x/16x]
Samsung Optical Scroll Mouse
Currently running Win98 and Slackware 8.0

Astute readers might have noticed that I've omitted monitor and keyboard details. That's because I've retained those from my older system [Compaq Preasio 4620], which was, incidentally, bought some time in June 1998. That's right. I've stuck by my old system faithfully for 6 years. Also, I've retained the old system's 4 GB HDD, so yeah, I don't really think that particular machine will have too many buyers queueing up for a look at it. Although, God knows, it certainly deserves looking at.

Compaq, I believe, is the Apple of the IBM-PC world. What I mean is, the Compaq Presario series definitely had to be the best looking series of branded comps doing the legitimate rounds in the country around the time I bought it. Love at first sight man. What curves! Since then, however, I've matured a bit since then, and look more at functionality now...or so I say ;)

Tuesday, 28 September 2004

Mood/music update

No, actually, scratch that stuff. While it's nice, I'm not really all that maudlin. So life doesn't just go on, it goes as jauntily as it used to :-)

The story of my life

[Insert post material here]

Current mood: Something like this
Current music: Something like this and that.

In spite of all that, life goes on, funnily enough, pretty normally.

Thursday, 23 September 2004

Another one dites the bust

I'm terribly [LINUX] happy. In the last few days, I've re-discovered an old friend, added more people to my Orkut list, and more people I know have started [XML HTML SGML] blogging. Point #1 takes preference though!

Woohoo! Go [MACROMEDIA] Internet Names Database!

Anyway, this post is mostly a lame-ass [MICROSOFT] attempt to try and influence my Google AdSense sidebar into showing ads that I want it to. As you might have noticed (or not, which [LINUX] is highly unlikely), I've interspersed this post with random tech words just to try and force [VIRTUSA] AdSense into showing stuff. [LINUX]

Incidentally, my quest for a decent final year project continues, although - [LINUX]admittedly - [APACHE] not very intensely. Mostly because, frankly my dears, I don't give a damn. It's just some nuisance that I want desperately out of the way, so that I can get on with my life. Currently, the [SCO] company arrangement seems to be working out properly in that [LINUX] respect at least. Apparently, L & T [LINUX]cannot "accommodate" us in-house, and by us, I mean meself, Vivek and Vinod. Well boohoo! [LINUX] So much the better, really!

[LINUX] While project suggestions would be helpful, what would *really* help me is advice on studying abroad, [LINUX] especially USA and Australia, first-hand. [LINUX]

Wednesday, 22 September 2004

Project? What project?

Final year project time has finally stopped being just around the corner, so its apparent that I'll just have to get off my lazy behind to do something about it. Only problem is...WHAT THE HELL DO I DO???

It's not like there are a shortage of ideas or anything. But everything I think of sounds so simplistic, that even I find it too ridiculous for a final year project. And for four hundred (400) marks at that.

Guys, suggestions are welcome. And oh yes, it should be something fun.

BTW, I went to St. Joseph's College of Engineering yesterday, and came 2nd in the quiz. The prelims hinted at decent stuff, but the finals were somewhat messy, what with a round being scrapped and some weird non-quiz questions being asked. However, all was well, as I ended up eating 4 times at that place. Morning breakfast, morning snacks, lunch, and evening snacks. And all of them totally rocked the place. Definitely better than sister Satyabhama, where the food was worse than my college even.

Monday, 20 September 2004

He's ba-ack!

After a long self-imposed hiatus, Vivek's finally returned to the blogging world, and took me back a week (last Monday, to be precise) to the Murugan Idli Shop. Where the prices rival Saravana Bhavan and the stuff outranks it! *drool* Oh my kingdom for a Murugan Idli feast....

Saturday, 18 September 2004

Sheesh

Once again, after loads of fiddling around with my blog, this time including the XML part, I've arrived at a final design.

I've also chucked the HaloScan commenting system, in favour of Blogger's own stuph. So guys [and gals, if any], let me know what you think...

Friday, 17 September 2004

A futile effort?

Finally, I've managed to add the Google SiteSearch and AdSense thingies to my blog! After at least 2 hours of tweaking around the basic design and some few hundred quick searches to look up some CSS stuff, it's up and running.

And yes, I'm expecting you people to go around clicking like crazy on the links, to help me make some money, so that I can take you all out on a grand treat :)

Sunday, 12 September 2004

Back from tour!

I'm back! After a week of a South Indian tour, comprising of Waynad, Munnar,
Thekkady and Kodaikanal, I'm finally home, and NOT enjoying it one bit. I
mean, the tour was simply awesome. Seriously, unless we had gone to maybe
the Himalayas, or Switzerland, I don't think anything beats rambling about
God's Own Country with a bunch of friends. I can safely say now that I truly
LOVE Kerala. Not only is it beautiful, it's also gorgeous and spectacular at
the same time. And that's an understatement. Anyways, on with the travelogue.

Day 0 - The Departure

Our train (Mangalore Mail) as scheduled to leave Chennai Central at 1945 hours,
but for some vague reason, the tourism company wanted us to be there at 1745.
However, in what is now recognized as a quintessential Indian trait, me and my
gang (Sasi Kumar, Anitha and Thamarai) left Chromepet only at 1745, to be joined
en route by a clutch of other maties. We ended up reaching Central only at 1900
:)

Scatterbrain that I am, I had forgotten to take along the 4000 (yep, 4 grand)
bucks to give to Vinod and Vivek. Vivek was O.K with it, but Vindy was furious.
Oh well...

Once on the train, we generally had a good time that night, after the inevitable
seating confusion that accompanies 45-member groups. We did practically everything
that could be done on a train. You know, the works, cards (normal as well as Uno),
songs, dance, wild food-fests and the mandatory Antakshari. The next morning we had
our first taste of the tourism company food, when they handed out jam sandwiches.
Admittedly, they weren't very well made, but I went ahead and had four anyway.

Day 1 - Calicut/Waynad

Immediately upon our arrival at Calicut station, we were bundled into a decent
looking airbus, with comfy seats and a VCD player. Since we'd known about the
VCD thing before, our guys had come armed with a bunch of Tamil movie CDs. Vivek
had also brought along 'The Matrix', but that was just wishful thinking. Never
in a million years would my class have allowed an English movie to be played.
Heck, they wouldn't even allow songs that were non-Tamil!

About lunchtime, we reached Waynad, where we were to say at Hotel Harithagiri.
It was a quaint-looking place which claimed to have a gym, an indoor games centre
and an Ayurvedic spa, although we never got a glimpse of those. The hotel manager
was a *really* fair Mallu guy - who for some reason bought Sai Prakash a lithium
cell, but wouldn't buy me one. Hmm...

After a good lunch (even though they made us wash our own plates), we were off
for some local sight-seeing. First we went to Pookkot Lake, which was a quite
amazing experience, notwithstanding the obscenely high rates for boating. Me,
Vivek, Praveena (some stranger blew a kiss to her) and Meena pedalled around
the lake, merrily disturbing couples who were coochie-cooing in what they thought
were secluded spots ;)
After boating, we went on a nature walk around the perimeter of the lake, which
proved to be most interesting. I also ended up walking with nearly all my class
cliques, as I was slightly on the hyperactive side that day, and kept running
back and forth. One of the highlights of this part of the day was when I bought
an entire grapefruit and ate most of it. I would've had the entire thing, but
my maties are bhukkad fellows.

Then we saw something called 'Chain Tree', which is supposed to be the samadhi
of the founder of Waynad, and hence is also the reference point for Waynad. It
consisted of a heavy chain looped around the branch of a tree and linked to two
iron hoops in the ground. But all of us failed to see how it served as a tourist
attraction...

The high point (literally and figuratively) of the day was when we climbed up
a hill thinking it led to the peak of a mountain. We went pretty high, and by
the time we realized that we had probably come the wrong way, it was too late to
do anything about it. However, the sheer beauty of the view we had took everyone's
breath away, and conseqeuently the disappointment of not making the summit was
forgotten.

Finally we got back to the hotel for dinner and more of our continual vetti-thanam.

Day 2 - Waynad

After breakfast, we left for Soochipara Falls, where we all mucked around in
the water and the slippery rocks for far too long before going off on our way,
but not before I had some 3 or 4 cool drinks in some local Mallu potti kadai.

The final spot in Waynad was to be the Edakkal caves, which were brilliant. Not
only the caves, but even the access route to them. Both ways, I stopped to gorge
passion fruit, which were selling for a rupee apiece, and bananas. Yeah, yeah,
I know I'm a fruit freak. The caves themselves were supposed to be some tribal
thing, with carvings on the walls. And apparently, you can see TN, Kerala and
Karnataka from the very top of the place. But I didn't go there, for reasons of
laziness...Incidentally, Janani was the only girl to do so.


Anyways, we got back to the hotel after that, skipping Chembra Peak, due to time
constraints, and pigged out on rotis and some vegetable thingy. The non-veg gang
had a ball with some chicken & gravy dish. I went to sleep really late, after a
few rounds of cards and a ghost story session in a scary-looking gazebo.

Day 3 - Waynad

We left for Kuruva Island after breakfast. It wasn't an island in the truest
sense of the word, but I got to make a complete fool of myself in front of my
entire class, what with my crocodile hunting, frog search, amateur botanical
ventures and falling on my hiney when trying to impress the girls.

We were then supposed to go to a place called Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary,
but the rates there were simply outrageous, so we left as fast as we had arrived.

Thirunelly temple was the next destination on the list. Fortunately, the temple
people were sensible enough to understand that guys in a college group cannot
be expected to wear dhoties and walk around. Some guys expiated their sins in
an offshoot of the Papanashini river.

I also made calls to Bombay just before entering the temple :-D

Finally, we went back to the hotel, had dinner (what was it?) and left for
Munnar, which was to be an overnight journey.

Day 4 - Munnar

After an eventful journey (consisting of a birthday treat at midnight for our
very own C.K, followed by a window of our bus getting shattered, and a brief
bathroom break) we finally reached Munnar, where we stayed at some lodge-type
shack called the Munnar Tourist Home.

We then finished breakfast and left for Mattupatty Dam, where some decent girls
(omanakutties!) were present. One of them even spoke to Pradeep Naick, much to
the chagrin of birthday boy C.K.

This was followed by a speedboat ride around the lake, and some jumping around
a little island hillock. We couldn't see the Echo Point as it was raining, and
we didn't want to see the Indo-Swiss project, which turned out to be nothing
but a fancy cattle farm.

And so we went back to the hotel, and went for walks around the town centre,
where most people bought tea.

This night stay had to be the most uneventful, even boring, of the entire trip.

Day 5 - Thekkady

We left Munnar for Thekkady after breakfast, and soon enough discovered that
most of Munnar and Thekkady is owned by the Tata Group, in the form of HUGE tea
estates. Soon enough, we reached the Hotel Lake Queen, located at the centre of
Thekkady town.

The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is apparently the home of the Nilgiri Tahr, but
even though we went to the maximum possible limit through a combination of rock
clambering and an uncomfortable Jeep drive, we could only see the silhouette of
this glorified mountain goat. However, I *did* discover that tea leaves taste
very, VERY bitter.

A decent boat cruise was the next item on the agenda. While the cruise itself
was excellent, it would've been better if we had managed to get a proper look
at some of the purported wildlife. But, it rained :(

Dinner that night was inconsequential, as some of us only barely had a few
mouthfuls. We'd earlier gone shopping around town, and grabbed a bite to eat.

Day 6 - Kodaikanal

The previous night was an interesting one for me, what with my involvement in
prank phone calls to girls' rooms and a drunken encounter.

Anyways, we left for Kodaikanal after breakfast, where I immediately went cycling,
upon arrival, around the lake. I also managed, thanks to the girls, to find a
decent gift for Shubaga, during the mandatory round of shopping.

En route to Kodai, we encountered some called 'Silver Cascade Falls', which is
basically any other waterfall, only, it's surrounded by vendors hawking all the
usual 'tourist goodies'.

We went to the hotel only went darkness set in, and what a hotel it was! Make a
note: Hotel JC Residency - highly recommended.

The campfire was a somewhat mixed affair. 'Passing the Parcel' was played, songs
sung, and dances danced. Everyone definitely had fun, but there was some key
ingredient missing. Hmm, could it have been spontaneity?

Dinner was amazing, as was the 'Truth or Dare' session that followed. In between
was a minor incident, when Praveena and G.D caused the TT table to collapse in
an untidy heap. We left the games room only after ensuring no trace of mischief
remained.

Day 7 - Kodaikanal/Departure

After yet another innocuous breakfast, and a few rounds of TT, we were off for
local sight-seeing, which mostly a letdown. Pillar Rock and Green Valley View
were invisible due to the fog. But there was a nice part where we had to clamber
down a mountain in order to reach the 'Guna Caves'. (i.e the caves where the movie
'Guna' was shot) We never did actually see the caves, but had some good ice-cream.

Somewhere in between all this, Praveena's cellphone got lost when we were
wandering around some woodsy place where lots of movies are supposedly shot.
That involved an exciting hitch-hike on the back of an open truck.

Finally, we were done and left for the Kodai Road station after bidding a tearful
farewell to the hotel. Our train (Pandyan Express) arrived on time, and we had
an amazing dinner on board. Most of us ended up staying awake all night simply
chatting away or playing cards. Arrival at Tambaram was at 0500 sharp, and just
like that, the tour was over.

Saturday, 28 August 2004

Yesterday

Happened to be the worst day of my life.

Sunday, 22 August 2004

The most Linuxy Linux post *ever*

No wonder the Linux movement occasionally fails to gather mainstream steam...

-- start--

From: Raja Subramanian
Subject: Re: [Ilugc] Debian's new installer - A walkthrough.

Hi,

Suresh Ramasubramanian wrote:
> Praveen wrote:
> >FYI, http://www.linuxbeta.com/slideshows/slideshow.php?release=59&slide=1
>
> damn, the installation is starting to look more slackware-ish

Being an old debian hand, I find this installer annoying. Too much
chatter. The installer's job is to bootstrap your machine with a
self-sufficient stand-alone distro as easily as possible. The second
stage installer 'base-config' can be as smart as it wants.

The potato installer was the best, as simple as a knife and fork. All
you need to get the potato installer going was a kernel, a rootfs and
the live fs tarball. You could easily get it going on extremely tricky
hardware - no fdd, cdrom, etc.

Infact installing potato was so easy that you did not even need the
installer! Just untar the live fs tar ball into a dir and chroot.
Minor configuration and presto! Instant potato installation inside a
chroot!

With potato even cross-installation was feasible. Say you had a Arm
board on which you needed to install potato. You could untar the live
fs tar ball into a dir on your PC and nfs export it. Then just boot the
Arm machine with an appropriate kernel and mount root over nfs.
That's it.

All this was possible because the first stage installer did a simple
job. Woody was still manageable, but sarge looks bad. Maybe with time
we'll get used to the beast.

> the last time i saw debian was years back .. dselect endless loop made
> me rather allergic to it.

I'm sure you realise that you don't have to use dselect if you don't
like it. Tasksel and apt can be run anytime later.

- Raja

General stuph

And life goes on...
Still juggling a lot of things, though. Especially this final year project thingy, which is getting to be a major pain in the posterior.
Bah.

Wednesday, 18 August 2004

Testing...

This is a test post with w.bloggar

The new and improved mokkai song!

I'm a Michael Jackson,
I'm a Jackie Chan.
I'm a Ricky Martin,
I'm a Virtusan!

Heartstoppingly, for me i.e, I came to know this only with the last alphabet mentioned by the H.R fellow.

Anyways, now no one can ask me, "Kaam dhanda nahin hai kya?".

Saturday, 14 August 2004

Woohoo!

I've got Internet access at home! Wahoo!

Yesterday, I was so psyched to hear about the connection that I ran around the house yodeling with delight, and ended up slipping on a patch of water and sliding about 5 feet and ramming into the doorframe. Which resulted in two huge welts across my legs, but what the hell!

As Droopy would say, "I'm happy."

Monday, 2 August 2004

Phew

I've now also signed up for the TOEFL. And it's on the 20th of this month :(
So much work, so little time.
I miss blogging :(

Wednesday, 14 July 2004

MSN bug

Interesting bug in Hotmail.

Apparently, you can't keep your last name as part of your password. Which is fine, except, I've set my last name in the profile thingy to just 'N'.

Which now implies that I can't have any password with the letter 'n' in it. Actually, not just an implication, I've actually tried, and it wouldn't accept.

"Your last name cannot be a part of your password."

[or something to that effect]

Now is that a good thing, or bad?

Personally, I think the 'poor password' culture is way overrated..

Sunday, 4 July 2004

The Don is dead

Any movie watcher will agree that the small byline in yesterday's The Hindu that announced the death of Marlon Brando was more startling than any of the headlines.

His portrayal of Don Vito Corleone in 'The Godfather' has to be my all-time favourite movie role. He was truly able to bring out the richness of Mario Puzo's character, and even add some facets of his own.

Don Corleone. Life is so beautiful.

Thursday, 1 July 2004

Now then, ya'll outside the country...

Finally. After a harrowing last 5 days, I've managed to get myself registered for the GRE. And managed to do it within a good time ('nalla neram') too! Even after the absolute ASS of a Tata Indicom cybercafe's porn-filter wouldn't let me open the Prometric website. In spite of repeated entreaties that it refers to a perfectly non-porn website. Thanks to Satyam iWays though! Woohoo!

Oh ya, and I've also applied for a cable internet connection at home, so who knows? One day I might be updating more frequently!

p.s; Arch! Thanks a million!

Friday, 25 June 2004

Well!

Football's underway. Euro 2004. And I can't see it. *sob*
Tennis is underway. Wimbledon 2004. And I can't see it. *double *sob*.

Damn the TN government for not taking any action to repeal CAS!

Tuesday, 15 June 2004

Yahoo = C !

Hmm, now Yahoo's offering 100 MB storage, with a XP-ish theme. Revamped, improved, etc. Nice.

Vinod just changed his blog template to an 'ultra-simplistic' look..And I'll be following suit, but only in late October, when I'll be in Bombay, and can afford to fool around with the CSS.

Monday, 14 June 2004

Gah!

College has just begun, and I'm absolutely swamped with work, of all kinds.

Oh yeah, and I'm back from Bombay.

And about twice the size I was when I went there. My existing pants are on the verge of obsolescence!

Wednesday, 2 June 2004

Argh! Less than a week!

That's right! Less than 7 days left, before I haul my hiney back to Chennai. It's not fair, getting only a month for a year-end vacation! Wait, I'm not some lazy bum who wants to sit around all day eating and goofing around. No, really. Just let the college not give so many holidays *during* college days. Meaning, keep a 6-day work week, and only give out national holidays. Keep all the local stuff away. And then - massive blowout alert - give 45 days end of year hols! I mean, does this suggestion rock or what?

Sigh..so many things, so little time. I wish someone would invent a machine, or a drug, that would enable a human being to be perfectly fine on 4 hours of sleep a day. Sleep is wonderful, but such a colossal waste of time. I *know* I'd be happier if I could go to sleep 2 hours later and wake up 2 hours earlier. But right now, I can't! And that really gets me down. There's just so much to learn, so much to do. And it's bad enough that I'm nearing 21. Gah! I'm an oldie! Dudes and dudettes, I want to know everything. It may sound slightly (!) unrealistic, but what the hey. I don't ever want to be content with what I know. I want to wet my appendages in all possible fields. I'm fairly drowning in computers, so yeah, some of the things I want to know more about are :-

  • Chemical Technology (and all associated subfields)
  • Economic Theory
  • Construction Technology
  • Electrical/Electronic fundamentals (thoroughly!)
  • Plumbing works (seriously!)
  • And much more...

And that, my friends, is that.

Monday, 31 May 2004

*scribble* *scribble*

Well, here I am. Again. Had to write the University Challenge prelims yesterday, at St. Xavier's College in V.T, Mumbai. Period.

Anyways, after that was done, I met Manish and we had a small lunch at McDonald's. Then we wandered around looking for movies to go to, and what do we see? MURDER is playing at New Empire, at 1530, and its only just 1400! And so it was decided. Now how do we kill an hour? Simply by walking down the causeway, and avoiding all the street CD vendors, who really want to sell you cheap B-grade Hindi/Marathi movies packaged on the outside to look like porn. Or cheap B-grade Hindi/Marathi movie songs packaged on the outside to look like a hit MP3 collection. Putting all that behind us, however, I did manage to pick up a copy of The Godfather in pristine condition, for 50 bucks. Why? Because it's a book everyone should have, and read, and keep, and then read again, and finally end up repeating the cycle.

When we did get back to the cinema hall, to buy tickets, we were a bit surprised to see such a large queue for a cheap-thrills flick in its second week. But we did manage to get decent tickets, because it turned out a lot of the crowd was made up of couples wanting rear corner tickets for canoodling.

The movie was actually quite OK. Not great, nor perhaps even good, but for 50 bucks, it was fine. Reema Lamba (aka Mallika Sherawat) was hot, which was predictable enough. And frankly, the only reason people went to watch the movie, me included. Ashmit Patel and Emraan Hashmi just look like druggies in rehab. And for God's sake, will someone *PLEASE* make them get a decent shave? Or do females actually enjoy prickly hair rubbing up against their face, neck, etc, etc? Please, educate me...

But hey, that aside, the movie's steamy. No, make that with a capital 'S'. Steamy. I mean, hello! And watching it was terrific fun too, what with the crowd around us passing lewd comments whenever possible. I mean that! They weren't nasty, and never went overboard. Sample :-

Emraan Hashmi: (screaming) I love you! You have to meet me! I want to see your face everyday!

Crowd smart-alec: What? You were looking at her face??

The movie's typical Mukesh Bhatt-type wannabe-actors and sleaze, and even reminded me of Maya Memsaab at one point, where Mallika Sherawat screams, "This is wrong! Let me go!", and tries to protect her dignity from the roving hands of Emraan Hashmi, but finally ends up getting some nookie in all sorts of places. Geographical locations that is, you sickos. (Bed, terrace of a public building, footsie in a restaurant, sunshade of some building's window, and - the cherry on the cake - in her own house in the presence of her husband, in another room of course)

In short, yeah okay, go ahead, watch it and enjoy. Try to do so for free, though!

Saturday, 29 May 2004

Born to blog?

This might seem weird. What the hell, it *IS* weird. There's a quiz to find out what kind of social software you are.


I am LiveJournal


I know, I know, don't advertise our competitor and all, but Google's cool with everything ;)

Anyways, take the test here.

And, incidentally, visit my LiveJournal here, if you want to see an empty blog. That's right. Bupkes entries. I only got the LJ account, 'cause Ravi was so insistent.

Thursday, 27 May 2004

Holy krap!

Whatever will people think of next!



What? Go ahead, click on the image!

Monday, 24 May 2004

And life goes on

Yep, what the title says. Still vacationing in Bombay, and still enjoying every moment of it. Although there is a downside. All I do all day is eat, sleep, watch T.V and sit at the comp. In an A.C environment.

Okay, okay, don't look so shocked. Yes, it *is* a downside because all that activity (more appropriately, the lack of it) results in me blowing up. Which brings back memories of middle school, when I was fat. And when I say fat, it's an understatement. I mean, I was a blimp. But in high school, I went for cricket coaching and stuff, and became, while not buff, somewhat athletic in my build. But now, here in Bombay, I'm glad that I don't go out too often, as I wouldn't be able to fit into my current set of pants at all, which were selected for my trimmer frame..

But, I wouldn't fear too much. I can still see my feet!

Wednesday, 19 May 2004

Alone at last!

Finally, I've got the privacy needed to type out a blog entry! I know, I know. It may seem weird that I need privacy to write a blog that is public in the first place, but yeah, I can't bring myself to type with people peering over my shoulder.

Er..that said, I really don't have much to say..I'm playing Yahoo Pool right now, and getting my ass whipped by some random female. Hmm..could it be because I'm not concentrating on my game, and typing instead? Definitely so!

Sunday, 16 May 2004

Grrr...

Hmm, too many things are going wrong. Well, not exactly wrong, in fact, more like not my way.

And yup, some time or the other, I will get around to telling.

I'm feeling very profound now, for this time of the night (0045 hrs), so I think I'll stop now, before this gets out of hand...

Tuesday, 11 May 2004

What more can I say?

Mein Aur Meri Tanhai, Aksar Ye Baaten Karte Hain
Tum Hotin To Kaisa Hota, Tum Ye Kehtin, Tum Vo Kehtin
Tum Is Baat Pe Hairan Hotin, Tum Us Baat Pe Kitni Hanstin
Tum Hotin To Aisa Hota, Tum Hotin To Vaisa Hota
Mein Aur Meri Tanhai, Aksar Ye Baaten Karte Hain

Ye Raat Hai, Ya Tumhari Zulfen Khuli Hui Hain
Hai Chandni Ya Tumhari Nazron Se, Meri Raaten Dhuli Hui Hain
Ye Chand Hai, Ya Tumhara Kangan, Sitaare Hain Ya Tumhara Aanchal
Hava Ka Jhonka Hai, Ya Tumhare Badan Ki Khushboo
Ye Pattiyon Ki Hai Sarsarahat, Ke Tumne Chupke Se Kuch Kaha Hai
Ye Sochta Hoon Maein Kabse Gumsum
Ki Jabki Mujhko Bhi Ye Khabar Hai, Ki Tum Nahin Ho, Kahin Nahin Ho
Magar Ye Dil Hai Ki Keh Raha Hai, Tum Yahin Ho, Yahin Kahin Ho
Majboor Ye Haalaat, Idhar Bhi Hain Udhar Bhi
Tanhai Ke Ye Raat, Idhar Bhi Hai Udhar Bhi
Kehne Ko Bahut Kuchh Hai, Magar Kis Se Kahen Hum
Kab Tak Yoonhi Khaamosh Rahen, Aur Sahen Hum
Dil Kehta Hai Duniya Ki Har Ik Rasm Utha Dein
Deewaar Jo Hum Dono Mein Hai, Aaj Gira Dein
Kyun Dil Mein Sulagte Rahein, Logon Ko Bata Dein
Haan Humko Mohabbat Hai...
Ab Dil Mein Yahi Baat, Idhar Bhi Hai, Udhar Bhi

Sunday, 9 May 2004

And I am like...





I'm Chandler Bing from Friends!

Take the Friends Quiz here.

created by stomps.

Somewhat farcical, but fun nevertheless :)

Saturday, 8 May 2004

Upsy Downsy

Yesterday - deliriously happy.
Today - miserable funk.

And I blame 2 entities :-

  • Synergy Communications - for changing the UC prelims date.

  • Sri Sai Ram Engg. College - for giving a measly 30 days off.
  • Thursday, 6 May 2004

    More about GMail

    I've just read all the reviews about GMail, and discovered that it's actually Gmail. How ignorant I can be, no?

    A lot of people have written stuff praising Gmail, a few trashing it, and all of it in somewhat terse language. Well, I can sum up Gmail (after using it and it's associated features) in 2 words :-

    bucken frilliant.

    GMail! and almost a travelogue...

    I have GMail email! Woohoo!

    Anyways, coming back to Earth, I know it's been quite a while, but yeah, there's been stuff going on, like exams. I was in Bombay for the study hols before those, and now that they're over (exams, i.e, not study hols), I'm in Bombay again! re-woohoo!

    [sidebar - man, Indian Railways suck bad. No, actually, amend that to "Sleeper 2nd, and below, in Indian Railways" suck bad. The heat is bad enough, but what with the eunuchs and unreserved locals pleading for a place to sit, jeez, drives any normal human being to the verge of insanity. - end sidebar]

    The scenery as one travels between Madras and Bombay by rail, is quite fascinating. It looks barren for the most part. And by barren, I don't mean desert-like. It just looks so DRY. Even after a neat shower, all the greenery looks dull, almost as if the life has been beaten out of them. And then, in comes Pune. And after that, passing through Khandala, one views the ghats, and all is quite alright in life. Suddenly nothing matters anymore, except that view. Such a view is difficult to put into words, and one might even venture that it is nigh impossible to capture it on lens. At times like those, one regrets the lack of more pairs of eyes. And the moments when the train passes through a tunnel, and then exits it are simply sublime - for the rapidity with which the view changes. Eye-catching greenery to equally eye-catching ruggedness to eyecatching greenery. Oh my!

    I wish I took the Dadar Express more often, which can provide one these sights. The Mumbai Mail only takes you through it in darkness, and yet, such is the beauty of the place, that even then you don't - can't! - fail to notice it.

    Wednesday, 14 April 2004

    LTNS

    Hey people (that's right, all 3 of you).

    I know it's been quite a while since I've updated this, but I've had a lot of nothing to do while in Bombay, and everytime I looked at the blog, I never felt like typing, soo...

    Anyways, I went to Ratnagiri the for the Easter weekend. It's a nice enough place, but the best part of the trip was a vada pav/misal pav centre in Panvel. Oh ya, and Ratnagiri mangoes were decent too :) Ratnagiri = home of the Alphonso, btw, for the uninitiated..

    The exact details of the trip are somewhat hazy, although I did end up watching Anbe Sivam and Dhool. I'll probably remember more stuff and put them into the next post.

    Ohh, almost forgot. I'm on study leave now, waiting for exams to begin this Monday. All the best to me first, and to everyone else next! *grumbleboringkrapgrumble*

    Monday, 12 April 2004

    BlogThis check

    This a test posting using the BlogThis icon on the Google Toolbar.

    Wednesday, 31 March 2004

    Victory!

    First the LOI series, and now this! Premature celebration, perhaps, but what the hey!

    Scoreboard!

    A pity I didn't see this day's play. A bigger pity I won't be able to tomorrow's!

    Oh yes, I almost forgot. I'm supposed to have a new blog. But don't expect too many posts there..

    Presentation - 2

    So how come the same definition of 'good handwriting' doesn't extend to the computer lab as well? Here's an example :-

    /* Start

    c:\path>square
    enter the no5
    the square is25

    c:path>skware

    Enter a number :- 5

    The square of 5 is 25.

    Stop */

    Now, obviously, the second program's output looks better. So why does the person who wrote the first program get the same marks as the guy who wrote the second? Why not give more marks because it 'looks nicer'? Never happened to me even once. Even though my programs usually 'look nicer', and my VB forms are all aligned properly.

    Knock knock. Hello. Computer teachers. How about trying to acquire some 'computer' aesthetics?

    Tuesday, 30 March 2004

    Presentation

    Why is it that teachers are so hung up on handwriting? I've never got it. I mean, it's ok if you're in a design course or something, but I've never understood why it is such a big deal at the school or college level. The argument that teachers correcting your paper have little time to read it properly is frankly really sad. It reflects poorly on them. It reflects poorly on our education system, which, incidentally, I feel is quite adequate.

    I mean, read our frickin' answers! I personally know a lot of people who get away with murder in their answer sheets. Now obviously this rant is because I have handwriting that sucks, but it is not illegible. But I do a lot of hard work to study, and write answers that make sense. And obviously I expect them to get read. If you studied really hard, learnt all kinds of stuff, and painstakingly put it down on paper in reply to questions that have been chucked at you, and then a teacher comes in looks at your paper for about a minute, puts a few red lines through it without even so much as bothering to read the answers, what's the point? Of education, of examinations, of work?

    If so many people get good marks just by answering alone, that presentation just *has* to be seen, well...MAKE THE BLEEDING EXAMS TOUGHER! And don't bother if a pile of people flunk. That's too bad, buddy, pull yourself together for the re-exam, and the future toughies. If a *HUGE* pile of people flunk, then the Univ should do one of 2 things :-

    1) Go over the nature of the papers and the manner in which they've been corrected

    2) If that yields no satisfactory results, go over the quality of the *colleges* themselves, and stop thinking a professional education is a fundamental right.

    Anna University should take a cue or two from the ICAI. The exams are tough, but the people who end up clearing them ultimately end up doing pretty well in their life. In the current scenario, can the University claim the same thing? Mr. E.B.G, think!

    Tuesday, 23 March 2004

    Long time

    I know I know. It's been ages since I've updated the blog. But then that's pretty much in keeping with what I said in my first post. Since my CBT Lab, not too much has been happening. Unless you want to count the Computer Club do at MIT, Chromepet. I went to the same event last year, but even though it was pretty bad by a lot of people's standards, at least I didn't walk out feeling totally disappointed. And that was in spite of coming only second in the Gen Quiz. But this year was...oh dear..

    I got up nice and early (not really) and puttered my way there, only to find that the crossie was a 'daily' thing, and not a proper event. And the tech crossie was scrapped. After mostly fiddling with it for a while, I gave up and went on to better things. (Cycle rides in the sun! Whee!)

    I finally got back for the quizzes (Tech, Linux and Gen) only to see that the Tech quiz was really sad (most Qs flicked from a Data Structures text), which was predictable. I was really looking forward to the Linux quiz, as all Linux users can be said to have a semblance of intelligence. But once again, the less said about the quiz, the better. It wasn't so much techie, as it was an orientation course in UNIX basics. Oh yeah, and I simply *must* mention that they asked to identify Linus Torvalds in the visual round. A normal pic too, not some bearded hippie-type, or a diaper-clad infant. Hmm...

    Anyways, we (me and Vinod) ended up winning the Gen Quiz, and I was really looking forward to the Rs. 375 (my share of Rs. 750). When we left after the valedictory, we found, shockingly, that Rs.750 = Rs.350 + 2 T-shirts. Really now!

    After that awful day (no, actually, lunch was pretty decent..), I'm seriously rethinking going to any event at MIT again. I think the place is overrated..

    Monday, 15 March 2004

    Waiting for my call

    My lab exam (Software Components) has just concluded, and I'm sitting around waiting to be called for my viva voce. Surprisingly, I finished the programming part really early and went on to wasting time in the library. I guess I'm still on a high following the Indo-Pak match.

    That was probably the scariest ever match I've seen in my lifetime. I mean, hello. 350 is a winning score pretty much anywhere in the world, and against any other opposition, Australia included. But, apparently, not in Indo-Pak matches. The levels of motivation achieved by the cricketers involved is simply phenomenal. I mean, how can you explain it? It is war. And don't let anybody tell you otherwise. All the "They are so much like us. We are naturally friends." is nothing but PR BS. And everytime Sourav/Wasim say "It's just a cricket match." implies that it is most definitely not that. Can anybody seriously say that this so-called "just a match" is capable of elevating the performance levels of the players to such towering heights? Does anybody deny that beating Pakistan gives infinitely more pleasure than beating any other country. I still know people who don't mind that the general Indian performances in the '92, '96 and '99 World Cups didn't matter, because Pak was beaten in all of them. This is certainly not just another game.

    As an aside, has anyone else noticed how Indian victories are generally close matches? A crushing victory, with total Indian domination in all departments, is still missing. Not counting non-test playing nations, of course. (Even in those cases, some victories have come tougher than they should've.)

    All in all, I'm a true fan of Indian cricket. When they win, I celebrate. And when they lose, unlike some other people I know, I don't swear at them for doing something they shouldn't have, and instead grieve with the team..sound corny? You decide.

    Saturday, 13 March 2004

    Sitting in the lab...

    I've just added comments! Go wild, people! (Right now, all 5 of you...my self-marketing skills still leave a lot to be desired..)

    Anna University has announced dates for my lab exams, but not for the theory yet, which sucks, 'cause I want to book tickets to Bombay ASAP, and avoid the mad holiday rush and the EQ worries.

    i've just downloaded a couple of files (or maybe 6..same difference) but I haven't brought a CD-RW with me! Damn it all to hell and beyond! So this means I'll have to do all the burning stuff on Tuesday..I could try on Monday, but we have model pracs.

    I know all that must've been pretty boring, but in my current state of mind, it's all I can think of. Unless you want to know that I *didn't* go to HCE yesterday because of reasons better left un-mentioned.

    Met Brindha and Ramya today in college. They're working in iNautix and Wipro, respectively, and basically en route to piling on the dough. But all that's unimportant. What *is* important is that I finally got my slambook back! After like a year, nearly..

    One major shortcoming I have (can't be used in interviews though) is that I never know how to finish any of these entries of mine...

    Thursday, 11 March 2004

    Finally!

    After weeks of tinkering with the template and cursing a screwy lab Internet connection, my blog is finally up!

    I expect updates to occur only at sporadic intervals, because I'm too cheap to spend on cybercafes, and hey, why not use my college facilities to the fullest, eh?

    As mentioned, I'm typing this out from college lab, and was interrupted earlier as a prof wanted me and Vinod to go to Hindustan College of Engg. for some science quiz. Hoo boy. I was told Vinod had pre-approved the plan. I'm fairly sure he did it just to get out of college, and an exam.

    These days, anytime someone mentions another college, I feel slightly sore that I have to use either public transport or the college buses. I should be riding a bike, damnit! Kawasaki Boxer, to be precise. Go here for further details.

    I think I'll sign out now, and mull over whether to work on my mini-project at all, and get down to studying for a test to be held later in the day..