Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Tech fundoo

"Tech fundoo" is term first made known to me by Krishnamurti (G, not J). It appears to me to be the Indian form of a hacker, as defined in its 'original' form.

I have always felt that I was tech fundoo, and sometimes attempted to back it up with a few blog posts. But most tech fundoo I have felt was, curiously, NOT when twiddling with hardware/software innards or some arcane Linux-y fundaes. These two occasions, by some weird coincidence, involved the use of the Character Map in Windows XP.

The first time was when ant poop had eaten into my laptop's keyboard circuitry, rendering some keys useless. As Murphy would have it, one of these alphabets had a double occurrence in my Windows password.

Living in a relatively boondocky area in Chennai then, rendered me completely unable to get a USB keyboard, so some other ingenuity had to be thought of. Which is when I used a cybercafe computer to look up the Alt code for the missing alphabet of my password, and used this to peacefully log in to Windows. Such technological satisfaction. Such tech fundoo-ness. Ah!

The second time was the previous night, whilst waiting to board a Jet Airways flight from Bombay to Bangalore. (Aside: This was via Jet Airways Konnect, but Travelocity losers never informed me of this in any manner throughout the booking process, or in the e-ticket. And I would rather go hungry than pony up Rs.100+ for a sandwich that wouldn't be enough for Kate Moss.) The waiting area at the boarding gates of the domestic terminal at Bombay Airport has 4 Internet kiosks. Two of them are your standard kiosk fare - LCD screen, hobbled laptop keyboard with touchpad. The other two are touch-screen LCDs, one of which was switched off. The other one was running, and logged in to WinXP, but had no keyboard, and no apps running! This explained why people would wander near this terminal, scratch heads for a few minutes, and walk away. So the question now was: how were we to check up on cricket analysis/bulletins?

Easy. Fire up the Character Map, click-select 'cricket' letter by letter, open up IE, focus on search box, Page > Paste (This took a couple of minutes to figure out - IE8 is frickin' counter-intuitive!), Go. Bam, reading Cricinfo!

Happier still this made me, when after we were done, the stream of people to this kiosk increased. As did the subsequent head-scratching and walking away. We did end up slightly miffed that we'd forgotten to erase the browsing history, so an enterprising kid fired up the browser and used the History to get to CricInfo.

Occam's Razor takes a while to slit one's throat though - I realised much too late that happy online-ness could have been attained via the free airport wi-fi on my trusty Nokia N82.

Still. I am tech fundoo.


Sameer said...

Tech Fundoo. Yes.

Common Sense Fundoo. No.

shubaga said...

so true!!!! sameer