100th Blog !

I started this blog 2 years back and I'm writing my 100th blog now. I was confused of what to blog about in this 100th one. Should it be a movie review? a book review? the stupid FCC rules? rains in Chennai? mandaya udachu yosichathuku apuram, finally I decided to blog about this blog.

So I disguised myself as a reporter and thought of an interview with Praku about this blog ;-). Being a typical vetti bandha guy, he refused for an interview. Somehow I got him for you and here is the transcript of the interview:

Me : Hi Praku. This is your 100th blog. How do you feel?
He : Well. Honestly nothing great about it. Its just an other number
(engaluku theriyathakum? ivanaya ellam interview pannanumnu thala eluthu)

Me : So tell me Praku. Why did you start this blog?
He : It was two years back and don't remember. I think I wanted some place to put down my thoughts; kill my free time and also do something creative.
Me : Creative? All I could see was some reviews about movies, books, your trip and other experiences and publish few photos. Whats the creative part in it?
He : hmmm. True. I actually had an idea of Sangaarji jokes.
Me : You mean Sardarji jokes?
He : No. Its Sangaarji jokes. Pronounced as San-gaar-ji. Generally sadarji jokes are about stupid people. Sangaarji jokes about stupid people with a computer background.
Me : OK. But I've not seen any of Sangaarji joke in your blog !
He : (Thinks for a while and then) I thought I need some practice in writing blogs before I write sangaarji jokes. So I decided I'll write at least 100 blogs before I write some sangaarji joke.
(ada paavi. ippadi samalikaran. ivan mattum oru katchi aarambicha CM aayidalam pola iruke. ethukum konjam jakrathayave kelvi kepom)

Me : Mr. Praku, How do you spread out words about your blog?
He : Actually, if you see, I don't spread out word. Only a very few people know the existance of this blog. Even few of my roommates don't know about it. I don't want everyone to read it. I thought sometimes it might cause trouble.
Me : Have you ever encountered any trouble so far?
He : Not yet.
Me : Then may be you can open it up to everyone.
He : hmmm. Let me think about it. I'll go thru all my blogs and remove objectionable contents and if its ok, I'll open it to all.
(thappu panniteno? naan kelvi kekarana illa ivanuku idea kudukarana?)

Me : Which one of your blog, you consider as best?
He : Actually the one 'I see people' is the one that many people said is the best. Which actually motivated me to write blogs in the subject 'I shoot people', 'I read people', etc. Which were eventually considered as crap.
Me : Something like movie sequels, the first one is a big hit and movies in same theme might fail :-)
He : True.
Me : Why there are so many gaps in your blogs? You don't seem to write regularly.
He : Thats because either I don't get time. When I get time, sometimes I don't get system to type. If I get both, I won't feel like blogging and will just browse and go. Its just goes like that.
(ikkum. thoongu moonji. lazyness innu ore varthayila unmayana bathile sollen)

Me : Talking about your other blogs, you parallely started a techie blog along with this. What happened to it?
He : All thru the day I deal with techie stuff. So I thought at least in blogs, let me not technical.
(marupadiyum vetti bantha. techieya elutha thuppu illa innu sollu)

Me : And what about the one you started in the middle?
He : You mean the Tamil Kavithaigal? I think I'll continue that.
Me : Isn't it odd that without any objective you pickup random ones and start writing about it?
He : hmmmm. Thats also true. Let me see. I think you have a point. Summa pura naanooru, kurnthogai, thirukual appdinnu randoma eluthama, athula ethavathu onna eduthu kittu athula irukara enaku pudicha paattellam eluthalam illa? I'll try that also
(ayyayo. ivan naan kekara kelvila irunthe nalla idea ellam suttukarane! ithuku mela kelvi kekarathu thappunnu nenaikaren)

Me : Ok Praku. Thank you Praku. Its good to talk with you. I wish you start more blogs; update all of them more frequently and entertain us.
(oops! ippo naane avanuku directa idea kudutano? Shit!)
He : Thanks. I don't think I'll be creating any new blogs. But I'll surely update it more frequently.
(athana parthan. directa oru idea kudutu atha nee eduthukitta chennaila mala vanthudume. sorry, veyyil vanthudume!)
Me : Bye
He : Bye
(enaku venum. enaku venum. ithuvem venum. innanum venum. avan paatuku ethachum kirukitu irunthan. paetti edukaren paervailunnu naan kelvi kethathula, ippo puthusa creative-ingara perula oru character introduce panni elutha poran. ithula inime intha bloga pathi elarukum solla poran. ithellam enga poi mudiyumo theriyala. ellam en times)

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Quote of the Day

For the past few months I've been sending 'Quote of the day' to the people, whom I can reach from my office id. Every week there will be a theme like J.K Rowling quotes or Elbert Hubbard quotes or Yoda quotes etc. I'm reaching more than 100 people and so there will be variety of people. Its very interesting to see that, few people who even remember the magic spell of Harry Potter and few people who consider it as simply stupid. Same for Dilbert. So obviously I always get mixed response. For a change, this week all the responses were positive. This week's theme? Marriage! I think I'll post the Quotes of the week here in my blog. So here is the this week's quotes:

I love being married.
It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.
- Rita Rudner

The difficulty with marriage is that we fall in love with a personality, but must live with a character.
- Peter Devries

Successful marriage requires falling in love many times,
always with the same person.
- German Greer

Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate,
but through being the right mate.
- Barnett R. Brickner

Don't marry the person you think you can live with;
marry only the individual you think you can't live without.
- Dr. James C. Dobson

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Busy, Busy, Busy!

"You get busy living or you get busy dying.
- Andy (The Shawshank Redemption)

I don't know whether I'm living or dying, buy I'm very very busy these days. Got a deadline dictated by FCC and working towards it. Hope its the same with very VoIP product in US. One day, I've to blog about how stupid FCC and rules are. Coming back to the point, I go to office sometime during lunch and back home only after everyone slept. Will be like that till this weekend I hope. Despite my busy schedule, few things happened.

(*) Me and Sathya Went around T Nagar and finally booked a Banquet hall for the Alumni get together this sat.
(*) Had few lengthy discussions with my PM & HR reg my TGP and stuff.
(*) We finally decided the plan for the Delhi trip (along with Agra, Jaipur and Fatehpur Sikri) in December and booked the tickets. Head count is 13.
(*) Another trip to Gangtok in Feb mid is slowly coming up. Gathering people for that.
(*) Anjac was here and one fine rainy week day, 7 of us booked a qualis and went to Mayajaal for a movie. Of course I didn't bunk on that day. Went back to office by 6 PM and started working.
(*) Sakthi has started a blog (which he should have done long back). Hope it will become one more interesting one just as him :-)

A build has gone and have time to browse now. I started reading blogs and then realized that I too have a blog to update. So here it goes a quick entry to my blog!

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Photo Friday: Delicate

This was taken when we went to Thrissur. As they say, Kerala is God's own country. Especially when it drizzles and you are visiting some hilly area. This was shot with my Canon K2. The creeper climing up on the stem of a plant was a looking good and I shot it with out any hesitation.

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Trip: Thrissur

Due to our CIO's visit, the declared pooja holiday was postponed from Wednesday to Friday. That gave us a long weekend! Dinesh was driving force and finally Ravi and me landed at Thirssur along with him to Shine's home. We were there for 2 days: Friday and Saturday. We went to the 'Punnagai Mannan' falls - Athirampalli and two other falls near by also. We also went to Guruvayur temple, a place where all the elephants of the temple were kept and then to a dam nearby. 2 days were jam packed. The best thing was the food at Shine's house. Right from breakfast to dinner, it was NV and poor Dinesh, he struggled a lot :-) Few photos here ...

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Grrrrrrr Gajini

Every good movie will have a "what if" one liner knot in the story.

Consider the following "What if"s:
What if one day, an alien spacecraft covers the sky of every human city? - Independence day
What if one day you wake up and find all your life is just a dream and reality is something different - The Matrix
What if a freedom fighter starts killing people who demand bribe? - Indian
What if a adopted kid wants to meet her real parents? - Kannathil Mutthamittaal

Then the knot would be developed into a nice screenplay. Here is where the characters will be defined and the whole flow of the movie would be decided. If the knot is the skeleton, this is the flesh of the movie

The final thing is the picturization. Here the length of the scenes, dialogs, camera angle, stunning stunts, technologies, etc will come into picture. This is the dress on the flesh. For a given screenplay, this gives a good out fit and its mainly determined by the budget. More the budget, richer the dress is.

Coming back Gajini, it had a wonderful knot like that - What if a person with short memory loss wants to take revenge on people who killed his wife? But looking at the screenplay, a lot of loopholes. What is the necessity of the Police Inspector's role? Nayandhara's character is not properly defined. How come the hero collects the phone number and other details of the villain? And more importantly, why is he tattooing it when he can simply write it down on a paper? Things like these make the screenplay very weak.

Picturization. Should say in many places it was really good. Esp the climax fight where hero fights with the twins. The technology is perfectly utilized(The worst thing is the twin is introduced in the movie only to use the technology! He has no other role than that) Whats not good about picturization is violence. It is too much. From the starting scenes, were blood dripping from the water tap, to the climax, where the villain kills a gal and removes her dresses. Esp the place where Asin gets killed.

The only thing I liked in the movie is Asin and Surya. The scenes where she comes are really entertaining. In fact I thought if the one liner of this movie had been: "What if a middle class gal claims to love a millionaire, and he really falls in love with her", the movie will be real entertainer.

Final thought is that if Murugadass booked Vijay Gandh for this movie, it would have been a block buster as their previous combination - 'Ramana'

To give a one liner about a movie, I can say that: An ugly shaped body on a strong skeleton wearing a good looking dress, which is torn in few places!

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Life is really weird !

Two days back, I was sitting at my desk and was busy working. Heard a 'Hi' and turned back. A guy was standing. Very familiar face but I couldn't identify who he is. He smiled and said 'Remember me?'. I couldn't. Then he said 'remember CSC? Manikandan, Laxmanan, Sabareesh?'. Oh Yeah! I got it. He was a student of mine, when I was teaching C & C++ CSC. It was long back - my 2nd year of UG. Laxmanan, who came to my desk, was studying 1st year BE then. After 7 years we meet! Now he has 3 years of experience and joined here in Verizon few days back. 3 years and this is his 4th company. He couldn't believe that I was sticking with the same company for all 3 years. It was good to see him back and was talking to him.

I was reminded of those good old days in CSC. The golden evenings. Esp. the rainy days. Mostly no students will be coming to the computer center if it rains. We, staffs, would order tea & hot snacks from the JM bakery and have a round table conference, teasing each other in turns. Apart from CSC, I even worked as a pager operator also. Cell phones were just then introduced and rates were too high. Rs 8/- per minute for incoming and around Rs 20/- for outgoing!!! Pager was very popular as its pretty cheap. People would call us, the operators, and give the message. We have to get the message and type it, check it manually and then send it. Our efficiency is measured by parameters like the number of seconds we talk in the phone, the number of spelling mistakes we make, how soon we send the message and get ready for the next, etc. Somehow I hated that job and luckily my boss at CSC was asking me to join back.. I thought for a while and then joined back. Result: I got a hike :-) The pay with hike put together won't even fetch me a booze in a decent bar now. But it was a very big amount for me in those days.

Now the staff and the student are the same company with same experience - most probably he might get a better pay than me. Other guys who was there in CSC - Mani & Sabreesh have now 5 years experience and getting more than twice of what I get here.

Life is really weird!

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Yes, Finally Gajini is released! Heard that the opening is so grand and its already booked housefull for few days! The initial comments from the movie-goers are also good. I was so longing to go for the movie on the first day, but didn't get tickets. Somehow one guy booked the whole balcony on sat morning show and it was exclusive for Verizon and CTS makkal. I got a chance to get the ticket, but then I had other important work to do at that time and so decided not to go. I gathered a group for Sunday, but alas no tickets - even in Mayajaal, its booked. May be I'll plan during a weekday sometime next week. I'm not going to miss this film by any chance. Its not for the hype, not for the screenplay, its not for the songs, its not for Suriya and its not for Nayandara. Its all for the cutie Asin!

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PC down ...

Again :-( I'm still not sure whats wrong, but my PC is not booting up. I guess the trouble could be with the SMPS as the SMPS fan itself is not working. This weekend, I've to get it ready somehow. I tried contacting Sify to suspend my account till it gets ready. The guy at the call center asked me to mail me. What the heck? I'm calling them because I'm not able to bring up my PC and they are asking me to mail! I went to a browsing center and sent a mail. Then I get a reply that the product can't be suspended. Well. Get lost. Somehow I got Sree's laptop connected and started working. Its all fine now. But all my bookmarks and data is in my PC. I've to get it ready soon!

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Indian Techies

Last friday I attended the first BEA User Group's meeting. The presentations were about Diablo (Code name for Weblogic Server 9) and Service Oriented Architecture. I was quite surprised that many people didn't know about Eclipse. When the guy who was presenting asked how many of you know about WTP, I was surprised that only 3 hands were raised(It was me, Chaitu and Dinesh). How can that happen? Does everyone else is using MyEclipse or WSAD? It cant be. I guess people who use Eclipse, still use the plain text editor in it to edit JSP, CSS, HTML, etc and use an ant script to deploy. Only 3 among the 300 were using appropriate editors!!! Why the Indian techies has gone so bad? I soon got an answer. One guy had a printout in his hand and was asking me, 'is this the right conference na?' I looked at the printout it said 'Win a mobile phone'. Looks like there is a mobile phone to be given out to one lucky person and he came only looking for the chance of being lucky. I could see few others came for the good food (to be honest the hot dosa with chicken curry was very tasty) So I decided that the real techies stayed back at office/home and were busy coding while the vetti guys who have less/no work and guys looking for free mobile & food came for the meeting. (of course there were 3 exceptions and you know who ;-))

Soon after that I was going thru the blogs which I've read for few weeks. Look here and here for interesting entries about Cedric & budding Indian techies (look for the comments). hmmmmm. Hey fellas, welcome to the club. You got lot of company in the industry.

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New stuffs around

- iPod Nano, the cute little thing I already fell in love with.
- Blog Search - an Google has created a new search. As like other Google products, its cool. I tried searching for my real name, but lots of Prakash and I cudn’t find mine :-( I recently formatted my C: drive and reinstalled everything. I lost all my blog list and this search is a useful one to find my blogs. To make things simpler, I wrote Google blog search engine extension for Firefox, and hey its working smart
- I finally somehow installed a 512 MB RAM in my system in addition to the existing 128 MB. Installed Windows XP, Google Desktop Search & Konfabulator

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When we were going to the Sivasamuthram falls last week, we stopped at some place for lunch. I took my camera into the hotel, but didn't get any nice objects to shoot. Guys were asking me 'Why did u bring ur camera then' Desperately I was looking for something to take a picture and all I saw was this grade filled with bottles. I hesitated to waste a shot in my film camera. Ravi lended me his digi cam and so here is the shot. It came pretty well than I expected :-)

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Visual taste

Wondering what the heck it is? Its a building set kind of toy that Ravi bought for his brother's kid. It has metal sticks and magnetic balls. If you have enough of those sticks and balls, you can build any structure, you can image. I was pretty much bored one day and didn't know what to do and was playing with that. Thought how about a photo of it. I arranged it on a sheet and then clicked with my K2. The result is good, with a few tinkering with picasa.

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What's next?

I told here that I've got a good offer. I thought I'll get a decent hike here because I've done a good work. Based on that belief and few other factors, I declined that offer. Its almost confirmed that here I wont get any hike this time. All my efforts towards shipping the product, my decisions on the design, 80 hour weeks, training for other members, personal sacrifices for this project, what more? Now all that for nothing. I've 'promises' for next appraisal, but should I wait till then? May be a good interesting work will make me stay. Nothing is decided as of now. But for the fact, I literally got pissed off because of this process.

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Typing in Tamil

Yesterday I discovered a nice web page for typing in Tamil. We have to just key in the Tamil text in English and it will be transliterated(not translated!) into Tamil. Which one you think will be better read? Englishla type pannai, atha appadiye manasula maathi purinchukaratha, இல்லை, தமிழ் வார்தைகளை தமிழ்லயே படிக்கறதா? The second one right? At least I prefer that way. This is really good for my other blog and will be trying to use it more often for that.

Its easier to get started, but going forward, if we need specific words, it was a little tough. But otherwise, its too good. Try it here.

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Sunrise @ ECR

Sunrise @ ECR
Usually I go to a beach near VGP at the saturday mornings. One morning I went with my Canon K2 and got this wonderful shot. Nothing much to add other than its a nice combination of colors :-)

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Rumors, Rumors, Rumors everywhere ...

Looks like Microsoft is going to introduce a PC to telephone network VoIP software and Yahoo! will be following it. Heard somewhere that Apple is going to introduce a new iPod which can be used as a cellphone. Somebody was telling me that Google will introduce gBrowser, which can work in a local cache and can hold proprietary format which are editable without an internet connection (offline GMail?) Blogs quote that I'm going to switch to a new service provider for my cell phone from Aircell( Hutch?) Let me see how many of them are going to come true.

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A conversation between Mr & Mrs God

I was about write a blog on my last week trip to Bangalore, and yesterday evening I got delivered with a parcel. It had a Audio CD in it. I played it in my PC and was surprised by the conversation. It was between Mr & Mrs. God. I don't know how someone recorded it and then why they want to sent it to me, but nevertheless the conversation was good. So here it goes along with my comments in between.

She: Naatha
He : Sol, Devi.
She: I have one doubt.
He : mmmm. Its Friday midnight and its already 12. What doubt you have at this odd time?
She: Any way the good things happen for good people and bad things happen for bad people. Why do you need to exist? Do you really have any powers? What can you do?
He : Hey, I'm after all God. I can do anything I want. hmmmm ok. Look at those two guys sleeping in the train. Are they good guys or bad guys?
She: You mean Prakash and Ravi? They are one of the very best guys I've ever seen. Why?
He : See what happens to them tomorrow.

I don't know why Mr. God chose us to demonstrate his powers to his wife. May be because we were the most innocent and good people on earth and his powers are best explained if tested on us :-(

He : Devi, wake up. wake up
She: Naatha, its 3.30 in the morning and what are you doing?
He : Look at that guy Prakash. He woke up now itself. You know y?
She: Y? He wanted to go to bath room?
He : Nice guess. But no. The answer is the lady in the upper berth opened the window and chill air was on his face. He is in the lower berth and someone who was going to bath room bumped on his leg. Now he can't sleep. I've made arrangements, so that no one will be in the station for receiving them

Ada kadavule. unaku enna ippadi koduma paduthanumnu ethana naala aasai? ella en times. So as this fellow 'arranged', Guru and Sakthi were sleeping when we called from the station. We took an auto to their house.

She: Naatha, whats up? These guys planned to start for some falls by 9 AM. Its 12.30 and they are still in the house. What did you do?
He : Simple, I made Varda to go late. You know he is always punctual. But somehow I made him a little late.

You too, God? I've seen many people telling lies to impress their gal friends, but this is the first time I'm seeing someone telling lies to impress their wives! That too its the God. Halloooooo Mrs God. If you happen to read this blog, know that your man (or your God?) didn't do anything. Its a usual thing for Varda to come late and ditch all the plans we have. hmmm. We actually planned to return to Bangalore by 3/4 that evening. But it was 2 PM when we left the city. We had Arasu's bike and Varda's car. Varda didn't pay road tax for his car and its a TN registration. We got caught by an RTO. But Ravi showed his visiting card from Chennai and told him that we are on a trip from chennai and fooled him. After half-an-hour trouble, he let us go. We reached the falls by 5.30 and then started our return journey.

She: Naatha, you said you will trouble these guys. They already visited the falls and are enjoying the trip now.
He : Hee Hee Hee, The lunch was good and so I slept for sometime. Boom. Now look at that. Varda's car is not going to move after this.
She: Oops! Let me see how these guys handle this. I think they can't even call anyone because there is no network in that area.

The clutch plates in Varda's car worn out all of a sudden. As Varda is a very very good driver, there could be no other reason that a person wanted to impress his wife with his powers. Guru and Ravi went in Arasu's bike to get some mechanic from the near by village (24kms away from the spot). Others (me, Madan, Varda and Arasu) stayed back with the car.

She: Naatha, look at them. They are enjoying the evening sunset, singing and enjoying their time.
He : True. Let me ask our Varuna Bhagavan to have some drizzle. Let them settle inside the car

Bad move Mr. God. We all enjoyed a little drizzle :-) Meanwhile, it was getting darker and we managed to get a helping hand from a tempo driver. He was ready to tie the car to his vehicle and pull it till the next village.

She: Looks like they are going out of trouble.
He : You think the game is over now? (in his cellphone) Hello, Varuna. Yeah its me again. Can you make rain instead of drizzle? No, No, No. It should rain cats and dogs. Yeah. Yeah. Got it? Ok I'll talk to you later. Bye. (ends cellphone talk) Devi, See the show now.

It rained heavily and the water was flowing above our knees. To make things worse, the rope got cut and we have to get down to fix it. After all these thamasha, we managed to reach the place by 9.30 PM. Luckily we could get some bread and Miranda for dinner. The getogether dinner planned in Bangalore with all our classmates there, was cancelled an hour back.

She: Now what? They have called the Hyundai help line. The service van is already on the way. They are going to get the car repaired; go back to Bangalore in 2 hrs; booze in some bar; go to sleep. Isn't it?
He : Haa, Haa, Haa. Wait Devi. Its not over yet. You think those service guys are going to get the car ready? You are mistaken. They planned to take the car to Mysore. Along with the car guys have to go to Mysore now. All their plans are ruined Haa. Haa. Haa.

Its not over yet. The Hyundai service personnel were from Mysore (the place we got struck up was very near to Mysore than Bangalore). They were not ready to tow the car to Bangalore and we were not ready to go to Mysore. Finally we both agreed that We'll tow the car till Mandia, a place 30 kms away and from there we split. We'll go to Bangalore in a Cab they'll book for us and they will tow the car to Mysore get it repaired and bring it back to Bangalore on Monday. It was heavily raining and Arasu said that he will drive the bike till Mandia.

She: Poor guys. It must be a pathetic day for them. Looks like finally its over.
He : Devi, don't underestimate my powers, the worst is yet to come.

Just like her, we too thought its over. But it was not. The guys didn't know the way to Mandia. Somehow we got directed in a wrong way and we were wandering in many places . At a point Arasu gave up. He said he can't drive any more. I started driving and then only I realized why he said like that. There is no proper road, it was dark and the chilled rain drops were piercing till your bones. If that isn't enough, the headlight's high beam went off. So I have to use only the low beam, means I can't see beyond 4/5 feet before me. Ravi even said that there was a big snake that fall on the bonnet of the car!!!

She: Naatha, I feel this too much. They are poor innocent guys!
He : Hmmm. I told you right, I'll show my powers. Now what do you feel?
She: I've another doubt. Neenga nallavara, kettavara?
He : What? How do you expect me to reply? Like Kamal?
She: No. Are you God or Satan? Now I got cleared of my earlier doubt. The mere existence of God is to make sure that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. It doesn't happen just like that. But you are doing it the other way. Tell me. Are you God or Satan.
He : (Confused, thinks for a while) Hee. Hee. Hee. True Devi. This is just a part of my Thiruvilayadal. Think in this way. All they wanted to do was to visit the falls. They did visit the place. Apart from that, these experiences were an addition. It might be troubling at present, but later when they turn back and see, they might have got a rich experience. They will proudly tell their friends about these experiences. Who knows that crazy guy Prakash might even write a blog about it!
She: Enough of your valiyal smiles and samalips. Now set it right.
He : Hee. Hee. Hee. Ok.

The dialogs in CD story ends there, so were our troubles. One of the service person came and said that he need the bike, to go in front of the cars and search for the way. I happily jumped into the car. In another 15 mins, we were in Mandia. (It looks like were already there for a while and roaming around the city instead of entering) None of us were ready to travel for another 100 kms. It was already nearing 2 AM. So we settled down in a hotel there. The next morning, we took a train to Bangalore and reached there by afternoon. After that we went to lunch at Varda's house, slept for a while, booze at the bar and returned back to Chennai. Nothing great enough to get bloged. Hmmmm, looks like for me to blog on something, the Gods must go crazy.

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Google Talk

Finally the rumours came true. After much hype, Google released its IM Client. As with the other Google products, it has cool, simple and easy to use interface. The exe file size and the memory foot print are very smaller. With no file transfer, no skins, no font selection, no smileys etc, it doesn't make much sense to move to this immediately. How good is Google Talk, if we can't talk? They have a VoIP implementation too. Although you can call & talk only to other Google Talk people, my guess would be that they will announce a premium service, where you can call the PSTN network too.

On another track, I just discovered that you can send mails from your Gmail id, as if you are sending from another id. This feature is very useful for me. I've subscribed to some groups thru my Yahoo id. Whenever I need to send any mails, I need to use Yahoo! Mail. Now that I've registered my Yahoo id with Gmail, I can send mails from Gmail itself, with my Yahoo id in the From column. Further you can specify Gmail id in the Reply-To field, so that the replies will be delivered to Gmail and you can start communicating with those individuals from Gmail id itself. Cool huh? Click here for more info.

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Another photo of mine :-)

This picture was taken when I went to Kodaikanal last weekend. Taken with my Canon K2. Looking at the tall tree, I thought it would be nice combination for me to stand near it. And to get the perspective, I've used wide angle and gave the camera to Bala. He was almost lying on the ground to take this picture. The result is good except for a little under exposure.

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Drive carefully

In a previous post I was talking about my teammate who met with an accident. An update on him. He has recovered from the injuries. Once in a while, for few seconds he has little disturbances in the way he does things but then recovers immediately. He has not yet back to work. Will be back soon.

Whenever I look at accidents like these, I generally reduce my average & max speed. In a week or so, I'll forget about the accident and will be back to my "normal" speed. I just recovered from that accident and today I got the news that my another friend met with an accident.

It had happened on last saturday night and none of us knew about it. I went to the hospital to meet him. He didn't remember exactly what happened. With his left over memories and people who saw the incident, here is what happened. Our man was travelling in the Koturpuram road towards Cancer Institute. It was around 9 PM and he was driving a little fast - as usual. Near the signal he didn't notice the tree that was in the middle of the road. (Yes, during the road expansion, they didn't cut down the trees, and they are on the middle of the road) When he noticed it, it was a little late. He couldn't completely avoid it. He turned to the left but still hit the tree. He had severe injuries in the right side of the body. His shoulder bone was misplaced and the doctors are waiting for the swelling to reduce to do an operation. His left wrist had a fracture and another fracture in the right leg. Luckily he always wears a helmet and so no major injuries in his head. Despite the helmet, he had a big wound in his forehead. Due to the pain killers, he is sleeping most of the day. His aunt was also there when I went and she was asking me to advise him to go slowly. He said, "athai, enaku seripu varuthu aana serika kuda mudiyala. ivan enna vida vegama povan, ivan enaku advice pannanuma?" His aunt then started advicing me. I know, at least till he come back to office, I'll be driving slowly. Then? wrrroooooommmm. Again till either someone or me meets an accident. Pray for my friend and the people on the road.

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Tamil Kavithaikal

I've created another blog. Apart from the news, nothing much to be said here.

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Vetti forwards ...

As a matter of fact, I do spam a lot of inboxes in my office. Most of them are either forwards or links. I've never created any such forward text/presentation/word document. I don't understand how people have time, patience and creativity to create them. Now these kind of forwards are spamming our inboxes in our mobile too. Recently I got a forward message. Here it is: "Today is world stealing day. So tell me one thing which you would like to steal from me. Send this to everyone to get surprised replies & your reply is a must".
I'm not sure of whether such a day called stealing day exists, but I'm sure it was not on that day (its after all, my birthday!!!) I thought for a while and forwarded it to my friends. I did get lot of replies. Along with the normal replies (your purse, your credit card, blah, blah), I did get some interesting replies. Here they are (with my comments in brackets):

(*) Bold and Brain (Ah! So I'm brainy?)
(*) Nothing is there in you to steal except your heart (Are you sure its not stolen yet? ;-) )
(*) Varifying Trait (No comments on this one)
(*) Your computer with internet connection (Ok. Given the situation in office, now I'm really afraid you might!)
(*) Thangalin uyarntha knowledge (appa naan nijamalume brainy than. hee, hee, hee)
(*) Your cell (So that I won't spam your inbox?)
(*) Your salary (Believe me, its not worth of it)
(*) Politics (Maddy, What is the meaning of the word?)
(*) Your gal friend (Thank god! I'm saved now)

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For the great Madarasi

Which is the only metropolitan city in the south?
Which is the most traditional cultured city of all the metros of our country?
Which metropolitan city has the lowest crime rate?
Which city has the second longest beach in world?
Which city in India currently has the highest growth rate of IT? (Don't think of Bangalore, its all saturated there. The question is about growth rate)
Which city is preferred by most of the automobile manufactures across the world to set up a manufacturing unit?
... < add any number of your favourite questions that praises Chennai>

If you are answering Chennai for all the above questions with a proud face, and expecting much more questions like that, you are probably a Chennai-ite. Anything good you hear about this city, you would be glad to add in more points. And whenever people like me talk about the patheticness of this kuvampatti, you would mostly say 'hey dude. You don't know about this city. Its a wonderful place to live'. Don't you? Now here is a must-read book for you: 'Chennai Latte - A Madras Brew'.

Since 2002, Madras Musings carried a humor column 'A-Musings' which was written by Ranjitha & the cartoon by Biswajit. The column discussed about the events and situations of the Chennai city. This book is a compilation of a part of work for this column.

Right from the mosquitoes to traffic to climate to water problem, this book deals all the issues that we face in our day-to-day life in Chennai. With a little humor added in the text, added with a cartoon for every issue, you would realise what Chennai life is really all about, in a lighter way. Com 'on dear Chennai-ite. You say 'its THE city to live', but when was the last time you parked your bike in Spencers without hassle or when was the last time you found a road that is not digged up? Face the reality. I'm sure that it won't make you to pack your bags and find a job in Coimbatore, but sure, you won't say again that 'Chennai is a wonderful place to live'. Don't worry, occasionaly this book talks about the positive side too :-) (I hear someone there yelling 'kaapi')

No matter whether you are a chennai-ite or not, grab a copy of this book. Its a good read.

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A view of Taj ...

Didn't post a photo for a two months and so here you go. This was taken with my Dad's Electro 35, when we went for a North India tour during my MCA. The actual one is a color photograph and I made it B&W with Picasa. B&W photos sometimes create a good mode, which can't be created with color photos. As a news, one good thing the blogger.com guys did was to eliminate the need of Hello to post pictures. Thanks Guys. Now I don't have to install a different software just to post pictures :-)

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One more year!!

One more year! Let me turn back and see what have I accomplished. There nothing much happened in my personal life. Same old house, same old roomies, same old regular doings and still single. Official life was good. Despite the usual fights with the onsite, designed and shipped a product successfully, which was actually thought as impossible. Now joined a new team and shifted to T.Nagar office. Well. Thats it. One more year has passed and here comes an another birthday saying that you are older by one more year. Most of the new teamies ask me, 'What is your age? hmmmm, 25? 26?'. My answer? I quote from one of my fav songs: '18, till I die'.

Don't worry about the future - forget about the past
gonna have a ball - ya we're gonna have a blast
gonna make it last
18 till I die

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Trip to neiveli

I first met Ani when she joined iView team. I was with ASG team then and as Ravi was with iView. I used to have lunch with that team and so I met on her first day of her job itself. She had joined as a fresher from Anna University. I was told that she had received some color belt in karate. Still with a little boldness left in my mind, I demanded her an ice cream as a joining treat. She looked at me and said, 'tharen Prakash'. Not sure of whether it was an ice cream or a demo of her karate talents, I nodded my head. After I joined iView, I learnt that she is not only good in karate, but in few others too. She is a swimming champion; she remembers every song in tamil movies; she can reproduce the entire dialogs of all the comedy scenes with the same expressions; she can drive a bike in the ECR along with us to mayajaal; she is the one who can make the loudest whistle sound and finally she is the second best cook in our team (without me telling my name, obviously you know who will be the best) ;-)

Wondering why all of a sudden Ani came into my blog? She invited us to her native this weekend and we went there. It was such a wonderful experience. Forget about the funny happenings and silly teasing and the night rounding in the township in search of a tea at 1.30 AM. This blog is all about the places we visited in Neiveli. Now, over to Neiveli.

Neiveli is a township by the lignite corporation. Its wonderful in many ways. The whole township is well planned with neat and straight roads. People pay an ignorable amount as rent, cable tv fees and electric power. They can stay as long as they are employed in there. Once they got retired or terminated or they quit, they have to vacate the place and some other employee will move in. The net result is that the population of the town remains almost stable. Its a peaceful life there.

Apart from township, we visited two places. One is the thermal power station and the other is the mines. We could go into the furnace, the generator and to the control room too. While they were explaining about the functionalities with the software, I was wondering, what language might have been used?, If I'm to create a library for those strange looking controls, what will be the challenges I face, etc. hmmmm. can't help. After all thats what I do for my living. All these happened in the fourth floor. He had completed explaining the process of creating the electricity with the heat, I thought overall, its a good knowledge gaining experience. We headed for the lift. This time, it was a different lift. I noticed that it was showing 1st floor. I was telling our guys that the indicator was wrong. The lift operator with a smile said, "You are wrong. For this lift, this is the first floor". huh? what the heck? So are we going to the ground floor now? No. We are going to the 7th floor, which is the highest in this thermal power station. And it was around 75 meters. Almost thrice the height of my tnagar office and it says we are in the 7th floor! We were taken to some view point and while walking somebody screamed 'Don't look down!!!'. Everybody looked down and almost everybody screamed 'Don't look down!!!'. We were walking on a small path which actually connects two towers and we were walking on a grill and there is nothing between the floor and us. After that everybody was walking different. It was funny to watch. Esp. Venki. He was so scared. Gals were teasing him to wear a chudithar. Me and Mike went near him and jumped on the grill that we were walking. He was scared to death. Then after the enjoying the view from such a height, we were prepared to go down. This time, we stopped at around 35 meters height. We were taken to the place where a conveyer belt carried all the lignite for the furnace. With conveyer belts on both sides and a very steep elevation, we started walking down. It was a little tough to walk as there is no steps and just the elevated floor. After 10 mins of walk we reached the bottom. We went a little far and looked at the path we came down. It was really breath-taking. After that we went and looked at the cooling towers and the 400 kva switch that puts the electrical energy into the grid. We were not allowed to take photograph, but still managed to take one standing outside. Will post it later.

The next day first we went to a lake. It was an artificial lake and used to separate water & ash. The water which is used in furnace will contain lot of ash and can't be used with that contents. So they pump the water into this lake. The ash gets sedimented and the water is collected from the other side. The color of the water and the ash created a wonderful scene. I took a picture with Ani's camera, which I'll be posting later. From there we went to the mines. There are actually two mines and we went to the second. We were stopped at the main gates and then shifted to an NLC bus. We were taken into the mines. While we were going, we passed a place called 'crawler yard', where giant sized machines were repaired and maintained. The wheels were almost 6 feet height! hmmmmm. Mining requires this kind of large machines I thought. Few more minutes travel and a sudden turn in the road, we had a view of the mines. Its an open mine and they have digged 80 - 100 meters from the ground level. The area of the digged place was around 1200 hectares !!! And those giant machines which we saw a few minutes back were looking very tiny near the digging machines, which are bigger than several "sky scrapers" in chennai. The whole thing was looking something like the "star ship troopers" coming alive and you are going into an alien space where machines are working. In another 10 mins we were at the bottom most portion of the mine. It should be around 80 meters from the ground level. Each machine there digs around 30,000 tonnes of material everyday!!! We then went near one of the machines which was digging and saw how much of land is cut every second with that. It was really an amazing experience. And those 'giant' ones with wheels taller than me, are merely used to push off the left overs. Now big is just a relative term !!

We had fun, ate good food, enjoyed a lot and had a rich experience - one 80 meters above the ground and the other 80 meters below the ground. We all should thank Ani for giving this to us. Ani, but still you owe me one ice cream that you promised :-)

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Life is little weird ...

Few weeks back I've blogged What's Next? and then the answer for that. I was a little disappointed. I mean, I was asked to join the team for making the GUI happen. There was a failure effort earlier and so I was not allowed to take any bold decision of changing something afraiding that it might not go. With much less resources, a cryptic code base of the existing GUI to understand and very difficult deadline, we did do a wonderful job of making it happen. When I asked 'What next?' I thought that I would get a better answer. After all, I didn't demand a hike or a change in designation or to lead a team or to own a module. All I asked was 'What's next?'. And I was shown the door. Neither did I get a hike when I joined iView nor when I left iView and joined voicewing. Now where is the rewards for my efforts there? I was wondering and the answer came from a different place. Magesh, the guy from the onsite iView team.

Magesh & me always have skirmishes on what to do in the GUI. He would say struts and I would say no and go ahead without it; I would say no to JAX-RPC and he would go ahead and create the contracts with other team for that; and so on. Finally it all went to a point and then he either left the team/asked to leave the team - I don't know which actually happened, but he was out of the scene. Then it was all my decision of what to do and what not. Almost everything was smooth after that. Few clients had a chance to work on the GUI, while it was in testing and their manager gave a very positive feedback about the performance, look and the usability of the product in a manager's call. Post production, it is still running without much issues. As our Director said, 'I didn't hear anything about the GUI so far, means its sailing smoothly'. Now I joined a new team and then our man Magesh comes out of the blue and offers me a job in a startup company. Now isn't it a little weird? I did a lot and the one's who actually got benefited, showed me the door. On the other hand one who was literally kicked off the team by me, is opening up a better opportunity for me. With more than 150% of my current sal (grrrrrr. the hr people here already complain that I'm over paid) and a designation of Tech Manager with my 2.8 yrs experience, this looks like a very good one to me. Now I'm trying to find out a reason why I should stay back. Not sure of what I'm going to do. As usual, let me see ...

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Book: Five point someone

The first time I heard about this book was from Jo. She said its a very good book. Its written by a IIT guy. It said 'What not to do at IIT'. I've asked Jo to get me the book, but meanwhile, iView team presented it as a parting gift to me. I was getting bored at my new desk waiting for a PC to arrive and so started reading this. Only then I knew its not about the author's life in IIT, rather its a novel :-) I started it yesterday around 2.30 PM and before I left the office by 7, I've almost completed it. The flow was so perfect and you would get immersed into it once you start it.

This is all about life of 3 guys at IIT. Alok, Ryan and Hari. The whole book is written in first person in the view of Hari. Half of the book is very fast moving and the rest is comparatively little slow.

The novel starts on the first day at IIT and ends at the last day of their course. All thru the course, these guys get a GPA as 5.* out of 10, while the toppers get 9.*. And that's why the name of the novel is "5 point someone". Each of them are different type of characters. Ryan, the smart & cute guy, comes from a rich background; has no responsibilities and never worries about anything, including writing back to his parents abroad. Alok is just opposite background. He comes a from a poor family; cares about his family and has a responsibility of his sister's marriage & dad's medical bill. Our man Hari is just in the middle of them. All he needs is a good grade in exams to get introduced to one of his Prof as his daughter's boy friend. Now with different backgrounds, different characters and different responsibilities how do they manage to get out of IIT and were their goals satisfied? That is the story line is all about.

When reaching the end, I was reading the convocation stuff, I thought it should have ended in a much more practical way, rather a little dramatic. I guess the author &// reviewers also felt like that and so he changed it as a dream of Hari and moved towards a bit more practical one. On the whole, the book is a very good read and worth of that 95 bucks you are going to pay.

Thinking on my college days, I've spent 6 long years in two PSGs. First 3 yrs with PSG CAS, where education & discipline is a very distant goal & you can virtually do anything you want. And the other 3 yrs at PSG Tech, where education & discipline is the primary goal. With completely different environments and people with completely different mind sets, the transition was little hard for me. But no matter whatever the environment was, I still my good friends from both institutions and definitely had fun and enjoyed both. May be one day I'll write a book on "What not to do at PSGs".

My rating would be a 5 point zero, in the scale of 1-5 :-)

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What's next - Answered:

In a previous blog I've said that I'll talk with the director get to know what I'll be doing. Nothing got changed. I was again mapped in the same project, which is quite a surprise for me. I've clearly said that if there is no new work coming, I'm not interested in working in this gui. No new work coming, still I was not moved to another module. Then the first option remained for me is to look into some other team. Murali suggested me a team where they were looking for 'people with spark'. But the trouble was its not java but .net. I thought for a while, and then accepted the interview. To my surprise, the interview was not much technical. I was given some puzzles to solve. I've not solved puzzles for a long time and I'm not very good in that. Surprisingly, I did clear the interview. After me clearing the interview, my director gave me more options and was willing to move into a different module. But it was a little late I guess. By the time, I was prepared for the move. Now the official process is over and I'll be shifting tomorrow to the new team. My new project is about voip over dsl. Check this. Although I've not assigned with any particular work, I'll be working to enhance the system and provide new features. The sad part is that my new seat is in the TNagar office and I've to commute into the city. The good part is so many shops around for food :-)

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Careful when you are in the roads

Two days back, around 9.30 PM Ravi got a call that one of our team mate met with an accident and is in a hospital near Thiruvanmiyur signal. As we know him, he is a really tensed person. He actually over reacts for few silly things and will get tensed easily. He is an absent minded person (than me). So the first thought that we had was that he might have driven with some other thread in his mind and might have made the accident. However, last week only me and him went and bought a helmet for him and so there will not be anything serious. But there was a surprise waiting for us in the hospital. He was not admitted in the hospital. He was simply sitting in the ground near the gate and crying. He was not having any injuries in his body. His friends who were there said that he was crying for more than an hour and was not responding to any of their questions. No one knew what exactly happened. All they know was that there was an accident and looks like he was not the reason for it. Someone else who brought him here was the culprit and he is already in police custody. Now nothing to do, we tried to enquire him, which was a useless effort. I thought that he is in shock and will be recovering in the morning after a good sleep. Only when we lifted him to take him into the hospital, we noticed a small swelling in his head. That's when we realized that things were little serious. We immediately took him to Apollo hospital in an auto. The doctor in the emergency ward arranged an ambulance to take him to Apollo's neuro specialty hospital in Mount road.

There, a CT scan was performed and the doctor showed us the blood clots in this brain. Its not very dangerous, he explained. It will heal in a week or 10 days. But if more blood goes into the brain, then he is in serious trouble and we need an operation to cure him. He said its good to observe keeping him in the ICU. We agreed and he was admitted in the ICU.

Meanwhile, we were able to collect info about the accident. Looks like he went to meet a doctor for something. After that while he was crossing the road to take his bike, he was hit by another bike. It was a small accident and a small injury. Only thing it was in a very wrong place. It was a direct hit for one of the blood vessels inside the skull and it got puntured. If not hit on that particular place, he would have got up in the spot and scolded the guy and walked to his bike. But things doesn't always happen right.

The news about his health condition, we got the next day, was little different. The other doctors said that he needs an operation to get cured or else it will be dangerous and the same day evening, they performed an operation as soon as his dad & bro arrived from Madurai. Today we went there to meet him. He was in a little pathetic condition. His hands and legs were tied to bed, because whenever he is conscious, he tries to remove the bandage in wound around his head. The good thing is he is able to identify us (he was not identifying his dad or room mates yesterday). He was clear when he talked to us. He asked us to untie him. We have to explain him the situation, and getting tensed is no way going to help him.

Its sometimes very difficult to face this situation. One moment you are walking in the road, then you wake up only to find that you were hit by a bike and had an operation in your head and for around 2 days you were in an unconscious state. As I told earlier, he already over reacts to silly things and he could not even digest that it has happened to him. After talking to us, looks like he understood a little that staying relaxed is the only way to get out of the ICU. He seems to understand it. He is clinically alright, but mentally he is upset. Lets see what happens in few days.

Meanwhile, if you have faith in God or prayers, please pray for him.

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Movie: Anniyan

For a long time, I've not written a blog about a book or movie. Let me try to post more. This week was a Multiple Personality Disorder Movie week for me :-) Happen to watch 'Anniyan' in the weekend and 'Hide and Seek' during a weekday.

Anniyan is yet an another Sankar's movie. Every scene and every frame is crafted in a grand manner with perfection. Add Vikram's perfection to it. The movie is a real feast. Especially the songs. The first song 'kumari ...' was not a very good one, but the location and picturization makes it a very good one. The best visual treat is the 'randakka, randakka' song. Every frame is colorful to the lowest detail. For example, for the line 'tentu kottai interval muruke', Kamal, Rajini and other actors faces are drawn on the big rocks in the background. It would have at least taken 2 days to paint them and it is shown in the movie for 2 seconds.

Forget the rich presentation. The story line is very new to Tamil cinema. In like the 'connect the dots to get picture' section in some kids magazine. All along the movie, Sankar leaves some dots. Finally in the climax, he gives us the hint to start the drawing and ends the movie. Puzzled, if we think back and connect all the dots, you will see the real picture - Ambi is not having multiple personality disorder. He just acts like that so that he punish the people and to marry the gal he loves. I had lengthy arguments with my teammates and have to prove this theory. Only Dinesh got it before I said. Others were surprised by the hidden story line.

If you have watched this movie, think about the possibility of Ambi not having disorder and still you didn't get it, watch the movie again to get the dots.

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What's next?

Its over. All hard work of the past few months is getting over. Last Saturday, we deployed our GUI in our production. It was a port of CGI-C++ GUI to JSP. There were two biggest challenges. First was not to touch the server code for any reason. The second was to reproduce all the functionalities of the existing GUI in the normal production cycle. The "normal production cycle" here was actually designed for fixing few IRs and CRs and sending the application to the clients. We wrote the entire GUI from scratch in this cycle. This was a Herculean task, still we managed it - of course with several sleepless nights and 90 hour weeks. Today is the first day in production. I'm sitting in the office and monitoring the process. Just in case if something goes wrong, we have to fix it. No much problems. Its going smooth. Have to sit during the night times and monitor for one week. OK. After that? The question remains unanswered. If more new functionalities are added in the GUI, then I might work on it or, if new work is coming for team, then I might get assigned to it, or I might shift to another team, which is looking for people with my skill set, or I might shift the company. Not sure of what I'm going to do. Waiting for my director from onsite to land here. Have some troubling questions to shoot at him. Then within 2 weeks I'll know what I'll be doing.

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The beach

Watching sunrise from the beach is really a picturistic. I tried going to the Besant nagar & Thiruvanmiyur beaches. But it is crowded with people. People who come there for daily exercise, people who come there for jogging, people who come there for a fresh air and of course, people who come there to see the sunrise. Me, who hate crowd, switched to VGP. Its lonely and very clean. Even thought I've to travel 30 kms up & down to reach the beach, it has become my favourite beach to visit in the mornings. When Jai was here, he used to give company, but now I'm going there alone. Slowly getting used to it - thanks to my iPod.

I've had a variety of experiences at that beach. Whenever I go there, I park my bike and start walking near the waves and collect shells. Last saturday, after I collected a handful of shells, I came to my bike, put them on the petrol tank and went again to find more. When I returned with few more, I was surprised by an additional shell. It was very big and looking nice. I don't know who put it there, but it was cute :-) Long back, when I went with Jai, there were two chinese gals (might have stayed there in VGP resort) came to the beach in their bikini. We started walking towards them. They jumped in the water; collected some shells; brought back to the shore and went back to the water again. When we were nearing them, they removed their tops and kept it near the shells collected on the shore and then went to the water. Aha! Me and Jai was left speechless. We passed them and sat at a distance and enjoying the show. I've been there at the beach during the day of Tsunami too. A group of college students, who stayed in the resort, were also at the beach on that morning. It was a cloudy morning and the sunrise was not clearly visibile. The quake happened when I was travelling back home and the waves hit the shore around 9 AM. Hope those students have not gone near the sea at that time. Today when I went there, I saw a guy, who was dressed in full formals including good leather shoes. He sat in the sand near the waves, facing the sea and started meditating. I don't understand why he has to dress that way and I don't understand how he selected this place and this time for meditation. Hmmmm, people are just themselves!

What would someone think if they saw me? "What is this guy doing here? Alone; listening to some music with earphones; walking all along the shore; collecting something from the ground; sometimes standing & starring at the sea? Hmmmm, people are just themselves"?

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Skiing @ Himalayas

This was shot with a good old Yashica Electro-35 and got scanned almost after an year. It taken was taken at Manali. It looks like Karthi was skiing thru the snow, but in reality, he was just posing for the camera :-)  Posted by Hello

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Me and my mental strength ...

Now a days, I'm becoming very much absent minded. Should blame my work pressure & personal problems I guess. Things like losing bike key, losing the house key was happening for sometime. The peak was going to office without switching off the stove. I kept the milk vessel in the stove to heat it and completely forgot it. I locked the house and went to office. I knew it only when the security in our apartments told me when I returned by 11 pm. The milk completely dried out and the remains started of a fire inside the vessel. The flames were 3 feet high. Our neighbours noticed the fire and immediately told our apartment office. They quickly brought a ladder and reached our kitchen window and turned off the stove with a stick. The fire was then put off with an extinguisher. I was thinking how lucky. 4 feet above the left burner was the wood work for Aqua Guard & shelf and I used the right side burner. My neighbours were at home and they noticed the fire. The office persons were able to find a ladder.

Apart from losing a vessel, there was no damage at all - I thought. I was wrong. Terribly wrong. Somehow it created a mental barrier in me against using the stove. I stopped cooking! I couldn't overcome it for almost one and a half months. I know this is all bull shit and I have to come back to normal somehow. Few times I'd make up my mind; go near the stove to prepare coffee; stare it for 2 mins; and then come out of the kitchen. Even on weekends either we ordered food for lunch or Viv cooked. I didn't know how to come out of this. This friday, we were talking about the plan of going to Anu's house for lunch. She was not feeling well for the whole week and said we'll have next week. Then suddenly I did this. I invited her and everyone for a lunch on saturday. Dinesh, Chaithaya, Anu & Jo said they will be coming.

Today Viv went to office; Kich went home, so no one was at home. I bought vegetables, cleaned all vessels, and kept everything ready. But I couldn't start cooking. Jo & Anu came. I was talking to them and a parallel thread was running in my mind - should I ask them to cook? It was like getting into a cold river on a early morning of a winter. You know that the water will be freezing cold. You know that the moment you get into the water, you'll feel the chillness for a less than a minute and then you'll be fine. But still, you can't get into the water just like that. Thoughts will be running in your mind like should I swim or go back home and take a shower in hot water. With all these thoughts, at a fine moment, you'll close your eyes and dive into the water. For me, getting back to cooking was very much like this. With all my thoughts that I'm not going to make this time also, I lighted the stove and kept the cooker with dhal. Then I felt ha! thats it. The next one hour I was enjoying it. Yes! I'm cooking again. Yes! I'm cooking again. Yes! I'm cooking again.

I know that I'm not an invulnerable guy, at the same time I've expressed a good amount to mental strength a lot of times. Esp. when Hughes turned down the offer and left us jobless, I was surprised by the way I reacted to the situation, comparing to others. I was in Bangalore and seaching job. I was very particular about my job. I never wanted to enter a consultancy company and the nature of job I'm going to do was also important. To worsen the situation, after few months, my dad decided that its a waste of time and asked me to come back and join teacher training. I can't really blame him. Sitting in a remote village, all he knew was software industry is no more a prospective one after the dot com bust & 9/11 attacks. The ordeal lasted for 6 months and finally I got a job without sacrificing my job requirements. (Jobs infact. Got two offers at the same day evening) When I looked back how I was in the past 6 months, I've handled the situation pretty well. Back in those days I've even gone to an extend that Me and Ganesh were discussing the possibility of starting a corporate training center!

I don't understand this. If I can handle the darkest days of life so easily, what made me so weak that I can't handle this stupid just-nothing thing?

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Change remains constant

The rumor finally comes true ! After ditching Intel for several years for its chips performance compared to PowerPC ones, Apple is switching to Pentiums. One of the main reasons for the switch is IBM & Freescale, producers of PowerPC chips, were not able to meet the supply requirements of Apple. Additionally the heat generated by the latest PowerPC chips disqualify them to be used in Laptops. A Powerbook with G5 processor still does not exist. Backward compatibility? While M$ always tries to provide a backward compatibility to any extend (I remember when I was in College & .NET was introduced, one of the first experiments we did was to create an exe with C# and run it in a M$ DOS machine. Believe me, DOS was able to load that file and said, "Windows is required to run this program"!), Apple makes very bold decisions like this. They don't try to wear the Golden-Handcuffs called backward compatibility. They moved the hardware architecture in the late 80s. They drastically changed the OS and moved to BSD Unix kernel for the modern Mac OS. Now they switch the processors. Everytime they do a major change like this, they loose a small amount of customers, but then they do get new customers in a pretty much big number.

So what next? A M$ Windows with Vmware & Mac OS on top of it? Dell getting license from Apple to create Apple PCs with preloaded Mac OS & selling it? Code with Visual Studio and execute it on Mac OS? The arena is now open and fantastic things are yet to come. Lets wait. May be I'd be blogging from my brand new Mac in an year from now :-)

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Perfect timing

When we were coming back from Pondi, we stopped at some ECR beach. Sesh and Vikram were jumping and posing. Kalidas was shooting them with his Digicam. At a distance, I was sitting in the shade and talking with Satish & Bala. I was having his Camcorder. Just zoomed at them and clicking at them. Although there is no clarity, the picture looked good. Good contrast and a perfect timing.  Posted by Hello

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Ladies and Gentlemen, here comes Swift

MUL introduced a new model called Swift, which created a stir in the Indian automobile industry. Some time back, before Hyundai, Honda and others created a market here, Maruti was virtually enjoying a monopoly. Even after lots of models introduced by various competitors, Maruti 800 is still the first car for most of the Indians. Its unbeatable in the low segment. In the small cars, Maruti innovated the tall boy design with Vagon-R. Inspired by the design Hyundai created Santro. Unfortunately for Maruti, Santro was introduced in Indian market well before Vagon-R and Maruti being a late comer here, couldn't overcome the first movers advantage. Now Maruti is taking no chance. Its introducing Swift, before Volkswagen and Audi are about to introduce similar models. Of course, Audi's model will be priced in a higher segment and it will not be a direct competition, Volkswagen's model surely will be.

The features are quite advanced. The braking system is found only in the premium segment cars like Accent & Octavia, the automatic climate conditioning system is found only in Merc's S class!!! Swift is offered in 2 different models and lowest one costs 3.87 lakhs. Still it comes with a factory-fitted AC & audio system. The higher end model Zxi, has lot more features and is priced only at 4.5 Lakhs. The pricing statergy of 'less-than-4-lakhs', sounds like the price of Bata shoe, but for an average Indian mind, it works :-)

The design is quite unique and stylish. Esp. the back of the car. Despite the small design, it offers a good leg room and a decent boot space. Apart from the Maruti-red & traditional Black, it offered in 6 other colors and I'm sure that not only the old ones but the youngsters also will have options for their fav. color.

I'm sure this will eat out Maruti's own Zen, 800 & Alto's share, but the good is its def. going to take a big share from Santro. Let see how the Indian market welcomes it.

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Finally my photo in my blog

Normally I post only the pictures which are shot by me or at least the ones which I have complete control and ask someone to click it. This one is an exception. This was taken with Kalidas digi cam. When we were on the way back from Pondi, we stopped at one of the ECR beaches and were sitting and talking. Sesh and Vikram were as usual trying for photos with different poses. They were jumping and Kalidas was taking pictures. From a distance, I was sitting and taking photos of them with Kalidas's camcorder. I couldn't sit for long. I too joined them and jumped :-) After a few tries, here is a perfect shot. I was in the absolute middle of the picture and so cropped it. The rest is untouched. Posted by Hello

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I'm back

Do I live or just exist? My last blog entry was almost 2 months back; I don't remember when I cooked my fav. sambar; I don't remember calling someone and talking with them for an hour; I even don't know whether a roommate is in town or gone to his native; its been a long time since I slept at 10 pm. Looks like I just exist. On the other hand, I've spent my weekends at Pondi and Thekkadi. I was even been to kollimalai too; boozed thrice; watched Hitch in Mayajaal (grrrrr they raised the tickets to 150 now); Looks like in the midst of all the heavy work, I've time to live. Whether I'm alive or not, quite a few things have happened since my last blog. My blog is nearing a total of 1000 hits(Thanks everyone!); M$ announced the work for IE 7 and firefox download has crossed 50 million & a tamil version is also available now!! ; Google has introduced a customizable home page with drag and drop support (wow!); Following Google & Yahoo, M$ annonced its version of desktop search; even Cheechma has updated her blog!

hmmm. now the official work is 'almost' over, have time to breath. Have to read all the blogs that I used to follow. 2 months is a long time and lot to read now :-)

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The power of Javascript

I've been thinking of learning some scripting language for a long time. I prefered Jython for various reasons, but couldn't always make it. Now I'm forced to learn javascript to use it in my webapp. Microsoft's Script debugger doesn't work always and I find it very annoying to put alerts everywhere to debug it. But slowing I'm learning the power of Javascript. I've seen the small boxes in GMail for the labels & invitations, which can fold & unfold at a click. The important thing, is it won't affect the layout of the page! I thought of simulating it. All I have to use is Javascript and play with CSS. Althought I couldn't get the smooth corners, its working :-)

You can have lots of fun with Javascript. People use Javascript to protect their web pages. In few pages you can't right click and do a 'Save Picture As..." or "View Source". They block the context menu with Javascipt. Look at this page for example. Want to crack it? Simple. Type "javascript:void(document.oncontextmenu=null)" in the Address bar and try right click ;-)

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This weekend ...

Sudhir and Madan came to Chenna to visit our friend, who met with an accident. He has improved a bit since I visited him a month back when he landed here. The first thing I could notice is that he has put on some weight and the visible evidence is his little belly. He refused with his usual witty smile and said that, it was because he was sitting his stomach got that shape, else it will be flat. Still he needs a cuff tied to hold a spoon & assistance from others to move, he regained a little bit of sense in his legs & he could move his fingers. Its a positive sign. Whatever changes, his mental attitude stays the same with the good old sense of humor. As Vens had his Santro, we decided to take him out for a dinner. As moving in & out of a restaurant will be a big ordeal, he preferred a drive-in restaurant. Out of the 2 known drive-in restaurants in the city, Woodlands was rejected because of the number of mosqiutoes. We might need a dozen Good Knight coils there. The only left choice was Planet M @ VGP. I think of the same situation in US. He can get into any restaurant/shop and move without much trouble. They make sure they have every provision for the physically challenged people. Here most of the commericial places have only stair cases & wheel chairs are not welcomed there.
As Maddy agreed to make it as his treat for his 42% pay hike (Damn! Three years back when we came out of college, he was the highest paid in our class!) But for 11 people with all variety of items from Pizzas to icecream, the amount came slightly around 2k. That should be nothing for him. Back home Sudhir started playing our fav. game ever - AOE :-)

I was talking with Sudhir about lot of things and was mentioning about the gal I met at ashram. She is around 18 now. 2 years back she was sold to a brothel house by her own gradma just for Rs. 20k. She was there for an year and got resuced afterwards. Now she is tested HIV +. Sudhir said, thats because its south. What does that mean? He explained that, there in north, gals younger than her will be sold at a cheaper rate and never get rescued. Thinking of people like my friend or these innocent kids, my question on the existence of God gets stronger. Back in my school days my thirst for knowing the purpose of life led to me glance me thru the writings of various Gurus from Vivekanadha to Prabhupadha to Osho. Each of them have their own view on what & who God is and generally I disagree with them in most of their arguements/views. The thoughts I could accept closely is of Kanchi Periyava's. His book 'Theivathin Kural' is THE best reliegious book I've ever read. Still there are few things that I disagree in that book too :-( Finally, till now, I don't believe in Him & His existence and the thought grows stronger everytime I meet innocent people 'punished' for doing no harm to others. Thoughts on this now reminds me that a blog on the book is still pending. Got to read it once again to blog about it.

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Blur effect with zoom

I consider this as one of my best shots I've ever shot. Taken last month when I went to Bangalore with my K2. After a getogether, me and Guru were going back to the house. I saw these lights before a hotel on the way and thought of taking a picture of it. Those serial lights were wound around a tree and doesn't make an interesting object to shoot. So I thought of creating a motion effect. Kept the shutter speed in 3 seconds. Holded the camera tightly and clicked. The flash went off and Guru & the lights got captured. Now, immediately after clicking, I slightly zoomed for 3 seconds. The path of the lights create rays, while Guru's image is not affected, as he is standing in the dark and no more flash/any other light on it. I didn't expect this to come well, but surprisingly it was better than what I thought.Posted by Hello

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A weekend in Karur

Been to Karur for the Hema's wedding. Sometime back, I found he was struggling to say something to me. I guessed that either he is going to switch to another job, if not another team. To my surprise he said he is getting married. He is just out of college and I thought it will take atleast an year or two for him to get married. Thats pretty soon!!! I know what will happen if I attend his marriage. He is subjunior and atleast 4 yrs younger to me and I'll be the target for everyone in his class there. As expected it happened :-(

The marriage was on Sunday early morning and he has called in for the reception at 11 AM. I joined my teammates and reached there on saturday morning. Checked into the hotel and decided to go to Kolli malai. Booked a Qualis and started around 10.30 AM. It took 2.30 hrs to reach there. Unlike Karur, the weather was so chill and pleasant. Even drizzled a bit. We reached a temple there and Bala told that we need to step down to reach a water falls. I didnt have much expectations on that. But climbing down the steps, I felt coming back is not that easy as the steps were so steep. Finally when we reached there, I was surprised. The falls was unimaginably superb. There was no much water flowing, but even then the water should be flowing from 600 feet or even more than that. Thats certainly 10 times higher than Thirumurthi hills. We took bath in that. The water was so chill and it was piercing the skin with force. I couldnt stand there for more than 5 mins. Enjoyed the natural shower and came back. I felt very bad for forgetting my camera :-( Sesh was all the way shooting with his handycam. Have not seen that yet. mmm. After resting there for a while, we started climbing up. There were totally around 750 steps and I thought I'll stop at 400, where there is a wonderful view of the valley. But after 300 every single step was paining. I couldn't even climb a single step after 325. So rested there and climbed till the view point. Sesh, Bala & Vikram joined me there. Me and Sesh decided another non-stop climbing from there. The steps after that were not so steep as earlier, so We did that :-) It was 4 PM up there and we have not had our lunch yet. So we had whatever was available - dosa, omlet, biscuit, banana, pineapple, etc. Satish was flat. Along with Kalidas & Ravi, he reached the top an hour after we reached. We started there by 6.30 reached the hotel by 9. Had a good booze and slept. This was one of the best trip I ever had. A trek thats so tiring, the wonderful falls, and more importantly the talks in the cab. We were discussing about lot of things from capitaism to Kadal movie. Then came a word war between Bala, a sneka fan and Vikram & Sesh, Trisha fans. Bala said something about Trisha, which nobody expected him to say that. The rest of the journey, he was finished. That was real fun. The teasings continued in the office after everyone heard about it.

The next day, we attended the reception and as expected I was the target for everyone there :-( As soon as the lunch was over, we went to hotel and slept. Then in the evening, we went to a good old Shiva temple near by. (I don't go to temples, but was bored sitting in the room) Good one. From the paintings there I learnt that once Brahma had a 'head-weight' that he was the superior god and because of that he couldn't create any more species. (mmm. so its not very bad, if I have any!) So for the meanwhile, Shiva sent Kamadhenu to eath as a substtute for Brahma to create lives. It came to a place in earth, where it found a Shivalingam. It worshipped and started creating. Since lots of karu's were created from that place, the place was known as Karur! and that temple is where Kamadhenu worshipped the lingam!!! I never knew the peyar karanam of the place. Interesting story :-)

Meanwhile, today I was looking for my duplicate bike key (Yes, I surprisingly lost it!) in my desk, I discovered a book that talks about God & science. I remember taking it to the office after completing it, so that I can blog about it. (At that time no net @ home). Then I forgot and its been there for several months. Its an interested read and will definitly blog about it. Keep waiting for it

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Taken with my Canon K2. During the wyanad trip, I shot this in a shop near Pookad Lake. It was gettting late and I went in to drive people out of the shop, so that we can catch the train. The vibrant colors of these keychains, attracted me so stopped for a moment and shot them. All I got was a nice picture and few kicks on my back :-)Posted by Hello

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No. Nothing technically about the hibrenate framework:-) After a hectic work, I decided to take off for a week and go home. I wanted to go home as soon as the code drops are over. But Ajit wanted me to stay back till it goes to production and so the plan was postponed. I've been out of office for 2 weeks, thats almost half a month! I spent 2 days to visit my relatives around sathy & cbe, 1 day in college & 1 day for the flower show at Agri Univ. botanical gardens. Apart from that all I did was eat, sleep, watch HBO, AXN & Star Movies, play with my nephew and listen to the music in FM & iPod. Felt like I was living someone's life :-)

Now to kuvampatti after a really loooooong break. Back home here, nothing has changed much. One thing is my sify account expired and didn't renew it till now :-/ I've gone for a 48 kbps pack instead of my 128 kbps, let me see how the speed is. So far not so bad. But if start browsing photoblogs, might feel it I guess.

Work is killing my time (ahhhhhh, I hate Javascript). Surprisingly Murali gave me a book about Templates in C++. Went thru the first chapter. Its a very interesting read. In the ack. section the author had mentioned about his editor Debbie. Reminded me the days when I used to do mail-chat with her from college. A little stubborn lady with straight-to-face comments. But still, it was a pleasure working with her :-) Thinking of an article in Java-templates as suggested by Murali. Let me see how it goes.

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No matter about what season it is, sunsets are always beautiful. This one was taken with Ravi's Powershot. It was sometime in last September, during my company's anniversary. When the function was going on, we were walking in the near by beach and I was experimenting with Ravi's camera. The sunset created a wonderful backdrop for the hatchery and I clicked it. The color combination has come out perfectly  Posted by Hello

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My third eye

Why didn't I blog for the past three months about the camera I bought? Something seriously wrong with my memory :-( Wondering why I thought of it suddenly? I'll come to that later. First the selection of my camera.

Right from the beginning, I was looking for a Digital SLR. With its wonderful performance & great reviews of the DIGIC processor, Canon was obviously my choice over Nikon. My eyes were on Digital Rebel.

But somehow I thought they are going to release a better version than that and I'll wait. At $1000 its not cheap. I was satisfied with the features, but thought it is not worth for that price. Canon answered my patience with D20.

Obviously it had all the features I was looking for, but alas, the price was not less - it was too high - $1700. Certainly its not the camera I was waiting for. Still searched for a better good deal on D20, as its 8.2 Mega pixels & DIGIC II processor really attracted me. But in Chennai, its not available at all. And I couldn't simply accept Digital Rebel Then some strange thing happened. I decided to go a film camera. The obvious choice should be Nikon, but hoping one day I'll definitely buy a D-SLR from Canon, it is wise to go for a Canon film camera, as I can always reuse the lenses and other accessories. My first choice was T2, but again, its not available in Chennai. So finally got settled with a K2. After enquiring in Camera City, many Canon dealers, professional photo stores, I went to Burma Bazaar. Luckily there were two camera shops. One guy said that he is not having a K2 stock here, but in his another store in Spencers. Wow! One shop in Burma Bazaar and other in Spencers ! I got a good deal with his brother in Spencers and bought it immediately. I took it with the 28-90 lens.

After 3 rolls, I'm quite happy with its performance. I'm still exploring it. With digital, we can experiment like anything. Although the camera is costly, it virtually doesn't have a running cost. You can immediately see the results of the shots and adjust your settings and keep on reshooting till you get what you want. With a film camera in your hand, the story is quite different. The running cost is not cheap. Rs. 220 per roll for developing, printing and scanning it to CD - excluding the cost of the roll Rs. 100. So it works out somewhere near Rs 9 per shot. I don't know why, the K2 is not allowing me to take more than 36 shots per roll :-( So I've to think thrice before experimenting anything. There is no way of seeing the results immediately. I have to wait till the roll is over. When the roll is over, I'll be rushing to the photoshop to develop it. When I get the photos in my hand, will be excited to see pictures turn out quite well and of course there will be "few" snaps that won't come as I expect. No problem, I'll try it again :-)

Meanwhile coming to the question in the beginning of the blog, Why did I all of a sudden remember about blogging about my camera? Simple. Today got to see the news that Canon is about to come out with the next version of Digital Rebel the 350 D.

Its 8 Mega pixels and yes, its powered with DIGIC II. Reviews say its faster, and cheaper than the 300D. Ah ! This was the camera I was looking for!!! Anyways I've a K2 with me, so no need to go for another one (Well, honestly I don't have a enough bank balance). I will wait till Digital Rebel 450/500 and then surely upgrade it :-) Meanwhile, keep looking for the photos I shoot. Now that I've net @ home, once in a week, I'll be uploading a photo to my blog with Hello.

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Blogging considered dangerous

Think of Mark Jen. He left Microsoft to join Google two months back. Highly enthustiastic, he created this blog for his life inside Google. He was writing about his life there and suddenly this happened. Yes, he was fired ! His blog was the reason for it. Another poor lady was also fired for writing something about the appraisals in her company. The big companies & their policies. Hell with them. I was looking at my blogs. Hopefully I've written nothing about my company and guess I'm safe :-/

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Linux revisited !

I still remember those bleeding experience I had 3 yrs ago to install Linux in my box.I'll give one sample. After installing everying, X came up and asked for a userid. I typed the userid and pressed Enter - nothing happened. After few tries, I thought I've messed up some options in the installation and reinstalled again. Same Login page; Same error :-( Ok. I thought this time, I install only the minimal stuff and try. So left out all the devel packages, entertainment, games, etc and installed it. Same Login page; Same error. :-( Didn't know what went wrong, I asked one of my juns to look at it. He came typed the userid and pressed Enter - voila! It asked for the password. Then I realized what was wrong - I was using the Enter in the numeric keypad!!! Guess the code has been written based on the scan codes rather than the Ascii values. For this, I've repeated the installation twice. Then I understood the value of free software. We have to use it at our risk. I was thinking of the amount of testing that would have gone in Microsoft's dev centers for the same login page in Windows. You can not only use the numeric keypad, you can use the mouse to click on the Login button or just but tab to the button and press space to make it work.

Finally everything is over, I've to bleed to make it co-exist with Windows ME. I had bought the latest (at that time) 40 GB harddisk and LILO didn't recognised only 32 GB for some reason. So dual booting was another trouble. Not to mention about the drivers for the devices I had. If installing itself was really a painful experience and working in Linux was more than that. Finally I decided. OK. Enough! And uninstalled Linux and happily went back to my Windows ME and started playing Age of Empires.

I've been told that the story now is different. Fedora is far better than what those earlier Redhat distributions used to be. Thought of giving it a try. Got installation CDs and started to install. I had the same old 40 GB hard disk. 3 yrs is a long time and I thought it should recognize the entire space. Yes, it did. Partitioned it with Disk Druid and started installing. First two notable differences:

(*) Fonts - Even a hard core linux enthusiastic will say that Linux sucks when fonts are compared to windows. The result is always an ugly looking GUI. Now the fonts are pretty neat and so is the design of the GUI. It was very neat.
(*) i18n - Internationalisation support was good in those days itself, but for creating a Tamil UI, I've to install few things. After all, even Windows 2000 doesn't support Tamil by default (XP does!). Fedora i a surprise. Not just the OS, but the installer itself supports tamil and so you can install just with Tamil itself.

The installation was pretty smooth. Its packaged with firefox :-) It automatically found my network card, graphics card, sound card, mouse & installed the drivers for it. After inserting the installation CD, all it needed was few mouse clicks & about an hour time. Boom - the installation was complete !!! I was told that things have changed, but didn't think its changed to this extend!! Another surprise was sify had a client for Linux too :-) So connecting to net was not a problem.

Not everything is smooth, first big surprise was xmms doesn't support MP3!!! Redhat has removed mp3 support due to some legal issues, but still its really bad. How good is an audio player without mp3 support? Another issue is that NTFS is not supported by the kernel by default, so I can't mount my windows drives :-( Thats bad. I've all my MP3s & data there. May be should find a module or recompile the kernel with NTFS support. Let me see.

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Taken with Ravi's Powershot. As usual one weekend we went to one of the ECR beaches and I was shooting the waves and Ravi. When I turned to look at what Gow and Kicha are doing, I found the sun and the silhouette creating an amazing effect. They have been seriously discussing about something. Without their knowledge I shot them.
Posted by Hello

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