Real Programmers consider "what you see is what you get" to be just as bad a concept in Text Editors as it is in women. No, the Real Programmer wants a "you asked for it, you got it" text editor -- complicated, cryptic, powerful, unforgiving, dangerous
Prestige is one the biggest real estate promoters in Bangalore. They have been operating for a long time and have always created posh residential and commercial buildings. I guess their biggest project is Prestige Shantiniketan, which is right next to ITPL. It spawns more than 100 acres. Its a mini township project and has both residential & commercial buildings, a huge swimming pool, Radission hotel, Forum mall, everthing you can think of. Its under construction for a very long time. Yesterday evening, when I was coming back to home from office, there was a huge crowd in the road. I first thought it might be an accident, but it turned out to be the crowd looking at one of the buildings, which collapsed. I thought this is going to be a big buzz, but when I saw the newspapers this morning, there were no enough news except in The Hindu & Times of India. From the news, they claim that there was some work going on in the top floor and it collapsed first. Then few minutes later, due to the weight of the collapsed floor, the floor below that collapsed. And then the one below. Finally all the floors collapsed and it took around an hour, so every worker in the site were miraculously escaped. Only four got injured, that too because they fell down while running away from the site. When police arrived at the site, all the 100+ workers and engineers were already taken to a "safe place". This includes the injured persons, who got treated in near by hospital as out patients. Even before preliminary investigations begun, the Prestige group says that there were no damages to the super structure and no loss of life. The first one is a lie, as I can visibly see at least 3 pillars in a bent position. You can see one of the pillars in the below image from The Hindu:
The second one also could be a lie, because I don't believe that only 100 people will be working in that 100 acre project. Now this raises few questions. Why were all the eye witnesses removed from the place immediately. They were able to find the reason and blame the Malaysian company as soon as the building collapsed. They never did any investigation. How did they arrive at the decision. Now that we know that if a contractor gives a product, no matter the quality is, they will simply use it. There is absolutely no quality control. What about the buildings which are not collapsed? They might collapse as soon as someone move in?
Its not just the building that collapsed. Its the trust on the Prestige Groups that is collapsed. I guess it will be tough for them to sell any more high rise buildings. The ones that are already sold out, might be coming for a resale at a very cheaper prices and there will be no takers. This will propagate to other high raise buildings as well.
Irony of this is looking at the site plan, they have named this building as "World Trade Center, Tower B"
Yeah, I switched jobs again :-)
I've now joined Eclipse's Platform UI team thru IBM. Its interesting to see that writing blog helped me to land a job. No definitely not this personal blog, but its my other blog Eclipse Tips. This move basically changes a few things. Like now my official laptop is not a MacBookPro, but a Lenova ThinkPad loaded with Windows ** Sigh **. One thing that didn't change is my location. I will still be staying in Coimbatore, working remotely and visiting Bangalore in regular intervals.
Its been a one hectic week @ IBM with all the paper work, inductions, team lunch in Nandana Palace and an team outing in Golden Palm resort ;-) Now that I have some time, I wrote an initial draft of what it feels to be in the Big Blue. Then I looked into each bullet point in every page of the Black Book of "Business Guidelines" and edited the portions which I'm not supposed to reveal. Here is the edited one:
I'm joining IBM as XXXXXX XXXXX and will be seated in the XXXXX XXXXX building in XXXXXX city. Believe it or not, I'm in Band XX and getting an annual income of Rs XXX.XX Crores. There are many things that are good about IBM. For instance the XXXXXX XXXXX software that is used internally for XXXX XXXX XXXX and XXXX. Now how many companies really do that? Companies with this massive size usually won't XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXX XXXXX, but IBM choose to do it. In case you are not surprised, IBM also XXXXXXX XXX XXXXX XXXX with XXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXX, so that XXXX XXX XXXX happens. If you ask me one thing I don't like about IBM, it would be: XXXX XXXX XXXX the XXX XXX when XXXX XXXX. Hope you agree with me completely.
Yeah, and the usual disclosure. Any opinion expressed here, in any other blogs, forums, websites, "Letters to the Editor" column in "The Hindu" daily, weekly magazine's sudoku column, my daughter's drawing book and scribbling on the toilet papers, are not necessary my employers opinion, but all my own.
In case you are publishing a newsletter or sending HTML formatted emails, don't rely on the images in it. Here is what I saw when I got an email:
When I opted to view the images, I get the full "picture" :-)
During the Valparai trip, if someone really enjoyed the trip to the core, it would be my daughter. Let the pictures speak:
|From Priceless Expressions - 9|
|From Priceless Expressions - 9|
|From Priceless Expressions - 9|
|From Priceless Expressions - 9|
|From Priceless Expressions - 9|
|From Priceless Expressions - 9|
|From Priceless Expressions - 9|
The entire set is here and direct link for slideshow.
At Fiorano, with 10 hrs/day of official work timings and 6 days per week schedule, its easy to get addicted to work. For a break, guys planned for a 5 day trip to Goa last weekend, but then that got shortened to 3 days. I would have joined them, if not for the trip that I've planned with my family. I haven't gone for any trips in the past few months, so I really needed an outing.
I decided it will not be a sight-seeing trip and its only meant for lazing around. Valparai sounded like a perfect place. There are lot of tea estates and many bungalows owned by them for their owners/managers guest house. It will be occupied only for few weeks in an year, so the rest of the time it will be rented out. I've booked a room in the Indraprastha Bungalow, a property of Waterfalls Estate.
Its around 100 kms from my house and once I go above the Aliyar Dam, the road becomes so scenic. Its been raining & drizzling. With greenish everywhere and with the mist, the travel was so good.
We couldn't enjoy all the way till Valparai, as the Bungalow is actually 10kms before the town. The bungalow is built by the English when the ruled. There is a 100 year old pine tree which spells the age of the place.
But don't underestimate the luxuries of the place. Its posh and well maintained. A small garden with a big lawn is the one my daughter loved the most.
Whenever it didn't rain/drizzle, we went out for a walk inside the Tea Gardens. We even visited the Tea Factory in the evening and saw how tea is made from those leaves.
It doesn't come cheap compared to hotels, but not as costly as a resort as well. The owners of this place are very clear that hospitality is not their business. Its both their strength and their weakness. If you want a menu card with variety of dishes or a swimming pool, perhaps its not a place for you. But for a person like me, good food (the care taker Mr Perumal is an excellent cook), nice ambiance, add with the fact that no cellphone network could reach you there, its a perfect weekend getaway to laze around.
If you want to see the entire set of pictures, its here.
Found a good video thru a forward:
Loved this quote: "An India that no longer boycotts foreign made goods. But buys out the companies that makes them instead". :-)
Thanks everyone for your wishes.
PS: I almost forgot that a website in the name of Orkut exists. Looks like it reminds me and tells the world about this fateful day :-)
Today I was booking my tickets to Chennai in the IRCTC website. When I was about to click the "Pay Now" button there was small link saying "Click here to see the performance of the Payment Gateways". I was puzzled what the heck is that. I clicked and an XL file got dowloaded. It said how much money has been transacted thru each payment gateway last month. The total amount that IRCTC has received was 2491585261. Yes that little less than 250 crores!!! Infact the banks also benefit hugely by this. The charges for each payment gateway is a minimum of Rs 10 (for a debit card) or 1.85% (credit card). Here is the comparision chart. Calculate how much money they make!
The yearly total would be around 3,000 crores and they don't even care to give a nice looking feature rich website. Someone got to tell Lalooji that if they have a proper functioning website, they can even make more money and less crowd in the reservation counters.
FireFox 3 is released and it will create the most downloaded software in 24 hours time. The original estimate was around 5 million copies. But the actual downloads exceeded the expectation and crossed that level well before 24 hours. Due to heavy download, Mozilla servers were down intially. I checked the counter now and its already crossed 7 million and the downloads were clocking at more than 7k per minute. Hope the total download in 24 hours will be around 10 millions.
Congrats Firefox team.
I've got few TinEye invites available. In case you are interested in trying out this Image Search Engine, let me know, I'll send you an invitation.
Yup, it doesn't cost you anything. Its absolutely free :-)
I often use the Albert Einstein's quote, "Simple, but not simpler". I think I should rethink that.
Today there was some crap movie in some channel. The hero will be flying a B2 bomber and there will be few F-14s behind his tail. He will switch to stealth mode and fly away. My daughter came from outside running towards me. I thought I'll make the scene simple for her. I said, "See that biiiiiiig aeroplane? That is going so fast and the small ones can't even see". She turned to the screen, saw the bomber flying for few seconds and exclaimed "kaka!" (crow)
Hmmm, I should think simpler :-)
I always love Pixar movies - not for Steve, but for the amount of detailed attention they pour into every little stuff. Now the upcoming Wall E is something special for the following reasons:
- First movie after Disney "acquired" Pixar
- Its released after the biggest flop of Pixar (Cars)
- This will be the first Pixar movie where a real human face is shown!
- The one liner of story is too good
- As per the rumours, there are NO dialogs in the movie. Its all the beeps and light flashs of the robots!!!
Pixar took too much efforts to make us visualize a fish as a character in the Finding Nemo (I'm not going into details here, in short - we can't easily visualize something as a character unless it resembles humans in most of ways. Think of the characters of Shark Tale, they are more of humans than of fishes) I bet they have gone even beyond that to create a movie without dialogs. Waiting for the release ...
If you look at your blogger profile, only the blogs that you started with blogger will be available. Lets see how to "trick" the system to have any other blog.
- Login to blogger and create a dummy blog. Give it your blog name and any address. Eg: "My Thoughts!" "dummy12345"
- Go to the Settings->Publishing of the blog
- Click "Custom Domain" & then "Switch to Advanced Settings"
- Give the URL of your blog there and click Save Settings.
I just linked this blog to my blogger profile. Have a look here.
Remember there is no validation done whether the address you mentioned there is a blog or if its a blog, whether you are a member/owner of that etc. So virtually you can have any URL there (except *.blogspot.com). Check where the "My Employer Blog!" links to :-P
Got an invitation for private beta for TinEye - an image search engine. When I say image search its not by entering some keywords and searching for images, rather giving an image as reference and finding out similar images. I've worked on a similar product for my final year project (identifying traffic signs), I know its not an easy task. The algorithm that I've used, needs proper training to identify the images. But for a search like this, you don't have a training input. You get only one chance to identify the images. Sounds pretty complex to me!
I tried this search:
And the result:
As you can see the results are accurate even thou they are cropped, added few elements etc. Sounds like a perfect target for Google to acquire :-)
We all know that Tiger is the national animal. But how many of us know the state animals? Huh, state animals? This was my first reaction when I saw in today's "Young World", a The Hindu suppliment. I was surprised that we also have state birds, flower and tree!
Here is a complete list of animail, tree, bird and flower for every state in India. Some notable points:
- Elephant is the state animal for four states - Kerala, Karnataka, Jharkhand & Orissa
- Peacock is not just the national bird, the state bird for Orissa
- Lakshwadeep's state animal is Butterfly fish and for West Bengal its Fishing Cat :-)
- Coconut is Kerala's state tree & Sandal for Karnataka. Sounds appropriate. For Tamilnadu its Palm !
Last night we went live with BaZaa beta. Download it here.
You can list items and find items, and BaZaa provides you the matches. Best of all this is that none of your queries/listings are saved in the server and that makes it very scalable. The speed and efficiency will good when there are more users and items listed. I'm not going to explain the technlogy (BTW, its patented) but just the UI, which I wrote. Here are some screenshots (Click to enlarge):
Seen all the screen shots? Now you get a picture of how to list/find right? Now close your eyes and think how many places you have the labels like "Query: [text box]", "Price: [text box]" ? Can't think of any? Well, there are only few places where we have labels. The UI was designed from the ground up in a way that the users will not have the web-based-form-filling feeling. When one of the demos a partner prospect from Zurich said, "for the first time I'm seeing a UI that I can use immediately without asking anyone how to use". Oh! yeah, if you were wondering, we are neither shipping any documentation for how to use it nor having a web page for that. Keep experimenting the UI and try out yourself :-)
Believe it or not, all the UI components are OS native components, but coded in Java! 2 months back, when I was given a demo of this for the first time, the UI was in Swing and looked pathetic. I was asked whether it can be improved. That night in the hotel I wrote the mock up as an RCP application and when I showed it to my CEO the next day, he was impressed. It was obvious that SWT & RCP is the best choice for BaZaa over Swing. Ever since that day, I worked on few hours every day for building and testing the UI and finally we are live!
As of now, we are running the servers only in US. We have purchased servers & bandwidths in other countries, soon you should see local version. Try it now and send your comments/suggestions either to me or click the feedback link in the BaZaa website.
More to come. For now: http://bazaanetworks.com
Picture this. You are a scientist. Along with a big group, you spend 14 long years and burn $ 8 billion to produce an enormous research machine for which will recreate energies and conditions last seen a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang (Don't ask me what it is, I said you are the scientist not me :-P ) You have done some basic testing and about to make it completely function. Just weeks before that, someone sues you saying that this experiment will create a black hole and swallow the whole earth and our universe. How would you feel?
I'm not one of the scientists, so I felt funny. Here is the complete story.
Yesterday, when I was in Chennai, I run across this Google service accidently. What else to say?
Another V.Good for Google :-)
I saw this article from Gilli on Macro photography by reversing the lens in an SLR. I tried it yesterday. After a lots and lots of trail & errors, I got some good shots. Check this image:
This is taken with a 50mm lens in normal way. Look at the all flowers. The lens cap should give you an idea about the size of those flowers. Now in macro mode, the same flowers:
If you have enough bandwidth, here is the high resolution full screen slide show (The pictures look much better in high resolution).
A brief guide on Reverse lens macro photography:
- First things first - the object. First I tried with some plain flowers and the results were not reflecting in the efforts. It was just like a normal photograph. So select an object which will have lot of details when zoomed in
- Take off your lens, reverse it and hold it to the mount. Keep the other end of the lens some 10-20 cms away from the object and try to move your lens+camera together towards the object. At some point you will find the object focussed. From there you can adjust the focus from your lens
- Remember, the lens is out of its mount. You don't have any control over any of the lens functions. The aperture is wide open and no auto focus
- You retain full control of your sensor. So Whitebalance/ISO are adjustable. Also the shutter speed. Change these settings with the fully open aperture in mind.
- The DOF is too good. The focusable area is hardly one or two millimeters
- Any small movement (either camera/object) will cause dramatic effects in the picture. You would have seen in the above shots itself
- Try to get hold of a tripod and/or a reverse adapter. Believe me. Its a pain in your back to shoot without them :-(
- Patience. You need a lot of patience. But the results will be worthy of the time you spent experimenting.
Yesterday when I came out of Bangalore Airport, I saw a big advertisement for a residential apartment. It said about a free gift with every purchase and a jackpot prize for one person. What's surprising in that - you ask. Well the free gift is a brand new BMW Car and the jackpot prize is a personal jet or a private island! I was about to fall down and then read the whole advertisement. The ad was by Damac and property is in Dubai. Hmmm, Ok. Bangaloer is real estate prices are under controlor is it that Bangalore people decided that the prices here are too high and started investing in "cheaper" ones like these? ;-)
I had my camera with me and took few snaps in the return journey. While my flight was waiting to enter the runway, another flight was landing. With the evening sun in the backdrop it came out as a nice snap. Check it out
A snap that I took two weeks back in Chennai. It got me quite a lot of good comments. One of my friend pinged me and said that he had this as his desktop wallpaper, so thought its worthy enough to post it here :-)
2 months back, after the normal password change stuff, I forgot the new password of my ICICI Demat account. I applied for a new password thru the portal, but it was returned back saying invalid address. After 5 mins of waiting and a long call with the customer care "executive", I got them resend the password. It was sent back again for the same reason. It happened twice again. The last time, I was not ready to take chance. I followed up with the First Flight couriers and I was going there to the Peelamedu office every day and finally got my password - nearly after 2 months!(for a change, this time the mistake was not by ICICI)
When I asked them what was wrong with the address, I got this stupid answer: One of the delivery guys went for a long leave and they didn't have enough resources. And more over the password was sent in a ZB category, which means they should not hold it for more than a day or two. So they sent it back. The best reason to return it was to say that the address is invalid. WTF? When I asked whether they know how important the timely delivery of a demat account password, I got a sarcastic answer. I really got pissed off, but shouting there is of no use. I decided to hit them where it hurts.
Back to home and the first thing I did was to write a detailed mail to ICICI's helpdesk about what happened, and put the First Flight's Mumbai head office & regional head office in the CC. I said not to deliver any of the communication to me thru this courier and suggested them not to use this for anyone else also. The response was good. The FF Courier's head office guys contacted me for more info of what happened. After 2 days (probably probing into what exactly happened) they apologized and said it will not happen. I hope the Peelamedu guys would have got whatever they deserved or even more.
PS: In case you were wondering, the help desk guy @ ICICI direct did what he was trained to. He replied (luckily not Reply All) promptly with the step-by-step directions of how to apply the new password. I replied asking him to forward the issue to their superiors and take appropriate action. That worked. At least their supervisor could understand and promised me that they will take up the issue to concerned authorities in ICICI and thanked for the feed back.
என்ன எழுதினாலும், உன்னுடைய“அச்சச்சோ!”
என் கவிதைகள் தோற்று விடுகின்றன!
காதல் ரசம் சொட்டச் சொட்ட கவிதை எழுத எல்லாம் எனக்கு வராது. அதெல்லாம் அருட்பெருங்கோ அழகா பண்ணுவார். அவர் எழுதினதுல ரொம்ப பிடிச்ச கவிதைல ரொம்ப பிடிச்ச வரிகள் தான் மேல. முழு கவிதை இங்க இருக்கு.
"Senator Barack Obama made the point on Monday that the United States needs an education system that enables children to compete with those from India and China"
- Source: The Hindu.
I thought that this day would never come! So following the same line what might be coming up? Let me guess not-so-far-in-the-future headlines:
- Ford, Toyota, Hyundai and General Motors to form a consortium to create next generation cars as they are facing tough competition from Ambassador & Contessa in the passenger segment and luxury segment. Due to unmatched safety features and comfortness, these mobile sofas took the US markets by storm last year and made the shares of these companies nose dive
- Apple Inc. in a wide anticipated move, shut down its PC hardware division as its can't win its competitors - HCL and Zenith Computers. Apple Inc's CEO Steve Jobs said that this move will help Apple's hardware division to concentrate on iPods and iPhones. He also claimed that within an year, Apple will overtake HRC and come back to number one position in personal MP3 players. Chennai based HRC is currently an undisputed leader in MP3 players with 80% of the market share and Apple a distinct second with 12%. Analysts claim that its better for Apple to shut down its entire hardware division and focus on Mac OS and its applications
- Bose Corporation proudly announced that it has signed a MoU with the Indian audio giant Ahuja. Under this agreement, Bose will use Ahuja's superior technology in all of its sound systems. Ahuja will provide all the technology and Bose will handle the manufacturing, marketing and distribution. Following this announcement, the widespread rumours that Bose is going to fire their entire R&D department, has becoming more probable than ever
- Taking clues from the successful implementation of Indian Railway administration in Germany and Japan, the French railway minister and his officials were on a 2 month visit to India to learn the functionalities of Indian Railway. They will implement the same structure in France for a better cargo management; better passenger satisfaction and reduced costs. The Indian Railways minister Dr. Kanimozhi will help them in the study and implementation as well
- In reply to Wipro acquiring Yahoo! for Rs 200 Billion, the IT major Infosys is all set to acquire Google for Rs 300 billion in all cash and stock deal. As Infosys already has many of Google's functionalties (Google Search - MSN Search, Gmail - Hotmail, etc) from its earlier acquisition of Microsoft last year, job cuts across the companies are envisaged
- The American parliament passed the bill on outsourcing its Government to India. Its a well known fact that for decades together, the American Government has failed to clear the debt on the nation. Increasing interest rates, inflation, appreciating Rupee, wrong foreign policies, unnecessary spending on military and war and much more problems can be solved by this. Neeraj Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India and the son of Rahul Gandhi, said that India is ready to help the reviving US economy by taking over as a President of US. Following this decision, the Nasdaq raised by more than 15% and the US dollar raised to 2 year high of Rs 52.
அப்பாவி ஆறுமுகம்: யப்பா ஒபாமா. எங்கள வெச்சு காமெடி கீமெடி எதும் பண்ணிடலையே?
வெயில், பருத்தி வீரன், கல்லூரி இந்த மாதிரி நல்ல படம் எல்லாம் எடுக்கும் போது என்னடா இப்படி ஒரு தலைப்புன்னு கேக்கறீங்களா? இத பாருங்க. embed செய்ய இஷ்டம் இல்ல. லிங்க் மட்டும் தான் :-)
அப்பாவி ஆறுமுகம்: ஏம்பா நம்ம எலய தலபதி கூட இப்படித்தான மொதல்ல இருந்தாரு? அவர் இப்போ ஹிட்டு ஹிட்டா குடுக்கலியா?
I was looking thru the search queries of Jan 08 for this blog and found these interesting combination of queries:
I love B&W photos. Combined with a nice expression, the photos are simply superb. Here is the next set:
பெரிசா சொல்லறதுக்கு ஒன்னும் இல்ல. வெறும் பெருமூச்சு தான் :-(
Working from home has one good thing - no commuting. No traffic jam, no bumpy roads and no dusty rides. However, I've other type of commuting - not daily, but twice a month and sometimes every week, from Coimbatore to Bangalore. What I hate about the travel is that I've to wake up at 4 AM to catch the morning flight, that too on a monday morning. What I love about the travel is the return journey. The scheduled time is at 6 PM, but mostly the flight takes off at 6.30 PM. Once it goes up above the clouds, its heaven. Clear blue sky above the golden colored clouds, it a wonderful view. Every time I wish I had a camera. This time, I had. Few snaps:
Digicam is fun. Don't have to think about the aperture/speed combinations, don't have to worry about lighting and don't have to worry about whether the snap was find or to reshoot. Just keep taking pics. I tried in B&W mode in my D350 and the results are good. These pics are not taking in Color and converted to B & W using software. I think, if I have done so, the results won't be this good. Will dig about this and blog later, till then the pics (with few other color photos):
Cool one! Its not just Apple innovating
Hollywood studios produce animation movies and they bring in millions of dollars as revenue, sometimes more than a normal movie. In addition, the royalty for the comics/toys/art work usage etc will fetch a whole lot of money. In India, there is really no market for these "cartoon movies" and no one risks spending. I remember viewing Sindbad animation movie by PentaMedia (got the CD for something in Mayajaal), but the animation quality was so bad, that I can render the scenes better with 3D Max installed in my desktop. I thought if Indian animation industry has to succeed in movies, they have to change a lot.Yesterday I saw the trailer of Sultan. It looks promising. The face expressions, camera angles and the details in the screen are awesome. The colors are not look natural, but otherwise, the animation quality is good. Making Rajini as a hero is a clever idea for marketing this movie. Hope this will change the animated movie market in India.
Yesterday I got hold of my 350D and was experimenting it. Dinesh also bought a 350D. Along with the kit lens, he also bought a 50mm Macro lens and 75-300 mm lens, lens cleaner, tripod, a nice bag. With all the gear, he looks like a very professional photographer. As he says, now only thing left is to learn photography properly ;-)
First thing we experimented was to play with the different lenses. Fixed the camera on a Tripod and tried to shoot with different zoom levels:
50 mm(the standard view):
Note how the magnification occurs. We also tried some snaps in the beach after 7 PM. The first one is with a 10 second exposure and the other two are 30 second exposures. I didn't know how to do the rear curtain sync in the second one, so Ravi's image is little blurred.
Coming back, uploaded the photos to Mac and tried out little post production. Without powerful software like Photoshop/Gimp and just few corrections in iPhoto can bring out some amazing effects. Checkout the photo that was taken in Muttukadu boat house - before and after changes.
Now that there is no wait time for the completion of a roll & then developing, scanning to a CD etc, hope to post more photos :-)