Birds eye view of sky

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:

Posted in Labels: , , , , | 4 comments

Priceless Expressions - 7

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):

Posted in Labels: , | 2 comments

Interactive mirror

Cool one! Its not just Apple innovating

Posted in Labels: , | 0 comments

Sindbad and Sultan

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.

Posted in Labels: , | 0 comments

Experimenting my Canon 350D

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):







300 mm:

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 :-)

Posted in Labels: , , , | 0 comments

Truth about zoom and magnification

When I purchased my Canon K2, I got 28-90mm lens as the kit lens. One of my friend asked me what is the zoom factor, I said its 3x, he proudly claimed that he has a very normal digicam with 30x zoom, that gives 10 times magnification of my SLR. I didn't want to spoil his enthusiasm so said "wow!" and stopped. Here is the truth about zoom and magnification.

There are two types of zooms - optical and digital. Digital zoom is very much like the zoom in your favourite photo viewing software. You can keep on zooming it, but more the zoom, less the clarity. But optical zoom is different. No matter how much zoom you do, it should have the same clarity. If your camera says 30x or even 100x zoom, beware. The optical zoom would be only 5x and the digital zoom factor will be 6x or 20x. The zoom of your digital camera is usually calculated as optical zoom * digital zoom.

Optical zoom factor of a camera/lens is the ratio between its longest and shortest focal lengths. My kit lens is 28-90 mm , makes a zoom factor of 3x. On the other hand, the newly introduced PowerShot a710 has 5.8-34.8mm, making it 6x zoom. Does that means it can magnify twice than my lens? No! If you are thinking that zoom factor defines the magnification, think again. Because the magnification has nothing to do with the zoom factor. Interestingly, 5x optical zoom in one camera may give thrice the magnification as the 5x optical zoom of some other camera!

Normal view of our eyes is equivalent to 48mm (roughly 50 mm). So if a lens says 100mm, that means it can magnify twice than your eyes can see, 200 mm is 4 times and so on. So the magnification factor of my lens would be ~2x and for the a710 it would be less than 1x. Forget magnification, it doesn't provide you even the normal view, its a wide angle lens!

If you are going to purchase a camera don't fall for the "100x zoom"or the "10x optical zoom" factor, look for the magnification factor. It would be less than 2x magnification. Decide wisely :-)

Posted in Labels: , | 2 comments

Weblogic on Mac - memory errors

If you are running Weblogic on Mac or some unsupported version of Linux, you might get OutOfMemoryError quite often (esp. if you are using the web console). To get rid of this, open the <domain root>/bin/ file and add this line:

USER_MEM_ARGS=”-Xms512m -Xmx1024m -XX:MaxPermSize=128m”

Its should be fine for the weblogic. If you have only 1GB RAM, your other apps will beg for more memory. So if you requently use weblogic and other apps simultaneously, better upgrade to 2 GB RAM.


Installing Weblogic on Mac

Posted in Labels: , , | 0 comments

How to choose a housing loan?

A lot many of us know this one, mostly after a painful experience in some way or other. This are few tidbits that I've learnt thru my own experience and thru my friends' experience.

  • After you have decided on the house/apartment, check whether any banks have approved the project. If a bank has it approved then your paper work becomes much easier with that bank.

  • Period of loan plays a very important role. There is no very big difference in EMI for a 20 year loan and 10 year loan. It would be ~ Rs 100 per 1L. So if you are taking a loan for 10L, a 10 year loan will result in Rs 9000 EMI and 20 year loan will result in Rs 10000 EMI. The trade-off is between paying a little high every month for 10 years or paying less for 20 years. In any case, as a rule of thumb, make sure your EMI doesn't cross 40% of your take-home pay.

  • The choice between interest types - floating/fixed is always confusing for many. The floating interest rate went all the way to 7% few years back and now its back to 11%. Whether it will decrease/increase in the next 20 years is hard to predict. Also the fixed is not really fixed. The banks can change that rate also. Some banks allow switching between these two. Many banks offer a combination of two - fixed for first 5 years and floating for the rest of the period. Look for these options

  • Not all of the banks will give you the whole amount. You have to bring in around 10-20% and the bank will lend the rest. However, you can find some deals with the banks for lending the whole amount. If you don't have cash for the down payment and not very keen in opting for a personal loan, this might be a good deal. The penalty of taking 100% loan is the interest rate will be a little higher (but will be definitely less than the personal loan's interest rate)

  • Processing fee is another charge that you have to pay. It ranges from a fixed amount of Rs 5,000 to 2% of the property value. In some loan mela or exhibitions or some festive offers, banks usually levy off this fee. That means you can negotiate for the same during other time as well. Talk :-)

  • Till the construction is over, you need to pay a Pre-EMI. Remember this Pre-EMI doesn't include any principal amount. So if your construction takes 2 years, all two years, you will be paying only interest and not a single Re for your principal. There are two alternatives for this. One is that you can pay as Tranche EMI, which includes the principal amount also. This is applicable for only the amount that has been disbursed to the builder. The second option is to start the EMI right from the first month. In both cases, the principal amount repaid cannot be used to reduce your tax. Many banks allow you to change the scheme for a nominal charge/free of cost.

  • Be cautious about part-prepayment. Say you get a bonus of 2L and you wish to pay it towards your home loan so your monthly EMI burden comes down. After you have paid the amount you may not see any change in the EMI. This might be because many banks take the part-prepayment into account only in the end of the quarter. If you think that is bad, some schemes in ICICI bank do at the end of the financial year! That means if you pay 2L on Jun 07, that is no use of you till Apr 08. On the nice side, most of the schemes in SBI does it on the very same day you paid the amount.  You will have restrictions like you can't pay more than half of your principal left, the minimum amount should be more than 3 EMI, you can pay only once in an year and so on. On top of it all, they might also charge you a part-prepayment penalty. Its usually less than 5%, but on which the % is calculated sometimes differs. Few banks will charge that percentage on the amount you pay and few on the whole amount. Double check that before opting for a loan. For all schemes in HDFC (not HDFC Bank, its HDFC) its 0%!

Know any more suggestions? Leave a comment.

Posted in Labels: , , , | 0 comments

Re-living the golden days

At PSG Tech, our department (Mathematics and Computer Applications) is the only department which doesn't produce any Engineering graduates. Yet, many of our Alumni big shots in the industry. I knew it for a while, but it was apparent last weekend when we had the Alumni meet. Chairman of Computer Society of India, VP of IBM, Founder of 24x7 Customer (add your truly myself ;-)) all are products of our department.

This alumni meet was tagged as "Re-live your golden days". Don't know who coined it, but few of us really lived the golden days. As usual we entered the college late; spent time with our librarian; tea-time at NMB Bakery; bunked the afternoon events for a movie @ Archana; loud chat in the terrace till 3 AM (next time my neighbors are going to shout at me) and the next day trip to Thirumurthi Hills. It was exactly like the college days. Friends and fun. Longing for next get together in Jan end in the name of Guru's wedding :-)

Posted in Labels: , , | 5 comments