21 December 2005

Retrospective Series: Part 7: The Christmas Cheer

Driving down the road towards our home, we are engulfed on both sides by brightly lit bushes, trees, snowmen, santa, the occasional train model, even a wierd looking cartoonish blob that remotely resembles a christmas tree. The edges of the homes are covered in dainty little yellow lights, mixed with blinking purples and red and green. The couple of snow falls that we have had since early december, add the ... Read more.

13 December 2005

Retrospective Series: Part 6: A struggle for the minds of our people !

"Liberalisation is not a process of mechanical economic policy-making, but a struggle for the minds of our people, and we do believe we are succeeding,"
- Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, Dec 2005.
ASEAN Summit.


The year was 1990. A crisp new decade. I had just finished my 10th grade and was moving on to a different school in a nearby town for my 11th and 12th grade. Television in India was exemplified by a Goliath called Doordarshan which broadcast one channel to a billion people. The 22 minutes of singles picked from Bollywood musicals and showcased as 'Chithrahaar' was the prime time show of the week. The 9 pm news usually featured Rini Simon who would read out a government sponsored baritone of the days events. A turbaned man surfaced from the Read More...

12 December 2005

Evolved from Ostriches ?

This news item tickles me no end. Wow..what a bunch of morons we elect(Yes, we are the only ones to blame in this, WE ELECT them by either not caring enough to go and vote on election day, or abscond like moi from the country itself or are so ignorant as to not know the difference). Bangalore has a huge set of problems to tackle...least important of which is its anglicised name. But then hey, who am I kidding here, the geniuses that run the show decide, that is the only way to redemption. We can live with bad roads, crumbling infrastructure, overflowing drains, bad public transport any day, but God forbid if we have to live with the name given by the imperialistic British....ooooh, that would be invitation for the wrath of all the divine Gods... so in typical Indian style, what do we do ? We have what is going to be another fiasco of a name change all paid for in cash by the Indian Tax payer. We will spend millions in gazzette notifications, repaintings, re-marketing, re-publishing and what have you.

Sometimes I think Indian politicians evolved from Ostriches rather than Apes like the rest of us. Seriously, that is the only way one can explain why they choose to bury their head in the sand instead of jumping up a tree and yelling about things like apes do. The only problem is that they live in India instead of the Australian outback where Ostriches abound. Can we extradite them there to live with their brethren ?

Caption: Picture on the left is the Bangalore-Mysore expressway that has been in the planning and construction phase since 1998. Talk of 5 year plans.

Of Rats, Cats and the fourth estate.

Oooooh this is real good. Look what the rats have been doing while the cats of India were sleeping. MPs (Mostly P**s)caught in a bribery scandal. Why don't we organize a national roast of these guys. Have a holiday declared and everyone parades them in the streets with garlands of "you-know-what". The fourth estate...keep it up guys...job well done.

03 December 2005

School Project Saturday

Saturday finds me in front of my laptop drawing usecases and sequence diagrams for a school project. Uggghhhh... Especially when the weather is a neat 60 degress for december, a blessing this time of the year. I thought of taking a break from the tap tapping of the keyboard and revert to the blog blogging sound of publishing to a blog. The non techies reading this are going 'Jeez they need to make a pill for such people.' Yeah you are right, they do have pills for people like us. I remember when I was a kid, I would keep a diary (No, its not a girly thing !!!) and then gave it up. The reason... I was too lazy to write everynight before I went to bed. My excuse... I would restart the habit once I bought a computer because typing is so much easier and cooler.
Years after buying a computer, I still haven't restarted my habit. This blog is probably the closest to a diary, except I dare not put personal info here. The web crawls with creepies and scammers and I would be food for junk mail and God knows what. Anyways you must be wondering by now, as to the general direction of this post. Well, please do not be disappointed because as I type this, I am desperately trying to find a direction to it myself, just as you are. So you are not alone. There, I am done. I just had to vent my inner thoughts. Have a good weekend.

01 December 2005

Logical Deduction @ karmayogical

A classmate of mine posted this on our group mail... thought I should share it here.... should tickle the logical yogis out there.

Puzzle:
4 criminals are caught and are to be punished. The Judge allows them to be freed if they can solve a puzzle. If they do not, they will be hung. They agreed.
The 4 criminals are lined up on some steps (shown in picture).
They are all facing in the same direction.
A wall seperates the fourth man from the other three.

So to summarise :-
Man 1 can see men 2 and 3.
Man 2 can see man 3.
Man 3 can see none of the others.
Man 4 can see none of the others.

The criminals are wearing hats.

They are told that there are two white hats and two black hats.
The men initally don't know what colour hat they are wearing.
They are told to shout out the colour of the hat that
they are wearing as soon as they know for certain what colour it is.

They are not allowed to turn round or move.
They are not allowed to talk to each other.
They are not allowed to take their hats off.

Who is the first person to shout out and why?
PS: There is no trick to the question, just logical deduction.

23 November 2005

Politically Incorrect: The Village Idiot

I was skimming the pages of the Indian Express online edition today and read about the Village Idiot being trounced in Bihar. Being cautiously optimistic, I think, there might be some hope after all for the land of the Nalanda University and Bodhgaya. That reminds me of an incident.

My hair stylist is a Vietnamese lady, who is very good at her trade. A couple of months back she mentioned that her uncle was going on a pilgramage to India. I was curious to know where... and when she mentioned bodhygaya in Bihar, I was frankly very scared. She is buddhist and hence the pilgrimage to the land of Buddha. Yesterday I met her again and she mentioned that her uncle is back home "safe". I wondered why she emphasized the word "safe", but after listening to her account of his travels, I wasn't surprised. She comes from a very very rural setting in Vietnam and she said that his experiences in Bihar were much worse than that. To get the real impact of that statement, one has to put things in perspective. Vietnam is a country that went through one of the bloodiest civil wars in history, a country that brought a super power to its knees with the bloodiness of its wars. Even after all that devastation, if a rural setting is better than the current situation in Bihar, where natural resources abound under the foot of every individual and ancient history and opportunities for religious tourism run into the billions of dollars, I am truly ashamed. But then if village idiots run states for 15 years, then one truly wonders if the democracy for the people, by the people and for the people is being a self fulfilling prophecy of idiots choosing an idiot. I know that is not true, hence there has to be something else at play. Whatever is was, it appears to have faded for now. Hope Nitish gets a free hand to change this spiral into doom.

21 November 2005

Thanksgiving & the Holidays

Here in the U.S. we are entering what is called the Holiday season. In fact we have already entered it since Halloween, but that is a minor technicality. The fact of the matter is that Thanksgiving is the real start of the holiday spirit. The history of Thanksgiving goes back to the days of the pioneers who inhabited the new world, warring with the local indians. In 1621 the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast and that is generally believed to be the first thanksgiving feast.
In simple terms it is a true harvest festival as celebrated in all parts of the world. A time for all family to get together for a lavish dinner, music and drinking. The spotlight of the modern thanksgiving is the turkey roast. I am partial to turkey actually, but the pumpkin pie and the sweet potato casserole are very yummy. A good spread for a thanksgiving dinner usually includes all of the above stuff.

But the best deals this season are the extra long weekends. Four days of bitter cold and almost freezing east coast holidays... brrrrr. 20° Fahrenheit is the beginning of the slide.

For you East Indian buffs, here's an east Indian twist to the thanksgiving dinner. We are planning such a dinner ourselves.

16 November 2005

Pot Hole map of Bangalore

Excellent initiative by some good samaritans. A POT HOLE map of Bangalore. That should shrivel up some skin for the politicians.

Blue Gene

IBM's Blue Gene/L has been named the most powerful supercomputer in the world by TOP500 Organization, the world's foremost supercomputing authority. The Blue Gene/L set a record of sorts, with a sustained performance of 280.6 Teraflops, or trillions of floating point calculations per second.

The other 2 supercomputers that feature in TOP500's "top 3 supercomputers" are; IBM's Blue Gene Watson system at 91.29 Teraflops, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's recently unveiled ASC Purple supercomputer with 63.39 Teraflops.

Wonder where the Param family of Massively parallel processors developed by India stand in this race? I googled up IIIT Bangalore's Prof Sadogopan's blog for some info. Looks like we have dropped form the 500 list in 2005. C-DAC get your act together dudes.
C-DAC param

13 November 2005

Necessity and the mother of invention cliche

Its been a really crazy week, including a saturday jammed with chores. Something to keep the spirit of creativity alive is this picture I got from a friend in India. Trust the kids to think up an alternative to every problem. Actually I believe the tag line for this snap was "The Chappell Effect". A double entendre with Greg Chappell being the current Indian coach. Enjoy

05 November 2005

Weekend Report

A late autumn visit to the Shenandoah Valley for a hike along White Oak Canyon trail resulted in a host of pictures apart from a healthy cardio round for the body. Check out my photographs of the visit. Courtesy Canon Digital Rebel XT.

31 October 2005

Illusion of the mind

Cool Illusion. Trick your brains out.

Brand New Week

A brand new week has begun. Its funny how the gym is emptier in winter than it is in summer. In summer people are partying at the beach. In winter, its too cold to get their lazy bodies out to a work out. Saw a couple of good movies over the weekend. Check my blog here.

We also went to downtown DC after a long time. Did you know that they are renovating the parking lot under the Washington monument ? There is no parking allowed under the monument because of all that construction work. Damn, I used to love to park there and walk up the hill. Instead we parked in the lot overlooking the potomac, behind the lincoln memorial, on the way to Rock Creek park. Anyway, we were actually searching for this awesome Indian restaurant that I had been to some 5 years back. My roommate and I would take the blue line to MacPherson Square down a couple of blocks to this place. I knew it was somewhere on 14th and Connecticut Ave or was it 15th and Constitution Ave ? Anyway, we drove around trying to figure it out and then gave up. Bill Clinton frequented it while he was president, so that is where its popularity comes from, apart from the good food. Ah that reminds me, it was close to the White House. So it has to be somewhere near where I suspect. Okay I give up, I am gonna google it up. Goooooogling....Yes found it, it is the Bombay club on 815 Connecticut Avenue. See I was right, partly at least. You have to approach it from 17th Street. Me and my dysfunctional GPS!
The main reason for visiting DC though, was our long delayed visit to the Holocaust museum in South West DC. Having read way too many books on World War II, not to mention the movies and having gone through the agony of reading Hitler's biography, I was half expecting the gory innards of the museum. The gruelling pictures and objects were as horrendous as I had expected them to be. Actual shoes, artifacts from people slaughtered, the replica of the gas ovens. What a terrible nightmare! The deviousness of the human mind is unfathomable. All that to cater to a mustached cretin's delusions.
Nevertheless life goes on, and we begin a brand new week. Its Halloween time here in the U.S and we are back to standard time. One more hour of sleep. Yipee! Trick or Treat ladies and gentlemen.

Two wonderful movies

This weekend we watched a Brazilian movie Behind the Sun. Very nicely done movie based on the Albanian author Ismail Kadaré's book Broken April. A family feud that avenges by the principle of an eye for an eye finally leaves a family with no eye so to speak. Very metaphorical for some of the troubled times that the middle east has been going through.
On a different note, we also watched an amazing English comedy called Saving Grace. Stars Craig Ferguson of Drew Carey Show fame. Very nice plot about how human nature can go to any extreme to survive. A middle aged women who is pushed to the brink, takes up an illegal cultivation just to stay afloat. Human beings walk a thin line indeed. As always, the English countryside is breathtaking.

26 October 2005

Bangalore drowned out

Fresh pictures of a drowned Bangalore. Courtesy Kishore from good old bangalore. Its almost midnight, I was finishing up some school work, thought I should post these before I get bogged down with work and forget about it.
Here's an ode to the city, with due apologies to H. W. Longfellow.
Be still, sad city, and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each city some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

25 October 2005

Optimism

I was reading about the troubles plaguing the Bangalore IT conference and couldn't help but wonder if there will be some light at the end of this tunnel. Narrow minded politicians can only win so many times. There should be some justice for humanity that tries to work hard, excel and progress their own lives and the lives of their fellow men. How can the bad sheep always pull the good ones down all the time ? I stumbled on Jane Hirshfield during this quest and I quote...
Optimism
More and more I have come to admire resilience.
Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another.
A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers, mitochondria, figs--all this resinous, unretractable earth.

- Jane Hirshfield

Jane is a former visiting associate professor at UC Berkeley, Elliston; Visiting Poet at the University of Cincinnati, and member of the Bennington College MFA faculty.

24 October 2005

A lost cause ?

Just finished my mid terms. I should kick myself for not studying enough. That aside, I watched the Martin Scorsese movie Kundun last night. Very atypical style for Scorsese. But I kinda liked it. Very ethereal, almost meditation like flow to the entire movie. It did not bother to fill in a lot of gaps. It was not a typical biopic, in a way. That is why I guess. I googled up info about tibet after that. Did you know that there are a 100,000 tibetans living in 35 communities in India ? At least 4000-5000 more run away from tibet and join the rest in India. A very peace loving people.. ever wonder why they are not able to evoke the same kind of response that Chechnya, Bosnia, Aceh, Palestine and other troubled regions are able to get ? I guess its all politics of need. The places with the most economic or strategic interest to the big nations are the places with some sort of incentive to defend. I don't know if anyone can stand up to China on such issues, least of all India. Nehru laid the sad foundation of meekness with respect to china and we toe his line to this day, even in the case of Tibet.
I hope the Tibetans get back their nation. By the way, India; Good job in helping them out. Please keep it up, you are living up to your vedic traditions. The guest is supreme."

What an irony when you think about it. The bodhisatva began teaching his philosophy from India.. then centuries of invasions and revivals wiped out buddhism from india and finally in the 20th century the Dalai Lama has to retreat to India to preserve it !

18 October 2005

Retrospective Series: Part 5: Are you from India ?

Are you from India ? Something that I have been hearing so often these days! In most cases there is a certain astonishment, certain joy in the voice of the questioner, not a disdain that one might suspect. Some evenings, when my wife and I are dead tired after a long day's work we stop by at a nearby Afghan Kabob place. Simple place, a dump by american standards, but nevertheless amazing food. The lamb kabobs are ...Read More...

10 October 2005

Hell hath no fury like nature scorned

I am sure everyone has heard about the earthquake that shook muzzaffarabad, in Pakistani Occupied Kashmir. If you read through this Financial Times report you will see how even in the moments of high tragedy with about 2.5 million people homeless, Mr Musharraf just can't resist from playing the india card. In the past year when the adage, Hell hath no fury like nature scorned is turning into a self fulfilling prophecy, we are still stuck at the same groove. We humans spend all this money building our societies, spending on the military, starving our poor, enriching our rich and look what a katrina, an earthquake or a tsunami can do. Level the ground! Take everything back to square one. Nada..zilch is all that is left. The pessimist looks at it and says "Why bother doing all this...when nature has the final say". The optimist says "Why not put all our efforts into building early warning systems, safer buildings, feed and clothe the poor and find a faster and cheaper way to escape earth's gravity so that we can propogate to different planets".

The optimist camp has some robotic good news to report. We have a completely unmanned and autonomous volkswagen tricked out to navigate the nevada desert(132 Miles)...is this kewl or what !!

04 October 2005

Pod Racing at last !!! - Obiwan kenobi, here I come.

All you star wars fans out there... thought you would never live to see the day when pod racing would finally arrive on earth... you are so wrong !!! Look at this cool rocket race being planned in the US. Rocket Racing League

I think the Ansari X-Prize and this effort all go to show how important it is to allow private enterprise to fund and innovate in all leading edge fields. Let us get governments out of all these things. On a similar note, though ISRO in India has been doing a great job,Read More...

Pod Racing ala Star Wars Style

All you star wars fans out there... thought you would never live to see the day when pod racing would finally arrive on earth... you are so wrong !!! Look at this cool rocket race being planned in the US. Rocket Racing League

I think the Ansari X-Prize and this effort all go to show how important it is to allow private enterprise to fund and innovate in all leading edge fields. Let us get governments out of all these things. On a similar note, though ISRO in India has been doing a great job, I think its pace is not what it ought to be. I have had personal experience training at their lab in Bangalore and I have seen how the few people who work and innovate are the ones that carry the organization forward. The rest just feed off the big fish. My wife too has worked at a research institution that is building the Kaveri engine in Bangalore. What she has to tell me about the state of affairs is really saddening. While all the middle class Indian tax payer's money is spent on beautifying large lawns and gardens around these research establishments, great innovating minds inside are stymied with bureacratic hurdles and hierarchical organizational structuring, not to mention whymsical nincompoops who masquerade as bosses.

The Rocket Racing League will inspire people of all ages to once again look up into the sky to find inspiration and excitement
-Peter Diamandis
Lessons for India from this article. Let's race ahead too guys. ISRO should start a private public partnership to aid such innovation. This age has to be the one for conquering the last frontier. Space.

03 October 2005

Google in the air

A company that thrives on putting a new perspective on everything... google never ceases to surprise me. Here's another of their social enterprises. Google's work culture reminds one of the old Bell Labs culture, where employees were allowed to innovate during part of their daily work hours. No questions asked sort of R&D effort. Very hard to find such a culture in the post dot com bust-your-brains-out-but-make-a-profit kind of era.

San Francisco, I am jealous.

By the way, google, can you also innovate to provide free food, water, clothing & health to all the world's poor downloadable from the air ? :)

Adios Amigos..

01 October 2005

Retrospective Series: Part 4 - Assistant In Chief

This is turning out to be a nice sunny weekend. Something of a rarity as Halloween approaches. Sometimes after an intense week of work(Steam blowing from the ears and heated brain storming sessions, kind of work); I believe a weekend with a large dose of mundane, physical work is called for. I cannot possibly give a medical explanation for how the brain recuperates during that rest, but I can guess with reasonable accuracy. The brain cells say, "yo buddy, you go take a hike. I ain't budging for the next two days !". Monday's are a pleasure after such weekends. Read more...

29 September 2005

Who owns the internet ?

Not many of us think about this often, but who really owns the internet ? The internet is owned by everyone in the world, except the glue that binds them together is owned by the US. Here's a snippet from Wired

With the advances in the new century and the way technology is a great equalizer, I think its time to relase control. Don't you think so Uncle Sam ?
A senior U.S. official rejected calls for a U.N. body to take over control of the main computers that direct traffic on the internet, reiterating U.S. intentions to keep its historical role as the medium's principal overseer.

Many countries, particularly developing ones, have become increasingly concerned about the U.S. control, which stems from the country's role in creating the internet as a Pentagon project and funding much of its early development.

Some negotiators from other countries said there was a growing sense that a compromise had to be reached and that no single country ought to be the ultimate authority over such a vital part of the global economy.

A stalemate over who should serve as the principal traffic cops for internet routing and addressing could derail the U.N. World Summit on the Information Society, which aims to ensure a fair sharing of the internet for the benefit of the whole world

28 September 2005

Open Sourcing Knowledge

In one of my previous posts, I had talked about open sourcing Knowledge Management. Wikipedia is one such distributed computing experiment, except that it is in a data entry intensive domain, rather than a compute intensive domain. A free encyclopedia for the benefit of humanity. What a noble endeavor. It has international sections too, so if you are a non English language expert, this is an awesome forum to participate. If you are passionate about sharing the knowledge you have, please participate because everyone on earth can edit and share through this wonderful medium. There is nothing called trivial when it comes to sharing knowledge. Remember to maintain your neutrality and stay away from biases and prejudices, while wiki-ing.

Spread the light of knowledge.

Deep cloning.

Wish all good things in life were so easily cloneable...

public Object clone() throws CloneNotSupportedException {
try{
ByteArrayOutputStream baos = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
ObjectOutputStream oos = new ObjectOutputStream(baos);
oos.writeObject(this);
ByteArrayInputStream bais =
new ByteArrayInputStream(baos.toByteArray());
ObjectInputStream ois = new ObjectInputStream(bais);
Object deepCopy = ois.readObject();
}
catch(Exception e){
throw CloneNotSupportedException(e);
}
return deepCopy;
}

27 September 2005

John Lennon : Imagine

I was playing an old John Lennon collection that I discovered while ripping my cds for my laptop. This is an immortal one.
Imagine

Imagine there's no heaven,
it's easy if you try,
no hell below us,
above us only sky.
Imagine all the? people,
living for today yu-huh.
Imagine there's no countries,
it isn't hard to do,
nothing to kill or die for,
and no religion too.
Imagine all the people,
living life in peace yu-huh.
You may say I'm a dreamer
?but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us,
and the world will be as one.
Imagine no possesions,
I wonder if you can,
no need for greed or hunger,
a brotherhood of man.
Imagine all the people,
sharing all the world yu-huh.
You may say I'm a dreamer ...

Su Doku

Jimmy introduced me to Sudoku, a placement puzzle involving numbers. Will intrique engineers and logic nuts alike. It is very popular in the US now after gaining world popularity in 2005. I consider it a culture neutral game that can be played by anybody with numerical skills.
The general problem of solving Sudoku puzzles on n2 x n2 boards of n x n blocks is known to be NP-complete. This gives some indication of why Sudoku is difficult to solve, although on boards of finite size the problem is finite and can be solved by a deterministic finite automaton that knows the entire game tree. For more on the math behind it.. go here
Check out the online version
Sudoku

Where The Mind is Without Fear


Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

- Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore (From the Geetanjali).
P.S: Image is Subrato Kundu's interpretation of Geetanjali from an artist's perspective.

26 September 2005

Politically Incorrect : Ravings of a mere mortal.

Washington, DC. 38°12′, -77°10′. In the United States, the governor's race is heating up in Virginia, and we have a lot of talk about widening the I-66, the main artery that feeds DC from Virginia. I-66 is a freeway with a lot of history and today it is exactly that, just an old relic. The lack of space to expand on both sides within the beltway(along the lines of the ring roads in India) has made it a commuter's nightmare. The DC metro area is already one of the cities with the most traffic congestion in the United States. A lot of debate and open forums are being held in the capital to address these issues. Every time I open the local county newspaper (Loudoun county), I see big front page articles about town hall meetings, requests for opinions and other related items aimed at involving local people and communities in resolving this growing urban problem. What is more enlightening is that its not just people, but corporations that rally behind these initiatives and push the government into action. The corporates have a very vested interest which is perfectly alright in this case. A mall or hospital will lose business if traffic problems prevent access to their facilities. Despite all this, I still notice a certain lack of speed in the implementation of these proposals. I say that because living in this country you start expecting everything to happen at lightning speed. The culture of instant gratification has been perfected to utopian levels in this country. This is both good and bad at the same time. Read More...

20 September 2005

Art of Living, Infrastructure and other thoughts

I was thinking of writing about the infrastructural challenges an expanding dc metro area is facing and how perspectives change after living in different societies. Its been six years since I last experienced working and living in India and my perspective is at best out dated, but still I can see oceans of difference in approach and problem tackling mentalities of the respective governments. Here's a link from a blog(Niranjani), I discovered through Linked In connections. I worked with Raj while in India (He was my boss :) ). I definitely have some thoughts on the infrastructure problem. Will share my views in an elaborate entry probably next week.

I am shifting my writing blog to a new page so that the home page can be freed up for more frequent rambles. I will post links to my retrospective series on the home page nevertheless.

Oh yeah before I forget, Raj also introduced me to the Art of Living. Check it out. They seem to have a significant presence everywhere. Need to check out the local DC chapter. They have one in Burke.

Another Gem I found via Niranjani. An excellent essay on outsourcing.

Enjoy !

Monk and Tony शाल्हौब

The Obsessive Compulsive Disordered Monk, won an Emmy. Hurrah. Tony does a good job. I like the premise of this sitcom cum detective cum comedy series.

14 September 2005

Retrospetive Series: Part 3 - Waxed Paper Magazines...

Thumbing through this month's National Geographic magazine, I soak in the marvellous images that jump out from every single page of this wonderful work of art. Yes it is a work of art to me because of many reasons. Growing up in India, in the mid to late 80s, magazines like the National Geographic were unheard of. At least to a middle class family like mine, based in a small town in the hinterland. Most magazines I had seen were made of regular ... Read More...

12 September 2005

Fall Colors

We are past labor day. I have started my fall semester at school. I have been so busy with everything that my retrospective series has suffered for the last two weeks. But this week, I will try to post my latest writing. The problem is that I am a die hard perfectionist, who cannot stand to see work that is half baked pushed off as a completed exercise. A boon and a bane. The miseries it causes me, only I shall know and bear. Meanwhile while I try to cure my incurable penchant, here's the forthcoming fall colors from the east coast. This is not my shot, but I promise to upload my own shots of the fall colors from the Shenandoah valley.

29 August 2005

Retrospective Series: Part 2 - Black, no cream, 1 sugar

The aroma of freshly brewed coffee is unmistakable no matter where you are in the world. Whether you are walking down 5th avenue in New York, museum hopping in downtown DC, or wading through the crowds of Brigades in Bangalore, the aroma emanating from a Star Bucks or a Cafe Coffee Day tingles your brain and drives your taste buds into an ecstatic frenzy. Alright, this may not be for everyone, but any Coffeee junkie will back me up here. The taste of coffee though is an entirely subjective and geographical matter. Coffee has been my ... Read More...

23 August 2005

Retrospective Series: Part 1 - A Lifeless Collection

Growing up in a small town has its benefits and disadvantages. The disadvantages probably outweigh the benefits. The fact that an entire world filled with wonders waited outside, occasionally dawned on me, partly thanks to the loads of books that I read from the decrepit local library. Funded by the government, this dungeon of a place had dust collecting over its books. Layers of dust encrusted the books literally. After every visit to the library my mom would hand me a napkin at the doorstep, so that I could wipe ... Read More...

20 August 2005

Lazy Weekend.

Check out this NGO organization founded by Azim Premji. It would be nice to participate in some good NGO. Wonder how one can help being far away from India.

19 August 2005

Josh Groban

I found Josh Groban's album, when I was MPEGing my CD collection. Pretty good actually.. strange thing is I don't recollect buying that CD. My BMG music club must have sent it.

Core Java Server Faces

I am deep into Core Java Server Faces by David Geary and Cay Horstmann. The MVC lifecycle is definitely a refinement of Struts. I like it so far. Nicely written. The Eclipse IDE I use had very good support for JSF. I like the fact that finally Sun has realized that its not just geeks that need to be attracted to Java, but regular programmers too. VBesque ease is probably good but not at the expense of patterns and fundamentals. The VB paradigm is basically ease of use at the expense of everything else. Yuck...

Wasabi and Y Tu Mama Tambien

Saw the French movie Wasabi. It was an ok movie, not like some of the french ones that I absolutely love. Also the other day we saw the spanish film Y Tu Mama Tambien. Grossly overrated movie. I cannot imagine it was nominated for an Oscar.

17 August 2005

Left Behind and the state of the Olive tree

This morning's New York Post has a brilliant comment from Thomas Lynch. I paraphraze his closing argument.


Surely we must all bear our share of guilt and deep regret, some sadness at the idea that here we are, another August into our existence, and whether we arrived by way of evolution or intelligent design or the hand of God working over the void, no history can record that we've progressed beyond our hateful, warring and fanatical ways.

We may be irreversibly committed to play out the saga of Iraq. But each of us, we humans, if we are to look our own kind in the eye, should at least be willing to say we're sorry, that all over our smaller and more lethal planet, whatever the causes, we're still killing our own kind - the same but different - but our own kind nonetheless





On a side note, a photo from the israeli pullout from Gaza. Olive trees and the Lexus, aptly put by Thomas Friedman. Lets stop fighting over olive trees.

10 August 2005

India Empowered

Manmohan Singh on India Empowered. It is amazing how the psyche of Indians both in India and around the world has undergone a sea change. Can you imagine the days when we were growing up in India ? There was eternal pessimism all around and I remember the days when we wrote reams and reams of essays about the population problem, the illiteracy problem etc.. concentrating on the problems alone. Never were we asked to write essays about how can we change these things... how can we find solutions.

04 August 2005

Discovery gets a spatial treatment ;)

NASA's Discovery today got a protruding filler removed by a space walking astronaut. Pretty cool pictures at NASA.
Here's what I get very frustrated about.... its great that these guys are able to do emergency repair work like this, but is this what the time in space should be spent on ? NASA needs more funding people... fund them so that they can build the next generation of the space shuttle, something that does not have to rely on stone age era tiles(brittle ones at that) to provide protection against excessive heat during re-entry.
What if the entire world put aside its military spending for one whole year ? We could end poverty everywhere and build massive space stations ... can we not ? Humanity...let us evolve ...TOGETHER.

Business Component Factory

Currently I am reading Business Component Factory by Peter Herzum and Oliver Sims.
Gives a good run down on CBD.

I just love the concept of CBD and wish we had the right kind of tools to make it more universal. I got to create my own set some day.

With every new paradigm, Tkach's complexity gap exists. CBD is just a way to get back the complexity to pre procedural days. That should come as a surprise to many, but if you think about it, its true isn't it. The systems that were being built were simpler in those days, hence the level of complexity even with primitive languages and infrastructure was much lower. Hence the argument.

M*A*S*H

I am currently watching season 2 of MASH rented from NetFlix. MASH redefined American comedy for me when I was in school. Star TV had just begun broadcasting in India, and they had this show airing around 7 PM. Boy was I was hooked or what. This is a chance to revisit those memories. To me, Alan Alda as Captain Benjamin Franklin 'Hawkeye' Pierce is the favorite of the bunch

03 August 2005

More progress

Whoa... whats happening here. I seem to be progressing way beyond my wildest imaginations. I have finalized on the template for my blogs. Made numerous style changes...(believe me this is the painful of the lot.), added a cool little poll...yeah don't forget to participate in my poll. Added a hit counter to the page. Also added a quote engine to spew out quotes to visitors. Enjoy !

01 August 2005

Back with a bang !

1st of August. A functional blog has been resurrected. All the links have been re-established.

Look what I am reading at my Tech Corner

Raincoat - Very different movie

You know what, I always crib that Indian movie makers are running out of ideas and rehash melodramatic garbage time and time again. Well seems like there is still some hope left.
The Hindi movie Raincoat by Rituparno Gosh proved me so wrong.

Movie Mania

Netflix rocks... we have been members since 200* and we just love it. The array of choices is just mind boggling. My wife and I have been evangelizing about it among all of our friends and inspiring them to sign up.
www.netflix.com

14 July 2005

Bloggerization

A new exercise in revamping the layout and contents.. kindly bear the dust.