Friday, March 31, 2006

The greatest home video!

He's drunk

I'm a teetotaller and just can't stand drunks. People who know me well enough are aware of this fact. One of my close friends who came to Bangalore in search of a job (& has so far been unsuccessful, thanks to his lethargy) has fallen into the bad habit of getting drunk very regularly. This, at a stage when he should be voraciously scouring the job market. Each time I quiz him about his sojourns (to the bar...which I don't mention!), he comes up with a ready-made alibi that'll hardly look authentic. At least he's ashamed enough to lie!

It vexes me no end to see people getting perverted by the relative dazzle of Bangalore. Really, are personal integrity and conviction dispensable?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Backwarding a Forward

How often do u come across silly mails asking u to forward them to all your contacts? Well, I've had enough of this nonsense and decided to do something about it. But what could I do? Lecturing on net etiquettes would be totally futile. The only option I had was to resort to a backfiring...& I didn't spare it.

So what did the erring mail say? It was a plea by a 7 yr old girl begging for the mail to be forwarded since the Make a Wish Foundation had promised to donate 7 cents for each forwarded mail towards her treatment (she was supposedly ailing from cancer) !

The following was my retaliation (REPLY ALL):

I too have a wish: that at least IT professionals have enough brainwaves not to fall for such mails.

How will MAKE a WISH FOUNDATION come to know how many times this mail has been forwarded? Have they invented a new email protocol that defies all logic? And anyway, if MWF had enough money to spare, would it resort to using such cheap gimmicks? Doesn't it stink of the belittling of human values?

U c, spamming is a malice that runs on either of the following two mechanisms: Bulk Mailing...Human Stupidity. I've been careful enough to protect my mailbox from bulk mails. It's only human stupidity that I can't filter out. The only thing that I can do is to publicly lash out at such exemplary imbecility.

It's a holiday for most

The roads were deserted, traffic was quick & jams were non-existent. So many incentives for working!

Feeling sleepy

Diya was right, I should have a bed in the office!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I was perverted...

...by popular music since I came to Bangalore. Tried it for some time and actually liked it, causing me to neglect my beloved classical strains.

Now that we have a Net connection @ home, I decided to try classical for old time's sake. It sounded magical! How could I have neglected the heavenly tunes of Mozart and Handel?!!!

I'm back in the classical fold.

Neeru calls!

Neeraj Singh was our class distractor. Skinny and sharp, he meant trouble wherever he went. Full of zest, he was one of the guys who would constantly irritate and amuse me. I still blame him for nicknaming me Deepika!

He called me up just a few mins ago. It's certainly more than 10 years since we spoke to each...& how wonderful it felt! School friends always have a very special place in my heart, and Neeraj surely qualifies as one of the most memorable guys I've ever met!

SMSed him Rohit's and Badri's numbers.

We have a new office bus

It's bigger and the seats are better cushioned. But the cabin seat is aligned parallel to the aisle and the back seat is sans windows! So I can't opt for either of the terminal ends of the bus. So sad!

With nowhere to go, I'm left in the middle...literally. The heavenly conspiracy shows up yet again!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Thanks...

...to all my earthly acquaintances. Special thanks to Jahnvee for the 30+ mins we spent talking!
Got my office headphones!

Monday, March 27, 2006

A Mozilla Hack

It's not even 36 hrs since we got a Net connection @ home...and I've spent a substantial part of this period in downloading some developer tools.

Any self-respecting techie would have surely tried Firefox at some point in time. I've been using it since it gained prominence, and never bothered to look back.

Last evening was dedicated to creating multiple user profiles, and hacking my profile to an extent that would make it impossible for tyros to handle. Look at how Spartan the toolbar has become. The navigation buttons are all gone! And it's still possible for me to surf with absolute ease. Well, the interface could be made more scant. In fact, it's possible to make all traces of the browser disappear from the screen!

Addendum: I've just removed the status bar, integrating the progress bar with the address bar. It's like gradually stripping a hottie!

Time is nature's way of keeping things from happening all at once

My nominal brainwaves are being increasingly exhausted in things job-related. While I needn't gripe about it...perhaps I should. Is this the way I'm supposed to live the rest of my life, with no time for introspection or afterthought?
Things have gotta change. I intend to use my weekends more productively from now on. No procrastinating...I've done enough of it!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The promised writeup for Saturday just didn't happen as there were too many things occupying my mind. It'll come next week.

Internet Connection @ Home

We now have a Net connection in our room! A hub was bought last evening which serves to connect the 3 computers to the modem.

What was my first download on Santosh's computer? Mozilla Firefox 1.5.0.1!

Friday, March 24, 2006

ABBA

Yahoo! Radio plays Ring Ring via my IM. Reminds me of my childhood when I would listen to this kinda music...before being smitten by Satchmo & Beethoven.

Old times...they were so nice!

A question on Tomcat

I have a directory structure like this:
C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Tomcat 5.0\webapps

webapps comes with the following folders:
balancer
servlets-examples
jsp-examples
tomcat-docs
ROOT
webdav

I creat a directory under webapps called deepanjan...and fill it with some files/folders. I restart Tomcat. I suspect it's not able to detect my folder. How can the problem be rectified?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

It's working!

The Servlet enigma has been solved! I'll sleep tight tonight.

ZDNetindia Reports...

Pune is going to be the country's first Wi-Fi enabled information technology city.

...expected to be commissioned in a year's time, would offer Wi-Fi connectivity to approximately a 400 sq km area, including Pune city, Pimpri-Chinchwad and information technology pockets such as Hinjewadi.

...available data showed that Pune had the largest Internet-user base in the country.


I love Pune!

My head is aching

I dedicate an entire day trying to demystify Tomcat...and this is how it treats me! It's really frustrating. I haven't even had time to come up with decent posts over the past few days! I hope to come up with something this Saturday.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Servlets aren't serving me well. I guess it's time for me to seek the salubrious environs of Haridwar.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Fatigued reading about XML.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Vada Pav

Had a solitary Vada Pav in the office for a staggering Rs.10. Reminded me of simpler times when I would dig into this local delicacy during my Pune days. The cheapest ones would cost Rs.2, while the most expensive ones were worth no more than Rs.3.50 apiece.

I miss those days. Sameera must be enjoying himself in my sacred city. Damn that fellow? Why should he have all the luck?

Digital Electronic Entity Programmed for Assassination, Nocturnal Judo and Accurate Nullification

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Dhyani dropped by unexpectedly in the afternoon. It's such great fun talking to him!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Shukla, Munda and Neeraj visit us in the evening. Munda is back after a short stay in Mumbai. It's always a special feeling meeting old friends in this sea of strangers.

C#

Can you see sharp? I can't...and I hope neither can you. After all, why should the world have slipped out of focus for me but not for you? I ardently believe in a world of equality, a world where everyone has lost focus. It's not that I'm blind, because I can see very well how most people still enjoy the privileges of not being bespectacled...and it pains me to the core. Injustice and nepotism reign supreme. If you don't have a crystal clear vision or the right contacts, rest assured you will be framed.

But my vision wasn't always this bad (-0.75, -0.75). Ophthalmologists say that within a few weeks after birth, a baby is able to focus on the tip of his nose...and I guess I was no exception when I condescended the world with my birth. I had an unhindered vision for a long period before the world around me began slipping out of favor with my sight.

Perversions are the signature of adolescence. I began yearning for glasses as I thought they would make me look more intellectual. Since I had gradually begun to realize that much of the world had failed to acknowledge my genius, maybe some cosmetic effect would set things right. My clandestine prayers to Satan were soon to be answered! I discovered, quiet accidentally, that the vision in one eye wasn't as sharp as the other. I was so excited! Does this mean that I'll finally get my pair of glasses? I nagged about my vision to Dad, who straightaway blamed my excessive watching of the TV. Well, the damage was done and I warranted a quickfix.

So we dashed to the ophthalmologist, who, after a series of intricate tests that involved placing space-age styled vision enhancers, came to the conclusion that my vision was indeed flawed. The confirmation was music to my ears. If glasses were here, could Mensa be far away? Maybe I'll be assisted to do great things (I was destined for them anyway!) by my glasses, maybe I would finally be hailed by the nonchalant world for my prodigal self, maybe I would win the Nobel Prize some day...all due to my beloved glasses that helped me focus!

Soon I got my prized spectacles for just Rs.240, a steal really at that price. I was to be framed again and again over the years, but the expected Nobel never came my way. I know, it's as distant a dream as Osama bin Laden preaching from the Bible or Lalu renouncing his beloved bovines. But what's life without a flicker of hope? Mensa hasn't inducted me either. I figured my fame would spread far and wide and that the organization would consider itself redeemed by offering me an honorary induction. Nope, that too never happened. And don't expect me to take the test...I'm too good for it. What's wrong with the world?

My enthusiasm for the glasses gave way to disgust. I even bought a book titled Better Eyesight Without Glasses. The first half of the book condemned all bespectacled species on earth, something I endured with great gumption. Insults were heaped upon me as I flipped through the pages. And just when I had given up on ever recovering lost pride, came the simple and friendly advice from the book: improve your eyesight by just refusing to wear them! This novelty was iterated through the remaining pages of the book. Great! I had achieved nirvana.

I tried my best to avoid my spectacles over the next few months. Didn't have the desired Placebo Effect. Instead, I began missing out on feasting my eyes on the pretty babes of Pune. Things had finally come to such a pass that I had almost forgotten how pretty girls looked like. Damn! Enough of this nonsense. I reverted to my bespectacled self!

That's the way I've been for the past many years. I'm framed for life.

Friday, March 17, 2006

A promise kept

The official photographer @ the convocation failed to snap my photo! But that needn't have got me depressed, many others met the same fate. So when grilled, the fellow promised to deliver a CD each to all the unfortunates containing the promised snaps.

The promise has been kept...but only partly. The CD was delivered to me last evening, but it didn't contain my snap. Instead it contained a poor-quality video of the entire ceremony. To make matters worse, the camera was placed so awkwardly, it just caught the backs of the recipients as they received their nominal degrees!

All this boils down to there being no pictorial evidence of me ever having received the degree from the VC.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Even the RD guys!

Even Reader's Digest India is goofing up. I wanted to extend my subscription which was supposed to expire in January. They extended it...and also spawned a new subscription out of nowhere!

I'm getting sick of this life

Sad but true. This is not how I wanted my life to shape up.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Life's in a blizzard

Yeah, things have been changing in here and I can hardly keep pace! So enervated and weighed down was I that I had to bunk office yesterday! I'm way behind schedule and there's hardly any time to catch-up.

I've also been heavily procrastinating on posting the Convocation Day account. It's the last thing on my mind right now!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Busy Busy Busy

I'll be very busy this week and making major posts will not be possible. I already have 3 posts on my mind...but time just won't do justice to them. Wait for a few days!

BTW, last Friday was absolutely horrendous. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. It was also the first time I missed the cabin seat in the shuttle on both the trips! I could have written an entire essay...but time's the culprit!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Desktop Search

I didn't switch off my PC while leaving office yesterday. It was a first. I find desktop indexing very irritating each time my machine is booted since both Microsoft and Google Desktop search are installed on my machine. They jostle for indexing and consequently make my machine almost unusable for over an hour. Abstraction of desktop indexing is not really a good idea since it should be the OS's job.

Microsoft Windows Vista will come with desktop search embedded right into the system. This is expected to make indexing a lot less obtrusive, something already flaunted by the Mac OS.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Finally...something inspirational

My blog entry 'Trippy Trip' has been showcased in the Featured Blog Entries on Sulekha Blogs!

Oh Boy!

Lethargy has now hit a peak. I'm addicted to mouse gestures for Firefox...and I don't even need to reach out for the toolbar anymore. I'm beginning to look sardonically at IE users!

The Facelift

Microsoft has unveiled a revved-up search engine called Windows Live Search. I visited the Live page after a long intermission and was pleasantly surprised at how well it was rendered via Firefox!

Gender Bender

The actress of yesterday is the actor of today.
Likewise, the poetess has become the poet.
The authoress has become the author.

Now, while I'm all for women's liberation, aren't we carrying things too far? What's so liberal about spilling the gender war on to the literary arena? Ambiguity on paper hardly translates to equality in real life.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Had my first pizza in the office cafeteria. Didn't like it.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

No Nothings

  • I no longer receive emails
  • I no longer receive comments
  • I no longer receive phone calls
  • I no longer receive SMSes
  • I no longer read books
  • I no longer read magazines
  • I no longer watch TV
  • I no longer go to the movies
  • I never booze
  • I never party
  • I never smoke
  • I never flirt

Gosh, am I even alive?

It's reigning cauliflowers

Cauliflowers have virtually had a monopoly in our kitchen ever since Santosh started cooking. So 2 cauliflowers have been consumed in 5 dinner treats, and I'm loving every moment of it especially since it's my favorite vegetable!

But tonight's menu is expected to be different and I'm just hoping it'll be as great as it has been thus far.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Necessity is the mother of Desperation

Santosh's keyboard went bust and the poor chap was left with a computer that just wasn't receptive to his keystrokes!

I showed him how to use the on-screen keyboard (Microsoft has thought of all eventualities!) and, to my surprise, he used his new found two-dimentional companion to try some programming! Well, maybe Microsoft didn't think of that!

The extensions

I've added so many extensions to my Mozilla Firefox browser, it's literally unrecognizable! It's amazing how modular a browser can be, allowing users to fit-in only those pieces that they need to help fine-tune it. All the things I could have hoped for in a browser are available via extensions. My only gripe is that the industry still builds sites keeping only IE in mind. Thankfully, the archaic mindset is changing. Even Yahoo! Videos are now Firefox compliant.

Addendum: I've just learnt that tabbed-browsing in Firefox supports drag-&-drop! Let's see IE doing that!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

A first

I had used my credit card over-the-Net on a previous occasion.
I used it once again today...but over-the-counter for the very first time! How many people have treaded this unconventional trajectory?
So what did I buy? 3 books, including 1 for Santosh.

Friday, March 03, 2006

A fashion show

We had a fashion show organized in our cafeteria. Some old pals from the other facility also showed up and it was great to meet them after so long an abeyance. Especially agog was Nilotpal and it was only due to him that I stayed back after work to enjoy the show. Actually, I wouldn't even be aware of it had he not informed me!

The crowd went wild and the whole place looked like a college with overzealous students! The life, the rumpus, the music, the ramp...well, I relished them all! And the participating babes looked hot, VERY hot! I must have fallen in love with at least half-a-dozen of them, although two in particular grabbed by attention real well! One was dusky and had a figure to die for. The other one was sheer grace and beauty.

I didn't stay there to witness the entire show. After spending sufficient time, I returned to my bay and surfed the Net till it was time to call it a day.

Something useless

Though the human mind is amazingly inventive and innovative, it often falters in its ingenuity and creates things that are utterly worthless. One such contraption I'm forces to romance each day at work is the paper hand towel dispenser. The towels could have been simply placed on a tray or rack. Instead, a stack of towels is placed within a weird looking box that has only a tiny slit at its lower end through which we are expected to pull them out! What an utterly wasteful thing to do! The nuances of reaching for the slit at the bottom, poking my fingers in and pulling a towel are such that I can't help thinking of something else that's not mentionable here!
Newsvine is a great new news site.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The cooking begins!

Santosh did all the hardwork. I was too tired after work and don't know much cooking anyway.
Manilal finally returns after his month-long vacation.

Trippy Trip

The little morsels of adventure that still stray into my life generally do so when I'm shuttling between home & office, thanks to me generally finding my way into the driver's cabin. I'm treated to being a spectator to all that happens between the driver and his sidekick.

Our driver is a guy who spends half his driving time looking ahead through the windshield & the other half instructing his sidekick and communicating with our transport department via the wireless system. The running commentary between the two sides is spirited and...thankfully enough, in a language (Kannada) I don't understand. I guess I'll never know what the two sides keep blabbering about, but it has surely aroused my curiosity. I'm sure even NASA astronauts don't receive such a barrage of navigational tips from Houston!

The sidekick came in 3 versions since I began taking this daily shuttle. The first two aren't worth a mention, but the latest guy (a teenager) is rather weird. He occupies the seat in front of mine, to the left-front end of the bus. The rumbling engine-hump lies between him and the driver.

The assistant's primary job is to open or close the door and collect the attendance sheet. But he has managed to make himself useful in more ways than required. All through the trip he issues wild gesticulative instructions to the driver...who conveniently ignores him. So while the young lad uses his right hand to instruct the driver to start, stop or steer, he uses his other hand (always jutting out of the window) to issue commands to the traffic to make way for our bus. And since the traffic is too rowdy to follow his gestures, he freely uses some cacophony (strongly resembling the one used by shepherds to tame grazing sheep) with gay abandon.

Nobody notices, nobody hears, nobody acknowledges; yet our friend believes he is a force to reckon with, that he's responsible for untangling the innumerable traffic jams of Bangalore, that the driver is grateful for his help and that without him we would never reach office or home on time.

The fellow has the bad habit of pushing open his end of the window by sliding the glass to the rear end...my part of the shared window, not that he doesn't have enough window space already to squeeze through a full-sized pig . He manages to completely shut my side, something that literally leaves me fuming. He was up to his trick again this evening on my way back home, and I finally decided to put an end to my misery.

So when duty beckoned him to attend the door, I quickly seized the opportunity to slide open my window, only a narrow slit to let the air through. Our sidekick returned to his seat...and soon enough was back in business pushing the glass back to my side. He succeeded, but only momentarily, as I quickly retaliated with a push in the opposite direction. Lost territory is gained territory again, I thought! Our dual had gradually escalated into a mindgame of the highest order.

He now tried to recover some lost pride by issuing subtle pushes to the glass. Ha, I had jammed the slide with my fist! So when his relentless subtleties began to hurt me, I shamelessly and suddenly pushed the glass a good 1 inch ahead. He got the message.

I spent the rest of the trouble-free trip being pampered by a cool breeze gently blowing against my face. Victory tastes so sweet!

The milestone happens a day sooner than expected!

Wikipedia (English Edition) has crossed the 1 million mark!
How time flies!
I had extrapolated a year back that this would happen sometime in Feb-March. I wasn't wrong!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The inevitable delay

I had planned to start cooking (mainstream) from tonight. However, that wasn't to happen. First, I got cash-stripped on my way back home. Then when I reached home, I saw there was no electricity in the vicinity. Anyway, I headed for the supermarket little suspecting that there too would be a problem. The generator was broke and candlelight wasn't really all that helpful. Querying for cooking oil, I was guided to a spot that contained the item. Shuffling through the brands was an impossible task though. The manager helped me with his electric torch! That's it, I thought. I 'm not desperate enough to continue this way. Excusing myself, I left for my abode.

My efforts will be more concerted tomorrow.
Just 2 more days for another milestone to be reached!
Dhyani will probably shift to Mumbai by the end of the month. I'll miss a very good friend and colleague.

Fond recollection!

I remember recalling this incident to Mr.Raddi years ago when I was in Pune. He was pleasantly surprised.