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Showing posts from May, 2008

@home projects

Remember SETI@home, the scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)? It runs on BOINC . According to Wikipedia: The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing ( BOINC ) is a non-commercial middleware system for volunteer computing , originally developed to support the SETI@home project, but intended to be useful for other applications in areas as diverse as mathematics, medicine, molecular biology, climatology, and astrophysics. The intent of BOINC is to make it possible for researchers to tap into the enormous processing power of personal computers around the world. Though I believe SETI@home (or indeed SETI) is a grossly misdirected scientific effort (it's a matter of personal opinion and I would wholeheartedly support its enthusiasts), its most pragmatic outcome must be BOINC. I downloaded the BOINC software today to lend support to the LHC@home project. Unfortunately, there's current

Chlorine Gas Leak in Telco Colony

Chlorine gas leaked from the water treatment plant near Truck Park a couple of days ago. Some residents of the area were admitted to the Tata Motors Hospital. I remember visiting the plant on an excursion from primary school. 

My Expense Manager

I initially used Google Docs to design this expense manager to help keep tabs over my daily expenses. Then DocSyncer happened (it doesn't really synchronize, just sends a local copy to Docs each time an update happens-provided you are connected to the Net...else waits for the next time you are online) and I happily switched to Microsoft Excel.

"Highlighting and Lowlighting"

Trust Indians to stretch English! An extremely annoying blabbermouth spoke aloud on the phone all along the way from office to home. Each sentence was a gang rape (effort was solo but effect was communal!) of my favorite language as I tried in vain to muffle the 50 decibels blaring from right behind me. Some breeds simply forgot to trudge up the evolutionary curve.

The archive

I'm building a huge music archive that's far from reaching the set 100GB cap. The burgeoning collection (I'm still fanatically select) is already so large, it'll easily last me more than a year of 1-hr per day listening. If you add the currently live marathon downloads of Fitzgerald and Verve, that figure woud increase substantially. I'm made to wonder, however, if it's worth the effort.   Isn't streaming audio a better alternative? The archive is even larger, there's nothing to download, you're not bogged down thinking of suitable storage media and you get to discover new music all the time. I remember how much more interesting our radio looked than the cassette player. It was like comparing an ocean with a tub.   There could be a very obvious drawback though: when I'm in the mood for Rach 3 , I could be forced to put up with Stravinsky's Rite of Spring ! Case in point: I'm listening to Ella's The Very Though of You for the nth


I rejoined office only today as I needed the buffer time to rejuvenate myself. Shuttle #33 looked differently similar and I couldn't decide if it was the same bus with a different inside or a different bus with the same outside. The engine rumble was clearly louder (or was I imagining), the seats were less meaty and didn't recline (they were unevenly reclined and unadjustable), we now had curtains and the entrance looked similarly damaged. Twin from a parallel world?

Favorite Present

Everything that Diyasha does is instantaneously elevated to her favorites list. Whatever she watches on TV becomes her favorite. Whatever she's eating becomes her favorite. Whatever she wears becomes her favorite. Whatever she's drawing becomes her favorite. Whatever she reads becomes her favorite. Whatever she writes (grammatically impeccable...almost) becomes her favorite. One thing is certain: she's my favorite!


My new hangers have been pressed into service. The oldies now have vital company. Putting a semblance of order among my clothes seemed more daunting than solving the most complex triple integration. Add to that my eternal disinterest towards anything wearable and you'll know why I've lost track of many a trousers, T-shirt and socks. I'm sure many of the lost-and-never-found ones have joined the nitrogen cycle by now. I wish the wardrobe had more room.

Interpreter of Maladies

That's the doctor, not me. Mom's condition had deteriorated suddenly and that necessitated her admission into Hindusthan Health Point (that wasn't a spelling mistake) on the 12th. I'm leapfrogging the morbid details and highlighting the lighter facets. SpiceJet was late by almost 3 hours and I reached Kolkata on the 14th @ 1:45am. The cab driver was an affable chap and we sped for home via EM Bypass. Spotted two ladies of the night. One was fair and strikingly dressed in knee-high boots and miniskirt. Unprepared though I was for it, I did manage enough of a glimpse to conclude that she was pretty and kinky. The other was tall and very skinny, hardly the type to appeal to non-perverts. Probably she was pimping her partner. Reached home @ 0230 hrs, went to sleep @ 0300hrs, woke up at 0530hrs, reached the nursing home before 0630 hrs, waited for the doctor (we had an appointment) but in vain. Then began the routine of daily visits...which I'm not delving into. Diya


Got up @ 8am Brushed Shaved Washed a bedsheet Went out, had breakfast and bought a chocolate bar Brought Andromeda to life Bathed Called home Washed some clothes Watched One Fine Day on TV Had lunch Updated my expense manager Watched IPL Ironed clothes It's 8pm now Andromeda occupied at least 60% of my time. The sequence listen above may not be chronologically in order.


The WEB!

I've been a devotee of Click Online for long. However, since the TV is mostly inaccessible for my viewing pleasure (it's hooked on to desi streams that cater to the tastes of my roommates), I never get to see it nowadays. Satya stumbled across today's episode while channel surfing and lingered just long enough to grab my attention. Today's was themed on video blogging via the mobile phone. Wanting to watch it in full, I sprang for my DELL and streamed the entire episode at 100kbps. It was more than satisfactory though the image quality wasn't anywhere close to what the TV could offer. Most gratifyingly, there wasn't a single 'freeze' throughout the 20+ mins even though ours is a shared connection. The only sacrifice: Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald had to be put on hold.   Earlier in the day, I party saw a webisode from the Danica McKellar starring Inspector Mom . I remember how smitten I was by her during my teens, thanks to her rivetting role

No news is good news

There are two ways of taking that: optimistically and pessimistically. Either way, the implication remains exactly the same! Paradoxical, isn't it?   News from home nearly always gives me cold feet. It's my great fortune that I got to stay away from home for all these years since Dad's demise. I wonder when I'll run out of luck.


Being a music junkie, I've tried quite a few audio players in the past few months. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.   Windows Media Player has looks to kill for. But it's system heavy and too fussy about file formats. RealPlayer is fantastic with streaming audio but has a reputation for being heavy on the CPU and memory. Yahoo! Music Jukebox is great for LAUNCHcast addicts and integrated well with Yahoo's Music Store. But it lacks features and with Yahoo! deciding to outsource its music business to Real Networks, this client isn't too appealing anymore. Winamp integrates well with the fantastic AOL Radio, has a small footprint and a very powerful interface, too powerful and confusing in fact. VLC plays anything, no matter how corrupted the file or outdated the format. But the vanilla features let it down. I never tried iTunes. It's worthless if you don't have an iPod and have no intention of buying music from iTunes Store. It probably has the


Tried Joost on Andromeda today. Simply didn't work. With the sort of bandwidth we are gratified in having, that was the height of optimism. Our safest bet remains BitTorrent .

Microsoft abandons Yahoo! bid

This came as a complete surprise to me. Maybe Yahoo! was bargaining too hard and Microsoft finally had enough of it, especially after the recently sweetened offer proved insufficient to satiate Yahoo's ask.   I hope Yahoo! knows what it's doing and doesn't blow things up. Recent indications are symptomatic of Yahoo! being totally clueless about the course it's supposed to trudge. I feel giving up Panama in favor of Google's AdSense would conclusively prove that Yahoo! doesn't have enough faith in its home-grown technologies. Merging with AOL would be disastrous, as Time Warner learnt the hard way.   I pray for Yahoo! and hope Microsoft doesn't return anytime soon with a diminished offer and an I-told-you-so look on its face. Worse, I hope Yahoo! doesn't need to meekly knock on Microsoft's doors. How insulting that would be!

Roman Holiday

Saw the movie in bits and pieces over the past few days and managed to conclude today. Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn gave stellar performances. Loved it.

Future Posts has finally added a vital 'feature' that users of other blogger services like Wordpress have been enjoying for quite a while now.   Scheduled post publishing is now live for everyone. If you set a post’s date into the future , Blogger will wait to publish until that time comes.   While this could be used in more ways than presently imaginable, I guess suicide notes would be a favorite. Or people on the euthanasia queue may send post-mortem messages to the world in this manner. Suddenly, blogging would look all too enticing to people who have something to say after going out with a bang!   Maybe this is how my last post to this blog will happen.   This is a future post...scheduled for 15 mins hence.

Fly me to the moon!

Get yours here

What's Lunch?

I've not had lunch (at work) for over a week now. I'm beginning to forget the look and feel of cafeteria hum during lunch hour. So what have I been surviving on? Junk food and juice!

The browser aficionado replies

I've used Nepscape Navigator during my initial years of falling into the web. I wasn't really opinionated on browsers back then since web pages would grab all my attention. Still, differences in rendition were sometimes apparent although I never really understood why some people showed strong browser preferences. That was before I became a power user.   Things changed pretty drastically once I got the hook. I took a keen interest in the browser war and saw the fall of Netscape (felt sad) and rise of Opera and Firefox (felt happy). You may be surprised to know that I installed and ran Flock the very day it was made public (before the official launch). It's built on Firefox (thus the close resemblance) but I never really found it appealing.   You may visit my blog archive to read my perception of Flock.


When Mantu left for Pune and his TV followed suit a few days later, I was under the brief but mistaken impression that peace would finally prevail in our dwelling.   Satya's B&W TV soon moved in to fill the gap. IPL happened and you can well imagine the consequences. Since the TV was a vintage and tuning archaic, I hoped this would be dissuasion enough and the  number of hours spent in front of the TV would reduce. Wrong again!!   Enter Samsung TV. The catastrophe happened today and with it vanished my already flickering hopes. I think I'm turning deaf.

Empty Mind...My Dream Workshop!