Mumbai is in the news again, this time for being under siege by terrorists who have launched synchronized attacks in the southern region of the city. More than a 100 people have lost their lives in the past 24 hours since the drama unfolded. Is 1 book to blame for all the global unrest and regressive thinking? Can’t we imagine a world without religion?
I do the occasional search for my many fixations. Today was especially kind to me as I discovered an Indian article on Willis Conover published in a never-before-heard The Music Magazine . Here’s a coincidence: the article starts with a reference to the signature tune of Voice of America Jazz Hour, Take the 'A' Train . I was actually listening to the same tune on my computer as I read through the article! The site is now apparently defunct and I’m copying the article to salvage it. The authentic voice of America and jazz Willis Conover, VOA's jazz presenter, died four years ago on May 17. This is a tribute to the man who presented jazz with so much passion that he became a cult figure himself Among my most treasured memorabilia is a photograph of Duke Ellington and Willis Conover. It was sent to me by the office of Willis Conover at the VOA in Washington DC around the year 1983, when I first bought a radio. I'd written to Conover in an effort to settle a
It’s working…finally! Techies, I gotta ask something: do you read PDFs of tech-books on your computer? I mean, they’re available but I don’t now if people can use them as replacements for the real thing. Maybe the occasional reference is okay, but substituting real books full time can be a problem. What’s your take?
After more than a year thinking the mouse was indispensible both to Andromeda and our sweet home, it’s time to bid adieu to the eponymous laptop appendage. We had got rid of the real ones when Mantu fortified our place 2 months ago upon his return from Pune. Felt real good! The touch pad had apparently given up on ever getting physical with my fingers. It was sluggish to the touch, scrolling was erratic and I was close to calling DELL Support. Thankfully, over 12 hrs of touching has made the device responsive yet again.
BitTorrent plucking bytes from all over the world foobar2000 playing Liszt FileZilla transferring my files to a server Chrome springing into action ever so often VWD helping me code with ease Google Docs hosting my source code Live Mail receiving all my emails FeedDemon gathering customized news for me Chronos syncing my clock with atomic clocks Live Writer helping me blog I couldn’t have imagined all this even 5 years ago!
Nothing seemed to work today. Yahoo! Messenger was really cranky. Messages were not reaching me. And then all the buffered messages flooded my mobile even though I was online on the desktop. Mails sent by TTK weren’t reaching me. Repeated requests elicited repeated replies, none of which reached me for hours. The biggest tragedy: my SIM card began to act cranky big time. SIM CARD IS NOT VALID was flashing on my screen. The only solution was a restart and even that would work fine for only a few seconds (sometimes minutes) before the same message flashed again. I must have restarted my N72 more than 20 times – only to finally give up. I’m unreachable over the phone for all the frivolous fans. Mani and I swapped SIMs to see if my phone was the real culprit. Nope. Even the Vodafone Services page had a big SORRY message!
It looks startling to me, but in retrospect I feel the Net has lured me with crumbs of literary spark that later turn out to be nothing but prosaic and run-of-the-mill ramblings. The Net easily lets me zoom in on content I like, but the caveat to such instant swoops is the loss of a wider field of view, a where-does-it-all-fit-in picture in the grander scheme of things. I’m forced to do a rethink, do I really need my newsreader over the newspaper? Do I learn more from the occasional brilliant on-line editorial or the palpable newsmagazine? In both cases, the choice is obvious…but only after some serious introspection. The web, without a semblance of doubt, is an immensely rich repository of knowledge. Problem is, there’s too much of junk lying around…and sifting through it, well, might just not always be worth the effort. I spend more time hurriedly scrolling down pages or clicking hyperlinks than reading. Effective quality time? 20% would probably be an optimistic figure. Print me
It was early 2001. Sebastian had come from Kolkata and was temporarily staying with us in Pune before joining Tata Technologies. He had bought a tech magazine (Chip/Digit) from the station to keep himself engrossed. I lunged at it as soon as he came home and that’s how I learnt about blogging. A few service providers were mentioned and I tried them all at the cyber-cafe right across the street. Based on the description in the magazine and personal user experience, I chose Blogger.com. It was to prove the correct decision. Though it seems incredible to me now, I really didn’t understand what blogging was supposed to accomplish. To me, it was just an easy but restricted way of creating web-pages quickly. Confusing me further was Blogger’s archive feature, what on earth was it for ? It took me some time to figure out that blogging was essentially a way to log your daily experiences on the web, a kind of personal diary was wasn’t really all that personal. Purists would find this over-si