Friday, December 31, 2004

Ananya's birthday pic Posted by Hello

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

heaven only knows...

5PM of a tuesday evening and I am feeling a lil' down, have tried my best to "move on" with my life (that's what chhavi would always tell me to) but I am still missing someone badly. We shared some of the best of our times together and moving on seems to be as tough as it sounds, as they say time moves at different rate for each one of us & sometimes our hearts move even slower so even after about 7 months of our "break-up" I find it hard to let go. Anyway sometimes it's best to leave things the way they are when nothing seems to be working & any attempt to get things better actually makes them go worse. Have an interview in a company which asks you where you want to go today, don't know why I am giving it, perhaps just for the sake of it. Visited delhi this weekend, was missing the delhi winters off late so the visit was a welcome break (it's a different story that the trip itself was one of the most painfull trips that I've ever made!), saw hulchul: nice light movie, can be seen once. Life has been a lil' tough over the last 6 months but hey I am down but not out...see you on the dark side of the moon.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Astrology: astro-logos (study of stars)

Almost everyone of us believes or has interest in astrology, even though we might not believe it we all know our sun signs and read the daily sun sign forecast in the newspaper with curiosity/interest (it's a different story that more often than not the forecast is incorrect!). So, do the planetes located millions & zillions miles away(Pluto for instance is a member of Kuiper Belt) from earth really affect us? It was just this question which drew me to astrology, here are some of my thoughts about the whole thing:
a) Natal Astrology: I think the natal chart (the positions of planet during the time of the birth) or the birth chart helps a lot in getting to know about the psyche of a person, why do people behave differently in a business relationship v.s. personal relationship, what draws them to other person etc. etc. The most important aspect of a birth chart is off-course the sun sign(the sign in the zodiac where the sun was during the birth) as it signifies the person, his vitality, egoes, pride, self-worth or in general "I".
Second most is the ascendant(exact birth time + location is needed to calculate ASC): It's the degree which was rising on the eastern horizon during the birth & it reflects how we project ourselves to others, how we want others to see us as...if the sun signifies "I", ascendant signifies "I AM LIKE".
Third most important being the moon sign (near exact time needed), just like sun radiates all the light & energy during the day, the moon acts like a receptor & radiates the energy back during the night. It reflects our emotions, how we want to be nurtured & nurture others, our caring self etc..
Not that the other planets are not important, but these three together can give a fair idea about the person's psyche.
b) Predictive Astrology: Predicting life events in everyday life based on the current planetary positions & their aspects(geometrical relationship like square, opposition etc.) to natal planets. I have found this to be not the best way of predicting events, in the hindsight yes you can look at the planetary positions for that event and draw some relationship but I feel it's near impossible to predict someone's future by looking at the planets. We all have free will to do what we want to do, planets or no planets.
There are few more areas where astrology is used but they don't interest me much though one area that I would like to know a bit more about is horary. I think astrology is a good tool to learn about someone's psyche and which areas in life a person might face challenges & thus helping him to overcome those challenges by free will.

Monday, December 06, 2004

The power of music..

Was reading Eric's post on music recommendations ( so thought will come with my own list of recommended stuff, here it goes:
1) The Moody Blues : definitely my all time favorite band, amazing lyrics & Justin Hayward' s nice voice, anyone who hasn't listened to them yet, I would recommend starting with their album Sur La Mer (On the sea in spanish).
2) Johnny Hates Jazz : They did only one album in 80s before breaking up but their songs "Foolish Heart" & "Turn back the Clock" are among the very best.
3) OMD (Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark): Another not so popular band from 80s with meaninful lyrics and nice music (Do listen to "So In Love", "Secret", "Maid Of Orleans", "Forever live & die" & "Very Close to far away").
4) a-ha : Another of 80s band(I am great fan 0f 8os music, almost everyone would/should have listened to their number: Take on Me).
5) Cliff Richard: The oldies stuff.
6) Pet Shop Boys : 80s stuff, this was the band with which I started listening to english music when I was a kid, their cover version of Always on my Mind is a must listen.
7) Modern Talkin : 80s stuff though they did some cover versions of their older stuff in 2000, some nice nunbers include: You & Me, Slow Motion, Love don't live here anymore, Wild Wild Water & Atlantis is calling.
1) Pink Floyd: I don't think I need to write anything about this band, do listen to their albums: Division Bell, Final Cut & Dark Side of the Moon.
2) Def Leppard: Hysteria is my favorite number of theirs, followed by Miss You in a heartbeat, Love Bites, Stand up.
3) Mark Knopfler & Dire Straits: If you love guitar, you would love Knopfler! Not to be missed numbers: "Romeo & Juliet", "Darlin' Pretty", "Golden Heart", "Storybook love" & "Walk of Life".
Jazz/Hip Hop(whatever):
I hate both jazz & hip hop so don't have any recommendations under this section!
Here are few numbers by bands/singers whom I haven't heard enough but love them nevertheless:
1) Don Williams: I believe in you (classic).
2) The Twins: Deep within my heart (pop).
3) The Cars: Drive (pop).
4) Sting: Fields of Gold & Why should I cry for you (pop).
5) Babybird: You're gorgeous (alternate).
6) Nick Kamen: Win your love (pop).
7) Nirvana: The man who sold the world (rock).
8) Emmylou Harris: Heaven only knows (pop).
9) Ronan Keating: When you say nothing at all (2003ish i think).
10) Moffatts: If life is so short(2000 stuff).
The list can go on & on so guess will stop here, let me know your recommendations too.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Life is a lemon

Off late I've been really bugged with life, nothing "unusual" has happened but I think I have run a little out of steam. Physically am not feeling too great, perhaps am not able to get a nice sleep at night, I generally get a nice sleep between 7 to 9 in the morning! rest of the time I am more or less twisting and turning in the bed. Couple of weeks back saw Naach at theatres, a utterly boring movie just got a head-ache in return. These days have got myself busy with reading up on astrology, it's something that always interested me but looking at my own chart got me a little psyched, don't see any *good* things in it, so guess will need to give it a break too. The weather over here has been a little bit more chillier so taking shower with cold water is something not very funny. All in all nothing substantial has happened over these days & it has got me bitching more & more.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

October rants

Another month of another year is over..thought will write a small recap for the month.
I have got absolutely no work in the office, I am a stage where I am bored of doing nothing! Saw one movie over a weekend: "Dhoom", no story a complete nonsense movie, the only thing is that the movie is very fast paced so one doesn't feel bored of the nonsense...actually had plans to see VastuShastra but could not get the tickets hence went for this movie. Also moved to a house(if it can be called a house), its a single room with bathroom and am paying a whopping 3.5K for it! (didn't have a choice, had to move out as I had already payed around 17.5K for overstaying in the guesthouse). Two things suck: one there is no hot water for taking shower (I've been taking hot shower bath for past 5 years now) and secondly I have to mostly eat out all alone, which ppl. who know me will know is something that I hate. Personal front more or less the same, nothing to write home about. Yesterday got a voltage converter for my speakers so finally I can atleast do some jamming at home, it cost me 275 bucks but I think it worth the moolah, actually all depends on how long it works. One good thing(hopefuly) happened at the end of the month but I am still keeping my fingers crossed till the time it completly falls into place, lets hope for the best.

Monday, October 11, 2004

End Of Chapter II...

Guess right now I am lost for words, so many thoughts are coming to my mind but I don't know how to put them in words. My mind is too cluttered these days, I know I;ve always asked others not to clutter their mind but even I haven't been able to clear my mind of all the weird thoughts that I get. Everytime I think I am at my lowest things go from worse to even more worse. I know somewhere there is a reason, there is a reason why things are the way they are but even that doesnt answer all the questions that coem to my mind. The chapter II of our book didn't have a good ending, but I know its not the last chapter, there are many more chapters to come, many more dreams to be shared, many more lifetimes to I have always believed in.."its not if, its when...". Till then I will wait for beginning of chapter III.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Its raining again....

It was raining over here since morning, it still is clouldy so the weather is pretty decent today, got up pretty late today (around 9!), so had to rush to the office. After reaching office figured out that the client had some hardware upgrade over the weekend hence all the servers are still down, so basically no work as usual. I guess I am getting really lazy & clumsy these days, don't feel like working at all(not that I enjoyed working before either). Manish & Sumit along with their families went to Mysore this weekend & apparently had a nice time over there, they visited the Vrindavan Garden at night, which I guess looks pretty beautiful at night. Am planning to wind up early today, have to send two emails before leaving but procrastination has ensured that I won't be sending it till the last moment.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Sept. 23rd 1:44PM

Back in hyderabad, have been staying at the same guest house as of now but I will have to find an accomodation for myself pretty soon, firstly I know I can't stay there for too long as I have already over-stayed than the relocation time that the co. provides, secondly the place sux big time! Work wise I havent done anything since I've been back to India, don't feel like working anyway, not that I don't have any work but I just don't feel like doing it. Rest all is same on the personal front, honestly the personal life is nearly non-existent right now. The daily routine is: get up by 5AM(somehow I am getting up early ever since I have come back to India), kill time..goto office at around 10..kill time, come back to home at around 8:30, kill time & then goto sleep when I am tired of doing nothing.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Home is where the heart is..

Its again time to go back home, I will be flying back tomorrow to India, the route is Lousville->Detroit->Amsterdam->Mumbai. When I look back upon these 21/2 months, they have been in complete contrast to last time when I was here. Last time was the best time of my life: less work, going to chicago every weekend to be with chhavi, being on the phone almost always after 10PM till 12AM. This time even before coming to lvl things at personal front weren't great, but I had thought they will get better once I get to talk to chhavi & did we talk? yes we did, it was pretty ok in the beginning then it started going bad to worse to even worse. Maybe I over-tried in these 3 months, I guess there is a very fine line between trying hard honestly and trying a bit too much & I didn't realize when I crossed the line. Anywez time to perhaps do some thinking about what all I did wrong over these 21/2 months (I know I've done a lotsa things wrong) and how I could have done them in a better way. And as they say: "you should never be afraid to bid farewell, a goodbye is necessary before you can meet again & meeting again after years or lifetimes is sure for those who are in love".

Thursday, September 02, 2004

My boat sails stormy seas...

My current favorite tracks:
1) Storybook love (Princess Bride OST) :
amazing lyrics & Knopfler at his guitaring best.
2) For my lady (The Moody Blues):
another of Moody Blues' gem, maybe one of their best love songs!
3) Tere bina zindagi se koi (Andhi):
old is gold!
4) Hold an old friend's hand (Tiffany):
80s stuff, great lyrics.
5) Main yahan, tu wahan (Bhagban):
Good song!


Yawn! did almost nothing in the office today..have been just browsing the web (given the fact that I dont love doing that much its been pretty boring day). Apart from that posted one article on C#-Corner (difference between passing reference type by value or by ref): . Apart from that just bought a panasonic portable cd-mp3 player and hooked it to my altec lansing speakers, does'nt match a bose speaker output but its pretty good. One thing that sucks with the player is that the remote control has a very small guess will have to get one headphone extension cable! Had breakfast with Debbie, she'z been really nice, hope will meet her again someday in near future.

Its 5 PM right now & am planning to wind up in next 15-20 minutes.

Monday, August 23, 2004

.Net 2.0

Last tuesday we moved the latest version of OES to production & given the time constraints I *think* we have done an ok job(yeah, it could have been lot better but after nearly working myself to death I don't want to complain!), the commendable thing is that so far client hasn't come with any major far, so good. Now that I have some time I have started work on my old personal project: adding POP support for Indiatimes email. I've got it to a point where I can retrieve the list of unread messages, message body but I am stuck with getting the To and CC list, the guys at Indiatimes render the HTML so badly that atleast I can't think of any proper regular expression to parse them out of the message body! The other problem is getting the attachments but am not thinking about them as of now, will get to it once I am done with getting the To & CC list.
Apart from that I also downloaded FCast library( but somehow could not get it to work, since there is no documentation available, guess I'll have grope in the dark. Also downloaded the Visual C# Express 2005 beta version, I liked some of the features that are available in the .net 2.0 like partial classes, anonymous methods, different access modifiers for properties etc. Yeah, there is too much of hype around generics so guess I gotta look at that too. Also IDE has some cool features like basic Refactoring support, if you change a variable name, the IDE prompts you if you want that variable name to be changed throughout the solution etc.
Another thing that I liked in 2.0 is that they have finally added a IDictionary: Data property to the base exception class. So basically, you can use this property to add parameter name + the value passed to the method which crashed. I was looking for something similar in 1.1 but could not find anything which gives you the parameter value back.
The research on 2.0 has just started so watch out...

Friday, August 06, 2004

Reports suck!

Its been some time since I blogged, off late life has been a little hectic..have got lotsa work in the office & things haven't been going all that well at personal front either. anywez, just yesterday got work to do on 8 reports, these are basically existing reports done in ASP & COM, my job is to port them to .net as the db schema has changed so most of the existing reports don't run properly anyway. The current architecture is that the report output is sent to the user via email & the report is never shown on the web. So basically a user selects the criteria & hits submit, the ASP page creates a row in a database table & another component polls that table(this component is not running off the web server) & invokes a com component based on the report that the user selected & executes a particular method on that component(all the reports implement one interface). Since most of the reports have nearly the same search criteria, what I did was that I created a user control for the filter criteria & all the reports include this user control. The user control exposes some public properties which can be set by the hosting page to enable/disable validation controls, show/hide controls etc. as there is slight differences between the reports' filter criteria, for e.g. reportA defines controlA to be mandatory but for reportB, controlA is not mandatory etc. The other thing that I have done is that every report inherits from a custom class called Reports which inherit from UI.Page, the base class has a method called SaveReport which iterates through all the controls on the page & creates a XML parameter list. Every report calls SaveReport which after serializing the controls, saves it to the report table. This way I avoided having to write logic/code for all the reports to insert into the DB. I know this is not the best solution but given the time lines, this is the best that I could think off!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Keeping the dream alive

Tonight the rain is falling
full of memories,
of people and places
and while the past is calling
in my fantasy,
I remember their faces.

I hear myself recalling
things you said to me.
The night it all started,
and still the rain is falling
makes me feel the way,
I felt when we parted...

The game would never be over
because we are keeping the dream alive.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Life is beautiful...

sometimes u just dont know which way u want to go, u have 2 way there is nothing gonna happen but maybe it will save u from all the pains, its like giving up on something which means a lot to u..the other choice is u try atleast even though the chances are close to none that it will workout in the end but atleast even if it doesnt work out you can atleast later take comfort from the fact that you tried your best. right now i am torn between the 2 choices, if i make choice 1 which means just running away from everything i will atleast not inflict anymore pain on someone whom i love more than anything/anyone else and not land her in a situation which is tough to get out for her, yeah it will screw up my life but hey when was my life not screwed up. And if I try something the possibilities are it will still not work out but that way i m atleast giving ourselves some chance for a beautiful future. just cant decide on which way i should go but there is alwys this thing in my mind that i want the best to happen to her and whatever decision i make will solely be based on that, from looks of it makin the first choice seems to be the best thing...

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Back in Louisville

Well haven't been able to write a blog since long, so just thought will write something..lotta things have happened since I last wrote a blog, not everything has been the best though, hopefully few things will settle down by next weekend. Apart from that I am back in Louisville for another 2-3 months and have my hands full with some .net work. lets see how it goes, but as of now am more interested in things that are developing in my personal life..lets hope for the best.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Time to pack bags...

Today was my last day in the office here in LVL, will be staying here for the weekend and then heading for India on the 10th. Will reach Hyd. on 12th & push off directly to Bangalore. The journey to Hyd. gonna take around 27 hours & then will have to wait for around 6 hrs till I catch my Bangalore flight...tough times ahead! The worst part is the Air India flight(they suck, my advice to any traveller don't think of taking AI ever, even though it's the cheapest, the others are worth paying the extra moolah). The past 3 months over here have been really good, not much work, a real cool client dev. manager(Debbie you are simply the best!!), some real fun in chicago over the weekends(am i missing chicago & its people: you bet I am). Louisville is pretty quite place which some ppl also refer to as a dead place, not much happens over here but people are really now all set to go...lets see where life takes me next...

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Code Clean...

On my previous .net project I was working in an onshore-offshore model, with the solution architect being from the client. The project was about a client's product of which 3 versions were already released & for version 3.1 the client had given us some good chunk of work, which we were supposed to develop at offshore. What we had been communicated was that the architect is a perfectionist and does a very thorough code review, reviewing almost every line of code written. Before the project, he had sent us Coding Standards Document and wanted us to folllow the document as closely as possible. Like almost all the developers who fret at documents, I read the doc and though most of the "best practices" looked good to read, I thought they'd be tougher to implement. The guidelines had things like there shouldn't be any dead procedures, variables in the code, no commented code, no class should be more than 5000 lines of code(or some magic number), no method within a class should be more than 250 lines, two methods declaration should be separated by a blank line, no blank lines within a method etc. etc. The logic of these guidelines being that 80% of the times the code is maintained by some one other than the original developer and since most of the time/money is spent on maintaining an application, it makes sense that the developer writes "readable" code. The two things that I found pretty hard to follow in the guidelines were "No commented Code" and "No dead dead", which I guess is problem with most of the developer's code. These problems persist because once the developer thinks that the code is "stable", he is very sceptical about modifying it, this thing comes from the age old adage: "Never change a working code". Now if due to some change in business requirements once the code is stable, the developer has to change his implementation, he will always comment out the older code, just in case the newer code doesn't work or the business requirements are again reverted back to the older one. The problem is even if the newer code works and the newer code is stable, the older code remains hanging in the application commented. I also used to keep my older code commented in my applications, the logic being the commented code is not compiled so it doesnt hurt in more developer's problem, most of the time developer's seem to miss the point that most probably someone else would be looking/enhancing/bug-fixing their code. Dead code can also be attributed to the same factor, developer being too weary about changing a stable code. Now that I have been working on another project, I realize the importance of the above guidelines. One of my responsibility was to enhance an existing piece of functionality and the developers who wrote that piece of code had been long gone in search of greener pastures. Just glancing at the code made me fret, one class had nearly 2000 lines of code, of which about 500 lines were commented out(some had comment date of around 2 years back!!) and around 500 lines were dead code!!! So the class was only around 1000 lines, the first thing that I did was remove the commented out code and dead code, which made the code a lot more readable and pretty easy to build upon. I feel writing "readable" code is one of the most important factor for any project to be successful in the long run and believe me it does not take too much of time once you get in habit of writing good quality code.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Thunder over Louisville

This saturday(April 17th) there was Kentucky Derby Festival opening ceremony here in Louisville, its called Thunder Over Louisville(more information can be found at their official website Thunder over LVL. The show starts at 3PM with a 6 and a 1/2 hr air show followed with 1/2 hr of fireworks. The event is in the downtown with fireworks off Second Street Bridge on ohio river. Chhavi had come for the weekend, first we were sceptical abt. where we will be staying as the hotels were really expensive for that weekend(hotels which are normally around 70$ per night had upped their rate to 200$ per night for this weekend!!) but Debbie arranged our stay at her sister's apts at highwood dr(so nice of her!). Chhavi reached here around 10:30 on friday night(United flight as usual was late!), I had booked a cab to goto the airport and the same guy(Mohamed) took us to to the apts. Saturday morning we went for a walk to the Ohio river and the walk was pretty beautiful. We left for the waterfront park(its the best place to view the show) at around 12:30 and reached there at around 12:45(Mohamed came to drop us there..he charged for that ofcourse!). The place was pretty crowded but still we got a very good place to sit, other good thing was that it wasn't cold outside with temp. around 80F! The airshow kicked off at 3, to be honest it wasn't the best air show that you can see..the planes would come after 5 mins gap & weren't doing too many stunts..felt chhavi slept off in between!
Thunder airshow
At 9:30PM the fireworks started and were they awesome? they sure were!! What I had heard was that this show are better than any other firework show in America(some even claim the best in the world!). I haven't seen any other firework show so I can't judge for myself but this one was simply amazing, the best part being the Waterfall, in which the fireworks "fall off" the second st. bridge on to the ohio river like a waterfall. The show ended at 10 and every one(there were apparently more than 500000 ppl) wanted to go home in a hurry, so we called up Mohamed, who told us to walk away from the traffic so that he can pick us up and we walked all the way down to Bardstown Rd.(it was around 4 miles walk!) and then took the cab and reached home at around 12:30AM(not too bad a effort for first timers who had no clue abt the area or the directions!). Sunday we just decided to rest our aching limbs and stayed at home, watched 3 movies: Harry Potter and the Sorceror's stone(chhavi always wanted us to watch this movie together), Full Monty and City of Angels(another chhavi's choice). Full Monty was crap, City of Angels was pretty decent but the best of the lot(chhavi, surprise, surprise) was Harry Potter, the movie is pretty light and I enjoyed it till the end. In the evening we went for a walk just around the apts. and it was so full of greenery that we both just fell in love with the place. Monday morning dropped chhavi at the airport and came back to work, it was a pretty hectic weekend for both of us but worth every pain.
Thunder over Louisville Rocks!

Monday, April 12, 2004

Console app in VB 6.0

Recently we had a requirement where vb apps need to be compiled as console applications, so that they can be executed by a java application. The success or failure of console vb app where to be notified by returning th exit code. Returning the exit code wasn't tough, you can make use of ExitProcess API to return the exit code. The problem with ExitProcess is that if you call it within the VB IDE it closes the entire VB. So we used the Debug.Assert hack in the module to figure out whether the app is running in IDE or not. Everything was going on well, till one fine day I decided(can't stay out of the trouble!) that we need to make the application more "OO" and hence thought of moving the console helper module(the module contained ExitProcess and support for ConsoleWrite and ConsoleRead) to a COM dll. So created a dll, included the module and added a wrapper class module, which would just delegate the call to the bas module. The first problem that I faced was figuring out whether the app is running in debug mode or compiled mode. Debug.Assert won't have helped, as the dll was always compiled and compiling the dll removes all Debugging code. As I have learnt in my life as a programmer, when in doubt turn to google, and guess what? found a link to vb2themax article which solved the exact same problem. So included that piece of code and everything went fine except whenever an app would call ReturnExitCode on my consolehelper dll, it would crash with a "Stack Overflow" exception. After coupla hours of debugging figured out that there is a bug in VB compiler(or so I would like to call it!!), if you have two methods with the same name & same signature one in a bas module and another in the class module, the compiler compiles the dll without any complaints. In my dll, I had included the bas module which had a public method "Public Sub ReturnExitCode(byval ExitCode as long)", and I had copied-pasted(the same ol' programmers habit!!) the same method in the class module. The code in my class module was like:

Public Sub ReturnExitCode(byval ExitCode as long)
If Not InIDE Then
ReturnExitCode ExitCode '''this call was supposed to be made to the method in bas module
End If
End Sub

Obviously the code goes into endless recursive loop and throws a stack overflow error. I know it was oversight on my part but still feel vb compiler shouldnt have allowed having two methods with same signature at first place. The fix was pretty easy, rename the method in bas module to something (I chose ReturnExitCodeInModule!). Problem solved, should have relaxed after that but as they say a solution is mother of every new problem...
we had been converting the apps to console application by running EditBin.exe after the app was compiled, so I thought that it would be great if we could compile apps to console application directly from vb compiler. My first thought was to use one of the available add-ins like the one on, but that wouldnt have been any challenge for a programmer like me :-) so decided to go Bruce McKinney's way(btw, mcKinnery is the author of oh so famous Advanced VB 5), hence I created my own Link.exe, all that would do is interecept the command line parameters sent to it by VB Compiler, change the /SubSystem:Windows switch to make it /SubSystem:Console and then shell the original Link.exe with this tweaked cmd line params. Guess what? works like a charm, another problem solved i.e. birth of a new problem! now all the applications are compiled as console applications, so how do you compile normal windows apps?? one way to beat it was only if the app references the consolehelper component, my custom linker should tweak the command line else it should pass it on to the vb link.exe untouched(I know it makes the implementation very specific to my needs but hey I never wanted to make my custom linker a commmercial product). But to the linker vb only passes the obj file names & not the references, tried custom C2.exe but that didnt help either, looks like vb compiler itself takes care of references et al(which makes sense), 2 days gone and am still looking for the solution so that I can then concentrate on a new problem.

Getting started...

Have been thinking about blogging for long time but guess have been too lazy(as usual!) to get started till I saw blog of one of my ex-colleagues(Avinash: no prizes for guessing who it is.) So thought of writing anything and everything that comes to my mind and post it here. The posts could be technical or just some stuff about life in watch out...