Friday, November 25, 2005

My player's fav songs

today I just put my IRiver on shuffle mode and the first 10 songs that it picked were:
  1. Hunting High & Low - a-ha : This is my these days favourite song, earlier I used to rate this song as one of a-ha's not so great songs but after paying attention to its lyrics I guess I've been wrong all these years.
  2. Always on my mind - Pet Shop Boys: I've very fond memories of this song, perhaps this being the very first english song that I loved when I started listening to english music way back in late 80s.
  3. Hysteria - Def Leppard: I really like the guitar riff in the song and Elliott's husky voice.
  4. Scarborough Fair - Simon & Garfunkel: Amazing ending bit: "generals order their soldiers to kill & to fight for the cause they've long ago forgotten...", do I need to say more?
  5. I Remember Mary - Bad Boys Blue: Used to like this song once, pretty techno types..
  6. Carrie - Europe: Another one abt which I've pretty fond memories, imo this is Europe's best number by far, even better than "Final Countdown".
  7. Strangers of the heart - Heart: Heart at their best, Heart is def. one of the best female rock bands of all times in my book.
  8. Private Universe - Crowded House: If you haven't heard this song, you are missing something."it's a tight squeeze but I won't let go..."
  9. You & Me - Modern Talking: nice romantic number, recommended for any 80s lover.
  10. Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison: nice fun song with cool guitaring.
Surprised that my player didn't find Moody Blues good enough, not even a single song by them in the first 20 song that it has played so far....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

difficult choice?

Sometimes in life we come across a stage where we have to choose between two paths and we see walls in front of both of them!
Beyond one wall we see (what we see might not be what is reality) a world that we want to live in & beyond the other we see a world which doesnt really matter to us...So which one would you rather break your head against?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

the power of rss/atom

few days back I'd posted about various online rss aggregators that I use or have used, today just stumbled upon one more: Netvibes, have to admit that it's the best one that I've come across till date! They have nice integration with GMail and surprisingly even have Hindi as one of the languages. I generally use rss aggregators to get all the news that I'm interested in at one central place, below is the (partial) list of feeds that I have on my start.com page, feeds that I would recommend most:
1) Endgadget: News about latest gadgets and gizmos.
2) BBC Front Page
3) Boing Boing
4) Slashdot: News for the nerds, one of my favorites!
5) Daily Dilbert: I always liked Dilbert comics.
6) Quote of the Day
7) Some feeds from rediff.com to get local news.
8) Eric Gunnerson's C# Compendium
9) Google blog
10) Yahoo! search blog
11) Weather news
12) "How To" of the day
some blog feeds from my friends and family members + lotsa more...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

DRM and Sony (suck)

For guys who are preachers of buying only "legal" music (including me) here's an interesting story about the DRM (Digital Rights Management) gone way too far, Sony-BMG have been marketing "Digitally Protected" CDs which restrict the number of times the CD can be ripped (ability to convert into mp3s or other digital format), though the fact that a CD is digitally protected is made evident on the jewel case, what they don't tell you is that putting the CD into the drive would also install a root-kit (a special kinda malware which uses some cloaking technique to hide itself from being listed in tools like task-explorer and windows explorer), not going into the nuances of what does that mean for the end-user it basically is one of the crappiest thing that could be done to a customer (if you are really interested in the nuances, check this link).
This particular action by Sony has made me lose all respect that I once had for Sony as being the "nice" company & from now on will definitely think twice before going for a Sony product!
Also, I feel DRM in it's current form itself has lot to improve on, if I am paying for some music I should be able to play it on all the devices that I have including my CD Player, computer(s), pocket pc, portable player and whereever else I want to play it as long as I am not illegally distributing it to others. Think about it this way the guys who use P2P clients to download music don't have any restrictions on copying the files around and generally get a much better bitrate (read audio quality) whereas people who use iTunes or any other DRM protected website to download music legally or pay for these new "Digitally-protected" CDs end up having to deal with all these restrictions. So to me it looks like the RIAA itself wants the music lover to use the P2P clients and other pirated way of getting music rather than going the legal channel and having malware installed on the system which can't even be removed!

Monday, November 07, 2005

growing old

just today discovered a grey hair on my head which reminded me that I am 27 years (nearly 28) old and still clueless about where life is headed!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

contradictions

I've always wondered about the inherent contradictions between two old sayings about using our past's experiences to make a present decision. One says that we should learn from our past experiences and mistakes whereas other one says: "don't let your past experiences and fears come in your way". I still don't know which is correct but second saying seems to be tougher one to follow. I feel it is nearly impossible to decide without thinking about the past and even more so if the present situation seems so close to a situation we've already been before. But isn't that what life is all about? full of contradictions, full of unexpected events and people whom we thought would never do things they did?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My Yahoo or Google Home or start.com?

I've been using My Yahoo! since long to aggregate the information from the web on one personalized page and if am not wrong about 2 years back it was one of the very few sites which would allow you to aggregate content (then it was only limited to information from various Y! modules). With the advent of RSS/Atom it has further improved it's aggregation by allowing you to add rss feeds too & given the popularity of RSS feeds even other companies have jumped on the bandwagon including Google and Microsoft, MSN even has a nice screen screensaver which shows you the feed titles with post entry as tooltip in a screensaver. I've tried these 3 and honestly speaking for change MS' start.com is an outright winner, with Google perhaps second and My Yahoo! being at the bottom. So what makes start.com so good? well it's something that Google brought back from hibernation: AJAX. start.com has got one of the best implementations of AJAX, allowing you to even view the entire feed without having to leave the start.com site something which both My Yahoo! & Google lack, one good thing about Google & My Yahoo! though is it shows you your email information which I find to be pretty helpful given that I have yahoo! & gmail accounts. If you are really looking for a nice web aggregator and have a newer version of IE or FF then you would never regret having start.com as your home page.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Bless thy rings...

Few days back my ex-colleague and friend Avinash got married to Chaitra, having known him since 2 years I am certain it would be a pure joy for anyone to have him as her life partner. I wish the newly weds a happy and memorable journey together.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

wrong decision?

sometime back I had written a post in which I said there are absolutely no right or wrong decisions, a decision is a decision nothing less, nothing more. So then why do at times decisions which seem to be correct give undesired results? and should we never put any thought process before making a decision? well, a decision is still a decision but we need to see what prompted us to take that decision, what was the situation which made us take that decision. What does all this mean? Let me give one example: If I decide today to jump from 13th floor, I don't think it would be a wrong decision but if I decided to jump believing that somebody would break my fall then yes the pre-cursor was totally wrong and this case the decision that was made would give wrong & painful results. The only problem is most of the times pre-curors to a decision are not so obvious as the one that I gave in my e.g. and add to that our egos and emotions and you've got some real snarls to deal with. Remember, every event and person in our lives is not what it is, it's what we perceive it as, we always see everyone/everything through the lense of our egos & feelings and always try to project ourselves onto that person or thing subconsciously. coming back to the decisions, we always want to believe that our decision is the right one and we try convincing ourselves that that is the case, by perhaps asking people who are close to us for their opinions. here again, remember any person no matter how close he is to you, will give advice based on his perception, egos and priorities which might not be your perception and/or priorities....so the bottom line is to think about the pre-cursors before making a decision based on your priorities & perceptions and then have no regrets...remember there is nothing by luck, nothing by chance.

Google Maps Prototype

Nikhil Kothari's prototype of Virtual Earth got me interested into trying something similar on Google Maps. Using Google Map APIs is not at all tough once you get a hang of it, the only issue is with writing javascript, css which is cross-browser specific. As of now my prototype doesn't use any server side code. Everything is done on the client browser including xsl transformation..learnt it the hard way that xsl transform is handled in a different way in Ff(better) than in IE (crappy)! My first stab at Google Map can be seen at http://sachiniscool.somee.com/default.html..right now I have posted some pictures of Atlantic City, DC and Louisville that I took after downsizing them...comments/complaints are welcome.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

away from here...

Like the rose that blooms in the wintertime,
as it reaches up through the snow.
The more life keeps us apart,
the more love will grow.
Like the seed that grows in the darkness,
as it reaches up to the sun.
I will always reach out for you,
cause you are the one.

As I cross the bridge by the waterfall,
as I make my way by the stars.
There's a shadow walking beside me,
here in my heart.
Like the restless wind in the tree tops,
like a whispered voice in my ear.
I will always be there for you,
I'll always be.

In a far off wonderland;
that flashes past my eyes,
the kiss of inspiration that was mine.
The dust of many centuries;
has blown across this land,
but love will not be scattered like the sand.

Like the sunrise over the mountainside,
like the bird that has to be free.
There's a part of you that will always be
part of me.

I bless the wings that bring you
back across the shore.
If I could touch you now my darling
And love you just once more,
If I could hold you...
I know you'd understand,
I know you'd understand,
I know you'd understand.

Monday, August 01, 2005

one and one still is one

Haven't blogged for a while so thought I should be writing a small post about my life and it's whereabouts (i.e. the direction), basically life is going a little here, a little there and net net nowhere & I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel either. Everything except life (which leaves nothing in the "except" list) is going on pretty darn (just recently got hooked on to this word) well...very very upset, bugged, crossed.....(fill in the adjectives) with myself!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Firefox vs IE


I made a switch to FireFox as my main browser long time back due to IE's vulnerabilities which installed spyware on my Win 2000 system without my knowledge. FireFox has generated quite a stir among people who were long waiting for an alternative to IE and it is quite impressive with Tabbed-browsing, live RSS reader, search toolbar and loads of extensions which make it quite slick. MS made a lotsa changes/upgrades to IE with Win XP SP 2 to make it more secure with built in popup blocker and an Add-ons manager which allows you to view Add-ons installed in IE. Judging by people's reaction on the net on FireFox v.s. IE, I feel most of them are totally biased towards FireFox cause it's a non-MS product and competing (more than 69,535,583 downloads till date) in a area where MS long held monopoly. FireFox is considered to be more stable and more secure than IE which I agree to somewhat but saying that FireFox is more secure and stable than IE (with Win XP SP2) by leaps & bounds is a mere exaggeration. Stabillty: My FireFox has crashed more often than IE over past few days (those who don't believe me should try http://games.yahoo.com or http://193.151.73.87/games/lemmings/index.html). I know Yahoo Games is more of an issue with JRE rather than FireFox but still for a not so tech-savvy end-user, it's FireFox which crashes whereas IE renders the page without any problem. The DHTML Lemmings game also loads perfectly in IE whereas it freezes Firefox(1.0.4).
Security: I think Firefox is 100% secure is again not correct, no browser is 100% secure, Secunia (www.secunia.com) published 3 vulnerabilities for FireFox (2 of them were across all browsers includng IE). It's just that FireFox is relatively new and hence hasn't attracted the Hacker's attention yet.
Also one has to keep in mind from end-user's perspective is that there are lots of sites which rely on features only supported by IE like ActiveX controls (www.dell.com is one such site apart from MS own site).
Verdict: If you don't have Win XP 2 installed I would suggest FireFox is definitely more secure choice, on Win XP 2 I don't think there is much difference between the two browsers in terms of security and stability, make a switch to FireFox if you can't live without tabbed browsing and live RSS reader and some cool extensions like AdBlock.
Food for thought: Would FireFox have received such rave reviews from the community had it been a MS product? I guess not...

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Wish you were here..

I've always wanted to see a live concert of one of my favorite bands/singer but somehow or the other always have missed on the opportunities: last year in May end The Moody Blues performed at Louisville and my flight tickets to India were booked for a week before that, then this year Mark Knopfler performed in Bangalore and I again had to leave a day before to Hyderabad. But the grand-daddy of them all Pink Floyd (not just David Gilmour but Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright) performed Wish You were here today for the LIVE 8 show in London (well I would have never made it there) which while surfing channels on TV, I somehow stumbled upon and man were they awesome? you bet they were! Gimour and Water are like cult figures when it comes to rock music and I really envy the people who had a chance to see them perform live after so many years.
Hopefully one fine day I too would get a chance to see either The Moody Blues or Pink Floyd or MK live in concert.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Year passes by..

yeah I know it's still mid of 2005 but today would mark exactly one year since I met someone for the last time...seems to be long time huh? believe me it seems way too long than one year.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Waltzing Matilda

Guess I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and have been feeling pretty low; not that I've been feeling great off-late but since feeling low is also relative, today has been particularly a bad day. Did nothing today except watch one Adam Sandler's movie: Happy Gilmore, listen to some music(80's stuff) and cook lunch for myself (made egg-korma, the easiest and the safest thing to cook: not much scope of spoiling it, the only thing that perhaps you can get wrong is salt. Ate bread-toast for dinner as had no mood to cook). Happy Gilmore is a no-brainer light movie abt a hopeful Hockey Player who turns a pro Golfer to save his Grandma from being evicted, something that Adam Sandler marvels at, his other 3 movies which I saw off-late: The Wedding Singer (with Drew Barrymore) and Anger Management (with Al Pacino), were also more or less the same with Sandler at his comic best.

Apart from that the day for me has been pretty much murky, I know a lot of people have told me that I cling to the past for too long and don't move on along with time..I really don't understand what they mean by moving on, does it mean stop thinking, stop feeling, stop dreaming, stop hoping, stop doing what matters to you most? If that what moving on means then yes I would never move on with life, I would never stop dreaming, never stop feeling and having lived my life for 27 years I really don't think it's possible for me to change now anyway.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Bharwan Bhindi

Bharwan (hindi): Stuffed
Bhindi (hindi): Lady's Finger or for the ppl. with "Americonish" accent- Okra!
Bharwan Bhindi: Stuffed Lady's Finger/Okra.
People who know me well know that I just love bhindi in any form: even half cooked bhindi seems pretty good to me. So today I thought of trying out my oh-not-so-great culinary skills and decided to prepare my version of Bharwan Bhindi. The recipe was more or less mine & knowing how good I am taking shortcuts I didn't stuff the bhindi with masala that I prepared but added it along with the bhindi. In the end it came out pretty fine though turmeric and chilli powder were a little on the higher side...anywez I was pretty much pleased with my preparation & hopefuly one day would make it for someone special (no prizes for guessing who!).

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Open source

On my system I decided not to install any "pirated" stuff, so thought I should give some open source/free softwares a try, here's what I have on my system : -
  • OS: Windows XP Professional (I am very tempted to install Debian Linux also; just pushing it back as I only have 40GB HDD, perhaps I should look at installing Linux on External Hard Disk).
  • Web Browser: Mozilla Firefox, firefox wins over IE in leaps & bounds. It's more lightweight (only 4.7MB installer), more stable, and above all keeps spywares and those annoying pop-ups away (more so with Adblock extension installed). I was very very flustered with IE after getting idiotic pop-ups even after installing Google/Yahoo pop-up blocker (servustats.com is one such site for instance on which the Google/Yahoo pop-up blocker fails) . I think the other reason why lotsa users are switching to Firefox from IE apart from the above features is due to the fact that Firefox's look & feel and keyboard shortcuts are more or less similar to IE which makes transition pretty simple.
  • Development Tool(s): MS C# 2005 Express Edition CTP, Web Developer Express Edition CTP. I love .net and all those folks who think Java is better than .net, I think both are good in their own way. (aside: I would love to install Mone once I get Linux installed, it sure seems promising!)
  • Database: Sql Server 2005 Express Edition CTP (new avatar of MSDE).
  • Office suite: Open Office 2.0 Beta, another cool open source app with backing from Sun. I have been able to open all MS Word/Excel 200x documents in Open Office w.o. any loss of formatting. The only drawback is that even though OO Base opens MS Access files, it doesn't allow you to save it back, you can only save it in Oasis format (some open source frmt). Also the look and feel of Open Office is very much like MS Office making it pretty easy to use for MS Office users.
  • Email Client: No prizes for guessing, has to be Mozilla Thunderbird with Calendar extension installed :-). It has pretty strong Junk/Spam filter which you can make better by training it. The biggest drawback is that the keyboard shortcuts don't map to Outlook or Outlook Express so Outlook users have to search for Keyboard shortcuts! Though it does a good job in synch-ing Tasks/Events from Outlook (which I use in the Office).
  • Anti Spyware: MS AntiSpyware, guess it's the best though I would also recommend Lavasoft.
  • MP3 Player: MusicMatch Jukebox basic with DFX installed.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Isn't life strange?

sometimes life just goes in one direction and the harder you try to change it the further it goes in that direction. Off-late I've learnt that at times not doing anything is better than trying to do something to change things. I guess it's alright to let life drift sometimes and let it go where it has to go. Last one year has been really crazy and today was the day which started it all.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Life, what is it but a dream?

Even if you don't believe in astrology you have to read this article by Kevin Burk on Neptune being retrograde, it's got the mix of astrology, metaphysics, quantum physics and a bit of philosophy et al. Didn't you have a sense of deja-vu?

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Fate or Luck?

Isn't it funny that everytime something bad happens in life it's fate & everytime something good happens it's luck? Isn't anything supposed to happen good in life by fate?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Time

One of the funny things that I find about life is whenever you are doing something "trivial" (trivial things vary person by person: for some watching TV might be trivial whereas for someone online chatting might be) you get the guilt feeling that you're wasting away your time and perhaps you should be doing something worthwhile, the problem atleast with me is if am not doing the "trivial" stuff I dont even know how to kill time. Anywez all the gyaan apart here are few things that I do to kill time when I'm not working these days:
a. Read books (I don't consider this to be at all immaterial, I *think* reading opens your mind).
b. Play minesweeper (I owe this to Subbu who got me hooked on to this crap).
c. Play TextTwist on Yahoo! Games : This is my new found interest.
d. Listen to music: I love music.
e. Aimlessly watch TV.

More or less that's how I kill my free time, I am still trying to figure out though who is killing who!

Friday, May 20, 2005

and when all the wars are done...

Sumit wrote this excellent review on Ruskin Bond's "Time Stops at Shamli" at mouthshut.com (http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Time_Stops_at_Shamli_and_Other_Stories_-_Ruskin_Bond-70645-1.html). Very very recommended if you haven't read Ruskin Bond's work yet.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Unit Testing with nUnit

In case you're into unit testing: TestDriven .Net(www.testdriven.net) is an addin for VS.Net which allows running of nUnit test cases from within the IDE without having to run the nUnit GUI. A nice tool which saves you a lot of debugging time along with nUnit. Another add-in which is a must have atleast for VS.Net 2003 and below is Resharper (http://www.jetbrains.com/resharper/), makes refactoring a lot more easier.

Dot Net (.Net)? Not Yet

UPDATE: I've posted the VB.Net code sample in another post.

Off-late I've learning quite a few things about .net (mostly asp.net) the hard way (actually that is true as of now for almost everything in life). Anywez here are few more things that I found out.....
One of the requirement in this project is to show a list of RadioButtons within a DataGrid (could be a DataList or Repeater for that matter). Now the user gets to see the list of conferences in a grid and he can choose one (only one) from that list. So basically all I had to do was define a templatecolumn in the grid, include a RadioButton within the template and give it a groupname (the groupname ensures that the radiobuttons rendered are mutually exclusive). Seems to be a 5 mins job but guess what? I did exactly the same and when I ran the code, I could select all of the radio buttons within the grid at the same time. I checked the source html and found out that all the radio buttons rendered had unique names, thought I did something wrong so I debugged and debugged but couldn't figure out what was wrong so I resorted to my ol' faithfull friend: Google and voila MS has confirmed it to be a bug (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q316495)! (aside: while typing I sowehow lost the entire content after this so have to type in everything again!!, very very bugged!). Googling further I found a workaround on CodeProject, the code basically creates a custom RadioButton which derives from the RadioButton and overrides Render method to ensure that same html name is rendered (using the GroupName property) and implements IPostBackDataHandler to persist the state of attributes on postback. The only problem was that the code was in C# and my current project is on VB.Net, converting C# code to VB.Net or vice-versa is a pretty trivial matter and generally does not take more than a minute per line of code or so I thought! this is where I learn another subtle but very big difference between C# and VB.Net, though C# allows you to re-implement an interface(in my case IPostBackDataHandler) already implemented in the base class (RadioButton), VB.Net does not and generates compile time errors!
(end aside) I really don't understand why such a feature would be only supported in one language and not another when MS is pushing both the languages equally now!! So this option was also ruled out but not to be deterred I thought of inheriting the custom control from one level up than RadioButton and then perhaps I could re-implement the IPostBackDataHandler well no luck, cause RadioButton inherits from CheckBox which actually implemnts the interface, so had to go one more level up: WebControl..now creating a RadioButton by inheriting from WebControl is no trivial matter..that's when suddenly a tool amazing tool called Reflector(www.aisto.com/roeder/dotnet/) came to my mind, basically Reflector allows you to reverse-engineer .Net Assemblies. Downloaded it and installed it and reverse engineered the code for radiobutton and checkbox and with few tweakings here and there, I had my custom radiobutton control ready which were mutually exclusive when placed within the grid or for that matter any container which implements INamingContainer in VB.Net! And am I pleased about my feat, you bet.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

A tech post at last!

ASP.Net 1.x flames:
I've been working on a asp.net web-site project which has to be cross browser compatible (it is supposed to support IE 5.x+ and Netscape 6.x+) and it is something which I never had chance of working on before on .net. Few things that I found out, the client side validation for asp.net validation controls don't work on Netscape or for that matter on any other browser except IE! (including Mozilla & FireFox) not that these "new" versions of mozilla based browsers don't support the latest Javascript standards but it's due to the way these validation controls spit out Javascript which is very very IE specific (and that btw doesn't follow any standard!). First of all the client script by these controls is only thrown if the browser is listed in Machine.config as a "supported" browser (even though mozilla based browser do support latest JS standards, the config file only has IE listed). Second problem is the way WebUIValidation.js is written which uses document.all (a feature only supported by IE, the standard is to use document.getElementById) to find a control on the form. Fixing these two is easy but that doesn't make the client script validation run on mozilla based browsers! the biggest problem is the little script block that is emitted by the base validator control (all the validation control extend it) on the OnRender event, which again uses document.all! So basically it's impossible to add client side validation for non IE browsers unless you're willing to extend the base validator control, override its OnRender method and write validation controls which extend from the custom validation control!
Second thing that I hate about ASP.Net 1.x is the Postback feature, I think GMail revolutionized the way postbacks are handled by using remote scripting. It's really illogical for the entire page/form to post itself back if the user changes a value in a dropdown list (can you believe it ASP.Net also has a server event for TextBox.Text_Changed, imagine the user typing a character and the page posts back, nice way of making sure that the users don't visit your site ever!!!). The good news is that MS has finally woken up with ASP.Net 2.0 and most of the control support remote script callbacks for e.g. the GridView (successor of DataGrid in 1.x) uses remote scripting to refresh the grid for sorting/paging. ASP.Net 2.0 uses XmlHTTP for remote scripting and the irony is all Mozilla based browsers have XmlHTTP built in whereas in IE 6.0 you have to use an ActiveX control. Hopefully IE 7 would have XmlHTTP implemented w.o having to use ActiveX and praying users would lower their security settings to allow ActiveX controls so that the page can function properly....MS are you listening?
Apart from the flames read a nice article on Google vs MS (http://www.fortune.com/fortune/technology/articles/0,15114,1050065-2,00.html) and the popularity of GDS, infact I myself am trying to build a plug-in for Yahoo!IM Archive: more or less there just have few frills to add..hope to have it rolled out at Sourceforge by next week some time.
PS: When would google wake up and add Category support for blogger?

Friday, April 29, 2005

Thunder Over Louisville

April 23rd was Thunder Over Louisville, I remember the last year when I was there with Chhavi. Had some amazing time over that weekend (thanks to Debbie, btw talked to her couple of days back, was a nice feeling). Just went down memory lane today thinking about the event and that weekend...
Posted by Hello

Sixth Sense

Recently watched the TV show "The Mysterious world of Alain Nu", Alain Nu (www.alainnu.com) is a mentalist with very strong ESP. Some of the things that he performed on the show were: (a) He hands out a deck of cards to a volunteer, who shuffles and re-shuffles and re-shuffles, Alain takes 15 seconds to "read" the ordering of the cards by looking at them and then tells the cards in exactly the same order as they were stacked first from top to bottom and then from bottom to top! Atleast I can't memorize 52 cards' order in 15 seconds. (b) He hands over a deck of cards to a volunteer and him to call any two digit number (volunteer calls 22), asks another volunteer to calls any card (the volunteer calls 9 of clubs) and voila the 22nd card turns out to be indeed 8 of clubs (he doesn't touch the cards after the volunteers have made their choices). (d) He bends metal spoons w.o. even touching them by just moving his hands around the palms of the volunteer who has the spoon within them (c) Another one: He has 2 clean slates and a piece of chalk, he sandwiches the piece of chalk between the two slates and asks a volunteer to think of the name of a person and behold the name was written by an invisible hand even though the volunteer never said it aloud! There were quite a lotsa feats which were quite unexplainable by using "normal" logic and laws of physics. Almost all the feats that Nu performed were mentioned in Brunton's book "A Search In Secret India".
I know the first thing that comes to the mind after watching such "magic" feats is that it's just a magician's trick or an illusion. Is it really an illusion or the fact that since childhood we've been taught to use only 5 senses and anything which cannot be felt by one of these sense makes us call it as an illusion, just because we can't feel these things doesn't mean that they don't exist. Why do we have at times such a strong sense of deja vu? Why do we at times feel positive vibes when we meet someone for the first time and sometimes vice-versa? I think at times it's good to put aside the laws of physics and "normal" logic to understand certain things and events that happen in our lives, remember that all laws of physics are based on assumptions!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

One year with Blogger.com

It's been one year since I've been blogging at blogger (seems to be a long time!) and am more or less pleased with the service that they provide..yeah it's a little lame when compared to other blogging site like weblogs but blogger.com is actually meant for not so tech-savvy bloggers. Few things sure need revamp: features like category support, a calendar with links to the dates you've blogged (I really like this thing in MovableTypes/weblogs), better commenting system etc. apart from that the interface is pretty decent and you can change the look n feel of your blogs with skins and has now pretty nice support for posting your pictures using Picasa. Life has changed a lot over the past one year since I started blogging which I think is reflected in my blogs over the time; they have been less tech-centric and more focused around my personal life not that nothing is happening in my professional life it's just that it doesn't matter to me any longer.
Started reading An Ordinary Person's Guide To The Empire by Arundhati Roy, hits you right between the eyes kinda book, should be able to finish tonight.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Good decisions, bad decisions

Off-late something has got me thinking: what is classified as a bad decision and what is classified as a right decision? Is it that if the outcome is good then it is a good decision and if it is not then a bad decision? or is it that if you do what others would have done then it is a right decision else if you decide to back your own instincts and do what you feel is correct then it is a bad decision? Well, according to me no decision is right or wrong at its face value, we generally tag a decision as bad or good based on the results, since results are the future events while you are about to make a decision how can you know the result? so I feel that no decision is right or wrong, yes you can perhaps make more "sensible" decision by following what "others" who were already in the same situation did. I've a problem with following "others" too, everyone has a different set of priorities in life, everyone has different endurance levels and everyone has his own unique circumstances to deal with...to me a good decision is a decision which is made by the person keeping in mind his circumstances, endurance levels and above all his priorities or things that matter to him & things that don't, irrespective of the outcome.
I took a decision some time back to move to US which some feel (no prizes for guessing) is not the most correct decision. They feel that it's gonna "screw up" my life, well according to me you can't screw up a life which is already screwed up! worst come worst I might have to write off the year(s) that I would be in the US but hey what if things work out? Doesn't it then seem to be a sensible decision? I know a lotsa people would have given up hope at this stage but as I said everyone has his own endurance level and everyone's got his own priorities and to me this is the thing that really matters something for which I don't even mind writing off my entire life forget about few years. So just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that one day things would be back on track just like they used to be nearly an year ago (seems to be long time!).
By the way read a book called The Monk who sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma, how is it? who knows, who cares.

Friday, April 08, 2005

a new old friend..

It's been long since I blogged had too many things to take care of, I quit my job in Hyderabad and joined a company which got me shipped to New Jersey, anyone who knows what's been happening in my life would know why I joined them. Many people asked me to re-think about my decision but I knew what I was doing and why. I have no liking for my current place or the work apart from the fact that they are pretty decent folks, I joined them for totally other reasons which cannot be termed as professional. I joined them because I wanted to be close to Chhavi, we were (were? I for sure am still just as much in love with her and I hope it's same with her too) madly in love with each other and the best thing was that we were not just blindly in love but would see fault in each other too and try to learn from one another. I have never in my life felt the same sort of comfort while talking to anyone else even the ones who were very close to me. we would talk for hours everyday and still feel like talking more...we would be with each other over the weekends (every weekend except 2 out of the 12 weeks that I stayed there) when I was in Louisville and still feel like being with each other every day. I have never met a person who was so much giving, so caring & still being so receptive to new thoughts/ideas (I know these qualities are pretty much still in her) as her, circumstances or twist of fate or whatever else it was (I don't blame her for anything) we stopped talking and according to her she moved on with her life and that's what she told me even after 10 months since the date we stopped talking. So why am I still trying when it's been more than 10 months? why am I still hoping that we would be together back to same old days when perhaps everyone else would have written us off? am I being impractical? or am I being overly hopeful? I don't know yet what is the right thing to do but I would do just anything to have her back in my life. I don't want her to come back just for my sake but because she also hopefully feels the same way. ..
I am,
You are.
& nothing else matters
in our private universe!
I am waiting for the day and I would see her smiling at me again & waiting with open arms..is it too much to ask for?
I will end this blog with my favorite lines from Ghalib (chubby also loves it): -
hazaron khwaishen aisi,
ki har khwaish pe dum nikle.
bahut nikle mere armaan,
lekin fir bhi kam nikle.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Bye bye Hyderabad

12th of March was my last day in Hyderabad, I moved out of Bangalore in february and joined a company based out of hyd. I stayed in the co. for little over than a year though even before joining the co. I knew it wasn't the place where I can survive for long. I still find it tough to understand how can some company be so unprofessional in the way they do their business: starting from managing clients, to managing its own people! but well they're a 10 mln $ company so perhaps that's why no one is complaining. Met few nice guys in this company, no technical studs though: Satish, Amudhan, Sai, and Rao to name a few, hope will meet some of them again in future...even though the work wasn't at all great in the company I got what I joined them for so am not complaining at all and job satisfaction was not one of them. Anyway, I know someone would be unhappy over the fact that my next job is not in bangalore but well that's the way it goes, let's see where life is heading next.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

8th of March

People born on 8th of March have their sun in Pisces: which means the person is a dreamer, very compassionate & self-sacrificing: so is it true for every piscean or is it a generalization? Well, I don't know about other pisceans but since past two years(ok not just past two years, I'd first met her around 15 years back). I've been knowing a piscean born on this day and I see all the above qualities in her plus a lot more (no prizes for guessing who she is).
8th of March is not just significant because it's her birthday but also it was the day when we met again after 13 years: still remember standing in front of Laxmi-Narayan temple in delhi at 7 o' clock in the morning & waiting for her to come to meet me....also last year we were together on this day in chicago, so this is the first time in past 3 years that we haven't been together on this day & sure it doesn't feel that great but as they say it's not if it's when!
Very Happy b'day wishes to a person whom I have the privilege to know and be with, wish you good luck & lotsa happiness and sunshine and hope to be with you on 8th of march, 2006 and all the 8th of marchs then after.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Love is on the run

February 24th was anniversary of two people both of whom are very close to me. They came together 2 years back and have been lost in love & each other since, but twist of fate, circumstances or whatever else you wanna call it, they haven't been together off-late. Knowing them I know they still feel just the same for each other & would love to be together again. I wish them luck and hope they'll come out of their hard times pretty soon even stronger, I see them walking hand in hand in near future, do you?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Why Do I Blog?

(Aside: tried posting this blog via the email that blogger provides, more than 1 hr. and the entry has still not shown, guess it's better to post it via the web interface only!)
Read Eric’s post (http://blogs.msdn.com/ericgu/archive/2005/02/08/369506.aspx) about the hazards of writing blogs which is open to public. I’d been thinking about the same thing off-late: why do I blog, do I blog and hope that the “world” would read it or do I blog just for myself as that way I can maintain a web diary and scribble down everything and anything that comes to my mind? Well, I blog for myself and yes though I know that my “diary” is public and can be read by all and sundry I still blog just for myself. If people read it and leave a comment fine, if they don’t still fine with me. I have shared my blog address with very few people whom I know (as of now I can only think of only 3 who are pretty close to me) though a lots of my acquaintances know that I blog.
The one problem that I face while blogging is that at times there is something which is personal enough to be not shared among all the acquaintances, generally in those cases I blog about it obliquely, the ones who know about it understand what I actually meant, and the ones who don’t are free to draw their own conclusions. So why do you blog and what you do in cases where you don’t want all your acquaintances to know about something?

Monday, February 07, 2005

Who is John Galt?

[Update (2/14): Got author of Celestine Prophecy all messed up, it's James Redfield and not Robert Redford as I mentioned in my post!]
Read two books off-late: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand & Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. Both books more or less have a philosophical tinge, Atlas Shrugged is about the "movers" of the world and why they fight their biggest & hardest battle against the people whom they love, Atlas is the greek mythological God on whose shoulder the entire earth's weight rests. Atlas carries the burden of the world unselfishly and the world in return just keeps on adding to the weight. In this book, Ayn Rand suggests that Atlas should shrug the world off his shoulders. Book is pretty crisp in the beginning but meanders a lil' towards the end and gets more or less Bollywood style ending! Net net I would rate this book above average but not something amazing.
Celestine Prophecy is a parable which gives you 9 insights into the life, some of the insights being: Co-incidences don't exist, everyone you meet has a message for you etc. etc. The books draws metaphors from physics and relates our lives to relativity and kinetic model i.e there is no static amt. of energy within this universe, based on our energy level the energy around us also increases or decreases. This book is more or less like Alchemist though Redfield lacks Coehlo's style of writing...again something which I would rate slight better than average.
By the way for those who are wondering, Who is John Galt? is a slang used very often in Atlas Shrugged & is used in situations about which ppl. are helpless or want an alibi.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

[No Title]

Have been trying today to change the look and feel of my blog, haven't made any progress yet but found that www.blogskins.com has some nice skins for both Blogger and MovableType. I picked up one template and tried making one on my own but guess don't have any patience/time to do it, so another one goes in my pending list.
What else? everything else is same old, same old: have to stay in the office late these days due to almost daily conference call with the client, it's one of the things that I really hate about Onsite-offshore model, other thing that I hate is the communication gap that can arise due to not having a face to face interaction. IMO face to face conversation is far more better than talkin over phone or chatting over IM or just exchanging mails back and forth. One of my teammate over here is planning to move on, got an offer from a big company (A..) The work seems to be nice and hopefully he will learn a lot more than wasting his time over here. Good luck to him in future! it was sure nice working with him.
Finally got myself a birthday present: it's a Fossil leather strap watch, looks nice I guess though I keep on forgetting to put it on as am not used to wearing a watch.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Days of future passed

Haven't been feeling great for some reason today, nothing has changed; things are just as I expected them perhaps that is what is making me feel a little low: that things haven't changed off-late and going on in the same direction where they've been going since past few months which is basically going nowhere. Work life is nearly non-existent, I can't make myself to work these days, if I get some work I fret and try to push it back as much as I can: something which I never did before, maybe it's because I don't like the job that I am into or maybe it's because I don't want to work! I don't know what is the reason but it's screwing me no doubt. After-work life is also non-existent perhaps even more than the work life: in office I feel like going home and when I reach there, I feel like coming back to office.
Looking back at the last one year from 1st Feb to 1st Feb, life has changed so much, perhaps way too much for me to handle. Feb, Mar, Apr, and May were the best months and since then life has been going downhill and even though it's going down consistently but at times thigns have happened way too unexpectantly, the worst of months being June and Dec. and the way Feb 1st has been, perhaps even Feb. Don't know how to handle things maybe I need to stop expecting from people, maybe I need to do some introspection and see what I've been doing wrong, or maybe I just need to shut my mind and stop thinking all together!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Technical mumbo jumbo

Thought will write a small note about few things about .net which are not too obvious.
a) Difference between new and virtual methods:
We all know that new keyword(Shadows in VB.Net) is used to obscure a base method implementaion which is not declared as virtual. This particular functionality is particularly useful when you are inheriting a "third-party" library's class where the original developer didn't find it necessary to declare the method as virtual (Aside: Another flame say we are building a class library which can be used/extended by any set of developers shall we make all possible methods virtual or only those methods which we "think" might need to be overridden: I think it should be the latter). Given the "power" of new why does one have to declare his method virtual when anyway the inheriting class can obscure the base implementation whenever he needs to? Let's take a look at a sample code around new keyword:

class Base
{
public string A()
{
return "base";
}
}

class Child : Base
{
public new string A()
{
return "child";
}
}

public static void Main()
{
Base b = new Child();
Console.WriteLine(b.A());
}

Any OO guy would tell you that in the above code Child's A() should be invoked but that's what sets new apart from virtual. Which particular implementation is invoked in case of new is totally dependent on the variable type and not on the instance type (unlike virtual methods), since the variable type is of Base class, Base.A() would be invoked and "base" would be printed. As you can see "new" breaks a lotsa OO rules so my advice would be to use it only where it is absolutely necessary and perhaps usage of new in an application signifies a bad design.

b) Implementing multiple interfaces:
Another code snippet:
interface I1
{
string A();
}

interface I2
{
string A();
}

class Concrete : I1, I2
{
public string A()
{
return "A()";
}
}

public static void Main(){
I1 i1 = new Concrete();
Console.WriteLine(i1.A);
I2 i2 = new Concrete();
Console.WriteLine(i2.A);
}

Since C# allows implementing multiple interfaces which both define a method with same signature I need to only implement it only once and in both the above case "A()" would be printed. But what if I want different implementation for the A() declared in the two disparate interfaces? Here's how to do it:
class Concrete : I1, I2
{
string I1.A()
{
return "I1.A()";
}
string I2.A(){
return "I2.A()";
}
}

Another thing that never struck my mind was that there is one more way of making a non-inheritable class instead of using the keyword "sealed"...just make the ctor private, the only problem with this approach being that also means that no one can do a "new" on this class, stilll wondering though why would not want to use "sealed" keyword in such a scenario.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Gizmo wishlist

Update 05/26/05:
Update 05/07/05:

  1. A laptop (I like the dell model).(got the Dell Inspiron 600m yesterday)
  2. 20GB IPod.
  3. A Sony or Cannon 5Mega Pixel Digi cam (ordered Canon A95 @ Amazon today).
  4. Handspring Treo or HP IPaq smartphone.

My birthday is on 1st so please to gift me one of these.

I am bugged!

high time that I should make a move to himalayas, anyone willing to join?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Tuesday afternoon

My songs wishlist:
1) Bless the wings : The Moody Blues (Just can't understand how can this band come with such amazing lyrics).
2) Driftwood : The Moody Blues.
3) Still...you turn me on : Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
4) From the beginning : Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
5) Broken Dream : The Moody Blues.
6) The sun ain't gonna shine anymore : The Walker Brothers.

Somewhere there’s children playing,
Somewhere far away running with open arms to greet me.
Over the hill the sunset dies and fades away.
I turn and I close the door with one last goodbye,
I will return no more, I’ll take my heart and let it fly.
-Justin Hayward (Broken Dream)