Saturday, December 24, 2005

The thing that bugs me about Google News and Web Clips ...

via the Google Desktop v2.0 is that the snippets don't appear sorted according to time (published time). There must be an option to sort articles according to arrival/published time.

Currently it displays articles that have come in hours ago on top of those which came in, a few minutes ago. The "problem" is more apparent with News rather than Web Clips.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Get a Yahoo email alias for your existing yahoo email-id ...

Yahoo! Mail is now offering email aliases for existing email ids. FWIW, the move appears to be a way to woo some GMail users, but then I may be mistaken.

Anyway, details are available at Yahoo! Mail Beta Updates Blog

Idea for GMail (POP from other email a/cs) hopefully accepted ...

After having receiving the standard automated response (for my email to GMail, see earlier post), to which I'd responded, I finally heard from GMail team once more. Apparently, they are interested in my idea and have forwarded it to the appropriate group to be worked upon.

Let's hope this request gets implemented at the earliest.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

GMail should be able to POP from other email accounts ...

Here's an email I just sent out to GMail. Read on.


Will it, and when if so will it, be possible to POP messages from other accounts to GMail. Currently, I have multiple POP accounts with various service providers and I'd really love to consolidate those emails in a single location (GMail).

FWIW, Yahoo does have this option. And, given that such consolidation will only help you in providing more context-sensitive ads, I hope this will come out as early as possible.

Let me know if you need more info and/or if this is being considered.



Saturday, December 17, 2005

Registered and waiting ...

Registered for new Yahoo Mail (Beta) a few days ago. Got an automated email from them today, asking me to wait some more :)

One reason I want to look at it -- RSS + EMail, as written here in an earlier post.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The thing will ...

In an earlier post, I'd described how is a cool place for one to keep track of books he/she is reading, movies being watched, music being listened and so on. The one thing that currently bothers me is that they've changed their interface and made it mandatory for me to mark a book as either worth consuming or not. I'm sure there are more points (of like/dislike) in between those two options. Their earlier interface allowed me to leave it unsaid, but now it appears to be forcing me.

Anyway, here's my AllConsuming.Net Page (you can see the list of books I've read and am currently reading). And here's the RSS feed.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

RSS + (Web)EMail - couldn't be coming at a more appropriate time ...

Today morning, when my wife was checking her emails on yahoo, it occured to me how convenient it'd be if she could get RSS feeds in her email box. She's still reading the occasional blog or two by browsing the web and though she's quite accustomed to email, she hasn't yet taken to the RSS (web)client plunge (AFAIK). For people like her, it may be a lot easier for email giants like yahoo to provide RSS folders in their web email page.

And it looks like that's what's precisely happening, according to "Yahoo Mail RSS Reader (Screenshots!) Integrates Blogs into Email".

Too bad that at the moment, the new yahoo email is only by invite (care to give me one ?).

Friday, November 25, 2005

Google Desktop 2.0 News Plugin ...

I use GDS 2.0 mainly for the news and web-clips plugin. The one thing that bugs me about the news plugin is that it doesn't sort news items according to the time they got published. Web-clips plugin does it right. And, for both of these, there's no option to sort the news times based on time of arrival / publication. Need to figure out where to give feedback.

So, what are your favorite plugins for GDS ?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Recent ADSL router, DVD-R media purchases ...

For those interested in pricing info, and the benefits of buying in Indian market, read on.

Recently, I bought a D-Link 502-T ADSL Router. It has an ADSL port, USB port, Ethernet port (504T comes with 4-port switch) and inbuilt firewall (bare minimum functionality as I see it). It cost me Rs.2100/- on Ritchie Street (Chennai).

And, I got a 50-pack DVD-R (local make - scorpio) at Rs.13.5 per disk ( Ritchie Street, Chennai).

As luck would have it, I messed up with the ADSL router firmware while trying to upgrade. A quick visit to the local distributor helped in clearing it in about 2mins (wait time of around 15-20mins). I could probably have done it at home, but didn't know the proper procedure (now, I do!!).

As luck would it once more, the ADSL port on the device suddenly stopped working. In between email exhanges with D-Link Techsupport (they have an all India toll free telephone support line - 1600-222-002- too), I took the device (once again) to the local distributor. They exchanged the device for another one with no other questions asked ! Call that service !! Impressive.

Had I bought the device from US (or outside India), this could probably have been a painful exercise. Note that since the margin of price difference is relatively low for such a device, it may be worthwhile to consider buying it locally, given the excellent support that's available.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Kewl Illusion ...

If you watch the images below from your seat in front of the computer, Mr.Angry is on the left, and Mrs.Calm is on the right.

Get up from your seat, and move back 5-6 feet, and PRESTO!! they switch places!!

This illusion is believed to have been created by Phillippe G.Schyns and Aude Oliva of the Univ. of Glasgow. This proves that we may not be seeing what's actually there, all the time!!

My reading interest is now on the sidebar too ...

To find out what I'm reading, have read and so on, look at my blog's side bar or use the rss feed or visit the actual page.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Real Horror Story - Mumbai Pune Expressway

This happened about a month or two ago near Lonavala (close to Mumbai), and even though it sounds like something out of the X Files or from Alfred Hitchcock...

This guy drives from Mumbai to Pune and decides not to take the new expressway as he wants to see the scenery.

The inevitable happens and when he reaches the ghats his car breaks down - he's stranded miles from nowhere.

Having no choice he starts walking on the side of the road, hoping to get a lift to the nearest human habitation. It's dark and raining he's wet and shivering.

The night rolls on and no car goes by, the monsoon rains are so strong he can hardly see a few feet ahead of him.

Suddenly he sees a car coming towards him. It slows and then stops next to him without thinking the guy opens the car's door and jumps in.

Seated in the back, he leans for ward to thank the person who had saved his life, but...... he realizes there is nobody behind the wheel!!!

Even though there's no one in the front seat and no sound of any engine even, the car starts moving slowly.

The guy looks at the road ahead and sees a curve coming (remember, this is in the hills and there is a steep, steep drop beyond the curve).

Scared almost to death he starts to pray, begging the Lord for his life. He hasn't come out of shock, when just before he hits the curve, a hand appears through the window and moves the wheel!

The car makes the curve safely and continues on the road to the next bend. The guy, now paralyzed in terror, watches how the hand appears every time they are before a curve and moves the steering wheel just enough to get the car around each bend.

Finally, the guy sees lights ahead. Gathering his courage he wrenches open the door of the silent, slowly moving car, scrambles out and runs as hard as he can towards the lights.

It's a small town. Wet and in shock goes to a roadside dhaba, which is open, he asks for a drink. They find some hooch and give him a shot.

And he starts telling whoever is in the dhaba about the horrible experience he's just been through.

A silence envelops everybody when they realize the guy isn't drunk, and is really frightened - he's crying and shaking.

So they give him more hooch and talk about what they should do, whether to call the police or find a priest, or what.

But just then two guys (Santa & Banta) walk into the dhaba....and one says to the other...

"Look, Banta - that's the guy who got into our car while we were pushing the car from behind!!"

Cross posted to my regular and humor blog.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

RSS Feed for stuff I'm reading / watching ...

In response to my previous post requesting a tracking mechanism for stuff I'm reading, Krishnamoorthy pointed me to All Consuming.

Here's the RSS feed for information on books/movies/albums that I have consumed (read/watched/heard/...) and here's the actual page.

Software Engineer's life

This is the Software Engineer's life

You cry as much as you can, but nobody to hear you.

There are 2 people always next to you :

1 - The PM (Project Manager), giving a pleasant smile everytime we see HIM/HER.

2 - The TL (Team Leader), busy in scheduling work for us ..... and busy in HIS/HER world

The perfect picture is Given Below ......{ Team leader -- You -- PM }

Click image for larger picture:

Cross posted to my regular and humor blog.

Tool for tracking books to read ...

In a few blogs, I've noticed a sidebar which carries notes on books that one is reading, has read and has plans to read. Does anyone know of any such tool (preferably free) that can easily integrate with ?

Asterix books that I devoured in the recent past ...


Asterix and the Golden Sickle
Asterix and the Goths
Asterix the Gladiator
Asterix and Cleopatra
Asterix and the Big Fight
Asterix in Britain
Asterix the Legionary
Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield
Asterix in Spain
Asterix and the Roman Agent
Asterix in Switzerland
Asterix and the Laurel Wreath
Asterix and the Soothsayer
Asterix in Corsica
Asterix and Caesar's Gift
Asterix and the Great Crossing
Asterix and the Great Divide
Asterix and the Black Gold
Asterix and the Magic Carpet
Asterix and the Secret Weapon
Asterix and the Actress
Asterix and the Magic Carpet

Sill to read:

Asterix the Gaul
Asterix and the Banquet
Asterix and the Normans
Asterix and the Cauldron
The Mansions of the Gods
Obelix and Company
Asterix in Belgium
Asterix and Son
Asterix and Obelix All at Sea
Asterix at the Olympic Games

I borrowed these from my neighbourhood book lending library - Easwari (they have a web presence too) !

Friday, November 04, 2005

GMail declares Google Press newsletter as spam ...

Either something's wrong with their spam filters or they have been "poisoned" by now.

Click images for larger pictures:

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Broadband: Tariff information for leading Indian ISPs ...

Broadband Tariff Information (Courtesy: ISource Updates)

The site also has information on Cell Subscriber Figures, Basic Subscriber Figures, Internet Subscriber Figures, Cellular Tariffs, GSM Handset Prices !! Check it out !!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Need recommendations for DSL modem/router ...

Can someone recommend a good DSL modem/router available in Indian market (preferably) and the price that it comes at ? Or, please give me details about good options for both of these so that I can select one for myself. Current platform for usage is Win2K desktop without wireless, however that may change in the future / and or other machines may get added to what may become a home network. If it's a modem, it must have USB connection. Understandably, firewall, wireless services, etc are good to have features.

If there are other things that need to be considered, please do speak out your thoughts.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Intel trials on Net over power lines in India soon

Two days after Broadband Over Power Lines (BPL) was commercially launched in US by Comtek, Intel Corp on Thursday announced in Bangalore that it would launch a trial phase in India in the next eight weeks.


The concept of internet over power lines has been there for over a decade but there have been practical difficulties in the way of its implementation. BPL is transmitted over a high frequency signal that doesn’t interfere with power transmission. Opponents of BPL say that it may interfere with Ham and other radio systems.


Read complete story here. (Financial Express)

Friday, October 07, 2005

Referrals bring in the moolah ...


Juniper hands out $2,500 (Rs 1.1 lakh) to its employees for every referred candidate hired. At Cisco it is $2,000 (Rs 88,000). Chip-maker Intel pays a compartively modest Rs 40,000, while at Big Blue it is a combination of cash and non-cash incentives. While the traditional practice of rewarding referees continues to be popular, innovation is happening at the referral practice too. The Indian subsidiary of Juniper, the company that supplies networking and security solutions, recently had a bash for its employees at a fancy restaurant in Bangalore.


Read the complete story here (Courtesy: Economic Times).

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Life before and after marriage ...

Life before marriage is AIRTEL-" u can express u r self".

After marriage is RELIANCE-"Always get in Touch".

After Honeymoon is HUTCH-" Wherever u go our network follows".

After one year Life is IDEA-"An idea (read as A "wife") can change ur life".

After 10 years Life is BSNL -"Subscriber (Husband!) is not reachable".

Cross posted to my humor and regular blog.

Comment spam is increasing on ...

Well, comment spam is on the rise nowadays. And, to a very large extent. I'm receiving several comments starting with the usual "Nice blog ...", but then proceeding to solicit me to visit some xyz site to make $$$ !!

Makes me wonder if I should turn off commenting. Let me wait and see. If started a "block/ban" commentor option, or something like that, it'd get interesting. Of course, there are many ways to try and beat the system, still something'd be worth a try.

Update: Forgot that had "Word Verification". Turned it on. Let's see if that reduces the nuisance !

Brutal incident ...

It first started as an email forward and I received the info from multiple sources in just one single day. Authenticity was not confirmed till a colleague at office said he knew the person in question and that the incident was true. Now, major newspapers have picked it up.

Sounds almost like a thriller novel (apologies for appearing to scintillate the incident).

Link: RPF assaults IT firm employee (Deccan Herald)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Beware - Interesting modus operandi

From reliable sources ... Beware, be cautious ...

This incident happend last weekend to a person i know very closely; sharing this for awareness sake.

He had advertised for selling one item in FreeAds and Deccan Chronicle last sunday and had given his cell number as contact. A guy named sultan, approached him around noon saying he wanted to check out the item, but said he has to wait for some 10mins, as one of his friend was on the way and both wanted to checkout the iteam and decide on the purchase.

Now after few minutes, sultan who was waiting near the gate, got a call through my friend's cell ; the caller ( supposed to be the friend he was waiting for) asked whether sultan was there and wanted to talk to him ;

My friend passed on the cell to Sultan and as he was handing it over, the guy asked for water and some documents related to the the item. My friend without thinking much went inside to get water + document and when he was back in a minute - Mr sultan had vainshed with the cell !!

It seems the police too suspected it must be some experienced gang who lookout for such occasions - they can get both the address and contact of their victim, taking advantage of the sale offer( advertised via newspaper) and posing as interested buyers!

Interesting news about Skype ...

Read here about how Skype can affect your wallet in broaband starved countries like India.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Messing with a scammer ...

This story is so funny !! Read on to find out how a scammer was outwitted.

For the technically inclined: A honeypot with a difference ;-)

Powerbook Prank

Friday, September 16, 2005

Bangalore Linux User Group is no more ...

Read this for (what could be) a chilling note on how one of the largest and quite organized linux user group (in India) has been "hijacked".

I'm tempted to believe what the note says, time will tell the truth.

2 years, 8 days old ...

If my math is right (and I'm very poor at it), my blog is 2 yeas, 8 days old now. My first post was on 8-Sep-2003. Back then, it was mostly news that I was posting about (and more so on OffSourcing - Offshoring + Outsourcing). Since then much has changed, but still remained the same (even now, a variety of news - mostly technical - is a major portion of my blog).

As they say, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Too bad, I couldn't pin this post down the exact day this year. Maybe it's time you checked your blog to see when was your first post.

Trying out Opera 8, sick of Firefox ...

Maybe there's something about the way I use my desktop (Win2K), things are perenially slow on it, inspite of it being a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 processor with 512MB RAM. Switching between applications can take as long as a minute. Typing something on the screen can have a delay to make the characters invisible for as long as upto even a minute, my Firefox and Thunderbird instances always easily cross 200MB each (are terribly unresponsive) ... and so on.

I'm quite sick of the desktop at times and more so of FF and TB. The thing is I don't like to terminate these instances at the end of the day and that's probably causing a leak due to prolonged usage.

Anyway, the short story is that I'm now trying out Opera 8 after a long time. I was one of the first people to try out Opera when it hit the market a few years ago. I liked it then, for the speed demon that it was (can't recollect why I moved on, maybe the lack of support on many "intelligent" sites hat don't render proper HTML). Since then, I've tried out other browsers and somehow got stuck to FF (for quite some time - for the past year/two or so).

Let's see how Opera works out for me.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

My inspiration

"I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot... and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that's precisely why I succeed."

---Michael Jordan
(1993-, American Basketball Player, Actor)


I have corrupted more than 9,000 programs in my career. I have crashed almost 300 computers. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to deliver program on deadline... and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that's precisely why I am still here!!!

---Software Engineer

Cross posted to my regular and humor blog.

The 10 Commandments Of Email

1. Thou shalt include a clear and specific subject line.

2. Thou shalt edit any quoted text down to the minimum thou needest.

3. Thou shalt read thine own message thrice before thou sendest it.

4. Thou shalt ponder how thy recipient might react to thy message.

5. Thou shalt check thy spelling and thy grammar.

6. Thou shalt not curse, flame, spam or TOSS.

7. Thou shalt not forward any chain letter.

8. Thou shalt not use e-mail for any illegal or unethical purpose.

9. Thou shalt not rely on the privacy of e-mail, especially from work.

10. When in doubt, save thy message overnight and reread it in the light of the dawn.

And, here's the "Golden Rule" of E-Mail:

That which thou findest hateful to receive, sendest thou not unto others.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Too good a read ...

and prolly to follow, at least as much as possible.

Have a firm handshake.
Look people in the eye.
Sing in the shower.
Own a great stereo system.
If in a fight, hit first and hit hard.
Keep secrets.
Never give up on anybody.
Miracles happen everyday.
Always accept an outstretched hand.
Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
Avoid sarcastic remarks.
Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 per cent of all your happiness or misery.
Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out.
Lend only those books you never care to see again.
Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all that they have.
When playing games with children, let them win.
Give people a second chance, but not a third.
Be romantic.
Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.
Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for your convenience, not the caller’s.
Be a good loser.
Be a good winner.
Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.
When someone hugs you, let them be the first to let go.
Be modest. A lot was accomplished before you were born.
Keep it simple.
Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.
Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.
Live your life so that your epitaph could read, No Regrets
Be bold and courageous. When you look back on life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the one’s you did.
Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
Remember no one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who helped you.
Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.
Visit friends and relatives when they are in hospital; you need to only stay a few minutes.
Begin each day with some of your favorite music.
Once in a while, take the scenic route.
Send a lot of Valentine cards. Sign them, ‘Someone who thinks you’re terrific.’
Answer the phone with enthusiasm and energy in your voice.
Keep a note pad and pencil on your bed-side table. Million-dollar ideas sometimes strike at 3 a.m.
Show respect for everyone who works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job.
Send your loved ones flowers. Think of a reason later.
Make someone’s day by paying the toll for the person in the car behind you.
Become someone’s hero.
Marry only for love.
Count your blessings.
Compliment the meal when you’re a guest in someone’s home.
Wave at the children on a school bus.
Remember that 80 per cent of the success in any job is based on your ability to deal with people.
Don’t expect life to be fair.

It's official now - It sucks ...

And, I'm talking about Creative's Zen Touch 40GB MP3 player.

In the past few days that I've actively been using it since I bought it on 16-Jul-2005 (that's a long time to not put it to heavy use), it has frozen a lot many times, requiring a hard reset (via a pin hole in the chassis). It's required entire reformat twice.

For something as "simple" as an MP3 player, that statistic sux IMO (I've been actively fiddling with it only for the past week or so). Makes me curse myself for not having bought an iPod or the Archos Gmini.

Recommendation to potential buyers of Creative Zen Touch - Stay far away.

While I may be considered to be overreacting, I've found the performance of the device, as a whole, much lesser than satisfactory (the main being the not-exactly-responsive touch-sensitive scroll-pad that is a poor, distant imitation of iPod's scroll-wheel. And then, there's these frequent crashes and reformats, not to mention, creative's ultra long 18month+ delay in releasing a firmware upgrade for the Zen Touch... )..

My advice - stay away, far away.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Please do not spit ...

half chewed chewing gum in urinal base.

That's what a printout in the office toilet/restroom says.

Makes me wonder if we have to spit fully chewed chewing gums or half unchewed chewing gums or better still save those for others to chew (gross) !! ;-)

Come on, shoot me down for posts such as this :)

Need info on computer monitor and keyboard disposal

Can someone recommend a safe mechanism to dispose off an old computer monitor ? I have a 14" color monitor that hasn't been used in a very long time (the screen turns blue after switching on - maybe some capacitor problem or some such) and I need to know a decent disposal mechanism.

Alternately, if someone wants to take it and repair / get-it-repaired, I'd be happy to donate it free of cost (arrange your own pickup from Vadapalani, Chennai).

Same is the case with an old serial keyboard whose "up" & "down" arrow keys aren't functioning properly (I used to manage with the keys in the number pad section).

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Calvin and Hobbes complete collection ...

In my eternal temptation for my most favorite cartoon strip, I was quite tempted to buy the entire collection of Calvin & Hobbes (of approx 17 books) at around Rs.5000 y'day, when I learnt that the entire collection is coming out in a 3 volume harbound series @ $150 this October-2005. It may probably end up being costlier than what I'd pay today for the entire collection, however it is definitely going to be better since it will avoid the duplication of strips present in the existing series of books.

Waiting with bated breath ...

Update: Amazon List Price for the book set is $150 (Rs.6450 @ $1=Rs.43) and it is presently selling at a discount of $93 (Rs.3999). Fabmall (in India) has List Price Rs. 7,500.00 and discounted price Rs. 6,750.00. Fabmall is too pricey. Need to find someone whoz returning from the US and can get me the books.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Back to reality ...

Sort of.

My vacation is over, at least the official one and I'm at work since Monday, 5-Sep. Personal emails are being checked now and then, blog reading is still far off (except for occasional glance at very few). Slashdot is the only one I've been reading since the past couple of days :)

Latest craze - trying to fill up my 40GB Creative Zen Touch MP3 player. One thing that it does lack (and I still bought it) is the lack of default (inbuilt) recording capability. It would have been great for it to have voice and line-in recording facility (IRiver MP3 player does have such features, although it's only 1GB).

More later ...

Start to watch out for my humor blog to become more active shortly.

Friday, August 05, 2005

O -ve blood required ...

Operation on 12-Aug, blood required before 10 or 11th Aug. Patient to be admitted to hospital on 10-Aug.

Blood Group required: O -ve
Patient Name: Geethanjali
Age: 43
No. of units: 5
Contact number: 26382867 / 98400-70777

Cherian Heart Foundation, Annanagar,
Ph: 26564224, 26566252

Update: Time for tying the knots ...

Finally, it's time to explain the long "leave of absence" from my blog. The infrequent updates on mine, the very little comments on others', the general complaint about lack of time, the long lost hours of sleep, ... all have been in good reason.

It's time to spill the beans. Been keeping it away from my blog for a very long time and doing injustice to my readership (whatever is left of it, given that it's quite less as it is!).

As the title suggests, I'm entering wedlock in a few days from now. 11-Aug-2005 to be precise. It has been a wonderful experience the past few months in getting to know the other person and words can't precisely express the feelings and emotions that have been part of the entire experience till now. Come Aug-11 and it'll be a formal seal to bind the relationship.

So looking forward to the wonderful life ahead. Wish me luck !

For those who have been an avid follower of my blog, the numerous jokes on husband-wife relationships will make you wonder what the heck happened to this guy. Well, I had to get ready for the experience one day, rather than simply read/listen to it second hand :) Just kidding :)

Date: 11-Aug-2005 (Thursday)
Muhurtham: 7.53am
Arya Vysya Abhyudaya Sangam,
Sri Juloori Veeresalingam Kalyana Mandapam,
Prenderghast Road, Secunderabad - 500 003,
Andhra Pradesh, India

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

GMail lockdown ...

Ever heard of lockdown of your email account ? I've never heard of that while using Yahoo for the last 8 years of my internet usage (yeah, I'm still a kid !!). Srijith has a "horrifying" experience with Gmail 24hr account lockdown (via Krishna).

Friday, July 29, 2005

Interesting story on disclosure ...

Cisco, Security Researcher settle dispute

Ambivert ...

One of my friends had this emailid which had the word "ambivert" in it. Looking up dictionary, I found that it mean someone who had the personality traits of both an extrovert and an introvert.

Now, isn't each and everyone of us an ambivert ? Who are you - introvert / extrovert / ambivert or maybe even something else ?!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

DVD collection ...

My uncle was looking for the following movies

Wild Bunch - William Holden (1969)
The Professionals - Burt Lancaster (1966)
The Train - Burt Lancaster (1965)
Seven Days in May - Burt Lancaster (1964)
Run Silent, Run Deep - Clark Gable (1958)
Vera Cruz - Gary Cooper (1954)
Once Upon a Time in the West - Henry Fonda (1968)
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral - Burt Lancaster (1957)
Flame and the Arrow - Burt Lancaster (1950)
Crimson Pirate - Burt Lancaster (1952)
Rio Bravo - John Wayne (1959)
How the west was won - Henry Fonda (1963) seems to be offering all of the above (new dvds) at $146.14. Anyone knows where I can get better deals ?

Blind Teen Amazes With Video-Game Skills

Interesting article !! Shows how much difference determination can make !!

Blind Teen Amazes With Video-Game Skills

So out of the blog world ...

for the past couple of months and prolly so for another few months. Just miss catching upon the world in my most favorite manner. I'll be back some time soon !! Just you wait !! Till then, stay tuned for (hopefully at least some very) infrequent updates.

The actual reason for the previous post ...

Not having mentioned it earlier, it's time to mention the silly things that copyright laws and their enforcement can bring.

Read the following article for the debacle on the new Harry Potter book publication and sale where 14 customers who bought the book (unknowingly ?) before the official sale date were asked to stop from reading it further, return the books & notes prepared, declare name & address & phone-numbers of people with who they had discussed it and so on and so forth !!

Isn't there something called a "right to read" ? Or am I missing the whole point of the people on the "other" side ?

I've finally succumbed ...

to reading Harry Potter and Half Blood Prince full plot summary in Wikipedia (thank the free world) !

I learnt of the full plot page on Wikipedia, thanks to RMS !! The spoiler about the death in this book is available from RMS himself here.

Of course, for those who've read about the book, all this is obsolete info :)

Monday, July 04, 2005

Quick tip: Booking train tickets with credit card ...

Summary: Don't use the Credit Card as long as you have another option.

A couple of days ago, I personally visited the train ticket booking counter to do some bulk ticket purchasing. Now, in Chennai Central Suburban Reservation Complex, I found that the credit card and bulk booking counters on floor 2 were quite empty and was pleasantly surprised at the teeny-weeny queue of about 3-4 people in these.

Only when I'd approached the counter did I understand why. Credit cards get charged an additional Rs.30 per ticket (6 people max in each ticket). While that's ok for a small number, if you have to do a huge bulk booking, it can become not so comfortable.

On top of that, your credit card company may additionally charge 2.5% on the entire transaction !!

The tough part is that if you have to cancel any of the names on the ticket, the card holder has to once again personally visit the counter. Tough luck !

Happy journey.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Indian cracks Microsoft's anti-piracy program

An Indian researcher has breached the much-touted "impenetrable" Windows Genuine Advantage of Microsoft.

Bangalore-based Debasis Mohanty has cracked WGA through an "easy-to-exploit" weakness in the software for generating illegal copies of the Windows XP programme.


Read the complete article here.

Need recommendations to buy Canon A510 ...

In a few weeks from now, I'm hoping to buy a Canon A510 digital camera (lemme know if there's other models on similar lines that I need to consider).

Any ideas on where I'd get good deals in the US ? I can see prices quoted between $166 to $199 (look towards the end of this review for retailer info) and need to know who are reputed and reliable retailers. I can't wait too long for a mail-in rebate or some such. Will probably have just about a week to snatch it from a shop (unless I order it earlier and have it delivered to someone overseas).

FWIW, I do have a Canon Rebel 2000 SLR (non-digital) and I can't burn a hole in my pocket to replace the body of that with a digital one :( Anyone donating me one ? ;-)

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Book Tag & Timeless ...

I'd been tagged a few days ago by Visithra to do the "Book" thing. Need to find time :)

Truth be speaking, there's so much to read and so little time. And these days are much more hectic than have ever been in my life ;-) Hope to get out of this "timeless" state in a few years time :)

I've been invited - by Odeo ...

For those who don't have a clue on what/who Odeo is, it's time to visit their site Odeo. From, Evan Williams, one of the founders of, hopes to do to podcasting what did to blogging. Let's wait and watch. In the meanwhile, if you haven't yet got an account or been invited, sit there and turn green :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

What the recent fule price hike can end up doing to me !! :)

Parents at different ages ...


At 4 Years
My daddy is great.

At 6 Years
My daddy knows everybody.

At 10 Years
My daddy is good but is short tempered

At 12 Years
My daddy was very nice to me when I was young .

At 14 Years
My daddy is getting fastidious.

At 16 Years
My daddy is not in line with the current times.

At 18 Years
My daddy is becoming increasingly cranky.

At 20 Years
Oh! Its becoming difficult to tolerate daddy. Wonder how Mother puts up with him.

At 25 Years
Daddy is objecting to everything.

At 30 Years
It's becoming difficult to manage my son. I was so scared of my father when I was young.

At 40 Years
Daddy brought me up with so much discipline. Even I should do the same.

At 45 Years
I am baffled as to how my daddy brought us up.

At 50 Years
My daddy faced so many hardships to bring us up. I am unable to manage a single son.

At 55 Years
My daddy was so far sighted and planned so many things for us. He is one of his kind and unique.

At 60 Years
My daddy is great.

As a consequence, it took 56 years to complete the cycle and come back to the 1st stage. Recognize the factual worth of your parents before its too late.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Thunderbird and Firefox SUCK big time ...

Having been an avid supporter of oopensource and freeware products for almost 7 years of my professional life, it's time to throw in the towel as far as user experience regarding the above two products is concerned. I've grown really sick of the huge memory bloats these software are. Firefox and Thunderbird take a whopping 100-200MB each (and always growing) of my machines memory and bring a P4 2.4GHz with 512MB DDRAM to a crawling speed.

Long ago (a few years ago), I'd tried out Eudora 4.x and it used to occupy a measly footprint of 16MB at all times (or almost). Of course, it didn't have esoteric features nor did it have all the authentication mechanisms. Apart from these "downsides", my major problem with it was that it didn't have an option to forward messages "as attachments". That, IMO, is a major drawback in corporate world.

Any recommendations ? I still want freeware :)

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Isn't perspective a wonderful thing?

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from the trip, the father asked his son, "Did you enjoy the trip?"

"It was great Dad."

"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.

"Oh yeah," said the son.

"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.

The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."

The boy’s father was speechless.

Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are."

Isn't perspective a wonderful thing?

Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don't have.

Appreciate every single thing you have -- especially your friends!

"Life is too short and friends are too few."

Friday, June 17, 2005

When a boy Vs. When a girl ...

Click image to see larger picture:

Click image to see larger picture:

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Indica : Starter motor problems and extended warranty ...

Last saturday, my Indica V2 DLS (Mar' 2003) conked off in the middle of the road at around 9.30pm. I was traveling on low gears (with the A/C on) for quite some time due to extremely heavy traffic conditions.

When I called up the emergency Concorde helpline number (98410-22244), I was informed that it mostly could be problem with the starter motor and that it was a known and frequent recent problem ! The solution was either allowing the engine to cool down for around 30-45 mins or pushing the vehicle in 2nd gear and starting it in motion will be a quickfix. I waited for about 45mins with no luck at starting and then used the other approach successfully.

When I took my vehicle to the service station on 15-Jun, Concorde motors (Guindy), I was told that it would take anywhere between Rs.1800-2500 to correct this problem. I then asked if this was covered under extended warranty and they asked for my booklet. Under the parts covered section, "Starter motor and solenoid" were the first entry. They however wanted to supposedly confirm if this would be covered with their Bombay office and have today called up my residence and informed them that it would not be covered and expense would have to be my own !!

The question is : if it's mentioned in the extended warranty booklet and they refuse to carry out the repairs on the charges, moreso when they very well know that this is a known, frequent problem, what is the recourse I have ?

Have others faced this problem and what is your recommendation on how to deal with this ?

[ Indica V2 DLS, 24201km, Chennai, Mar 2003 ]

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Bangalore: Hot and hotter (India Vs. China ... and much more by Thomas L Friedman)

By Thomas L Friedman.

Every time I visit India, Indians always ask me to compare India with China. Lately, I have responded like this: If India and China were both highways, the Chinese highway would be a six-lane, perfectly paved road, but with a huge speed bump off in the distance labeled "Political reform: how in the world do we get from Communism to a more open society?" When 1.3 billion people going 80 miles an hour hit a speed bump, one of two things happens: Either the car flies into the air and slams down, and all the parts hold together and it keeps on moving - or the car flies into the air, slams down and all the wheels fall off. Which it will be with China, I don't know. India, by contrast, is like a highway full of potholes, with no sidewalks and half the streetlamps broken. But off in the distance, the road seems to smooth out, and if it does, this country will be a dynamo. The question is: Is that smoother road in the distance a mirage or the real thing?


Read the complete article here.

And, FWIW, there was an interesting 1 hour interview on NDTV "Walk the Talk" with Thomas L Friedman last weekend.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Autorickshaw complaint number for Bangalore ...

Don't know how true this is. Came in via a forwarded email. Take it with a pinch of salt. If anyone knows that this is true or can confirm it, please do let me know.

During the last 6 month in Bangalore, I perceived that local commutation here is really exasperating, particularly when you rely on Public transport and has not plan for your own conveyance. I am trying to take some steps, I don't know weather it will be prolific or not, for that i talked to controller office of Auto Unit. That person ensured that no auto person is allowed to ask 1.5 times of charges before 10:00 PM , neither the Auto person will be given extra money during rain. I 've suffered a lot due to auto behavior that during rain or even at 8:00 they start asking extra money.

So there are Auto Complain Unit phone no (Bangalore),please note these -


Please be proactive atleast for the things you can really be benefited. Any time you phase any problem related to Auto Rickshaw call to these no, telling the Auto no. Please also try to spread as much awareness as you can. Together we can make the place better for living.

What do you think ?

Came in via email. Usually, I don't bite such. But then no harm in just passing it around ;-) What do you think about this ?

How the company views its employees. (HE VS SHE) (and belive me ....MOST of them are true! Arent they ? )

1. The family picture is on HIS desk.
Ah, a solid, responsible family man.

The family picture is on HER desk.
Umm, her family will come before her career.

2. HIS desk is cluttered.
He's obviously a hard worker and a busy man.

HER desk is cluttered.
She's obviously a disorganised scatterbrain

3. HE is talking with his co-workers.
He must be discussing the latest deal

SHE is talking with her co-workers.
She must be gossiping.

4. HE's not at his desk. He must be at a meeting.
SHE's not at her desk. She must be in the ladies' room.

5. HE's not in the office. He's meeting with customers.
SHE's not in the office. She must be out shopping.

6. HE's having lunch with the boss. He's on his way up.
SHE's having lunch with the boss. They must be having an affair.

7. The boss criticised HIM.
He'll improve his performance.

The boss criticised HER.
She'll be very upset.

8. HE got an unfair deal.
Did he get angry?

SHE got an unfair deal.
Did she cry?

9. HE's getting married. He'll get more settled.
SHE's getting married. She'll get pregnant and leave.

10. HE's having a baby. He'll need a raise.
SHE's having a baby. She'll cost the company money in maternity benefits.

11. HE's going on a business trip.
It's good for his career.

SHE's going on a business trip.
What does her husband say?

12. HE's leaving for a better job.
He knows how to recognise a good opportunity.

SHE's leaving for a better job.
Women are not dependable.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Google Desktop Search Update ...

Looks like Google Desktop Search is being updated automatically after a long time. Somehow, I don't like the fact that the update is happening without my explicit knowledge/acceptance.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Samsung conducts all India free service camp

Samsung India is organising a 9-day Free Service Camp for all Samsung Consumer Electronics, Home Appliance, Colour Monitors, Laser Beam Printers and Telecom products between 28th May 2005 and 5th June 2005. A consumer can just walk in with his product at any of the Samsung Service Plazas or Samsung authorised service centres and get it serviced, or register a service call for onsite service on the toll-free helpline number 3030 8282 or 1600110011 for BSNL/MTNL subscribers between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Service calls can be registered online at as well.


Read the complete article here.

Yahoo's all new Photomail (IE5.5 or above reqd.)

Yahoo has introduced yet another good service, Photomail. This requires IE (internet Explorer) 5.5 or above in order to work.

Access it here:

All you have to do is to install a 1.11 mb file from

Then, it will be easy to send and recieve photos through Yahoo Mail.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Time for a break ...

I'm off for a couple of days out of Chennai and possibly out of email world. Be back on Jun-2. Catching up with emails, blogs and news is going to take time.

Till then, take care, be good and play safe :)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

About worries ...

A woman worries about her future until she gets a husband. A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.


Cross posted to my regular and humor blog.

Personality test - find out your hidden personality ...

Don't shoot me ! This came via email ! :)

Discover what you expect from your partner, your feelings on luck and other aspects of your hidden personality. Answer the questions below and note down what you have chosen.

1. What kind of chair do you prefer ?
A. Cloth covered
B. Leather covered
C. Wood
D. Cushioned
E. One with a built-in massager

2. Tomorrow is Sunday . What are you going to do ?
A. Stay home and take it easy
B. Go shopping
C. Do some sports
D. Go out for a walk
E. Stay in bed and catch up on my sleep

3. A box is lying in the road . What's inside ?
A. An abandoned kitten
B. Garbage
C. Treasure
D. A surprise!
E. Nothing

4. If you go to the zoo, what do you look at first ?
A. The panda , of course , it's the most popular
B. A less popular animal , because it won't be so crowded
C. The animal closest to the zoo entrance
D. Whatever's first on the recommended route and punctilious in your ways
E. The animal I like best

5. What kind of present would you buy for a very close friend ?
A. A handkerchief (Because your friend will be happy , no matter how many handkerchiefs he/she has already)
B. Something you like
C. Something your friend has been wanting
D. Something popular ( the " latest thing" )
E. Something hand-made or homemade

6. You want to cross a river , but there is no bridge in sight . What do you do ?
A. Swim across
B. Build a raft and ride it across
C. Search for a bridge
D. Search for a shallow spot to wade across
E. Wait until the river dries up


1. What kind of chair do you prefer ?

Hidden meaning : You want your partner ( girlfriend/boyfriend ) to:

A. Cloth covered
A. Be together with you always, no matter when or where

B. Leather covered
B. Be more open with you about himself/herself

C. Wood
C. Take more care of his/her dress and manner

D. Cushioned
D. Be a little bit more relaxed, calm and composed

E. One with a built-in massager
E. Do more for you

The message behind the question :
A chair is for sitting on . If you choose to sit on certain chair, you have no suspicions or distrust towards it. This is the same psychology present in our relationship with the people we like. In other words, the qualities you look for in a chair are similar to the qualities you look for in a partner.

2. Tomorrow is Sunday. What are you going to do ?

Hidden meaning : With respect to money:

A. Stay home and take it easy
A. You spend as little as possible.

B. Go shopping
B. You spend whatever you have.

C. Do some sports
C. You save for rainy day.

D. Go out for a walk
D. You spend carefully. Pennies saved turn into dollars.

E. Stay in bed and catch up on my sleep
E. You are probably a bit stingy.

The message behind the question :
Sunday is a day you are free to use however you want. Having freedom to do whatever you want is like having money to spend however you want. Becoming good at managing your finances is an important step towards independence. What do you think of your money spending habits? A penny for your thoughts...

3. A box lying in the road. What's in side ?

Hidden meaning : You think good luck ....

A. An abandoned kitten
A. Depends on maintaining good relationships with others.

B. Garbage
B. Is something you won't attain. You expect only bad luck.

C. Treasure
C. Will definitely be yours , someday....

D. A surprise!
D. Might come your way , but if it does , you'll be so surprised, you'll probably burst out laughing

E. Nothing
E. Doesn't exist. Reality is built on practicalities.

The message behind the question : People often attribute unexpected events to good luck or bad luck. When something goes well ; it's because of good luck ; when things turn sour , it's the fault of bad luck. Your answer reveals what kind of luck (what's inside the box ) you think will befall you in an unexpected circumstance (the box on the road )

4. If you go to the zoo , what do you look at first ?

Hidden meaning : The hidden side of your personality tends to be:

A. The panda , of course , it's the most popular
A. Easily to attracted by fads and fashion. You are actually showy and want to be noticed.

B. A less popular animal , because it won't be so crowded
B. Reluctant to accept things as they are. In general, you are prone to think a little negative.

C. The animal closest to the zoo entrance
C. Satisfied to care of things with a minimum amount of effort.

D. Whatever's first on the recommended route and punctilious in your ways
D. Quite methodical and punctilious in your ways. You have few problems adapting to the rules of society.

E. The animal I like best
E. A little selfish ...You do only what interests you !

The message behind the question :
When you are at the zoo, you are surrounded by caged creatures that you can't talk with , and which can't communicate with you. The fact subconsciously governs the way you act. It is very similar to how you act in human society as well. In other words, your actions reveal the hidden side of your personality...

5. What kind of present would you buy for a very closed friend ?

A. A handkerchief (Because your friend will be happy , no matter how many handkerchiefs he/she has already)
A. You are not able to relate clearly to others. You tend to become lost in clouds of confusion when attempting a task.

B. Something you like
B. You are the type of person who assumes that the world revolves around yourself.

C. Something your friend has been wanting
C. You are tend to think about others' feelings a lot, perhaps because you are so eager to be liked.

D. Something popular ( the " latest thing" )
D. You care more about world trends and fashions in general than you do about your own, or other individuals' opinions.

E. Something hand-made or homemade
E. You have a tendency to overdo things, but basically you value your friendships highly.

The message behind the question :
By stating what kind of gift you would give to a good friend, you are actually revealing how you relate to others. However, it doesn't really matter so much what you give someone - it's the thought the counts. If you care enough to give something, your friend will get the message. The dual acts of giving and receiving are, together, one of the finest pleasures and one of the best forms of communication - that friends share...

6. You want to cross a river, but there is no bridge in sight. What do you do?

Hidden meaning : When it comes to finding a romantic partner you:

A. Swim across
A. Will search and search until you find your perfect match.

B. Build a raft and ride it across
B. Make opportunities to interact with many people through club activities or a hobby, then select someone you like.

C. Search for a bridge
C. Don't have any particular type in mind, but are inclined to look for someone who is likely to say 'YES' if you ask him/her out.

D. Search for a shallow spot to wade across
D. Base your search on information from your friends.

E. Wait until the river dries up
E. Are not too worried about finding someone right away. You're kind of laid-back in such matters.

The message behind the question :
Your answer to this question reveals the way you tend to search for a boyfriend/girlfriend. Crossing a river is a psychological equivalent of getting out and finding that special someone. In any case, if you don't make an effort to meet people, there's no way any relationships is going to start at all. So, get to it !!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Women are like ...

computers. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have had a better model.


Cross posted to my regular and humor blog.

BlueScreen Screen Saver ...

An old one, nonetheless interesting.

Recall the dreaded windows bluescreen ?! Have you ever seen one in the recent past though ?! If not, goes on to show how things have improved, ahem ! ;)

Anyway, go to Sysinternals BlueScreen Screen Saver page for downloading it and having fun !!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

US Visa interview experience

Date: 19-May-2005
Scheduled time of entry into consulate: 2.45pm-3pm
Actual arrival time at consulate: 2pm
Actual Interview time: ~4-4.15pm


Me: Good afternoon

Prologue: Me inserted the "company folder" in the slot in the glass door. US Consulate Officer (USCO) picks it up, does some checking, notices the two earlier visas to the US and applies some rubber stamp on them.

USCO: (No ack for the "good anoon", maybe she didn't hear) Which project are you working for ?
USCO: Please speak into the mic on the left.
Me: (Speaking into the mic) XYZ
USCO: What does it do ?
Me: (Very short) blah, blah, blah ...
USCO: How long have you been working for HCL ?
Me: More than 6 years
USCO: Which places are you going to ?
Me: San Jose and (after a very hard attempt at recollection) Massachusetts
USCO: Why two places ?
Me: My team is split across both those places.
USCO: Please take the token to counter 1 and pay the DD.
Me: Thanks

I don't know if I'd prolly write a more detailed version of the entire experience including the time that I waited and saw many people being interviewed. Let's see.

One thing though that did occur to me during the waiting period watching all the old couples trying to get a visa to the US (to visit their daughters/sons) was - "Is US worth it (for those kids) to put such aged people to such hardships and tension ? What will happen in case the visas are rejected ? How much hardship and separation can parents take at old age ?"

Anyway life goes on ...

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The secret behind beauty ...

Cross posted to my regular and humor blog.

Q: Why do women pay more attention to their appearance than to improving their minds ?

A: Because most men are stupid, but few are blind.


Men Vs. Women ...

Men forget everything; women remember everything. That's why men need instant replays in sports. They've already forgotten what happened.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Time for another Chennai Bloggers meet ...

Date: Sunday, 22nd May 2005 (or on Saturday)
Time: 5.00 pm onwards
Location: Java Green outlet, Panagal Park, T. Nagar.

There's a mini debate on whether it's gonna be a Sunday or Saturday event. Stay tuned to Nirenjan for updates on this.

No more Cartoon blogs ...

I've decided to stop the cartoon cronjob posts to the blog. I've very lately realized that they unnecessarily add more stuff to the blog and give a "false" indication of new items on the feed. Those who are interested may subscribe to those via Dilbert or UserFriendly.

Update: I ended up deleting a couple of the most recent cartoon posts in order to enable "actual" posts to come "up".

Monday, May 16, 2005

iPod ?!

I'm quite inclined to try and get an iPod ($300 variety) for me sometime in the near future. Does anyone have any specific recommendation on why *not to* go for it ? Is there something better, reliable, more user friendly, more value for money or something on different set of lines ? Also, if someone has it here in India, are there any other "must buy" accessories that need to go with it ?

And, when thinking about the iPod, I wondered why it didn't have the recording facility - or does it ? It'd be so neat to be able to record something when on the move (since you already have the iPod).

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Happy marriage

Cross posted to my regular and humor blog.

A happy marriage is a matter of giving and taking. The husband gives and the wife takes.


Hiring is obsolete ...

A wonderful essay.
(Got Slashdotted too -

Another wonderful essay by the same author:

Why Nerds are Unpopular

Read his other essays at

Cute one ...

Cross-posted to my regular and humor blog.

Q: Why did the cucumber blush ?
A: Because it saw the salad dressing!


Monday, May 09, 2005

They're still laughing about this at IBM.

Cross-posted to my regular and humor blog. An old one in a different flavor.

Apparently the computer giant decided to have some parts manufactured in Japan as a trial project. In the specifications, they set out that they will accept three defective parts per 10,000.

When the delivery came in there was an accompanying letter. "We, Japanese people, had a hard time understanding North American business practices. But the three defective parts per 10,000 have been separately manufactured and have been included in the consignment. Hope this pleases you."

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Yahoo Mail : For those who haven't noticed it yet ...

Yahoo Mail now offers 1GB space ! I know that it's old news, but just in case someone didn't notice, it's a good reason to be happy about :)

Friday, May 06, 2005

Why Google Scares Bill Gates

A neat article (from Fortune), worth reading.

Source: /.

"A long and interesting article in Fortune on the battle between Gates and Google. 'Forced to watch Google's stock soar the way Microsoft's used to, and Brin and Page enjoy their roles as tech's new rock stars, Gates brings to the fight a ferocity that nobody has seen since the Netscape war a decade ago. Their popularity gets under his skin. "There's companies that are just so cool that you just can't even deal with it," he says sarcastically, suggesting that Google is nothing more than the latest fad, adding, "At least they know to wear black."...Trying to build a Google killer, however, has turned out to be truly humbling for Microsoft."

Monday, May 02, 2005

CD-R price Rs.12 per unit ?

While on the search for write-once CD-R media, I chanced upon Philips 50CD pack at a price of Rs.600 (online on FabMall). That's about Rs.12 per unit and shipping is supposedly free (to all major cities within India) at the moment.

Does anyone know of a better deal or has any recommendations for a particular brand ?

Without case:
Philips (50CD) : Rs.600 (Rs.12/unit)
Moser Baer (25CD) : Rs.325 (Rs.13/unit)

With case:
Sony : Rs.25/unit
Imation : Rs.20/unit

Update: I finally ended up buying "Moser Baer Pro" CD-Rs at Rs.9.25 per unit from "Samata Infotech" on Ritchie Steet a couple of days ago.

24hrs just ain't enuf

for a day & night combination. I need close to 48hrs in the combo and the ability to further cut down on sleep. Sheeesh !!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 04/30/05

BCced to intended recepients.
Archive @

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 04/29/05

BCced to intended recepients.
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Friday, April 29, 2005

First time, a couple of days ago ...

It happened to me. First time. A couple of days ago.

I was travelling by my car and had stopped by the side of the road to clip on the handsfree to the mobile, to make a call. There's this young chap walking by. He stops besides my car and starts to inspect it a bit from the outside and picks up one of the tinted, rolled-up glass for a mirror. And then, for a minute or two, he considers the tinted window glass to be his bedroom wardrobe mirror and proceeds to groom himself by combing his hair, adjusting his tucked-in shirt, etc !! All the while, my engine was switched on and purring softly !!

I couldn't help but smile :)

Reminded me of the comedy scene from recently watched "Chandramukhi" (cast: "Superstar" Rajni), where Vadivelu (the comedian) gets plastered on his face with a cake or some kind of cream, by the car driver, for doing something very similar ! :)

Daily Cartoon - 04/28/05

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 04/27/05

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 04/26/05

BCced to intended recepients.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Presently reading : Malgudi Days

Malgudi Days by R.K.Narayan

One word : Wonderful.

That sums up my opinion of whatever I've read in the book so far. The short stories are just too good and capture a lot of human emotions in a very neat, crisp and precise manner.

For more information on the book, visit Amazon. There is even an excerpt of "The Astrologer's Day" that you can read.

I'm presently at the "New Stories" section.

Other books by R.K.Narayan. I remember enjoying my childhood TV serial "Swami and Friends".

Broadband rates in Hong Kong

1Gbps - US$215 (roughly £120) per month
100Mbps - $34
10Mbps - $16

Compare that with the services available in India !!

My provider (Airtel Broadband, Bharthi) charges me $16 for a severely limited 64kbps service.

Daily Cartoon - 04/25/05

BCced to intended recepients.
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Just how not to shoot off your mouth

Read the tale of Opera's CEO now swimming from Europe to USA. He promised that he'd do it if Opera made the 1 million download mark in first 4 days of launch (it did). This may be a kewl publicity tactic, but then the CEOs facing the water now :)

Monday, April 25, 2005

Test post via email for URL links

Dilbert comic !



Daily Cartoon - 04/24/05

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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 04/23/05

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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 04/22/05

BCced to intended recepients.
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Chandramukhi review

Movie schedule: Sathyam cineplex. Tuesday, 19-Apr-2005, supposedly 10pm show.

Simple version:
Songs : SUCK
Story : Enjoyably watchable once, with the brain switched off to question the logic.

Slightly long story:
After starting very late, at about 9.30pm, for the show at 10pm, we reached the road in front of the complex at around 9.50pm (thanks to some smart route selection by my friends, else we'd have been delayed much more). The distance of hardly 100 meters to the theater gates took more than 15mins. Damn the traffic jams !!

And once we got in, it was another long wait for a parking slot. We managed to convince one of the theater parking lot guys to give us an easy spot in a not-so-usual location and got out of the car at 10.15pm. He had informed us that the show was being delayed. We moved to the main gate and were informed that the show was only going to start at 10.45pm. After loitering around for some time, we finally got in at 10.30pm. And the show actually started at 10.45pm. Ads till then !!

One thing that I liked at the screening was that towards the end of the ads (both at the start and after the break), there were slides giving out information on the fire exit locations. This is indeed a nice thing to see. Sathyam cineplex really sets the standards on the experience front nowadays.

Sat thru' the horrible songs to watch the movie (I know that Rajni fans'll kill me for this) :)

Got out of the theater at around 1.45/2pm, can't remember which exactly.

Friday, April 22, 2005

The silent treatment

Posted to my regular and humor blog.

A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment.

Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, "Please wake me up at 5:00 AM." He left it where he knew she would find it.

The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed.

The paper said, "It is 5:00 AM. Wake up."

Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests. God may have created man before woman, but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece.

Presence of mind ...

Posted to my regular and humor blog.

A boy worked in the produce section of the supermarket. A man came in and asked to buy half a head of lettuce. The boy told him they only sold whole heads of lettuce, but the man was persistent. The boy said he'd go ask his manager what to do.

The boy walked into the back room and said, "There's some jerk out there who wants to buy only half a head of lettuce." As he finished saying this he turned around to find the man standing right behind him, so he added, "And this gentleman wants to buy the other half."

The manager okayed the deal. Later the manager said to the boy, "You almost got yourself in a lot of trouble earlier, but I must say I was impressed with the way you got yourself out of it. You think on your feet, and we like that around here."

Daily Cartoon - 04/21/05

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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 04/20/05

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

More men and marriage humor

Posted to my regular and humor blog.

A cop stops a drunk and asks him:

Cop: Where are you going?
Drunk: I'm on my way to listen to a lecture on the negative effects of alcohol.
Cop: A lecture at midnight? Who is presenting?
Drunk: My wife and mother-in-law!


Girl: Will you love me this much after the wedding?

Boy: That depends on your husband, if he lets me.


God thought that since he couldn't be everywhere he made mothers.

Then devil thought that he couldn't be everywhere and he made mothers-in-law.


Doctor: your husband needs rest and peace. Here are some sleeping pills.

Wife: When must I give them to him?

Doctor: They are for you.


The Ten Commandments of Marriage

Posted to my regular and humor blog.

Commandment 1: Marriages are made in heaven. But then again, so are thunder and lightning.

Commandment 2: If you want your wife to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say, talk in your sleep.

Commandment 3: Marriage is grand -- and divorce is at least 100 grand!

Commandment 4: Married life is very frustrating. In the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman listens. In the second year, the woman speaks and the man listens. In the third year, they both speak and the neighbors listen.

Commandment 5: When a man opens the door of his car for his wife, you can be sure of one thing. Either the car is new or the wife is.

Commandment 6: Marriage is when a man and woman become as one; the trouble starts when they have to decide which one.

Commandment 7: Before marriage, a man will lie awake all night thinking about something you say. After marriage, he will fall asleep before you finish.

Commandment 8: Every man wants a wife who is beautiful, understanding, economical, and a good cook. But the law allows only one wife.

Commandment 9: Marriage and love are purely a matter of chemistry. That is why the wife treats her husband like toxic waste.

Commandment 10: A man is incomplete until he is married. After that, he is finished.

Bonus Commandment story.

A long married couple came upon a wishing well. The wife leaned over, made a wish and threw in a penny. The husband decided to make a wish too. But he leaned over too much, fell into the well, and drowned. The wife was stunned for a moment but then smiled, "It really works!"

Run Linux on GMail

it’s possible to install linux on gmail. richard jones wrote some python that allows you to mount linux within gmail. you can use all kinds of unix commands to communicate with gmail like ls, rm, grep, cp, etc. it’s an ongoing project in development but it’s very cool and allows you basically a 2gb virtual drive of sorts.

Read the complete story here.

Daily Cartoon - 04/19/05

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Flickr provides more storage for free accounts

I just learnt that Flickr has increased the storage for free accounts from 100 images to 200. Thanks to Yahoo for the acquistion. For more details on the "improvements" due to the acquistion, read this.

BTW, here's my humor photo stream.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Beautiful quote

Being defeated is often only a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.

Daily Cartoon - 04/18/05

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Monday, April 18, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 04/17/05

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Sunday, April 17, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 04/16/05

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Saturday, April 16, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 04/15/05

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Friday, April 15, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 04/14/05

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Google Watch ...

Be scared, be very scared ?!

WWII plots to abandon Russia

For those interested in history, here's a very nice read about the treachery comitted to Soviet Union/Russia by Britain and US during World War II.

News Courtesy: CM

Daily Cartoon - 04/12/05

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Monday, April 11, 2005

Ocean's Eleven, CBM Mini update

Attended my first CBM meet on 9-Apr-2005 AD. The person responsible for dragging me into this meet, Visithra, has a tale to tell of her absence.

Her absence helped in bringing the number of people who attended the meet to 11 :) We were supposed to climb atop St. Thomas Mount using antics that Ocean's Eleven had used for their heist, luckily we were spared of such heroics and took the usual mundane car and bike route. The cattle enroute provided the only break and excitement in the journey atop the hill, not to mention non-stop chatter from the passengers ;-)

The theme of the meeting, apart from the confused United Express pilot doing a hundred sorties (touchdown, takeoff, circle, touchdown, takeoff, ... - ok you get the picture now) on the Meenambakkam runway, seemed to be the incessant chanting by Sandhya that she had to get home early for her evening snax (looks like she missed the bajjis so desperately) :)

As for the actual proceedings (the way it happened), photos, and stories, I'll leave it to the rest :)

MoM @ Nirenjan, Sandhya , Praveen, Ravi.

Sandhya and Praveen have the entire list of attendees' blogs.

Daily Cartoon - 04/10/05

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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 04/09/05

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My must visit site, and not an update on CBM

Slashdot - /.

That's one site I don't ever want to miss anyday :)

BTW, my ultra mini post on the CBM (Chennai Bloggers Meet on 9-Apr-2005) is due sometime later.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Reminder: CBM - Chennai Bloggers Meet on 9-Apr-2005, 5pm

Event details:
9-Apr-2005 (Saturday), 5pm at St Thomas Mount
(opp to St. Dominics near the "Halt n Shop" shopping complex).

Previous post:

101 things that the Mozilla browser can do that IE cannot

Note: I haven't read them all :)

Hitachi invents new storage technology ?

Supposedly traditional storage devices can gain 10x capacity.

Note: Flash animation, big download.

Anyone have experience with Skype ...

especially on dialup and tinyband (64-128kbps) lines ? How is the voice quality ?

Those unaware of Skype: It's supposedly one of _the best_ p2p voice chat software (amongst a few other things). Visit

Daily Cartoon - 04/07/05

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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 04/06/05

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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 04/05/05

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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

India/Dutch/German police

do not supposedly encrypt their radio traffic.

Go figure(there are some pretty sane reasons) ! Same seems to be the case with US too.

In many countries, listening to most radio communication is not a crime (US has an exception for cellphone frequencies). It is also not a crime in many countries to provide frequency, modulation and related information about radio communication made by anyone. Using the information for criminal purposes is a crime in most countries. Publishing the information obtained from some communications (some frequency bands) is a crime in some countries. But merely listening to it is not.

FWIW, in India, it's a crime to even listen to such unencrypted traffic.

The bar

Cross-posted to my regular and humor blog.


A man walks into a bar, puts his head down on the table, and immediately starts crying.

The bartender sees the man and asks him, “What’s the matter, buddy?”

The man replies, “My wife said she wouldn’t talk to me for a week.”

The bartender responds, “That sounds bad and all but it’s not the end of the world, is it?”

The man lifts his head and says, “Yes it is—today is the last day.”

To find if you are behind a firewall or NAT

visit and compare the ipaddress provided there with the one obtained on your machine.

Monday, April 04, 2005

When a girl ...

Click image for larger picture:

Optical illusion

Click image for larger picture:

Daily Cartoon - 04/03/05

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Saturday, April 02, 2005

Daily Cartoon - 04/01/05

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Friday, April 01, 2005

A kewl account of a broad daylight cellphone robbery

Read and beware !

Daily Cartoon - 03/31/05

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Gmail accounts are finally available without invites

Visit for an unlimited storage account !

Chennai Bloggers Meet (CBM) coming up ...

There's another "Invite yourself" CBM coming up on

9-Apr-2005 (Saturday), 5pm at St Thomas Mount
(opp to St. Dominics near the "Halt n Shop" shopping complex).

Too bored of the beaches and hence the change in venue :) The next time, I'm gonna vote for something at Mauritius :)

Please pass on this message to others too.

A jazzy version of the invite at Visithra's.

Google plans ‘bottomless’ storage for Gmail

Read this. As usual, Google comes up with this on Apr-1 :)

Visit Gmail home page for a peek.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Comedy shows that I love to watch

Full House
Mad About You
Kate & Allie
Will & Grace
Dharma & Greg
Dave's World
The Norm Show
Hidden Hills
Three's Company
That 70's Show
Yes Dear
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Everybody Loves Raymond
Sabrina - The Teenage Witch
Ally McBeal
Gregory Hines Show
Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place
3rd Rock From the Sun
Caroline in the City
The Hogan Family
The Brady Bunch
Small Wonder
The Wonder Years
Can't Hurry Love
Veronica's Closet
The King of Queens
Just Shoot Me
Grounded for Life
Suddenly Susan
Clarissa Explains It All
I Dream of Jeannie

Find more info on the above shows from:

TV Channels that bring these to me in India:
Zee English
Star World

The well kept secrets about marriage are finally out in the open !

Cross-posted to my regular and humor blog.

My wife dresses to kill. She also cooks the same way.
-Henny Youngman

My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.
-Rodney Dangerfield

A good wife always forgives her husband when she's wrong.
-Milton Berle

I bought my wife a new car.
She called and said, "There was water in the carburetor."
I asked her, "Where's the car?"
She replied,” In the lake."
-Henny Youngman

The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret.
-Henny Youngman

After a quarrel, a wife said to her husband, "You know, I was a fool when I married you."
The husband replied, "Yes, dear, but I was in love and didn't notice."

When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.

I haven't spoken to my wife in 18 months - I don't like to interrupt her.

My girlfriend told me I should be more affectionate.
So I got myself two girlfriends.

A man said his credit card was stolen but he decided not to report it since the thief was spending much less than his wife did.

Man is incomplete until he is married. Then he is finished.

A little boy asked his father, "Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?"
The father replied, "I don't know son, I'm still paying."

Young Son: Is it true, Dad, that in some parts of Africa, a Man doesn't know his wife until he marries her?
Dad: That happens in every country, son.

Then there was a man who said, "I never knew what real happiness was until I got married; then it was too late.

A man placed an ad in the classifieds: "Wife wanted."
The next day he received a hundred letters.
They all said the same: "You can have mine."

A woman was telling her friend, "I made my husband a millionaire."
"And what was he before you married him?" asked the friend.
"A billionaire." she replied,

Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.

It's not true that married men live longer than single men.
It only seems longer.

Losing a wife can be very hard. In my case, it was almost impossible.

Just think, if it weren't for marriage, men would go through life thinking they had no faults at all.

A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

A man meets a genie. The genie tells him he can ask for whatever he wants, but his mother-in-law gets double of what he gets. The man thinks for a moment and says,” Okay, give me a million dollars and beat me till I'm half dead."

Men who have pierced ears are better prepared for marriage.
They've experienced pain and bought jewelry.

The most effective way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once.

Gettinga girlfriend ...The sweetest Dream
Getting Married -----The Worst Night Mare


Ever seen the movie by that name ? The hero goes onto clone himself over several times, with each clone being dumber than the earlier one, resulting in ultimate chaos and comdey !

Well, I don't want to be struck by such "side effects", but I'd still love to have a few clones of mine going around doing some of my chores. 24hrs and 1 Sudhir just ain't enuf ! I need more - more of me !! :)

Daily Cartoon - 03/30/05

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Need recommendations for UPS

What are the things to think about while buying one ? What brand ?

Where to buy (in Chennai) ? Any recommendation other than Supreme Computers, Ritchie street - I already know that one :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A tip on securing you Gmail session

If you want your entire gmail transaction to be via secure http, just make sure you start the session by using the secure version of Gmail -

Gmail remembers your choice and honors it for the rest of the session. I read this long ago somewhere and don't exactly remember where, however it works. I don't know if it is indeed a designed feature :)