Sunday, December 31, 2006

Honesty Pays

Yesterday was a very holy day. Holy day in the sense that, the "Doors of Heaven", in other Sorga Vaasal, is opened in every temple. Since I had not gone to the temple in morning, my mom told me not to eat anything outside. As luck would have it, after a whole 7 months, my college mates were having a get-together. Meeting the very guys who made all the fun possible at college is awesome! It was very nice time remembering all those tricks and teases we were doing back then.

Soon, it was time for lunch and we all headed to pizza hut. Ignoring my mom's warning, I binged on 2 pizzas, some garlic breads and some drinks. 2 reasons why I couldn't resist it.
1. I love pizzas and garlic bread. Yes, it is junk food, but spoiling yourself rarely is fun :).
2. When you are a group, you don't want to act like a stupid dork. I don't think eating a pizza is wrong in this day. But somehow, my mind couldn't accept the act.

Getting back home, I thought point number 2 will be kept a secret. But somehow, I got so frustrated that, I woke her up from her afternoon siesta and told that I binged on 2 pizzas and garlic bread. She was surprised for a second... raising her eye brows, then she said "ok, get lost" and smiled. Well, I was happy beyond measure. Telling the truth lightened my heart so much that I was literally flying. I went to the balcony to enjoy the pleasing evening sun, which was caressing my face and arms, telling that everything is alright!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Sessionsaver in Firefox 2.0

Hi guys, there is a famous plugin called "Sessionsaver" that lets you to save the current tabs open in firefox, so that, when you open firefox next time, all the previously tabs are preserved. I discovered a patch for Sessionsaver for firefox 2.0. Get it from

By the way, I'm still bewildered as to why this basic feature is not implemented in firefox yet.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The story of a plug point and a LAN socket

Hmm... I'm depressed!! Here's why.

After working for about 2 continuous hours, you get up to get some water from the water dispenser. Things get interesting after this. Apparently, one of my friends also comes and want to get some water. Due to sore throat, that person (referred as 'XYZ' hereafter) wants hot water. Unfortunately, the water dispenser is not connected to the plug point. Thoroughly astonished, XYZ picks up the wire and tries to connect it to a wall-mounted LAN socket point, which has 3 points similar to a plug-point so that 3 computers can be wired for LAN access.

XYZ tried to follow "Try and try till you succeed" and ultimately called me and told that the plug couldn't be connected, all the while pointing to the LAN socket. I was ROTFL and got pushed to the level of becoming a crack! heheh! when one of my another friends came at the right time and saved me.

XYZ is a so-called computer engineer :) and as I had guessed correctly, XYZ is an Anna University student. Stay tuned for more such adventures.

Hail! the university... Hail! XYZ...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Windows Vista and IE7

The people at are soooooo jobless that they are writing idiotic posts about why Windows Vista is bad. Even worse are comments. I'm feeling ashamed that FSF (Free Software Foundation) is hosting such a site. There is more. There is a site called and another one

All these dumb idiotic websites tell only one thing. Windows Vista is going to be a huge hit among end users and IE7, bigger than that.

Damn! I wasted my precious time reading through the first post.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Mobile Apps

Buying a fair enough mobile at a decent rate was one of the best things that happened to me since "thayir sadham" (curd rice) and "avakai oorga" (a South Indian mango pickle) :-). Today I activated GPRS and BOOM!!, a world of beautiful internet connectivity opened up. It was like moving from a pre-telephonic era to a modern era. It was like inhaling the fragrance of fresh flowers. Being connected is a boon.

I downloaded Opera Mini and Gmail for mobiles. Both are excellent pieces of software. I had been using the desktop version of Opera since a long time. The mobile version is superb. Speed is very good. The pages are rendering very well. The best feature of opera mini is the status bar. You have to see it to believe why it's so cool. It also has a feature for reading and subscribing to feeds. Overall, it's been a very satisfying experience.

Gmail for mobiles is amazing as well. Just as the web client is satisfying, gmail for mobile even goes a step forward. It brings the same web interface to the small screen. Gmail on the web has keyboard shortcuts. Even the mobile version has this. You can press the various numbers to activate certain menu items. For e.g. pressing '4' activates the reply screen. '*' key is used to 'star' a message. What's more, you can view attachments right from the app itself. Nearly every feature of the web version is available in the mobile version. is a superb site that has a very good collection of mobile applications for almost all models of mobiles. Check it out. If the GPRS rates come down a little bit, I would definitely go for a regular connection and ofcourse a better mobile with a bigger and better screen.

The list seems endless...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

On a cleaning spree, Other updates

Hey guys, after quite a long time, assume about 3 years, I have cleaned my small room over this weekend... much to the surprise of my mom ofcourse ;-). It took about 5 hours of day one and another 3 hours of day two to complete it in all glory. Next on line is my blog, which wasn't touched except for doing new posts. Have to get a nice new template soon. Any suggestions?


Java SE 6 is out. The whole Java community is gaga over it. Netbeans 5.5 now supports Java SE 6 also. Reading this yesterday, I feel Sun is committed to not making that mistake. The next Sun Tech Days event is happening at Hyderabad on 21-23 Feb 2007. The talks look promising and the topics they pick everytime are exciting. They have also added a Java ME day this time. If you are a java freek, DON'T miss this event. Register.


Proto has been going on great. The website now sports a new dress skin. If you are a startup company willing to showcase your product at Proto, nominate yourself. The nomination closes on 20th Dec 2006. Registration for other participants will be open soon. So, hang on! Read the Proto blog for more information.

Wow!! exciting times ahead.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Killer Combination

I just woke up today morning at about 4.45 AM. As usual, I was dreaming of something. I was about to forget it when I had to reinforce myself to be fully awake and keep recollecting it until it remained stable in my mind. Then I was off to another round of peaceful dreamless sleep.

Anyway, the dream was about this killer combination of being a young entrepreuner/student, unmarried, lots of cash, a very good friend circle and no family pressures. You can't beat that. Hope I become like that one day..... soon!!!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Do people really love what they do?

I was chatting with a few of my friends. They are placed in different companies and are doing different things. As usual with any chat after a long time, I happened to ask them, "Hi da.. long time no see, how's your job? Like it?". The replies were like, "Umm.. yeah sorta..", "edho podhu da" (meaning - sort of fine). Some were frank enough to tell that they didn't like what they were doing, which brings me to the question that why do people don't do what they like?

The first answer to figuring out a good way is to first find out what you like. It's possible that you may be in a deadlock situation with the Q and A but if you take enough steps to actually answer that Q, then you know what you want.

The second answer is to get some early hands-on experience on different areas of interest. That way you can always try and fail and find your true love. The best time to do this is when you are in college and parents are always available for support and money.

The third answer is better late than never. Always have the quest for knowledge and one day you have that enlightening.

The fourth answer is to be as practical as possible in your approach to your problems. For e.g. you may not like the work you do now. But you wouldn't want to go and shout at your boss for the peanuts of silly work you are being given. Instead, be patient and tell them your strengths and why you would be able to do the other job better than the current one.

The fifth answer is to set your goals and work on it. This is actually difficult and takes a lot of mental muscle to do. This article, "How to get any project up and running" by Mark Forster is an excellent motivator.

Why this post? A major part of our life is going to be around the work we do and if we don't like love the work we do, we are wasting a beautiful life. I have found what I love and since some days, I have been taking steps to do it the first thing every morning, otherwise it keeps getting postponed.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

You've got to find what you love

WOW!!! what a speech that was! it was a speech given by Steve Jobs to the new graduates of Stanford University last year. This speech is very very inspiring. I know what I love. All it takes is just that little brave decision. Read this.

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Rainy Experience

At a time when its raining so heavily these days.... at a time when our shirts and trousers take days to dry away.... and at a time when we even have to press our underwears with hot iron to dry them up... and also at a time when roads are water logged, one must necessarily be covered from head to toe with the best of raincoats so that you don't get soaked up.

So what happened today was that I was ambling my bike slowly through the traffic at a signal. The place was flooded and I had to move beyond the stop line. The signal fell green... me being pissed off at the very little road space available, accelerated the bike to the full possible speed and ran whooosh!! over the water. People next to me were completely drenched. Most notable was a lady, riding pillion, who had no kind of raincoat on her. She got wet from top to bottom. Her husband got angry on me and what followed was a bike race he he he... !!!

The main problem during rainy seasons is that, water gets logged at some places and driving over them creates some nuisanse. But what if the water doesn't recede from the center of the road? There is no other option but to drive over them. There is no point in shouting at the riders driving over the water. For that point, even I got drenched yesterday and since I was wearing a rain coat, I escaped ;-)

Moral of the Story: Buy a raincoat during rainy seasons.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Hmm.. here is a lady, who seems to be in her mid 20s. She is seen wearing a torn green blouse along with a blue saree which is torn at various places. She is looking very dirty. Her hair is stuck in an inseparable mass and her face and hands have a dash of something black. At the outsight, she looks so dirty that you would never go near her. She picks rags with a stick from the neighbourhood dustbin, eats shit and drinks sewage.

Does that description sound familiar? How many of us have noticed such people? Have we ever cared for them? Oh! we never even took enough time to even think about them, leave alone care them. What is the fate of these people?

Fortunately, some of these people have a very good future. How? People at Anbalayam, located in the South Indian district of Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) have a dedicated set of persons whose daily job is to scout the areas in and around Trichy to find these wanderers. What's worse is that most of these wanderers are mentally ill. Anbalayam finds them and brings them to their home, which is located near the Trichy airport. They bath them, cloth them, trim their hair and give them proper treatment for their disability. They even let these people stay with them FOREVER. Until now, they have more than 70 mentally ill people out of which many were found wandering the city. They have even reunited these people with their families after treating them.

This was one small and divine experience I got when I visited Anbalayam during Deepavali festival. The home is being run by Mr. Senthil. Though he is a lawyer by profession, he is taking care of the home he lovingly developed and ran successfully for 16 full years. One astonishing fact is that, one of the caretakers of the home was a mentally retarded man. Did you notice was in the previous line? That man was actually brought back to his good senses by the supportive doctors at Anbalayam and now, he takes care of more than 50 mentally retarded people.

Managing the mentally retarded
... is a damn tough job. Some of them are very violent that they will fight heavily among themselves and settle for a good joke. Managing these violent people is a tough task because they have enormous physical power. They urinate in their own places itself and through their sheer muscle power, they even beat up the cleaners, sometimes. People who do this cleaning job and serving them by bathing them and having lunch with them must be worshipped because of the sacrifice they are doing.

Besides housing mentally ill, Anbalayam also has a home for people affected with HIV positive. They also have an old age home.

Festival of Lights
This Deepavali has been enlightening for me because it showed me another world, with another set of people doing great service to humanity. I know many of us will not be able to dedicate ourselves with such service to humanity. But we can surely contribute what we can, either in cash or in kind, whichever is suitable. If you are interested, please get in touch with Mr.Senthil.

Anbalayam also has a website at Please take some time to go through the site and have a look at the amazing work they are doing. And if possible, contribute too.

Monday, October 09, 2006

(Senti)mental First Salary

First Salary

Yay!! I got my first salary 2 days ago. Tell you what, after a saree for grandmom, a mobile for my bro, wrist watch for my mom and some more expenses and treats later, all that remains of the first salary is Rs.252/- he he!!! We spent two full days shopping weird things. Ok.. that apart, let me you share with you, a little surprise I gave my mom.

After I got my salary, I never asked my mom what she wanted nor did she ask me anything. So, when I went outside along with my friends, we stopped at a Titan watch showroom. We spotted a watch that had a small oval display with a flower designed silver strap. It was superb. Mom would love it. We paid for it and gift wrapped it. I never told her that I got her a watch.

Night came and we all slept. I got up at about 12.30 AM, took the gift wrapped watch and placed it above the stove in the kitchen. Today morning, she was damn surprised to see a gift for her. She was like, "Oh! my God, this is beautiful". Her eyes were filled with tears. Brushing them aside, she wished me all the best for a good career ahead.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

More Spam?

Yes!! already everybody is getting a lot of spam in our email accounts. Thanks to the spam filters, otherwise our inbox would be rendered useless. I just came across this new thing in yahoo mail, where if you give an invalid username and some password, it takes to a page similar to the one shown below. Remember, an invalid id and invalid password. Look at the text I have blocked in the screenshot. Won't it pave the way for more spam?

Friday, September 29, 2006

Proto: The Next Big Thing

After BarCampChennai: It was one heck of an amazing event. The talk was on web 2.0 and geeks and only interested geeks were there. Lots of entrepreuners too. Atul Chitnis said that BarCampChennai was the best of all in India. Six months after the smashing success of BarCamp, Chennai came up with an event tagged as India's Biggest Blog Unconference. True to the tag, the event attracted participants from around the globe and as many as 60 volunteers owned various parts of the unconference.

After Two weeks later, the same team met again and thought of a DEMO like event for India and Indian products. After some heavy discussions, the event has been named as PROTO. It should be noted that Palm, Java and many other great products were launched at DEMO. Read the DEMOblog.

PROTO cannot be in unconference mode because it will become a bigger BarCamp. This event is one place where we get venture capitalists (VCs) and entrepreuners together so that some of the best brains and ideas in the Indian sphere can get funded. We are aiming for a one-on-one coordination between the entrepreuners and VCs. That is, number of VC companies will be greater than or equal to the number of teams presenting at the event. Ofcourse, there will be a lot of press coverage.

Teams who think they have innovative products will be asked to register at the website that is expected to come up shortly. After that, each team will be reviewed by an expert team from PROTO who have an eye for future trends and the ability to judge products which promise to be the next huge wave. Some teams will be shortlisted for presentation at the event. They will also have the opportunity to have a face-to-face meeting with interested VCs who will gather at the event. The place and time of the event will be announced shortly.

The main reason for coming up with such an event is that, even though there are a huge number of IT companies in India, there is not enough innovation happening on that front. It is like yet another government job where we get a good salary, pension, wife, 2 kids etc. This face of India should change. Entrepreuners should be encouraged. Events like PROTO are a step towards that. As DEMO had set the stage for entrepreuners world-wide, PROTO hopes to be India's defacto platform for staging new products and technologies. With a pretty huge population and talent raising day-by-day, I think innovation shouldn't be a problem. It is all in the mindset of the people.

Interested? Read the discussions we had during our first meeting. Our community tech blog says, "India has the potential to become a technological innovation hotspot. It must be noted that, it won’t be the IT majors who make this happen, but startups". Vijay says, "We are the future of India. Either embrace us, or fear us :)".

PROTO will make a change on the IT face of India.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


It's raining outside... The weather is so lovingly cool that there is nothing to beat this situation. Rains clattering the sun shade above the southern window, the wind chime hung on the curtain rails danced to the slight wind creating the familiar klink-klink sound. I was mesmerized by the beauty of nature.

A quick zing into the recent past... 9 months ago... It was 2.30AM in the morning. Myself and Moyeen were wrapping up the discussion for our project work. We were preparing for a review that was to be held the following day. Very tired, I washed my face and headed to bed. I immediately fell asleep. About 2 hours later, I woke up. I was riding down the dull lighted roads to a small park nearby. It was dark and there were some people doing some early jogging. Birds started chirping too. I didn't know where to wait. Few minutes later, this girl turned up. She was wearing clothes around the orange shade and said an enthusiastic "Good Morning!". Brightened up at the sight of her, we both walked for sometime and settled at one of the park benches.

She turned, brushed her hair aside and stared straight into my eye, the stare that you have to encounter to believe. Our knees were touching slightly. We started talking, smiling, laughing... slowly at first and then discussing 2 million things around the universe. By now, the sun is out. More joggers are up. A small team of grandpas formed a circle a few yards away and were laughing their heart out. All these distractions were immaterial to us. They happened as if it were in another world.

Slowly, my face became slightly wet. I became a bit uncomfortable. More beads of perspiration began to fill my face. They grew so much that, they started flowing. My t-shirt was suddenly so wet. In a fit of discomfort, I yelled and discovered that my mom had poured a glass of water on me to wake me up so that I could get the college bus on time....

Friday, September 15, 2006


Hmm... things to do this weekend....

1. Write 2 blog posts. 1 tech and 1 non-tech. There are some posts pending along the netbeans side and 1 regarding the temple tour.
2. Take some pet projects from the dream stage to the design stage.
3. Complete the editing of the video-cast of Krishnaraj that I shot some time back. He is a wonderful keyboard player.
4. Visit the connemera library.

I have become a part of BotHack, one of the coolest tech blogs around. And oh! I have some relatives to visit. Heck, I seem to be the only dork who hasn't seen vettaiaadu vilayadu. Anyone free?

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Take a look at that and die laughing!! Web 2.0 can't get better/worse than this.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

BlogCamp - Day 2

Ah! amazing! is the only word I can say of today's sessions. Karthik 'spammer' Kannan started the day on "Branding via Blogs". Next on line was the best photographer, Sharad Haksar. His excellent session was on "Professional Photography". Sharad shared his experiences in a very lucid manner. You had to be here for the session!

Sujatha from PodBazaar was live on skype at 10.30 AM. She talked about Podcasting in general and how podcasting is a great platform for promoting oneself, giving tutorials, voice advertisements, corporate alignment etc. She was also talking about free softwares, especially audacity. Infact, they are coming up with a series of podcasts on audacity so that beginners on podcasting would benefit from it.

Sunil Gavaskar, alias Sunny alias Little Master :) arrived well ahead of time. He was waiting for the podcasting session to finish and started off with lots and lots of cameras clicking at him. He finished his session and also answered a couple of questions from the chat channel that is open for 'blogcamp'ers. Hey, he even posed for a photo with us on request.

Day 2 is seriously great!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Update on BlogCamp

I soon shifted back to the first floor mini auditorium. A small tech crowd formed there and bosky was in full flow with "Ajaxifying your Blogs". He even showed us some really cool demos that he had developed using ajax. Check his blog. Continuing on this topic, we had another guy named Karthik. He is a long time web user turned web designing hobbyist. He showcased his skills as he unravelled his story about the way he developed his own blogging software that runs on his site. It gave a lot of inspiration for the many of us who complain of not having time to do other small things that we are passionate about.

Ford announced an iPod contest and hey, we are running live blogging, photo blogging, video blogging and podcasting contests too! Join the fun. Moving down, the sessions scheduled today were over. We have hired a bus and we are moving to the beach house in another 30 minutes. Yay!!

Catch you soon...

BlogCamp Live!

Blogcamp is going on great :). We are almost on the end of a very energetic day 1. We had different workshops on track 2 and sessions on track 1. Track 2 was more of an unconference style. GAPP started track 2 with a preview of and, with Prasanna continuing on Beta Blogger. I did a quick 20 minute session on wordpress hacks.

Kausik, Kiruba and Ram Viswanathan continued the afternoon session with a beautiful workshop on podcasting. This session started off on a conference style. The audience couldn't hold it long and soon started pitching in. Kausik was almost ragged towards the end of the session. Varun then started off with mobile blogging and now Bosky is on with "Ajaxifying your blog". Amit Agarwal is on an interactive session at track 1. He is talking about "Professional Blogging".

We are about 150+ strong bloggers, techies, podcasters, video blogers etc. etc. all at one place, having superb fun, sharing knowledge and experience. By the way, did I tell you about the 10 dedicated computers for live blogging? hey, we are also webcasting the event live! Head on to and see it. My session would be up on my tech blog and on bothack shortly. More on the event coming soon......

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I'm alive!

Hi guys, I went on a cool South Indian tour of some of the greatest temples. Will talk about them in the coming posts and also about how they positively affected me.


Just that, this little thing popped up. I think Yahoo! should acquire Wordpress. That would complete the circle of a bookmarking tool, a social networking site, a photo sharing utility and a blog tool. What do you say?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Kids Again

Kids have this natural ability to be so innocent. Two kids came to my house yesterday. The elder one was a nine year old boy and the younger one was a three year old girl. The boy wanted to play spiderman on my computer. I loaded the game and he started playing. He became engrossed to the extent that he didn't know what was happening around him. Sensing that he was missing, she came looking for him. Seeing the computer monitor, she shrieked SPIDERMAN!!, her tiny hands pointing to the monitor.

Immediately, she moved to the other side of the table and started moving the mouse away from him. She was also pressing the return key. He got irritated and told her that if she came to his left side, she would also play... Lol!! As she was slowly moving, he hid the working mouse, took a broken one nearby and placed it to his left side. Seeing another mouse, she was super excited and started moving it.

As much as he was playing and making the characters on screen move, she thought she was playing and made faces to the boy.. ha ha ha!! she was also pressing some keys too. She played like that for sometime. Then, it was time to move :-)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ban on Cola

Hi!! day-before-yesterday, City Express, a daily supplement for The New Indian Express carried an article on whether colas should be banned due to their high pesticide content. It also asked the readers to send their responses to I sent mine too. Here it is,

Banning colas won't have such a widespread effect because of the levels of penetration they have had in the society. Go to party, any small gathering, pizza corner or pizza hut, you are bound to find many 2 litre bottles bottles of coke, fanta and similar fizzy drinks. Pizza Corner always has 1 offer or another round the year. Avail that offer and you get a bottomless glass of coke free. What's more, while they serve the pizzas, they ask whether we want coke or water.

This type of penetration can be broken only by constant awareness programmes. Let pizza corner offer coke, but then let them hang medium sized awareness boards inside, which illustrates the ill effects of coke. As a first level, most of the habits of youth are formed during the schooling or college period. Therefore, the colleges and schools should refrain from using colas and serve fresh juices instead. For example, my college has a small canteen and they never sell any kind of bottled drinks, not even Slice. They sell only fruit juices and that too fresh fruit juices at very affordable rates. Seeing this for the last 4 years has made me look at the good effects of fresh juices rather than bottled drinks.

Charity and everything else beings at home. Therefore, at the second level, parents and relatives should never encourage children to drink coke, instead buy them tender coconuts or fresh fruit drinks. Home is the place where the parents can impose bans on cola and induce fruit drinks. This issue is similar to the crackers during deepavali time. Just by imposing a ban on not bursting crackers before 6am, not a single soul stopped doing so. When small children are told about the ill effects of crackers, they stop bursting them and think of more useful ways to spend time and money. The same should happen with coke also.

We cannot change anything immediately by imposing a ban. Good people will continue to be good and bad people will continue to find new ways of getting the banned thing in. It is only by constant awareness can coke be banished from the society. Only time will tell how long it will take. Till then we must show our perseverance on the awareness programmes.

It got published yesterday :), on page 4 of City Express under the title, "Ban won't help, let's create an awareness".

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Anna University Homepage

Wow!!! look at that! Anna University, one of the foremost universities in India has a RedHat test page.

Here's the screenshot.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

BlogCamp.In Update

Lot of things, yes! quite a lot of things have been happening now on the front of BlogCamp. Myself and Moyeen have designed the website for BlogCamp.In, with Hitesh giving inputs on the overall design of the page. I did the design and layout. Moyeen took care of the ajax part. Based on the homepage for, I created a wordpress template for the blog so that we have a consistent look over the website as a whole. The site is now open. Ofcourse there are many things missing; like many URLs are broken except and

It has been an amazing experience learning the working of wordpress. Hey, did I tell you that I'm the mini webmaster? Yes, I'm managing If anything on the site doesn't function as expected, I get an email or a phone call and I just love it. The wiki is getting ready now. It will be up tonight (most probably). You can check it at


Did a video cast in the evening with a 73 year old lady, who also happens to be my cousin's grandma. Will upload it to youtube soon. It is in tamil.


Got the equipment for doing a podcast with Kennedi G. Have to test it and schedule the podcast :D.

Well, that's it for now :) Bye!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Security Breach at PMs House

The situation is pretty simple. Three people entered the Prime Minister's residence at about 8.45 PM tonight without any documents or appointment what-so-ever. They were until gate 2 and were then turned back. A pretty serious issue in terms of the security concerned.

Now is a ripe time to blame the media. NDTV reports that their reporters had chased down the car to get an interview of the breachers. I had been seeing the news channel for about 45 minutes now and every 5 minutes, the interview is being played. Watching it was funny though. And showing the interview for every 5 minutes was like castrating those 3 young people who came upto the reception.

According to me, the 3 people are not to be blamed. As far as I saw, the media never interviewed any security personnel who let the car in. Leave off the interview, they never even showed us their god damned face. This shows clearly that the media is perfect in character assasination. They never told why the security personnel let them in. Interviewing the 3 people is only part of the story. They should have interviewed the security personnel too. More so, the security personnel should be punished for letting in a car without checking.

This security lapse clearly shows the reason behind the attack on the Indian Parliament.

Google Experiments UI

Sometime back, Sudar told about Google experimenting its UI designs. I think it's my turn today, as I had this new UI during the display of search results. I grabbed a screen shot and about an hour later, the redesign vanished. I had read at lots of sites that Google's simplistic design of the Google homepage wasn't enough to showcase their products, the result being not all their products are as popular as the search engine.

Here is the screen shot of the new layout. Look at the menu on the left. There is no menu above the search text box, which usually consists of web, images etc.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

First Podcast Interview

Hello friends!! within next week, I would be doing a podcast interview with Kennedi of Team A. Kennedi is a full time astrologer residing in Chennai. He was one of the participants of the Vlogger Tinker Meetup and he was part of team A. He is a very active blogger too. You can check his blog at where he talks about astrology, spirituality etc. Notably, he is an expert in face reading, tarot cards, energy reading, horoscope reading, vaastu & fenshui.

I'm doing this podcast because it will be a small worthwhile experience for the both of us who are amateurs in this. So, if you have got any questions that you may want to ask astrologers, you are most welcome. Post your question in the comments section and I will be very glad to consider them.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Vlogger Tinker Meetup was AMAZING!!!

Yesterday was yet another sunday spent usefully :D. We met at Kiruba's wife's office to get our hands dirty on video blogging. And hey, it's an amazing platform once you learn the basic nuts and bolts.

Team A's Video.

What did we do?
Well, we split ourselves into teams of 3 and 6 teams in all. There were about 6 digital cameras that could record video. One team went out into the open to shoot their video. Another team started from the bottom of the staircase and headed up, doing the "Walk the Stair" show. This something-exciting-so-I-have-to-try-it feeling is not new to me. We decided our team will do the video at the terrace. We went up, shot the video, did "Walk the Terrace" and finally recorded for about 2 minutes.

Then we all came back and imported all the videos to PowerDirector. One team found out that their digicam didn't have the capability to record voice. All of us sneered at them and ultimately, their video was the best, because it had a youtube director in it ;-) They dubbed the audio. Excited to the core, we imported our's soon and set about editing it. Found that instead of focussing on ourselves, we had shot all the banians and jettis hung for drying up under the sun. Nevertheless, it was fun because this was our first hand experience. We reduced the size of the video from 60 mb to 16 mb to finally 6 mb.

Two teams came up with proper videos. One is uploaded to YouTube. It came out very well and had that professional touch. Another video was an interview type one. I do not know whether it's been uploaded. Will let you know on that.

After this, we had a small session on podcasting. The technology is same. All we need to know is, how to combine two or more items to produce a third useful one. Look at the blog.

Softwares/Hardwares Used:
We used PowerDirector, vlog it, snag it, audacity, windows movie maker and hardwares such as a digital camera capable of recording videos or handy-cam and microphone. Install required drivers from the cd/dvd given by the manufacturer.

Happy video blogging, podcasting :)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Banana Mash

Hi!! friends, today is Sunday and I'm in a very good mood. As told in the last post, I will give you the recipe for the banana mash. It's a very simple and a very tasty dish that can be prepared without any special kitchenware.

Ok... let us proceed and get our hands wet :-)

Minimum requirements: Half dozen ripe bananas, jaggery.

1. For every banana, take 2 tea spoons of jaggery. Therefore, for half dozen banana, you would have around 150 to 200 grams of jaggery.
2. Now, after peeling off the bananas, break (not cut them) them into 2 halves.
3. Put the bananas in a bowl and mix them with the jaggery. Mix them with your hand (like you mix rice with sambar) and mash them together.
4. Add half cup of cold milk and 5 tea spoons of honey.
5. Sprinkle some raisins, finely cut cashews and don't forget the diamond kalkandu for that kadak-modak effect.

1. Take 2 ripe mangoes and peel off the skin using the regular vegetable skin remover.
2. Cut the fruit and mix them with banana. Add some more jaggery too.
3. Add raisins, cashews, diamond kalakandu, milk and honey etc.
4. Add any other fruit you want. Seedless dates is a good option.

The banana-cum-mango mash is now ready. Tastes good with roti, chapathi and poori. Make sure that you have banana or mango for this preparation.

Slurp!!! the taste is too goooood :D I can't to wait to finish it off.

Monday, July 03, 2006

A Trip to VGP

Whoa!! Its an exciting time today :D 6 of my cousins came down to my house yesterday. This excited my mom too. It was some kind of holiday for all of us and that too yesterday being a sunday, there was nothing to put down our enthusiasm. Suddenly, we decided to go to VGP golden beach.

VGP may not be the best amusement park in town and honestly, I don't know how or why we wanted to go there. My mom is a great cook :D and piping hot masala dosas were waiting for us. Masala dosas make us thirsty. So, I made some thick ice-cold mango milk shake to wash the dosas down the throat. We left our home at around 10 AM making our mom happy :D We were making so much noise that the roof would have come down.

After a quick ride down the ECR, we reached VGP at around 11.30 and it was all fun because all of us were meeting each other after a long time. Had great time teasing each other, splashing water, riding the boring rides and making fun of the stalls. Took some nice snaps on my k300i. Honestly, the camera on k300i is too good. The picture clarity was well worth it and took lots of snaps.

Left VGP at about 6.30 PM and reached home by 8. This time, all my aunts had come down to my place :D and a nice spread was getting prepared. Veg fried rice, poori, aalu masala and banana, mango mash along with jaggary (will tell you the recipe in another post) and my favourite well-decorated curd rice. Ravenous, we sat down and attacked all the dishes at full speed and ate for 1 full hour :D The nice day came to a glorious end.

Hoping to meet them soon!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Modern Karna

Once upon a time, a great human named Karna was present on this earth. He is most popularly known as the "dhana vallal" (one who donates selflessly). He has never uttered the word "no" in his lifetime and gave away a large part of his wealth to the people who were in need. More so, he went to the extent of giving his kavasa-kundala to Lord Krishna during the historic Mahabaratha war.

What is the relation of Karna with this post? Well, I have a school friend named Nagarajan who did some really good things that made me come up with this. Specifically, 2 things that almost touched me was,
1. He spent a full 14 hours with me during the distress period and kept checking on me every alternate day; one of the prime reasons why the tension, around that time, fell off me like the nine pins.
2. He is an Information Technology graduate. 10 GB of space means a lot to any IT geek/non-geek because when you get more space, you pump in more software and fill up the disk. This guy gave away his 10 GB hard disk to another of my friends without the latter asking him.

That is awesome spirit. Hey Naga, it is people like you who make the world a better place to live in. Thanks for all the support da :D

Monday, June 26, 2006

Blog Camp

It's happening again :-) BarCamp Chennai was an out-standing success. The same crew is now organising BlogCamp - India's biggest blogging 'un'conference, set to happen in Chennai :-)

The meeting at woodland's drive inn was truly fun.

Check out more details at the Blog Camp wiki. There are some more exciting details that's not to be revealed right now ;-)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Chennai Central

Monday morning, I was supposed to drop one of my friend's mom at the Chennai Central station. The train was scheduled to depart at 6.25 AM. We reached the station by 6 AM. As we went there on my bike, I told her to wait at a place so that I can park my bike and come back to pick her up. I parked the bike and came back at 6.05 AM. Lo and behold!! she was missing. I was even having her bag with me.

Frantically, I searched all the places in and around where I told her to stand. There were still no signs of her. I came back and ran through all the freaking 10 platforms. Time was 6.17:29 AM. She is still nowhere to be found. Time is 6.22 AM now. Absolutely no info about her whereabouts. Imagine my tension in the morning when a lady is missing at just about 15 minutes before the departure of the train. I thought of complaining to the police, so that they will make an announcement through all the platforms, announcing her name.

Two minutes later, I heard an announcement that the train was departing from platform 11. I ran to platform 11 from 7 and found her near the 2nd coach after the engine. Heaved a heavy sigh of relief and shouted at her! he he he... When I asked her the reason for her sudden disapperance, she told that someone came to her and told the train was about to leave in 5 minutes. "F" I thought and let her board the train. The train had started moving by then. When I came back home and told my mom what had happened, she was ROTFL :-)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

User Interface Bug in Gmail ;-)

Hi!! I have found a UI bug in Gmail. If you take a look at your gmail inbox, note the placement of the "Delete" button. Its the 3rd button.

Now, take a look at the "Delete" button at the Spam tab. Its the 1st button. Lots of times, I have clicked on "Not Spam" button and (doh!!) went on a hunting spree at inbox to perform the S&D operation ;-) S&D = Search and Destroy heheh!...

It would be better if the "Delete Forever" button is placed after the "Not Spam" button.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Last Rite

My father passed away on 5th June 2006 at 3.35 PM. I lost a person who was more of a friend to me than a dad. He was the only one with whom I shared everything. Everything = everything from studies to friends to girls to etc. etc. and yes he too was the same with me. He also openly discussed many issues that dads will find it difficult/impossible to discuss with their children. Natural disasters happen only for a few seconds and leave very little time for reaction. Nature
was (and is) a bit cruel on that part :((

Anyway, what has happened has happened and life has to continue. Therefore, in his memory and with his blessings, I will fulfill all his wishes and dreams. He made our life very comfortable. His planning was meticulous and we are always learning from him.

Three weeks before this shocking incident, I had this gut feeling that something bad was going to happen. On 24th June, the day of the last university exam, I was feeling sick. I wasn't able to revise the subject properly and this guy was the only one to whom I let the feeling creep out. Without turning back, I made a dash to the bus after the exam got over. Only on seeing my dad at home, I felt relieved. Sometimes, at nights, I have even touched his chest to feel the heart beat. PHEW!!

Right now, I'm alright. I have let out all the feelings and ready to take on the responsibilities and the challenges. One main reason for that is, I felt the heart beat of my dad stop right under my palm. Thank God I didn't cry at those very sensitive moments. My brother had good awareness to call 1066 (ambulance for emergency) immediately and telephone his friend and our cousin who were here within a few minutes. It is those few hours after death that matters when people are more important than anything else. The more people are near and the more the place of death is crowded, the more comfortable it is.

I want to describe those last few moments with dad, but it is difficult even to try and speak about it, leave alone write about it. I went to the bank today to deposit some money. My hands were shivering uncontrollably because where I saw my dad working a few days ago, that seat is empty now. That empty chair caused me to sweat. My cousin was with me and things eased out a little.

Tomorrow is the 5th day. The rituals are starting from tomorrow. Huge thanks to all the friends, relatives and unknown people who are supporting us.

Praying for the soul of my dad to rest in peace.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

That Power Cut !!

Shit!! the power cut yesterday night threw me off-track so much that I was sulking for a while ;-). Ok... the point is, I was doing the following things.

1. Trying out AT commands on my k300i mobile phone.
2. Installing Open Solaris 10 on vmware.
3. Reading Joel on Software.
4. etc. etc.

All those things hung up when the UPS started blaring the warning signal. This is one of the moments I strongly felt the need for a laptop.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Windows Vista Boot Loader

I installed Windows Vista build 5308 and after 14 days, it expired. I couldn't activate it also. So what is the use of having it and wasting 10gb of precious space? I formatted the drive and restarted my system only to find that the boot loader is a pain in the neck. It just won't go and refused to give me the default Windows XP boot loader.

Considering the fact that I have 4 OSes ;-) Redhat Fedora Core 3, Windows XP, Windows 2003 and Windows Vista 5308, I have to jump through 3 boot screens to boot into xp, or wait a painfull 70 seconds if it has to be done automatically :((

I popped in the windows xp cd and booted my computer from the CD. I pressed 'R' to go to the "Recovery Console", selected 1 (represents XP on my computer), entered the password for Administrator account and then typed the 2 commands.
1. fixboot
2. fixmbr
After that I typed "exit" to restart.

Voila!! the Windows Vista boot screen is gone :D. Grub is also washed out. But recovering it is not a problem. Now my HDD is happily chugging away releasing 10gb of wasted space. :D

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Painless Software Engineering

The holidays have begun. Apart from having fun, I have started reading the archives of Joel on Software, one of the most popular blogs on software, usability, software engineering etc.

Wait, I know you are going to stop reading this post because I mentioned software engineering. Now, be a little patient and go through the rest of the post ;-)

The "Painless" series of articles on Joel's blog is just too good. Software engineering texts by Roger S. Pressman are very good to read. But, they are intimidating to the beginner :). Therefore, this series of "Painless" articles should help us to get started and be efficient too.

Mostly, we start our projects by opening the popular text editor and start spewing code. And, there are actually 12 better ways to write code. Once, we complete coding, we figure out that we have missed something and later fix it, which brings its own separate set of problems. At this point, the project goes haywire and becomes like the figure on the left :).

So, all we need is a good spec to which we can refer and understand where things change and what all parts are getting affected. Start here to go about writing effective specs.

Normally, we work without schedules and don't understand the importance of them. Working on a schedule is very important because we know where we are and where we take wrong turns. Here is a way to painlessly schedule your project :)

After you begin to code, you introduce a new set of bugs right? Is there a way to painlessly track bugs? Yes there is :D. Read this article. Most probably, you work in a team and if the team members are a bunch of nuts whom you are finding difficult to manage, read this and this. They provide significant insight on how things happen at the bigger level. Lastly, if you are developing web applications, this article on "Less is More" is excellent.

Oh! and here are 2 nice case studies from Joel's company itself.
1. FogBugz
2. CityDesk
I have linked part 1 of the articles, check the archive for other parts.

Now, that you have read all the links and the basics are firmly established, I recommend going back to the tables and designing your software that way.

Happy Software Engineering !!

Friday, May 26, 2006

I'm an Engineer

Yippeee!! a huge relief atlast, as I completed the last exam 5 minutes before and even checked the answers ;). That was something that happened only for a handful of exams like programming, compilers etc. There is a lot of mixed feelings as I have to prepare myself to face the big bad world out there. Don't no what is in store for the future...

So, what did I do after the exams? Went for the "Pink Panther" movie. Not bad I must say, because it was full of this vadivelu-vivek type of comedy. And later that night, got a nice small treat from this guy. He is leaving to Bangalore to join the company where we got placed. All the best to him. Hoping to join him soon :)

I don't know where I will be posted. I may or may not leave my darling city where I have been for the past 21 years and watched all its development. And I don't want to leave this city because IT is happening. Rapid developments are the order of the day as the IT/ITES companies grab every square inch of available space.

Ok... got to go now.. See you soon!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Last Lap

The last and the 8th lap begins tomorrow. Feverish preparations for the exams are going on, though there are only 2 subjects. Hoping to finish them off well. Thank God, i escaped unhurt in the last 7 encounters with the highly infamous Anna University exams :D

All the best to my classmates and friends who are taking the semester exams!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Sony Ericsson K300i Synchronisation with PC

Yippppppeeeeeeee!!! finally, my K300i synchronises with the PC and I even deployed this silly application on the beauty :D

Will be back soon with the exact details of how it is done. Thank You!!

Friday, May 12, 2006

A New Mobile

Hi!! just back from the purchase of a brand new Sony Ericsson K300i phone... It comes with a lot of cool features and hey, the GUI is awesome!! :D That is one thing that I just love about Sony Ericsson models :D

It has GPRS, USB, Java MIDP 2.0 support (the 3 features which I want most), 12 MB shared memory, 500 x 8 phone book entries and other bells and whistles such as a music player, camera, video capture, sound recording, IR, MMS, blah blah blah. First thought of buying Nokia 3120; but on comparing the features of 3120 with K300i, the latter offered better features with just a 1000 bucks extra. If I had about 3000 more, my choice would have been K750i. Anyway, absolutely no regrets with this piece and only downside is, it doesn't support bluetooth.

Now I can try all my ultra-silly and crappy Java ME applications that I build just for fun :D. Even though Chennai's been sweltering under the heat, things seem to be very cool for me...nice!!!

See you soon...bye!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Yippeee!! We are on "The Hindu"

A very good morning guys and gals... I was woken up by my mom today morning with the best piece of news I have heard so far :D. My name and Moyeen's have come on The Hindu on page 4 of Metro Plus titled "Where geeks get together". The article was on BarCampChennai and related to it, our presentation of the final year project - mSync.

Read the online version of the article here :D

Yes, I will soon write another post on how the 4 months this year, starting from 3rd Jan 2006 until today have been the finest and sweetest moments of life...

See you soon! Bye... :)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Command Line Calculator

Hello guys! Came across this beautiful blog post from Raymond Chen. It tells about how to use the command line as a calculator.

Command Line = Start-->Run-->cmd

Check that post here. Bye!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Future is Bright

Well friends, I'm not talking about my future. I know it's certainly bright ;). What I'm going to talk about in this post is the future of the computing industry as a whole, taking the example of 2 great kids :D

Introducing to you.....
1. Yuvaraj Pandian, affectionately known as Yuvi, a geek on Microsoft technologies.
2. Collin Doering, a geek on Java and Sun related technologies.

Both of them are just 15 years old and what unites these two is the the passion towards technology. Yuvi is already popular among the Microsoft blogosphere (I don't know whether he knows about it or not) and Collin was featured on based on the interview conducted by Roumen. Assuming Yuvi becomes the youngest CEO for Microsoft in another 15 years :D and Collin goes for the same position at Sun :D, Wow!! These fellows being so passionate and creative, will bring about new ways of pushing technology beyond today's limits and certainly will play a huge role in shaping the industry.

Roumen says in his post, "I think it's fun and for me it's a bit surprising how early start people these days with Java." Going a bit ahead, it should be, "It's great about how early; people start on learning the latest in technology". Correct?

The future is very bright :D

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Netbeans Day at San Fransisco

Waaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!! Got this amazing email from today morning. It contained an invitation for attending the Netbeans Software Day at San Fransisco and the main reason for me being sad is that I cannot attend it :(( :((

The piece of news is, the opening keynote is by the new CEO of Sun, Jonathan Schwartz and by Tim Cramer, Senior Director of Java Tools. The closing keynote is by the Father of Java, James Gosling. And look at the two awesome tracks!!

1. Developing Applications for the Enterprise & Beyond - Focusses on Java EE and ME
2. Developing Client Applications - Focussess on creating netbeans modules, client apps etc.

The first portion is what interests me so much because I have been working on mobile applications for the past 2 months (project) and trying to integrate java with .net whereever possible. Attending it is free, 100% free. The freebies also look attractive. They are giving away Netbeans Field Guide, 256 MB usb drive, t-shirts (as usual) etc.

:(( I can't attend it. Now, don't look at me like that. By the way, my tech blog has some new posts on creating Java ME applications using Netbeans.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

New Lessons

I had been to Bangalore to attend the MSAPP expo. And incidentely, the same day was also for Imagine Cup National Finals. So, on the whole there were 20 teams for MSAPP and about 12 teams for Imagine Cup. Judges arrived at 12PM and went through all the projects. The best projects received a hefty sum as cash prize. At the end of the day, the best projects selected would be showcased before the whole student and the judge audience.

MSAPP - Microsoft Academic Project Program
The best one in MSAPP was a project called iTrust. You can read more about it from Praveen's blog. His team walked away with Rs.75000/-. The runner up was an innovative project named "Computer for Blind". Based on the Braille system, they developed a simple keyboard, which can be used by the visually challenged to type out text, as we do on a normal keyboard. They developed the whole circuit and plugged it to the CPU thro' the serial port. Once the typing is done, a simple voice command saves the file and another voice command retrieves the file. They also made a simpler version of braille printer. Lots of people advised them to patent their idea. Hope they do it soon.

Imagine Cup
Three teams were selected for Imagine Cup National Finals, to present their idea over the whole audience. This time, the judges selected 2 best projects. The ideas of the 3 selected teams were brilliant. But only the other 2 could make it to the International Finals. Btw, the international finals are happening at Agra by August. The two selected projects were about a whole new computing experience for the visually challenged and for cerebral palsy affected people. Two inventions that really touched me deep were the "mouse" they had developed for cerebral palsy people. They had developed the mouse in such a way that the affected people need not grip the mouse. The second one was the navigator for the visually impaired. Moving from left to right on the screen, there will be a change in sound that will tell the person his position on the desktop. Similar things happen when he moves from top to bottom. It also announces the name of an icon when the mouse is over it. One task that the team did before the audience was that they closed laptop and cleared the recycle bin blind-folded.

Teachings of the Masters :)
Coming back to the title of the post, what had i learnt from all these teams??
1. The people with the idea should not piss off in the middle of the project. They must be as involved as others.
2. The full team should be working on every aspect of the project with the burning desire of winning.
3. The team should have decent marketing skills to market their idea.
4. And last but never the least, the team picker must ensure that all the above happens with minimum effort.

As i was returning to the room where i was staying, all these things hit me. I knew the mistakes i made. I picked up a wrong team member as part of MSAPP. My buddy Moyeen was the one who helped me all along to get it going to MSAPP as part of the top 20 projects. Thanks a lot dude! I owe you a lot.

Over the past 2 1/2 years, i had some amazing experiences and will continue to have them. Will surely share them over time. Bye!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Perils of Paid Projects

Oofff !! paid projects! They are really goddamn useless. I know, if you had got a paid project, you would have experienced it. Ok ok, if you are not aware of what im talking about, its about the final semester project for BE students, specifically CSE and IT people. Almost every friend of mine studying BE, paid to get their projects done. What they do is, they go a project center, pay Rs.3000 or more per head (if its a group project) and buy all the powerpoint presentations that we should be presenting for every review, all the source code and full documentation. Now, thats cool, atleast by the look of it.

Many people i know, who paid for such projects, got paid for paying them. First, they don't get any working knowledge of the technology on which the project is based on. Second, most of the paid projects just won't work. Third, my final review was today and people were configuring their projects on the college computers. The moment they copied all the files and executed the project, they got a "File Not Found" error. Wondering what had happened, they copied everything again and ran the project; still the same error !!!???!!!

Those idiots at the project center, wrote a small snippet of code that will erase all the files during execution if the date is on or after 2nd April 2006. Imagine all those people configuring the project and during the review, it crashes on the face of the external examiner. That is sad. Who should be blamed here? The students or the project centers??

My answer will be the students. As long as there are people who get cheated, there will be cheaters. They have got 3 full months to learn a technology and implement a decent enough project. Only when you implement a project, you will really learn a technology, its working and how you can make the current version of your project better. The external examiner today asked us to open source code of the project. He pointed at an arbitrary function and asked us to explain its working. Since we did the project on our own, we were able to answer. All those people who got paid projects are doomed for sure :( :((. They just cannot explain the source code of the project, let alone understand the technology behind it.

To all my juniors, Guys, NEVER go for paid projects. They will make your life miserable. Even if you had never learnt anything in all the 4 years, this 3 months is enough to learn and implement a decent enough project. The main purpose of projects in the last semester is to test your working knowledge. When the paid project you give is not going to give you the knowledge you want, then what is the use of paying Rs.3000 per head?? Think and look before you leap.


And sorry if i had hurt anyone's feelings. I hope this has opened the eyes of my juniors.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ah! Kids Again

Two days ago, when i was parking my bike, there were some kids playing cricket nearby. An elderly man about 45 years of age, walked to them, grabbed their bat and asked them to bowl for him. Grumbling, they bowled 2 balls. That guy being a silly sadist, smiled and asked them to bowl more. This was getting interesting. After completion of an over, the children started whining. He started laughing and 1 of the children started crying at that. They were very small kids ok...

A larger one got really pissed off, took the ball and threatened to throw at his face if he didnt leave now. That guy started laughing so much that he picked up a small stone and threw on him. Ha ha ha !! The man was flabbergasted. How could such small children throw stones at him? He was shell shocked :D. By this time, a small crowd had formed and all were laughing at him for messing with the children :). The crying child stopped crying and they all resumed their game. Never again in his life will that man make a mistake with kids.

This reminds me of a similar incident that i encountered when i was in 4th standard. There was a small general store (maliga kada) very near to my house. I used to go there and buy butter biscuit for Rs.2, which will get me 8 biscuits. One such day, the shop keeper gave me only 7. I asked him whether he ate the other one and demanded him to give me the last biscuit. He refused to do so. I got so angry that i shouted the tamil word that starts with 'p' and ends with 'l' ...he he he. He got pissed off and came with me to my house. Tell you what, i spat on him and ran inside.

Though i got some nice whacks after that, those sadists learnt the lesson. Never mess around with kids.


Voice Message

When i was at BarCamp, the first presentation was on VoiceSnap, a tool that allows you to send voice messages. There is a red mic icon on the left. Click on that to leave a voice message for me :)


Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Personal DNA Test


Came across this interesting test called "Personal DNA Test" from Yuvi's blog. I tried it and you can read about it here. You can also try it too. Follow this link.

P.S: The test judged me as a benevolent leader :)

Friday, April 14, 2006

College Day

Hi! it was my last College Day on 12th April 2006. I'm in final year of BE and i would be working in another 2 months. Therefore, instead of sitting and doing nothing in my house, i got up and went to college for the *last* college day. College Day is a 1 day intra-college cultural fest that happens annually. The event starts early in the morning and goes on until night fall. Every department pitches against one another to see who is the King of culturals. Every staff and every student is equally enthusiastic, adrenalin rushing among the veins, as their department perform the various skits and dances on stage, before the whole college.

This college day was no different. It was awesome. The day started with our chairman giving away our placement offer letters by calling each of us (individually) on stage. It then continued with the toppers list and other such acad stuff. Then he went on to give his famous english oration ;).

Now for the simple rules. Each department is given 1 hour to show their performance. Apart from this, there are 2 sets of highlight programmes, 'cos there 2 chief guests (1 in the afternoon and 1 in the evening). The MBA dept. started the show and tell you what, they did some damn crappy stuff. MCA was next and they did not waste time doing the same old dances. They did some really cool martial art shows, like 2 of them fighting with fire. Another breathtaking show was where an apple was placed over the head of a student and the hero smashed the apple with full force using a nunchaku. Well, thats called timing. CSE (my dept.) came next. The juniors did some cool stuff.

It was time for lunch and after that, the college Orchestra did an excellent job. The team under Daniel Ebenezer did a great job of reproducing the songs as they are in the movies. It was 1 hour of pure bliss listening to them :D. The highlights 1 came after this. Of all other dances, the CSE guys did an awesome! show for MJ's Dangerous. They tried their level best to equal the steps. I know it was hard work and it paid off :). One thing that was notable here was the synchronisation between all the dancers. This was not there in other dance performances. Blaaze, who sang the "B to the A to the B to the A...BABA" was the first chief guest.

Bio-tech was their splendid usual with the comic love story skit. With a guy named Kylash for narration and Varun for heroine, the whole audience broke in peels of laughter after the stunning performance. Ramakrishna Prabhu was the brain behind the script :) IT, Mechanical and ECE were ok. Then came the 2nd highlights. The cine star for this was Arya (the hero of Pattiyal). The first dance during the 2nd highlight by a group of 3rd girls was great. Most of the dance were steps from Barathanattiyam and again, the dancers maintained perfect synchronisation. It is this part of the dance; the synchronisation; that is most important. Another dance by the 2nd year CSE guys also very nice.

All in all, the EEE Tigers stole the show with their creative stuff. They recreated the whole scene of the song "Africavin katupuli" from Aalavandhan. The set the whole thing on the stage and they even reproduced an almost exact version of the original dance in the movie. They also set up fire rings through which they went through. They got the award for the "Best Creative Performance". Bio-Tech got the 1st place with CSE and MCA following them :)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

BarCamp Chennai was Amazing

Hello guys, BarCamp Chennai was 1 amazing event that shook me awake. Though i dabble in most of the technologies (and thats the reason why the student champs call me Java), the presentations were all at a very different plane that we mostly tend to miss. There were many presentations on usability (Adel, Muthu, Amit from Uzanto etc...). There were presentations on PodCasting by Sujatha and Sriram (cofounders of PodBazaar). Since they are based in USA, the PodCasting presentation was done over skype. We played the slides here and heard their voice over skype :). And the best thing is that, it wasn't tested here before. It all happened perfectly.

Since this was primarily a Web 2.0 'un'conference, bosky's slides were a bit different. He built it on ajax and ran it over a browser; quite different from the usual stuff; cool dude :D. The sessions on VoiceSnap by Ganesh Padmanabhan, Search Engine Optimization by Ganesh of rupya, Making money using blogs by Amit Agarwal were particularly excellent. Vijay Anand was very optimistic of making the future of Indians brighter with his Project Infranet. The session on NPL was good. Suman, who is the brain behind NPL, told that (over lunch) programmers face the common difficulty of understanding other's coding. His NPL tends to solve it.

Tracbac is a nifty Web 2.0 product that allows us to collaborate designs based on gifs, jpegs and swf files, over the internet. Its still in beta, so you have to sign up for an invite to try it. This tool will be useful for students on collaborating symposium poster designs and flash enabled websites that we build during the symposium. Atul Chitnis was @ BarCamp. I almost got lost on his session, and understood the point from vijay's blog.

Mobile computing is an entirely different mamoth. You require a different mindset to get used to the lifestyle of using mobile devices to aid you in your everyday life. You can't expect applications to behave the way that they do in your PC. But overall, they are capable of changing, or making your life better, if you are willing to give it a try.
Part of the reason of being lost was because i was setting up my project demo on rupya's HOT!! laptop. Myself and moyeen did a presentation on our final year project (mSync). Ganesh (not the rupya version), recorded it and has uploaded it to youtube. Watch it here. Shyam became ecstasic when we said during our presentation that we used YahooPops! to retrieve email from yahoo. Btw, Shyam is one of the lead developers of YahooPops and i will be troubling him from today. I was looking for a person to explain the structure and flow of YahooPops source code and there can be none who is better than Shyam :D. My project has been blogged here, here, here, another here, yet another here etc... Amit Ranjan has a very energetic post on BarCamp. It is a MUST read.

Beyond everything else, Narain and Vijay Anand inspired me beyond compare on some ideas. They have done it unknowingly and i hug them for sharing that knowledge with me. It happened on day 2 of the barcamp, very early, before the presentations, when we were hunting for laptops on which we could test our demos. Ganesh of Rupya came to the rescue and we used his laptop for our presentations. A huge hug to you buddy :D

Overall, BarCamp Chennai left an ever-lasting memory because of the way it was conducted. I made friends quickly, which usually doesn't happen at normal commercial conferences, and those people were only more happy to share their knowledge. He he, i also shared my 2 cents :). Lots of them have done live blogging on the event. You can find them at the bottom of the BarCamp Chennai wiki. Wish i had a laptop. I also wish more such events are conducted on a regular basis.

You can find a lot of photos on Day 1 and Day 2 of the barcamp at ChennaiBlog and Flickr.


Monday, April 10, 2006

Some Surprises Today !

Today some 6 of us (including Moyeen) went to conduct HOL (Hands-on-lab) sessions at MNM engg. college. The sessions went very well and there were quite some surprise elements today.

1. This was the first college that had 1st year students present for HOLs and those guys were well informed too. Some of them had programmed in VB also (thats cool !).
2. The chief organiser for this HOL was a guy from 1st year Information Technology named Aravind. Very rarely do first year buddies take so much interest in such activities. He also took enough pains to ensure that everything was in place...Very nice dude! Hats off to you.
3. The 1st year and the 2nd year people were able to grasp the concepts faster than the 3rd year people ;) and they developed all those small applications very quickly. Some of them were a bit slow and we were very very happy to get them on track.
4. 1 student specifically mentioned my name on the feedback form saying that the "Intro session from Aswin of Jeppiaar was excellent :D". Thanks buddy!! I'm going to keep the feedback form as a souvenir.
5. My brother connected some 2 extra speakers to the existing speakers and moved them to the corners of the room to get a mini-theatre effect, he he. Its surprising 'cos i was supposed to do this today and he did it himself...(claps)...necessity is the mother of invention.
6. A video of the presentation done by Moyeen and myself, at BarCampChennai is put up on YouTube. Have a look at it. There are more videos at the BarCampChennai wiki also. Enjoy! watching them too :)

Update: Narain, CEO of 360 Interactive, invites Moyeen, Prathul and myself for a cup of tea and is ready to give tips on improving presentation skills before a geeky audience. Ooo!! and we are sooooooooooooooooooooooo glad to accept it :D.

Update 2: Gmail isn't opening today and its giving some crap error. So, im downloading all the emails through mSync (my final year project) and viewing it on my web client ;). Kinda feels nice and great(!) you know...when you are on your own, he he.

The last week had been awesome, starting the trip to bangalore for MEDC 2006 and ending with the HOL at MNM Jain Engg. College.

Man!! Life ROCKS!!!


Saturday, April 08, 2006

MEDC 2006

Hi!! guys, MEDC 2006 is over and finally im back in Chennai and blogging from the comfort of my warm cosy home :D. The 3 days were exciting and we got lot of ideas for extending our project, 1 of them being notifying people through sms if they get new mail; or if they are currently logged in to the service, then send an alert to the software. This was the first mobile and embedded conference i attended and thanks to the Directors of my college who sponsored the cost :D

As usual, after a tired morning journey to Bangalore on 3rd, Moyeen, Siva and myself had lunch at Pizza Hut. We went to microsoft office that evening cos we had to meet some champs and decide about the event and how as students, we will be organising the contests n all. A contest was supposed to happen over the span of 2 days. The give-aways was a TVS Apache, a Windows Mobile 5.0 based Pocket PC and a Windows Mobile 5.0 based Smart Phone. Ooooo!! how i loved to have the 2nd one.

[4th April 2006]
The day started with the Keynote from the VP of Asia Services. It went on for a hour and a half with lots of cool demos. The second session that i attended was on "Creating Custom Controls for Mobile Devices". This session was awesome and told how easy it was to develop complex controls specifically for Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC. The control was for sending SMS from Pocket PCs that doesn't have phone capabilities. I tried using the API but it didn't work :( . If you are 1 of those successful ones, do ping back :)

The second session was "Developing Apps using Location Based API" by Gaurav Khanna. It was awesome and whole lot of new concepts that are possible GPS was exposed in a very appealing form; which reminded me of the Tracking Dot in the "Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown. The architecture of this application and how the OS implemented it was great. Latest mobile devices have support for these features without any addon. The next session by the same person was on "State Notification Broker". The idea for the project i was talking about in the first para, came from this session. Moyeen was very happy about this relevation and was scratching my shirt (he he) to tell about this ;)

Amidst all the nice sessions, there are some crap sessions also. One such was the "Windows CE Compete". Somehow, i hated the session and it was truly boring. The rest of the day was spent with the student champs from bangalore and i spent Rs.400 giving a small treat. Moyeen's elder brother is a genius and gave us lots of tips on how to improve our existing technical skills so that companies could come looking for us. Though we were washed out through the day's events, we ended up chatting with him until 3am :D

[5th April 2006]
Paramesh, Director of Developer Tools at Microsoft started off with the keynote and his VSD team gave a demo of the device emulators. The emulators are such exact representations of actual devices that if u tap the emulator real hard with the stylus, it cracks (i mean it cracks virtually and the emulator switches off, which is damn cool). Developing data enabled applications are really simple now and it is almost equivalent to desktop development. The keynote continued with the embedded team of the IDC.

The second session was by Gaurav again and it was on synchronising your app on the mobile device with the desktop equivalent application. This session concentrated more on RAPI (Remote API) that works on top of ActiveSync. RAPI is used to build custom applications that need to synchronise the desktop and mobile equivalents of the application. Next session was the one where they showed Origami. Yes!! its Origami...Oooo!! its such a nice device that, everyone will want to acquire one at first sight. Ofcourse its not as s**y as iPod but then its powerful enough to run a full featured windows xp tablet edition. It also supports multiple input devices and you can operate everything with your fingers alone. There is also a keyboard that opens sideways on the device monitor itself. Kinda cool if u have a look at it...The session on RFID was also good.

Today evening, i met Nisha, who was my online friend until now and she will also be working with me in the near future. We saw the offices where we may be working and also visited the famous Bull temple and Coffee Day, where I was treated by her friends :D.

After another treat that night for the champs, we went back to the room and hey, what a surprise !! was waiting for us :D. Moyeen's brother brought home his Apple iBook G4. In a word, the device was *amazing*. I would like to own one just for the style factor alone. The coolest part of the iBook was the cd-rom drive. There is no u-click-a-button-and-a-drive-pops-up. Theres a small hole on the side on which u insert the cd and the drive pulls in the rest of it; u needn't push it all the way into the drive :) And the ejection of the cd is so powerful that it can launch a satellite :-)

[6th April 2006]
Aha!! this was the section i was waiting to blog for. Pardon me, i was too tired yesterday. This day was the HOL (Hands-on-Lab) sessions day. 2 tracks were happening. One track was on Mobile and other was on Embedded. I wasn't into the embedded track 'cos i was busy enjoying the sessions at mobile.

The first session (as expected) was handled by Gaurav Khanna. God!! he is an amazing speaker. Anytime of the day, he is one of those uber professional guys from whom we students have to learn how to do presentations and handle bizarre questions from the audience. Since the demos were very good and would be able to do them, i also volunteered to be a proctor. Proctoring a crowd is always nice.

There were about 50 computers each running WinXP Pro and had visual studio 2005 installed on them. Each computer had enough space to house 2 people. When Gaurav started the lab, i thought i was the slowest one in the whole group and was trying my level best to keep up with him. But hey when he was repeating the same stuff for over 5 times, i thought of going around and having a look of what people were doing.

Here is the 1st line of code:
int iNewValue;
bool v=i new Value ? value: yes;

If you are able to decipher something from the 2nd line, please let me know :)) I'm almost half bald now :( trying to figure what the second line meant. That lady even called me and told there were 50 errors when trying to compile the file :((...

Another fellow had a hell of a time writing a SQL query. The query was a simple insert query to insert 3 values in a table. And guess what, he messed up the query soooooooo much that my eyes were bleeding after reading that. Even a 10 year old kid would have understood what an insert query meant. As i had a tough time explaining what an insert query is, 1 of the other champs came besides me and told me to let him suffer. Cos that damn fellow was supposed to be a professional and we were supposed to teach him only mobile apps and not SQL.. Correct he was.

Ha ha ha!! we were laughing for the whole day when Reza told a guy to create a table with 4 fields named Sno, FirstName, LastName and Age. When Reza told him that, "u can give any name for the columns", the genius gave some number as Sno column's title, his first name, his last name and his age. We all broke into laughter at the same spot itself, well i just couldn't hold it.

The whole hall were full of these people and we had sooooo much fun teaching these guys. These so called goddamned professionals are a HUGE LIABILITY to the company they work for. Paying them is useless and they should very well go back to high school and learn a few things. See, not knowing a language or technology isn't a crime but not knowing how to declare a variable and not knowing to use it, surely is. What would you think of a crazy guy who gives his age as the title for the Age field huh! ??

Meanwhile, the embedded team had a very good time learning some really cool stuff on how to compile windows embedded OS. Their people were not only good but also asked some relevant questions for doubts it seems. Anyway, i had an awesome time today with all those people at the mobile track ha ha ha!!

Moyeen's bro treated us at a hotel tonight. As it was already very late, we left for the station immediately and :(( the train was late by 2 full hours. We spent the time at a nearby hotel on a sprite.

Thats it guys!! I'm leaving for the BarCamp event that is going to happen in a few minutes from now. It promises to be very exciting and I'm presenting my final year project on day 2 along with Moyeen. Whoa!! what a week its been !!


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yep, Its the next tour :)

Yippppeeeee!!! im going to Bangalore again :D. Bangalore is 1 place that i love like hell. Love 'cos of the cool weather and hell 'cos of the traffic. Moyeen, Reza, Siva and myself are going to take part in the MEDC (Mobile and Embedded Developer Conference) 2006. And you know what, my college is sponsoring the cost of the conference :D :D. Myself and Moyeen approached the college Directors along with our project guide Mr.Thiagarajan. We told him that our project was based on advanced mobile devices ;) and attending this conference would be very useful. On hearing that, he immediately agreed to sponsor us.

The Directors showed interest in our project and told us to move the project to a dedicated server :). We are very grateful to them for sponsoring the conference and ofcourse our project guide who took all the steps to ensure that we got the sponsorship.

The BarCamp Chennai organisers meet is scheduled to happen this saturday (1-APR-2006); not a april fool joke ;) at Anna University at 12pm. If you are interested in knowing whats really happening, do drop in. We would love to have you there :)

HOL @ RMK - .NET Bash Live!
The Microsoft Student Partners of Chennai are conducting .Net Bash Live! at RMK Engg. College on 2nd April 2006 (sunday) from 9am to 3pm. .NET Bash Live! is the new name for Hands-on-Lab sessions conducted by us for the community. If you are interested in having one at your college, contact me at aswin [dot] net [at] gmail [dot] com. My landline number is 24853416 (or) contact Krishnaa at gkrishnaa [at] gmail [dot] com. His mobile number is 9841190039. If i'm not available plz leave your contact details so that i can get back to you. Many more colleges are joining in the bandwagon and its all happening very fast :D

We have also started planning for a mega event on the 1st week of May; like the Date with .NET, except that this will be a full day event with lot of fun, demos of Vista Beta and Office 2007 and lots of technical sessions by professionals from the industry. Will post more details about it as and when we are fully into it.

Coming back, MEDC 2006 will be great experience and i will be getting to meet new friends and student partners of Bangalore again. Its lot of fun to be with them :D Looking forward to the trip. See you all soon.