Monthly Archives: August 2006

Spooked!

You know how those afternoon siestas are, you promise half the world that you’d get up in half an hour, and then that half turns into two, and you still are in no mood to get up. In fact, the whole afternoon is wasted in a full blown sleep complete with blankies and REM patterns and two dreams, just because you did not have enough sleep in the night before.
 
What you don’t know what I’m talking about? Jeez, what land are you from?
 
Anyway, so today, I woke up after a rather moderate an hour and a half, with every part of my body and most of my brain struggling, telling me to go back to sleep again, but that remaining part of my brain was so gawd-damn motivated that I did get up. I had two swags of the trusted caffeinated aerated drink to get me awake, and I was, sorta.
 
Switched on the monitor, was half-way chatting with a friend, and suddenly, the screen goes completely white, whiter than it would possible be, and the light seemed to glow and come out of the monitor… All of this happened for a fraction of a second, and disappeared after I blinked twice and rubbed my eyes!
 
Spooked, I was. Quite a bit.
 
I checked the time to see if I had lost any, which would explain alien activity, but no, did not seem to loose any. Then I tried to remember if I had forgotten anything, but that didn’t seem to be the case either. So then what was it?
 
Just an illusion? That would be really sad!

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Are We Moving Backwards?

After two days of cable TV blackout, and the court ruling that only rated-U movies and cleared programming can be broadcasted through cable TV, we now get the DTH to ban rated-A fare! And in an interesting hypocrisy display, U/A and serials are ok! (Will they ban the internet too? *)
 
Now, this is why I hate cable TV in the first place. Trust Star Movies to snip out the scenes so that they can air movies in the prime time slot, and insert enough ads so that the entire movie experience is confounded.
 
I love the internet however, P2P is here! Unrestricted, unmoderated access! I really hope the MPAA doesn’t come knocking, but I guess they have very little to do outside of the US jurisdiction anyway. I also hope that no stupid professor files a PIL against my ISP as well, and they start restricting content like some other ISPs are already doing.
 
But seriously, how dumb is that? I mean, shouldn’t people be allowed to choose? It’s not like this is a poison. Or sharp edges of a metal foil, that kids need to be protected from. There’s so much violence and pornography around anyway, I don’t think it really matters what the TV broadcasts.
 
Oh and yes, I’m really wondering what the National Geographic Channel and the Discovery Channel and Travel and Living have to say about this. Some of their content, is well, similar in nature to otherwise rated-A programming. And what about the many news channels? Are they rated-U?
 
Bah!
 
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* = Yes, I know you cannot ban the internet per se, but look, they did it with blogspot, and China is doing it (somewhat, if so for different reasons). It’s pig-headed and all that, but it’s doable.

Stuff. Again.

Mediocrity hurts. Very much so.
 
Confusion reigns supreme. As always.
 
Is it over the head, yet?
 
😦
 
————-
 
I hear the sound of the ticking of clocks
Come back and look for me, look for me
When I am lost
 
Just a whisper, a whisper, a whisper, a whisper
Just a whisper, a whisper, a whisper, a whisper
 
Night turns to day
And I still have these questions
Bridges will break
Should I go forwards or backwards.
Night turns to day,
And I still get no answers
 
– Coldplay, A Whisper from Parachutes

Podcasts!

I love them!
 
It’s only recently I’ve realized the true possibilities and hype about them (of course, because I now have the iPod, so ha!)
 
Well, of late, I’ve been travelling for about two hours everyday for my French class, and till recently I used to spend that time listening to music. Then suddenly I remembered that I had some podcasts that I had not yet listened to, so I transferred them to the pod, and played them when travelling! And lo, it is uber. Absolutely fruitful way of spending otherwise wasted time! So far, I’ve been through four hours of interviews and speeches, most from IT Conversations.
 
The best part is, I can now relax my otherwise strained eyes. And improve my listening abilities. We normally ignore that, and in just four hours, I can actually feel a difference. As a plus, I am downloading basic stuff in French, like say kiddie stories, to listen to, hopefully that will help my French pronunciation.
 
Thanks Apple, thanks podcasters and most of all, thanks mom and dad for getting me the iPod! πŸ˜‰

Grrrr! The Printer is Kaput!

My Epson C63 series printer head has gone kaput, and it’s going to cost me around Rs. 2000/- to get it replaced. So instead, I’m planning to scrap the printer and buy a simple dot matrix one.
Anyone interested in acquiring the C63 (two year old, printer head kaput, rest in good condition), please get in touch with me. Also available are cartridges for sale: Black TO461 for C63/65/83 or CX3500/4500/6500, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow at half the market price. The cartridges are new, but in opened condition.
Suggestions invited for a cheap A4 size dot-matrix.

Bomb Scares and High Security

Amusing things happening these days:
 
My friend Swapneel is to leave for his Masters in Computer Science at Columbia in the US. Unfortunately, his flight is British Airways and goes through London. So no hand-baggage for him, not even his iPod. Wonder what he’ll do for entertainment! At least he isn’t flying Air India! Then again, he has no chicks with him as well! And if that wasn’t enough, BA has cancelled four of the seven transit flights to the US from Heathrow, London, including his flight. So while he will fly Mumbai-London tonight, he doesn’t yet know what flight they’ll schedule him for, to get to the States. One silly incident, and there you go!
 
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My trusty (or not so-trusty) printer, an Epson C63, suddenly decided to stop printing in black. It does print after some coaxing in the form of head cleaning and ink wasting, but even so, it manages to print only alternate lines. Fearing that the refilled black cartridge may be at fault, I buy a new genuine replacement. But no, it is as adamant as ever. So then, I call up Epson. After getting the local service centre number from their call centre, I decide to pay them a visit… Like taking a pet to the vet! πŸ˜‰
 
So there I was, carrying my printer in a big jholi with a plastic on top to protect it from the rain… I took the train to Kandivali since the centre is so close to the station, and as I step out of the train, the now extra alert policemen on the station (RPF?) ask me to show what I’m carrying. Wah! Now because they are supposedly doing their job, I show them… Haan sahab, this is a printer. Taking it to the repair shop. Nothing to see here, move along!
 
But those wires, they say pointing to the USB and the power cables, now detached and rolled up nicely. What are those for? Dude! The printer isn’t wireless. It needs to be connected to the PC. And the power. That needs these things called cables. They are not snakes to be used for mass destruction. Told him. Ooooh!, he says. Thik hai, jao.
 
As if!
 
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My French class got cancelled. Why, you ask? Well, apparently the government has declared a few areas to be sensitive and high security. Among them is the area around Plaza theatre and Shivaji Mandir in Dadar. That is precisely where my French class is located. So, there’s a sort of bandh from 10 AM on the 15th to 10 AM on the 16th. Grrrr!
 
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Side note: My blog now has 5000 hits! Thank you all! There will be a party later on, and only special people will be invited! πŸ˜›

Tag, Tag, Tag!

Tagged by Divya:
 
Instructions:   Name 10 of life’s simple pleasures that you like the most, then pick 10 people to do the same. Try to be original and creative; try not to use things that someone else has already used.
  1. Popcorn and a fizzy drink (or black coffee) at 3-o’clock in the night.
  2. Waking up to a clock set forward, and realizing that there’s still time to get up from bed.
  3. Sleeping under a heavy blanket with the fan / AC on full blast.
  4. Dad’s brinjal chips.
  5. Waking up to an SMS in the morning.
  6. Deep thumping bass-lines.
  7. Passing obscure references, and someone actually getting them!
  8. Perfect alignment of the morning schedule (*).
  9. Watching people run here and there, getting wet and miserable in the rain, while realizing that I don’t have to go anywhere today!
  10. Achieving Zen (usually by means of a more generic solution to a problem).
  11. Yes, yes, I know, but this extra one is an after thought: I love trains.
And I free you all from the slavery of tag-land! Still, if you feel inclined to get yourself tagged, send me a track-back!
 
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(*) = I love optimization. So, if I am able to leave my house at the perfect time to catch a train that perfectly times with me meeting my friend at XYZ, or catching a connecting bus, or whatever, my day is made. Saving three minutes by taking a fast train instead of a slow one, with all the calculations to determine if the wait for the later fast is worth it, gets me high! Ditto for combining multiple tasks so that all of them are performed in one shot. Maybe I should go join the ATC! πŸ˜›

Manna

Manna By Marshall Brain. Go read it.
 
Coming to think of it, the later part is kind of true. In fact, the whole of it is true. But what strikes me the most, is that, as humans, we need pretty little stuff for leading a good life. Most of our wants are superficial, and they can usually be fulfilled very simply. Especially because they are superficial.
 
However, the issue that the story does not tackle properly, is human emotion. There will be envy. Sure, you could always obtain anything that you see around using your credits. But what if I want to spend time with a person? And for some reason, say that person does not like me, I cannot? What happens then? A solution is to make a virtual copy and spend time with that copy. Go be a vite. I think I would.
 
You want power in your hands? Sure, get your own virtual kingdom! You want to commit a crime, do it in your virtual space. But then, will we have people who want the real thing? What do we do about them? If the virtual experience is as good as or even better than the real one, should they even bother?
 
Such is life. πŸ˜€

Inner Voices

“I can hear the sounds, ” he said.
 
“What sounds?”
 
“Those far away sounds…”
 
“Huh?”
 
“The constant hum that fills my brain… If I concentrate, I can distinctly make out voices.”
 
“What sort of voices?”
 
“Hard to tell, but one day, I’m sure I’ll be able to try hard enough for me to understand them.”
 
“You really feel so?”
 
“Oh yes! But this is so tiring. Taxing. Drains me out completely.”
 
“Well, I for one, can’t hear anything!”
 
“Wait, I think I can make out this one clearly.”
 
“What does it say?”
 
“Darn, I was so close!”
 
“Try again! Try again!”
 
“Nope, not getting it now! But they are clearer when I’m fresh. They get muddled later on. I guess, the trick is to not try too hard.”
 
“Or is it?”
 
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at least we tried to make it
but in these days I’m so confused
oh my love, at least we had it
let me hold on to you
– Moby, At Least We Tried from the album 18