Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Countdown to a new start


11TH JUNE 2009 AT 10:30 AM

Friday, May 1, 2009

Another girl in my life

105 days before, a girl named Chini entered my life. With my life already upgraded from Single to "Commited" status, another cute little girl has now entered my life.
Before you raise your eyebrows and your dirty mind cooks up something, listen to me.
On the 302nd anniversary of the unification of England and Scotland as the Kingdom of Great Britain; the same day in which the Order of the Illuminati was born 233 years ago; also 111 years after The American Asiatic Squadron under Commodore George Dewey defeated the Spanish Pacific Squadron under Admiral Patricio Montojo at the Battle of Manila Bay, the first engagement of the Spanish-American War and most importantly when the whole world is celebrating the International workers' day, my sister gave birth to a cute lovely baby girl with small beautiful black eyes. She is said to have thick hair and cries all the time seeking everyone's attention and getting it too. With my sister promoted to "Mother" status, I am naturally promoted to "Uncle". My sister and brother-in-law are proud and happy and excited for sleepless nights taking care of this adorable baby. All the best to both of them and welcoming my little niece into this wonderful world.

PS: Details of the above mentioned events that happened on May 1st are taken from Wikipedia except the last one which was told by my parents.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Nostalgia infront of the screen

Even when you sip 100 bucks cappuccino from Coffee day, you would speak those nostalgic words on the 1 rupee coffee from the college canteen shared with your friends. This post is neither about friendship nor about coffee. It is about a similar nostalgic feeling of the computer games in my life. Please note, that by computer game, I meant not only the PC but all the video gaming devices that spawned from the electronic computing parts. Sometimes I wonder how someone came with the concept of gaming in computers. A machine which was entirely used for business and military purposes created an entirely new concept unknown to human kind and took the whole world by storm bringing a new race of people who would not mind leaving the real world as they get immersed into the unimaginable world of gaming and live out their life stuck in front of a screen. I wonder what made the programmer a geeky idiot like me bring in something different outside his purpose of life to introduce recreation inside a box full of zeroes and ones. And will you believe me that the very first computer game was Spacewar developed at MIT in the year 1961. This is true if you do not consider the radar simulation game on cathode ray tube developed in 1951. Anyway in Spacewar, two players control spaceships and have to shoot at each other. A simple but interesting game. So you know the mindset of killing each other in games was introduced with the very first game itself. So let us not complain about Quake and UT being violent. You would be voicing against the computer gaming kind.

Now back to my cup of coffee. Sorry. I meant my gaming memories. I was introduced into the computer gaming world with a cloned version of Sega-1000 at the age of 8. Video gaming has probably just been introduced in India and my uncle bought one for our home. I am not able to recall the feeling of my first touch of the joypad (controller) but I clearly understood that it is something amazing and I was sure that it is going to make a huge impact on the world and my life. The console had a maximum of 16 colors and the cartridge that came with the console had 8 games and there was not even a menu to select the games. You need to press the "SELECT" button on the console to switch games. And the game I remember the most and considered the most advanced game is "Police and thief" as we called it, was about a cop who jumps like a bunny trying to catch a fast running thief before the time runs out or the thief reaches the end of the top floor. It had elevators that you could use. But like every damn elevator in office, it would either close just before you reach it or you would forget getting down in the right floor and end up moving up and down while the thief escapes easily. If you do not want elevators, you can use the escalators available at each end of the floor. Trivial point is that the escalators only go up and there is none to take you down. Wonder how people would like in such buildings. But I don’t think any people would want to live in a building infested by honeycombs on the floor which we used to call as "Jail" for no reason and vans that will hit you taking away 15 seconds of your time not to forget a flying stick that you need to dodge by jumping and sometimes lowering your head. But if you are not scared of these and still keep on catching the cops, there will be helicopters inside the building taking your life away as they hit your police cap. And the bad part is that none of the obstacles would have any effect on the thief. Anyway, how much illogical the gameplay was, "Police n Thief" is the most enjoyed game I have played in that console and have went as much as 16 levels which had helicopters trying to hit my hat every second that I ended up sitting like a duck for the whole level.
As I can keep on talking about the golden days and I have blogged on this many times before, I would do a fast forward to the recent times. After many years of console gaming, and the sudden invasion of Mario and Duck hunt, my gaming interests increased tremendously and I started playing Pacman, Digger and then the legendary Prince of Persia in our PC-XT 386 and upgraded 486 personal computers in office. And here I am moving from Sega-1000, Nintendo entertainment system, Nintendo gameboy, PC-XT, PC-AT, modern games in the Intel Pentium computers and playing with new generation of gaming consoles like XBOX and Playstation 2 which I slowly planning to change to the next-gen PS3 console though which seems to be at far reach considering Chini's liking to see the consoles only at the stores. I need to do some hard work in convincing her that gaming consoles are basic necessities of a normal healthy happy married life. In that way, she can talk all she want and I will never say a word against her and the best way to get my attention is to let me play the games and block the screen for a second and rely what she wants me to do. Of course, please do not tell her that it will be done only after the game is over.
Why this nostalgia all of a sudden you might ask. I saw this post in Engadget about the 8-bit video game console with keyboard entering the US market for just $49.99 which every kid in India has played for years bought at Rs.500 or just $10. Who said electronics cost more in India? Is this some great business opportunity and I should buy 10 consoles in India for 250 each and sell at Rs.2000 or $40 in eBay and become a millionaire overnight? What would I do with that money? What else? Savings for the next PS4 or XBOX 720.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Where is the nonsense tonight?

I never thought that I would be writing this post in my lifetime. And what I about to say might shock people around and even kill some. So please prepare yourself for the next statement.

I watched Simbu's Silambaatam last weekend and I boldly say here that I found it quite ok to watch. Sometimes it was even interesting. And I could actually appreciate Simbu's work in it though Satman's ears were piping with hot steam for most of the scenes. One thing was sure; Simbu is lot more bearable if he does not throw away his punch dialogues often knocking us out altogether.

Now one might wonder what the hell happened to me to make such statements that might scare away the few readers I have. After deep thought, I found out that the whole reason to find the movie "watchable" was that we had set the expectations much below the level of T.Rajendran's Veerachamy, that I actually enjoyed few scenes in the movie.

And if I may speak more of the "stick dance",

  • Cinematographer turned Director Saravanan has done a good job in bringing this glamour and sticky masala movie into a watchable one with the help of Cinematographer Mathi. Good job on the camera moves especially in the song and fight sequences. If you forget Simbu in the scene, it is much more pleasant to watch.
  • Satman was in all crazy with steam engine running between his ears when Simbu was teaching few students on how to make "Panchamirtham". I was doubtful if he liked the sweet so much that he couldn’t watch the movie more.
  • Please don’t blame me if you are laughing to death when I say that Simbu acts as a Hindu Priest. Did I forget to add "innocent Hindu priest".
  • "Sneha! Is that Sneha?" She looks leaner and.... she is more.... competing well with the heroines of the current time. ......"Is it really Sneha????"
  • Simbu attacks each and every other hero in Kollywood by mocking them all over the movie. There is Vijay in the flashback Simbu, Vikram behind the priest Simbu and even a very apparent Ajith in Billa Simbu. And what the hell. Wiki reports that Simbu invited Ajith and Vijay for premier shows and they said that the movie is great! Is that smart for Simbu or dumb for the rest?
  • The main scene that I had to close my ears hard to avoid bleeding was the Billa spoof where he speaks in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and "SIMBLISH".

"You are the one who is new.
People who don’t know me are very few.
Who the hell are you?"

"Just because you are white,
not everything you say is right."

"You want to brew bear?
For me, the land and people are very dear.
I will fight you out without any fear.
Am I clear?"

Oh my God!!!!!!!!!

  • A minimal decency could have been maintained for the mass "Where is the party" song to be watchable with friends and family.
  • Santhanam's comedy rarely had double meanings as most of them had only one meaning which meant the second one. Boo boo!
  • Except for the glamour and songs by Sana Khan and Sneha, as expected it is Simbu all over Silambaatam director by Saravanan. Did you notice the "S" in everything in the last sentence? Was it just a coincidence or something Simby?
  • May be Silambaatam was not that bad at all when compared to Vijay's Villu? Take note of SS in Simbu's Silambaatam and VV in Vijay's Villu here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Which manager's line is it anyway

Everyone would have or had interesting managers in the line of our work who might appear so different for pure engineers like us. Words from them motivates us to do the job sometimes and their talent of making you believe the way they want you to amazes everyone all the time. And what is more interesting are the phrases that the managers use that you would remotely use to explain in a normal casual conversation. So listening closely to the managers conversations, I picked up few lines that made me interested and I have listed down for you. May be... I mean may be... if you have more to add, please do so.

  • "There are many other constraints and pulls and pushes." on why we could not get the project.
  • "The pie has shrunk already" on the budget limitations of the client.
  • "I am trying to understand what I have and what is right for me" on why taking the project will be difficult.
  • "The black eye we had is vanishing" on client appreciation.
  • "We are on a bigger driving seat now" for we are working on more important projects.
  • "We should be aware of the environment" on knowing about your peers' opinions on the project.
  • "Not everything is Black & White" on you can not categorize things as just right and wrong.
  • "It is raining here" on the abundance of the issues seen in the project.
  • "Don't disturb the apple cart" on not changing the already tested code.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What kept me away

I am sure many would have been wondering why I was not active with any new posts for the past 25 days. And few might have the right guesses which I would explain to others in this post anyway. But to say I was not active only for the past 25 days would be wrong as the post before that is a good 21 days behind. Altogether, this year has not been so good so far with respect to my blogging habits. But I guess I got lot new visitors because of the same reason why the blog was dormant for more than a month. Ok ok. I think I am beating around the blogs here. So let me get to the point.
After 17 months of eating burgers in US, I went to India to eat some bajji as well. But what happened was that I was served with Sojji along with Bajji which quickly followed by the story as posted in my previous post as I got engaged to a sweet innocent calm girl who I am going to call as Chini here. Now as there is no one here to believe that I did not expect this to happen during this trip, I am not going to say anything on how it happened. So I was there in India tied up with not just enjoying the changes that happened in India during my absence in the last 1.5 years but was also surprised by the change in my own life. The three weeks of the holidays went like a breeze with very less time to meet many friends and no time to meet other few. With all the buzz around, I was unable to put some time into this blog though there were lot to discuss and report on the trip that includes the outgrowing cell phone shops that are more in number than juice stalls in our locality and the differences in driving an automatic car in US and a TVS Scooty on the busy roads of T.Nagar. Polar opposites were the experience between the two that my safe driving even brought one Tata Indica to park in the gap between my bike and the bus that was standing in front of me. I was learning to get into the world of committed gentlemen and started making regular deposits to Airtel prepaid mobile service. And whats more! I even got the chance to revive my texting skills from the good old college days. And if it was not for the 60 rupees RT plan, I would have redirected my salary to Airtel's bank account.
With the holidays coming to an end and a hard good-bye to Chini at the airport, I was back in the city that is called as "Queen City" also known as Charlotte. One must understand the strong pressures faced by a software engineer in this tight recession time working for a demanding client trying to balance the time between offshore calls and calls to offshore. With Chini managing part of my life and my managers trying to take part of my life away at work, it is always tough to find the right time to put all the above pointless talks in my blog. And finally on this day, I happened to find some time and even Chini was kind enough to grant me permission to put something here which I am sure she would be reading it now. After all, I had nothing to say to her on the day we first met as she had read all the posts much before deciding to meet me. And I am so happy that my blog is useful for someone more than just to pass time.

By the way, I am active twittering all along as much as possible in the last 2 months. So you can tune to www.twitter.com/injey for short and chirpy updates very often.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

நம் முதல் சந்திப்பு

அய்யோ! தொலைந்தேனே.
என் வாழ்வைத் தேடுகையில் - உன்னிடம்
நிழலில் கண்ட உன்னை
நிஜத்தில் பார்க்க ஆசை.
விரைந்து வந்த என்னை
சிறு புன்னகையிலாலே கொன்றாய்.
நான்கு அடி நடந்திருப்போம்
முதல் கேள்வியில் தடுக்கிவிட்டாய்.
"சம்மதமா?" என்றாய்.
தேன் இனிக்குமா என்பதுபோல்.
இருவரும் ஆய்வதற்கு ஒரு மணி நேரம்,
முடிவெடுத்ததோ அதன்முதல் ஒரு நிமிடம்.
எதுவும் அறியாமல் நான் நிற்க,
முழுவதும் அறிந்திருந்தாய் என்னை பற்றி.
பெற்றோர்கள் அனைவரும் தவித்திருக்க
மறந்துவிட்டோம் அவர்களையும் காலத்தையும்.
தொலைபேசியும் அழுத்துப் போனது
நம்மை பல முறை அழைத்து.
மெல்லப்பேசி மெதுவாய் நடந்து
திரும்பிச்சென்றால் - பிடித்திருக்கிறதா என்றார்கள்.
புன்னகையுடன் நீ தலையசைக்க
சம்மதம் உரைத்தோம் புதுவாழ்வுணோக்கி.
ஆஹா! கண்டெடுத்தேன்.
என் தொலைந்த உயிரினை - உன்னிடம்!

Friday, January 9, 2009

From Charlotte to Vivekanandha nagar, Dindigul

Visit my nest to read live tweets on my journey home.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Gods play with your Samsonite number lock

I have been a computer hacker breaking into the college intranet portal when I was denied access to C++ training material. With little digging in the internet, I got what I wanted. Actually I got bit more than what I wanted. And from then on, not that I considered myself a pro hacker but out spoke myself as the Neo. I guess that was geekier than being a hacker. Anyway, today I was more than a superficial Neo for the lock I hacked helped me in the real world. There I was trying to pack my luggage for the trip to India. And if you plan something, God would have planned something else to make your time... a little more interesting. And there He did by locking the number lock to my Samsonite hard case luggage for which I do not remember the combination. Now I have two choices. 1. Carry the 50 pound luggage to a locksmith to get it opened or 2. Try all 1000 possible combinations using the next 3 hours of this already shorter Sunday evening. I did spent 20 minutes of my time with the second option with no luck. So looking at Google chrome, reminded me of the other option. Why not ask our ever helping friend Google, a simple question "How to unlock Samsonite number lock?" And so I did to get the answer in simple steps. All you need is a torch light and a sharp eye.

PS: The below text is taken from http://www.fixya.com/support/t232042-unlock_samsonite_lock and the text is mentioned to be reply from the BagLord Samsonite Himself.

Dear Sir/Madam:
The following are the lock picking instructions you requested from Samsonite Consumer Relations.
1. Position the luggage so that the numbers on the wheel are right-side-up as they face you and set all three wheels to '0'.
2. Starting with the wheel on the left, to the right of the wheel, look into the narrow space between the right side of the wheel and the body of the lock. Look down into the shaft. (If you have a safety pin, straight pin, or thin nail file, place that in the narrow space.)
3. While looking down into the shaft, rotate the wheel slowly. You are looking for an indentation (a square notch). When you find the indentation, stop and write the number down. (If you are using a tool, the tool will fall into the indentation.)
4. Follow the process for the remaining two wheels.
5. Try to open the piece of luggage.
6. If the luggage still will not open, please try the following: a) If the number on the wheel is over 5, subtract 5 from the number showing. For example, if the number showing is 8 turn the wheel to 3 because 8-5=3.
b) If the number is under 5, add 5 to the number showing. For example if the number showing is 2 turn the wheel to 7 because 2+5=7. The numbers showing on the wheels will be your combination.
If you still have a problem with the combination lock, contact the nearest authorized repair center to your zip code for repair assistance. Our warranty and repair information can be viewed at http://www.samsonite.com under the heading "Customer Service Repair Centers" for your reference.
We appreciate your loyalty and will continue to design products that are reliable business or travel companions.

Thanks to you Samsonite for telling your little secret on breaking your own code. And I really mean it. Now if you are wondering what the combination to my luggage was, looks like I was blaming the wrong guy for messing up my mind.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

On the First Cubicle day of 2009

Did I say that the year appears to be a peaceful and relaxing one? But as people say, not everything happens the way you think. You may also mock "You thought so?!" for yesterday happened to be one of the busiest days in the last 2 years in US. Reaching the office on the first day of the year 2009 as early as 9:30 AM, I went straight to work on the interesting discussion with the DBAs I mentioned in the previous post and it was not before lunch time that we realized that it is going to be much more interesting than we thought. To say it in simple terms, you have entered attendance twice for the last 10 days and you were billed twice but got caught during the pay day and they decided not to pay you at all. The resolution: strike out all the wrong attendance entries and go to all departments to get the salary corrected. And it was not until 1 AM in the night that you cleared all the issues and you knew you will get your salary correctly the next day. The sad part is I even had to give up go-karting race with Sachin for work. But all is well that ends well. So after another 2 hours of work on the first weekend of the year, we pray that the salary will be deposited at least by tomorrow. You too pray for the year to be little easier in the coming days.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Its a Fresh start.... once again

Happy New Year guys and girls!. A fresh year has started. Time to bring back the resolutions you lost in the previous year and new ones that you might want to add to the list that you would be lost before the next year. Am I starting my first post of the year in a sorrowful tone? Why so negative? Yeah! Why am I being so negative? Let’s start again. Time to fresh start your resolutions that you will try hard to maintain till the start of next year. That’s better I think. Good. I think this is the first New Year eve that went away without much excitement except few calls from friends and home. The year changed while I was in my home watching TV and talking to friends. No shouts or fireworks to welcome the year. But it was good. It was good to feel the New Year eve to be just another day and what’s better than starting the year with sitting on the couch and watching your favorite movie (The Dark Knight) on the TV. It is like blessing for a relaxed and peaceful year ahead. And So I slept very early in the night around 12:30 AM which is early even for any other day for me.
Believe me when I say I woke up early at 7:30 AM. And it was not to switch off the alarm and to get back to sleep. I really did wake up 7:30 AM and made few calls. But then, I went back to sleep. Another sign of a peaceful year ahead I think. So after relaxing and comfortable sleep, the New Year started truly at around 11 AM with more phone calls, Google chats and orkut scraps. Funny but common was wishing "Happy Birthday" instead of the Happy New Year". May be it should be considered as wishing the birth of the year 2009. So all went well including having work on a holiday and few interesting mails between the DBAs, developers and support that is always fun to watch. And if all these seem so normal for any other day, the blast was the Project party at Zuma Fun center in the evening. Visit the site and you will know what fun it promised.... for the kids. Now visit this photo album and you will know how great we were ... as kids. A perfect start for the New Year indeed.