Saturday, November 27, 2004

Eating Out & Lunch-time bets

One of my friends here and I went to eat out this afternoon. Today was one of those days made just for driving around, cruising on the highway flanked on both sides by farms. It reminded me of the vacations I spent in my native village. We went to a restaurant about 13 kilometres from here, and returned with full stomachs; 1 Mutton Briyani, Naan, Kalimirch murgi(blackpepper chicken) and 1 Chicken briyani! We were so stuffed we did not want to leave that seat. Later we went for some shopping, just some basic stuff like soap, bodyspray, topical cream, oil etc. This guy was one of the most indecisive. You won't find many such managers around. He took an hour deciding to buy a file and came back emptyhanded. "Should I do this? or that? Ok, I will do this", later he changes his mind to do That.

Some of the good stuff were made as bets over a lunch, like 'around the world in 80 days', the webcam, etc. Now this, the largest digital panoramic picture, a gigapixel picture, by some engineers in The Netherlands. We had such discussions even in Dilbert College back home. The verdict of the majority would be always 'Why this unnecessary work?' or 'it is impossible', unless it was a project week and some come up with some good ideas. Some guys do come up with useful things, like this English to Tamil converter this guy called 'Kuchi' made or the nifty hydraulic robot my seniors made, or the battery powered car my cousin made when she just joined medical college.

The Dutch team used already available technologies, although it had to upgrade them to be able to handle the high-resolution image.

These guys, in the Netherlands, had to 'upgrade' many of their stuff. Leaves them with even more cool stuff, huh? Now, they are going to 'upgrade' even further!

Following the success of this project, and with promises of help from others, the TNO team is considering creating a full 360-degree panoramic view of another Dutch city, with even higher resolution.

Maybe it is a European thing, doing things unnecessary and making all people crave for it. This guy thinks Indian engineers are content with writing code and not so much for innovation.

Friday, November 26, 2004

This vacation is coming to a close. In 2 days it will be back to the grinding wheel. I also have to worry about my placements now.

I eat my words when I said earlier this vacation sucks. This is one of the best - nothing but eating and sleeping all day with browsing the internet all night. When you have the whole night left to yourself, you discover many things; I saw a blog (long discontinued) by someone from my Alma Mater (Anna University). Anyone know her? It was nice reading about assessments, Techofes,RCC, RCC annex, AVRC and stuff like coming late to class because some idiot is visiting Raj Bhavan and traffic gets held up.

Germans are top dogs of engineering, really, People make vehicles out of their (old?) cassette players and race them! They are not made by engineers, but mostly by ordinary people!! It is said that India has the largest engineering talent pool, but why don't we have something like this?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Free Press

After the internet, ask people for money for anything they can get for free, a blackmarket bigger than the original will quickly come up. Put something across free access and an easier path will open up, just like water just flows around obstacles. A lot of times, I have been received links for newspaper articles by email only to find out that a 'registration' is required. The registration itself is not bad, but telling it is just an irritant and it takes the precious few minutes that I have of internet time. If you are going to let me view them for free, why not just let them free, instead of bringing up a 'login' page? I have registered in so many news sites that it is very difficult to keep track of all logins and passwords, unless they are all the same. To overcome this and to prevent any new registration, there is this nifty website called

Many kind souls have 'donated' login/password combinations for many sites, including the ones I frequent, like,, etc. The main page says '38125 sites liberated', 'tell everybody you know'. I have given a few too.

One question though, will the passwords be safe? The internet being filled with lowlifes, will they let the passwords remain?

Monday, November 22, 2004

USA Military Aid to Pakistan

Before and during the US Presidential Elections, all the right-wing buck futters all supported Bush saying that he is better for India than a democratic president. They said, a republican president will support only India and will put pressure on Pakistan to stop infiltration. That will never happen. Not only was Pakistan made its major non-NATO ally, it is now being rewarded with US$ 1.3 Billion including 8 P-3C Orion aeroplanes. They have also asked for 2000 TOW-2A missiles, and 6 Phalanx systems for their warships and they will definitely get it, along with the F16 jets pending. So, can we expect terrorism to increase in the Kashmir Valley? or will it be a big war?

Joshua Kucera wrote it all so well.

Bill Clinton (a democrat) only raised his eyebrows against pakistan during the Kargil War, but Richard Nixon (a republican) was ready to send the US 7th Fleet to help Pakistan during the 1971 war. Yeah, republicans always liked India.

Easter Egg

There is this nice software called YBook from which enables reading html and text files like paperback books. When you open a file in it, it shows the current process it is doing, like, 'removing html tags', 'converting tabs'. One of the status messages is 'Pondering the meaning of life'. You can see it when you open a sufficiently big file. Does it qualify as an easter egg?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

This Sucks

It is just the first day of the vacations and it already sucks. Woke
up late at 11 am, 2 pm and 5 pm. Everytime I found that I had missed
breakfast or lunch. Had I decided to go home instead of staying back,
food would have been prepared and kept on the kitchen counter. Or, I
could go to Pizza hut or Marrybrown or some other nice place, or
atleast to my aunt's place for variety. I am lonely here and going to
sleep hungry (boohoo). Must take advantage of all the free time and do
something fruitful.