Thursday, March 30, 2006

Linux-PCQLinux a true winner.

For those who have been following my frustrations with Linux over the past few month, excuse me. I'm writing this blog from a Linux window, feels good. Feels even better that a Distro given by an Indian magazine PC Quest(It is their inhouse development) works, better than the famouse distros. If magazine houses can do this, what about actual commited development companies towards new distros in India. We could take over the linux market by storm :-))
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Speaking at Bangalore BarCamp

Yours truly will be speaking at Bangalore BarCamp on April 22nd on the topic of "Mashups in Enterprises". My first time in such a conference, butterflies running all over. If any body does have any examples or case studies, please do let me know as this would really help me.,,

Monday, March 27, 2006

Addendum to Linux a pain in the neck

Last time when I wrote that I was a failure installing Linux due to the ASUS motherborad, I manged to sell the comp, which was a new one. I bought a whole new computer with new specs, this time Intel one, and ofcourse the SATA hard disk format as nobody is selling otherwise.

With this, I was armed. (Or so I thought). I installed Ubuntu this time, as I read from their site, that they can sit on any hardware or almost. Well the installation went through smoothly, however(there is always one), once I start the system, it hangs at "Starting Hotplug Subsystem" or such message, and never does anything.

Well here it is again, Windows is much easier to install and it recognises anything you throw at it. No wonder Linux is not popular for the common crowd. For heaven's sake, somebody understand, this world is not filled with Linux geeks, so make operating systems for the common man, this would help popularise the product itself.,

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Andaman Part - II

Cellular Jail: Also in the earlier days called as Kaalapaani, one of the worst prisons in the history of Indian Independence. A reminder of the people who fought so hard for our independence, was a place filled with painful memrobilia. The entry is itself was not a cheerful one, a small entrance, with towering walls of prison ensured, that the person coming in would feel the unwelcomed reception. Was built around 1906, and used for the freedom fighters who could no longer be handled on the mainland. A painful scene was the windows for every cell, which were sized 3' by 1'. Once Gen Walker, the incharge of the Jail said, "In this world, there are 2 Gods, one up there, whom you all pray, and one myself, to whom you should pray. Remember gentlemen these walls are intentionally made short, we know you have no way to escape, you listen to me, you are safe, else only your God should save you".
Towering Walls of the JailTowering Walls of the Jail
Entrance to the cellsEntrance to the cells
Cell WindowsCell Windows
Crazy times they were. The prison was 8' wide and about 12' long. The whole design of the prison is that there is a central watch tower from which 7 wings spread out in all directions.Model of the Jail.

Every wing had a workshop, within which the prisoners were forced to work in inhuman conditions. The prisoners themselves have said, that they had grind oil out of coconuts, which in their villages a couple of oxen would get 16 pounds a day, the prisoners were forced to pound out 80 pounds!!!! It is really inhuman. If they did not do the Quotas, they were wipped and thrown into the human waste which was to be cleaned by them.

There is a small museum honouring the brave prisoners and also a flame lit in their memory. In the evening, there was also a light and sound show about the prison itself. A must visit place in Port Blair. More photos of Andaman is here. ,,,

Andaman Part I

It was late in the night, a train chugged along the track, towards a filled platform. A train from Bangalore to Chennai Central, takes about 6.5 hrs.

We left Bangalore at 22:30, and were expecting to arrive in Chennai at 0500 hrs. Any sliup would cause complete chaos in our schedule to catch the flight to Port Blair. Lucky we arrived on time. Once there, with my incredible capability of speaking broken Tamil, I went to the pre paid auto counter and hired an auto for the airport.

Chennai is a beautiful city in the mornings, not very hot, a cool breeze, one can almost feel the saline content in the air. However one I sat in the auto, I forgot all this beauty, the only thing I remember as to how I use to gulp down air everytime the auto driver avoided(I guess not intentionally) the traffic. The roads were wide and nice, but our Auto Driver had a special knack of going to close to other vehicles and then at the last moment swinging away from them. For the first time, I prayed to God, will all my heart. I also noticed, that it is just not the auto driver who drove in such a fashion, even commoners(not the call center cabbies or bus drivers), drove the same way.

Limb and life unhurt, we reached the airport. At the airport, it was Supreme confusion, the police there were not sure whether they could allow, passengers, with the air deccan printout, after quite a wait, we were let in. The airport inside looked good. We checked in our luggage and were feeling ravenous. (We here is my wife Ashwini and I). We hobbled towards the Taj breakfast counter, and asked for sandwhiches and coffee. Coffee was not bad, true to speaking of Chennai standards, however the sandwiches were horrible. I saw people having a similar experience with the other food groups too.

Somehow the first impression about Chennai, was not a great one, except for the roads and the early morning weather.

Chennai is the south hub for Indian flights. All types originate and end there. We saw new flights like Paramount Airways who serve the section between Air Deccan and Kingfisher doing very well there. The traditional Chettiar families who own mills/jewellery shops in coimbatore or Chennai, fly regularly. Flights were there even to places like Madurai. This kind of connectivity is required in Karnataka too, no idea when this would come in.

We were called in for the Flight to Port Blair(Code: IXZ), and comlpeted security check and boarded the plane. Not too much to say about Air Deccan, a decent service for the price taken.

Chennai to Port Blair is a two hour ordeal, I call it this as there is no entertainment and no magazines that one can flip through for these two hours. It is a distance of about 1400 Kms to be covered.

I was expecting to see the islands reefs when landing, however was pretty cloudy. The first glimpse of the island was the coconut trees lining the beaches, what a sight it was, wish I could take a photograph.

The plane landed smoothly. Port Blair airport is an extremly small one. It is used by the Airforce, Navy and Commercial aircrafts. All commercial aircrafts, from Kolkata and Chennai, landings and takeoffs are through by mid-day. The city's main road passes through the airport runway, whenever there is a plane taking off, this road is closed, like a crossing at the railway crossing.

The departure and the arrival are nearly the same place here. Walked out into the open and the Resort had arranged a car for us to be taken to the Jetty.(The resort here is Wild Orchid Resort run on the island of Havelock...) The driver said that we could freshen up in their offices and since it was still 0930 hrs, and the ferry to havelock left only at 1340, we could go around Port Blair's Cellular Jail and the aquarium and the beaches. ,

Bar Camp Bangalore Update

BarCamp Bangalore, is finalized on April 22 2006 at Yahoo Bangalore.
Timing: 0900 to 1700
Address:
Yahoo! Software Development India Pvt. Ltd.
4th floor, "Esquire Center"
#9, M.G. Road
Bangalore - 560 001.

Check their site at http://barcamp.org/BarCampBangalore
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Friday, March 24, 2006

Bar Camp Bangalore

A few of us Yahoos are going to be in Bar camp Bangalore, tentative date on 22nd April.Check it out here Bar Camp Bangalore

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Andaman Calling

I'm off to Andaman for a week's vacation today, for those who do not know about Andaman, it is a pristine island off the east coast of India, a great place atleast on the postcards, let me see how it is in reality.

Day 0. 16.03.2006:
Bangalore-Chennai(Via Chennai Mail) 23:15

Day 1. 17.03.2006:
Chennai-Port Blair(Flying) 07:20
Port Blair - Havelock Island(Ferry) 13:30

More later.....

For more on andaman check out Andaman IslandsPS. this link is not for promotion, just for information.,,

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

How to Save the World

Dave Pollard writes: "As part of my research for my book The Natural Enterprise, I had the chance this weekend to speak informally with a group of young people (in their 20s and 30s) about whether they would ever consider starting their own business. Most of them like the idea of doing so, but confess to being afraid to do so, to the point most would never even seriously consider it. Here are the ten reasons they gave for this, along with my thoughts on how a Natural Enterprise could overcome these fears."

Monday, March 13, 2006

Golden Ratio

Golden Ratio phi, most of us know this because it has been popularised in the book "Da Vinci Code". It is defined as the divine ratio and the perfect ratio, as the ratio defining beauty. A few days ago in Discovery Channel, an episode was aired on, how scientists calculate beauty. It was seen that every thing in nature which is beautiful follows the principle of the Golden Ratio, the ratio between the length of the face to the width of the face, between the bones in the fingers...

But have you ever thought about beauty in products, check this site out Muthu.

Golden Ratio truly divine in the best form of ipod. , , ,

Salads, Juices and Sandwiches.

Thirsty, hungry, fat, health concious, then this is the place for you "Pure and Natural", an oasis for any of these and some other stuffs like Lassi, Salads etc...

The menu is filled with many options for every section, I love their Miso Burmese Salad and Lemon and Mint Juice.

Interiors are good too, they have a nice couch and good tables to sit around with friends or families. Located on a nice quite road(reminds me of Inner Paris Avenues) next to National College Jayanagar, gives a feeling of old college going days.

A must check out place, for the health and non-health freaks.

Pure and Natural is open from 11.00 am to 11.00 p.m. and is at 260/79, 2nd Main, 7th Block, Jayanagar. ,,,

Bar Camp Chennai


Bar Camp Chennai is happening between April 8th to 9th. This is an event where people are made aware of the Web 2.0 movement in India. Check it out here Lots of Topics are discussed and many people to meet. Be there or Be Squared. , , ,

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Weather Woes

Weather, one of the most important aspects of our lives, it changes the way we work,live,eat.... BUT we choose to neglect it.

For quite sometime, I've been seeing the changes in the weather systems.
I live in Bangalore, and have been here all my life. From the early days, I've been a part of most of the important roads of Bangalore.

During the early 80's I distinctly remember the raintree lined avenues and the Gulmohar roads. Bangalore always had a beautiful climate,during winter we used to get to 11 degress and during the summers we never got above 28 degress.

But things had to change, the boom of the software world here, has given us the Silicon Valley of India, in lieu of the tree lined streets, we see bare-boned building. The effect of this.... yes temperature rises, now in summers we have temperatures upto 38 degrees. Summers in old Bangalore(I talk pre 1995) were plesant ones, it used to be bright and sunny during the day and towards evening,, we used to have gentle showers, all this in the month of April and May. During May especially, after the showers the roads used to be filled with the petals of the red Gulmohar which gave the tinge effect for sunsets.

But now all I see is abrupt weathers, in the month of March,we have had heavy downpours, to my best rememberance, this has not happened before. Today morning, it was foggy, imagine, for all these years, there was no fog in summers and now suddenly we see one.

With all these changes, let alone our children surviving, I wonder whether we would be able to survive all this.

Maybe i'm too nostalgic, but either we turn back the wheel of time in someway or the other, I need my good ol Bangalore back. ,

Friday, March 10, 2006

O'Reilly Radar > Entrepreneurial Proverbs

" I gave a talk at ETech on Monday called 'Entrepreneuring for Geeks.' I've given this general talk a few times now -- how can the more technically minded among us move into making companies of our own? I really enjoy the talks because I really enjoy entrepreneurs;"O'Reilly Radar > more..:

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

An excellent writeup on Becoming Experts by Passionate Users

Creating Passionate Users: "The only thing standing between you-as-amateur and you-as-expert is dedication. All that talk about prodigies? We could all be prodigies (or nearly so) if we just put in the time and focused. At least that's what the brain guys are saying. Best of all--it's almost never too late." more...

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