30 July, 2007

Why do i blog?

7-8 months ago... I started a blog just to know what a blog exactly is... I had no idea what was I gonna write on the blog... so for nearly 4 months my blog was just sitting there in the dark corner.. waiting to be rediscovered. and then a concoction of circumstances changed everything... today I just love blogs! here's y--

1) I came across some really awesome blogs which was my source of inspiration for a blog. I realised I could write whatever I want, however I want. And its soo different from a diary, which no one would read, atleast until I pass away. I could communicate whatever I can't through normal 1-1 communication. just coz they aren't considered to be "healthy" communication topics. I could log whatever I feel at the spur of the moment... come back to it later and discover how wrong I was !! I could vent my frustrations... talk to "unknown" people without caring whether they are listening or not...

2) blogs can be private... so instead of a potentially unsafe diary, I can always resort to a blog and use it as a diary.... today, when i read the posts written when i was either frustrated, angry or exhilarated, I realise how foolishly I acted in many situations... that the fault was mine in many of them... that people weren't as wrong as I thought when they accused me of condescending... but isn't it for the good?.. now I can work on the areas I faltered!

3) and lastly, blogs make me feel free!!.. u don't have to care about your, so-called "image"... you can be rude, sarcastic, selfish, generous, caring, compassionate... just anything u want!!!.... u can finally be YOURSELF without caring "what others will think"... that, i think, was the major attraction !!


23 July, 2007

The Boy Who Lived ... *censored as it was a spoiler*

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

***************** Spoilers *****************
(almost the entire plot uncovered :D )

What a way to end the fascinating 7 year journey through the truly magical, magical world of JK !!!
Not a single word in the entire 607 page epic fails to grip you... there is action right from the word go... so many secrets unravel... new unfathomable powers... and the brave 17 year old wizard facing the might of Voldemort, the most powerful Dark Wizard ever... The book surely gets the adrenaline rushing. And at the end, it is satisfying. Nowhere do you question the absurdness of a novice wizard challenging the might of Voldemort and still winning. so convincing is the story.

The grooviest part of the book was ofcourse the fight at Hogwarts. The climax that is! Giants, Giant spiders, Death-eaters and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named- all those aganist a bunch of Hogwarts teachers, Order members and some students !! .. and how Harry manages to pull off the victory!

But, JKs masterstoke would be the delineation of Dumbledore!!
She has a message here. Dumbledore is not this infallible shrewd wizard who somehow always does the right things! During his youth, he was as attracted to power as Voldemort was. Even he had this greed to "master death" ... apparently that was the last common thing between the two great wizards. No man is born great, its what his deeds that make him great...Dumbledore "understood" magic. He knew its limitations. He understood HIMSELF. He gathered himself up after the initial fiasco, learned from his mistakes. That made him great. He did not succumb to the greed of power. Voldemort did. In the insatiable hunger of power, to rule the world, to defy death he cornered himself!
We should all know this... its how we react to situations, that describes us. Selfless love, trust, faith make us powerful, not fear and coercion.

newayz... the book is just awesome!
How she manages to weave such mesmerisingly flawless and gripping stories, she knows!... but the spell she casts on the readers is unsheildable! :d

17 July, 2007

The sweet taste of success !!

Today's lesson : Wine is not the only thing that tastes sweeter with time ... so does success !!
I also realised why people get so intimidated even at the thought of hacking with the linux kernel.

5 days ago..........
Me : Hey, lets do that kernel module thing... its gonna be whacky !!
He : yeah man, lets do it...

So, we installed Suse linux 9.3 (and while trying to recompile the kernel.. totally screwed up 2 laptops... one of which refused to detect any active partition and the other simply gave up!!.. but thats another story which is definitely not gonna appear on this blog !!).
and tried the "Hello, World" kernel module... to be frank.. "hello, world" programs have never excited me .... one of the reasons being their over-exposure (C, C++, Java, VC++, VB, SQL, LISP, etc etc) ...

but.. this one was just kickass !!
so.. we wrote out first hello, world kernel module. It took hardly 3 min... but what followed was hell !!...
Linux just refused to compile the code saying that some "CONFIG_X86_L1_CACHE_SHIFT" wasn't defined... that we managed to circumvent... but the next error was a bouncer

#error processor family not defined

what crap??... Linux just refused to acknowledge the processor that ran it!! .. that is kalyug !:P
newayz... so started our brainstorming sessions... we googled everything... read forums... pestered our proj guide to bail us out (till the point where he must have thought.. why on earth did i choose these dumbasses?)... studied the linux code header files... and every damn thing that cld be done .. was tried !!.. recompiling the kernel.. trying the 100s of commands suggested on various forums... other linux versions... and what not !
but...alas! 5 days... all wasted!! ... each one of us put atleast 4-5 hrs a day just beseeching Linux to ack the presence of its GodFather, the processor.....

and comes today. What a way to solve the problem !!
well ... while i was driving to chill's place (thinking about Emma Watson ofcourse ;) )... and bang! ... the lightning had struck! ... so.. cancelled all the plans... told Emma to wait while I do some imp work... went back to my place.. booted Suse... and husssh.. the DAMN thing worked !!
I cld see my "hello, world" module proudly sitting 3rd in the lsmod listing !! ... that was it !... the exhilaration was numbing... I wanted to dance.. shout... sing... kiss Emma ;) .. all at the same time !! ... that was it...

and suddenly i realised, its just a "hello, world" program .. and thats the best hello, world program we wrote!!....

13 July, 2007

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix

******* WARNING : SPOILERS ***********

So was released the 5th installment of the Harry Potter series !!

For a hardcore HP book fan the movie turns out to be a disappointment. What with many scenes deleted, worse : modified. But, thats not the only thing that makes the cinema aweful.

The director somehow thinks that 2 hour movies are sure-shot hits. But, in that frenzy to be done with the movie in 2 hrs, the plot is distorted !!
1) the movie moves on soo fast, it is sometimes hard to catch-up with the pace. It ends up to be a collage of only the most imp scenes. HP loses its magic with the details not filled in.

2) many many scenes are simple deleted (eg. No Marietta the traitor, No centaur teacher, The room of requirement cannot be accessed by just anyone (the movie sadly ignores this), no Avada Kedavra curse in the Voldy-Dumby showdown (in the book Voldy fires 3 of em on Dumby), no Sirius-Bellatrix fight, etc etc)

3) The characters lack depth. You never feel the same anger and resentment for Umbridge as you do in the book. The portrayal of Dumbledore, Bellatrix and other powerful wizards/witches is pretty much lame. You just don't get the adrenaline rush when Dumbledore enters a scene. Even the scene in the last fight, where Dumbledore makes a grand entry and takes on 6-7 death eaters so easily, is simply dropped !!

4) NO QUIDDITCH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
now thats outrageous!! ... how can there be no quidditch in an HP movie!

5) The looks of the Dementors is changed (but its for the good).. also the way Sirius appears in the fire is slightly modified (but again.. for the good)

Agreed that the book is too long and that its not possible to show everything in the movie blah blah... but 3 hours would have surely done some justice to the plot.. you can't relate the story in 2 hrs... its bound to fail !!

But, there are some agreeable changes too .. like the Fred and George escape (altho modified... the effect is magnificent!)... and the voldy-dumby fight is excellently portrayed (altho I seriously missed Avada-Kedavra !!))

All in all, if you are a hard-core book fan, its unlikely you'll love the movie.. but its a good one-time watch.. but for others.. its a feast for the eyes !! what with Emma Watson ;) and the awesome special effects !!
My rating : 7/10

11 July, 2007

A bastion among the clouds !!

There we were, 7 of us (not related to the 7 wonders of the world :P) at the Malavli station (just before Lonavla). The sweet scent in the air was sooo much refreshing, a change from the otherwise polluted Pune environment !!

So, started our trek (I prefer to call it that, sounds FUNDOO :P) to LOHAGAD. 100m into the trek and we were already beginning to enjoy it. We were standing on a bridge spanning across the Mumbai-Pune Expressway... on the bridge.. the E-way spanned till the horizon on both the sides... awesome!!

And after what seemed like only a few seconds (but actually a whole 20 mins), we continued. As we were treading across a village, it seemed that all the bulls out there were seduced by VEDANG's charms... all of em WANTED him !! (to be fair, he was wearing a bright red T-shirt). And as we passed the village and Vedang rejected all the advances... we 7 jewels started composing a poem on our dear friend VINAYAK ... it went something like
"ek hota Vinayak...
to vikayala gela kitak nashak...." etc etc... (check out FRIENDZ blog for the entire poem)
and then as we were done with the poem, we entered the wonderful world of nature!... streams of clear water flowing along the kaccha road we were treading, clouds obscuring the pinnacle of mountains, brief spells of rain, greenery all over and the brief glimpses of the fort among the clouds .. all sooo mesmerising !! On one side were the vast expanses of plains and on the other the intimidating mountains...

1:30 hours into the trek, and we reached a place that would leave Kashmir far behind. Two mountain ranges crawling towards one another, both pointed at their ends with steep slopes. On the left range sat royally the Visapur fort and on the right, the LOHAGAD fort. Both majestic. we were there in the valley between them mesmerized by their royalty. The clouds and the slight sunshine permanently imprinted the view on our minds.

and SO, we continued (for the fear of overrunning the Google server with too much data, I'll skip over to the point where we actually reached the fort). So, after climbing just about 30-40 steps, we realised why Shivaji maharaj chose this location to build the fort. Well, I don't have words to describe the point and frankly no words could suffice. Here's a sample pic :

Next, we entered the fort. It is in such a good shape. No one would believe it was built 100s of years ago. The holes in the walls for firing arms, the huge doors, the small dark chambers, even the unharmed steps, the intimidating walls, all sooo beautiful !

and we explored the fort for nearly half an hour. Then we reached a Darga. we could barely discern the structure among the thick fog although we were barely 20-25 m away from it. The ravine on the left and the NOTHING on the right (Actually, a thick cloud cover:P) and the rain now pouring. It was the perfect spot for a katta. So, we sat there and chatted chatted chatted while basking in the heavenly atmosphere.

Here's a pic of the darga:

None of us wanted to leave, so we continued up the hill in now, even a thicker cloud cover. There we reached a well. The biggest one I have seen till date. We couldn't see the other end of the well.. but till the point we could discern, the well had no end!
A perfect spot for a horror movie:P. by then, the rain had gained such a momentum as to be comparable to the Mumbai rains. we could actually feel the rain slapping us on our backs. So we had make a move. But, took shelter in a nearby shelter!
There we unleashed our musical instincts which never subjugated until we reached Pune. We sung all the songs right from "Pardesi Pardesi jana nahi ..." :P ... to "Yaaron Dosti ....". (and we could make out the irritation on CHIRAYU' face... ofcourse.. what would a musician feel to face such a mass-distortion of awesome songs!! .. we could totally understand.. but our spirits couldn't... and we continued.............................

and let me not bore u with our return journey.. which was every bit as exciting as the climb.
I guess.. this was by far the bessst trek I ever had !!!
And I would never forget the lovely place, only second to Kashmir. The best part of the trek was that we were almost alone in the entire fort which kinda made us feel like the kings of the fort! ...

a must visit place !!

09 July, 2007

"AAJ TAK" - the fastest news service spreading rumours

How can people be so stupid?
well.. just yesterday while I was out attending a marriage... one of my relatives came to me sounding distressed... apparently he had been watching the news and "aaj tak" news channel reported some 27 deaths .. and the cause?
You get a call from an unkown number.. and when you answer the call ... you instantly die of brain hemorrhage. This is because the call activates a virus which sends out high-frequency waves...

I mean.. how stupid is that!
First... how the hell does a call activate a virus?

Second... Are the handset makers stupid enough to provide speakers that can emit such high frequency tones? (well ... even NORMAL programs do go wrong.. and they are aware of that.. so they will never take such a risk)

Third... Why does the screen turn red?.. does the mobile OS somehow get a premonition of the forthcoming death? :P

and Last... technical.. but well.. even the techies were taken for a ride by this rumour...
Do you know the concept of bands? .. no signal outside a band of frequencies is accepted or transmitted.. bandpass filters ensure that.. so how the heck does this new virus circumvent that?

click here
for the complete news of the foolhardy !!.. we had real fun during the marriage.. faking unknown numbers.... and havin a gooood laugh!!... you too will lol once you know how absurd all this is !!

01 July, 2007

New cell

its been 10 days since i got this new cell : Sony Ericsson W200i...

cool, isn't it?
I've been addicted to this ...

although there are some shortcomings like no bluetooth, only a VGA camera and only 128MB mem, it has everything I want.
Walkman facility with high quality mega-bass headphones and the usual games and applications. The GUI is great. and unlike the LG or panasonic handsets, the buttons are easy to use.
The lack of bluetooth is somewhat compensated by infrared. atleast I can transfer themes and small wallpapers, if not large applications and games.
The looks are typically Sony Ericsson, rocks !!

and the most imp thing : its real cheap... 6380 bucks is what it costs !! with amazing functionality packed in!!