Thursday, December 29, 2005

Vacation Time & Movie Reviews

As promised, Nevis did give us a 5 days *compulsory* holiday. I'm finding it a little tougher than I thought to sit at home. But nothing thay I'm not enjoying... I'm my own boss... No inhuman deadlines... No one to command what should I do... I do what I feel like doing... Anyway, I would have liked to go for some wildlife camp like last year, but then had to push it to next year. Though at home, I still spend 90% of my waking time on my computer. GOD! Am so addicted to it, I cannot imagine life without it. That's so bad! I got to do something about it. Something to interest you...
I watched a lot of movies lately and these are the only ones worth talking about: Aeon Flux, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children & Teesri Manzil.

Aeon Flux: A Sci-Fi dated 400 years in future... A disease has wiped out the whole of human race, except a few, protected by a congress of scientists inside a walled city. When Aeon (Charlize Theron) is sent on a mission to kill top government leader, she uncovers secrets that shakes her to the core! I won't reveal the plot, but believe me, it's amazing movie for it reveals what would happen if scientists take the charge of mother nature in their hands! Though it didn't do well at Box Office, I would recommend this movie for it's plot and Italian Job babe Charlize Theron!

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
The moment I was Final Fantasy: Spirits Within, I vouched that I *would* see it's sequel, Advent Children. If you are anime fanatic, or love Computer Graphics (CG) Animation, this is MUST-SEE movie! And even if you don't understand any of above terms I strongly urge you to see this movie. It was real pain to get this title, but it was definitely more than worth it! I couldn't grasp the whole plot, for I got hold of Japanese version with Eng subtitles. But the animation just blew my minds! And I bet it would do the same to you.

Do see the trailer before you shun down this review as 'yet-another- movie' recommendation from a movie buff. Click here for tailers.
To know more about Final Fantasy, click here.

Teesri Manzil:
For people who love old movies, they might have already seem this and loved it, for this was the greatest musical hit ever from Bollywood. With M.Rafi singing, this doesn't come as surprise. For first time in some many months have I seen a bollywood that has a plot, actresses actually act, rather than just flaunting their seemily glamarous bodies, actresses actually wear some clothes, actors deliver dialogues and above all, songs that have meaning, songs that actually flow with the movie, songs that have soothing music, and songs that are entierly directed in one place, with just one set of clothes! It's a near-perfect blend of mystery, humor, romance and music.
IMDB rating of 9.2/10 speaks by itself of this Romantic Musical Thriller!!!

Apart from pounding on my keyboard and staring point-blank towards monitor, I manage to play Table Tennis a bit and gossip with friends, read Blink and read some techie stuff.

Wish all you buddies
A Very Happy & A Prosperous New Year!

Here's my comp's screenshot!


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Nevis Launch Party: The Mega Grand Event

Well, I was dying to write this post as much you all were dying to read it. But, contrary to what I expected, schedules were as hectic as they can get even after the launch!

Nevis Launch Party on 12th Dec evening was *the* most happening event in about 2.5 years' history of Nevis. An event this big talks by itself for Nevis. I have worked in a startup before Nevis and I know what it takes for a company to reach this stage from scratch. It's a marvelous performance by Nevis, first of it's kind in the whole of India. Never before has anyone dared to undertake such a mammoth project in India: An indigenous chip, whose complexity (another link) rivals that of Pentium and software that would rival any security appliance!




After Vin lighted the Smai, grand event started with a nice and soothing prayer by one of the first employees of Nevis. Followed by a brief talk by Father of Pentium, Vinod Dham (alias Vin).



That was followed by a short talk by our CEO.


Everyone was happy because their speeches were just like a girl's skirt: Short enough to create interest and long enough to cover the subject! Both talked to point and didn't indulge in general lecturing, something you see in college functions, where give one of chief guests the mic and you curse yourself for rest of the function!

The ice-breaker item was great dance by small kids (no, please don't get your kids for recruitment at Nevis, we don't employ kids, I'm talking about employees' kids). It was a marvelous performance by them.


Then followed the drama. It was a nice play, but being a serious one I personally didn't enjoy it much. But the performance of each of the characters was just too good! Everyone was flawless. Thanks to their endless post-lunch practice sessions. The play was based on: what would happen if God let everyone choose his/her own hell and heaven! Havoc! Yes, that is what it portrayed!



Then came the exciting part: Dance on Kajrare Kajrare! I should admit that it was breathtaking. Everyone was dressed up very well and the jhatka-matka was just too enticing!





But better was yet to come... Fashion Show! This was one of the MOST awaited items of all! No one ever realized we had so many beautiful ladies in our office until this moment, and not to forget handsome gentlemen too! We had following rounds in fashion show:
1. Ethnic
2. Office wear
3. Party wear














It was wonderfully done, after all everyone had practiced for this like never before: Saturdays, Sundays, Morning, Late evenings, post-lunch, etc. etc.



What followed next were a couple of skits... I found all boring except one where my mate enacted my mentor. He was tooooooo precise in mimicking him and too hilarious! I couldn't control my laughter throughout the performance! In fact Raghu himself, in the best of his spirits, admitted that it was too good an enactment of himself!



Hold on! Yes there's more! After all the items were done, people jumped onto the stage for dancing. And it was fun to see everyone dance in his/her own rhythm! Not giving a damn what others might think of them. Exactly what I love to see! Then, people pulled up Vin! And he joyfully joined the gang. He wasn't reserved in dancing, doing whatever steps he felt like doing. Not many of you there can boast of seeing Father of Pentium (one of the most renowned personalities in Silicon Valley) dance to his own tune!!! Unfortunately I couldn't click any snaps of this because I was having my dinner then. Then, our CEO followed, then Bill Scull (senior VP Marketing), Manish Muthal (Director of ASIC Dev), Ajit Shelat (VP Advanced Technology & GM) and Raghu (Director Systems Integration). What I found MOST exciting was none of them felt it demeaning to dance like a rookie.

With Nevis' board lead by luminaries like: Robert Thomas (ex-President & CEO of NetScreen now Juniper) , Krishna Kittu Killouri (Executive VP & GM of Juniper Networks’ Security Products Group), Vinod Dham (Father of Pentium), Tushar (Co-founder & Managing Member of New Path Ventures), NEA's (amongst worlds top 3 VC firms) Mark Perry, it has been proved beyond doubt that that we are headed in the right direction. That's because these high profile people don't just fool around in the valley, they join you ONLY if they are clear enough of your: What-Why-When-How!!!

The battle's not over! What we did all these months was just preparing ourselves for the Grand Finale! All this was to reach the starting line of the race. We have come a long way, nonetheless.

Now, I take a few lines to thank people, which is much overdue...
First off, thanks a lot to my Mom, Bro & Daddy, for without their undying support I would have not been able to give 200% of myself at work. For late night reassurance that I'll be through this, triumphant! Once at office I didn't have to worry about anything else going on at home. They have tolerated my erratic work schedule, prolonged disconnectedness from family, and other numerous nuisances. Not to forget my buddies, for putting up with my non-social behaviour from time to time. Always keeping in touch when I failed to maintain contact with them and making my free time worthwhile. Without them it would have been really tough for me to maintain my sanity. And last but not the least, all my colleagues for always supporting me when I was low for some bug was just getting real PITA! How can I forget my football, who has played a major role in breaking my routines! And thanks to you all, who, in known or unknown ways, might have helped me!


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What a wonderful morning

Am at office...
Everything around slient... No noise, No haste (wish I could add 'No work ;-) )
Only my soul-mate (radio: Vividh Bharati) talking to me...
Don't know what program is going on, but it's playing GREATEST of the songs!
Otherwise at this time it ususally blurts latest bollywood shit.

What a wonderful way to start the day, I wish it remains so throughout!!! Long live my Vividh Bharati! You have made my day!

Monday, December 12, 2005

What a hectic weekend

The whole of last week was hellishly hectic: Office work (as usual) lots and lots and lots and lots of marriages/social functions/guests! Phew! Every morning I felt drained off energy. But come Sunday and I played football, of course, enjoyed the game.

What's more interesting is that we had company basketball tournament. I am not good at basketball and hardly played a full game. But on insistence of my mates
(and more out of the fact that we didn't many players) I agreed to play. And guess what!!!! We won (12-7) against SEED Infotech! This was our first match, where none of us practiced and we won it! Isn't it amazing!

Our opponents were physically very well built and they had better skills compared to our team. But I took them on our defensive strength! They were leading intially (4-0) but once we reorganized and devised stratergy, we gained ground. Siddarth, Amit Kane, Amit Singh & Ravi did amazing job of taking care of scoring! Myself, Barve, Sagar, Shrirang were playing defensive for most of the game. Siddarth with his composed temperament slowed down the game whenever he sensed our team was rushing, the 2 Amits and Ravi made good moves and Sid passed on the ball to them whenever appropriate. It was fun playing basketball, even though at the end of the day every muscle was aching.

With MEGA-GRAND Party tonite, half of Nevis' gang is out at the party lawn already rehearsing for the grand finale! I am feeling VERY bored to work alone here. So plan to pack up and reach the venue a little early!

Will post pics if I manage to get some good ones!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Book review: The Code Book and Pompeii The Last Day

Seeing it on the desk of my mate, I was tempted to buy this book almost the same instant! Coincidently I was planning to visit Crosswords the same day for they had organized a sale.

The title itself '
The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Code Breaking' was enough to entice me into buying it. I didn't think twice. This book beautifully explains the secret art of en-coding a message and de-coding it: termed as Cryptography.

People love secrets. Ever since the first word was written, humans have sent coded messages to each other. This obsession with secrecy has had dramatic effects on the outcome of wars, monarchies and individual lives. In
The Code Book, Simon Singh, offers a peek into the world of cryptography and codes, from ancient texts through computer encryption.

Singh's compelling history is woven through with stories of how codes and ciphers have played a vital role in warfare, politics, and royal intrigue. The major theme of
The Code Book is "the ongoing evolutionary battle between codemakers and codebreakers," never more clear than in the chapters devoted to World War II.

He beautifully traces through the history from military espionage in ancient times to modern computer ciphers. The book is written well. Technically precise and using as many daily-life examples as necessary to explain necessary concepts.



Thats not all... better's on its way...
The last chapter that talks about Quantum Computing & Cryptography is most interesting, inlcined towards technical readers.

He describes to want extent government/military can go to proctect new cryptographic methods devised by stalwarts, and alas never got the recognition in their life times.
Did you know that ENIAC was *not* the forerunner of modern computers?
Did you know that RSA Public Key method of cryptrography (most secure means of communicating as of today) was NOT the first asymmetric key encryption system?
I bet you didn't! Then grab this book and feast yourself!

The Code Book is a real treat for those wishing to understand how the human need for privacy has manifested itself through cryptography.

Also saw an interesting documentary 'Pompeii: The Last Day'
Dating AD 79, an amazing short documentary on how Mount Vesuvius erupted with horrifying force, destroying the prosperous Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Forever engraving Mother Nature's message, once again:
Don't Mess with me!


Monday, November 28, 2005

Weekend update

WOW! I did it!!! Yes, I managed to take off on Sat & Sun, both the days, something I wanted for a LONG time! Not that I don't like to work, but if you know you are working over weekend, it affects your effeciency. You tend to think, I'll carry over this to weekend, let me be a little relaxed.
At home, I did a lot of pending chores: Bank, lightbill, cleaning up, and many small-small things.

Saturday: After doing all the pending chores, I lazed around for most of the day. Read through The Code Book. I have now upgraded from pesky GPRS internet connection to BSNL's DataOne Broadband service! It still is a little pain to get the connection from them, but I found them to be little more responsive and friendly than in earlier days when they were real PITA to deal with. I wouldn't say that broadband has become cheaper but it's definitely not very costly either. It's for my brother that I had to upgrade to a better service. GPRS was good only for checking mails and very casual browsing and chatting. But if you were to prepare for some seminar or doing something more serious, GPRS service isn't very reliable. At times it was pain connecting to net. Not to forget the pain it was for me to get it working. It's only 2 days and I have already started liking this speed. For heavy downloaders like me, it's like being in paradise!!!

Sunday: As a norm, went for football. Wasn't more fun than last weekend and that's mainly because people (including me) didn't turn up on time. Rest of the day, I spent lazing and reading The Code Book. Just a chapter left to finish. I would say it's an amazing book!

With a lot of people preparing for the BIG bash for our launch (Fashion Show, Dance, Drama, etc.) the environment is completely charged up here. I'll post a few snaps of the rehearsal soon.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

IT Survivors - Staying Alive In A Software Job

Are you plaqued by extreme pressure from your boss...
Are you expected to meet inhuman & unreasonable timelines...
Are you left with almost no social/personal life...
You are not the only one! Read the article linked below.

How many Americans would sacrifice their Thanks Giving and Christmas vacation! I believe even GOD won't have the guts to take it away from them! And how many Indians are willing to sacrifice their Diwali (etc) celebrations! Almost ALL!!! Believe me or not, we the young force are explioted hellishly in this industry! Just give it an objective thought!

I couldn't agree more with this article: IT Survivors - Staying Alive In A Software Job
Though most of times it talks about outsourcing jobs, with my firsthand experience, I tell you it's true for Software guys-n-gals even in general.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

This weekend sucked BIG time

A little late on this.
Satruday: Like a looser I was at office the whole day. But my daddy had come to Pune after a long time so was excited about it. I was having dinner on this amazingly beautiful night with my family when my mobile rings (how much I detest this 'reach me whenever you want to' technology!). It flashed 'Nevis calling'! DAMN! My heart sank! I knew what was coming. It was my manager on the phone, he *WANTED* me to come on Sunday and fix an issue (which he rated as critical). I said I'll try and then looked at my daddy. I wanted to spend time with him as he was planning to leave early Sunday morning. He said he's willing to leave by noon. I called my manager a couple of minutes later saying I'll come to office on Sunday. Though it wasn't my baby, I thought I will fix the problem in 3-4 hours and come back home.
!@#$ I should have known better!


Sunday: The day started VERY well! Beautiful morning! Cool football game. It was FUN for a number of reasons: 12 people had turned up for the game. I believe it's highest attendance ever since rainy seasons! This meant bigger game! Plus, I was able to make some good passes. And thirdly, we were planning to hire some guys to clean up the grassland-look that our football field has donned.


Drenched in sweat, I went to office, had a shower in the clubhouse and then directly into the freezing lab. I looked into the problem. Though simple, many components were integrated together into this deployment where the bug was seen. It took almost the whole !@#$ing day only to get the deployment working and understand the setup. It was almost evening by the time we eliminated each of the layers which could cause the problem. It was 2001 hrs by the time things were resolved. Not at all feeling triumphant over this bug fixing, with whole body aching, begging for hot water shower and some rest, I drove back home. Of course, daddy had left by then, waiting until late noon for me to return.


Monday, I was feeling so drained and listless that I could hardly concentrate on work. Every evening I promise myself to leave early so that I can rest a bit, but it's not working. Something comes up which keeps me at office until late.

What a waste of weekend :-( :-( :-(

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Nevis Making Noise in Silicon Valley

This post serves 2 purposes...
First is to bust the rumor that I have been abducted by some alien forces, and wanted to reassure I'm very much in this planet, just a little dormant, socially.

Secondly, thought of sharing what's happening in my world and what's keeping me up these days. Some good news to share...(no, sorry, it's not what most of you are thinking ;-)

Under stealth mode for 2+ years, Nevis has been making much noise in the world now. In Silicon Valley, on 14th of this month, we had an official press release, OR Company Launching, as we call it. What exactly 'Company Launch' means for a startup like Nevis. Most importantly, it means we are coming out of our stealth mode and officially announce the range of products we are developing, exact features and timelines for the same. (Thank GOD, I can now discuss openly with my mates what exactly are we doing). We invite leading analysts and new agencies for questionaire, and am glad that all of them were awestruck by the end of session. For interested readers, here are some links that dig into the details of all this company launch thing. But mind you, all these analysts do their own independent study and write what is their view of the product. We don't decide what they write and what not. So, it's interesting to note that we have a market and a unique solution.

0. Revamped Company website: Nevis Networks
1. Information Week
2. Network World
3. EE Times
4. Netwroking Pipeline
5. Business Wire
6. EDACafe

So, what next???
With India's official launch date on 12th of Dec, work's pretty crushing at the moment. But we all are promised a decent vacation at the end of this year. GOD! How much we all are awating that day!!!

Meanwhile, all you Jolie fans, feast your eyes...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Weekend update

Weekend(s) update after a *long* time!
Managed to get 3 days off as Diwali vacation: A well deserved and well earned vacation (yes, 3 days off is really a vacation @ Nevis ...sigh...). I lazed like crazy! Went home for 2 days, enjoyed at Mahabaleshwar for about half a day. Boating, hogging junk food, and lots of driving!
Err... yes, All my readers:
Wish you a Very Happy Diwali & Prosperous New Year!

Back to office last friday, there were so few people in the office that I felt all the air around me secretly whisper: "Atul, WTF are you doing here... It's vacation time, go home and enjoy". Alas! Those words fell on deaf ears. After a couple of meetings, managed to get something done and went home early.

Saturday: I left office early so that I can visit Crosswords, they are having a GRAND sale. I don't know the quality of sale, but it was a visit long due. I picked nothing from 'books under sale'. I was interested (& bought) these two interesting titles:
1. The Code Book, Simon Singh
2. Ignited Minds, APJ Abdul Kalam

Just started reading The Code Book, and it sounds very interesting & thought provoking. It's about how-who-when-and-why's about cyptography. And why is that field of science more relevant to common man than ever before.

Sunday: Back to football ground after soooo long (almost 3 weeks). To regain my sanity, this Sunday's session was so important to me that despite the fact that only 5 people turned up for the game, we played for about an hour! WOW! It was so much fun to play after a long break. I believe I have regained enough sanity now to assault the keyboard & get some real work done, at the least until next session.

A few days back, also managed to see 'IMAX: The Greatest Places' Witness the greatest collection of diversity ever produced.
It is an amazing (documentary) film that takes you on a journey to seven of the most geographically dynamic locations on Earth: The Amazon, Greenland, Iguazu Falls, Namib Desert, Okavango Delta, Madagascar, Tibet. It evokes a desire STRONG enough to add these to the list of must-visit places before you die.

Today, the day started with a VERY VERY VERY boring presentation. Wish it doesn't affect rest of the working day. I had a very strong intution right before it started that it's going to be very boring, wish I had quit it right when it started. Next time I'll follow my intution ;-)

Friday, October 21, 2005

You know why humans suck?

Well, here's one very appealing photo/ad that I found on the net and couldn't resist sharing with you all. Bad that text at the right bottom corner cannot be read.



Check out another reason why humans suck!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Life off lately and Red Eye movie review

Posting after a LONG time. Well, it's not that I didn't have time, or nothing to write.

For time... If you *really* want to do something, you will have all the time on this planet to do it (there always are exceptions, though).

For something to write... Believe me, I have loads and loads to write. Most of the stuff I post are conceived while: I'm taking a shower, or driving (I know this is not a good habit), or talking to friends, or read something interesting, or am sad, or am happy, etc, etc.

So why the @#$% there have been no posts off lately??? Well, I haven't the zest to do so. Not that I'm toooooo stressed, or depressed, or over-worked, none of these. Some things just don't have explanations, that's the way life is. Every passing day life seems to be slipping off my hands. I believe I should stop for a while and organize my life. But with Diwali vacations curbed, I don't see this happening this so soon :'-( (sigh...)

Am reminded of this saying...
"Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate." -Chang Tzu

Well, if you have read so far, then you deserve a special treat ;-) Last week, I managed to see a movie in theater after a LONG time, Red Eye. On the scale of 10, I would rate it at 7.5!!!
Click here for trailer (requires Apple QuickTime).

Theme: Thriller
Plot:After attending the funeral of her grandmother in Dallas, Lisa Reisert must take the dreaded late night flight back to Miami to make it to work the next day. Lisa soon meets Jackson Ripner and their attraction grows. But moments after take-off, she's a kidnapped woman! Threatened by the potential murder of her father, she is pulled into a plot to assist Jackson in offing a politician.

The movie *never* digresses from it's central theme, cast is perfect, direction is good and movie progresses at a pace fast enough to not let you move tushes off your seats! Not even during interval!!! No shit just fun, is how I rate it. I personally insist you do see this movie.

What, you still here... Ok, as usual, you (esp. guys) are looking for something more than that... Here are a few photos of the actress in the movie, Rachel McAdams, (the famous Mean Girls babe).

1. Really Cute


2. Can you beat this?


3. Red Eye Premiere shot



Hope you are clear by now whether you want to go for it or not ;-)

Ok, it's time for me to get back to work, my lab is calling me, loads of work to do...
Bye, see you soon...


Extra Information:
What does Red Eye mean??? Here's the dictionary definition:
redeye, n: A night flight from which the passengers emerge with eyes red from lack of sleep.
I didn't know it earlier, you are lucky you know it before you go for the movie!

Friday, October 07, 2005

AJAX enabled Yahoo! mail

AJAX support to the classic Yahoo! mail and makes it a little more friendly.
This is all you get:
- Preview your messages without leaving your inbox
- Send back messages with a single click using
- Download any attachment with a single click

Anything that turns out to be economical in terms of clicks is MOST welcome to me!!!

You can get this sexy extension here: AJAX Yahoo! Mail (Viamatic Webmail++)

A snapshot of what you get out of this extension...
(Lookout for 'Instant Reply' link at right hand bottom corner and +/- sign near message header)




AJAX is new type web application architecture, check this out for more details.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Nevis' CEO-President kicks balls

How many of you out there can boast of playing football with your CEO!!! Well, I can [Smug smile] Or, the whole of my team [whole team smiles smugly]!!!
Yes, Nevis' CEO & President, Charles Dauber, while on his regular visit to Pune was keen on watching Nevis-Wipro football match (soccer, as Americans call it) this Sunday. Then, he changed his mind and asked if he can be part of the team! See him flexing his muscles...




Warming up is necessary before the game...


Little digression into history...
Change at CEO level in a company is not seen as a very auspicious sign in a startup, so I was very skeptical of how this change will affect Nevis, when Charles came aboard on 18th of July 2005. But soon after his arrival on board, he went on refining Nevis' focus. He has been successful in converging us to a laser sharp focus. Not satisfied with just doing his usual duties, he wanted to spend his energy at building a GOOD and friendly environment.
That is the reason I was very glad to see him play with the team. Going beyond the normal!



Match started and we ruled the ground for most of initial first half. Wipro made some good moves but didn't manage to score. With Ranjit scoring one goal early on, we were leading with 1-0 and became a little complacent. At the end of first half, Charles didn't like this and commented:
'Don't play with an intention of Not to Loose, Play with an intention of Winning!'

At the satrt of second half, Wipro not only levelled the score, but got the lead with 1-2. The first goal was really amazing, kick from near corner, parallel to the frame and directly into right top corner of the goal. It was then when Charles saw dejection in our faces & his leadership instinct kicked in. He called everyone near the goalpost and encouraged us. He told us they we were playing FAR better than other team and have more stamina left then their players. Just that we need to organize. This was enough to charge all of us. But Ranjit got over-charged and ZOOOMMMM he went. After a few minutes, he caught the ball near midfield and in his typical (& almost patented) style single-handedly carried it all the way through opposite D and BANG! It's a goal!!! Click here to watch Amazing_Goal_by_Barve.mpg! Everyone was relieved with this goal for it levelled the score to 2-2 just 2 minutes before the end of second half.



It was a spectacular performance by all the team members. When asked if he was tired after playing for 40 minutes, Charles said that he jogs and cycles everyday! That's why he wasn't fatigued. And not only that, everytime he got the ball, he made amazing passes, which unfortunately fell short of conversion.

With our release dates just a few weeks away, in time of extreme pressure for Nevis engineers, Charles wanted to pass this message:
"Come what may, I'm there with you on your tough ride".

I personally am enthralled by his humility and enthusiasm.

Nevis team with it's audience!!!


First sitting Row (L to R): Praveen Kaushik, Amit, Kapil, Malhari, Vivek.
2nd sitting
Row (L to R): Ranjit(captain), Ashsih, Atul.
1st Standing Row: Mayuresh, his colleague, Sandesh, Nazir, Charles, Yogesh, Sagar (vice-captain), Kiran, Gauri, Raghu
2st Standing Row: Amit, Shrirang, Manish (our hardware team's driving force)
Extreme Left Corner: Jaya (Orange) & Mimi
Not in the pitcure: Ramesh, Amit S, Chidanand, Shailendra.



Photo Credits:
1. Nik, who is as much passionate about his photograhy hobby as he is about his work.

2. Raghu, who undoubtedly is my ideal, my ex-manager, my mentor (he probably doesn't know this) and the sole reason for me to be at Nevis, a veteran in the field of computers, with his years' worth of photography experience.

Video Credits:
My colleague, Praveen Mhapsekar, takes full credit for flawlessly capturing the Golden goal.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Which Linux Distro is for me...

If you ever wondered which of the hoards of Linux distributions will fit your needs, check this article out. Pretty interesting.
http://www.informit.com/articles/printerfriendly.asp?p=414291

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Firefox with Adblock R.O.C.K.S

Buddies, am back with some sexy & amazingly useful information for you...
[No, but it's not glamorous, so if that is what you stepped in for, feel free to step out]

Am here to drive one more nail in M$ Internet Explorer's coffin!!! Firefox has hundreds of extensions and few are just out-of-the-world'ly amazing! Amongst a few extensions that I use, I'm going to demonstrate you the power of Adblock extension.

As the name suggests, you might have guessed by now, its an Ad Blocker. And works so damn well, that you will experience 'love-at-first-sight'!
If you are as paranoid as me about keeping things to the point and clean, you don't want to see anything on a page other than what you intend to see. I find it insanely irritating when a flash/gif ad dancing VERY conspicuously in adjoining column distracts me from my interesting article.
While this extension works well just out of the box, geeks can tweak it to suit their needs. Once you install this extension, it allows you to give list of URLs that you want to block whenever a page tries to refer to it. And it goes well beyond it by supporting EXTREMELY powerful Unix-like Regex!!! What else do you need. Besides images, it can block IFRAMEs, scripts, Flash!!! Take my word it works miracles!

What??? You think I'm kidding, okay, let me show you what a difference it makes.

My setup:
Firefox 1.0.6
Current filter (Filterset.G) : 2005-09-05a.txt
Just import this file into your Adblock extension and BINGO!
I never found a single bit of junk linger on my browser [smiling SMUGLY]!

Sample 1:
Times of India site opened in M$ IE.
Click Image and see a column FULL of adverts on the right side.




Now see Firefox with Adblock below! What! You don't see an ad! W.O.W.!
(Click Images to enlarge)



Also see list of items Adblock blocked!





Sample 2:

ExtremeTech in M$ IE.
See Top row, right hand side column, bottom.. nothing but ads galore!
Be sure to check out all images:
Image 1, Image 2, and Image 3




See in Firefox now!
Be sure to check out all images: Image 1, Image 2 and Image 3



Holy Shit!
is what you just gasped! Isn't it! Not a trace of useless advert!
[You will notice small side-effect that some useful non-advert images are blocked too! But this is a very small price to pay for what you get]

List of blocked items.




One more advantage is, when I'm accessing net from home, where my speed is very limited (modem speed), it saves me much frustration by NOT letting all the ads load before I can read even a line's worth of useful content!

Another interesting feature is that you can click on the little 'Adblock' status at the right hand corner of your window and you will see list of items you can block on the current page. All the items already blocked will be listed italicized! You can really improve/tune/tweak your filters over a period of time by adding to list of items to block. Very rarely have I found some useful images being blocked. But in rare event it does happen, then Enabling/Disabling this filter is just a click away, so that's not a problem, at least for me!

Other favourite-n-sexy Firefox Extensions of mine:
1. FlashGot
2. Gmail Notifier
3. Mozilla Archive Format

I have used all of these for long enough to vouch by their names!
Please feel free to share your experiences.

LONG LIVE FIREFOX: Browsing Redefined, or should I say:
'Browsing Defined'!

Additional References:

1 Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AdBlock

------ update ------
I now use AdBlock Plus and am happily subscribed to Filter Von Dr. Evil
More Filters: http://adblockplus.org/en/subscriptions

Friday, September 02, 2005

Football at it's best!

I have seen a couple of football moves compilation, but this one is THE BEST!
Click here to open in browser, or right click and save-as here.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Unfair: Whites as finding & Non-whites as looting

Why is it that white people are described as finding food!


While non-white people are described as looting food!
Why is it that Whites are said 'Finding' food and the other 'Looting' food. This is really disturbing, isn't it? Don't give me: 'because he's dragging BIG polythene he's looting'. His mates might be in bad shape and carrying food for all! GOD!

Help these brain-damaged morons who discriminate between whites and non-whites! What are the whites so proud of? Anyway, it's NOT their contribution that they are white!!!


Saturday, August 27, 2005

Fun at Nevis

It's not 'All Work and No Play' at Nevis. We do have occasional non-work related fun! But beware! We have to work our butts off to earn this enjoyment! Here, I'm participating in monthly event: Collage Competition, with the theme of 'Nevis is Hiring'. (Me, holding a cutting up, which is washed out by bright flash) Below, judges are having a tough time making a fair decision: Raghu (in cream coloured shirt and brownish trousers) and Manish Muthal (wiping his lips off after having tasty pastries). After much deliberations amongst them, going again and again through 9 odd entries (and maybe, calculating pros and cons about whom to make the winner) they concluded the event by announcing winners.

Bravehearts bagged the first prize. Above is their splendid collage.

This collage won Terminators second position.


And third prize went to team 'Gladiators'.

And this is the collage that I worked on. Splendid, isn't it!!! Yes, maybe so splendid that judges decided giving just one prize to this won't do justice, so they didn't award any prize to this one ;-)

BTW, we, Nevis, are really looking ahead to hire bright sales engineers. If you know someone in your circle who is bright and fit for this kind of job, feel free to get in touch with me.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Beware of Copy-Paste (Ctrl-C)

GOD! Just returned from a 3 days vacation (yes, 3 days here at Nevis at this time is REALLY a vacation) & already got lots to post in the bag!

We do copy various data by ctrl+c for pasting elsewhere. This copied data is stored in clipboard and is accessible from the net by a combination of Javascript and ASP.
Just try this:
1) Copy any text by ctrl+c
2) Click the Link to open in IE
http://www.friendlycanadian.com/applications/clipboard.htm
3) You will see the text you copied on the Screen which was accessed by this web page.

What if you happened to have Ctrl-C'ed your credit card number!!!

I didn't investigate why it doesn't work with Opera & Firefox. Wait a minute... does this give me another reason to claim that IE SUCKS!!!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Today's snapshot: Violet Paradise!

Today's screenshot!
I know, a couple of you will be glad to see non-celebrity wallpaper and some disappointed, but one cannot satisfy all the people all the time ;-)


BTW, weekend was fun, for I played football with my mates after a LONG break due to incessant rains. Watched Stealth & Island. Hogged lot of junk food, no to miss Mom's special recipes at home. And yeah, lots of rest ;-) Started new novel Iris Johansen's 'Long After Midnight'. Another exciting event was that I met two of my bosom buddies, who were my roommates at hostel, after a REALLY long time. That's all off my weekend. How about you?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Futsal Day 2 and Day 3

Day 2: Against Extentia
Started off with Nevis scoring 3 amazing goals. Forwards didn't let the ball come into our half. In the event, Ranjit, our beloved captain, completely pissed off a sumo in their team (yes, if you compare Nevis' team with him, he definitely was a sumo to us). After second half, we were leading 3-0 and all the time that sumo was trying to target Ranjit and take him down. Every time he got an opportunity he would hit the ball HARD, real HARD, to Ranjit, regardless of direction!!! It was really fun to watch that Ranjit not budging an inch and always standing against him! But unfortunately, our defense got a little relaxed and they leveled the score to 3-3. But we managed to gain lead and won the match with 6-3!

Following this, we had a match with WNS. This was really a good team to play against, with many players from clubs. Due to shortage of time, we played it 7-minute each half game. They were so strong, that they literally played dog-n-the-bones with us :-( They won with significant margin.


Day 3: Against Wipro.
This was Sunday. The match was even more disappointing since this team was much stronger than WNS! They too had all the players from clubs. We lost to them badly and got out of the tournament. And anyways, with only 2 players to substitute, we couldn't have managed anything beyond this semis!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Movie update

In context of previous post, I'm posting movie reviews.
I saw Interpreter and would rate it 4/10!
Reason: The movie becomes too demanding to follow at some point and you end up losing the track of it altogether. Yes, it's like a normal undergrad student listening to Quantum Physics lecture. But I should admit that Nicole rocks. She looks damn too beautiful (mind you, I REALLY mean beautiful and not glamourous) and she enacts her cast pretty well. Moral is, anything more that 40 rupees is SHEER waste of money.

Sahara Desert: I don't have a firsthand review of this, but a colleague of mine had been to it. She didn't like it much & from her talk I deduced that she would rate it somewhere 4/10.

Bad movies & with NO football sessions since past 2-3 weeks; Aggrrhh.... GOD! I cannot contain my FRUSTRATION now. I'm not disheartened, though & am ON with full steam for reaminng two movies in the list! And if rain permits, football too!
Oh, BTW, I watched 'The Ghost & The Darkness' sometime back and is a SUPERB movie: direction-wise & cast-wise. My rating 8/10. To provide you a lil background, it's based on real-life incident where two lions turn man-eaters and attack in broad daylight without fear claiming too many workers' lives at the construction site in Africa. It's a classic example of eternal clash between man and nature. The lions were so fearless ruthless lightning-fast hunters that they were almost invincible! Get your hands on this movie!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Even IE7 sucks and will continue to do so

GOD, people are pressing my pressure point today! And once again, in intense heat of work, I'm FORCED to post this (out of morality, morality of sharing information that saves my mates from doing some brain-damaged activities)


In line with my previous post '
M$ IE (Internet Explorer) SUCKS' I recommend you NOT to use IE anymore. Or should I say "Grow up, give up IE and regain your sanity!"


Dive in for
Mozilla's Firefox OR equally good Opera (I know you might argue the very adjective 'equally', but let's save that debate for some other post)


Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) Lead Program Manager Chris Wilson's post is disappointing because Microsoft doesn't plan to fully support the latest CSS standard in IE 7.0. Instead of using well-established Web standards, IE 7.0 will continue to foist proprietary technologies on Web developers, forcing them to choose between two competing ways of creating Web sites.


I'll talk no further and point you to this link:
IE 7.0 Technical Changes Leave Web Developers, Users in the Lurch

Once again, I repeat:

If you don't want to foster monopoly
If you don't want to curb fair competition
If you don't want to be a kid
If you want to grow up
If you want to improve your web-browsing experience
and last but not the least
<>If you don't want to your PC to be host for spywares & adwares & not turn it into some dumbass zombie, popping porn advertisments every often, then get up &
<>Get REAL broswers: Mozilla's Firefox OR Opera!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Newspaper Times of India SUCKS!!!

Yeah, I know many of you ALREADY know this! But today I read something and couldn't resist this quick post in midst of my heavy workload.

Are there hidden sexual messages in Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince? Consider these excerpts...
'There was no need to stick the wand in that hard,' he (Dumbledore) said gruffly, clambering to his feet. 'It hurt.' (p 64) ...

Click here to see article under consideration

Are it's opening lines with many more following it. WTF! I gasp!

Any !@#$ing damn sentence, when stripped down off it's surrounding context can have sexual innuendoes to them. And those (read TOI) GOD damned morons don't find a SHIT with sucked-up perverted non-adult-rated Bollywood movies and item songs! The article also talks about Batman & Robin being gay!

Well, I'm so infuriated that I am falling short of words.

It's my VERY PERSONAL and KIND request that stop considering TOI as a source of news. Go for India Express or Hindu instead. Or even better Mumbai Samachar (which is THE oldest continuously published paper in India and one of the oldest in the world. You will need Gujurati fonts to see that page). TOI is merely a gossip paper. By any acceptable educated human standards I don't rate it as a source of news.