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!