Monday, May 28, 2007

Alternate profession for emacs users?

Adi's a converted vim user. Earlier he was emacs user, but later it dawned upon him that if he has to live longer as a programmer/hacker with healthy state of his fingers and finger-joints, emacs is NOT his editor! Of course, there's only one real editor he could fall back to, VIM! And this is what he quoted yesterday, which I would say is comment of the year!

Emacs users always have an alternate profession to fall back on: The Pianist!!!

You won't get the essence and depth of this sentence unless you have seen an ardent emacs users manoeuvering the keyboard while editing/debugging his code furiously, all the time giving an impression he's no less than Yanni! This reminds me of another good line, which I bet I've quoted many times:

Emacs is a nice OS, but it lacks a good editor...
that's why I use
vim!

Related links: http://the-shaolin.blogspot.com/search/label/vim

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I lost a VERY precious gem yesterday

Bansi, yesterday night called me... and I immediately sensed tension in his tone. Couldn't think of what could have happened. I thought, rather I wished, I judged the voice wrong.

He then asked when did I talk to Romesh. What??? I jolted... What happened to him, he's sick, he's got a fracture? What tell me, fast! He's no more, he replied! I wanted to ROTFL on his joke... but wait... his voice was gravely serious... The morbid fear of mortality gripped me... we both chocked and after few uncomfortable moments, we resumed. All the buddies we talked to, claimed to have talked to him as late as 2 days back. This has to be some kind of joke someone played on you, I told Bansi. To confirm the news, we contacted one of his cousins and @#$@ing SADLY enough, this was not a rumour, neither a prank. GOD! This is one of those few times when I would have madly liked something to be a rumour or become victim of a prank. Somebody, please tell me how stupid and idiot am I to believe this news... please...

He was 1 of my closest buddies who would stand by me against the rest of the world, even if I was wrong! And not only for me, but also for our other group buddies, Bansi, Anand, Gaurav, et al.

Now...
Never can I see 'Sandwich calling...' on my cell again...
Never can I see an unread email from Romesh...
Never can I see him again...
Never can I visit his ship...
Never can I walk besides him...
Never can I hear his sweet comforting voice...
So much pain...

Whatever happened, GOD, he didn't do anything to deserve to be taken away from us! Not this soon! He was our such a good buddy... and you have bereaved us of THIS precious gem.

All I can wish for him now is, GOD, please let his soul rest in peace and give his parents the strength it takes to go through the grief of losing their only loved child at such a young, vibrant and healthy age. AMEN!

This post is NOT to express my love for him, but for he deserves the mention that he was not only a good friend, but also a very good human. This is to mark that HOW sorrowful we all are to NOT have him with us anymore :-( Romesh, I want to let you know that we all LOVE you so much!

(L-R: Sandwich and myself. That's Sandwich's much revered Indian Navy ID card I'm holding!)

As of this writing, none of we group members know the cause of his departure...
Neither do we have the courage to call up his home and find out the details...

Sad state of roads and RTO bike-lifting

Here, you see how precariously the RTO guys have stuffed the bikes lifted from parked No Parking Zone!!! It's not only that they are screwing up our bikes, what if the rope snaps or the rear tyre slips.... some innocent person driving behind this vehicle will have to pay a dear price, for NO mistake of his/hers!!!


shot with W700i, on FC road

Here's another ingenious death trap at which PMC is unbeatable... This was right in the middle of the road, where traffic treads heavily! Ever wondered what a thread this poses in the night bike-riders!


shot with W700i, just near Chatushringi temple, towards Univ road

Related post: Rains yet to start and...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

My buddy Arun is back for a vacation

Sunday... the most exciting thing was I was gonna play my regular Sunday games... with my affable Univ United (aka U2) gang! The reason it's fun to play with *my* junta is two fold:

1. We All play a very careful game, no injuries is of paramount importance! Though never told formally, this is what is religiously followed, probably it's a good time to put it down formally...

When Winning and Losing don t have any meaning, that is when the real game happens, play happens.
Otherwise it is war.
War has a significance for Winning or Losing.
(this is a quote by revered Sri Sriji)

2. No cheating and screaming at the top of our lungs...
If someone calls a foul, we just give it... no arguments... real sportsmen, we all are! It saves lots of frustrations and time too!
So, even if I'm physically dead tired at the end of the game, mentally I'm fully charged for the coming week!

After a happy game, I dropped like a dead meat into my bed, of course after bath and got up only after few hours of sound sleep :-) You won't know the joy of GOOD sleep after a hard game, unless you experience it first hand!

After lunch, I lazed around reading some stuff, mostly random... and then came the MOST exciting part.... my budd'iest of buddies... Arun (aka Anna) was going to land in Bombay that night. I had promised I'll come to receive him, when he's flying back from US! So I went to his place, his daddy had booked a Sumo for to & fro journey. 1815 hrs we left Pune, reached Bombay just before 2201 hrs.

His flight was delayed by few minutes... I couldn't wait to see him. And uncle was just glued to the glass door, from a corner where he can see the farthest end of the arrival lounge... how cute... how eager was he to see his son!!! I was deeply touched! When I saw on the information board that his planes has touched the Indian grounds... I transfixed my eyes on the TV displaying interior part of arrival lounge... hoping to spot Arun, before Uncle did!!! After 45 minutes of surveillance, I gave up and was talking to a buddy who called up to give me company... not letting the TV screen go out of my sight. A few minutes later I felt a tight hug of strong arms from behind! Thief! Of course NOT! The very next instant I knew it has to be Arun! I didn't even have the courtesy to say bye to buddy I was talking to! So excited I was! I just said, 'Call you later' & cut the call! And responded to his hug! WOW! I could match his strength too! I was so excited to see him back, after 10 months!

As to little background... we first met on the first day of my engineering college (PICT), he made the first move to start the friendship. We then turned out to be the closest of buddies, touch wood, and spent ALL of the college time together: lectures, practicals, library, canteen, movies, final year project, etc. We even hopped all companies together since our first job! It was last year when we trod little different paths, while I decided to continue slogging at Nevis, he ventured for his MS at USC. And now here he was... with NEW dreams in his eyes... having tryst with The Uncle Sam's country... and loads of stories to share!

From the moment we hopped back into the car, through the time we reached his place in Pune, back at 0301 hrs in the night, about 4 hrs, we both kept talking ON & ON!!! Not even thinking for an instant that the driver was playing CD at the loudest possible volume (maybe he wanted to cut our noise) and uncle was getting bored all alone in the front seat! No one would have said that he had travelled for 30+ hrs all the way from LA to Mumbai!!! We wanted to talk about EVERY DAMN THING that happened (or didn't happen) to us in just one single instant... without letting a single moment be wasted in silence! Back to Pune, he didn't want me to leave... neither did I... but I had to come office today... and had to leave. Have come early to office, so that we can meet again in the evening. So bad that, for some problems, he had to cut short his 1 month trip to mere 15 days :-(

All the time, my mind now wanders to chat to him! I didn't know I missed him so much until he came back :-)

Links:
[1] Univ United Group: http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/univ_united/

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Rains yet to start and...

Monsoon is YET to start... and see this !@$#ed state of roads, already!!!
This one, shot on Range Hills road, just opposite Symbosis Management College. And this was just recently patched, not more than a month ago!

Road near SYmbiosis Management college, shot with my W700i (link 2) from a moving vehicle!
Unfortunately this is NOT a perfect shot, had to be taken from a moving vehicle.
But you can imagine, come monsoon, and what will be the state of this road!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Screenshot

After a long gap...
Adorning my desktop is Dutch supermodel Doutzen Kroes (pronouncation key: Doutzen -> doubt-zen, Kroes -> crows), featured in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and also in campaings for Victoria's Secret, Calvin Klein, etc.




Note:
Sometime back, somone asked me what are those tiny widgets floating around. It's Konfabulator, now Yahoo Widget Engine, with 1000s of widgets to choose from. Won't bother detailing features, find for yourself.

Widgets playing around:
top right corner : Vista Clock RF
bottom left corner : System Blox (showing mem, cpu & disk usage)
bottom right corner : PowerXP (1 click system lock widget)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Fun at Garud Machi High Places

After ANOTHER long, and I mean REALLY LONG, gap, we at Nevis, had another outing. Albeit, purpose was a little different, but not for me ;-) All the employees, in batches of 15 each were sent to High Places' Garud Machi, a place near Thamini Ghats. 2 Days-2 nights, the outing had a theme of Team Building! Damn! Who cares! All I cared for was an outing, that too during working days :-P , for I already am a good team player!

(Amazing mist-clad mountain behind our dorm)

Caution: This post is really LONG, just in case you missed to notice that! For it deserves to be! So don't read unless you have enough leisure time! Don't tell me later it was SOOOOO long and I didn't warn!

We started at about 1701 hrs from office. We were only 8, instead of 15 :-( Smaller numbers, to me, implies lesser fun. Glad I was wrong on this :-D Two of the colleagues were expected to join us early morning, the coming day, that made us 10! WOW!

The journey was BAD! Road's sooooo @!$#ing bad that it will make even the most tolerant feel nauseating!!! The BIG bus we were commuting by, made us slow making the journey only more painful in the steamy hot weather. To add to it, the driver played a movie (I don't call it a movie though) by the name of Big Brother! It only added to the agony. But I'm thankful to GOD, the 2nd CD was badly scratched and so couldn't be played! I even tossed the idea of chucking this whole outing and steering our bus to Goa, and have a blast for 3 days plus 2 days of the weekend!!! Phew!!! 3 hrs since the onset, we all were relieved to see journey come to an end, AT Garud Machi.

After having tea & snacks, freshening up a little bit, we all gathered to understand what was the aim of this whole outing! DAMN! Do we have to do that? I mean, can't we just stay here, away from the regular din of coding, bugs, debugging, network outages, deadlines, meetings, etc. do NOTHING, for a change! Of course not, Nevis has paid a handsome amount for this programme, I recalled ;-)
I personally had only 2 aims...
1. Break away from daily mundane grinding routine
-and-
2. Know my colleagues better. Outings are THE ONLY time when you actually come to know them, of course only if you are ready to set aside your pre-conceived notions and prejudices.

Now, contrary to what the theme was (Team-Building, just in case you have forgotten it by now!), there was NOT going to be a single activity geared towards evoking that cliched desire to build teams per-se! There's going to be not a word on, the much cliched word, synergy!!! Now that's getting interesting! I was as restless to find out as you are right now!

So what's the idea! Well, it's a little unconventional, and will be difficult to digest, initially. I'll see if I can make it any easier... The whole idea of this 72hrs outing was to make oneself AWARE! Aware of the possibilities, perspective, consequences, etc. which we usually ignore as mundane, meaningless or plainly don't come to think of it. All the activities will help trigger some thought process and post-activity we discussed our views, stance, perspective, reasoning, etc. Idea is to make one aware to see beyond our traditional cognizance. See it from someone else's eyes! Think! How many times do you do it! This broadens your horizon... you tend to see things differently, and make a better call! Your actions are better thought of.


(Time to flex some muscles, after rock-climbing. L-R: self, Amit & Sudesh.)

I wouldn't disclose the nature of activities, for you might lose the zest to participate in it. Besides, they weren't out of the world. But I'll definitely share the photos. And of course, I'll talk about 1 activity in particular... Rappelling! This is the first time I ever did it! I always wanted to do it, it's sooooo adventurous! But never got an opportunity! We climbed the 33ft. artificial wall and then climbed down, from the other side. I wouldn't say I was NOT scared, with scores of safety measures, so many measures that even if you wanted to kill yourself deliberately, you CAN'T! Up at 33ft. with back to ground, and body inclined at 70 degrees to the wall, a hundred instructions from the mountaineers, you, for sure, are not in the most comfortable of positions. But at the end I was ecstatic!


(Our dorm, a better view!)

Now something about the place... Garud Machi:
It's surrounded by mountains from almost all the sides, you have a feeling you are staying at the foot of hills, in a valley! All the time I kept wondering what this place might be like in monsoon.... a paradise full of waterfalls... a zillion of them, at the least! And did I forget the night trek!!! WOW! We drove to the foot of Thamini Ghat, 16kms from our base. We started in the sunlight, reached the top a little later after sunset. But we waited there, sweating, sipping amazing lemon juice and eating cherry-red apples, previous camp talks, and fun only multiplied when all the residual golden tinge in the sky was completely overshadowed by the creepiness of the deadly darkness! When it was pitch dark, we started our descend... with spot torches! I was really scared of only one thing... rolling myself on sooooo many of the loose round pebbles and have a nasty fall on my tush, esp. with a pointed stone waiting for me :-D But nothing of that sorts happened, to no one! It was exhaustingly exhilarating to trek down a mountain in the night! This was followed by camp-fire, of course without the fire. Some really good singers we had, I realized! But the gem of the times were when we talked of personal stories at lunch and dinner tables!

I didn't want to come back, and neither did other 9 people! But this trip had to end :-( Most of the colleagues I went with, were the ones with whom I don't have to interact much often. Thanks to this outing, as someone put it, we all went as colleagues but returned as friends! More cognizant of each other's likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses!!! I sure made some good new friends.

Back to Pune, I spent most of my weekend with my Guruji, more on his sermons later. But I had to miss my Sunday football session. Now I'm itching all over for this week to pass away quickly to next Sunday-game! Also, I manged to see 12 Angry Men, a beautifully made movie (b&w) about our prejudices and pre-conceived notions, again, more on this at some later time. It's worth watching!


The Gang, sitting L-R: Husainee, Rahul, Sachin, self.
standing L-R: Seyed, Milind(facilitator), Jitu, Sudesh, AmitJ, Vishal, AmitS, Chandra

And here are some videos: