Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What I've decided to do.

I think I rather fancy the Linux from Scratch project. It involves building the entire linux source code from scratch configuring everything along the way. The whole point is to understand how the internals work. From what little I've read of the documentation, I've been warned many times about being an "intermediate to advanced user". Also almost all of the documentation stresses about netiquette, something which I find very annoying.

I hope to record my adventures here, so keep an eye out.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

This is BackByte material!

I used to reach Chip magazine pretty regularly and it had this brilliant section called "BackByte" - the last page reserved for user contributions on funny stuff relating to computing and technology. I distinctly remember having seen a scan of the advt. for a certain "MacroHard Systems".

Anyway - I was playing around with my comp today - and was using this utility called SpinRite. Now SpinRite is no ordinary utility - it is pretty famous, with it's well formed Wikipedia page, and the much eulogizing website.

There are of course brilliant testimonials : "Your product saved my butt this weekend." and "I was blessed by having purchased Spinrite 6.0". It claims to "refresh" your magnetic loss on the HDD. Maybe - I dunno. I eventually didn't use it - but you have to see this brilliant UI design.

Now is that genius, or what!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Banging head against wall!

Please show me effective ways. Why, why do we have IE AND Firefox. I just can't handle it! Tearing my hair out!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Umm.. someone buying this commercial?

What would you do, if I ran out of juice
Would you move on and go bang someone else?
Give me a chance - and you'll never regret
That you never ever really crossed my fence.
Mmmm You'll get by with a little help from durex
Mmmm You'll get high with a little help from durex
Mmmm I'm gonna try with a little help from durex.

What do I do when I cant get it up?
(Does performing really worry you?)
What do I do when she feels really sad?
(Can't you go on because of you-know-what?)

Do you need a little help?
Yes I could do with some.
Do you feel a little cramped?
Yes I really need someone.

Take me now - to your home right away
Yes I'm gonna try that out tonight.
Write in to us about your pleasurous stay
I hope we never turn on the light.
Mmmm You'll get by with a little help from durex
Mmmm You'll get high with a little help from durex
Mmmm I'm gonna try with a little help from durex.

Do you need a little help?
Yes I could do with some.
Do you feel a little cramped?
Yes I really need someone.
Mmmm You'll get by with a little help from durex
Mmmm You'll get high with a little help from durex
Mmmm I'm gonna try with a little help from durex.

(with due apologies of course to these guys)

Good, it's raining now

"Can we not play under double waved yellow flags, or even a safety car? It worked at the Nurbergring on Sunday." asks Jamie Bidford on the TMS Blog.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Citizen Level Activism? Naah !

*** Summary : A rare "personal" narrative about a Sunday evening "rough up" with the Pune police traffic department ***

I usually spend my Sundays on FC road, preferable with a trip to the BCL and/or Jai Jalaram bookstore opposite Cafe Coffee Day. I also like to slip in the occasional Sabudana Wada at Savera. All this of course circles about the certain main activity which I do for four hours, in and around the vicinity. But, as you might have guessed, the details are impertinent to the comprehension of the events to follow.

What needs to be understood is that I had parked my bike opposite a Chinese stall besides Apache on the FC side, in between the new mall and the notorious but somewhat docile bar. I park my bike with the relative free-mindedness that pervades oneself on a balmy Sunday morning with a relatively traffic free road. I proceed towards the 4 hours awaiting me, which pass off smoothly - and which I spend along with a friend from college among others. I stay back for a second, due to which this friend leaves before - our departure uncoordinated unlike normal. I step down to discover, or rather not discover the presence of my bike at the same parking spot. The aforementioned friend is of course long lost by now. Oh! and yes, I've forgotten my mobile phone.

There is a new rule in place which mandates traffic cops to take photographs of a vehicle when it is picked up for no parking. Use this to ensure that you were really erroneously parked, if at all your vehicle is picked up.

We live however in a relatively carefree society where the disappearance of the bike from the parking does not elicit hasty conclusions of vehicular larceny, but points us towards the suggestion that the in-focus vehicle has been seized by one of the roving rollers of the Pune Traffic Police. There is of course no marking of the road about the whereabouts of the police station. There is another such vehicle there however, back probably for its next dose of metallic injections. Its almost leaving after having collected its haul - when I notice something strange. One of the clochards of the crack vehicle pickup squads is photographing the behinds of the targets before locking them up with their fellow auto-criminals. I ignore this seemingly trivial observations - and speculating that they must've carried the vehicle to "Modern Police Station" near Police Parade Ground decide to walk up till there.

This is the Sunday evening of the Silverstone GP - and in not resorting to a rickshaw to get to the desired location I have already wasted much of the precious moments watching old, haggard men rather than shiny new cars and their roaring engines. I reach Modern Police Chowky to find the place to be nothing but a mud-yard resembling one used to picturise the Abhishek Bachchan mud-fights in Yuva. Vehicles are parked at the edges in two groups - and I see a couple of policemen and lots of agenty people with cellphones. The kinds that went out of fashion a few years ago.

I identify my bike from the mêlée, when one of these agenty fellows indicated that my moto-offender was caught in his net - meaning which I was to deal with this fellow. I speculated from previous observation about the guy photographing the offending bikes, and stated that I knew about the new rule necessitating a photo of the incorrect position of my vehicle - to which he replied that there was only one camera and the photo was currently doing the rounds along with the pickup vehicle. I'd decided to see this through, and even though I was not confident about the right-parkedness (if ever there was such a thing) of my vehicle, I waited.

The vehicle came around after around 40 mins - during which I checked my license and the validity of my PUC certificate. I also got abreast of the parking rules from the agent - and ensured that what I knew was more or less correct. When the much awaited vehicle finally came around, the special photo-taking individual was summoned to show my the posterior of my bike, outside the dreaded white L shaped line.

Since my vehicle was picked up much before - he had some trouble in locating the photograph - and with every missed shot, I commended myself for having waited. He would never find the photo and I would be spared paying the 150 bucks - out of which I had only one 130 at that precise moment.

He however did find the picture, but much to his consternation unlike all the others there was no conclusive evidence to show that my vehicle was parked outside the white L. In fact using the zoom, 3 from the agency peered into the teeny screen, only to return empty handed - without any trace of the coveted white mark. He pointed to some rubbish lying around in the hope that I would accept, but even he knew that it was a shot in the dark.

By this time the vehicle had been emptied and it was time for them to part on another round of vehicle-picking, which meant the camera had to go too. The camera-wielder tried to hop into the back of the truck. I hoverer had no intention of letting either the camera or the person go, mainly because I had no time to wait another 45 mins. The held firmly the hand of the camera boy, and he shouted - asking me to let go of it. I summoned a police officer who was watching all this and seemed least interested in the proceedings. The crowd of the parents of the auto-wrongdoers gathered around to see the fun - and all this chaos summoned the head of the agenty fellows to come and check out what was going on.

The fracas continued to entertain with my witty but pointed arguments at this head fellow - at the end of which came the main Police guy to whom I explained the whole situation. He soon realised that resistance was useless, and ordered this head of the agents to let my poor darling go. It was almost 6 30 by this time, and I had no intention of missing the whole race.

I would have loved to argue more - and maybe even demand a compensation for my troubles, but that seemed unlikely and I was in no mood for a high-investment low-gain duel. I'd saved 150 bucks, and more importantly realised the value of how simple rules can empower common people. It was not really activism or a sense of social and public morality that made me fight. It was the simple case of me - fighting for my own personal cause. A battle in which I'm most likely to use my best resources and ensure the best possible outcome for me. The fact that it will make these fellows more careful from the next time and in turn save hundreds of people from trouble is purely co-incidental. Frankly all I care about is the 150 bucks still sitting in my wallet, rather than in that crummy bastard's sweaty little trouser-hole.

Why did the policemen go to the Rakhi Sawant show?

Booty calls.

I'm a good boy, I am.

And ergo we link to : this wonderfully written article on Nirali Mag. The photos are brilliant - and one wonders if someday either a) our amateurish college rags could achieve this quality or b)MSM somehow weeds out such talent from the crowd.

And on a sidenote do also check out themasterplan.in. This guy's designs really rock.

Friday, July 06, 2007