My Life, The Universe and Everything

Truths I learn. Barriers I seek to break. Let me scream.

Timepass Analogy

Posted by themischord on September 27, 2007

Some analogies can suck (like themes in chic flicks) and so does this one –

Finding a job is like try to find the perfect relationship – u look for a long term commitment, a company u can admire, one that shares ur philosophy, respects u and so on. But throw those expectations out and there r a million jobs that u can enjoy!

Of course,  if it’s ur baby venture, u can’t do that. But that is again about finding ur perfect love, if one exists.

Posted in Musings | Leave a Comment »

Nice Intro To Carnatic Classical

Posted by themischord on September 26, 2007

After a very long break, my renewed interest in carnatic is rewarded by the plentiful resources I found on the web.

I especially like Dr. Shivkumar Kalyanaraman’s site where he’s put up an extensive archive of lessons all the way from the basics to advanced lessons. The lessons are very detailed, explaining the minutae in great depth. It is practically impossible to graduate beyond some levels without sufficient practice and mastery of these details. You will also find an archive of the ‘swaras’ along with explanation of the lyrics – again a great contribution.

Those who take classical music to be alien to their tastes should listen to the 4 part gentle introduction audio primer. It presents the basics of carnatic, contrasts it with western music and can be a good starting point to understanding this great tradition. Just download the audio files onto ur mp3 player. It is totally worth trying them out.

Posted in Misc | 1 Comment »

Telugu Keyboard Maps

Posted by themischord on September 19, 2007

Telugu keyboard maps have finally made it into the multilingualization package (m17n-contrib)!

Posted in Swecha, Tech | 3 Comments »

Security: Probs & Sols are nightmares?

Posted by themischord on September 10, 2007

I recently read a paper on Morris Worm which discusses at length, the events following the infestation. According to the authors, one of the important lessons to take back from the event was that security failure at the application level should not force one to push extra stuff into the network layer. One should safe guard the home, not check every car at the highway exit

This got me to thinking about physical security. We almost always seem to employ the highway checking method. Mumbai police seem to have come up with another such ludicrous idea.

Posted in Tech | Leave a Comment »

India Says No to OOXML

Posted by themischord on August 25, 2007

Microsoft said it respect’s the government’s decision. “There were only three options `Yes’, `No’ and `Abstain’ to be taken and we respect the government’s decision,” Microsoft’s legal affairs head Rakesh Bakshi said. More…

The committee could have very well played safe and abstained from voting. So good to know they didn’t!

Posted in Tech | 1 Comment »

Ghar Aa Gayi Par-desi

Posted by themischord on August 12, 2007

When I first traveled out of India, I anticipated a zillion first impressions. Surprisingly, I had almost none significant. The well structured airports, neatly laid out blocks of houses, high-rise downtown buildings, interstate roads, trains transporting u 30 miles-in-30-mins – all called for a simple, ‘yeah?!’ from me. Little surprise. I got to see what I had heard and expected.

I traveled back home, and the facts I grew up with struck me hard. The contrast is huge, striking and scary. Take off from an American city is a picture of the engineering marvels. Land in London, and one sees close to what one visualizes of an English country – brick topped buildings neatly laid out in grids, green and preened (at least it looks so from the sky). The night view of the cities/towns I cannot name on the way, all seemed so structured, until I finally landed in Mumbai which was a bunch of lights scattered randomly. Take-off the next morning was even more disheartening. Huge stretches of Mumbai slums, liberally occupying the heart of the city seemed to mock at me.

Oh well, it isn’t difficulty to forget the mockery. A few minutes and I was in a dream land woven of clouds. The sun shone bright, the music played old memories, and I was served hot breakfast. Not so difficult any more to find bliss in empty spaces.

Final laugh on landing in Hyderabad – Rajiv Gandhi int’l terminal and NTR domestic terminal. May peace reign in my land!

Posted in Musings | 1 Comment »

No War Plz, I Can Live In a Cave

Posted by themischord on July 12, 2007

In a previous post, I talked of how I grew up not realizing that India had been behind the world in technology. Today, over a casual lunch talk, I realized that those were really our years of bliss. At the table was a Russian, an American, a Sri Lankan and me, an Indian. The Russian talked of how military drafting was a part of their system from which one could not escape. A nightmare people had to live with. The Sri Lankan agreed.  He said that in his country, the youth got drafted  too – but either into the military or into the terrorist groups. Then there was some discussion about how at one point US almost decided to make drafting a law. And I was asked, “Is it so in India?”. I smiled with pride. Cheers went around that India was a true democracy.

Yes we sure are. Had India been a military super power, had we been at constant war, maybe India would have had drafting laws too. But we aren’t. And I’m glad for that.

This moment of peace is so momentary.

Posted in Musings, On War | 2 Comments »

Mugged ‘n Bugged

Posted by themischord on July 6, 2007

Heard the stories, but it is so frustrating to be in one. What’s worse – losing my cards or realizing I have no identity? Stranded outside my apt with no keys, or sleeping through the night thinking of how someone could just walk through the door? Losing my cellphone or realizing that the only phone number I remember is my own? Losing some significant amount of cash or the little plucker I held so fondly as a good memory charm?

Or the fact that I was robbed by kids? Alas, blogging is the only vent to my frustration.

Wish You Were Here.

Posted in Musings | 1 Comment »

Thank You For Smoking

Posted by themischord on June 29, 2007

This is a very interesting movie adapted from Christopher Buckley’s novel. Nick Naylor is a lobbyist for tobacco. He is brilliant at his job and takes great pride in the challenge. Any one can lobby for red cross, but how many can for tobacco? Which brings the thought, is it about taking up a challenge or doing the right thing? This I think is extremely important to think of.

The conversations in the movie are brilliant. Not coz they are witty, but coz the author shows how easy it is to make fallacious and elusive arguments and get a large audience to fall for it.  Some very interesting conversations are here.

Posted in Movies | 2 Comments »

Shut Eyes Are Blind

Posted by themischord on June 29, 2007

That’s a pretty lame title, never the less, it holds. I grew up refusing to believe that India was a ‘developing country’. I was sure that it was more than just pride that made me think that India was as good as any developed country. When I moved to US about a year back, it was with a strong desire to ratify my belief.

I work with a 20 year old who has played with ever generation of the Mac. There is this other guy, who is a renonwed Linux kernel hacker, author of 5 books and important contributor to many open source projects. I was fascinated when I met him, more so when I realized how young he was. I wondered what was so right about the environment these guys grew up in. I had not even heard of Linux or Mac until relatively recently. I feel sheepish is saying this, but I used Internet for the first time in 2000. Explains?!

Thinking of technology, there is another industry that comes to my mind – animation and cartoons. Bollywood and other regional film industries were fast in picking up after independence. But a Walt Disney doesn’t exist in India. Why?

It is a bad argument if I pick up a few big technology driven industries of the west and say that their counterparts don’t exist in India. For a rational analysis, in isolation, did India develop any of its own? I’m thinking hard.

Technology penetration at a macro level is a completely different issue. I’m thinking of plain technology existence/availability and realize that 10 years back, we were 20 years behind the world. This gap thankfully seems to be bridging at a decent pace.

According to Darwin’s theory of natural selection, intelligence of organisms will naturally develop in a progressive direction, if they have to survive. Let’s see where we go. My eyes are open.

Posted in Musings | 2 Comments »