Thursday, September 29, 2005

Rain in Bangalore

Lots of rain today. It started raining in the morning and continued till early afternoon.
As per looks like there will be some unsettled weather for some time.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Theo's Exercises

After much procrastination, threats by Eva and warnings from my family doc, I finally thought about having some exercise. This is a rare event indeed usually accompained by a moon of azure colour, snow in bangalore, El Nino effects, howling wolves and cat calls by friends.

I decided to inspect the office recreation center. I have been a member for 2 years now, and was an avid Table Tennis (Ping-Pong in foreign countries) player until, I found that people started ripping me apart. I decided to take a quick sanyas and shirked away licking my wounds.

Today I gave snooker a chance. Played for about 2 hours and then decided to go for a bit of basketball. 5 mins is all I lasted.

Now I look forward to waking up tomorrow with my arms, back, neck and hamstrings painfully swollen and stiff. Ouch

Monday, September 26, 2005

Wipe the dust of the seat

It had been a really long time since the bike was used. Having had a go at starting Eva's Kinetic (and failing!!), it was a good time to try out my bike. So, I'm in office having come by bike. The biggest problem was balancing the laptop bag on the rear seat..

I had lent to my cousin a few weeks back. But he returned it with a few 'observations'
  1. The Battery is dead. Yup. Thats what happens when we don't use the vehicle
  2. Brakes dont worry. Not true. The brakes are fine. Problem is that he wanted a hyper-sensitive, touch activate rear brake. Problem with keeping the brake so tight is that you tend to have nasty skids when slamming the brake. Since slamming the brake is pretty common occurance in Bangalore, its better to keep a small amount of play
  3. It makes too much noise. Well, I agree. It does sound a lot louder than most bikes. And from the sound it looks like you are going faster than you actually are. No doubt this attracted the attention of different people - cops, other teenagers, grumpy old men on chetak scooters and over zealous family members.
I need to give it for servicing soon.

The King is Dead. Long live the King

WOOOOOHOOOOOOO.. Fernando Alonso is the new F1 World Champion. Micheal Schumacher has been stopped after winning 5 consecutive championships.

Kimi Raikkonen
has tried his best but McLaren reliability woes at the beginning of the season has cost him the championship. There were at least 2 races that were won by Alonso that should have been won by Kimi.

On a side note, its the first McLaren 1-2 in 5 years. Hakkinen and DC did that in 2000 Austria, but that was a long time ago.

Myopic view of ,

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Trouble with starting a Kinetic

Eva's Kinetic scooter has been lying around without much use for the last couple of months. So her bro and I decided to try and start it. That way at least I could use a couple of times a week. We went out for lunch, came back and struggled for an hour, but it just didn't start. Finally, decided to give up and get a mechanic to have a look sometime next week.

In the mean time I'll try starting it every now and then. At least the exercise will help me.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Peak Traffic Test for Route 101

In a Previous Post, I mentioned about a new route home from office. I wasn't able to try it out at peak rush hour till tonight. I left office at 6.45PM, the worst time to leave.

Couple of mistakes along the way. The road from Brigade road to Magrath road is now completely blocked due to some civic works. I didn't know that and turned in towards Brigade road from Magrath road. I lost at least 5-10 minutes due to that.

Another mistake was being stuck behind buses and trucks all the way home. One of the unwritten rules of driving in Bangalore, is to never trail a vehicle bigger than the one you are driving. Bigger the vehicle, the slower it will be able to inch through traffic.

If I hadn't lost that time, I would have easily made it home in 45 mins.
What really is a time saver is the new Flyover at National College Basavangudi. Now, I can turn right a Lalbagh west gate and go up the flyover and turn right immediately onto DVG road.

45 mins is not too bad considering that it was peak rush hour. On a bike, it would easily have been 35 mins. Also considering the traffic jam on Richmond road till Vellara Junction, it wasn't too bad. It took me the best part of 10 mins to go from Lifestyle to Vellara Junction.

The traffic on Richmond road from Lifestyle to Vellara Junction is usually bad. Its not a long stretch. Just a few hundred meters, going uphill. The road is really wide, but the traffic really slows down. Luckily, there is a shortcut from Magrath road to Vellara Junction. There is a road to the right next to Wesley Tamil Church on Magrath. Take this road and he will reach St. Joseph's College of Commerce. Turn right, and you end up right up at Magrath road. But I wouldn't recommend it unless you are on a bike. The road is really narrow.

Hurricane Rita

Hurricane Rita is due to hit Galveston sometime late Friday/early Saturday. Eva and I had been to Galveston last April. Its a pretty town and we had a nice walk along the boardwalk. Those was good time but this is something else. Wishing all the best for the people for Galveston.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Traffic Jam on JC Road

On the way to work today, there was a massive traffic jam. Traffic had backed up from Corporation circle at the least. So it was appropriate to change my route and go via route #32.

Yup I have dozens of routes to work and back home. That's the beauty of Bangalore's Traffic system. Since there are thousands of crossroads, and hundreds of one ways are designed in the most unscientific manner, Indian ingeniuity is put to test.

I missed the first right on JC road that goes to Double road. No matter, I took the next right just before Ravindra Kalakshetra and reached Mission road. The problem with mission road is that there is no way we can get onto Residency road from mission road. The flyover is now a one-way in the opposite direction.

So, the only option is to head towards Langford Road, Hosur Road and Johnson's Market. Richmond road is a one way as well, so one has to turn right at Johnson's market and head to Lifestyle and Hosmat. Now there are two options - Head straight towards Trinity Circle or turn right and head towards Airport Road.

It had been some time since I had been on Airport Road and I decided to head that way. Then its onto Cambridge Layout and Indiranagar. From then on its easy.

The net effect? I lost only 5-10 minutes from my usual schedule. It usually takes 35 minutes to reach work and today it took about 40-45 minutes.

Monday, September 19, 2005

It was working yesterday

Do we all have that feeling at work, when we try something out and have an Eureka moment only to find out that it doesn't work the next day?

I had one of those days today. Not quite an Eureka Moment but something tried and tested doesn't work anymore. To top it all, my hardware infrastructure doesn't work either.

Long hours in the office...

IM and Email acronyms

Here's a nice link to all those email and IM acronyms we use. Picked up from


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Alternate History Fictional

I was surfing wikipedia when I came across alternate history and Harry Turtledove. This got me thinking.

What if
  1. The Mughal Empire had continued after Bahudar Shah II? By the time he came onto the throne the empire was limited to only Delhi. If the Mughals were still in control over north westernIndia, Pakistan and Afganistan, how would it have affected the British Raj?
  2. Mohammad Ali Jinnah had not died of Tuberculosis in 1947 and Mahatma Gandhi not been assasinated? Would there have been 4 wars between India and Pakistan? Would the Kashmir problem ever existed?
  3. Going even further back, what if Privitiraj Chauhan hadn't lost to Mohammad Ghazni? Would the landscape of Indian Religous Diversity have changed?
  4. Even further back, what if some of the early Indian Republics had survived longer. What if they could have created a empire similar to the Pre Augustus Roman Empire, ruled by a Sabha.
The main focus of my questions are what if the British had not ruled India. It would have very unlikely that I would be able to write this article in English had they not done so. But they also brought with them Victorian morality that continues to influence daily life in India.

Obviously it wouldn't have been utopia. There would have been similar problems or perhaps completely different ones. A quote by Manmohan Singh recently was that India has something like 20% of the world's GDP in 1700 but it had diwindled down to just 2% in 1947. One aspect of this decline is obviously British Colonialism, but another aspect of it is the Industrial Revolution in Europe. However, it can be argued that given the freedom to do so, India too would have had an Industrial Revolution in the mid to late 1800s.

Had that been the case, how would it have affected the First and Second World Wars? What about the IT revolution that we are seeing right now? Would we have been better off or way behind?

Obviously with alternate history we can write it either way. We can portray the world to be a better place just as easily as we can portray the world to be worse of.

AJAX on routers

I hadn't given AJAX much thought until recently.

I was trying to configure my wireless router yesterday and I realized that the user feedback sucks. My Cable provider's network was down and I wanted to send a ping to the gateway to make sure that the network was up. So I fired up firefox and connected to my wireless router and sent a ping to the gateway. And the response wasn't quite the same as doing a ping from a command prompt. Thats when I realized that perhaps AJAX would provide a better UI.

Friday, September 16, 2005

A new route home

I thought about a new route home. Instead of going via Ulsoor road and then onto Cubbon road, I thought about going through M G Road. Sounds crazy at first but then I tried it out for the last couple of days and found that its pretty quick. The trick is to take a left at Mayo Hall and go down Magrath road to Lifestyle before heading up Richmond road.

Like I said, I tried it out for the last two days. Yesterday the Richmond circle flyover was closed and so I had to go underneath the flyover, through Double road and then Lalbagh. That took me 30 mins. Today however, the flyover was open and I was able to get onto Lalbagh road within minutes. This meant that I was home in 25 mins. That's right!! 25 mins. Without speeding.

Mind you, yesterday it was at 9.00 in the evening and today was 9.30 by the time I left office, but the time is still very quick. If I had taken the usual route via Cubbon road, Corporation Circle, Sirsi Flyover and through Sankarpuram, I would have easily added 10 to 15 mins. To confirm if the route is a better one, I need to try it consistently at two different times - the 5.30 to 6.30 time, and the 6.30 to 8.30 time slot. If I can make it home consistently in less than an hour during the 6.30 rush hour, it will be a real time saver.

Apple and Intel

Interesting post on macworld about why Apple chose Intel over AMD or for that matter on why they chose to move away from PPC.

Couple of points though would be

  1. Can we get MacOS to run on non-apple h/w? Not sure how this will play out
  2. What will happen to iPod? It too needs a CPU. Granted, it doesn't require much horsepower to run mp3 and stuff, but what happens when we add more and more stuff on it. Video, Cellphone integration, more PDA functionality and perhaps even an option to program it.
  3. How does this affect their coolness factor/niche market focus?

Playing around with MS Reader

I thought about giving ebooks a chance. Only problem is that they require $$ which I don't want to spend. One option is to look at the gutenburg project. They have tons of ebooks but most are in txt format. Ascii is good for portability but hard on the eye.

One option is to download the reader tool from MS and open the ebook in word and convert to .lit. That way MS reader can be used.


I never get First Post on slashdot. So the best thing to do is to create a blog and then I will be able to guarantee FP.

Anyway, I made this blog to cover up for all the time I waste at work and home. Ah!! the perils of ftp (Full Time Pass).