Saturday, November 29, 2003

iPod's dirty secret - Update | CNET

The video I linked to earlier misrepresents the issues presented by the iPod's battery having a limited lifetime. To quote from the article:

"As it turns out, it's possible to replace the battery for as little as $49 using third-party kits. Apple itself offers a battery-replacement service for about $106 including mail"

I guess people love taking pot-shots at the market leader in any product category - take the example of Windows itself. People might say whatever they want about the operating system but I don't see the common folk buying anything else but Windows - now that might be because there isn't necessarily a viable alternative that runs on all the crappy hardware that people decide to buy in order to save money but what does that say about the competition?

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Scripting flaws pose severe risk for IE users

As indicated in the article:

Microsoft has yet to patch the flaws. But users can protect themselves against the flaws by disabling active scripting or by using an alternative browser.

Viable alternatives till the flaws are patched are Mozilla Firebird and Opera. Though who knows what vulnerabilities those browsers contain :)

Geek Sense of Humour

"Linus Torvalds has released his final 2.6.0-test kernel, calling it the Beaver In Detox. Following this release, Linus says that 2.6 development will be led by Andrew Morton. The kernel's name refers in jest to the previous release, which Linus had named Stoned Beaver"

Now that's funny ain't it? :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

iPod's Dirty Secret - Neistat Brothers

Apparently the iPod's battery lasts only 18 months after which the user has to spend $255 on replacing it - this sucks in the goat ass - if this is a known issue, apple should either do something about it or make replacing the battery a trivial expense. This might be a gimmick on their part to make people keep buying iPods but it's outrageous. If Microsoft did this, they would get so sued, it's not even funny. EU, US Justice Department, blah blah - are you privy to this?

September 13 2003

Some everlasting memories from one of the best hosted and attended parties I've been at - it just happened to also be my birthday...

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Leading Storage Hardware Vendors Qualify iSCSI-Based Products For the Windows Platform

Haa - I was part of the team that did this - and this is peppered all over the news! :)

Monday, November 17, 2003

Nintendo signs IBM for next-gen console

That the two (Nintendo and Microsoft) might co-operate against Sony has been the subject of rumour for some time. It may even herald an attempt to create a licensable platform on which both companies build a high-margin software business while others commoditise the hardware.

And BTW, India kicked NZ butttt

Krishnan and I sat up all night Friday and watched India kick some butt in maandow style - the highlight of the night being - this is a tough decision - Dravid's 22 ball 50. He scored runs employing copy-book cricketing strokes but the knock was so effortless I dare to admit that it was more of a treat to watch than Sachin's ton or Sehwag's measured 130. No point watching the finals though, the Aussies are going to send us packing like they have time and again in the past. And no, only Morpheus believes in miracles :) - I'm Manoj!

Wired News: Kasparov Trounces Computer Foe

Can Kasparov win?

Question is - will I start working and stop browsing the Internet? :)

To work we shall come...

After a fun-filled and eventful weekend I'm back - at my desk figuring out how to best use my time before the next project begins. I've decided to read up on all the OS related details that till now I either chose to not read or skimmed over. Was reading KnR last night and discovered so many new things, not new, but just things I could've learnt in 2nd year B.E. (sophomore year for the uninitiated), take for instance, KnR has an implementation of Hashtables (simple but the seminal ideas have been provided, this could've helped me in my last interview) and an requested implementation to find the number of 1s in a ULONG. That's the deal with KnR though <link> - everytime I read it - I learn something new :)

Now for what happened this past weekend. I got 2 games off Karan (the first 2) and was coasting along on my way to my first ever victory when he dug deep and found the resolve to win the next 3, the last one in convincing fashion - I had started giving up on points for want of energy. I barely walked off the court Friday evening and took 15 minutes in the steam/sauna/whirlpool to recover from what had just been dished out to me. Dinner with Sandy and Shilpa at the Cantina Marina was a pleasant throwback to times spent in Pilani and times spent last year in Redmond. There were no jibes made but I still laughed all night long and no one was hurt. Each of us got singled out over the evening with the other two deciding to gang up but it was all innocent and entertaining. Most everyone I knew in college has gone through a metamorphosis of sorts - in some cases the change is drastic, in others it's inconspicuous (unless you really want to notice) - I'm glad most of my friends fall into category 2...

Master and Commander wasn't as swashbuckling as Gladiator or funny as Looney Tunes (this I wanna see) or dramatic as A Perfect Storm but as Voyage related epic stories go, it held my attention for most of it's seemingly unending reels. I didn't understand some (sorry, most) of the Seaman lingo obfuscated more by Russell Crowe's more than authentic English accent. I'd give the movie 3 stars, no more!

Hung out all of Saturday, studied a bit, worked out a bit and prepared myself for the arrival of Vijay on Sunday. The mandatory visit to Karu's, dinner with the boys later and the routine Coffee shop trip later, we returned back to find Vijay an apartment. He's gonna work in Samm-D till the end of January after which it's all open ended. I hope he ends up living somewhere in Redmond so we can hang some nights of the week. Though most everyone has changed after marriage/engagement, Vijay has managed to retain some of the spark of yore. But Anu isn't here yet so the litmus test would begin on her arrival...

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Why Microsoft wants to buy - then trash - Google

This is an update to an earlier blog post I made...

I don't know how much of this is FUD from the Open Source/Free Software camp. But this isn't the first article that has speculated about Microsoft having made a bid for Google. At the company meeting this year, we were informed of the investments being made into MSN Search, so I don't see how these rumours can have any substance whatsoever. Why invest and hire people into making MSN Search better if all we were going to do was buy off Google?

On another front, I am glad that Google is what it is - a one stop shop to research stuff on the Internet. Though Google hasn't yet indexed the entire web (my homepage for instance) but I know I have my work cut out for me if I can't get a hit for a search query on Google. All I know is that if you challenge the Microsoft juggernaut, more often than not, you are crushed in it's forward march...

Friday, November 14, 2003

Insomnia once again

It is becoming harder and harder to go to bed every night. I've taken a hot shower tonight to facilitate the lids from deciding it's time to shut down. Tomorrow is a big day - I have to wake up in time for an 8am training that will last all day long. In between, I've got a tonna things to co-ordinate, go to the lawyer, buy S/W for my dad, geez how much can one guy do! I'll do it all though, do it all ;)

I've started ending my sentences with eh these days - an affliction of my friends from across the border up North - Canada yaar! Lots of exciting things happening in my life right now on both the work and personal front. Things are coming together, plans are in place for New Year's - I can't wait to be in India baby - India. But hold on, everyone's getting married, will my parents force me too - I think my dad might but my mom, she's not gonna bother me with such trivial details - now's the time to party she says - yeah right Mother! :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

New Host - More of the same Manoj

Hey all, this is my brand new URL - and this hosting is Microsoft internal - so there are perks that most others just won't and can't enjoy - hmmm - what can I say, the charmed life we Miicrosofties lead... ;)

Aite, more posts soon - stay tuned!

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Shopping Spree

Home Espresso Maker - $27.99 at Target
Coffee Bean Crusher - $12.99 at Target
Coffee Beans in a bag - 1/2 lbs - $3.44 at Fred Meyer
1 gallon 1% Milk Carton - $2.69 at Trader Joes

Freedom from the Starbucks Establishment - Priceless

There are somethings money can't buy, for everything else, there's ANY credit card :)

Friday, November 07, 2003

Matrix Imploded: Trouble in Zion

A Must Read - the guy has completely taken off on the movie, sarcasm being the norm rather than the exception. He does say one good thing about the movie though:
Still, if all that doesn't trouble you, having your senses bombarded by special effects and action sequences isn't a bad way to spend a couple of hours.
And the masterpiece:
So Neo has no idea what to do. Goes to his room aboard the Mjolnir. Hangs out. He and his sweetie take a trip to see a man about a robot or a robot about a man. Whatever.

Squash Slump

I haven't won a single squash match this week. It' because of my shoulder, I am trying to compensate so much for the injury that other parts of my shoulder are starting to hurt. And the lack of any exercise to the biceps is causing my right hand to lose a lot of strength. I can't get the ball to the back of the court, especially on the backhand, my biggest asset has been my backhand - and now, people are exploiting this new found hole in my game. I want to recover and will pay any price so I'm glad I'm even able to play, but one must complain.

We were supposed to go out for a movie this evening but the geeks have decided to install Longhorn on a machine and check out the cool, new effects. So I guess the rest of us who wanted to get dinner and a movie are bound by this fate... Time to go sleep, very tired, very hungry!

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Timeline: When Is 'The Matrix'?

The title says it all... Something for the Matrix fans to absorb since the movie feel so short in being insightful!

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

The Second Coming, oops Going maybe!

Biblical References
Neo being the Messiah and all - his sacrifice saves humanity (albeit not for long) and gives it a second chance

Star Wars hangover
The "Good" battleship wards off the attack of the "Evil" battleshipS (numbering close to a thousand) through sheer ammunition and maneuvering skill

Hindi Movie hangover
Two lovers, separated right before the movie ends, only difference, this time the feud is virtuous not between families

End Result 1

Manoj Mehta has a severe Matrix Hangover - I can't get over the twisted fate of Trinity and Neo; over the fact that there are still so many unanswered questions and over why they just didn't stop after making the first film (sorry, had to slip that in somewhere).

End Result 2

Work has piled up, gotta stay this head of mine (the one on my shoulders) in front of the monitor and do some serious catching up. The morale is high, time to produce some results now or else...

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Revolutions... Here today, history tomorrow

Will The Matrix Revolutions leave a mark in the cinegoer's mind - this question is as hard to answer as the ones that buzzed through my head through the major portion of the Matrix Revolutions experience this morning at 9am. Would I be doing justice to the movie if I said that the Starbucks cup sitting by my seat was what helped me get through the first couple of reels, maybe not. Don't be fooled here, it's an above average flick but then again, so is the batting of Sachin Tendulkar or the tennis of Andre Agassi or ... What a Matrix geek like myself expects to see when he dishes out his ticket admission is so much more than "average" fare that it can be hard to satiate my appetite for "MATRIX"ness. I came out of the hall pretty sated and excited to see the flick again with my team tomorrow afternoon (after lunch at some local silly carb-laden restaurant). So here's my summary...

First up, dress down your expectations. In my opinion, there can never be another movie like the original Matrix - Revolutions neither has the philosophical insights that made you sit back and say "Wohh" of the original nor does it have the breath-taking action sequences (which I personally thought were prosaic) of Reloaded. What it does have though is a mix of action, character development and story progression that provides a sense of closure to the trilogy. Most every scene taking the movie to it's eventual climax except of course the protracted battle between the humans and the sentinels (I'm all for blood and gore but come on, this wasn't even in bullet time!). There are some intriguing aspects though, especially the presence of Monica Bellucci, the point of the whole "why are humans driven by emotion" and the elaborate explanation given to the new appearance of the Oracle. But the most poignant concept of the movie for me was the end-game: sometimes one must embrace evil in order to vanquish it. Alas, whither can Neo fly, the awful thought still follows me that even Kings must die...

Intel's Not Inside anymore...

Wired News: Xbox to Switch to PowerPC
IBM in, Intel out of Xbox?

There was much speculation leading up to the official announcement by Microsoft that an IBM fabricated chip would power the next generation Xbox game console (Xbox 2). IBM now has secured contracts to fabricate chips that power the big 3 game consoles - the GameCube (G3), the PS3 (Cell) and the Xbox (who knows what). It's a good thing IBM is a conglomeration of smaller business units (companies in themselves) otherwise there would be a lot of conflict of interest in the chip manufacturing plants.

This announcement is a victory for all parties involved, directly or indirectly. Vendors of PowerPC based computers stand to benefit from this development since mass production of the chips will drive costs down. Game consoles will have superior processing power at their disposal so game designers can give their ideas flight. And the consumer, lower costs, more powerful systems, surrealistic gaming - what more can one ask for.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Interesting tidbit - Did you know this?

Q: What is Microsoft Access?
A: Ummm, it's a bigger Excel...

And you wonder why I yank my friends' cords all the time - now you know why?!!! :)