Sunday, December 26, 2004

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Q&A: How the tsunami happened

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Q&A: How the tsunami happened: "How the tsunami happened
Thousands of people have died after an earthquake sent huge waves crashing into coastal resorts across south and east Asia. Dr Brian Baptie, a senior seismologist with the British Geological Survey, explained how the wave, or tsunami, was created."

The science behind the tragedy makes you wish more that it would never occur...

Here comes the snow

And we played in it - threw snowballs at each other and ran around in the snow. After all that frolic, my hands took ten minutes to warm up in the car. This year is going to end on a very interesting note...

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The clock ticks life away

Woke up to the sound of the cell phone ringing at 6am this morning. Actually, I knew I had to wake up early so my body just woke up a couple of minutes before the phone actually rang. The fact that I got out of bed a whole 1/2 hour after I spoke on the phone is of course a completely different matter. Focus please... :) this is my morning we are talking about! Got to the squash courts at 7am and did some fun drills with Maria while giving her some tips on improving her game.

So here's the scoop - I was so tranquil all morning and got so much done that I'm actually going to try this again. Actually, I am feeling tred and my eye-lids feel heavy from the day's activities so this is natural. Hmm, me doing something the way it should be done, now this has gotta be a first!!!

In other news, I have so much work to do this next week, I hate it! There is no end to work I've realized - the more you do, the more you have left to do. GDI...

The Holidays are here again

And Microsoft campus is partially deserted. A good time to get work done, catch on items punted for months and to put on some weight eating christmas treats. For my own part, I'm headed to Boston for some days before I return to the grind in 2005. Why Boston you ask - I'm a sucker for punishment remember, I hate the cold so I decided to go to the coldest, inhabitable place in the US where I have some friends - Boston! And oh yeah, what better place to wear a Yankees hat?!?

The last couple of days have been very chilled out but I should pick up the pace because I have a lot of work that needs my attention. Outside of work, my laziness has made me lax as regards matters pertaining to personal finances that I definitely must tend to. And then there is the problem of unopened snail mail - a task I hate as much as doing laundry. Why the F*$# do them credit card companies keep sending me credit card applications - ohh I get it, I have no money so could be one of their best customers - the high rollers!

I'd like to thank all of you for reading this space - writing becomes more fulfilling when there are readers. Happy Holidays...

Friday, December 17, 2004

Aaaand Weeeeeee

Click on the link and go, Weeeeeee.....

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

How to survive creative burnout

I stumbled upon this collection of essays by an ex-Microsoftie and agree with a lot of his thoughts. I went through a mini-burnout myself but am hoping that the tide has turned now. Interesting read...

It's about the Statistics mate...

So here are this month's ;):

Current Crushes
- Vicki Butler Henderson
- Wonder Woman: The Cartoon Character - you got it right...

All Time Crush
Denise Richards

Most Watched Shows
- 5th Gear
- That 70s Show

Current Reads
- The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- Unix Internals - The New Frontiers

Movies of the month
- Ocean's 12
- The James Bond series
- Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Am I crazy?
What do you think?

Saturday, December 11, 2004

A Sunny day for Sachin Tendulkar

"Sachin Tendulkar on Saturday scored his 34th Test century to equal Sunil Gavaskar's world record on the second day of the first Test against Bangladesh here. "

My Hero - God - Sachin...

Friday, December 10, 2004

Google Suggest

Google

This is simply awesome. Give it a spin, here's how:

1. Start typing
2. Google smartly suggests possible search queries
3. Select the one you were looking for and Click the Google Search button :)

Easy as pie...

Laptops a Hot Fertility Issue

"The findings suggest that young men should place laptop computers on a desk, a table or anywhere else but their own laps."

All you geeks and laptop owners beware... Save them family jewels :)

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Melatonin, Sleep and My Body...

This publication talks about Melatonin and its effects on your sleep and wake cycle. Interesting read with a section titled "Twelve Questions To Ask Yourself".

The publication goes on to say:
If you answer "yes" to any of the above questions, you may have found a reason for your sleeping troubles. Try changing your behavior and see if your sleep improves.

I answered Yes to 4 of them so maybe it is high time I change my ways?! :)

Telegraph | News | Shortage of sleep is linked to obesity

The article states:
"As for the concern about children, obesity and television viewing, he pointed out that watching television was often done at a time when children should be sleeping."

I think this applies to me too - the primary reason for my sleeplessness is all the recorded TV I watch every night. Maybe it is time for me to return the DVR and get back to TV-less days.

What a weekend...

And it all started with dinner at Red Robin. I was late to begin with, had to tie up some last minute loose ends - like giving friends holiday gifts :) We all came home after dinner, drank some wine and watched Miracle. If you get a chance and like sport, you should definitely watch this movie. A little jingoistic but on the whole, a great movie to watch with friends.

Wasn't really keen on waking up early on Saturday and wake up late I did. Around 2 maybe it was?! Hung out at home and finally got out of the apartment around 8pm, just in time for some shopping! Returned stuff to American Eagle (expensive shirt, not worth it) and walked around the mall till Mehra and Donna showed up. They were late - my influence - so I got a chance to enter the one place that defines American consumerism - The Bon. Drum Roll...

Half hour, four shirts and $50 later, I was done with my shopping sprees for the year. Dinner at Kanishka hit the spot and after some persuasion, Donna agreed to come out and party. We spent a couple hours at Tost, a place I really like. We sat on the couches, had a couple drinks and totally enjoyed the music. And before the night ended, true to form, we hit Mirabeau Room and grooved to Bollywood tunes...

So I thought the fun and frolic were done but no, I was wrong. Arvind, Rutz, Donna and I got around to leaving for lunch around 2:45. Paranthas and Dahi, so much anticipation - I just hoped we wouldn't be let down. And let down, we weren't!!! I strongly recommend Preet's to all lovers of Indian food. But I'd suggest people stick with the appetizers and order Paranthas, even though they aren't listed on the menu.

Lots of sleep, lots of tasty food, what more can a man ask for? I won't complain if I get an entertaining movie - no I won't! We packed into Rutu's car and headed to the Galleria to watch Closer - a movie I kinda liked. I know others didn't but they have their reasons, as always :) Worked out after the movie and read a bit before tucking in. Recharged for the rush that Monday brought with it...

Monday, December 06, 2004

Ferraris, Made in India

"India's top software exporter Tata Consultancy Services has won a multimillion dollar deal with Italian sports car maker Ferrari to design Formula 1 engines."

Me too Me too - Made in India! Awesummm...

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Hopefully, the insomnia has passed

And given way to my first restful night. Many thanks to Smitha, Ayesha, Mamta, Rutu and Karan for either inquiring about my insomnia or helping me get over it. The lack of sleep disrupted my schedule completely and I missed a couple meetings but I hope that I'll be back on track. I'll keep this space updated...

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Flawed Rules of Association

People say often times - you don't have this so how would you know about it? For instance,

"You don't have hair, what would you know about hair styles"

To that I say,

"I don't have tits but I know a good rack when I see one." or
"I don't own a Ferrari but I sure know it's a great drive."

Hair-raising isn't it? No actually, plain disgusting...

Artist of the Week

Have you guys had a chance to listen to any music by a Canadian born Indian DJ who goes by the name of Raghav? Trust me, his music is the ultimate fusion of Indian funk, hip-hop beats and old Bollywood music. So yeah, I've been listening to two of his songs - Can't Get Enough and Let's Work It Out all weekend and the past couple of days, so I'm sick of them already :) But I'll definitely add this to my party list...

In other news, I don't know why I am unable to sleep at night. This insomnia might have something to do with the acquisition of the DVR from Comcast - me thinking the DVR is evil - evil evil :( But it can't be just that now can it? Whatever it is, I need to tuck in right now because I have a 10am meeting. I'd not wish anyone else to have insomnia, trust me though...

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Target : Entertainment : Marijuana

Found @ target.com, the first step in the world of Substance Abuse:
Marijuana
$25.25

But isn't MariJuana Baiiid? :)

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Question my personal life?

As Aamir Khan has said:
Because I don’t think my personal life is anyone else’s business.

Read the interview to find out more...

Friday, November 26, 2004

And the day begun with...

Mithun calling me up at 8:53 in the morning as he was about done packing his bags for India. All of six weeks that boy is going to spend in different parts of the country - I sure hope he enjoys his time there. After many histrionics, adventures in ATM usage and a last minute diary pickup, we made it to the airport and Mithun actually boarded the plane on time. Topped off the morning eating brunch with Donna who gave me a ride back to Redmond in the evening.

The highlight of the day though has to be my haircut - it is the best haircut I've ever had in the US - all-time even - and I owe my thanks to the Duck-walker. She's a great hair stylist, knows my hair very well and it felt so good to go back to her after so many months. I've set up a regular appointment with her now for a cut once a month.

In other news, thanksgiving dinner was really good albeit non-traditional - it was more like a Diwali dinner 'coz everything on the menu was Indian. We cooked, ate and then watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I didn't quite understand the movie but then again, I was pretty buzzed after four glasses of white wine.

One word that summarizes today - fulfilling.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

To Sleep Or Not To Sleep

It is 5am and I can't get no sleep.
I can't get no sleep
I can't get no sleep

Oh well, I'll try once again. Mind full of random thoughts. I wish I could stop them from buzzing around. Shit, today is a work day. And damn that, what did I read about not sleeping making you fat - aah, I have that covered already, I am FAT :)

Inside Firefox: Win32 Shell Tricks

So, Ben Goodger, Mozilla Firefox's chief developer, asks in his blog:

"I have a question for Win32 Shell Programmers..."

IMO, You need to ask only one - Raymond Chen. If you know how to use Google, you can find Raymondc...

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Too little sleep may make you fat

Too little sleep increases the chance of becoming obese, a study has claimed.

People burn fewer calories asleep, so it might seem to be counterintuitive that more sleep prevents weight gain.

But it was found people who slept four hours or less per night were 73% more likely to be obese, possibly because of effects on appetite hormones.

Key advice for some people I know - to everyone out there - sleep well and don't ever question why I sleep so much ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Kux in Mouth

Short Form: KIM, kim

Definition:
1. Super, humungous DIS'
2. Verbal Wedgie
3. Kux in Mouth (it's recursive)

Usage:
Why you gotta take a fat Kux in my mouth?
Why you gotta take...

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Is this the beginning of the End?

A new battle over "indecency"? Really, come now - not airing one of the greatest wartime movies made in the last decade - the only thing indecent about the movie was the fact that 66 affiliates of ABC networks chose not to air the movie. Big hooptie-do I say! I'm so glad Comedy Central censors nothing...

Big Brother really is watching, controlling and dictating what we do, see and know in America these days. Do I hear the Liberals sighing in the corner - oh no, that's just me...

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Firefox 1.0 Released

And the mozilla download sites have been slammed, people have lost it :)
Go Get it - Firefox 1.0 download and rediscover the web!!
Don't know what the buzz with Firefox is? Read more :here:

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Hilarious - Who is the Bhenchod!!!

I typed Bhenchod in Firefox's address bar and it took me to the first hit on Google for the term. Guess what I saw... I was at work when this occurred and I just burst out laughing - LOUDDDD!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Kerry Concedes Election to Bush: Hopes fade...

"Bush was favoured among white men, voters with family incomes over $100,000 US and evangelical Christians who view him as a messenger from God in a titanic fight to quell terrorism and spread liberty around the world, while Kerry was the overwhelming favourite of black voters, Hispanics, union households and was supported by many younger voters."
Woteva... I heard some people comment - Four more years with the monkey?!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

My New Job

It has been nearly two weeks since I started my new job and I'll say this, I LOVE it. I was at work till nearly 11pm last night (14 hours) and had that Aha-Aha feeling while driving home - that feeling has been so overdue that it was overwhelming. Let me break this down for you - my new job lets me do the one thing I truly enjoy - interacting constantly with people. My singular passion is helping people be it fix their problems, their computers or their bugs and this job lets me do all of that, and then some.

But there's more reasons for my reformed work life - I have friends on the team, I really enjoy working for my new manager and having like minded people around you at work is essential (I'll vouch for it). And here's the shocker, drum roll please, I have a human schedule - early to bed and early to rise, by my standards at least - in bed before 1am and in the shower by 9am :)

So there you have it - my current situation rocks...

Friday, October 29, 2004

Shit, someone else felt like I did...

(I'm frustrated with blogger, really. I wrote such an awesome post and the fucking server was down - mind-fuck zone! I'll try to pen my thoughts again...)

And then, set his feelings to music. Isn't it wacky when a song mimics a stage in your life, down to the finest detail? It all started pretty innocently; I took my iPod into work this morning because the baby needed to be charged. While it was connected to the computer, I thought I'd create a new playlist - I did and called it Lifting - for the times when I am in the free weights room and want to listen to something edgy and loud. Obvious choice of music for this playlist - alternative rock.

I started listening to the songs on the list while driving to Seattle and before I could make it to Pacific Place, I had a new favourite song - Light Years by Pearl Jam. Vedder's deep voice and poignant lyrics kept playing in my head as I walked up the steps towards Gordon Biersche, and Mumtaaz.

Mumu and I caught up as the song played in my head. Within the hour we had talked about the month gone by, my new position, an enchilada had made its way from plate to mouth and the bill had been paid. The restaurant was a surprise find - excellent service, good prices and tasty food - and is called The Mexican (no points for guessing the cuisine); highly recommended. I drove Mumu back home and listened to some more music on my drive back to the Pro Club - I hoped to squeeze in a little more than an hour in the weights room tonight.

Mithun, Wes and I were the last few to cross the Exit doors of the Pro a little after 11pm. A week has passed since I took up a new position in the Rights Management Client team as a Lead (manager for the non-initiated) and it has been one crazy ride. This would be the first work night I was gonna make it back home before midnight and the first thing I did to celebrate was to make myself a tall milkshake, protein powder and all.

Eschewing sitting on the couch staring aimlessly at the Tele, I choose instead to catch-up on personal email, blog a bit and read the news. How can any such session be complete without music, I ask? Now this is a personal choice but I think Winamp is one of the most elegant players for listening to music on Windows - it's easy to use, very stable and I swear by its Playlist Shuffle feature! So I fired up Winamp, created a playlist with my entire collection of Alternative music and pressed Play. The list stopped advancing once Tainted Love came on...

"What an uncanny resemblance!" was the first thought that crossed my mind. And as I read the lyrics, the similarities blew my mind away; I'd felt the exact same way so many times in my life and more precisely, a couple of months ago. Here's where the needle stopped on the record...
Sometimes I feel I've got to
Run away I've got to
Get away
From the pain that you drive into the heart of me
The love we share
Seems to go nowhere
I've lost my lights
I toss and turn I can't sleep at night

Once I ran to you (I ran)
Now I'll run from you
And running away can give you closure - ask me...

Monday, October 25, 2004

Great advice for starting a software project

Want an insight into how to develop a large software project? Linus Torvalds suggests you start small...

Preston: Do you have any advice for people starting to undertake large open source projects? What have you learned by managing the Linux kernel?

Linus Torvalds: Nobody should start to undertake a large project. You start with a small _trivial_ project, and you should never expect it to get large. If you do, you'll just overdesign and generally think it is more important than it likely is at that stage. Or worse, you might be scared away by the sheer size of the work you envision.

So start small, and think about the details. Don't think about some big picture and fancy design. If it doesn't solve some fairly immediate need, it's almost certainly over-designed. And don't expect people to jump in and help you. That's not how these things work. You need to get something half-way _useful_ first, and then others will say 'hey, that _almost_ works for me', and they'll get involved in the project.

And if there is anything I've learnt from Linux, it's that projects have a life of their own, and you should _not_ try to enforce your 'vision' too strongly on them. Most often you're wrong anyway, and if you're not flexible and willing to take input from others (and willing to change direction when it turned out your vision was flawed), you'll never get anything good done.

In other words, be willing to admit your mistakes, and don't expect to get anywhere big in any kind of short timeframe. I've been doing Linux for thirteen years, and I expect to do it for quite some time still. If I had _expected_ to do something that big, I'd never have started. It started out small and insignificant, and that's how I thought about it.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Symptom 1 of Being a Lead - Sleepless nights

In fact, early night, early mornings and waking up at odd hours wondering how to organize better. I've been a lead only a day and have already woken up twice at night with thoughts of how to organize my stuff. This is going to be an interesting experience for me - I'm damn nervous...

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Fashion models causing stir at Madrid event

Move over the Red Sox win over the Yankees, check :this: out...
Women in black tank tops and white, knee-length skirts chased errant shots and handed towels to the players. Reportedly paid $1,100 for the week, the women are appearing in one televised match each day.
Women's rights groups are up in arms over this in Madrid. Really though, these girls at least have more dignity than cheerleaders, who serve no purpose other than showing off their nickers while indulging in a pointless song and dance routine. I mean, tanx! Just the fact that a woman is pretty shouldn't preclude her chances at being an able ballgirl - I didn't think so...

Hell freezes over: Sox ice historic Win in the Bronx

More power to the Red Sox Nation; they've earned this celebration by making the biggest comeback in Baseball post-season history. What makes this win that much sweeter is the fact that the Sox beat the Yankees in the bronx, the Yankees back yard. To break down the final four games, the Sox played better offensively and defensively against what I thought was a tired Yankees roster. What was also missing in the Yankees approach was the sheer unity and oneness of purpose that was evident in every Red Sox player who came on the field. They were fired up, they believed they had a chance and they plain took it. I'm not going to draw parallels between this and any other sporting effort, that would dilute the glory of this moment for all Sox fans.

I hope the Sox win the World Series and as much of a Yankees fan that I am, as much as it hurts that the Bombers aren't in the World Series, I'm darned happy for my friends who've made Boston their home. Go out guys, party and cheer your team on to what could be the final nail in the Bambino's coffin...

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Yankees vs Red Sox: Game 5, Game 6

The Boston Red Sox have created history by beating the Yankees in Games 4, 5 and 6 of the ALCS. The series is now drawn 3-3 and the 7th game is being played at Yankees Stadium in the Bronx as I type this update. The 4th and 5th games were total nail-biters, both going into extra innings with the Sox winning in the 14th inning of the 5th game. Rivera gave up a run in both the 4th and 5th games, an unheard of occurrence.

The Red Sox have 4 hits already this evening against Kevin Brown and it's only the 2nd inning of the 7th game. I have my fingers crossed but honestly, I think the Yankees are a spent ball-club and things don't look very good for them. But it ain't over until the fat lady sings or as is the case in baseball, until the last pitch is thrown...

First day - New Team, New Job, Old Weirdness

This is the fourth time at Microsoft that I've had a first day in a team - the first one was on the 28th of January 2002, the second on July the 5th 2002, the third on December 26th 2003 and finally today - October 19 2004. The dates might have changed, the seasons all different too but the weirdness of a first day remains the same. What compounds the weirdness is the fact that I know so many people on this team and in some manner, they are all weird too. Maybe the proximity will take some getting used to for us all before things return to normal...

Today was actually my day off but I came in and have set up my office. It's a little like the old one, only difference being that I have a single office - it's just me and my stuff. Now if only the Yankees can pull a win out tonight - that will make my evening. The Sox lead 2-0 already and it's only the bottom of the 1st :( Go Yankees...

Monday, October 18, 2004

Yankees vs Red Sox: Game 4

In what is the best game I've seen this post-season, the Yankees lost to the Red Sox, 6-4 in the 12th inning and finally, this series comes to life. The Yankees lead 4-3 in the 9th and with Rivera on the mound, it was all but a sealed deal. But it wasn't to be; Rivera's 4th blown save out of 36 post-season games came at an inopportune time for the Bombers and I don't think the team recovered from that blow. Ortiz drove in a huge 2 run homer in the bottom of the 12th to give the Sox a reprieve.

MLB Gameday: Click the title :)
Rivera's thoughts on his blown save :link:

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Tim's Cook-For-Yourself Diet Plan: Save money and lose weight


Rule #5: No sugar substitutes

Some artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, actually promote weight gain by slowing down your metabolism. But studies on other artificial sweeteners have been done that show that your body gets confused by them. When you eat something sweet, your body expects it's going to get an energy rush. When that rush doesn't happen, your body adapts by making you want to overeat things with more complex carbohydrates. You can do the necessary research, but the point is that anything that causes you to overeat is bad. So, sorry, you can't have soda anymore. No soda, no diet soda.
Crap, crap, crap - no more diet soda for me anymore so now what do I drink :)

First day back on the court...

Was the first day I got injured - again :( There isn't any pain as I type this but my right knee felt a twinge (maybe a little more than that) in the fourth game with Dan Simon. Interestingly enough, I was just getting into it but maybe my approach is wrong. Winning or losing isn't important, it's getting into the game slowly and prepping my body for the onslaught - that's the approach I should take. That is easier said than done though given how competitive I am. I lost the first two games and then came from behind and won the third, so I was just getting into the groove.

No, I'm not gonna quit, I'm gonna play alone, hit rails, drill some and then get into it slowly but surely. I'm targetting the middle of November to be up and running again - maybe I won't make that date but it's good to have a target to shoot for...

Yanks Create Bedlam in Boston

And bedlam it was - I saw the game in fits and starts while working out at the Pro Club last night and honestly, the Yanks bats just ran amuck.

Yanks lead Boston: 3-0
:MLB Game Wrap-up:

Wired News: IPod Users Go Into the Closet

I've never once worn the earbuds that came with my iPod. Being on a subway in New York or in the Weight Room at the Pro Club made me wonder about my decision to not wear the earbuds because I wanted to be unique, not identified as an iPod user. Turns out, there are others out there like me. The article details more...

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Yankees vs Red Sox: Game 2

For those of you who aren't really baseball fans but want to be in the know, I'll update my blog with results of every game and a link to the MLB.com game wrap-up.

Current Series Score: Yankees Lead 2-0
Go Yankees!!!!

Google Your Desktop

Students, geeks, non-geeks - the usage of Google pervades all cultures and strata of society. The one thing I've heard time and again when people are searching their desktop is, "I wish I could Google my personal computer - Search using XYZ OS's search is so slow". Lo and behold - your prayers have been answered - The Google Desktop is here. Read reviews and download it from :here:

Another feather in Google's cap - I can just picture everyone else in the search space scurrying to release a knock-off...

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Mariano Rivera and the Yankees

With all that Rivera has meant to the New York Yankees in the last decade, he meant more than ever Tuesday night. It is not all in the stuff or the numbers. Sometimes it is in the heart and soul where the real value of a teammate is best discovered.
This is the stuff that makes someone great... And achievements like these make me want to play sport.

Now, for Your PC: Mac OS X Emulated and Accelerated

Read this news story yesterday at Slashdot but the site for the emulator experience the Slashdot Effect to the fullest extent. Not only were the servers ready for the surge in traffic but they weren't secure against all sorts of hacks :)

So here's the site for the :product: - give it a shot - I have my own copy of Panther so I'm definitely gonna give it a spin.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Garba - 1st time ever...

What a gujju I am ;) And I had a total blast - took me some to learn but after that, I just did my own thing and confused everyone - fusion garba we're gonna call it now. Or maybe, diffusion garba :)

Let the games begin - Yankees vs Red Sox renew age-old rivalry

It's the Bombers vs the BoSox for the ALCS crown again and though the Yankees have history in their favour, I think the BoSox stand a good chance at turning the tide this year. Not only is their bullpen energized and superior, their batting line-up is up there among the league's best. What remains to be seen is whether the Sox have the conviction, grit and post-season belief in their own abilities - the Yankees, especially Jeter have all three in abundant supply and when it comes to the clutch, it's not the most skilled that wins.

I'll be disappointed if the Yankees lose but the next week will have on display the series of the year for me. The Yankees-Red Sox match-up has all the ingredients of an India-Pakistan cricket series. There is so much more at stake than just a championship crown; it's war without the gunfire...

What you like and dislike about your Boss

I'm going to open the forum and ask the people who frequent this site about their experiences with management. I'll be honest and say that I don't know what it's like to be a manager coz I've never been one. I want to be the best I can be and to get there, I'm definitely going to need help from "YOU". I know some things that a boss shouldn't do, for instance:

1. Be partisan
2. Surprise you during reviews with a lower rating than you anticipated
3. Stay closed to new ideas and methodologies

I'm sure there are many more that I can't verbalize but just know from experience. Use the Comments Area and highlight what you've liked about your boss(es) in the past and what you haven't and trust me, I'll try to bear all these in mind when I start managing people.

And yes, you can comment anonymously...

Monday, October 11, 2004

c:\> kill * is BAiiiiD

I just created a stress app on my machine and it ended up spawning too many cmd windows with the title - fooclient.exe

I wanted to kill all these fooclients because they weren't very useful (I goofed up) and so I opened up the trusty command line and wanted to find out if I could supply a wildcard to the kill command. So I go:

c:\> kill
missing pid or task name

I want to then type, kill /? but instead, in the hurry of things I type:

c:\> kill *

That's when all hell broke lose. All processes except System Idle Process got terminated - the RPC server was killed - everything. I was suddenly terminal servered into my own machine. I couldn't even restart my machine :) I'm smart right, right? So I open the trust command line window again and type:

c:\> whoami
UNKNOWN

Shit shit shit... Hard reboot was my only way out - as I type this from my laptop, I can see that my machine has rebooted and is waiting for me to log back in. Adios...


ABC News: `Superman' Star Christopher Reeve Dies

First he couldn't walk - now he's dead. This is sad.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Decisions, Decisions...

I hate making decisions that alter the path your life is going to take. I made one this afternoon and I will look straight ahead and try not to look back but it's going to be hard, VERY hard.

I chose to accept the position as a Lead in the Windows Rights Management team. I passed up the opportunity to interview with the NT Server Performance team for many reasons, the most compelling being not starting from a clean slate but leveraging the three years of experience I have gained doing what I do. Eventually, all paths lead to management so why wait five more years before giving in to the dark side?

Excited I am, nervous too - will I be a good manager, only time will tell. Time to clean up my act first though...

Podcasting

Any article that begins like this is bound to grab my attention:
For anyone who loves listening to the wide variety of internet audio programming, but can't always listen to their favorite shows when they're scheduled or take the time to download them manually, help has arrived.

Known as podcasting, the technology is a new take on syndicated content feeds like RSS and Atom. But instead of pushing text from blogs and news sites to various content aggregators like FeedDemon and Bloglines, podcasting sends audio content directly to an iPod or other MP3 player.
I read something about Podcasting last evening on Robert Scoble's blog and then visited iPodder.org, downloaded the client and am gonna get hooked on GEEK radio shows :)

The article on Wired goes on to say that the shows currently are for geeks primarily but there is hope; if this fad catches on, regular radio programming might become available as a podCast. I can't live without streaming audio from Shoutcast so maybe sometime in the future, PodCasting might become an intrinsic part of my life. For now though, I'd rather listen to music on my iPod ;)

Thursday, October 07, 2004

ASP.NET Security Flaw Can Bypass Password

And I know people at MS who use ASP.Net extensively to write "SECURE" webpages. People who've done this in the past and are reading this, read this article to hear Microsoft's official story on the problem and the workaround you should currently implement to ensure your "restricted" pages don't become open for viewing...

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Your Time is Gonna Come

Lyin', cheatin', hurtin, that's all you seem to do.
Messin' around with every guy in town,
Puttin' me down for thinkin' of someone new.
Always the same, playin' your game,
Drive me insane, trouble is gonna come to you,
One of these days and it won't be long,
You'll look for me but baby, I'll be gone.
This is all I gotta say to you woman:

[Chorus]
Your Time Is Gonna Come [X4]

Made up my mind to break you this time,
Won't be so fine, it's my turn to cry.
Do what you want, I won't take the brunt.
It's fadin' away, can't feel you anymore.
Don't care what you say 'cause I'm goin' away to stay,
Gonna make you pay for that great big hole in my heart.
People talkin' all around,
Watch out woman, no longer
Is the joke gonna be on my heart.
You been bad to me woman,
But it's coming back home to you.

[Chorus]

So poignant, so true and so satisfying...

The Outcome

Stage 1 - Decided to search for a new position
Stage 2 - Found a few I liked; applied for informationals
Stage 3 - Got an interview call from some, rejected by others
Stage 4 - Prepared for the interviews only as best as I could
Stage 5 - Interviewed
Stage 6 - Got a job offer - SDE/T Lead in the Windows Rights Management Team

Thanks to all who wished me luck, prayed for my success, helped me study and/or was just there to give me advice and mental support. There is one more stage though,

Stage 7 - Accept offer?

Shall keep you posted - my career seems to be in flux - time to rein myself in...

Sunday, October 03, 2004

So what ultimately defines a relationship

... Another relationship! Yours, your ex-partner's, anyone's...

Saturday, October 02, 2004

If the God can be tensed b4 a game...

Sachin Tendulkar for me is God - his presence does wonders for the team's morale, it makes the team compete harder just so that they can outdo his achievement. It is never intentional but that is the nature of greatness - when you are around it, you tend to emulate it.

I wondered about how nervous and edgy I was before my interviews this past week but in this interview, The God himself talks about how he gets nervous before every game, before every walk to the crease. Suddenly, i don't feel that small or abnormal anymore... :)

Excerpts:

Q: Does this kind of adulation - not just a comment like this by an Australian player - but the adulation you get from this huge country - does it put enormous pressure on you?

A: It does not put pressure because I feel I have to live upto my own expectations. People are going to expect little more than what is required and there is no (no) end to it. If I score 150 today, tomorrow they would expect me to score 200, and 250 the third day. So if I can be little more realistic and live up to my own expectations, I think I will do a decent job. And that is what I always try and do.

Q: You do it wonderfully well. When you go out to bat particularly before the Indian crowds what goes through your mind? You have nearly a 100,000 people in a stadium like Eden Gardens in Calcutta. What goes through your mind at that time?

A: I do get tensed and worked up. That is only till I go to the crease and once I have reached the crease and I am pretty okay after that. I sort of like that feeling because that feeling always keeps you on your toes.

Q: Are you tensed up before any particular match?

A: I am tensed virtually before every game. I feel that pressure all the time. Once I have gone in the middle then I am pretty okay.

Such modesty, I say...

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Interviews done

<Blogger was down last afternoon so this is a late post>

I had five interviews on Tuesday and one on Wednesday in the afternoon. The interviews were like none I've had in the past; the questions weren't really technical, they were more along the lines of solving man problems, resource problems and understanding the system end-to-end. This isn't something I have any experience with but being in projects at school was some indicator of how people should be allocated. Team projects, which I initially thought were bogus, actually come in handy at some point in life.

I think I did well in all my interviews - I answered the questions honestly and to the best of my abilities. Whatever the decision is now, I know full well that I gave it my best shot and if I am rejected, it's because I might not be a good fit for the team. The rejection won't be an attack on who I am, it's what I bring to the table for a team that is in flux. And there are always more opportunities to pursue, which makes me look ahead with a smile...

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The Final Onslaught

It's 5:10 am on Tuesday, the day of my interview. I won't deny it, I was on edge last evening; a game of ultimate, some chitter-chatter with the boys, dinner and a good night's sleep have eliminated all of that. A very wise man once told me that if I sleep before midnight, every hour of sleep is the equivalent of two - I slept at around 10pm and woke up at 5, so that makes for nine hours of sleep effectively.

I'm rested, I'm stoked - now lets see if I am good enough...

Monday, September 27, 2004

Interview Studying - Round 1

The synapses were in atrophy - getting them to fire on all cylinder took a while but once I did, it was all good. This puzzle was what set me off:

You have 50 Red Marbles and 50 Blue Marbles and 2 Jars. How do you place the marbles into the jars such that the probability of getting a Red Marble is maximized?

I was asked this puzzle in one of my interviews by Karolys last year at which time I took a couple seconds to solve it - last night though, I couldn't remember the solution immediately but the thought process was stimulation enough to get me going. The rest of the evening was spent puzzle solving and code writing, the view of the Space Needle and the ambience at Bau Haus enhancing the creative flow...

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Angst or not - I'm interviewing again...

<This post is a collection of thoughts, accumulated over the past week>

You read that right, I'm interviewing again. It has been less than a year since I went through a similar phase but I want something different from my job. At Microsoft, if you're so inclined, you can find what floats your boat. I've begun preparing for interviews with teams but this time around, I can't find it in myself to study hard. I remember the last time I interviewed; I prepared with such a passion and dedication that there was no way a team could turn me down. I think this time around is going to be the exact opposite of my last performance; I need to be galvanized, shocked into action because I'm plain burnt out.

Or is something else? Maybe I'm more self assured - the knowledge of who I am and what my skills are makes it harder to put my heart into reading up. Just learning something now and regurgitating it in an interview doesn't say anything about my skills and abilities. Or is it enough to be able to pull off an offer? Hmm, if that is what the system demands, I will do it.

As the interview day has inched closer, I have taken to reading seriously, making notes about what I should read up on, the algorithms I should know by the back of my hand, problems I should know how to solve and the like. Wish me luck and say a little prayer, I sure am gonna need all them best wishes...

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Wait, my brain is a morphine maker...

Ahh, finally some scientist proves that Morphine occurs naturally in the human brain. No wonder we all strive to get more narcotics into our system, ours could be one of those that doesn't produce enough morphine. To quote the article:
Instead of pumping patients full of morphine, Stefano said, doctors could instead give a morphine precursor -- a molecule that would set off a chain reaction eventually resulting in increased morphine production in the brain.

The approach could circumvent dependency because it would increase an individual's own morphine levels instead of replacing natural morphine with a synthetic version.
I'm all for the natural stuff, not one to do drugs. Crack dealers didn't ever need advertisements to sell their drugs but now they have a legit license to peddle their wares and we all know how they can twist a fact to suit their convenience.

The return to Squash

I started playing squash on a whim during the first semester of my third year at BITS. I sucked real bad in the beginning - hit the ball too hard, didn't have any idea of where to place the ball - what I had working for me though was my agility and speed around the court. I was adept at racquet sports but was never good enough to be on a team; I'll rephrase that - I didn't persevere enough to get onto the table tennis team and was never that good at tennis.

I began to notice improvements in my game within the first couple of weeks that I played and that's what kept me going. It's what has kept me going to this day; there is a discernible improvement in my game as I play more. What I didn't take into consideration was the fact that being as competitive as I am, I'd push my body to extract that last bit of juice for a point, a game, a match. As someone said, most times when I lost, I never gave it up easily...

The inevitable happened - I pushed my body too far this past year. I've had my share of squash inflicted injuries: Raghupatruni's forehand return nearly took out my left eye in the first month I started playing, I tweaked my back, got tendinitis in my right bicep and right knee's ACL but I stayed number 1 for six months - now that's gotta be worth something, right? Wrong - nothing's worth killing your body over and I'll never repeat the mistake again. Will I start playing squash again? Yes - this week's the first time I'll step on the court since the last week of June and actually work my way around the court. My movements will definitely be ginger, the ball will fly out of the court, I won't reach many shots but I'll be on the court. I can't wait...

Monday, September 20, 2004

Mini-Microsoft: Your Review, Your Numbers, Your Choices

A not so succinct but poignant look at the review this past year at Microsoft.
My commitments from June are now ponderous reflections upon an optimistic era.

And then you get the sheet with The Numbers. Your level, responsibility, department, rating, current pay, future pay, any bonus, and any stock awards. "Wow, that's small." I let slip out, wondering if this damn blog had finally had a real-world impact on me and my compensation.

"No, that's pretty much inline with average," my boss said, and reviewed how we're inline with comparable tech companies and that 2% raises are about the max-average (?) this year, along with some % bonus I forget (10%?). Later I got home and unloaded my gear and went through old review numbers. Even in my worst year when I was totally ignorant about the review process I did way better than this year.

I guess we had a lean financial year.

The post goes on to reflect on things that employees can do to address the situation but I found this line particularly liberating:
The golden handcuffs were removed from your wrists long, long ago. You own your career. It's choice time.
Amen to that...

The Futile Pursuit of Happiness

Great read - Puts a lot of things in perspective and therapeutic too! If you haven't figured - the link can be reached by clicking on the title "The Futile...". And the link below the post is the Permanent Link for this post :)

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Chai Rediscovered and Reciped - Manoj style!

BITS, Pilani was a haven for tea drinkers. Nagerji's special chai (Rs 3 - which at that time seemed a fortune) was renowned for its punch and full bodied flavour and he was just one among twenty outlets for tea on campus. Coffee, and good coffee at that, was hard to come by. Add to that the high price-tag (Rs 5) and coffee was in another stratosphere of drinks, a treat to be enjoyed only with certain company :)

Fast-forward to my days in the US, especially Seattle, which is the coffee capital of America. Till a few months ago, I hadn't drunk tea since my days in Pilani. Coffee was the drink de rigeur, it helped me start everyday. Till I started hanging out with Heedz, that is. She'd make chai everytime I'd visit her place and we'd yakk about this and that. That's when I realized, if made right, chai dain't taste that bad after all.

After some experimentation with the measure of ingredients, I've found the recipe that works for me:

1/2 Cup Water
3/5 Cup Milk - alright, I like my drinks milky :p
1 Teaspoon Tea - I'd go with Society in Bombay and Taj Mahal anywhere else
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Clove
1 piece of Cardamom (is it called a clove?)
Some Tea Masala for added punch

Crush the cardamom and clove. Add the water, tea and sugar into a pot and bring to a boil. Add milk - bring to a boil again. Once the brew is boiling, add the masala and crushed spices to the mix and let simmer for a couple of seconds. Strain and pour a cup of hot, tasty CHAI...

Saturday, September 18, 2004

The Birthdays just keep getting better

Weekend in Austin with old friends, Tuesday in Seattle with the new friends - I just feel blessed to have surrounded myself with some of the best people a man can ask for... Guys, you all roxxor!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Now that the EDGE has gone blunt

Being an observer makes you notice changes in oneself too. So it came as no surprise to me when I realized that I had actually lost some of that edge I ostensibly had. I'm not as sarcastic, critical and harsh as I used to be. You know how I could look at something and find fault or take a crack at it, I can't do it as much anymore. I feel I'm above that phase or wait, maybe too mellow. And you know what's the worse thing about this change - I actually miss the old me :) Anyone know where I can find an edge sharpener?!

Can you solve this?

To quote the Hiring Ad campaign:
we unveiled a billboard that's a bit unusual in that it promotes Google only to one very narrow constituency: engineers who are geeky enough to be annoyed at the very existence of a math problem they haven't solved, and smart enough to rectify the situation.
If you're up to the challenge and are diligent enough, break your head trying to solve this. I know what I'm going to be doing this coming weekend...

Welcome to the French Fries Nation...

I did it - gave in to the ceaseless temptation to eat them Fries. An entire year has passed since I ingested one of those tasty curly fries and damn they taste so good. Why is it that the things that give us maximum pleasure are either sinful, immoral or unhealthy? I don't care about the other acts but eating fries, that I will do if only in moderation! More of the beast has been unleashed...

Note: Literally more - 15lbs more :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Does Cold Turkey work?

My dad tried giving up smoking innumerable times over the course of the last thirty some years, each time resorting to the Cold Turkey method. What's cold turkey? Well, it's when you sever all ties with the entity (you're most likely obsessed with) in one fell stroke; give it all up the next instant on. Scientific experiments and personal observation have shown that cold turkey doesn't always work - my dad would quit successfully for a short while after which he'd take to the cigarette again. He's quit since this past May (2004) but this time he has help from nicotine gum, which he totally hates but knows that chewing the gum (which he does rarely) is the crutch he needs to steel his resolve to quit.

I didn't think I'd ever say this: I now understand why my dad would say that quitting was hard, how it was so easy to succumb to the temptation, take the easy way out. It's humbling in a way; with the passage of time, most everything my dad has said to me has proved to be correct and most times, I've had to reverse my opinion on the subject. It's this realization that gives me faith that he's going to be correct again and I'm going to be wrong - was wrong. Only time will tell though, so I guess we'll all find out sometime!

Critical Security Advisory - Mozilla Multiple Vulnerabilities

Everyone out there who is using Mozilla Firefox be warned. Multiple vulnerabilities have been found in Mozilla's flagship products that could lead to a remote attacker gaining control of your system. The good news is that patched versions have been released and can be downloaded from :here:.

These vulnerabilities reportedly affect all versions prior to the following:
- Mozilla 1.7.3
- Firefox 1.0PR
- Thunderbird 0.8

If InterlockedCompareExchange confuses you!

InterlockedCompareExchange always confuses me (I must read MSDN everytime I see it being used). This entry by Raymond Chen on his blog is one of the best descriptions of what the problem is and how InterlockedCompareExchange helps resolve the problem of synchronizing access to a variable that is used in a critical section. A good read...

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Annoying Gecko Bugs - Images near page boundaries get split on printing

I use Mozilla Firefox for most of my browsing and printing but one bug that really annoys the life out of me when I am printing technical documents with pictures is: Images are split while printing. You could ask, what technical document worth its salt will have pictures in it? Oh well, I've read enough documents with pictures that are actually geeky - esp documents explaining some intricate memory manager details or OS internals - I wish I knew how to start resolving this bug so I could help fix it...

Monday, September 13, 2004

Linux Usability Study - I

Ben Goodger is the chief developer on the Mozilla Firefox project. Now you'd think, given the fact that Firefox is an open source project, Ben should be pretty adept at using and programming the Linux Operating System - open source brothers support each other, evangelize each other's causes, right, right? WRONG! Ben swears by Windows as is depicted by his blog post: Inside Firefox: Firefox on Linux Install Instructions. Read that for more entertainment. Linux is lightyears behind Windows in usability so this study is going to have to end prematurely...

Friday, September 10, 2004

As time goes by...

You learn more about yourself, about your quirks.
And The more you know who you are and what you want
The less you let things upset you...
Sounds good in theory, but the longer I've lived, the more complicated a human being I have become - with scant understanding of what makes me tick. And I'm not alone in this feeling - as life has unravelled, I've solved the mysteries of the past but have also uncovered new ones to solve. I guess the joy lies in the knowledge that there still is something to solve, something to discover, something to ...

Austin, here I come...

Putt Putt, Gundapps and I are going to meet for the first time (all 3 of us that is) for the firrrrast time since July 2000 - in the city that epitomizes fun and frolic - Austin. More on my return - and if you're not gonna believe this Surdbird, but I've uploaded the photos but some post-processing needs to be done. I had to since I must bring my camera to Austin ;)

Thursday, September 09, 2004

What is all this stuff doing on my computer?

I've had a lot of people ask me for help in fixing their computer's extremely long startup times. I've figured that computers appear intimidating because most users don't know the purpose of all the services and exes that are running on their machine even before they've actually started using it - and the fear of the unknown is a hard one to overcome...

Oh well, this post demystifies some of the exes that run on a regular Toshiba Tablet PC and provides pointers to information that will help you understand the functioning of your computer's startup better...

It's already Thursday

And I thought the week just began yesterday. This past weekend was action-packed and I didn't even have to venture out of Seattle - hi Tanx! Got in touch with a lot of friends, used up all of Donna's phone battery, went to a Bally Sagoo DJing performance, walked Alki Beach, hated Bumbershoot and played tennis. Didn't have much time to do anything else and finally, started enjoying my own company. Read a book, did stuffs around the apartment and drank awesome margaritas on Saturday night. So now you know too - a mish-mash of the good times made going back to work on Tuesday morning such a bummer.

There's going to be a mini reunion in Austin this coming weekend - Gundapps, Surdbird and I are gonna hang out for the first time since we all hit Amreekan shores. It's going to be my birthday too, yippee yea yea - mm turns 27 (now that rhymes too). This year, my friend, is going to be the year of - I can't fucking care :)

So that's that - WinISP had an outage that didn't allow me to post stuffs all weekend but I'll post some updates about the weekend as the memories return. If I miss out some important detail (nothing really important occurred), it could be because of old age making memories fade away...

Friday, September 03, 2004

Chief of Windows Security uses Mozilla Firefox :)

Hi Tanx! As quoted in this article, Mr Stephen Toulouse uses Firefox. But it doesn't stop there, I've met a couple other people here at MS who have been using Firefox for the past couple of months and love it. Here's a quote from the article:
"Security is really an industry-wide problem. Just this morning I had to install an update to Firefox to block a flaw that would've allowed an attacker to run a program on my system."
Yo IE people, pull up your socks and fix IE once and for all... Coming soon: my favourite Firefox plugins.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

A quick roundup of this past week

The entire Hypervisor team went bowling to The Garage on Friday. We left M$ campus sometime after lunch and had a total blast. Eric played host to a bunch of ten nerds who took the bowling a little seriously at the beginning but mellowed down considerably after a few drinks had been chugged. The highlight of the evening for me was The Five Bagger - five strikes in a row that took my score to 187 - my highest ewahhh!

Friday night at Mirabeau Room was funnn! The place wasn't too crowded, the music was fun but the people I was with are who made the night so fun. I've managed to find a good group of people to hang out with - Amit, Mitika, Siddharth and co. are a whole lotta fun and they love partying - I ain't complainin'! This weekend had more people in the mix because there were outstis (visitors in BITSiian speak) who were a hoot! Reema with her Fuck-Onnnn, Sam, Rahul and Aditi ensured we had a total blast. Got back that night just as the sun was rising...

I've said enough of my cell phone getting lost but Saturday was spent in introspective nothingness. Chilled at home for a bit, hung out with Rohita who made tea even though I disrupted her siesta, lost my cellphone, drove back and forth on the bridge but didn't find my phone (as if I could've stopped on the freeway in case I spotted it - stop sir, you're gonna crush my pONe), ate yummy upma and then drove over to Donna's to watch the Belgian Grand Prix. Schumi actually lost :O ;)

I played the best game of tennis I have this summer last night with Jessica. Some rallies just never seemed to end and we both hit some great groundstrokes. I dropped her home, I showered at the Pro and watched half of season 10 of Friends last night. Slept in the wee hours of the morning with a smile on my face. I'd done so much in one day - picked up my mail (what a project), renewed my lease for eight months, hung with Viju and Anu and they gave me portabello mushrooms and lettuce worth $26 without charging me a cent - Tanx Vijay and Anu Kurup...

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Love Thyself

Thanks to Nandu Singh Rathod, I've discovered something I had lost - the knowledge that I must learn to love myself, my solitary self before I can really love somebody else... Ironic that I had to be reminded of this, since I blogged about it :here:

On the turning away...

Turn away from what punk - away from the past and toward the future bitch!!! Do plans work? Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Do we make correct decisions? Since the answer to that is Almost Never, I'll say Of course not - for instance, I don't think anyone will say that doing crack is a good idea - but it feels good! I made one such decision in the year gone by and I'm going to have to take measures to address the mistake I made. Will I wanna change what happened - maybe, I've nearly lost an entire year of my life at work. On the flip side though, I've learnt a lot from this wrong turn I took, things I couldn't have learnt just from observing. Being in the throes of something that goes so wrong, that slaps you in the face; now that's an experience. Something like going river rafting only to swim the rapids; to die and then come out alive...

So, now what? Forge the plans of the future based on the experiences of the past and remember to not repeat the mistakes made - easier said than done. Good start nonetheless; my only hope is that this doesn't turn out like one of my promises to start every day at 8am! :D

Saturday, August 28, 2004

The Cellphone Hunt - Reloaded

It's that time of the year again folks, the time when I am without a cell phone for maybe a week. Oops, I did it again - I lost my cell phone. This time around, I left it on the boot of my car while filling petrol and then drove off without putting it back in my pocket. I wonder, what was I thinking - not much of any consequence I'm sure...

I might remember your number but please do me a favour and send me an email with your current phone numbers so I can add em to my new phone book (when the phone arrives that is). All things happen for a reason - I was mulling moving to a new service provider and isn't this the perfect opportunity to do just that?! Yes, I'm done with Sprint PCS and am switching to T-Mobile: Get More. More of what one would ask, Catherine Zeta Jones who is the spokesperson for the company - bring it on...

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Clumsy Clumsy

Here's a question for you - are you a clumsy eater? I am. You'd think I'd have nailed that one activity down - 26 years 11 months and odd days alive, eating 3 times a day - I'd be proficient if not exceptional at this, right, right? Wrong! What's even funnier is that I've become clumsier in the recent past. And it's always the last bite, darn 'em last morsels! :D

Here's a breakdown for you - As the meal winds down, I look at my clothes and marvel at how I've been so skilled, at how my clothes haven't eaten with me. In thinking such thoughts, I jinx myself and the last bite, that I shouldn't really eat, does me in. Solution: When I've thought of how food's either in my plate or in my stumick is when I should quit - free for me and cheap for them :)

To Trust or Not To Trust, that's the Question

What follow are my thoughts on the question,

"When you break up, time and space can heal most things. However, why does it leave you feeling so bitter?"

This update is in email form (I wrote to a friend about this) and I have preserved most of the content as is, just removing any trace of who I was addressing. Read on...

One of my friends said this to me once during our third year at BITS. He was distraught after his girlfriend had broken up with him:
Wounds heal,
Scars go away,
Love Hurts...
But honestly, we know this before we fall in love/date/whatever. Problems arise when we break up maybe because we take ourselves too seriously and wonder why things went wrong. It happened, shit happens - to the best of us. You might deny this but it's in our nature to move on though - we eventually adapt and move on. The thing to note though is that we always over-estimate the emotional impact of our actions because we want to brace ourselves for the worst.

Why we choose to not trust again is a defence mechanism for self-preservation. No one likes to be hurt ergo, we shield ourselves to the point that we miss golden opportunities. The truth really is we are going to be hurt at some point or time in our life; that's what life brings - hurt and pain along with joy and happiness. It's all a give and take. But to let a relationship dictate all future ones is "your" biggest loss. This is a vagary of life, though the past shouldn't really influence the future, it does. And it's plain unfair to the new people who come in your life - the fact that your interactions with them are not purely based on their interactions with you but are based on your interactions with a phantom being that they can't recognize or fight. In the end, you gotta pick your battles. And really, you are mean, suspicious, etc to the new people you meet just because you wonder what the ulterior motives of the person are - when there might not actually be any.

A phase of introspection and motive-questioning is paramount but the faster you get out of it, the better off you are. Constant questioning isn't going to take you anywhere except down the road to Cynic-ville. Think of it like this - if you let your past relationship dictate what you do in the future, you have in effect handed victory to your old partner on a platter. Everyone wants to leave behind a train wreck, it's an ego boost to make a lasting impression. Solution: Take a chill pill and go with the flow and enjoy the ride with all it's ebbs and highs. At least you didn't watch the flow from the banks and wondered what it would be like to ride along.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Skykomish River Adventure - June 20 2004

I finally uploaded a slideshow of our brush with death rafting down the Skykomish River - Enjoy! :link: Now I know Surd's gonna complain about my not uploading the pictures from SanFran but I will, latest EOD tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

How to make "WHY" Suxxor less...

WHYs suxxor so much because you seem to not have answers to them questions. That's really not true, stop kidding yourself. You actually know why you are experiencing something, why you did something and most often, why you are unhappy. Of course, there are those events that you really don't have any answers to - the passing away of a near and dear one, natural disasters - earthquakes, floods, fires, why you were born who you are - rich, poor, handsome, ugly, smart, dumb, etc, etc.

Hmm, so maybe I'm onto something here.

Category 1: WHYs you know the answer to but are too afraid to face the reality that the answer presents you with. I can't help you with this; you need to go see a shrink so you can confront your fears. Don't be misguided into thinking that the problems will go away or someone else can solve 'em - only you can help yourself here (I should read what I'm writing coz I'm plagued by situations like these too).

Category 2: WHYs that are totally out of your control, not in your purview to decide when, where and why they occur. You gotta let these go, accept them for what they are and continue on with life. Cest La Vie - random atoms, random events - just go along for the ride. You're alive, make the most of it.

Another side to the Olympic games

And you thought the games were all about sportsmanship? Think again, my friend, 1000 athletes, in their prime assembled at one location with no restrictions, no boundaries. It's not that much of a stretch to see where this going...

Read:
1. SI.com - Games athletes to be given free condoms
2. Let the games begin

Just a snippet to get you going:
"You can contact any athlete, even if you don’t know them at all," says Buechel. "They give you a list when you get there. Everybody uses it. I saw this beautiful ski racer, from Greece of all places. She had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. I saw her at the village and sent her an e-mail, in English. Her reply was very short: ‘Not good English. Want meet you.’"
Time to move to some obsure country and join their Olympic team because it's a known fact that:
An invisible two-caste system of Olympic athletes feeds the randy village dynamic. "The reason there is so much distraction in the village is because there are two kinds of athletes there," says Maurice Greene, the American sprinter who took two golds in Sydney. "You have Olympians and Olympic tourists. The Olympians are there to win. But, let’s face it, there are other athletes who know they have no chance; they’re just there for the experience."

The athletic tourists - from more than 200 countries - are in the vast majority. "Athletes who are knocked out early have basically a two-week, all-expenses-paid vacation with nothing to do," says American shot-putter John Godina, a silver medallist in Atlanta. "And that’s when things happen."
More incentive to represent your country, I'd do it in a heartbeat - now there's the question of being good enough :)

Monday, August 23, 2004

Why "WHY" Suxxors

So really, whoever solved anything by answering a "Why". And what is the upshot of finding such an answer? People read books on spirituality, on the meaning of life and its origins, read the ramblings of obscure gurus just to find answers to WHY. Has it not occurred to people that they don't know for a reason. I for one don't need to have an answer to all the WHYs anymore - maybe it is because this is how it is supposed to be ala Cest La Vie. Why find out WHY, why not just accept things for what they are? More WHYs and still no answers - I rest my case... Maybe not - read on!

If we just go on with our lives rather than waste cycles on figuring out WHY, we just might find the answer that eluded us earlier. Speaking from experience, everytime I've looked back at a situation, I've understood why I did what I did or thought what I thought - hindsight's periscope assisting more than anything else. If you wonder why you are here, why the earth revolves around the sun, why, why, why - just get over it and do something that actually makes you money. Will thinking about WHY help you find an answer - NO, it'll confuse you further. Will thinking about WHY make you money - NO, you might actually get fired. So what is it that you should do? I don't know, just keep it real :) But I'm sure you can definitely do something better than reading this blog ;)

And the INGREDIENTS are...

Here's my home-brewed recipe for an action-packed weekend:

1. 2 days, 3 nights :)
2. 7 hours of work
3. Chilled out Friday night in front of the tele
4. Chai and Pakoda on a rainy day
5. A game of tennis just before the rain comes pouring down
6. Drinks with friends
7. Chole Bathure and family warmth

And finally, a great week of work to look forward to (this doesn't materialize most weeks for me but what the heck). And before I leave, what is life without your praendz pulling your leg about everything under the sun and being so wrong ;)

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Annual Reviews...

It's that time of the year again, when you find out how you did compared to your peers this past year at work. Interestingly enough, I also tend to find out how my friends did in their respective reviews and I would be lying if I said that I envied my friends who did very well, who had their desires fulfilled and will be richer through this coming year. With that said, I have no expectations from this review at all - but it's not easy to stomach a tepid review. First up, I switched teams and second up, work in this new team has been wishy-washy given the number of re-architectures and re-orgs our team has gone through. What does this to my motivation - I don't know. Is moving teams a good idea - I don't know. What I do know is that I have to lift myself out of this situation and work like I used to again - be motivated, be positive and keep myself sharp.

On to other work-related things... It's so easy to be distracted at work when there is precious little to be done that actually interests me. How do I balance out distractions with real work? I ask the question so I can get some answers from you guys out there that are reading this. Do you keep a count of how many hours you actually worked in each day, do you not surf the web, do you not... What is your working scheme, what algorithm has worked for you? If it worked for you, maybe a variant of it will work for me - I need to find something that works or else I'll stay perenially down and out! And yes, you can post Anonymously...

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Polymorphism & Virtual Functions

And here's a great :link: to read if you want to know more about how Virtual Functions are implemented in C++. One task done for the day. Might read this in greater depth this evening...

What a good night's sleep can do for you

Take a normal guy; throw in three hours of sleep, a trip to the airport, some spec reading, some code writing, some NeillC enlightenment, some discord, some accord, some making up and what do you get - an exhausted guy in dire need of a good night's rest. And when the guy wakes up the next morning after nine hours of shut eye, what do you get? A super happy guy with a beaming smile on his face. Replace guy with Manoj and what do you have? A happy Manoj :)

I have a long day at work today; need to write more code but am looking forward to it. Also need to research Virtual Function tables - yippee...

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Variable sized struct allocation in C

I learnt something today about how to allocate variable sized structures and the use of the FIELD_OFFSET macro in Windows. Here's an example:

One way of defining a variable sized structure is:

typedef struct _VAR_SIZED_STRUCT {
int a;
int b;
char var[1];
} VAR_SIZED_STRUCT, *PVAR_SIZED_STRUCT;

For the sake of example, say the size of the char array needed is 100, you can allocate memory for the structure using the FIELD_OFFSET macro like so:

PVAR_SIZED_STRUCT varStruct = ( PVAR_SIZED_STRUCT) malloc( FIELD_OFFSET( VAR_SIZED_STRUCT, var[100]));

You could also define the char var as a ZERO sized array.

Wedding Bells are here again

My sister Rachna is going to get married in February. Yippeee Yea Yea! I'm next in line... Baby, baby, baby!

The key to happiness - food, work and yoga ;)

Is letting go - isn't it? :) So I have forgiven! I can't be unhappy, life's too short!

Must talk about this evening's yoga session - it started off with simple breathing and evolved into an excrutiatingly challenging yet enjoyable class, the instructor gradually raising the level of difficulty as the clock ticked on. Showered, shaved and went over to Geni's place to give her some company through her stomach virus (food poisoning is my hunch) before returning home and browsing the web aimlessly.

The Led Zeppelin tunes being belted out by my iPod are gonna keep me company while I bite into a healthy late night meal before hitting the sack. Have a good week all...

Monday, August 16, 2004

Forgiving and forgetting

Isn't something I am cut out for. I hardly ever get mad but when I do, somehow things are never restored to their initial state. It's a facet of my character that I've tried to change but have realized it's a losing battle and have surrendered to the vagaries of who I am. Time does iron out the initial differences and things become 95% ok so that's some consolation...

Weirdly enough, it usually is small stuff, small fights that make me sit up and notice. Isn't it counter-intuitive that small skirmishes reveal large things about people and their impressions of who you are? Why do I say this? It's because small situations let you actually notice people's behaviour under duress. Huge situations are over-whelming and you miss out on the nuances. Warped thinking or too much thinking, I'll never know! Any thoughts...

How many questions does this answer?

Its all pointless you know what i am saying?
Its all a collection of random atoms
Coming together to form random events
For absolutely no fucking purpose.
The ONLY thing you can do is enjoy the ride...

Tenacity, or the lack thereof...

Days like today shouldn't occur too often or else, I'd lose the ability to appreciate their occurrence. Wistfulness, exhaustion, bliss, happiness and melancholy - the whole gamut of emotions intermittently enveloped me through the day. Woke up around noon, watched some TV with Karan, ate (a little too much food) at Pabla's Indian Cuisine, shopped at the Bellevue Square Mall and drove back to Renton. I don't know what came over me but I was overwhelmed enough to snag some zzz's in the evening.

I woke up in a queer mood, partially exhausted and completely socialized out. The list of things to do is growing with the passage of each day but now I don't want to get things done. Familiar story?? All in all, despite the silver linings, this wasn't exactly the weekend I was hoping for but one's gotta learn to deal with curve balls and maybe even dodge some.

Maybe I need to be more tenacious and not let things come in the way of my having a good time. Or maybe I just need to go out and hit a tennis ball around - whatever it takes, I need to get out of this stupor - Amen!

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Money...

so they say
Is the root of all evil today
But if you ask for a rise, it's no surprise
that they're giving none away
Geni and I hardly ever argue but the one thing that divides us down the middle is money. And it isn't huge sums of money, it's meagre amounts, which is what makes this suck even more. What a way to end such a happy week - I'm going to go hang with the boys now and maybe go see what Rohita is up to before going to an India Independence Day celebration.
Look around, choose your own ground
For long you live and high you fly
And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be
Sigh...

Friday, August 13, 2004

Two lives and never-ending to-do lists

I twisted my knee a little bit while playing tennis but I didn't realize what I had done till later when I was in the jacuzzi. Iced and steamed my knee intermittently till most of the soreness was gone and then drove home. Was going to visit a friend en route but decided to just go home instead and hang out. And what did I do...

I made myself a sandwich with a boca burger patty, cheese and cilantro spread and watched select parts of The Dark Side of the Moon DVD. I spoke to a few people on the phone and then got around to doing things around the apartment that I had postponed for longer than I'd like. I folded laundry for the first time in four months and now, that's one less thing to do for this weekend. Lists, lists and more lists; I see them wherever I go - at work, in meetings, in the gym (my own exercise list/chart) and now at home too. I was talking to Tom about how wanton my days used to be as a kid - aah, how I miss them days of scant responsibility, no complications and the good life. Now I have to cook my own meals, pay the bills, buy the groceries, do the laundry, clean the dishes, vacuum my apartment and WORK - Hi tanks!

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Exhausted...

I walked in to my office this morning at 8:52am to the total surprise of Tom who couldn't believe his eyes. The first thing he did when he saw me was look at the clock on his computer after which he screamed out, "FUCK - this can't be true!" What a total cheap for me; both he and Dmitry had completely ruled out my keeping my end of the bargain, coming in earlier than 9am that is. Just proving them wrong was motivation enough to get in earlier than 9. And I was the bigger man and didn't even eat part of Tom's sandwich - that should teach him ;)

Spent the entire day in spec reviews, meetings and then an all-hands for Craig's org. Free food was the primary motivation for going, I knew exactly what I was going to hear. Great job guys, new hires, less budget, more work - you know the routine. Got out of the meeting and saw a matinee showing of Harold and Kumar go to White Castle with the boys (and M). I really had a fun time, sometimes because of the movie and other times because of Shabs, Wes and Mithun. To me it's all about the movie-going experience and with the right set of friends, even the most drab movie can become a total entertainer. Not that H & K was drab but it wasn't in the same league as American Pie or Eurotrip. Good for a lazy evening view at home but not one that deserves a trip to the movie hall. Unless of course, you go with your crazy buddies ;)

Tennis with Paul was a hoot - he hits the ball very hard and with a lot of topspin (he's one strong guy trust me - built like a rock) but isn't very consistent. Played under the lights at Grass Lawn Park and am finding that my tennis game varies a lot depending on my opponent. I don't think I've played enough to have a characteristic style of my own; I'm reacting most times instead of carving out opportunities for shots but that will come with time - Rome wasn't built in one day.

To sum it all up - I'm deadddd! My feet are sore and am gonna hit the sack soon. Good night and god bless...

Driver Watching DVD: Not Guilty

So really, is there any one individual to blame for anything anymore in the US? Or is the legal system so riddled with loopholes that a good lawyer can completely make a mockery of it? A human being lost his life because another was watching a DVD while driving and the accused isn't guilty? On the one hand I read all about how much life is valued in the US and on the other, I read this article - what am I to believe? Damn hypocrites...

Wyoming's Teton County No. 1 for wealth

It's not people in NYC, not people in California - It's people who live in Wyoming, in the heart of the country, Mid-westerners who are the richest in the USA. More power to them farmers and geyser watchers :)

Muwwwhaaaahaaahaaa

I'm going to make it to work before 9am, which means I'm going to earn 30% of Tom's Nutella sandwich. Hi Tanks!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

A Game of Tennis anyone?

Thinking up a title for updates is no easy task. You don't want to repeat yourself but there are only so many you can concoct to summarize random musings. My updates aren't about issues or about code, they're more like tirades and commentaries on what goes on around me. Do you have suggestions for titles?? Fine, I'll take some more time and think up some that make some sense myself but I gotta stop ranting about the title or I'll end up writing little about what I wanted to.

I've done two yoga classes this week and it's good to be regular with that activity again. This is my third month with yoga but the deliberation before finally driving to the Pro Club at 7:40 is very much there - should I go today, will it be worth it or should I just sit out and enjoy the sun. And each time, I've finished the class with a smile on my face. Maybe the post-class bliss is what swings the pendulum in favour of going instead of staying at work or on the fields playing ultimate. But it is a huge committment and can be hard to keep. I know some people who can't believe I've been this regular; what am I saying, I CAN'T BELIEVE I've been this regular :)

Hmm, Tuesday... Oh yeah, social Tuesday! I got quite a bit of work (liar) done during the day and so didn't feel guilty about having made plans to play tennis with Jessica, one of Mithun's friends that I met at his suprise birthday party on Sunday night. Jessica and I were in the same yoga class for an entire month but never introduced ourselves so it was strange to see her waiting for Mithun to arrive from the airport on Sunday night. We started with the introductions and the usual "aren't you from XYZ class", "Ohh you live in Ravenswood" pleasantries. I found out she was looking for a tennis game so we exchanged phone numbers to sync up for a tennis game sometime in the future. We had to wait only till Tuesday evening to play, sometimes the future comes pretty fast ;) Tennis was fun; I think my game has definitely improved in steady strides if not leaps and bounds. My backhand geezz, it's sweet. What hasn't changed though is the soreness in both my legs when I'm done but I guess I'm going to have to get used to that soreness - getting old is tough!

I dropped Jessica home after our game, showered and drove over to Rohita's for dinner. You know how it is when you're late - everything around you conspires to make you even more late. So I forgot to get my non-sweaty clothes out of the car, had to fill gas, hit every red light possible on the way to her place - I mean, the works. And of course, the cashier at the 7-Eleven had to goof up the transaction so I was stuck there for 10 minutes - how hard is it to ring up two pints of ice-cream, really????

Dinner was fun; we heard some tunes, watched some television, chatted about this and that - we exchanged stories from our times in Seattle and in BITS, I yanked her cord about her trip to Rome and we both talked about how women are O O C - the usual stuff. She's fun company; so what if she trips over small undulations in the parking lot and fractures her right foot - I mean, cut her some slack please people ;) I'm gonna be in such trouble for this but it's so worth it!! It's all goodddd...

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Cartman for Class President in 2004!

Cartman for Class President in 2004!: "Everything 'hateful' that I've done in the past is, well, in the past. I learned from every experience and I'm going to use that knowledge when I'm elected class President. You may be thinking to yourself "Why do we need an overweight, racist, sexist, opressing bigot as our class President?" Well, guys, the answer is simple: understanding. You see, just because I did a few things in the past doesn't mean I did it all in seriousness."

What blatant lies... :) Cartman rules - cartman roxxors!!!

A new week begins

If I thought I would start the week with an early morning at work, I was completely wrong. After all the fun and frolic of the weekend, the first morning of the week was best spent sleeping :) When I eventually dragged myself out of bed, half the day had ticked by completely unnoticed.

I actually woke up around 8 this morning and turned off the radio and closed the blinds so that the shining sun would stop interrupting my beauty sleep. I was also a tad sore from the running and fast walking on the trail and I'm glad I slept because as I've experienced this past week, too much exercise without sleep screws up my entire day.

Got to work, helped Geni pick-up and install her new TV and got some work done on the Object Manager. Time to revert back to the LPC implementation of the logging infrastructure but I've also got to be on some spec reviews this week so it's going to be an interesting balancing act to perform. I'll report the results of my time management on Friday but unless I do something drastically different, one of the priorities is going to suffer :( Unless I work through the nights for the rest of the week. It's baffling how suddenly everyone I know (and that includes me) has so much work to do - it is a blessing according to me because I'm happiest when I get work done and have something to show for the week.

Geni made me dinner in appreciation of the help in picking up her TV. I want to give a shout out to Justin who let me borrow his SUV to haul the beast from Costco to Gen's apartment. I am really blessed with great friends here in Seattle, don't know what I would do without them people, honestly! Dinner was very tasty, green beans with potatoes, a salad and some vadai (South-Indian style) and I was extremely hungry after an intense yoga class. I got to take some home for lunch tomorrow morning too - yea yea! Speaking of yoga, Cathy is out of town and her substitute is a slave driver. She made us go into pose after pose with practically no rest between poses; it was akin to a session of power yoga and I was sweating profusely within the first ten minutes. I think the Downward Dog pose is a favourite among yoga instructors, I did it nearly twenty times this evening. I'm not complaining though, I love the fact that yoga is such an awesome workout along with being the calming force in my life. I don't think I want to spend a week without yoga, at least not for the next couple of months - I'll re-evaluate this when the dust has settled. Aha, it's 3:22 am so maybe I should hit the sack in preparation for a long day at work tomorrow. Ciao...

Monday, August 09, 2004

Daring Fireball: The Art of the Parlay

A very interesting piece at Daring Fireball explores the age-old question of Apple vs Microsoft; would Apple have been any different had it licensed its platform back in 1984. Myths like these must be debunked and the article shows you exactly how :link: - through astute analysis and some knowledge of computer history.

Annette Lake Pictures

Pictures from yesterday's hike have been added to the sidebar under Manoj stuff. Enjoy...

Long you Live and High you Fly

So Donna and I were hanging out in my office last afternoon when we realized it was time to get some new music. We have a Wherehouse Music very close to work so off we went to find us them CDs. I bought the first Black Eyed Peas cd and Karan bought a Bob Dylan collection and an Eric Clapton collection. Total listening pleasure for the next month; I reckon the Black Eyed Peas cd doesn't compare with the other two though. I have to say though, the jackpot find of the afternoon was the Dark Side of the Moon DVD :link: I saw the first part of the DVD, the actual making of the album, and had goose bumps, especially when I learnt of the intracies that went into making the album what it is. And it is my favourite Floyd album, the second I ever heard after Pulse - the album that ensured that I would be a fan forever.

I think this is a must have for any Floyd fan. The four erstwhile members talk candidly about the thoughts and events that inspired the material and the creative machinations that propelled the thoughts into hypnotic music. Wright, Waters and Gilmour play some pieces during the interviews detailing why the music was what it was - paying tribute along the way to Jazz, Country and Space Music. Syd Barrett received a nod too but in some ways, I am glad Syd went insane. Floyd is what it is today because of the departure of Syd and the arrival of Waters to the center-stage.

I can't do justice to the DVD in this single dimensional medium so I'll choose brevity and leave you to experience the DVD. I can't resist sharing a quote that rankles,
"Everything we did till Dark Side of the Moon was to become successful, rich and famous but once we got there, we were lost. We didn't know what to do next..."
All this as Clare Torry's voice envelopes the room...

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Just before dinner at Donna's

I can say this with a 100% certainty - this has been an extremely chilled out weekend. Right from coffee with Zeets on Friday to tennis with Zito to dinner with D to the hike this morning with Viju, Anu and Geni, this has been a total blast. I've had a couple of tough weeks but I think the worst is behind me. I haven't been this relaxed since my return from India and if I have to cling on to this with dear life, so be it. I've figured it out, the formula for happiness that is - food, music, friends, a couple of good movies and the great outdoors. The company of girls always helps ;)

Friday, August 06, 2004

No point bottling things up

In my opinion, some things are so much better just vented; venting gives you a means of getting over your thoughts and figuring out if a solution exists or if there can be extenuating circumstances. I'll say it, I'm an emotional person and I get that from my upbringing and close ties with family. With that said, I'm also a very logical person and know when logic should have the upper hand but I've learnt that unless I say exactly how I feel, logic just doesn't get a chance.

I was talking to Gundapps a couple nights ago and we both agreed that we were so glad to be geeks. I feel for the people who don't have work to fall back on to get over emotional stress. Though I have been unable to focus a 100% on work yet, I know I will get there sometime. I rest assured at night knowing that I will not become a total basket-case even though there is so much emotional duress. And really, what's the point of analyzing the situation anymore, as Donna said today, that would make this a case of analysis paralysis. Time to put thoughts to rest and be happy again...

Ayesha from New York tells me that not analyzing has been the secret to her happiness too. Maybe this is a pathological situation, I should stop thinking too and just go with the flow. I used to be like that, a long time ago and then, I grew up :) But no really, I go with the flow when the right flow presents itself so maybe I'm choosy.

Played Ultimate for nearly two hours this evening before doing a short workout in the gym. The game was a lot of fun since the two teams were very evenly matched. Attendance for ultimate these days is reaching last year's unprecedented numbers when we sometimes had twenty four people show up and we'd have two games simultaneously. Last Summer really was something else but this summer is looking up now. Time for ABCD BBQ - II in my opinion to get things rolling again.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

What is a geek?

What is a geek? - I belong here, do you?

And another day ends...

But I can say with a certain degree of surity that I did get something done today - trivial in the grander scheme of things but paramount given my present context. The design that I came up with for the Logging infrastructure is like the silver bullet that will slay the Logging vampire. But wait, that's not the end of the story. After some thought and hard-selling through sheer technical prowess, I got buy-off on the Logger to do the uploading of the diagnostic events to user-mode also. This is immediately a visibility boon because I'm solving two problems with one solution - and I architected it, albeit with some inspiration from Karan, and that makes me proud!

Tuesday afternoon is a key session at work for me - it's when I have my weekly 1:1. The key discussion bullet for this afternoon was the Logging Architecture. After getting my manager excited about logging, I switched gears and discussed some issues that had been on my mind for a few weeks, both personal and professional. He now knows that things have gone awry in the realm that is my personal life and the effects this has had on my productivity at work. I also had some words to say about him randomizing my efforts causing me to lose focus and not meet deadlines and not deliver.

If there is one thing I've learnt from reactions to management policy these last two odd years is to avoid the randomization of the people who work for you. Not only does this stress them out but it also drastically reduces productivity, which works hand in glove with morale. To work for hours and days on a project without any tangible results, that's typical of the software industry. Compare this with the service industry and you'll know why geeks and software engineers are among the most clinically depressed and warped creatures out there. It's hard to turn off the introspective eye once you get off work because your brain has been in overdrive all day - designing a solution, resolving an issue, finding bugs - and we all know what happened to the man who thought too much...

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Five Minute Free Form Writing Returns

I used to do this every night before going to bed as a student and when I first joined Microsoft but have become lazy since. Well, the resurrection of this habit is the first step I'm taking towards becoming more like the Manoj of yore :) But before I continue, isn't it annoying when you get used to the shortcuts in one editor and use them in another only to find that the shortcut could have catastrophic consequences. Take for instance, Ctrl+W - in gViM and Emacs, this deletes the previously typed word; in Firefox and IE, it closes the currently open window. So you can imagine the horror when I was done with just about five minutes of typing when I typed a word wrong and used Ctrl+W out of sheer habit. Of course, I haven't been using my editor at work too much because I haven't been writing too much code but I did write a fair chunk of code today - wooohoo - and not so woohoo! :)

I'm developing a solution for the logging infrastructure needed by our driver to log events that occur in kernel mode. Rather than choose a pull model in which the user-mode application queries the driver for logs, the driver pushes the logs to the application using LPC. LPC seems to be the neatest and cleanest way to solve this problem because it is inherently push based, the producer of the logs pushes the logs to the consumer who then processes the logs and creates a new log file. The key is to get the interactions between the various architectural pieces right and make the solution useful enough that it can be applied to the entire test framework architecture.

My five minutes have now elapsed, good night...

Monday, August 02, 2004

The Led Zeppelin fascination continues

I have many friends to thank for expanding my musical horizons; and it's to another friend that I attribute my obsession with Led Zeppelin this past month. The mix of trippy tunes, great guitar, lilting vocals and poignant lyrics has swept me off my feet. For the first time in many years, I feel compelled to listen to a band other than Pink Floyd. My current favourites draw from various works in Led Zeppelin's oeuvre - all thanks to Random Shuffle and Winamp. Praise the Lord for playlists :)

Are the Browser Wars Back? - How Mozilla's Firefox trumps Internet Explorer

Paul Boutin over at Slate Magazine has switched to Mozilla Firefox because of the recent spate in Security vulnerabilities in Microsoft's IE. But as has been proved by multiple advisories for the Mozilla branded browsers, here and here, no browser is totally secure. The advantage that Firefox has over IE is the fact that it is not tightly integrated into the OS so it doesn't have the concept of zones - Local Zone, Intranet Zone, Internet Zone. With that said, you are only deluding yourself if you believe that Firefox will protect you from all the phishing scams, viruses and malicious hackers out there. It's a great browser, easy to use and updated frequently enough to give you a strong notion of security but that's where I would draw the line...

Friday, July 30, 2004

BBC NEWS | Technology | Are Real and Apple playing fair?

To quote...

"And it does not get around the fact that fair use rights built into copyright law are being eroded by DRM technologies.If I buy a book or a CD, I can sell it, even though I only have a license to the words or music.

I cannot do the same with a downloaded music file, even though copyright law would let me, because the record companies have decided to take that freedom away from me."

Monday, July 26, 2004

American Food == Indian Heartburn

Learnt this the hard way but now I'm convinced - every time I eat American food at night, I have severe heartburn the following morning. Take for instance last night - I couldn't sleep till 3:30 and couldn't sleep beyond 8:30. A Pudin Hara tablet always douses the fire within but I've decided that if something (eminently avoidable) makes me pop a pill, it should be avoided - period. And yeah, I didn't eat like a glutton - I brought a box back home - gotcha there!

Making a case for MS on Linux?

While trawling the web this morning, I followed a link to this :article: on BW that made for interesting reading. I don't know if this is a possible course of action being considered by the management in the Office team but I can't see why MS would move along this path. The primary motivation behind investing in Office is to ensure that Windows licenses are sold too - the Windows OS and MS Office are symbiotic in that sense, the sales of one drives the sales of the other - buoying the company up.

But then again, MS makes a version of Office for Mac that many consider is far superior to its PC counterpart - so Apple's OS X isn't a threat but Linux is? I don't think that's the motivation really - it's just that Linux just isn't a mature enough platform for MS to invest it's dollars into - IMO!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Arun's Birthday Pictures

So you wanted to know what a FARTY it was - look at the pictures - and these are the censored ones ;)

Sunday, July 18, 2004

MSNBC - The New iPod

Just in time for my birthday ;) Here's a first look at Apple's new iPod. With ideas from the mini and a sleeker menu interface, this revision of the iPod will most likely cement its numero uno spot in the world of media player. Go Pod go...

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Googlism for Manoj Mehta

"Manoj Mehta is living the good life"

Ha! Ha! Ha! And what are you up to? :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Google Search: http

Guess which page is most synonymous with HTTP? You'll find out when you click Google Search: http

As my office-mate said, Google gets it right!!!!