Monday, February 23, 2004

The Week Has Just Begun

And I'm so tired already - it's only Monday evening. I can't pinpoint one single reason for my fatigue but most of it revolves around playing sport. It all started on Sunday when I went to the Seattle Club to play squash in the morning (that's a stretch for me). An hour of playing with Yusuf didn't leave me exhausted but it did open my eyes to some fundamental mistakes I was making on the court. My head filled with minutiae about the game and my body beginning to feel the rigors of the past week, I walked out on to the streets and enjoyed the first truly sunny day this year. It was 72 degrees where my car was parked and it was, to use a cliche, gorgeous. Little did I know then that in the rush of leaving the club, I'd left my squash shoes behind. But that's a realization reserved for Monday afternoon just before my match with Mike Morgan :)

Next stop - Geni's apartment! With the sun shining bright it'd be a waste to spend time inside an apartment, wouldn't it? An even bigger waste if we didn't play tennis, so play tennis we did. What ensued was ninety minutes of running up and down the tennis court; we played some good rallies and the final score read 7-5 - I had escaped narrowly. My serve has started landing in the court more consistently, thanks to some sound advice from Geni and it's interesting to switch between squash and tennis because the squash racquet feels like a match-stick after wielding the tennis wand :)

Dinner at Cedars with Ash, her sister, Arun, Tom and some new dude proceeded without much incident, that is till our meals arrived. We'd requested one dish to be "Indian style" spicy but what we got was only Red Chilli powder in liquid form with some paneer for embellishment. It tasted great with rice though and if you ask me, I'd like to eat more of that curry. My stomach would definitely protest but Hi! Arun and I stopped for coffee on our way back home (it was only 5 miles completely out of our way but you know us), I yakked with peoplzes on IM from 26's lobby and decided to sleep early so that my week would start off on a good note - Right!

Monday morning - Half slept through the meeting on TPMs, played a humdinger of a match with Mike: 6-9, 6-9, 9-0, 10-8, 9-4 that lasted 90 minutes and then moved offices. By the evening, I couldn't even walk, damn it! Going to the bathroom was a challenge; my hips, butt, calves and fore-arms feel leaden... Time to stop typing and start working again!

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

1st in a series of many?

Microsoft Internet Explorer Integer Overflow in Processing Bitmap Files Lets Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Code

Everyone using Win2k, please upgrade and/or patch your versions of IE. The implications of the Source Code for Win2k's base OS components could be more vulnerabilities for Win2k. Microsoft should use this as a compelling reason to sell WinXP to customers... And maybe we'll all learn from how exploits are created for older code and ensure that the same holes don't exist in the new codebase. I'm waiting to learn...

Slashdot | Indian Techies Answer About 'Onshore Insourcing'

The article says enough, read all the answers, especially the one about the effects of outsourcing on the future of India's economy - it's an eye-opener that makes me want to go back and be with my family. India is booming!

Monday, February 16, 2004

Microsoft 'Monoculture'

I read this story last night at Wired News and read the paper written by Dan Geer, the proposer of the monoculture theory and it's inherent danger to the IT world. Though the theory has critics, it has got people listening, Microsoft included. But my take is that all monopolies and all winners are universally hated and Microsoft is no exception to the rule. The Juggernaut will not stop ploughing ahead...

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Wired News: Copyright Enters a Gray Area

I want to get a copy of this album and if the reviews quoted in the article are to be believed, this is the album to be had this year. It's cross-genre blending of classic rock with hip-hop is not only unprecedented but opens the doors to more works of art like this. Now for someone to mix Pink Floyd with a rapper's album - till of course this stirs a storm in the cup of Classic Rock lovers... Everyone is overly sentimental these days I say, emotional quotient tooooo high!

Friday, February 13, 2004

Windows NT 4.0 and Win2k source code leaked

It's true... reported it first last night but since then, there have been a number of stories and Windows.Source.Code.w2k.nt4.wxp.tar making the rounds of the Internet. This link is a rundown of all stories indexed by Google News, but here's the cream of the crop:

- Windows code up for Grabs: ZdNet
- Windows Code for the Taking: Wired
- Windows Source Code Leaks Online: Wired

To sift some information out of the stockpile that's out there, the code out in the Wild is only 606MB approximately - that's maybe a tenth of the entire Windows codebase. With that said I don't mean to undermine the significance of this breach (apparently traced to Mainsoft) - I'll keep this space updated with new information as it arrives on the Internet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

What is the Internet?

The Internet is different things for different people - I can't get a better definition that encompasses the place the Internet has taken in our lives. This article is the first I've read that highlights What the Internet isn't and that is a milestone in itself. An interesting read...

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

All Protein, High Fat and no Carbs leads to...

Clogged Arteries? Obesity? Death? Dr Atkins' Death, or better put, the report about his condition just prior to his demise has sparked off the debate on good dietary practices again. IMO nothing can replace a good workout; get off that lazy ass, go to the gym and burn some calories. It would help if you stopped eating french fries, cheesecake, ice-cream (too much of it at least) and other "egregious" food. Or, eat it all and be counted among the 65% or so of America's over-weight population... :)

Update: Further insight into the health of Dr. Atkins at the time of his demise

Monday, February 09, 2004


This past weekend was; hell of a ride! The festivities began on Friday night, "itself"! Played the first match of the Pro Club in-house tournament against Steve and won pretty comfortably, straight games. Found out that my next match was going to be in the morning at 10:30am (dreadful, I hate playing in the morning), packed up and left the Pro Club for once before 8pm, much to the surprise of the crew working there - what can I say :) Stocked up on some groceries and drove back to get ready for dinner with the boyz - Wes, Mithun, Arun, Vikas and Nitin. Vikas is going back to India this Tuesday and we believe he might come back with a ring on his finger - decided to help him live it up these last days of his bachelorhood :)

Took a "ahem" short detour to Geni's before I drove to Starbux to hang with said boys. Being late sets you up for incessant insinuation and mocking from the boys and I got my fair share of "Where were you?", "Who were you with?", "No time for boys no bench!" but the focus soon shifted to Wes, M and other topics of immediate interest so I can say that I got off easy. I should've called it a night once we left Starbucks given the fact that I had to wake up early the next morning but no, how could I have, I ain't that smart.

Broadway Grill and carbs - the inseperable duo. After chomping down Nachos, Apple Crumble and some other munchkins, we were ready to roll back to good ol' Redmond. Arun borrowed the Kal Ho Naa Ho cd from Mithun (big mistake) and we started the drive back home. When I went to sleep around 4am that night, the sole thought hovering in my head was, "It's the time to Disco"! We played the song twice in my car, thrice in my office at full volume and danced all over the 6th floor hallway of bldg 40. Forty-five minutes of dancing, brain-storming on what song to mix with this one later we had the 3 songs for our future dance "performance". And yes, we are not 10 year olds but I'm so glad to have met someone as insane as myself :)

I was hella groggy Saturday morning but played a great match against Rob Moore. We played 4 games that lasted 75 minutes and I believe Rob won the match more than I lost it. One observer called it a spectacle, we played long points and ran each other ragged on the court and Rob for once had no words of advice; he said I just played out of my skin, extremely tight and focussed. My time will come... The kind words left my disappointment undiminished - I should've won, I wanted to win. But losing is a great teacher and losing graciously is a hard to acquire virtue and I'm glad I possess it in some measure.

The rest of the day flew by in a daze. I spent some time with Vijay and Anu; watched Miracle with Biz, Bhargavi and Arun; ate dinner with Arun at Queen Sheeba, an earthy ethiopian restaurant on Capitol Hill where Arun and I discussed relationships, past and present; saw the start of Identity before calling it a night - it had been a long, hard day...

Three loads of laundry, dishes, vacuum, bathroom cleaning, sorting mail - I'd never have to do any of this on a great Sunday morning had I been in India. With Sunday morning wasted doing chores and running errands I decided I'd had enough of my apartment. So I came to office :) I'd forgotten my cell phone at Arun's the night before so I was cut off from the rest of the world and for once, I was enjoying it. Without the distraction of the phone, I got a lot of work done in a reasonably short duration of time. And I cooked dinner at night...

Black-bean pulav, Mushroom Korma, a bottle of Red Wine, candles and Geni... 'Nuff said!

Wednesday, February 04, 2004


This story at the Independent Online doesn't contain any new information for the audiophile but does point to what we hope becomes the de facto format for music players - mp3. To quote...
"I'd wager most people listening to music on digital players have most of it in MP3 format. I'd also bet that every music player out there now has at least one MP3 file on it. People who who've got into digital music assume that MP3 is the default format. The challenge for Apple, and Microsoft, is to join MP3.'"


I'm groggy, sleepy - need coffee, need sleep - must work, meeting to go to - adios...

Dinner and Coffee

Yesterday was a darned productive day by any standards, let alone by mine. I'm excited to be back in the groove of things and writing code always seems to make life rosier :) Yeah - I'm a geek, live with it. Once work was done, worked out on the elliptical machine for 45 minutes, did a couple of ab exercises and ran to the locker room to get ready for dinner. I'd called Geni (not Bizo) earlier and asked her out to dinner - we were to meet at 8:30 at first, then 8:45 (we were both late, Hi!) but by the time I hit the showers, it was 8:30 already. Late again... :)

We ate dinner at Machiavelli Ristorante, a quaint Italian restaurant on Capitol Hill. I haven't eaten too much pasta in the last six months but I can make an exception for good Penne without a moment's hesitation. I don't know if I talk too much or too little but my experiences in the past indicate that women take a while to get comfortable talking to me; not this one though. I can be my honest self and it's fine by her (she asks for it too) - I guess working at Microsoft among a bunch of nerds helps :) Interestingly our conversations are about nothing and everything, little details, our pasts, the usual - akin to intelligent banter, if that term doesn't qualify as an oxymoron. Truth is, all banter doesn't need to be prosaic; atleast this isn't...

The Space Needle view adds to the ambience of drinking coffee at Bau Haus; other places would serve up an insipid cup but this place, their coffee is good! Of course, why else would I drink coffee there? We sipped coffee, talked some, marvelled at the view and then sipped some more. Topped the night off with some of my favourite tunes back in good ol' Bldg 40 and drove her back home. I'd like to do this again...

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Risen and shining

So this is the first time this week that I woke up at 8:33 all thanks to two factors: my sleeping by midnight and Ashley's wake-up call. Yesterday was a tiring day though - worked from 11 to 6 - helped Azam with his lessons for 2 hours and then worked out in the gym for another hour and a half before hitting the showers. Needless to say, I was pooped and couldn't return to work. The 8 hour rest and the coffee I am sipping right now are both going to power me for the rest of the morning - this is a good start to the day.

Speaking of coffee, I am now officially addicted. I like drinking one cup everyday either in the morning or immediately after lunch. I've realized though that if I don't drink my cup, I'm sluggish and my thoughts start to stray :) But is it bad enough for me to want to stop, I don't think so. When I must have 4 cups a day and my teeth are all yellowed out, I'll STOP! Till then, to quote a good friend I WON'T STAAAPP...

Monday, February 02, 2004

E-mail postage stamps?

The NYTimes is running an article that highlights what the pundits consider to be the solution to the spam problem today. By requiring that an e-mail cost money, a penny maybe, the plan overlooks the fact that the cost will vary depending on which country the email is sent from (1 penny ~50paise in India). My spam filters seem to be doing well at separating the chaff from the corn and Mozilla's Bayesian filters apparently are even better than the commercial offerings by Yahoo! and MSN so I'm not gonna be a proponent of this scheme. Unless of course, I have my own email server and have to sift through the spam myself or my filters stop working...

Parking Woes

It took me 15 fucking minutes to find a spot this morning around 11am. Honestly, there are 9 floors in our parking lot and couple of open spaces but most of them were taken - this is BS. I'm just cranky today because of little sleep last night - serves me right, I was up till 4 watching Superman cartoons :( Just getting my caffeine fix so things might start looking up :)