Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I couldn't have said it better... A tribute to Pink Floyd

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum : Pink Floyd
"What George Orwell and Ray Bradbury were to literature, Pink Floyd is to popular music, forging an unsettling but provocative combination of science fiction and social commentary."

"Their 1973 release Dark Side of the Moon hit Number One on the Billboard charts and ultimately broke all records by remaining on the Top 200 album charts for 741 weeks. Dark Side of the Moon did not drop off Billboard’s Top 200 album chart until 1988. The album signaled rock’s willingness to move from adolescence into adulthood, conceptually addressing such subjects as aging, madness, money and time. "

"Possibly the most pessimistic album ever to reach #1, The Wall also addressed childhood, education and marriage, finding all of these passages to be dehumanizing...

...'The Wall" stays at #1 for 15 weeks and has to date been certified 23 times platinum (signifying one million copies) in the US, making it the third best-selling album of all time."

It's the End of the World as we know it

See, I got your attention :) No but really this was a long time coming and not a minute too late to debunk the Hz myth I say: Good Riddance, Gigahertz

Question is - how will I now compare 2 machines on the basis of sheer number crunching abilities? Or is that a flawed comparison and basis of judgement...

Monday, March 29, 2004

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Microsoft vs Google - Round 1

The Microsoft-Google showdown has been receiving a lot of press lately. This could be attributed in part to the fact there is nothing much more to write about when it comes to Microsoft and its dominance in the Computer world today - it rocks to be MS :) Two more articles were published on Friday detailing how Microsoft knows it goofed up its search story but is planning on going the extra mile to gain lost ground.

Strory 1: Microsoft's aggressive search plans revealed
Story 2: Ballmer: We Fell Down on Search

If the past is any indicator, Google had better wisen up and get ready for the showdown of its life. For Microsoft though, this is common practice, nothing new here...

Update: Thanks to Genevieve Orchard for correcting my usage of it's instead of its. Dohhh!

Friday, March 26, 2004

Interesting uses of Trusted Computing

This is an interesting piece (that links to other myths and apprehensions people have about TC) that lists out a number of possible scenarios for Trusted Computing. Though a lot of the scenarios use Remote Attestation, this is one of the few positive non-Microsoft articles I've read on the subject of TC.

Do you have any fears or apprehensions about Trusted Computing? Email me with your concerns and I'll post a follow-up that addresses or airs your concerns.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Thank God! No Open Source Java...

As this article offiicially states, Java is not going to be open-sourced. This from someone who loved(s) the language, I believe that this is going to be a good move in the long term. I see the state of many open source projects and the unnecessary hair-splitting over trivial issues and get infuriated enough to not want to use open-source products. There is some truth to what Scott says in his interview:
“We’re trying to understand what problem does it solve that is not already solved,” McNealy said.
I haven't had a chance to really follow Java's development since I started working at Microsoft and know that I totally missed out on the Web Services development wave but oh well - can't specialize in everything now can I? :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The Most Simplified Tax Form

Seems about right for Canada.

Squash Jaded

The Nationals are over - I lost on Friday afternoon in the quarter-finals in 4 games. I think I have pin-pointed the cause for the defeat to a player I could've beaten on any other day - I'm jaded... The last 3 months have been a topsy turvy ride - lost passport, shattered expectations and intense preparation for Nationals. I think I need some time off now, honestly I need to take a break and chill out - do something different, take my mind off squash because playing so hard and so often isn't really helping my game, it's detrimental to it.

I drilled this morning at 8am with Naveen and then played 3 games (lost all 3) and he was surprised at how lacklustre my game was. Surprisingly enough, I got the same feedback on Friday from the people watching me play - they thought I didn't want to win, that I was listless. Maybe it's time to recharge my batteries, time for a break...

Friday, March 19, 2004

US Squash Nationals - Update

I played the Number 2 Seed at 3pm on Thursday afternoon and decimated him - the scores were: 9-2, 9-10, 9-2, 9-0. I play in the quarterfinals this afternoon at 1pm. If I win the Quarters, the semis and finals are on Saturday...

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Squash Nationals - Day 1

Me playing a squash match at 9am and winning - that hasn't happened in the longest time. Oh well, I had to play my first squash nationals match at 9am and guess what, I won - in straight games. But honestly, it was tougher than the scoreline would indicate: 9-5, 9-4, 9-6 because the scoreline says nothing about the emotions and nerves that surged through me this morning. My palms were wet, my hands shook and I kinda choked at match-point but I hope that is all behind me and I can now settle into a rhythym and torment the competition. To give you an idea of just how nervous I was, I won the toss and elected to serve - my very first serve was dropped out of bounds...

Will update this space with the results of my second match, which has been scheduled for 3pm today. I'm playing the #2 seed in the US in skill level 4.5 so a win will really boost my chances of winning the trophy. Keep your fingers crossed, mine are...

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Move over Yellow Pages!


Because here comes the leader with it's own Yellow Pages: Google Local Search. Google takes another step into becoming the most dominant search force in the market - all markets...

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Word of the Day: MorMon


During my most recent conversation with Fuzzie, he coined a new word - MorMon and insisted on using it instead of Moron. I (Squashed Out) thought I should give him the credit therefore for this ingenuity. Usage of this new word is highlighted in snippet from the IM conversation with Addie Fuzz Afzulpurkar (Stopped Raining), himself!

Squashed Out says:
ohh - big news - I found my passport

Squashed Out says:
after 2.5 months of searching
Stopped raining says:
hahah

Stopped raining says:
where?

Stopped raining says:
u are such a joker

Squashed Out says:
when I searched, I had to search my entire house

Stopped raining says:
u are a mornon

Stopped raining says:
Mormon

Squashed Out says:
Manoj Mormon Mehta

Stopped raining says:
MMM

... end snippet

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Passport Found - Lessons learnt

1. Never give-up, never lose hope - the sliver of hope I harboured saw me through...
2. Don't loss your passport - it's your most important document as an immigrant
3. Get someone else to file your important documents - girlfriend, mom, bank-vault - anyone but yourself :)

PASSPORT FOUND

Don't ask me how, don't ask me why, don't ask me where - it's key that I found it and that's all that matters - except the little detail of somehow figuring out a way to cancel my NEW H1-B application :) I'm sure there is a process in place for this - I don't want to go through the entire rigamarole of standing in line in Bombay, going through an interview, having my background checked, etc, etc...

So here's the lowdown on how the actual discovery occurred. Last night was Smallville and dinner night at Mr Karand's. Mehra, Karand and I reached his place at 8:45, ate dinner, talked about the hairiest subjects ever (religion, faith, belief, supersitition and whether pigs have wings) and then watched an average episode of Smallville - Lana died, but came back to life - why, why why?!

Returned to work and prepared all the documents needed to fulfill all requirements for the duplicate passport application. Bunched the document categories using Paper clips and wrote short descriptions with Sticky notes for the passport office to figure out what document was for what purpose and then made a check-list of things to be done this morning at the bank before Fed-Exing the package to SFO. I'd given up most all hope of finding the document; I had tried 4 times earlier with no success and had also been helped by the Karans - I couldn't have missed it...

I entered the apartment at 3:14 in the morning and looked at the final pieces of luggage, boxes and suitcases that I hadn't returned to storage in the hope of finding my passport. What could I lose by sifting through them one more time, I asked myself... And so began the search - first through the cardboard boxes, then the bag containing the files and finally, I was down to the suitcase - the big blue suitcase that carried my books on my first trip to the US in August of 2000 (Mamta saw me transferring clothes out this suitcase's twin at Heathrow Airport - she thought I was weird then - not much has changed since!)

It took twenty minutes of digging into the myriad plastic bags and boxes in the suitcase that I finally found a Sunglass Hut bag, neatly folded and housing a bunch of envelopes. I opened the bag and saw some interesting pieces of saved paper - first statement from First Tech, my loan statement for the BMW, my Comcast activation package and then a Microsoft envelope with the words "Paystubs 2" on the front.

When I went to India the December before last, I had been asked to carry paystubs, credit card statements and utility bills just in case I was asked to prove that I was a resident by the US Consulate in Bombay. This was an evelope from then - peculiar I thought... The instant I opened the envelope, I sensed hope - it housed the ticket stubs from my Cathay Pacific flight from Bombay and it had a slight bulge at the bottom. Ten seconds later, I was jumping across the room, passport in hand - the familiar blue booklet with the H-1B letter - yipppeee yaayyyy yaayyyy!

Called my parents, called my friends and wanted to thank everyone who supported me through the roughest times I had in January. I was so happy, I couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, couldn't even talk slowly :) India, here I come...

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

The Seattle Times... In Pictures!

It's been a while since I posted pictures - not too many going-ons in Seattle. Nonetheless, I have put together a new slide-show of images that will continually be updated as things occur. Since the slideshow doesn't commemorate any particular event in my life, I've called it "Life in Seattle". How creative...

Here's the link - Seattle times...

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Manoj, where are you

I'm honestly lost - work hasn't been the motivating force it used to be... Life isn't treating me too bad on other counts though. Geni is a great person to be with; honest, congenial, considerate and self-assured. Squash has become the other focal point in my existence; case in point - I played all seven days last week. I watch movies, eat great food, play tennis on weekends, hang with the boys, chat with those away but still near - why must something be missing then?

Am I burnt out - maybe but the more likely cause of my tepid responses at work is ennui... It's a rare event that satisfacation in all spheres of existence is attained - it's the pursuit of the eventuality, nirvana, that is keeping ME going. So I pursue and follow any leads that come my way. But didn't the elders say that the more you pursue something, the more elusive it becomes...