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 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

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...


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, 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:

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.


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... :)


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...