Hi-Tech traffic ticket

Last weekend I had some work in a bank and parked my car just outside the bank. It was a service road and generally cars are parked on the service road in Bangalore. After finishing my work in the bank and coming back to the car, I saw a parking ticketΒ  on the windshield of my car. It was supposed to be No Parking area but as always, there was no sign mentioning it. The cop who gave the ticket was still there and on the ticket it was mentioned that I have to pay Rs. 100 fine within 24 hours. So, went to him to ask where to pay and he said I can pay it to him.

He then took out his blackberry 😯 , entered all my details and then took a print out of the receipt from the mini printer 😯 he had in his hand. The whole process took just some 3 mins or so and no bribes nothing. The money would go straight to state exchequer and not into his pocket. Though I heard sometime back about traffic police using blackberry’s in Bangalore, never got a chance to see it for myself. Was really surprised (and also a bit happy inspite of getting the ticket πŸ™‚ ) to see how hi-tech our Bangalore traffic police have become.

I hope they would show the same amount of seriousness in managing the traffic as well πŸ˜› .

An update (10 sep 2010) – Got another one this morning in a similar way πŸ™ . Need to be more careful now.

BCB9 is around the corner

Barcamp Bangalore is back again after a long gap. I am thinking of attending it this time but depends on the actual date and venue. Though I never presented anything in barcamps, I at least get to know what is going on with the start-ups in Bangalore and pick-up a few new technical things. Looking forward to attending BCB9. More to come later….

Viral Loop

Just finished the book viral loop by Adam Penenberg. It was a good read and gave a good insight into how most of the companies based on viral growth have succeeded along with details of companies that failed to grow virally. This concept of viral growth and viral factor in a business was something new to me. Though I knew about almost all of the companies (and ofcourse their core business) that the author mentions about, this book gives a new perspective of looking at them. Starting from the days of Tupperware to Facebook, each chapter discusses about the different viral growth companies that came up and how they succeeded or failed. Along with viral factor in a business, the author also talks about how scalability becomes an issue in such businesses and how few of the companies could not survive as they could not handle the scalability issues. Also in a chapter or two, he discusses about the trade-off between the high viral factor and scalable architecture of the business.

On the whole, this is a good read for anyone who would like to know about how all the online businesses and social networks we have now started and are surviving. As a person with keen interest in reading about companies, mergers & acquisitions, start-ups, etc., its a real good addition to my library.

Now slowly I am moving towards slightly different set of books and to begin with, just started reading Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. Came across this book after reading a post by gibberer πŸ™‚ and then also there was a mention about this book in viral loop. I now have a long list of books to read of which some are related to history as well.

Digressing from the topic, I had my first bad experience with macbook pro yesterday πŸ™ . I had to do a hard shutdown after it stopped responding πŸ™ . Never expected that I would get to see this on my mac so soon……was just watching a movie in vlc and nothing else was running but somehow it decided to freeze. Actually whenever IΒ  run vlc, I see some issue with the video being not clear sometimes or getting stuck for few seconds. Will observe it for few more days and see what could be going wrong…could be an issue with the vlc player for mac as well and not an actual issue with mac itself πŸ™‚ …..yes I do love apple products πŸ˜€ .

Rakesh turns 26

Rakesh/raki/rocky…..turns 26 today πŸ™‚ . Another year older and when I look back at the 25th year, it has been one of the most eventful years in my life.Β  There have been many developments both in my personal and work life. But today what made me to actually make this post is not those events but this feeling of mine when I got up this morning……..I was still not completely awake and I heard some activity going on in the kitchen already. It’s my mom in the kitchen who started off with her daily chores. Its been 26 years today and every day….every single day, she has been there for us irrespective of how she was.

I still faintly remember how she used to walk me to my school bus stop when I was a kid….of course I also remember how she used to beat me when I refused to go to school πŸ˜€ . She gave up her own career so that I can have a good future. Its been 5 years since I left Hyderabad….2 years in IIT and 3 years in bangalore, I was having fun but back in Hyderabad she was always thinking about me. Even now when I go to home, she says its better not to come as she doesn’t like it when I go back to bangalore.

So, this birthday its to my mom because of whom I am what I am today. All I can say is thank you mom πŸ™‚ .

From 28 to 32

Before anyone comes up with any weird guesses πŸ˜€ , I am talking about my waist size πŸ™‚ . Yes, you read it right…..I am talking about my waist here which shows how happy I am. All these years I always wanted to put on weight and was never able to inspite of whatever I did. My waist size has always been 28 and it used to be always difficult to find many options for jeans. Now at last, my weight is 60+ (between 61 – 63) for almost 4 months now and that’s really an achievement for me πŸ˜€ . Today I went to get a jeans and surprisingly, waist size 32 was fitting fine….though 30 was kind of ok, 32 was more comfortable. So, finally I crossed the barrier of 28 πŸ™‚ .

Battery life of my macbook pro

Less than a week into getting my new mac, I am almost done now setting it up for my work. One thing I noticed is that I was getting just around 4-5 hrs of battery life whereas its supposed to be around 8-9 hours for the 15″ macbook pro. And this was without using any audio/video. This was kind of letting me down as one of the key points I was interested is the battery life.

When I checked my graphics card settings, it was set to automatic graphics switching. So, ideally it should be using the intel graphics processor and not the nvidia graphics card as I was not running any graphics intensive applications. Could not figure out the reason and sent a mail to our cisco mac users. Got a suggestion from one of them to use this gfxCardStatus app to check which graphics card is being used and to force it to use one of them. Was surprised to see that it was always using the nvidia one which explains the low battery life. Then checked the dependencies that this app lists showing which one is the culprit and it turns out to be google talk plugin 😯 . Never expected that to make use of the nvidia card. Anyways now I have forced it to use only Intel one and I am getting 6+ hours (almost 7) of battery life πŸ˜€ . I am going to keep an eye on the battery life to see if its going to be consistent.

And all this is with wireless always on, bluetooth off and keyboard & screen luminosity set to around 50%.

First cooking experience

Though I have been staying out of Hyderabad for 5 years now, first 2 years were in hostel. And after college, once I moved to Bangalore we had a cook always (even now) and never had to really cook. In these 3 years in Bangalore, I could only perfect making tea and cooking rice πŸ˜€ . Yes, that is how great my cooking skills are πŸ™‚ . Somehow, I always hated cooking – One because if I start cooking when I am hungry, it will be at least an hour to be able to actually eat and two I always felt that cooking was not for me.

The cook I have now comes only for 6 days (dinner on weekdays and saturday lunch). I generally get a biryani or pizza/garlic bread with chicken wings or go out with a friend on the other days. Sometimes, when I don’t feel like going out, I just make rice and have it with a pickle. Now finally, I got so bored of having the same old biryani that I decided to make something myself at home. Inspite of a failed attempt at making egg burji just a few days back, this time I decided to give it another attempt. And not only egg burji, I decided to make some rasam as well πŸ™‚ .

Went out to get a rasam powder and then called my mom for the recipe. She tried to make it as simple as possible for me πŸ˜€ and then I started out with her instructions. In parallel started making egg burji in my own way. Last time just for egg burji, I ended up using 2 kadai’s and still it did not turn out to be that great. This time after the previous experience, I was careful to make use of single kadai and complete it. It took me an hour to make rasam, egg burji and then rice.

The result – the rasam turned out to be horrible πŸ™ but then somehow made some changes to it and finally it turned out to be great πŸ˜€ . Also the egg burji was much better than the one I made before.

Key take aways from this experience are –

– Cooking requires lot of patience.

– Always cook with the burner in sim and not high (if not you will end up using two kadai’s πŸ™‚ ).

One thing that I could not understand is, just after half-way through cutting an onion, tears were dripping from my eyes but I see my mom or cook cutting onions with no issues. I am sure onions would definitely not know who is cutting them πŸ˜› but then surprised what could be the trick πŸ™ .

If I get bored again, I am thinking of making chicken πŸ™‚ .

Finally the macbook pro is here

At last, after a long wait, I got my new macbook pro delivered to me. I have only one word to say……awesome!!!!……from the packaging to the actual hardware, eveything is so perfect…..I think I won’t look back at any other laptops now after using macbook…..hats off to Steve Jobs. The moment I saw the mail to pick-up my mac, I was jumping with joy πŸ˜€ . I took some pics starting from unpacking the box to powering it on for the first time….my friend even shot a video of it πŸ™‚ . I was really mesmerized at how sleek the device was…..with the perfect all aluminium finish, it’s definitely the device to own. It isn’t that hard to move to a mac from pc…..though there are quite a few differences when coming to keyboard shortcuts, etc that we are used to on pc, I think its just matter of few days. On the whole, I am very happy with it and will keep posting updates about my mac here.

Initial few hiccups were related to page-up key, page-down key, home, end, forward delete, etc but google is always there to help πŸ˜€ .

I now think, adding a time capsule to my existing set of gadgets would be really good but its not that cheap here in india πŸ™ . Nevertheless, once I am done with exploring it completely, I will think of any new additions.

Only sad thing that flashes in my mind is the news about foxconn suicides…..how can people be treated so badly at a place where such amazing devices are manufactured.

13 Tzameti

Downloaded this french movie few days back after I came across one of my friend’s facebook status about the movie. Watched it yesterday and it immediately reminded me of Russian Roulette. Strange coincidence I guess, I just started my second attempt at reading Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and the author mentions about Russian Roulette in the first or second chapters. And here I am watching a movie based on a modified version of Russian Roulette.

Basically, the movie is about a lethal game with all the participants standing in a circle with a revolver each. In the first round, each one loads a single bullet and shoots at the next person. After this round, the game proceeds with two bullets in the barrel with whoever was not dead in the first round. It goes on until there is a duel and here 3 rounds are put in the barrel and each one aims at the other. Finally, one man comes out as the winner (provided at least one person is left). And in the background, there would be people betting hundreds of thousands on each of the players.

Was a really good movie though the outcome of the game could anyway be predicted. But the way the movie ended was good. Had it been a typical Bollywood movie, I am sure what would happen at the end πŸ˜€ .Though it was a 2005 movie, it was all in black & white and also this was the first black & white movie in which I saw cell phones being used (of course it was taken in 2005 πŸ™‚ ).