Archive - 2004

February 17th


From a comment at Slashdot:

Frequently Asked Questions for Etch-A-Sketch Technical Support

Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has all of these funny little lines allover the screen
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I turn my Etch-A-Sketch off?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What's the shortcut for Undo?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I create a New Document window?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I set the background and foreground to the same color?
A: Pick it up and shake it.

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February 16th


Like this is going to work: Pizzas without bread! (Well, considering the number of stupid diet-people around, it actually might.)


February 5th

uh oh

Some things Kalyan found in his Coke. I'm glad I've switched to juice.


barred ista

I was a big admirer of the Barista coffee chain. When it opened, I became a huge fan of it's themed decor, clever copy for it's ads, and it's range of coffee concoctions. Barista was also probably the first restaurant chain in India to introduce the "laid back" approach - allow your customers to hang around your joint, spend time playing scrabble on the board you provided, or strumming the guitar that's lying at the corner of every one of your stores. While this might seem to make little business sense, this became the chain's primary customer-drawing points. In the hustle bustle of this hectic world, it was nice to find a place to let your hair down and treat yourself to a walnut brownie dipped in extra chocolate.

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February 3rd

break fast!

To all those who were partying at my disappearance, sorry guys, I'm back. Again. I'm not really so busy that I have no time to write - as a matter of fact there's so much that I want to write, I don't know what to write first.

We'll start with the TechFest. As I had written in my last post, I had planned to be a silent spectator to the event. But I guess fate had other plans. So they made me sit in the KReSIT auditorium, where the IT Quiz was announced as an open, no-registration-required event. Then they made me sit right next to a Hrishikesh from COEP, Pune; who thus became my partnere de-facto. The prelims were a dissapointment; there was so much that I had forgotten / knew wrong. Nevertheless, the two of us managed to score the highest marks, and went ahead to the finals.

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January 23rd


Techfest, one of India's biggest technical festivals begins tomorrow at IIT Bombay. I'm sad because I didn't have the time to prepare for it and come up with something (Kapil, Jayant and I are all working at different places this semester). I'm also sad because this is probably the last college technical festival I'll be witnessing as an undergraduate. Of course, that is assuming I am fortunate enough to pass and get my degree this year.

Well, there's still a lot to see in a tech fest even when you're not participating. I intend to be the "silent witness" this time, instead of putting on my usual enthusiastic software demo zealot garb. I'm really looking forward to the Open Software Demo contest and the talk by Kevin Warwick.

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No, I wasn't suffering from writer's block.... it was more of a guilt sort of a thing - trying to cope up with the overdose of holidaying, and not working. Now that I'm back in my geek-workaholic-sit-in-front-of-computer-all-day mode, things should become normal soon.

The first thing I want to write about is where I'm writing from. As you can see from the header graphic, I'm writing live from Mumbai, more specifically from the Informatics lab at the Computer Science department at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, which is in Powai. The work environment at IITB is quite different from what I'm used to. The networks here are built like fortresses; everything is secured. It took me hours to get past the firewalls and figure out a way to check my own (outside) email. IITB(or atleast the part I've seen so far) is a linux country; windows machines are harder to find than girls on the campus.

January 13th

live from mumbai

Greetings from the city that never sleeps! To compensate for the non correspondence from Jamshedpur, the most well planned town in India, I shall now write about my stay in Jamshedpur, a.k.a. Tatanagar. The town is named after the great Jamshedji Tata, founder of the Tata Empire, one of the largest corporate empires in India. It was founded many, many years ago by the Tatas to support their iron and steel mining operations, and is a true marvel in town planning. I find it incredible that a single corporation takes care of everything in the city - the roads, electricity, and all other facilities are handled by Tata.

January 8th

travelogue II

Greetings from Ranchi! Here I am, in the capital of Jharkhand, the one time summer capital of British India's eastern zone. It's almost as cold as Delhi, except that's it's less foggy and less polluted.

The one scary aspect about travelling is relatives. In India, meeting an uncle or aunt or grandmother on any other remotely related relative means that they're going to stuff you. Stuff you with food. With sweets. And with an uncanny, manic, sadistic pleasure so overpowering that you promise to do the same to them the next time they come to your place. I'm sure this custom is a conspiracy by the Indian foods and sweet industry.

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January 3rd

travelogue I

Thanks to the fog in northern india, it's virtually impossible to drive almost anything anywhere. Visibility at dawn is next to zero - we had to follow blinking lights of autorikshas on our way to the station. And then there's the train which arrived here 9 hours late. Oh, by the way, I'm here in Kolkata - reached safe and sound, albeit tired and trainsick. Supposedly, the last few days are the coldest Kolkata's seen in years, but it seems like spring to me, compared to the winter in Delhi. I guess I'm travelling on a cold wave.

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