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Archive for the ‘Geekiness’ Category

Umm .. blogging !

A non – blogger friend of mine, specifically sent me this cartoon a while ago.
And as I have nothing to blog about today, or maybe I am just tired and suffering the after effects of playing a whole day of basketball yesterday (I realised that I am getting older …), I could not agree more with my good chum ! :)

[Please click on the image to see the actual size]

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I’ve always used Windows Media Player 11 because it has got awesome library management capabilities.
Yes – it may not be the lightest or the fastest players – but its library is plain, simple, clutter free and very effective.

I got to try out Windows Media Player 11 beta for Windows Xp – for a couple of days now and here are some screenshots.

In short, it is much sleeker, looks a lot better and takes its library management duties more seriously.

This is the main interface screenshot.
As I said, it is sleeker and more pleasing to the eye.

Different things to notice are the controls in the bottom of the screen and to the bottom left, they have some sort of graphic equalizer display kinda thingy which looks cool.

On top you will notice a button called URGE – which is an online music store that microsoft has tied up with. Something that iTunes is to the iTunes Player.

This shows the Albums that I have on the player – it displays any album art very nicely and looks damn nice.
The albums are categorized alphabetically with each letter getting its own group.

This is one very nifty feature.
You can select an album, right click>Update Album Info and it downloads the album art and album details from the internet and updates the stuff on the fly.
Damn cool.

This is another interesting feature – the artiste view shows CDs stacked for artistes having more than one album.
And the number of CDs depicted here equals to the number that actually exist on your PC.

Very nice.

I heard the Vista version allows you to fly through the stack – though I could not manage it on the Xp Version.

And finally this is the mini player which comes onto the taskbar.
Its all black.

Though the installation was smooth – it installs over your Windows Media Player 10 and updates the library – it took a hell lot of time (maybe coz its still Beta)

Also one main feature that its missing is the Auto Playlist feature from Media Player 10.
Hopefully it will make a comeback in the final release which is scheduled for the June 6th.

Surprisingly, the player was just taking 7 MB of RAM in the minimized mode and 13 MB in the full screen mode while playing mp3s.

The beta version was a 23 MB download.

Another first time feature in this release is a “Search as you Type” feature.
Overall, its worth an upgrade if you are a Windows Media Player fan.

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Hehe …
Pre examination wastage of precious time …
Well not really actually, took me about a minute and a half …


You Are a Pundit Blogger!
Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few
.

What kind of blogger are you?

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I don’t know how many of you know this, but BSNL has got this awesome feature called “Bandwidth under control” in which, they themselves help you in controlling your broadband usage.

I am using the Rs. 500 plan in which I get a 256 kbps line and a 1 GB limit for a month.
Now, 1 GB per month is roughly 33 MB per day.

I generally stick to about 25 – 35 MB per day, which keeps me in the 1 GB safe zone … however, during exams and submissions and seminars, this limit touches about 55 – 60 MB per day.

So, what BSNL does is awesome …
During the peak time, exams and practicals and stuff, my phone magically goes dead for 2 days.

No phone, no broadband.
This works perfectly.

Coz, during the peak times, when I really need to use the internet, I would be hitting about 150 MB in 2 days.

So, by cutting my phone, these guys help me save up on that.
It’s really awesome you know …

You should definitely give it a try …

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My typical day

[0745 hours]
It is a Saturday morning …
Quite early for me to wake up …
Logged on to the internet to check mail …
The plan of the day : simple
Finish 2 writeups, 6 programs

[0930 hours]
Finish putting the last morsel of breakfast in my mouth.
Time to put the plan in action.

[1127 hours]
Put the finishing touches on 1st writeup.
1 big one more to go …

[1131 hours]
Finish drawing the margin for the 2nd write up and start writing

[1133 hours]
Call from mom … She’s given her car for servicing …
Have to go and buy spares and leave them with mechanic

[1203 hours]
With uncle at car shop, paying the money

[1227 hours]
Sitting at granny’s place … waiting to pick up mom from clinic.
Write ups completed : 1/2
Programs writted : 0/6

[1304 hours]
Reach home after picking up mom.

[1348 hours]
Finished lunch
Back to work

[1452 hours]
Call from Mechanic.
The right drive shaft turned out to be of a Wagon R instead of a Zens

[1512 hours]
At Mechanics
Mechanic remembers he forgot to ask me to get something else …
Mechanic gives a list of more 3 things to buy before tomorrow

[1517 hours]
On way back home with heavy drive shaft jutting out of my Kiney on potholled roads

[1526 hours]
At entrance of society
Rear tyre starts wobbling tremendously …

[1527 hours]
Rear tyre completely out of air

[1528 hours]
Kick the bike in frustruation

[1530 hours]
Finally at home, with what feels like an hour of dragging a bike with a flat rear tyre.
Dragged bike for distance of 300 mts in about 2 mins 40 seconds
Number of times bike foot stand hit calf : 12

[1547 hours]
Get up after having changed the flat tyre

[1602 hours]
Back in room
Wasting time on the computer
Write ups done : 1/2
Programs written : 0 / 6

[1806 hours]
Dropped mom to clinic on bike

[1856 hours]
At tyre repair guy’s shop
Still getting flat fixed

[1908 hours]
Leaving shop
On scavenger hunt for the remaing stuff to give mechanic

[1912 hours]
Standing in front of closed car shop which was open in the morning

[1921 hours]
Still searching for shops which have the requisite stuff

[1955 hours]
Back at home after successful scavenger hunt

[2214 hours]
Just putting finishing touches on 2nd write up
Write ups completed : 2/2
Programs written : 0/6

[2356 hours]
Finishing stupid blog
Expecting many hate emails and comments
Write ups completed : 2/2
Programs written : 0/6
Result : “Screwed” on Monday


“Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong …”

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We just finished our BE Seminars a couple of days ago, and I am still basking in the sense of achievement that I did not screw it up …

Oh well, some idiot messed with the projector settings and my slides got all screwed and stuff, but other then that, it was mostly okay …

Getting into the meat of things, I wanted to write about the observations that I had during the 4 gruelling days of sitting and listening to other people talk mostly about subjects which I had no interest off …

So, here goes … the people who make up a typical seminar situation …

1. The Guy Giving the Seminar
This without doubt is the most important guy in the seminar room.
The poor soul, whose worst fear is of public speaking ( even greater than death ), is made to stand up in front of 50 people, who are mostly not interested in whatever he has to say.
On top of that, he is expected to narrate and manage the slides in the 15 minutes alloted to him.
These people fall in the following category …

1.1 – The under time fellows
These are the people who prepared too few a slides, and probably did not practise enough to realise that they did not fall into the 13 – 15 minute category.
These people make up about 35% of the crowd and finish their seminar, to the delight of all others, within 8 – 9 minutes.
The number of slides are typically just around 20 and the topics covered are generally superficial, and application oriented ( non technical ) which does not allow for more matter, and hence more time for the presentation.

Notable features are lots of pausing and umms and aahhs … which basically help them get to 8 minutes …

1.2 – The good time fellows
Most of the people fell in this category. I’d say about 50% of the people …
These people have generally practised atleast once and finish off their seminars between 13 – 14 minutes.
These people generally, are not very hated and the they have a good mix of technical and non technical information, evenly spaced out …
These people probably end up with the most marks.

Notable features are generally decent presentations and many a times, elocution like speeches which come off as mugged up …
Quite a few topics falling in this category are decent and worth listening too …

1.3 – The over time fellows
These people generally shoot off their 15 minutes.
This species, has trouble, not knowing what matter to cut down and how much to speak on.
Either the person has really prepared the entire seminar on his own ( thus not being able to delete the content that he so painstakingly collected ) or the fellow just copied the entire seminar of some person from another college …

Notable characteristics are skipping through atleast 20 slides, rushing off so fast that people didnt even get the topic.
And mostly, the ability to cram 40 – 50 slides in the space of 15 minutes.

2 – The Examiners
These people are the most confused people sitting in the hall.
They either know that they have no idea about what you are talking or they ‘think’ they have an idea of what you are talking.

What students generally worry about is not whether they will be able to answer the questions these people ask at the end of the seminar, but whether they will be able to somehow relate their topic to the questions asked by these people …

Therefore, questions such as “But don’t you need some p2p network to use BitTorrents ?” after a seminar on BitTorrents, or a question like “Tell me the application of Red Tacton in touch screens …” ( Red Tacton is a method of transferring data by human touch ) are asked.

And the students are left totally bewildered and are lost for words.

We had a examiner who had his head so high up his a** that he asked questions to each and every student …
No matter if the question was the least bit related …
Naturally, most of the people trying to answer would be left fumbling and confused …

This guy would sit back, look at the hapless student and smile … thinking that he was oh, so smart and clever to ask such questions …
And sitting at the back, we would think, “What a moron !”

3 – The General Audience
These people make up for maximum of the crowd.
If you can speak well and hold their attention, you can keep them interested for exactly 3 minutes.
After which, most of them go to sleep, or put those ear phones back on …

In the very rare event, do these listen to the entire seminar …
And if they do, you can be rest assured that you have done a good job.

4 – Your loyal friends
These people are your truest buddies from the class.
They will turn up for your seminar and even sit through it, patiently, attentively trying to grasp every word that comes out of your mouth – never mind it not making the wee bit sense …

Nodding everytime you look at them – to give you confidence.
These are the people, you’d probably need most during the 15 minutes … and the ones to start clapping as soon as you’ve answered a couple of questions, to spare you from the slaughter …

5 – The Not So Friendly …
These people are the ones who have been waiting patiently, anxiously even … for you to get up there for your seminar.
They prepare, conspire, read your report, so that they can ask you questions which you probably wouldn’t be able to answer in the Q & A round.

These ploys generally fail and seldom work, thus adding more insult to injury …
Interesting attributes include, asking multiple variants of the same question and back questioning, till they get tired themselves, or the person answers with a shrug, and the words, “I don’t know …”

6 – The Plants …
These are the ones which you pass on questions to, to be asked during the Q&A round.
Probably the only ones you can answer properly … with confidence …

These are very easily noticeable, because mostly the questions are very lame, multiplied with lamer acting on the part of the person asking the question …
This is generally followed by some scratching of the head or stammering on the part of the person giving the seminar, so that it all looks authentic …

The biggest give away of this entire operation is that the plants are generally seated within a radius of 2 to 3 people of the person giving the seminar … before he got up to give it …
Helps in the easy passing out of chit questions …

Next blog, what to do and what not to in a seminar cum presentation …

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Back on dialup …

Hmmmm … ( to be read as a very depressed sigh … )

After a month of cruising along in what our govt calls broadband … its that time of the month again when all the past days’ “bandwidth spendthrift attitude” comes back and hits you where it hurts …

I’ve got the BSNL 256 K home plan, which comes with a 1 GB download limit …
1 GB ???
Who in the right head comes up with these plans ?
Aren’t people not allowed to come in to work drunk ? What about doped ?

Seriously …
We have night time free … yeah …
Or call it early morning free … from 2 friggin’ AM to 8 AM …
These timings are making a moron out of me …

Last month, nothing major was happening, so I managed to cut down till about 970 Meg by the month end …
This time with seminars, all the papers to download and research, and by the end of the month, my XBOX got dinked …
More research and frantic searching ensued …
( But I got it up and running finally last night … yay !!! )

But with 940 MB gone and 4 days to take out on a 60 MB, I’m just holding on … for a rainy day …
If any of you’ll will need me, I’ll be on dial up for a couple of days …
( BSNL charges 1.2 bucks per MB of download !!! )
It’s kinda nostalgic you know … That 3 tone buzz that comes out of the modem when you try to connect … the 30 seconds !!! that you need to connect …
And the best things are the ultra variable connecting speeds ( mostly due to the awesome quality of phone lines that the same morons from BSNL put up )
As of now, I have successfully connected after 7 tries at 9.6 kbps !!!

Thats me signing off …

And yeah, if you are from BSNL and reading this, please grow a brain !

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