30 August 2006

HP Pavilion ZE1250 & Suse Linux 10.1

Has anyone tried installing OpenSuse 10.1 on a HP Pavilion ZE1250 ? Okay, that is my laptop. There seems to be some ACPI related interrupt issue which is causing some horrible lockups. I mean the entire laptop locks up and only a battery removal is able to power it down. Note that if i independently update the kernel to 2.6.16, after installing Suse 10.0 nothing happens. I think this has got to do with the ACPI or some other patches introduced by Suse. Any pointers anyone ?
From whatever little time i was fiddling with it, Suse 10.1 kicks ass. Note that i am in no manner inclined to try out fedora. I hate it. Period. If someone has SLED 10.0 (Suse Enterprise Linux) willing to lend it to me, nothing like that. The point is SLED is evaluation version which expires after a 60 day trial period and does not allow you to do any updates.

And, i have always believed in the power of internet and blogs. Quite sometime ago, i was trying my hand and getting a software level memory manager for firefox. The work is still underway ;-). I had made this post asking about some details for windows.
I got a e-mail a few months back. This is the reply.

Hi Shyam,

I came across a post you made here:
http://shyamk.blogspot.com/2006/05/windows-equivalent.html looking for
an LD_PRELOAD implementation for Windows. I've been looking for the
same thing and came across three possibilities that might work for you:

http://www.deez.info/sengelha/code/win32-ldpreload/
http://research.microsoft.com/sn/detours/
http://fy.chalmers.se/~appro/nt/DLL_PRELOAD/

I'm not sure yet if any of these are going to work for me, so I'd like
to know if you came across any other implementations.

Tom.

Thanks go out to Mr.Tom for giving me some links. I am currently doing some reading up on them.
Now, isn't this simply wonderful ?
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:44 AM 0 comments

29 August 2006

Bangalore Marathon 2006

And so the Bangalore Marathon is back. After lots of confusion as to whether it would be held or not, the registration forms are available here. You need to fill them up and hand it over to the Crossover office. The address is there on the website itself.



Our Bangalore marathon 2005 pic.

Last year kribs, myself and sathish ran the full one. This year looks like sathish is targetting the half marathon while i am, as usual, targetting the full one. I have lost about 5kgs when compared to the last year's one but still i need to loose another 2 or 3 kgs if i have to finish it in a 5 hour or so timing. So the practise starts !
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 1:51 PM 1 comments

Review - Lady In The Water

Imagine this. Shyamalan with his very first movie shakes the way Hollywood was watching movies. His second and third movies do have a little bit of a "Gotcha" in the end. However, when he tries to tell a simple story, he unfortunately, is caught in the web of his own expectations and gets panned and riled by every Tom, Dick and Harry.

Lady in the water is a simple movie but made pretty decently. It is about a bedtime story of Narfs who live in water and the reasons for which they come up to the land and stuff. The apartment complex where a bunch of people live has a narf in the swimming pool. Why it came out and how it is going to get back to water forms the movie. As some of my friends remarked, the story itself sounds very hollow. I don't think it is anything hollow than a bunch of guys going to space, or a bunch of guys blowing up a meteor or something. However, what makes this movie pretty different from all the other ones getting released of late is this. The characterization. In an almost pulling the strings manner, every character is developed neatly and fits in amazingly well into the whole picture of things. Shyamalan instead of playing the cameo he used to do in his earlier movies, tries his hand at an almost full length role. In fact, he could do with some more facial expressions, but on the whole he did do a good job. Anything more i describe about the characters and i might give the story away and hence shall refrain from doing so.

This is not a movie where you go expecting Shyamalan to give another "Gotcha" movie. Get yourself oriented for a simple movie made in the early 70's or early 80's style where the narrative is pretty even paced, and story telling and characterization get more emphasis than mundane fighting and SFX. On the whole i think Shyamalan makes an important point here with this movie. We should stop comparing directors based on their earlier works and try to assess them based on what they give now. I think Shyamalan is coming a full circle. Instead of confining himself to a niche genre of movies, he is trying to expand his reportorie. Paul Gilmatti was a surprise package in this movie. With his facial expressions and his voice modulations, he gives a neat and clinical performance. The background score was quite appropriate in most places. As i said, since this is not a whodunit or a "Gotcha" story, there was no need to give a feeling of the impending doom through the background music. In that aspect, the Music director has done a good job indeed by giving out sounds quite appropriate to the mood of the scene.

On the whole a pretty good movie to watch.
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 2:50 AM 1 comments

Review - Pirates of the Carribean - Dead man's Chest

When the First instalment of the Pirates of the Carribean trilogy (yes, it does look like it is going to be a trilogy) came out, it did manage to retain the viewer intrest with some good story telling and pretty decent effects. The second one, is nothing but an amateurish attempt at torturing the viewers. And to think of there is going to be a third instalment. The only saving grace of the movie seems to be the charming Keira.
As for the review, well stay away from this movie if you can. Nothing great and a total let down performance even by the ever reliable Jhonny Depp. Surprisingly, an even worthless movie called Miami vice upstaged this movie in the Box-Office collections. That should give you an indication of how irritated people were with this movie. As my friend Govind put it after seeing the movie, "Who cares what is going to happen in the third instalment of the movie!".
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 2:42 AM 0 comments

23 August 2006

Jog Falls

I am a firm believer of one thing. It is pointless and in fact worthless to vacation outside india when there is lots to be seen right here. What is that you dont have here in India ? You can do snorkelling in Lakshadweep (next on my agenda), river rafting in many places in karnataka, kerala and north karnatka are havens for trekking, heck if you want to see the desert we even have the Thar. You want to see mangrove forests, try suderban or pichavaram. The list is endless. In fact, assuming that you are able to take a vacation for say 10 weekends of a year for 35 years of your life, i bet you, you will not be able to finish all the places in india.

Coming back, JOG falls in one such place. AMAZING. That is just insufficient to describe it. Where else can one see the sharavati valley in full bueaty and splendour ?

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Those are some shots of the sharavati valley.

We had initially planned to go on two bikes, me on my faithful steed, the Thunderbird,

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and my friend on his Avenger. However he developed a flat tyre and in god-forsaken bangalore where shops dont open even at 10.00am, where could we go for a puncture repair shop at 4.00am ? Either i go alone or we go pillion riding on my bike. Since both of us are cursed with pretty long legs, we decided that pillion ride for 1000kms (up and down) would be tiring, and hence i started off alone. The plan was to reach jog by afternoon, climb down the falls, spend some time and stay in jog for the night. Next day see some place nearby and then return back to bangalore.

There are two ways to get to Jog. You reach till Neelamangala from Bangalore. From thereon, you either take Tumkur->Arsikere->Shimoga->Jog or Hassan->Sakleshpur->Mangalore->Jog. Trust me when i say this, don't even think of taking the Mangalore Route. I cannot understand how rains could have washed away that West Coast Road, most importantly exactly at those places where there were small towns !! Anyway, i had already made up my mind to go through the shimoga route. There were a few places where the roads were bad, but not that they were highly unmanageable or whatsoever. I Started from Bangalore at around 4.30am and by 10.30am i was in shimoga for breakfast. Had a few idli's and started again towards Jog. Since the first rains has started, there was amazing greenery all along the route.

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For a change, this kind of greenery too felt pleasing to the eye ;-)

By about 12.30pm i was chugging into Jog falls.

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Since the regions has received copious rains, all the four streams were in full flow.
The charges for parking a bike is 10rs which is pretty much ok. There is a small shoppping complex with a few shops that serve bread omlet and stuff. There is a Hotel Mayura run by KSTDC close to the falls. He serves good Aloo-Channa. Tasted pretty well and unlike the kannadiga food you get in bangalore, was pretty spicy. Costs you 50Rs along with a few rotis. After polishing off some food, i decided to get down to the base of the falls and have a better look at the amazing sight that was there in front of me.

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It takes around 30mins to climb to the base of the falls. I sat there for a good one hour or so just drinking in the beauty of the falls. It took me the same 30mins for me to climb back up though it might take upto an hour or so if you are not fit.

I stayed in a room near the falls itself provided by KSTDC Hotel Mayura. A Huge bedroom, verandah, two sitting rooms (one of them with a view of the falls) and a singe bath and toilet costs you 300rs for a night. Pretty cheap i must say. Behind the hotel they had a nice viewpoint though it was obscured by the shrubs and stuff.

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If some care is spent in cutting it and cleaning it up, the hotel would have some more bookings !

After having a light dinner of breads and eggs i crashed at around 7.00pm planning for the next day of my trip.

The next day, amazingly enough, all it needed was a single choke press and a few decomp press to kick start my mean-machine. Even after getting drenched in that cold rain and mist it was still in tip-top condition. I now set out towards Murudeshwar, a beach front shiva temple. This is another amazing structure that is built on top of a hill.

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What was very jarring was that there were lots of restruants close by vyving for attention along with a huge idol of lord shiva. There wasn't a big coast line or such, but then lots of people were just sprinkling the sea water on themselves, a.la Rameshwaram.

Now was the time to turn back and this is where i made a critical mistake. I asked quite a few travels fellows (cab opeartors) as to the condition of the roads along the Mangalore route and each of them were time and again adamant that the route was amazing. I had just descended from the Jog through Honavar route and it was pretty good. If you want to see Sharavati viewpoint you need to take the Jog-Honavar route. Incidentally, Panaji is just 150km from Honavar. All the fellows assured me that the Mangalore route was a good one. Actually, all along the Sakleshpur Ghat, there are no roads. Just stones. I saw quite a lot of trucks with broken axles and punctured tyres. Some enterprising fellows had opened axle repair shops and puncture repair shops. I made a mental note to myself that they had to be Malayalees ;-)
I somehow managed to cross the ghats before nightfall and reached Hassan at around 7.00pm. Now was the bigger problem. It was nightfall, the roads did not have median and because of the bad roads, when i should have been in Bangalore, i was still a good 170km away from it. As they say, Fortune favours the brave. I started off thiking nothing is going to happen to me. As it is, the petrol pump attendents were giving me all sorts of doomsday warnings about huge trucks and how there are accidents almost everyday :-). To give you a background, night driving especially on a bike in the highway is almost impossible. Every vehicle, during nighttime, travels with High Beam lights. So, when two vehicles are overtaking each other and charging towards you, you are, for all intents and purposes, blinded completely for a few seconds. It is in those few seconds that a majority of accidents happen. Secondly, these trucks pay little regard for bikes during night time. Probably they think that during the nights, they rule the roads. I was lucky enough to spot a Tata Sumo which had a group of guys travelling back from sakleshpur. They were doing a 60kmph steadily and all i had to do was to use them as a cover and tail them, which i did to the T. A real bunch of sportive guys. Thanks a bunch fellas. You were of great help !

Finally at around 11.00pm or so i reached bangalore. It was again a pretty intresting weekend. This is the power of having a Thunderbird. You want to go somewhere, just close your eyes and jump onto it. It will take you there safe and sound.
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 4:35 PM 2 comments

nayabagam-varudhe-2

Continuing on my earlier post, this is the second trip that we (him and myself) did, Trichy. This place will always be very special to me ! A place where truly, i came out of my teenage life and attained a worldly view of so many things. A place where hostel life rocked. Compared to the hostel life in REC or NIT trichy when i was doing my MCA, IISc hostel life during my MS time sucked ! It's a different issue that i never even tried to study in both the places, but ahem we shall not spill all the beans here. A set of snobs and smart asses were loitering around IISc hostel as if they were the begin all and end all of everything. Ok let me not digress too much !
Once we finished the tanjore trip, we proceeded to our alma mater (REC/NIT) and kallanai, which is pretty close by. In fact, when i was a student there, i cycled from hostel till kallani. REC brings back so many nostalgic memories. My first cross country run (10kms), my first tryst with programming, late night food in the road-side shops opposite college, so many innumearble things here that i cannot list each and every one of them. Particulary pleasent are those days or rather nights we spent in gossip. Coral hostel was where i stayed for the first year or to be precise Coral 45 !

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My first ever hostel room !

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The computer center where i spent lots of time. Mostly fiddling with the big bad world of internet and many a times spent in doing some worthless programs ( How do you multiply a matrix using recursion ? How do you implement a LALR(1) or LALR(n) parser ? How can i bypass the charges which we had to pay for internet usage by making my account log off automatically and yet continue browsing ? ). The first machine i used had a 1gb hard disk and 32 mb ram. Contrast it with the machine i use today, 80gb hard disk and 1gb ram :-)

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And i see orkut on most of machines in the computer center when i go there now !!

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The mess behind coral hostel had few benches outside, which were aptly used for post dinner and sometimes post breakfast discussions on who is hitting on whom (you do know what i mean by hitting on:-)), which movie made the cut and which did not, who got caught doing what etc etc !!

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The Coral hostel terrace where we spent the morning of the exam day doing last minute cramming. As is the case with student community everywhere (i think i can make this sweeping generalization pretty safely, as if you dont fall into this category, you are not a student:-)), we always used to read for our exams the night before the exam, so that whatever you read was always fresh in memory :-). You see you need to save your memory space for more worthwhile things. Things which will not be told so very publicly in this space :-)

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The mess in Coral hostel where i found out the hard fact that food anywhere outside home sucks and sucks big time. IISc hostel was a small exception. On some days, they do prepare some real good food !

beryl

I moved to another hostel called Beryl for my second and third years. Yes, that's me coming out of the hostel block.

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I was in Beryl 63 with a fine roommate called Thirumaran. We scribbled out our names on the door during one of those days when we had our endless talk. Imagine the goosebumps on my skin when i see that whatever i scribbled on the door remained intact after all these years !! On a small aside, i refuse to give in to the popular legend that only ladies gossip. Leave some guys in a hostel room and you would be amazed at how long they can go yapping about anything and everything. Add some guys who are owls (those who sleep during the day), and you have a complete recipie for an all night yapping session !!

ground

Towards the end of my second year, i started dabbling in long distance running. This is the ground where i first started doing it. A short 4km run every day to bring myself up to the levels of my more illustrious classmates who could run 10km with ease ! Thanks go out here to a huge set of friends and more particularly, JP(jayprakash), Kandu (shivshankar), Hemp(Hemraj) who remained my single source of inspiration.

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Finally after reliving the golden years, we moved to kallani.

Boy, it was indeed a kick-ass trip !
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 2:50 PM 3 comments

20 August 2006

Uprooted

Today we are shifting from where we stayed for 30+ years, K.K.Nagar, to our own place in the suburbs of Madras/Chennai. How does it feel to move out of a place where one has stayed for 30+ years ? Being uprooted :-( I am sure going to miss K.K.Nagar and this nice small and cozy house !
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 5:57 AM 3 comments

17 August 2006

Pattu Kannam

Have u listened to the song "Pattu Kannam" from the movie Kakki Sattai that was released in 1985 ? If not head over here and do so right away. If you do that, you would understand why everyone who listens to tamil film music, why, any form of tamil music in general, thinks that there can be only one Illayaraja. The songs starts off with a beautiful humming, picks up to a stunning tempo of violins and a few others instruments for the pallavi, slows down in the charanams opening and as the charanams come to an end, some amazing violin pieces, and then again picks up for another waltz!!. And to imagine this was done in 1985 and still feels so very fresh 21 years after it was done. If he is not the King, who else can be ?
K.Shyam
PS: Check out SPB's dolby effects (the extra laugh!) at the end of the first para. Amazing stuff.

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 12:09 AM 3 comments

13 August 2006

No No Im still alive

No folks, unfortunately i am still alive though not kicking due to a small problem in my right knee. Coupled with some important personal work (no no, not what my detractors would love to see :-)), and a severe internet outage, i was away from blogging for quite sometime. As Arnold says, "I'll be BACK".
Till then, you could of course, add up some articles in wikipedia so that the time you spent in checking this blog for new articles does not go in vain :-)
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:49 PM 0 comments

04 August 2006

TBD's

List of things to-do:
1. Write-up of my Jog Trip.
2. Write-up of my trichy Trip.
3. Review of Lady in the Water (Actually i was pretty impressed with this movie. A very very different Shyamalam Movie.)
4. Review of Pirates of the Carribean (I thought a very very ordinary movie. Nothing great or whatsoever. Actually, a waste of money :-( . Waiting for some more time means some channel might show it!! )
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 1:49 AM 0 comments