29 September 2006

Google Reader

Check out the all new google reader. In many ways this is better than bloglines. However, they could use with one more feature. Instead of blatantly complaining that there is no feed for a particular website, they can provide alternative links. Got what i am saying ? I mean, say xyz.com does not have feed, but xyz.com/atom.xml has a feed. It would be good if, instead of complaining that xyz.com has no feed, it can give you a choice that the feed is available from xyz.com/atom.xml. Plus, it also has a cool feature that you can see only those of your subscriptions which have updates.
K.Shyam
PS: Oh yes, i have moved to google reader from bloglines.
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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 11:43 AM 1 comments

28 September 2006

Racisim in Cricket

Sample This. Ponting protests the umpire's decision voiciferously. Inzamam walks out of the field when his team is accused of ball tampering. Ponting gets defended saying he was just playing to win with his team's intrests in mind. Inzamam gets hauled to court for disciplinary hearing. For too long has the ICC sided with England and Australia and hauled Indians and Paki's to court. I guess India and Pakistan should stop playing cricket for one season to protest against this. ICC should be let known that everyone is equal. Will BCCI take some action now ?
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 9:07 AM 7 comments

27 September 2006

Boom or Bust ?

Scan any technology review site, and chances are you will find reports about thousands of site that gets devoted to establishing "community interaction". Orkut, Facebook and so many many more. I even know of people who say "Hi" to each other through these sites, but are physically located some cubicles away in workplace, or just a phone call away !! What does this point to ? And more importantly, all these must have some sort of exit point. What would that be ? Folding up like the dot-com bubble ? Or changing the way the world communicates ? I guess the next few months may give some intresting leads to this !
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 11:16 AM 1 comments

26 September 2006

Tour De Indie

If you are the kind who would love to cycle in the mountains, This is for you. Unfortunately enough, i didn't plan for this as i did not know about this in advance. After having done This trip, i know for sure that i can complete this one too.
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 7:58 AM 0 comments

18 September 2006

At all Levels and Places

So you thought election fraud happens only in India ? Then read This.
As the saying goes, Power corrupts, Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:50 AM 1 comments

Bangalore Marathon 2006 - Hunted Down

This year's Bangalore Marathon was good. Could have been great, but what the heck ? There is no fun in just completing the marathon. That i will definitely do anyday. Loads of fun when you run in a company and finish _together_. Therein lies all the fun. KK one of our pedalathon goons joined us this time around with an aim to complete the full marathon. Sathish opted for the half marathon and we had another of our pedalathon guys, sandy who was running along with him !



A mug shot of KK, Myself and Sathish before we started off.

Anyway at around 6.10am the gun blew and off we went. The plan was rather simple. Finish the first half marathon in two hours and the remaining in three hours. Try to cut down a little bit of corners here and there. Ideally i was fitter than the last bangalore marathon and hence i was aiming for a sub five hour finish. As i said in the start, what is the point if you run all alone ? Better run with some company and have some fun while running. Okay after the second KM mark, i kind of wanted to test myself and off i went. The running was strangely pretty smooth. I did manage to reach the 10KM mark in 65 minutes. After filling up my water bottle and taking a small nature call i started off again. In fact, i was myself surprised that i was able to run pretty comfortably. Disaster struck at the 16km mark.
Due to whatever reason that i am unable to comprehend, i suddenly started craving for glucose or candy bar or something to eat. Even though i had a decent dinner, my whole body was totally unresponsive. Well that is the beauty of running a marathon i guess. You do push your limits. Half marathon is, well, anyday easy. It is running the full marthon that gives you that feeling of a high.
Anyway, i stopped for water at 16KM mark, washed my face, poured water all over me and found out that glucose or whatsoever is available only at the half marathon point. Ah the next few KM's were nothing but a crawl. I was hoping to reach the 20km mark by 120 minutes or 130 minutes. At the 18KM mark i reached the ambulance and pocketed two packets of electral for the remaining part of the journey and had one. Feeling refreshed i started again. KK caught up with me and we reached the half way mark together in about 140 mintes. The second 20KM had taken me 75 minutes to cover.


That's me at the half way mark.


And that's KK.

KK started having problem with his knee and i decided to run along with him, recollecting the time we spent cycling together during our pedalathon. The route in bangalore marathon is such a way that from the 10KM point for the next 20KM there aren't much shops, nor are there any kind of civilization to distract your attention from the torture that you are subjecting you legs to. Hence, i decided to keep talking to KK so that he takes of his pain from his knees. At around the 29KM mark, he started feeling better and off i went. It took us around 100 minutes to cover this 10KM.
At the 30KM mark i met Manoj. As i always say, the world is such a small place. This guy has been a rather regular reader of both sathish's and my blogs. In addition to marathon running, he also has a passion for cycling and he is also a bulleteer. Well, well. Coincidences galore ! The next 10km we ran together and it was quite an intresting experience. We ran all along the slopes and walked all along the up-hills.
I meandered to a finish in about five hours and thirty minutes. The last 10KM took me 80 mins. Looking back, i could have comfortably finished in about 30 or so minutes earlier, but then no point in running alone ! It is always intresting to run with someone you meet on the way. Makes it more intresting that way.


That is (from left to right) Sandy, Sathish, KK, KK's friend and myself after we finished !
Note to remember for the next marathon : carry a few candy bar's and one or two packets of electral along with the water bottle !
K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:36 AM 4 comments

15 September 2006

Down Them All

If you haven't heard of down them all, an extension for firefox (Oh, if you are still using IE, you very well know you suck big time :-)), go right here and get it right away.
Sample this from personal experience. Downloading a 5MB file using this extension is atleast 40% faster than using the flashgot+downloader for X combination.
So if it works for me, i think it should work for you too !!
K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 1:55 PM 0 comments

14 September 2006

Idiot's Guide to completing the Bangalore Full Marathon

Now that the Bangalore Marathon is on, and having run two half marathons over the previous few days as practise sessions in the same route as the marathon, i think i can share some of my experiences which may be of use to you guys.

1. It is a myth that it does not sweat in Bangalore. It pours in rivulets. So be prepared for major water loss from your body. I am talking of the time i do my practise which is 4.00AM. Any later in the day is bound to be worse.

2. The course is, to put it mildly, a killer one. There are actually no flat roads. The roads go up and down and up and down. There are two subways and one flyover that need to be crossed in addition to the roads. Heck, the normal roads themselves look like flyovers.

3. So the hot tips are to get a cap, preferably white one, wear preferably white t-shirt or something light color and get some white socks. In all my previous three full marathons which i completed, one major problem i noticed was that the socks get majorly hot and then you get boils in your feet. So, please get white socks.

4. Since we amateurs would still be huffing and puffing our way to finish line well above 4 or 5 hours from the starting time, it is better to make our own provisions for water bottles. There is a 20km stretch that does not have any shops, means not many all along the road, but a few here and there. A water bottle which you fill up at around the 20km mark may help you.

5. The experts say that you need to have pasta the day before to give you sufficient carbohydrates to run. Personal experience tells me that this is not much important. Just have your regular meal and make sure you finish all your early morning duties (translate to: shitting ;-)). There are places where you can settle down and empty your bowels. But if you are one of those guys who cannot do it in the open, well its your lookout.

6. If you can tape the three toes in your leg, nothing like it. And please make sure you cut your nails too.

7. Finally, i am always willing to run as a group. So let's gang up and reach the finishing line ;-)
K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 12:10 PM 0 comments

12 September 2006

Blogcamp - Analysis Paralysis

In the hindsight, Blogcamp was all about getting to know more on the world of blogs out there. Though for the geek inside me, Barcamp had more tech sessions, i still feel blogcamp was also pretty okay. Agreed that there are not many pc users and internet is still at a nascent stage, we are the so called first generation bloggers and it might be another generation before it takes off big in India. So patience still has its might ;-).

On a more unrelated note, a post i made of the bug in Motorola L7 series of phones finally got some response. The tech lead of the team that designed of the software responded by saying they will rectify this bug in the next software release. So, i guess we bloggers are still making a little bit of difference, though may be not earth shaking, but yes we will get there.

On the whole a pretty satisfying experience i must say. And finally, as one of the co-organizers, i would feel pretty much satisfied if one or two people start blogging as a result of the coverage that came in CNN-IBN or through word of mouth or whatsoever. Yes, the new blogger will start writing crap about how he bathed his dog or what he did while waiting for something else. After all how does one start writing if not by chronicling what one does daily ? It is only after a period of time do we start to write reviews and travel experiences and what not which might be of help to some other people !

K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 4:34 PM 5 comments

09 September 2006

BlogCamp-Live

So i wanted to do live text+audio, but hey guys i have gone one step ahead. The live feed from the source is happening here. So go there instead of cliking and refreshing this blog every few minutes !
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:57 AM 0 comments

08 September 2006

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly of Vettaiyaadu Vilayadu

Firstly,
The Good :
1. Ulaganayagan Padmashree Dr. Kamlahasan. Need we say more ? Quite a lot of people who walked out of the movie hall were heard saying "Kamal does not seem to be there". That IMHO is the perfect compliment an actor can get. A star makes the character bend to his star image, an actor bends himself to blend into the character. If you were not able to notice Kamalhasan, but see only Raghavan, isn't that the perfect compliment ? Notice the little things like how his voice breaks under emotion and then he clears his throat and says the lines Yaara Irukkum ? the second time, when he goes in the car with Prakashraj. That is Kamal touch ! I don't think the director would have even thought about these things.
2. To a large extent, a decent screenplay without much slackening of the pace. It does slacken a bit in the second half, but then i guess we can mannichufy (forgive) Gautam for this.
3. Pretty decent editing and camera work though the aerial shots sometimes tend to leave you a bit woggly ;-)
4. Decent performances from all and sundry, Prakashraj, Jyothika and Daniel Balaji including.
5. Continuity. Notice the fact that Kamal does not change his shirt throughout the entire initial sequence.
6. Usage of Tamil subtitling whenever the characters talk English. That lend a little bit more credibility. Still better would have been to let them talk in English in foreground and have a Tamil voice in the background for the benefit of those audiences who don't have the patience to read the Tamil subtitles.

The Bad:
1. Songs, i will even forgive the song between Kamal and Kamalinee, but the ugly graphics that accompanied the bike ride was simply bad.
2. Harris Jayaraj. Brother, you better see a few Illayaraja's movies to understand what is meant by re-recording. You are not supposed to grate all the metal instruments you have in your studio in the name of re-recording.
3. A little bit more character development of the villain. Why he became a serial killer and stuff. A few more minutes devoted to him instead of Kamal's first wife would have made quite a lot of difference. Would have made the movie more gripping.

The Ugly:
1. Kamal says "I think they are out there" and the camera pans to them. No Gautam. You lost it precisely at that point. A little bit more suspense build up would have done you good. Did you get bored ? ;-)

And finally, though the title says another episode in a police officer's life, i fail to understand why this has to be a sequel to Kakkha Kakkha. Gautam, you fell very nicely into the image trap. Just say this is no way similar to KK and this is just another movie, and it is a pretty decent movie to watch.
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 3:30 PM 1 comments

07 September 2006

Blogcamp

So if you didn't know about blogcamp, do come out of the hole under which you have been living, get a life and get to know the world. It is happenning in (where spectacular things happen ) chennai/madras (my motherland) of course. Yours truly provided live text coverage for the Barcamp and for a change will be providing text+video coverage. So stay hooked to this blog during this weekend. It promises to be loads of fun. And yes, there is a beach house party ;-)
And for those who are pissed off that i have posted it this late, well lateaa sonnalum naanga yellam latestaa solluvumla ;-) (even if we say it late, we say the latest about it!)
K.Shyam
PS: Ahem, Sunil Gavaskar is giving a talk on his experiences with cricket podcasting for yahoo.

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:39 PM 2 comments

06 September 2006

Vfat inconsistencies

VFAT is a filesystem that was prevelant in older times. Unfortunately, it still remains the file system to use if you have a dual boot machine, as linux will not write to NTFS file systems.
Okay the situation is like this. I have a 160GB external hard disk which contains, umm, let's say lots of software (and quite a lot of movies too ;-) ). If i write to it from windows it works perfectly fine. However, the problem arises when i write to it from linux. It is not able to write to the fragmented portions of the disk. Meaning there are lot of fragmented free space in the disk but still data is not getting written from linux.
This obviously means that the treatment of vfat partitions in linux and windows are different. How can this be ? Isn't vfat a standard ? I have posted this to LKML (Linux Kernel Mailing List), but if any of you have some ideas about this, do let me know.
I am aware that the folks at LKML are extremely against vfat, coz a patch which i wrote for providing symlink support in vfat filesystems for 2.4.18 kernel was obviously, not accepted into the main branch. In case you need the patch you can get it here.
UPDATE: Quarter ball, matter solved. All i needed was to run fsck -vVa on the disk and voila all free space is back. Of course, you need to do this _after_ defragmenting the disk.
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 2:47 PM 0 comments

Coincidence

Is it just me, or has anyone noticed that the basic premise of the movies "Diamonds are forever" and "Die Another Day" are kind of same ?
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 2:46 PM 0 comments

04 September 2006

On Beta

So i have moved to blogger beta. Now to see what features this gives me.
Update : Crap. Apart from tags there is nothing really earth-shaking in blogger beta. It is trying to armtwist me into discarding my old template and get a new one. And i dont want to discard my old template as i feel lazy to choose a new one, and also of the modifications i have made to it. So no template changes.
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 4:07 PM 0 comments