30 December 2006

M2M - Feliz Año Nuevo

M2M. This was formed on the lines of the B2B and B2C stuff that was going around during the dotcom-dotgone days. M2M was my own acronym for Move-2-Madras. Ideally, by January 2005 I wanted to get back to Madras and find some work there. Heck, even driving a auto was okay as long as i was out of this hell-hole called Bangalore. (Guys over Here will know how well i adhered to that deadline). Anyway there is a small change. The Madras became Mexico. Well, time to play tourist ;-). Yes folks. Beginning January 2007, i am off to Mexico for sometime. Hence, Feliz Año Nuevo folks. (Google translator says that it means "Happy New Year" in Spanish). Well i am saying it a bit in advance as i would be somewhere over Atlantic by the time we usher in the new year in India.

So this blog will now have Mexico focussed stuff. Ideally, i plan to write about stuff which would help some other traveler. Things like good hotels, weather, cost of living, tax rates and yes of course, places to see. And yes, in case a reader of this blog is in Mexico and wishes to meet up, i am all game ;-)

Motherland Madras will have to wait a tad bit more for the return of her prodigal son.
K.Shyam
PS: Please do not ask me as to what project i am going to do there and what domain and all that crap. Do they really matter ? I guess not ;-)
Tags: Mexico

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 5:24 PM 0 comments

28 December 2006

Hmm

Ladies, Gentlemen and Others;
No i am still alive and kicking. Been pathetically busy of late. A flurry of posts coming in your way shortly over the next few weeks/days (Hopefully!!). Till then, ah well, can't suggest much sites to visit !;-)
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 12:56 AM 0 comments

20 December 2006

Ironies

Isn't it the greatest irony ? Guys in software work all day and week to make sure that mobiles can be accessible from amywhere/anytime and still want to take vacation breaks to places where they are not accessible by mobiles ?
K.Shyam
Tags: Software, Mobile Phones, Irony

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:19 AM 0 comments

18 December 2006

Latest Addition



That is the latest addition to my personal library. Would come in handy during my travels. Somehow, i have never been sucessful in holding back my wallet whenever i go to a book exhibition. There were of course, many other books which screamed "Buy Me, Buy Me" to me, but then had to hold back as i can't afford to max out my credit card ;-). One of them was this.



I did finish his earlier book "Red Earth and Pouring Rain" and found it pretty interesting and it was indeed well written. Time to catch hold of this one too !

K.Shyam
Tags: Shantaram, Sacred Games, Gregory David Roberts, Vikram Chandra

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 1:33 PM 4 comments

This & That

Time magazine names "You" as the person of the year. More about it Here. Makes me think that has the time come when community and collaboration are more important than independent contributions ? If yes, then the open-source model of working is bound to dominate.

And i am off from the blog for the next few days. Will be travelling around. I don't know how/when i will be able to access the internet to post travelouges, but then keep watching this page for a few surprise postings !
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 9:50 AM 0 comments

15 December 2006

Installing Tamil Fonts in Linux

Many of my friends who use linux have constantly kept asking me how to read their favourite tamil sites in linux. Now, a few years ago installing tamil fonts in linux was a slight pain in the *** process. Now, it is a rather quick and dirty three step process (in case you use KDE) and a simple drag and drop in case you use GNOME.

So, off we go

1. Click on the links to download and save tamil fonts. This or This.
2. If you use GNOME, just drag and drop those files into nautilus file manager and voila it installs the fonts !
3. If you use KDE, fire up the KDE control interface by typing kcontrol in any xterm or konsole.
4. Click on System Administration -> Font Installer -> Add fonts. Just provide the fonts you downloaded and voila ;-)

Now all your favourite tamil websites can be read easily. Note that this applies to any fonts not just tamil ones ! Note that you need not even be a root user to install these fonts. After installing the fonts, set unicode as the character encoding in your browser. If you use firefox, View -> Character Encoding will get you there !

K.Shyam
Tags: Linux Fonts, Tamil

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 11:26 AM 6 comments

13 December 2006

For a good Cause

Wondering how you can contribute to charity and yet listen to some good old hindi music ? Rotary Bangalore North West is having a project called School Desk Project, where the aim is to provide desks to those schools that don't have one. In fact, there are a lot of schools in Bangalore Rural that don't have one. In connection with this, they have organized a musical evening of OP Nayyar's songs conducted by Guru's Sound of Music. Rotary's Vocational Excellence award would also be conferred on Shri OP Nayyar during the concert.
Venue : Dr.Ambedkar Bhavan Millers Road Bangalore
Date : 16th December
Time : 7.00pm
Cost of a ticket : Pretty nominal (dinner for two ? ;-)!) Rs 500/-
Think about it. What is spent on food and drink during weekends can also be spent, once in a while, for some worthy cause !
Mail me across for tickets.
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 7:04 PM 0 comments

12 December 2006

Birthday



வீரத்தில் மன்னன் நீ !
வெற்றியில் கண்ணன் நீ !
என்றுமே ராஜா நீ ரஜினி !
நீ ரஜினி !!

பிறந்தநால் வாழ்த்க்கள். For the man with unmatched star power who proved that with hard work, anything is possible.

K.Shyam
Tags: ,

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 7:38 PM 2 comments

11 December 2006

Not Yet Done

I'm back from my cycling trip to pondy from madras folks. Technically, i cannot say i completed it because i was forced to take a bus on the return journey from pondy to madras, thanks to a depression in Bay of Bengal. A detailed post follows shortly. As for pictures, we need to wait till Kribs uploads them !
K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:14 AM 0 comments

05 December 2006

BarCamp Bangalore 2.0

Since i was pretty busy over the weekend (read the previous posts duffers), i was not able to attend any of the talks that happened in BarCamp Bangalore. However, i did rop in on both the days during the evenings to hang out with the guys.

First of the interesting people i met was Mr.Sukumar. As he said, he was one of the first 100 people to get internet access in Madras. Oh well, he is a leather exporter. What amazes me is his keenness to get a grip of what happens in this internet world and how to leverage it for his business. In fact, as he was telling me, just by putting up on Google ad-words, he is getting enough orders. As a software professional, this is the time i feel really happy when i meet people whose lives are being touched directly/indirectly by the software i write.

The second guy i met was Jonathan Boutelle. A cool guy who has a company which has created a kick-ass product. Check it out Here. Over dinner i still remember him telling us "Send across your cv's if you are interested in working with us (and in Delhi)". But that was not what amazed me. I am totally agnostic to what happens in the Internet 2.0 space. I am more of a low level programmer worrying about bits and bytes and that kind of stuff. Jon simply said "i care a damn". "You just need to be a good programmer that's all". Everything else can be learn't. I liked this attitude of hiring. Hire someone just based on what he can do and not what he has already done !

The third guy i met was one of those guys whom i bumped into during the first barcamp bangalore Rajiv Poddar. We had a pretty interesting conversation over dinner. He has turned entrepreneur with This. A gut feel tells me his is on the right direction. However, the discussion we had was on something else. He was trying to persuade me to turn an entrepreneur too. In fact, what impressed me the most was that unlike most entrepreneurs that i know of, he is moving into products space and not into services space. That is indeed something credible as services is something every Tom, Dick and Harry may be able to do, but having a vision for doing products is something difficult and hard to get funding too. Here's to wishing Rajiv the best and my full support whenever i can.
Now my reason for not going the entrepreneur path is simple. I look upon my steady job as a cash cow. It gives me the money i need to do all the other things i do in my life. Marathons, cycling, traveling, biking all don't come easy dude !! In short, i have a roaring personal life which i am enjoying. As Rajiv was telling me i should try to make a difference to someone by going the entrepreneur way. My argument i simple. I can also make a difference to someone just by inspiring them to start running !! So there in ended our discussion with him.
In case you are a developer with fire in your belly to create something and not worried too much about money in the initial days (trust me, it will come later) send across a mail to him. He will only be too glad to hear from you.
K. Shyam
Tags: , , ,

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:09 AM 3 comments

Many Dream, Some Do

On 3th December, two bikers set off on a South Asia trip by bike. Read more about them Here. Being a biker myself, i can just say this. We dream of doing something like this, but these guys have done it. And yes they will finish their trip comfortably. They are returning back to Bangalore sometime in April.

03-12-06_1010

The guy in white is Srinidhi and the guy wearing the red jerkin is Kishore. I would say it was my privilege to meet these two guys and ride with them for some distance. Some of us, a part of a Royal Enfield group rode with them till Kunigal where we had some amazing Thatte Idlis. To get to this shop, reach kunigal town. There will be a Bharath Petroleum petrol bunk on your left hand side. Keep travelling on the road to shimoga. The thatte idli shop is a few hundred meters down on the left hand side. Coming back, the guys were really focussed, and yet pretty simple guys having no such hangovers like "we have done large distances by bikes and you are kids", unlike a few guys from other groups that we know of. As Kishore was saying, "we have some money for petrol and it would not be enough. We are hoping that we would get it on our way and use it". That ladies and gentlemen is the essence of traveling. You don't plan too much. Trust me, as i have experienced myself, things definitely fall into place when you travel. Incidentally, our group is also planning to ride back with them when they return in April. Watch this blog for details.

Here's to wishing the two bikers Godspeed and good luck.
K.Shyam
Tags:

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 9:45 AM 0 comments

04 December 2006

D

Since this is a milestone post, let me post about getting back to winning ways. As i said, we did win the team event in chess. It felt good to be on the winning side. However, my personal performance left a lot to be desired. I was totally out of match practice and forgot quite a lot of nifty tricks which i had used to score some real thumping victories. So now that i have some free time, it is time to get back to some serious playing. As i found out, somehow practicing games on a computer does not seem to do any good as you anyway play with real coins. So time to get that set of coins from the attic ;-).
K.Shyam
PS: This is a milestone post as mentioned in the start of the post. Yes it is my 500th post (Hence the title). Thanks go out to all those who tolerated this crap all the while. And yes, please continue tolerating ;-)

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 7:57 AM 0 comments

02 December 2006

Comeback Vaaram

I think this is a season of comebacks. First it was Dada and now it is yours truly ! Yes, after a gap of about four years i return to competitive chess. I will be playing in a tournament for my organization. Time to see how much of chess i remember !
K.Shyam
Tags:

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 8:23 AM 2 comments

01 December 2006

Adage

There is a saying in tamil :
ஆடுகிற மாடை அடி தான் கரகணும்
படுகிற மாடை பாடி தான் கரகணும்

(if you cannot see the text, see Here for help)

which translates into :

you need to dance to milk a dancing cow
you need to sing to milk a singing cow

loosely meaning, in rome do as romans do or horses for courses.

The moronic coach of the Indian cricket team seems to have not understood this simple philosophy. Inventive coaching methods and crap have only rendered some quality players ineffective.
Sample:
1. Irfan Pathan was a good bowler. In an effort to mold him as an all-rounder (promotion as one-down batsman), his batting has gone for a toss, his bowling is going for sixers!
2. Unwanted and unnecessary exercises have rendered Yuvraj Singh an almost uncertainty for world cup.

This is a fairly well written piece worth a read !

K.Shyam
Tags: ,

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 1:25 PM 8 comments

Dada's Back !!

Regular readers of this blog are quite aware of my partisan support for Saurav Ganguly.
While there has been a lot of coverage in both electronic and print media about the "Return of the King" (I am talking about Saurav "Dada" Ganguly ;-) ), as usual, my favorite newspaper Indian Express has come out with a neatly written piece about his return. Check it out Here.
K.Shyam
Tags: ,
Sourav’s back, what about cricket?
Friday December 1 2006 08:08 IST

Mini Kapoor

Till winter rains come and take the chalk away, the high hills of Landour above Mussoorie will remain emblazoned with cricket graffiti. ‘Indian pride one and only Ganguly. If Chappell goes, Ganguly comes,’ they have written in the shade of lush deodar forests. And many such sentiments later comes this emphatic statement, ‘Still, Ganguly is the best captain’. Today, as Sourav Ganguly is recalled to the Test side, this nook of the Himalayas will certainly celebrate.

Of course, Ganguly’s is not a routine selection. It could have been — he’s been a key member of the Test squad for the past decade, and men dropped do earn themselves the right to be back in the squad. But don’t bother scanning through Ganguly’s first class record in the months that he’s been away from Greg Chappell’s care. That’s not why Ganguly is back in the side.

The chalk-armed little boys of Landour know exactly what’s happening. Their pithy little demands gather the dominant narrative that is being articulated on the streets of our cities and in Parliament, and clearly in the selectors’ compulsions too. They understand that Ganguly’s return has not much to do with his batting skills per se. Ganguly’s presence instead offers the spectre of a return to the world Indian cricket inhabited when he led the side. This is how the story goes. There were India, in the Wright old days, winning us matches in England, Australia and Pakistan. Then came Chappell. Soon out went Ganguly, all of it gruesomely documented for us in leaked e-mails. After an initial splutter, India went on to win a Test series in the West Indies, and won ever so many one-days on the trot, that the air was rife with expectations that a World Cup win was now a mere formality.

Today all that exists is the debris of those hopes. Ganguly’s post-Zimbabwe expulsion and his return to the squad this week bookend Indian cricket’s strangest year. Rummaging through this period obtains an opportunity to know why this manner of rehabilitation will neither give India’s most successful skipper the honourable exit we so want for him, nor hand India a formula to regain the winning habit.

This does, do recall, overlap with the months of aggressive marketing of the team. The most telling detail: in the offshoring of Indian cricket commenced by the BCCI with the one-day tournament in Malaysia, other competing teams earned a higher match fee if their opponents on the day were India. The monetary structure of global cricket was being democratised, in a sense: the team that brought in the highest viewership — and thus the ad-spend — would be worth more.

In the context of the ICC’s antiquated scheduling parameters, BCCI’s challenge made sense. Why should the series be, for instance, timed only to other’s summertime conveniences? But in so wholesomely placing the match-watching television spectator at the heart of its hardsell, the BCCI has ceded much of its decision-making to the street: a shrill minority acutely confident that to watch a match is to enhance its marketability. Thence it’s just a leap of perception away to assert that to enhance its marketability is to gain a role in how the match is organised.

But what is this team we are willing into being? There was, remember, the team made on Ganguly’s watch. In the early days of his captaincy, the team emerged from dark matchfixing allegations, and sought to cast itself as a professional forward-looking unit. Fitness and all kinds of expertise were actively hunted. India had a plan for improvement and it began to be reflected in achievements.

In this, Ganguly became his team’s mascot. He met Australian captains in the eye, and he threw off his shirt at cricket’s most sacred site to show that his team meant business and they were no longer going to be awed into self-effacement. In the first instance, Calcutta 2001, a demoralised side — with its eventual series winning spinner still contemplating emigration as a guarantee for regular employment — pulled off a spectacular feat and arrested the defeatist momentum.

In the second, Ganguly cheered on the players’ balcony at Lord’s in the summer when it all came together so well. In England 2002, first two youngsters turned around the one-day final and won it for India. Then after Rahul Dravid gave India such a wonderful platform at Headingley, Ganguly took on the English attack and fading light to pick up the runrate and leave nothing to chance.

As the wins kept coming, it was overlooked that these victories came with a careful mix of pure talent and inventiveness. In the one-day team, Dravid put on the gloves so that India could afford even four bowlers. Even in Tests, the world’s best middle order required the luxury of the innings being opened by men who’d be more comfortable at least one down — even Virender Sehwag would say after his Multan triple century that he’d rather occupy a slot lower down.

It was smart planning by the Ganguly-Wright think tank. And the feeling was that once victory became a habit, fresh inductions in the side would take India to the next, and necessary, level: a team balanced on more purist lines. Did India this past year rush into experimentation without putting together a plan B? Could be. Ganguly will now have an opportunity to show whether this recall is deserved or not. Perhaps, more meaningfully for his fans, he will have the chance to get himself the graceful exit that his services to Indian cricket warrant. But the manner of his return — with its shrill anti-Chappell undertone — shows that irrespective of his physical presence in the team, India still have not picked up enough courage to chart a post-Ganguly future.

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:11 AM 1 comments

Late Night Thattuvam

You may have a trouser that has 14 pockets (Mine does !) and you will still misplace your house key, (which is non duplicatable. It has notches all over it) only to find that the key has safely found a new resting place, behind the car seat where you were sitting.
That my friends, is Murphy's law at work. No matter how many pockets you have, by instinct you keep the keys in the front pockets, which unfortunately are not deep enough to prevent the key from falling over behind the car seat when you take out either your wallet or your kerchief or your mobile.
Such are the vagaries of time i tell ya !! It definitely ruins an otherwise good evening with friends.
K.Shyam
Tags: ,

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 1:25 AM 2 comments