28 September 2007

Weekend

I leave you to enjoy your weekend with these gems !










K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 7:05 PM 0 comments

25 September 2007

Nostalgia

One of the advantages of living seven seas (okay, not exactly) away from India, when the time-zones are 12hours apart, is that I get to listen some of the best songs broadcasted in Suriyan FM, Chennai. Well, it is indeed a pity that they broadcast some kick-ass songs at a time when the city sleeps, but that is a different point. In case you want to listen to it online, go here (clicking will open a media player). Of course you could also listen to AahaaFm here (clicking will open a media player), but then again, Suriyan FM simply kicks big time butt at this time of the day.

Anyway, I heard two amazing songs, composed by (Who else?) Illayaraja, showcasing some amazing bass guitar work.

First the song in the Ragam Chalanatai, Panivizhum Malarvanam from the movie Ninaivellam Nithya.



And then an amazing song "Nee Thanae" from the same movie.



This song, IMHO, is a much better song that the "Pani Vizhum" one. For one, note how the flute follows the singer and how effortlessly S.P.Balasubramaniam moves through the song. This song is set in Madhyamavathi. Again, note the opening guitar and flute pieces and the interludes. What a song !!

I still remember quite clearly. I saw this movie in 1983 in a family friend's house in Manali, Chennai. I saw this movie along with another movie called "Poo Ondru Puyal Aanadhu". While that movie was some kind of a violent story about politics and the lady protagonist taking revenge (I think it was dubbed into tamil from telugu), Ninaivellam Nithya was more of a soft love story types. I think it can be only Raja who can imprint these kind of memories, only to have them re-awakened many many years later !

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:21 PM 2 comments

Sandisk

And so, earlier in this blog, I had cribbed about Sandisk Sansa E280's FM receiver quality.

After due procrastination, I finally did a firmware upgrade this weekend. Even though it was in beta, I upgraded to 1.03.01H, links for which I found in this site (Requires sign-up).

Well, I can hear people saying that it is not good to upgrade to beta versions. But, considering the fact that we live in a Web2.0 era, I guess it is cool to call anything and everything as Beta ;-)

Anyway, the first thing I notice after an upgrade is that the quality of FM receiver has gone up. FM now works fairly well. Another important thing I observe is that the sound quality has improved a lot, and the player sounds nice. Listening to "King" Illayaraja on this rocks big time now.

So, in case you own a Sandisk Sansa E250 series, and have not yet upgraded, well, it is time to do so.

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 9:42 PM 0 comments

Paradox

I feel more fresh after running a 16km in 96 minutes, rather than a 8km in 48 minutes. I must try to find out why such paradoxes happen.

While on this subject, I find it more difficult to swim than running. I can run comfortably for two hours, but swimming for just 50 minutes leaves me beaten and breathless !

And yes, swimming is a much better exercise to build up stamina than weight-lifting in the gymnasium.

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 9:23 PM 0 comments

24 September 2007

Jena 6

In case you were not aware of what Jena 6 was, read this article.

It is indeed sad and sometimes silly to note that in 2007, there are still these kind of skin-color based prejudices !

And what is more ironical is that while US goes around the world preaching stuff, their own house is not in order !

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 8:27 PM 0 comments

22 September 2007

Sign of Times ?

Is the news that Microsoft is ready to allow consumers to downgrade, a sign of times that it is ready to acknowledge that the demand is not, shall we say, quite the way Microsoft expected it to be ?

I think the time is right for the *ix guys, Linux and Mac, to seize the initiative.

With the news that both Lenovo and Dell are ready to provide pre-installed Ubuntu on their laptops, I think the world domination is ours for the picking ;-)

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 7:40 PM 0 comments

21 September 2007

C or C++ ?

There is this endless debate going on as to which one is a better programming language, C or C++ ?

"C++ is a horrible language. It's made more horrible by the fact that a lot of substandard programmers use it, to the point where it's much much easier to generate total and utter crap with it. Quite frankly, even if the choice of C were to do nothing but keep the C++ programmers out, that in itself would be a huge reason to use C."

Who said that ?

Go here to find out.

I think that the nail has been hit squarely on its head ;-)

K.Shyam

PS: Now, do not come back to me asking why this project of mine uses C++ !

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 8:02 PM 0 comments

Ultra Marathon

There is an Ultra marathon being organized in India. Check this link.

The devil inside me is thinking I should have a go at it, at-least for the 52km !

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 7:59 PM 0 comments

20 September 2007

Fickle

I think the Indian Cricket team's performance would be fickler than anything else seen in this world !

They light up the stadium on one day and today, they seem to be beaten comprehensively by the South Africans.

Given the nature of bowling, I would seem to think that a South African victory is on the cards !

K.Shyam

PS: As I write this, we are halfway into the game and our score is 53/3 !

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:11 PM 0 comments

Yuvraj

First, the video of the mauling that Board had.



And then, probably the most funniest post I have read on this issue, is up (at where else, but Sidin's blog) here.

Enjoy !

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 7:30 PM 0 comments

19 September 2007

I Dare You

It is an accepted fact that most, why almost all, politicians in India, in the name of being Secular, adopt quite an aggressive anti-Hindu stance. While this is largely due to non-unity amongst we Hindus, that remains a matter to be discussed on another day and another time.

The debate in question is over the SethuSamudram project. While it is understandable that the current ruling party in TamilNadu, DMK, wants to take entire credit for the project, what is not understandable is the objectionable ways in which Mr.M.Karunanidhi is going about talking to the media.

Read here for more on this.

Now, I dare you, why, I double dare you, you political machinist and stooping so low for silly political gains, Mr.Karunanidhi to do this. There is a place called Thousand Lights in Madras. Now, there is a mosque constructed in that place. Nothing wrong with that. The mosque juts out into the road by around 10 feet. If you are so secular and concerned about development, why don't you push back that mosque by 10 feet and make way for traffic ? Note that this does not mean that there is no such precedent. Around 20 years back, in 1988 to be precise, a temple in Ashok Nagar, opposite to the now existing Senthil towers, was moved back to make for a road that connects Ashok Pillar and Vadapalani. When that was done, why can this not be done ?

With the growing amount of education levels in people, it is always a matter of time before people stop listening to such silly ramblings from such stupid and brain-dead politicians.

K.Shyam

PS: On a more interesting note, I am curious to know what the supporters of DMK, particularly the so-called educated and intellectual Hindus, have to answer for this question of mine !


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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:34 PM 10 comments

Bio Parque

I checked out the place BioParque Estrella (link in Spanish) this Sunday. A pretty decent place. It is around 60+kms from Monterrey at the 9th KM mark from the town of Montemorelos.

All in all, a nice place for honing up your amateurish photography skills ;-). There is a nice safari like thing (a bus ride actually), but then again, the driver of that vehicle seems to be in a perpetual state of hurry. If only he had stopped some more for me to get some more photographs ;-)

Anyway, here are some pictures.

zebra-pair

waterfall-hdr

sitting

scenery-hdr

hippo

parkeet

feeding

giraffe

blackbuck

elephants

antelope

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 8:52 PM 0 comments

18 September 2007

Alternatives

I was actually dumb stuck when I was asked this question. "What would you have been if you were not in your current job now" ?

As long as I was in school, I wanted to become a Doctor. I always used to think that that was _the_ profession (it still is, BTW) where you have an opportunity to make a difference to people across caste, creed, religion and wealth lines.

Yeah, when I completed my graduation, I could have become a MBA guy. But then again, it stuck me that management is nothing but common sense and hence, spending two years to refine what you should have already known, (may be, apart from knowing how to analyze balance sheets) seemed like a colossal waste of time !

And hence, you see this part time nerd, some time geek, and almost all the time "trying to do something for that elusive killer idea so that I can retire and see the world", person around you ;-)

The more time I spend in this software field, the more I get convinced that whatever we do does not make any sort of impact on the man who is walking on the road. Okay, with some exceptions like Mobile phones and such. I think that remains the bigger challenge -- how to make the advancements in technology useful to the common man. Could that become my killer idea ;-) Time will tell.

K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:05 PM 0 comments

16 September 2007

HDR Experiments

My tryst with HDR.

niagara-hdr

This was taken in Niagara falls when I went there along with a cousin of mine. Niagara, as such is a shitty place. It was totally polluted with Indians living in USA and Canada who, as is their wont, came there with baskets of food, parked themselves in the park, opened their baskets and littered all around the place.

Most of the places to eat there were Indian restaurants, serving some decent food. The hostel where we were supposed to stay somehow did not get the online intimation of our reservation and hence, we were forced to stay in a hostel next door. It was not all that convenient though. But considering the fact that we were staying for just a night, it wasn't all that a problem though !

You can view the rest of my Niagara pictures here

It wasn't all that an interesting trip and neither was it a totally boring one. The falls was quite nice, but as is the wont with everything American, there was too much hype. The view of the falls are indeed much better from the Canadian side.

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 2:03 AM 0 comments

13 September 2007

Vidhyasagar

In the early 90's there used to be these B grade movies dished out on an weekly and sometimes, on a monthly basis by Arjun. In almost all his movies he used to have an, at that time unknown, musician called Vidhyasagar. It is a different issue that today Vidhyasagar has composed music for a Superstar movie and is now fairly popular. Anyway, that is beside the point here.

Some of the songs dished out by Vidhyasagar for Arjun's movies were fairly well received. Remember the "Malarae Mounama" and "Bodhai Yeri Pochu" from Karna ?

One of those movie for Arjun which he scored was "Sengottai". It starred Rambha and Meena. It had some unknown songs like "Paaru Paaru", extolling the virtues of Indian culture, and so on. One such relatively unknown gem, which I recently unearthed from that movie, is this song "Ucchi Mudhal Padham Varai". It has Hariharan and someone called Malathi or Mahathi accompanying him. Notice how thick and amazing "God" Hariharan's voice is ! In fact, notice how beautifully he sings some aalapanas. The female destroys some basic pronunciation, but yet is manageable.

The song starts off with a nice flute piece and flows into the main pallavi beautifully. Also notice how the instruments in the second stanza blends in with the lyrics. Vidhyasagar and Hariharan are in their elements in this song ! Overall an amazing piece of work by Vidhyasagar.



K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 11:51 AM 0 comments

Back to blogging

What better post to come back to blogging other than posting about the King "Illayaraja" ? I do not have the video of this song and hence this is an audio only post.

This song is from the movie "Pattukku Ooru Thalaivan". Raja, as usual, starts off with some nice vocals, and the smooth voices of SPB and Chitra elevate this song to a totally different level ! Also note how neatly Raja blends the violins along with the lead vocals. All in all, a good song. Of course, not a great one by his own lofty standards, but a good one ! I am pretty sure that this song would be mauled on screen since it has Vijayakanth, and considering the fact that this is a decently paced song, we would be subject to the torture of watching his gyrations ;-)




K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 11:41 AM 2 comments