Seetha Kalyanam (Scenes from Ramayana)

October 31, 2005 at 7:50 pm (Other)

Sunday was a busy day. There was a function in my relatives place (my perimma’s place for those who understand). The occasion was “Seetha Kalyanam”. I don’t consider my knowledge in Hindu traditions as profound, but my experiences in attending such traditional functions are plenty. There is one in my family circle every now and then,
 
So, this Sunday was the day when my perimma(aunt) completed reciting Ramayana(in total) 64 times in for 64 days continuously. It’s a small achievement indeed considering the fact to successfully complete a recital, you need to complete all *** chapters, which would take about 5 hours. So, Sunday was the 64th day and hence the grand gala.
 
It started at about 9am. As you can see from the attached photos, people who gathered sung praises about God Rama. There were lots of music and fun attached to it which made everything interesting to listen and informative too. Some who gathered there started to get a little impatient with lengthy chants and songs and bajans. All this continued till 1pm. Finally, there was “deepa-aaradhanai” and final namaskarams by all asking for blessings from elders and god. Girls who are expecting to get married soon are asked to make special prayers on the occasion.
 
Lunch was served at 1.30pm. First, the tired lot who sang and chanted for hours were given preference for having food first. Then came our turns. Had good South Indian food with “potato curry” and “drumstick sambar” and some “poricha appalam” :-)  Loved it
 
So, the day was pretty good. Some divine knowledge gained and some sincere prayers and more important, blessings from god and elders.
 
Sorry I was not able to add any facts about “Seetha Kalayanam”. Really, I tried but edited it out in the end, I was not sure about any facts that I wrote. :-(
If someone can add in some thing real about facts of this ritual, please do so. It will be greatly appreciated.

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My Movie Review : Revolution OS (English) 2001

October 28, 2005 at 7:51 pm (Other)

This movie is not to be seen for its entertainment value, but for the history that it documents and the knowledge one gains from it.

A very interesting documentary which even, clueless as to the secrets of operating systems, will readily understand. You can watch it with barest comprehension of Linux or the philosophy underlying the open source concept.

Much credit to the filmmaker for not only explaining the seminal value of open source – the commitment to free interchange of ideas with minimal incorporation of legal protection for intellectual property – but for also succinctly allowing contrasting values and competing personalities screen time. This documentary is a very concise but excellent guide for the uninitiated into a world usually the arcane preserve of specialists most adept at talking to each other.

Straight on the face documentary is what “Revolution OS” is about. It traces the history of GNU, Linux, Free Software and the Open Source movement.

To keep the truth close to reality, film showcases interviews from every one who contributed big to the GNU and to the birth of Linux. Includes the gurus Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman.

Here is the list of who’s who in this movie:

Linus Torvalds                Himself

Richard M. Stallman       Himself

Eric Raymond                Himself

Bruce Perens                Himself

Larry Augustin               Himself

Michael Tiemann           Himself

Brian Behlendorf            Himself

Frank Hecker                Himself

Chris DiBona                Himself (Windows Refund Day Scene)

Nick Moffitt                   Himself (Windows Refund Day Scene)

Rob Malda                   Himself (On Inflatable Couch)

Donnie Barnes             Himself

Susan Egan                 Narrator (voice)

Marc Merlin                  Himself (Silicon Valley Linux Users’ Group President)

Terry Egan                   Self (Installfest Interview)

Now, most of us know only bits and pieces of facts about Linux. Watching this movie is like putting all those previous comprehensions together in to a well molded form of knowledge.

Watching all these greats talk will surely send a chill through you spine. We are witnessing a revolution in making since the birth of Personal computing in 80s.

This 90-minute film begins with Richard Stallman’s quest to create a free operating system. Stallman kicked off the beginning of an era with his famous memo to the world community. It then follows the movement through its two-decades-long evolution in interviews with Stallman, Linus Torvalds (creator of the open-source operating system Linux), Eric Raymond (author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar), Bruce Perens (author of the Open Source Definition), Brian Behlendorf (leader of the Apache Web server project), Michael Tiemann (founder of the first open source company) and Larry Augustin (founder of VA Linux Systems)

Revolution OS enlightens and informs, but sometimes gets bogged down in the technical jargon a little too much. However, a documentary is meant to be a snapshot of a specific slice of life, and J.T.S.Moore achieves this admirably.

Revolution OS home page: http://www.revolution-os.com/

The word “hacker” has varied interpretations from various sects of people. It mostly meant negative to me, before watching this movie.

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SillyGloop : Vijay Krishnan’s creation

October 26, 2005 at 7:51 pm (Other)

Here is an interesting link.

http://spaces.msn.com/members/sillygloop/

My friend Vijay Krishnan coins a new jargon in IT humor : ” SillyGloop”

Pretty neat cartoons in black & white all about the silly things in IT that we can laugh about.

Am sure you will enjoy and refer the link back to some of your friends. The cartons are mature and at the same time funny. Not like the usual email forwards that we get everyday which you read once and forget for good.

Its like the famous PHILIPS media tag line “Sense and simplicity”

SillGloop is “sensible and funny”

http://spaces.msn.com/members/sillygloop/

Here is a sample : (Vijay’s if you think I should remove this, please tell me so)

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My Movie Review: Pirates of the Silicon Valley (English) 1999

October 20, 2005 at 7:52 pm (Technology)

Don’t watch this movie expecting to gain some anthropological knowledge out of it about computers. Of course, while watching one cannot forfeit all our good/bad prejudices about Gates and Microsoft.
 
We all know a little bit about the evolution of Microsoft as a company and how it changed our world. But what I didn’t know was that it had to fight not just IBM but also work around Apple. Today, Microsoft owns part of Apple.
 
The movie on the whole speaks about the growth of PC market. To be technical, speaks about the birth of GUI (Graphical User Interface).
 
It begins with IBM in the early 1980’s, the big brother in the computer world that everyone else feared. Everyone dressed alike at IBM, company songs and jingles filled the air, and men in suits were everywhere
 
We all know that Kareena Kapoor refused to play “Naina” in Kal Ho Na Ho which was eventually played by Preity Zinta. How stupid was that. I use this as an analogy to how HP who had all proprietary rights on whatever Steve Jobs created stupidly refused Jobs’ idea of Personal Computer with GUI. This means the idea made Jobs setup his own company called Apple Inc with some $50000 from a Venture capitalist from Intel.
 
Apple was up and running, Gates was still a geek in college doing weird stuff with his friend Ballmer and Paul. But Gates always speaks about the power of computers and the role they play is shaping the future. Gates starts Microsoft in Seattle.
 
For those who have read the book “The fate of IBM” will know more about this super cool scene in the movie where Gates attends a key meeting with IBM executives. I personally consider scene the best of the movie.

Gates’ philosophy: First make others depend on you and then exploit their needs.

In just one meeting Gates convinced IBM that they “needed” his Operating System called DOS. Add to this Gates will not sell it to IBM but will distribute it for license. IBM foolishly agreed to this thinking the money was in the hardware they produced and not the software. The final punch, Gates didn’t have any DOS with him, he just made it all up.
 
But his buddy, Paul Allen jumped in to help. He went to a local computer startup and bought the OS that they were developing for $50000. They worked more on it, and in turn licensed it to IBM as MS-DOS.
 
On the other side of the story, Apple stole from Xerox the GUI idea of using a mouse to control. Worked on it really hard and came up with Apple 1, the first GUI Operating system for common man. Obviously it was a big hit and Jobs was growing egoistic by the day. Gates was concerned with Apples growth.
 
Quoting Steve Jobs: “Good artists copy, great artists steal”
 
Jobs had own problems in both personal and professional life. When everyone sat together to do something he would start doing something else. He refuses to believe his girlfriend’s kid as his own, behaves a bad father to his kid “Lisa”. Yes, Apple’s first computer was named after his daughter Lisa. Call it professional? Followed by Lisa was the popular Macintosh. Steve Jobs continued making mistakes by treating his employees rudely. He began a new split in the company and a following anti-Macintosh campaign in side Apple itself.
 
Gates frames a plan to steal the GUI from Apple. He goes to Steve Jobs and tells him that he “needs” Gates’ help. Fate makes Jobs believe that he needs help from Microsoft. He hands over the future release codes of Mac to him to improve it. Microsoft uses all the knowledge gained from this to develop their own GUI based Windows Operating System.
 
Funny that Jobs never suspected Gates anytime until he actually saw Windows 1 shipped to the market on Japanese hardware.
 
Movie moves on to show, Steve Jobs fired from Apple (his very own brainchild).
 
Doesn’t really show much about Microsoft’s growth path or practices. But the movie ends well with Jobs getting a grip over his life, reuniting with his family and Lisa (his daughter) and in 1997 rejoining Apple Inc.
 
But now, as we all know where Microsoft and Apple stand, MS owns a substantial chunk of Apple today.
 
Movie: A must see.

Here is scene from the movie at YouTube

Disclaimer: None of the views expressed about are my own. Its what the movie says. Its all about the movie and not about the reality. If any of the above facts are wrong, then please suggest for a  change and it shall be corrected. After all, I am not trying to start a controversy here but talk about a movie I saw.

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Do we really need a Film Censor Board ?

October 10, 2005 at 8:03 pm (Other)

Censor Board:

Dozen (smart ass) people who decide on what content on the silver screen is suitable for a indian citizen to watch or not.

Now, does it not rise the question;Are Indians not smart enough to even chose what they want to watch?

Let the censor board review a movie and give it a 15+ or a 18+ or a 21+ certificate as applies. But stop there and not poke their stinking noses in to editing parts of the film as their personal instincts pleases them to. On what basis do they decide which is obscene and which is not ? what is violent and what is not ? Do they have a definition on what should be allowed and what should not ? It is all left to the personal discretion of the person who is reviewing the film, if he personally feels something is obscene he promptly refuses to issue a certificate or demand for those scenes to be cut. Can he/she not be wrong in making this decision ? Is there someone monitoring his decision ? Can someone overrule it ? Can this be challenged in the court of law ? No one knows the answers.

My sincere sympathy to the film makers who have to live with this unstable decision making body for years now. They invest crores and make a movie only to be commented by some stupid committee who think some parts of the movie are not suitable to audience? Who are these people to decide what is suitable and what is not ?

Are we Indians not smart enough to make our own choice of what to view and what not ?

Do we really need some one to tell us what is good and what is bad ? Of course I agree that age certificates are essential. But that should be the end of censor board’s power. If its a 21+ then every one can interpret that its not suitable for them. Theatres and multiplexes can be more strict in allowing under age audiences in.

I am not advocating to allow more sex and vulgarity in movies, No; that is not what I want. But I want to make my own decision to say “I do not want that” and not someone doing it for me.

Its time adults are treated like `adults` in our country. We can be responsible and make our own decisions. Of course some will not and will fail, but so what? they will learn their from mistakes and move on. After all, it is democracy and we can live our lives the way we want to.

Going through the memory lane.. you can recollect some rare regional movie of your choice being outright vulgar and you wonder how on earth was it overlooked? or was it overlooked for someone’s personal gain? And take some genuine movies like one in tamil called “virumaandi” which was played around by the censor board to issue a “go ahead”. The movie itself is a outstanding portrayal of how two different people can come up with two totally opposite view points of one incident.

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Reliance Nokia 6255 CDMA Phone

October 6, 2005 at 8:04 pm (Technology)

I have a Reliance connection and Nokia 6255 CDMA phone for about 3 months now.

I had no idea about the phone prior to buying it, all I wanted was a reliance connection with a flip model phone. Reliance didnt give me many choices and made me take this Nokia 6255 CDMA.

First, if you want technical specifications and features of the phone then please go to Reliance web.

Personally, I got reliance cos of the cheap STD rates. I recently moved from chennai to bangalore and wanted a good deal for STD calls and who gives it cheaper than reliance?

For this purpose, am happy for taking this connection.

(there is one bad thing in reliance or maybe in all CDMA i guess, the voice quality is not as good as GSM)

About the handset:-

Reliance Nokia 6255 CDMA Pros and Cons :-

:+ It is a Nokia, so its user friendly.

:- But unusually bulky for the limited features it offers. It is a flip so it is arguable to carry a little over weight, but it is a little too much.

:+/- And the shape is pathetic. It has an external antenna which is extensible, I kind of like this, it looks more retroistic. (but many of my friends hate this external antenna, they say it looks like 1947 Motorola flip phones).

:+ The keypad is good, the touch and feel is good(very very Nokia again)

:+ Display is good

:+ Menu and navigation is cool

:- Camera is pathetic, VGA

:+ Memory comes with 10MB builtin for contacts etc and 32MB MMC card too. But if you want this phone to read more than 1GB MMC then you need to upgrade the software

:- The software is the worst among the class. Why? Menus cant be customizes at all. No themes.(this is bad). :- External games and applications. By default, reliance does not allow you to do this. But some tweaking and you are there.

:+ Ring tones are good

:+ Mp3 player, cool. Plays 3GP also. Media Player is good although play list interface is a little too bad and I heard it does not support more than 150 entries, although I havent tested this limit myself.

:+ Dual display is cool

Overall. Yes. Good phone if you havent used Nokia 6600 GSM before.

R-World sucks. It really does. If you take a post paid they charge you some Rs.25 per month irrespective of whether you use it or not. And it doesnt stop here, addtional charges apply for accessing contents(yes, there are free links too, but they are the worst among the ditches). I think I missed the good old days when it was free. Now that they are charging, I dont think any one would like to pay for the crap.I heard HUTCH online is far better.

Vanakkam.

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Is Bangalore a good place to live in?

October 4, 2005 at 8:05 pm (Other)

My views and perception about Bangalore city

If you are planning to spend a weekend here, go the pub, booze and spend the night dancing in the discotheques. Yes, bangalore rocks.

But for many other reasons, it sucks.

I may be biased and I sure could be wrong, but these are just my view points.

I have been living in bangalore for only 70 days now.(Maybe a 700 more will change my mind)

But, what is it that I dislike about bangalore…:(

1) Try bringing the vehicle(car/bike) that you own from you hometown, drive it around bangalore for sometime. You would start to notice that apart from spending for the petrol, you also are spending some substantial sum as fines/bribes to traffic policemen, why?

2) Public transport is something that the ruling political party proposes and the opposition disposes. You can often see extravagant projects discussed in local newspapers, but don’t worry they are no lesser than science fictions.

3) At bangalore, people spend more time in commuting to their work place than they actually spend there every day.

4) You can come up with 1000’s of *theoretical* possibilities going to MG Road from Malleswaram on a Friday evening.

5) You call it a `bargain` when you get a 2BHK for Rs.10000 per month rent

But what if you want to make bangalore your home? What if you get a job offer here which would force to you to stay in this city for months or years together? Could you do it ?No.

As many would argue, bangalore weather is romantic and pleasant. But how much pain could one actually go through to enjoy this weather?

Having said all this, yes I am going to be struck here for the several years to come.

ps: they say every city has got its own “pulse” that runs in to the people who live there, i guess it is going to take some more time for me to feel that in my veins. Will certainly come back and write more if things change…

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