Saturday, April 30, 2005

Evites and Knoppix

While I try to retrieve data from my 200 GB hard disk, which has all of a sudden freaked out (XP is now complaining that the hard disk is in FAT format even though it is FAT32 based) using the sooper-dooper Linux software Knoppix, which can load up the complete OS from a CD, I thought I would post on something cool that I found out in an Evite invitation. Evite is a site which many (or almost all the people that I know of) use for sending out electronic invitations for parties and social occasions. The evite invitation had a hyperlink to add it to your Outlook Calender (It had the location and date and time field filled out automatically). I had not noticed this feature before and now that I have, I think this is a very cool feature. I use my Outlook Calender to keep track of almost everything like appointments, meetings, birthdays, to-dos and such. This when synced with my Treo 600 (A Palm based PDA cum phone) helps me both at work and in my personal life to keep everything organized. I am totally amazed at this neat little feature in evite!

It's 1 am in the morning and I am still trying to get back the stuff from my hard disk. Hopefully, I get it all intact.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Tiger Direct sues Apple

Lawsuits keep getting crazier everytime you hear about a new one. If you watch for deals regularly on electronic items, then you would know about the store Tiger Direct, located in Illinois. I have been to this place a couple of times - the place is a simple warehouse filled with electronic items (these guys charge a notoriously high shipping fees of over $10 for anything you buy from them). Now they have filed a lawsuit against Apple over their Tiger OS, citing that their search results are getting affected! ... <Read More>.

How to make your blog surfing "Really Simple" through RSS

Here is a post that explains how RSS (Really Simple Syndication) can make your blog/web surfing life "really simple". I have tried to make it as non-techie as possible for maximum reader-reach :-)

I would really urge/encourage all of my regulars (the ones that are in my blogroll and labs link) to enable XML feeds in their blogs, it will really help me and many others who visit your blogs to keep up with your posts (which means more comments) :-).

RSS Readers provide an offline way for viewing contents published on webpages. You wont have to keep checking web pages for updates when you subscribe for RSS Feeds, you get to know when there is an update on a particular webpage and a jist of the update is pushed onto your offline viewer. When you have a dozen or more sites/blogs that you frequent on a regular basis, it is a daunting task to keep up with all the updates on them. I use a simple RSS Reader and syndicate all the sites (which provide XML feeds) to check on updates. This way I dont miss out on my favorite blogs and also keep myself up-to-date with news from sites like CNET, Wired, Deals and such. But the sites/blogs should have RSS Feeds enabled (usually you will see a ATOM Feed link, or an XML Link or an RSS Link to indicate this).

If you are interested in enabling XML Feeds for your blog, read on:
To enable XML Feeds in : In the blogger Settings Tab, the 6th column is called "Site Feed", in that set the Publish Site Feed to "Yes", and select the Descriptions to Full or Short, according to your desire. This will give the Site Feed's address, put that in a conspicuous place on your blog (somewhere next to your profile would be a good place). And then you might have to republish your blog.

For a list of free RSS Readers:
One of the most simplest and the one that I use is RSS Reader.
Another one is SharpReader. Pluck is another one for advanced users.

Most of the RSS Readers let you categorize your blogs/sites, which is a great feature. I have here a screenshot of my RSSReader to give you an idea.

Of course, if you dont want to download a software for this you can use online sites like Bloglines, or Technorati.

NYtimes today had a very nice article explaining what RSS does and how it helps you keep a check on all the new posts on blogs/sites that you visit regularly. I have provided a jist of it, if you would like to read that, please continue.


This article was mainly about the Apple's latest OS Tiger's Safari, which has RSS built-in.

RSS (an acronym for "Rich Site Summary" and later coined "Really Simple Syndication") is a system of, well, Web-site broadcasting. Once you've signed up to receive an RSS feed (broadcast) from, say,, your RSS-reading software displays the headlines as a sort of live, constantly updated table of contents.

There's so much great information on the Web, from news to Web logs (blogs) on specialized topics. Trouble is, once you accumulate a few favorite Web sites containing interesting things, you either go crazy trying to visit them all every day to see when new stuff has been posted, or you give up, overwhelmed, and miss out on stories you would have cared about. The beauty of the RSS system is that it lets the good stuff come to you, organized in tidy digest form, free of spam and ads.

That's great and all, but there's a loaded phrase in that description: "your RSS-reading software." Fact is, most people don't have such a program, don't know where to get one, and wouldn't know how to use it. At the moment, therefore, RSS reading is a privilege reserved for the technically proficient.

... (RSS Feed) lets you know how many new articles have been published on the Web site you subscribed to you'll see, for example, " (7)" so you don't waste time visiting pages where there's nothing new.

...In essence, you've now built yourself a self-updating, personal clipping service. With one click, you make Safari display all the articles, from the Web sites you consider relevant, that pertain to a topic that interests you. It's a fantastic way to keep tabs on a sports team, movie star, company or whatever.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Ferrari and TCS

I read sometime back about TCS providing some consulting solutions to Ferrari. The other day I was browsing Ferrari's site and found a mention of TCS on their site as one of their Partners. This, indeed is a noteworthy mention and is something all the TCSers should feel really proud of.

And in the Imola Formula1 Race, it was Fernando Alonso again - a Hat-trick! Michael Schumacher is getting back into the race now. And Kartik finished 14th. 11 more days to the next race at Catalunya, Spain.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Amazing Adobe Ad!

Here is a cool ad by Adobe. Move your mouse around the page and watch some of the faces move towards the cursor. A very creative Ad! ...<Read More>.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Movie Reviews - Tango Charlie and Mumbai Express

Saw Tango Charlie and Mumbai Express. Tango Charlie (stars Bobby Deol, Ajay Devgan among others) is an alright movie - it's a story of a BSF soldier and his experiences with the contemporary disturbances in India (viz. the Kargil fight, Gujarat chaos, Bodo Fight, etc.) A pretty decent movie. Music is also pretty decent, one of the song "Akkad Te Bakkad Te", very much resembles the "Chappa Chappa" song from Maachis.

Mumbai Express is a total waste of time. Didnt think Kamal would make such an idiotic movie. No story at all. The movie started off with a bit of comedy that was enjoyable, but slowly the story started to drift apart(so did the comedy), and I completely lost interest in watching it half way through. Just a complete waste of time.

I had an ER (Emergency Room) experience a couple of days back for a very bad neck sprain. More on that(and more posts) once I get well.

Find what you need!

Here is a cool link that tells you about finding what you need with the best Search Engines. Depending on what you need to find, it's got a variety of Search engines that might give you the best results. For example, if you would like to find out the visual representation of your results, the you can try it on, or if you are interested in searching for Sounds of animals, say a cow, then you could try<Read More>.

Found the link from

Monday, April 18, 2005

The playing field is being leveled!

Nandan Nilekani, CEO of Infosys says to a NY Times reporter that the East is now an equally competetive place for global knowledge work...<Read More>

Am back!

Spent most of the Tamil New Year's Day (April 14th) fasting for the surgery. Finally after an hour's delay the Surgery was done at 4pm. My family was right next to me, which made this entire process almost painless. There were atleast 6 or 7 nurses who took care of me at various stages (pre-surgery, during surgery, recovery room, post-surgery) and I was totally amazed at the way they handled my information. Everyone seemed to know exactly what needed to be done at that point, what exactly was my position and answered all of our questions at that point very well. At this juncture, I got reminded of an article that I read at, about IT Oppurtunities at Hospitals, it discusses how things could be automated there. A very interesting read ... <Read More>.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Will be back soon!

Had a minor surgery yesterday, due to which I dont think I will post for a couple of days. Will be back soon. Thanks to all for the New Year wishes. Hope all of you folks have a good and prosperous new year!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

BPO Scam

Employees from the BPO company Mphasis, fradulently withdrew $350,000 from the bank accounts of 4 Citibank customers.

According to a Forrester report,
"The incident will undermine call centre expansion by as much as 30 per cent as security concerns, regulatory pressure, and end customer backlash lengthen sales cycles, impede the ramping up of larger projects, or drive firms to take the captive route".
In essence, the report is indicating that the BPO growth might get hit by upto 30%!...<Read More>.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Tech News - Xbox2, PS3, Notebooks, TVs and iPods

MTV will host an exclusive show to debut the next XBOX on May 12. The show will be hosted by Frodo (Elijah Wood), the hero of the film Lord of the Rings...<Read More>. Both Xbox 2 and PlayStation 3 are launching on the same day - May 16th, although actual sales are expected around Q1 2006...<Read More>.

Notebooks running on fuel cells: IBM Thinkpad prototypes running on methanol-based fuel cells...<Read More>.

Television tubes through the years. Here is a collection of pictures of TVs over the years, including the 4-inch Television by GE...<Read More>.

iPods as Heart Rate monitors...<Read More>.

Mercedes Benz Driving Event

For those of you who are interested in test driving a Mercedes Benz SUV, here is a driving event in the US (available in many major cities). I have been to several driving events by Lexus and Volvo. Havent been to a one by Benz. Let's see how good that is. A friend, and I have already signed up for this event. Let's see how good it is...<Read More>

Rahman and Lata

Rahman's getting this year's Lata Mangeshkar award. This award was started in the year 1984...<Read More>.

PS: I tried to google who were the previous recipients of this award, but didnt find any good results. Anybody knows if there is a list of previous award winners somewhere on the web?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Gmail's Lockdown in Sector 4!

My Gmail account's locked for a 24 hour period because of some unusually high activity!

Update: It seems like they have locked the access only from a specific IP. It seems to be working fine at my office.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Hindi Music Review - Bose The Forgotten Hero

Allah Rakha Rahman (aka A.R. Rahman) has done it once again. His music truly represents the modern patrons of Indian patriotism. His Vande Mataram was the start, then came The Legend of Bhagat Singh, after that was Swades and now it is Bose - The Forgotten Hero. With each and every major release he seems to be stepping up with his music. Earlier his music was more South Indian with a western tinge. Then he proved that he can do the same magic in hindi films too (some notable ones include Dil Se, Rangeela, Zubeida, Tehzeeb, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Yuva). And then he went on to include western choirs in the music and later went on to include seperate instrumental themes. With Bose he has done a lot of instrumental themes, as varied as two of them with an Afghan Theme, two titled Emilie's Theme (It seems Emilie was his Austrian Wife), two war themes, a Hitler Theme, a U-Boat Theme, a National Anthem theme out of a total of 13 instrumental songs. The rest of the music in the remaining 7 songs, features excellent singers...<Continued...>

My personal favorite is the "Ekla Chalo", sung by Nachiketa Chakraborty and Sonu Nigam. The beginning of this song features a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, with a deep meaning. This verse has been excellently sung by Nachiketa. Although I wasnt quite impressed with the usage of Sonu Nigam for this piece - no denying that he is a very good singer, but I think a fresher voice would have made this song even better. While Googling about the music, I found that such songs are called Rabindra Sangeet which have a mix of Bengali and Hindi.

"Aazadi" starts off with a choir and then comes the voice of Rahman - he has a great voice too, and he always sings only those songs that fit within his vocal range (this single characteristic is enough to set him apart from Anu Malik - have you heard his Let's play Holi song from Waqt). A classic example is the "Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera" which he sung in Swades, his voice suited the song just perfectly.

"Kadam Kadam" is a good number with drum beats that is very typical in a patriotic film. "Hum Dilli Dilli Jayenge" also follows the same pattern.

"Des Ki Mitti" is a slow song which is alright (Sonu Nigam again). "Zikr" is a slow sufi type of song. "Ghoomparani" is very well sung by Sapna Mukherjee and Satyanarayan Mishra. I liked the way she pronounces the words "Ghoomparani mashi pishi...".

About the minuses in this album: Madhushree, my favorite singer is conspicuously absent in this album. Two songs feature Sonu Nigam, would have preferred someone with a fresher voice.

Overall, this is a must-have Rahman album. Dont miss it.

And by the way, the movie is directed by Shyam Benegal and lyrics is by the God Javed Akthar.

<Research was done using the help of Google.>
References include:

Real-life Hero

I was reading Vidya's Blog when I found this link. Very moving story, Siddharth has a Master's Degree in Economics with Distinction! I recently read elsewhere that, the difference between normal and special people is that in normal people the +ves overshadow the -ves, while in special people thats not the case and people tend to see only the -ves...<Read More>.

Picture Courtesy : Rediff

Sunday, April 03, 2005

F1 Racing

Got the tickets to the Formula 1 Race at Indianapolis, USA on June 19. Got it in the J stand - one of the better stands which gives you an upclose look at the cars (and maybe the drivers too because of its proximity to a couple of turns), originally I wanted to get it in the H stand, but because of the delay in buying the tickets missed out on that. Also subscribed to Speed Channel with my Cable, now I can watch the F1 racing live on TV! Just watched the Bahrain F1 Race and Narain had to pull out of the race because of problems with his car. Micheal Schumacher also retired because of engine problems - Ferrari hasnt been doing good so far, this year. The spaniyard, Fernando Alonso, has won the race back-to-back and also has won a podium finish for the third time in succession.

Picture Courtesy:

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Hindi Movie Review - Sheesha

If you have watched the tamil film Vaali (starring Ajeet and Simran) then you wont need to watch this film. The story is very similar (I didnt realize it until a friend of mine told me about it). The only difference between Vaali and Sheesha is that Neha Dupia is doing the double role. Quite an ordinary film, with ample sleaze provided by Neha Dupia. If you have other important things to do in life you can skip this film, but if you insist that you are as jobless as I am, then please go ahead and watch it ;-)

The music, composed by Sen Brothers, is very good. I liked most of the songs in it. "Yaar Ko Maine" sung by Kunal Ganjawala is outstanding. The same song sung by the latest nightingale, Madhushree, is just amazing. This is the song which one should listen to in a dark room with eyes closed in a peaceful environment (for added effects, you can listen to it with your loved one). "Kar Mundhya" is a peppy song, sung by Sonu Kakkar (she shot to fame with her "Babuji Zara Dheere Chalo" song in Dum). One more peppy song sung by Shehzad (I think he has sung for Rahman quite recently, although cant remember which song - neither can Dr.Google) and Alka Yagnik "Main Ho gaye Atrah Sal ki" is also good, but there have been similar tunes in the recent past. "Mujhe Jeena Sikhadho" sung by Kunal and Shreya Ghoshal is quite average. I call it average because there have been many songs in the recent past with a similar tune. Overall music by Sen Brothers is very good. They are now on my hindi music composer watchlist (it used to consist of Rahman, Shankar-Ehsan-Loy and Salim-Sulaiman).

Verdict: Average film, good music.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Timepass News

Cerebral Shangrila has posted the Apple Ad with Gandhiji in it. The caption is simple, Think Different.

Gmail is increasing it's storage size. They are going to increase it tp upto 2 GB. Already my account shows a 1.775 GB.

If you havent heard about it yet, here it is, Google Gulp!