December 30, 2009

Welcome to the Real World

After a little more than a year, my mom has left Hyderabad and I am gonna be living alone again.  As I was coming back from the railway station I started thinking about how things are going to be from now onwards.

I like using a bike for my travels than a car.  I hate air-conditioned buses and trains.  When I am inside them, I feel like an animal inside a cage, completely separated from the "real world".  On a bike it's different: I am in the real world.  I can feel the wind, I can feel the sun; there isn't anything between me and the world.

Managing/maintaining a house is a lot of work.  Countless small small things to be taken care of pop up from nowhere.  When I live with my mom, she takes care of many things for me.  But now, I have to do everything by myself.  When there is no water at home I have to go get it.  Every week I have to get my laundry done, otherwise I will soon run out of clothes to wear.  If I don't make any plans for my meals I'd have to stay hungry.  And so on.  For me, this feels like being in the real world.  Nothing goes unnoticed.  I have to work to earn every single necessity or comfort.  I like real world!

One other thing about living alone is freedom.  Quite often I'd take the bike and leave home.  After getting on the road only I'd start thinking where I can go.  When there's someone else living with me, I can't do that.  I have to say in advance where I am going and when they can expect my return.  This freedom, freedom to defer thinking about my plans till the last moment, is something I love to have.

And there are certain "weird" things I'd do if I am alone.  Like, sitting under the street light and reading a novel at 2 o' clock in the night.  I can do this when my mom is with me; but having to tell her before getting out of the house (in the middle of her sleep) is something I will never want to do.  Now I am free to do crazy things of this sort.

And there's more to it.  2010 for me starts in a "real world".  Going to be fun :)

December 22, 2009

Random Thoughts: Life ain't a courtroom

When something bitter happens between me and another person, I say to myself "Life is not a courtroom."  Until today, I could interpret this in only one way: there is no point in finding out whose fault it is.  If a relationship has a problem it's the problem of everyone involved in the relationship.  There's no point in isolating one person and blaming them.

Today, as I was thinking about it I found a different interpretation of the same phrase.  A courtroom is a place where judgments are given in a "fair" way.  At least, they make an effort to be fair when they try and judge.  However, life is not like that.  People would judge without no or very little trial and analysis.

Random Thoughts: Language

I believe that everyone has their own language and their own religion.  In this post, I am gonna talk only about language.

If you have ever seriously discussed anything with me, you might already know that I look at things from a different viewpoint than the mythical "common person."  When I say something, my friends usually find it hard to agree with it; but after I explain what I really mean, most of the times they say "Oh you're talking about that!  Yeah, maybe you're right, but I don't care about that (and it's useless to think about all that)."

I once told a friend that she respects other people.  In my usage "respect" has a completely different meaning than what she understands by the same word.  She disagreed, and thought I could never understand her.  Being the adamant kid I am, I like to stick to the meaning I give to that word.  It makes communication a little hard, I agree; but I try to compress more meaning into one word, and such a compression helps me think easier.

I heard Gautama Buddha invented Pali language for his teachings because he didn't want to use any existing language as that would lead to confusion: he wanted to use new words and a new language because all he was talking were new ideas.  I am, I like to think, doing pretty much the same: but I reuse words from languages I know.  It makes sense to me for now at least, because philosophy is an area where you travel alone.  Well, not exactly.  You need people to talk to: people who don't agree with your ideas.  Telling your ideas to people is the way you learn your own ideas.   But the learning and seeking is a task you do alone.  And the discoveries are your own personal discoveries.  Like Hesse says in Siddhartha: wisdom cannot be passed from one person to another.

I feel shy to read what I have just said: I am saying that I'm doing what Buddha did!  Well, to think of it in a different way, saying "I play cricket" and "I am Sachin" are two completely different things.  I am doing what Buddha did, but at my own levels with my own abilities.  He sought understanding and wisdom and so am I.  Until a few days back I wouldn't have accepted it if someone called me a philosopher: but today, I think I am a philosopher.  A philosopher who doesn't have a philosophy yet.  Although formulating a set of philosophies is definitely not the goal I am working towards.

December 21, 2009

Random Thoughts: Mirrors

Everything and everyone is a mirror.  We know it when we have the appropriate vision.

Random Thoughts: Avoiding people

Having to avoid someone you like is bad.  What's worse?  Them not even recognising or caring that you avoid them.

Random Thoughts: Love and hate

You may like a person or hate them.  There's nothing wrong in it.  You don't even need a reason: if you don't have one, don't bother to find one.  Only thing that you probably should keep in mind is that every coin has two sides.

December 16, 2009

Leaving ASAP

I misplaced my self-respect.
Here, in this very room.
I'll leave as soon as I find it.

While I am still here,
Let me remind you, oh my love,
How badly I want to be your slave!

December 13, 2009

Fake friend

Rosy's toy collection was pretty small.  She had a plastic bottle and a small plastic box.  Every day she would fill her bottle with water.  In the plastic box she had some salt.  For months, these were her only toys.  She would make a different story every day with salt and water.  She will empty the water bottle when the game ends, but she will keep the salt in its box.  Salt is a closer friend to her than water, she thought, and she was loyal to her friend.

One day, a neighbouring brat ran his bicycle over her salt box and the box broke.  Thankfully, most of the salt remained in the box.  Rosy cried her heart out for a few minutes.  But no one came to help, so she had to console herself and find a way to fix the broken toy.

Her inspection of the salt box revealed that it might be possible to repair the box with Quick Fix.  But for that, the box had to emptied.  Rosy didn't have a spare box to keep the salt in.  After a little thinking, she decided she would put the salt into the water bottle while the box is being repaired.  So she dumped the remaining salt into water and ran into her house to fix the box.

It was a lot of work, but Rosy had fixed the box without anyone's help.  Her friend Salt would be proud of her for her accomplishment.  And it will be happy for having such a caring friend.  She ran to the water bottle only to see that the salt had ran away from her.  She can't believe a friend whom she loved so much, and cared for so much can just run away for no reason.  In fact, she was going out of her way to protect the same friend when the friend betrayed her and ran away.  This made her extremely angry and sad at the same time.

That was Rosy's first encounter with fake friends.  Since then she's been seeing so many that she is not much surprised when she finds a friend to be fake.  Although she is very sick and tired of meeting fake people again and again.

December 11, 2009

Prayer



As we all hope, dear god, show us some light!

December 09, 2009

Random Thoughts: Life - 2

A friend of mine said 'Life is music, listen to its rhythm.'  I said, 'Life is a music player, and it comes with a Pause button.'

Every morning before you start your day, ask yourself: 'Have I still left it paused?'

Random thoughts: Annoyance

If someone irritates you once, maybe it's her fault.  If she irritates you again and again it's most likely to be your fault.  Think before you blame her.

December 02, 2009

Right is not an option



Sometimes, going right is not an option.

November 26, 2009

I like cloud

When I am ill, I have two options: I can do something myself to cure my illness.  Or I can go to a doctor and seek help.  My doctor will get to know that I have piles or constipation or AIDS or any such "embarrassing" disease, of course.  But the treatment I get would be way better than the treatment I'd have done myself.

The same goes with keeping my data on the cloud.  I have two options to keep and protect my data.  I can store them in my own computers and hard disks and DVDs.  Or I can store them "on the cloud" where some expert takes care of protecting my data.  I believe those who run Picasa Web know much better to protect my data than I do.  I know I cannot afford to keep as many backup copies as the Picasa guys can.  And hey, it's free (mostly) to store your data online.

PS: I like these clouds too :)

Google bashing is the next cool thing

There is hate, and then there is blind hate.  There is fear, and then there is paranoia.  Reading this Google-basing post in The Registrar makes me think that the author is a paranoid who just blindly hates Google.

The author is not happy with the way Android project is run by Google.  That's pretty much it.  Maybe it really is hard for third party to track Android development progress. [Update: I just remembered that Android project is run by Open Handset Alliance in which 50 companies are partners.  Although Google might have a lot of say in OHA, I don't think Google makes all project decisions and the rest of OHA only nods to everything that Google says.]  But the way the post is written is, hmmm, funny.
Developers have almost no place in Google's grand plan
it says.  Google gave a preview of Wave to the developer community and there's a sandbox environment for the developers to try out and build apps for Wave.  And this was done years before the product's beta launch.  (Wave is not solely Web development, by the way.)
And with Google dictating hardware terms for the Chrome OS - not to mention the swirling rumors of a Google-branded Googlephone - even hardware developers can't be sure of their place in Google's world.
In the video (and I am pretty sure in many other places too) they tell explicitly: Chrome OS does unprecedented and very aggressive optimization to the start-up process.  Such an optimization makes a lot of assumptions about the hardware it runs on.  So it can only run on hardware that match these assumptions.

Besides, operating system is the lowest level software[*] your computer runs and it's not uncommon for an OS to require special hardware to run on.  (For a long time, Solaris ran only on SPARC machines.  Even now, Mac OS runs only on Apple hardware.  Windows does not run on many processors.)
But make no mistake: The plan is to collect your data and serve you ads.
Oh yes.  And also, do you know why Google gives free wi-fi Internet in Mountain View? To collect your data.  Do you know why Google keeps Bing as a search engine option in Chrome? To collect your data.  Do you know why Google uses solar electricity in their Mountain View campus?  To collect your data.  Do you know why Google gives you free access to millions of books?  To collect your data.
Google wants to force you into using its very own web-based services/data-hoarding ad platforms.
Like how?  By letting you download all your Google Docs files with one mouse click?  By not letting companies like Microsoft and Apple develop software?  (Google has written loads of Windows, Mac, and iPhone applications in fact.)  Gmail was the first web email client to let you access your email from desktop clients for free.
If [Chrome OS] can't run native applications, it can't run Skype.
Yes, it cannot.  Your shiny Apple computer cannot run WinAmp either.  Your Windows mobile cannot run iPhone apps either.  If Skype won't develop a web client and Skype is important for you, you don't buy a Chrome OS computer.  You don't need to be an Einstein to understand that,  I guess.
It can't run all sorts of media players and IM clients.
Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, and Facebook have web-based chat clients as far as I know.  And there's Meebo if you use a different IM service.


Once Microsoft bashing was considered to be the Cool Thing.  Now Google bashing is, maybe.

[*] Low level software deal with idiosyncrasies of the hardware it's running on.  Think of it this way: reading a spreadsheet from a hard disk and from a DVD are the same thing for Excel (because it's a high level software), but they are very different for Windows (because it's at a lower level, closer to hardware, than Excel.)

Disclaimer: This post (and everything in this blog) is my own personal opinion.  I am not speaking for my employer or any other party.

November 19, 2009

Random Thoughts: Hope

Yes, hope is not a strategy.  But when you don't have a strategy, you're better off with some hope.

Random Thoughts: Self-pity and worries

This is a note I am writing to myself.  You may not want to read it.

"Frame every so-called disaster with these words: In 5 years, will this matter?" is one of Life's 45 Lessons.  I want to add one more view-point to the so-called disasters.  I want to ask myself whenever I am worried about something, "If I will die tomorrow, is this worth worrying about now?"

Like a wise man once said, we worry because that makes us feel good (yes, feel good).  Self-pity is an addiction you wouldn't usually want to get rid of.  Like most addictions, self-pity also does undesirable things to us in the long run.  So I'm gonna tell myself that self-pity is for people who don't care, but I do care about myself.  I'm gonna ask myself these two questions as soon as I become conscious that I am worrying.

I am writing this down here, on my public blog because I want to remember this choice I am making now.  So, no more self-pity, Kanna.  And remember the questions.

November 16, 2009

Random Thoughts: Letting go

If we consciously think about each step, we cannot even walk fast.  The secret is letting go.

Random Thoughts: Freedom and happiness

Freedom is not free.  You have to earn it.  So is happiness.  If you just sit idle waiting for happiness to knock your door, probably you are gonna wait for a very long time.

November 08, 2009

Hopping crow

Soon after the car hit the dog
There came some twenty crows.
Some flying, some hopping
They ate the driver's sin.

There I saw the one-legged crow
As he hopped near the dead dog.
He didn't have a wheelchair.
Neither did he skip the queue.

I smiled, clutching my crutches.

November 01, 2009

Random Thoughts: Life

Life: is that any different from a band in a spectrum?

October 19, 2009

Smooth volume change in KDE

Of late, I am annoyed by my ThinkPad laptop's volume controls increasing and decreasing volume in steps of 19 (so practically I get only 5 different volume levels).  Today I decided to write a shell script to control volume, rather using the volume buttons on the laptop.  Since I use KDE, making the script talk to KMix using DCOP would be easy and portable (as in, the script will work on any machine running KDE).

KMix's DCOP interface is documented in its manual.  Here is the shell script in its entirety.  It's also available as a downloadable file to save you some typing.

#!/bin/bash
#
# Adjusts speaker volume in KDE.  Does so by sending DCOP commands to KMix.

set -e

function get_volume {
    dcop kmix Mixer0 masterVolume
}

function set_volume {
    dcop kmix Mixer0 setMasterVolume "$1"
}

if [[ "$1" == "" ]]; then
    get_volume
    exit 0
fi

old_volume=$(get_volume)

operator="$1"
shift

case "$operator" in
+)
    set_volume $(expr $(get_volume) + 5)
    ;;
-)
    set_volume $(expr $(get_volume) - 3)
    ;;
*)
    echo >&2 Unrecognized operator "$operator".  Use + to increase and - to decrease volume.
    exit 1
esac

I have saved this file with the name speaker-volume.  When this script is run without any arguments, it prints the current volume level.  When passed "+" as the argument it increases the volume by a small amount, and decreases it when "-" is passed as the argument.

$ ./speaker-volume
58
$ ./speaker-volume +
$ ./speaker-volume
61
$ ./speaker-volume -
$ ./speaker-volume
57

(You may notice that the increase and decrease in the volume is not accurate; I don't know why it is so.  +5 and -3 work reasonably well on my T60p laptop running Kubuntu Hardy.  You may have to tweak these numbers to suit your computer/taste.)

Tip: To make it easy to adjust volume, you can define global shortcut keys as described in my post about adjusting screen brightness.

September 30, 2009

Heaven and Hell

After being in Hell[*] for about a week, I ran into Yama.  He asked me how everything was, and I said, "it isn't as bad as I had thought."

"I'm glad to know that," he smiled.

"I wonder how Heaven would be!  It must be awesome to live in there," I said.

Yama chuckled and said, "Will tell you a secret.  It's pretty much the same.  Only it has a different name."

I was surprised to no end by this answer.  I thought for a second and said "Hmm... but I guess people in Heaven would be a hundred times happier than those in Hell."

"That's what even the people in Heaven think.  You know what I think?  Heaven and Hell start at Earth, and they end near their entrances."


[*] I mean Hell in general not the Christian Hell.

I'm over you

That's what I believed
Until this night broke me again.
Each broken piece has one want:
Won't you say that at least once?

September 29, 2009

Some day



Don't remember how long I've been looking at the road and the parked car.  Some day the tyre trails will extend to the road.  Some day I'll have the motivation to drive.  Some day I'll be at the  other end of this road.  Some day I'll think of the blocks that made me park my car and stare at the road.  Yes, some day... but for now, give me a drink!

Photo taken by Bharat Kumar in Death Valley National Park, California.

September 20, 2009

Search is a hard problem

Text search is a very hard problem.  Especially when it comes to Web search.  Bing is growing very fast as a web search engine, with more than 10% market share.  I've been using Google Search for years, and I like Google.  Every now and then I compare Bing's results with Google's to see how Bing is catching up with Google.

Recently I am annoyed with Java updates plugging in Carbonite backup software, so I wanted to see what people in general think about it.  I did a Twitter search and got no results at all!



I myself had tweeted about it a few days back, so I knew Twitter Search is broken and I should use a different search engine.  I tried Google and found at least 60 tweets!




Now that I am sure Twitter search is terribly broken, I thought of trying the same query on Bing.  Bing cannot see more than 5 tweets.  But still, it's better than Twitter's own search.



For now, I have set up a custom search engine in my Chrome browser so that I can search from the address bar itself.  This is how I did it:

  1. Click on Chrome's wrench menu and choose Options.
  2. In Basic tab, click on Manage button near the default search engine's name.
  3. Click on Add button.
  4. Type http://google.com/search?q=site:twitter.com+%s for URL.
  5. Enter a name and keyword of your choice.  I entered Search Twitter.com as name and twit as keyword.

With this new search keyword, I can type twit bing google in address bar to search for tweets containing the words bing and google.




(BTW, did you notice there's no link to Advanced Search UI from Bing's home page?)

September 19, 2009

Vista's awesome Program Compatibility Assistant

I have a Windoze machine at my workplace.  It's running Vista, which brings wow experience to your computers.  Today I upgraded my VLC player to the latest version and when I open VLC, Windoze decided to save me from falling off earth into nowhere:



Windoze expects me to decide and tell if the installation went fine before even opening the app.  Before going mad, I saw the help link in the bottom that read "What settings are applied?"  Ah good, now it's gonna show me the settings used by the new app and I can tell if it's correct or not.  So I click on the link and this is all I see:



Oh well.  Using Windoze is like being handicapped.  You just get used to it over time.  If you manage to successfully move away from it, you pray you never have to go back again. 


PS: FWIW, A quick Google search seems to suggest that not a lot of people like this feature:



September 17, 2009

Random Thoughts: Ego

Thoughts like "I am weak" and "I am inferior" feed your ego as much as thoughts like "I am strong" and "I am awesome".  Dealing with ego is tricky!  (And this knowledge about ego feeds my ego too.)

September 08, 2009

Chrome apps on Linux

Update: As of version 4.0.213.1, Chrome on Linux supports applications shortcuts.  (However, it uses Chrome's icon for shortcuts instead of the website's icon.)

If you are running the pre-release dev version of Chrome on Linux, you probably know that the Application Shortcuts feature of Chrome is not functional yet.  If that is one of your favourite features, you don't have to wait till the Chrome team implements it; if you are willing to create the shortcuts manually, you can get that feature right now.

Here is how you'd create an application shortcut for Gmail (in KDE):
  1. Right click on desktop, select Create New > Link to Application...
  2. Download Gmail logo from http://mail.google.com/mail/images/2/gmail_icon_32.png and save it somewhere.
  3. Click on the icon near the app name to change the icon.  This brings the Select Icon window.  Choose Other icons options.  Click on Browse... button and choose the icon you saved in the previous step.


  4. Type Gmail for the name of the application.
  5. Switch to Application tab.  Type /usr/bin/google-chrome --app=http://mail.google.com/ --enable-plugins for Command.
  6. Press OK button to save the shortcut.
That's all you have to do.  You can now click on the Gmail shortcut from your desktop and it opens Gmail in its own window.  As you might have observed, you only have to change the URL in the command line and the icon to create shortcuts for other web apps.

Random Thoughts: Addictions again

Did I say every addiction fills a gap?  I guess I was wrong.  Every addiction temporarily hides a gap.  You forget and ignore the gap for a while.  When your ignorant bliss fades away, the gap surfaces again.  It doesn't take too long before you seek help from your addiction again.  Understanding and accepting to live with the addiction is probably a better, although difficult, thing to do.

Compiz and Docking Windows

OpenOffice is one among many programs that lets us dock small tool windows to the main application window instead of keeping them as floating tool windows.  OpenOffice blog explains how this is done.

If you have Compiz running on your machine, you might find that docking doesn't work anymore.  Moving the tool window near the application window won't show any sign of docking at all.  You need to disable a certain Compiz setting for this to work.  Here's how you would do it:
  1. Open Compiz Settings Manager.  You can do it by running ccsm command, or choosing Advanced Desktop Effects Settings from K Menu > Settings on KDE.
  2. Click on Move Window item from the right-hand side pane.  (Not on the checkbox; click on the icon or the text "Move Window" itself.  That opens the options window for this item.)
  3. Uncheck Lazy Positioning option, if it's checked.

That's it.  Now you should be able to dock your tool windows.

August 21, 2009

Books I want to reread

There are some books that you read at some point in your life and that changes the way you see life drastically.  Whenever those books come to your mind you think of them fondly and you want to read them again, don't you?  This is the list of books I want to read again:

August 15, 2009

Quotes: The Idiot

I had no idea who Dostoevsky was, when I bought a book that had Tamil translations of Dostoevsky’s two short stories and a novella.  The book, especially The Gambler, gave me a completely new experience in reading.  I determined then to read as many of his books as possible; and a few days back I finished The Idiot.  Here are some quotes I collected along the way:
  • It is written ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ so because he has killed, are we to kill him?  No, that’s impossible.
  • But afterwards I fancied one might find a wealth of life even in prison.
  • Nothing should be concealed from children on the pretext that they are little and that it is too early for them to understand.
  • There’s nothing better than a bird in the world.
  • The soul is healed by being with children.
  • It’s difficult to judge beauty; I am not ready yet.  Beauty is a riddle.
  • All have their failings, and their peculiarities, some perhaps even more than those who are usually looked down upon for it.
  • What’s most low and hateful about money is that even talent can be bought with it, and will be, till the end of the world.
  • There are strange people in the world, Afanasy Ivanovitch.
  • But people will laugh at all sorts of things.
  • Yes, I’ll put off judging that man who sold his Christ.  God only knows what’s hidden in those weak and drunken hearts.
  • God has just such gladness every time he sees from heaven that a sinner is praying to Him with all his heart, as a mother has when she sees the first smile on her baby’s face.
  • Compassion was the chief and perhaps only law of all human existence.
  • No, it was not that “the Russian soul was a dark place,” but that in his own soul there was darkness, since he could imagine such horrors!
  • We are all ridiculously good-natured people.
  • But a certain dullness of mind seems an almost necessary qualification, if not for every public man, at least for everyone seriously engaged in making money.
  • If you have a wart on the forehead or on the nose, you always fancy that no one has anything else to do in the world than stare at your wart, make fun of it, and despise you for it, even though you have discovered America.
  • You may be sure that Columbus was happy not when he had discovered America, but when he was discovering it.
  • Men are created to torment one another.
  • Every blade of grass grows and is happy! Everything has its path, and everything knows its path, and with a song goes forth, and with a song returns.
  • Everything always goes right with some people, while with others nothing ever comes off....
  • Nothing is easier for “ordinary” people of limited intelligence than to imagine themselves exceptional and original and to revel in that delusion without the slightest misgiving.
  • Don’t let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex and varied than our subsequent explanations of them. And these can rarely be distinctly defined.
  • There are cases when one may sometimes burn one’s ships and not go home again. Life does not consist only of lunches and dinners and Prince S.’s.
  • Why is it we never can know everything about another person, when one ought to, when that other one’s to blame!

August 14, 2009

A fast lone sparrow
In an almost dark sky.
Who'd know its story?

August 06, 2009

Captchas should go away, seriously

Facebook very often reminds me of Mordac.  What am I supposed to tell those stupid servers to prove that I am human? :-/

July 29, 2009

Random Thought: Addictions

Every addiction fills a gap.  When the mind is intimidated by the nothingness of void, it falls back into one of its acquired addictions.

Thoughts, for example, is an addiction.  Try stopping your thought process for a few seconds.  No, you can't think "I am not thinking anything" or "wow, this is hard", just stop every single thought in your mind.  If you could get at least one second without thoughts, you will know how overwhelming that void is.  The mind, unaccustomed to such a void, falls back into its thoughts.

July 27, 2009

Random Thought: Love and dream

Love is like dreams. You know it was just a dream only after you wake up.

Some people sleep dreamless; some people dream every night.

July 26, 2009

Love for the ball

The first ball in my career went for a sixer.
"That was a bad ball," I thought.
Soon I realised it was a bad over.
Then I found it was a bad spell.
We lost.  A very bad first match!
We returned early; bad series it was.

3 years later, I'm thinking,
Feeling the red shiny ball in my hands.
That was a bad career move.

July 25, 2009

My experience with T-Mobile Android G1

How long have I been using it?
For about 3 months now.
Do I like it?
Yes
Will I swap it for an iPhone?
No
Will I swap it for the cool new iPhone 3GS?
Nope
Why not?
I need a physical keyboard. Plus, I am not a fan of Apple's products
Will I swap it for a Palm Pre (when there is a GSM version of the phone, of course)?
I will, most likely
What do I like in the G1 phone?
  • Touchscreen -- I have always liked touchscreens (but not as the ONLY means to control the device)
  • Android OS -- one of the best phone operating systems I have used
  • Has a decent number of apps available in the market and I can write my own if I want, with free tools
  • Seamless integration with my Google Account and syncing of my contacts with Gmail
What do I not like much?
  • Battery life -- I don't want to remember to charge my phone every night
  • Not so easy to use physical keyboard
  • And a few minor annoyances (but minor annoyances are with every device!)
Will I recommend it to my friend?
Depends on what my friend needs
What will I tell the people who say their G1 phone is slow?
  • Don't run too many apps in the background. I used to run both Google Talk and Meebo running in the background and it made the phone considerably slow. Now I don't do that anymore.
  • Do not enable SSL (or encrypted connections) if you don't really need it. Twidroid especially was apparently sluggish with SSL enabled.
  • Try to use as few widgets on the home screen as possible. Widgets are more or less like background applications. My phone got intolerably slow when I had about 4 widgets on the home screen. (Now I have only one.)
What I wish Android OS had?
Ability to write apps in Python or other some higher level language than Java
Overall, what would I rate my phone, on a scale of 1 to 5?
4. I am very happy with it.

REPL or Interactive Shell for Java

You can use the interactive shell/REPL of BeanShell to execute arbitrary Java code and see the results.

For example:
bsh % print (new java.util.Date());
Sat Jul 25 15:11:35 IST 2009
Without BeanShell, I would do something like this for trying out the same code:
// Save this in a file, say Test.java 
class Test {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    System.out.println(new java.util.Date()); 
  }
}
Save this file, compile it using javac Test.java, fix any compilation errors, and run using java Test.  Thank you BeanShell, for saving me a lot of time and trouble!

A 2-line user's manual

Enough has been discussed about user interfaces for decades!  Even now, machines (or rather, the people who make those machines, programmers like me) haven't learned to say only what is required to be said.


This UI has four buttons and a tiny "user manual" besides the buttons.  The manual only describes two buttons -- OK and Next buttons.  God knows what Exit and Ignore buttons do.  I have used this UI maybe 50 times in the past one year, and I still cannot figure out what Next and OK buttons do without reading the "manual"!

If I were designing this UI, I would simply list all the available trays with the corresponding paper type/size and let the user pick one.  If that design is not possible for some reason I would only have two choices: one that says "Use paper from this tray" and another that says "Find another tray".

July 18, 2009

Optimism

Optimism is good,
I was told.
I started gambling.

June 30, 2009

What would AirTel do?

What do you do if you owe some 60 paise to your old friend?  If you were AirTel you would spend some 5 rupees every month and keep assuring your friend that you still remember that 60 paise :)

June 29, 2009

How I use Gajim for Google Talk

Edit: If Gajim doesn't connect to Google Talk, check if you're using talk.google.com:5223 as the host and port to connect to.  Here's a screenshot of the configuration window for reference.  (Click on the image to see a larger version.)


Original post:
Several times in the past I have tried to use a native IM client like Pidgin or Psi or Gajim for Google Talk (since there is no Linux version of official Google Talk client).  I tried about half a dozen different clients and liked Gajim the most.  However, there was something that stopped me from using it as my Google Talk client.

You might have noticed that if you change your status message from Google Talk (stand-alone application), your chat status in Gmail will be automatically updated to whatever your new status on Google Talk is.  And vice versa: change your status in Gmail and your status in Google Talk changes too.  This is a cool feature that's been implemented by Google Talk.  But XMMP, the protocol used by Google Talk allows users to use different status messages on different chat clients simultaneously.  Third party chat clients will not copy your status message from Gmail (or vice versa).

So what would happen if I am logged into Gajim and Gmail Chat simultaneously?  My friends would see the status message I set in Gajim and Gmail randomly* at different times.  Because of this I didn't use Gajim, although I disliked the slowness of Firefox.  Recently I found out how to use Gajim and "hide" the status message I set in Gajim from my friends.

Here's how I did it: In Gajim's account configuration settings dialog, I unchecked "Adjust to status" checkbox and specified a low priority.  I used priority 5; but any number less than 10 would do, I guess.  (When this checkbox is checked, Gajim sets the priority to 50 when I'm actively using the compuer, while Google Talk and Gmail sets the priority to 24).  My friends' IM clients, including Google Talk, would use the status from the client that has the highest priority.  Using a low priority ensures that my friends see the status message I set in Gmail.



But when Gmail chat goes "idle", it sets the client priority to 0.  That means my status specified in Gajim takes precedence since its priority is set to 5.  To prevent this, I always choose "Not Available" as my status in Gajim.  This way, when I go idle on Gmail, my friends still see the status message I set in Gmail.


PS: It might be possible that changing the priority is not required at all; but this is how I have set up my account.

* This is not really random; but I don't feel like going into the details.  If you read the whole post there's a pretty good chance that you will understand the "randomness" too.

June 25, 2009

Disabling NetworkManager balloons

One of the reasons I hate Windows for is the frequent useless info balloons it shows.  Some people seem to like such balloons, including those who maintain NetworkManager applet.  Recently, we started using NetworkManager to manage the wireless network adapter, and I hated the frequent balloons that said "you are connected to so-and-so network".  Turns out that disabling those notifications is not very obvious (at least with version 0.7.0.99).  Here's what you do to get rid of those annoying balloons:
  • Enter gconf-editor in command line to open GConf editor.
  • Navigate to /apps/nm-appletr in the editor.
  • Add a new key of Boolean type with the name disable-connected-notifications and the value True.

From next time, you won't see those annoying balloons when NetworkManager connects to a new network.

June 21, 2009

If something can be used, it can be abused too

A bot called Luisa Buffington started following me on Twitter today.  But then, I didn't know if it was a bot; but the tweets didn't look "normal".  Just for the heck of it, I started following it too.  If the bot's account is still active, you can see that it's doing a good job tweeting.  A quick twitter search reveals that this bot is one among 8 other bots, controlled by the same program.  (I'm still following the bot though, to see how quickly Twitter would find this network and block all those accounts.)

June 15, 2009

Quotes: To Kill a Mockingbird

I finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird sometime back.  One of the good novels I have read.  (Many thanks to the friend who gifted me the book :)  As with many other books, I collected quotations as I read.  Here is the collection:
  • Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read.  One does not love breathing.
  • The things that happen to people we never really know.
  • When stalking one's prey, it is best to take one's time.
  • People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.
  • It's not necessary to tell all you know.
  • You're not gonna change [anyone] by talkin' right.
  • One must lie under certain circumstances and at all times when one can't do anything about them.
  • A mob's always made up of people, no matter what.  Mr. Cunningham was part of a mob last night, but he was still a man.
  • Maybe we need a police force of children.

June 09, 2009

GPRS/EDGE configuration for Android G1

I just figured out today how to configure Android G1 (aka HTC Dream) phone for using Vodafone India's (formerly Hutch) Mobile Connect GPRS service.  All we need to do is to create an APN with APN set to "www".  For Idea phones the APN is "internet".

Detailed steps for configuration:
  1. From home screen select Menu > Settings
  2. Select Wireless controls > Mobile networks > Access Point Names
  3. Select Menu > New APN
  4. Type any name you like for "Name" field.  I typed Vodafone Mobile Connect.
  5. Enter www for "APN" field.  (You will enter internet if you have an Idea connection.)
  6. Leave everything else to default values.
  7. Select Menu > Save
  8. Select this APN as the default one by touching the red green circle next to its name.  If there is only one APN, that would be selected by default.

June 08, 2009

Base 10

You might remember this scene in Matrix and the dialogue "There is no spoon".  It's not very obvious for us to realise that there is no spoon, when the spoon is just right there which we can see and feel.

Like the kid in the movie, a comic strip on Cowbirds in Love puts forward the idea "every base is base 10".  When I think about it something is clear: there is no base other than base 10, and at the same time there is no such thing distinctly known as base 10.  All this while I was thinking we were using base 10.  Oh well, math and philosophy never cease to surprise us!

June 05, 2009

Two mobile phone tips

Note Taking
Mobile phones are handy for scribbling down notes on the go.  But the trouble is when you want those notes on your computer so that you can merge the notes to an existing document or continue editing the notes with a bigger screen and keyboard.

I use AK Notepad on my Android G1 phone for taking notes.  Whenever I need a note from my phone on my computer, I choose the option to send the note by email.  That opens Gmail's mail compose interface with the note's contents.  I save it as a draft and force an email sync (by choosing Menu > Refresh).  Now, Gmail in my computer browser has the note as a draft.  I can now copy the note text and discard the draft.

Opening Long URLs
Let's say you are viewing a web page that has a long URL on Firefox on your computer, and you want to open the same page on your mobile phone.  Mobile Barcoder Firefox extension creates a 2D barcode (known as QR code) for the current URL.  You can use an application like Google's ZXing to scan the barcode from the computer screen and open the URL on your phone's browser.

May 30, 2009

Excerpts from The Idiot

[Lebedyev to Myshkin]
"I am naked and a beggar and an atom in the vortex of humanity.  No one respects Lebedyev; he is fair game for everyone's wit, and they are all ready to give him a kick.  But in interpreting revelation I am equal to the foremost in the land, for I am clever at it."
--------------

Myshkin got up.

"Stay with me a little," said Parfyon softly, sitting still in his place with his head resting on his right hand.  "It's a long time since I've seen you."

Myshkin sat down.  Both were silent again.

"When you are not before me I feel anger against you at once, [Myshkin].  Every minute of these three months that I haven't seen you I have been angry with you, on my word, I have.  I felt I could have poisoned you!  I tell you now.  You haven't been sitting a quarter of an hour with me, and all my anger is passing away and you are dear to me as you used to be.  Stay with me a little..."
--------------

Taken from The Idiot.

May 29, 2009

Compiz, don't steal my KDE shortcut keys!

The super-cool animations and glossy looks of Compiz does sure make it more fun to use my computer.  But I had my own set of complaints about it.  Until now.

I run KDE and despise Gnome for its too simplistic UI.  When I start Compiz it replaces the window title bar with its own version.  I customize my title bar in KDE by adding an "always on top" button to it.  It can be quite handy at times.  Compiz by default removes all my customizations to the title bar.  The solution is to use KDE-specific extensions for Compiz and use KDE-Compiz's window decorator instead of the stock one.  These commands do it:

sudo apt-get install compiz-kde
kde-window-decorator --replace &

I love Katapult.  Katapult is activated by default using Alt+Space global shortcut key.  Compiz binds the same shortcut key to window menu.  This can be changed in CompizConfig Settings Manager (invoked by ccsm command).  This configuration is under General Options > Key bindings > Window Menu.  I changed the shortcut key to Alt+F3, which is the default in KDE.

Another thing I learned today is how to configure Katapult.  Pressing Ctrl+C when Katapult is waiting for your input shows you configuration menu.  You can change the shortcut key that invokes Katapult, add a system tray icon for Katapult, etc.  Did I tell you I love KDE for its practically endless ways of customization? :)

But not everything

I am sitting on my easy chair.
At 73 life looks very different.
Everything has changed.

Medicines are essential like food.
There is nowhere to go, except doctor's.
Only the dreams look clear.
Body clock has gone mad.
Heaven knows when I will sleep.
Everthing just changes, I think.

I turn hearing the anklet of a girl.
She must be around 22, I estimate.
Why won't she sit here and talk?
Oh, this loneliness and longing!
Won't it ever change?
Oh god, why can't I sleep now?!

May 26, 2009

Why I'd vouch for a Treo?

I was using a Treo 650 sometime back and I really liked it.  I'd rate it as the best phone I have used (though I haven't used many smartphones.  I have only used Nokia 7710, Palm Treo 650, BlackBerry Curve 8320, and now an HTC Dream).

I love the way my Android phone tightly integrates with my Google account.  I don't have to worry about backing up my contacts now and then, as they are synced to my Gmail contacts automatically.  The UI (in general, as a computing device, not as a phone) is good.  The device is powerful enough to run all the apps I want to run in parallel.  Lots of applications are available for free download.  The experience I get with this phone is WAY better than any Nokia phone I have ever used.

I still think that my generations-old Treo was a better phone in terms of usability.  Most Palm phones look ugly, I agree; but I don't mind my phone being ugly as long as it does its job really well.  Treo had a very good battery life -- I had to charge it only twice or thrice a week.  The UI was very intuitive and uncluttered.  Everything you need is just there -- ringer volume control and silent mode switch are hardware controls, so you have access to them all the time.  You don't have to switch off the whole device, take the battery out, etc. to change SIM card or memory card.  You can adjust screen brightness with a global shortcut key.  When you are trying to read an SMS under bright sun you can increase the brightness then and there without having to close the SMS application.  There is a universal search provided by the phone that searches the data stored by all applications.  When I search for, say "Siva", it will show me the contacts that have the name (or a note or any contact field) Siva, SMS messages, email messages, notes, documents that has the word "Siva".  It's like Google Desktop for your phone.  (Sadly, such a feature is not in Android phones.)

Maybe the new Palm Pre is going to be a tough competition for iPhones and the Androids.  Or maybe not.

Update: Looks like the next version of Android OS will have a feature to search the content in phone, similar to what the Treo had.  (source: Android Community post)

May 23, 2009

eMusic can be funny

More than 2 years back, eMusic sent me a mail with an offer to rejoin their service and I can have 50 songs for free.  They said the offer would expire in a week's time.   I didn't rejoin, of course.


They kept sending me such mails every now and then.  Even today I got an offer of 75 songs from them.



But in every mail they have to tell you that the offer is going to end soon and you must act now if you want to keep the free songs, as if this is the last offer they will ever make.  So funny!

May 19, 2009

Blackout

Last evening there was a heavy downpour.  While it was raining, the whole city became dark because of a power blackout.  The power didn't come back even after a few hours.  Even after the heavy rain the summer night was hot.  I couldn't sleep for more than a couple hours.

By around 3am I heard some firecrackers outside my house along with some people talking aloud.  I went out and saw some people trying to repair the broken electric lines.  They had to clear out a broken tree, fix the fuses, etc.  They were doing it all at 3 in the morning!  By around 4 my fan started revolving again.  In a few minutes I heard a Hero Honda Splendor kick start.  They were going to repair the next electric post, I guess.  You can argue they are only doing their work; but I just can't help feeling good about this.  Salutes to them!

March 28, 2009

Accidents can be scary

Excerpt from California Driver Handbook's Seatbelt section:
 
The pictures illustrate what can happen in an accident. Your car stops, but you keep on going at the same speed you were traveling until you hit the dashboard or windshield. At 30 mph this is like hitting the ground from the top of a three-story building.
When I jumped off my bike, I was going at about 30 or 40kmph speed.  No wonder I broke my leg so badly!

March 22, 2009

On being good

I saw Dead Poets Society over the weekend.  Not a great movie, in my opinion.  Long after the movie was over, I remembered a trainer called Balu.

During the first 2 years of my computer science (my 11th and 12th standard) I had a good teacher to teach me programming.  (Mr Moorthy, without him I don't think I would be what I am now.)  After that I have seen dozens of computer science teachers and I didn't find any one of them good.  They all suck, big time.

I joined IBM right after I finished college and IBM sent me to a mandatory computer science training, along with other fresh grads joined with me.  It was pretty much like a classroom training I had been having for the past 6 years.  I didn't expect any trainer to be good, and most of them were indeed bad.

Of the lot, there was one trainer called Balu.  He was good.  At least he knew what education is.  He didn't try to repeat whatever the book says.  While all other trainers tried to repeat exactly what the books said, he tried to make us understand how to approach programming and how to approach learning a new language.  Like in the old saying he tried to teach us fishing instead of giving us a few fishes.

I liked his classes, but no one else did.  When IBM came to us asking for trainer feedback everyone said Balu was bad.  I don't know if they cut his pay for his sessions, but I am pretty sure they didn't hire him anymore.

Several proverbs and sayings come to my mind.  I'd write down only one -- life is just unfair.

MP3s with incorrect track length

An MP3 file may be broken for many reasons.  A very common error in MP3 files is incorrect track length.  Some CD ripping software, maybe due to a bug, occasionally produce MP3 files with incorrect length.  Such a file would show as having, say 2:35 as its length when opened in a media player.  But the actual length of the track might be more, say 3:15 or something.  Most modern media players like iTunes, WinAmp, Amarok, etc. handle such tracks gracefully.  However, my iPod seems to have trouble playing such files.

A quick Google search for fixing this problem doesn't show any Linux-based tool.  But the good news is that we don't need any special software for fixing this problem!  Any sound converting software would do the job.

I used soundKonverter for this.  I added the files that had this problem and converted them to same MP3 format with same bit-rate.  This forces the converting software to fully re-read the track and freshly write one.  That solves the track length issue.

If you know how audio encoding/decoding works, you might think now that this is not the correct solution for this problem.  You're right.  We might lose some audio clarity in the decoding/encoding.  If we only measure the length and fix the existing MP3 file itself it will be a lot faster.  But I don't know of any tool that does exactly this.  My approach seems to work anyway, I don't care much as long as the work is being done :)

PS: A friend suggested using a hex editor and manually writing the track length in the file.  While the idea is really interesting, I'm not doing it right now, mainly because I have several such corrupt files and I don't have the patience to fix them all by hand.

I don't understand

"Why?" I asked god.
      "You chose it," he said.

"I understand why I chose her.
But why is she leaving?
Why would I choose that?
I don't understand."
      "You chose not to understand."

And I hate him for that.

Butterflies

The sincere kid was drawing butterflies.
He had already drawn thousands of them.
I was silently watching him draw.
He smiled at me and said,
"When I have drawn enough, they will turn real."

March 21, 2009

Sticky mind

A sticky mind leads to misery.  That's what I understand from a little bit of my own experience and from what people like Osho and Alan Watts say.  First, let me tell you what I mean by the phrase "sticky mind".

Rani and Selva are friends.  He likes her very much, but he's never told this girl that he had feelings for her fearing that he might lose the friendship.  Now and then she says some good things about him and he believes that someday he will have her in his life.  So it goes on.  One fine day Rani tells Selva that she is getting married to someone else.

After about 2 weeks, heartbroken Selva is sitting at home listening to sad songs.  After a song his iPod Shuffle automatically plays a nice happy fast-beat song.  That song is one of his favourites and he keeps on listening to it unconsciously for about 2 minutes.  Suddenly he finds that he is listening to a happy song, and presses Next button until he finds another sad song sung by a heartbroken hero.

This is what I call as a sticky mind.  You know your mind is moving to other things than your sad or happy experience.  But you don't let it move on -- you force your mind to live a particular moment again and again.

Alan Watts says that by nature human mind is not sticky.  If only you let it wander wherever it wants to, it will just go around everywhere and your life won't be half as miserable as this.  (In the same way, a sticky mind relives happy moments too; but the enlightened people say that happiness and misery are one and the same, like two sides of a coin.  That's subject for another post later sometime, after I understand it enough.)

March 16, 2009

Am I happy now?

I was a kid then.  Very young.  Diwali was about a month or so away.  We had bought new clothes.  My mom said we'd buy fire crackers in a few days.  We would make sweets and special food for eating on the day of Diwali.  So many new and exciting things for Diwali!  I was keenly awaiting the day of celebration, when we would be spending the day gloriously and having a lot of fun.  The day before Diwali I was extremely happy since my wait was approaching an end.

I woke up on the Diwali day and looked around.  Everything was just as normal as it had always been.  I wore new clothes, ate good food, burst crackers.  I did it all, but it wasn't half as fun as waiting for this day.  This is when I found that most celebrations are over-hyped.

Today as I was taking a bath I realised something.  I found that there's no happiness or worries, good or bad about the present -- all these classifications make sense only for the past and the future.  In Tamil movie Virumaandi, the hero says this dialogue "when man experiences happiness he doesn't know what happiness is" (சந்தோஷம்னா என்னன்னு அதை அனுபவிக்கும்போது மனுஷனுக்கு தெரியறதில்லை).

"When I had just broken my leg and this kind person was taking me to the hospital, the pain was a terrible experience," I told a friend sometime back.  As I was saying this I knew I was lying.  Because it wasn't such a bad experience.  We realise pain and pleasure only later, after that moment has passed away.  Or in advance, when we're expecting it to happen in the future.  Things are just what they are, they are neither good nor bad. When we think about them we label them for whatsoever reason I don't understand.

I only wanted to record what I found today.  This post is incomplete now, and I don't know how to complete it.  For now I'll just leave it here and move on.  Maybe I'd complete it later, if I find how to do it.

March 11, 2009

Acceptance

What is acceptance? When you get something you don't like, you can accept it though you don't really like it. Or, you can accept yourself as you are, and say No to the things you don't like. Which of these two is true acceptance?

March 04, 2009

Google search experiments

I am a big fan of command line and keyboard shortcuts.  I have been using an experimental feature of Google Search that adds keyboard shortcuts to search results page, and totally loving it.  There is a few other experiments too, if you are not too keen about keyboard shortcuts.

You can enable an experimental feature for your account from http://www.google.co.in/experimental/.  You may want to change the URL to match your country (google.co.uk if you're from UK, google.com if you're from US, etc.)

February 17, 2009

Plea

Among tens of thousands of shaved heads
I am also one, pleading to god
To take ‘that’ off my mind, and my life.
Should I say I want him to ignore the plea?

February 16, 2009

Internet Explorer woes

I wrote sometime back that I was trying out IE8 Beta .  Well, I've paid the price of doing such a stupid thing, I guess.  I have some adware installed on my machine which does a lot of things, including promoting some Yoog search engine.  Like a sane Windoze user, now I am saying adios again to IE in favour of sexy Chrome :)

February 10, 2009

Firefox Customizaton

Like most users of current time, I spend most of my time on Firefox, my web browser.  Though I have a number of complaints about Firefox and waiting for the day Chrome is released for Linux, I must say that I love the customizability of Firefox.  In this post I am going to show how I have set up my Firefox.

Extensions
I have installed the following extensions that make my life easy:
  • Chickenfoot: for automating some really boring tasks (e.g. logging into my Citibank account)
  • Context Search: I can search any text found in a web page using any of my search engines with a few mouse clicks.
  • DownThemAll: A nice download manager for Firefox.
  • Firebug: The awesome JavaScript debugger/developer tool for Firefox.
  • Flashblock: Flash is almost always a pain.  It slows down Firefox if it doesn't crash the browser.  With Flashblock, I can choose to run only those Flash movies that I trust/need.
  • Google Gears: For using Google products offline, including Gmail and Docs.
  • Google Toolbar: For easy access to Google Search, Google Bookmarks, etc.
  • Konquefox: This extension provides a "Clear Addressbar" button that makes typing new addresses easier in Firefox for Linux.
  • No Squint: After installing this extension, my life is much better.  If you would increase the font size when you read text from web pages, this is a must-try for you.
  • NumExt: Provides easy access to tabs by shortcut keys.
  • Stylish: Use custom style sheets for web sites.  If not for anything else, I use it to change Gmail's ugly Arial to Verdana, which is easier on my eyes.
  • Tab Mix Plus: Way too many customization options with Firefox tabs.  One of the essentials for me, can't live without it :)
  • URL Link: Just too lazy to copy-paste URLs and don't like auto-linking.
Toolbar Organization
I have rearranged all the buttons and other controls I'd need in only two rows.  Here is a screenshot of my typical toolbar arrangement (click on the image to see it in original size).
This may not be one of the best or easy-to-use arrangement.  All the controls are crammed into the available space and I know this may not be suitable for many people.  But this works for me, so I like it this way :)

February 08, 2009

I hate it

I was madly in love with you.
My friends called me mad.
I hated it then.

Later, I eloped with you.
Everyone called me crazy.
I hated it then.

Now I'm here all alone.
No one is calling me anything.
I hate it now, too.

February 04, 2009

How to walk with an elbow crutch?

When you have to use an elbow crutch, ideally a physiotherapist should teach you how to use it.  However, sometimes you may have to learn it yourself (like I did now).  Since there isn't much information available online, I thought I'd post a HowTo.  Remember that I am in no way authorized to write about this; I am writing whatever I learned by myself.

Hold the crutch on the hand opposite to the weak/broken leg.  I have a fracture in my left leg, so I am holding the crutch with my right hand.  (Ensure that the crutch is of the right height; you should be able adjust its height to suit you.)  Move the crutch and your weak leg forward.  Applying pressure on your weak leg and the crutch, move the other leg forward.  That's pretty much it.

I made two mistakes.  I walked too fast.  My knee started hurting after some time; so now I'm taking it easy and slow.  I kept looking down as I walked.  For some strange reason I don't understand, looking straight makes walking easier.  Hope this helps.  Wish you a speedy rehabilitation :)

Update (Feb 9, 2009): I learned a couple more things today.  Breathing smoothly makes the walk less tiring.  Holding onto objects (like tables, etc.) for support is very good, but not if it would take away your confidence when you have to leave them behind.  Look carefully if your mind says "oh my god" when you leave such a supporting object.  Confidence is very important than anything else.

February 01, 2009

Unfair

Atmosphere gives me oxygen,
I give it back carbon-dioxide.

Earth gives me food,
I give it back shit.

I shower my love on you,
I won't cry for what I get back.

January 28, 2009

Self-help

Yesterday, I was thinking about the line "தீதும் நன்றும் பிறர்தர வாரா" from an ancient Tamil poem.  It occurred to me that this line summarizes about maybe 80% of all self-help books.  I thought, almost all self-help books can be summarized to "It's your responsibility; take ownership of your life".

Today morning I woke up a little early and I had to wait for my cab after getting ready for work.  After about 15 minutes in the cab, I felt bored and started wondering if the whole day is kinda spoiled, because of that boredom.  I thought of the days when I used to take my bike to work.  Back then I had control over when I go to office.  I didn't have to hurry up or wait in the morning.  As I was getting ready to blame the cab for me being lethargic at work, I remembered what I had thought yesterday.  Yes, there's no point in blaming cabs for my problems.  Okay, time to get back to work :)

January 08, 2009

Me back at work!

Jan 2nd 2009 was the first working day of this year.  I decided to start going to work again from that date.  (I'm going to office with my walker.)  I've been going to work for a few days now and I want to share what the experience is like.

Earlier I used to go to work with my bike.  Now I cannot even walk on my own, so I use cabs provided by the company.  Cab drivers are very caring -- they would help me with my bag, they would take my walker and help me get off the car, and all.

In the office, if someone sees me walking around with a walker, they would stop to help me.  It's not unusual for people to wait for 15 or 20 seconds holding a door for me.  I just say a "Thank You" and pass.  That's all I could do I guess.  Even in places where I have to be on my own (e.g. when I am walking to somewhere, to see someone for instance), people offer to help.

Walking 50 metre with a walker is not an easy job, unlike I had thought before coming to work.  My thigh (of the good leg), my palms, my shoulders would all hurt.  Yesterday, a coworker saw me when I was on my way to the washroom.  Maybe she could sense my pain.  She herself talked to our facilities team and got a wheel chair for my use inside office building!

Yesterday I was walking towards the area where cabs to Mehdipatnam are parked.  I still had about 30 metre or so to cover.  The person who manages cabs saw me struggling with the walker and asked me to use a cab that was parked close by.  They don't generally do this -- he made an exception for me, without even me asking for it!

Ajay, a teammate, is so so sweet and helpful.  He brings food for me everyday to my desk.  He offers to get water and snacks for me.  If he sees me going somewhere he would push my chair to wherever I am going.  He makes my life in office much easier.  I am glad and grateful that he is with me.

With so many people to help me, I am moving around inside office with the wheel chair.  The whole accident--fracture--hospitalization--bed rest--recovery story is quite an experience, I'd say :)

January 01, 2009

Just for the heck of it

... I'm joining these two Orkut communities: http://www.orkut.co.in/Main#Community.aspx?cmm=37480419 and http://www.orkut.co.in/Main#Community.aspx?cmm=17810915.  It's kinda funny though, to see communities like this.

Yesterday as I was coming back from the hospital, I was thinking about the year that was about to end.  2008 was an eventful year.  I don't remember much of what happened in 2008; but as the year ends, I think I am happy :)

In 2008, I went crazy about bikes.  Went crazy about a girl.  Wrote much more than I usually write.  Read more than I usually read.  Did much less work than I usually do.  Discovered a little more about myself.  Had my first surgery.  Asked a lot of help from my friends.  And a lot more happened; I forget now.

Let's see how 2009 turns out to be!