View of the outside world from inside a fishbowl

April 1, 2011

Yaaraan da tashan – part 2

Filed under: Have a nice Day,humor,music,philosophy,Uncategorized — coolantz @ 9:29 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

For those who haven’t read Yaaraan da tashan – part I’ve reached Gurgaon earlier than expected, thanks to my lucky day.

New Delhi 23’rd March.

Fresh Morning!

I got up early. Early enough to catch mom before she left for school. I wanted to have breakfast with parents. She asked me about my plans for the day, and she said “Do you seriously think you’ll do that, all of those items in your todo list?”. Also, between our various general talks she would come up with “Why bother driving all the way to Hyderabad. Let’s just contact some packers and movers? I’ll foot the expenses. You stay nice at home for some days“, “should I take a day off ? I could help you with your task list“. I wish I hadn’t gone to Delhi right in the middle of week. OK, I had taken off, but people at home were generally busy. She longed to be with me.

Usually, my dad would have been up at the same time, and been up to some exercise and yoga, but I suppose he decided to sleep till late. I get a call from him, and in a sleepy voice he tells “Usually, it’s your sister‘s duty. Today, since you are here, you go drop off mom to school“. I was like sure, no problems. My mom said “Why don’t you play some music in your music system. We find it too difficult to use, so we only watch TV“. This was the cue I was so desperately waiting for. I had recently discovered some awesome songs, and promptly fired up leopard. Leopard is tiger‘s replacement. Tiger is the name of my media centre machine. Generally, the music I find is also well appreciated by my folks. This time was no different, and they quite enjoyed the morning blast. Later, when I drove mom to school, and was talking about things in general, she said “When your sister drives me off to school, she’s usually half asleep, and just stares at the road. Never talks“.

So, after I got back from mom’s school, I was just roaming around the house. Shops and places were not open as yet, for me to go head on with my todo list. I spoke to some people who were up. Mr. SR, Mr. SD joked around in the morning.  SD would be meeting me for a bit in the evening. SR stays at an end of NCR diametrically opposite of where I do. We made some tentative plans to meet in the evening in some central location. If he and I could find time. Damn the middle of the week? what joy?

The birds do chirp here and the flowers bloom!!

Hectic day

Well, after lounging around for a while, I got dressed, and first stop was to be at RTO office, Haryana. I went in, and was stumped to see that government officials had decided to take an off that day, and office was deserted, and there was this group of Haryanvi kids, cursing around, for they would need to wait another day to get their license. I joined them and mouthed out some profanities :). This is the raw, uncivilised and extremely passionate group. This was like a time freeze moment for me. Never gonna see this in Hyderabad :).

Any ways, I had to do what I had to do. Paid of an agent to get my paper work done, gave impression of my car chassis number, and other documents he wanted. He was gracious enough to have it sent to me, once my NOC is done. When he asked me what’ll I do till then, I told him “Drive my car telling I’m a tourist“. I left for other work. Time it took me to get this done, and negotiating a decent rate – 2 hours.

After doing this NOC thing, I decided to blast my stereo, to see if the speakers sound good. Although my sister said that the music system is the best, I had to check it off myself. There was a problem. Just what I was afraid of. The left channel to my amp was sounding like a damp squib. Crap. Utter crap! I took it to one of those big show rooms, and I was squarely told, that some capacitor had been damaged, repair or the guy suggested “saaar buy a new amp“. I knew the stuff, so I was aware I was being bullshitted to. Yep, I was back in Delhi! He took one hour, inspecting and fiddling with various knobs and wires, and I had a lunch with team people from Nagarro. I was famished too, so I called them up, and told them “Guys I’m coming over. Be ready

I reached my old workplace, in decent time, and it was interesting. The guard bhai just smiled at me, and let me in without asking for an ID. I told him that I’m an outsider, and hung out with him for a while till the people came down. Mr. RJ and Mr. PY were sitting at their usual place outside the office ….. Pappu bhaiya’s dhaba. Meeting them was so exciting. Mr. T and Miss PAGS walked out as though there was enough time in the world to even sleep and go. I booed them from behind and got some spring in the step. Mr. AA was going to join us in Mainland china itself. Just one person missing, I asked T where the hell Mr. X is ? I called him and off we went to Mainland China.

Lunch and mocktails later, I parted ways with Nagarro folks. They left, I stayed back, cause I had to meet with a couple of people form ARSD. Mr. S called me, and immediately came to where I was. We sat and chatted inside a cafe near Mainland China.  Mr. RT was supposed to join, and he messaged multiple times about how he was stuck in a meeting and will be out in just 5 mins :). Dude, we did not meet, but it’s the thought that counts, and I appreciate that you cared to at least plan to join. Mr. AM said he’ll catch up at dinner time!

So it was close to 5PM in the evening, and I had stuck of 3 things off my list, but had gotten aware of the fact that Dhanno was croaking, and I had to drive here for some time non stop. She’d cry. I suddenly thought of this place where the scale was smaller, but people were talented, and competition was cut throat. I had him look at my audio gear. First he was awed. He said “yeh kahan se liya hai?” I told him. I explained and showed him the problem. He immediately cross connected my good speaker to all the channels of my amp, to determine that my amp is fine, and fixed one speaker up after some sand papering and interesting tape work. Now we were talking engineer to engineer. So I was 3 speakers up now, and with just front left not working. This took time of an hour, and I started to get edgy. I called Mr. SD and told him I’d be running a bit late. He said he was running a bit late, so it was OK.

Now I took off my check list, and cut off visiting the optician in Delhi. You think I had time? Consequently, meeting SR was out as well.

So we had a problem with one of my 6inch non component giving out just out of fatigue I guess. The guy at the shop said he could not give me some thing equal to bull audio, but gave me some cheap Sony explod, and promised he’d tune them to make them sound good. He was already in my good books, so I told him to do it, and do it in half an hour. And boy did he. He came through, got another fella, both of them doing different things in my car. After a while they gave me an audition. Not the same stamina as Bull, but they had more jingle, and they were composite with tweeters on them. So now, my car has effectively 8 speakers, haha.

Relaxing Evening

SD called and said he’s on way. I was too, so we met on way, and drove back to my place. He was riding the most majestic punto (belongs to Mr. CS, who was at the time, in bangkok). It had the bass tube that could make the seats move! literally. I got home at about 7PM, with most things on my list checked off, and just partying with friends remaining. So I told my parents, just chill sit and talk with me friends will come over, and we’ll order food.

There were some things that were left undone, but hey, I’m no Oriya!

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Friends who visited

  • Mr. AMTG (Buddy you are, as your name says)
  • Mr. KSC(Fun, Fun, and more fun. Keep smiling)
  • Mrs. RSC(I think you are family!)
  • Mr. SD(Man I never knew, you had so many facets. Next when we meet, we won’t drink but yap the brains out!)
  • Mr. X(You’re passionate, but you surprise me at times with the detachment you exhibhit)
  • Miss DC(Will See you, see you on the other side :). The world’s maddening. Just hang around )
  • Mr. Simba (for first time out, ever. Kisses)
  • Others : Mr.  SR, Mr. RT, Miss RM, Mr. GaGa did send best wishes. Luv  you guys. this is what maters

My day transformed from Fresh morning to hectic  afternoon to relaxing evening! The friends did turn up. In the middle of week. After work. Ain’t I lucky!!!

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January 29, 2010

Music 2.0

Filed under: music,rants — coolantz @ 3:34 pm

How do you listen to Music ?

I mean, gone are the days where you’d proudly buy a shiny new CD, and listen it over and again, till you would have it playing in your imagination, and consequently get bored, and repeat the process for another shiny new CD.

Some people say, that they prefer listening to the Radio, because of it’s unpredictable nature. With the collection you compile, and play, you’d know what to expect, often when to expect it too, so yes, that also does get boring after a while.

But the fact is, that these people are not too hung up about the unpredictable nature of the radio. They like certain shows, that play similar kind of music, though not the same. This keeps the “element of surprise” intact. If I’d give them a really random sample, chances are, they will detest it.

So, what I’d like to know is how to discover new music, with gradually drifting across genres and artists, so that the progression seems natural, yet, the collection is vast enough to not give an impression of being repetitive.

I used to listen to last.fm, even made a mythtv plugin to tune into genres, and similar artists type stations, but last.fm has made the service restricted to non-paying users, and we cannot use any player to stream their content. It would be good, if I(and a group of friends), decide to catalog my entire music collection, and then use some hi-fi algorithm to dish out the proper songs.

I’m pretty sure there’s already such a service up and running, or some solution to set up the kind of service on my local machine.  Just need to find out what it is. Amarok already has a fancy logic in moodbar. I think it garners it’s statistics from sites like last.fm, and others.

I used to believe that if I write some CD’s/mp3 in my music player, I would never get bored if I could play them in shuffle mode. But I think I need a mechanism to add new finds in there, update listening orders to something that is not as naïve as shuffle, and remove songs from the list which I don’t listen to as often. And it should also sync to all my music playing devices. And it should not overwhelm me with the number of tracks it has to offer. What I need for starters is this:

A total of 50 tracks:

  • with 10 new songs
  • and 10 recommended songs,
  • and 10 favorites,
  • and 10 similar artists,
  • and 10 similar genre

Phew. This should be enough for me to last an average day. Any idea, on how can it be done?

Social music is the need of hour.

January 13, 2010

Time to retire an old boy.

Filed under: GNU/linux,moody blues,music,philosophy — coolantz @ 4:02 pm

11’th January, 2010.

It was a dark day. I had never imagined for a slightest of moment, that I’d be attached so much to a “non-living entity”, the way I did. Well, for all practical purposes, a computer is just a electronic instrument, to repetitively do the most boring of things, while you(it’s master), would either be getting entertained, solving your professional problems, or communicating with your friends.

My PC, an old warhorse, skipped a beat, went down, and has never come back. But when I think about it, it does seem more than just a device. I even had a name for it, “tiger”.

The times and means by which I got to acquire tiger, are also seemingly not ordinary.

It was a non functional PC I had bought from a college classmate, he was looking to get rid of it, and sold it to me at like throwaway price.He was happy, so was I. When I came home from college, dad was looking to close office, and so naturally keen on scavenging whatever I could lay my hands on. There I saw 2 of the most beautiful looking CPU cabinets. They were minimalistic (unlike the ornate box, I had purchased).

So I took one of those boxes, and removed it’s low form celeron processor, and threw in RAM, and a P4, and additional hard disk from the one I had bought in college, and up came the rig : called tiger. It was satisfying from the very beginning. Customized with switches, locks at many levels. I took pride in having that PC.

But seriously, I was not aware of how many roles it was going to play in my life. The first OS I had installed on to it, was Fedora 8. Wasn’t too satisfied, and wanting to know the guts of my PC, I put gentoo on it. That lasted for a good 2 years, and one of the many artifacts of me doing this, that installation span to many places. I learnt a lot about linux by tinkering things on gentoo. Now, in fact, I cloned the root partition, tweaked some settings, and presto .. I had a USB Hard Disk, which I could connect on any PC, and have it like my Portable machine. Sort of like a laptop for the poor.

People say that PCs do not age gracefully, and the signs of age do not look nice on them (yea, there’s a better version in the market, from the day you pick one up). But this kid was like like old wine. The older it got, the better it became.

Those were the days, I made some LIRC hardware for tiger, added a creative audigy, with 5.1 speakers, tried to install mythtv onto it, put freaky levels of automation for things, added a TV capture card. When I got a laptop, for my other typical computer related tasks, tiger lost it’s keyboard, mouse, and was only operable with a remote control. Along the way, it also got a 22 inch LCD screen, and soon, a 32 inch screen. It was not just a media center that people used to go gaga over, It also did the following things, and in great style, I tell you:

  1. It used to automatically download new torrents via RSS feeds.
  2. Host my music collection, serve it via DAAP, for apple products, and via uPnP for Microsoft based devices at home.
  3. Host my Projects, and code, and what not.
  4. Store and share videos and photos.
  5. Record shows from TV, and provide  me the watch and pause functionality on TV.
  6. Play FM radio for me.
  7. Stream music from the net. That’s also how i discovered last.fm

to tiger:

“you may have passed on, but your legacy and soul will continue to flourish, and scale newer heights, you rest in peace”

June 27, 2007

Save … (all you can) !!!

Filed under: music — coolantz @ 4:21 am

“I get up … and nothing gets me down” … Van halen

But this morning, something did. I flicked on my comp, and tuned to the 80’s and 90’s Channel. There was no music. They were going to bring down the net radio.

We have all heard of Save wildlife, Save water, and such issues. But as of today,  27th June 2007, my heart goes out to “save the internet radio movement“. I for one, seriously, and wholeheartedly wish that royalty rates’ hike that is to affect small time broadcasters (which tend to be popular, beyond a certain degree is rolled back).

What’s more, it’s going to be on affect from 15’th of July.

So I urge all the listeners to mark their protest against the ruling  .

Please visit savenetradio.org .All you music lovers.

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