View of the outside world from inside a fishbowl

July 29, 2010

Bye bye baby …. you go fly.

Filed under: Have a nice Day,insights — coolantz @ 10:05 am

He was a chubby kid, free of worries, and existed in a different world, than the one as we know it. His parents were ever so protective, and for them, he would always be their baby.

They gave him gifts and called him names. Played with him and worried sick when he didn’t feel well. Life for them meant only one thing …. “he should be happy”. He was their only child.

But in the emphatic expression of their love, did they cross the personal boundary? The gap that should have been, as a breathing space, was expunged on the name of closeness and love. The free will was quashed, as they knew what’s right and what’s wrong.

They were only showering on him, their love and affection, but in the bigger picture they seemed a little pushy. Although they did not realize but slowly, they had led him to a feeling of repulsion from their talks, knowledge and ideas. Always meddling.

He had to fly. It’s the nature’s way. He might crash down, or scale the dizzy heights, but he’ll not sleep in peace, till he gives it a try.

Do not know, what it will be, but it’s got to be sans his parents’ expertise.

The birds let their younger ones leave their nest after some time, and the animals also let them kids have a free run, and leave it all to “natural selection” when it comes to grown up offspring. Humans (at least some of them) have a tendency to go against this scheme of natural things.

Think about it. What’s being put to risk here ?

  • For the individual, it’s the freedom of choice. From nature, let’s project this scenario to politics. Does being in China sound like fun ? With information being restricted. I suppose Chinese government believes they know what’s in the best interest of their people.
  • For the parents, it’s the fear of failure. They act in the most appropriate way, as far as their love for young ones is concerned. They act like natural leaders. Except the fact that in nature, leadership needs to be constantly contended and re-established. But to the free thinking, they would come across as oppressors.

I suppose, as parents people should acknowledge and respect the children’s thinking abilities, and understand that as a true expression of love, they should back them and offer base for them, if ever they were to fail.

With responsibility, a certain value (called respect) would settle in due time.

July 20, 2010

So who has got it right?

Filed under: humor,rants — coolantz @ 9:11 am

Well, off late, there has been much hue and cry about apple iphone 4 and it’s shortcomings. If apple is trying it’s hand at alternate marketing strategy, the plan clearly seems to be working.

Amongst the many flaws cited, the battery indicator not being accurate is something I could not raise my eyebrows upon. Despite having had 5 phones (of different brands, must I add), I have come to conclusion that battery indication has never been what user (or I) expect it to be.

I want my charge indicator to be a bar with linear dependency, with the slope indicating my phone’s battery consumption rate.

In not so technical terms :

If I know I can talk for 4 hours, on a full charge, I should be able to assume, that I can talk safely for 2 hours, if I see my battery bar to be 50 %. Well, I’m claiming it has never been so. The time I get before I draw first blood from my phone’s battery meter, is so not an sign of how the phone’s going to behave for the rest of the battery charge. The speed of bars diminishing picks up like a freight train and by the time it reaches its last few, I am pretty sure it’ll not even withstand a 5 minute call.

I have had the chance of observing this phenomena on Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson phone.

Looks like battery charge calculation does not burn down linearly. Imagine the marketing people’s glee when this problem gets addressed.

“Presenting (finally) , the phone which shows your exact battery charge left!”

Wishful thinking! Maybe iphone’s tenth iteration would have that.

June 30, 2010

Is it so bad if things don’t turn out as expected?

Filed under: Uncategorized — coolantz @ 11:06 pm

Fortune does favor the brave.

But it is most considerate on fortunate ones. 🙂

Well, life’s like that and every day brings up such a heady mix of circumstances, that one does begin to wonder … yea baby, I’m loving it. If it gives you the impression that I live a lucky life, and probably am killing it at the moment, let me reinstate. I live a very normal (boring for some) life, follow a 9 to 6 work schedule, and work for some one.

That being said, simple things and moments do bring out a smile every once and then.

So, what happened?

Well, if you might have observed, and I might be talking about a significant lot of people here, you’d probably go to a restaurant, and order the same thing every time. You have a favorite, and you stick to it. While it is awesome and I am, by no means questioning your choice, you have cut down (or shall I say excluded) the possibility of anything else impressing you.

I tried to break that circle, and decided to ask for a random thing to be delivered for eating at home. Now it does sometimes (but very rarely) happen, that I order something, but get a wrong person’s stuff delivered. I suppose it would be fairly reasonable to expect the same happens with you. Generally when it does, I return the order, and some mouthful as a bonus to the delivery person, or the person whom I spoke to while placing the order. In the normal circumstances, it gets picked back, and I get my original stuff dropped off, as a courtesy thing.

Don’t we all do this?

Anyways, this time around, since I was ordering random stuff out of the menu, I decided to add this additional randomness add into the equation, and just play with it. I kept the stuff, and decided to try it out. (Random randomness, right).

Guess what . I have a new favorite . 🙂 , and I wonder how I ever lived without it.

But the thing to be drawn here is that every once in a while, I’m going to switch to my “wanderer hat“, and decide to try new things out. I would never know what I had been missing.

June 27, 2010

So ….. What do you want to be ?

Filed under: Uncategorized — coolantz @ 5:14 pm

This is one of those perennial questions, whose answer is ever so changing. When I was a kid, I was asked, countless number of times …. “What would I want to be when I grow up”

Answers, at different points in time, varied from actor, zoo keeper, astronaut, police cop (yes it’s true), mathematician, and so on.

Post school, the same question would pop up in more subtle variations such as “child …. what are the future plans ?” . Looked as though people decided to make it their business, to know what kind of profession I aspired to be in.  Well, I was kind of clear, of what I wanted to become, pretty early in my life, but I got egged here. Thanks to a lot of unsolicited advice. On the lines of… “Why don’t you do MBA?”, “Do further studies … you’ll get a more paying job”.

Anyways, as the universe was conspiring to somehow get me to reveal my plans, my lack of interest in such discussions pushed people off my conversation group, and I was in the bliss full period, where I had assumed I was past the “pesky questions”.

I was so wrong, and the question has sprung forward, from a person I hardly know. Then again, it’s vital he knows. He represents the management of my current employer, or perhaps serves as an interface to the management. I suppose, as a part of implementation of a certain process in the organization I work in, I was assigned a certain role. He casually, after a meeting asked me, if I enjoyed this particular role, or would I rather do a certain other well-defined role here.

This was thought-provoking.

The currently assigned role required me to take certain decisions, and collaborate with my team, plan for weekly release of deliverable to the client, and so on. As a part of the package, I was also required to check the health of team, which I was not too comfortable doing. It did not result in an outburst from me, because the team I was assigned to work with, was sufficiently autonomous. People are talented, responsible, and sufficiently driven. I absolutely cherish the time I spend with them (imp. not with the project, but with this group of people).

However, I also understand that with the nature of work I do, this seemingly goody good fabric of harmony might be shredded apart as and when the employer feels necessary.

The other alternate path would require me to pursue a path of technical island, and explore safe landing spot for others, actively engaged in working for a project. For those who aren’t technical vocabulary challenged … an architect. Let me point it out here, that while I would want to be doing the first role for certain aspects of work and durations of time, I also would define me to be the second option in certain points of times.

So I suppose the career paths for me do not bifurcate into directions A and B. I need to find my trail in the middle. A thing or two I’ve realized after observing myself work  (the introspection in solitude 🙂 syndrome) are as follows:

  • I like to work with a certain amount of ownership of the project. If I get uprooted too often from one project to another (as a technical architect would), I’d probably be driven insane. I mean, this way, I’d be providing a move on to many things, but hardly seeing anything to the end. I guess belonging is something I crave for.
  • I do not aspire to check work of others and drive other people to work. I like it best when people are smart to work with, and encourage mutual discussions, and active role play in division of work. More like collaboration.
  • I like to solve problems. Simple ones, or one that have that aura of mystery around them. I guess it all boils down to my belief …. “Everything happens for a reason”.

Anyways, I suppose whatever I say now will be a snapshot in time, and should be interpreted as that. I’m sure no one wakes up one day and says “I’m gonna be a <so and so> person in an organization.

June 2, 2010

Goodness. Still not a lost cause.

Filed under: insights,philosophy — coolantz @ 9:05 am

I admit. I’m a little cynical.

Then there are these defining moments in life, when I see goodness around me. In humanity. It gives me a reason to look forward to the next day with hope and expectations.

My current workplace team.

I was  a firm believer, that people work because they needed money, and no one really worked because they liked it. Heck I even convinced my self that my reason to work is just the same. But there is another cause that keeps me going. I do like what I do. Anyways, had never come across someone who shared these sentiments with me.

Now especially when you’re assigning work off to someone. I’ve never seen people take things with a smile and face gleaming with excitement. Until I came across the current lot of people I work with.

They are young, talented, and focused … and good.

Why the ‘extra’ good there?

Here’s why. They care about each other, and me. I mean, when any one gets major types jammed up in a problem, or generally sort of there. As in “All for one, one for All”. A few are very responsible as well. Over all, a real pleasure to work with.

They all listen to each others problems,  and work like a really well oiled machine. They affected a change in my own, hardened by the time attitude.

The Petrol Pump Attendant.

I got back late the other night, and had my head in a dizzy, so I decided to take cleo out for a spin. That made it feel breezy and cleared up my head. But towards the end of the ride, I realized I was going to be out of fuel,  and out of money. When I reached the ATM, I realized my locking mechanism had been thrown out. was jammed in a way, that I was not able to lock it. It was a very easy theft target.

Anyways, I decided to leave it like that, and go to the ATM.

Then I walked up to a Petrol pump attendant, and explained to him my problem.

First of all, this was like quite late in the night, it was a rather warm night, so the goodness due to good weather can easily be ruled out her.

But the attendant asked me, if he could try to fix it. I was like sure… go ahead.

So, he got some lubricant, and a screw driver, and he did some tweaking. Then when I re tried my keys, they were so nice and smooth.

Now none of this was expected of him. He did not expect any reward for it (or may be, he did), but he never said it out like …. “I’ll do this for so much of money”. I have seen people who do that. He smiled and I pushed off. But I wanted him to be rewarded. I went to a nearby shop, bought a chocolate, and got some change in money, and I went back to the same petrol pump, and scouted for the attendant. Sure enough, I found him. He was actively filling the petrol pump’s reservoir from those huge tankers that land in.

When he saw me, I did not have to call out for him. He came running, and asked me if my lock has any problems.

“None … whatsoever”. I replied. Told him, that he’s really done a good job, keep that up. Gave him a chocolate, and some candy money.  He politely refused, but I insisted, and he finally accepted.

Such people should go places! I root for them.

April 29, 2010

Take that …. Suckers!

Filed under: humor,insights — coolantz @ 2:22 pm

It was an unusually cloudy (or shall I say hazy, and a concoction of smog, dust and organic debris) day.

The temperature had been much lower, because of the overnight drizzle.

I decided I’ll ride my favorite thing to work…  cleo. Was I apt or what? It was smooth.

For those, who know what I deal with while I drive to office should picture that. Today it was worse. Power had been cut, and with the absence of traffic lights, the Indian drivers had taken upon themselves, the extra responsibility of managing how to drive where to go, and when to go (haha …, chuckle, ROFL even).

Needless to say, IFFCO chowk was in a rut. Nothing was moving to, or fro. I could see multiple deadlocks hampering the streamy flow, the traffic ought to be. I saw this girl, sitting in the rear seat of a car. She was motionless, and just staring out of her car’s, rolled up window. There was nothing she could do. She just looked. I doubt if she was observing anything.

“What a day, I had decided to take cleo out”. I smirked a little.

So I have done dirt biking, in the past, and it absolutely thrills me every single time I try it. This time around, I had a new tyre to go, and yeah, I wasn’t sweating in the heat, So I went off-road, into this area, where construction was happening. The track was very uneven. There was a point where I had to really rev up the engine to go over the incline. I tried, the first time the engine stalled and died on me. So I backed up, revved some more, and re tried the incline. I was a little in the air, and well past the mound. wooooohoooo.

So I circumvented the chaos at IFFCO chowk, and had loads of fun doing it. Total time in there = 2 mins.

Heh.

Similarly, I found openings in all the hot spots up till my office. I mean, seriously … traffic jams do not affect bikes. I have personally experienced that so many times, it almost gives me immense confidence while I’m meeting a deadline on a bike. Car is a un-deterministic affair. Really

I hope I get more good weather days to take cleo out for spins.

April 16, 2010

Deplorable numbers, for what are they worth?

Filed under: Uncategorized — coolantz @ 9:47 am

It was a majorly publicized catch phrase, especially by the foreigners who’d  visit India, to get rid of their impressions of a country where elephants, and people doing some magical rope tricks, and other freaky entities co-exist.

Perhaps they had not braced up for what they did see. The sheer numbers must have made them feel dizzy, and given them a sort of high, their drugs would have failed to deliver.

The market, for anyone who wishes to manufacture and sell was tremendous. And new strategies and plans  were devised, specially called “made for India”.

Anyways, today’s screaming news headline really made it to the top. India has more cell phones than toilets. It was already, a well published fact that India does have more temples than toilets, and who would have known, the number of phones would also pip that number. I mean, it’s India, the number of toilets would be somewhat proportional to the number of people in the country.

UN, has really kicked off this extensive market research, and it seems their projected figures would still be a short fall by the completion of a certain project’s goal, by year 2015.

How important is access to proper sanitation, as a goal for mankind in India ?Well there are people discussing this problem, but my post is not focused to that problem, and if I were to discuss that, I’ll digress.

So back to the point. India has so many people, and well connected at that. Seems like cell phone is the most widespread computer in the country. Yet, apple app store, and nokia’s ovi initiatives are not specifically targeted for the country. Do they not realize the opportunity here?

It seems Indian people don’t really mind inconvenient pooping circumstances, but the hell they’d love to be connected. A huge, connected workforce. Distribute intelligence . For what it’s worth?

April 6, 2010

Another phenomenon or Murphy’s Law?

Filed under: humor,insights — coolantz @ 12:39 pm
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This is kind of bizarre, for I haven’t seem it documented anywhere, but it happens ever so regularly, that I thought, maybe others experience it too.

I’ll call it “the word of the week”. 🙂

Let me explain : Do you ever come across a fancy(or not so fancy, even) word, every now and then, whose meaning (in fact existence), or the lack of it made no difference to you. Simply put, it had been out of bounds of your vocabulary, and life had trotted fine till now.

But now that your vocabulary has tasted blood, the usage of that particular word creeps up, with a consistent regularity, until you open up the dictionary/google, and nail the blighter.

So, how can one explain this ? Your Life’s been fine, so smooth, till you chance to hit it. And then it hits you again, and again, and again.

Do you come across words of weeks too?

confusion

Mona Lisa

April 5, 2010

Gadgets I could fry with.

Filed under: humor,insights — coolantz @ 11:52 am
Tags:

In continuation with my ongoing battle with the Delhi summer heat this year, I had decided to make my room free of the electronic equipment, that contributes to the largest amount of heat generated. I did some active profiling, and I’m kind of surprised, that my bulky PC, which I had assumed would generate massive amounts of heat (and had it in my hit list), was not so bad.

In fact, in terms of the temperature   additions, my Laptop with a NVIDIA quadro graphics card was a bigger bully.

So, here are a list of five things that should be replaced with better designs (in reverse ranking order).

5. The UPS powering my HTPC rig. I should have bought an inverter, where power switching did not result in such a delay that computer would not trip. Such designs are easily available now. At the time when I bought my power inverters, they weren’t so common place. So I had to add another UPS in between.  Bad choice.

4. The 60 watt bulbs in the room. I got to replace these with CFLs . What if I do want a bright spot of light. CFL’s to not give a crisp light source. They are more for the ambient lights, like tube lights, that do not cast a precise shadow. Maybe their use can be limited, so I can live with these lights. They come up for like half an hour a day, and then CFL kicks in.

3.The HTPC. Hey now, I need something to keep me entertained. Maybe I should replace the bulk with an NVIDIA ion based box like thingy, which would humble my existing setup, both in terms of raw graphics capabilities, and heat generated.

2.The mighty laptop. Yep, my work machine. Do I need that fire power ?  At times, I do, This is a very sensitive topic, I suppose. I think not much can be done in this regard. It’s not just my fun, but the source of bread and butter for me. Had I been filthy rich, I’d probably say, let’s have a separate study room altogether. But filthy richness is a solution to most of the man-made problems, and some natural ones too :).

1. The LCD screen. Yeah , the coveted number one slot in “how much heat one generates” surely goes to my TV screen. I wonder, how this becomes a smart efficient design then. The old CRT based TVs did never become as hot as my Samsung LCD does. Is it a defective piece? It’s only a 32 inch screen. But it heats up like a hot plate. Maybe there’s too much of sex on television these days.

Do tell me your experiences with LCDs. And I thought they were more power friendly by design. I need to profile this one for power consumption as well. I think I’d be surprised for all my beliefs.

March 30, 2010

Chick is smart

Filed under: insights — coolantz @ 9:56 am
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For those who do not already know, my room tends to become a blast furnace during the summers. I still believe that the engineering marvel that it is, it can be hotter than what the out-door temperature is. I just don’t say that, I have many people, who have personally been subjected to “a power cut” in that room during the night. 🙂

So, to counter the unbearable heat of the summer sun, I’ve launched an initiative to use best practices and principles, to cool my “over the top” room.

First change. Putting a bamboo “chick” in front. For the unaware, that would be like a sheet made up of bamboo sticks,  and supported by layers of water proofing material. Now the main window in my  room gets a lot of sun, and I always suspected that to be the cause of my problems.

It has helped. Wonders. Now my room has a dark appearance. It used to be so bright, that I used to put sun film, in summers to achieve the same effect. It is also a little cooler now.

The idea I suppose here is that the chick has created a buffer column of air which is much cooler than the hot air blasts directly out side. So that column of air in front of a small balcony is keeping temperature in check. As auxiliary benefits,   I get lesser dust, and lesser sunlight, and yes, a little bit of sound proofing from what’s happening on the street down below.

I hereby declare it a good investment this summer.

People struggling to have their houses passive cooled, try having such columns of air around the sun facing walls in the house. If you’re designing the house still, it might be a good idea to have that extra room in front and over the main bed room. If you’re pressed for space, there are doors made of aluminum, which slide and open. They are used to get the same effect, as they, along with the regular wooden doors are separated by a distance of a couple of feet to create the same kind of pocket of air. Not only will it keep things cool in summers, it will also make the inner room snug, if you happen to exist in chillier places.

Next up, I’ll be investigating on which appliances of mine contribute to the heat in my room.

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