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Relocation [04 Oct 2007|01:58pm]

I've thinking of moving my personal blog from LiveJournal to another better hosting site. I've had a blogspot blog and have been quite happy with the features it provides. Another one I'm looking at is WordPress. The good thing about it is lets me import my posts from other blog sites. I tried importing from blogspot and am hoping that importing from LiveJournal works the same way. We'll see...I still haven't made the final decision as yet. But soon...

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Windows Live Writer [18 Aug 2007|10:53pm]

I recently saw a blog post about Windows Live Writer and thought of using it because it lets me create and edit posts offline. It also lets me post to both my blogger and livejournal blogs through one interface. This is my first post and so far, I like it. If you want to try, download it from http://get.live.com/betas/writer_betas

They say its WYSIWYG. And also...it's beta so no guarantees.

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ज़िंदगि जिनेके सिर्फ़ दो तरिके होते हे । एक जो होताहे होने दो, बरदाश करो और दुसरा ज़िमेदारि उठाओ उ [14 May 2007|03:58pm]
As I was listening to the soundtrack of 'Rang De Basanti', I felt more and more that there should be a sequel to it. It could be called 'Phir Rang De Basanti' and the theme should revolve around how Sue lives her life after instilling the sense of freedom in hopeless young minds which as we all know, gets them killed. But not just that…Sue starts a revolution of different sorts. She has to - how else would she be able to live the rest of her life. The problem with previous movie was that the objectives of the characters were too grandiose - and to do anything at that magnificent level in our country, something drastic has to be done. If something drastically good can't be shown to sustain itself, something drastically bad has to happen to stop it.

So what Sue does now is to start a movement at grassroots level - and the sequel has to encompass that. Not the victory of the lifetime, like our Independence victory but everyday victories that everyday heroes achieve. The little things they do that makes little difference to some and a huge difference to others. I believe there are countless such examples in my country whatever it may seem like on the surface. And one of the reasons for my such belief is this: http://indianeconomy.org/2006/10/06/outsourcing-one-more-time-around/#comment-18996 .
These victories don't have to be selfless, they can be achieved for entirely selfish reasons. The selfish reason of saving money on gas and commuting on public transport, the selfish reason of getting some advertising money by writing an informational blog etc. The last thing I want to do is to list down all the ways these victories can be achieved. But the most important thing is that these victories cannot/should not evade another person's rights. There have to be a lot of positive opportunities before we can let the concept be negatively construed...you get the idea.

This post has turned into more of my nostalgic yearnings that I always get when listening to this music so I'll write more if I find the same thought twirling in my head somewhere at a moment when I have some time and inspiration to continue...but if not, some other thought will always find its way.
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Avdan [12 Jan 2007|07:34pm]
You're here. Came here exactly on the estimated date, Dec 31st at 5:38pm.
You weighed 8 pounds at birth and were 20 3/4 inches tall. It felt very good
to hold you for the first time and look at you. I can't describe the feeling
honestly, only that you'll have to experience it yourself to understand it.
Hopefully, I'll be there with you when you go through it yourself.

As you can imagine, life has changed. I didn't take 2 weeks off as
originally planned because I'm running out of vacation days and your grandma
is here. So I didn't need to worry about you. And the day I joined office, I
was overloaded with work. But I'm enjoying the work & challenge even though
I'm not getting to spend as much time with you as I'd like. Not that you'd
notice :) at least for now.

I know I promised to write a lot to you and I hope you'll forgive me. I will
slowly but surely catch up with all the things I want to write to you...
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The namesake [22 Dec 2006|03:47pm]
I didn't get a chance to write again until now. There have been some
organization changes at work and my team is under a new manager. I've also
been given more responsibilities which is good as it means more exposure.
I'm moving ahead. The bad (not that bad, really) part is that I'll be busier
and will have to spend more time at work. But I'm enjoying the new
responsibilities very much. I've already talked to my new manager that I'd
be taking 2 weeks around the time when you decide to arrive. Anticipation
has given way to anxiety and it's getting more intense every day. Exactly 2
weeks from now. Or sooner...or later.

Your "nani" is here to help and it's a great relief. "Nani" is maternal
grandmother, your mom's mom. Since we came here, we have lived all by
ourselves. Every decision we made was our own. We did consult our parents
and relatives back home but how much help can one give (even advice) from
30,000 miles far. But now she's here and we can get some real-time help. If
you turn out the way your mom wants you to, you'll be quite a handful to
manage by ourselves. Your mom wants you to be playful and naughty. I want
you to be respectful. It's a very fragile combination but perfectly
achievable. As I said earlier, it'll take a lot of hard work and patience.

My brother sent me a DVD with pictures and videos of his son who is almost a
year old now. While I was watching them, I felt a little nostalgic, partly
because I missed being a part of my family and partly on realizing that you
will not get a chance to understand our real culture and heritage. We will
try our best but it will not be like being back at home when you get to be
involved and the traditions, good or bad, are a part of you. They build your
character without you even realizing it. Whatever we try to teach you and
tell you here will be a forced lesson. But we'll try to do our best to make
it a learning experience rather than a forced infringement.

This feelings were more defined when I read the book "The Namesake" by
Jhumpa Lahiri. The book is also about Indian immigrants to US who came here
- one to pursue his dream and other following her husband in an unknown
world. The book revolves around their son who is a part of American culture
as much as he is engulfed in Indian traditions as he's growing up - whether
he likes it or not. Both their children are born here and raised in a
cultural mix of Bengali (West Bengal is a state in India) and American
traditions. The author herself was born to Indian parents in London and
brought up in USA.

I hope I can be patient enough to make you see the bright side of having the
best of two worlds, you will be able to make the best out of both the modern
advancements as well as the deep-rooted history and background that you are
a part of. And I hope I will be able to help you in every way and every
moment that you slowly realize this. I hope I will be able to dispel your
confusion and help you see and decide for yourself - and decide for the best
for your life.
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Hitachi Travelstar 80GB internal parallel 5400 [01 Dec 2006|05:38pm]
Those are the keywords to search Google for a new hard disk from my laptop.
Well...the background is that my home laptop's dear disk drive failed. When
we got back home after the thanksgiving trip and booted the computer, it
looked up the ethernet interface address, threw a slew of intricate error
numbers and said "Operating system not found". Initially I thought it weird
for it to be looking up my MAC address on bootup but slowly it dawned on me
that it had gone through all the boot options and failed to find anywhere to
boot from. One of the options before booting from "Network IDE" was to boot
from "Internal HDD" and on trying a few different things - one of them being
disabling all other boot options but the internal hard disk, the obvious was
pretty confirmed. It took a long time to sink in...but it did.

Once it was confirmed, I wasted no time in firing up the work laptop and
looking up all different key words and their combinations on Google. First
instinct as you may have guessed was to try to get the failed hard disk
working. "It may have failed for a temporary reason and maybe if I fiddle it
a little bit, I can bring it back to life". I came across this wonderful link at Dell's support website. After going through a
series of steps that culminated in removal and reinsertion of the hard disk,
I realized that all the steps before that were a waste of time. I was a
little anxious and for some reason falsely confident that it would work. But
as it happens, it didn't. I did it a few times with no luck.

Next step was to look for an alternate hard drive. External one that I can
later on use with my desktop as well. One thing I wasn't sure about was if I
could boot from an external hard drive. So I asked around at work and got a
resounding yes. Immediately (actually that evening) I went to Costco and
bought the Western Digital MyBook Premium Edition 500GB External hard drive.
One of the reasons to go with Costco was their renowned return policy. It's
another topic but I should mention that I once bought an external DVD writer
at Costco online, used it for about a year and when it failed returned it at
a Costco warehouse in its dilapidated box with no receipt. Not only they
took it back, they also returned more money than I had paid for.

Meanwhile, I also read on a blog that it may be able to get some more hours out of a dead hard
disk if you freeze it. So that morning, I placed it in a ziploc bag and put
in the freezer beside waffles and corn dogs. And a lot of stuff that I had
to move to make room for my expensive (not as much in terms of money but
data) piece of food (again, data...).

So Wednesday evening, I had 2 things to try - the new external hard drive
and the frozen, chilly but dying internal hard disk. Again, I was faintly
optimistic that it would work. And again, reality became obvious very soon.
No matter with how much expectations I inserted the cold hard disk in my
laptop, it didn't come back to life. Finally, having given up I connected
MyBook to the laptop via USB and booted it with the Windows XP reinstall
disk. The installation program recognized the external hard drive. But when
I tried to install Windows on that, it gave me an error which basically
meant that it can't access the hard drive. I checked with my work laptop and
the hard drive was working fine. And so, slowly (with a few google searches)
I accepted the fact that I cannot boot my system using an external hard
drive. So again, the search began - for internal hard disks this time. I
opened my dead one and noted down the manufacturer, model number and other

Since I didn't have any other choice but to get for a new internal
hard disk, I thought I might as well go for a better one - a 5400 RPM
instead of 4200RPM and 80GB instead of 40GB. BestBuy had best prices and is
easily accessible. Thursday evening, I went to the store close to my office
but they only had 60GB ones. I asked them to check with other stores,
especially the one that's close to my home and the guy came back and said
none of them have the 80GB one. So after debating a little and getting
myself to accept the fact (I have the 500GB MyBook anyways), I bought the
60GB 5400RPM Hitachi Travelstar. I don't know why I did that (maybe because
I really wanted the 80GB one) but on my way back, I went to the other
BestBuy that is close to home. And to my surprise, they DID have the 80GB
one. I exchanged it and told the clerk that I couldn't believe or understand
why their representatives would lie to me. He apologized and said he
couldn't either.

Anyways, so last night I set myself to finally fix my computer. On booting,
it immediately recognized the 80GB internal HDD. I formatted it into one
single NTFS partition and installed XP Home on it. One bad thing is that I
had XP Professional before and since I don't have the CD anymore, I'll have
to stay with Home Edition. It felt so good to be finally seeing the Windows
XP welcome page and after about 3-4 hours of install, re-format, re-install
and re-partition the computer was booting nicely. The initial steps were to
install the Windows Update, FireFox, Azureus & PartitionMagic. I partitioned
the 80GB into 2 partitions of around 40GB each. For some reason, it is still
giving the error when it couldn't find the hard drive and tried to boot from
network. But when I boot it using the Windows XP and canel the re-install,
it boots perfectly with the hard disk. It may be because of the 2 partitions
that I'm going to have to figure out. For now, all's well.

I'm still debating whether to keep the Western Digital 500GB MyBook Premium
Edition for my backup purposes (in case you haven't noticed the hint of
sadness to have lost all the precious data I accumulated for over 3 years, I
have decided to diligently backup my whole hard drive every month or so,
without fail) or to return it to get my money back. I think I'll keep it for
sometime and if at some point I don't feel the need of having 500GB of disk
space with me, I'll return it to costco in its old box. Who knows, I may get
more money back to compensate for the internal hard disk as well.

I won't count on it though...
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Indian Economy [14 Oct 2006|07:24pm]
Recently, I started reading The
Indian Economy Blog
. There was a recent post on it regarding
optimism of Manmohan Singh.

What made me really feel good was one of the comments.
The author of the comment suggested and explained how the lower and
middle class of India is rising up to the increasing challenge of
global competitiveness.
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One [28 Sep 2006|11:12am]
You are still 3 months away from being born and most, if not all of
the our conversations (your mom's and mine) are regarding or related
to you. I'm getting the tingling sense of responsibility more often
now. Right now, if there was one wish I could get, I would ask that
you grow up to be a responsible and rational person. And that also
brings me face to face with the fact that I will be the one who can
make that happen. It won't be magic, it will be a lot of hard work and

In next few posts, I'll take this chance to tell you about last few
years that have changed me and my perspectives dramatically. For good.
I will also try to articulate what I'm going through right now
regarding all the things that will happen from now until the time you
grow up to take care of yourself. I want to give you a hindsight into
my mindset and my efforts to fulfill that one wish.

I was talking to my dad a few days ago and he mentioned an interesting
fact. The day you will be born as estimated currently (Dec 31, 2006)
will be the 6th anniversary of the day when I left India, our home
country for first time to come here to United States. These last 6
years have changed me substantially, the most important change being
that I found the way to achieve the objective of my life. Before that,
I knew vaguely what the objective of my life is but there was no clear
sense of direction on how to achieve it.

The objective of my life is to live life to the fullest. You get only
once chance after all. There are certain things that you have to do in
that one life to make you entitled to living your life whatever way
you want. I think all this will make more sense as I describe to you
the events of those few years after I came to US.
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Logical conditional [27 Sep 2006|04:18pm]
This post has been lying in draft mode since last 2 months or more
because of my unwillingness to get together all the thoughts & ideas
swirling in my head. I recently heard a radio host talking about some
of the same ideas and that nudged me to finish this post.
This post is my feelings about the political radicalism in America and
how I try to learn some lessons that I can fit in the broader picture
of life. I haven't had an active interest in American Politics for
long enough to justify or explain a lot of comments in this post so
please treat this as written by an amateur mortal.

I recently was intrigued by the popularity of Ann Coulter's latest
book "Godless: The Church of Liberalism". I know that everybody has an
opinion about her and her books but I think majority of people will
agree that what she says is controversial. And a majority of people
(maybe lesser than the previous majority) will agree that she makes
these kind of harsh controversial statements to sell her books. I
couldn't find any justification for her statements other than that
summarized by Al Franken, "...Coulter is a firm believer in the free
market. By definition, anything that succeeds in 'the marketplace of
ideas,' like her books, must inherently be of value". Which in my
opinion, they are not. I don't think they serve any purpose to advance
the social and political values of a society.

Now, I must make it clear that haven't read her book. I couldn't get
myself to stomach the excerpts I read from various blogs. And so I'm
probably not justified in commenting about her book. What I AM
justified in doing though, is trying to learn a lesson from her
success on how I want or don't want to live MY life. And that's why I
want to write about something that transpired in my head one recent

I was trying to understand the relationship between success and
happiness in order to explain why we do what we do. The conclusion I
came to was this:
The common reason why we try and do everything to achieve success is
because to most people, happiness (or satisfaction) is a direct result
of success. I think in terms of simple logic, we believe that a
successful life implies a happy life. Or S (for success) implies H
(for happiness/satisfaction). Or simply S -> H.

I think that's not true. I've seen or heard about many people, who
even after achieving dizzying heights of success are still mostly
unhappy. Why do we hear so much about celebrities ending up in drug
rehabs? Why are their so many articles about 'successful' people
committing suicides or dying horrible deaths? I think truth is other
way round. Instead of success implying happiness/satisfaction,
happiness/satisfaction implies success. Or H -> S.

The whole definition of 'Success' in today's world has been twisted
and convoluted by the mega-rich and famous people, intentionally or
unintentionally and the common person who blindly follows that star.
While a common person can see the fame and dollars that they have at
their expense, they can't see their otherwise disappointing and
uneventful lives. And that leads them to believe that they can achieve
happiness when they are successful. But what happens in most cases is
that they try their whole lives trying to achieve a fake dream not
realizing that what they should cherish most is something they already
have, or something they can have with least effort.

And that leads me to how I live my life and how I would try to teach
our kids to live their lives. I believe that I'm successful where I
am. And that gives me happiness and satisfaction. I believe I'm smart
enough to take on a good challenge and resolve it. And that gives me
happiness. I believe I can innovate and enjoy and contribute to the
society at the same time.

I will teach the kids who are our future that they can be truly
successful when they are happy and continue to innovate and accept
challenges. I will teach them to enjoy the journey towards any goal
and be passionate about it. I will teach them to respect the rights of
others and the moral values of a free society and to believe in
righteousness. I will teach them to be strong when faced with
opposition but always give consideration to other people's
perspectives. I will teach them not to be discouraged by imcompetent
and/or immoral people who achieve seemilngly grandiose purposes. I
will teach them not to utilize immoral means to achieve their
objectives - because it's not the end that matters, it's how you get
there. I will teach them to enjoy pain and hardships, I will teach
them to accept any new challenge with a smile on their face. I will
teach them to be themselves...

A lot of things now that the time is getting closer...
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Extremely Funny! [14 Sep 2006|08:20pm]
John Stewart talking about CNN's and Neil Cavuto's questionable use of
question marks to disguise any statements they may desire in form of
questions, however ridiculous those may be. An example, "The #1
President On Mideast Matters: George W. Bush?".

In response, Jon had this question:
"A Prophylactic Protecting Fox News From Anything It Might Contract
During Its Extensive GOP C**ksucking?"
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