An Excuse to Write
Friday, July 30, 2004
  Why iPod?

Some time back I was asked why anyone would buy an iPod. And I must say, I wasn't very convincing. The first argument that popped up in my head was, "Because its so cool !" For one thing, I've never used one. But after countless feeds of Chip, Digit (stopped reading that now) and, I seem to ardently believe that iPod is the mp3 player to possess. An example of effective hype and product placement, probably.

What I know about the iPod for sure is that it looks good, has enormous capacity, can be effectively used as a portable hard-disc, possess a well sized LCD screen, can display ID3 tags, create playlists and so on. AND is very expensive (especially in the Indian market).

What I've heard is that it has very good sound quality (but the effect is best experienced in headphones better than the bundled ones), backlight is good, buttons are very responsive, transfering files from the computer is very very fast, battery life is average (though the new models have improved on that), it lacks FM but add-ons are available, and has a cult fan following.


I for one will probably never have a music collection spread over 20-40 Gb and sadly enough, considering I don't have money to throw away, I cannot justify the cost of an iPod.

The Creative Rhomba LX100/LX200 (CNET review) would probably be more than adequate. It has a cool blue LCD, can display ID3 tags, 128-256 MB is enough, a FM player is just what I'd adore, its small, uses the USB interface (I love USB; one of the most convenient technologies) and it has a Lithion-ion battery (read: rechargable; also on my list of favourite technologies) that gives 10-12 hours. I think it costs around 9500 Rs. Actually, a FM enabled mobile, my present one is not so, would probably meet my music needs; but I don't want to be that practical.


I have lusted after a GMail account in the past and I can atleast dream about this. What can I say, I like gizmos. For all those who would question this too, I can say that people buy (or want) stupid camera phones (even though they've never taken any interest in photography and quality of pictures is mediocre at best) all the time. The majority of my critics being in this category, usually shut up. And if the reviewers are to be believed the iPaq is a quality player; and I've always wanted to own an Apple product (brand image again).

PS: I like thinking like this. practically (though my practicalism always has a touch of idealism) and ideally. Then I can choose one way to go depending on the circumstances and my mood.

PPS: Completely (except this post script and the pics) written on my iPaq! I can barely contain my glee.

  New toys to Play and Work with
My father bought these two, second hand at 10,000 Rs, and they have been duly handed over to me to use and give feedback! My obvious favourite is the iPAQ and most of my blog entries now on will have been written on it. I have taken out my laptop to sync with these, ( my PC right now keeps hanging and is only capable of accessing the internet and playing games) and I'm using it to log on the net after a long time. I will post their reviews here later on. Yeah!

Compaq iPAQ h3800 | Palm Vx
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
  Bored at Home
After a long time, I'm spending weekdays at home. My classes are over and I'm going to be shifted to a live project by next week. I enjoyed lazying around at home during the weekends, when there was something to do for the rest of the week. Now, I feel drugged. I'm not initiating anything new. My day-dreams seem like reruns of movies, that I've seen too often. This is a usual state of affair, bought on whenever I feel nothing is going on in my life. It will pass. Till then, a picture that I found suitable, from deviantART.

Time Doesn't Move

Tuesday, July 20, 2004
  Sitting on the Fence

I've been putting off writing about this, just like I've been putting off thinking about it (and thus coming to a decision). I'm still to reach to decision, but things were put in better perspective, by some of my father's observations. I've better realized what's at stake here.

It's a choice between a full-time job or college life.

I'm straight out of Class XII. I took Science as my stream, just so I could study Computer Science and I didn't do well (put it down to lack of application/interest) except in (you guessed it) Computers and English. Average board marks means my options are limited. And as far as JEE and every other engineering entrance test is concerned, I'm not interested. The less said the better. Before my software classes I had my sights set on Mass Communication in Xaviers and I applied to all the courses I had a shot for and could imagine myself in.

Then, software classes started. Its a free training course in this software company (my father is the major investor there), where they'll absorb the people they find useful. Till now, its been a crash course in SQL, Power Builder, VB and VC# .NET and I've loved it. I'm good at programming. I like the company and I have the chance to work full-time. That means I'll have to join Bhawanipore (read: morning college that needn't be attended) and work 9-5 five days a week.

On the other hand, I'm tempted to give it up for Mass Communication in Xaviers (assuming that I get in). College life, especially in Xaviers, has its own charms. The subject seems so interesting, and there's a good chance that my perspective may get narrowed and my life repetitive if all I do is this job. College is college, yaar.

But if I settle for something less than Mass Comm, I'll be miserable. I don't want to repeat those last two years of school. I don't want to keep regretting the chance I didn't take.

Then again, it might not be that big a sacrifice after all. If I work hard, I might be worth something in the IT world in some years. Or I might apply to the US again and get in, since job experience counts. (Yeah, I applied last year; I need scholarship; the only thing going for me was good SAT scores 1550 and reccomendations; and I still want to try.)

I want to do both! I want college life and do what I like i.e programming. But like Calvin says, "Reality continues to ruin my life."

PS: There's another part about an angry best friend and a seat in Xaviers BBA that I have refused.

Sunday, July 18, 2004
  Sucker for Personality Tests
My Bloginality is INFP.

I consider my liking for personality tests a personal eccentricity, a side-effect of my personality, if you will. This test however, struck a cord and gave me a sense of deja vu (god know's why), that I'm powerless to ignore.

PS: One of the fictional INFP's listed here is Calvin!

PPS: Oh, and I got to this test from a link on Basket Case

PPPS: This is me right now...

Saturday, July 17, 2004
  Saturday Peace
The day went well.

And I struck the right cord, just as I woke up, by remembering that its a holiday. I do love my classes, but my project was getting (with a little help from me) a bit too complicated.

Isha (read: best friend) found me in the shower when I should have been ready and awaiting her arrival. Can't say I'm sorry, though...I expected her to be late! I guess this evens the score a bit. Thankfully enough we had her car at our displosal today, its too hot and polluted to be self-sufficient and travel in cabs. We killed time at the counselling session in Calcutta University's Alipore campus till Isha got a seat at Xaviers for BBA and I went on the waiting list.

I'm having serious doubts about what route vis-a-vis my education I should take, but that's for another time. The wind blowing thought my room is cool, Windmills of your Mind's playing and my mood not conducive to worrying right now.

We celebrated over coffee in Barista. Cappaccino is the safest bet, anyday, anytime. Slept in the afternoon after a long time and dreamt about Ents lulling me to sleep. Talked to Swati about trivial things, but such an intresting bubbling conversation did those trivialities make.

Went to the library, scaveged in a book cart and found the C# book that I was loking for. Add to that a PG Wodehouse and Non-Zero my book collection was complete.

It might not seem like a particularly eventful day to some, and I fail to describe it well. My dreams were pleasant, each hour rolled into the other, my house was peaceful and the evening breeze was cool. It was one of those Saturdays that I always look forward to at the end of every week.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
  continuing...Psychotic Chain Mails

  Pyschotic chain mails
Tonight at midnight your true love will realize they like you. Something good will happen to you at 1:00-4:00pm tomorrow, it could be anywhere aol, yahoo, outside of school, anywhere. get ready for the biggest shock of your life. If you break this chain letter you will be cursed with 10 relationship problems for the next ten years. If you send 15ppl this in 15 min you're safe.

I'm so sick of chain mails! Going by the number of such chain mails I've deleted over the 5 odd years I've been on the net, my so-called true love has been lost to me a hundred different times, friends who haven't recieved a copy of some chain mail have realized that I'm not a true friend and basically my life has been a series of accidents and tragedies. Oh woe is me!

Just when I thought I had told everyone, having the slightest tendency to forward chain letters, to keep me off their list...Sigh! Why on earth do they bother?! Nowadays, I tend to make up my mind about someone as soon as he/she sends me a chain letter/forward; just like I judge people by the way their emails/online messages are worded.

I tried to search for this Calvin & Hobbes strip about a chain letter on the net. Unfortunately my major source of C&H stuff has been unmercilessly closed down. But I did find find a lot of stuff about chain letters...

The Ultimate Chain Letter
The Anti-Chain Letter
Chain Letters
Sunday, July 11, 2004
  Capital Punishment is for Humans; for we are Animals.
Barkha Dutt was right on We The People, today, when she said that people, expecially women, have a gut-level reaction favouring capital punshment for criminals committing murder and rape. So do I, but I have arguments to back my gut feeling.

Though the fact that the State has the power to take away life is troubling at some level, I do support the cause for capital punishment. I disagree with the entire concept that we are an enlightened society and that crime and punishment is for animals. We are very much animals, not semi-gods. The ground reality is that what keeps people in check is not spirituality but the dissaproval of society and its dire effects.

Keep the moral indignation aside; think utalitarian. Think in terms of safety. There will be no perfect world nor a perfect path to it. You can harp about reformation, but its extremely hard to change people. Its bad enough that a life sentence in India is no life sentence. Fourteen years, not even one and a half decade. If you don't want to kill a criminal, keep him/her off the streets! Don't take the decision of granting a death-sentence lightly, but if you do, carry it out.

Its a cruel joke if after spending so many years to catch a criminal, to get him convicted, to get to a decision, you are told at the point of execution of justice that he's had enough. The human race is responsible for its own actions , no gods shall intervene, and each human needs to be held responsible for his.
Saturday, July 10, 2004
  Brain Freeze
Though I definitely prefer what I'm doing now to school life, I have this feeling that I've stopped thinking.

* I haven't read a new book for a long time, just my old favourite ones, especially PGWodehouse (some new, but Plum is always more comfortable and funny than thought-provoking, if you know what I mean).
* I haven't woken up at 6am and had tea/coffee for ages.
* I wake up, go to software class, come back and surf the net and go back to sleep. (All daily functions included, ofcourse).
* I'm getting stuck in a rut. Before I know it I'll be either a working-all-the-time-don't-know-why adult or a bored-housewife. Gosh, that sounds horrible, especially the latter scenario.

Even as I write my brain seems reluctant to process any new thoughts, consider any changes.

There are so many things I could do but I know there's no use making any New Year type resolutions. They never materialize.

I need to get out...of my house and my regular thoughts.
Friday, July 09, 2004
  Why We'll Never UnderStand Each Other
The clash of the sexes has always seemed quite hilarious to me. This book might have some witty observations.

  Non Sequitur
I spent all my time online today looking at (and saving) strips of this comic called Non Sequitur. This has to be one of the most observant and funny comic I have seen since Calvin & Hobbes. And there's this book called Why We'll Never Understand each other. Yeah! Now I know what I want for my birthday (I'm usually rather clueless). I got Calvin & Hobbes 10th Anniversary Book on my 17th birthday and it always cheers me up when I'm down and helps distract me.

The text hasn't come out very clear; thus I shall elucidate.

Non Sequitur - The Philosophical Showdown
Rejoice! Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Repent! This could be your last day.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004
  Dilemma (Sequel to Sharing Code)
The problem with saying all that I just said is that it makes me feel a bit guilty.

On One Hand...
* I'm being selfish.
* I shouldn't let all this bother me too much. If I'm good at what I do, someone will notice.
* Sharing ideas and solutions is good. Non-zero sum game.

On the Other...
* I can't possibly be selfless?! Concientous, yes.
* Really? Who will? People are not clairvorant.
* Its still a non-zero sum game. My gain is not their loss and vice-verca. Sharing as a non-zero sum game is worth playing only if both sides contribute or as an investment for future returns.

I wish my mind worked a little less like a pendulum. I should stick to one way and stop thinking so much. Ha! Wishful thinking.
  Sharing Code
This has been a problem throughout. Ever since I was introduced to programming through GW Basic and Logo(does it count as a language?) in school and discovered I was the only one in class with any actual interest in the subject; I have hated handing around my coding.
For that matter, I'm not too akin to giving out any kind of material (research, organized History notes, some Lit answer I took an hour to pen down) that I've worked on (usually longer than I should or can afford to). I'm possesive.

Now I know I'm not in school anymore. There is no mad scramble for marks to compete in. But if after an hour or so of brain-storming, trial-and-error and some pure chance (there is always some) you arrive at a code that actually does what you want it to do, and someone else casually walks by and copies it down; you have a right to be indignant. Ok, I might be going a bit far here, but I do have a point. You need to work (read: bang your head against the monitor) on your own code for a decent amount of time before you ask for help, and even more till you have to look at someone else's program. Right?

Another issue. I want to get due recognition for my work. There is no simpler way to put this. Being the only student straight out of school and the youngest I need to be taken seriously.

Actually things might be looking up a bit. This instructor, in contrast to the prior ones, has started questioning why (mostly) everyone's programs contain very similar portions (read: mine and my partner's).

Eiter way I can't refuse to help anyone outright. I'd say "It's not Fair!", but my Dad recently commented that I say that a lot and there's no such thing as "fair".
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
  Coding without example
I just spend 4 hours trying to figure out C# without any help files, any reference book or a teacher willing to dole out actual syntax. I can't be angry at him the way I used to be with my school computer teachers, because I don't (or rather have no reason to) doubt his programming ability; He's a programmer not a teacher. I just think that though the theory of OOPS, .NET structure, CLS, BLL, etc, etc will give me an idea of how to program effectively, I have to start with simple unadultrated coding. How will I do that without any examples! I'm writhing in agony and confusion when instead of answering in simple English (rather simple code) queries of how to implement an assignment (which by the way he gave the class), the intructor starts another discourse on so-and-so concept. What will I do with concepts if I don't know how to implement them?!

So here I am on the net, summoning my reserves of patience to sift through pages and pages of information to find that prefect tutorial that will show me how to create Windows-based applications using Visual C# .NET. I seem to have found a worthy candidate. Its either this or a trip to the library.

God! Let tommorow be another day.
Monday, July 05, 2004
I have to write more. I seem to have this nagging feeling that if I did, my life would make more sense, have more purpose. I suppose that's what this blog could be about: An excuse for me to write.

It would actually be safer than writing in some kind of personal diary, which I would invariably leave around the house for someone to find and read. And nobody in my family really browses the net the way I do and wouldn't bother to look here of all places.

There's so much stuff that you want to tell someone or the other, but can't collect your thoughts at that moment. To organize your thoughts and express yourself clearly by talking, by writing, by painting, etc, etc, clears up the clutter in your mind a bit.

Makes sense. Here's to writing (and blogging).
Saturday, July 03, 2004
  First Post
I'm not too sure why I've opened an account on Blogger...god knows I'm not aiming to paste all my personal details on the web.
Lets see where this goes.
"You write because you need to write, or because you hope someone will listen, or because writing will mend something broken inside you, or bring something back to life-" - Jay Makintosh (from Blackberry Wine) I need to write. I need to rearrange and refine sentences. I want to ponder over how to put that thought in words; so that it fits in the scheme of things just so. Words can create magic and I want to get lost in them for some part of each day's life.

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Location: Calcutta, West Bengal, India
July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / May 2006 / June 2006 / March 2007 /

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