Changing face of India

“India is changing” I am sure this is not a new topic to talk about. But there are few things which got changed in India which my RADAR didn’t notice before. I am not going to debate on their pros and cons. Any changes are more noticeable when we encounter the same old place or person after a break. Like you meet up an old friend with whom you grew up but that time probably you did not noticed he or she was growing vertically and your mid- aged relatives were growing horizontally. But you meet them after few years the changes become more noticeable to our eyes.

This time, while passing in front of AIMS, Delhi I could not believe my eyes the whole place changed for good the landscape is now full of flyovers. Well, Delhi being the drawing room of India always gets special attentions. I personally do not like flyovers, as they disfigure the beauty. Parisian approach of building underpass is better to me. But building those may be more costlier and without proper planning it might be a nightmare after monsoon rain.

Thanks to Election Commission that writing is banned on the wall and it had atleast kept our political parties away from the walls otherwise it would have been full of “hands”, “lotus” and not to mention those “elephants” ,”hammer” and what not. But those walls are now left with poster from IIT coaching (ISO certified) to shoes.

I always need a haircut as soon I reach India and when I fly out of India. One big benefit is the price but the primary motivation is the quality of the haircut. So I went with SK to a nearest hairdresser. The name of a normal haircutting saloons are not normal any more rather very fashionable like “copper clips” or “silver scissors”. I should have met guys who are coming up with innovative names before I registered santm.com. A simple haircut which cost 15 rupees for my dad and he thinks that is expensive the same costs to me Rs 60. But unfortunately this place does not even have AC to call it a “Men’s parlour“.

With all said and done the reason for typing so long was as I noticed a 19/21 years old boy quite FAT to my eyes was getting pedicure. Instead of getting those pedicure and wasting his money he should have joined a GYM or rather do some walking. I don’t know how getting a pedicure is making him better marketable. Well, it might be very personal view which might not be shared by others as the first thing that you need is money and it looked like he had a lot.

One thing I noticed in India for affluent class it means to be overweight, having big tummy (men particularly) as they intake lot of rich food, do less physical work and for every daily chores they have a domestic helper. May be time has now come for educated Indians to understand the values that comes with money and luxury.

Second thing is the number of mobile-phone users in the country is experiencing a meteoric rise. Right from Sabjiwali (vegetable seller), bai (helper), theleywala (cartpuller) to higher class is talking over that small e-gadget for hrs…..God knows what topic they are talking on.I think that day is not far when everyother person will be talking over phone rather then in-person.

Tujh bin….

Oof !!!! getting mad you know.Its been a while Santanu is trying his best to make it work but alas no response,no sound... nothing.Tried his best as much as he could, took it on his lap, dismantle everything...like one of those computer geeks trying to fix that damn thing but god............everything gone in vain.The connections & all those seems to be fine except that fan which was rotating in such a speed making hell lot of noise.You know its almost dead....

The CPU was showing 116° C. He did contact INTEL support and the response from them was since he is not using the CPU fan provided by them for cooling he had broken warranty. But according to the Shuttle their system is Intel Certified so I am supposed to use the ICE (Integrated Cooling Engine) for cooling the CPU and system. He posted the same on Sudhian but it seems like that did not raised many eye-brow. And he found this too mean for any mini PC or hardware support with big name.

Anywayz, thinking that he might have to buy and spent money on new hardware he took the whole system to Surcouf. They told him at the reception to be ready to pay minimum 19 Euros for the diagnosis and other?. All the technician out there did not look worried about Static Electricity at all. According to them it is a system problem so they send the same to Shuttle.

In that way,he is lucky enough as the system is still under warranty. Now he has to wait 4 weeks minimum for any updates which means it has to wait for me till he come back from my India trip."Waqai, tujh bin....jiyu kaisey". This computer world has got so much integrated into his private life that hardly he can think of himself without it. La vie sans net est difficile a vivre. (see, ;) he can speak bit of french in frustated mood)

Vacation on the horizon

Yes I am going to take vacations! It has been a while (after May 2005) when we went out from our current address in Paris. In our standard of travelling it is a record for good or bad...that can't be said. May be it is the effect of Chateau, Bateau, Gateau.We would love to visit some country-side or mountains now. But, unfortunately Pamela is not at all interested for any ski-trip as she is complaining about the Paris cold all the time. So no trip in Europe for now.
Well, this vacation I am cheering but may be it will be just like another trip to India where my days are more hectic with relatives and long journeys and at the end I question myself was it a vacation or my social duties.
For sure I am going to travel a lot as I will start my trip of India with Delhi and ending the same in Bombay. In between I am going to stop at Siliguri, Calcutta & Durg for sure. I am adding this map with pointers to give an idea.



French classes came to an end


Well my French classes came to an end. And I passed the exam :D I would like to take up the Oscar podium for few seconds and like to thank my beloved wife Pamela for her support ; my teacher, my colleagues- Stephan and Fred for their time and effort to make me understand the basics of French grammar. And I am very satisfied that I didn't let them down as I scored well in grammar and got all the Passé-compose and Imparfait (past tense) correct.
Well, this could not have been enjoyed more without going to the same bar where last time we went from the class before Christmas break.

Joy of baking


With the cold weather and shorter day lights lots of baking is going on and enjoying the butter and sugar lately. Feeling guilty as cann't resist and moreover did not do any exercise after my Paris - Versailles marathon :(
We were invited to one of my colleague’s place for the first time after almost 3 years in France for ‘Galette des rois’. It was very memorable and an enjoyable evening. Its a French custom to end the holiday session; where there is something hidden in the galette and if that is in your part you are considered king for that day. Children try to find the same in their part and some time they endup doing archaeological digging.
Pamela baked recently lots of cake and they came out good. The latest one was this apple tart. This was awesome. Now, she really set a very high mark for her skills and hope that she keeps it up :D

Home Network ADSL-Network-Phone

I just wanted to share my home network. It is not a state of technologies with the latest & greatest wireless or wired network with complex router and switches. I did it in old school way with a single long CAT5 Ethernet Cable. I have a FreeBox which is an ADSL2 router connecting to the main phone jack. The output from the FreeBox connects my PC, Television and Phone. Now all these components are connected with the single wire as I mentioned before. It takes benefit of the fact out of 8 wires in an Ethernet cable only 4 are used for network; the pins 1-2 and 3-6 of RJ45 are used. The connection is simple, wire from pin 1 to pin 1 of the other side and like wise.Similarly, I use the other two pairs for telephone and ADSL.

So here is the basic block diagram as picture can express morefreebox

The input of ADSL router is a simple RJ11 connecting with 2 wires.The connection between PC and router is 4 wires with RJ45 (2 pairs, one pair for transmit and other for receive). The phone needs only one pair RJ11.

These pictures show RJ45 connections in detail and also a picture of backside of freebox.

rj45wiring
RJ45

back-of-my-freebox

The success of doing this by oneself depends on one's skill of how good one is with crimp tool as the connections sometimes are not proper and one has to repeat the whole process right from the start. Doing a search for making rj45 cable connections on web will lead to more details. Need any more tips on the same please drop me a line.

Happy Holidays


Wish you all happy & prosperous New Year.Its time to write almost last entry for this year.

For quite a while was thinking to write about 2005 year diary. Hmm............not able to write with this dull and grey sky and no need to mention the cold at Paris but wait............ seems some ray of light is trying to reach my desk which I do not want to loose, hope that will keep my spirit high while writing this.

2005 started with the longest vacation I ever had so far in my career. It was six week India trip and an escape from cold Europe. It was not a vacation after all, as my younger brother was getting married.

Coming back to Paris we did traveled as-usual in the first half.We have been to Germany, Austria, Spain and Portugal.It was superb with excellent weather and good food.
Pamela did a great job which I was not able to accomplish from quite a long. She made sure my parents visit Paris. And yes...they did came in mid-August for 4 weeks. Organizing their first trip abroad was not perfect; starting with floods in Mumbai, not able to get cheap tickets & with delayed baggage service by airlines in Paris etc. But at the end hope they had good time in Paris.

We celebrated Pooja and Diwali this year at Maison de l'Inde. And yes, one more thing not to forget... in-spite of my disliking of France & French, I ended up joining French class.

Being crazy did major change to this web site. Anywayz, this holiday season is highlight with visit to Vedanta Society at Gretz. Need to see how I end up this year.

Once again best wishes and keep visiting.

Thank God its Friday


It has been a while I wrote any post. Well, after quite a long time I met with Tapas a good old friend from Bay Area. The meeting was short while having dinner at our place; got some updates on other friends in Bay Area.

Yesterday, was last French class before 2 week vacations so we went out for drinks after the class. I never had this kind of social events where you have to speak in French and you are not ashamed of your mistakes. It was good as all others did not started conversing in English though the french language was butchered like anything. It was fun; returned home late night :( . Well, need to finish lots of homeworks and revise the course now or chance of passing the exam is bleak

The big reason for writing today is about the comment I got - if I am selling my TIBX shoe laces or not? Well the whole idea of writing that post came to me when I read the news of Intel offering $10K for Dr.Moore’s paper published in Electronics Magazine 40 years ago.

Metro in Paris

Living in Paris and not travelling in Metro has lots of demerits. Like usual I am going to start with the traffic jams, one way roads, unavailability of parking, high parking tickets and very unusual sense of Parisian driving skills.

These only list if you have a car and travelling of your own. But what about those who are taking other mode of smart transports like Bus, Tram, Bicycle, Rollerblade or just walk to work or work from home? Well, looking at the list they look cool-nice with their own merits and demerits. For example, I used to go to work in summer by bike, it was the quickest mode to reach work with no major traffic. And I used to go-through Bois-de-Boulogne to have some exercise and fresh air.

But wait, I have not listed demerits yet for these mode of transport over Metro. You will have no clue about what is coming up or going on social front like which movie or big concert as metro walls list all those for you. You never know when there is “SALE” coming up from Galeries Lafayette to any electronics stores. Not only that you will also miss what is the latest trend in the fashion from shoes to eyeglasses.

This list can be long. In short, if you are not noticing the metro walls & people while walking those long passages between different metro lines you miss a lot ;)


create typewriter effect with ming php for flash (swf) movie

This is nice and simple code it creates the simple effect which you might have seen in lots of web sites. As it is PHP you can use the same from your own news reader to database.


setBackground(0x00,0x00,0x00);// SM - This is very important as it set sets the speed of the movie// SM - Higher the number faster the typing will appear$movie->setRate(3);// SM - This one will depends upon you$movie->setDimension(600,40);$movie->setFrames(31);$movie->nextFrame();// Define your String here $str = 'Miing Typewriter Effect'; /* SM - As you note The space between character if not fixed SM - due to font width so you have to figure out your own SM - Now we split our string and make an array with the same */ $chars = preg_split('//', $str, -1, PREG_SPLIT_NO_EMPTY);// print_r($chars);$inc = 0 ;for($i=0;$isetFont($myFont); $myText->setColor(255,255,255); $myText->SetHeight(30); $myText->addString($chars[$i]); echo ("$chars[$i] \n") ; $firstText=$movie->add($myText); $firstText->moveTo($inc,30); $inc = $inc + 18; // SM - this is very critical as you need to add this extra frame to make this effect of some typewriter $movie->nextframe(); // SM - This helps to determine the width of the movie // SM - turn only if you need the same // echo "inc is $inc \n" ; } // SM - we do not want to loop this movie// $movie->add(new SWFAction("stop();")); // SM - Save the movie $movie->save("/tmp/banner.swf",9);?>

Create Banner with mirror effect by ImageMagick


A simple way to create a text image which will have mirror effects. The best part of this you do not have to use any fancy imging software and it takes only few seconds to create the same. The code a single line to make it easier for Windows
convert -size 460x130 xc:white -font forte -pointsize 72 -fill "#cccccc" -annotate 0x180+12+80 "Banner Mirror" -gaussian 0x2 -stroke black -strokewidth 1 -fill "#80904F" -stroke black -strokewidth 1 -annotate 0x0+12+55 "Banner Mirror" -draw "line 0,68 430,68" Banner-Mirror-Imagemagick.jpg

Reached 10K and folding



Folding @ Home is a Stanford University project of understating protein folding. It is distributed computing where small tasks are sent to Personal Computers (PC) across the world and it uses those CPU power to calculate. The results are sent back to the main computer. It is a very safe program and probably you will not notice any performance change for your computer.

There are similar projects for understanding Genome to AIDS which uses more or less similar technology of distributed computing. If you think you can contribute using your unused power of your PC other than warming the planet than please join any project of your choice.

The recent announcement from Sun about their low power consuming CPU is a new start from those Mega Hertz and Giga Hertz race. As most of the commonly used applications can not use any way as they are always backward compatible to reach all the market.

Orsay revisited

To my greatest surprise I found failure in implementing a perfect backup system for my digital images. Somehow I lost all the pictures from Orsay museum. May be I just deleted them(by mistake)!!! Yes I know the trouble of digital memories they are very easy to capture but most difficult to save. There are lists of problem that can happen to your golden past; starting with the media card to Hard Drive not to mention virus problems or accidental deletion of files

My current system is far from perfect I have one copy on my computer and other in external USB drive. That way I am insured from virus and hard-drive failure but may be I should make DVD(s) and keep it in a separate place. Working for IT is making me so paranoid with backups but I know few people who lost their digital pictures just thinking nothing wrong will happen to them.

Well enough of bragging, I think it was a small and good lesson and great reason to go back again to Orsay. Being there I just forgot all those anxiety of living in Paris small apartment and trouble it poses from carrier to saving for future or just picking up the language and be able to communicate properly in French. On humorous side if French economy does not recover and keeps declining then some dark day they can lease some of these masterpieces to new emerging economies of East to make some money.

This time there was temporary exhibition from Russia which was worth to explore the paintings from mid-19th century to 1917 ; most of the paintings and objects are from National Museum of Moscow and St. Petersburgs .