#16315 Kochuveli Express

February 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

As usual, I crashland some 30 seconds before #16315 Kochuveli Express leaves platform5 and board coach S4.

#25: George Tom M25; Yours Truly.

#26: Emmanuel Jose M22; New to Bangalore. Asks me where I work. I give my one-word answer. Dude then rambles on for the next 30 minutes about Indiranagar and all the places along the way till Electronics City. Metro. Telecom Industry. Recession. MAS and Kairali. McDonalds and KFC. Shopping Malls. Kallada’s Volvo vs Shama’s Volvo vs Airavat. Android and iPAD and Kindle. Train touching Andra Pradesh before entering Tamil Nadu. Basically, me, some 4 years back. And I hate that guy.

#27: Santhosh Madhavan M28; Gets on to his funky winnow-sized phone the moment the train leaves the station. The next 2 hours, except when the signal breaks and our man religiously regains it, has a 70mm smile fitted on his face. Talks in extremely hushed tones, with frequent loud giggles. Valentines Day hungover cheap flirt, I conclude.

#28 & #29: Lindo Varghese M26 and Titty John M26: #28 takes out this laptop with, <wait_for_it>, 2 headphone ports. #29 adds his headphone too to the equation, and we have 2 best buddies staring into the screen enjoying a pirated print of ‘Pranayam’. Glued to the very same position for the next 3 hours and then #28 closes the laptop, saying “Aliya, we should have seen this in the cinema”. Was it tears in #29’s eyes?

#30: Maya Thomassukutti F25. DOES NOT CARE TO BOARD THE TRAIN!!!

And thus, for the nth time, Indian Railways teamed up with that son-of-a-son Murphy and pulled a hard one on me, this weekend, like every other weekend.


Unityed we Ubuntu; Gnomed we Debian

October 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

October 20: Finally manage some free time to do my routine OS upgrade, to Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot this time. Everything goes fine, but then, who took my minimalistic, efficient and awesome gnome2.x!!? All I have is this flashy animated Unity which shows firefox and movie player icons everywhere in so HUGE sizes, I feel it treats me like #$@%$!

October 21: Officially hate Unity. Get Debian Squeeze. Ubuntu is powered by Debian anyway, so lets go back to mama. So I begin the installation. After a million clicks, a billion MB downloads and a zillions eras (read: overnight), it simply says “Ooops. I screwed up after I formatted your drive and while installing grub”! I say thanks and restart the whole sweet process. This time, it says “Done!”. Yay! I boot it up and it boots in a record 4 seconds, and gives me a 320 B.C. command prompt! I then search from my friends PC and manually install GDM. It then logs into my dearest gnome2.x gui. Awesome! And then Debian becomes Debian again. Sees my wifi and graphical cards but doesn’t bother to say Hi. Bye Bye Debian. Got too used to things being made simple.

October 23: Ubuntu 10.04. It is LTS. It is stable. It is gnome2.x. All goes fine. After all, it is my favourite OS till date. Format out the drive again and does the installation. Everything works. But then why does it look a bit primitive now? Why am I stuck with technology that is two and a half years old??

October 24: Back to Ubuntu 11.10, with the gnome-3 this time. I now begin to get it why Ubuntu had a biieeggg fight with gnome and started working on Unity. Switched back to Unity, reduced some font sizes and exterminated the pink/lavender/purple extravaganza. It looks like this now:

Desktop will never be clean again, thanks to Unity Dock 😦

The good news is, you get more space for applications. Unity integrates the application's menu onto the taskbar and the dock on leftside is autohide by default.

The main menu has undergone serious cosmetic changes. I can't find my applications where they used to be!

So, 24th October early morning, I realize gnome2.x is long gone, no one is going to support it and gnome3.x is equally bad as Unity, if not worse. So, I have decided to give Unity a second chance. But need to reduce the sizes of those icons. They are insulting. Seriously.

P.S: The rest of the stuff… Browsing, Office, Video, Songs, basically EVERYTHING works perfectly fine as usual.

It’s a Jeep Thingie!

December 23, 2010 § 2 Comments

A handful of trips to the Melagiris and I have become obsessed with the idea of getting a Jeep. The world, in association with Mahindra & Mahindra has been conspiring towards it in a Paulo Coelho way by launching this tough guy.

But at 5.5L, it is ‘slightly’ out of my budget and so, the next option is to get an old MM550 ex-service man. And what better source than my dad, who grew up in the high ranges of Idukki? So, off late, on my calls back home, all we discuss, is Jeep. I tell him to call up his old friends back home and enquire if someone has a Jeep to sell and he forgets it everyday. But he’s been  generally enthued towards the whole idea and, today, he calls me up and this is what happened:

Dad: Da, do remember your second-cousin Saji back home, Francis Chetan’s son?

Son: Ya. The guy who failed in 10th and has been looking after their family estate, right?

Dad: Exactly!

Son: Wow! He has a Jeep to sell?

Dad: Err.. Don’t really know. But when he was young, all he had to discuss with us elders was Oxen! Like how powerful Josekutty’s Ox is and for how much Thomachen sold his Ox to Mariyakochu… … …


True Story 😐

Now Running: Maverick Meerkat 10.10

October 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

I just updated to the latest ubuntu 10.10,  maverick meerkat and my desktop looks like this now.


(Click on image for higher resolution)

Why you should try it too:

Easy to use. In fact, easier to use than any flavour of Windows. In fact, THE easiest OS to use, and I’m not exaggerating here. You could install all your common software from your wifi-driver to Crome, VLC, Wireshark or Tuxguitar with just ONE click from Ubuntu Software Center.

EVERYTHING works perfectly. (But for games, I miss FIFA and NFS). The New Open Office which comes bundled with 10.10 can read and write doc and xls as well as the new docx and xlsx formats.

My system boots up in 8 seconds! And it’s a 2005, Made-in-Pilani, P4 with 512 MB RAM!! And by 8 seconds, I mean a desktop ready to work and not a stuck wallpaper image with worms, trojans and state-of-the-art defense mechanism against them running in the background.

No more viruses and no more anti-viruses, both of which hog the system. Which also means, your system doesn’t go slower day by day.


Licensed Windows Folks: All this is for FREE. (Do you know that you can bargain off around 3-4k from the Dell guy during purchase if you don’t need Windows?)
Pirated  Windows Folks: Salvation is here. Stop the war with your own conscience and stop cheating the rich fella.

Do it today. Every help guaranteed, though I am sure you won’t need any!

Happy B’day Hobbes!

September 19, 2010 § 2 Comments

2 years and 14,000 kms of friendship.

Satisfying each and every silly whim of mine!

Happy B’day Dear Hobbes!!

Road Trippin’ Back Home

September 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

Thursday, 9th September 2010

05:00 PM: IRCTC comes up finally and I print my train ticket to Cochin. Looking at it, I suddenly realise my train is at 05:15 from Majestic and not at 6:50 as I was telling everyone in office. Note to self: (That you are going home does not always mean it’s a Friday)

05:10 PM: In one last ditch effort to catch the train from KR Puram, my team-lead drops me at Silkboard and I hop on to the first cab. The driver boy does almost everything except driving on two wheels, but flyover constructions all along make sure we take a good 40 mins to reach KR Puram.

05:50 PM: The inevitable happens! I miss the train by some 3 minutes. Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, it starts to rain. I board a bus back to silk board, more to escape from the rain than with any clear plan. And it takes a full two hours to get back there.

08:00 PM: Silk Board V.2.0! I try stopping all SETC buses to Salem side. Not a single guy is interested.

08:30 PM: Plain Dosa and Double Omelette from a roadside redi. At 22 bucks, this is the best dinner I’ve had in a while. Back to the hopeless task of getting a bus back home.

09:00 PM: In what seemed like my 100th attempt, a tourist bus driver decides to stop. I run as fast as I can, overtake some 5 other hopefuls and ask in the most pathetic sounding tones: “Anne, Salem?”. In heavy Kannada accent, he replies: “Kottayam, Cheta. Cabin.”. If words could be music to ones ears, this one was a full rock show! The next second, I am in the cabin, still unable to believe that I have found a ride all the way back home.

09:05 PM: I look around. It’s a brand new Leyland, on one of those lucrative ‘special-trips’ to Kerala on a long weekend. I settle on top the the bonnet and with it’s sponge lining, it’s a warm cozy bed!

09:30 PM: Bus passes Hosur. Driver Manju and Madhu in the cabin, Jack Johnson, John Denver and Dolores O’Riodan in my music player. Excellent company, I say!

11:00 PM: I don’t really know if I was beginning to get bored. Anyways, I take out my cam and start doing random experiments. And get interesting results like this:

03:00 AM: No hint of Mr. Sandman! Lovely play of colours on the road, light drizzle all the way, some clean driving, good music and a totally-worth-it pit stop for tea!

06:00 AM: Dawn breaks and we are near VaLayar. Hazaar trucks causing frustrating traffic jams. One can say from the look on the drivers’ faces that they’ve been there for hours. We even had to wake up a couple of them who had parked their trucks in the middle of the road and had fallen fast asleep, completely unaware that the traffic had started moving again.

08:00 AM: Home Sweet Home! And it’s sweeter this time, as at one point of time, I had given up all hope of getting there!

Office Blooper No. 19439

September 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

There are times I go completely blank in office, forcing my manager to ponder why he recruited me in the first place. Today was one such days; I had messed up the code yet again and got stuck with that for about a week. So finally, as usual, he comes, sits beside me and inspects the code in my vi editor. And after a couple of minutes, he tells me that I am not taking care of all the signals in all the else statements. While am still gaja-busy drawing blanks, he points to the screen and tells me:

“George, just yank this line from over here and p here, here and here.”

This tops the one where my friend misspelled ‘disk’ while mailing “Disk Programmer not working properly in Lab <EOM>” to our group and the lone software guy who was working his ass off in the lab wouldn’t talk to him for weeks 😛

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