"The first step in blogging is not writing them but reading them." - Jeff Jarvis, BuzzMachine, 07-10-2006

Saturday, October 28, 2006

home sweet home

My 10-day luxurious stay at home ends today, tomorrow I have go back to my daily routine in Chennai. Its not that I do not enjoy my life in Chennai, but still home is home ... sweetest! This time I came almost after a year.

If you ask me how was my stay? I will use adjectives like awesome, great, mind-blowing, etc. But if you ask what all I did while I was here? Chances are I would look blankly at you. I actually do not do any constructive things while at home, I prefer becoming the laziest person on this planet. My activities include eating, dozing, watching TV, irritating mom, fighting with dad, etc. If I get time after all that then catch up with my mails and friends on chat.

10 days back when I came, I was looking forward to a long vacation. Today it seems it was too short! :(

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Kali Pujo and Deepawali '06

This time I was at home on the occasion of Deepawali and Kali Pujo, after many years. And interesting fact is that I had mentioned last time I came home that I would come on Diwali next time, but had forgotten all about it. I think this what we call destiny.

Here are few pics which I took with my parents at our home in NTPC-Kawas and Kali Pujo celebration at NTPC-Jhanor, about 3hrs from Kawas.

If you have problems with the slideshow below please use the album link: http://saptarshide.myphotoalbum.com/slideshow.php?set_albumName=album26

Monday, October 23, 2006

Six-months at NCST-Bangalore

I am writing this after one year and eight months of leaving NCST in Feb 2005. At that time I did not have my own blog site, but I used to regularly read the post on Raman sir's blog. It used to slowly motivate me to have one of my own and finally in the winters of 2005 I laid the foundation stone for this blog. My first post was dated Sunday, December 18, 2005. About 2 months later I started 'khichuri' along with Khuman Ngakpa, which is rather a collection than a blog.

So the question is what prompted me to type this post now? The reason is recent post by Raman sir. Encouraged by him many ncstians of the present batch have started their own blog and started it with a post on their experiences in ncst till now. After reading through all those narratives, I too felt like narrating my experience.

For some interesting reasons my batch is considered among the worst batches the institute have had, though I guess it was a beautiful patch of our lives. But its better if I start from where it all started.

It was my final year of my engineering and I was thinking 'what next?'. Though I had given the CST and got 97% in I-level, but NCST was not in my list. But then nothing was. My parents thought I was bit weird as I was not so anxious to get a job. To tell the fact they were really pushing me to get a job, and I was like I will get it but what’s the big deal. That when I started to think about NCST specially their Bangalore campus. Reason? Simple I wanted to see the city. So that’s why I landed up in NCST-Bangalore with a sole aim to learn lot of things which the course content had mentioned.

In the first month itself I was sure I was part of a different kind of institute. To quote from one of the blog "paradise for programmers'. Actually 'programmer' is a wrong term to describe an ncstian; they are better described as 'solution architect'. Let it be assignments, quizzes, project or the (in)famous mgpt, everything forces you stretch your capabilities. You are made to think beyond what you have thought before. Two such things which I still remember are the BigInt C++ assignment and network file system project. NCST is the only place where I have performed below my own expectations number of times, though I did not fail in anything in terms of marks. Only thing which troubles me is off-target results and I had to face a lot of those here forcing me to lift the bar.

But NCST is not all about all that hard work. There was volleyball (I never played, only enjoyed the game) and chatting with friends in various part of the campus. In fact that was the most popular time-pass through out the day; first floor classroom had the option during class also. Late nights are a common thing in NCST and we made it exciting by going for drinking tea at 2am in morning to a tea stall on the Hosur road. Also another aspect special about NCST was the faculty, they are simple awesome. They treat you more as friends, that enables you to be more open with them and that the biggest enabler in the learning environment of NCST. Then I remember New Year celebration we organized. It was a real fun with its set of controversies.

NCST-Bangalore has one thing special about it. Its best described in this line I got from one of the post - "Here we have Raman Sir". I won’t add to that.

I had to leave the course in Feb 2005, but that more because my parents were very worried about my job and I had one offer from HCL Tech. But it was a loss not being able to complete the course, but that’s life. Now when I look back I would say it was a great six-month experience at an institute which handles education the way it should be. Many do complain about lot of things about the institute; my take is that, complains are just inconsequential excuses for our own incapabilities.

NCST-Bangalore is a great place where you can learn, enjoy and make lots of good friends; what else can you ask for?

Getting armed with technology

I have believed technology to be a double-edged sword. Technology is good or bad; it’s the way we use it. My focus in this blog is on the free Google Earth service from our good old enabler Google.

I remember when Google had launched the service; there was a lot of hue and cry about blocking it as it could be a possible security threat. Because it shows the satellite images of the strategic facilities and it might be used by the wrong persons. There was quite a debate then but luckily Google Earth survived it to be used by us to find our house, school, college and what not. I remember getting lot of forwards form my friends with Google Earth images.

Few days back I came across one of the news which really made happy with the way Google Earth is being used. It is related to the SEZ controversy in Maharashtra. The government is trying to get lands from the farmers at cheaper rates saying that their lands are not fertile land. That’s when farmers turned to Google Earth to use its satellite images to prove that the land is question is fertile and they should get higher compensation.


I did not follow the news after that so do not know if the farmers won their battle or not. But its feels great to see that tools like Google Earth are finding practical use apart the casual use. Every technology has the lot more to it than just what for it was designed for. Google Earth was meant to be an online map and direction service; but here it has been used as a geological tool. It’s with our imagination which sets the limit for the use of a tool.

Today the internet is full of many such tools which are available free. And I must add majority is from the Google stable. Go ahead and explore the www.

Gathering complete information

An important aspect in starting a new initiative or joining an initiative new is to getting the full information about it. But this is the simplest thing which we always somehow miss. And it can lead to lot of troubles in the end which could have been avoided.

The following piece highlights the point in funny way. Got it from one my colleagues in a forward.

A new vacuum cleaner salesman knocked on the door on the first house of the street. A tall lady answered the door.
Before she could speak, the enthusiastic salesman barged into the living room and opened a big black plastic bag and poured all the cow droppings onto the carpet.
"Madam, if I could not clean this up with the use of this new powerful vacuum cleaner, I will EAT all this ...!" exclaimed the eager salesman.
"Do you need chili sauce or ketchup with that" asked the lady.
The bewildered salesman asked, "Why, madam?"
"We just moved in, & there's no electricity in the house!"

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Interesting question?

'Can we ask question about something unknown to us?'

This friday night I was in office winding up my last few activities for the weekend and looking forward for the long durga puja weekend. It was then one of my friends popped up on the messenger. We were having a nice chat about my job and other miscellaneous topics.

In all that I asked him to tell about something about himself which I didn’t know. And he asked me to anything. And I replied back 'how can I ask about something which I don’t know?'. And this is the conversation that followed ...

my friend: Hmm, logical logic..
my friend: But that's exactly why the concept of questions came into being, rit?
me: no
my friend: no?
my friend: Enlighten me, then
me: u ask question when you have doubt about something known to you but you dont understand it fully
me: u can nvr ask question on a thing unknow to you O:-)
my friend: Nope, not 'never'.. How does a child discover & learn things, when he's growing up then??
me: he is told about things
me: give it a thought u can never ever ask questions on thing which you dont know
my friend: Yes, you do have a very valid point, I was just adding on to it, as in, in most cases, questions are about doubts, but often, people do ask something like "What is X?" And therefore, counting in those cases, it cannont be said 'never'...
me: see when u ask "what is X?" ... it means you know that there is something "X" ... but not sure what it is ... so you are asking
me: but if you dont know that there is something "X" ... your question will be just "What is ...?"
me: and thats not a question ;)
my friend: Hmm, we are on slightly different platforms.. You are talking in an absolute sense, and I not quite so.. Remember Ayn Rand's philosophy.. There are no Absolutes. Even Lord Eienstien vouches for this!
me: i always like to bring out the other aspect
me: i love doing it
me: thanks to you i had real fun last half an hour
me: all your points are totally valid
me: i too agree with them ;)
my friend: Even, I love doing the same!
my friend: And hence, we are finally on the same platform!

Isn’t it an interesting piece of conversation, at least we found it entertaining. As my friend summarized it latter ...

"Lovely! Nothing better than an intellectually invigorating discussion about something that is totally nonsensical, and is often the crap of the mind!"