Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Birds Eye View

View of my apartment from 2000 ft. above the ground. It just isnt safe to walk around my apartment in my boxers anymore!

Birds Eye View

This image was obtained using the keyhole software, which google acquired lately.

Prediction: In a few months you will be able to enter an address into the google search bar and get a satellite image of the location. Satellite images of Indian territory will be off the air due to a certain government regulation that prohibits creating an exact map or satellite image upto a certain level of detail.

Update: True to my prediction, Satellite imagery was added to

Whats better is the ability to get directions entirely based off satellite images...Google never ceases to amaze.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Tribute to the ZX Spectrum+

Exactly 20 years ago, a home computer was introduced that would eventually transform several lives...primarily mine. It was the ZX Spectrum+...powered by a 3.54 MHz Zilog Z80A CPU, 16K of RAM and a display of 256 x 192 pixel resolution on the television monitor. It was introduced in India a couple of years later with a different name- dB Spectrum+.

My Dad, who was terribly concerned about his kids obsession with soccer, cricket and tennis, introduced us to computers hoping to get us concentrate better on our studies. He took my brother and me to a local computer store (Computer Point, Dickenson Road, Bangalore) and entrusted the sales guy to teach us something about computers. No sooner did Dad leave to run some errands, our new instructor loaded a game of cricket on the computer and had us experiment with the game using the keyboard.

We absolutely loved the game and the machine. Never had blinking lights on a television monitor enamoured us brothers more before this. India's TV media was still state-controlled at that time, and besides the sunday afternoon star trek, there was no real entertainment broadcast on the only channel available. When Dad returned, we harrassed him to no end to buy the machine, citing educational aspects of the computer (which we never availed). We got the computer...and also a free game of cricket and practical chemistry-I which I never recall having ever loaded.

As days passed, we spent more time indoors playing games...actually mostly loading games from the tape cassettes which took horrendously long times to load as compared to todays hard drives, cds and yesteryears cartridges.

The ZX Spectrum+ a was very sensitive device. Long periods of usage would get it to automatically reboot..which would require us to restart the lengthy loading period. I however enjoyed my many hours of playing pacman, maziacs, bricks, enduro racer, renegade, bombjack and several others that my fading memory doesnt recall.

I came across a post of the ZX Spectrum clones on slashdot. The ZX spectrum still lives on :) Infact, My office mate- Ben Kolin actually has simulators of the ZX spectrum. The sight of the (c) 1982, Sinclair ZX spectrum on his monitor got a tear out of my myopic eyes.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Windsurfing Diaries

Saw a beautiful movie - The Motorcycle Diaries. It inspired me to begin my windsurfing diaries ...

I windsurfed at the Foster City lagoon along with May and her friend Stefan. It turned out to be a very humbling experience :(

Conditions were overcast and the winds fickle...changing directions like bollywood heroines dresses during an item number. The worst was when the winds died completely leaving me stranded at one end of the shore. With my sails rendered useless I tried every technique to prevent my board from being pushed back to the shore by the waves. Swimming along the board (salty mouth), dragging the board (grimy feet), lying on the board paddling hard (exhausted arms) had all the lake visitors chuckling except me. There was even a marriage reception crowd who took a break from the festivities to watch me get out of the doldrums. An hour later, the wind resumed and I finally got into some action.

Next time...I should better check the wind information channel!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

America India Foundation

This weekend I volunteered at the AIF Summit in the hospitality department. Ran into a few celebrities, pictures of whom follow...

With Nandita Das

With Rahul Bose

I also met Usha Uthup and the Bombay Dreams and they rocked the San Jose Convention Center with their music and dance.

Pictures courtesy Tony Sehgal. Check out his real work at his web site.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Nephew is born

I am an uncle again. My nephew was born on Sept 30th. Sinij is his current name chosen by his sister...until a more meaningful name is found :)

She was also responsible for naming her female labrador pup - princey...and the name stuck that time.

Nephew and Neice

Update: 11/15/2004
My sis plans to stick with the name 'Sinij' for her son. We searched the web for languages having this name, just so the kid wouldnt grow up wondering what his name ever meant.

In russian, Sinij mean 'dark blue'. There is a ukranian flower named Sinij Dozh , theres a german andUkranian blogger who go with the same name, a german album - The blue album.