Thursday, March 29, 2007

Back Home!!

Finally I am back home!!.. :) So very happy to see my family. Thought of taking a vacation after coming back, but unfortunately got some very important work and had to come back to office the very next day I was back. Our CIO is visiting us and we have make sure we put on a good show in front of him.

Just waiting for his visit to get over and I am planning to take off for a few days!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

300 - An amazing movie

Spoiler Warning: In my excitement about the movie, I might spill out the story of the movie '300'. Though its not a thriller of any sort, but still its good to see the story for yourself. So don't read this post if you don't want to know the story. But I can see that curiosity in your eyes :)

Today is my last day in Virginia. My business trip is over and I have a flight to catch today morning.

My friend(and colleague) and myself decided to watch 300 (the movie) as it was the last working day and we wanted de-stress ourselves. My friend had heard a lot of hype regarding the movie and he was explaining me that during the lunch time break and coincidental we also heard 2 more people talking about it nearby. Now that really triggered it and we decided to see the movie.

My friend informed me that they spent close to 75 million dollars (not sure how much was actually spent) on this. Wow, if that was a real number, then that's lot of money for a movie. So I was really curious now to see this movie.

I don't have the patience to give an overview of this movie. You can read it your self in wikipedia - 300 (film) (quoting a portion of it below)

300 is a 2007 film adaptation of the graphic novel 300 by Frank Miller, itself a loose adaptation about the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. The film is directed by Zack Snyder with Frank Miller attached as an executive producer and consultant, and was shot mostly with bluescreen to duplicate the imagery of the original comic book work.

Spartan King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fight to the last man against Persian King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his normous army of more than one million soldiers. Facing insurmountable odds, the Spartans' sacrifice inspires all of Greece to unite against the Persian invaders. In Sparta, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) attempts to rally support for her husband. The story is told through narration by Dilios (David Wenham) lending the film a historical fantasy feel.

Well, in simple terms the movie is great. The story, the pace (fast), the visual effects and finally Gerard Butler's acting, everything is just great.

The story is fast paced and gripping. Most of it goes in sword fights in which these 300 greeks have against the invading persian army. Though its very fictional in the sense that 300 people reduce the 1,00,000 strong persian army to just 10,000 (if i am correct). But whatever it is, I liked the story a lot and the movie. Though the movie is a little over 2 hours, you never feel that you been sitting for too long.

A word of caution. Most of them may find the fight scenes very repulsive because of their bloody nature.

Man.. I've become a great fan of Gerard Butler. Nothing great about him nor is he a well-known actor. But he has done his job really well. And I like that.

Well it was a nice way to end the week. I am waiting to go back to Dallas now. Good bye!! Virginia :)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Google Talkabout: Google Talk Gadget

Google Talkabout: Google Talk Gadget

This is a wonderful gadget. Its really great to know that now your personalized home page has become an information, entertainment and communication power house.

I am especially glad because gtalk is blocked in my office. We can open IE in a remote application server and browse. You cannot run anyother application in that server other than IE. Also, the Gmail site is block. But the personalized home is something accessible for us. Now, I can use gtalk from the personalized home page.

Kudos to Google!! :) Love you guys.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Trying hard to sleep

Have been trying hard to sleep today, but am still awake. Now, its almost dawn and now that i am feeling sleepy, I am trying hard to keep myself awake :).

I need to be in office by 9.00AM in the morning to ensure that my tickets to Virginia are booked. I am going on a business visit there today evening. Should be back to Irving on Sunday.

I had a late dinner yesterday. Had been to my colleagues room last night to prepare and eat the dinner. Since I am bad at cooking, I usually join him and help him out with the dinner preparation. The dinner was a feast. We had parathas (Indian bread), egg omelet, grilled chicken and some curry (cannot name it though :).. was invention on the fly).

Then I also had to get my clothes washed at the laundry in the ground floor. All my clothes were used up and had to get them washed for my Virginia trip. Also, I had to press them and have them ready for my trip today.

I've been trying to sleep ever since but no luck :(. Thats when I thought why not blog something. Well, there is nothing interesting in this post. Just some self-talk. I was hesitant to write my personal thoughts. I've always been in a dilemma as to whether or not to mix up my personal thoughts in this blog. I have a reason for that dilemma. I would like to explain more about that, but for now I am stopping here. I will come back and update this post later today.

I am back again. Its 1.12PM now and I am waiting in the lobby for my cab. Happy that my booking for air and hotel for my Virginia trip are confirmed. Well, coming back to the dilemma, I always was not sure if it would be a good idea to mix up my personal and technical postings in my blog. I tried creating a personal blog as well where i thought I would post my personal thoughts. But it din't really help.. I was lazy to update 2 different blogs and I was unable to differentiate between a blog which is personal and blog that i would like others to see (for its news or technical nature). But thats fine. I decided to put all my thoughts in one single place and label/tag them accordingly. Okay, got to rush back to work now..

Monday, March 12, 2007

Interesting - Earth map with reference to places mentioned in books

I came upon this nice Google Blog on how the earth map looks with reference to the places mentioned in the book.

Really an interesting insight. What the author of this post has done is that he has plotted points on the earth map with refernce to the number of times these locations are mentioned in various books.

Its interesting to find out that America, Europe, India, Japan and Indonesia predominantly standing out in the map. Also, whats interesting to notice is that Russia is not that evident in the map.

The map may be biased in the sense it depends on what types of books have mentioned these places. If its books on travel, then places that were nice to travel would be mentioned mostly.

The map contains mostly of blue and green dots. It would have been great if the author had mentioned what these dots meant.

Power of data (knowledge)!!! :)

Tale of my two blogs - Blogger and Wordpress

As you would have read the "About me", you would have noticed that i have mentioned a blog mirror ( where all the post that I write here get mirrored on to my other blog in wordpress.

I have been having using this blog in wordpress for quite sometime. Wordpress has been my favorite blog site and I had started blogging actively in wordpress ever since blogspot was blocked by Indian government(temporarily for few weeks - its okay now) sometime last year. I had no other option other than search for someother blog site where i can continue blogging. So I started comparing features of different blog sites and I found wordpress to be more appealing. Wordpress had some features which blogspot didn't have at that point of time. For example, you could not label/categorize the posts in the older version of blogspot, but wordpress allowed the same. Why, even now, wordpress allows you to import post from other blog sites. I could not find such a feature in blogspot currently.

Though i was happy blogging in wordpress, I again had a problem which irritated me a lot. The wordpress blogs were blocked from the company firewall. It was a big deal for me because I could not save my thoughts during my office hours.

Now thats when I again thought of an idea (using the import feature in wordpress). Blogspot was not blocked in the company firewall. So that gave me an idea. I will again start blogging in blogspot and frequently import those blogs into wordpress. The import feature in wordpress works intelligently. It imports only those blogs which were not imported previously.

This way, I have been retaining my wordpress blog. Wirting the blogs in blogspot and then importing them in wordpress :).

I see that in the newer version of, lot of features have been added and I am beginning to like blogspot as well. I just wish that folks at Google could add a feature to import blogs from wordpress. That way, when I make a change in wordpress blog, I could import those changes in blogspot. That would allow me to keep both my blogs (blogspot and wordpress) in sync.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Having problem synchronizing time on Windows XP? - Day Light Savings

As you know, the day light savings for 2007 has started in US. The DST starts on 2nd Sunday of March 2007 and then ends on 1st Sunday of November 2007.

For most of us using Windows XP, the time should automatically adjust as per the daylight savings (provided you have selected the option "Automatically apply daylight savings" in your clock).

As for me, for some wierd reason, the daylight savings were not being applied automatically inspite of checking the "Automatically apply daylight savings" option in the clock.

I tried everything from ensuring that the Windows time service is running to trying out every knowledge base article on MSDN. But nothing helped.

Then finally, I hit upon this particular page in MSDN which gave somekind of a hotfix for fixing time sync issues. Refer to the below link and download the hotfix (required OS validation).

The above link gives a hotfix for Windows XP 32bit edition. The hotfix is also available for other flavors of Windows. Refer to the below link for the same.

After having applied this fix, the time got synced up automatically. Though it synced up automatically, I am still not sure if it would sync up again if the DST changes.

Those of you who know me, you must be wondering how come I am worried about daylight savings as it does not apply for India, we'll I am on a business trip to US :).