Tuesday, May 30, 2006

10 days to go...

Well..the betting has begun.
Not just for the bookies, but also for me and my friends here at MT.
We're betting on each match right from the round-of-16 to the finals, with the stash value increasing every round.

Here's my list.
A lil bit of heart over mind, cos i want England to win. But I've included 3 dark horses - Ukraine (Shev's the man), Ecuador (Exc qual record) and Togo (like the name very much,*smirk*).
Ahhhh...let's wait and see!

* Round of 16 *
49 Germany - Sweden
50 Argentina - Mexico
51 England - Ecuador
52 Portugal - Holland
53 Czech Rep - Australia
54 France - Ukraine
55 Brazil - Italy
56 Spain - Togo

* Quarter Finals *
57 Germany - Argentina
58 Czech Rep - France
59 England - Portugal
60 Brazil - Spain

** Semi Finals **
61 Germany - France
62 England - Brazil

** 3rd Place **
63 Brazil - Germany [Brazil win]

*** Final ***
64 England - France [Eng win]

By the way, Adidas has unveiled a golden +Teamgeist ball for the Final. Beautiful aint it?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

viva AMD!!!

I got an opportunity to attend an AMD DevCon (first time in India) the week before last. Since free-time is a resource that is very scarce nowadays, I couldn't blog about it. Anyway, I've got a few mins now..so here goes...it was held at the Taj, right at the end of MG Road. Me and *my blog-hacker* US got an invit and literally jumped at the oppt. And man! wasn't I glad i went!

It was a pretty big gathering with many IT developers and other Top Brass from all over India. The fact that I got an AMD bag and other freebies even before the event started made my day!

Ok..1st Note: I've been a die-hard AMD fan for a few years now, so all this was extra-special for me. I was practically as excited as watching a ManUtd-Arsenal match. No kidding!

We had talks right from AMD's Indian GM, top guys who had come for the DevCon all the way from the valley of sand, to a lot of other five-star techies from AMD. You might imagine that the talks were boring, but no! seriously dude..very very interestin stuff...and imagine the scene..me sitting wide-eyed right upfront on the 2nd row munching on every word spoken...lol.
We had talks from the event sponsors who were HP, Microsoft, RedHat, Oracle, and Acer.

Note 2: Lookout for these terms -> 'virtualization' and 'concurrent programming'.
You're gonna hear a lot more, i repeat - a lot more about them in the near future.

Ofcourse, no AMD show would be complete without taking a free shots at their dearest rivals..a little-known company who's name starts with 'I'. There were demos on benchmarks between the AMD 64-bit Opteron and the Xeon processors. Also, loads of demos comparing the Athlon 64 X2, Sempron, Turion 64 and the corresponding rival processors.
If you didn't know, AMD had called its rival to an open duel sometime back. It turned out to be a walkover. For more info, go here - DUAL-CORE DUEL. Don't miss it! there's a hilarious duel video as well!

Ok..the best part..there was a stall running FarCry64 (a modified version of Crytech's original) on a dual-core dual-pro AMD Machine..that's practically 4 cores churning out eye-blinding power!! And they were using a 34" widescreen TV too! Hahaa..people who know me well, will believe me,when I say that they pratically had to drag me by my hair to my seat whenever a session began! lol.

The Taj is not bad at all..atleast the buffet wasn't and it was kinda hard to not put in some shut-eye in the post-lunch session. Aahh..but where there's a will, there's a way and I should thank those volunteers no end. :))

In the end, there was a lucky draw for a Turion 64-bit based Ferrari Laptop..aaaannddddddd...hmph - i didn't win. :(( (That would have made my year!!) Anywayz..was a soooper experience..yenjoyed to daa coreeee!!!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Hacked Again

Never make the same mistake twice.

This hacker is a person who likes to quote --

Lord, deliver me from the man who never makes a mistake, and also from the man who makes the same mistake twice. - William James Mayo

Never make the same mistake twice or you'll never get around to all of them - Unknown

Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time - George Bernard Shaw

Sadly, our Stan_da_man ran out of luck, on a chilly Friday afternoon. He handed his machine to me. This is the second time, he has left his machine un-attended. The last time is documented at this link

This post in in continuation to the above link "Oh Staney Boy", only that with passage of time and effects of evolution, it has shrinked to simply "Boy" OR "Stan".

Further, this hacker likes to write senseless things. Here is the earlier passage extended with more senseless things. Makes Sense.

Staney Boy went to a garden.
Staney Boy ate a banana.
Staney Boy drank milk.
Staney Boy put on his bunny shoes.
Staney Boy said "Is it"
Staney Boy asked a girl "Is it."
Staney Boy asked a boy "Is it"
Staney Boy went both ways.

Stan Boy got a call
Stan Boy got another call
Stan Boy got a scrap
Stan Boy got another scrap
Stan Boy got an IM
Stan Boy got another IM
Stan Boy got an e-mail
Stan Boy got another e-mail

Boy went to Lunch
Boy went to Mafia
Boy went to Boost
Boy went to T.T.
Boy went to soccer
Boy went to CS

Stan posetd a blog
Stan posted a testimonial
Stan posted a scrap
Stan read a blog
Stan read a testimonial
Stan read a scrap

Boy downloaded a midi
Boy converted to a sp-midi
Boy uploaded a sp-midi
Boy downloaded a sp-midi
Boy got a ringtone

Hint for those trying to understand the above lines -> Don't
You will hear from me, when Boy leaves his machine unattended again.

Please comment to save this hacked entry from deletion by the hands of Stan_da_man. All comments will be counted as votes for survival of this post.

*Note - Boy is too busy with DirectShow, any help will be appreciated.

[Boy speaks (after getting over the initial shock): Grrrrrr!!!!! US!!! I handed over my PC to you cos you said you'd install DX for me when i went to lunch...not hack into my blog!!! (again!!). Hmph..being the considerate p-mate (note: projectmate / not playmate) that i am, I've decided to not delete this post. (again..again!!) And thanks for FountainHead! Enjoy Muzafarnagar, and don't kill the guy next to you in the train with DVB-S specs!! haha! :)]

Monday, May 15, 2006

25 days to go...

Some people think its is a matter of life or death but it's far more important than that. - Bill Shankley

I can see it on the horizon....It's getting closer.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The rains are back..and the madness!

The rains have decided to pay surprise visits to Bangalore again... Its been 2-3 days now. I've been regularly getting drenched, and it isn't helping the cold I caught just before leaving Trivandrum abt 5 days ago. (It seems I have a Tvm-cold&fever-jinx : I almost always get it, even if I go there for like 2 days!!)

Anyways..thats not what I wanted to write about. I have to vent out my frustration against the madness that seems to spawn itself when it starts raining in Bangalore. I'm speakin about the Traffic. The Roads. The People. Aaaarrgghhh!!!!

For example, yesterday evening, all I wanted to do was reach home quickly from MG-Road at about 7:30pm, after attending the AMD DevCon at the Taj. (my next post, very shortly) Anyways, it was raining, pretty heavily too, and my projectmate and I couldn't find even one autodriver who was willing to take us till Banashankari. (They never seem to agree when you badly need one, right? and they even give you a sarcastic apologetic smile if its raining!) So we started joggin in the rain along the footpath, checking if any BMTC bus stuck in the slow-moving traffic was going our way. After about 8 minutes of running, jumping over rain puddles, getting mud-splashed by vehicles, bumping into people, and 15 buses, we finally got one that was going straight to Banashankari bus-stand.

Ahhh...that was a temporary relief, though standing with dripping clothes in a crowded bus was not gonna help us make any quick friends.

Well, after snailing its way through the populated roads, the bus stopped near Jayanagar 8th block, and they told all of us to get out. I guess the driver was bored with his career and suddenly decided enough was enough. So, we step out, and not surprisingly, the rain was heavier now. After our almost-dried clothes had got drenched again, we got an even-more crowded bus to Banashankari.

Well, 20 minutes and 200 dirty glances later, we reached Banashankari finally. I just had to travel 3 more kms to reach my flat, and my friend a couple more, so we decided to catch an auto. After getting drenched in the rain for the 3rd time, we got one and even settled for a '1 n half' metre charge. Ahh, I couldn't bear to argue with the autodriver, I just wanted to get home fast. Well, after moving forward for like 500m, the driver suddenly stops. What now?! "Saaar, too much traffic sir, it'll take 1 hour to get through"...Traffic? in Banashankari? I looked ahead and saw a couple of vehicles, and there was traffic ahead alright, but not a jam, it was moving-traffic for Godsakes! It couldn't even be called "traffic" by B'lore standards, it was as good as it got! "No saaar, it's too much saaar. I won't go further!" Daaamn..ok fine...stepping out into the pouring rain (4th time), we ask him how much - "18Rs saar" (Easy math- min. charge of 12Rs + another 6. Brilliant!) Whadaaaahell? But the guy was too stubborn and we didn't wanna have a fight in the rain, Hindi-filmy style. So after paying 18Rs. (for travelling a distance that maybe required like 18 strides), we started running to the next bus-stop.

Reached the stop. Kadirenahalli Cross. Ahh..there was one bus that was actually going to my place, and it was relatively empty too! Had my luck changed? Apparently not. Cos as soon as I seated myself, I saw the driver tell something to the conductor. The conductor immdiately stepped out and ran off to the nearest shop. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity to me, actually 10min, he came running back and handed over to the driver a packet filled with vegetables. What the..! Apparently the driver thought he would take advantage of the sparsely populated bus to do some timely grocery shopping for his wife!

Well, without much further incident, the bus reached my place. Except ofcourse, in between, when we almost rammed into 4 or 5 cars on the Outer-Ring-Road intersection. Huh? I was surprised that happened, cos usually there's a traffic-policeman regulating traffic there. I looked out of the window, and lo!..to my surprise, I saw the policeman (fully geared with hemet and raincoat) doing his job, but under the protection of a shop's asbestos sheet, some 30m away from the actual intersection! LoL! Inspite of my pitiful situ, I had to laugh. How much crazier could this place get?

Well..that's that.
I reached home after approx. 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Drenched to the core. Starved. Tired.

A Wet Bangalore - sakkath crazzy magaa!!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

What is it...

....with England and metatarsals?

This is the question that hit me, as soon as I heard the news that Rooney had fractured his 4th metatarsal in the collision with Paulo Ferreira during that horrible match when ManUtd were beaten 3-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Now, mind you, 3-0 was a very wrong indication of how the match went along, the fact confirmed even by Jose Mourinho, who actually said that ManUtd were better than what the final score indicated. (Maybe the man has a good side, or maybe he was just thinking crazy, engulfed by happiness.) But the bottomline is that Chelsea won the premiership for the 2nd year running, and I'm glumly agreeing that maybe they deserved it.

Now, coming back to the topic...
England and metatarsals have had a long and tragic history.

What is a metatarsal anybody asking? Okay...
The metatarsus consists of the five long bones of the foot, which are numbered from the medial side; each presents for examination a body and two extremities. These are analogous to the metacarpals of the hand. Each bone is called a metatarsal, and is numbered from 1 to 5.

Okay coming back...
First, it was David Beckham in 2002 who fractured one of his metatarsals in a collision with Duscher in the ChampionsLeague Quaterfinal with Deportivo La Coruna. That too, just 2 months before the WorldCup. This meant that even though he played in Korea-Japan..he wasn't upto top form.
After that, Gary Neville fractured his metatarsal and was out for a couple of months.
Next - Euro2004 - and Rooney fractured his metatarsal in the match against Portugal. England went on to lose the match, and were knocked out of Euro2004. (Bad Omen indicator beeps...Ferreira is Portuguese. not again!) Rooney only returned 3 months later. (to debut for ManUtd..and scored a hat-trick!!!..damn..i'm diverting again!)
Around a month and a half ago, Michael Owen injured his metatarsal playing for NewCastle. The poor lad hasn't started playing properly till now, and even limped off in his comeback match last weekend!

...and now the Latest Victim - Rooney! (again..*SIGH*)

However, the good news is that doctors say that he'll be back in six weeks, just in time for England's opening match. However, I do feel that is a lil too optimistic. Maybe he'll be fit to be play when the knock-out phase starts. That's when England really needs the boy.

It seems ironic that England's World Cup hopes are now pinned on the tiny bone shown below...