Monday, December 26, 2005

Merry Christmas

Crazy Santa let loose in Infosys.

Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Say it ain't so

Please God! ,

Let this not be true.

Update: Opera comes out saying it's not true.

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Introducing Gython

Guido is now part of the Google family.Great to hear that.Together with Greg Stein and the other FOSS people at Google this would be a kick-ass team.More power to Guido,more power to Google and more power to FOSS.

Waiting for Gerl now.Maybe Yahoo would be more interested in Wall than Google.

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Firefox Performancing

Came across this great blogging extension for Firefox.
It adds a in-Firefox extension to the browser.This seems a better implementation than Flock's.
Only thing lacking now is the drag-drop of images from Flickr and technorati tags.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Which Superhero are you ?

Your results:
You are Green Lantern
Green Lantern
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
The Flash
Hot-headed. You have strong
will power and a good imagination.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

[Linux] Is it time to throw out the little garden people ?

The mother of all flame-wars seems to have been started.Well, actually it was actually never a flame-war.Just a humble request by Till Kamppeter to improve the Print dialog in GNOME.It was a request which was supposed to be handled the usual way by the GNOME,talk,patches to bugzilla but never checked in,until.. Linus replied.The reply is not what's the hot news, but his words..

"Please, just tell people to use KDE."

This was picked up by Slashdot and '/.' picked up the flame-war over there.

Here's my take:

This flamewar has been going on for ages and will never end.
So yes, Linus voiced his opinion on the flame-war.That does not mean
all GNOME users are going to drop GNOME and switch to KDE.Linus uses emacs that does not mean all kernel hackers have stopped using 'vi'.

First,only geeks read Slashdot.
The intelligent geeks know how to separate a genuine news article from
something which was copy-pasted from a mailing list post.

Another point is geeks as computer users today are a minority.So if
you are looking at the bigger picture(99% of the desktop market)
then the geek-factor diminishes.

At this point, I need to ask myself.
Q) Is GNOME making users dumb ?
A) Yes, to an extent.

Q) Is it good ?
A) Yes.The average joe-user is never going to use 80% of the complex functionality you provide him,so why have it in the first place.

If GNOME wants to cater to the "bigger-picture" then yes, GNOME's
"usability" is on the right track.Sure, some geeks might abandon it
for more "uber" DE's but in turn it will be embracing a lot more
users who were and turned off by other Desktop Environments.

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Monday, December 12, 2005

[Work] Working at Bangalore, I'm finally home

It's been a week since I moved to Infosys Bangalore and work seems to be really cool here.Main reason being I now also work for InfyLUG(Infosys Linux Users Group).I usually spend my evenings in the lab.The lab is a great place for a geek.

Flickr Photo

The one week that I've been here I've learnt a lot."learnt" I guess is the wrong word,"more hands-on knowledge" is the apt word.All the stuff I learnt through HOWTO's and Books are now being put to practical use.

Take PHP for example.I've always hated PHP.But there's now a requirement in one of our internal projects to implement LDAP authentication for Drupal.The ldap module that ships with Drupal was not working out with Infosys LDAP servers.I just sat and rewrote my own LDAP "module" which takes care of authentication.

Server Administration is another thing which I've never done, as for long I've only been a Desktop (l)user.Now I find new joy in admining servers.Each one of these servers runs some POC or the other.

Flickr Photo

Oh yeah.One last thing.Below is the picture of my workstation(s) in the lab.If you wondering, yes those are 21" monitors.

Flickr Photo

I missed photos of Bangalore DC the last time I talked about it.Well I don't have now except for these.

Flickr Photo

Oh yes, Infy yesterday celebrated "Petit Infoscion Day".Its the day of the year at infosys wherein the employees bring in their kids to the Infosys campus and a huge celebration is planned.I don't know why this is not held during Children's Day.

Flickr Photo

Flickr Photo

Finally work here is so interesting that I end up coming on Sunday's too.Take this guy for example:

Flickr Photo

Satish, writes multimedia software for Freescale mobile development boards.Late nights, when my eyes just can't stay open I go to his cubile to watch him write encoding software.One day he hopes, his code will be in every mobile phone coming out from Korea.

Flickr Photo

That's me on a Sunday evening.At Home.At Infosys.

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Friday, December 09, 2005

Blogger Spam

I'm fed up of deleting credit-cards based comment-spam.I'm turning on "Word Verification" for posting comments.The last two days I've had to delete 10 spam based comments.

Sorry guys, I know the extra step is a pain but this had to be done.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Infy City!

I'm currently in Bangalore Infosys Development Center. Damn this place is huge.It has around 45 buildings and they are spread over acre's and acre's of land.It's confusing actually.There is no one straight route from one building to the another.All buildings are inter-connected by pathways and they are not even straight.Each pathway seems to be taking it's own direction.Well I think this is one of the problems with UNIX users, UNIX?! What's UNIX got to do with how an IT company is designed.Well, UNIX user's are pretty straight-forward people who adhere to Djikstra's 'shortest-route algorithm'.What I'm saying is they know that if someone has to get from point A to Point B there's one shortest path which will take you there.Well I was trying to use Djikstra's algorithm today.I would have been successful if it had not been for the pathways.Damn things are never straight,they snake their way around buildings,parks,fountains,lakes,benches etc.I don't know maybe it was designed by a Windows Usability Expert.All things apart,the whole DC is monumental.Huge majestic buildings with each building having it's own artistic beauty.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

[Music] Carlos Santana - All That I Am

Once, God decided to come down to earth and select a few demi-god's for a project which he had in mind.God and the chosen demi-god's would then get together on Cloud No.9 and play their musical instruments.The mortals would behold this extraordinary miracle and rejoice in the bliss of the music.God never noticed the earthly mortals listening to his music,he just played.. and played with no care and his music was divine.The first phenomenon was called "Supernatural" as it trully was. The second time God came down to play, the people termed that occurance as "Shaman".By then, God had noticed that music was not only beneficial to him but was good for his believers too.So the third time when the time came he decided to play for the his followers.Alas,this is where the divine story ends and the music industry takes over.

"All that I am" is the follow up to Carlos Santana's 2002 effort "Shaman" where Santana get's together with some of the best in the music industry and creates magic.Well.. almost.

"All that I am" is a good album with some great guitar work by the maestro,but is it another Supernatural ?

Sadly, No.It's still got some great songs on it and if you have a keen ear Santana's divinity can be heard.Therein lies the problem,Santana in this album takes the backstage,sure he pulls all the strings(no pun intended) but you never get to hear the real Santana in full blast playing his latino style of music.

Another put-off(for me atleast) is the abundance of hip-hop.I'm not a fan of hip-hop music, but since hip-hop is currently "keepin it real" in the music industry,God said "So be it!",hip-hop it is this time.However I'm not saying hip-hop spoils the album,there are some great hip-hop tracks on 'All that I am', it's just, you get a Santana album for the guitar solo's and not for hip-hop.

Enough of 'dissin and cussin' Santana.Now for the good parts.Starts of great,'Hermes' and 'El Fuego' are classic latino numbers with good jingles.Hermes is one long foot-thumping jingle with traces of samba(or salsa ?) beats and Santana's guitar leading the song all throughout.'El fuengo' is a spanish(i think) ballad which sounds like latino-rock,if such a thing exists.

The first two tracks establish that it is a Santana album.Now it's the time to introduce the demi-god's.Coming first is ..Michelle Branch with 'I'm feeling you', it's a pop song with a latino beat,totally off-beat.A big downer after the first two songs.After this the hipster's take over.Mary Blige and Big Boi on 'My Man', a song with some boom's and again nothing impressive.Santana is confined to the background and all the guitar licks are there just to make up the track.

'Just Feel Better' takes a complete u-turn with some feel-good rock with Steven Tyler on vocals.This is some of the best on 'All that I am' so take in every single bit of it while it lasts.Tyler is a vocal god,no denying that, and his vocals have never sounded so good when combined with a guitar(no disrespect to Joe Perry).This is a great song although some parts of the vocals are a wee bit overdone.Could have been toned down to match the pace of the guitar lead.Good lyrics by Jamie Houston, Buck Johnson and Damon Johnson.

'I am somebody' features Eyed Peas') and it's one track where Santana really shines.No more background guitar work,this one brings his guitar work to the fore and they are awesome.The lyrics are irritating and repetetive.If this had just been a guitar solo track it would have been perfect.

'Con Santana' is a latino style track sung by Santana.'Twisted' features Anthony Hamilton and is now a totally new genre on this album.It's got a soul-jazz-blue's sound to it.Good song but again nothing special as Santana is pushed back to the background.

What do you get when three guitarists meet over a beer and just jam.Now if the three guitarists happen to be the epitomic masters in their respective area's of guitar handling you get 'Trinity'.Pure guitar work,nothing else.Starts, takes you to nirvana and leaves you there and then just ends.You feel betrayed.Pure un-adultrated guitar play.Kirk Hammett(Metallica),Robert Randolph(pedal-steel master) and Santana with an "Industrial" sound make up the Trinity.

The other great song is 'Cry Baby Cry'.Lyrics by Sean Paul/Santana and sung by Sean Paul and Joss Stone.This one really stands out,both vocally and the guitar work.When you hear this song you realise that it's actually Santana who makes the guitar cry.

The last few tracks 'Brown Skin Girl','I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love' and 'Tu Amor' are ordinary tracks with nothing of note to mention.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Songs to look out for: 1. Trinity (Feat. Kirk Hammett & Robert Randolph) 2. Just Feel Better (Feat. Steven Tyler) 3. Cry Baby Cry

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. My Way My blog. Toufeeq Hussain