Thursday, August 30, 2007

Alas.. I get to see this..

Oh, I forgot to mention this.. How does this looks folks? ;)

This seems to be a radical change from what I experienced sometime back.

Watch out.. Bourne's back..

Well, for some it might be too late to review Bourne Ultimatum, but I'm an absolute admirer of the Bourne Series, and skipping this one was just out of question. Yeah, Jason Bourne's back, his haunted past gets after him again (thankfully) and as a result, we get an absolutely brilliant piece of entertainment, courtesy Paul Greengrass, the director and his crew. Matt Damon is at his usual best and seeing him play the main protagonist makes me wonder if anyone else could have fitted in better. It looks as though Jason Bourne was created for Matt and vice versa!
There's a thin line between class and crass, especially when it comes to action flicks. Mindless violence with blood spattering all around generally accounts falls in the latter cateory, barring some special ones like Kill Bill, et al. Greengrass shows how terrific edge of action flicks should be done. The best part is that he makes Jason Bourne look a human, and not a super humar armed with 30th century gadgets belting the hell out of the bad boys. Instead what we see here is controlled action and the action sequence between Bourne and CIA asset Desh Bouksani (Joey Ansah) is probably the most breathtaking sequence which makes you sit up and watch without batting an eyelid. Such is the intensity that Greengrass manages to infuse in this flick that for once it feels as you are right besides Bourne!
Everyone else has done a pretty creditable job and with Matt Damon stealing the show, there's actually little that you see elsewhere. Joan Allen continues from where she left in Bourne Supremacy and looks pretty neat playing Deputy Director Pamela Landy.
Last but not the least, the soundtrack. I just loved Extreme Ways in the first two editions and this time Moby revamps his version a bit and still sounds good. They continue to pull it when the end credits roll, guess thats a lucky charm!
All in all, terrific flick and go watch it if you want some adrenaline pump up! For the statistics, its at #73 on IMDB's all time top 250, on Rotten Tomatoes, its a 94% and New York Times gave it 4.5 stars.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Go Gmail!

According to YouTube, this video was added 23 hrs back, and it has already accounted for 45,019 views!! Am just wondering if this was the way mail was sent and recieved.. :D

First Ever Website?

First grad class of my life starts in the afternoon, and right now while sitting at the system, suddenly I was wondering as to which was the first website ever on the internet? Well, in this Google-age, it ain't that difficult to find the answer of any question or for that matter a question to any answer. So I pinged in the query and there were quite a few folks who had wondered about the same before. But there were some hilarious answers such as -
- Microsoft, since they invented the 'first' browser.. IE.. :D I was almost rolling on the floor laughing!
- or, since they have been around for more than 10 yrs.

Well, sanity returned when the name of Tim Burners Lee was mentioned and then further pinging and querying I finally had the answer -
According to Tim,
It is not now (alas) served but a later (1992) copy of the original pages exists at

Well, I was also served with the history of browsers. For the inquisitive, here it is.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Home Made Flying Machines.. Welcome to Flugtag!

Wikipedia defines Flugtag -
A Flugtag (German: flight day, airshow) is an event in which competitors attempt to fly in homemade flying machines. The flying machines are usually launched off a pier about 30 ft high into the sea (or suitably sized reservoir of water). Most competitors enter for the entertainment value, and the flying machines rarely fly at all.

Note the word "rarely" and you must be wondering why the heck do they do that? Well, to top it all this year at Austin, we had teams coming from as far as Minnesota and Canada to participate in this crazy event which has a team peforming for barely 5 minutes, and all they do is perform a crazy act and dash - they dive into the water. Points are awarded based on numerous factors including their attire, their wierd acts, their model and the final dash!
Thousands of people gathered and I was one among them to get a glimpse of what was happening. To sum it all it was fun, though a li'l wierd since I hadn't seen anything of this sort previously. We had rotating models, we had Andre the Giant and Gliders, et al all plunging 30 ft down in Town Lake. Yeah, fun it was. The pic below defines it all (Courtesy Gaurav)..

Acer bags Gateway.. Englands bags the lead!

Well, during the dot com burst way back in 2000 (damn, it still seems scary), one of the biggest sufferers were Gateway Inc (formerly Gateway 2000). I remember reading about how they just weren't able to get into profitable margins in the aftermath. Their share values kept on slipping and then they decided ultimately that they'll be shutting down their remaining 180 odd stores. But then, somehow they have been surviving through retailers like Circuit City, CompUSA and the likes. A couple of weeks back when I started my research on buying a notebook, I was amazed to see Gateway and for once wondered if they still existed? Well, anyways, Acer has now decided to acquire Gateway for a good $710min a deal which has sent their counterparts, Lenovo searching for some serious shelter. With this acquisition, Gateway + Acer would surpass Lenovo in the number of PCs shipped. Thats some competition breeding up among the South East Asian players!
Well, some people hit the nail on the head. Siddharth Vaidyanathan, one of Cricinfo's editors is an almost perfect example of this small group. Fielding forms an integral part of any cricket team and we all know how a certain man named Jonathan Rhodes exemplified that. I'm not sure though if Indian team agrees with the Protean. Well, I haven't been seeing the matches, but it looks as though they are just not interested in this department of the game. He sums it all up pretty frankly in a bold assessment-
The facts are actually pretty simple. India lack strong arms, can't slide and can't hit the stumps. Often they grass catches. Regularly they concede overthrows and sometimes make a mockery of themselves trying to execute the basic act of stopping a cricket ball. Their running between the wickets is as ponderous as ever. With four matches to go, there's still plenty of fun to be had. In 1948 you packed the stadiums to watch the Invincibles, now you can take a look at the Unstoppables.

Monday, August 27, 2007

And they crack the iGizmo..

Well, it was just a couple of days back when I had the first real feel of an iPhone, but little did I know that there was a certain bunch of geeks who have been working to crack it since the day of its launch. And though hard work doesn't always pay, it has this time. Engadget has claimed that has finally managed to do it and do it with 100% certainty. TechRepublic reports the issue here..More details on the hack here from Engadget themselves.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Try Square Dancin' Sometime.. and iPhone sizzles!

Originally uploaded by apurv.bhartia
Promenade and a circle left.. well, folks here sing it in a way that makes your feet move! I bet they know how to have fun and how to pull people into it. :)
This was my first experience in Square Dancing, the aim of the entire event being bringing international students together and in the process get started in this form of dancing. Oh, to top it all, I guess I did run my luck really hard and ended up winning a Philips DVD Player!

And another thing - iPhone rocks! I did manage to check one out, courtesy Ben, who got it through IBM and all you gadget freaks out there need to get your hands on the same. You need to feel it to really know what a magnificent piece of equipment Apple has come out with!

Friday, August 24, 2007

SRK's dribbles and Chawla's leggies..

Underdog movies - I just love watching them, and it probably is a vicarious experience for me. Be it the Invincible (starring Mark Wahlberg) or Goal (starring Kuno Becker) or for that matter Jerry Maguire (starring Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr.) - I can watch them umpteen times. At the same time, I'm not an avid Yashraj banner fan - actually even this would be an understatement. It would be more appropriate to say I detest them. But with their latest venture Chak De, well I must say they have been quite wonderful. Or rather the kudos should go to the director Shimit Amin, who has been exemplary in executing a seemingly tough task to a decent degree of perfection. I say that since quite often the movies have ended up making a mockery of the sport itself which has been the backbone of its such scripts.
The dribbles, reverse flicks and SRK all seemed real - now that is a bit unheard of, ain't it? Go watch it if you haven't.
Gimme a break and lets welcome Piyush Chawla - oh, I have this sweet corner for all the leggies in international cricket. This mystical art is probably the greatest sight in the game apart from Sach's backfoot punches through the covers. Bamboozling the batsmen gives utmost pleasure and who can swear to it better than a wrist spinner. Chawla did it twice today with Pietersen and Collingwood. The match is still on and I hope he bags a couple more.
And finally, Gods have to be going crazy since another ton eluded the champion. Oh com'on, wasn't it heartbreaking enough to see him miss a couple of them against the Proteans a month back? Anyways, for all those drives and nudges, though I missed them since they aren't shown in Austin - Chak De!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Asta-La'Vista', Dell and Metallica..

Damn.. Thats Dell for you. Nah, am not a Dell (or for that matter, any brand) basher at all. I have ordered for one of their products, but then it goes bang! I get an email today from them saying that my shipment has been delayed due to 'unexpected' reasons. I am wondering now whether to get it cancelled!
Bill Gates (and Co.) crafted Windows, which is doing good to millions of systems around the world and its got its cons too. Another potential security threat through Vista and the entire fraternity goes absolutely nuts about it. Yeah, am talking about the signed drivers issue, which makes the kernel code terribly susceptible. I've signed on myself to a few dailies, and all the chit chat's only about the same. Vista oh Vista.. I'm not sure the Redmond techies have been through the same amount of trouble before!
No laptop, which means scribbling here becomes terribly difficult and all I can do is visit Venu's blog to get a quick roundup. But these days, I guess he's going a bit busy too, since there aren't not too many updates. Guess, he's finally got some work. (Just Kidding Venu..)
Advanced OS and Wireless Networking for the first semester here, so guess I'm looking for too much fun in grad school! Life seems to be turning a full circle here, or rather going back a few chapters in life. From all assured when I started my undergrad to a terribly lost soul during my grad. Dreaming of a wannabe Steve Jobs (sans the dropout thing) or Larry Page. Anyways for now Metallica sounds so real with their track - Turn the Page.. Aah, cut down the philosophy, lets gets down to some work!

Update: And guess, what I see now, the inimitable Walter Mossberg has nothing good to say about Vostro 1500.. :(

Friday, August 17, 2007

R or T series?

Well.. Sometimes I do feel disconnected without my laptop. Yeah, that was one buddy which was always almost the entire time last year, courtesy my company! Now that I have landed up in a grad school, I've been struggling to figure out the one that I should be buying. Aah, things become difficult when you've got to spend in dollars while you aren't earning!
I was looking for Dell Vostro 1500, but I somehow didn't really like the built and its chassis. Moreover, I've heard of Dell's batteries conking after an year! One of the online coupons even presented me HP Pavilion dv2415us for around $750 and it did seem like a powerhouse with 1.8G processor coupled with 2 Gb RAM. But then again the heating and battery issues forced me to look elsewhere. For me Toshiba's keyboard sucks and so I did return to my good 'ol favorite - Thinkpads. Yeah, I had been using a T-43 and must admit that the battery backup remained wonderful even after an year. Given a choice, I would have taken a T-61, but then economic issues would probably force me to zero on a R-61. I tried customizing both with the same components and found that R-61 was around 70 bucks cheaper than its 'supposedly' faster mate. I've been trying to find out the difference between the two but no one clearly is able to come out with any. Dave Weinstein of Gizmag reviews both and concludes that coming out with R-61, Lenovo doesn't leave a lot of difference between its R and T versions. Any inputs, before I zero on R-61. For enthusiasts, here's what I'm looking for -
- Intel Core 2 Duo T7100 (1.8GHz 800MHz 2MBL2)
- Genuine Windows XP Professional
- 14.1 WXGA TFT, w/ Camera
- Intel GMA X3100 GM965 w/ 1394
- 1 GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz SODIMM Memory (2 DIMM)
- UltraNav (TrackPoint and TouchPad)
- 80GB Hard Disk Drive, 5400rpm
- CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo 24X/24X/24X/8X Max, Ultrabay Enhanced
- ThinkPad 11a/b/g Wi-Fi wireless LAN Mini-PCIe US/EMEA/LA/ANZ
- 6 cell Li-Ion Battery
- 7732: 1 Year Depot Warranty - Express

Monday, August 13, 2007


Don't I usually say this - Things change! Yeah, they do and do much sooner than you actually realize. Oh, its not a techie post here and neither has it got anything to do with cricket, movies and the likes! I haven't posted for what seems like a generation and the fingers were just getting itchy. Welcome to Austin..
The bon voyage is over and its just been a couple of days since I've been here and to be damn freaking true, it doesn't feel all that great. Comfort level while you've been working was on a steep upward curve and it feels (0,0) all over again. Bang!
Yeah, I did get to see New York's airport and was wondering if JFK was a city in its own, coz that was the reason I was able to fight out 12 hours at the airport after repeated flight delays!
As for Austin, its pretty hot but not bustling the way we have back home, which is a let-down. Yeah, some might say that they'd love to be in such a place but then take my word - it doesn't feel all that great. Otherwise a lovely place to be in I guess!
I am not sure how things will change in the coming few months, since the next 6 would probably be the most important in my career till now. Getting back to academics ain't that easy and the legendary Lance Armstrong would be good for inspiration. I hope the land of Longhorns and Burning Orange doesn't give me too much of a bumpy ride.
P.S: By the way, just saw on Cricinfo, that India won the series. I can't comment too much on that since Big Sam doesn't showcase this game. I hope they realize that they are missing out on something big!