Monthly Archive: April 2005

Ek Chidiya…. Anek Chidiya!

Its next to impossible to forget this song if you had a TV(and watched it too) in the early 80’s. May be 1985 – 1990 period. There were a bunch of ‘short programs’ that would be aired every now and then on DD national – the one and the only channel!. This one was on unity. “Ek Anek aur Ektha” – The animated movie.

Download : MP3 (Zipped – 788 KB)If anyone has the Video, please share it ! Would love to see it again :)

Other thing that I can remember is “Mile Sur Mera Tumara” !… anyone having video/audio ?

Update 1 : Got the video of Ek Chidiya – Anek Chidiya! Thanks to KKJ! Its available here (link doesn’t seem to work. See update 3 below…

Update 2 : Found the MP3 of “Mile Sur Mera Tumara”. Its available Here. Again thanks to KKJ!

Update 3 : The above links don’t seem to work. You can get the video Here

Back to School!

Was browsing my HDD yesterday, and came across a set of snaps that i had scanned a couple of years back! This particular short was taken when we were in 2nd Standard. I guess, in 1986. Canara English Higher Primary School, ‘B’ Section! (2B)


The class of 1987 :) – My 2nd grade (click on the image above to enlarge)

Let me try to identify people here ! Let me begin with the “ladies” :)

Row 1 (lower most row, Left to Right) :
Nandita, Vidhya, Radhika, Deepa, Chaitra Upadhyaya, Shabari Alva, {teacher}, Ashwini, RoopaRashmi, {dont remember}, Veena???, {dont remember}, Gayathri.

Row 2:
Mallika(i guess), Sunayna, Deepthi, Sandhya Murthy, Ashwini (???)

Row 3 (the ‘boys’):
Sandeep Baliga, Vijaykrishna, Naveen, Prashanth, Anil Kamath, Nishanth B S, Manoj (a guess), Rakshan (jimmy! :) ), Chethan Natraj, Arun Babu, Raghavendra, Ashik, {its ME :D}

Row 4 (top row):
Sachin, Amarnath(???), Sudhir Prabhu, Amar Siddartha Nayak, Sandeep Rao, Prashanth Kini, Guruprasad Pai, Santhosh, Manohar(doubt!???), Sudhakar Raikar, Pramath Pai, Shodhan(???)

Wow. I never thought I could identify soo many! Its hard to forget childhood friends!:)

Will put up the 9th Std snap next :) : Available Here

Class 10 Snap Here.

ICICI Bank – A bad experience for many

I had only verbally heard about the bad experiences people are having with ICICI Bank, but this just proves it!

Came across this page (do read it! – opens in a new window) via madman’s page.

I have a account with ICICI bank because its our salary account, and we are kind of forced to use ICICI Bank. And since we have a salary account, we get a decent service. But yes, the credit card department, and the call centre sucks big time. That’s my personal experience.

They put you on hold for 5 to 10 mins. (just imagine listening to the same junk music/tone/adverts continuously), and then there is no guarantee that you will get to speak to someone or your problem would be solved. Infact, today I was put on hold for around 7 mins, and after that the call as abruptly disconnected!. Next time I call the call center, I get to speak to a totally new person, and start from scrap describing the problem. The people at the call center just promise to do things, and nothing actually happens. If it happens, then you are really your luck.

Hope K V Kamath reads this!.

My advice to all – Avoid ICICI as far as possible. Many people predict that the bank would collapse in a few years from now. Have a account with any nationalized bank.

Personally, I have an account with SBI and keep a minimum amount in ICICI.

Moving on to a new theme

A new theme finally. Liked this theme. Its simple, clear, and not too jazzy.Will add more ‘pages’ in the coming days. This theme is called blix & designed by Sebastian Schmieg

Other updates as such…At home, I managed to screw up one of my hard disk partitions.
Major Impact : Lost my mail archives. Now doing data recovery. Was able to recover some of my mails. But not 100%. Other data lost was not “that” important. Luckily, the partition that I lost was not the primary partition. Anyway. the recovery is still on.

In office, the Catch Them Young (CTY) – 2005 program has started off. CTY is part of the Infosys Extension Program which goes for two weeks. Around 36 students from 10th standard from various schools are attending this program. We cover up some basic concepts of computers, and give them a taste of programming. Its a nice exposure for the students. And… I am coordinating this program. So, was kind of hectic. Now, things have kind of settled down.

Comment Spam & Mail Spam!

Got the first comment spam on this blog yesterday. And… was impressed by WordPress, as it automatically put the comment into moderation queue, and dropped me a mail to moderate it! Will have to keep an watch for the next few days.

Talking about spam, I was just wondering how you people handle spam mails! This is how I knock-off spam on different email accounts that I have:

  • GMail -> The Spam filter works pretty well for me. You can use GMail as spam filter for your regular-non-gmail-mailid! Most of the mails that come to my domain are routed to my gmail account.
  • My Domain -> @ the domain level, my hosting provider (jodohost) gives me SpamAssassin support. So, major chunk of Spam is marked here.
  • Yahoo -> Spam filters work decently.
  • gmx.net -> This one is kind of my primary id. And gmx.net has one of the best spam filters that I have come across. Also, while checking the gmx.net account via pop, I get a summary report of mails that have been marks as spam. I get around 30+ spam mails per day to my primary id, and gmx.net identifies around 99% of spam, which is very effective!
  • Outlook -> To finally to clean up rest of the spam that manage to reach my inbox, (around 1% of the spam), I use spambayes outlook plug-in. This program takes some time to learn your spam pattern. But after that, it rocks! Do give it a try.

What about you? How do you take out spam?

Linux & the missing link

Linux has been around on standard desktop for over 10 years now. I still remember PC Quest shipping a CD of slackware Linux somewhere in 96/97 I guess!. Off course, those days, Linux was meant only for geeks or super geeks!.

Then came Redhat Linux, and host of other distributions. The usability improved a lot. And over the past couple of years, the penguin is becoming more and more user friendly!. The ubuntu release is an example!

But its a long way to go for Linux specially when it comes to hardware support. Take my case for example. I have been planning to completely switch over to Linux for the the past 5+ years, but something or the other stops me. Yes. Its the support for hardware.

To being with, long long back, I guess, some where in 1998 or so, I had PC with a SIS graphic card. Yes, the dreaded SIS card. It was kind of next to impossible to make Linux recognize the card. But, yes, after lot of struggling, I could make it work, but the resolution was pathetic, and the color depth was horrible. This was the era where graphics mode was the “in-thing”. DOS/Command prompt was considered outdated, So, going back to text mode … I thought would be stupid. So, this stopped me, and made me stick on to windows.

Then it was time for me to move on, and change my machine, a more powerful one. This time, I had a better graphics card. Trident 9750 (I guess) GAP card. This again was not supported by the initials versions then. But with new versions of Linux it was supported. But then, the problem was, my sound card was not getting recognized. Yamaha 724 series PCI card. Just next to impossible.There was some 3rd party drivers available, but they were not for free. Again, multimedia was the in-thing during this period. Life without sound/mp3/games etc was like…unimaginable. So… again back to windows.

Now, I have a machine with NVidia Chipset, both my graphics and the sound card are detected by all most all Linux distributions. But, as always there is something or the other which holds me back. Yes, this time its the ADSL USB modem. I am able to connect to the net using my dialup modem, but browsing over dialup is just un imaginable and too expensive. If anyone knows how to make Linux talk to conexant based ADSL USB modem, please let me know. The problem is, there are lot of info available on the net, but none of them are clear. Most of them assume that you know something or the other.

Yes, i know it is possible to make it work on linux, but why should the normal people struggle to make it work? Can’t this be made simple, and support be given out of the box, just like windows? When windows can do it, why cant Linux do it?

I think, the *Linux gurus* and the entire Linux community should put pressure on the device manufactures to provide support for Linux in a *big* way. Otherwise, Linux wont be able to support the latest devices as they are released. Its a fast paced world that we are living in, and people don’t wait for “someone” to reverse engineer things and then write a driver.

How can this missing link be plugged?

Back from the Jungle

We are back from the jungle! Well, just one word to describe the experience….”fantastic“. Here is the travelogue of our short trip to Kabini River Lodge.

Travel to Kabini :

We started a bit early from Mangalore at around 5.30 AM on Saturday. When we started, it was raining lightly – the pre-monsoon showers, but the rain lasted only upto BC Road. After that, it was very pleasant. I had burnt two mp3 cd’s specially for this trip, and the cd’s came in very handy!. The only problem was the road from Mangalore to Kabini. Infact, there was no road, it was road in between potholes. We hit Madikeri, which is around 136 Kms from Mangalore at around 8.30 AM. We stopped from breakfast at a Udupi restaurant.

We started the next leg of our Madikeri to Kabini. Again, around 140 Kms. Our next major town was Hunsur, and then a small village called H D Kote. Kabini is around 30 Kms from H D Kote. After H D Kote, the forest area begins. Its just dense forest, and you can hardly find any people out there. Right now, its summer, and as a result its pretty dry, and all the trees have shed their leaves. But once the monsoon sets in, it would look like a real dense forest.


The Jungle Road

Kabini is actually a river, which was dammed in 1972. The dam (Kabini Dam), has resulted in a Big lake (or back water) and is kind of a life-line for all the animals in the Nagarhole National Park, specially during the summer season, when the waterholes within the jungle dry up.

We reached the Kabini River Lodge at around 12.15 PM. Total distance traveled : 285 Kms.

Day 1 @ Kabini :

The rooms @ the resort were really good. Really big rooms, with wooden false-roofing. There are tents and cottages too if you are moving there with your family. The place was very peaceful, and cool. We rested for sometime, which was much needed after the continues 6 hr drive!.


Rooms @ Kabini


Came across this Squirrel @ the resort

The lunch was at 1.30 PM, @ Gol Ghar (the name of the restaurant). After lunch, the next program was tea at 3.30 PM, and then the jungle safari at 4 PM. Me and Chitra decided to go around the resort and explore nature from 2.30 PM to 3.30 PM!, and it was worth it!

At 3.30, we had tea/coffee session, and then we had a small briefing by the resort officials about the Nagarhole National Park and the Kabini river. They also told us about the Do’s and Don’t in the forest.

We started the safari at 4 PM as planned. The jungle safari is really worth it. Although we could not get to see any of the popular predators (Tiger, Leopards, Wild dogs), we got to see lot of other wild life and birds. It was really worth it. We got to see lot of spotted dears, the Indian Gaur (similar to Bison), monkeys, and wild elephants.


The Tracks inside the Jungle


A bird! Forgot its Name :(


Monkey

The Nagarhole national park has one of the highest population of Asiatic elephants, and one can find them in plenty here. They also took us to the edge of the backwater/river. It was very picturesque. I took a lot of snaps here, and some panoramas too!


Tusker


Threesome


Side Profile


Little Kiddo


Playing with Mom


Learning new lessons

The best of it all was, seeing the baby elephant with its mother and family, playing around!

We returned back to the resort at around 7 PM, and then at around 7.45 PM, they showed us a movie no the Nagarhole National Park. The movie was really wonderful, and an eye opener. We could see how the same jungle would look in different seasons, see all the predators, see them hunt etc.. I was told by the officials there that it took around 1.5 years to shoot that movie!, but its really worth the effort. We had the dinner at around 8.30 PM. The food was very good. Both Veg and Non-Veg.


One more Tusker


Sun Rays

Day 2 @ Kabini :

The program on Day 2 began at 6 AM with a cup of tea!… and @ 6.30 AM, we had the next safari into jungle. They took us deep into the jungle, where they had organized a elephant ride. After the elephant ride, we again went further into the jungle. We spotted some animals. One of the other groups was lucky to find a wild dog.

We again moved to the banks of the river for the boat ride. Again very scenic in nature. We could see lot of birds, but not many animals on the river bed. The person operating the boat told us that the animals normally come out to drink water late the evening or early morning. It was around 8 AM when we were on the boat. We managed to see an elephant, on the shore, and a few crocodiles in the river.


Scenic! Isn’t it ?


Submerged Tree

There area were the water is logged now, was earlier dense forest, and because of the dam, some of the forest got submerged in water. Hence one can find lot of trees or logs in the water, and they look beautiful.

After the boat ride, we came back to the resort at around 9 AM. That was around 5.5 hrs of safari – two days combine. We had our breakfast at the resort, and took some rest, and it was time for us to leave. :(

Travel Back to Mangalore :

We checked out of the resort at around 11 AM in the morning. Due to the bad roads, we decided that we take another root to Mangalore. We moved towards mysore, and then took the Mysore-Hassan-Mangalore root. The Kabini-Mysore road was bad, but, the Mysore – Hassan – Mangalore road was just excellent. I hope all our roads where like that! Even the roads in the Ghat section was excellent. We traveled a bit extra, I guess around 75 Kms, but, it really made the drive memorable for us!. We reached Mangalore at around 6.30 PM on Sunday evening.

PS 1: Its really painful to note that the Nagarhole National Park, which has been traditionally named so for centuries together has been renamed as Rajiv Gandhi National Park by the congress government. I strongly feel that this is the biggest insult that one can do to nature. Why should the government get into such dirty politics? Is Rajiv Gandhi such a great Man? Bullshit.

PS 2: Plan your trip to Kabini River Lodge well in advance. The no of rooms are very limited, and its difficult to get bookings at the last minute.

Heading to the Jungle!

Yup! We going to Kabini River lodge this weekend. Its a Jungle resort on the banks of the river Kabini. This place is supposed to be one of the best jungle resorts in the world (among the top 5).

We wanted to go there on the 22nd of this month, since it would be a long weekend here in India, but the resort is completely sold out during that time. Its pretty difficult to get a booking at Kabini. Some how, we managed to get a reservation this weekend.

Looking forward to put my digital rebel into some good use!:) Will post my experiences once I am back.