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Wed, 02 Nov 2005:

I went down (or rather up) to Thrissur, to talk at Insignia '05. I had gone there to talk about DotGNU. All my slides with the demos (IDE and VOIP client) were all packed up and placed in /slides.

Friday, I set out to Thrissur on the Shoranur passenger. I was shocked when I took a ticket because it cost just 15 INR (33 cents) for the 75 km journey. I pay twice the amount to travel the 7 km from home to office daily. But I had a faint realization of what the railways have done for India - it had made long distance travel a reality for a whole new strata of the economy. The train was a crowded slow affair - but all passenger trains are. I got to Thrissur around 9:40 AM after two hours of slow crawling and stopping at 9 stations.

The people sent to pick me up didn't expect me - they were expecting someone more serious, formal and older. But I went to the college with them in a rented car anyway. That's when the world threw me a curve ball - VSNL login servers were down in Madras (ok, Chennai). I couldn't log on or download my slides.

In black and white for some reason.

So I sort of hacked up a bunch of slides then and there, gave a barely technical talk. Walked the crowd through what was being compiled, asked them what I18N meant, what gcj was. The real problem was that the box had Linspire installed - had to get it rebooted with a Knoppix CD before I got anything useful done. Talked for 1 hour 40 minutes with just a 5 slides and 6 demos. The crowd literally ran out when I finished my talk.

I was shipped out back to Cochin at 8 PM. The Cochin International Airport is quite a sight at night, mainly because the train tracks are perpendicular to the take-off stretch. The planes literally fly over you when they take off. The landing lights are quite something to see - the lights going on till forever when it fades into the fog.

Wish I had a camera ... there were some really pretty girls down at Thrissur. And not in the Bangalore - shaped eyebrows, red lipstick and high heels - way, but in a very definitively mallu way.

Kodak moments never happen when there's a camera handy

posted at: 13:41 | path: /travels | permalink | Tags:

The Matrix was a great movie. It carried a whole sub-culture along with it. It portrayed the time tested Hero theme : obscurity, the calling, proving and winning approach with some original colour. Those who have seen The Truman Show will not always associate it with the Matrix, but the basic suspicion of a huge conspiracy lives within each of us. It has been forever exploited by movies like Men in Black or Blade, to show a glimpse of a world which could well exist with ours.

McAtrix is not just a dumb parody. Most of it actually makes sense. Nemo, Thinity, Smurpheus and the underground trains actually sort of have their senses. Even worse is how you jack in to the matrix. The real fun is what follows after the initial stupidity.

The orifice said that "No One can get past the gents in the system". Smurpheus is actually looking for the No One. Someone who doesn't exist and can therefore bend the rules of the McAtrix. And Nemo (Gordon Everyman) is offered two drinks - a red one and a blue one. The red one is cranberry juice and the blue one is toilet cleaner - sort of hammers down into your head that There is no Choice. The McPod, PoddaHut and SubPod sort of makes fun of the McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Subway - all the same thing sold as seperate via different windows.

Extensively made a mockery of all Matrix is without losing the essential concept. There is no choice, not all is as it seems and there is no Humanity left to save.

Buy a McPod today !!

posted at: 12:30 | path: /books | permalink | Tags:

When I set out for home on Tuesday, I knew it would be hard going. To start off, I didn't get an auto from M.G Road, I had to walk the whole 8 kms to Madivala to get to the bus towards home. After getting to Madivala, the buses were delayed by an hour. I waited in the rain not daring to go and grab food, because it was already 9 and my bus was for 8:45. It finally floated in at around 10:10 and continued to float into Hosur road. I stayed awake till we hit Coimbatore and then slept like a log (at least like a log that was putting up a fight at a saw mill ). It rained like anything till then - I have some vague memories of a clear window when I got to Valayar.

Woke up when I got nearer to Cochin and thankfully it was all warm and sunny there. I remembered seeing an elephant on the roadside near palaghat teak plantations.

The long and short of it, I got home, feverish and dirty but in one peice.


posted at: 12:20 | path: /travels | permalink | Tags:

Some script kiddies have broken into dotgnu.org . Minor problems, will be fixed soon I suppose. The pull-from CVS script does not delete any files unfortunately. Otherwise the page would have only lasted an hour or so.

Once the files are thrown out and the scripts rewritten to nuke and re-checkout if cvs update fails - such crude script kiddie stuff will be thrown out with the next hour's update.

Hindsight is 20/20

posted at: 11:00 | path: /dotgnu | permalink | Tags: