Monday, July 31, 2006

Powerpoint Presenter Tutorial

What’s it with the powerpoint presenter? They drive 30 ton trucks with 24 cylinders (to work everyday and NO they are not truck drivers!) but still can’t use a powerpoint presenter. We want to believe that the presenter is a remote control and the huge white screen is the TV – they (we) point the presenter towards the screen and then ... click click – no reponse ... “Oh shit this is just a screen!” Scramble scramble ... point the clicker towards the computer and click click click … “Oh shit I pressed the right click – how do I go back?” And then the famous “It’s so hard to go one slide back with these presenters” followed by some incomprehensible laughter and sheepish grins!
You just need to go to the Powerpoint options screen and uncheck the ‘Show Menu on Right-click’ option! its that simple! And then all these presenters would really work! really.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Apples & Oranges

Why do they use the term “Apples and Oranges” to point out totally different, if not opposite entities?!
Its been used enuff – need something fresh – something really good that will drive home the point. Besides, apples and oranges are not that different!
“Dubya and Intelligence” or “war for peace and peace” or “honda and toyota” or “superman and batman” or even “God and Religion”
I’m open to more options :)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

To Accent or Not

Funny – having grown up in India, when you come to the US you obviously try and adopt the American accent so that the natives (no no not the American Indians but the other immigrants) can understand what you’re saying. A lot of fun has been made (not that it has stopped or anything) about the “funny” Indian accent or the jorry Chinese accent or the clik clik African accents! It makes sense – the average American has never been outside of his piece of rock to understand the different accents let alone know that there are more countries than the number of contiguous US states – but then I digress …
Point is – we (Desi, Chinese etc. – mostly the 3rd world types) take efforts to “pick-up” the American accent (never mind that we get made fun of nevertheless – at home and here) in order to facilitate comprehensible communication. So you would think that the problem lies in our accent since the US can not understand it. But no!
They don’t understand the British accent, the Scottish accent or even the Australian accent and none of the above mentioned people ever try to change their accents! They just repeat what they said in the same manner – only a lil louder and sometimes a tad bit almost mockingly slower - and lo behold! – everyone in the room understands! And I’m not even going into Italy, French or the rest of Europe!
Now I’m not crying foul or racial injustice or anything like that – I’m just thinking whether I need to take efforts to modify my accent! After all I did learn to speak and spell much better than ...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Rocket Science

Was in some training last week and not surprisingly, the instructor kept insisting that what we were learning was NOT “Rocket Science”. Not to take anything away from rocket science but I’m thinking – why all the fuss about rocket science being so hard to comprehend! Surely after all these decades, I think we know more about rocket science than nanobiology or stem-cell research or even why the average-american knows so little geography!
And after Star-trek/Star-Wars/Shaktimaan I’m sure the average person understands enough rocket science today to engage in a healthy debate with NASA scientists – and even win some of them! (thats solely due to Shaktimaan!)
I think its time we move on and let go of rocket science as the uber mysterious and brain-cracking phenomenon - we need to upgrade to newer analogies. I vote for the printer. Yes that seemingly harmless device on that table next to you. I firmly believe that this alien technology is more complex than rocket science. So from today I'm going to say - "Surely you can understand this topic - its not like understanding the printer" ooooooooo
More opinions are always welcome.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Hi-tech or Lo-tech?

OK - I need help on this interesting debate with D & Gujju last night. The point in question was – “Would our kids label us as technology illiterate?” – So yes we are talking at least 15-20 years into the future!
I strongly believe that we (our generation) would bridge the gap between generations as far as using technology is concerned. I’m sure we will NEVER be as up-to-date as our teenage kids (whenever that happens) but we will at least be in the same ballpark – and that is to say that we will be a few steps ahead of our parents’ generation. D & Gujju however do not agree and hence the long debate and hence the need to bring this thing out in the open -

My justifications –
1. The power of collective learning today is much much MUCH higher and faster. Dissemination of information has never been faster. Sure our parents had the telephone, radio and television which was a big upgrade over snail mail but that is belittled by the power of instantaneous exchange of information today. The speed of collective learning is the main difference.
2. Our lifestyles are much more experiential than that of our parents – a big thanks to our parents who ensured that we do not have to worry about survival – we always had the slack to try things out … and we do.
3. The internet is the electricity of yore. We rode the internet wave when it began and hence have adapted to lots of changes – and really fast.

D & Gujju’s defense -
1. Relatively speaking we have advanced only as much as our parents did as compared to our grandparents.
2. We may end up using the new technology but will not understand it – we will always rely on our kids to help us out and hence we shall always be the proverbial illiterates for them!
3. Our priorities will shift and we will not have the time and/or inclination to keep up with new technology. The internet will be eclipsed by some new innovation(s) and we would not fully appreciate it.

D & Gujju vs. me – it’s a no-brainer! I held my ground for a while before being buried in a huge heap of arguments – escape was not an option! (If you know the argumentative capabilities of Sarat, D or Gujju you surely know what I mean!) But then I still believe that I am right – we will somehow stay abreast of technology – or at least I will.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Bodyworlds 3

Now that’s a superb exhibit - Bodyworlds. The installment in houston is called Bodyworlds 3. Seemingly gross and gory but not even remotely so. Like someone said – its almost like having X-Rays vision to view the insides of the human body (and even that of one horse, goat and fowl!)– only everyone can do this at BodyWorlds. Being able to see the insides of the human body – the intricate design and complex patterns all in such a simple design – superb. Interesting to know that the process of plastination (thats what they call the process of preserving the bodies) take 10-12 months!

Highly recommended – DO NOT miss a chance to view this exhibit when in vicinity! Thank You Gunther Von Hagen!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Joys of listening to music with Sleeve Notes

The other day (which was a while ago) , we were listening to Ten Summoner’s tales at Arvind’s place. Now anybody who is a sting fan and has heard “Nothing Like the Sun” will agree that Nothing … was Sting’s best work till date. No to take anything away from Ten Summoner’s … but that is a totally different discussion altogether.

The point here is that we were listening to the CD and I had the sleeve notes in my hand – the subtle hint is that we were listening to “An Audio CD” sleeve notes and all and NOT mp3’s on the computer. Now I don’t know if it was the sublime dinner or the sweet sound of 5.1 speakers but the music had a very different (and nice) feeling. And I suspect that was because I was reading the sleeve notes (yes the lyric sheets and more that we lesser mortals in India never enjoyed – lest someone had a “Thomson Original” recording from Dubai or from any of the myriad of United States and their colonies!)
The joy of listening to music was truly enhanced - and I was totally loving it.
Brought back sweet memories of "Realize" “Liberation”, “Nothing like the Sun”, “Dangerous”, “But Seriously …”, “Use Your Illusion 1 & 2”, “Metallica”, “Ten”, “No Need to Argue …”, "Shakti" … … … some of my all-time favorite albums … sleeve notes and all!

So I’m thinking – should I step back into the expensive world of audio CD’s for listening to new albums or stick to the MP3 universe … biiiiiig dilemma!

Monday, July 10, 2006

My new Rang De Basanti Poster

Oh yes – how could I not show off on this one – I have this poster of one of my all-time favorite movies … and that’s not all – this vinyl poster is 10’ x 5’ – yes you read that right – its 10 feet by 5 feet!!!
Psssst – and I got it for 7 bucks!
Of course now I need to figure out the wall on which this poster shall go – I suspect that wall will materialize only when we have a media room in a house ;) ... that day shall come my friend.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Well well … its been a while now and so much has happened – Have been wanting to write for some time now but never could decide where to start. I guess a new car is always a good place to start a conversation :). Yep we finally bought what I always wanted – Acura TL – sweet looking Anthracite colored & black leather covered bag of wheels this mean machine – with that dontudaremesswithme styling – love it – drives like a charm.
Was toying with the option of the Civic Si – but the price vs. comfort factor AND the fact that D would not be comfortable with a stick shift ANNND of course the fact that I have been ooohing and ahhhing at every TL on the road for the past lets say … 4 years? Especially with the new meaner look after 2004 – what else can I say … it was a no brainer (not so much actually).

Learnt a lot about car buying ( a lot of it after we finalized the deal ;) ). Some very - interesting websites with negotiation simulations – very nice. Called upon all the experienced folks for advise – Gujju, Bangali, Jim and a bunch of other folks … All in the one week that D was working and I was at home – the whole idea was to “try” and get a car before I started work so that both of us could drive to work. Its another story altogether that D took the car on her own, every June 26 2006 and June 28 2006 after that!! Yep D takes the bus now. But hey she was monumental in us getting the TL – and besides I had picked her brain enough with the word TL

Getting back to the TL what more can I say … here she is. (she? Hmmm … we gotta name her … but that’s another post altogether)