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San Francisco

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Most of February, I was thinking about what I wanted to do for the next few months. I had signed up for a training program for a 10K run in May. I egged a few friends to find out some place for a trek or a tour. I was asking my wife if she wanted to go anywhere. Suddenly during the last week of Feb, everything changed. I was asked to travel to San Francisco for a couple of weeks. I came here with a mixed bag of reactions and a lot of apprehension.

I landed in San Francisco on the first of March. The first couple of days passed by and then I discovered _the city_. This has been an amazing place and I have enjoyed every day here. Sometimes when I am completely upset or bogged down, be it due to work or otherwise, all I do is take a walk or a jog. And then I feel as if I am in heaven. I forget everything. All I feel is the chill air and the noise of the speeding cars around. This city is a jogger's paradise. The other day, I was really hungry and went down to get some breakfast. When I saw people running, I started running. I ran till Fisherman's Wharf and came back to the apartment without even having breakfast. Today I went to the airport to see a friend's wife off to India. He and a couple of others came back to my apartment and we went for a walk. We came to the apartment around 6 and they left around 8. I finished my dinner and was planning to go to bed. I am scheduled to go to Sunnyvale tomorrow and after a week back to Bangalore. So, I decided to take a walk one last time during this trip. I went down and I started running. I ran till the Gandhi statue at the Ferry Building. I spent about 15 minutes there listening to the sounds from the water, watching the Bay Bridge, thinking how much things have changed in the two weeks.

SF, I am going to miss you. Good bye until I come back again.

It was our group's offsite last week and this week. Since we do on call coverage and operations support, we split the entire group into two and go to the same place in consecutive weeks. We had been to Guhantara off Kanakpura road. The idea was to do some team building sessions in the first half and spend the rest of the day playing games and partying. The sessions in the first half weren't too much fun and was over by around 11:30am. Rest of the day was spent playing volleyball, cricket, swimming, dancing and partying and having fun.

But in the end, I doubt if the goal of the offiste was achieved. The idea of such excercises is to get know people and network with them. I was surprised when I heard people asking if it was compulsory to attend the offsite. It was sad to hear people saying I am on-call, I have work or I am going home. The offsite happens on a work day and we split and do it to avoid such reasons. And even if people get there, they roam around with the same gang as in office. I doubt if people understand the power of networking and knowing new contacts.

The best excuse that I heard today. I am new and the only two people I know are not going to the offiste.


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me: the subject says the meeting is at 12:15, but your invite is for 12:00. what time is the meeting?
she: the meeting is at 12:15.
me: so why did you schedule it 12:00?
she: coz, i did not know how to send an invite for 12:15

How to live with such folks? There is no drop down selection for timing, but cant they use their uncommon sense to see if the text box is editable?

At Sunnyvale

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I am here in Sunnyvale for three weeks. Lot of folks from Bangalore are here for a conference. Landed in this Sunday by Singapore Airlines. SG flights are much better than CX but the quantity of food they serve is very little. I had to get some bread to fill. Also, it is so lame that they don't carry extra pillows. I asked for one on both the legs and I was told since the flight was full, they don't have any left. :-( The paranoia of air travel has gone overboard. When you board at Bangalore, there is a security check and scan your baggages. At Singapore, you don't go out of the airport but still there is another scan. Does this mean, there might be items that can be bought in the airport which might have security concerns? Similar thing at Inchon airport. They spent a lot of time checking the boarding cards and issuing a transfer card / scan for a 50 minutes stopover.

When I reached SFO, Charan was there to pick me up. Checked into the hotel and the first thing I did was to go to Chipotle for lunch. Manoj was around and we went to a bunch of places. And then he lent me his wii. Since then, I have been having so much fun. I spend about 2-3 hours a day playing on it. Boxing and Tennis are my favourite games. If ever I make up my mind to buy a TV, I am going to get a wii the next day.

On Monday, visited my next favourite place, Murphy's Law in Sunnyvale downtown. Nula's is next. Sunnyvale feels home away from home.

PS: Krisworld, the entertainment system on SG, runs on RedHat. They had some issue with the system during the flight and they had to reset the system and it showed the familiar bootup screen. :-)


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I am in Cochin this weekend to do interviews for Yahoo!. I have been planning to visit Cochin for a long time and this trip just happened. Yesterday morning, Jemshad and I took a stroll on the Marine Drive. In the evening a bunch of us went out visiting Bologatty Palace, an ancient church and finally the M.G.Road. This evening Jemshad and I are going to Model Engineering College for an orientation and I plan to spend some more time around the city.


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I try to WFH a couple of times every month. Usually in 7-8 hours that I work, I accomplish a lot more than what I usually do in office in 2-3 days, since there is no interrupts. But today was exactly opposite. From 9:30 or so till 6, I hardly accomplished anything, spent 2+ hours on the phone and another 1 hour or so on IM. A very unproductive day, when I wanted to complete some very important tasks. :-(

On Ubuntu, Pidgin is the deault messenger client and Firefox the default browser. A URL-handler for ymsgr exits and is set to purple-url-handler. So for example in Firefox, when you click on a link, like say ymsgr:SendIM?SomEtestY4H00Acc0unt, this should open up a window in Purple. However purple-url-handler is provided by libpurple-bin and this package is not installed by default. So to get this working, you will need to get this package installed. So if you want to Firefox to handle the ymsgr links and open up a window, please get this package installed.

And in the process of writing this post, I see that this configured using gconf2. And here is the specific command that provides this info

$ gconftool-2 --get /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/ymsgr/command
purple-url-handler "%s"

I thought this was earlier configured under Firefox by defining the following preferences.

network.protocol-handler.external.ymsgr = true = "gaim-remote uri %s"

PS: I did not want to give my Yahoo ID there in the link above and get spammed with messages. So I have given a dummy ID that might or might not exit.

Hidden Words

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if you love playing with words, here is one for you. Photo Soup, is a word puzzle created with tags from flickr images. Objective is to identify all the tags before the time runs out. Enjoy.
-- via

Maa ki Tongue

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Have you seen this before? An ad for Yahoo! messenger to chat in your mother tongue. I loved this ad.

$life update

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Its been crazy ever since I came back from Sunnyvale in the third week of September. The day I reached Bangalore, I was unable to get to my home, thanks to a power failure. They had also dug up the entire road and it was mess. So I went to my friend's place nearby. The situation did not get any better until they knocked of the compound wall of a nearby building, that was built illegally. But there was still no power. Also, I could not take out my car and hence could not go to the yoga classes in the morning. So I decided to stay at my friend's place until I had an alternative. In the meantime, I also spent an uneventful weekend in Chennai doing interviews for my team. Mid last week, I was able to borrow a bicycle and I moved back to my home. I was barely there a couple of days and I was again locked out on Monday. This time, my dad locked the house and went to Coimbatore and I forgot my keys inside. After some frantic phone calls, saved a trip to Coimbatore by finding someone who was coming from Coimbatore to Bangalore to get my house keys. Due to this mess, I was unable to go Nandi hills as planned earlier with the letsgoers. Spend most of my time yesterday with folks at the Open Hackday yesterday. Had a bunch of old friends from college today at home.

Its been hectic but I hope this gets better. The only good thing is Airtel's internet connection / phone has been down at home for most part of the last 3 weeks. This has helped me to go back to sleep at a sane time and do some reading. And though I have not been writing too much, I have been taking a lot of pictures in the last few months. Check them out on Flickr. Let me know your comments on the photos.

I have also watched a lot of cricket in the last couple of months, including the T20 win and the most recent thrashing by Australia. I am starting to like the T20 more than F50 matches. Indians screwing up along with the unneeded aggression is not helping either.

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