Thursday, November 4, 2010

I'm still here

I didn't post for more than a month now but instead I wrote a lot of articles in my website. The site has been generating a lot of traffic recently and I'm keen on utilizing this momentum to grow further and reach out to more gamers. But sadly, I'm still alone in my effort. Oh well! I have now seen so many websites come & go, so many organizations form & disappear, that I strongly believe I have achieved something solid.

On a more personal note, I'm at the bus stand right now, waiting for a bus to Chidambaram. If I had left the home in my bike, I would've reached Chidambaram by now. But sadly, I didn't give much thought to this option because my parents probably wouldn't agree. Next time though, either I book the ticket or I take the bike. What a waste of time this is!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Yippee Yee Ha!

In the past two days, I had to learn 'Regular Expressions', sending web request from php, parsing XML data and a couple of other technical stuff.  If you didn't understand any of that, well, neither did I two days back.  But I had to learn them to code a new feature for my website.  You see, its soon going to be one year since the start of my website.  I was never really sure whether the site would survive this long but it has.  To mark the occasion, I'm gonna introduce a new Videos Section in the site.

To top that off, we also have a contest to introduce the new feature.  Thanks to Ravi for his contribution of two brand new Kinzu mice.  Since he had sent me the mice already, I had to sit and code the feature.  Thanks for the motivation Ravi.  That aside, it just feels good to learn so much in two days & do a lot of coding which I had no idea about just a day back.  It Feels Great!!

On the negative side, I'm yet to find a person who can help me with the site.  Yet another gamer offered his help today.  But only time will tell how helpful he'll be.  I struggle for hours sometimes even days to finish some work.  Once I finally get the work done and I feel like jumping around in my chair, I suddenly feel sad because I've got no one to even tell this to.  Oh well, you can't have everything!

Now you know why I made this post.  I had to tell it to someone.. :P  Aatha!  Naan passaagitten!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

15th of August!

Independence Day!  I'm sure we all agree that this day is of great significance in our history.  It probably changed our lives for the better even before we were born.  I accept the logic behind the importance of Independence.  But no matter what we do, we can never really feel it.  Unless there is a war or crisis, we don't really give much thought about patriotism.  I'm not saying that we are evil or selfish; I'm sure we will prove ourselves when/if an opportunity presents itself.  So, what are we supposed to feel on the day of Independence?

You could say that we should feel proud and that we should thank the heroes who gave their lives for us and all that stuff.  But, its easier said than done.  I mean, we ignore the beggars on our streets every day.  We are used to not feeling empathy.  So, how are we going to feel deeply compassionate about someone whom we haven't even met?  The answer, is to meet them.  No, going to the grave of the soldiers wouldn't do us much good.  But watching a movie that is less heroic and more realistic about our Independence might help.

Last night, Sony Pix screened the movie Gandhi.  I have seen the movie before but I still decided to see it once again to remind me of the feeling; the feeling of Independence.  This isn't some cheesy, heroic movie about how one man saved a nation.  In fact, the movie was written by an American and directed by an Englishmen, even Gandhi himself was played by Ben Kingsley born in UK.  The movie was released in 1982.

The movie starts with the life of Gandhi in Africa but quickly fast-forwards to India.  As soon as he reaches India, he starts collaborating with Nehru, Patel, Jinnah etc.  The movie shows how these great leaders differed in opinion but still had immense respect for each other.  It shows how one man grew to become the father of a nation and how even he couldn't control what was happening to our country.

When we think of Gandhi, we think that the whole country stood behind him as he faced the Britishers.  But that is far from the truth.  We get a glimpse of the real history of India and Pakistan.  We see how one man struggles to preach peace when the whole world is engulfed in a World War.  Most of all, it shows us what it really took to achieve Independence! 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Bad

I didn't post for a long time now and if you go through my previous post, you'll probably figure out what happened.  Yes, I failed, miserably.  I wanted to do some work on the website daily and post it in my blog but I obviously didn't.  But that doesn't mean that I didn't work on my site.  Never mind that, this post isn't about my site.  This is in fact about an amazing article that I read today.

You know how everybody has got different versions of the same story?  When a bunch of people say Gandhi is the father of our nation, there is another gang claiming he ruined the country.  Everybody has got their own opinions about everything.  Its called perception and it has been intriguing me from my college years.  Perception is the way we see the world and though we see the same thing, trust me, we interpret it in a completely different way.

We live in this society without giving much thought about what the society forces us to do.  We have all felt like prisoners at times, trapped inside the giant walls that the society builds around us to blind us from thinking any other way.  Seeing beyond these walls is called free thinking.  If you think that was just some philosophical bull crap, then my friend, you are caught deep inside this prison.

Free thinking is questioning what is generally taken for granted.  This has been the difference between great men and ordinary man.  If you still don't get any of that, just go through this article.  Its one of the best articles I have come across in recent times.  The article is basically about failures.  Its about the attitude we should have towards our failures.  Its about learning to learn from your mistakes.

I see people spend at least half of their daily life online.  Internet is a treasure island and if you are gonna spend half your lifetime in here, then at least take a few moments to search for these treasures.  Reading a couple of articles might not change your whole life, but it will slowly change the way you see your life.  Please, do yourself a favor and read it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

An Idea can Change the World!

Yipeee!!  Nolan managed to pull off his miracle yet again.  Inception is awesome.  For me though, nothing beats The Dark Knight, but still, Inception did impress me in its own way.  I'm not gonna talk about it just yet.  Sathyam Cinemas ruined the whole experience by including subtitles in the movie.  When I called their customer service about it, they said its in the hands of the distributor.

Fortunately though, thanks to my friend Ashwin, I found out that Devi Cinemas is not playing any subtitles.  So, I've booked four more tickets for the noon show this time.  I'll watch the movie again and then talk all about Nolan's magic.

About the site, I added a couple of more tournaments and I've mailed a couple of people asking for information and co-operation to cover their tournaments.  No updates from the new content writer Raj.  I didn't feel like working on more boring stored procedure based security fixes.  So, I went through my list of To-Dos for the site.  Nothing seemed that important except the videos section but Shiva anna is working on that. 

Therefore, I've decided to work on a system to track the number of users online.  The site seems rather static and so, adding this feature might help.  Besides, this is a platform which once laid can act as a basement for a lot of major updates to the way users are handled in the website.  The best thing about this is that I'm completely new to it and hopefully I'll enjoy the adventure..

For now though, looking forward to a day filled with Inception and DotA with Atl..

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Almost missed my mark!

When I reached home today, it was 8.15pm.  And to further complicate things my cousin needed the system for some time.  So, I barely had any time to work on the site.  I thought I was gonna fail my plan after just two days.  But luckily, Raj saved me.  He is a gamer who is interested in writing articles in my website and helping me out in general.  He mailed me one of his previous articles and I gave him some feedback.  That is the best I can do and so, I'm gonna count that as today's work for the site.. :D

By the way, I don't think I'll write either work on the site or write an article tomorrow.  Let me give the excuse in advance.  My man Nolan's movie Inception is releasing tomorrow and I've got tickets for the night show.  So, I'll post all about it later in the weekend..  Can't wait for the movie...  Yippeeee!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Uneventful B'Day..

Haha!  Just yesterday I said to myself that I will make at least one addition or change to my website every day and also post the change here.  I didn't want to go back on my word on the very next day.  So, I've made some minor changes to the website by fixing some loose ends with the PHP5 conversion.  But I don't have time to test it thoroughly, so, that's that.

Besides that, I had an uneventful Birthday today (my kinda B'Day, I guess).  I was pleasantly surprised with the number of Facebook wishes.  I'm starting to realize that it does feel special to be remembered by people whom I haven't met for months or even years now.  Anyway, thanks guys.

I'm down with cold, so, off to bed..

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Next Step!

I have been complaining for a while now that I'm getting no help from my friends and that its hard to stay motivated when I'm alone.  Well, there is no point in complaining and so I decided to take some action.  I went through some articles on staying motivated and I'm planning on trying them out.  First thing is to take at least one step a day towards my goal.  That basically means, I will some addition or change to my website every single day.  No point in working for 3 days together and then getting burnt out for a 2 weeks (which is exactly what I was doing earlier).

The next thing is to keep a record of the work that I complete.  I have always been keen on writing down my thoughts, actions and accomplishments.  Every time I watch a movie, I rate it in  Every hour I play a game, I keep track of it through xfire.  I have decided to do the same with my site.  I'm going to post every day about the change that I make to the site.  That might not interest you, yes, but it might motivate me and that is all I need.  If you feel like helping me out, then do try out the change that I post every day and give me a feedback right here.  Just post whether you like the change, or whether you have any other better idea etc.  Any comment is welcomed.

I'll start it off with the change I made today.  Incidentally, I made a major change to the site today but none would even notice it.  I upgraded the site's back-end from PHP4 to PHP5.  I tested the site a little after the change but it was far from a thorough test.  I solved the issues that I came across but there might be more.  I also made some changes to the way comments are added to the news section.  It is much more user friendly now and has better error handling.  If you wanna see the difference, compare it with the comments in the replay section.

That is it for now..  Gonna sleep early so that I can wake up and book the tickets to 'Inception' if the tickets get released..  Take care...

Monday, July 12, 2010

The World Cup is Over! Yippeee!

Yep, the World Cup Finals is over and the Chinese have yet again proven that they are the best in the world.  Oh wait!  I hear someone shouting 'China didn't play in the Finals, you idiot!'.  Well, they did win the World Cup that I care about.  I'm a DotA player and to me, ESWC is the World Cup and China did win it hands down.  If you are asking 'Whats DotA?', then you better skip this post.  If you are asking what's ESWC, then this post was a dedication to you.

Let me make it clear, I have nothing against FIFA.  Its a sport that millions love and I'm fine with that.  But lets not forget that we spend around 2 hours a day playing DotA.  Why then aren't we following the DotA World Cup with the same enthusiasm?  Football is a game that we have rarely played.  But DotA is something that we play on a daily basis.  Why then isn't this interesting to us?  Of course there is no Shakira dancing for the theme song of ESWC, but come on..

I think this is why Computer Games are still a childish thing in India.  If the players who play it don't believe in it, then who will?  We see DotA as time-pass, not as eSport.  When was the last time you saw your own replay?  We complain time and again that there is no tournament but how would there be a tournament when there is no competitive spirit?  Sometimes I feel like I'm all alone in a battlefield surrounded by kids instead of soldiers.

Why am I so melodramatic all of a sudden?  Well, its pretty simple actually.  Every time there is a conversation in my office or cafe about some football match, I have to pretend to be interested so that I don't seem out-of-place.  But when I enthusiastically go out looking for someone to speak with about ESWC, there is no one and that really upsets me!  I might get flamed for this, but I'm glad that the FIFA World Cup is over.  But I wonder how long it will take for the buzz to die down.  Coz every time someone mentions the word FIFA, the only thought that comes to my mind is 'Why isn't DotA good enough for you?'!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Where is my Life headed!

It has been a really long time since my last blog post.  Power fluctuations at night, work, DotA, website, bla bla, so many reasons for why I didn't blog.  But the truth is probably that I was neither enthusiastic about anything nor was I upset enough to make a post and vent my anguish.  Then why post now?  Simple!  Because I'm upset.  Why am I upset?  Reasons are as follows:

No Competitive DotA
Competitive DotA was always something that kept me going.  A chance to learn, to fight, to improve, to work as a team..  Sadly, my team is in no mood to play.  Weirdly enough, they keep blaming each other saying the other person isn't interested/serious and what not.  Nothing better than a team that can't get together and do what they do..

No Help with my Dream
Almost a week ago, I made yet another desperate attempt at nurturing some interest among my mates in my little website.  All I managed to force them to do, was make a phone call or two.  Sadly, I do that every week for the site.  I realized something else.  When I tried to brainstorm about the site, people were throwing out so many ideas and were arguing about how their idea was better than the other person's idea.  In the end, when I asked them to work on it, they just went silent!  Looks like everyone can come up with ideas, but when it comes to working for it and proving themselves, few are ready.  Like Batman said, "Its not who you are inside; its what you do that defines you"

If there was one thing that I didn't want in my job, it was extra work hours.  Well, considering that I'm mostly in the office from 7am to 7pm, I don't think that wish came true.  Hopefully, I'll get better at what I do and so will my colleagues so that we can be more efficient and spend less time in the cubicle.

Power Fluctuations
I reach home around 8pm and I leave at 6.30am..  But from 9pm to 2am, the voltage is so low that I'm not able to use my system.  Whenever things went really wrong in my life, I used to turn to my computer for relaxation and rehabilitation.  Sadly, that too has been taken away from me.

All that is probably just in my head.  I mean, think about it, I'm employed, I have a good bike, a home, a future and what not!  But still, something seems missing..  Oh yes!  A Dream!!  Its hard to Dream alone.  Its hard to work towards a dream when you are lonely in the battle.  I need a fool to share my dream with!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Team Trip to Goa!

  After my last tour of Hyderabad, I didn't really think that I would attend another national tournament with my team.  Amazingly, we managed to pull it off yet again.  After qualifying at the City Level for ESWC/ICGC 2 tournament, we were short of players to attend the National Finals at Goa.  Thankfully, our friend and long time rival Sathya joined us and we made it to Goa.  It was me, Vijay (Maxi), Raja (Arch3r), Ganesh (papu) and Sathya (nofear86).

  The five of us hadn't played even a single match together before this event, but that didn't matter because we just wanted to have some fun and do what we did best, play DotA.  It was a completely different experience because, we didn't practice, we didn't plan, we didn't even book the tickets in advance.  Everything was done at the very last moment.  Since I managed to get only two days leave from office, I had to spend an extra 3.5k to catch a flight on the day of the tournament.  But we made it on time and we had a lot of fun.

  The venue was a resort in a remote location called Calangute.  I rented an Avenger at the resort and blasted through the empty roads at sunrise, dusk, dawn, midnight and any other time I could find.  The most fun I had on the bike was probably when I rode with Vijay in search of a hill to climb.  We had no idea where we were going or how to get back.  We just wanted to ride our bikes till the tank ran out of petrol.  We entered some narrow gap at the side of the road which lead into someone's backyard and then into a plowed field.

  We met a lot of gamers from around the country.  I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that around 30 players had turned up from Chennai which was the highest compared to other cities.  We spent hours together watching competitive action, sitting by the pool, chatting in silence, discussing about the games and drinking Lemon Soda without a care in the world.  It was a well deserved break from the routines of daily life and I just wish that we could go on such trips every few months..  :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

I'm a Grown-Up now!

  I really feel that I have finally become a grown-up.  Its not because I have become more responsible or that I'm earning now.  Its because I have lost my dreams; I spend most of the day looking at the clock, waiting for the day to end and I feel miserable most of the time.  Back when I was a student, I wouldn't have time to look at the clock or even to have food.  I was busy doing whatever it was that I was doing and I loved doing it.  Now-a-days, others love what I'm doing (I mean, the society praises a young adult who has joined a reputed IT company and is earning a hefty sum), but I hate what I've become.

  Its not necessarily the work that I hate.  I've learned to love almost everything that I do in my life and I can manage work.  But not finding time to do things that I loved so much, is really depressing.  When I was gaming, people used to say that kids who play computer games all day have no life at all.  But now, I realize that its the IT-employees that have no life at all.  The worst part is probably that, there is no scope to dream at all.  The further you go up the ladder (in the company), the more time you have to spend in the office and the more you miss your life.

  I'm losing my ability to dream.  When you start to think realistically rather than dreaming about possibilities, you know that your time is up.  I believe mine is about to end.  Even if I had studied well and joined an even bigger IT firm, I would've felt the same way.  I know this for a fact because an old friend of mine who did exactly that feels just like I do.  From an young age we are given only one aim.  Its to find a job that pays us a lot of money.  But our aim should have been to a find a job that we would love to do.  Anything else, just won't do.

Monday, April 26, 2010

What we don't see!

  This is going to be a short post, not because the topic is a simple one, but because, I'm going to ask you to read a rather lengthy article.  It doesn't matter whether you are too busy or whether you have some plans, work etc.  If you are reading this post, then I'm sure you can spare at least half an hour of your life and read this article and think hard about what is said in it.  Regardless of who you are or what you do, you should read this article.

  Its about how we spend our daily life in such a frenzy that we forget that we are losing out on so much in our life.  You might not believe it but we really do become blind when we are caught in our day to day activities that we wouldn't notice it even if God was standing right next to us.  Joshua Bell might not be a God but he is a child prodigy.  He started playing a violin from the age of four and he tours around the world playing in concerts that cost huge amounts of money.  He was asked to dress as a street performer and play his $3.5 million dollar violin and the songs that are considered the very best in all ages.  He was asked to do this on a Friday morning in a mall that houses some corporate offices.  Wonder how many noticed him?  Wonder what happened next?  Just read this old article..

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Is it just me or is everyone really dumb?

  Is it wrong to think that I am smarter than everyone else?  It probably is, but what if I'm able to correctly predict the consequences of the bad decisions that others are making?  Does it give me rights to force or criticize their decision?  Again, probably not.  What if their wrong decision affects me and my dream?  Now that, is something to think about, isn't it?

  Ethics is probably the hardest topic to discuss and arrive at an acceptable answer.  So, let me not get into it.  But unfortunately, I think I still need some help.  Now, let me explain the situation.  I believe that I have finally started to understand the game of DotA.  Yes, its another post about my stupid gaming life, but bare with me on this one, because I need some help.  As I was saying, I believe my DotA skills have improved to the extent that I'm able to take proper in-game decisions.

  I had to struggle a lot to gain this particular skill and I'm not ready to take it lightly, at least not yet.  DotA being a team game, there are four others in my team who play their roles and also help in the decision making process.  But when their action doesn't follow my decision, I get extremely upset.  I believe that I'm able to see more than what others do and I'm able to guess the outcome of most situations.  But when someone doesn't follow what I say and end up in ruins, I feel that they are just being stupid.

  I'm unable to control myself in these situations.  I'm not expecting anyone to accept that I'm smarter.  I just expect them follow what I say.  How do you tell a stupid that he is stupid?  You obviously can't.  All you can do is tell them what to do.  That is exactly what I'm trying to do.  Now, I have no idea why I'm posting this in my blog but I have.  So, tell me, what do you think I should do?  Should I go easy on them and let them make a fool of themselves?  Or do I take the lead and keep shouting at them?  Its kinda hard for me to take the lead and not get emotional.  Or should I again work hard to try to change myself?  Why do I always feel like a one-man army in everything that I do!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Patiently waiting for the tide to pass!

  I didn't blog for quite some time now not because I was busy but because of electricity issues.  I usually blog at night, when my day is almost over and I feel like reflecting on what happened that day.  Its summer now, the humidity is awful and every air-conditioner in the neighborhood gets turned on at night.  In turn, it means that our poor electricity supply isn't sufficient and thus, we get low-voltages.  Even with an UPS, I'm unable to keep my system running because the voltage remains bad not just for half an hour, but for the entire night.

  Weirdly enough today, I'm on my old UPS and it has managed to survive for a little more than an hour now.  But on other days, I just switch off my system at 9pm to avoid frustration.  Even though there are dozens of channels on the television, I rarely find something worth watching.  But not to worry; if there is anything that I learned in Trivandrum, its that I still love to read books.  Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is what I'm reading currently and it feels good to read books again.  I'm thinking of making it a habit to read books for at least an hour every night.

  The other topic that I wanted to touch upon today was Zion.  As you might probably know, Zion is the local cafe that belongs to my teammate.  For two weeks now, I have been trying to organize proper DotA matches at Zion.  There is no point in mindlessly playing the game like idiots.  We need to get organized, learn, practice, improve and evolve to become the best at whatever it is that we do.  To become the best in DotA, we must first play proper -cm mode drafted matches.  Surprisingly, I managed to pull that off and (most) people are now eager to play -cm and are even asking for it themselves.

  I thought it would be impossible to make em play proper matches and that if they did, they will eventually improve.  Sadly though, I was wrong.  It seems that it was the easier part.  To actually make them think is the tough part.  I'm not sure whether its the effect of World of Warcraft which they recently started playing or its just their nature, but they seem dumb.  There are one or two exceptions like Siva who has improved a lot and properly understood the game.  But others don't seem to understand even the basics.

  Its not even their lack of knowledge and talent that I hate.  Its their lack of ability to think.  I mean, DotA is not a mundane, slow, stupid game.  Its like a game of chess plus teamwork and agility.  You need to think; you need to think a lot in-fact.  You should have the ability to read and understand your situation so that you can adapt to it.  You need to communicate, think collectively, concentrate on whats important, prioritize and keep your nerve.  More than everything, you need the desire to improve.  Sadly, they don't seem to have any of these.

  Finally, I realize now that I really miss my team.  From a eight member team, we are now down to just the two of us, me and Praveen.  Raja joins us occasionally, but that is pretty much it.  To think that these people aren't even as smart as we were two years ago, is just sad.  The saddest truth of them all is that, till these players improve, I can't.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Taste of Teamwork at Work

  At work today, me and my colleagues got our first taste of a team project.  It was only a mock project created for evaluation purposes.  Actually, when we started work, we were under the impression that it was going to be too easy.  The requirements were very simple and were similar to what we had practiced already.  On top of that, we had a lot of members in the team and so, once the work is split among the members, the work-load on an individual would be meager.  It sounds all too good, doesn't it?

  Life is never that simple.  To be more precise, programming is never free of glitches and teamwork is never easy.  Writing a piece of code may sound simple and straightforward once you know the syntax.  But it will throw an error when you least expect it.  The same piece of code that worked yesterday won't work today.  The code that works in one system might not work in another.  google is the god we turn to during such crisis but sadly, we were denied that liberty this time.  So, whenever we encountered an error which we haven't faced before, we felt like a patient with an incurable disease who doesn't believe in god.  You felt doomed!

 Next up is teamwork. A mother takes ten months to deliver a child. It doesn't mean that ten mothers can deliver a child in one month.  Though working as a team helps a lot, it doesn't mean that every work can be shared or that the logic becomes simpler.  In an article that I read recently, the author said that innovation can come only from teams in which the members trust each other completely. To get a simple work done, we may not have to trust each other but we still have to work together. Working together is way more complicated when you have different perceptions, different ideas and even different languages. In a team, it is not enough even if everyone do their work properly; their work should synchronize well with each other's. That is the key.

 Fortunately or unfortunately, I got caught in the middle of the chaos as I was given the job of combining everyone's work together. For me though, the whole experience felt like home. I'm familiar with the confusion, the stringent debugging, the slow code-walkthrough etc. In fact, the whole team was quite happy at the end of the ordeal.  I on the other hand, loved every second of it, but I wouldn't wanna do it for more than 8 hours..

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Taste of what I read daily!

  I read a lot on a daily basis.  I regret not having the conviction to read books.  I try to make up for it by reading blogs, news posts, forums etc.  They are of course no substitute for a good book, but if you do neither, then you really are wasting all the facilities you have been provided with.  Anyway, I would like to share with you a few things that I came across today.

Harley Davidson in India
  Twelve Harley Davidson bikes were released in Delhi recently and I saw a post on a blog about one of those bikes.  Its called the FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic and it costs 20 Lakhs.  The bike weighs 335kg and it has a 1450cc engine.  On top of all this, the bike is a proper classic looking beast.

  I'm looking for a similar leather bag for my Avey!  Any help is welcomed..  :D

The Myths of Innovation
  Scott Berkun's is one of the few blogs that I follow.  He is a writer.  Though I haven't read his books, I love to read his blog posts. He posts regularly and his posts are usually just one paragraph or two.  But this time, he posted a speech that he had just made in an event about Innovation.  If you are even slightly interested in a good thought-provoking speech, do read this.  Here is a small extract, to give you a taste - Ideas are easy. They are cheap. Any creativity book or course will help you find more ideas. What’s rare is the willingness to bet your reputation, career, or finances on your ideas. To commit fully to pursuing them.

New Feature in Photoshop 5

  I'm sure that was pretty self-explanatory..  Its looks impressive!

Google Chrome - Last Man Standing
   Pwn2Own is an annual event where they test browsers for security loopholes.  This year's event has started and the popular browsers like IE 8, Firefox and Safari have been beaten (breached).  So far, only two browsers have survived.  One is the rare Opera and the other is the ever so famous Chrome.  Apparently, Chrome won the event last year.  That is one more feather in Google's hat.  For more info, check out

  Most of my friends complain that they are bored at home and that they have nothing to do.  Well, this may not solve your problem but its a good start.  Reading something new about something that you are interested is both fun and useful.  I'm interested in computers, bikes etc. and so, these were interesting to me.  I'm sure you too can find something out there in the World Wide Web that interests you, regardless of how crazy or insane you may be.  Just surf the wave!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Special Something of a Team!

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a bunch of friends and a team? Friends are people who just wanna hang out, chill, relax, have fun and spend some quality time together. Time spent with a bunch of friends is something that is supposed to give you sweat memories. A team on the other hand, is a bunch of friends who are working towards a common goal. A team is usually on a mission; a dream. They are expected to do something together; they are expected to perform.

Making friends is easy; forming a team, is not. A former teammate of mine said a couple of days ago that, the problem with our (gaming) team was that we were having fun but we didn't realize it. Today, I have a different take on that. I got extremely upset today because a certain partner of mine didn't do his work properly. The thing that bothered me the most was that, when I explained it to him, his attitude was like "Yea, yea, I'll do it!". He didn't exactly say that but what comes out of a person's mouth is only 10% of what he says. Your voice, facial expressions, body language etc. communicate the message more than your words.

When I get upset, I usually turn to movies for some relaxation. I saw this movie about a team who struggle against difficult odds to come out on top. I suddenly realized something Its not how good you are or how much fun you are having together that determines the bondage of the team. Its the ability of every member of the team to impress and inspire the rest of the team. The kids in the movies and my team, had one thing in common. We were both formed when we got impressed by the skills of every individual. That is how most teams come together and that is exactly what keeps us together, I think.

The day you fail to impress your team, is the day you start losing that special something which your team had. You can impress your team with your dedication, with your special talent or with just your ability to do some work. When I do a lot of work and when I don't see a reciprocation from my teammate, the team starts to fall apart. I really feel that, this is the secret to keeping a team together. A team needn't be a five-member team, it can be just two. A team isn't formed just for games, it can be for work or passion. Do your part to woo your team, or sit on your ass and turn into a friend.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Changes in the Design of my Site!

I spent the past week working on the design of my website because, it really was dreadful to look at considering that I had just added two major features (login & shoutbox) without working on the design. I didn't get much time to work on the design but then again, if had got enough time, I'm not sure whether I would've utilized it to the full.. :P I've to turn my attention towards coding now because there are some key features still missing in the site, like comments and user uploads. The coming week will be spent on that.

Now, let me explain a little about the designing process I had to go through. The site is in php, which means that the HTML codes (which your browser understands) will be created dynamically by the server from a bunch of programming codes. This means that I can't work on the design of the website because all the content is stored in the database and I can't see anything on the screen until I get the output from the server. The output from the server won't come into the design application, it will open only in a browser. Thus, it was hard to make minor changes and check the sizes etc.

This is where the famous Developer Tools of Google's Chrome browser really came in handy. They say that there was a lot of commotion about this tool when the browser was introduced. Now I see the reason behind such interest in their browser. The Developer Tool was able to clearly reveal every aspect of my final output from the server and I was even able to edit the CSS values from the browser itself. I also came to know how it supports HTML 5 features which even Firefox doesn't support. I wish Chrome had been released sooner. I'm almost addicted to Firefox now and so, can't move away from it.. :(

Anyway, I would like to thank my friends especially Kaushik, Sanjit and taconite who gave some useful feedback on the change in the design of the site. And thank you Chrome for making my life easier.. :D You guys are also welcomed to give some feedback.. :) The website to check out is

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gonna Get an Avenger!

I received my first salary recently and I've found a way to put it to good use. Every time I get some money, I go out and buy parts for my computer because frankly, my system has been my world for long. This time though, I'm going to get myself a Bajaj Avenger 200cc bike. For long, I have loved riding bikes (even my 100cc CT100). So, it is high time that I get a proper bike and enjoy my long ride to the office.

When I told my friends about this decision, most of them suggested strongly against it. I can't blame them because our perspectives are completely different. Most people see bikes as a tool to get from Point A to Point B and that is pretty normal. For such people, any bike with a good mileage would do just fine. If the person is of my age group, then, speed gets added to the equation. Thus, they would look for a sporty bike which would get them from Point A to Point B in the shortest time possible.

For me though, its a bit more than that. In my eyes, a bike is like a pet, a living breathing playful friend. I would take the bike out for a ride for no apparent reason. To me, the destination doesn't matter, its the journey itself, that becomes the destination. Riding a bike is a joy in itself. To understand what I'm on about, check out my old post about our road-trip to Yercaud. After that trip, I really felt as if the CT100 had a little heart inside which never stopped beating no matter how hard I abused it.

A simple fast bike isn't what I'm looking for. I want a bike that I would enjoy riding. I don't want to sit in a racing angle and gun the throttle. I want to cruise the highway at high speeds without a care in the world. If none of the above made sense to you, then you are probably one of those who suggested against this bike. On the off chance that it did make sense to you, then you might understand why I chose Avenger, which is one of the best entry-level cruisers till date.. Thank you erodov for helping me with this decision..

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Real God - Stromatolites!

We have all read stories in some religion or the other about how God created earth and the lifeforms in it. But as much as I would like to respect our religions for giving us hope, we know very well that there is a complex science behind the creation of all lifeforms. In fact, the real credit can be given to stromatolites. Its actually the simplest of all lifeforms, a bacteria.

We humans have inhabited this planet only for a few million years but the earth is almost five thousand million years old. Back then, earth had no life because the atmosphere didn't have oxygen. This is where the stromatolites came in. It is their magic that we read about in our Science books. They introduced the process of photosynthesis and thus gave oxygen to earth. The rest as they say, is history.

Our atmosphere is a complex phenomenon. It holds the history of our planet, it influences the present lifeforms in this planet and it can give a sneak peak into the future of this planet. Today, I got an opportunity to watch a BBC production called 'The Power of the Planet'. It is a 5 episode series explaining how our planet works. It doesn't just give you the information, but it gift-wraps this information in some amazing experiments and breath-taking visuals. This will give you a whole new perspective of our world. Take a small break from our immaterial lives and watch this amazing series.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Yet Another Rant about Friends Quitting Gaming!

For days I wanted to make a post about a lot of things. I wanted to post about how most Indian Oil petrol bunks try to cheat the customers by distracting them just before filling the tank. I wanted to post about my favourite game Tetris and the various spin-offs of Tetris that were listed in this website. I wanted to post about Inception (Nolan's upcoming film) and how its trailer is awesome and how even the cast of his movie didn't understand what the movie was about while it was being made. I even wanted to post about google's efforts at providing broadband connection which is currently being tested in US. All these seemed like interesting and potential blog posts which might interest any normal surfer of the net. But I didn't post any of them.

You see, those were just random news that I thought would make an interesting topic but I didn't really feel the need to post about them. But today, I decided to make a post even though I don't have anything in particular to say. Why then did I do it, you ask? Well, its rather pretty simple, really. I'm upset.. :D

There are various reasons for me to be delightful today. For one, today I decided to buy a new bike. I have set my eyes on Bajaj Avenger and the best part is probably that I'm going to buy one with my own money. Considering how I love bikes, this alone should make me very happy. Besides this, the google ad that I installed in my website a week ago has started to churn in some revenue. I'm gonna earn my first dollar from my website. Sounds like a good day, doesn't it?

Well, something else happened today which rather disturbed me. A couple of days back I met Abishek and he suggested a night-out. I tried to arrange one today and a few like Bharath and Sathya were interested and some guy whom I barely knew, called me up to say that he is interested in joining us. But to my surprise, Vijay wasn't interested. We have been playing together for a very long time now. I mean, it is common for him to not be able to attend but for him to not be interested in a game of DotA together after a long time, is just sad. I was caught completely off-guard when he said that he wants to hang out with friends and that he doesn't wanna play DotA. I had for long been thinking that night-outs were all about hanging out with friends & having fun. I mean, what else was it about, considering that we stopped competitive gaming almost an year ago.

People seem strange when you don't understand their actions. Hell, I doubt that even he understands his actions.. Oh well! That was yet another rant about my friends quitting gaming. I really should stop posting these rants, I think. I guess its time to move on. But I just can't stop feeling sad.. :(

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Back to my Routine Life!

I have returned home after spending almost two months at Trivandrum. I must say, I had a good time there. I had a couple of my classmates with me at the lodge and so, I was never alone. I made new friends with people not just from Chennai but from Hyderabad and even Calcutta. I will miss the sound of bullet bikes going up the steep roads. I think I will even miss the daily walk to the hotel for dinner with friends. Somehow, a change from the routine life in Chennai felt good. The whole experience was something worth cherishing in memory thanks to the people who stayed with me at the lodge. Thank you guys..

Then again, I wouldn't wanna stay there forever. Now that I'm back in front of my computer, I love my routine life even more. My Quad core computer, my CT100 bike, Zion gaming cafe, oh yes!! Home Sweet Home! Now more than ever, I feel a sudden urge to get off my ass and do something. Earlier, I used to be very enthusiastic about things but now, I believe I have went one step further. I'm not quite sure how to express it but here is what I have in mind..

I'm going to work on further improving my website, I'm going to create log-in features and thus take the site to the next level. If eSports does improve in India, then I will be there to help it grow! Muhahaha!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Moving On..

The last two weeks were rather slow or in other words, kinda boring and so, I didn't feel like writing a blog. The good news is probably that my evaluation exams at TCS are over and I didn't do badly. Other than that, I played a few games in my friends' laptops. It wasn't much but just a little something to remember the good old days. Besides these, the only other change is that I stopped my weekend trips to office. The syllabus isn't so challenging anymore and there isn't much of a motivation.

Now that I'm kinda free, I spent my time reading books like Silence of the Lambs, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy etc. I also saw a couple of movies, even tamil ones. Among the movies I saw, 'Naadodigal' impressed me the most. The movie has given me hope to go watch tamil movies in theaters.

Besides these, I spent some time thinking about what I wanna do, about what might give me satisfaction and kindle my enthusiasm. I decided that its my website. Its my own little project that I started with a couple of friends to spend my holidays. Though not much effort has been put into the site for the past one month, it has somehow managed to attract visitors till date and so, I feel that it is worth investing my free time in improving the site. Can't wait to get back to my computer and start working on my site...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Weekend Fun!

To any office-goer, weekends are the most awaited days of the week and I'm no exception to that rule. But the difference is that, I like weekends because I can go to office leisurely and stay there for the whole day without any interruptions. Sitting in front of a computer and trying to write a code to solve some problem is almost like working on a piece of art.

Unfortunately, I have to also read some theory but it ain't like school where I have to remember every word. Here, it is enough if I just understand it. Hours disappear like minutes when working on logic for codes. It is like an adventure because, you have no guarantee that your logic would work; you just carry on with confidence for an hour & after some intense debugging, when the required output comes up on the screen, it feels just great. Looking forward to yet another intense day in our lab!! :D

Friday, January 1, 2010

A look at my Life in 2009!

Its the beginning of a new year & from my hotel room, I can hear music, fireworks & celebrations from all directions. Instead of worrying about the year ahead, I want to spend a few minutes to recollect the memories of the past year. My life has changed a lot in the past year compared to the five years before that.

I finished my college last year. I miss the carefree & fun college life, the student gangs & the whole concept of student-friendship. Most of the students in my class weren't content with their college life, but to me, it was an almost perfect way to spend five years of college life.

The other major change last year was that I was away from home for a long period of time. I spent almost two months in Hyderabad working under Ravi. Thanks to the days I spent in Hyderabad, I realized that I can have fun even while I'm away from home.

By mid December I had to come to Kerala where I will be staying till at least 4th of Feb. My stomach isn't comfortable about leaving home, but other than that, I haven't had any issues. Besides, a change once in a few months is actually a pretty good experience. I just wish that I get posted in Chennai after my training in Kerala. If not, then this new year would probably be even more adventurous!

Happy New Year!