Saturday, March 29, 2014

Artists

Saw Noah in a full house yesterday. Liked the movie, though I rarely hate any movies, so don’t go watch it and curse me later. My favourite part was the running joke with Anthony Hopkins craving for berries, (and we promptly went to pick up some blueberries after the movie ourselves). 

This morning I read that, 50 years ago Hopkins wrote a waltz and never had anybody play it. Andre Rieu performed it for the very first time last year (Hopkins was in the audience). The fact that he had a composition sitting around for 50 years while he was living out an extremely successful career is mind blowing. He was happy having his creation just lay undiscovered.

Hugh Laurie, similarly, after being one of the highest paid TV actors is now doing brilliant Jazz. I am looking forward to him visiting Australia later this year. He has written a couple of books as well.

“Art” is something we have been blessed with as human beings. I have always had the romantic notion that I’d love to be an artist someday. Unfortunately, when you have to explain that you drew a riven flowing down the mountain, that is as clear a sign as it gets that this is not a great career for you. My acting was described by a good friend as “wooden”, most people I sang in front of politely giggled.

I resigned myself to a career of 0’s and 1’s.

However, I have continued writing. Sometimes writing seems meaningless when you can simply email or message people. I used to love writing in the college magazine when I knew a lot of people will read it, and talk to me about it in the corridor. Getting less direct feedback is why I, and quite possibly a lot of people lose touch with art.

However, if Anthony Hopkins, can compose a Waltz just for himself, why not more of us ?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A device on my body is telling me to charge itself.

I have been using the Fitbit One for over 6 months now, but I am still oddly satisfied every time I get an email from it. Its telling me to charge it. In my mind I hear the email below as a request from my valet Jeeves politely requesting me – “Sir, would you fancy charging me at your earliest convenience.  It would allow me to continue successfully monitor all your movements.”

I am assuming in 10 years from now we will have a personal dashboard advising us of the status of all our devices. Hmm, actually that’s not a bad idea now. I’d love to have Jeeves telling me that my kindle, ipad, notebook, fitbit are all charged before I leave for a vacation.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

30 Things–Version 2013

This is my go to list of things I want to do, for times when I am too tired to think

Ongoing

  1. Continue and finish the Perth Walks
  2. Do something cool with Leap Motion
  3. Continue the cool Kinect Work
  4. Listen to Hardcore History Podcast
  5. Read a couple of fiction books this year
  6. Finish my Dynamics GP Project
  7. Setup my Kinect Games

Year

  1. Play Unchartered 3
  2. Gold Coast
  3. Entertainment Book Perth 2013
  4. Get Sonos Play or another awesome wireless speaker
  5. Get fit
  6. TV
    1. Suits Season 2.5
    2. Game of Thrones Season 3
    3. Sherlock Season 3 (late 2013)
  7. Movies
    1. Iron Man 3 (April)
    2. Star Trek Into Darkness (May)
    3. After Earth (June )
    4. World War Z (June)
    5. Wolverine (July)
    6. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (July)
    7. Chennai Express ( Aug )
    8. Dhoom 3 (Dec)
    9. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ( Dec)

 

Life

  1. Melbourne
  2. Train trip in Europe / and visit Switzerland
  3. Disneyland
  4. New Zealand
  5. See the northern lights from Norway
  6. Buy a house near a beach, or a river
  7. Crystal Cruises on the Crystal Serenity

 

 

                  Things I Enjoy - May 2011



                  • I enjoy playing FIFA 11 (the more people the better, louder people, even better), as long as I am winning.
                  • I enjoy tracking a shipment after I have ordered something. Multiple times. Every hour.
                  • I enjoy walks with Rubal. I enjoy how she insists on an extra round in the park whenever I say - "Let's go", and then goes back and says "That was one round too many, ooh my legs hurt"
                  • I enjoy staying in Taj Hotels , love the breakfast.
                  • I enjoy watching House MD, White Collar, Dexter(I sometimes read a part of the story on Wikipedia to make it easier on my nerves)
                  • I enjoy playing Foosball with friends.
                  • I enjoy spending time with my iPad, installing 10 apps in a stretch, and then being delighted on discovering them weeks later.
                  • I enjoy visiting new places, meeting new people, listening to new languages. They make me smile.
                  • I enjoy traveling in the train. I love the Shatabdi breakfast.
                  • I enjoy dinner conversations with my friends
                  • I enjoy new restaurants
                  • I enjoy eating Masala Omelette and Corn and Spinach Quiche at BackPackers
                  • I enjoy eating Keema at Pal Dhaba
                  • I enjoy giving surprise gifts to people
                  • I enjoy gifting things to myself
                  • I enjoy reading, non fiction mostly. Anything and everything from which I learn something new.
                  • I enjoy eating Gobi ke Paranthe and all the innovative deserts at Mom's. I enjoy he she comes up with an impromptu name for the deserts, and how Dad cant help dissecting the ingredients (which are often left overs he knows about, and we don't).
                  • I enjoy discussing cricket with my Dad. I enjoy how he coolly acts as though nothing surprises him when I tell him about a match and gets all excited when he is telling me about a match.
                  • I enjoy buying travel books. I probably have more travel books than a small book store.

                  Sunday, March 31, 2013

                  Perth Walks : Walk #1–Around the Canning River Regional Park

                  I like walking.

                  I was telling this to my good friend David Musgrave and his wife Jennifer, and Jennifer immediately brought a book of walks around Perth and Western Australia. Looking around – Rubal and I found another book on Walks in Perth - Perth's Best Bush, Coast & City Walks. I highly recommend getting the book – it has some great pictures as well.

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                  So now armed with a couple of books – we’ve decided to start the walks. Hopefully one every week.

                  The first walk was around the Canning River. Nice short one hour walk. Especially good for those of you staying in Cannington. We went there from 5.30 PM to 6.30 PM as the sun was setting, but surprisingly there weren’t any people at all.

                  Rubal especially liked this walk as we can combine it with a trip to Carousel

                  Start at Mason’s Landing Park

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                  Some pictures, I’ll try and get better in the future  -

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                  Friday, July 1, 2011

                  Cleverbot. Interesting Idea.

                  I am sure a lot of you have tried Eliza - the chatbot. You'd type something and get a pre-programmed response. It was fun.

                  I recently hear about CleverBot, try it out http://www.cleverbot.com/
                  The guy who wrote this in 1988 had thousands of conversations with it, and since going online in 1997, it has had over 20 million conversations. That's probably more conversations that the most fascinating human being you know. So when you are talking to it - it is getting a response based on a conversation it has had before.

                  It can be very silly sometimes, but the idea is fascinating.

                  As per WikiPedia
                  Cleverbot differs from traditional chatterbots in that the user is not holding a conversation with a bot that directly responds to entered text. Instead, when the user enters text, the algorithm selects previously entered phrases from its database of prior conversations. It has been claimed that "talking to Cleverbot is a little like talking with the collective community of the internet"

                  Monday, June 27, 2011

                  India and Pakistan

                  Recently I needed to get some programming work done. Scarcity of time sent me looking for a free lancer. I wrote out the specs, posted them online and a few developers sent in their quotes.

                  The lowest quote came from a Pakistani fellow. His credentials and portfolio looked decent, so I thought - "What the heck!?", lets try this out. My specs were very detailed, the whole India -Pakistan hostility would not matter in a simple one page project, right?

                  As this Pakistani dev started working on the project, I tried to encourage him more than I normally would at the start of the project. He responded saying - he would get this small work done in a few HOURS. I was impressed with his confidence.

                  The next DAY he sent in his first draft. It had more mistakes than I could make even if I was trying deliberately. I was pissed off as I copied lines from the specs pointing out the problems. As I wrote down the feedback I thought - I could have written the code for this in the same time I am spending giving the feedback. I wanted to cancel the project.

                  However, strangely, a part of me made me feel like I am leading the Indo-Pak peace talks and saying or doing anything negative will be bad for the greater good of humanity. My friends laughed at me as over the next couple of days I spent an hour each day teaching this guy basic things like Validation, filters, avoiding SQL injection and more.

                  At the end of it all I gave him a small bonus, I wanted to end the relationship on a good note. It seems crazy to me now, but I felt I needed to compensate him for the extra time he spent(Which was his fault).

                  Today I just went back to this free lancing site to look at this guys history out of curiosity. I saw that I was the only positive rating he got out of the 5 projects he completed.

                  hmmm...