Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The thing I like about my office

It's 36 degrees outside, there's a 0 mile-an-hour wind and it looks like there'll be no rain for another 10 days. You could see the dust rising from soil displaced by occasional vehicles passing by. The place in conversation is my office situated in an industrial zone amidst the busiest part of Bangalore viz Bannerghatta Main Road. At this very moment our office can easily pass out as land of eternal summer. I'm drenched in sweat, which of course is rare phenomenon since I don’t sweat easily. There is an unusual silence all around and one single occupant occupies the entire first floor of the office and that is me. Well this is because of my innovative suggestion towards overhead and cost reduction. Within a span of 10weeks 20% of the company employees left their jobs in peruse of better opportunities or rather there was a massive layoff. Along with the heat I’ve have other ppls work to take care of; that includes imports, purchase, sales, finance, system & ERP implementation in 6 hours a day. Later on I’ve my classes to attend which of course is the toughest part of the day.

With all this, most of the noise making industries (basically manufacturing units) in and around are being replaced by software industries. This has added more silence to existing silence. Despite all this I’m inhaling a pleasant aroma of coffee being brewed in a nearby coffee processing unit. I believe it’s one among few things that keeps me going between my musings. There are very few words in English language that could explain the effect of this coffee aroma on me in an industrial area like this. Hmmm as I always say sometimes small things like this can make a huge difference.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Half life

Few days back I got to play Half life 2. A very interesting game but at certain stages the game is monotonous & creepy. However if you have sufficient time, a PC with high end graphic card & a 5.1 channel sound card then the game is a must play. The water detail and visulisation is amazing. If you are not careful you may end up jumping from your seat by sudden surprises. Till date no other game had done that to me. I played around 6 levels and the pc had a low end graphic card. Well in any case Half life is based on AI architecture that is shedule driven state machine. Baddies and NPC's in the game can have several different states. They can assess how much helth the player has, where the player is heading, how many of their own kind are left in the room, wether to flea or fight back. No two gamers will enconter the same reaction from game to game. Half life is basically, the biggest advance in the first person shooter game. Well dont forget to try your hands on gravity gun. You will get that weapon some where in fourth level and the weapon simply rox. 
Here's a list of top 5 games that I like on priority basis
1. Call of Duty
2. Medal of Honour
3. Half Life 
4. Unreal Tournament
5. Need for Speed UG  

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Eleventh Round

Here is a nice small fable from a book The Future of Money; about the social consequences of an interest-based monetary system.

The Eleventh Round

Once upon a time, there was a small village where people knew nothing about money or interest. Each market day, people would bring their chickens, eggs, hams and breads to the marketplace and enter into the time-honored ritual of negotiations and exchange for what they needed with one another. At harvests, or whenever someone's barn needed repairs after a storm, the villagers simply exercised another age-old tradition of helping one another, knowing that if they themselves had a problem one day, others would surely come to their aid in turn.

One market day, a stranger with shiny black shoes and an elegant white hat came by and observed the whole process with a sardonic smile. When he saw one farmer running around to corral six chickens wanted in exchange for a big ham, the stranger could not refrain from laughing. "Poor people," he said, "so primitive."

Overhearing this, the farmer's wife challenged him. "Do you think you can do a better job handling chickens?"

The stranger responded: "Chickens, no. But there is a much better way to eliminate all the hassles. Bring me one large cowhide and gather the families. I'll explain the better way."

And requested, the families gathered, and the stranger took the cowhide, cut perfect leather rounds in it and put an elaborate and graceful little stamp on each round. He then gave ten rounds to each family, stating that each round represented the value of one chicken. "Now you can trade and bargain with the rounds instead of those unwieldy chickens." It seemed to make sense and everybody was quite impressed with the stranger.

"One more thing," the stranger added. "In one year's time I will return and I want each of you to bring me back an extra round, an eleventh round. That eleventh round is a token of appreciation for the technological improvement I just made possible in your lives."

"But where will that round come from?" asked the wife.

"You'll see," said the stranger, with a knowing look.

Assuming that the population and its annual production remained exactly the same during that next year, what do you think happened? Remember, that eleventh round was never created.

As the stranger had suggested, it was far more convenient to exchange rounds instead of the chickens on market days. But this convenience had a hidden cost beyond the demanded eleventh round-that of generating a systemic undertow of competition among all the participants. The equivalent of one out of each eleven families would have to lose all of its rounds, even if everybody managed their affairs well, in order to provide the eleventh round to the stranger.

The following year, when a storm threatened some of the farmers, there was a greater reluctance to assist neighbors. The families were now in a wrestling match for that eleventh round, the round that had not been created, which actively discouraged the spontaneous cooperation that had long been the tradition in the village.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Mysteries of deep jungle

Innovative programming, insightful analysis, dynamic set of anchors and often scientists. That’s probably the best way to describe the mysteries of deep jungle being telecasted during Sunday in NGC @ 2100Hrs. A very nice programme indeed. On the other hand the most irritating aspect is, calling the programme as Kaal Special. Of all things why Kaal. I truly appreciate bollywoods effort on taking national geographic help on making the movie kaal but I disagree with NGC linking their programme with that movie.

In addition the main flaw in the programme is the constant interruption of Kaal crew explaining how the movie was made. This clearly indicates Karan johars' defensive strategy adapted to gain footage after knowing that the film has not turned out well. But in any case NGC rox and is by far the best channel in town.