First Anniversary

It has been a year since I started this blog with this post. The most memorable thing about that first post was the first comment that was registered - by Mr.Barger himself in response to the "Did you know?" section in that post. "How did he know about your blog?", you may ask. Presumably he had used one of those tracker thingies which send out alerts whenever there is some new content on the web about the topics you specify. Anyway, thanks Mr.Barger - for the comment (that made my day) and for the erstwhile neologism.

Thanks to all of you who still try to follow my posts despite my erratic posting patterns. Muchas gracias!

P.S. I have certain things planned for the blog. Let us see how things turn out. (And for the Doubting Thomases out there, I am not joking. ;-))

Tags : Blogger Days

Posted by Rajat @ 12:18 PM   |  Comments

Premier Afternoon

Yesterday afternoon I went to the Premier Bookshop to redeem the coupons we had won at two of KQA's open quizzes (in particular, the open quiz on February 5th by Avinash Thirumalai & Siby Kuriakose of the Thought Gang & the one conducted by Dibyendu Das & Vinay Das on March 26th). We had been instructed to redeem them before April 15th. I didn't understand the reason for this until I read Suresh Menon's article in the Sunday Herald supplement of the Deccan Herald dated March 26th :-

Soon the bookshop itself will no longer be there: Premier is on the verge of closing down.

Needless to say, I couldn't believe my eyes. Premier? Closing down? What's happening? At the bookshop I talked to the proprietor, Mr.Shanbhag about this - it seems the lease for the place has expired & now the owner is reluctant to renew it. Mr.Shanbhag has been asked to vacate the place by around April end. So he is currently searching for another place where he can set up shop again. It was heartening to see some customers offering to help him out in searching for suitable places. I wished him the best in his quest & returned with these :-

Tags : A Bookworm's Diet, Blogger Days, Quizzing

Posted by Rajat @ 11:28 PM   |  Comments

Browser War, Reloaded

In the last week of January, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2. This works only with Windows XP SP2. I had read about the amount of freshly copied features from better browsers (read Firefox & Opera) which would be available in IE7. Curious to see how the new & improved(?) IE would look, I downloaded & installed the browser.

Check out this screenshot of my desktop with IE7 showing the Google search page :-

IE7 Screenshot

Quick! Can you find the Stop button? Time up. Now can you find the Refresh button? Time up. Well, could you find them? Immediately? No? Look hard at the top right area of the image. Found them?

IE7 Highlighted Screenshot

Typically one would be accustomed to having all the navigation buttons together at the top left. To achieve differentiation, Microsoft seems to have gone in for unintuitive interfaces. I want to stop some page from loading & I suddenly find that my Stop button is missing from its usual place. By the time I spot what I think is the Stop button & click on it, the page would have already loaded. Moreover I feel that both the Refresh & Stop buttons are not very responsive - they hardly seem to get depressed. And what is the reason for this wholesale shuffling of buttons? MS says they want to foil the attempts made by some sites to trick users into clicking on imitation toolbars at the top of the page. Huh? Whatever.

Tabbed browsing, anti-phishing tool(s), RSS feed detection are a few of the new features in IE7. But most Web developers want IE to support standards first - an area where IE has differentiated itself very well from its competitors ;-).

The release doesn't make any difference to me anyway. I have been using Firefox for a few years now & before that I had been using Opera (Before Opera? IE 5.x, of course. But those were the times when I was just getting my feet wet online. That's excusable, I guess :-)).

Interesting fact about the browser wars :- Microsoft is beginning to face stiff competition from Firefox, which actually rose out of the Mozilla codebase which in turn was contributed by Netscape Corporation when they were being blown out of the browser business by Microsoft in mid 90s. So, will Firefox become IE's nemesis and avenge its ancestor? We can only wait & watch.

Tags : Blogger Days, The Binary Files, Usability

Posted by Rajat @ 4:15 PM   |  Comments

A Bookworm's Diet

An update on the books I have read since my last update :-

Currently reading :-

  • The Complete Adventures of Feluda - Volume 2 by Satyajit Ray (Translated by Gopa Majumdar)

Tags : A Bookworm's Diet, Blogger Days

Posted by Rajat @ 8:53 PM   |  Comments

A villain remembered

The year was 1996. It had been around 2 months since I had entered high school, when I received a letter from my 'alma mater' asking me to attend that year's Independence Day celebrations in our locality as I would be receiving an award for being the school topper in the Class VII examinations. I knew there would be some big names at the event as it had been the practice of the organisers to invite prominent personalities from various fields to the function. Naturally I was excited at the prospect of being 'feted' by some big shot :-). However I was a tad disappointed to learn that the award would be given by Vajramuni, one of the most popular villains in the Kannada film industry. The appropriateness of inviting a 'bad guy' to give away an award for 'academic excellence' to impressionable youngsters was lost on me at that time. August 15th arrived and I went to the venue along with my parents & my kid brother. Now, Vajramuni had a characteristic style of demonstrating villainy - while plotting the downfall of the hero (usually Rajkumar) his eyes would narrow down to slits, his anger would be theatrical to the core, the typical sneer would be present most of the times. It was rather strange to see the same man looking serious in a dignified way and actually smiling kindly. In the end, he presented me with a cup & also garlanded my dad. I still have two photographs of the award ceremony.

This man who had been jailed, beaten & killed innumerable times on the silver screen, expired for the last time on January 5, 2006. I learnt about this the next day when I glanced at the front page of the newspaper before leaving for office. All through my journey to the office, a sense of sadness prevailed. Though I had met the man for a few fleeting moments, his presence that day had impressed upon me the distinction between reel & real life.

May his soul rest in peace.

Tags : Bangalore, Blogger Days, Life, Movies

Posted by Rajat @ 10:58 PM   |  Comments