Monday, December 11, 2006
MacD telling me that I was happy to be on Brigade road. How dare they!! Its absolutely under my control if I want to be happy, moody, sad or plain damn whiny on Brigade.. How dare they... !@#$%^&*
But then the reality struck me... MacD was happy to be on Brigade and was not dictating terms to me. MacD was happy to be on Brigade and wanted to share the happiness with all of us. For a moment, it felt like they were spreading the Christmas cheer ( I wouldnt have been surprised to see Mr. Ronald McDonald, the mascot dressed up as Santa).
Then i realized this was "Subtle Marketing"... Not really asking you to come to McD, but inturn putting the idea strongly in your mind that If you need to partake of their pie of happiness, DO DROP IN...
Sometimes it hurts me to see the mob manipulated this way, but on second thoughts, they deserve it, running behind designer brands and being slaves of consumerism.... I'm defenitely NOT loving it !!!
Afterthought - KUDOS to the guy who came up with the idea... Deserves an applause !!!
Saturday, December 09, 2006
The helmet rule in Bangalore states that the pillion does not need to wear a helmet, while the driver does. Thus guy seems to think that "pillion" refers to those who sit behind the first chap on a bike. So here, the driver becomes a pillion and doesnt need to wear a helmet... Hola !!!
Thursday, December 07, 2006
You can get the blog at http://raghunathraoflexing.blogspot.com/
After porting my earlier posts about FLEX and Flash onto my new blog, my first post is about FLEX-i-Frame. Its a way to con people into believing that you have embeded HTML/PDF content into a FLEX App. Check out FLEX-i-Frame here...
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Its been 23 years since i graced (or grazed or burdened.. however you wanna see it) this earth. This birthday was really special to me (apart from the fact that i turn 23 which happens to be my favourite number, along with 45... which is a long way off. BTW Brownie points to those who guess the connection). I had the best birthday bash EVER in the last 22 years.
It all started Nov 30th night, when my roomies couldnt wait to kick the S**t out of me. I was never given too many bumps in college or school (thanks to my weight, which made it impobable for people to hold me up for long). But now we had our very dear 'gentle giant' of a neighbour Mr. Vinay, to elevate me to the atrocities waiting for me. The clock struck 12....
And it started... I have no words to describe it. See it for your self.
Then came office... It was so quiet after the blast at night and the fact that I had training from 9-5 started to droop my mood. The fact that not many people wished me, didnt help my cause. I came out of the meeting and Lauren comes to me saying that there was an A+ priority bug in the feature i was responsible for and that the senior management wants to see me about it.
As i entered our Senior Engg. Manager Anant's cabin, i saw they were quite cross, with Anant literally shouting at me. I got a shock but stood there non-chalantly, trying to guess what the problem was. Then Anant says "We need to rethink on what we should do about you" and I was like. "Am I gonna get fired on my BDay... ~!@#$".
Then Anant said, "We know what to do with you. We have decided that............
WOW.... That was a Scary... but, boy was I surprised. The whole team walked in wishing me a happy birthday and i was made to cut not one, but 2 cakes. Wow I really have a SWEET team and literally.
I would go to the extend of saying that this has been the best Birthday celebration of my Life...
Sunday, November 26, 2006
First came the Adobe Developer Derby, which saw some awesome applications being churned out. Check the results and the winning applications here. Then there was an Aussy equivalent of the Derby, which went well too.
So now we have decided to focus on one of the (probably THE) largest developer bases in the world. INDIA !! Our philosophy to start from the grass root level has spun this idea of Adobe Developer Olympiad for Students. The key highlights for the same
- Any student pursuing a degree in any stream as a full time student of a recognized university in India is eligible to participate in the contest.
- Submissions can be in 3 categories: Engineering (components), Applications, and ColdFusion integration.
- Each category has a prize of Rs. 50,000
- You can participate individually or as a team of upto 5 members
- Adobe Developer Olympiad Page
- Adobe India Students Group
- Flex.org: Your one-stop Flex portal
- Flex Quick Starts: Lessons to get you up and running quickly
- Flex Developer Center: Whitepapers, lessons, examples, and more
- Flex Component Explorer: Lots of Flex examples for you to try
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
BrightCove.com has come out with a new video player with full screen support. Check it out.. its awesome.
What it has also done is that peole have started rolling out video channels online... like the TasteTV.com (which uses brightcove's player) and Sony's MusicBox. See this John Mayer Channel by musicbox. The online video revolution is just starting.
Here's another blogpost by Manish on the same.
And do checkout this awesome Panorama Viewer
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
But she was quite intrigued by the tune and spice that a guitar brings to a song. So we jammed ! Here's one of her favourites. "Papa Kehte Hain" from the movie Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. I never knew she sang so well...
Lachu & Me, jamming on Papa Kehte Hain
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Here’s something I wrote. I will try to tune it into a song later. It’s called the “Phantoms of my Past”. It kinda came from a realization that dawned on me that the romantic, that passionate fervor in me is dying as my priorities change towards making more money and fame.
PHANTOMS OF MY PAST
As I walk down the lonely road,
Thinking of my whole life
I came upon the phantoms,
The phantoms of my past
They took me back to the days I dreamed
Of mountains, rivers and sunshine,
Of knights in shiny armor,
Of honor, bold and brave.
Of castles, moats and dragons,
And kings on royal thrones.
Gazing the sky on a starry night
Thinking of the whole wide world
I came upon the phantoms,
The phantoms of my past
Of the lonely girl with long black hair,
Who waited for me by the brook.
Those dark blue eyes that made me sigh
Those long black curls undone
Those angel arms where I found out
My heart, my soul, my love.
As I awoke from that mystery trance
I began to wonder why
Why I never dream these days
Why I never dream.
My life, now revolves around
Money, fame and clout
Those long forgotten dreams are now
Phantoms of my past
That passion deep in me is too
A phantom of my past.
I’m back home… in Trivandrum. I came for a week vacation to relax and bask in the glory of parental love, which I got. But I kinda got more than what I had bargained for. Some vile, vilified, wanton virus found its way into my physiological self. I got what the doctors “loosely” describe as viral fever.
Viral Fever, until a couple of years meant, you rest, take a lot of fluids and sleep and you'll be fine. Not anymore. With deadly variants like Dengue and Chikungunya making its rounds, I was more than worried. The doc still haven’t told me what it is, but complete bed rest for a week.
As I write this (it’s a pain with the ‘w’ key not working on my keyboard, thanks to Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V, the voodoo language for copy and paste) I’m slowly moving out of the ordeal that I have lived through the past couple of days. Hope to be my best in the days to come :D
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
Stephen Robert Irwin (22 February 1962 – 4 September 2006), nicknamed "The Crocodile Hunter", was an Australian conservationist and television personality. He achieved world-wide fame, from the television program The Crocodile Hunter, an internationally-broadcast wildlife documentary series co-hosted with his wife Terri Irwin. Together with his wife, he also co-owned and operated Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland originally founded by his parents.
Irwin was snorkeling at Batt Reef when he was killed by a stingray barb that pierced his chest. Irwin was in the area to film pieces for a show called "The Ocean's Deadliest". But weather had prevented the crew from doing work for that program, so Irwin decided to do some softer features for a new children's TV show he was doing with his daughter, Bindi.
As the world mourns for him, I came across some cartoons that depicted what his death meant for animals, especially crocodiles.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
A guy on a cycle came and started enquiring if we were interested in a rowboat ride and oil massage… His name was Krishnamurthy and we took him in as our guide/paddler. After much search (and a scare… we saw the police puncturing the tyres of those who parked vehicles in a no parking zone), we finally found a place to park the car and started making our way to the river bed…
What struck us first was the fact that there was too much water in there… I was a bit scared to go in… but our guide Mr.Krishnamurthy assured us that the part we will be going to, the river is much calmer… Pity, they could have a started kayaking experience here…
We all got on the round boat (made famous by a lot of south-indian movies) and he started paddling... It was too hot and too slow.. and we started getting bored.. The water near the waterfall was too turbulent for us to even get near it. We were kind of disappointed.
We asked murthy to take us to a place where we can swim and have fun… So off we went, this time, to another island… But damn it was too crowded. Murthy scooted, only to come back later, to show us a sexy spot where we had a whole deserted wood to ourselves. There was a natural pool there, quite like a Jacuzzi and we had awesome fun there for almost an hour. The rocks were slippery & sharp. The water was very turbulent and all of us hurt ourselves in one way or another, brushing against stones and all. I had the worst cut, slipping onto a sharp rock that cut right under my leg.
Once all this was done, we headed back to the shore, paid murthy and had a quite drive back to Bangalore (now racing, not against time, but against fuel… as the tank was running out fast). The trip, all in all was quite good, the most awesome parts being the drive and the Jacuzzi. We reached home back at 18:30.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Alarm rings, I wake up… only to see that the time is almost 07:00 and all my roommates are busy sleeping. We finally get going. As we pass Silk Board, we reset the trip meter and the time’s 09:00. So Me, Praveen aka PRV, Ragul & Joseph were out for a day of fun.
We hit Hosur road, usually cluttered with traffic moving at snail pace, but on this holiday, it’s as clear as a…?? Well it’s very clear :) And so the adventure starts.
Throwing caution to the winds, we sped forward, with all our eyes (except PRV’s of course) on the Speedometer. We touch 120..30..40..50 (Joseph’s camera goes “click” “click” incessantly). We hit 160 and that speed holds for quite a while, but even the slim traffic was enough to hinder us from moving forward. Then we hit a stretch, going downhill and also a clear road before us…
PRV hits the accelerator hard and 160..170 (click again)...171(click)… 175... click & bump. At that top speed, we hit a small hump on the road… and the whole pic goes for a spin… the photo at top speed is ruined… So here they both are. We later found out that our average speed for the last 50 mins was about 110km/hr.
As we go forward, I get down at a place to ask directions… and my dear roomies just sped along… I was not amused… Thankfully for me (and for them), they stopped and we proceeded to Hogennakal. Then cruising along to Dharmapuri… we see green fields and lush background. We couldn’t help but stop and take some pics… it was fun. Then I lay on the road and took a pic (I always wanted to do that).
The Zippy Ride...
We then stopped for a breather... only to find that we were going so fast, that a fly got stuck & killed on to the front grill of the car...
We finally reached Hogennekal at around 12:00… The adventure continues
Sunday, August 13, 2006
But beware.. stuff like Coconut water, bottled and aged ,may give into fermentation and become "potent" alcoholic drinks (yeah... as good or better than beer) :))
What about colas?? Are they doomed... I say, they continue with their operations and alter their target audience... here's a piece i found on The Guardian... :)
Coca-Cola pesticide issue is bad news for us common folks, but good news for chilli and cotton farms who WANT to keep bugs off their crops? Farmers, instead of paying hefty fees to international chemical companies for patented pesticides, are reportedly spraying their chilli and cotton fields with Coca-Cola. Only last month, hundreds of farmers were turning to Coke in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh.
Gotu Laxmaiah, a farmer from Ramakrishnapuram in Andra Pradesh, said he was delighted with his new cola spray, which he applied this year to several hectares of cotton. "I observed that the pests began to die after the soft drink was sprayed on my cotton"... he also adds that the cola sprays are invaluable because they are safe to handle, do not need to be diluted and, mainly, are cheap.
One litre of highly concentrated Avant, Tracer and Nuvocron, three popular pesticides, costs around 10,000 rupees, but one-and-a-half litres of locally made Coca-Cola is 30 rupees. To spray an acre would be a mere 270 rupees. Thats called being economical :)
A leading Indian agriculture analyst, Devinder Sharma, said: "I think Coke has found its right use. Farmers have traditionally used sugary solutions to attract red ants to feed on insect larvae. I think the colas are also performing the same role."
The properties of Coke have been discussed for years. Other "prospective" uses include...
- Lavatory Cleaner
- Windscreen Wipe
- Rust Spot Remover
So there you go guys... this seems like an awsome proposal, citing the fact that prevalent form of employment in India relate to agricultural means...
1. "Water Levels Are falling due to Cola Factories"
Very true... the cheapest option that is available for the colas is to draw the ground water from where the plant is located. Any other option??? Ask colas to find alternative sources?? (nah... they wont do it, it increases costs). I suggest that the factories should be loacted near placs where the water table is easily replenished ! E.g. Near the shore... They would have to add a de-Salination equipment in the plant... but on the brighter side we can have "Pepsi Salt" & "Coke Salt" in our disposal.
1. "Pesticides in Colas"
In this regard, i totally support the colas... whatever be the talk about equipments that can remove these pesticides, its just a bamboozling fact that "Our ground water is so polluted that we cannot drink it".
Ok today we ban colas, then what about people drinking the same water from borewells & hand pumps?? What about those "safe" fruits and vegetables that grow on the soil and water that are infested with these pesticides??
The Truth is, its we who are polluting our water, the Cola Conflict is just a repercussion of the giant tremor that is awaiting us.
According to the tests conducted by the Pollution Monitoring Laboratory (PML) at CSE, all samples contained residues of four extremely toxic pesticides and insecticides: lindane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos.
Debates got renewed, the mob flared, the politicians were quick to their feet against the colas...
The Left parties in Kerala, nurturing their wounds from the "Plachimada" revised verdict, now in power, struck back in retribution. They banned all colas in the state, upholding the interest of the people as their primary concern...
Round 2... Winner Mr. Achu mama, loser the KOLAS !!!
"KERALA CANS COKE, PEPSI...." (click and read the article)
The article was kind of glorifying the Kerala Chief Minister Mr. V.S.Achuthanandan for taking the bold step and banning the "harmful" drinks that include the prominent brands sold by the two companies, i.e. — Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Mirinda, Mountain Dew, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Blue, Fanta, Limca, Sprite, Thums Up, and 7-up, citing the fact that they contain excess pesticides in them.
I personally found this very amusing and funny though the implications are too bulging to be ignored. As every other coin, this also has two sides to it...
1. It all started with the people of "Plachimada" (a small village in Kerala) raising a hue and cry over the fact that, since the Coca Cola factory was established there in 2000, the ground water levels have dropped dramatically causing a crisis for the aboriginal people who live in the surroundings. The agitation forced the locally elected government, the Permatty Panchayat, to not renew the license. In a resolution passed on 7Apr 2003, the Panchayat stated:
“As the excessive exploitation of ground water by the Coca Cola Company in Plachimada is causing acute drinking water scarcity in Perumatty Panchayat and nearby places, it is resolved in public interest not to renew the licence of the said company.”
The issue went to the Kerala High Court. Two issues were at stake.
- 1. The issue of democracy and the rights of the Panchayat.
- 2. The issue of excessive exploitation of water by Coca Cola.
The plant was thus shut down under the combination of people’s action, the panchayat decisions, and the court decision.
However, on 7th April 2005, Hon’ble Justice K Ramachandran and Hon’ble Justice Balachandran of Kerala High Court, overruled the order of 16.12.03. They ruled:
“We have to assume that a person has the right to extract water from his property. Maintenance of traditional drinking water resources, could not have been envisaged as preventing an owner of a well from extracting water therefrom, as he wishes. The Panchayat had no ownership about such private water source in effect denying the proprietary rights of the occupier and the proposition of law laid down by the learned judge is too wide, for unqualified acceptance.”End of Round 1....
Monday, August 07, 2006
A projector that display's images/video, right in "thin air". This has been a fantasy of most techno-geeks from the time George Lucas lit the flame with a similar idea in "Star Wars". And now, its a reality... Brought to you by IO2Technology, from downtown SanFranciso, California. Its called a "Helios Display"..
In IO2's words...
"Heliodisplay images are not holographic although they are free-space, employing a rear projection system in which images are captured onto a nearly invisible plane of transformed air. What the viewer sees is floating mid-air image or video. These projected images and video are two-dimensional, (i.e. planar) but appear 3D since there is no physical depth reference. While conventional displays have the benefit of being attached to a physical substrate, Heliodisplay projections are suspended in air, so you will notice some waviness to the quality of the projections."
See it for yourself (afterall, seeing is believing)
Thursday, August 03, 2006
1. Cocaine by Eric Clapton
Cocaine is a song written by Oklahoma singer-songwriter J.J. Cale, and most notably covered by Eric Clapton on his 1977 album Slowhand. Contrary to popular belief, “Cocaine” is an anti-drug song. Clapton commented, “…that’s an anti-drug-song. The fans only listen to the refrain: ‘She don’t lie, she don’t lie, cocaine.’ But it says, ‘If you wanna get down, down on the ground, cocaine.’ It explains how young people destroy themselves with drugs”
Originally sung by: Eric Clapton
Sung by: Raghu
2. Back To You by Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams has been a favourite of mine for along time, though i prefer "harder" songs now :)
Here's my first B.A. song...
Song: Back To You
Originally sung by: Bryan Adams
Album: The Best of Me
Sung by: Raghu
This karaoke excercise also allowed me to experiment with a new software "Adobe Audition" . I was using Cool Edit Pro until now, to do my recordings. But i came to know that Adobe had bought over that software and re-christiended it as Audition (adding a bunch of very cool features).
I'm an Electronics Engineer by degree... It was kinda cool to see those DSP concepts that i grudgingly studied (oh.. how i hated DSP) put to awsome use. "Back Tou You" was the first song where i tried audio processing. I did a "Click-Hiss Elimination" which i should say sounded promising.
One major problem for me, as a singer is that i cannot sing at the pitch that the original song has been sung by the artist (as i do not have the range to do that). This makes the song sound not as inviting as the original. But Audition has a solution for me... "Pitch Correction". You can manually alter the pitch of your voice (and pretty close to what would have been, me singing in that pitch) and add it to the master record...
"Back To You" was one song i sung half a key down, so i decided to try the pitch correction, and here is the result. I thought it was pretty cool.
"Back To You" - altered version
(powered by Adobe Audition)
Let me know how it sounds...
Monday, July 31, 2006
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Saturday, July 08, 2006
This is the first public application that I am posting, so I'm really excited about it. It was an awsome experience building this application. The initial time was spent in the layout, look & feel of the app (which i think is still "too plain"). Then came the REST calls and parsing the incoming XML to suit my needs.
Then came a heart-breaker for me, which made me almost ditch my application. Due to some chaps ripping flvs (Flash Videos) off youTube (read it here), youTube had reworked their site inorder not to expose the flvs. So now i couldn't play them in my app... Directly.
But a programmer always finds workarounds to problems. Those who frequent youtube know that youtube provides a html code snippet, allowing you to embed it into your blog. In the code, there is a text like "tLuLE3jm1VU" is the only thing that varies across videos (and its called the video id). I had the video id of the videos i wanted, thanks to the youTube API. So i wrote a small PHP script to take the id as input and then generate the html page for my video.
Then our very own Manish came to the rescue... Manish had written a youTube Featured video player back in March and had now reworked it to extract the flv out of the id again... Then things were all on a platter for me... I could now use Manish's code snippets, extract the flv file and play it in my own Video Display inside FLEX.
A bit of exceptional handling and try-catching :) and the application was ready to rock. So presenting to you....
If you find any bugs or issues, mail it to me at raghunath.rao at gmail dot com
Anyone wants to look at the code, you can find it here...
So, I have been wanting to write a search tool for youTube for a long time now. And then i chanced on the youTube API. Its a set of very simple REST (click here to know about REST) calls that would return me useful search info like search by tags, username... etc in a simple, ready to use XML Format!!
I could now use this data in my Flex Application & write a search tool... So I was well on my way to write a youTube Search tool... That in the next post..
Before i sign off, here's a video I found on youTube that defines my state of affairs with youTube in the past few days.
I'm addicted To youTube
Friday, July 07, 2006
Started off with Electronics (like me), the moved into processors and then into software. He now heads the computer division of a major public sector bank.
Anyway, my Flash Mp3 player stopped working a while back due to some security restrictions imposed on geocities.com , not allowing swfs to be loaded from it. So I turned to Dad and he gracefully provided me some webspace on his server and now it is up again.
Thanks Appa (that's what i call him). Now i can do a lot of stuff... My first application coming soon, courtesy Dad ! :)
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Since the time, my team went for an outing in Wonderla (check it out here), I have been planning to go there with friends. I had promised Lanka a while back that we would go there, but it never materialized… So when Asha also echoed similar desire… we were on tune.
So Me, Lanka, Nath, Harish and Asha, left for Wonderla on Sunday around 10 am. Though the ride was not very comfortable, we had fun with our in-house maestro Harish singing some awesome songs that helped to pass the time…
The in-house Maestro
We got there and started out with the land rides. Lanka, Asha & Nath were all ready to go... but me and Harish being scared of heights had to pass.
(this happened after the pic above)
I got on one too - Pirate Ship
(We are sitting on the top most part!)
Me, Lanka, Nath
(Behind is my fav ride in the offing - Splash!)
Asha & Harish
(After the splash!)
They then went on a ride called "Y Scream" which I think was an insane ride... by the time they came out of it, they were throughly shaken :)
Why Scream?? This is why !!
We then climbed to the top of the tower, over which the "Giant Wheel" was situated. Some 13 floors and 50 feet (i guess) above, we had a nice time, with wind blowing on us from all directions.
Its an Asha eat Wheel World :)
Halo World (Harish)
(Thanks a lot Nath... I usually take such pics,
but always thirst for a good one of mine)
The whole Wheel is in my hands (Lanka)
Atlas in the making (Nath)
Then we were off to Bangalore and after a nice quite dinner at Mast Kalandar, we returned with tired bodies and a refreshed minds.... Wonderful Wonderla !