Wednesday, June 28, 2006

All about FLEX... to get you started !

Thanks all for the immense response to my last blog entry... A lot of people have asked me what is FLEX and how they can tap into it... so here are some resources to get you started.

Adobe® Flex™ 2 is the most complete, powerful application development solution for creating and delivering cross-platform rich Internet applications (RIAs) within the enterprise and across the web. It lets enterprises create personalized, multimedia-rich, Ajax-style applications that can reach virtually anyone on any platform. Enterprises can use Flex to quickly build and deploy applications that improve the user experience, boost the bottom line, and analyze data to enable better business decisions. is a starting point for developers working with Adobe Flex Builder 2, Flex Data Services 2, and the Flex 2 SDK. Here you will find links to technical and support resources from both Adobe and the developer community. Click here to visit

You can find all the resources to start off with FLEX2 on this site...

Once you are started, you can register to
FlexCoders. It is an International Registry of FlexCoders and will get you in touch with fellow Flex Developers and Community. Click here to visit FlexCoders

You can also checkout the
Adobe FLEX Page and Adobe Labs Page

For people who want more out of FLEX, checkout
AJAX-FLEX Bridge, FLEX-ColdF usion Connector.

Check out these Flex Examples to get a taste of what you can do...
  1. Flex Store application & details
  2. Restaurant Finder application & details
  3. Photo Viewer application & details
Enjoy the Joy of FLEX, as Sam says... EXPERIENCE MATTERS!


I have been impatiently waiting for this day… And it has finally arrived... "We, the FLEX TEAM, hereby declare that the FLEX2 Product line is finally out and ready for anyone who wants to provide an awesome experience on the web"... HURRAY!!! It feels so awesome just to say that.

I remember when I was small (I mean, I was in 8th or 9th grade), I used to stare at the splash screen of Adobe Photoshop and look in awe at the credits of those who participated in the product design (I was specially thrilled to find some Indian names there). Then it became a practice that I used to look at the credits of most products I used (especially Flash 5 and Winamp) and dream of the day when I would be on the credits of some product... But I never believed I would.

Now just 1 year into my foray to the software world, my wildest dream has come true. I'm on the credits page of the FLEX Product Line, and man it feels awesome. I was itching to put it up since it came in the internal build, but had to forcefully stop myself till the product shipped...

Incredible... Isn't it!

It has been a very rewarding and exciting journey for me in the last 10 months with FLEX2. A very alien technology for me when I joined has become a part of my life now. I’m so thrilled that I do not have words to express my excitement… So here’s to FLEX and to all the hard work and toil we went through to make it possible… CHEERS!!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Flash Player 9 - Your window to richer experiences

Adobe has rolled out Flash Player 9 for the public. Get it today, so that you do not fall behind in the search for richer experiences on the net.

For technical guys, Flash Player 9 has a whole new architecture with ActionScript3.0 (AS3 for short) forming the core of it. AS3 is more tightly bound OOP language than AS2, adhering to the ECMAScript standards (which is followed by JavaScript too).

For now, only FLEX2 will come out with AS3 content, though all legacy files would run fine on Player 9. Designers will have to wait a while (until next Creative Suite release i guess) to get an Authoring equivalent in AS3 (in conjunction with the Flash Authoring 9 release)

So get it today and dont fall behind... Here's the link

P.S. I will be uploading some cool stuff i did with AS3 & FLEX, so i suggest you get it :)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Jose's Fantasy Come True

When I was small, i used to go to the terrace of my home and play cricket with all my heroes, as a part of my TEAM INDIA.

I have scored many a century teaming up with Sachin, made awsome catches and done some wild stuff with the ball that bamboozled even Shane Warne. Played under several captains and captained India myself against World XI (and my team always wins, a record that no captain can boast of)... what an achievemet when you are 12.

Each kid has his set of heroes and his fantasy of playing with them... ADIDAS has cashed in on this childhood fantasy and came up with an awsome commercial called JOSE + 10. It talks about 2 spanish kids Jose and Pedro, who are playing their fantasy football with their heroes. It reminded me of my days with my heroes.

The fantasy unlike reality can span a generation of heroes (I remember I had Mohammed Ali protecting me from a hydra once). Here Zidane, Kaka, Beckham play alongside franz beckenbauer and Michel Platini form yester years (I bowled to Don Bradman once, he was out for a duck from a googlie of mine).

An amazing commercial, shot with panache and elegeance. I specially like the last part when Jose's mom calls and he snatches the ball form a befuddled Oliver Kahn and all of them disappear, waiting to be conjured up in his free time, much like out of a Harry Potter movie

Check out the commercial & its making here

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Enriched with Flash MP3 Player

I was visiting Hemanth's Blog when I saw that he had a site of his own now, dedicated to his musical musings (you can check it out here). I was mighty impressed by the custom Flash Player which was used to play the playlist of his songs... I longed to make a similar one, but knew my flash skills was not as good (I can make one in Flex easily, but Flash player 9 that Flex2 uses is not yet fully public)

But then, something in the right click menu caught my eye.. it said "FLASH MP3 PLAYER 2.0 by JEROENWIJERING". I went to Jeroen's site and downloaded the latest version of his player there...

The best part about it is that it is under the "Creative Commons Deed" so I can edit it and use it for my non-commercial purposes, by giving due credit to the creator. So here's to Jeroen, for creating a simple but wonderfully useful application. Cheers!!

Now you can listen to all my songs in the sidebar to the right of the blog, rather than having to navigate to each post for the songs. Flash Rocks, so does Macromedia (now Adobe), who created it.... Yeee ha

Monday, June 19, 2006

Me, Myself and my Guitar

After being inspired by Dickoo and his guitar, and starting to learn on his electric guitar, I decided that it was time to pick one for myself….

So on Saturday afternoon, we both were off to Richmond road to get hold of a good one and a good deal… We reached there, I felt like a fish out of water. Though I’m deeply interested in music, technicalities of instruments are not my specialty. I saw 2 guys with a “6 String Ibanez” and a distortion pad, playing out Sweet Child of Mine, Metallica, and Iron Maiden with abandon.

Dicoo, always in awe of good guitarists (being one himself), started chatting up with the guy, trying to get a glimpse of his secret. He was a BSc student in one of the colleges here, name was Arijith and was from the NE state of Arunachal… He quizzed us of our intentions and I confessed that I was a “Guitar Virgin” (an adaptation of Dr.Teabing’s remark in Da Vinci Code where he called Sophie the “Grail Virgin”).

Being a magnanimous mind himself, he took time out to tune each guitar in the shop, telling us the intricacies in choosing a good, and more importantly, the right guitar. He brought down our choices from over 20 of them down to 3 and suggested one, warning us that it was a bit expensive.

Then the brilliance of Dicoo took over. Having bought his electric one from the same shop, Dicoo convinced the shopkeeper that we were a budding band (which hopefully we are) and that we would come back to him for all our instruments… and lo… An instant hefty discount was blessed upon us, and the cover and the picks thrown in for free… Hail Dicoo

My Beauty

Beauty an the Beast

So that’s the story of how I found my love (my 6 string Larry & Carlton acoustic)… I hope my tryst with her would be filled with melody, consonance and harmony...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Animator Vs Animation

I'm not a Flash Designer myself, though I work in this domain... But I know a good and innovative animation when I see one. Check this out, an awsome animation set on the sets of Flash 8 Authoring environment... amazingly innovative (click on the pic to see the animation)

Hats off to Alan for creating this... awsome man... Cheers

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Sunny Side of Life

It’s been more than 9 months since I landed in Bangalore, to pursue my career & ambition and the most major problem was to get a house. Lived the first few months with my friend George and his roommates and had a blast there. But I knew eventually, I had to go house hunting. But I never expected the prize to be so good…

Me and my best buddy Ragul were the first guys from our “Gang” to reach Bangalore and shouldered the responsibility of finding a boarding for our selves. We saw houses of all shapes & sizes. From independent villa in Bomanahalli (with no water) to a house right on the main road (where my head hits the ceiling). Then the Sun-Shined on our lives. We then chanced upon a spacious 2BHK (Bangalore lingo… 2Bedroom, Hall, Kitchen) for a decent price, it was called Sunshine Apartments.

The Sunny Side of Life

Then came the sunny side of life for us… Me, Ragul & Kailas shifted in, later joined by Vimal & Joseph. Sadly Vimal had to leave to another city seeking fortunes (but keeps coming back every month to soak up the sunshine), so Praveen replaced him… But the house is always vibrant with people and their clamor.

(L-R) Kailas, Kannan, Anu, Ragul, Me, Praveen, Joseph

It sure has been the sunshine in our lives since we moved in here…

Guitar Glee

Since my first rock concert, I wanted to learn guitar…
But I kept procrastinating it, saying “Dad wont give me money” (when I was in college) and “I have no time” (When I started working). But no more…

I decided I had to go for it and thus I humbly became a disciple to our very own Dicoo (Renjith), my Guru. We started with the universal C, D, E or Do Re Me (or Sa Re Ga, if you are an Indian). It felt quite good to hold guitar in my hand and couldn’t hide the glee.

Then it was onto chords, C, A minor, G & F. But I realized then that it was not that easy after all. My fingers couldn’t reach enough to reach for the F chord, and I struggled as my knuckles pained, so did my fingers.

People advised me to chuck the electric guitar and get an acoustic one for myself (they say electric is easy, so one should learn on acoustic...phew). So I'm gonna take the word of the masters and get an acoustic for me soon enough.

Baby Face with C Chord

Thus I took my baby steps into the guitar world yesterday, and you can say that very well by my face in the pic too :)

A Lesson for Life

This week, I learned a new lesson in life…

“When you talk about someone to someone else, always think of how important or trivial they are to each other”

You may ramble on and on about a dear friend's problem to another, but he/she might care a “rat’s ass” for what you are talking about or worse, try to pass on his/her view on someone, who he/she my not even know fully well.

What’s more, the one who is being talked on, might feel quite discomfited about the fact that his/her private thoughts, that he/she deemed fit to be talked to you (the good friend) was being operated on by some ‘X-Y-Z’ (and rightly so). That’s a good enough to file an ‘infringement of privacy’ case on you.

I came close to losing a friend in the same manner this week when that person was quite upset that i discuss the problems close to him/her to another (who was again a friend of mine, but just a passe acquaintance for the other).

I swore that day, to think of both individuals and there relationship before openly discussing someone’s problems with others. A Lesson learned in Life.....

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Nostalgia of an MITian

This is a video that was made by the Manipal Institute of Technology, E&E batch of 2005. I was visiting Abdul's blog and saw a video by IIT Kanpur guys. Suddenly felt very nostalgic about Manipal, where I really had the "Time of My Life".

Cheers to Shenoy, Tashi, Ramesh and others who compiled this video.

Safari Duo - Strike 1

Safari Duo strikes... Renjith (Dicoo) cruised his way through the IBM competition (which had close to 15 participants) and earned recognition for himself and for "The Safari Duo".

I was deeply touched when he came to me and asked me to open his bounty as a token of appreciation for what we did together. Thanks Dicoo, that was really nice of you.

So here's the arrival of the Safari Duo....

The Safari Duo
(Me and Dicoo, with the bounty)

Renjith with his "Prized" Bonsai

In other news... inspired by Dicoo and our jam session, I returned to my karaoke experiments. This time it is "Country Roads" by John Denver. So here it is

Song: Country Roads
Originally sung by: John Denver
Sung by: Raghu

Friday, June 02, 2006

Safari Duo - Take 1

I got a new jamming buddy. Our very dear Renjith J [also (un)known as Dicoo, Himu...etc]

Upto Something.... the talented Dicoo

A very talented musician, Dicoo can handle keyboards and guitars very well... I knew it since school days, when he was my classmate and used to be an accompaniment to almost all the music shows then. Currently working at The IBM, here in namma Bengaluru, Dicoo just bought a stranger guitar, amp and speaker set and has been in full flow for sometime now. We had been planning to jam for a while, but it never materialized.

So day before yesterday, he came to me saying he wanted a song set for a competition at his office and we decided on "When You Say Nothing At All" by Ronan Keating. Trying to do it, we decided to record it and it turned out pretty well. So here it is

Song: When You Say Nothing At All
Originally sung by: Ronan Keating
Sung by: Raghu
Guitar by: Renjith J (Dicoo)

As you might notice, I mess up the lyrics at a point and again loose pace at another. Just a crude on-the-fly recording on my IBM Thinkpad microphone.

But it turned out to be an anti-climax, with the guitar string breaking off, while Dicoo tried to tune it. When I came to office, he had gone to Richmond Road to get it fixed. All the best to Dicoo for his competition today...

This is announcing the arrival of "The Safari Duo". Expect more jigs in the future. Please leave your comments.....

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Cosmic Crossroads

I went home this time as a happy-carefree soul. But during those few days, talks of "What Next for you?" kept popping up. Some people were talking rubbish like my wedding (which is not gonna happen anywhere in the near future) while my dad and uncles were trying to chalk out a plan for my future. I was literally dragged into the whole thing (which by the way is for me and not for them). But now I am a confused soul.

Once it was "to B.E or not to B.E. and where to B.E." Now the scope has grown much beyond. I was once at a crossroads, with may be 2 or 3 roads before me. I took a less trodden road (like Robert Frost and never regretted it. That road led to Manipal and to the best days of my life)

But now the scenario is very different. I’m at a crossroads again. But there are a zillion roads to and from that point. As if I’m stuck in a maze, deep within the Galaxy. There are signboards everywhere, pointing in every direction. Some of them read


while others read

IIM, ISB, NTU, Caltech, MIT, Stanford, Kellogg……

The choice seems gruelling. More like words right out of Hamlet

"To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?

I feel what I need right now is the “Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy”, with the words Don’t Panic painted in Bold, Italic, Underline and in a very big font size. I need to find a grapevine in the desert.

It might be like Jack and the Beanstalk and I may find my version of Blunderbore there. May I conquer him and return to a life of prosperity, serenity, fun and frolic. Amen (or Tathastu in Sanskrit)

Monsoon (and) Wedding

Away from all the din and pollution of Bangalore, I had a nice relaxing vacation at home in Trivandrum. With Monsoon's raging with all its fury, it felt awsome to be back where I grew up.

Cant describe the feeling
(Taken from our apartment)

See it for your self

This time, the trip was great as a lot of my relatives had come down. My uncle from US, has relocated back and my cousin got married and is relocating to US. Uncle's made the most of the "Land of Opportunities" and is now back, while my cousin is trying to get a foot-hold in the crowd called America.

Children are so fun to be with, jumping on you, playing with anything that they can get their hands on. There was a whole bunch at my place and i really enjoyed watching and playing with them.
Cousin Army

Cutie Pie Nadya and my mom

My house was filled with my uncles, aunts, cousins and a lot of other people. Its always fun when there are a lot of people around you, eager to share the family spirit...

The Uncle Duo

My Mom with my aunts and my cousin

Then there was the visit by the newly weds, their party, where we met a regional language cine actor, that created quite a stir among the group.

Da Party

The group with cine actor Mukesh

My cousin's wife is from a different background and speaks a different language. A very beautiful and affable lady, but it was a bit of a comedy, seeing the others trying to converse to her, by trying to find a common ground or worse, a common language. The upside of this was that she cooked nice north indian "phulkas" for us and I had quite a feast...

The Happy Couple
(my cousin Vasanth and his wife Sudha)

Yummy !