July 31, 2011


Exactly an year ago I wrote my first blog post on buzzRSH. It was titled I NO longer WANT to be an Engineer. Well, 3 days ago my last semester result was announced and by God's grace I have been able to clear all the semesters without any hiccup. So today I am proud to say, I AM ENGINEER !

When I wrote the aforementioned blog, I was kind of frustrated. Frustrated with the college, the education system, and the education in college. And when I got a mail (mentioned in post) from a good friend stating similar sentiments, I just couldn't stop myself from venting my anger. But year after, when I review the post, I would say it was a bit immature & short-sighted of me to write some of those points (which you should expect from a post written out of anger). In past one year I have realised that life goes beyond marks and competition. Some things are beyond our control, so it's better to accept them and move on. Holding grudges doesn't take us far. And rather than blaming others (peers, teachers, college, education system), we would be better served if we invest time in finding the solution to the problems/hindrances ourselves.

Moving on, I look forward to making an exciting career in the field of Computers/IT and getting closer to my career dreams. When I was a kid, I used to dream of becoming a scientist! But as I grew up, I slowly realised that research is not exactly the field for me (not to say it's not great, just not much interesting to me). So, technology became the next obvious field. My Dad wanted me to become an Engineer. Thankfully, I found my aspirations to be similar!

So rather than being forced to become one, I chose to become an Engineer. Chose Science field in secondary school. Chose to study Computer Science as a subject. And chose to take Computer Science stream in B.Tech (never-mind the college). So, howsoever the life goes from here onwards, I will be responsible for it. And I take pride in it.

Sure, there are lacks of students like me, who take admission in Engineering colleges in India, every year.
Sure, most of them become Engineers anyway after 4 years.
Sure, my university might not be world famous.
Sure, my college might not be come in the category of IITs.
Sure, I don't have the top most marks in my own batch, leave alone in the college/university.

But I will still say that I invested 4 long years of my life and worked hard (despite unpopular perception about engineering studies, it's not a child's play) to earn this distinction. Now nothing (not even the lack of a formal degree!) can take that away from me. Proud to be an Engineer.

PS: Having said, that I don't support using "Er." as a title a'la "Dr.". That feels like an act of desperation to gain attention, to me. But, if you use or support it, it's your call.

July 30, 2011

The Blogs I (Like to) Read

(Note: This blog was originally posted on 25.02.2011. It has been updated and reposted on 30.07.2011)

I am a blogger alright, but I am an avid reader of blogs too. And if the blogs are written by friends, I really encourage them by commenting as much (relevant and no-non-sense) comments as I can. Call me a bit mean here, because I expect that generosity to be shown on my blog too :) But really even if I forget my own blog, it is always interesting to find out the thought process of friends. Here I am highlighting the blogs my favorite 'friend' blogs and also my review of these blogs.

The Path3tic Blog The TrashPan Diary (thetrashpandiary.blogspot.com, Blogger: PK / path3ticblogg3r ): I start with this blog simply because this is the blog that I enjoy the most (recently). The interface is simple but sleek. The content is new and fresh (as is the blog itself) and there is never any 'heavy' "holy-shit-my-life-is-so-path3tic" post. You sometimes get an alternative way of viewing certain things. The topics are current and related to blogger and his friends' lives and also sometimes related to technology. But still, a random person can visit the blog and expect to have a good time. The blog is also the most popular of all the blogs mentioned here because the blogger takes special interest in popularizing the posts by spreading word about it (which I think is a good thing to do).  Caution: The posts are unabashed and the language used is uncensored, which may not suit every one. (Update: Recently the blogger has moved more towards Art than traditional blogging)

My Space, My Place, My Words (anewexpression.blogspot.com, Blogger: Tushar Bharadwaj): This blog comes next because of its consistency and because this is one of the oldest blogs I have been reading (though have become a regular reader just recently). The blogger likes to comment upon anything and everything in his life and he doesn't really believe in writing the post as an 'article'. So, it can be considered as public journal of the blogger's life. But he also occasionally writes poems. Also, if you visit the blog you are sure to find a lot of experimentation being done (a good thing IMO), with images and videos being added in between the posts and the a lot of widgets been used and regular change of themes etc showing the seriousness of the blogger about his blog . He keeps on (and will keep on) going even if there are not many comments on his posts.

Bright Shades of Darkness (vksingh007.blogspot.com, Blogger: VK ): Well this blog has the potential to become one of the deadliest blogs, but alas the blogger doesn't update it too frequently. He likes to post only 'serious' topics particularly related to politics and day to day happenings in the country. Sometimes he writes poems too (which I believe are great but not the best he has produced). The interface itself is plain and you are bound to see a few spelling mistakes and typos during the posts but that doesn't take away the seriousness in which the posts are written. The length of the posts make it certain that he writes about the topics in which he firmly believes in. And the huge discussions highlight the blogger's interest in long animated debates (something I crave for in my own blog).

MidNight Sun (herowerozero.blogspot.com, Blogger: Katy / Hero Wero Zero ): Another gem of a blog but unfortunately not been updated for close to an year now. The blogger likes to use this blog exclusively to make a point as a poet. On reading the poems one can realize that he likes to experiment a lot with topics of poems and different writing styles (something I have been influenced by). The picture with every poem is also well thought of. This is the blog that I first started to read and have been reading it from its very inception (more than 4 years ago). But still only a handful of posts shows that the blogger takes each post as a separate new project and won't post it until it is 'perfect' (another thing which I hold high regards for). The black interface with yellow font color seems like the blogger's attempt to force readers to concentrate on the content more than anything else.

MyView (myview-saurabh.blogspot.com, Blogger: Sjain / Saurabh ): Like the above two blogs has not been updated since eternity which is simply a waste according to me. Only 4-5 posts make it seem like an experiment gone bad. But this blog deserves a special mention because I can relate a lot to blogger's thinking (if not the blog itself). First the blog name : 'myview' shows the inner urge to present "my view(s)" to the world which the blogger is not able to usually do, due to his shy nature and self-consciousness. Secondly, the blogger thinks of returning to blogging when the timing is 'perfect', when the settings are 'ideal' and when the things are all 'smooth'. Something that I did for such a long time that it took me almost forever to start my own blog. But the blog posts show potential so will hope for the blog to get restarted sooner than later.


I had to do some updates to this post because the blog seemed incomplete without adding another name that has come up recently:

Skand Gupt (skandgupt.blogspot.com, Blogger: Skand Gupt): You need to visit the blog to know why this blog deserves a separate mention. The blogger has kind of exploded in the last 40 days or so (with updates almost everyday!). At this time, he is busy playing with his blog and doing all kinds of stuffs (writing diary, posting pics, showcasing illustrations, posting videos, changing themes and other random stuffs). But this blog is mostly a photo-log and that makes it unique, and also makes it easier to go and marvel; and then comment without taking too much time. Though, the blogger does all the work mainly for himself and his friends and isn't too keen on making his blog popular, he is always open for suggestions from everyone and not afraid to experiment his heart out.

Well I have also seen a few more blogs written by friends (or friends of friends) but have not mentioned them because of they being as good as discarded. While 3 4 out of above 5 3 blogs have also not been updated for a long time, I expect them to continue, even with snail's space. There are a few more people whom I would like to check out blogging but for now these are the posts I read and hope to read a lot more of in the future.

Which blogs do you like to read? Leave a comment.

July 28, 2011

Battle Royale : RavS vs Ravi

To you *RavS* and *Ravi* might be one and the same, or the names might even not matter. But for me, RavS and Ravi seem to be 2 completely different personalities. It's like I have dual nature and I don't know which one is correct or better than the other. So, to get a clearer view, I asked myself the question... 

Differentiate b/w Ravi and RavS

  • Ravi is a reality, and practicality.
    • RavS is a concept. An ideology.
  • Ravi is God made (through parents :)
    • RavS is self made (with some help from friends)
  • Ravi believes in hard work and dedication.
    • RavS is lazy but believes in smart work and shrewdness.
  • Ravi is a Hindi word that means 'Sun'
    • RavS can have different meanings in different contexts. But basically RavS is an amalgam of words Ravi + Singh.
  • Ravi's full name is Ravi Singh
    • RavS uses RavS RSH for full name (RSH being used as a trademark nickname and in Alt names like @twitRSH).
  • Ravi is shy by nature and needs to be pushed get work done.
    • RavS is ready to take initiative and can push others when the need arises.
  • Ravi likes to play safe.
    • RavS is far more adventurous and is ready to take risks if the stakes are high.
  • Ravi is not very talkative and keeps the conversation to the point.
    • RavS is fun to be with, so people like his company.
  • Ravi is confident in his abilities and works within his limitations.
    • RavS feels insecure and is always looking to improve.
  • Ravi is inclusive, officially and unofficially, so he is answerable to every deed.
    • RavS is exclusive, and underground.
  • Ravi is omnipresent, off and on line.
    • RavS is mostly an Internet alter ego.
  • Ravi is simple, fair and humble.
    • RavS plays with attitude and believes in "ends being more important than means".
  • Ravi does not want a girl friend.
    • RavS does not have a girl friend.
  • Ravi has matured and is ready to take responsibilities (umm.. I guess :).
    • RavS is still not fully defined and is evolving day by day.

July 25, 2011

A Shockless Post

Note: If you have power backup at home all the time, this may not be the best post for you to read. Having said that, no one will hate you if you go on to read it anyway :)


Some electrifying facts:
  • On the day India-Australia cricket world cup quarter-finals happened, I had to suffer a power cut of over 10 hours :'(
  • I have faced cuts of more than 2 days on the trot (a long time ago).
  • 3 weeks ago, I spent a full night with "60-65 mins OFF, 5-10 mins ON" electricity pattern (no wonder I slept the whole next day).

It's summer/monsoon time and this is the time when the power cutoffs across Delhi (NCR?) are at the maximum. The situation gets worse when the electricity goes right in the middle of the night. Now, I am an informed citizen and I know that they don't cut power just for the heck of it. Power is cutoff either because of its shortage vis-a-vis current demand or some fault/snag getting developed somewhere in the power distribution system (or some other reason I don't know?).

So, I am not going to rant about how it's the fault of the Govt. not to provide the electricity to us 24x7 (though I won't complain if they did :). But let's face it, no one enjoys power cuts (except of course if/when you are celebrating Earth Hours). We people living in cities are so much dependent on it that it becomes torture for us to just spend an hour without fan/AC, TV/Computers and other electrical appliances. 

But have you ever considered the situation in rural areas? The power in my own village remains for just 4-5 hours a day. And that too usually comes during the middle of the nights so farmers have to be alert about it, so that they can use their thrashers or tubewells just in time (this situation is 5 years old when the last time I visited the place, I sincerely hope it has improved now). But, people still live there (not just survive).

So it is what it is, and instead of sulking it's better to cope with it:
  • "No electricity" gives us an opportunity to do things we usually won't do when there is electricity (if we view the situation as an optimist). I like to take this opportunity to call people I have been postponing for weeks (if not months!). And if the conversation gets interesting, the time goes by before I notice.
  • No electricity also teaches us patience (I am quite impressed by Buddha's philosophy). So, instead of cursing that invisible 'Bijli wallah', I take it as an opportunity to patiently wait for the electricity to come again (no I actually do!). If I feel like cursing anyone, then they are usually the people who steal or waste power.
  • No electricity time is an excellent situation for me to go outside/on terrace to walk/jog/listen to music peacefully/read newspaper etc. (time factor also counts; obviously I won't go to jog when the sun as the top of head).
The fact is that the population, especially in metros, is increasing way faster than the resources can be generated, so one has to face these situations (unless you are insanely rich/influential). I have been an advocate of saving resources including electricity. If I am turning off a fan (even if not in my own home), I feel I am providing a few minutes of extra electricity to someone else. That's my way of reducing my carbon foot prints on this planet.

Of course, I don't say I am the master saver. I know there are some people doing way more than me. I wish others could also chip in a bit (more), so I suffer less power cuts at night :)

So, do you just celebrate Earth Hours or do something less sexy too?

July 22, 2011

What do you Love?: Google (Why)

The "Why" do I love Google is even important than the previous post which was mostly a free and very liberal advertisement of Google and its services. The reason it is important is because this is the question I have been asked a few times (why am I such a big fanboy), and while I have always had my reasons, I never articulated them. So here we go:

1. The first and foremost is the UI of its services (or the lack of it). I mostly find the UI not getting in my way to do what I want to do. (though I didn't like the new Orkut interface and always preferred the older one). And once you get hooked to the interface, it is kind of difficult to accept any new interface, part of reason I always came back to Google after trying its alternatives.

2. Their services are well connected. What that means is that I can easily transfer and share my data from one place to another without much of a hassle. Another reason that made it difficult to use an alternative service.

3. One ID for all. And this polymorphism enables me to use its service without making yet another account. I mean why do I take trouble to make a Wordpress account (even though it may be better) when I have a ready-made blogger account?

4. They innovate. And at such mind blowing speed that sometimes it becomes difficult for the user to keep pace with it! Of course, this may be because they want to dominate the Internet or they don't want their competitors to gain market share, but to me as an end user, it's win-win situation.

5. Everything is free (well almost). And I like free! Especially when it's better than the next 'paid' service.

6. Of course, their main source of income is advertisements and hence while using their services one is bound to come across some. But they almost never are in your face (now compare it with a site like songs.PK which is so much riddled with advertisements that it is difficult to find out where the actual content is!). Besides I use Adblocker so I don't find the pesky ads.

7. I know mostly what they do is for their own profit, but they also keep user in mind (OK in most of the situations). And they have done some fantastic things without keeping profit in mind (promoting HTML5, open sourcing Android, and WebM & WebP codecs being a few of them). They also let users participate. Getting and working on feedback from them is a very important part of their working.

8. They support Open Source technologies. I do too!

9. This may sound weird, but part of the reason I love Google is because it is great competitor to some of the companies I don't like!

10. Another weird reason is that some people hate it because of it being a monopoly on Web, while I love to enjoy/defend it. Sometimes fanboys don't have rational reasons to justify their liking! :)

I know Google is not God. It has its shortcomings. But it has definitely made my life simpler and I love simplicity...

July 20, 2011

What do you love?: Google (Intro)

Caution: The author is going to gloat multiple times about himself and Google. You should not read this if :
  1. You hate gloaters/fanboys.
  2. You hate Google
  3. You hate author
I first got to use Internet in 8th standard as a summer vacation activity, when I made my first email ID. But I came to learn about Google only next year (via a friend) when I used it to print the holiday homework of "Indus Valley Civilization" (technically the cafe-wallah used it, I just saw Google for the first time). I actually used Google for the first time next year when my brother got a dreaded holiday homework.

Getting Hooked
As I started to use Internet more and more, the need for a search engine became clearer. At that time I didn't have any preference for Google, so at times I would use Yahoo also for searching purpose, but I quickly realized that searching on Google was faster and search results were cleaner (if not better). When I got a computer at home the next year after that, using Google became second nature on Internet.

At that time I was a happy Yahoo mail user (with a stupid email ID), but had heard about awesome Gmail and knew it was 'invite only'. Being always a 'trier' of new things, I tried to get an invite. But before I could get it, they made Gmail available for all, the next year (are you counting how many 'next years' have happened?). So, I quickly made an account, even more quickly ditched Yahoo id after that. 

After that I started using other Google services slowly and slowly. And today I use at least a dozen Google services (many of them on a daily basis).

Tried in vain
In the recent years I have even tried to get out of the Google fever by trying alternate services, but without much success:

1. I ditched Gmail for sometime and tried LiveMail and YahooMail. Even desktop clients like Thunderbird and Operamail. While I was impressed by Thunderbird, I gotta say I am now quite used to Gmail and it makes 'dealing with mails' less painful than others (even enjoyable!).

2. Tried to use Bing/Yahoo for searching purpose, but again too much use of Google before, caused me to return to Google yet again (not to mention, that I simply don't like the current interface of Bing/Yahoo sites).

3. Tried Safari and Opera instead of Chrome. While I still use Opera from time to time, I am mostly stuck b/w using Chrome and Firefox (no clear winner here).

4. You know why I don't like Facebook, so I was stuck using Orkut (at one time used to spend hours there) and now recently moved to GooglePlus

5. I am an avid blog reader (blog writer?), so I use Google Reader to keep tab of the latest posts. I tried using other things like Feedly Firefox extension and desktop clients like FeedDemon but again Google interface seemed built to do the heavy duty reading. Not to mention they make it super easy to share stuff with friends from there.

6. I started using Google Buzz and Twitter almost simultaneously (around the time I got Internet@Home) and am hooked to both of them. Again, there isn't any favorite between 2 slightly similar sites. But Buzz helped me get the most out of social networking in the absence of Orkut.

7. I have recently watched a few videos from vimeo and blip.tv (and TED) and I gotta say that they seem to host better and professional quality videos. But no denying the fact that YouTube still rules when it comes to videos. I have recently been hooked to a few of the video series there and can't go without my weekly doses now.

8. Have tried Flickr (and even use it regularly but mostly to get amazed by the photos there) but I mostly use Picasa for storing and sharing photos. Though I should mention that I am really annoyed with their current interface and I believe that it needs a quick and comprehensive overhaul.

9. Have been a recent entrant to Google Docs domain so not tried its alternatives till now (though I have heard about Microsoft Office Live and Zoho Office). While it has its quirks, I found it to be immensely helpful while we made our college projects.

10. I don't see any competition to Google Maps, and a few other translation services I have seen (besides Google Translate) produced hilarious results at best (not to say that Google's solution is perfect).

11. Have tried Calendar service from Mozilla but Google Calendar rocks! I have even tried to use RTM for task management but found it too cumbersome so returned to Tasks.

12. And of course, I almost forgot to mention Blogger! I haven't tried Wordpress much, people say that Wordpress is used by professional grade bloggers. Recently, I am trying out Tumblr and making a mini blog of sort (not in public domain right now).

And there are a myriad of services that I tried and found them to be great (Groups, Sites, News, Code etc.) but not much useful for me in daily life (at least till now). And there are numerous services I am yet to try out (their umbrella of services is really big!).

While I haven't got my hands on ChromeOS and Android, but the press about them has always been good. So, I am waiting for my first Android and getting to test drive a ChromeBook.

So, now that I have talked about What do I love, it's time to explore why?

July 17, 2011

The NO Internet Experiment

To perform a little experiment to see if I could go without Internet for a day

Internet, will power, a person with that will power

No Internet
Circuit Diagram

You remember the experiments with life that I wrote about last year? Well I thought it would be nice to try some more experimenting with life, but this time without any exam to give me excuses to do the same. Well to tell the truth I always keep trying something or other, so experimentation never stops. But this time I experimented while knowing I was experimenting!

So, what was the big experiment? No Internet for a day! Yeah that may sound ridiculous at first, I mean what can I possibly get by doing something like this? But just think about the number of hours you spend on Internet, compulsively scanning various sites for the new updates; to know what I mean (if you still don't get it, you are gifted! Celebrate!). I mean everyone has to check (and answer) mails, tweet/facebook, read blogs, search stuffs, watch videos, listen to music, share things, chat... That is kind of the day we, the new generation youth, spend nowadays (exceptions are always there).

But, I find it suffocating sometimes. You wake up, you do all the aforementioned things and then you go to sleep. But what did you actually achieve on the day? For most part it's nothing. And that fills me with guilt, I don't want to be wasting my days like this when I can have fun creating or learning stuffs. Well, communicating online, especially with those whom you can't meet regularly is necessary, but that's not the purpose of waking up everyday, is it?

Alright, let's not get more philosophical and come back to the actual experiment. OK, so I would be honest, this idea didn't come from vacuum, it was 'inspired' from one of the writeups of Leo Babauta from Zenhabits.net. But, I had to be the one performing it! Now, I have been without Internet before also, but that was when either I had no time to access it (exam time) or no means to access it (no net connection/net down). This was different, because I was willingly not doing something that has virtually become a habit.

  • So, first thing I did was to inform all my friends (worth informing) that I was doing it, a day before. 
  • And then I just let the day come by. 
  • The day came by and the first thing I did in the morning was to open my browser and visit a website! 
  • Well actually, I had to do it because I write online journal I couldn't afford to make an exception. But I just went to the site (750words.com) wrote my page and closed the browser in 15 mins. 
  • I was determined to make through the day without making another exception and I actually did! 
  • I surprised myself by the ease with which I did what I did.

  1. I am addicted to Internet, but not to the extent that I can't live without it for a day (or even more).
  2. I still didn't achieve as much as I could have in the absence of Internet. So, Internet is just a means, the real culprit is Me. If I want to make changes in my life, I need to take the responsibility and stop blaming Internet (and other distractions).
  3. Overall the experiment was successful (if we ignore the 15 mins error). Next experiment: No system for a day!

July 15, 2011

Kill me... So I don't feel terrorized

This is going to be another blog post written in a fit of rage. And I have reasons to feel this way. Because once again I feel like crap. Yet another terrorists attack in an Indian city and as it usually happens yet another failure on part of us to stop it.

Well I just don't know what to say at this moment. I haven't had (God forbid) a first hand experience of a terrorist attack, so I don't know how that feels. But I still share the pain and anger of so many Indians who are suffering today and or have suffered before. Because I know how it feels when a loved one is taken away from you without warning. In my case, it wasn't unnatural but still untimely death and even after 2 years I haven't been able to come on terms with it. So, on some level I do understand.

And along with pain, there is anger and frustration. And there is tonnes of it. Because year after year after year, we get attacked by some bloody lunatics, sometimes in the name of "Jihad", sometimes in the name of revenge against "Jihad seeking people", sometimes in the name of not getting their "rights". And every time we are able to do nothing (except of course "condemning" the attacks and feeling sorry).

Attack happens, then people volunteer to help each other, there are RIPs and condolence messages sent, blogs (like this one) are written, opposition parties blame the ruling party, central Govt. blames state Govt., everybody blames failure of intelligence, TV channels sensationalize the issue and the so called debates go on for days to find out what went wrong, and then we let the police investigate the issue for months until it's forgotten. Then we get busy with our lives; until next time. But I don't blame people for that, because we don't have time to stop and feel terrorized

But the simple fact is that slowly and slowly the terror is creeping in. When I was a kid, I didn't know anything about terrorists attacks (even though a few had happened at that time). But as I grew up in the last decade, the terror network and the rate of terrorists attacks has grown up with me. And today the situation has become so worse that, even though I won't say that I feel terrorized to go outside, the fear of getting attacked is there somewhere in the mind.

And that leads me to suspicion; I feel suspicious of my fellow passengers, the way they behave, the things they are carrying etc. I imagine what would happen if "this" bus full of passengers gets blown up and the catastrophe afterwards. You can call me anything you want for doing that, even a coward if that suits you. But the simple fact is that I value my life, because there are people dependent on me, and will become even more dependent as I grow old. If something happens to me, they get brutally affected.

And I think I don't deserve this experience, neither do my fellow citizens. Why can't we be like people of so many other countries who are living a may be little more miserable but a terror free life? 

So how do we get out of this mess? I don't know. I am not the policy maker, I am not the judiciary. I am just an ordinary citizen ratting out, demanding his right to travel freely anywhere in his country, without any fear. They tell women not to roam in cities at late night, because "it's dangerous and stupid". I am waiting to see when they declare getting out of home at any time of day "dangerous and stupid" for ALL the citizens.

I don't know how to stop the terrorists attack or how to deal with these kinds of situation. But I tell you one thing, if someone tries to hurt my family in anyway, I won't take it lying down. I won't negotiate with them; I will retaliate with all my spirits (never mind if I fail/get beaten down in the process). I will let them know Loud & Clear that I am there to protect my family, so they feel terrorized the next time they think of doing something like that. Because if I can't do that then I don't deserve to be a part of my family.

July 13, 2011

Crap worth 500 words

Alright, so I am starting to write this blog now. Well I should tell you that you need not read this because I am going aimlessly here. All this is not going to make any sense to you. So why am I writing this rubbish post anyways? Well the reason is that I haven't posted anything for sometime now. And it is again me hitting the writer's block.

So, I am getting over with it this innovative way. And well I wanted to write a post like this sometime. This is different. Because I am not thinking what I am writing. I just am letting my fingers follow my instinct. Whatever is coming in my mind is going on this page and I am pretty sure this is going to be the fastest post I have ever written (of course most meaningless also).

And I also wanted to tell that this is how I usually write my 750words pages. I just don't think what happened or what should happen. Because if I start to thing that then writing 750 words every day will become a pain and I don't want it to be so. When I write like this, when I race against myself (by the way I am touted touch typist!), I feel good.

Well another way or writing this post, could have been just to copy paste one of the morning dump (and 'dump' here is a metaphor for the 3 pages of morning writing I do). But then I wanted to do it specifically for a blog post.

And how much more I am going to write like this? Well I am just using a writing tool that is telling me how many words I have written; so far I have reached 300 words and I will stop at 500. Just let me know if you could follow along these 500 words. 

But why stop at 500 words? Why not write more, like say 750 words as i usually (daily) do? The reason being that I have started to think that I am writing a little more than I should. You see when I start to read a blog post, I get put off by it's length. Usually I don't read blog posts more than a page long, unless they are really intriguing.

And I think the same about my blog posts. While it is easier to cough whatever comes in the mind on the page, it takes patience to read the whole thing. And if people are not reading it then what's the use of me wasting time writing long and elaborated posts.

The posts (since they are mostly text) should be interesting. If they are (in any way possible) then size of the blog post won't matter (or will matter less).

Anyways, I am done writing for today. Gonna post it tomorrow. I know it won't make much sense as a whole but were you able to read it from start to stop (if you were unemployed enough to read till here)? Let me know.

July 09, 2011

Battle Royale: RavS 3.5 Vs RavS' Bro 3.5

So, here is something interesting I thought about writing for today. You know I have a little brother (technically he is my cousin, but now since he lives with us permanently, I don't like to call him a cousin, so no more explanation about him from now on). And he is really crazy (like you would like little kids to be). He has left me wondering how was I at his age. So, I thought a little bit about it and came up with following points for comparison:

1. TV

RavS: The guy didn't have a TV at home (poor chap!). The only TV he had access to was of his dear neighbors. It was a huge black and white TV encased in a wooden box and the only channels it showed was DD National and DD Metro, which could only be changed by a knob on the TV.

Bro: This kid has got not one but 2 TVs, that too colored ones! Granted they are not the latest models (Flatscreens, LEDs, HDTV etc.) but they are still acceptable. And he can see over 100 channels, by just a click of buttons on his remote. Though only channel he likes to see are cartoons and those showing Saas-Bahu.

2. Computer

RavS: "What's that?" He would have asked you on hearing the word. The only thing remotely resembling computers he had seen was a typewriter which he used to see when his bua used to take him for her typing classes. (Little known fact: This guy would go on to spend 3/4 part of his day staring at the monitor of his computer later on).

Bro: He has got an access to a desktop which may not be the latest and greatest (who has that anyway; specs change every month) but is still respectable enough to play anything. Now he doesn't yet know what's it used for, but he knows how to use the scroller on the mouse (so he would flip the article I am reading) and press the 'Enter' key on Numpad (so he would enter the incomplete chat or command, making a mess sometimes). And yes, he knows what a 'camputar' is!

3. Mobile Phones

RavS: He hadn't heard about one, let alone use one. Only things that he had seen (not used) for telephoning purpose were those huge PCO booths that required coins every half minute to continue talking. (Funny thing, he still doesn't have a mobile phone!)

Bro: He has not 1 but 3 mobile phones at home (not to mention 2 others that got old/damaged). And he has another one of his own too! (OK, that one is a toy). But he is not stupid, he likes to play with 'real' mobiles. So, many times he would hit that 'green' button and redial the last  dialled number, either miss-calling people or giving me the phone to answer and give explanations when the other party picks up. (And God, I hate these phone conversations).

And there are so many other things that RavS' bro posses which RavS hadn't even heard of at his age (viz. a digital camera, a movie player, a PMP (which he calls GaanaaSunn) etc.). But let's talk a little bit about their behaviour also:

4. Nature

RavS: My family says RavS was more forthcoming in his childhood. Well I guess that's the advantage of being a child, you don't have to live up to the society's expectations. But soon enough, he wasn't the only child in the home anymore, so he had to play the role of elder brother and become a role model for them. So, the adventurous nature slowly changed to a more thoughtful approach.

Bro: He is the youngest member in the family and so naturally everyone adores him. This gives him the license to be a home grown little terrorist. So, he would do all kinds of things including pulling my hair, breaking stuffs (he has already put one mobile phone in a water jar), turning off things when in use (TV, water motor) and turning on things when not required (fans, lights). And while I haven't heard a peep from other kids of his age in the neighborhood, he is famous for his shrieks every time he gets scolded.

5. Friends

RavS: Since he didn't have the modern gadgets to play with and pass time, he would go to his neighborhood friends' home to play little stupid games kids play and would enjoy the company for hours. As a result he had many friends, either of his age or a little younger than him.

Bro: The only time he gets out of home is when he goes to school, when his Dad takes him to buy stuffs or for a little walk in the park. A lot of people know him and play with him sometimes, but they are too elderly to be called his friends. So, the only friends he has got are his home-bred brothers and sisters.

And that's it! By taking my own example, I have tried to highlight the differences that have come in the life of today's kids as compared to kids of 2 decades back. We are going more and more towards modernity but are also isolating ourselves (and the kids) from each other.

So, do you agree? Not agree? Comment and let us know.

July 06, 2011

Engineering a Blog Post

This is another "meta-blogging" post.

A lot of people are bloggers. I don't know how do they blog, how they get ideas and how they articulate them. But I think I know what's my process of blogging is.Writing a post, for me, is a process that has certain distinct phases and at least 2 passes: 

Conceptualisation: This is *the* most important phase really. What am I going to post next? What will it be all about? Will it be similar to what I posted last time or sometime before? Will it be on something that I have never blogged about or have been thinking of doing for a long time? I get most of the ideas - get ready to laugh- in the bathroom. I do get a lot of time in the bathroom to really connect with myself (no double meaning intended!). I also get a lot of ideas while travelling or taking a peaceful walk.  Now, since it's really easy to forget the ideas, I usually write down all my ideas at a central place, to consult later. So, now I usually have a buffer of ideas/topics to blog about.

Design: Once the topic of the blog is decided, the next step is to think how am I going to write the blog. What style am I going to use? How long or short will the post be? What will be the mode of communication (1st person, 3rd person etc.)? Of course, right now I am posting somewhere which has limited formatting capabilities (buzzRSH), otherwise *Now* designing the post would have included  *also includes* stuffs like indentation, fonts and colors and may be even pictures also to support the post.

Rough Draft (Prototype): Like in case of software engineering, it's not necessary for me to write the perfect, ready-to-post blog the first time. I have tried to do the start-to-end posts, but that takes a lot of time. It divides the mind into a lot of things. And I have also felt that doing everything in one go can cause certain bugs (typos etc.) to creep in. After posting the blog, I may realize that I missed something very important related to post. Updating the blog after it has been written is not what I support normally.Writing the full blog post in one go also seems like a daunting task. This can also make one procrastinate over a topic for a really-really long time (It happened with me in that Blueline post). So now, my priority is to create a rough draft of the post, putting into as many ideas as I can in one go; without caring much about editing and formatting etc. This really helps in motivating me to come back and finish the post.    

Editing/Formatting (Refining): Since I keep my blog simple, there is not much scope of formatting. But I do try to make the post easier for you to read. So I try to italicize, bold, strike things so that blog doesn't look like a torn page of an old novel. This phase also gives me an opportunity to reread the draft and make any changes to the post. Like deleting something redundant, or adding something in support of a statement; even changing the order of the paragraphs. Coming back to a topic after sometime really gives another perspective to the post and sometimes I find that the final post is completely different from it's rough draft. This phase also has the possibility of scrapping the post itself if I don't feel like I have done justice to what I wanted to communicate or what I have written is completely different from the theme of the post.

Posting (Deploying): In this phase, I proof-read my posts once to ascertain that it meets all the quality parameters and to find out any last minute errors. Believe me, it is really annoying to see a typo, or a sentence written in such a way that it doesn't make sense to the reader; it is more so to see it on your own blog. Once satisfied, I find out the place to post and then click "Publish". Done. 

But the task is not over yet...

Prologue (Documentation): After this I move on to write a prologue, a kind of head-start to the blog, for readers to know what they can expect from the blog, usually in the comment section and now on thinkXP.blogspot.com (but I do know it will be read only later, if at all).

Informing (Publicity): What's the use of so much hard-work if the people you have done this for don't know about it. So, I inform my (limited) readers in someway (mostly through messages, but later plan to use emails and SNS). 

The last phase is really like Maintenance. I wait for the comments if any, and then reply to them to 'maintain' the interest in the post until the next one comes.

You may be thinking that I have made something as simple and enjoyable as blogging, one hell of a task. But then, I pride myself to be a blogger, and it is a serious business for me. 

Finished Reading? So now help me in the maintenance part. Why don't you write something in the comment section? Appreciated :)

PS: All the things mentioned in this blog post were actually used during the construction of this blog post!

July 02, 2011

HolyShit... Homework!

As I write this I have tonnes of holiday homework of my sister to take care of. And that includes having to search the internet for non-existent research papers, make models that I might have considered for my own major project (no just kidding :) and having to make chart papers; with some notebook work thrown in between for good measures. And I should tell you that I haven't really made any significant progress in 'my' homework yet. Time for frank admission: 
"I HATE Holiday Homeworks". OK, wait, HATE is negative word, so let me rephrase it and say, "I Do NOT like Holiday Homework" or even better "I am Not too fond of Holiday Homework" :).
When I was a kid, I needed assistance in all my homework (no, I wasn't the super coo! prodigy you read about in papers, all the time). So, somebody (usually one of my buas) would always be up my throat (I was a brilliant and adorable child :) trying to get the work done. And I especially hated Holiday HW (when you see pages after pages of instructions for HHW, neatly grouped subject wise, you kind of loose hope then & there). So, every year the pattern was to have fun the whole summer and then break your back doing holiday homework in the last week (something my sister is emulating right now :).

Doing your homework is SEXXAY

When I reached mid school, I knew I had to do at least the written part of homework if I wanted to have any hope of getting descent marks in First terminals. All that learning/cramming stuff was taken care of (I still don't understand why teachers give tonnes of chapters to learn when everybody knows that we do it all at the end time?). And regarding those project works and charts, I either simply left it (to hell with marks) or outsourced them to some of my elder (I was still a child you know :)

By the time I reached high school, the homework was manageable (and I had also learned that most of what I did was waste in the long run). But by now my little brothers were in mid school and they had started getting homework with those stupid little charts to make. Now I just couldn't refuse because:
a) I had got a similar privilege at my time and
b) I risked facing the wrath of the family if I didn't do it.

So, for so many years I had to do the exact same thing for my brothers that I never did for myself. You know making dozens of charts (yes, dozens and I am not being rhetorical here) isn't a walk in the park. And it was a thankless job (I never got any cookies for making those stupidities, may be pat on back sometimes).

Then I reached college and thankfully the vacations didn't accompany formal holiday homeworks here. But, I did spend considerable time making and completing files (and I had to do it, because multiple times I used to be the one on whom dozens life depended).

And today as I stare at the things to be done, on behalf of my sister, all the past (not really happy) memories of homework and back-breaking doing them, comes rushing back.

LOST: Homework
I wanted to take this moment to start a debate on how much are the homeworks (those pesky charts, projects, ‘research’ we did in school and the countess files, assignments and tutorials we were made to do in college) are necessary? I know intentions behind them is always good, but when the homework is simply copied from each other and even after submitting they are either not assessed properly or simply thrown in dustbin (by the way, what happened to your last semester files?).

I don't know if the situation can be made better or if there are any alternatives to traditional homeworks and assignments (because to an extent we as students are also lazy). But what I do know, is that a lot of time what we do is simply wasted, and if nothing else that time could be used to enjoy ourselves. To me, this practice of giving homework also seems to stem from the rote learning model we follow in our education system.

Anyways, now, go shoot your comments down below! If you particularly enjoy doing holiday homework (and I am not talking about any particular subject HHW you did one time), I especially would like to know your views.