07 December 2005

Sms from Sappit

Dear Subscriber, Your validity period for roaming facility has expired ...
please return to the zoo

24 October 2005

Sunrise in Delhi

Wake up time: 5,30 in B2/131. Driving back. A chill in the breeze. Sunrise after weeks! Beautiful red orange over a vast patch of shrubs and trees, behind multistoreyed glass buildings and ahead, right above the unfinished flyovers.

25 September 2005

Monday Blues

Am working in Delhi with a client of TW in an enablement exercise. But right this instant, I desparately wish I didn't have to go back more than ever now, I have started to dislike mondays and the flights to Delhi.

18 August 2005

Quick Choice

The last weekend activities consisted of clearing up the house of a lot of old papers, books, clothes and toys. In the event of either me or my sibling expressing a sentiment to preserve the aforesaid articles of childhood value, my mother frowned and a dispute followed. Most such disputes were settled when my mother threated to go and sit outside of the house, forcing us to make a choice between the garbage and herself.

06 August 2005

Disability and usability

Had been ill last week and bought a couple of medicines for relief. This included some throat drops, cough syrup and tetrapacked juices.

The throat drops were packed in some sturdy plastic armour. Twisting and tearing didn't help. Nor did biting. So one had to sit up, grope for sharp edged tools to carry out operation. Most unhelpful. Not something that can be done with eyes closed.

Let's see what of the cough syrup. It was Benadryl. As it is, the patient is a weak person. To add to that, the seal was hard to break off and took a lot of coercing with cutting edge technology like knife and scissor-tip. The fingers got completely bruised and cut. So after dealing with cold and cough, one has to use Boroplus to tend to one's injuries.

Yes, the tetrapacked juices were alright, but not the packaging of the accompanying straws. Not very amiable sort. Most reluctant to slip out of packaging even at the pointed end which could reputedly pierce. Therefore, one ended up drinking directly from the tetra pack. Result: The neighbouring ants and cockroaches also joined in the party.

23 July 2005

Saleswoman at my door

It has been raining all morning and all afternoon. I have been sitting at my computer downloading all kinds of important software after lunch. I am even looking at the websites of various property developers in Bangalore. Then all of a sudden ding dong dong. I look through the peephole. A tired looking woman. I open the door. One of those sales people, I tell myself and reluctantly open. Now this time she is selling some handicrafts from Calcutta. I cheerfully tell her that I don't want anything. The last time I gave in to a door salesman was several weeks ago, for a little boy who came selling pappads. He probably was doing his first round. When he rang the doorbell, I could not even see anybody. He was not even waist high. And he was nearly in tears that I didn't want pappads. I melted immediately. He said his mother had made them. I quickly gave him ten rupees for a packet of pappads. His sweet face brightened up and dabbed the note on both his eyes in a mark of reverence to the day's first earning. Then he looked at me - with an expression that easily beat a thousand thank you-s he may have said. Anyway, I don't want to be a softie this time, despite getting convinced that she was the breadwinner for her disabled husband and that I am like a daughter to her. I insist that I have no need for TV covers and that I don't own a television. She gives up after a while. Picks up her two bags and walks out the gate with a bend, owing to the weight of her wares and towards the bell of the opposite house. I watch her for a second wondering thinking I have done okay in not taking anything from her. I close the door. The rain is pouring down heavily and the smell of the wet earth drifts in along with me as I latch it shut.

20 July 2005

Good Grief ! All interview questions!

...are available on this site ... http://www.techinterviews.com Whatever is happening to the world?

19 July 2005

A story on Thinking that amused and inspired me

Some time ago I received a call from a colleague who asked if I would be the referee on the grading of an examination question. He was about to give a student a zero for his answer to a physics question, while the student claimed he should receive a perfect score and would if the system were not set up against the student. The instructor and the student agreed to an impartial arbiter, and I was selected.

I went to my colleague's office and read the examination question: 'Show how it is possible to determine the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer.'

The student had answered: 'Take the barometer to the top of the building, attach a long rope to it, lower the barometer to the street, and then bring it up, measuring the length of rope. The length of the rope is the height of the building.'

.. read the rest

17 July 2005

Too Many Things To Do

I've been reading a bit the last few days and I am restless and eager to do a lot of things but there are just way too many things to be done ! I want to make the Kolam book for Amma. I bought sketch pen and realized that like a moron, I've forgotton to buy an empty notebook. Must do that in the afternoon tomorrow at lunch.

Then I have Jhumpa Lahiri's book - Interpreter of Maladies - to be read. I am overwhelmed with each story I read. Just get completely absorbed into one of the characters and feel happy, sad or in the same dilemma along with the character. Then I go lost in thought when the story ends. Keep thinking about the minds of each one in the story. Then I marvel at the author for having come up with this. Long after yesterday's play, I continued to think of Miss Manjula Nayak and her mind mixed up with victory, hate, fame, and vengeance, the silent Pramod Rao and the dead girl Malini. Oh, I still need to finish my Emotional Intelligence book, before I can go on to my next reading which is either Nehru's Glimpses of World History, a book I bought to teach my ignorant self about the world around or William (slurp).

An important agenda is to refresh my mathematics. Jayaram was making a presentation to the BA Twig, on internal audits. One of the methods to detect fraud in numbers was to use the Benford's Law. So its like this.

What's probability of the first digit of a number to be, say, 1? I would say 1/9. Well, I am so wrong! Apparently in nature, there is no such randomness. So if I study and arrive at a set of numbers, say the population of a country over a few years and list them, I'd find that 1 is the first digit of around 30% of the numbers. Surprising, right? The simple semi-mathematical explanation for this phenomenon is that for a number to start with 2 instead of 1, means that it has doubled. A 100% increase. But for a number that changes from say 9xx to 1xxx means that it has increased only slightly. So for any such data studied, the variations are not likely to be as much as double or triple. In more mathematical terms, the probability is a function of the logarithm of that number, n. More specifically, the probability is Log(1 + 1/n). So for the digit 1, it is Log(1+1/1). If I remember my college maths right, the logarithm of 2 is 0.3010. Hence the likelihood of 1 to be first digit is 30% ! I was all amazed and impressed and excited. So I called up Sreesh and told him about it!

Then, next thing on my mind is to learn a few of Ghalib's Ghazals. Harish Goel has given me a wonderful collection and I am always happy when I listen to them!

I also need to prepare for my presentation on Technical Writing and on South Indian Classical music.

Oh yea I know my mother is not going to be very pleased to know this - I have to throw out this cockroach that's been lying in the corner of the room the past week. I was hoping that at least the ants would come for it ..

The Lizard

A tiny lizard has just landed itself into my kitchen sink. I was just about to rid the sink of the the shining steel vessels which are submerged in dilute murky turmeric water with curry leaves floating, and smeared with potato peels and shredded cabbage. This is enough proof for the fact that I have been occupied manufacturing various dishes all morning. So this lizard offspring. Its tiny and squiggly. Sand coloured, less then two inches long and half a centimeter any other way. I stare at it for a few seconds and decide to ignore it. I have work to do and can't be bothered to rescue unwelcome lizardlings.

I turn on the tap. Evidently this creature is not prepared for the cold sprinkle. So it springs around inside the sink and tries to get out. Huh, but the water is fast and the walls of the sink don't have the grip that the climber needs. I continue in my engaging chore of cleaning vessels. Scrubber, soap, vessel. I tell the child-of-the-lizard by both verbal and non-verbal methods to leave. The lizard does not take the hint. Then I pour out the water from the cooker. This time the water is warm. So the lizard leaps in shock, I think, and lands plop on the plate that I am now cleaning. I tell the lizard that I don't like it hopping around on my plate and then politely tip the plate. The lizard falls down on the floor and waits suspiciously for a minute and then runs off in a familiar direction. I smugly smile at the scrubber and adjust the halo behind my head.

16 July 2005

RangaShankara, Rohit and Vishy

So it was my idea to go the play by Girish Karnad. I managed to convince Rohit, Vishy and Gazal and their folks to come along too. Hitched a ride with Rohit to JP Nagar. On the way we talked about the traffic and congestion. While I gave a dumb opinion, that we should stop any more people from coming to Bangalore, Rohit said that we should probably think diverting any traffic whose destination is not Bangalore and also of developing the hub-and-spoke model - increasing the number of hubs with shorter spokes. Seemed a sensible thing. But by the time he finished explaining how the air traffic follows this model, we realize we needed directions to reach JP Nagar.

At Vishy's home, we came to know from his mother who had already watched the play, that there was only one actor. Uh! What! I had specifically chosen this play against another one where Vasanthi of Radio City, Good morning Bangalore fame, had announced was a one-man-play. I had been pretty certain this was not the one. Well, Vishy's mother said it was a one-woman-play, if that was any consolation. Rohit exclaimed away about how a person could talk for a whole hour and still make sense. That was the least of my worries. So while Gazal served us delicious dosa, chutney and sambar and nice hot coffee, I worried what would be the case if the whole thing got dry and monotonous. I still let my hopes live while the others threatened to clobber me after the play (others being Vishy, Gazal, Vishy's friend Swapan and wife Lopamudra). I whined that they should not have gone ahead with the booking if they had known this.

Yogi and his wife were also at RangaShankara. Hello! Judging by appearances and costumes, it looked like a lot of clever people in society had turned up. I was just beginning to look around some more, and they rang a bell, a fierce school-ish bell. So I ran out of the bookshop where I was peacefully in. I came out and started reading the notice boards. There was another event later in August which was again, a solo play. I wondered aloud whether a solo play was some type of cost cutting measure. Hmm. The next bell rang fiercely again, and we went off to find our seats. The girl handed out some brochure about RangaShankara and the play. I read it. It said 'Lead Actor: Arundhati Raja'. See, I looked around hopefully and said - it does not say Only Actor. Hmm. Gazal was amused that I had not lost hope. Meanwhile Vani Ganapati had strode in with a glittering costume and was sitting in the front row just ahead of us. See, I told Gazal. This increases our chances of appearing on Page 3 tomorrow.
* * *
The play was brilliant! All of us enjoyed and were glad we watched it! Had dinner at Vishy's, cooked by his dad. Very tasty! The return ride was also fun. Rohit moaned about having left his scooter in Vishy's place because of the rain. Am so sleepy! Look forward to another play!

14 July 2005

My New Hobby On The Net

I have suddenly changed loyalties from Internet Explorer (IE) to Firefox since the last two weeks. I had got so used to the IE shortcuts and was stubbornly unwilling to look at another browser. But that was back then, when I was young and foolish. So let's hear me sing praises of Firefox.

This browser is neat and stacks up all the different URLs in tabs within the same browser so my desktop looks uncluttered. It has the very same shortcuts as IE, so I did not have to relearn anything. In fact, it imported all my favourite bookmarks too. It remembers my passwords more fashionably.

Okay, Firefox has this really creative plugin called Stumble. And it takes the shape of a little button. You tell this plugin all the topics of interest to you and then it lets you Stumble on websites of related topics. It randomly picks a topic and presents you a page. It was so much fun ! I think I was awake till around two in the morning Stumbling upon information and fun stuff on mathematics and science. I got pretty interesting things to read.

There was a site that explained the Kaprekar constant. Apparently it goes like this. Take any 4 digit number which may have repeating digits. Arrange them into the largest and smallest number and find the difference. The difference, which is also a 4 digit number and treat it the same way. Arrange it into largest and smallest digits and go on. Finally, one reaches a point where the difference will come to a constant value of 6174. This is the Kaprekar constant. The reason is that this process follows a sequence which is finite.

Another thing I found was that IBM has this monthly puzzle (and I found them truly puzzling) and most certainly makes for cerebral-wake-up. Oh yes, and before I forget, some passing reading on origami, mentioned that unfolding the paper would reveal a complex geometric pattern.

Oh well, I am getting so addicted to this ! This morning while I was having breakfast, I decided to read the Net instead of a book, like I usually do, so I didn't have to turn the pages. And I did a random Stumble. I got a dump of inconsequential facts like 2 out of 3 who voted for Bush go to Church although Bush is not a believer, that some sued someone else who was already dead, despite knowing that the second someone was dead, that 7% of Americans claim that they don't bathe, that a bar in London sells vaporized vodka so people smell, sorry, inhale instead of sipping it, that the Bible has been translated to Klingon - which is (an imaginary) language of the Star Trek characters, and that polar bears are left handed. Now did that matter to my existence ! Ah well, but it was an enjoyable breakfast alright !

12 July 2005

Reading on Lateral Thinking

Quite by chance, I read The Leader's Guide To Lateral Thinking by Paul Sloane over the weekend. What stood out in that book for me is - you won't find anything new if you look hard in the same direction.

I thought the examples used in it were quite powerful, since I still remember them. One is the fish bowl example (separating the small fish from the one large fish that eats them with a glass partition) - that the brain becomes complacent after a while and stops questioning. The other one was that of Henry Ford - who fired a senior manager who salted his soup before tasting it. Ooh ! That was apparently because he "prejudged situations" and Ford didn't want someone like that. IMHO, it was very unfair on Ford's part - I might have also probably salted my soup, if I was familiar with the restaurant :-) but then, run the risk of being fired by someone like Ford! Well, I think that did happen in my job interview at ThinkPad when Salam asked me what Objects were. I had rattled off what I knew and then when quizzed more, got stuck for significant answers. So I said OOPS and got away with it!

Okay, now back to the book. There was also a list of quotes by famous people and how we've progressed so much more that such as why would anyone want a computer at home, and that TV has very little significance in one's life, and heavier-than-air flights were impractical, and one by Bill Gates in '81 where he said 640k would be more than enough for anyone. . While we are at it, I also remember Edward do Bono's thinking hats being used somewhere in the workplace too. Though this book didn't have any On a serious note, that book put me (back) on a higher frequency and I am all excited about reading books again. Now going back to where I left of from Emotional Intelligence

06 July 2005

A nice thought

Everyone can be an artist. Some of us paint with words, others with musical notes. Some do it with equations while others use bricks and mortar. And some even do it with paints. No matter what medium we use, if we've poured our soul into it, the result is bound to be a masterpiece

04 July 2005

Do you know who Samuel P. Huntington is ?

"West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."
---------- Samuel P. Huntington

29 June 2005

How To Treat Gods

My machine was hotdogged yesterday. This means that someone has tampered with the settings of the computer. But thankfully for me, there was only an anonymous 'menacing' message in notepad that read



It did not take me very long to find out who the author of such give-away lines was. So I pinged him just to quickly check how to treat a god.

gitanjaliv: Had a question for you ..
keviv12 : bolo
gitanjaliv : How does one treat a god ?
stand him on a stone and lock the door ?
keviv12 : Nahin...to use tamil...give him abhiskham.... First water
gitanjaliv : oh yeah ..I love that ! Stand him up and pour cold water on his head
keviv12 : Then milk....preferably diluted
gitanjaliv : yoohoo !!
keviv12 : And possibly honey.....somewhere near an anthill
gitanjaliv : Sapto is not exactly pleased ...
keviv12 : Thats how we treat gods....
in temples....is it not ???
gitanjaliv: Cool. Now that things are clear.
gitanjaliv: Yes yes, I wholly agree.
keviv12 : I dont know about what you do at home....
gitanjaliv : Stand him on a stone and lock the door.
keviv12 : But i bow and pray in front of god everyday and light lamps and incense sticks....and sing songs in his/her praise....You might have to compose one for Sapto god....
gitanjaliv: Ah I can sing for Sapto ..that is easy.
keviv12 : Easy for you...what about him??

But he usually squirms when I sing
keviv12 : see what i mean?!!
gitanjaliv :ya !
keviv12 : over??
gitanjaliv: Yes yes.

22 June 2005

Mathematics and some progress

Came across a view that Mathematics is totally aesthetic. Beauty in numbers. True. Symmetry, patterns and relationships is what I can think of to elaborate on. As I kept reading, I came across various reminders that many of the mathematical concepts that are attributed to the Western scientists were actually commonly known to several Indian Mathematicians. While our text books read that Indians gave the numerical world the concept of zero and the decimal system, it is not a well known fact that concepts like the Fibonacci numbers, Pascal's Triangle, the value of Pi; why even Trigonometry, Algebra and Calculus had actually originated in India.

This is what I managed to remember,
  • Aryabhata calculated the value for Pi and gave the world the Zero!
  • Bhaskara wrote his mathematical work the Lilavati on Differential Calculus five centuries before Newton and Leibitz (Remember there was a long bitterness between these two over the invention of calculus) . It was written for his daughter and he named it after her. His book Bijaganita was on algebra. He also developed a proof on the Pythagoreas theorem
  • Madhava was a Kerala mathematician who also made significant contribution to mathematical analysis or was it Calculus ?
  • Panini - a grammarian whose rules of grammar relating transformation and recursion are now the basis of computing and programming
  • Pingala, Panini's brother is another mathematician who outlined the ideas behind a numeral system and what we now know to be the Pascal's triangle and Fibonacci sequences.
Curious to know why India had been ignored and denied its due credit, I read on. And I found a site (created by scientists from all over the world) that explained reasons why the the whole mission of the West/Europe to colonize would be defeated if they admitted that India was far ahead even in the centuries B.C. although they found it very difficult to ignore it. Read in more detail here

Mojo's reply to my Poem Part-1

avishek mojo:
Have you seen Gitanjali?
QA to the core totally.
Finds nice CR's everyday
But I cant reproduce them try what I may.
So she dresses in red
Missing only the horns on her head
On finding a CR is very khush
All other times says "Tush tush."

Read my original Poem here

14 June 2005

Complaint Letter

Dear Gitanjali,
I agree with you that the standups are so full of uninteresting and irrelevant information. I'd rather everyone sit dowm comfortably and pour out their problems. Sigh. Escapes my understanding what it is in this imbecile recitation of count of bugs found or test cases executed. Ah, and before I forget, there is always a Mister or Ms KnowAll who suffers from extreme desparation to parade their knowledge or experience ahead of others. The urge to express is so strong that any slight interest of another person is immediately extinguished. Don't let that bother you. I know finding bugs is not the most valuable thing to you. Nor how to facilitate a Analysts' brainstorming session. Please put that out of your head and focus attention to the more important things in life.

08 June 2005


I noticed that today's edition of the Hindu has the supplement with one puzzle of sudoku published.

Fair ?

My slipper snapped this morning. So I stopped by a mochi to get it repaired. He looked at it, looked up at me and said ''Mooru rupai AguttE. ParavAgilvA?" (That would be three rupees, is that alright?)

Why when people don't shy of quoting monstrous prices for their services, here is this small cobbler with his tin shop in a street corner, who hesitates to even ask for such a small amount as three rupees for a few stitches that would save me a whole five hundred or more. I complained to the God that the imbalance in the world is too much. I get to sit in an airconditioned office while there are some people who wade into the stinking city-drain kneedeep, with no protective layer, to build a flyover for public convenience.

07 June 2005

RKP concert in Gayana Samaj

I had attended on Sunday the title bestowing ceremony and concert of R.K. Padmanabha. While I have very little to say as to the quality of the concert, there was plenty of excitement, build up and humour that preceded it.

I woke up quite early and reluctantly on Sunday morning to reach Basavanagudi from my homely home in Indiranagar. What I like about mornings is my elaborate coffee and crossword ceremony which I had to forego on account of an acute and whelming desire to listen to a live concert. I got there well on time given that the opportunity cost of listening to all those lengthy adoring speeches in Kannada was a seat. The first item was two vaadyars reciting some mantrams. I assumed that it was the prayer. That finished and the audience burst into applause. Hmm.

Next the compere of the proceedings announced that the shishyas of RKP were to sing prayers. And a procession of students went past the folks on the dais. They sang really well. Thought it was a Vadiraja guru special set of shlokams. Neat singing of Sri Kamalambike one Vadiraja Kriti in Bahudari. I was impressed thinking that if his students were singing so well, then he would be definitely good. Sreesh had also told me that judging by his initials, he might be good to listen to. Thus encouraged I endured the speeches in flowing Kannada.

Let me describe the stage to you. On the screen behind, there was a large poster in blue with something written in Kannada, presumably the event details and date. There was a Shiva with one hand raised and slightly titled with white foggy light coming out of it. There was also a lingam like thing on the other side which also emitted a smiliar kind of fuzzy light, These two lights converged at the centre where there was a picture of a beaming RKP. Huh ! Now RKP himself was sitting on stage, on a throne-ish seat, quite smugly. Beside him were his wife, RK Srikantan and one person called Mattoor Krishnamurty. The two were frequently referred to as Nadarishi and Vedarishi. Various speakers who spoke into mike insisted that Rudrapatanam (where RKP belongs to) is the Karnataka Tirivaiyyar and that RK Srikantan was Abhinava Tyagaraja and Mattoor was Abhinava Vyasa and RKP was Abhinava Vishnu. Very odd similes, I thought. To echo my thoughts, the enthroned One and the other seated Ones vehemently gesticulated to deny those appellations. Then they all insisted that RKP embodied every quality mentioned in the dictionary.

Now the moment of glory when RKP was finally conferred. It was a ginormous framed certifficate (?) of some sort.in red and gold. Yes, so they all posed and posed for the clicking cameras and videocameras and smiled and posed. Then in that moment of glory, Mister RK Padmanabha, with the enthusiasm of Venus Williams after Wimbledon, lifted his framed gold certificate high up with both arms and displayed it to the audience who clapped away anway. Meanwhile I was appalled. He then placed it and then stepped to receive a tiny Ganesha statue. My appalled state was not yet over, when he lifted up the Vinayaka in a similar manner high up with both arms. And the audience clapped away.My eyebrows went up and down. And I sighed a couple of times.

What happened at the concert is an insignificant manner. He sang a Vadiraja Varnam in Poorvi Kalyani I think. Then a faster version of Siddhi vinayakam. People cheered and clapped when he sang the upper Ri some seventeen times. Then a fast version of Nama kusuma mula. No swarams. No aalapanai. Then he started a decent aalapanai of Kharaharapriya. And he went on and on for twenty minutes. Then Mysore Nagaraj, I am not too fond of him, played and bowed and all that. Then RKP started. A Tanam in fourth gear. At that point I gave up, took my bag and decided to step out. The good thing is that they served a fairly elaborate lunch. So I was relieved that I didn't have to go back home and then cook. That was what I liked about his concert. Oh and by the way, in his defense I must say that RKP has a great voice. May be he just got a bit carried away with all that garlanding and photographing and that praise must have got into his head.

30 May 2005

TWers hailing the rain

... and me on the obscure right a hailstone in hand. This was quite an event !

24 May 2005

New-comer to the Language

It was an interesting conversation I had. We happened to be at a common lunch table at the office canteen and started off by introducing ourselves to ward off boredom. It happens that this individual is from Murudeswar and speaks this language called Navayati. According to my friend, This language, he says, has strong influence of Konkani, Tulu and Marathi. And, as one may have guessed, there is a very small community that speaks this language. It has no script of its own and perhaps banks on from Urdu. He said that his friends/family write to each other in Navayati using the English script also, at times.

The Navayat community came to be, around three hundred years ago when the Arabs/Persians came over to this side of the Vindhyas and blended into the local population. And that's why they were Nava-ayatis (new comers) . I was curious about what brought the Navayatis to India. And the answer was obviously trade. Navayatis were mostly merchants.

I googled away for Navayat and found a few links. But not any information on the vocabulary of the language or its origin or script. From the old pages of a Konkani Culture website, it seems that NavAyati is probably a variation of Konkani, based on the castes or communities of people that speak it (Other variations of konkani are based on the region where it is spoken) That is when it occured to me that his name was Umar and not Kumar as I had first heard.

The Hindu also speaks of a Konkani meeting earlier this year, in which Navayat is mentioned as a language spoken in Bhatkal. Yes, there is also one more picture link with some relevant text.

22 May 2005

Of Relatives and Umbrellas

Contrary to pleas by relatives and well wishers, my mother has a hitherto unknown distaste for carrying umbrellas in the summer. She has now come upwith this very ingenious excuse for not carrying one. She said she cannot see well with an umbrella. What, I question her. The answer is that her peripheral vision is affected. Now, just how does one refute such a claim.

My nephew, Sanat also has an issue with his umbrella, but of a slightly different variety. He has been recently presented with one colourful red and yellow printed umbrella. He was seen making several attempts since last afternoon to pull out the knob of the handle and dip the nose in a bucket of water. It is his firm belief that his unassuming umbrella will suddenly act as a straw that sucks in water. Further he hopes that the press button that opens the umbrella will also trigger a fine spray from the top. He has questioned knowledgeable elders such as me, his friendly and devoted chitthi, Amma, his learned grandmother and Sreesh the uncle that forever teases him. All of us have given him consistent, non-varying responses in the negative. But he refuses to be disillusioned and quotes his own knowledge and understanding of such umbrellas.

In conclusion, may I also point out that he was also trying to stand upside down and somersault in order to conquer his hiccups. This was a suggestion by another learned lady who also is his mother.

19 May 2005

AllPairs, A Test Case Generation Tool

The last couple of days, I have been fervently testing attributes that have multiple values, and I have ended up with enormous grids trying to cover every possible combination with the optimism that no webby corners have been overlooked. And all at once, I saw a light, a host of golden solutions ! Ok, flowery language (pun intended) apart, Rajeshvaran directed me to this neat little tool called AllPairs. So now, this tool is based on the Orthoganal Array Testing Principle and works out the minimum number of pairs for you, so that all conditions may be satisfied. I used it to reduce 43 test cases to 8 and still felt good that the testing had achieved satisfactory coverage. This page from James Bach lists two more tools for test data generation!

17 May 2005

Words, Puzzles and Programs

Am glad to be subscribing to The Hindu once again. The clue that I was a bit happy to solve was shop displays rope I am twisting. That translates to emporia. Was might pleased when the answer came to my head.

Nick Drew had told me about a word in English that is a term for all words that sound like what they mean. Like Splash, thud. I am scratching my brain for that word.

It seems that there is a Japanese number game called Sudoku, that is some kind of grid where you need to fill in numbers from 1 - 9 in some order and not repeat them so that it totals to something. Read that it is popular among england's rail commuters! Find more of those puzzles at Sudoku. This has been created by its British adopted parent, who has written some program that generates hundreds of such puzzles every day !

Speaking of Japan, here is what I read about this funky machinethat I read about that is supposed to translate baby babble into human understandable. Doh. I think that machine has previously acquired fame by translating animal noises for humans also !

Language Observation

I noticed in one of our meetings, someone said "...such-and-such won't happen until you don't it ..". Made me stop and think. It seemed to me a Hindi translation of 'jab tak aap nahin karte hain ..'

09 May 2005

The Pen is Mighty

Sparky is a visiting PM from Thoughtworks US. It was good to see him after a long time. What stood out about him literally was this black reynolds pen behind his ear.

Me: What's with this pen ? Some kind of status symbol ?
Sparky: No it just means I am busy

Weekend with Radha Iyer

My house has a completely new look. It is actually far more liveable and homely than it was. There is an assortment of divinity on the drawing room wall, pooja room and kitchen. A little away, is a pretty bamboo flower vase with bright purple flowers. Of course my creatively arranged calendar is on the next wall.

The bedroom, which more effectively serves as my living room, now has the bed in a different position. It has some wall hangings. The dressing table has two tiny green bonsai trees framing a slightly larger bonsai with yellow leaves. Jazzy eh?

Listen, now. the maroon fridge with sparkling green freckles all over now has two wooden dolls. One is a Maharaja with moustache and one is a Vaadyar with a kudumi. They both have springy necks. I will presently explain what I mean. Whenever I open the door of the fridge, the two figures perched on top nod their heads and they nod their heads and it such a delight ! Also there are two bonsai trees on either side of these men.

I must also point your attention to the green frog. This particular green frog sits near the grey wash basin and has its left arm waving and wears a nice white toothy smile.

In case you need to know, my mother is a cleaning freak. But she was not terribly discouraged to find so little ammunition to serve her ends. Within a few hours of her arrival, the house had mops, sponges, scrubs, liquid cleaners, brooms and waste cloth all over. And needless to say, I was tricked into cleaning the house!

In addition to all these wordly possessions of cheer, I acquired, for a price of a thousand less, many thanks to the bargaining power of my mother, a blue queen-size chair and a tiny wooden computer table with wheels. This serves as a desk for the Desktop which has not yet come into my possession. The aforesaid desktop will serve me that I may be able to chat with my beloved and with my family while I go about life in this traffic infested city.

If you will look in my kitchen, you will find numerous vessels. You will also perhaps find it a wee bit amusing if you examine it in the context of how many people reside in No 3391, 13th B Main. Me. There are enough vessels for four! Thanks to generous contributions from mine and Ashok's mamiars. Ha ! Up to yesterday, the fridge wore a deserted look in its interiors. Now open, it is well furnished with sweets, pickles, snacks, eats, vegetables, fruits, cooked food, batter and dough of various categories. Big grin!

The award for the best purchase however goes to one tiny item of glory. It is this bright and happy yellow Umbrella with blue and pink flowers, and currently the joy of my life. I was waiting to wake up and go off to work wielding this deadly weapon to combat the fierce sun and rains!

02 May 2005


Landlady gave me two neiyappams this morning when I went up to pay rent. Wonder why people feel like giving me food when they see me !

Poem Part 1

Have you seen the build tower
Blessed with talking power
It stands proud and tall
In the middle of the IDS hall.

See Mojo's reply here