Friday, November 13, 2009

Where were Madhu and Sandra? Dec-08 to Apr-09

Alright folks ! I know it has been EONS since anybody received any updates from us - you must probably be wondering if we had dropped off the planet, and decided to settle in Klingon. If you are not, please do not read further - you probably do not care about us :D.

So let's see, where to being ? I think our marriage date might be a good starting point - I went off work after 2 days of getting married. It was a blessing in disguise, since I had 3 months severance, lots of time, and a new missus at home :). So between the middle of December to mid-April, my life was pretty much a "wake-up, eat, TV, sleep again" routine - surprisingly, I did manage to spend time looking for jobs, and with my wife :). And oh yeah ! we did take a few trips to local places:

I had a couple of interviews in January, so pretty much the next month was waiting to hear back and follow-up stuff from January. First week of February - I defended my PhD Dissertation (yay!). By March-09, we kinda knew that we would be leaving the country soon - I was in the process of accepting a job offer from KAUST, for a Visualization and Computer Graphics Researcher position at the university. So we took a trip down to good'ol Austin, Texas to visit my sister, Anitha, and her hubby Deepak. You can see our pictures here:

And at the beginning of April, the job at KAUST was official - we had to move to San Diego for a few months, before permanently relocating to Saudi Arabia. So it was basically a lot of packing, cardboard boxes, UHaul, LongHauls, and settling in La Jolla, San Diego. That is it for now - rest to be continued in my next blog entry :).

What was my most memorable memory during this time ? Being married to my wife and best friend :) - she was truly my strength. She handled the moves, packing, unpacking, loading, unloading with a gallon of patience, and a pinch of smile on her face.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep....

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

Then took the other as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads onto way
I doubted if I should ever come back

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference

Robert Frost


I found this extremely funny article about Superstar Rajni here.

I selected a few ones that I liked the most :).
  • Rajnikant is so fast, he can run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head.
  • Rajnikant doesn't wear a watch, HE decides what time it is.
  • Rajnikant's house has no doors, only walls that he walks through.
  • If you Google Search 'Rajnikant getting kicked'. you will generate zero results. It just doesn't happen.
  • It takes Rajnikant 20 minutes to watch 60 Minutes.
  • There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; Rajnikant lives in Chennai.
  • Rajnikant once ate and entire bottle of sleeping pills. They made him blink.
  • The only things that run faster and longer than Rajnikant are his films.
  • Rajnikant's every step creates a mini whirlwind. Hurricane Katrina was the result of a morning jog.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

An "Outlandish" deal !

Check this out folks:

Its simply "out-of-the-world", a deal of ""cosmic" proportions !!, "un-earthly" is what I would call it. And if I act fast, I can save $10 and get 2 acres of land on Mars for only $34.00. I have one question for the enterprising realtors who are taking the rest of us for such a "galactic" ride: What happens if there is a dispute with my neigbour ? Are all legal disputes settled in the court of Mars ??.

On the flipside .. who knows.. with the way we are thrashing this planet ... the idea may not be so "far-fetched" at all ....

Monday, May 26, 2008

Intelligent Video Synthesis

You have to check out this new concept: The idea is pretty darn neat ... Take a bunch of pictures (could be a link to Picasa etc.) and choose a music (upload your own if you'd like), and the service creates a video montage
of your pictures etc.

Neat idea, huh ?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hard drive performance in Ubuntu

The hard drive problem in Ubuntu systems is for real.
How do i know if I am affected ?
Install smartmontools by doing "sudo apt-get install smartmontools"

Type "sudo smartctl -d ata -a /dev/sda1 | grep Load_Cycle_Count " on your commandline.
I am assuming that your HDD device is /dev/sda
You should get an output like this:

193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 001 001 000 Old_age Always - 262930

Do this again after about 5 mins. If you see a drastic change (> about 15) in the number "262930" (your number will be different), then you ARE AFFECTED!! And proceed ahead. If not .. stop here.

Rectifying the issue:

Type "sudo hdparm -B 254 /dev/sda"
This sets the power management level of your HDD to 254. This is how the values are interpreted:
1 = aggressive power management = good battery life = most hard-drive load cycles = most hard drive wear and tear
255 = no power management = bad battery life = least HDD load cycles = least wear and tear (the hard drive is almost always on).

It turns out that by default, ubuntu does not "touch" the HDD power management, and it is set by the firmware to "128". Unfortunately, that still results in excessive load cycles on the hard drive (and so the constant "clicking" noise I would hear on my machine .. apparently it was my HDD head clicking into position and getting stacked away constantly!). I don't think that this is a problem with Ubuntu.

Step-4 making this a permanent solution
You can add the above to your /etc/profile file. It is a systemwide startup script.
Hope this helps.!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fully knowing that this will be my last fall in corvallis, I marched around the town today (the weather happened to be cooperating very well, as you can see ..) taking pictures. The above four are ones among my favourite catches of the day ! If you would like to see more of the pictures I took, visit my web album . Do let me know what you think of the pictures. I am staring as an amateur photographer, and I want to make it my hobby and work my way up !
Posted by Picasa