Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"The irony of life is that it is lived forward, but understood backwards"

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Time to say good bye ..

Time to say good bye to my ~5 year old companion, who has been with me through thick and thin! Has grown old and weak and outlandish and broke and tattered ; has lost its glamor and sheen!

Before u jump to any conclusions. its my Nokia 2100. Its now almost 5 years old and in quite a bad shape. The keypad does nt hold any keys anymore( all digits and alphabets got erased long back). Battery drains out in max one day or so, Not to mean that my phone logs in a lot of talk time in the course of a day, its quite the reverse. The backside of the phone is half naked, a portion of plastic cover got ripped off( by me only , accidentally though) and the battery is exposed to the outer world.

But I still kept resisting the thoughts of switching to a new phone. The arguments: My Nokia worked still. It dutifully performed the task it was supposed to do. I had no intentions to spend a couple of Ks on a new gadget that does pretty much the same. So when almost everyone around me was switching to Razrs and HTCs and Nxx s, I still held to my ground.

But I am giving up now. I got a new Apple iPhone, 8GB, Firmware version 1.1.3 from US 2 days back, Thanks Gins! Read up on the internet for 2 days on how to get it unlocked, watched a couple of uTube videos(well, had done some research before asking Gins for one, had ordered after being somewhat sure that it wont turn into a paper-weight, an aristocratically pricey one!).

So after some dilly dallying, I finally ran the hack today and voila! my iPhone comes to life! Unlocked, hacked, jail broken, activated!!! Tested that phone works fine, audio is fine, photo storage etc is good. Tested the iPod features. Transferred some songs from my PC to iPhone using iTunes. Good that I dint buy any iPod, I now have a 8GB iPod! As Apple says, "this is the best iPod we have ever built".

The hack in available from You need to download their SW, a GUI based applet that does all the work. They support all iPhone versions uptill the latest one 1.1.4. And its just a 4 minutes job. Your iPhone runs some code, alphabets and digits scroll through the phone screen like the matrix screen and u are done.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Lost World - of Postcards, Fountainpens and Floppy

Tuesday, March 11, 2008, 00:22 AM
The world is moving fast and we are moving fast and I am moving fast. I was just thinking what all is that constitutes the lost world to me. So, here is a list of my things from 'The Lost World' ( in no particular order of chronology or emphasis) :

Postcards : Postcards, cheapest means of long distance communication at 15 paise per card. How long has it been since postcards have become obsolete. I don't know if the P&T department still have postcards on their menu. Not only postcards, even the inland letters have become a thing of last century( and literally so, we are already 8 years into the new century or rather new millennium) . It seems that telephones( and lately mobiles), internet and emails have made their way real fast.
I still remember when 'Surabhi' used to get loads of these in response to their questions from all over the country. P&T then came out with special postcards for the purpose of posting to programmes like Surabhi and others for answering questions for lottery. Now, looking back, I don't even realize when written communication was taken over by phones and e-communication and online social networking ; postcards replaced quietly by SMSes and mobile voting.

Fountain pens: Fountain pens, or ink pens which were once used so commonly by everyone, now find few patrons. Fountain pens are still in use, but have become somewhat niche.
This is what wikipedia mentions about Fountain pens :
"The main reasons people seek fountain pens in recent times are for effortless writing and comfort (some sufferers of arthritis are unable to use ballpoint pens, but can use fountain pens), expressive pensmanship and calligraphy, longevity (fountain pens are known to last several lifetimes, whereas ballpoints are disposable), professional art/design, their wider range of available ink colors, recreational collecting (history and heritage), and academic benefits. Many users also mention that fountain pens retain a sense of timeless elegance, personalization and sentimentality that computers and ballpoint pens seem to lack , and often state that once they start using fountain pens, ballpoints become awkward to use due to the extra motor effort needed and lack of expressiveness. "
As kids, we used pencils till class IV and switched to pens starting std V. We were always suggested to use ink-pens instead of dot pens to get our handwriting good. My first pen was an ink-pen, red in color with a steel cap, which my Dad got me. It had a unique suction system, I needed to rotate a small section at the other end of the pen. It was the best pen i used :) and quite advanced too. I was pretty disheartened when i lost it after a year or so. Then we had Chinese pens- they had a rubber tubing inside a steel case with a capillary running all the way to the nib(which was unique to the Chinese pens, u could nt fit a nib/jib of any other pen to Chinese pens); u need to squeeze the tubing and release to suck-up the ink. Also, i always used to get my favorite ink - Chelpark and wouldn't allow anyone else to use it :). Pilot pens were my next favorites. Even though it was difficult to write using them while maintaining speed, I wrote my board exams for X using a Pilot pen. I must still be having some old defunct pens lying somewhere at home.
But then we gradually switched to Reynolds and then to Cello et al, and lately, I realize, I have almost stopped using pens. Now, at the most, its to scribble something in my office notebook during some discussions/meetings(which is comprehensible only to me :)) or take down some contact addresses once in a while.
The world of ink-pens/Fountain pens is indeed a lost one for me.

To be continued , keep coming back ...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My tryst with markets !!

What a mayhem in the markets for the last 2 sessions! Sensex has lost around 4k/5k points in a matter of 7 sessions or so, ~2k points shaving off in last 2 sessions. Markets hit circuit filters and trading halted on two successive days. Indices continued coming down even when the trading resumed. FM's attempt to pacify and assure the markets also seemed to go in vain. Though sensex was down about 2000 points at one point today, it managed to recover sharply towards the end, leaving us with some optimism for coming days. Well u may read and follow about all that in great details. The entire media is buzzing with bloodbath stocks have witnessed in a matter of 48 hrs. Individual stocks are down by 20,30,35% in one trading session!

I felt like writing on the matter because i find myself in the middle of all this :( :\ :) .. I took to investing(trading?) in stocks last Feb. While digging web for markets/stocks/MFs etc for investment purposes( March was drawing close and I had to think about showing the investment proofs for 1 Lac savings), I registered on ICICIdirect site and asked for information about opening a Demat account. One agent of theirs got in touch with me and kept coming/calling again and again until one day I asked him to come home during the weekend and get over with the formalities. Thus, I had my demat/trading account in place.

Initially I followed ICICIdirect's recommendations and started putting small amounts in small quantities ~20-25 of recommended stocks. As markets did quite well in 2007, I made small profits and gradually had my interest and confidence rising. Starting from Nov. , I increased my exposure to equities, making some informed investments, looking for value and future performance etc. Read about the markets, terminologies, PE/EPS/BV, futures/options/derivatives/margin etc etc, read through the advices given by experts - diversify, select the themes, look for value(PE?), buy low sell high, dont follow the momentum.

In general, I had my interest and awareness about the markets increasing or so I thought! I saw my fortunes swing wildly from +60 sth to -1.0 sth .. in 4 days :( A stock, which i bought at 444, went upto 600 and is now down at 230!. I should have known better to sell it around the peak or should ve sold it off when it started coming down. (Well, now it becomes my long-term bet, I think its fundamentally strong). As someone put it very truly, "this is stock market for you - everyday it teaches us how small and insignificant our knowledge is".

I think I ve to wait for an year just to recover my money and may be make some profits. Ideally I would like to invest more at this point of time but simply dont have so much of surpluses to make risk investments. I think that my portfolio is still good, except for few wrong picks or rather wrong timings, and that Indian economy is and will do good, a 9% growth rate this financial year and a 8.5 % next year, in spite of US woes.

Well, some takeaways from this; You need to watch the market conditions more closely, read more and gauge the trends early (and of course don't be greedy, book profits when u can!). As individuals pretty novice to markets, bounded by job and other commitments, we usually don't have so much of energy, time and trading acumen to research, keep an eye and analyze global/local financial circumstances etc etc, it might be advisable to have a greater weightage towards MFs.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

51 ASP C/O 99 APO

Writing after a long time .. I just found this page on web :
I studied my std IV - std VII here.

The Address:
KV AFS Digaru ,
51 ASP C/O 99 APO
AirForce Station Digaru,
Sonapur , Distt. Kamrup, Assam.

APO is Army Post Office. I dont know what ASP stands for. This is a way of tagging Defence installations eg 25 ED (AFS Deolali, ED stands for Equipment Depot), 54 ASP(AFS Gurgaon), 7 wing(AFS Ambala), 32 wing(AFS Jodhpur) etc ..

This address is some 30 kms from Guwahati. And i have some vivid memories of the place and of 4 years of stay and schooling there.

It has really been a long long time. Thought of searching for some friends on orkut from KV Digaru. Remembered the names of some of the friends then, particularly, Pinkeshwar , which happens to be a very uncommon name. And yes, i got a hit and more-so dint have to browse through a long list. From his page, found a community for KV Digaru and from there got the link to school webpage.

And yes , i remember this entrance to the building. Has nt changed from that time.

There is this another image on the site which i am unable to relate to. Appears to be the entrance to the AFS campus or perhaps the entrance to the school premises ,in which case, its a later development.

Shall write more on those 4 years sometime. Oh! How I wish to be able to visit the school campus/AF campus sometime ..