Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another of my likes -The BBC world news countdown

Dont know why,but all of my schooldays and the present time,the only thing I mostly used to watch on the TV were various newchannels.Among all the channels of my choice be it Hindi,English or telugu I have always been appealed by the countdown sequence at the beginning of every BBC news broadcast.In the recent times the news tickerring and the program information in between shows with an excellent background scrore by david lowe was music to my ears and to most others who watch the BBC I guess.

The background score has become so famous that the BBC had started selling out collector CD editions to fans all around the world.Iam not going to purchase them of course :D.Here comes you tube to my help! I could download all the countdown sequences starting from 1992 to the very latest HD format made in 2008!

Ive tried to look for a similar kind of musical treat in some  other news channels but in vain.CNN does not seem to have such captivating musical scores in its news broadcast.In the late 80''s when television was a new thing in India,I was told by my grandmother that there were  broadcasts from the BBC in between local bollywood film intervals!

It so happened that everytime it was the hour for a news,the first thing I would look out was for the count down music.Here are some of the very old sequences right from the late 90's to 2008

Some other jingles which I love are part of the BBC internation news service.Not to mention the New HD broadcast and the 90 second worldservice countdown introduced in 2009

I was not able to view this favourite channel of mine for the past 4 years because the BBC was not longer free to air and the cable broadcasters do not want to waste their money for the licensing fees in small towns :( .All they put their cash in for are sme stupid Hindi soaps which I think everyone loaths excluding a few from the female community.Hope that il start watching it again sometime!Till then its only the free one min headlines on their website

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Beating the heat

Its been the hottest Indian summer this year.The temperature has been increasing on an annual basis from an average value in the pre-summer time to an all time high of 44 Celcius,even before May has started.This is Worrisome.Not only is this causing disruption of the day-to-day life but affecting the ground water level conditions very severely.In April 2008 the temperture in was around 39 celcius.In April 2009 it rose to 41 celcius,and now its increased even more.Goodness knows how its going to be all through May and June untill the Monsoon season arrives.

No amount of  refreshments in the form of Icecream,Sugar cane juice or other drinks are quenching the thirst.Not withstanding the heat,the sudden increase in the number of power cuts is only adding fuel to the fire!Sometimes I feel that this condition is a 2012 in the making ;

Butter milk and lemon juice given  everyday in the evening by my mom is giving some respite from the heat,but the powecuts arrrghhhhh I dnt want thosee!!There is nothing to do but wait when a power cut happens in the afternoon!Burning sun on one hand and no relief from the fans or aircoolers on the other.Water is heated for free till midnight(who needs heated water in the summer LOL!)

Last week after attending an interview in Hyderabad,I was returning back with a friend on his bike.We were passing through the famous hussain sagar lake when all of a sudden there was an outburst of rain.There was no place to take shelter.All we could do is take refuge on the backside of the huge statues installed all along the lake.We could not help but get drenched wantedly enjoying the sudden downpour from the heavens.It continued to rain and rain,we decided to get going along without bothering about the heavy downpour.It was a wonderful xperience!

[caption id="attachment_429" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Our Bike bearing the brunt of the sudden downpour "][/caption]

Though I was enjoying the brief wet weather,I was getting worried about my netbook,it was still not safe even in the hands of my beefy friend.Considering the increasing water reach to the back of the statues,a quick run to the bike and I took another shot of the picturesque lake!Looks like even buddha was enjoying the rain!

The rain was not going to stop any soon,we just came out and rushed into a coffee day outlet to have a cup of Capuchino.Yes the summer looks terrible this year but this is the right time to enjoy something cool and refreshing all along the season.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Check out DAY 725

Title: DAY 725

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Big Ideas from a Bitty Box

Ive been using an S10 netbook from Lenovo for quite some time now.It has even managed to replace my favourite thing which I used to do while travelling -> Reading books!This new traveling companion has got plenty of smart features within the tiny casing.Every time I travel by trains across the state I had the habit of reading to keep myself  in some form of  avigation.

I found the netbook to be compact enough to use it during my train travels,One full length bollywood feature film to enjoy for a strech! :).Here are some of my first impressions of the netbook

Its small but cute

Most of the persons who had a look at the netbook found one attractive feaute to mention.The red coloured self design!Obviously red is a premium colour for netbooks but the self design adds more funkiness to the overall look and feel

The netbook has been packed in with all the features we expect from a full size notebook including Wifi/Bluetooth and an excellent sound system from Dolby.The function keys are a bit small for my fingers but the overall keyboard layout is quite satisfactory for basic tasks like office or surfing the web.The ten inch screen makes a perfect view for mobile entertainment.

Energy Management Features

The netbook has various combinations in terms of settings provided for persons who are more performance minded and people who tend to follow  energy conserving policies.The User interface of the energy management system is neat with a good layout of options and configuration settings.The system can be tweeked in two aspects in order to be more energy efficient.The display option consists of the usual system preferences we get within any standard configuration including hiberantion and display brightness options.

The other option named by "system" contains more advanced options to tweek the hardware to be more energy efficient or in a way,the user can control the consumption of the HDD and the CPU.Sweet!

The lifeline of this bitty box -One key recovery

Onekey recovery is a very critical feature incorporated into most Lenovo desktops.Not only does it provide safe options to recover your system,but also convenient ways of backing up the entire system or following selective backup stategies.The latest vesrion of OKR ver 7.0 also allows users to create a set of recovery cd's which was not available in the earlier versions.

The OKR system provided within the netbook has three main categories neatly displaying the three main functionalities.Backup,recovery and creating a product recovery disc.

The system backup feature can be used to make incremental backups to the system itself or an external storage source such as a USB HDD.The first time i made a backup of the whole system it took around 36 mins to image the 17gb system files.

The system recovery option allows us to enter into a preboot recovery environment allowing us to go through the various options available to recover the system for either a system crash or a virus outbreak.

Since the netbook does not come with a optical drive slot,an external drive is needed to make the product recovery media in order to install the deafult OS with its factory settings.

Audio and Video experience

Most of my friends who tinkered with the netbook were disbelieved to find the amazing sound clarity and range in which the audio power comes out.Due to the inbuilt Dolby technology the sound experience has crossed every one's imagination including mine!.Its feels nice to see a small thing sending out excellent acoustic outputs when ever I play a bunch of bollywood blockbusters!

The video experience has been if not more than satisfying for me as a movie buff.Initially I   thought that the 10 inch screen may not give a full cinematic  experience.I was proved wrong yet again! I then later came to know about Intel's clear video technology actively running in the background while i was watching my movies.Here is a screenshot of  what Intel's technology does.

[caption id="attachment_418" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Clear video technology made pride and prejudice a great watch!"][/caption]

Most of the features available withtin the S10 are comparable to other biggies available within the market.I just compared how this thing works along with a dell studio laptop and an X200.In terms of daily usage (net browsing and entertainment) surprise surprise! Good one for your basic needs!

[caption id="attachment_423" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The cute box sitting next to a Dell studio and an X200"][/caption]

Netbooks have brought a huge way of technology adaption around the world.Hope this brings in more connectivity and makes   knowledge sharing a breeze.... .Small is beautiful! Small is big!!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Golconda Fort

While returning from Bangalore I was tinkering with the idea of visiting this ruined city in the present  day Hyderabad.A close friend of mine whom I took along to explore the ancient fortress insisted on avoiding the trip due to the soaring temperatures.Golconda fort is not an easy place to explore he said- Instead suggested to explore it sometime in the Mansoon season when the weather is more cool and ideal.But I made him to come along and be my guide since i never visited the place before.

While traveling to the fort by road,I came across many historical sites and places including Langer house - A place where all the weapons and armory was stored.

The approach road to the fort itself was cleverly built.In an eventuality of an attack from the enemy forces,the cavalry could not come with a full force but had to take many twists and turns all along the way.There were many defensive mechanisms built along the approach road itself. My friend Dinesh told me that hot oil was pored from all over the holes of the outer boundary when the enemy forces tried to climb from the entrance walls! Indeed it was such an ingenious idea! That India was a place where chess was invented made sense to me.Survival techniques!!!

At last after going along the serpentile roads by bus we did reach the main entrance of this grand old city.The ancient ruins within these walls speak about India's maharajas,the emperors who ruled it for thousands of years,who created and built our heritage.

This picture was taken from outside the fortWhen we entered the fort,its beauty was spellbinding.The grand structure stands on a very big granite hill with many gates,arches and palaces.Golconda is also a place where one of the largest religions in the world come together in the form of an architectural wonder.One can find both Hindu and Islamic designs embedded within the walls and the grand arches.

[caption id="attachment_405" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Notice the peacocks and Lions on the same archway - A fine example of Hindu-Muslim architecture"][/caption]

And thus began our exploration in the sweltering heat -It was already 12.30 in the noon.With waterbottles and Ice creams to our rescue we started the climb.The first view of the climb itself is awesome.As such i have decided to put a picture of that coz it speaks more than my words!

An Ancient Magical acoustic system

This is the reason why i visited the place.I wondered how ancient architects managed to design such an excellent way of communication.Also called as the Fateh darwaza, a hand clap at the center of this dome can be heard more than a kilometer away at the top of the hill!!Awesome!.I was told that this was the kind of communication was made between sentries who manned the fortress walls from below the hill to the uppermost point of the fort!Ancient versions.There are some strategic locations around the fortress where this magical acoustic roofing was put up

[caption id="attachment_407" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Clap at the center of this roofing below and the sound travels all the way to the top of the hill!Awesome!!"][/caption]

There is another  speciality about this acoustic roofing.When  a person comes undercover and tries to assasinate the king by opening his dagger,the sound reverberates all over the place,allowing the sentries to stop the assasination attempts.Some times when people had to pass on secret conversations,the room made a perfect place to do that without actually meeting a person!Another Wow thing!

A place for Diamond trade

India was a place and still the largest producer of precious stones.Some of the world's most famous diamonds have been mined from this ancient city like the kohinnoor and the Hope dimond to name a few.The fort played a major role in creating the adequate momemtum in Diamond trade.Many precious stones which now are in various treasuries were once sourced out of this place.

[caption id="attachment_409" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="This place was used to trade in Diamonds heaps and heaps of them!"][/caption]

So this is how the trip went by,there are more stories to share but that is for the second part of the exploration!

Golconda Fort

While returing from bangalore