Monthly Archives: January 2007

The story so far

It’s been a strange new year. Moments of joy, bitter disappointments, all sandwiched between a crazy crazy schedule at work. Here’s what this year has seen a lot of:

  • Work, work and more work. (what, you’re tired of that theme already?)
  • Pizza and beer for dinner – is that the unhealthiest dinner known to man or what? I guess there’s a Homer in all of us.
  • Unread items piling up in Vienna (much better than NetNewsWire Lite IMO, as, amongst other things, it stores the “read” items for as long as I want – never saw that option in NNW.)

What the year has seen very little of:

  • Time for friends/ family and/ or personal mails/ IM.
  • Sleep.
  • “Me time”.

All of these a direct consequence of the work theme of course – something that happens with everyone under similar circumstances, eh? Anyways, with a major deliverable out of the way, things have quietened out at work since yesterday, so here’s hoping the year will see more of:

  • The mac nerd.
  • Time at the gym – remember?!!
  • Attempts at being less obnoxious.

Okay, I am just kidding about the last one – I couldn’t possibly pull that off if I tried.

From the sublime to the ridiculous

Steve jobs telling the world why the iPhone would be a “closed” platform:

Cingular doesn’t want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up.

I know we love you Steve, but an application “bringing the network down”?!! Come on! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. A simple “I-like-to control-my-eco-systems” would have been enough.

Well, it could have only gone downhill after that kind of a start. Let’s wait and watch as more details emerge.

I can breathe now, thanks for asking

After the hysteria of my previous post (that is why I try not to post in the immediate aftermath of an event), I am happy to report that I have calmed down sufficiently now to write without sounding like a 12 year old.

Not that I think any different of the phone itself though – I still think it’s going to be as groundbreaking as the Macintosh and the iPod (to quote Steve himself). Check out this video over at YouTube for more on the user interface. I haven’t watched that video myself yet – YouTube seems ridiculously slow right now.

I am yet to see the keynote in full either – only bits of it on the news. It must have been great, considering Steve had this great new toy to show off and we all know what a showman he can be. “Scrolls like butter”, anyone? (I heard he said “Not quite like butter” regarding the iPhone – LOL!).

The “subdued” keynote at WWDC 2006 is well and truly history now I guess and from what I read Steve is back at the top of his game. You should really watch one of his keynotes (except the WWDC 2006 one like I said) if you have never seen him in action – it’s a lesson in public speaking/ presentation. This is the guy who had audiences drooling over something as “dumb” as the iPod shuffle – suddenly having no screen was a *feature* and did everyone buy it (pun intended) or what?!!

Of course, some “experts” say, that the fact that he didn’t really have anything new “in hand” at the WWDC was a factor in the less-than-inspiring performance. Steve and Apple hate to pre-announce – infact the only time in recent times that Apple have pre-announced anything (the iTV as it as called then) was at the WWDC last year – go figure. In any case, WWDC is a developer’s conference, not a consumer show like MacWorld, so we shouldn’t be expecting any big fancy stuff at the WWDC in the first place. I guess Steve has spoiled us over the years by giving two stellar keynotes a year, every year, so anything else is a big disappointment.

Anyways, I hope to get my bi-annual dose of the reality distortion field sometime tomorrow and maybe catch a movie or two as well. You too have a nice weekend.

OMFG

All the rumors and hype in the world couldn’t have prepared you for this. You need to see it in action to believe how so far beyond huge this thing is going to be.

Trust me, you ain’t seen anything like this before.

All the little leaks and cues from the past couple of years fall into place now – from the patents to Google’s CEO joining Apple’s board and of course the teaser Apple posted on their site New Year’s day.

Holy smoke! With a start like this, I can’t even begin to imagine what’s in store for us in the next 30 years.

Missing you jaan

The mercury today plummeted to the lowest in the capital this winter measuring 2.6 degree Celsius as Delhiites pulled out more woollen to fight the biting cold.

Today’s minimum of 2.6 degrees Celsius is four degrees below normal and the temperature in the night would hover around two degrees Celsius, the Met Department said.

via The Hindu.

Bye bye Hollywood

By the time I wake up tomorrow morning, chances are that the greatest bowler of our generation would have bowled his last bowl in international cricket. A personal favourite, watching this man bowl is one of two reasons that can still make me sit through a cricket match – the other being watching a certain Brian Charles Lara bat. Of course, in India he has not always been given the respect he deserves, thanks to the not so great record he has against the Indians, but I have never had any doubts about his quality or the fact that cricket will be a lesser game without his charismatic presence.

You’ll be missed mate.
Shane Warne

PS – Of course, test cricket might well become a real sport again now that both Warne and McGrath are going. Where by the term “sport” I mean something that’s competitive, where you don’t know who the winner’s going to be before the competition has begun. For example, Golf is not a sport when Tiger Woods is around or F1 with Ferrari of a couple of years ago.

IDP in 600 seconds

I got myself an International Driving Permit (and I am enjoying the benefits of that bit of wisdom now, more on that later) the last time I was in Delhi. The actual issuing of the license took less than 10 minutes once I had figured out where to go and what documents I needed. That took some doing because the Transport Department of Delhi and the Delhi Government websites offer conflicting versions. I wasted some time and energy thanks to that, so once I was done with everything I vowed to post the correct information around here so others know exactly how to go about it.

So here it goes.

Here’s what you’ll need to get yourself an International Driving Permit/ International Driving Licence in Delhi or elsewhere in India ((The forms seem to be the same all over India. I write from my first hand knowledge of the process in Delhi and have done a little bit of research for other parts. I believe this information should hold good in other places as well, but don’t sue me if it doesn’t.)).

Pre-requisites:
1) You should be an Indian citizen.
2) You should have a valid “regular” driving license.
3) You should have a valid passport.
4) You should have a valid visa.

Documents you’ll need to include with your application:
1) Attested copy of your driving license.
2) Attested copy of a proof of residence ((Any one of ration card, yoter’s ID, passport etc.)).
3) Attested copy of a proof of age ((Any one of birth certificate, 10th pass certificate etc. They may or not not ask for this one, but it’s better to keep a copy in your folio.)).
4) Attested copy of the first and last pages of the passport.
5) Attested copy of the visa.

Forms to fill:
1) Medical Forms – Forms 1 and 1a. (Download)
Form 1 is self declaration of physical fitness. You need to get Form 1a filled by a doctor/ medical practitioner – remember to get his/ her sign across the photograph as mentioned at the bottom of the form.
2) IDP form (Form 4a). (Download)
No rocket science here. Fill what you can make out, leave the rest – you can fill it at the transport authority.

Miscellaneous:
1) 4 photographs (INCLUDING the two you’ll use in Forms 1a and 4a above).
2) 500 rupees in cash.

Notes:
a) The International Driving Permit is issued at respective regional transport authorities at NOT the one at Under Hill Road as a couple of the web pages I linked to above says. What that means in plain-speak, that you should go to the same place you went to get the “regular” driving license. If your place of residence has changed since then and you now are now in a different “zone” (or a different city/ state for that matter), you should try visiting the local transport authority first (you’ll need a proof of residence for the local address in that case).

b) Most, if not all, authorities would have a separate counter/ window for International Licences. And they don’t see more than half-a-dozen applicants on even the most busiest of days, so you don’t really need to worry about jostling in the queues.

c) You are bound to encounter “touts” when you reach the authority. They’ll tell you they’ll get the job done in 30 minutes and save you the “hassles”, and for that they’ll quote anything above 500 rupees as their “cut” (the quoted price depends on the kind of car they see you getting out of). But if you reach the authority armed with everything I have mentioned above, you’ll find that there are absolutely no hassles and you’ll get a license in less than 10 minutes (I speak from personal experience) – no touts involved. And you get the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from having done the right thing.

You’ll Never Drive Alone.