Monday, October 27, 2008

SURE SIGNS OF INTERNET ADDICTION

Who can live without the internet, right? I mean, it's pivotal to our lives, our existence and our being. From email to news to chat to YouTube, some of us would rather have a computer with an internet connection rather than food when stranded on a desert island.

Some sure-fire tell-tale signs that you think the internet is the greatest invention ever, beating even sliced bread to the ground. And all these are from my perspective.

01. You get a deep sense of sadness when you don't see a (1) next to 'inbox'.

02. You refresh all your mail accounts once in 5 minutes. For some strange reason, you prefer new email to mails to reply to!

03. You use :P while writing with a pen and paper (oh come on, you've done a :) atleast! Admit it!).

04. When people ping you asking you for help, before they can state their query, you do Ctrl-T and have the cursor in the Google bar.

05. Your chat list has a familiar 'feel' to it. You subliminally know what goes where, and if one of the regular online guys is offline, something seems terribly out of place (but you can't put a finger on it). There has to be a term for this.

06. You have a folder full of text files with answers to frequently asked questions :P

07. You love the Alexa toolbar.

08. Somehow get a kick out of watching Cricinfo commentary online, as opposed to watching a game in real life.

09. You feel the internet should never be wasted, especially an unlimited collection and keep downloading.

10. Actually cheer torrents on (Come on, you can get to 30 kbps! Go guys, go!).

11. When you say HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA or HILARIOUS!!!! what you're most likely to be doing is just smiling.

12. Refer to :P in real life as the P smiley after an incredulous friend asks why you're sticking your tongue out at a goofy angle after saying something stupid.

13. You feel extremely proud of yourself when you do something non-internet like read an actual newspaper or are writing on an actual piece of paper, so much so that you feel the dire need to go online and tell people :|

14. You have your phone attached via Bluetooth to the computer so you can send off even quicker SMSes, and can check numbers even more fundoo-ly.

15. You actually take your phone to the toilet and finish writing the blogpost, when nature calls. Like I did for this point onwards.

16. People exclaim in surprise that you actually went offline, when what really happened was you got disconnected.

17. You check your college and personal mail before brushing and going to the loo.

18. ULTRA-ADDICTION: You rename all your contacts according to how you know them (School, College, Work, Online, Others, etc) and have created mailing groups so you can spam multiple people easily.

19. You get a high when you find a long-l0st friend on Orkut, and have this feeling of relief when you finally establish contact with him. It's another matter that you may never speak to each other for months, but he just HAS to be there on your Orkut / GTalk list.

20. The last three times you saw a movie on the computer, you minimised the screen so that you could chat with someone side-by-side.

21. You find your friends in the US asking you whether it isn't time to go to bed yet, only then you realise that it's five in the morning.

22. You looked at the computer clock first for the previous point, and then, incredulous, you look at the phone.

23. The idea of signing out of GTalk is antithesis to your entire being. What if someone important pings while I'm sleeping?!

24. You waste time reading useless lists like this and say, "That will never happen to me."

PS: Slightly related post: here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

THE LAST STRAW

Friends and fellow cricket lovers will know how much I hate the Australian cricket team. I mean, I love their aggressive play and I love watching Warne and McGrath and Haydos as much as anyone, in full flow, and I truly believed they revolutionized the game from the 90s on (and by game, I mean Test Cricket, not the French Fry version).

Too bad, they seem to be hell bent on undoing everything that they and their predecessors stood for. Of course, it all started with Mr Red Rags Steve Waugh (Aww, now, did I hurt sentiments and all of people who are his loyal fans and all?) and now Ricky Ponting. Now don't get me wrong again. I admire Ricky. He's an incredible batsman and going by current form, I tip him to overtake Sachin's centuries and runs records, as did Lara himself. And I also believe that all this crap about sledging should be left on the field, as the Australians insist they do on so many occasions. This is why I still admire them ol' bowlers.

Of course, then you have Ricky Ponting, who has the balls (pun definitely intended) to claim a grounded catch, to appeal like a maniac (of course, the Indians did that too and got fined in South Africa, but then, we're brown, right, match ref?) and get even Australian papers to condemn the team and have former greats monicker the team 'crybaby's. How apt. Exemplified by that drunken typhoon Andrew Symonds.

But as much as we all love to hate Australia, we just have to love Adam Gilchirst. A favourite with the crowds wherever he goes, an amazing ambassador for the game, played in the true spirit, walked when he knew he was out... Adam Craig Gilchrist was almost an antithesis to the Australian cricket team. Everyone loves Gilly. I mean, there are more than 35000 INDIAN fans on INDIAN fan clubs for Gilly on Orkut. So why, oh why, Adam, did you have to say what you said against Sachin? Bad sportsman because he refused a handshake? It's not like your team is absolved of every crime in history. Surely, refusing a handshake is not as great a crime as forcing a brother to bowl an underarm delivery (and to think they made the guy the coach! Ugh!) or instructing the umpire that catches had been taken (it's another matter that the umpire in question probably had as much brains as dead cactii...).

Like a poster on Orkut said... If being 'selfish' results in 30000 international runs... :P

It's painful to read through comments on that news report that claim Gilly performed a marketing stunt, yet, it was heartwarming to see some more Australia-bashing. This is not a case of wanting to see a Goliath fall. We all love to see an Australia in full flow. Yes, we do! I have tons of videos of the Aussies in my YouTube collection, and was the happiest guy in Malluland when Hayden broke Lara's record. But then, it's the arrogance, the utter lack of respect for opponents, and the sheer mental-effall-disintegration that makes the rest of the world look at Australia like they are popmous, beer-sucking morons. And over the last two years, under the able leadership of Ricky Ponting, Australia have been able to show that. The most hated cricket team in the world. How else do you explain Indians and West Indians crying in joy when South Africa beat you in the greatest one-dayer of all time?

Now with the last hope gone, the Australians well and truly retain their place as our most hated cricket team. We look forward to seeing them lose the post they occupied, which, by the way, was given to them by Allan Border and Mark Taylor.

One thing I love about the Australian team, they always give me something to blog about.

EDIT: A brilliant open letter by Anil Dharker questions Gilchrist on his double standards - on one hand you say play hard and leave it all on the field (abuse them like crazy, and then chill for a beer afterwards). And right after that, rake up issues - like Monkeygate, and now this in his autobiography. And let's not forget, Kumble graciously offered his own hand to the Aussies after the Sydney fiasco. Not a single Australian was ready to shake.

The Australians have been the instigators of the worst acts in cricket in the last decade. Merv Hughes was nothing but an overrated, fat, beer-guzzling slob. Steve Waugh used his 'charity' and other sentimental bull to hide his ruthlessness. Ponting may be a great batsman, but is an out-and-out cheat. McGrath spits on batsmen. Sledging is one thing, asking people who their wives are sleeping with (when news leaked that Graham Thorpe's wife was having an affair) is totally below the belt. Using press conferences for 'mental disintegration'.

Listen, you pieces of shit. Noone likes you or your f**d up team anymore. Yes, thank you for showing us that we can score runs at 4 per over in Test cricket. Had you left it at that, had Warne and McGrath just shut their f**kin' traps and concentrated on bowling, the rest of the world would actually like Australia.

Like a friend said, "You can take an Australian out of Australia, but you can't take Australia out of an Australian." Adam Craig Gilchrist, once considered to be a needle in a haystack, has indeed shown his true colours. I wouldn't have imagined, a week back, that I would be writing a vituperative blogpost about a cricketer who I would not have thought twice before putting him on my world True Sportsmen XI.

Why don't we all just buy the loser's autobiography to make him happy? And not off the sidewalk, please.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

CHUCK'S TOP FIVE TECH TIPS TO AVERT DISASTER

In a previous post, I enlightened the world as to how jinxed I am when it comes to anything that has anything more than a diode in it. Unlucky I may be, but the good samaritan that I am, I would like to share my blunders with you so that you, my loyal readers, are not afflicted with the same. So here are my top five tips for averting a technical Waterloo.

5. Use a surge-protection extension cord while using an external HDD.

Alright, that sounded vey geeky, I know. (Okay, I'm an engineer. So sue me!) Let me break it down. There are external hard disks. You know, the big ones with an external power source, as shown.



Now chances are, you plug your nice shiny 7500 rupee drive into the wall socket or use a cheap extension cord. For heavens sake, don't! Those 400 rupee extension cords cost 400 rupees for a reason - they come with something called surge protection. Now while the geekiness counter might go haywire here, all you need to know is this surge protection thing protects your hard disk adaptor from power fluctuation. In effect, it doesn't get fucked up. Ha, you say, you've been connecting your laptop adaptor to the cheapie and no damage has happened till now, you argue. True, but your laptop adaptor is a lot more powerful. The li'l thing inside a adaptor of a HDD is not. And noone repairs it. I've tried.

So do your 60 GB pirated music and 500 GB of downloaded movies a favour, and get yourself a surge protector.

4. Back up data!

Backing up data is like trying to save from your first salary. You keep thinking you'll start off next month and before you know it, your nose is in the grinder. Seriously now, it won't take you more than a couple hours to back up your documents. And if you have a music collection or movie collection that you've spent ages organizing and putting together, it deserves to be in more than one place. Think about it... Your life's hard work is in between a few metal sheets which are all oh-so-delicately balanced and read by a modified version of a gramaphone head. Now that I've succeeded in scaring you, go back up your data, and you'll truly have peace of mind. Like all those insurance ads claim.

3. Never buy anything over 5k without a bill.

Sure, that N series from a place in Lamington Road may look tempting, priced 2000 bucks lower than at the MobileStore. So what, you say, its a Nokia! Good quality! Of course I trust them and won't need a warranty! I'll get by.

Wake up, chowderhead. The reason the thing wound up in Lamington Road was because it was probably a factory reject. It's not like a Levis' factory reject from the Loot where you can tailor it up for 50 bucks. If your phone crashes, chances are you'll need to spend over 500 to fix it. Plus you will be at the mercy of private repairpeople who'll charge you whatever they please and tell you whatever they want when in reality all they might have done is piss on your screen and changed the keypad. Sometimes that invoice can be a great comfort. In my opinion, any electronic item for over 5000 bucks should be bought from a proper store, with a bill. And warranty.

2. Test memory devices before buying

Yes, I know not all of us can afford iPods and Sony Memory Cards (those propreitary-toting bastards!) so we may be tempted to pick up cheaper stuff from the Lamingtons and Richies of India. Not a bad idea, if it's not too much of an investment. At the same time, make sure you check the thing because many unbranded memory cards and players (Mitashi and Suny are not counted as brands, by the way) may not always contain the rated memory. I had a 1 GB player that ended up having just 512 MB (and my roommates had a field day at my expense). So caveat emptor, really. And when using one of these things, alwasys keep frequent backups because you never know when one of them will crash and lose your favourite songs or your killer photos.

In any case, you get pretty decent memory these days.

1. Don't buy an acer

Last but not the least. Even if you're held at gunpoint, do NOT buy this piece of utter, undiluted shit called acer. Note how I don't even capitalise the 'a' to show my utter disrespect. They tempt you with low prices but have as much quality as Ashish Nehra has a batting repertoire. Their customer care is pathetic, their after-sales response is a nightmare (think not? Try waiting two weeks just to get your RAM replaced). And of course, their laptops suck. I don't care if I got a bad piece (like one of my friends suggested), it had no business being in the market with all the 'good' pieces then. So please, please, please, please, don't buy an Acer. Discourage anyone who plans to do so. I've talked hundreds of people out of buying an acer and will continue to do so. This is called philantrophic vengeance. Actually, don't buy any laptop other than Dell. Laptops = Dell. They'll come and fix your laptop even if you drop water on it. THAT is Customer service. Acer on the other hand, refuses to replace a faulty keyboard because 'they don't have spares', and act as if the fault is yours all along.

Oh, and a word about their marketing campaign, if you can call it that. 'Life is Busy, Acer makes it easy' is in my list the worst ad campaign ever, trumping HCL's pathetic wannabe effort. What sort of shit is that? I lost respect for Hrithik when he did an ad like that. And don't go by what PCWorld says. The laptops (as well as all the other equipment) sent to them for testing are like the blazers the college director gets. The masses get crap, but he gets a carefully tailored one - probably one that has been through multiple quality tests.

And I apologize to Ashish Nehra and all his fans for comparing him to a craptop like acer.

And as a bonus point, if any of you have any intentions of buying the most overhyped thing ever to exist, the iPhone, please don't. Get yourself a Nokia ESeries and some quality and value for money. Expanding pictures and all is cute for the ads. Here's a killer take on why the iPhone is, well, less than satisfactory.

This picture sums up what a lot of people feel about the iPhone:

So there you have it. Follow these simple instructions and you will lead a happy life and reach Tech Nirvana. Now, where's my Creative?