Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Thanks to Brian, who loaned me the first four volumes of Spawn ... ... ... Todd McFarlane's baby after he gave up on Marvel.

Am on volume 2 (issues 34-54) right now and so far it has been a mixed bag ...
the first volume was very nice, the second one good ... but the third one showcases too many religious/biblical angles - heaven vs. hell ... Armageddon etc. ...
lets see how this volume ends - I have a feeling the story will get tighter towards the end and make me want to pick up volume 4 :)

The art is superb ... albeit a tad dark at times .... I just love the red cape flying all over the place ... very batman-esque ... ... ... and of course there are usually bats next to him :D

but considering that these books were created in the early nineties ... pretty neat stuff I must admit.

image courtesy Wikipedia

Friday, November 14, 2008

Freeware Genius

Have discovered this gem of a website FreewareGenius
the dude constantly updates (almost daily) with new freeware programs out there - very well laid out website and very plain and simple reviews - plus he has these 5-star picks which are usually very nice programs - perfect.

One of his articles is pretty neat albeit a bit dated now - Reinstall-windows-and-outfit-your-system-with-all-freeware-programs

peruse at leisure.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Liquid buys Virgin

Comics. Yeap - Virgin Comics has closed shop.
in case any of you were wondering why Virgin Comics' installments were not showing up on stores ...
Damn the recession ... !

The good news is that Liquid Comics has bought Virgin Comics and have even put up all the comics online - sweet ...
I just hope they come out soon with the comics ...

Comics I am especially interested in
Ramayan 3392 Reloaded 3+
and pretty much everything else :D

Friday, November 07, 2008

Obama in White House

Huge step for the US ... and the world I guess ... my colleagues here in Angola are ecstatic that an African-American is the most powerful man in the world today ...
I would argue but that's for another day ...

Strange that it was the Democrats who elected their first African-American president and not the Republicans ... after all it was the Republicans that primed the fight to abolish slavery in the US.

oh well ... i'm just wondering if the "White" house will eventually change its name to something more politically correct ;) ... like everything else!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Squeezebox Duet

Imagine … or should I say visualize this …

Sitting in your living room – listening to music on your stereo

Nice song …

- You wish you could read the lyrics as well …
'click' ... reading lyrics

- You want to hear that song next – not sure of the album
'click' ... search by track/artist/album/genre … there you go!

- Want to catch up on latest headlines or ANY RSS feed out there?
... reading it

- Visual Access to your ENTIRE music collection on the computer
'click' ... you have it already! (from your couch)

- Radio anyone?
'click' ... there you go – Internet Radio

- bored? want to catch podcasts
'click' ... all the podcasts out there

I just described (more or less) how we have been spending the last few evenings with the Squeezebox Duet.

It is *exactly* as they said it would be – F.r.e.e.Y.o.u.r.M.u.s.i.c.

And believe it or not – Even D loves it.

Loooong story short - Music from computer is streamed wirelessly to the Squeezebox Receiver which connects to the stereo AND the Controller is a wireless remote with a superb 240x320 color screen – so you’re pretty much visually controlling your computer.

The dilemma
All the music is on the 500GB Disk attached to my computer in the study and the stereo is in the living room … (as is the couch and everything else) – like most homes!
Now the Ipod docking station is good – but you can’t navigate/search/create-playlists sitting on the couch can you – unless of course you are Mr. Fantastic or use binoculars at home!

The solution -
The sheer brilliance of the design is that the remote has a screen!!!

It is like having an Ipod/Music-player in your hand with

  1. Infinite capacity – as much as you want to have on your computer
  2. Wireless music transmission and remote – completely WiFi so no pointing at anything!
  3. Instantaneous Lyrics browser – yep there is this plugin which finds the lyrics for the song playing and also scrolls automatically with the song!!
  4. Wireless RSS reader
  5. Internet Radio player
  6. Podcast player
  7. Expandable – I can add as many receivers as I want … and they all can synchronize to play the same music OR – hold your breath - play their own streams … so I could be listening to Led Zeppelin in the living room and D could be listening to The Beatles in the bedroom!
  8. Fully customizable software and firmware – yep the Squeezecenter (the server software) is open-source – so boatloads of plugins and goodies updated daily – it’s a programmers dream (makes me want to start programming!!) and god bless all those programming souls out there that write so many cool plugins for everyone to use .
    Get this – they are writing new firmware features and plugins for the Controller as we speak – essentially enabling more cool features on your hardware – how do you beat that!!! The sheer excitement that every software release is going to make your hardware more cool just cannot be explained ... Now that’s definitely a first!! Yaaaaaaaaaaay! Shame on you Apple – look and learn - your stupid firmware update pretty much made my Ipod Classic a no-video device – pfffffffffffft!! (ya ya - before you Apple lovers scream like little girls I know that I can buy an Apple docking station to output video to my TV ... I have one question ... WHY? how dare they tie me down to one stupid hardware when there are so many better ones out there :P ... but I digress)


1. Installation
OK It took me about 15 minutes ... now I may be a geek - but seriously I had absolutely no trouble getting this thing onto my wireless network
A lot of people have complained ... not sure why ... now I don't really have much security on my wireless network except for MAC Address filtering (ok ok before you security freaks out there start streaming me a lecture on wireless security - I know the pitfalls - but I'm in Angola for crying out loud!!!!) - but yes I had no problem getting the thing to work.

2. Squeezecenter
Now I had installed and played around with the Squeezecenter for a week before the hardware got in - pretty cool software I must say ... you dont need a squeezebox to try it out - so go ahead and try it ... it streams music to any computer on your network and I was able to test out the functionalities by streaming different sets of music to D's and my computer at the same time. Really the Squeezebox Receiver is just an alternative for a computer ... you could very well place an old computer next to your stereo and have the same functionality EXCEPT that you wouldn't have a remote with a screen to visually control your music playing from anywhere in the house ... visually being the key word here.

3. Chance?
Now as much of a geek that I am its pretty amazing that I was blind to the whole SqueezeBox phenomenon all these years ... not sure how even I missed it on CNet all these years!!! must be divine intervention ;) coz I'm pretty sure that I would have bought one of the earlier Squeezeboxes without the cool visual remote and then I would be salivating for the Duet now ...
Of course then I would probably also never have (ego-swallowingly) shelled out 250 bucks for my stupid Ipod as well ... but shhh - you never heard that. But if you really really really must know, then I succumbed into buying an IPod (over much better alternatives) simply because of the choice of hardware accessories that are available ... I know - the irony is sickening - aaaaaaaaargh ... I hate you Apple!!!

4. Logitechization
Someone mentioned the other day that Logitech is prolly the only company that makes cooler products than Apple - and I completely agree!! I looked around the other day and wow! I'm logitechized to a fair degree ... Squeezebox, Z-2300, MX3200, Pure-Fi Elite, X-140 ... interesting ...

5. some more drooling
The hardware specs for the Controller (the remote) are so cool ... it has an acceleromoter built in!!! and IR port as well ... how cool is that ... and and and I can't wait for the November release when they are going to enable the headphone socket on the Controller ... SUPER I tell you!

Well if you have survived this post ... I don't need to tell you how much I like the concept and execution ... ... ... and yes - Thank You Ava!

awright ... gotto go and catch up on more music :)

images courtesy : Amazon, Slimdevices Wiki

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Beer for Votes

I guess I have *almost* seen it all now ... hear this -

In wake of the the Angolan parliamentary elections next month, some party has slashed the price of Cuca - the local beer - by 70%
Yep - you can buy 3 beers for @80 cents in Luanda now
A couple of weeks ago 1 beer would have cost you more than 1 US dollar!!

From what I understand, the prices of other commodities and essentials like water have not changed. Of course ...

Overpopulated city ... overdose of cars on the road ... bad traffic ... rash driving ... election frenzy ... and now more drunk drivers on the road. .Nice.

Indian politicians ... are you watching and learning???

Image I found on Webshots under user jdfugatini

Cuca is pretty big in Angola I hear and see ... pic I took a while ago of the Cuca lights that you see from most parts of town.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Dark Knight

Batman Begins was amazing
Dark Knight is beyond amazing!

Too many things to write about - can't type that fast - multiple finger-fracture (ouch) ...

Favorite scene - When Joker rides away in the cop car with his head sticking out ... laughing ... zig-zagging on the road ... brilliant stuff!

Ledger - "dude ... if you're listening - you are the best joker to date! Kudos."
Nolan - "love the way you portray Batman dude ... simply love it ... I hope the other directors watch you and cry at nights ... for their stupendous stupidity!"
Two Face - Superb makeup/effects ... very curious to see how that was done ...

summary ... a 20 out of 10 for the DK.
Am sure Frank Miller would agree ...

When is the next installation team?

Images Courtesy Wikipedia

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Absolute Batman ... Hush!

No! This is not about the movie (altho' I wish it was ...)

Have spent the last few evenings re-reading Batman-Hush and I can not describe how much fun that has been ... especially reading it in the DC Absolute format
... kinda like the 'big-screen' version of a comic ... with the slipcase, oversize pages and all the extras ...
takes the experience to a whole new level ...
the large size does some justice to the phenomenal artwork of Jim Lee ... - sooo many frames in the book simply beg to be framed and hung on the wall ... like the work of Alex Ross ... but he deserves a separate post altogether!

for now ... waiting (impatiently) for Absolute Dark Knight to arrive in the mail ... and also for DK to show up in Luanda!
oh come-on already!!!

Images Courtesy Wikipedia,

Friday, July 18, 2008

Directors as Project-Managers

Always wondered how much vision directors possess ... the good ones I mean.

It’s a tough job.

Its one thing to read a screenplay and make a movie but imagining the whole in that much detail before it is created must require a lot ...
I mean - they just make bits and pieces - here and there - and all the time they have to have the complete picture in mind - well its not just a picture but a movie ... you know with motion and all ... the shots, camera angles, pauses, effects, continuity, story, emotions, locations, weather, lighting, people, schedules, costs ... and everything else that goes into making a movie ...

I guess that’s why the screenplay guy is so important as well ...

My point -
This duo would probably be best suited to manage cutting-edge projects - where the final product has never been created but the idea exists on some sketchy plane ... no?
IT, R&D, Technology ... u know ...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

To live meaningful lives we must die

Verbatim from the immortal Cylon 6 from the TV-Series Battlestar Galactica -

In our civil war, we've seen death. We watched our people die. Gone forever. As terrible as it was, beyond the reach of the Resurrection Ships, something began to change. We could feel a sense of time. As if each moment held its own significance. We began to realize that for our existence to hold any value it must end.

To live meaningful lives we must die, and not return. The one human flaw, that you spend your lifetimes distressing over - mortality - is the one thing...well, it's the one thing that makes you whole.


A superb insight -
Death gives purpose to our Life!

what separates man from machine ... a sense of time.

D says that the fact that each of us is different - unlike cylons - is a big difference as well .
. I agree .

Image and Text Courtesy - Battlestar Wiki - Episode 407

Thursday, June 19, 2008

No! No! No!

Please tell me that these headlines are false propaganda and that no-one ever spoke like this ... please please please ... ... ...

Thackeray calls for Hindu suicide squad
Thackeray preaches terror, BJP terrified

At a complete loss of words right now ...
I have this sick feeling in my belly - FRAK! ...

I feel sorry for the Muslim, Jewish, Persian populace of the world who are liberally marked as extremists - thanks to the actions of a few radicals amongst their ranks ...
is it the turn of the Hindus now?

WAKE UP PEOPLE! This is absolute NUTS!
I'm really sad.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

In Case you missed the news

My boss believes that this is a common practice in India...

what can I say - I really don't feel like disagreeing ...

we are a queer bunch - if we're not throwing kids out of windows then we are ensuring that elephants are forced to trample devotees in temples or of even making sure that the stone idols in temples get an air-conditioner and a daily dose of Chandan - lest Shyaam become dark due to the heat!

Keep the faith.

Tashan Mein

... Hey... Tali bajawe naache gaawe ... Rab howe shareek jeene ke jashan mein

Has been a part of me for the past few weeks now ...
one of those songs - I feel - you know ... that nicely defines 'Indian Rock' - a heady mix of guitars and drums thrown in with a dash of grunge and specks of indian classical music. decent lyrics too - no heavy-duty urdu or poetry here - its a simple song - the kind that doesn't have hidden layers and prompts you to sing along, headbang, do your thing. the kind I like. a lot.


Long time since a song has stuck/struck like that.

Thank You Vishal. Thank You Shekhar. Thank you Saleem. and something tells me to thank Pentagram.

hear hear. .here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Learing to Fly ... Step 1 - Jump

Jump they said ... ... ... So jump I did
(they actually shouted 'Bungy'!)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Coming back to life ... Exploring South Africa

2 weeks in South Africa ... beautiful country - amazing landscapes, superb wildlife, good infrastructure, interesting people and of course magnificent Cape Town.

and also home to the World's highest Bungy - 216M - at Bloukrans (near Knysna)
Yep ... it was sheer bliss

Of course petting the Cheetah's and Tigers @Oudtshoorn was a high as well

So much to write - so many thoughts, observations, surprises, experiences ...
for now just a chronological photo-story of ~coming back to life~

- Exploring the Blyde River Canyon and its natural beauty

- Animal sighting in Kruger National Park

- Guided safari's at Lukimbi Safari Lodge

- V&A Waterfront at Cape Town

- Chapman's Peak Drive

- Cape Point, Cape Of Good Hope, Cape Agulhas ... and other ---most points!

- Haggling on Greenmarket Square

- Table Mountain from all angles!

- Robben Island

- Aimless Wandering on the Garden Route

- Exploring the stunning Cango Caves

- Wandering on Table Mountain and thereabouts