It was around 6 o’ clock in the evening. I’m in the office. I went near the printer to collect some printouts. In the nearby library section, I notice a policeman! Gathered around the table was also Raju (the Man Friday of Y! Blr) and three Americans visiting from the Sunnyvale office. The policeman was questioning them and was wielding his stick in an intimidating fashion. The policeman accused them of carrying drugs. I was shocked to hear the questions and could see the guys visibly shaken. I went back to my desk eventually but could see their talk went on for more than 15 minutes.

Suddenly, I see 20 yahoos surrounding the library and bursting out in laughter. It was a prank! Oh boy, the Yahoo! traditions that we have…. :D … I could see our CEO and a few managers and lots of other guys and gals involved. The expressions on those American faces were priceless. One of them said “Please come to the US sometime…”

Note to self: You’re an easy bakra. If a strange series of events happen at Y!, look out for Raju.

I was reading this article on Ten Reasons you’re a software developer (via
Vikram
) and saw this sentence in point number 4:

Software developers are artists, using crude tools to render images, text, and logic on electronic palettes that transcend aesthetic appeal.

It reminded me of an old messenger conversation with Avinash:

Me: We’re artists. Code is poetry (tagline stolen
from WordPress). We create fascinating worlds where objects talk to
each other and achieve magnificent things. The sad thing is that
there is nobody to appreciate this other than ourselves. That’s when
we turn sadists.
Avinash: :lol:
Avinash: awesome!

… ;)

A close friend of mine had been to the US for work in his company’s headquarters. I had asked him to get me a laptop and I’ve been playing with it since the night before yesterday.

What kind of laptop? It is a 12-inch Apple Powerbook with Mac OS X 10.3.9. It has a 1.5 GHz RISC processor (apparently, equivalent to a 3GHz CISC processor such as Intel/AMD ones) with 512 MB DDR RAM, 60 GB hard disk, Combo drive which can read DVDs and write CDs, a GeForce video card with 64 MB dedicated video RAM, Airport Extreme for wireless networking, Bluetooth built-in, very clear speakers, keyboard with big keys (really like that keyboard), and much more. I haven’t been able to grok all the features, let alone explore all of them…

![11150079][Small][]

I have never used Mac OS before in my life, so, it’s difficult exploring the computer. My previous experience with computers is not helping and the keyboard shortcuts are a bit different and they depend on the special Apple key (which they call ‘Command’ key).

The first thing I tried was to get online. After 20 min of exploring, I finally figured out how to change the IP address, netmask, etc. I think I am getting the hang of using the menus.

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The graphics in Mac OS, needless to say, are very appealing. The rollover effects for the tray (or whatever they call it in Mac), the genie effect when minimizing a button, etc. are nice. Pressing F9 causes all the windows to be rearranged such that you can see all of them, click on the window you want to see and it comes up in front. Very nifty; after all, there is no taskbar.

The software installed is amazing as well. I hope to get used to Garage Band soon so I can make starting songs again (I had made one song using FruityLoops a long time ago). The DVD player immediately popped up when I inserted the Yahoo! 10th Birthday Videos DVD (I was so inspired when seeing those videos but that’s another story). All the interpreted languages like Python, Perl, Ruby, PHP were already present. That reminds me that Mac OS X is built on top of Darwin, an open source core based on BSD. iTunes provides a one-click import interface for my Audio CDs. It was a breeze to transfer the songs to my iPod.

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If you are still wondering about the “g4swaroop”, my friend joked that I should change my handle from g2swaroop to g4swaroop (because of the G4 processor of the PowerBook) – I thought that was an appropriate title for this post since this is the first post using the PowerBook :)

I still have a lot to explore. I hope to get the hang of it before my copy of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger arrives. I also have to figure how to “install” software – I have to figure out what the .sit, .dmg and .mpkg extensions mean… that means time to explore the Help (Command-?).

W.r.t. Powerbook and Mac OS X, I would appreciate any words of advice from the Mac veterans :)

Two weeks ago (Apr 9-10), I had been to Mysore with family.. I was going through the pictures and many of them have come out really well.

I just had to note some of the memorable moments:

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There are a total of 158 photos from my Mysore trip :D

Please feel free to leave a comment on which photos you liked the most.

Yahoo’s First-Quarter Profit doubles! In the same announcement, you’ll notice this:

In a bid for even more traffic, Yahoo plans to introduce a new digital music store later this year. In an interview Tuesday, Semel declined to provide details, but indicated it would include features that will compete with Apple Computer Inc.’s popular store, which allows consumers to download individual songs for 99 cents apiece.

“I hope it is even more popular,” than iTunes, Semel said. Yahoo plans to introduce the new music features in early summer.

I’ve seen the internal beta. It totally rocks! (pun intended).

“Zero Minus Ten” is a James Bond novel written by Raymond Benson. The novel is a typical James-Bond story and I expected it to be one. Fancy gadgets from Q? Check. Talk to M? Check. Gorgeous women? Check. Trip round the world? Check. And so on, but the novel is interesting. A good book when you’re bored.

One thing that was interesting was the description of the author of the novel:

Raymond Benson is the author of the ‘The James Bond Bedside Companion’, which was shortlisted for an Edgar Allen Poe Award for best biographical/critical work and is considered by 007 fans to be the definitive book in the world of James Bond.

Mr Benson is also the designer and writer of several award-winning interactive software products and spent over a decade in New York directing stage productions and composing music. He has taught film theory classes at the New School for Social Research in New York and interactive screenwriting at Columbia College in Chicago.

‘Zero Minus Ten’, his first novel, was quickly followed by ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’.

What a versatile guy!

After much thought, I am switching over to TextDrive for my websites. The facilities at TextDrive are simply fabulous – from top-notch hardware to software such as Subversion, Ruby on Rails, and Python CGI; and best of all, an excellent bunch of hard-working guys there along with a vibrant community. Of course all this comes at a cost ;) but it’s worth it.

I also upgraded my blog to WordPress 1.5. It is running on PHP5. Woohoo! :) The only thing I’m missing is my old theme which didn’t work well when I upgraded to WP1.5, so I had to ditch it. After going through the themes gallery, I picked the award-winning Connections theme and modified it to my liking.

The time gap between my signing up with TextDrive to moving my blog to over there, upgrading to WP1.5, doing customizations and switching DNS addresses to the new location was all done in flat 16 hours!

On a different note, I want to convey my special thanks to Dr Mutha of AIPPG.com who provided my (free) hosting till now :) If you write good articles and in need of a good host, then take a look at AIPPG’s Free Hosting details and contact Dr Mutha. Please be prudent in your writing *.

Also, I’ll be moving byteofpython.info to TextDrive soon but I want to actually use Python for that website. So, I’m starting off by reading PyWebOff, although I have a strong recommendation of Nevow by Sridhar.

I’d be grateful if I can get some pointers to actual websites using any of these plethora of tools.

* I am not affiliated with AIPPG nor with Dr Mutha. I am just a happy user of their services. Please contact them directly for any communication.

This one’s for all the I’ll-do-CompSci-then-MBA-and-become-a-manager-in-a-software-company types.

From Eric Sink on “Geeks Rule and MBAs Drool”:

The following is an example of one of the most common questions I get from developers
who are creating a brand new software company:

Where can I find a partner to be a co-founder and handle the business side of things?

My answer: Don’t.

It is common to see software companies starting out with two founders, a geek and an
MBA. Do you really need the MBA?
If I were to oversimplify the message of this article, I would make two statements:

  1. Developers add more value to a software company than anybody else.
  2. The truth of statement 1 is inversely correlated with the size of the company.

If you really want a partner, don’t find an MBA, find another geek like yourself. Don’t be
afraid to allow your company to be very developer-centric for a very long time. By doing it
this way, you’ll avoid a lot of problems and you’ll learn a lot.

Come to think of it, isn’t this how Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft, and most of the successful ones started – “By the geeks, about the technical problems, for the customers”.

And I mean geek as in hacker, not its actual meaning (hopefully, the self-proclaimed geeks know that! ;) ).

I’ve been bedridden since the past two days due to bad health. I’ve been struggling and swallowing lots of tablets. Then, I get a call on my mobile and I say Hello. He says “Mr. Swaroop, I’m from City Finance. Do you need a loan?”

Now, how the heck did he get hold of my mobile number and name!? … calls to my office line are not rare because these telemarketers just punch numbers in the yahoo range… Even if it was my bank, it was obvious how they would’ve got the details, but how did this City Finance guy get hold of my number? This is creepy.