The past 3 days of foss.in/2006 have been very interesting. As Gopal said, this conference is in the hallways. I’ve seen/had a fair share of amazing conversations from watching a passionate debate of companies “exploiting” people by getting them to work on their open source product vs how is it exploiting if it is voluntary (Aaron Seigo did the defending :)) to conversations about generator expressions in Python to Java being GPLed to how the ambitious KDE 4 reminds me of Vista (although the KDE community has proved itself time and again before), to Ubuntu Dapper vs Edgy (Edgy has been causing some problems for me). Regarding the talks themselves, lot has been written and clicked already.

Audience for Keynote by Suparna Bhattacharya
Hallway discussions

The most I got out of this conference was seeing the passion again. The love of programming. The love of helping others. The feeling of being part of a community. The smile on the face of a coder when he comes to know that software he wrote is helping a poverty-stricken country modernize itself. Most of all, the first point again, the love of creating something. I had forgotten that feeling.

I managed to catch the last day of the Bangalore Book Festival 2006 – I was surprised to see the number of people thronging the fair! It was truly a family affair – and we bought nearly a dozen books ranging from spiritual to tech to comics to Sherlock Holmes :). I’m glad we visited the fair in the afternoon because, judging by the size of the audience, this place would have been suffocating in the peak evening time.

Bangalore Book Festival 2006
Bangalore Book Festival 2006

It was nice to see that the habit of reading real books hasn’t been lost and hasn’t been overtaken by the ubiquitous internet. And it was good to see a wide range of books (from a never-ending list of book vendors) other than the usual copies of Paulo Coelho and Mein Kampf. The disappointing thing was that most of the vendors were generic – everyone catered to everyone’s needs, and in turn, there were no books for specialized audiences – whatever happened to art books, or medical books, or travel books?

Relatedly, I just finished reading Digital Fortress by Dan Brown, it was fun to read. Any recommendations on novels in the same genre?

Bangalore Book Festival 2006
Bangalore Book Festival 2006

Bangalore is such a happening place that there are more things coming up:

  • foss.in/2006 is just around the corner on Nov 24-26! Register now.

foss.in/2006

  • Bengaluru Habba is happening on December 3-10 – It’s a pity that the official site is still under construction (and the dates on this logo seems to be “outdated”). The official website is BengalooruHabba.com (Thanks to Karthik for pointing it out).

Bengalooru Habba

  • More events listed at eventsbangalore.net:

It seemed the long run on Saturday was not enough, so we took off early on Sunday morning as well, but this time in a car instead of on foot. We headed towards Anthargange. Supposedly, it is a spring (source of water) which explains the name. We were interested because the place is filled with volcanic rocks and countless caves.

To reach Anthargange (from Bengalooru), get on Old Madras Road and head towards Kolar (which is around 65 km away).

On the way, we saw a beautiful sunrise.

Anthargange 005
Anthargange 021
Anthargange 013

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I chanced upon this wonderful song by Eliane Elias:

I’m not afraid
All is forgiven
Coz after all
What’s done is done
Move on with grace
Slippin’ to space
And when I’m ready, I’ll sing my song
Follow the silence far from the sadness
Leave all the madness behind
I’ll keep on living
I’ll keep on running
Passing through heart who I’ve become
I’ll keep on driving eternal darkness
I’m scared of falling
Turn my lights on
Coz when I’m frightened, we carry on
And keep on living
And keep on running
Running towards what I’ve been running for
I will not hide
Fatal submission
You are so wrong
Because I’m still here
Drive through the night into the light of the horizon

It reminds me of yesterday. We ran 27 km. Just for fun. I was exhausted much more than usual, and I came home and crashed (and I mean crashed) on the bed. I had the most peaceful sleep for four hours and then woke up and realized that it was 1 pm, that I still had my shoes on, and that my stomach was grumbling because I hadn’t had breakfast.

First Day

Today was my first day at Adobe.

Door to Adobe

A month ago, it was so difficult for me to imagine going to a new place, working with new people, and entering a totally new field of work. Today, it was surprisingly easy. Perhaps it is a poignant reminder that the move was such a quick one. Perhaps it was because the new manager and team made it easy for me.

That reminds me that I’ll be working with Mannu Bhai. Well, hopefully, because I don’t think our timings overlap!

What will I be working on?

I’ll be working on Flex – a framework to create Flash (well, I’m hyper-over-simplifying it, but you get the idea). Flex is one of the really hot products from Adobe these days. For example, when you need to display some advanced visualizations on the web today, Flash is the way to go today, and Flex is the best developer-centric way of creating Flash.

What!?

This is a completely new line of work for me, so it’s exciting and worrisome at the same time. I think of it like this – The past two and a half years, I’ve worked on totally web-backend stuff – processing search logs, text processing, database query optimizations, disk space optimizations, simplified distributed computing, etc. Now, I will get to work on totally web-frontend stuff – creating tools that will be used by other developers who will create visually rich websites, and even desktop applications using Apollo in future.

Tech

Flex your creativity

In case you haven’t heard of Flex… Did you know that the latest Yahoo! Maps uses Flex behind the scenes? Go to adobe.com/products/flex/, click on ‘View the Flex Product Overview’, then click on ‘Case Studies’ and then ‘Yahoo! Maps’.

Now, I’ll get back to playing with Try.Flex.org.

Wanting to do something different, yesterday I made a short dash (if you can call a 12-hour bus journey a ‘dash’…) to Hyderabad to visit an ex-yahoo colleague Kiran as well as a few other friends. And I visited the Microsoft campus :)

What’s the first thing I saw? People playing cricket in Microsoft’s own cricket ground in their campus.

Microsoft playing cricket

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