Thursday, December 29, 2005

God give us strength

10:30PM: Most of my colleagues in the US were out for Christmas and New Year and consequently my teleconference wound up at 10:30PM, a good 1.5 hours ahead of schedule. I was reflecting on this sudden piece of good luck and preparing for a quick drive home as the first calls started coming in.
...Where are are things there...take care of tata institute nearby?...
Quick trip to Google News revealed that there has been a shootout in the IISc at 7:30PM in the evening on the attendees of an international conference. A Professor Puri has been killed and Profs Vijay Chandru and Venkatesh, amongst others, were being operated upon.
A quick call to a colleague, who's an IISc alumnus, revealed that Prof Chandru is a highly respected faculty in the Computer Science and Automation department. This
Later at home Star News showed that Prof Puri had gone to attend an international conference on Operations research. Googling again revealed the conference website <> and schedule <>. After a look at the schedule for today - 28th Dec, it seems the Prof's were going for their dinner after the invited talks by Dr's Sarin, Sohoni and Rao would have ended.
Star News also mentioned that Prof Puri was a retired faculty of the Mathematics department at IIT Delhi.
As questions float on why would a group of academics attending an OR conference be targeted, the fact remains that we need to strengthen ourselves against terror and never, never compromise by swapping prisoners or negotiate with terror groups.
Star News says that the relatives of Prof Puri are coming to Bangalore early in the morning. I pray that they find the strength to cope with this crisis. As also the others fighting for their lives in the hospital.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Landed in Bangalore last night. We were at Hastings' wedding reception when he appeared --- the same self, capped by the same Adidas. It was a real pleasure seeing him after so many months, years. Today, Rupam and I met up with him at Maharaja. Rupam had Habul in tow. It was Layout revisited! The same prodigal Andu with touches of the huge city he left - -- left on him. One could see the raw pleasure he was experiencing of being back in the city where he started off and back with old friends. And in characteristic Andu fashion we were regaled with tales of the rich and famous and of things rare and unimaginable.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Yes it could happen to you too - malware comes visiting

Saturday morning started on a lazy note with promise of a deliciously indolent day ahead. Late morning found me at the home computer browsing for coffee recipes. I was thirsting for a mocha and was feeling too lazy to venture outdoors. So the thought of being able to brew delectable coffees in house occured to me. Which brings me to the subject at hand --- the hazards of browsing.
I had little expectation of being struck by virus or other malware as my browsing habits are very, very kosher. However, I was left rubbing my eyes in disbelief as my screed went BSOD blue with a message about Trojan smitfraud.c. A bunch of icons appeared on screen that would be indiscreet to describe. It took awhile to realize that malware has struck.Thankfully, I had another machine that I used to Google on this and found that I had realy been done in. I was planning on buying a commercial anti virus package when I decided to check up on free stuff. Actually, there's a lot.
I also came to know that there was a site called GeeksToGo that offers gratis help to people on their PC travails. Well I finally found my way to Eston Bond's site that gave me all the necessary steps to rid myself of the dubious smitfraud. In the process I found about a set of tools that are now the proud protectors of my PC --- AVG Antivirus, ZoneAlarm personal firewall, Ad Aware and Spybot Search & Destroy form a formidable guard.
All's well that ends well and now the home PC is back at the service of my family. Only, my search for mocha recipes got delayed by a day.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Connected. Even here!

A lazy vacation with the solitary challenge of avoiding tons of food was getting difficult to get through. Diversions were difficult with no access to the internet. That was when I decided to try getting online using the cellphone.
First I set up the phone as an infrared modem. Then the machine had to be configured to use this modem. This turned out to be tricky and needed a visit to the BIOS. Finally all of it fell into place and I couId go online. The supporting connectivity stack was very interesting - machine to phone as a modem on infrared; phone to internet on GPRS. Some quirks do remain as it doesn't always connect after hibernates. However it surely beats strategizing how to avoid the next plate of hot pakodas.

And, did l mention the speed - 115.2 Kbps !