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A Web-log

Life line: Centra

During the winter break, the shops in the campus closes. For this winter the campus Centra closed as they are expanding the store, and they will remain closed till 10th this month. Most of the buildings was locked during this time, although we had access cards and could enter. But, those few days the heating would be turned off and there would be no cleaning of the bathrooms, the university became uninhabitable.

I would have preferred to come in if the Centra was open. The Centra is the life line of the people here (who stays all day and night), it is open till 10pm, therefore you can stock essential food whatever you need for the late night. Although there is a Pizza Hut across the road, but it is expensive, and more importantly, it is horrible. Although it also have saved lives quite a few times.

The other nearest super markets are two Spars, which are kind of far, and will take an 30 ~ 40 mins at least to do the trip, where the Centra runs take around 20 mins depending on the queue.

Now things have opened, but unless the term starts, the shops close early, as early as 3pm. Which is understandable, but ridiculous. Therefore either spend money and order online, or stock stuffs in the kitchen.

Yesterday I was very hungry at night and pulled out a can of baked beans only to find that the can needed a can opener and did not have built-in mechanism to open. As none of the shops in the campus was open, I had to order a shitty pizza, which felt very good as it was the first meal of the day after not-eating all day.

Things are sorted out now. I have soups, breads in the fridge now and some emergency instant noodles. Tomorrow I will stock bread, different kinds of cheese, butter, salami, chorizo, mustard and a few other stuffs to make big sandwiches.

But, if Centra is open, then I could get bread and stuffs for a big cold sandwich, or just those pre-made wraps and sandwiches or get a warm chicken fillet roll or a wrap or a hot lasagna or other stuffs. There are options if the campus Centra is open.

The tag line “For the way we live today” makes perfect sense. I would be possibly the happiest when the campus Centra reopens.

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At the pier

 

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Before getting started again, it was nice to have the regular walk down Dún Laoghaire west pier.

Memory lost

I previously posted that I accidentally vacuumed up a microSD card. Then I put it in a safe location. I thought it was safe until last week, when I inserted the card in my mobile phone.

After a day, I found that the taxi hailing application is not working as it is installed in the microSD card. It can happen in case the filesystem of the card was corrupt, or sometimes it might need a manual registration (mount) from the settings. When I tried to do it, the option was disabled, as if there is no microSD card installed. Then I restarted the phone. No use.

Now to see what exactly is happening. Therefore I now checked how many disks are present in the system at hardware level (kind of). For the technical people, I used fdisk. There was only two disks showing, the SSD and the HDD of my laptop. This is when I became concerned. This was a hardware fault, or the data channel of the cable is severed somehow.

I checked some internal details from the operating system (Linux), and came to know that the mobile phone was detected and initialized. That is when I was sure there was something really wrong with either the card or the slot, physically.  Trouble.  So I investigated further. Read the rest of this entry »

New year blog changes

At the end after 6 years I did some layout changes in the other blog. In my opinion the Twenty Ten theme in wordpress.com, which came out in 2010, is possibly the best theme with tons of features, while being a very clean one. It was very difficult to get a theme to which I can switch.

Yesterday, I just thought to check out what new themes were introduced. I realised that it has been 6 years I am using the theme Twenty Ten. After much testing, I found that the theme Ixion is a pretty good one. It has side columns, top menus and also four columns at the bottom of the page. This allows me to switch to this theme following my layout.

Twenty Ten is a very nice theme, and I was using it for 6 years, therefore it is actually very difficult to move. Although there was a few things which I kind of did not like in Ixion, but overall it was pretty good. Therefore it is now changed.

I have three links list, Friends, Cool Blogs and Preferred Sites. I did not maintain this list. Yesterday I noticed a huge amount of sites and blogs does not exist anymore, or the authors have stopped posting, some have last posts on 2011 or so. Therefore it is time to get rid of the stale sites and get the lists shortened. Now it looks much shorter and tidy. In the next opportunity some more removals and some interesting additions are required.

Although I have kept the Friends blog list intact. I found almost all of them do not update the blogs anymore. One of them has been the consistent for around 5 years of blog post and produces quality sports articles. He has been also featured in the top fifteen blogs list.

It was not bad to change the blog in the beginning of this year. It would also be good if  I am able to keep on documenting the ongoing workflow and make quick posts. For which I have introduced a tag “workflow” to write quick and interesting articles which are potentially unfinished or under-researched.

While fiddling with the blog stats, I came to know that the top 10 visited posts have brought around 50% of the total traffic in these 8 years. The interesting thing was these articles were not very difficult to write, actually they were easy, which required very less time and effort. Although the extremely well researched and exhaustive articles got plenty of views, but not even close to these top 10 articles. Possibly the hard worked articles were for a very niche reader group, and the top 10 ones were quick google on “how to do this or that” kind of quick things.

For this blog, I did not change any theme as I could not find a clean and single column theme as clean as this. Although I changed the header picture, which I clicked last year in Doolin, Ireland.

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Blogs end year wrap up

It is very surprising to know that I started this blog on 5th December 2012. At that time I was at the end of my masters degree and though to go through and commit what I have been thinking for a long time. To have another blog for casual stuff.

Unfortunately the technical blog has almost stopped, as it is really difficult to get enough time to write a solid piece of post. Although it is not fully true. I am still not giving up on that, as it is my main blog.

The other blog gets a pretty good and stable amount of views, though it has declined a little bit, which I found out after doing some analysis on the blog traffic. This is not surprising though, as I have failed to do what it takes to maintain a blog. Fortunately the content does not age, the contents has no relation to time, therefore I am still able to get a constant amount of traffic. There are two peaks every year, and both the time are at end semester. Read the rest of this entry »

The trusted (?) taxi

This happened a long time ago, more than a year ago. I reached Bengaluru airport at around 12:00 am or around such time. I wanted to immediately reach my room and try getting some sleep before the next working day starts.

Although at that time there would be no traffic, but I did not want to push through the airport bus crowd. Therefore I took a taxi. These airport taxis are very good and you pay whatever it is on the meter, along with a receipt.

I got into the taxi and told the destination. It is around 40 kilometers from the airport, therefore it is time to relax for around an hour. Nothing to do except occasionally check if we are taking the correct turns, although these guys follows google maps, and always follows the direction which was discussed before boarding the taxi, or whatever you tell.

After I got down, I gave him two 500 Rupees note. The fare is generally on the range of 800 ~ 900 Rupees. At that day too, the bill was around 800 Rupees, as far as I remember.

He told me that he does not have enough notes to give me the balance change. This kind of situation is very common to trick the passenger to not give the money back. Many people won’t spend the time and effort to make change and just let the driver keep the money. Or, it can also be the case that the driver really has no change, a pretty viable situation.

I did not have change either. I called a person in my apartment and asked him to keep some 100 Rupees note ready. Then I told the taxi person to wait here or come with me and I will give him the exact fare. He replied that he cannot leave the car as there was no parking, and he will not let me go without paying. Fair enough. Read the rest of this entry »

Vacuuming up memory

Yesterday I was cleaning the house as normal. I didn’t get much sleep last night, so I was not fully awake while I was cleaning the house before going for work. I finished the kitchen, the hall, the living room,, and at last at my room.

There is a red coloured rag in my room which can collect some real good dirt. But, a SanDisk micro SD card also has a red and black colour!

I was cleaning my room, and there was a piece of paper on the rag. I moved the vacuum brush on it. But! As I started to move the brush on it, inside my mind,, my reaction was:   “Shit!!!” . I knew that it was my un-backedup microSD card! Muscle memory moved my arm and sucked in the card. *Clicketly clickety clik clickety clieck”.

Shit!! I powered off the Hoover. Opened the device, took off the bag.  Damn! It was  fortunate that I noticed that my microSD card, which fell out of my wallet was sucked into the vacuum cleaner device, but there is a difficult task ahead.

I was completely exhausted and very sleepy, therefore I searched for new bags in the store. There was none. That means, I cannot cut the bag with a pair or scissors, but have to dig every bit out. Therefore I started to dig every bit out. This was a painful 45 minutes task, which involved pulling whatever was in the vacuum cleaner bag and check it in detail if there was a microSD card somewhere.

I emptied the bag. No sign  of the microSD card. I went through the trash manually (which was mostly carpet fiber and dog hair), still no sign.

When the bag was empty, for the last chance, i shook the bag violently (as I couldn’t cut the bag), and ….. miracle. The microSD card appeared !!!

Relief !

It’s now in a more secure place 😀

 

Mixer taps

Mixer tap temperature control is a version of tuning a radio for an AM radio station, and trying to get the best audio quality. The only difference is that where you get penalised if you do a mistake if you make a mistake with the taps. I am sure everyone knows about this fact and sometimes it can be a little bit annoying when planning to take a really long shower.

There are essentially four types of such devices to mix hot and cold water I have encountered, which are as follows.

  • Two different taps, one for hot and one for cold, commonly found in old houses in the UK.
  • Two separate taps,one controlling the hot water flow another the cold but has one tap nozzle.
  • Those taps where the vertical position of the tap head extension is neutral, and right is for cold and left is for right (or the opposite).
  • The electronic ones which has a constant temperature water, which is often good enough, along with the electrically heated showers with electronic temperature controller.

My issue is for the showers only, because the water is pouring all over you. If it is cold, it feels like a shock, if it hot, it feels like fire. I have mostly used the ones with the two separate taps to tune the proper temperature of the water while taking a shower. This is a science to keep the temperature at a constant value. Also if you make a setup the fist day, it may not work the next day, as the temperature of the hot water may not be the same as the last day.

The process goes something like this, first make sure the water is heated for enough time so it really hot. Next, open the hot water tap and let the cold water in the pipe drain out. Next try to find the comfortable temperature by adjusting the tap for cold water. It sounds easy, and it is easy, but there are some challenges.

Once you are in the shower for some time, the temperature of the water may change. It can start to become colder, or warmer, depending on the temperature of the hot water, or a breeze from somewhere (a slightly open window). Then you reach for one of the taps, and this is tricky. The setting is delicate. You have to rotate the tap knob, but the rotation should be so minuscule that you should not feel that it has rotated. If you have rotated a bit too much, it can end up freezing you or burning you. When I tell burn, it is literal. Therefore, at that time, it requires focus, and a very delicate series of very minuscule rotations of the taps to get the right temperature. Read the rest of this entry »

Bank scam call

Here is yet another scam, I experienced a couple of months ago.

I arrived at Bangalore a couple of months ago and unblocked my phone number which I blocked before leaving. I was trying to take some good amount of rest, as I was really tired, as this time cabin baggage weighed more than the check in luggage, half a kilo more, (I was expecting a fine, but it was okay for them), and it was a long flight. I was sleeping like dead. The mobile phone rang. I just unblocked the phone and it is strange to get calls, maybe some friend who knew I have arrived, just trying out the number? The screen showed an unknown strange number, which is not those recognisable support center, sales or call center phone number patterns. I received the call.

“Hello sir, we are calling in regard to your bank debit card.”, the woman said something like that. I replied “hm.”, as that was the most I could speak at that moment. “Sir, your bank account will be soon blocked as there is no sufficient funds in your account … do you want to keep debit card or cancel it?”.  It took a few seconds to fully open my eyes, and actually wake up to function. I sat on the bed, put on my spectacles and asked her, “I didn’t get you, can you repeat that for me please?” . She repeated the previous statement with in a more elaborate fashion. I told,”I don’t want it to be blocked.”. Next, she asked something like this, “Sir you need to give the card number to us to do the processing and update your card to stop it being disabled.”. Read the rest of this entry »

Blown in the wind

I was going home at a very cold and windy night. Technically it was morning though. The temperature plummeted below zero, the strong wind and the very light drizzle made it unimaginably cold for me. Therefore before leaving my desk, I put enough layers on me. It’s a three and a half kilometer walk.

That day I also wore a pair of gloves. While on the way I took a few pictures of a nearby landmark, which I do almost every night. Though the gloves came with metal mesh on the finger tips of the index finger and the thumb, but as everyone knows, operating anything with the gloves on is clumsy. Therefore I took off the glove from my right hand and kept in the left pocket of the jacket, as the right one already had a music player in it.

After taking a couple of picture, and started walking while flicking through the album and put the phone in my pocket, and then continued to walk. Instead of putting on the glove, I proceeded to walk. After quite some time, when my hand start to become cold, I reached for the glove on the right pocket, but it seemed to be not there! Read the rest of this entry »