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Tag: memories

Audio Cassette

A lot of the young (or younger) people these days does not know what a cassette is. It is something like this.img_20170129_110154878

 

It has a tape with a kind of a magnetic layer on it which has music (data) encoded on it.

In an audio cassette, you have to play from the beginning, and you cannot just skip to the next song. You  fast forward the player, so that the tape reel rotates fast, and then stop the fast forward and play  it to check if  you have stopped in the correct place. Although there were some high end players which can sense the silence between the two adjacent tracks and stop it automatically, but seeking to the next song was purely a skill. Also, no random jumping, just sequential. This cassette has 11 songs by John Denver.

A magnetic reader can read the audio and play it (an audio cassette player). This is a cassette which I used to listen at home more than a decade ago, possible fifteen years ago. I got it out today and played it. Once one side has ended it felt indescribably good to take the cassette physically out and change the sides (which you have to do). This was fantastic.

I kind of like all the old stuff. I have an old Aiwa Walkman (portable audio cassette player), Intel 80486  system, and Intel Pentium MMX, an  Intel Pentium D,  an AMD Athlon X2, old iPods, 3.5 and 5.25 inch floppy disks and their drives. A few very old printers, including the old dot matrix printers, Punched cards and their reader, old physically large hard disk drives which can hold, say, a few hundred megabytes. Also, I believe we still have the old rotary phone, and also Nokia 1100, and a lot of other things, including calculators, memory units, wireless phones and etc. I love all of them and have still preserved all of them. These are fantastic pieces of hardware.

After playing the cassette, I remembered all of these things. After I compared these to the kind of phone I carry, I think still, these things have a greater value than anything. In fact, whatever I have used, and is not being used, is still kept in my home, even if they don’t work, as they record a piece of history and represents.

I am pretty sure, after a few decades, these will be gold.

 

 

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 »

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 »

Queue

There are some things which we need to do but keep on delaying because either they are nasty or hard to do. We will keep on lying to ourselves and push it away and they keeps on being pushed away, until a critical time comes when it absolutely has to be done. Or, later we would tell “Oh! I could have done that if I tried”, but we did not try.

Three years ago, I needed to submit a form in my last university, and the deadline was in three days. There were only two counters open, and the queue was massive. The sun was shining over the head and it was terribly hot,above 30 deg C. It was a misery to stand on the packed queue, with people pushing each other. There was me and a friend of mine, who went to submit the form “early” before the deadline arrives. The initial and obvious reaction was to go back immediately to our rooms and avoid this queue. Read the rest of this entry »

The first block of Dalmia hostel at dawn, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi

The first block of Dalmia hostel at dawn, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi. This is the last day we will be staying here as well as in BHU.

Christmas, for me

I have some memories when I was a child,  my brother decorated the Christmas tree and I helped him decorating the tree, walls and the room. My brother’s friends came and had a very good time, with music, cakes, food, and the most thrilling Christmas crackers. No photo (may be some are there) or video record remains but some nice clips are embedded inside my mind. After that when they grew up, this celebration started to fade as he and his friends became busy in their work. The tradition was taken up by me. The most thrilling part was to buy the decorations. I went to the shops with my mother, and sometimes my grandmother and bought different kinds of decorations, cut paper and make different kinds of design and worked really hard on the Christmas day. I never wanted to buy a new Christmas tree, although it was old faded and didn’t looked that good. That old Christmas tree was like an old friend, I liked to decorate it. I don’t remember who, but some one bought a new smaller Christmas tree. It didn’t replace the old one, instead it sat beside it. Read the rest of this entry »