Sunday, February 15, 2009

Grammy Rewind

The Grammy's have been the pinnacle to judge music from but does it really matter. Since music is basically subjective so who is to decide whether one song is 'better' than the next. If the judging was upto me then Slipknot/Metallica would have walked with a major bulk of the awards.

Psychosocial and The Day that Never Comes would have been the picks for me from last year. For Metallica, 2008 was the year when they silenced their critics with a return to old school trash metal. Slipknot also had big expectations to live up to with a followup to their mindblowing 'Subliminal Verses'. I was not a big fan or their debut 'Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.' but when 'Iowa' came out I was blown away and then after a listen to the Subliminal Verses I was another one of 'the maggots'.

Moving on, the grammy's have become a farce now. Very few people outside the music industry this year knew anything about the nominees. There were the same usual performers, U2 n co. Also most people just care about genre's now. AFA am concerned Country + Rap = CRAP music. So I do not really care about who gets in, in those categories. Give me some good old school metal and am happiest.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A very very relaxed weekend

Now this weekend was just exactly what I needed and most people should try this too. Slept for longer hours than usual at several stretches. Never left the apt except on Sat night for dinner and just lazed more and more.

Now I am really rearing to get back to work tomorrow as more of this lazing stuff means trouble. The only thing pepping me up on a Monday morning is the fact that two days later is Wednesday (my fav. day btw) as half the work week is over come Wed evening.

This lazing around is because of the fact that on a working day I come home, eat food and just crash ASAP. I need to crash ASAP as I have started running 3mi in the mornings on the treadmill. (Will post on the running bug sometime)

The PS3 is there. But I am not that big a gaming addict to keep through it and online too for hours on end. Sure its fun sometimes but never so much that I forget that the weekend is meant for relaxation.

So ideally if you look at it a five day work week isn't that bad now.(or is it ;)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Star Scream Awards

Just caught the argument between Ashutosh Gowarikar and Sajid Khan. Now if even this kind of entertainment cannot generate higher TRP's then I don't know what will.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Since the past several months I have been working on some publishing tasks through Apache FOP (Formatting Objects Processor). The basic goal was pdf generation through FOP. Since there is a ton of paperwork in the insurance business and taking care of it is a manual cumbersome process so I come under the document production/letter generation aspects of it.

Working on FOP from scratch since the past 3 months now have made me realise a couple of things about the printing/publishing/typesetting business.
1. Production Printers differ greatly from Regular Printers. (The same pdf that you see may not come out the same way from both the printers)
2. Absolutely no one actually knows the innards of a publishing system. (Even my tech lead/dev lead weren't aware.)
3. Everything is in the details. It isn't enough to just make a document by eyeballing it but you will need to go and zoom in several hundreds of times to make sure that absolutely everything is just that perfect.
4. Fonts are BIG BUSINESS. The weird font you see on the bottom of a check for the account number/routing number is a font approved by the ABA.(American Banker's Association) That specific font can cost anywhere from 2k -3k $.
5. Barcode changes made by the USPS to replace legacy barcodes which have been around for ages can be very hard to implement especially if the USPS does not communicate those barcodes in a widespread fashion.
6.There are some things which are just dumb in the way they were designed/coded. But since 'kaam chal rhaa hai' noone would bother to find out why this was so.
7. Paper quality is very very important. It won't matter if the typesetting is perfect but the paper quality isn't.
8. There is vast difference in 300dpi and 600dpi prints. (Unseen to the naked eye)

Maybe someday I get my hands on an intaglio press and then would start some real fun ;)

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Infomercial

Anyone who has seen TV atleast once in the US has definitely run across Billy Mays. I mean c'mon there isn't a product on tv that this dude has hawked. He is 'the face' of the teems of hawkers all across the world who will exhort you on every opportunity to go and buy a product, any product.

I have often felt sorry for the salesguy who would move from house to house in India to sell the bathroom phenyl cleaner etc. etc. but this guy takes it to the limit. You feel like a kid again when he starts the screaming at you to go and buy the product. I seriously believe that people who do buy those products have some major issues. I mean the guy literally screams at you to pick up the phone and buy the item. Just by looking at the wiki page of his you come to realize the sheer extent of idiots who are keeping ads like these in business.

It is true there is no such thing as bad publicity but still there is such a thing as a pathetic ad atleast. The standard ad for any product goes as "HI, BILLY MAYS HERE. THIS (insert Product Name) IS GREAT !!!.(If you are wondering why the previous text was in caps its because caps = 'shout' to the netizen.) The premise pretty much stays the same for all the other products too.

And as long as there are crappy infomercials like these there will always be the motivation to press the MUTE button or just to switch channels randomly. Anything to get past an infomercial by Billy Mays.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

FPS World

Just got done with COD Modern Warfare(MW) and World at War(WW) and about 30-40% done with Resistance 2(R2). I started out on WW which took getting used to but since it didn't have a training tutorial mission of sorts and so was just slam bang go. Learning the controls the hard way was probably the best way too but sure it required a good amount of patience at first.

Will start on other difficulty levels now since I played all the above on the recruit mode(most basic). Soon (hopefully) I get good enough to go online and then kick some serious ass.