Off to Linux Bangalore / 2003

Slides done and sent
Clients informed for the last time
Packing done – thankfully Swati travels light(er)
Tickets Confirmed

We are already to board the train

100% Natural

No Make-up
No Filters
No Artificial lights
No Posing
No Post processing (nitpick – resized!)
Just a 100% natural candid portrait.

LB/2003 is now just round the corner, stress levels are high, patience running low and things are working perfectly fine as planned 😀

Check out the first schedule of talks. We leave for Bangalore on Sunday, Aasim is excited to travel by train instead of the boring “all you do is – wait” plane…

Surya Kiran – There is still hope…

Finally a somewhat displayable picture which would not have been possible at all using my older camera!!

Surya Kiran the aerobatic team of Indian Air force performed over the city airport as a part of finale for the National Air Race. These shots, an example of extreme zoom, were taken from our roof top. Airport is about 10 Kms away, so these jets were not flying exactly overhead 😀

The 800×600 is achieved by cropping the Hi Res 5MP pictures. The pixelation of sky is artifact of compression needed for the web…

These shots would not be possible with my older Casio8000SX because it is very slow to get ready would have missed the shots before it came on, 1MP does not leave any room for cropping

There are a couple of more of Aasim which I took when he was blowing soap bubbles thinking no one was looking – will post them as soon I get time to resize and upload

In other things we have just returned from a day out with Aasim and are again going out to get some clothes for him – some guys gave all the fun.

My Experiments with…

Finally grabbed enough time to read through the complete manual of my new camera.

Till now I have managed to take usual pictures (read mostly auto settings) with success BUT have not been very successful with macros (results have very poor DoF) low light (results with poor focus and lots of noise).

Tried a bit of fiddling but not much change in results almost feeling that my older cam was better – but I know for fact that this is not true and it is just my inexperience with the options that is the problem… NEED 24 more hours in every day!!!

Aasim’s First Roza.

Yesterday Aasim successfully observed his first Roza.

This was not done by us OR Aasim out of any religious conviction but as a part of the growing up experience for Aasim. Aasim completed it for the sheer fact that he had given his word to his parents.

For a 6 year old who has never really known “hunger” in his entire life this was indeed a creditable feat to go from sunrise to sunset without a drop of water or a morsel of food. He did it in an admirable way. The only sign he showed of real discomfort was that after 1pm he would now and then ask how much more longer…

No promises of gifts / blessing / great food / after life was made to him like are done by several parents – but – that he got cash gifts in the evening after Iftar at my Khala’s place made him feel very happy.

From his 6th B’day we have also introduced him to money management – he gets to keep all the cash he gets as gifts till the sum reaches more than Rs1000/- after which He exchanges it with Swati for an entry in his diary…

Plus daily he is given a Rs1 coin….

IDRBT – Great Show

Returned today morning from Hyderabad. It is seldom that in India one is impressed by a Govt sponsored setup and more importantly the organization of a Govt sponsored program. At least for me IDRBT was a pleasant change. I arrived in Hyderabad 6am by bus – there was a car waiting for me and I was whisked away to the IDRBT building. The security guy at the front gate there was aware that I would be coming and had my name properly spelled out on a visitor ID tag. Even though I was not staying the night I had a room to my own complete with a hooked up PC, I was later told that these were the rooms where the participants of the various programs stayed…

A phone call gave me my morning fix of caffeine. The program started at 9am – right on time, there were about 20 people and were not “totally clueless” and “totally uninterested”. I discovered that people really can take me seriously and reaffirmed something I knew about my self “I can talk” – SERIOUSLY!!

My sessions stretched into lunch and then spilled into the hands-on lab session.

In short I had fun. I only wish that there were convenient connecting flights and I would have avoided the tiring 8 hour bus ride…

Speaking in IDRBT Hyderabad tommorow

Am scheduled for two back to back talks at IDRBT tomorrow in this program of theirs. I am talking on “PHP best practices” and “PHP libraries for Rapid Development”

Thanks to all of you who have congratulated me on my acquisition of Nikon5700, Much to my frustration I have not had any time to experiment with it except in the “Fully Auto” mode. Like I told the camera is a dud – it shows all the blackheads on the nose and hairs inside even in a shoulder shot, who wants those many details ;0)

I will definitely post more pictures when I get back…

Before the Monday Mania hits….

Should document the Sunday before it gets lost in the melee of Monday….
Woke up late… browsed the morning news, played some matches which Aasim. At around 12 we decided it was time to move out, Aasim had been promised that we will go to “Fun and Food” water and amusement park about 35 kms from here. The funny part was the shock and vehement opposition Aasim put up to Swati wearing just a T Shirt and swimsuit for driving… he was very relieved when she put on her wrap skirt 😀

A swift drive by Swati and we were there in no time and all of us into the Wave Pool in a blink of an eye… once Aasim had his fill of pool and slides we had a snack of “Pav Bhaji” by the poolside – it was soon time to leave – a bit too soon but we did not grudge that as we were supposed to be at my Khala for the Iftar.

Now Iftar’s there are a lavish affair with all sorts of stuff ranging from kebabs to milk sweets. A bit later the dinner was Beef Biryani eaten the traditional way. Sitting cross legged on the floor and using hands rather than spoon/knife/forks – I always feel that Indian foods are best enjoyed when eaten without the impediments of unnecessary cutlery… Using cutlery on say a nan and mutton curry is like making love thru an interpreter.

In other things, once again thanks to we discovered and Beth Quist. Magna Tune is a record publishing company BUT they operate on the shareware model applied to music. Also the pricing is flexible and the recommended price of $8 (you can pay less or more) for an album is very fair. So if you were intrigued by “Om Asatoma Sad Gamaya” in the latest Matrix avatar (no I have not seen it) head over here to listen to the rest of the tracks… Do buy the music if you like it.

Big Guns at LB/2003

writes here that Jeremy MySQL Zawodny and Ramus PHP Lerdorf are going to be speakers at LB/2003 WOW!!

This year promises to be one hell of a show… It feels great to have been part of the team which has made the event possible not just once, twice BUT three times in a row. More important than that, our participation has earned us a whole lot of friends :)

P.S. There are other big(ger) names as well but thats just a rumor 😉