Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Contact Problem

Today my PDA, my beloved Palm Z22, left for its heavenly abode. Along with it left more than 8 years of Contact and Address book information that I had painfully collected. Doesn’t it sound really stupid that a wanna-be techie like me had no backup?

Well well, there is where I feel really bad. I “HAD” a  backup! But the backup was lost in my greed to get onto Windows 7. So the main pain for all this is … my stupidity! How you ask? Here is the story …

A month back I downloaded the Windows 7 Release Candidate to give it a test drive, and generally be lonely with my computer. But Windows 7 (though graphically fantastic on my MSI Wind Netbook) didn’t support most of my applications, right from my Anti-virus, and I had to uninstall it in less than 2 weeks. Coming back to my old setup required me to repartition, reformat and reinstall all my applications again. In this process, I somehow lost my backed up Palm data. I didn’t bother to backup my Palm to my desktop for the last 3 weeks. And today when I finally tried to, my Palm refused to come alive. So there goes all the birthday information and phone numbers I so painfully collected for so long. On last count I remember I had around 300+ contacts (yeah, I am no Mr. Popular, try collecting data of every person you meet in the last 8 years, and every normal person will cross a 1000)

Anyway thanks to Social Networking websites, I have already stopped wishing most of my friends on their birthdays. Cause these sites anyway remind everyone of everyone’s birthdays, and wishing someone on their birthdays doesn’t have the charm of the good old days, when we really had to make an effort to “remember” to wish people!

Since morning today I have been trying to collate all the left over information that I can get from my email contact lists and also my three social networking profiles – Orkut, Facebook and LinkedIn. And now I am facing a new nightmare! I haven’t come across any tool that can intelligently identify “John Doe Project Manager” from LinkedIn to be the same “John Doe” from Facebook and the “John Doe (Happy to be home!)” from Orkut. Now I have 537 contacts floating around in a spreadsheet on my desktop and I have no determination or inclination to collate the data!

So if most of you don’t hear from me, its time to call me up or email me :) !! Now I have a genuine excuse for not keeping in touch .. as for you .. you have none!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Asian Pose

For the uninitiated – Singapore is in South East Asia and naturally I get to *notice* more East Asian and South East Asian girls than of the other variety. For the fear of sounding regionally biased, I never really mentioned to anyone that quite often when girls in this region pose for photographs they love to show the “victory” symbol.

Yeah the kind that you make with your two fingers to denote that you are victorious, and I was perplexed figuring out what the reason for them being victorious could be? (Probably the the fact that the photographer could successfully take your picture after fumbling with your camera controls for a while!)

Anyways, just like all the little things we observe in life but never talk about it for the fear of sounding anti-social I decided to ignore my observation and went about happily living my life till one fine day I came across this site. Its like the encyclopedia of Asian poses and I figured that many people on the internet have already researched and documented what I have observed (yeah yeah, don’t even get into probing how I reached that website – and NO – I was NOT searching for pictures of cute Asian girls on Google!).

Not only is the website a catalogue of all the peculiarities of the “Asian Pose” I also came across a video that shows the 10 different types of Asian poses :) !! So, here I am posting a link to the Asian poses …

I hope after reading this blog all my readers can act cute and pose for photographs! I hope I get to see many more of you doing something stupid in the near future, with your photographs!


I spent most of my last two days moving my stuff from one room to another in my hostel. We (hostel residents) have been ceremonially kicked out of our old abode and forcibly moved into another.

This time however, I have been moved far away from the rest of the civilization as I have been given a corner room on a desolate floor which is in a way “sound proofed” with limited access to the noise I generate. I bet one of my old neighbors didn’t like the fact that I woke up at 6:00 AM in the morning at times, listening to “Bad blood” by Ministry.

The best part of moving is, each time I move I figure out that 30% of the things that I have accumulated are useless and I dump them or give them away. I think the government should impose a rule to make everyone vacate their houses every 6 months and then get back in again. This will generate enough “good” stuff donated to charities all around the world.

However, the thing that I hate about moving is, you are already accustomed to a certain way of keeping things around in your room (that’s a sweeter way of saying “throw” piles of junk everywhere around) and then you have to figure out new ways of adapting to the new environment.

So now I have a room full of boxes lying around and I am writing an algorithm to figure out the most optimum way of keeping things in place (for the less technically inclined amongst us – I am thinking of ways to dump things from the boxes on the floor and the cupboards that have been given to us!).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Life’s Simple Pleasures

I finished the third trimester of my MBA end of May and have taken up a small internship out here. For those of you who don’t know, my university is on a deserted island surrounded by piranha infested waters and everyday getting outside the campus is a matter of life and death (yeah, I am kidding obviously!). Well, jokes apart, the truth is – getting to the business district is a 1.5 hours commute that includes catching a feeder bus to the nearest railway station (yeah I mean MRT) 20 minutes away and thereafter dangling by the handle bar for another 40 minutes inside the MRT, only to get down at the destination station and walk another half an hour to get to the office.

And over the last week I have suddenly realized how relevant Maslow’s theory of “Hierarchy of Needs” is! My quest to go for “Esteem or Love/Belonging needs” has suddenly gone down. Now I am more of the  “trying to satisfy my physiological needs” variety. I derive “pleasure” out of the following things:

  • Reaching the bus stop and seeing the bus arriving, without waiting or running for it
  • Making a dash for the only empty seat in the entire MRT cabin and getting it before anyone else occupies
  • Seeing the signal turn green for pedestrians the moment I reach the intersection
  • Getting a seat to sit with my food in the food court the moment I look for it
  • Walking into a cold blast of air conditioning from a hot and humid walk outside