Monday, May 26, 2008

Opening the Source

These days I'm becoming a fan of open source software. Not because of the big reasons of "no one owns the code" and all, but for the simple reason that I want to avoid piracy and at the same time have the best of the utilities and software on my laptop. In other words, because its free.

And after some research, I've found various open source equivalents of software that otherwise would be hard on your wallet. Here are some website for the benefit of others. Open Source Alternative is what this site's name stands for. Here you can find almost all software that you're looking for. This website (actually, only one page) is similar to the above and gives you more options. Downside is that it's not as organized as the above. The mother of all open source. This website hosts numerous projects on open source platform. Fully searchable.

Whenever open source comes to mind, Linux is the next word. I tried it on my mom's laptop once, but well, am too used to the Windows UI.

Nevertheless, few other software that I like in open source are as follows:

GIMP: Image and graphics editing

Strokeit: for mouse gestures. (e.g.: right click and hold your mouse -> drag to make a 'C' -> the selection (if any) is copied). Okay not that descriptive, you'll have to use it to understand its utility (trust me, after sometime, you can't live without it).

Infrarecorder: CD and DVD writing

Clamwin: anti-virus for your PC

Winpooch: anti-spyware for your PC (many websites brag a lot of using clamwin and winpooch together for "excellent" protection; but I didn't find winpooch that friendly. It consumes 99% of my system's resources)

SumatraPDF: This one's a darling. Many people (myself included till sometime back) don't use any other PDF viewer as Adobe's Acrobat Reader is anyway free. But if you need to open as many huge size PDF's as I do, try Sumatra. Amazingly fast. Acrobat is way behind in speed.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Why, in the hell, didn't I write for so long?

You might have already noticed after reading the title that I haven't written anything on my blog for almost 6 months. So I thought, let me rationalize and write few points why I didn't.
  1. Reading through the many case studies, I see myself at loss of words without charts and tables. Unless there's a growth of x%, loss of market share of y%, cannibalization of z% and so on, there doesn't seem to be anything logical in writing. Then there are those data tables which I'm so fond of exporting to Excel and playing with. Writing without Excel is suddenly so damn difficult.
  2. A similar reason the point 1 above, I don't have any "learnings to share" or recommendations to give when it comes to the readers of this blog. I'm sure none of the readers want to "advertise aggressively", "educate and train their employees", "explore a new business model such as...", or "implement IT solutions across the entire supply chain". And especially not, when they are reading such things through a petty blog for free. Apparently, people accept the advice when they pay money, but not for free. I guess, that's why consultants are highly desired around the world.
  3. Have you ever had that feeling, when you don't have anything to do, you don't feel like doing anything else as well? In the recent times, I was so bored having too much time to myself. In fact, I haven't even touched my guitar since last few weeks (probably touched is the wrong word because I lifted it once to clean the floor beneath; but you get the point).
  4. I'm sure reading the 4th point, Gera would be disappointed. Apparently, it's the Mckinsey standard to keep things limited to 3 points. Even if it is the theory of relativity that you're explaining. But anyway, I'm not interested in Mckinsey (which is my joker's cry for the more realistic reason that they'll never take me in), so let me write the 4th point. To add on to the 3rd point (this is a new thing that I've learned from few classes; if you don't have anything to say, you can start with "to add on to his/her point..." and simply repeat the same crap), the few interesting things that have happened during the reprieve of last month have been overshadowed by my boredom of doing nothing for the most part. So, when I think of writing about the things, I always see the long periods of doing nothing.

Now, I need to get back to the charts, graphs, and tables and writing recommendations for some of the giants. Guess, what's my favourite recommendation - get out of the business :).

Monday, November 06, 2006

About getting chords

And also, people are led to this blog while searching for chords of various songs.

So you may want to visit my website for:
To download, find the "Download the zip file" link on the above pages and enjoy all the chords :). Do comment back on this post/send an email for any correction that you find.

About the 5th chords and how to play them

I was analyzing the StatCounter statistics just now. Interestingly, one of the search phrases that lead people to my blog is "how to play the 5th chord" :-). I'm sure, those poor surfers are disappointed big time seeing the title above.

So, here I write, how to play the 5th chords (also called power chords).

Normally the chords follow the I-III-V theory (1-3-5). That is when you write any scale (say C-scale):
the C root chord plays the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the C-scale (C, E and G; remember the basic C chord [0 3 2 0 1 0] => [E C E G C E]). So any X-root chord, plays 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the X-scale. And how to write the scale, well, post a comment here (leaving your mail id) and I'll let you know (a bit of brand loyalty ;-))).

Now, the 5th chord like X5 (e.g. C5, G5 etc.) is played by taking the 1st & 5th notes of the scale only. And therefore, in the above example of C-scale:
only C and G notes are played.

Okay, enough of theory. Now how to play them. Here is the dictionary for all the 5th chords (and alternatives of the same chord; just choose whichever you're most comfortable with).

BTW, power chords are generally played on electric guitar for the "metal" effect in the generally-perceived "rock" songs (whatever be the level of hardness of rock ;-)).

Before playing any 5th chord, please see that you're comfortable with the barre chords. Now, when you play any barre chord, just mute the strings as mentioned in the dictionary below.

It's not quite difficult to play A5 [5 7 7 x x 5]. Note that you can mute the first string (E thinnest) as well. So in effect, you hold an A-barre and strum only the last three strings (E thickest, A and D).
In the above shape, you can see F5, F#5, G5, G#5, A5, A#5, B5.

For C, D, their sharps and E chords, the shape changes slightly (you may continue forwards as above on electric guitar as it gives you enough room; but in case you want other shapes, please read on).

Hold the C-barre chord, and play the 3rd, 4th and 5th strings (G, D and A). And that's it. Happy guitaring!

5th chord Dictionary
A5 or A(no 3rd) [5 7 7 x x 5] (E A): root and 5th (power chord)
A5 or A(no 3rd) [x 0 2 2 x 0] (E A) : root and 5th (power chord)
A5 or A(no 3rd) [5 7 7 x x 0] (E A) : root and 5th (power chord)
B5 or B(no 3rd) [7 9 9 x x 2] (Gb B): root and 5th (power chord)
B5 or B(no 3rd) [x 2 4 4 x 2] (Gb B): root and 5th (power chord)
C5 or C(no 3rd) [x 3 5 5 x 3] (C G): root and 5th (power chord)
D5 or D(no 3rd) [5 5 7 7 x 5] (D A): root and 5th (power chord)
D5 or D(no 3rd) [x 0 0 2 3 5] (D A): root and 5th (power chord)
E5 or E(no 3rd) [0 2 x x x 0] (E B) : root and 5th (power chord)
E5 or E(no 3rd) [x 7 9 9 x 0] (E B) : root and 5th (power chord)
F5 or F(no 3rd) [1 3 3 x x 1] (C F): root and 5th (power chord)
F5 or F(no 3rd) [x 8 10 x x 1] (C F): root and 5th (power chord)
G5 or G(no 3rd) [3 5 5 x x 3] (D G): root and 5th (power chord)
G5 or G(no 3rd) [3 x 0 0 3 3] (D G) : root and 5th (power chord)

Ab5 or Ab(no 3rd)[4 6 6 x x 4] (Eb Ab): root and 5th (power chord)
Bb5 or Bb(no 3rd)[6 8 8 x x 6] (F Bb): root and 5th (power chord)
Bb5 or Bb(no 3rd)[x 1 3 3 x 6] (F Bb): root and 5th (power chord)
Db5 or Db(no 3rd)[x 4 6 6 x 4] (Db Ab): root and 5th (power chord)
Eb5 or Eb(no 3rd)[x 6 8 8 x 6] (Eb Bb): root and 5th (power chord)

Some helpful links
Google search keywords (to be used without quotes):

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ethics, values and the MBA gas

This article is purely an outcome of my frustration and should not be taken as an evidence to evaluate my values or ethics or even thought process. This is just an exaggerated account to mock certain people and experiences.

Certain incidences have happened recently in our college questioning the integrity of individuals. Including the racist bantering (forgive me for the understatement) that had happened following that, the entire thing was pathetic.

You know what, everyone here is an MBA already. Ask them one thing and they'll go on and on about everything else on the planet except answering the question. Nothing but pure gas. I dread to think how they'll be (I'll be mortified if I think about myself and so won't) after two years of practicing farting.

And that's what we were asked to do in the group discussion as part of recruitment drive of one company. And isn't it the same everywhere. After cracking one of the toughest exams history has known - CAT, you go and discuss gas on something as stupid as "pink elephants flying in the sky" (courtesy: Vineet). Sometimes I feel, if this is all what managers do, do I really need an MBA for that?

To all of my engineer friends, so long. I'll soon be the kind you hate the most. A manager.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Friday, October 06, 2006

About Tests, Projects and Presentations

I still remember the orientation day, 7th August 2006, when we were handed over the time table for this semester. That was the day when I stuck the time table in front of my study table, looked at it and smiled. Wow! Only 5 lectures a week.

I still remember people talking in the MBA lounge, "I'm not going to send this time table back home; they're going to laugh at me. It's so light!!!"

Talking at the macro-level (please forgive my business jargon), the first two weeks were continuous visits to Ikea, Mustufa, Little India and China Town, to buy all sorts of stuff to "settle down". The next two weeks went by finding friends in whose house we can have dinner and finding places where we can party this Saturday.

Then CSO showed it's existence, which is the Career Service Office. The next two weeks were how to dress, how to talk, how to get a job, and all the how-to's which we thought we were experts at, and various company talks and the scolding that followed after that for not dressing properly, for asking stupid questions and so on.

And then started the academic things. Every prof started telling the dates of their mid-term tests, presentations and project proposal submission. Top it all with no knowledge of what has happened in the class.

I've been cribbing a lot. On almost all replies to "kya chal raha hai" on orkut, I've said, "padh padh ke pak gaya hoon". And on one such reply, I decided come'on man! what's up with all this cribbing! And so I've been watching movies since then :-).

So have a test tomorrow, but writing this blog. Easy one though. Group study has helped. And then another one next week. Will have to study a lot more for that. Hope things turn out well.