The years most interesting photos.



SI.com has some amazing pics related to the sports world. Check them out !!!

A lot of 3s


Today, the bike turned everything to 3 ! have a look !


Hi-Res space pics

Nasa has the following hi res pic of the space walk !

Safer Firefox

As most know firefox is a safer webbrowser than IE. But how safe is it ? See the ad below :-D

Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch

India's global march is on the shoulders of IT. Which to many people gives images of nerds sitting in front of computers doing god knows what ! If you are the ones who consider the above and don't know what these nerds are doing - this article is not for you ! :-D

However, some of the concepts here can be applied to other creative streams also.

The problem is that though we are an IT force, in my experience, we don't really know how to make good software. So, even after being an IT superpower as some profess loudly we don't have any great products coming out. Sure - we have some great companies like WIPRO and INFOSYS, but they are into services. WIPRO has over the last few years stared working on products like RFID, but the focus there is more to be able to show a proof of concept to get more clients.

As a result of the service mentality, we seem to be lagging behind a lot in the development front. Google recently said that they are not getting quality people, and more recently NY Times has come up with an article on As a result of the service mentality, we seem to be lagging behind a lot in the development front. Google recently said that they are , and more recently NY Times has come up with an article on College Education without a future.

For college students I will be putting up an article in the near future (as soon as I am done with the Fedora 6 installations). But for now, for the people already out there, coding, and wondering what they may be doing wrong - here are some gems that I have picked up from various sources :
1. Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch.
2. Good programmers know what to write. Great ones know what to rewrite (and reuse).
3. ``Plan to throw one away; you will, anyhow.'' (Fred Brooks, The Mythical Man-Month, Chapter 11)
4. If you have the right attitude, interesting problems will find you
5. When you lose interest in a program, your last duty to it is to hand it off to a competent successor.
6. Treating your users as co-developers is your least-hassle route to rapid code improvement and effective debugging.
7. Release early. Release often. And listen to your customers.
8. Given a large enough beta-tester and co-developer base, almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix obvious to someone.
9. Smart data structures and dumb code works a lot better than the other way around.
10. If you treat your beta-testers as if they're your most valuable resource, they will respond by becoming your most valuable resource.
11. The next best thing to having good ideas is recognizing good ideas from your users. Sometimes the latter is better.
12. Often, the most striking and innovative solutions come from realizing that your concept of the problem was wrong.
13. ``Perfection (in design) is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away.'' - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
14. Any tool should be useful in the expected way, but a truly great tool lends itself to uses you never expected.
15. When writing gateway software of any kind, take pains to disturb the data stream as little as possible-and never throw away information unless the recipient forces you to!

Bidar

It had been a long time since my last ride. Hyderabad does not seem like a place which is conducive to biking - its hot and arid, and there are hardly any good places to see around. Moreover, most people dont seem to be in a mood to ride from here.

With project pressures in the office taking a drain on my mental capacity, it was time to recharge my batteries. Thought about going to sriselam again. Posted on BN about it, and got a couple of offline responses.

The day before talked to GR and he suggested Bidar as an alternative place. I jumped at the idea. Unfortunately GR was not able to join up. Also talked to Kamal, but told him no-go when he said he would also bring his 2yr old kid on the bike. Finally it was just me and my colleage from office , Swamy, who were to go. Told Swamy to meet me near my place at 7am as it was on the way out to Bidar.

The way to Bidar from Hyderabad is to get onto the Pune highway, go on till Zaherabad and then turn right to Bidar. Once you reach the place ask for directions to the Kila (fort). The distance is 120kms from Kondapur in hyderabad, and the distance is easily doable in 3 hrs with stops.

On with the journey then :)

7:15am. Waited for Swamy to show up. He had called at 6:50 that he was leaving his house, so i guestimated how much time he would need - had to wait for around 10 mins for him to show up. The early morning is quite beautiful, if it was not for the man-made clutter of wires all around. I dont know when we as a civilization will get aesthetic sense. From all my travels to sites of yesteryears, it seems that our forefathers did have the sense, but we seem to have lost it.

Good Morning !
Handshakes over, i explained the route to Swamy and we set off. Since there were only 2 of us, it was fast riding, and with each swapping spaces to take the lead. Around 8:00am, we came to the Reliance A1 outlet on the highway and stopped for breakfast. I've found these reliance outlets to be quite handy. All of them are next to a Reliance petrol bunk and once you stop for filling petrol you would also want some refreshment. Further to that, they are also having the same design - which means that once you have been to an A1 outlet you know exactly where everythint is - the loo for instance - which is also quite clean here. Other places it stinks.
A1 Plaza. Lovely sky colour.
40 mins later, we moved off from there. Took a few pics - it was turning out to be a glorious day.
Butt Break
From the A1 outlet the roads are mostly quite good making it easy to maintain 80-90kmph on the highways - which was actually a bit slow as a couple of school buses from DPS (yeah, there is a Delhi public school in Hyderabad) were having a race, and were not willing to let use overtake. Of course they are no match for a couple of road hardened bike veterans, though I was a bit concerned about the kids who were in the buses (hmm... wonder if the next NFS installment will have auto ricks and kamakazi buses in it ?).

Finding the turning to Bidar is easy. You just cannot miss it. Just after Zahirabad, big boards proclaim the turn to Bidar. You could miss it if you were riding blind - but then i dont know if you would have survived so long. Bidar is in Karnataka and you know you have crossed the state boundary as there is a small hut (checkpost?) with 2 bored police chaps and a rope lying across the road meant to be the boundar between the 2 states (?) !

Reached the Bidar main town in 10 mins and then asked for directions to the fort, which we reached in another 10 mins. One interesting thing about this fort is that you can take your vehicles inside the fort - and riding through the arched gates is a great feeling ! Found a guide there who took us through the fort. Following pics can explain the place better than I can. The only thing I will add is that it has a 6km periphery wall, a couple of present day villages inside, and lots of local people playing cricket on a sunday. The ASI is doing some restoration work because of which some of the places are closed - but rather than restoring it seems to me they are distroying the structures by putting concrete in place of stones provided by the local contractors.

The palace. It was undergoing some restoration work. The garden was quite well done.

The fort.

The entrance through the sentry walls.

The crubmbling walls of the Diwan-e-Khas

The hallway which used to be the Diwan-E-Aam.

BN there DN that.

Tweety strikes a majestic pose at the entrance of the Fort.

After spending about 2+ hrs going here and there in the fort, we headed to the Gurudwara. It is said that this is the southernmost site visited by Guru Nanak . The langar was going on there, and we decided to have lunch there. Simple fare, but we were happy.

Bidar Gurudwara.

Left bidar at 1:30 , and headed back to hyderabad. Again stopped at the A1 plaza for a couple of quick coffees and headed home. Reached back at 4:30. As you enter hyderabad, the traffic just looses any sense. Everyone wants to go everywhere, which means that there is often a deadlock on the roads. A bit of nifty offroading helped us !

Sweet, short ride. One more place to go around hyderabad if you just have a day to chill out.

Links :

Bike Links !

One of the most common questions that I get from people is ... on bikes. Inevitably I get emails on suggestions for bike sites. So, this blog is the one maha braham-astra blogpost which puts all the links in one place ! :-D

My Group
This obviously has to be the first link as this is a group I started with another friend of mine. Bikenomads is a generic bike group which caters to anyone who wants to ride. Check out the Hof and Wiki to understand our passion for biking. If you want to join, then join our yahoo group here.



Manufacturer Sites
These are the drool sites. The links here do not link to indian manufacturers cause they do not even give us the lowest of the low end bikes. A low end bike is normally a 250cc bike like the Ninja 250. Unfortunately, in india the manufacturers think that small bikes like the 150cc pulsar are the best.

Honda


The most revered name in biking. They have an entire range of sports and cruiser bikes. Their premium model includes the GoldWing - which comes with a music system!


Yamaha


Yamaha always gives an impression of speed. In India, they had launched the RD 350 and Rx100 which one always associated with speed. Rossi, my personal bike hero, now rides for Yamaha.
Aprilia


The bike manufacturer brings out some really sweet looking bikes. Did you know they also have a 2 stroke engine which is as clean as the 4 stroke engines?
Ducati


The Monster line of bikes really have a mean look.


Suzuki


Another Japanese bike manufacturer with the Hayabusa which you may have seen as John Abraham's bike in Dhoom. Did you know that the name Hayabusa means the peregrine falcon - the fastest bird on the planet ?


Kawasaki


The makers of the ZX14 Ninja , the most powerful factory bike which dethroned the Hayabusa as the fastest one around. In India Bajaj had a tie up with Kawasaki to make the initial bikes and the Eliminator.
BMW


Best known for its low bike maintainence and a unique horizontal engine. Their enduro bikes are the loved by many people, and the reliability means that people take them to some really inhospitable climates !
Harley Davidson


One of the earliest bike manufacturer is a cult bike. Did you know that you can customize your bikes ?
The following are some lesser known (to the general public) names of bikes :




Apparel

Most of the manufacturers provide their own line of bike apparel. Its serious stuff. Suppose you are cruising merrily at 100mph and crash ! These stuff saves you from serious injuries to the maximum possible. Here's a list of some of the other apparel manufacturers :
Jackets and other gear :



Helmets :






For India


Coming back to the reality around us, heres a list of groups i know of :
Bike Groups :


Blogs of note :


  • Rearset - Anonymous guy writing about riding. Good stuff on this site.
  • Indian2wheels - New!
  • Biking the world - One indian. One bike. One world. The amazing blog of Bharadwaj Dayala who is biking around the world on a karizma. Check his blog out and leave a comment there - he will surely appreciate it.

Bike Stuff


Update:
I have got a lot of requests from viewers here to also list Indian Bike sites, specifically a lot of requests from the Bull owners ! The reason I have not put them up here, as my friend who had asked for information which has lead to this post wanted to know more about where I got my wallpapers from ! :-D

Further Adding more links here would probably make the list a bit too long. Again, I run into the problem of missing out some more bike sites and then those guys will be baying for my bloog ! So, what I have done is set up a list of Indian bikes on BN . You can access the link at:



Let me know if I have missed out on something yet again !

3D desktop anyone ?

Vista is going to be released. Some people are gung-ho about the Apple OS. But they still are the 2D desktops. What if your dekstop went 3D?

Check out the video below :