Friday, March 31, 2006


I have been listening to this one album for a few weeks. I got to know about it on MIO around 2+ years ago... Seems that one of the tracks was popular in India, and rest were not even know. I had to order it from Canada to LA, and picked it up there in December.

A little about the singer/composer, Bageshree Vaze.

So this lady is, from what I can gather, born in India, and has lived in Canada for a long time. Has learnt Indian Classical Music from some great people, and has a lot of music in her family. Oh and she is a classical dancer, which shows in her music. And last but not the least, she is Marathi!!

The thing I like about her music is that it is fresh. You probably have not heard anything like this before. There is some typical raag based vocal improvisation, some dance beats and bols, a lot of western musical structures and instruments. A few synth instruments, and oh ya, really great use of sitar! And her voice, a little rustic, reminds me a little of Shubha Mudgal. It goes in very nicely used with the rest of the instruments, especially the synths.

So its kinda fusionistic, but I really hate to use that word, cos its been overused. Unfortunaltely, I am a sucker for such 'fusionistic' stuff.

Fusionistic?? You know, stuff with some indian instruments (generally for the lead), and western instruments (like for the base). A raag based melody and some other stuff thrown in, like the tabla solos or kathak bols (like in this case) or some vocal improvisations and mixed lyrics in English and some other language.

So I'll run a review of that album in the next week, with some samples that hopefully can get off some place I found long long time ago. Try it out!. Though buying it is gonna be a little difficult, I can lend it to you if you wanna listen.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Confessions of a 'soon to be' engineer...

So I am almost an engineer.. Am I happy? Well kinda.. I always wanted this in my life. But then, the journey has not been easy. It was fun.. and then some.. The most difficult part though was the final few weeks.. And trust me it was not the late nights and the caffine withdrawl symptoms. It was something deeper, something that shook my beliefs..

I have always been a very logical, very rational person. Never understood the arts and the not so straight forward thinking subjects. I always prefered structured thought and logic over emotions and feelings. And 4 years of engineering studies has made this worst. Cause and effect method of thinking and comprehension, rationality, quantification of values and logic, were drilled into us for 4 years and I let them reach my core.

I had accepted the absolute truth in logic and believed that nothing was higher, powerful and absolute than rational. I believed that my logical thought would allow me to solve any given problem.. though I may need resources.. a lot of them, but there was always a solution that could be reached...

In the last few weeks, all this has been shaken from its roots.. I realised that as much as I can think logically and rationally, I cannot get myself to behave, and feel that way. If I cannot get myself to behave in the way I think I should behave.. how can I expect others to do that.. That means that the whole world can never behave logically..

That's not possible.. cos logic and rational are the absolute truths....Arn't they??

I am doomed.. What I stood for lies bare in front of me.. Destroyed by the very person that stood for it.. I have nothing to stand for now.. I have lost all I ever completely believed in....

Would I dare to believe in anything anymore???

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Google your route...

I was watching CommandN... and they mentioned about this...

TTC eyes Google for planning trips.
--Planning a quick trip across town using public transit could one day be a matter of simply Googling the route in Toronto! Toronto Tansport Company(I think) is thinking of setting up a system where people can google for the transport routes and let the system plan their root for them..

Its a cool idea, but then again its not that new!! The Copenhagen Transport system has this for like 3+ years now. And it works really well. Its called the Rejseplanen which mean "Travel Planner" and it combines all the trains(local and national), busses and metros.

Plus it allows you to state what time you want to reach the place and can tell you what time u should be at the bus stop near ur place!

And it will estimate and add changeover delays according which platform your train arrives and which platform the next train is supposed to leave!!! That is cool..

How I wish they had something like that for Singapore.... I'd be addicted to it forever.. I can't even remember when the A1s leave PGP and when the A2s...

Friday, March 24, 2006


Can geeks cook?? Well they sure can, whether what they cook is edible is different question. So anyway, from the guys at Revision3 (think Diggnation.. and Alex Albrecht) comes a new cooking show. Of the geeks, for the geeks and by the geeks!!


The pilot 'aired' today and its really hillarious. And educational, of course. They did a "Chicken Cordon Bleu". Some parts were really stupid, but it was mostly quite funny. Doesn't really compare to Jamie Oliver.. But hey, its always fun to see geeks trying to cook...:p

So check it out and try to make some "Chicken Cordon Bleu"....

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Just found this on digg.


Really cool! You sepcify a note on a keyboard corresponding to each of the 10 decimal digits. Then it will use the digits of pi to create a sequence of notes and play it. Sounds really cool if you use different scales or raags.

Try using pentatonic raags, then you can span two octaves. Or hexatonic or heptatonic raags, and repeating only the vaadi or samvaadi notes on the next octave.

Really cool what pi can do!!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Viva L'Creative...

So I went the latest Creative Warehouse Sale last Friday. And I was so excited!! All the cool technology for me to touch and feel and listen to! Lemme do a summary of the stuff I saw there...

-The X-Fi. Creative's new flagship Sound Blaster. Really cool sound card for the semi-audiophiles out there. Has a really nice upconverting feature. Upconverts from 16bit to 24bit as well as from 2.0 to 5.1! I really wanna know how they do it. I do know though that they need a really poweful DSP (which they sport, something with 10,000 MIPS!!) for all the stuff they are doing..

-The HQ-2300D. Really cool headphones. They have their own DAC and a small little box.. That means nicer coupling and better sound! No more "damn it i bought these cool guy headphones but there is impedence mismatch with my driver...:'(" Also they support Dolby Digital or DTS inputs, by having its own decoder (inside that box)! This guy can optimise your 5.1 DTS or Dolby Digital for a headphone. Kinda like the Holophonic sound thingy. The best part is that if you dont't have 5.1 source, it can upconvert the 2.0 to 5.1 for you, just like the X-Fi!!

-The Zen Vision M. Saw the so called iPod killer. Have the agree that the UI is not as intutive as the iPod. Took me and TheWeed like 5mins to figure out how to use the scroll pad thingy. Oh and its huge! But still if I ever buy one, might go with Creative. It's the accessories and extra functions. Oh and also the codec support.

-The Decoders and Mixers. More like connectivity options for the various Creative devices that people own. Nice ideas, especially the fact that they have so many options.

-The Creative In-ear headphones. Keng bought one of those, says they are really as efficient as they promise to be! Have been thinking about those since I heard Robert Heron from Dl.Tv ranting about it!

-The Creative Prodikeys and family. Cool stuff, one day when I know more about music I'll think about these..

-The S$39 1st Gen mp3 players. Would be fun just to open it up and see whats what!

-The Creative Webcams. Going at insane prices!

So what did I buy?? Nothing..:( What do I want?? The X-Fi, the HQ-2300D and most importantly a Job!!! Would be so cool to work with Creative!! :D

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Privacy and the Internet...

Recently there has been a lot of 'hoohaa' about Internet. The saga, the whole Tammy thingy in Singapore... People blaming technology for being evil, or allowing evil people to do more evil things. Probably spawn more evil people. OK enough evil, back to my point..

My point is that it is not the technology, it is you.. Yes YOU!! Its the people that don't realised the full meaning of what they are doing when use technology to do stuff. My personal favourite is people who "socially construct" about privacy on the internet! Let me exemplify using blogs...

Blogs were basically the virtual extensions of dairies. But, they are open to the public. The idea is for the anyone to be able to see them. Now, some people decided to lock their blogs, so that not everyone can access them. Personally, I feel its an anti-thesis to the principle of blogging, but I do understand the need of such things (As pointed out by a friend recently...). However, how much do you think you can keep things private on the internet??

Personally, I feel that if you publish anything on the internet, its is bound to be accessible in one way/form or another. That is what internet if for..sharing/transferring information, how can you rely on such a system to keep your data private?? And our good friends at Google are basically trying to categorize as much data as they can find on the internet. So, if they can crack your encryption/hack, your precious little blog is available for everyone in the world to search!

Another, interesting perspective to this issue. When you delete stuff that was accessible from the web, like web pages and stuff, do you think its really gone?? Gone from your server maybe. But what about Google Cache?? Ever looked at Makes you wonder huh??

So, know what you are really doing before using any technology, especially the Internet. You may be saved from a lot of trouble.. And try to google your Name and you nick once every few months, that way you know what dirt people can dig up about you...:p

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Rude Asians...

Asians are rude!!

Before you label me as racist, let me prove my point. I have noticed it over many many days, that many Asians lack basic social skills. And the most important is politeness. I am not expecting everyone to behave oh so formally...calling everyone 'Sir' and speaking in 3rd person perspective all the time. I am talking about simple little things like asking and being polite.

So, for the past few weeks, I have been working my one of the TV rooms in PGP at night. Its nice and AC, has cozy seats and mostly the power sockets are not occupied. Many times me and TheWeed watch some TV shows while studying working. (Yea..if you wanna see the spectacle of two guys trying to multi-task, come join us..) So, many people assume that we are not watching TV and that they can change channels without asking us. Thats just rude. How much effort does it take to ask??

Moreover, many times people will sit and worst still STAND right in front of the TV. Hello!! You are not transparent you know. (Should really get my brother here...hehe). Worst of all was when this guy was folding his laundry in front of the TV....

Then, there are people who make a lot of noise in the TV room. I mean have no qualms about friends talking, chatting and all. But music?? Please...I don't want to listen to your music. When will people realise the existance of headphones? And then there was once a group of people who asked us to lower the TV's audio volume,(and it was not at all loud..) cos they couldn't hear each other!!! Hello!! This is the TV ROOM... If its too loud for you.....go out...

Anyway, my point in all this is that I realised that most people who do such things are Asians. Most of the ang mohs I have seen in there are really polite. They ask before changing channels and every before turning up/down the volume. They run across the front if they have to, so as not to block anybody's view..

It's a fact that I have noticed...And TheWeed will confirm.. I am not racist..Just embarassed by my fellow asians...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

How not to be techy....

Update: Just found out that the author of the article is my junior!! I mean he/she is taking the same course as me, but an year junior to me. OMG. Please, you are a CPE3 student. You should do better than that!

I know I have promised to run a series of posts on NUS, but I think I'll not do it continuously. But, they are in the pipeline, just hope there is no hazard....:p

So, this is what happens when non-techy or not so techy people try to act techy...

I was reading the latest issue of The Ridge. It's a student publication by the NUSSU. I must agree that the magazine has improved a lot. Though, they have a lot of articles on sensational issues, and many publications with very cheeky language usage. It's a refreshing read, within the textbooks, APIs and the papers.

Anyway, so this is what I read in one of the articles talking about 3G technologies. And I quote,

"Kbps refers to 1000 bits per second and to put into perspective, under a speed of 384Kbps, it will take approximately 12 seconds to download a 4MB mp3 song."

So this person thinks he/she can use numbers and make the article sound sooo cool. But its wrong!! Do your math people. At 384Kbps in 12 seconds, you get 4608Mb. Which is like 576KB. Thats just an 8th of the file. The problem is that people dont seem to realise the difference between the big 'B' (stands for Bytes)and the small 'b' (stands for bits).

But then again, who else would care about these things. I mean 12s or 96s, not much different what. Its just fast....

Sigh... people...

Friday, March 03, 2006

An Ode to NUS!

I don't want to think about it, but it’s true. I should be graduating in a few months. "Should be" if I pass all my courses this sem. Not that I don't want to graduate, but I don't want to leave NUS.

I have spent 4 years here. Living on campus almost all the time, including over two vacations. I have grown to love the place. And not to mention the people, the food and the events. Not sure if I will ever get to have so much fun in one place.

I shouldn't be complaining and I am not. But, the irony of having such a great life is the equally painful goodbye. I have been told many times not to say this, but it’s true. It is very possible that I will not meet some of the people, that I see everyday, ever in my life... That thought brings tears every time...

And hence, I don't want to think about graduation. But, I must, for life will continue... and so must I.

So, I will try my best to run a series of posts on NUS, and the memories that I will treasure from these great 4 years I have had... Watch out for that..