Monthly Archives: November 2009

United 93

I know this movie came few years back, but I managed to see it only today. The movie is one of the few made on what happened on the tragic September 11, 2001. United 93 is about the events aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked during the September 11, 2001 attacks. The film attempts to recount as much as possible and was supposed to made with the full cooperation of all the families of the passengers.

While watching the movie you are certainly to feel “moved” and “emotional”. Even with such a powerful background to work with the Director has done his best by not dramatizing or glorifying any individual. Certainly a must movie to watch if you are curious on what happened on 9/11.

united 93

Ethiopian Restaurant in Bay Area

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Last week while in San Jose (CA), my good friend “Ranga” took me for a change to have Ethiopian food for dinner at “Zeni Ethiopian Restaurant”. I readily agreed as I like to experiment any food that is Vegetarian (As I say in foreign lands – No Fish, No Meat & No Chicken).

We went through the menu and decided to play safe with their ready-made “Vegetarian Combo” (shown above). I didn’t understand a single item contained in the combo (YE-MISER WOT ,YE-KIK ALITCHA, ATAKELT WOT, YE-GOMEN WOT, YE TIMATIM FITFIT) but once served and tasted figured out that all of them are names of different gravy (side-dishes). Each of them tasted like “Yellow Dal”, “Tomato/Onion Salad”, “Green Salad” and so on. All of these side-dishes were served on a big bread they call “Injera” (it looked to me and tasted like a big South Indian Dosa).

Overall it was spicy, tasty, filling and I loved it!. Thanks Ranga.

Windows 7 Ultimate commemorative edition

Windows7-CommemorativeEdition

As one of the Windows 7 Beta testers, about a week back I received a commemorative edition of Windows 7 Ultimate DVD. It was special with a nice “Thank You” message signed by Microsoft CEO Mr.Steve Ballmer.

In general I liked Windows Vista – its engineering improvements on Security, Stability, Aero Glass & many other features; except for its slow boot-up and performance of routine file management tasks. Microsoft made a wise move of not introducing any major kernel level changes for Windows 7 from Vista, instead concentrating on improving all round performance. I have been using Windows 7 for last few months in both my MacBook Air (MBA) & in my Desktop (Quad Core, 64-bit, 8GB RAM) and I love it. Windows 7 simply rocks in my MBA that I have completely removed Mac OS X and use only Windows.

Windows 7 – the best Windows OS ever made!

The Time Traveler’s Wife

Time Traveler's Wife Movie Poster

Just like most of the Hollywood movies I have watched in recent years, I saw this movie (The Time Traveler’s Wife) too on a long-distance flight. This was on my return flight from SFO to Hong Kong in Cathay Pacific – on Business class they have a nice selection of movie, TV shows, a 17” LCD screen and a full-flat bed.

As someone who has watched lot of Star Trek episodes,  the idea of Time Travel was familiar to me, so I was inquisitive after seeing the title of this movie. The movie is about “A love story about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredictably, and about his wife, an artist, who has to cope with his frequent absences and dangerous experiences”. The story has been told by the Director quite nicely and he brings out the emotional pain of a wife with a husband who keeps disappearing suddenly. In one instance, just before their marriage, the Bridegroom in his 20s disappears and reappears just seconds before marriage in his 40s.

A nice movie to watch if you like the idea of Time Travel, otherwise can be pretty confusing to follow!

Microsoft Silverlight 4

There are tons of cool stuffs for Silverlight 4 that are being shown in Day 2 keynote of PDC ‘09 and in the SL4 overview talk by Karen Corby. I am amazed at the speed in which the Silverlight team in Microsoft has been able to churn out releases at rapid pace – SL 1 in Nov ‘07, SL 2 in Oct ‘08, SL 3 in Jun ‘09 and SL 4 Beta in Oct ‘09.

The main features of Silverlight 4 that caught my attention are:

  1. Access to Webcam, Microphone and other devices like Digital Camera
  2. Print Preview and direct Print support
  3. UDP Multicast, very useful for organization wide network distribution of live video
  4. Authorization support in client HTTP Stack (NTLM, Basic and Digest)
  5. Same .NET compiled code runs in SL 4 and .NET 4
  6. Offline DRM play support
  7. Drag/Drop, Clipboard support
  8. Audio and video local recording capabilities capture RAW video without requiring server interaction
  9. Embed a HTML control including a Flash control inside that HTML, all usable from Brush
  10. Styles support
  11. RichtextArea control and better internalization text support

Microsoft Silverlight 4 Demo

Microsoft Azure Container in PDC ‘09

I am in LA for Microsoft PDC ‘09. One thing in Day 1 I was happy to see in real was a Azure container that was on display in the exhibition floor. These are containers (shipping container) that have all included in them – Hundreds of Dell Servers, Climate controlled, Networked, Monitoring and so on. When a container arrives at a new Microsoft Data Center location, all they need to do is plug in power and network uplink. Everything else is included in the container box. A typical data center will have hundreds of these containers

Microsoft Azure container

Microsoft Azure container

Trip to Macau SAR

On transit to USA I was in Hong Kong for 2 days, since I have seen Hong Kong last year I decided to do a day trip to Macau by Ferry. The TurboJet Ferry took less than a hour and the Super Class was very comfortable with serving of breakfast, leather seats and so on, costing about HK$250.

Ferry trip to Macau from Hongkong

To visit Macau remember you will need your Passport, so don’t leave them in your Hotel in Hong Kong and also your Air Ticket copy to renter Hong Kong. Both Hong Kong & Macau allows Indian Passport holders to stay for few weeks on a visit (VISA on entry) so no need to get a VISA in advance. Macau has its own currency – Macanese pataca, but you can freely use in every place Hong Kong dollars (and 1 MOP Dollar is approximately equal to 1 Hong Kong Dollar).

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Rickshaw’s in front of Macau Ferry station

When in Macau I took a Grey Line City tour for HK$120 or so from the visitor centre in the ferry station – it was worth it. The tour covered most of the highlights of Macau (leaving the Casinos which I was not interested as I have seen enough in Las Vegas) including “St. Paul’s Cathedral”, “A-Ma Temple”, “Macau Tower”, “Macau Museum” and others.

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Lotus Square (Lotus in Full Bloom) given by China to Macau in 1999 as a handover gift

St Paul Cathedral, Macau
St.Paul’s Cathedral

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Prayer bells in front of A-Ma Temple

Taxis are available easily in all places in Macau. McDonalds and Pizza Hut is available in tourists area, I went with Pizza Hut so that I can easily get Vegetarian food.

Vegetarian Chinese food in Hong Kong

I am in Hong Kong for two days on transit to USA by Cathay Pacific. I was lucky that my good friend/my first Yoga Master “Shyam” and his student “Jayan” in Hong Kong, had free time to show me around. Since I have seen the usual tours of Hong Kong in my trip last year, I didn’t go for sight seeing spots, instead went around Window Shopping. Since they have been living in HK for last few years they were familiar with where you can get good Vegetarian “Chinese” (yes I said it correct) food in HK. We had our lunch in “Light Vegetarian Restaurant Jordan Road, Kowloon” which had the most widest range of Vegan food and for dinner we went to “Evergreen Vegetarian Restaurant”.

On my departure for my flight to USA, we went to the huge Chinese restaurant (500+ seating capacity) in the Airport. So next time you are in HK and you are a Vegan don’t skip visiting these Chinese restaurants.

Right Ho, Jeeves

rightho-jeeves

I have heard about P.G.WodeHouse novel’s in school days, but twice when I picked it up then I couldn’t understand it enough to appreciate it. Now last month when I was travelling to Germany, I picked this book “Right Ho, Jeeves” in Mumbai Airport and finished it immediately. This book was lovely and very humorous, once you start it you can’t keep it down. As one of the commentators have said in the inside cover, the sentences are musical and the characters & scene come live in front of you. I plan to buy more books from “Jeeves and Wooster” collection.