Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Extremities are my destiny, I think.

Weekend was fabulous. Went to Anbe Sivam with friends to a faraway suburb and had tasty'n'filling lunch in an Indian restaurant called Madras Palace. You get better sambar here than Saravana Bhavan in Chennai. Will write a writeup on Anbe Sivam soon.

Chicago was warm on the weekend, today morning it was freezing rain where you find small droplets of snow falling down and melting the moment the hit the ground. Now, it is snowing like nobody's business and its already more than 2 inches of snow and all I could see from workstation is nothing but snow capped skyscrapers and hundreds of all-look-white cars flying (rather skiing).

My lovely spring, where are you?

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Bill Gates spammed me...howbout you?
[ Whom do you want to spam today? ]


Last week, I received a mail in hotmail mailbox which read the sender's name as Bill Gates with a e-mail address of BillGates@chairman.microsoft.com. But then I isolated in to last degree, throwing it as one of the hundred spams that I receive in my hotmail inbox, everyday.

At once I thought it could be a proper mail because I am a mcsd [Microsoft Certified Solution Developer] and probably it was a mail in connection to that. It wasn't. It wasn't a spam too. A true mail from Bill Gates which said, it was sent to me( and a million others) in connection to security measures taken by MS in the last year and in the current year.

The gist of the mail is to avoid security loopholes in Microsoft software and the list of measures taken by microsoft in the near past. But then whats the reason to send a email, NOW. Frankly, I don't know. Maybe microsoft just predicted the slammer attack on Friday the 24th Jan '03.

The Slammer worm, also known as "Sapphire," began to spread shortly after midnight ET on Saturday and quickly slapped many computer systems around the world offline. Slammer targets Microsoft's SQL Server 2000 as well as applications created with the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE 2000). Any application using this codebase is open to the exploit unless it is patched.

This is what the Internet Storm Center has to say on this:

Up to now, this worm has been named 'Sapphire','SQL-Hell' and
'MS-SQL Slammer'.
The worm is sending a 376 byte long UDP packet to port 1434 using random
targets at a very high rate. Vulnerable systems will immediately start
sending identical 376 byte packets once they are infected.
The worm is sending traffic to random IPs, including multicast IPs,
which may improve its Denial of Service (DOS) capability.

The entire transcript of the Bill Gates mail could be read from here.

Tail Piece: I googled Bill Gates and got a whopping 1,600,000 results.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Piled up: - Pile One...

I am running behind.....time moving faster than me, proving once again I am lazy. Lots of things I wanna write on this blog. Last month I had tons of experiences and moments to be shared with. At that moment, when something strikes me to write in the blog, I would either be in midst of the trafficy chennai in my splendor (I miss it! now) or I would be in a restaurant or in some place where is no smell of computers. Sometimes when I have the urge to write, I feel like running towards my PC to type the thought ASAP. But unfortunately when I am beside my PC, my inspiration to write goes down to a record low.

Now I feel I do injustice to my instant thoughts(some of them are real silly ones!!) by not penning them. To brief out things which I have missed to write about only in the last month needs a full day. I am sure I have forgotten many of them even now. Anyway, here are some of them which I missed and this is an effort towards anti-laziness, Hurray!!.

a. Sanjay Subrahmanyan's Kutchery or Show where I was a standing spectator just near the stage, was good. He was looking at me often (atleast I think he was), wondering whether I am nodding my head to his songs or I am trying to say STOP IT !!. Anyway, he is such a darling of carnatic masses, just takes you on a trip to seventh heaven in a minute. He sings with sheer love for music. Does make a lot of facial expressions which at times doesn't blend with his voice. One of his songs was calling Lord Nataraja to dance. And heck, he was too good that we thought Lord Nataraja was on his way to Chennai.

b. Kadhal Virus was a dramatic film. Filmed in the most artistic manner, it became an exaggeration sometimes. But overall a pretty ok film. Kathir, the director, has this rather different phenomenon of potraying his films to be a go-getter. You get a feeling that when you are not catching up with the pacing fashion, watch a kathir film and you get a hang of what these teens and young adults are upto. Idhayam - his debut potrayed the college guys with a realistic eye for detail. For it was how Kathir must have spent his college times. In Kadhal Desam, it was a rather modern college and girls in this movie demanded a minimum property of credit cards and cars from their boyfriends. Kadhalar Dinam potrayed the cyber culture of teenagers. It publicly displayed what happens in a private chat room of college lovers. All these movies where ahead of time in terms of fashion and story backdrop but the ending was always far behind its time.

All his movies revolved around the panic stricken, fickle, idealistic, freedom loving minds of the younger generation. None of his protagonists were heroes. They were just common men having their own common emotions like each one of us. But Kadhal Virus movie is a slight drift from kathir's way of films. Here we have a protagonist who elevates to become a typical tamil cinema hero. The story itself is 3 decades old. Old wine in an ultra new bottle is only good for a sip. But don't take a plunge into the wine, it starts to become sour.

A classy hero, who can reflect emotions aptly and a heroine who doesn't even come close to her character, act in Kadhal Virus. These two people's love forms the crux of the movie. Finally, the heroine marries a unknown prince and the hero becomes our devdas. And finally quits the world by drinking his way to glory with heart full of sadness. If you didn't guess this ending before the interval, you will be punished to watch two indian masala movies a day for the next fortnight.

A R Rahman's renders soul for this movie. His classy numbers include Sonnalum Kettpathillai and Vaan Nila. Ofcourse the hits are Hey Hey Enna Aachu by Vasundara Das. Vaali the veteran lyric writer has a supersonic tamil express in the song Vaan Nila. Astounding lyrics which was sung with utmost ease by Karthik. ARR's romantic piano creates a world of magic in this song.

Finally, a far better movie than the hyped up Solla Marantha Kathai(SMK hereafter). SMK was slightly different from Kadhal Virus by only one aspect. It was old wine in old bottle and people thought antique stuff was much better and watched SMK. But then realized the old wine bottle was taken from old trash and was also broken at places. Thangar Bachan, the director of SMK has opinions that tamil films lack the story content unlike his movies. His SMK is no better than Kadhal Virus. Atleast Kadhal Virus has touch of class and artistic feel. SMK lacks in all areas except music by illayaraja. Everything was pushed aside in SMK in order to portray realisticness, finally ended up in disappointing his audience. Last Word : Richard the hero of Kadhal Virus is a talent to watch out for.

Some more piled up...... unleashed, tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Its too cold outahere at chicago to write anything. Did a good thing before I left chennai. I sneaked in the night show of the first day to watch Anbe Sivam. Too good for a film to run in gollywood. And btw, aren't you wondering what I am doing in this freezing sub zero temp at chicago. I am here again on a business trip. Will hang around till it is spring here.

US looks dirty in this winter because of the salt they throw on the road to avoid skids. But the trees look amazingly beautiful with no leaves and they have a brownish black color that sets your mood to nostalgica. The blend of colors now is unexplainable. It is uglily beautiful (huh..bad english!!) and thats what i call CUTE.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Is this Anbe Sivam

Came across news that Anbe Sivam is based on Planes, Trains and Automobiles(1987). I still want to see how Madhavan plays Steve Martin's role. I am not sure if this is right but the pictures say it might be.

Anyway just 3 days more...

Saturday, January 11, 2003

Rahul !!! Get Married :

Rahul Dravid, the senior sqaure-cutter turned wicketkeeper of India turns 30 today. Hey man !!! Get married soon. Enough of making even non-cricket loving girls drool over you. He is now currently playing against the kiwies and lets hope he celebrates a diwali(!!) on his birthday.

Friday, January 10, 2003

Special Weekend Ahead

It's another pleasant weekend ahead. Especially special for me. I would probably be travelling chicago again, next weekend. Hence would like to roam around chennai this weekend. The yearly chennai book fair is here in QMC college. IIT Madras cultural festival Saarang starts this weekend with P C Sorcar Jr Magic Show. And hey!! they have a fusion show by Moksha, Keith Peters & Kadri Gopalnath. Also the worthy mention of Shaan's Indy Pop. I would certainly miss all of these.

Last year was great fun at IIT when we had Parikrama performing the rock show. These guys played a fabulous number from Jimi Hendrix. And Shankar Mahadevan's show with his latest Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe. We were dancing our minds out that day. They whole stadium boomed when he sang uppu karuvadu from mudhalvan. This time Shaan's Bhool Jaa would be the highlight.

Friday, January 03, 2003

Party like it's 1995 - Yahoo! can't catch Google

Check out here in msn slate how Google thrived over Yahoo and Inktomi even though they both had a early lead in the war of search engines. The commercial Web in 2003 is getting back to what worked years ago - The whole is worth less than the parts.

Thursday, January 02, 2003

Mani Ratnam and Kamal : In need of a patch

The much-hyped Kamal-Mani Ratnam starrer seems to be in doldrums. The estimated cost of production shooted upto 10 crores and the total estimate inclusive of Kamal's huge sum of 6 crores, sky rocketed to 20 crores. Except Roja Combines producer Khaja Mohideen, none were ready to pick it up. Also as said by Kamal in Vikatan's interview, the new story was much came out much to be a bigger aspiration than what it was thought to be. And so Mani Ratnam is writing something else which is a bigger leap than Nayakan but smaller than the first planned one.

Also Mani Ratnam is planning to direct a film for Mohideen and Kamal is planning to host three movies in his own RajKamal Banner. He would probably act in one of them, which is supposed to be directed by Mouli. He has called Nasser to direct the second film. The cast is undecided for this movie. The third one is undisclosed. Heard that his latest stuff Anbe Sivam is a no-nonsense film and the songs have a communist voice in them.

Its time for Mani Ratnam to reach the stars by a bigger movie than Kannathil Muthamittal. I don't want him to settle for anything smaller than that. It could probably be a story about a social cause. Some thing that we can fantasize with. Unlike Shankar, he has stuck to realistic movie making which has made him classier. But its time to revitalize Tamil cinema with one his all time biggest grosser. I dream of Mani Ratnam movie thats far better than and much deeper than Kannathil and also hits a silver Jubilee. Something like Rajini's Basha, which was liked by all section of the society. A movie that will be Mani Ratnam's pinnacle. Even after such films like Roja, Bombay and Dilse, my all-time Mani Ratnam favorite is Nayakan. If Mani needs to direct such a class movie he needs some one as versatile as KamalHassan. Because the unmatched dedication of Kamal and Mani's perfectionist attitude is what that
can make such a movie magic again.

I remember Mani Ratnam quoting in an interview "Movie is an art form of 20th century which can ensemble all the forms of art into one medium. It is the medium which can collate the best dance, drama and music". It is this definition of movie that stuck me harder and I fell in love with the whole idea of movie making. To his credit, he also broke the myth that commercial cinema has to be crude, loud, luridly colorful and brimming with big stars to be popular. In its place, he incorporates all the more appealing elements of popular cinema - romance, action, songs and dazzling locations, then wraps them up in a novel and visually exhilarating package that has now become his hallmark. To work with someone like Mani Ratnam, who is meticulous in his movie making method, is no child's play.

Track Back Scribbles : Mani Ratnam and Kamal - Pair Up, Gear Up & Cheer Up !!

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

New year is here

Wishes for a happy and successful new year. Let us hope to have this blogging sub-culture grow by leaps and bounds this new year. Hope to find lot more indians joining the band wagon this year.

Lots of things to write about. Have a been on a vacation the last week. Did a few important personal things like insurance and car driving license. Also was on a movie spree for the last 5 days. Did nothing last night but to sleep after midnight. I am a Lazy Geek...you see ;-)

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