Wednesday, August 22, 2007

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They say language must not be a barrier for communication. Most times we have even reached a situation where we have communicated with only our hands and dumb mouth while in other countries where english is not spoken. Today you come inside Bangalore and most people you got to for business speak many languages ranging from hindi, to kannada, to malayalam, to tamil.



And who says Bangalore doesnt have a concern for the environment? In fact every lorry driver too cares for the environment, what better example than this message to keep the city Poluiteion free ... oops... pardon my spellings, I'm getting carried away these days.








I have heard of even better dialogues than this one!



- Open the window, let the atmosphere come in
- I need leave today, my headache is aching
- Both the three of you stand up
- Last bench please stand up



It does tickle the funny bone more often than not !! But I take pride in the fact that everyone tries to communicate in english much to the convenience of visitors from all over the world!



Welcome to my country, enjoy my country, dont litter the place and no poluite-ing the hair! :)



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The quality of these snaps arent the best, but I did manage to catch the KR puram hanging bridge just before sunset. This is perhaps one of the engineering marvels in Bangaore, and at the same time a waste of public money.













From THE HINDU, more details on the bridge! These images are taken with my mobile camera at long distance hence the bad quality !



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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

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Alright alright. Before you scratch your head about this post lemme clear it up a bit. For a long time I had always thought that my blog was a mix of things. Well thats how Bangalore life is as well, so I dont see a reason to blog about the various aspects. In this melee what happened is that blogging about my favourite corporate articles took a back seat for a while.



Which is when I decided its time to reinvent the wheel again. And bring about a more focussed blog with matters close to my heart! And for a start I've made that happen at the blog of Geeksrik . As for the contents, its best you check out for yourself. I've tried to keep it simple and straightforward and in depth too.



More things are on the way w.r.t to my web career (as I call it). With atleast 10-15 minutes allotted to thinking a lot, it helps me get newer perspectives in life as I go on with work. You will see more and more updates from me on my pages soon.



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Friday, August 17, 2007

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I had the opportunity to visit Lalbagh and a chance to photograph the flower show. This show was conducted on the occassion of 60th year of Indian Independence. I met up with my friend who brought his Canon DSLR EOS 300D, while I went in with my trusted Olympus C770UZ 10x Optical zoom camera. Though not to the leagues of DSLRs, my olympus did a great job with DOF effects and Macro photography. The colour reproduction was extremely natural as well. Luckily I went one week earlier. Had I gone on 15th August, on the Independence Day, I would have got stuck up in a big mess of swelling traffic and crowds! Have a look and enjoy the snaps. If you like them, click on menu within the slideshow and leave me ratings and comments :)



 



 



 



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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

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Continuing where I left off at Part-I of this article, it would be important to understand how vitiligo mentally affects our daily lives. The best way to discuss about it then would be to logically divide our lives in stages and see what sort of challenges vitiligo poses at each such stage. The article also presents ways of dealing with this problem at different stages.

Infancy stage : It is not clear if vitiligo can be present in an infant. This is hugely possible perhaps only due to heredetical reasons. If the problem does occur, as an infant the kid itself is in a stage where it cannot understand the problem and understand others’ reactions to this problem. Grooming such kids as they grow older to grow with a better understanding of this problem is a very important step for the parents at this stage. There is no way in which parents can afford to be grief stricken over the occurance of this problem on their kids. Take it with your stride, enlist way to start combatting the prevalent social menace.

Schooling stage : Any problem surfacing with students has profound impact on their lives at this age. Vitiligo is no different in this case. The social discrimination begins to descend on to the kid and the nature of the situation is compounded, as the impact of this skin problem is also felt by kids of this age. There are all chances that such kids may not perform well at school due to the social pressures, and may even earn low grades. Some even turn into a mental wreck. The only way to get over this problem is to keep the kid occupied in other pastimes which diverts the mind away from the problem the kid is facing. For example a regular gym workout schedule or perhaps games schedules involving just the kid and the parent would help to a large extent. That way we can ensure that the kid atleast has some time in the day where he does not worry about the problem. What happens at school during socializing is something not in control of the parents, but it helps if the parents allow the kid to discuss it out with them if he is feeling low on any given day. The best way probably is to not keep asking the kid about his day at school, to avoid any more tormenting and compounding the stress.

In both stages above, a regular diet with less of sour/citric stuff is helpful in combatting the problem. A dose of psoralen and good exposure to sunlight every morning for about 10-15 minutes will do a world of good. If your country does not provide good sunlight, you might even want to compromise and think of moving to a place that does! Diet and stress situation control are the two key things that can keep the problem stable and prevent the patches from spreading all over the body (in case of partial vitiligo situations)

Adoloscence : This is the age where the individual will be in his early 20s and the seeds of knowledge are sown into his mind. This is the time when the person would be gearing up for making big decisions in life. Vitiligo can strike a nasty blow to this process, stumping the person completely. It could lead to a very depressive situation if not attended to with utmost importance. This is the right time to fill in the individual with knowledge and above all hope, that the problem is not something that is going to take his life away from him. The general immediate concerns would be that of a job and marriage. The former is NOT at all a concern as no organization discriminates you for an opportunity based on a skin condition. The latter however, can be a concern for sometime and would be solved in many different ways. In an ever modernized society its only natural that there would be a person who understands your problem in a tec

hnical sense and is willing to support you. You could still be married with people having the same vitiligo. Always remember that there is a certain give and take in any marriage. You say “YES” because you find something profitable in a relationship with your would-be spouse. The feeling is reciprocal as well from the other side. Having said this then, there would always be a person in this world who you would eventually find one day, and who wants solace from you as an answer to their own problems. The understaning of life and in general the relationships gets only better for people having Vitiligo and they learn to appreciate the small good things which bring cheer in life, rather than money, materialistic comforts and flashy lifestyles!

Having kids: If you are married to a partner without vitiligo, there are less chances your kid will have it too. If no one in your family has had the problem as a heredity, your kid is unlikely to have it too. Even if your kid would probably get this problem down the line sometime in his life, its very immportant that couples with vitiligo, provide a stress free life to their kids and conform to certain specific (non citric) diets, and provide good exercise and sunlight exposure to their kids. If this is done religiously, history wont repeat again.

By this stage any individual would be happy and content with his life that he no more needs to bother about the problem itself! Remember that excessive medication or treatment could be harmful in the longer run, and its always best to use natural sources of Vitamin D such as sunlight and maintain a regular healthy diet and exercise schedule.

VITILIGO IS NOT THE END OF YOUR LIFE. ITS THE BEGINNING — OF A NEW WAY TO LOOK AT LIFE.

For personal support on this issue, you can contact me via the comments form and I shall help you deal with your stress.



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Monday, August 13, 2007

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The holiday season is just a few months away! First Halloween, thenThanksgiving, and before you know it, you'll be stuffing stockings!Don't worry, CouponChief is here for you. Make a wishlist of your household family members and think of themost amazing gift you would buy for them, if you could. Don't forgetthe pets!

Check out the amazing deals here: Best Buy and Amazon . Do more online shopping here!




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As usual, scores of autowallahs are adamant in flouting rules in the city. The police cares a damn on this behaviour and I pity to only think they need some tips in coming up in life. But coming to think of it in their perspective, they are prohibited to park in any place where potential customers are available, so what would the resort to? Like for example the HOSMAT hospital in the photo below!



While prepaid auto stands are a good addition to the city, this has only mounted pressure on the auto wallahs to try new tricks to work around that constraint. And they give reasons like traffic jam, water logging, and latest even that metro rail construction is going on - all to fleece you even more than ever. I sincerely wish the government provides subsidies to auto wallahs to buy Reva cars and make the city more silent please! The noise from autos alone is staggering enough to make you deaf in a short while.



Education is of prime importance and just like farmers became educated after turning millionaires selling their lands off, we would love to see auto rickshaws prosper the same way with some boom in their field of work too! God are you hearing?





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The ScanShell 2000N (2000NR) portable document scanner is the ideal A4 colorscanner for the busy professionals and executives. This lightweight andconvenient scanner is powered using only the USB 2.0 port. TheScanShell 2000N (2000NR)is conveniently carried along with a laptop andrequires a minimal footprint on the desktop.

The ScanShell 2000N (2000NR) portable scanneris a lightweight(14oz/390g) mobile scanner that requires no external power adapter. ItsUSB 2.0 port connection feature allows for a fast and easy one-cablehook up to your notebook or desktop PC and the unique "launch" buttonstarts your imaging application instantly.

Bundled software
DocShell is an easy to use utility that scan documents and exportthe scanned image into existing, pre-installed application on theuser's pc (PDF,Microsoft paint etc.). The scanned document can be savedto one of the following image types: BMP, JPG, TIF, PSD, PCX, PNG orTGA.
Scan2Contacts our business-card scanning module for MS Outlook ®.

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The Maini group, more famous and synonymous with the name Reva Electric Car, has provided an electric buggy to the people who manage Lalbagh gardens in Bangalore for taking visitors on a trip around the place. The driver who doubles up as a guide shows you around the place and explains the significance of the gardens as he goes by. If you are not in a mood to walk, and you want to visit the gardens on the move, this buggy is the most suitable for you :)


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This blog entry is particularly provided to help people understand the problem of vitiligo or leucoderma and deal with both the physica and social impact it causes in one's life. Vitiligo or Leucoderma is in layman's terms the appearances of white patches on the skin of the individual. Both terms mean the same thing, and in a more technical perspective, your skin has cells called melanocytes which produce a colouration called melanin. When these cells lose the ability to produce the colour, pigmentation occurs causing white patches. There are three types of Vitiligo, one which is minimal and only on some parts of the body, one which is lateral which occurs either on the front or back side of the body and one which is total, ie., the pathces are many and sporadic all over the body from head to foot.

The most immediate impact is a social stigma caused by this problem becuase of which we feel inferior to move around with normal looking people. This behaviour stems from the concern of what people would be discussing about you and your problem behind your back. This very concern increases the stress which increases Vitiligo. It is important to understand what causes Vitiligo and how to control the spread and impact caused by the problem. The most common cause of vitiligo is supposedly said to be Stress. Partly it is also caused due to heredity. Stress can be better defined as a state of affair involving demand on physical or mental energy. It is any condition that exhausts either of these energies. Having said that, the common examples of stress could be a fight you pick up with a friend or relative, or a nasty situation at office where you and your boss dont agree, or even situations where you are worried because you think too much about an uncertaintity and compound the worries in you. When such situations occur it is understood that all the blood flow in the body is provided to more important organs, but not the skin cells. These cells are of least priority and are not cared for in these situations. This kills the melanin cells rendering the skin area white and patchy.

Coming to the issue of social stigma, the effects are a bit disastrous. You dont feel like talking to people about your problem, you dont want anyone in the public to see you or stare at you. You dont feel like attending public functions or parties for the scare of people finding out your problem and enquiring about it with you. You are threatened about the impossibility of your marriage or having kids and in general about the way you lead your normal life. In short you even head towards a depression of some sort. Its not uncommon for people to act panicky about each and every small problem you face about your health during the appearance of Vitiligo. You also tend to associate each and every change in your skin and attribute it to the spread of your problem.

Having said this much on this well known problems, its important you also know what are the treatment options available. The most common is standing in sunlight. Of course you would need to take tablets containing Psoralen, a chemical that would that react with ultraviolet (UV) light to cause darkening of the skin. If sunlight every morning does not seem to work, you go to the next stage of treatment which includes PUVA and PUVB (Psoralen ultra violet) light therapy for about 3 times a week for 10-15 minutes per session. Be advised that this treatment can cause side effects of skin cancer and cataract, the latter being more prominent if you dont safeguard your eyes while getting treated. The next option avaialble for a possible improvement of the spots, would be to undergo a cosmetic surgery of sorts. This surgery is of three types, progressively becoming more modern. The first
is to make a skin graft, that is take skin from good sections and graft them to the patched areas. The second is to do a punch graft, that is to take skin from a good section, divide it into many little pieces and punch them onto the patchy areas after which they start multiplying in that region. The last and perhaps the most modern is the melanocyte transplant procedure. In this procedure, the skin from good regions is removed, and put into a centrifuge machine, where after some time, the cells are seperated out of the skins. The solution containing the cells are then applied on the patchy areas after they are sufficently prepared to receive these live melanocytes (skin cells). These cells then thrive on the patchy regions and produce the necessary colour, reducing patches on the skin.

All these procedures always dont produce results. The results largely depend on the individual's body constitution and his stress levels. Yes they are a good try, but not always sucessful to the extent of 100%. The next part of this article will explain how to deal with the social stigma caused due to vitiligo.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

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I ve always been an admirer of the majestic Boeing 747's and their antics in the sky. And Malaysia Airlines pilots are perhaps one of the world's best pilots in handling these beauties! What better way than to demonstrate a few of them ?










[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAfQwDizpRo]

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

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Starting again from where I left off in Part-1 of this article, 1999 was my turn to be churned out as an engineer. Except that it wasn’t exactly a budding engineer! Of the 20 companies due to intense competition, I could get in to a firm only at the fag end and the firm was into Y2K maintenance work and not much to my liking as well. And they deferred my appointment by six months to add fuel to the fire. So then began the hard search for a job where me and my friend (who was not so lucky to even have these 20 companies, but only 2) roamed the famous streets of Bangalore literally flooding our resumes to whichever company we bumped into on the way.

One day very early in the morning, I heard a loud knock on my door and it was the same friend of mine who I had gone out with earlier, who shook me and woke me up.  There was a walk-in interview schedule in Wipro, one of the top companies in Bangalore. I was nowhere near prepared with anything to take this up, but still my friend thought I should give a try. There were only 15 minutes left to report and I rushed there without anything in my hand but a pen. A huge crowd of nearly 1200 people were in the waiting. They needed a copy of my marksheets, my photos and some other details. I had none of them. Thanks to my friend again he had a copy of all those! (Friends in need are friends indeed). After the first round of this walk-in, 630 people were selected, after the second round 310, after the third round 200 and after the last round only a mere 56 people were on the rolls of Wipro - I WAS THERE! This was for a trainee position, wherein I underwent two months of rigorous (7am-8pm) training and then two more rounds of interview of which a mere 36 people were actually offered a job. I WAS AGAIN THERE! The same Wipro which I could not get into while in college (my first company on campus), I got into now. Thanking my stars was the only thing I could do in these difficult times.

My juniors had more worse times in the waiting. Post Y2k was the dot com bust, which rendered thousands of people jobless, and more of the potential new entrants’ hopes were crashed too. These were for the people of graduating batch 2000 and 2001. Come 2002 & 2003 and they had a much more difficult challenge - the World Trade Towers had just collapsed and this sent the American and subsequently the largely dependent Indian economy reeling. Thousands of layoffs only worsened the matters for new joinees. Their appointments were deferred by almost one year! Call it a curse or whatever. Most Indian companies learnt to reorganize their dependencies on America alone so that no one will be caught unawares in such a situation were it to happen again anytime in the future.

The last three years 2004 - 2007 has seen a strong oursourcing wave in India, making it possible for thousands of people to land jobs quite easily as companies are on the recruiting spree even now. With a host of benefits and large pay packets, and add to it geographical expansions all over the country has made it easy for youngsters to land good jobs. This obviously has to have a caveat and the people who still suffer are those who have been academically incapable (though not intellectually) - (read) people who have scored less in their graduating degree. Companies now want only the cream of people which has still left most others in the lurch. And this is a challenge which is not so easily conquerable as you cannot reverse your adademic scores! The only way then is to study higher and hope that a dual degree would solve your employment problems to some extent. The students are onto it, and companies are also taking note of this progress.

Wh

at the coming years would have as challenges are yet to be seen. But if there are any indicators, its wise to take note of them - Reverse outsourcing by companies, Mergers and Acquisitions, Emergence of non traditional sectors of engineering in a big way, Rising rupee costs, the pointers are many. And needless to say only the smartest in the human race will survive. When the going gets tough, everyone gets going is the motto for the Indian IT industry. The only difference is some people scale higher altitudes, the rest go home.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

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Got this succession of the swift in my office parking lot, looked so appealing and beautiful. For more information, Maruti has sold an estimated 1,50,000 Swift cars since its inception which is a record in itself. It has spacious interiors, decent gear shift and ride quality and good power with both the 1.3 petrol and 1.3 DDiS diesel engine from FIAT.











It is notable that Maruti has provided space enough to fit upto 17 incher tyres which makes it a great car to start modding! This car alone has generated so much appeal that thousands of customers have modified the swift to have better alloys, cool tyres, sun roofs, door graphics, lights, ICE systems and so on.

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

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For the past two years I was blogging very personally. It was only this year that I decided to go public with my thoughts to write. It was due to this step that I got introduced to PayPerPost, a unique website that leverages these skills of mine and enables me to review the links the provide. So without wasting much time, I ll go straight to the point of reviewing their site.



For beginners, the site main menu is well organized on top of the page, and gives you links to go to various sections where you can easily get conversant with how to set up your account, your dashboard, your PPP tools and also check on your posts. A very simple, uncluttered menu design in my opinion.



The dashboard has among other things your earnings, a simple button menu with various settings on your account and a box showing opportunities available for you to take up. It also has advert spots showing what are the opportunities available in a more pictorial form so that you can relate to it. Also below to encourage you is the list of highest earners, which can help you know more about them, make friends with them and perhaps learn how they manage to earn so well and try the same for yourself. I do however feel the dashboard can be simplified by putting the pictorial adverts in a seperate page to avoid clutter!



The opportunties menu item brings you to the list of opportunties which are displayed as per the classification of either being available to you or not. You can also zero in on either posts that are available, or those posts you can additionally take up, etc to simplify this list. it also shows how much you get paid, and the number of votes (popularity) of the advertiser. The PPP tools section contain many aids like banners, forms which you can easily install on your blog/website by copying code for the same. Its a nice way of letting users know which type of recommendation to pay per post are available and helps them select what they want most to their liking. Additionally also is a firefox plugin.



The myblogs section is self explanatory where you can manage one or more blogs of yours. Here what I liked is the fact that it shows whether the PPP tools are installed on this blog and whether your blog is available/participating in the market place and in the direct space. Google and Alexa rankings are also shown for reference which is a good pointer for your to keep note of and contribute more to achieve high ranks!



The myposts section is again self explanatory. It gives status about your blogs and what posts you have contributed for the opportunities listed.



Now coming to the most interesting aspect of PPP : Why you are encouraged to write and earn? The reason is simple and in front of your eyes. You have skills, there are advertisers, and there are things that you can review fairly and frankly. And you get paid for it as a gift ! All this put together brings your creativity to the fore and you can write cool things you like/dislike about any given opportunity.



Thats not all, generally blogging makes friends for you. and PPP multiplies that possiblity. You get to know more people, things what they do, and also the general marketplace musings! So what are you waiting for? Join PPP now and start making money while enjoying reviewing opportunities!



drive traffic





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The year you were born has been one of the greatest differentiator between you and your peers in the industry today. though the software industry had its modest beginnings around 1980 with microsoft being in the lead, it was the inception of Infosys in India around 1991 that really set the pace for India Inc to take shape. The engineering batches prior to 1993 were that of yearly courses. It was only from 1993 that Bangalore University adopted the semester scheme which made it easy for the students to finish off with a crisp set of topics for every semester and completing their degree in eight semesters. During these days both students and the software industry were more or less evolving with the same pace in Bangalore. I say Bangalore, becuase this is where the growth story had its start!

I was particularly lucky to have atleast three levels of heirarchical seniors in my academic domain. While the first batch of semester students of 1993 did have a pretty tough time getting the ball rolling, we piggy backed on their experiences to chart out a pre-analysed study schedule for ourselves during 1995. It is worth noting here that these first batch of students did not have any concept of campus recruitments from any company except for one or two colleges in Bangalore. And even if they did the only companies to talk about were Infosys, or Wipro during those days. Having said this, each batch of students had and continue to have their own challenges to face between 1993 until now. But the period between 1997 and 2002 was perhaps the most phenomenal for India Inc in my opinion as most of you would also tend to agree. We dont know how many more such phenomenal years are ahead and only time will say.

Why does the title of this post say "the year you were born ..." ? Well, strictly it should have been the year you graduated! I was born in 1977, and graduated in 1999. Whats so great about that you might ask!? For the context of this post, it makes a lot of relevance. People who graduated in the late eighties, and very early nineties founded companies like Infosys in India. At the time my seniors graduated in 1996-7, the old men of the late eighties were millionaires cashing in on the "start" of the impending software boom in Bangalore, leave alone India. My seniors were not that straightforwardly lucky, especially the ones two years older to me. The had no company willing to recruit them, they had not many companies to go about to and market themselves and they perhaps were cursing themselves to be the first batch of jobless engineers in the making. Well time does change everything doesnt it? These guys too found jobs somehow, somewhere and with someone willing to recruit them and they made an extremely modest beginning with India Inc, unlike the millionaires of yesteryears who are the visionaries of today!

Then came the turn of my immediate seniors, older to me by one year who were I should say perhaps the luckiest batch with respect to campus placements. The software industry reared is hissing head and began sounding omniously huge with mega plans to change India as early as 1997-8. As a result 40 top companies in Bangalore (should I say what a growth in one year?) expressed their interest for campus placements in my college alone. You name the company and it was found on my college campus. I could only barely contain my anxiety and enthusiasm seeing this development as the next year it would be my turn.Come 1998-9 and to my luck India Inc took a different turn and things started to go onto the backburner for these companies. Neither were there 80 companies this time, nor were the same number of students recruited as much as for my senior batch.

The culprit : Y2K. Or can i call it pre-Y2k syndrome? There was lot of work going on to save the systems from getting obsolete due the onset of the new millenium. This work alone trasnlated to a mini boom for India Inc as it affected every project and every walk of life. The sheer number of th

ings getting obsolete presented a huge opportunity for India Inc. So then the recruitments for my batch were supposed to have been phenomenal by any indications. But the companies always know the best for themselves and most of them unanimously accepted the grim post Y2K scenario as early as 1999 where all the work after 2000 would obviously drop to real low levels. This only meant enthusiastic engineers newly recruited would meet a nasty end even before they began.

The result: Only 20 companies compared to the 40 the previous year, and double the number of candidates for competition! What a pity for students, though at an analytical standpoint the companies did the right thing I must say rather than to have dealt with the bloated workforce later post 2000. Neither were they willing to take that risk nor were they too well equipped to predict what would lie ahead. Companies decided to wait and watch for 1999-2000 and this was a severe blow for the students of that batch, including me.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

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You must be wondering what is happening on my blog lately. Well I have decided to blog more and blog more usefully. Having said that the one thing I have always wanted to write about was the different aspects of being in the Indian software industry. There are lots of things that can be written about India Inc, and how people graduating out of Indian educational institutions manage to fare under India Inc. So without being to hasty, I will introduce a set of articles that aim to understand these situations and help people deal with it in a better way. I hope that through these articles you will be able to gain the ability to deal with situations better in life.

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Monday, August 6, 2007

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I ve always wanted to capture the new India Honda Accord's Tail lights in action. Today I got a chance to do so. And boy oh boy, arent they really awesome! They are three rows of sweet little LED lamps perhaps, which give an awe inspiring road presence for the magnificient accord. It looks much much better than the older accord (which also nevertheless was a head turner). Design philisophy must be in the blood and it shows in the case of this honda. I cant wait to imagine how the facelifted honda city will look like in December this year. And the completely new honda city that is going to light up a thousand hearts coming june next year!






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Saturday, August 4, 2007

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The latest rage in India are LED lights of various fashions, be it small torches, lanterns, garden lamps or even lamps that fit into the common bulb holder socket found at homes! These come in different wattages starting from 1W upto 3W or more and save you thousands of rupees in precious money when used in place of conventional lamps.



One such company making LED lanterns is Flexitron and I came to know about this company through some business contacts. I happened to buy a 1W LED lantern that has two LEDs facing each other, one from top, and one from below. The lantern costs Rs.900 upwards and comes with a charger similar to that of your mobile, which shows a red indication when charging and a green when done. Each charge of the battery can run this lantern more than 14-15 hours and the charge also lasts upto more than 10-12 days which makes it very very handy for homes in India where there are frequent power cuts.





The light released by this lamp is strictly not phenomenal, but it can easily brighten up a dinner table to an extent where one can comfortably have dinner even in times of power cuts.



Any product has to be handy in ways more than one, and this one is no exception. This lantern also comes with a Nokia phone charger with which you can charge your mobile phones during power cuts by deriving power out of the lanterns battery. Thanks to Nokia's large scale monopoly, at this time this lantern only supports nokia phones, but it isnt far off when more multi model phones also garner support from our humble lantern.



Well then, is it a cool gadget for 900 bucks? I would like to think its quite expensive as usually is the case with any new products. But if you do think of the energy it saves over days and years of working, the amount seems negligible. The only problem then being warranty and support. For one year there is warranty on the lamp and I do want to believe that the company making these lamps does not shut shop or change business. But its hard to say what can happen due to business dynamics to such companies who are initially interested to be innovative and then change track later on. Hopefully my lantern will be safe for a few years.



In these days of use and throw gadgets, I would not be surprised if I find more and more people having greater spending power leading to more and more cheap, reliable, use and throw gadgets, there by keeping the economy revolving on and on!



If you care to buy one, do call flexitron at +91-80-25531512, speak to Prithvi. you wont regret the purchase! Move on bulbs and tubelights, give way to the swanky new LED systems.




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Friday, August 3, 2007

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With the launch of the new Reva-i version of the already famous electric car reva, the Maini group seems to be going in the right direction with its $20mn second round funding recently received.



The new vehicle is pleasing to look at much like the old one and is priced between 3.49 to 4.04 lakhs INR. Since there is no road tax for this car, one can pretty much assume this would be the on road price as well or atleast near these prices.



For the same price, you get more bang for your buck. Technological innovations are the key to this car design and it seems to be future proof as well. Some obvious changes include inclusion of a defogger which is a boon in city rains, alloy wheels (atleast the picture shows so), improved torque (upto 40%) which translates to lesser stress on driving, a maximum speed of 80kmph as compared to a sluggish 60kmph, and the best part of all, a maximum mileage of 80-100km per charge as compared to an earlier 60-80km. the increase in the mileage of about 20km is definitely a boon to the people of the geographically ever increasing city bangalore and enables you to travel far off distances within city limits.





As for other features, they remain and get better by the day. Climatronic seats, remote AC (cooling begins with the key !!), and other gizmos remain (it also includes a 12v socket with which you can use your laptop). On the outset, this car seems very expensive when you would get say a maruti 800 or indica Xeta or say an alto or a Chevy spark. But none of those are automatic, Reva has almost all features the other cars have (except its a 2 seater), and the best part is its easy on your pocket and a no frills car. If TATA launch their one lakh car with an AT version, then reva has competition, else it would continue to remain a trendsetter in its own segment.



I have driven the earlier reva and its quite zippy and easy to drive and absolutely no mechanical electrical gimmicks to understand. put the key, and you are off. period. Now its left to see if the reva does garner more exports and domestic sales as time goes by. I for time and again want to own this baby, and there is no better time to do it than now !!

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Monday, July 30, 2007

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Caught this reading on my car, and it matched the current year and month. What a coincidence! The best part I like about the Maruti Suzuki Swift console are the fonts used in the tachometer, speedometer and fuel guages. The indicators for brakes, oil, seat belts, doors, and headlamps are so nice and cute. The orange backlighting definitely soothens your mood after many a dreary day at office.






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Sunday, July 29, 2007

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I had a chance to visit the jayanagar shopping complex in Bangalore, for some purchases for a family function, after a long long time. I must say that the market and shopping complex is a world of its own. With so much in store inside, a shopper cannot possibly go home empty handed out of this place.



The ground floor of the complex is a place with thousands of shops huddled close to each other selling many things from footwear, clothes, birthday party items, coconuts, vegetables, flowers, perfurmes, powders, vermon, garlands, spices, toys and household goods among other things.
There were shops that were also specializing in selling photo grames, idols of gods and goddesses, plaintain leaves, flavoured mint and mouth fresheners as well. The jayanagar fish market was a place which I could smell to find where it was, and it offered a variety of fish, prawns, eggs, and other sea food.

This market can be compared to any other flea market worldwide and the prices are down to earth and enables every shopper to buy things at a bargain. Other than the ground floor, this complex houses three more floors having government offices, bigger retail shops, clothing accessory shops and cosmetics of well known brands too.


Outside the complex are road side vendors who sell many knickknacks, mainly handkerchiefs, flowers, vegetables among other things. This place is worth a weekend visit, and while you are there, dont forget to eat at Ganesh Darshan, the erstwhile Dosa Camp, a fast food joint near the market. There are many bank ATMs at your service too in this area.
Around the periphery of this complex are handicraft shops, handlooms, mobile phone shops, book shops and famous restaurants to dine in. There is also a well known cinema theatre here. The best way to enjoy your day is to travel by bus or by the famous/infamous autorickshaw, a three wheeler ride. Getting an organized car parking slot is almost impossible here during the day.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

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Shown below is a macro mode photograph that I took with my Olympus C770 UZ camera. In the macro focus is a golden ring, with a neatly carved out Lord Ganesha. The nice little piece of jewellery sits with a nokia phone in the background. The intricate amount of work on this ring is awesome and I like this ring the most among my collection.









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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

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Its a gala occassion at our home, and what better way to celebrate the same than to adorn the beautiful hands with the famed mehndi patterns.








At Rs.50 per hand ( < $1.25), doesnt this creation look awesome? :) Now this is one hand that is waiting for all appreciation to be showered on it.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

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Rathi Thee Thee - [audio:http://chowchowbath.com/sivaji/Athiradee.mp3]

Balleilakka Balleilakka - [audio:http://chowchowbath.com/sivaji/Balleilakka.mp3]

Oru Koodai Sunlight - [audio:http://chowchowbath.com/sivaji/Oru_koodai_Sunlight.mp3]

Sahaara - [audio:http://chowchowbath.com/sivaji/Sahaara.mp3]

Vaji Vaji Vaji - [audio:http://chowchowbath.com/sivaji/Sivaji.mp3]

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

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Spotted this VCD Couch product in bangalore a few days back!!











way to go hi-tech city - silicon valley of india!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

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I finally got my swift diesel Vdi on Saturday and had a long time wish fulfilled by the almighty himself and yes to some extent maruti udyog too. The last time on this blog, i had written a review of the swift diesel, but this time it was mine and only mine to enjoy thoroughly!! Here are a few cool snaps of the automobile, waiting for the customary puja at the ganesh temple near my home!






If you want a big size image, just click on any of these small ones!


This colour is so pleasant to my eye, that it soothes me down completely after a stressful day at work! The torque in this machine is amazing and the fuel efficiency is going to leave you speechless! With upgraded michelin tyres and alloys, this is a joy to drive around. absolutely great!

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Thursday, June 7, 2007

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And Bajaj said, yes its done!!







Image credit Nicolas Mirguet (https://www.flickr.com/photos/scalino/)


Challenge: When the Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium in Bangalore approached Bajajfor floodlighting their cricket field, we were sure of being inside the winner’s circle. But the task ahead was tough, unlike the rest of the India stadia. The lighting had to overcome the huge canopies covering the stands. Canopies, that could cast a huge shadow over the area near the boundary line. For Bajaj, it meant critical aming of each floodlight, besides the raising of the towers to over 60 metres. And 100% victory.

Solution: With Bajaj on the job, the GE Ultra Sport Floodlights soon bathed the Indian Cricket Team in their glory as they effected one of their greatest victories over Pakistan in the ‘96 World Cup, and yet again when they comprehensively beat Australia in the Titan Cup. Needless to say, every such victory is a victory for Bajaj Engineering and Projects BU too.





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Saturday, June 2, 2007

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Today I had a chance to finally splurge on some real good low light night time photography at the Indira Gandhi musical fountain.




Image copyright : www.chowchowbath.com, www.thebangaloreblog.com


The photos did come out well, but the fountain itself sponsored by the Indian Railways, was too basic, and the effects and lighting repeated many times. For a half an hour show and a Rs.10 ticket fee, this is more than one can ask for to spend a cool summer evening away from the din of traffic.





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Saturday, May 19, 2007

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Deconstructivism in architecture, also called deconstruction, is a development of postmodern architecture
that began in the late 1980s. It is characterized by ideas of
fragmentation, an interest in manipulating ideas of a structure’s
surface or skin, non-rectilinear shapes which serve to distort and dislocate some of the elements of architecture, such as structure and envelope.
The finished visual appearance of buildings that exhibit the many
deconstructivist “styles” is characterised by a stimulating
unpredictability and a controlled chaos.

One such of these buildings (though where the decon element is only on the elevation rather than the whole building itself) is on St.Marks Road. It looks like an upcoming mall or something, and pretty unique in itself



Original image credit : Addision Godel (https://www.flickr.com/photos/doctorcasino/5556359175/)

For more on decon, have a look here

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Now that i ve booked a sunlight copper Sx4 and am eagerly waiting for it to come through, i happened to chance on this sunlight copper swift (yes this and the arctic white are new colours on the same old swift, which give it a totally new found love from all owners!) at a local showroom. Absolutely awesome !! Looks like the colour of the year and the new season.




Image credits: http://www.opitz-online.net/shared/gebrauchtwagensuche/pictures/18965-3685__0__6-110818.jpg


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A new car is a new car !! so much so that one tends to drive it even before proper registration has been done !! wonder where they want to go so fast in life ?






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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

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Was on a real adrenalin rush drive towards office when i spotted this beauty ahead of me. Its so huge that it makes a Maruti 800 like mine feel like a hedgehog going behind and elephant. and what an elephant it was the new Audi Q7 3.0 TDi Quattro




Image credit : http://sritweets.com/autos/wp-content/images/2010/12/2010-Audi-Q7-6.0-TDi-Quattro-Tiptronic-1.jpg
(Sritweets.com)






A truly magnificient one too ! with high seating ultimate interiors and sheer power of 3000cc, and with a CRDi diesel engine that churns out a whopping 233bhp, its a dream machine anyone would want to drive along!!


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Thursday, April 26, 2007

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Surprise Surprise,



Get ready to be thrilled on May 4th, the Sx4 is coming to get you !!





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Monday, April 23, 2007

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Its always important to know what you can do to help when there is a fire at your workplace or home, but do you know how many types of extinguishers are there and what sort of materials they use it for? There are water based ones, CO2 based ones, available, and this training at our office only helped us get a first hand view of how to use these extinguishers! Though it was a mock drill, it also helped the fire department understand how casually people respond to fire. So the next time you hear and alarm, get out of the building immediately, fire or not!





Also the security personnel displayed a pump hose which could throw water at unimaginable heights upto 4-5 floors of the building, I must say it was really impressive!!



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Thursday, April 19, 2007

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Its become the rule these days that people follow to take their friends out. oh yeah, and by friends i meant our dogs! Its so refreshing to find dogs enjoying the ride as much as us! Wish I had a dog at home, but my mom just said either its me or the dog !!



You are lucky doggie, enjoy your ride :) !

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Its been my earnest endeavour to capture the sunset at hebbal flyover during this summer. As i zip past from my office at over 100kmph in my little tin car, I slowed down briefly to enjoy a warm summer sunset over the hebbal flyover!






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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

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General motors finally launched their small car (the lovely old matiz) Chevy Spark yesterday between 3.09 and 3.89 lacs ex-showroom delhi. however the south indians have to wait for almost three months even for a test drive as the production capacity will increase slowly and phased launches will take place in all regions. GM expects to sell 7000 units of the spark per month and at this juicy price, one doesnt have any doubts they will achieve their sales figure.



What is disturbing though is that the sales of UVA might completely go down to zero due to its high cost of ownership. Time will tell what happens in the GM circles! For now add a spark in your life! For more see www.chevyspark.in




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Monday, April 16, 2007

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Check out the new Palio Stile 1.6 Ad, in tune with the times, but still cool
YouTube - Aradhana Reloaded




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Click here to know and see more, do keep your speakers on!
YouTube - Cup-De Phat Gaye

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

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Went on a walk to a medical store when the store guy returned the change which contained this, a vintage 2 rupee coin!

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Original photo credit : http://forum.autocarindia.com/uploads/20110425_064913_LoganPlus.jpg



Today I got a call from Vijai Auto Sales in the afternoon for a test
drive of the logan from renault. was a pleasant surprise them calling
people registered with them earlier for a TD, that too on a sunday
afternoon. Since that was the only car left out by me without a TD, me
and my father decided to check it out. We reached the showroom, and a
lady there prompty started off her blabbering about the car in full
tempo. Meanwhile I dediced to check out the car first hand both hands
off and hands on, and here is my report!



I saw and drove a 1.5 diesel DLS (the highest end model) with airbags but no ABS!



Hands off:



1. Looks big, and roomy, colours are boring renault couldve done better.

2. Dashboard is clean and uncluttered, rather straightforward design

3. Renault perhaps would be paying their workers Rs.10000/- per month i
guess even in france, hence the severe cost cutting on the car itself -
the power window switches were my biggest put off. its ****ty in the
front and placed on the dash, to distract the driver or passenger every
now and then and at the back its even more horrible with the power
window switches at the middle passengers foot area. renault, we ll ask
anand mahindra to award you at the next COTY for this “feature”

4. the accelerator is slightly more lower than brake in terms of
height. the clutch is as sensitive (read that hydraulic) as the palio
itself if not more painful. But what i found more disturbing is that
the floor under the clutch area has a raised profile which makes me
uncomfortable in depressing the clutch fully to the floor. This is
perhaps another big put off as most of the time i had to raise my heel
from the floor to depress the clutch fully, and hence missed many gear
changes.

5. there is no proper “handle” for the doors to shut them once you are
in, renault seems to have laid off a few workers to put in a feature
where they have moulded the body itself into a handle to save costs
again.

6. remote fuel cap is present, good. no remote boot release - bad boy renault.

7. the beige interiors arent as horrible like in the palio, and is more sober and good to look at.

8. The dash is somewhat usable, but could have been better off like say the swift or other cars.

9. the rear is big and roomy, can seat three adults comfortably (dont
believe those photos on renault website showing three slim girls
sitting at the back, the indian population is of a differnt kind!),
with the middle person keeping his foot on the power window switch,
good now everyone can say “wow power windows - my foot!”

10. nothing more for the rear seat except three headrests - mahindra, good work here.

11. cost cutting again, no remote boot release, so opened the boot with
key only - and almost 2 people can sleep in the boot, great work!

12. ground clearance - 155, horrible, luckily never had to go on a hump
of the size of a skyscapper in bangalore. god only knows whats the
state of the car at this rate!

13. the rear is well, a rear. the lights are like those of the old alto
(non clear ones), and awkwardly positioned. guess mr. ghosn’s son or
daughter decided based on inky pinky ponky where the lights will be.

14. the headlights are ok, nothing contemporary, and there are side indicators as well

15. there are internally adjustible side mirrors and the rear view mirror is small and crampy. i hate them.

16. no tilt steering (you gotta be kidding renault! at that price) but
height adjustible driver seat which only puts you

more deeper in the
car which i found of no real use! i would anyday prefer tilt steering.

17. no fog lamps, if there is fog use the headlamps itself!



Hands on:


there is always a difference in perception between a hands on and
a hands off. so i took the drive to find out about the car more:



1. started the car, super silent diesel, good

2. tried to slot the reverse gear since i had to take it out a bit, but
the clutch issue i pointed out made me miss my gear and frankly thats
very annoying.

3. the power steering is a breeze and i was able to manouvre as i wanted to freely.

4. the engine isnt exactly peppy, but there is no unpardonable lag either. i would say i am satisfied with the engine

5. the a.c is excellent (more on the likes of fiesta) and there is no
noticeable lag in engine performance, which is full marks to renault on
that count. i know how it feels when you are loaded with passengers and
the pickup goes down. this time it was my dad and back seat, driver
(me) and test drive facilitator next to me. still there was no
perceivable lag in performance with ac which is good.

6. first gear doesnt allow me to go much. so slotted into second, here
too i was unable to go much maybe 50-60, then third and fourth. on a
plain stretch of road, i was able to manage 100 on one way, and on the
return about 110-120. the car does not eagerly pickup like swift, but
its not bad either. its a tad bit sedate.

7. at about 110-120 the lateral rocking is high and noticeable as my
dad straightaway told me my palio was better at higher speeds, man fiat
cars do talk for themselves! perhaps renaults cheap materials add to
this sway, but its not confidence inspiring at higher speeds and makes
the car feel like its floating and swaying.

8. the clutch is a bit hard to use, but becuase of the earlier
mentioned problem it feels much more terrible than it actually really
is.

9. the turning radius is good for a big car like logan. and effortless turns too.

10. the brakes arent spot on like swift or palio, but not too bad either, just right.

11. the indicators and wipers are interchanged like in the chevy cars.

12. since the wipers are on the right now, there is a switch at the end
of the wiper handle, upon pressing this switch each time, the dashboard
console displays useful information like distance to empty (ford fiesta
pioneered?), litres left of fuel, balance litres, odometer, etc etc. i
liked the console a lot, other cars can add some cheer to customers
learning from renault. after all we are in the digital age where we
need to be informative! instead of stupid seat belt warning chimes and
door open chimes, these kinds of things are more useful in the longer
run. the console has lot of IQ.

13. driver side airbag is good, but no abs, you gotta be kidding giving
one without the other! but something is better than nothing.

14. mahindra gave me a questionnaire which i prompty filled with negatives and positives for the logan.



the final thought, at 7.6 lacs on the road for logan high end dls
diesel 1.5 would i buy it? - NO. my mind does not permit me to pay 8
lacs for a renault. i d rather buy a honda city or fiesta for the
refinement levels in the respective cars. sorry renault for the obvious
design mistakes, i would not spend so much on your car.



the claimed mileage for petrol is 10 with ac in city, and diesel is 14
(with ac in city ), and 18 on highways. to sum up the logan,



- practical yet unintuitive except for the console

- good engine and space

- too pricey for the many design flaws and cost cuts.



i think it retails in france for 6k euros, at twice the price here, one expects more.





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Credits for photo : http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/4003132.jpg




Original photo and article can be found here: http://mainsandcrosses.blogspot.in/2007/08/hudson-circle-rani-kittur-chennamma.html


------------


The new kempegowda watch tower at hudson circle pretty much resembles the old one at lalbagh as amongst the other four towers in bangalore as well. For more history on the founder of bangalore Kempegowda, and information on these towers, look here

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Finally today i got an opportunity to test out the volvo journey all the way from Koramangala, upto Yelahanka, totally involving two volvo buses, one upto city centre and another upto the final destination. At a total price of about Rs.110 per head, it worked out to about Rs.220 both ways for two of us, which is way cheaper than an auto to the same 60km distance. With volvos on each route roughly 15 mins apart, it wasnt difficult to get a volvo soon enough. I must also say that compared to an auto, this is a swedish bus, with ultra refined suspension, and airconditioning to beat the searing heat of the day.


The seats are quite plush, much like buses in western countries, and there were many other welcome additions as well, such as a plasma TV (!!) and a camera at the doors, hydraulically operated doors, with a separate mini screen for the driver, and electronically printed tickets. For the money its truly value to use this bus. So much so that I even used my laptop for the entire journey in peace! The seating is two fold, one at a lower height for easy ingress/egress and the other part raised in height. And when you sit at a height, you can experience Bangalore like never before! Also there is an SMS service wherein if you send an sms with body: “yi v" to 9945634666 (for eg, from majestic to yelahanka it would be - "yi v402B u", u/d for up or down direction), you would get a response indicating exactly where the three buses are at the moment on that route. Be advised that this service might or might not work at times. still a nice addition for the luxury and convenience factor.


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Saturday, April 14, 2007

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Well well well, what more can i ask for? A HATRICK for today! i some
how managed to squeeze in a test drive of the aveo UVA 1.4 LS today at
Sundaram motors, Kasturba road. The friendly neighbour hood salesman
was ever ready to offer me a test drive. The test drive car had done
2000+ kms which means to say test drive cars are not sold to us
unknowing customers! hurray chevy, you scored on that one! i went to my
wife’s office to pick her up and on my way back since other work was
over, and i had time to kill, asked the guy whether i could come for a
test drive today itself instead of tomorrow and he told me to come
there immediately. what more could i ask for? took my wife and landed
at the chevy showroom to drool at the UVA.



when i write reviews, i want to make it as unrelated as possible to any
other car and i see each new car in its own natural perspective and
enjoy it before making comparisions. Enough of talk now, to the
features: The one i saw was a 1.2 LT and the one i drove a 1.2 LS, only
marginal features differences which i ll point out later on.



The car itself:



1. SPACIOUS!! really spacious. well its more or less like the getz or
palio in space, but you really feel different here! you feel at home.

2. integrated power window switches onto door panels, nice looking good job chevy

3. tilt steering - when people cant provide height adjustible seats,
atleast they must provide tilt steering which might compensate for that
for short people or tall people alike. and to my expectation i found
it, good addition chevy! my wife was also comfy sitting in the car.

4. loads of space for rear passengers. quite asthetic. in terms of
practical space usage, sorry chevy, you stand second w.r.t getz. no
proper cup holders, only one bottle holder near console box, and no
intuitive coin storage etc etc. i can excuse that though.

5. glove box is good too and dashboard is pretty usable here too. while
the LT version includes digital clock and other things the LS doesnt
but only has space for the same. cost cutting chevy, perhaps to sustain
the organization!!

6. digital ODO, chevy here ties with getz for first place. good. damn FIAT

7. i did not notice a tacho on the ls, maybe in the lt it was there (again forgetful)

8. remote boot release and fuel cap release - available, good again

9. boot, comparable to both fiat and getz, good job chevy.

10. rainforest colour - great, plus six other colours.

11. gearshift is smooth when seen in showroom.

12. i must say chevy has got one of the most beautiful and fresh
looking cars in the UVA - rear light assembly is simply too good and
the front is also acceptable!



now to the matter - test drive …..



the route: from kasturba road, onto vijaya mallya hospital road, then
right, around kanteerva, back to kasturba road ~ about 1km with varying
traffic, sometimes bumper to bumper, sometimes rip, some even sized
humps and a full u turn!



1. the first thing i noticed when i started the car is its silence. just like getz. full marks to chevy on this count

2. the headlights dont go on until the engine is started. its kind of
funny to think of as i may require them sometimes when the car maybe
off, a silly mitake maybe from chevy, excusable.

3. wipers and indicators swapped, i hated this initially, but got used to it in 2 mins.

4. the clutch is amazingly easy to operate and i found this to be the
biggest benefit of city driving. some cars that are in this segment of
easy clutches - santro. getz, and uva until what i drove till now,
maybe ford ikon too. damn fiat, i hated that clutch and if i dump that
car, it will surely be becuase of the clutch and tilt steering non
availability.

5. the gear shift is definitely notchy, but nothing as bad as xeta,
looks like i ve got a TD vehicle where the gear shift has been worked
upon. i find the gear shifts in getz and uva easier to operate than
palio. though palio has got a disticnt feedback as to which gear you
slotted into.

6. the power windows did their job well. the a/c wasnt exactly chilling
like palio, but initially he kept it at full blast and then i reduced
it to level 1 since i was frozen. so good a/c overall. now when he kept
the a/c at highest, it was my turn to challenge the car to perform
under that condition and 3 huge adults in the car.

7. i was skeptic about the torque (though not about bhp) as it was
110Nm at 4400 rpm, almost 1k rpm more than palio and getz. i was
wondering that it wont pull with the a/c and 3 people, but how wrong I
was!! first gear gives little more freedom than the other two cars i
reviewed, after which i slotted into second. at this stage with full
blowing a/c and 3 people i hit the gas pedal real hard and it took a
few seconds to understand that input and translate it to surging
forward. i guess this was becuase of the a/c. then for the next
distance i put the a.c in level 1 and tried the same trick of 2nd gear,
this time it pulled mighty well (and the sound is like a super smooth
mixie grinding its contents - so sweet! its like a cat purring), 2nd
gear i went upto 60 with ease and then decided the car has given me the
confidence to go to third. so i went on further 3rd, 4th and finally a
notchy 5th. the fifth gear i feel is difficult to engage with the same
ease, and it might just be my misfortune that i drive a 4 gear maruti,
and i need to always remember that dude, there is another gear!!

8. when in fifth this time without a/c i pushed the car hard and its
response was encouraging. moved forward with a smooth glide. up ahead i
faced bumper to bumper stop-move-stop-move traffic. in this section i
first tried with a.c at level 1 and second gear, i had to revv the car
a bit for it to keep up. then i decided the first gear is the best and
i tried with first, it was good at first as expected. of course i am
the 2nd gear kind of guy if you know what i mean - like some people
drive their erstwhile bajaj chetak scooters directly into 2nd gear!! the bumper to bumper driving one may need getting used to with UVA but
the car simply doesnt let you down. very good job chevy. now if you
would kindly reduce the price. damn and thou shalt enocourage half of
india to buy thy car!

9. last step, u-turn on kasturba-mg road junction back to showroom.
quite a wide road, and with 4.95m it was smooth and nice, personally i
felt the u-turn i took on uva is better than the one on getz for some
reason. the power steering was just superb! silky smooth.

10. and then the brakes, quite sensitive as the palio, but werent like getz.



and with this i handed back the keys to the guy and bade him a tired
goodbye. and with this review i need to do that to you all once again,
a tired goodbye!



so whether i will suggest this car to someone? : well heck definitely
yes!! forget the safety ratings for once and enjoy a well made car.
that ways all our cars are unsafe. all depends on how you drive. and in
the morning hour rush, definitely you cant get killed.



prices OTR:



base 4.58, LS 5.03, LT - 5.48, LT with option pack (sick option pack of
abs and leather gear knob! holy cow! whats wrong with chevy) - 5.83



for arizona amber, rain forest ( a beautiful color) and velocity



LS - 5.08, LT - 5.54, LT with option pack - 5.94 (6 lacs for a hatch?
skoda, learn from these guys, you can also mint money …. grrr)









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After having car dreams all night long yesterday after 3 test drives, i
wanted to go back to the tata showroom to show my wife the palio (since
it was cheaper than the rest I had test driven). I had bought my
earlier maruti 800 at bimal motors indiranagar. Just before I left i
called bimal on whether i can have a test drive of the swift diesel VDi
and they said i can. so i changed my mind and took my wife along. On
the way i stopped over to the getz showroom and she had a look at
santro and getz that i had test driven earlier yesterday. since the
executive was taking too much time, i told him i ll be back and i went
ahead to bimal.



Knowing the showroom well, the moment I went in, i was offered a test
drive and the keys to the VDi were in my hand. It was an ozone blue
colour car, pretty nice looking and a unique colour in the market as of
today. Put my wife in the back seat, executive in the left seat in
front, ane me on the driver seat! Jet Set Go!



Started car. No noise. Super silent. Cross checked twice, was sure that
the car was on.Had to do some twists and turns on reverse to take the
car out, but the super power steering was only more than eager to
respond to me. It was in this same forum i had once commented that the
power steering felt too puny for me. Somehow that feeling was not so
this time. The executive (a lady)
was feeling hot (a pun there) and she wanted to put on the a/c. so the
a/c was on level 2. now for the route. from Bimal, one long straight
road (same as the getz drive earlier) all the way on the flyover, down
the ramp, a super sprint on ring road, a u-turn, back on flyover down
again stop and go traffic and one final u-turn.



I must mention that maruti has done a wonderful job on the gear swift
(oops shift!). Its so effortless and slots in just perfectly (except
again for the fifth and reverse gear, wonder why i feel like this with
all other cars too!). Put it into 1st gear and the diesel engine had no
noise at all. it didnt allow me too much into first gear, guess the car
didnt like it, so i slotted into second and then came the torque. the
wonderful torque was very evident in the way the car managed stop and
go and its extremely easy to stop and go only on second gear due to
this. i revved hard and i could easily touch 60 in second gear. i
changed into third and then into fourth (again me an 800 owner, so i
had to remind myself - hey there is another gear!!) the flyover up ramp
was fast approaching and here we were, 3 people a/c on level 2 and
quite an empty road in front of me. so i revved hard and the car
marginally slugged forward. this is where i got an opinion, maruti, is
this all the show about? was carefully seeing the RPM meter this time,
in about 2 seconds i touched 1500rpm and then what happened was just
nirvana! the car flew like a bullet out of the traffic with everyone
left behind just staring blank. wonderful maruti, wonderful fiat
i already touched 80 and slotted into fifth this time. revved the gas
pedal harder, again reached 1500rpm in 2 seconds, and the car shot off
like a scalded cat. i cant believe all this happened so smoothly that
all i knew was a feeling i had as though i was on an airplane that was
on its take off speed. oh boy! its simply unbelieveable that a new age
16 valve 4 cylinder, DOHC 1.3 MJD was performing so brilliantly. after
the great high, i realised i had to handle this cannon gun more
carefully lest it fire up again and i slo

wed down a bit again onto the
ramp of the flyover after a superb u-turn. with its turning radius of
4.75, its able to be nifty to take u-turns like a merry go round for
children. when i came down the flyover at that speed, i heard a sudden
rattle of some body part - the car had done 2200km already and the
clutch was more free play - maruti, what been happening lately with
those rattles dear? looks like you havent corrected yourself.



i again encountered stop and go traffic and i tried driving this car
with 1st gear with a.c, 1st gear without a.c, 2nd gear with a.c and 2nd
gear without a.c. and though in second it hesitated a bit to move
forward, it was more than willing to do so in both gears irrespective
of the fact of the ac being on or off. a final u-turn brought me back
to bimal and the girl next to me seemed to be having goose pimples the
way i drove, with a shocked look on her face.



after the adrenalin rush, here are a few things about the car itself (this time in reverse order after first driving the car!)


- seats are comfy for four people, the fifth if bulky cant sit
properly behind, so its best to take this as a super comfy car for 4

- remote boot release and fuel cap release avaialble

- immobilizer also present in vDI

- a/c is great in both level 1 and 2, more higher not required it chills sufficiently

- side view mirror good and sturdy and can be mechanically adjusted from inside

- rear view mirror sucks big time and is too small and obstructs view
of the back side id people are in the car, i have a mirror attached to
the rear view mirror over and above it, for 375 rupees, which gives a
wide and good view of the behind.

- lots of space on dashboard and can be used practically.

- rear passenger comfort is good and my wife didnt feel thrown about even on potholed roads.

- showroom will change me to alloys (tubeless tyres on all models) at
16k for aura and will take my original rims for a marginal amount,
dunno how much

- boot space is as much as indica or santro, but less usable. suitcases
wont fit in properly maybe bags will. this is the only biggest
compromise i have to make vis-a-vis a thousand other benefits of this
car.

- digital odo, good maruti, you are up with the rest

- not much silver trims or wood trims, maruti has kept it black, maybe not that boring though

- with abs and ebd, this car is enough safety and is also like a tank
in terms of agility and handling, a tad bit lower than palio though!

- with a ground clearance of 170mm, i couldnt test if it was suffient
to soak up humps, but its atleast as good as my 800. so thats ok!



they are offering upto 1.65 for my old maruti 800 which is truly true
value. but with a damn 3 month wait period maruti will lead by monopoly
rather than by a good example! though the executive didnt know much on
new baleno, i believe it should certainly have a 1.9, 140 BHP MJD
engine from fiat and would be priced about 9 lacs, still a great value
and can be compared to corolla and the likes if quality fit and finish
are done well. trust maruti will be right onto that job. atleast they
are quite capable. honda city get ready to pack up if this happens.
your luxury excuse wont hold good for long!!



i might finally make the booking for an ozone blue swift VDi by
tomorrow if things go well. an amount of 50k and a wait of atleast 2
months. i m ready for that for this beautiful performance oriented car.
needless to say reliable service from maruti anytime anywhere. but
please mr.jagdish khattar, stop those rattles on the swift before you
lose the COTY 2008 with this car or the bigger new baleno.



OTR prices - 5.43 LDI, 5.76 VDI (no much discounts at this time)

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About Me
Srikanth Eswaran
Bengloor Huduga

Srikanth is a blogger, reader, photographer, butter dosa eater, an urban car racer & an apple fanboy. He loves music, playing table tennis and traveling. Most times he would like to be solitary to introspect on what life has thrown to him and the bigger purpose of life.