November 28, 2010


Overflow by Chris Reece (Original Mix)

This is my first listing from the Chillout genre. I'll probably use it for my next video compilation. A long one.

November 27, 2010

Pecha Kucha was great

Japheth mentioned it a little while ago about people in creative arts meeting and presenting at Pecha kucha meetups. The funny name is actually Japanese for 'chit chat'.

Out of the blue he called today evening from GVK. There was a PK Night today starting at 1900 hours. I was at Tolichowki and my first reaction was no. And with less than an hour for the programme to begin... I told him I'd think about it.

1900 hours sharp: I was at GVK. We walked into what looked like a front porch and quite a crowd. A projector and sound system was in place and we settled down on a cement seat wall on the extreme left. The view was good from here and away from the lights. Japheth's friend Nidhi started the programme with a rundown of the rules. 20 slides to a presentation, 20 seconds
for each slide. Three audience questions for each presenter.

I have a very bad memory and I am not sure about the exact order of the presentations but here I go anyway:

The first presentation was about "How we percieve creativity". I don't know if it's just me but a lot of things just went over my head. And the presenter clearly had trouble keeping up with the slide speed. I don't blame him... 20 seconds is too short.

The second presentation was about "adopting stray dogs". This presenter too had issues keeping up with the slide transition but had no trouble whatsoever in putting her point across. One guy at the back was hell bent on getting his presence felt but her point blank answer and the audience's support did him in.

Then a presentation on climate sustainibility by a girl who's been to Antarctica "and back!" as Nidhi put it. She presented some eco friendly projects other countries were taking up to do their bit for the environment.

Architecture was the theme of the third one and the fresh grauduate from JNTU did a great job presenting his work right from the awesome sketches he did whilst in college to the flood shelters he designed for Bangladesh.

A software engineer presented his take on how "Ideas can change everything". Or something. One slide was about how blowing up a Rat's skeleton to a size similar to an Elephant's results in it collapsing. Bone density was not discussed.

Another one on environment. This guy was good.... he did a good job syncing his words with the slides. The slides themselves were crisp and to the point. I particularly liked the way he defined activism.... learning, thinking and educating peers.

Then the last presenter came and introduced himself as Joseph. There was something familiar about this guy... I'd seen him before somewhere. Then he said the keyword "wedding" and click! Joseph Joe Radhik. This guy's been on my FB page for a while now. He has a funny,not-so- clear profile picture. he'd chosen his best shots for the slideshow and sure enough it worked
like a charm. Every photo was met with oohs and one even got loud applause, and I have to admit the one he took at Shamshabad was a masterpiece.

A book was passed around for contact numbers before curtains. Japheth stayed for a little while interacting while I headed for the gate and waited there. My people skills are still pathetic.

A presenter had highlighted how it was so very eco friendly to use public tranport to reduce our carbon footprint. As he zoomed past me on his two wheeler, I caught the usual 49M bus back home.

Pecha Kucha is very very good platform for upcoming designers and entrepreneurs to promote their stuff or better, for activists to spread awareness. I don'tknow if I'll ever go onstage in my life but IF I ever conquer my stage fear, I'll definitely present at Pecha Kucha. Yakusoku.

PS: I have a feeling I'm missing one presentation. If, by some miracle, you landed landed on my page and were there at the meetup, please let me know in the comments.

November 21, 2010

School Dayz: Fight!

Only Bharat, Atir, Nirosh or Nitin can recognize this.... it's an "Identity card".

Back in class 10 when texting, internet or full fledged gaming was not quite there, we had little choice when it came to leisure. Our computer lab was strictly "no games" and an attempt by a guy at playing Delta Force was met by a loud resounding blow to the back(fragged!). We passed time in between classes playing pen fights. The objective was simple: you knock the opponent's pen off the table. That's it.

With time new rules were added, we started playing in teams of two and before long we were playing "Pennalympics". Bharat and Nitin were US of A while Atir and I settled for Germany. I don't remember why we went for that though. We named our pens too... mine was Quicksilver, bharat's Viper and others I don't recall now. My signature move was the "heli" which was very effective when executed well.

We spent hours playing it...sometimes even after school, though we stopped after a very scary encounter with the vice principal THATS(yeah, we called him that). We even had audience.... Girls from across the benches would watch and we'd have trouble concentrating on the game :-p

When I come to think of it now, it all looks so stupid!
But no amount of counterstrike or CoD can equal that fun now.... period.

November 20, 2010

First 50

First 50 freehand car sketches. I did these in the last one month... too slow I know, considering I have to finish 950 more in the coming 4 months!

Note: Heavy image. May take a while to load.

November 9, 2010

TranceUpdate: (M)elodium

Palimpse by melodium, my latest find in trance music. Two tracks standout, Guitar theme and Insomnia(love this one).

Ambient trance is not very common and has even less takers than the regular fare, explaining why I didn't find a video on youtube!

So I made one myself making this video my first Tranceupdate upload! I used footage from my trips around Manuguru in the last few years.

I just found a whole DVD of unused footage in my CD album! Next video....

November 7, 2010

DIY: USB battery charger

I have a spare BL-5C Nokia battery I sometimes use for my "DIY" projects. Every time the charge runs out, I have to put it in a compatible phone and use the AC charger to charge it. I'd read about charging batteries using USB and decided to give it a shot.

Things I used:
1- A piece of thermocole
2- USB cable from a broken mouse
3- Two paper pins.
4- Thin wire from IDE cable.
5- Cutter
6- Fevicol

- First I destroyed my useless Microsoft mouse and extracted the cable. I needed only two wires: the red one (+) and black(-).

- I then drew a rough diagram on paper for the charger body. The dimensions of the battery holder and the placement of charger pins is very important. Here's the rough design sketch:

- I then proceed to implement it on perhaps the most easily available crafting material of all- Thermocole. I remember how I used to cut out rectangular shapes, mark some buttons with sketch pens and play around with them as cellphones, calculators and even laptops!
The shape is pretty straightforward. A rectangular slot cut precisely to the dimensions of the battery. I gave a few millimeters headroom for the contact pin assembly.

- For the pins, I cut a thin strip from a non dust eraser. I wrapped one thin wire from the IDE cable to each of the paper pins and securely inserted them through the eraser strip taking care about the distance between them. That was important.

Batteries have a third contact in the middle used for identifying battery type. Something to do with phone compatibility but of no use while charging.

- I attached the wires to the USB wire in the correct polarity.

- Then used plenty of fevicol to prevent loose connections that are so very common in my projects.

Finally, after a coat of cheap black sketch pen and some red...

The charger is working fine but taking a little too long for a full charge. I built another one to be used in reverse as a battery enclosure. This one is neat:

November 5, 2010

School Dayz 2: Rajesh

Teacher's Day 2006: Rajesh all smiles as he played maths teacher to class 8 students.

He was an enigma. Though he was our classmate for a good 7 years, he's remembered for all the wrong reasons. We were very good friends back in class 5. We played cricket together and hung out, we even went to the same tuition. Often competing in academics, it'd lead to some friction every now and then. His histrionics aside he was, in essence, a normal person. He laughed, he played...he even sang.

Then something happened. He suddenly turned forlorn, gloomy and detached. It was class 6 and he was still doing good in studies, there is no known cause why this happened. Before long, word started to spread that he'd lost it. Very few people believed that, myself being one. Frequently fluctuating from being normal to outright insane, we were often convinced he was faking it for attention. He was however polite to everyone and talked at length when I met him at the school play ground in early 2008.... that was the last time I ever saw him.

We lost Rajesh in 2008 to a freak accident, the details of which are shady to say the least. It's not known what was bothering him, nor are the facts of how he passed.

God rest his soul.

November 4, 2010

Still learning

My entries for the new Brandpotion competition by Education Times. The first one,
I made using a stock image on an Indian boy and some illustrations depicting physics, chemistry and mathematics. I'm still a noob at PS so the end result came out a little too dull.
So I used only text for the second ad. Minimalist and to-the-point. :-p

November 1, 2010

School Dayz 1

Memories tend to fade with brown rust, new experiences and new thoughts scrape away inch by inch until all that is left is a vague, unclear recollection that goes away altogether with time.

I have mentioned this time and again: nothing will ever come close to the fun I had in school. The last 4 years have been a long black void.... I might as well have been on an island. a tribute to my schooldays and to aid my memory years down the line when a job and 'other things' start to take a toll on me, here's a new section on my blog: School days, where I'll pen all the great things we did at school.

Araku Trip: I know this will bring a wicked smile on one reader's face atleast. I admit... I don't know of another topic to start with so here I go anyway. The news started doing the rounds in early october 2004, a trip was being planned. While usually the school settled for Kinnerasani and other nearby villages, we'd somehow managed to convince our school administration for a long trip. Or maybe the credit goes to one senior whose dad was the principal then.... maybe...

The excitement was contagious.We just couldnt stop thinking about it.... at school, at tuition everywhere! On 27th of october started our journey from colony to Khammam station with Mr.K.R Rao, Mrs Sridevi, Mrs Amulya and Mrs Hebsiba escorting. My memory of the bus journey part pulls a blank...I don't recall anything at all. Maybe I slept, maybe I was lost... In tech terms, it's like they all got overwritten by useless crap.

The train came late and the journey was cool, we played antakshri until one of the passengers got pissed and threatened to lodge a complaint for nuisance! Come morning we were greeted with the sweet air of Visakapatnam at 7:00 A.M. The plan was to cover Borra caves first before heading to our prebooked accommodations, so we were given a 'food packet' on the bus itself for breakfast. The chutney stank so bad, most of the packets went out the windows. Some who gave in to hunger threw up pronto. Again, my memory's all but wiped here too. All I remember from the trip to Borra is the 'Cheliye Cheliya' playing on the speakers and some girls laughing about my green satchel(which I now admit looked funny) and yellow cap. And yeah one guy made breathing hard for the last few rows on the bus...courtesy his bad stomach.

Now the accommodation. In what proved to be the best example of inequality against boys, all girls and lady teachers got rooms complete with bedding and separate bathrooms. As we boys walked to the end of the building expecting similar lodging, we were shown into a large hall with bunk beds. The beds themselves were bare with flaking, blackened wood. Some expletives were muttered which didn't go down well with Sir. For a bathroom we had a large tank in the large open play ground and we were asked to "freshen up" right there! The toilets were ancient mud installations with no electricity. We slowly settled in.... laying newspapers and sheets on the rough bunk beds and looking for candles when Sir came in with a surprise. There was a paid guest house just alongside and he'd booked it. He'd understood. We were relieved. ...

Dinner was great, typical andhra fare with rotis and fried vegetables thrown in. A camp fire was lit in the large ground and we slowly gathered around it. Antakshri was played followed by charades. And then we danced...
Like those flashback scenes that play in movies, the round dance around the fire with Sir encouraging us still plays in my mind like it was yesterday. The starry sky, the orange light, the wicked laughs...

My Kodak KB10 was useless for night time photography, How I wish I had my dSLR and prime lenses then!

We retired for the night before starting for the city next day. Again I don't remember how the day was spent...we were at Kailasgiri hill at around 4. We had fun taking pictures at the Titanic point from where some of us went to a gaming alley. We had burgers and played board soccer(which now if I come to think of it, was a waste of time). One guy among us was a depressed soul, he had trouble getting along with know... he was interested elsewhere. We tried our best to contain him but he ended up getting a strong scolding from one of our teachers. We then went to the INS Kursura, a decommisioned navy class submarine. As was obvious, the boys listened intently to the guide as the girls wandered and chuckled. We all hit the sack after dinner as we were to start our return journey the next day. And we were dead tired anyway.

30th of october: On the bus from Khammam to manuguru, I think we stopped at kothagudem for breakfast. Or was it the chennai trip(Feedback welcome)? I asked around for photographs from the trip... I don't know why but even my close friends who took pictures on the trip have denied having any photographs. I just wanted a different perspective. I didn't hide my pictures now, did I?

Note: 'School Days' as a post title is already taken by a lewd, NFSW japanese cartoon series. So I've settled with the 'z' in the spelling.

Never let you go...

All you trance haters (ie most of my friends), Try this. Put on a pair of Sennheisers and pump up the bass a little bit... then listen to this:

I found you- Interstate- From ASOT 2005

"Never let you go..

Thought I lost you, in the darkness, of a lonely night
Then I found you, in my arms and, holding me so tight
When I'm with you, and I kiss you, I can feel your heart
Don't you know that, I'm the one to, keep you safe and warm..

Never let you go...

Update: The lyrics are a little lame. All I like is the "Never let you go" part.