April 27, 2011

Winds of change: Our new train

My last trip home was a mixed bag. Of the three days I was there, one was spent sleeping, one doing nothing and the third sulking.

This post however, is about our new train- The Manuguru Superfast. Initially written off as an empty promise the system finally delivered and true to it's name it's quite fast. The distance is an odd 240 kilometers and our trusty old link express took a little more than 8 hours for the journey. The new one takes 6.

The new train starts at 21:45, almost an hour an half after the regular. With no provision for transportation for this train or the Kakatiya which leaves at 23:00, I took the regular bus from colony and waited it out at the station.Train nerd that I am, I went around checking out docked engines and carriages while mom got bored on a bench!

The Engine is a WAP 4a, meaning 4100 horses of raw power. The W stands for Wide gauge, A for Electric engines (our line was recently electrified) and P for passenger train. A diesel locomotive for goods on broad guage would be named WDG, and WAG for electric. The number denotes the rated horsepower with a,b,c adding hundreds respectively.

This simple infographic I made in Paint should make things easier to understand.

The train started on time and picked up speed pretty fast... and for the nth time again, I cursed myself for forgetting my camera. After a brief stop at kothagudem, the train chugged even faster and zipped past stations that would otherwise eat into the older train's already strained schedule. When we arrived at Dornakal, it was a funny sight to see the link express on the first platform waiting for Machilipatnam express to latch on to. We left after a 2 minute stop even as the passengers on the other side of the platform stared with their cups of coffee and tea. Wicked!

I sat on the side lower berth the whole time(mom had to curl up a little!) and as the loco pilot floored it, the wind became unbearable. People around me pulled down windows but the fun had just started for me. I gazed at the clear, star studded sky and the soft moonlight instantly took me back....our school Chennai trip. What days!

We arrived at 4:15- at least half an hour late than expected but it actually worked in our favor, considering city buses start at 4:30 and waiting in the halls is a nightmare.

The new train will phase out the older one gradually as it upgrades to daily(now it runs thrice a week). Good change.

April 20, 2011

Dell of a deal

Razzu's jurassic Acer 3000 laptop is giving up... the occasional BSODs not withstanding even the hardware is failing. They've stood the test of time and given exemplary performance for the beating they got! Dust, grime, moisture...they endured it all.

It's time for an upgrade. A full fledged 4 core PC or and i5 laptop was never on the cards,more on that later. A PC with basic configuration...that was our requirement. I turned to our trusty old classifieds sites for some used stuff again :-)
I think another post is in order on "used" alone because apart from saving me some precious moolah, I am doing my bit for the environment by reusing stuff that'll otherwise end up in an electronic waste dump.

After more than a week of hard searching, I finally hit jackpot. A small shop in Abids had a stock of Dell systems handed down by some IT company and they
posted on OLX. I didn't waste time... went there with Juber today and picked up a piece.

The machine:

A pentium 4 processer clocking at 2.8ghz cooled by a loud turbine fan, on a generic 915 chipset mother board. In the memory compartment a 1gb DDR2 RAM of HYNET brand(Hynix+Dynet, lol) and a generous 80gb Seagate hard drive. By generous I mean by 2005 standards. The CD drive is the weakest link with no Dvd reader or a writer either. There are 8 USB ports but two will be in use anyway due to the missing PS/2 links. The cabinet is a rock solid clamshell model which is typical of Dell, sturdy and durable. One issue is the rather wobbly base which kindof makes it safe to keep the case in horizontal position.

I live again...

I bought a USB keyboard, a cable and hooked up the cabinet to my old 17" LG monitor. The system booted up in an impressive 30 seconds... though that's bound to change as more and more crap piles up on the hard drive. I installed some applications including VLC, Foxit and Avira free. Video playback is ok for small files though I'm yet to check HD content on it. More on the software performance later. It's satisfactory as of now...

Why go cheap?

The reason, as the title already suggests, is Economy. Why spend 20+ thousand on a sysem when you can pretty much make do with something that costs quarter as much?
Also, the needs of students aren't that many. I need a powerful system for my RAW editing, PSing and occasional video editing. Razzu on the other hand needs a computer for basic word processing, and browsing. A 2.8 gig is more than sufficient for that...hell, my little HP 2133 does well on windows 7 with a puny 1.2ghz VIA!


- basic browsing
- music
- word processing
- videos
- home server
- download machine

not for:

- processor heavy tasks
- video editing
- graphics
- HD content

I think I'll get another one for Dad. One one for my cousin too...

April 14, 2011

Beltek again

Beltek does it again. Niagara Falls is simple... no groovy tunes, no lyrics. Just a simple track that still manages to captivate.... because it gets the listener thinking.... back to old memories, the good times. After the brilliant belina this is my second Beltek favorite.

April 8, 2011

Hide and Seek

Kyau & Albert have given some path breaking tracks in the last few years including Kiksu and Are you fine (last post). This track I first heard on ASOT 373 in mid 2009 and has remained one of my favorites ever since. With simple yet thoughtful lyrics, the duo have spinned a yarn deep in ambiance and yet punchy.

"You cover your eyes with a sweet lie
You try to walk the right way
You're living the game that you started
But you don't try to reach the one you need

Hide and seek, you hide and seek
When tomorrow seems to fade, where will you be
Hide and seek, you hide and seek
Take a look at you and see you break inside

You learned how to pretend you're fighting
You're calling me a stranger
You're blinded like the night in the morning
And you don't try to reach the one you need...

Hide and seek, you hide and seek
When tomorrow seems to fade, where will you be
Hide and seek, you hide and seek
Take a look at you and see you break inside""

April 2, 2011

Dediya Ghumake!

I was never a big fan of Cricket. Google news or cricinfo was all I needed to stay abreast of cricket updates. This time, I sat hooked to my T.V set. The tension then got unbearable... I just couldn't watch it alone now. Rented a T.V tuner from a local store coupla days ago for the semi and final and called over Juber, Nayeem bhai and his roommates.

An my, what fun it was. India deserved the cup, we had the batting and the bowling. This will also go down as the match that could have elevated Sachin to a level higher than legendary(where he already is). Wish I could post the videos and pics of us screaming and swearing. I'm not allowed to.

Great day.

Here I compiled a collage of the after match frenzy around town. We went out for late dinner and were amazed at the celebration and revelry. Fireworks, flags, dancing...and sadly lots of drinking too. I had an expensive camera in hand so couldn't risk stretching my luck clicking more shots. Vandalism is rampant too.

April 1, 2011

An old favorite. Nuff said

"Following your trace through night
Are you fine? Are you fine? Are you fine? Are you fine?

I hate you, I love you, I need you, I cry
Are you fine? Are you fine? Are you fine? Are you fine?"