September 24, 2011

e-waste: salvage useful parts

The SMPS(Switched mode power supply) on my jurassic  IBM Thinkcentre gave up last month and it's been lying in a corner gathering dust. I finally got around to opening up the beast today.

Good thing about assembled PCs like these is the quality of cabinets they use. This one is built like a tank- I've never held a heavier cabinet.

Four screws removed and a little push and the SMPS smoothly slid out of the railing. I replaced it  with a Zebronics 450W unit, whose small frame looks totally out of place in the massive metal box.

I held it in place with a couple of wires as the screws wouldn't fit.

 The defunct HIPRO (Chinese IBM vendor) had a few things to donate before going to trash.

I managed to salvage the 12mm fan which I'll hopefully use on my other desktop via some tweaks.
A couple of LEDs and lots of wire with 5v rails and SATA connectors were also recovered.

No computer hardware goes completely waste. There are always things you can make us of: LEDs, fans, wires and for electronics geeks(I'm not one) there is also circuit component galore.  

e-waste is a problem that is affecting us on a global scale. Re-using  old components or donating to persons in need is one way of doing good for the society as well as nature.

The most important point to remember however, is to dispose of e-waste safely. This is one good page I found from India.

September 23, 2011

Moonbeam does it again

Cocoon by Moonbeam was awesome. This track from their new collection is a different if not as good attempt. Love the soft beats and voice over.

September 10, 2011

Killer on the road

It missed me by a whisker. A fellow bystander wasn't lucky. He never saw what hit him: The auto rickshaw came out of nowhere, knocked him to the ground and fled.

We were standing by the roadside at the right obstruction to traffic whatsoever. The confounded idiot swerved too far to the left in too fast a speed and the poor guy took the brunt of the impact. The first thing I did was call 108 as people rushed to him...I could tell it was a head injury... he was bleeding profusely from the nose. Thankfully a passing auto wallah stopped and a couple of guys carried him away to a nearby hospital. A traffic cop followed on a bike but I knew a search would be a futile effort.

The sight of the bloodied face haunted me the whole day. Thankfully the boy got away alive with a broken nose and a cut to his right cheek.

There are two takeaways from this incident. I faltered on two very important responses:

One - I did not note down the Auto's reg no. I was in shock myself. Had I stood a couple of meters to the right, It would've been me.

Two - I could've done more for the guy. My cab arrived and I had to go. Our Director from AU was coming and there was now way I was going to be late.

I know this will again go down as one of those 'gyaan' articles but even for a limited audience of about 20, I think a little review tips will help.

First things first: We Indians suck at driving. And let's face it...Hyderabad is the worst of the lot. I'd say there are more rash douche bags here than anywhere in the world. With that in mind here are a few tips at trying improving our chances of surviving here:

No phone on road

The gossip can wait. Talking on phone while crossing a road, driving or even standing at the bus stop for that matter brings down alertness and drastically affects reflexes. The aforementioned guy was on phone and never saw the auto coming.

Whats with the earphones!

Are we so enamored by music that we can't let go even on roads? Last year a girl got run over by an MMTS train after she failed to listen to the blaring horn over her Ipod buds in her ears.

Mind the bend

NEVER EVER cross a road on bends and turns. There are maniacs out there who take these for grand prix bends and care no less whats on the other side.  A turn is a blind spot for both parties. I've seen countless people, mostly women do it. Walking a little longer to either side for a better view of oncoming traffic takes a few seconds only and goes a long way in ensuring safety. Of course, zebra crossings are always priority(if you find them that is).

Hold hands, synchronize
I've made it a habit to hold hands when crossing the road with someone. Although it may look funny, it helps synchronize better and fall back if there's a fast vehicle approaching and one is slow to react. My brother once pulled me back from a speeding bus.

What's with the hurry?

We Hyderabadis are always in a hurry... "Nai yaaro, der hogayi"
If you anticipate traffic, start early. Cutting lanes and driving fast never helps.

There's no one way

This one is for the newbies to the city. There is no "one way" road here... a bike, auto or car may appear out of anywhere, your left, right or back. Traffic rules are virtually non existent here.


This is a no brainer(pun totally intended). Helmets are proven to save lives. They make us sweat and swear but when it comes to keeping our innards safe...they're life savers.

Hawa mey udta jaye

In Ooty, before mounting a go-kart my sister was asked to remove her skarf(think it's called an Odhni) due to the open construction of the engine assembly. Open flying scarfs may look good in movies and romance sequences but in real life they make deadly killers. A small jerk from a caught scarf at 30kmph is enough to break the neck.

Cut and waste

Following lane discipline is in my opinion, the biggest challenge to address in Hyderabad. One trip on the busy roads should be enough to see what I mean.

And when you see a bike or car swaying like crazy and coming your way...move to the side and pray you don't get hit.

Walking on main road

Pavements in Hyderabad were unofficially made for pani puri vendors and street beggars. The walls to the extreme left are reserved for nature calls and reek of ammonia. The trick is to stay away from the main road, dodge the beggars, and put up with the stench as you go about town.

Till the confounded system changes, this is Hyderabad for you.

"There's a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin' like a toad...."


It is said, talkers are never doers So as my contribution to road safety I'm starting with this blog post.
I also plan to buy a helmet for all my friends, one a month.
Help children and old people cross roads.
Wait...I'm talking again.

September 9, 2011


Some scenes from my recent trip home.

You will need:
- 4 minutes of your time.
- Some nice earphones.

Thanks for watching :-)

September 7, 2011

Throwing sparks, literally

Deep Forest will remain a favorite for it's marvelous take on world music, fusing it with new world themes- in the process making some awesome tunes.

Put on some on good earphones, sit back and travel back in time. And man, the beats on this one are awesome!

Yuki Song by Deep Forest(From Music Detected)

Throwing sparks at my frozen angel
Gathering the words to coax the fire to start
Throwing sparks at my frozen angel
Words to melt the ice around your pretty heart

Turn the ice to water, the water into flood
The flood becomes a river, a river of pure love
Love comes into delta, nourishing the sea
Sea goes out to ocean
Ocean endlessly

Throwing sparks at my frozen angel
Gathering the words to coax the fire to start
Turn the ice to water, the water into flood
The flood becomes a river, a river of pure love
Love comes into delta, nourishing the sea
Sea goes out to ocean
Ocean endlessly

The second before you walk into the room
I had no thoughts of love whatsoever
Love was not on my mind
Nothing but my life,
My life was all settled in,
It was just the way it needed to be
And I fell upon you
Like something out of the blue
It was out of the blue, I didn't know
I didn't see it coming
But it came upon me
And it held a hold on me
Took a hold on me
And I could not help but believe
I have faith in this thing
I have one chance in my life and I must take it
And I've got to give it to you and I will not let it go
I will not let it go
It's the only thing I can believe in.
Oh, I can believe in.