Mixed Signals

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:: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 ::

wow, i myself nearly forgot about this page of mine until someone else reminded me. I guess now that I have got myself a job in agere systems, and have been getting accustomed to the bay area for about 3 months, its time to make use of the new PC at home. Life is fun now, and so is work,amazingly! Have read half of about 2-3 books, "dude where's my country" by michael moore and "lies and the lying liars who tell them" by Al Franken. Thats right, two very "liberal" books. Well, they are funny and I can have a good laugh at the way they put things.

Being in a company and all that, there must be some restrictions on what I cannot say on the internet, so I should try hard to suppress the urges to brag about the company. Hope to post many more weblogs
posted by Ranga 11:50 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, June 10, 2003 ::
The ULTIMATE Weblink I have been searching for a long time now - Hyper Physics and Hyper Math . The two sister sites have brief, clear explanations of all physical and mathematical principles that one needs to know in very easily navigable linked structures. What got me most impressed was the hierarchy and the network that weaves up from the electron to the Big Bang. The last time I was so excited at having found such a webpage was when someone referred me to Marshall Brain's How Stuff Works.

posted by Ranga 10:04 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, May 13, 2003 ::
I have been enjoying the luxury of some free time after nearly a year of "all work and no play"! So instead of some boring talk about circuits and work pressure, I do have some interesting stuff to log about.

India Night
This is the annual cultural program organized by the Indian student association here in Corvallis. Although it went on for a little too long and the sense of humour of the MC was pathetic, I enjoyed myself for most of those 4 hours. Maybe my Portugese and Argentinian friends enjoyed it more than me and my Indian friend. Considering most of the dance/song performers were graduate students with as busy schedules as mine, they were pretty well managed. And more than anything, I finally took this opportunity to wear the nice traditional Indian "kurta/pyjama" set Ranjani had gifted me in Bangalore. Although I am notorious for feeling very conscious in any dress other than my comfy jeans and t-shirt, I felt at home once in the middle of those 500 odd Indian audience, most of them in flashy traditional kurtas and sarees! I dont understand why any Indian would wear the long kurta if he wanted to wear something comfortable. I kept losing my car keys/lab keys/wallet/cell phone/camera all stuffed in that one single long pocket on the side!!!

And last weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to go to this classical music concert organised by Rasika, a Portland based Indian cultural organisation for Oregon. The singer was Sudha Raghunathan , the nightingale of South India. Her voice was so soothing and the 3 hours passed very pleasantly.

Now I am slowly getting back into the research groove and the job hunt drive. I guess there will be more frequent blogging from now.

posted by Ranga 11:01 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, May 02, 2003 ::
Posting again after an even longer time!

I have been busy with the "tapeout" of my chip. Now its more or less done , just a few nagging last minute details , which , if i overlook, would mean the end of the world for my professor :). I have now started preparing for the interviews that could get me a job. The news on TV says the economy is going to be back on track with the worst days behind us - tell us something new please! Atleast its reassuring to hear even if unreliable

Well, I did have lots of interesting thoughts and experiences which I wanted to pen down, but cannot recollect at this very moment. Yeah, no prizes for guessing I never did jot those random thoughts down. Even if they are worth diddly squat.. !

My sister had an accident 3 days back. She and my bro-in-law Sathish were travelling back in an autorickshaw when it apparently overturned suddenly. I was quite upset about it and all this just adds to my growing grievances against the Indian road system. Fortunately , she got away with external injuries and my bro-in-law almost unhurt. 

The NBA playoffs are heating up . Great news - the (Sacramento) Kings are on the roll again and are favourites currently. Bad news- (LA) Lakers are starting to find form. Boring news- the Eastern conference.

I will maybe post again when I remember any interesting stuff from the last month.

posted by Ranga 5:20 PM [+] ::
:: Thursday, April 03, 2003 ::
Its been a long time since I posted on here. I am still pretty busy with my work, but I thought a quick post would be nice. The crazy war has been on for 2 weeks now. Lots of casualties, especially civilians ; Americans and Iraqis keep up their mud-slinging contest about who broke the Geneva Convention accord first. This war has made it look ugly on the TV screens as well. All American channels patronise the "Operation Iraqi Freedom" so much that I sometime even felt like siding with the claims on Al-Jazeera. I did read my news on Al-Jazeerah's mirror site for sometime after the original site of the Qatari paper was hacked. The typical American dramatization of everything was also in full bloom !

India lost the World cup finals. No big shocker, and strangely not many people criticizing the boys as the Indian public did get their fair share of entertainment and the Aussies deserved every bit to win.

I have been running a crazy schedule getting involved in not only my circuit work, but helping my brilliant Ph.D colleagues when they have those brain waves(NO, I DONT run around to get their tea or coffee!). Atleast this way I will get the experience of Ph.D research without actually being enrolled as one. Once my chip tapes out , I will be a free bird for sometime. I am trying not to remind myself about the terrifying prospect of "job-hunts" with the recession hanging around in its 3rd consecutive year. Well, going by my usual Murphy's law luck, this situation was not entirely unforeseen ! :))

posted by Ranga 11:56 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, March 07, 2003 ::
This has been such a boring week with no fun and all work. I decided to weblog to relax myself on this friday evening !
I have been reading some news articles today. Something I have been wanting to comment about for a long time caught my eye in the news - BT open Indian call center. So yet another company has decided the services offered by Indian graduates are cheaper than their own country's. British Telecom union workers are justified in their strike and voicing their grievance over this move which could shift upto 6000 jobs from UK into India. In their own words - "The point is that this is UK work, carried out for UK customers, offering a UK service. Doesn't that sound like work we should be doing in this country?" . What I found funny about the growing popularity of Indian call centers is the "culture coaching" of the young Indians who attend the service calls. They are taught to understand the popular discussion topics("catching up on the superbowl dude ?" ) and try and speak in an accent of the Americans or British. They are rechristened Tom, John etc. for the convenience of the customers abroad. The other day I called up verizon wireless and knew I was talking to someone in an Indian call center when they were able to pronounce my name right without pausing once in between :-) . And they went on to enquire about the weather etc. to give you the feeling they have been living in Oregon all their life. Although I personally dont think this is much of a pointer towards the growing "success of Indian economy" , I do think it reflects well on the excellence of the Indian telecommunication sector and more importantly, the confidence of Americans/Brits in the spoken English of the young Indian metropolitan student crowd.

Formula-1 season begins with the Australian Grand Prix. The new F-1 rules have inspired a lot of talk about how this could be the bane of Ferrari and Michael Scumacher. I hardly think so. A few rule changes cannot disturb a tough nut like Schumy who has been on the circuit for nearly 12 years now. However the qualifying sessions did throw up a few surprises with guys like Jenson Button doing well with their "not as good as Ferrari" engines.

posted by Ranga 8:03 PM [+] ::
:: Saturday, March 01, 2003 ::
WOW ! India is having a dream run at the world cup ( touch wood!). The cricketers must be proud of themselves for showing a very responsible attitude at trouble-shooting their earlier problems. In a way, the defeat against Australia woke them up and made them regroup - way to go guys! I felt so proud at the way two old foes were vanquished - England and Pakistan. I think most Indians treasure victories against Pakistan, Australia and England (in that order) the most. Pakistan , because they are our traditional political enemies and its no big secret that there is no love lost between us:); the Aussies for their infamous "bad boy" image with all that sledging and swearing on field ; the poms (English) ,for defeating them in cricket is still a way of getting back at them for their oppressive 250 year old rule :-). But we have got to give credit to the English ... their main contribution towards influencing Indian society was not Railways, not the postal services, but CRICKET ! I wonder why this never gets mentioned in Indian history textbooks.

On my part for the Indian success , I have carefully been avoiding watching any matches because that seems to be the "winning" formula :-). Even in December, when I tried watching the games against NewZealand, we lost. And I was following about an hour of the world cup game against Australia before giving up in frustration. Maybe I will just get a video or CD of the world cup games and watch India winning sometime later in the year. Hope we atleast go through to the semi-finals !

Been very busy doing circuit layout for my chip. For those who dont know what it means, this involves the actual connection of metal lines and thousands of transistors to make a tiny piece of silicon behave the way we want our circuit to work. Its tiring , boring and meticulous work which requires an artist's skill. For someone like me who cant draw a line between 2 points without a ruler, its going to be a pain in the neck for the next month or so. Two days back, I was still groogy from having woken up after a late night at work, when I spilled something in the kitchen and the first thing that came to my mind was Alt U "Undo" :-).
I have got a deadline to meet in less than 2 weeks. So that rules out any web logging until then...

posted by Ranga 3:41 PM [+] ::

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