Archive for April, 2010

26
Apr
10

A Series of Unfortunate Events

These past few days have been very strange. I’ve had a greater than average number of situations I would rather not have been in. I’m not sure if I’ve gotten more prone to this kind of thing or whether it’s just my imagination. Or possibly Airtel sending me a subtle message. Even that volcano, Ehjaasdafadasdgaeg, is somehow connected I think. When a butterfly flaps its wings, my friends. As for the name, I have a hunch that’s how the Icelanders defend themselves. Enemies just go “And now on to invade Reyk-ja-hansk-urg hhh…. Hmmm.” And ignore it and head to France instead.

So anyway, life has been weird.

Take last week for example. I had just gotten on a bus to head to work one morning. After five minutes a woman holding an infant gets on. And of course she has to head straight towards me. And within about two seconds all my mind is thinking is:

“Will she move on? Why is she standing next to me? Will she not move on if I turn my head to see if she’s still standing there? Why is she still standing there?! Dammit I shouldn’t have turned my head!”

And then I get up and she takes my seat.

After a while I decide to do my morning rounds on the internet. I pull out my phone and hold it sideways while Opera Mini loads in landscape mode. I call up twitter. After a while my focus drifts beyond the distance I’m holding my phone at, and onto the woman-who-took-my-seat’s face. For some unfathomable reason she’s scowling at me.

Then two things happen. I notice that she was all set to breast-feed her kid, and that my phone was held by me in such a position that it was pointing at her and also held sideways, as if I were taking a picture.

So like a deer caught in the glare of her headl- … Like a rabbit watching an oncoming train, I just stared at her. Terrified.

After what seemed like an eternity of this, I swung my phone up and tried to hold it in such a fashion that at least three people standing next to me could see that I was merely creepily going through what people were doing right after they wake up instead of twitpic’ing this stuff to a sex-ed class.

Suffice to say I got out of that bus alive. Just barely.

So there was that. Then there was this other thing where I threw forward my sexist-yet-lovable personality at a prospective client. I was at campus with a bunch of friends and she was going on about how “her ideal man” would be “like a good suit. Complements and makes you look good, and preferably goes with your shoes”. So I told her an ideal woman would be “like a good backpack. Holds stuff, is comfortable and most of all, doesn’t recite retarded analogies”.

After many a look that felt like rubbing my elbows in gravel, the conversation got round to how she’s looking to hire a freelancer. She hasn’t contacted me yet.

It’s not even just with other people. I came home two days ago to a pot full of boiled eggs in some kind of curry thing. It had beans in it too. I like beans. So I grabbed a piece of naan and dipped straight into the pot, and walked off munching what I thought was a bunch of egg and bean goodness. After a mere three steps I realized the urgent burning sensation in my tongue that was quickly spreading to the rest of my mouth couldn’t just be beans. I mean, who puts beans in with boiled eggs anyway?

So yeah. I’m being extra cautious these days. It seems like every situation I get find myself in is tailored to give me mental anguish. I should just stay home.

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12
Apr
10

I Have No Love for Touchscreen

I was in the market for a new phone recently. My current Nokia S40 device has me on my last strands of sanity. So anyway, as I was researching new phones to get, I was bombarded on all sides with touch-screen devices. As you might have gathered from my imaginative title, I am not a big fan of these. My experiences with touch screens have been, at best, fishy. The idea is only cool till you put it to real use. Like people jumping into convertibles. Its pretty hit-and miss. Sometimes you end up in your seat, sometimes you find yourself sodomized by a car.

Touchscreens are cool. That’s about it as far as I’m concerned. When you actually want to do something with it, I just automatically look for the slide-out keypad. I don’t want to lose ninety percent of my screen to the alphabet. I certainly do not want to press buttons on screen and cover up part of it with my hand when playing games either. Don’t even get me started on retarded motion sensing games. An accelerometer is only to be used as far as you can throw it. And that is not far.

As for clicking menu items and things, it’s kind of like a mini game where you punch something with your finger and hope for the best. By the time you’re a few levels deep, the difficulty is increased by items getting steadily smaller and your screen becoming a smudgy mess for fingerprints.

Using touchscreens is just something that sounds cool, like applying an even layer of butter on your household cat. It looks cool for a while but then after a while everything gets covered in grease and you’re afraid to touch your food.

And you wake up in the mornings with butter on your face.

Always.

I merely do not get why people want to grope and slide their fingers around the screen, all the while twisting and turning their device a multitude of different ways to get the keyboard the right way around. This is not helped by Apple releasing their new iPhone iterations and people automatically drooling after it. Releasing standard features years after everyone else has them is not funny anymore.

Resistive screens suck genitalia. Capacitive screens are kind of okay but still lack the appeal of buttons. I dread the day when all phones are touchscreens and people are treated like senior citizens and get oversized icons and minimal interfaces thrown at them. I fear the time when everyone on the street is clawing at their screens trying to look normal while doing it. Even when phones with adequate rainbows and unicorns under the hood appear on the market and run their interfaces with a higher framerate than a slideshow, I’ll be looking out for a slide-out qwerty.

Right now the absolute best quality touchscreen is wasted on a phone which thinks introducing features everyone else had for years is a big event. One of the coolest OS’s I’ve seen comes in a criminally fat phone. Even if these two ever came together through some heavenly intervention and a magical touchscreen that shoots lazers and writes great blog posts in two seconds falls into my hands, I’d look to god with puppy eyes and go “but you forgot the keyboard, homie”.

I do not want to wait for a fly to go away on its own accord for fear of swatting at it and hitting a few buttons on the screen.

10
Apr
10

Nerd Life

New post scheduled for Monday. Till then,

Nerd Life

Parents out for the weekend
Sitting at home at night
Glow from monitor on my face
Funny tech caption on t shirt stands out
Drag vertices, click points
Colour gradient meshes left and right
Rock out by blasting The Airborne Toxic Event
That’s how I roll female dogs
This life of polygons and stylesheets
Is pretty cool

Save File!
Illustrator does not respond!
Weep, weep.
x3
It responds!
Damn you windows why must you stall when I want to make haste?
I should make at least this last line rhyme or this might just be a big waste

…It is anyway isn’t it?

Just one of those staring-at-the-PC-for-too-long things…

06
Apr
10

Airtel and Free “Services”

My relationship with my mobile provider has been mostly cordial. Airtel recently rolled out a great package for us prepaid hobos that gives you half a gig of free data for a small monthly fee. Thanks to this I no longer have to see the “The cost of the last data usage was YOUR SOUL! Muahahaha!”-type messages I received for each connection made.

But of late I have been getting increasingly annoyed with this package. The sole reason of this annoyance is another pair of freebies I get. Namely the cricket updates and the “jokes”.

Nary a night goes by without me waking up and finding a dozen new message notifications, then slowly having my spirit broken while combing through each one and finding each one to be a cold, heartless message composed by some unthinking computer in the bowels of Airtel.

The jokes are pretty bad. “What did the dog say when it sat on sandpaper? Ruff!”- kind of bad. It really takes the buzz out of a perfectly good day. So I called them up and asked how to unsubscribe.

I am given instructions to send a code to a number. So I type “DEACT CKT” to 7544, as instructed.

It tells me I’m not subscribed to the service. Thinking I’ve made a typo, I try “DEACT CRIC” and send. Same thing.

“DEACTIVATE CRICKET”

“KILL CKT”

“DIE AIRTEL”

“I HAVE A GUN”

Nothing. Not even that last got any useful response. And then, as if to spite me, I get “A grave is a place where the dead are laid to await the coming of the medical student”. Ominous.

Now I just put up with the constant barrage till I can work up the energy to call them up again and complain.