Friday, December 31, 2010

True Love

I was reading a story by Anton Chekov titled “Three Years”. In it, there’s a line that reads: “...before I was in love I, too, knew quite well what love was.” And I reflexively nodded in agreement, uttering “True, Indeed!” And then I heard someone shouting at me, “What the hell are you talking about?”, from within…

Anyway, what I want to draw (no pun intended!) your attention towards, in this post, is the fact that the following picture (which appeared on this blog in August this year) is a sketch hand-drawn by me in MS Paint on my Fujitsu T4410 Tablet.


And so are these two:



Now, just because I sketch shoddy pictures on paper


does not mean I only sketch shoddy pictures!  The above three copyrighted pictures of Sora, Natsumi & Hazuki are testament of my decent sketching skills! Well, ignoring Natsumi’s sketch, the sketches of Sora & Hazuki are indeed pretty… decent.

Even though this is a link-devoid post, I’ll as usual add an


Monday, December 20, 2010

Spot the Shuttlecock!

In this post, let’s play a game. All you have to do is to spot the shuttlecock in the following photos, as simple as that! Come on, have a go:










So, what are your answers? Post them as comments and I’ll verify them for you. The first one to spot them all receives a happy-new-year-wishing-call from me! Open-mouthed smile

For those who don’t know , this game is called


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wait, WHAT??? Wow!!!

This was all I could muster when one of my sisters (R from the previous post) recently said that Sudoku Solver 6.6 runs on her laptop but AcBook 3.9 does not!

So this post is going to be about MATLAB and Miscellany. Recently, I saw this guest post on Loren Shure’s blog at “The MathWorks”. That post talks about using Speech Synthesis (among other things) functions from .NET library. (You probably know where I’m heading!) So, I commented on the post regarding my own encounter with .NET and its Speech Recognition functions.

My .m files are useless to others as I don’t include comments in them and often I myself (after a respectable span of time) don’t remember how they do whatever they do (one of the many reasons why SS 6.x has not yet become at least SS 7.0!). For example, I don’t understand anymore how the brute force algorithm for solving a Sudoku is implemented in the corresponding .m file. (The full arsenal of SS 6.6 consists of 11 .m files totaling ~2000 lines and yes, ‘end’ takes one line and there are almost no blank lines!)

Anyway, enough boasting! So, I’ll present here (with comments) the code snippet I use in my ‘full-fledged’ SS 6.6 for recognizing the spoken numbers:

%% Import Speech Classes
import System.Speech.Recognition.*;
%% Initialize SRE
ts=System.TimeSpan(0,0,3); %Don’t ask what this does!
%% Create Grammar
for n=1:9
%% Test the Words
%% Real Speech Recognition
disp('Speak Now...');
%% Result

The success of the above code depends mainly on your PC and you’ll find that out pretty soon (or maybe not)!

Now, let’s talk about miscellany. Recently, (note to self: used this word too many times, increase vocab) I realized that I’ve nudged many people (over the past few years) to do certain things and statistically speaking, none have done so! Let me give you some details:

I’ve asked a lot of people (friends & family) to use SS 6.x and AcBook 3.x (new releases of both will be made public by the start of new year) over a span of more than 5 years. Here are some disheartening (for a programmer) and funny (for a Sketchbook reader) ‘results’: Shantanu switched from Windows to Linux after I ‘presented’ AcBook to him on his Birthday! R wanted to use it till she developed her own program using .NET, VisualBasic, etc. but her PC won’t run it as mentioned above! S (my brother from last post) will not install Java on his PC! (ohh! Spoiler Alert!) DQ quite reluctantly agrees to beta-test every new version but then forgets they are even installed on his PC! and the list continues…

I’ve asked a lot of people to watch / read Sketchbook but all of them say (in one way or other): “What the hell is this?

I’ve asked a lot of people to watch / read Rurouni Kenshin following ‘my sequence’ and none of them have ever successfully done it! Shantanu did come close to doing that but then he ‘lost interest’ around VizBig Vol. 2! Sad smile

I’ve asked a lot of people to read Hindi poems, whose links I post on Google Buzz and most of them do read them. I feel really glad about that especially when Shantanu ‘thanked’ me for sharing those links! Open-mouthed smile


Saturday, December 4, 2010


Biratnagar (1-night stay over): We were joined by ‘them’. They were my father’s nieces (father’s sister’s daughters), i.e. two of my ‘many’ sisters (let’s call them B & R). I find it quite irritating that in Hindi (or Nepali), almost everyone (at least of your own generation-al level) can be referred to as your brothers & sisters with a prefix (specifying whose sons or daughters they are) if needed but in English, they are cousins, nephews, nieces, etc. and you’ve got no clue what the relation is at the higher generation-al level. I don’t think that made any sense and that’s precisely my point!Disappointed smile Anyway, the following day, we (after an ‘expected’ delay) boarded the smallest plane, I’ve ever had the fortune of boarding, and landed after half-an-hour or so at

Kathmandu (13-days stay): The first week was the week leading up to Diwali / Deepawali, about which I’ve talked about in an earlier post. I also met one of my brothers (father’s brother’s son, let’s call him S) after a long time. He pointed out that I’m fat and I pointed out that it needn’t be pointed out! We obviously went to Pashupatinath temple and also to Panchmukhi Balaji temple* (Google maps can now show the exact location of this temple. You get near it by searching for ‘tinpiple’ and zooming on a 360° turn in the ‘Arniko Highway’.) like last time but did not go to the Garden of Dreams, which I do regret.Panchmukhi Balaji Temple

Apparently, B & R were lucky enough to visit it after I (& S) left. I’m also told that in their 3-weeks stay at KTM, they took nearly 750 photos which is quite astonishing but when I think about it, it’s not that impressive. They are wasting a lot of ‘time’ & space on the memory card! Here’s why: After their 2-weeks stay, they had nearly 420 photos, which I brought with me. As I’m ‘fond’ of organizing my photos on ‘Windows Live Photo Gallery’ (or ‘wasting time’ as B & R put it!), I started sorting through their ‘mess’ and after I was done with that, I was left with 253 photos ‘only’! This huge reduction is due to two reasons: (i) Their Sony Cyber-shot takes dual shots if it ‘realizes’ that the lighting conditions are unfavorable like when indoors which was most of the time and when there is strong backlight outdoors which was also most of the time at KTM while we’re there! So one can safely delete one of those two snaps; (ii) One of them (R) does not press the shutter-release button half-way to check if the ‘subject’ is in focus! She just presses the button all the way taking the phrase ‘point-and-shoot’ a little too literally! So some of the snaps she ‘shot’ were out of focus and ‘had’ to be ‘pointed out’ of my laptop(s)!

So, to summarize my stay at KTM: I got some shopping done, ate sweets, met with other relatives, got my eyes checked, ate sweets, postponed my wedding, celebrated Diwali @ Home, watched Sketchbook with B & R (they were neither impressed nor repulsed by it!), ate (pieces of) a huge heart-shaped cake that somehow reminded me of sweet potatoes, attended a picnic, played badminton, tweaked AcBook & Sudoku Solver, ate sweets, taught something new (like how to convert feet to inches and there are 8 planets now!) to a kid, gave my mother ‘golden jewellery’ as a gift for the first time and ate ice cream labelled ‘Blind Love’ after a long time. After having so much fun, I had to leave KTM due to my ‘doctor’s’ advice: “Too much fun is injurious to my well-being”. So I left for

New Delhi (in transit): This is the last one at least on this trip! I came up from the Arrivals Terminal to Departures Terminal and stayed for nearly 6 hours in an enclosure named ‘Visitors’ Lounge’ just besides the check-in counters. But I had to go out of the building and come back in through a different gate for check-in! Anyway, no hassles this time around when I boarded the flight to

Abu Dhabi (in transit): “Wow! Didn’t we take our shoes off when we entered this terminal?” exclaimed a guy when we were asked to take them off once more to enter the waiting area for gate xx, from which we were supposed to board the plane. He seemed pissed but I just found it amusing! Open-mouthed smile We boarded the flight to JFK and after 14 hours in-flight, the ordeal was not over yet. We had to stand in a queue so long that it took us nearly 90 minutes just to enter the immigration area (we’re still in queue) and then it took me half an hour more to get to a counter and get cleared. After that, I fished around for my luggage and made a beeline to the AirTrain, to LIRR Train (in spite of two faulty ticket machines: one didn’t let me select my destination and the other didn’t accept cash!) to

Stony Brook (14th Nov): Railroad Route bus to Chapin Apartments was running on that (Sun)day and I’m back safely and soundly to tell you about whatever I’ve told you in the last three posts! I present to you now the final album that captures almost every aspect of my

Nepal Tour 2010

*Two albums linked in this post are not accessible to / by everyone. If you don’t see the photos, try logging into Picasa using your Gmail ID. If you don’t see them even then, tell me and I’ll send you a personalized link after assessing your eligibility! Thank you for your understanding…