BLR Airport WiFi Fail

I landed at the Bangalore International Airport the other night wanted to get on a WiFi network, so I could ‘Whatsapp’ my friends who were supposed to pick me up (I didn’t have a local SIM to call them.) I hoped Bangalore, being the IT city and Silicon Valley of India would have free wifi and I wasn’t disappointed as I found one provided by Tata Indicom.

I connected to the wifi network and was redirected to a login page, as shown below. This is where the problems started.

Login

The steps shown in above screenshot seem simple enough, but I had no local phone number to get a text message at and I didn’t have International roaming to get a text on my US number. In any case the system only accepted Indian numbers.

I then clicked on ‘International Roaming Users’ option in the login page but the system required me to already have a connection with one of the service providers given in the two dropdown boxes, as seen in below screenshot. I didn’t have an account with those providers, so it was another dead end.

Roaming

Clicking on ‘Quick Access/TIBB Users’ took me to a login page for Tata Indicom Broadband users. No account and no luck again.

Buy

Finally, I clicked on ‘To Buy Online’ and thought of buying some time. This lead to the screen shown above. I’m not sure why anybody would want to buy a 3-day package for the airport. Also all fields are mandatory and the country field is extremely mandatory (with a red star)! I selected a package and the country dropdown allowed me to select USA, but once again dead end as the system only accepted Indian numbers! Aaaaaargh.

What a fail, Bangalore.

HFT & Jazz

Over the last couple of years or so I have been listening to a lot of Jazz – this is largely due to getting a lot of exposure to this genre, in part thanks to visiting the Jazz capital, New Orleans and Chicago and other places and getting to listen to a lot of amazing jazz musicians live.

When the Bengaluru Habba announced they are going to have a Jazz fest, I was super excited.  I had the privilege of following the Jazz fusion band HFT during their visit to Bangalore during the event.

Lew Hilt, AJ and Suchet are amazing people and have an amazing amount of talent. It was wonderful listening to them after the show and talk about a variety of topics and musicians and the genre of Jazz.

HFT’s music is very interesting and the drummer, Suchet, adds a certain mystery to it with his vast collection of musical instruments from around the world.

Beat Keeper: Suchet Malhotra

Beat Keeper: Suchet Malhotra

Lew Hilt the Groove Mover

Groove Mover: Lew Hilt

(Doesn’t he look like Eric Clapton?!)

HFT playing at Bengaluru Habba 2011

Thank you for the music, HFT!

 Follow HFT on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hftmusicindia

Short films in Thamizh

I have seen some really amazing, touching, thought-provoking and some funny short films in Thamizh over the last few months. The people behind this are evidently extremely creative and the efforts they have put into their work shows. Some have elaborate setups and others just a regular camera and a free movie editor software.

Given below are some of the short films that caught my attention that I had to share with you all. These are all in my mother tongue – Thamizh (Tamil) – but some of them do have sub-titles.

I’ll start off with one of the first Thamizh short films I saw on YouTube. This film introduced me to this whole world of Thamizh short films on YouTube. The film is about a guy who is going to introduce his girlfriend to his parents and what happens at that meeting. Brilliant acting, direction, camera work and such a real script! The starting scene is killer!

The next movie is by M.Balaji, who was also responsible for the first film. His strength is obviously emotions and getting the best out of the actors. Do search for his other films. Anyway, this short film is about a grandfather who is eagerly waiting for his foreign raised grand-daughter to return and sing for him, like she used to do several years back. Very touching film! The scene where the grandfather tries to bridge the generation gap by listening to rock music is super!

Bonus: This has English sub-titles.

The third short film is about a man and his car and his village. Written and Directed by S.U. Arun Kumar. Brilliant work! Reminded me of the Cars movie series where we actually feel the cars are almost human-like characters!

The next short film is by Manoj Priyadarshan, who dishes out a hilarious version of how some men go that extra mile to please their girl friends. The camera/scene work could be better but the story and comedy is spot on!

The last movie I’d like to share is about this couple who meet again after breaking up two years earlier for various reasons. Again great direction, superb acting (the actors seem to be working with multiple directors!) and great work by the cameraman on this one take short film. Scripted and directed by Ramya.

Bonus: This has English sub titles.

That’s about it for now. I hope you enjoyed this ‘short’ selection! YouTube is an ocean and one can find a lot of great short films in various languages and genres.

Do share with me in the comments any short films that you have seen and enjoyed.

Quote of the day

Spend an unreasonable amount of time on some difficult topic to really master it.

- Bjarne Stroustup

The end of blogging?

I haven’t blogged much lately. I must say that I kept coming back to try and revive this blog but it hasn’t worked until now. The only thing I did regularly was update my wordpress installation every time they released a new version.

WordPress 3.2 was released recently and as I read posts and tweets on the web about it and how it has improved (I love the new writing space) I had to come back to upgrade this blog to v3.2 and check it out.

Going through the upgrade process, got me thinking. I was trying to analyse why I am not blogging as often as I used to (according to the Word Stats plugin, it has been 259 days since my last post – which in itself was just a re-shared photo from flickr.)

I realised that earlier I needed the forum and space this blog provided to express myself and to hear from others through their comments and to interact with friends and strangers from around the world.

Nowadays I still seem to be expressing myself, infact several times a day.

I do this through
my tweets on twitter;
through facebook status updates;
by sharing
articles that interest me,
videos that amused me,
songs that enchanted me;
through facebook places and foursquare check-in updates, which tells the world the kind of places I hang out at and the different people I hang out with;
through flickr and instagram by showing the world the world around me through the lens;
and then there is linkedin
and chatter (at work)
and now google+ is here offering  opportunities +1 of expressing myself.

One has to admit it is not very difficult to express oneself through the above mentioned avenues and more importantly it is not difficult to get almost instant feedback through a like or a +1 or a comment. The world responds to incentives and these sites offer the all important incentives of easy exposure and feedback! I too got sucked into that world, but luckily didn’t let this space die or lose my domain.

One of the main problems with blogging is the effort it takes.

It takes a lot of effort by the blogger to compose a new blog-post. Firstly one needs to come up with something interesting to write about. Even if it is an idea that pops up suddenly (like this post,) there is some effort involved. Write, revise, check, rewrite, spell-check, add links and images and finally publish.

It also takes quite a bit of effort by the readers. There are tools that make it simpler to aggregate content from multiple blogs, but even then one needs to subscribe to different blogs; read posts that are generally on the longer side (which, in these days of short attention span, is a challenge); pass through some authentication system and captchas in order to be able to post a comment and follow up on the comments regularly. Definitely not as simple as clicking the ‘Like’ button.

Nonetheless, even in this age of Twenty-20, the ODI’s and Test Matches are still watched and loved.

Likewise, there still are a lot of bloggers out there writing and publishing some great stuff – many old timers and several new ones. A lot of blogs that I once followed have become inactive or 404s. It is time I update this list with some new blogs and subscribe and follow them regularly.

I found that as I stopped blogging, I also stopped reading other blogs. Although I don’t promise anything, I am hoping this will get me back on the blogging track and will not be the end of blogging for me!

I’d love to hear from you -

What are your thoughts on blogging and micro-blogging?

Know any blogs that I should check out?

Got a blog yourself?

- please post it all in the comments section!