Date archives "July 2008"

Me, A Microsoft Fanboy?

Warning: This is a totally nerdy blog post!

I’m getting more and more concerned that I’m turning in to a Windows fanboy!

A couple of months ago I got new laptop which had Vista pre-installed. Convinced I would hate it I tried to get the IT guy at the office to put XP on instead. Unfortunately it wasn’t possible so I had to get to grips with it.

To my increasing horror, I actually found that I was liking Vista more than XP. After a week I was converted and now I’ll never go back to XP.

I can’t understand why Vista got such a bad name – there is nothing wrong with it! It’s fantastic to use, more user friendly, easier to navigate and very fast!

Infact, Microsoft suspected it was the anti-Microsoft hype that was causing people to have a bad opinion of Vista (and to be fair, that’s what my opinion was based on), so they set up an experiment in San Fransico with 150 people who refused to use and upgrade to Vista because they thought it was so bad. Microsoft told them that they would be trialing their brand new operating system, the successor to Vista.

The result?

They all loved it.

The best part?

They were actually using an out of the box copy of Vista.


People’s hate of Vista is based on media biased.

If that doesn’t make me sound like a Microsoft fanboy, I don’t know what will!

But it gets even worse.

Recently I lent my phone to my buddy in India. A Nokia N73. I really liked that phone. I had it for two years. I lent it to him for one day and he manages to lose it.

Sidenote: This is not the first phone he has lost, and it wasn’t the first phone I even lent him. He runs a multi-million dollar company, but since I’ve known him, he’s lost 3 phones.

Anyway, since he lost my phone, with all my contacts, all my photos (including the first match at Wembly!), all my notes, everything, he was only right and proper that he bought me a new one.

The phone I chose was a HTC with a touch screen, there’s no keypad, everything is done by touch. My buddy wanted to get my an iPhone, but there’s just something so wrong about it. Everyone seems to love it so much, and it’s considered cool to have one, but to me when everyone wants something, it loses it’s ‘cool’ appeal.

Anyway, back to the HTC phone. It runs Windows Mobile, which I was aprehensive about because everyone knows Nokia has the best usability and easiest navigation. However, once again, Windows exceeded my expectations! Windows Mobile 6 is great to use, the whole touch screen is really intuitive and even better, it makes me cooler than an iPhone user because not everyone has a HTC phone!

Me, a Windows fanboy? Never! Umm.

(sorry for the totally nerdy post guys!)

Miracle On 3rd Cross Street

One of the things you learn to live with in India is their love for noise. Any noise. As long as it’s loud. They are truly not content until whatever noise they are making is perforating ear drums within a 1km radius. In the cinema the walls, floors and seats vibrate with the sound. At temples, there are bells, drums and singers blaring out from 6am onwards.

Most of it you learn to deal with, for example I can almost sleep through the bells and drums coming from the temple opposite my apartment.

One of the other things you learn to live with is the frequent power cuts, which usually happen at the most inconvenient moments, like when you are taking a shower with water heated by the electric heater. Power cuts are a fact of life though, so you must put up with them.

This morning was different though. Not satisfied with musical instruments, the temple decided to rig up a PA system right outside my bedroom and start playing old tamil movie songs at full volume. The female singers in Tamil songs sing at a couple of octaves higher than a falsetto. I’m sure there have been occasions where the note goes so high pitch you lose it for a few seconds as is goes out of human hearing before coming back again. I’m sure this is beautiful music to people growing up listening to it but to the people sleeping peacefully at 6am it’s quite torturous.

So, this kind of ultra-sonic noise is blaring out at 7am on Sunday morning. Half of me was relieved I decided to have a quiet night in and didn’t have a hangover to nurse with this audible torture going on, the other half was praying to the Hindu Gods (anyone that was listening would do) for a power cut to stop this painful music.

Well, not one for believing in miracles, barely 5 minutes after I asked for a power cut, I was duly granted one and peace and harmony returned to the streets of Chennai. Peace and harmony that admittedly includes the constant sound of horns, drums, bells, children shouting, planes flying overhead, men shouting at one another, building works and goodness knows what else. But at least there weren’t any ladies singing.

Chennai Traffic Rules

This post is in part inspired by one of the interns working at Agriya, he rides around Chennai on a scooter (clearly the heat has got to him, is he mad?!) and written about his experiences here.

So, it has inspired me to tell you all about the Chennai traffic rules.

First off, there are basically two official ways of getting a driving license in India:

  • For those that don’t want to learn how to read, you take a practical driving test
  • For those that don’t want to learn how to drive, you take a theoretical test

Incidentally there is a third, and far more popular method of “who needs a license?”.

Anyway, intrigued by what it takes to pass the theoretical test so I can get a license in Chennai, I did some digging and asked around.

After much hunting, I finally managed to get my hands on the answers to Chennai’s driving test. I’m putting it up here for you all to see, but I don’t know how long I can keep it up here for, they may demand that I remove it tomorrow.

Chennai Theoretical Driving Test Answers

1. What is the speed limit in built up areas?

As fast as your vehicle can go

2. When turning left, what procedure should you use?

Lean your elbow on the horn and look straight ahead
3. When you have missed your turning, what action should you take?

Conduct an emergency stop and put the car in to reverse. Ensure that you look straight ahead while leaning one elbow on the horn
4. When is it not appropriate to use your horn?

Trick question. It is always appropriate to use your horn
5. When you wish to pass a vehicle, what procedure do you follow?

Get as close to the vehicle as possible and lean your elbow on the horn,then decide whether you have enough room to pass to the left or the right
6. A vehicle behind you wishes to pass you, what do you do?

Lean your elbow on the horn
7. You wish to overtake on a blind bend, what procedures must you follow?

Lean your elbow on the horn and try and go out as far as you can in to the oncoming lane to see if anything is coming
8. What does a red traffic light signify?

Check for cops, lean your elbow on the horn and start edging out until you think you can make it across
9. What is the correct procedure for turning right at a busy junction?

Lean your elbow on the horn, and speed up to turn right as fast as possible
10. What is the correct gear to pull off in?

Second gear, while leaning your elbow on the horn
11. When lost, what procedure should you follow?

Lean your elbow on the horn, set your speed to 30mph, pull up along side an auto driving, lean across and wind down the passenger window and ask for directions. Ensure your right elbow is pressed against the horn at all times while gesturing with your left hand.
12. You see a girl walking down the street wearing jeans, what do you do?

Lean your elbow on the horn and stare at her until you can no longer see her out of your rear window
13. What is the purpose of the rear view mirror?

To hang CD’s from
14. Where is the correct place for the ornamental tissue box?

The parcel shelf
15. What is it important to remember while reversing?

Lean your elbow on the horn and look straight ahead so you can see where others are going
16. You notice that the tread on one of your tyres is completely bald. What urgent action do you take?

Check to make sure your horn is working
17. Who has right of way at a junction?

Whoever has the loudest horn
18. Everyone who is turning right at the junction is blocking the road ahead. You want to turn left. What should you do?

Lean your elbow on the horn, and drive slowly along the pavement
19. At night time, what two things is it important to remember?

Sound your horn every 10 seconds and set your lights to full beam so on-coming traffic can hear you and you can see them
20. You discover that your horn is broken, what do you do?

Take the bus to work

As I said, these answers are top secret, and I could be found out at any time. To any Chennaites reading this, I hope it serves you well and good luck with your test!

Crows Feet

Just had a shave (shave yourself, in India? No way!) and noticed that when I smile (which is apparently all the time), I have big lines extending from the corners of my eyes.

I’m getting old! Or, my preferred reason, the humidity and pollution in Chennai is sucking my skin dry of moisture, causing these laughter lines.

Either way. Feeling so sad 🙁