Saturday, November 29, 2008

Klaatu Barada Nikto

Well, to put the last three months (can't believe I've been here this long already!) in a nutshell my entire technical training was waived off thanks to the final year project I did for Wipro. I only had a week of Corporate Induction, a couple of sessions on programming and dealing with emergency situations, and by the first week of September I was allocated to a Cloud Computing project.

My present role involves developing a web-based interface to access the various services provided by our Cloud solution. For the more technically inclined, I'm developing portlets on an open source Enterprise Portal called Liferay. Work has been pretty good so far. It does get a little hectic at times, but then that's expected.

Oh and by the way, I'm staying here in Bangalore with a couple of friends from college, so it's fun. The week just passes by going to our respective offices and coming back; all the fun, the parties, the clothes-washing and random cooking experiments (experiments because we don't know how to cook) are usually reserved for the weekends.

Recent Movies

Yes, I have managed to catch a couple of movies during the past few weeks

A Wednesday — 9/10
An odd title, but definitely a must watch. The movie is short, well-paced and to the point. No songs either. A very impressive first for debutant director Neeraj Pandey.

Kung Fu Panda — 9.5/10
Po: I just ate, so I'm still digesting, so my kung fu may not be as good as later on.
Po: [breathing heavily] I know you're trying to be all mystical and Kung Fu-ey, but could you tell me where we're going?
Absolutely hilarious! Can anybody not enjoy this?

Fashion — 7.5/10
The gay/effeminate designers were annoying and the second half could have used some trimming, but overall the movie was well made. Apart from the ramp shows, the style and fashion, Madhur Bhandarkar adds realistic flavour to the movie by weaving the story around a lot of incidents that we've seen on TV or read about in the papers wardrobe malfunctions, casting couch, wild lifestyles and the like. He did over-dramatize the whole thing, but then nobody would watch the movie if he didn't.

Body of Lies — 5/10
Didn't expect it to be very good, and I was still disappointed. I wonder why they didn't title it 'World of Lies' instead — after all, the plot takes you from Iraq to Qatar to Jordon to Turkey to Syria (with a couple of places in between?), and if someone were to ask you what the story was at the end of the movie, you wouldn't have a clue. I have no idea how this movie has a 7.6 rating on IMDB.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) — 8/10
After seeing the amazing footage of the 2008 remake, I just had to see the original. Very well made for its time. The robot reminded me of the old Lost in Space episodes though — very clumsy-looking, and the least bit intimidating.

The Abhiram Websites

VarunAbhiram.com is finally back online! All the content has been re-uploaded to the new host at Answerable. Must update the site soon with the Spaces video and the new wallpapers I've posted here in the past few months.

Karthik82.com is also back, with a brand new design! The site looks much better now (the three-column layout rules) and the content is a lot more organized, with emphasis on the blog and the artwork. Most of the old, static content dating all the way back to 2000 has moved to the archives.

Assorted Links

Prince of Persia Animation Reference (1985)
Jordan Mechner, the creator of the original Prince of Persia (brings back memories, doesn't it?) has started posting old journal entries about the development of the game on his website — this journal entry I found particularly interesting. And I'm sure you will too.

Virtual Barber Shop
An excellent example of Binaural Recording. Wear headphones, turn up the volume, close your eyes and listen. I wonder how they managed to retain the audio quality while uploading it to YouTube. I found a MP3 version of the clip on Andy Coates' blog.

How to make money with free software?
Stani Michiels explains the making of his Architecture Five-Euro coin using entirely free software. I haven't gotten around to reading this article fully yet, but it seems interesting.

G-Speak Spatial Operating Environment
Funky Minority Report-ish gesture-driven computer interfaces. Came across this on Slashdot, and then in The Economic Times a few days later.

Crib It! - An Ode to Bollywood's 'Inspired' Finest!
Would be awesome if someone actually sang this.

13 comments:

Karthik Abhiram said...

Good to see you back in action (post-wise at least) :)

Nice post, captures the memorable stuff that's been around in the past few months. 9/10 for "A Wednesday"? Great... I should see it.

Nilesh Vijaywargiay said...

Awesome Hair cut!! But to my surprise, found no change when I saw myself in mirror after the cut :(

Varun said...

Karthik -- Yeah, I started writing this post many weeks ago... got around to finishing it only yesterday :)

And you should watch A Wednesday...


Nilesh -- LOL... you're lucky there was no change in your hair. With all that random hair-snipping, I wonder what the end result would have been :P

Kinnera said...

Ya I remember the day u people cooked for the first time.U people were on top of the world for cooking rice and eggs :P. And ya kungfu panda was good.I dint like it first time,but later when i watched it again i enjoyed it.

Varun said...

Kin -- We're not posh cooks like you ok, rice and eggs is achievment enough :P

Ismaele said...

Nice to hear you, Varun! It has been a long time since your last message.
I received your e-mail, but now I am too busy to answer... :( I hope to send you my reply soon. :)

Varun said...

Ismaele -- Yes, it's been long! Reply when you can...

Rajeev Turlapati said...

Damn u get time for movies but no call :O
Body of lies i was never interested in. the others were ok.Kungfu panda was great.
So it took you this long to come back to blogging.even i'm plannin to write somethn,it's bin long wid a very dull period.

T Anudeep Reddy said...

yeah! I too saw that "A Wednesday", its good enough to convince us with the director's view.N more saw 'wall-e',though a bit lat, a good movie..
But vgood of all is, Varun's back into action with his blog..

Asmita said...

Body of Lies - thats for George W Bush. That's for his effing Bush Doctrine! :|

Maddy said...

hi varun
nice to read..
its great feeling and such excitement for the first time to eat food cooked by us.. though i havent left hyd anytime but when pavan's mom left for US for 2 months..his kitchen was our hangout place..good to hear that you enjoying life..cool..


madhuresh
www.butitrained.wordpress.com

Varun said...

Rajeev -- Lemme know when the post is up!

Anudeep -- Yeah, Wall-E was great too... saw it before all these movies...

Asmita -- Bush is history now... ok not just yet :)

Madhuresh -- LOL yeah... there IS that sense of satisfaction eating self-cooked food :)

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