highs and lows, etc.

In the left passenger seat of my car today, while it was slowly slithering the hot way to my college (my bike has not yet recovered from an accident), I experienced something like an epiphany. It could’ve been because it’s been a while since I sat really still – the whole of the past two weeks has been a frantic rush to set things straight. So I thought about good things and bad things… and a little time later I had a simple but very moving revelation: I know so many interesting people 🙂

People: who make me laugh, angry, sick, think, sad, amused, confused; who have a thread of ze vital life in them so that when they act I’m so amazed; who have funny bones of brontosauric proportions so I LOL so often; so much of the talented crowd: music crazy band-members, sweet devilish wicked vixens, incredible inspiring coders, people who read, and people who are so, so different from me which only makes them more interesting.

I’m not a person who can maintain a close network of thousands of friends. Like I was bored with Friendster after a week – it brought too much organization to a thing I do not pay much close attention to. But I know lots of people, from my school days onward, people in my college, people I met through organizations I’m a part of, online friends who I met in chat-rooms and forums, people I met through my writing, who emailed me about this site, and all the other little projects that I have going around; I know lots of people! Some of these people I can call good friends… I don’t talk to them everyday, I don’t think about them everyday, but meeting them and talking to them is like a new experience every time, I learn so much from what they think.

An epiphany is a revelation. But it’s also a very cozy feeling of comfort, something almost sublime. I’ve known for some time now that I can’t live as a self-contained universe. But today, I’ve also discovered my happiness in knowing people.

AWOL again! And this time I was setting my affairs back in order. Some loose ends which have been far too loose far too long have now been tied up, and in that process I’ve also rediscovered my love of working.

Yeah, you read that right. Working. Not many people know me today as a compulsive 24×7 workaholic. It’s a role that I’ve not suited into for some time now, but it has always been a part of me, lurking underneath. Here’s a short list of how hard I worked since you last saw me: 😉

I watched Kill Bill Volume 1 and 2 again, in order, and Tarantino continues to impress with his gimmicks. Today I also saw another very nice movie: Things I can Tell Just by Looking at Her. It’s a very amazing concoction of scenes and clean editing that makes it a lovely emotional experience.

I also read a lot. A sweet Irish tale that I can’t remember the name of, the Magician: Apprentice and Master novels; a good amount of non-fiction about the Gujarat riots and Hindu nationalism, and I’m currently plugging through Poul Anderson: The Boat of a Million Years and Avatar and I also read Greg Bear’s second in the Darwin series: Darwin’s Children. Too much to talk about when I’m talking about books, it’s too chaotic right now, I’ll probably mention some gems later.

I took a DVD today featuring Linkin Park’s songs and some extra footage. They are a really great band and the DVD also exposed me to my first multi-angle viewing experience, wherein I can change camera views on the fly; it was really cool :-).

I’ve also got to tell you about QVM, a parallel virtual machine that’s our mini-project this term at college. It’s an amazing framework which allows an end-developer to create an application using the processing power of an entire grid of computers in a local network. Stay tuned to Sig9 for more information about that.


I think I haven’t raved about her enough… her tracks are really amazing, I first encountered her through (my then obsession of) Eminem’s rap… his semi-sadistic tale of Stan ripped off her sweet “Thank You”, but Dido has really matured through the years. Her newest album “Life for Rent” rivals the Corrs’ Borrowed Heaven for production quality (and that’s saying something). The vocals (and lyrics) are pretty exciting too; some great songs from that album: “White Flag”, “Stoned”, “Life for Rent”, and “Do you have a little time?” (the last is probably the best, I love haunting repetitive tunes… mellowdrone’s “And Repeat” is another favorite.)

There’s this really great article about Dido over at Guardian.

Semantic Music

I have a pretty extensive music collection, and for some time I’ve been looking for some way to make it respond to my requests more intelligently. Taking the idea of semantic web over to music, every song should have some basic metadata, and generally, all my files are pretty well tagged: Artist, Title, Album, Disc, Tracknumber, etc. It’s when I try to extend the metadata to more useful things that I run into trouble.

Perhaps the most useful classification a song can have is ‘Mood’. Unlike other music metadata, there isn’t any standard mood classification for music. MoodLogic, which probably has the best mood database on the net (its commercial tho), classifies mood into “Aggressive, Mellow, Happy, Romatic, Sad, and Upbeat”, with the possibility of multiple selections for each song. Other popular classifications range around the idea of having a scale (from 1 to 10, say) to indicate how mellow or aggressive a song is. Whatever the method however, its difficult to get proper mood metadata into your song without having to dish dollars for it. Allmusic.com’s style tags might suffice for albums, but for single tracks, I have to manually update every song.

Another useful but exotic tag is BPM (beats per minute). Its more easier to find BPM than mood for music, and combined with mood, it paves the way for playlists with extraordinary flexibility. Imagine making an aggressive playlist with a medium BPM just for those morning wake-up calls =).

It’s tagging thats the difficult part, once I get that done, manipulating my music files to make wacky playlists is going to be amazing. I wish there were free tools to make things easier tho’.

Absence (again)

Sorry for the long leave. Without boring you with details of my absence (evidenced by the dismal post count of last month), I’ll get on with what I have to say. Posting for the next few days might be erratic as hell, so bear with me. The heydays of Vysnu will return. Amen.

Saw the Passion of the Christ the other day. Interesting movie – but not altogether enlightening or refreshing or anything – but interesting because it managed to keep my interest despite the subtitles and everything. Of course, part of it was the fact that my Bible know-how is abysmally dim, and the lashing and crucifying were very depressing (and immediately visual), but I’ve got to admit that my picture of Mel Gibson bhai has been changed a lot – if the guy can feel such a lot for his God, he’s not the toothpick he looks to be. I also saw Van Helsing (a good movie) and Amadeus (the story of Mozart and an okayish movie) but there’s not much to write about. I’m excited about Spiderman 2 – he’s always been a favorite superhero – and despite the way the first flick perverted the comic, I want to see the kiss again.

Reading? Well a lot. The Harry Potter series got polished to a nice three times now, and aside from that, The Paksenarrion Series, a re-read of the Foundation books by Asimov (currently reading Foundation’s Edge), Look to Windward by Iain Banks and lots more to go. Ancient Promises is still revolving in my head though and I think on it often.

Coding too is in the works. As well as OOP-2, which should be posted next week, an update to SMS Yell too will hit the site soon. Vivek, Nandu and I are also working on our Mini-Project for this semester, and the way Vivek is going on about that, it’s gonna be a rocker 😉

I’m also working on writing more chapters for Seven in the Kharke series. For the few people who have given up on me, I’m sorry. Still no promises, but I’ve got so many fancy ideas for the story (and a few spinoff stories too) that it’s just bursting to be written.

Besides that, I’m working with Ashok on the LOBA website. It’s been uber cool to finally play with a host which has shell access (we Sig9-ers can’t afford that) and I’ve been wanting to tinker with so many things. Well there’s time 😉

The above paragraphs have been written 1) to further my ego and 2) for a certain person who reads this and tells me that I’m a lazy bum. I am a lazy bum, but if I’m all okay (as I’m bound to be some time soon), I do get a lot of things done.

The Corrs: Borrowed Heaven

I’ve been listening to the new Corrs album – Borrowed Heaven – and it really sounds good. I’ve always liked them for their melodies, but the album has quite a few excellent vocals as well. Other similar artists that I like: Muse, Dido, Norah Jones, Sarah Mclachlan, Faith Hill, Natalie Imbruglia, Cranberries, Radiohead, mellowdrone, and Coldplay. So go clicky clicky :-).

I probably shouldn’t be doing this, but for the unscrupulous, here is a magnet link to the album: Corrs: Borrowed Heaven.

As an aside, Shareaza has gone Open Source with version 2.0. It’s probably the best Peer-to-Peer downloader out there, so go give it a try.

If anyone can list similar artists here, that would be nice. I’m always looking for new music. Tata! 😀