ELCOT student laptop offer is back

ELCOT has brought back Student laptop offer. It’s a Linux based (SUSE Linux) laptop, with a nice configuration, and an excellent price tag.

They’ve lined up a very impressive set of software applications as part of the default install.

If you’re a student(including ones doing a correspondence course), and are planning to buy a laptop, you can order one online at


Even if you’re not buying , you might want to see the funny picture of the evaluation process ( What strange tests people do :-) ). One of the models seem to be from Acer.

\"Weighted\" Laptop test - Courtesy elcot website

They’re purchasing about 1 lakh laptops, so, it would add 1 lakh linux laptops to tamilnadu linux users population. :-)

For last years offer , visit http://blog.techieant.com/2007/09/29/elcot-student-laptop-offer/

My first attempt at a tamil blog post

நியாய விலை கடையில் மலிவு விலை அரிசி வாங்க வரிசையில் நின்றவர்களை Horn அடித்து விலக்கி சென்றது கார்.

பெட்ரோல் பாங்குகளில் வரிசையில் (அல்லது வரிசை இல்லாமல்) நின்ற கார்களை தாண்டி, புன்னகையுடன் நடந்து சென்றான் அன்று அரிசி வாங்கிய குடிமகன்.

ரேசனில் எரிபொருள் வாங்கும் நேரம் வருமா??

Below is an image version for those suffering(???) without a tamil unicode font :-)

When you have 2 minutes for relaxing ( and resources for a video play), do watch this one and pay full attention. I’m sure you’ll have a hearty laugh at the end of it :-).

Poor guy ;-)

Not my job - Height of laziness???

Just happened to find this somewhere in my forwarded mails collection. Doesn’t it speak for itself?

not my job - Height of laziness???

Fuel price hikes and cheating

Those following fuel price hikes in India would often remember the drama that happens on the day the fuel price hike comes into effect. If the price increase is significant, petrol bunks close early. Typical reasons include a lot of people rushing to re-fuel their vehicles to save a bit on fuel costs and some (very few) really silly minded petrol bunks trying to sell their stock at a higher cost on the next day.

This time we also had a Rs. 50 hike in the gas cylinder price. I happened to come across the drama played by the gas agency with people at my own home. This is what happened

We had a cylinder booked 2 days before the price hike. It was delivered the day after the price hike. The gas agency guys had the old price on the bill ( it was booked earlier right ). So far so good. However , they asked for the new price. Trained to handle such situations, we refused to pay. We gave the gas agency two choices. 1) accept old price 2) give us a new bill with new price. They refused to comply with both options and took the cylinder back.

We called up HP and promptly complained the cheating attempt by the gas agency. After couple of calls, the gas agency brought a new cylinder ( of course with a new bill ).

While we did lose 3 days in the process, at the end of it there was a satisfaction that we refused to accept bad behaviour.

What do YOU do in such situations????

Chutti TV has the TV show Dora the Explorer running in Tamil everyday. Having watched the effect of Dora on kids, I think it’s a healthy, wonderful show for children.

Each episode brings a new problem ( though similar most of the times ), that Dora and Bujji needs to resolve. The problem is typically finding way, tracking someone etc. What makes the show interesting is the interaction that it forces in children. For example, Dora would say “The little fox is going to steal. Tell the fox not to steal.” In tamil ( you need tamil unicode fonts ) , “குள்ள நரிகிட்ட திருட கூடாதுன்னு சொல்லுங்க” , and give it a pause, waiting for the kids watching the show to repeat after her. The good thing? kids register in mind “stealing is wrong”.

Dora the explorer in tamil :-)

Few more things worth mentioning

  • “Can you help to identify where fox is”(நீங்க நரிய பார்த்தால் சொல்றீங்களா?) -> helps to stimulate paying attention to detail
  • “Lake, Bridge, Party house” (ஏரி, பாலம் , பார்ட்டி நடக்கும் வீடு ) -> repeating instructions and visual identification of objects make it easy for kids to follow, and make it easy to associate objects and their names in reality.

If you have kids ages < 6, you might want to consider letting them watch Dora on Chutti TV ( for Tamil version ), or buy the media ( I hope it should be available ). I often hum “டோரா டோரா டோராவோட பயணம் , புஜ்ஜியோட நீங்க கொஞ்சம் வரணும்” ( or something like that ;-) ).

Hats off to the designers of the show ( and to Chutti TV for an unobtrusive, helpful translated version).

Kathipara traffic voes - The merge problem

Kathipara project coule be compared to the Junoon TV serial show of DD times, and today’s TV serial Selvi / Arasi. To software engineers travelling through the region, it’s a Crisis Software project that never ends.

Recently, one segment of the flyover was openedup making it easy for a lot of people. Alongwith that came in a lot of changes to the way traffic is routed, making Kathipara traffic jams come back.

Current problem? people from coming from Koyambedu / Porur side go through a patch of road that merges with GST road towards Guindy Railway flyover. Our people typically have a problem with merges ( maybe it’s global problem, but I observe that a lot here). As the road merges towards the right, traffic slows down adding a lot of pressure to the 100 meter connecting road(which is also a bad road due to construction work ).

Will CCTP look into this and find an alternate arrangement???? BTW, is there a team / cell in CCTP who LISTEN to feedback from people?

In many countries police patrol cars have sirens and lights on the top of the car. When these are switched on, it typically means there is a chase or is an indication that the vehicle in front of the patrol car is signaled to halt.

Those following developments in CCTP here might remember the police were donated with 100 Hyundai Accent patrol cars. While these cars spend most of their lifetime parked at some shadow in road sides, they do engage the lights ( if not siren ). However, in that “chase” / emergency , they drive at a maximum speed of 20kmph.
I could never understand the theory behind it, and have been waiting for a chance to findout ;-)

Yesterday, I happened to meet a traffic police officer. Conversation below ( of course, translated to english )

Me: Sir, I need a clarification, would you mind if I ask?

Officer: Sure. go ahead.

Me: this is regarding the new patrol vehicles…

Officer: ( interrupting ): yeah.. the hyundai cars

Me: yes. in many countries abroad, they switch on the lights and siren in emergency. most people either leave way, or stop as required by law. However, I see that our officers have the lights on, and go at the slowest possible speed. once they did that behind my car, and I was thinking if I should stop. May I know what’s the logic behind these?

Officer: ?#!???#???. You see in this country, nobody respects rules.. blah blah blah….

Haiyo Haiyo

While we didn’t have adequate supply and very less demand of CFL few years back, things seem to be much better now. Most supermarkets and all electrical shops have them for sale, at reasonable cost(Rs. 90 to 130 for branded 11W). Shops and other commercial organizations are leading the way. It would only be few more years before their price becomes on par with tube lights.

I’m seeing many shops shifting to CFL ( probably 1 28 to 36W CFL replacing 3 to 4 60W incandescent bulbs). It is quite beneficial for the shops, as they could recover the cost of buying a branded CFL within few months from saved electricity bills.

While I can understand this trend in Chennai, I was pleased to see this at Tirunelveli during my last visit. More interestingly Bombay Theatre there had most of its lighting from CFL. It was nice.

By using CFL fixtures, we get the following benefits

  • power consumption reduced by as much as 70 to 80%.
  • they generate less heat than incandescent bulbs, requiring less cooling.
  • They last 3 to 5 times longer than a incandescent bulb
  • They’re much more environment friendly, considering their energy efficiency.

I use energy efficient lighting fixtures at my home. Do you?

Dappan Kuthu - An excellent article

I recently came across an article in Wikipedia about Dappan Kuthu. It was so good, I couldn’t resist sharing it.

if you were wondering what the term Dappan Kuthu meant, don’t worry, the article will “educate” you :-) ( For those without any patience it’s a form of dance practiced in Tamil Nadu, India )

Whatever mood you are in, I’m sure you would be having a hearty laugh at the end of reading the article.

Here it comes for your reading pleasure. Article on Dappan Kuthu from Wikipedia

Do read the last line ;-)