Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lucia–Kannada movie

One more blog due to the India trip, the movie was discussed big time during my high school reunion and apparently one of my school friends had worked on the movie (don’t remember in what capacity he worked though), Incentive enough to watch isn’t it?, My fellow friends did offer me the pirated copies of the movie but due to lack of time and lack of initiative from my side it never happened.

Now back in USA and alone, I figured lets Google it. Learnt quite a few things about the movie, it is the first crowd funded movie in Kannada  and it has won some awards in the international level, some even call it Kannada’s answer to Inception the English movie. If you want the plot and all such things then there is the Wikipedia, but take my advice and just watch the movie by paying $5(not pirated).

Its not too long, just 2 hours and a few minutes and packs enough punch to keep you engrossed the whole time. Not as complex as Inception but in the bigger picture it is sort of inspired by Inception.

Its truly an edge of the seat thriller and one of the best Kannada movies ever made. The actors are not some hi-flying stereo types in Kannada movie but the ones who were famous for playing the side kicks and comedian roles in Kannada movie. The songs are just out of this world. The story line, direction, casting, acting and pretty much every aspect of the movie is done to perfection and one will be hard pressed to find fault in the movie. I would say almost a perfect movie (I am sure if looked hard enough one can find a fault here and there).

I definitely recommend it for my Kannada speaking friends and for those who can’t the movie has subtitles too. Still with me, you can find the rental here. Please don’t pirate its not just another run off the mill movie.  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Crime Patrol–Dastak

Thanks to my sister-in-law I got to know about this show on Sony television called Crime Patrol. For those from Kannada land who are thinking of shows like Crime Dairy and all, no it is not the same, its different.

It is a set of real life solved police cases from all over the country (the emphasis is on real). The crimes range is wide and open it ranges from  murders, rapes, suicides, scams and trafficking. Thanks to YouTube I managed to catch up on a lot of the old episodes of the same. Here are my observations of the same

  • Each week the show is really unique, don’t know how long can keep this but great effort 
  • The murders and scams in general are highly premeditated and the do not really happen at the spur of the moment
  • On the other hand most rape cases are not premeditated
  • The cellphone usage (last call made and cell tower location)  is one of the major tools in the hands of the police
  • If the Police really want they can crack pretty much any case, watch the episodes and you will agree with me. In some stories one can see that the police run up and down the country to apprehend criminals.
  • At the same time if they do not want to then the case will never get solved, until some other sincere officer takes up the case.
  • Some stories are heart wrenching while some stories can make your blood boil
  • The police informants play a major role in solving lot of the crimes
  • In India we definitely need to tighten up on the way we sell the simcards
  • Somehow they managed to show all the higher police officials (ex: Police Commissioner and others) in real good light
  • They have covered a lot of high profile cases like Geethika suicide case, Delhi rape case, the teacher recruitment scam and so on.
  • Some reason the crimes are mostly in regions of UP, MP, Gujarat and Maharashtra. I only wish they covered cases from other states also. 

I would say it is a good show to watch to gain some confidence in the working of Indian police (still don’t have a whole lot of confidence).

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Linux for desktop

I admit since my graduation from undergrad I always had an affinity for Linux and had even built a couple of dual boot systems with SUSE Linux a while ago (read 5 years) and thanks to the unstable SATA ports on my PC and combined with the fact that the power user (Sandhya) graduated with her masters, I lost the interest in maintaining the same. At that time my primary complaints were, I can’t play MP3’s there is no Picasa or the like of and the drivers for wifi and display were all a pain.

Fast forward to 2013, my beloved desktop with its bad SATA ports gave up on me and no amount of repairs by Mr. Windows 7 was fixing the same. Dr. Google was also very little help. I had to retrieve my data from the hard disk so began the experiments with Linux, my first try was the Knoppix live cd that I had for a long time but the problem with that was it does not recognize the external hard drive and can only work with USB sticks less than  than 2GB (Imagine transferring few 100’s of GB of data this way). To get around this I found another Linux distro called Puppy Linux, a really really small Linux (~100MB) install and live boot. Thanks to it I managed to retrieve my data and back it up.

During this process the thought occurred why not try Linux on the desktop. Instead of going with my traditional favorites SUSE or FEDORA both of which had GB of install files I went with Ubuntu. The latest version 12.04 did not fit on a CD (>700MB) so had to start with 10.04 and upgrade eventually (in a  day) to 12.10.

Here are the cool things about Ubuntu

  • The installation was a breeze, much much faster than Windows 7
  • The upgrades were a breeze too (up to 12.10)
  • It managed to find all the graphics and sound card drivers 
  • It recognized my wifi and connected to the same, with windows I had to download the software for the wireless card
  • It can play YouTube videos and after installing Google Chrome and Chromecast extension it recognized the Chromecast at home
  • It even recognized my wireless printer and I managed to print a test page
  • After installing VLC media player, I managed to play the MP3’s
  • After installing something called Wine and its utilities I was able to install Picasa too. I admit it’s not working completely as I can’t upload files into the Google account from Picasa but I can see my pics organized in the familiar feel I am used to
  • There was some trouble with wifi dropping off every few minutes but uninstalling the default network manager and installing a new one solved the same.

In short I am loving my Ubuntu desktop at home and its working like a charm. I know I am in the honeymoon phase and sooner or later will need some sort of reliable windows desktop at home but till then Ubuntu desktop is a thing of beauty.