Sun Solaris “me-too” opensource

Sun announced today about joining the open source bandwagon (sorry, they were always committed to open source, now they have reiterated their committment!) . As usual there is plenty of clever spin. On the one hand I think Sun joined the race a little too late (by this time hordes of Sun hardware users have already switched to Linux running on Ontel boxes), on the other I still feel Sun is somehow going to make it! (though most people have written off Sun!). I have no idea how. Its just my gut feeling at this point 🙂

“Give stuff for free, charge for support, hardware” seems to be the in thing. Wonder where this is headed. Anyway, time will tell, I suppose.

What’s all this fuss about iPod?

The media is full of news about iPod and its various incarnations. I guess its a fad that’s catching on real fast. What’s all this fuss about? I find that most people who buy iPods do it because of the craze and thinking that they can use it during their work out, and of course because it looks “cool”. Interestingly, I find that many who purchased it with this intent pretty soon lose interest and let it lie around with minimal usage. It remains to be seen how long can Apple sustain this craze. In any case, hats of to Apple for continuing to bring such cool products to the market.

As for myself, in the car, I am quite happy with the car stereo. At home, I listen to a conventional CD player and on the web I listen to desi music on Raaga. (btw, if you want a large desi collection of songs that you can listen to via the web, this is a great site). I never really felt the need for a gadget that can hold more songs. I never ever used a walkman, so I am not sure I’ll ever buy an iPod.

Getting past the pop-up blocker!

If you use the Firefox browser and think that you have managed to avoid more pop-ups, go to Chennai Online website.You’ll see a small message window pop-up saying “Your browser stopped a pop-up” (or something on these lines) followed by an “ok” button or a “x” to kill the window. No matter which option you choose a new browser window pops up! Arrrggghh!!!

Movie Review: Flavors

Saw Flavors over the weekend. Another Indo-American movie produced and directed by NRIs and second generation Indians living in the United States. The movie revolves around a number of young people (many couples), their relationships and life of desis in the US in general. The director has cleverly managed to weave so many different characters and their stories into one at the end of the movie. The movie stars a number (maybe most?) first time actors. Also, starring are two Bollywood imports as parents of one of the characters in the film.

There are times during the film when the constant context switching between the various stories gave the movie a choppy feel to it. Some of the accents were a little exaggerated. In some cases, it appeared as though the story would have been better served had first generation Indians been cast in some of the roles as opposed to second generation.

The two Bollywood imports did a fine job and blended very well into the film. The characters of “Vivek” and “Sangita” came across as most genuine and were perfectly portrayed by the actors. Pretty much all the characters in the film are very believable and true to life. For a first time movie maker, the director and crew have done a fine job. Its definitely better in production and direction quality than a whole bunch of movies that have been released in the last couple of years by aspiring first time movie makers of Indian origin.

Overall, hats of to the crew. Very impressive for a first time director. An easy going movie, that will serve as a nice break from the standard bollywood masala.


Thanks to an invitation I got a chance to see a live professional ballet performance for the first time in my life. Before we attended the show I wondered how I was going to survive the two hour show. I was in for a surprise. I enjoyed the show and never really felt bored or distracted. In fact, the lighting, the music and the performances made it a very engaging experience.

Ash on CBS 60 minutes

Saw the recent CBS 60 minutes program featuring Aishwarya Rai. The last time I saw this program was when the IITs were featured here. The interviewer referred to her as “the most beautiful woman in the world” and said that the likes of Julia Roberts have given her a verbal certificate to the same effect. As you can imagine Ash was all giggly (and quite understandably so). Nevertheless I thought she did a very nice job of handling the interview. I am not a huge Ash fan, but I thought she looked better than she looks in most films. Clearly, this is a huge step for her and not to mention Bollywood. She is certainly doing the right things from a PR perspective, helping her achieve what no other Indian star has ever achieved on a global scale. Hats off to Ash and her PR agency!

Movie Review: Lost in Translation

Saw the widely acclaimed Lost in trainslation starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.

Bill Murray plays a middle-aged man living in Japan on an extended business visit, while Scarlett Johansson plays a young recently married woman visiting Japan with her husband also on business. Both live in a large hotel and run into each other on and off. The movie is about how circumstances bring the two characters together, well almost. The contrast between a middle aged man who is ambling along in life and a young woman who is just beginning married life is portrayed, or at least that appears to be the intent (based on my translation!).

Overall, I was at a loss as to what all the fuss about this movie was. I never found it funny. Neither did I find anything earth-shaking about the production/direction aspects of the film. Bill Murray had the same smug expression through the movie, there were times I wished someone would just step up and give him a slap or two to see if his expression might change. Scarlett Johansson on the other hand, does a fine job. With minimal dialogues she portrays a lot of emotion through facial expressions. The movie is full of disjointed scenes, and very often I was left to wonder what the point of many of the scenes were! After I while, I was waiting for something to happen, and sure enough nothing did.

In short, I was lost all through the movie. Maybe I needed someone to translate!

Polar Express on IMAX

Over the holidays we saw the Polar Express on IMAX. If you plan to watch on IMAX make sure you find good seats (at the top). Otherwise, its better to watch it in a regular movie hall. During the holiday break every show was full and we actually purchased the tickets in advance.

Nice movie. Kids will enjoy it for sure. The look and feel of this film is different from the other popular animated films. I prefer the Pixar/Disney animated movies.