Monday, July 30, 2012

Laptop and thunder storm

The window was open. A nice big thunder storm came and made my laptop wet. There seemed to be a lot of water around. I shook the laptop a bit and let it dry for a day. I tried to switch it on a day later. The power came on and again went off.  oops ..

My laptop is around 7 years old.  It lacks the processing power of new laptops.  time to change .. But i had some data which was not backed up, so i did want to fix it or see if i can recover it.

I fully opened it up. There was water around the hard disk casing. Not a good sign. Otherwise the laptop looked dry. I gave it a good cleaning with blast of air and let it dry for five days.

After that reassembled and started it. The lights came on and it booted up. But there was no display. The laptop display was not properly attached. Opened and fixed it. Then it came up fine.

My power button and music buttons need to be adjusted. Otherwise it is working fine ..

Saturday, September 04, 2010

New york meet up

Couple of weeks back, had a small meet up with college friends in new york. It was nice catching up after college. long time ..

On saturday evening, after some shopping for kris, we went to Edison,NJ to have hyderabadi biryani at paradise. The place was packed, lots of take out. It has been a really long time since i had such nice biryani. It was so heavy we ended up walking around the locality for half hour before i could drive back to hotel.

I had not heard of Edison being full of desis earlier. We walked around a residential colony (hidden valley apartments). We saw three old ladies conversing sitting on the footpath. There was another small group on the lawn. Further down we saw a house (two storeyed) with people sitting all around in the veranda and talking. Then there was a group at the laundromat. It brought back some memories. "Edison is gentrified" as sujith put it.

The next day we went to Venkateswara temple in Bridgewater,NJ. Had a really nice darshan, it was calm. As it was raining outside heavily, we decided to have food at the kitchen in the temple. It is run by volunteers. Really nice tiffin we had (upma, idly,vada, dosa , pongal etc.) and after some shopping , i got back on the road to montreal.

It was raining like crazy all the way. Luckily traffic was moving and hence no delays .. By the time i reached the Adirondack reserve, it was pitch dark and the rain was fully on.. 2 lanes .. the dotted line between the two lines was hardly visible. The white line on the right and the yellow one on the left were visible and showing the curvature of the road ahead. The road is full of ups and downs and curves. It was challenging and fun driving alone then ..

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Got my quebec driving license

Before i came to montreal, i was not able to get my IDP (international driver's permit). So i landed with my recently got indian driver's license. I tried to lease a car and dealer said it would not be possible without IDP. Hence i went ahead to buy my current toyota echo. The dealer would not let me buy until i registered myself with saaq (the regional transport authority) in quebec. They have a rule that my license can be exchanged with a driving test only if my license was one year old when i entered quebec. As this was not the case, i could not exchange it and get a quebec license. So i drove for 6 months with my indian license (as i am on a work permit). Then i had to have the IDP to drive. So i started driving again after i got my IDP from india. I actually got it twice and have been driving for around 2 years now in quebec.

With my status change, i could not drive with my IDP any more. Also i became eligible for license exchange and hence i got myself an appointment for the road test. I had 90 days before which i had to get license from quebec otherwise i cannot drive again. Luckily i got an appointment within a week.

I took a few driving classes just to make myself clear of the things to expect in the test. Then the big day came. I was slightly apprehensive due to my record of failing thrice at road tests in cyprus.

I along with the examiner sat in the car and after the intial checks , we got going. We got out of the parking lot and onto the road nice and easy. The test got off to a smooth start. The examiner cautioned me twice about not looking for the blind spot correctly. Each such note was a line on the back of the examiner's evaluation sheet. The examiner went on to see how i changed lanes, stopped at STOP signs , reverse parking etc .. I was more or less sure that due to my blind spot errors, i am going to get a retest. But once the car came back to the testing centre, the examiner started a discussion on the blind spot and why it is important. I am more used to using additional small convex mirrors stick-on my rearview mirror. However i need to make it a habit to always check for blind spot. To my relief the examiner said that i passed (84 was written on the sheet .. not sure what it is ..) and i will get my class 5 license to drive a passenger vehicle.

Getting a license has always been complicated for me. Anyways mission accomplished.
Lesson learned : Always check blind spot

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wierd dream

I was in a garden kind of setting in RECW. There was a group of students there. Few from each year i guess. I was in third year. Saravanan was there. There was a bird which was injured and down and students were trying to help or something like that. I see Rajiv S. , my intermediate (11th class) friend. I am surprised as he did not study with me in RECW. I walk forward in the garden and then i suddenly saw two of my old school friends Niran C. and T. Anil with whom i had studied 3rd/4rth class. I could not believe my own eyes.

Then i walk past Niran C. his face has not changed a bit since i last saw him. I say to myself, i will come back and talk to him after i speak to T. Anil. I go to T. Anil and then i think why is he in RECW. I think i may be in a dream as this does not look possible. I ask a few questions about childhood to T. Anil and he clarifies correctly and i am happy that finally we met again. Now i was sure i am not in a dream :-)

The wierd part of the dream was i was a grown up and my friend T. Anil was still only as tall as i had seen him last. So i was holding him like a kid asking him to hold tight my hand and not let go of it and also i was leaning down to talk to him and carefully walking him around the campus. Then i see Vamsi KVS giving me a very confused look. I walk on. Then T. Anil tells me that he is doing a DFS course (DFS - a subject in B. Tech. ?) in the college and then he would do post graduation in the college.

Then i suddenly wake up. I dont remember from where i enter the garden setting. Just jotting the dream down while it is fresh in my mind.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Looking back at 2009 and forward at 2010

Wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year 2010.

I did a lot of travel by car in 2009. Met friends and visited places in Canada and US. Work was more busy due to a big release, had fun in the get togethers of the montreal MAYA group.

Looking at the resolutions i had set last year
- Being more in touch with friends
I did some progress on this one. Travelled more and met more of my old college and amdocs friends.
- Organize and upload pics
No progress at all. Did some bit of organizing of the photos clicked. But none were posted.
- Organize my contact list
Organized around 15 contacts into a central list. That's it. No progress here as well.
- Learn Swimming and Ice skating
No progress. Did not go either place even once.
- Improve on skiing
Did some skiing in the new year and the snow melted away.
- Improve in photography
Did some reading and progress. Yet to explore a lot.
- Back to active hacking
Did not do much on this front as well
- Close andhramahabharatam unicodification
Did about 1200 verses. Need to complete it this year.

The end result the year swept by and i did not do much on the resolutions. Not so good ..

I plan to do the following this year (more or less copy paste from last year) and spend more time in completing them
- Being more in touch with friends
- Organize and upload pics
- Organize my contact list
- Learn Swimming
- Improve in photography
- Close andhramahabharatam unicodification

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ramayanam in 30 seconds

I was talking to my niece paddu over weekend .. My Anni and Annen hinted to her and she started saying something which i could not understand fully in the beginning. Then she said
" ....
Lord Rama broke Shiva's bow and married Sita. King Ravana kidnapped Sita and Hanuman helped Lord Rama to find Sita. Lord Rama fought and killed Ravana and brought Sita back.
Moral of the story .. ....... "

End of Ramayanam !! The shortest version of Ramayanam i have heard.

The moral of the Story only paddu understood .. nobody else could comprehend what she was saying .. :-) May be i will be to understand it clearly the next time i meet her.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Vaio recovery

Prashant got a sony vaio recently and one fine day it stopped booting up and started to give a blue screen. He and Mahesh tried to recover it using sony vaio recovery center but it failed with a mysterious error 320/330. The restore of C drive was happening and in between recovery fails leaving the windows o/s files in unusable state (cant boot into vista). Mahesh tried to do a XP installation as well which did not succeed.

I took the laptop and tried the same recovery and also tried to recover using windows vista recovery CD. I had to download SATA drivers and load them initially for the disks to be recognised. The recovery using recovery CD failed as the vaio recovery had left the windows o/s files in a unusable state. I tried to launch the vaio recovery process after loading the recovery CD but could not.

Then i tried to install ubuntu linux from CD. The copy kept failing then installed it from USB drive. This worked and the installation went fine. So atleast we can have linux running if nothing else runs as well.

Next option we thought of was to install XP. To have XP installed (which by default does not come with sata drivers), i got a XP home CD. Slipstreamed sata drivers and SP3 using nLite. Then tried the installation using BartPE cd with sata drivers loaded. The XP SP3 installation copied the installation files and when i booted back , it did not copy the sata drivers so the installation never began after pre-installation copied the files. So was thinking of copying the driver files and modifyig the txtsetup.sif to load sata driver on startup while installing.

Sumit also bought same laptop. So another option was to reimage prashant's laptop using sumit's laptop. The partitions occupy whole disk. If i had to copy partitions, i will have to shrink Sumit's partition first and then use g4u or gparted live cd or other tools to copy the partiiton to temporary USB drive and then copy it back to Prashant's laptop. Instead i tried to copy all files from Sumit's laptop (arond 30 GB) to USB drive and then copy it over to Prashant's laptop and try booting. I used live gparted CD and then mounted the two disks and then started to copy everything in C Drive to the USB drive. The USB drive has a fat32 filesystem where as Sumit's hard disk partition was ntfs.

I initially tried the copy with vista running. It did not copy OS files. Then i used gparted and mount and the copy failed. I tried the copy by booting into BartPE. It failed as well. Both failed due to errors while copying files from winsxs directory which holds the manifests and .NET related files. The problem was the directory in FAT 32 filesystem seems to have a limit on no of files/dirs - ~7500. This caused the copy to fail. So had to zip the winsxs directory and unzip in Prashant's hard drive after copying rest of the files.

Then after a startup recovery with the vista recovery CD to set the windows folder and boot partition , vista was up and running in Prashant's laptop. It has been a good learning exercise.

Still i do not know fully why the XP slipstreamed drivers did not install even though it worked with BartPE.

Totally three full days of work and finally we have vista running in exactly the same way it did.

Resources used: BartPE/PE2USB , GParted , Vista recovery CD , nLite