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November 29, 2007

Wedding season… It gets tiring…

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 1:58 PM

Its wedding season in India right now and its getting pretty tiring. In the past week I have attended two weddings and skipped out on two more. Next week I have to attend two weddings, one on the 4th (Ankush) and the second on the 8th (Gaurang). Ankush’s engagement/sangeet is on the 3rd and I will be attending that. It should be a lot of fun as I will get to meet old friends. Plus its a chance to enjoy with friends. I will also attend the wedding but during it Ankush will be pretty busy so the engagement will be a lot more fun as we can hang out with him also during it.

On 8th its Gaurang and Kangan’s wedding with the Sangeet on the 7th. I will be there for most of the day on both days helping out and meeting friends. So out of the 7 days in the next week I will be at some function or another for 4 days (maybe 5 days). Then a little break for a couple of weeks then the next batch starts.

The worse part of the season is the inevitable question that everyone asks “So when are you getting married?” I usually get that question about 5-10 times a night at one of these events. Especially at friends weddings where everyone assumes that just because ‘abc’ wanted to get married I should do the same.

Ahh well… well this is all for now. I am going to go catch up on all the sleep that I will be missing next week. So will post more later.

– Suramya

November 27, 2007

My third earthquake

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 1:26 PM

This Monday I lived through my third earth quake. This one was a relatively minor one (4.3 on the Richter scale) with its epicentre located near Delhi in Bahadurgarh. I was awake at that time as I was in the middle of a marathon coding session (which lasted ~13.5 hours) when I thought I hear some vibrations. So I took off my headset and listened. It sounded like a jet was flying by at high speed causing the windows to shake. (Having lived near a runway I have had some experience with it) but then I remembered that there was no airfield near this house so I guessed that it was an earthquake.

It didn’t look like it was a serious one so I didn’t try hiding under my table ;). Then I got back to work and forgot about it till dad asked me about it the next day. This was the third one that I have personally experienced. The first one was when I was in the 5th or 6th and it was a major one. Don’t really remember a lot about it as I slept through it.

The second one was in Jan of 2000 when I had gone to Uttarkashi for a mountaineering course. We were up in the mountains and I was dead tired after being made to walk for ~15 kms so I was sleeping when I felt the ground shake beneath me and I thought that someone was trying to wake me by shaking me. The others in the tent woke up and then tried to wake me up so that we could go outside. My response was “Wake me if something is about to fall on the tent..” 🙂 Atleast thats what the rest of the guys told me the next day. I did get to see an avalanche the next morning when the aftershocks hit.

In all I would rather avoid being in another earthquake. I am allergic to falling rocks.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

November 21, 2007

visit to Padmini Buajis place

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 1:40 PM

Last Friday we visited Padmini Buaji and had lunch at her place. I wanted to write about it earlier but had caught a cold (thanks a lot Surabhi!) so didn’t feel like writing up a post. Anyways we left home at about 12:30 pm with me, Vinit and Surabhi in the Esteem and Mom and dad in the 800. We took two cars because Vinit and Surabhi had a meeting at 4:30 and we didn’t want to be tied up with them. The drive to their place wasn’t that bad, Vinit was driving so I relaxed. 🙂

Once we got there, Ganesh Phufaji came home from work after a little while and we all talked a lot. Buaji had cooked for Idli’s for us and they tasted awesome. We talked about a lot of things. This was my first visit to their house. Its located in a really nice area and the house itself is pretty nice.

Here’s a group photo that I took at their place:


Group Photo

At about 4 pm Vinit and Surabhi pushed off for their meeting and we stayed on till about 5:30pm. The drive back was bad. We got caught in a traffic jam. It took us over 3 hours to get home (Its usually takes about an hour). Got home and then had to work, but by morning I had a severe Sinus attack (thanks to the smoke) along with a bad cold. The next couple of days were not fun.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

November 14, 2007

Sandeep’s visit to Delhi

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 5:23 PM

Sandeep was in town the past two days and I had a great time roaming the city with him. He flew in from Bhopal on the 12th, he was supposed to land at 10:30 pm but the flight got delayed by about 1/2 an hour so I waited by the car in front of the airport and Vinit went in to receive him. Once he came out (finally…) we drove home and got there at almost 12:15 am. After which he crashed and I stayed up for work.

The next day we slept till late and woke up at a little past 1:30pm. After lunch Surabhi and me left with him to meet another friend of his (Jyoti) in Green park. Once we picked her up we went to Dilli Haat and roamed around over there for a bit. Then we drove to India Gate and walked around over there for a little while till Vinit joined us. After which we drove to see the Rasthpati Bhawan (President’s place) and the Parliament. Took some nice pics. By then it was getting late so we dropped Jyoti off and went and had dinner in the Habitat center. The food was really good and resonabaly priced. After dinner we drove back home and I had to get back to work.

Today I did not want to get out of bed. I was that sleepy. Then I took a shower and we managed to leave the house by 11:30 am. We then drove to see the Akshardham temple which is quite near our house. Its a huge place and they have some amazing carving in there. Unfortunately they don’t allow camera’s on the premises so we didn’t get any photos. 🙁

So after seeing the temple (which didn’t take that long) we drove to Connaught Place (Now called Rajiv Chowk) and had our brunch at Narula’s where Ravi and Sonia also joined us. I was meeting Sonia after more than a year so it was fun catching up with her. Then since they had a prior appointment they had to head out after the lunch and the rest of us took the Delhi Metro to Karol Bagh.

The Metro is fantastic. Its a very well maintained system and it is very convenient. I can’t wait till the station near our house gets completed, then I can get to any part of delhi without driving. Right now I have to drive to Connaught Place (CP) or Pragati maidan and then take the metro from there.

In Karol Bagh we picked up Sandeep’s bus tickets to Ludhiana and then came back to CP to pick up the car. We then had some pastries at Wengers and a Milk shake at this shop right next to it. (can’t remember its name). As usual it tasted great. After feeding ourselves we drove down to Lal Quila in old Delhi and went in for the Light and Sound show. It was pretty boring so we left after about 15 mins into the show. Then we went to Haldiram’s for Dinner and then dropped off Sandeep at the bus stop to wait for his bus and then we drove back.

Now I am tired but can’t sleep. But my brain is not working because I am so tired so I guess I will do some light reading and then crash.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

November 11, 2007

Celebrated Bhaiya Dooj today

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 2:51 PM

Today was a long and fun day. Had to get up early in the morning at 9 am (for me its early. ’cause I usually goto bed at 6 am and wake up at ~2 – 3 pm) to go pick up Vinit and Surabhi who were flying in from Bangalore. Got there on time but had to wait outside the Airport for almost an hour till they came out because their luggage took forever to come out.

Then drove to my cousin Rakhi Didi’s place for Bhaiya dooj. She cooked a great meal for us: Rajma, Aloo Gobhi, Aloo Matar, Rice and Raita followed by Guabjamuns. By the time we were finished I was stuffed and felt too sleepy to move so we just lazed around for a while

Didi and Subhi did the tika and then we pushed off. I also wanted to go meet my other cousin Ritika but apparently you aren’t supposed to goto your unmarried sister’s house for Bhaiya dooj, though they can come to your place. I guess I will be seeing them next week.

After I got home I got a message from Tarini that she was in Noida and we should meet up for coffee so we drove to the Spice mall and had a good long chat over coffee. It had been a while since we had last met so we had a lot of catching up to do. Then she pushed off to Gurgoan and I came home.

Now I am tired but can’t sleep. So I guess I will read for a little while and then crash. Reading this great series by Kevin J Anderson called the Saga of the Seven Suns. Its a set of 7 books (6 have been published so far) and I am half way through the second book. Its an interesting read, basically its a since fiction novel with a space opera theme. Check it out if you like military science fiction.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

November 9, 2007

Wishing everyone a Happy Diwali

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 5:13 PM

Wishing all the visitors of the Blog/site a Very Happy and Prosperous Diwali and a Happy New year (according to the Hindu calendar).

I have uploaded the photos I took of my Diwali celebrations in the Photogallery -> Events/Parties -> Diwali Celebrations (2007)

(I have to figure out a way to directly link to a section in the new Photogallery. It used to be so easy in the old layout…)

This is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

November 8, 2007

Festivals and me

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 11:46 AM

It felt really odd yesterday when I described Diwali as being a Hindu festival. I know it is a Hindu festival but in India everyone celebrates it. So I usually describe it as an Indian festival. When we were kids we would take any excuse to have fun/get presents so we celebrated most festivals.

Every year we would go to the Air Force mess to celebrate Christmas where we would sing Christmas songs and then go pick up Santa Claus who would land in a helicopter. (Being an Air force brat was fun 🙂 ). For Eid we would prepare Kheer and go visit friends and embrace each other. Once I moved to the US we would celebrate Thanksgiving every year along with Easter. There are a lot of festivals which I celebrated that aren’t technically ‘our’ festivals. (different religion, different country etc) but my personal philosophy about it is that festivals are supposed to spread good cheer and good will. So I celebrate all of them. 🙂 At least all the ones that I can remember. 😉

Today is Choti Diwali and in south India they celebrate Diwali today. So a lot of firecrackers are being burst today. But tomorrow is the main Diwali and there are going to be a lot more crackers tomorrow. Its going to be hard to think with all the crackers being burst. I am going to sit on the roof and enjoy the view with my parents. Don’t think I will burst any because its not fun bursting crackers alone.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

November 7, 2007

Diwali preparations

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 5:08 PM

The hindu festival of Diwali is coming up on the 9th and this time I will be celebrating it at home with my parents after 8 years. So its a pretty big deal. Secondly its the first Diwali we are celebrating in the new house so its another reason that this years its a big deal. (Update: Nov 8th 2007: Ok, it is the first Diwali After the house was completed. Surabhi celebrated the first Diwali in the house.)

Diwali is also known as the festival of lights so I spent the most of yesterday evening and today evening hanging electric lights around the house. It was a big task, so far we (me and dad) have put up 17 strings (not sure what to call them, In US they are known as Christmas Lights, in Hindi they are called Bijli ki ladi). Still have another 10 to go for tomorrow. This one will be the interesting one as its on the highest part of the roof and one of us will have to climb up and hammer all the nails over there for the lights. Then comes the wiring. This time we decided that since this is our permanent house we will measure out the appropriate lengths of wire and make a permanent setup that can we put up easily next year. Thats whats taking most of the time. Well that and the hammering of nails.

While me and dad were busy putting up the lights mom was busy cleaning the house and shopping. (More cleaning than shopping).

Tomorrow is Choti Diwali, so we will be performing a small Puja in the evening and then on the 9th we will have a full puja and will be lighting up the Diya’s and candles. I am not bursting any crackers this year as usual because somehow they have lost the charm. If my cousins and/or friends were around I would probably change my mind and spend hours with crackers. I remember when we were kids we would start purchasing crackers and planning the order that we would burst them months in advance. Those were the days. Man I miss them…

This year we will just go to the roof and watch the fireworks display as the rest of Noida celebrates Diwali. We will probably be having our dinner on the roof itself. Should be fun.

Oh those of you who are wondering what Diwali is all about, here’s a brief summary: Diwali is a major Hindu festival. Known as the Festival of Lights, it symbolizes the victory of good over evil, and lamps are lit as a sign of celebration and hope for mankind. Diwali also marks the beginning of a new financial year. Households and businesses begin new accounting in new ledgers, which are often decorated with images of Lakshmi. The goddess of fortune, she is the main deity honored during Diwali.

More information on Diwali is available at the following sites:

http://www.dgreetings.com/gifts-to-india/diwali-gifts/tradition-of-diwali-lights.html
Wikipedia entry for Diwali
Diwalifestival.org

Well, wishing you all a very Happy and prosperous Diwali. (In advance. Not sure if I will be blogging on Diwali day itself).

Take care,
Suramya

November 2, 2007

How to disable the ‘Run As’ option in Windows

Filed under: Computer Security,Knowledgebase — Suramya @ 12:13 PM

In Windows 2000 the ‘Run As’ option was introduced, the premise was that you would login as a regular user and if you needed to run a particular program as a different user or an administrator you would use it. Basically it duplicated the su functionality from the Unix/Linux world.

Now if for some reason you want to disable this feature, follow these steps:

For standalone Windows XP machines in a workgroup environment, you can disable Run As by hacking the Registry. Simply use Regedit.exe to locate the following key on each machine:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\Explorer

Then create a new DWORD value named HideRunAsVerb and assign it a value of 1.

In a domain environment, you can disable RunAs using the Software Restriction Policies feature of Group Policy. To do this, open the appropriate GPO in the Group Policy Object Editor and locate the following node in the console tree:

Computer Configuration/Windows Settings/Security Settings/Software Restriction Policies

Right-click on this node and select New Software Restriction Policies, then right-click on Additional Rules and select New Path Rule. Now type the path to runas.exe and make sure the policy is set to disallowed.

If you prefer to apply this policy to specific users instead of computers, use a GPO linked to an OU where the user accounts reside and configuring Software Restriction Policies using User Configuration instead of Computer Configuration, such as:

User Configuration/Windows Settings/Security Settings/Software Restriction Policies

Source: Disabling the RunAs command

More detailed version: Disable RunAs

– Suramya

Identify what files are being used by a given process/TCP connection

Filed under: Computer Security,Knowledgebase — Suramya @ 11:54 AM

In linux if you want to know what files are being used, all you have to do is run the lsof command which shows a list of all open files and the processes that opened them. So if you want to figure out what program is using that insane amount of RAM you can run lsof and grep by the process ID to find it.

In windows however there is no such command so we have to use alternative methods. If you are trying to identify a TCP connection you can try running “netstat -bv” (Without the quotes). It will give you the executable behind process, something like:

TCP fury:2433 imap.perfora.net:imap ESTABLISHED 2724
C:\WINDOWS\system32\mswsock.dll
C:\WINDOWS\system32\WS2_32.dll
C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\nspr4.dll
C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\kernel32.dll
[thunderbird.exe]

For Windows XP and 2000 systems you can also download Fport, which is a free tool that will show you what programs on your system are opening which ports.

Hope this helps.

– Suramya

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