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May 16, 2015

Testing Auto post publication to FB, Twitter

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 7:57 PM

Testing Auto post publication to FB, Twitter. If all goes well this should be posted to FB and Twitter automatically.

[UPDATE] Yay! It worked :)

– Suramya

May 5, 2015

I met Rakesh Sharma – the first Indian to go into space this weekend!!

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 1:51 AM

I was in Wellington this weekend to spend some time with Gaurang, Kangan & Sid and meet Gaurang’s parents. The visit was great but the highlight for me was getting to meet Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma (Retd.), the first Indian to go to space. At first I didn’t realize who we were going to meet because I was still a bit groggy from lack of sleep but then the lights came on and I realized just who I was going to meet. Trust me I was wide awake shortly thereafter. :)

We met him twice and I even managed to get a photo with him :). I am not going to go into how/why we met him twice and how it almost became thrice but it was worth it. 😉

Well this is all for now. I need to crash now, will write more later.

– Suramya

April 7, 2015

Comic Con Bangalore 2015

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 12:54 AM

This weekend was Comic Con Bangalore 2015. It should have been named T-Shirt Con 2015, or maybe nicknack Con 2015. There were very few stalls for Comics or books. Last year was a lot better with a bunch of artists and authors making it to the show. This year most of the con was focused on Game of Thrones and since I don’t like the show that much (I have already tried to watch it 4 times but still haven’t managed to finish Season 1). I prefer the books than the show. I did end up buying a T-Shirt and a sticker for my car.

Thankfully I didn’t buy the 3 day pass as I was initially planning to, but when the Con schedule wasn’t available even 3 days before the show I had a bad feeling about the entire thing. I ended up leaving within about 3 hours of getting there.

Hopefully the next one will be better.

– Suramya

March 30, 2015

Bought a whole lot of books today

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 11:59 PM

This is what happens when you get an email telling you about a massive sale going on at your favorite online bookstore and you have some time to kill. Ended up ordering 9 books before forcefully convincing myself that it was was more than enough. Although considering the sale is going on till tomorrow night I think I should avoid going online till tomorrow morning. Which is something that I don’t see happening in the near future.

I should log off for the day before I am tempted to log back on to the site and place more orders… Well, atleast I will have enough to read when I take my next vacation. I am going to crash now before my credit card decides to go on strike and stop working.

– Suramya

January 6, 2015

Welcoming 2015 with camping and live music

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 8:18 PM

This year I decided to do something different for New Years and instead of the usual club/house party I went for a 48 hour camping event with live music. Think of it as a music festival with camping. The event is called Chasing Storm and it happened near Coorg which is about 270 km from Bangalore.

I Left for the event at 5am on the 31st and got there by 9:30am, unfortunately the entry for the camping area wasn’t opened up till 12:30pm because they were still in the process of setting up the tents and ensuring that folks didn’t get any reptilian visitor’s at night by spraying stuff to subdue snakes. Once we were in there wasn’t a lot to do till evening so we just hung around and chatted with other folks attending the festival. In the evening the live bands started playing and some of them were really good. I specially liked Swarathma and Solder.

The highlight of the event for me was getting to listen to Usha Uthup live. She is one of my all time favourite singers and hearing her in person was an awesome experience. It made the entire trip worth it. Even though the lady is 67 years old (she announced it on stage) the energy she has is amazing. I wanted to take a photo with her and get her autograph but wasn’t able to as she was swamped and then left before I got the chance.

In any case I was busy chasing the other star who was also in attendance, ‘Rajit Kapur’ who played ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’ in the early 90’s TV series. The series is one my favourite Indian detective shows. So meeting him was a great pleasure. I did manage to get a photo with him (see below) and talk to him for a few mins. And before you ask; No I did not tell him that my sister named her dog after him (Vyomkesh) as I didn’t want him to beat me to death. 😉



Me and Rajit Kapur (Byomkesh Bakshi) at Chasing Storm

Here are some pics (A lot of the night photos didn’t come out too well because of the disco lights) I took during the performances at Chasing Storm .



Usha Uthup performing live at Chasing Storm


Solder live at Chasing Storm


Swarathma taking a bow

Finally here’s a photo of the camping area where we spent two days. Well, sort of… didn’t really get that much sleep over the two days because of the sheer no of things going on at the time.


The Camping ground

The drive back was a bit painful because at 5am the visibility was down to maybe 2 mtrs and it took me about an hour to cover 10kms. Once the sun came out around 6 am the visibility improved and I was able to pick up a bit of speed but it wasn’t till about 7-7:30 that I was able to drive at a speed higher than crawling. Finally made it to Bangalore at 11am and went straight to work so that was fun. Survived that day mostly on Red bull and Coffee.

Over all it was a good experience and I had fun so it was worth the 500+ Kms drive. Well this is all for now. Will write more later.

– Suramya

PS: This was supposed to be posted last week but didn’t really have the energy required to write/think so kept pushing it out. But better late than never right?

December 12, 2014

My new toy: the Moto 360 smart watch

So I have a new toy that I am super excited about and It is a birthday gift from me to myself. :) I have been wanting to get a smartwatch since last year when the Samsung gear came out but when I saw the gear I didn’t like the way it looked so ended up not buying it. Now that I have bought the Moto 360, I am glad I didn’t buy the gear because it beats the Gear hands down, no questions asked. I have been using it for 3 days now and I love it.


The Moto 360 with the default Face

The initial setup of the watch was easy, I just had to download an app on my phone and follow the prompts, took me about 2 mins (excluding the time to download the app) to complete the pairing and setup. Once the app was installed the watch downloaded the latest firmware and upgraded automatically after I charged the battery which was surprisingly very fast. Once the upgrade completed it was connected to my S5 and has been working like a charm.

The default apps on the 360 are the Fitness apps, ability to receive any notifications on the watch and control the music app and the Google camera app from the watch. It has built in voice recognition which works fantastically great and is integrated with Google Now. Tonight we tried it out in a restaurant where we had gone out for a team outing and it had no trouble with the voice recognition even with the background noise. In addition to the default apps so far I have also installed a flashlight app, a dictation app and another camera app that lets me use the watch as a viewfinder for the camera on my phone. I keep finding cool new apps for the watch every day so will probably be installing a lot more stuff on it in the near future.

As I said earlier Voice recognition works for most of the things I would want to do on the watch, like use to to initiate a call or dictate a reply to an SMS, start an app etc. For the rest the touch screen works fine. Took me a bit of time to figure out how to run the new apps I installed because that isn’t really intuitive initially (or maybe I was just sleep deprived) but once I figured that out I was good to go. I think it would have made sense for them to put this in the help section.

The watch is not bulky at all and is lighter than my other watch. Lots of folks have complained about its size online but I didn’t find that to be an issue. However the battery life could have been better. In my daily use I am down to about 35% charge by the time I am ready to sleep after starting with a full charge in the morning. The charger looks nice and the charging is fast, however since the watch has a custom charger it means that I have to make sure that I carry it with me when I am traveling because none of my other chargers work with it. Sure, I can buy another charger for the office but it’s a pain.

The other issue that I noticed with it is that the heart rate sensor is crap. Every single time I have tried to check my heart rate (using both fit and the Moto software) it has failed with a sensor time out message, although Vinit did manage to get it to work once so I know the sensor works.

For the most part I have been using the watch to read my SMS/Whatsapp/Email messages without having to pull out my phone and monitoring my step count. Apparently I walk around a lot more than I thought which is good. :) Also the ability to decline calls with a message from the watch is very handy when your phone is at your desk and you are at another desk working on something or in a meeting.

I am planning on installing the Analog keyboard for Android that I blogged about earlier but that will be over the weekend when I have some breathing room to experiment. I will share my findings and experiences going forward so if you are interested do keep an eye on the blog for new posts.

Well, this is all for now. It’s time for me to crash for the night. Will post more later.

– Suramya

November 21, 2014

Uber pricing: Be careful when requesting a car

Filed under: My Life,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 6:23 PM

In the past few weeks Uber has been in the news a couple of times, most recently after one of their VP’s suggested hiring a million dollar team to dig up dirt on hostile journalists and their families but that is a whole different story and not something this post is about. Today I am going to talk about how the price for Uber cabs fluctuates and why you should check the cost before clicking on the Book button. BTW, this is based on an off the fly method of data collection and for Uber in India (Bangalore to be specific). Other places might have a different experience.

First, lets start with a bit of background. I had gone out with my team for an office outing and while we were figuring out the transportation back to the office I looked at the Uber costing to see if it made sense to just get uber instead of waiting for other options. (We didn’t take uber that day but that is a different story). The next day at work I was talking to a team member and I mentioned that the cost for uber would have been Rs 200 min, and about Rs 18/km after that which is quite of for that time at night. She was skeptical so I opened the app to show her the prices and imagine my surprise that the numbers were quite different: Min Rs 250 with Rs 30/km. This started me thinking, and I was curious so I kept a log of the costing for both UberX and Uber Black for the next few days at various times in the day.Basically whenever I remembered to look, which is why this is not a scientific study.

The numbers are as follows:

Date/Time Service Minimum Cost Cost per KM
12th Nov 11:20pm Uberx 125 Min 15/km
12th Nov 11:20pm UberBlack 200 Min 18/km
13th Nov 12:32pm Uberx 250 Min 30/km
13th Nov 12:32pm UberBlack 200 Min 18/km
13th Nov 7:20pm Uberx 250 Min 30/km
13th Nov 7:20pm UberBlack 400 Min 36/km
14th Nov 5:00pm Uberx 162.5 Min 19.5/km
14th Nov 5:00pm UberBlack 240 Min 21.6/km
15th Nov 1:31am Uberx 125 Min 15/km
15th Nov 1:31am UberBlack 200 Min 18/km
19th Nov 7:20pm Uberx 250 Min 30/km
19th Nov 7:20pm UberBlack 200 Min 18/km

so as per the numbers above the best time to take uber would be around 11:30pm. Worst time is early evening around 7:30pm.

So if you take an uber cab late night one day and pay X then take it again the next day morning to go back to the same place you will actually end up paying quite a lot more than what you were expecting based on the previous fare. Which is why you should check the pricing before you click the book, else you might be in for a rude surprise.

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

– Suramya

November 15, 2014

Watched Interstellar today

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 1:52 AM

Just got back home from watching Interstellar. If you haven’t seen the movie go watch it. It is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. A classic like 2001: A Space Odyssey. The science behind most of the movie is amazing. A small part of the logic didn’t make sense and felt contrived but overall the movie plot worked out beautifully.

– Suramya

September 28, 2014

Modi’s speech at madison square garden.

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 11:05 PM

Wow! Just finished watching  modi’s speech… it was amazing! The guy is a great orator.

It is late and i have to get up in 4 hrs to drive ~500 kms back to bangalore so will post more thoughts on this later.

– Suramya

September 16, 2014

ComicCon Bangalore 2014

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 2:20 AM

Finally attended ComicCon Bangalore after missing it consistently for 2 years in a row, just by the virtue of being in the wrong city whenever it was happening. It was great fun, though I was expecting a bit more folks to be cosplaying. However that doesn’t mean that the folks who were Cosplaying didn’t spent time, effort and money in creating their costumes. There were a bunch of folks as Superman, Spider-man, Saw one guy dressed as the Hulk and even found a minion.

One of the highlights of the show was that I got to meet Peter Kuper author of Spy Vs Spy which is a comic I have been reading for a lot of years now. I even got him to draw a panel for me in my copy of Spy Vs Spy (see below). Another author we met was Jason Quinn who wrote “The Kaurava Empire”. We bought the first volume of the series just as it was released to the public. The series is a great read and I would highly recommend it to folks.

Over all the Con was good fun, I did notice a few things though that I found interesting:

  • There were a lot more stalls selling T-Shirts than Comics/Books. I hope in the next Con more publishers show up and the ratio is more balanced.
  • A lot more publishers are starting to write about Indian Mythology and stories based on it. I saw books on all sorts of mythological figures and this is awesome. Finally folks are starting to write about Indian figures instead of Greek/American/Scandinavian. I hope this trend continues.
  • Cosplay is picking up in India.

Finally to end the post, here are some pics from the event:


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Bangalore ComicCon 2014

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Peter Kuper drawing a panel just for me :)

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Me with Peter Kuper

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Spider-Man Hitches a ride

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Minion’s!

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

– Suramya

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