.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

<Summary> YATB, Yet Another Technology Blog </Summary>

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Bangalore Maduari Kodaikanal Road Trip Part 2

Next day, we started off with Masala dosas at the restaurant and I have to give it to the folks over here, they really know how to make the yummiest masala dosas! We take off for Kodaikanal from Madurai at 10:30, refuel our car and pump up the tyres. We followed the road towards Dindigual, on way we see a left signboard for Kodaikanal, we chase it, but fail to notice the final right turn, next to pertrol pump which directly leads to Kodaikanal and end up burning extra 15 km’s before we notice our folly.

We reached Kodaikanal at 1:00 and start calling up hotels. The trip meter stands at 577 KM’s. To our not-much-surprise, all the hotels either had zero availability or had posh rates associated with them. Hotel Tamilnadu then came to our rescue, we checked in one of their standard rooms which had Rs 1600 per day tariff. The staff here was extremely helpful and the manager at the reception answered just about all the queries I had and gave me a map and helped me fix up my itinerary completely. After getting all the info, we have our lunch at the restaurant and hop on to the bed our afternoon siesta.

We started our walk towards the lake at 5:10, and reach there at 5:35, but to our disappointment the ticket counter was closed right in front our eyes and were told that the counter is open till 5:30 only, sic. However, wherein lies disappointment, therein lies an opportunity. We decided to cycle around the lake and this was truly an amazing experience. And for a moment it felt like me and my wife were still dating! The traffic on the road did play a spoilsport couple of times. I strongly believe that all motor vehicle traffic should be stopped on this road.

An hour later, we started shopping around, Khyati found an amazing purse, chocolates and hair oil. After the exhilarating-empty-your-pocket shopping experience, we headed out for dinner. Tava was one place which was strongly recommended by people and we weren’t disappointed. The dal makhani here was truly lip-smacking. We reached back our room at 10. The cycle workout, had well, “worked out” and we doze off soon.

Next day after having the buffet breakfast at the hotel restaurant, we head out for sightseeing. We start off towards Coakers walk and follow the road straight towards Pillars rock. Our first stop for the day is upper lake view, here you would get an incredible birds eye view of the lake, some one suggested it looks like map of India, though to me it looked more akin to amoeba. We drove next to pine forest, once you go in the forest, the shade brings in a 3 degree temperature drop, we met a group of enthusiastic guys over here, and they were more than willing to take pics for us, no matter how much time it took. Thank you guys! Next up was Berijam lake, but nobody was being allowed to go over there, we were later told that the public will be allowed to enter from next day only. Damn!

Our next stop was Guna caves, parking over here is a mess, a common thing just about every place we visited. There are roadside stalls which occupy half of the road and the other half is supposed to be used for two way traffic, not the best scenario especially when going uphill. Done with parking, once you walk to the top, you might be disappointed to find out that there is a huge fence which blocks your path towards the caves. But the moment you reach the fence and look down, you would surely appreciate the rationale behind that. The slope is quite steep from here on and full of peril. On the other hand, if you climb up to your right, you will surely find one of the most tranquil views of gigantic pillar rocks. From here, you would also get a view of Guna caves. With the cool halcyon breeze gently touching us, we just laid down over there for over an hour and have to really push ourselves to get up and move over to the next destination, which was the official view of the pillar rock. This wasn’t as amazing, considering the fact that we had already got a heavenly view already, and with just too many people at the “official” viewpoint, I decided to get out of this place at the earliest. Further up we went to Green Valley View, this one was more like nano commercial street, with several shops put up in a small compressed space. We didn’t find anything worth to see or buy over here, and left this place also pretty quickly.

Coakers walk was next, here we were greeted by crooks who wanted us to pay for a video camera when we only had still camera. Gash! We took the stand of not paying even a bit extra, and pretty soon they let us in. Coakers walk presents a great view of city for the complete walk. Done with Coakers walk, it was time to feed-the-stomach event, and without second thoughts, there was only one place we had to go to, Tava. We treated ourselves to Prathas this time around, but somehow the dal makhani we had here the other day was still had its taste in me and I couldn’t control the urge and ordered one dal makhani also.

Once the butterflies were made siletn, it was time do what we couldn’t do the other day, boating. We walked to the lake, got ourselves a ticket, and off we go. While boating, we notice one boat on the shore with a family being served with hot tea and snacks by the canteen guy who has his shop right on the shore. For all the opportunities life gives you, I wasn’t going to miss this one. By the time we reached over there, it had started to drizzle a bit, and soon we were boating while eating samosa and sipping hot tea with soft drizzle. It is that just this very moment, which is has made this trip one of the most memorable ones!

Done with boating, we went for another round of cycling, this time it was much better as there weren’t many folks driving and honking around the lake. We also tried our hands on double cycle, but weren’t much successful over there. After cycling we went back straight to our hotel and dozed off soon after having dinner.

We checked out next day at 10 and bid adieu to Kodaikanal[607] at 10:15. Khyati took over driving from here on and she covered up the complete downhill impressing me again how quickly she has had picked up driving. Once we were down, I took over and we passed by Dindigul [695] at 12:30, Thoppur[913] at 3:00. Here, my wife again took over driving and started clocking 120 K’s on her first highway outing itself!. She drove till Hosur where I took over again. We were at home[1062] at 5:30, much in advance of 7:00 PM target that we had set for us.which Khyati wanted to meet so that she could watch Roadies!

Here are the pics......

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bangalore Maduari Kodaikanal Road Trip

Good Friday is just about the most amazing day of the year. For one, it means no office for both me and my wifey. For two, Saturday and Sunday follow it making it awesome threesome! For three, a no excuse long holiday!

For more than a month we were waiting for this day, we shortlisted few places, but Kodaikanal was on top of both of our lists. Khyati wanted to club in Madurai also. More the merrier, I say.

The day before, Khyati starts off by cooking her signature chips. We already had printouts of maps, travelogues and hotel phone numbers, so packed them all up. For a change we decided not to do any advance hotel reservations so having a printout of hotel phone numbers came in handy. We finished off packing around 11PM. The plan is to get up at 4:30 and start off by 5, but my mind had other plans and no amount of convincing to my mind helped it go to sleep. I finally catch up with sleep around 1 AM.

The alarm starts to buzz at 4:30, and after dilly dallying we start off from our house at 5:45. The first stop was at newly opened Kamat Upachar, Kamandoddi which is part of the do-not-refuel-here Reliance petrol station. We leave from here around 7:10 and at 7:40 we were at Krisnagiri toll booth. The moment we reached here, it seemed we were not the only ones who were planning a vacation! There were just so many people who had weekend plans! We crossed our fingers hoping that we would still get rooms to stay!

Hereon, I decide to push the throttle a bit, and started clocking around 120-140 K’s and reached Thoppur toll gate at 8:30, there isn’t much rush over here, seems like we beat everybody! The tripmeter reads 154Km. Omalur [190] isn’t behind, we reach there at 9:05 We cross Rasamapalayam [256] at 9:55 and Velanchet [328] at 10:50. By 12:30 we are in Madurai [440] and we start looking around for hotels. But boy! The heat over here; reminded me of the hot, hot days in Chandigarh! We checked up the rooms at Hotel Empee and Hotel Tamilnadu, both the places were similar, except Empee had the rooms a bit cheaper, 1200, including service tax for a deluxe AC room.

We checked in around 1:30 and switch on the AC immediately, freshen up and go for lunch in the attached restaurant. I go for a North Indian Thali while Khyati goes for the only-thing-she-ever-orders-in-South-Indian-Restaurants, Masala dosa :). North Indian thalli was amazing, huge amount of rice, cold chapattis, sambhar, and yes, north Indian chole! Welcome to “Real” South India! But to give it to the folks over here, sambhar is amazing, so I soaked all my rice with sambhar and ate it.

We start off our holy trip at 4:30, but we are advised to cover up the Thirumalai Nayak Palace first, as it closes for public at 5:30. The artwork here is pretty amazing, a nice teaser for what awaits at Meenakshi temple. As most of the “palace” part no longer exists, I wonder why it should still be called a palace.

Next up on the list is Meenakshi temple, and the golden lotus greets us, we sit around the lotus for half an hour and soak ourselves with all the divinity around. Gopurams here have magnificent sculpture and paintings. I am bedazzled with the symmetry and attention to detail wherever I put my eyes. We leave from here around 7:00 and on our way back we find that the crowds waiting for security check line has increased tenfold! Thankfully, we were bang on time to enter the temple.

To be continued..

Here are the pictures:


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Road Trip To Shivanasamudra

The only road trips that me and my wifey had been having for more than a month were to the malls for grocery shopping. And it was high time to break the status quo. So, we decided to pack up the bags and head over to Shivanasamudra. It was a pretty easy choice as I had recently seen pics of the falls and there was no way I was going to hold back on going over.

We were planning to start off early around 6:00 but people had suggested that it was OK to go a bit late and 8:00 was a good time to start off. All said and done, we started from our place at 9:30 Albeit, it was Saturday, it took some time to get out of Bangalore and get on to the Mysore road. We reached Kaamat at 11:30 and had a decent breakfast. Decent, because I had heard several rave comments about Kaamat but the food served wasn't warm and I hate eating food which seems to come out of cold storage.

We hopped back into car at 12:00. I however missed the turn required to get onto SH33 due to which I had to travel some extra distance. SH33 didn't please me much as there were few rough patches en route. Guys at Team BHP had recommended to go to Barachukki first and it turned out to be a pretty great recommendation. Its an amazing place and the falls were perfect to just go in and relax. It is recommended to carry extra set of clothing if you truly want to enjoy the falls. One however needs to be bit careful over here as when you are crossing over the stones to reach the falls, there is a great chance of slipping. I had a narrow escape as I myself did slip once, but someone quickly held my hand.

We spent a cool 2 and half hours at this place, after which we started off for Gaganchukki. It was pretty quiet over here and there weren't many people around. We stayed there and enjoyed the falls for half an hour. There is also a hotel over here and one can get a quick bite and enjoy the swings over here.

We started from Gaganchukki at 17:00 and I decided to give my wifey some confidence of driving on highway and let her drive the entire SH33 stretch. We were planing to have dinner at McDonalds but we missed the turn and decided to eat at Kaamat itself. After a round of Poori Bhaaji and Vaada's we hopped back at 8. We didn't want to spend time in traffic near Corporation circle so we decided to take NICE road. As always it is just sheer thrill driving on NICE road as I just love hitting top speeds whenever I am on this road.

We reached back home at 21:30 and it was end of an amazing journey. You can check up the pics on my Facebook page

Route while going: --> Bangalore -> Mysore Road --> Maddur -> Malavalli -> Shivanasamudra

Route while coming back: --> Shivanasamudra -> Maddur --> Malavalli --> NICE Road --> Bangalore

Route Map: Click here


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Did You Know?

My Brother, sent me this video link.

I call it the "Words Most Amazing Facts In 5 Minutes"


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Intel SMM Exploit Code Released

Johanna Rutkowska and her team at Invisiblethings have done it again. Their team which has earlier found several issues with Intel chips have found another major exploit in Intels SMM [ System Management Mode ] which is Ring -2. Yes minus 2, a level which is at a much more privilige level at which OS runs.

In what may be embarrassing for Intel would be that the expoit unveiled by the team also mentions that Intel filed for patents which apparently fixed up these exploits but have somehow not been integrated into the processor. It also describes just how easy it is for someone with root access on Linux can modify mtrr [ Memory Type Range Register ] using /proc file system and get into SMM mode.

Arstechnica is also covering the story "Intel CPU-level exploit could be tempest in a teapot"


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Chatter Bots and Humans: What is the difference?

Have you ever tried Alice, the chatter bot in your EMACS editor? If yes, then how easy was it for you to find out the difference between the both? I bet it won’t have taken more than 30 seconds that human race is still better than the robo one. However, what happens when you just open up a academic institute's website at around 00:30 and it pops up a window with the following message:

Agent : Good Morning
Agent : Welcome to LivServ HelpDesk
Agent : How may i help you

I am curious now, have these people really put in a chatter bot? And I start off..

Guest : Are you awake?
Agent: Yes
Agent : May I know your requirement please ?
Guest : Are you awake? # I reckon the above are standard chatter bot response. Lemme ask again.
Agent: Yes
Guest : How come are you awake? # Hmmm,… Interesting.
Agent: We Provide 24/7 support # Now, this one seems like something else.
Guest: Is this some computerized agent or manual?
Agent : This is manual. #Whoops!
Guest : Oh I am sorry then for bothering you, I will look for info myself
Agent : You are welcome.

Guess which website would probably feel the need to invest thousands of rupees in providing live customer care?


I have absolutely no clue, none whatsoever though as to why an educational institute would need to invest money into providing 24/7 customer support services. I am ready to believe that providing education is a service, but IMO, this live support seems to be stretching it a bit too far.

Now as regards to answering as to how to differentiate between a chatterbot and a human? Simply ask :)

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sun's Blackbox

I have always admired Sun, for all the unique ideas that it seems to come up with. And of late, I have been tracking Project Blackbox.

The concept basically invoves having Data Center on wheels. The size of the box is the same as that of standard shipyard container, so it can even be shipped all the way across, well, on a ship, what else?

Now Sun is going one step further, it is dumping these Blackboxes into old rejected coal mines, wherein they would be just dumped in and would save power as, it would require little external cooling as it would be using ground water(?). This would bring in a cost saving of about $9 million/year. All in all, sounds good, though I always have second thoughts whenever any company comes out with $x million of savings for whatever product they are pushing in, without mentioning the fact that their product itself would cost some $y million more.

Though surprisingly, Blackbox's first customer Stanford, colored it all white, evidently to save more energy, as well, if you remember physics, black, what else. radiates more heat.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Long pending updates.


That has been one break from blogging. I really don't know, just exactly why I actually stopped blogging, not that I know, why I started doing it at the first place itself :).

A lot has happened over the time I blogged last over here. And it has been such a long duration that I actually have to open my own blog to see what exactly I wrote earlier. Here is a summary of some of the stuff. Some really cool stuff, some not so cool stuff and something that just completely goes *bad*.

1) For one I got a chance to work on some really cool stuff during my internship at IBM. I worked with Manish, Bhavesh and some of the coolest and the most hardworking people out there. That was fun, but then Booooooooom!! IBM has this hiring freeze and I am out of the scene. So long Deep Blue.

2) Hello Red. I have always liked blue and red. If somebody would give me a sheet of paper and colors I would just use blue and red. That said, I got an offer to work at Oracle. People are really cool over here. I am currently at Oracle’s HQ in US and people here are fun to work with.

3) I went over to meet my folks, and spent one whole month with them. Yippie!

4) Out of hostel and now living my buddies, Kundan , Taran, Vikas and Vivek.

5) Started earning! Yippie!

6) Got a girl! She is sweeeeeeet! Love her. Wait, shouldn’t this be the first one?

A lot has happened. I just hope this tiny miny little update is O.K for all the blogoscope friends and friends who haven’t been able to talk to in a loooooooooooong time and were just wondering if I was dead or alive.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Phew!! Finally a blog post! Seems that I was running out of ideas or for that matter had gone brain dead itself.

So here is something that came up while I was chatting with one of my friends.

int get_A_Job_At_IIIT () throw(TooUnluckyException )

switch(current_Status ) {




if ( apply_Off_Campus() == true )
goto enjoy_Maadi;
else {
if ( butter_Professors() == true )
goto enjoy_Maadi;

if ( sit_For_Placements() == true )
goto enjoy_Maadi;
else {

try {

catch ( TooUnluckyException& toulex ) {
// Solution not yet known. Ask caller to handle


return 0;


Please post your comments and bugs if any.