I flew from San Francisco to Mumbai via Hong Kong. Spent about 15 hours in Hong Kong, most of which was spent in the little fishing village of Tai'O on Lantau island. Got in to Mumbai at 2am, and spent a lot of time waiting for my bags. This time I'm going to take nvivek's advice and say that "the usual happened".

Cathay staff say that they've found a possible match in Hong Kong, so I shall wait for it to come in.

Impulsive weekend

I've done short impulsive trips in the past, but this weekend was crazy.

I got back from Boston last Monday, and as I was about to go to bed, premshree pings me on messenger about this thing happening in Seattle. I tell him that I'm sleepy and we'll talk about it tomorrow... except that he's in New Zealand, so he isn't around when I'm awake.

We communicate via email, and with ticket prices threatening to go up, we book SFO-SEA-SFO on Virgin America for about $50 each way. So we got to Seattle at 11:30am on Saturday morning. Picked up a car at the airport, and drove down to meet bhavanar at Issaquah. Were there till around tea time, and then drove to Redmond to meet mujtaba. It gets dark pretty early, so we didn't explore the city too much.

Sunday morning we headed to Seattle, and explored the city as long as the sun was up. The weather alternated between extremely heavy fog with 50m visibility to bright sunshine and clear blue skies - fluctuating every 10-20 minutes. Met a cousin of mine for brunch, and then headed to the Sculpture park. Then got called in to a greenhouse to see these ferns growing on an old dead tree that had been lifted out of the forest floor and moved here as an art exhibit. Noticed that the fog was lifting, so we made our way to the Space Needle, and got some good views of the city. They have a few interactive displays at the top, and the user interface of these apps is excellent.

We then rode the monorail and the bus to get to Vivace's coffee shop. Had an espresso, and then decided that we should go north for dinner.

So we got into the car, and drove along the 5 until we got hungry. Stopped for gas and something to eat, and then continued because we were about 30miles from the Canadian border.

Got into Canada at around 8:45 or so, and then started heading in to the downtown area. We set the GPS to Gastown and Stanley Park, hoping that we'd get to the right place. Eventually we did, but restaurants were closed. We had coffee and pastries at a place called Waves Coffee, and then drove back to Seattle.

Went to bed at 2:30, woke up at 5, and headed to the airport in heavy fog for our flight at 7. Back to the bay area at 9:30am, a shower and back to work.

Pictures later. premshree will probably upload before I do, mainly because he was shooting while I was driving.

In Seattle

I'm in Seattle until early Monday morning. Got here this morning with premshree. We only planned this trip on Wednesday and are hanging out with bhavanar. Washington state is pretty at this time of the year, and the weather's been good today. Let's hope it holds up tomorrow as well.


The rain came down today. It kept at it all day.
I awoke around eleven, it still looked like seven.
Senzela's hosting salsa's best, while Stanford has a Wonderfest.
Wind blows hard, wind chimes chime, on the patio I pass my time.

Night comes now, I must upgrade, I must turn in, it's getting late.
The clock strikes one, then once again, time flows back then starts again.
Late again, log out of bash, goodnight world, to bed I crash.

Long time no update

Just noticed that it's been over a month since my last update. It's not that there hasn't been anything to write about. I've just been tied up for most of the time, and too lazy to write for the rest of the time. If you follow my twitter stream, you'll know what I've been up to... more or less.

First up, a big Happy Birthday hug to my little niece Erika. dianaparadise might post pictures soon, so will be waiting for those.

Next, FOSS.IN. It's happening in less than a month from now, and the ayttm team has proposed a workout. Register if you're interested. I'll be there. I've submitted a bunch of talks, but I don't yet know if they've been selected or not.

Over a month ago, I started working on YUI. This is a part-time stint, in addition to my nightly work on the performance team, and my once a month updates to our unofficial wordpress installations. I ported my strftime library to YUI to create the Date formatter. I'm supposed to write up a blog post on how best to use the formatter, but multiple emergencies at my day job (which I work on at night), have put a hold on that.

I spoke at the F2E summit at Yahoo! Sunnyvale, where Subbu snagged a pic of a vary fat me showing off internal only code to an audience of Yahoo! engineers. Don't bother searching for stuff - all the interesting bits are on the right side of the screen.

I also did a little poster session at an i18n summit we had internally, where I demoed the i18n features of the date formatter.

In non-work related news, bluesmuse was in town, and we went whale watching at Monterey. We were extremely lucky. When we got there, all tickets had been booked, so we were put onto a waiting list. When it was time to leave, they started calling names off the waiting list. The first two groups went through. The third name that they called wasn't there. The fourth one went through, and we got the last two tickets.

So we got onto the boat and sailed out. Saw loads of Harbour Seals, California Sea Lions, birds and a couple of Sea Otters on the way out. Once we'd reached the canyon, we started looking around for whales.

Saw a group of 3 or 4 humpbacks, and followed them for a while until another group of 3 came around. We stuck around there for a while, and then headed out further. As we went, we were joined by a school of dolphin. And then another, and another, and another. There were hundreds of dolphins all over. Three different species of dolphins and one species of porpoise. And loads of humpback whales. They were all over the place.

Then all of a sudden, one of the whales breached the surface. It jumped straight out and landed with a huge splash. And then it did it again.

The dolphins, not to be outdone started doing their own acrobatics. One of them started doing somersaults and back flips and a whole bunch of other tricks. Just for the heck of it. Then two of them started doing it together. Absolutely amazing.

I've got a load of pictures and videos, but not the bandwidth to upload them. Will post an update when I do.

We also went up Mt. Hamilton and saw the Lick Observatory. I got motion sickness half way up, and I was driving, so had to stop and take a break for a few minutes. We got to the top about five minutes before the last tour of the day, so that was another piece of luck.

Back in August, bluesmuse and I met up in Chicago and spent a weekend exploring the Windy city. A bunch of photos are up on facebook, but there are more to come.

Ok, that's probably it for an update of the past.

For the future... I'll be in Bombay between the 22nd and 25th of November, after which I head to Bangalore. Back in Bombay a few days after until the 9th when I head to Hong Kong for a day, and then back to the valley. In February, I'll be in Singapore speaking at the OSSPAC conference there. I have two talks, but I haven't finalised my dates yet. Other travel may happen, but nothing finalised. I'd have liked to have made it to FOSS.MY, but too short notice, and I can't afford so many international trips in such a short span of time.

Oh yeah, follow my tech blog if you want to know a bit about Javascript date nuances.

Green computing

We had a green computing BoF at openhackday yesterday. There were a whole bunch of ideas that popped up, but for the most part we were discussing ways to measure the power consumption by machines so that we could tell what code changes resulted in lower power utilisation, and consequently, a smaller carbon footprint.

Later in the day we bounced our ideas off David Filo, and he hit us with this amazing insight. You don't need to know how much power your application uses. You just need to reduce CPU utilisation in a way that will let you use fewer boxes. n boxes will always take up more power than n-1 boxes.

More mac usability woes

So I plugged my camera into the Mac with the intent of uploading to flickr the last 6 photos that I'd just taken. As soon as I plug it in, iPhoto opens up, and offers to import my photos. All 1937 of them. No option to select which ones I want to upload.

I curse it a few times, then decide that I will probably have to do this only once, and the next time it will remember where it last stopped, so I import all 1937 photos, and then upload the last six.

I then go around and take some more photos, and come back to import the last four that I've just taken. Except that iPhoto has forgotten that it just imported all these pics, and now wants to import 1941 photos. This time I decide that I should figure out how to load up the camera as a USB drive and just copy the files across. Except, it's not possible.

Finally, someone else around here puts my SD card into his camera, switches his camera to USB drive mode, and plugs it into my Mac, which then loads the camera as a USB drive.

This just sucks. When I plug my camera into my linux box, it pops up gThumb, which lets me choose what to import. If I ever want to browse my camera as if it were a USB drive, I can just use the gphoto interface to do that.

So, for loading photos from my Canon SD630 at least, linux has better usability than the Mac.

Same old Orkut

Just had a look at Orkut after a very long time. They've brought in the look of facebook while retaining all the bad scalability problems they had in the past. It looks like they like providing bad service. I won't be going back there in a while.