Sep 30, 2009

Nelliampathy > Kerala > India

O Nelliyampathy is an amazing hill station on the western ghats mountain ranges in Palakkad district of Kerala
O 60km from Palakkad town
O one of the best places for ecotourism in Kerala.
The green lush forests covering the whole hill area, coffee, tea, cardamom, vegetable and orange plantations, water falls and the misty and cool climate of Nelliyampathi offering a delightful vacation for the tourists.

Nelliyampathy is situated at a height of 467 m to 1572 m above sea level.
Journey to Nelliyampathy itself thrilling.
Pothundi Dam is one important picnic spot near, in a distance of 21 km away from Nelliyampathy.
Pothundi Dam is an irrigation Dam.
The speciality of this Dam is that, it is built without cement or concrete. A mixture of jaggery and quick lime is used in place of cement to construct this dam. This Dam, built in late 1800 AD is a real wonder for the new technology.
Boat services are there in the reservoir of Pothundy Dam.
The sight of Nelliyampathi mountains from here is quite spectacular.

Seetharkundu is one important spot of attraction in Nelliyampathy. There is a waterfall about 100m in height. It offers a fantastic sight of the valley below. We can see one-third of the entire Palakkad area from here.

Nelliyampathy is the paradise for nature lovers and trekkers.
Several species of birds and animals including some rare species are found here.
The tea plantation and coffee plantations of Nelliyampathy are famous.

How to reach there

Nearest Airports:

Cochin International Airport and Coimbatore

Nearest railway stations: Palakkad and Trichur.

By taxi or bus to Nemmara - 30 km.

From Nemmara you can take a taxi or better four wheel vehicles.

NOTE:

From Coimbatore, OOTY & PALAGHAT spans the SAME Distance.


Boarding and Lodging:

At Kaikatty, there is a government run guest house with boarding and lodging facility. Reservation for lodging can be made in advance. Both vegetarian and non vegetarian foods are available.

The only public transport to the outside world is the bus service run by Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). These buses ply between Palakkad and Nelliampathi. Within the hill areas, one has to depend on the taxi jeeps for transport. Essential items like grocery and vegetables are transported from Nemmara by jeeps.


WHAT WIKIPEDIA SAYS :
Read Article




PHOTO GALLERY





Wayanad > Kerala > India

Luxuriant plantations of coffee, tea, cardamom, pepper and rubber stretch over the hills of Wayanad as far as the eye can see, with the fast-flowing rivers- Panamaram, Mananthavady and kabini- cutting across the undulating panorama and lending picture-postcard look to the whole region. Not surprisingly, based on evidences still found on these hills, historians contend that civilization existed in these parts at least a thousand years before Christ.


SIDELIGHTS:

Edakkal Caves:

The two rock vaves at Ambukuthy Hills, 12 kms south of Sultan's Battery (travel time: 20 min), contain ancient carvings and pictorial writhing with human and animal figures in peculiar headdresses along with geometric from and symbols. They speak of highly civilized people at an early centre of human habitation
.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary:

The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is adjacent to the protected area network of Nagarhole and Bandipore National parks of Karnataka and Mudumalai of Tamilnadu.

Thirunelly:

At just 32 kms from Mananthavady (travel time; 1 hour), the eye-catching backdrop of Brahma -giri hills lend an idyllic charm to Thirunelly where the Vishnu Temple touched by the soothing streams of Papanasini provides eternal bliss to the searching pilgrim.
Pookot Lake:

With its own dream-like serenity, this natural fresh water lake surrounded by meadows and trees on all sides is a haven for peace-seeking travelers. You'll find it on your way from Calicut half an hour ahead of kalpetta.

Thusharagiri Waterfalls:
Nestled cozily in the Western Ghats, are the gurgling waterfalls of Thusharagiri. Meaning the snow capped mountains; Thushargiri displays a distinctive kinship between the land and water.

Kalpetta :

A stronghold of the jains in the past Two historic jain temples-one of which, through a network of mirrors bedazzle the visitor with a thousand linkages of the icon-are found here.

Mananthavady:

Historically important as the last resting place of Pazhassirajah who fought a guerilla war against the British.
Nearest available accommodation options
Hotels:
How to reach Wayanad (from CHENNAI):
Nearest station – Kozhikode
Train 1: 5 PM (from Chennai) – 4.15 AM (reach Kozhikode)
Train 2: 8.15 PM (from Chennai) – 7.45 AM (reach Kozhikode)

WHAT WIKIPEDIA SAYS :Read Article

Further Reference:


AR Rahman in Chennai !

A.R.Rahman Live in Concert - Jai Ho
Category: Music
Organizer: MARG Properties
ArtistName: A.R.Rahman

Genre: World Music

When: Oct 11th 2009 - Oct 11th 2009
6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Where: MARG Swarnabhoomi
ECR
Phone: 91- 44-24541111
Area: Tiruninravur
City: Chennai

Event Description:
MARG in aid with the The Shakti Foundation brings A.R Rahman in a live concert at MARG Swarnabhoomi. A concert that is not just aimed at sharing scintillating music but also a concert that is aimed at raising funds to help The Shakti Foundation in its noble quest for providing the Adhiparasakthi Medical and Research Hospital with medical equipment.
Eagerly waiting !

The Dreams: Past, Present, Future

I know this day will come ! I once roamed across the streets with my friends. No money in pocket. We had the time, Hunger & strength to eat whatever we wanted to...but not money....

Today, i have all the money. I do have time. I am hungry & i do have the strength to eat. But, where are my friends ? We are well separated now and chasing different goals, staying in different parts of the country.

One day, when we retire, we will have all the money, time & people too. But there won't be any strength/hunger to eat.

Is this what life is ?
Anyway, one fine day, we will meet again. We will have everything. Awaiting this moment.
I'm glad i took the below picture during our graduation.

[Click picture to enlarge]
Align Center
From the Left, it's
Syed Mubarak (Bai)
Venkatesh (military)
Seetha raman (Seethu)
Sailesh (Sail)
Barani (Captain)
Kanthan(our Mama)
Muthu raman (our boss-தலைவர்),
Vignesh(Viki).

A True Story: Life, Love, Music

[TAMIL]
This monday, a surprising incident happened, strange enough to increment my blog post count. I was on my way back to chennai from home town. Boarded on the bus at 6 AM. Calm, Cool climate supplemented by a chill rain, forced everyone to deep sleep.
Mid-way, i woke up & put on my iPod, listening to the massive number of assorted tamil songs i had. Suprising incident was happened when i saw a beautiful girl, three rows from my place, stood up & was gearing up to get down. That might be the first time i saw such a beautiful girl without any make up & who was "Just Woke up". Not only me, but any youngster will certainly spare a stare at her. But the actual surprise is all about the series of FOUR COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TAMIL songs that played in my iPod.
First one, An instrumental from Minnale, as soon as i saw her,



In case if you don't know, this is the song that follows when Madhavan saw Reema Sen for the first time in Minnale....But anyway...Don't laugh...I know i am not Madhavan but she was better than reema sen.
Second One, as soon as she got down, "Ayyo Pattikichu...." from Rhythm.....

Third One, as soon as i got down, "Engeyo paartha mayakkam......", from yaaradi nee moghini. It's the song Dhanush sings when he lose his lady love....

Fourth One, the most fabulous of all, as soon as i was about to cross the road in front of my office...
Hey.. Freeya vudu freeya vudu freeya vudu maamu
Vaazhkaiku illa guarantee..
Freeya vudu freeya vudu freeya vudu maamu
Un kanavukku illa warranty

Hey..Onnu rendu moonunu ennurathuku ulla.
Un nethiyile oththa roopa ottiruva mella.....

Now i don't know whether you found it surprising, but i certainly did. The previous numbers are just entertainment, i had to say. But the last song was for real. It's what life is. Just because she is so beautiful, I can't roam behind her like the heroes do in movies. With a big smile on my face, i stopped wondering about this unique coincidence, reached office ahead of a challenging week...

Quote: Crossing the road...

I never write quotes but i read a lot. But here is the one i thought yesterday. I was quickly crossing the road to catch a bus & i almost got hit by a car.
So here it goes.
பேருந்தில் இடம் பிடிக்க பேயோட்டம் ஓடினனான். இடம் கிடைத்தது. அரசு மருத்துவமையில்.....

In case, if you have no idea what it is, Here goes the english version....
He ran across the road. All the way to catch a seat in the bus. He finally did get one. In the Hospital...
Now, cross the road. Carefully !

Bangalore Vs Buffalo

This blog title is the most hyped phrase in Indian IT companies as of this month. I really like the style of the first black American president, Barack Obama. He is entirely different from his precursor, George bush. Inferring from what Mr. Obama is doing, it seems the precursor thought very little about the economy of Uncle Sam, concentrating more on toppling the Saddam Hussein statue in Firdos Square.
This is what the president quoted that blown a thunder storm among Indian IT giants.

“Say no to Bangalore and yes to Buffalo”.

Before discussing this, one should know the actual story happening out there in the U.S. If you don’t know, this is what happening in the U.S.
U.S software vendors are more interested in recruiting Indian software engineers. When compared to an American, an Indian IT guy will do the same task even more efficiently with just 20% of his salary, and surprisingly with extra effort too. The Indian equivalent of this 20% salary is convincing enough for us, which Is one of the reason why people don’t care much about getting paid less than an American. Now Uncle Sam gives Tax exemptions for those companies to help grow his U.S economy.
See how smart are those IT companies…

“for increasing their revenue, they recruit Indians & pay less salary. As a consequences, Americans go jobless, but the IT companies gain profit, Indians take most of the salary back home spending very less out there”.

The Crux

Now everyone is smart here. The Indian software engineer & the U.S IT company. Only fool is Uncle Sam because even after giving benefits to U.S software vendors, his country men go jobless. Someone else is getting bread & butter (or idly & chutney :o).
Obama is even too smart & identified this. He visualized a striking jobless situation in his country, if this proceeds. This ultimately leads to the downturn of the country.
Now Coming back to Bangalore – Buffalo story, Obama announced the end of years of tax incentives to those US companies which create jobs overseas in places like Bangalore.

Instead, the incentives would now go to those creating jobs inside the US, in places like the Buffalo city -- bordering Canada in upstate New York.

"We will stop letting American companies that create jobs overseas take deductions on their expenses when they do not pay any American taxes on their profits. We will use the savings to give tax cuts to companies that are investing in research and development here at home so that we can jump start job creation, foster innovation, and enhance America's competitiveness."

Obama said at White House announcing the international tax policy reform.

Aftermath

Now this a brave, beneficial decision by obama & i salute his efforts & patriotism. Surely. But being an indian software engineer whose profession also depends on the U.S Markets, it's a not a very good news for me(us) :(

What do you think ?

Read/Write Comments

What software engineers actually do ?

Two things that people wonder about software engineers.

  • What we actually do at work
  • Why are we paid more

Being a software engineer, i need to give a fair, convincing answer.
This is a famous statement. It holds good not only for a software engineer but for any professional. Even it holds well for a doctor or lawyer.

"If you are not able to explain your mom & dad about what you do at work, then YOU don't even know what YOU do..."

This doesn't refer your parents especially but for anyone, any non-technical person having no knowledge about your profession. Well, that said, read more & find out what WE do at work.

Role of IT

With hype of technology at it's peak, the fact that IT enables business is blatant. I refer "business" to every possible category like banks, media, travel, automobiles, entertainment, shopping……

Simply put, everything. Now I would like to share few examples about how IT supports the business before i write brief on what i do @ work.

Here is a very simple, small scenario.

A billing system in a provisional store. Without one, the store keeper use to write down the list of items in a paper, adds them up to finally get your bill. Now the billing system not only gives the bill in a minute but also it keeps track of the total sales for the day, month & year too. Even it will order the wholesaler for more goods whenever a particular item is sold out.

My friend, Sri vallabha is a mechanical engineer by graduation. But at work he spends most of his time with a computer. You might wonder what does a mechanical engineer have to do with a computer. This is what he does.

sri’s uses an engine automation software. This software is just a tool using which he can ‘virtually’ build an engine & test it’s output & performance. He configures this ‘virtual’ engine with varying parameters and he gets a perfect design after finalizing the torque, size, bhp, diameter etc.,

Previously they are made physically & tested live. To get the perfect design, we need to change the parameters & manufacture the engine multiple number of times. The tool he uses comes under a category called CAD. CAD is a type of software which is used to create & design virtual objects. like the engine sri designs. So now you can easily understand how much time & money IT saves for his business.

Few other examples are…

  • The ATM you use every day
  • The online shopping you do with your credit card
  • Automation of Rocket launch.
  • The visual effects & sound effects used in movies.

Role of a Software Engineer

It takes a lot to complete a software. It involves invaluable effort from several people where my role lies in the lowest level. Now i assume that you figured out what an IT company does, here is what MY role is all about.

We have several people with varying designations to define, design & develop a solution.

When we build a house, initially we will finalize a PLAN of the house, estimate the total cost, gather labors, build the house & complete it. The same story applies to our category too…

People at the top level will try to understand the business & the problem scenario. They will finalize a PLAN to solve it. After a proper design is done, we come into picture. We are the people who will DEVELOP the solution using the design.

‘DEVELOP’ means, writing programs. ‘Programs’ means creating or defining a set of instructions. Why Instructions ?

The computer is an IDIOT. Don’t laugh because it’s the truth. It cannot take any decisions on it’s own. You have to program (instruct or tell) what to do. If i say, “Go, jump into the well”, Will you actually do it ? But the computer will !!

Though the computer is fast & effective in processing & producing results, it cannot think on it’s own. WE (Software Engineers) have to write the instructions & TEACH (or GUIDE) how to do. Writing instructions is also not easy. I cannot just say, “Computer Ji, please solve this problem”. So we have to write step-by-step clear cut instructions after which our IDIOT will take care of the rest.

We use a “Programming language” to write such instructions. If you have heard of C-language, C++, Java, Visual Basic, DOT NET…..they all come under the category of programming languages.

So this is what WE do at work. This is why we are paid this much. Fact is that we are not even paid 1/10th of our effort. Now if this article helped you in understanding our work, then i can make sure that I know what i am doing @ work :)

Comment it

Making of Vodafone ZooZoo ads


The trend of TV ads have now changed....
people show the frustrations on the Remote, continuously browsing thro' the channels when an advertisement comes....
as i said, it's not the case these days as ad makers are so focused in getting the people watch their ads a ton times without getting bored, whether or not, it promotes the product....
The best example......
ZOO-ZOO Dolls for Vodafone aired in SET-MAX for the IPL-2 Edition......
The Strange thing that made this ad to enter my blog is the FACT that how they are made.....

Watch the ALL IN ONE 15 COMMERCIAL PACK below.



Now, How Zoozoo characters are made?
First, they aren’t animated characters. They are human beings who were made to wear body suits.
“The design of the characters is such that one gets fooled into thinking it
is animation,”
shrugs Rao, which was indeed the very illusion that had to be created. “In a sense, it is ‘live’ animation!” he quips, referring to the fact that it was all shot live.

Prakash Varma, ad filmmaker, Nirvana Films, has directed the commercials, and reveals that the Zoozoos were a big challenge to create. The practical aspects of how they will move, talk, gesticulate and emote were very important. Essentially, costume design and artwork were crucial elements.

“It took me three weeks of pre-production to understand how it will work,” says Varma. There were two fabrics that were considered for the body suits, and one was rejected for it had too many wrinkles and was shiny. The wrinkles would have shown when the characters moved, thereby shattering the illusion of animation. “So we chose the more practical, thicker fabric,” Varma explains.

The production team divided the outfit into two parts: the body and the head. The body part of the outfit was stuffed with foam in some places, while the head was attached separately. To make it look bigger than a human head, a harder material called Perspex was used, which in turn was stuffed with foam (with scope for ventilation).

If one wishes to understand the size of this head, here’s a fact: a human head would typically reach up to the mouth level of this giant Zoozoo head. “We kept the hands and legs thin, which is why we cast women – and occasionally children – wearing the costumes,” says Varma. The thin limbs, contrasted with big bellies and a bulbous head, all add to the illusion that these creatures are ‘smaller’ than humans. Sets were created to suit the size of the Zoozoos.
Concept Note: Zoozoos are not animated characters. They are human beings who were made to wear body suits. The films were shot by Nirvana in Cape Town, South Africa.
TAGS:
vodafone zoozoo ipl commercial ads video download









[Java] Shuffle the contents of a Collection

I was in a situation where i need to shuffle the objects stored inside a collection. Agenda is to generate random questions. Every question is represented as a POJO & stored in a List. Now this does it all.

import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.Collections;
import java.util.List;


public class Shuffler {
public static void main(String[] args) {
List argList = Arrays.asList(args);
Collections.shuffle(argList);
for (String arg : argList)
{
System.out.format("%s ", arg);
}
System.out.println();
}
}

[Java] For-Each Loop

Have you ever worried of using an Iterator to navigate thro' a collection object ?

Here after there is no need to use Iterator , Enumerator & Blah…Blah Classes to Go through a collection Object.

The New For Loop in JDK 1.5 Uses the : Operator………

This simple FOR loop solves the problem.

For-each Loop

Purpose

The basic for loop was extended in Java 5 to make iteration over arrays and other collections more convenient. This newer for statement is called the enhanced forfor-each (because it is called this in other programming languages). I've also heard it called the for-in loop. or

Use it in preference to the standard for loop if applicable (see last section below) because it's much more readable.

Series of values. The for-each loop is used to access each successive value in a collection of values.

Arrays and Collections. It's commonly used to iterate over an array or a Collections class (eg, ArrayList).

Iterable. It can also iterate over anything that implements the Iterable interface (must define iterator() method). Many of the Collections classes (eg, ArrayList) implement Iterable, which makes the for-each loop very useful. You can also implement Iterable for your own data structures.
General Form

The for-each and equivalent for statements have these forms. The two basic equivalent forms are given, depending one whether it is an array or an Iterable that is being traversed. In both cases an extra variable is required, an index for the array and an iterator for the collection.

For-each loopEquivalent for loop
for (type var : arr) {
body-of-loop
}
for (int i = 0; i < arr.length; i++) {
type var = arr[i];
body-of-loop
}
for (type var : coll) {
body-of-loop
}
for (Iterator<type> iter = coll.iterator(); iter.hasNext(); ) {
type var = iter.next();
body-of-loop
}

Example - Adding all elements of an array

Here is a loop written as both a for-each loop and a basic for loop.

double[] ar = {1.2, 3.0, 0.8};
int sum = 0;
for (double d : ar) { // d gets successively each value in ar.
sum += d;
}

And here is the same loop using the basic for. It requires an extra iteration variable.

double[] ar = {1.2, 3.0, 0.8};
int sum = 0;
for (int i = 0; i <>
Where the for-each is appropriate


Altho the enhanced for loop can make code much clearer, it can't be used in some common situations.
  • Only access. Elements can not be assigned to, eg, not to increment each element in a collection.
  • Only single structure. It's not possible to traverse two structures at once, eg, to compare two arrays.
  • Only single element. Use only for single element access, eg, not to compare successive elements.
  • Only forward. It's possible to iterate only forward by single steps.
  • At least Java 5. Don't use it if you need compatibility with versions before Java 5.

Start Transforming………

Eclipse Dropins : A plug-ins add-in utility

If you prefer not to pollute your Eclipse installation with third party plugins, a better management option is to externalize these addons. Eclipse has long supported a feature known as "links" which allows you to associate any directory that follows the standard Eclipse structure, and which contains additional features and plugins, with your Eclipse installation. Eclipse effectively performs a runtime merge of the available features and plugins in these directories.

NOTE: The links feature just described became the dropins feature in Eclipse 3.4.

Here's how to "link" the JBoss Tools plugins to your Eclipse installation.

  • Extract the JBoss Tools release anywhere outside of your Eclipse installation. Be sure to preserve the directory structure of the archive (i.e. the extracted folder should be named "eclipse" and contain a "features" and "plugins" directory). It's convenient to put this eclipse folder inside of a directory with the name of the plugin (i.e., /home/max/eclipse-addons/jbosstools)
  • Create the file jbosstools.link in the links folder (Eclipse <>= 3.4) of your Eclipse installation
  • The contents of jbosstools.link should consist of a single line that defines the path where you extracted the JBoss Tools plugins (i.e. the location of the "eclipse" directory)

path=/home/max/eclipse-addons/jbosstools


The links or dropins folder can contain any number of .link files that point to Eclipse extension directories.

Setting up jBPM 3.2.6 with jBoss ESB Server 4.5 GA

jBPM is an Open-source BPM Tool from jBoss. This blog will help anyone to setup jBPM in a Windows PC with an interactive video tutorial. You can find the tool description in the official site.
This is the environment i am using.

Environment:


jBoss : jBoss.4.2.3-GA
jBoss ESB : jbossesb-server-4.5-GA (Download)
jBPM : jBPM-3.2.6-GA (Download)
jBoss Tools : JBoss Tools 3.0.1.GA (Download)
java : jdk1.6.0_14(Download)
Eclipse : 3.4 (jee-ganymede-SR2-win32)(Download)
Ant : apache-ant-1.7.1 (Download)

NOTE:

The above links are dated and hence might not redirect properly :(

Download:


In case, if you don't have these files, just click on the download link next to the names to download them. Even if the links are broken, you can google out to easily locate the installer.
Note:
jBoss Server 4.2.3 GA will come built-in with jBossESBserver 4.5 GA. So no need to download two files.

Assumptions:


  • Apache Ant is optional. It will be useful to deploy the in-built samples after we set this up.
  • Java version need not be 1.6 excatly. Even 1.4 or 1.5 is fair enough.
  • This blog sets up jBPM with an ESB Server.
  • This means that in addition to the normal setup, it

Setting up:


Watch this interactive Video Tutorial.

Installing jBPM 3 with jBoss ESB: part 1



Installing jBPM 3 with jBoss ESB: part 2


Sep 14, 2009

Marvellous, Majestic, Mind-Blowing Mom

Today is a big day for India Cricket as my country won the COMPAQ CUP 2009 an hour ago. Sachin Tendulkar, the master blaster didn't fail to blast today. I'm proud of the way my country is performing.
But earlier in the afternoon, i almost cried in joy. I saw a very emotional moment on the News.

The crowd at Flushing Meadows erupted when a Belgian, Kim Clijsters won the US Open final 7-5, 6-3. She's the first ever unseeded woman to win the US Open. She only returned to the game five weeks ago (after a two-year break to start a family).

When the game finished Clijsters dropped to her knees in celebration, sobbing.

Proud of you Mom:


As she received the trophy, Kim's 18-month-old daughter was brought down to the court to see her lift it. She quit playing tennis two years back for her family. She gave birth to a cute little angel, Jada Ellie.
When the lead players like serena are training intensely to win the 'HOME' Tournament, it's really strange & surprise to see someone, UNSEEDED, make a comeback to tennis & literally WON the tournament. Have something like this ever happened ?

KIM CLIJSTERS:

This has been so exciting for me and I just wanted to start these three tournaments just to get back into the rhythm of playing tennis and just to get used to the surroundings again. So I have to thank the USCA for giving me the wild card to come back.
You should have seen the face of that little angel when she saw her mom on the big screen, giving interview after winning the match. That moment made me cry.

Interview:




The Bottom Line

This is the reason why i wrote this blog.
When there are women who were selfish enough to give up their kids just for the sake of achieving what they wanted to, Kim Clijsters proved herself as a marvellous, majestic, mind-Blowing Mom.
Proud of you Kim.

#update: Sep12, 2010

Would anyone believe it ? Kim is simply amazing., She regained the US Open crown once again for this year - 2010. Wow, man - i am enjoying this. Great going Kim. Keep rocking. 

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