Lollipop , popped

After having a tiring day trying to fix up some broadcom drivers , I wanted to revitalize myself some way and looked everywhere only to find my phone ,my laptop and a small candy.

Munching on candy all along , I just kept staring at my phone and that’s when it struck , hey I have a Nexus 5 and its November and Lollipop is suppose to be out. So quickly did a search to find out that there is no OTA support for Mr L yet ,however stock images are available from google’s official site.

Thus began the endeavour of flashing my phone from Kit-kat to Lollipop.

So lets start,

Things you will need.

1.) adb utility and the flashing procedure : get it here
2.) Flash image for your device , you can get it here
3.) Some courage :)

A note though, the procedure mentioned (at least in the link) is to get back to STOCK images however, all you need to do is just extract the firmware images as given in step 2 and follow step 1 thereafter.

Make sure to backup contents before you flash because “you will lose everything”.

Anyway after about 10 mins of work on the keyboard and a further 5 mins spent waiting for the phone to boot up, Lollipop was finally running on my phone without any issues (at least till now)

So here is my take on Lollipop,
1.) Nexus 5 was always a fast phone because of which i didn’t find perceivable difference between KK and L.
2.) The notification centre has changed quite dramatically and some people like it , but i feel its just too cluttered and even on a 5″ phone i almost have the entire screen filled with different notifications.
3.) The entire background of the app-drawer has moved to showcase lighter colour tones but the white background looks weird to me.

The greatest “plus” though is , great battery life.

Many Nexus 5 owners might have complained about poor battery life but with L the battery life has definitely increased and perhaps just for that you should give it a shot.  :)

In all , barring the battery life there isn’t much that one can tell between the 2 version of andriod.

Give it a shot nonetheless ;-)

KSTDC, Want to take a Taxi ?

Life in India has never been easy and now i’m hard-pressed to say that even visitors to India, especially Bangalore seems to be even more careful.

How careful one might ask, well how about The moment you step out of the airport and board a taxi” ,sound? , Shocked!! Here is what happened to us ..

On 5/01/2014 we took the ‘Airport Taxi’ a service offered by K.S.T.D.C (Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation). Knowing that this is a State run service one would presume it to be safe but in bangalore that’s hardly the case.

So we step into a taxi and the driver from the onset itself looks really drowsy . I had my moments even before stepping into the taxi but for some reason we went ahead . Suspecting his behavior i sat in the front seat of the taxi itself and then it happened. The first head swing even before we left the Airport premises.
I yelled at him to stop if he’s sleepy to which there was a wide awakened response saying that he is very much awake. Anyway i let it be and continued but this driver was 90% asleep throughout the journey and drove horribly in the dark hours of night.  He used to unnecessarily brake and he thought he saw a speed breaker while there was nothing like that in sight at all. Due to his inability to even comprehend the road conditions I had to stay awake after nearly 10 hrs of being in multiple airports and contentiously traveling myself.
If there was only 1 passenger and he/she wished to sit and take rest after a long journey this moron would have really created a mess , He was very much capable of it.

He cannot see the road properly but is lying, and finally the last blow came close to my place where he had to take a turn and completely lost it. He was so sleepy that he couldn’t turn the car at all and that’s when i lost my cool and had to give him a piece of my mind.

This is the status of our Taxi drivers and Taxi organizations. They don’t care about their lives (well that’s good for our population) but we do and I’m in no hurry to go away , that i rest my life in the hands of such State run Morons.

This is the case with any taxi/cab service . I’ve spoke to multiple taxi drivers and they all tell me the same thing, they just dont have enough sleep and almost all of them drive in dreams.

So a humble request to all passengers or anyone taking taxis in Bangalore.
Its always better to take the Airport Bus service and have someone pick you up from the closest bus stop. At least you will be sure to reach home.
Foreigners, If you have a hotel booked already ensure you ask for a cab from their hotel only. At least they will be a bit better than these idiots.

If noting works out at least sit in the front seat and observe the driver all the time . Hopefully you can catch him like i did and for Ladies well that’s one less of a safety feature that you can get, i’m sorry!!

This is the state of affairs and i’m quite sure this blog wont be read by anyone responsible in making a change to the system unless I take it all the way and knock on KSTDC doors and tell them to look at it but that’s the way it is.

PS:: I’ve contacted the concerned person at KSTDC taxi and reported this incident, I just hope he make necessary amendments .

Here are the details of the Taxi trip, if anyone wants to make a change please do so. (Not by firing the driver but looking at what exactly is the root cause)
Trip No : 1133
Date : 5/1/2014
Start time : 23.14
End time : 00:23:41
Taxi Service : K.S.T.D.C (Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation)

Padhaaro mahro desh!!

After a long long time, I’m finally back to share yet another travel and this time it was the longest drive till date , spanning over 4 states and over 5000kms of blissful drive . All planned , the car loaded with luggage/eatables, and everything else we left on the morning of sept 11 at 4:30AM sharp to Navi mumbai

Day-1

Stats
Bangalore – Navi mumbai
Distance – 997Kms
Hotel – Hotel Apex (Navi mumbai)
Travel time – 15:15 hrs

The road up to satara is in a beautiful condition and one can drive as fast as his wits permit or as fast as one dares ;-). Overall though the roads are just stupendous.DSC_0162_v1
En-route we stopped to admire the money wasted by our Govt on something that hardly sees light, a great view nonetheless.

I Halted at navi mumbai because I knew that by the time i reach that place it would be relatively late and hence i would avoid the traffic also if i left early morning the next day i would beat bombay/pune city traffic as well. Bombay was just going to be a pit stop so we just had a cup of nice masala chaai (Masala tea) and hit the sack after a long long drive.

Day-2

Stats
Navi mumbai -> Udaipur
Distance : 770kms
Travel time : 15:30hrs
Road Conditions : Beautiful

I never expected to take so long to drive 770kms especially since i had covered close to 1000kms the previous day but little did i know that gujrat truck traffic was going to hit me hard.
I reached Baruch within no time and soon after started encountering heavy traffic. Although i hated zig-zagging across traffic I was left with no choice but to do so and when one is doing high speeds doing so is really not advisable but had no choice.One more thing to note is the traffic at the tolls from the mumbai side is really heavy as well, especially the Ghorbundar(western express highway) highway/tolls.
So all in all it was a relatively slow pace and finally reached Udaipur at 8:30PM .

Day-3 (Udaipur and around)

The previous night we had inquired about places to see and decided on what all to cover for the current day . Since our hotel was centrally placed with almost all the tourist spots at a stone throws distance we could have very well walked if the temperature was on our side but we decided to take the car as it was 38C at 9AM.
I quickly tucked back into the hotel and we settled down for breakfast by 10AM. 

We ordered just 1 paratha ,dahi and aachar for breakfast hoping to not eat too much as we didn’t know the quality of the food and didn’t want to fall ill.
The guy brings us the paratha and we eat a slice. Almost immediately my wife exclaims, Can we have 3 parathas each please, and make it fast 
Well that’s about the food quality at our hotel . It was really amazing.
We left straight to the first spotsaheli02HDR-01_v1, Sahelio ki

Next stop was the famous Lake Pichola, around which the lake palace of udaipur has been built. Its a disgrace to the might kings and viewers alike as i saw pretty much everything thrown into the water. I dont understand when Indians will really take a serious consideration about their heritage. Anyway after rambling about it for a while we sat there to enjoy the view.
waterfrontHDR-03_v1

By the time we finished a round of the city (yes the entire city can be covered in 30-45mins) but we took a good 3:30 hrs to stop and photograph pretty much everything on the road.
Soon after it was baking hot and returned back to our hotel which took a few mins and had a nice sleep after another round of parathas.
we hoped to go to the Udaipur palace by evening . We were so exhausted after contineous drives and another round of walking in the sun we just didn’t get up till 4:30. We woke up and had Tea (Rajastanis make good masala chaai) and left by 4:45.

Just as i pulled my car out , the hotel owner steps out and
Owner : sir aap palace ja ra he hai ?
me : haan
Owner : vo tho paach me hi bandh karthe hai.
me : hmm, yaha monsoon palace bhi hai na?
Owner : yes sir
me : teek hai, thanks.

(And this decision turned out to be a good one indeed)
The monsoon palace is about 13kms from our hotel and that’s when my trusted MIMI (our pet name for MMI) took us through roads that were so narrow , i could barely fit my car. I wanted to override MIMI by i didn’t know any routes to do better so blindly followed it with a promise that we would never take the same route again.

We reached the monsoon palace by 5:30PM and were taken aback by the cool breeze and after having spent a sweaty morning and a totally stressful 13kms drive up to the palace all i did for a few mins was to take in the breeze!!
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After a well spent day in udaipur we reached our hotel and after another round of parathas we just hit the bed with more things to come the next day. Here i must admit that though one might get a bit too accustomed to eating parathas 3 times a day, the taste was such that we really didn’t bother at all. RJ so far had treated us well.

Day 3
We had previously planned to leave to chittorghar early and i estimated a total time of 6hrs including the travel and time to be spent in the fort.
Before hand i had info that its not going to be an easy trek as its the Largest fort in india. Knowing this we quickly had breakfast and left our Udaipur hotel at 6AM .

Background
Chittorghar, also called Chittor is about 115kms from Udaipur and houses the largest fort in india . Its been held by nearly 55 kings and covers a massive 691.9 acres
So quickly fired up my beloved MIMI and set bearings for chittor
The beautiful NH-76/NH-79
DSC_0482_v1

I must say that the roads by large in RJ were just too good . Most of the NH and SH were in really good condition and even State highways connecting the most interior parts of RJ were in great conditions. Honestly driving in RJ was too easy, roads were that good.

After having a foot in mouth incident here is what i’d like to say.
Rajastan is filled with morons who drive less and honk more. Udaipur/jodhpur/jaisalmer anywhere i went the city dwellers be it a taxiwalla or a BMW owner just sits on the horn the whole damn time. So please be careful.
2.) Highways in Rajastan have more of wildlife than human life so you will always find cattle, peacocks, bulls, dogs more than anything else and these folks just come out of nowhere. I cannot stress enough to be careful while driving at high speeds on these roads. Please be very careful.
3.) Always be on your guard especially on the highways as you cannot predict things like what happened to me and the worst part is that these guys dont even acknowledge their mistake.

Moving ahead, we reached the beautiful fort of chittorghar
Background
Chittorghar, also called Chittor is about 115kms from Udaipur and houses the largest fort in india . Its been held by nearly 55 kings and covers a massive 691.9 acres
So quickly fired up my beloved MIMI and set bearings for chittor.DSC_0528_v1

DSC_0582_v1

Finally after an eventful drive to chittor and a splendid time there we headed back to our hotel in udaipur . Thankfully no further road incidents on the way back. I would always suggest chittor and a place to be seen if you are anywhere near udaipur . Its a magnificent place with a lot of history.

We reached our udaipur hotel by 2PM and wanted to go to the palace directly but lack of sleep and lack of food was making us really tired so we decided to sleep till 3:30 and go.
We ordered rajasthani thali to our room ate and slept by 2:30 and promptly woke up at 3:30 .
Ordered a cup of coffee and finished it to leave at 4:00PM.

Fired up MIMI again and this time to the udaipur palace and there was something different i did.
I took a turn towards a narrow lane and fired up MIMI (which i would find out later to be a big mistake), my beloved MIMI calculated the route from that direction and asked me to drive on.
Happy that MIMI was helping us i rolled down the windows and stepped on the A pedal and within 5 mins MIMI took us through the narrowest lanes i had ever seen in my life.
It was so narrow that my car could barely fit between the array of shops in between and i thought NOT again god. But even if we had to there was no way i could turn back
So just hoped that no one kisses me and made true. After a heart wrenching 20min drive across the narrow roads with ample stops and a few reverses to let the traffic flow we finally reached here
DSC_0741_v1

What a beautiful palace this is . One must really see the vastness and the architecture to truly believe the quality of workmanship.
I was really mesmorized by the stone carvings .
One particular decor that struck me was the dome carvings at the entrance and this dome is a good 60Ft from the floor level . I just couldnt fathom how in those days they managed to get up there and carve out beautiful designs.. Too good

After having spent a good 2 hours there as well. We finally bid good bye to Udaipur and its beauty and retired to our hotel for a well deserved sleep by 8PM.

The fun starts now, Next stop Jodhpur”

Bags packed again, breakfast at the hotel skipped again, with the bearings set to Jodhpur we hit the road again at 7AM. Our pit stops based on heavy demand from in laws and parents was to visit the Ekling ji (30kms from udaipur), srinath ji (nathdwara) then on to jodhpur. this turned out to be one heck of a drive. Hoping so our first stop was Ekling ji temple and we decided to breakfast on the way and reached the g ji temple by about 8:30AM only to find out that the temple does not even open till 11AM. This was not going to work for us so we decided to give it a pass and continue the drive towards nathdwara.Here the trouble starts, my beloved MIMI showed us the route from ekling ji temple to nathdwara via NH-8 and having knowing that its a NH we were really happy to go there but this road is totally amidst the mountains and soon after we started we hit the ghat section and its just a 2 lane route. The progress was terribly slow but the route was with amazing roads so we didn’t lament much and we reached nathdwara by 12:30PM .
It was 43C and will full of sweat we began our 1/4mile hike to the temple , huffing and puffing and amidst insane crowd (in off season) we reach the temple only to find out that the darshan closed just 10mins before our arrival.
hmm what can i say , we followed our track back, turned the AC to full and drove off in sadness.
Looks like the gods were not done with us yet, for i dont know what i did but we ended up driving from Nathdwara to Jodhpur via RJ, SH -49 , where for a while MIMI was up and alive after which even she gave up.
All we could see were proper Rajasthani villages, there was nothing but females carrying water on their heads , males sitting idle and discussing about god knows what, beautiful green pastures and corn all around.
As far as i counted we crossed nearly 9 rajastani villages and ended up driving in ghats at an inclination of nearly 55 degress .
All my josh of driving in leh were coming true. Just that instead of snow and cold temperatures we witnessed trees, sand and heat

So finally we managed to reach jodhpur after a terrible 8 hours or so.. We were just exhausted but the drive was something i never thought i would do.
Beautiful village scenery and after a bit of rest in jodhpur i was really cherishing the drive on these roads. Take this route only if you have ample time or else don’t

Jodhpur and around….

We checked into hotel “jagat vilas” one of the best homestays that i’ve spent nights in (hotel reviews at the last).
After spending a good 2 hrs simply chit chatting with the owners we were sort of rejuvinated and decided to go to the market for some shopping by 8PM.

Had a cup of nice homemade coffee and then visited the market but unlike what we know most of the shops were already closing and the temp was still hovering at 36C @9PM.
We couldn’t take it anymore so simply came back and bunked for the night.

The next day we had nice home made parathas mehrangharat our homestay and started our drive to Meharnghar fort and just around the corner of this fort is the “Jaswant thada”, a burial for all the fallen Rajput kings from 13th century till date. The architecture of this place was also wonderful and we forgot the heat altogether.

So as usual after all the hike up to the fort and a after rounds and rounds of photographs my wife started to reach here boiling point with me and my camera, so save both of us, I decided to get back to the homestay and wind up and go to the Jodhpur palace later in the evening .
We came back had lunch and had a nice sleep till 5PM, woke up and had coffee as usual and went to Umaid Bhavan palace .

Here is what we saw!
upalaceThis was a really beautiful palace where the current Raja of Jodhpur lives and the left portion is the kings official residence , the center portion is a public museum where we are allowed and the right portion is made a hotel.

This is the shortest we stayed in any palace in the whole trip. just about 1.5 hrs (that’s because i wanted to take photos). Ideally one would not spend more than 15-20mins as there is really nothing to see.
So we were out of the palace by 6:30PM and my wife wanted to shop again for some amarapalli jewels , we went to a showroom and while i reviewed photos sitting on the couch my wife picked up a few things and were came out by 7:40.

Our homestay owner had told us that there is a hotel (forgot the name) beside the Balsamand lake where one can have a roof top dinner with a really beautiful view of the Mehranghar fort and we couldn’t miss it for anything. So i Parked my car at that amarapalli showroom itself and took an auto to this place.

mgharnight

Now that’s what i call a dinner time view! :)
Fully satisfied with the view (if not with the dinner menu) we retired to our homestay by 10PM .
next day, it would be another 300 odd kms to our Final destination , Jaisalmer!!

Jalisalmer
With our final destination in sight we ,the bangalore based IT couple were extremely happy to have done nearly 90% of the journey (one way, at least).
I dont know how but all that heat just vanished in a moment and we were just dancing in joy at our jodhpur homestay knowing that we were soon going to reach the last of our destinations.

Anyway so we had an extremely heavy dinner the previous night and hit the sack and woke up leisurely at 8:30AM. we started to take this journey almost too easy because i had prior reports that the roads are amazing and it would not take more time.
We breakfasted at our Jodhpur homestay, bid the extremely humble hosts a nice good bye and hit the road by 10:30AM

roadAlmost all through the way we saw Army presence and the roads were just too good and we maintained a really good speed. At times the MID was showing an Avg speed of 83kmph but due to many stoppages for photo sessions it finally came down.Arrow straight roads with sand on either side and small desert shrubs to blow a relatively cool breeze into your heads we were just enjoying our drive on these roads. With such good roads even my wife tried her hands at the wheel. ;-)firing

I was so happy about reaching Sam that i was Firing away with all the might and that’s when i saw this. So since both of us were Firing i overshot this and had to make a U-turn to get a snap .
We had already booked for the night at Sam in one of the Swiss tents..
jai1 jai

Again as usual we were dripping and huffing and puffing we managed to get into one of the thatched huts with a decent fan/cooler (we decided to switch to the swiss tents later in the night as the small fan kept there was not helping us cool down).

After a full 30 mins under the cooler and after a nice shower we were rejuvenated and had a cup of masala chaai.
Agenda for the evening was
1.) Camel ride and sunset
2.) Rajastani folk dance at our stay
3.) stay in the swiss tent.

I didn’t take photos of the folk dance as it was not appealing to us. So we just watched it and dined and later hit the sack.
After another round of satisfying trip to sam we retired in our swiss tent with the view to reach Jaisalmer city the next day.
We woke up early by 7:30AM and sitting on the wooden recliner outside our tent we sipped our masala chaai, perhaps the most Westerly chaai we had in independent india!!.
samfinalWe packed and settled the bill to leave for Jaisalmer city by 8:30AM.
Enroute stopped for another final set of Sam photos.
I stopped the car in the middle of the road ,wheels turned my wife clicked one last picture.We reached our Jaisalmer hotel (about 45kms from Sam) by 9:20AM and rested for a while .

We had prior knowledge that Jaisalmer is a very small city (roughly 3kms either way) and covering the whole city would take just 1 evening so we leisurely had nice breakfast comprising of aloo parathas ,dahi and lassi (we dont even remember how many lassis we’ve had in this trip).
And left for sight seeing by 11AM.

First stop, Jaisalmer fort and inside.
Architecture of jain temples within the fort and patawon ki haveli pics.

jaisal2 jaisal3 jaisalmerSo finally the trip comes to an end and with a smile we retired for the night knowing that in 2 days time we will be back to home sweet home.
What a wonderful trip it has been and next time its going to be even bigger!!

The full set of pictures can be found on my Flickr account.
the sets include http://www.flickr.com/photos/shampavman/sets/72157635748851564/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shampavman/sets/72157635748828363/

Satyamev Jayathe , Not much Satya(Truth) in it.

Off late I’ve been very keenly following the famous Aamir Khan starter “Satyamev Jayathe”.
First things first , for all those folks who think this is a one of a kind show ,let me tell you its NOT.
There have been tons of such serials exposing social stigmas and social issues running on TV from ages.

Secondly, My personal views on this show and here it goes.
We all know that India is facing major social problems and there is no need to expose them and make a claim that this show is doing good to the country’s people by making them aware of such issues…This is utterly silly.

Anyone willing to spend 10mins on the web can get statistics about INDIA, I spent 2 mins and got this..
http://www.who.int/countries/ind/en/

So there are many such places from where information can be procured , but what India needs today is not someone who shows the world the filth present in the country but someone who can take ownership of it and make India a BETTER PLACE.

Any attempts short of this is mere media propaganda is what I feel. To all the folks reading this.. Just think about it this way..
If you have filth lying around in front of you’re door step , will you call all you’re neighbors and tell them that you have filth or will you clean it first?, and if you’re so much foolish as to do the former then you’re home is going to be stinking and people walking in front will just PASS BY.

I don’t think i can make it any clearer…
Point 2,
When this show started and when i saw the initiatives taken by Aamir and his team to prevent female foeticide i felt happy that a man of his stature is finally doing something great of the nation but slowly this feeling started to dwindle and now with the episodes being shown , I really don’t feel anything new is being done..
Its becoming another Ophra witfney show, that’s all

Let me come to my justification of why I’ve named my post like this..
The topic in question is that of the latest episode in this series ,about Alcoholism …

This episode becomes interesting from the start itself when Aamir begins with only the ill-effects of Alcohol “ABUSE”, Make note of the word “ABUSE”.
Social Drinking , Alcoholism and Binging are very very different things and Aamir of all the guys should know this at least for the fact that he is a celebrity and parties are a norm for these guys…

Everything was mixed up and upsets the viewers mind into thinking that at the touch of Alcohol one becomes an ADDICT.
THIS IS HOPELESSLY WRONG.

If one drinks coffee or tea too many times its related to cause Pancreatic cancer, that does not mean everyone will die of Pancreatic cancer , now does it?
Not all drivers die in an accident , so driving is not a sin.

Similarly Drinking is not a sin until its under control and defining the limit is subjective.
ADDICTION IS A STATE OF MIND, BE IT ALCOHOL, COFFEE, CARS, BIKES, WHATEVER

if the person cannot handle his addictions well then its spells disaster. THAT’S IT.

Finally the victims interviewed were all ADDICTS who at one point in their lives had nothing else better than to just Drink and Drink more, why was no one who drinks at a much more subtle level interviewed?
Why has there been no stats on regular drinkers and how it’s affected their lives shown in comparison with these Addicts?

I dont support Alcohol and I’m very well aware of its issues, but that said its extremely important to provide correct information to the viewers especially with such sensitive issues..

Hopefully people understand enough to trust this “Great social show” just a bit less..

 

To the tip of India and back

Returned from a wonderful trip to the TIP of INDIA ,a few weeks ago.
What a place , what a drive and what fun.. “Nothing like anything before”

So the D-Day was decided to be 21st and I was up at 4AM with a huge smile and began preparing to embark on the longest journey I had undertaken till date.
It was to be to Kanyakumari , Rameshwaram. Finished morning chores had a cup of coffee and then heard a few Bajaj Pulsars pulling into my drive way, hurray my company had arrived, all set to go.
My Abarth rolled out of the garage gingerly and tasted the first bit of road ready to munch in all 1600kms of it .
Bidding my parents good bye for the next 4 days we set out by 5:45AM.
Almost immediately we stopped a few roads ahead for a cup of coffee and some snacks for the trip and finally settled down for a 600 kms drive .

ROUTE INFO
Bangalore -> hosur -> Krishnagiri -> Salem -> karur -> Dindigul -> Madurai -> Paramagudi -> Rameshwaram.
Since we were well aware that we had a to pay toll at a lot of places we avoided taking the NICE road and the Electronic city elevated road to hosur.
At 6:30AM in the morning we had hardly anyone to bother us anyway so we didn’t find the need to pay extra toll.

Its pretty much NH-7 all the way ( Golden quadrilateral). So there is nothing to worry about in terms of traffic/ road sense .
The drive was pure bliss , nearing Krishnagiri one can see the achievements of man and Nature and simply gaze in awe at the marvel.
man with his wonderful construction skills and Nature with its beautiful mountains and clear sky.

Gearing up again we hit the road. NH-7 is one beautiful road and even with full load in my car I was easily able to manage 160kmph.
One can hold the car above 130kmph with ease and before we know it we had reached Madurai .
Stopping for Lunch at madhurai we had our tank full and left by 2PM , Next stop Rameshwaram.

About 20kms from Rameshwaram City we caught our first sight of white sand beaches and the great “Indian Ocean”. It was the first time that any of us had seen an ocean and it was very very evident by the fact that the waves were at least 10ft tall even just before it hits the beach. Now that’s an Ocean we thought.
We found a small entry point near “Mandamapm” and took it to directly get onto the beach and we rolled the windows down for a shock of our lifetime.

The moment the windows came down we were blasted by gale forced winds and my guess is it was at least 40kmph winds. Never had I experienced Nature at that force.
we were finding it hard to even open the doors and once opened if it was left unattended , Mother nature would slam it back such was the force . Anyway getting down and getting a taste of it we were excited to see what was coming next.
Since my black beauty took us safely till there , I paid a tribute to her by taking her directly onto the sand for a photo shoot.

When Italy met India’s tip.
Having spent a good 30mins enjoying there we moved ahead into the arms of another beauty.
The Pambam bridge ( a.k.a indira gandhi bridge)

the longest bridge in India constructed over a bay at a length of 2.2kms.

Evening was fast approaching and we needed a place to bunk but we were still full of energy so began sight seeing right away.
We went to the “Ramanatha Swamy Temple”.
Coming out of the temple it was already 8PM and now we were really tired.
Enroute we had inquired about places to stay and many suggested “Hotel TamilNadu”. It is a TN govt initiative so we were guaranteed to good service.
Since Rameshwaram itself is a small place its not hard to find hotels and places to visit sharing same colonies..
I was happy that the hotel had ample parking space and with a bit of broken tamil i requested the guys to let me park my car right opposite our room, They obliged and i was happy.

Day 2, (Friday 22nd)
Things on the agenda were Danushkodi , Gulf of mannar oceaneruim .
I woke up at 6AM, stepped out for some fresh air and saw that the birds and nicely decorated my car, so I started washing my car now. our neighbours who had already started to thing that I was nuts driving down from Karnataka were even more amused at the fact that I’m on a trip and instead of thinking of places to visit I’m here cleaning my car.
(I thought to myself, well this is what FIAT does, its not for everyone and everyone cannot understand what FIAT means) smiled and continued my work.

At the same time I encountered a tours guy who offered to take us to Danushkodi (an abandandoned island 15kms from Rameshwaram).
After negotiating the price we agreed (Little did I know that this was going to be the best decision of my life..)
I will just let the photos do the talking here.

 

 

 
Danushkodi was suppose to be the last Railway point and people wanting to reach Rameshwaram from here would have to get down and then take a bullock cart ride to reach Rameshwaram.
But in the 60s there was a cyclone which wiped out everything and till date there are 0 inhabitants , one can see the ruins of boats , railway line, water reservoirs all left as is…
This was the highlight of our trip.

 

We spent a good 4 hrs there and by the time we were out of this place it was nearing 2PM and we went back to the hotel for some well deserved lunch.
Deciding that we will take a look at the oceanerium (India’s only Oceanerium) we ate what we could and went in search of this place.
Before leaving Bangalore I had googled and found out that this place is somewhere near gulf of mannar but we just were not able to find this place.
None of us knew Tamil well enough to exactly put across what we wanted, so depressed we just left that place .
Next stop Kanyakumari

Route Info
Rameshwram to kolathur -> ECR . Roads are really good.
From ECR one takes a left reach the Chennai Highway . This is good for about 20 kms there after construction is going on and the roads are bad with single lane traffic.
Once this is crossed you reach NH-7 and again bliss prevails.

We reached kanyakumari by 10:30PM and started looking for a nice place to stay.
Having experienced hotel Tamil Nadu we were keen on choosing the same place but then we decided to find something else .
After searching the entire stretch we decided to stay at a hotel called “Sea face”.
Looking out of our balcony this is what we saw.

Need I say more??
 

 

 

 

Again I’ll just let the pics do the talking.


Finishing up the trip we finally sat down for a few beers and slept early hoping to get up by 9Am and leave by 10 at least..
Everyone was so tired that we woke up at 10:30 and decided to leave by 12:30PM.
But none were concerned because what lay ahead was NH-7 and pure speed would take us home early.

We left kanyakumari at 12:30 bracing ourselves for the work ahead from Monday and reached Blr by 10:30PM with stop over for lunch at Salem.
Everyone safe and sound , we happy said good bye and I locked up my room for a well deserved sleep.
This was a milestone for me and for my Black Beauty as it reached 30,000kms on the odo and no better place to cherish this moment than the NH-7

Until the Next trip
Cheers

Static IP on opensolaris / illumos

Until recently I had totally forgotten about this post but today I had to setup a static IP on my build machine (illumos) , that’s whey I realized that there were a lot of folks who had asked me about this information…
So for all of us ,here it goes..

Execute all these steps as root.

  1.  svcadm disable svc:/network/physical:nwam
  2. vim /etc/hostname.<you’re interface name> ;;  (create if the file does not exist). Here “hostname” is a literal string not the hostname of you’re machine and finally make sure the file reads like this in the first line..
    <Desired IP> netmask <you’re netmask> broadcast + up
    [Save and exit]
  3. vim /etc/defaultrouter ;; (Create if it does not exist) and add you’re router’s IP address in the first line of the file.
    [Save and exit]
  4. Take a look at /etc/hosts file and you should see a line like this…
    <Specified IP> <hostname of machine> <hostname of machine>.local localhost loghost
    [ If you don’t see this then you must add the above line to /etc/hosts file.
    TIP :: You will always have the loopback address (127.0.0.1) specified in that file, just copy paste that line and change the loopback address to you’re static IP ]
  5. svcadm enable svc:/network/physical:default

    Thats about it.. You can use the ifconfig cmd to setup a static IP on the fly like this..
    ifconfig <iface name> netmask <mask address> broadcast + up

    In case you don’t know you’re interface name then just execute “dladm show-phys and what you find under the “LINK” tab would be you’re interface name.
    Once set these changes are persistent .

    PS:: give it a try in Vbox or vmware and let me know if you find any issues in setting it up .. I would be glad to help.

 

Road trip to Udupi and around.

It all started over a round of beer 1 month ago while deciding to attend a friend’s marriage scheduled on 11th march. Now being the kind of guy who loves driving I started a parallel discussion of my own about leaving 2 days earlier and visiting the western ghats on the way to Udupi (which was going to be our last halt for the next 3 days).
So as planned 8th morning the clock struck 4AM, I was up with a smile (one one of the few times I get up at that hour and smile) , washed up ,new clothes on, a cup of hot self-made coffee and the engine was started.
Patted my beauty to help me get back home safe ,loaded the goods and pulled the car out of the garage.
Saying ‘Bye Bye’ to my parents I left to pick up my friends who stayed en-route.

First-stop 6kms away at my friend’s place.
Hoping that ,that guy would be ready I woke up early to reach his place , then I realize he is still bathing, Thankfully my other friends were done with their stuff at least 
Had another cup of coffee made by his mother and left Bangalore at 6:30AM

Route info
Bangalore-> Nayandahalli -> Tumkur rd -> Bellur Cross -> Sakalespura -> channarayapattana -> charmadi ghats-> Mangalore ->Udupi

Road conditions::
Bangalore-> Nayandahalli -> Tumkur rd -> Bellur cross
Excellent
Toll Roads and are fabulous to drive on. Go as fast as you can and dare to, No one to ask.
I managed 160kmph

Sakalespura(ghats) -> channarayapattana -> Charmadi Ghats->Mangalore->Udupi
Single lane but good roads
The ghat section is now a good stretch of asphalt but going fast is not advisable 60-70kmph at some points but mostly slow. Roads are good all through
After the Ghats end all the way till udupi its a single lane road one can touch 120kmph sometimes but on an avg its best to keep it below 100kmph
I averaged about 70-90kmph

(I’m sorry guys I dont remember the Highway numbers as its been some time)

Story begins
Soon after the tumkur toll we stopped for a cup of coffee again and fully charged we were planning about what can be seen on the way to Udupi.

We had breakfast for about 45mins as if it was no ones business and left by about 8:30 and next stop was suppose to be Udupi .
Once we encountered sakalespura ghats I was reborn thanks to my Fiat, the handling ,road grip …….. Nothing more to say.

Just chuck it in 3rd gear roll the windows down and enjoy the nature’s beauty and man’s achievements 

En-route we were passing via Manjarabad when it occurred to my friend that we can go visit the fort there built by Tippu Sultan (it was on outpost). So we reached that place got out and started to hike at about 12:30PM,

Its a small walk to reach the fort enclosure and we had nice fun talking about the colonial era.
We climbed up and then “what a beauty”….
We could see the entire western ghats from the top and even at 12:30PM there was no hint of heat and we thoroughly enjoyed the stay there.
None of us spoke to each other, just sit and enjoy for as long as time permits .
After a session of photos (which lasted 45mins) we finally made our way back down had coconut water and off again towards Udupi(or so we thought)

We reached Mangalore at 4:30PM and again it was bright ,windy and humid now this calls for a beach ,we all thought and as luck would have it we knew one that just fit the bill and fit very well indeed.
The beach is called, “TaneerBahvi” (translated means “Cold water well) this is right adjacent to “new mangalore port”.
Though its all over on the internet not many people bother visiting this place and hence we “HAD” to go there 

Its was a slight deviation from our actual route but then who cares we had no time limit anyway 
After reaching this place we were mesmerized by the calmness of that place , waves hit you every other moment from below while there is a silent smile that the cool breeze brings in you , all in all makes one forget about everything even oneself and just look at the sky,water and sun and think of nothing else in between.

After a peaceful time on the beach and some lunch later we hit the road again and reached Udupi at about 5:45PM.
Again enroute we stumbled upon another beach (in udupi outskirts) called “kapu Beach”, we were thinking we should come back in the morning to see the sunrise there and just then saw a hotel close by .
Without thinking twice we just moved in 
(Distance from hotel ->Beach ,== 2km)

This hotel was to be our resting place for the next 2 days to come .
All tired and sweaty we bunked in a room for 500Rs a night, ordered coffee and almost as soon as we came in ,we were out on the road to take a look at the Kapu beach.
This was a better beach in terms of population and lighthouse and the usual evening crowd.
The guys jumped into the water straight away while i was happy fiddling around with my camera and taking photos.
We stayed there till 8:30PM and decided to leave when one of us promptly said, “Dude how about dinner on the Beach”?
Dinner?, Beach,? at 10PM?? errr…….

But then who cares we said OK and came back to the hotel ordered food, parceled it and hit the beach and by about 10PM there was not even the slightest hint of anyone alive on that beach , just what we wanted 
Ate well sat hearing the roaring waves come ever more closer to the shores and onto us , Completely tired we left to finally wind up day 1.

Day 2::
As planned woke up , had energy boosters a.k.a coffee, and left to visit the “Sri Krishna Temple” in Udupi, Darshan over Bunked in for free lunch there at 12:30PM and on the road again, destination “St marys Island” (off the coast of Mangalore)
The drive through Mangalore city , then through the wharf was all but delightful except that we bangaloreans had to bear the heat everything was fine.
Payed up 200rs took a speed boat to the island 30mins on the ocean and we were on “St marys island”, its peculiar in a sense to see a beach nestled away from the mainland amidst deep ocean ,so it was a sight never seen for all of us and fully thrilled we jumped into the salty water and started playing water polo…
Hmm so what did we use for the Ball then???? A floating coconut 

The whistle started to blow signalling that we needed to hurry up as the boat was leaving, happy that we were wet in a humid and hot place we came out ,climbed up the boat and went back to the mainland.
Sat there for a while ,watched the sunset and left back to our room hoping to again have a beach dinner shortly (we were famished )

Reached our room by 9PM , bathed to get the sand from every small pore in our body and sat down for a while. One guy said “Do we need to go to the beach for dinner?”,
Another guy said “Do we need to go to the beach for dinner?”
Another guy dialed 9 called room service and ordered dinner 
I was asleep 
There ends our Day 2.

Day 3 was only a get up and go back to Bangalore and we had planned to leave by 10AM and reach by 4-5PM but the twist to this was that we woke up at 10AM,
Not in any mood to hurry we took our own time but decided to pass the ghat section before sunset at least as I dont like Night driving.
But everyone including me was so tired that we left udupi only at 3PM .
Nothing else to do we took our time and reached Mangalore by 4:30PM and stopped for lunch we come out and and realize that our beloved sun has started to rise for our western friends 
So the experience of driving in the ghats in the night had also come true.

We managed to safely clear the ghats and reach tumkur rd by 11PM (with ample stops in between) had dinner at a dhaba and safely reached home by 12:15AM

I can now cross ghats off my list and add it as the first trip of 2012.All in all it was a wonderful trip with great friends ,
Drive was lovely and so was my Fiat 

Cheers

Full set of photos can be found here on my flickr account http://www.flickr.com/photos/renegade_5105

Adventures of an Opensource enthusiast :-)

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