Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Absinthe Table Lamp

A table lamp made from an Absinthe bottle.

Base is created from rings of different sizes available from scrapyard, arranged in a shape and stacked one on top the other, then welded with an oxy-acetylene flame.

Glass base is 10mm clear glass, made slightly larger than the border of the lower three rings.

Each bottom ring also has a glass through which a LED is lit up to add focus to the base.Electronics and wiring hid neatly inside one of the bottom rings

Absinthe bottle cut from the bottom using a glass scorer and the hot-cold stress method, then sanded to remove sharp edge.

Custom lettering and design done using vinyl and glass frosting solution.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nexus One with a broken power button[Solved]

I have a Nexus One with a broken power button! No matter what you do, the phone will not turn on..So I had the following options

1) Return the same to HTC is the phone is under warranty and you are in the United States.

2) Get it repaired from a HTC service center in your country.

3) Use a different button on the phone to perform the same set of operations as the power button.

For me 1) was out of question, 2) was way expensive (Rs 4000/ 80 USD for a phone which is not worth that price).

3) was the most easiest and the most non intrusive of all three options and involved the following steps.I utilised the volume buttons and the the scroll wheel to wake the phone and other options which were served by the power button.

Common Instructions

If you need to restart the phone, its impossible to do so, since the power button is broken.In such a scenario, follow this

a)Connect the phone to a charger/USB.
b)Remove the battery from the phone once you see the charging light on the phone
c)Insert the battery and keep it there until you see the charging light again.
Continue doing steps b) and c) until the phone boots (Phone normally boots in 4 attempts).

It is required that the phone be fully charged in order to complete the steps correctly.A phone shutting off in between an upgrade/flashing due to low battery is sure to brick
Thanks Angelo for this quick tip!!

Warning- The steps mentioned below will void your warranty and possibly lead to a bricked phone is not followed correctly.You have been warned!

1)Downgrade the phone to Android 2.2 from 2.3.4 or 2.3.6

This step is required as Google has plugged the exploit in the 2.3.X versions which allow rooting the phone.

Its is the best idea to upgrade your contact information, SMS, MMS, Images, Videos and anything you deem important to either Google by syncing or to a local disk on a computer.The data is irrecoverable right after now!

Download the 2.2 Shipped ROM from the link.

The name of the zip archive is

Make sure the size of the file is roughly 84 MB.A lower value suggests the file is corrupted and has the highest chance of bricking your phone.

Once downloaded, extract the zip inside the zip file, and rename the file as (please note the case, only the filename will work)

Copy this file to the root of the phone SDCard.

Turn your phone off, by removing the battery.

Keep the Volume(-) button pressed, try to power up the phone following the common instructions mentioned above.

Once the phone boots, release the volume button and wait for the HBOOT to recognise the file.

It will ask for permissions to upgrade, select yes using the appropriate volume buttons.

The phone will boot automatically once the upgrade is done.

Steps available here.

Once you have downgraded the phone, make sure you create your Google account setup on the phone as some steps will require downloading apps from the Android Market.

2)Rooting the phone

Download SuperOneClick on your desktop, extract the zip archive, and run the application.Connect your phone to the computer and hit the "Root" button.You need to put your phone in USB debugging mode from Settings >Applications > Development > Enable USB Debugging. You will also need the Android SDK installed to complete this step.

SuperOneClick is pretty straightforward, and you will have root permission with ease.

Reboot your phone.

3)Install ROM Manager

Download the latest stable build of CyanogenMod for Nexus one from here.

Rename this downloaded file as and copy it to the SD card.

Search for ROM Manager on the Android Market, and install it.The free version will suffice for this entire task.

When you will run ROM Manager, a prompt will ask if you would like to assign SuperUser permissions to ROM Manager.Select yes.

When ROM Manager loads, select the option that says "Flash ClockWorkMod Recovery"
This will flash the Recovery tool on your phone.

After the recovery is installed, select the option "Install ROM from SD Card".Select the file, and for the options to be selected, Backup Existing ROM,Wipe Data and Cache, Wipe Dalvik Cache, all need to be selected.

Once the Cyanogenmod is installing, do not interrupt the process and let it happen.It takes a good 10-15 minutes for everything to complete.

You need to install the google apps package, because CM7 does not come bundled with these.Download the gapps file , rename as, and copy to root of SD card. Open ROM Manager and repeat steps above, select the and then let ROM manager do its awesome job!

This was the final step!

Congrats! you have completed rooting and modifying your Android phone with a custom ROM.

Once the phone has booted completely, make sure you go to Settings > CyanogenMod Settings > Input >Trackball Wake[selected]

Install Quick Boot from the Android Market, and create a shortcut on your phone to reboot.

Install the battery calibration app from the Android Market and re-calibrate the battery with the app instructions.

If by chance you phone hangs, you need to restart, it is necessary to have a charger or a USB cable to jump start the phone.Follow the same guidelines as described above to start the phone.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

MTDC Ganpatipule Review

I stayed with my family at the Ganpatipule Resort over the 15 August 2011 weekend.
Honestly, I would have not written a review as such, but there were some compelling reasons for me to do so.Firstly, there is very little information about the resort location, closeness to beach, which room to choose, how is the view and amongst other things a general idea of the stay there.I did a lot of research online and was able to decide then.

I went during the rainy season, which is the non-peak season of the year.Prices are lower at this time of the year, June-Sept.I did a reservation at this resort in April, almost 4 months ago, and could not get a room of my choice, so it is obviously a better idea to book earlier than this.Do not even think about going there and booking a room, with the idea of a room being available.Locals will charge you exorbitant prices, and its really not worth it. For Rs.5600, I conveniently booked a "Deluxe AC" (1300/night) and "Sea View Deluxe Room A/C"(1500/night). These two types of rooms have very little difference in the view of the sea.Reservations happen only through Nivalink.

I started on Saturday (13 August 2011) via Jan Shatabdi Express at 5:20 AM from Dadar, and reached Ratnagiri at 11:30 AM on same day.This train has Chair cars only and there is no sleeper compartments.There is a single AC coach of 103 capacity.Its highly recommended that you book in the AC chair car, as most of the local public without reservations will get in the reservation compartment.

From Ratnagiri, we took a rickshaw for Rs.450 to reach Ganpatipule, and took us about 1 hour to reach there.The views are mind blowing on the way, and do get down to click a few snaps.

The staff at the resort is friendly and helping.We checked into our rooms and here is the first look review of the rooms

Deluxe AC
- Sea view is not partial as the Nivalink folks had suggested.There is more than adequate view of the sea from these rooms.
- The room was a little less than perfect in terms of the general look.The paint was scraping and there was definite stale smell of the sea.
- Washrooms and Bathroom was very clean and looked after.
- The AC was non-functional, Phone was not working. I could not reach out to the Reception to complain about the faulty AC, the first day.
- Road leading to these rooms was frayed, and it was a trouble walking bare foot when we came back without footwear from the beach.

Sea View Deluxe Room A/C
- Sea view is little more, since it is about 40 feet ahead of the Deluxe AC room.There is a small pavement for walking around these rooms.
- These rooms have almost everything common with the Deluxe AC room.The room is of the same size and the layout is also the same.

If you cannot get a reservation to the the Sea View Rooms, then the Deluxe room will provide you the same view of the sea at a lower cost.You definitely need an AC room as the weather can be hot and humid.

On the same day, we had out lunch at a "Pure Veg" Restaurant named Bhau Joshi.If you cannot stand a mixed kitchen then this restaurant is the best value for money.A sleep inducing lunch will come to about Rs.100/person.

After visiting the Lambodar Temple for which the place is named Ganpatipule, we headed for Jaigadh Fort.If you can avoid this dilapadated fort, you should.Instead you can visit the Lighthouse which is near this fort and have a breathtaking view of the sea from the highest point in Ganpatipule.The lighthouse closes at 5:30PM sharp, so you need to be here before that.This trip cost us Rs.500 in a Rickshaw and the fort is about 25 kms from the MTDC resort.

On our return journey, we had a look at the Blue Ocean resort which has a part of the beach cordoned off for them.The starting price in this resort is Rs.10500/Night.

For Dinner, we packed food from the small restaurant just next to the Lambodar temple and had it in our room.If you plan to do this, then you need to have sufficient number of plates, spoons and other vessels.Drink only bottled water from reputed brands.

Day 2 (14 August 2011)

We had two options, staying at the hotel and have fun at the beach or visiting Marleshwar(80 kms) which has an ancient Shiva Temple and a huge waterfall .We stayed at the beach because the day was very clear and the tide was at its highest peak.

The water is not the best in terms of cleanliness.Wear adequate protection (sunscreen, shower cap) if you intend to go in the water.Keep adequate drinking water and the sea can be rough, so do not venture out deep.The part of the beach just outside the resort will be almost private so that is a sure advantage of staying at the resort.If you are allergic to anything related to the skin, wear additional protection to avoid an allergy.A sun tan is sure to happen.

We spent about 6 hours having a lot of fun at the beach and returned back by 1 PM to our rooms.I moved my belongings from the Deluxe AC room to the "Deluxe Room A/C (Super)" because of the non-functional AC.This room has the best view of the sea because it was higher than all rooms in the resort and the room is relatively large.The manager kindly agreed and got us shifted.Strongly suggest to book this room if available.

Most restaurants stop serving food after 2:30 PM, so make sure you have food by this time.We had a quick nap after our lunch.We spent most of out time at the beach in the evening, and played some card games at night, after dinner.

Day 3 (15 August 2011)
The MTDC being a government organization, there was the tricolor unfurled in the morning on Account of the Independence Day.We had heavy breakfast and starting packing as we had to checkout by 9 AM.The MTDC folks were okay to extend the time to 10:30 AM.The kids we had with us were so happy with playing at the beach that we decided to go back again to the beach.We packed all out stuff and kept it at the reception.The reception has 2-3 small cabins where you belongings can be safe, and there are open showers along the way from the beach to the resort where you can clean yourself.You can change your clothes in the washrooms/driver rooms near the reception.
The MTDC staff booked a minivan from us from our trip back to Ratnagiri station for the train Jan Shatabdi Express back to Mumbai.We reached Mumbai at 11 PM at night.

Some Tips for a pleasant stay at Ganpatipule
- It is highly recommended to stay at the MTDC resort, because it has a prime view of the sea.No other reseort in its class has that kind of view for the rate MTDC offers.
- Unlike other government servants, the staff at Ganpatipule was forthcoming and friendly,accomdating.
- Wear sunscreen
- The rickshaw drivers have a habit of enforcing decision on other rickshaw drivers if you haggle a lot with them.We wasted about 1 hour because one of the rickshaw driver we haggled with, made others deny us ferrying to Jaigadh fort.We walked about 2 kms to the rickshaw stand and then found a rickshaw.It is higly recommended that you book a minivan or a car for your entire trip to save time.Better still, it will work out to be the same in terms of time and money to travel from Mumbai by road.
- Its best to avoid direct confrontation with the local public who will escalate issue unnecessary and give it a communal twist.
- Expect drunk folks on the beach and in most public places.
- Wear proper clothing as the place has a religious sentiment attached to it.
- Prices in the MTDC restaurant are almost double the prices outside the restaurant.A little walk to the two restaurants behind the Lambodar temple will save you some serious money.Do not venture out after 8 PM if you are alone.

Pros for the MTDC resort
- Location
- Friendly services
- Clean bathrooms and toilets.
- Prompt service

- Little wear and tear, rooms leak water in moderate to heavy rain.
- Be sure to check all AC and other equipment before you check in.
- Restaurant is expensive as compared to all other restaurants.
- Roads leading to rooms are not paved well and can create pain in the foot if walking bare foot.
- At night, there is not enough ambient lighting outside along the roads that lead to the main gate.Be sure to carry a bright torch.
- Water Heaters in the rooms could have been better.
- Toilets need health faucets.

What to eat
- Misal Pav
- Usal Pav
- Puri Bhaji
- Shrikhand and Mango pulp at Bhau Joshi Restaurant.
- Poha and Idli at Swati Restaurant.These two were so good that we repeated them for breakfast the next day as well.
- Tea from the MTDC Restaurant.

Generally, the Maharastrian food is highly recommended.

For readers to make a decision on which rooms to book, here is an location map of the rooms in the resort.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bye Bye TCS!!!!

I left my job in TCS on 24 June 2011. My biggest reasons of leaving the company are my stagnating career and my manager.

I have a lot of respect for the Tata group.They are a set of noble people with rock solid principles.In the times of all the corruption and all the ill-doings of the people around, this, I say is the mark of great people.But here is why I dont think it worked for me at TCS:

1) Career growth

I have been working in Classic ASP for the last 4 years 9 months.This isnt even close to being recent in terms of technology.My guess is that the project I am working on was the only one in this world which still has not moved out of this technology.

2) My Manager

It just doesn't get to him that its just not me, but my entire project hates him.Ideas are rebutted, sometimes rudely.He has a pretty narrow vision in terms of technology and only understands Microsoft stuff.Everything else has shortcomings, he has a list for it.The biggest reason he is such a eye sore is that he cannot stand to what he says.If you say to him that you said something like this, then "you are quoting him in the wrong context". Mr. Manager,I show you the first three fingers of my hand and ask you to read between the lines.

3) Bureaucracy

I resigned and also in parallel was looking for projects in Android in the company.One of the projects did offer me a role of a team leader which I happily accepted.All the folks who had the power to make a decision, took the decision that it is probably good to throw me out of the company than to offer me a new role or a project.Good for you guys, since you can very well afford a resource from outside the company who can work at a higher salary.Makes complete business sense!!!

4) Outdated IT systems and processes

These are systems built by engineers.There is no concern over usability, since all the people who will be using these systems will have to use them some how or the other or get a lower appraisal rating if they mess up.

I have time and again asked one simple question: " I use Facebook everyday, no one came and told me how to use it, why do I need to attend a training to learn how to create a simple Change Request process? "

People are expected to attend and work in office even after a training for 9 hours which happens at the other side of town! People choose to not attend those trainings.Anyways, trainings are most of the time just some presentations picked up from Google, and being presented because the person needs to fill the appraisal sheet that a certain number of trainings has been conducted.

People trained in C++ during Initial Learning Program are allocated to projects in ASP???? My gut feeling is allocations are decided on dice.

It is not that there isn't enough hue and cry in the organization on these issues.I just still don't see any positive story which negates what I just said.

Stock market prices and sheer employee strength, are they really indicators to a good company?Read a company's Vision, Mission and Values- If there is more customer that employee, its a sure sign of company which needs to be kept away from.Sure, money does matter, but not to me.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rock Climbing in Goregoan

Had a fun and exhausting wall climbing session on an artificial wall in Nandadeep High School, Goregaon.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

HowTo- Attach a propellor on a TURNIGY 2204-14T 19g Outrunner

In my initial rounds of testing the setup for the RC electronics, I came across a real problem, how to securely attach the prop to the Outrunner motor.I looked around a lot of groups and websites, and after looking at a lot of pictures, have been able to attach the prop.

1) Remove one of the small concentric pieces that came with the prop, one that fits securely over the motor.

2) Push the piece you selected in step 1, into the prop.See image of original prop and one with the piece inserted.The one with the piece inserted has a smaller hole.In the image, the prop on the top has the piece inserted.

3) Place the prop on the motor, and use rubber bands.Tie the rubber band from one screw to the other , and the prop in between. Tie one on each side of the prop.

Happy flying!


After some minutes of flying, the propeller just got flung around as the rubber bands snapped.Its a more firm hold with a cable tie.