Headless Scepters and Goblins have become oh-so Scooby-Doo for kids these days.
Halloween get-ups have to evolve with time don't they if they still have to scare this generation. Don't they? So presenting, a new line of Politically Incorrect Halloween costumes.
Note: Guns and Booze cocktails sold separately.
Click on the image to enlarge it. Feel free to contact me for larger sizes.
What do you do when you don't like a gift? Apparently if you are an MP, and a self appointed upholder of Indian culture, you rudely return it. Very classy.
Read all about it: http://bit.ly/zp979
With a $1.8-billion alcoholic drinks market in India, which 'Indian' culture are we talking of anyway?
I was reading an article in the mainstream media that deliberated upon the voter turnout in the Maharashtra assembly elections. I don't like calling them newspapers because all they seem to contain are polarized and colored stories these days. More fiction, less fact and a lots of expensive advertisements, that is mainstream media for you.
Anyway, the article reported that the voter turnout in the 2009 general elections in Mumbai was a measly 41.24%. Similarly dismal sub-fifty for previous elections as well. Unhealthy for democracy, some would say, but that is not what I am driving at. This low figure got me thinking.
Consider this, the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development quotes the youth population of India to be 41.05%. Taking a ballpark estimate, the youth population of Mumbai must be along the same lines. The Rajiv Gandhi nomenclature also got me thinking, about why everything in India is named after the Gandhi family, but thats another thought for another day.
If every young person in the city simply came out to vote and exercised his Suffrage, against the backdrop of a very low voter turnout, the result of the elections would swing significantly in favor of the opinion of the youth of this city. Thanks to the low turnout, your vote actually holds a lot of weight.
So guys and girls, stop being lazy. Colleges are shut today. So are the malls and theaters. Get out of bed, pick up your driving license, PAN card, Passport, just about any government issued photo-ID. Walk into you designated polling station. Don't fret, the election commission staff are really friendly, and the queues aren't very long. Go in and choose wisely.
Its a painless process, and quite easy at that. By the way, they do not mark you with a horrid black mark on your fingers anymore. The marking ink is a cool royal violet.
Will you go vote today or do you believe its an exercise in futility?
As for me, been there done that:
If you need to look up your name in the electoral rolls, you can:
- Visit Chief Electoral Officer's website: http://bit.ly/3FELZm.
- SMS your Electoral Photo ID Card number (eg. LSH1427178) to: 09423993872/3/6/2.
- Walk into any polling booth and ask at the help-desk there.
A Solitary Cyclist makes his way across a melancholy beach as the sun prepares to depart below the horizon.
The scene some how reminded me strongly of the Sherlock Holmes story, a "The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist"
Click on the image to enlarge it.
Its Saturday morning, and I settle down in front of my desktop with my morning mug of Mocha, and open my Gmail inbox, expecting to find a subscription update from Youtube. Sure enough, its there, but with one minor distortion. It was in Hindi.
Why do these companies decide, that since I am from India, I would be overjoyed at the sight of the devanagari scrawl mutating my subscription update? Now don't get me wrong here. I love my nation, I even speak fluent Hindi, but reading devanagari gets a little difficult, more so on a computer screen.
English is as natural to urban India as it is to the British. Granted, we do not speak it with the same vocalics, we are still nearly native English speakers, at-least this generation is. Some of us even do a brilliant job of donning a fake American accent.
Our education is imparted in the queen's language. All work transacts in English. Well, except for in depraved government offices, where work transacts in bribes. Around us, from newspapers, advertising hoardings, movies, music, television; all the information we are bombarded with, is in English.
This facile adaptation of the language is not necessarily a bad thing. It allows us to be the prime destination for outsourcing. It allows us to settle in every corner of the planet. A testament to the power this dexterous adaptation is the fact that there is a Non Resident Indian, NRI for short, present 180 of the 183 countries in the world.
Now lets reason a bit here. Most computer systems sold in India, are sold with English versions of operating systems. Pirated versions at that, but I am not driving there. Therefore, most people with access to a computer in India, and who know how to use it must be adept in English. Then why on earth does the Google management expect me to jump in joy at being greeted with Hindi, I will never figure out.
Now lets get to the second aspect, regional divide. The number of people from Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Andhra Pradesh etc. pleased with this bit of enthusiastic localization from Google is a purely imaginary number. Even a cretain Mr. Raj wouldn't be too pleased either.
Something similar happened with Microsoft's MSDN a sometime ago. Tempers and angry emails flew and today the language sets to India-English by default. The question remains. Why do these companies simply refuse to understand, that today, we Indians are more English than fish 'n' chips?
So, will Google please keep me out of its campaign of fervent localization? I do not need to type my email in Hindi, and I most definitely don't need my Saturday morning and my subscription updates to be ruined searching desperately for the change language link.
And yeah, I do not even like Youtube India, its filled with perverted videos of scantly clad B-grade models. The first thing I do on Youtube is set my Geo-filter to 'World'.
Here is a screen-shot of the email:
While we are at it lets poke fun at Google's transliteration. Subscription become 'ग्राहकी' which, if my Hindi serves me correct, is more to do with customer than subscriber. If you are like me and are looking for a way to quickly change back to English, click on the very first link, the one that says 'सहायता केंद्र' and follow the English instructions.
In Hinduism, the Goddess Durga (the invincible) is the "one who can redeem in situations of utmost distress". She is the epitome of feminine power and radiance.
This photo was taken at the Lokhandwala Durgotsav. The decorations were out of the world and the idol of Maa Durga was simply stunning.
A regulated 5 volt DC supply is essential for powering micro-controller and TTL based circuits. The output of most wall-warts and adapters is to rippled and impure for use in digital circuits. Lets build an inexpensive power supply using some discrete components and a fixed voltage regulator IC.
You will need:
- a step down transformer [12V]
- four silicon diodes [1N4007]
- a resistor [47Ω]
- capacitors [2 x 220µF, 10µF and 100µF]
- three terminal voltage regulator IC [LM7805]
- a small general propose PCB, some wires, and a suitable output port (I use a
- audio connector).
The circuit consists of three main blocks, the rectifier, filter and regulator. The rectifier is used to transform the mains AC voltage to a suitable DC voltage. The output of the rectifier is however an impure DC signal so we use a filter to clean the signal and finally a regulator to deliver precisely 5 volts, irrespective of the load connected to the output.
It consists of a transformer and a diode bridge. The diodes are standard silicon 1N4007 diodes. We have chosen a 12V transformer because the regulator IC needs at-least 7.5V of input voltage to function properly.
We use a pi-filter here. The two 220µF capacitors and resistor form the filter. Pi-filters are great for light load applications like digital circuits. Be sure to check the polarity of the capacitors before connecting them. The resistor shown above is one rated to dissipate up-to 5W of power across it. You may use smaller 3W resistors, but availability may be an issue. Don't use the tiny 0.25 W or 0.5W ones though.
The voltage is regulated by three terminal voltage regulator IC – LM7805. This regulator provides stable 5V DC output against large fluctuations in input voltage and load. It also has internal protection circuits which 'brownout' the device when overloaded. To decide the pin-outs, hold the regulator with its face towards you and legs pointing upward, the pin to the right is the input, middle pin is ground and left most pin is output.
- The transformer can be made to snugly fit onto the PCB by bending the screw mounts under and around the board as shown in the picture below.
- A 6.3mm or 3.5mm female mono TRS connector (tip, ring, sleeve), also known as an 'audio jack' serves as a great output port. The power can then be delivered via standard audio cables.
- Since the power resistors is quite large, solder it vertically to save space on the board.
- Mount the entire board on thermocol when finished to prevent accidental short circuits.
The finished circuit fits neatly into a 2” by 1.5” PCB, excluding the output jack and plug. You can also include a small switch at the out-put for easy operation. The IC can be heatsink-ed on multiple layers of aluminum foil to dissipate the heat, or if you are enclosing this in a metal box, pin the IC to the sides of the box. This is not entirely necessary though.
Questions and suggestions are welcome, please use the comment form below.
Update: You can grab the Eagle CAD project files, including PCB layout here: http://www.mediafire.com/?mqjiwcneyy4
Note: If you have any question, please feel free to contact me.