Happy Onam

Here is wishing everybody a fresh, fragrant and fun-filled Onam.

Note : The first one is a special Onam Poo Kolam is by our tenant who is a keralite !! ;-). The other one is at the ABT office in RS Puram.

Fixing your Sony DRU-710A DVD writer

The Sony DRU-710A DVD writer is one of the most crappiest and cranky DVD writers around. I had bought it becuse it was the fastest DVD writer at that time in the market.

But off late I have noticed that the writer doesn't write on some of the blank DVD-R medium. It stops with an error message "Illegal Disc". Now that is a totally odd statement considering that the disc is blank. lol

So in this post I will explain how I fixed my DVD writer. First lets understand the error message. Actually any DVD writer has information about manufacturers of the DVD medium and accordingly has some settings which adjust the laser head and other such parameters. When the DVD writer cannot identify the manufacturer from the DVD it gives the "illegal disc" message and does not write any data.

Caution : This is a dangerous procedure. Since the firmwares are actually not certified by SONY. It is purely an adrenaline rush exercise. Proceed further at your own risk.

To fix this we need to upgrade the firmware of the DVD writer so that the new firmware has the settings for the DVD-R, which in this case was a Moserbaer DVD-R disc.

The Sony DRU-710A DVD writer is actually a LITE-ON DVD that has been wrapped in a SONY casing. So inspite of SONY not providing a proper firmware for this issue, we can install a appropriate compatible firmware for LITE-ON DVD writers. This is known as crossflashing.

The website http://codeguys.rpc1.org/firmwares.html gives lot of info about cross flashing. Also it has the necessary resources (firmwares and tools for flashing firware) for the task.

So the steps that I followed were,
1. Picked up the latest CSOT stock firmware .
2. Picked up a patch for the CSOT firmware.
3. Download Omnipatcher tool.
4. Now run the Omnipatcher tool. Load the stock CSOT firmware.
5. Now Load the patch firmware on top of the loaded stock firmware.
6. Now save this new patched firmware. This should give you an exe.
7. Now run the exe file. Be patient. It will appear to freeze after programming reaches 100%.
8. Then it will ask for a reboot. Reboot the PC.
9. Once the reboot is done then the firmware upgrade is complete.

Note: It is possible to cross flash it again with SONY firmware that is available at the same page.

But it worked for me. Now I am able to write all my Moserbaer DVDs at a faster 12x rate as well. Although the 12x seems to give a Data verification error sometimes. 8x is pretty reliable. I hve flashed almost 10 to 12 DVDs after the cross flashing. Haven't found any problem with 8x write till now.

Changes in Bangalore Railway Station

I had been to the Bangalore railway station after a long time to receive my parents who were coming to the city for the first time.

Since I was visiting after a long time, I noticed quite some changes in the railway station. The main area near the entrance where used to be a deluge of passengers earlier has now been cleaned up. Now the place has been revamped with seats.

Also new ways of buying plaform tickets have been introduced. Infact I tried out buying platform ticket through SMS. With an Airtel connection, all you need to do is send a SMS "PFT" to 64629. The system sends you back an SMS with a code. Just enter this code on the machine kept in the main area( near the reservation counter ) and voila! you get a printout of the platform ticket. Hats off to the authorities for these changes, particularly the seats for the passengers.

But no matter whatever changes the notorious "Indian Standard Time" of the railways doesn't change. The Kochuveli express that was scheduled to arrive at 7:00 am finally after many a struggle arrived at 8:30 am ;-).


There was an event @ my office yesterday. There was also a caricature artist and here is the result.

So does it resemble me ? What do you feel ?

a providential escape

For the past few months I had been busily looking out to buy a land in Coimbatore for my NRI brother ;-).

I had decided on particular site and was in talks with the broker, George Aldrien of Quality Houses(aka www.kovairealestate.com). Let me warn you that, although this guy behaves like real gentleman, do not ever go by his words. He almost managed to dupe us in a big way.

Even the lawyer I consulted, advocate Mr.Venkatesan(office at Arogyaswamy road, Coimbatore) had given a clean chit to the site. Just 2 days before the sale, we had a misunderstanding with the broker about the amount to be declared in the sale deed (which should be based on the government guideline value).

So my dad had gone to the sub-registrar office to ascertain the guideline value. Luckily for us, that proved to be our savior. We found out from the sub-registrar office that the land is under litigation and has in-fact been attached by the court. I called off the deal immediately.

If I had bought the land, I would be in a major soup now.
Phew, that was a real close shave and we were saved by God's grace.

Probably one good thing that I can take from this incident is that now I know what are the things to be verified when buying a land and also where I can get proper information.
So be careful when you buy a land. There are one too many people eager to dupe you. ;-)

Particularly, if you are buying from George Aldrien of Quality Houses(aka www.kovailrealestate.com) be really careful. If you are consulting advocate Mr.Venkatesan(office at Arogyaswamy road, Coimbatore) for legal verification, let me tell you that you would be better off looking out for a better lawyer.

Happy Vishu

After a long time I was at home for Vishu. Vishu is the celebration ushering in the start of a new year ( based on the lunar year) for the malayalees. So here is wishing you all a very happy vishu.

KPN dupes again

This has almost become a daily happening to passengers on KPN Travels. Although KPN's motto says Keep People's Needs, that is probably which they would never do even in their dreams.

I had booked tickets for yesterday's travel on an A/c volvo bus from Bangalore to Coimbatore ( 11:30 pm ). The troubles started off from Bommanahalli, Bangalore itself. The bus which was scheduled to leave at 11:30 pm, started off sedately at 12:10 am.

At around 2:00 am the driver and the cleaner jolted the passengers off their deep slumber announcing that the vehicle has broken down. As a result everybody was asked to get onto another bus which was a Non-A/c semi-sleeper bus. The Volvo A/c bus is a 34 seater and the semi-sleeper is a 30 seater. Now that left 4 people in the lurch of which I was a victim. On being questioned, the driver gave me the cleaner's seat with a nonchalance. With no other option at 2:00 am in the night, I had to bear the pain. But the driver said that we would be reimbursed for the inconvenience once we reach coimbatore.

Throughout the travel I was juggling between the seat and the bus floor unable to sleep. And by the time the bus slowly reached Coimbatore at 9:00 am in the morning, I was bleary eyed, totally tired and frustrated.

All the passengers got down at the KPN office in coimbatore and demanded a compensation. The staff displayed a callous attitude. And finally after 20 minutes of haggling and fight, the staff promised areimbursement of Rs.100/- which was the difference between the cost of Volvo A/c bus and Non-A/c semi sleeper.

But the staff as well as the GM failed to understand the point of contention. We were not fighting the excess money. Rather our point was the inconvenience and pain caused by the indifferent attitude. Hence we demanded a full refund as a penalty and compensation for the grievance.

Even though we took up the matter with the B3 police station, we failed to reach any conclusion. The KPN manager was adamant that only Rs.100/- (the difference in the ticket amount) can be reimbursed.

So finally we decided not to accept the refund and promised the KPN manager that we will approach the consumer court. Now I am looking into ways of approaching the consumer court regarding this issue. Will keep this post updated about the proceedings in this matter.

It is high time that we consumers woke up and teach these guys a few things about consumer oriented services. The consumer experience will improve only if service providers understand that consumers will no longer suffer silently. This begs the consumer to stand up united against such perpetrators of atrocity.

Based on my experiences with consumer court, I will also post about how to get your problems redressed from this forum.

Arise, Awake and Stop not till the goal is reached !

Map of my home using wikimapia

I just marked my home @ coimbatore using wikimapia. Just scroll down and checkout my location on google maps.

WOW ! I love Web 2.0 !

If you wanna try out some similar mashup just visit how to add google map to any web page.

Initially I tried using Google Maps API. But somehow it didn't work for me. Yet to figure it out. But hey wikimapia is so much more simple for this purpose.

buggy ticket kiosk @ PVR

Last week I had booked tickets for a show in PVR(Forum Mall) using the kiosk available near the ticket counters. I generally prefer to use the kiosks since it is less crowded and easy to use.

But I was in for a shock when the machine churned out only 1 ticket even though I had chosen and paid for 5 tickets. For a second I was even confused whether I had entered the right numbers. Luckily I didn't book 4 more tickets.

But then I should say that the support staff were helpful. They were quick enough to identify the issue and made amends for the machine's mistake. However, if I had booked those extra 4 tickets I doubt that I would have got any money back from PVR.

So the next time you book tickets through the kiosk you better be careful !

Manager wisdom

The joke below was a mail fwd.. ;-) So I am not the author...


A team of young budding Managers were given an assignment to measure the height of a flagpole.
So the Managers discussed and put up a project plan with roles and responsibilities. The
Manager who was responsible for organizing the resources went out and got a ladder and a tape.

The tape measure was just the ordinary tape of 6 feet.

The lead manager assigned another manager to go on top of the pole and start the measure. They
were falling off the ladders, dropping the tape measures - the whole thing was just a mess.

An Engineer came along and saw what they' were trying to do. He walked over pulled the
flagpole out of the ground, laid it flat, measured it from end to end, gave the measurement to
one of the managers and walked away.

After the Engineer went away, one manager turns head to another and laughs.

"Isn't that just like an engineer? We're looking for height and he gives the length"

Moral: No matter how good engineer you are, Manager always finds fault in you.

If looks could kill

Hmmm..... yeah I know what you are thinking... Those famous lines "If looks could kill".

But those lines really made me think, is there any one whom everybody agrees as being "good looking".. hmmm... let me think ... hmmmmm.... none. :) Suprising isn't it ?

Thatz the point. Every person has a perception about looks and beauty. Probably what looks beautiful to me may not appeal to you.

When I think of beauty my mind conjures up dark skies, lush green fields, hokkenekal falls, the statue of the court dancer in Belur, the Nandi of Brihadeshwara temple, my mom, dad, bro, sis-in-law, frenz, srihan, prince of persia, Age of Empires... and I can keep going on and on...

But as it is said beauty will forever lie in the eyes of the beholder. Every person makes his own choice of what is beauty.

நல்லா எடுக்கறாங்கயா போட்டோ

கடைசியா ஒரு வழியா நம்மலால ஒன்னும் காதலிச்சு கிழிக்க முடியதுன்னு வீட்டுல புரிஞ்சுகிட்டாங்க.. ஆனா அது வேரு ஒரு நால் deal பன்ன வேண்டிய topic.. So இப்போ matterக்கு வருவோம்.

செரி கண்ணா பொண்ணு பாக்கலாம் ஒரு ந்ல்ல போட்டோவா குடுன்னாங்க. பு இவ்ளோதானா matterன்னு இதுக்காக எடுத்து வெச்சிருந்த நம்ம archives எல்லாம் அலசி போட்டோக்கள பாத்தா ஒன்னுல கூட நாம இல்ல. எல்லாம் பூ, செடி, கொடி, கோவில் கோபுரம்ன்னு எடுத்து வெச்சிருக்கோம்.

okay.. No டென்சன் ரிலாக்ஸ்...
இருக்கவே இருக்கு நம்ம ஆபத்பாண்டவன் IAB ( இப்போ பேரு portrait gallery ). அங்க போனா நம்ம தல(photographer) இப்டி திரும்புங்க அப்டி திரும்புங்க மேலே பார் கீழே பார்ன்னு நொங்கெடுத்துட்டாரு....

கடைசியில நம்ம நெனச்சது ஒன்னு நடந்தது ஒன்னு... ஹிரோ மாதிரி வரும்னு பாத்தா நம்ம எதோ யாரு மேலயோ காண்டா இருக்கற மாதிரி போட்டோ வந்திக்கு.

So friends rather take photos when you r not looking at the camera... ;-)

Indian Cricket Team

The demi-gods have finally crashed,

And the hopes of a nation dashed,

100 crore souls scream for blood,

For it has happened what we dread,

When all that was required was 255 runs,

They sqandered playing like dunce,

“Kill them, burn them” is what you hear now,

But there is something that you all know,

Three months hence, two series later,

All this past is a forgotten disaster,

The gods will be hoisted again,

And the pedestal will they regain,

But that is the lane of cricket,

And the way it sways hearts is intricate,

But unless things are changed,

About the way cricket is managed,

The demi-gods will fall again and again,

Fall again and again.

The pace of development

Have seen it in bangalore and I am seeing it now in coimbatore.
The local panchayat authorities @ vadavalli coimbatore have finally decided to provide a ope sewage in periyar nagar area.

Although the development itself is to be welcomed, what is irritating is the lethargy shown in the implementation.

For the past 1.5 months they have just dug up around 2 by lanes and I haven't really seen anybody working on it now. I guess by this time developed countries would have build a whole super highway. ;-)