Blue Screen Of Duds

Where the alter ego of codelust plays

Archive for December 2006

Smoke in the Lounge!

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Even though Delhi has another couple of hundred miles to go before it can even start to have the desired quality of service in the hospitality industry, as compared to Bombay, one thing that has shown definite improvement in the recent past is the quality of the new joints that have come up. Over the weekend I managed to pop by two of the newer introductions to the city, Visge Lounge at South Ex II and Smoke Grill at GK II.

Both were done up pretty well, a refreshing change from the tacky interiors we’ve so gotten used to here and Smoke Grill was particularly impressive on that count, though, at the ground level it could have really done with dimmer lighting on the side panels and seating sans any backrest can get to be a bit of a problem for us lazy, unfit slobs. Visge had the typical lounge decor, though it was a bit low on space and seating capacity. They’d have trouble hosting anything more than 60 people at the same time.

One very irritating thing we saw Visge was the practice of having a cover charge that was not redeemable. Moreover, once we got in, we were asked to get coupons before we could order anything. On a first night in a very competitive locality, one thing you don’t want to do is to piss your first customers off with such idiocy. After a bit of huffing and puffing, the food happily was served at the table, making us wonder why it was so impossible in the first place.

The better part about Visge was the music, a lovely set played by DJ Batuta, bereft of any commercial house (he refused to play even White Horse!) and the crowd too was pretty good. And for the first time in Delhi I saw someone spinning with Traktor3 and Final Scratch. Not bad at all. Between three of us, we ended up running a bill of Rs 1600 that did not include the cover charges that would have added another Rs 900 to it. The joint is pretty promising for all house/techno heads and I hope it does not meet the same sad fate that has befallen all other places that used to play techno/house before.

The music at the Smoke Grill was typical lounge fare, with the DJ even playing out a mix cd at times than even bothering to mix the tracks. Since I’d dropped by quite late, I did not eat or drink much, but a 30ML shot of Teacher’s cost me around Rs 250 and the total bill per person came to over Rs 1000, with a gut wrenching 50% of it coming in as various taxes/charges. Still, if you can afford that kind of money to be spent in an evening, the place is worth every bit, the ambience is lovely and there is oodles of space everywhere.

To conclude, it is kind of nutty to see the bad habit of using Microsoft Word printouts as menus in new joints persist almost as a rule. I had seen it long ago when It’s Greek To Me opened and the same was see in both the Smoke Grill and the Visge.

Update: Been too lazy to edit this post, but the first joint is called The Smoke House Grill and not Smoke Grill.

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Written by shyam

December 26, 2006 at 11:11 am

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Meh News?

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NDTV has a nifty feature by which users can vote, via SMS, on stories they’ve seen through the day. The top 10 (?) stories with the maximum number of votes are then featured in a bulletin. The concept is quite interesting and it also encourages a safe kind of participation from the user, but it has one major flaw: why would anyone want to watch a story they’ve already watched once before?

It is a sort of a mini Digg model for television, but the problem with replicating that model in a restrictive environment like television is that you have only a limited subset of content to work with. There is no entry point for content from outside of the network to seep into it. Honestly, I think it would have been a better idea to have given the viewers a set of five choices. They could make the anchor wink at a certain point in time, do a jig at the close of the bulletin or even sing a song. That should have been really amusing.

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Written by shyam

December 26, 2006 at 10:42 am

Posted in Media

GV Delhi 2006: Best blog meet by far

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Surprisingly, I quite enjoyed the little bit that I could attend of the Global Voices Delhi Summit. Unfortunately, the dates of the meet and the channel’s first year anniversary clashed, making it quite impossible for me to be at both Noida for a brainstorming session and the meat of the meet at the IHC. But I quite liked the little that I got to see and hear, even when politics and ideology is something that no longer interests me: a bunch of people putting a serious bit of effort into something that means a bit to a lot of people around the world.

And in even better news, I finally got to meet Jace, though most of our conversations involved various attempts to keep the poor man, who was seriously sleep deprived (it could also be that we were horrible bores) awake at the All American Diner. Other people I ran into included my good friend and the Vatsayana of content – Nikhil, Sanjukta Basu, Sakshi Juneja, Twilight Fairy and Shivam, who kept running away from us like we were the plague or something.

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Written by shyam

December 19, 2006 at 9:07 am

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Ignite me code

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After a very long time I felt the urge to code again today and decided to port our internal podcast manager I had written a long time ago using one of those fancy MVC frameworks.

The good news is that after half a day’s wrangling, I have the default list view sitting in front of me written in propah MVC fashion, without my having to switch the DB from SQLite to anything else. Which, incidentally was the reason why I’d stuck with CodeIgniter, the rest did not play nice either with Postgresql or SQLite. The bad news is that I still write awful code, something on the lines of this:

$result = sqlite_query($handle, $num_query) or die("Error in query: ".sqlite_error_string(sqlite_last_error($handle)));
$row = sqlite_num_rows($result);
$crow = $row / 10; for ($brow = 1; $brow <= $crow; $brow++) { $off = $brow * 10;

Then again, I don’t write code for a living, which is not exactly a good excuse for writing bad code, but I think the languages I need to get in shape in 2007 now read like PHP, Python and French.

Incidentally, most of these frameworks have pretty icky documentation and the highlight of the day was when I had accidentally pasted a bit of my view code into the model and it still showed up on the page!

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Written by shyam

December 15, 2006 at 2:14 pm

Ping that coffee machine!

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Since both the coffee machines were found in a powered off state today on our floor, I happened to ask my trusted technology head if we should give the datacenter chaps a call to tell them that we have two boxes that were down. They should actually have IP addresses that the vendors can get a console on, remotely fix what’s wrong and get on with a nice hot cuppa which would be wonderful in this weather. Windows Live Coffee Care, anyone?

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Written by shyam

December 12, 2006 at 11:41 am

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BarCampDelhi 2: Underwhelming?

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I could never understand the concept of an unconference anyway. The way it looked, the way it smelled and the way the presentations went, it certainly was a conference, be it a bit freewheeling and bereft of a lot of the marketing suits. I guess I could not complain much since participation for me, for these things, is always on the subdued side for me at the best and I did manage to miss the morning session.

Still, I think it would be a bit nicer if people would stop treating such events as a platform for product pitches and leave matters that have been done to death like browser wars at the door itself. I mean, “M$ sucks” is such a cliche and I think I’d go waste time at Slashdot if I wanted more of the same.

Written by shyam

December 11, 2006 at 1:49 pm

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